Sunday, September 29, 2019

Is This Thing On?

tap tap Testing, One, Two, Three

Wow, it's been nearly a year since I've been on this blog. I'm fairly positive no one reads it anymore (not that many did when I originally began it), but I thought I'd drop by for a little update.

First off, I'm still here. Still writing, still creating. I have finished a working draft of the first TWO prequel novels for my The Coming Evil series. I've started work on Book Three and whenever that's finished, I plan to start releasing them in quick succession. I'm also working with Bob Freeman on another novella that I think will be a lot of fun. A follow-up to our Halloween House (that is still available and you should still read). So there are things in the pipeline to be released one day. I've also found myself falling down the rabbit hole, helping Vance Major make a series of Star Trek fan films. That's a very long story of how I got involved in that, haha, but maybe better saved for a later date. Those movies will hit YouTube in December, so maybe we'll reconvene then and do a little write up on it.

But more than that, I'm creating a lot of things that you won't see. If you've read my HITMEN novel (and, if not, why haven't you?) you know that, in my "free time", I make elaborate amateur movies. In fact, the home movies have turned into this intricate mythology where I actually work through a lot of the ideas that I eventually publish. They're sort of a test bed for concepts and dreams, where I can fully play with a story without the fear of "What will the public think?" It's just freeing and often experimental. Some of those concepts and characters make it into the books--and vice versa. It's an elaborate mythology that I enjoy creating. For myself.

Which brings me to the reason for my absence. Time for some real talk: I burnt up a lot of my youth on getting my name out there. On building a platform, a fanbase, and all the fancy "writer stuff" that you're told you HAVE to do if you want to succeed. And maybe you do, if you want to "succeed", but what's "success"? Again, I pushed aside friendships to pursue my dream. I put my life on hold, focused only on this goal of being "somebody". Somewhere along the way, however, I discovered that I was making my actual life miserable by chasing what I thought would make me happy. After MUCH soul searching, I came upon a conclusion:

Write less. Live more.

So that's what I've been trying to do over the last four years. With my kids now older and able to make more of their own choices (and mistakes), parenting is harder than ever. They need my attention, more than the cast of The Coming Evil. My wife and I are fighting to be purposeful in our parenting, but also to learn how to maintain our own identities apart from our kids who are going to be leaving the nest sooner than I really understood. Life is changing. Fast, and all the time. I've made new friends and I'm pouring myself into being a good friend--a better friend than I used to be. I seek to be used by the Lord in whatever situation I find myself in, and that requires effort. It requires diligence. Besides all of that, creatively speaking, I missed just writing and creating for myself. I didn't end up becoming the "big name" I had dreamed of when I was fresh out of high school. I am thankful to the people who have read my work and enjoyed it. That's incredibly cool to me. But the disappointment has been there, as well. I didn't get as far as I had hoped I would. Yet, then again, when I think of the novels I've seen published, when I think of the Syfy movies that I helped craft, that have been seen by audiences all over the world--maybe I got farther than I really thought I would.

All that is to say that I'm happy with where I'm at. I'm happy living my life and creating on my own time. I'm happy now that I don't find my worth in "units sold per quarter". It really IS just about the writing for me. I do so enjoy this mad mythology I've created and it's a welcome retreat from the rigors of reality sometimes. I'm happy that some of you got to explore my world--as much as I've shared with you--and I look forward to giving you more opportunities to visit in the future.