My Fantasy Blog

A Productive Atmosphere.

With another night almost in the bag, it's time to make another post. This past night was a good one. The constant rain caused my cigar smoke to hang longer than usual which created an atmosphere conducive to productivity. Much was accomplished last night!

Rain, darkness, billows of smoke, and grinding tunes get my mojo working. Those things set the proper tone for creating my dark stories. I'm not sure why that's the case. I just know when those things collide, unloading my thought trains is much easier. 

This past weekend's festivities went well. Gaming was cool, and my wife was happily surprised by the party and "Who Done It" table game at the restaurant. She thought it was the perfect anniversary party. It blindsided my wife and buds. Everyone had a good time. My son-in-law was in awe the party surprised anyone because I wrote about it on this blog. He concluded nobody who actually knows me, other than himself, reads my blog entries, and only hundreds of strangers and fans come to this website every day to read my ramblings. In any event, my batteries are recharged!

I know this entry is shorter than normal, but that's all I have to say for now. I have a few matters to tend to before turning in for a long day's nap. Until next time, don't let The Sun catch you smiling because that will only encourage the hot-headed tyrant to oppress us all the more. 

The Crescent Moon Smiles On Me.

Another day done, and what a day it was indeed! I spent a tremendous day with my wife of thirty-one years. My how the years do fly by when you're having fun! 

My wife and I went to Portsmouth for the day. I bought her another bottle of her favorite perfume, Lady Caron. We ate lunch at this little cafe that had incredible vegan doughnuts. After checking out the waterfront, we headed back to the ranch with a fruit pie and some doughnuts for an evening of watching TV. Believe it or not, after a certain amount of years with someone, it's the little things that matter the most. I suppose that's how you know you've found your soul mate, when you don't have to do anything in particular and you still enjoy the company of one another. I couldn't imagine walking through life with any other than my dear wife. Ga-ga best describes how I feel about my darling.  

This is my seventeenth blog post. You might suppose I would run out of things to say, but not yet. Dawn hasn't quite arrived. The crescent moon is still smiling at me. Iced Earth's song, Dead Babies, from my mix, Metal Storm, screams in my ear. A cloud of smoke surrounds me. The dissonant sounds of Judas Priest's Cyberface begins. I feel the clench of my friend, Darkness. This time of day is so quiet. Many, maybe most, would find that unnerving, but not me. 

The weekend is almost upon me. My friends will soon be storming into town for another gaming extravaganza. Gaming has a way of rejuvenating me and recharging my creative batteries. Let the pigeons of my mind loose! 

September is going to be a busy one for me. I have lots of irons in the fires of creativity. Is it truly a curse to live in interesting times? I guess I'll discover the veracity of that old Chinese proverb soon enough. 

Many believe writing and editing to be the hard work. Not true. At least that's not my experience. For me, the difficulty is within the formatting and marketing. Those two necessary tasks are so tedious and time-consuming. 

The first book of my first trilogy, The Shade's Tale, Parts I - III, written nearly two years ago, is finally ready to be sent to market. It is a monster of a story. I have my fingers crossed that it will be well-received. One never knows. The market can be so fickle and finicky. All an author can do is write from the heart and hope for the best. 

I guess that's all that's fit for print at the moment. Time to get my nose back to the proverbial grindstone. Until we meet again, may you have lots of time to bask in the pale light of the moon, avoiding the sun's inclination to burn the flesh from your weary bones.   

Breaking All The Rules!

As I write new material and field questions about my finished stories, I am constantly reminded by my three editors and readers I break the rules of fantasy. I am not a scofflaw or anything. I don't set out to screw with minds and preconceptions by changing what came before my stories. It just happens naturally for me, although a good question has been brought up again and again. Why don't I follow the well-established rules and customs laid out by the best fantasy authors of our time and before? 

It's not that I think I'm a better writer than my forbears or contemporaries. I'm not so arrogant to think that. At root, I have something different to say than those esteemed authors, and a fresh way in which to say it. I pay homage to what came before, but not in a conventional manner. I think of myself as a breath of fresh air in a genre that has been staid for some time.

I suppose my reasoning is simple. One can always read the works of those fantasy, horror, and science fiction writers, so why would any of you want to read my cheap knockoff? To me, the essence of art(and I do think of what I do as an art form) is originality and to be original is to be genuine and novel. I write from my heart what I feel, and it comes out differently than anything else I have ever read. 

The first thing that has always occurred to me is why the separations and delineations between fantasy, horror, and science fiction? Why do authors feel the need to keep these genres of fantasy separate and distinct from one another? 

In my mind(and granted, I admit to being a far cry from what anyone would call normal) it is unnatural to separate fantasy, horror, and science fiction from one another. Then, there are further separations into high and low fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, erotica, and the list goes on and on. They are all types of fantasy of one sort or another. I find it simpler to treat fantasy as one thing that fires the imagination and causes the creative juices to flow. 

The Cosmos I have created is infinite with endless and eternal possibilities. To get that concept to come alive on the page requires a different mentality and perspective. Cultures, separated by millions of light years, have developed unique magics, technologies, powers, and concepts. What I have devised does not fall neatly into any one of the established genres of fantasy. 

With that all said, one might suppose I have formulated a valid explanation for the reason behind straying from the established rules and genres. From childhood, I have always seen the possibilities of fantasy in a broader way than just about everyone else. For most of my life, I have felt closer to the mad scientist than a lover of fantasy. Now, as an adult, this idea of mine about the nature of fantasy has been tempered into the fabric of my mind. There's no going back on it now, even if I had any inclination to do so, which I don't. 

A story is the result of a string of choices made by the author while writing the tale. One different decision and the story wanders in another direction. I could have chosen to be normal and fall in line. Wouldn't that have made it easier on me? Wouldn't that have made it easier for readers to relate to my work? 

Those are good questions, and yes, it would have made it easier on me to be able to tell readers my stories are similar to those of J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, or Philip K. Dick. Instead, there are no stories or authors to which I can compare my tales. I accept getting people to read my work is going to be an uphill battle. It is the nature of the beast. 

All I can say is, if people give my stories a chance, they will come to love them. Anyone who likes fantasy in any way, shape, or form, and has read any of my stories has said nothing but good things about their reading experience. I have been told countless times my stories are cut from a different mold, but have an odd relatability. 

I believe people relate so well to my work because I respect fantasy with all my heart. I don't treat fantasy as pulp fiction that doesn't matter. My work is closer to literature with all that entails, and original, rather than derivative. I think of my work as an art form, and with that in mind, I carefully craft each story. 

If more authors disconnected themselves from the arbitrary rules and separation of fantasy genres formulated long ago, we wouldn't keep being subjected to rehashes of The Lord of The Rings quest and themes. Whether fantasy readers would recognize and vocalize it or not, they would be much happier. Who wouldn't want to revel in boundless creative energy? 

That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it. I don't know if I've fully answered everything, but I believe I have shed some light on the subject. With that said, in the name of creativity, all authors go out and break the established rules, and all readers look for the work of those rule breakers! Demand excellence, and you will create and receive it. This seems like a good point to stop for the moment. Until next time, embrace the shade of a big tree with a good book. Hopefully, it is one of mine!