ADRIFT LANDING PAGE

Ah the joys of working from home when your neighbors are trying to find their way in the middle of a pandemic.

All that home renovation?  On the annoyance scale, the only sound more annoying than the sound of a compressor is that of a leaf blower.

It’s especially problematic when the one using the compressor doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing as evidenced by the fact it’s repeatedly cycling through like a portable generator on energy saver mode.  You know – because it’s not giving enough juice?!

My dad was a contractor.  I know my compressors.

Determined to get over the project hump I put headphones on, started up the Colony playlist, and went to work.  I’m proud to say the landing page for Adrift is ready for consumption!

Excerpt toward bottom of page.

I also finished the foundation for the Lessons from the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army

Release Spring 2021.

As I write this, listening to Death on Two Legs  by Queen, Night at the Opera.

And contemplating next steps…

Stay tuned.

ADRIFT UPDATE

“You know it’s bad in writing land if I’m doing housework.”

These were the words that went through my mind as I was vacuuming my bedroom this afternoon, after which I went on a bit of a cleaning spree.  

I despise housework.

It was only after I finally sat down 3 hours later that I realized it wasn’t that there was trouble so much as I needed to give myself a break.  I just got Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony Series back from the beta reader which means postproduction is in full swing.

I finished the book cover mockup yesterday and am taking notes for the “back of book” summary.

I have also been working on two other projects simultaneously.

They are related.

Though I’ve finished two books close together before I don’t remember resorting to housework to give myself a mental break.

I honestly didn’t feel that worn out but maybe I’m being preemptive.

I also may not be dealing with the writing thing.

It’s actually going well so why stress?  

I suspect a bit of what is going on is that in getting a nice head start on a few things issues I’ve been ignoring for – oh – awhile – are making themselves felt.

As in how about we deal with this?

I hadn’t considered how much writing can be a way to distract myself from other things.

At least not since the onset of Covid lockdown when I wrote three books in two months.

I’m going to try something a little different with this postproduction episode.  I’m going to allow myself to think about the item that seems to be the squeaky wheel of the moment while I’m doing the final edit of Adrift.

Final edit isn’t the most brain intensive activity since, with the story completed, I’m only doing a final check of grammar.

Who knows?  If it works out maybe this will be my new way of doing postproduction.

I anticipate having a landing page for Adrift up within a week.

Stay tuned.

hit the degauss button

So – time to hit the degauss button.  

This is my new way of describing the need to do an energetic reset between projects. 

I just finished a major revision of Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony series.

The beta reader hadn’t even finished when I asked for it back so I could edit/revise it.

This isn’t how it typically goes.  Normally I use the time the novel is in the hands of a reader to work on other projects knowing that when I get it back complete with feedback, I will look at it with fresh eyes and do any edits/revisions.

If I feel passionately about adding or changing something, I’ll write notes in a separate file and wait til I have the novel back before implementing.

For whatever reason this time I was unable to get a few open items out of my head.

I’d created a file with the notes, but it just wouldn’t let go so I asked for it back so I could work on it.

Over the weekend I did a major revision that included adding a little over 5000 words.  I did the right thing asking for it back.

Though I returned it to the beta reader yesterday.

In addition to fleshing out a couple of scenes I addressed an issue that was like a sliver.  It wasn’t keeping me up at night but as I went about my normal day, I kept thinking there was something missing.

There was.

Short a man.  When I write a series, I consider plans for future novels in the series while working on whatever one I happen to be on.  In general, this isn’t as big a deal with the first in a series as I can easily adjust subsequent stories in the series to reflect changes.  Still, I try to think ahead and lay the foundation for an easy transition from one book to the next.  

This is especially important to do for the characters in a story as opposed to the subplots that each book contains.

When writing characters I consider 

  • What is the role the character has in the story?
  • What is the role the character has in the series?
  • How do I ensure the character has what he or she needs to go the distance?

In the case of Adrift I found myself facing a unique challenge, the number of characters that would participate in an event.  I’ve never had to worry about this type of thing before so trying to address it was hard.

  • I wrote a general scene with the number of characters I thought worked then continued with the story only to circle back and change that number – twice.
  • I wrote in an additional character through a scene revision then cut the scene – also twice

The trouble stemmed from the fact I hadn’t settled on a definite number of characters.  

At one point I had thirty.  Then fourteen.  Then nine. 

Even after I settled on the final number I faced the challenge of adding a character in a way that didn’t disrupt the flow of the rest of the story which was “first draft” finished.  If I got it wrong, I’d have to rip a lot apart and put it back together.

Not a good time.

finally figured out a way to add the character unobtrusively.

Happy with everything I’d done I passed it back to the reader and scribbled notes for next projects.  

I’m the kind of person who likes to be doing so even if I’m not writing – I’m thinking of writing.

Recognizing the benefit of getting some mental rest between projects I may

  • Listen to music
  • Play FreeCell
  • Do housework
  • Do an Event Horizon Session
  • Take a walk

None of those filled the gap this time and while I don’t feel a need to go back to Adrift I also don’t feel pulled to the next task.

But I can’t do nothing.  I’m not wired that way.

Realizing there was a lot of creative noise buzzing through my mind I decided to hit the degauss button. Basically, I’m stepping back and looking at next projects from a high level view rather than the tasks that need to be done.

It’s like looking into the distance and admiring the whole rather than individual elements such as the sky, the grass, a tree, river, or house.

For now, it seems to be working to take pressure off.  

I’m not worried about what specific task I need to do next because I’m taking the time to get clearer on my plans as a whole.

So far so good.

A BREAK FOR A SMILE

There are times when the intensity of a scene – or a series of scenes – translates to tension in the body. At these times I look for a way to ease the tension.

  • Do Housework
  • Go for a walk
  • Go bug another hapless soul
  • Listen to some music

That doesn’t always help. Much of my favorite music has found its way into a novel playlist.

  • Watch a music video

It was this last that got me this evening. It’s a blast from the past but one that makes me smile so I thought I’d share it here.

Enjoy!

Now back to work…

COLONY: BUILDING THE BRIDGE

Pacing is oh such fun.

Not.

I’m not talking about pacing a story – I’m talking about pacing my mind which at the moment is like a runaway train going through the mountain that is Adrift, the first Sequence in the Colony Series under construction.

I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened but it’s painful when it does.

It takes restless mind to a whole new level.

Under the Covers.  The issue has its roots in excitement. 

Specifically, of what’s to come.

The Idea.  A story has a beginning, an idea that may start as a small vibration of energy at the edge of consciousness, which grows if it is deemed by the deeper layers of consciousness that perceive the vibration to be more than a ripple in the creative field.

If I’m lucky I’ll get a glimpse of characters as this allows me to get a visual which provides details I hadn’t consciously thought of yet, details that can be used for backstory or various plot elements.  

Mental Movie.  Colony is a little different in that I spent a lot of energy mentally incubating it rather than starting a draft and allowing it to surface through the creative energy that uses my fingers on the keyboard to get through.

In this regard it’s similar to how Metatron’s Army came to be though I did write a draft of that one right off so this truly is different.

Construction.  Deciding I was ready to start I went through the routine steps of setting up the various documents, organizing them, setting up a backup routine, creating the artwork to go with it, etc.

Lots of work happens before Chapter One is ever laid out.

Floodgate.  Once I started typing, it was as if a floodgate was open.  

And therein lay the problem.

All these ideas came tumbling forward and while I appreciate that I have them they are somewhat disruptive to the writing effort.

Okay, they are very disruptive.

Mental Movie Take 2:  I thought if I gave time and energy to the scenes vying for my attention it might bring a bit of calm to a mind filled with excitement over the possible ways I could develop various plot lines. 

It didn’t.

Like a bratty kid who now has a way to get an adult’s attention, the creative energy behind this particular storyline is being relentless in introducing new possibilities.

And to think about a month ago I worried my creative source was drying up, no doubt the result of mental fatigue.

Adapt and Go.  I’m hoping I get to a point where the excitement of future scenes settles, perhaps due to an inner confidence that it will all come together.  

I’m confident it will all come together. Someone needs to tell the creative source!

Calming the mind to focus on the actual writing will be awfully difficult otherwise.

In the meantime?  I’m splitting my time between mental movies and putting fingers to the keyboard.

And Adrift is taking shape.

NEW SERIES UPDATE

It’s been a busy few days here as I’ve mapped out a release schedule for upcoming projects.

Hint:  There are multiple in the works.

In addition to Refugee, a Metatron’s Army novel, I have been hard at work on Colony, a brand new series debuting this year.  

I’m pleased to report that I have a landing page up as well as an introductory paragraph on the home page.

Check it out!

I’ll continue to post updates on various projects and their release dates in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.

building out the dream

While working on Advantage, first in the Metatron’s Army series I stumbled on the magick of having a playlist for the books I was working on.  Auspiciously, I simultaneously stumbled on music that fit the series in its entirety – for me.

Nigel Stanford’s Solar Echoes.

Though I continued to create playlists for books in the ensuing years it wasn’t until I was inspired to introduce a new series that I circled back around to creating a playlist for it.

New is a misnomer.  The idea for this series was born alongside Metatron’s Army back in 1984.  Not having bandwidth to do much with it I focused on MA and set it aside.

I suppose setting it aside is a misnomer too because I never fully let go of the idea.

I guess I’m peeling the onion here because beneath the idea was the image – a character.

And beneath that?  The look in his eyes.  

So much emotion – so much said – but in that moment I just didn’t have the cycles.  

I never forgot his expression, nor his body language as he stood in a doorway staring at me as if daring me to – what?

It took decades to comprehend what it was he was communicating and in that time I wrote multiple opening scenes for the story only to curl my lip and set them aside indefinitely.

I wrote an opening scene for Metatron’s Army the summer before my junior year in high school but tossed it twenty years later while sorting through a box of writing that had crisscrossed the country with me for decades; writing that included my very first novel – handwritten in a spiral bound notebook in 8th grade – along with short stories, poetry and other novels typed on bond paper.  Needless to say, it was a large heavy box.

I tossed almost the entirety of that box seven years later – five years before sitting down to start Advantage.

From there to Here.  As I write this post I am populating a series playlist with music that, like the Metatron’s Army series playlist, is mostly instrumental.

Lots of stuff by Twelve Titans Music.

I spent the day working on the various tasks that go into a project of this magnitude, managing to tackle most of the big stuff.

Including the playlist.

I will be posting updates in the near future.

Stay tuned.

PULLING THE THREAD

I’m what some might call a synchronicity junkie.  

I think it stems from having a gift for pattern recognition.

Though I don’t see an omen every time I open my eyes I do acknowledge that wonderful and often amazing coincidences may be messages from the universe.  As such I hold those who act as the messenger in high regard.

Many times people don’t even know they’ve been one making it all the better.

Grasping a Thread.  Several months back a friend asked a question, followed by what would seem an innocuous comment about goals.  Though I responded that updating my goals was on my to-do list, I didn’t do much other than jot a few down.

I set the list aside and haven’t looked at it since.

Pulling a Thread.  What neither of us realized at the time was that her harmless bit of polite conversation let loose energy that had been blocked behind other more pressing needs.

It was the total disruption of the pandemic that allowed for the space in which to address those needs clearing the way to circle back to the goals.

The Spool Unwinds.  As the holidays approached, I was putting the finishing touches on Redemption.  Without a looming deadline I decided to turn my attention back to the goals, focusing on professional ones first.  Before Redemption even hit the press, I’d totally revamped my goals.

I even managed to work in a few personal ones.

The Empty Spool.  By the time the New Year rolled around I’d completely revamped my web presence in a manner that reflected the updated goals.  It was time to turn my energy back to writing.  

It IS Empty!  The mental and emotional energy spent throughout the intense process that spanned months left me struggling to get started.

I was spent.

Pick Up The Thread.  Though I recognized the need for a break I also knew what would happen if I went much longer without writing.

Panic!

My mind would look for another place to focus and the next thing I know I’d be doing housework!

Cleaning a house that I’d already cleaned.

To prevent such a downward spiral, I went through the motions of writing the next story.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of up-front work to do before I even start typing the first chapter; work that can still make me feel productive.

Pick Up The Spool.  As I allowed my energy to recharge, I tested the waters for which of the three stories under consideration I would work on first – by thinking about it.

It’s Still Empty.  At this point I realized that while I was comfortable with my choice and the follow-on steps to make it happen, there were problems.  

Problems I didn’t understand the nature of though I knew it wasn’t mental exhaustion.  I had recharged enough to get back to writing.

I decided to hand the problem over to my subconscious.

I have a trick to help this process using what I learned about the alpha frequency in the Silva Method.

When that didn’t do it, I pulled out the big guns.

Event Horizon.

For several days I worked through Event Horizon exercises, focusing on a variety of topics only some of which were related to my career.

I gained insight into a number of other non-career concerns and even got the plot for a new series.

Freed of mental clutter I was able to start on the novel.  

However

The Unraveling Continues.  This morning while I was going through the routine that primes the creative pump I came to see that the reason I was having trouble was because my goal revamping wasn’t finished.

I debated between running an Event Horizon session or the Free Cell session.

As I’d just done several EVs I decided to try the FC.

I listened to music from novel inspired playlists while playing rounds of Free Cell.  

It’s so mindless my mind relaxes – aka Silva Method Daydream State AND Stare – so I can focus on problem solving.

The Free Cell method showed that since the goals for my career changed the goals of the series needed to change too.  As I followed this thought through David Bowie and other artists I identified flaws not in the series but with some of the characters.

They were too shallow or otherwise had flaws that were going to cause problems in the very near future.

I’m happy to say that I worked everything out and now have a roadmap forward.

And all because of an innocent question…

Stay tuned.

update

For the past several weeks I’ve been implementing changes to my website as I sharpen my focus and evaluate my goals.

Where I am and where I want to go.

  • Lessons from the Edge has been cancelled***

As a nonfiction, it didn’t fit in with my goals for the Metatron’s Army Series.

  • Metatron’s Army works

Details and release dates to come.

Release date late winter/early spring 2021.

Details and release dates to come.

  • Additional videos

Updates provided as appropriate.

Stay tuned.

*** For those interested in the Lecture on Time, it is available in its entirety in Bishop Pair: Book Two in the Metatron’s Army series.

REDEMPTION NOW AVAILABLE

I am pleased to announce that Redemption, a Dragon Core story, is available for purchase.

It’s one of the longest books I’ve written.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this story and it’s turned into one of my favorites.

Along with Metatron’s Legacy which was a joy because, taking place twenty years after Adjudication, I had freedom to write a story related to but outside the series.

I have other novels I love for a variety of reasons but these two do stand out.

So much so I find myself reading them just for pleasure.

I have a number of projects in the queue

  • Videos
  • Website Content
  • Another Dragon Core story

Stay tuned!