Write!

Tags

, , ,

 

Before I begin with the entry, I encourage you all to check out my guest blog at project awesome.   The link is here, and you can learn a bit about the podcasts.  The link is here.  Read it and come back here.  I’ll be waiting.

Read it?  Good.

Ready?

writing-stuff

Last night I convinced someone to write her novel.

I tend to be an encouraging guy.  I want everyone to succeed.   I don’t really care what your dreams are;  I want you to have them.  You deserve them.  Make those dreams real, and make it so your dreams never were dreams at all.

I really believe that.  So one of the most frustrating things for me is that there are so many people out there (writers, I am talking to YOU) that want to write that book, that want to

But you don’t.

I don’t know why you don’t.  Maybe you think you’re not good enough.   If you are one of those people I want to stop you right here.  Good is a very relative term.  “Good” is the most terrible answer to “How are you?” I know of.  Why you ask?  You say nothing.  What is good?

Good you see is up for grabs.  Good is an ideal, and you can’t quantify it with any form of measurement.   Good is…meaningless.

When someone asks me how I am, I tell them, what is on my mind right that minute.  Fine or good only come out of my mouth when I’m tired.  I suck at small talk and have no intention of working to get good at it.

Upon further reflection, good may not quite be right here.  Maybe it’s the phrase “Good enough.”  I mean enough is kind of how we are conditioned in school you know?  “You can be anything you want to be…provided you get an education.” or “provided you meet the requirements.”  Now provided is a provision.  The underscored, unmentioned word in provided is good enough.

Now before I continue, I’m not trying to denigrate getting an education. I bring up that example because it’s an easy example.  Good enough is ingrained into us at a very young age.  So that maybe when you get that calling inside you to write that book, you just don’t think the work, or you are good enough.

I’m here to say this:  until you actually write the book, I don’t want you to think about the idea of “good” or “enough” or the words together.  Instead I want you to focus on the more important thing.

Doing it.  You know, putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, or even voice to phone.   Really it doesn’t matter how you do it. I don’t care if you plot or pants (no pun intended) or some combination of the two.   What matters is that you do it.

Doing and not doing is the biggest reason people do not make their dreams real.  You have to actually put in the work to get things done.   You have to be willing to make the sacrifices of your time and energy to work towards those goals you see yourself doing.

In short, if you’re a writer, you have to write.  That means being on a keyboard like I am right now putting together this short little entry that’s trying to get you off your butt to write your face off.

You got a novel in you?  Several?  Great.  Put the pen to paper.  Write it down.   Make sure the whole idea is out there, laid bare in its pure skeletal phase.  When you get to the point of revisions, you can play around with it and take apart the guts of your work and put them back together – adding entrails, some meat and muscle to the prose you worked hard crafting together.

But to get to this point, you need to write.  So that story you got in your head?  I want you to write that first sentence right now.  Take a pen, or turn on your word processor and put that sentence to the screen.

Afterwards, the next day, do it again.  Add to the sentence with the next one.  It will come to you.  Even if all you do is sentence, little by little that masterpiece you have inside you will come out.   It will tell you things you didn’t know to be true, and learn about your characters and yourself in the process.

Okay, enough blabbering from me.  I got stuff to do.  You do too.  I’ll leave the entry with this quote.  Remember it, and do it.  Doing may be the most important thing of all, and with writing it’s no different.

start-writing

Have a good one!

Unicorns that Fart Rainbows

Tags

, , ,

unicorns_fart_rainbows__3_by_thunderwolf900.png

I want to make this clear.  This wasn’t my idea.

My sister made a request for my next book the Cloud Diver.  She wanted me to insert a unicorn that farts rainbows.  The nature of the universe in The Cloud Diver does allow for me to insert a unicorn that farts rainbows, and any other strange and wonderful thing I choose.  Isn’t that lovely?

But then she had to make it difficult.  I couldn’t kill said unicorn.  In fact, I had to promise.  And if you know me, you know that I hate breaking promises.  If I give my word, I keep it.  That’s the goal and the plan.  In fact – this is the only spoiler I will officially give about Cloud Diver – the unicorn does live, and in fact plays a much bigger role in the Cloud Diver Universe than I previously expected.

Which of course leads to a problem.  I have to find a name for the unicorn.  At the day job I was thinking of names that didn’t fit with the context of the story (s?) I’m working on.  I didn’t think of one that satisfied the characteristics of said unicorn and had a problem.

My solution was facebook.

Now I have to admit to having an evil plot of my own.  You see,  Facebook is a bit of a bi polar experience for me right now.  Most of my friends cannot seem to help themselves about the current president.  I mean, yes, he’s a twitter troll, comes off like a misogynistic whatchamacallit and has some characteristics that are more reminiscent of Pinocchio than any rational thinking and caring human being – at least as far as I can see.  (the last bit, to be fair, is something that he has in common with previous presidents, so I can’t hold that against him too much.) Between that and reading about punching Nazis – a slightly more complicated debate on both sides than either side wants to admit – I felt kind of down.

I’m really tired of listening to politics on my boards.  That said, I can’t blame anyone for feeling like they feel and doing what they do.  That whole freedom of expression thing is important, but I feel as though with times as uncertain as these, levity more than anything else is necessary.

images

So with In-augeration day approaching, I put my plan into action.

I decided to ask Facebook to name my unicorn.  That was two days ago.  I’m still getting names even today.  It’s dying down now, but i have had over sixty people officially post on the thread making suggestions, and I’ve had about sixty more than that second, defend, and rationalize and approve on choices.

My personal highlight on this is that Robert Sawyer joined in on the fun.  That of all the people that participated was the biggest surprise of all.  Now I have to say here that Roy G. Biv (look it up) is definitely the standard name test to beat.  I’m not sure that’s going to be the final name, but it’s something that I’m going to be looking at.

Without a doubt, so far that thread has been the most fun I’ve had.  There are so many names, puns, dragon ball z or pokemon esque attacks.  The thread on my facebook page is phenomenal.  Even though now I have the unenviable task to choose unicorn names, (and I will) I’ve never seen so many walks of life get involve in something so random.

I had a plan, and my plan was to do something fun. I  didn’t want to be another political rant day on the dawning of a new president.  I wanted to remind people (including myself) that there is good and that people want to have fun.

And for each and every one of you that did so, thank you.

moar_unicorn_farts_by_thunderwolf900

I learned something from this though as well.  If I ever decide to do a contest in regards to the Cloud Diver, I am going to come up with something as fun as this.  I had such a blast I’m going to have to figure it out.

But I also came out of this feeling a sense of hope.  People really just want to not worry about complicated things.  We all feel at this moment that things are moving beyond our control.  The system seems to be going into a talespin, and no one has any answers.  Yet for all that, I can talk to grown up people and at least for a moment make them remember the fun stuff.

Unicorns that fart rainbows.  Ice Cream and baileys.

If all of us can share in the wonder that is the simple things in life, there is hope for us all.  And I want to thank each person who participated in that for reminding me of this.

I can’t promise answers, but I do hope all of us keep to whatever little things we have in life.  It gives me hope that no divide can’t be bridged.

 

In One Word…

Tags

, , , , , ,

It’s been a while since I’ve written in the blog.  It’s been an interesting few months, and I thought it’s about time I do something a little different.

But first…

Subscribe to my newsletter.  My computer died so I’m a little behind on the cool giveaway that comes in my newsletter the Pants Line.  That all said, regular content happens all the time, and some cool exclusives.  You can sign up for the newsletter here.  Go ahead.  I’ll be waiting.

Welcome back.

I want you guys to take a little look at this.

20161229_020933

That’s my plan for 2017 so far.

I’m nuts.  I know.  I’ve even added a few more to the list since I posted this.  I’m nuts.  I’ve already said that.  Whatever.

So I’m a goal orientated person.  I accomplished a lot and I’m intending to accomplish more.  I’m working on accomplishing goals as a writer, podcaster, and publicist.  Most of these goals are writing centric you see here, and I’m going to go through the top two quickly.

The Wandering God

Mirror World Books recently announced this.  This is the final book of the Watcher trilogy and as of this writing my part of it has been handed in.  This book is now in the editing mode.  This time around, we’re taking time.  Expect to hear more in the spring, but for now, watch out for September.

The Cloud Diver

The Cloud Diver is my own project.  It will be published if all goes to plan in April or May.  More soon.

I have a ton more – some personal, professional, and some other ones that are here.  But if I have to sum up every single thing on my list to one ultimate goal.

Ready?

I want to shape who I am.   There are a lot of things I want to accomplish.  I don’t do it for the money.  (Although I want some for sure…) I do it because there is a person I envision myself being and I can only become this person in my head by doing the things I want.

So I create goals for myself.  Will I hit every thing on that list?  I hope so, but I really don’t know.

Speaking of the list, you may have noticed I have one check mark.  That’s right, my podcast Just Joshing is going live.   Stay tuned for more details, but I already got guests.  It’s a new challenge for me.  I’ve been behind the computer doing the podcast over the year, and I’m going to give it a bit of a shot to do it live.  I don’t know if anyone will see it, but it seems like fun.

Why not?

Alright.  Back to the one thing.  The one word, all these goals (not revolutions, I hate those.) I have on this list.  All of this is to accomplish one thing.  One word.

Freedom.

Year in and out I resent the fact that I’m still at a day job.  This year I’m pushing to leave – at least for a time.  I have a moment in time, a release date to shoot for, and I’m going all in.  This month and the next, I have to deal with some stuff and plan and co-ordinate.  I’m plotting my escape from this prison.

I’m going to do it.  I’m getting rid of anything I can think of that can get in the way of me doing what I need to do.  I had an amazing year and I want to keep the momentum going.  So I will.

Freedom.  It’s a powerful word.

I want it.  Nothing will stand in my way.

I hope you’re 2017 is bold, brash, and daring.  Do the things you feel called to do.   I want you to be free.  I’ll see you out there.

Stay Inspired.

 

Coming soon: The end of an epic.

Mirror World Publishing

Next up in our new releases for 2017 is the long awaited finale to The Watcher Trilogy, called The Wandering God.  If you haven’t read The Watcher, or its sequel, Stormdancer, I urge you to give them a try. Joshua Pantalleresco has created a truly unique post-apocalyptic world where dragons rule over what remains of the human race, and one young boy dreams of discovering the world beyond the slave compound he was born into. This young boy, The Watcher, sets out to discover what else is out there and in the sequel, Stormdancer, shows his friends the value of doing the same. What awaits us in this final installment? Well, I’m just as eager as you to find out.

What is most unique about Joshua Pantalleresco’s epic is its style. The complex and deeply intuitive story is told through simple accessible poetry and beautiful graphic art by the extremely…

View original post 335 more words

We All Inspire

Tags

Before i start this blog is should mention that I have started a newsletter. If you want to hear me talk about supwrvillains and authors,ando see me experiment with mediums you can subscribe here at The Pants Line.

Subscribe and come back.

Cool?  Cool.

I am sitting in Windsor Ontario just before dawn. Soon I will see one of my own personal heroes. Tonight I got to also see one of my oldest friends in the world.  We talk about that mostly graceful move into middle age.

But we also talk about success.   Neither of us thought we would be where we are.  Now I am sure that no one really has the same model of success our parents had in this day and age. But it’s easy to look at what others have and what you don’t and second guess yourself.

My friend surprised me by saying that I may be the most successful of us all. “You’re living your dream,”  he said.  “you inspire me.

I have to admit that typing is gives me chills.  I never expected to hear that.  It still stuns me.

But we do this to ourselves all the time.  I am right in the sense that I am doing nothing that special.  I am just facing my daily struggles.  All of us do that.

But on the same token, isn’t that amazing?  Everyday we all fans email the struggles in our lives.  I know people personally that face things I honestly have no concept on how to deal with.  I know people who struggle to make their dreams come true.  I know people who seek change, whether it’s going back to school or overcoming depression.

The fact of the matter is that we pay attention to each other’s challenges. We don’t always have answers but we respect when people rise up and face them head on.  It’s not always about the big successes; rather it’s about the little victories, and not accepting defeat.

My friend reminded me of this.  If you are reading  this, I am proud of you man.   Keep going.  To the rest, keep being incredible. You amaze me doing what you do.  I am flattered some of you feel the same.

Living in the Moment

Tags

, , , ,

So what are you afraid of?

And what does it have to do with living in the moment?

When we think about living in the moment, we think about being a free spirit.  There truly is something magical about going with the moment, and not worrying about where it will take you.  It’s easy to do it in your twenties.  I did it a lot more then I do now.

Part of it is I don’t have the same amount of time to enjoy myself I did when I was younger.  I have responsibilities and commitments to people I care about.  Sometimes it’s amazing stuff;  I should have some really cool book announcements in the next few days.  Also, I’ve been watching some of my hard work as a publicist start to pay off.  It’s been neat to see my diligence rewarded.

That does mean it’s a touch harder to find people to go out with and have a drink with at a moment’s notice now.  That was much easier when I was twenty five.  There is a touch of envy to the more free spirited of us out there.  And there are important lessons to be learned from that time.  Some that I needed to be reminded of.

I’ve been hearing about living in the moment lately and been thinking about it a lot.  Living in the moment is something I’ve struggled with.  For one thing, I’m a long term thinker.   I have goals, and a vision of who and what I want to become.  It’s necessary.  We all need an ideal of what we can achieve.

That does mean that sometimes I get caught up in the future to the point that I miss what is going on in the present.  That is a big no no a lot of us get caught up in.  I’m guilty and I’ve been forced to confront this truth quite a bit this summer.

But that’s the not the same as not having a plan.  Plans do tend to fall apart sometimes.  My favorite joke with plans is to tell this two line joke.

How do you make God laugh?”

Tell Him your plans.”

I’m sure God has more than once guffawed on my ingenious master plans.  Not one of them has worked any way I thought it would.  Great battle chieftains say the same thing.  Every plan is a good one until things happen.  And things will happen.  All the time.

Yet I still plot and scheme and come up with my motivations and plans.  Why?  Not because I expect it to all play out in my head as I envision it – very rarely do I even get an iota of that.   Rather, I do it for a more important reason.

Time.

I look back to my time then and I realized I wasted quite a bit of it.  The problem with no plan is that you go the direction of the wind.  Like a leaf you go to and fro, and only go forward when you fall back to earth.  So much time is lost.  As I’ve gotten older,  I realize I only have so much time to give.

Time isn’t a renewable resource.  Once the moment is gone, it’s gone and it’s not coming back.   We can learn from our mistakes, but we cannot travel into the past and fix them.  So one of the key reasons I try to plan is so I can see everyone I want to see in the spare moments I do have.  Sometimes it still doesn’t work out, but more often than not, I have time to do all the things I want to do (and believe me folks, that’s a big ass list that’s getting bigger all the time.)  and I get the opportunity to live a little bit before whatever I’m called to do calls me back.

This almost feels like a digression, I’m sure, but I needed to clarify the difference between enjoying the moment and living in it.  Some people are more naturally spontaneous, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are living more in the moment than a guy that plans them.  Truthfully the guy making plans can learn a lot about enjoying the moment from the person who is more free spirited.  Consequently, the free spirited person can learn from the the planner how not to be quite so wasteful with their time.

So after that I’m sure you’re asking, what is living in the moment then?

So let’s go back on top, why did I ask about fear?

One of my forthcoming guests on my podcast Just Joshing (which you can listen to right here conveniently enough) was from When Words Collide.  I remember distinctly asking Adam Dreece if he thrives on fear.   He laughed when I asked him that.

I asked him that because this is a guy that tends to go outside his comfort zone.  He seeks to challenge himself in ways he hasn’t before.  On some level, that is terrifying.

I don’t know about each and every one of you, but I’m never in the moment as much as when I’m scared.  I’m aware of everything.  I can hear my heart beat faster.  I can feel my nervousness;  I tend to crack jokes like Peter Parker does when he’s spider man.   I can feel my tension and my awareness heighten.

By and large, I love it.  I love being that aware, that conscious of my existence than when I’m doing something that rattles me.  Fear gets a bad rep for being able to freeze you.  The truth is, fear does so much more than that.  It makes you aware of things in ways you never normally are before, and that in itself is not a bad thing.

It’s only when fear rules you that you have a problem.   You’re not living in the moment – you’re stuck in it.  Fear can freeze you in its tracks.  But if you can face your fears, you will never be quite so alive then in that moment.

So I encourage people to enjoy the moments.  It’s okay to go with the flow, and be spontaneous when the opportunity presents itself.  It can be an amazing time.  That said, a touch of organization gives you more opportunities by and large to maximize the moments you do have.  Be aware of your time.  You only have so much of it.

But if you want to truly live in the moment, face your fears, whatever they are.   You will always be afraid of something, but in those moments you will feel life at its fullest.  As for me, it’s my 35th birthday soon. I got a fear of heights I need to tackle.  So very soon, I’m going to jump out of a plane.

why not?  Join me.  It’ll be fun.

Boldly Go: why I love Star Trek

Tags

Today is Star Trek’s official 50th anniversary.  The concept is still one of the beSt and noblest ideals I have ever seen in science fiction.  A diverse group of educated men and women seeking out new life exploring the unknown.

I admit I am more of a next generation guy than the original but hey, let’s give the original its due.  Each show was unique combining classic science fiction settings with adventures involving Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock.  Dr. McCoy would make one of the most famous trios in the history of television come to life when he joined the cast.

It’s a bit dated…especially on the technology bit of things.  I am writing this blog on what very well could be a tricorder.  That said, the ideas of the original show still resonate even now.  It still entertains.  Go find an episode and see for yourself.

But like I said earlier, I am a next generation guy.  I remember my dad watching the show when we were still living in Parkhill.  I didn’t find the show that interesting.   That said I was forced to watch it, so I did.

You know what?  I found myself being drawn in.  The next generation had an amazing cast.  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and the rest gelled well and there were many amazing episodes.

I still remember being terrified of the borg when they first appeared.   I enjoyed the show’s take on professor Moriarty from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

And don’t even get me started on Q.

That said, next generation was an intelligent show.  Moral and ethical questions played a vital role in the show and I liked that there wasn’t always simple answers.  Real life doesn’t have easy answers; why should this series?  A great example of this was Data’s trial to determine if he was a lifeform.  Data was going to be stripped down for mass production.  He was going to resign and was put on trial if he had that right.   In this trial the question of what is life is examined.

Both the prosecution and defense was brilliant.  Forced to condemn his friend on threat of no trial at all, Will Riker puts on one of the most calculated and ruthless prosecution on the notion a machine could be alive.

Picard’s defense and data as a witness is brilliant and inspired.  Probably one of the best examinations of what is and could be alive.  And that is just one episode.

My favorite episode encapsulated what I love most abut Star Trek.  My favorite was “All Good Things…” the series finale.  I liked how that episode kept the audience in the dark about the story until the very end.  And once it was ovet Captain Picard and Q talked about exploration, which sticks with me even now.

“You seek to explore the possibilities of existence.”

The idea still gives me chills writing it.

It takes guts to brave the unknown.  The idea of leaving behind our home to find purpose still is a terrifying thought for most.  But really, what is it for?

Why seek out unless better to understand ourselves?  That more than anything is why I still love the idea of Star Trek.   I truly believe we are at our best when we seek out, explore and discover.  Boldly going out there is the best of all of us.  We are noble and fearless, childlike wonder and inquisitive; the very best of all our qualities come out.  Which is why while I enjoy Star Wars because it’s fun, it is Star Trek I want to be more like.

I want to be bold and seek the unknown.  I want to find the possibilities of my own existence.

Isn’t that a life worth living?

Happy 50 Star Trek.  We need more idea’s and ideals like you.

Just Joshing Episode 47: Clare C. Marshall

Tags

, , , , ,

I’m back.   With everything that hit me, it’s been quite a while since I did a Just Joshing guest on the blog, but that returns today with Clare Marshall.

I met Clare at When Words Collide a year ago.   We didn’t really get a chance to speak until I attended Craig Dilouie’s launch party for Children of God a few months back.  What impressed me about Clare was the fact that she is so driven and passionate about what she wants to do with her career.

Her writing is top notch.  I have only started to read the Violet Fox, but was pleasantly surprised to find the opening chapter to be very engaging.  Kiera is a modern day Robin Hood, doing what she can for the Freetor people, who are oppressed by the Marlenians.   Chapter one involves a prince, a brooch, and a lot action.   So far, I’m engaged.

Clare just recently appeared on my show and was nice enough to answer a couple of Questions for the blog.  Below are her responses.

twitter

What are you working on right this minute?

I’m working on the next book in the Sparkstone Saga, Hunger In Her Bones, trying to get it into production. I’m also working on the third book in my YA fantasy series, The Emerald Cloth. On the business side, I’m working on improving my freelance business website (cmarshallpublishing.com), and increasing the number of shows I do next year.
 If you can talk about it, what has been the most fun freelance job you’ve done to date?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I suppose I try to find the fun in all my jobs, Mary Poppins style, otherwise I wouldn’t be very efficient with getting things done! Any website job where I have a lot of creative freedom in the design and implementation is fun, because there’s a lot of problem solving, and I can usually listen to audio books/podcasts while I do it.

Is there a medium of writing you’d like to do that you haven’t done yet?  If so, what?
Yes! I’m very interested in writing a visual novel – they’re a kind of game, popular in Japan, though there are small/individual developers making them in the Western world. It would be a big project, so probably will work away at it for the next few years. Just have to brush up on and improve my coding skills.

Anything you’d like to add?
You can find my list of shows and appearances at https://www.faeryinkpress.com/about/upcoming-events
To sign up for the Faery Ink Press newsletter, you can go here: https://www.faeryinkpress.com/newsletter
If you’re a creative type and you’re looking for website design or hosting, or editing, formatting, or eBook creation, please contact me here: http://editinganddesign.com/contact-us/
facebookcoverall6
Thanks Clare!
The only real other thing I have to add is that you can find her on twitter at @claremarshall13 .  Say hi.  She is awesome and someone to model your own work ethic and habits doing.  The podcast is linked below.  Have a listen.

You Got To Want It

Tags

, , , ,

I can hear the groan in many a philosopher friend of mine reading this title.  “ANOTHER preachy thing about wanting something really really bad to succeed?”  Well, yeah, kind of.  But I promise a really personal slant about this.  an email just now and really thought about something.  What is the difference between someone that succeeds and someone that fails?  Keep in mind, I’m not talking about individual moments.

We all have plenty of failures there.

Writing is the business of rejection.   I’ve been told no far more times than I’ve been told yes.  “No, we can’t publish this story.” “No, this idea is awesome, but your word choices…not so much.”

With book 3 closer and closer to being completed I’m thinking more and more about my next challenges in the writing biz.  I want to do prose and comics next.  I have a deep love for comics and think I’m finally ready to try an awesome project or two.

(In fact, a revolution may be announced sooner or later.  I digress for now, but stay tuned…)

I had an agent interested in my ideas.  I rushed through putting all the pieces of the novel together for a writing marathon, thanks to my friends at Write Club.  I submitted it with my fingers crossed.  It turns out I’ll have to keep crossing them for awhile longer.

Old me a long time ago would have been crushed.  You don’t recognize the greatness of my writing?  That’s…that’s…inconceivable.   Modern me, has a more mature approach.  I wasn’t good enough…then.   Now?  Who knows?  But I will try again.   They are still interested.

Some of my interests have led me to go down different roads.  I’m trying my damnedest right now to get into the publicity thing.  I may not be successful at this.  It’s still in the air.  That said, I’m doing what I can.  This is about getting out there, getting contacts and making things happen.  If there is one thing I am good at is making things happen.  What remains to be seen.

But I could go and on.  Individual failures are still going to happen no matter where I go or what I do.  That’s life.  I got to take chances.

Individual failures is however, not failure in itself.  It’s one thing to fail in that moment; it’s another to accept failure as the way it has to be.

Failure is not something you have to accept.  The idea of trying again and again is a good thing.  We all get floored by failure, but none of us have to stay down.  We can get up, learn from our failures and keep going.

Here’s the part of this blog that isn’t talked about very much.   This all sounds so simple.  It’s easy to hear this.  But let me ask you something – have you considered how to do something?

When we fail, there can be a myriad of reasons why you fail.  Sometimes there are factors beyond your control, but more often than not, there are lessons in failure with how you do things.  A lot of my own failures have been in two key areas.  The first is how I present things.  I have great ideas but in writing and in life, sometimes the presentation of how I do things throw things off.  While I can contend that some of what I do wasn’t wanted, the truth is I wasn’t prepared, and ill equipped to handle some of the opportunities I wanted.

See?  Life lessons.  That said, I still don’t have it all together.  I’ll keep failing and learning.

The key in this is learning.  You can never stop learning.   If you are willing to learn, you will move past your failures.

That’s only the first part of the equation.  The second harkens back to the title of this blog.  Learning your lessons – what worked, and what didn’t, is only one half of the equation.  The other half is desire.  After you learn, there is a question you need to ask yourself.

Do you still want it?  Are you willing to work with this?

If the answer is no, it’s time to stop.  It’s okay to walk away.  That’s not failure.   It’s the work.  Getting up is tough, and going forward is never easy.  It’s a struggle.

For me, I still am enjoying the journey I’m on.  I’m writing good work, and seeing projects and doors open I never even dreamed were possible.  I am making things happen.  I still want it, after all this time.

Imagine

Tags

, , , , ,

Imagination is our greatest gift.

If you’re reading this, you probably familiar with Albert Einstein’s famous quote about imagination.  If you aren’t here it is:

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Cool quote right?  But what exactly does that mean? Imagination is something we possess in abundance as a child, but at some point in development imagination is ignored.  It’s not considered an evil thing or anything like that,  but things like real and possible are emphasized more as you get older.  Maintaining imagination is one of our greatest challenges.

Even if you do manage to maintain a shrapnel of that magic you had as a child, how do you use it?

First off, imagination wants to be expressed.  It’s that intuitive part of ourselves that desires a larger world than the one we see, feel, touch, taste and hear.  We express it in music, art, writing, and a myriad of other ways.  When we do so, we are reaching out from the aether and bringing something in ourselves to life.  We are encouraging our inner child to grow.

That is awesome enough.  Expressing ideas, concepts, visions of what might be, can be and maybe even will be has been a part of art for as long as we’ve recorded it.  I imagine that the first cavemen and women dreamed of greater worlds than theirs way back.  Wonder is something all of us had at one point.

Imagination isn’t just the expression of art – it is also one of the best tools we have of solving problems.

The best example of this to me is cooking.  Cooking is the ultimate example of happy accidents.  Once upon a time I’m sure someone somewhere accidentally spilled milk into a pot, and in so doing discovered stew.  My dad puts food and formulae together all the time to deal with matters of health.  Most people don’t visualize food as medicine, yet my father uses that vision to create some unique and powerful medicines.

That kind of vision can apply to any problem.   In fact, let me talk to you about one of mine that I solved.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw for a long while.  If I’m going to be honest, part of the problem was that I was scared to try.  Drawing has intimidated me since I was a kid.  Ironically, I need it more than ever with my current situation, but still haven’t found the motivation.

Until Sunday.  Talking to Michael Martineck, I recognized an opportunity to make myself get started.  Instagram had reminded me of something the first moment I saw it.  It was in that conversation that I saw the answer.   For me, Instagram is a panel in a comic.  A page is intimidating; a panel is not so bad.  I can go slower, and teach myself a valuable skill in the process.

Imagination is one of the best tools you can use to solve problems.  It allows you to see a situation in a different light, and find solutions others might not see.

But if I had to think of my favorite use for imagination, it’s the ability to make your dreams real.

We have the freedom in life to attain goals we set out for ourselves.  One of the keys to achieving any goal we have is to see ourselves doing it.  For example, I see myself all the time achieving my goals as a writer.  From getting published, to getting paid, to making a living, I’ve been pushing forward more and more.  I’ve been published, and paid.  I’m working on making a living and making something special happen with the books I produce.  I can see it.

(as an aside, and food for thought, a question for you dear reader.  If you make a dream come true, was it ever really a dream?)

Since I’ve had this vision in my head for a long time, I’ve seen it more and more manifest itself in my life.  Not just in my achievements, but in the people in my life.  More and more I see myself surrounded by those with similar visions; each of them trying to make that dream a reality.  It’s humbling to see so many great people come into your life that are amazing and magical in their own ways.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here.  Others I realize I belong, for I too have vision and dare to dream.

There is a price though.  Imagination makes us bigger.  We grow and evolve with our visions, becoming as large as we perceive.  This means that as you make your dreams come true, your goals and your insights become bigger, which makes sense, because you’ve grown as a person.  You’ve become something more.  In turn, your wants and dreams become bigger.

Tonight I got some interesting news.  I was hoping to announce a book tour.  The original plan for it changed tonight with one email.  I wasn’t surprised.  Instead, another thought came into my head.  There is no doubt in my mind I can still make this happen.  The question is where do i go from here?  What do I imagine it going?  What can I do with it?

And do I really want it?

The last question might be the only cautionary thing I mention here.  Life will keep throwing you bigger and bigger things as you go.  As long as you want it, it will be there. The moment you stop wanting it, you should quit.  Recognize within yourself when you really don’t want to go down the path you set for yourself.   It’s okay to walk away.

Otherwise, there are no limits.  Einstein’s quote is a good one, but I always was a fan of a comic line Stan Lee wrote for DC.  It was called Just Imagine.  And that is how I’m leaving this entry.  What do you imagine?  What can you see yourself doing, and becoming?

You can make it real.

Just imagine.