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Philosophical

…as if no one will ever read it

I haven’t done a real blog post here in a long time. Forgive me. Life, work, and other concerns have distracted me from what I enjoy doing most. Truth be told, I haven’t been writing much lately, either, and that hurts me the most. But certain things have happened in recent weeks and months to put me in one of my philosophical moods again, and very much on the defensive. Not of myself (much) but of the creative writer in general. So let me tell you a story or four…

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Musings on Love

Let’s talk about love. Because why not, right?

Late night chat sessions always make me introspective. Don’t know why… But last night, talking art and life with a friend, I thought up this allegory that’s still messing with my brain today. It was about two people so totally in love nothing could keep them apart. But they were so totally different, they were doomed to hurt each other over and over again: one too cerebral to be emotionally affectionate, the other too emotional to see reason and logic. So, for the sake of their partner, independently of each other, they went out to change themselves, to get rid of the things that were keeping them apart. The one excised her brain, the other his heart. Both died as a willing sacrifice to love.

So, in the interest of assuaging my inner deepthinker, I’m gonna break down this thing called L O V E.

Are you ready?

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The LeFou Controversy… WTF?!

Last week, articles began to pop up about the boycott of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast and I just can’t not talk about it. Why would anyone want to boycott a Disney movie? Because it slightly (trust me, it’s not that big a leap) altered the animated version of Gaston’s sidekick LeFou to make him openly gay in the live action film. https://youtu.be/qt1ldI2NhaY This was seen by some religious groups as “pushing an agenda” and “no longer a wholesome family film, as Disney used to do in the past.” Boy, was someone not paying attention to Disney movies over the years… Seems they conveniently forgot that racism, racial stereotypes, sexual harassment and attacks, death, orphans, sexist plot lines,… Read More »The LeFou Controversy… WTF?!

How did I get here?

When I wake up tomorrow morning, Dragonblood will be available for sale across online booksellers around the world. It’ll mark my 10th original book publication, and the 7th full-length novel to be unleashed upon the world from the dark recesses of my twisted mind. Quite honestly, this is the first time I’ve actually counted them, and that kind of gives me pause. How many writers out there lose track of their books? Is there anyone who would have passed a milestone like that and not notice?

Years ago, when my stories were being madly scribbled into the back of my ECON101 and PHIL210 notebooks, I kept meticulous track of every single title. No, seriously. Look:

Writing Database

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The (Non-)Reading Habits of the Terminally Distracted

Read1

When I was a kid in Europe, I remember bookstores were almost luxury destinations. I would walk into one and feel overwhelmed and awed, and I’d touch the volumes with utmost reverence. Books were expensive. All of them, except for a handful of children’s books and pocket atlases, were hardbound with gorgeous covers that were as much works of art as the words held within. They were also a universe unto themselves. Getting an autograph, or even running into an author of any kind was almost unheard of. Seeing one made into a movie was a Very Big Deal.

My great uncle would collect books just to show them off on his shelves. His brother, my grandfather, on the other hand, would borrow them from him to read, because he loved the written word, but couldn’t afford to buy the books he wanted. My mom had entire shelves filled with series by her favorites, all black spines with white text, and a clear number on the bottom indicating its order in the series. She never touched them after they were read, except to wipe dust off the tops.

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Character Development: Aiden and The Break of Chapter 26

Have you ever been asked to do a character analysis in English class as a student? I don’t remember much from the ones I did, but I do enjoy the concept. Obviously, not every character ever written is worthy of the bother, but every once in a while you get one you could spend hours on the couch with (in psychoanalysis…). You think you know them, but the more you look, the deeper you see. Part of why I love reading, re-reading, and writing is that all three allow you to revisit a certain situation, a certain place and time, a certain sentence spoken, and look beneath the surface in a way you can’t do in real life. Nuance and subtlety are the most irresistible lure for any hardcore bookworm. Yes, we enjoy action and passion, and witty dialogue, but what really keeps us coming back isn’t the obvious, it’s the things you have to dig for, think about, and chew on.

Why would you do that to a person??

WolfenNot too long ago, I was confronted with a reader’s question that gave me pause. The question was about Aiden from Wolfen and a certain thing that happens to him about halfway through the book. My answer was going to be simple and to the point: it was a test for him and another character, and their arcs hinged upon how they responded to it. But I paused because as I was typing this answer out, my mind veered off to a place I hadn’t gone before, even while writing this book, and it completely changed what I wanted to say. That place was Aiden’s past.

“Why would you do that to a person?” they asked.

Here’s my answer:

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I Read, Therefore I Am

In the last two weeks or so, I seem to have gone into one of my philosophical moods. I was reading a book in a genre I used to devour back when I read two or three books a week. I don’t do it anymore, but back then, I would dive into a specific genre and read every book an author has ever released in it. Then I’d go to related books, and repeat the process with another author in that same genre. It was total immersion in a particular subject matter, and for the longest time I lived and breathed it.

That changed when my me-time shrank considerably and I refocused my energies into writing instead. I’d still read here and there, but nowhere near as much as before, and definitely not one single genre. When my reading pattern changed, I noticed a distinct change in my general mindset as well.

Has that ever happened to you? You read a brilliant fantasy adventure and suddenly you swagger down the street like you have an elven sword strapped to your side and everyone is a potential enemy. Your back is just a little straighter, your thoughts just a little braver. For a while, as you bask in the book afterglow, you’re a total magickal badass.

I’ve realized recently that this happens to me a lot.

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What Makes A Hero(ine)? A wee rant in defense of one

If actions speak louder than words, why do we fall in love with book characters who do horrible things, simply because we know their intentions are good? Especially in Romance, the hero is usually a man with a past (or even present) filled with many violent deeds that would make us run for safety if we couldn’t see into his thoughts (translate: in real life). But everyone instinctively trusts in him, because we expect the story to have a happy ending–through his actions. Why is that?

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Time Is Relative–The Weird One You Avoid At Reunions

Every year, at some point in the middle, I look back on the previous few months and bemoan the lack of a new book release. The thinking goes, if I didn’t publish a book yet, then I’m slacking, and losing momentum in the market, and losing readers along the way. What have I been doing with all this time?? It’s worse when I look at my Facebook News Feed and see dozens of other authors posting about their new or upcoming releases. I’m happy for my friends, but at the same time feel like I just missed a ton of opportunities.

And every year I have to remind myself that is the wrong kind of thinking.

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