A New Year of Unlimited Possibilities or, Write or Die!

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”
-Kahlil Gibran

It’s 2013 and no time to rest on my laurels. This proves to be a busy year for writing. I just need to get my head into these stories so I can get the words down. This always seems to be the biggest stumbling block for me as a writer. It’s not so much of a writers’ block as the ideas are there, it’s just hard sometimes to get in the right frame of mind to get the words to come out to reflect what I’m feeling needs to be in the story. I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately and I’m just not sure why. I have this obsession with the ideas of where creativity and inspiration come from, and how we harness them to write, create art, music, etc. I recently picked up a book, “The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain” by Alice W. Flaherty that is a fascinating study both scientifically and philosophically of these concepts. I’m hoping it will give me some insight into my own creative processes and how to better channel them into my writing.

On a really cool note, here is something that I think you all will enjoy: the audio book of  the Sacred Band tale, “Wake of the Riddler” by Janet Morris, and narrated by Alex Hyde-White, available from Audible at Amazon.com. Excellent story and outstanding narration make this short story from the book, “The Fish, the Fighters, and the Song-Girl” a must have for fans of The Sacred Band, and readers new to the series, even. There is a free sample of part of the story narration at the link to the audio book that you should really check out.

Something else going on in 2013; I have been confirmed as a guest author panelist at ConDFW, February 15th-17th and All-Con, March 8th-10th. Both conventions are in Dallas, Texas and are shaping up to be better than ever this year, with a big line-up of guests and events. If you are in the area those weekends you should attend. You will not be disappointed. The convention directors at All-Con let panelists create their own topics for discussion, and I came up with a panel about the source of creativity that will include a flash fiction writing exercise. I am also doing a panel on dark fantasy and horror genres in writing that will cover their similarities and differences and some examples of both. I’m bringing on board some fellow writers and friends of mine, JennM,  Joan Fritz, and others to help me with these topics. Check out Jenn M’s blog here at  Brewed Bohemian.

That’s about all for now folks. Thanks for tuning in. I’m committed to keeping to this weekly blog  schedule like I said I would, even if some of these posts may be short and sweet, like me. Heh, heh. I’ll leave you with another fun and spiffy quote:

“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”

-Junot Diaz


LibertyCon 25 2012 Convention After Action Report

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

-Jamie Paolinetti

Well I’m finally getting around to posting my report about LibertyCon 25 which took place the weekend of July 20-22, 2012 at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. I also upload photos on my facebook page and in some of the relvant groups I am a member of like The Irredeemable Order of Hellions and The Fictioneers. I had a great time hanging out with fellow Hellion authors  Janet Morris, Chris Morris, Michael H. Hanson, Jack Finley, Sarah Hulcy, David Burkhead, Michael Z. Williamson, Richard Groller, and Julie Cochrane.

Kudos as always to Janet Morris and Chris Morris for creating the Heroes in Hell series without which none of this fun would have taken place. Thanks for making me a part of this fantastic series that I’ve been a fan of for over 25 years. Also a big thanks to Richard Groller for bringing so many of us authors together by having us as guests at LibertyCon. Thanks also to Uncle Timmy who created and runs LibertyCon for having us again. It has become our annual meeting of the Hellions and I hope will continue to be so for many years to come.

This year we decided to hold a party for both The Fictioneers writers club and the Irredeemable Order of Hellions fan club for the Heroes in Hell series and Perseid Publishing.  It was also our book launch party for the newest anthology in the Heroes in hell series, Rogues in Hell.  I think the party was a success and I made many new friends and gained new fans for the HiH series and the upcoming book Sha’Daa Pawns created by Michael Hanson and edited by Edward McKeown. Michael also had a bunch of cupcakes made for the party with icing that looked like alien heads for the Fictioneers and flames for the Hellions. They were awesome sugary goodness and a real hit. Thanks to everyone who came out and partied with us. It was a hell of a good time! To join the Hellions online on Facebook for fun and interaction with Hellion authors and fans just click on the link above or right here.

Several of us Hellion authors also took turns staffing the Perseid Publishing table to sell and sign books. It was a great experience and loads of fun. There is something really satisfying about sitting behind a table stacked with books some of which have your stories published inside them like Lawyers in Hell and Rogues in Hell.  Also on this table were books from another of my favorite series, by Janet Morris and Chris Morris; The Sacred Band, Tempus With His Right-Side Companion Niko, Beyond Sanctuary, and The Fish, the Fighters, and the Song-Girl. Also Michael Hanson had copies of Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse, Sha’Daa: Last Call, and his poetry collections Jubilant Whispers and Autumn Blush.

I got to be on some great discussion panels, like the Rogues in Hell panel where the attending Hellion authors got to talk about our new book. Also the What Scares the Boogeyman panel where we got to talk about the soon to be published horror anthology that John Manning is putting together which will feature my story “Shadow of a Doubt.” We also had a cool piece of artwork drawn just for the panel by Michael Bielaczyc that was outstanding. And thanks to author Larry Niven for attending our panel  and contributing his thoughts on the horror genre. And then there were the paranormal panels I got to be on with Joe McKeel and Paul Cagle about EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), Ghost Busting, and Joe’s Remote Viewing panel that he let me sit in on.

All in all it was a fun, busy, and exhausting weekend and as I always seem to do at conventions I made a lot of new friends. And it was a blast seeing my old friends as well, many whom I only see in person once a year, even if we talk online a lot. I really can’t wait for LibertyCon again next year. I hope you will join me for a hell of a good time.

My first blog! The long journey of being a writer.

I have started this blog as a creative outlet for my ideas and opinions and to talk about and promote my writing. I have been a writer since about eighteen, penning mostly poetry, fantasy, science fiction, and various philosophical ideas. I also love to collect quotes, so you will see a fair amount of those on here as well.

My journey to become a published writer has been a long one, marked by procrastination, self doubt, and fleeting moments of inspiration. I have talked about trying to publish my work for years, but didn’t actively pursue it until recently. My wife, Sussie has been on my case to write more and submit my stories and poems for years. She has been and continues to be my biggest supporter and motivator.

I finally decided to get serious about my writing and for my birthday last year my wife bought me a reservation to a workshop that the Bedford Library Friends Writers Circle was hosting. Author Sarah A. Hoyt, and editor/author Amanda S. Green presented the workshop and I learned so much valuable information about writing, and publishing over the course of the weekend. Each of us in the workshop submitted some of our writing to be critiqued, and I nervously awaited judgement on the part of the story I had written. Much to my surprise and delight, Sarah liked my writing, said I was a good storyteller, and proclaimed that with some diligent self editing I could be a publishable writer. Few words in my life have ever made me so happy. It gave me not only validation that I was actually a decent enough writer that people would be interested in my stories, but also the motivation to want to get my work out there for publication.

Thus began my serious attempts at writing more, and editing what I already had written, to prepare my work to be submitted to publishers. This was in the Fall of 2010, and barely a month after the workshop, by a series of fortuitous events, I was invited to submit a story for a historical fantasy shared world anthology. But this was not just any run of the mill anthology. I had read the Heroes in Hell series when they were first published from 1986 to 1989, when I was still in High School, and they are some of my favorite books. Janet Morris, who created, edited and wrote for the original series is bringing the series back with a new book and new authors along with some of those who wrote for the original series.  I was asked by Janet to be part of the working group of writers for the new book, and of course I jumped at the chance. She had gotten to know me from my comments and interactions at The Sacred Band Facebook page, and apparently liked what I had to say enough to ask me to contribute to the new Heroes in Hell book. All of us writers have been brainstorming ideas, plot lines, character interactions, and promotional strategies for the book, and subsequent books to follow for the series. It continues to be a fun, creative, wild ride, and I am very fortunate to be a part of the experience and work with such great writers, and wonderful people. My story has been accepted for publication in the book, Lawyers in Hell which comes out this Summer, 2011 in e-book format, trade paperback and hardcover. It will be my first published story. I  am working hard to refine my craft of writing, trying to learn as much as I can and become the best writer I can be. I have a lot to learn, but I have found some great mentors to help me along my journey. Thank You Sarah A. Hoyt for sharing your knowledge, and for your encouragement that gave me the confidence to pursue my goal of being a published writer. Thanks Amanda S. Green and the Writers Circle for your advice, words of wisdom, and support. Thanks Janet Morris and Chris Morris for believing in me and inviting me to write for the Heroes in Hell series. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. Thanks to everyone in the Lawyers in Hell group for being such a great bunch of friends, talented writers, and a constant inspiration for keeping the words flowing. Most of all, thanks to my wife, Sussie, for always supporting and encouraging me to follow my dream, and to my daughter, Alina for understanding the madness of it all.

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten,
either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”-Benjamin Franklin

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 2:01 am  Comments (2)  
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