Tag Archives: Compliment

The day I realized my life is legendary.

As a mere man, I am not legendary. I have done very little of note on a grand scale.

But I have lived an amazing life. Though only in my mid-thirties, I have:

  • Lived in two countries and four states (one shire)
  • Visited five countries
  • Held 48,011,517* nicknames
  • Misplaced an entire automobile
  • Eaten dinner with the homeless
  • Created [confidential] for [redacted] – this one’s impressive, I promise.
  • Played chess with strangers
  • Transported hitchhikers
  • Partied with people I’d only met online
  • Acquired a nickname in sign language (I’ll show you…watch my hands…wasn’t that neat?)
  • Was in the military for two whole months
  • Played seven musical instruments (hammered dulcimer!)
  • Dabbled in four careers, innumerable hobbies
  • Worked in offices, warehouses, schools, retail and a county jail
  • Had my writing cited by high school students
  • Given speeches to cops and college students
  • Created a video so polished that I was accused of illegally hosting an official trailer
  • Been referenced in a Readme file
  • Been stranded with $3 to my name

* Final results are still being tallied.

I’ve known amazing people and had incredible opportunities. Almost every day, something legendary happens to me or occurs to me.

In college, Pastor Andrew Wiesner asked, “What made you the way you are?” My friends might interpret “the way you are” a little differently, but he meant it as a compliment. At the time, I tried to explain my own open-minded philosophy, but that was short-sighted.

I can take credit for things I’ve done, but that’s a small sampling. How did I get so many opportunities to try different walks of life? And who taught me to embrace them?

My parents.

My brilliant parents, who taught us to be open-minded above all else. My parents are the reason I’ve never hesitated to learn anything, try anything, or spend time with anyone, from homeless hitchhikers to driven business owners.

My awesome parents, who taught us that we’re not too good for anyone or anything. That nobody and nothing is too good for us.

My legendary parents, who taught us, “Do what you love, and the rest will follow.” Bizarrely, ‘the rest’ has followed, though not in the direct, linear way I first assumed. At 33, I have virtually every thing I want from life, and I do what I love to do Every. Single. Day: Reading, writing, gaming, picking on my wife**, roleplaying, level design, writing music, harassing the cats**, designing tshirts and more.

** This is how Peters men express their love.

How can I give back to my parents? How can I give back to the friends and family and colleagues and total strangers that have given me so much?

I tell stories.

This blog chronicles the legendary occurrences that follow me daily.

I hope that you enjoy them a fraction as much as I have.

The Novelist’s Burden

novelistFeedback from my alpha readers is compiling for FRAGILE GODS, and the results are more positive than I could possibly have hoped.

Most (all?) believe that this is, hands down, my best work. Not only that, but I have been told by some already in the middle of best-selling fantasy novels by established authors that they would rather be reading FRAGILE GODS.

I cannot speak for the veracity of this claim; obviously my friends and family are prone to view my work more charitably than total strangers. But they are not flatterers, and more to the point, although I’ve been sharing my writing for years, I have never before heard this particular compliment.

This encouragement has served to fuel the flame and drive me to work even harder on this developing story — which is precisely why this website was created. I can’t tell you how refreshed I am.

The problem is that when I’m asked to share another chapter, I desperately want to. As a neurotic writer, I crave the approval of my readers, and to know that for once they are truly enjoying a story of mine with something like the same zeal and abandon with which I digest my favorite writers is like a drug. I want more. To get more, I have to hand out more prose.

But writing is tedious, particularly novel writing. It isn’t even just a matter of prose at the keyboard; there’s outlining that has to be done. There’s research to be conducted. Worst of all, there’s revisions. And revisions, and revisions.

This means that any scene I finish isn’t finished yet. Those of you who read the first preview for scenes 1 & 2 and then experienced the revised version know how much more polished it is. That revision, by the way, represents four or five different intermediate versions — not just a single edit.

About every three days, I finish a scene I’m dying to share. I want to print it out and hand it out immediately. But I know I’ll be doing myself and you a disservice, because in a few weeks I’ll have added so much more to the scene that the previous version might as well be in black and white.

More than that, I’m dying to tell you what happens, or drop hints as to what happens ahead in the story. But I can’t. I have to keep it all in.

Most frustrating of all, the completed work, the whole story, still only exists in my head. Even if I were impatient enough to print you everything I’d written to date, even if you gobbled it up, loved it, and begged for more, neither of us would be satisfied, because the story still isn’t complete.

I tell you, it’s a hard-knock life.