Sharing My Love of the Written Word for the Holidays

I have always been a fan of the written word.

I started reading at a young age, and when my family began to get shaken up, I think I probably escaped into books a lot.

Writing has always come easily to me.  Genre, topic, doesn’t entirely matter to me.  When I get to put words to the page or screen, I find that I am in my element.

For a time, I avoided embracing calling myself a writer.  The written word never lost its importance to me, but I found myself spending far less time honing my craft.

Then, something changed.  In the late 1990’s, an idea popped into my head, and my series The Source Chronicles came to life.

For a short time I managed to land an agent, but Fantasy was not his familiar genre.  So we didn’t really go anywhere.

Then my friend suggested I have a real editor go over my first completed fantasy novel, then titled Seeker of The Source.  She not only helped me turn my novel into a much more coherent, solidly voiced story – she also made me a far better writer and editor.  Her instruction helped me to make some fundamental changes in my approach, and with that a far better writer.

I was fortunate that a friend was editing an anthology of short stories about pirates and magic.  I seized upon this awesome opportunity, and wrote A Treacherous Stone, which was published in Rum and RunestonesWhen the second anthology, Spells and Swashbuckers was being assembled, I created The Vapor Rogues.

Times and technology have changed, and while I continued seeking an agent or publisher, I decided it was time to strike out on my own.  I stated by taking the first year of my main blog post, and published Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy.

I have continued to blog three times a week at The Ramblings of The Titanium Don.  Not long ago I refocused my posts to all address the ideology that consciousness creates reality.  Mondays I present Positivity, Wednesdays I write Pathwalking, and Friday Crossing the Bridges.

Once I had dipped my toe into the waters of self-publishing, I decided to share with the world Seeker – The Source Chronicles Book I.  A year later, after having it edited, I shared Finder – The Source Chronicles Book II.

When I wrote The Vapor Rogues for Spells and Swashbucklers, I did a huge amount of worldbuilding.  This was not just Steampunk from an alternate Victorian reality, but a wholly unique world I created.  With all that worldbuilding, I needed to write more.  From that came Clouds of Authority : A Vapor Rogues Novel.

On several occasions, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.  This is where you are challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days every November.  I have succeeded several times with this.  One year it was my fantasy/Steampunk Infamy Ascending, another year my technothriller Shades of Mediocrity.

Two of the stories I wrote for NaNoWriMo I have published.  First, my homage to Paulo Coelho, Vortex Pilgrimage, an embellishment of my hikes around Sedona, AZ.  And then a deeply personal story, a humorous narrative of the time in my life when I was recovering from being struck by a car while crossing a street.  The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Trip to the Post Office is all stuff that happened to me, but all the names have been changed.

The written word is my passion, my heart and soul.  I am working on my blog every week, and new stories to share with the world.  With the holidays being upon us, is there a better gift than the written word to share with friends and loved ones?

I hope you enjoy what I present here to you.  Thank you for your support!

 

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What Do I Name This Thing?

Sometimes it takes me a while to find the name.

When I first began work on The Source Chronicles, it was my unnamed Fantasy project.  I began my glossary so I could track the characters, and I called it The Source.  This would, in turn, lead me to find the plot, whereby my mysterious sorcerer was questing to find an ancient something called The Source.  He would be called the Seeker.

Seeker of The Source  would be completed, and I had even acquired an agent to shop it around.  But he was not normally an agent for YA or Fantasy, and after I think two years, we ended our association.  Then it was suggested I hire Lone to edit my work, and my writing would never be the same.

I am a far better writer and editor today because of all I learned from Lone’s edit of Seeker.  Further, since I was already done with Book 2 and starting on Book 3, she suggested I give the overall series a name.  With a suggestion from my best friend Kristin, The Source Chronicles  was born.  Seeker of The Source  became Seeker – The Source Chronicles Book I

Lone and I have long since lost touch, but I found an editor for both Finder – The Source Chronicles Book II, and Clouds of Authority, my Steampunk novel (and first book of The Vapor Rogues series).  But for Harbinger, which covers a great deal of characters and time, I am beginning to work with a new editor.  Thus far, I suspect she may also help me to grow as a writer and editor.

In addition to regular blogging over at The Ramblings of the Titanium Don, and editing Harbinger, I have been working on an epic sci-fi adventure.

The Space-Opera with No-Name.

I have been working on this sci-fi opus for more than a year.  I have created an incredible number of characters, worlds, starships, races, and many unique names.  There have been battle scenes, character development, plotting, and both the use and rejection of numerous tropes.  This is the kind of sci-fi I would love to watch on a screen, and it’s a whole lot of fun to write.

Yet after all this time, a name eludes me.  Sure, it took me some time to come up with Seeker’s original name, but I do not recall it taking me this long.  I wait to be inspired, to find the title that will not only excite me, but entice you to want to read it.

Drawing by MJ Blehart

There was a professor of mine in college who said every name an author creates has meaning.  From my own work, I can tell you that this is bullshit.  Certainly there are writers who place meaning in names, and that is a part of their mystique.  But many of us simply create names out of randomness.  That’s how I work, at any rate.

The title of the novel is important.  If it turns out this is going to be a series, or I feel the need to create other stories in the same universe – and I might – the series will need a name as well.  On the one hand, this can be somewhat frustrating.  But on the other hand, this is part of the fun of writing in general.

Eventually I’ll also have to work out cover art, but that won’t be for a while.  So far, I have drawn the top-view of one of the main starships in the series, and I will eventually find an artist to render this better than I can.

A rose by any other name…

Names have power.  How many tales are out there where someone hides their “true name” so as not to give away their power?  It’s an intriguing concept, really, because we humans are almost obsessed with giving things names.

I write because I feel a need, akin to breathing, eating and drinking.  Writing is a part of who I am.  I am signed up for an online group and class to improve how I work and earn as a writer, and will likely post something about that down the line.  There is always work to be done.

I know that eventually I will have a name for this novel.  There is always a name to be found.

Thank you for staying abreast of my work.

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What am I Currently Working on?

I began to work on my fantasy series, The Source Chronicles, in 1997.

I was at work, bored, and tapped out this scene that popped into my head.  Then, two more scenes were written, and now I had three main characters, and the story began to take shape.

As I worked on the novel I first called Seeker of The Source, my characters took on qualities and identities I had not entirely expected them to.  Before I knew it, I ran into a major dilemma.  My villain ceased to be the bad guy.

My best friend from High School and I had a conversation when I was blocked, and he made a point that opened the channels, and the story continued.  In time, Seeker of the Source was completed.

I edited this, to a point, and moved on.  The prophecy I had written was broken into four parts, and I knew that meant there would be four books.  I began to write Finder of The Source.

I had acquired for a time an agent.  He did his best, but frankly when he took me on I was outside his normal genre.  This made it very hard to get where I wanted to go, and in time we parted ways.

Editors can change everything.

Lone was a friend of a friend.  She is a professional writer and editor, and agreed to edit Seeker of The Source.  At this point, Finder of The Source was also completed, and I had begun to work on Harbinger of The Source.

Lone did more than just edit my novel.  She taught me so much about the craft of writing, as well as how to edit writing, that my work would never be the same.

She taught me to choose a singular narrative, rather than jumping between characters without a break of some sort.  Lone gave me insight into better world building, and the series got renamed The Source Chronicles  (which is partially credited to Kristin, the friend who introduced Lone and I).   She taught me how to do better sentence structure, stronger character actions, and more.  Overall, I became a far better writer and editor, and cannot express how much this has meant to me over the years.

Since publishing the first two novels in The Source Chronicles, Seeker and Finder, I have continued to work on the series.  Deep into Harbinger, it occurred to me that it would be a long, long novel.  As such, I split it up, and Guardians was born.  The prophecy received an edit, adding a fifth section to match the revised number of planned novels.

Two years after publishing Finder, and more than that after taking a break from The Source Chronicles to work on The Vapor Rogues, my Steampunk series, and the as-yet untitled sci-fi epic I’m currently working on, I returned to Harbinger to start editing, before I send it off to a professional.

I have concluded my edits.  One of the most fascinating aspects of this process was finding where what I had learned from Lone got employed in Harbinger.  It was a subtle shift, but I saw it rather clearly.

Writing is a practice.

Once I send Harbinger off to an editor (and I am looking for a new editor), I intend to continue work on the sci-fi novel.  I also intend to continue Guardians, where I left off about five years ago.  My goal is to have it complete within 2 more years, and then the final novel of the series, Healers, will be written.

I am striving to do as much writing as I can.  In addition to my work on my novels, I blog three times a week at The Ramblings of The Titanium Don – my blog about Conscious Reality Creation.  Positivity, Pathwalking, and Crossing the Bridges between the worlds I live in and have created along the way.

I will set up an e mail subscription service to this blog soon.  Thank you for tagging along on my writing adventures.  Welcome, also, to my new and improved website.