Hello. Is this thing still on?
Admittedly, I had taken a personal break from this blog. Well, a lot of my social media for some time. Over the past few months I’ve been withdrawn and began to doubt the validity of this career path.
It all began back in August. I was just finishing my MFA in Creative Writing through SNHU. I should’ve been happy right? On top of the world?
Only I wasn’t. I can’t explain it. I just kept having this feeling of being empty and unaccomplished. And of course all I had to show for it was a 40,000$ bill. Broke literally…and I guess sort of mentally also.
This is–I have learned–a feeling that is becoming mutual all over the world. A lot of people are experiencing the weight of this virus, and the weight only grows heavier as the months drag on.
We’ve been made promises about cures…but there’s still no cure.
We’ve been told things would go back to normal soon…yet everything is still far from normal.
Which brings me to the break. You see, writing for me had always been an escape. The computer screen and the blinking cursor was like stepping into a fantasy world of my own creation. Now the thought of staring at another computer screen after teaching over multiple zoom meetings a day had become a sickening thought. Add to that the phone screen and building a social media presence. I guess you could say everything was sort of starting to jumble together in my personal, professional, and social life. In other words, there became no disconnect from the Matrix if you will.
Well is there a solution you ask?
Yes…and, I’m still not so sure.
I started by examining the beginnings of this chosen writing career. I guess you could say it started when I was thirteen. I was playing a video game and an idea popped into my head.
What would happen if you had triplets separated at birth? Would they fight? Be best friends? Harbor misplaced feelings? Kill each other?
I sat at that Windows 2000 of ours and just let the words flow onto the paper. Grammar? None. Spelling mistakes? Plenty. Yet, I had a story to tell and I wasn’t going to stop until the ideas were there on a document.
To give you an idea of how old this story is, I still have the original manuscripts on floppy drives.
And I think of all the time I must’ve had back then. It was almost Stephen King levels of devotion to writing. As soon as I finished one manuscript I would title the next one and begin working on it.
This continued well into my twenties. But right around age twenty-five, I suddenly took a break.
I remember writing a scene for one of the triplets. I put him into such a terrible position that I had to step back and ask, “Wait, how is he going to get out of this?”
It took me five years to answer that question.
Since then I’ve been going strong. A couple of years ago I decided to pursue an MFA in creative writing and show others what I had been tinkering on for a decade and a half.
And to my surprise, people enjoyed what they read.
It boosted my confidence exponentially. Suddenly, I had to start putting more of my writing out there.
Around this same time I was watching what should’ve been Heath Ledger’s entry into Masterpiece Theater. I am of course referring to A Knight’s Tale.
Suddenly I was like…what if I wrote a jousting scene?
And from this one idea, my official debut novel was born: Maiden to None.
After taking some advice from a very wise literary agent, I decided to separate my triplets by writing their own individual stories into separate novels.
Maiden to None told the story of Trinity, the only sister of the trio. And her story begins when she illegally enters her grandfather’s jousting tournament dressed as a knight.
Now of course with anything put out there for the world to see, you will get your fair share of criticism.
However, this business slowly–sometimes very slowly–taught me to be thick-skinned when it came to my writing.
And everyday I was learning new lessons and applying them to my novel.
You could imagine my joy when this book finally came to a close. Time to move onto novel two, right?
Coronavirus struck. Computers became the norm. Working from home didn’t have a punch-out time card.
Again, there became no disconnect. Suddenly the world I created was fading and the one that I was in was slowly growing darker.
I’d like to tell you that one day I’ll just pull myself up by the bootstraps and start writing intensely again. But to be honest, I don’t know what the future holds.
The whole world–it seems–forgot how to enjoy the time that we are still given.
So…yeah. I guess I needed a mental health break. But, I am coming back as best as I can. I’ve even begun writing the next book in my series. I will say (spoiler alert) that so many horrible things happen to the next triplet in my series that it’s almost hard–now writing it as a parent–to subject him to these tragedies. But I suppose Duke and I will just have to find a way to cope through these uncertain times. Together.
For now though, I will focus on the good.
Wifey is having another baby soon. I can already tell she’s going to be a little rockstar. Can’t wait to meet you Mattie.
And incase you didn’t know, I’ve been working with a super-talented, very professional artist by the title of ArtInInsanity. Find her fantastic artwork here at: https://www.facebook.com/ArtInInsanity/ and be sure to catch her streams on Twitch.
Together we have been coming up with some pretty rad chapter headers for Maiden to None. I suppose in about six months I will know for certain if I am going to self publish and get to utilize this amazing art, or if I will continue to try and go traditional.
Either way, Maiden to None will soon be ready to be experienced by all.
And with any luck, The Good Shield–which is book two in my series–will not be far behind.
So I wanted to end this rambling reasoning for why I’ve been absent by showing once more the chapter headers that Artininsanity has been creating for me. However, this time I will explain some fun tidbits behind each one.
Enjoy. Like. Subscribe. You are awesome.
And remember…we’re all in this together.
That is all for now. All told we only have about eight more left in the series of images. Can’t wait to see how they all turn out and hoping they make it into the final product in some way, shape, or form.
3 thoughts on “Story Time (And Some Art Updates)”
Sometimes all you need is a break to give you new insight so don’t stress and things will continue to inspire you.
“Without the fire, a Phoenix never rises from the ashes”.
As I eagerly await your next story I understand the need for a break. Especially in these tough times. I am glad to hear you actually put yourself first. Health and happiness above all else. Stay strong and I am so looking forward to reading Dukes story. More so, very anxious to see him come to life with Artininsanity. She’s amazing.