Time Loop

I turned on a random episode of the Office for background noise, lounged on the couch, and when the show was over, I then had an epiphany. That bright bulb flashed on, and with eyes frozen wide open, I instinctively reacted.

I shot up, bolted down the stairs to the lair, fell into the office chair, whipped open the laptop, and started compiling my notes.

It made so much sense after I mulled it all over. All the pieces fell into place. It was so obvious to me. I’ve encountered the other possibilities the internet has provided. I’ve read the Reddit theories and watched the videos. But… this one appeared original. I couldn’t find indicators it existed.

Something I’d been tinkering with in the back of my mind for the longest time, but, never fully committed to the idea.

I was compiling a list of reasons (from beginning to end) as to why I believe Michael Gary Scott, the regional manager of the Dunder Mifflin, Scranton branch paper company, was not a crazy, neurotic, attention seeking lunatic who should have been fired years ago, whom we’ve come to know quite well… and ultimately fell in love with.

But, he’s in fact, the greatest criminal mastermind in TV history (with the exception of possibly Walter White, of Breaking Bad).

I suppose that’s what happens when you watch one show, from beginning to end, all nine seasons, seven freaking times.

(sigh) That silly, hyperactive imagination running amok again.

Needless to say, I stopped making the list, and retreated back into my science fiction place.

I’ve slipped into a funky time loop over the last couple of weeks. The day restarts every morning, and I mosey forth through my routine, just like the day before, and the day before that, and will probably be the same, tomorrow, with minor variables tossed in just to keep it interesting.

No complaints.

I have nothing to complain about. Life is great. Though repetitive, all is well is my realm. However…

I’m siting on the edge of my seat, all the time. All my fingernails have been chewed down to the nubs. There’s a giddy, fluttering, electricity coursing all through me. Time…. has…… seemingly………… slowed…………………. down.

I have to be patient. I have to contain my bubbling excitement and force myself not to race to the top of a mountain and share my elation with the world.

That has been the hardest part during this entire process.

Waiting.

And not talking about it.

Don’t get me wrong. I want nothing rushed. I prefer waiting if it’s demanded. And, I’m not adept with marketing, promoting, and talking about myself openly, anyway.

In this case, waiting is necessary. Talking about it, is slowly becoming easier, as the days move forward.

Having been invested in one novel’s creation for so long, it’s all I’m accustomed to. Sure, I have other projects to work with. There’s no shortage of stories to be told. But, the focus is always elsewhere. I start a chapter, or read some lines, and my attention is then drawn away from the task at hand.

I can’t shut my mind off to it all.

I can’t seem to find an outlet, for my outlet.

I know I don’t have to wait too much longer. 2020 “is” the year. That much is a certainty at this point. No turning back.

Quick shout out and a HUGE thanks to the new subscribers! I love all Ya’ll. This site is kind of all over the road, and if you’re into that sort of content…

Quick update: I did have a phone conversation with my beta reader this afternoon. She finished the Surrender Game. It was an awesome chat.

Minor back and forth about some story details, character subtleties, and catching up with each other’s lives. If I interpreted our conversation accurately, the book was fun, and quite an enjoyable read. Engaging. “I loved it.”

That was all I needed.

The giddy, fluttering, electricity kicked on and I felt the need to sit down.

If something from “my” imagination, was truly engaging and enjoyable, for just one person…??

As far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished.

Anything after that is just the icing, cherries, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel drizzle, crushed Oreos, Kit-Kat, M & M’s, gummy bears, and sprinkles, on top of a fifty layer, triple chocolate cake.

That’s all in the tank for tonight. Be well, thanks for reading along, and chat soon.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

River of Life

β€œThere is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”–-Kenneth Grahame

I have a strange fascination with water.

It appears I have to be close to a body of water, at all times.

Before the move, back in July, I was living at the top of a hill, a few thousand feet from a river. Every day, while walking Zoey I could crest that hill, and see it below me. In fact, I’ve never lived five miles away from that river. It’s been a part of me for almost 45 years.

After previously residing in 13 different homes since age 18 (that time in my life was a hazy blur, I may have forgotten a couple) I’m once again, in a new place, not far from that same river.

I suppose, we’re attached at the hip. I can see it from my neighbor’s driveway.

Water, at least to me, has a mystical quality about it. I visit the ocean multiple times a year to heal my soul and cleanse my mind. Water is hypnotic, powerful, and reacts uniquely to different stimulants. Water and I have a strange magnetic attraction.

Not public swimming pools, or crowded lakes in the dead of summer… but… creek beds running through the woods, trickling streams, raging rivers, waterfalls, standing along the coast, ankle deep with toes buried in the sand, waves lapping the legs, while staring out to the horizon. A place of healing, “reflection”, quiet time which requires little money to enjoy. Sometimes just a backpack, drinks, and a couple of sandwiches is all that’s needed.

Since March, I’ve learned quite a bit about money. The pandemic help put things into perspective. I understand my needs versus my desires, better than ever before. I’m able to see what’s important, versus what I once believed was important. I was able to put myself into positions where I could help others.

I have no love for money, anymore.

Something clicked into place, and how I use currency, now, is vastly different than the ways of the old life. May sound strange, but I’ve found having no love for money, material items, trendy gadgets, fancy food, and “things”… money seems to be there when it’s needed. Weird how that works.

In my diverse travels along the inter-webs, I stumbled across an idea. It’s not an original idea, but I discovered a unique correlation between water, and money.

Nothing more than another late night ramble. Ya’ll should know me by now.

Currency (current/sea), bank(s)/river bank(s), liquidation, frozen assets, drowning in debt, staying afloat, cash flow, ocean of wealth… money/water terms. Maybe nothing, just found it interesting.

Then the rabbit hole veered off sharply, and took me elsewhere.

I was helping a friend move recently, and I found myself staring out the living room window to the old man across the street. His small home is right on the edge of that river.

In his yard, he stood under a pitched tarp. Up on a step ladder he was gently sanding down the hull of a fixer-upper sailing boat, propped up on blocks and long timbers.

Since that moment, it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

Now, saying I don’t have a love for money, does not negate the necessity for it. I need to utilize currency to “stay afloat”. Kind of a no brainer.

However…

I believe the water continues to call to me, and I told Nancy, “someday… maybe five years from now. Perhaps ten…

“Don’t be surprised if you come home some afternoon from work, and see a boat in the yard.”

She told me to just keep following my dreams. God love her.

I’ll continue to do my best to make my money work for me and not the other way around. I don’t have any credit cards, and only one small loan left to pay off. My debt is restricted to the home, food, necessities, professional services with art and editing, and the dreaded student loans.

If thoughts truly manifest reality, I believe I can say with some level of confidence, I’ll one day be able to take my boat for a spin along that river.

That sounds like fun.

Ramble complete.

Did some damn raking this afternoon. Hated every second of it. Chopped a sumo wrestler sized hedge down in the yard and dragged it away to the brush pile. That was super enjoyable. Little by little, slowly uncovering all the work this home will need over time.

Planning on a low-key weekend other than miscellaneous yardwork.

Not much has changed on the book. Holding pattern continues.

And, I suppose that’s all I got in the tank for today. Be well and chat soon.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Flawed Logic

Who was I kidding?

In this morning’s post, Adaptation, I said I was going to tinker around the house on my day off, work on projects… try to be productive.

Ultimately, my grand plan for the day, was a flawed idea.

I did sip the coffee. I did spend quality time with Zoey as promised, I ran one errand, but then… it all fell apart. I got nothing done today, and it was fantastic.

The right amount of gray sky, with constant, light drizzle, to keep me from the outside chores. I hammered through the dishes, ate wayyyy too much food, kicked on the gaming station, kicked off the socks, set up a small end table beside the couch, flipped up the foot rest, and then unleashed a Hell storm fury of bullet shredding madness upon poor, unsuspecting players, as I dominated the virtual battlefield over and over again.

Arrogant, mouthy punks didn’t know what hit ’em.

A day off, well spent. It was just the fuel I needed.

Then, the missus came home from work… she’s doing her thing upstairs now, and I’m back down in the lair, prattling away. Zoey is with her… I got the quiet space all to myself.

I wish I could say I was feeling a little tired tonight after that gaming spree. I want to have a restful sleep, but I’m fairly certain that won’t happen. I probably won’t hit the hay until 1 am again.

With new fuel, comes new energy.

If I can say I have one thing going for me… I don’t ever suffer from writer’s block. I have plenty of imagination. The words may not always work, or be perfect, but anything broken or out of place, can always be fixed.

The overall story I desire to tell is layered, and across the entirety of the Guardian War series… fairly lengthy. Writer’s block doesn’t exist. I have side-stories, random adventures, companions, spin-offs, character background novels… all stored and filed away upstairs in my head. The first, free companion story, has it’s own cast of characters, and a unique plot, which ties in with the expanded universe, over time. The companions and side-adventures, character background stories, will always be free. Because I love what I’m doing, and desire to share my imagination with anyone who wants to engage, I will always provide free content.

My very first, official, personal, guarantee.

In fact, the grand plan, is to provide a free short-story with each full length novel release.

It’s a challenging, but amazing experience.

I once told my editor, “all I want to do is tell my story.”

It was a rough and rocky road, but now, with a potential finish line looming in the distance… quite possible this time, next month…

I can smile, get a little teary if I allow it, and be happy with releasing at least the beginning of the story to the masses. Every story has a beginning. The Surrender Game is the fast paced, high energy introduction to that story which sets the overall tone for the rest of the series. I just hope people will enjoy reading it, as much as I loved creating it. All I can go on are the positive critiques I’ve received thus far.

The entire process from beginning to end has indeed been a labor of love.

(sigh) I suppose I’ll keep it short and sweet tonight. I’ve yammered on too long today. I’ll continue to keep you apprised of the book(s) status as I acquire the info.

Have a great night.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Adaptation

Greetings, and good morning fellow travelers!! I hope all is well in your world.

A big welcome, and thank you to the new subscribers!

The evolution of this site has been, for lack of a better term, unpredictable. The content changes, month to month. The story is always in flux; though the goal and dream remains the same.

Before continuing, there is one subscriber I have to take a moment and give props to. I believe he’s been with me since (literally) day one, has never asked for anything in return, and I have to officially state for the record: Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha… you are the best. I love you my brother. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always supporting me. I started this site in 2016, without a clue where it was heading, and if I’m not mistaken, you were one of the first (if not the literal first) to join me on this adventure. Huge shout-out to you, my friend πŸ™‚

Please, take a moment and follow/subscribe to Buddha’s content. https://dirtyscifibuddha.com/

I don’t spend a lot of time online, other than research. I do my best to support those I care about, but I openly admit I don’t invest a ton of energy actively engaged in other’s: posts, social media, blogs, musings, poetry, stories, videos… etc. Time is a limited resource I try to utilize to the best of my ability, and I’m always working.

During my work day, I’m in front of a computer screen crunching numbers. When at home, I’m on the computer writing, reading, and studying. My eyes get strained and tired, and I’m forced to walk away from the monitor. It’s not that I don’t want to participate, hit the like button, leave a comment, or share with the populace… it’s just my eyeballs hurt and I have to resort to other non-computer related activities until that moment when exhaustion takes over, and I’m officially done for the day.

Well, I plan to change that. With subscriber(s) permission(s), I’d like to provide your blog link at jeremymorang.com, and help share the love. With each upcoming post, I’ll pick one or two subscribers and include their content/link info somewhere on this site.

That’s what it’s all about, right? Networking. Making connections. Staying connected. Growing… even little by little. Sharing. Exchanging. Having dialogue. In a day and age when those human necessities in life are becoming more challenging, now is the time to reinvent how we engage with each other. Our paradigm is about adaptation. How do we successfully remain human, when our humanity is always challenged?

By helping others. Communal living. Making, and sustaining positive connections. I have to always do my part when possible, even in the seemingly smallest way. I can write a post, but I need to be more vigilant in helping others get their love out. Love is the only thing that can heal this fractured world.

Our goal should always be to spread the love we all know we’re capable of.

A short post this morning. I took a personal day off from work. The plan is to tinker around the homestead, spend time with my dog (Zoey), sip coffee, run a couple of local errands, chat with the kiddo, and debate on whether or not I can work up the energy to rake the front lawn. Bleck. I’d rather chew broken glass.

All is still a go on the novel. The second or third week of November should be the time when all the componants are in my hand and I can finally commit. Between now, and then… I prepare for the winter season, and working on the next book in the series with some light editing.

My Facebook author page is currently a running series of journal entries if anyone wants to follow along. A little behind the scenes activity, leading up to the release of the Surrender Game.

If nothing else… I’m having fun. Let’s keep having fun.

I suppose that’s all for today.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

La La Land

Just woke up.

Fell asleep on the couch for a quick catnap, in the late afternoon, after scarfing down a heaping pile of Chinese food. When I opened my eyes at 11pm, I had no clue what day it was, where I was, or what was going on around me. Complete La-La land.

Zoning out to season 2 of Battlestar Galactica. Covered by a thin blanket, I then got super sleepy and passed out cold under the cool breeze of the ceiling fan.

Now… 11:30pm, the coffee is strong. The inscence is burning, and the space opera music is playing softly in the background.

I’m back downstairs, in the lair, with the dog curled up beside me on her couch. That shot is from the livingroom, but her couch travels around the house with me.

I’m still a little groggy, but feeling fairly decent. After I awoke, my phone fired off a series of rapid notifications.

All good news. At least, that’s how I perceive it.

After receiving good news in life, I have to sit and process things for a time before reacting in any manner.

Throughout my time on this world, I’ve encountered moments where good news has arrived, or on the way, and then something unfortunate happens simultaneously, shortly before, or soon thereafter. So… based on those moments, I get excited about “good news” in brief phases. Incrementally. I allow it all in, in micro-doses.

(sigh)

Its a self defeating mindset, and I need to always find a method to rise above that way of thinking. Shit will always happen in life. The good news, the positive moments, should always be the focus. The good, should always counter the bad.

After some dialogue, it seems as though I’ll have my art provided sometime mid-November. I don’t have a concrete date, but that’s the target time period. Targets for me, are always goals to shoot for. My next goal is mid-November.

Late November, is the goal/target date for actual, final steps.

I may overshoot the goal, or land a little early, but my target is large, and I’ll land somewhere close… I believe. If it pushes into December, hey… that’s cool too.

In addition, my beta reader (we’ll call her, Lynn) contacted me and said she was done reading the Surrender Game. I was told, “bravo,” and her other comment I can’t speak on at the moment.

She’ll be jumping into the companion story this week, depending on her priorities. I’m really excited to have that future conversation, and chat about her reading experience, and answer any questions she might have. I trust Lynn, and her opinions, critiques, suggestions, and listening to people I trust, helps me grow.

That’s all I want to do. I want to keep growing, learning, and having those experiences. Those snippets of good news, happening in the same day, makes me feel pretty good about the process. I like it when things align. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Just a quick update. A late night ramble. I enjoy sharing good news when it happens.

That’s all for my Saturday. Have a great weekend, and chat soon.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Suspended Animation

Autumn in Maine.

My favorite season.

From one edge of the horizon to the other, many trees have the appearance of being on fire. Blazing orange, and bright reds. Can be a bit distracting when heading to work.

Taking road trips in the northern areas, where all the roads become winding tunnels of vibrant, popping colors. It’s a delightful time of year. A bit chilly, but I do my best in a cooler climate.

I’m not a big fan of raking, however. It’s the one chore I despise.

I’ll wash dishes, mow the lawn, vacuum, cook, clean, scrub, shovel snow, dig trenches, chop trees, clean windows, gut out the garage, shingle a roof, and I’ve been known to dust a bit here and there… but raking?

I…hate…it!

Anyway.

Another couple of weeks and all the trees will have shed their leaves, and I can call the raking season done and over with.

Then, comes winter. Hoo boy. Winter in Maine is an experience unlike any other. A true test of grit.

I don’t enjoy the random, lengthy power outages but thanks to a good friend, I believe I now have outages covered. It’s looking to be a difficult winter, in this neck of the woods.

I can feel it in my bones. There’s something in the air that says, “better be ready for a doozy.”

So, between now, and the first storm, I just have to ensure the struggle will be minimized this go around. Winter in Maine can last many months. And drag on…….

No big, lengthy, crazy post this afternoon. Just random thoughts, and hanging out in the lair. Thinking about whipping up a pot of Joe, and taking inventory of needs. Cleaning my work bench. Writing a list or two for winter prep.

I cleaned my guitar, and right before the move, I had ordered a Kalimba. Been itching to practice the guitar again, but I’m fascinated with the Kalimba, and enjoy the sound it makes.

I believe I’ll do that, after this. Mess around with my thumb piano.

I’m in a solid holding pattern. A phase of suspended animation. I’m accustomed to waiting. Not a real big deal. Patience is a virtue and it never bothers me to the point of mental overload. Having spent so much time embroiled in writing, now, while away from it, I feel a little lost sometimes. I could always open up any folder on my desktop and tinker, organize, edit, and tweak… but my mind needed a break from it all. I find playing with music, and attempting to learn musical instruments, gives my brain something to focus on while in-between projects. I have to allow everything to play out organically, and natural. And while in this brief place of limbo, music seems to fill that small void.

Everything is still on track it seems. Just waiting, and attempting to be productive in the meantime. Trying to experience new things.

Trying to be ready for what’s coming around the corner.

I suppose that’s all for today. I hope everyone is well. Shout out to new subscribers and followers. I love all you guys. Thank you for the ongoing support πŸ™‚

The video I made last night, after some Kalimba practicing, is included here if you want to check it out. Give it a like if you’d like, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ll be posting random things infrequently.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Jump Off Point

“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.” –Dave Weinbaum

I’m not a fan of social media.

I don’t believe I ever truly was. It was neat’o and attractive at first, but today? Holy Lord… it’s a mad-house in there.

I’ve abandoned most, if not all, of my on-line “groups”. My notifications were blowing up every minute, and it got to the point where I didn’t want to deal with the noise, and distractions, anymore.

Ditching distractions, means unplugging from the Matrix.

However, everything always seems to come back full circle. I’ve reached that point, or quickly approaching that point, where I require social media. A new jumping off point to keep this crazy train moving. I have to use Twitter, with their hashtags, and @ symbols, to properly communicate, to share a product with the masses.

Connect Instagram to Facebook, and actually post in Instagram and utilize Facebook for something other than silly statements, random poetry, and pictures of the full moon. The blog autoforwards to Twitter, and I have an author page, but in order to get my story out to the public… sigh.

Advertising? Marketing? Oh man…

Facebook sent me a notification stating my author page is now eligible for monetization. I can charge a fee with “paid online events.”

Who would engage in something like that? Who wants to see this ugly mug? Nah… I’ll pass.

Since day one… everything I do, and everything I post here, has been organic growth. Simplified. I desired to be a real person with my on-line activities, be a little out-of-the-box, and I suppose some folks out there enjoy “real.”

Thank you to the new subscribers for your support. I appreciate all of you.

I’m about as real as it gets.

I’m weird, flighty, different, genuine, scared, excited, focused, yet scatterbrained from time-to-time. I may not ever be right, but at least I’m honest. My focus is family. I love my dog, I work hard, and I try to project kindness into the world whenever possible.

And… I like to tell stories (shrug).

I believe my trepidation with having an online life, and openly talking about myself and allowing for that vulnerability, stems from the deeply rooted, anxiety inducing thoughts of Imposter Syndrome. There’s always been a yucky place where my mind wanders, when I hear that little demon voice whispering, “You’re a phony. You imposter. You don’t deserve this. You can’t stack up to everyone else. Why are you bothering? Little fish in a big pond. What could you possibly offer…? Who do you think you are?”

I suppose I’ll have to take a shot and see.

That’s always been part of my journey. Seeing what I’m capable of. Trying to figure out who I truly am.

Ultimately, I’m just a random dude, living his life, trying to make his dreams come true.

And… hoping that others want to jump on the train and take the ride with me. It’s running full steam ahead, toward parts unknown.

While the last post mentioned nothing was etched in stone yet, for the Surrender Game novel release date, I’m thinking, the end of November might be in the cards if I play them right. Stay tuned.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, and receive information about the Surrender Game and other installments to come. 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.

Fired Up

“In this game, fire represents your life. And when your fire is gone, so are you.”–Jeff Probst

Fire, water, shelter, food. Fire, water, shelter, food. Fire…

In that order.

The keys to ultimate survival. Fire, always being the most important. Without fire, there is no life. Game over.

I’m not a “die hard” survivalist. I’m not a prepper. I don’t own any books on “off-the-grid” living. There’s no secret, underground bunker on my property (yet–muwahahaha).

I do, however, firmly believe in contingency plans.

To directly quote one of my characters, “contingency plans are always welcome, even if never needed.”

I do believe in back-up planning. At least three moves ahead. Within that planning mentality, I find myself more focused.

It took some time, but I now enjoy the simple living. I’ve found I thrive in a minimalist environment. We’ve been in this new home since mid-July and all my personal items are still packed in boxes. I don’t need them. If we ever host a game night, I know right where the board games are. For now, they stay in a box in the back corner of the basement.

My clothes, books, and my laptop on a desk within a confined sitting area, with a lit candle nearby, is the center of my universe.

I won’t deny I do have some material possessions: a couple of gaming stations on the main floor for Nancy to watch her shows, and those rare moments when I need to mindlessly shoot zombies, and unwind in the living room. A couple of TV’s.

Last month, for our third wedding anniversary my wife surprised me with a mini-fridge for my writing lair. We do have a small, comfortable residence.

Shelter is covered. I have the shelter.

Fire is also covered. I can make a fire, in the pouring rain if I need to.

I now see my reality as one gigantic, live action, role playing game. The best, most in-depth game I’ve ever played. Completely immersive. A limitless “sandbox” world where the possibilities are endless.

I chose the character I wanted to be, and custom designed my style of gameplay. I have a long, struggle filled primary campaign to finish. I call the finish line, Point Z. It won’t be easy.

Before me, I see multiple side missions and small quests to conquer. Varying distractions to muddle through, or ignore altogether. I recognize the monsters, demons, and NPC’s, and with the small collection of armaments and mediocre tools at my disposal, I pick and choose my battles wisely, and as calculated as possible. I have to think, and assess, before I take action. Be wary of who I interact with. Be willing to stand up and keep fighting when knocked down. Be tactical when it’s demanded. I have to weigh all possibilities, and look fives move ahead. Sometimes reach out to another player to take a big boss down. I use the provided, in-game currency wisely.

It’s a lonely adventure. But, for me, it’s a game worth playing. I love the life game.

My game begins with the fundamental understanding(s) of the core, key, primary building blocks of living. Fire, water, shelter, food. Around these areas, is where I focus.

I mean… I have to be honest with myself. I’ll never step foot inside a movie theater, ever again. I will not shop at my local mall, ever again. Some stores in my area, I will never frequent, ever again. Some restaurants will never get my business, ever again. Impulse purchases are now a thing of the past. We create our own entertainment. We don’t travel. Human interaction is at an all time, record low. Money spent is on utilities, and necessities.

2020 has opened my eyes to things about myself I didn’t understand before, or once ignored… thinking I wouldn’t ever need to explore them. Those things I’m actually capable of, and thoroughly enjoy. New fires sparked to life.

To properly exist I must be able to adapt.

My fire centers around the subjective interpretation, of those things I deem important to existence. Everything outside that (not counting friends and family) is unnecessary to my existence. I don’t need things anymore. I require fire, water, shelter, food, friends, family, and writing.

We’re planning out a section of the property for gardening, this coming spring. I’m all fired up about it. Nancy and I, and a couple of friends, are tracking down canning materials, and working toward something else I’ve always wanted, but never had the time, energy, or currency to try. Growing and preserving my own food. I remember tending a garden in the backyard, in my youth, working with the old farmer across the street when he needed help, and the memory of those experiences have always been a splinter I could never dig out. I need to have a garden. I need to work soil. It aches inside my caveman bones.

Well, I suppose that’s enough for today. Between now and Point Z, I still have a lot to learn and a lot to tackle. But, I’m trying to make progress each and every day. I suppose that’s what counts. Keep on trucking along, right?

Quick update on the novel. Waiting for art, for both the Surrender Game and the companion. I’m a father of two daughters and three years into my second marriage so patience for me comes easy (chortle). I do have an end date I’d like to focus on, but nothing is etched in stone, yet… I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I reconnected with an old friend from the “good ol days” and she is now my beta tester for both books. I’ve received some pleasant feedback thus far, and anticipate future conversations with her. It’s all quite exciting to say the least.

Time to get back to it.

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 like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, and receive information about the Surrender Game and other installments to come. 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 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.

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