My ego is messing with me.

Twice a year, my ego screws with me. This comes in any manner of way, but lately, as I see other writers kicking ass, getting contracts, and generally doing better than I am, my ego is questioning what the hell is going on.

I know it’s my ego, that little bastard doesn’t shut up long enough to let me take a breath, much less acknowledge why and where I’m failing in my writing.

The thing is, I’ve been working. I’ve been writing and I know that I’m not sending things out all of the time, but I can’t. I have a life outside of writing. I have my wife and kids, and a bartending gig I do.

The bartending gig is something that pays the bills, but I’d rather be doing anything that bartending. That’s probably to do with how people are treating those of us in the food service industry. People became horrible in the last year and maybe they were always that, but something else has triggered them into believing it’s okay to act this way, but that’s another blog post.

I’d like to push things out of the way and get to writing, but I worry about neglecting my wife and kids. That’s something I did when I lived in Las Vegas and can’t to that route. I also worry about asking for things from people because, well, I’m not certain my writing is very good.

Ego is kicking me in the ass, envy is kicking me in the balls, and I’m sore as hell about it all.

I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I’d like to take a break from bartending to focus on writing, but it’s the busy season for catering and it’s impossible to do that.

If I could find a crossroads that would work, I’d use that.

I’m so bent right now that I’m unsure of everything.

Am I writing well? Am I doing what I need to get noticed? Is there something I’m not doing?

All of this comes down to pushing things away and dealing with my mental issues.

I have to knock those back sometimes in order to gain some semblance of who I am.

The ego kicks my ass, but my mental issues do more damage.

Depression sucks, and I’ve tried to use it as a motivator, but I’m at place where my ego and the envy I have for others knocks me on my ass.

I guess I’ll keep going with this writing, but I wish I didn’t have to do these events sometimes.

The mental focus it takes to do these events and not scream at the top of my lungs as some half-wit berates me or my staff about how rich they are or that it’s their house and they can do what they want in their house makes me want to scream.

Some people are just assholes.

My ego is screwing with me and I’m working on getting it under control.

I’m planning on getting to this blog more often. I get stuck on things and then I try to get away and it just gets worse.

Anyway, have a good weekend.

Writing Horror and Future Things

Good morning or whatever it where you’re reading this.

I hope you’re in good spirits and are enjoying your day so far.

I spent the last four days watching panels, readings, and taking two classes during Stokercon.

I learned quite a few things but what I’m taking away is the fire of other authors.

In all the panels, readings, and classes, I noticed one thing: there is a fire to produce in these authors.

I write a lot, and quickly, but I saw something in their eyes. It’s the ability to push away and grind. To put in extra hours at the desk of editing and/or drafting.

Horror is my safe place. I’ve always watched horror and it’s only been the last twenty years that I’ve truly read it.

I’ve talked about how I didn’t read certain things as a kid because of restrictions places upon my by my biological father, and I feel that set me back. I’m trying to catch up.

The first horror book I remember reading was Stephen King’s Four Past Midnight. My sister had it at her house and enjoyed the stories in that collection. Having a thing for vampires since I was little kid, I moved on to Anne Rice and her beloved Lestat. I fell in love with him in a way I’ve never been with another character.

I read all of the books up to Blood Canticle and while I know there are other books, Prince Lestat being among those, I didn’t care for those books. They didn’t feel the same. My love of Lestat was something I’ve wished to replicate in my own work.

He helped me get through a lot of bad things in my life and I wish for my own work to do that same.

I have two novellas I’ll be working on and sending off for consideration as well as sending out short stories for every call that comes in.

I also am considering what to do with a Political Thriller sitting on my hard drive. That one may get published under a pseudonym. I’ve considered this course since I wrote it.

I will be working harder this year than any year as I feel a fire has been lit and I’ll continue to fan those flames.

Please follow along, buy the collection on Amazon. It’s currently at $0.99 on Kindle and I have to plans to raise that price. If you wish to purchase the paperback, that would make this writer incredibly happy, either way, enjoy the stories.

As I close this post, click the link to follow along and I hope you enjoy the stories.

What may come…

I had no intention of writing anything on the blog today, but here we are.

I don’t know why I haven’t been writing on here more often, it’s just something that I haven’t found interesting.

It’s not to say that I haven’t been writing, that’s been happening. It’s when I come to the keyboard to write a blog post that I feel bored.

I have a lot to say about things, but when I write on here it doesn’t feel the same as when I do my creative work.

So here goes, I have a few things out with various places as well as a two novella’s I’ll be editing and submitting in the near future. If those fall through in submissions I may publish them anyway.

I feel good about my short story collection and I’ve recently changed the price for the ebook to $2.99.

It hasn’t gained traction and I may go over it with another round of edits and republish it. I’ve also dropped off on publicity for it, and that may the biggest determiner for its lack of success.

On the reading front, I’m reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

I have never read westerns, but my older brother had a lot of Louis L’Amour books in his room when we were growing up. He was loved the whole cowboy thing, but it was never my thing. It’s been a difficult book to get through. I haven’t been reading much outside my own genre and I know why I’ve struggled reading it.

On another front of reading, my wife and I recently read, Goddess of Filth by V. Castro. This was not a book I would have bought, but there was a lot of buzz around it in the horror community on Instagram as well as Twitter. It came in our Nightworms book package and it was phenomenal.

I don’t like leaving this blog sitting as I found a lot of people that need help through Transcendental Meditation. I continue to practice TM and will for the rest of my life.

The blog may still be here and I’m going to make a run at doing more with it, even if it is only once a week.

Have a pleasant rest of your week.

Changing reading habits and me

I’ve mentioned numerous times on here about the books I felt forced to read growing up. It was the 80’s and the techno-thriller was king, at least that’s how it felt in my little corner of the world.

I enjoyed those books, but as I grew older I found myself gravitating towards darker stories.

I recently purchased Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, the book not the game. The last couple of weeks have found me reading through it and I found so much of it boring. As a writer myself I found places the could have been removed through editing.

Was Clancy brilliant in his world building, absolutely. Were his technical discussions within the books not needed in most places? After reading the three hundred pages I’ve consumed of Rainbow Six, I’d have to say yes. It feels like there are so many parts that could be removed.

This is not a review of the book. But I don’t enjoy all of that stuff anymore. It was cool reading those things in Elementary and Junior High, but as and adult, I found them boring and unnecessary within the constructs of the book.

I have read a few books that are more concise and less grandiose in their wording and content, but I feel I’ve outgrown the monotony of how this book works. I haven’t read any of the new books in the Jack Ryan series written by other authors, but I’m hoping they’re most concise and less about adding words and more about the story…at least that’s my hope.

On the other side though, the horror books I’ve read in the last year have blown me away.

I think small doses of Clancy and war books are a better idea. It’s not the length of the book that felt daunting, it’s the unnecessary aspects of scenes. Some of the scenes in that book could be done away with as I don’t feel they move the story forward and are more of stopping point.

I think my days of reading Clancy books, at least those written by the author prior to his passing, are over. I want to read the books in that universe written by the other authors but haven’t had time to do so.

I’ll go back to reading other things for the time being. I have a subscription to Nightworms and I get a few horror books from them a month. They are wonderfully curated and come with all kinds of goodies.

For now, I’ll stick to the smaller war and techno-thriller books.

Getting the work part done.

With any project it comes to a point where the work part happens.

After the first draft, there’s the part you let it sit, or at least I do. It’s usually a few months, but can be longer.

The reason for letting it sit is so when you don’t constantly revise, restructure or rewrite all of the time. Doing that, at least in my opinion, causes more problems than it solves.

The first draft is where you find out your story, or if you’re an outliner, you put what you’ve outlined into the story.

Being as I’m a mostly pantser, which means I will have a beat sheet and know where those beats will be places, but as far as the story itself, I don’t really know where it will go.

This may cause some people reading this to freak out, those are the outliners.

For the pantsers, here’s some truth: I have no idea what will happen at the end of the book, or if I do, it’s usually discovered as I’m writing. This works for me as I write in various genres.

Thriller as it pertains to all of its classifications: Political, Military, Spy…and yes sometimes horror is thrown into this category for the sake of selling books. Take a look at Silence of the Lambs, at it’s core, that’s a horror story.

I enjoy things that frighten me. I grew up in the 80’s with the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Soviets. It’s something that has stuck with me growing up. Knowing that fear and chasing it has lead me to write thrillers in the respective classifications I mentioned above.

I grew up next to an air base. The sound of planes taking off and landing is a fond memory of my childhood. There were also the times the base opened to the public, showing off the latest aircraft.

The first time I saw an F-117 Nighthawk was at one of these events. The sleekness of that aircraft combined with it’s dark color and insectlike bumps and ridges, still gets me excited.

Aircraft is a thing that I’ve always been enthralled with and watching them take off from the base as well as building models at home are great childhood memories.

But I’ve gotten off track.

The work part is what comes after the first draft. It’s the editing, rewriting, revising. They used to be things I hated, but the process feels different than it has in a while. I’m actually enjoying this 100k rewrite I’m working on.

But I am getting the work part done and that’s important. Without the work, the project wont be able to stand up, and at the end, when it’s done, it needs to be.

Have a pleasant rest of your week. Stay safe and I’ll see you Friday, where I’ll talk about my love of aircraft a little more.

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