Category Archives: Life
My Favorite Song from Kindergarten
I don’t remember as much about kindergarten as I’d like, but for the most part, what I do remember is good. My teacher was phenomenal. She made me feel like I could do anything, and nicely explained when I asked why I couldn’t call her Jane. Mister M with the munching mouth was also a highlight, along with the rest of the letter people. I had a few embarrassing moments that I’ll leave off the internet, but one thing I do remember is my favorite song – Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell. (It beat out Up, Up and Away by the 5th Dimension and Top of the World by the Carpenters.) Read the rest of this entry
More thoughts on CMON Expo 2015
It’s been over a month since I was in Atlanta for the CMON Expo 2015. I had a fantastic time indulging in my miniature gaming hobby and being a freelance writer. The event also came at a good time for me in regards to my day job, although I wish it hadn’t been going on during Father’s Day on that Sunday.
Here’s a link (CMON Expo pix) to some of the pictures from the event. I’m in a few of them, although sadly, I didn’t recognize myself at first. I’m in a bright blue/turquoise polo and my hair looks far more gray than I imagine it. I’m also a bit larger than I’d like, but I’m working on it. Eat well, exercise and take care of your health.
On to fun things… Read the rest of this entry
Fear and Writing
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert, Dune
Recently (March and April), I had the unfortunate experience of suffering from some side effects of allergy medication. Basically, they began causing fear and anxiety as they built up in my system. It got to a point where my blood pressure spiked to a new high, and I started having panic attacks about rather mundane things. Oh, and there were lots of fun nightmares. Read the rest of this entry
May the Fourth be with you!
Happy Star Wars Day!
When I talk to muggle sorts about my roleplaying game writing, I often get this sort of reaction. “White Wolf? What’s that?” However, when I mention that I wrote some aliens for a Star Wars book, I usually get “Wow! You wrote for Star Wars?”
Ah, the power of the Force is strong.
I had a great time writing up backgrounds for among others, the Ranth, the Draedans, the Anamin, the Khil and the Gran (the three-eyed goat aliens, I’ve included a picture below).
Here’s a link to my wookiepedia entry. Full disclosure: I updated it last (but it was there before I was).
All sorts of things have been going on in my life recently, including some health concerns and a great time at RavenCon. I owe you all several updates and articles. However, since it’s Star Wars Day, I thought I’d do some sharing.
When I was six years old, my father took me, without my mom or brother or sister, to go see Star Wars (A New Hope) in the theatre. It was my first non-cartoon movie, and the first time I had ever gone to a movie with just my Dad. To say I was excited is an understatement. It wouldn’t have mattered what movie it was – I was with Dad and feeling like a grownup.
But it wasn’t just a movie. It was Star Wars.
I had never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure I ever will again. The Force burned its way into my brain. I still get chills when Luke turns off his targeting computer while in the trench of the Death Star, and I long ago lost count of how many times I’ve seen the movie.
We get Episode VII this year.
Happy Star Wars Day!
Life After Publication
I feel like I have a million things to do and no time to do any of them. After having Happily Never After published, I’ve spent time trying to coordinate all the social media aspects of publication. I’ve been working on interviews and trying to do tweets and checking in on Facebook. I’ve been attempting to keep up with my email, although I’m getting overwhelmed by holiday messages. It’s been a mess.
And it’s not even been two weeks.
I think it’s amazing the speed at which the world works. There are so many opportunities for writers to promote and market themselves, but no one really seems to know the magic formula to get your work in front of your audience. There are lots of theories and probably a half billion people on the internet who’d offer to help, but as far as I can tell it’s just hard work.
I spent most of this weekend working on a Christmas Pageant script, doing holiday related activities, prepping for this week at my day job, and trying to find time to get household chores done. It was largely successfully, however, I fell behind on my own Book 3 deadline schedule for Charming as well as blog posts.
Bishop O’Connell told me that the real work begins after publication. I thought I knew what he meant after Once Upon a Rhyme, but it’s a lot more with Happily Never After‘s release. That’s a good thing, by the way, but it’s still crazy. I suspect that as long as I keep taking it one piece at a time, everything should work out.
Now on to reading, writing and a million edits…
All the best,
Why I like The Flash
I’ve decided that I’m going to do a Freedom Squad novel for Nanowrimo. I’m still working out the details, but it got me thinking about superheroes and my current favorite superhero tv show, The Flash, on CW.
Long ago, I discovered that I was apocalyptically slow when it came to running. As a kid, being one of the slowest was pretty terrible for playing tag or well, just about anything. So, when I first learned about the Flash while watching Superfriends, I thought, “So he can run…is that a real superpower? What if someone trips him?”
Little did I know that he was going to be one of my all-time favorites. So, here’s the evolution of my opinion of the Flash. Read the rest of this entry
Deadlines and Real Life
I just wanted to let everyone know that I am alive and writing. I’m behind on a few deadlines and doing my best to catch up. Life’s thrown me a few curves, but I’m hoping to get back to blogging soon.
Every so often, I have an experience where I read or see something and I wish that I had written it. Sometimes, the same piece speaks to me and echoes something deep in my soul. Since I’m a very moody emotional artist-type, I can get teary-eyed at all sorts of things. For example, I can’t make it through a production of Man of La Mancha or Les Miserables with a dry eye.
A couple of weekends ago, I had one of those experiences somewhere I never expected.
My daughter had been begging me to take her to a particular movie for about two months. I’ve been sick (and still haven’t been able to breathe easily in 2014), my grandfather is dying and my poor family is doing everything that they can to keep him comfortable at the expense of their sanity, I’ve been put in charge of testing the two largest IT initiatives in my company, the holidays hit, etc. Still, after much asking and lots of cold medicine I decided that I’d get her there last weekend for a matinee. The movie she wanted to see was Frozen.
I want to go see it again.
Now, it’s definitely a kid’s movie and I’m not going to say that everyone should rush out and see it instantly, but when it comes out on DVD or gets to streaming on Netflix, watch it. I really enjoyed it, and it made me think about how I write characters. I found myself thinking about the Lantern, Charming, and Freedom Squad. It’s a silly movie, it’s a fairy tale, parts of it are very predictable, but parts of it aren’t so predictable and some of it is downright fantastic. I went to my childhood and back again.
Without including any spoilers, by the very end, the movie had the best example of true love that I’ve ever seen. And there’s something that happens fairly early in the movie that also resonated with my high school self (picked-on geek).
It’s fun and enjoyable, and it was something I really needed to help get me back on track. For me, it was the best movie of 2013, even if I did see it in 2014. In a world of dark and varying shades of gray, it was nice to play in the snow.
I’m back! (Take that, flu, bronchitis and sinus infection!)
I apologize for being away. The holidays hit and things went a little crazy, but unfortunately, I came down with the flu on New Year’s Eve. I decided to follow it up with a nasty cold/sinus infection and cough that got into my lungs. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now thanks to some antibiotics and a nifty red inhaler. It’s bad when you suddenly realize how much easier it is to think after a few days of meds.
So, several people have emailed me about posting the epilogue for Freedom Squad Defiance. I should have that done later today/tomorrow. I was working like crazy on HeroNet Files in December, and I need to finish up that project so it can get published. I’m still doing lots of Mummy:The Curse stuff as well. Finally, I should know one way or another about Charming being published by January 31. The good news is that it hasn’t been rejected. The bad news is that I don’t have a signed contract.
Here’s hoping that 2014 is being good to everyone!
All the best,
Harry (now where’s that cough medicine…)
Still Writing (and this one rambles)
When most people find out that I’m a published author, they are usually surprised. The reactions range from “Oh, I know someone who self-published something too” to “Wow, if you’re an author, why do you still come to work?” After a while, most tell me how impressed they are that I manage to find the time. I often get to share stories with them about their dreams, and I do my best to encourage them.
Of course, just because I write doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I’m an overweight guy in his forties with a kid, a wonderful wife and a mortgage. I have a full time job (which I happen to like), but I struggle with bills and wish I kept up with my lawn better. I’m tired when I get home from work. I want to watch the Voice, the Big Bang Theory, the Walking Dead, etc. I wish sometimes that I played an MMORPG or that I was good enough at shooting games to offer to play Call of Duty with the guys at work. I have a long list of things that need fixing around the house. If I just gave up writing, I’d have a lot more time and could join in a whole lot more conversations about what’s on tv at night.
However, I can’t give up writing. It’s my dream. Sure, I’d love to go and see a movie one day based on a book that I wrote. I’m pretty sure that will never happen, but I can’t let the thought go. I wanted to be a writer since I read my first comic books, like Incredible Hulk #200, Captain America and the Falcon #199, and Iron Man #89 (all vol. 1 just to date myself). I found a journal in 8th grade where I wrote that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I still remember my grandfather, who I call Captain Heckel, giving me a copy of Beowulf. It’s what I wanted to do ever since I discovered books. I want to write Lord of the Rings. I want to make other people happy, to inspire them, to lift spirits, to somehow improve the world a little bit.
I feel called to do it. It’s one of the reasons that I’m here. I’ve quit writing before, a couple of times in fact, but I can’t stay away. Story ideas live in my head. I imagine scenarios and characters. I could fill this blog with novel titles that have yet to be written, and I’m sure the list will be longer in a year. It’s my dream, and it fills me with hope.
I know that if I should be fortunate enough to live to a ripe old age that if my grandchildren or great-grandchildren ask me if I ever had any dreams, I’ll be able to say yes. If they want to know if I tried to pursue them, I’ll say I did. Success or failure, I’ll know that I tried. I’ve always believed that if you try your best, no one came blame you if you don’t succeed.
So, I’ll keep writing. I’ll do a little bit after my daughter goes to bed. I’ll write at lunch for fifteen minutes or half an hour. I’ll try to write a little in the morning or at night when I can’t sleep. I’ll diligently save the words, and slowly, but surely, novels will grow. And then, I’ll go back to them and rewrite and rewrite and edit and rewrite again. 🙂
I hope that everyone who reads this finds a way to pursue their own dream. If it’s writing, fantastic. If it’s painting miniatures, great. If it’s growing the roses that everyone on your street talks about or being the sort of fan of your local college team that everyone respects, wonderful. Dreams don’t have to be pursued full-time and even doing a little bit can make a difference. Just make sure that whatever it is that it makes you happy.
Okay, I’ve rambled a bit. Hopefully, I’ll have some time to write more blog posts. I’ll put another Freedom Squad Nanowrimo up tomorrow.
All the best!