Tag Archives: Metatron’s Army

Up and Running

finish.jpgWell, that was a short trip into Writer’s Limbo.

I don’t think creators ever really take breaks.

As usual , lots going on.

This is the final installment in the Metatron’s Army saga.**

The trailer is on this page.

  • Work on Dragon Core is going well. I actually have the entire plot for the second book completed even though Cauldron of the Gods is still under construction.

At this rate, book 2 will be written before book 1 which is about 1/3 completed for first draft.

  • Enjoying music from the Dragon Core playlist.

Includes music from Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Muse, and one of my all-time favorites, Silversun Pickups.

The best part of breaks is how productive they are!

Adjudication will be available for pre-order.

Release date October 1, 2019.

**Metatron’s Legacy, which will be under the Metatron’s Universe family, is a single title albeit related novel.

Release date December 1, 2019.

Stay tuned…

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Bringing a Story to Life: Writer’s Limbo [is NOT] Writer’s Block

8103856-wooden-foot-bridge-across-the-stream-in-mountain-forest-croatiaThis afternoon I finished slides for the book trailer for Adjudication, the FINAL installment of the Metatron’s Army Series.

 

This book will be released October 1, 2019

The Process.  The trailer is more or less the final stage in a Metatron’s Army installment.

Each installment of this saga is a chapter in the life of the main character(s).

The book cover and back of book description were done weeks ago.

The beta reader has the final draft.

Edit to the End.  I’m probably going to make a change to the final paragraph in the back of book description, which is why the landing page has not been put up.

Now What?  This is an interesting time for me because it’s not just the completion of a book, it’s the completion of a series that was over thirty years in the making. 

A story I honestly never intended to publish.  Best laid plans and all that…

I’ve more or less enjoyed the process.

There’s no doubt I’ve grown as a person, a business owner, and a writer.

I had to become someone I never thought I could be.

Next Up.  I’m always creating so I have a number of projects in the queue

  • Paranormal Journeys
  • Ghost Games
  • Dragon Core
  • Metatron’s Universe

Having a map doesn’t mean putting a foot to the path.

I need a breather between projects.

Rinse. Repeat.  I have to give myself permission to take breaks between projects.

Projects = individual books.

I don’t feel guilty about not putting fingers to keyboard, I feel compelled to get it down because I can.

But as a friend of mine once said, “Just because someone can, doesn’t mean they should.”

I am in a sort of writer’s limbo, which is not at all the same as writer’s block.  

The stories are ready to take their place in the ether.

I spent the past few days writing the rest of the first and the entire second installment of the Dragon Core series.

For this particular project that simply meant listening to music and playing Free Cell while watching the mental movie of the entire story play out on the screen of my mind’s eye.

Balancing Act.  The difficult part now is determining the point at which rest is morphing into something else.

In other words, when limbo turns into a block, an oxymoron given I know what it is I plan to do with the characters and the story they live in.

Really, Now What? 

  • I could spend the break catching up on housework that doesn’t need catching up on.

No, I don’t need to help others take care of theirs.

  • I could start a new hobby.

That I will soon have no time for.

  • I could spend more time listening to music and playing Free Cell.

That wouldn’t be a break. I’d end up writing more novels on my mental screen.

  • I could learn to embrace limbo.

Hmmm.

Stay tuned…

Bringing a Story to Life: The Rhythm of Writing

frtwice

This morning called for a second double shot espresso.

I’m ripping apart a paragraph in Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core adventure for the fourth time.

Dragon Core is part of the Metatron’s Universe project.

It’s amazing how many different ways you can arrange a sentence and get the same meaning even as some just sound better than others.

And how many times you can change your mind about what sounds better.

It was while working on this novel that I came to see there is a rhythm to my writing.

It’s been some time since I’ve worked on something totally new.  The Metatron’s Army installments follow one to the next so in many respects it’s like one long novel.

Which is why it’s an Epic.

Soothsayer is connected to Port in a Storm and even though Blue Skye, the next Paranormal Journeys story is separate with new characters, all these novels and others in the queue fall under the P J umbrella.  Cauldron of the Gods– Dragon Core – I’m starting from scratch for the first time in years.

The Ingredients. The concept for Dragon Core, an urban fantasy, took root last fall as I was in the midst of the Metatron’s Army series and pondering what to do with Soothsayer. 

Actually, I was pondering what to do with my writing career.

Intrigued by the concept for this new series I set up a folder and began taking notes and doing research.

As the story has roots in real incidents that took place centuries ago, I quickly saw that research would not only be a big part of the up-front work, it would be a time-consuming part. I needed to factor that in when working out release dates for various projects in the queue.

By the New Year I had all the pieces in place

  • iTunes playlist for the project
  • Photographic images that represent the hero of the story
  • Files containing links to relevant historical data
  • Sample of academic work on relevant subject
  • Solid feel for the story arc that would carry not only Cauldron of the Gods but the follow-on stories in the Dragon Core series

Content I’d done everything I could given I had other priorities – aka other novels to finish and release – I set Cauldron aside and returned to finishing MA and Soothsayer

I trusted that in the ensuing months, as is typical, I would give time to the story while sitting outside observing nature, playing Free Cell and listening to music, or lying awake in the middle of the night.

The Sauce.  I’ve come to see that every book I write has its own pace and style of development.

It had been awhile since I’d worked on something completely new.

Cauldron is spaghetti sauce style.

This means I start at page one and write straight through, getting the main story arc in place, before going back and adding spice – intrigues and subplots – as appropriate.

I coined the spaghetti sauce descriptor  to describe this style of writing early in my career though not every story follows this pattern.

Only the first in the MA series – Advantage– fit that writing style profile.

This style of writing is the most energy intensive because it’s a slower paced style and requires intense focus that can be and often is cyclical.

I alternate rapid free-flowing sessions wherein I’ll get 3 – 6K words in one sitting with methodical and more time-consuming sessions which may yield 2K if I’m lucky.

Another characteristic of this style is the need to go back and reread what I’ve written in the previous session to regain momentum before continuing on.

This style is also cognitively draining relative to the rapid free-flow style that carried most of the Metatron’s Army works.

Free flow is a style where I’m simply the physical go-between for the muse, my fingers typing before I even think what it is I want/need to write.  It’s like being in a trance state, what some refer to as being “in the Zone.”

Understanding the rhythm (or not) has big time repercussions because the variability of the pacing can result in frustration.

It’s been years since I’ve dealt with a spaghetti sauce novel.  I’ve had to repeatedly remind my runaway train of a writing brain to slow down and relax – that it will all come out [right] in the end.

I have no idea at this point when Cauldron of the Gods will be ready for release but I’m enjoying the interesting path it’s taking to get there.

 

Bringing a Story to Life: The Circle of Creation

df34550d4b98c906ab78970fee0a7818.jpgAnalysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army series is available for pre-order.

While I’m excited that Adjudication, the final installment of the series has been turned over to the beta reader, I’m also bittersweet and a bit anxious as the series ends.

I have new material in the works but my mindset has been so focused on this project that was 35 plus years in the development that I’m having to gauge the best way to move on to the next projects.

Ghost Games, Metatron’s Universe, and Dragon Core works.

It’s been a bit like going up and down a variety of staircases, often simultaneously.

Like in an Escher Work.

In spite of the apt visual metaphor, I decided it’s really more like a circle; a circle of creation.

Because the circle is  creation and creation doesn’t end. 

One project winds down while the next spins up.  Thus, the circle remains complete.

And unbroken.

Creation as industry is Unique.   I once belonged to an organization of executives and former executives who’d come from a variety of industries.  During one of our meetings, we went through an exercise in which we were to envision where we saw ourselves in  five, ten, twenty-five years, and beyond.

It was a goal oriented exercise.

To my amusement and surprise, I was the only one who could go out beyond ten years.

I explained I planned to continue writing and – creating.

Soon after, I was contacted privately by the facilitator who explained he’d never heard anyone talk about contributing and “working” into their twilight years the way I did.

He was used to people talking about where they would spend their retirement years and what they would be doing. 

It wasn’t work and it wasn’t creating.

I’ve heard that if you love what you do, it isn’t work.  I think that is a misnomer because every artist I know, though they love what they do, works incredibly hard.

What’s unique about creation is the nature of it.  You create. If you have a drive to create, that drive is not dependent on earning a living though you sure as hell try to marry one to the other.  Still, if you have a need to create, money – or lack of – won’t stop it.

Creation is a circle that never ends.  There’s only a segue of continuity, the constant expression of life in one form or another.

images.jpegNote:  I’ve known many a scientist and researcher who has worked up until the end.  That, too, is creation.

 

Analysis will be available August 1, 2019.

Adjudication will be available October 1, 2019.

Analysis: Book 12

nle5mm_and_07_00_ball-end-andirons.jpgA quick update/  Lots of andirons in the fire as usual.

Funny, my beta reader for a previous novel didn’t know what andirons were.  Author word!  Makes me really good at Scrabble – heh heh!

 

I am releasing Analysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army series August 1.

The trailer and synopsis were posted today.

Adjudication: Book 13 is in post production.

Release date October 1, 2019

Projects in the queue.

  • Videos
  • Paranormal Journeys
  • Ghost Games
  • Dragon Core
  • Metatron’s Universe Single Titles

Metatron’s Legacy, a Metatron’s Universe Single Title:  Release Date TBD

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Metatron’s Universe and Paranormal Journeys

sunrise-1634197__340I am pleased to announce that Soothsayer, a book that was a year in the making, is now available for purchase.

This books follows Port in a Storm and is a Paranormal Journeys novel.

I am also happy to showcase a new website, metatronsuniverse.com.

The stories here are not (necessarily) science fiction.

There are suspense/action/adventure and urban fantasy novels in the queue.

I have posted a video on the welcome page where I talk about what Metatron’s Universe is and educate readers as to what to expect from upcoming material.

I will be updating the site on an ongoing basis, including providing pages for the new projects I’m launching.

Enjoy!

 

Bringing a Story to Life: Alien Romance

1920x1080_px_abstract_angel_artwork_demon_fantasy_Art-774620.jpg!d-2Just listening to the playlist I created for the upcoming Dragon Core series and finishing final edits on Analysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army Series.

I need to remind myself I have upcoming projects as I wind down this series.  It’s been with me so long I occasionally feel a twinge of anxiety about it ending.

As I wind down the series, two elements have taken center stage.

  • Reveals
  • Relationships

Reveals. In coming along on a journey that traversed thirteen installments, readers of the series have put their trust in me.

The nature of the story necessitated this format where each book in the series is like a chapter in the life of the main character, who was born in one universe, raised in another before returning to her home universe to fulfill her destiny.

To end a century’s old war and save a race of energy beings which are not always complimentary objectives.

My focus in these final books is to ensure I share various secrets and individual and collective character motivations that reveal the numerous plots within the plot in a way that honors that trust while not revealing too much at one time.

I need to keep the reader entertained – and guessing.

Relationships.  Relationships between a variety of characters definitely take center stage in these final books for the simple reason I need to answer the question Then what?

Through much of the series, the characters have worked together for a variety of common goals that included

  • training to do the jobs they need to do
  • doing those jobs to the best of their ability while continuing to grow as individuals
  • protecting each other and themselves while keeping their eye on the overall objective.

Having something in common does not equal compatibility though I have created characters who not only respect each other, they generally get along well, even as they often work at cross purposes.

Alien V. Culture. Most of the characters have grown up in a universe where different species are akin to what humans would consider a different culture.

It’s just no big deal to have different physiology or physical characteristics that make you stand out.

That doesn’t mean the different species trust each other, even as they work together for a common purpose.  Focusing on how those relationships evolve and transform throughout the series has been fun and something I only had an overarching understanding of.

I knew the overall goal but not what any specific character(s) would do to fulfill that goal. 

I’ve had the joy of allowing characters to evolve in such a way as to transform from being a minor background character to a main character that contributes significantly to the plot and the saga.

I didn’t plan for these changes, they just happened as the story progressed and I got to know certain characters better.

I also need to deal with interdimensional relationships as I’ve brought people from Earth to the Vetria system.

From Analysis:

“Look, can we file this under the Light Beings don’t understand humans category and move on to the reason you are in my apartment?”

“For the moment.”

Fuck.  He so did not want to get roped into the help the Light Beings understand the subtle nuances of intimate relations.

There is also the necessity of addressing how characters move from one type of a relationship to another.

  • From being team players to individual leaders as their careers transform
  • From reporting to someone to becoming a peer as the roles evolve
  • From colleagues to lovers
  • From culturally different species to lovers

On the path to love. Those last two points have been surprisingly less challenging than the two above.  It’s not only been a joy to take various characters from soldiers to lovers, it’s been relatively easy.

The key has been to think – really think – about the challenges they would face.

  • As an individual
  • A couple
  • A team
  • A community

Individual.  When dealing with different species I needed to take into account individual expectations based on social customs as well as individual likes, dislikes, expectations.

There’s Two.  I had to address the challenges of being a couple.

Emotion isn’t a switch to be turned on so imagine being involved with a species for who emotion was forbidden for centuries, for example.

Team Player.  I had to consider how the characters would view themselves in terms of their professional roles, as well as how their teammates would view any changes in relationships.

How do you go from soldiers who fight side by side to lovers? 

Who’s coming for dinner?!  Imagine bringing someone considered the enemy into a community with the implicit expectation that he would be entering into a romantic relationship with a member of that community.

Assuming the individual would have them to being with.

In this situation the relationship is under a microscope as every member of the community takes note of every move.

Which actually happens with multiple characters who enter into romantic liaisons.  As Christine puts it, the universe is watching.

To facilitate the process, I simply looked at each relationship through those four filters.

But wait!  The challenge has been to pace the development of the relationships relative to upcoming plot developments and the reality that such relationships typically evolve over a period of time.

As Christine says at one point, loving someone isn’t the same as being in love with them.

I have to think ahead to what the characters will be facing and make sure that their feelings and thoughts about the relationship are in line with where they are in the progression of the story.

There’s more!  And of course, there’s the whole physical side to the relationships.  That has been a lot of fun to deal with as I’ve had the challenge of incorporating different cultural and personal views on sexuality.

And stopped to think what would each character be worried or excited about in taking that step with the one they love.

This last was a central focus of multiple characters in Promotion: Book 11 in the series.

Front and Back. As I wrap this article before going back to Analysis, I will add that another facet of relationship development is the need to shift the romance from front and center to back burner out of necessity as characters remain true to their roles.

There’s still a war and they are still soldiers, even if some of them are now “closer.”

It has been fun even as it has been, in spite of the implication of emotion, an intellectual exercise.

Analysis will be available August 1, 2019.

Note:  This article is cross-posted to metatronsarmy.com.

Book Excerpt: Soothsayer

9-hands-on-crystal-ball-and-cryptocurrency-allan-swart.jpgBelow is an excerpt from Soothsayer, the upcoming Paranormal Journeys release.

Available Summer 2019.

I am hard at work on a number of projects.

Stay Tuned

BOOK EXCERPT:

Fountain Hills, Arizona

Seven-year-old Fiona Gladstone knew one thing for certain.  Sneaking out to meet her older brother was one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do.  Why he wanted to go hiking before the sun was up was a mystery, but he was adamant.  By the time they reached the bottom of the Arizona canyon, the sun was rising over the Four Peaks and her chest was heaving.

“Here.”

She took a long drink then looked around, handed back the water bottle.  “What -?”

Puzzled, Connor glanced at his sister.  Fiona talked more than anyone he knew so he was curious why she shut up before finishing her question.  “You see them,” the third-grader said quietly, “don’t you?”

“Who are they?”

“Apache Indians.”

“What are they doing?”

“Living,” he replied simply.

“What is that?” she asked, pointing at a curtain of shimmering air.

In response, Connor reached out.  His hand and arm, all the way up to his elbow, disappeared.

Fiona screamed.

 

Promotion and More

Just put finishing touches on the book description for Promotion: Book 11 in the Metatron’s Army series.

I spent the last half hour swapping out words and rearranging sentence order

The book trailer is in production and will be available soon.

The book will be available for purchase on or before June 1, 2019.

I’m hard at work on a number of upcoming projects:

  • Analysis: Book 12 in the series.

Slated for release on or before August 1, 2019.

  • Soothsayer

Slated for release Summer 2019.

  • Dragon Core

Still working on location scouting.

  • Ghost Games

In development.

Stay tuned.

When Art Mimics Life Mimics Art

500_F_203412141_0ZifkTsqTVfi0LzLTiYELkwhzWtrB0r2Done – Or Not?  So, the “first draft” of the Metatron’s Army series is finished but…

There’s a lot more work to be done.

  • Promotion: Book 11 is with the beta reader.
  • Promotion  Cover artwork is more or less finished
  • Promotion: Back of Book  in progress
  • Promotion: Book  Trailer in progress
  • Analysis: Book 12 is in review/re-edit.

To that end:

Something about Book 12 has been bugging me though I hadn’t been able to put my finger on it.

Until today…

Ghost in the Machine?  Normally, once I reopen a Word document I’ve been working on, I get a prompt to the right.  If I click on it, I’m taken to the location I was working on the last time I was in the document.

For Book 12 this was last night.

For whatever reason, the prompt didn’t show up.

I checked to make sure I’d clicked on the correct document. 

I’ve had kind of a – mentally draining past few weeks – with the accompanying lack of sleep – so I was in no mood to play games with the gremlin messin with my novel.

In point of fact, I was – well – upset.

For whatever reason – probably because it’s “my life” I’m dealing with – I was inspired to focus on the exact location the document did open up to.

The opening, where I define Analysis which is the title for Book 12.

As I read through the definition, I couldn’t help but smirk.

Like I said, this is my life we’re talking about.  Paranormal might as well be my middle name.

Analysis:  The study of a game or a position in order to evaluate the quality of the moves and various other aspects of the game or position.

In other words, taking stock, which is exactly where I am in this series and in my career.

You could almost liken it to New Year’s when people evaluate and decide on resolutions.

Though I have no need for resolutions I do need to evaluate in order to see if I’m on track, which means…

Am I on the path?  There is a blessing from hell in wrapping up a series that has been in the making for 35 plus years and in the works for 3.  Once it’s over…where do I go?

I have an idea but before I can move along – I need to finish what’s in front of me.

The finish is close yet there is much work to be done.

I have to make sure I don’t get so distracted laying the foundation for upcoming projects I get off track finishing what is before me.

The list or the heart?  Knowing this milestone was imminent and thinking I was clever, I came up with a list of to-do’s several days ago.

Over a week.

I was enthusiastic and excited and felt so accomplished as I went over the list with various team members.

Well, the joke was on me…

My mind may have been on track but my heart was conflicted.

Just as Shane reflects at the end of Book 10, it was as if someone had thrown a metal implement into the gears and everything came to a grinding halt.

Along with productivity.

I took as much time as I could mentally stand to work on the situation and realized that productivity can be a double-edged sword.  It can mask unresolved problems.

Like driving on a tire that has a nail in it.  You may not realize you’re losing air.

If it wasn’t for a gremlin putting a kink in my software, I might still be driving on that tire, but like a good Samaritan gesturing frantically that I needed to roll down my window so he can tell me I have a low tire, the fact the software refused to perform alerted me to a problem.  I needed to evaluate.

No.  I needed to stop.

This is more than just Am I on track? for the series.  Am I on track for my career?  Am I on track for my goals?

And who or what remaining nails might be impediments?

Let’s just say a few individuals had thrown tacks on the path in front of me; tacks I may not have seen had MS Word not taken me to an alternate location.

After some serious work I concluded that not only am I clearer on things, I now see that I have a couple of new and unexpected … helpers along the path.

People who make my day better.

It isn’t simply acknowledging how the people who do the little things – that are in no way little – help me – it’s realizing what an integral part of the process they have become.

And that’s life – and art – at its finest…