The Indie Author #3 – Writer’s Block. What to do?

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Writer’s block. Even the best writer suffers from it, and nobody escapes. This podcast is more about making sure you have writer’s block than actually having a process issue with your story. It also follows up with some tips and tricks that might help you get that story moving again.

[Short Story] The Sun King and the Moon Queen

Written for my beloved wife Susanna, my Moon Queen. Without her, there would be no reason to get up in the morning.

Sun and the Moon togetherHave you not heard of the Sun King and the Moon Queen? How those two share horizons and love each other more than anything in the world? No? Sit down, get comfortable and I’ll tell you about them.

As long as we can remember, the Sun King and Moon Queen have been on opposite sides of the world. When the King was reigning over his subjects, he shone brightly upon the hardworking, the crops, and always talked the clouds into giving us their rain. He loved those below who looked up to him.

At night, the Moon Queen watched over us as they slept, safeguarding their livestock and showing her light upon those who meant harm to the people. For what the King provided in the day, the Queen kept protected at night.

Now, these two loved each other more than anything known. The stars still talk about how much the two love each other even when they do not see each other. Sometimes the King would get a glimpse of his lovely bride coming over the horizon and sometimes the Queen would sing out a note of fondness as the King dipped below the sky that divided them. Even though these moments were fleeting, the King would never despair that he did not have his Queen and the Queen knew that even those she missed him and they did not see each other, he still loved her more than anything.

Days, months, years would roll by with each waiting for that twilight moment to speak to each other, to whisper loving words across the sky before the other was taken to the other side of the world.

Doesn’t sound fair, does it? They did not think it was either, but they loved those upon the ground so much, they would sacrifice their time together to let them have food to eat and a safe bed to sleep in.

There are times though when the sky is able to hold them both. The Sun King and the Moon Queen are able to stay away from the edge of the air and to see each other. There loves becomes so powerful as they grow closer that the sky dims and the ground becomes patterned with flecks of light and dark mingled together. The world becomes quiet, enraptured in their love and breathless with anticipation.

When they meet, it is a meeting of fire and darkness, powerful love that fills the sky with burning fire while chilled and murmured with darkness. I mean, look now! See how the sun wraps his arms around his queen? Their love is eternal. Nothing can break them apart. No matter how long they stay alone, they will always meet each other in the sky and embrace filled with happiness and excitement to be able to converse once again.

You chuckle? Why? Cannot love last forever? The sun and the moon have met more times than we can count. They have looked over all of us together with loving eyes. Something you should take to heart, my good fellows, even apart, they are powerful and in love and there is nothing anyone can do to destroy that. They will always meet in the sky, and they will always love each other to the day the world ends.

Like the short story? Let me know in the comments. If you want to keep up with the latest that I have been working on, consider joining my newsletter!

Mother, the Reason I am an Author.

Mother reading to her childI am a momma’s boy. I’m proud of it and tell everyone who asks. Honestly, I’m not sure why that’s considered an insult. When it comes to my mother, I would not be a writer if it was not for her.

For the past few weeks, my wife and I have been talking about things from our childhood that have made us who we are today. The books we’ve read that changed our outlook on life and even our tastes.

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October Nights (2017) Review

October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and HalloweenOctober Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween by DeAnna Knippling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This year I really did not get a chance to participate in any Halloween writing. Though not my favorite genre, I do enjoy writing a scary story. Still wanting to get my fix, I decided to try out Deanna Knippling’s October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.
Initially not sure what to expect with a collection of flash stories (any author knows they are hard to write), I found her style and presentation of these world snippets fascinating. They hover between just an idea for a future book to a quick peek at worlds and what they could become.

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2018 Book Release Schedule

It is becoming that time of year again where I sit down with my hopes and aspirations, then set out a schedule that would invariably disappoint me. This is also known as my 2018 book release schedule!

January – Ashwood Falls: Benjamin
February – Jassik Creed & The Meek Prince
March – Star Traveler: Atlas Gambit (#3)
April – Blood in Space: Harvest
May – Ice Storm Chronicles: Curse of Ice (#2)
June – Undisclosed Title
July – Undisclosed Title
August – Star Traveler: Plague of Setaris (#4)

Yes, Fan-fiction is Real Writing

I think one area of the writing world that gets a lot of flak is the fan fiction world. If you were like me (before my scolded me), I felt that Fan fiction was the dregs of the writing world. I not only found out that was unfair but rather cruel to the hard-working writers who live and thrive in that world. I’ll admit, I was one of those “writing snobs” until my beautiful wife put me in my place.

Fan Fiction is Real Writing

Writing is writing. I never thought fan fiction was more than self-gratification  until my wife began to tell me some of the stories that she had read. I could not believe how much detail and dedication that fan fiction writers have put in to their works. There was even a story that was over a million words! I’ve never broken fifty thousand, let alone a million.

There is a lot of dedication to the fan fiction world, more than maybe some of freelance writers have ever put in to our own work. Even though it’s not an original world, many of the stories bear the blood, sweat, and tears of a dedicated writer.

It’s No Different than a Professional or Aspiring Author

When in terms of dedication and being a writer, fan fiction writers are exactly the same as a professional or aspiring author. Many writers, including myself, got started in other people’s worlds and pour the same amount of dedication and heart in to their works. Many times they do not have the ability to get an editor or professionally proof read their works.

Independent publishing can suffer the same amount of editorial error and proof reading mistakes since a lot of us are in the same boat as a fan fiction writer. Unless we’re established with a decent fan base, many of us cannot afford hiring an editor.

They have feelings too

Fan fiction writers are people just like you and me and the horrible amount of critique I have seen from other authors is saddening. There are people behind the story no matter how bad or good it is. To attack a writer’s work is never acceptable. That is why critique is important and should be taken seriously. They deserve the same amount of feedback as we do.

Fan Fiction Writers are a strong knit community

And I am glad of that. My wife has given me a tour of the fan fiction world and they care for each other a lot. They have the advantage of not only having the bonds of being a creator of fan fiction, they also have the love for the world they are writing in.

So the next time you see a fan fiction story, why not give it a shot and if you find issues, give feedback like you would any writer of any story.

[Short Story] Question of Survival

This is a story that I wrote two years ago. It has made the rounds to magazines, e-zines and other sources. It’s time for it to see the light of day as it was my first flash fiction I had written. Enjoy

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Honestly, survival had never been promised or guaranteed. Actually, David’s recruiter had expressed the sentiment in no uncertain terms, but he still decided to sign up. Was it his youth that made him think he was invincible? That nothing could kill him?

Well, the answer was obvious now, sitting on a dying world, watching the last friendly dropships race for the sky, without him.

The world was broken, the mission had failed, and three minutes to slow to the dropship made him a permanent resident. Now, the only friends in this world were broken, red, exotic trees among the eon worn rock and the irritating beep of the low oxygen warning as his new friends.

Had it all been worth it? That was the question that was running through his mind as he made himself comfortable on a low rock. Honestly, David was surprised he was not feeling more emotions about the fact that he was going to be dead in thirty minutes or so. He had fond thoughts of his family and their smiling faces over Christmas dinner, but there was no fear. No sign of the aching panic that would well up inside.

Maybe it was the cross he wore around his neck and the continued promises of his mother that there was something on the other side of this life. In a way, he hoped that she was right. That was the only emotion that flitted across his tired mind, his mother. Should would be devastated when they got the notice of his MIA status. Missing in Action, what a way to end his life.

David sighed and let the pulse rifle slide out of his hands as he mulled over what could be on the other side. Actually, in a way, he was rather curious to see what would be waiting for him. Another final frontier that he could explore just like what drove him to join the Terran Stellar Army. Maybe, there would be a way for him to see his mom, just one more.

There was only one way to find out.

David reached for the clips to his helmet.

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Exhaustion & Creativity: A Clash of the Titans

There are times where I sit at my computer and stare at the horrible blinking cursor wondering where all the great ideas that I just had decided to run off to. Every time I never have a real answer. For me, it is a struggle to balance my need to be creativity with the actual physical exhaustion and mental drain that my paying job puts on me. Having a family, long hours at work, and the simple fact that after a hard day at work, I just do not want to do anything.

I fondly remember the days when I first had my typewriter or in my teens with my very first computer. I could do school and then spend hours just writing out all the stories that came to my head. There was no care in the world for perfect grammar, trying to make the story make sense and I was full of creativity potential.

Adulthood has been the complete opposite. I have these bouts of creative wonder that I burn to their full extent with hours of typing on the computer, but then it feels like weeks of unending misery as the great thoughts and stories I had on the car ride evaporate as soon as I sit down at my machine.

I know that creativity is in there and I know that I have to battle my depression or find the energy to tell the story I want to, but there comes a time where I cannot win. Those days it has proven to be better to hang up my pen than force it.

I guess in the end, the thing that has been constant is my continued love of stories and my refusal to get up. This rambling blog post is simply my emotions being poured out on the paper to try and work through the thoughts and the feelings I have on this subject. In a way, I’m trying to emulate the kid I once was and enjoy the art of creating that sweating over all the details and worrying all about the red and blue lines Microsoft Word is spitting at me.

I love writing. I know that will never change and I will have a continued battle between my Titans. If this post does anything, I hope it lets any other author in the same situation know they are not alone. We all have our particular monsters we have to beat. Just don’t give up.