Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG: Warm Hearts and Cold Feet: Understanding Who I Am and What I'm Doing Isn't Just For Myself

It's that time again! Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating and hosting the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly forum for writers to share insecurities without fear of reprisal. Let's get insecure!

If you've been following along, it's no secret that I've had depression for the better part of this year. This last month was better, and something about being at Comic Con helped me switch gears and get the ideas flowing again. In my case, it's the hindsight, looking behind after the funk has cleared that a healthier perspective stepped in. I'm not 100% out of it yet, but I'm enough above the fog to see just how much all of this has affected others. I'm about to get brutally honest about what I think contributed to this episode, a trigger if you will, so I hope you'll bear with me.

I've been ungrateful without realizing it. For years I've pursued the dream of having something I wrote published, just as many of my writing friends have done or continue to pursue. And for me, being fortunate enough to publish in a big house made the realization of this dream that much sweeter. My expectations climbed. My hopes soared. I learned quickly how much work there is after publication and went about following in the footsteps of authors I've admired for years. Results varied. Most avenues I sought wouldn't open their doors to a new author, one without a sales record behind him.

And then I fell into the trap of social media, watching what looked like amazing experiences that my writing peers were enjoying. Massive turnouts at signings. Trips to exotic places. Conventions around the country. Always smiling. I was jelly. Something was missing in myself. In trying to find out what, I dug a deep hole, as humans sometimes do. Having a new submission turned down didn't help either.

This isn't a calling out of my peers. Any measure of success should be celebrated in whichever way they deem best. I simply absorbed this in an unhealthy way. But I will share what I experienced recently that served as a wake up call (without names). I joined a table of authors who I look up to, and was struck by their complaints--the total opposite of how I had perceived them on social media.

It was at that moment when my rose-colored glasses came off.

Was I contributing to social media in the same way? Were my posts not reflective of my actual life, just the good parts? Was I truly unhappy and looked to social media as a means for relevancy to feel better about myself? Who was I really doing this for, anyway?

I've changed my tune since then, and I apologize for this brief hiccup in my life. I understand that if I am to succeed at a writing career, I have to work harder than ever. Light that midnight oil again. Three writing projects have replaced my time on social media, including a self publishing project. My heart hasn't beaten with this much excitement in a long time, while my feet are practically frozen with doubts of pulling back. But I will never know unless I give it a try.

No matter what happens, I'm freak'en proud of what I'm doing.

This journey isn't about me anymore. This is for all who wish to join me, who enjoy what I have to say. Because this is who I really am. So do me a favor. Take some gauntlets on your way out. Slap me with them should I ever think of crawling into that hole again. Savvy? 

How do you avoid the traps of social media? When times are tough, how do you keep writing? What do you do to stay on track?

I'm David, and I think I'm turning 33 this weekend. Crazy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Salt Lake Comic Con Recap, The Mysteries of Cove's Epic Launch Party, and Self Publishing Progress!

Before I start on what was a most excellent weekend at SLCC, there's an epic book launch happening this week (tomorrow, actually) for J. Scott Savage and his new book, Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention. 7 PM at Mountain View High School, Oct 1st. There will be a live show of local authors and other awesomeness, and it's FREE! I'll be there.

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Comic Con. Where do I even start? This was the biggest convention I've attended yet. Records were broken left and right, including the world's record for most comic book costumes. Each of my panels went well. My favorite moment? Singing the Mystery Science Theater 3000's opening theme with my fellow MST3K panelists. Meeting many of my author friends and absorbing their sage advice was a most welcome plus, too. Here's some cool news: I'm told that Woven sold out at the book store! Over all, this was an exhausting experience in the best possible way. Btw, I finally took pictures. Wanna see?

 "Seen any Gelflings?"
 Critique Partner Lindzee Armstrong boothing it up!
 Peggy Eddleman and Jennifer Jenkins at their signing!
 "Look into my eyes!"
 Harry and Lloyd
 Jennifer Nielsen at her signing.
Michael Jensen (and some guy's) Woven signing!
 Cinderella was first in line!
 Yes, we had a line. Awesome turnout!
 We got photobombed in this one...
 This guy ate my banana!
 Raptor riding, anyone?
 My vote for cutest couple (Kiki!)
 Someone's hunting the Evil Dead!
 Got to love Final Fantasy VII
 Commando Spider-Man should be a thing.
 Ruffnut and Toughnut!
 The Shining Twins (creep!)
 Spaceballs? There goes the planet!
 Keeping our distance from that possessed painting.
 A full sized LEGO Thor - awesome!
 Belle fleeing from the Iron Monger.
 Johnny Worthen, Utah Writer of the Year!
 Legend of Zelda is the stuff of Legend!
 View from the Green Room

I'd like to thank everyone who attended and made this Con possible. At long last my area has a comic con that it can be proud of. And it should. I don't know the final numbers yet, but I hear it's rivaling San Diego in numbers. I'm already having withdrawals. That means I'll look forward to the next one with great interest. Until next year!

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How's the self-pub zombie book coming? Better than I first imagined, actually. Still waiting on edits but the cover is close to finishing up, and it's a cover I'm proud of. Not sure when the reveal will be, but I'll be sure to let you know. A late January release in 2016 is happening. It's been an adventure finding the balance between what to self-pub and what to submit traditionally. I'll get more into that in next week's IWSG post. Until then, keep writing like there's no tomorrow.

Who's excited for the Mysteries of Cove? Which costume was your favorite? If you're part of IWSG, what's your topic for next week?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Interview and Giveaway at Read is the New Black, New Release: The Afterlife Academy, and My Con Schedule!

Hey guys! Before we get started, there's an interview and giveaway for a signed copy of Woven happening over at Read is the New Black. Today is the last day to enter! Head over there for more details. Release: The Afterlife Academy by Frank L. Cole!

Walter Prairie knows how to deal with bullies. He just has to beat them to the punch. But he doesn’t see the biggest hit of his life coming when he is struck dead by a bolt of lightning. Before Walter even knows what’s happened, he is sent to a Categorizing office, fast-tracked through the Afterlife Academy, and assigned as a Guardian Agent to protect a High-Level Target.

Walter's HLT, Charlie Dewdle, isn’t exactly the most popular kid in school. He’s what you might call paranormally obsessed. When Charlie finds an ancient book with spells that can be used to open the Gateway for demons to wreak havoc on earth, it’s up to him and Walter to fight an eclectic horde of enemies and protect humankind at all costs ...

(From Goodreads)

I look forward to receiving my copy of this soon. Congrats, Frank!

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Look alive! The Salt Lake Comic Con schedule is up and running.

Here's the complete schedule where you can find Michael and/or myself during this awesome three day event next week. If you're planning on going to the con, I sincerely hope to see you there.

Comic Con Schedule:


3:00 PM - The Legacy of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra (D) - Room 250A
5:00 PM - Book Signing - Shadow Mountain Booth 1401 (M&D)


11:00 AM - Killing Your Darlings: When Authors Turn Homicidal (M) - Room 151A
1:00 PM - The Universality of Hayao Miyazaki's Storytelling (D) - Room 255E
5:00 PM - Next Sunday A.D.: The Impact Of MST3K On Our Culture (D) - Room 255E
7:00 PM - Write Stories Like a Master Composer: Using Musical Concepts to Make Your Writing Sing (M) - Room 255E


11:00 AM - Writing MG/YA Fantasy (M) - Room 255F
1:00 PM - Book Signing - Shadow Mountain Booth 1401 (M&D)

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What else am I up to this week? Probably going to catch a screening of The Scorch Trials and get a head start on winterizing. And writing. Always more writing. The good news on the zombie novel front is I have a cover designer! Now to keep working and let all the elements settle into place. Thank you for stopping by. Until next time!

Check out the interview and giveaway today! Who's up for studying at the Afterlife Academy? What are you doing this weekend?