The Ancient Storyteller

It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller.”

David_Bowie This last month was a terrible and sorrowful one for the artistic world. Renowned musician David Bowie and exemplary actor Alan Rickman both passed away from cancer within days of each other. Both were amazingly creative individuals and masters of their craft. Both were also amazing storytellers, bringing to life their own unique visions, be it through Bowie’s music or Rickman’s interpretation of his characters.   Both added to our creative world, often in ways that defy explanation or quantification.  As such, the world is a darker place for their loss.

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Deep Breath

deep-breathAs I posted on my blog last month, I have been strongly considering starting my writing career by self-publishing my first book instead of trying to traditionally publish it.  My reasons are varied for that decision, but it all stemmed from the research I’ve done into the topic. Beyond the consistently soul-crushing experience of submitting your manuscript, my resources also lamented about the lack of unilateral marketing and promotional support, perhaps one of traditional publishing’s greatest benefits in the past. When compared to the portion of the revenues a traditional publisher will take, it seemed foolish to give up so much money in return for little more than a publisher’s seal of approval (which arguably is a worthwhile benefit, in itself).

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Guest Blogpost Jason Gurley @terribleminds

delay-sign  One of my favorite writers/bloggers would have to be Chuck Wendig.  He’s an accomplished writer and his  humor and irreverent style are very appealing.  He loves what he does (writing) but is not afraid to see the ridiculous nature of what we do from time-to-time nor does he glorify writing without seeing its issues as well.  Reading his blog is often like a master course on what being a contemporary writer can be like.

He also frequently sponsors guest bloggers, almost all writers, and I wanted to share with you one of these posts, a guest post by Jason Gurley on writing his novel Eleanor.  Given my recent difficulties with pushing through the last leg of my first draft, I found this an incredibly well-timed and amazingly insightful view of my current writing aliment.

Read and Enjoy

A Dog-tastic Update

Happy-Dog (2)It’s somewhat astounding how the course of a week can seem to change your outlook on things, even if the changes that have occurred are not completely unexpected. This past Tuesday I took my dog Boomer into the veterinary surgeon to have the cancer tumors removed. The surgery went well and without any apparent complications and they ended up removing two cotton-ball sized tumors and a third that was lemon-sized. While this in itself is not happy news, no further tumors were detected, which is wonderful news. In all likelihood, he has cancer in his other lymph nodes but they are thankfully (for now) microscopic.

In the final analysis, this does not change his long term chances for survival, but he is currently at home showing renewed vigor and is back somewhat to his normal self. He is even gaining weight again. Beyond having stitches in his rump and belly, he is otherwise no worse for the wear. It is a small victory, to be sure, but one that I will celebrate. I’ve learned with cancer that victory might not include getting rid of the cancer or even survival. Sometimes it is simply the existence of hope and happiness. My dog is feeling better and can enjoy his life for now. That is enough for me.

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A New Year

Another New Year’s Day has arrived and now passed and I’d desperately like to fill my blog with the same enthusiastic, optimistic words that I am sure so many other writers and bloggers are posting.  However, the last month has been a challenging one on many fronts and I cannot deny that there is a definite cloud shadowing my views of this coming year.

First and of most impact would be the sudden fight my wife and I are helping our dog Boomer wage against cancer.  He is scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday, but the doctor indicates this may be only a stopgap, a way of gaining him less than a years worth of life.  Regardless, we are moving ahead with the surgery. hoping for a miracle of some sort.  In the meantime, we are administering palliative care in the form of intravenous fluids to hydrate him and medicines to assist him in dealing with side effects of  the cancer.  It is tough, because like a very young child, he cannot comprehend of the cause or reason, knowing only that we are doing something highly unpleasant to him.  It’s heart-breaking on a nightly basis.

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