5min- Failure

How do you judge failure?

I’ve tried so many things in my life. I went to college, but I have no degree. I started painting pictures that are half finished. I have book upon book that is only a fragment of a finished novel or short story.

But is it failure?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed, and Gregg has to give me a pep talk and remind me of how far I’ve come, and how much I have accomplished.

You see, there was a time when I did give up. I stopped writing, stopped painting, stopped doing almost anything creative because just existing took so much effort that I couldn’t do much of anything else. That’s the lie of depression. That’s the trap of living in an abusive relationship. You feel so worthless, and useless, that just getting out of bed and putting on clothes is difficult.

And here I am, years later, with finished books and a shelf with my name all over it…. And still I feel like a failure. That thing causing my depression may be gone, but the depression isn’t. It’s a life long companion.

What is failure? Failure is giving into that depression and letting it lie to me. But even if I fail for a day there is still tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, to try again. To get it right.

And that’s my five.


Slowing… down…

Ever feel like you’re slowing down? The world keeps chugging along around your, but you seem to be going at a glacial pace. You have all these ideas and plans. Things you want to accomplish. A bucket list a mile long. But you didn’t do any of those things this week, or maybe this month.

And it isn’t even that you’re necessarily doing anything against your dreams. You’re just doing your job. Your day job, of course. You’re taking care of your family, and paying the bills. You go to little league with your kids, and bake cookies every Christmas. And the world keeps chugging along.

Some days, for me, it feels like I’m just trying to blow bubbles into the wind. All the bubbles are racing off behind me, forgotten, and the new ones have no chance of catching hold.

When I feel like I’m not making any progress, that time is standing still, I take a moment to review my accomplishments. I remind myself how far I’ve come. Yes, there’s a lot more to do, but I’ve already come this far. I’m that much closer to where I need to be. And so are you.

It may feel like we are stagnant and going no where, but sometimes when it feels like that you just have to dig up those past moments when you were working to your goal and remind yourself how much closer you are.

And if you aren’t closer, if you haven’t done anything…then take a small step closer to that dream. Go buy that guitar and start taking lessons. Go sign up for a class on yogo or thia chi. Practice painting. Write a story. Buy a ticket to Mali. Travel, and live, and love. Because the world isn’t going to wait for you to get in gear.

A Conundrum


As you can tell from this picture…. the blue is spreading.
A while back I shared this list of my stories in progress. There were a couple spots of blue (marking published) and a lot of orange (marking almost done). Now it’s the opposite. Lots of published, not as much “almost done”.

My publishing schedule, up until now, reflected the fact that I had a lot of short stories that were almost done, or done and needing an edit. It is a lot faster to finish, and edit, a 5000 word short story, or several flash fictions, then to complete a sprawling 30-80 thousand word book.

I can’t capitalize on that anymore. Most of the “almost done” drafts I have started are 20-50% of a 20k word novella. That takes time to finish.

This is a good thing in the long run. I wanted to get a lot of little things up and expand into longer works. I wanted to have a variety of lengths available.

It means I’ll have to slow down publication, or write faster. Hopefully write faster. That’s what I am pushing for at least. Probably both.

It’s incredible how far I’ve come in the last eight months. Osiren’s Tears was written last October. It was published in February. Since then I have written or completed 18 short stories, 2 novellas, and published them in 10 books. Two of which are also available in print.

That’s a lot in eight months. I’m kind of proud of myself for sticking with this and following my dream.

I have 12 more short stories waiting to be finished, and a lot of novellas and novels. I may not be able to get something out every week now, but I will definitely keep people posted.

Expect “The Camera” out later this week. As well as the print version of “Small Bites the Complete Collection”.

Pax is also next month. I will have stickers and buttons available. If you can’t get to Pax and you would like a button and/or sticker then just write a review for one of my books and tweet about it. I would love to send you one.