A day in which you write something is a day well-spent

Well, I finished going through Binding Power with editing. There were so many grammatical errors in it, I’m glad I did so.¬†Now, I’ll be publishing a second edition with new content and cover blurb. I hope everyone likes it, and I look forward to submitting it for a writing competition.

Keep Writing, my friends!


Gortha swung her great-sword at the back of the fleeing, bat-eared creature. The huge, five-inch-wide blade sliced easily into the nape of the goblin’s neck, cleaving the thing’s head from its shoulders. The twitching body kept running for a few more feet before it tumbled lifelessly to the yellowed grass.

Around her, muscular men and women wearing various animal hides tore into the ranks of the escaping raiders, tearing through them with double-bladed axes, spiked clubs, war-hammers, and large boulders.

The goblins fell, not one by one but in waves as the bloodthirsty barbarians took out their seething rage on them.

“Gortha!”A familiar voice pierced through the blanket of cries of pain and roars of anger. The barbarian woman turned sharply toward the sound, swinging her massive sword up to rest the blade on her shoulder. A young male trotted up to the bloodied fighter.

“Hail, Jorgren Swiftblade,” she acknowledged. “What news from the chief?”

“The whelps are fleeing back to Lurkwood, and the chief is leading the rout.”

“They are getting bolder,” Gortha growled. “We’ll get trolls coming out of the Evermoors soon if we don’t cut down these raids.” Her companion nodded grimly.

Shouts rang out over the din of battle, and normally the pair of experienced fighters wouldn’t have given the sound a second thought. But the urgent tone caught their attention. Gortha and Jorgren turned toward the noise, bringing their gore-covered weapons to bear.

Jorgren lifted his club into a two-handed grip. The weapon was meticulously cared for, its wood polished so it gleamed where blood did not conceal it and the dozen or so iron spikes embedded into the head whetted to a needle-like sharpness.

Fifteen or so of their tribesmen were running from the west across the River Surbin to join them. The men and women were pointing to the cluster of large hills in the distance behind them.

“Movement in the Griffon’s Nest!” Gortha heard faintly. A bubbling snarl rose in the back of her throat, and it was echoed by the growl from Jorgren.

“I would wager five crowns they had something to do with the raids,” her companion said quietly. Gortha looked over at him sharply and made a negative motion with her head, her thick, blood-soaked braid brushing the middle of her back with the motion.

“That is not a wager I am willing to make. The Griffons are cruel and without honor, but they would not send such creatures at us.”

“The chief sends for your blade, Gortha Goblinreaver. We are to parlay with the Griffon Tribe, but be ready for battle,” said one of the tribesmen. The sword-wielding barbarian knelt down and wiped her blade off on the ragged tunic of a fallen goblin.

Jorgren knelt beside her and murmured grimly so only she could hear, “This is going to be a bloodbath, I am certain.” Gortha nodded, looking to the west where she could see her tribe and the other moving toward each other and hoped that her friend was wrong.

I was recently thinking back on how my stories came to be.

While my first novel, That Fateful Day, was written based on character development from World of Warcraft, my subsequent published works were based off of dreams that I had.

My children’s book, The Boy Who Didn’t Eat Vegetables, was inspired by a dream in which I woke up in bed and realized that I had shrunk to about two inches tall. I rode around in a hot-wheels car in a looping track, but the dream was cut off by an unexpected fall from the top of the slope. I woke up from the dream feeling very disoriented but realized that it would make an interesting story. I was twelve years old at the time.

The Saga of the Answering Storm was born in June of 2011. I had the most intense dream in which I was sitting cross-legged in complete darkness with five bowls sitting on the ground–or whatever the floor consisted of–and all of them had a glow emanating from inside.

Then suddenly, my perspective in the dream changed. My sight drifted away from my body, and I ended up turned to look at myself with the bowls between my body and me. Except that when I was looking at myself from my Out-of-Body Experience, I realized that my body had been that of a man with dark hair. As I watched, the man that I had been leaned forward and put his face into one of the glowing bowls. When he lifted his head again, his eyes glowed brightly with a blue light.

I don’t remember what happened after that, I just remember waking up and talking to my good friend Eva about it, who sugested that I write it down. Binding Power was born.

I make a simple suggestion to you all. Keep a dream journal by your bed or a tablet or whatever you use to write in and write down dreams that seem even remotely interesting. I can tell you from experience that they can surprise you with the kind of stories you can write about them.

Have fun and keep dreaming!

TJ stared at the blank sheet of paper in front of him and forced himself to refrain from ripping it to pieces in frustration. He tapped the drawing pencil in his hand against the edge of the easel, trying to get the idea in his head to manifest into an image he could put on the canvas.

It started to take form, albeit slowly. He lifted the pencil and started to draw, closing his eyes every few seconds to see it more clearly.

The outline finished, TJ moved in to shade and define with color. The man on the canvas was starting to look good, he saw, much to his satisfaction. His urban line of clothing hadn’t been doing well, according to the NY Associates, but this design he had seen in a dream the night before would blow them away, he was sure.

The gold-on-black design of the hoodie gave the man in his drawing a stylish and slightly high fashion look. The baggy, navy blue jeans were artfully torn in places to contrast the chic quality of the hoodie.

His cell-phone started playing the first notes of Look at Me.

“Yo, Kyle, what’s up? I’m in the middle of somethin’.”

His best friend had followed him into the design business and was actually his partner.

“Hey, TJ. I’m sorry to bother you, but this couldn’t wait.” His tone was subdued, and TJ was immediately attentive.

“What’s the problem, bro?”

“They’re dropping our contract, TJ. They found someone else to design for the fall selection.”

TJ felt numb. Distantly, he heard his colored pencil hit the tile floor after it slid through his limp fingers.

“They–they can’t!”

“They did. You should have a notice in the mail. I wanted you to hear it from a person, though, not a piece of paper. We’ll find another company to hire us, TJ. Don’t worry.” Kyle hung up.

TJ stared blankly at the design in front of him, wondering how he was going to pay the rent for his New York flat next month without a steady income. He got off the stool and walked over to the window where he could see the view of the skyline. He was going to miss having an apartment.

The sound of muffled thuds hitting the floor followed by the clatter of a falling easel caught his attention. He spun around, his hand moving toward the pocket knife he always kept handy in case of emergencies. It took the man a few moments to realize what he was looking at.

The man in the drawing was still there, but the clothes TJ had designed had fallen off and onto the floor, causing the easel to fall with them. Gold thread glittered against the black fabric, and artfully torn blue jeans poked out from under the large hoodie. The designer stooped down to pick up what had once been a drawing on paper.

The cloth was just as he had imagined it would be when he had put pencil to paper. The design was perfect. Looking at the hoodie in his hands and feeling the texture, TJ started to grin. Laughter bubbled in his chest, forcing its way out of his mouth with wild abandon.

“TJ’s back, baby!” he shouted. The image of a penthouse condo filled his mind at the thought of how much money he would soon be making with his designs. He and Kyle wouldn’t have to grovel for every clothing company for pennies anymore. Life was about to get really awesome.

A special thanks to TJ for his exuberance and willingness to share his dreams and ideas with me.

It’s about that time again, people! The Texas Comicpalooza is right around the corner, and I’m so excited!

The most awesome thing happened. My publisher has been chosen to organize the author/writing panels for the convention this May on Memorial Day weekend. That means that I will be speaking at no less than three writing panels along with some other author friends and colleagues.

Among our topics, we will be speaking about transforming story ideas into novels and making those novels perfect, from making sure the characters are realistic and lovable to the intricate details of plot devlopment and structure.

I would be so pleased to see some of you there, and if you come and find me at the palooza, I will be sure to give you a free, autographed copy of my latest novel!

I love you all and hope to see you in May!

Kathryn walked down the sidewalk quietly but alertly, watching everyone around her with a silent intensity. The college campus was loud at this time of day with students lounging on benches and shouting at each other. To her left, a large group of them were gathered in front of a small stage where a young man was lecturing and gesticulating with a bible in one hand.

She heard nothing. Kathryn was aurally deaf to the world. The excited noises made by the people around her were unnoticed by the young woman. However, the sight of them bouncing around and gesturing made her smile.

Of a sudden, she noticed about two dozen people streaming out of the art building. From their expressions and exaggerated movement of their mouths, she figured that they were upset and shouting.

Concerned, she ran up to one of them and asked what was going on.

There is a fire in the building, she read on the woman’s lips.

Is there anyone else in there? Kathryn asked.

I think someone was looking for her little girl a minute ago. She’s still inside.

Kathryn looked behind the woman and saw that there was, indeed, another one inside, screaming.

It was a large building, so it would be difficult for anyone to find the child before she was injured or burned. Kathryn looked at the windows intently, searching for any sign of her.

Suddenly, something strange happened. As Kathryn scanned the nearly opaque windows above her, her ability to see through them was easier. Even weirder, the young woman thought she could see through the walls around them. Kathryn’s mouth fell open in awe as she stared through was appeared to be a transparent building. Her awe turned to excitement in a moment when she saw the small form huddled underneath what appeared to be a desk on the second floor.

I know where she is! Kathryn told the woman in front of her as clearly as she could, her hands forming the words as they were spoken.

Where? Kathryn read on her lips. Making a split-second decision, Kathryn shrugged off her backpack and started toward the building, knowing that she was the only one who could find the little girl in time.

Follow me; I know where your daughter is, she said to the frantic woman just inside the doors. The one who had told her of the child followed close behind.

As Kathryn led the way to the stairs, she thought of how exciting her life was about to become.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to my dear friend Kathryn Hruska, whose kindness and courage to live in a silent world inspired this origin story.

I recently had a bad breakup with someone I really cared about but was no longer able to love as I once did. It was hard on both of us, and things seemed to spiral out of control for a while after, but we pushed through.

My heartache has been keeping me low and depressed, but recently, I’ve found that writing sort fiction raises my spirits. Positive, exciting fiction with a happy ending always makes me upbeat. It’s interesting to realize that doing something we love can restore our levity. It certainly restored mine. I’m planning on publishing the short fiction I’ve been writing on Flash Fiction Fridays at the behest of my publisher.

I recommend short fiction writing for anyone who is going through something difficult or stressful; getting the proverbial creative juices flowing and translating that stress into a story that ends happily works wonders for healing the heartache.

Stay positive, my friends.

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