The Deadly Sins of Writers

Let me explain the title of this post for starters.

I’ve been kicking around a nonfiction idea for writers, I think of as the seven deadly sins of writers. Greed, sloth, etc, as they apply to writers. As I consider this book (Along with my many and varied fiction projects), I realized one of these sins stands out the most to me as it applies to writers.

I think envy is my greatest challenge at the moment (With sloth/indolence being a close second).

Lately, I look at the success of others, and though I think I’m managing the envy well compared to how I’d deal with it in the past, you could say I’m a bit nervous of how long I can maintain a good attitude about my feelings.

There are lots of independent authors who do very well. I’m working to become one of them, as I’m sure many of you know. The only way to get there is to work more. That’s where sloth arrives to join forces with envy. I’m less skilled at dealing with envy of other peoples’ attitude or work ethic, and that’s what I find gets to me these days. It’s not about the money, it’s about the process. If I felt freer, I would be on my way in no time.

Of that, I feel certain. But never mind the negativity.

I have more words to do today. Just wanted to check in with you readers first. I’m still working on the sequel to The Mangrove Suite. It’s going pretty well right now, though it could always be better.

No excerpt this week. Would be too spoilery given the subject matter of the recent chapters.

The Return of Blogging

 

Hey, everyone.

 

Let me just dust off this old blog here.

 

Whew.

 

By god, it has been a while.

 

First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who read and enjoyed the serials Tenlyres, Stolen Parts, and Invisibles. Those are going to be on hiatus for the time being, to give me more time to write other fiction. I love writing stories, but right now I don’t have the ability to split my focus and construct fiction for sale and fiction for this blog simultaneously.

 

Next up, there are only a couple days left before October, at which point I will be ending my giveaways on instafreebie.com. If you want to get Rem’s Dream for free, head over there using this link before the first of the new month.

 

Now, a quick update on my writing process.

 

I picked up the writing pace on Sunday, and maintained a pretty solid rate (for me) through the week. All these words either went to notes in the “Clean” universe, where my latest release is set. This is a pretty unusual genepunk/cyberpunk setting which also features an alien occupation of the Earth in the near future.

 

I decided on Sunday, after a solid day of writing on the second book in the series, that I want to keep this setting alive for a good long while. I don’t want to be bound to one story-world for my whole career, but I think I can commit to this one for a while. Along those lines, I started brainstorming some new spin-off story ideas on Tuesday, for use once I get some more released in the main series.

 

It’s also worth noting that I have begun a consistency challenge to write at least 100 words every day for 100 days. Lately, I haven’t always been consistent, and this has hurt my momentum on the stories I’ve been producing. I started this challenge on Sunday, so I’m now on Day 6 of the challenge, as of this writing.

 

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with my progress. I’m sharing a brief sample from the week’s writing below. It’s good to be back and talking as myself. Feel free to leave a comment, or click on the sidebar at mentalcellarpublications.com and check out any of my books. Thanks for reading everyone.

 

Weekly Writing Excerpt (Rough Draft)

He nodded. “It felt good to help. To be one of the good guys again.”

“Is that how you felt when you served?” Elizabeth’s voice was soft. “Like a good person?”

I remembered how she once told me her father had been in the military. Elizabeth rarely discussed her family, and I could tell at the time she and her father were not on good terms. She looked down at her plate with a sigh.

Thomas glanced at me. I unfolded my arms. The silence seemed absolute despite the other residents eating at neighboring places all around our table.

I said, “Don’t rush into anything, Thomas. It’ll be dangerous out there.” Outside the window, snowflakes started to scatter from low, gray clouds.

Thomas gave me a small smile. “I promise, I’ll tell you first if I decide to do something crazy.”

Soul Art

Today today today!

The sequel to “Hunter and Seed,” a little novel called “Soul Art” by yours truly is finally out for preorder!

I could not wait to release this, but it’s taken longer than I wanted. All things considered, my brain is a wild and weird artifact, including a few features I don’t like a whole lot. One of those despised traits is depression, and I have been dealing with that for much of my life. I suffered some serious bouts of depression over the last year and a half.

Excuses aside, I am excited to finally release this book. And in the honor of this release, I’ve lowered the price of “Hunter and Seed” to ninety-nine cents. If you have not checked that book out yet, now is the time.

I love writing, and writing this blog is good fun. However, writing fiction is my greatest passion. I think a lot of you, especially those of you who have enjoyed my serials on this blog, will like reading both “Hunter and Seed” and “Soul Art.”

Thank you for reading.

Another Stage

I feel as though a long time has passed since I last posted here. In reality, it has been just over a week. However, I know several important things have changed in these past eight days.

First off, I finished a novel I had been working on for over a year.

That alone is an awesome experience, especially given the burst of enthusiasm I found I could put into the story in this final stretch of sixteen-thousand words or so.

The writing of that books’ ending was possible because for the past 10 days, except for this most recent Sunday, I sat down for a couple hours each day and worked. It is bizarre how easy things feel when one can rely on oneself to do the work. For the first time in quite a while, I experienced the sense that my work is important, but also not out of reach.

Aside from the writing?

I’m preparing more episodes of both the podcasts I run. Alive After Reading is still young, but I can tell starting it was a good idea. It’s a fun show and has put me in touch with more writers I always wanted to talk to about themselves and their craft.

That said, the writing is the most important part of the feeling I have right now. The feeling that I have advanced in some way, become a different creature, maybe even a better one.

Why? I’m not entirely certain how much this accounts for, but I definitely feel good about doing the work. I also think I’m more open than in the past, especially on the internet. Some of you blog readers may think I’ve often been pretty open in these posts. I think that’s true. However, lately, my connections to other people through this medium seem stronger because I reach out to them more frequently and more casually.

I enjoy it. And I don’t feel guilty for spending time on social media as long as I have my work in hand. So, this is my progress. It may not sound dramatic in cause. The result, however, feels completely distinct to me.

I hope you too may feel this way more than once in your life, if not as much as possible.

Now, I have work to do.

Thanks for reading.

Mental

Good Monday to all and to all a good morning.

I am facing quite a challenge today (To tackle as soon as I stop yawning every five seconds). Today is the first day of a new attempt at a work schedule. The schedule? Eight AM to Eleven AM will be writing time on weekdays.

Three hours. Three hours of writing all in a row.

That may not sound like a lot, but overall it means about 4000 words if I stick to it with enthusiasm and discipline.

I would love to do that many words, that much story, each day. I will love it, is how I should write that.

The work of a few hours a day will really add up fast. And my current project, the sequel to Hunter and Seed, really needs to get done.

In related news, I am editing a much longer book into a pair of smaller books now. We will see how difficult that gets, especially because I have to give priority to the sequel I mentioned above. My hopes for getting two series out this year are high.

But right now, it all feels a little mental, as the Brits might say.

Hence the title of this post.

My books can still be found on Amazon and elsewhere if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading.

RPG Making

 

I have hit my stride over the past couple weeks in designing stuff for this RPG I’ve had on my mind for the last 5 years.

The RPG? A tabletop game based on S. John Ross’ Risus, the Anything RPG.

I call my version of it Risus Hack, but perhaps I should think of a different name because of how much the game has grown from the base I started running as a senior in college.

I think it’s still a simple game, though one with a lot of room for fiddling.

As I get restarted on “Spurring the Beast” (Sequel to last year’s first book, “Hunter and Seed”) I keep having RPGs in the back of my thoughts. That may have something to do with running an RPG podcast every week. And, oh boy. Fans of the Of Mooks and Monsters podcast are in for a treat over the next few weeks.

I have to credit the show with a lot of my recent enthusiasm for games and stories. Turns out, going back to my roots as a game master and player has been good for my brain. Soon, I hope to have a version of Risus Hack available for download. I am not sure if I should charge for it. And if I do charge, how much should I?

I guess I had better get to work.

I’ve put a lot of work into this game. I look forward to sharing it in the near-future.

Thanks for reading.

Tenlyres is still available for Pre-Order. Buy me a cup of coffee and get a full novel in return.

 

Spell My Name

It has come to my attention over the past few years that I have a difficult author name.

It’s true. I remember as a kid my siblings and I all had a rite of passage. We had to learn to spell our own last name for school.

Having all reached college-level education at this point, we obviously managed it. Despite the hurdle seemed pretty high when I was younger, however. And I don’t blame anyone for having difficulty with such a complicated moniker.

With the release of Tenlyres imminent, I worry (Because I’m a worrier) that the difficult name makes searching tough.

For that reason, I made a little poem here to help people spell “Niederriter.”
Spell Niederriter! (2017)

Start with an “N”
Then put “i” before “e”
Add a “d” and an “e”
Two “r’s” side by side,
With an “i” next…
Fit in one “t”
And with an “e” and an “r” spell out Niederriter!
Pronounced: Need A Writer!
Thanks for reading.

(Picture Texture by sirius_sdz. sirius-sdz.deviantart.com)

Zen Game Mastery

I meditated a little before running an RPG for the Of Mooks and Monsters Podcast yesterday.

By this I mean, yes, I sat down on my meditation pad in the lotus position and focused on my breathing for a few minutes. I’m glad I did. And not just because I procrastinate far too much on meditation.

I thought it a little, odd, but I did this because I was nervous.

You see I wasn’t just game mastering an RPG, I was recording it for broadcast, with players I had never gamed with before. And that made me nervous.

It got me thinking about the Samurai, because wouldn’t it do the same to anyone?

Seriously, though. There was a reason.

For much of their history, the Samurai of Japan practiced Zen Buddhism as part of their training.

It once baffled me how a warrior culture could practice one of the most peaceful of all religions. Once, I had a professor describe to me that the Samurai benefited from the acceptance of reality in a way that also is a taught by Buddhism.

That acceptance is that eventually, everything is impermanent.

You must act in the moment, and accept the consequences. In battle taking no action is not an option.
Same for running an RPG in person.

The game is alive, and the players make choices you cannot predict. I simply put the tools in their hands, sometimes from the beginning, sometimes because their questions earn it. This is the power of the game master. But I was worried about messing up.

Turns out I really didn’t need to be. That session will air on the podcast in a few weeks. I really enjoyed it, and the players seemed to feel the same way.

I’ll be back soon with news on Tenlyres and its upcoming release.

Thanks for reading.

Tenlyres Announcements

Tenlyres is nearing completion in rough draft. There is still a lot more to serialize, but I expect to finish writing the story this week.

That also means the Tenlyres Complete edition will be arriving in online stores around the end of the month. There will be a preorder set up as soon as I get the book finalized.

All in all, I’m very excited by the progress I’ve made on this story over the last month or so. And I’ll be happy to have it completed, though I have grown to like my characters quite a bit. It is long-past time I should get back to writing the sequel to Hunter and Seed, but books arrive when they arrive so I can’t complain.

I’ll be back with more news soon. I have some exciting stuff lined up to spread the word when Tenlyres releases, but for now, there isn’t much else to say.

Thanks for reading.

Shift 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

I am back after a good break for Christmas and New Years. I drank more than in any prior holiday season but kept sober most of the time. I had some fun with my siblings, and travel did not prove overly irksome. And on New Year’s Eve, my father turned 60, so I celebrated with the family and still got to bed on time.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. At the same time, I have also been thinking about my writing, especially the last part of Tenlyres, which is nearing its completion in rough draft. It seems strange to me that this series did not exist in prose form AT ALL last year at this time. It took most of my work time in 2016, but in 2017 I want to be more dedicated, because next up on my list in the second Maker Mythos novel, “Spurring the Beast.” I’m excited about that one, and I got some words in it done last year too, so it won’t be long.

The time has come to get back all the way to having fun while I write. For too long I have seen it as important to think things through as I go. Well, this year I have a new mantra to go with the ones my professor gave me on my trip to India six years ago.

Back then my mantras started with “I’m glad I don’t walk faster.” And, “I’m a very lucky person.”

I think both of those are still true. I’m going to add a third personal mantra as of today. “I have fun writing.”

This is not meant as an affirmation, necessarily, but as a reminder. Because it is absolutely true. Even when the writing gets tough, the work is satisfying. And that is a fact I swept under the rug years ago. Time to get it out again and dust it off for its rightful position on the mantelpiece of my mind.

I don’t have any resolutions for this year, but I want to keep getting better at the things I’ve been striving toward. Health, productivity, and independence.

Health is off to a good start, as I have already been walking quite a bit for two days. My food intake has been reasonable as well. I will do my best to cultivate a healthier mindset for publishing and working too.

Productivity goes with my new plan to make a habit of writing three sessions per day instead of just one bigger session. Wish me power to form that habit successfully over the next month especially, if you will.

Independence is another serious movement for me. This is not just making more money, but also forging a sense of doing things by myself and getting my driver’s license (I still don’t have one, obviously).

Those are my three prongs, but the first two take priority for the most part because they require the most time commitment (For productivity) and mental effort (Health). So, without further ado, I think it’s time for me to switch to writing fiction for the day.

Good luck, and happy new year.

Thanks for reading.

And while you’re at it, give the opening of “Hunter and Seed” a try!

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B01AKC5T7Q