What Words Are These?

Writers Block might as well be called “Writers Constipation”.

I know, its rather gross an image.  But work with me here.  All blocked up in every project you’re working on, oh honey you’re just doomed.  Forever.

I’m there.  Blocked, flowing, blocked, flowing.  It’s an on/off relationship with Words.

Friends of mine are taking off by chapters and word counts, and I’m sitting here mournfully, wondering when the right concoction might cause the words to flow again.

After 13 years, SURELY my fantasy world had produced physical evidence in the real world?!

Technically, it has.  I have written five books quite successfully that are so poorly executed they will never see light of day.  For the best interest of anyone involved.

JP Haldenwang, a good friend of mine, has so sweetly volunteered to read a book I need to rewrite, for the beautiful sake of feedback.  Is the plot worth salvaging?  What parts should I drop altogether when I start over?

I am successful in my own way, I suppose.  My children are fed, clothed, bathed, happy–  and my proverbial children are dancing gaily in my head spinning new books ((One of which I am trying to write….)) and stories in my imagination.
Meanwhile, I work on art projects and make maps, beta read, read for reviews.  As a Multi-talented artist, and a supportive friend, I seek to help further my successful writer friends in their endeavors!

How wonderful it is to watch their blogs I share be viewed, and shared, knowing they’re getting exposure to the world in whatever tiny faucet I can offer.  My following is small compared to the wide world their books are apart of, but every ounce of promotion counts.  Who knows how many sales I have helped them receive by sharing their books and faces on my blog!

Perhaps one day, I will finally have my own published book to join theirs.

Meanwhile, it’s the little things that count.  Force yourself to write.  Start small, keep a commonplace journal, but whatever you do WRITE.  And don’t stop when the trickle turns to running water.  Let it all out.
It’s not good for your mood, your inner peace, how you view yourself….
Blocks don’t make you a failure.  They make you human.

And we are that, dear writer.  Humans with evolving emotions.  Our minds open and change year after year, experiencing so many new things.
Let the stories grow with you.
We all start somewhere.

“Verbs?  Those are what, remind me?”
“Adverbs?  I certainly never knowingly acknowledged their existence.”
“What do you mean people don’t talk like that?  That’s how it sounded in my head….?”

JUST WRITE.  Relish the beautiful thing you did in finishing a book.  And then when you go back to read it and edit it, REMIND yourself that it is beautiful, because YOU finished it.
Now perfect and polish it until it gleams.  One. Scene. At. A. Time.
We become overwhelmed when we allow the negative thoughts to tarnish our success.
Writing a book is an incredible thing.
Perfecting a book is a difficult, and still incredible thing.

Only YOU can stop YOURSELF from finishing it.  So don’t.
Block out all of the noise around you, and tell your story.  It is worth telling.

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Author Spotlight: R.A. McCandless

Inspirations of an Author

Tolkien’s The Hobbit was given to me as a gift when I was 11, and it really opened the castle gates of fantasy to me. Suddenly, there was a whole world of swords, magic and fantastical creatures to meet. Immediately after I turned the last page, I took all the money I had saved in my Crayola bank, and biked down to the local bookstore. My goal was to buy everything else Tolkien had written. I had no idea I was getting the seminal fantasy series: The Lord of the Rings. From there, the elements that inspire my stories are varied and wondrous. Some may seem mundane, like conversations with friends and acquaintances—but everything, and I mean everything, can inform and inspire an author.

 

One of the biggest for me is any world where dragons can make an appearance. I find that extremely compelling. They don’t have to show up, but the idea that they can? Please and thank you! I also like any world where a woman is as strong or stronger that most of the men around. Not necessarily physically strong, although that’s groovy too. Personally, I prefer a woman who can go toe-to-toe and sword-to-sword with anyone else. Obviously, my preferred genre is fantasy, but I’ll take urban fantasy, science fiction and even historic fiction off the shelves for those reasons.

 

With that in mind, I’ve been inspired to write (hopefully) strong female characters for a couple of decades now. I didn’t set out to do so. There was no conscious effort to make my work specifically male or female. My very first, very immature story was about my group of friends in junior high/high school. Because I was, have been, and always will be interested in fantasy, it was in a fantasy setting. Everyone carried swords, everyone was heroic with their swords, and that was essentially that. It was a story meant for my friends, and I thought highly of all of them, regardless of their gender. My parents raised me to believe that everyone was deserving of equal treatment. At the same time, I recognize that women around the world are not treated equally. Portraying women as something other than a pretty damsel in distress adds to the conversation. That doesn’t mean I denigrate men to raise up women. That’s also the wrong message to send. HELL BECOMES HER is the follow up to my debut release TEARS OF HEAVEN and follows the further adventures of Del, a strong female protagonist, who faces demons, both real and inner. This time around, she gets to face some classic bad guys, while at the same time confronting what it means to be both a woman and a mother. Challenges that face any parent on a daily basis, even one that isn’t fighting supernatural forces.

 

Finally, telling a good story well and hitting some epic high note moments is always inspiring. It’s hard to not to get carried away from the reality of, say, a sword fight or a gun battle, and into the unrealistic. Keeping the physics of actions and reactions on target is something I really strive for and enjoy. This is especially enjoyable when readers catch the effort that went into making a scene exciting, but still within the realm of the real. I have to say that my favorite is when a reader comes to me and says, “I can’t believe you killed this character. He was my favorite.” They really aren’t mad, but it means that I connected with them through that character, and I achieved a realism of life between their mind and the book with that character. That’s magic right there.

 

About the Author

Rob - Head ShotRobRoy McCandless was born under a wandering star that led to a degree in Communication and English with a focus on creative writing. He’s the author of the urban fantasy TEARS OF HEAVEN winner of the 2014 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll and a 2015 EPIC eBook finalist and HELL BECOMES HER. His shorts have appeared in “In Shambles” (with Kevin J. Anderson) “Gears, Gadgets and Steam” and “Nine Heroes”. He continues to research and write historical and genre fiction, battle sprinklers, and play with his three boys.

 

Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RA-McCandless/e/B00H58AJU6/
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360276.R_A_McCandless
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1055251900
Kobo: www.store.kobobooks.com/it-us/books/Tears-of-Heaven/
Publisher: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=441
Website: http://robroymccandless.wix.com/ramccandless
Blog: http://www.highlandrogue.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobroyMccandless
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobRoyMcCandles

 

Den Of Thieves: A Den Of Quills Anthology

Dear Readers,
Discount codes are available to download the Anthology I was recently published in.
I’m VERY excited to share this with all of you, as it is my first full-length story to be published.
We worked exceptionally hard, in Den of Quills, to put this book together, and proceeds from each purchase will be donated to the World Literacy Foundation.
Of the 14 writers who put the books together, many of us are first time authors.
I thank each of you for your support, and your interest in me and my works.

It is available on Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/539289

Through May 31st, you may receive a 25% discount!
Use coupon code: VB87J

It is also available in a print copy on Create Space:
https://www.createspace.com/5465665

Also available at a 25% discount through May 31st!
Use coupon code: TGERED9J

Thank you guys for your support!
Blessed May to you all!

Author Introduction: Tyler Omichinski

Tyler Omichinski and I met through a writing group known as Den Of Quills on Facebook.
He is featured in our upcoming Anthology, Den Of Thieves, and is personally publishing our NEXT anthology to be released in time for Autumn 2015.
With upcoming releases of his own, I now turn it over to him!

Tyler Omichinski

I am a somewhat experienced writer and freelancer, whatever that means.

My background is in law, politics, and policy, and I tend to dabble and be involved in stuff like that still. I dream of someday being able to make it just writing and doing essentially just what I want to do.

I’m about to release a couple of short stories as ebooks on Amazon. I’ve seen how webcomics, RPGs, and a number of other industries have gone with how they changed their business model, and now in the latest Writer’s Digest, at the time of writing, they are talking about a number of writers having success releasing their short stories online. There’s been a lot of other signs about it being a good call, so I’m releasing a few short stories that people have loved but haven’t been able to otherwise find homes to Amazon to see how they do.

I’m starting with two main pieces; Drop Out and From the Desk of Elizabeth Cooper. Drop Out is the second in a series of short stories that I’m writing about the future of humanity and how it seems to me that things will shake out as a result of us trying to become a post-needs society and deal with the environmental problems that we’re starting to face. From the Desk of Elizabeth Cooper is written as a found document and is vaguely cosmic horror. It is an attempt to modernize and follow Lovecraft, but applying modern corporations and laws to show how strange and alien these artificial creations really are. It feels unsettling and alien.

Currently I’m trying to put together a few different things. I have a novel that is nearly half done that I’m hoping to be shopping around to agents by the end of the year. I have released some teasers and early bits on my own website. I’m also doing my freelance thing, including a lot of writing for RPG companies. Finally, I’m involved with a publishing company here in Canada that is looking at doing some things with James Bond now that he’s off of copyright here in Canada.

My short stories will be out soon at my Amazon page, and I have a few pieces that I’m already featured in but you can see most of my portfolio at my own website.

Tyler has been writing for games companies for a few months, sent a number of short stories out into the wild, and regularly slings copy to keep him in coffee. He lives with a gigantic black dog named after Lord Byron who lives up to the name, and a badass editor of a fiancé. At some point he will likely have to get back into the day job game, but for the time being he’s wrangling with words and fighting them into submission.