The Pen, Archenemy of Forgetfulness

Hello, and happy Saturday! There’s been a lot happening this past week, so here’s just my two cents on a subject that hits pretty close to home with myself as a writer.

I once read a quote somewhere that said ‘The greatest lie people tell themselves is that they don’t need to write it down because they’ll remember it.’ I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with an idea for a story or a quote that (I thought) was awesome or a name I really liked and might use for a character and proceeded to not write it down right then because I thought I could remember it until later. WRONG. So, so very wrong, because then I (without fail, usually) end up getting distracted and forgetting it. It’s not until later that I remember I had an idea, and by then I can never remember what that idea was, and then I hate myself.

As writers it’s very important to write things down (kind of in the job description, actually) because inspiration has a tendency to strike and random and our next greatest story might come (and usually does) while we’re in the middle of scrubbing the bathroom floor. Or some other activity. It’s a good habit to jot those things down while you have them, instead of trying to remember it until later. Your memory will betray you and hide it away or toss it out the window. This is very important, so much so that I now have a notepad with ‘write it or lose it’ printed on every sheet, which I then tack to my doorframe (for lack of a better place, but at this point I might have to branch out because I have so many).

Even if you’re not a writer, it’s not a bad idea to write things down when you think of them, then even if (and when) you forget that phone message you were supposed to pass on three days after you took it, you have it on paper to help you remember and not make a total shmuck of yourself. It’s why God gave us pens and paper, I’m pretty sure.


Don’t forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Northward Expedition, volume 2 of The Journey Taken! Each copy comes signed and includes a series bookmark (how fun is that?)!

Initiate Stage 2

Here we are, people! We kicked January off with a giveaway of volume 1, and this second month of February will be welcomed with a second giveaway, this time for volume 2, The Northward Expedition. Didn’t make it the last time? Enter this giveaway for another chance! There are seven copies available, all signed, and including a series bookmark (but really, you won’t need to hold your place, because you’ll probably just read it all the way through in the first sitting).

This rerelease features a brand new coat for vol. 2 as well as updated and dressed up interior, to give you the best, most coolest experience possible. You’ll wonder at just how awesome it all is.

The giveaway, hosted on Goodreads, begins this very day and lasts until the 28th, so enter for a chance to win – and let people know! Spread the word of this sweet opportunity to share a story!

 

If you simply can’t wait for the end of the month to see if you’ve won, or if you want more than one copy (keep and share!) Here are some links to places you can make some of the best purchases ever:

Straight from the publisher

Amazon

Ebook

Check out the page dedicated to TNE for more links and info, it’s neat.

A Piece of the Process

Hello! I’m back in, and boy has it been quite a week. I have for you today another topic of interest to expound upon: the writing process.

To be blatant, there are as many processes for writing as there are people who write. Every individual is different (hence ‘individual’) and the method one goes about something is unique to them. It’s also a learning process, at least it was for me. When I began writing I had no real education on ‘how’ to write a story, I just began writing what I wanted to say, having gained some capacity for prose from reading. See, reading stokes the fires of imagination and creativity, and if you read a LOT, like I did (and so so many others) you pick up on things. Albeit, some people are born with the ‘writer affinity’, a talent for stories they were simply made to have, but you don’t become awesome at it without work. Taking something you enjoy doing and developing that to an even greater level of skill is a joy not only for you, but those around you. I began as a total and complete amateur. I loved stories and I loved the idea of sharing the stories I have, so I wrote without having any real plan or ‘process’ in mind. Only after I’d been doing it for a while, peeking into the world of other writers and the vast amount of information they shared about their own experiences and whatnot, did I begin to realize the truth: apparently writing wasn’t so simple as I thought it was. There’s actually a lot of forethought and planning that goes into a really good story, but then, if you think about it, every great piece of art has a bucketload of blood, sweat, and tears behind it.

My own writing process is, I think, still under development. I haven’t hashed out a system of operation down to the wee details yet. TJT has truly spurred my growth, though, from where I began so very long ago. Some people ask if you write more by logic or intuition/ purpose or instinct, or some combination of the two, and I’d have to say that, for me, it would have to be the lattermost. It’s the intuition that directs where and how I use my logic ─it’s the idea of “I want to do this” or “I want this to happen” and then figuring out how to make that a reality in a convincing way. I like planning things out, too, and with whatever project you’re working on, plotting is essential (otherwise you make stupid/silly mistakes that bite you in the butt later). I do like to develop a plotline, as it helps give me a direction for the story and keeps me on track, because digression is a disease. A malady. An icky germ. That’s one thing I appreciate about the editing part of the writing process, you can go back and see the yucky parts, the unnecessary parts ─ the dross ─ and expunge. Sometimes it’s painful, yes, but sometimes good things aren’t painless (think about getting a tooth pulled, or surgery, or budgeting ─ not really painless, but ultimately beneficial).

So, to summarize the above blather, my writing process is, so far, thus: I get an idea for a story, take that raw material, and heat it in the fires, plotting, developing (the analogies that can be used for this are numerous, quite, quite numerous). What helps me in the actual writing of the story is to picture it as a movie playing. That was a tip I came across ages ago, and it’s really helped me visualize what’s going on and to describe what I see. I’ve found myself narrating in my dreams, sometimes. I’ve found  myself watching movies and thinking about how I would put it into words (I’m bad at watching movies). I plot and I visualize and I write everything down, because if you don’t write it down you’ll forget and hate yourself. At the same time, writing the story and being immersed by it also helps me further develop my plot, so the two actually go hand-in-hand. My plots are very flexible and basically cover key points or events that I want to include, kind of like the dots on one of those connect-the-dots games. When all those smaller pieces are connected in the narrative, I love being able to stand back and see this bigger picture. It’s very rewarding.


Don’t forget! There’s a giveaway running for A Journey Begins, enter to win one of seven copies + a super awesome series bookmark.


Also, coming up next week, there’ll be running a promotion on Amazon for a Kindle version! Available copies are unlimited, but it’ll only last the week, so no procrastinating. If you’ve been waffling, take the opportunity to snag the first bite of this sweetness while you can! It begins on the 23rd, so mark thou calendars, fine folk, and await the day with the appropriate anticipation.

The Origin of TJT – A Briefish Tale

Hello, Readers! It’s a little hard to imagine that we’re already into the second week of the new year, isn’t it? ─ how time flies!

As promised, I’m setting forth with the intent to come around more often, sharing my two cents on various points of writing, book reviews,  TJT related projects (as they come), updates on current writing projects (most presently rereleases and vol.7! So excited . . . ), and who knows what other surprises this year has in store? In honor of that, I’m going to share with you today the inspiration for The Journey Taken saga. It’s a question I’ve been asked often enough, and truth be told, I’ve actually been a little embarrassed to confess the origin of this story! But, inspiration has come from stranger places, so here’s the not-so-closely-hoarded anecdote of how TJT began:

It happened over the summer of 2012, while I was watching a YouTube walkthrough of a videogame, a Final Fantasy videogame to be more precise. You see, I’ve never been very good at those kinds of games (I have a reputation for having reflexes akin to a dead cat’s) but I nevertheless wanted to follow the story . . . so I watched someone else play the game.

Anywho, as I followed the characters and story I (as I often do) found myself imagining things going differently, events playing out as I wanted them to and not the way the writers had them (selfish, no? Yeah, probably). By the end I had the concept, barer than a skeleton, if such a thing is possible, for a similar story. I confess I based many of the initial characters off those in the game. But that was only the beginning, the scraps of steel that would soon begin to soften in the forgefires of creativity, taking on a shape and life of their own and hauling me along for the ride. From the onset of this project, from the first notes I jotted down the end of that summer, I’ve felt carried away by this story, which developed and grew of its own volition every day from that moment. As the world and characters solidified themselves they ventured further from the amoebic concepts of their origins. My initial plan was to fit this story into a single volume (can you imagine it? How silly was I!) but the more I wrote the more I realized just how much that idea wasn’t going to pan out (plus, a little encouraging to publish something soon helped get A Journey Begins out about a year after I began).

It never ceases to boggle me just how much this story ─ this world ─ has grown from its humblish beginnings, really fleshing out more than I had ever anticipated, engraining itself deeply into my mind and heart and becoming more than ‘just another fantasy’. Who would have guessed that watching a videogame on YouTube would inspire a five year, seven volume, and beyond project? Who could have known? Inspiration is a funny thing, after all. The tiniest spark can set off a storm of fireworks, and you never know where or when that spark will strike.


Don’t forget! This January is the special re-release month of A Journey Begins! Enter the giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win one of seven copies of this journey’s setoff. Each copy comes autographed and accompanied by a series bookmark!

Volume I Giveaway is Underway!

Good morning, my lovely readers! The day has finally come for the Goodreads giveaway to get started, and it’s running from this very moment until 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) on the 31st. Seven copies are available, and each comes autographed and with a bookmark:

How cool is that? So don’t hesitate! Join the party and enter the giveaway for an awesome opportunity to own some greatness (if I may say so, myself).

The Beginning of Something More

It has begun! Happy new year, my lovely readers, here’s to a year full of exciting new things. I’ve a feeling that 2017 is going to be a BIG year, and I am so very excited to share it with you all.

To kick things off, here’s the OFFICIAL edition of volume 1 I’ve been working on alongside the final installment of our saga. Other than a brand new coat, this edition features an updated interior with some sweet little details I may be a wee bit too thrilled about.

In addition, we’re going to celebrate further by running a Goodreads giveaway, which will initiate on the 7th, and I’ll make sure to pass around the link when the day comes, so be looking forward to that! Giveaways are great fun, they really are (both winning one and sending out the prizes) and if you don’t have an account . . . well I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Goodreads is a booklover’s haven outside of a library, chocked full of titles, and if you have an account you can add books to any number of lists, organizing them into to-read lists (my personal favorite), rate and review books, enter giveaways, and join any number of groups to discuss any number of topics, read books together, and generally get involved with other fellow readers. So give it a look-see!

Later on I’ll also be running a Kindle version promotion, as well, and I’ll update you on the details when the time comes. Good things are in the works this month!

New Year Project Announcement

Hello and greetings, my fine folk! How was everyone’s Christmas? Merry? Bright? I pray that this is so, for my own proved rather jolly and downright relaxing, chilling with the family all day.

Now that The Clandestine Crusade is out and running, I can focus more centrally on the next two projects coming up. Two, you ask? Yes, two. One of which is, of course, the next and (final!!) volume of TJT (super exciting, right?) The second project is what I’ve alluded to in the past and what I’m going to announce today.

In honor of the series finale, I have been (and will be) working on updating each volume to a more uniform format inside and out and re-releasing one every month leading up to the due date of vol. 7. The interiors are getting a fresh suit and even some of the narrative (nothing drastic, mind you, just making it cooler, like adding details I should have thought of four years ago). The covers will also be spruced up, although the most dramatic changes will be most evident in the first two volumes, when I was a baby to this publishing process.

So far I’m super excited about this undertaking and can’t wait for it to come to fruition, so this coming new year will start off with a whirlwind for me! To kick off each re-release I’ll be running a giveaway on Goodreads, and later in the month a KDP (Amazon Kindle) promotion as well, but your help in taking part and spreading the word would be a super duper assist and greatly appreciated.

The celebration begins in three days! So be looking for another post here announcing the kickoff with links and a cover reveal for vol.1’s new coat and all that jazzy good stuff. Thank you all for your support, and here’s wishing you a great finish to 2016 and a happy new year ─ I’ve a feeling it’s going to be a big one.