• I’m Still Here

    Well. I will speak truth. 2019 sucked.

    I mentioned I’d hunker down and focus on my day job for a new project. Turns out the project was, and still, more than I comprehended. No matter the task at the office, the drive to write or edit my work was sucked out or me by lunch. Monitor updates, high-reactive tech support, and issue assessment, where the life of a firefighter hotshot is every minute for eight hours, extinguishing and containing one fire after another. Netflix, YouTube, and Critical Role helped cope those bad and very bad stressful days. Rare to read and finish a good book. I visited places to break cabin fever for a bit (I’ll share later).

    Work wasn’t the main issue I faced. Moving to a new home was the largest.

    It was inevitable. My former roommate was going through a crossroads situation career wise. He had an interview at Disneyland, then was offered his dream job. He did have backup plans in case he didn’t get it, such as moving back to Michigan and re-group. Meanwhile, with the day job messing with my head, I had issues finding a new roommate, even a new home. Rent jumped $80, and that was just my half. There were contingency places to stay with my roommate, but finding a new home was difficult to narrow down, both for price and commute distance.

    Until my little brother called me.

    His girlfriend at the time was moving out; quite sudden for him. He knew I was looking so he called me up after work, told me the details and I went “Sold!” without thinking twice. Essentially I was moving ten minutes from the apartment to my brother’s condo in Foothill Ranch. Once my former roommate got the job, he settled on another plan to live with a well-known family in Long Beach, which one of them worked the same job in the music department as him.

    By around September, our directions were set. I moved out on the weekend I was supposed to be in Las Vegas. Still bummed about that.

    Still, with the move and work and the somewhat break from the day job insanity in winter, I still couldn’t write, edit, or enjoy a book. There was one day I was real close to writing, thought the mojo was returning, but only managed fifty words. I felt sick just with my own output. Long yoga and meditation sessions were passed, a lot. So like I said before: I binged movies and TV shows, obsessed over Critical Role, and visited places, and did a new activity.

    Managed to visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in the summer, like… a month before the craziness happened. Still haven’t road the Millennium Falcon ride; I’m waiting for the line to drop a bit more.

    Visited Kernville, CA on a camping trip with the roommate a week before moving out. This campground was at a small airport, which amazingly, camped next to private puddle jumper planes of various sizes and models. It was the first time to see the Milky Way with my naked eye for the first time (sorry, pics didn’t come out right).

    Traveled Palm Springs a week after moving into my brothers. Road the Aerial Tramway up and down, something I never heard of until a month prior. Makes me want to camp overnight there.

    I learned about surfing. No lie. Maybe a new hobby. Maybe not. Forgot most of it.

    Visited Seattle for a weekend last month. For those following me on twitter I shared a bunch of pictures that time. I’ll have to blog about that next time, much to talk about, even the large slab of smoked salmon I bought.

    Trips aside, I have been dealing with a new health issue, physical wise. Sciatica. First time I ever had it, and the first time feeling electric shocks down my left leg as I walked or move. I visited the chiropractor a few times to make the electric pain stop and have a yoga regiment at the studio and home, but I still have to deal with tingling sensations in my lower glute, outside shine and ankle. I’ll see a doctor eventually to see how long until I can sit and walk comfortably again. Then again, it does prove that office life isn’t for me.

    For work, it’s still the same chaotic nature as last year. I don’t see any real end of it until May or June by my estimation. Will I be able to write fiction or edit stories this first half of 2020? I can’t promise that. I have habits to change and routines to create to make it happen, and a pinky thick nerve to heal.

  • Oh, How Time Flew

    Ever had moments when you planned two eventful weekends, but somehow they coincided with the busiest days at your day job, all extrovert energy from your body escapes into the void?

    Pretty much me for the last few months. Now that I’m recharged and just turned thirty-two years old, I can write again. Hello, all, I’m back. I have a lot to talk about.

    So to start off, the recent events were quite big for me. I knew they were happening in March, the busiest month of the year, so February was a time processing it. A military base visit. A camping/road trip. A comic convention (the obvious one but wanted to do different things). Three separate weekends, taking up all my mental and physical energy. So yeah, no writing time, even in between my day job.

    Let’s start with NASA. Last February I received an email from NASA Socials. I mentioned this before but to those first reading this, NASA Socials is a program that invites social media influencers and journalists and space nerds to unique events at well-known NASA facilities and partners. I nearly puked at work reading it. It was for Moon to Mars, the NASA program detailing plans to establish installations at the moon, becoming a midway point between Earth and future Mars missions, taking place at Neil A Armstrong Flight Research Center, within Edwards AFB. Yeah.

    Driving there early Monday morning, seeing the NASA logo on the buildings and road sign, was a definite “slap me” moment.

    Normally I’d take a lot of pictures, but this was an active base. I had to respect the rules of privacy and confidentiality. Plus I was too into taking in the experience. But there were a few.

    Below, the first was taken in one of the aircraft hangars housing repurposed fighter jets for scientific purposes. The rest are taken at Mojave Air and Space Systems: first at Masten Space Systems showing a unique lunar lander for a future mission, and the second was, well, Virgin Galactic, standing in front of White Knight.

    The following week was the biggest bucket list checkoff ever for me. Months ago my roommate and I decided to take a road trip to Sequoia and Yosemite National Park for the weekend. Oh, yeah, I loaded up on pictures, half were in RAW format to capture every detail.

    Started out camping the first night in Sequoia near the southern entrance. The campground was by a raging river from the rain and snow storms higher up the mountain. Oh man, everything was green. Living in a desert climate near the beach, and the city no doubt, seeing it was welcoming. Made want to think of moving there, for a second. Those two days we drove up and down the mountain twice to see the giant sequoia trees, including General Sherman. You stand under them and be marveled at their size and history.

    We drove through the park, visited Kings Canyon National Park for a sequoia tree grove, then traveled to Clovis to sleep at my roommate’s cousin’s home. This was needed because we wanted to arrive in Yosemite early in the morning, like the crack of dawn. And this is why.

    When you see the valley in person, it hits you. Emotions are wild. You can search Yosemite and see a multitude of pictures of the same vantage point with their own character. This was mine. After entering Tunnel View, within the slope of the granite mountain, and coming out, it’s… a loss of words. I think I spent a few minutes in the car crying and calming down, knowing that I arrived at my own accord. If you read From the Den, Tyler Ingert camped near Yosemite, for a year, learning healer magic.

    The weekend after that was WonderCon for three days. This time I changed it up by attending Comic Creator Connection, just to see if I can find artists for comic projects. It doesn’t mean there’s a Mana Pool graphic novel, but it is a pipe dream. I even drummed up a comic sample from the short story, The Job. Not the best work and there’s still work to be done, but it helped me understand the script format.

    Then from April to now, I had to just hunker down, recover, and catch up on day job stuff. And thinking. A lot of thinking.

    Decided a while ago to uninstall all social media from my phone. I needed a break from it. There were days were I just scrolled endlessly for hours, not soaking in any info from the posts, but get lost in the stream. Talk about feeding boredom instead of boredom fostering creativity. Occasionally I had to reinstall them to post pics, but they were removed afterwards.

    So with that, here’s what I’m thinking to bring some life to this blog.

    See those books? I bought those last year when my coworker sparked my interest. There was a period of reading how to play, played a couple sessions at a comic book store (got pummeled by a stone gargoyle in Straud’s castle screaming like a girl), and read everything about being a DM. Unfortunately, my D&D game never happened for reasons, but I kept the books, still on the shelf, collecting dust.

    So here’s my idea: since I’m not playing, or have any interest using Roll20, how about I build a D&D world and post my characters of each D&D class on this website? It could be fun so I want to hear from you all your input.

    Ghost Factor is still being written. Nothing else new from that. There is a What Do We Know post in the works. This is still in between book one and two and fills in more vents around the world, but I want to introduce a new character you barely know about it. Keep an eye out for that.

    Now that I’ve updated you all, back to work for me.


  • Well, This Happened

    Wasn’t at all prepared to receive this news last week, so now I must share it. It’s not book related, but cool nonetheless.

    Months ago, a coworker of mine shared NASA Socials with me. It’s NASA’s program to share mission details with social media followers. They invite a handful of people to attend.

    And the email last week confirmed I’m one of them!

    The event on March 11 is Moon to Mars. It details various missions to send astronauts to the moon, establish a lunar outpost for scientific research, and a stepping stone for Mars missions. You can find the details here and here.

    Visiting JPL on that public event last year was a random bucket list check off. Yet this does fit with my interests with NASA as well. I’ll be tweeting about it as much as I can that day, but will have a blog post on my thoughts about it. In all hindsight, I’ll be a journalist for a day.

    Talk to you all later.

  • Year in Review… ish

    Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

    Last week while I waited at Starbucks for breakfast, I happened to glance at the Starbucks Card rack as I waited. One card design caught my attention.

    A stenciled outline of a pig’s face against a yellow background, white daisies dotted a few places, and statement in front spelled “2019 – Year of the Pig”.

    I went alright, nice touch, and got my meal. But back in my car, a thought hit me: when was the last Year of the Pig?

    There are twelve years in the Chinese Zodiac cycle. Counting back twelve years, I fell on 2007. Wow, I thought, that was it. Twelve years ago, I stepped into that creative writing class at Crafton Hills in Yucaipa. I entered for ways to combat my research paper issues but left with the backbone notes for Mana Pool.

    Twelve years. Time flies, right? But enough reminiscing the beginnings. Let me backtrack what I’ve done to stave off cabin fever since the last I talked.

    I went to Santa Barbara by train for a day trip. Spent time at a brewery downtown, visited a museum on the pier, and then understood why the coastline is well known for their sea urchin during lunch. Yum.

    There were mental hurdles I had to overcome late summer as I felt angry how Ghost Factor was turning out. I had to do something, so I went to a float tank center or a sensory deprivation tank filled with pounds of Epsom salts for a unique hour-long meditation experience. Did it four times a week for a month to get my brain straight. Then I realized the mistake on the draft and what my next steps are as a freelance editor, which I’ll get to in a moment.

    Fall came and SiglerFest in Las Vegas approached. It was great seeing old folks again as I laughed with them. One I wanted to meet so bad (looking at you Scott Pond) that almost made me cry on his lap. He survived colon cancer surgery; it was quite personal to me if you know me. Also met an old boss face to face finally from a previous online job. Good times with those guys.

    Nothing else to say except having my first roasted duck for Christmas dinner with Mom and watching my brother’s dog over the holidays. Now the writing issue I mentioned.

    For a while, like through the summer, I was working on a process of combining a few old chapter and scene drafts into the main draft by clipping and pulling and rewriting sentences that fit the plot to an exact point. Like a newspaper or magazine editor before computers, stitching paper clippings to a board before printing. Stupid, just stupid. Took me a few months to realize the unworkable method and why: my brain wanted perfection, to feel content with the choices, without caring about the flow state for the first draft.

    Get this stitched together before the real fun begins, man, this beginning hangs on everything, said the brain with a YouTube addiction scratching itself.

    I can’t write in separate places in a large project. I’m linear. Always has been, always will be, and it took a salt tank to realize the truth. I then started this approach: copywrite word for word scenes that matched the new plot, review them, and continue without the other draft notes, now burned in the virtual trash bin. The scenes are still shitty, but at least the feeling of flow writing returned.

    Writing fiction after my day job? Still a problem, even in 2019. So this year, I want to shift some habits to the front.


    I want to post once a month on the blog. Once a week is too much for me to handle as many bloggers do, not right now at least. Anything outside of a life update doesn’t count, such as the What Do We Know posts. Yes, I’m still working on one for the fun of it.

    Editor Life

    Freelance spots are still open for editor work. This year I’ll be joining more editor clubs and associations for better exposure. On top of the EFA, I joined the ACES (American Copy Editors Society) for their mentor program. I also opened my services for comic book dev editing, a long-holding interest for me I’ll dive into this year.


    Last year I attended more memorable events (visiting JPL in Pasadena as one of them), but not a whole lot of possibilities for my editor side hustle. This year, WonderCon will happen again, but San Diego Comic-Con isn’t, as the tickets went sold out in twelve minutes. I’ll up that chance to attend a few more conventions in LA, Palm Springs, and Long Beach, as well as more local writer meetups.


    A new yoga studio opened up near me that I’ve frequented recently. I may not have the mental drive to exercise between Monday and Thursday, but I can go to a yoga studio at eight at night knowing I can sleep in Saturday morning. Chances to get back down to my 233lb state a few years ago is becoming more and more prevalent.

    And of course… finish Ghost Factor. Wish I could share more about the progress, or the story itself, but I’m still not ready to share anything. When I know it’s ready, it’s ready, and the announcements will come.

    Here’s to hoping 2019 will be the year for me.