I.N. Spire Official

Back to Basics

Dec
17

In this blog, I am going to talk about the 7 fundamentals of a relationship. These are essential to an effective and fulfilling life with someone. They will provide a solid foundation on which to build something that can withstand the sands of time and the winds of change. They are love, communication, understanding, trust, honesty, respect, and teamwork.

Love

This should be a no-brainer. Love is essential to a relationship. I’ve talked a lot about love in previous posts, but let’s give it a quick rundown. When you love someone, they are always on your mind. When you wake up, you smile and can’t wait to see them, hear from them, or just tell them you love them. They’re the first thing you think of in the morning, and the last thing you think of at night. This may not last forever for everyone, but love shows itself in other ways.

Maybe you start to miss them, if they don’t live with you, or they are gone for a period of time. Maybe you miss the way they made you laugh with corny pick-up lines. Maybe it’s just the easy way you felt with your legs across their lap as you watch a movie together. Maybe it’s their kisses, their devotion, or even the way they smell as you hug them tight.

Love can manifest itself in devotion as well. Perhaps they gave you a lot of attention, noticed the little things about you, things you don’t even notice yourself. Maybe they like the way your nose crinkles when you laugh or the way your eyes roll back in your head when they tell you a silly joke.

Maybe, for you, love shows itself in the little silences as you are just together. Maybe just the act of being there and being with each other is enough for you. Maybe it’s in the way he caresses your skin absentmindedly. Maybe it’s in the way she lays her head on your chest at bed time. Maybe it’s the way she snores and steals the blankets. I don’t have all the answers, but most of the time, you know love when you feel it.

Communication

If love is first in a relationship, then communication is a close second. It’s easy to want some space and so you pull back and don’t communicate as well as you used to. This can lead to some issues if you don’t communicate your need for breathing room. Your partner is left to wonder why you suddenly don’t want to talk to them as much, and then it becomes a cycle that will bring you both down. Communicate your needs. If you need some time for yourself, just say so, but don’t just close off your communication completely. It is essential to a functioning relationship.

Communication can be disrupted for many reasons. Maybe you are stressed because a lot of things keep happening in your life and you just need some time to figure things out. Communicate this to your partner, but also allow them to be there for you. Perhaps they can be that crutch for you for a bit, so you don’t have to go through this alone.

Maybe you are upset at something your partner did. Communicate that. But don’t just eliminate your communication afterward. Trust me, they know they fucked up. You just told them. Odds are, they feel bad, too. Don’t just walk away when times get tough. Communicate your needs.

Understanding

Understanding is perhaps one of the most difficult things for people, it seems. By nature, we are selfish. We look after our own needs first, and most people don’t seem to look at or try to understand other people’s needs outside of the context of their own life. The rich can’t look at someone in poverty and understand what they need to climb out of it. Someone who has always had a blessed life and doesn’t suffer with depression can’t understand the needs of someone who does. Not without effort and communication, at any rate. I digress.

Understanding goes hand-in-hand with communication and every other fundamental of this. It is the keystone to the foundation we are building here. Your boyfriend upset you. Great, we have identified the problem. You told him that he upset you and what he did and why it upset you. Good. You communicated what was wrong. You need a few days to breathe and separate yourself from the pain. Communicate that. Good, we are making progress.

But here’s the crux. You take a few days, and you decide to keep your walls up. Boyfriend starts to worry. But you needed space, so he does his best to keep giving it to you, but you are closed off. Perhaps you thing he doesn’t love you any more because he isn’t trying. But you can’t know, because you are no longer communicating, and you are not employing your ability to try to understand what he is going through. He’s hurting, too. Maybe try to understand why he did what he did. Try to show some compassion and listen to him, then work together to get past the problem.

Without trying to understand why these things happen, you can’t learn. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. This is detrimental not only to your relationship, but to your personal mental health and any future relationships you may have.

Trust

Trust is important. If you can’t trust the one you love, then why are you with them? But let’s look at why you don’t trust them, if you don’t, or even if you are struggling. Maybe they have given you reason not to trust them. If this is the case, then perhaps it is best to get that out early, and move on. Perhaps something happened in your past and you are scared to trust someone completely out of fear that you will be hurt again. In this case, you need to understand that they aren’t the one that hurt you. Or perhaps you just have something in your life, whether it be anxiety or depression or whatever, and maybe you have a hard time trusting because of your own self image.

Maybe it’s a combination of these things. But it is essential that you can be with someone you trust. Someone you trust to be there for you, to not betray you, to love you unconditionally and understand your needs. If you are struggling, talk to your partner. If they are understanding, then they should be able to help you and reassure and lift you up so that you can become better at trusting and having faith in yourself, your partner, and your relationship.

Honesty

If I have to tell you that honesty is important, then most likely you are a tool. I have a no bullshit policy. I will communicate my honest opinions, fears, worries, joys, loves, excitement, etc. to the one I love. I want them to know who I am.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t lie to your partner. It could be something simple, like you went out to have a beer with the boys but you told her you had to work late. Maybe you are having second thoughts about the relationship. Maybe you aren’t honest about your female friend and how you are developing feelings for her. Or maybe you don’t tell her any number of things. Or him. Or whoever. But lying is bad, mkay? This is the easy part.

But there is another side to honesty. Don’t hide things from your partner. Why are you hiding it? Are you afraid of their reaction? If they trust you and have reason to trust you, then you shouldn’t be worried about sharing this with them. And even if they are having trouble trusting you for whatever reasons, then you should still communicate with them, because hiding something can only make the situation worse. You aren’t a fortune teller. You might be surprised how someone will react.

If you’re hiding something because you are doing something wrong, and you know it would hurt the other person, then this post isn’t for you, because you don’t have love. If you’re hiding an affair or something similar, then all you have is deceit in your heart and you need to do yourself and your partner a favor and just get out of their life.

Respect

I have often heard people say, “If you want my respect, you are going to have to earn it.”

This is bullshit. It’s a cop out. If you are in a relationship with someone, then they should have your respect simply because of everything it takes to build a relationship and make it work.

Remember, your partner isn’t you. They are an individual with their own opinions, wants, needs, and fears. They aren’t always going to agree with you. They aren’t always going to be right. But you need to respect the fact that they have those opinions or worries or fears.

If your partner and you agree upon certain boundaries for different social situations, don’t just agree to them and then go out and disrespect them but crossing the line you two drew together. It’s hurtful. You need to respect their feelings, even if you don’t agree with them. If your girlfriend doesn’t like you spending Friday night at the bar with the boys, perhaps it is because she wants time with you and you aren’t respecting her need for affection or attention.

If your boyfriend is uncomfortable with you spending a lot of time alone with another guy, then you should respect his feelings. Maybe he has valid reasons to want boundaries in place. Regardless of your intent or your agreement with his concerns, you need to communicate with him and set boundaries you can both agree to, and then respect them. If you aren’t respecting these boundaries, then what is he to think?

On the other hand, if your girlfriend has a guy friend and you are uncomfortable with certain situations, you need to communicate that with her too. She should respect your boundaries. Or if she is upset because you spend Friday night with the guys, then maybe you should respect her needs for your love an affection. Find a compromise and make it work.

Teamwork

You can only ever give 100% to anything you do. That is the maximum. In a relationship, that 100% accounts for only 50%. That’s it. It takes the two of you. Nobody can give everything they have into the relationship all the time. We all have bad days. That is when we count on our partners the most. Because maybe you can only devote 20% to the relationship because shit keeps happening. If your partner helps pick up the slack, you can get through this. But if you shut down, whether it’s because you are tired or scared or overwhelmed or whatever, then it no longer matters what you really want in your heart, because if you stop giving anything to the relationship, you won’t grow, your relationship will fail, and you will be doomed to repeat the same mistake time and again.

Life is lonely enough. It takes the two of you to make it work. Understand that you need to communicate when you can’t carry your share. Communicate when you need help, or that you can’t be everything your partner needs for a little while. Let them help you. Let them in. They are the ones that have stuck by your side through all of this and they want to be there for you. Let them.

On Commitment

Dec
14

You know, it’s funny sometimes. I finished my last blog about having not a damn clue about what to write about, and then it hit me.

Right now, is one of the most difficult times of year. There are families fighting, couples separating, work stress, financial stress, and so many other things going on that it is fucking hard.

But life is hard. In my first post I asked you, “What are you willing to suffer for?” Is it worth suffering through your job for that promotion? Is it worth suffering through school for that diploma? Is it worth suffering through the hard times together so that you can still be with the one you love? Is it worth suffering through inane traditions for the sake of having your family there to love and support you?

I’m betting most of you are nodding your heads. “Why yes,of course it’s worth it,” you think to yourself. It’s not your fault that work is screwing you around, after all. You couldn’t speak to them about it and try to change it, nope, wouldn’t work. It’s not your fault you have to go to school. Why finish when you can just go get a GED anyway, right? It isn’t your fault you were fighting. It isn’t your fault you’re upset and distancing yourself from the one you love. And it for sure isn’t your fault that your mother in law is a selfish, self-righteous bitch.

The blame game solves NOTHING. Nope, not a single, goddamn thing. Regardless of who started it, regardless of why it happened, regardless of who pissed who off more, you’re both still up to your necks in bullshit. If it is important to you, then stand up and fight for it. You can’t just shut yourself off and walkaway from the situation.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t stay hard forever. I’m sure you all know the old proverb, “This, too, shall pass.” We tell ourselves this all the time. So why on earth would you walk away from someone that you have invested so much time with? Compare the time you had together that was good with the time that you had together that was bad. Put it in context. Go back and read my first post again. Be more understanding.

Are you willing to cut off an entire side of your family,just because someone was being a bitch? Odds are, in three or four months, they won’t even remember what happened, only how they felt afterward. Don’t ostracize people because they upset you, because you are going to be lonely as hell if that is who you want to be.

Let me give you a scenario. You and your best friend, for whatever reason, are out in the woods in the middle of the night, alone. You both are scared of the dark. You aren’t just going to leave your friend behind,alone, because you are scared of the dark. So why are you willing to walk away from someone when you both are hurt and scared and in the same situation? Don’t leave your battle buddy behind.

Sure, it’s a lot easier to walk away. Sure, it’s easier to replace someone. But you will never find fulfillment. You will never find joy, because every time it gets hard, it will just get easier for you to walkaway. You will leave a trail of broken, scared, and hurt people in your wake,and you will be even more scared and isolated than you feel now.

You can find depth in the long term. You can only find growth in the struggle, so long as you get through it together. Look at your past with this person. How long have you been close? How hard have you worked and fought for what you have? Is this situation so terrible as to be irreversible? Or are you just scared? Are you putting up your walls, so that you can avoid dealing with a difficult situation and move forward with the person that has brought so much joy and fulfillment to your life? Take your time, don’t close yourself off, or you may lose them, even if you secretly don’t want to. Commitment is hard. It’s scary. But here is one last, simple truth I am going to share with y’all.

Love is a decision.

Don’t get me wrong. I am probably one of the biggest romantics you will ever meet. I believe in one true love and I believe that love is unending and unconditional. But it is a decision we must make every, single, day.

For example. I wake up every morning. I know I love my girlfriend. I send her a good morning text because I keep loving her. I do this every single day. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world. But I do it, because I love her. Because I choose to love her. It could be simpler for me, if we were going through a hard time to just say, “You know what? Fuck it. I can’t do this,” and just stop. I could shut it off and move on.But what would that say of my character? Am I so scared of hard times that I would just walk away? It’s not even selfish behavior, its sociopathic.

I love her, because for two years we have built something together and she makes me want to be the man that I’ve always hoped to be. If we were having a hard time, why would I just close myself off or walk away,when I weigh it against that?

Or my parents. Would I just walk away from them and cut them from my life because we disagreed on something? Because we had an argument? Or my best friend? My brother? My children?

People will disappoint you. That is a fact of life. They will hurt you, even if they don’t mean to. The will fail you, time and again,because we aren’t perfect. We all have our good days and our bad days.Sometimes, when your bad days sync up, it creates more bad days, or maybe builds up into a hard time or a cycle of conflict. Don’t just walk away from someone. Don’t close them out. At some point you have to learn to forgive and move past the hard times and grow. Remember,you’re just stuck in shit. Shit stinks, but it also makes great fertilizer.

One last analogy I will leave you with is this. Look at the struggle you are in with your loved one. Look at it like a job. At work,you choose to show up every day, even when it sucks. The same is true of love.You choose to love them, even when it is hard. Are you going to quit your job just because you had a rough week? Or are you going to stick with it until you get that promotion? Perhaps in your relationship, if you stick with it through the hard times, you can get that promotion. And if I have to spell out what that promotion can mean, then I need a new reader base.

What to write?

Dec
14

I’ve been having trouble coming up with something to blog about. It’s not writer’s block, because I write nearly 10-15,000 words a day. But I can’t put any of that here, because it’s of a confidential nature.I’m struggling to find a way to make it generic, too, which is odd, because much of what I write about is situations that many of us go through.

So, what do I do? Do I ask the masses what they want to hear from me? Do you even have suggestions or ideas that you want me to write about? Perhaps we could do a Q&A session. Do you have things you want to ask me about my last blog post, or any other questions? I can’t promise I will answer all of them, if you do. I do have my secrets, after all.

I don’t want to write about work, because that is too boring. I won’t air anyone’s personal laundry, because, well, I’m not a dick. No. That’s a lie. I can be a dick, but I’m not that kind of dick. But I have an idea.

Go and read my What is love? post if you haven’t already. If you have any questions, send me an email at: inspire@isaacspire.com and I will do my best to answer them.

If you have questions of a personal nature, or just want my take on your own situation, I’ll post about it.

If you have any ideas for blog topics, email me.

If you have any juicy confessions, send them to me.

I will write about any of these things. I’m here for you. I think this could be a fun experience, and depending on how it goes,I might make it a regular thing, or I might never do it again. We will see how it goes.

*NOTE* I will keep all questions, confessions,etc. completely anonymous, unless otherwise specified. Please leave your information with me, and I will shoot you an email or a text when I post about it.

What is love? (baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more)

Dec
04

In this post, I am going to talk about my favorite passage in the Bible. It is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. For those of you that don’t know, it is all about the way of love. It has been my favorite for a long time because I saw that my grandfather tried to live by its tenets throughout his life with my grandmother. I’ve read this passage over and over and it is my daily goal to treat my loved ones like this. That being said, we all fuck up. Nobody can adhere to the word of God all the time. Hell, nobody can adhere to their OWN word all the time. We make mistakes by nature. Sometimes we repeat them over and over until life kicks us in the balls (or ovaries) and tells us to get our shit together. I digress.

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 4 & 5, it reads, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

This is my personal guidebook toward relationships. Though I am imperfect and most definitely have lost sight of this at times, it is a pretty good guide to follow. We should be patient with the ones we love and recognize that they may not be able to be everything that we need all the time. We need to be understanding of their needs, as well, and recognize they may be different than our own.

It seems obvious that we should be kind to those we love. So often, we think we are. But how do you react during an argument? Are you defensive? Do you lash out at your partner’s insecurities? Do you disregard their concerns as if they are irrelevant? There are so many ways that we can be unkind to each other. It could be as simple as calling someone an idiot when they are, in fact, being an idiot. Disregard for a loved one’s feelings, concerns, and self esteem can be painful. These are just the little things that everyone does from time to time. We all get into that cycle because we are uncomfortable with the idea that we aren’t perfect, that we could be at fault for something.

Love does not envy. In the context of love and relationships, this means that we don’t covet something that our loved one has attained and get jealous. If your significant other is more successful than you, or has a more active social life, we shouldn’t want to take that away from them. We should rejoice for them and be happy that they have those things.

Love does not boast. This one is a bit obvious. If you have something your loved one doesn’t, don’t go being a shitbag and rub it in their face. But let’s break that down a little. You’re not better than anyone. We are all imperfect creations that manifest ourselves in the form of a bipedal humanoid who all walk, talk, shit and slurp. So, get down off your soapbox if you think you’re better than someone you claim to love. This post isn’t about you.

Love is not proud. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Don’t get me wrong, we all want a partner that has a strong sense of pride about them, but that isn’t what this means. Have you ever let your pride get in the way during an argument or a conversation? Maybe someone you love was calling you out on a certain behavior so your pride jumps in and you go straight to denial or defensive tactics. It stops the flow of communication. If someone is asking you a question about your behavior, check yourself, examine it and be honest. You’ll be a better person for it.

Love does not dishonor others. Simply put, don’t be rude. Don’t do stuff to embarrass your mom. Don’t cheat on your girlfriend. Don’t walk around with your ass cheeks hanging out or your pants around your knees so that your father is ashamed. There are subtler things, too. Don’t make jokes at a loved one’s expense. Don’t insult them. Don’t lie to your boyfriend. Stay within the boundaries you agree to, and don’t insult them for feeling insecure about it. Pretty simple shit. Goes back to the golden rule that we all learned at a young age. And in case you didn’t, it is this: Treat others like you want to be treated.

Love is not self-seeking. Listen, everyone is selfish. It’s a survival tool. You want to protect yourself because you’ve been hurt in the past, so you are scared to trust your current partner. It can be hard to turn over 100% of your heart to someone. Don’t skip out on date night to go to a hockey game with the boys. Don’t go blow $150 on another new pair of shoes when your kids’ shoes are literally falling apart. Don’t think of your own needs as superior to your partner’s. Recognize that we all have needs and that we all can be selfish and that sometimes, we can all be assholes.

Love is not easily angered. This one, right here. If I could highlight this, point arrows at it, and make it sparkle like King Midas’s shit, I would. Don’t overreact. I’ll tell you like I tell my 8 year-old son. “Think about what you are going to say before you speak. If it isn’t nice, then don’t speak at all.” This doesn’t mean ignore something that hurts you. It doesn’t mean disregard the pain you have been dealt. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t throw it away. Your feelings matter. But don’t lash out. Don’t roll your fucking eyes and say “OH MY GOD” and just tear off into a rant. Stop. Put your lips together. Think. Understand what your partner is saying or asking. Realize that they are likely concerned about something. Don’t take it as an accusation and run with it. Calm down. If you need to hold up your hand, take a breath. Tell them you need to think for a moment, but don’t ignore them either. If they are upset, or something happened that they tell you about or they ask a stupid ass question, realize that there is likely a justification for it. It may not be a good one, and you have every right to be angry, but calm your ass down and handle this like a grown-up.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. This is important. Take a deep breath. What I say next might upset you. That’s ok. It is ok to feel like shit when you’ve been a shitty person. And you know what? We’ve all been there and nobody gives a damn. If they do, then to hell with them. LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. Now obviously, this doesn’t mean to just let abuse go by and take it. If someone is intentionally hurting you, they don’t love you and they don’t deserve your love. Move the fuck on, and get the hell out of that situation. I can tell you from experience that I KNOW it isn’t easy. That’s not what this verse means. Let me explain.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. Take out your pen and write that down. Write it again. Write it down next to that laundry list you keep of things your man did wrong, or things your woman did wrong, or mistakes your kid made, or whoever it is, whatever it was, get rid of it. Cast it out. We are all human. We are all imperfect. WE. ALL. FUCK. UP. Accept it. Own your share of the responsibility. Accept that maybe they don’t feel good about the time they forgot your birthday because they were working until 4 in the morning and you slept until noon. Maybe they don’t feel good about the fact that they put themselves in a compromising situation after defending it over and over to you. You can bet your kid isn’t happy with that D on his report card. And I bet you a dollar that if your dad loves you, and he forgot you were at soccer practice and didn’t come pick you up on time, he feels guilty. Don’t punish them. Don’t bring it up over and over. Stop. Relax. We all screw up. I screw up all the time. Sometimes in spectacular and God-awful ways. You fuck up, too.

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 6, it says, “Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing, but rejoices in the truth.”

BAM. Dropping love bombs. Pretty basic stuff. My six-year-old has a better grasp on this shit than most adults I know. Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing… Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t hide things from your significant other. If you betray their trust, then you are scum, and you do not deserve them. Don’t get me wrong. We all are susceptible beings and can sometimes fall subject to animal urges. Sometimes people do stupid shit for stupid reasons, and I will never be the one to justify their decisions for you. Not me. But mistakes happen. And if they feel guilty, if they truly know they did wrong, and they take responsibility and ownership of it and feel like ass for it… That is a good thing. I’m not saying forgive them. Only you can make that decision. Only you have the relevant information to know if they will do it again and again and again and who knows, maybe someday it’s with your sister. But, if they feel justified in being unfaithful, if they feel justified in blowing the paycheck on video games or porn sites or anything frivolous that takes away from your relationship… That’s neglect at best, abuse at worst, and none of those things shows love.

Love rejoices in the truth.

That sentence stands alone. Write it down.

In verse 7, we see, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” This right here, in my opinion, is one of the most powerful messages in the Bible. I say this because everyone can and should appreciate it, regardless of your creed or culture or religion. Read it over and over to yourself every day. Understand it. Believe it. Love can survive nearly anything if you both are willing to put in the work. And it is a lot of work. Sometimes it is just months of the two of you slogging through three feet of shit uphill just to get to a dry spot. You’re still covered in shit, but at least you are out of the shit. Sometimes it gets hard to carry on, to move forward with your lives. Sometimes you need time to heal, and you just want someone there to hold your hand. But you have to reach out too. It can’t always be the other person. Love requires teamwork.

The first half of verse 8 says simply this, “Love never ends.” I can tell you that this is fact. 8 and a half years ago, I lost my grandpa to colon cancer. It was a long, slow, and painful road. When he passed, I was grateful that his suffering was at an end. I still love him. I still show my love for him by trying to emulate how he was in his marriage. I have always wanted that playful and devoted relationship. Love never ends. It speaks for itself.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately, and I came across something that, paraphrasing, says something to this effect: Instead of asking What do you want out of life, ask yourself What are you willing to suffer for? We could apply this to career advice or family advice or studies, but we aren’t going to dive into that today. I just hit 2,000 words and I need to reel this in.

Ask yourself what you are willing to suffer for in regards to a relationship. Are you willing to suffer through the bickering, the nagging at each other, the annoyance that comes with cohabiting with another human, the difficulties that emerge when you try to merge two different and independent lives into one seamless couple? Are you willing to suffer through worrying whether or not she will call you back when you know she needs space? Are you willing to suffer through his insecurities and anxieties, and be patient and understanding of each other? I am. I am willing to suffer through many things for love. I won’t suffer abuse or neglect, but when I know the other person loves me and we can devote our lives to each other, whether it is my girlfriend, my best friend, or one of my children, if we are in this together, I will suffer through every turd-filled shit-heap in my path, just to come out the other side holding your hand. With love, all things are possible. But it takes two of you. Swallow your pride, listen, discuss, trust. Don’t be a douche-bag. Remember the golden rule. Own your mistakes. Respect that the other person has reasons (even if they suck) for whatever they said or did. Recognize you aren’t the only one that has needs. Be patient. Forgive.

 

UPDATES 072718

Jul
27

The Chronicle of Duncan McArthur is no longer here.

Instead, it is currently being published on Amazon under the title of Beyond Life’s Bonds, A McArthur Chronicle Story.

Because of exclusivity rules in my contract, I cannot have more than 10% published here, and as it is a shorter read, that doesn’t leave much content for you to view.

But the good news is, it will be available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, as well as in 6×9 paperback. If you want signed copies, that can be discussed.

And in other news, I have begun writing a new novel. This one already is as long as the Mac Chronicle was, and I’m three chapters in. I won’t say much right now, except that it will be in the fantasy and litrpg genres. Mostly.

Character

Jun
22

Throughout my education, both formal and informal, I have been told that authors write what they know. But where does that knowledge come from? Do we merely build situations and characters from our life experience? Do the heroes of our stories merely reflect pieces of the people that have touched us?

I don’t think so. Our life is more than just the people we meet or the choices we make. Like Wilde said, “Life imitates art.” And while he may have been saying this satirically or even ironically, it is true. How many awkward, nerdy teens pick up characteristics from their favorite superheroes or from the protagonists of their favorite fantasy novel? I know I have certainly picked up some personality traits. I learned my patience from books, as well as my curiosity at the world around me.

But that being said, every hero is different, no matter the story, because in truth, we do add elements of ourselves and others. Some heroes are entirely based on either the author’s vision of himself, or how he wishes he could be. Others are complete characterizations of our role models or family members.

In my own writing, I find it difficult to base a character off who I am or who I want to be. This is predominantly because I don’t like feeling vulnerable by letting strangers glimpse into such intimate details of my life.

But writing books is about being vulnerable, so I persist.

My heroes tend to be an amalgamation of sorts. Maybe I like how Kvothe is so sure of himself, almost cocky. Then to balance it out, I’ll add a piece of my own insecurities. Then there needs to come his life experiences. A good hero suffers, or has suffered greatly in his story. Suffering and pain give us something to rise above and beyond and give us a purpose.

And we have all suffered in some way throughout our lives, that is what draws us to our various genres of fiction or non-fiction. The #metoo movement has shown that a lot of people are finally coming to terms with and finding the strength to admit to suffering they endured in their past at the hands of people they should have been able to trust. And there are more out there, some who have suffered with depression or anxiety, PTSD, loneliness, fear, self-doubt, and the list goes on.

Regardless of anyone else’s opinions on the matter, all humanity has suffered at some point or another. And nobody can take that away from you. Just because children are starving in Africa doesn’t lessen the pain of sexual abuse. And just because someone is suffering domestic abuse from a partner doesn’t lessen your crippling depression, or sense of being alone.

Suffering is relative, and it is not the only thing we all have in common. We all have the ability to rise from the ashes and climb higher, some on our own, and some of us need help.

But the best thing an artist can do is find an outlet to channel all the leftover pain and guilt from the pains in their life and put pen to paper, or brush to canvas. All art is therapeutic and essential to a balanced mind. As a writer, we develop characters and elicit emotions from readers so that they can sympathize with us, even if they don’t know that they are sharing our personal suffering. In novels, much as in life, the pain we experience makes the joys we experience that much sweeter.

What characters do you feel the most connection to? What fictional world is your favorite escape?

Life and Writing

Jun
14

Life comes at you funny, sometimes. As I grew into adulthood, I tried to make decisions based on how good the story would be. Sometimes, it was a mundane decision, like whether to eat steak or chicken. Sometimes it was a more dramatic choice.

These choices shape us. As I read from various authors and genres, I picked up personality traits from beloved characters. As I spent more time around my role models and my friends, I did the same. All the while, I was learning who I wanted to be, and eventually, I realized that we never truly become that person. We always find something different to improve upon.

With my writing, sometimes, I get blocked up. I have great inspiration for a story and I start writing but then I lose it. I lose sight of where I wanted it to go. Because characters are as dynamic as we are, and sometimes it is difficult to see how they are going to react to a given situation.

For example. Jack has an opportunity to sneak out of his parents house and take the girl he likes to the drive-in. But Jack is grounded. Should he be a diligent son and do as his parents demanded? That would make for a pretty boring protagonist, but maybe in some cases, it is prudent for him to be that way. But if he goes to the drive-in maybe he gets the girl. Maybe he messes up and learns a life changing lesson he wouldn´t have if he had stayed at home.

There are a few important rules I try to follow as a writer.
1: Use your life and the people you´ve known or observed as inspiration
2: Use your imagination. It´s fiction. Have fun with it.
3: If you get writer´s block, write something else. The important thing is to keep putting pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard, whatever the case may be.

Here is a little about me. I am in my early 30s. I am in a relationship with a wonderful woman whom I admire and love with all my heart. I have two children that are my joy, and the balm for any bad day.
I do my writing mostly on a raspberry pi. I like open source software, and the pi is compact and I prefer it to either of my two laptops.
I use my laptops for research and to manage social media. I also use them to watch television shows and movies. The internet is a marvellous invention.
When I´m brainstorming or outlining, I tend to use an old five star notebook and pen.

I have a huge list of influences, and I will list many of them here, so that you can find something new to read, if nothing else.
Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Stephen King, Tolkien, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, Douglas Adams, Timothy Zahn, Dungeons & Dragons, George R.R. Martin.

Audiobook Review- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Jun
14

Alright, folks, it is time for a book review. The first I want to include is one of my all time favorite books, The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss. I have read this book about a dozen times. I have read it in print, on my kindle, and I have listened to it several times on audible.

I decided that I would review the audiobook, since it covers the book itself, as well as the performance by Nick Podehl, and it is also the most recent way I have read it.


Before I get too far into the review, here is a pic from 2011, when I drove 11 hours to meet Pat and get my first edition of Wise Man’s Fear signed

The Name of the Wind is the story of a man, but really it is more than that. We have a man that has hidden himself away for his own safety, and perhaps that of the world. He is found by Chronicler, a scribe and–let’s face it–a medieval era investigative journalist. Chronicler gets Kvothe, the hero, to tell his story.

Kvothe begins the tale when he is around 8 years old, and we follow him from childhood on the road, with teachers of various types, to living on the streets, to attending the University.

It is a great setup for a tale. We have pure and beautiful narrative fiction set in a colorful and exciting fantasy world. The magic systems are unique in that there are two main systems, the common sympathy, and the rarer and most prized art of naming.

And then there is music. There should always be music. And for someone with little experience in making music or song, Rothfuss does an amazing job grasping the depth of a musician’s love of his art and his instrument.

Some have told me that they don’t like that Kvothe is so cocky, or that he always manages to do the right thing at the right time, but to that I say PAH! It is Kvothe’s story. His hubris is his downfall, and it is intentional. And he definitely makes some wrong decisions in there.

As to the narration by Nick Podehl, I love it. He gives life to the characters, and stays away from monotonous droning that makes people want to sleep. I would love to hear him do more audiobooks.

Overall, the book is phenomenal. It is part coming-of-age, part heroic fantasy, part tragedy. It’s an amalgam of sorts. Between Pat’s use of beautiful words and imagery, and Podehl’s smooth and clear narration, this audiobook is a great first choice on audible.

New Beginnings

Jun
14

I have moved my previous website here, because I prefer the platform that WordPress offers its clients over the GoDaddy website builder.

With this platform, I plan to make it a pleasant experience for my readers to come here and enjoy my content.

With my site, I plan to talk about what is going on in my life, how I approach writing, and I also plan to share serial stories for you to enjoy.

Feel free to comment on my posts, as I appreciate the feedback. I will do my best to answer your questions, either in a comment or in a post, depending on what the response warrants.