Comes a time…

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I wrote a lot of blog posts last week while in isolation. I started the rewrite for a story I mentioned in this post and I’m moving forward.

I’d had an issue with a certain part of the story. I thought about that story through the weekend and found some new ground within its borders. I figured out how to make it work while incorporating a story I wrote a few years ago into its borders.

The story itself ran into difficulties while I wrote it and I came to understand there was something missing. A larger story was missing and the novella will be novel.

I’m making an effort to take it slow with this story, something I talked about on Friday.

I’m also doing something that felt odd until I noticed an improvement while doing it.

I see places in my head but can’t get them down as well with my eyes open. It’s only when I close them that I see the story better, so I’m doing that.

When I sat down to write this morning the words came darker, more evocative of what I want for the story. They’re better words and I’m sure my patience with the story is helping a lot with that. Patience isn’t always my strong suit. I’m always in a hurry to get to the next story, but I’m going to slow down. Take it in smaller steps to finish this one.

The incorporation of this short story into the larger frame of the novella adds more to the story and while it makes it darker it also changes one of the aspects of the story I didn’t like as I mentioned above.

There are many aspects of this story I love. The main character and what he’s dealing with are the biggest as I can relate to some of it.

We find ourselves in our stories often. Sometimes it’s little things, this is a bigger one for me.

I’m hoping to submit it later this year. I have four other projects out on submission and I hope to hear something about them soon. I’ll let you know when I do, but for now I’ll keep working on this one. If you’re curious, here is the playlist on Spotify for this one.

Happy writing.

Navigating in new waters…

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When I set out to write the new project, I wanted to use an outline. There are many reasons for this, but the greatest among these are, the five stories I’ve written that are still out, were outlined.

The leads me to believe that when I outline the story comes out better. Because of that, I’ve decided to outline this story and anything else I write during 2022. I know this will be a transition from writing without an outline, but I know it will bear fruit, as it has so far.

Now that I’m doing this I have to understand how to outline better, and while I won’t follow everything, my writing and the story will have a better core and cohesiveness that it hasn’t had, except for the stories that are out.

I talked about music the other day, but the outline, and having a roadmap for the story will help a ton.

I know this is a short post, but I had to tell you what’s going on. I have a review on my other blog for The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 13, on my review site. I didn’t go as deep into the 24 stories, novelette, and poem as I wanted to, it would have created a larger article than I wanted, but here’s the link to that blog.

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…

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.