Dreams with Deadlines

Dreams with Deadlines

This blog is sort of my public journal of sorts. I honestly don’t know how many people actually read it. I know some read it by email subscription and a very small few actually come to the main page. I just added Google+ and LinkedIn, but I don’t know if that’s really going to matter or not. I’ve shared a lot of thoughts on this blog since I became serious about it. A lot of thoughts on writing, my progress, gaming, Caitlyn, Talissa and a lot of other things. 

But in the end, -rks is a writing blog. It’s about my journey to becoming a full-fledged author. To becoming a published author. One day, I hope someone will be interested enough to go into the archives and read posts like these to find out how I made it as an author.

Why am I doing this blog? Sometimes, I don’t really know. Part of it is that I know I’m supposed to. I’m supposed to do a blog. That’s what authors do these days. I know most of the time I’m talking to myself. But somehow, I’m okay with that. I’m one of those people who tend to figure out things as I write them. It’s one of the ways I think. So if I ramble, it’s probably because I’m trying to work something out. Part of it is because I hope that I might somehow find a community out there where I fit in. Part of it is because I can.

Why am I saying all of this?

Because in about a week, my Baby Bonding Time will be at an end. And that means my time at home is at an end. I haven’t worked at Apple since the middle of September due to my panic attacks and the birth of Talissa. Very soon, I’ll be going back.

I’ve been thinking a bit about what that means. About what that means for my daily writing goals. About what that means for the OC Inklings Critique Group. About what that means for me as a person. About what that means for my future.

The conclusion is one that I’ve already come to, but somehow it seems different now.

In 2011, I won Honorable Mention in the Blizzard Global Writing contest, the last one they ever did (the person who spearheaded it was laid off during that Winter, sadly). For me, that was the proof I needed that I could write. And I could write pretty damn well. Enough that out of the thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of entries, mine warranted a “Honorable Mention.” That I could take characters who were not my own and create a believable story enough for the people who originally crafted the world…that was a major milestone in my writing life. Since that event, the little voice in my head telling me that I can’t write has had no power over me. Because I had the proof that I can do this.

In the last three months, I’ve learned a lot about writing. I’ve learned a lot about networking and that “Ashes over Stormwind” was not a fluke. “Beyond the Waterfall,” the first story submitted to the OC Inklings, was 9,000 words. The assigned goal for critiquing was 3,000. Nearly everyone burned past the 3,000 mark and just finished the story. They were so interested in the events of this short story that they read their required reading twice over.

The results? Overwhelming positive. Reviews on “A Glimmer of Perspective?” Overwhelmingly positive. Comments regarding “Soul of the Scribe?” Overwhelmingly positive.

A while back, I decided I wanted to be an author for real and I wrote an extensive post on it.

As I head back to my normal day job, I’m realizing that’s exactly what it is: a normal day job. A vast majority of authors have to hold down the standard day job to make ends meet as they worked on their craft. And as I go back to Apple, that is my new mindset. I will do my job to the best of my ability. I will search for ways to push myself and learn all I can. Because places like Apple are ripe for stories. Not necessarily because of the events that happen, but in watching the way people interact with and react to one another. Coworkers, customers, managers, kids, regionals, Geniuses, salespeople…I can learn from this place and it can make my craft better.

What I believe my greatest story, “Soul of the Scribe” which spawned the “Crafters of Taylin” universe with 5 books and over 300,000 words (or more) started while I was sitting in my car on my lunch break on a hot summer’s day, staring at the screen because I was bored with the story I’d been working on and wanted something new. So I started with that. An author with writer’s block on a hot day. That became what I believe to be my masterpiece.

My passion is for writing. And one day, I hope to pursue that passion full-time. But until then, I must remember that the environments around me are what show me human interactions, which is almost always at the core of any good story.

So what does this all mean? It sounds all really fancy and hypothetical and theoretical and a lot of other -reticals.

Well, Saddleback Church is going through a series called Transformed. Heh, ironic, considering what I write, right? (Pun mildly intended there). And the lesson today was about goals. Pastor Rick Warren said that the difference between a Dream and a Goal is a Goal is a Dream with a Deadline.

So what’s my Dreams with Deadlines?

By January 27, 2014, I will have “Beyond the Waterfall” ready to go up on Kindle.

By June 1, 2014, I will have at least one novel ready to shop to traditional publishers.

By October 1, 2014, I will have a second novel ready to shop to traditional publishers.

Every week, I will continue running the OC Inklings Critique Group.

And by 2019, five years from now, I will be making enough income from my published works to pursue writing full time.

There are many who might say a few of these goals are impossible or absurd. Way too high. Especially the last one. I’ve got to be crazy right? Well, part of the whole goal this is that it stretches your faith. I can’t do this alone. I don’t have the self-discipline, I don’t have the self-control. I need God to help me…and I need writing friends to help me.

If anyone would like to be a writing buddy of mine and you’ve actually gotten this far, please let me know. I’ll tell you about my ideas.

But the true challenge? Tomorrow morning. It’s easy to make big plans in blogs. It’s easy to do big promises. And then I need to actually do the editing I need to do. It’s hard. I hate editing. But it has to be done. It has to go through that process. I need to do that work. Which is why I’ll spend some time tonight working on my critiques for “Beyond the Waterfall” after I’ve done my personal journal.

By the way, did you know I write 2000 words a day in my current work and another 1500-2000 words a day in my journal? 4,000 words a day. That’s pretty cool. Psychotic. But cool.

Other Things

I could mention other stuff, like my complete and total obliteration of the English Empire in Civilization V and the joys of seeing my invasion fleet crossing the ocean between our continents. About sending their navy to the bottom of the ocean and watching their cities fall in quick succession and enjoying wielding my insane amount of power across the globe, to the point where I send frigates wandering icy straits to take out marauding bands of pirates just for something to do.

Or the joy I got in playing “The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime” this week, in revisiting a very old and dear friend who looks damn good even after 15 years.

Or the photo shoot we did yesterday in Irvine Park which I hope to post pictures of soon.

Or the fact that we got Tali to take the bottle fully yesterday.

But today, today is about the writing. So the rest of that can wait for another time.

However, I will add a Pony Video. Because it would be weird if I didn’t, right?

It would.

IT WOULD.

This one you probably won’t get unless you’ve actually seen the episode it’s referring to, but still. It’s awesome.

Anyway, that’s all for this week. They’ll be a special post next week before I return. 🙂

Good luck and have fun!

-rks

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Glimmers in the Night

Glimmer

I’m pretty stoked to see FOUR 5-star reviews of “A Glimmer of Perspective” on my Amazon site. Three of them were from the Facebook OC Writer’s group, though I’m happy to say I didn’t ask for any of them. All of them were the honest opinions of others. And I don’t even know who the fourth is!

So people seem to like my writing. That’s good. I’m happy to hear it.

Still, please take a look!

Because I’m starting something new!

In the Sun Eagle’s Wake

This story is set in the Dreamscape universe. And I’m aiming for it to be a short. I hope. Whenever I actually AIM for a short story, it ends up long. But so far, the pieces are just falling in place without any trouble. So far I’m about 1,000 words in. I don’t really know how long it will be. I have a middle and an ending vaguely in mind, but that’s it. But so far, I’m enjoying it and the characters are just fun.

The Night

And now to the not-so-fun thing.

The stress in my life is getting…extremely difficult. The stress caused by issues at work, Caitlyn’s seizures and everything else are starting to impact every aspect of my life. I’m not sleeping well. I can’t concentrate. My writing isn’t working as well as I want to. I’m not doing well at work.

It’s getting bad.

I have a plan on what to do…but…well, I need some serious divine intervention to make it work. Now’s a good time for a miracle, God.

Gaming

I’m taking a break from World of Warcraft right now, even though 5.4 just launched. I wanted to give things some time to settle down before I head to the Timeless Isle…and then take Lyss into Siege of Orgimmar. Should be fun…though now I get the fun activity of trying desperately to hide from spoilers about the end cinematic.

So after I finished most of the campaign and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep in Borderlands 2, I decided to move on to something I’ve been wanting to play for a bit: Star Wars: The Old Republic.

SW:ToR

I haven’t written much about this since I stopped playing back in March some time ago. I feel bad for BioWare, because they had an amazing game there…but…it just didn’t hit the nail like it should have. The original issues that annoyed me greatly in the beginning are still there. Very long load times and very long travel times. I might be spoiled from flying in WoW, but it’s just difficult to judge. In addition, I don’t feel all that powerful. I seem to have to heal after every fight…and it slows things down a lot.

Sadly, there are new problems with the Free to Play model. Primarily, they shove the subscription model in your face every chance you get. Seriously…it’s EVERYWHERE. When you go into a rest area, you find out you don’t get rested XP…from a giant message along the time. Just mousing over XP bars or even GETTING QUEST REWARDS…you’re told a thousand times you need to subscribe to get this, that or the other.

With that being said, the story is still damn near amazing. At the moment, I’m going through the Jedi Knight quest line on Alderaan and I am definitely into it. I do love that my character is actually fully voiced. And the environment are gorgeous. I’m considering reupping for about a month or so to see if it’s worth it or not. But I haven’t decided yet.

Rewards

So, to end tonight, let’s talk about my own rewards. First of all, I purchased a Fluttershy and a Twilight Sparkle patch for my work bag. And a new pony shirt. (What? Did you think you were going to escape the pony thing? Ha!) I’m totally thrilled to get these. My own little present for finally getting published.

Now…I’ve thought about the videos for this week…and couldn’t come up with anything clever. So time for just some random Pony Music Videos:


 

Why? Because I like them. That’s really it. 🙂

Anyway, that’s it for this week. I’m going to put the whole “Journey to Equestria” thing on hold for a bit. I need to update it and proofread it.

Good luck and have fun!

-rks

Now Available on Kindle: “A Glimmer of Perspective”

Go check out “A Glimmer of Perspective” now!

Glimmer of Perspective Final Cover

Synopsis:

This is about our companions. Of the secrets they keep. Of the duties they perform. Of the work they do every day as we rush around in our lives, unaware of the hidden things in our own homes.

We can only see the direct result of their labors. But occasionally, our companions will allow us a glimmer into the true nature of the world.

This is one such glimmer.

(2000 Words)

——–

I’m happy to announce that “A Glimmer of Perspective” is now available for sale on Kindle.

I’ve edited the story to death, killed myself trying to come up with the right cover and gotten a million opinions, but it’s finally done.

I’m currently selling it for just $0.99, so hopefully I’ll do pretty well. The only trick is to get eyes on the story. That’s going to be the serious challenge. However, my Facebook writing group (OC Writers) has been very supportive and two of them were nice enough to actually post very positive reviews. And no, I didn’t ask them to do it. They did it on their own.

I’ve had pretty good comments on this story overall. I posted the original draft on deviantArt some years ago. The story is completely different now, but still, those comments helped encourage me to do this in the end. I won’t bore you with them though, at least not right now.

In the aftermath, I’m just tired. I worked for hours to get this just right on Saturday afternoon…but there are other things going on…

Stress

Things…aren’t going well for me right now. I’m not foolish enough to be totally honest and open about them. I’m sure I’ve caused serious problems doing that in the past, as I’ve said before. But I’m having a lot of trouble at work. And I’ve had a serious increase in panic attacks lately.

I don’t know if it’s about Caitlyn’s MRI tomorrow, dealing with leave issues with work, all the work I’ve put into Glimmer, Caitlyn generally being a bit of a lunatic lately or what. It seems like I’m under attack from all sides right now. I was hoping it would lessen when Glimmer was done, but it hasn’t. If anything, Glimmer was a good distraction for the serious problems I have right now.

I can’t say more. But I’ll ask for whatever prayers/good thoughts/what-have-you you’re willing to send my way.

Writing Goals

*Sigh* I actually tried to do some writing this week, but I got less than 200 words done. Terrible, just terrible. I can’t believe it. All of this stress has sent me into serious issues with my writing. I don’t know what project to work on. Should it be “The Last Dreamer” or should I delve back into the Dreamscape universe? I don’t know…and I won’t be able to decide today.

I don’t know…I might just have to write when I can this month. It’s going to be hell with all of Caitlyn’s medical appointments, combined with the OB/GYN appointments for Laura. Plus I’m going to need to see a few doctors this month.

I have no idea how I’m going to keep it together.

Assorted

There’s a lot of other things going on too. I’m going to try and get Glimmer up on iBooks, Kodo and Nook. And I’m also considering doing some of my older stories. However, those stories will need to be done under a pen name. And while you might try and figure them out, I doubt you’ll be able to do it. 😛

Also, because there’s like maybe 3 of you.

But hopefully, I have a few more folks coming in because of this story.

Anyway, it’s time for the weekly videos, right?

First we have this GORGEOUS song, based off “Love is in Bloom.” I beg you just to try and listen to it. Yes, it is Pony-related, but you need to move past that and just enjoy this stunning music.

 

Now this, this is just fun. I love the visual style of this video. It’s just plain old COOL. I wish I could come up with effects like this.


That’s it for this week folks.

Next week, I’ll see about posting the “Journey to Equestria” retrospective for something different.

Good luck and have fun!

-rks