By Jeff Messick
From Pandamoon Publishing
Set the goal at 2K-3K words last night.
I hit my goal! Kinda.
There I was, happily typing away, listening to my characters and following their lead. at appx 2100 words in, I realized all my characters were either drunk, or had been neutralized by a stupid ray. I wound up deleting an entire scene because it was stilted and unnatural. Wound up with just over 600 words done….
But hey, the result was better than the words prior, so I guess I should be happy.
I think we need to consider a name change for this day. The old adage (not that old I think) is any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a Dad. Fathers bring children into the world, Dads raise them. Fathers provide for their children, Dads are more involved. Dads are connected to their kids in a way that cannot be understood completely, unless you are a Dad.
A wise friend of mine had this to say:
There is no place higher than on Dad’s shoulders. Dad – a son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love. A Dad is someone you never outgrow your need for.
A Dad is someone to look up to no matter how tall you’ve grown. A Dad is your biggest fan, even when you strike out. Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. A Dad is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.
A Dad is someone who encourages you, protects you, picks you up when you’re down, gives you advice, guides you when you’re lost, but most of all… always loves you unconditionally !
A Dad is always a Superhero in everyone’s life. Nobody can take place of Dad.
I will add to this bit. A Dad is the guy who picks you up, dusts you off, then throws you back into the fray. Dad is the fire that tempers a man’s soul. A Dad’s wisdom is the steel that anchors a man’s heart.
Happy Father’s Day to all you … Wait a sec…
HAPPY DAD’S DAY!!!!
I love you Dad.
Problem with studies like this is social pressures weigh in. If a study to determine if a “hands-on” father can be successful is launched, everyone waits for the first failure and everything is a wash after that. This parenting study has a few gems of illogic in it too.
There were also physical issues, with some couples finding that their baby responded better to being comforted by his or her mother. As one fathers put it: “Only mummy that will do.”
Utter crap. A baby responds better to the comforting they receive that best suits the problem they are experiencing. Yes, sometimes baby wants their mommy, but just as often, baby wants daddy too. Granted, the article didn’t say “always” but the stereotypical view is that mothers are better nurturers. I vehemently disagree.
The one statement made I completely agree with was:
The reality is that as a society I don’t think we are ready for that – we don’t support the fathers in doing that, we pay lip service to it but we haven’t put in pace systems which are fit for purpose.
Society itself creates a huge hurdle across all facets of modern life. The problem we encounter as parents raising our kids are largely of our own making, as a society. Men can nurture, women can teach sportsmanship. Just because society says we can’t, doesn’t mean its true, and more often needs to be proven incorrect by an overabundance of data.
With the push for release of my first published novel, Knights of the Shield, I started thinking about this road I’ve been on since I first started telling stories many moons ago. Figured I’d give you all some insight on how this process got rolling for me.
After getting into the military, I found myself with free time after work was done. I read. I read some more. I read even more than that. My off time was spent either, computer gaming, reading, or experiencing an overindulgence in adult beverages. Somewhere along in there, the games got a little boring, the reading didn’t provide enough relaxation or interest because I felt I would have written what I was reading a little differently. The adult beverages, well, we’ll leave that up to imagination.
One of my favorite genres to read has always been fantasy, especially after reading The Lord of the Rings at a very young age. The Forgotten Realms book series was always good too. I started tinkering with writing. I dove into my favorite genre to see what I could do. Being a gamer, I’ve played quite a few adventures in Dungeons & Dragons type games, with some really talented story tellers. Those games with a good story were so much better then the standard hack & slash mayhem some games were, but those had their place too. Anyway, I took those adventures and pressed them together until a plot began to squeeze out.
What followed was a twelve week writing blitz that culminated in my first novel-length work. I let my brother read it, since his personal library of books would make some medium-sized cities blush, and one of his favorite genres is fantasy too. Well, most family will tell you anything you write is great…MOST family. My brother, not so much.
“It’ll work, but its really raw.”
Then started the editing process where he sent email after email with snarky comments about what I needed to fix. I found some of his arguments flat and realized a lot of substantive editing is subjective. Still, with the wide variety his reading has covered, I felt he was an expert. He did a good job and soon after, the second book was done. Then the third was started and made almost three chapters when I just stopped. I went back and read through everything. It was bad, not horrible, but bad and bad enough that I couldn’t (read didn’t) want to take the effort to fix it.
On a vacation to visit my parentals in Florida, I started a new project, NOT based in fantasy, though it had a good, healthy dose of paranormal. It even had a title: Visionary. This project featured my military occupation, Air Traffic Control, as a major component to the story. This came out of me surprisingly easy and the story was much better than those first efforts.
Not sure what happened to it, but even though it was better, it still fell short of my best.
The next time I took up the pen, a few months later, I enrolled in an online writing course with an author of Mystery novels. The course was to show how that genre is put together and what makes it work, with the final exam being the first chapter of a new mystery novel, thus was born Knights of the Shield. Something happened here too, surprising me. The writing had changed from my earlier efforts. I felt the characters were telling me the story and I was recording it. Wow, talk about writing becoming easy. I didn’t have to tell the story anymore, someone would do it for me.
The instructor was impressed, liked the mood and direction of the chapter I turned in. Before continuing, I started another project, based on fan fiction for my favorite show at the time, Highlander: The Series.
Knights kind of back-burnered for a bit, as well as any other writing as I got out of the military, got married and had kids. Somewhere along the line, I built a new career in the IT industry and borrowed an excessed laptop from work. I started putting together the rest of Knights and the Highlander novel at the same time.
Fast forward to 2013, I made contact with Pandamoon Publishing, and what their business model is. I just say, wow. So, Knights is being published and I’m just tickled. All the other authors in Pandamoon’s stable are wonderful people and that is something I had never really encountered in the writing world; other authors. My learning has really just begun.
Oh yeah, that Highlander novel…completed it too. There’s something about having an idea so close to your heart that makes the outcome of an endeavor even better. I feel this novel is tremendous, though the publication process is a maze of ridiculousness from what I’ve found. Perhaps with the reboot of the movie franchise, things may loosen up a bit, or I might find another outlet for it.
Knights of the Shield is coming soon folks!
A blog from Pandamoon Publisher Zara Kramer.
Pandamoon’s website is LIVE! Go see who we are and what we do.
With Knights of the Shield coming soon, I find myself in a whirlwind of anticipation. Waiting for news like an eager kid wanting candy is the best way to describe it. I got my cover, so the candy craving is satiated…for a minute.
So, off to work on another project. I’ve got three working right now: Paranormal, Fantasy, and another Paranormal, but of a different stripe than the first.
The first paranormal project is about a third of the way through. I won’t say I’m stuck, but there’s no progress there right now, so I jumped tracks to the fantasy project. I finished my outline on virtual index cards and moved forward from there. Chapter One has been complete for about six months now while I worked on other things. Suddenly, four chapters are done and more are falling into place, along with twists, turns and plot devices along the way.
Love it when my characters start really talking to me, makes the writing easier. Just need to keep going and keep my mind off my upcoming first publication…and there it goes again…sigh.