Fear

I like to read. It’s what fuels my writing.

Sometimes I read stuff about writing. Several times I’ve read articles on procrastination. Let me tell you something. I put the “pro” in procrastination.

Jerry Jenkins and Jon Acuff (and Jeff Goins, I bet) have noted that procrastination is often based in fear. A recent article from Jenkins asked me to examine the source of my fear. I blew it off. I’ve published a book. The fear has been overcome, right?

No.

It’s still there.

Fear sucks. It paralyzes.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.” Frank Herbert got that right. My mind has been stuck in neutral way too often lately.

But why?

I’m scared people won’t like what I write. My book hasn’t sold enough copies (though, to be honest, it’s sold more than I expected). I don’t get enough feedback on my blog posts. No one talks to me about how my writing has touched them. I don’t feel the connection to continue on.

Obviously I just haven’t manged to reach the right people with my writing yet. How do I fix that? I keep writing. That’s the only way ahead.

“I will face my fear. I will permit it pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

And if I need any additional encouragement in this area, the Bible, I’m told, says “Fear not,” some 365 times, or one for each day of the year. God is with me. My writing is a gift from him. I need to practice it to fine tune it for his service.

My inner eye turns. Only I remain.

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Trying Something New

I wrote a little bit of flash fiction this morning. It’s still pretty raw. It needs some work, but I wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Jerry had heard that many times, but only now was it beginning to make sense.

Vanessa was the fifth woman in five years he’d brought to this scenic overlook, with the waterfall bounding down the mountain beside them. Each time he planned to tell her why they needed to spend forever together. Each time the conversation inevitably turned to why they couldn’t, followed by a long, silent walk back down the trail and a longer ride back to town with the radio covering the mutual discomfort.

It was painful and, with this iteration, was shattering what peace there was in Jerry’s life.

“You’re a good guy, Jerry, really,” Vanessa was saying as she brushed her shining auburn hair out of her face. She patted the stone next to her, inviting him to sit and look out over the valley carved by the river. “We’ve had a lot of fun together.  I loved the trips to the amusement parks, going hiking, and going down to the shore was fabulous. Six months, now, though, we haven’t grown any. Things haven’t moved.”

“That’s what I want to talk about,” Jerry blurted, plopping down beside her.

“Honey, it’s no use. If we haven’t grown in the last six months, all we’ll do is have a stagnant rest of our lives. We can’t settle for that. I won’t let you, and I won’t let myself.” A single tear slid down her cheek as she turned to look into his eyes. “We both deserve better than we can give each other.”

Jerry stared at the waterfall, the mist catching the sunlight and casting crisscrossed prisms across the vista before him. Or was it merely the sun catching the tears in his eyes? He blinked and the tears began to fall.

“This is the most beautiful place in the world,” Jerry said, dangling his feet over the ledge. “It’s the perfect place to tell someone they are the most beautiful person you know and you want to spend your life with them. The sun will be setting soon. It will be amazing.”

“It’s wonderful here,” Vanessa replied, smiling at Jerry, and placing her hand over his. “I can’t thank you enough for showing me this grand view, Jerry. I will never forget it.

“I wonder if I’ll ever have peace again, Vanessa. It’s been stolen from me so many times.” Jerry stood, then reached out to Vanessa, taking her hand and lifting her beside him. “They say if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. I think I understand that now.”

“What do you mean, Jerry? Do you see a way forward from here for you to have peace? There is one, you know.” Vanessa was still holding his hand as she turned to watch the sun begin to fall behind the distant horizon.

“I’ll have peace,” he said, pulling her alongside him, at the very edge of the cliff. Their eyes drifted from the sunset to the rocks hundreds of feet below.

“Yes, Jerry, you will,” Vanessa said as she started to retreat from the edge. It was much less safe standing up.

“Yes, I will.” Jerry pulled Vanessa toward him again, but stepped aside and pushed, sending her tumbling over the ledge.

He whistled all the way back to the car.

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Here we go again

Tomorrow is the first of April.

That’s an important day in my home. In some small part this has to do with the frivolous “April Fools Day.” Mostly it has to do with it being my (no kidding) wedding anniversary. This year, I’m adding some new meaning.

Camp NaNoWriMo, a spin-off of National Novel Writing Month, is in April. I plan to knock out my next book this month. I’ve mentioned it previously, and am excited about the possibilities.

A new book, for me, starts off with a clean sheet and a fresh idea. Some folks, I’m told, like to research, research, research before they get to word-smithing. My friend Frank is guilty of this. I have to say, though, that it’s served him well. He has several novels and some have won awards. Stephen King, on the other hand (or so he says), writes by the seat of his pants. I’m hoping to eventually have more than that in common with him, and I don’t mean someone runs me over with their van.

All kidding aside, I’m excited to break new ground tomorrow. The frozen ground of a the last few months has thawed. Spring is still new around us, especially as so many areas experienced a late resurgence of winter this year, so it’s a great time for new starts. What are you starting this month?

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Under Construction

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a week. I’m working on wrapping up some short stories by then and starting my next novel, tentatively “The Candle in the Room.” People are messy. They make mistakes. No matter how much we’re sorry for making them, mistakes have consequences.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find my first novel in paperback, or in an e-format wherever they’re sold, but you can go to Smashwords so you don’t have to look all over.

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A Taste for Something New

On February 16th I finally release my first novel-length work, “A Taste for Something New.” It releases on Kindle and paperback, via CreateSpace, this week. Next Tuesday it releases to other formats via Smashwords. I hope you’ll check it out.

What’s that? You’d like to know what it’s about?

Martin Schott finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation after detectives are unable to explain a series of gruesome deaths in the south Florida swamps.

A cryptozoologist dismissed as a monster-hunting nut, Martin fights to convince police about the killer’s true identity while the body count continues to grow.

Partnered with FDLE Agent Darla Forbes, Schott goes on the hunt for the killer, a creature of legend he believes lurks in the dark Florida swamps.

You can pre-order today, or pick one up tomorrow here.

160202 Cover Lamborn Sm RGB copy

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It’s here!

The Final Mile, coming August 12, 2014

The Final Mile is now available! You can get your copy here: 

The Final Mile

here

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The Final Mile arrives August 12th

The Final Mile, coming August 12, 2014

The Final Mile, coming August 12, 2014

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