I have been away from this blog for a few months due to my insane work and writing schedule. That has since calmed down a bit and so I will be posting regularly.
Its been an amazing few weeks. I had an incredible summer. I have also taken on training seriously. I realized that a healthy body facilitates a healthy mind which means I can write more.
That’s me doing a 500 lb dead-lift and making the only face possible when lifting that much-we call it a squat face lol.
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the third book in the Sepia Blue series and it has been a blast to write. Book Two(cover above) will be released this month and the story is twisting in some unexpected and surprising ways. By the time you read this-Sepia Blue Sisters will be available. Grab a copy and let me know what you think.
I’ll be releasing some new content soon. I have a new kind of story rolling around in my head and I would like to bounce some ideas here, before I pursue them elsewhere. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. I truly hope you have had a pleasant and exciting summer.
So I have been away from the blog for a bit due to writing and most recently editing. In the midst of this i have released a short story which is the prequel to the next book. You can find this book on Amazon here.
This short went through a few changes. I had to add several chapters because if I didn’t I was threatened with bodily harm from my beta readers. I cant go into detail without spoiling it for you. Pick it up and let me know what you think.
The next few months are going to be full of activity. The next book is scheduled for early May I will have a cover reveal soon.
He would sacrifice all for love.
Roland James is an Arch Mystic and an expectant father. When the Enclave discovers his wife-Mei is pregnant, they demand he adhere to the rules and give up the baby for mandatory reprogramming and Enforcer training. When he refuses, the Enclave decides he is better off dead, along with his wife and unborn child. Now, together with Mei, they must evade the Enclave forces sent to kill them long enough for her to give birth. They must find a way to escape the Enclave or lose it all.
I enjoy hearing from you! Leave me a comment below or send me an email.
I’ve been a little quiet on the blog because I have been creating a persona. Back in 2012 when started writing professionally I had no clue what a persona or “brand” was. I just knew I wanted to write a book and I wanted to get it out into the world.
In order to be a writer you must struggle ALONE in obscurity.
There is no way you can write while surrounded by other writers or artists.
Writing forces you to be disconnected and its better that way.
A writer can only truly depend on themselves, no ones knows you like you.
I’m sure there are countless others and I’m here to tell you that its false. Actually I believed this and worse for a long time while I wrote and struggled to identify as a writer. Then I realized, if I am going through this other writers must be going through the same thing. It wasn’t an epiphany, but it was close. So I started to look around and found groups of writers who band together to write or offer support.
There are teachers who will share their experiences( Julia Cameron comes to mind with one of my favorite writing book:
If you haven’t picked up these books please do. They will motivate you and give you a glimpse of what it means to write.
Another great source I have found recently ( OK I’m slow to this) are blogs. There are countless writing blogs in existence but I have found quite a few excellent ones, here are some:
http://terribleminds.com/ -Blogged by Chuck Wendig who is an excellent writer with a very unique sense of humor. On occasion he has guest writers which make for great reading and plenty of useful information.
http://goinswriter.com/– Blogged by Jeff Goins. A very good blog filled with down to earth inspiration and motivation.
Its a fast read, but a very profound call to action. If you haven’t embraced your calling as a writer this book will spur you to answer that call. Look up Jeff he has some great books that will transform your view on writing..
I also recently joined an online writers group you can find them here:
This site is run by Cathy Yardley and she has great resources for writers.
There are many more that I will share with you over time, but ideally the key is to go out and connect with others, writers, readers, bloggers, agents, publishers-Basically anyone who loves using words to express themselves. Go find them. Stop thinking you need to be alone to be a writer- I thought that for a long time and its not true. Join a writers club. Find a place where writes converge, online and off.
In NY we have a few writing cafes that are excellent places to meet fellow writers. Find the one that suits you or create one.
The key is not to be alone in this adventure we call writing.
On my window sill beside my desk I have no less than ten books on writing your first novel. This is not including the numerous articles I have on my hard drives. Included in this list are a few must haves – Larry Brooks Story Engineering ,Story Physics, and Story Fix, Strunk and White- Elements of Style travels with me everywhere. so does Stephen King-On Writing. The others while good reads- (and think about this, being a writer reading about writing has to be the epitome of procrastination) did not really further my writing or prompt me to write any faster. Now don’t misunderstand, I am all for learning and honing our craft of word smithing. Many times that takes reading and learning and studying. However the best way I have found to get better at writing is-writing. So why do I have more than ten books on writing staring at me everyday? Well I bought those books before my first book was published and it was really a way to feel like I was progressing in my book without actually having to write. In other words it was busy work, but not real work not writing. Very similar to shifting those papers around from one side of the desk to another but not really doing anything about them.
So here is my advice: Just write it- already.
You want to become better as a writer you have to write, a lot.
You want to become a published writer? It wont happen just thinking about it, only you can write your story.
By all means hone your craft, learn as much as possible. Read the books on writing, get the style guides. Just understand that at the end of the day none of that can replace your voice on a page.
I had a very talented artist redo the cover for Sepia Blue. Originally it was a cover I had done when I was starting my writing and I felt I could do it all. Also at that point it made financial sense to do it myself. I have learned a bit since then and if there are two things to invest in when you are an indie writer its editing and cover art.
This is the new cover for Sepia Blue -Rise of the Night and it looks great. Kudos to Jake Logsdon. If you find yourself in need of a cover artist or even if you don’t but know someone who may, go to his site and take a look at some excellent illustrations (he illustrated this cover) Visit his page .HERE.
In fact my first book (The Spiritual Warriors was almost entirely written in the starbux my neighborhood. What I have realized with my insane schedule is that its not ideal to have only ONE place to write. for starters it sets me up to skip writing on those days when I dont “FEEL” like writing (another subject altogether). It gives me an out if I cant get to starbux to write. So I have decided to embark on a different writing journey for my second book which is now almost two thirds done. I call it guerrilla writing, which I’m sure is not a new nor solely mine.
Basically what it means is that I will begin to steal snatches of time and write wherever possible. The fact that I write longhand makes this ideal, but I’m certain if you have a laptop it can work as well. It means not buying into the whole ” I must write ten pages today or I have failed!” mentality and write snippets. A paragraph, two sentences even a very awesome word furthers your writing along by that much more.
I suggest this to all writers out there. This is not to say that your method doesn’t work. We all write differently, I am suggesting taking this up to see if it can make you freer about your writing, something like the difference between writing being a monolithic and ponderous THING that must be carried out in a set way and writing becoming mobile, nimble and free, happening wherever you may be. I will let you know how my own journey goes.
Fast forward three years and I no longer write longhand, even though I still think it’s a great way to write. However forcing anyone to edit my handwriting is a crime punishable by flogging. Now I walk around with a moleskine in my back-pocket everywhere I go to capture the story ideas that occur at the most inopportune moments. I have realized three years and six stories later that Guerrilla Writing is not a new or unique approach to writing. Every writer does it to some degree, some more effectively than others.
I was discussing this with some friends and family recently. They asked me when did i have time to write. I gave it some thought and came to this realization: I never have time to write. I have however become very good at stealing time from my days.
You have all heard it before. Writing is difficult. Writing is a long haul, its a marathon not a sprint. This is all true. There are days when you will question your sanity (what little you have remaining). There is a way around this. It doesn’t make it easier and it doesn’t shorten the time, but it gives the illusion of being easier and faster. This works especially well for those who believe in writers block. I don’t particularly, but that’s a topic for another post.
The method i suggest is what I all guerilla writing and much like guerrilla warfare where a small group of fighters take on a larger group using irregular tactics and strategies like hit and runs, ambushes and mobility. You can approach your writing the same way. Instead of trying to block out several hours to write, sit down and write for ten minutes and only ten minutes. Carry a notebook with you and jot down ideas or parts of your story like a hit and run. Carrying the notebook (or any other idea capturing device) is an example of mobility.
Many of the times when we say we don’t have time to write it is because we have made writing something exotic and special. Rid yourself of that notion. Make it plain. Make it everyday. Make it your new normal. When you do this you will find that it frees up your writing and the ideas generated. I especially suggest the small notebook. Before carrying one I was that deranged writer looking for a pen and a napkin to write my next great idea on. Now I swear by my moleskine notebook because they are impervious to almost anything and are stylish in the process. Plus when I’m writing in mine it feels almost scholarly and reminds me of my days in grade school.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. What you do with them makes all the difference.
Welcome to the Nascent Novel redux ( I enjoy that word so this was a perfect excuse to use it).
After a snafu with my previous hosting company I discovered that my last site, nascent novels is down. As in any situation involving two or more parties there were several different versions of what happened. Let me cut to the chase, they said an email was sent notifying me of the impending closure and I said no email was sent. End result? My site is down. The bad news? Many posts are now in limbo and missing and the site has lost continuity, which I am told in this day and age of short attention spans is the death knell for a blog.
The good news? I have all my posts backed up and will over time be restoring them to this site. This was also an opportunity to take the blog in a different direction.
Initially I had three active blogs. One on martial arts, one for writing, and one for my photos and daily life observations. When I shifted my attention to my writing blog I neglected the other two. Over time I realized that this was a mistake. I’m not only a writer or a martial artist or a person who enjoys photography. I, like each of you am an amalgam of many interests and pursuits. By trying to compartmentalize who I am, my blogging suffered. This site will address that. It is not strictly a “writing blog”. I will discuss those things which make me, me. Some of that will resonate with you and some will not. That’s okay. I’ll do me and you will do you.
Here you will find posts about writing, books I enjoy, movies and video games. You will also find posts about martial arts and martial philosophy, being a practicing martial artist for close to three decades makes it impossible to separate this aspect of myself from everything I do. It is a filter which shapes my life and actions. You will also see pictures of things I find interesting and my family. My family and fatherhood is the source, my source of strength and my greatest adventure. The good thing is that I have many large families. I have my immediate family, blood of my blood. I also have a large dojo family which is blended with my immediate family. This is a natural progression. My other family is the writer/reader family which grows and is growing by leaps and bounds daily.
So as you can see the aspects of me are diverse and complex and exciting. I do live a blessed life. If you go back into the history of this site you will find the old posts from the other sites now comprise the body of this site. That was intentional. Take a moment to go through them and read. I am certain you will discover something fascinating or something to disagree with me about. I enjoy and invite all kinds of discussion and interaction. Leave a comment and let’s talk.
So what have I been up to? Well I’m currently in the midst of edits for my third book in the Warrior of the Way series. I had the first book edited by my excellent editor, Lorelei, (if you are a writer and need an editor go here NOW) which required her to use extensive editorial kung fu to make into a coherent story. The end result is impressive. The second book, The Ascendants, is being soft launched and I haven’t given it much publicity. It is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Nookpress.
I also had the covers to several of my stories redone. Here they are:
These great covers were done by Derek Murphy. A few things about Derek. He is a talented and gifted cover artist. This means he is also in demand. If you want amazing covers by him be prepared to invest time and money. You can find his site here
I have been also speaking with writers, martial artists and fathers( moms too) about guest blogging here on this site. I look forward to the different voices that will be showcased here.
So why Creative Warriorship?
Throughout history warriors have always been known to be creative. I find that it is within the warrior nature to be creative. If I look at my own life and those of my fellow warriors I find this to be true. In the dojo alone we have writers, architects, graphic designers, painters, performance artists, dancers, calligraphers, musicians and singers among both the adults and the children. This is not an accident or coincidence. I truly believe that the warrior spirit is also a creative one. Creative warriorship to me is not a dichotomy or paradox. Rather it is the expression of warriorship in its full sense. A warrior knows that life is balance, light and dark.
It is my sincere intention to make this blog a weekly event. Whether with my own posts and observations or those of others. They wont all be this long, (although I cant guarantee that) but they will all be an expression of what I consider relevant and important to my life.
Leave a comment share your thoughts and say hello!