Tag Archives: Encouragement

SECOND CHANCES gets rave reviews.

The feedback I’m getting for SECOND CHANCES, my latest short story, has been fantastic. Skeptical readers have liked it, new readers are urging me to give them more. Those of you who don’t know my friends might think this is flattery. But I am friends and colleagues with some very blunt people, and people with extremely high standards.

I want to take the opportunity to thank you, dear readers, for your support and encouragement.

I assure you that more work is in the pipeline and already underway.

The Votes Are In

I have enjoyed the responses to my announcement of completing FRAGILE GODS. Thank you all. As ever, your encouragement and support means the world to me.

I mentioned a couple of other projects as candidates for my next undertaking, and the support for ACCELERATING THE PROGRESS OF MANKIND BY USING YOUR TURN SIGNAL has been overwhelming. I’m very excited about this project myself, and your votes have only fueled the fire.

So with all the vigor of a rabid squirrel, I will now tackle the task of reforming the world in ways that will improve life for everyone. This project is proof that I won’t merely be content to be published; no, my ambition is such that I must change the world. (If changing the world comes with a paycheck, so much the better.)

It is refreshing to write nonfiction. It feels somehow cleaner. Don’t get me wrong; I think of myself as a storyteller. But nonfiction, particularly motivational nonfiction, is like telling you a story that might become true, just for the telling of it.

Personally, I can’t think of anything more exciting.

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.

Holy unexpected encouragement, batman!

I received the following email this morning:

Hey!  One of my students used one of your articles as a resource in an assignment.  I looked at the reference and was like Jason R. Peters…I know that name!  You know you’ve made it big when people use your work in school assignments 🙂

This is a major milestone in my writing career. Never before have I (knowingly) been cited as a reference. Even if major publishers don’t know it yet, this indicates that I am becoming (if slowly) a player on the literary stage.

Which article was it? Don’t know yet.

What was the paper about? Don’t know.

Did the author of the email recommend you as a reference to her student? No; she was as surprised to see my name listed as I now am.

Just when I think work is about to bury me and my writing career has stalled, I get something like this, which not only gives me fuel to persist, but also puts me back in touch with an old friend. Pure win.

…now back to the day job…

Almost finished

golden-retriever…and so I’ve decided to go ahead and post the preview of Woman’s Best Friend, since I’m anxious to share. You can access it via the new link under “Short Stories” to the right.

If you like what you read so far, I’ve now added a form to request the full text of each new story. In the past I have just mass emailed them to everyone I think might be interested, but this is very unsatisfying.

For one thing, I feel like I’m spamming people. I hope that everyone on the send list is interested, but I don’t really know.

For another, it gives me no idea how many people actually read something. I usually get 2 to 3 replies several weeks later with suggestions for improvements (always welcomed), even if I sent the story to 40 people or more.

This way, you only get the stories you request, and each time you do, I get the encouragement of knowing you liked the first half. I think it’s win/win. (Unless the website collects dust for two years and no stories are ever requested…but then again…that should tell me something, too, right?)

Woman’s Best Friend is currently 4,306 words, well beyond my original goal at 3,000, and is about two scenes from being finished (95% or so).