I have something pretty cool to announce today. My article is up on BlusterHouse.net. It's a short one but I feel like it communicates a lot of the trials I am going through at the moment, at least those challenges in the way of my journey as an author. You can find the article here:
BlusterHouse Write Club
or copied below. Enjoy!
Write Club: The Only Rule is That You Talk About Write Club
by T.S. Smith - July 18th, 2019
So, here we are, you and me, standing still in place and wondering what we’re doing with our lives. I look at you and tell you the dead truth: I don’t really know.
Right now, I’m in the subway under downtown Los Angeles on my way home, hoping to catch the early train so I can cut a little bit more out of my night than I usually do. I live in a small place, by anyone’s standard, and go about my life with a determined, one-foot-after-the-other, militaristic, kind of approach. I have a day job, as I’m sure most of us writers do, to pay the growing number of bills that read my name on their front breast. And at the end of it all, I have a dream of being an author.
Or maybe, I am one already?
Just what in the hell does that mean?
Well, it most likely means different things to different writers. To me, being an author is not about money, or followers, or taking “nonchalant” pictures to post on Instagram so that people will recognize me at Disneyland. No. To me, being an author means one thing and one thing only: story. I want to create great stories that people can enjoy.
We all crave magnificent and original content but Hollywood has become barren in this regard. How many times have we seen the same crap roll in and out of our local movie theater? Saw 17? Give me a break. The traditional gatekeepers of story pump this stuff into our brains because they know it will sell (and rightfully so, they need to put bacon on the table too). Seemingly by chance, some of the stories are better than others but most of the time we still end up feeling empty except on those truly special occasions. You see, true story has the power to entertain, to give us emotional freedom, to unleash our minds onto the most wicked adventures and slay the biggest and darkest of demons that reside in our fears. Story has the power to shape and transform our lives in a meaningful way. Think of your favorite story now (movie, novel, play… whatever floats your big boat), what about it makes your heart and mind tick together and beat as one? I bet there is a small answer brewing in those thoughts of yours. Is it the first kiss between ill-fated lovers? The emotionally-damaged main character finally gaining enough courage to fight off that which has plagued them since childhood? Is it the constant action and well-paced plot of a spy novel? Or maybe, it’s the political intrigue and the heroine’s quest to build a better world? Whatever it is, though, there is some reason why you call a story your favorite. And there should be. The characters shine a light on our own lives and put us in situations that we might never live through. We laugh and cry along with them, we hurt when they hurt, and we treat them as if they were an extension of us.
This is the power of story.
A master of the craft can wield that power over us all, plunging us into life-changing experiences where we can gain insight into the world around us and grow within ourselves. True story is magic. True story can’t be read or watched, it can only be experienced.
In some ways, to paraphrase Stephen King, reading and writing is a form of telepathy and time-travel. As you read this right now, you are reading my current thoughts in the future (relative to my time). I don’t know who you are but I do know that you are here, with me, locked away in this cell of writing separated only by time and distance. I wonder if you are a writer too? If you face the same choices in your life, as I do? Do you quest to become an author? Is that desire in yourself like it is in me? Perhaps, there is something innate that resides within us all, that helps the inner us communicate with the outer world. Story is a back and forth, a give and take.
Us writers have a constant battle, we work our asses off at day jobs and then try to squeeze writing a single page between burping babies and having the second beer with our friends, maybe a third if we’re lucky.
We write between life.
Writing takes sacrifice, sometimes it means spending more time with those characters than with our real friends. Sometimes it means developing that plot when you could be throwing the ball around at the beach or maybe writing an article on a Thursday night instead of diving into some video game and falling asleep early (like tonight … yawn). And for what? Why do we subject ourselves to this? Why? Is this really what you want to do with your life? Are you sure? A fourth cold one sounds nice, doesn’t it? I mean, the bottle opener is right there? Why not just kick back, relax, and forget this whole writing thing ever happened? But no, we keep on going, we keep grinding away at the word processor. And the answer to why, is because story means something. It connects us all together like nothing else can.
The bottom line is this: writing is difficult. It is filled with self-doubt and rejection, hope and desire. The odds of success are against us… but it doesn’t matter. We slave away at our day jobs and write in-between the cracks with the hope that we can change our lives… and that is something worth striving for: to live a life the way that we want to live it. We hope one day to create that piece of writing that will inspire a reader or entertain the hell out of them or make them cry into their bucket of slow-melting popcorn.
This is the power of story.
Or maybe, I’ll just watch Saw 18 again.
Free? Yes? Yes!
MKULTRA, that little 173-page book, is going to be free this weekend (July 13th and 14th) on Kindle. Check it out if you’d like, it’s a nice summer read that you can pass some time in. For those of you who haven’t taken a trip back to the 1970’s with Jim Havens, you’re in for a ride. Mr. Havens lives in a world of drugs, sex, and rock but his life is flipped upside down when approached by a mysterious stranger in the local strip club. He’s torn up inside, he’s pretty bitter about his past, but he’ll have to figure things out quick if he wants to set them right. The trip is free, yours and his, what’s to lose?
On a different subject, I’ve been working hard, grinding away at the word processor and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine in the middle of the night. Well, not really, but a writer’s life is something like that. Either way, Alex’s story in The Last Traveler is coming along nicely though he is beginning to realize he’s up against some pretty formidable odds. I’m not entirely sure how he’ll make his way out of it all, but I faith in the little guy. When the going gets tough, well, you know the rest. Good luck and sayonara, Senior! Hardy-har-har. As always, I appreciate all your endless support and reading eyes. Stop by and say hello sometime, I love to hear from the other side of the coin.
I know I've been slacking on this website BUT with that being said, there are things moving behind the scenes. First of all, my Twitter handle has been the most often updated form of communication that I use (so there is that). @Author_TSSmith and the same goes for Instagram.
Second, Chapter 4 is coming along nicely and I am very excited to get it out to you. I've been putting in some significant time with it and want it to feel just right. Hopefully, I hit the mark. It's much longer than Chapter 3, so expect a good chunk of words and story development. It is written but I'm always rewriting so I only can say: soon.
Third, I just finished writing an article about the power of story for BlusterHouse.net. I will occasionally be dropping in as a contributor there and I'll make sure to put whatever content I create up here too, just depends on format. Whether it is podcasts, videos, or articles, we'll see.
Anyways, let me know what you're up to! I love hearing from fellow authors and readers telling me what's going on in their lives. What are you reading? What are you writing?
Chapter Four will be out soon, I'm still slaving away.
Heyah Fellow Travelers,
Between writing bouts of Chapter Three/Four, I was inspired to do some character sketches in different drawing styles. The first is a more anime while the second takes a more realistic approach. Both are based off a couple very good youtube tutorials online, so absolute credit to them and those artists. I've really enjoyed bringing some visuals to the story and can't wait to find that final art style of the book. I'm sort of leaning toward a Dave Filoni, half anime, half realistic approach that I think looks fantastic. Anyway, without further ado, here they are! Hope you enjoy! Feel free to check them out in the art section as well.
Hey All Fellow Travelers,
While working on The Last Traveler earlier this morning, something happened:
And yes, it is a full and complete novel already, clocking in at close to 70k words and 340 pages. I haven't decided if I am going to pitch it to agents and go through the traditional publishing process or if I am going to self-publish to KDP as I have with Horizon 616 and MKULTRA. But suffice it to say, the dystopian novel Utopia One is on the horizon.
In addition to the new novel news, I have a fully functioning Chapter 3 (and Chapter 4 if I split it) for The Last Traveler but it's in rewrites. Check in soon because it might just appear when is least expected. ;-)
Just a quick update. A new art section has been added to The Last Traveler page. I will update it from time to time with visuals that go along with the story. Hopefully, I'd like to get some sketches of the characters and produce some other types of work there (more on that to come ;-p ).
Anyways, I hope your day is going well.
Today is an awesome day. The author profile hit 2000 followers which is pretty great. I can only hope to help out other authors in my pursuit of getting better at the craft of writing. Ultimately, I do everything for you guys, the readers, and to bring you the best content that I can.
As a thank you to the readers and followers, I'll be giving away a copy of MKULTRA to a follower who tweets or likes my thank you tweet. So head on over there for your chance to win one! Thank you to you all.
Twitter Profile (Click Below):
UPDATE: As far as chapter 3, working on it. It is coming along nicely. I ended up rewriting it (as I do with most of my work). Not that I threw anything out, I just wanted to clean up some things in the chapter. Coming soon!
The special gift is going to take awhile but I look forward to getting that to you all as well.
Anyways, thank you everyone! Your love is much appreciated,
Happy Saturday Everyone,
After going to the dentist yesterday afternoon, I was pretty wiped out. They couldn't get my back molar numb and after some painful tries with the drill (yes, ouch!), they ended up giving me two-and-a-half times the amount of novocaine they administer during a standard procedure. Not for the faint of heart, believe me. But eventually, I couldn't feel a thing and I walked out of that office with a brand spankin' new resin composite in the lower left side of my mouth. In the end, all I have to say is this: cavities are a bitch.
Now onto the brief news:
This morning I've been working hard on that something special I was talking about last weekend. And it is still in progress, I assure you. But everything just takes a little longer than I imagine when I originally think it up. Work and responsibility and life and all that stuff gets in the way of writing(?) sometimes. But I am excited for this and in a way, I really feel like I have to tell the story of Alex and Daern (salesman of the world's greatest antiquities).
I can't wait for you to "hear" my special project. Hmm, hear? Is that right?
Anyways, working hard, as always, and to the Constant Reader, thank you. Sorry for the stylized post, but I'm still recovering, and I'm feeling fun.
Here is something I've been working on (not the surprise I mentioned earlier, that is still in the works) :
T.S. Smith is a mechanical engineer and self-published author. He resides in Southern California where he lives with his family.