Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Moving Along

Here's just a quick note for those of you who follow the blog, or run across it in the near future.  I'm having some technical difficulties with Facebook.  For some reason, they block all links to this blog, classifying it as "spam" and as a lot of networking happens on FB that is a major hindrance for me and for Martinus Publishing.  Repeated requests to fix this have been completely ignored, and nobody will even address this issue.

Therefore, as there is no way for me to share links to this blog on one of the biggest networking sites, I'm afraid there is no option but to move.  I will be setting up a new blog shortly, one that Facebook will hopefully not block as "spam."  I will share a link as soon as I have one, though it may be a few days or weeks before I find the right location.  In the meantime, all the old posts will remain here, for those of you who want to sample my wit and wisdom of the past.

Modern day censorship is a growing problem, and I am wary of Facebook's new algorithms, where innocuous content can be summarily blocked for undisclosed reasons.  I assume that some troll(s) decided to flag my blog as spam in complaints at some point, and that somebody at Facebook chose to simply block all links to it rather than investigate.  Though, nobody will actually respond to me, so I have no idea why they're blocking, other than I sometimes get a message saying my link is blocked because it is "spam."  Half the time, they just say it "violates their community guidelines," with no explanation how, other than a link to their "no spam, no porn, no hate-speech" page, which doesn't address any specifics, but just lays out their basic rules, none of which my blog violates.  That is, unless they want to say I can't tell people about Martinus Publishing books and where to buy them.  If that makes my blog spam, than the entire internet is nothing but spam!

Yes, I am a little angry about this, but I'll just have to move along, and hope they don't throw another roadblock in front of me too soon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Have I Given Up Writing?

I have a few spare minutes, so I felt compelled to write a blog post, the first in a long while.  It used to be a daily thing, and topics would be so plentiful that I had to pick and choose which I would write first.  Now I have fallen out of the habit so badly.  It is rare that I have the time to tackle any serious writing, and it leaves me wondering if I truly have given up.

It has been years since I wrote prolifically.  To be fair, I can no longer call this a slump, but full blown abstinence.  Life took me for a ride, and drove me out of the art of storytelling.  I am now left wondering if I will ever find my way back.

Time is something I don't have anymore.  At least, not the quantity and quality that I require to produce worthy material.  I'm not in the right state of mind to craft stories.  Writing is something that should be enjoyable.  Yet, for me, it has become a source of stress, a grim specter of my past.  What was once a recreational exercise has devolved into a bitter reminder of failure and disappointment.  I can't say my divorce 4 years ago was the ultimate impetus, but it was certainly an overbearing weight.  I wouldn't call it the last nail in the coffin of my writing career, but possibly one of the first.  The shock and heartbreak accelerated and amplified my apathy toward writing, and the lack of time that occurred as I suddenly had four children to raise without a wife assured that I couldn't continue at that time, even if I'd wanted to.

Today, I'm in a much better place than I was in 2015.  I am happily remarried, my children are growing up little by little, and I am hopeful that I may actually have more free time again someday.  It is still very difficult to write.  I have so much work to do that isn't literary in nature, and I tend to wonder if I'll ever get caught up.  My father started building our house before I was born, and now that he has grown old I am taking on the task of completing it.  It is no exaggeration to say I have enough work ahead of me to keep five men busy for a year, but there is only one of me and I have no money to spend on additional laborers.  The winters that I used to "have off" to write are now an endless line of home projects.

So, the question remains, have I given up writing?  Answer:  I'm not sure.

The stories that used to burn in my soul are still there.  I think of all those tales that remain unfinished, the characters and universes that want to be explored.  I think of Zachary McCain and John Rage, and the half-written sequel to The Rogue Investigations.  I think of my West of the Warlock series, and the unpublished fourth book in the series, and its incomplete fifth volume conclusion.  I think of the unreleased fourth volume in the Virtual Saga that explores Morgan Asher's life after the catastrophic events in The Guns of Mars, and where I could take him beyond that.  I think of new characters and new series that I have not even penned yet!  Yes, I still think of it all the time, but with everything else going on in my life, it seems less important.

Whenever I think of getting back into writing, I look at everything I have going on, and I end up having to set it to the back burner.  Priorities are a bitch, but they're necessary.  I can't waste time writing books that nobody wants to read when I have firewood to cut and split, or my daughter needs a bedroom designed, or my son needs bookshelves, or my wife and I need an expanded bedroom… not to mention when I have to make money once the weather finally warms up again.

So while I can't say that I have definitively given up my writing, life itself has imprisoned my writing muse, you might say.  I lack the necessary elements to create great works of fiction.  Just a couple of things could spur me back into the habit, but right now it's not happening.  My dreams must sleep, while reality keeps me in a depressing grip of personal responsibility.  I can't say it's a hard life; at least not as hard as it could be.

I just thought one or two of you might actually like to read about this… one or two…