For far to long I’ve been ignoring the writer in me so I could bring into focus the rest of my life, I needed to bring people and things that really mattered to me to the forefront of my existence. Having made those necessary changes and adjustments to my life I returned to my keyboard and screen.
The screen was blank and the keys played no tippity-tap music. I was empty and my story had been pushed to far back in my mind to spill out onto the pages. Then I realized the mistakes I had made. First, I should have continued to write, even if it was just a few paragraphs a week – about anything. And, second, I should have read more. I hadn’t read a book in more than a year. The two most important daily tasks writers should do is write and read.
I set forth to find a book that I might enjoy but instead found BookBud.com, a service that sends out a daily email with my chosen categories of books on sale or free for a limited time. And, that’s when I found the book, Empire, Book One of the Redemption Trilogy of the In Her Name series by Michael R. Hicks. I’ve known of Michael R. Hicks for some time. He was one of the first persons I followed on Twitter. However, for some reason I never took the leap to pick up one of his books. It was a terrible mistake on my part.
From the moment I started reading, I was hooked. In Hicks’ author bio on Amazon, he mentions he is a fan of Larry Niven, who is one of my all time favorites. This is what led me to download the book. I wanted to see how much of a inspiration Niven was on Hicks and if his work compared. Hicks did not disappoint and can be easily ranked with Niven and a host of other Science Fiction giants. In fact, he creates a universe substantial and well-lived-in, with characters so real that they become your friend and allies or your enemies. So much so that when something unexpected happens, you are left thinking “What the Hell is Hicks thinking? This can’t happen!” But it does happen and it’s all part of his incredible and imaginative plot that in the end works to create an unbelievably, well written and amazing story. And that’s just the first book…
Empire follows the life of Reza Gard from his childhood to his early adulthood. To say he faces challenges along the way is an understatement at the very least. In addition to Reza, the supporting characters are people you want as your friends, people you come to trust and believe in or they are people you grow to hate and loath. Because of the characters and Hicks’ superb writing skills, this story moves quickly, a staggering pace that makes you fear the story will end all to soon. However, even with this frantic pace that holds you on the edge of your seat, you do not become lost or disoriented in this wondrous universe.
I strongly suggest you get a copy of Empire (it’s free) and follow it up with Confederation and Final Battle, the complete Redemption Trilogy in the In Her Name Series. If you are a Science Fiction fan, you will be completely enthralled with Hicks’ masterful story telling, his attention to detail, and his ability to hold you on the edge throughout the entire story. I envy Hicks’ talent and admire his command of the craft. He is a wordsmith of the highest quality and I look forward to reading more of his work. I’ve already started on First Contact, Book One of The Last War Trilogy which is turning out to be another great read.
Thank you Michael, for taking us on this great adventure. I am inspired to get back to writing as soon as I’m done reading…
I found this post on Quora. I highly suggest you read it and start doing it in your area! “Suspended coffee” is such a cool idea! Basically, when you make a purchase of coffee, or for that matter, any other food or beverage purchase, you purchase an extra item. This extra coffee or item is held in suspension until someone who can’t afford it needs it. Hence, “Suspended Coffee.” Awesome…
This should totally be a thing everywhere!
“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave.
I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.”
Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a suspended coffee ?’
It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support ? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it.
Post by Kavya Guddehithulu Nagesh:
This should totally be a thing everywhere!
Yet another time change event, Daylight Savings is upon us. Twice a year, we are either moving the clock one hour ahead or pushing it one hour behind. This was first imposed on us nationally in the 1970’s during the energy crisis. It was thought that it would help decrease the use of incandescent lightly which was a primary energy use at the time. Before the 1970’s only a few states imposed Daylight Savings Time on residents, mostly for farming, giving the farmers more light in the mornings or evenings, depending on what their crops were and when they needed to be harvested.
Past civilizations made some use of Daylight Savings, changing the daylight hours to adjust for more sunlight. This is understandable if you have a lack of electricity to power a light bulb that won’t even be invented for several hundred years. However, in todays society where almost every America household has compact florescent “green” light bulbs and EnergyStar appliances, one would think we don’t need to follow this archaic practice anymore.
Several countries have opted to switch to permanent Daylight Savings Time, living with the summer hours all year long. Iceland, Russia, and Belarus made the change to permanent summer hours. It makes sense. Chronobiologists have shown that that the following Mondays are wrought with more workplace and traffic accidents, even more heart attacks.
Perhaps its time to contact our congressman or our state legislators and follow Arizona’s lead and abolish this outmoded and useless practice. Yes, at first it may cause a few problems. Our computers will have to be adjusted but that’s easily fixed. Eventually, though, everything will fall into place, the stock market with continue to do what it does, life will go on just as it has and even our silly government will continue to not create a working budget just as they’ve done for the past four years.
What do you think? Do we need to continue with this bi-yearly farce?
It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. I’ve been letting my life run things for a bit, taking me in all sorts of directions but its time to change that. My need to write is always there, poking me as I try to sleep every night. I keep ignoring it for other things or I’m writing but just not on my blogs.
With this change, I’ve decided to stir things up a bit. First, I’m returning my God of Nothing blog back to its original format, an opinion blog, where I can sound off on anything I feel like sounding off on. So anything goes, Life, the Universe, and Everything (Thank you Douglas Adams, I miss you!) Hopefully, you will find it entertaining and thought-provoking.
I will keep some of the blog posts on God of Nothing that pertain to writing, my favorite poem from April R. Denton and the guest posts from Julianne Snow, one of my favorite writers. There will be some posts removed, mostly any of my fiction as that may eventually be moved to my Wolf Scott Blog.
Secondly, my Wolf Scott blog will continue to be more personal and geared more towards my writing as an author. It will include snippets and news of my current projects, some guest posts from other writers and authors, and perhaps some reviews.
Look for more frequent posts as I get back into the swing of things. And as always, thank you for reading and please feel free to say a little something about each post you read.
Photo by Wolf Scott, Sapporo, Perfection Sound, CA
Just a glimpse,
the taste of sin.
Breathing in your pain,
the God of nothing now.
One lost soul,
a million miles.
Just an empty shell,
the God of nothing now.
a promise upon your lips.
The anger swells,
politics of the purpose.
I am your God of nothing now,
the ruler of many and of none.
The beginning of the end,
the sacred soul,
leader of the damned.
Their God of their nothing now,
the one they seek.
A refuge, a sacred place,
savior eating their sins.
The darkness calling,
you pulling from underneath.
Their God of everything now,
a born redeemer,
the sacred son.
I am extremely happy to bring to you a guest post from one of my most favorite authors and good friend, Julianne Snow. I know you will enjoy her writing as much as I do…WS
I wonder what it’s like to be the God of Nothing Now? My good friend Wolf Scott knows all about that and as we talk about life and writing, it’s amazing to see that he in fact is the God of Something New. I am honoured that he has allowed me to borrow his blog for a day to promote my first book, Days with the Undead: Book One and as I think on the three themes he asked me to cover, I cannot help but reflect on –
The Past, Present and Future of My Writing
Wolf has asked me to write on a few specific things when we discussed the possibility of an appearance on his wonderful blog to support my new book Days with the Undead: Book One. At first, I didn’t know how I was going to answer the questions that he asked me because as simple and straightforward as they are, there is so much more to them. I have spent many days with his requests on my mind and now, I finally feel like I’m ready for the world to read my thoughts and my dreams and to get a deeper glimpse into the private oasis my mind is for me.
In the beginning, I wrote because it freed me. It freed my mind from all of the stories that clouded my imagination and made it impossible to concentrate on any other task. I grew up in a happy home but I was never truly content unless I was escaping into another world. I don’t even know why that is to be perfectly honest. I played the part of “happy child” but for the most part I wasn’t. I got teased a lot because my parents couldn’t afford all of the name brand clothes the other kids wore – it was hard but it made me strong. Writing was a release for me – was it all good, of course not. Heck, it could be crap now, but that wouldn’t make much of a difference to me because I write for myself.
Why do I write now? It’s a very good question. One of the reasons that I write is that I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’ve been told that’s not an acceptable answer however so I’ll give you a few more. Besides allowing me to cope with other tasks on a day to day basis, writing allows me to use my imagination in ways that I find remarkable – even when the words come out of my own head. Where do the scenes and the phrases come from? Somewhere in my mind sits a diminutive woman who looks a little like me and talks a little like me – her sole purpose is to keep my soul soaring. How does she do this? She pens tales of Zombies, and romance (though not at the same time); tales of horror and of life, and sometimes she even lets a little haiku or two escape. She is mine and I am hers. The relationship is very much co-dependent and for a time I didn’t let her speak, didn’t let her write and I certainly didn’t let her create. It was wrong of me but now that things have changed, we’re much happier together. I couldn’t imagine my life without the joy of literary creation. Plain and simple.
My first book is firmly entrenched in the Zombie genre. That’s something that is obvious from the title – Days with the Undead: Book One. Why Zombies? Why write about survival? Those are interesting questions and ones that can be understood when you look at my own life. No I haven’t survived a Zombie Apocalypse, in this life or another, but I am a survivor. I have survived a great many things; a life threatening illness, violence, car accidents – I could go one but that might bore you all and the last thing that I want is pity. Empathy, maybe. (Wait, is there such a thing as empathy sales?) The main reason that I write about the Undead is that they scare me. Writing about your own fears can be a cathartic experience. Some might laugh and wonder why I find Zombies scary but the truth of the matter is this – Zombies are the direct juxtaposition of ourselves as a species. They are a reflection of humanity just on the other side of death; not completely dead but there is no saving it. Utterly terrifying when you think about it, right?
Are there other genres that I would like to explore with my writing – absolutely! I love the idea of writing a fully-fledged science fiction novel. Something that would contain all of the science related themes that I find fascinating. The ability to create more fantastical worlds is tempting as well. It’s such a spellbinding thought to me that at some point, I would like to write something that would land more squarely in the genre. To write something that falls within the realm of classic horror – like a psychological thriller – would certainly make my day at some point as well. There are so many stories that I want to write, the sky really is my limit when I consider the ideas that she cleverly tucks away into the subconscious of my mind for the perfect opportunity.
In the end, I’d like to leave a legacy of books behind that are as diverse as I am. I have more places to go with Days with the Undead and my mind swims each and every day with ideas for new stories. Will they all become novels? Perhaps not, but I will write each of the ideas that come to mind – let’s face it, some are better suited for short stories. I enjoy writing, it makes me feel fulfilled. In the end, I hope that people enjoy what I create – isn’t that what all authors strive for?
It was watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of six that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.
Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in upcoming anthologies called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications.
- Days with the Undead Blog Tour: Round Up #1 (sirenscallpublications.wordpress.com)
- Days with the Undead Blog Tour: Round-Up #2 (sirenscallpublications.wordpress.com)
- Days with the Undead Blog Tour: Round-Up #3 (sirenscallpublications.wordpress.com)
- Top Secret Flash Fiction with Julianne Snow author of Days with the Undead (alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com)
- Review: Days with the Undead: Book One (alaskanmamma.com)
- What Not to Do… A Post by Julianne Snow (theblackheartpoetess.wordpress.com)
As a writer, I often find that writing is a tenuous activity because it is so easily put off because of a world full of distractions from errands that must be run to getting lost on the Internet. There is family that must be tended to; four year old little girls need hugs at least two to three times an hour. There is food that needs to be prepared and eaten. A whole gambit of things can distract you. As I am writing this blog, I am realizing that even this blog is distracting me from working on my novel.
You can’t stop life from happening around you or to you but you can control some aspects of it. I try to write in a comfortable quite location, far removed from family and friends. I set specific times to write and try to follow that whenever possible. It doesn’t always work, but it does let the people in my life know that writing is important to me and it’s something I need to do.
Writer’s block is another killer of dreams. I have spent countless hours staring at my computer, the blank white page in Word that cannot be filled with letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. I know the story, I know the plot, but getting that information from my wandering mind to the page seems to be as elusive as the pink unicorn my daughter wants to ride so badly.
I love to write, it is something that I seem to do well and people respond well to my written stories. I enjoy creating worlds and the characters that live in them. Unfortunately, more often than not, I am distracted, led away from my words and come back only to find an empty white page mocking my creative soul. I hate that.
I once read that S.E. Hinton, a favorite author of mine as a teenager and writer of “The Outsiders” and “That Was Then, This is Now,” had sever writers block after the release of “The Outsiders.” After three years of it, her boyfriend told her to write two pages a day, of anything, as long as she was writing something. I’ve often use this to get beyond my writers block and distractions. Sometimes what I write is just meaningless and will never be used but sometimes there is a spark of something that leads to a bigger project.
My current work in progress is one such spark. It was fueled by a bad day of writing when the words to the story I wanted to write just would not come out, would not make their way to the keys and onto the screen. That spark lead to more words, then sentences, then paragraphs, and soon I had more written from that spark then in the original project I was working on.
Another thing I do, which actually sounds counter-productive but seems to work for me is leave. I pack up my thoughts and go out into the world where I spy on every passerby I can find. I watch people, the girl with amazing blue eyes behind the counter at the 7-Eleven, the guy chomping down on a burger while ignoring his wife go on about something I can’t quite hear, the kid running like a warrior through the toy section at Target. Whatever, anything I see, it’s all potential to be something in my created worlds. The kid might become a soldier storming the enemy. The guy might be plotting his escape from the life that has become less than wonderful. The blue-eyed girl a love interest to the protagonist. It’s all out there and it’s all ready to be transformed into something magnificent.
The actual working mechanics of a writer is generally and most often fairly solitary and boring, spending hours alone in front of the computer or pad of paper. It is so unlike working in an office environment where there are other persons to interact with, experience life with. It is so important to go out there and experience, even if it is just watching others. It breeds ideas, allowing me to create my worlds, my characters, and the situations they have to live through, hopefully making then more real and believable.
In the end, whether by choice or fortune’s fate, I am a writer, it is something I have to do and there are sometimes obstacles that must be overcome as in all things. I may someday become an author of published work or maybe not, but I will always be a writer even when it is hard to write.
What do you do when the words won’t come out?
- No More Writer’s Block (greatmentor.net)
- Some Thoughts on Writer’s Block (asserttrue.blogspot.com)
- Writer’s block (examiner.com)
- Writer’s Block: Or, How To Pull A Blog Post Out of Your Ass (ricardobueno.com)
- Writers Block? Try this Quick Tip (problogger.net)
- S.E. Hinton, Hopes and Dreams, and then, it was gone… (creationsandinspirations.com)
Change; whether good or bad, it’s happening. Two years into the second decade of the 21st Century and massive change is all I’ve seen. By the end of the first decade, I was finally coming into my own. My dreams were coming true; my life was falling into place. I had met and married the woman of my dreams, a beautiful vibrant woman whose beliefs, morals, and values mixed well with mine. And, did I mention, she was unbelievably beautiful? In 2007, this woman I loved so much gave me an equally beautiful daughter of whom I am completely enamored with. Being a parent has to be the most awesome thing a person can be. She is a gift. Additionally, I was working in the field I was trained and went to college for. If I could have lived across the street, it would have completely been a dream job. I enjoyed it and it was fun.
Then 2010 came along. Up until then, I had been safe from the housing bubble burst, the financial crisis, and the economy dropping through the floor but I wasn’t safe anymore. I was informed that my position was under consideration for layoffs and by mid-2010, I was collecting state unemployment. Figuring this was only a temporary thing, this joblessness, I began searching for another job. I made looking for a job my job. I worked long hours searching job sites, sending out resumes, and applying online for any and every job I could find that would fit into my skill set. My wife went back to work and I became a stay-at-home dad. Change was having its way with us all.
Little did I know I was falling apart inside and out. Inside, I was sinking fast and losing it. I was growing more angry and hateful of my situation and I let it show, especially to my lovely wife. I didn’t even realize until it was too late. Outside, I had no idea what was going on but I wasn’t feeling very well at all. So in 2010 it started, my marriage, which had always been tenuous as all relationships are, began to falter. My joblessness was taking its toll. My health was leaving me and I was becoming way too familiar with my doctor. By October 2011, she was gone; I was living 50 miles from home, and still no job, I’m now on a first name basis with my doctor and in general, running out of options.
They say a man without options is capable of anything. Usually, that means he is capable of very bad things. It’s not in my nature to do bad things. However, being out of options does make you see things quite differently. No options can bring about change, change deep within a person. And while this change in me won’t save my marriage or bring me a job, it will make me a better person. I’ve always known I have been capable of anything, but have never exercised it. It’s time to do so, time to make changes for a better future.
This morning I read a post by Julianna Shapiro where she eloquently writes on the expectations of the holiday season and how to simplify them, especially for the Chronically Awesome, of which I seem to be becoming a member of lately. By the way, she is a true inspiration, so stop by to see her. She brings me smiles daily. Taking Jules’ list of things to change for next holiday season one step further, I am applying it to life in general, a list of the people and things that are toxic to me and a list of people and things that greatly enhance my life. I’ve never really had a problem removing things and people that are toxic, but toxicity is sometimes harder to recognize when you are living in your own toxic wasteland. Lately, however, I’ve experienced some hardship in keeping those things that enhance my life, in my life. It’s time to change that.
I’ve always believed we make our own destiny. It’s what my parents taught me and what I’ve always tried to live by. Right now is a great time to recreate myself. It’s actually been something I’ve been working on for a while now, even if I didn’t see it for myself. I use to be a technology guy with a writing background, now I’m a writer (of sorts) with a technology background. I still spend hours looking for gainful employment in my field but I am also spending more time writing and enjoying it again. I use to be a husband and father, now I am just a father. Broken hearts will mend, but I will always be a father to my daughter and that alone is worth being better for. I use to be healthier, now I am not. Maybe I can get that back, maybe not. Time will tell. Whatever the future brings, I will be the one making it happen.
Things change, we move forward. I’ve met so many wonderful people in the last year, both in the real world and the virtual world of social media, people that are living with far worse issues than mine. They inspire me by their actions to move forward, to get through the day, every day. They deal with the change and move on. Even my daughter picks herself up and keeps on going when she falls.
And so it begins…I have in essence, hit the reset button, starting over a new self, a new person, and a new life. Within each of us is the ability to change and I’m exercising that ability to the fullest. This decade started off with great expectation and delivered something quite less than, well “shit,” but there is still eight more years left. All things new.
Let’s write some stories…
Escape by Kev Stanton Follow his art and become a fan.
She reminds me of you…
I would love to know who the photographer is. If you know, please contact me. Thanks.
♦♦♦ Update ♦♦♦
John has found the creator of this photograph, so much appreciation to him. I follow John’s blog and suggest you check him out.
This photo is actually named “Madonna” and it was created by Kev Stanton who has many more amazing photographic creations.
Thank you Kev for such inspiring art.
Yet, another lovely day in beautiful Southern California. Above me is bright blue skies, to the east, large ominous looking clouds fill the horizon. No rain in our forcast, no showers, just warmer days and nights with high chances of humidity. The seasons confused with by the warming of the climate. As beautiful as San Diego County is, we have to remember it is little more than a desert laying between an ocean of blue-green waters and mountains rising up toward the vast sky.
I love it here, regardless of temperature.