Acceptance and…

You reach a point in your life where you think about who you are, what you’ve done, and where your mind is.

I don’t know if there’s a term for it, but I feel I’ve reached a few of those.

The mind thing is what I’ve been dealing with recently.

The biggest problem is that I want to go to a certain doctor for something but it would cause our health care benefits to cost more, which is a thing in the American health system.

This thing I want to have dealt with has something to do with the mind, but it’s also one of those things you don’t want to mention. The thought of it scares the hell out of me and my wife.

But there in lies the issue.

Some things have to be dealt with or they grow into other things which can consume the host of such thing.

When I think back on the depression I’ve dealt with in my life, this thing correlates to this one thing. I remember certain things that relate to it from childhood, from adolescence, and definitely from early adulthood.

I won’t get into the particulars of it. I’m working on a new project where that thing comes into play in a way that terrifies me.

We come to ourselves at moments where the need is higher than others. We find ourselves determined to push through our mind obstacles. Negating the problems upon the path and following it until we reach the end. This end is hard to get to. It makes our lives more difficult because of what lies beyond it.. It’s the hardest thing I’ve dealt with and yet, it makes sense to me in a way that I don’t understand.

I continue to write, sober, as I’ve been for the last two months. Which in itself is an accomplishment. With this thing I’m dealing with I consider alcohol to disrupt it more and cause more problems. I also got my first vaccine dose which is a weight somewhat lifted off of my shoulders.

There’s this way of going through life and I find it harder. As I continue my sobriety I find myself moving away from wanting to bartend and doing other things. Yes, I am good at it, but the culture of it isn’t conducive to this new way of life I’ve found myself in.

The best thing is my wife’s acceptance of this. Without her I’d be lost.

One last thing before I move on for the day. I won’t answer questions about what this thing is. Which is why I’m as vague as possible. I hope you’ll understand, I’m fairly certain some of you will.

Have a lovely day,

B

Writing your truth…

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.

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.

Embracing what you fear

As I’ve said numerous times on here, I avoided writing certain books because of things that happened as a kid.

I worried about what it said about myself, what it said about my writing, and whether my mind wanted to go in too many places at once. This fear has permeated me since I put pen to paper in high school.

The past week was one where I had to have talk with myself about this. I can’t move forward in my writing without either adjusting to writing military/spy/political thrillers, as well as horror, or I can stop writing one or the other. I chose to adjust.

Growing up in the 80’s Tom Clancy was the king of the techno-thriller. I looked up to him as a storyteller. Writing in that playground always scared the hell out of me. Mostly because I am not nor have I ever been in the military, CIA, FBI, or any other acronym.

But writing happens and last April I wrote a book in that genre and it scared the hell out of me for a couple of reasons.

One: I felt it was good.

Two: The fear of judgement from others about writing in genre, and that I’ve said numerous times how disrupted my childhood was because I felt forced to read those books.

But maybe it’s not so much that I felt forced, but that there’s the longstanding obstacle of my relationship with my father. He chose those books and I read them, even though there were other books I wanted to read, I read those.

I attribute my knowledge of history and politics to my father, something that maybe I should deal with personally.

That I’ve now chosen to write in whatever genre rears its head, is possibly a breakthrough for me.

I avoided writing these books because of childhood trauma. As I consider it now, those books did more to help me navigate my teenage years and early twenties, than perhaps anything except Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

The Chronicles helped me deal with other things.

Now that I’ve gone and changed my author’s bio, and all of my bios on social media, I’m ready to deal with the fact that I love spy books for the simple fact that I enjoy them. I enjoy the hell out of writing them and if not for my father pushing them on me I wouldn’t be writing them today.

Here’s a writing fact for you. I read Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising in sixth grade. That book stayed with me as have most of Clancy’s books.

Have a pleasant week. I’ll be here this week.

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