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The journey so far: Part 1

What does an author blog about when their book isn't even published yet?

I haven't the slightest clue.

How about a little bio?

Since my youth, I have always had a love for drawing and creating stories.

Back in junior high we had a class assignment to write a short story. Being the prolific writer that I am, I wound up writing about 6 chapters worth (as a child that is a lot). The teacher was so impressed that she asked if she could keep it. She told me that I should pursue writing.

Who knew more than a quarter century later I actually would?

I wonder what became of that story... *scratches head*

I've always been a big fan of Anime and Comics and have dreamed of one day creating my own. At one point I tried applying to Joe Kubert's school but the number of people that get accepted from applicants worldwide is a small group.

Back in the late 90's I planned on starting a project with two high school buddies. Well, it was more than just talk. I got to writing about a dozen spiraled notebooks of story and a drew a whole bunch of characters that were involved. I created entire worlds, invented written and phonetically spoken languages, sports, all kinds of stuff. The real plan was to wait a year so that these two guys could graduate and then we go into a school together to pursue this dream.

One year turned to ten. Ten rolled into twenty.

Never pursued that dream.

Around '99-'00 I wound up moving to Philadelphia and coincidentally Philly (and Georgia) were the only two branches of The Art Institute that offered computer animation. I was heavily interested in enrolling. I just so happen to make friends with a guy that was graduating from the very same school. He told me that the first job he landed was $22k.

Yeah. That's what I said.

I couldn't believe my ears. All that time and money I was ready to invest just to start out making somewhere around $10-$11 an hour? I know everyone has to start somewhere, but come on. I currently make almost twice that and I am still struggling. That was a real discouraging bit of information. I chose not to go to that school and ended up going to a computer programming school instead for web development and back end programming.

Everything that I know about drawing and animation I learned and practiced on my own. Not even my high school. They had this huge drawing test to get in but no art classes. Only art history and commercial art. I learned how to design lettering and silk screening. I relied on a few how to draw websites and lots of anime. I used to draw daily and I mean daily. Nonstop. Taught myself Flash, photoshop, and Corel Suite 12 to make my own animations of anime heads blinking and talking (back then).

A few years later, after transitioning into a grown-up, my art, unfortunately, had to take a back seat. Between school, two full-time jobs, and a super jealous insecure live-in girlfriend (at the time) I had my hands full. I found it increasingly difficult to find the time to draw or write.

At least then I did.

The little bit of "me time" that I did have was spent training (I was also very heavy into the martial arts back then) or writing poetry in my journal (some of which are included in my first self-publication). After that, it was a series of failed relationships in the pursuit of love and the blessed birth of my first born. Then came bigger bills, better jobs, longer hours...

I became quite rusty and negligent of my skills.

Well, fast forward another decade or so, I tried to reconnect with the guys and start working on the BEA story again only this time I had the pleasure of losing everything to Sandy. No, not another girlfriend. I mean the super storm. All my art and notebooks full of story and ideas... gone.

Another setback.

I had almost given up. Thankfully, I had an old email with some BEA data files and some digital copies of my old artwork. The data file, however, was a password protected windows 98 word file. That file was impossible to crack. I downloaded all kinds of programs to crack it but almost a year and a half of failed attempts, get this, I randomly remembered the password.

That is when I started writing and drawing again.

I started off with Chapter One of The Armor War Saga, the opening scene to this whole BEA series. It is a sci-fi fantasy that I really wanted to make an anime out of. I was stoked. I got one good chapter in (and pages on pages of notes and back stories) and decided "you know what? Let me draw out a comic version of it." You see, at this point, I intended to put out a web comic series on my social media just to get out there see what happens. I mean, that's what I wanted since youth, right? Comics and/or animation. Problem was that three pages in I changed my mind. A friend of mine that actually went to Joe Kubert's school told me that the workload was very very demanding. What takes me a week to pencil, he had to have drawn and inked in one class.

Now I see what he meant.

Drawing my three pages took a lot longer than I was willing to sit and do. My art had suffered. I was rusty and I just didn't have the patience or skills anymore. I found myself relearning how to draw again. I didn't want to waste any more time, I have wasted enough.

That is why I decided I was going to write the novel instead. It was faster and more fruitful.

Then, out of the blue, I switched gears. In October of 2018, I was working on a roof. I sat down to wait on my coworker to bring me a panel when it hit me. An idea, I mean, not the panel. I was suddenly inspired to write a story with Athalon. I whipped out my phone, opened up Evernote, and just started jotting all the ideas down as they came to me.

That's been my direction ever since. Roughly 10 months later and just shy of 60,000 words in, this has been the journey so far. And let me tell you, it's been a learning experience.

I only wish I started down this path earlier.

For a guy who is fluent in typonese and doesn't have a major in writing nor English, I think I'm doing okay.

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