Transparency Meets Vulnerability

Dear Blog Readers (all three of you):

It’s been more than a fortnight since I last wrote. I wish there were a famine or a group of mutineers I could mention for some sort of an excuse, but nay, that would not be true. Here’s what is true. I got stuck. How’s that for some transparency?

Call it what you will, but for many weeks during the summer I learned a valuable lesson. Writing is hard. And what’s even harder than writing – it’s called editing.

My good friend, Tim Grahl, has been giving me some great advice on how to market my book once it’s done. But in the meantime, I’ve learned that writing the rough draft is only part of the journey. It’s a long part, mind you, but it’s not all there is to it. Once I plotted my course through my first draft, in fine detail I might add, then came time to look it over. I failed to realize as I wrote my rough draft how verbose I can get and now I have a 160,000 word manuscript I like to call The Beast. Hello Transparency yet again, my good friend.

I now understand what authors and songwriters experience when they cut an album and then later issue their earlier works many years later. I used to ask myself why didn’t they just get famous earlier and let us have their stuff sooner than later. Trust me, I get it now.

BasementDungeon-490x322The Beast – one day she’ll see the light of day. For now she sits in my metaphorical basement. Don’t worry too much. I feed her once in awhile. I try not to visit too much. I don’t want to prematurely disappoint her.

In the meantime I’ve been busy on another project I’m very excited about. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it and as I do so, I look to the next piece. Which brought me to a unique idea – what if the reader helped craft some of the story? What would that look like and could it be done?

For my three readers, let me know what you think about contributing ideas for my next work. What ideas do you have for a fictional/horror/thriller? What settings should I include? What traits should the characters possess? And, best of all, what evil or conflict should we pit them against? Honestly, I’d love to hear your ideas.

So there you have it – me showing my vulnerable side while also exhibiting great transparency Love me any more? Less?

Tim next time, I’ll tell The Beast you said hi.

The Beginnings of Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping – a strangely alluring but taboo topic. Eavesdroppers are everywhere – bars, restaurants, pools, malls – heck, just about anywhere. Let’s be honest – who can say they’ve never listened in on a conversation that was not their own?

For me, the topic became more delicious the more I thought about it. So what began back in April is starting to take shape and unless you’ve been eavesdropping yourself, I’m here to announce my latest body of work – Eavesdropping.

I can’t exactly nail down what gave me the idea for this book, other than to say I love going to coffee shops. One day as I sat in my usual spot to read or work, I was forced, almoJeff-Pickett---Eavesdroppingst literally, to hear a conversation two ladies were having. In fact, it’s safe to say the entire room was forced, by the volume of their voices. The content wasn’t super-secret, but it gave me a notion of hanging my hat upon. How many people are listening in on your conversations? And, to what extent, would someone go using that information?

This and more is what I have based my novel Eavesdropping on. The image I’ve added to this post is a draft cover. Let me know what you think of the concept as well as the image in the comments section, if you would. I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas about this.

Here is the summary:

Ethan Hall, a pre-law college student, loves to eavesdrop while studying at his favorite coffee shop. The stories and confessions are amusing, but they also enable him to be a better reader of people. When an unsuspecting conversation finds him oddly attracted to a woman in another room, he plots a way to meet her. Ethan soon finds out things are not always what they seem. As a web of deceit begins to take shape, dark family secrets are pulled from the shadows uncovering murder and adulterous affairs. After a family member is potentially killed, and more secrets are revealed, Ethan struggles to find who he can trust without becoming a victim as well.

If you are the inquisitive type and want to know more, I’ve started posting a few chapters on a reader/writer community site I’ve discovered called Wattpad. Writers can read each others work, comment and trade tips/advice, as well as gain edit, favors in return.

In the future, I’ll disclose more details about Eavesdropping. For now, check it out on Wattpad.

We All Have a Story to Tell

We all have a story to tell, and it is within those stories that we find our soul. Whether you agree with me or not, isn’t the point. That’s what the comment section is for regardless. I want to share my story and learn your story as well. Through that sharing, I hope that we learn from each other, our motivations and that we become friends in time.
My name is Jeff, and my story starts today, sorta. After 47 years of schooling and traveling through a maze of education and experiences I have come to the right exit off-ramp at last. I’ve been to almost every continental state within the U.S. if it even matters. Admittedly, it’s not what I thought it would be. My exit is this site. And thus it is my entrance as well – and hopefully yours too.

Confused? Don’t be. I’m merely suggesting that my climb up the corporate ladder wasn’t what I thought it would be. That’s not to say I’m speaking against those I worked with. Quite the opposite. I’ve worked with some amazing organizations with powerful missions and outcomes. Quite simply, it wasn’t for me. I sought a different path in the hidden corners of my mind. Some of you know about those hidden corners too, I suspect.

In those corners, we hide our deep desires. My desire was to work for myself, to share my creativity and to help others find their place. To do so would mean baring my soul, taking a leap of faith and overcoming great fear. Finding a support mechanism would be important too. A personal favorite of mine, Stephen King, discusses his thought his book “On Writing” saying ‘Tabby never voiced a single doubt, however. Her support was a constant, one of the few good things I could take as a given. My support is also my wife, Cindy. And like Tabby, her support is also a given although not taken for granted. With hidden corners exposed, it’s time to take the first step – this website.

This website, if you will afford me your time, will be about connecting, exchanging information and learning from each other. I plan to share my journeys related to creativity, writing and in the process making an entrepreneur of myself. Reaching out my hand, I hope you’ll walk the journey with me and take me to yours as well.

Communication is a two-way street fraught with street signs, construction cones and accidents at times. They don’t always end it that way, but it’s true don’t you think? So I hope you’ll comment or email me as we travel this journey. Tell me when I’m off and when I’m on target, too, should I get so lucky. Email me at or comment below. Check out my resources page as well where I hope you’ll find tools that add value to your journey.