The Focus Of This Blog

You know, I’ve been absent from here over the holidays. Mostly this is because life has just been so all engulfing for me and I just didn’t know what I wanted to post on this site. But, I’ve been thinking lately, I’d like to get more into the act of writing. I’m thinking of focusing more on my process of writing and what I’ve taken from it. I want to work on some new short stories this year and I’m going to be pushing hard in the next year or two to get anything published. I’ve completed one book, Red Star Sheriff, and am reworking it into a publishable state. I think the story is good myself, so I hope I find an audience. I’ve also started work on book two in the series of three. If I’m fortunate, I’ll have an agent by summer. Therefore, the plan here is to get into my writing method and my experiences and thoughts moving forward. I started a new job about three weeks ago and I have a lot of downtime on it. As a consequence, I’ve been bringing my lined paper notebook (hardback from the old days, they don’t do that much anymore) and I’m now up to about two thousand words a day as a result. I love to handwrite my rough drafts first and then translate it into the computer then revise as I go along. I’ve written four books now, and I’ve handwritten each one for the rough draft. Why? Well, I just love how fresh paper feels on my hands! I rub my palms along the surface and just revel in the simplicity of its surface and it fills me with joy!

Wait? I’ve written four books? What are they you might wonder! None that has been published.

The First was:

Left of Midnight. A book that will be revised and released in the future. I really enjoyed writing it but I was never able to get it to a condition I was satisfied with. I think now I might be able to give it a better shot.

The Second Was:

Mass Effect 3 Re-Imagined. My wife and I are huge Mass Effect fans and we were just disappointed in how the third game ended. So, for Christmas about five years ago, I rewrote the entire third chapter of the series. Mostly because the ideas I had for the script wouldn’t work for the game as it exists. As such, I had to start from the beginning and wrote it all based on my wife’s love interest: Garrus. And then gave it to her for Christmas. She has the only hardcopy of it. But, you can find the rough draft of it online. Or, well, here: https://www.booksie.com/users/icentrist-185002

Enjoy.

The Third Book was:

Red Star Sheriff. Written just last year and is all about a young woman who comes into possession of a technology that can alter the power of balance in the Sol Solar System. I’ve gotten up through three drafts and am in the final draft now to get it into shape. I hope to have an agent for it by the end of the year.

Book Four:

Huhn. You know what, I haven’t written it all the way through yet! Hah! I thought I had four books when I’m really on book four! The truth is, I have some forty something short stories (one published in a foreign magazine), three books, and a stop motion animated series on YouTube completed. This will be my fourth full book and hopefully one that will be published after the original Red Star Sheriff. This fourth book is Red Star Sheriff Volume II and I’ve managed to get fifty pages handwritten in the last three weeks.

I’ve started numerous other novels over the years that I haven’t completed for various reasons. You can find one such novel at: http://www.angelfire.com/indie/caeliclord/

There’s just so much about writing I enjoy. The worldbuilding, how the characters speak to you, just the feeling of being successful at completing a narrative. It’s rewarding in ways I never expected in my youth. But now that I can appreciate it more fully, I think that I want to share that experience with those who care to listen. So, as I write this fourth book, I will put up posts about my thoughts and experiences and insecurities in making the first volume of Red Star Sheriff and updates on how this second volume is coming. And, of course, keep you up to date on if I manage to find a short story sale and an agent.

Mostly, this is just to get a peek at the mind of one individual and how I write. I can’t promise a regular posting because my life is some random and chaotic that it’s hard to predict what I’ll be doing day to day. Therefore, I will endeavor to a post or two a month and hope to not get sidetracked in sharing this journey. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you come back to see what my thoughts are next!

~Timothy S Purvis

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THE MODERN DAY IS BORING

THIS MODERN AGE of ours is a pestilence. It’s boring and uninspiring. I say this not because I know where I live but because I know I don’t want to live there. We live in the constant threat of terrorist strikes and nuclear obliteration. We live in an age where we have to (HAVE to) work for a living. Gone are the days of the blacksmith, wandering bard, or professional student. You absolutely MUST get an education or fall into the rut of retail and fastfood (the service industry as a whole likely employs more people than specialized trades) if you hope to have a home, food, and family. Elsewise, you’re just some vagabond and nothing more. Nobody brags about working at Kroger or being a postal agent. People brag about being a ‘world traveler’, an agent in the FBI (or other government agency), or a CEO of a major conglomerate. Because these jobs allow agency. Whereas your average job just ensures a paycheck. And how many of you are just happy with a paycheck?

There’s always something more we endeavor to be that the Modern Age refuses to allow or admit to.

Maybe that’s why so maybe fantasies and science fiction stories are set anywhere and anytime other than the Modern Age.  Think about the games you play or the books you read. How many of them are set in the here and now? And if they are, think about how much agency is put into the telling of that story. Sure, Hunt For Red October, the Outsider, and video games like the PS4 Spider-Man are all set in the Modern Age, but how fantastical are they with their elements to keep you intrigued? 

Let’s face it, stories are only good if they’re looking back to the past or forward to the future. Not everybody like Tom Clancy or Stephen King can make the real world seem interesting (or Laurel K. Hamilton for that matter), but everybody loves a good yarn like the Lord of the Rings or a video game series like Mass Effect. Escapism is the magical word we’re all familiar with because the day to day minutia of our everyday lives is just so plain and repetitive. Hell, as I write this, I’m getting ready to go to work at the gas station that employs me for another long and exciting night of sitting there and taking the moronic attitudes of our clientele (Really? It’s our ‘pumps’ that aren’t functioning right? Are you SURE it isn’t because you don’t know how to read?). 

And yet I long to finish the final drafts of my novel, find an agent, and escape this rut. To dive deep into my own imagination and escape to worlds that are fantastic and exhilarating. Not blase and unimportant. Not a place where all I do is work, pay the bills, and wonder how I’m going to repay my student loans (hint: never ever and no way). Sure, I love my family (my wife, my son, my parents, my in-laws). But nothing is more exciting than the worlds I see in my mind. Nothing is more exciting than diving into the latest Assassin’s Creed game (to see the past and the strange stories we might find there) or the newest Mass Effect (that has gone out of its way to leave the Milky Way behind and find new adventures in Andromeda). These are exciting stories (I’m still finishing up the Dark Tower series and looking forward to delving into the Outsider!) that draw us out of the everyday and plop us straight down into the middle of something that matters.

Yet, the bland and boring everyday that is filled with the redundant is something none of us are really thrilled about. And even more depressing is dealing with terrorist threats, school shootings, sexual assault perpetrators elevated to the highest levels of government, and the constant, looming dirge of war with foreign nations that we shouldn’t have to worry about be at war with. It makes you wonder what is it all about? What’s the point? What’s the end game? Everything I do today, I’ll be doing tomorrow. And every threat with have to contend with this year, will be the same threat next.

It never ends. But stories that are not in the here and the now gives us some sort of hope that maybe, just maybe we can find a better path and a better future. At least until we open our eyes and have to deal with the same dismal slog as we did yesterday. Then we start wondering again, when is that alien invasion coming?

Clearly they have more insight than we do.