Tag Archives: Echoes

Stupidity Kills. Literally. And now we’ve lost another friend.

John Hipp's Car

Former classmate & colleague John Hipp was killed this weekend by a drunk driver.

You can read the cold hard facts here:



A friend quoted in one of the articles states:

“He’s one of the type of guys who would give you the shirt off his back. Always making you laugh every time you saw him. Just couldn’t ask for a better guy.”

johnhippI myself wasn’t close to John, but even I knew this. That’s how great of a guy John was. I have dozens of friends who were close to him because he was exactly the sort of guy who makes friends with everyone. I confess that I was a little bit jealous of John’s likability and popularity. But here’s the truth:

I couldn’t spend any amount of time with John and not begin to like him myself.

It’s a tragedy when a young man is killed even if that young man kept to himself and had few friends. When an outgoing, sociable, generous, talented, and fiercely loved guy like John dies, I begin to search for a word stronger than “tragedy”.

I feel very sorry for my friends who were close to John. His death in a car accident echoes a loss I experienced in high school, and I can tell you from experience: Nothing makes it right. Nothing makes it better. Nothing makes it make sense.

Nothing helps.

Time, as they say, does eventually help heal. But not in the magical “be healed!” way of charlatans and showmen. Time “heals” in much the way that chemotherapy “heals”: Through extended suffering which leaves you scarred.

It astounds me that there are still people stupid enough to drive while intoxicated. To the DUIers and DWIers everywhere, I have only one message:

Get your [triple expletive deleted] off the road before you [double expletive deleted] something like this. Is it really that [expletive deleted] hard NOT TO DRIVE? Take a friend or take a cab. Or take a nap in a chair for a few hours.

If you continue to drive after drinking, or under the influence of any mind-altering drug, you are despicable. There is no other word for it.

We will miss you John; all of us. Every last one of us whose lives you touched, because you were more than a colleague and a friend. You were a force of good will itself, and we all can see God in you.

Everything I write sucks.

you_suck_sadLet me try to express this as articulately as I possibly can:



Perfect Justice needs more warmth. Woman’s Best Friend needs more depth. New Magic needs more content. Second Chances needs a likable character. Manifest Destiny needs a reason for the reader to care.

Shadows of Prophecy needs real characters. Echoes of Prophecy needs a plot.

Fragile Gods needs a better outline.

And The God Disease just needs a better writer.

And now, Viceroy, we will discuss a new treaty!

justice_scaleThree votes rolled in later than the rest, with two surprising developments:

1. Perfect Justice now beats The Dragon Thief by a 2:1 margin. Ouch. So much for a new project; I should finish the one I’ve got. Fair enough. I still intend to work on both because only rewriting a story would drive me batty. (Yes, I realize I’m already batty.)

2. Echoes of Prophecy received a vote. What poor unfortunate soul wants more cliche fantasy? Nah, I’m kidding. I still have hopes to make Echoes considerably more entertaining than Shadows was. To be honest, if I were just competing with David Eddings and George R. R. Martin and even Robert Jordan, I really would think I could make significant contributions as a fantasy writer. It’s Brandon Sanderson who intimidates me, having simultaneously shattered the typical cliches of fantasy and yet kept the pacing and intrigue of some of the greatest action movies of our time.


So Megan called me out for not updating the site more often, and Stephen commented no food til I finish another story.

Although I regret not having written more this weekend, I think fasting until I complete another project is a little on the extreme end.

Some points to ponder as I start the next week:

  • What makes a good fantasy? My father-in-law just finished Well of Ascension (Brandon Sanderson) and enjoyed it but for a few criticisms. Likewise I just finished Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings and pretty much hated it. I can’t even put my finger on why. But until I discovered Sanderson, I was fed up with all fantasy. It seems that feeling remains except for Sanderson. But Bruce assures me there’s nothing very different about Sanderson as an author.
  • Pondering the above point makes me wonder what the heck I’ll do with Echoes of Prophecy.
  • For my current project, I’m debating a title change. Second Chances captures a central idea as well as Instant Replay, and has a more mystical ‘feel’ to it, as opposed to the latter title, which has a more gritty sci-fi sound to it.
  • Got some emailed feedback on Perfect Justice from a buddy in training before he deploys to Iraq. Like all who read it before him, he pointed out the repeated scenes are … well … too repetitive. That’s why when a writer argues with his/her feedback, it rarely helps — the next reader (or the next 50) may have the same reaction. Duh.
    • On the other hand, you can’t always please everyone. That’s why feedback from multiple sources is so valuable. It allows you to sift through comments which are a matter of personal taste, and which comments EVERYONE made because they refer to deeper problems with the story.
  • A co-worker also looked at Perfect Justice — surprisingly. He was thrilled by the title, but complained about the flow.
  • This kinda motivates me to go back and rework it.
  • Now I feel like I have too many balls in the air, but it’s a good problem to have. I’d much rather juggle too many projects than too few.
  • I should set a deadline for Instant Replay Second Chances. But what? I have an insanely busy week at work, so this weekend is unrealistic, but the following weekend feels way too far away.