PUBLISHED! Book one of Space-Farming: Dangerous Weapons

Weighing in at 110,000 words and with four interior illustrations I am proud to announce book one of my space opera.

Charles Meyer, a gambling addict farmer with a temper, is barely holding on. And it gets worse.

He is attacked by disco-pirates, a villainous mega-tycoon, and a corrupt government. Charles gets into gambling debt with the casino.

With so much going on, he joins a criminal gang. Learns the value of friendship–with the help of a religious cult. And eventually hurts everyone he loves.

This is a book about being a tiny mortal bug in the universe and fighting impossible odds. It is blanketed with comedy.

Until the publication of book 2, I will be offering a free copy to readers of writingtemple.com. Sign up to my newsletter (Bottom footer on the left) to get a free pdf copy.

The next step is to get as much free publicity as possible. Submitting it to book lists and the like. Support me as I work on some short stories and book number 2, drop a comment!

Cover Design for Space-Farming #1

Novel #1 of Space-Farming in the Age of the Disco-Pirates was enjoyed by my beta readers. I am proud to publish it, but first the cover illustration, one last fine-comb edit, and some interior illustrations.

I do all my illustrations and covers, for better or for worse.

It will be published January once the final touches are done.

I am working on Vapor Basin part 2. It pales in comparison to finishing this novel.

Jacob’s Quest is Published on Amazon

I am proud to announce that Jacob’s Quest is published on Amazon. I have much to learn in the art of self publishing but I knew if I didn’t finish a book soon, I never would.

I’m excited to finish my second book and publish it on KDP as well. After that I’m considering writing some short stories or flash fiction.

For now, I am happy. If you want to support my writing click on the image link above. It uses my affiliate link so you support me x2! Ha-ha. But! I want you to have the book free of charge because you read my blog.

The book is no longer free, buy the sucker on Amazon. It’s good.

That’s all.

Trust Yourself: You Are Hereby Granted Permission To Write

Say: “I am proud of my book.”

If you can’t, you have a problem. No amount of ‘how to’ guides are going to fix your book.

Three ideas are close to my heart. I want you to have a quick outline of each of them. It’s difficult to write — well anything, but especially so for deeper parts of myself. With effort and practice I will learn how to write well. This post will be published done, not perfect.

Your Experience Is Authoritative

Pliny the elder was the first scientist. He saw crocodile tears and wrote about it. His observation was the first. I imagine him crouching down near the nile river getting closer and closer to death, because he had to know.

All science is observation. Graphs, charts, and databases are organized observations stacked deeper and higher. Each scientific publication references further and further into observations than dreamed possible.

If you study enough observations, you’ll be piled higher and deeper. (PHD)

You don’t need to be well studied to have the right to write. Because you experience things you are a vast resource of fundamental research. You already have the everything you need to write great novels.

God (The power/force you believe.) gave you life. Your life has created experiences. Your experiences inspire emotion and are trustworthy. So, write what you know — emotionally.

Read this: She took her first steps in the park that day. Her father smiled beckoning her forward. Then, a branch fell, hit her. She took her last steps that day.

I’m not sorry. What emotions do you feel? Sadness?

You feel because you intuitively know what to feel. Stop getting in your own way and write with feeling. Stop trying to filter your ideas through other peoples experiences, it will take you years and you still be wrong.

Feel moved by your writing. Then you can move others. Books which move people are remembered.

Now: if you felt joy, you are different from most people. Now I really want you to write. I want to understand the workings of a mind that feel joy when a toddler is killed. Mostly so I can recognize murderers and avoid them.

When you reread what you have written, every time you feel good about your work, remember the sensation. Always encourage your love for your work.

All of this to say one thing: You have God’s permission to write.

It Doesn’t Need To Be Perfect, It Just Needs To Be Done.

Do you want to write a great book?

Then write ten. One will be great — And I would argue most would be great.

Athletes perform better when they are relaxed. The same is true with writers, instead of trying to write one perfect book write recklessly.

If you try to write a perfect book, you will tense up and the book will suck. Your lack of experience limits your potential, and self doubt cramps your voice. Perfectionism lowers the quality of your work.

You will learn more from movement than from meditation.

I read it once and now I can’t place the quote.

There is a study where photography students were divided into two groups. The first group was assigned to take a hundred photos and choose one to be graded on. The second group was assigned to take one photo and be graded on that one.

The students who took photos were better photographers than the ones who meditated on what was a perfect photo. [I can’t remember the citation right now, it is either from Atomic Habits by James Clear or How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise.]

Don’t practice being a researcher on writing. Be a writer. That means writing everyday and getting it done. Write, publish and move on.

I procrastinated for a large portion of my life, both in childhood and in adulthood. I wish I had mentors to guide me away from the gaming computer and into the real world.

My rationalization for my inactivity was I had to learn more before I could possibly write. Sounds good. Problem is, I will never learn enough.

Even things I do know I will reject. I know that Google favor’s blog posts around 2,000 words. I purposely ignore that, I post on my schedule whether or not I have enough experience or knowledge to get to that magic number.

The reason for this blog is to organize my thoughts on writing and give me an audience to be accountable too. Soon I will be writing my final draft of Jacob’s Quest.

Am I ready? No.

Procrastinating kills.

Trust yourself — Don’t Let Other’s Shake You

You will find what you are looking for, so look for the good.

There will always be someone to tell you are living, writing, or breathing wrong. You must trust yourself or you will be tossed like Kublai Khan’s fleet in the 13th century — At the mercy of divine wind.

You are you, stop trying to find yourself in other peoples opinions. If you desperately work to be perfect in other people’s view, you will be liked.

But you’ll never be loved. Instead, trust yourself and be honest. Act courageously and you will be loved. The catch with being loved is that you will hated as well. It comes with the territory.

One of my favorite meditations on the subject is a video by John Keoning. He is the creator of The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows.

Possible regret keeps us from publishing our novel, or even sharing it with family. Your characters will never be perfect, and your plot will never be spotless. So even though you write everyday, you are still circling the drain. Re-drafting continuously. Wasting time.

We waste away with every second of the time. Don’t use your precious life learning how to live a perfect life. (Or write a perfect book.) Instead, live an imperfect one, it is the best you can do.

It is a foregone conclusion you will regret. It is your responsibility to take charge of this knowledge and start distrusting people who hold you back.

That includes your inner voice. (Otherwise known as Resistance.)

I am not saying you should ignore people. Just that you deserve confidence in your own life. The largest regret you can have is chasing a regret-free life. They don’t exist.

I’m Back — Jacob’s Quest is in Second Draft.

The second draft of my fantasy novel is completed.

I’m happy to be two days ahead of schedule. Here is a full list of what I did.

  • Edited 78,000 words.
    • Cut wordy descriptions.
    • Shortened all dialogue. — Sappy, wordy, and redundant.
    • Revamped dialogue attribution.
    • Removed passive voice. — It was everywhere.
    • Break down long sentences.
    • Built up verb variety.
  • Changed a major plot point.
  • Wrote a new scene to resolve some ‘Chekhov’s Guns’.
  • Changed the main character’s name.
  • Rewrote the first chapter — For the third time, it’s never quite right.
  • Broke down long chapters into multiple.
  • Removed flat jokes.

What I’m going to do next is —

  • Finish the new section. (It’s a barely functional skeleton right now.)
  • Add a better setup for a joke that isn’t landing.
  • Keep an inventory, make sure nothing pops out of nowhere and characters don’t disappear and reappear at a whim.
  • Keep a calendar, time is inconsistent throughout the entire book.
  • Learn more about English grammar. Take what I learn and add it to the dialogue.
  • Read it aloud.

I will be doing that later. For now, I’m going to blog.

What’s next?

Editing this book is fulfilling. There were lows and some highs. Life interrupted my writing with fun and !!FUN!!. (Losing)

I want to tell you all about it.

Learn from comparing two drafts.

I now have two different drafts of ‘Jacob’s Quest’. I am going to compare the two and explain key differences. Both on a clarity level, and a character level.

Before I do that, I want to tell the story of the book.

I started writing ‘Jacob’s Quest’ under the title ‘A Book Without a Name’ back in 2013. I finished it in 2014 and tried to get it traditionally published.

No one did. I don’t blame them. It was awful.

I should have been writing for the last 6 years, but I gamed away my time. At the start of 2020 I mentioned to a friend I wrote a book. He read it, and liked it. (He was a friend after all) He encouraged me to fix it, finish it, publish it.

He read an old, old copy of the book. A unedited version from 2014. I found the edited version from 2014 and worked from that.

In May, I wrote the new first draft. My writing style changed enough to justify calling it that.

In the past week, I turned that first draft into a second draft. I couldn’t be prouder. I will publish it after the next round of editing — I will not let it rot for another 6 years.

Back to blogging.

My struggle will be your gain. I’ll be posting again soon. You will learn key insights I gained from rewriting this book.

That’s all for now.

Be back soon— Writing a Novel

I will pause my blog posting schedule. I limited my focus to one thing: rewrite the fantasy novel.

A blog post has already been scheduled for August 6 to celebrate my completion. Which gives me a little over a week or I risk embarrassing myself.

This is the first time I’ve mentioned the novel publically.

The novel follows a frustrated young page as he tries to find the book’s author and get a quest. The book (working title George’s Adventure) has a comedic tone. Funny is my favorite way to write, otherwise I take myself too seriously.

See you all soon! Looking forward to writing more for you.

Setting Sail

This is the first article on the Writing Temple blog.

I hope that you got here after reading many hundreds above it. Why a voyage to a temple?

I like to believe that there is an underlying structure to everything. The way to understand it is to meditate deeply on things. Even the smallest difficulties can thrash an otherwise sane person if they don’t have a ballast.

Everyday, you must overcome resistance. We all want to become better writers and if we aren’t careful ocean swells will toss our ship side to side. Courtesy of the annoying voices in our heads, doubts assault us.

If you wrote better prose you would be happy. All your characters are boring. You can’t make this plot work.

This is important: all of those doubts are valuable and shouldn’t be ignored. But in their current state they drive us to exhaustion. I want to turn my doubts into opportunities. It may be a side effect of my male mind but I do that by maps, and taxonomies. I organize all my doubts into glass jars, letting them calm down, and take them out and examine them like bugs I am pinning and labeling.

This blog is a map for writers like myself. I am going to draw out where I’ve been, and what I’ve seen in a vast ocean of writing.

The Map

Before Jason is a turquoise ocean, the edges wrap down to the horizon. The tide laps at his ankles. He holds a map. It shows a temple in the center of seven seas. It is a temple full of silver and is only visible with the full moon.

The seven treacherous seas are:

  • Character
  • Contrast
  • Conflict
  • Content
  • Context
  • Clarity
  • Concrete

Jason, must build a boat.