What’s your groove?

Often times when I sit down to write, I need a bit of inspiration. So, music is where I go to boost the current mood of the scene. Once I get into my groove, there’s no stopping me. What exactly do I mean by groove?

First, let’s turn to Webster’s. This definition tells us it’s a long narrow channel or depression. However, the second definition listed is defined as a fixed routine while the third one is a situation suited to one’s abilities or interests.

Okay, that’s very interesting, but what does all this have to do with writing? The answer is found in several ways. First, music a few decades ago turned flat vinal disks at a certain speed where a needle road in a groove on the vinal disk that was then amplified into sound. The grooves in the vinal record held the code to the music. Back in the sixties and seventies, the term ‘groovy baby’ actually was referring to these grooves on vinal records. If something was groovy, it meant they liked it, as in the grooves on the record that played their favorite songs. Actually, the term groovy first started showing up in the twenties. The word originated in the jazz culture which is referred to the ‘groove’ of a piece of music that was key to the music’s rhythm and feel.

Nowadays, music is mostly digital. However, recently, vinal records are beginning to make a comeback. New high-tech players with re-engineered speaker systems really make the music sound astounding.

I’ve said all this to paint a picture of what I do to get into my groove when I sit down to write a particular scene. I put on my headphones and choose an appropriate piece of music that will enhance my feeling. There are many types of music that you can play that get me going and it depends entirely on my mood of the day and the type of scene I’m writing. If it’s a high-velocity action scene, I choose something like Rush’s ‘Vapor Trails.’ The first song, ‘One Little Victory’ starts off quick and intense which gets me pumped for the action. If I’m writing something in a fantasy land where the characters are questing and adventuring, I’ll put on some Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here album. It’s much slower and euphoric-feeling and perfect for those types of scenes.

Led Zeppelin is another of my favorites. I can play ‘The Rain Song’ on the Houses of the Holy album for a dark and gloomy scene or pump it up with ‘A Whole Lotta Love’ off Led Zeppelin II.

Space battles can be difficult to write, so you have to be in the right frame of mind. At least that’s how it is for me. Oftentimes, I turn to a soundtrack mix from Battle Star Galactica from the rebooted series. There’s a ton of music from this soundtrack that fits many different moods in my books.

Some say that listening to classical music boosts creativity. According to entrepreneur.com, “Researchers have long claimed that listening to classical music can help people perform tasks more efficiently. This theory, which has been dubbed “the Mozart Effect,” suggests that listening to classical composers can enhance brain activity and act as a catalyst for improving health and well-being.”

So having some Bach or Mozart in your music collection is a benefit for sure. I currently don’t have any classical music other than some of the movie and TV show music scores, but I definitely can attest to improved creative juices when I’m listening to some of that music, which often times, is classical in nature.

Some days start out hard for me, but all I have to do is plunk my headphones on and play some music. Doesn’t matter what I start out with, but the music improves my attitude and outlook in just a few bars. I can get into my writing groove fairly quickly and before you know it, I’ve knocked out a chapter and listened to one or two whole albums.

So, no matter what music you like, treat yourself to those grooves to get into your groove. Trust me, this does work wonders. Add some music to enhance your mood. Find a mix that works best for you. Whether It’s fast-paced and intense music for high-octane scenes or mystical works for fantasy and emotional scenes, you’re the boss.

I’d love to hear from you on what your groove is.

Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.

How To Deal With One-Star Reviews – Be a Duck…

It happens. It’s a fact of this business. You may not get a one-star review for some time, but it can happen. Your book is selling and it’s getting a few four and five stars and then the unthinkable happens. That glaring one-star review appear one morning. It shows up like a sore thumb. It bums you out and you feel defeated. It hurts seeing that lowly one-star, staring back at you from the screen.

Your mind goes into overtime, thinking everyone hates my book! How could I write such a horrible book? I’m a terrible writer! I guess I should just quit since nobody likes it anyway. Maybe I should just unpublish the book and toss it in the trashcan.

The feelings are real. The pain is real. Someone just crapped all over your precious work. A book that took you months to write and edit finally gets published. You treated it like your own child. You feel like your child has been murdered or a knife stabbed into your back. That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, you think, ‘How could they possibly hate it that badly to click just one star?’

You need to do what I do. Become a duck. What exactly do I mean?  Ducks have this ability to keep dry, even in the water. When a duck dunks its head under and comes back to the surface, the water flows off their backs.

That one-star review is like water on the duck’s back. Let it do no harm to you or your attitude. Let’s face facts: you aren’t going to please everyone all the time. There will be those among us that have nothing better to do than troll us on Amazon. Some people are jealous of what you are able to do. It takes a special type of person to write. It takes long hours of isolated laborious work. We nurture our work, but not everyone is going to like it.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, the ones that really love your work, don’t take the time to give you a high rating. It seems only a handful of readers review anymore and now that Amazon has made it easier to just click a star rating, you don’t even have to write a review of a book. If only more readers would provide feedback. Sure, those four and five-star ratings are awesome to see, but a written review provides valuable insights; a gauge into what the reader thinks of your work. Use this as a learning opportunity.

I get those one-star reviews. Even the biggest authors like Stephen King get bad reviews. They don’t let bad reviews stop them. Neither should you.

There isn’t anything you can do to prevent those ratings unless they are attacking you personally. However, if you get a one-star with a written review, read what the reviewer is saying. It can give you clues as to why they didn’t like it. Perhaps, it was just not their cup of tea. Or they might give you some constructive critique on grammar. There are grammar police on the internet who would like nothing better than to cut you down by telling you there are grammar issues or you used the wrong word someplace.

Take those to heart and investigate what information is being revealed by your reader. I oftentimes find what they are saying to be true. I go back and fix those issues. Then, I respond to them thanking them for their honest review and that those issues have been addressed. 

If the reader just didn’t care for the story, there isn’t anything you can do to stop that from happening. But if you have someone telling you they didn’t like it, I respond to them, thanking them, again, for their honest review. I apologize that they didn’t care for it and politely ask what exactly they didn’t like? This is valuable interaction with your reader base.

I am being totally honest about that last statement. There have been a few times that the reviewer goes in and changes that star rating. I’ve seen a one-star change to three. I’ve seen a two-star review move to four. I’ve even had one reader totally change their opinion saying it was a great story but still needed some editing. I took what was being provided to me and made the book better by fixing those small issues.

To wrap up, just know most people will like your work. Those who really loved it will leave high marks. There are some people that troll the internet. They are out there to bully you. They’re out there to make fun of you and fill your mind with negative energy. Keep in mind that if you do get an unfavorable written review, there isn’t anything you can do about it. unless the review is attacking you personally. I’ve had that happen a time or two and Amazon will remove hurtful and attacking remarks. That reviewer will receive a warning, reminding them of the review policy. If they continue to leave hurtful remarks to anyone, they are banded for future reviews.

Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.

Sneak peek into Realm of Revein’sev (Book 6 in Warlords)

Many ask how my writing process is going. I want to share a sample from my current work. This is from book 6 in the Warlords series titled Return to Revein’sev. In this sequence, Major Race Jennings meets with Gor’con in the spirit realm called Revein’sev. Ruki Grey’con, the Empress of Antares accompanies Race along with the little squirrel-like creature named, Chipper. After consuming Antarian blood in the last book, Realm of Revein’sev, he is now changing into an Antarian, who actually are Sasquatch from Earth. Race is delivering Gor’con’s staff, after his death, and meets him at the Mountains of Ramari.

Race watched as the spirit being, Gor’con, held the glowing staff. Shimmering in the light, Gor’con’s body solidified. Ruki’s eye’s widened and her brow rose at the sight.

Gor’con opened his eyes after taking in the feeling of his new body, then, shot Race a piercing glare and shouted, “Let your training begin!”

Swinging the glowing staff, Gor’con aimed his strike at Race, who instinctively deflected this first blow. Chipper leaped from Race’s shoulder, hit the ground, and rolled three times.

The staff swung up and around Gor’con’s head before flying down towards the top of Race’s head. Crossing his arms over his head, he successfully defected the second blow.

“RACE!” Ruki shouted as she attempted to step in front of Gor’con.

Chipper stood back near the looking-glass exit and watched as Race defended every blow.

Whisps of fog swirled around Ruki. As the mist wrapped around the glowing staff, another Antarian took form. Then, the staff continued to move through the air as Gor’con spun around. Extending the staff out, he aimed at Race’s ribs, but he moved swiftly and blocked the incoming strike with a sidekick with his foot. 

The forming Antarian wrapped around Ruki, taking her to the ground in a tackle. Then, the Antarian changed back to the whisps of white fog and swirled around in the air, close by.

Chipper chattered her approval at Race’s performance as Gor’con continued swing after swing, and Race glanced each hit away. Then all at once, Gor’con stopped swinging and planted the base of his staff on the ground before him. Chipper ceased chattering as Race paused in a defensive stance. Then Ruki joined Race, holding position at his backside.

“Well done, Race,” Gor’con praised through a wide smile.

“What the heck was that all about?!” Race protested, refusing to lower his guard.

“You came to deliver my staff and to seek my help, did you not?”

“Yeah, I kinda did—but why the attack?”

Chipper added her protest by scolding Gor’con with her small voice and twitching tail.

“And who was with you to prevent my interference?” Ruki asked.

The wisps of misting fog flowed back to the glowing staff and wrapped around it above Gor’con’s hands. The mystery Antarian began to take shape. First, the hands formed. The large fingers and hair-covered knuckles solidified. Then, the arms appeared, and then the body. Finally, the misting fog changed to large hairy muscular legs and the torso grew up to the neck before the Antarian’s head revealed who he was.

“Ma’Ruuk!” exclaimed the two.

Chipper jumped up and down, clapping her front paws together.

“Why did you do this?” Ruki exclaimed.

“The help Race sought is training. We are in the mountains of Ramari. The place of training, it is,” Ma’Ruuk answered. “It is where I trained Danielle and it is where Gor’con will train you, for what lies ahead.”

“What lies ahead, anyway?”

“Still an inquisitive human,” Gor’con laughed. “You must put aside those human traits and do this, more as Antarian!”

Ma’Ruuk removed his hand from the glowing staff and changed back into the wisps of fog, leaving Gor’con swinging his staff at Race once more.

Chipper chattered at Race as a warning of the attack.

Race, remaining on the defensive, kicked with his foot, deflecting the staff. Then, jumping to the side, he dove at the ground and rolled away from the next striking blow.

“I’ll give you more Antarian, alright!” Race shouted with rage, then leaped at Gor’con’s feet, missing his next attack. Connecting with his feet, Race knocked Gor’con off balance and to the ground. Grabbing the staff, Race pulled it from Gor’con, causing him to vanish along with Ma’Ruuk. The wisps flowed and swirled all around them as Race continued to hold the staff.   

 “Ha! Is that Antarian enough?” boasted Race. “Yeah, huh-huh. Is that all ya’ got, big guy?” Race paced back and forth, reading Gor’con and being ready for any move.

“That’s enough, my Race,” Ruki advised. “You got him on this round.”

“Whattya mean this round?”

One wisp of fog flew up to the staff and swirled around Race’s hand. Steam issued from under his grip. Letting out a yelp, Race let go of the staff, “Hey, OW! What the hell?!”

Chipper again chattered her protests as Ruki said, “The vapor burned your hand, Race! Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay, that really hurts!”

The staff rose from the ground with Gor’con’s apparition forming once again.

This caused Race to forget about his burning hand and leaped at the staff. His grip pulled the staff with Gor’con’s form solidifying. The two struggled for the staff’s ownership.

“I’m beginning to understand what’s happening, my Race,” Ruki shouted, “This staff is allowing them to manifest as corporeal beings, once more.”

Gor’con held the staff with one hand and held a palm up with his other,” You did very well, Race,” he praised, “You have come a very long way. You are nearly ready.”

Chipper squeaked her approval and jumped vigorously, again. Her face seemingly smiling all the while.

Another set of hands swirled around the staff, forming Ma’Ruuk. His eyes looked deep into Race. Race relaxed his stance and listened to what this ancient Antarian had to say.

Then, Ma’Ruuk began, “This training is, indeed, very necessary. The thing that you must do, is nearly before you.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek. 

Until next time, this is Author, Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.

How did I write over 30 books in 10 years?

I’ll be sleeping and all of a sudden, my eyes pop open and I begin to see the book. It happens not only at night as well at any time of the day. Whether you believe in a deity, higher power, or cosmic forces, that’s how it works for me. The characters, their unique features, and how they interact with each other. The entire plot is laid out. I know how it starts, everything in-between, and how it ends. It’s like a movie playing inside my head. It’s like I’m tapping into a higher power or the akashic record, which is defined as a compendium of pictorial records, or “memories,” of all events, actions, thoughts, and feelings that have occurred since the beginning of time (Britannica. com). It’s like I’ve already written them. Whatever your belief system may or may not be, it’s my gift.

Growing up, I loved reading. As I noted in a previous blog post, I was named ‘Bookworm’ in high school because I always had my nose in a book. I loved reading. I actually majored in Library Science. I would read books like Arthur C. Clark’s ‘The City Under the Stars’ and ‘2001 a Space Odyssey’, books by Ray Bradbury; ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ Among my favorites was Robert A. Heinlein; ‘Have Space Suit Will Travel’ and ‘Citizen of the Galaxy.’ So, it was only natural that I wanted to write science fiction and fantasy. In 2012, I decided it was time to finally do it; I began writing my first book, ‘Secret of the Crystal.’ It took me fifteen months to write it, but once I started, I caught the writing bug. After two years, I had my first five books written.

One example of these stories came to me back in 2014. I was recently laid off. That was a godsend as I was managing over a hundred direct reports. The stress was so great that it was slowly killing me. All that stress left me on the fourth of that month. It was like a ton of bricks fell from my shoulders. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and worry, I turned it around and told my boss, “Well, that just means I’m now a full-time author.”

I was putting the finishing touches on my fifth book when the final piece of the puzzle came to me. The book would be titled; ‘Salvage-5′ and the main character was a no-nonsense, whiskey-drinking, cigar smoking hero named, Colonel Tucker Petersen. The mission was to discover what happened to the CSMO (Complete Self-contained Mining Operation) at asteroid 15-Enomia (which is a real asteroid, by the way,) But what they find will change their lives forever. That was the premise of the book. I saw what the crew had to go through and what the aliens they encountered were like, all the way to how it ended by returning to Earth.

Salvage-5 was written in one month. Then, another came to me which sparked an entire spinoff series titled, ‘AMP – Amplified Mental Projection; Phase 1: The Gamma Project. Doctor Rhodes, one of the Salvage-5 crew, joins the Gamma Project Team and develops technology that was brought back from the Salvage-5 crew. Everything seems harmless at first. Then things begin to change, as it appears that there is something behind the technology—something sinister that the Gamma Project team must discover.

These two book ideas that came to me now span thirteen books across three different spin-off series, with two more books planned.

When the book comes to me, I begin taking notes and writing all the details down. Every writer should have the ability to take down some notes when ideas hit you. If you get an idea, small though it may be, you better write it down,  as memories can be short-lived. But it is different when I tap into that cosmic energy and I’m given a book. I don’t forget it. It’s always right there. However, some of the cool details or things I put my characters through, I may not. It’s all part of that creative phase. I know, I just said I get the entire book, but when you’re writing, it forms into its own beast that needs to be tamed and leached. It’s more like the idea is there, but I still have to put it down in words.

At one point, I was putting out five books a year. The ideas keep flowing. Today, I’ve written and published thirty-one books, including a cookbook. I’m working on number thirty-two, which is book 6 in my Warlords series. I also have outlines for books 5 & 6 in my TIME series, outlines for book 2 & 3 which follows in one of the ‘Salvage-5: Awakenings’ spin-offs that will be titled, ‘Revelations’ and ‘Discoveries’. Yet another book that came to me a few weeks ago will be titled, ‘Recon’ where Aliens from a distant world are fighting a war. Using Human hosts, they collect intel in search of their enemies that are living among us. When that host is killed or dies, they wake up back on their home world where they’re again dispatched back to a new host using their recon tech. The ideas never stop flowing.

Be it a gift, or tapping the Akashic record that’s already been written, I continue to get ideas. I do know one thing; it’s my gift to you that supports my catchphrase, that I’m sparking imaginations, one book at a time. My passion for writing along with the support of my wife, Diana, as well as the reemergence of the great podcast and writing site EatSleepWrite.org I keep on writing and loving it.

Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, Sparking Imaginations, One book at a time. 

Writing with Dyslexia – My Story

Dyslexia is more common than you might think. This debilitating learning disability affects twenty percent of the population. You might recognize famous names that have it. Local Seattle radio host and former Partridge Family star Danny Bonaduce, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jay Leno have it just to name a few. Even Albert Einstein had dyslexia.

But what exactly is dyslexia? Dyslexia is defined as “a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that does not affect general intelligence.

This last part is so very important. I have it, but my IQ is actually above average. I’ve been tested above 120. However, growing up in school, I was called dumb, stupid, and idiot. Not only by my classmates but was called stupid by my teachers in grade school. This affected me greatly and was the cause of my low self-esteem. Even my dad used the term dumb and stupid when I was growing up. These hurtful terms were used mainly due to ignorance.

Writing this article is extremely difficult. Not only because I can’t spell, but it brings back those terrible memories of how I was treated in school. More on that a little later. First, you need to understand that there are four types of Dyslexia. They include phonological dyslexia, surface dyslexia, rapid naming deficit, and double deficit dyslexia.

Let’s examine each one. First up is phonological, which is defined by dyslexia-reading-well.com as extreme difficulty reading that is a result of phonological impairment. This means the ability to manipulate the basic sounds of language. The individual sounds of language become ‘sticky’, unable to be broken apart and manipulated easily. This type of dyslexia is synonymous with dyslexia itself. Next up is surface dyslexia. This is defined as a sub-type characterized by difficulty with whole word recognition and spelling. Someone with surface dyslexia can usually master phonics but cannot read words that are spelled differently than they sound (irregular words) as defined by learninglabfl.com. They also define rapid naming deficit dyslexia, as the difficulty of quickly naming things such as numbers, letters, and colors on sight. Finally, the double-deficit hypothesis of dyslexia suggests that both rapid naming and phonological impairments can cause reading difficulties and that individuals who have both of these deficits show greater reading impairments compared to those with a single deficit.

Growing up in school was torturous. I was teased and bullied by kids and ridiculed by the teachers. Unfortunately, in the mid-sixties, there wasn’t a lot of information about dyslexia. If there was, they didn’t want to take the time to work with me. I was always told I was holding the whole class behind. I was held back in second grade because my reading skills weren’t aligned with everyone else’s. That killed me being so young and not allowed to advance with the rest of my class. Later, I believe it was in the fifth grade, I would be taken out of the classroom and placed in the hallway in a conference room, by myself. The teacher would grab an encyclopedia, open it to a similar lesson the rest of the class was learning about. Then, I was told to copy the entire text, word-for-word. When asked why I was being put all by myself in this conference room, the teacher would say that it’s because the rest of the class suffers if I’m there during these lessons; I’m holding everyone else back.

This is actually the worst thing you can make a dyslexic child do; copy text word-for-word until its right. Which, when I brought my finished paper to the teacher, they’d glance it over and say it was wrong. Start over, without telling me why it’s wrong. I cried in the conference room because I was so frustrated. I began to think that I was actually stupid. I could never get it a hundred percent correct. So, every day in the fifth grade, I was sequestered in my special little room to pencil out passages from an encyclopedia. 

Two, four, six, eight, you can never get it straight, was the kids’ mantra. This would make me cry even more, which would bring more teasing.

The effect this had on my self-esteem was tremendous. I never excelled in school. I hated going and I was drained of being teased and bullied every day. I failed many classes, not being able to learn like everyone else. So, I turned to read science fiction. It was my escape from everything. I loved it. It shaped me and how I viewed the world. In fact, I read so much, I was named bookworm in High School, or “Bookie” for short. I took Library Science as an elective class and for four years, spent a good amount of my time there. It was the only class I got A’s in and it was the only class I never skipped.

I thought I could read fairly well, but I failed every English class. I had to take Freshman English in high school every year. In my senior year, I had to pass this class, or face not graduating. Every year, I would get the same teacher. I remember her well; Mrs. Scoogle, dressed in grey clothes and her hair in a greying tight bun. Well, the first day of my senior year, I walked into my freshman English class and took a seat in the first row. Well, guess who they assigned me for my teacher. Yep, it was my nemesis, Mrs. Scoogle. Her first words to me, in her English accent, were, “Well, Mr. Larson, I see you’re here for another round. I suppose you enjoy punishment?” My response was, “I suppose I do, but I’m going to pass this time!” She said, well, “Good luck, Mr. Larson.” She ended up giving me a D minus, but it was a passing grade. I think she passed me so she wouldn’t have to suffer with me next year.

I was never diagnosed. No one ever took the time to work with me to tell me I had this debilitating learning disability. It wasn’t until my adult life that someone asked me if I was dyslexic. I ask them what’s that? So, for the first time in my life, someone took the time to explain it. It all made sense why I couldn’t spell. It made sense why numbers were always transposed and I sucked at math. 

Armed with my newfound knowledge, I began to understand my learning disability and began to realize that I wasn’t stupid or dumb. It wasn’t until my current wife, Diana, encouraged me to excel. So, I enrolled in online college and sought my Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Four years later, I graduated with honors. I continued and obtained my Masters in Business and at the age of fifty, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I finally excelled in school because I understood why. I was able to learn skills to overcome. 

I still have trouble with spelling and superimposing numbers, but I know my issues and have overcome them. That’s one reason why I began writing science fiction; it was my love of reading stories and my wife’s encouragement. I’ve currently published thirty-one books spanning seven different series, including a cookbook! Currently, I’m working on book number thirty-two and there’s no end in sight.

After EatSleepWrite owner Adam Scull asked me to write a post about it, I felt a tremendous need to tell my story. The key takeaway is that you can do it. Don’t ever listen to anyone say you can’t excel. I’m living proof that you can overcome dyslexia. You’ll never be cured, but being armed with the knowledge that you have a learning disorder, you can overcome and achieve any goal you put your mind to.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I wish each and every one of you success in all that you do.

Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, Sparking Imaginations, One book at a time.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

If you say you don’t, you’re not being truthful. Not to yourself or your followers. It happens to all of us. I’m just as guilty as the next with difficulties putting words down on paper, or electronically, these days.

Yeah, I’ve had some dark days. I’ve had days where I sit staring at my computer. My hands fixed on the keyboard, ready to go. But then, nothing happens. I can’t think of anything to type. No words flow on the page. It can be very frustrating. It can be self-defeating. So, what do you do when you are afflicted with this problem? It’s more common than you think. Writer’s block happens, not only to writers, but it can happen in all walks of life; artists, poets, and even entrepreneurs can suffer from this.

First, we need to understand what Writer’s Block is. According to Webster’s Dictionary: Writer’s Block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” So, what exactly does that mean? First of all, those two large words at the beginning of the definition are a bit scary; psychological and inhibition. Wow, does that mean you need a psychologist? Not at all. It simply means that your mind is being inhibited or being restricted in performing creativity.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it really is a simple thing. Think about that meaning. Your mind is being restricted. How’s that? Our minds are easily distracted. This comes anywhere from our cell phones to life problems. We’re so tied to our phones, the internet, social media, and such, that, at times, it breaks our chain of thought. We have fears, anxiety, self-criticizing, and self-judgment. 

All these things can cause Writer’s Block. So, what can we do to overcome this? Again, the solution to this problem can be as easy as the problem itself. 

First off, get rid of the distractions by turning off or silencing your not-so-smart phone. Close your web browser and social media apps. I’m just as guilty of peeking on those pages to see what’s going on. Don’t do it. 

Next, set a specific time to write, every day. It’s important to find the best time that you’re not likely to be interrupted. Mornings work the best for me. I feel the most creative between 6am to 10am. This time differs, but it’s important to know when you’re the best at what you do. Just like exercising muscles, your brain needs exercise. The more you write, the stronger and more proficient you become. Trust me on this one. If you don’t write something every day, you will lose muscle mass, so to speak. Even if you only write a few paragraphs or a few lines per day, it’s very important to do it daily. 

Another great idea is setting a goal for yourself. Goal setting is very important. Know your limits and set realistic goals. If you normally write five-hundred words a day, don’t set a goal for two thousand. Instead, set a goal for seven hundred. Once you meet that goal. Set a larger goal. Reaching your daily goal is rewarding and it will allow you to write more. I personally have written twenty-five hundred words a day. My highest day is five-thousand. However, there are times when five-hundred words are challenging. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t hitting your goal. Perhaps, it’s too high. Reset your goal to a more realistic number and before you know it, you’re exceeding your expectations. 

We inhibit ourselves by our own words. Guilty as charged. We are our own worst enemy or critic. Don’t slip into that. Boy, it’s easy to say things to ourselves. An example is saying, ‘we’re not good enough or ‘you can’t do this or ‘can’t do that.’ I have been saying can’t for quite a while and once you start tearing yourself down, it’s difficult to stop. Turn that around and be a can do this and can do that. My writing is awesome!

If you meditate or pray, start your writing time with ten to fifteen minutes of relaxing. I find doing this will jump-start the day. I suggest no more than fifteen minutes if you’re not used to it as you could find yourself falling asleep. At least that’s what happens for me.

It’s important to take breaks during your writing period. I find that for every twenty minutes of writing, I take five minutes and walk around and stretch. Then it’s right back to it for another twenty. Again, everyone is different. Perhaps you can go longer periods and can get away with shorter breaks. 

If you find that you’re just not getting anything done. Switch it up. Write something different. It’s also okay to take a day off. I write five days and then take the weekends off. It’s really up to you, but try and write each and every day and you’ll find you’ll get stronger and more proficient, just like working out; you build endurance.

I hope this helps you overcome your Writer’s Block. 

Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, Sparking Imaginations. 

BIG NEWS!! The Return of ‘Everything Sci-Fi’

I very excited to announce that I’m returning to Eat Sleep Write, hosted by Adam Scull.

After a long hiatus, Adam has returned with the eatsleepwrite.org site that hosts various author blogs and their backstories. Adam is a long time photographer that was involved with Studio 54 back in the eighties. Now, he’s back hosting podcasts and author blogs.

This is a VERY strange story. A story that I’ve not even shared with Adam as yet. Last week my wife and I were just talking about Adam, wondering whatever happened to him and where he is today? The very next morning, Adam popped in on my instant messenger, inviting me to return to his web as a blogger. About six years ago, I was highly active on his blog, writing a weekly article titled Everything Sci-Fi. I had also done some podcast interviews on my writing journey. Unfortunately, I had to take a break from this due to my physical issues going on. Now that I have a handle on them, I was more than ready to accept. So, effective immediately, I’m now a part of the Eat Sleep Write community one again and have committed to writing my weekly blog.

Yeah, I was hesitant at first since I do have these physical limitations… Well, I decided to do this regardless of my issues. I told Adam, “I can’t let these issues control me. I have to control them.” This will also be one of my blogs in the coming weeks.

You can find my first story, with updates, which was originally posted here, over there on my own blog page. Click this link to find me there.

Pirates Trilogy is on sale all week!!

Greetings to all you pirate lovers. Today, starting at 8am, Pirates of the Galactic Empire: The Trilogy, will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal!!

Yes, that’s right, starting today in just a couple hours from this post, this three volume eBook will be discounted from $7.99 to a miniscule $3.99 for two days. Then $5.99 until Saturday, March 12th at 8am. Don’t miss this fantastic discount. It’s three books in one volume and of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can always read the entire work for free.

I think I’ve lost my mind, but we already know this.

Happy Reading…

The diagnosis is in

Well, I’ve been officially diagnosed with Keratoconus (pronounced keh-ruh-tow-kow-nuhs) in my left eye.

A condition in which the clear tissue on the front of the eye (cornea) bulges outward. With keratoconus, the clear, dome-shaped tissue that covers the eye (cornea) thins and bulges outward into a cone shape. Its cause is unknown.

This usually shows up in puberty or late teens, so, they’re mystified as to why now?

But the good news is, I can get this special contact and new glasses to see better.

I go in on the 7th for the fitting and then again to get it. But then, I’ll have to get the new glasses, so it’s a process.

They want to see me every six months to check it it’s changing. It it is changing significantly, there’s another procedure that will help.

I’m hoping I can tolerate the thing in my eye. Time will tell.