My Writing Shipwreck

The shipwreck

2020 is a miserable year and I had planned to get back in to writing, 2020 decided to sneak up on all of us and give us a good swift kick in the nuts. But…I’m alive, I’m healthy, and that is not something that I take lightly or for granted.

I thought as my first introductory post back to the Internet since February, I should just talk about what I have been going through and see if putting this on paper can help me make sense of what I have done and what I plan to do. Even as I am writing this blog entry, my brain does not want to cooperate and it wants me to just leave it alone for now.

I have been Off the Rails for a Long Time

Suffice to say, I disappeared from the writing world, lost the ability to write anything but fanfiction once in awhile and found myself drifting from one hobby to another like an aimless balloon tethered to nothing.

Looking back, I think it happened near the end of 2018 when the Freelance market dried up thanks to a bunch of changes by companies that I used for sources and a shift in the content to areas that required extensive knowledge I did not have. I had launched a freelance business in March of 2018 and it has been on the rocks since. Looking at it with a critical eye, I think I was pushing myself very hard and then when what I had built ground upon the rocks, I fell apart. Instead of trying to save it, I just hopped off and walked away.

The farther that I seemed to walk away, the harder it was to turn around and come back. I have been walking for two years and now that I have turned around, that ship called my writing is so far away.

I Promised myself not to Give up but then I did.

Looking back with the support of my lovely princess, I realized that I left my muse and my dream on that boat abandoned and alone. I had promised to myself that I would not give up but then I went and did exactly that.

The path is littered with unfinished stories. The Star Traveler Series since empty with no fourth book like it was promised two and a half years ago. The Jassik Creed Series has all the finished artwork for Books #3 and #4 and they sit unwritten.

The only creative thing that I have been doing is a Scifi Epic comic “Beloved Chains” (If you follow the link, please note that its a comic with adult themes and has some nudity) that I wrote the storyline for and working with an artist to do the art. To be honest though, I wrote the first eight of 16 chapters two years ago and we’re only half way through Chapter 2. So, I can’t claim that I have been doing anything really creative on that project either.

There was a lot of wreckage to pick up and honestly, in April of this year, I felt like it was too much and just wanted to stop and give up completely.

It was the Ghosts of the Greats that got me back

The only reason that I have returned is that I stumbled on to James Bell Scott’s How to Write Pulp Fiction that made me start carrying about writing again. The excerpts from the greats like Ray Bradbury and Raymond Chandler made me realize that I needed to push forward and write and that’s what I plan to do.

Reading what they had to say, realizing what type of story I truly loved writing, and which ones I grew up loving really focused me and got me to write this post.

So, I’m back. I’ve trudged my way back to my crashed ship of writing, taken quite a bit of chewing out from my muse, and ready to shove off and make 2020 the year that I return to writing!

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How to Write About Injured Characters

Writing about injured characters is challenging for writers of any genre. However, in fantasy or science fiction writing, there are considerations related to the characters’ injuries that should always be kept in mind. Even though this type of fiction requires readers to believe the unbelievable, you still want to strive for a touch of authenticity.

Injure Them Realistically

Injuries that characters sustain should be consistent with what injured them. For example, a description of an injury suffered during a sword fight should not be similar to a gunshot wound. An injury that happens because of a fall should be consistent with the height, such as not having catastrophic fractures occur because of a short fall.

Another important thing to be considered should be what type of protective gear, like armor or a spacesuit, the character was wearing. Keep in mind that protective gear is not perfect (unless it’s magical and supposed to be that way), and characters can still get injured through it. For example, people can still get head injuries even while wearing a helmet.

In fantasy, a character fighting a dragon might receive burns even with protective gear. Science fiction characters who are nonhuman might withstand injuries that would injure humans pretty seriously. The story’s setting always matters.

Use the Right Symptoms

Paying attention to symptoms and appropriate reactions associated with the injury type is important to writing convincingly. Accurate medical sources regarding different injuries can help you present an injury accurately, even in a setting for removed from “real life.”

For example, describing pain bearing weight on an injured leg would be accurate, as well as symptoms similar to gas poisoning resulting from an encounter with toxic potions. Always remember that even the most unbelievable fantasy or science fiction storyline has some inspiration from real life.

Don’t Ignore Pain

Many writers find pain difficult to write about, at the risk of downplaying their characters’ pain. However, unless some plot device in the storyline allows for supernatural pain resistance or magical healing, you will most likely have scenes that involve characters being in pain.

Another consideration in writing about pain is keeping it proportionate to the injury. A person who receives burns from dragon will have more pain than someone who trips mounting a horse. Try to put yourself in your characters’ shoes as much as you can.

Writing about injured characters is a unique challenge for writers. When you are writing about them, you want to make sure that it seems realistic so you don’t alienate the reader. However, by following the above tips, writing about injured characters will become easier over time.
Want more writing tips? Check out this other article on how to write empathetic characters without boring your audience!

Why I have Been Gone

In June of 2018, I suffered a mental collapse brought on me by stress and an undiagnosed mental health condition. It had caught me by surprise that I had gone from going along to massive mood swings, mild paranoia, and hyper-alertness. By August, my beautiful wife convinced me to go to the VA and speak with a mental health professional, and it turns out that I had Bipolar disorder. Since June, my life has completely changed.

What Happened

In 2010, I served eight months in Afghanistan and to put it mildly; it was packed full of stress, anxiety, and sheer terror at times. Since getting married and having children, I have always struggled with my temper.

June was a turning point for both good and bad. I had come home from work and collapsed in my chair and suffered a fit of sheer fury for no reason which slammed into a high manic state which scared me. Susanna, my sweet, long-suffering wife, talked me through it and told me with no uncertainty that I needed to speak with someone and recommended the Veterans Affairs. She thought it was the best choice as the visit would be free (due to me having a combat badge from the war) and they would be more understanding of the things that I experienced.

My doctor found that I was Bipolar and that what I thought was part of the PTSD was something entirely different and that I had to change a lot of my life around to consider this. That was why I disappeared; I needed to figure out how my online presence was going to be now that I know what’s going on and have the support to get through it.

Why Am I Saying All Of This?

Mental illness has been shoved in the corner far too long which has allowed horrible people to treat those with mental illness as second class citizens that should be locked away and forgotten. Because of people spending so many years refusing to talk about mental health, it has been regulated to the world of mystery, and when someone mentions it, others get uncomfortable.

I’m not going to do that. It’s a part of my life I now understand as best as I can, and it’s something I will talk to people about if they want to listen. If it makes someone else with a mental illness comfortable and to know that I can relate as much as feasible, then I feel that I have done something right.

If anyone watched my Twitter feed, they would have seen the gift I got for my wife as a thank you which turned out to be so much more. Susanna and I have liked the Teen Titans show, and I found that my favorite voice actor who voice Susanna’s favorite character Raven (this would be the wonderful Tara Strong). I discovered that Ms. Strong had a profile on Cameo and requested her to do a positive message from Raven.

What we got not only helped cheer my wife up but made me realize that other people understood. Ms. Strong could have done something basic, but the recording felt like she took the time to figure out what Raven would have really said.

So, besides making me realize that I’m not alone in supporting those with mental illness (and making sure I’m an ardent Tara follower), I knew that it was essential to speak out and that’s what I’m going to do.

What is the future?


I’m coming back. There are a lot of projects that have sat on the shelf for half a year, and it’s time for me to get them done. I have a few more novellas, adventures, and even a program coming out soon. There is also the new Star Traveler #4 book in the work!

Thank you for listening and make sure to look to those with illnesses and let them know they are safe and supported.

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Now Utilizing Book Ratings!

It all started with a comment from my wife who was going through Amazon. She was looking for a book for our boys and was a bit irritated that we couldn’t get an idea and that we should have ratings like fan fiction websites do. I thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to do some research and found fictionratings.com.

They have an MPAA like system that was pretty self-explanatory though most of the website was a single page. As I have wanted a rating system for my books so people know what they are getting into, I have decided to adopt the fiction rating system on my website.

For all the books, you will now be able to find out where they are sitting before you pick them up!

Want to keep up with more of what I do? You can subscribe to my newsletter (promise, no spam) or to my blog in the right-hand corner of this page. What are your thoughts on ratings? Mention them in the comments below!

Yes…Writing is Work!

Authors, you may have experienced this but nothing flares my irritation than someone who says “Oh, a writer? It’s pretty easy, I just don’t have time to do it.” or it’s variations. Am I about to rant? More than likely.

I find it very interesting how many people truly don’t understand what writers and authors do. I have the opportunity of doing both, a freelance writer who writes blog posts, listicles, and articles for companies and an author who writes stories and novellas. They are two totally separate jobs and they still make me sweat blood and tears.

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Goodbye Smashwords, I’m through.

My new book Jassik Creed & The Meek Prince will be the last book I will be uploading to Smashwords.com. This tickled the back of my mind for a while, but after several infuriating attempts to get my book on to their market, I’m fed up with them and will no longer be using their services. Let me explain.

I will also be discussing a different platform that I am going to, and it might sound like product placement, but it isn’t. I’m seriously pissed with the struggle I have gone through.

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Jassik Creed & The Meek Prince

I don’t know about you, but there are a few projects that I have had for so long, you wonder if you’ll ever get them completed. Jassik Creed & The Meek Prince was one such book that started in 2010 after the release of the first book Mermaids of Emerald Lagoon and languished for eight years.

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The Indie Author #2 Gray Tactics

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5961570/height/90/theme/custom/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/cd1515/” height=”90″ width=”100%” placement=”top” theme=”custom”]This episode was inspired by something that happened to me while I was surfing on twitter looking at new work put forward by other indie authors. I think the author meant well but it rubbed me the wrong way on how it was done. I guess we will be talking about tactics.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments or if you want to keep up with what else I’ve been up to, why not subscribe to my newsletter?