Quills: Introducing “The Grove.”

Well, here we are. A day and a moment that always brings with it a special kind of anxiety.

Something I find deliciously ironic given my previous post about really wanting to start sharing my writing again. But that is neither here nor there.

What is both here and there is this: my new short story, “The Grove,” is ready and available for your reading pleasure. You can either click the link, or simply mouse over the new “Short Stories” tab in the navigation bar above this post.

I’m particularly proud of “The Grove,” as it’s one of the few stories I’ve written where I finished the first draft and realized that the story on the page almost perfectly matched the story I’d been telling in my head. That’s an exceedingly rare thing, and I couldn’t be happier with how the final product has turned out.

I hope you all enjoy the read, and while you go do that, I’m gonna go sort out an audio issue that popped up in my Twitch channel last week. Take care. 😉

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Quills: A Shorter Focus

If you follow me on Twitter, odds are you already know the gist of this post. However, I’m writing this post anyway as I feel the topic merits further discussion/explanation.

“What’s this topic?” you ask. Simple. I am dropping all of the novel/novella projects I’ve been working on, and shifting my focus exclusively over to short stories.

Now, before you freak out too much, know this: I will be picking my novels and novellas back up eventually. It’s just that the point at which I will do so is fairly far off in the future. I have my reasons for this, and probably chief among them is that quite frankly, I’ve largely lost my confidence as a writer. I still have my confidence as a storyteller, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, down-in-the-trenches mechanics of writing, I’m no longer sure that my skills are what I think they are. This is especially a problem because 90% of my novel ideas are long, complicated series ideas that also have novels worth of backstory. That’s a huge number of balls to be juggling all at once, and I just don’t have faith in my ability to do that successfully anymore.

That lack of faith largely stems from the fact that I haven’t shown or shared my writing with anyone in years! I’ve talked about it, and will still talk about it endlessly if people make the mistake of letting me, but I haven’t had a drop of real, honest feedback about a single word I’ve written in at least three years. Likely more. It’s led to a near continuous thought-loop of “Is this any good?” “Why am I doing this?” “People are going to think this is trash… that I’m trash!” Obviously this is a very self-destructive loop to get caught in, and that is why I’ve made the decision to refocus my writing efforts onto short fiction.

Because at the end of the day, I still want to write, I still believe that my story ideas are good ideas, and I still want to share my stories with the world. And, unlike my novel/novella ideas, my short story ideas are things that I can write and complete fairly quickly. I’ve already got one short story, “The Grove”, which is already only a few hundred words away from completion! I’ve also got two other ideas that have been whirling around in my head for almost a decade now, and they’re the two that I’m probably the most excited to share. I can’t say much more than that, because spoilers, but suffice to say they’re both the result of me… having a little fun with some classic fairy tales. 😉

That’s all I’ve got for you today folks. I may have published this post and tweeted it out in the morning, but I’m actually writing it last night, and I have a very great deal of sleep to catch up on. Take care, everyone. 🙂

Whirlwinds, Wildfires, and Balance

Given the content of this previous blog post, the following statement might surprise you.

If you had told me just two months and a day ago all of what would happen in just the sixty days of my 2017, I’d have laughed in your face and told you that you must be smoking the good stuff. Because these last two months have been an even greater roller coaster than I could’ve imagined, even after writing my “Thank You” piece.

I’ve met people I never thought I would meet, forged the beginnings of what I hope will become a fantastic friendship with someone who’ll know who they are if they’re reading this ( 😉 ), made almost $150 by essentially playing video games on the internet, and entered a writing competition with the legitimate potential to change my life as a writer. The last eight weeks have been a ceaselessly exhilarating whirlwind of frantic passion and activity, and I can’t think of anything else I’d have willingly traded this experience for.

That said, it’s also been thoroughly exhausting.

I have Attention Deficit Disorder, and so when something does manage to light a fire in me, that fire almost instantly becomes a wildfire. All my thoughts and focus converge on this one specific thing, and I will pour all of my time and energy into pursuing whatever thing has lit this fire. And in the last eight weeks, no less than three fires like that have ignited in my life.

So hopefully you can now imagine how desperately I’m gasping for mental breath right now. 😛 I’ve been in a state of non-stop mental sprinting for the last two months, and the major problem with that has been that I’ve been trying to sprint three separate, full-length marathons all at the same time. That is a fantastically bad idea, and my actually doing it is what has led to this blog post.

Balance in a vital ingredient in the recipe of life, and it’s the one I most frequently struggle to mix in with my own. So this is me, vowing both publicly and to myself, that the triple-marathon stops today. On the first day of only the third month of 2017, I hereby declare that I am slamming down the brakes on this speeding train and finally installing some real balance into this blazing speed-freak of a machine. That means a dedicated writing to-do list that I will. not. deviate from, and it might also mean a re-working of my streaming schedule on Twitch. That’s not a bridge I particularly want to cross, but in the interest of making sure I balance out my life enough so that I can actually enjoy all of the crazy, incredible things that are happening in it, I may not have any other choice.

On the upside though, changing and balancing everything out now means that you’ll all be both seeing and reading a lot more from me in the long run, and that can only be a good thing for all of us. 🙂