15 years…

This was my post on the 10-year anniversary of September 11:

10 years…

Lots of things have changed over the past five years, but my feelings about that day are still the same. 2016 has been a rough year so far. Friends and loved ones are going through hard times. It’s a very ugly election year. If we can take one thing away from the events of 15 years ago, maybe it should be that during that horrible tragedy, we came together and supported one another. We need that more than ever these days. Never forget it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Murder your darlings

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

-Stephen King, On Writing

Writers love to write. Well, most of the time that is. Actually, for me quite often it’s as painful as opening a vein. But even harder is cutting out something that you’ve written and loved. Maybe in the light of day it’s not as brilliant as you thought it was in the wee hours of the morning. Or maybe it just doesn’t fit in the story any more.

I now have a folder on my computer with a bunch of chapters that have been completely cut from the current draft of Thief of Destiny. It’s sad because there are some great scenes and characters in those chapters, but the truth is they no longer fit with my new plot line. And since the plot is working out much better than before, all I can do is send them to the “old chapters” folder and hope that maybe they’ll see the light of day in a future book or a novella. Somewhere I have a file called “darlings” with deleted paragraphs and scenes from book 1. It’s tempting to post some deleted scenes or make a “director’s cut” version, but on the other hand, things are generally cut for a good reason. Chopping down my beloved prologue from Thief of Hope was so hard at the time; now I can barely remember the original version because the changes worked so much better.

So the writing proceeds. Chapters are cut and new words are added. The book is coming along. I keep thinking of the words of a wise fish as inspiration: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Cover reveal: The Other Side of Philip K. Dick by Maer Wilson

Congrats to Maer Wilson on her upcoming memoir about legendary SF author Philip K. Dick! Love the cover. Keep reading for a great excerpt.

PKD ebook coverThe blurb:

What is the truth behind the legend of Science Fiction great, Philip K. Dick?

In spring, 1972, Phil Dick moved to Fullerton, CA, where he met Theatre student Mary (Maer) Wilson. Amid marriage proposals, marathon talk-fests and a love for music and films, they forged a strong friendship that would last the rest of his life.

Wilson’s quirky, yet unflinchingly honest, memoir reveals a funny, compassionate and generous man. She captures an inside view of one of our literary greats – a brilliant writer who gave the world some of its most revered Science Fiction.

“As a literary figure, Philip K. Dick is popularly perceived as a crazed, drug-addled mystic with a sinister Third Eye. Nothing could be further from the truth – the Phil I knew was a warm, humane, very funny man. Maer Wilson understands these truths far better than I, and The Other Side of Philip K. Dick casts a welcome shaft of daylight upon the real PKD, as opposed to the dark, distorted caricature Dick has become.” Paul M. Sammon, Author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

“I found this book engrossing and authentic – a truthful and serious account of the last part of Phil Dick’s life by someone who was a fundamental part of it and who has the skill to write about it. There is evident love and friendship in this book, but also honesty. This was the Phil Dick I knew.” James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award-Winning Author

About Maer Wilson

Maer Wilson Author PicAfter a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer.

Maer first met Philip K. Dick in 1972 when he moved into the apartment across the hall from her in Fullerton, California. They remained close friends until his death in 1982. Maer was always an avid reader, but it was Phil who introduced her to science fiction, and she fell in love with the genre, later expanding into most aspects of Spec Fic.

When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two poodles.

Named 2015 Fantasy Author of the Year by AuthorClassifieds.com, Maer’s books include the recent Apocalypta Z. Her Modern Magics series includes the novels Relics, Portals, and Magics, as well as novelettes and stories set in that universe. Maer recently contributed to, compiled and published the charity anthology, The Dark Dozen. She is currently working on a science fiction novel, Truthsayer.

You can find all Maer’s books and novelettes at Amazon and other online retailers. For more info, you can visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.

You can also find Maer at:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads| Pinterest

Excerpt from The Other Side of Philip K. Dick

“But first let’s set the scene.

It’s April, 1972 in Fullerton, California around 7:00 PM. The sun has set and the night is cool, balanced between full spring and hints of summer. Can you feel the slight breeze?

The street is Quartz Lane. Some of the many apartment buildings in the area line the short road. We’re going to go to the first complex on the right, just past the church. There’s a small courtyard and the residents all have their curtains drawn. Most are translucent and clearly show the light from the apartments. But there. That first apartment on our right? The one upstairs. Yes, that one with the light shining through a gap in the curtains.

And the one across from it. The light isn’t as bright, but we need to note that one, too.

We can almost hear the giggles of two girls as we make our way up the stairs and fade through their door. Shhh… We’ll be as quiet as the ghosts from the future that we are.

The scene is set. The actors and orchestra are in their places. The curtain rises.

The conductor taps his baton on the music stand.

The stage lights come up.

Let us begin.

It happened back when I was still immortal.”

Praise for The Other Side of Philip K. Dick

“I found this book engrossing and authentic – a truthful and serious account of the last part of Phil Dick’s life by someone who was a fundamental part of it and who has the skill to write about it. There is evident love and friendship in this book, but also honesty. This was the Phil Dick I knew.” James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award-winning Author

“As a literary figure, Philip K. Dick is popularly perceived as a crazed, drug-addled mystic with a sinister Third Eye. Nothing could be further from the truth – the Phil I knew was a warm, humane, very funny man. Maer Wilson understands these truths far better than I, and The Other Side of Philip K. Dick casts a welcome shaft of daylight upon the real PKD, as opposed to the dark, distorted caricature Dick has become.” Paul M. Sammon, Author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

“The strongest piece of writing I’ve read in years. Wilson’s pacing is perfection. The Other Side of Philip K. Dick is filled with laughter and the kind of love only true friends can share. Even if, for some reason, you’ve never heard of Philip K. Dick, you will fall in love with him and Wilson. The ending had me crying, like “end of the Notebook” crying. Utter perfection.” M. Joseph Murphy, Author of the Activation series

“There are many tales of epic friendships, but there is one huge difference here: The Other Side of Philip K. Dick is real. Wilson’s prose gives us an inside view into two minds, a genius and a young girl. Through her eyes I am left with one thought — this is a man I wish I had known.” –Danielle DeVor, author of the Marker Chronicles.

“Frank and revealing. One part faithful memoir, one part a wonderful evocation of Phil’s final 10 years. Writing with crisp clarity, Maer’s humorous anecdotes wonderfully evoke both the times and the man. Her conversational prose sparkles with truth and winning story-telling. Best of all, this warm tribute replaces the oft-told myths about Phil with unique insights into his caring, compassionate and generous nature.” Daniel Gilbertson, Friend of PKD

“As a fan of Dick’s fiction, I was engrossed by these amusing, insightful, and poignant reminiscences of the last ten years of his life. Wilson evokes a human portrait of a warm, funny, unassuming man who was a good friend to a young student. This memoir is well-written and heart-felt. It illustrates not only the private world of a great writer but what it was like to be young in the seventies in California.” Carol Holland March, Author of The Dreamwalkers of Larreta

Posted in book cover | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Writing challenge

I am determined to finish and publish Thief of Destiny this year. That’s 2016, for the record. So I am going to open myself up to public accountability, since personal accountability is only getting me so far. I have been making progress, but not nearly as much as I would like. A good writer friend plans to finish her current novel by August (it’s embarrassing to note how many books she’s written while I’ve been working on my one book!) and she has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s a bit scary since August is not that far away and I estimate I’m about halfway through the book, maybe a little more. But I am going to accept the challenge! I will try to post a weekly update. Nothing like public shame to spur me into writing more, I hope!

Wish me luck. Maybe I can get my next book out before George R.R. Martin does!

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

When walls between worlds grow thin

Happy May Day and happy Beltane! I’m not sure how it got to be May already, but here we are. I was thinking about the belief that Beltane is one of the times of the year when the walls between the human world and the faerie world grow thin, making it easier to pass from one to the other. I’ve been writing about this in Thief of Destiny, which has all kinds of interesting stuff about the faery realm and magic and my main character’s connection to both of those things.

And for my fellow Washington College alumni, May Day probably brings back memories. The college has a tradition of students running around naked on campus on May Day. Apparently it has its own page in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day_%28Washington_College%29. I feel a bit sad reading that there isn’t as much nakedness as there used to be! There’s also a video of my favorite English professor describing how he inadvertently started the tradition in the 60s (of course it was the 60s!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjjBgtvrQNY

So if you get a hankering to run around naked and read poetry today, here’s a poem to include. I’m pretty sure this was on my May Day list one year. I’ve posted it before, but it’s a favorite.

Spring
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
(from The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,

Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , | Leave a comment