A Few Days Late

Hi, everyone. I just want to officially say I’m not done with Garden Mage just yet. I promise it will be worth another few days waiting. If you’re reading the series as it comes out, thank you for your patience. This fast release is new to me, and I will get better at it going forward.

Thanks for understanding. I don’t expect the wait will be more than a few days to a week.

Thanks for reading.

(Jeez there are a lot of Thanks in this post. Hope no one notices… Shhhh)

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Null Media

I have been plagued by a peculiar fixation over the past year or so, possibly even longer than that.

I just thought of a term for it. Null Media.

What does this goofy pair of words signify to me, you ask?

They represent a category of information and entertainment, most commonly, a combination of the two, infotainment, which paralyzes artistry and destroys work ethic. I’ve found this form of media to be particularly addictive and toxic because it typically covers current events, thus presenting itself as important and interesting.

Interesting, perhaps. But important to me as a writer? Almost never.

Ever since I started watching news and current events on youtube, I found myself drawn into this goofy, wasteful format. Not to say news on TV is good. I’d argue it’s much the same. I’ve never been tempted by TV news, though.

Null media provides an insidious medium for what Steven Pressfield, in his book “The War of Art” calls resistance, pushing back at the things I personally can achieve and making them more difficult. The term, “Null Media” may just be a fancy way for me to say “news distractions” but it’s tough not to think of these issues in the world as important.

Well, for me null media has broken one of the productivity rules I did not realize I had created for myself years ago.

That rule? For me, it applies to life, not just art.

Only work on projects that you personally can complete.

As an independent author, I’m a solo artist. I don’t call upon other people to make my stories except for some very specific elements (The ones requiring reader response during editing). I have a support network, but I don’t rely on them to do any of the work for me. I nearly loathe the idea of collaborating with another writer.

So, imagine my surprise to discover that when I listened to these activists, entertainers, and news-people on youtube, I often start feeling like my approach to life is inadequate. What do my stories do to change the terrible situation the world is in? By making my work feel unimportant, null media has contributed to my depression over the past year or more.

All media requires a contribution from its viewers, if only in time and attention.

Positive media provides a sense of satisfaction. Null media? Only void and depression.

What kind of bullshit is this? I’ve been paying attention to the worst events of the world as if they were some kind of terrifying soporific. I cannot keep lending my eyes and ears to every hopeless, emotionally ruinous programs. In the name of staying informed, my productivity has suffered. Yet, the addiction remains strong.

Well, there are only so many things I can do, only so much time each day. I can’t afford to piss away minutes or hours on the news. I never did until recently. I’m sure I’ll know enough of what’s going on without having to listen to the same verbatim spiel about Saudi Arabia from a youtube host every day, and sometimes more than once a day.

This post is here to help me take a stand. I have avoided null media for the day. Now, I really need to keep that up. I predict that every day of ignoring world events that make me feel powerless will improve my state of self-awareness and productivity.

Thanks for reading. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.

Giveaway News

Hey everybody, just checking in with a little update this Monday afternoon.

I’ve really been hitting the writing over the last couple of days. It’s been awesome. Hopefully, it will prove sustainable over the long-term as I’m doing around 3000 words per day without pushing too hard.

So, as the title of this post suggests, there is some news on giveaways. Right now, Rem’s Dream is still free, but that will end on March 31st 2017. Here is the link to that if you are interested in the free book.

That won’t be the end of my giveaways. I’m planning a Maker Mythos giveaway in April. We’ll see which book I pick later. I have not decided between the first novel, Hunter and Seed, and the new prelude. I’m excited as book two of that series is almost done.

So, that’s it for me today. Hope you’re all well.

Thanks for reading.

Incoming! Tenlyres and In Other News

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Tenlyres is so close to being ready for release it is driving me crazy in the best way possible.

As that pilot character famously said in Star Wars: “Almost there.”

In Other News, is going to be a new (And possibly short-lived) feature of this blog and my website. It will feature me discussing works by others that I am intrigued by.

So, without further ado…

In Other News #1

Tenlyres is not the only book near completion. An author I know through her legendary “I Should Be Writing” podcast, Mur Lafferty, has a new book coming out on January 31st. It’s called Six Wakes, and I like the premise a great deal.

It is science fiction featuring a crew of clones on a space ship who wake up to find the originals murdered. And they must figure out which of them is the killer.

I love that premise, and Mur writes a tight story. My favorite of her past work was also science fiction, a relatively obscure little tale called “Marco and the Red Granny.”

Check out Mur’s site: HERE

Anyway, that’s it for my other news today.

Keep your eyes on the near future, folks.

Thanks for reading.

Zen Game Mastery

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I meditated a little before running an RPG for the Of Mooks and Monsters Podcast yesterday.

By this I mean, yes, I sat down on my meditation pad in the lotus position and focused on my breathing for a few minutes. I’m glad I did. And not just because I procrastinate far too much on meditation.

I thought it a little, odd, but I did this because I was nervous.

You see I wasn’t just game mastering an RPG, I was recording it for broadcast, with players I had never gamed with before. And that made me nervous.

It got me thinking about the Samurai, because wouldn’t it do the same to anyone?

Seriously, though. There was a reason.

For much of their history, the Samurai of Japan practiced Zen Buddhism as part of their training.

It once baffled me how a warrior culture could practice one of the most peaceful of all religions. Once, I had a professor describe to me that the Samurai benefited from the acceptance of reality in a way that also is a taught by Buddhism.

That acceptance is that eventually, everything is impermanent.

You must act in the moment, and accept the consequences. In battle taking no action is not an option.
Same for running an RPG in person.

The game is alive, and the players make choices you cannot predict. I simply put the tools in their hands, sometimes from the beginning, sometimes because their questions earn it. This is the power of the game master. But I was worried about messing up.

Turns out I really didn’t need to be. That session will air on the podcast in a few weeks. I really enjoyed it, and the players seemed to feel the same way.

I’ll be back soon with news on Tenlyres and its upcoming release.

Thanks for reading.

The Return of Tenlyres!

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This Friday the serialization of Tenlyres continues on this blog, and on mentalcellarpublications.com, as well as over on fictionpress.com.

My sincerest thanks for the patience of everyone who has been with me through the difficult practice of cycling back to this story.

I have ADHD, diagnosed as a kid, and the symptoms apply to my writing as much any other part of my life.

Part two of Tenlyres is fast-paced, and a little longer than the first part, and after six months of Tenlyres, I was jonesing for a different story-world. Been there, done that. Well, now I’m back.

So, look for Tenlyres Chapter 28 on Friday, here, there, and everywhere. The whole of Tenlyres II will be available within the next couple of weeks as well. And I am beginning work on the third and final part of the story.

Hope my absence last week didn’t bother anyone unduly. I’m fine, hope you are hanging in there.

Thanks for reading.

For Tenlyres

It’s tough to care about something when you think no one else cares about it.

Tenlyres has been going rough for me lately. If you have been enjoying the story, I am happy to say I will finish it. But I need a break. A chapter a week pushed to publication has been an interesting experiment but the story has grown A LOT since I began. I don’t think the serialization is the best format for this piece.

Serialization of Tenlyres is suspended effective immediately.

I’ve been reluctant to do this but wanted to since July. I like to split between my works, but the time-frame of switching that Tenlyres presented has proved itself overly difficult for me. My enthusiasm has cooled and I know if I keep trying to force it the book will go on to be worse and make me feel bad all the while. I hope you all understand.

I will finish the story. Most likely, look for the ebooks next year at some point. But I’m tired of making promises I can’t keep to myself and to my readers.

Thank you for joining me in this experiment.

As always, thanks for reading.