I am raising three men.
Caleb, Nathaniel, and Andrew are five, eight, and nine respectively.
"But," you might say, "They are only boys." You're right and wrong.
They are boys. At some future point they will become men. They are men-in-training, a fact I must never forget. The eighteenth birthday does not a man make. Nor does sixteen or twenty-one. Boys become men like a pile of steel becomes a soaring skyscraper. They are constructed from the ground up. External constraints form the foundation. The externals become internalized over time through ongoing reinforcement. In other words, I repeat myself a lot. As values harden they become load-bearing. Trials test character. Unrefined ore becomes steel. Weakness becomes strength. My role is that of architect, engineer, and foreman all in one. Therefore, I am building men.
Today's lesson: On Hitting.
Andrew: "He was hitting me."
Me: "Yes, I know. Did you need to hit back?"
Note: Andrew is a nine, almost ten-year-old junior black belt in Taekwondo. Andrew knows how to hit, hard. For the record, he chose not to hit back and instead came and told me about it. Did he want to hit back? Absolutely, and I don't blame him for feeling that way. Part of being male involves managing hardwired aggression. Men are naturally aggressive. We're designed that way for a reason. We don't need to apologize for it. But, we do need to own it and use our strength for good.
Back to Andrew...
Andrew: "I have the right to defend myself."
Me: "Yes, you do. But, you have to learn when to hit back and when not to. Were you really in danger? Was he really trying to hurt you?"
Me: "That's right. He wasn't. If your life is ever in danger you have my permission to use your skills. Daddy will back you to the hilt. But, I pray that day never comes. Don't hit back unless you absolutely have to. I'm proud of you for not striking back."
And the moral of today's lesson?
Me: “We use this first.” (finger taps the brow) Andrew, looking grave, nods. "Yes, daddy."
Me: “We us this last.” (fist comes to eye level, ready and hopefully always waiting) I smile big. Then Andrew smiles. I smile bigger and open my arms. We hug and the balance returns to the force and all is well.
INDOMITABLE'S edits are done...at least this round, which is to say the "copy edits." A copy editor marks up your manuscript and you, the writer, come face to face with your grammatical shortcomings. Stop turning nouns into adjectives, Bauers!
I'll have "typeset" pages next month, which is code for designed interior pages. Those I print out and mark up with a red pencil - old school but necessary and effective.
Clock's ticking. July 26th is just around the corner.
"Drain it, dump it, pack it up, wolf it down, we go in...um...159 days."
There's no rush, really. Take all the time you need. Bookstores won't have stock for a bit.
The guys from "Geekside New" were great hosts. We talked about our favorite TV shows (I'm currently enjoying the Shannara Chronicles), the rise of Streaming services and Netflix/Hulu/Amazon "originals" and the death of the networks, and of course my books, UNBREAKABLE and INDOMITABLE (out July 2016).
Zoe is a HUGE fan. I need 5000 rabid fans just like him. Someone, please help Zoe clone himself.
I hope you get a chance to check it out.
Little C colored this at preschool. I almost tossed it with some other papers. But it caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks.
This morning bellowed like Goliath, tried to derail the day before it had even started.
A child's faith restored my sight. Reset the morning. Redeemed the hour.
Time to slay Giants.
My next novel, INDOMITABLE, made this list over at i09.
Please check it out at io9.
What a way to start off the week!!!
Snag your copy of UNBREAKABLE, the first in the Chronicles of Promise Paen. Contest ends 1/15/16.
2016...that's going to take some getting used to.
Each December, I take time to reflect upon the past year, celebrate key milestones, identify those yearly favorites, and set goals for the year to come.
As I sat in my living room reminiscence, a cup of hot caf in hand and Christmas music echoing through the halls, inspiration struck. It was the lyrics to a song. But not just any song. It was White Christmas...A Sci-Fi White Christmas. As I wrote it, more inspiration struck. It's time for a giveaway. It's time to plan for 2016 reading. Hey, why don't I help those who share my affinity for geek culture get their 2016 "read" on?
So, enjoy the tune. Check out the cool stuff I'm giving away (see pics and rules for entering below). Leave a comment for a chance to win. And please tell your friends.
Good luck, Maker's Speed, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
- W. C.
Traditional genre categories very often fail to identify a book's truth wealth.
UNBREAKABLE is classified as a Science Fiction or Military SF novel, maybe a Marine or adventure story, or a space opera. But it's more.
You may not care for science fiction, or military adventure. But what about tales of living through and overcoming loss? Or stories about Mother/daughter relationships? Or frontier adventures? Or political intrigue?
UNBREAKABLE is far more than just science fiction.
Here are a few tags to illustrate the point:
#MotherDaughterStory(perhaps my favorite tag)
Is it time to #TagYourBook? I believe so. Here's a great post on the subject.
A friend of mine and fellow writer, Ronie Kendig, just released her first high fantasy novel, EMBERS: ABIASSA'S FIRE, book one.
Ronie is the award-winning, best-selling author of a dozen rapid-fire military novels. She's an Army brat and a military wife, and a fierce researcher, so she knows of what she writes.
Last month, she boldly ventured into the realm of high fantasy by releasing her first speculative novel. EMBERS - pardon the pun - has been burning in her blood for years. As one reviewer said, EMBERS "...strikes the literary nail on the head." Ronie says the book gripped her soul and wouldn't let go until she wrote it.
Now is your chance to snag a copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
"HE'S COMING FOR THEM. AND THE KINGDOM.
Haegan and Kaelyria Celahar are royal heirs of the Nine Kingdoms, but Haegan is physically crippled. What chance does he have against Poired Dyrth, the greatest enemy the kingdom has ever faced, who wields fire with a power none can match?
Their only hope is forbidden: Kaelyria must transfer her fire-harnessing abilities to Haegan. When she does it comes with a terrible price: Haegan's disability is healed, but only by being transferred to Kaelyria. This act unleashes their father-king's wrath.
Haegan must flee the kingdom alone with two impossible tasks: Find a cure for Kaelyria and stop the coming war with the omnipotent Poired Dyrth."
Please leave a comment to enter for a chance to win, and share this post with your friends. Contest ends 12/1/2015.
Find out more about Ronie here:
Good luck. And congratulations, Ronie! I'm so pleased for you.