Today I have to lovely J.B. Bray guest posting as part of my continued Happy Birthday Escape Publishing extravaganza! Enjoy!
Thanksgiving is, or should be, a time to reflect on the year, and how you faced the challenges of life and, hopefully, be thankful. Sometimes the years where we are the most challenged, and face the most obstacles are also the most rewarding. This year that’s absolutely true for me but, let me come back to that thought.
Last year at my previous place of employment, I arrived and parked my motorcycle in the place I always did. My office was a short stroll across the lush, landscaped grounds and I always enjoyed that last bit of peace before stepping into the fray. As I walked across the dew-covered lawn, with the early morning sun casting long shadows of the trees, I noticed that a hawk had landed on a waist-high metal pipe in the rose garden only a hundred feet or so away.
It was beautiful. Proud, majestic, and somehow radiated strength just perched there on the pipe. It seemed a perfect example of the majesty of nature at the top of it’s game. A raptor undoubtedly taking whatever lesser creatures it desired with its sharp talons. I paused to enjoy the sight and after a few moments it took flight. Its strong wings lifting it at an angle off toward the main building, each beat of them carrying it higher as I stood in awe at the moment I’d been so fortunate to view.
Then… it flew right into the upper window above the door with a boing.
The hawk made a couple of wobbly circles over the lawn, apparently trying to collect the marbles that had just bounced around in its head. Afterward, it flew off into the sky weaving like a drunken sailor on a shore leave. Of all the hawks, in all the world, I happened to find the Jim Carrey of the bunch.
As I thought about it then, and now, it reminded me of the challenges we face. No matter who we are or how far we’ve climbed up the food chain. No matter how beautiful our plumage, powerful our quills, or sharp our talents, sometimes we bounce our head of something we never saw coming. Last November I was neck deep in the umpteenth edit of Tearing the Shroud. I didn’t feel like a hawk, truth be told I still feel like a sparrow. My day job where I’d worked for ten years was ending and I had no prospects. I was balancing all the worries and stresses of that situation and still trying to edit, rewrite and polish as I’d pulled in my manuscript for revising. I was in my sixth month of it and felt like I’d never finish.
In February, I started querying and faced the pane glass windows of rejection and doubt. As they piled up, I wondered if I had any talent at all. But each time I’d shake my head, wobble around and stagger off, all the time trying to climb higher. In the end, it paid off when Escape picked up my novel. So, wherever you are in your journey, whatever challenges you face, keep at it. When you smack into an obstacle remember: Even hawks can have a bad day.
When not writing or working his "day job", he loves to cook, play the guitar, and travel with his wife. Every chance he gets, he races an old Porsche named "Tuffy" at tracks in the southwest.
Fall in love, be possessed, hunt a sorcerer and save the world — and Vincent thought calculus was tough.
1984 — Vincent expected college to be about freedom and girls, but then the nightmares of sorcery, monsters and other worlds began. Not even the surprising attention from his dream girl, Julie, could shake them.
Before he's even nailed his second date with Julie, he's possessed by Coleman, a warrior from another realm. Coleman is hell bent on defeating the monstrous Kafla who threatens to tear into Vincent's reality, changing both his and Coleman's worlds forever. They have one chance to stop them: Vincent must allow Coleman to share his body and wage war against the sorcerer.
Now it's up to them, the women they love, and Vincent's rag-tag bunch of role-playing and gaming friends to save the world, or see 1984 descend into the apocalypse.