Tag Archives: Hereafter

Bringing a Story to Life: Author at Work

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Thought I’d provide an update on what I’m working on.

Still not exactly sure how many books will end up in the series. It’s an ongoing situation.

The saga, which I’d never planned on publishing, has developed over several decades.

For more on this see my Youtube Channel videos regarding how Metatron’s Army came to be.

The End?  The Endgame began taking shape several years ago while I was packing Legos in preparation for a move to San Diego.

As I was listening to INXS, an image of the Vetria System near the Balen border appeared in my mind’s eye.  Sorting Legos into Ziplock bags, I took time to focus on what I was seeing.  The image gave me “end pieces.” The message was that the end was – in a way – only the beginning. 

Given the surreal experiences I’ve had since taking on this project, I can see why.

Tucking it away for future consideration, I went back to packing.

Remember, at this point I had no intention of publishing the series.  I was intrigued by the idea of an “end” but didn’t really believe it.  After all, why stop feeding me information after thirty-three years?

The publishing of this story has been fun and frustrating, an adventure that is somewhat satisfying.

I say that last bit because I feel like the observer – as if someone else is in charge of this and I – like the reader – am waiting to see where it all goes. 

  • I’m busy planning my next projects.

I will be releasing videos that speak to the launching of a new project.

  • I’m working to get Bind:  Book 9 in the series ready for a February release.

Done, Yet Not…  Even as I’m working on the Endgame books in the series, I need to go back to the Middlegame books, to finish them out.

Even as the new project begins to take shape, I have to edit and prepare the rest of the MA books.

  • I’m also continuing to gain incredible insight into EMF Sensitivity and a number of related, if sometimes esoteric, concepts.

And am determining the best way to release that information.

So, lots to look forward to…

FastPortlyDuckbillplatypus-mobile

 

Happpy Holidays 2018!!!

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Bringing a Story to Life: Inspired By

images.jpegI’m preparing Bind: Book Nine in the Metatron’s Army Series to pass along to the beta reader.

Not sure exactly what it is about this one in particular but it’s been such a joy to read 

The scene I’m working through brought to mind the unique process by which this entire series has come to life

Inspired.  This story has always been unique.

Inspired by the NDE 

Inspired by does not mean everything in the book was witnessed or experienced.  It does mean a tremendous amount of thought and planning went into the development of the plot.

The story is a unique amalgam of pieces envisioned and thought up over a period of thirty-five plus years, including two of deep professional grade strategy.

Built.  The story itself is unique in that it was wrapped around a set of existing “facts.”

There were certain characters and locations that made up the original.  Everything else – fleshing it all out – was designed.

The hardest part was the Opening Game.

The chess theme just fell into place but it works.

This was a major decision because I either had to create a backstory that was elaborate or I had to skip it because in-between would never work.

Would never ever do justice to the characters.

I basically started with the Middle/End Game section and though I knew how it ended, I had to work backward.

No small feat.

It may be why I’ve enjoyed the Middle Game so much – it’s familiar.

Considered.  As to the scene I’m working on currently.  That was never part of the original story, nor the one I built to bring Metatron’s Army to life.

The beta reader asked a question and though I never answered it, I thought, “Hmmm…”

Based on consideration of the question, I decided to modify the story appropriately.

I then had to wait several months to implement the change.

It is one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Inspired by a question.

Bringing a Story to Life – Location

orig_2bae763a-758e-48c4-8bcb-9215cc36b007Something like 80 percent of business decisions have a location element.  In fact, it’s probably higher than that.  – Jack Dangermond

 

The Setting.  When a movie studio decides to film a movie, one of the very first actions is to send out a team or expert to scout out a location to shoot the movie.  A variety of factors play into the choices but basically, you want the setting to reflect the story in order to bring it to life.

Make it real for the audience.

It isn’t all that different with novels.

Metatron’s Army is classified as a sci-fi.  All this means is the story takes place in a setting readers associate with science fiction (i.e. planet(s) other than earth, parallel universes, advanced knowledge, technology and weaponry).

The Scene.  Setting (Sci-Fi versus Medieval Europe versus Roman Empire, etc) is only one aspect of the location considerations that go into bringing a story to life.

  • Where does the story take place?

 City?  Country? A school?  If so – high school?  University? Special academy?

  • What locations within the story play a significant role?

The character’s home?  Their place of employment?  Their neighborhood?  The neighborhood they dream of?

The Real.  I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked around the US and traveled to other countries.  This enables me to add locations to stories that I’ve not only visited, but have an understanding of.

Sometimes this understanding comes as an observer, sometimes as a local whose interacted with the places and the people in them.

I’m able to add real cultural quirks or unique characters, and/or buildings, and/or businesses into a fictional story.

Making it more realistic than it would otherwise be.

The Story.  Metatron’s Army truly began to take shape my sophomore year in high school, after a life-changing moment in my geometry class,**

This is where the plot – multiple universes and how they are constructed – was born.

For weeks after the event I researched*** theoretical physics, and the role of geometry and math in the construct of our universe.

What we thought we knew of it at any rate.

As the plot for Metatron’s Army unfolded, I was faced with location choices.  I needed to know where my characters would live and spend their time.

The Purpose.  One of the earliest location decisions was for a warehouse bar that would serve a dual purpose.

  • Relaxation
  • Information gathering

Once I had the location, I was able to visualize the type of people – and creatures – who would frequent the place.

Mercenaries and spies!

I also needed to understand just what went on in the bar.

Dancing?  Eating AND drinking?  Gambling? Fighting?

Then I needed to fill in the details.

  • Where was the bar?
  • What did the bar look like?

The answers to those questions involve amusing anecdotes.

Where was the bar?  I decided the bar would be located in the warehouse district of a major city on an as yet unnamed planet.  But, what city?  In a daydream state, I picked up a cast metal pencil sharpener globe from my dresser and began spinning it.  My eye fell on a name, Perm.  I frowned because I knew that there was no such place on the continent where it appeared.  Rolling my eyes, I realized the manufacturer had misprinted Perth.

The warehouse bar is in the warehouse district in Perm, located on the planet Catana.

What did the bar look like? When I was in my mid-20s, I went on a corporate junket to Toronto.  A small group of us wanted to go dancing, so we asked a local for a recommendation.  At first, she eyed us with amusement, and told us about a touristy bar at the hotel.  Fortunately, one of the guys at the table reset her stereotyped expectations, and she gave us directions to an after-hours bar in their warehouse district.

After taking the subway, which was eerily empty since it was well past rush hour, we walked to a nondescript building with a neon sign and enough human traffic to let us know we’d found the place.

I wish I could go back and find that waitress to thank her for the suggestion.  This fascinating place, which was unlike anything I’d ever seen, is the inspiration for the warehouse bar in my series.

It was a perfectly benign establishment, a multi-story warehouse with multiple bars serving drinks, a large area for dancing, music that pulsed through your blood and vibrated your bones, and lots of people enjoying themselves dancing and talking.

The Details.  While my colleagues talked about a variety of topics, I scoped the place out, taking in every detail.  I watched in curiosity as people danced in what appeared to be cages on an upper level.

I remember wondering how they got up there since it wasn’t too obvious.  The place was dark and I didn’t see any doors or stairwells.

I caught glimpses of side rooms with smaller parties.

These became the inspiration for the gaming rooms in my story.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this unique dance bar.  The best part was knowing – even as I stood there barely able to hear my colleagues over the music – that I was going to be able to use the location in the story that had been evolving for over a decade.

What Goes on Here?  I’d long ago decided that gambling was going to be a major activity in the bar, with information the currency.  However, this vision lived in my imagination until I actually visited a casino in my late twenties.

Watching people sitting at bars playing game after game of digital poker while being served free booze fascinated me and inspired a scene between Christine and Jaliss.

Keeping It Alive.  I continue to integrate real locations into my stories, as I feel it enhances the realism, bringing them to life.

**  I write about this event in After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die.

Though I do not mention Metatron’s Army because it hadn’t yet become.  That took another 23 years and a boatload of living and learning.

 *** A number of open-minded individuals helped with that research, including my physics and pre-calc teachers, and a high school buddy who is now an astrophysicist at NASA.

Bringing a Story to Life – Perspiration for Inspiration

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So, my beta reader is working through Pawn Storm, Book 6 in the Metatron’s Army Series.  The central theme for this book was created in the winter of 1998, in Michigan, while I was running on a treadmill.

Though I loved to hike at Kensington in the winter – trudging around a sub in the ice and snow isn’t the same, nor as efficient during a Michigan winter as running on a treadmill.

I was listening to the Soundtrack from Riverdance.  I LOVE Reel Around the Sun.

I also played Vangelis’ Themes and  bit of Robert Miles. 

This was back in the day when portable music was either a Walkman or the portable CD players that had to be flat and skipped repeatedly when jarred.

I had the CD player which was just so fun on a treadmill.

We had a ½ bath in the basement where I was running.  Though I’d done my best to decorate the small space, it was still a basement and therefore, cold.

This is Michigan, we’re talking about.

As I let the music carry me to Ceative-Land, I slipped into my favorite past-time, weaving the story that would become Metatron’s Army.

Beat the hell out of thinking about an irritating senior manager who was – to the good fortune of all – let go not long after.

In particular, I imagined a heroine – a student in the military academy – alone in a tiny space in the bowels of a ship, studying.

Think governess in a Jane Austen novel.

I further imagined her surrounded by soldiers either on short term transport, who had no need of luxurious state rooms, or those who needed to have distractions removed because they needed to bring up their grades.

Of course, she was there because some jerkweed commander had it out for her.

The book evolves far beyond that as only the skeleton plot events were in place before I put fingers to keyboard in summer, 2016.

Action scene to action scene to action scene, necessitating I develop characters and subplots, and add descriptors – what does the stateroom look like/contain, what is the deal with the jerkweed and why does he have it out for her, etc.

Titles Too.  I was on the treadmill in my basement in Fort Collins in the winter of 2011 when I again received inspiration, though not for Metatron’s Army.

Talk about cold!  It was minus 18 actual the day we moved into our house.  Yeah, sure Michigan – with its “wet winters”- is colder.  Um –no.  

I needed a title for a nonfiction book I was writing.  As I ran, listening to Good Lovin by the Rascals, it came to me.

This is an AWESOME SONG to run to!

 After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die was published that year.

Ironically, not long after that, the movie Hereafter – which I’d never heard of before – came out,  Interestingly, I identify far more with the psychic played by Matt Damon than the woman who had the NDE.  Either they cut corners or her experience was a blip compared to what I lived through.

Get Moving!  Walking, running, and hiking, are all therapeutic, and can really stir the creative juices.

Pawn Storm will be available June 2018.

Bringing a Story to Life – Lead Me On

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If music be the food of love, play on. -Shakespeare.

Eight Days a Week.  I am finishing what has been a marathon writing session.  Producing over ten thousand words a day during a Sunday to Sunday week, I am about to finish the first draft of Metatron’s Legacy.

Though I have periodically gone through spurts of producing 5 – 15K words/day, this is a first; completing a first draft in such a short time.  A marathon.

A single title, Metatron’s Legacy takes place nineteen years after the final book in the Metatron’s Army series.  It was a much-needed break.

I was working on the first draft of Pin, Book Eight in the seriesIt’s the climax of the series, the start of the End Game.  It’s also incredibly intense.

At least, for me.

This book in particular took me back to the original concepts that inspired the series.

The Near Death Experience I had at age 10.

 In the Beginning.  I was in tenth grade when the story really started coming together.

Though I started conceptualizing it a year earlier.

I was in my room, staring at a wall calendar.  The male model was the inspiration for Verix, the Energy Shifter/Protector/Protagonist.

It wasn’t always that way.

 His character was originally a bad guy.  However, while staring at the image the idea came to me that he wasn’t bad, just misunderstood.

Grin.

As I continued to gaze into dark brown eyes, I allowed my mind to wander.  Over the course of the next few hours, if not days, plot twists and the climax – the dark moment if you will – took shape.

Send Me An Angel.  I’d like to say I came up with the idea on my own, but I feel as if it was given to me by – something.

The muse, I suppose.

Though the actual ending and numerous subplots didn’t crystalize at that point, the story was more or less completed that week, after a geometry theorem set off a series of events related to the NDE and what I’d seen during it. **

The ending and subplots evolved over the next thirty-three years.

Don’t Cry.  As I got to the climax – the dark moment – I found myself taken back to those high school days – and before.

To the NDE, the images and sensations..

It wasn’t necessarily a bad experience.

Outside what got me there – brain surgery, blind, paralyzed, coma, death.

 It’s just that once the door to that world opened, it stayed open

Not just memories, connections

Street of Dreams.  Throughout the years, I’ve integrated those connections into my life, learned to live with the open door.  In reviewing if not reliving certain aspects, however, I found myself feeling an emotional weight that choked me up a bit.

Not at all my nature.

 One evening, an idea for a new book came to mind.

To put it in perspective, I should have been sleeping.

 At first, I groaned. I’m not a big fan of creating branch stories for every secondary or tertiary character in an original series. However, the plot that popped into my consciousness was not only intriguing, it was complete as a single title! It was also, in my opinion, a perfect follow-on to the last book in the series. Related, yet separate, it would be a good story on its own merit.  That was a week ago.

Rock Me Amadeus.  There were times I felt like Mozart at the end of the movie, with some invisible task master driving relentlessly.  It was as if the book was writing itself.

The muse?

It’s hard to imagine writing a book in one week as a break from months of work on a series but it has been.

An emotional break. 

I’m Alright.  It was a pressure release valve, a reminder that everything works out in the end.

Wash.  Rinse. Repeat.  This article has been a break from Metatron’s Legacy.  Now, it’s time to get back to it.

I have a first draft to finish.

Simultaneous Display:  Book 5 in Metatron’s Army is now available.

 **  For more on this, along with other details regarding the NDE, read After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die.

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Musical references were deliberate.

Bringing a Story to Life – A Vision Comes to Life

fantasy book cover.pngAt ten years of age, as a result of damage from a brain hemorrhage, I had a Near Death Experience.  When I was able to talk, people asked me what I saw.

I was paralyzed, blind, and in a coma, so it took a bit before I could talk about it.

What I talked about in those early weeks and months after the surgery was a sliver of the entirety of what I saw and experienced.  Part of the issue was that I didn’t have the reference points to adequately explain and/or describe what I saw and experienced.

I never went down any lighted tunnel or up any lighted stairs.

It wasn’t until I was in high school and took math and science courses that I was able to understand what was supposedly a religious experience.

Science has done more to explain the NDE than any dogma, an interesting oxymoron.

 I began filling my room with items that illustrated various aspects of the experience.

Several were hand drawn illustrations that I put up like posters.  One was a full-page ad for a movie – not science fiction – from the Detroit Free Press.

Although these objects and illustrations could never do justice to the real thing, they brought a sense of peace.

When I decided to publish Metatron’s Army, I ran up against the reality that the vision I had in my mind not only needed to translate to the written word, it needed the appropriate imagery to go with it, primarily for the website.

For the World of Metatrn’s Army.

Taking an image experienced/seen in 1979 and bringing it to life in 2018 is no easy task.

It’s far more than describing it to the artist who is helping you.

 I found myself explaining the scientific concepts behind the beings, the images, the universal laws of mathematics and physics involved – to individuals who, while intelligent, did not have a common frame of reference.

Even engineers and mathematicians can only conceptualize so far before an artist’s vision needs to emerge – and artists need a concept of deep science to conceptualize the beauty of mathematics in time and space.

Early work was satisfactory but somewhat incomplete.  I needed more.

As I progressed through the series, an interesting curiosity began to emerge.  The world came alive, not only on paper, but in the tools used to create merchandise and a website designed to draw readers into the World of Metatron’s Army.

It was as if I was finally doing a mind meld with the artists.

Vintage+Drafting+TableTrust the expert.  When I gave a hand drawn sketch of the Vetria System to the artist who would digitally render it, I worried he wouldn’t understand that system the way I did.

I knew Eol, Catana, the Azlaan Research Station and the Ivory Isles like the back of my hand.  I could smell the air, feel the heat of the Catana tropical environment, smell stale alcohol in the mercenary bar on Perm, hear the imperious voice of Estan, the petty bickering of the Lesser Kings…

When I saw what he came up with I was thrilled.  He’d understood!

classic-artist-paletteTrust the artist.  For the color work and subtle illustrations, I turned to an artist who has come to understand me well enough that when I tell her what I’m envisioning, she can make a quick sketch on a scrap of paper and ask, “This?”

In spite of this, I find myself hovering and worrying that the world that has lived inside of me since I was a teen wouldn’t mean as much to them as it did to me.

Was I just another client?

One Artist to Another.  I needn’t have worried.  Both artists told me numerous anecdotes that clearly illustrated they understood the passion for perfection that lived inside of me for it lived in them as well, even if it found an outlet in a capacity other than through the written word.

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Pulling It All Together.  I cannot leave out the work of the engineer who pulls it all together.  This man has to be the most patient man on the face of this earth because he has heard me lament – ahem – at the injustice of not having the tools to bring my vision – the world that has been inside of me for decades – to life in a manner that would do it justice.

Fortunately, he’s a huge music fan.  He’s likened my pursuit of perfection to that of Neil Young and Kurt Cobain.

He gets it.

So, it is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of metatronsarmy.com.

Simultaneous Display: Book Five in the Metatron’s Army series will be available in March 2018.