Author Archives: Chris

20 Seconds Of Insane Courage

https://www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/

Which means what?  I suppose, to everyone it could mean something different, but to me, it’s pretty obvious. It means, just get started. It means getting past the fear, and the indecision, and all the reasons for not doing whatever it is you need to do. Basically, for me that means stop thinking. Stop thinking, and just go. Leverage the momentum. Do you ever notice, that just so long as you can start doing something, that the thing; whatever that thing is takes over.  It’s like it has a mind of it’s own. It starts to fill your brain with ideas and suggestions … and for a change, they’re all positive. It’s like once you’re in the thing, your brain knows that the best possible solution to the problem, is to just figure out all the answers. Figure out all the possible plot moves. Figure out all the possible character emotions. Figure out all the twists.  Figure out how the overriding theme of the story can be enhanced by a clever turn of phrase or action on the part of a character … be them minor or major.

The best part of all this, is that it works for anything. It works for getting past the pain of working out. Of knowing, that the next set of 25 push-ups is going to hurt like hell, but not giving your brain the chance to think about it. That’s the problem, with having an over-active imagination … a writers brain. The longer you dwell on something, the more real it becomes. It’s an invaluable tool, when it comes to composing a scene. Being able to play a movie in my head, is what I do when taking my characters through a scene … or when they’re taking me through a scene. But, if you’re just trying to get through the next set of pushups, dips, and squats it’s not helpful.

I suppose, that’s the keys to being an artist. Being able to control your emotions, vision, and imagination for the appropriate moment. Sure, that’s not such an easy thing to do in the heat of a moment, but not every little decision in life has to be life or death dramatic. We may like to think that it is, but really, it isn’t. Grabbing the apple or the chocolate bar. Pushing one more squat out, or pushing the remote control for one more Netflix show. Going to bed, or playing one more round of Everquest. Those aren’t life and death decisions. They’re just everyday life moments. No need to be dramatic. No need to overthink them. No need to be afraid of them.

Summon up that courage … you know it’s never far away. It’s lurking there, just below the surface … just under the skin. Right next to fear and loathing and indecision. It’s a quiet little fella though. He doesn’t feel the need to make a lot of noise like the other annoying  fellas. He knows how strong he is. He knows none of the other stand a chance once you bring him forth. You just, need to remember that he’s there … waiting patiently. Summon the courage; insane or otherwise. It only takes 20 seconds.

What It Means To Be A Writer

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sachac/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sachac/

It may seem somewhat presumptuous of me to suggest, that I know what it means to be a writer, but to my detractors I’d ask the question … why wouldn’t I?  Of course, as of today, I’ve never made the New York Times best sellers list, and it’s inconceivable that I will any time in the near future. I have made it to a few top seller lists in a number of rather obscure Amazon book niches so far,  albeit for short bursts of time. Irregardless, I do think I have an inkling of what it means to be a writer. My preferred definition of the term belongs to that of another author, who’s name at the moment escapes me, but it’s one that is shared by and repeated often enough by other purveyors of  pen skills. That being, that …

He who writes, is in fact a writer.

Or in other words, we are what we do. Since I write on a daily basis, I am in fact a writer. That’s scary.  At least to me it is. It also ticks off a lot of boxes for me in terms of living a full life, but more than anything else, it scares the hell out of me. Pretty much on a daily basis. That is by far my biggest hurdle in life right now bar none. Trying to find the courage every day, to sit behind a keyboard, and pour myself into my next work in progress. It’s not the fear of coming up with new ideas … that’s simply having a process for me, and putting in a bit of time. It’s not the fear of disappointing others either. I’ve always been the sort of person, that’s indifferent to what the rest of the world thinks, and to a writer it’s one of his most powerful instruments. It’s not even the fear of going unnoticed, and ergo never turning my writing into a financially viable endeavour. I’ve learned log ago, that writing has it’s own intrinsic rewards. Just the act in and of itself is rewarding and fulfilling joyous. I would be happy for the reset of my days, if I could do nothing more than fill volumes upon volumes of my imaginary characters travelling the heroes journey (thank you Joseph Campbell).

I think, what scares me the most, is that what I’m writing won’t be good enough for me. That, my writing won’t live up to my own expectations of greatness. I know. I know. That makes no sense. Don’t ever let the illogical fear of something stop you from getting good at something. Believe me, I know how that works. I apply it to virtually every other aspect of my life, and I’ve seen it do wonders. It’s not the logic that escapes me.  It’s the courage.  So let me leave you with a quote I read the other day that resonated with me. It’s from the movie “We Bought A Zoo”, and it’s spoken by the Matt Damon character.  It goes …

Sometimes, all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.

Starting today, I make a promise to all my future readers, to find my 20 seconds of insane courage … every day.  Today, my courage brought me to post on this blog for the first time in a very long time. Who knows what it will get me tomorrow.

The Best Zombie Books Out There

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So I was checking out the competition the other day,  and I finally started to understand why none of you are reading my books.  Hey,  these other books are really good.  So just, to show I’m not a sore sport about it all, I’ve included some links at the bottom here of some lists of pretty good zombie books.  Here’s to hoping I end up on some of them at some point.  You faithful reader could help in that regard, by checking out my books on the right there.  Yea, they’re a little different then the usual zombie fare, but that’s sort of the fun isn’t it.  Who want’s to just keep reading the same old stuff.

Dead Sea by Brian Keene

If you think about zombies anywhere near as much as I do, I’m sure that at some point you think you’ve found a painfully simple solution to the whole zombie apocalypse.  It’s obvious right? Just jump on a boat and head out to some uninhabited tropical island, and live the rest of your life in paradise.  Well, Mr. Keene is about to burst that bubble on you with all the reasons why you’re our brilliant plan just won’t work.  If you haven’t read any of Keene’s works (shame on you),  I should warn you, there’s no shortage of guts and gore to be had.

Book of the Dead edited by John Skipp & Craig Spector

If your a fan of of the George Romero style of zombie fiction, then this short story anthalogy should be right up your alley with plenty of gore and old style zombie hacking.   With contributions from Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Steve Rasnic, David J. Schow, Nicholas Royle, David J. Schow, Glen Vasey, Les Daniels, Robert R. McCammon and Brian Hodge to name just a few.  The stories here are the cream of the zombie crop from back in the day circa 1989.  So, if you’re interested in delving a little into the history of zombie fiction, this would be the place to start. Continue reading

Bring Back Beth Greene Possible Plot Twists *** Spoiler ***

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I’m an author and a huge fan of The Walking Dead series, so I can respect the difficult position the writers of the series are in.  Suspense is essential to any good story, and for a viewer, knowing that any character can die at any time keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat.  It amps up the suspense like nothing else.  Just ask George R.R. Martin, and any die hard fan of the Game of Thrones.  In the spirit of a no spoiler post, I won’t give anything away,  but if you’re the one and only person on the planet that hasn’t seen GoT, stop reading right now, and go watch it.   Really!  You can thank me later.

Oh look, I’m breaking promises already *** Spoiler Alert *** .  If you haven’t watched season 5 episode 8 “Coda” yet, you may want to stop reading right now.  Of course, if you saw the picture up top it’s probably too late. Continue reading

Morning Pages Entry – July 31, 2014

Wow, looks like this is the last day of July, and I suppose this is a long weekend coming up. Today, I’m supposed to go sailing with Wayne and Joyce at around 9:30. That should be fun. I’ve always wanted to go sailing with them, just to see how they do things. I’ve been on other boats for sure, and everyone has sort of their own way of doing things, but Wayne is a guy I’ve learned a lot about sailing from, and while he’s come out on my boat to give me sailing tips, I’ve never been out on his. So that should be interesting.   Continue reading