Thursday, January 29, 2015

F is for Fate

Continuing on in the A-Z Blogging Challenge, we now come to the letter F.

In this week's post, I will be talking about Fate. I'm not going to go broad and talk about the usage of fate and destiny in literature. I feel like I kind of covered that way back when I talked about time. This isn't going to be broad strokes like that post focused on. This week I want to talk about the usage of fate in my novella.

One of the questions I field about To Tread the Narrow Path is, "What is the narrow path, is it death?"

Today, I want to talk about the narrow path and what it is and is not without walking into spoiler territory.

If you are reading, one of the oft repeated phrases you may have noticed revolves around travelling the narrow path and where it leads. The narrow path in my novella can be summed up as the path of fate. Many times characters will refer to walking the narrow path as being close to death, but that is only part of it. The narrow path has many facets in the world of my novella. The final place for everyone, the end of the narrow path, is death, but everyone walks the narrow path.

One of the concepts I explore is the finality of fate. The inexorable march of time and how the characters struggle against their fates, their destinies. That is what the narrow path is. It is the march along the road of fate that we all make in life. We are perched perilously along the knife thin road of time, and the novella explores how characters react when confronted with the tide of time.

A lot of the concepts and themes of fate for my novella come from the concept of the gyre. You may recognize this from WB Yeats' poem "The Second Coming."

In the world of the novella, the gyre represents the passage of time.

In the diagram below you will see a simple representation of what I'm talking about. As time flows in this world, it follows the path of the gyre. Society and civilization follow this tide as well. Each gyre represents an age or epoch of time in this world. Each transition from one to the other is marked by violence and change. Depending on which side of the gyre, is where civilization stands.

A very simplified version of two gyres. The red arrows mark the transitions, or Ascension Points, between epochs

At the wider point of the gyre, people have scattered, and are unorganized. At this transition point a singular leader or group will begin the unification process and drawing the separate groups together to be united. This is referenced in my novella as when the House of the Four Dragons unified the clans and founded the Imperium.

The novella begins at the other side of the gyre, the smaller transition point. At this end of the epoch, society has become so focused and compressed that a revolution is eminent. The civil war that rages in the narrative is a direct result of the oppression of the people. They are ready to break the imperium and once again begin the outward spiral of the gyre.

This is the line of fate in my novella. The endless cycle. The Narrow Path. The novella explores the choices made to remain on the path of fate, and what are the consequences for taking a different path.

Can a different path be chosen? Or, do we all walk the narrow path?
If I've piqued your curiosity, I encourage you to catch up on the novella. You can find it on Amazon. Only two more installments left before the end. I've had a blast writing the serial and responding to every conspiracy theory and thought that has come across my email from those of you reading. My only advice is to stay calm. We are almost done.

We only have a little further to walk along the narrow path. The journey will be over soon.

We all walk the narrow path.

Thanks for reading. If you've enjoyed, please be sure to like, share, +1, etc...


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

E is for Encouragement

This week, I am getting back to the A-Z blogging thingy.

To see previous entries in my A-Z challenge, click here.

We've come to the letter E and initially, I had planned on talking about the literary use of the Everyman in a narrative, because that has always been one of my favorites, but I've instead decided to go in another direction. I want to talk about the support base that I've been able to surround myself with to support my writing habit. I want to discuss the encouragement that comes from various outlets. This weeks post is going to explore the
I've been writing since childhood, had aspirations to be published since high school, but I've only really pursued that dream within the last two years. I won't really get into the hows and whys of that, but I will say that, around two years ago I had an epiphany (discussed more in detail here). I came to the sudden realization that if I didn't quit delaying and just dabbling in my dream of getting published, it would never come to pass. My dream had always stayed on the back burner in my mind. Occasionally, I would work in my stories but never fully finishing anything.

As my realization washed over me, I decided to take an active role in my dream (so to speak). I finally edited, polished, and self published my short story Entertaining Angels. My Facebook Writer Page started shortly after that and I began to connect with readers, fans, and like minded writers (indie and established alike). It was then that I started to connect with writers online through social media outlets like Google + and Facebook. If it wasn't for connecting with these groups I would have missed out on reading some really great books. Three that I highly recommend from writers I've connected with online are- Whispers of War by Sean Rodden, A Healer's Tale trilogy by Eric E McClure, and Fifthwind by Ken Kiser. I have many more that I've placed on my to be read list because there is such a plethora of fiction out there in the indie scene. Seeing and reading the wealth of material that is out there helps to drive my passion, but beyond finding new reading material, connecting with other writers has been a boon to me creatively and at some times has spurred me out of the dregs of the dreaded writer's block.

Currently, I have the pleasure of being a part of a great writing community on Facebook dubbed, Den of Quills. If you are a creative writer type and want a good online home, head over there. We are "good people." Surrounding myself with like minded writers has helped me to keep writing. I've been able to keep the goals that I've set for myself because of the community that I am entrenching myself with.

These connections have also opened up avenues and opportunities for writing. I had the opportunity to be involved with two anthologies (but for my sanity, only choose one). Very soon, an anthology brought to you by the Den of Quills will be featuring yours truly, amongst other more talented writers. I am humbled and thankful to be a part of this project.

Outside of the social media connections and encouragement I get from other writers (i.e. crazy people), I would be remiss to leave out the best source of encouragement I have. My wife, is a godsend. Literally. She has saved whole short stories and chapters that I have almost deleted in their entirety. At my lowest moments as a writer, she has been by my side lifting me up. I can never thank her enough for helping me pursue my dream. She is a beta reader, my first critic, my biggest fan, and my greatest cheerleader. I could not do what I'm doing without her by my side.

All in all, I guess what I'm trying to tell you, is that if you are trying to write (or really pursue any dream), surround yourself with like minded people. Find a good support base, and not just those that are going to give you flowery praise. Find those that are going to push you to be better. Those that will both cheer you and give you the truth.

You don't have to chase your dreams alone.

Dedication page on To Tread the Narrow Path

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you've enjoyed. Stay tuned to the website and my social media for updates on the anthology. If you've enjoyed please be sure to Like, Share, +1, etc...


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update- 1.14.2015

Welcome to 2015

So, I took a little break from the blog for the holidays and now we are back.
Ron says it's time to get back to blogging

I hope everyone had a wonderful time as you ended 2014 and rang in the new year. I'm really excited about what this new year has in store.

The serial is almost complete, with the last few installments set to go live within the next two months. Which will put it right on schedule from what I promised last year. Thanks so much to those of you reading it and sending me feedback on each installment.

As far as what's planned for this year, I am participating in a blended genre anthology project with some other writers. The proceeds of the book to be donated to the World Literacy Fund. The theme of the anthology will be "thieves." I'll keep you all posted on this as I learn more details. In addition to this anthology, I am planning on publishing a collection of my own short stories later in the year, date TBD. Once the novella is finished I am going to begin work on finishing and editing Lighthouse on the Edge of Forever, and then pursuing publishing options for it.

I'm also considering making updates to the site. Looking at adding a featured spotlight on fellow independent and/or local writers. I want to shine some light on those in the trenches with me and help spread the news about some of the wonderful writers that I am connecting with online.

Thanks so much for all the support from you readers. I may not be able to respond to every email or message, but I do read everything.

Stay tuned to my site to keep up with everything in 2015. If this first month is any indication, then the rest of the year is going to be amazing.

If you want to get in touch with me find me on Facebook or go to the contact page.