On Writing

4618294_sI’ve published two novels (see below) and a handful of short stories. My short story, Slumber, won a Silver Honorable Mention in the Writer’s of the Future contest (2015).

My first poem, “The Dream,” was published when I was in second grade by the district PTA. Not a big deal but I sure felt cool seeing my poem in the newsletter.

Most of my writing has been technical or business oriented. I’ve authored business plans, feature specifications, tutorials, white papers, and marketing content. I’ve also written numerous technical and business manuals for work that have plots and characterization that would make you blow chunky green vomit (unless you want to learn how to manage Fixed Assets in your school district or the networking protocol of a Boeing 737).

I love the super-short story. They have the symbolism and obscurity of poetry built with the mechanics of a story. Reading them might also make you look at me with a furrowed brow. If so, don’t worry because you won’t be alone. I have some strange ideas.

The power of storytelling is one of humanity’s greatest tools (and, unfortunately, weapons).

“To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them…crowds have always undergone the influence of illusions. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master.” (Le Bon, 1895)

I don’t want to be anyone’s master. I do, however, want to contribute stories that invoke imagination and illusions that encourage self mastery, free thinking, and help us break away from the media that attempts to govern us. I find writing not only purposeful, but exciting and addictive. I can escape into my imagination for hours on end where I am the creator. I wish I could do it all day long. 10 Tips for Creating Awesome Stories is a series I wrote for those who want to write a story but aren’t sure how.

Novels

Mandala’s Catalyst

In a world created by evil, rebellion is inevitable.

Amazon.comFor the first sixteen years of his life, Prince Jasper has revered the stranger who saved them from destruction thirty years prior, a man known only as the Guide. But he’s afraid of his buried thoughts and burning questions. Have his parents and the Guide lied to him? When his first love is sacrificed under the guise of honor and tradition, his eyes start opening to the horrible truth. He voices his concerns and is instantly shunned by everyone he loves.

Jasper’s fall from grace is swift. His life is threatened and he is rescued by a small group of outlaws who introduce him to swords, sorcery, and dark secrets about the Guide. His parents, friends, and the entire kingdom have been beguiled by cunning lies. Now, hunted and despised by the people he struggles to save, Jasper joins the Resistance to fight an underground war against the dark powers that shroud his nation in ignorance.

Trudge On, Soul

 

The icy wilderness of Alaska is the perfect place to lose yourself. But Warren doesn’t want to lose himself. He wants to lose someone else.

Amazon.comSince his teenage years, a tiny voice in Warren’s head has warned of the dangers threatening physical and emotional harm. This voice, Harvey, continues to stop him from living life fully.

Although Warren tries to rid himself of this manifestation of anxiety and depression, Harvey steadfastly remains—ruining his marriage, depleting his finances, and sending him to rock bottom. When Warren’s friend Mike wants to take a motorcycle trip to Alaska, Warren seizes the opportunity to do something bold, thinking he can leave Harvey out on some Alaskan back road and come home a changed man.

But in the Alaskan wilderness, he finds that getting rid of Harvey isn’t so easy.

This poignant, intimate memoir perfectly captures how it feels to have anxiety as a constant companion. The truth Warren discovers about Harvey will ring true to many suffering from similar anxiety conditions.

Short Stories

A Tale of Two Trees

This is a short story that I intended to be a children’s picture book. Two trees search for happiness and meaning as their lives follow different paths. Competition, compassion, and At the end of the story, I have provided information behind the self esteem and parenting philosophies that I used in the plot and character development.

An End to Despair

What happens when a terrorist of the future is depressed because his career isn’t progressing as he hoped?

Dream Carnage

What cost do we pay for childhood expectations, hopes, dreams that change and evolve as we grow? This story, based on a dream, offers some insight.

I was Jesus

A man struggles with the realization that as a human being, he is capable of both beautiful and horrific acts.

My Friend, Satan

A man fails in his search for content and meaning until he confronts his demons.

Roxanne Tarnished

A decent man snaps when he catches his wife cheating on him.

Sleek Black Train

Have you ever been hit by a train? My guess is, Yes. It can be brutal and life changing. I wrote this after one of my own train wrecks.

Slumber


This story has been updated with the new version. It won a Silver Honorable Mention in the Writer’s of the Future contest (in 2015).

I’ve always been intrigued with this quote by Friedrich Nietzsche: “What we experience in dreams — assuming that we experience it often — belongs in the end just as much to the over-all economy of our soul as anything experienced…” I made me wonder, If somebody dreamed a full, vivid lifetime in one night, how would it change them?

The Barbarian and the Butcher

A father raises his son in solitude to keep him safe from the ignorant fear of the townsfolk. The last thing he needed was his young barbarian unwillingly destroying an entire village. He teaches Broan how to manage his red hot temper and appears successful. But a dark twist of fate tempts the monster to break free for vengeance. Can Broan save his humanity or will he let loose the savage?

The Curse

A young child struggles with depression and the impact it has on everyone around him. The desperate villagers take him to a wise sage to ask for relief from the darkness.

The Honest Cheater

This happened to me, exactly as it is written.

The Last Laugh

This is the shortest story I’ve ever written. I’ve been working on an idea for a story about a kid that was bullied. A kid that is not stable. Where anger and violence might erupt. Several months ago there was a school shooting near my house (Marysville). This hit home. Although the reasons and motivations might be different, it took me to dark places.

The Mourning

It can be so easy to judge the cultures and beliefs of others as barbaric or ignorant. So I tried to come up with one of the most repulsive things I could think of and make it cherished.

The Pirates Slave

A few minutes with an alcoholic mother and her daughter.

The Prostitute

pros·ti·tute
a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money. to sell or offer (oneself) as a prostitute. to put to any base or unworthy use: to prostitute one’s talents. How often are you a prostitute?

The Sexual Dysfunctions of Planet Zeronius

One night while lamenting my stack of rejections from contests, agents, and publishers, I had a thought. What if a struggling, unknown writer was notified they had won an inter-galactic writing contest?

Poetry

Boring Haiku

This poem is why I struggle. It tells why I get depressed, can be lazy, and so frequently procrastinate. It is also the reason I haven’t accomplished more of my goals and dreams.


The Search for God

I could write 30 pages about how my religious philosophy shifted from devout Mormon to agnostic. Instead I will encrypt it in the following eleven lines.


The Writer’s Creed

This is a result of my search for meaning. It is who I am. Who I strive to be.


Essays

Movie Review: Her

“Her” was directed and written by Spike Jonze and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. I give it 5 golden nuggets (of five). It set my brain on fire with ideas, something I did not expect.


My Crucible

I wrote this many years ago during one of the more dark times of my life. It was difficult and took several more years of searching, but this exploration helped me find the purpose and meaning I craved. Life is much better now.


Triple Entry Accounting

This was my Masters thesis, an argument against using traditional financial statements for predicting future revenue. If we drove cars like we use financial statements, we would drive down the road by looking out the back window.


World of Bigotrycraft

Although I know I can never escape prejudice, I try desperately to manage it. I don’t consider myself a racists or a bigot, yet while playing a computer game I realized how easy I can become hostile and judgmental.


Zen Photography in 10 Steps

This article is a blend of my photography philosophy embedded with several quick tips on how to take better pictures.


Children’s Stories

Am I Sleeping Again?

This is one of the first stories I wrote. I like the idea of the story and I keep thinking I should rewrite it. It’s not well written but could be a series of short stories. Kids seem to like it.


No TV for Susan

One Halloween everyone in the family wrote a scary story, this was mine. It’s poorly written. My kids wrote better stories than I did, I should have posted theirs.


Rudolf

A Christmas story for my kids. It’s a decent story though, if you like cheesy feel-good stories that play on your emotions.


The Cavern Holiday Nightmare

This is one of the first stories I ever wrote. I wrote it for my kids and it isn’t well written but they still liked it (but I think they are the only ones). I should delete it rather than embarrass myself.