Friday, April 28, 2017

Novel: Leap of Faith


The inspiration for this novel slapped me in the face during a rare getaway experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. This excursion was the first trip I have taken on the West Coast that wasn't immediately surrounding Seattle, WA where we moved almost three years ago. I went with my best friend, we've known each other since we were four, and had the time of our lives.

I had never been to Las Vegas before and found it fascinating. The expansiveness of lights and sounds overwhelms the senses. People from all over the world come to this city, for many reasons. There's the gambling of course, but I wasn't very interested in that.

Fine dinning also brings a lot of tourism to the city. I heard about the food scene, of course, but still, I didn't expect it to be so sensational. We ate at Carlos' bakery, most well know as Cake Boss and Buddy V's Ristorante. They were both indescribable, a real treat. Of course we also ate at Chili's, but there is something amazing about chili cheese fries as a pick me up after walking miles in the heat on a Wednesday afternoon.

Another favorite for Vegas tourists are plentiful and diverse shows. Everything from music to theater, dance to illusionists, aquariums and so many Cirque Du Soleil shows you could see a different one everyday of the week. We enjoyed Mystere tremendously. The entire show fantastically stimulated all the senses and I eagerly absorbed every moment.

In the afterglow of all of these wondrous encounters, I realized the other allure to the city. Las Vegas is a location that doesn't follow the rules; a rebel with a reputation for extravagance. You can drink on the streets and dress in any way and you would not stand out, simply by the extreme range of diversity.

In a city where anything goes, I could imagine it easily becoming a sanctuary for people trying to find something absolutely unique. But then, what happens when you don't find it? Do you move on to keep looking or do you get stuck?

In Leap of Faith, Aria is down on her luck. After a series of bad choices and irrational circumstances she seeks out a place so different from where she began that she doesn't even recognize herself anymore. The move from South Carolina to Las Vegas, Nevada was supposed to be an adventure to find herself. It started out amazing, but after almost three years of mediocre accomplishment, she begins to wonder what she's even looking for anymore.

Roman is an easy going software engineer who just hit his big break with a promotion and his first out-of-state convention to represent the company. All of his work finally paid off. It's all he's focused on since his father passed away his senior year of high school. Now that he has everything he's wanted, is there anything else to look for too?

On an irregular night with longtime friends, Aria experiences an encounter that she can't quite explain, but somehow knows it's exactly what she's been looking for all these years. Roman hasn't looked up from his books or his despair for so long that the trip to Las Vegas opens his eyes and his heart in ways that he couldn't even imagine.

A chance meeting between two very paradoxical people changes both of their lives forever. But what happens when the night ends? They are two different people living on opposite sides of the country. Is that the end for them, or will they consider taking a leap of faith?

Leap of Faith will be my first publish-ready book. I'm currently in the editing stages of this project learning as I go what it takes to finish writing a book. This is an incredible journey and a dream in the making. I hope to begin deciding on my publishing process by Autumn of 2017.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Why I Write


I have been writing ever since I was young. I don't know when I started, it has always been a constant in my life. When life gets rough, I reach for a pen and scribble my grievances. When joy overwhelms me, the ink flows freely still.

I know I have always tried to figure out how people work. I was not exactly a loner, but I enjoyed observing others. I always looked for a connection. And most of the time, I found one.

I don't write to make money. I don't write to gain fame. I write because I enjoy a good story.

Life is hard. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, living brings daily challenges. Life is a series of bad days and good experiences. But this is the one thing that we all have in common. The trouble is that we forget that we are not the only ones with troubles.

I believe storytelling is a way to bridge that gap. Through the power of words we can connect. '

"The names and faces change, but the story stays the same." This is a mantra I have heard my entire life. The longer I live, the more I believe it. I am in my thirties now and I still remember thinking that was the ancient years. To my daughter I am. And yet, I still feel young, and more inspired now than ever before. Experience, both good and bad, has allowed me to make connections with the world, the people within it and the systems that govern it.

I write because it is a part of me. I write because a good story transcends segregation. I write because I am thrilled by the idea of always connecting, evolving and learning just a little more than I knew before, especially about myself.

People always say to follow your passions. However, how do you know what that is? I suppose writing is a passion, but to me it feels like more of a lifeline. Without putting words on paper, I am lost. It is how I make sense of my surroundings. It is how I understand emotions. And it is how I relate to others.

What do you do? Writing is only one form of creative expression. Any way that you connect with the world and with yourself. Creativity is a very powerful skill, no matter what style you use. It can save you from a wild spiral into self-destruction.

The crux is, it can sent you there too. Look at all the writers and artists who have suffered over the centuries. The creative process is powerful, and yet necessary, for ourselves and the world beyond us. What then are we suppose to do with this double-edged sword?

Wield it. What else are we suppose to do?

The creative process can be summed up in one word., adventure. I don't know what that means for you, but for me it means hiking up to the peaks of innovation only to slide down the avalanche of self-doubt to discover a trail once again that you didn't even know existed.

Creativity is a wondrous world. One which I hope every soul can experience. Whatever your creative endeavors, believe in yourself and they will see you through.

Why do I write? It's simple. Because to not to would be absolute absurdity.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Celebrate Small Victories


It is amazing how easy it is to get overwhelmed while working on a big project. Have you ever noticed that? I'm in the middle of editing a novel, trying to prepare it for publication, and the amount of work that needs to be done is staggering. One day I feel like I have it all figured out needing only time and the next I feel crushed under the weight of expectation.

I relate to this phenomenon in response to more than just writing my novel. Building the foundations of this Website has spurred despaired feelings as well as several other crafting and life projects. The point is, it doesn't take much to rouse self-doubt.

Don't fear! There is a way through this paralyzing reaction.

My approach is to take a very large project and break it down into many very small steps. Then, if possible, split those steps into even smaller steps. The goal is to make each item on the list so minuscule that it would seem silly not to get it finished today.

A substantial project will take a great amount of time no matter what way you look at it. Take the time to section off what needs to happen within the time frame you intend to finish and make each item an accomplishment you can achieve within the amount of time you can work on it in one day. By breaking down a daunting task into easily manageable pieces, doing any action on it feels like a very productive endeavor.

Now, celebrate that victory!

This concept is helping me really keep moving on editing my novel. It is the motivation to drive you from one day to the next. As long as you keep those tiny goals you set, you will be well on your way to accomplishing your larger venture.