Saturday, March 31, 2012

Free Sci Fi ebook - Celebrating my new book coming out

My new ebook has hit Smashwords and will be available soon on Amazon once they have approved it.


"Anthology of Evil" is my collection of short Horror and Sci Fi. This is the final design of the front and back covers.

So in celebration for a short time I'm opening up for free, my currently available short story eBook, Simon's Beautiful Thought. If you haven't yet heard, it's about a guy who falls for his sixth generation cell phone digital assistant, after teaking it a bit. One day he takes her out for lunch (you have to read it to understand how that makes any sense), and from then on his life will never be the same.

Getting back to my Anthology, the titles are as follows, along with a few interesting pieces of information:
  • In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear - Social Horror, a man turns himself into a computer chip to rule the world, or at least, the US
  • Gumdrop City - Horror moves into the neighborhood
  • Quantum History - How is it to wake and not feel quite yourself?
  • The Mea Culpa Document - Life for a witch hunter in old England
  • Poor Lord Ritchie's Answer (To A Question He Knever Knew") - Rich kids have it hard even in medieval times
  • Sarah - psychological horror where Alzheimer's meets Geology
  • The Fall - be careful who you allow to fall in love with you, not that you have a choice
  • Japheth, Ishvi and the Light - The apocalypse hits a religious commune
  • Andrew - what's it like to be five and see the most horrible thing in the world?
My next book to come out will be "Death of Heaven" and hopefully will be out within a week or so after the Anthology. By the way, if you do read it and you had read the Anthology, let's just say you will get an extra, added experience out of it all.

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Head Medical Aurhority in British Columbia speaks out on marijuana war

Really, we need to stop being afraid of the unknown, as they were at the alcohol prohibition time, and make this work. She has some very good points in this statement. Fact has got to outweigh belief. Arianna Huffington said this week that she believes in God because she just knows it. Okay, fine but admit it, that does not work in government millions of people. Decisions have got to be made on fact and the facts here are that warring on one's own citizens, even in metaphor, is untenable and unsustainable. Grow up, stop it.

Oh, and when you're done reading this, check out medicalmarijuana.procon.org.
From the article:

Dr. Evan Wood, founder of Stop the Violence BC, said experts are advocating not for easier access to marijuana but for a regime whereby purchases and production are regulated and taxed. 

“If anyone takes a sober look at the current situation we’re in, it’s a totally unsustainable model. We could do a lot better job in terms of bending public resources in a way that would actually reduce crime and increase public health.

“There’s some bad irony that we’re expecting a federal budget that will make cuts to health and social services, yet billions of tax dollars will go to building prisons to lock up minor drug offenders.” 

The report is co-authored by British Columbia’s provincial health officer.

“Despite the fact that there’s a lot of social costs to illegal drug use, there’s also quite a gulf of evidence that shows what isn’t working with marijuana prohibition,” said Dr. Perry Kendall, the province’s top doctor. 

This report was published in Open Medicine journal and outlines the support from the public-health community for a new approach to these "drug wars" Finally, acknowledging the ineffectiveness of, and the great harm that has been caused by the war from national levels on its on citizenry about drugs.  

For the original article

Monday, March 26, 2012

Theists: "Well, I have Faith"

The woman in this video, brings up a good point. First of all, Faith or not, I would consider listen to anything she has to say. Second-- well, I'll let her explain: Hot woman in video talking about talking to a Theist who ends a discussion on religion by saying, "Well, I have Faith," as a way to explain away any thought to questioning if they should be having "Faith" in the first place. Okay, you don't really have to watch the video. I just thought it was a very pleasant video to watch. I mean, to listen to.

The point here is, when you are having a discussion with a Theist, someone who believes in God, or religion (typically, their own religion), and especially if you think you are making a very logical argument against Theism and they hit a wall so that their final response is, "Well, I just have Faith", that does not have to end your argument; as they are hoping, wishing, and praying it will end and you will leave them alone and not question them any further, because you just might "shake" their "faith". And I use a little "f" here on faith because if your "Faith" can be shaken, what the Hell good is it?

Here's the thing....

If you believe in something, you had better understand it well enough that you can find solid ground in believing it. "Faith" in something requires that you have at least a fundemental basis in believing it. Saying that "someone told me and so I believe", or "I believe because my parents taught it to me as a child", are actually reasons NOT to have faith in something.

Furthermore, if you are going to have Faith in anything, you had best check it out beyond simply hearing about it and believing it. Otherwise, you are really kind of a fool, don't you think? And I don't really think any "God" wants fools for believers. Maybe the "Meek" but where does it say anywhere that the Meek are also fools? Where does it say anywhere that "God" goes through all this merely to claim a bunch of weakminded people who do not check anything against anything substantive, in order to "believe" that they will reap rewards in the "afterlife", by doing whatever random thing they are told or taught to believe by others who have been randomly told or taught what to believe by still others?

Now, you can say if you like that people who belive in science are doing exactly the same thing, but they are not. In science you can look at actual physical evidence to prove a point and logic follows. In religion, you are following the "physical evidence" of the written word and religious pundits.

Look, I'm a writer. I write "Speculative Fiction". I take a premise and write fiction from that point on. My writings make more sense than the Bible does. Now don't fly off the handle on that, my writer's are more focused and thought out. Even most Theists should see that is true. The writer's of the Bible were guided by no more than I am: a belief in what is being said, making sense. But, much of what the Bible says simply doesn't make any sense. And I don't pass my works off as non-fiction. I'm sure those people in the past who wrote the Bible meant well, but perhaps were just misguided. On the other hand, they were tasked to do it and people died over it in the end, not to mention "book burnings". It could also have been a situation where it simply worked for them then. But sometimes you do something that is good for now, but 1,000 years from "now", it can become quite destructive.

So, the next time you are in a discussion, a debate on religion and suddenly the other person tries to end it by saying, "Well, I just have Faith" as if that is the end all be all, simply ask them to prove that "Faith" by explaining how what they believe in, makes any sense beyond their having that "Faith". And no, you really cannot go simply back to the Bible to prove what you believe.

Here is another video on research that was done. Ask yourself, why it is that Atheists have more knowledge about religion than Theists do about their own beliefs? Actually you need to ask the opposite question. Who in their right mind would have "Faith" in something, when they don't even know what it is that they are really having "Faith" in? It's scary, really. Terrifying, in some cases.

Another interesting video is by Ajahn Brahm about Buddhism and Atheism and gives examples of situations where a belief in a God actually leads people to make choices they should know are not good but they proceed anyway because they believe that they are expected to, by their "God".

People are voting for political reasons in a way to support what they believe, what they have "Faith" in. They are putting it to the real world test. They are bringing their Theists beliefs into the secular world. Secular because it is in a forum that includes others not of their "Faith" or at times, not of any Theist Faith at all. It would be like my believing in some bizarre sexual lifestyle and wanting to vote that way so that you end up having to live some elements of that. I'm not comparing Theism to sexualism or perversion (well? Uh, no, perhaps not....), I'm pointing out how wrong that would be, to try and bring others into whatever that sick fantasy might be. And no, I don't live a sick fantasy. You can have "Faith" on that.

The point is, in my own examination of what Theists believe toward their having their "Faith" has been much in the same with what they talk about in the video of having found out in the public of today. Many people are simply clueless about what their "Faith" actually entails. At times, believing in total nonsense that even educated Theists within their own "Faith" know to be wrong. So what does that say about all this Right Wing Conservative Political talk on what is "Right" and "Wrong" and what "God" wants of them?

We have masses of people trying to change our country and in some cases the world, based on beliefs of an arcane and somewhat insane fantasy.

If you are going to have "Faith" in anything, Ladies and Gentlemen, PLEASE, at least learn what that Faith is all about. Then, dig even deeper, find out where that information came from. Then keep digging, because you will find what I have found, that it is on a foundation metaphorically based in a "desert of sand during an earthquake". It is a shaky foundation that begins to be lost quickly once put under the bright light of examination.

And that does not make it a "sin" in "God's" eyes. Because to examine your beliefs, your "Faith" better assures you are believing in what your religion desires for you to believe in. Do you realize how many people are out there beliving in total nonsense within their own religion? Quite a lot!

My own Catholic mother years ago was telling me some total nonsense about Catholicism. I asked, where did you learn THAT? She said, "My parents taught me that and I belive them. I have 'Faith'." I couldn't believe it. Then one day a couple of weeks later, we had our Parish Priest over for lunch and this topic came up. He looked at her and I waited to hear who was right, her, or logic and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Trying to hide his being stunned, he said,"Who told you that?" She hesitated. He continued, "Because that is not what our religion teaches, that is not what the Catholic Church tells us. It is completely incorrect." Boom! She had to change her belief. Not that it evoked any fundemental changes in her belief, her Faith.

This was from one of the people in a religion who should know. He was a vibrant, intelligent, educated Priest, not some doddering ancient old fool who is loosing his mind, and there are plenty of them in religion. There are also plenty of fools in religion talking total nonsense. I mean really, there is nothing that complicated about archelology. It's not "Magic". You dig down through layers of dirt and you do essentially go back in time to see what was what. Dinosauers did not live with man or exist a few thousand years ago.

If that is not true and functional then what? "God" is lying to you on purpose? Does THAT make sense to you? The ancient Greeks and Romans used to think their "Gods" were like that, playing Humankind for fools as pawns upon a chessboard of sorts, abusing us for their own amusment. If that is the case, then we are lost and might as well give up now.

So, the next time a Theist tries to end an argument with "Well, I just have Faith," don't let them get away with that cheap shot. Ask them, "what exactly is it that you have faith in?" Give them a chance to convert you. It won't happen. Trust me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Forbidden Zone 2

So, I just heard Rick Elfman is doing Forbidden Zone 2.
That's all I have for now, but I had to mention it.
I've very happy to hear this. I have a signed copy of the original.
Excellent!

Monday, March 19, 2012

On Writing "Death of Heaven" and "Showing the Monster"

As I've mentioned here before, I have a new book coming out called, "Death of Heaven". Actually, I have two books coming out soon. You know, I've been told all my life that I was a very good writer but I never really believed it, or that I could ever actually become a writer. Even though I was a Senior Technical Writer for many years, so I suppose in a way, I already am a writer.

But they say the" truth is in the pudding", don't they? And I do love my pudding. Or was that "putting"? I put it as good as I can, could, uh, goodly can-- would? Actually it is, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". And so, "the proof is in the pudding". Actually actually, the pudding in question was probably a savory and not a dessert. In William Camden's "Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine" (1605): "All the proof of a pudding is in the eating." Camden's list of proverbs also includes, "If you eat a pudding at home, the dog may have the skin"; and so we are most likely referring to a typical sausage.

Well, well, well now.

Well? I was told frequently as a child how that was a deep subject for such a shallow mind as mine. But I won't let an infirmaty or a disability stop me now. Finally, I've decided that I'm going to grab it by the tail and see who salutes. That is, run it up the flagpole and hold on for dear life.

Possibly, I'll just publish and see if anyone reads it.

My first short story online, "Simon's Beautiful Thought" is currently on Smashwords and Amazon. People seem to like this little Sci Fi tale of romance. So far so good. However, compared to my works coming up soon, it's pretty lightweight, almost sweet in a way. My new book, "Anthology of Evil", is a collection of my short stories of horror, humor and science fiction. Shortly after that will be, "Death of Heaven".

We now have the cover done for the anthology and we're working on the cover for "Death of Heaven". This last book is going to be huge in its scope. Perhaps I'm just working out some demons, but I wanted to go as big as I could. There is a little of everything in it. It has links to a short story in the Anthology and one of my Horror/Comedy screenplays (HearthTales) that I have written. Once these are all produced, I think it will be a lot of fun. I think that is all I will say about it for now.

PreRelease version of "Anthology of Evil" cover
Cover art by Genius Artist Marvin Hayes
Okay, on to the point of this article.

JJ Abrams gave a talk on TED a while back. It's pretty interesting and entertaining. It got me to thinking about my book and what I have done with it. I saw three issues to consider in Abrams talk: imagination, how it relates to the entertainment experience ("showing the monster" or not), and communication between artist/author and audience.

First let me point out a couple of things about imagination and "showing the monster" which has a lot to do with how I structured my book and how I tend to work in my writings. Since Abrams is using film points in his talk, I'll use that as a way to exemplify my own points.

When I was very young and in the years following, movies never wanted to show the monster. Because what they had to work with back then was pretty lame. Before I started watching in the 60s, they used to show the monster in those old horror and sci fi movies. I later saw them as a young kid and they almost always let you down. But back then they were at the caveman level of creating (especially Science Fiction) special effects. So the F/X sucked for the most part. Like Robot Monster (1953) where you had an actor in a gorilla suit and they stuck a "spacesuit helmet on it. Pretty sad.

Robot Monster (1953)
Of course there were better ones. "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954), was just an actor in a suit, but it looked pretty cool. And it went underwater. Even though you could see the zipper down the back, you didn't care because they actually let you see the monster and they put enough time and money into it and the story and production values, that it was really pretty cool.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
So we knew it could be done. Not to mention "King Kong" (1933), various photo enlarged bugs, and others. I loved BEMs back then, Bug Eyed Monsters. I think the show "Outer Limits" back then did a lot to explore that area. They were kind of the BEM version of "The Twilight Zone", the gold standard of bizarre speculative fiction. Rod Serling was a genius.


"Them" (1954) was a valiant effort and we accepted it because it was a pretty good movie and they played it for real. But the giant ants in that film, once shown were pretty fake looking. Still it was such a good effort that we appreciated it and accepted it.


"The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957) is still one of my favorites, and probably the most philosophical Sci Fi of that time. But that was more tricks with cameras and lenses. Still, it looked great. They showed the monster, even though it was either a cat, or a spider made to look far bigger in sight and danger than we were used to seeing it. It took the ordinary and made it terrifying.

Producers and studios realized that it was difficult, expensive and time consuming coming up with good monsters and in the end many times, the audience didn't buy it or appreciate it. So they started not showing the monster. That put the impetus upon the viewer to create what scared them and it worked very well.

The unshown monster in that way is scary to each individual viewer. Hitchcock figured this out and Psycho is a perfect example. He did not show in that shower murder scene 90% of what people think they saw. After viewing that film for the first time, people said they remembered seeing Janet Leigh stabbed and naked, neither of which were true.
But let's face it after a while you get tired of doing all the mental drawing yourself. You want to see the monster and you don't want to be let down. So, along came films like "Jaws" (1975) and "Alien" (1979) which frankly, is understood to be "Jaws in Space". Those were scary movies! And in them when you finally see the monster you sure as Hell are not let down. Well, Jaws' shark was questionable but a valiant effort and the rest of the movie was so good that we let it go.
So, they proved that it can be done.

The other issue is in going bigger. Bigger than life. As big as possible. Bigger. And I don't mean, explosions. The James Bond franchise was one of the worst transgressors of this buffoonery for decades, where they really repeatedly went off the deep end time and time again. Of course I blame studio Execs for this kind of idiocy. And the viewing public certainly has its share of the blame to bear.

It's always been my experience that when you hit a certain level, to continue is to simply make a fool of yourself and your project. So it's best to do a 180, otherwise you jump the shark. And Fonzie jumping the shark on his motorcycle has many times been a far better scene than those in some of the films that thought adding gas to the fire made for a more pleasing filmic experience; when in reality it just made for a bigger fire (or explosion).

At some point the bigger is better paradigm breaks down
As for James Bond, give me a more thrilling experience, not a more action experience. I want to leave that theater drained and exhausted, not bored with yet another but bigger explosion. You get into Nukes eventually. Which is what we're supposed to be avoiding, right?

The turn around for me with Bond was "Casino Royale" (2006) with Daniel Craig. The opening scene was excellent. But again, was it a huge explosion? No. It was two people going against each other and exceeding what is thought to be Humanly possible. The opening chase scene with S├ębastien Foucan and his "Freerunning" or "parkour" sport display was amazing and I found it far more thrilling than any explosion.

So, when I was putting my book, "Death of Heaven" together, I wondered: just how big can I go?
And I thought to myself: go as big as you can. So I did. But what? Bigger than a nuke? Okay, I can do that. But then what? What's bigger than a nuke? Exactly.

I went to the biggest things I could think of. For me, that would be the concepts of God, the Universe and the MultiVerse. Or to go the other direction: dark versions of God, the subatomic domain, as that direction seems to go on forever in the same way the Universe does. Some of it you can leave to the imagination, but at some point you have to show, something. At least how I see it.
The connecting factor between those two concepts of big and small is to go far beyond what we know, where anything is fair game and from our current knowledge and experience, anything is possible.
Still when showing the monster you have to show something, but you also have to leave something to the imagination. In films, you actually have to create and show something, be it with physical F/X or digital.
Now a days there is a lot of digital blood spray, fire, smoke, steam, water effects. And they're getting better, but they are still pretty bad in many cases. But they need time to work through it until they evolve and get better. The more they use it, the sooner they will start to appear realistic. And they will as soon as software, hardware and talent get better at it.

So we put up with it knowing it saved money elsewhere in the film and perhaps gave us a better overall experience. Eventually, we really won't know what is real and what is digital. In some cases we are there now, but in many we are still in the fledgling stages of special F/X. I can remember when the really good digital F/X started but were only in films like Star Wars, or Star Trek.

I remember saying that they will really have matured once they are not noticed in films like Braveheart or RomComs, where they blend and enhance the film without anyone realizing they were there. Now, we are pertty much there. But still, the cutting bleeding edge, are the heavy special F/X users, such as sci fi and horror films. Smoke and fluids seem to be the tough ones still to crack.

But in fiction writing, you don't have those constraints. You can use the reader's imagination more and if you do it properly they won't even know it. But I wanted to give the reader as much to work with as possible. So I felt I had to show my work as well as try to draw on the reader's imagination. There is a balance there and when you hit it just right, both reader and author can be highly satisfied and know that they will return to do it again.
Whether or not I have achieved this lofty goal is yet to be seen. So far though, I've gotten good feedback from readers. I put a lot of work into it over a long period of time and I have at some points stretched myself beyond my own creative limits. Because that is how you get better so that one day you will exceed your present capabilities, as you hopefully will the next and the next time. It took a lot of work, and it has caused me some degree of concern.
I think there is definitely a dynamic between author and reader where one can help the other along. It's symbiotic, or it should be. Yes, the author should write what feels right, but you have to pay attention to your audience. Communication of any kind is a two way street. Don't get angry if someone doesn't follow what you are saying, you are the one saying it after all. If they don't get it, you have to adjust so that they do; and yes, they do need to put in the effort to try and understand you. As in any relationship if you both take on the responsibility when the communication isn't working well, to enhance communication from each end, then you will both have a far better experience and understanding than you would originally have had.
 If the author is not getting across what they are trying to say, then who is wrong? The readers? Well, maybe. Sometimes marketing goes vastly wrong. A Romance reader may very well not get a hard Sci Fi story. And the far religious right will probably hate my writings. Mostly because I have put a lot of thought and research into my works and I'm not limited to any artificial boundaries like religion sets for its followers.

I read the Bible many years ago and such books as: The Bhagavad Gita, The Koran (as most Westerners seem to spell it, but then they also say "Buddhist" when really it is "Buddha Dharma", referring to the study of those teachings), and others. But I also researched where the Bible came from, and the others. And I read many other non religious books, historical, scientific, physics and metaphysics, and so on. I also got a University degree and studied psychology (my major) and Anthropology and Sociology.

My brother used to like to tease me saying that college students are "college stupid"; and there is something to be said for that. College isn't the end all be all if you come out of it closed minded in merely a more educated way. And when I graduated I thought again, as I did in graduating High School, or in becoming a teenager that I knew everything. I didn't.

In fact, what college taught me was that as I grew more knowledgeable, I grew to know that I knew less and less about  more and more. Religion is the opposite; as you learn more you actually want to know less and less. You don't want to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, right? Because once you start thinking that way, religion starts to fall apart.

Anyway, I was still better off than before I went to college. In the end you just have to come to terms with exactly what you know.

"A good man knows his limitations", someone once told me. And that is a powerful thing to know.

Whenever you push your limits, as I was mentioning earlier, you are always going to be sweating bullets until the consensus is in. Was it positive? Or negative? Basically, you want to hear what direction it is heading. I just want to know if it's negative or not, at first. Then I want to know the specifics so that hopefully I can learn from it, adjust what I  am doing and in the end, turn out a far superior work next time.

All that being said, sometimes you just have to write. Sometimes you are ahead of the times. Like Van Gogh. But truly, there is no reason as an artist to starve if you pay attention. You can always "do your art" as well as make a living. Being too much the idealist, is immature really, not purist.

If my book isn't selling in say, Spain, then maybe next time around I'll distribute copies there in Spanish. Yes, you should write what you feel, but you should also consider how you need to communicate to your audience. "Art" is not all about doing what you think is right. It's also a form of communication, sharing an experience, taking your viewers into your mind and letting them feel what you feel.

Then again I read some authors because I know they are better at their Art than I am at understanding it and I want to get to where I can understand them, because I know I'll be better for it.
In the end, I just want people to know that I certainly put in the effort in my writings and that I took a chance. Because I felt I really had to. And I always will. That's just who I am. Otherwise, why am I doing it if not to entertain and progressively develop my skills in order to do it again and again? Then hopefully the next time I will be even better at it.

I'm here to entertain and hopefully offer a different way of looking at things, especially the mundane in life. And if I can do that and you take a few new ways of looking at things after reading my works, then I will be a satisfied and proud writer indeed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What is a religious state?

I thought this was an interesting comment that I heard from Director Godfrey Reggio, the Director of 1982's ground breaking film, Koyaanisqatsi:


"Life unquestioned, is life lived in a religious state."

That explains so much, really. Why things are in such a mess in many places as in the most religious there is the least questioned and the most taken on "faith", the bane of scientific inquiry. And we should question, everything. To go through life with one's eyes closed is to leave the innocents to the ravages of nature.

And yes, that includes questioning "God".

Because even if you are religious, if you do not question your God, you are not questioning the posibility that some individual between you and your God, injected something that God never intended.

 And if anything is a sin, that is.

The comment was from the Director of Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi, and he should know, he has the acumen and wisdom to be accurate in such a statement over that of most of us, I should think. His having gone into a monastery at fourteen and come out at twenty-eight, makes him much more educated on this topic than those of us who have haphazardly learned our beliefs out in the world where the level of ignorance is heightened not unusually blurred; sometimes even, purposely.

So don't be ashamed, fearful, or reticent to question authority, at whatever level. Because any true God will not be offended but appreciative that you are trying to find the True Word and not one adulterated by nefarious injections.

Or, just trust Scientific Inquiry.

It's up to you. Just remember what being in a "religious state" means and don't let it turn you into one who is too scared of your own shadow to ask questions, or use the brain that your God allegedly gave you. Because, someone gave it to you for some reason. Or it was mere happenstance and so you essentially gave it to yourself and so if that's the case, I would make the best use of it possible.

But either way, I'm pretty sure that wherever it came from, it wasn't meant not to be properly used.

Monday, March 5, 2012

When am I a writer?

On Bill Moyer's new show on PBS, "Moyers & Company", the Poet Chis Wiman said that he hadn't written a poem in two months and he doesn't feel like a poet. He said that when he writes a poem, then he feels like a poet and then he is a poet. But in between those times, he is only a person like anyone else. Prose, he said, you can do anytime, but poetry is something that comes only on those occassions when you are tapped into something special. 

I think that is an important and salient point.

Many people like to say they are a Writer. There are many ways for people to be whatever they like now. You can write a book and throw up a first draft online and say you are now a writer. You can talk about writing and never do it, and tell people you are a writer. You can write not a letter and claim you are a writer.

But what makes you a writer? More importantly, when, are you a writer?

Are you a writer because you write? Or is it about the quality, or the volume of your writings? Is it if you get paid for your writings? Is it if you are given a lot of money by a single entity, a company, a corporation? Is it if you are paid individually by the individuals who read your writings? Is it by peer review, or by critique by knowldgeable other writers who designate you, a Writer?

If you want to be a Writer, get up in the morning, and put pencil or pen to paper and write. Put your fingers on the keyboard and write. Lift them when you have to. Any less than that slows and decreases the speed at which you will achieve your goals.

Of course you have to eat, work, clean, have a family, rest, relax, make love and be loved. But it is a fine balance. The more of one, the less of another. You decide what your priorities are. Would you prefer that TV show? Or produce a piece of writing? Enjoy time to play, or become what you want to become, sooner?

I liked what Mr. Wiman said about being a poet.

When I write, I am a writer. But further, it has to have some quality to it. Surely, a bunch of letters written, is not writing. So, when I am producing a piece of writing that has a quality that is above what anyone can do; when it is above the quality of most writers, then I am a Writer, and especially so.

When it is accepted as good enough for me to be paid for it, I am a Writer. When I am given praise by readers who spend their hard earned labors turned into currency, that they transfer to me for what I have produced, then I am a Writer. When I write a piece that touches my own soul, even if I show it to no one else, then too, I am a Writer.

But as Mr. Wiman indicated, I am first and foremost a writer when I write. That, is the first step. You have to write first, to be considered a Writer. You have to continue  being a Writer, to continue being considered a Writer. If and when you do that, only then can you consider yourself, a Writer.

And when you stop? Then you are no longer a Writer. So if you want to be considered a writer....

Write.