Monday, October 27, 2014

Why I Shelved My Own Book

When it comes to literature, we all have our favorite books that we love to return to many times over. Then we have those books who we think we might enjoy, but it turns out we wish we had never even picked them up. It’s great to be able to put down a book you can’t stand reading after a certain point. But what happens when the book you can’t stand is one you wrote yourself?

This is a problem I’ve tackled for the past two months. Entering the editing process on my now extinct horror novel, I’ve believed I might have a blast with this story, as I have with other tales that I’ve penned. Of course, the word extinct implies that I’m done with this story but good, a valid assessment.

How have I gone from wanting to edit this story to making sure it never again haunts my desktop? I suppose the first sign of trouble would be how much time lapsed between editing sessions. We all have busy lives and sometimes things do get in the way. Yet if I don’t feel excited to return to the project, if I make excuses for not doing the work, or if I allow distractions to get to me all of the time, then I should suspect something’s not right with this particular story.

Another sign that things may not be right with the book may be that the characters I’ve written about all come across as flat, one-note caricatures who don’t even feel anywhere close to being a believable characters. An example of this is that I’ve had this one plot point where the main characters realize their friend has disappeared. There’s a pool of blood around the friend’s vehicle, and their cell phone is shattered. What do the characters do? They go back to work in the very next scene as if nothing wrong ever happened.

I do realize this is a story I once cared about. But if something has gotten lost along the way, then perhaps it’s time for me to shelve it. I may try to come back to it at another point in the future. I don’t know. What I do know is that with life being as busy as it is, I can’t afford to squander my time on books that no longer resonate with me.

Have you ever written a story or anything else that made you wonder what you were thinking?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Road to Inspiration Point

Along the side of Interstate 5 near Myrtle Creek, Oregon, site of the flat tire.
For my dad’s birthday this past Friday, I went down to California to see him, take him out to breakfast, and see some of the coastline right by where he lives. I didn’t know what to expect of this trip, but I was glad enough to get time off from work to see him. I kept my hopes low for fear of disappointment, yet I needn’t have worried.

First off, I put my daily routine on hold for a while. Go to work, take care of the kids and household chores, and get some writing done; all tasks I addressed most regularly. A creature of habit, yes, but an hour or two into the drive soon proved how much I needed to get out and explore the world again.

From the blow out tire I got along a rather scenic part of Interstate 5 to the countless people I met along the way, I felt myself energized almost right away. At the back of my mind remained a critical thought: take notes. Yes, I took a vacation from my day job. Still, as a writer I had a job to do, even during my occupational break. Being immersed in an unfamiliar place seemed a great way to enrich my own writing by drawing on new experiences. Every person I came across provided me with descriptions and new characters to sketch for my stories. Examples of this ranged from a drunken doomsayer at the public library in Crescent City, to the motel operator who called my room at 3 pm in the afternoon to warn me that I still had a problem with my tire. The same could be said of places, foods, and everything else that crossed my path.

I’d forgotten how easy travel often helped my writing. My experiences on the trip offered me something I may have missed while engaged in my normal routine. While I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure, I knew it was time to get back to my usual habitat.

At least for now.

When was the last time you had such an adventure?

Friday, August 15, 2014

How H.P. Lovecraft Influenced Me

It’s amazing how an author can influence another’s work, especially when the second author isn’t even aware of it. I’ve never really been familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft. I’ll confess that right now. But I have not completely been shielded from his influence.

Growing up, before I ever indulged in penning stories, I consumed stories like a glutton. The easiest access to said stories came in the form of Saturday Morning cartoons, particular the likes of Transformers. There’s no contesting that that show about sentient robots transforming into all sorts of things dominated my fascination as no other could.

There was one particular later episode in the original Transformers series that stuck with me, Dweller in the Depths. It was an episode about a trans-organic leech that drained the Transformers of their energy and turned them into energy vampires.

The other day, on a whim, I looked up the Wiki page for that particular episode. On the page was a claim that the episode was influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Now I’m not sure just how true this is, but it got me thinking about something. I don’t think it’s wholly possible for an author not to be influenced or inspired by someone else.

After all, there has to be something that triggers that creative spark in the writer’s mind. I’ve let it known that scribes like Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz have catered to my creativity. I might as well include Lovecraft in this. Even if the Wiki’s page has made a false claim, there’s still a chance that stories I’ve read from other authors, especially those of my closest peers, do follow along Lovecraft’s line.

Who knows what other authors will sway me with their tales? And perhaps I might carry my own storytelling clout with future writers. And with the way we’re all more connected than ever these days, the impossibility of not inspiring others grows that much stronger.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Journey Ever Changing

Howdy there, Bloggarinos! Have you been having a happy, healthy summer? I’ve been rather productive, what with the release of my fifth novel, A Mage Among Trolls. More on that in a minute.

First though, can you believe I’ve published five books now? I’ve come quite a long way in the journey I started back in 2007. The places I’ve been since the day I searched for “how to get published” have simply been phenomenal, both in terms of travel and in those of where I’m taking my life.

For me, this process has been ever-changing. Things I presumed back in 2007 no longer hold true. Ask me what a query letter is and I’d have to shake off the cobwebs in my own mind for an answer. So much has changed that it can be hard to keep up with everything.

So how does one try to keep up? Well, for me it’s all about staying up on the things that matter most to me, which is indie publishing news. I like to know what my independent author cohorts are doing, what they’re reading up on, how they remain relevant to their corner of the industry, that sort of thing. I may on occasion read up on the basic components of a query letter, but not often.

In the end, it is up to each author to determine the best course to take. Nobody but you can decide what’s best for you. No two writing journeys are ever the same. If they are, it could be on the cusp of Creepyburg.

Back to A Mage Among Trolls. I published this on Amazon back on July 23rd. I still have cover issues to contend with before I get the book up on other sites, but here you go with the link to Amazon if you’re interested, along with the blurb for it. Have a great rest of your summer if you don’t hear from me for a while! Oh, make sure you read Spell of Entrapment before you read A Mage Among Trolls if you haven't already. There are spoilers in Trolls that might ruin Spell of Entrapment if read out of order, just so you know.

Blurb for A Mage Among Trolls:

Years before the Spell of Entrapment, a youth named Halscrad finds himself at an impasse with regards to his future. Weary of his own studies in Instruction, he wishes to expand his knowledge through travel and adventure. But with his mother, Chrieana Moorhead, in poor health, he finds escape from Trava Town all but impossible.

Upon a chance encounter with a Troll, Halscrad becomes the catalyst for a renewed war between the Travans and the Trolls. As he falls in line with one side of the war, he discovers a magic within him that supports Chrieana’s last words. Just where has this magic come from, and can he use it to correct his own mistakes?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things are changing!

Thanks for stopping by the World of the Scribe blog. I admit it's a bit rusty right now, but I'm figuring out a schedule where I can get at least one post in a week, if not more. And I'll most certainly be ready to go with the blog as the launch for my fifth book, A Mage Among Trolls, nears. Until then, enjoy your lives as much as you can!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Relevance of Irrelevance

Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager is arguably my favorite Borg. She has an attitude about her that doesn't allow for nonsense, and she's a little rough around the edges, too. This holds true especially for her social interactions, in which she makes her fellow shipmates visibly uncomfortable on more than one occasion. (Her attempts at wooing male members of the crew are strong evidence of this.) She questions the rules when they don't follow her Borg logic. If something's irrelevant to her, she will make that known, too.

For me, the struggle between what's relevant and what isn't is a great one. I often find myself chasing after topics that may not interest anyone else. You need not look much further beyond the blog to find that I've drifted a considerable distance away from relevance. Ever since I shifted gears from traditional to self publishing, I can't help but wonder if I still am relevant to my author friends who've stuck with the traditional route. Don't get me wrong. I have plenty of author friends who self-pub and wouldn't dare dream of breaking into traditional publishing these days. I just have to wonder if I still have something to offer those who are still sending out query letters and receiving rejections.

What it boils down to is the concept of mattering. We as people want to matter so badly. It's not something new to us. Ever since the formation of clans and tribes in the wee morning hours of civilization, we have wanted to belong. We want to think that what we do on this planet makes a difference. When NASA goes and finds an astounding 715 new exo-planets beyond our solar system, we tend to think we don't matter. That we're irrelevant.

The best way to make yourself matter is to be proactive in your work. Whether it's housework, a job, writing, creating art, or anything else that can carry a purpose, to avoid becoming irrelevant you must do the work. Wishing for great things to happen to you but never doing anything about it won't make your feelings of irrelevance go away. It'll only make them expand like the Borg collective assimilating everything in its path.

Do the work to make yourself matter. And know that the resistance to hard work being a measure of your success is indeed futile.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Announcing My Fourth Novel, Interstellar Dad!

You know, it's dawned on me that I've gone three weeks without posting a word here on the blog. Typical Beesler stuff. But I hope some may sympathize with how it is. You write a book. You edit a book. You send the book back and forth between yourself and your beta readers. You gut as many mistakes from the book as you possibly can. Then you realize that it's just time to let go of the book.

Now, when I talk about letting go of the book, there are some authors out there who will throw their story into the trash. Not me. I've worked so hard on Interstellar Dad that the only fair thing for me to do is to put it out there in the world and let the chips fall where they may.

So without further ado, I'm proud to bring you an all-new story, filled with science fiction, fun, and hopefully what has turned out to be a compelling tale about a guy, Andrew Skyes, who yearns to be a dad but must grapple with his own infertility. Could there be a solution from beyond Earth's orbit for Andrew? You'll have to read Interstellar Dad to find out!

You can find Interstellar Dad at these venues so far, with more to come. Also, I will be holding a blog tour next month, a one week event starting February 17th and running through the 21st. If you'd like to assist me on the tour by hosting me, by all means let me know in the comments section! Have an awesome weekend, my friends!

Where to find Interstellar Dad so far: