Lost Haven

losthavenfeaturedGreetings, Dreamers!

Summer has come and as a result I’ve been busy.  But fear not, I have been working on new material, including Book II, The Unkindness.

Today’s post is to remind everyone that there is an interim novella available on Kindle called Lost Haven.  This story happens a few weeks after the Halloween events in Waking Dream: Devlin.  The purpose of this novella was to give my readers a better understanding of my concept of Weirdness.  There are several different forms displayed in this novella, hopefully enough to spur your own creative juices so you can help me build the world.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I created the Waking Dream universe so that others could add to it, long after I am gone — such as Lovecraft fans continue to create new stories around the Cthulhu mythos.

Lost Haven is a fast paced story about a mysterious group of individuals called The Order of Seers.  It features several new characters as well as a couple of characters from the first book.

I had to throw my hat into the Zombie genre, just a tad, and give my take on the phenomenon.  While the story is primarily dark fantasy, it does have horror elements.  I try not to limit the story, because life nor the universe is limited.  Anything can happen in the Waking Dream.

You can buy Lost Haven for a mere .99 cents on Amazon!  It is certainly worth it for anyone who wants to explore the Waking Dream even further.

Soon, I will be releasing another novella, right before Book II.  “Shadows on the Soul” completes my trilogy of terror and my homage to H.P. Lovecraft, which started with “The House of the Dead Timbers” and “The Case Study”.  “Shadows on the Soul” will be available by the end of summer.  Even though they are horror tales, they all related, in some way, to the Waking Dream.  Can you find the connections?

I thank you all again for your wonderful support of my writing.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Lift Me Back Up To The Sun

sun-e1267491079993Greetings, Dreamers!

There is code embedded in our genes. Much of this is governed by mathematical constants, ratios and equations.  Why?

We do not know.

The beauty of our sun is irrefutable–a star adrift amongst a multitude of other kindred stars, a family so impossibly large one cannot be special.  The family is called the Main Sequence.  And we have found, spiraling around these other kindred stars, there are alien planets, strange and beautiful in their own right.  One can look at any planet, either within or beyond our Solar Family, and find beauty in it, something wonderful.

One of my favorite books, and one of the first I ever read, is The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury — the Martian genocide.  The allegory was immediately apparent to me, but, as I grow older, I find new rabbit holes to explore philosophically each time I read it.  I have always been fascinated with ancient cultures, even fictitious ones.  The strange, yet alluring, appeal to the Martian culture, for me, was its foundation in humility.  History does not make a philosophy real — meaningful thoughts create the future of any philosophy.  All we need do is not repeat the mistakes of the past, and history becomes irrelevant.  The Martians as Bradbury created them were beautiful and admirable.

With spring here, we are often reminded of the beauty that exists in and beyond our world — despite the chaos and discontent depicted on the nightly news.  Winter brings isolation, hibernation and introspection as we huddle beneath quilts, blankets and layers of clothes.  Spring unleashes our creativity, with the palette of color splashed over our gardens, forests and parks.  We take up our shovels and rakes to restore our yards to what we had before the cruel winter stripped it all away, leaving its mark as if to remind us that it will come again.

Now, you are probably wondering why I am mentioning all this. Why mention the Martians, beauty and our sun?  The answer is as simple as the answer to the purpose of life.  Life’s only purpose is the pure enjoyment of being.

There is a great deal of turmoil in our world, and it does not seem that there is an end in sight.  It is not isolated to one region, people or country.  It is a systemic problem that we continue to ignore.  The Martian Chronicles is a quintessential lesson on how we as humans trod clumsily through our existence, scarcely aware of the problems we cause because we have not reached a deeper understanding of the nature of the universe or ourselves.

Life is a waking dream — we can mold it, enjoy it, and improve it– but first we must recognize we have the power within us.  The purpose of my series The Waking Dream, is not only to entertain my readers, but also to plant that seed of suspended disbelief.  Once we start to collectively understand that things can be better, we will crave for them to be better.  This requires that we all get involved.  And this has been my steadfast message.

For me, the Waking Dream is to create a culture much like the Bradbury’s Martians.  A life full of philosophical discussion, creating beautiful things, and embracing the harmony that comes from a collective understanding, and engineering, of our reality.  The easiest way to begin is to look skyward to the real master of our world, the Sun.  Without its nurturing warmth, and tumultuous demeanor,  our lives would be very different.  But despite the dangers associated with being dependent on the sun, and its cyclical temper tantrums, it is nonetheless beautiful.

Our world is beautiful, yet, we were discontent to stay in the safety of its caves and caverns, so we have built temporary empires which will be long forgotten when we are no more.  The sun and Earth will exist beyond our brief moment in history — billions of years beyond our comprehension.  Each moment, each breath, each thought should be cherished.  We learn from mistakes and move forward, ever pushed by the arrow of time.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned the code embedded in our genes that define our existence.  This is only the operating system.  We are all programmers with a keen, yet often overlooked, ability to write new code, new apps.  These apps are not limited to our smart devices — “smart” being a grossly overstated term.  We can reorder things by reprogramming the world around us — we do it all the time.  Every time you move something from one side of the room to the other, you are reprogramming your environment, but this is only the most fundamental ability we have — overcoming gravity.

If we embrace the possibility that the universe is ours to mold, then we can explore new avenues of consciousness.  We all have special abilities which we tend to ignore or keep to ourselves, for fear of being labeled negatively.  We have a nasty habit of admonishing those who are different from the rest of the herd.  This is an instinct we must learn to overcome.  Are the things that interest you really things you enjoy, or do you do them because everyone else is?  This is a flaw in our societal structure.  We are individuals first, and community second.  At the end of it all, you will leave this planet by yourself — how do you want to be remembered?

I’ve talked on many occasions about our inherent abilities, things we don’t talk about with a sense of earnestness — telepathy, empathy, telekinesis,  communing with the dead.  But why are these concepts so difficult for us to grasp as possible.  Nothing is impossible, and we know this due to our exploration of the quantum world.  However, some things are highly improbable.  For instance, a single electron has the probability of being anywhere in the universe at a given moment — the probability never makes it to zero.  They pop in and out of existence in ways we cannot understand.  There are strange attractions between certain particles that allow them to communicate with one another instantaneously over limitless space, defying what we know about the speed of light.  We have only just begun Kindergarten in the school of the universe.

The code in our genes is what allows us to operate on auto-pilot — breathing, protecting, foraging.  It also tends to hinder us as we rely on our instincts as well as our social engineering to define us.  Whenever I feel as if I am straying from the path I’ve set before myself, I look to the sun and ponder its existence.  From a distance it is a perfect orb of glowing life, but up close it is a tempest of plasma and fire.  The same can be said of our world.  From a distance it is a shining jewel in the crown of the sun, but as we look beneath the clouds, we are a hurricane raging across the planet, unable to find peace in our existence.  We are ever rushing forward to meet the future without taking time to enjoy the now.

We must look to the future, so that we can clear a path through existence.  But we must ensure that we don’t forget to enjoy our being.  The easiest way for one to do that is to step away from the computer, go outside and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, smell the fragrance of life being renewed, and look within ourselves and ask, “Am I happy?”  This question is the most difficult to explore.

Today the sun is shining, and it is a pleasant day.  Despite being at work, I steal moments to stand outside and look to the sky.  Summer is coming, the flowers are in bloom, and before we know it, we will be back in hibernation.  But in the time we are active, we should explore new ways, within ourselves, to change the world around us.  Things are not horrible, but they are not what we should want.  We should collectively create a dream in which we all are happy, and each of us must strive to make it happen.

You are more than you think you are.  We are all stars, we are all god, we are all beautiful.  Be different, be yourself, be wonderful and the universe will reveal itself to you.

 

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Books to Dream By

used-booksGreetings, Dreamers!

I have not forgotten about the rest of the story I started, however, lately I have been working on several different projects that have been coordinating.  But, things are moving along nicely.

Before I get into today’s post I did want to mention that there are several things coming out over the next few months that may be of interest to you:

1) The Little Book of Dreams: This is the bible or Necronomicon for the Waking Dream.  It is a major expansion on material that I have already published on The Way of the Weird. I feel its time that you should know more about the Waking Dream.

2) Getting to Devlin:  This is a Waking Dream Young Adult novel, with events leading up to the first novel, Waking Dream: Devlin.  This is a collaborative work.

3) Super Secret Project:  I am collaborating with others on a series and though it is not a Waking Dream novel, it will have elements of the Waking Dream woven within.  I will have more information on this in the coming months.  I am very excited about the project.

4) Waking Dream: The Unkindness:  I have been working diligently on this book, however,  I feel I want to take my time  until others are more familiar with the series.  Fear not, it is coming, and you won’t see it coming.

5) Shadow of the Soul: This is another Lovecraftian piece I am working on for exclusive publication on Kindle and it will be finished by mid summer.

I thank you all for your continued support!  Now, my top 13 books to dream by.  These books were major inspiration to my writing, and I feel everyone interested in my work would find these books equally inspiring:

  1. Illusions by Richard Bach
  2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  3. The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein
  4. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  5. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
  6. Experiences by Arnold Toynbee
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  9. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  10. The Stand by Stephen King
  11. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  12. The Seekers by Daniel Boorstin
  13. Watership Down by Richard Adams

I mention these particular books because they were instrumental in helping me formulate my ideas about life, spirituality and the universe.  All of these I have read numerous times, and each time, I find something new and noteworthy as a read.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Happy Exploring!

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Blog Tour: Great Minds

sleep-tight_826049Greetings, Dreamers!

Mark Meier, a fellow writer, asked me to join a blog tour last week.  I am very grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and be asked to join in the fun!

Before I answer the questions for the tour, I’d like to introduce another blogger/writer with amazing insight and ability, Victoria Craven.  Victoria runs the blog, The Autodidact in the Attic, which focuses on the macabre, horror and a wide variety of intellectual stimulus.  Here is her bio:

V.L. Craven lives with her husband and pets. She writes fiction—both short and long—and reviews of books, films & art, as well as essays, articles and interviews with all sorts of interesting people.

She’s always appreciated the darker side of life, which is the focus of her blog The Autodidact in the Attic, (see also its Facebook page). TAitA has reviews of books, films, art, apps and games (and interviews with creators of those things) that will appeal to people with an interest in the macabre or gothic.

Other Ways to Interact with Her:
On Twitter: @vlcraven
On Tumblr: vlcraven.tumblr.com
On Goodreads: V. L. Craven

She will be posting her answers to the blog tour questions next Monday, so do yourself a favor and check out her amazing site.

Now on to my answers:

1) What am I working on?

I am always working on a variety of projects simultaneously,  that’s just how my brain works.  Right now,  I am doing a serial short story on this blog, writing Book II in the Waking Dream Series — The Unkindness — and I am involved in a collaborative series with two other authors (details to come later this year).  My Waking Dream Series is the primary focus and I am always doing research as the it covers alternate history, philosophy, and science.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write novels and short stories.  My short stories tend to be very dark.  My favorite short stories are the ones I write in Lovecraftian style.  I am no Lovecraft, mind you, however I have enormous respect for his creations and imagination.

The Waking Dream series is really a mixture of many genres, so it is very hard to put it in any one box — I am not a fan of being pigeonholed.  The Waking Dream Series is an attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  Much of the subject matter is based on years of research.  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and the supernatural — specifically the potential of the human mind.  The Waking Dream is my attempt to present a plausible framework for readers to suspend their disbelief and explore their own lives.  Life is a dream, if you really think about it.  We always have control over how our lives go, no matter the situation.  And once you believe that, you can do anything.

The Waking Dream series has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, romance, dystopia, apocalyptic events and fantasy.  It is very dark.  One of my fans put it, “It’s the Matrix meets The Stand”.  The first book is my Fellowship of the Ring. It is the twilight before the sun sets on our world. The subsequent books will descend further into the darkness of reality and the human mind.

One final note, there are many things hidden within the stories and novels, tying them together as well as giving avid readers something to discover within the text.  Everything in the Waking Dream Series is carefully calculated.  What have you found hidden within the story?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to create worlds.  The Waking Dream is, as I mentioned, an attempt to impart all I’ve learned about the human condition and get the reader to explore and create their own dream.  The world seems to be at an impasse, and we are not moving forward as we should from a philosophical sense.  While the Waking Dream is fiction, there are elements of truth in ever sentence I write — the things I believe to be true.

I write the Lovecraftian stories because I want his legacy to continue, as well as many other authors.  Being able to create a story that emulates the master gives me a sense of humility.  Many writers have walked in his footsteps, but his personal commitment to his craft is something to be admired, respected and remembered for all time.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a specific process for writing.  When I feel like writing, I write.  And because I have a wide variety of projects I am working on at any given time, I choose the project to work on that most suits my particular mood.  I believe that an author needs to be prolific to be successful.  Very few authors become successful with one book, or even their first book.  The more work you have out, you have a better chance of being discovered by new readers.  It is a snowball effect.

One thing I do tend to stick to in any project is that I usually begin with an illustration.  Next to writing, illustrating is one of my favorite hobbies.  I have over 50 illustrations for the Waking Dream,  as well as maps.  I want the Waking Dream to be similar to the Cthulhu Mythos so that other authors can contribute their own stories to the ever-growing Waking Dream Universe.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into my writing career.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading my work, which is listed on the right side bar.  Please be sure to check out Victoria Craven’s answers next Monday on her blog.

Happy Monday!

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The Fate of the Waking Dream

cold-heartGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for my recent, extended absence.  Most of you know that I am a very prolific blogger, and the last few months I’ve been rather crestfallen and that does not make for good inspiration.

I know many of you are wondering what’s going on with Book II for the series, as well as my other writing endeavors.  I have had little inspiration lately as a result of some events that have been transpiring over the past few months and they have snowballed into a full on winter of the brain.  But I am back to Book II, which is half way done, and I have other stories coming as well.  Soon you will find out the fate of our world– the Waking Dream.

I apologize to all of you who think I may be ignoring you, or have found others more interesting to chat with, that is not the case.  I appreciate all of my blog, Facebook and Twitter friends.  And I promise, now that the weather is warming, I will be in a much more verbose mood.

The first book of the series is still available, and slowly gaining traction.  It’s very hard to get the word out for your book, especially being a new author.  My other self-published books are steadily selling, and that’s a good thing.  I will not be publishing my future books with my current publisher, but rather moving forward on my own.  I have learned a great deal about this industry, more than I wanted to know, and I feel wholeheartedly that the best course for any new writer is to begin with self-publishing.  I have seen many professional organizations for authors starting to change their view of the self-published author.  And in general, the only person who can really sell your book is YOU.  It comes from your heart, soul and mind.  No one will ever be able to do justice to your story but you.

When you are long gone, people will read your work and try to understand what you were trying to convey — debate it, degrade it or deify it.  This one point is the sole reason I adopted autodidactism as my personal educational journey.  I have learned that I cannot follow the herd in a classroom, because I cannot be taught in a linear, structured fashion.  And, this  realization occurred in the fall of 1991 in my American Literature class.  I majored in English, of course, and one particular day will stick in my mind forever.

We were dissecting “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Poe.  The professor had made an assertion, which he wanted to impress on the students, that the narrator was the one who was insane, and not Madeline and Roderick.  This is not to say that it may or may not be true, however, the professor was asserting that it as fact.  I am a huge fan of Poe, and of course, I had to weigh in this debate.  It became very heated, and I finally asked him, “Did you meet Poe and get the answer from him?”

As a result, I was asked to leave the class.   This was both a victory and an epic fail because, unfortunately, I had the same professor for my next class.  I left college shortly there after, realizing that I was trapped in a box.  The man in a box.

Now that I am an author, I have had many people tell me their take on my story, and I love to talk about it with them, because its more than a story, it’s an exploration of our universe, and my/your inner-self.  Make the dream, own the dream and live the dream.  I write because I enjoy it, but it also carries the sum of all I have learned about our weird existence.

I thank you all for your steadfast support.  And I have decide I will publish a new short story, inspired by my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby — with a Waking Dream twist of course.  That’s assuming I get the permissions to use the name

I hope everyone is slowly thawing out from this brutal winter.

Happy thoughts!

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Immortal Memories Review

Immortal MemoriesGreetings, Dreamers!

Just wanted to share with you an awesome review of my latest publication, Immortal Memories.

You can read a synopsis of the stories here.  They are self-contained stories about the Immortals that inhabit the Waking Dream Universe.  Each story is of a different genre, and set in various time periods over the last 200 years.  There is something for everyone!

You can read the unbiased review by Victoria Craven at

http://theautodidactintheattic.com/2014/02/21/immortal-memories-by-michael-hibbard/

These stories are very different than my horror stories, but they are collectively an adventure across two centuries as seen through the eyes of ancient beings.

Enjoy!

Back again and here to stay!

Greetings, Dreamers!

I just wanted to update you all on my status as of late.  The Flu that I had for two weeks, completely destroyed my rhythm of writing and my daily life.  It is only now that I am able to get back into the swing of writing again.

I have a bit of news to relay.

1) Waking Dream: The Unkindness has been pushed back for obvious reasons, and I think we are looking at a late spring release.  This book will be much more involved that the first, and truly sets the stage for the rest of the series.

2) I will be no longer doing serial stories on the site, as it has presented an editing and continuity nightmare.  I will be finishing “The Shadow of the Soul” as a single post in the near future.  I am also working on a short story for submission to magazines,  that will not be published on the blog — “The Darkling Imp at Twilight”

3) I am very excited to tell you that I have been asked by two best-selling authors to work with them on a new mystery series.  There will be 12 books in all, and I will be writing two of them!  More details to come on that once everything has been agreed on.

I will work on “The Shadow of the Soul” over the long weekend, and have it done for you hopefully by next week!  I will also be giving a synopsis of my new short story series, “Tales from the Supernaturalist”.  This series will be written in Lovecraftian style, with “The Darkling Imp at Twilight” as the introduction to our would-be hero, Zachary Tyler.

Thank you all for remaining loyal to my blog in my absence!

Enter the Lost Haven – Free for 5 days!

HavenGreetings, Dreamers!

In anticipation of Waking Dream: The Unkindness, Book II in the Transformation Series, I am making Lost Haven available for free.

Following the events at the Halloween celebration in Devlin, an ancient society is forced from the shadows, The Order of Seers.  Their order is slowly being assassinated, one by one and they discover there is a traitor in their midst.

Left with no option other than to destroy their Haven in Germany, they are forced to seek out a long forgotten Haven outside the town of Devlin.  As a result, they are forced to enlist the aid of their spy in the town of Devlin to uncover the identity of their assassin.

If you’ve not read the rest of the first book in the series, here is a free opportunity to explore the Weirdness that is The Waking Dream.

 

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Unkind Update 2

UnkindnessGreetings, Dreamers!

I have been asked by several fans  when Book II, The Unkindness, will be available.

At present, I am over a third of the way through the manuscript, and editing has begun chapter by chapter.

I am still on target for February, but I am not ready to set a definitive release date.  However, I will keep you updated as I progress.

As an indication, my editor started reading Chapter 1 and got so involved in the story that they forgot they were supposed to be editing.  So I take that  as a good sign that the story will suck you all in.

In the mean time, you can still get Lost Haven for .99 cents on Amazon Kindle.  I am also preparing it for other devices now.  And the price will be the same across all platforms.  I will also be releasing The Case Study and The House of the Dead Timbers in these formats.

And if you have not read Waking Dream: Devlin, you can read the reviews on Amazon, hear and see interviews about it by selecting one from the Interview menu at the top.  Take a chance and visit the town of Devlin.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Though Lost Haven was meant to be a stand alone story, it is really just Book 1.5 for the series, giving the reader some insight into the more esoteric aspect of the series, and sets up a completely separate plot line that I will explore in other interludes.

Again, thank you all for your support!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Thank You!

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for downloading my free eBooks The Case Study and The House of the Dead Timbers!

It was really quite a success!  The Case Study made it to #5 on the best-selling free short story list and stayed there for 3 days!

The House of the Dead Timbers made it to #8 and stayed there for 2 days!

Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II is basically writing itself.  I am still on schedule for a February release, because I know you’re all dying to find out what happens next!

In the mean time, you can read Lost Haven, a Waking Dream Interlude, which happens between Book I and Book II.

I am very thankful to you all who have been supportive of my work, and have helped me improve my craft with your thoughtful comments, tweets and reviews.

Happy New Year to you all!