Echo Chambers

I’m down to 30-ish friends. The rest have been unfriended for being racists, homophobes, rape apologist dude-bros, nasty little misogynists, idiots who claim the Civil War wasn’t about slavery and the Confederate flag isn’t a symbol of hate and division, and/or Trump supporters.

It’s refreshing to have a FB timeline that isn’t full of nutty nutter bullshit from privileged white persons (mostly males) and the pretzel-defying contortions they fold themselves into to deny all facts while pointing “but look over there!”

However, putting ourselves in an echo chamber is actually not that great of an idea. To only surround ourselves with those who think almost identically to ourselves while shunning all others who have opposite views creates an extremely polarized society. Hence, our current predicament.

I try hard to argue with myself about this, and I can’t help but feel somewhat annoyed by my consistent swing back to “but these people simply live in a fantasy world.” I contort myself into the same pretzel-defying logic that others do just to try and find myself at fault, for being no better than they are for refusing to even listen to them anymore.

It sucks. A lot of people I grew up with are now outside of my echo chamber. A lot of people I really liked and/or respected are now persons of suspect intelligence, moral views, and what I fear are ideologies based on tainted propaganda designed specifically to separate those who are susceptible to such incredulous beliefs even though factual evidence is literally beating them over the head.

But, at the end of each torture session, I still cannot accept the friendship or sincerity of anyone who believes whites are superior to all other races (insert various twisting and pretzeling about why blacks commit crimes, do drugs, have 17 babies, you know the drill).
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Le $.99 / Free Sale (this weekend)

This weekend, I’m offering all of my books at either $.99 or Free @ Amazon!

Angry Sale

Including my latest release “Diabolus”

The Return to Innocence: Chapter 1

Hrmmm… if you know me, you know how much I hate vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Can’t stand them these days, but that’s because they’ve oversaturated my interests, or they’ve ruined my interest (keep in mind, I grew up reading “Salem’s Lot” and watching “American Werewolf in London”). But a few weeks ago, I suddenly had three pretty good ideas for vampire stories.

My vampires… they aren’t angst-filled teenagers who never actually do anything except pine for whomever they are in love with. I’m a bit old school when it comes to Vampires. Stay tuned for more chapters =).        

          I.

“Sir,” Manfred said, poking his head around the doorway into the library. “Davis is here to see you.”

“Davis?” I asked, looking up from the history volume I’d been engrossed in.

“Yes, sir. He states that he is in distress and must speak to you right away.”

“Very well,” I said, closing the cover of the thick tome and laying it on the small end table next to my chair. “Show him in, please.”

“Sir…” Manfred trailed off, looking a bit out of sorts. It was unusual for him.

I gave him a questioning look, but he shrugged his shoulders then disappeared. Less than a minute later, Davis walked into the library.

“Davis,” I said warmly. I stood up and took a step toward my old friend.

“Stay back, Elian,” he said, reaching into his coat pocket.

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The Evolution of Custom Art #5

Right. So. It’s been a while since I’ve updated anything. Trevor Smith, the artist for “Diabolus,” just sent me this a while ago:

"Diabolus" 6x9 paperback cover (almost complete!)

“Diabolus” 6×9 paperback cover (almost complete!)

 

The Evolution of Custom Art #4

Yay! Trevor sent me a final ‘rough’ sketch of the scene as we’ve agreed on. It’s making me extremely excited. I can only hope the book itself is even 5% as awesome as the cover.

Final 'rough' scene sketch before painting!

Final ‘rough’ scene sketch before painting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait to see this fully painted! There’s still the whole back cover to show you at some point.

The Evolution of Custom Art #3

Right. So. As you might have seen a while back, I was having some custom artwork done for two books: “Extraction” and “Diabolus”

To make a long, rage-filled story short and to the point, I found a new artist:
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith Art

Here’s the initial concept sketch(es) he sent me:

"Diabolus" initial rough sketches

“Diabolus” initial rough sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I picked out a lot of the things I liked from all four panels, let Trevor know, and this is what he’s sent back:

"Diaboulus" secondary rough sketches

“Diaboulus” secondary rough sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned to see what the next stage of evolution is for the cover, as well as the eventual finish product (which will also have a ‘back cover’ for the print paperback version).

God & Science Can Co-Exist

I saw a meme today that said:

“Atheists say that no one can prove the existence of God, and they’re right, but no one can disprove that God exists.”

I agree completely, but we shouldn’t limit exposure to science which is tasked with answering hard questions by using faith to try to explain the universe around us.

If it comes to supernatural things, like Jesus rising from the Dead, God sending plagues, that’s all essential bible lore. Using Genesis to explain the creation of the universe, and being unbending, unyielding in the face of so much scientific evidence to cling to old beliefs that are meant to be a moral guide, not a history or science lesson, is detrimental to the advancement of humanity.

For me, science is a long-term research project that has the ultimate goal of proving whether or not God truly exists. Each advancement through science to make our lives better, like running, clean water, breathable air, shelter from extreme environments (Arizona / North Dakota haha), medical advancements to prolong our lives and to make our lives better, each one of these things is real, is tangible, and as a society, an entire civilization even, we shouldn’t put our fingers in our ears and chant “I’M NOT LISTENING!” just because some real and tangible conflicts with a long-held faith. Especially a faith that has been passed down for at least fifteen hundred years or more.

It’s okay to admit that while your faith has always taught one thing, science has proved it to be wrong, or maybe not even wrong, just immaterial. Human beings have to keep growing, to keep moving forward, or we’ll begin a decline that will keep humanity from reaching its full potential, which is to be one with God, and in a sense, to prove the existence of God.

If God truly did create the universe, why wouldn’t it be something like the Big Bang? The physical laws of the universe that we know and can prove (and yes, there are many we can’t prove yet, or don’t even know about) show that the Big Bang theory is very accurate. But my question is, who out of people who are reasonably intelligent, would think that God made the universe like we make things?

I can’t picture a supreme being going to the Home Depot to get planetary nebulae, hydrogen gas, quasars, and bringing it all back to the universe and start putting it together like he was building a house. Continue reading

The Evolution of Custom Art #2

Hello again, everyone. I just received another update from Daniel Johnson, the nice gentleman doing custom art for two of my books.

Today’s update is for “Extraction,” a first-contact / alien invasion novel that I’ll be publishing sometime before the summer (hopefully).

Extraction - rough full scene 01

Extraction – rough full scene 01

 

This is a more detailed scene of the final cover, and I’ll throw up some more images in a second to give you some more idea on how the ‘victims’ on the machine evolved.

 

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