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Greetings, Bearers!

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

That’s all ūüėÄ

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.

Ha!

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.

buynow-almanac-cover

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 ūüėÄ ).

I have written a book (in my actual name) entitled Beneficial: Considering the Contemporary Worship Movement, which is now available on both Amazon.com¬† (in paperback and ebook formats) and Smashwords.com¬†(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 ūüėÄ )

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

Greetings, Bearers!

No, my silence has not been due to the travesty that was the Michigan-Ohio State game:

Kinda hard to win a game when you’re playing 11 on 14. (Do I still sound a bit angry? ¬†Do I still care about the fact that apparently no Buckeye ever holds on calls? ¬†Well.. maybe a little bit..). ¬†The lack of updates here has been due to 1.) my writing (still going), 2.) my business in my other job that pays the bills, and 3.) the approach of December 25th, the annual time of year where we manage to make what should be leisure time as laborious as possible.

Which reminds me… I have a little gift for all of you. ¬†But first, I want to speak to a question that I don’t think I’ve taken the time to answer in detail.

One of the things that has been proposed to me is that I try to write a Christmas piece. ¬†After all, people say, it’s done by a great many other writers, J., so why don’t you do that as well? ¬† And it is true that you’ll find special Christmas works done by authors much in the same way you’ll see musicians put out Christmas songs and albums. ¬†It’s pretty customary for artists to do, both for artistic and commercial reasons.

All that to respond to those who ask me if I’ll be scripting a Christmas story with “No… not right now.” ¬†Let me explain why.

First and foremost, Christmas is a sacred season for me. ¬†As many know, I am a confessional Christian, and while I don’t push it down the throats of others, I don’t hide it either. ¬†Meaning that my approach to Christmas is one of serious reverence and serious consideration. ¬†I would not feel right simply putting out a piece that missed the point of the holiday (or worse yet, twisted it in a terrible way). ¬†When and if I do decide to put something out there, I want it to be respectful and honoring to the One born in Bethlehem that night. ¬†I’m not saying my work will necessarily be a sacred/religious one; I’m just saying that I don’t want to put out something that is blatantly in conflict with the Christian faith.

Which brings me to my second, related point: to be frank, I simply have not had much success with ideas for Christmas stories. ¬†Actually, let me rephrase that: I¬†have had ideas for Christmas stories, but they’ve all ended up being either decidedly not as Christmas-related as I’d like, or far too predictable and sappy (much like those Hallmark channel movies you see around this time of year… Does anybody actually watch those movies?). ¬†And I don’t want to do that. ¬†I like to take unusual angles with writing, and I feel that I would be cheating you, my thousands (:D) of dear readers. ¬†I don’t want to put out a peace that people read and shrug their shoulders at. ¬†I want something that is fresh, different in its approach. ¬†And that can be a very difficult thing to do with Christmas, as so much of it is dealt with in many a book and movie.

With that being said, don’t rule out a Christmas tale from me. ¬†This “guilt attack” seems to come upon me every November, and each time I do deliberately give thought to putting together a Christmas tale, but due to the reasons I’ve put forth above, nothing ever manifests itself. ¬†Nevertheless, if I do get a good idea, even if it’s in the middle of May (and I do NOT like it when people obsess over Christmas outside of the Christmas season, btw), I’ll work on it.

Now, having said all of that, I do have a little gift for you.

Between now and January 5th, 2017, you can get my short story 2-pack¬†¬†Surrealities part III¬†for free. ¬†Simply go to smashwords.com,¬†enter the coupon¬†JH83H, and read to your heart’s content! Even though it’s not really a Christmas item, consider it my Christmas present to you. ¬†If you like it, pass it on to others, and let me know what you think!

Okay, four more shopping days ’til Christmas…or is it five? I’ve got wrapping and writing and bowl games and boxes to tend to. ¬†Good grief… I might need a day off from Christmas!

Anyway, enjoy, and see you in the Vein!

J. Dean

 

Greetings, Bearers!

Still writing… Still here… ¬†putting away a lot of pages while I work full time as well. ¬†Haven’t forgotten about you, ¬†promise. ūüėÄ

Updates to come.

In the meantime, get ready for Thanksgiving, and great football rivalries.

(Yes, I’m biased as to who I want to win.)

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean