So Much to Do!

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Not just here, but on the Patreon page also. I’m trying to get into a regular writing routine, but it’s been difficult while I’ve been distracted by various worries.

My chief recurring worry seems to be money, and I know I’m not alone in this. Most of my followers and fans are fellow writers and bloggers. Every single one on you reading this article is struggling to generate a stable income also. I’d like to think that if this were not the case, my own writing skills would have convinced at least some of you that I’m worth the investment by now.

Instead of begging then, I’m going to try and help you, anyway I can, and hope that karma takes care of me. I’ve been trying to build an audience the way I’ve been told works by other successful authors. Posting my writing publicly to get the word out and promote my talents, an sharing those posts via social media to reach an even wider audience.

I know that this method will take about 2-3 years to generate a decent income this way, and the first time I tried it with the Hermes925 story I focused mostly on Facebook and didn’t really give it time to germinate before getting distracted and switched the Patreon campaign to an anthology project.

Dead Letter Eyes
Do you ever feel like something is watching?

 

This time around I’m trying to stick to my guns and continue to update the Patreon page as I work on The Haunted Story, and to share those posts on multiple sites, including Reddit. I’m still trying to figure Reddit out, but I’m hoping that if I keep sharing the content, someone will see it and share it. If any of you successfully use Reddit and know some good horror/crime genre subreddits I can get some traction on, I’d appreciate it.

In the meantime I’m also doing things the hard way. Participating in writers groups on Facebook and keeping a particularly watchful eye out for people looking for writers. Doing this has gotten me a few gigs. A couple of them were ghostwriting gigs. In each case I try to do a good job hoping that they will give me more work and/or recommend me to others.

Currently I’m working on a psycho-killer investigation story for a client. He’s asked for a script for a podcast show. He wants three episodes and each episode is supposed to be 45 minutes long, but he’s only paid me enough for 3000 words, which will probably take all of 30 minutes to perform. I’m hoping he’ll like what I write, but that I’ll also be able to convince him that the story has a lot of room for development and is worth putting more money into.

I need to keep up on this blog, the facebook groups, the Patreon page, and curate the posts on the other social media pages too if I’m going to successfully build my audience and continue to generate short-term freelance work and long-term passion projects. Part of the marketing has to be face-to-face. Word of mouth is still the best way to get yourself known, and a personal conversation is still the best way to get people to like you.

I’ve also been trying to make some friends in the area for the sake of my own mental health, and I’m doing so fully aware that I’m not only looking for people that I can hang out with, I’m also looking for people that would appreciate my writing style and either help me find a wider audience, or become patrons themselves. If my friends are also fans, they’re more likely me to encourage me to write more, rather than distract me from it.

12322827_1943883812504446_4136481179633216636_o
I should probably update the Games and Geekery blog too!!

I’ve increased my chances of finding both by organising a monthly meeting for local geeks and gamers. The first meeting took place earlier this month, and it was very successful. We had a lot of fun together and they’re already asking me to make it bi-weekly instead of monthly! One of my new friends has already helped me edit The Haunted Story: Investigation!

So I’ll have to keep ‘Games & Geekery in Kidwelly‘ going, along with making time to spend with my new friends. My hope is that I’ll end up with so much to do that I’ll end up with a solid schedule. It’s a lot easier to let a project drag on unfinished if you have all the time in the world to write it and nothing else going on all week. I’ll be more motivated to get writing if I only have set times slots available for each project.

As you may know, I’m also doing odd-jobs to help supplement my writing income. So far it’s mostly been gardening jobs, though I did get to help someone with their computer this week! Doing a little physical work helps to keep me fit, gets me out of the house, lets me help people in the local community, and I get paid for it. It doesn’t help with my writing goals directly, but it does help me to eat while I work on the writing.

Tomorrow night I have a trial shift at a local pub. The hourly rate would be less than I make from the odd-jobs, but it would give me the opportunity to meet more locals who may be interested in hiring me for odd-jobs! Some of them might even be readers! I’m also going to bring a notebook so that if it’s dead, I can get some more writing done!

The really funny thing is though, if I could get paid for running my Facebook RP groups, The City of Gate and The N-Viron Network, I probably wouldn’t bother with the rest! I love running those games. I get to tell my stories to an audience eager for the next part, and they respond by commenting as a character in the story! They often come up with solutions to scenarios I didn’t expect, and make the ongoing story more interesting. It’s awesome!

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Designed by Heather Montgomery, aka Ann Snizek. She also design the Dead Letter cover.

One of my new friends has suggested I create premium versions, subscription only. It’s a thought that might be worth exploring. Especially if I get more players. If any of you know of any suitable sites for hosting such a thing, I’d love to hear it. I’d also need to know how to find an audience, or it’ll be a total ghost town. I can just ‘Field of Dreams’ it. People need to know it exists and how to find it, and I need to be targeting the people that would care about fantasy roleplay gaming.

If I had mastered social media marketing already, I wouldn’t still be struggling though. I know how it works in theory, but I have trouble putting it into practice. Especially when it come to videos. I’m something of an introvert and I don’t actually like doing videos, plus the quality is crappy because I don’t have good lighting, a decent webcam, or a good microphone. My crappy videos are unlikely to get any traction among the the thousands of beautifully edited masterpieces on YouTube.

Something will happen if I keep working at it. I’ll just keep putting myself out there and eventually I’ll catch the attention of someone who likes my work and has the means, knowledge and resources to help me make my dreams a reality. I just hope it’s soon. I really don’t like that my Dad is having to support my Mum and I. My sister is bringing in an income at least, but she’s moving out soon. I’d love to be able to catch Dad if he falls. Right now I can’t

I realise that what I intended to be helpful suggestions didn’t end up as such. If you did find any of this useful please let me know. If you have any suggestions that would help me get more patrons, freelance gigs, or game players please let me know.

Thank you for reading my babble.

Have a great day 🙂

 

Happy Birthday to Me!!

It was my birthday today! I’m now 38 years old. If I want to leave an impression on the world before I die, I have less than 50 years left to do it in. Assuming I get the chance to die of old age instead of being run over, blasted by a nuclear missile, stabbed to death, fallen victim to cancer, lost the fight to my own occasionally suicidal thoughts, or a meteorite impacts the earth and kills everyone.

A little dramatic and negative for my birthday perhaps, but it’s still a thought I have. I’m not going to mope about it, or wring my hands worrying about it. I’m going to get things done! I’ve already started adding weekly updates to my work-in-progress on ‘The Haunted Story’, and created a new Patreon page to help gain support for it.

For those that don’t know I wrote a short ghost story called ‘The Haunted Story’. S0 many people liked it I decided to expand on the premise. The short story was renamed ‘Dead Letter‘, the first story in the haunted series. The story I’m working on now is called ‘Investigation’ and you can read parts 1, 2 and 3 by following the links, or by going up to the tab labelled ‘The Haunted Story’ above.

The basic premise is that Mark Anderson has studied ghosts and decided to deliberately become one. He aims to increase the strength of his manifestation by binding his soul to the story of his traumatic death and subsequent ghostly apparition. Anyone that hears the story will become haunted by him. ‘Dead Letter‘ sets up this premise, having been written as if it was the note found with Mark Anderson’s grotesquely mutilated body.

‘Investigation’ follows Detective Janet Burrows. A homicide detective who has been assigned to the case and told to treat it as a murder case, despite the suicide note. Given the horrific nature of Mark Anderson’s death, it seems highly unlikely he did it to himself. Janet needs to find his killer, but the prime suspect seems terrified of something no-one else can see, and he kills himself shortly afterward. Then she begins to see things herself.

If you think this sounds right up your alley, please follow my progress and let me know what you like, and don’t like, about the story so far. If you can show your support by becoming a patron, you’ll get email notifications whenever there’s an update, and a signed free copy of the book when it’s published. If you can’t afford to do that, you can also buy the Kindle ebook version of The Haunted Story: Dead Letter on Amazon for just 99c. A review would also be greatly appreciated.

You can still check back every Saturday to see what I’ve added the night before, even if you’re not able to contribute financially to the project. Your feedback and encouragement would be very helpful and just a valuable to me as any monetary donations. You can also help me immensely by inviting others to this website to check out my work, and sharing ‘The Haunted Story’ with them.

Don’t worry, Mark Anderson’s ghost isn’t going to show up and scare you to death. You and those you share it with have nothing to fear. It’s just a story. 😉

image71


My writing career isn’t the only thing I’m taking positive action on. I need to make some friends in this town. I love my family, but it’d be nice to get out of the house and play some games or just hang out with people on my wavelength.

I realised during a conversation online that I was unlikely to find fellow geeks in the local pubs. We’d be far more likely to be at home, online. Luckily, the town I’ve been living in since January has a Facebook group in which the townsfolk post public notices and ask each for favours and recommendations. So I made a post of my own, asking for help finding geeky new friends.

The response I got was amazing, and we soon had our own separate Facebook group with 40 members and a meeting scheduled in one of the local pubs I’d helped out as an odd-jobber! I’m looking forward to the first meeting, and getting to know some of the local geeks and gamers.

If you happen to be from Kidwelly in Wales, and a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, the MCU, Rick and Morty, Supernatural, Doctor Who, video games, tabletop games and anything else even remotely geeky, feel free to join Games and Geekery of Kidwelly and come along to our first meeting on 7th May at the Masons Arms. It should be fun 🙂


My birthday was fun. I got to play the card game ‘Bears and Babies‘ with my nieces, and to spend time with my sister. For my next birthday though, I hope the have a reasonable circle of friends I can share it with, and possibly be able to afford to buy my friends and family awesome presents when all their birthdays roll around.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your continued interest in my writing and my life.

Have a great day. 🙂

Is Anyone Listening?

Every so often I write another post declaring that I’m going to get organised and start writing like it’s my full time job, and yet I still find myself procrastinating. Even my attempts to identify and eliminate whatever it is holding me back has just become another way to procrastinate.

I can’t blame relationship stress, because I’m not in one. I can’t blame trying to find time to time write while working a full-time job, because I don’t have a job right now except writing. I can’t even use the fact that I don’t have a steady income as an excuse, because I’m living with family who support my desire to write full time. I can’t blame loneliness or homesickness either, because I’m home with my family.

I really have no excuse. I just need to develop the discipline. What I’d like ideally is for people who like my stories to let me know they like them, and pester me for more. I know this sounds egotistical, but I also know it works. My parents have read The Haunted Story: Dead Letter and they want to know what happens next, but they also don’t want to read it until it’s finished.

As a result, I’ve been making myself write more of The Haunted Story: Investigation every day. Sometimes I miss a day or two, but for the most part I’m making progress.

Would you be willing to help me?

I used to do weekly updates to Hermes925. I’d be willing to do something similar for The Haunted Story, and perhaps even start doing Hermes925 updates again, if I was getting some encouragement from my audience. Some reassurance that people want what I’m writing. While it’s true that I’m writing these stories for me, I’d also like to know that I’m not wasting my time.

Everyone likes to feel good about what they’ve chosen to do with their lives, or at least know that people are listening when they speak.

Do you ever feel like no-one is listening?

If I’m being ignored, does that mean I’m not good enough?

Despite feeling happier than I have in years, I can feel the depression still lingering beneath the surface. Telling me that all of this is futile. That whining about it won’t help. That I’m deluding myself.

However, I’m also running an RP group on Facebook called The City of Gate that’s been going for years because the players are genuinely interested in what happens next. I know I’m never going to get the same level of participation and feedback from my stories as I do from my roleplay games, but a little would be nice!

I also know I won’t get any feedback if I don’t post anything, so I’m going to start posting my work-in-progress again. If you like the story, please tell me, so I don’t have to rely purely on empty hope and my own unreliable discipline. Talk to me. Please.

Thank you.

Have a great day 🙂

The Possession of Poppy

I love ghost stories. I find them particularly fascinating when they are true stories.

One of the Facebook groups I participate in occasionally is called ‘Horror and Paranormal Activity‘. Another member of that group recently asked ‘What is your ghost story?’ I gave them the answer most of you know from the article ‘Mischief and Magic‘ (if you don’t know the story you can see it in the image below). The person who replied next caught my attention.

A Ghost Possession

If you’re reading this in a format that doesn’t display images, here’s what he says:

“I have been possessed by a ghost, it’s not fun. You have no control over your body….[if] you have any questions about it just ask me”

So I did!

Antony Copeland Were you aware of the ghost before it possessed you?
Poppy Charmed Yes, but I did not ever think it would go inside of me.
Antony Copeland Had it been around for a while then?
Poppy Charmed Being possessed hurts a lot.
Poppy Charmed Yes since the 70’s, But I move into my house in 2005, I did not know anything about the house dark past, the owner did not fill me in on that until I began to look into the back ground of the houses history.
Antony Copeland Did you find out who the ghost was?
Poppy Charmed Yes, it was a Seventeen year old girl who killed her parents and her new born sister.
Antony Copeland Did you learn this through research, or while she was inside you?
Poppy Charmed Both,But I had to relive it in her memory’s. That was horrible. Seeing her parents beg for mercy before she took their heads, and she beheaded her baby sister. No matter what I did I had to relive that over and over again.
Antony Copeland Were you paralysed, or did she move you?
Poppy Charmed Yes, I Could not move at all, but how she met her end was what I felt.
Antony Copeland How did she meet her end?
Poppy Charmed The police telling her to put down the knife or they will shoot, Then I felt the bullet’s rip through my body. My friends told me that I screamed like never before. But that was only the start of it.
Antony Copeland What happened next?
Poppy Charmed It spoke, I had no control over my mouth or my voice, it sounded like me, but it was not me.
Antony Copeland What did it say?
Poppy Charmed That she was very sorry for what she did, and that she knew that what she did was bad. That when she died she said she woke up in a place where she had to relive her murder over and over again. She wanted to be free from the place she was sent.
Antony Copeland Were you able to free her spirit, or is she still trapped there?
Poppy Charmed The place where she was worse.
Poppy Charmed My friends told me that once you kill somebody you can’t be set free. You have to pay for your crimes.
Antony Copeland Before the pain of the phantom bullets, what did the possession feel like?
Poppy Charmed Like your insides are on fire and there is nothing you can do.
Antony Copeland Spirits can be banished. I’ve done it.
Poppy Charmed Not all of them, if they are truly ever, they won’t leave with out a fight. The girl inside me was not ready to leave.
Antony Copeland She didn’t just leave after she delivered her message?
Poppy Charmed No she did not. Not without a fight.
Antony Copeland How did you get her to leave?
Poppy Charmed She did not like it that she was told to leave, so she became angry.
Antony Copeland What happened then?
Poppy Charmed I had to make a deal with her.
Antony Copeland What was the deal?
Poppy Charmed That if she left me I would in return help the lost sprites, and I can also sense ghost now. Then I woke up. I was possessed for ten days.
Poppy Charmed I still live in that house today. I can still sense her in the house. But she has not tried to possess me again. She was a girl who was lost and misunderstood. She killed her family out of hate because she was abuse by her father and her mother knew about that and did nothing. I found that out after I was possessed. Her father made her do sexual thing with him,I also had to relive that.
I was blown away by this. I’d never heard a first hand account of someone being involuntarily possessed by a ghost before!
Poppy is a 34 year old male living in Alberta, Canada. It’s not his birth name, in case you were wondering. If you’re as intrigued by Poppy’s story as I was you can ask him about it yourself by following on of the links above to his Facebook profile. Be sure to send me a friend request too while you’re at it!
If you prefer your ghost stories good and fake, please give The Haunted Story: Dead Letter a read. I’m currently working on The Haunted Story: Investigation, which follows on from Dead Letter and and shows you what the ghost of Mark Anderson can do. Thanks to Poppy Charmed I’ve been able to plug a major plot hole!
Fans of the Horror genre should also check out the Darkness Within Ezine. The new VP of which did the amazing cover art for the Kindle version of The Haunted Story: Dead Letter!
The Haunted Story - Dead Letter eCover
Do you have any real-life ghost stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.
Have a great day! 🙂
UPDATE!!
I sent Poppy a link to the article, to make sure he approved of it, and something amazing happened!

Poppy – Thank you for telling my story.

Me – You’re welcome. Anything to add? Anything you want remove?

Poppy – The girl name was Livea, becouse to told me.

Me – Awesome. Anything else?

Poppy – She want to talk to you.

Me – I’m listening

Poppy – Ok this is your one opportunity to talk to her, so I will let her in my body for a little while. If you have any questions for her this would be the time to ask,

Me – Okay. I appreciate it. Livea?

Poppy (as Livea) – yes.

Me – Is there anything specific you want to tell me?

Poppy (as Livea) – I am sorry for killing my family, I only wanted daddy to stop hurting me, and for mommy to listen.

Me – I can tell the world you’re sorry. Would you like to move on?

Poppy (as Livea) – I would, but I have to pay for my crimes, hell is real. I am in there. I want to give out one last message.

Me – I’m listening

Poppy (as Livea) – I am sorry and that don’t let this happen to anyone els. That evil is real and so is hell. The devil is real. In hell you must relive your crimes over and over again. That is my punishment.

Me – I will tell them. It’s going to be okay. Anything else you need to tell me?

Poppy (as Livea) – Let them know you spoke to me, goodbye Antony Copeland.

Me – I will. Goodbye Livea

Poppy – She is gone, I can’t feel her anymore or sense her.

Me – I hope she forgives herself.

Poppy – Me too. What was her message.

Me – I’ll add it to the article. That was intense. I can’t imagine what it was like for you

Poppy – My body feel like it was set on fire. My skin is very hot right now.

Me – I think you’re amazingly brave to agree to be her conduit like that. You probably need to rest, right?

Poppy – Your welcome. Let her story be heard, print it, that is what she would have wanted. I have to lay in cold water now. But thank you for this. Bye.

Me – Thank you too. Goodbye for now.

I’m shaking right now! Share this with everyone. If you have the means to publish this, even if it’s only a local community magazine, please print this! Maybe if Livea’s message spreads to enough people her curse will be lifted and she can finally rest in peace, and leave poor Poppy in peace also.
This is one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had. Have you had a similar experience? Tell us in the comments.
Have a great day 🙂

Viva Fractopia!

Yay! I get to work on UbiquiCity 2!

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I collaborated with several other writers a while back to create an anthology called UbiquiCity. I was approached by Tod Foley to help with the project after he read my WIP, Hermes925. What followed were several video conference calls in which the writers developed a world together, and then came up with characters and short stories within that world.

As you may have gathered from the images on this post, the stories all take place in a futuristic ‘smart city’, or UbiquiCity (a city in which smart technology is fully integrated and ubiquitous), populated not only with people, but also countless drones flying overhead, and AI’s moving wirelessly and invisibly across the city.

This is similar to Hermes925 in many respects, but it takes place about 20 years earlier. People use various smart devices from several manufacturers using different operating systems and carriers. This can cause compatibility issues, and gaping exploits for hackers.

There are also some parts of Union City, as we called it, that are not so shiny. Run down slums where the people can’t afford the technology to keep up, though some come up with inventive, and not precisely legal, ways to circumvent the system. These people are known as ‘Scrumblies’ or ‘Discons’ by the connected majority.

The result is a culture that is utopian for some and dystopian for others. Tod came up with the term ‘Fractopia’ to describe it, allowing us to differentiate from cyberpunk and grimdark sci-fi, though there are elements in common. Tod not only hope to establish Fractopian fiction as a genre in it’s own right, but to develop UbiquiCity into a roleplay gaming system.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the depth and scope of the world we’ve created. If I’ve whet your appetite and you’d like to know more about the project, you can learn more on the UbiquiCity website and support the development of more books, and the gaming system, by becoming a Patreon subscriber and/or buying the book from Amazon:

We’d all be very grateful to you if you did.

Thank you and have a great day 🙂

Real Magic

If you’ve been following me for a while you may already know that I believe in magic. For those that think I’m crazy, please let me explain.

Let’s start with the concepts that are the easiest to swallow. Helping others makes you feel better. Now, this could be explained as simple biochemistry. Helping others is beneficial to the mutual survival of our species, and our bodies reward us with a hit of dopamine for doing it.

It isn’t just other people though. It makes us feel good when we help animals, plants and we even get attached to objects. Why do we feel good when we get the old toaster working again? I think it’s because everything has a life of it’s own and, as a result, is affected by our positive or negative treatment of it. There’s even been experiments done that back up this belief.

I found this video in a short article that concludes that ’emanating positives vibes’ is the way to making the world a better place. That’s where my beliefs differ. I don’t think it’s enough to simply think happy thoughts. I think action is required to really make a positive change, however those actions go a lot more smoothly with a positive radiant attitude.

Basically, I believe that if you help people, people will help you. Not necessarily the same people though. There are plenty of people that will take everything you offer and give nothing back, and those people are not the kind of people that will help you achieve your life goals. However, there will be others that want to help you, and expect nothing in return. At least, they will if you’re a genuinely nice and helpful person. A smile can go a long way. It can do magic.

This feels like hogwash to a lot of people because sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try nothing ever seems to go right for us. I believe that’s because the magic doesn’t just work for you, but also for people that don’t believe in it. Your positivity needs to be strong enough to counter not only other’s negativity, but those whose positive actions interfere with your own.

The more people we have in our lives telling us we can’t do what we’ve set out to accomplish, the harder it is to reach our goals because we fighting against their negative opinion. In some cases the best thing to do is to cut them out of your life entirely and find a new group of people to associate with. Preferably those who are already doing what you wish to do so that you can learn from them how it can be done.

Finding those people and being accepted by them takes a little magic. Not just positive thinking, but positive and helpful action. Be willing to do something for them and expect nothing in return. Ask their opinions and listen to their answers, and let them help you if they want to. Things will start going your way.

Magic hand by ambitiousstudio454

So far I’m just covering the basics. Things that a lot of people, at some level at least, already know. What’s less obvious is that positive and negative energies aren’t the only forces that influence us and the people around us. Various emotions and feelings can be used to change our environment. Maybe you’ve already noticed this too if you’ve ever had a friend or loved one that uses emotional manipulation to get their own way.

You can choose to express calmness and reason to encourage those around you to also calm down and be reasonable. You can also make people stressed by snapping at people and raising your voice. Words, and the emotions they express, have power. Being aware of this helps you to recognise when your own feelings are being affected by the words and actions or others and allows you to regulate and control those feelings, and perhaps exert some of your own influence to bring their feelings inline with your own.

This is much easier on a one-to-one basis. Calming a group of angry and upset people can take a lot out of you, and may even seem impossible, but if you can talk one of them around, then they can help you influence the others. If you can use the opportunity to demonstrate how their emotional expression can affect the emotions of others, they will be better able to work together without any outbursts spiraling out of control.

You’ll see some people, particularly online where people are afforded a certain level of anonymity, say ‘Your reaction is not my responsibility’ after they’ve upset somebody. This is only true if that person is aware that their emotions can be influenced by the words, actions and other emotional expressions of others, and realises that what they’re feeling is a result of the manipulative and emotive word choices of the speaker. Most of the time people just react exactly as the speaker intended, and if they refuse to take responsibility for it then they’re lying to themselves.

Feelings can also be influenced by images, music and smells. That’s why a work of visual art, or a piece of music can make us feel moved. It’s also why aromatherapy can be helpful, and why the smell of certain foods can trigger an emotional response. All of these emotional triggers can be used to influence people and to make their lives better where you can, they can also be used to manipulate, control and bully people too, but that path is going to make you more enemies than it does allies.

Magic is real. It can turn an enemy into a friend. A hobby into a full time job. A hopeless existence into a dream come true. It takes work, persistence and a lot of luck, but I believe that once you start to realise the magic of influence and use it to the advantage of yourself and your loved ones, the luckier you’ll become. It’ll be drawn to you, like magic!

Feel free to discuss this in the comments below, and have a great day 🙂

If you’ve been following me for a while you may already know that I believe in magic. For those that think I’m crazy, please let me explain.

Let’s start with the concepts that are the easiest to swallow. Helping others makes you feel better. Now, this could be explained as simple biochemistry. Helping others is beneficial to the mutual survival of our species, and our bodies reward us with a hit of dopamine for doing it.

It isn’t just other people though. It makes us feel good when we help animals, plants and we even get attached to objects. Why do we feel good when we get the old toaster working again? I think it’s because everything has a life of it’s own and, as a result, is affected by our positive or negative treatment of it. There’s even been experiments done that back up this belief.

I found this video in a short article that concludes that ’emanating positives vibes’ is the way to making the world a better place. That’s where my beliefs differ. I don’t think it’s enough to simply think happy thoughts. I think action is required to really make a positive change, however those actions go a lot more smoothly with a positive radiant attitude.

Basically, I believe that if you help people, people will help you. Not necessarily the same people though. There are plenty of people that will take everything you offer and give nothing back, and those people are not the kind of people that will help you achieve your life goals. However, there will be others that want to help you, and expect nothing in return. At least, they will if you’re a genuinely nice and helpful person. A smile can go a long way. It can do magic.

This feels like hogwash to a lot of people because sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try nothing ever seems to go right for us. I believe that’s because the magic doesn’t just work for you, but also for people that don’t believe in it. Your positivity needs to be strong enough to counter not only other’s negativity, but those whose positive actions interfere with your own.

The more people we have in our lives telling us we can’t do what we’ve set out to accomplish, the harder it is to reach our goals because we fighting against their negative opinion. In some cases the best thing to do is to cut them out of your life entirely and find a new group of people to associate with. Preferably those who are already doing what you wish to do so that you can learn from them how it can be done.

Finding those people and being accepted by them takes a little magic. Not just positive thinking, but positive and helpful action. Be willing to do something for them and expect nothing in return. Ask their opinions and listen to their answers, and let them help you if they want to. Things will start going your way.

Magic hand by ambitiousstudio454

So far I’m just covering the basics. Things that a lot of people, at some level at least, already know. What’s less obvious is that positive and negative energies aren’t the only forces that influence us and the people around us. Various emotions and feelings can be used to change our environment. Maybe you’ve already noticed this too if you’ve ever had a friend or loved one that uses emotional manipulation to get their own way.

You can choose to express calmness and reason to encourage those around you to also calm down and be reasonable. You can also make people stressed by snapping at people and raising your voice. Words, and the emotions they express, have power. Being aware of this helps you to recognise when your own feelings are being affected by the words and actions or others and allows you to regulate and control those feelings, and perhaps exert some of your own influence to bring their feelings inline with your own.

This is much easier on a one-to-one basis. Calming a group of angry and upset people can take a lot out of you, and may even seem impossible, but if you can talk one of them around, then they can help you influence the others. If you can use the opportunity to demonstrate how their emotional expression can affect the emotions of others, they will be better able to work together without any outbursts spiraling out of control.

You’ll see some people, particularly online where people are afforded a certain level of anonymity, say ‘Your reaction is not my responsibility’ after they’ve upset somebody. This is only true if that person is aware that their emotions can be influenced by the words, actions and other emotional expressions of others, and realises that what they’re feeling is a result of the manipulative and emotive word choices of the speaker. Most of the time people just react exactly as the speaker intended, and if they refuse to take responsibility for it then they’re lying to themselves.

Feelings can also be influenced by images, music and smells. That’s why a work of visual art, or a piece of music can make us feel moved. It’s also why aromatherapy can be helpful, and why the smell of certain foods can trigger an emotional response. All of these emotional triggers can be used to influence people and to make their lives better where you can, they can also be used to manipulate, control and bully people too, but that path is going to make you more enemies than it does allies.

Magic is real. It can turn an enemy into a friend. A hobby into a full time job. A hopeless existence into a dream come true. It takes work, persistence and a lot of luck, but I believe that once you start to realise the magic of influence and use it to the advantage of yourself and your loved ones, the luckier you’ll become. It’ll be drawn to you, like magic!

Feel free to discuss this in the comments below, and have a great day 🙂

Back on the ‘Write’ Track

It’s been a good week. The client that hired me to ghostwrite some posts for his Cast Iron forum contacted me again to do three times as many comments for his new Reef Tank forum. I’ve only got ten of them written so far, but I’ll have the rest done by the end of the week.

If you happen to be a reefer yourself (yes, that’s really what reef tank hobbyists call themselves) by all means check the fledgling website out and supplement my ghostwritten comments with some genuine expertise. I knew nothing about the hobby when he asked me. I’ve had to watch a ton of YouTube videos and make lots of notes to get my head around it. It’s a pretty cool hobby.

Also, a local pub that’s been closed for a while is getting new owners. They announced on Facebook that they needed some help moving in, so I volunteered! They were really nice people and even gave me £30 for doing it! So I bought myself this:

DarkCrystalGame

I saw a post about it on Facebook and I had to get it. For those that don’t know, The Dark Crystal is one of the best fantasy movies of all time. Every character in the movie, as well as all the plants and animals, is a creation of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.  I’m really looking forward to playing it.

I’m keeping it sealed until I can do an unboxing video. Then after that, my family and I are going to play it. There’ll be a review article written on GamesNGeekery shortly after that. I haven’t been keeping it up to date, but maybe this will help me get back into the habit. Though it may end up just being and occasional whim rather than a regular thing because…

The best part of the week though was going to the Kidwelly Writers group. I was putting it off because the last writing group I was a little depressing. They didn’t seem to talk much about their own writing, or at all. The sessions involved doing writing exercises that the organiser got from a book.

The Kidwelly group, however, was awesome! They were very talkative and friendly, and they seem to actually have ambition! One of them already has a novel out called ‘Not Thomas’ and another of them is writing full-time, publishing his ‘Deathworlders’ series on Reddit. Apparently his fans insisted he set up a Patreon page so they could sponsor him. It took him three years, but now he doesn’t have to do anything but write.

It reassured me that it was possible to build up a full-time income just from writing stories. I had the right idea back when I was writing a new Hermes925 entry every week, but instead of sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, I should have been using Reddit! This is going to take some studying up because I’m not familiar with Reddit at all. In fact the few times I have checked it out it seems like a confusing mess of categories that I’m not even sure how to navigate. Yet.

I’ve already committed to making The Haunted Story: Investigation and Hermes925 into books (I promised the artist that made the book cover for The Haunted Story: Dead Letter that she could do the next few books as well), but maybe I can turn The War on Magic into a Reddit series after I’ve got the knack of Reddit and tweaked my Patreon page.