WeWriWa October 11 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors/#8Sunday

Excerpt from “The Mars Tournament”

“I wonder.
I wonder how a human, so lost and alone among my people of Mars, can be so at home.
I wonder if its stupidity or something else that allows his mind to push his body forward after so much damage and pain.
I wonder how much more his flesh will be able to withstand, before everything else collapses.
I wonder if he’s hiding tears behind those trickles of sweat when we train, when I push him, sometimes beyond his own limits.
I wonder if other humans are like him…and then I wonder if its hope I’m feeling.
I wonder what it is that humans have that make them so…resilient.
And I finish wondering, often aimlessly, why my physically and intellectually superior species, does not have it. ”

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Getting Ready To Publish

It’s the little things in life.

I love that phrase. It’s like a reassurance that you’re not crazy when you laugh or smile at seemingly meaningless things. At small moments that bring big joy. I just had a moment like this.

A few days ago I finished my manuscript for my short story, Alternate. I e-mailed an editor for it not fifteen minutes after that. What a thrill. Hitting those last letters on the keyboard, putting that final touch, leaning back into the chair and saying “I’m done!”

So far the feedback from friends and family has been great on it, and it’s been a good reminder that I can’t just sit here and wait to publish…I’ve gotta keep writing!

And rest assured, my mailing list will be receiving Alternate for free before I publish, so make sure you sign up before then. My editor and cover designer estimate to have their ends ready before the end of this month, so I’ll expect to publish Alternate by mid to late November, if my patience and excitement can wait that long.

Now it’s time to relax and celebrate for a day before getting back to my writing. Because, after all, it’s the little things in life indeed.

A Redemption Story

Man, what a week.

I finished a manuscript, talked to an editor, and got first drafts from my book cover designer. It’s been exciting, knowing a finished product is on the way. But all of that can wait for another post. Because all of that pales in comparison to what happened today. I wanna take a moment to talk about a redemption story. A story about my friend, Andy.

Andy came over to my dorm today, like he has been for the past couple Thursdays, to work on a quiz together for our class. It was just like any other Thursday, us struggling to find the answers in the PowerPoint and the book, joking around and trying to focus while my roommate argues with his friends. Typical day. That is until my roommate and his friends left, and Andy asked me a question out of nowhere:

“Hey, have you found God?”

I didn’t think much of it. I just answered right back saying “Yeah.”

He nodded his head.

And then I asked him “Why, whats up?”

He went on to tell me how he had been depressed and doing things he wasn’t proud of, becoming a man he didn’t want to become. He told me about the dark thoughts and the low moments he didn’t want to have anymore. And he wanted to change all that. He wanted to turn it all around. So he went to a pastor and talked about things. He told me how powerful it was.

And then he told me he found Him. Continue reading

Fantasy Football!

I am a guy. So I do a lot of guy things. This blog is mostly intended for my writing adventures, but every once in a while I like to talk about my shenanigans. You’ll have to forgive me for this.

One of the guy things I do is fantasy football. Along with fantasy baseball, it’s kind of an obsession. But my fantasy prowess and obsession pails in comparison to my good friend Fantasy RiOT. He strikes fear into all his fantasy opponents like a fearsome pirate out at sea. If you like fantasy football and need to satisfy your week to week waiver wire thirst, or if you’re planning on playing next year and you need a draft kit, head on over to his blog.

I’m 4-1 in both of my leagues…and yeah I’m bragging a little bit. If you wanna brag like me, check out his sites:

@fantasyriot

www.facebook.com/fantasyriot

fantasyriot.com

Being a Christian Writer

I am a Christian.

Really, I’m a Catholic if you want to get technical. But I’m of the mindset that we all believe in Jesus so why does all the other stuff matter? I’m sure I might offend a few people with what I say, but hey, these are my beliefs. I’m not trying to convert you or ask you to believe what I believe. I just ask you to respect them, like I respect yours. The way religious interactions should be.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve noticed more and more how much of a stereotype people have on what being “Christian” is. I hate the fact that by me saying I’m a Christian writer, people will think I’m a Bible-toting, Scripture preaching, pagan hating worshiper. I’m not. Far from it actually. I’m a sinner and I know it. I surround myself with sinners who are of my religion and those who are not. I believe the church has a lot of flaws and hypocrisies to it, yet I still attend masses regularly. And I’m very open for interpretation of what the Bible says. I believe it’s something to meditate on and take away what it speaks to you, not something to be taken literally or an excuse to fuel what you think is right or wrong.

My line of thinking is different though. It’s different from the mainstream Christian population and it’s different from the stereotype. It puts me in a place where some extreme, conservative Christians might dislike what I say, while other non-believers will just write me off outright for saying I’m Christian. But I don’t mind it. That’s just the world I live in. And this is the world I write for.

Which brings me to my next point. I am a writer. Obviously you know this from my blog. As a writer, I believe it’s my responsibility to make you think, to make you question, to let you hear a message from my stories. My ultimate purpose and goal as a writer is to write messages. The way I see it, my stories are just a vessel. The messages are the cargo they’re delivering.

Does it matter that I write Sci-Fi? Does it matter that I write in dark worlds, with dark characters, on topics that the Church is openly against? It shouldn’t. Christian stories shouldn’t be all sunshine and roses. Jesus’ story certainly wasn’t. Why should mine be?

My beliefs and my faith spill over into my stories. I write with Christian messages. But what does that mean? Some of you may think I’m going to try to convert you, that I’m going to urge you to praise Jesus or take up the Bible so that you may go on and shove it down other people’s throats. That’s absolutely not what I mean by Christian messages. What I mean by this are things like hope, redemption, overcoming evil, loving your neighbor, fighting for what’s right, standing for the weak, believing against all odds. Those are Christian messages. That is what being Christian means. Regardless of your denomination. And I believe everyone, Christian or not, can enjoy stories with messages like those.

So I urge my Christian brothers and sisters: let’s get rid of the stereotype. Let’s not just write for each other, but for everyone. Everyone could use an uplifting story. Everyone could use a story that makes them think. Let’s write for the world we live in.

Let’s write with Christian messages.

Who’s with me?

 

 

The Hemingway Experiment

It’s Friday night.

My roommate went out with friends, and I stayed behind to conserve some money. Mostly because I’d like to spend it on some editing for my stories. And also because I needed to write tonight.

Before my roommate left, they hung out in the room and had a few drinks with me to kick off the night. I decided right then that I’d try the Hemingway experiment tonight. “Write drunk. Edit sober.” And I must say, it feels amazing.

Writer’s block? No such thing.

Grammatical errors? I’ll get back to you.

Content? Awesome.

I’m going to have to write like this more often. Writer friends: Try it out.

Maybe this Ernest guy was onto something.

 

Excerpt from “Star Thief”

Chapter 1

Starting With A Bang

“Hey, why did the sun go to school?” a blue skinned extraterrestrial asked through the radio.

“Get back to work,” said the green-skinned superior.

“C’mon, man,” Blue-skin pleaded. “why did the sun go to school?”

Green-skin pushed a power drill up against a loose screw on the space station. A planet covered with blue clouds and lightning floated quietly in the not-so distant distance.

“Y’know if you worked on this station as much as you worked on your jokes,” Green-skin counseled. “we’d probably be done by now.”

“You’re just saying that ’cause you wanna go home.”

Green-skin turned his head inside his helmet and exclaimed “Yeah! I’d very much like to be home right now!”

“Well, unlike you,” Blue-skin finished drilling his screw into the round, black contraption he was working on. “I enjoy working out here.”

Green-skin glanced a disbelieving eye over to Blue-skin and replied “You? Enjoying work?”

“Hey,” Blue-skin defended. “Don’t laugh!”

Green-skin floated off clutching his stomach, laughing hysterically. He grabbed onto his safety rope and pulled himself back.

“You’re meanin’ to tell me,” Blue-skin argued. “that you don’t enjoy every second of being in this liberating feeling of zero gravity, among all these stars with a beautiful view of our home planet, Europa?” Continue reading

My experience getting an awesome book cover with 99Designs.

Artrocity.

That is the name I’d like to start with when talking about 99Designs. If you’re thinking of getting a book cover designer, hit her up.

So anyway, getting back to my experience. As an aspiring indie author and current undergrad student, needless to say, I’m kinda financially challenged. But recently my par time job started up again with the new semester, so I had some nice cash flow recently, and I decided to invest that money back to myself: my writing. So I checked out some relatively affordable freelance editors, formatters, and designers. Naturally, the designers were the most expensive. And that’s when I stumbled upon 99Designs, which is basically a site where you hold a contest for your book cover and have a prize of somewhere between$200 and $1100 (I obviously chose the $200 prize, which costs $300 through the 99Designs).

I was worried, skeptical, hesitant at first. But going along with how I usually go about things: I went for it.

And I was blown away. Continue reading

Sci-fi Sports Story

Who would be interested in something like this? I feel like I may be the only one. I love sci-fi stories for their ability to take us to new worlds and imagine and immerse yourself in things that might one day be real. And I also love sports stories, the intensity of the drama, the desire of the athlete(s) to overcome their struggles and upbringing to achieve victory. I think blending these two could be something special. Something like the first human to ever be recruited to a sports team on Mars. Or the first human to win a championship in wrestling on Saturn. Something like that. Something very human, yet sci-fi.

I’m gonna try it out. I may be the only crazy dude out there who would enjoy something like this, but hey, maybe someone else out there is as weird as me. Hopefully we can find each other.

Inspired

Wow.

I just read a post on kboards about a trucker who worked 70 hours a week and still managed to chase his dream of being a writer. He wrote in the sleeper of his truck and cranked out 178K words in less than 6 months. He quit his day job and started writing full time. Now he’s getting “All Star Bonuses” from Kindle Select. That guy right there went for it.

And he got it.

Stories like that make my dream seem not so foolish. Or at least it inspires me to follow along the other fools like me.

For anyone out there who needs some motivation or inspiration, whether you’re a writer, a student, or anyone who has a dream, I recommend you read his post. It’s a great story.

Wayne’s Dream