Think About Independence

Friends,

This week is special in the sense that on Saturday, we will celebrate our nation’s independence and remember all that has happened for us to get to that point. It is a time that we can take to honor those who have fallen to protect our freedoms, a time to consider the beliefs and opinions we have because of those freedoms, and a time to think about what exactly being independent means and the implications that go along with it.

Merriam-Webster defines independence as “freedom from outside control or support” as well as “the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control.” It has been 239 years since we declared our independence from Great Britain, and about 232 years since our country gained political freedom with the ending of the American Revolutionary War. Much has happened during the interim, and much more will continue to happen that will shape the identity and history of our nation. Regardless of your beliefs and ideas, your principles and morals, and even your love and hate for certain things – we live in a country that rivals all others in many ways!

Am I using this post to bash other countries? No. I have a fond appreciation for other countries and the much longer, and in some cases bloodier and deeper, histories that constitute them. I spent time traveling to and living in other countries, immersing myself into foreign cultures, and understanding the societies of which I momentarily was a part. If you know me well, then you know that I advocate travel and tapping into the wealth of information and culture and history that forms the makeup of foreign nations. I advocate this because it is important to know where we come from, where others come from, and how the dynamic of our relations work; this is so we can better understand the overall scope of the world in which we live.

So to conclude, I hope that this Saturday you can put aside the issues in your life and think about the independence of our country and what it means to you. It is different for everyone. While cookouts and fireworks are great, it’s not the right way to think about our independence. Please take a moment and really think about it. Put down your hot dog or your beer and understand that you are able to eat that hot dog or drink that beer because of the sacrifice of others. It is something that we shouldn’t take for granted, and something that we should think about more than once every year in July.

Come Saturday, I encourage you to talk with your friends and family about what that day means to you and to them, and to take a moment to give each other a pat on the back, a hug, or even a kiss…because it is something that has true value in this country.

Next week, I’ll return to my normal posting style with regards to my writing projects. I hope this week and weekend prove to be a time of great thought and reflection for you, and that perhaps you may find peace, even for a short time, amidst the chaos of the world.

Until next time,

-Eli

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Past the Halfway Point!

Friends,

Welcome to a new week of opportunity and another chance to accomplish your goals! Let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I haven’t been able to write much more than a couple thousand words this week due to time constraints in my personal life. I tried a technique to help me get more words on the page and not encounter writer’s block, if you believe in such a thing. (*I have posted this article before regarding the “myth” of writer’s block and the opinions both for and against, so you should check it out!).

So back to my book’s progress…I am setting aside Wednesday of this week as a writing day, mostly because 1) it is my only day off and thus the best chance to write, and 2) allocating time to write outside of your bare minimum (i.e. 15 minutes per day) is one way to help maintain and improve your writing. If I can accomplish the items of my routine (this blog, this week’s newsletter, and this week’s YouTube vlog), then Wednesday should be wide open for getting some writing done.

The reason that Wednesday is my only day off is because I am starting my second job this week. I normally have 2-3 days off every week, or at least don’t have to go into work early, but this week will be a bit different. When I do write for my next WWII book, it will be in my spare time between both jobs and my day off.

So to conclude about this project, the current word count sits a little shy of 24K words – which is more than halfway to my word count goal! Of course, this is just the first draft, but it is still great news that I am where I am. Please stay tuned into my blog posts for details about my upcoming book, for I hope to make it all as entertaining for you as possible. If you’ve read my previous two books, then you know my stories. If you are new to my work, then I encourage you to remain with me as I aim to finish this project by the autumn and release yet another WWII historical fiction book – the tangible proof of my passion.

YouTube

I am enjoying getting to branch out in my thoughts via my vlogs, which are uploaded every Friday on my channel. Most of what I cover in these video logs deals with my writing life, but also touches on my personal life somewhat. So far, I’ve talked about my writing process, my vacation to Georgia, stories from my childhood, and books I’m currently reading. Some things I aim to talk about in future vlogs include upcoming projects, personal goals, and plans I have for my life. Most of the vlog conversations I have are spur-of-the-moment, but we’ll see what happens!

So please, subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, because I want to take you along for the ride as I journey through life as a writer and as a person.

That’s all I have for now, though there are a few things going on behind the scenes. However, it’s still a bit early to be talking about that, so I’ll give you that information when the time is right.

Until next time,

-Eli

“This Is Sparta!”

Friends,

Welcome to yet another week – another opportunity – to achieve greatness. In the words of Leonidas, “Prepare for glory!” Let’s get into today’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Toward the end of last week, I came across some things I had jotted down while doing the skeleton planning for Book Three, and it got me thinking. After some careful consideration of historical facts and other things I had discovered in my research, I decided that it was best to revamp some of the planning I had done and change up the story outline just a bit. Now that that is done, I can move forward with more confidence that what I’ll be writing will be more realistic in appeal and closer along the lines of what actually could’ve happened.

That’s part of the trick with writing historical fiction: everything little event that occurred in the past doesn’t have a personal account to go with it. That’s just a fact historical writers must deal with. So when writing, the gaps in what could have happened are filled with the writer’s creativity fueled by contextual knowledge. In other words, the writer creates an event in the story that contains people, actions, and so on that could have existed at the time.

That’s what I do with my stories when there isn’t much substance to certain things I want to put into my story. With Resistant and Unguarded, my first two books, this method of writing was executed fairly well I think. In my third book, I am currently expanding and experimenting with this method in the second half of the manuscript, and I must say that it’s a fun thing to do. And I think that’s part of what writing should be about – experimenting and trying new things to see how far you can take yourself in your work. I should add that the developments in the story with which I’m experimenting are rather bold, mostly because the events that are taking place very well could have happened and it’s very hard to tell either way.

The word count is approaching 25K in Book Three and I’m about to send the word to my cover designer to get things rolling. As of now, I’m resetting the tentative release date for mid- to late-September. I’ll be writing as much as I can throughout the rest of the summer, and hopefully I’ll be able to produce a quality book to add to the first two.

YouTube

If you haven’t seen my videos on my writing process, you can easily find them on my channel. Since finishing my writing process videos, I’ve switched gears and am now doing weekly vlogs by recording footage throughout the week and posting a video on Friday.

Please subscribe to my channel and join me on my journey through both my personal and writing lives. And if you have family or friends who might be interested in me and my work, please pass the word along. I enjoy getting to meet new people!

And if you want to go a step further and get more out of the content I produce, you can join my mailing list by clicking this link and filling in the information. I send out a newsletter vie email every couple of weeks, and it includes details about my projects, fun facts, Q&A posts, and much more. It’s easy to do and fun to be a part of!

Other News

I have hinted before that there are other projects on my plate behind the scenes, but I haven’t really elaborated on that point. I’m not going to right now, either (sorry), but I will tell you that a pretty cool thing is in the works and in the coming weeks I’ll share with you about it.

That’s just about all I have for right now in terms of news. Thank you for your interest in my work and for following my blog. I truly appreciate it!

Until next time,

-Eli

Back to Writing

Friends,

It is a new week, which means a new blog post and another chance to conquer our fears and accomplish our dreams! Let’s get started…

The Faces of the War Collection

After taking a week for vacation and using last week to catch up on some housekeeping items, it’s time to resume writing Book Three. Like I’ve said in my writing process videos on my YouTube channel, it’s good to take a break between your writing. In this case, I took a break between two parts in my book rather than after completing an entire draft, and this break just so happened to be two weeks. However it’s done, it’s good for your mind to take a break in this regard.

With roughly 26K words remaining until my word count goal is met, Parts II and III have plenty of space to develop into something great…or at least that’s my hope! This book will be a little different in regards to time covered in the story. In Resistant, the story spanned almost the length of the entire war. In Unguarded, the entire war wasn’t spanned, but there was still some significant time that passed between parts of the story. In the case of Book Three, it will be even more so.

I should be speaking with my contact in Colorado who works with my cover designer, so you should be hearing more about that over the coming weeks. I’m excited to see how this one turns out!

The Short Story Collection

I haven’t touched on this project in a while, so I figured I should address it. Through the course of April and into May, I decided to postpone the publication of my next short story ebook, Volume 2, until at least after I complete Book Three in my WWII collection. Part of it was because I wanted to put my focus on that project, and another part was that my beta reader suggested some changes that would lengthen and deepen one of the stories, so I wanted to be sure to give ample time to make that story into something awesome. So for the time being, please check out my first ebook (Volume 1) on Amazon for $0.99, and keep an eye out in the fall for news about Volume 2!

YouTube

I am now in my second week of vlogging since the completion of my writing process videos! If you’re not subscribed to my channel or haven’t yet checked out my latest vlog, you can watch it here. If you like it, please give it a Thumbs Up and subscribe to catch the next one!

I have some other projects in the works, of both writing and non-writing types, but I’ll give more information regarding those projects down the road. I have to keep you interested somehow, right?!

Thank you very much for reading today’s post, and for following, supporting, and encouraging me as I pursue my passion. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and that’s one very strong way to help me get that passion “out there” to the world. So please, tell a friend, family member, or coworker about me and my work…because you never know if someone you know could take an interest in what I do!

Until next time,

-Eli

Vacation & Summer Kick-Off

Friends,

I am excited to tell you about my vacation trip to Georgia and Tennessee, as well as to update you on the progress of my current project, so let’s get to it…

One Year Anniversary Trip

My wife, Sarah, and I celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple last week. Our trip started with us attending my wife’s aunt’s wedding near Atlanta. We were joined by my in-laws because they too wanted to attend the wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony with a fun reception that followed. I didn’t take any photos while there, but rather enjoyed the moment and the atmosphere.

After staying the night with Sarah’s other aunt in Georgia, the four of us set off for Savannah and Tybee Island. We stayed on the island, which was an awesome experience! I had never been to Savannah or Tybee before this trip, and I hadn’t been to the ocean in more than fifteen years, so it was a good combination of things to do. We didn’t hit the beach until the second day, but we did sneak a peak of the view (we were only a block away from the boardwalk)…

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Over the following three days, we got to see the sights, experience some local restaurants and other places, and get a trolley tour of the city of Savannah. It was a wonderful time that I’ll always remember!

Upon leaving Savannah, we headed back to Sarah’s aunt’s house near Atlanta to stay the night. We wanted to spend a little more time with her family, and we also wanted to split up the driving from Savannah to our next big destination: Nashville.

After checking into our hotel in Nashville, we set out for a night on the town…

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The above photos are of one of the countless music bars on Broadway (left) and of the establishment’s cozy inside area (right). We got to hear a really entertaining band, whose name I believe is “Blue Honey.” At the end of the night, we returned to our hotel to catch up on our rest.

Before leaving Nashville, we stopped in at the Opryland Hotel…

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We finally arrived back at my in-law’s place in Indiana after driving through most of the day. It was nice to get back and relax for another night. The next morning we took off for home and got back around lunchtime. We unloaded the car and got some things squared away, and then we took some time for some much needed family bonding time…and by that, I mean Sarah and I cuddled with Nika and Zazu on our bed!

This trip was a much needed break from our everyday routine, and it is something we’ll always remember for years to come!

The Faces of the War Collection

As you can probably guess, I didn’t write at all on the trip. However, I did jot down some thoughts and ideas related to Book Four…but it’s not quite time for that yet. Before we left for our trip, I completed the writing for Part I. The word count for it came in at over 17K words. I’ve completed the first phase of my editing for that part by editing as I wrote. If you haven’t seen my YouTube videos on writing process, you can find the first one here.

In the spirit of summer arriving and our inherent desire to feel good, I decided to divulge some Book Three story details to you here…

1) The updated word count for the book is 21,630 (before the first big edit).

2) I have already revealed that this book’s POV will be from the German side, so to elaborate on that, I will say that the main character is a German officer named Hans.

3) Despite feeling confident about a late summer release, I am getting the feeling that it will be more into fall when the book will release. I don’t want to keep my readers waiting, but I also don’t want to rush a story if taking my time will make it that much better.

4) I will begin getting the cover design process moving in the next few weeks, which hopefully will produce a cover by the end of July. It will be some time in late summer that I will do the title and cover reveal for Book Three.

Given that I have accepted a second part-time job, my time will be consumed by working. However, I won’t be swamped and won’t have to bring any work home with me, so writing will still continue at relatively the same rate as it currently is. I am definitely excited to see what the next few months bring!

YouTube

Now that my videos on writing process are completed, my vlogs will focus more on my personal, everyday life and what I’m working on regarding my writing. I can’t really take a camera with me to either of the places I work, so it’ll be more home-based and won’t involve many other people (at least to start). If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, or even checked out my channel for that matter, you can find it here.

Also, I’ll be sending out my newsletter this week, which will contain more details about my current project. Aside from that, my newsletters include much more detail than my blog posts and act as a more personal medium for connecting with me. So please, join my mailing list so you can get the inside scoop on me and my work!

That’s all I have for today. Thank you for your support and encouragement, and if this is your first time checking me out, I hope you like my work and will stick around to see where it goes. You can find my first two books on my website, if you’re interested in WWII historical fiction. And if you’re not, that’s okay – you can always pass the word along to a friend or family member!

Thank you again, and I hope you enjoyed today’s post.

Until next time,

-Eli