A Word to You About The Way It Is With Me

A Special Message for You

Hi there … I feel like we got off on a bad foot.

Do you have a dream?
Did you try to make it into reality?
Was it easy or hard for you to do?

That’s where I’m at in my journey. Instead of letting my baggage bury me, I’m trying to stand on it and find my way out. Sometimes I get it wrong, but not because I don’t want to get it right. Maybe this can be the moment where I make a friend. Fingers crossed … Continue reading

Awesome Author Ideas: Supporting Yourself

Awesome Author Ideas: Support Yourself While You Write

I don’t know about you, but people have funny ideas about authors and how much they make. From time to time, I’m confronted by the myth that money isn’t something I think about, or that as an author, money just flows into my pocket like rain.

Nonsense. Authors have to pay the rent just like everyone else. Just read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Be entertained by his tales, living in a trailer in Maine having to choose between paying for his children’s medicine and fixing the car. Or read Scalzi’s essay “Being Poor.” Yeah, we know about being broke. We know all about that.

The question remains: *how* do you keep the lights on while you pursue The Great American Novel? Writing is a tough go after a ten-hour shift at the Amazon fulfillment center. What kind of job lets you support yourself, while leaving you enough energy to create?

Inspired by this Reddit post, I want to talk about some ways you can make money while you write. Please feel free to suggest your own and I’ll be happy to add them to an edited version of this blog post: Continue reading

Because Creativity Knows No Bounds

Appropo of nothing, I’d like to share an amazing recipe I just tried. You can’t be creative in only one area of your life. You must embrace awesomeness in other areas, too.

Enter the Japanese Pancake. I generally try to avoid geeking out, but when something’s good, it’s good. When I find something good, I like to share it. With that in mind, here’s a recipe for Japanese pancakes. Traditional Japanese hotcakes start with the same materials you’d use to make ordinary pancakes, but their preparation makes them absolutely *scrumptious.* Continue reading

What ‘The Last Jedi’ Teaches Us About Story

What 'The Last Jedi' Teaches Us About Story“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

That’s the quote I kept thinking of as I watched The Last Jedi. Someone must have been channeling Friedrich Nietzsche because the meaning of his famous quote is woven throughout the 2.5 hours of cinema paradiso that is Star Wars VIII. Continue reading

Just write. Because it’s just right.

Waited a long time to write this. From Bill Cosby to Kevin Spacey, 2017 has been the year of the Silence Breakers. Why did it take so long, we ask. Why didn’t we see this before? How can we prevent this from happening again? None of these are new questions for Hollywood. Bad behavior among creative people has been a thing since Charlie Chaplin met Mildred Harris.

People will behave badly as long as the community lets them. Hollywood’s interpetation of noblesse oblige begins and ends with how bankable an entity you seem to be. When the money stops, the party is over. Continue reading

New Scifi Short: Battle of Victoria Crater

I’m pleased to say that I’ve published another short story. The Battle of Victoria Crater is now available on Amazon or anywhere else you like to buy your favorite books. What’s TBoVC about? Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Martin grows up on the harsh, haunting landscape of Mars dodging bullets, freezing temperatures and hired guns. How can a raw, hard-bitten group of colonists hope to survive against a menacing Earthbound corporation? What will happen if they give up and go home? Continue reading

I Won’t Be Self-Publishing ‘Mesh’

Open up Twitter to get some more bad news for self-publishing authors. According to this article, Amazon no longer allows you to review books unless you can prove you’ve purchased them through Amazon. This, in a nutshell, is why I won’t be self-publishing ‘Mesh’:

To write a Customer Review, you must have used your account to purchase any item or service on Amazon (free digital content doesn’t qualify toward this requirement.)

Something tells me that this rule isn’t necessarily hard-and-fast. I doubt all the reviews for ‘Star Wars’ came *after* the users bought them on Amazon. Ditto for ‘Moby Dick,’ ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ or ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’ Continue reading

Mesh: Relax, It’s Only a Story

As I’m editing and re-writing Mesh, I’m also watching the news. Why? Pretty simple – I’m curious to see if the future I’m imagining has any chance of actually happening.

It occurs to me, also, that readers of Mesh may begin drawing unfair conclusions about my personal views after reading it. Do I advocate for an authoritarian society by writing about one? Do I advocate for anarchy by talking about what happens if it does? How do I really feel? I think I need to post a quick word at the start of the book about this. Here’s a quick draft – see what you think: Continue reading

Fledgling Authors Need New Readers

Reddit is walking/talking contradiction in terms. I find it hard sometimes to reconcile the weird and/or dark places it gets to, with the beauty of insights I get on a daily basis.

Case in point, read this Bestof post and realized how similar the IndieDev journey is to my journey. He articulates where I want to be better than I can! So rather than attempting to rehash the same idea, here is what this one developer said, and then I’ll talk about why I think this applies to pipsqueak authors like me: Continue reading

Turns Out There’s a Scientific Reason People Dislike Sci-Fi

That’s wild.

After many years of sci-fi authors complaining that ‘Hollywood hates sci-fi’ and ‘sci-fi isn’t taken seriously as a genre,’ we now have scientific evidence to support their claims. The Guardian just published this yesterday, and it’s already got my fellow sci-fi authors hopping:

In a paper published in the journal Scientific Study of Literature, Washington and Lee University professors Chris Gavaler and Dan Johnson set out to measure how identifying a text as science fiction makes readers automatically assume it is less worthwhile, in a literary sense, and thus devote less effort to reading it. They were prompted to do their experiment by a 2013 study which found that literary fiction made readers more empathetic than genre fiction. Continue reading