In the Beginning

Why I started writing

I never planed to become a writer. As a kid growing up I was a huge comic book fan. I dreamed of waking one morning and finding out I had super powers. That never happened (obviously) and I settled into a normal kid routine. As I got older I matured and put away childish things. But not everything.

As a young adult with a good paying job, and not too many responsibilities, I could dedicate a good portion of my money to my first love. Comic books. I was a regular at my local comic shop for years. I’d walk in every Friday evening and my comics would be ready for me. I’d walk around the shop and look at all the new titles that came in that week. I was always looking for something new and exciting. But unfortunately the further away from childhood we get the more money it takes so I had to slow down and eventually stop buying them altogether.

While I was in my comics heyday I had an idea for a comic book that would spawn others. I shared my thoughts with a friend of mine that worked at the store. After I was done he told me that it sounded like a great idea. I continued to flesh it out in my head over the next few months and even wrote a small synopsis. That’s as far as I got with it.

Fast forward almost twenty years. I’m married. I have a daughter. I have a job that’s not too bad. And I was developing a crippling case of anxiety and depression. It was so bad that at it’s height I almost committed suicide. Thankfully I pulled myself out of that but my depression was still quite severe. I researched everything I could do to help me get out of my situation. I looked at changing my diet, trying oils and exercising. Nothing worked.

In that time I saw there was going to be a small comic book convention near me. I needed a quick escape from my problems and that sounded like the thing to do. I took my family and we milled around the con, it was held in a small community building, and I talked to some of the artist and writers there. One in particular I struck up a very meaningful conversation with it would change the course of my life.

His name is Rusty Gilligan. I told him about my idea and he said instead of making a comic book out of it, try making it into a pulp magazine. Every few months put out a few chapters with some simple black and white drawings. I went home with a new outlook on my story but I was still a few months from actually Taking shape. Shortly after I avoided oblivion, I found an article that said writing was a good way to combat depression. With nothing else to lose I sat down at my kitchen table with my lap top and started typing my story.

I flip flopped from making it a pulp to a novel and back again. I even put together a few mock ups of my first chapter as a kind of pulp to see what it would look like. While It didn’t look too bad I was still going to need an artist to help with the illustrations and I didn’t have the money to hire an artist. I put out posts on social media to see if any would be interested in helping me get things off the ground cheaply but I got no serious takers.

I kept at writing. I was finding that it was a good outlet for my anxiety and depression. Even if there were no pictures I could still tel my story. My wife finally convinced me to go the book route. It’s the best decision I’ve made. Writing has been very cathartic and I’m happy to announce that, as of this post, I haven’t had an anxiety attack or bad thought in almost a year.

I don’t write as often as I’d like to. With a full time job and a daughter to take care of I write in the evening after I put my daughter to bed and until my wife comes home from work. About 2 hours. Weekends are the time I try to be most productive but I still find myself writing at night.

I love my book. I’m not delusional enough to think of myself as the next big thing. I want to finish my story so I can share it with other people and introduce them to the characters that have been living in my head for years.    

Looking Ahead

The holidays are behind us and a brand new year is ahead of us. How are you going to tackle 2020? I’m still working on figuring that out.

I’m 90% done with the first draft of my book. Time has gotten away from me. Between the holidays, work and family obligations finding time to write is tough. I squeeze it in where I can. On New Year’s Eve I spent the evening at a friends house. While everyone was shooting pool and talking, I was writing my next chapter on my phone.

This is also my birthday month. I’ve never had a good experience with it. Every time I try to plan something fun, no one shows up. One year no one remembered it and I went out a day or two later and bought my own cake.

Sorry if I sound like I’m complaining. I don’t know if it’s the post holiday blues or the fact that we still have a few months of cold and snowy weather before spring that’s pulling me down.

What I need to do, and will do after I’m done writing this, is get myself refocused on my WIP and finish it. I’m aiming to have things done and polished by September or October. We’ll see how that works. I’ll give more updates as I go.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

A Welcome Diversion

This weekend I took a break from writing to work on another project. Something I haven’t done in a while that needed my attention. Organizing my comic book collection.

Comic books sparked my imagination and set me on my path of writing. While I started writing later than most the seeds were planted way back in my seven year old brain. Sorting through my comics is a kind of relaxing meditation.

First I work on putting everything in alphabetical order then in numerical order. It’s very satisfying seeing my collection neatly cataloged.

Many people collect comics in the hopes of turning them around for a profit. The majority of my collection is from the 90’s. The comic book industry flooded the market with gimmicky or variant covers so people would buy multiple copies. I was one of the suckers who fell for it. I still loved the stories being told but there are still so many of them out there it’ll be 100 years until they might be worth something.

I do have a few jems in my possession. I have an Uncanny X-Men comic from 1990 my friend bought me. And a Batman Adventures with the first appearance of Harley Quinn. The true value of my comics is sentimental. I can pick up almost any of them and remember what I was doing back then. Those memories are priceless.

I’m going to have a lot of free time over the next few holiday weeks to work on my writing, but this was a nice diversion. One that helps me reconnect with my past and the inspiration for my WIP.

I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a restful holiday.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

When it came to Christmas, I’ve always had a fake tree. My wife always had a real one. When we got married we settled on an artificial tree because it was easier at the time. So now after almost ten years of marriage we have a real one.

I’ll go up into the attic and get our Christmas decorations and start to deck the halls. As holidays go, this has always been my favorite. Not just for the gifts. There’s something about this time of year that brings out the best in people. Something I wish would happen the other 11 months of the year.

This was my moms favorite holiday too. She would start decorating right after thanksgiving and would leave everything up until mid January. She’d bake cookies and listen to her favorite Christmas songs from the ventures christmas album.

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year. Let loose, have fun, make great memories. I’ll be back soon with a fully decorated tree.

Sticking Points

I’m working on my first book. And even though I’ve had the concept for years and I’ve outlined it fairly well, there were some elements that needed some prodding. I had a villain but I couldn’t settle on a good name. I had other aspects of the story 99% done but something was missing. I would agonize over this to the point of wanting to give up. I wouldn’t call it writers block, more like writers maze. Constantly wandering around in my head trying to find the missing pieces.

One day I was at my wits end. I put the notebook down and got in my car. It was a warm summer day so I had my windows down and the music up. Driving can be a relaxing thing for me. I drive down roads I know well. I don’t have to give them much thought. Between the wind, music and motion of the car inspiration hit and my villains name came to me.

A few months later I found myself again with a case of writers maze. My hero needed to get from point A to point B. I couldn’t figure out a way there that didn’t sound artificial. I wanted it to be organic and have a nice flow to it. Once more I laid down my notebook but this time I went for a walk. I must have walked 2 or 3 miles turning the situation over in my head until I had my eureka moment. I walked back to my house I fast as I could and wrote it down. It worked like a charm.

I don’t know how other people handle this kind of problem, if anyone wants to share I’d be happy to listen, but for me getting up and leaving the house seems to do the trick. Focusing on mundane tasks like driving or walking get my creative juices going.

When I finish this book and start plotting my next one I think I’ll mow my lawn or work on something in my basement. Let that get my imagination chugging and then write down everything that comes to me.

Sunday Thoughts

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I hate snow. I loathe it. Give me 80 degrees, blue skies and a cold drink while I sit on my front porch. It does, however, have one redeeming quality. I forces me to stay inside and focus more on my writing. If it were sunny and warm I’d be neglecting my book in favor of…well…sitting on my front porch with a cold drink.

I’ve had a great weekend of writing. I wrote two chapters in two days. This might not sound like a lot to some people but considering I only get about 2 hours a night during the week this is a lot for me. And if the trend continues I’ll get another chapter done today(fingers crossed).

It’s going to be a short work week for me at my regular job. Love the long weekend Thanksgiving gives us. I’m looking forward to having a couple more free days to focus exclusively on writing. Looking over my outline, if I can keep up the pace I’m on I can(optimistically) finish my first draft before the end of the year. Please don’t hold me to this time table though. Life has a funny way of coming in and wrecking our plans.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday and if you’re planning on doing any black Friday shopping, stay safe.  

The story so far…

As of this writing I’ve just finished chapter 17. Things are not going so well for our heroes. And the villain is in bad shape too. I find that I’m really enjoying the whole writing process. It is very cathartic. I look forward to sitting down and moving my characters around the world I’m creating. Thankfully I have a wonderful and understanding wife that doesn’t mind that I sequester myself in my office for hours on end. She knows how much this means to me. I try to tell her what’s going on but she says she’ll wait for me to finish so she can read it with no spoilers. I didn’t know if I’d get this far when I started. I’ve heard other people talk about writing and how they never got very far with it. I not only plan on completing this book but I have several other ideas that I want to work on. But first things first. Get this done, polished and in the hands of people everywhere.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started