Optimism and Doubt

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If you talk to me about anything besides writing, I’m optimistic as hell.

For some reason when it comes to writing the optimism goes out the window. It doesn’t matter that I’ve written 11 books, 5 novellas, and over a hundred short stories. When I sit down in the chair to work in the morning, doubt is the first thing in my mind.

Nowhere has this been evident than in the current project. I’m in the beginning stages of it, but the feelings that I can’t write it, that writing it will take me to a really dark place, and it’s all because of the subject matter, which is to say it lightly darker than I’ve gone before.

One thing about writing horror is that the dark is my safe space. I love to watch scary movies, read scary books, and sometimes play scary video games.

But the doubt that I can’t create this story the way it needs to be written has me doubting writing it at all, which would be a travesty since I feel the idea is awesome.

I’ve told my wife this story will have me skipping some levels. I won’t just be doing things in the dark like some of my stories, they’ll be out front for the whole world to see, which is scary.

My wife told me that with the subject matter, she probably won’t be reading this one, and I’m cool with that.

I have trouble reading some extreme horror, and it’s because it don’t enjoy it. I have set books down that took me somewhere my mind didn’t want to go, and there are authors I won’t read because I don’t enjoy what they write, but some people do and that’s okay.

When it comes to optimism I have the lion’s share with the pandemic, when a family member is sick, or anything else in my personal life, but trusting my gut is harder when it involves writing a type of horror that is on the outside of what makes me comfortable to write.

Writing is about boundaries, at least for me, and knocking those boundaries down can be difficult, as can taking the story slower than I usually do. Having written three novellas in the last three months has me wanting to move quick through the story, but this one can’t be rushed.

I usually sit down, turn on Mac Freedom, set a timer for 25 minutes and write, with this one that’s been difficult, but I’ll keep going because not writing isn’t an option.

As I get past this boundary I know it will make me a better writer, and less afraid of writing out of comfort zone. This one is so far beyond my comfort zone that my optimism took a hit, but I’ll keep going.

Hope you’re all having a great week, and I’ll talk on Friday about something else.

Keep rolling

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Withing in the spectrum of who we are, what we do, and solve our problems, there is a movement.

It depends on our deepest fears, our darkest desires, and without these movements we are flat.

The movement is a random act of falling into our projects, our journeys, or lives.

It can push us to the limits of our abilities, or in the worst of times, push us into the pit.

Within the movement are the clockwork parts. These are the items within our mind that pushes us to new heights, or when we’re depressed, anxiety raises its head and there’s only the thoughts of despair, it will drag us down.

These are the bottom movements. They are the worst parts of trying to attain what we want. They keep us stuck in the same place, deny us our desires, and restrict our goals.

Getting out from under these restrictions, denials, is the most difficult thing we can push through. We have to get through the bottom part of these movement to the top.

At the top of the movement, like the top of the clock, is the beginning of our new journey.

It’s where we can be our most creative. Where the lights come one. It may feel like we’re not all there, but digging out from the pit, reaching the top of the movement, it’s the creative place. Where we need to be in order to make our place, make our stand and rectify our thoughts.

These creative fluctuations are normal, they keep us moving to the next project, the new thing.

Some projects may give us a hangover, but the next day we must get to the desk, easel, or the stage. Keeping the clock in rotation engages the part of our mind where our goals are at the forefront of who we are,

Limiting our mind is the way to limit our goals and where we want to be.

Push forward, go stronger, get better, keep the clock rolling.

The terror sets in…

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It happens when I least expect it…what if.

I’m writing whatever is the project and those words pop in. What if this project does well? What will I do if that happens?

It’s something I’ve thought about a lot after Stokercon. Watching all the other writers. Writers I’ve read, writers I’ve listened to during other events or classes. What if I get to that point? What will I do?

I know it’s a trivial thing. Most of us never make it to the mountain top. Some of us are left at the base camp, cleaning our boots, and sharpening our ice axe for the next ascent.

The events like Stokercon remind me that others are working day jobs, just like me. They’re out there teaching classes, bartending, or working in retail.

I like to write. I enjoy the craft more than anything I’ve done in my life, I mean anything. I’d rather be at my desk working on a project than at any sporting event, concert, or anything similar. There is nothing like that feeling of creating a story.

I bartend because it helps pay the bills. I used to like it. At one point in time I enjoyed making drinks. That time left years ago. Now it’s not very fun. During Covid, it’s been horrific.

I’m good at bartending though and that’s where the problem is. I know my cocktails, know the history of some types of alcohol, where they’re made, why they’re made in that place, and I can tell the difference between various types of whiskeys. But it’s not what I enjoy. It’s not what makes me want to get up in the morning.

I wake with a determined heart every morning, focused on whatever story I need to finish, or add to.

It’s these little moments of terror that remind me I have a ways to go yet and a lot more work to do.

I know at some point all of this will pay off.

I feel that there are points, forks in roads, and I’ve crossed a few off recently.

But I know it’s the start of a long weekend for most, so I won’t keep you.

Enjoy your holiday and I’ll see you Tuesday.

Stuck in traps

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This morning I felt as if I were in one of Jigsaw’s traps.

My intentions were to write a post to go up at 8:00 this morning, but I watched a movie for story research instead.

The movie, “Exorcist 3”, is one I hadn’t watched before and found a lot better than I expected.

I have a possession story idea that I’m working on to submit next week and I needed to watch something to get me in the mood.

The story is a bit different from my usual writing and I had to bury myself in the subject matter.

This led me to watching the movie past when I’d intended and left no time to write the post for today.

I’ve watched a few found footage movies to prepare for a submission in August and while most of them were good, those that I didn’t care for left me wanting to know why others enjoyed them. Mainly “Lake Mungo”.

I found it boring and continue to wonder why others enjoyed the movie. My wife, who is not a horror freak like me, watched Lake Mungo last night.

She feel the same as I do about the movie. There were a lot of things going on in it, but nothing that scared me, at least not until the end of the movie. The whole thing with the neighbor felt like it came out of nowhere. It felt, to me at least, like they threw all the tropes in to see what stuck. The neighbor part felt like the writers thought, “let’s see how screwed up we can make this woman’s life?” So that’s what they did.

But back to what I intended to write.

I’ve taken a break from social media for the next little while to work on writing stories. As I said on Monday, I have two novellas I’m working on, a few shorts stories as well as a novel in the political thriller genre. Each of these are holding my time and social media is a drag on that time.

This break will be for a few weeks or as long as a month, whichever is needed to finish these projects.

But as I finish these projects, others will rise. It is the nature of the work that others replace that which I’ve finished.

I hope you have good rest of your week and I’ll see you on Friday morning, unless another horror movie pops into the frame.

I have a bartending event tonight as well as Friday and I’ll be doing those, masked and ready to go. I have my vaccine shots, but the vax rate in Utah is only 30% and after the last year, I have trust issues with not wearing a mask at events, or anywhere else.

See you Friday.

Writing Horror and Future Things

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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.