How to make your dream a reality

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Dreams. We all have them. Some are big, some are realistic while others require years to bring to fruition. During these uncertain times in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic maybe some of us have put our dreams on hold. Others, despite obstacles, persevere by taking small steps towards their eventual goal.

And that’s the key word. Small. To make your dream(s) come true you need to look at the big picture piecemeal. Nothing momentous happens overnight, and anyone who thinks it does is only setting themselves up for a major letdown.

Right now I’ve been putting my fiction on hold. Why? Because I’ve invested my resources into gaining new skills which can help me find a better job and to a lesser extent, improve my fiction.

And by relegating my fiction I’m not postponing it, I’m only investing in a prerequisite step that will eventually get me to where I want to go. Until fiction pays the bills for any writer, they must find sustenance in the dreaded “day job.”

So what small steps are you taking to make your dream(s) a reality. Please feel free to post your comments.

Until next time.

Making life changes work for you

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It’s been a busy few months for me. With the Pandemic and Social Unrest in the background. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve gone this long without writing a blog post. Almost 3 months to be exact. Geez. Where do I start? Ohh, now I remember. Please read on…

I decided to focus on enriching myself and I left my job to go back to Graduate school to earn a certificate. Where does this leave my writing? Good question. I was working on the 2nd edition of The Leopard Apocalypse, the 3rd novel in my flagship Leopard King Saga series, and on the side I was writing the 4th book in the series, The Leopard Resurrection while starting on another YA project called The Cardinal Rule.

Sadly that’s all been put on hold. Graduate school demands time and financial investment. And getting the most out of my money is paramount in order to land an even better job.

So I wanted to discuss life changes with you, and steps you should take in the event an unexpected situation finds you.

1) Save money:
yes, it’s cliche but saving the majority of your paycheck, while being restrictive, it can help pay for unexpected surprises.

2)Have a support network: make sure to share the news with loved ones and trusted friends. Feeding off the positive energy from others boosts confidence and gives you forward momentum.

3)Stay positive: Can’t stress this one enough. You’ll find yourself stretched thin when something unexpected comes along that forces you miles out of your daily routine. But just remember, everything has a purpose and embrace the chaos by thinking on the bright side.

Anyways, that’s it for now. I look forward to posting another helpful blog post, and promise not to take this long between intervals. Stay safe everyone!

A Look back. And a Look Ahead.

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It’s Christmas Eve, and it’s been far too long since I last wrote anything on this blog. In the meantime, I felt, on the eve of my vacation down to Florida tomorrow, I’d write something I hope will be useful.

As for my trip to Florida, it will be my first time back in the sunshine state since early 2003. You probably don’t know this but the last time I ventured down to Florida was in August 2002. Fresh off my college graduation, I felt I would test the waters and find employment there, much like I’m doing now. Except this was one year after 9-11, and having moved to Orlando against the better judgement of my peers, I quickly found that my presumed new home was nothing more than an oasis of underpaying jobs and dead-end interviews.

7 months later, and with my savings extinguished, I found myself heading back home to Northern Virginia with my proverbial tail between my legs. My dreams of living in a year-round warm wonderland crushed between the jaws of a metaphoric Florida Gator.

So what is the moral of this story you ask? Especially on Christmas Eve? Well folks, 2020 is nearly here. If you do one thing, make it this: try to make the best decisions that will help you in the long run. Don’t make decisions with your emotions. Instead, sit down and discuss major lifestyle changes with trusted friends and family. If you do make a move, make sure it’s for the best.

Anyways, that’s all for now. See you next year/decade! I leave you with this friendly Florida Alligator image.

Independent vs. Traditional Publishing

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The other day on twitter a fellow writer was tweeting about how one of his co-workers was critical of his writing status. “When are you going to become a real writer?” he had asked. Implying that independent publishing was an also-ran in the publishing world.

I responded by telling him to ignore such an ignorant comment, for it was made by someone who knows nothing about publishing.

Independent publishing has done wonders for so many writers who otherwise would’ve found themselves forgotten by the gatekeepers.

In the past ten years it has seen a massive influx in sales, and many independent published writers that I know have outsold traditionally published writers.

What does this mean for you and me?

It means that the stigma that was once associated with independent publishing is gone.

So the next time someone tells you you’re not a “real” writer just because your book isn’t published by a big press, make sure you set them straight.

Or better yet, just ignore them.

Making the most of Winter Writing.

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With some of us living in cold climes, winter can really get us down. I’ve already been hit with half a foot of snow, with more on the way. In the past this would be a one-way ticket to depressive thoughts of cabin fever. But as a writer it’s important to see the benefits of inclement weather.

For example, for years I let the weather, an external force, influence my inner-self. The best part of myself where authentic writing comes from. As years went by, and I slowly matured, I began to think less of the external conditions, and focus more on what my imagination had to offer.

This same approach works best with everything else in life, not just your writing. Because if you’ve already got yourself down from something that has nothing to do with who you really are, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.

Enjoy the rest of your January, and use inclement weather time to crank out your best work!

What made 2018 great for you?

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As we inch closer towards the end of another year, I can’t help but think of all the positive changes I made to improve myself. This was a year of transitions for me. When I finally took the big step to change the industry I worked in for my day job, and switch to a field I loved. If you guessed writing, then you’re correct.

I also was able to get a lot done for my upcoming novel The Leopard Apocalypse, and while there were some minor setbacks that delayed the publication of the book, I still hope to release it sometime next year, which, last I checked, will be here in less than two weeks.

So what did you accomplish in 2018 that you’re especially proud of? Did you make some personal changes to your life? Complete a big project that you’ve been working on? No accomplish is too small to mention. So long as if pushes you towards becoming a better person. And that to me is what being human is all about, being better than you once were.

As always, I welcome comments on my blog posts. Enjoy the rest of 2018. And work towards accomplishing more in 2019.

Using the holidays to improve yourself

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Happy Holidays! Those two words are even more powerful than you think. Most associate it with fussy shopping and unwanted stress in meeting those pesky relatives you’d rather not see, but the holidays can be so much more than that.
Really!

If you’re stressed out in your work life, or just at life in general, the holidays can be an excellent outlet. How? By realizing that life is full of letdowns and that stressing about it only makes it worse.

This attitude can help you rediscover your love affair with that dreaded word. Work. That’s right. Are you in an occupation you love? Great! If not, now may be the time to make that change.

The Holidays are a perfect time to use what spare moments you have to work on hobbies and special projects. These tend to give us that extra lift in life. Instead of worrying about what gift you need to get for Aunt Betsy or Cousin Ralphie, you can channel your attention into a hobby you’ve been neglecting.

For me it’s writing. For you it could be rock-climbing or volunteering to help those in need. These types of activities can also translate into win-win scenarios into your professional lives, as it adds richness to your life. It may be cliche, but helping others always translates into positive results for yourself.

So when you find yourself with some extra time during the Holidays, and need to recharge yourself, engage yourself in your hobby or giving back to society, and watch your confidence soar!

Beta-readers needed!

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As many of you know, I’ve been working on my latest creation, the Third Book in my Leopard King Saga to be titled, THE LEOPARD VANGUARD.

Well I’m winding down the first wave of edits before the beta-reading stage begins. This is where I let the readers help out. So I’m looking for folks who love history or fantasy to lend me a hand.

If you’d like to beta-read for me, please contact me at tuvan.uner@yahoo.com. Once the book is formatted into ebook form, we can discuss your part and how your volunteering can help enrich the story before I take all beta-reading imput and incorporate it into the novel. Then my editor will wrap everything up with an edit and it’s on to be published.

I expect the beta-reading stage to commence in early 2019. But as is everything in life, this is subject to change.

I look forward to hearing from you!

When adversity strikes Authors

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As many of you know, I’ve been working on my latest novel, The Leopard Apocalypse, which is the 3rd and penultimate novel in the Leopard King Saga, my flagship Historical Fantasy series.

I’m coming to the very end of editing, and nearing the stage where I send the book out for beta-reading before sending the final work to an editor to polish off the book and make suggestions.

Normally this would be a happy time for any author. Especially for a novel that is close to 200K words and has taken half a decade to complete.

But adversity struck last week when I realized my funds for interior artwork and editing services was not adequate to continue.

It’s a major problem, and will undoubtedly cause delays. I still have hope of publication in early to mid 2019.

So what do you do when you’re nearing the finish line, only to be slowed down by inadequate funds?

Well, the only thing to do is remain calm, and try and do as much work you can to move the editing process along, even if that means the interior map and editing stages may have to take a back seat.

So for now, I’m in a jam, but like all setbacks, it’s only temporary.

Do you have a story you’d like to share about an issue that has delayed a project when you were so closed to completion? If so, I’d like to hear about your experiences in the comments section.

See you next time!

What are your Fall Writing Plans?

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Well Summer is almost over (bummer, right?) and with that the hot, humid writing days.

Things are looking up for me. I recently got hired as a Technical Writer for a Defense Contractor and am looking forward to my first day at work this week.

But what about you? Now that summer is over what are your writing plans? Are you working on a short story, novella or novel? Is this your first work? Are you considering going the self-publishing route or traditional path by seeking a publisher/agent?

I’d like to hear from anyone.

Here’s to the end of summer and the beginning of a productive fall writing period!