Making Hard Decisions

Growing up, the hardest decision that I had to make was whether I wanted to get that summer job or if I wanted to be a lazy slob watching TV on the couch.

Today, I have harder decisions to make. I’m a dad, a husband, a student, and an author. These roles have responsibilities that I have to fulfill. It is something which has to be done. I have little choice on the matter.

As a dad, I have to be there for my kids. I have to make hard decisions that will turn them into adequately adjusted adults. Decisions made about my relationship with my wife keeps me out of divorce court.

However, most of those decisions are not hard to make. They don’t take any effort on my part. Some decisions, those that cost me money or have ambiguous choices, are harder to make.

Moving down from my home town to Vancouver Island was one such decision. It was a big move that cost us a lot of money. It also put on hold any possibility of me buying another house. (House costs are average 250k up north, while a similar home on the island is 600k.) There were many possibilities on what to do. What wasn’t on the list was staying up North.

That falls under the category of keeping myself out of divorce court. My wife is an artist, always has been. Even the days when she said that she wasn’t. She wanted to go to art school. So that meant that we’d be moving. The hard decision was what city to move to.

Another hard choice was what I wanted to do after I got laid off from my day job. Go back to school, or get a laborer job making less than what I was before with longer hours and not seeing my family. I chose to go back to school. I was tempted to get a business degree. However, I chose to go to the creative writing route.

The decision was hard to make. It took me all weekend to make it, I then signed up on the last week before the cut-off ended. It was a mad dash to get my paperwork into the school.

So how did I make these hard decisions?

The first thing is to remove emotion from the equation. Emotions don’t help anything. They cloud your judgment, and it is a well-known fact that people making decisions based on emotions are always wrong.

For me, I take a piece of paper, and I write the decision on the top. ‘Go back to school for Creative Writing.’

I then split it in half for Pros and Cons. I give a numeric value to each pro and con on how big of an issue it may be. ‘Being off work’ was high at a nine, as well as ‘getting student loans.’ I added up both column, and some simple math later showed a number.

This allowed me to compare the different decisions on what I wanted to do.

It is, however, biased as you are rating your own decision. It will tell you what you already know and want. But it will put things into perspective for you. So you can try to see the whole picture.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Being a Creative and Going to University

Many people consider me an artist; however, I don’t. I can’t draw a stickman. I can’t play any instrument. I can’t act. And no one wants to hear me sing.

My wife calls me a wordsmith, and I’m not sure the term applies to me. I may write novels, but I write science-fiction and fantasy. Nothing literary in any way. I still get peers and teachers looking down their nose at me for writing genre fiction, besides the scoff I get when I tell them I’m an indie author and publisher.

So what am I? People categorize themselves by what they do. Police officers, carpenters, mail carriers, etc. Am I an author? A novelist? A publisher? A crazy man who writes a small boatload of words each and every month in the hopes of earning it big?


Perhaps the point of calling myself anything is to belong to a group of like-minded people. The sense of belonging is strong with most people. Am I an author? Perhaps. A Novelist? Perhaps? What I definitely am, is a Creative. I consider myself ultimately a creative whose medium is the written word, not the paintbrush or the graphics pen. However, this is not the point of this weeks blog post.

As I stated last week, I am going to University with the intended purpose of getting a degree in Creative Writing. My end goal is to use the knowledge I gain in earning my degree to start up an editing service or maybe a publishing house where I take other peoples novels and not just my own. At the moment I don’t have the knowledge or skills to be able to produce someone else’s book with the expertise required.

Going to University, I have noticed one thing which seems to stretch across the different types of artistry. All creatives, no matter if the student paints, draws, sculpts, graphic designs, sings, acts or writes, they seem to run into an after-school slump.

This is not only for after earning the degree but with the degree itself. The student spends four or more years of their life having someone else give parameters for what they have to produce. When they get an assignment with no parameters or especially when they want to do something for themselves, they have little ability to decide what to do. In fact, they struggle with it.

I have seen the struggle, the putting off the assignment until the last minute, sometimes for the sole reason that they don’t want to deal with making a decision. The only reason the student gets anything done is the deadline and the threat of a failing grade.

To this end, I have come to the determination that the act of working on my own projects first, then the schoolwork, is NOT a problem with my priorities. It will help within the long term with the ability to work independently without any outside force telling me what to work on or how to do it. I need to decide those on my own, give my own deadlines and stick to them.

In fact, it is something which all creatives going to school, going to work, and/or living complicated, busy lives need to do. Getting things done, despite the crazy in our lives, will lead to some type of success.

More on that next week. Until then, if you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Leave a review, or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.


Update July 3, 2018

So I know that I haven’t been posting in a while. I am sorry for that. I published my first book, then my posting fell off. So far this year, I have written 200k words. I have two full novels published and two smaller kids books that I did with my kids.

Plus being a dad has taken up much of my time. My son is in piano, and my daughter is a ballerina.

I know. I am creating excuses for why I haven’t been posting. The suns in my eyes… the curling game is on…

No more lame excuses.

I will be moving to post once a week for now, and maybe posting more later.

In other news, my day job was going fine. Until they laid me off. It sucks, but I have written 25k words in the last 2 weeks, and I have published one book. I have another in the editing process and a short story in editing as well. I am not letting the depressiveness get to me. I am getting things done.

I also have an outstanding cover artist. His work is fantastic and has upped the game to my novels. His cover is the image for this post.

His site can be found here: Josh Thornbrugh

So now that you know that I am unemployed and working on my novels full-time cause that is the cards that have been dealt, what’s my future?

Well, the plan is to go back to school. Learn more about the writing and publishing process. It is a scary prospect, but I will make a go of it.

I will close off here, but if you all want to support my family and me, the easiest way will be to buy a book or three. Right not they are only available on Amazon and as e-books. They will be released sometime in the near future.

The full list of my published book can be found here.

My published work. 

Until next time.

Stay Shiny.


The Horror! The Torture! The College Students!

Well. It’s been a while since I talked to you all. Today I am going to talk to you about perspective and beginner writers.

There are many different people that will have there own opinion and knowledge on the subject. Many of whom are much smarter than I am and are much better writers as well.

But today I am going to give my opinion on the subject as I am an opinionated S.O.B. and I feel like standing on the soap box.

You see, yesterday I wrote the majority of this blog post in a tiny note book as I was being tortured by an unspeakable horror. I was taken captive by my wife to go to listen to her college creative writing class read portions of there ‘manuscripts’. (Please note that I did find about four of the story exerts enjoyable. My wife’s was included in that number.)

I use the term manuscript lightly.

In there defense, they are all mostly beginners and they don’t know any better. They don’t know about show, don’t tell (unless you want to). They don’t know about proper dialogue techniques. Or plotting methods to make a story easier to plot out. They don’t know about a lot of things that only experience gets you.

But all of that is okay. I can usually ignore those mistakes and enjoy the moment. I can usually try and turn off that critical part of my brain. To simply enjoy listening to these passionate new writers enjoy the beginnings of their journeys as writers. But I couldn’t. Not that night.

Which is why I wrote this blog post on a tiny note book at the back of the crowded room.

The reason for my lack of enjoyment was the fact that most of the writers wrote their pieces in First Person Perspective. Author after author did it. Like herpes, it spread to most of the class and wouldn’t go away.

So as I sat there, I wondered why did they do it? The first answer to jump into my mind was that it is a college setting and it is all ‘Literary’ fiction. And that theory is possible. But there was a fantasy novel and a historical one. There was a Horror and a couple comedies. Maybe the fact that colleges push the notion of ‘Literary’ fiction isn’t the case.

Maybe the teacher gave them permission and encouragement to do First Person? And that theory is also possible. The teacher is trying to get them to put pen to paper and if a student was going to write in first, who is he to stop him. She is writing, right? Right?

Or maybe the students were all lazy and thought that writing it in First Person was the easier way to go? They are college kids after all and most of them don’t have fine arts majors. This class was supposed to be an easy elective to break up the hardship of their major. A reprise.

My theory is that it is a mix between the second and the third theories. The teacher gave permission and encouragement. And the students were just being lazy. The students took what looked like the easy road.

But is First Person Perspective the easier way to go. Is it easier than Third Person Limited?

My opinion is no. It is not easier. It seems like it at first glance. Like that flat straight farming road. No turns or curves as far as the eye can see. But just beyond sight are dangers. by taking this road for it can quickly turn into a mud pit if you don’t tread carefully.

First Person is more restrictive than Third Person Limited.

In First Person you can’t see or hear anything outside of the range of your main character’s sight and hearing. If the main character can’t see it or hear it, they don’t know about it.

That leads to situations where it is impossible to move the plot forward. Or the plot moves forward but the writer has no way to tell the reader what is going on as the main character doesn’t know. It is also very hard to hide anything from the reader without coming off as cheating.

It is very hard to jump back and forth in time and forget about showing a different characters Point-of-View as writing a book with multiple First Person Point-of-View’s is not something anyone should try. Too many ‘I’s’ to keep track of. There is no ‘I’ in team.

In Third Person Limited, you are inside the Point-of-View of one specific character. You can hear the thoughts of that character when you want to. Or not as you see fit. You can’t, however, hear the thoughts of other characters around the Point-of-View character.

That is Third Person Omniscient and different than Third Person Limited. Also not apart of this blog post.

In Third Person Limited, you can run into similar problems as First Person. It is limited as the reader is only experiencing what the Point-of-View character experiences. He has no knowledge of what is happening on the other floor, etc. But with Third Person Limited, you can always jump into the Point-of-View of another character to let the reader know what was happening. If is easy to hide things from the reader without coming off as cheating.

Like First Person, you are still describing the setting, etc from the Point-of-View’s perspective. The intimacy that comes from a First Person Perspective story is still in a Third Person Limited, but just less of it and only at the authors discretion. However, with Third Person Limited a standard pitfall is the characterization coming off as hollow or only skin deep.

So does First Person have a time and place to be used?

Simple answer. It does.

On the other side of an airlock.