The dreams that we mentioned last week, the ones that ‘someday’ never quite comes for, are achievable if we take one small step toward them each day. Perhaps, for buying the house, we forgo the new sofa that would look much better in the living room and put the money in a special account so it isn’t spent. For the book we want to write, maybe we write up the bios on a couple of characters a day, or maybe we jot down a paragraph or two at lunch. And that trip we so desperately want? Maybe instead of hanging out with the guys every Friday night, we cut it back to two per month and stick the extra cash in a trip jar. Before long, we have what we dreamed of. Does it take sacrifice? Yep. Does it take patience? You bet. But the little steps we take, day by day, will still get us there in the end.
One of my favorite authors, I won’t say which one, released a new book recently, and, of course, I had to get it. I have to say, though, that I was disappointed, not in the storyline, but in the writing itself. It was almost childish and nowhere near what I’ve come to expect.
I did a post a while back on the current mindset that books should be short, simple, and to the point. New writers are encouraged not to create complex plots with several characters, and they’re advised to keep their books quick to read. Personally, I think this mentality undermines the purpose behind reading, but what do I know?
Reading this book by this best-selling author got me thinking again about quality. If those who are best sellers and have editors and whatnot can toss together something that seems like editing, if it occurred at all, was only an after thought, what hope is there for the rest of us? I mean, I know my books aren’t best sellers. Heck, I doubt more than twenty people have read any of them, but I know that I try. I write, rewrite, revise, edit, edit again, get someone else to edit, and edit again. Then I usually start all over three or four times before I finally decide that maybe, just maybe, the story’s presentable. And then I’m likely to second guess myself to the point where I re-upload the file a gazillion times after making changes (which sends my email into spasms from where I get notified that the changes have been published).
With all this effort involved with very little return on the time (I know, that’s part of writing, and I do it because I love it), seeing those who enjoy best selling status, who have thousands or millions of fans, and who sell tons of books just toss out something a middle schooler could write better makes me wonder if we’ve fallen so far as readers that we don’t want or expect quality and effort. Have we dulled our imaginations to the point that falling into a good book and getting to know its world is impossible? Have we so much embraced the concept that no one has to put effort into anything to be successful that we no longer care about quality? I don’t know the answer to this, but I know that, while my books may not be perfect, the absolute best of my ability was put into them. And that’s all I can do.
In the next Ethan Grimley book, The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: Revenge of Cronus, Ethan and his friends have some time to kill. They play a game that is still in the naming process, but these are the pieces in real life. I still have some details to work out on some of the rules, but, so far, it’s fun to play.
We all dream of something. It could be going on a trip, publishing a book, buying a house. A lot of the time, we put these dreams on the back burner and tell ourselves that we’ll get around to them some day. The thing is that ‘someday’ never seems to quite get there. If we want to live our dreams, we have to work on them now, no matter how much we have to sacrifice to do it.
Well, things are moving along nicely, I think. The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: Revenge of Cronus will release at the end of October. For this one Ethan returns home to Land’s End for the Yuletide holiday. He’s looking forward to it but apprehensive all the same. His mother, after all, didn’t let him leave home willingly. She restrains herself, however, since Ethan’s friends have come with him. They don’t get a quiet Yuletide, however, as Cronus hasn’t finished with them yet. This time, though, Cronus has an ace that they don’t know about, and Ethan has to deal with the possibility of betrayal along with the angry god.
I’m also hoping to have another adult novella out by the end of December. This one will be titled River of Blood, but I haven’t gotten far enough alone to make a cover yet. River of Blood takes place in the Shizzuria Wasteland, and will feature Erastus Hallowell, a ranger with a secret.
There’s also a young adult novel in the works tentatively called Darkmoor Thunder. This one deals with Sophia Theodosia Snettisham, the spoiled daughter of the governor of Starspire. Her father wants her to marry Marcus Pickleberry, but Theo has other ideas. After all, who wants to marry someone named Marcus Pickleberry?
And, finally, after months of staring at it blankly, I’ve finally figured out the ‘book that never ends’. It will definitely be more than one, but, at this time, I’m not sure just how many.
I’m also working on the bestiary for Grevared and some fairy tales for the world. Each of these will, most likely be posted on the website for your viewing pleasure.
It looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me over the next year. At least I don’t have to worry about being bored. At all.
We get our inspiration from different places. Some of us like long walks, some of us like movies, some of us like to watch football and drink beer. Me, I have a monkey.
Now, it isn’t a live monkey. It’s a pink monkey. Her name is Galadriel, and she has different outfits. Granted, she mostly wears the camo boxer shorts, but, hey, who wants to be uncomfortable when at home?
Galadriel sits with me while I write. She has her own notebook that stays open on her lap, and when I get stuck, I look over and Galadriel and have a long talk about the plot line. It’s the talking out loud that helps to jog my brain over whatever’s holding it back, but it works, so I don’t argue.
Galadriel also helps out on days when I just don’t want to do anything but sit and stare. You know, those days when nothing goes right, and the only way to fix it is to curl up in a ball and wait on it to pass. All I have to do to get over that is look at her because, let’s face it, you can’t be bummed looking at a pink monkey in camo boxer shorts.