The Sequel

The home is quiet, and the coffee is strong.

The chores are done, and I have zero obligations to the outside world on this glorious Sunday morning. I purchased my coffee creamer yesterday, so all is well on that front.

Today, I sit in my lair, incense burning, lights dimmed, partaking in the sweet, sweet elixir. Space opera music playing softly in the background, and I’ll be working on the sequel to the Surrender Game with the allotted time.

Volume II, of the Guardian War Chronicles.

All artwork is now paid for, the details are defined and spelled out, and I wait until cover art completion on both books, before moving onto the next phase.

If I plan on being serious about this endeavor, sequel work is necessary at this point, and much of my focus will be on that for the foreseeable future.

It’s 11:15 am, and I’m guessing by the time I decide to throw in the towel it’ll be late afternoon, early evening, before I call it quits. I may take a few random breaks to stretch, and walk the dog around. Find time for lunch and snacks. But, in this chair, I shall remain.

Luckily, the sequel is already written. Not finished 100%, but close. I have some odds and ends to wrap up and a few random dots to connect. It’ll need an editor in the near future. It’s already been through the developmental edit wringer, and will need a copy/line edit when it’s time.

After everything kicks off, and book one and the companion are live, I’m hoping to have my editor plow through the sequel sometime early in 2021. Late January, early February, depending on her availability.

I love editors. Especially the ones who take their business seriously. One of my favorite editor conversations began with (paraphrased), “I can be a bit ‘terse’ when it comes to this.”

This could either make, or break you.

“Let’s do it!”

I love getting beat up by editors, especially the ones I trust. The good folks who have my best interests in mind. The ones who don’t mind engaging in questions and providing advice, long after the contract has been fulfilled.

I’ve developed thick skin over the years. I love being shown the errors of my ways, and why it was an error. I enjoy fixing my mistakes, learning from those mistakes, falling down, and scrambling back to my feet as fast as I’m able. With each and every mistake, every gut punch, I grow. I’m not a seasoned writer, or educated in the writing craft, so I must rely on other’s input, advice, expertise and “terseness” when it’s warranted. I will continue to lean on those I trust, until I get better.

However, I take pride in my level of comfort with regards to, “killing my darlings”.

But, but, but… it was such a great string of lines… You put so much time into these… an entire paragraph?

It had to go, and you know why. Deal with it.

Pre developmental edits, the Surrender Game sat at 145,000 words. I was slightly uncomfortable with a word count that large, for a first timer out of the gate, and questioned if it should be divided into two separate installments, but, that number has since been whittled down.

It had to happen. There was no way I was dividing the story in half.

By decreasing the word count, and obliterating a bunch of precious darlings, the story “feels” tighter, moves faster, and all the unnecessary “fluff” and crap I deleted from the manuscript is now tucked away in a separate folder. I named the folder “remnants”.

In order to tell my story (we all have one to tell), I had to first write the tale for myself, with no one else in mind. I had to tell me, myself, and I… my story. It didn’t matter how I told it, just as long as it was told, and made sense. Once I was able to finish my story, and read it a few times to myself, I could then say, “ok… it appears to be complete. It seems to make sense… to me as the observer.”

Now what??

Tuck it away? Work on something altogether different? Ignore it…?

“Nah, let’s go get our ass kicked.”

The Surrender Game has undergone multiple changes over the past year, including the title. Not too long ago I was instructed to change the title, because my original title was too close to Douglas Adams’ novel, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I had never thought of that issue, or potential complications, until it was almost too late.

I’m glad I listened.

When I submitted the first chapter to the anthology in 2018, it was a completely different chapter, than what it is today. A different tone. Different voice. All necessary changes, to make the story better for the readers.

Write the story for yourself, first. Write it unapologetically. Get it down on paper. Tell the story you desire to tell.

However, rely on the editors to help you tell the story, for the readers. The editors, are the gatekeepers. Readers want to read, just as much as writers want to write. But, once making the decision to tell the story to others, dropping the protective shield around ourselves, making ourselves vulnerable to scrutiny, one must develop thick skin, and quickly alter the mentality to, “How to make it worthy for the one who wants to read.”

I’m hoping I pulled that off.

I’m well aware my story isn’t for everyone. I fully understand I can’t please everybody, however, even if only a handful enjoy it… anticipate a sequel, a third, a fourth… share with others… recommend to friends, it will be worth every penny invested. Every individual minute committed to this, will have been time well spent.

That is the goal, the dream, and I’m sticking to it. Come Hell, or high water.

Enjoy the rest of your day. I have a busy one ahead.
Peace πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Rapid Fire

The following is a series of real time events.

Rapid fire style. If this isn’t your thing, feel free to carry on.

I write these installments for those who want to read it (Thank you all to the new subscribers and readers… I love you all. We’re getting there!!).

And, I do this because I enjoy it quite a bunch. This is fun for me. Relaxing.

Never invest your time in something you don’t enjoy. Never waste your time.

OK, here goes.

In 2011, I divorced. Catastrophe. Bounced around a few places, before signing a lease for a rental home, exactly a year later.

Fell in love.

The kind of love, that tells you God exists. The kind of love that speaks to the heart and soul and proves to me, her and I will meet again in the afterlife, or the next one.

Got comfortable.

All the stars seemed to have aligned. Things fell into our laps at opportune moments.

A few months later, Nancy got sick. Had a tumor the size of a softball removed which had been growing for many years. Not until it affected her breathing, did we even know about it’s existence. After it was removed, surgeons said, “no cancer.”

(Whew)

Months of recovery.

Once she was at the point of “normal” mobility, we returned to the specialists, and they informed us that, “micro-cellular replication was discovered around the tumor’s exterior surface.”

“Can I see it?” I asked. “Show me.”

“Well, not here. We don’t have the instruments to show you, here. Take this DVD/CD. Drive to Boston, where they have the machines to show you what we found.”

(Ummm… ok? Something isn’t right…)

We drive to Boston.

Give the technician the DVD/CD.

The machine can’t read it (ain’t that funny…). She turns to us and says, “I can’t show you anything, but based on what we know from your doctors, we highly suggest 30 days of chemo and radiation. If you don’t, things could get much worse, to the point of no return.”

(Something doesn’t feel right)

Nancy lost her cool when thinking about losing her hair, being sick, missing work, but they fear goaded her into going through with it.

All I wanted was something to indicate the treatment was necessary. Some proof. That’s all. One little clue. A hint… something.

“Call it, “preventative maintenance”… I know its expensive, but it’s not like the money is going into my pocket.” The pathologist said. “You’ll have one shitty summer. That’s all.” (Exact words)

“Your call, baby. I’ll back whatever decision you make.”

I was then deemed Nancy’s caretaker after she agreed to treatments.

30 days of the hardest stuff I’ve ever endured. I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy. That moment in my life, will forever be burned into my memory. I’ll be haunted by it until I draw my final breath.

The details of the 45 days following her first treatment, will not be included in these installments.

All that will be included, is how I dealt with the madness. My coping mechanism. My imaginary friend, Joe. My only method of climbing a treacherous mountain, which seemed impossible.

Without Joe… I would have lost my marbles.

I retreated into my subconscious, and it took over. I was on autopilot. Joe called the shots. I slipped into a fantasy world which was manifesting within my imagination, and the imagery at times was superimposed over my normal sight.

My daydreams became real.

My dreams and thoughts became reality.

I’d step outside to get a breath of fresh air, gripping the porch railing, white knuckled, cursing the world, pissed off at everything and everyone, and the porch would slowly melt away and transform into a rock cliff, overlooking a sparkling blue sea. Warm sun, high overhead, with dancing diamonds across the water’s surface as far as the eyes can venture.

It was those small moments which kept me moving forward. My temporary insanity, saved my sanity.

Sitting beside Joe in a bank lobby, looking out the window behind the teller, and the parking lot transforms into a lush garden, with a tall fortress on the opposite side of the road. The parked cars mutate into wagons, pulled by horses.

Joe then became the main character to a fantasy story I wrote. Swords and dragons and wizards and castles…

I had my nephew read it. He was a fantasy/adventure enthusiast, and I respected his input.

“It’s rough, but, its a fun story.”

I never returned to it.

It’s somewhere on a flash-drive. Untouched for many years.

Nancy heals.

Each and every doctor’s visit since then tells us, “your cancer is in remission.”

“Sorry… how can something, you couldn’t prove to exist, be in remission?”

(something doesn’t feel right)

Anyway… a year passes before I get the itch to put words on paper a second time. Life was back to normal, but something was missing. I had to figure out what that something was.

In 2014. I wrote a science fiction novel. Around 70,000 words. An idea I had rattling around I wanted to play with, and explore.

Editors worked on it, and it was a fun creation. I was instructed to make it a published work.

I began the process of working towards publishing it. Super excited. I wanted to tell a story, and I was informed I had accomplished that task. The story was told, enjoyable to read, and allowed an open opportunity for a sequel.

Researched cover artists. Spoke to people in the community… began jumping through hoops and making budgets for pro services…

Screeching halt.

90 to 0 in the blink of an eye.

Something was holding me back from taking it through to completion. Something felt off. An empty hole.

(Something doesn’t feel right)

Then, it happened. The singularity catalyst which kicked everything into motion. The piece of the puzzle I felt was missing from my bigger picture. Another doorway opened somewhere in my mind, and showed me something I needed to accomplish.

I mulled it over, internally debated, sat down, and spoke with Nancy about what I experienced.

“Sounds like fun.” She said.

“Do you mind if I look into it?”

“I’ll back whatever decision you make.” Was her reply.

Shortly after that conversation, I started the first installment of the Guardian War Chronicles.

The Surrender Game.

The first book in the series.

The other novel I wrote, in 2014, is now the sequel. I’ll run it through another series of edits when that time comes. I’ve already had conversations with my artist about ideas for the sequel’s art design. Everything seems to be on track.

Today, I’m waiting for the art work for both the Surrender Game and the free companion story. I ditched the Fiverr artwork for the free read, and my cover artist is now working on both books for me. I know it was the right call. No denying it. I don’t believe it will be too much longer now.

Between the day dreams, and the unconscious dreams, I’ve learned not to ignore my subconscious. I listen to my imagination. I follow the dreams. They seem to steer me in the direction I believe I need to go. A place I want to go. A place I enjoy visiting. Some might say, dreams are just dreams. I can’t follow that line of thought anymore. My dreams are so much more than something random, which occurs when I’m sleeping.

If your dreams speak to you, do yourself a favor and always keep an ear and one eye open. Let the dreams speak to you. Dreams are the language of the subconscious. A language meant specifically for the one willing to hear the words, and ponder the message.

That’s all I have for today. Chat soon and much love.

Peace πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Screeching Halt

“Gut feelings are guardian angels.”–Faye Brookes

Had to slam on the breaks.

Came to a screeching halt. From 90 to 0 in a blink of an eye.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but a necessary thing.

My call.

I’ve found in the pursuance of a dream, stumbling across obstacles becomes a frequent occurrence. The path ahead looks clear, but sometimes during the journey, a massive tree falls across the road. I’m always moving forward, regardless, but at times I have to slow things down and really think it through.

Something just wasn’t working for me.

My gut started speaking, and I had to listen.

The mind can be tricked. The heart, misleading. The gut never lies. It’s served me well as of late. I listen to my gut.

To make a long story short, I was displeased with the cover art for the companion story. Something about it just rubbed me the wrong way. Get what you pay for, right?

Live and learn.

As a result of my instinctual feelings, I returned to the drawing board, put a brief halt on the process, and reached out to my cover artist.

The companion art was a slap job with stock photos. The main novel’s artwork, was created from the ground up. Hand drawn from scratch. Completely original.

The companion art didn’t “feel” right. Luckily, a teammate was there to bail me out.

He’s now working on new art, to replace the slap job. The timing has changed slightly, but it was something I needed to do.

Luckily, I don’t have any deadlines. My intention was for this to be as stress-free as possible. So far so good. I’m still stress free. I’m happy with how it all played out. I don’t want to do this thing half-assed. I want to do it correctly.

I’ve come this far. What’s a little more time?

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Cataclysmic

I’m suffering this morning.

It’s my own damn fault… I should have paid better attention. Idiot!!!

I’ve been doing my best to provide for those around me, and working on preparatory projects, and I often forget all about myself, and what I need to get through my day. And it’s always the trivial things I overlook. I need to be more diligent with the inventory. My problem solving, timing, and organizational skills are improving, but I do have my moments.

Suffering might be a bit strong. I’m not actually “suffering”. Perhaps too dramatic.

It was that unfortunate moment when I realized I was out of flavored coffee creamer, after I had brewed a strong pot to begin my Sunday. I have a ton of work to do, and coffee is my companion during my daily tasks. Those who know me, understand coffee is an absolute must in my universe. The elixir of the gods. Without access to the elixir, the results can be cataclysmic. When I’m wide awake at 4 am, coffee is a necessity.

I’m not a big fan of milk in my coffee, even with added sugar (and I refuse to drink it without flavored additions). Milk waters it down too much. Tastes a little flat. Dulls that slight edge of bitterness I need in my morning drink.

The idea of going out into the world to get supplies today, makes me roll my eyes and dread the excursion. Of course, I’ll do what needs to be done. The stores are not far away. I just have to muscle up the energy to go out and get it over with. Knowing what to expect out there, makes the trek difficult, and sucks the enjoyment out of the experience.

Life is meant to be enjoyable, and I hate the idea of slogging through the quagmire of negativity, just to get a chore complete.

(Bleck)

The one time I wanted to stay home, chilly day, comfy cozy in pajamas, wrapped up in a fleece blanket while petting my dog, maybe zone out to reruns of the Office, chilling with Nancy, and not go anywhere… (sigh)

I suppose all will be well. I shouldn’t complain. Life is very, very good.

I did say these installments would be shorter as the days move forward. This is one of those shorter posts.

Quick update: I’ve been through both manuscripts, the primary novel and Companion, with a fine tooth comb. I can’t seem to find any formatting issues or glaring problems, so I believe all engines are ready to fire up on that. Just have to press “publish.”

My last conversation with my artist indicated he was doing retouches and detail/finish work. Once completed, he’ll send me the PDS file, and I can check that box off.

The Companion art is done….

Now, a question for the adventure clan…

I’m looking for advice/input at this leg of the journey, and I’ll try to keep it brief. I’ve been struggling with one component during all this.

The Companion (free read) art, is a slap together job through a Fiverr agent. A bit rough. I was thinking at the time, “free read… does it need expensive art?” I decided… no. It didn’t need to be flashy. It’s an extension story, and free is something I wanted to provide to my people.

Do you believe art work for a free read, should be flashy, expensive? Or… it’s free… don’t worry about it too much. My readers already know how serious I am with this project, and I’m looking to provide the best product I can (within my abilities to provide).

I’ve been wondering if I should take the existing Companion art and have it redone/tweaked/revised, before making it official. A side-by-side look indicates the books may belong together, and exist in the same universe, but the fonts are different. The images are not as crisp (get what you pay for). Knowing the source material, I know where it came from, and how it was put together, but something about it just rubs me the wrong way.

The question is: Go, and keep it simple, as a freebie? Or, send it away to a pro for a revisit?

These are the thing that keep me up at night.

Any and all advice, links to pros who do retouches, a specific direction to go, is much appreciated. I’m thanking you ahead in advance.

In the meantime, I’m working toward another free read which I’ll be providing to my subscribers and followers, only. My own personal version of a news-letter. A short tale that fits into the expanding universe. I’ll let you know when that’s complete.

Have a good week. Stay positive. Be good to each other and chat soon.

Peace πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

The War on Fear

“I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. I will face my fear. I will let it pass through me. When the fear has gone, there shall be nothing. Only I will remain.”—Frank Herbert

Greetings fellow adventurers. I hope everything is well in everyone’s realm.

These posts will be getting shorter, as the days move forward (thank God, right? Whew!)

I’ve been experiencing an increased level of busy as of late. Jobby-job responsibilities have piled up, and my desk is a cluttered disaster. I took some time off, and a mere two days away from work, piled on more, and I fell behind. As a result, I’m playing catch-up this week.

I hate playing catch-up.

Then, throw in the novel(s) to the mix. Home stuff, and family time. Facebook journal entries. Errands, and daily chores. I make space for everything I can, within bite sized increments of allotted time chunks, but, the last two weeks have been a little aggressive. Even for me…

When things get aggressive, or anxiety and fear creeps in a little, I have to slow down a bit and re-center and ask myself where the fear and anxiety is coming from. Most times, writing in the Chronicles of Jere helps me find that equilibrium. Because, here, is the one place I can be myself. For the most part.

Fear is a bitch. A mind killer with a strength unmatched. A terrifying foe.

In life, I had always chosen to be afraid.

Of pretty much everything. Deep internal fears.

And, my fear demons were many; always hovering around me.

The following summary is a brief list of everything I’m “supposed” to be afraid of based exclusively on what I’m “told” I should be afraid of, or those things I should have once feared in my past: (Disclaimer. This is primarily subjective. Individual fears may vary person-to-person)

At one time I was terrified of: Asteroids, rogue meteor showers, black holes, acid rain, nuclear war, civil war, WWIII, lengthy blackouts, solar flares, food shortages, the depleting ozone layer, rising seas, ice storms, asymptomatic human beings, alien invasions, weapons of mass destruction, global cooling, global warming. Plagues and pandemics. Warring invaders from lands across the world. Deathly afraid of death itself. Pain.

A few moments along the journey, I was afraid at what I was capable of.

Fear of betrayal. Fear of never having the ability to trust again. Terrified to reach out and look for help, when I needed it the most. I was scared of most everything displayed on the news.

Now? Today? All that’s gone.

Quite freeing to say the least, and highly recommended, but it was not easy. A battle indeed.

I believe we all have a dream rattling around up there. A vision in our minds. It could be small. A single seed rooting, taking shape in the darkness within those far away recesses of the subconscious, waiting to be watered and exposed to the light. Some dreams may be grandiose, but ignored completely. Until I was able to combat my fears, show them who’s boss, was I able to truly pursue my dreams.

Fear, stifles the dream. Fear kills the light.

I had to stop being afraid of what I’m “told” I should be afraid of, and instead switch gears to the mentality of, “how to freely and happily exist in a world infested with a limitless supply of fear?”

I was cashing out at my supermarket, back in early August. I prefer the self-checkout. Always have. I can bag my groceries my way, at my speed, and I don’t have to listen to a couple of teenagers talking about their weekend plans.

I asked if I could come into the area and she waved me in saying, “come on in. Register 3 is open for you. Welcome to the petri dish!”

I chuckled and waved her off, “I’m not scared.” (hahahahahaha)

The guy at the register next to me, just like in some horror flick, right before the shit hits the fan, looks me dead in the eyes and says, “You should be.”

You should be….

My weapons of choice were not obvious to me at first, but when I found them, I knew what I had to do.

I had to destroy the mind killer. At all cost. I refuse to become like that gentleman at the grocery store. I refuse to be afraid. The only weapon I had that made any sense, was my innate ability to disconnect from the fear sources.

As of late, my opinions have been less than popular and I am well aware of it, and I’m OK with that. I sleep quite soundly at night, and I’m satisfied with my life decisions. No regrets.

I’m not one of the crowd. I have a difficult time with forced compliance. If I don’t believe in something, or if it doesn’t align with my way of thinking, I refuse to adopt it into my life, and I’ll face those possible repercussions if needed. So far, so good. Social shaming me, is water off a duck’s back. In one ear and out the other.

I don’t follow trends. I watch ZERO news. I haven’t watched TV in almost two years. I don’t read online articles, or the paper. I don’t follow the political arena, sports, or the infinite wisdom of our celebrities and popular personalities, or musicians. I know just enough to get me by, and I have friends, family, and co-workers who enjoy talking about current events, but I no longer voluntarily invest any of my personal time in any of that noise.

You’re supposed to pay attention. You need to stay informed.

Pay attention, to be misinformed. Got it.

I’ve found that the only true sources of fear, are all external. The external fear, creates the internal fear.

Different seeds were rooting, and getting all the attention and fear was the fertilizer. My nihilistic “nothing matters” way of thinking, was once the true essence of “me”.

All perpetrated by misplaced fear.

Of course, this is my journey and mine alone. What may be good for me, may not be acceptable for others. One should never listen to me or what I have to say. I can’t conquer anyone else’s fears. Only my own.

Well, enough of that. Time to move forward and quit the late night ramblings. I’m hoping to have good news in the next couple of weeks, and things may be moving fast after that. I believe that was the cause of the anxiety I was feeling over the weekend. When I really stop and think about what has transpired over the last six months, it can be a bit overwhelming, and nerve wracking sometimes. Throws me off balance if I dwell too long.

I just have to choose not to dwell.

I’ll post more updates as I have them available.

Peace πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Home Stretch

β€œTo be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

A short entry today.

I took a couple of personal days off from work, cause something told me I needed some down time. Been running full tilt for what seems like forever. Wanted to relax over a long weekend and get some yard work done before fall season hits the region.

I’m glad I made that call, because, good news arrived late last night.

My Volume I cover art is complete.

He’s ironing out some finish/detail work (I believe today, or over the weekend), and when that’s done, he’ll send it all my way. When that happens, I’ll have all the components needed to make this all a reality.

The Surrender Game, and it’s free companion story are formatted and ready to go.

The rest of the process is piece-meal and minutia work. Adding hyperlinks. Finishing acknowledgements, and dedications, and what-not; making sure I check off all of Amazon’s boxes for a finished product.

Needless to say, my level of excitement is something that cannot be expressed in a blog post. To see years of daily work come to a conclusion… its a feeling I will hold on to for as long as I can. I’m not a dancer, but I find myself dancing around the house. I’ve never been an emotional person, but I get choked up sometimes when I think about where this started, to where it is now. An amazing experience. Can’t compare it to anything else.

Of course, I have to delve into the realm of advertising and marketing, which is out of my comfort zone, and can throw me for a loop now-and-again, but I’m ready to make those adjustments as needed. Perhaps the adventure clan can help me out with that when possible.

A huge thank you to my supporters, subscribers, and close friends. We’re almost there…

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

The Reality Paradox

“There once came a time in my damaged life, I was influenced to make a choice. To sit in silence, far from home, and listen for that inner voice. The subtle whisper spoke to me, ‘it’s time to get out of the box. The cage you choose is an illusion grand, a reality paradox.” —JSM

Oh boy.

Here we go.

One of those ramblings is coming up.

I’ll try my best… but, you know how it goes sometimes… no promises.

It very well could be one of those nights.

I’ve been told, one of my positive character traits is: I don’t try to sway, influence, or coerce anyone over to my way of thinking. I don’t roll like that, or at least I try my damnedest not to. I do enjoy listening, and responding in adult dialogue (even if they get heated sometimes), having chats about “belief” topics, but I dare not tread on the “beliefs” of others, or force my personal views and biased opinions (in whatever form that takes) down anyone’s throat. Not my place. Some conversations can be had… others should not be attempted.

My individual path has led to happiness, freedom of thought, and creative expression. That was my journey, and mine alone. What works for me, may not work for others. Individual results may vary.

I don’t have a message to proclaim to the masses. Most times, “You do you, and I’ll do me.” If I’m asked about what I “believe” or what my thoughts are… on… whatever, I’ll do my best to convey the answer, without sounded pompous or preachy, so middle ground can be established. If that middle ground can’t be found, I’ll have a tendency to move on to another conversation. Time is extremely important to me. I choose to utilize it the best I can.

If I had any real message, it would probably sound something like–“Project kindness, and, if you have a dream, make it come true. In the pursuance of that dream, do no harm, and always remain kind.”

I have my deep, meaningful, esoteric, spiritual, alternate thinking conversations with those closest to me… or with those select few who can align with my information processing methods.

My mind typically functions outside the “reality” box, and when deep conversations come into play, for others, it can take some getting used to.

Or… maybe not at all. Always bridges to cross. Many of my favorite conversations start with, “Jere, what do you think about…”

And my favorite replies have been, “huh… I never thought about that before.”

Then, I smile, and we have a chat. A super fun chat… fun for me at least.

I know everyone has their own individual journey to undertake. You do you. If you “believe” “this” or “that”… cool. Belief is fine. If you follow a specific path that works, fantastic. That’s all you. I hope you find what you’re looking for in life. It took me almost 40 years to find mine.

The “reality paradox” is an oversimplification of a personal world view. Anything outside the realm of simple, becomes convoluted, and messy; unnecessary. The projected reality, the black screen reality (believed by many to be alchemical in nature), provides illusions of choice, and varying degrees of complexity. I no longer engage in the projected illusions of choice. I make my own choices and arrive at my own conclusions. Life need not be complex.

When I stepped away and said, “enough is enough” I was able to find something meaningful to me, and my life. Something pure, honest, and more substantial than that which was presented. It was that one thing missing in my world. It made me a better father. A better husband. A better son. A better sibling. A better provider. More money conscious. More affectionate. More focused. Dedicated. A goal setter. A harder worker. A better employee. Kinder to others. And a slew of other things…

Silence.

It’s too damn noisy out there.

Silence, within nature? All the better. Nature can’t lie. You will find nothing but blissful truth while spending quality time in nature. Give it a try sometime. You may be surprised by what you discover. I know I was surprised.

I had to let go of everything I once “believed” was the true essence of “me”. Only by making that leap, was I able to see what I needed to see, in order to effectively exist within this ever shifting paradigm. This reality of madness.

I had to be willing to voluntarily step outside my cage, and turn around to see that thing which was making me crazy. I had to experience life outside the box, at a distance. Only then did it all make sense.

Well… made sense to me. Individual results may vary.

I’m a meat and taters kind of guy. Just a Central Maine, small town fella, who’s always done what needs to be done. I don’t think of myself as anything special outside of my inner circle, but that one decision changed everything.

I sought out the comfort of pure silence.

Then, I burned the cage to the ground and never looked back.

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Storyteller

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”–Oscar Wilde

I’ve read a ton of arguments that go back and forth trying to describe similarities and distinct differences between “author” and “writer”.

It’s a fascinating conversation.

Does an author need to be poetic and flowery, overly descriptive, and long-winded, to tell a story? Can a good story be simple, and straight forward?

What constitutes a “good writer”?

Let’s toss in ghostwriting to the mix…

I wanted to add another category. This is probably common knowledge for some (especially the ones who have been doing this so much longer than I), but I stumbled across it on my own, and felt pretty darn good about myself.

If I include the small contribution to the anthology, and the 130 or so times I pressed the “publish” button on this site (averaging 1000 words per post), I can say with a high level of confidence that I could fall into the category of the stereotypical author. I wrote material, and it is published. People read, or have read my stuff. Not a ton of gray area. The provided data indicates readers and engagements. I see numbers and graphs. People do read… it’s a humbling experience to say the least. Super cool.

I write… everyday. Sometimes for hours. Sometimes I write… (shrug) decent…

Sometimes, I’m all over the place. The weekends and holidays? Forget about it. The outside world doesn’t exist. So, based on my frequent, daily writing engagements, I can say, by default, I could consider myself a writer. I also rely on editors to get me to the end. I depend on those who are better than I. I won’t have anyone edit my blog stuff, but yeah… I need industry professionals. No shame.

Meshing it all together: I’m an author, and a daily writer. A daily hobby writer, who evolved into an author, and an author who writes often. I have two books on the cusp of release, and a third ready for edits. Fourth is in rough draft. I’m a hybrid of both. I enjoy this life I chose to live.

At the end of the day, however…

… I want to be a storyteller.

That other category.

For me? That’s the dream. The end goal.

I also believe if one wants to “upgrade” from writer, to author, one has to be willing to undergo voluntary torture, and be ready to test the thickness of skin. A good editor will tell you what’s what. No sugar coating. They don’t mess around. Be prepared…

I can’t recall how many times I thanked my editor for beating the shit out of me. Willingly paying someone to punch you in the gut over and over again.

It’s one thing to build a race car in a garage and feel pretty good about the accomplishment. Taking it all in from a distance and saying, “ah, look what I did.” But, it takes courage to get it out on the track with the seasoned vehicles and push the gas pedal to the floor. Testing it’s limits. Hoping it doesn’t all fall apart into pieces.

I struggled with finding the courage and confidence to take the next step. I had a fleet of untested cars, just rusting in the garage.

Writing at home, hobby time, alone, scented candle, peace and quiet, strong coffee beside, light music playing, feeling good, getting all the thoughts down, and tidying up some details along the way. Safe. Content. Cozy. Relaxed.

Once deciding to move beyond hobby and take that next step toward author, you get the crap kicked out of you at the get go. No joke. No longer safe. It’s a level of vulnerability that takes some life adjustments.

Through that adjustment, however: the slapping around, the harsh critiques, the tough conversations, hard and honest criticism, numerous “killed darlings” varying edits, hacks and slashes and discarded material, allowed me to find my voice, and tell the story I wanted to tell.

The one I needed to tell.

The story I needed to tell just happens to be a hard PG-13. Riding the fine line of rated R.

I was telling a close friend, “If people like: adult content, adult situations, adult language, some smoking, some drug use, alcohol use, and sci-fi violence, with cool and unique characters, memorable moments, and a fast moving plot, this book might be right up your alley.”

If you have a story trapped inside, desperate to explode onto paper… don’t worry about the end game, at the beginning. Tell the story first, to the best of your ability. It’s a journey. Keep that story moving forward. One word leading to the next. Make your reader want to keep going. Force them to turn the page. Don’t let up on them for a second. They want to be sucked into your universe. Bring them in quickly, and never let go.

I decided to go the route of adult science fiction.

And I’m quite content with the way it all turned out. I’ll continue to post updates. I have to get back to work.

Peace.

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Gratitude

First off, I wanted to take a moment to shout out to all the new subscribers and followers of my author Facebook page, and this blog site. Little by little we continue to grow. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a little “different” and if you’re into that kind of thing, I welcome you aboard.

Based on my experiences thus far, it’s comfortable and cozy here.

Thank you all, my fellow adventurers!!! Your support means more to me then most may realize, and hopefully when I get this all figured out, and all the ducks are finally in a row, I can relay my gratitude to everyone in a manner outside of these blog postings.

It amazes me to no end how some of the largest support networks, can come from total strangers. You are all amazing. Especially the ones I can seemingly count on at this point.

You know who you are πŸ˜‰ I love you guys. Thank you for joining me in my life adventure.

From the get-go, I understood going into this “lifestyle” (if you want to call it that) was covered under the umbrella of “niche writing”. I don’t have expertise in ANYTHING and will never claim to (unless you want to include a broad spectrum of conspiracy theories… but… who wants to hear about that garbage? And I’m not a big fan on being censored)

I’m not someone who is passionate about one specific topic. I don’t have enough knowledge under my belt to proclaim an understanding of anything that warrants a blog post, focusing on one subject.

I’m not a car guy. I’m not a vacationer. I’m not into (surface) politics. I’m not a gardener, a TV watcher, a streamer, a how-to person. I don’t listen to popular music. I have no expertise. I restrict myself to a five mile radius (other than the missus and I taking a road trip). I’m an introvert for the most part. I’m not invested in mainstream anything. I don’t have “advice” to provide. I’m not skilled in current technology. I’m a meat and potatoes personality. I only use social media for very specific reasons. I don’t enjoy taking pictures of myself. I don’t enjoy talking about myself (outside this venue).

To an outsider, I’m quite dull. I’m simple. There’s nothing overly complicated about me.

So, for me, writing these installments and what I do on Facebook, falls under a very specific niche category. I can only speak freely, openly, and honestly, with confidence, about one singular topic.

How I express my imagination.

It’s the one weapon I have at my disposal and I’m able to wield it at will. Take it or leave it. If you like that? I welcome you with open arms. You and I probably have some things in common.

If it wasn’t for my hyperactive imagination, I would have been a disaster in life. A nightmare to live with. And, in this exact moment, I’m able to see the power of imagination, and focused thought, manifest before my eyes in real time. And it’s only going to pick up speed.

Writing quite literally (the emphasis on LITERALLY), changed my life. Thoughts truly do create reality… my imagination, and the “what if” mentality, planted my feet squarely on the ground. The only discipline involved was investing time in the imagination.

My imagination saved my soul, and sanity.

So… I run with it, as far, and as fast as I can go. I allow my imagination to control my thinking. It dictates my day-to-day. I know I’ve used the saying before, and it’s not unheard of: “I rejected this reality, and substituted my own.”

My created reality, runs close and parallel with our “five senses” reality, and at times they blend and weave together.

I needed my own reality. The one they’ve provided us… kinda sucks.

As a result, I created this new paradigm, and I chose to exist within it.

It was more fun on the other side of the mind. Exploring.

My current head count over a (hopeful) ten book series, includes a cast of characters hovering around 80. The spin offs, and free reads, are not included in that count. I’m certain as the series progresses, that number will change, but I have the thoughts, experiences, lifestyles, traumas, histories, bloodlines, with conversations running full blast, all day long, regardless of where I am: staff meetings, plugging numbers into a spread sheet at my job, yard work, grocery shopping, errands… from characters created, whom I’ve watched evolve over a period of two years, trapped in my consciousness.

All those assholes up there, running at the mouth, arguing with each other, yammering endlessly about their life histories, their problems, filibustering every conversation when you’re trying to get a word in edgewise, on and on, and on, and…

It never ends.

To ease that building pressure, I have to write it all down.

With 80 of them… I have many valves to turn, to release the steam.

Quick update–my cover artist has asked me for an author pic to add to the back cover. My blurb has been included on the back as well. Detail work is in process. I told him hopefully sometime this weekend, my wife and daughter can help me take a picture that would work, and try to make this ugly mug somewhat pretty and semi-professional.

After that… I believe its close. The Companion free read will be released at the same time.

Hoping only a few more hurdles.

It might be safe to say at this point, Volume I of the Guardian War Chronicles, the Surrender Game, is coming soon. Ebook and paperback.

In the meantime, feel free to follow a character’s personal journal entries, at my Facebook page, if you want to lurk behind the scenes and casually read up about some brief daily occurrences. Personal log-book notations. I’ll be posting there once a day, up until the day of the Surrender Game pre-orders. Hope to see you there.

Peace.

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

The Villain

“I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.”–William Shakespeare

I was an English major when I first attended college. I switched degree programs, after one year in.

I came to a negative, self-defeating conclusion, adopted a quitter’s mentality, and convinced myself I’d be better off studying something else or investing time in something different. Something more beneficial, and realistic.

The only thing you can do with an English degree, is teach English, become a journalist of some kind, or write stories that may, or may not, make you money. Are you willing to roll those dice?

So… why did you sign up for this degree program in the first place, idiot?

I like to read, write silly stories, and learn “stuff”. It makes sense, in context. Right?

But… English? Come on…

I don’t know… Less math? Shut up!

When I hit that stumbling block of doubt, I changed my degree over to something else. Felt a little safer.

And, if I had a time machine, it would be the one and only thing I would change in my life. I would have finished that damn English program. It’s my only regret (other than the childish, stupid things I did in my youth).

However, during those moments of English classes: dissecting Beowulf, engaging in specifically themed story writing exercises, chatting about the classics, working in small groups to complete a writing task, I grew fond of Shakespeare. The above opening quote, is one of my favorites.

It’s the backdrop to everything I’m engaged in.

The hero/villain dynamic in my universe, might be a bit different than what most are accustomed to. I wanted to create something that altered some of the stereotypical hero/villain definitions to the best of my personal ability. What truly motivates the protagonist, and antagonist. Are they interchangeable? Could, or can they be one in the same? At what point can something be classified as true evil? Is there a fine-line where all the wrong things can be done, for all the right reasons? Does “gray area” truly exist? Does it always boil down to perspective, and a subjective view of individual reality? How far is some one/thing willing to go, to get what they want, need, desire, envy…

These are areas I like to loosely explore in my writing. In an adult, science fiction setting.

In order to fully explore, I had to create my own cosmic version of, the Silmarillion; Tolkien’s bible of Middle Earth.

Its rough. Nothing overly defined. Very generic. Just a way to keep track of the story in its entirety.

My own historical database. A time-line which ultimately dates back to the creation of the elemental forces, at the first phase moments of cosmic expansion, based on mainstream teachings. A celestial series of events where a physical object, smaller than a molecule, was stretched out 62 trillion miles long. A span of 10.6 light years.

Roughly around the Inflationary Epoch (give or take a few million years of course).

It was the only way.

I needed my villain to be specific. Nothing cliche, over done, or semi-familiar. Clearly defined motivations. A unique backstory. In order for me to complete this task, I had to go back to the beginning.

I’ll stop there. I close this one out by saying, I may have had more fun with the villain, than the “hero”.

Discovering the hero’s intentions and overall reasoning, can be simplified. “Defeat the bad guy. Win the day.”

The villain’s motivations can be a bit tricky.

It doesn’t have to be right, or fair… just honest. I enjoy the villain’s mind.

Feel free to follow a character’s personal journal entries, at my Facebook page, if you want to lurk behind the scenes and casually read up about some brief daily occurrences. I’ll be posting there once a day, up until the day of the Surrender Game pre-orders. If you wish to follow along, here is the link… Hope to see you there. https://www.facebook.com/JereMorang/

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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