Tuesday, April 30, 2013


(Sort of cheating my first month I wrote this yesterday, but next time original post.)

This is an opportunity—a safe haven— for writers everywhere to let their insecurities out and receive and/or offer support and guidance in return. Please click on the above link for a complete list of participants.

As I am getting steady work done on my two WiPs I find myself missing my FANTASY world. Yes it needs to be in all caps, lol. 

I was fifteen when I started dreaming up my own world to write in. Several horrible stories followed, but hey we all start somewhere right? Around eighteen I got really serious about it and since then have compiled a massive amount of notes and drawings and half written stories.

This got me thinking about why I have not been able to finish the story I want to represent this world to readers. I have always wanted to get it just right, to the point that I shoot something down before it ever becomes anything real.

Sometimes an idea can become too sacred for a writer. I don't think there is anything wrong with having a story you know you aren't skilled enough yet to write. In fact knowing that says a lot about a writer. The other side of that is having an idea for a story that you have invested so much in, the thought of failure keeps it locked up tight in a chest with no key holes.

I think as writers it is hard to get off the floor with somethings because that nagging doubt that plagues us all is deep in our ear saying, "This one has to be just right or you will destroy your best idea." It is funny that I had to switch genres to be able to be happy with a book enough to get it out. I think as I grow as a writer I am finding more and more that the only way to find out if a story is good enough is to finish it.

I think that we have to sometimes walk to rope without a net or else we can never truly put our self in the place we need to be great.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.” 
― Bruce Lee

“Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” ― Bruce Lee

(Yes I quoted Bruce Lee, no I won't apologize, lol.) 

Anyway, is there a story or set of stories that have become so dear to you, you fear writing them? As always have fun and keep writing.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

That Song.

I have talked several times about my love of music and how it affects my writing. When I was writing straight fantasy my play list didn't reflect my eclectic taste. It was mostly a mix of rock and techno. It was what drove the types of stories I was writing. When I decided to write Elemental from a female PoV I knew I needed a change in my writing music. 

So after searching I found a few bands and singers I enjoyed that set a mood. One of these was Lights, she is a Canadian musician and was constantly played all through writing the many drafts of Elemental. I even have a small reference for her song February Air in one of the chapters, "I left my jacket in the car and the February air was cold on my arms."

As I was doing revisions one song in particular kept finding the repeat button hit. It just seemed to set the mood so perfectly. So much so that now that I delve into the second book I keep going back into it before I start writing again. Here is the song below.

So is there any song that just helps you find the mood for a particular story or maybe it is a character? As always have fun and keep writing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Inspiration Friday

So I have been thinking and while I love the random post I often do, I think It is time to start ordering my blog a bit. So one of the things I'm going to start doing is picking a topic and finding three things in that topic that inspire me. Today's topic is, TELEVISION.

First up we have THE WALKING DEAD.
Now I have to start this by saying I'm not really a zombie nut. I have never read a zombie novel and while I love movies like Shawn of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead, most zombie movies come off as just okay to me. So why do I feel inspired by this particular show? The characters. They are so real and it is amazing to see the physical and emotional journeys they go on from season to season. I don't want to have any spoilers here for people catching up, but the strain of what some of these people have had to do would break most people. They are the consummate survivors. I love watching the best and worst of human nature play out in the most miserable conditions ever. It is gory, and there are adult themes, but if you can handle these things, I would suggest watching this show.

Next is CASTLE.
Okay so first off the show alone is great, it is funny, smart and has an author for the main character. Short premise: Richard Castle is a New York Times best selling crime author. One day someone uses his books as a theme to create a murder and he is brought in to help consult, loves solving the murder so much he stays. High jinks and a unrequited romance ensue. Now this is a crime drama/comedy so one of the ways it inspires me is I am actually working on a novel that has those elements and is set in a fantasy world. This one was hard for me because a similar show I like is Elementary. The reason CASTLE won? Two words, Nathan Fillion. I mean come on Firefly, I love this guy. I even enjoyed his small moment in Saving Private Ryan(he's in it, go watch.) I heard he is going to be in the new Percy Jackson movie so YAY for that.

Last we have GAME OF THRONES.
This show is so captivating, I remember reading the books and falling in love. So when I heard they were going to do a show I was excited and apprehensive.  It turns out they know what they are doing over there at HBO. This show has everything from love and hate to sex and violence. In depth characters are hanging from the rafters and the story line keeps you, at times, on the edge of your seat. This is not a happy story and for sure not one where being a hero means you can save the day...or even live through the day. You will get attached and dread every minute wondering if your favorite character might be next. It shows a lot about building suspense and keeping track of multiple characters in a cohesive and enjoyable way. Plus, it has dragons. Go Watch Now!!!

Anyway these are three things that inspire me, what inspires you? As always have fun and keep writing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm getting there.

Well early on I knew the best way to get your book out there these days is social media. I love blogging and the community and usually don't have problems when it comes time to find something to write on a blog. This, though, is only one facet of the SM world. I knew eventually I'd have to branch out to other areas. 

So I went ahead and made a FB author page. I also did something I never thought I would. I mean I don't consider myself a luddite, but twitter, #'s, this all seemed like something I never saw myself being a part of. I have to say, now that I've done it I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. (@BrandonAx) come join me, I'd love to tweet with you...twit...twittle...hmm...

It is fun to get in contact with people who have a love of writing and stories. I am loving the process of getting to know people who are actually reading something I wrote and enjoying it. I am a ways off from book signings and things like that, but I am glad to be making steps forward instead of being stuck in that waiting phase of things.

Another lovely blogger did an interview for Elemental you can check them out here: BookCupid.

Also to to celebrate me being on Twitter here is a remix of one of my favorite vloggers being remixed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Let's follow the web.

Well I have to say that the past two days have been great. I have had a ton of support from both people I knew and people I have recently met. Those who have purchased Elemental seem to be enjoying it so that's good. Instead of writing out a long post I want to send you off to a few great blogs that are supporting Elemental today. Go check them out and maybe stay for the awesomeness they bring on every post.

You can go here to see the lovely S. K. Anthony's interview with two of the characters from Elemental: Entertaining Interview.

Also here to meet a real life dragon and his group of cheer-leading dwarves for a bit of information about the book and myself, plus a ton of more dragon/dwarf fun: D&D Fun.

Here we find a blog that is always fun to read: Mommy Unwired.

And last, but surely not least, another mention is here with David Powers King. His blog has been one of my favorites since I started blogging: The King.

Anyway I am off to do some more work for Elemental. If you go to Amazon the first two chapters are available for a peek. As always have fun and keep writing.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's Here!!

If I was doing the A-Z challenge today would be easy, R is for Release Day. It is finally here. I woke up today with the sun shinning and my e-mail holding two messages saying that both versions of my book were ready for purchase.

I am very excited to see what people think of the work. I'm antsy to see a review done on it. To hear the good the bad and the ugly/beautiful that people often banter about books. Most of all though I am just happy it is finally finished.

I think it is hard for any writer to let go, but I feel that this is a completed story. That Sophia and all the others that both live within this story and have lived with me inside my head all this time, are in good hands.

I really want to thank those that helped with the cover reveal and will be sending out some e-mails to some for possible promotion. Anyone interested in spreading the word about this book I would greatly appreciate any help. There is a description here and an excerpt here.  

The story in itself is one about finding acceptance of yourself and where you belong in life, painted behind a colorful backdrop of demons and Elementals. I enjoyed writing this book immensely and hope you enjoy reading it.

Anyone interested in purchasing the book, here are two links:
Kindle eBook
Trade Paperback

Anyway my work is just beginning, as always have fun and keep writing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pump it up.

Editing, writing, editing. The cycle of the past week has been strenuous. Not that I haven't enjoyed it, but I have really wanted to make sure I got this one right. Elemental will be out tomorrow and I couldn't be more nervous and more excited. When I have these moments of what I like to call "Life-weight" hanging on my shoulders I turn to music. Some language in these so if that isn't your thing, you be warned.(not sure why I said it like that...)

Usually I find two songs one to pump me up and one to reflect upon. It is rare they are from the same person. This time they both happen to be from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Now I don't know if you are a fan, I found them about a year before Thrift Shop made them a good bit more popular. I have noticed they put out one of his older songs recently and got a video for it. This song pumps me up, if I'm down or stressed I put this on and it is go time.

The next song is something that just really reminds me of greatness and what it takes to follow your dreams as an artist. I write to this, contemplate to this, and at times just sit and enjoy it. The second verse especially talks to me.

These are just something that currently move me. What are some songs that help you get what you need done?

Anyway, as always, have fun and keep writing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The cuteness the scary cuteness.

So as my book comes closer to being released I have been consumed with work. It is nice while the stress of constant work bares down to pick up a little puppy. To get a few licks in the face and the pleasure of scratching behind a floppy ear to set a tail to wagging. This dear friends is Leelu, she is a miniature Dachshund and the spoiled little baby of our family.

Yesterday I found out just how much this little dog means to me. My wife came home after working and exhausted, fixed herself a bowl of potato soup. As usual Leelu was at her feet, both wanting her loving and...her soup. I was busy trying to make sure the kids were ready to go to school. Usually in the mornings before I take them we get them to walk the dogs as one of their chores. So my son takes Leelu out and lets her do her business. They come back in and everything seems fine, I take the kids to school and come back to do a little bit of writing.

Now you have to understand that while Leelu loves me and our kids, she is my wife's baby. She will follow her all around the house, she sleeps on her chest and if my wife is at the computer the baby has to be in her lap. So she was the first to notice that above one of her eyes was a small knot that was steadily swelling. She had her hands full and asked me to check her, by the time I had picked her up both eyes were swelling up like a prize fighter and smaller bumps were growing all over her body. Needless to say we both freaked out.

I tried to remain calm as I could though inside I was scared almost thoughtless. We knew it was an allergic reaction to something, but we were scared she had gotten into something in the house or that the swelling would go to her throat and cause her to not be able to breath. After giving her some water we threw on some amalgamation of clothing and rushed to our vet. Once there we proceeded to throw all of the small amount of money we had at the receptionist and beg for them to do something. At this point poor Leelu had ceased to look like a Dachshund and began resembling a very bumpy Pug.

The vet reassured us that they would take care of her and not to worry. Easier said than done. After what seemed like days, but was probably actually very little time they brought her out to us. She was still very swollen, but they assured us it would go down in time. They said it looked like she got bit in her ear and had an allergic reaction to it. After a few shots, a return trip to the vet accompanied by a extended stay for Leelu she started to look once more like the picture above.

I have to say that I can get sidetracked at times and bury myself in my work, but it is amazing when life pulls you back to reality and shows you the important things. So now with her little tail wagging as I scratch behind her ears I am back at work trying to get my book ready for the world. I can honestly say that the old saying each moment is precious is very poignant to me right now and I am glad to be surrounded by my wonderful family both with and without fur.

Anyway, my book will be out in a few days and I am so very excited for everyone to read it. As always have  fun and keep writing. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I am Super excited.

Okay I have to let my nerd flag fly for a moment here.

Since I was a young child I have been in love with the idea of Superman. Selfless, kind, amazing powers... plus in his day job he is a writer.. sort of.

I loved the Christopher Reeves movies... yes all of them. I even enjoyed Superman Returns. All seasons of Smallville are proudly displayed on my bookshelf. I also have quite a bit of long boxes full of his many comic books.

So with all of this said I can without shame say I can be biased when it comes to anything to do with the red-caped boy scout. That aside I have to say that in June I feel I may actually get the movie I've always wanted to see. The newest preview has affirmed all my hopes that this will be not only taken seriously, but that they are handling it in a way that embodies exactly what the story of this sun-loving, orphaned alien is actually all about.

In a time where the world is scary and the ground feels shaky, it seems absurd to think a comic movie would have any true worth for people. I can see that point of view, but the story they are offering is about hope. It's about going beyond yourself to do what is right and standing when standing isn't easy. Movies have proved me wrong in the past, but I truly hope this is everything I want it to be and I can't wait to throw my money at the ticket seller and climb the steps to my favorite level of seats. It may be silly, but when I see that S marked shield I find a little joy and a little hope.

What movies or characters make you guys feel this way? 

Also if you have not seen it here is the latest trailer:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Writing those special scenes.

Well my mouth is finally not screaming at me. I am slowly coming off the meds and feel coherent enough to write something today.

I got to thinking on this subject as I watched an episode of Game of Thrones(if you're not watching you should be (:). There was a scene— not from the book— that I truly loved. It was a dialog between Catelyn Stark and Talisa (her son's wife). She told a story about Jon Snow her dead husband's bastard. Of how he was sick and she had not been able to do anything before then, but loathe the boy for being born to another woman. She then explained she had prayed that he would get better from the pox and that if he did she would beg her husband to give him the Stark last name and she would claim him as a true son. She did not keep her promise and as she spoke she mused that maybe she had cursed her family by not being able to accept that boy.

I was personally moved by this and as Jon Snow is one of my favorite characters in the book and show I really enjoyed seeing her regret his treatment. Now there are a few people who do reviews on you tube of this show. One of them I subscribe to took issue with this scene not liking that Catelyn was regreting something that was obvious for her to do within her setting. This led to a debate between us that ultimately ended in us having to agree to disagree. So I loved it and this person did not. Does that mean the scene wasn't great? For if it was great we would both love it, right?

I would say no. I know why I love the scene, according to the definition of the word I would be considered a bastard. So for someone like me Jon is a great character and I would be sympathetic to any story arc that had to do with him. I don't know this reviewer personally so I can not assume what in their life might not lead them to the same emotions as myself. Still the success of the scene and the show/books in general was that it found a situation that would appeal to at least some group of people in a way to have them invested in what is going on.

A book at its base is a collection of words, scale it up a bit and it is a collection of moments. Some of these moments will not be anything more than the line from a point A to a point B. As writers we try to make those moments as small and few as we can, but they will almost always be there and the counterweight to them is the great moments that tend to make the story something loved and embraced.

So what makes a moment great? Well there are a multitude of ways to write a memorable scene. The thing is whether it is action, or a romantic moment, maybe just an introspective debate between two of your characters, you have to ask yourself what have I put at stake for this moment? For me what was at stake when Catelyn found herself wondering if her actions were in the right was who she was willing to be past that point. If I have an action scene I try to think of what may be lost what may be gained where does this put my story when it is over. It is a good rule for any scene.

If we as writers do something just to do it, or because the story may be lagging we usually end up with something that feels hollow. To find true emotions or to make a scene really sparkle we have to understand what our intent is in writing it in the first place. Always try to let people see the risk and the change that each moment is having on your characters and they will embrace it because it feels real to them.

All we are as people are a collection of moments that have formed who we are and how we act. Treat your characters the same and they will have life.

Anyway, can't wait to have my book out for all to see—yes probably some of the A to B moments— but hopefully some great ones as well. As always have fun and keep writing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

MY TEETH = so yeah artist time.

Well I just had to have a tooth pulled today, needless to say I am taking meds and trying to race the escalation of pain. I wanted to post something I had been planning to write, but figured it may be a good time to share someone else's work.
S. Balac is a German artist I was lucky enough to find on Deviant Art. I think he has a massive amount of talent and a great understanding of composition and story. I found working with him to be nothing but a delight. So anyway I will keep this one short, but I'm going to put two links where you may find his art so go say hi and marvel at the beauty.


His Blog

Friday, April 5, 2013


After three months of searching for and working with an artist I finally got my cover in today and I am so happy. Not only that I get to have it myself, but I get to share it with everyone. My actual book should be out later this month, but for now here is the cover and a small excerpt from ELEMENTAL.

(Click me I get bigger)

      The car pulled into my apartment complex and I heard Mrs. Watts tell her friend to hold on. She smiled at me and said, “Well thanks for all the help with the yard, guess I will see you Saturday.”
     “Oh, it was no problem, glad to help. Thanks for the ride.” I climbed out and started making my way up to my door. The parking lot was dark, the lights around my building had gone out a week ago and no one had seen fit to fix them yet. I guess seeing wasn’t part of their living accommodations. Situating my book bag I looked around. I was alone except for an older woman walking her dog. I nodded to her as I headed for the stairs. No sooner had my foot touched the first step when I began to feel this revulsion like something was crawling on my skin. Out of instinct I turned and looked behind me.
     Leaning against one of the broken light poles was a man. I couldn’t make out his face as it was covered in shadows, but fear shot through me like a bullet. My body felt frozen, I knew I should run, but it felt like doing so would set everything back into action. I tried to will my foot back onto the step.
    “Hello pretty,” the dark man said in a haunting voice that chilled to the bone.
     My voice shook as I formed the words. “Who are you?” It felt stupid, but nothing else had come to mind. I managed to get my foot back on the step.
     He stepped from the pole and said, “Me? I’m no one. You though? You are something special, in fact you’re so special I have a feeling I’d like to take you home with me.”
     I turned and ran knowing it wouldn’t be fast enough. I felt him grab my shirt from behind and push me to the metal stairs below. I kicked out and struggled to pull myself from his hold. A gust of wind rushed past me, it blew my hair wildly and I was free.
     Not waiting to see what happened I scrambled up the steps and quickly unlocked the door. Slamming it behind me I slid down with the cold white wood to my back. My breath came in quick gasps, I felt my whole body shaking. What was that, why did he let go? I quickly stood up peering through the peephole in the door. No one was outside. Putting my ear to the wood I tried to listen for any sound that would lead me to believe he was still out there.
     After a few seconds I backed away from the door and sat in one of the chairs by the table. I had just calmed my thundering heartbeat when the handle of the door started to twist. I scrambled for anything I could find to defend myself with, settling on a picture frame that was on the wall next to me. As the door opened I drew back ready to swing with every ounce of my strength.

P.S. If anyone is looking for an E for A-Z Elemental is a great word :) :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Other Art

So as I work away trying to get Elemental ready, I got to thinking of art. I feel that writing is an art form much like painting or anything else. So I decided to post some other things artistic I enjoy doing. Sometimes when I get blocked or feel stressed by my writing I often go and do something else to help free me up. Here is some of my other art.


The easiest thing for me to do is draw, pencil and paper is— besides writing—  where I find myself happiest. I have a good amount of control with it and it is easy for me to get the things in my head out in a way that I can be happy with it.


Painting is sort of new for me. My wife paints all the time and I really enjoy the use of colors, but the control I have is a lot less than using a pencil so it is harder to get the picture I want. Still there is something very therapeutic about turning on some music and blending colors to try and make an image come to life.


This is the newest and easily the hardest form of art I have tried to work with. I have only done 4 sculptures so far and each one was a test in patience. I have to say one the best parts of this is getting to really get in there and use my hands to create something. Truth be told I actually enjoy the mess, it takes me back to playing in the mud as a child I guess. 
I feel like all of these forms of art make me feel complete and who knows I may try to take up calligraphy or airbrushing. I guess what I understand through my art is I am always looking for ways to express myself and it feels good to get something out in such different ways.

Anyway, what are some ways you like to express yourself through art? As always have fun and keep writing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The creeping doubt.

Okay so I'm cheating with a cute picture of my puppy, but it is so cute it scares the doubt away and I can tie it in I swear. 

I have been super busy these past couple of months. I have been working on two new WIPs and doing last minute revisions on Elemental.

I will always look for traditional publishing for my work, but have decided—as I said in an earlier post— to self publish my first finished novel instead. I think it will be good to see how others react to my writing. I also have been reading and many successful authors are even recommending going this route for a first time author. It can be a good way to get your name out there.

I found someone to do a cover for me and have been completely happy with the process so far. I have gotten some of my beta readers lined up for a last look over and have been steadily moving my way back through the text. All work to try and make the final product as good as it can be before I give it to the world.

I can remember when the story idea came to me for Elemental. I had been working in my fantasy world trying to build the story for my Epic saga(that will one day come to completion). I remember thinking of how cool it would be to write about people who could control the elements. Of course it was just an idea, something to toy with when my mind was too clogged with relics and assassins. It wasn't until Sophia formed that I knew I had to write this story. She was real, she had parts of me and others I held to high regard inside of her. I didn't have trouble understanding who she was and I got excited as I thought of sending her into this new world I'd created.

It took me eight months to write my first draft and then two years to learn the business side of trying to get the book to print. In that time the book has been read and critiqued and re-written, re-read and re-critiqued. I had someone brought to tears in a scene and had several people tell me they wanted to throw the book across the room (but in a good way) because of another. All of this time has shown me that while the book may not be perfect it is good. That it can evoke emotion and carry the reader on a journey and as an author I could ask no more from it.

So it is funny as I lay there in my bed the other night I started to doubt. I doubted the book and myself. I lay there turning thinking of other things I'd written lately and trying to compare them. I asked myself why I didn't just move on from this book it was my first one anyway. Finally I fell asleep and when I woke the next day my mood was sour. I didn't want to work on the book or check for an update on the cover. My wife noticed my ill disposition and inquired as to what was wrong.(AKA "What's your problem.") I grumbled out something about not being sure of the book. Having read it she began to reassure me that I wasn't crazy that the story was there. I wanted to believe her, but several negative thoughts from the night before were winning out over years of praise.

It was then that my wife(being the smart one of the two of us) gave me some golden advice. She said, "I know it's good and you do too, but if you keep sitting on it no one else will be able to see it." I wanted to grumble some more, but I realized she was right. So I grabbed my puppy(see worked it in (: ) and got back into my revision. It wasn't long before I was enjoying myself and the story once more and the evil doubt demon was pushed back under the bed.

I have heard the quote in many different forms, but the simple truth is the fear of failure will cause you to fail. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and do something scary because it is time to do so.

Anyways, as always have fun and keep writing.