What would the Feeks do?

Well, it must have taken something pretty powerful for me to finally take some time to update this pitiful excuse for a blog. I would like to think that the below qualifies but as with my books, that’s up to you.

Over the last few months, I have been following the story of a very courageous and at peace woman name Joey Feeks. She and her husband, Rory, are country music artists with very simple and earthy values. The most genuine of those, is their love for each other, their family, and God.

She was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer in the summer of 2014. Devastating news for anyone, as I’m sure, it was to them.… In the beginning. However, over the course of Joey’s treatment, she and her husband have done something remarkable.

They found peace.

Something like that may not sound remarkable in itself, but in the face of the odds, which are severely stacked against this young lady, she has everything to live for within a life in which she seems truly content and very happy. They have a beautiful little two-year-old girl named Indiana. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a picture where the parents, and their daughter are not smiling. Even without the cancer, a happy and satisfying family life is hard to achieve.

I can’t pretend to know what their family is going through as they deal with this situation from day to day. I know that their music reflects their beliefs and who they are. It also sends a message to their fans and the rest of the world; that “simple” and “hope” do not have to be lost no matter what the challenges. It’s okay to be upset with the circumstances or what might be perceived as unfairness, and it’s more than okay to express anger and sadness. But that’s not what the world is seeing, and I truly believe that their peace and contentment in the face of Joey’s final days, is genuine.They have every right to be angry about what is being taken away from them. But they’re not.

They have chosen a different, but not so unique path, and that is something that the rest of the world should aspire to. Imagine taking that type of courage in the face of death and turning it into something precious that both Joey and her husband, Rory will remember and cherish… for as long as they can together.

Now, imagine something bigger where that type of peace can transcend into hope and action for things such as global conflict, homelessness, famine, or simply getting along and loving one another. It makes you wonder why the rest of the world has not learned how to handle things better.

Serenity in the place of hopelessness…

Imagine that.

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Thrillers versus Love

Once again, I’ve been caught up in my own little world, and haven’t posted any wismic scribblings for those you that have nothing better to do with your time than read what I write. My much appreciated and continued thanks for sticking with me during the long droughts between postings.

The majority of my time has been spent dealing with life outside of writing. I believe that is the case for most everyone who wishes to maintain a steady stream of money, who just can’t seem to make enough from the writing… yet.

Not to bore any of you with the mundane daily activities, let’s talk for a second about the specific things that I’ve been trying to do with my writing.

I currently have two books in development that could not be further from each other regarding style and genre. Of course, one is the third book in my science fiction series, the Joshua Chronicles. The other one, as noted in a previous blog, is a romance, or a better label… a love story.

Those of you that have read my first two books, get the gist of where I’m going with my third, so enough said. The big departure is my take on how a love story unfolds through the eyes of a man. All the gimmicks and gadgets in a high-impact espionage-type science-fiction series are not at my disposal for this one. Not sure if the world is ready for a science-fiction love story involving angels and demons and corporate espionage. It wouldn’t really be considered a type of romance, and it would not hit my target audience of all you romantic ladies. I would be screwed on both ends as men would not tolerate it because of all the emotional icky poo stuff that usually detracts from the action.

It may have an appeal down the line if I can storyboard it correctly, but for my first foray into romance, I wanted to keep the concept simpler. Man is a jerk, woman hates him, and he falls in love with her for reasons he can’t understand. Of course, there are some twists in the book; it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t.

I have the first four chapters penned, and am currently running a focus group on my direction and story intent. Thus far, it has received favorable reviews for continuation. That was initially the reason for the review. I have reached a point in my amateur career where I asked the question, “should I continue with this story or not?” I had, still have, a concern on whether or not I can actually write a “love story.” It is quite obvious being an inapt man with very little concept of the emotional quagmire of a woman’s feelings, that I would dare to venture to approach this story from a woman’s perspective. This particular diddy is straight from the compartmentalized mind of a man.

It deals with the tumultuous, self inflicting feelings that man has when trying to decipher their version of falling in love. Yes, ladies… I have just confirmed that most men have emotional hangups too when it comes to figuring out relationships, or the potential of one thereof.

We care; we always have. We are just not good at showing it, or asking for help. You don’t see a bunch of men sitting around a living room coffee table, weeping about unrequited love. But, it doesn’t mean that we don’t do that in private.

The guy in this book has a lot of problems in that area, and is just trying to sort it out. This is simply my take and approach from a man’s perspective; not as a writer, but as a man falling in love that doesn’t know how.

Stupid? Possibly. Unrealistic? Not so much. Men have feelings too. We just don’t talk about them.

That’s probably a hard thing for women to understand, because you talk about everything.

Seriously. . . everything.

Men just don’t. We don’t have the need- the urge that you possess, to share every shred of every facet of each minute in our life with our friends. In some cases, you ladies will even drop a thousand words on a subject to strangers. C’mon, we all know that happens.

Okay… I’m done now.

It’s very hard for me to keep up with my blog, my life, and writing at the same time. I humbly ask, nay- beg your forgiveness for not checking in as often. I will do my best to remedy that.

I love hearing from you. Please continue reaching out. It’s always nice to make more friends.

Until next time.

“Echoes of Ella” – New Book Development and Departure. . . temporarily.

All writers have to experiment at some point in their careers.  My main passion and genre is action-adventure thrillers.  Every once in a while, I have fleeting ideas for stories outside of my wheelhouse.  I’m taking the leap and putting one out there.  Echoes for Ella is currently in the storyboard phase.  This book will be a love story, but fret not my diehard thriller fans.  I will continue to delight you with tales of espionage, supernatural events, and just plain exciting dialogue.  The next installment of the Joshua Chronicles, Plan: Chaos Rising is 55% completed. I will continue to work on that as well.  The idea for Echoes was just too powerful for me to pass up though.  My hope is to bring in a new wave of fans that enjoy a nice romance as well as action-packed, world ending tales.

More to come as Echoes develops.

A life test… or just plain bad luck?

A lot of today’s modern writers probably depend on technology to tell their stories. PCs and mobile devices have made it easier to create, edit, and transmit information all across the world, whether it be an article, a short story, a novel, or an essay paper. Some would argue that it’s probably the greatest breakthrough since the wheel.
Have computer, will travel, right?
Does it even stop with a computer? Use to be, back in the 90s, that computers were evolutionary; a modern-day marvel that could generate words without paper and typewriter ribbon. (Do the young kids today even know what a typewriter is?) – I bet they’ve heard of Steve Jobs though.
Along came portable computers (laptops) to replace those clunky desk-chained monsters that were all the rage just a few short years before. A dramatic improvement reducing size and weight from 30 pounds to a mere eight.
But why stop there? Why not push the envelope of what technology can do to enrich our lives when it comes to writing? Let’s make devices even smaller, more powerful, efficient, and versatile. Behold! Mobile devices such as iPads, Smart phones, Google Glass!

Random fact: Did you know there are 12 computer modules inside of a Volvo XC 90? There was less than that in all of the US Apollo missions back in the 60s and early 70s.

Our technology today in our mobile phones, which we carry inside of our pockets, makes that Volvo look like a Radio Flyer. So to recap… The phone that you hold in your hand is smarter than the lunar modules that landed on the moon.

New technology, cutting edge software; even the ability to just forget about the typing and spew out words that create themselves directly on the screen! The possibilities are limitless…

… Until it’s no longer available.

I’m not talking about an episode of Revolution (the defunct, but much underrated television show). No… in my sad little tale, that would’ve been much easier to accept than the truth.

My dependency on technology has been growing for decades. I’ve always tried to find better, more effective and efficient ways to increase my productivity. Hardware, software — it didn’t matter, as long as it could make things “easier”, I was onboard. With an addiction like that, certain liberties might have been sacrificed , or definitely overlooked, such as the possibility that “Big Brother” was listening and watching every time I made a phone call or used a GPS. Sure, I knew it was possible, but that paled in comparison of making things better for me. Like all drugs, smoking the upgrade weed was not enough for me , I gradually grew into a full blown cocaine-type addiction to where if the technology was cutting-edge and available, I was the first in line. I am happy to say though, I would wait until the next business day. I did not stand in line at midnight waiting for the next OS version to come out. Apparently, there was still some semblance of sense and humility left in my technology-driven life.

So where we going with this, Steven? Well, I’ll tell you, my inquiring, sponge-like minds …

One of the fundamental problems of accepting new technology, is complacency. An individual tends to overlook certain things, or at the very least, takes them for granted when they think the world is at their fingertips. Never grow so dependent on technology that you suffer from something akin to withdrawals when it is gone.

I do almost everything on my iPad. I believe I mentioned this in my other blogs about how I use it for my profession as well as my writing (both published and unpublished). It has books by other authors that I preview and read, it has all of my music, movies, TV shows, and family pictures… everything .  I took for granted how much I used my iPad and didn’t have my eyes opened until it was gone. I left it in the seat back pocket on a plane. That was on a Monday. By Thursday, my PC had died and was powerless to boot up no matter how many different attempts I made. Here I was, 1300+ miles from home, and down to just one mobile device; a phone that wasn’t so smart any more due to an unfortunate incident with my son and a bathtub.

Now, I could bore you even further with the details of the trials and tribulations of my technological power outage, but I believe you already get the point as you sit there laughing at my plight.

Time for the moral, children.

Don’t get so attached to things that they become an extension of yourself. Sure, these gadgets are an important part of your daily life, but there are other things that should be on the top of the list of coveted objects that mean more. I’m not going to lie; there was a disappointment and a humbling of a loss that was completely my fault. I didn’t even notice it was gone until later that night. As I reflected on all of the things the iPad meant to me, the one thing that bothered me the most was the pictures of my family. I had a lot of those, and just left them on a plane. I’m not a complete idiot; I had backups on my PC… Oh – wait, that died, didn’t it?

In the end, I made it home safely, fixed the PC, and replaced the iPad. After all, they’re just objects. A bright side to this is that my penmanship has actually improved.

The life and times of a comedian lost.

I found out tonight that one of the funniest men who ever lived, had died. He was known the world over for his amazing ability to improv anything. After conquering the world of comedy, he tried his hat at dramatic work. After succeeding there, he ventured into theater. He was probably one of the most versatile entertainers of our time.

The death of Robin Williams will be felt by many generations. Although I cannot speak for all, I can speak for mine. I remember seeing him for the first time on a guest shot for Happy Days. Only old people like me will remember that show from the early 70s. His brand of humor and presence landed him the pivotal role in Mork and Mindy. From that point on there was no stopping him.

Although there were points in his comedic career where the vulgarity shown a little more than necessary, he made me laugh more than anything else. He had definitely found his niche in the comedy field, but that was not good enough for him. He went on to do some of the most dramatic roles that I have ever witnessed. One of his best, to me, was Good Will Hunting. He starred in almost 70 films, ranging from flat out hilarity to just plain creepy. Have you ever seen One-Hour Photo?

They’re simply not enough pages or words to describe the entire career of Robin Williams. All I know is how his death makes me feel. The world will definitely feel a void of his brand of humor. His sheer genius at improvisation will most likely never be matched.

His interaction with children and his devotion to his own, was to be admired. He had once said in an interview that his favorite audience was children because their laughter was genuine and direct. They were too young and stupid not to tell the truth.

Robin Williams’ death will be a lot like Steve Jobs. The world of entertainment, just like Apple, will never be the same.

Best interview ever: Carson 1991

An excerpt from PLAN: CHAOS RISING (Book 3)

Some cultures of the human race have long sought a founded belief on an afterlife; an existence of something beyond the confines of their limited and fragile mortal flesh. Each society views the next stage a bit differently than it actually is. Some believe it to be transcendental, a life-altering ascension to knowledge and wisdom. Others believe life just stops after death; a nothingness. Those believing the enlightened theory sometimes claim visions of the afterlife, seeing love ones or supernatural beings, which for most, stem from a traumatic event of sorts. Of all the stories and folklore throughout time, the truth was very simple. Neither of those are correct. Enlightenment comes from the individual, not from the transition between realms; and there was definitely something on the other side.

There was really no difference between the Humani generis or Majaliant realms in dimensions or space, but only rather in time and perception. Humans cannot see angels, unless they want them to. That same rule applied to demons. This clouded perception allowed both to move among the humans, to guide or influence as necessary; in some cases, to witness unexplainable events.
Sometimes though, their age-old conflict becomes more than just about mankind. The war may have spawned from the birth of humans, but their distaste for each other reached far beyond.
The streaks of movement approached quicker than any known measurement of speed. The sound of them entering the atmosphere could have been perceived as a sonic boom; if humans were aware. Upon entering the stratosphere, their approach slowed a bit as they came in from the west. The nine objects fell in line behind the plane’s flight path.
Their course was swift and hidden.
Seconds from reaching the aircraft, they drew their weapons. One of them held high, a hammer. Dark clouds began to form and swirl into a frenzy in the wake of their trail.

“Steady yourself,” said Lucas.
Trusting his friend’s instincts, Joshua prepared himself. Then he saw it.
They appeared from nowhere faster than anything he had ever witnessed; coming from all around the plane. Angels, but unlike any that Joshua ever saw. He could have sworn he felt the plane vibrate from their velocity. They headed straight for the mass of demons.

As the demon charge began to pick up speed, some noticed a detachment breaking off and heading straight for them. The site of these foolish angels sparked various reactions from crazed excitement and laughter, to comments regarding the demon’s impending victory. There was only a small few from the collective who had the sense enough to be wary of this new development. Suroc was one of them.
Using sight beyond sight, he peered closer at the bold assailants. His eyes grew wide, then he began to arc away. “Retreat! Fall back!”
The division was confused, but obeyed nonetheless. His captains soared in closer as they started to break away from the pack.
“Sir, what are you doing?! This offense is punishable by torment,” said one of them.
Suroc glanced back; the captain caught his eye, then recoiled from the look.
He was afraid. “Inflixi Impetus.”
His captains now shared the same scared expression as this news began reverberating through the ranks.
They all flew faster.

The nine skimmed the surface of the plane from all sides. One even reached out with his free hand to lightly touch the smooth, aerodynamic shell. As they soared passed, the one with the long black hair made an outward hand command as he pulled his weapon, a form of a Chinese Dao, tight into his chest.
“Wreck havoc on all who remain; none are to be spared.” He eyed the legion commanders and a half smile began to form. “Melennec and the others are mine.”

What Joshua witnessed could not be adequately described. At least not in the convention of what most would consider possible by human standards. He counted nine angels in all. They charged straight into the heart of the blackness with no pause or deviation in their course. It was like the demon numbers did not matter. What happened next was utterly impossible to believe, and purely spectacular to watch.

PLAN:CHAOS RISING coming in 2015.

http://www.stevenneilmoore.com

Why does it always come down to financials?

I read an article regarding contract negotiations between a publishing company and a major book distributor. Not that big of a deal; contract negotiations happen in all facets of daily business. What saddened me was that since neither parties have been able to come to a common agreement, the distributor has decided to pull all titles of the authors, who use said publisher, from their catalogs and website.

Did the distributor screw themselves, or just the author and the readers?

Although they have one of the largest distribution networks globally, it doesn’t mean that they are the only “game in town.” The distributor’s competitors are offering massive sales discounts on the “pulled” titles. I can’t really say that I blame them. Why shouldn’t they profit off someone else’s mistake? Especially since it is a stupid mistake.

Big business can and is affecting artistic freedom and the ability to connect with the audience; in this case, the readers. While these two companies are hashing it out, who is really suffering because of this? The authors and the readers are only trying to continue their romance. We write, you read. That’s our relationship, and it’s been working out fine. Just because mom and dad can’t agree on what’s for dinner, why do the kids have to starve?

Now, I completely understand that this is a business as well. As an author, we tend to profit from what we write. Everybody always gets paid before the artist though. I’m cool with that.

What I’m not cool with, is some person, company, entity, etc., making an arbitrary decision to stop delivering our form of entertainment because they want to increase their profits, and going about it a “screw you” type of way. You don’t take away the books until AFTER the negotiations have failed, not during. That’s just plain wrong and makes them look like bullies.

Where is this going to stop? How is something like this not a form of censorship? This is Slaughterhouse Five and the 1970s all over again. The only difference is that this is not about the “misunderstood content of the author’s imagination”; this is about a schoolyard bully beating up another nerd for his lunch money because they want more.

Think about this… What’s to keep something like this from happening to say, network and television? Consumer products and the buyers? Relief organizations and disaster victims?

“I want more money.”
“Let’s talk about that.”
“No. I’m tired of talking and not getting what I want.”
“What does that mean?”
“If you don’t give me what I want, I’ll make everyone miserable until I get it.”

It sounds like a parent having a discussion with their child, or a super villain preparing to destroy the world. I can’t really tell the difference.

It’s a real shame when greed gets in the middle of something as simple as reading a story. I’m fairly certain that no consideration has been given to the collateral effect of their decision. If they thought with something else other than their wallets, they just might see the damage their reputation is suffering in the eyes of the artist and consumer.

I have an idea. Why don’t the people that care most about their perceived shares, who owns what, and how often they should get it, sit in a cold room somewhere and figure out how their lives became so petty and indifferent. The rest of us will read a book.

Obsession… Not that bad of a word.

What do you do when something has consumed you? I’m not talking about a rousing game of Uno, or a gripping suspense climax in your favorite detective television show. I mean stalker-level, mind-controlled, binge-eating, binge-watching, song stuck in your head, on the verge of losing your family and day job consumed.

That’s pretty hard up when you get to that level, but I think that means you are an actual writer.

I find myself thinking about my books and characters constantly. Sometimes, it gets to the point where my family is trying to talk to me, and I am “in the zone” with the story line, plotting of a scene, building a bridge between one chapter or section and another, etc. I carry around my iPad faithfully to capture those moments, but I have found lately, that just jotting down a few notes here and there, or writing a couple of lines… isn’t enough. As I have mentioned before, inspiration can strike at any time. It’s very, VERY hard not to write when it comes knocking. Like now… I can’t really seem to stop writing down my thoughts about being obsessed. I believe in normal people, this would be an indication of a mental illness. I’m not really sure if there’s any difference between that and a writer.

Here’s a prime example. Between the last paragraph and this one, I had to stop for a few hours to do something else. That entire time, I thought about a character flow for Joshua and a plane trip from England.
I am pretty good at multitasking on certain things, but when it comes to writing, I throw myself into it 100%. The problem is that I don’t always get to focus completely on the writing at hand. That, as of late, has been the most frustrating part for me. I WANT to write. I am not independently wealthy, nor have I been presented with a book-to-screen deal which will allow me to basically just sit and write. Which, as I mentioned… is all I want to do.

What started out as a hobby, then slowly became a past time, has now turned into an addictive drug. (Not the bad kind either). It’s like that crazed look that guy from Reefer Madness had when he couldn’t get enough. Not the new one, the old black-and-white version. I just can’t seem to make it through a part of my day without thinking or actually writing.

I’ve heard that if you are willing to do something without pay because you love it, then that is the occupation you should have. Well, I’ve known that for a long time.
I’m no different than anyone else who happens to be obsessed. I just focus my time and energy on a universe of worlds floating about in my head. My characters and situations are very real when I write. For all of those writers out there, I don’t have to explain any of this.

Brothers and sisters, do you feel me?

Time for the moral…

If you made it this far, then yeah… you’re probably just as obsessed as I am. That’s not such a bad thing. It is that very obsession that generates amazing stories from nothing. It doesn’t matter what you write about. Keep doing what you’re doing; I know that I will. That tick in your eye (Reefer Madness,) may lead to your life’s masterpiece. How are you ever going to know if you stop being obsessed?

 

PS. I know that I said the graphic would be new for the next book.  It’s not coming out until May, and I just had to get this obession thing off my chest.  It will be new for the next blog… unless I obsess about something else that I absolutely have to rant about.