Friday, May 24, 2013

Finding Friday. May 24 2013

In an attempt to get some amount of regularity and usefulness to my blog I've decided to start a weekly segment.  Contrary to the title, it's not actually Friday that we're finding.
It's on Friday that we're finding...
a reason
your dream

I'm writing a novel.  It might get published.  It might not.  It might end up a turd.  That's not what matters.  What matters is that for every word I write, every idea I capture and save, my creative need is fulfilled.  I'm moving forward.  And I've learned that (this is specifically for you) you're either moving forward, moving backward or standing still with the world moving past you.

I didn't know I wanted to write until a year and a half ago.  I started off wanting to make video games.  As I grew older (and this process took longer for me than it does for some) I realized I wanted to do more than create games, I just wanted to create something.  I had no idea what.

The way I discovered this (and I'm leaving out details of "standing still" and "moving backward" for the sake of saving you time) was very gradual.  I noticed that certain things gave me a weird feeling in my stomach.  Such as
 - Looking out the window of a moving vehicle at scenic locations, especially forests, plains, hills, mountains, rivers
 - Certain soundtracks, especially from video games that I played in my youth... before each exciting burst of imagination came linked to frustrating, mental invoices (this may require expanding on)
 - Quotes from really smart people
 - Quotes from really dumb people (especially ironic quotes...)
 - Office equipment (as odd as that sounds, seeing blank paper and notebooks and sketch pad has ALWAYS given me a feeling of longing... I should have realized it sooner)

I began jotting down these things that struck me.  I didn't know why at the time.  I was just collecting a stockpile of ideas... bricks with which to build.  In this way, I learned what inspiration truly is.  I knew too well the sore longing and gradual heartache that results from just letting inspiration walk past.  I was sick of it.  It was like like sitting on a bench, waiting on my best friend, then ignoring him when he arrived because I was obliviated by the blinders of routine.
The fact is, your friend Inspiration is going to walk by and you're going to feel regret.  Again.  Then you're going to tell yourself,
"Hey, I have to be realistic here.  Someone's got to take care of all the bills, the yard, the kids, the dog, the car...  One day I'll have more time to kick it with my friend Inspiration."

No you won't.  Not unless you start right now.

Do you really think you're the first person to have two a full time jobs, seven kids, two quadriplegic cats, weekly toe-hair therapy, and daily death-metal yodeling lessons?
You're not.   
Someone else has their hands as full as yours and they're fulfilling their creative needs as well.

Keep it simple first.  Just get a notepad, or do what I do now and use the notepad function on a cellphone.  Take notes, no matter how insignificant or impossible.
"I'd love to add a shelf to the pantry"
"I'd love to build a deck and get an above ground pool for the backyard"
"I'd love to be able to jog at 60 mph and leap over trees"

For you writers, painters, sketchers, composers, and inventors, the question is not, "Which of these could only exist in a creative work?"  They all could.
With enough forward movement, they could also all exist in your life.

You've heard this a hundred times but The hardest part is starting.

Are you snatching inspiration as it arrives?

How do you capture inspiration?
Do you 'notepad' as well?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brandon Ax's ELEMENTAL release and an award nomination!

I'd like to take a moment to announce an exciting event for a fellow blogger, writer, artist: Brandon Ax!

April 20th marked the release of his debut novel: 


(brilliant cover art, if I may say so!)

 Blurb of book: 

Sophia's mother disappeared when she was six, leaving behind a broken father and sleep disturbed by silent terrors. Now twelve years later, the nightmares that plagued her youth have suddenly returned. With dark creatures occupying her nights and a sense of restlessness consuming her days, all she wants is to finish school and get out of her small town as fast as possible. Everything changes when she is confronted with the realization that the shadowy beings from her dreams are real. The truth of this reality hits hard when someone she loves is killed. It would seem that anyone in their way is disposable. A mysterious boy named Aiden enters her life bringing with him all sorts of complications. They're drawn to each other, but their connection brings Aiden right into the path of her half-demon nightmares. With her father and several new friends put in the cross-hairs, Sophia must decide whether to let the shadows take her or stand her ground and fight. As the school year steadily moves closer to an end her decision may come with the cost of her life or worse—the lives of those she cares about.

If you are also excited for Brandon and interested to see more, have a look:

Here's a link to purchase the book from Amazon OR from CreateSpace.

Here's a link to the GoodReads page!  Throw this book up on your "To-Read" shelf!

Finally, get to know Brandon HERE on his blog!  I met him right here in the blogo-sphero, where we discovered our similar tastes in video games, music and stories of the fantastic sort!  

Award Nomination

As it turns out, I've been nomitated for the "Very Inspiring Blogger" award, by none other than *gasp* Brandon Ax!
 Now, I'm new to award nominations and such so I'll do my best not to disappoint.  So far I believe my obligations include answering the following.   
Here goes...

1. What inspires you to be creative?
Upon careful thought, I realized that (as corny as this sounds) a good mood is my inspiration.  If I'm in a good mood - which doesn't require much - inspiration hits my face several times daily in the form of ideas.  Upon realizing this, I began carrying a small pen and journal with me everywhere I went.  It wasn't unusual to catch me jotting in it at the most inopportune moments (my wife couldn't be happier that it's gone).  Now I've learned the value of the notepad feature on my phone and it simply looks like I'm texting.

2. What is your version of the perfect dinner?
My fancies tend to be as fickle as a summer breeze.  As of this moment?  Anything cooked on an open fire in the forest alongside a heavy canteen of water.  I honestly am not too picky beyond that.  Ask me late August and my answer probably will have changed.

3. What are three of your favorite bands?
Hmm... This would be easier if my fancies weren't as fickle as a summer breeze and all that nonsense. 
...  ...   Ok, I'm hijacking the question.
3. What are three of your favorite composers?
Currently:  Motoi Sakuraba, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Nobuo Uematsu

4. If you could have one superpower what would it be?
This has been my answer to this question for as long as I can remember.

For you interested readers, I pose to you the same questions I answered above!  Especially - What inspires you to be creative?

Friday, May 3, 2013

A to Z Recap.

In the month of April:

My followers (google friends) increased 6% in size.

My total page views increased 60% in size.

I met dozens of bloggers that I will continue to follow and learn from and share with. (My memory is far too unreliable to try and name all of you!)

My compendium of Silexare gained 29 new definitions and finalized 12, for a total of 173 total entries.

But I think I gained something greater than any of those numbers.  The entire reason I started this blog - and the reason for its title - was to give life to Silexare, which is the world where a good bit of my stories will take place.

If all of's servers were to crash today and I lose every post I've ever written, I'd still have the knowledge that I have the time to write every single day. No matter what.  And I have a relatively small following!  Those of you with followers in the hundreds and comments by the dozens are spread even thinner than me and yet you still have time to eat and function!  (very presumptuous on my part, I realize)

My point is that I need to stop making excuses all the time.  I treated the A to Z like a job, every day.  That's how I need to treat my writing if I ever expect anything to come of it.

I want to thank each of you who visited and especially all who commented.  I've enjoyed following you through the challenge and I've bookmarked many of your pages to which I plan to return.

After being exposed to tons of successful blogs over the course of April, I've decided to TRY to introduce some kind of standard to my blog and give you something consistent at least once weekly.  We'll see how it goes.

Again, thanks for coming and it was great to meet you all.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG - May 1st, 2013

So this is my first IWSG posting and I'm not 100% sure of how to go about it.  If you're not familiar with what IWSG is, click that big picture up there.

I'd say what's getting to me at the moment is a little bit of everything.  I'm toward the end of a first draft I started several months ago (and put on hold for A to Z).  I'm writing story only in this draft... But I'm seeing some plot holes.  Although I'm still really excited about the story and the potential, I can't help but think:

 - I'm writing about [islands, beaches, boats, cliffs, tides, battles, governments, religion] and what do I really even know about any of that stuff?  Only what I've seen and heard about in my (debatably) boring life!

- I just read J. Abercrombie describe a tremendous guy who "had a chin like a doorstep" or some such...  That's awesome!  There's no way I could come up with such a visually effective description!

 - This is my first tango with writing romantic elements.  I'm a guy who likes to crash through the woods with a dog at my side then splat into an armchair and eat pizza while playing Mega Man X.  What do I know about romance?

 - Even if I complete this story and it's perfect, who's to say I'll be able to portray the setting, and forge quirky characters, and crack witty dialogue, the likes of which the world has never seen?  Because if I can't do that, then what's the point??

Apparently I'm having a far more insecure day than I realized.  I hope these posts aren't supposed to be sunny.  I look sunny enough.  But in my writer's nucleus I feel like a soggy cloud.