Welcome to the Roaring 20s…

Hello all. It’s been a year and a half since I last posted so this one is going to be a bit long. Lots of big changes so I’m going o have updates in my Fatherhood, Writing, and Business aspects of my life. So break out the jazz music and brush up on your Charleston.

Fatherhood Updates

2018 ended with a bang as we welcomed a third child into our family. Jackson Warren Ferrell was born November 24th after a long labor. He wasn’t ready to leave mommy and he’s still a snuggler a year later.

Here he is a week ago beating me at his version of checkers.

His sister joined her older brother and her parents in wearing glasses this past November, just weeks before Jackson’s first birthday.

We built a snowman this week because Wisconsin got some great packing snow. Our Olaf didn’t last long as it warmed up enough the next day his head separated and had to be rebuilt.

My oldest child is a freshman in high school now. The only freshman (and only one other sophomore) that got consistent playing time on varsity football. He got his letter and pin for his jacket. He’s slowly earning more time with varsity on the basketball court as well.

Here he is during football season with his sister.

Three kids has been a huge adjustment for our family in terms of time management and trip planning. Thankfully my beautiful wife is a wizard at that aspect and manages to get us everywhere we need to be.

The challenge I’ve faced lately is trying to remember that Emma isn’t older than she is. There are times she says and does things that would lead one to believe she’s a lot older (maybe even a teenager in some ways). The next minute she’s melting down over something so minor (to us parents at least) and it hits you that she’s not quite four. She’s still figuring out how to handle her own emotions and feelings and navigate the world. It’s a work in progress for all of us at this stage.

Writing Updates

2019 was a good year. I joined a 365 Challenge on Facebook that really helped keep me accountable. I developed a much better writing routine through the groups founding principles of just 10 minutes a day. I drafted several pieces I’m still working on. I also finished and published my second novel, “Through Darkness to Light”. In addition I had a new cover done for book one to make them flow better.

You can click the images to be taken to the Amazon product page.

2020 is going to be bigger yet. I’m finally working on my high fantasy realm Ezrahn via short stories to build the world lore and flesh it out more. I’ll definitely be sharing snippets via my Facebook page and Twitter accounts so be sure you’re following me there.

Business Updates

Cloaked Press enters its third year in 2020. We’re launching Spring Into SciFi 2020 in February/March which will be our 6th short story collection. We also published our first stand alone novel, “To Visit Earth” by British author, Ian Hugh McAllister.

We redesigned our website recently to hopefully provide a better user experience. We also now offer editing services for authors on a budget. I feel our prices are very competitive for what we offer.

Our Kickstarter to expand into more single author novels, novellas and collections isn’t fairing so well and in its final hours is still a long way from being funded. We’ll still get there, just will take us longer to take in these projects.

I think that’s all for now. I hope you’re still with me and I look forward to sharing more of my journey as a Father, Author, Blogger, Publisher.

February 8th, 2018 Update – Fatherhood, upcoming projects, etc.

Hello my Gentle Readers. I just wanted to check in and let you all know how my 2018 is shaping up so far. We are more than a month in now and things are really hopping.

Cloaked Press, the publishing company I started last year, is turning 1 year old this month. We are launching our second short story collection, Spring Into SciFi 2018, on March 20th, 2018. (Obviously 2018, since it’s in the title. Haha). It’s very exciting. I’ll throw out the cover here, but if you’d like to get your hands on an ARC and get a chance to talk to some of the authors, then you can join the Launch Street Team.
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I am woefully behind on my own writing projects. My demon infused novella has stalled out. Editing books 2 and 3 of my Family Heritage Series is taxing to say the least. I hate editing/revising. I just want it to be perfect when I bleed that first draft onto the pages, you know? Hopefully once I get Spring Into SciFi put to press, I’ll have more energy to devote to my personal projects.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the guest posts and the recent Meet The Author Monday interviews. I’d love to have more authors to feature on my blog, so if you know any that should be shared with the world, please send them my way. They can get the details on the Meet The Author Mondays Page.

Lastly, I want to tell a story about my daughter (who will be 2 in April). For at least the last 6 months, I have been the primary person to put my daughter to bed at night. I warm up a bottle of milk, we snuggle under a blanket in the recliner in her room that I bought for my wife when she was nursing. We have a tradition of her talking to Quack Quack, which is me making a shadow duck on her ceiling using my cellphone flashlight. She and Quack Quack talk about her day and then he gives her a “shadow smooch” and she finishes her milk. Normally, I would end up falling asleep in the chair with her and wake up a few hours later (usually when we both have turned into the furnace we become when we sleep). Then I could put her in her crib and go to my bed. I know this was a cause for dissatisfaction for my wife, as I didn’t get to come back and spend time with her before she went to bed. Lately that has all changed and my feelings are bittersweet about it. Our routine is slightly changed: warm bottle, snuggled in recliner with blanket, conversation with Quack Quack. The difference is when she finishes her bottle, she hands it to me, and says, “Done.” Then she will usually roll over like she is going to snuggle in, and immediately starts to kick the blanket off, telling me she’s, “Done”. If I ask her, “Are you ready for your bed?” She will tell me, “Yes. Done.” or “Night Night”. If I don’t move fast enough to put her in her bed, she gets quite upset with me.

I miss the snuggles, but I am grateful for the hour or two that I get back in the evening as it has helped me to get things ready for Spring Into SciFi, and actually get a little bit of editing done. Here is a recent picture of my little princess. She has her pajamas on still, but she put her mother’s snow boots on so she could take a sled ride with her grammy. (For the record we waited until later and had real snow worthy clothes on when the sled ride happened.)
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Exciting times with Cloaked Press

Hello Gentle Readers.

I have been trying to keep my personal writing career separate from my publishing company, but I have to share this with all of you. Cloaked Press has launched its first short story collection, Fall Into Fantasy 2017.

fallintofantasy

This collection features 13 authors from all over the world, giving us their take on Fantasy and all of its subgenres we could cram into the pages. Details on the authors can be found on the Cloaked Press website.

There is a story of a dwarf who can “hear” precious gems, a bookstore that can transport you to another world, magic, fairies, love, deals with demons, and a good old fashioned zombie story. I hope you will all take a moment to check it out, grab a copy if it interests you, and leave a review if you read it. If you know anyone who might be interested in our fantasy collection, please share the link.

Also, while we are excited at Cloaked Press about the release of our first collection, it is also time to start working on our next, Spring Into SciFi 2018. Submissions are open for this collection, and all details can be found here.

We have an email list with monthly giveaways and a special flash fiction story that comes straight to your mailbox. You can join our newsletter on the Cloaked Press homepage.

I hope that you will take a moment to check out Cloaked Press and what we have to offer. Keep reading everyone.

Instafreebie Samples

Today, my Gentle Readers, I want to tell you about a new promo going on. I’m offering up the first few chapters of my novel, “Beginnings“, and the first chapter of my novella, “The Haunting of House 1273“.  Both of these promos through Instafreebie come with no strings attached like some that require you to join the mailing list. I would love it if you did join my publishing house’s mailing list when you did. Then you can receive all the updates on what we are getting up to over there at Cloaked Press. We send out a little story and give away Amazon Giftcards every month. More prizes will be forthcoming as we ramp up to publish our first short story collection this fall. I hope you will take a moment to check it out. 

Launching Cloaked Press

Today, my Gentle Readers, I began the process to launch my own publishing company, Cloaked Press. You can see my Kickstarter project by Clicking Here

My goal with Cloaked Press is to publish two short story collections a year by collaborating with other authors. The Fall edition will be focused on Fantasy. Be it Epic or Urban, High or Paranormal; I love them all. For the Sprung Edition the focus is on Science Fiction: AI, space exploration, aliens, and technological warfare in cyberspace. 

My goal is ambitious but completely doable with your help. Share the link, tell your friends, and if you are so inclined, pledge a donation to the project. 

Thank you so much for all your support of my blog and I hope to bring you even more great stories and content in the future. 

Exciting News 1/13/2017

My Gentle Readers, this Friday the 13th, I do not bring you tales of horror to scare the bejeezus out of you. I bring you some exciting new things.

First off is a shiny new Submission Form to join my e-mailing list. Sadly I have a pathetic 10 subscribers at the time of this writing. When I reach 50, and for every 50 after that, I will randomly select one subscriber to get a free, signed copy of my novel, “Beginnings”. In the future this may change to include other items/books, but let’s start there shall we. You can also find the link at the top of this site.

Secondly, I am going to begin a new feature called, Meet the Author Mondays. This is to formalize the seemingly random interviews I have performed in the past and to introduce you, my lovely readers, to more small press, self published, and otherwise lesser known authors. I wouldn’t turn down an interview Stephen King, but it’s not likely he needs my help with publicity.

Don’t forget to check out those Book Reviews, collected neatly on one page located at the top of the site.

As always, Thank you for your support and Keep Reading.

On This Day – March 25th

Today, in 1955, the US Government launched the first volley in its latest attempts at censorship by seizing 520 copies of “Howl” based on obscenity charges.

The poet was Allen Ginsberg.
allenginsberg

I confess that I never had the pleasure of reading Howl. I must have been living under a rock to have also missed the 2010 movie. Hopefully I can find it on Netflix or something. As for the poem, I was able to find parts 1 and 2 on Poets.org

This is some powerful stuff from a generation that shouted against the conventional norms of the time. To speak so openly about drugs and sex brought the ire of the conservatives in power at the time. To think just 60 years ago. what Ginsberg wrote was considered so horribly obscene that it required a governmental assault to try and keep it away from the public.  Now we have things like Miley Cyrus and parents taking their 8 year olds to see R rated films. Have we become so desensitized to shock that we laugh at this instead of the horror expressed just 60 years ago.

I ask you my Gentle Readers, did we lose sight somewhere along the way of the creative art and simply keep escalating the shock value in our work? When did we stop pushing the envelope and start napalming it? I know it might sound hypocritical for me to applaud Ginsberg but condemn Cyrus. However, I am not sure that we can put them in the same category. What is the purpose of Cyrus acting as she did? Maybe it is hypocritical of me.  Maybe I should stop this trainwreck while I have some shred of credibility as an artist left.

Keep pushing the envelope my Gentle Readers, but have a purpose. Be opening the eyes of closeminded people, not just seeking attention for shock value. Until next time. Live well, Write well, Be well.

On This Day – March 17th

Luck of the Irish to you my Gentle Readers. May Saint Patrick’s Day bring you much revelry. It was this day in 461 AD that the man who would become the patron saint of Ireland died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.

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Image from The Famous People.com

The man began life as a son in a Christian family in England with Roman Citizenship. Patrick lived his well to do lifestyle until, at the age of 16, he was captured and taken to Ireland by marauders.There he spent 6 years as a herder, turning to his religious faith to survive his abduction. When he escaped and returned to England, it would be natural for the man to hold a grudge against his Irish captors. This is not the case.

Patrick tells us in his own words, in his book Confessio, that he experienced a dream that told him to return to Ireland. After becoming an ordained bishop, Patrick did just that. He returned to his kidnapper’s homeland to preach the Gospel. He spent 40 poverty stricken years: building churches, teaching, traveling, and converting thousands of Irish. Instead of rage or hatred for those who took 6 years of his life, Patrick sought to better the Irish people. For this he was named their Patron Saint.

The legends of Saint Patrick have grown in the succeeding centuries. There are tales of him baptizing hundreds of people in a day and drove all the snakes from Ireland. Some say he used the three leaf clover, Ireland’s famous shamrock, to teach about the Holy Trinity. I would ask what is the deal with the 4 leaf clovers then. Who is the extra leaf?

Anyway, I think there is a great lesson in Saint Patrick to think about this day as we all don our green attire and drink or eat to excess. That lesson is one of forgiveness. If a young man of 16 in the early 400s can find a way to not only forgive his aggressors, but seek to better them through education, then we should be able to do so much more today. Drink the green beer and wear the leprechaun hat today my Gentle Readers. Also channel the incredible forgiveness of Saint Patrick. Until next time. Live well, write well, be well.

On This Day – March 12th

The year is 1922. Léo-Alcide Kéroack and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque had no idea that the baby boy they welcomed into the world would become an icon of the Beat Generation.
jackkerouac2
Jack Kerouac was a man of many talents. In high school he was a football star, earning scholarships to Columbia University, among others. His football career would be cut short by a broken leg. Before he became the poet and author we all learned about, he was a Navy man in World War II. His service however was cut short due to personality problems attributed to mental illness. Jack would continue his adventures on the seas as a merchant seaman for a couple of years. By the late 1940s he would begin his wandering journey that would later become fuel for his story, On the Road. Jack rubbed elbows with the likes of Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs. Marijuana smoke and alcohol turning into creative flourishes of poetry that people still pattern themselves after today in dark coffee shops.
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Excerpt from On the Road “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”

I say take today to go be like the “mad ones” Jack wrote about my Gentle Readers. Until next time. Live well, write well, be well.

On This Day – March 10th 2016

The year was 1959. Nearly ten years of Chinese oppression had finally reached a boiling point in the city of Lhasa, Tibet. Residents, fearful that the Chinese government was going to kidnap their beloved Dalai Lama, gathered around his summer palace, preventing the leader from accepting an invitation to tea. The resulting loss of life is shameful. The crimes perpetrated by the Chinese government are horrendous.

I don’t say this to imply that the US is somehow perfect. I certainly do not feel that we are the moral police for the world. I abhor that our men and women are facing hatred and ridicule all over the world. I just do not agree with the hostile takeover of another people who did nothing to incite the carnage that was visited upon them.

Granted this all happened over 3 decades before I was born. The world is a different place now than it was then and will be still different in another 3 decades. Perhaps none of this will matter. Ending the hate and intolerance are of paramount importance to the survival of humankind.

I feel like I am doing a lot of preaching lately and that is not really the goal of this blog, or even this series. I simply feel passionate about the world needing to band together to eliminate threats to peace. We can believe in God, or Allah, or Mother Earth and still find common ground with which to work together towards a brighter future. What purpose does this divisive fighting do? I am certain that none of the ‘deities’ would want us to do to each other what we have done in their names.

I think we can all learn something from the Coexist campaign. Below is one of many variations on the theme. I found more here on a fellow blogger’s site.
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You can read more at Coexist.org

Until next time my Gentle Readers. Live well, write well, be well.