I Signed Up For MasterClass

Yesterday, I signed up for my year long MasterClass program to help with writing. I started my first class with Judy Blume. Hell, why not. There are 19 different writing classes, so I have my work cut out for me.

Ultimately, I decided to take the plunge and spend the $180 for the year and beef up my writing skills. I debated this for a hard while because I didn’t want to fork out the money if this was just going to be one of those “hobbies” that I quit in 2 months just to insist that my passion lies somewhere else, and everyone agreeing with me. Which then again would change in 2 months stating that my REAL passion was something entirely different and everyone agreeing with me.

Even when I get bored and/or writer’s block, I come back to this: WRITING. So… here is another attempt at focusing on a hobby and I know everyone around me will either say YOU GOT THIS or ANOTHER HOBBY.

As I go forward with the classes, I know there will be assignments because I already go down to my first one with Judy Blume. I will use this blog as a place for my writing assignments and where I can discuss the program, the books they want us to read, and so on.

Part of the reason for the move to enhance my craft comes from where we are in life. Elisabeth has jumped into a creative career and is taking classes to better herself. I do believe that I write a good story, maybe the grammar and flow could be better. Why not take this time to better myself and my writing and after this time of study, I can go back to my works and bring this new author out in me. Go back to publishing real books and Kindles and tell myself that I am a writer.

Finishing my second draft of “DESTINY”

This weekend, I finished up the second draft of Destiny and published it on Wattpad along the way. It’s always a good feeling when you can click the button that says completed. It’s like you can finally say goodbye to an old friend but it is bittersweet because over the past few months, I have fallen in love with these people all over again.

The idea behind the book, DESTINY came to me while actually on a road trip from Houston to San Francisco and back. On the things, I saw were these trees out in the middle of the desert that looked like they had caught fire and had melted. Being a writer all my life, sometimes I try to figure out how to describe the things I see. Throughout the drive, especially in Central California, we constantly saw varies different farms and I thought about what it would take to live there and work the area.

Being from the city, I immediately put that city girl and country boy together. It was a match made in heaven for me. My characters were all completely made up, making this the first story that was not fanfiction or based on a person. My male character was a hybrid foreigner and surfer. While I did not have anyone in mind when I created him, I pictured a cross between Christopher Atkins (The Blue Lagoon) and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy). The visual in my head for my female counterpart was Jennifer Stone.

The original was under 50,000 words, it was somewhere around 46,000. By the time I finished my second draft, the finished version ended up at 53,820. I know writers should cut and cut and cut, and I did. But I also added two full chapters, expanded on ideas, and changed a few things that didn’t work.

But now it is done. I am ready to move on to my next project. I can not decide if I should edit an old story, work on a pending story, or start something new.

Short Story: A Strange Request At A Piano Bar

A while back, I purchased a journal style book from Target called, WRITE THE STORY. It features a bunch of writing prompts with a topic and various words that must be used in the story. I decided this was a way to write a few short stories.

My first one is: A Strange Request At A Piano Bar

I had to use the following words: carnival, sprained, mask, oxidation, awkward, apple, juvenile, controversy, twirl, and sassafras.

Here it is…

After stirring for a few minutes, he finally opened his eyes and found himself in a strange room. Fearful, he stayed still for a moment. From the bed, he could see outside the open window to a wooden pole, probably electrical, and a paper advertisement for a local carnival. His eyes made their way around the room. The oxidation from the heat and humidity had caused the paint to peal back from the walls. He picked a chip of paint off the wall next to him and it fell on to the damp sheets.

He took a deep breath before attempting to move. There was a hint of apple in the air, maybe bread baking. It was a familiar and welcoming scent which caused his stomach to growl. With that, he decided to find food.

Stepping down, he felt a stabbing pain in his foot. He didn’t remember spraining his ankle, but it hurt tremendously. Biting back the pain, he got to his feet and hobbled over to the metal table and chair that sat in the corner. Other than the bed, it was the only thing in the room. He grabbed his hoodie and with a zip, he made his way slowly to the door.

Outside the door was a set of wooden stairs, leading down. There were no other doors on this floor other than the one he exited from. The stairs dropped him in the middle of a saloon. The piano in the corner stopped playing as he hit the last step. Heads turned to him. Silence pierced his ears.

A deep shallow caught in his throat as he scanned the room of older men, all dressed in white dress shirts, vests, and top hats. There wasn’t one of them without a handle bar mustache. Compared to them, I was an awkward martian from another planet with my khaki shorts with a t-shirt and hoodie.

Not saying a word, a walked to the bar on the right side of the saloon. They piano began to play again and the men’s attention returned as if he didn’t exist. Between two stools, he reached for a menu hoping there might be something to eat. The only thing on the menu was a variety of drinks, all containing sassafras.

He asked the bartender if he had a coke. Silence fell over the bar again. He was sure he heard a cricket in the distance. The barmaid cleaning the stool next to him replied that this was a respectable piano bar and if he wanted drugs, he would need to go across the way to the brothel. She winked at him.

Glancing around, he knew he should leave. When he stepped out side the swinging half doors of the saloon, a parade of juveniles marched down the dirt road that separated one building from the other. Many of them wore masks and other twirled batons and fire sticks.

Their presence must have sparked controversy in this small community as the town folk booed and hissed at the gaggle of carnies headed down the main drag. He watched them disappear around the corner of the last building and the crowd of upset people dispersed.

On the porch of the building across the way a few scantily clad women loitered in front of another wooden building. One of them whistled toward him. Looking oddly familiar, he crossed the dirt road and stepped upon the porch. The three women descended upon him, tearing at his clothes.

From the double swinging saloon doors appeared a large busty woman who wiggled her finger at him, inviting him into the business. Following the tempting invite, he burst through the swinging doors into the darkness. Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he found himself in his living room. He turned around. There were no swing doors behind him; only in front of him was his girlfriend who asked him where he had been.

He answered, “Another world.”

Exposing a little secret something I call, “Irresistible Seduction”

I’ve talked about a lot of my stories and writings over the years and not once have I ever been embarrassed by anything I have written. I would have shown anyone any of my writings, including my dark days of Hannah Montana fanfiction where Miley and her dad got it on. Then I wrote this…

Not that I am embarrassed, at all; it’s just sometimes people don’t understand and automatically assume that because you write something it automatically becomes personal, especially with a self-published writer. No one questions Stephen King and him killing off people. Everyone questions when an indie author writes a romance because it has to be based on some sort of reality. I don’t know how many times I had to tell my dad that my books are not some deeply hidden feelings I harbor for someone.

Okay, maybe Jennifer Stone and Emily Osment; but definitely not the bookworm in Something Wilder. And clearly not the cruise director in Dark Waters Ahead. Remember, not everything I write is based on reality; just like Stephen King. If I kill someone off in a book, doesn’t mean I want them dead in real life. Same with sex, just because I write about a person I know having sex doesn’t mean I want to have sex with them.

With that said… Irresistible Seduction is a real person fanfiction based on the musical group, Fandango. And there… I said it. This story has been published for a while now on Wattpad and has been my dirty little secret because I am friends with the members of the group, especially the main character, Sandra.

Years before I started writing this story, my wife and I went to Monterrey, Mexico and spent the weekend with Sandra and got to know her family. When the group decided to make a reunion come back, Fandango was back on the radar and inspiration for another real person fiction was born. This time using Sandra, her family, and the members of the group. I wrote it and posted it on Wattpad as I wrote. There were no other edits other than the first very rough draft.

I never thought it would amount to anything other than a story I wrote. Meanwhile, it had taken a life of its own on Wattpad. The first chapter went up October 27, 2019 and since then it has over 3,300 reads. Honestly, I think it is one of my most popular stories. Could it the subject matter?

The story is about a young boy whose parents were murdered. He goes to live with a family. As he grows up to become a man, the woman who raised becomes attracted to him. After being caught and going their separate ways, the two of them are reunited thirty years later and the feelings are still there. So you have a potential, but not real mother/son forbidden relationship that exists. Maybe that is why this story became popular? I doubt anyone on Wattpad knows who Fandango is, so it couldn’t be that.

I don’t think I will change it. It is what it is. If I do, I will probably change up the names and some of the noticeable similarities to the characters.

My first published book… “Something Wilder”

Yup. There it is! The first book I ever published on Amazon. I can’t say it sold exceptionally well, but I know a couple of friends who went out and purchased it when I announced it, which was kind of cool.

Again, we start out with a simple love story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl falls for boy, but the girl is married. Oh, the drama!

My inspiration to this story came after visiting Half Price Books in Dallas. My wife (girlfriend at the time) decided that we went start a Half Price Books road trip and visit all of the HPBs across the country. Our first stop was the main location in Dallas.

During this visit, we met with the social media directors, managers, and corporate gurus because they were all wild about the idea of us touring the country just for HPBs. We didn’t finish the mission but we sure did hit a lot of stores that year. And spent a lot of money.

The social media director became my inspiration for this store. She was the epitome of a geeky bookworm, which was the perfect counterpart to my dashing and charming writer character. Again, NOT ME.

The story came to me one night, after our trip when I could not sleep. I stayed up all night thinking about this story and by morning, I had plotted it out and began my novel. It didn’t make it to novel status, just a novella.

When I finished the book, I knew I wanted to publish it. I sent it off to a friend, who edited it for me. Over the years, I have done many different edits. Even paid someone to edit it and still, it is nowhere near and finished and professional quality book. But… it is what it is.

I really do like the story and even though it is not very long, it turned out nice. I was proud of myself for publishing a book for the first time and bought everyone close to me a copy. Now, no one even thinks twice about me finishing another book or even publishing it. You can never get back that feeling of the first time seeing your work in print.

Who was the muse for “A Muse Is Born”?

I am sure that is the question on everyone’s mind, right? Who was the muse that help created A Muse is Born? Let me tell you.

A Muse is Born is about a writer who moves into an apartment complex and meets a not-so-confident actress and the two of them fall in love. It’s a simple story that has been told many times over. First off, no the write is NOT ME. He is an original character that I created to stand next to the young and upcoming actress. My muse is Jennifer Stone.

Jennifer Stone is an actress that I am still 100%, okay maybe like 95% in love with. She played Harper on the Disney Channel television show, Wizards of Waverly Place. There are not many celebrities that I have had a crush on that I still do. Honestly, there is only one. Jennifer Stone.

While there may be other crushes that come and go, Jennifer Stone has been with me for over a decade and she is far from leaving my life. I don’t know what it is about this girl, but I am utterly and passionately hers. Just saying.

This was the first of many stories I have written using Jennifer Stone as my muse. It was written while she was still filming the television show, so you can tell it is that old.

Going through my works and giving them fresh edits for the Wattpad publishing, I remembered back to one of the reviews I received when this was on Amazon. They mentioned how if the story was told in first person, he could not know what she was doing when he wasn’t around. With that in mind, I decided to add an introduction and a different epilogue that would fix that situation. I don’t want to give too much of the story and plot away, especially if you want to read it.

Ultimately, I like how to final edit turned out even though there are still a few things I might fix later on.

2013’s NaNoWriMo – “Dark Waters Ahead”

In 2013, I decided I would take the challenge of NaNoWriMo and write an entire book during the month of November. I did. And I completed it. I present to you, Dark Waters Ahead.

Dark Waters Ahead is my pride and joy and when it was up for sale on Amazon, it never sold a copy. Not even a download. This makes me sad and I believe it is the reason I gave up on selling my work on Amazon.

This story is about a high school boy who meets the girl of his dreams. Just as their relationship begins, they find out that their parents were dating and they were about to become brother and sister, which meant they were off-limits to each other. I mean, we know were wanted Greg and Marcia to hook up, right?

When our main character can’t have the girl that he wants, he turns to taking it where he can get it even if it was by force. The family goes on a cruise and Scott, our protagonist, takes his terror to the high seas.

The inspiration for this story happened by chance during a cruise I was on. Everything about the boat, the excursions, were part of my trip; though I was not a predator on that ship.

My two main characters were completely original and I had no real inspiration for them. A secondary character who Scott ends up molesting was actually inspired by a crew member of the ship. So there was a bit of real person fiction here. I mean, what is one of my stories without having someone real on my mind?

When I finished the story and decided to publish it, I asked my mother to read and edit it. She did. With the amount of graphic sex in this story, I am surprised my mother doesn’t think I am some sort of pervert.

What inspired “Cause and Effect”?

One of my favorite stories I have written is Cause and Effect, though I am not too sure where the inspiration came from for this story. The title of the book came from a song by Paulina Rubio, “Causo y Efecto”.

I wrote this story during my Hannah Montana fanfiction days which was probably about the span of a year, year and a half. During that time, I was writing all the time and posting a chapter almost daily of one story or another. I mostly wrote the fandom using Miley and Lily, but during my darker period with the fandom it went on to be about Miley and her dad. I am not proud of those stories and I actually do not have any of them.

Most of the stories I wrote during this fandom were short stories or ones that I started but never finished. Cause and Effect just happened to be one that I finished and am quite proud of it. It was originally titled, Girl Interruptous. Kind of going into the idea that Lily had just gotten out of rehab because of an accident that almost killed Miley.

It’s a coming-of-age story, as well as a love story. Originally, it was meant to put Miley and Lily together but ultimately a secondary character, Joanie, became such an important role that it changed the entire original plot.

Oddly, that happens so many times. A writer always says that the character write themselves and in this story, she did. During the rewrite and edit, the inspiration for Joanie’s character was actually Ruby Rose, as seen in Orange is The New Black. This rebel comes into the character’s world and flips everything all around. That is what this character did.

The final edit of this story made me fall in love with this character more than Miley or Lily and I believe she truly was the star.

Disney Fan Fiction with “King of The Kingdom”

When I think back at the creative process of writing King of The Kingdom, it is bitter-sweet. It came from a friendship that turned into the fight and ultimately, that friendship dissolved into nothing. And to think it was over fanfiction? Or was it?

King of The Kingdom takes an original character and places him in the middle of Walt Disney World and the cast members, who work in the park. But let’s back up before we get into the story.

I didn’t even know what the hell fanfiction was until a friend of mine, who we will call JP, began writing it based on a cartoon on the Disney Channel. She explained how she/fans took the characters and wrote their own stories and created new worlds for them. Okay. I get it. What I did/do with celebrities. What she did was take two cartoon characters and created a romance that did not exist on the show.

I didn’t understand that. Okay. Cartoons and sex never mingled in my world and I couldn’t relate, so I moved on. She thought my passiveness was making fun of her. No. I just didn’t see cartoons like that. No biggy, not my thing. And I really wasn’t a fan of the show. I couldn’t relate.

Then I went to Disney World. And saw a cast member that was so unbelievably cute and adorable, I wanted to hook up with her. So. She played the character that JP wrote about, only in cartoon form. My fascination with her was the cast member, not the character, who just happened to be a live version of a cartoon character.

(((DEEP BREATH))) And so begins my writing of King of The Kingdom. A story about a young man who finds himself living at Disney World and meets Kim Possible, the cast member who thinks she is really Kim Possible. You see. Not the same. She thought it was which in turn caused a little fight between us. Oh, the fight gets bigger, but that is for a different book.

King of The Kingdom was the first completed book written, but it was not the first book I published on Amazon when I was publishing in book form. It’s a lot like Kingdom Keepers, which I have not read.

About “Thorns of Yesterday”

I am going down my list of completed novels and talking about them, how they came to be, the inspiration, and all that fun stuff. I normally would not talk about the people behind the story, especially if I knew them personally. Like this. BUT… I can because she knows about it.

The idea of the story just popped into my head while I was getting to know a person at work. She does not necessarily work with me at the same company, but we are work associates. About a month or two into our new friendship, the idea came to me. A lot like my other stories. I became obsessed with her. Not necessarily stalkerific obsessed but always on my mind.

When someone is on my mind, my world races to figure out how to fall in love with them. Its is the hazards of being a writer and a hopeless romantic. All the things she told me about her life were so dramatic that they literally made a great backstory to something greater.

You put her world, together with my writer’s mind, and my obsessive need to love and what do you have? A new story.

The story started off on how to get her and him together. There was no plot. No plan. Nothing more than taking her backstory and merging it with the backstory of my male protagonist and having them eventually hook up. Honestly, that is ultimately how I start every story. How do I make them fall in love and have sex?

You can only write about that so long because no one wants to read that. There has to be drama to tear them apart and make the world fly into a million pieces in order to end up at a happily ever after. This is where I turned the tables and took inspiration from the movie, Exit To Eden. Send them to a sex island after being kidnapped by the bad guys.

I mean, what can go wrong with a sex island? So… It’s sad. It’s happy. It’s romantic. There’s sex. I think overall, it turned out to a good story.