The Greatness of Vulnerability

One of my favorite book scenes of all times is in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At the end when Harry is talking to Dumbledore in his office, discussing the prophecy.

“Neither can live while the other survives.”

Dumbledore explains that the details given in the prophecy applied to Harry, but they also applied to Neville. It’s the moment when Harry finally understands what being the Chosen One will eventually mean.

He’s meant to die.

And Harry’s reaction in that moment is so profoundly vulnerable.

He grasps for the smallest hope, the littlest thread of light that might change the world so that he won’t be inevitably marching toward his own death. They were wrong. It’s all wrong. It HAS to be wrong!

It’s one of the most brilliant aspects of the book. Harry didn’t want it. He didn’t want any of it. He was lauded, admired, loved, put on a pedestal, but none of that did him any good. Because he was still just a motherless, fatherless kid who didn’t have any choice but to rise up and do what he could to protect himself and others.

No mask. No cape. No victory laps. Instead, at the end of each year, he ends up in the infirmary or with dead friends. Or both.

He has greatness thrust upon him and sometimes he bears that weight with his head held high. Other times, it leaves him broken and crying—in Dumbledore’s office or over a friend’s dead body.

Isn’t that a lesson to be learned? Greatness doesn’t mean being strong all the time. It just means putting one foot in front of the other, letting ourselves cry, and sometime admitting that we can’t do it by ourselves.

Pick a Hill and Die There

I posted this on my personal FB wall, and I’ve been thinking about it even more and wanted to expand on it.

“Does anyone feel like social media has made it so that for every discussion we have, or for every story that is told, we are expected to pick a hill on one extreme of the situation or the other and commit to dying on it?

Truth is important, but for nearly all situations that I am not directly involved in, it’s going to be impossible to know what the truth is, and in all likelihood, it’s not going to be on one extreme hill or the other. Truth is going to be somewhere down in that densely forested valley where actions, intentions, motivations, memory, political agenda, moral compasses, and emotion all mix together in tangled confusion.

This culture of pithy memes, brutal clap backs and epic mic drop moments has lead us to buy into the myth that deep and complicated issues can be summed up by a click bait headline or a political cartoon. Continue reading

An Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing

I’ve been doing this for a while now, and my editor thought it would be nice if I were to write down a little something about the adventures of self-publishing and what I’ve learned from it. I’ve had several first-time indie authors ask me how to go about it, but you’ll probably be surprised that it’s not as daunting as you might think. The self-publishing platforms are really good at guiding you through a step-by-step process. Continue reading

I Write In Scrivener

I use a program called Scrivener to write my books.

Why? Why not Microsoft Word? Or Pages? Or Googledocs?

Well, I considered doing a bunch of screenshots and explanations, but then realized it would be a whole lot easier to just show you. So I made this:

This is just an intro on how to get started. Scrivener is also great for compiling your book into whatever format you need (epub, mobi, PDF) but there are a lol of ins and outs for compiling that I didn’t want to get into for this movie. Maybe another time. If I get brave…

 

Happy Release Day!!

Release days are always exciting.

And nerve wracking.

Because no matter how many times I do this, my emotional attachment to these books and their success never wanes. Going to the Kindle page and seeing there are already several wonderful reviews less than 24 hours after it was released makes my little author heart sing. Continue reading

Tell Me What To Write

Since Patreon is a new forum for me, I thought I’d give you guys an example of what exactly I’m going to be doing on it. Yes, you can get early copies of my book releases if you join the $3 tier. But I want to talk about the $2 tier. This tier allows participants to help me write a book. For example, right now I’m just getting it started, and this is the poll that I’ve put up for patrons to vote on.

The results of this poll will determine the basic premise of the story, and then I hope to get more detailed feedback on what the situation will be, settling, etc… Then I’ll write the first chapter, distribute it to patrons, and then we’ll decide where to take the story from there.

Now, this is all experimental. Maybe it will turn out awesome, and I’ll end up publishing the final, polished story. And maybe it will just be something fun and crazy for those who’d like to tell me what to do, and want a little more clean romance in their lives. 🙂

So if this looks like fun to you, then hop over to Patron and check it out. The $2 tier also gives you access to additional bonus content, and a forum of people who love books as much as you do.