Living in the Moment

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So what are you afraid of?

And what does it have to do with living in the moment?

When we think about living in the moment, we think about being a free spirit.  There truly is something magical about going with the moment, and not worrying about where it will take you.  It’s easy to do it in your twenties.  I did it a lot more then I do now.

Part of it is I don’t have the same amount of time to enjoy myself I did when I was younger.  I have responsibilities and commitments to people I care about.  Sometimes it’s amazing stuff;  I should have some really cool book announcements in the next few days.  Also, I’ve been watching some of my hard work as a publicist start to pay off.  It’s been neat to see my diligence rewarded.

That does mean it’s a touch harder to find people to go out with and have a drink with at a moment’s notice now.  That was much easier when I was twenty five.  There is a touch of envy to the more free spirited of us out there.  And there are important lessons to be learned from that time.  Some that I needed to be reminded of.

I’ve been hearing about living in the moment lately and been thinking about it a lot.  Living in the moment is something I’ve struggled with.  For one thing, I’m a long term thinker.   I have goals, and a vision of who and what I want to become.  It’s necessary.  We all need an ideal of what we can achieve.

That does mean that sometimes I get caught up in the future to the point that I miss what is going on in the present.  That is a big no no a lot of us get caught up in.  I’m guilty and I’ve been forced to confront this truth quite a bit this summer.

But that’s the not the same as not having a plan.  Plans do tend to fall apart sometimes.  My favorite joke with plans is to tell this two line joke.

How do you make God laugh?”

Tell Him your plans.”

I’m sure God has more than once guffawed on my ingenious master plans.  Not one of them has worked any way I thought it would.  Great battle chieftains say the same thing.  Every plan is a good one until things happen.  And things will happen.  All the time.

Yet I still plot and scheme and come up with my motivations and plans.  Why?  Not because I expect it to all play out in my head as I envision it – very rarely do I even get an iota of that.   Rather, I do it for a more important reason.

Time.

I look back to my time then and I realized I wasted quite a bit of it.  The problem with no plan is that you go the direction of the wind.  Like a leaf you go to and fro, and only go forward when you fall back to earth.  So much time is lost.  As I’ve gotten older,  I realize I only have so much time to give.

Time isn’t a renewable resource.  Once the moment is gone, it’s gone and it’s not coming back.   We can learn from our mistakes, but we cannot travel into the past and fix them.  So one of the key reasons I try to plan is so I can see everyone I want to see in the spare moments I do have.  Sometimes it still doesn’t work out, but more often than not, I have time to do all the things I want to do (and believe me folks, that’s a big ass list that’s getting bigger all the time.)  and I get the opportunity to live a little bit before whatever I’m called to do calls me back.

This almost feels like a digression, I’m sure, but I needed to clarify the difference between enjoying the moment and living in it.  Some people are more naturally spontaneous, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are living more in the moment than a guy that plans them.  Truthfully the guy making plans can learn a lot about enjoying the moment from the person who is more free spirited.  Consequently, the free spirited person can learn from the the planner how not to be quite so wasteful with their time.

So after that I’m sure you’re asking, what is living in the moment then?

So let’s go back on top, why did I ask about fear?

One of my forthcoming guests on my podcast Just Joshing (which you can listen to right here conveniently enough) was from When Words Collide.  I remember distinctly asking Adam Dreece if he thrives on fear.   He laughed when I asked him that.

I asked him that because this is a guy that tends to go outside his comfort zone.  He seeks to challenge himself in ways he hasn’t before.  On some level, that is terrifying.

I don’t know about each and every one of you, but I’m never in the moment as much as when I’m scared.  I’m aware of everything.  I can hear my heart beat faster.  I can feel my nervousness;  I tend to crack jokes like Peter Parker does when he’s spider man.   I can feel my tension and my awareness heighten.

By and large, I love it.  I love being that aware, that conscious of my existence than when I’m doing something that rattles me.  Fear gets a bad rep for being able to freeze you.  The truth is, fear does so much more than that.  It makes you aware of things in ways you never normally are before, and that in itself is not a bad thing.

It’s only when fear rules you that you have a problem.   You’re not living in the moment – you’re stuck in it.  Fear can freeze you in its tracks.  But if you can face your fears, you will never be quite so alive then in that moment.

So I encourage people to enjoy the moments.  It’s okay to go with the flow, and be spontaneous when the opportunity presents itself.  It can be an amazing time.  That said, a touch of organization gives you more opportunities by and large to maximize the moments you do have.  Be aware of your time.  You only have so much of it.

But if you want to truly live in the moment, face your fears, whatever they are.   You will always be afraid of something, but in those moments you will feel life at its fullest.  As for me, it’s my 35th birthday soon. I got a fear of heights I need to tackle.  So very soon, I’m going to jump out of a plane.

why not?  Join me.  It’ll be fun.

Boldly Go: why I love Star Trek

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Today is Star Trek’s official 50th anniversary.  The concept is still one of the beSt and noblest ideals I have ever seen in science fiction.  A diverse group of educated men and women seeking out new life exploring the unknown.

I admit I am more of a next generation guy than the original but hey, let’s give the original its due.  Each show was unique combining classic science fiction settings with adventures involving Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock.  Dr. McCoy would make one of the most famous trios in the history of television come to life when he joined the cast.

It’s a bit dated…especially on the technology bit of things.  I am writing this blog on what very well could be a tricorder.  That said, the ideas of the original show still resonate even now.  It still entertains.  Go find an episode and see for yourself.

But like I said earlier, I am a next generation guy.  I remember my dad watching the show when we were still living in Parkhill.  I didn’t find the show that interesting.   That said I was forced to watch it, so I did.

You know what?  I found myself being drawn in.  The next generation had an amazing cast.  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and the rest gelled well and there were many amazing episodes.

I still remember being terrified of the borg when they first appeared.   I enjoyed the show’s take on professor Moriarty from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

And don’t even get me started on Q.

That said, next generation was an intelligent show.  Moral and ethical questions played a vital role in the show and I liked that there wasn’t always simple answers.  Real life doesn’t have easy answers; why should this series?  A great example of this was Data’s trial to determine if he was a lifeform.  Data was going to be stripped down for mass production.  He was going to resign and was put on trial if he had that right.   In this trial the question of what is life is examined.

Both the prosecution and defense was brilliant.  Forced to condemn his friend on threat of no trial at all, Will Riker puts on one of the most calculated and ruthless prosecution on the notion a machine could be alive.

Picard’s defense and data as a witness is brilliant and inspired.  Probably one of the best examinations of what is and could be alive.  And that is just one episode.

My favorite episode encapsulated what I love most abut Star Trek.  My favorite was “All Good Things…” the series finale.  I liked how that episode kept the audience in the dark about the story until the very end.  And once it was ovet Captain Picard and Q talked about exploration, which sticks with me even now.

“You seek to explore the possibilities of existence.”

The idea still gives me chills writing it.

It takes guts to brave the unknown.  The idea of leaving behind our home to find purpose still is a terrifying thought for most.  But really, what is it for?

Why seek out unless better to understand ourselves?  That more than anything is why I still love the idea of Star Trek.   I truly believe we are at our best when we seek out, explore and discover.  Boldly going out there is the best of all of us.  We are noble and fearless, childlike wonder and inquisitive; the very best of all our qualities come out.  Which is why while I enjoy Star Wars because it’s fun, it is Star Trek I want to be more like.

I want to be bold and seek the unknown.  I want to find the possibilities of my own existence.

Isn’t that a life worth living?

Happy 50 Star Trek.  We need more idea’s and ideals like you.

Just Joshing Episode 47: Clare C. Marshall

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I’m back.   With everything that hit me, it’s been quite a while since I did a Just Joshing guest on the blog, but that returns today with Clare Marshall.

I met Clare at When Words Collide a year ago.   We didn’t really get a chance to speak until I attended Craig Dilouie’s launch party for Children of God a few months back.  What impressed me about Clare was the fact that she is so driven and passionate about what she wants to do with her career.

Her writing is top notch.  I have only started to read the Violet Fox, but was pleasantly surprised to find the opening chapter to be very engaging.  Kiera is a modern day Robin Hood, doing what she can for the Freetor people, who are oppressed by the Marlenians.   Chapter one involves a prince, a brooch, and a lot action.   So far, I’m engaged.

Clare just recently appeared on my show and was nice enough to answer a couple of Questions for the blog.  Below are her responses.

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What are you working on right this minute?

I’m working on the next book in the Sparkstone Saga, Hunger In Her Bones, trying to get it into production. I’m also working on the third book in my YA fantasy series, The Emerald Cloth. On the business side, I’m working on improving my freelance business website (cmarshallpublishing.com), and increasing the number of shows I do next year.
 If you can talk about it, what has been the most fun freelance job you’ve done to date?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I suppose I try to find the fun in all my jobs, Mary Poppins style, otherwise I wouldn’t be very efficient with getting things done! Any website job where I have a lot of creative freedom in the design and implementation is fun, because there’s a lot of problem solving, and I can usually listen to audio books/podcasts while I do it.

Is there a medium of writing you’d like to do that you haven’t done yet?  If so, what?
Yes! I’m very interested in writing a visual novel – they’re a kind of game, popular in Japan, though there are small/individual developers making them in the Western world. It would be a big project, so probably will work away at it for the next few years. Just have to brush up on and improve my coding skills.

Anything you’d like to add?
You can find my list of shows and appearances at https://www.faeryinkpress.com/about/upcoming-events
To sign up for the Faery Ink Press newsletter, you can go here: https://www.faeryinkpress.com/newsletter
If you’re a creative type and you’re looking for website design or hosting, or editing, formatting, or eBook creation, please contact me here: http://editinganddesign.com/contact-us/
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Thanks Clare!
The only real other thing I have to add is that you can find her on twitter at @claremarshall13 .  Say hi.  She is awesome and someone to model your own work ethic and habits doing.  The podcast is linked below.  Have a listen.

You Got To Want It

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I can hear the groan in many a philosopher friend of mine reading this title.  “ANOTHER preachy thing about wanting something really really bad to succeed?”  Well, yeah, kind of.  But I promise a really personal slant about this.  an email just now and really thought about something.  What is the difference between someone that succeeds and someone that fails?  Keep in mind, I’m not talking about individual moments.

We all have plenty of failures there.

Writing is the business of rejection.   I’ve been told no far more times than I’ve been told yes.  “No, we can’t publish this story.” “No, this idea is awesome, but your word choices…not so much.”

With book 3 closer and closer to being completed I’m thinking more and more about my next challenges in the writing biz.  I want to do prose and comics next.  I have a deep love for comics and think I’m finally ready to try an awesome project or two.

(In fact, a revolution may be announced sooner or later.  I digress for now, but stay tuned…)

I had an agent interested in my ideas.  I rushed through putting all the pieces of the novel together for a writing marathon, thanks to my friends at Write Club.  I submitted it with my fingers crossed.  It turns out I’ll have to keep crossing them for awhile longer.

Old me a long time ago would have been crushed.  You don’t recognize the greatness of my writing?  That’s…that’s…inconceivable.   Modern me, has a more mature approach.  I wasn’t good enough…then.   Now?  Who knows?  But I will try again.   They are still interested.

Some of my interests have led me to go down different roads.  I’m trying my damnedest right now to get into the publicity thing.  I may not be successful at this.  It’s still in the air.  That said, I’m doing what I can.  This is about getting out there, getting contacts and making things happen.  If there is one thing I am good at is making things happen.  What remains to be seen.

But I could go and on.  Individual failures are still going to happen no matter where I go or what I do.  That’s life.  I got to take chances.

Individual failures is however, not failure in itself.  It’s one thing to fail in that moment; it’s another to accept failure as the way it has to be.

Failure is not something you have to accept.  The idea of trying again and again is a good thing.  We all get floored by failure, but none of us have to stay down.  We can get up, learn from our failures and keep going.

Here’s the part of this blog that isn’t talked about very much.   This all sounds so simple.  It’s easy to hear this.  But let me ask you something – have you considered how to do something?

When we fail, there can be a myriad of reasons why you fail.  Sometimes there are factors beyond your control, but more often than not, there are lessons in failure with how you do things.  A lot of my own failures have been in two key areas.  The first is how I present things.  I have great ideas but in writing and in life, sometimes the presentation of how I do things throw things off.  While I can contend that some of what I do wasn’t wanted, the truth is I wasn’t prepared, and ill equipped to handle some of the opportunities I wanted.

See?  Life lessons.  That said, I still don’t have it all together.  I’ll keep failing and learning.

The key in this is learning.  You can never stop learning.   If you are willing to learn, you will move past your failures.

That’s only the first part of the equation.  The second harkens back to the title of this blog.  Learning your lessons – what worked, and what didn’t, is only one half of the equation.  The other half is desire.  After you learn, there is a question you need to ask yourself.

Do you still want it?  Are you willing to work with this?

If the answer is no, it’s time to stop.  It’s okay to walk away.  That’s not failure.   It’s the work.  Getting up is tough, and going forward is never easy.  It’s a struggle.

For me, I still am enjoying the journey I’m on.  I’m writing good work, and seeing projects and doors open I never even dreamed were possible.  I am making things happen.  I still want it, after all this time.

Imagine

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Imagination is our greatest gift.

If you’re reading this, you probably familiar with Albert Einstein’s famous quote about imagination.  If you aren’t here it is:

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Cool quote right?  But what exactly does that mean? Imagination is something we possess in abundance as a child, but at some point in development imagination is ignored.  It’s not considered an evil thing or anything like that,  but things like real and possible are emphasized more as you get older.  Maintaining imagination is one of our greatest challenges.

Even if you do manage to maintain a shrapnel of that magic you had as a child, how do you use it?

First off, imagination wants to be expressed.  It’s that intuitive part of ourselves that desires a larger world than the one we see, feel, touch, taste and hear.  We express it in music, art, writing, and a myriad of other ways.  When we do so, we are reaching out from the aether and bringing something in ourselves to life.  We are encouraging our inner child to grow.

That is awesome enough.  Expressing ideas, concepts, visions of what might be, can be and maybe even will be has been a part of art for as long as we’ve recorded it.  I imagine that the first cavemen and women dreamed of greater worlds than theirs way back.  Wonder is something all of us had at one point.

Imagination isn’t just the expression of art – it is also one of the best tools we have of solving problems.

The best example of this to me is cooking.  Cooking is the ultimate example of happy accidents.  Once upon a time I’m sure someone somewhere accidentally spilled milk into a pot, and in so doing discovered stew.  My dad puts food and formulae together all the time to deal with matters of health.  Most people don’t visualize food as medicine, yet my father uses that vision to create some unique and powerful medicines.

That kind of vision can apply to any problem.   In fact, let me talk to you about one of mine that I solved.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw for a long while.  If I’m going to be honest, part of the problem was that I was scared to try.  Drawing has intimidated me since I was a kid.  Ironically, I need it more than ever with my current situation, but still haven’t found the motivation.

Until Sunday.  Talking to Michael Martineck, I recognized an opportunity to make myself get started.  Instagram had reminded me of something the first moment I saw it.  It was in that conversation that I saw the answer.   For me, Instagram is a panel in a comic.  A page is intimidating; a panel is not so bad.  I can go slower, and teach myself a valuable skill in the process.

Imagination is one of the best tools you can use to solve problems.  It allows you to see a situation in a different light, and find solutions others might not see.

But if I had to think of my favorite use for imagination, it’s the ability to make your dreams real.

We have the freedom in life to attain goals we set out for ourselves.  One of the keys to achieving any goal we have is to see ourselves doing it.  For example, I see myself all the time achieving my goals as a writer.  From getting published, to getting paid, to making a living, I’ve been pushing forward more and more.  I’ve been published, and paid.  I’m working on making a living and making something special happen with the books I produce.  I can see it.

(as an aside, and food for thought, a question for you dear reader.  If you make a dream come true, was it ever really a dream?)

Since I’ve had this vision in my head for a long time, I’ve seen it more and more manifest itself in my life.  Not just in my achievements, but in the people in my life.  More and more I see myself surrounded by those with similar visions; each of them trying to make that dream a reality.  It’s humbling to see so many great people come into your life that are amazing and magical in their own ways.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here.  Others I realize I belong, for I too have vision and dare to dream.

There is a price though.  Imagination makes us bigger.  We grow and evolve with our visions, becoming as large as we perceive.  This means that as you make your dreams come true, your goals and your insights become bigger, which makes sense, because you’ve grown as a person.  You’ve become something more.  In turn, your wants and dreams become bigger.

Tonight I got some interesting news.  I was hoping to announce a book tour.  The original plan for it changed tonight with one email.  I wasn’t surprised.  Instead, another thought came into my head.  There is no doubt in my mind I can still make this happen.  The question is where do i go from here?  What do I imagine it going?  What can I do with it?

And do I really want it?

The last question might be the only cautionary thing I mention here.  Life will keep throwing you bigger and bigger things as you go.  As long as you want it, it will be there. The moment you stop wanting it, you should quit.  Recognize within yourself when you really don’t want to go down the path you set for yourself.   It’s okay to walk away.

Otherwise, there are no limits.  Einstein’s quote is a good one, but I always was a fan of a comic line Stan Lee wrote for DC.  It was called Just Imagine.  And that is how I’m leaving this entry.  What do you imagine?  What can you see yourself doing, and becoming?

You can make it real.

Just imagine.

Guest Post: Thea Van Diepen

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While I’m trying to do a million and one things, I thought the blog needed some new content, so I turned to my friend Thea Van Diepen to provide me some content.  Thea is currently kickstarting her novel Like Mist Over Eyes which you can click to right here to donate. 

I’m proud of her.  I’ve been very fortunate to read past works like The Illuminated Heart and know that Thea is talented.  It takes guts to face ones fears and worst experiences.   This kickstarter has already been a success for her because…well, enough from me.  Take it away Thea, and I will be talking to you guys soon.

Thea van Diepen - Headshot

I cried happy tears today.

Three years ago, I ran an Indiegogo campaign to fund The Illuminated Heart. The goal was $500 – the lowest they would let me set it at, which I did under protest because what I was really looking for was $400 – and the campaign was set such that I’d get all the money raised by the end of the month, even if I didn’t hit my goal.

The campaign went badly.

There were a lot of reasons for this, some out of my control, a lot in my control. And while I did end up raising $400, it was only after I realized that I really did need the full $500. I felt so ashamed I didn’t want to do another crowdfunding campaign again any time soon.

So when Josh and I were talking business talk last year and he suggested I do a Kickstarter for something, I balked. Hard.

All I could see was that $400 and all I could feel was that sick feeling in my stomach all over again.

In May of this year, neither of those had gone away, but I’d run the numbers and they were telling me that, if I wanted to publish Like Mist Over the Eyes this year, I’d need to run a Kickstarter.

It took me a month to convince myself I would do this. The things outside of my control last time had shifted by now in my favour (audience size and relative knowledge about what crowdfunding is are the two big ones), and the things under my control, well, I’d learned from them. Things would be better this time around.

It’s funny, though, how all those logical things you can tell yourself do nothing for that pit of emotion twisting itself inside your gut.

That gnarled mess stayed all through June, during which I got some excellent coaching from Tara Brannigan. My original plan had been to start the Kickstarter in July, but I kept putting off writing the description. And putting it off. And putting it off. I couldn’t think of how I wanted to say what I wanted to say.

“Why would anyone want to give money to you?” said that accusing voice that pops up when I’m feeling insecure. “You’re book might be the greatest thing in the world, but this has nothing to do with your book. You know how marketing works. You know that people who might even love your book will take one look at you and go ‘oh, ugh, it’s her’ and take off without another thought. Isn’t that how it went last time? Isn’t that how it always goes?”

What can I say? That voice is an ass.

And a liar, but a very convincing one when you’re already not sure what the truth is. I mean, I don’t know the motivations of the people who saw my Indiegogo campaign and didn’t pledge. But one thing I’ve learned since then is that knowing people’s motivations is irrelevant. I don’t even know my own motivations half the time, so why should I expect to know others? Why should I expect that information to be in any way useful to me?

The other thing that I’ve learned is that people’s decisions aren’t a personal statement about me. Even if it’s a social snub directed at me, even if they say it’s about me, it’s not about me. It’s not about who I am. It’s about how they see themselves. My decisions are about how I see myself. How people treat me is irrelevant to who I am.

But that second lesson still hadn’t sunk in completely until today.

By the end of Friday, the Kickstarter campaign for Like Mist Over the Eyes was at $460. More than I had raised in that Indiegogo, but still not the goal I’d set for it.

The thing about going and trying something again is that, even if all the details are different, you relive what happened before. All the emotions, all the thoughts, all the deepest feelings. At that point, I was still reliving the Indiegogo campaign and my shame about it.

It wasn’t the exact same – I have a lot more healthy things to draw on than I did a that point – but the reason I wasn’t drowning in it wasn’t because I was standing tall. It was because I was clinging to a wet rock as the waves pounded against me, all the while hoping and praying I wouldn’t drown. That I would not be doomed to repeat those same limitations over and over. That I wouldn’t be trapped forever in a past that I didn’t want to be my future.

For two days, I tried not to think about that too much.

Then today happened.

It takes faith (trust) to believe in something when you don’t see it. I didn’t have a whole lot of faith this past weekend. I wavered like you would not believe – I almost considered cancelling the campaign at one point! So the fact that Monday had to happen before I could really trust that this could work has shown me where it’s time for me to grow. Which makes me even more thankful for it.

I woke up this morning to discover that not only had the Kickstarter for Like Mist Over the Eyes passed $500 in pledges, but it had also shot past $600 in the same night.

Here is where I cried.

We don’t relive every previous instance of what we’re doing right now, only the most significant and all the experiences that support it. Regardless of how this kickstarter turns out, this has become the most significant of all my crowdfunding experiences.

Which means I’m going to be okay.

You know that thing you’re afraid of? That thing you want to do more than anything but, every time you try, all you can think of is all the times it went wrong?

Give it a try.

You’re different now, and you never know what’ll happen in the morning.

 

The Importance of Thank You

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I usually go on a thank you rant to a lot of people when good things happen.  What I often don’t talk about is why.

Arizona time:  I remember when I was down and had nothing, and was doing my best just to survive.  A lot of people stepped up and helped me.  They never asked questions and they never judged me.  They saw me as someone that was trying, and aided and making sure I kept going.

One of the places that helped me was Trappers.  Trappers is a great little place in Taylor, Arizona that is worth going to if for nothing else, their pies.  Amazing little restaurant.  A couple of times while I had to traverse cities via jaywalking at night, they’d stop me and offer me a free meal.  They knew I couldn’t pay for it, and yet never questioned it.

I have never ever forgotten that. Next time I go there, I want to thank them.   I know how I’m going to do it.

Thank you may actually be the most important currency of all now that I think of it.  It’s not necessary.  We don’t live in a tit for tat universe, contrary to what bill collectors may tell you.  We live in a world where people can choose to give and people can choose to not expect anything in return.   But it’s nice to hear it.  It shows appreciation and people want perhaps more than anything to be appreciated.

No one has to help you in this world.  You are not owed anything by anyone.  The fact that people are willing to help you at all is a blessing.  I know I feel it all the time, and I always try to appreciate it and the people helping me.

This concept came to me reading LE Modesitt Jr.’s Recluse series.  He talks about the importance of paying debts.  It wasn’t money, but rather making sure to take the time to make sure you let people you know you are grateful to them.

Today I went and did that a little bit.  I went to a place called Metal Galaxy, who I interviewed not too long ago for my podcast.  Thanks to them, something amazing happened to me this week.   I wanted to make sure that they knew I was grateful.  I went an thanked them personally.  It’s not much, compared to what they’ve given me, but I needed to let them know I was grateful.

I still have more to do.  I have my dad to thank this week.  I got a few things from other people I need to meet and make sure they feel the same.  It’s important to me to make sure that they know and continue to know how much I am thankful the people that help me do so.

But before I continue doing all that, doing my publicity stuff and a few other things, I just want to say here to my readers the following:

Thank you.  You never had to come here, and you never had to stop by and say hello.  Yet you have and you did and I am grateful.  Because of all of you, I’m able to do what I am doing.

Try to go out there and say thank you to those that are willing to stand by you.  It’s important.  So I’m doing so here, right now.

Thank you.

June 2016

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I can honestly say June has been one of the most important months of my life.

I made a wish, and lots of things came true.

My wish?  Simply one statement.  I screamed out to God “I deserve more.” A statement, but one I meant from the bottom of my heart.  I have a decent life and do decent things, but I wanted more.  I called out for more.

It begins as the last time I majorly changed my life, with a purge.  I got rid of a large chunk of books, some games, comics and magic cards.  I’m soon going to eliminate a lot of my comics en masse.

This is a good thing.  I’m ready to let more things go.  If you know me, you know I really don’t value things the same way a lot of people do.  More importantly, I want to bet on me.  I think I can do even greater things than I have, and that means I walk away and leave behind the things that don’t matter so much to me.  Having a thing isn’t important anymore.  It’s if I can use it and enjoy it.

So that happened.  It is happening.

And this has opened more doors.  I was blessed to have a myriad of cool experiences, and opportunities came my way.  Tomorrow I take on a brand new challenge.  The week after I meet up with my publicist and we go and make an even bigger challenge happen.  I have some ideas of doing things other writers don’t do and I’m willing to make a vision happen.  It’s an exciting time.

But…if I have to think about the most important thing that happened, I think the biggest surprise was the very first thing that came to me when this all started.  You appeared. You walked right in, turning my defenses into nothing but paper mache, and somehow made me look into my own heart, terrified at what I saw there.

I discovered sides to myself I wasn’t sure were there.  I’ve become someone more than I was before this month happened.  You made me learn something about what love is, and what it really means.

And if you’re reading this, you know it.  I love you, and I’m proud of you.  And I always will be.  Thank you.

Josh Present

Onward.

 

Just Joshing Episode 35: Megan Hutchison

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Finally catching up with the Just Joshings with Episode 35.

Megan Hutchison is probably the coolest artist in comics.   Now, it goes without saying that she is talented.  Her work on Will of the Wisp: Grim Grimeon is nothing short of amazing.  It’s how I met her actually.

She was at Calgary Comic con being cool with everyone she came by.  I enjoyed my conversation with her, and asked her back then if she’d be cool with an interview.  She said yes, and we departed with me owning one of the coolest looking graphic novels in comics.

Flash forward to now.   I have a podcast, and Megan is about to undertake the coolest comic ever in Rockstars with Joe Harris.   The podcast is below, but here’s a brief introduction to Megan with this short interview.

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Joshua Pantalleresco:  What are you working on right now?

Megan Hutchinson
Thanks Megan!
Megan’s comic Rockstars with Joe Harris will be debuting in December.  If you want to find out what Megan is up to check out her webpage at http://www.blackem-art.com.  Her instagram and twitter handles are @blackem_art and her facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/blackem.hutch.   I want to thank Megan for her time and just being awesome.

Just Joshing Episode 34: Michell Plested

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As I keep catching up, check out my latest Wrestling Column at Wrestling Glory Days right here.  Give it a read.  I’ll be right back before you know it.

Alright?  Alright.  Let’s get cracking.

I keep catching up on Just Joshing with Michell Plested.  Michell is a jack of all trades.  Publisher, writer extraordinaire, and a podcaster in his own right.  Michell has created a publisher called Evil Alter Ego Press.  The first books from the publisher is the Mik Murdoch Boy Superhero series.  Books 1 and 2 were previously released from the publisher, but the new one is being released at When Words Collide.

Michell is also a boy scout leader and an amazing storyteller.  I first encountered Michell at my own taste of local authors event.  He had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and his concept was nothing short of amazing.  I wanted him on the podcast and he graciously agreed.

Of course, then I blew it on the first try.  I had a great conversation with him and my phone somehow deleted it.  Michell was gracious enough to let me have a conversation with him again, and it aired last week on the just joshing podcast.

Below is a brief interview.

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Joshua Pantalleresco: What are you working on right this minute?

Michell Plested:  I am getting Mik Murdoch: Crisis of Conscience ready for the printer. That
and writing Scouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie War.

JP: For those people who are not aware, who or what is Evil Alter Ego press?

MP:  Evil Alter Ego Press (EAEP) is an independent publisher that focuses on
Young Adult books. EAEP isn’t overly fussy about the genre – just good
books that will delight readers.

JP:  Considering your apparent love of comics, have you ever thought of doing graphic novels?  It just seems like something you’d do.

MP:  I would actually really like to do a graphic novel. The problem is, I
don’t know any artists who are desperate to partner with me on one (at
least not yet) and my artistic skills are not up to snuff. I AM working on
a children’s book with a very talented artist though it doesn’t quite
qualify as a graphic novel.

JP:  Anything you’d like to add?

MP:  I grew up reading everything I could lay my hands on, including comics. My
parents and grandparents always gave me a hard time about the comic books
because they weren’t real books. I’m here to tell you, they and anyone
else who says comic books (and now graphic novel) don’t count as books are
dead wrong.

Mik_final

I couldn’t agree more.  By the way, I’m still jealous of Michell’s shirt.

I had a lot more I can say, but Michell sent me his bio, and I think I can close out the article with him.   you can find him on twitter at @mplested and his website is http://www.michellplested.com.  You can also find him on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/michell.plested.   I want to thank Michell for his time, and now, his bio to close things out.

 

Michell (Mike) Plested is an author, editor, blogger, closet superhero (not to mention sock herder and cat wrangler), podcaster and publisher living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Mike is the co-founder of Evil Alter Ego Press. An indie press focused on outstanding Young Adult fiction.

His debut novel, Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero was shortlisted for the Prix Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and its sequel, Mik Murdoch: The Power Within was launched at When Words Collide 2014. He has since released, Scouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie Plague (2015) and the co-written novel, Jack Kane & the Statue of Liberty (2015).

The podcast link is right below.  Enjoy.

http://jpantalleresco.podomatic.com/entry/2016-06-11T13_26_33-07_00