Monday, October 16, 2017

Return to Productivity

These last two months have felt like a nice comeback for me. Blogging is like anything else you do on a regular basis. Once you stop, it's difficult to come back to making it a part of your routine. Same goes for writing in general.

Here's a quick list of stuff I've done in the last few weeks that I'm very proud of:

1) My writing partner Miranda Hardy and I have been working hard on our sequel to Death Knocks. We did six chapters alone just this weekend. Death Returns will be out before the end of the year, and I look forward to sharing more about this project with you.

2) I gathered all my notes and free-writing for The Gateway Mothman, a manuscript I started before my writing drought started. It's three years in the making, and I look forward to cranking it out very
soon. Which leads me to...

3) Lord of lords, I have committed to NaNoWriMo this year. I last participated in 2013, so I'm pretty nervous about it. It's the perfect kick in the ass I think will help solidify my writing comeback and immerse myself back into the writing world. If you're doing NaNo, look me up and let's be buddies. I'm "Jay Noel" on there.

4) Joining the Blogosphere. I've really missed being here and visiting all of your blogs. I'm sad about one thing, though, and my blogroll has been annihilated. So many bloggers also disappeared since I've been gone. I hope some of them will return, but it looks like many probably won't. If there's any blogs you recommend I add, please let me know in the comments.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Spooky Stories: The Mothman Revisited.

Going back to 2005 (phew), I always dedicated the month of October to telling "Spooky Stories." I've had so much fun with these, and despite not having blogged steadily for two years, I still get tons of hits every day on these scary posts.

I've posted about the Mothman four times in the last 12 years, so I decided to reboot the urban legend on my blog to include new information. For those of you who don't know much (or anything) about the Mothman, let me give you a quick summary:

Starting on November 16, 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, locals started reporting sightings of a giant winged creature. They said it was very tall, with large wings, and it flew all over the area, particularly near an abandoned TNT plant. Despite all the differences between eye witnesses' descriptions, one thing remained consistent: the creature had bright red eyes.

Witnesses weren't town drunks or people looking for attention. What was strange about these incidents was that most of the reports came from normal people who were reluctant to even come forward in the first place. Sightings of the Mothman was the least of the locals' problems. They also reported having weird and vivid dreams of death and destruction.

The craziness went on for more than a year. Finally, on December 15th, the Silver Bridge that linked West Virginia to Ohio collapsed, killing 46 people. The Mothman sightings completely and suddenly stopped.

Here's why the Mothman phenomenon was so...weird:

1) Media attention: local newspapers and out of town reporters ran stories about the Mothman sightings

2) The very first sightings of the infamous Men in Black were reported during the sightings

3) A flurry of UFO sightings also coincided with Mothman stories

Chicago traffic sucks! I think I'll just FLY!
Today, the Mothman remains a mystery. Many believe the creature is somehow connected to terrible tragedies that are about to occur. There's photos of a reported Mothman taken just before 9-11, for example. Most recently, there's been sightings in Chicago (North Lake Shore Drive Area) on August 7th of this year:

"Then suddenly, the large winged being slowing descended in front of them, no more than 25 feet away. It hovered about 5 feet above the sidewalk, with it's wing spread open, as it peered at the couple with large bright red eyes that slowly altered back and forth in intensity. Several people on the other side of the street, including a delivery van driver, reacted with screams and frightened yelps. The winged being hovered for 10 seconds, then quickly pulled the wings into its body and shot up quickly into the night sky."

With all the research I've done on this subject, you can bet I'm working on a book about my own spin on the Mothman. I started the manuscript three years ago, and I've recently come back to it. I hope to share more about it in the coming months. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG for October

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Ok, it's been over TWO YEARS since I've done an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Can you believe it? My last IWSG post was published on November of 2015. 

That was a rough time. I was on the verge of going on short term disability to figure out what was wrong with me. My writing was non-existent. And I was in a bad place. 

October 4 question - Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose? 

That's an easy one. NO! I work hard to keep my personal life separate from my writing life, so I haven't slipped any personal info. into my books. HOWEVER, one of my favorite all time YA authors, Robert Cormier, did put his actual phone number in I am the Cheese. Before his death in 2000, young readers would often call his number and he'd answer his home phone while being "in character" and play along.

So, in other news, I'm creatively back on track. I'm not only writing one manuscript, but I'm working on TWO at the same time. I've never done that. I guess I had more than two years of creative energy that was dormant for too long.

I will have one book out by the end of this year, and I hope to have another one done by next Spring. As always, I look forward to catching up with all of you.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sometimes The Lazy Finish First

BIG NEWS: I am now a USA Today Best Selling Author

Recently, there's been a growing trend of writers banding together to form a single book set, and by using the power of numbers, grow sales exponentially and maybe (just maybe) make the best seller's list.

I'm the first to admit, I didn't do a whole lot here.

My publisher did all the work, and I rode the coattails all the way to San Jose. I did some promoting on my own, but it wasn't close to the efforts the other authors put in.

It's still a win-win, though. For us authors, we get more exposure. In this world of noise, standing out in any way helps. For readers, they get a bunch of great books for little money.

I'm finally writing again, and that is a HUGE victory for me. All the stress, changes, and health issues triggered a deep depression that's killed my creative energy. Hitting the best seller's list has been just enough of a push to get me back into the writer's world.

And I've missed it so much.

So here's to staying on track...and allowing the words to flow.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I Forgot How to Blog

It's been nine months since I've last blogged. Wow. That's terrible! I almost forgot how to get back here, and having not blogged much at all the last two years, blogging feels almost alien to me now. I blogged regularly going back to 2005, but these last couple of years have been rough.

So let me give you a quick update on why I've been absent:

1) My health. I got the flu the day after Christmas, and a week after New Year's, I still didn't feel right. Apparently, I had pneumonia. After a round of strong meds, I got better. But in March, I knew something was wrong. After an X-Ray showed I still had fluid in my lungs, and was given more meds to get rid of the fluid. I didn't feel close to 100% until May!

2) New job. I entered a new field within the medical sales world. Pathology is fascinating, but it's been a steep learning curve. My brain can only hold so much information, and after nine months on the job, I'm still trying to figure things out.

3)  I moved in February. While suffering from pneumonia, I moved. The stress probably is what nearly killed me.

4) No creativity. With all that's going on, I have been stuck in a creativity dry spell that dates back to 2015. However, I've dug up a manuscript I started working on two years ago, and I hope that will kickstart things. Also, me and my writing partner Miranda Hardy have a hard deadline to hit this Fall, so I'll have no choice but to get it in gear.

So I'm still here. I'm hoping that reconnecting with the blog-world will help the creative energy flow once again. Nine months is a long time, and I'm pretty sure the blogosphere has changed a lot since I left.

But I'm hoping some of you are still around!