Why I Write

“So why do you write?” 

Ah, that magical question that every writer both loves and fears in equal measure. We love it because we want to share our passion for what we do and get people excited about it. But sometimes it’s hard to pin down just one reason, or describe it in a way that makes sense to someone who isn’t a writer.

How can you describe the amazing feeling you get when a whole new world spills out of your head and becomes a reality? Because that’s what writer’s do. With just 26 letters, 10 numbers, and various symbols we create brand new realities for others to enjoy. And I know at least for me, I get a huge kick out of creating it.

But that’s not why I write.

My reason for doing what I do has changed and evolved over the years. At first, I mainly wrote because it was fun for me. I wasn’t worried about publishing or marketing or how many reviews my book had on Amazon. I was just writing to pass the time, and most of those stories I’ve never shared with anyone. Now that I actually have a few published works though, I’ve had to change my perspective on things.

Writing is no longer just about me; it’s also about my readers. Like you lovely people, the ones who care enough to still be reading this blog post. And I think that’s where a big part of my motivation comes from. I’ve always gotten a huge enjoyment out of reading. If I had a bad day as a teenager, what did I do? Go home and read a book. If I have a bad day now, as an adult, what do I do? You guessed it…go home and bury my nose in a good book.

I write because I want other people to experience the joy that can come from reading.

I write because I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.

I meet so many people that say they never read, and if I can give them just a little bit of enjoyment, I will feel like I’ve done my job. Maybe one of my books will be the one that opens a door for them and encourages them to go explore other worlds that other authors have created.

So my question for you this week is: What books have changed your life?

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this. If you want to find out how I’m using literature to promote physical fitness, keep an eye out for next week’s post. Bye for now! Happy reading, writing, and life.

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Exciting News!

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a really long time since I blogged, but I’m getting back in the saddle. And I figured the best way to jumpstart this blog again would be to tell you all about my brand new book, “A History of Dreams.”
A HISTORY OF DREAMS

Up until 2087, Nira has been struggling to get by in the nightmarish city of Thrice New London. Over half the population is homeless, addicted to drugs, or both. And the people in charge just sit back and let it happen. If Nira ever had hope for a better future, the harsh realities of everyday life havelong since stolen those dreams away. 

Then she meets Willis, a stranger who challenges everything she thought she knew about the history of her world. He believes a better future is still possible, but only if she agrees to help him spread the truth. Nira soon finds herself caught in a tangled web of truth and fiction, history and biased memory. And the more she learns about Willis, the more she questions his motives and her decision to help him.

Can she stop him before his plans come to fruition and millions of people die?

 

This is my first foray into the world of science fiction, and it was so much fun to write! Especially the ending… but don’t think I’m going to go giving that away here. Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Like my other two books, this one started out as a NaNoWriMo project. And notably, it’s been the only year where I didn’t push the deadline to the absolute limit to finish. I had a whole six hours to spare! I think the fact that I had so much fun writing it – even the very rough first draft – was my first clue that this was going to be a good one.

But I guess, if you think about it, this book started even before NaNoWriMo. Every idea has to come from somewhere, right? This one came when I was listening to a Pentatonix song (just an aside… if you haven’t checked them out, go and do it. They’re so good! Okay, nerd moment done, going back to business now). One of the lyrics in the song was: “For we all have our nightmares, even me, my dear.” Ten words. That’s what started the wheels turning in my head.

Now if you’re familiar with NaNoWriMo, you’ve probably heard the terms “planner” and “pantser.” A planner is just what it sounds like – someone who has a plan when they start writing. A pantser is just the opposite – someone who flies completely by the seat of their pants and just lets the story develop in its own way. For most of my projects I’m somewhere in between the two – a “plantser” if you will. Meaning I sort of have a plan, and then I don’t really end up following it. For this book, though, I just kept that very vague idea in my head and pantsed it.

I think the book turned out pretty well as a result of this method, but I’d love to see what you think. Because at its heart, that’s what this story is about: taking control of your own life, thinking for yourself, and using your free will and independence to do something good for others.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, please check it out by clicking here. And if you like it, please share it with a friend and leave me a review on Amazon. Thanks everyone! Until next time, happy reading, writing, and life.

Writer’s Prompt Wednesday (#1)

Hello again everybody! I thought I would try something new, to keep things interesting both for the writer and the readers of this blog. A little over a year ago, I read this book called “The Writer’s Idea Book” by Jack Heffron. It was a great book, really enlightening…and now I can’t remember anything about it because it’s just been sitting on my shelf.

Now seems as good a time as any to actually do something with it. True to its name, this book is full of ideas for writers. So I thought I would share the prompts it offers with all of you.

Ready? Then here we go.

 

PART 1: The Preface

Woody Allen once observed that 80% of being successful is just showing up. The same is true of writing.

 

PART 2: The Prompt

“Writer Thomas McGuane goes to his study at a certain time every day and stays there for a scheduled length of time. He sits at his desk. ‘I don’t have to write,’ he explains, ‘but I can’t do anything else.’ Try his approach for a week, scheduling a specific period of time during which you must sit at your desk or wherever you write. You don’t have to write, but you can’t do anything else.”

 

PART 3: The Response

Since the prompt is to try a certain writing technique for a week, you’ll have to tune in next week and see how I did with it. In the meantime, why not take up the challenge for yourself?

 

I hope you guys like this little series, and please feel free to comment your responses. I’d love to know I’m helping fellow writers. Don’t forget to check back on Friday as well for an update on my Camp NaNoWriMo experience.

See you all later!

This is the Start of Something New

Hey readers! I feel like I should start off this post by begging your forgiveness for disappearing for a while. There’s no excuse I can make other than the fact that life just got in the way. I was forced to slave away to put a roof over my head and food in my belly, because I can’t quite pay the bills by doing what I love.

At least not yet.

I recently came to the realization that I’ve been treating my writing just as a side hobby, and not as an actual career. That meant coming home after a day at the office and sitting on my butt watching YouTube, instead of coming home after a day at the office and sitting on my butt working on my next novel. I made a lot of excuses to myself, but they all stop right now. Hence the title of this blog. There are SO many things I’m looking forward to this year in terms of my writing, and I figured this would be the best place to share them.

The new commitment I’m making to my writing really begins tomorrow, July 1st, with Camp NaNoWriMo. I tried to do it in April as well, but I gave up way too easily. Not this time. I’ve had an idea flying around in my brain for a while now and it’s time to get it out of my head and put pen to paper — or at least fingers to keyboard. Why don’t you join me? The community support is really what keeps me going, and it would be great to cheer each other on. Just click on the link above to find out more about it.

In addition to this new project I’ll be working on, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be releasing a new book this year! Unlike the mysteries I’ve published already, this one will be a sci-fi novel, set in a futuristic dystopian society. I’ve always loved reading and watching sci-fi, and I’ve had so much fun with this project that I can’t wait to share it with you all! I’ll provide more details on the exact release date as I have them, but it will definitely be prior to November. And speaking of November…

During November I’ll be attending my first writer’s conference! It’s a big step for me, but I know it’s the right path for me to take. The conference is specifically geared toward teaching self-published authors the right tools for success. Since this is my first conference, I would love some advice about what to expect if any of you have been to something similar. You can get more info about the event here if you want to go too.

All in all I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. I’ll keep you guys updated on everything through this blog, which I solemnly swear to post on more than once in a blue moon. Thank you for sticking with me as I go through this crazy writing roller coaster. Please keep reading and keep writing.

See you soon!

The Promise, the Update, and the Review

Hi there, strangers. It’s been a while since I’ve written. Life in general has been a little crazy for me lately, so I took a little break from the blogging world. But now I’m back, and I am making a promise to you all to do better and be more consistent with this blog.  I’m also making a promise to myself to do better and be more consistent with my writing in general.

That’s an excellent segue into the update that was promised in the title of this post. My last post involved my dilemma about whether or not to do Camp NaNoWriMo. The ultimate conclusion was that I came, I saw, and I….didn’t conquer. But I did make some excellent progress editing Novel # 3 and came up with some good ideas to make the plot a lot stronger. So I guess that’s somewhat of a win, and I’m still continuing to work on it.

So we’ve covered the promise, and the update. That just leaves the review. There are two books that I’ve finished reading recently: Interview with the Vampire and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’m not going to bother reviewing Harry Potter because let’s face it: it would just be me geeking out and talking about how it’s my favorite book in the series and I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read it. There would also probably be some complaining about how I was really looking forward to the movie (because it’s my favorite book) and they messed it up so badly that it’s my least favorite movie out of the whole series.

So enough of that, let’s talk about vampires instead (and NOT ones that sparkle. Because seriously, vampires just shouldn’t do that). This was my first foray into the Vampire Chronicles, written by Anne Rice, and I can definitely see myself reading the other two books in the series. Vampires in this book — well, at least most of them — are not monsters. The main character, Louis, may be immortal but he certainly still remains human from a moral perspective.

This lingering humanity is what ultimately drives a wedge between Louis and the vampire who created him, Lestat. At first the author paints Lestat as nothing but monster. But by the end, I wasn’t so sure what to think of him. There’s not much of his past revealed (at least not in this book) so he remains a character who is shrouded in mystery.

Louis also has a somewhat confusing relationship with Claudia, a vampire trapped in the child’s body that she had when she became immortal. So should he love her as a daughter, or for the adult mind inside her?

I won’t go into all the details of the plot — I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone — but Louis ends up performing some pretty monstrous deeds. And yet still, the author manages to keep him from becoming a monster, by focusing not on the deeds themselves but on the reasons behind them. Louis is the one telling the story, but he seems to be a remarkably reliable and unbiased narrator, at least in my opinion. If you have a different one, please feel free to sound off in the comments section below.

Has this review gotten you interested? If so, you can check out Interview with the Vampire by clicking here. You can also get all three books in the series at this link.

Please feel free to check out the other stuff I’ve posted, and I promise I’ll be back soon with new content. So long for now! Happy reading, writing, and life.

To Camp or Not to Camp, That is the Question…

“To camp or not to camp”: Surely it’s not the most important question in the world, but it’s the one that’s weighing a lot on my mind right now. And for those of you wondering what a post about camping is doing on a blog about reading and writing, I’m talking about Camp NaNoWriMo.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of being acquainted with NaNoWriMo – whether by participating in it yourself or by having to listen to your crazy writer friends talk about it all November – let me give you a quick explanation: You take a pledge to write 50,000 words during the month of November (National Novel Writing Month). At the end of the month, you’ll have the rough draft of a new project.

For me, it’s a good way to force myself into being creative. There’s always a small part of me that thinks, “If you have to force yourself to write, should you really be a writer?” But we all have ups and downs, and as much as it might be really hard work during the month, I love the high that NaNoWriMo gives me. Even in the years that I’ve tried and been unsuccessful, it’s still been fun. I’ve actually “won” three times, and two of those books are published now!

Now back to the whole camping thing: The main event, so to speak, is in November, but there are also two sessions of “Camp” NaNoWriMo, held in April and July. And that’s what I’m debating participating in or not. I have a lot going on right now, so I’m reluctant to take on another huge challenge. I also don’t have much of an idea what I would write about.

On the other hand, like I said before, I like the power that a challenge has to spur me on. And I really do enjoy it, and it makes me productive.

So I don’t know what to do. And I’m reaching out to you, readers of this blog, for help and advice. Have any of you ever done it before? Or thought about doing it? Even if you haven’t, what would your advice be?

Please leave feedback in the comments section, and if you’re interested in learning more about Camp NaNoWriMo, click here. You can learn more about the event in November, which is on a much larger scale, by going to their main website. And lastly, if you’re interested in those two completed NaNo projects I mentioned – they’re both murder mysteries – please go to Amazon.com and look up “Tied By Blood” and “Remember Well the Night”, both by Emily Davidson.

Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from some people. Until next time, happy reading, writing, and life.

The Book Review You’ve Been Waiting For: House of Leaves

Hey everyone! It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but I still made time to finish “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski.

 

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I’ve said before that I envy this man’s imagination. I can now add that I do not envy his editor, or the people responsible for the layout of the book. “House of Leaves” is a book with many twists and turns, both figuratively and literally. Seriously, it’s a good thing I wasn’t reading this book on an airplane or in some other public place. There are a few chapters which require you to turn the book upside down, or turn it in a circle; I feel like that might have gotten me some weird looks.

All joking aside, this is definitely one book that will stick with me for a very long time. If you’re a fan of the frame story, then this is something you should read. There is a story about a house that continually changes its interior dimensions; there is a documentary about that house; there is a critique about that documentary; and finally there is another story about the man who finds the critique about the documentary about the first story of the house.

Confused yet? Just wait until you get to the end, where they throw one more major twist at you. That’s one reason you can be absolutely sure that this review will be free of spoilers. After all, you can’t spoil an ending if you’re still not quite sure what happens. In that case, it might be a good thing that I’m writing this post just a day after finishing the book.

As much as it confused and sometimes frustrated me, I would highly recommend “House of Leaves.” Whether you’re a fan of horror, psychology, family drama, philosophy, fantasy, photography, or any number of other genres and topics, this book has something for you.

So now that I’ve read it (and hopefully inspired a few of you to do the same), it’s time for me to move onto the next thing: “Game of Thrones.” It occurs to me that perhaps it would be easier to meet my goal of reading 50 books a year if those books were shorter. Oh well. Guess that’s what I get for being a complete word nerd.

Then again, if I wasn’t a word nerd, my life would be far less exciting and meaningful. That said, I’m going to get back to reading now. Until next week, happy reading, writing and life.