It’s difficult…

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A while ago, I don’t remember when, I came across a quote. I don’t remember if it was about writing or not, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t, but it was something to the effect of, “When things get hard, that means you’ve leveled up.”

I must have leveled up like a mother f’er, because things have been difficult as hell. I know my regular readers will acknowledge that.

Here’s the thing, you have to fight through it. I’ll continue to take some time off because I’m still struggling, but this quote popped in my head today, I don’t know why, but it did.

Now, there is this quote and there is my writing that I haven’t done shit with, at least not enough for me.

I’m also thinking about how I’ve looked at my writing. How I’d hoped getting published would help my family out, even a little bit, but that hasn’t happened, but this realization has.

So, let’s do a bit of retcon:

I’ve written 6 or 7 books since my family moved from Las Vegas to Utah six years ago. I’ve submitted nearly all of those books and received rejections on all of them. But with those stories I didn’t edit all of them. I wrote them and they’re on my laptop, but they’re only there, and that’s when another quote hit me, “If you decide rejection is the scariest thing to you, you’ll always avoid it, but if decide regret is the scariest thing, then you’ll continue. No rejection could be as painful as the regret of not trying.”

Rejection hurts like a mother f’er, but that act of not trying and the regret I’ll feel over that is more painful.

Back to the retcon:

Finding a way out and deciding to limit my exposure to social media as well as writing for me instead of writing to get published will change how I feel. I will continue to submit, but I will not submit so I can say, “look what I did.” That’s not going to work.

I will submit based upon whether I have something or if it’s a finished project, I’ll submit it, but as for submitting just for the act of it, I’m not doing that anymore. It’s too damn hard.

I will continue to write horror and maybe other genres, but my dark heart requires blood and I’ll feed it.

Something about vampires.

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The topic of vampires has been in my head for the last few weeks. I think it’s because my wife and I watched “Blood Red Sky” on Netflix. It was good, a very different take, but there were things about it I really enjoyed.

I won’t give a spoiler type review here, but all of it was good. Of course there are things I didn’t care for, but that’s with most movies.

Vampires have been one of the things I’ve avoided writing because of the deluge of vampire stories in the early and mid ’00s. But I need to get this off my chest.

I’ve been a vampire freak since I was a kid. I saw Dracula with Bela Lugosi at my aunt’s, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which is still awesome, but with the number of vampire stories I referenced in above, there have been few stories that received traction. There are some, but for the most part you have to go looking for them.

Now here’s where I go geek. I researched vampires numerous times. I know all of the lore, and while I find some boring as hell–Twilight–there are others that I found incredible–30 Days of Night.

But with being out of the vampire decade, which is what the ’00s felt like to me. I feel it’s time for them to come back.

Brian Keene has one out, and it’s next on my TBR. There is also Savage by Daniel Soule, and Villimey Mist’s Nocturnal series. Those last two hit my radar recently and I’m looking forward to diving in.

I am looking forward to the return of dark, scary vampires, but until then, check out the authors and their work that I listed above.

I’ll be back on Wednesday,

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.

Writing your truth…

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There are many moments when I wonder what the hell my brain is doing. It’s all over the place.

It wants to do one thing, then another, all the while throwing things in that I can’t control no matter what the circumstances.

That’s why I write.

This gives me focus when I can’t find it. It’s a depository for my thoughts, though there are time when it feels more like a suppository.

When I write there’s clarity, focus, decision, and faith. Faith is a word that didn’t mean something to me, but writing gives me faith in myself. If I can create worlds, I can do anything else during my day.

The faith to create worlds, to drive story, and to maintain my mind are what get me up and keep me going on a daily basis.

The truth is this shit is hard some days. Lately it feels real hard.

I’m sure it’s the pandemic, but lately I feel detached, unavailable, and like there’s another something I’m missing that isn’t in front of me.

I don’t know where this is going some days, but with writing I get clarity in everything else.

I put a story away out of fear last year. That fear has driven me to work on it after the current project is done.

I hope you’re all well, I’ll be here contemplating the evolution of writing and where my head is.

Write what works for you, not others.

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When I published my short story collection in October I knew it wouldn’t do well. The point was to publish something this year, regardless of what it was.

I loved writing those stories and enjoyed the process of editing them, putting them together, and putting them out.

When you write, there are things that you hope will happen: that people will read your stories, that you’ll get amazing reviews, and that you’ll connect with those people through your writing.

What happened was none of that.

The only people who bought the collection, now $.99 on Amazon for Kindle, are mostly family. There are couple of outliers, but it’s mostly family.

Here’s the thing about that. My family doesn’t read horror.

My mom used to, but doesn’t anymore. I guess I put together the collection for them, and not for myself, which is fine.

I’ve listened to a authors talk about the fact that their families don’t read horror so why should they write for them?

I took this to heart with the last few stories I’ve written. It’s about what scares me because in the end, if I’m not scared when I write something, the reader won’t be either.

Writing for you is more important than anything.

There are family members who will be turned off by writing for various reasons.

I realized I’m okay with that. I write for me first and if I like the scary parts I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Your writing should be important to you, not to your family. If someone doesn’t like the bits about gore, it’s not for them. If they’re turned off by those things, remember, you liked them and someone else will as well.

Throw the dirty, gory, nasty things into your writing that you’ve been afraid to. Put it all out there, someone will like it.

I’ve read a lot of extreme horror in the last few months because I hadn’t read it. I wanted to see how far other authors have gone, and realized something. There were great swaths of things I was afraid to write that these authors shrugged at and went more fucked up.

So I’m doing that now.

I’ve written scenes I wouldn’t have dared write six months ago, but seeing where other authors went, I dug myself a hole and followed it into the dark.

Chase the dark, it’s where the best part of horror lies.