The Bow of Destiny

How Did I Get Here?

Going In CirclesHow did you get here? That’s a loaded question. But it is one that I got on my recent blog talk radio interview on Beyond the Cover – just in different words.

I was asked by host, Beem Weeks, how I started writing. That is a loaded question. If you aren’t prepared for it then you may freeze. But I think I handled the question well. But it did get me thinking about how I really got here. No, I got here the usual way everyone else did. I mean as a writer – how did I get to this time and place?

Well, I covered some of the details in the interview but it’s much more complex for me than just a few minutes of discussion in an interview. Why am I writing? Why am I doing it now? There are any number of questions that can be asked and answered as part of the whole notion.

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Ultimately, what a writer puts out for anyone to see is an extension of themselves. So life experiences become important. I’m not saying just go build up a bunch of memories from a bucket list so you can write good prose. No, it’s much more complex than that. It’s also the experiences that were unpleasant. The good and the bad, the highs and lows, are all aspects of character and plot that provide a writer with a wealth of important resources for fleshing out the elements of a novel.

My own story – thirty years of writing this one book covers a lot of events. I finished the original novel in 1995 and was offered a contract. The terms were vague so I backed away. I tried my hand at short stories and let the manuscript lie for a few years. I started a few re-writes all around career changes and the arrival of a child.

After some time, health issues affected me though I didn’t know how much. I struggled with hypothyroidism and faded into sleep apnea. I didn’t know how much it affected me until these and a few other things were treated effectively. Then I woke up to what was going on. It was like being Rip van Winkle. Oh, I knew things had changed but I never really put it together until that time. I saw the opportunity and started writing again.

winding roadSome people might say I should have moved on and that may be well an good. But I had a finished book and it was salable years ago so I wanted to cut my teeth on it. I looked at the manuscript and held me nose at a mess that had gone quite putrid in the intervening years. So, I re-wrote it and began the journey afresh with more insights while learning some new techniques as I went.

It’s been a winding road – sometimes through the middle of nowhere – to actually publishing this upcoming book. When I started, the internet wasn’t even a daily reality and now you can learn more about writing in a month just off blogs than what used to be available in a few books. E-books weren’t even a thought back in those days and Amazon didn’t even exist. A lot has changed in the intervening years and the world of publishing has changed at an accelerated rate over the last decade with all the changes in technology.

Right now is an exciting time. It’s a time of rapid change. It’s an interesting time. I’m glad I waited but I wish I had spent more time just writing along the way. I missed years of skill development and now I’m pushing daily to grow as a writer. However, these are amazing days to do so and I’m thankful for making it this far.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7

Stop and Watch the Turtles Play?

TurtlesSome years back I stepped out on the balcony of the building where I work. It overlooks a small lake surrounded by trees and a footpath. It’s very nice scenery for an office building where you can see nature’s changes throughout the year.

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There are all kinds of animals that inhabit this nature area including snakes, water-fowl, fish, deer turtles and more. I’ve walked the foot-path many times and observed these various animals living bordering to a busy work environment. I’ve seen a blue heron sail across the lake a beaver play in the water. People visit the office park to fish the lake.

But on this particular afternoon, I watched an interesting tableau. The water is rather close to the rear of the building and the afternoon sun shines at an angle so you can observe what’s in the lake – especially from several floors up.

OakMtnAs I stood on that sunny afternoon and watched the lake, I noticed young turtles underwater in the shallows. These juveniles swam around, chasing and playing with each other. It was quite an unusual spectacle that I’d never really seen previously. Imagine, turtles playing in the water? It left me smiling after several minutes of observation.

Thinking back on that short time, I find that it’s important to stop and smell the roses – er – watch the turtles play. Smelling the roses is good but common. It’s great to see things you’ve never really noticed before. You’ll find many sights you’ve never considered and be refreshed as well.

It’s been busy for me most of this year with lots of writing activities. But one thing I need to do more of is stop and observe what’s around me. In the middle of my busy book launch schedule, I plan to take a few trips in the area and get out for a hike and look for the unusual in my surroundings. Sometimes, you just need the break and the mental rest.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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Starting With Scrivener Pt. 2: Expanding Your Tool-Set

Tech Tips 3Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Last week’s post addressed the question, “Where do I start?” Hopefully, you’ve taken the plunge and started you first project. By now you probably feel more comfortable with what you are doing in Scrivener just by using the Editor since it isn’t very different from other such products.

You may have toyed with the Binder and found that it’s useful in arranging your project. If you haven’t yet worked in it, take some time to create some folders and documents and move them around. The Binder is very easy to use and is an excellent, graphical feature for organizing your writing.

There are several other features you can begin using in addition to the Binder and Editor. First, you can familiarize yourself with the Format menu which will help you get your document just right. Next, you can write with a customized background rather than seeing all the boring stuff – it’s easy to choose a background and toggle the feature on/off.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Now onto some really good tools you’ll find useful. You can create document templates for your project. This will help you create new documents and quickly jump into your creative work rather than wasting time configuring all the details each time.

Also, learn how to turn on the Inspector bar on the right side and access more tools. You’ll begin to use Notes, References, Keywords, customize Meta-Data, work with Snapshots as well as add Footnotes and Comments.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 Black Bag Cover 7

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Just as a note: I now have a marketing affiliation with Scrivener. For support questions, pricing, licensing and other concerns please contact the vendor. As such a buy ad for Scrivener appears on the sidebar. I’ve started this program since I like the product so much and want to offer readers the chance to obtain this software. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. You can also find my FTC statement on this site’s sidebar.