Happy September, everyone! Would you like to know what I’ve been up to? If so, read on…Read More
Today, I spent half of my day with seventh and eighth graders at a local junior high school. I was invited to attend their Career Day event to represent the “author” career field. I felt honored to be asked and I was very happy to participate. It was the best of times!Read More
Hi! I hope that all is well in your world.
I have great news to share with you today. I have my very own YouTube channel, and you can subscribe to it right now by clicking HERE!
I’m very excited to have a video log so that I can speak to you directly versus merely in textual format. I’ll be able to cover a number of topics related to me, my novels, or various events or developments that I want to share with you verbally. For those who are hearing impaired, I’m actively working on the transcription function for closed captioning. I’m very new at this, so I appreciate your patience as I work through things.
There are already a handful of videos available for you to watch, including some background about who I am, why you should read my novels, and what makes my Sunset Vampires different from traditional vampires in films and literature. I’m really excited about the potential that a YouTube channel brings to reaching out to you through another modality.
I enjoy a number of YouTube channels, including Emergency Awesome, which is operated by a nice guy named Charlie who covers films and television shows related to fantasy, superheroes, science fiction, and comic books. If you’d like to subscribe to Emergency Awesome, click HERE.
After you get to my YouTube Channel, you’ll see a series of playlists. My official Jaz Primo videos are stored under the playlist titled “Official Jaz Primo Videos.” Okay, so I realize that you could probably easily figure that out on your own, but it makes my OCD feel assuaged by saying it.
Please try out the videos and let me know what you think. I hope that over time I’ll get the hang of adding enhancements to the videos such as clickable links and overlay images during the videos. I’m all about baby steps. Besides, I’m also trying to keep writing on my novels. How’s that sound?
Thanks for all of your support, and please try out my YouTube channel as soon as you can.
Winter is a cherished season for me; though I appreciate that many people don’t like the cold weather. As I have a warm place to hold up, I don’t mind the cold. It gives me yet another good reason to stay home and huddle up with my hobbies, interests, and distractions…including my cat, Tabby. She appreciates me being home to spend time with her, of course. During the past seven years, my home has been the creative nexus for my novel writing; a place where my ideas have taken root and come to fruition. Add one more reason why my home is truly my castle…my fortress of solitude…the place where stay-cation dreams are realized.
It’s because I value my home so much – and the wonderful memories within – that I was given pause upon reading that famed science fiction author Ray Bradbury’s house is being demolished. You can read the complete article HERE. Granted, the historic 1937-era Cheviot Hills house, located in Los Angeles, California, had a much more dated sort of layout and design than contemporary home buyers prefer to live in. Yet, it was the nostalgic location where “dreams were made” and creative visions were brought to life for generations of readers and fans. The home was interspersed with bookshelves, particularly the den where the room was lined with a Hodge-podge of rickety shelving that held the multitudes of books that Mr. Bradbury collected. If you click on the link that I provided above, at the lower portion of the article, there’s a nice 12-shot slideshow of photos taken from the interior of the house that illustrate what I’m referring to. There’s also a six-image slideshow at the top of the article displaying the external demolition.
Suffice to say, the demolition of the historic house made me feel momentarily glum.
Then I considered a number of things surrounding the event. For one, when the house was sold following Mr. Bradbury’s in 2012, the personal belongings and all of his memorabilia contained therein was removed by the family, leaving only the shell of where a famous author once called home. Essentially, it was the skeletal remains of a former complete entity. Second, there’s no magical creative dust that remains in Mr. Bradbury’s former study that future tenants could absorb to become great writers themselves. It was Ray himself that brought the magic to the room and into reality; the room was merely the setting for magic to occur. In that sense, and with consumerism being what it is, there’s little reason why a dated-looking home would harbor much intrigue for the average home buyer today. Instead, the now-demolished site will serve as the birthplace for a modern, more energy-efficient dwelling with mass curb appeal.
However, Americans have a long-standing tradition of attempting to preserve locations where famous people either grew up or resided in for much of their lives. It made me wonder: why didn’t Mr. Bradbury’s home make the grade for historic significance? He lived in that home for more than 50 years leading up to his death. I don’t believe that George Washington lived in Mount Vernon for more than 50 years before he died. Okay, that’s quite a stretch to compare Ray Bradbury to George Washington, but do you see where my train of thought is headed? Anyway, perhaps people are merely too sensitive about such topics.
Fortunately, for those who value nostalgia and preservation of great settings, materials and artifacts from Mr. Bradbury’s home office have been donated to The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies in Indiana, and there’s an initiative in play to re-create the author’s den as it appeared in the mid-1960s. That’s something that I might have to make a trip to Indiana for in the future.
Today is a day that I should stay off social media outlets. However, this is my blog…a place to reflect upon the world around me; a place to say what’s on my mind. To be frightfully -- and brutally -- honest, I'm not really sure that I'm not the only person reading my blog.
That being said, today is a day of genuine disappointment and disillusionment for me as a writer.
This week is a week that I no longer feel like participating in the entertainment industry.
For most of my life, I’ve enjoyed creative writing. Writing is entertaining to me, as well as emotionally therapeutic. In fact, writing is entertainment not only to me but to the reading public at large.
By contrast, being part of the entertainment industry is often depressing and disappointing. It is a ratings game – an environment where authors, performers, artists, singers, actors and actresses all vie for the attentions of an audience and the respect of their industry and peers. It is also a money machine, focused… no, more like obsessed…with sales, investments, profits, and returns. It is a grind of modern capitalism.
It is also a popularity contest; my least favorite aspect.
I frequently advise writers to ignore the Amazon rankings and sales charts when reflecting upon their own work; that the value of their art and creativity should not be relegated to where their works reside in numbered lists. However, this week I violated my own advice and perused the Amazon rankings for my own novels.
Suffice to say, I was sadly disappointed. I’m definitely not winning any popularity contests with regard to my outstanding novels at the present time.
A sense of rejection quickly permeated my spirit. I felt dejected and disappointed.
It made me feel as if my writing wasn’t positively contributing to the body of published literature at large in the marketplace. It made me wonder if my own work was meritorious to readers.
Those negative feelings caused me to stop writing on my current projects, namely manuscripts for my second Logan Bringer novel and my fifth Sunset Vampire novel.
It’s important to understand that authors, just like any performers or artists, receive satisfaction in seeing their work actively viewed or digested by others. It is perhaps a reflection of our own vanity, though more often – and as is the case with me, I believe – it’s a reflection of seeking broader acceptance. It’s a matter of validation that my work is good enough for others.
For authors, it’s not solely a matter of sale for the purposes of income (though paying bills and putting food on the table is important to me), it’s more like those sales numbers indicate that other people find value in my creations.
It’s a mark of perceived worthiness…of being embraced socially. Certainly, people are social creatures, are we not?
I don’t like feeling depressed and disappointed. I’m generally a happy person. In the midst of my melancholy, I sought solace and inspiration anywhere that I could find it.
Then I remembered someone who has spoken to my heart since I first heard him as guest speaker at the May 2012 graduation ceremony at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Neil is the famous author of many award-winning novels, including the graphic novel, The Sandman. I often reflect on his momentous 2012 graduation speech, which you can view at http://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address-2012.
One of his many key reflections in his presentation included, "...when you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thick-skinned, to learn that not every project will survive. "
I genuinely needed to hear him say that to me.
It’s never easy seeing your creations being largely overlooked in the marketplace.
Neal also said, “A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.”
Not everything we do as artists or writers will be accepted by the masses. It’s a harsh reality to confront and become comfortable with.
I listened to the entire speech twice, in fact. His words were encouraging and soothing and somewhat reassuring.
After a short time in silent reflection, I have decided that my own disappointment in the recent sales performance of my novels will not keep me from continuing my writing. At my core, my writing is intended for me as much as for others. It helps me work through things that are processing inside me, whether that's my imagination, or my emotions, or merely my assessments of life or the world at large.
That being said, publishing is a business, and if my novels don’t sell very well, it may not be fiscally possible for my future works to continue being published.
Even if my future works aren’t published, at least I’ll have my manuscripts for my own personal sense of accomplishment and reflection, including the satisfaction that comes from completing them in their entirety.
Of course, as an avid reader, no longer going through the grind of the publishing process and all of the work that it entails would leave me with more time for me to read what others have written. At the very least, I could help contribute to the satisfaction and support of other authors.
I’ll ponder on it further, I suppose.
Either way, I hope that your life will be fulfilled with a sense of satisfaction and acceptance.
I recently experienced my very first podcast interview via Skype, and it was totally a blast. I’d never taken part in one before but have appreciated listening to them, so it was an exciting opportunity when I was recently invited to be part of an episode of Raz N Dark Podcast. I’m in episode 18 titled “Barely Legal.”
The Raz N Dark crew was very kind to me and each had a remarkable sense of humor that I felt right at home with, including everyone’s appreciation for Doctor Who, which I’m happy to say weighed heavily in the podcast. I think you’ll appreciate listening to the episode, though my introduction into the session doesn’t begin until approximately ten minutes into it. Still, these are very entertaining people and I’m confident that you’ll enjoy the entire podcast. Oh, and I was very pleased that our discussions were totally unscripted and lasted for well over half an hour or so, which made it doubly enjoyable for me. So many times during interviews you’re literally racing to have a quick discussion before being ushered off the show. But that wasn’t the case here, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Please listen to it and let me know what you think!
Click on the following link to go to the podcast: Click Here