Friday, December 25, 2015

"We'll never see this again in our lifetime" / Happenings In The Outhouse 25-Dec-2015

"We'll never see this again in our lifetime."

I heard this mantra last week when it was predicted that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would smash box office records in a way that will never be seen again in our lifetimes.  Funny thing is, I've heard this before.  Several times, in fact.

I'm in my early 40s and have lived through several of these so-called "never see again" eras.

"Oh, we'll never see as prolific a writer as Stephen King."

"There will never be as prolific a writer as J. K. Rowling."

"The success of Harry Potter will never be matched.  Ever."

"(Fill in the blank) will be the biggest Marvel movie ever."

I am utterly disgusted by the notion that there will never, EVER, be something better than what has currently been created.  Here is a list, from Wikipedia, on the highest grossing films of all time.  It's impressive how many were created within the last few years.

Do not get sucked into the mantra that there will never be anything as good as what has already been created.  I remember reading an article about this concerning the massive success Stephen King in the early 1990s.  Then, a scribbler from Mississippi had his second novel made into a movie . . . starring Tom Cruise.  The Firm was the name of the book and movie.  The author?  John Grisham.

And let's not forget J. K. Rowling and her "tiny" book series called Harry Potter.

I could go on and on.  Brandon Sanderson.  Andy Weir.  The Hunger Games.

Are we forgetting about Peter Jackson's theatrical trilogy version of The Hobbit?

Every time I hear the "never again" mantra I shake my head.  And so should you.  Because the "next big thing" is always right around the corner.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars vs. Doctor Who / Happenings In The Outhouse 18-Dec-2015

I apologize if the headline sounds like it's click-bait, but today's Friday post is a mashing of several ideas and with the new Star Wars movie coming out, why not start with that.

Earlier this year, I introduced my youngest daughter to both Doctor Who and Star Wars on Netflix.  She watched a few episodes the Clone Wars animated series as well as Doctor Who.  Who won?

Doctor Who.

Not to say she didn't love Star Wars, because I for one have been a fan ever since the original movie was in the theaters in 1977--yes, I'm that old.  She said she loved Doctor Who more because the doctor and his companion(s) go on countless adventures and can go in any place in time, be it far in the future or well in the past.  She knows more about the show than most people, and she's only 9-years-old.

However, when the new Star Wars movie comes out, I will be bringing all three of my kids to it.

Now, back to business at hand.  The third book in the Central Division Series is getting closer to done.  I have surpassed 48,000 words and am planning this to be anywhere between 65-70,000 words when it's complete.  I will be working on the cover shortly, and will be sharing both the title and cover soon.

Lastly, as a writer/author, one can never seem to run out of ideas.  A few days ago, while driving to work, I got a fantastic story idea.  It sounded so simple I was sure it had to be written before.  Nope.  Not even the title seemed to be taken in either a movie or book.  Sweet!  All I will say is that it's Christmas-themed and I would love to try write it before Christmas next year.  I also have a Halloween-themed story I need to write in 2016 too.

Like I said, there are no empty wells of ideas.  Only the lack of ambition or fear of failure to accomplish it.

Dream it.

Then do it.

The world is counting on you.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Needing therapy / Happenings In The Outhouse 11-Dec-2015

The other day, I brought a family member to their therapy appointment.  I shopped after dropping them off, and arrived back at the therapist with more than ten minutes to spare.

As the therapist and the family member (sorry for being cryptic but I don't want to give any clue as to who the family member was--and no it was not me, thanks for asking) came back out into the waiting room, they lined up another appointment.  They were chitchatting--hadn't they just spent the last hour doing it!--while figuring out which day and time would work well, when the family member mentioned it was just nice to talk with someone about anything.

This got me thinking about the last writers group meeting I attended.  All three of us were there, and after we finished our readings and critiques, we talked about how it was refreshing to converse with other writers.  Writers are wired differently.  There are struggles we encounter that, quite frankly, very few are able to identify with.

This could be said about most creative individuals.  I'm not a painter or a sculptor or a graphic artist.  The same could be said of them too.

It's important to identify that you, as a writer, are different.  It's also okay to meet with other writers from time to time.  This is not new.  C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien met regularly to discuss their writings in their Inklings meetings.

Find some like-minded writers and regularly meet.  Trust me when I say it may take a while to find others who you click with--and us three really do!  (As a note, please see my blog post from 4 years ago on how I talk about the good, the bad, and the weird with writers groups).  Like therapy, it's nice to just talk with others who are either going through the same struggles as you or have gone through them and can coach you through them.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Guest of Honor featured on the Writership Podcast / Happenings In The Outhouse 04-Dec-2015

If you're a writer and aren't listening to the Writership Podcast, I highly recommend you add it to your list.

The Writership Podcast features two accomplished editors, Leslie Watts and Alyssa Archer, in helping indie authors master self-editing skills.  Their weekly show should be the stable of any writer who wishes to improve their skills.

Also, as an added bonus, my novelette Guest of Honor was featured this week on their podcast.  Please click on the link to listen to them critique the opening section of my novelette.

Also, if you haven't picked up Guest of Honor, it is still free . . . but not for much longer.  Here is a link to my website where you can find the e-retailer of your choice: Guest of Honor.