I’m 42 (and I’m Making a List)

Last July, after my 42nd birthday and while on a family vacation (EGART), I began coming up with a list of things that are a part of me, many of them sci-fi and fantasy related, but a range of things and lots of them from my youth.  I’ve been posting one a week on Facebook since last summer.

The first 4 months are gathered here.  I’ll be trying to update it regularly to finish it sometime after my 43rd birthday.


Taking Joy in the Doing

For a long time; many, many years, I’ve dreamed of and expected to become a successful writer. The kind of writer that has the freedom to do what they want when they want. I never wanted or needed to be a famous #1 bestseller, just successful enough to be very, very comfortable. So far those dreams haven’t come true. Not even close (of course to make those dreams come true, you have to work at them, but that’s another post).

There’s nothing wrong with having a dream like that. In fact it’s good to have dreams and goals that are hard to achieve. As Robert Browning said ‘Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?’ My problem is that I spend so much time fixating on the dream to point that it stresses me out that I’m not achieving it. Which leads to me spending time reliving the past, thinking of all the times I should have been writing but didn’t (it adds up to thousands of hours over the last 20 years). Then I berate myself for not writing as much as I could have and get further distracted thinking of how much different and better life could be if I had done it.

That, in turn, leads me to feeling like a failure for not having done what I should have, so many times. Which finally leaves me depressed about being a failure and makes it harder and harder for me to feel up to writing.

To sum up, not having written enough in the past makes it harder for me to write now.

Yes, I’m messed up, but I’m trying to come to grips with it.

I’ve tried dealing with it by making a writing plan and setting daily, weekly and monthly goals. That works, for a few days, maybe even a week or two once, but then life intrudes. I get busy at work, or the kids and wife get even busier at home. Or some of us get sick. There’s always a good reason for me to not write. Too many of them in fact.

Time to make a change and try something new. It may sound a bit sappy, but here goes.

I’ve decided that I need to take joy in the simple act of writing. In the doing of everything that has to do with writing. I have lots of ideas and lots of stories to tell. That means lots of writing to do. So instead of tying my happiness and self worth to a goal that may never happen I need to be happy just doing it.

I need to take joy in writing down the ideas, to take joy in the creation of the rough draft. That part is easy. I usually do that already. But I also need to learn to take joy in the shaping and molding of those ideas and rough drafts into a fine readable edit. In the characters, the dialogue, the setting and plot. Even to take joy in getting the grammar and punctuation right (and yes, I understand that punctuation is a part of grammar).

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the dream, we all need to have dreams. But it means setting the expectations to a level where I don’t get stuck in the same self-defeating loop.

Saying it doesn’t make it so. It doesn’t make it easy either. It also doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I’ll probably be working on it, taking joy in the doing, for a long time. I don’t know how long it will take but I hope it will help.

Here goes nothing!

Merry (4th day of) Christmas

I meant to wish everyone a Merry Christmas back on Sunday, the 25th. But with all of the festivities it got away from me. As did Monday and Tuesday for various other reasons.

I was originally going to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas until I realized it’s not belated. We are still in the Christmas season. You’ve heard the song The 12 Days of Christmas? Well, those 12 days start on December 25 and go through January 6th, also known as Epiphany.

Despite the chaos around the world and the sad news here in the US, I hope and pray that this Christmas is treating you well and finds you in the midst of kith and kin enjoying the blessings of the season.

So, Merry 4th day of Christmas!



Trolling is Complete!

Just posted part 6, the last part of Trolling, to Wattpad. Will Ben and his allies survive the fight with the plant creature that’s beaten so many other magicians and made them it’s children? Or will they become plant food for it’s offspring? Find out in the exciting conclusion to Trolling.

Okay, so that sounds a bit cheesy even to me, but I couldn’t help myself. I still hope that you read and enjoy it.

If you’ve been waiting for the whole story to be available now is your chance to read it all at once. As in the previous posts, readers, votes and comments on the story are appreciated, and if you like, please share with others.


Thanks for reading.

Trolling Part 5

Part 5 of Trolling is up on Wattpad.  In Part 5 our heroes engage the creature that is taking over so many of their fellow magicians in a desperate battle to stop it before it can get too powerful. Will their reluctant allies hold up their end of the plan or will they be trapped, surrounded by a mass of former humans now bent on their destruction?

As in the previous parts, readers, votes and comments on the story are appreciated, and if you like, please share with others.




Trolling Part 4

Part 4 of Trolling is up on Wattpad. To start at the beginning or to learn a little more about the story go here. As usual readers, votes and comments are appreciated, and if you like, please share with others.



In Part 4 Ben, Diane and Marek go to confront the problem head and discover that it is more than they can deal with alone but help is not readily available. In desperation they go trolling again.

Trolling Part 3


The third part of Trolling, my urban fantasy story, is up on Wattpad here:


As I said last week, it’s in the vein of the Dresden Files but I hesitate to make that comparison. I’d love to be as good of a write as Jim Butcher, but that’s another post. To learn a little more about the story or to start from the beginning scroll down. As usual readers, votes and comments are appreciated., and if you like, please share with others.

In Part 3 Ben and his opposite, Diane, and their companions, deep under the city of Seattle, make a startling discovery about the true nature of the threat facing them and the whole magical community.

Trolling Part 2

The second part of Trolling, my urban fantasy story, is up on Wattpad.  I’d like to say I was inspired by the Dresden Files books, which I love, but it doesn’t seem right to even use that comparison with my story.  Still, it was fun to write, and I think and hope that it’s fun to read.  Please read and comment, and if you like it, please share with others.  Here’s the same teaser as before, to whet your appetite (fyi, it’s not a clip from the story itself):

It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest.  The time of year when wizards first manifest their powers.  But someone, or something, is preying on those new wizards and many of them have been going missing in downtown Seattle.  Ben suspects their competition, the Corporatists, are kidnapping his new recruits and taking them for themselves.  He’s come to downtown, pretending to be a new wizard, to try and draw out the Corporatists and catch them in the act.  But things may not be as he expects and the deeper he digs the deadlier the situation gets.