I found that I was mistaken, about a great many things. Yes, this is a coming out post and about starkly honest matters in general. Deal.
I fully realize and take complete responsibility for the fact that afterterra.com has been dormant for the latter quarter of 2019. It has been dormant as a blog and as a hub for everything to do with my flagship science fiction series. I could point to a number of reasons that played into this, such as participating in NaNoWriMo, or my haphazard personal life, or in prioritizing my next novel over publishing anything on this here site. At the end of the day, these things are excuses. If I had the passion to update my site, I would have found the time and found a way.
Does that mean I don’t care about this site? Not at all. Do you stop loving a family member or stop caring about a friend if you lose touch for weeks or even months? No. Daily life has a way of pulling you away from remembering such priorities, especially if you have to work to survive. For some of us, the escape from reality’s crushing pressures becomes its own full time job, a way to recover and regenerate from the demands of an arbitrary “real” existence. The energy needed to maintain “real” life and the energy needed to recover from living it leaves precious little for the things we really want to do.
That leads one to make a choice. You can either piss and moan and blame reality, society, other people, whatever, for this dilemma, or you can face yourself and understand that perhaps a reshuffling of energies and priorities is in order. “You either believe in yourself or you don’t,” as James T. Kirk once said. This idea can extend further into whatever endeavor it is you are striving to achieve. True, the world is full of shit. Society has more ills than I can properly cover in a single blog, and there is some legitimate blame to go around as to why so many of us toil and slave away and never get to make a living doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do. But you can only ride the blame train for so long before you have to take responsibility for your own actions, or inactions. When I was at one of my lowest points in all of life and had become disillusioned with almost everything—to the point where I became supremely vulnerable to she who in retrospect was the biggest abuser I’ve ever encountered—I eagerly blamed my job, society, my country, even my family for my woes. I never asked to be born into this miserable world, I never asked to be a citizen of a country that is destroying itself piece by piece. But I can acknowledge that these things are beyond my control, and say, “look, this is the hand I’ve been dealt. Others have done more with less.” Because they believed in themselves, and in what they were doing, and they refused to allow life’s mundane bullshit to stop them from achieving their goals.
What do I believe in with After Terra? I believe that I can give you, a science fiction audience (or alternatively an audience that loves character-driven adventures), something you have been craving for a long time: a spiritual successor, the next torchbearer for Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape, Firefly, et cetera. I’m writing for those of you, like me, who don’t believe for a second that science fiction is a dead genre, but merely one that has been lacking a touchstone for a generation or longer, one that is waiting for a watershed in the 21st century. I’m writing for those who are sick of rehashes, remakes, who are tired of the supposed leaders of modern creative media flushing good storytelling down the toilet in favor of lens flares, shoddy writing, mysteries that go nowhere, explosions, and weird camera work.
Some have advised me that when I have been low, I should focus on writing for myself. Well, I can write for myself until I am green in the face. It doesn’t matter when I have something that I am writing for an audience, and not an audience of one. So I have stumbled, I have made a lot of screw ups. Unlike some authors, I choose not to hide these things in an attempt to appear austere. Don’t let anyone delude you otherwise; there is no magical curtain between authors and non-authors. We aren’t any different from you, fundamentally, except perhaps for an excessive capacity for enduring criticism, rejection, judgment, ridicule, and disappointment. In other words, we’re masochists. So, I know I am going to make more mistakes down the line. Some of you out there, whether because you have a legitimate reason to not like what I do or because you’re a troll, aren’t going to contribute anything positive to the journey. Maybe you’ll be a nice person that I can agree to disagree with, or maybe you’ll be a fucking asshole. I can’t control that. But if I can create a living, breathing universe for you fellow sci-fi lovers to get lost in and enjoy, one that isn’t going to stab you in the face like some other promising franchises have, then it’s all worth it.
Is this a fictional story? A real life anecdote? Literary philosophical waxing? I leave it to your interpretation. (more…)
I am in some doubt that this post will be seen by every single author who asked me to review one or more of their books, but hopefully it will reach some of you.
Life has thrown me some wicked twists and turns in the last few months. Though I have backed off of talking so much about my personal life here, perhaps later in the year I may feel like it’s worth bringing into the open, if I think there is a positive gain to be had. Point being, some circumstances ranging from absurd to hurtful have distracted me from adding extra features to this site, as well as taken away from my reading time. My writing time still gets priority over reading as well; I don’t know if that makes me a bad literary citizen or not, but I get really antsy and generally more unhappy if I go too long without writing, even if that means my TBR list only piles up further.
Starting this coming week, however, I will be back in the swing of things and will have a fresh indie book review on the site. When that is done I will be looking at how to restructure my schedule so I can fit in reading more of the review requests I was sent. If you sent one in and I responded to you, I WILL read your work and let you know if I can go ahead with a post featuring your book. The turnaround time has been considerably longer than planned when I first opened up the site to solicited reviews, but few plans survive first contact with reality, at least, the reality that is my life. When I am sufficiently caught up, I will update the Review Policy page to let you all know when I am open to new requests.
In the meantime you stay classy, internet.
Though my general level of activity on the internet sometimes suggests otherwise. (more…)
It has been a while since I have updated the blog here on afterterra.com, due to fault strictly of my own.
There are not going to be any drastic overhauls to the site like the last update, however, there will be a refinement to the sort of content that appears on the blog henceforth. I will still be posting about my books, about writing in general, as well as reviews and explorations of things and topics that I enjoy, such as Star Trek. Writing about my personal life, on the other hand, will see a decline in frequency. Also some of my older posts that were of a strictly exploratory, personal nature will be consolidated, as in going through them I noticed a lot of redundancy. Basically, I reiterated many of the same points and lessons throughout multiple posts. I also have a few other reasons for putting some old posts on the chopping block; firstly, because while talking about things like breakups or struggling to cope with a job seemed like big deals at the time, experience has taught me that these weren’t the life shaking struggles I though they were (more on that later). More importantly, even though many of my personal posts were written for catharsis, and the hope that they might help someone who was going through a similar situation, I’ve come to realize that letting these past hurdles be immortalized on my site gave them more power and relevance than they deserved.
I’ve come far enough as a fiction writer, I believe, that I can exorcise whatever grief I need to through my creative work, and save blogging about deeply personal matters to subjects that have real gravity to who I am as an author and a person, instead of using the blog as a sort of pressure release diary. It also seemed simple and logical to me to shift the focus of this site more heavily to my creative work and science fiction topics, seeing as it is the official site for my After Terra series.
More content for the After Terra codices and news about my next written works in the pipeline will follow in the future. In the meantime, please pardon my absence and my dust as I do some cleaning up and refining of the site.
My online presence is like Bob’s Burgers. Except without the incredible puns or anything edible. (more…)
Admittedly overdue… (more…)
When life starts to lay down a barrage on my commitment to writing, I am left with no choice but to fire write back. (more…)