I write in multiple genres.
My first love has always been sci-fi and fantasy, but they are not the only genres I work in. I have written several forms of poetry, journalism, and even started a venture around the idea of business writing. I blog at least twice a week, and look for other opportunities to wordsmith whenever I can.
I have on several occasions taken up the challenge of National Novel Writer’s Month. NaNoWriMo occurs every November, and the challenge is to bang out a 50,000 word novella in 30 days. Though I have participated in NaNo about 7 times, I have successfully completed a novella on 4 occasions.
I have chosen with this to write in an unusual genre or form for myself. One year I stuck to my strength and wrote a fantasy, that’s true…but my other three completed stories are not my usual subject matter. One year I wrote a technothriller (which could be sci-fi, arguably…but I do not consider it such). One year I wrote a humorous narrative of the life-changing event when I was struck by a car while crossing a street (wherein I gained the titanium in my body that is part of where the name of this blog comes from).
One year I took my inspiration from Paulo Coelho. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I cannot highly recommend enough The Alchemist (which, as of this writing, has been on the NY Times best seller’s list a record 356 weeks). This is a fable, an inspirational tale of following your dreams and discovering your “personal legend”. It doesn’t hurt that the audiobook recording is narrated by Jeremy Irons.
Beyond The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has written dozens of novels, often spiritual, inspirational and in some cases semi-autobiographical. None are terribly lengthy, but I have yet to read one that I did not enjoy. I am, in fact, currently reading his most recent novel, Adultery.
Inspired by Paulo Coelho’s work, I crafted my own story in a similar vein. I wrote in first person (which is unusual in-and-of-itself, as most of my fiction is in third person), and I took my own need for some spiritual journeying and embellished reality.
I have visited Sedona, Arizona several times. I have hiked all over the city, and through the incredible red-rock structures and trails therein. Sedona is known in the new-age and hooky-spooky community as a hub of Energy Vortexes. What’s an energy vortex? It is a place where people can deeply feel spiritual and psychic energies. If you are into that sort of thing, it’s extremely cool and a pretty intense sensation and a deep feeling of peace and love and spirit (and if you are not into that sort of thing, it sounds pretty crunchy-granola-hippy).
If my blog does not hint at this enough, I am a relatively spiritual person. I consider myself energy sensitive, and I practice Reiki (an energy healing modality). I am still, I think, a fairly grounded person, but I believe in the ability to commune with nature and to create reality through consciousness to build the life we most desire.
My own experience on a couple of these hikes to Sedona, coupled with inspiration from Paulo Coelho’s works led me to write Vortex Pilgrimage. I gave my own spiritual journey a fantastical reality, and wrote what I hope might be an entertaining and maybe inspirational story.
I am taking the necessary steps to prepare Vortex Pilgrimage for publication. To wit, the in-process back-cover text:
What lengths will we go to in order to find ourselves?
There comes a point in everyone’s life where they want to really get to know their heart, mind and soul. Some of us take journeys of discovery – some literal, some metaphorical. All have the same goal – to better understand who we are and what we are meant to do with our lives.
Sedona, Arizona is known for its unique energy vortexes. People have had some amazing experiences in these sacred places, and have sought them out to further their own self-understanding and connections to the world around them.
On a pilgrimage to Sedona, a man crosses the gateway at the vortex, entering an alternate reality where he is his idealized self. There he meets masters who take him on a journey of self-discovery through trials and lessons as he works to become a stronger, wiser and better person.
A fictional adventure of the spirit relatable to everyone in the here-and-now, Vortex Pilgrimage is a fable for the modern age.
I have considered if I should publish this under a nom de plume, but I have already previously published magazine and online news-site articles clearly not sci-fi or fantasy as MJ Blehart.
I enjoy this story, and I hope that you might as well. It is my intent to release Vortex Pilgrimage sometime in July.
Watch this space for more updates.
PS – Finder (The Source Chronicles Book 2) is still targeted to come out in November.
PPS – Have you acquired your copy of Seeker (The Source Chronicles Book 1)? If you enjoyed it, have you told your friends to get a copy?