My Fantasy Blog

Twinkling Lights, Fireworks, And Snowflakes!

My, how time flies! The last time I posted to this blog was before Thanksgiving. I apologize for my absence and hope you'll be understanding on that account. So much has happened since my last post. 

The most exciting event was the release of Book One of my first trilogy, THE SHADE'S TALE. That story went live as an E-Book just before the New Year. Being my longest work yet, at around 126,000 words, it was a monster to edit and format. Finally, it's up and running. Yippeekiyay! 

I poured so much creative energy into THE SHADE'S TALE over these past weeks and thus, the reason for my lack of posts. I believe this story is my best work to date, but I always think that. I do love all of my babies. Each one has something different to adore! 

Christmas was as festive as ever. There is nothing about the holiday I don't relish. Shopping with my wife, daughter, and best friend went off without a hitch. As we enjoyed the decorations, lights, and spirit of the whole affair, lots of goodies were found by all of us. My wife and I drove around at night on a couple of occasions and devoured with our eyes the twinkling light displays on and around the houses we passed. We didn't have a white Christmas, but we didn't have a blue one either. 

Our time in Vermont between Christmas and New Years, put the cherry on top of our Christmas cake. On New Year's Eve, fire dancers and fireworks made for a fabulous evening. We rocked in The New Year with the jolly and enthusiasm usually reserved for the man in the red suit. Rain didn't dampen our spirits one bit! 

As I write this post, snowflakes are falling from the sky. It's beginning to look like a winter wonderland out there. Would've been nice for Christmas, but as they say, better late than never! 

Well, I think I've brought you up to date on everything that's fit to print. I'm going to smoke a stogie and watch the snow blanket the world with a white quilt. Until the next time we meet, enjoy the winter revelry that is hopefully blanketing your neck of the woods!

Yes, Virginia, Ideas Do Matter!

Recently, a fan of mine messaged me and asked why my stories are filled with bizarre ideas and obscure words. I was taken aback by that question. I don't think of the ideas I write about or the words I choose to tell my stories as being strange or arcane. Concepts and words flow naturally from my thoughts onto my pads of paper and eventually into my computer. Still, the inquiry caused a flurry of musings.  

The themes of which I scribble are the things I've thought about from my first memories. The dictionary was the first reference book I read from cover to cover. The Bible was the second. Now, I might have been a peculiar child, but my daughter followed my path pretty near. Either both of us are odd ducks(which I'll admit, the jury's still out on that issue) or there is something universally absorbing and instructive about ideas that draw those curious enough to examine them in a common direction. 

My life's trajectory has centered around attempting to understand the universe in which I live. To that end, I've embraced a life of study. Reading the work of great thinkers has been a major component of my studies. Early on, my reading focused on nonfiction, particularly philosophy and history. Later on, I broadened the scope of my education to include fiction in which the authors played and sometimes even toyed with my beloved ideas. 

Because there is so much information to absorb, at an early age I discovered it easier to remember what I had read by organizing the data in my mind by idea or concept. There are far fewer ideas to keep track of than permutations of them. Some concepts like momentum are huge, while others like soft are much smaller. Every piece of data boils down to an idea or a series of concepts. Memory is all about context. Concepts became the framework around which I hung the knowledge I collected from my reading and observations. This is the matrix of understanding and retention I use to this very day. 

By the time I discovered the magical world of role playing games, I had a plethora of ideas under my belt, and in retrospect, a rudimentary understanding of those notions and their connections to one another. It seemed natural to apply my knowledge to fantasy gaming. At first, many of my friends resisted the notion The True Power within The Cosmos were ideas. Over the years, they came to embrace my idea of gaming that involved wielding concepts rather than looking up minutia within the various handbooks and using that random data to solve problems.   

I tell you this because my gaming world is the point of departure for my stories. The characters within my tales wield concepts to find solutions to their perceived problems. Some just do it better and more efficiently than others. 

If you think about it, everything can be perceived and understood as an idea or series of concepts. For instance, something as simple as a tree can be broken down to concepts of life, being an integral part of the ecosystem, a delivery system for sustenance, a provider of shade, material(wood and sap), and shelter(for squirrels, insects, and the like), an anchor into the earth in which it stands as well as a bounty of wisdom(what might a hundred year old tree have witnessed or heard over its lifetime?). I find this understanding more useful than defining a tree in terms of a series of roots, branches, and leaves or needles, centered around a trunk. 

Once you embrace this notion of ideas, your perceptions of the world in which you live are irretrievably altered. A tree is no longer simply a tree, but so much more. Take this far enough, and you might discover as I have you can all but touch the concepts embedded in all things. Ideas become dynamic and almost tangible. 

In the end, yes, Virginia, ideas do matter! I hope this sheds some light on my fan's question and gives the rest of you a measure of food for thought. Until we meet again, may the sun not oppress you and have a tremendous weekend filled with whatever trips your trigger! 



Those Dark And Stormy Days!

It has been a rainy fall in these parts. Rain inspires me to write even during the day. By now, all of you regular visitors to my blog know I generally write from dusk to dawn. I suppose what most people call gloomy, I think of as creative synergy. Like gaming, dark fantasy goes hand in hand with that notion. Sunshine doesn't lend itself to my brand of fantasy and never has floated my boat. In any event, I've written a good thirty thousand words over the last couple of weeks. Thus, the reason behind my hiatus from this blog. To be sure, not every word is gold and much editing needs to be done, but there's a lot of decent nuggets with which to work. 

There is only so much time in a day, and I have my day job, which pays the bills. It's not exciting, but it is a necessary evil. That damn obstacle to production. All I can say is thank The Heavens for those dark and stormy days! 

Much of what I've written recently will soon be posted on my Patreon Creator Page. I'm sure my lone Patron will get a kick out of my new material because his feedback of my other work has been positive to say the least. Other folks are sure to enjoy the darkness I've written about when they join my community, whenever that may happen. I'm optimistic my Patreon community will grow. They do say patience is a virtue, and my wife insists I have that in spades, patience that is. 

When you have the time, you should go to the Contact/Patron Info button to the far right at the top of this page and check out my work on Patreon. I guarantee it won't be a waste of your time. For as little a commitment as one dollar a month, you will be kept abreast of my latest work. I know, a blatant commercial plug, but, after all, I am trying to make a living as a writer, to which I give no apologies. 

I can't get my vision out to the masses who I know are craving something shiny and new in the realm of fantasy without the support of folks like yourself. Fantasy is in dire need of an infusion of creative energy. Hopefully, people like yourself feel I'm the man to fill that need!

Overall, October was a good and productive month. I had the fifth weekend-long gaming extravaganza for the year, which, by the way was extraordinary, in the middle of the month. After my wife and daughter, role-playing is my most important muse. Halloween was the cherry topper for a month of rampant creativity. Anyway, how could any month ending with Halloween be anything but a boon to the imagination? 

Another gray day beckons me. I have the writing bug, so gotta go and get to it while the iron is hot. In the meantime, pay homage to the weather gods. I need them on my side to provide more dark and stormy days that will all but get the words fluttering through my mind to fall onto my pads of paper so I can imprint them into my computer for all the world to see and enjoy!