Tough and thriving

September 20, 2018

Good news: I didn’t get sick. The OnGuard and Wellness Formula did the trick once again.

Knock on wood that it continues.

Yet, it was pointed out that I may have been what some may call “a little preachy” about my stance on health and wellness. What? No cigarettes? No alcohol? How can a person live?

My answer: how about a lot healthier!

Duh! Read the rest of this entry »

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One more than you had yesterday

September 13, 2018

While I was at FanX, I had someone (Cody) ask if I could say a few words for a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I laughed as I asked him if he’d read my blog; why sure, I can say a few words! I’ve been cheerleading the creative entrepreneur for years.

Then, of course, the instant fear set in. What would I say? I’m a writer, not a speaker.

It took me a good moment to settle down and get my act together. Then, as Cody and I talked, I was fine as long as I kept my eyes focused on his face. If I looked toward the phone he held to record us, well, things didn’t feel too good.  Read the rest of this entry »


Field of care

September 7, 2018

A ghost rose in front of me this morning and gave to me a “field of care.”

Yes, this is going to take a little explaining.

It’s apparent to most people who talk to me, follow my blog, or generally interact with me in one way or another that Loki writes the stories through me. I’ve said before that I’m not clever or funny enough to write his stories. I’m glad he chose me to be his author.

And I’ve often said that I trust the process of writing. Again, I’m just not clever enough nor do my plans ever work out as I make them, so there is no way I could have plots come together like they do. I’m always trying to get words down rather than make them up.

With all that out of the way, let me get to what happened yesterday at the convention.

I was talking to a lady about Diane Wynn Jones because she had a Calcifer shirt on. She told me she had ready the book, Howl’s Moving Castle. So we chatted for a bit. (PS come see me today at FanX Salt Lake)

This morning, I was wishing that I’d mentioned Enchanted Glass to her, another book by Jones which was published shortly before her death. It was probably one of the last books she saw. In Enchanted Glass, the main character inherits a “field of care” from his grandfather. Throughout the story he spends time walking around his field and overcoming obstacles. Only once he has full accepted his “field of care” does he come into his full power.

Here’s where the ghost comes in. Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – July 22, 2018

July 23, 2018

Pre-bike ride of 12 miles:

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I survived.

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At least I was good during the bike ride and recovered well enough to go walk another half mile at the gym and then went and walked around an “craft” show. I use that loosely because it was supposed to be a craft show but was mostly an MLM show. Sigh.

Then I went home and got sick. Read the rest of this entry »


Awards time!

June 29, 2018

Good day, fellow adventurers!

Okay, so there’s no real rewards, but I did want to give some recognition to some people.

Firstly, here on my blog, I would like to give a big shout out to The Stories in Between and to Future Daze who are always liking my posts. Thank you. I appreciate your support.

Over on Twitter, I first want to thank @JDEstradawriter who is never afraid to show off his Read the rest of this entry »


Self-Improvements

June 12, 2018

I’ve learned skill I never imagined I’d be learning. Plus, I work at learning new things all the time. I think it’s important to always be improving yourself.

Okay, the “advice gurus” these days are always touting how “entrepreneurs or people wish to be leaders” should specialize and niche down — hand off the things that they are not good at.

While this is fine most of the time, what about when you are raising a family with no outside help? There is no one else I could hand things off too that would just do it for free. What are they going to work for? Exposure? (Okay, that’s a bad artists’ joke — doctors, plumbers, accountants, lawyers, etc. all expect to be paid for the work they do, but when it comes to artists (whether it be writers, photographers, artists, actors, etc) they are often asked to do a job as a “favor” for free because it’ll get them great exposure with all the people at the wedding, event, social gathering, etc. Annoying!)

Yeah, trust me, my plumber doesn’t want to come fix the pipes on my old house for the exposure of having his truck out front, even if I were to pay for supplies myself. (“But other people in my neighborhood might need your help and imagine how much business you could get by having your truck there.” Okay, I actually have a plumber living across the street from me, so in my mind, Loki is really laughing at me right now asking if I want a plumber fight on my hands.) So, I learned to fix things and put in my own elbow grease.  Read the rest of this entry »


The energy must give you permission

June 1, 2018

I heard several profound things at Anime Oasis in Boise, Idaho, last week.

One panel I attended was on cosplay characterization. Now, cosplay is not something I do though my son loves to dress up in costume (also different than true cosplay where you not only look like the character but act as them too). I thought it might be interesting to see different people’s takes on getting into character. It might provide me insight into designing my own characters.

I wasn’t disappointed.

There were several things that I “knew” in the back of my mind, but that I hadn’t ever really put into practice. A lot of that comes from writing about heroic characters, I’m sure.

Now the actor who cosplays as Jack Sparrow was on the panel, answering questions as Jack Sparrow. He has attended several cons as Jack and does not break character, except for maybe when he actually met Johnny Depp. For the panel, they had a stretch of ten minutes or so where the actor removed his Jack Sparrow wig and answered questions as himself.

He said probably the most profound things I’d heard at the convention.

He asked the audience how many people liked to cosplay because they believed they were the character. Not only did no one want to respond, but everyone kind of looked around as if not sure if he’d lost his marbles.

I whispered to my son, “Does it count if we’re writing, not cosplaying?”

Then “Jack” announced that a character was not a person, but rather an idea. While I could see where he was going with this, it was also something I felt. He continued to say that you needed to have permission to access the energy of that idea.

I wonder if anyone felt as in agreement with that thought than me. I wonder how many people thought that cosplay was nothing but dressing up and pretending.

I have spoken about how my stories have an energy to them, a life of their own, and I’ve probably even mentioned it for my characters. Even Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic mentions how she didn’t listen to one story and it went to another writer. But the idea that you have to have permission from the energy to gain access to the idea really made me stop and think.

Does some permission come easier than others?

Loki’s novellas are very easy for me to tell, but yes, he came to me and started talking to me. I was receptive and he kept going. Believe me when I say that I’m not trying to think things up with his novellas; I’m always in too much of a hurry to get things down. He talks, I transcribe. But his energy is not always available to me. I feel it when he withdraws and when he wants me to focus on his story.

All of Sacred Knight and Onesong have been huge stories which feel bigger than me sometimes. I know I have to just keep treading with one foot in front of the other and not think about the whole picture. Yet, I also remember a time when I didn’t have permission to tell this story. It took years for me to get back to it.

Dragons of Wellsdeep is another that I don’t always have permission to write. As is Stonecharmer — in fact, it was only earlier today that I felt like getting back to it. Am I now ready to access another part of the story. Did something happen in my life which unlocked something I need for the story. Is it an odd sort of gamification that goes on? Did I earn a trophy that lets me pass to the next level?

But not only can I see it so clearly with my writing, but with my painting as well. As I’ve been thinking of this concept over the week of having to have permission to access the energy, I recalled writing at one point that I hadn’t really painted a whole lot since my mother’s death. I literally had a series of paintings that downloaded to my brain that day. I have not been able to paint them up. And since then, I’ve hardly painted. I feel as if I did have permission to see these scenes, given to me at a very trying moment, and I rejected them. Is it possible that the energy as a whole revoked it’s permission toward my painting?

Could this be the same reason I couldn’t write for several years (as I mentioned above)?

Yes, I can see it.

I remember feeling so distraught and lonely when I couldn’t write. It hurt. A friend told me I needed to grieve and I did. Once I felt myself healing from that, my writing came back. This wasn’t overnight, none of it. It was a long road.

I would like to avoid taking that long path with my painting. I do want to paint, as much as I wanted to write when I literally couldn’t. Yes, this feels similar. But now I know that I need to respect the energy and have it’s permission.

I don’t what this means, either for the short term or the long term, only that I do have a new respect for the artistic process both as a writer and a painter. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be more to come.