Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Website!

The time has come to move away from Blogger to my own website. This blog will not be updated.

Please go to:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Self-Publishing Success Summit

Over the last year, I have grown significantly as a writer. I have learned a lot about failure, doubt, and being able to put those aside to move forward. I have started and stopped my book many times, but it was not until I received an email from Steve Windsor, author of the Nine Day Novel series. It was an invitation to the Self-Publishing Success Summit. This is a summit of 37 authors and entrepreneurs put together by Chandler Bolt.

There is a variety of topics from casting doubt and fear aside, idea creation, the writing process, building a network, and how to market your book.

For a limited time, the videos are free and the unlimited access is on sale for $97. Head on over and check it out!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


When writing I often find my mind wandering down different paths of ideas. Usually this is something that would not fit into my current story, but it is interesting so I follow it. I have not been very good at following my own advice and writing down my ideas to ponder over in the future. When the creative part of your brain kicks in it is hard to stop it.

What I have learned over the past couple months is that there is always an excuse for why you did not write. Life is too busy, other things need to be done, your family needs more attention. Whatever the excuse, regardless of how good that excuse is, it is not good enough. There truly is no reason why you cannot write a little bit each day. Even if you just write down notes on a piece of paper or write a couple sentences, there is no excuse. I have used every excuse possible and I have fallen victim to the lie of telling myself that I have too much going on to worry about writing. It is time to stop this and get back to it.

I have made the committment to write a book. I have a story to tell and I am going to get it on paper. I will set aside some time each day to write a little and concentrate on the book. In addition to this, I will update my blog every week at least. I have neglected this as well and it is time to get back on top of things.

I have read a lot of inspirational things from many places in regards to writing and the motivation of writing. The first thing you need to know is why you are writing. It is not for my ego or that I need something to do. I am writing what I imagine, feel, and the story that I have in my head. If I do not tell this story, then who will?

Just remember, those who speak of greatness live in the shadow of those who do it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Progress Update

I have started to read the chapters that I had written and I am pleased. So far, I have about 50 good pages of writing that I think is finished for the first draft with only a few minor changes. That is much better than I thought it would be.

I have run into a problem though. I am running more than one story in parallel, in order to keep the story from being too linear. However, in order to make it the way I want, I have to introduce more than one string of stories. I have not figured out the best way to do this without confusing the reader yet. I am going to be working on that next before I continue to write. Once I have that complete, the rest of the story should unfold pretty quickly.

50 pages done, another 50 pages drafted, about 450 more to go!

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Distracted" - A Short Story

The squeal of tires echoed in Darren’s head, slowly replaced by the hollow moans of pain. He did not remember the events that took place that morning three months ago, but the sounds and burnt rubber smell haunted his dreams. The pressure of the airbag on his face was lingering as he sat there with his head in his hands. It was a week after his seventeenth birthday and his life had completely changed.

“It is time,” the guard said in a deep voice breaking Darren’s reverie.

The words came across heavy, like a weight being placed on his shoulders. Darren knew this time would come. He would have to face the family of those who lost their lives while he was sentenced for something he did not remember doing. Darren stood slowly as the chains around his hands and feet clattered. He was about to find out the price he would have to pay for an honest mistake.

Darren was led into the bright court room which only made is orange jumpsuit more incriminating. The silence that filled the room made it surreal, low sobs in the front row occasionally breaking through. He shuffled his way to the table while waiting for the judge to enter. Reporters anxiously wrote notes as whispers arose from the family members sitting behind the low wooden wall.

“All rise,” the bailiff called. Everyone responded by standing swiftly as the bailiff continued, “the honorable Judge Michael Thorton presiding.”

The judge walked up to his podium and motioned for everyone to sit down. He took a deep breath before continuing, looking Darren straight in the eyes. “Will the defendant please rise?” Darren’s lawyer tapped him on the shoulder indicating it was time for sentencing. They both stood from their seats and waited for the judge to continue. “Darren Ryan Harrison, you have been found guilty by the State of North Carolina for three counts of involuntary vehicular manslaughter. While your actions appeared to be minor, the consequences are irrevocable. As a direct result of texting while driving, your actions have resulted in the death of three individuals and impacted countless others.”

Darren looked down at the table, ashamed for what he had done. Texting was something that everyone did. He did not think that it would ever result in something like this. He took the lives of three people because he could not wait to get to school before pulling out his phone.

“Mr. Harrison, please look up while I am speaking.” The judge was stern and unmoving. “You will be an example for everyone in the State of North Carolina. Driving while distracted will not be tolerated. You are hereby sentenced to ten years in a maximum security facility for each count.” The gavel slammed down hard. “Court dismissed,” the judge declared.

The sound struck Darren in the heart before the words truly sunk in. Thirty years in prison. Almost half of his life was now forfeited for a simple text message.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Return

The last two weeks have been some of the longest in my life. I have been working on the renovation of the new house, working my day job, and starting back at school. This has left me very little spare time in which I used for sleep. I do not think that things will truly settle until I finish the long list of to-do items, but I can dial it back a little.

Unfortunately, I have made zero progress on the book. I have not thought about it or even opened up the document on my computer. I am hopeful that this break will provide some perspective. My plan is to restart my effort by reading what I have written already. This may give me more ideas or question some of the decisions that I have made. It will also let me see if I fully explained a vision that I had in my head.

This will definitely take some time, but I want to get this right instead of pushing something out. My goal is still to have the first draft final by September, however this may be a stretch. If we don't set goals, then what do we have driving us?

I am picking up the book again next week. You will start to see updates again, progression on characters and the world development. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this break. Sometimes you have to take care of business and the things in life first.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Busy Life

There have been many changes in my life over the past two months. My wife and I bought another house and renovating it. That means I have work in the evenings and weekends. Our daughter started to walk (which is both scary and exciting!). My father passed away. Next week I start school again.

I am not complaining. I like to be busy. It is the type of person that I am. Being able to exercise my mind, then do something physical like renovations is good for you. My wife thinks that I am crazy for taking on so much at once, but I want to get it done.

Back to the book. Progress has been slow, but still going. I have taken a step back to review the high level storyline, plots, characters, etc. There are some things that I think could be better and debating whether to change them now or in the second draft. Part of me wants to do it now so I can build it deeper in the story. I will play around with it and see how it goes.

It is exciting to see the characters in your head come to life on paper. You get to describe what you have been imagining for a long time and tell people the story you have been thinking about. Of course, that makes it easier to write and harder to edit later. One thing that I have learned from an editor (reading articles) is this: If you put too much detail in the story, the person will not be drawn to it. It is overload and the person does not use their imagination. Some things are worth putting in detail, but not EVERYTHING.

I am trying to use words of wisdom where I find it. I keep a separate file with these little tips that I can go back and review once in a while. The hard part about that is choosing which of the tips is valid and which are not. Every book is different and writing styles vary. You just have to use common sense, do what you think is best for your book and be open to criticism.

My goal is to finish the first 100 pages of book, send it to a couple people for review and feedback while I work on the next 100. It would be interesting to get this feedback during the process instead of after the book was completed. There may be some mistakes that I can correct and save time later. I have to keep in mind that every reader has different opinions. Not all suggestions will be implemented, but it is a start.

Ok, back to work!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Price of Freedom (Sestina Poem)

Since the winners were announced and mine was not chosen among them, I can now post the poem here. If you want a refresher on what a Sestina poem is, click HERE.

The Price of Freedom

Light over the earth shall fall
casting forth shadows on stone.
The hero will fight for freedom lost,
Where those without would see no hope.
And all we can see is the future red,
Love and peace changed forever.

The sin of war will be forever
Spreading hate to all that fall.
The land stained in deep red,
Covered by the tomb of stone.
All that remains is the idea of hope,
True love and happiness lost.

In the battle, ideals will be lost;
Moral compasses changed forever.
The hero will lean heavily on hope,
with nothing under to brace the fall.
Swords will drop solid as stone,
Rivers flowing a ribbon of red.

Hands stained with innocence red,
to ensure the war is not lost.
Heart of the hero turned to stone
will remain changed forever.
As those around the hero fall,
so does the feeling of hope.

Darkness befalls, engulfing hope;
Covering the hero in red.
Time has expired with the fall
of a warrior now lost.
The fight for freedom rings forever,
Memorials cast in stone.

Families stand by tombs of stone,
Grasping to the idea of hope.
Courage, Sacrifice, and Honor forever,
the flag folded of blue, white and red
Handed to the boy of a father lost.
The truth of freedom is in the fall.

The hero will remain solid as stone, his soul stained red.
Still clinging to the idea of hope, the love once had is lost.
The price of freedom is forever, held high until the fall.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Yesterday I received a call from my mother during the day. It is worth noting that my mother and I only speak after work hours or the weekend unless something is wrong. This let's us know that the call is important. When I answered the phone, I knew something happened. My father had passed away.

There is a range of emotions that run through you when something like this happens, but I should explain the situation further. My father and I were not close. Ok, that is probably an understatement. My father left when I was very young and we had seen each other on occasion. He did not have a hand in my life or development and he was not a father figure to me. But that does not stop me from feeling a sense of loss and sorrow.

Over the next few days, family will be traveling and arrangements will be made. I am sure there will be arguments over who gets what and so-and-so is entitled to this. All of that does not matter, but we all have these family members who think about themselves before anyone else. It is sad.

During this time, I will be humbled as I am reminded of my own mortality. The thought of leaving this world, not taking advantage of the time that I have, not spending enough time with my wife and daughter.......I have to use the time I have left wisely.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going back to school......again

Well, it has happened. I have enrolled in college for my fourth degree. My company is sponsoring a full paid college degree and I could not pass up the deal. They will cover 100% of the tuition, fees, books and materials. I will start on May 6th for my Master of Arts in Organizational Management.

This will definitely cut into my writing time, however, I still believe that I can maintain my deadline for September on the release of my book. I have been making slow progress lately but feel good about where it stands right now. It is interesting to see that some days I can write a lot and others I can barely form a coherent sentence.

The journey continues and the obstacles change. I will not give up and I will succeed. I just might have to sacrifice a little sleep once in a while.