Believe it or not, I actually write things other than inane blog posts. I’ve realized that I haven’t been very good about discussing my writing work and how it’s going. Not exactly good practice for a writing blog. Then I was struck again (more forcefully) by the fact that I haven’t even included details about any of my projects on my Works in Progress page. For all you know I might be some creeper who just likes to put on glasses, self-doubt, and a rough wool cardigan in order to play writer for a while.

I assure you, I do write. I really do. Honest. Here, I’ll prove it. Let me clue you in to what I’ve been up to.


The Coals – Novel

Life is learning. For fifteen year old Syd, her first supply run into the Now, the corpse of a world that died when she was two, is no different. Guided by her Uncle Will, Syd learns the hard reality of how the world and it’s survivors fell into decay. She learns how most were driven to their breaking point and that some (now the most dangerous) had finally snapped. As Syd and Will find themselves stalked by these “snappers”, the survival of themselves and their family hangs on every decision they make. Some decisions are better than others.

Hey at least I didn’t start off with “In a world…”

The Stable – Novel

The Stable is in its early stages of development. By that I mean I have a ton of planning completed but only a few chapters written. It’s a sci-fi novel set hundreds of year into our future and based around an isolated colony in the walled city of Domus. A virus that leads to shifting mutations has been terrorizing the Base class of Domus for over a century but there is rumor that one man’s mutations have become stable. The catch? He’s in hiding beyond the territories of Domus. The ruling Prime class wants the Stable found to produce a cure for their poor, hard-working Base class. Reva, an Immune and the Tracer Corps’ newest and most promising Tracer is sent to find him. Of course, nothing is as it seems. (more…)

Fiction is about escapism or connection and more often than not, both. today I want to talk about escapism. It’s a way for us to leave our daily life behind and discover something new. To feel something different and strange and outside the norm. When we crack the cover of a detective novel or settle into the world of mutants or aliens, or elaborate Victorian households, we let our minds expand into that space. We become a part of the story and it’s fun. It’s so much fun.

So, in what direction do you escape? For me, I escape into the dark. The horror and the thrills, the mystery and violence, the hard questions with the even harder answers. That’s where I come alive. I love thinking about how people overcome the negative or are dissolved by it. The characteristics of the troubled anti-hero are far more complex and gripping than any gleaming knight could hope to be. The drama of a space politician plunging the universe into war all for one problematic ideal makes me think of the issues we face in our own world. The undeniable skill involved in planning the perfect killing. The perfectly executed scene of  a monster devouring its prey. It’s a thing of beauty.

Weird, right? It may seem that way to those who only use fiction as something to relate to. Something to connect with. Those who seek out characters whose traits they can see in themselves.  In that case then seeing yourself in Sauron or Hannibal Lecter might truly be cause for concern. Remember though, connection is only half the fun. Escapism works in reverse. It drives you to seek out characters and worlds that are foreign and unique and decidedly not connected to you.

That’s the beauty of escapism, you are allowed to abandon your own life (whatever that may look like) for something out of the ordinary. I’m a happy, normal, well-adjusted guy (I think). I live a great life and have a great set of family and friends, so if I want to experience something new and different I have to find characters, places, and situations that don’t reflect my light-hearted life. The uplifting and the heartwarming don’t allow me to escape. Or at least not very much.

Why? Because I have to step into a character’s life that’s a lot like mine. I’m experiencing situations I’ve actually experienced. I don’t get the rush of feeling something I wouldn’t normally feel. The world may be on a planet far, far away or in a village hundreds of years into the past but if the story involves some person who likes some people, loves some people, dislikes some people, and does ordinary things with those people then my feelings stay trapped within the ordinary and comfortable. I don’t want to be comfortable. I want to be made to think and imagine and feel all the things I couldn’t or wouldn’t in my day-to-day life. I want to try on some new skin. I want to climb into someone else’s brain. I want to see life from a different perspective. I want to get away. To escape.

Writing has become an incredible escape for me. The twist is that instead of immersing myself into someone else’s world, it allows me to create the worlds I want. Places that haven’t existed for me already. Or maybe the places exist but the characters and situations I’m dying for haven’t yet been made. I get to shape them any way I choose and it’s a rush. The ability to create and destroy buildings, cities, worlds, lives… all without actually doing any of it. That is a power that is hard to describe. An escape that is hard to match. The added bonus for a writer is that in creating a universe for themselves, they allow their readers to escape there too. It’s a gift that is incredibly rewarding to give.

So, where is your escape?