#IWSG: I Wish I Were a Cyborg

Hello, friends, and welcome to another meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  Do you feel insecure about your writing?  Are you looking for support?  Then this might be the right group for you!  Click here to learn more!

Each month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers an optional question, something to help get these I.W.S.G. posts started.  This month’s question has to do with secrets.  What secrets do we writers have that our readers would never know based on our work?

At the moment, my biggest secret is that I’m suffering from a bad case of imposter syndrome.  My first book is coming out pretty soon.  In fact, it comes out tomorrow.  I worked really hard on it, and… well, I just hope people like it.

But what if they don’t!?!  Oh no!  People will think I’m a hack writer, a fraud, or something equally reprehensible!!!

A lot of my friends, both online and in real life, have been congratulating me and telling me how excited I must feel.  And yes, I do feel excited.  But I’m feeling other emotions as well.  There’s a cyborg character in my book who can select which emotions he wants to experience and which emotions he does not.  He can turn his emotions on and off with the flick of a switch.

I wish I could do that.  I’d leave my excitement running and switch everything else off.  But I’m no cyborg.  I’m only human, and being human is not so easy.  The best I can do is set those other emotions aside with the promise that I will deal with them later.  In the meantime, I need to keep blogging.  I need to keep marketing my work.  And above all else, I need to keep writing, because this book that comes out tomorrow—that book is just the beginning.

P.S.: For those of you who may be interested, my book is a novella-length Sci-Fi adventure story entitled The Medusa Effect.  It’s the first in a series of novella-length Sci-Fi stories about a journalist who travels through time, covering the galaxy’s biggest news stories before they happen.  Click here to buy the book on Amazon, or you can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Cognis (Tomorrow News Network: A to Z)

Hello, friends, and welcome to day three of the A to Z Challenge.  For this year’s challenge, I’m telling you a little more about the universe of Tomorrow News Network, my upcoming Sci-Fi adventure series.  In today’s post, C is for:


Dear readers, I know some of you are fellow writers, so today I’m going to offer you some writing advice.  You know those abandoned manuscripts and story ideas you have collecting dust?  You know all those writing projects that just didn’t work out the way you wanted?  They don’t have to go to waste.  Think of them, instead, as a resource to be used for future writing projects.

Way back when I was an angsty teenager, I wrote a short story about a cyborg named E.K. Cognis.  Being a cyborg, Mr. Cognis had no emotions, but he was curious about what emotions might be like.  So Cognis and a fellow cyborg named K.T. Macnera downloaded a bunch of emotions into their brains. It was a profoundly mind-altering, mind-expanding experience.

As I said, I was an angsty teenager.  Downloadable emotions were supposed to be a metaphor for drug use.  Initially, Mr. Cognis and Ms. Macnera only wanted to “experiment” with emotions, but it’s not long before they become addicted.  After that, their status as upstanding members of cyborg society deteriorates rapidly.

This may be the single worst story I’ve ever written, a case of a young writer trying way too hard to be edgy.  The original story may or may not be saved on a floppy disk somewhere.  I will likely never find it, and I’m okay with that.

But when I started work on my Tomorrow News Network series, I soon realized that my main character—time traveling journalist Talie Tappler—would need a cameraman.  And when I thought of Mr. Cognis, I realized I had a character already made and ready to slip right into that role.

Cognis’s ongoing addiction to emotions creates plenty of opportunities for both humor and conflict in the Tomorrow News Network stories.  So does his complicated relationship with Ms. Macnera, who now works for T.N.N. as an assignment editor.

Tomorrow News Network has salvaged a great many concepts and characters from my old, abandoned stories.  Mr. Cognis was only the first. Story scavenging (as I like to call it) has made the process of creating a whole new Sci-Fi universe so much easier.  So don’t feel bad if you have some old, abandoned story ideas that never worked out.  Treat them as resources that can be used for building your next story world.

Next time on Tomorrow News Network: A to Z, turning the World Wide Web into the Galaxy Wide Web is far easier said than done.

Tomorrow News Network: A to Z

Hello, friends!  At long last, I’m ready to announce my theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge.  And that theme is:

Tomorrow News Network is my own Sci-Fi adventure series, featuring time traveling journalist Talie Tappler, her cyborg cameraman Mr. Cognis, and the many high-profile news stories they cover across the space-time continuum.

Robot uprisings?  Alien invasions?  Mass extinction events?  Talie and Cognis will be there.  In fact, being time travelers, Talie and Cognis tend to show up before such cataclysmic events occur.

For the A to Z Challenge, I’ll introduce you to some of the characters (M is for Milo Marrero) and settings (L is for Litho Colony) that will appear in Tomorrow News Network, book one.  We’ll also explore some of the big concepts (J is for journalistic integrity) and small details (D is for digi-stream downloads) that will feature prominently in the Tomorrow News Network series going forward.

So on Wednesday, April 1st, we’ll kick things off by meeting a faceless mega-corporation that’s mining alien planets for their resources.  Also on Wednesday, it’ll be Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, and I’ll reveal my secret ulterior motives for picking my own story universe for this year’s A to Z Challenge.