I Haven’t Actually Been Dead…

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To those of you that thought I was dead….to those of you that WISHED I were dead…well, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m actually not.

I’ve been busy.

Sorry, I used the “b” word….

My family is getting ready to move, I had a graduation party (for me!) coming up.  I’m working a lot because I’m poor.

Yatayatayata!  Who cares!?

I’m back.  Here to continue writing inspirational posts about persevering as writers…here to continue writing about blogging…here to promote my story.  And with more effort.

I’m at 420 followers.  It’s such an honor to be a nag to so many people! (yes, you read that correctly)

Cheers!

Finally! Real Neat Blog Award

I know I’ve been nominated for numerous awards by people and I’ve been doing a terrible job at participating.  I’ve been very busy with house work and graduation stuff and writing Volume 8 of my series. So I’d like to apologize for my absence.

I was nominated by Nicolle ( https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/ ) for this award. If you get the chance, check out her blog, she’s a great writer and has a deep sense of community.

So, on to the award.

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How it works:

Basically, you thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.  Then you answer the 7 questions of the person who nominated you, then you nominate other people and ask them 7 questions.

Here are Nicolle’s questions and my answers:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?

That is definitely more than one question! But it’s a good one. My main inspiration is wanting to influence the world and wanting to express myself to the world. Other inspirations would be the writers of my favorite stories, such as The Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mistborn, etc. I write because I want to and because it makes me feel alive, because I feel like I’m making a difference when I do so.

2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?

Another tough but good question. The end of The Two Towers when Sam is talking about how life is worth fighting for, and Rohan is simultaneously defeating Isengard, is definitely a good moment. Or Aang beating the Firelord in Avatar. Good moments.

3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?

This is actually an easy one. Fantasy all the way. I like the dark stuff to be honest, but anything with swords, magic, and lots of symbolism is my favorite.

4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?

I listen to music that corresponds to the mood of what I’m about to write.  I usually prefer to write at a specific time of day, when my outside surroundings reflect the mood of my story.  To be honest, I feel like these are just the normal things a person might do!

5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?

Harry Potter!  The more I read the Harry Potter series, the more I realize how similar I am to Harry.  I think we could be best friends because of how well we could relate to each other.

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?

Hmm, another tough one! I’d say Ireland.  I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland.  Not sure why, I just have.

7.  What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

One thing I could change?  My opinion of myself.  It’s flawed.  I will say no more.


Thanks so much to Nicolle for her deep and interesting questions!  Once again, be sure to check out her blog here.

I Nominate…

Anyone who read this and wants to participate!  I know this might sound lame, but I’m going to ask you the same questions, just because they are so great.

For the sake of clarity, here are the questions again:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
  2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
  3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
  4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
  5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
  7. What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

Thanks so much for participating, I’m looking forward to your answers!

Book Review: The Writer

I don’t normally do this kind of stuff, but I’ve been meaning to review this book for a long time.

The Writer by [Mihai, Cristian]

Title: The Writer

Author: Cristian Mihai

Genre: Literary Fiction/Satire/Psychological Mystery

The Plot: A man named Jonathon Fisher feels invisible to the world.  He just wants to be a writer and be successful.  He wants to say something to the world.  But stuff happens and gets in the way, things get complicated…I can’t really say too much more without spoiling anything.

Good news and bad news…let’s start with the bad stuff.

There wasn’t too much plot structure.  You’re thrown into the middle of this story (actually the end of it, but I’m spoiling things) and then you need to piece together the story as you go along.  You don’t get a great feel for any over-arching plot or an antagonist, a problem that needs to be solved, etc.  Well, not until you’ve read over half the story.  And even then, the plot, as it turns out, seems kind of random.

Something else that I was up in the air about was how there seemed to be a touch of magic and fate in the story…supernatural powers at work…but the book seemed so…normal most of the time.  Like it seemed as if it were about a normal person struggling and fighting through life, but then all of this “hand of God” or “Enter Satan” stuff comes into the book.

To say the least, it made the story interesting.

The Good Stuff

This book really drew you in because the THOUGHTS of the main character (Jonathan Fisher) were just so compelling and realistic.  I immediately clicked with the feelings of the main character.

The main character has these lofty, philosophical, and, at times, very cynical thoughts.  The power and realistic feel of Jonathan’s thoughts, his depression…it was amazing.  He was so human, it was actually frightening, but terribly invigorating.  I must admit that I felt as if I were glancing into the author’s soul.

Another great thing about this story is the amount of irony hidden therein.  SO MUCH irony.

Something about this story was incredible because, for not having a plot, it was a page-turner.  You wanted to just read and read this main character’s thoughts, wanted to see if his life would turn out okay, wanted to see if his dreams would come true.

And then the plot finally kicks in, and you’re like DANG.

Then it really becomes a page-turner.

You just desperately want Jonathan to be okay, to feel better about the world and other people.  You want him to make good decisions.  Because, by now, you’re SO drawn in.  You want everything to be okay and make sense in the end.

And does it?  Not completely.

By the way, the final sentence of the book makes your jaw hit the floor.

OVERALL 

I loved this book.  It spoke to me in so many different ways.  At times, it kind of hurt me to watch someone similar to myself have these same struggles as Jonathan Fisher.  Jonathan has this pessimistic, atheistic worldview, which was surprisingly realistic and meaningful to me, even though I’m a devout Catholic.

One of the solutions to Jonathan’s life, if I may be so bold, would’ve been to have faith in his life; he is utterly pessimistic and depressed because he can’t see the good in anything.  But that’s what faith does; it transforms your worldview so that you CAN feel hope, even in those moments when the world seems like a terrible place; so that you CAN find reason to smile, and think, “Dang, it’s a good world!  Life is good!”


Definitely consider giving this book a read!  You can find it here.

How Much Is Enough?

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As bloggers and writers, both published, self published, or unpublished, I think we all get to that point where we wonder: is it ever going to be enough?

Are my efforts ever going to be WORTH it?  How much longer do I have to persevere?  When will my story take off?

Fair questions.  Everybody is asking them.

The truth is, I don’t know how much is enough.  I don’t know where you have to be or how far you have to go.  The world is a cruel place, especially to writers.

Why?

Well, first of all, there’s simply TONS of competition.  Years ago if you said, “I’m a writer–I wrote a book” people’s jaws would drop in amazement.  “Really?!” they’d say.  “I could never do that!”

But nowadays, if you tell someone, “I wrote a book”, they very well might reply, “Yeah, me too!”

Let’s face it.  Being a writer isn’t an anomaly anymore.

You know what is an anomaly?   BEING A WRITER THAT STANDS OUT.

It’s easy to be a writer.  It’s easy to be a GOOD writer.  But being a writer that stands out is what everyone is looking for.

I guess that’s your answer then: how much is enough?  How far do you have to go?

As far as it takes to make yourself STAND OUT.

Lots of people have great writing skills.  Lots of people have good stories, compelling characters, etc.  But not everyone is able to put all of those traits together into something wonderful, unique, and capable of being BETTER than everyone else’s.

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Take a step back.  Analyze yourself and your writing.  What makes you stand out?  Or what WILL make you stand out?

If you can figure out the answers to these questions, then you’ll soon know how much is enough.


What do you think?

P.S.

My book, Elithius, is still available for download and purchase here.  Lemme know what you think of it!

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

Elithius 1.5

It’s been a while since I’ve given you more inside information about the world of Elithius.  Today, I want to share with you a concept and a “species” I made up that ties in with that concept.

Heyndai (heyn-DIE)

What’s a heyndai?

Basically, a heyndai is a manifestation of yourself…but a manifestation of the version of yourself that you think you’ve always wanted to be.  Thus, your heyndai contains and fulfills every desire you’ve ever had for yourself.  Everything you’ve dreamed of being–your appearance, your social status, your skills, your level of intelligence–is encompassed in your heyndai.

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Your heyndai says you can become like this…

Your heyndai can only be seen by you; only you yourself will ever experience it.  It is something that you must encounter directly through your mind–in a dream or a vision, for example.  So, technically speaking, your heyndai isn’t even real!  It is purely the product of your imagination and your views of yourself and the world around you.

Sounds pretty neat, right?

Well…sort of.

The problem is, what if your desires aren’t pure?  What if you’ve always dreamed of being beautiful, and your heyndai makes people divorce their spouses for you?  What if you’re tired of being bullied, and wish to become the bully?  What if your idea of being perfect is flawed?

The problem with heyndai is that it’s an alluring, captivating version of yourself.  So you are always trying to become your heyndai…and you can!

You just have to forsake your soul to do it.

That’s right.  Allow yourself to be consumed by the idea of becoming your heyndai, and that’s exactly what will happen: you’ll be consumed.

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….but really, it makes you become this

 

This whole concept of heyndai and whether they are good or bad is very significant in Elithius.  Should we try to become heyndai?  Do we desire to become something pure?  If your heyndai is what you’ve always wanted to be, do you even know what it is you actually want to be?  How well do you know your desires?

These are the struggles of John Hedekira as he begins to make contact with his heyndai.


Deep questions, right?

But then, that’s Elithius for you!

Interested in Elithius?  The first book is only $0.99 on Kindle and only $12.00 as a paperback!  That’s a great price for a book that’s 300 pages long!  Click here.

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

What Makes a “World-Changing” Story?

Ever notice how there are hardly any stories that encourage society or the way that humanity has progressed?  How many stories are about patting humanity on the back and telling it “Good job!”?

Think of all the classics out there.  Think about all those books you had to read in English.  What were they about?

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They were about change.  They were about revealing how crummy this world really is.  They were all about prophecy, and how our world would fall apart if we continued down the same path.  They were about destroying something that shouldn’t even exist.

Sure, there was a lot of symbolism.  Nothing is ever clear in great art…because it makes you think.  Only the wise will ever understand.

Well, I’m asking you to understand what I’m saying.  What makes a world-changing story, you ask?

A story that rips out and burns the status quo…and helps us see why…and maybe shows us a better one.

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Tell the world it sucks.  Go ahead, doing it.  You’re probably only a writer because there’s something about your life that you hate, or there’s something in this world that disgusts you.  You only write because you want to change or you want to be heard.

Isn’t that why you’re here, dear writers?

The stupid, forgotten stories are the ones that congratulate humanity.  What’s there to congratulate?  The only times we are triumphant is when we have God working through us.  Other than that, we fall short.

Write something that makes someone stop and think.  Bring their life to a sudden halt; make them slam the brakes and let them just sit there in the middle of the road, listening to their engine idle, as they strive to grasp the audacity of what you have said.

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Think I’m wrong about all this?  Go ahead and prove it.  Your opinions are welcome here.

What do you think?


By the way, I’m officially a self-published author.  If you like me and you like the way I write, check out my fantasy novel here.  It will stop and make you think.

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

 

What Inspires Your Person Will Inspire Your Writing

That title is a mouthful, I know…

But it’s true, and thus I reiterate: What inspires your PERSON will inspire your WRITING.

Maybe this means like an obvious statement, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

I’ve been really busy; my life is just BUSY.  I’m working a lot because I need money for an apartment so that I can commute to college.  My family is putting our house up for sale, but a lot of work needs to be done on the house FIRST, as always.  This means a lot of my time goes to working on the house.

I’ve also got relationships to keep up with in my family, friends, my girlfriend, God, etc…

Yeah, life is busy.  To be honest, I rarely have time to even THINK about my story because I have to remain focused on whatever else I’m doing.  It’s a painful existence, I’ll admit.

So it’s nice when I’m finally able to indulge myself in something that I enjoy…but something that doesn’t require too much creative expression.

Look, when I’m brain-dead after a long day of work, I don’t always want to write.  Becauseeeeee I’m brain dead.  But I can still do things that inspire me and therefore inspire my writing.

And what “things” would that be?

Uh, watching anime.

I know it sounds dorky or nerdy.  But if you’re reading this then you’re probably a blogger too, which means you are also dorky or nerdy.  So back off. 😉

Yes, I enjoy watching anime.  Not the weird stuff.  Or the romantic, pornographic stuff.  The good, wholesome stuff.  I like the intense action scenes, the heroism, the human emotions.  I love the beautiful scenery and the amazingly choreographed fight scenes.

Just look at this picture and BASK….

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This relaxes me…that might sound weird, but it does.  It touches me deeply and makes me feel like me.

And, in the end, these are the same emotions I need–that anyone needs–when they right.

What makes you feel inspired?  Don’t be afraid to find time to indulge yourself a little.  You’ll be amazed at the impact it makes.

I hadn’t written my book for five days until today.  But I just pushed out four pages on anime-inspired emotion and probably some of God’s grace.  Four pages is pretty dang good.  Yeah, believe me, inspiring yourself is important.

What do you think?