Sunday, December 29, 2013

A year in the making.

I am not a big "New Year resolution" kind of guy. It seems quite arbitrary to try and better yourself because a new year hits the calendar. Now, that is not to say it is wrong, just not something that works for me. I do, however, set goals for myself. Things like, where do I want to be by the end of this year, what are some things I can accomplish in the time I have?

In doing that, it is always helpful to look at the year that has gone by and reflect on what I failed at and what I was able to get done. Well, this year was actually one of the most productive I have had in quite some time. In 2013 I focused on becoming a published author. I made connections with some amazing people who are on that same journey. I learned about two very different paths to accomplishing that goal and was able to publish not one, but two books.

I have been able to get feed back from people I have never met on something that I pulled from my mind and made into a reality. I have to say, if nothing else, it was empowering. It showed me that all those years of sitting back and just hoping to one day get my ideas out there or to do something with my art, was not the kind of person I wanted to be.

This year taught me to be a doer. I was talking with someone the other day about how long I lived in the future instead of the present. Life happens now and we can let it pass us by if we are not careful. I have decided that waiting is for others, now is the time for my dreams to happen and I am the person that will make them.

It has been a lot of work and things are only picking up from there. Life takes dedication and focus, but in leaving you I don't want to forget something else that it takes to find your dreams in this world. Sometimes, you have to stop the work, take a second and have some fun. Sure, "stop and smell the roses" is a cliche, but it's a good one.

Here is some of that fun I was talking about, and don't worry I've only partially lost my mind.

(this is what working on music until 2 in the morning can get you)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I know I said I wasn't going to post again before the new year, but I had to share something. Being creative is something that I live for and while writing books is at the top of my list there are a few things that are very close to that for me. One of those is music and I was with a friend the other day and we had a bout of creativity that sounded like this.

"Hey let's write a song."

"Okay, I got this lyric that has been running through my head."

"Cool write it down."

Three hours later this is what we had. Enjoy. See you again soon.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Starting to branch out.

We all start on this journey at different paths. The thing I like most about blogging are the people I've met here that have given me a new family, at least in my mind. 

When I put out Elemental I was extremely scared and not sure of what to expect. Blogging and its community are some of the things that got me through.

When a good friend of mine finished his children's books he asked advice on what he should do next. The first thing on my lips was, "You have to start a blog."

He knew he wanted to have one since he has several kids books in the works, but wasn't sure when the right time was. 

Well he finally decided the time is now and got his blog up. If you would, I'd love to show him how awesome and supportive this community can be. So pop on over to Annaliese Creations and say hello, maybe give a follow.

So onto the book. Here is a description from Amazon.

Twig loses his place in his family tree when a storm blows through. He is left completely vulnerable and must try his best to make it own his own. As he struggles to fit in with anyone that will accept him, he soon finds himself at the attention of a very scary bird. Will Twig get back home, or will he be alone forever? Inspired by my own personal experience with adoption, this is a heart warming story that penetrates the soul and opens the mind to the possibility of change and the true meaning of family.

The art is fun and the story is moving. This is a great book for children who have been adopted or have issues with fitting in and also just a great story to read your early readers. Here is a link to its Amazon page. TWIG.

Anyway, this will probably be the last post I do before the new year, so Merry Christmas and happy anything else you celebrate this time of year. Hope to see you all again as the new year starts and we all scramble to begin meeting those goals. As always, have fun and keep writing.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Busy is good...right?

So, I have been the most irregular blogger as of late. In part this is due to the fact I am trying to only blog when I feel I have something insightful or meaningful to say. The other reason is I feel like someone has pressed the fast forward button on the 24 hours a day I am entitled to as a human being. 

That person, of course, would be me. With a new baby on the way I know my writing time is going to take a dip in a few months. So being me I do the only thing I deem reasonable—I have sent my work into overdrive. This past month I've been pulling about 3k words a day on three different WIPs. I try to stay steady while being careful not to burn myself out. So far so good. 

I am actually very inspired at the moment and being able to bounce from story to story has kept things fresh. Now of course that means I will have to work hard in revisions to try and make it all sound like distinct pieces of literature, but I am hoping to be finished with at least two of them by March. (first drafts at least)

 I said a few post ago that I would announce something cool I am going to be doing. Now on course with how things work for me, in the middle of baby mania and Christmas and writing and many, many other things, I was asked to take part in something else using a separate artistic skill. A good friend asked if I would illustrate a kid's chapter book for them. 

So far I have been working up character designs and sitting and talking with him about how he wants things to look and feel. It has been a great fun and I can't wait to show everyone some of the art. Still with all of this going on I do think I could use some extra arms. 

Anyway that's some of what's going on in my world, how about you? As always have fun and keep writing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Help the Fantasy.

It's no secret that my first love in writing and reading is Fantasy. I am talking about sword and sorcery, get a horse and rise to the occasion, Fantasy. I grew up reading it and truly feel there is nothing better out there.

If you feel like I do or know someone who does there is a really cool thing going on over at Regarding Silexare. David has put together an awesome Kickstarter for his novel A Sawmill's Hope.

The Kickstarter will be coming to an end in seven days and some more pledges would be welcome. He has put together some cool packages and some neat stretch goals.

Check out the Video.

Go check out the Kickstarter. Even if you have only a few bucks this is your chance to become part of something that will be an amazing world and work of Fantasy.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Buy a book.

I was raised by a single mother. My circumstances were as such that there wasn't even a weekend visiting situation or holidays. Luckily, I had a mom that filled both rolls quite well and most times I never felt the loss. We are shaped by our surroundings to varying degrees. Statistically broken homes can at times produce broken children. In all honesty I can thank books as part of the reason I look fondly upon my childhood. 

One of the first books I remember my mom reading to me was The Saggy Baggy Elephant. A book I have recently purchased and can't wait to read to my soon to be born son. It was a great Story about an elephant trying to find where he fit in. 

I was lucky in my life to have a second mom. My Godmother who I grew up calling Mamma Donna. I found the Narnia books in her library that started me on my path to writing fiction and fantasy. Still, there was a book before those that honestly shaped me as a person I still think about it at times in my adult life. That book was Charlotte's Web. 

My Godmother would read that book to me often. While I did find the movie eventually and enjoyed it immensely, I will always hold to the words of that book. 

“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 

“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing...after all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die...By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.” 

― E.B. White

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” 

― E.B. White

“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.” 

― E.B. White

Even if I never became an author, these books were my friends. They taught me lessons and gave me comfort and to this day reading can make me feel better no matter the situation.

I was at the store buying gifts for my kids the other day and while waiting to pay I overheard a conversation. There was a boy maybe thirteen or fourteen and he was asking what was inside a box sitting on the counter. 

The man checking people out said, "Oh it's a collection of books."

The kids face scrunched up like he'd smelled something bad and he said, "Oh, never mind, I hate books. I can't stand them." With that he walked off and most people around me seemed unfazed. 

As for me it truly hurt on some deep level. Not only did I feel offended as a book lover, but I felt bad for the boy.

I was reading on Patrick Rothfuss's blog and here is a link to it. LINK. About families now that have no books at all in their households. I understand that in the world of super ADD and attention spans that make gnats look like studious scholars, it is hard to get a kid to sit down and do something that isn't easy. Still it is worth trying. 

If you know someone who has or have small kids yourself, in all the video games and iTunes gift cards and all the other plethora of electronics they are given this year, think about buying a book. Who knows, you could be the one responsible for making them a better person. 

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. I have some cool news I hope to get out in the next week or so. As always have fun and keep writing.