Goals in a Basket

Note:  This will be a longer post.

Hope everyone is doing as well as possible in the chaos of Covid if not winter in North America which seems to be particularly crazy in some places.

I’ve been keeping busy – working on current projects and also laying the foundation for one scheduled for late spring/early summer 2022 launch.  

There’s more work to do but so far so good in terms of bringing the vision to life.

That  doesn’t mean there haven’t been challenges.  

Challenges I expected.  Everything grinding to a crawl?

The process of laying that foundation exposed an issue I wasn’t aware of.  Thanks to the help of two friends I was able to ferret out what was going on and come up with a way to deal with it.  As it’s a challenge I think many may face in life I decided to share the details.

It may help.

It all started when I mentioned to a friend there was a career goal I hadn’t yet met. 

 I was pretty disillusioned about it.

In a reply she wrote:  “I don’t think I understand.  From where I am you …”

She went on to describe how she read the situation.

I’m very grateful to her for taking the time. It really helped me.

As I read the words I couldn’t help thinking how we may not see ourselves as others see us.  For me this is more that I don’t feel as others see me.

For an empath this wording is significant.  It definitely affected how I approached closing that gap.

To start I asked myself why I didn’t feel like the writer I appear to be.  

And am.

What was missing?

After a bit of introspection I decided that in spite of the fact I am prolific working on the couch in pajamas, it wasn’t sending the right message.

I’d tried remedying this situation before but the desks were always too big or too small.  Same with the chairs.  

As luck would have it my son found a desk and chair for himself that is the perfect size for me.  Using those measurements I found a desk and chair I liked, happily set it up in a place in the dining room that seemed the perfect location.

I take a variety of factors into consideration – the most important being – how does it feel?

After a short time, perfect as it seemed, I realized something was off. The space felt wrong. Too traditional. 

My inner vibe is urban loft.  

Having lived in one I drew on what elements I loved most to try to accent the space.

Without having it look ridiculous as the styles were different.

Turns out some of what I had in my room in high school fit perfectly.  Specifically, a Sad Cafe album cover that I always loved.  Aaron, who is good at hunting down vinyls in good condition, ordered it for me.  I framed it, set it on a very cool easel in the space.

I then added Martin Briley’s One Night With a Stranger.  I love that artwork too as it’s such a talking piece.

But something was still off.  So much so that my career efforts ground to a crawl.

At least they weren’t a halt – that would have really amped the stress.

About this time I heard from a friend who recently achieved a major life and career goal.  An engineer, he synthesized my frustrations in such a way I got the next piece in the puzzle.

The puzzle of Why is this happening?  Why don’t I feel like the writer I am?  

After all, I had my cool space.

At the same time he wrote of challenges he was dealing with.

Many were parallel to mine.

In writing a response I stumbled on the answer to my problem.

The Basket!

I explained it like this.  Let’s say we have a goal.  

We know what we want or who we want to be as a result of the goal. 

 Now let’s say we’ve been given a basket to use to attain the goal.  In it are the following items:

  • Items to help
  • Items to block
  • Items others added

I decided to focus primarily on the first two, paying particular attention to the block.  Why didn’t I feel the way people saw me?

It isn’t that other people’s opinions matter more.  The way my friend laid things out it made it seem I was closer to that career goal than I realized.  That made me ask how come?  How come I didn’t see it that way?  

I went to a pub I prefer for occasional working lunches and listed items in my basket into a file.

The two types of items.

I listed what is working, followed with what is a block, and then listed actions I could take to address the blocks.

It wasn’t just getting rid of them, it was addressing them.  Resolving the situation may not be “getting rid of.”  Semantics but important, I think.

 I invited Aaron up to go over everything.  After much discussion it became evident the work space I made for myself wasn’t doing it.

It didn’t feel professional which meant I didn’t feel professional.

He listened while I outlined what was off about the space and offered a couple of suggestions.  They seemed a lot of effort for something that might not work so I tried to think of something to try first.  

In lieu of adjusting the space, I mentioned moving the desk yet again. Liking the idea he pointed out the benefits of putting it in a certain location.  While I agreed on moving the desk, I hesitated on the area he thought ideal. I’d tried it before – twice.

After turning it over I saw that those other two times were with pieces of furniture that did not fit my needs.

A table and chair that were too big and another setup – a lap desk and chair that didn’t provide the right support.

I was also ambivalent about the specific part of the room Aaron suggested. I worried it would make me feel as if I’d been shoved into a corner, an afterthought.

Not a good career message

But it was simple enough to try so I went ahead and moved the desk and chair. 

As I told Aaron, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of gal – the simplest solution is often the best.

Turns out not only did the new room work the location he suggested is perfect.

The exact vibe I needed!

I moved the accents to the new space and went to work.

There’s More.

While all this went to address the issue I was focusing on – one of the blocks – it’s only part of the process.  There are other blocks I’ll need to address and I may lack a few things that I need in that basket.

Things that will help me move closer to the goal.

Anddddd 

There’s that third item.  

It Ain’t Mine!  There are things in the basket I didn’t put in.

Things that won’t help me.

  • Who/What someone else thinks I should do/be
  • Dramas that aren’t mine
  •  Burdens that are not mine to carry.

These are things that need to be dealt with.

Usually return to sender works.

All that Clutter!

Another problem – for me – is that I put so many “helpful” things into the basket it had become cluttered.  So much so, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t see the blocks, let alone have the space or energy to deal with them.

Some of the clutter came from books I own.

Books on Goals, Visualization, Law of Attraction.

Yes, these books are filled with good information.  Helpful, even.  But that wasn’t where my energy should have been spent.

I was likely unconsciously avoiding dealing with a block or two by busying myself with these books.

I thinned out the collection and deleted other books that were taking visual space.

More organized and less cluttered translates – for me – to less stress.

And now?

There’s more to do but I have no doubt I am closer to the particular career goal I’m working on.

Anddd

I have a valid tool in my arsenal to address areas of my life that may need cleaning up.

I hope sharing this story helps others.

I am grateful to my friends for taking the time to share their feelings with me.

Be well!

ORGANIZING SWITCHBACK STYLE

For someone who spent spring and summer 2021 organizing writing projects and streamlining my websites, these past weeks have been busy with…

Career Organizing!

Do.  Undo.  Though I’m happy with most of the work I did last spring and summer, I spent the past few days undoing some of it.  Specifically, I’d moved a table and a few knick knacks from one part of the house to another.  Step 1 of this incarnation of career organization was putting everything back the way it was.

Which took all of 20 minutes.

Do.  Redo.  One of the more difficult parts of career organizing is displaying what I have in a meaningful way.  As the websites are my primary tool for this I spend a lot of time and energy on how they look and what they contain.  Deciding I’d inadvertently overly complicated things I spent time these past weeks reworking things, including removing some of the pages that, though potentially helpful, weren’t necessary.

They’d become clutter.

Speaking of Clutter..

Knick Knack Hell or Haven?  Ever since reading Terah Kathryn Collins’ The Western Guide to Feng Shui Room by Room, I’ve made a point to ensure I’m surrounded by items I like or love.

She explains that everything we see and have around us is talking to us so it pays to ensure we like what the objects are saying and for the most part I’ve been successful.  

Even objects that bring a smile can wear out their welcome.

She writes how objects can hold us in place if they remind us of where we’ve been not where we are going.  

As I sat staring at the various pieces I’d placed with care throughout the rooms in my house I came to see that though I still identify with the concepts they represent, I no longer need to have a visual reminder.

I’ve internalized the philosophies so I no longer need a visual anchor for them.

When I looked at it that way I came to see the objects – touchstones along my career path – were now – groan – clutter!

I spent about 20 – 30 minutes gathering everything up and putting them into zippies to take to the donate drop.

Use or Not.  In addition to small items like dragons and castles, I parted with jewelry I bought but never wore.

Mostly earrings.

They weren’t impulse buys.  I really thought they would be good.  In the end, however, I may have worn them only one or two times.  Even so it wasn’t easy for me to say good-bye.  I hate to admit it but I think I was holding onto them in case I decided to wear them “some” day!

What makes that particularly painful is that I’m not at all someone who holds onto items because I might use them “”some” day.  When I realized that was the reason I’d been holding onto them I knew I had to act.

Into the donate pile they went.

Wow!  Though I have a number of Feng Shui success stories I’m always amazed at how quickly implementing the principles manifest good results.  Whether it’s just feeling better or a more tangible event, I have yet to be disappointed.

In this case the quickest return on my investment was a feeling.  I’d moved a table from the entry area to a different part of the house.  It wasn’t until it was gone that I realized by seeing it out of the corner of my eye while I sat and worked, I was negatively impacted.

I felt as if it was crowding me, which sent a subliminal message of deadline pressure when it came to my career.

Interesting as the entry to a home is mapped to career energy.

Once the table was removed I felt more relaxed with a renewed sense that timing wise, everything was on track.

Chain Reaction.  I’m still tweaking things but doing so in a rather systematic way.  Instead of having an end image in mind I wait to see how one change may or may not necessitate another.

So far so great!

All in all a good way to start 2022!

Covenant: Writing to Passion

Sitting here on Christmas Eve working through the opening scene for Covenant: Prodigal Son.  

Dinner’s a few hours away – Irish stew that’s been in the crock pot – and preparations for tomorrow are such that I have the time.

The trick with this novel is not complex so much as distracting.  

Whereas the holiday preparations – for a change – aren’t.

I might be inclined to be concerned with the slow pace with which this is progressing if it weren’t for the fact that 1) I am making progress and 2) this story kept me up for weeks 1 1/2 years ago.

The challenge, in part, is reconnecting to that level while distracted with holiday preparations.  

Trouble Shoot.  Asking myself what was I thinking – positive mind you – and feeling – aren’t doing it.  So I went at it from a different perspective.

What is the primary element I’m trying to draw out?

For the reader but more importantly, for myself.

As I’ve shared, with readers, passion is a big thing in my world.

What someone is passionate about isn’t as important  as the idea they are passionate – about something.

There are a number of species in the Metatron’s Army series and though most are passionate they exhibit that passion differently.  Ryn, for example, flaunts passion whereas Verix is judicious about allowing others to see it’s there, if simmering beneath the surface.

As one of my aunt’s used to say – still waters run deep.

After careful thought I decided I would take the opportunity with the three Covenant novels to highlight different passions by telling events through the eyes of species who experience and display those passions differently.

Whereas one species might use fighting as a way to leach passion, another may use intimacy.

Making this choice freed up creative energy and the story is once again moving forward.

Though the opening scene is proving a bit like the way old magneto-drives recorded data where the arm went back and forth across the surface repeatedly, depositing data at random.

All in all I would have to say Covenant: Prodigal Son is on track.

For more on the Metatron’s Army series and the Covenant Trilogy, see metatronsarmy.com.

Happy Holidays!

UPDATE AND PERSPECTIVE

As I wrap up the week before Christmas and the time before the New Year I wanted to provide readers and visitors with an update and a bit of perspective.

CURRENT PROJECT

Working on Covenant: Prodigal Son which is a Metatron’s Army novel.  

In spite of having been away from the series in terms of novels I am pleased with how things are progressing.

Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army and the play by play I did on metatronsarmy.com meant I never truly stepped away from the story, which helped.

ONGOING PROJECT

Over the spring and summer I spent considerable effort revamping my websites including reorganizing material and adding videos.  

This is the type of activity I normally work on late fall/early winter.

Since I’m always evaluating I can always find ways to tweak and improve.  

This winter is proving no different.  

Readers may notice a few changes as I continue my efforts.

UPCOMING PROJECT(s)

In preparation for Wine, Music & Ghosts, which is set to debut in spring.summer 2022 I took a look at all the projects in the queue with an eye on which ones I am passionate about and which ones are just cool ideas.  

I gauge projects based on whether or not they keep me up at night – because I can’t stop working on them.  

I love them that much!

PERSPECTIVE

In closing I wanted to share a bit of perspective with readers and visitors to the site.  I know things are stressful right now.  As someone who has overcome an incredible amount of adversity in my life, throughout my life, I wanted to share a couple of ideas for helping to get through.

They helped me navigate the chaos.

Planning

To further put it in perspective – it’s 1979.

I was sitting in the car waiting for my mom.  

It was early autumn and we were having an Indian Summer in Michigan.

I was about two months past the brain hemorrhage that left me blind, paralyzed, and in a coma and while my eyesight had returned and I was learning to walk again, I was unhappy with how my life changed.  One of the things I was particularly upset about was that my hair, which had been down past the middle of my back, had been shaved so they could operate.  

After two months it was similar to a military buzz cut.

Though some may think relative to the other things that happened this wasn’t as serious and normally I might agree.

But…

Some of the kids at school kept telling me I was ugly and looked like a boy.  As an eleven-year-old girl it was pretty upsetting.

Upsetting hell, it was traumatizing.

As I sat in the car my eyes zeroed in on my shadow.

It was sunny.  

What stuck out most was what was sticking out:  My ears.  Unfortunately, this only served to drive home the point that my hair wasn’t going to be long anytime soon, so I was stuck with noticing my ears.

And assuming everyone else was staring at them too.

Fortunately, I was able to bring to mind a simple truth.  Eventually, my hair was going to grow long again.  

In other words, some day this would all be behind me.

I chewed on that reality for awhile, soon realizing the same principle applied to a lot of what I was unhappy about.  

  • Eventually I would walk without a limp
  • Eventually I wouldn’t have to have EEGs
  • Eventually I wouldn’t be paraded in front of one doctor after another like a specimen under glass
  • Eventually I would be in a different school with different kids
  • Etc

I went through all the things that were bothering me but I didn’t stop there! 

 I added goals of a different nature to my list!

  • I would go to college
  • I would become a writer
  • I would travel the world
  • I would direct my own destiny

That last one was very important to someone at the mercy of those who didn’t necessarily have my best interests at heart.

Everything on my list came true.

The Lesson?  When you can’t do anything about the moment, put your eyes to the future.

Plan!

Writing goals out is known to help them manifest.  Visualization also helps bring them from wish to reality.

As a bonus, by putting your attention on happy things you take it off the things bringing you down, improving your mood and your outlook.

Which adds fuel to the manifesting efforts.

Reading

I found reading to be a great way to distract myself when I can’t do anything about what’s going on at the moment.

Even when I know a situation will eventually resolve itself, I may need to deal with the now.

What better way to let go of your worries than to lose yourself in a world you never knew existed?

Happy Holidays!

Elizabeth

From the Edge: 2

Though I will not be posting daily about the development and publication of Covenant I will start with a post about how there’s no such thing as a typical day.

Prep Work.  I’ve written previously that I like to have playlists for the novels I work on.  This evolved from the fact music played such a big role in Advantage and then later Metatron’s Army stories as it became a way of anchoring Christine while she traversed one challenge after another including multiple universes and timelines.

 I posted that Kiss You All Over is currently part of the Covenant playlist.  That doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there.  

I just happen to like the beat.

It’s an older song that has been in my library since I heard it while on the escalator outside Jimbo’s in San Diego.  

I hadn’t heard it since the 70s when I attended a wedding reception.

It originally played a role in Her Sanctuary but I jettisoned it as it was too cheesy for the main character.

I cut the scene that went with it.

I threw together a playlist for Covenant that has a few vocalized songs like Billy Joel’s Pressure along with several instrumental pieces by Hi-Finesse.

I don’t always listen to the playlists while writing but it’s nice to know they can anchor me to the story if I need to focus.  Which leads me to…

I don’t always wake up ready to write.  

I have a number of tricks to get me going in the morning including listening to music that may or may not be on a playlist as well as writing something other than the manuscript.

Typically an email or an Event Horizon session.

I recently purchased a small whiteboard to help me prioritize tasks.  I decided to go this route because I was working on three projects simultaneously.

The Isle of Future PastDestination Unknown: Explorations of the Paranormal,and  Wine Music & Ghosts.

As of this morning it has the following

Covenant

  • Book Cover
  • Landing Page
  • 2 Blogs

I already posted the blogs so that will come off.  I have rudiments of a cover and believe that will be finished by the end of the week.  As for the landing page…not sure yet.  I typically do them after the final draft is finished.  However, since I have a strong handle on the plot I may do this one differently and write the back of book description before the manuscript is finished.

And Writing?

When it comes to writing, throughout the years one thing has been consistent.  When I get an idea?  I write it down immediately.

I will scramble for paper, napkins, anything I can get my hands on to put down chicken scratch so I don’t lose the thread.

Because of this I actually have a good deal of the book started.

Over 50 pages.

I got to work on it the moment the idea for a future book came into mind which was before, incidentally, the idea for Covenant came into being.

I actually had an idea for 3 future standalone and two additional Chronicles books.

This hasn’t given me a false sense of security.  I know I need to get on the manuscript soon but two things come into play:

Know Thy Style.  I know that once I get into the manuscript I’ll be productive enough to meet any deadlines.

I can kick out 5 – 15K a day when I’m deep in it.

Know Thy Plot.  I’m still working out a few key details, not the least of which is that two of the standalone books are being combined into Covenant which will set up for one of the follow on standalones.

Until I have the details ironed out I’m going to hold back from editing the manuscript I have.

I do have the advantage that the opening scene is going to remain.  I don’t need to redo it.

I’ll spend whatever time it takes allowing the details of the plot twists to surface before hitting the keyboard full force.

This typically consists of relaxing the mind and allowing mental movies to float across the mental screen.

It’s possible that spending so much time in a meditative state is what allows me to feel so relaxed about the process.

I will post more as things are pulled together.

Stay tuned!

Cross posted on metatronsarmy.com.

Post Note: When I pulled the curtains back this morning the scene (the color of the sky visible through trees that lost all their leaves) perfectly matched the opening scene for this book! I stood at the window and studied it carefully so I can do it justice when putting in the description.

From the Edge – Part 1

It’s quite the undertaking, working on a Metatron’s Army story after all this time.  

Metatron’s Legacy, though it takes place 20 years after the series ends and is a standalone novel, was written in the space of a month before Promotion, Book 11 in the series was even finished.

It was closer to 2 1/2 weeks of manic productivity.

To celebrate this effort I’ve decided to treat readers to something different:  

A Peek Into the Process.

Similar to articles under my Bringing a Story to Life these posts which will primarily appear on metatronsarmy.com, will take readers into 

  • How the story came to be

Different than any of the previous novels in the series

  • How the process is different than that which created Metatron’s Army

Significantly different than how the series was created

  • How I go about Bringing a Story to Life

A glimpse into how I pull it all together

As this is the inaugural piece I will post it to both elizabethmaxim.com and metatronsarmy.com.

Though the follow-ons for Covenant will primarily be on the MA site, I may cross post to elizabethmaxim.com.

Enjoy! 

Without Further Ado.

Another one?  I’m a writer but I’m a reader too.  

I can take out a 250 page novel in 8 hours or less.  I love reading!

I have followed various series, some of which – like bad movie sequels – should never have been done, and others for which I’m still hoping the author will do just one more!  All of this went into the brain pan when considering what I would do after Adjudication, the final in the original Metatron’s Army series.

Metatron’s Legacy was like the steam release on first generation pressure cookers.

Muse Enter Stage Left.  I detail the creation of the Metatron’s Army series in Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Legacy so I won’t go into it here.

btw:  I’m listening to Kiss You All Over which is on the Covenant iTunes playlist.  Hey… it’s part of the process.

I was winding down the series when “the dude” who was an integral part of the creation of the series put in an appearance.

He’d already showed up while I was working on Bind, Book 9 in the series, demanding that I solve a mathematical equation shown/given to me during the NDE.**

Like I said – it’s part of the process.  

Elizabeth Maxim, the writer.

The message he brought as I was finishing up the series?

Which began with Promotion:  Book 11, incidentally.

“Take It Back!” 

He all but shouted it at me!

I was confused but this guy doesn’t mince words so I went into soul-searching mode in an effort to understand.

He literally meant the series.  Take it back!

I was able to do so with the follow-up work though the process took a few years and was interrupted by life, ghosts, health issues.

Typical Elizabeth Maxim.

When I released Adjudication I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Not triumph but accomplishment.

I was busy with career decisions and into heavy research for Dragon Core so it was relatively easy to set the series aside.

And then…

Covid was just putting in an appearance when all my creative forces went on high alert.

For a variety of reasons I knew the doo-doo was about to hit the fan.

I went into super creative mode.

I kicked out four books in the space of a few months.  

Part of this was to keep myself sane in a lockdown and part was to give people something to take their mind off what they couldn’t control.  

God knows reading has saved my life during stressful times!  

I lay in bed one night when an image popped into my mind.  I’d shoved Metatron’s Army to the back burner to work on Ghost GamesDragon Core, and Colony, so it was kind of a surprise.

I’d always intended to add to the Chronicles subset for the series so I knew I wasn’t finished with it.

The Kicker.

I try not to work on projects that don’t live in my soul.  

For me, this means they burn as they try to fight their way out and in so doing keep me up at night.

For months.

That this entered into my sphere of awareness as I was in the midst of all this other stuff?  I had a decision to make.

I was in no state of mind to go back to that series.

By now we were in full lockdown with school and work at home and though I’d been working from home for 26 years …

I shoved it to the back burner.

Until…

**I will be revealing just what was in this equation and the story behind it in the future.

Stay Tuned!

COVENANT – AN MA NOVEL

I am pleased to announce the next fiction project in the queue: Covenant.

This book is part of the Metatron’s Army series.

Just as with Metatron’s LegacyCovenant, a stand-alone book, is set 2 decades after the original series ends.  

This installment circles back to the beginning even as it moves forward with old debts settled and commitments fulfilled.

Readers of the series will recognize familiar faces even as they are introduced to new ones while those new to the series will be able to pick up the threads of a saga decades in the making.

Stay tuned!

BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: MUSIC TO MY EARS

The time after handing a manuscript to a beta reader can be challenging in that if I don’t have a project in the works I need to tune in and decide what’s next.  Even when I do know what I want to work on it can be difficult to take time to ponder.

Pulling creative whisps from the ether to shape into characters, settings, plots and subplots.

It’s a tricky business when thoughts get in the way of the creative process.  

Especially thoughts of what I “should” do.

I’ve come up with a few tricks, my favorite of which is listening to music.

As opposed to doing housework.

A fan of playlists I have music that relaxes, music that inspires, music that evokes specific emotion(s), and music that serves no other purpose than to be background noise.

Background noise doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the music.  It’s simply music that isn’t distracting to the creative process.

This morning while working on firming up the opening scene for the next Dragon Core book I put on a playlist – a recent creation – songs with a specific theme.

This list serves multiple purposes depending what is going on.

I was about 2/3 of the way through the list when the lyrics of the song that was playing came into sharp focus.

Now and Forever.

I realized it was perfect for the playlist I had yet to create for the book I’m working on.

It’s almost eerie how perfectly the song matched the scene I was working on.

Happy with that bit of progress I created the playlist and added the song to it.  When the next song started I found that it, too, fit the scene.  

Interesting that The End of Dragons will fit into [at least] two upcoming Dragon Core novel playlists.

At this point I took a step back to consider whether the album the songs were from would fit the book if not the series.

Similar to how Nigel Stanford’s Solar Echoes fits the Metatron’s Army series, with  Entropy perfectly setting the mood for the opening scene in Advantage, first in the series, and Sea of Tranquility perfectly framing the ambush scene in Diagonals, Book 10 in the series.

Though I won’t be putting every song from Gary Numan’s Intruder album into the Daemon playlist, I will be adding several that serve as inspiration for various parts of the story.

I anticipate Daemon will be ready late winter/early spring.

The Isle of Future Past, also a Dragon Core novel, will be ready autumn 2021.

Stay tuned

BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

All in all a successful weekend.

How’s that for a lead-in?

Thanks to a visit with friends I discovered some new music.

The title track is absolutely haunting.  I love this album!

After finishing the Dragon Core novel currently under construction I went to lunch as a way to clear the mind of current projects and ended up confirming recent observations shared in Ignoring the Rules.

Yesterday evening after a final check I turned the Dragon Core story over to the beta reader and though I am really happy with how things turned out, I’m also a bit worn out.

This story ended up being quite the challenge.

When a Working Title Doesn’t.  More often than not I have a title in mind when I start a new work and this Dragon Core piece was no different.  

I try to make the titles relevant to what is going on in the book, often finding ways to have the title itself appear in the story.  

That’s where the trouble began.  

Too Much Going On.  As I got toward the end of the first draft I started to see that something was off.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to be able to analyze the problem.

I was on a trip wherein I was doing final research for Ignoring the Rules: An Intriguing Approach to Resolving Calcium Toxicity as well as getting the book ready for purchase.

Pushing the problem to the mental back burner I focused on other tasks.  

Aha!  I am one of those who finds shower time to be a great source of inspiration as new ideas and problem resolutions present themselves.

Popular theory is that the negative ions from the warm water stimulate creative flow in the brain.

The morning after setting the Dragon Core puzzle aside it occurred to me that simply changing the title to the story might solve the issue.  As a result The Day Before became Dream Keeper.

As I was editing the story with an eye to the new angle it became apparent that while the new title was an improvement, things were still off.  Deciding it really did need to be set aside because I had other things to deal with I pushed it to the mental back burner and head to the hotel bar to work on Ignoring the Rules.

At that time of night it was empty but for one guy sitting at the bar talking to the woman who, in addition to her work, was helping housekeeping staff that was understaffed catch up.

Even as I put the finishing touches on the nonfiction manuscript I couldn’t stop thinking about what was off with Dream Keeper.  As I stared out the window, the businessman’s conversation background chatter I realized the title didn’t honor the other characters let alone the complex plot.  I tweaked the title again and set it aside.

The story was still under construction and as there was no pending deadline like there was with Ignoring the Rules, I decided I’d eventually get it figured out which enabled me to relax and enjoy the rest of the trip.

All That Work!  When I got home, with Ignoring the Rules available, I turned my attention to finishing Dream Keepers and though I was making progress I was still aware there was a serious problem with the title.

It did not do justice to the supporting characters or the complexity of the story both as it stands on its own and as it fits into the series.

I was also staring another issue in the face.  I’d already completed the cover.  If I changed the title to Dream Keepers – with an S added to the 2nd version of the title – I was going to have to redo the cover design.

Though it seems simple enough it wasn’t.  I liked what I had.

Once again pushing the problem aside I focused on finishing the manuscript.  

Right In Front of You.  I was about two thirds of the way through the final version when I realized the title was already in the book!

And had been there all along!

As I sat there staring at the scene it occurred to me that if I adopted this phrase as the title to the book not only did it honor the characters and the plot, it kept the book’s context within the Dragon Core series in tact.

And as a bonus I didn’t have to change the cover beyond updating the text to reflect the new title!

The Isle of Future Past is on target for a fall 2021 release.

Though I’m hoping to have it available by the end of October I have several other projects including another nonfiction booklet for The World of EMF and a number of videos I only recently found locations for shooting in the queue.

Stay tuned!