Archive for the 'Purpose' Category

EVERYBODY wants to be Famous (on the internet)




I’ve noticed a pattern on the web that I really should have noticed earlier: it seems that everyone with a website (even just Twitter!), are aiming for fame in some form. (This applies to my travel writer friends, too.)

Think about it. Nearly everyone I see on social media sites is clamoring to get the word out about their latest album, article, blog post, photo… and yes, even book.

This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing if it is done politely and with balance (i.e.; sending something other than promotional messages most of the time). But more and more, I see this undercurrent becoming stronger over time.

It’s almost as if people feel that they need famous in order to be successful.

But is this really true? What is success, anyway? Is it being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want? Is it being able to affect the people you wish to affect? Is it merely being able to feed yourself by doing work that you love?

Any of those answers could be true for you (or none at all), because if you look at it completely honestly, success is a highly personal idea.

If you feel like you need 50,000 twitter followers or 10,000 Facebook friends to be successful in your work, I encourage you to rethink your assumptions about what success is.

A childs footsteps on Makalawena BeachThe truth is, we are all obscure on some level.

Even Hugh Howey, one of the most successful independent authors of his era, would be completely unrecognized if he walked down the streets of Manhattan. The reality is that unless you’re one of the mega-famous people, you are straight up obscure to the public. So don’t worry about obscurity. Everyone has some level of it.

Fame isn’t the point; serving the people you want to serve is.

It’s been said that it takes just 1,000 true fans to support an artist, and while that idea has been met with some criticism over the years, the math works out. It is indeed true if you sell something of significant value to them every year.

Do you really want to be famous, or do you just want to make a living off of what you love? It’s an important distinction, and how you answer that question will affect how you talk to your audience and how your audience talks back to you.



The Truth Beyond the Sky is OUT: A Modern Myth of Galactic Proportions




The adventure changes today. For the better.

In his famous work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell wrote that when stories are shortened to “bites,” all of the most profound symbolism (and therefore the deeper meanings and nourishments) are left out. And this is pretty sad, to be honest.

“A superficial story,” he writes, “colludes in supporting a mad culture that insists that human beings remain frazzled, ever on the run, rather than inviting them, by the telling of a compelling story at some length, to slow down, to know that it is alright to sit down now, that it is good to take rest, and to listen with one’s inner hearing to something that is energizing, engaging, instructive, and nourishing in one way or another.”

You see, over the last four years I have been keeping a secret from you: I have been hard at work on such a story, a story that would energize, instruct, enthrall, and hopefully even nourish you. Over the past year, I have realized that, at my core, I am not a “writer” in the traditional sense as much as I am a storyteller. And because of its unique qualities, I believe this story has the potential to expand the conversation around modern myths. At least, if we’re lucky.

A Modern Myth of Galactic Proportions

The Truth Beyond the Sky front coverThe practical upshot of all of this is that I have indeed written an SF novel, the completion of which is the culmination of years of research, plot refinement, writing, and revision. And revision. And more revision… until I felt it was right.

But perhaps even more important than its science fiction elements is the fact that it is an adventure story about loss and hope, courage and fear (and yes, even purpose), which is why as a reader of this site, I know you’ll LOVE it.

And on 12/12/12, I formally released it on the Amazon Kindle store. It’s called “The Truth Beyond the Sky,” and the 310-page paperback edition is pictured here.

Later, I found out that a happy accident had occurred, and that its particular shade of blue seems to magically change depending on the surrounding environment.

But let’s get to the gift I have for you, as a reader of this site.

My Gift to YOU

The Secret Beneath the Ice front coverIf you’ve been following along over at the Aravinda Publishing blog, you already know this, but in case not, I’ll bring you up to speed.

Throughout autumn, I had wanted to write a short story to give you a free taste of this incredible world, and now that it’s out (and getting 5 star reviews on Amazon), I feel really good that I was able to create a short story that not only provides a great jumping-off point into the book, but that is being called a great story in its own right.

That short story is called “The Secret Beneath the Ice,” and I’m releasing it for free over at Smashwords in ALL of the popular formats, as well as the Kindle store.

I know Amazon gives you the ability to read the first 5 or so chapters of the novel, but I feel that giving you a complete story with a clear beginning, middle, and end, gives you a better feel for my storytelling style. So feel free to grab the short story over at Smashwords. Or over at the Amazon Kindle store.

And if you enjoy it, I know you’ll love “The Truth Beyond the Sky.”

UPDATE: Amazon has finally price-matched the short story to FREE on the Kindle store, so anyone with a Kindle or a device with the Kindle app can easily download the short story directly to their device, completely free! Get it on Amazon here!

A Taste of What People Think

The story within this book has been fermenting within my soul for a long time, and I’m incredibly excited to finally share it. I’ve also decided to price the ebook of the novel very aggressively at $2.99 to reach as many people as possible. So if you have a Kindle or have an Amazon account (their Cloud reader works on almost anything with a web connection) and you like SF or Adventure stories, I suspect you’ll enjoy the ride.

After all, I’m already getting incredible reviews on Amazon. This reviewer, for example, really seemed to get it:

5 starsAwesome, an Epic Adventure! — 2012.12.16
What a great read! This has everything I could ask for in a space adventure.

The story begins with a young astronomer named Zahn on the planet Avani, who lost his mother years earlier when she mysteriously disappeared. Struggling with the loss, he manages to hold out hope that she is still alive somewhere. One day, an envoy named Oonak from the Confederation of Unity crash lands on Avani and, through an act of fate, crosses paths with Zahn. Oonak asks Zahn for assistance with an urgent mission, and that launches Zahn’s grand adventure through space and time, toward the truth of what happened to his mother, and into confrontation with a terrible galactic menace.

Without giving too much away, the plot only becomes more epic from that point forward. Story elements include jump gates, travel outside spacetime, explorations of alien worlds, Cthonic evil, high-tech gadgets, intelligent ships, a mythical device reminiscent of the Holy Grail, plenty of action and space battles, and some intriguing interpersonal dynamics between the four protagonists.

There are some strong spiritual overtones as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the underlying philosophy of the book, the mythos, shares much in common with the best of metaphysical literature. Readers of the Law of One books may find familiar the philosophical thread woven throughout “The Truth Beyond the Sky.” In my view, that makes this book a rare gem in the genre.

Overall, I found it an entertaining read with enjoyable characters and a colorful plot. The ending was satisfying, and turned out to only be the beginning, so I eagerly look forward to Crusoe’s upcoming sequels. Highly recommended.
~ T. Cox

It feels amazing to finally be sharing this story with the world. I know that much is uncertain in this strange times, but one thing is certain: everything is going to change now. I can feel it.

Get the short story for Free on Amazon →
Or go straight to “The Truth Beyond the Sky” →

(Pretty eventful article for being article #250, wasn’t it? Funny coincidence.)



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