Tag Archives: reflection

New Year’s 2018 – Looking to the Year ahead

Hey there, Vikans!

So, we’re about a day or so away from the end of 2017. Looking back at the events the rest of the world dealt with, from losing friends over politics, shootings, some people scared to even cross the street. We lost pop culture icons, some very tragically. So, in the public eye, 2017, in general, sucked.

I look back on my 2017, my personal 2017, and, on the surface and at first, seemed just as sucky and tragic. My regular day job is going through major changes that might have me out of work some time this year. My books, stories, and Patreon supporters had drastically, exponentially less impact on the reading community than I had hoped for. And, biggest hit of all, I lost JV on January 31st. There’s rarely been a day since she passed that I haven’t cried or at least gotten choked up. She was my coauthor, my co-conspirator, my Youtube vlogging partner, my best friend, and, post-mortem, my biggest source of inspiration.

Which leads into the next, and more important, part of this post. I have very strong GAD and depression, which means trying to find things to be happy about is very VERY difficult. However, at the end of every year, I organize my thoughts, reflecting on the year as a whole, both good things and bad. Here’s a bit of happy things I am grateful for:

  • Went to Smoky retreat again. It was only 3 weeks after JV’s passing, so I was in a dark spot. My fellow Somkies supported me lie I’ve rarely had before, and I cranked out 30+k on my first KINETICS novel.
  • I finished my Smoky project within a month (End of Feb to end of March), and sent it out for professional editing a week or two later.
  • I got to kick two bands off my bucket lists of concerts I wanted to see live before I die. AND got to take my sister. Sister bonding time rocks. 🙂
  • I wrote three short stories that became my CHAOS ACCOUNTS serial saga. Fourth one, “Account of Secrets” is due at the stroke of New Year 2018.
  • I wrote and completed both KINETICS #1 and #2, titled “Kinetic Rebirth” and “Kinetic Memory” respectively. First one went live in September/October 2017, and the second coming late Winter 2018
  • I started two new novel projects. One was KINETICS #3, title TDB. Second is the first in my CASTERS series, which essentially is recycling characters from my first series I wrote in high school and creating a story so drastically different than their original one.
  • I rebranded my short stories, that now all have bad-ass covers. 🙂
  • I linked all my series into a connected, interlocking universe (KNU), where each one relates to another, so my readers can find Easter eggs and connections and freak out as much as I was when making those very links.

And that’s just the major stuff. This year was my most productive writing year since I started my writing journey in 2007. … Wow, ten years? Hard to believe. But, that’ll be a reflection I tackle in my blog at a later date.

I’ve finished two full-length novel manuscripts, started 2 others, and cranked out 4 short stories. And that’s just the writing bit. I’ve come so far in my day job career, learned so many new things. Plus, the year has rounded out with rebranding both of my short story saga’s. I’ll provide links to everything I’ve published to date, including the New Year’s preorder link to “Account of Secrets“, my 4th CHAOS ACCOUNTS story.

Looking toward 2018, I’m determined to be just as productive as I was in 2017, maybe more so. In addition to CHAOS ACCOUNTS #4 on New Year’s Day, KINETIC MEMORY is due out in a month or so (still working on last minute proof checking), CHAOS ACCOUNTS  #5 is slated to release in Spring/Summer 2018, and I’ve got a plan to hopefully have another book released in Summer/Fall 2018 as well, but depends on editing and cover delays. This book will take us back to where my publishing journey started. Hint: it’s a world that I’ve already written stories for. It’s also the namesake for this website. 😉

Now, here’s the covers and links to all of my writing that I’ve published. Some are free permanently, some free only until the New Year (on Smashwords only), and some that cost a little bit.

eBooks Only:

TALES OF TERRARA VIKOS:

***ALL PERMAFREE EBOOKS!!!***

Cross of Faith (#1): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Trees In The Storm (#2): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Blood on a Broken Hand (#3): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Warped Destinies (#4): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]

 

THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS::

 

Account of Anxiety (#1): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Account of Unrest (#2): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Account of Friendship (#3): [Amazon] / [Smashwords]
Account of Secrets (#4): [Amazon] / [Smashwords] (Preorder until January 1st, 2018)
Account of Risks (#5): COMING SPRING 2018!!

 

Both eBook and Print::

Terrara Vikos-related:

The Vikan Quartet (Tales of Terrara Vikos collection, stories #1-4): [Kindle] / [Amazon Print] / [Smashwords]

The Protektor’s Reality: [Kindle] / [Amazon Print] / [Smashwords]

 

KINETICS:

 

**eBook only**: Kinetic Tragedy (a Kinetics prequel): [Instafreebie]
Kinetic Rebirth (#1): [Kindle] / [Amazon Print]
Kinetic Memory (#2): COMING JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018!!

 

Until 2018, Vikans. Have a Happy New Year, and see you on the other side!
YOU GOT DIS. 😉

phil_modern_family1

New Years – A Reflection on Life

New Year, new start, right? At the start of every year, all of us look forward to another year where nothing is impossible. Lose that twenty pounds, get that promotion, write that book you’ve been putting off for years, or go on that cross-country trip you’ve always dreamed of. There are a bunch of people I know (me included) that had a big change in their life in 2015. Babies entered some friends’ lives. Some people married their soulmates. Others started new jobs (example, me), big moves, new houses, new cars (example, me [again]), etc, etc.

No matter what did or didn’t happen in 2015, the biggest thing you can say is: I survived 2015. Lots of people can’t say that. Death got personal for me last year, with one of my grandfathers passing away from cancer (as I’ve heard my mentor say a bunch of times, “F–k Cancer”).  He was an amazing guy, and he went out the way he would have wanted, and that’s all that matters to me.

I guarantee lots of you lost loved ones this past year. My heart goes out to all of you, as I have felt that pang a few times in my life, and each time brought me to tears for months to years. It’s hard, looking to the new year without those wonderful people in our lives. Every passing moment stabs our hearts, and it literally hurts.

Here’s a little secret though. Come closer.

Closer…

*whispers* It gets better.

Yep, it does. Does that mean it will get to a point where you will feel nothing? No, unfortunately, the human race has not developed the technology to put your memory into an unfeeling, superhuman automaton with wifi in the head and a feeling suppressor where your heart should be. Sorry, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. Or, ever, if we’re lucky.

Feeling sadness or depression can be seen as a bad thing, and, to be honest, it is. As someone who’s suffered depression in the past, it’s hard. You shrink away from people, trying to hide the sadness and anxiety in your heart. Wanting someone to listen but not willing to talk about it. Biting back tears when looking at your bank account, your sick sibling/parent, or even just a simple picture.

But, the fact of the matter is, YOU’RE FEELING. Being able to feel is an amazing gift. It allows you to express what you like/don’t like about a situation, and to let others know what you think about something. Feeling is just feeling; there’s no other way to describe it, really. But, it’s amazing when you think about it. It’s something we take for granted.

For instance, I’m worried about an upcoming project of mine (more news in the distant future). That alerts me to plan things out, and have a backup plan should things not turn out right. It also tells me to keep going, so I can prove to myself that I was worried about nothing.

I’m scared of change. This informs me that when change happens, I need to fight back against the fear and take every hit, because, usually, it’ll be worth it in the end.

I’m happy I have a loving family, and a caring, awesome group of close friends. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten this far in my work career, my writing career, or life in general. Feeling that happiness makes me feel warm and fuzzy and lets me know that not everything sucks.

And I’m upset about death. However, it’s a fact of life. We all will die in the end. If you need advice on how to handle death and your impending demise, consult the Adam Ruins Everything finale. Just a warning, the end is depressing (if you couldn’t guess that already by the topic).

But that doesn’t mean that everything about death is horrible. You have to look at it a different way. Sure, the physical body of the person you love is buried in the ground, but now you have a guardian angel looking out for you. Sure, they can’t affect anything on this plane of being anymore, but the things they did do in our existence left a mark on the lives of so many other people on this Earth. They can’t verbally speak to you anymore, but they live on inside you, in your memories, in your words, in your actions. We choose to focus on their death, because it’s seems easiest to do. But, that hurts you in the end. Don’t focus on their death; focus on their LIFE. The bonds they created that even death cannot break. The changes they made in their own life that affected others in a positive way. The lives they altered, simply by existing and interacting with the world. Their childhood, their schooling, their careers, their family, their friends. At some point in our lives, we made a mark on someone else’s existence, and that’s what we should focus on.

To tell the truth, I would not be on this blog, writing this post right now, if someone in my life hadn’t died. In fact, I wouldn’t be a writer at all. My uncle, while only an active part of my childhood for a year of my elementary school journey, passed away. I was eleven. He was forty.

He was supposed to die at eighteen.197952_1002567381076_3062_n

He was blind, but a genius. He worked as an engineer as an adult, even without being able to see. He had a loving family, who he chose to spend the last year of his life with. He didn’t let his illness or incapacities stop him from achieving his dreams. When he died, I took on that mantra. The night of his death, I wrote my first poem that wasn’t a school assignment. My mother read it – all three pages – and told me I should be a writer.

Almost twelve years later, I have published a novel – dedicated to him, as you’ll see if you picked it up on Amazon -, finished almost ten manuscripts, graduated college a semester early, got an amazing job three months after graduating, and have big plans for the next several years in the career that his death inspired me to take on. I learned to look at the life he had on this earth, not the fact he was gone. Because, I guess, he’s living on inside of me, pushing me to keep going when things get tough.

So, to 2016, I am going to keep pushing forward. No matter what you might throw at me, I will look at my book, my manuscripts, or that poem I wrote twelve years ago – which my mother has made hundreds of copies of throughout the years – and remember why I’m doing this.

Twenty-sixteen:

Bring.

It.

On.