My Fiction

Creative Storms and the building of Worlds

Many worlds live behind my eyes, and each and every one claws at the edges of my mind to come into being through word and art.  I have played with them, dancing through the night.  I have tried to prioritize them so I can work on one world at a time, but the others shout and scream to the point where I can no longer hear the chosen one...

This year, I have been trying to change my relationship with my fiction and my career.  I want to write more short stories, prose poems, and vignettes, but I still want to work on novels, novellas, and novelettes.  The problem comes in when I try to choose one world over another.  

I used to think this was a problem with disciple, but I don't think it is.  Not really.

Sometime I am in the mood to reread Harry Potter (I am on book 6 btw), and sometime I want to watch Star Trek, and other times I want to continue reading the Pillars of Reality.  If my choice for entertainment can flip around from genre to genre, why would I expect that my imagination would fixate on just one thing?

Why should I feel guilty for loving many genres?

Because it feeds my resistance to keeps me from writing...

There is so much pressure on writers to conduct their business in a certain way.  Every writer who has achieved even a little bit of success, has a formula to follow.  They all have the same talking points.

  1. Write a series of books.
  2. Write them fast, releasing several books a year.
  3. Start an email newsletter.
  4. Sale, Sale, SALE!

So, how does a writer with too many ideas work?

I want to tell stories, and yes, I want to make money off my work, but I should not have to conform to how other writers do their work.

Writing is a craft.  Yes, it is a business, but I think we spend too much time, energy, and effort focusing on how to make money, and not enough time on our craft.

We have to tell the stories that are in us to tell.

For writers like me, the community consensus that I should be all about the money distracts me from the real purpose of my career.  I have stories in me that want to be told, and I need to spend my time, energy, and effort on telling those stories in the most well crafted ways I can, and then figure out a way to monetize that.

Stories must come before money.

If you are a writer like me with too many ideas and worlds in you fighting to get out, find a way to tell those stories before everything else.  

Our stories matter more than our income.

I have been here before.  I get to this point, and then slowly, I get sucked down the business road and worry more about money than craft.  I can only hope that I will not fall down that path again.

Join me.  

  • Tell your stories as I tell mine.  
  • Allow your imagination to carry you to where you need to be.
  • Put the stories and craft first, then monetize that.
  • Don't lock yourself into a system that is self/soul defeating.

I have faith in my craft, my stories, and my characters.  You should too.

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Game of Thrawn

As I, like many other fans, am trying to get excited about Star Wars VII, and it has not been easy.  Sunday, Brian and I were talking about what we wished they would have done, and I said, "I just want Star Wars: Game of Thrawn." 

I immediately pulled out my laptop and started making a movie poster.  I grabbed a photo of the Iron Throne and  Sketches276 by B321618, which is a kick ass picture of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and I made this-

What do you think?  I don't often take the time to do pictures like this.  Let me know if you want me to do things like this more often.

What would another Serenity movie be about?

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When I saw this image, I started wondering what a second Serenity/Firefly movie would be about.  How many characters would Joss kill off?  What could they possibly do the movie about?

Maybe it is because Joss is making the Avengers movies, but I would really love a film that explored and explained "Super Soldier" program that exists in the world.

Throughout the series, and even in the the movie, we got to see a lot of Blue Sun (I presume) agents that were enhanced for some reason.  River was apparently picked up to be a part of this program.

Since we now know that the Reavers were created by accident as a way to pacify the populace, I assume these "super soldiers" have a similar control purpose.

It does feel like a bit of overkill engineer these troops simply as assassins.  I can't help but think that they have an purpose that we haven't seen before.

Mal and the crew have a quasi-decent motivation to pursue this mystery after River's performance in the final battle against the Reavers.  A fight she seemed engineered to engage in.

Perhaps the answer is really that simple, but I feel like there is more there than has been revealed yet.

That is what I would like to see in the next movie, should it ever happen.  What would you like to see?  What questions do you see outstanding in the series?

Sharon Needles Will Play Frank-N-Furter In ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’

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Get you newspaper, water guns, hot dogs, and rice ready, The Queenof Dark Drag, Sharon Needles will be playing Fran-N-Furter in an Austin production of The Rock Horror Picture Show. 

If there was ever something that could get me into Texas in October, this is it. Sharon is a natural for the part. I wish I had the time and money to go to the show. 

This got me thinking about a Drag Race All-Star Rocky Horror cast.  I wish I could see this happen:

Sharon Needles as Frank-N-Furter

Jujubee as Brad

Pandora Box as Janet

Morgan McMichaels as Riff Raff

Manila Luzon as Magenta

Ongina as Columbia

Latrice Royale as Dr Scott

Mystique Summers as Eddie

Rupaul as the Judge

I'm open to suggestions for Rocky....Not sure who should play him.

Someone set that up for a Halloween special. I would buy that in a heartbeat. 

(via New Now Next)

A Story with 3 Genres

Mongolian Writing - a place for God`s meditation
Image by Jeff Bauche._.·´¯) via Flickr

An idea hit me. One that I love. One that I really want to write, but I have one little problem...

I am not sure what genre to set it in!! The basic idea is to explore spirituality, power, and the power of relationships to save people.

I know that is a little vague, but it is a complex story with a generic outline that spans four novels at the moment.

My biggest problem is that I can see the story existing in three different settings

  1. My existing Barrens End setting, where Liquid Sky, Fate's Harrow, and Shine like Thunder take place.
  2. A new modern supernatural horror setting that would be somewhere between the Vampire Chronicles, Harry Potter, and the Cthulu Mythos.
  3. A unique hybrid fantasy setting, a kind of sword and sorcery/dark fantasy/supernatural horror/steampunk thing.

I can honestly see the story in each of these settings, and how each will affect the plot. I am partly looking for comments, and part thinking out loud. I am really unsure which way to go.

What would you all like to see?  I am really open to suggestions

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The Rise of Wild Phoenix

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Last night, I hit level 50 on City of Heroes with Wild Phoenix as did Brian’s Black Cniht.

Two things hit me really hard when I hit the top level:

  1. I did not get the same sense of accomplishment I have from other games.
  2. My love for the Character made me start wondering about the current state of intellectual property laws.

Sense of Accomplishment

While I love City of Heroes, my attachment is more to the character than too the game.  The amount of detail I was allowed to build into my toon connected me to the imagery and back story I associated with the character separate from the storyline and setting of the game.

At first, I thought this was a byproduct of the games setting.  It is not based on any of the major comic series that I was in love with an wanted to explore.  I never really fell in love with the setting.

What City of Heroes offers is an elaborate character that is continually customizable.  When I reached 50, I did not run around testing my toon, I quit the game to create another character…  I am not sure if this is a weakness or strength in the game and only time will tell.

Intellectual Property…

Now the writer in me is faced by with a dilemma.  I have fallen in love with character, and am tempted to write about him, but then the question arose: Who Owns the Intellectual Property?

I understand that they would own the exact image of the toon, because they own that IP, but what about the general appearance.  Since I chose the colors and general motif so as long as I do not copy the toon, then I should be ok.

What about the powers?  I chose the power sets, and in any story, they would not be limited to the set available in the game, but their would be similarities.  This is the point that I think is blurriest.

Cryptic would have no rights over the back story I created for the character, it does not tie into their story at all.

I am going to continue by obsession with the character, and may work on it as my NaNo project this year.  It just gave me pause and made me think.  I am curious if you think I am overly paranoid or if there is actually an issue here.

The Magic is Why I Write

I have been reading one blog post over and over again lately. In Neil Gaiman's Journal, he wrote a wonderful post called "Why write?" celebrating the moment the story comes to life for a writer.

The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it's about and why you're doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising ("but of course that's why he was doing that, and that means that...") and it's magic and wonderful and strange (Neil Gaiman's Journal).

Since I have been struggling with a very uncooperative story that hooked me but refused to reveal to me any of its secrets, it used Neil's epiphany as inspiration. I know that moment, but it often hard to get to. I struggled on. I begged each character to reveal something to me about themselves. I wandered through the lonely wastes of Abbey grounds, knowing full well that everything that lived there was hiding from me. Every now and then something would move out of the corner of my eye, but it was gone before I could see what it was.

Then yesterday at about this time one of my characters sat next to me and opened up about is life:

drinking a yummy Pinot grigio, listening to Cradle of Filth, and writing a bio for a vampire. Life is good right now :) (my twitter)

I don't know if it was the research, the Pinot grigio, the music or what it was, but for the first time on Blackwood Abbey, I had that feeling, it made sense. Not all of it, but I could see the world a little clearer. We walked together, this vampire and I for most of the night. He told me his life story, and in so doing, shared with me the world that he lives in.

Pessimism is strong in me, so I did not accept this as a break through. I assumed that the adrenalin from the Tornado warning had mixed with the wine in some unreplicatable convergence, but I was wrong. Today, three more denizens of the Abbey have come to me to share their stories. I can see the world, and the story clearly. I hope the others will come to me tomorrow.

I have felt the magic Neil captured so well. I can only hope that my talents are up to par to wield and maintain the magic that has begun to flow through me.

(from my Amazon Connect Blog)

SEMO Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo

2007nano_participant_icon_small It is official, I am a/the Municipal Liaison for South East Missouri for National Novel Writing Month for this year! I hope I do a good job with all these new responsibilities. I think I am the only one in SEMO, but I am not 100% on that. We have announced our events on Facebook and Good Reads, and as soon as they get the calendar up on the site, I will add them to the Official NaNoWriMo site. I am really looking forward to NaNo this year, but I am tossed up about which story I am doing this year. This happens to me every year. Soon the story will make itself clear. Even though I have been wanting to write a fantasy story, space opera is rising up in me again. Only time will tell who will win.

See you all in the furry of NaNo.

(from my HQ Blog)

Wish for a World

I have a story, a fantasy based murder mystery. I love the story, but need a setting. I am lost in possible worlds, and I am trying to sift through them all. Originally it was going to be a contemporary fantasy, but now I really want it to be in a secondary world... I might try a crosshatch, but I am not sure if it will work.

The problem is with my imagination. I am having a hard time limiting the setting to what is believable to happen on earth in the present day and age. The real problem is that I really want to write a fantasy steampunk tale.

This foray outside of my usual space opera is exciting, but is creating a lot of fear in me. I have not tried to write fantasy since I was in high school. I am taking some time to develop a steampunk world and see where it goes. The idea of pure fantasy excites me.

(from my Amazon Connect Blog)

NaNoWriMo Site Goes Live

nanowrimo_logo It is that time of year again, get your outlines ready, Nation Novel Writing month is only a month away. Today, the official NaNoWriMo site opened for sign ups. Every November, crazy people (like me) strive to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It is a creative Marathon that I really enjoy. This will be my fourth NaNo, and I cannot wait to get writing.

We are planning to have a writing group meeting at the Wine Rack/Java Stop this year, so sign up and lets get ready to write! So if you are in the Poplar Bluff or South East Missouri area and you want to join us, let me know. I need to know how many people might be in attendance.

Happy Writing!

(from my HQ blog)