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The hardest thing to do in this life is believe.  This isn’t just about God (although that in itself is a blog post and a half) but faith is in everything you do and don’t do.

It takes guts to believe in anything.  The greatest irony in this world is that in order to go for something more than what you already have, whether that be a relationship, a career choice, or any other kind of goal you can imagine, it takes faith to begin it.

You have to believe that you can do it.   And that’s hard sometimes.  My goals are to write and make a living at doing my creative pursuits, whether it be writing, or podcasting or something else.

No matter what, there are times you are questioning what you are doing with your life.

I remember wanting to finish a comic book.  I had been working on it since I had been apprenticed in Taylor, AZ.  Circumstances had come to the point that my production had been ground to a halt.  I could not pay the artist I wanted to work for.  Rent was high for my wage, and it was a very, very slow crawl to save money.   And right when I was about to start being able to pay my artist to move forward, I was fired due to some very interesting circumstances.

I had to hitchhike to another city just to work, and make it on time as there is no buses out there, and this kept getting pushed back farther and farther away.  I wondered whether or not I’d ever leave Snowflake Arizona, let alone finish that comic book I was working on.

When I came back to Calgary I had to rebuild and recover for about a year.  Finally, I was able to finish the book.

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Veritas is the book by the way.  Credit to my sister for taking this picture.

I always am impressed when someone finishes something with this kind of magnitude.  It took me so long to get so far on this book that every time I see anybody do something I appreciate the sacrifices it took to see that idea go to print.  It’s awesome.  Kudos to anyone who follows it through.

That was my goal and I did it.  There were times I thought I’d never do it.  I just kept on and on and on.  It was all I could do.  I did it, and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried.  I had wanted to do something, show something from that time and I could look at myself proudly.  I had seen this through.

At that point, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Of course, after some time passed, I wanted more.  I wanted to get back into books.  My plan was to do poetry again.  I had this grand idea of publishing an ebook version of a new poetry collection and sell some at cons.

That plan went out the door immediately as this longer poetry pieces morphed into this entire story told in poem form.  I got an amazing illustrator, and we made something I’m very proud of this day.

One of my first customers bought the book, liked it and asked what the heck I was going to do with it and my plans.  When I told her my master plan she told me she was opening up a publishing house and wanted to publish my books.

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So this became a thing.

I learned a very important lesson that I still apply to this day.  Nothing ever works out how you imagine it to.  There are ups and downs that just are never quite planned for.  But that sometimes leads to a greater truth, and that’s that sometimes things work out even better than you ever planned.

Even the podcast was an accident.  I had the opportunity to interview Robert J. Sawyer about three years ago for his book Quantum Night.  It was a random word from him that pointed me in the direction of the podcast.  I never thought about doing one, and decided ultimately to try.

Why not?

Which leads me to right now.  I never set out to do this for awards.  I love meeting people who do amazing things all the time.  This podcast has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible individuals.  Just to listen and talk to them about what they are trying to accomplish is inspiring.

Last week I had an email in my inbox I never expected to get doing the podcast.  The Aurora awards are given out from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) for work in excellence in science fiction and fantasy.

I was shocked that I was a finalist.  I never sent in a nomination for myself.  Someone else did and people agreed with them.

That, truly, is amazing to me.

Thank you all very much for this very cool honour.  I never thought I’d get an Aurora for this podcast.  I’m fine with it.  It is an honour to be nominated with people like Clare C. Marshall, S.M. Beiko, Mike Bryant, and Steve Swanson.  That’s a cool list of people to go against and root for.

Not to mention everyone else going into their own rewards.  Good luck to each and every one of you.

Which leads to my last point on faith.  You can’t be guaranteed of anything, but as often happens, when you work on something and put the dedication and time, somewhere along the way, you get others to believe in you too.  And that, truly is the most amazing thing of all. I’ve already won.  I mean sure, I would love to get that award, but this is something I never asked for, and to be able to get this chance…wow.  More than I could have hoped.

I already have a goal for next year however, and that’s to get an aurora for something I am writing.  Right this minute, it feels pretty good.

 

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