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Greetings, Bearers!

Just coming up for air in between writing projects (I’ve been going pretty gung ho with it, which is in part why I have not put any new posts up lately) and wishing a happy Independence day today to everybody (belated by three days for my Canadian friends).

Okay, back to work, not just writing, but cleaning up for a party.  Enjoy, folks!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

I hope that all of you had a fantastic Memorial Day that not only included fun activities, but also the remembrance of those who fought and died for the United States (if you’re reading this and not a U.S. citizen, hopefully you have a similar day on your calendar). I never served in the military (came close and missed it by four inches, but that’s another story I’ll have to share with you sometime), but those who did earn my respect. They do a  great service, and many of them are shining examples of what it means to be a model citizen.

Okay, on to my topic. I’ve been getting the itch lately to write a little bit about my viewpoints on writing, and while I don’t reach the level of the greats in prominence and sales (and probably eloquence too), I have learned several things about the craft, and want to share those with you, particularly if you aspire to write.

One of the most important things that a writer can do for his/her readers is the “world immersion,” i.e., the explanation of things in the book that facilitate an understanding of the workings that undergird the setting or plot of a given story. This immersion is approached by different authors in different ways, some of which I’m not too crazy about. One of my least favorites is the “infodump” method, in which the writer simply sets out to drop an entire chapter’s worth of data upon the reader in a manner similar to a dry academic essay. Guilty parties include Michael Crichton in his book Prey  and George Orwell’s 1984 (Remember the excerpt from the political manifesto that Winston reads aloud for several pages?). This sort of “drop-it-in-the-reader’s-lap-all-at-once” method can ruin the atmosphere of otherwise-enjoyable books like the two I just mentioned, and it can discourage the reader in that the mood of a great drama is broken by the interruption of a scholarly lecture.

Another immersion that I’m not fond of is an assumed immersion, in which the author makes a little bit too much of an assumption about the audience. As much as I appreciate Tom Clancy and his works, he tended to do this in some of his books, often talking in military jargon in a manner that somebody like me who has no military background becomes confused and has a difficult time envisioning what it is he’s trying to convey. Assumed immersion is fine when you know your audience is familiar with your setting and subject, but it’s murder on the outsider.

Personally, I prefer world immersion through one of two methods, between which I like to walk a bit of a tightrope. The first is through simply showing that world off in a guided tour, so to speak. I like to take the reader through the world with the protagonist (or perhaps another character) and expose the reader, little by little, to the things that (s)he may need to remember for later, or may need then and there in order to make sense of what’s going on.  The reader sees the events and world along with the character, all the while I word the things and ideas in such a way as to make them relateable.

My second chosen method is that of exposition through dialogue. This is especially useful in the Vein series, as the reader is traveling along with the Seven Bearers into an alien world which fits few, if any, of their preconceptions and cultures. Here, information is gathered through talking with others in the Vein, mostly through the knowledgable members of the Sect. The conversations are complete enough to give the reader a good sense of what’s going on, yet at the same time an effort is made to avoid a mere infodump by spacing out the places where information is needed and given.

The reasons why I do these are two. First, as with many things in a good story, I like to see a gradual unraveling or revealing of what’s coming up. I personally don’t like stories where everything is thrown at the reader in the first few chapters, and that lack of surprise is something I don’t want my readers to endure. Second, in doing this I can pace the information. I can sprinkle bits and pieces of necessary exposition without running the risk of stopping the action or killing the mood. All that information, as good as it is, defeats the purpose of the story if it interferes with the drama.

So that’s my little tidbit for writing today. I hope you’ve found it to be beneficial.  Perhaps I’ll put up an excerpt as an example of this so as to give you a sense of how I do it.

But in the meantime, it’s onward and upward as more writing must be accomplished. Forward ho!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, go HERE.

That’s all 😀

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

No, I doubt that Stephen King will see this, because… well, the guy probably doesn’t know that I exist.  But that’s okay, because the trailer for the beginning of his Magnum Opus has finally been released after far too long, and it looks phenomenal!

The Dark Tower Trailer

Got a little bit of a wait for it, but I’m very pumped about this one!

Okay, let me continue with my own feeble attempts at writing now…

See you in the Vein, or maybe in MidWorld!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

So, here I am, taking a little break from my novel and short story work. And it couldn’t have come at a more convenient time, because I’m discussing a problem I’ve just recently run into with my own labors.

So I came up with what I thought was a good idea for a short story, and I started writing it. And as I wrote it, I kept altering it in little details here and there.  After all, in a sense the things we write have a tendency to take on a life of their own, figuratively speaking, and don’t always end up the way we planned.  And boy did it go off in a different direction.  What I had originally intended to be a five or six page short story is now morphing into a twenty-plus page piece, and I’ve run into a place where I’m not so sure I want to go in the original direction for the story’s ending, as it reads a little too much like another story I’ve written (more on that later).

Anyway, I’ve done something that I hoped I would avoid, something I’ve done before, and I’m sure you have done before as well if you’ve ever done any writing:

I’ve written myself into a corner.

I wouldn’t exactly call it “writer’s block” per se. It’s not like I can’t think of anything to write. But I would say that what I want to write is making me balk a bit at actually writing it, because what I don’t want is a reader reading it and saying “Oh, J. Dean already did this.” I mean–yes, things are going to be somewhat the same, as there is nothing new under the sun. But it’s like listening to a music artist whose songs, though good, tend to sound a little too much like one another. And while I don’t necessarily want to go off the deep end from myself stylistically (and if I did it would make the story even worse), I also don’t want to end up being too predictable.

So my hope is that, in writing about writing one’s story into a corner, I can help myself as well as all of you should you find yourself in this situation.

There are a few options you can use to get out of writing yourself into a corner. I’ve used all of these before, and I haven’t decided which one will work for my current situation, so this will give me a fresh perspective on how to get out of this corner, and it will hopefully help all of you, my lovely readers.

The Nuclear Option: This is a last resort, of course. Robert Heinlein had five rules for writing, and his second rule what that “You must finish what you write.” I agree in general, but I also understand the frustration which comes when you have tried over and over, but simply do not like what your product is or is becoming. Scrapping the whole thing should be done only after other options have been weighed out, but at the same time, it is an option, one that I’ve personally used. So use it if needed, but use it only when you’ve tried every other avenue. Stephen King once said that notebooks for ideas are where bad stories go to live forever, and I would venture to say the same thing about stories that have been salvaged with every good intent yet still fail to sustain either the writer or the reader.

Fresh Eyes: Yeah, I get it: we don’t like letting other people read our unfinished work. You and me both. But at the same time, letting somebody who’s unfamiliar with your story take a look at it and offer suggestions can be of great benefit.  Sometimes we’re a little too “comfortable” with our styles and our stories, and we’re beholden to our biases and our mindsets in a way that blinds us to other options. Giving somebody else a chance to look over what we’ve done so far while asking for suggestions, though embarrassing for some of us, is a good way to take the blinders off and see more potential pictures.

The Road Less Traveled: If you can, back up and find the spot where you led yourself into the corner. Sometimes the fix is as easy as having your protagonist turn left when he or she should have turned right. Yes, it might involve a little bit of editing or outright rewriting, but it’s an ounce of prevention, let it keep that pound of cure at bay.

Write something, write anything: Sometimes, when I’m in that corner, I’ll just start writing, even if the idea isn’t fully developed. I’ll take the protagonist, the antagonist, or even the setting in a direction that’s both unexpected and unorthodox. Even if I end up not liking what I’ve written, I’ve at least given myself something to say “Hey, this isn’t good. ‘X’ or ‘Y’ would be better,” and then I’ll proceed with “X” or “Y”.  Once in a while it takes conceiving a bad idea to birth a good one.

Plan your trip: Now this one varies from writer to writer. I know of writers who don’t like to plan anything at all regarding characters or plot, and they insist their stories turn out just fine. I admire them for that, but to be honest that rarely works for me. I frankly have to plan ahead for the most part. In fact, it was not planning ahead that got me into this little fiasco in the first place. Yes, allow for wiggle room and potential deviancy in your plot and characters, but at the same time it’s best that you have at least a rough idea of where you’re going and how you’re getting there. One can plan generalities without sacrificing spontaneous specifics.

Okay, I’m going to hold there for now. Perhaps I’ll add a “Part 2” to this list later on, but for now think on what I’ve said here.  And hey, email me your own ideas! I’ll be happy to add them!

Alright, dinner calls. Cold pasta does not taste good, just so you know.

See you in the Vein!
J. Dean


Greetings, Bearers!

Yes, I realize I’ve been absent  for the entire month of March. My apologies. Between my other job (teaching), my writing, and this other thing called a life that I have, it’s been difficult to sit down and do any real blog entries.  I have given some though to a few of them, and I will add some more entries later this month, but for now I need to ride through the bumps of too many time committments made back when I thought I could manage a calendar.


Anyway, I do want to say that I actually do have some cool news coming out soon. I want to wait until things are a little more established, but there is something new for me that I can’t wait to share with you in (hopefully) the next few weeks. I’m pretty pumped up about telling you the news, but for right now I need to do the “sit on my hands” thing lest things don’t turn out the way I hope. Anybody else ever had that?

Anyway, for those of you who have recently bought purchases of my work (fiction and non-fiction), I want to say thank you.  As I tell every other reader, I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it. And if you like what you  read, tell others about it!

Okay, I’ll be back soon. REAL soon if all goes well.  Promise

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean.

Greetings, Bearers!

In between my writings, I wanted to give you a little bit of food for thought.  Imagine if Cheech and Chong had somehow supplanted Jim Henson and took over Sesame Street….

Enjoy, and see you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers (and writers)!

First of all, a shout out to those who have taken the chance on reading my books and short stories, as well as to those who have decided to check out my nonfiction book Beneficial?.  I hope you’re enjoying and benefitting from what you’re reading.  Expect some more releases from me soon, as I’ve been really cruising on the writing as of late!  If all goes well, I’ll have another installment in the Surrealities  series ready for you to enjoy, and possibly some other tidbits as well!

Anyway, on to my major discovery.  I don’t recall whether or not I mentioned it in this blog at any time (too much of a hurry to get this out to look) but I’ve found one of the greatest things in the world for aspiring writers to read in order to improve their writing game.

The Farmer’s Almanac.


No, I’m not kidding.  Not by a longshot.  The Farmer’s Almanac has to be one of the most interesting publications I’ve ever picked up.  If you’ve never read it, you might get the idea that it’s all about… well, farming.  And some of it is.  But there’s also a whole lot that isn’t.  And what isn’t about farming gets rather far out there.

For example, I first read the 2015 Almanac and found this great article about Northern Lights which delved into the scientific study and analysis of these beautiful heavenly phenomenae.  In doing so, I caught an idea that might end up being incorporated into a story that involves a little bit more of a hard science fiction angle than some of my previous stuff.

And believe me, there’s a treasure trove of things in there just waiting to supply me (and you, fellow writers) with a library of inspirational ideas.  Count on it.

So if you’re looking to up your writing skills, give the Almanac a shot.  It’s meant to be read over the course of the year, so take your time with it.  Read EVERY little bit of it.  You’ll find the quaint, the wise, the accurate, and the humorous all rolled up into one wonderful publication.

Okay, that’s my writing tip for the day.  Bed calls, and with it sleep.  But I’ll be back to writing and reading more come the morning.  And I hope you will be as well!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, all readers (If you’re one of the many Bearers in the Vein universe, I’m not ignoring you.  Promise!)

So as I said in a previous post, I was working on writings that were not only fiction but also nonfiction as well, and I’ve put together something that needed to be addressed with regard to Christianity and the implementation of worship in the church (If this subject does not interest you, you have my permission to skip and peruse my fiction works 😀 ).

I have written a book (in my actual name) entitled Beneficial: Considering the Contemporary Worship Movement, which is now available on both  (in paperback and ebook formats) and (in ebook format only).  As a Christian, and in particular a Christian who spent many years involved “rockin’ for Christ,” I wanted to address this issue, as I truthfully have seen little written about it and believe that a text needs to be put into print that addresses the issue in a fair and honest manner.

Below is a copy of the back cover summary:

For the better part of the past thirty years, the contemporary worship movement has taken the Christian church by storm. It has crossed denominational and congregational lines, replacing hymns, pianos, and organs with praise choruses, guitars, and amplifiers. With a decided, adamant resolution, many of its proponents have set their faces toward seeking musical innovation, relevance, and novelty, all in the name of ushering in a new form of worship.

But does new necessarily mean good?

In this book, Jeremy Aiello evaluates the contemporary worship movement. Drawing from the Scriptures themselves, from respected commentators, and from his own experience of nearly two decades’ worth of involvement in contemporary worship, Jeremy looks at the genesis of contemporary worship, its practical implementation, and the results that can and do stem from its usage, in order to answer the question many have asked in reaction to contemporary worship: “Why?” Drawing from both research and experience, “Beneficial?” analyzes the contemporary worship movement, and calls the church of Jesus Christ to do the same.cowobookcover-copy

Okay.  I’ve said my peace.  I may write more nonfiction in the future (most likely religiously themed).  But in the meantime, more fiction writing now.  If you find this to be an interesting topic, please let me know.

See you in the Vein!
J. Dean (aka Jeremy Aiello 😀 )

Greetings, Bearers!

A belated “Happy New Year” to all, as I’ve been behind on my updates and writing.  The ironic thing about time off for me is that oftentimes it’s one of the most difficult periods for me to try to write.  So unfortunately my writing had to be put on a shelf for the better part of eleven days :(.  The good news is that I’m back at it, and I’ve got quite a bit done, not only with novels but also with short stories, some of which I’ll be releasing in the near future.

Also, I’ll be soon releasing a new nonfiction book as well regarding Christian matters, and doing so under my actual name rather than my pen name.  If you’re curious, I’ll explain later why I have a pen name in the first place.

Okay, back to work for me.  Keep up the reading and may your New Year be a good one!

See you in the Vein (and in the other things I’ve written)!

J. Dean