Monday, March 13, 2017

YOU CHOOSE THE COVER - H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But we also know that we totally do.

So judge away!

My cover designer gave me two great designs that are exactly the same except for the color of the band at the top. I like them both and can't decide which will work the best.

But the question is: Which do you like the best? Which cover draws your eye more? Which would you like to see gracing the cover of my next book?

There’s a poll at the bottom of the post. Please vote and share so I can hear from as many people as possible.

Thank you for helping me choose!

Cover #1

Cover #2


Which cover do you like best? Cover #1 or Cover #2?

Cover #1
Cover #2
Poll Maker

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Utter Loneliness and Explaining the Inexplicable


This quote captures such expansive ideas in so few words.

First is the idea of the loneliness of writing. And “utter loneliness”. Like really, really alone!

I have felt that way at times. It's not just that the actual act of writing requires - for many of us - time without other people so that we're free of distraction. Even in a busy cafe, writers often wear headphones or are so in the zone that they may as well be on Mars. For all intents and purposes, the writer is alone when writing.

But more than that, the writer inhabits a world of her own making with people she has created. Within that story world, the writer is wholly alone. 

I often feel that I spend the majority of my time with people that no one else knows in a world where no one else has been. The idea of “utter loneliness” is one I understand.

But here there is the second idea as well - trying to “explain the inexplicable.”

How does one explain the soul?

I think all artists and creatives are - attempting anyway - to do exactly that. To somehow explain whether in words or pictures, in clay or movement, the complex and nuanced ideas that well from the soul.

There is no perfection in this endeavor. The artist often looks at his canvas and sees only what did not make its way there, even when others laud the work.

The same is true of the story or poem. At my best, I feel that I've captured a fair bit of what my heart wanted to express. But there's always a feeling that I didn't quite get it all down on paper. That something is missing.

Perhaps it's that quest to “bleed on the page” - to explain the inexplicable - that keeps the writer tapping the keys and putting ink to the page.

Do you ever feel utterly alone? Do you agree with Steinbeck that the writer seeks to explain the inexplicable?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Inferno of Unrequited Love- A Poem by Tex

The more I write, the more often I get writer's block. When I first took up the pen, I had a pent up well of words that broke over the dam and flowed freely with little effort. 

I'm not saying all the words were good! It was more that when I sat at the keyboard, I had no problem thinking of something to say.

Now, working on my sixth novel, the words do not spill out in a riot onto the page. Most days I feel more like I'm coaxing them forth. Perhaps I'm more choosy about what words I lay down on the page. Or maybe I mined the surface and must dig deeper.

Whatever the reason, the question is how to break through the wall of writer's block.

One method I've used is to write poetry in a character's voice/perspective. It helps me get inside the head of the character and often reveals a truth I was not aware of about the character or perhaps the needs/desires/wants of the character.

Today I share a poem that "Tex" wrote. It captures where he is at in book three of the H.A.L.F. series: H.A.L.F.: Origins (forthcoming June 2017).



Consumed

I could end you.

It would take only a thought,
     no more effort than to breathe.

You know this.

You should be run away from me
     in terror.

I am a monster.

But is it possible that you see
     the human within me?

Starvation. Cold. Mutilation. Torture.

None scared me half as much
     as the thought of losing you.

Is it my fate to wander,
    a shell of a man
        hollowed by my longing
            for your touch?

My heart beats in time to
    an unrequited rhythm.

You touch my cheek, 
     your face upturned,
          your lips moist and ready.

If I kiss you now,
     will the fire subside?

Or will it kindle an inferno
     that will consume me?

Your lips
     soft.
My hand
     at the small of your back.
You arch into me as
    our lips
        meet.

The inferno rages,
     engulfs me.
It burns until I am ashes,
     burnished to reveal
         the diamond heart within.


If you're a writer, do you ever get writer's block? Have you ever used poetry to break the blockage? What other methods do you use to end your writer's block?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Ray Bradbury says …


I recently posted this meme on my Facebook page and Twitter and posed the question of whether this idea is perhaps the hardest part of being a writer. It led to further conversation about the true meaning of this quote. Some balked at the idea of “reject acceptance.”

But in order to fully embrace “accept rejection,” one must also learn to reject acceptance. You cannot have one without the other.

Why?

The artist must perpetually seek joy in the creation of the art regardless of external gratification or criticism

Writing for approval is the path to the dark side.

The writer writes because she has a story to tell. It's like an itch that needs scratched. Writing is a way to give the “voices” in her head space to be heard. The writer puts words to the page not to get a gold star or win the prize but because life is incomplete without the act of writing.

The writer grows and matures in his craft when he learns how to know when the work is “good” and when a piece is finished. He does not need someone external to approve of the story. He writes the story of his soul, not the story that he believes others want him to write and/or that others will accept.

And the great beauty of this process is that when an artist/writer/poet/creator digs deep and stays true to his path - when he accepts rejection and rejects acceptance - he is more likely to create a work that is lauded by others. Such works are seen as creative, original, and masterpieces.

Of course not all masterpieces of the soul are recognized as such. But that does not matter to the artist because she did not labor for the purpose of acceptance anyway. She labored because the story needed to be told and she was the only one that could tell it.

Because writing is a metaphor for life, the same holds true for how we live. 

And that is, I think, the most difficult part of both. To live the life our soul seeks to live without need for others to tell us "good job" and to stay on our path even when others are hell-bent on pushing us onto another road.

Why do you write? Do you feel that you have achieved Bradbury's advice - to accept rejection and reject acceptance? Do you agree with Bradbury?



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Choose the Title for My New Book!


The third and final book in the H.A.L.F. series will launch in 2017. But it's already time to choose the title, and I need your help this time!

The title for book 1, The Deep Beneath, came easily to me. After all, approximately 3/4 of the book takes place underground. The title for book 2, The Makers, also seemed natural. In that book, readers learn of the nefarious secret Illuminati-like organization that's behind the H.A.L.F. program and A.H.D.N.A.

But there are several possibilities for a title for book 3. I don't want to spoil it or give too much away, but let's just say that an appropriate symbol for the book would be the Ouroboros, the eternal return. The symbol on the cover of the H.A.L.F. series books plays on this ancient symbol (also related to the caduceus). The symbol relates to the eternal; to never-ending life; to the cycle of life; the end meeting the beginning.

Ouroboros
        
Ouroboros
     
Ouroboros
Ouroboros


VOTE FOR THE TITLE

Please vote for what YOU think the title of my next book should be. Thanks for your vote!!

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