PRICE REDUCTION, BOX SET, AND FORWARD HO!

With the nonfiction projects behind me, I’ve spent recent weeks evaluating where I want to focus my energy going forward.  As I write in Under Siege: Tools and Strategies for Dealing with the Pillars of EMF Sensitivity – not only did I miss paranormal fiction, it is truly what I have a passion for.  

Science fiction felt too limiting to me which told me that’s not where I should be putting my focus going forward.

I am very proud of what I have done with Metatron’s Army and other projects. To that end I have relocated the 2 science fiction series to elizabethmaxim.com.

I reduced the price of each book in the Metatron’s Army series and created a boxed set reflecting this price reduction.

Other than Metatron’s Army, series on elizabethmaxim.com are story lines which I will be investing time and energy in in future book releases.

Symbios, a tech-centric series set on Earth, has enough flexibility as a sci-fi series that I can easily work with it and in fact I have 3 solid stories in the queue; stories I’m excited about.

Blue Skye in the Rain, a Port Gallatan novel, and Daemon, next in the Dragon Core Series, are current projects.

I have other projects including video and audio projects planned.

Stay tuned and be well!

MORE THAN A HERO’S JOURNEY: BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE

I’ve been sitting here contemplating the Port Gallatan Series from a few different angles including a stubborn refusal to let what was Hollow Shelter go without a fight.

The premise is just too good in my opinion.  It’s also close to my heart.

That isn’t to say in its current form it would fit the series and while I originally floated the idea – to myself – of reworking it so that it did fit the series, I decided it was probably too much work given everything else going on.  So, I let it go.

Or so I thought.

I was sitting here, minding my own business (pun intended) when a niggle of an idea for a reworked story came knocking on my consciousness. 

 I tend to pay attention to these as even if a new book doesn’t come from them I usually get information that is of benefit.  

Tune Out to Tune In.

For me, the best way to let something from the unconscious percolate to the top is to play Free Cell. The mindless repetition lulls – or perhaps bores is a better word – my mind to a daydream state whereby unconscious thoughts can be seen in the mind’s eye

Scenes

And heard

Characters

Within a short time I had a great way to totally revamp that story for a future Gallatan book.

It will have a different title by then.

Satisfied I was ready to go back to Blue Skye in the Rain when another random thought popped into my head.

The unconscious wasn’t done talking apparently.

The Hero’s Journey.

That was it.  That simple phrase.  However, it was accompanied by images of a newspaper article I once read that was about a movie.  In it the critic mentioned the movie being a “typical” hero’s journey along the lines of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

I’m thinking that writer didn’t enjoy either movie.

The writer in me tensed up.  By suggesting there is nothing more to a story than labeling it as falling into one of the 7 basic plots one risks sounding like a high school teacher trying to convince bored students the classic they are reading will change their life forever.

Oh, it may, but not always and not necessarily in a way that can be predicted.

When it comes to a novel, classifying it in such limiting terms not only denies the reader the oppoturnity to discover the adventure in the characters, setting, and subplots that make a novel entertaining, it diminishes the role of the writer in the story.  I, for one, do not think, “Hm, which of the basic plots does this fall into?” when I start a story.

Port Gallatan.

As with the Okcracoke Awakening Series, the first choice I made before the initial book was even fully formed was the setting.

I love the Carolinas for their rich history and love the peaceful Outer Banks Islands off their shores.

For the fictitious Pacific Northwest Port town I created something completely fabricated that was inspired by a number of ports I’d visited.

Combined with various East Coast towns throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Though a reader may classify the storyline in such a way as to match one of the infamous plots I promise none of that was going through my mind when I came up with the idea.

I was sitting at a local haunt I went to (pre-pandemic) to have coffee and work when I came up with part of the story.  A lunch in a neighboring town weeks later gave me the other piece of the light-hearted plot.

To me, oversimplifying an aspect of a fiction work is cheating reader and writer both.  Far better, me thinks, to take the plunge into the adventure.

Now, back to my story.  (Grin)

WRITING A SERIES: MANIFESTING THE VISION

Note: Excerpt at end of post.

Though I don’t have a release date I am well on my way with Blue Skye In the Rain, follow-up to Port In a Storm.

Thanks to work done prior to the pandemic.  

Working on material for the Port Gallatan series has been fun.  It’s also been challenging in that keeping the original vision through the twists and turns of the last 5 years has been a bit daunting.  In no specific order, here are a few of the challenges

Working Title.  Just prior to moving to the current location I mentioned to a casual if somewhat regular acquaintance that I was working on a novel with the working title Blue Skye.  I gave him a brief synopsis and he replied with a smile and a promise to periodically check in to see how things were coming along on the story.  

That was 3 years ago!

Shortly after moving I started the story, then set it aside.

This is typical when I’m finishing one book but want to keep up momentum for the next project.

Off Course.  We’d barely finished unpacking when we were staring down the chaos of a pandemic lockdown and while this turned into one of the more prolific periods of my writing career, it steered me far away from the vision I had for the series.

Switched Gears.  Toward the end of 2021 I turned my focus to a number of nonfiction projects.

Eventually, it was time to swing back around to the story.  And yet…

Which One?

When I plan a series I generally have a good idea how many novels will be in its borders.  Unfortunately, with the Port Gallatan work, I had three different novels that could have followed Port In a Storm.  What I didn’t realize initially is that not all of them were suited to the vision I had for the series.

I was so ready to get back to fiction writing I overlooked that little detail.

I was well down the path of Hollow Shelter when it hit me.

This isn’t going to work!

Dropping the book I took time to regroup.

Figure out where I went off the path.

The process took longer than I anticipated and was filled with a great deal of angst as I tried to figure out where I went wrong and what the best path forward might be.

And which book I should work on next!

Thinking it might be helpful to step away for awhile, I considered doing the next Dragon Core book.

Eventually decided against it.

I considered reworking Hollow Shelter – even started to – then realized that wasn’t the best one for next in the series.  

Finally, I determined Blue Skye was the best one, not the least reason of which is that it beautifully sets up for the next 2 in the series.

It’s also based on a comedic theme, something I think everyone can use these days.

Trouble was, Blue Skye was only a place holder title, what those in the industry call a working title.  Sure enough, I spent several days struggling to come up with an alternate.  Unfortunately, there was a plot device that went with Blue Skye and I knew if I switched out the title I would lose that.

That plot device is a big part of the story.

Aaron and I were out driving recently and I began talking through the challenge of the working title.  Without even thinking, I added “In the rain.”  When I mentioned it being a follow on to Port In a Storm, I smiled.  I had my tie-in!

Details like that are very important to me!

Inertia from being away from fiction had set in.

Little details like working titles don’t get the novel written.

I spent yesterday building out the setup for the story, managing to get in some write time.  

Stuff like organizing files and directories, building a playlist that suits the story.

After a good night’s sleep I am back at it.

Release date will be announced in the coming months.

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book.

PROLOGUE

Construction Site, Montana

Spring, 2021

“Blue Skye In the Rain?  What kind of a name is that for a business?”

Knowing it would irritate his father, twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Skye took a moment before replying to lean over so he could use his t-shirt to wipe his sweaty forehead.  Oh, and count to ten.  Twice. 

Standing slowly he noted a number of the crew – those not used to the periodic and somewhat regular squabbles between father and son – had stopped what they were doing to watch.  Lips in a half-smile half-smirk, he looked into the eyes of the man who taught him everything he knew about running a business through good times and bad, who taught him to be independent, whose wife his mother encouraged him to follow his dreams.  Shrugging, he replied,  “Guess you’ll just have to come out and see for yourself.”  

Ignoring the snickers of nearby crew- and his father’s look of disgust – he hefted a bag of mix and made for the cement truck. 

CJAPTER ONE

Port Gallatan

Summer, 2021

The tiny town of Port Gallatan – a town some say is at the edge of nowhere – has had an identity crisis of one sort or another since being founded by eccentric French Noble Jamet Gallatan.  In search of privacy he made sure the small hamlet on the water earned a reputation for being unfriendly to strangers, including those just passing through.  But like the human desire to direct destiny, progress cannot be controlled and soon, others in search of freedom to pursue dreams joined the reclusive Frenchman.  

Those who settled in the small village, who knew Jamet, respected his right to seclusion, opined he should have known that in settling on a port he would be part of the progress he claimed to eschew.  And so it was that the small town, like the fledgling country it was a part of, grew.

For a period following the US industrial revolution, there was belief the town – thanks to the new railroad being built in the West – would grow.  Thrive even.  Speculators from near and far flocked to the tiny port village to lay claim to a piece of history and for a time Port Gallatan burst at the seams.  But it was not to be.  The railway bypassed the little village by the water, sealing its fate as a small town caught between progress and stagnation.  

MANIFESTING: A LOT HAS TO HAPPEN

It’s been a busy two weeks as I’ve cleared out the old to make way for the new.

All part of the process of manifesting a goal.

As I was getting ready for bed last night I came to understand that some goals take longer than expected because a lot has to happen first.

For instance

In a previous post I wrote of being 13 and thinking while watching a movie that it would be cool to live in a certain type of house in a certain type of neighborhood featured in the movie.  At the time my family was in no position to achieve it and in any case, my vision wasn’t that of my parents.  Needless to say, a lot had to happen between then and now for me to attain that goal.

I lived in a lot of places between then and now and went through a number of life changes along the path to the goal.

It’s no different when looking to achieve a career goal.

For example

There came a time where I decided I wanted to be a technical consultant.  In spite of having taken programming in college and using a computer since I was a teen, I didn’t have the skills when I made the decision.

A lot had to happen.

I spent the next years immersed in classes and activities that filled in skill gaps.

A Wrench

Though an agreement had been in place at my place of employment that once I met a set of criteria I would be promoted, when I met the requirements, the company was in a downturn and there was no headcount.

The Universe Steps In

On the other side of the world

Germany, to be exact

A woman fell in love with a US citizen who happened to be working for the same company I was.  They decided whoever got a job in the other’s country first would move.  As it turned out the American who was a TC in Silicon Valley was the one to make the move.  

Lucky me.

There is a great deal of kismet to this manifestation but suffice it to say that the Universe had bigger plans for me.  Instead of getting a promotion where I worked – one that didn’t come with a raise – I got a bigger promotion and a significant raise.

And a cost of living adjustment.

Pivot

I eventually left corporate to focus on a lifelong goal of being a novelist.

Another Wrench

Thanks to an interesting set of circumstances, I ended up publishing nonfiction first.

The Universe Steps In

In the years since publishing Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity, I’ve experienced a number of life changing events, each of which has nudged me – by hook or by crook – along the path of my career goals.  What I’ve come to see in recent weeks is that the path is not only long it’s often like a switchback trail where you sometimes wonder if you’re even going in the right direction let alone have a hope in hell of getting where you are headed.

There is a beautiful 11 mile trail in Sedona that left Aaron and I both wondering this at times.

I think he has video of me with needles from a friendly prickly pear sticking out of my shirt in several places from when I took a wrong turn and got off the path.

Path To a Series

Port Gallatan has simultaneously been fun and infuriating as I’ve tried to build out my vision for the series.

Other work and life in general kept throwing wrenches.

The Universe Steps In

I was so busy working at the macro level of the career goals I didn’t notice that the actions I was taking were in fact clearing a number of obstacles from the Port Gallatan path!

I am happy to say Blue Skye in the Rain, follow-up to Port In a Storm is well on its way to completion.

Availability date to be announced soon.

I’ll take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Holloween!

Closing with a joke I read in an email this morning.

What did Dracula say when the witch and the werewolf started kissing?

Get a broom!

Be well!

MANIFESTING: THE LONG ARC OF COMING TO BE

Note:  Early version excerpt from upcoming book at the end.

Sitting in a shaded area  getting ready to work on Hollow Shelter and pondering the newest manifestation mystery.  Or pherhaps a better word is conundrum because mystery implies I don’t understand it when I do whereas conundrum – to me at least – conveys I don’t know what to do with it.

If anything I’m a bit apprehensive because of what it means.

It was revealed last night

As I was pulling the curtains closed I happened to glance out the window and while I’ve done that dozens of times in previous months the lighting was just right to illuminate something I hadn’t noticed before.  

I recognized the scene!

Not because I’d seen it before but because I remembered it – from a movie.

One I saw in childhood while living in Florida.

It isn’t that any movies were filmed here that made it so familiar.  It was that I remember seeing a similar image

A grouping of houses similar in design to what I viewed last night

while watching a movie and thinking – I was 13 at the time – “Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a place like that?”

I can answer my former self since I’m living in one just like it.

I’ve written previously how many of the more dramatic manifestions in my life are tied to a time when I said “Wouldn’t that be cool if -?”  What makes this one startling is that I said those words as a kid and it still came true!

I meant it too – I thought the neighborhood in the movie – the houses and the quiet street – would be so cool to live in.

What makes this one different from the up north Michigan thought from earlier childhood is that that was more generic wheras this is far more specific and tied to details of lifestyle.

I considered the type of families who lived in such a neighborhood and what day to day life would be like.

And Now?

Is it what I hoped for?

A Point in Time

As someone who has moved around the country and traveled the world I have a pretty good idea what I like and don’t like in a neighborhood and much of it is dependent on where I am at a given point in time.

What’s going on in my life that will make or break a location.

I considered as I lay in bed whether or not my experience matches up to what I envisioned when I was watching the movie.  

Yes and No

I concluded it’s a lot like being on the outside and looking in.

Like I felt when watching the movie.

That’s because what I wanted out of a neighborhood when I was 13 and living surrounded by retirees

Almost no kids.

is a lot different than what I would want now.

Even as it’s the same.

Clear as mud right?

If you think about it needs and wants can be the same in a general sense across multiple generations.  Things like safety, walkability, close to services are on the lists of multiple generations looking for their ideal place to call home.  While I appreciate the basic characteristics that fit the childhood wish I no longer need some of them.

Why feel apprehensive?

It makes me wonder what else I said in childhood that may end up manifesting.

I can’t imagine wanting it now though the previous two weren’t bad.

The concern – that I may end up with something I no longer want – brought to mind a conversation I had with The Dude about six years ago wherein I expressed my frustration that by the time I get certain things I may not need or want them any longer.

This conversation led to the solving of the equation something I will be covering on the other site when I repost pages to do with the enigmatic being.

While I’m not going to worry – too much – about what else I might have wished for that may find itself in my future I will consider ways to master the key to it all

Releasing attachment to the outcome.

Which, since we are out of the way energetically speaking, enables the universe to provide what is best in the best way with the best timing.

Yes, I thought it would be cool to live in such a neighborhood, just as I thought while watching Desperately Seeking Susan in high school it would be cool to live in a loft but in neither case – though I got both – did I really care enough about getting it to set out with it as an objective.

I know detachment is key to manifesting and I know for myself every time I’ve said “Wouldn’t it be cool if -?” I had that detachment.  That doesn’t mean I can fool myself or the universe by saying those magic words.  It’s the detachment that’s key and for me that can’t be faked.

I know this much.  The process and steps involved with manifesting or bringing a goal to life are fascianating.

Right up my I love learning alley!

Book excerpt

This is from an early version of Hollow Shelter

I have about 30 pages now

Rock guitarist Clint Malek came to an abrupt halt.  He hadn’t expected anyone to be at the park.  Most everyone who would have been tempted to sit on the bench bearing the name of the donors who made it possible was at the regional playoffs rooting for the home team.  He was about to turn back the way he’d come when he caught the expression the woman was wearing, ID’d the emotion driving it.  

Despair.  

It’d been years since he’d seen painful confusion looking back in the mirror but not so many he didn’t recall wishing for someone to talk with at such dark moments.  The least he could do was offer.

Hollow Shelter will be available in the coming months.

Stay tuned

LET WALKING DO THE IMAGINATION

I’m thoroughly enjoying the Metatron’s Army reboot project.  It not only gives me insight into how my writing style has evolved, it gives me a chance to check whether the plans I have for future books in this series make sense.

I’m happy to say they do!

I’ll admit it was frustrating to discover errors I’d corrected previously had somehow wound up in the versions that were published.  

I even lost an entire section I’d added.

I’m still in the process of investigating how the sync’ing error happened.

Rereading has provided insight into my creative process, albeit primarily with respect to this series.  Many scenes bring back memories of where I was and what I was doing while coming up with them.  

Good memories.

Several have one thing in common:  I was walking while creating.

A number of the scenes were created while I was on a treadmill, going as far back as 1998 living in Michigan. Others were done while I walked outside.

Especially at the Cranbrook Institute which inspired more than one scene in the MA series.

As I thought over the various places I’ve lived and walked I realized that a number of my non-Metatron’s Army projects came about while I was walking.

After moving to the west, most of that walking was done outdoors.

  • The Kerry’s Game/Psi Adventure Series was conceived while I was living downtown San Francisco

Though much of the secondary location – AZ – was inspired from when I lived in Scottsdale and would drive to Tucson for research and pleasure.

  • Soothsayer was conceived while I walked in triple digit temps during a Scottsdale summer.

Though I published Port in a Storm first, that book was conceived years later,  while people watching at KEXP in Seattle.

  • Mirror was conceived on a walk along the Embarcadero in San Diego.

Though the idea for the Ghost Games series – of which Mirror was originally the first – was planted as I was walking down the stairwell of the building I was living in Downtown San Diego.

It’s been a long time since I’ve used walking as a way to stimulate creativity.

I’d swapped to playing Free Cell as it put me in a meditative state ideal for incubating projects.  Having uninstalled it several weeks ago, however, I see the need to reconsider walking.

It isn’t as critical to this current reboot project but it will certainly help as I move forward with the next.

Especially as I’ve resolved the question of Prologue V. Chapter One!

But first things first, an enjoyable memory walk through the process of creating.

Have a great weekend!