Hello world. It’s happening. I’m a legit author with a book on Amazon again. I have no idea how to feel or where to go from here.
I don’t have a marketing plan. I don’t really have much experience. Since the story involves all these triggering subjects like suicide, social anxiety, and the afterlife, I want to discuss it with sensitivity, but I’m not sure how. What’s the correct way to promote a book in which characters travel through time to stop people from killing themselves? How do you send a message of hope and inspiration to help people stay alive in this world when you’ve struggled with the idea so much yourself?
Wanting Off This Rock but Wondering if the Next Rock Might be Worse
The book stars Noland Randall and Jasmine North, both in their early thirties before death, both losers in their own eyes. Now, in some in-between realm where souls often end up post-suicide, they can see there would’ve been much happiness had they kept going.
One of the factors that’s kept me breathing during the darkest times in my life is the belief that killing one’s physical body doesn’t end anything. I could never get past the idea that I’d wake up in some twisted realm like Spine Desert, the opening location in the book. Or worse, that my death would force the burden of suffering onto others, both the people left behind, and perhaps a new existence too, reincarnated into a world like this one carrying similar negative patterns and traits.
I’m happy to say I’m doing pretty good these days, but mental health is a delicate thing that can never be taken for granted. That’s a point I tried to make in this book. Even if someone is saved from suicide, they aren’t cured. They could still become suicidal again a week later. Staying healthy and happy is a process with no end point.
Social Anxiety | I Love You, but I’d Rather Jump from a Moving Vehicle than Interact with You
Not really. But that’s how intense social anxiety can feel. Terrifying. Crushing. Exhausting.
Since the living Jasmine’s crippling social anxiety plays such a huge role in the story, I thought discussing my own experiences might be a way to introduce this book to the world.
I can be social at times. If I’m in the mood, I can talk with someone for hours, and I enjoy meeting new people, too. But often, I prefer to be in my own world, and sometimes, even after a lot of time healing, I find it difficult to be around people at all.
If you’ve experienced social anxiety, I know you relate to the waves of dread rolling over your body. The thumping heartbeat. The shaking hands and trembling knees. The way it feels to see yourself become a high master in the art of avoiding people, leveling up your game every time you make a successful dodge. For the living Jasmine, this was her everyday life.
What’s helped me the most with social anxiety has been self-acceptance. Most of my anxious feelings and fears are just about wanting to avoid awkwardness, and the only reason for awkwardness is not being able to be yourself or speak the truth.
That’s the point of this blog. To say sorry if I’ve abandoned conversations, ignored messages, or not shown up to things. Sorry if I’ve ever avoided you in person. It’s not about you. I’m probably cool with you, and I might even like you. It doesn’t mean I always want to talk. The more I understand myself, set boundaries, and give myself permission to say no to things, the less reason there is to worry. And in turn, the more energy I have for people when the timing is right.
It’s the same for the living Jasmine, she just can’t see it. She’s spent so long isolated in a prison of her own creation that she’s lost the exit door. Because of her anxiety and PTSD, she thinks there’s no hope of ever having friends or being a healthy person again. Whether Noland can manipulate the course of life on Earth enough to change that in time, the story will tell.
If the Most Amazing Person was Standing in Front of You, Would You Feel Good Enough for Them?
This book tells of hungering for someone who feels out of reach. I’ve known that feeling. I’ve asked myself the above question and gotten no in response. It showed me what I still needed to work on. Healing is a process, and there are no quick fixes, but life is bursting with abundant potential, even if we can’t always see it. That’s the overall message I hope comes across in this book.
Fans of What Dreams May Come, The Butterfly Effect, and 13 Reasons Why might enjoy BEYOND MY DYING MIND, a time travel fantasy available on Amazon.
After being on a journey of self-exploration and positive manifestation for years now, I’ve made massive leaps forward with healing. It’s amazing how refusing to think of yourself as sick can change things. Some serious conditions of mine are clearing up. Others have lessened in severity. This progress with healing my body has taken me deeper into myself, and with every twist and turn, I gain understanding about what is and isn’t working for me.
For that reason, I’ve been stepping back from social media. With new scandals, attacks, shootings, and other horrors happening on a regular basis, it’s exhausting to keep speaking out. I don’t have the answers to these societal problems. I wasn’t built for expressing outrage. I’m an upbeat, optimistic person with a dark sense of humor, and I’d rather express my true self through my work versus social media, where people seem to be offended by the silliest of things these days.
I realize this isn’t any new observation. I’ve struggled with social media for years, cutting it out entirely between 2011 and 2013. My new goal isn’t to delete my presence from the web but rather to shift the perspective and make my lifestyle a closer match to the dream that’s truest to my heart. There’s a reason some of the creative people I admire most happen to be the ones who’ve distanced themselves from the online world, instead focusing on the work and keeping the majority of their private thoughts their own.
Maybe things will calm down in the future, but for now, limited involvement seems the best route. It’s hard because interacting is fun. Despite being introverted and enjoying solitude, I have a deep hunger for satisfying human interaction. I hope that by distancing myself from social media and detoxifying my world, I can raise my vibration and begin to attract a happier and more authentic life experience.
My fear? If I’m not constantly reminding people of my existence by tweeting, I’ll be forgotten. But fear is the opposite of abundance. I won’t let it run me.
There’s another aspect, too. Whenever I do express an opinion, I’m pummeled by the gut feeling I’m missing a bigger opportunity. Almost as if saying things directly somehow lessens the impact of my message, and by channeling my opinions into my art and writing, I’ll be able to expand the reach of my voice. Or rather, through the power of manifestation, I can ensure the messages I have to offer this world find the minds of the people they were always meant to reach. I’m not sure that will ever happen if I keep immersing myself in the negativity of social media and lowering my vibration to the point I become sick.
I’ve taken many twists and turns and spun out in so many circles on this creative path. Sometimes I feel like a loser, a failure, a freak. Most of the time, I feel blessed that I’m given these dreams and this inner world that is so beyond description. Blessed to be a rare and strange soul who isn’t afraid to walk alone. In all this time, through so many dizzying circles, I haven’t let my dream die. I’ve carried it with me like a flashlight, turning it on whenever I need hope in the dark of night. Sometimes, I see it like a light shining down on me through the trees, broken by a scatter of branches but there waiting for me whenever I’m ready to climb higher.
Today, I’m choosing to climb. The light is shining bright, and I have more hope than I’ve felt in a long time.
Hello everyone. First of all, major thanks to the lovely Devon J. Hall, who designed my beautiful and mysterious-looking new banner, which I could stare at forever! 🌺
The Usual Catch-up Stuff
This past year has been transformative. So many changes, too personal and massive to get into but worthy of mention. I took a break from this blog due to being too burned out on writing and having no idea what sort of content I wanted to do. I switched my focus onto Youtube, which led me to a similar conclusion. I’ve been struggling to connect to my true vision for so long now.
The difficulties of needing income can lead you down the wrong path, but intuition always helps me readjust and go in a better direction. After chasing various dreams the last few years, I now see how unhappy I’ve been, and why it’s been so hard to manifest what I want.
I’ve spread myself too thin, pushed myself too hard, and hated myself way too much for not being successful. I’m now moving into a chapter of my life where I’m learning to accept myself easier. I just want to enjoy the ride, manifest what I can, and write as many great books as possible along the way.
Book News and the Plan for the Blog
I have a new book that’s going to beta readers in August. It remains top-secret until more of the details are figured out, but it’s a low/portal fantasy love story about an afterlife for suicides and a couple trying to right the wrongs they did on Earth. I’m nervous! This will be the first time my writing has been seen by outside eyes since I was still published.
I’d like to start using this blog for flash fiction and short series that interlock with my books. The process of writing books involves going through the story over and over, seeing it differently and learning things about what happened each time. I’m trying to streamline this best I can, but I also want my books to be perfect for you guys. While I’m working on that, it will be fun to experiment with shorter fiction and share whatever I come up with.
One of the hardest parts of writing creature fiction is coming up with original ideas. It doesn’t matter whether your monsters are located in the physical or spirit realm—making frightening entities that people haven’t already seen zillions of times is tough. From things that mimic every form of insect, to gigantic, shapeless alien blobs, it probably exists out there somewhere.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a new story featuring classic monsters. As a long-time zombie fan, I know I’ll never get sick of reading or watching that genre. But if you’re like me, and you’re looking to create an original cast of horrifying creatures for your next book or film, you’re going to need to think outside the box to make your monsters different.
Monster Concepts: More than Just Design
It’s natural to start out by focusing on the physical design of your monsters, which is important. However, it’s often the other details about a monster that make it unique.
Some questions to ask:
- Why do your monsters do what they do?
Are they on a non-discriminatory path of destruction or going after certain entities? Is there a sentiment behind their actions, such as revenge, or are they driven by something more primal, like hunger? Are they individual entities capable of making their own decisions. Or, are they mindless drones?
- Where are your monsters from?
There are many places that monsters can originate from. Outer space. A giant crack in the ground. A gateway to hell. A scientific experiment gone wrong. If you’re looking for innovative possibilities for your monsters, consider giving them a unique origin. Any of the things I just listed still have new possibilities within them.
For example, aliens don’t necessarily need the “conquer and steal resources” motivation you see in a lot of stories. Is there another reason they are here? Think outside the box.
- How Do They Communicate?
Communication is another big factor that sets monsters apart. Look at the difference between the Anne Rice vampires and those found in the 30 Days of Night comics. The former are eloquent, well-spoken, and glamorous beings. They can go unnoticed or even pass as human in the right situation. The latter vampires are much more monstrous, and while they can also communicate, it comes off in a different way.
Another example: That iconic scene in the original Independence Day when the alien manipulates Dr. Okun’s vocal chords to communicate. That was a good example of using communication in an innovative way. Since the aliens did not communicate to mankind throughout most of the story, it made that scene even more powerful.
Finding Inspiration: Monster Legends
I’ve always loved reading about monster lore from around the world. Everyone knows about Bigfoot and Chupacabra, so I did some research and came up with three less-popular monsters to provide you some inspiration.
The Manticore is a creature from Persian mythology that seems to have a lot of variations. The general features include the head of a human with a lion-like body, the tail of a scorpion and rows of razor-sharp teeth. Legend has it that the Manticore uses its
venomous tail to paralyze its victims before devouring them whole. Some describe the tail as something that can shoot venomous spikes at enemies as well as function as a stabbing device.
The Manticore story dates way back to a dude named Ctesias, who was a Greek historian in 5th century BC. His detailed descriptions of the creature inspired Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder to include it in his book Naturalis Historia, which was super popular throughout the Middle Ages. According to Pliny the Elder, the Manticore could also mimic human speech—which ups the creepy factor by a lot if you ask me. I’ve always loved monsters that could lure people out into the dark woods by mimicking human voices. So wicked!
- Hungry Ghost (Preta)
The legend of Hungry Ghosts, also known as Preta in Sanskrit, originates from ancient India. It is believed that pretas are spiritual entities stuck in a hellish existence in which they feel a constant level of insatiable hunger, often for something disgusting, such as decaying flesh.
They have mummified skin, swollen bellies, and thin limbs due to starvation. Their necks are slender, and their mouths are too small to eat normally. Some pretas are said to be able to eat but not gain fullness and others can’t eat at all due to their deformed mouths. They must endure this terrible suffering due to acts of cruelty or betrayal that they may have carried out in past lives.
- Mongolian Death Worm
I was proud of myself for discovering a new cool monster I’d never heard of–until I realized the Mongolian Death Worm is such a well-known thing that Sean Patrick Flannery made a movie about it in 2010.
Legend has it that the worms, which hide out in the most isolated regions of the Gobi desert, are between two and five feet long and can kill a human via touch using its poisonous skin. It can also supposedly shoot corrosive venom from its mouth and electrocute victims from a distance.
In 1920, the Mongolian Death Worm was featured in the book On the Trail of Ancient Man by Roy Chapman Andrews. He described it as being
“so poisonous that merely touching it means instant death.” How he developed this theory is unclear, and unfortunately, no one has gathered any real evidence of the Mongolian Death Worm’s existence.
That said, many locals stand by the legend. And I’m a firm believer that things exist if enough people believe, so let’s make this happen, damn it! #MongolianDeathWorm2018
Well, that’s it for today’s blog. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about these creatures as well as learning some of my tips for coming up with original monsters of your own.
PS. Some people have asked about my writing. I am currently drafting book two in my series. The plan is to write the entire series before I begin rewriting and perfecting things, so it will be a little while before I release anything again. That said, I’m thinking of starting a fiction miniseries of shorts here on my blog to go along with the novels. I’m not sure yet, but if this would be something you guys would be interested in, please comment and let me know!
Also be sure to check out my Youtube channel, which is growing every day. Thanks!
A little late, but just wanted to say I hope you all had a great day. If you’re in a relationship, I hope you get everything you dream out of tonight. If you’re single, I hope you own it! Freedom and independence are gifts. Check out my latest video if you need a pep talk:
Quick writing update:
My apocalyptic series is flowing. I thought that writing my first book was the deepest learning experience I could ever know, but tackling this series has already taught me a lot. A lot of it writes itself, which is the magical experience I live for.
There’s a romance brewing, too. These characters developed an intense connection against my will. She was supposed to be with someone else. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, but this was too powerful to be stopped. And I’m so glad it wasn’t! These two are one of the best couples I’ve written. They’re a perfect match, and it makes me happy that it wasn’t planned.
That’s it for now. Happy Valentine’s!
Hey guys! Here’s my latest video where I discuss my thoughts on commonly complained about apocalyptic tropes.