7 Minutes Without a Crossroads

Sometimes climbing gets tiring, folks.

Lately, I have neglected posting on this blog (As usual, I suppose) and in the next 7 minutes I want to explain a bit of how things are changing in my life.

First, I have an increased anti-depressant dose, as prescribed by doctor. It’s been a week, and energy levels are up already. I am pleased with those results, and they’re getting me back to the page more often.

Second, I am still hard at work on Well Country. I had to push the pre-orders I had up back by about a month each because of the slowness I’d been enduring before the increase in my prescription.

Third, I am in love with writing again. Hell, I may even be attracted to ACTUALLY reading books once more. I didn’t expect that to happen at all, but with a little of the energy I’m currently overflowing, I picked up my copy of “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” yesterday. It’s a traveling book I picked up at a convention several years ago and left untouched until yesterday.

I wouldn’t say I regret all my low-energy days, months, years…but I wish I had tried to get this kind of increased help sooner. So, I’m climbing again. I’m off the landing and moving up the staircase.

I’m typing fiction, non-fiction, and role-playing game material a bunch all through the last week. I’m seeing the world with more child-like wonder than I have in some time. While this post is not a PSA for anti-depressants (Everyone will have their own solutions to lethargy) I do intend this as a reminder to all you readers and myself not to leave yourself in lurch. Don’t give up, people.

I thought for years that I couldn’t get better. Much as before I got my CPAP machine, I thought that was the best things could feel. Well, I’m pleased to report I was wrong.

There is the timer. Stay safe and thanks for reading.

Seachange. Epic Fantasy incoming!

Hello, everybody.

As many of you know, I’ve tried my hand at publishing science fiction this past six months, but before that I published a series of short fantasy novellas. That series was called The Spells of the Curtain, which now has a compilation of the first five books out on amazon.com right now.

That isn’t the main reason, I’m writing, however.

I have a new book I’m working on. This one will truly be epic fantasy, in the vein of Sanderson, Jordan, and Tolkien as well as many others.

I am in the process of creating the new book but it’s already up for preorder on amazon.com. Demon Scroll is the name of the book, but you can’t read it yet. That brings me to the true point of this post.

There is something out there in my new series I’m proud of and you can read right now.

I previously wrote a little story in the same world, featuring a character who will return in Demon Scroll. That little story is called “The Crimson Suitor” and it is available FREE on bookfunnel.com right now!

Here is a link.

Give the story a read, and start getting hyped for the novel, coming September 3rd. The world of these stories is one I love dearly and have been working on for over a decade. The story you can get for free is kinda short, but you’ll be able to get the full-length 500+ page ebook on Amazon.com for just a buck on launch day.

Thanks for reading.

And if you’re a writer, keep writing. You only fail if you give up completely.

Take care of yourselves, folks.

Fourth Street Fantasy (My Third Year Report)

This report may prove woefully short, as my interest for discussing things that actually happened vacillates, but I figure I should have a shot at it anyway.

Over the weekend, I attended 4th Street Fantasy, a convention for enthusiasts of reading and writing fantasy and science fiction, located an hour’s drive from my home base in southern Minnesota.

I have made friends there in the past, but I have difficulties from time to time, all internal, whenever I attend. Those tend to feel less worthy of discussion after the convention redeems itself with the fun of talking to people at night, especially on Saturday night. The pattern continued this year.

I arrived on Friday super glad to be there. By afternoon on Saturday, my enthusiasm was at a low point, thanks mostly to my self-talk. I talked a lot at this convention. I even received some kind words about my ability to carry on entertainingly. I made a few new friends in the process of lengthy conversations, and that makes me… proud? Happy. Yes, let’s stick with happy.

Even so, when I talk to myself I am still a pretty negative person. I’d hazard a guess that this is the cause of my low point on Saturday. When I hear others being built up, I knock myself down inside. So to hear about all the excellent authors out there in the world, to be reminded of their existence and the vast amount of regard people at this convention had for them, proved very difficult to endure in a mature way.

Thankfully, I practiced my coping mechanism better. That coping mechanism is openness. I use the tool that usually makes me happier. I talk.

When I was really down I felt the need to talk about how I felt. Thanks to some kind people I started to recover. And thanks to that bit of recovery I was at full power by the time the last of Saturday’s panels wrapped up. Then, the glory of 4th Street, for me at the least, truly became apparent once more.

The laughter with friends newly made and familiar from before really kept me going from 9pm to 2am.

What a convention Saturday night was on its own!

I felt so much better I re-engaged a bit more with the larger group on Sunday. Even my lack of sleep could not stop me. I hope to make it more conventions in the future, but I will definitely make it back to 4th Street Fantasy next year.

And if you’re a writer or fan in the Minnesota area (Especially), I would encourage you to try for the same goal.

Thanks for reading. And have a great day.


“Better to do a thing than to live in fear of it.” – Logen Ninefingers in The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie.

I love that line. I don’t always live by it. But I have an understanding of the meaning.

In the context of the story, the line is incredibly dramatic because the thing in question is so immensely scary.

Lately, I have been a bit afraid of writing a rough draft. Much like the character Logen Ninefingers, I have done what scares me many times. It gets easier. It gets better. But it is always difficult.

While we live, the challenges in our lives are ours to confront.

I have a rough draft to write.

Thanks for reading.

Hunter and Seed (And Milestones)

My novel, Hunter and Seed, is out!

Also, today is the 500th post on this blog since I started backing up my blog posts. I did about 150-some posts prior that point, but I think of the last 500 posts as the meat of this blog.

Why do I bring these two up together except for their temporal proximity? There is a reason.

Hunter and Seed is based on the same story universe as a novel I finished writing in early 2011. Back then I was a junior in college and the book I wrote at the time shows it. That novel was over 100,000 words long, and I had thrown out an opening of around 20,000 before I even began that one. I don’t like that book anymore, especially compared to this new one.

The reasons that novel was such a failure for me, come down to the fact that, at the time, I did not know what I wanted. That novel was trying too hard to be ‘true to life’ and ‘literary’ at the same time. I missed most of the things I’ve always wanted in my stories as a reader and a writer.

I like adventure stories. I like romantic stories (Both in the contemporary and older sense of that word). I wanted to create series in this pretty crazy universe I had devised, but I made a big mistake in the book in 2011. My mistake was not getting to the stuff I loved in that setting in the first book.

I am proud to report that Hunter and Seed will not have the problems I just mentioned. The whole book is an adventurous chase, with some sexual tension between characters, and all takes place in the heart of the setting I wanted to explore. I love this book. I’ll be bold and say I think you might as well.

Barnes and Noble
Hunter and Seed is also available a few other places: Tolino, Scribd, Page Foundry, and 24Symbols. Whew! That’s a lot of publishing. The Paperback will be on CreateSpace soon, as well.

I had my 26th birthday just a few days ago. Today is my first book birthday, and I appreciate all your support.

Thanks for reading.

Out Loud

I am preparing to do a round of out-loud edits for my novel. That means I’m reading the novel out loud. Start to finish, unabridged. The book will be a little rough at this point, for sure, but I need to speak the words for it to make sense.

After then it will be off to beta readers for the little book.

The out loud edit is going to be the longest time-frame edit of the ones I have planned. Probably it will take twice as long as the last round. I hope the results will show the attention.

Anyway, I took a long time to get to this post today because I’ve been absorbed in the work of outlining short stories (And, yes, a little twitter).

Hope you’re all doing well. Thanks for reading.

The Power of Reasons

The weekend saw me finish reading a pair of books. I’ve tweeted about these a bunch already, and they made me very happy. For the last time, Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace is amazing. Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole is pretty phenomenal as well, especially for someone who enjoys speculative fiction and wargames like me.

I also wrote over 3000 words this morning, for my NaNoWriMo novel. Pretty happy about that. Two chapters hammered out.

I guess this post is kind of about those words. I chose to write them even though I had difficulty answering the question as to why I wanted to do this story. It’s going to be a complicated book, multiple POVs, weird speculative fiction elements, the whole nine yards.

Last week I hesitated to make headway into this book but now I know why. I did not trust my own enthusiasm for the initialization of the project. Even though I liked the design of my characters and the various weird complexes that stem from each of their pasts, I didn’t trust myself to take them seriously. The story is one of the most bizarre genre mash-ups I’ve ever actually worked on.

And the truth is, I don’t care that it might be too out there. I like the idea. I like the movement the story has going so far. This book is going to be pretty fast-paced, and I hope to race through it as fast as I’ve been going today.

In addition, there is still editing to be done on three of my past novels, including the one I just finished rough drafting this month. I want to be productive and prolific. Heaven help me, I may be on my way in that direction.

This post could be called the power or readiness. Recently I’ve been cutting down on my news-watching. I stopped watching The Young Turks, especially, because their negativity is just suffocating to my creativity. I don’t want to live a life that feels pointless, so that kind of thing has to go. Instead, I hope to read more books and watch more good TV shows. These are the sorts of fuel I need right now. And I need fuel.

The world should not get to seem as dark as it does on the news at my expense. So I choose not to watch any news. I want to be informed, and I hope to keep up. I don’t want to be naive. But I have reasons to move forward and my own path to cleave through this jungle, just as everyone does. No time to wallow in the sludgy mires of depression and doom.

The reason to write was always because I loved it. That strikes me as the best reason to do anything. I won’t go so far as to say its the only way to go. I don’t have that kind of certainty. I only know, I want to live this way.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day.

Scraps of Positivity

Depression is an ugly thing to handle. I am currently trying to accumulate some willpower to act when I feel down. It’s easier when I watch TV and read stories regularly. So I’m upping my media intake.

I am now past the halfway point of the current book. On the downslope, but who knows when this month I’ll finish the project. Still, if I’m done with this rough draft by November I’ll be pleased.

Other than that, I am still battling to stop my food binges from ruining my diet. Food binges also make it more difficult for me to write, because of the resulting digestion tiredness that follows each one.

Stories, words, food. That’s my life right now. I’m also in the middle of my first freelance project in quite some time. Not a bad restart to my freelance career.

I’m not feeling like a topic of any depth today. Thanks for reading.

It’s Alive!

Live After Writing is on the air, currently on youtube and my website, and soon on itunes.

Watch the first episode: here

Or go to mentalcellarpublications.com to find the audio.

Check out itunes tomorrow if you want to subscribe there.

I wrote a bunch this morning. I finished reading Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal yesterday, so that fills me with good will.

I’m excited, and I hope you will all keep reading, listening, and watching.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Forms of Defeatism

Other than the quality reading I’ve been doing lately I’m beginning to feel the doldrums hard. I’m now about 1/3 of the way through this book I’m writing, but I’ve been stuck on it almost a week. Excitement is present, but distraction is paramount.

Like most writers, I have a lot of ideas all the time. Countless stories present themselves and keep permuting as I work on other things, especially when those other things are stories where I’m trying to add words.

I’m trying to integrate some of these ideas, but its tough. It’s very tough. Anyway, I guess I don’t want to get into that too much. Procrastination is a big deal too. I am a slow writer now. I guess its official. But I don’t want to stay this way. I want to work more. I want to do more. I’ve ranted at this on this blog at length. Part of me is defeatist.

Part of me likes to be stuck. Part of me hates breaking the current situation of the story to keep moving forward. Part of me fears what will happen when the book is written, edited, read, sold. Those parts of me need to shut the hell up.

I’m doing this, and I’m going to enjoy it. Work? What’s that? This is a game I am playing.

Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend.