Updates and news.

Another week gone by, another update.

I admit, I’ve taken a slight break from writing Crimson Sands. In its stead, I’ve begun work on a new short story that I wanted to work on. With a Work-In-Progress title of, “Gunslingers of Asgards,” I’ll leave it up to you exactly what that seems like.

Last night, I had a great time joining the Hangout that veteran writer Matt Forbeck hosted over on Google+. Topics ranging from writing and football to drinks and conventions were discussed, and it seemed a good number of us enjoyed ourselves. Link to the archive is right … here.

I’m also trying to work on ways to improve my productivity when it comes to the writing. The pace just hasn’t been good, and I’m becoming too easily distracted. I need to find a way to buckle down, get focused, and make the magic happen. Hopefully I can make this happen before NaNoWriMo comes up, otherwise I’m screwed.

Then we get to the news stands of today.

For those that don’t know, a film was produced that mocked Muhammad, a prophet of the Islamic faith. In reaction to this, organizers began massive riots and protests against American embassies all over Africa and the Middle East. These riots have damage property, set fires to buildings and cars, and claimed the lives of not only protesters but also American officials in Libya.

Ambassador J Christopher Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEAL operators Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. These are the names of the four American personnel that were killed during the initial assault on the embassy in Libya. These are the people who thought they could make a difference in Libya, one for the better.

Now, because of some ass who made a video and the people’s own misplaced outrage, they are four lives cut too short.

Ambassador Stevens, from what I’ve seen, was a great man. Prior to being a member of the United States Foreign Services, he was a international trade lawyer. In addition to this, he taught English as a member of the Peace Corps in Morocco.

He tried his best to bring peace and freedom to Libya, trying to help the people  and the country as a whole. Few people would dream of doing something as he seemed to, and fewer yet would go so far as to make it their reality.

Sean Smith, a man some know better as Vile Rat in EVE Online, seemed to be a man of great character. As a fellow EVE pilot, though admittedly one much younger and less capable, I will gladly admit that I came to the game after hearing about the exploits of GoonSwarm in their wars with various other alliances.

Sean “Vile Rat” Smith was one of the key people behind the scenes that helped influence not only GoonSwarm’s wars, but even the game itself by being a member of the elected community teams. These accomplishments also stand alongside his real life accomplishments of being a married father of two, along with being a veteran in the United States Air Force.

Last, but certainly by no means least, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Former members of one of the – if not the most – talented and skilled armed services in the world, the U.S. Navy SEALS. Woods provided security for diplomats in foreign countries, even after serving multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, along with being a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Doherty, in Libya to search for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, was on the advisory board for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

These accomplishments for both of these men are only a portion of their achievements, however, since their contributions during their service are likely great, but will always remain undisclosed.

These men, all of them, were people who gave their lives trying to make the world a better place in one way or another. In the end, however, their time came too soon.

Let me state this bluntly: I do not condone what the video is said to show, nor would I condone it if it were against any other faith. At the same time, the violent response to it is beyond abhorrent and inexcusable. One does not protest something by setting fires to embassies, assaulting foreign sovereignty, and killing diplomatic personnel. I do not care how offensive the depiction is to one’s sensibilities or faith, the deaths and destruction that has followed in it’s wake can not be excused under any circumstances.

Ever.

May these great men rest in peace, and may we find some way to end this situation as quickly and peacefully as we can. Don’t let these men be forgotten, but let’s not also lose sight of the goals they sought to live – and even die – for.

The problem with finishing.

So as I announced in this post, Echoes has been finished and submitted to eFiction.

This brings to light one of my biggest problems: what to start working on after I finish.

If you’re like me and have any sort of a creative streak, you’ll likely suffer this problem. You finish one story, only for three more to crop up, each seemingly as compelling as the others. There seems to be an infinite number of possibilities for you to choose from, so now you get to pick one.

The only problem is, how do you pick one to work on?

I recently shared a few brief words with Matt Forbeck over on twitter, where I asked him how he handled selecting new works. This was as a result of seeing him mention that he wrote six thousand words yesterday.

Keep in mind, this is also the same Matt Forbeck that has been undertaking the 12 for ’12 project (writing 12 novels for 2012), and has been working with other material on the side. What follows below is his reply.

Matt: “It’s not a race. Honestly, don’t ever feel bad about getting something done. There’s always someone faster. Done is what counts. I try to come up with things I think are both cool and will sell. And remember there’s always the next time too. Getting done matters. It’s one reason I write fast, so I can get on to the next thing too.”

Now I will admit, I can’t compete with Matt’s six thousand words per day ratio.

That said, he’s right in that if you never complete your work, you’ll never get further or remove that idea from your head. It’s not a race to see who can pen X amount of words per day on average, but it’s simply a matter of finishing what you’re working on.

Given time to think on those words, it’s made me question my stance on The Veil. Am I confident that people will want to read it? Not entirely. Do I want to get it done? One way or another, yes.

Now what do I mean by one way or another? The Veil has become something of a source of frustration for me.

It started as a single story, then possibly bloomed to a trilogy, then needed to be rewritten, then could be trimmed down to a two-parter. All while doing this, it’s sitting as a WIP file in Scrivener. Soon enough, I’m either going to want to just pound the thing out and get it over with, or abandon it entirely.

As you can see, it’s a mess. Now add the fact that while I’m flip-flopping on what to do with The Veil, other ideas are popping up and demanding attention. It’s enough to give any sane man a migraine, I believe.

Of course, when I spell it all out like this, it seems to be obvious that part of The Veil’s problems stem from thinking too much about it. Not just thinking too much on it, but also not advancing it enough at the same time.

No real progress + over thinking = mess.

So there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen. Some words to definitely work by, offered by Mr. Matt Forbeck. Now it’s time for me to sit down, strap in, and put them to good use.