Friday, February 26, 2016

Surviving, one year later / Happenings In The Outhouse 26-Feb-2016

It's been roughly a year since my medical mishap.  To recap, please see these two posts: Wake up call and When life feels like an episode of House.

In October 2015, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to review my MRI scans that were done at another clinic.  Needless to say, I am an oddball.  No, seriously.  I had a consultation with a neurologist who had been practicing for over 40 years, and he had never seen anything like mine.

In a nutshell, I have a blood vessel that runs through a section of my brain that controls the left side of my body.  When I had taken a medication last February and experienced an allergic reaction, it affected that spot.

Hence, the seizure.

I am still here.

I am still writing.

I am still publishing.

I am surviving.  Still.

I do this while jugging housework, caregiving, and even taking time to keep myself healthy.  I am planning a weekly post (I'm thinking Mondays instead of these Friday posts) geared towards those writers in the same boat as myself.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, February 19, 2016

My problem with most author interviews / Happenings In The Outhouse 19-Feb-2016

Over the past number of years, I've listened to my fair share of podcasts geared towards interviewing authors.  Mostly indie (self-published), but with a sprinkling of traditionally- or hybrid-published authors on top.  They were very interesting, until something odd happened.  I started hearing the same thing over and over again.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't want to come off as arrogant, that I know everything, because I don't.  I'm constantly learning.  And if I listen to a 45-60 minute interview and pick up one nugget I hadn't thought of before, I consider it time well spent.

Here's my problem with most of these interviews though.  I don't connect with them.  The authors, not the interviewers.

Give me an author who has a day job (or multiple jobs), a spouse, and kids, and how they deal with the day-to-day minutia, you have my attention.  Or take it one step further: an author who is juggling housework while being a caregiver to either a spouse or parent, something extremely demanding of their time.

I would connect with those.

Now, most of these authors may have a demanding day job, a house full of kids, and a number of other commitments.  They just never tell anyone.

In all of the interviews I've listened to, only one comes to mind and I haven't the slightest clue as to who it was.  This author was a stay-at-home dad who did all of the housework and had a handful of kids.  He said he only had time to write very early in the morning.  Sorry, I can't remember who it was, but it's the only one I can think of.

So my new purpose is to be that author, the one who writes while raising three kids, caregiving for my wife, housework, and the like.  I find the time to write because I'm deliberate about it.  Are there times I don't feel like it?  Of course.

But I keep writing.

Because it's what I do.

I love it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Changing the focus of my blogs / Happenings In The Outhouse 12-Feb-2016

What?  Blogs?

Yes, you heard correctly.  I currently have five blogs plug one from my own website: Mark S. R.

Obviously, I have this one, Views From The Outhouse.  The tagline is: "Take a journey, as one writer climbs out of the depths of obscurity, to creatively entertain and boldly stretch the imaginations of billions."  As this one is my longest running blog and mainly centered around my life's journey as a writer, I would keep it centered as such.  If anyone wants to know the inner workings of being a writer, from my perspective, the focus would remain as such.

For my Mark S. R. blog, I will be changing that to be focused on my readers.  Before, I have blending the writings from Views From The Outhouse and this one, and from now on I will be focusing it on future stories, sales/promotions, public appearances, and anything else a reader will fancy.

My next blog of importance is my Twin Cities Crime Blogger blog.  This is the fictional blog of a character in the Central Division Series (as well as a brief appearance in Guest of Honor) named Dexter Louis Grant.  This blog has been largely neglected, with plans to make it more of a central piece with the stories in the series (as well as a future spin-off series) in the near future.

The third and final blog I will mention here is my Mr. Shoestring blog.  These are my nonfiction books, of which there are one at this point.  In late 2016, I may release 1-2 more books in this series.  This blog is focused on living on a shoestring budget and where one can cut costs.

I will stop here.  I do have a blog on exploring the Holy Bible, from a non-scholarly perspective as well as one based on a fictional Minnesota town in northern Minnesota.  The Bible one I do not advertise nor share outside of simply posting.  The fictional town one hasn't even been developed since I have not had any published stories based in the town--sorry, I am not sharing links to it until it's ready to be revealed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Create art like a child (have no fear) / Happenings In The Outhouse 05-Feb-2016

My youngest daughter drew pictures for everyone in our family for Christmas.  She created them with love, and without fear of rejection.

Trust me when I say they were the biggest hit at our Christmas gatherings.  The smile she put on their faces was priceless.

As artists grow older, we may create just as much, but we do not share it.  We have a difficult time accepting others' opinions.  It's an uphill battle just to let anyone else in our little world.

Writers groups are a good way to get other opinions.  Not all writers groups are good.  I have been fortunate, in that regard.

In short, create and share, without fear.  Once you do it enough, it's not such a big deal.  Ignore the lump at the back of your throat, causing fear in what other people think.

With that being said, here is the cover for the third novel in the Central Division Series titled Discarded.

I'm at the halfway point in edits.  It's going well.  I hope to share a publication date shortly.