OlympianFourteen years ago, I penned the first words to The Olympian, A Tale of Ancient Hellas.

“I was 12-years old when my father took me to my first Olympic Games.”

Yesterday, I read a review on Amazon by ‘Kevin.’  I know nothing about Kevin other than his posted reviews on Amazon indicate he is an ancient history aficionado.  Kevin posted his review a month ago in January 2016.  I don’t often check my books on Amazon, but I am glad I checked yesterday.  Kevin’s comments are greatly appreciated.  He writes,

Think of the most beautiful song you have ever heard. Now imagine reading a book that makes you feel the same way.

That is the feeling I got while I was reading The Olympian. This profound novel was beautifully crafted, with bits of wisdom and many interesting passages. The exciting and inspiring writing pulls you along, and the imagery is amazing. What makes it even more fascinating is that it is (for the most part) based on real people and events.

This novel really is one of a kind.

Thanks, Kevin, wherever you may be.

greener grassI am working on two manuscripts.  One will be my fifth historical novel.  In it, I express my remorse for the bad choices men make that haunt humanity through civilizations because we too often ignore the lessons that history teaches us.  The other is another quirky story along the lines of The Sixth Day.  It explores the oft quoted observation we’ve borrowed from bovines, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  Is it?

There are many methods to writing.  None is categorically wrong, and each brings value to the task.  My three personal guides are

  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, which Steven Pressfield recommended to me in 2002 when I wrote The Olympian, A Tale of Ancient Hellas

I am immersed in a new approach to my writing in 2016, collaboration.  Earlier this year, a friend who writes gifted another friend and me the book Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac.  Bandersnatch discusses the collaboration of the Inklings, a collaborative writing group that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien among nearly 20 other writers.  The Inklings would meet weekly to discuss their works in progress.  I was intrigued and asked my two friends if the idea interested them as much as it interested me.  It did.  A month ago, we began meeting every Monday morning for two hours beginning at 4:30AM.  You would never believe how quickly 120 minutes can fly.

The weekly meetings – and other communiqués that we share with each other during the week in emails and texts – have been invaluable.  Criticism flows freely, positive and negative, and observations, suggestions and recommendations find their productive ways into my manuscripts.

I am thankful to have special friends who are willing to do this.


3 responses to “Collaboration”

  1. Theresa Schneider Avatar
    Theresa Schneider

    Dziedek says, “Bravo”….

  2. Kevin’s review is spot on! I have always been and will always be amazingly proud of you. I feel blessed to be able to call you my “pops.” The Olympian is in my top 5 reads of all time. I cannot wait to see where 2016 takes you in your creative journey. Love you.

  3. Never hurts to hear that, huh Gene? Great work.

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