I have enjoyed writing this blog more than I thought I would. Rather than look ahead to some possible end date like I did when it first started, I now look to the future and see a myriad of possible directions to take and look forward to pursuing each path. It’s been a great way for me to get reacquainted with some of my own writings and to give all of you a window into my creative process and personal progress that you can look through any time. Watching readership not only grow but spread around the globe has been a touching experience to say the least. As long as folks keep reading every week, I intend to keep sharing every week. My sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who has joined me on this wonderful ride.
Many of you are familiar with my first book, Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light. It is the story of my first spiritual awakening: the questions I asked when I finally got around to asking worthwhile questions and the answers I found that turned my life from a directionless sinkhole to a purposeful and happy adventure. This was first published in 2012, over a decade after I wrote it, and I was very pleased with the final product.
Many of you are also aware that Dawn and I started Sudden Insight Publishing this year, which is to say she did all the work and I signed a few things. We have already released the company’s first publication, an ebook version of Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light, another project that my “Girl Friday” put together beginning to end.
Releasing the ebook ourselves got us excited about upcoming projects, and Sudden Insight Publishing (Dawn and me, in other words) had a meeting where we fleshed out a tentative schedule for the rest of the year. We got to work, and over the last several months we have set the stage for what is to come. I am happy to say that our schedule looks feasible, and that the time for some announcements has come.
There are a great many ideas that I have and have had for quite some time now. Stories come to visit me, and somehow instead of inhabiting me I end up living in them. Generally I can hang out with the characters and concepts for a while, get to know them, promise to write about them later, and am left again to dwell in the quiet spaciousness I have become accustomed to.
Well, this story did that several years ago, downloading itself into my hardware as one fat file. It immediately made it onto the “list of books to write later” file in my head, pushing others further down the list by at least three books (this is either a trilogy or a series, time will tell which). I loved the story immediately, I became attached to the characters in a whole new way, then I set it aside and started writing the sequel to Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light as slowly and laboriously as I had its predecessor. It was pretty clear that I would need to be writing full time before I could write about anything other than my journey. Though my head was full of links to stories, I knew each book would be much longer than either Stumbling or its sequel. Writing about anything other than what had helped me become increasingly more happy over the years felt like I would not be properly honoring the gifts I had been given.
Lucky for me, I am far more attached to being happy than I am to being right. This inner prioritization allows for a shift of perspective and direction whenever it is called for with minimal inner resistance. One of my most delightful inner experiences is realizing I am wrong about something, or that looking at the same thing I have been looking at in a different way could fling open the same doors I have been spending energy holding shut.
The thought came to me: “Philosophy is not just about studying life, it is about living it in a way that brings every aspect of the self into play to practice it”. Pushing aside parts of myself to better develop other parts of myself seemed both logical and counterintuitive at the same time. Exploring the thought further pushed me closer to the realization that perhaps an activity existed that might bring into play all of the facets of my being that needed attention.
I looked at my favorite story again, and I realized I had judged it rather superficially. Writing this would call into play my knowledge and experience in a myriad of ways in which I had never challenged myself. Another challenge existed in fleshing out a philosophy as an element of the flow of the story. In the end, I had to admit that the best thing I could do for myself and my writing at this point was to begin this trilogy.
So I started writing. Rather than writing as I had done before, after all my journalling and scheduling and extensive notes to myself had been written each day, I prioritized writing this book above everything but my day job. I wrote every day, first two or three pages, then five, then eight. Rather than carefully set a time and space to write, I wrote whenever I could. I started out deliberately making myself put aside all excuses and write again and again. Then a strange thing happened. The story started taking over my thoughts, the writing became a necessary thing for me, and a momentum began to build that seemed to be just taking me along for the ride. Wisely, I went with it.
When this story first came to me, the title for the series and the first three books came with it. The series title was “Demons & Angels”, the first book was going to be “Book I: A Walker is Made”. In the years between my original story download and me writing the first book, some other books got popular that made me reconsider the titles of the series and the books.
Now, at long last, the announcements. Thanks for hanging in there.
Sudden Insight Publishing will be releasing my first fiction novel in ebook format on December 2nd. The title is Demons & Angels (Walking Between Worlds, Book I). The genre is urban fantasy, the philosophical foundation is a psychological approach embodied by religious symbology, and the story is one that I found as entertaining to read as it was challenging to write. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Our next release will be the following Tuesday, December 9th. Sudden Insight Publishing will be releasing a paperback edition of my first book, Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light. This means we can offer this edition at a lower price. The book is the same inside; the only reason to purchase a copy of this if you already have one is if you would like both editions.
Tuesday, December 16th will be our final release this year. The paperback version of Demons & Angels will be available to order from SuddenInsightPublishing.com, as well as all major online distributors (Amazon, B&N, etc.).
Between now and December 16th, the blog will be alternating between its regular (irregular) format and reminders about these upcoming releases. The latter will end as this blog ends, with a chapter from my new book. So, without further ado, we are pleased to bring you the first chapter of my next release. We will share the first four chapters over the next two months, so check back regularly. As always, thanks for reading…
Walking Between Worlds; Book One: Demons & Angels
By J. K. Norry
The alarm clock was going off, a high-pitched grating pulse of sound echoing loudly off the walls. It had been going off for a while, but the shapeless form huddled under the covers made no move to silence it.
It was a small room, dirty and messy at the same time. There was an ashtray on every surface; the nightstand, the dresser, the mismatched speakers that cluttered each corner. Every ashtray was full, overflowing with cigarette butts and half-smoked joints. Posters and tapestries decorated the walls in a random rock theme that spanned the decades. The white walls were yellowed with age and smoke, cobwebs wisping where they met the ceiling.
Against one wall was an electric guitar on an upright stand, the only thing in the room that didn’t look like junk, a dark blue Fender Stratocaster. A black cord trailed from its snug housing in the body of the guitar to a knee-high amplifier sitting nearby. Another ashtray sat on the amp, a dusting of ashes all around it. A small television was housed in a beat up oak entertainment center whose remaining shelves were dominated by long tangles of guitar pedals and extension cords, open empty compact disc cases and a haphazard teetering stack of old vinyl.
A steady rhythmic pounding joined the blare of the alarm clock, and a voice shouted muffled through the wall. The thin sheetrock shook with the force of the pounding.
The covers stirred, an arm reached out from beneath them and silenced the alarm. Mason threw the covers off and rolled out of bed, his feet clumsily finding the floor. He sat on the edge of the mattress for a long moment, elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands. Heaving a sigh, he peeked a look at the digital face of the alarm clock. He cursed.
Then he was a flurry of action, dressing himself frantically in jeans and sweatshirt. One moment sitting still in boxers and a stained tank top, his mussed longish hair askew in every direction; the next he was up and moving, opening and closing dresser drawers and tripping through piles of soiled clothes on the floor. Two doorways cut the wall opposite the entrance into thirds, one a doorless passage into his small excuse for a kitchen and the other a door open to the cramped bathroom. Dashing in and out of the open door, he emerged first with his hair wet and flattened to his head, then with a toothbrush sticking from his mouth, then with a hand towel he held cautiously to his dripping face. He crinkled his nose in distaste and threw it to the floor. Wiping droplets of water from his skin with the sleeve of his sweatshirt, Mason worked his feet into his sneakers and bent to tie the darkened laces.
On his way out the door, he stopped at an ashtray and pulled two half-smoked joints from the ugly collection of twisted stained tan speckled filters. A smashed cigarette butt fell from the ashtray to roll onto the speaker and from there to the stiff carpet below. Mason didn’t bother to pick it up. He put one joint in his pocket and one between his lips and walked out the front door.
[We’re just getting started…make sure to stay tuned for Chapter 2 of Demons & Angels (Walking Between Worlds, Book I), coming Friday, October 17th! As always, you can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Thanks for reading! – Dawn]