Monday, May 29, 2017


Hello again. It's been awhile. A lot has happened since we've last met here. A few somethings and, unfortunately, a lot of nothings. 

  The last time we were here I was in the middle of promoting A Journey of Words on an impromptu DIY blog tour. During this time I was unknowingly suffering from a case of pneumonia that got steadily worse, until a round of visits to an inept doctor led to me laying for a scan that finally revealed the cause of my illness. As my respiratory condition worsened, so did my apathy, and I steadily fell further behind on the blog tour until I eventually quit posting altogether. 

  It wasn't just the blog that was suffering, my creative writing tapered off as well. In June of last year, as we were gearing up for the release A Journey of Words, I wrote a short story for the next "-of Words" installment. A paranormal-romance rock n roll road trip, "If It's Not Okay, It's Not the End" had the potential to be my best story yet. It was after the completion of this story that my writing output tapered off. In November of last year I was able to knock out a story called, "Charlie & Gus," a short story of a teenager and his grandfather who each share a violent secret with the other. Again I went through another dry spell, only picking up the pen to rewrite "If It's Not Okay, It's Not the End" after another author read the story and opened my eyes to the fact that the story was not up to par of my previous stories. I gave the story a completely new beginning and removed a few scenes which didn't quite gel with the rest of the story. I also altered much of the existing content. The story is worlds better because of these changes, and now I really do believe it's my best yet.

  In early 2015 I joined an online writing group called, Writing Fiction. The personal connections I made in this group led to the publication of my story,"The Most Beautiful Boy," later that same year. As we awaited the release of A Matter of Words, a rift formed in that group, and an initial 150 of us followed our admin to form a new group. The similarly titled Fiction Writing has quickly grown from that first collective of 150 aspiring writers, to nearly 27,000 members. In January of this year I was asked to be a group moderator. I accepted, and am now one of four (2 admins, 2 moderators) individuals greasing the wheels of the Fiction Writing machine. And still, I was hardly writing.

  When I first set out to do this writing thing in the front half of 2014, I almost immediately began writing a novel. Set in early 1980s Kansas, the book was to tell a wild story of sex, drugs, rock n roll, and guns. And everything looked great, but about 130 pages in, the story began to stall. And then it stopped. A year went by without any progress. I was knocking out short stories, but doing nothing with the book. I knew the story almost entirely. I knew the characters intimately. I knew what would become of them, and how I wanted the book to end. But there was something holding me back, the story just didn't feel "right." And I kept telling people I was writing the book even though I was no longer doing so.

  Last week I happened upon an interview with children's author, Kate DiCamillo that really struck a nerve within me. I showed the article to my wife ( ), who then brought up an idea: what if I tried writing from a place of vulnerability, writing authentic pieces of myself into the stories? Our conversation was brief, but I walked away knowing that, although it would hurt to do so, I need to shelve my unfinished novel. I've also decided to completely scrap any unfinished short stories, with the exception of the one I am currently writing. It's odd and very pulp.  I've also been toying with the idea of writing a novella or even novel-length story with more autobiographical elements. Fictional, but with little pieces of myself strewn throughout. I do still want to write that rock novel someday, but now is not its time. 

On June 1, Scout Media will be releasing A Haunting of Words, a collection of ghostly stories. It is the third in the "-of Words" series, and I have the honor of being the only author, other than the editor (himself an author) to have a story make all three volumes. I can't wait for everyone to read "If It's Not Okay, It's Not the End," and to hear what everyone thinks about my story. It will be my last for awhile. I have elected to not write a story for the fourth volume. This does not mean I won't submit stories for future volumes, but for now I feel I need to write what I need to write, for myself. I owe a huge debt to Scout Media for the opportunities they have given me, and will shamelessly plug any books they release regardless of whether or not I am in them. I also would like to thank (once again) Laurie Gardiner for telling me my story wasn't good enough, and that I needed to do a rewrite. You were right.

As of right now, I am trying to sell my story, "Bare-Knuckle Nick," and will soon start trying to sell "Charlie & Gus." Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far. I will continue to write, and if you write, come see us in Fiction Writing at Facebook. We have a lot to offer new writers.