Old, But Filled with Potential

I keep everything that I write. Or at least I try to. I also try to keep everything digitally and in a physical copy. That doesn’t always work out. It generally means I have dragged boxes of paper across country and back. Some of these stories make me proud, many of them make me wince. But I can’t let go all the same.

You see, I think there’s always potential. Even in the worst “what was I thinking” story, there is a spark. Why else would I have written it? Stories may come with a flash of inspiration. They may be born of random thought. But they do not grow that way. They take time and cultivation and more than a little faith. Then you push them out into the world and hope that they succeed. That they are liked, even loved by someone. It’s a bit like raising a child I suppose.

I have written a lot of stories in the last 17 years. I have lost a few to floods and technology failures but the vast majority stay with me. And while I could wish to forget some of them, others never let go. I published my first book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. This was a novel that came to light on a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean and that experienced its growth alongside a masters degree that nearly broke me. But it came out in the end as one of my best pieces. It’s born of a short story. Just four pages of carefully chosen text written in childhood. The stories are not the same. But there was something about that world that I created, something about the strength of the characters and who they would become that stayed with me. They stayed and they grew into a book, into a trilogy.

I think it’s worth saving stories, no matter how much you love or are embarrassed by them. No matter who tells you they’re not worth working on. Because they have a spark in them that brought them to life and keeps them there. They are the result of your love and faith and that should never be discounted.

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Our Stories, Our Truths

“Story as Truth.” –Madeleine L’Engle

It’s always about the story, the writing, the reading of it. It goes deeper than just an interest in finding out what happens next. There’s something about it on a grander scale.

I think it’s part of what makes us human. We connect through story. When you first meet someone, you share the stories of your lives. It’s what we did last weekend and where we want to be in ten years. It’s not a reciting of facts. We subtly alter the events and their importance based on the listener. We create the story from the memory.

That ties into how I create my characters. They cannot be fictional. I mean that in the sense that they must have personalities and stories of their own. In the same way that a fantasy novel has a map of the world, I need to have the map of the character. It’s only once you know them that you can understand how they will react in the setting you find yourselves in. But I am a character writer, not a setting writer. Some people need the exterior map, that story told, before they can write. I can see the merit, have used both on rare occasions. Most of the time the vague picture of the world exists in my head and I fill in the details as they appear in the story. Sometimes places have to be figured out in the early pages and other times, I develop them as my characters need them. Regardless of whether it’s a character or a world that you build at first, it really does come down to the story you create. That’s why the above quote from Madeleine L’Engle speaks to me. I believe that we discover more about ourselves and our worlds, both created and lived in through the stories. It is in them that we find our truth.

Writing update: My current projects depend on my location. In editing hell, I’m working on the next two books in the Mars series, getting them ready for publication. You can look for the next installment before Christmas. In the realm of new work, I have a novel in the romance genre I’m working on. No publication date on that but if people show interest, there’s always the chance for a sneak peek. There’s nothing in formatting purgatory but I will, no doubt, return to that location soon.

Welcome to the Site!

Just a quick introduction.  I’m a new writer on this grand internet and I hope you enjoy what I have to share.  I’ve been writing for 22 years and seriously for over 15.  I want to use this site as a way to share my musing about words, life and the stories.  I’ll always try and have a little update about what I’m working on.  If you have questions or things you’d like to hear me discuss, please let me know.  Take care and thanks for reading!