The Struggle of a True Author

Today I’m blogging about the struggle of a true author.

As I sit here, with absolutely no reason to continue writing, I plan to write harder than I ever have before. There’s a pinch being felt throughout the writing community right now and most of us have felt it. Declining sales and a world that is ever-dependent on other forms of media. Reading just isn’t “cool” anymore.

The struggle of a true author is to understand that we must write like we must breathe. There is no write here and write there, as we find the time. No, a true author doesn’t have the luxury of an on/off switch. Deep down, beneath the declining sales and the whispers around me of fellow authors quitting, is a desire to be great. I have studied the greatest of our craft and for a very long time, I wanted to be among them. Now I do not. I want to be better. The greatest authors of our time, by and large, have grown complacent. They have grown so used to success that writing is now secondary.

I will continue and I will succeed, and ultimately, the struggle will make me a better man for it.

A message for my fellow struggling authors.

I’ve made it to the other side

I’ve reached a very important milestone in the profession of writing. Brace yourself, it’s likely the first time you’ve ever heard an author say it. I don’t care if my work is selling or not. I no longer log into my publishing accounts and click away like some sort of trained monkey. Do I hope that readers enjoy what I’m writing? Of course I do. I put my heart and soul into each offering and I hope that it shows. But striving to be rich, or famous, or even comfortable enough to no longer stress over money/sales? To hell with it. I’ve been on the low end of the stick for so long that it doesn’t matter to me at this point.

Something amazing happened when I reached this point. A new world of creative freedom was born inside of me. Now, I get to write what I want to, and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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Absolutely FREE! Just click and download.

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Also available on NOOK, KOBO and SMASHWORDS

I do my best to offer plenty of free books. Some authors are against doing this, but I’m also a reader and I happen to love free books. It gives me a chance to try out a new author and then decide if I’m buying more of their work. If you download any of my freebies and enjoy them, you can grab plenty more here. Even then, I try to offer my work at a very reasonable price. Even authors have to eat.

 

Scott Lane

I lost a good friend to cancer today. Truthfully, since the wife and I have had kids, I haven’t seen Scott a lot. But prior to having kids this guy was in our life and pretty much a part of the family. We watched countless football games together and even went to one (my first live NFL game). The best way I can describe Scott is one of the toughest son of a bitches I’ve ever known, who was never short on advice and was usually right to boot. The first time I actually used the internet was at this guy’s house and he laughed – called it a “fad”. I’m an author – I get paid to put things into words and right now, I can’t put into words how much this guy meant to me during my 20s and 30s. A complete father figure.

Today I learned a very hard lesson that we all already know, but sometimes forget. Life is short. We take things for granted even when we’re trying to keep life in perspective. I’m going to miss this guy a whole lot, but life must go on. I’m quickly learning that this is the hardest part of life. Not “figuring out what life is all about” or “making the kind of money I need to make”, but losing people who are irreplaceable. It has to be the most helpless feeling in the world.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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Gunship/Fleet Data

Skyla System: Home to 1,278 planets, including 27 giants, 13 suns,  41 non-habitable moons and 5 large space stations.

Humans: The most dominant race of beings in the Skyla System.

Husk: Orc in appearance. Green skin, exceptionally muscular and several feet taller than the average human. Sworn enemies of the hunters.

Hunters: Gothic vampires who generally push for the destruction of humanity, but not always. They prefer sleek weaponry, but use everything from a basic sword to laser rifles.

Benzan Mafia: Humans who are well-trained in the art of war. Gangsters in every sense of the word, and generally work for the highest bidder.

Krall: Wolf-like warriors who stand upright and have proven incredibly tough to kill. They also depend heavily on technology.

Viscion: Thin alien beings who are the most tech-heavy of the Skyla System. Their race is powered by self-charging crystals and their motive is clear. Cannibalistic toward any and all other races.

Glimmeria: The central most planet in the Skyla System. Primarily a desert planet and heavily populated.

Colonials: Faction comprised of human, husk and benzan forces.

Legion: Faction comprised of hunter, krall and viscion forces.

Goliath: Robotic super soldiers that were first developed by the Colonial Army.

Swordfish: One man ship-to-ship fighters aboard the Colonial Starships.

Colonial Starship: Largest Colonial warship. Capacity, 10,000 soldiers.

Carrier Ship: Used by human, hunter and viscion forces. While smaller than the Colonial Starship, the carrier is a destroyer class ship. Capacity, 6,000 soldiers.

Knocker: Pirate-style gun used heavily during the first great war. Single shot with a large brass handle, often used to “knock” the hell out of an opponent.

Mack Cannon: Underground surface-to-space cannons capable of punching large holes in ships that are in orbit.

Elite: Very large hunter unit capable of defeating nearly a dozen human soldiers on its own. Often a legendary warrior who’s been converted with vampire DNA.

The Drifts: A string of both planets and small moons on the outer most part of the Skyla System. A very simple lifestyle, much like that of the American Wild West. Also the birthplace of the Mortakin Virus. Nicknamed the bone harvest because of its abundance of living dead.

Mortakin Virus: An infection which nearly wiped out the entire Skyla System, affecting only the human race. Those who are infected become zombie-like and while they remain widespread throughout the drifts, most of the star system has recovered.

Alphas: Infected with the ability to reason. Rare, and very deadly opponents.

Exodus Fleet: During the first year of infection, humanity forms the Exodus Fleet and hosts a lottery. Those who are selected will accompany the fleet away from the Skyla System in search of a new home.

Chopper: Small squad-sized skiff ship with engines that thump similar to the blades of a helicopter, hence the nickname.

First Great War: Short-lived war in which the Colonials were crushed.

Second Great War: Lasted the span of five years. The Colonials ultimately defeated the Legion.

Third Great War: Both factions have built themselves up to the point of invincibility. Now, the Legion promises that it will be the “thousand year war”.

Please note: I am currently working with several people to build this list of details and information, complete with a map of the Skyla System. It’s a labor of love, and will take some time. Check back soon (and often)!

 

Saving the #LFL Football brand in a single blog post.

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Let me be clear when I say that the LFL Football brand isn’t going under. I enjoyed my time writing for the LFL and they are doing pretty well, all things considered. The football is excellent and I have a lot of respect for the folks who run the league, including Mitch Mortaza, who I believe is a brilliant man.

That said, I’m going to make the LFL a lot better with a single blog post.

Stay American. Football, by design, is an American sport. I believe that the LFL would be better served by staying within the United States and working hard on keeping franchises in cities long-term, rather than shifting them around every year or two.

Sell the franchises. In fact, selling the franchises to local ownership groups would give the LFL more capital while freeing Mitch and his crew up to focus on the league as a whole.

Open an online shop. My neighbor sells Avon online. If you’re going to be considered the women’s NFL, you need an online shop. It’s long overdue and it can be done with minimal investment upfront.

Enough with the lists. The “top/hottest” lists are played out. Current fans of the LFL already know the women are good looking, and you’re pushing a lot of potential fans away by publishing these lists. It’s a novelty move at best; an amateur move at worst. Let their stellar play on the field expand your brand.

A points system. Players in this league don’t get paid. This is controversial, but I also believe it’s the right move – for now. But it also wreaks havoc when it comes to player moves, which often sees top players from bad teams moving to playoff teams prior to the playoffs. Instead, assign each player in the league a number (based on her ability and value to their team) and implement a number cap for each team. This is a salary cap minus offering salaries. It would level the playing field and keep things honest. Of course if you sold the franchises to ownership groups, there’s a chance these women could be paid for their efforts.

TNA Wrestling isn’t dead yet.

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It’s become an annual event of sorts, hasn’t it? Around this time of the year rumors tend to swirl that TNA Wrestling is going under. Well this year I’m not buying it. Sure, there’s no question that Impact Wrestling is well below par, which has long been set by the WWE.

That said, TNA continues to move forward. That’s not exactly an easy thing to do when you’re living in the shadow of the WWE. A place where many of wrestling federations have fallen by the wayside.

The TNA needs to continue doing things that the WWE blunders. The WWE is top-heavy with talent, which means plenty of folks aren’t getting over. This is a golden opportunity for TNA Wrestling. The Hardy Brothers are fantastic, but you need more. You need your own network (an online version would do just fine). You have a rich catalog of content, TNA, which is why the WWE is interested. Don’t sell that content to them – use it to your advantage instead. Become the wrestling federation that I know you can be. Trust me, millions of wrestling fans are waiting for you to rise up and begin pounding the stale WWE brand.