Treating Writing as an Art

Sometimes art should be released the way the artist intended, without going through the whitewashing and scrubbing that can happen in commercialization.

Independent films can be horrible, but then so can mainstream films. But some independent movies are really hidden gems, and can bring you something unexpected, and actually new. Clearly Hollywood knows how to market, and how to draw crowds, but many movies are just rehashed old themes with predictable plots.

I get it, some things are meant to be entertainment, and therefore it makes sense to get experts to make it as entertaining as possible for the largest number of people. But other times, we might just want to let art be art.

Writing is a form of art. When a book is released, it should certainly have the proper grammar and punctuation, but there is something to be said for leaving a novel in the original form intended by the author.

That’s what is so great about self publishing. While it may be harder to reach a larger audience, self publishing allows the author to be remain an artist, instead of becoming an entertainer. And unlike movie makers, writers now have access to platforms that allow self publishing for practically free.

I am pleased to say that my second work of fiction will be published next week. It is called Flight Grounded, and it is a novella about a man named Jake who finds himself accused of a terrorist attack after witnessing something on a plane that had not yet taken off.

flight grounded

As he flees the authorities, trying to figure out who the real terrorists are, and why he is being blamed, Jake runs into two men who want to help him escape. But what they tell him about the world is unbelievable. Unfortunately, Jake does not have time to think while being pursued. He needs to make decisions on who to trust, with no possible way of judging what is the truth of the situation, or indeed the world.

My aim in writing Flight Grounded is to open up the mind of readers to critical thought about the society we live in. How much information or “truth” that you know can you actually verify? At some level we are all just trusting others for facts about the society we live in. But where did they get their information?

I hope this novella will spur readers to consider other perspectives of the world, and become more open minded in considering that perhaps all we have been taught is not the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Flight Grounded is on Amazon in paperback and e-book! Like the Facebook Page for updates!

Anarchy in New England, a novel by Joe Jarvis

It’s been a little slow around this blog lately, and I am sorry for the lull, but that should change! It is so exciting that fewer than six months into 2015, which I dubbed the year of writing, my first fiction novel is being published, Anarchy in New England.

Anarchy in New England Cover (FINAL)

The story is a thought experiment, in many ways, and offers an interesting perspective. The novel takes place in a stateless society, but not a lawless world. A hundred years in the future, New England has rebounded from a global meltdown, and leads the world in technology. There are still rules, there are still consequences for your actions, and for all intents and purposes, “authority”. But the rules are not centrally mandated, but instead worked out through the market.

But the CEO of one of the largest security companies in New England has an idea to revive the old system. With no government, he can’t get a bailout for his fading security company, so Mr. Drake decides to try to form a new government, which he would run.

Reporter Molly Metis is onto him though. Despite attempts to stop her, she continues to dig deeper into recent events surrounding Drake and his associates. She is sure she can expose the dark plot, but will anybody care? And what will be the cost?

It should be an interesting read that gets you to consider topics you may never have though about, much like I try to do with this blog. How would certain things play-out in a society without government? Anarchy usually is taken to mean chaos, but could order rise without centralized control?

Anyway, that is what I have been up to, as well as working on a prequel, that goes into more detail about the actual collapse in the 2020’s. I’m excited to get out there and promote, and at the same time I know the process will give me plenty of material for JoeJarvisExplainsItAll.

I’m going through the process of trying to live my dreams, and I feel like I am settling into a nice trajectory. I am at the very beginning of my journey still, and there will surely be countless more ups and downs. But the ride is what it is all about, and as long as I use the downs to gain momentum, they can’t be considered all that negative.

This is a scary point to be at in following your dreams, because the book is only going to start being read in the next couple of days. I am braced for the first wave of feedback, including someone with a popular podcast who is currently reading Anarchy in New England, to see if it is good enough for him to have me on his show. So naturally, the left brain and right brain are having it out, trying to balance the optimism with the pessimism. In reality, I just need to wait and see what happens, since at this point, I can not affect the outcome.

But since going into things with a generally positive, energetic attitude seems to work out, that is what I plan to do! The first phase of promotion is going to be focused on New England, because of the name of the novel and because that is where I live. If anyone wants to suggest events, media, or even a book club for me to visit with, I am open for all the possibilities!

Get in touch with me here, by contacting me through my other blog JoeJarvis.me.

Click here to order the novel on Amazon!

Sometimes Posts are Better as a Series

I will be on vacation this week, on a cruise with no internet, so I won’t be posting. I have, therefore, assembled some suggested reading from past posts.

Do you like the weird philosophical posts about what life is, who we are as individuals, and what happens next? Read the following posts as a series:

What if Life is Just our Souls Playing Video Games?

Sleeping and Dreaming: Does this fit with my Souls Playing Video Games Theory?

Humanity is a Puzzle, and We Are the Pieces.

What if we only Age Because We Expect to Age?

Cherish Your Time as an Individual.

Do you like the encouraging self help style posts that energize you to do what you love, and never give up on your dreams, or being happy?

The Legend of (Your Name Here).

Don’t Be Scared into the Status Quo: Ordering off the Menu versus Building Your Own Life.

Breaking the Cycle: From Ideas to Action.

Addicted to Happiness: The Brain is Your Dopamine Dealer.

Do it for the Perspective: Money Isn’t the Only Valuable.

Enjoy! You will all hear from me again soon!

Fears, Nightmares, and Dreams Collide

My friend Ben Mancino is working on a photography project he calls Fears, Nightmares, and Dreams Collide. I was lucky enough to model for one of his shoots. Check out his Facebook page, Ben Mancino Photography.

“Through the Tree Tunnel”

fear1

“Hide and Seek”

fear

“I can Feel Your Heart Beat”

fear3

This last one is not yet titled. Comment below with your ideas for a title, and we can see if Ben takes your advice 🙂

fear2

 

Adorable Baby Tiger, and also, give me feedback!

Step 1: Fill out this poll to let me gauge how this blog is going, and then leave a comment if you have more to add. I want to hear your legit feedback on what you like, don’t like, find interesting/ boring, and what you want more of in the future.

Step 2: Watch an adorable baby tiger play with a tiny Chihuahua.

Step 3: Be extremely positive for the rest of the day because that baby tiger is the most adorable thing ever and how could you be miserable when you remember that little tyke romping around?

Some Adventures Don’t Feel Adventurous

So it has been almost three weeks of this new blog, and I have got to say I am glad I started it.

But I was almost disappointed that I didn’t get into any crazy adventures so far. With my carpe diem attitude I figured I’d have made my way around the world by now having wrestled bears, sailed through a hurricane, and become honorary chief of an obscure tribe. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I have been all gung-ho to go out and do things.

I made sure to get to the beach (twice), I played 18 holes of golf (haven’t golfed in 10 years, and even then only a few times), went to cookouts, went to a party, sang along to country music, and tomorrow I’m going jetski-ing for the first time. I’ve had fun cooking and foraging, especially since I have a place to share it now. I really enjoy doing all of that, but maybe I had this naive belief that—well I don’t even know what. That my life would turn into a movie?

But now I am realizing that there have been some great improvements over the last 3 weeks. I’ve barely watched any TV, I haven’t been able to stand sitting still! If a friend comes over, I will search for other things to do instead of just sit, and the interaction increases energy, sparks conversation, and just makes for a better time. So instead of killing my brain with the tube and being a boring friend, we’d go places, play kan jam, foosball, cards, Settlers of Katan, and just had more overall conversation and interaction. Not a crazy adventure, but a positive change none the less. Well to be fair throwback N64 Mario-Kart is always a pretty crazy adventure.

And I suppose two weekends only gives you so much opportunity. It’s good to be adventurous, but not stupid… And if I were hellbent on “having fun” without much exciting new opportunity, that could lead more to stupidity than adventure. So I am going to keep doing what I’m doing, since I’m enjoying myself anyway, and whatever comes will come!

I think cumulative small changes are harder to notice, but can easily add up to more positive benefit than one big change or event—even though it was sort of one big event I attended that set in motion tiny little changes. And like I have mentioned before, to me its been more about rediscovering mundane things than finding a trap door into Narnia. And actually this is a good reminder, because as much as I hate to admit it, my “vacation attitude” has mostly left me, but I didn’t completely return to the real world that sucks the life out of you.

And this blog in and of itself is a fun new adventure to see who likes it, who follows, who responds, who comments, and it has kept me thinking about the right things. I enjoy writing, so it gives me another outlet, sparks my imagination, and gives me a standard to go back to. Otherwise my vacation attitude would have gone away, faded without much notice, and everything would have gone back to normal. But since I created this blog in the height of my high-on-life, that has been preserved, and to go back on it would mean not only losing my positive attitude, but abandoning a project I started with such inspiration and vigor. And I’m not going to let that happen.

I feel more resilient to negative things, even though I may not be excited about everything. Its been easier to enjoy moments here and there, without letting other looming stressors take away from squeezing in bits of fun. And I’ve actually been able to avoid stress by not caring about things I shouldn’t care about.

Its not as simple as “not caring what others think”, because I still don’t want to act like a jerk, or burn bridges, or show no work ethic. Its not caring about being judged for stupid things that don’t negatively effect other people. Some people will always try to exert their will over you, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be bad if their will is, say, not drunk driving. But when it is the way your hair is, or how happy you are, or how energetic, or what you write on your blog; who cares, just do you and forget the detractors.

So overall I’m going to go ahead and give myself a B for holding up to my blog’s standards over the first 2-3 weeks. Thank you to everyone who joined in the discussion with me early on, I look forward to keeping this energy going!

Joe Jarvis’ Excellent Adventure

I try not to be too serious a person, yet the first blog and website I created is all about politics… which doesn’t tend to be the most lighthearted subject. It gets heavy man, and I need to expand my focus to express the fun, adventuring, laughing, ridiculous, kind of silly philosophical side of me. I am going to write about strange and interesting things that I think, see, and experience. I am going to muse about life, and rant about what annoys me.

Maybe I’ll show you where I go, or tell you what I foraged. I’ll share some theories on the afterlife and religion that are almost certainly false. I am going to demonstrate some delish food I make (like the banana I took today and cut up, mixed with melted dark chocolate, topped with granola, and would have topped with whipped cream if I had any in the house). Hey I might even tell you how to live your life, and you can tell me in the comments section how much of a pretentious asshole I am. That’s what the internet’s all about!

Hopefully I don’t get sued for the references to old movies and TV shows in my titles. Can the phrase “excellent adventure” even be considered intellectual property? Probably not. But that’s what I am doing, going on an excellent adventure, and taking you along for the ride.

Today I decided to attempt to enjoy every second of life because like, that’s the point of life, right? Not just hedonism, there are plenty of ways to enjoy life without the baser and carnal distractions… but those are pretty fun too, eh? eh? Okay I’ll stop.

But seriously, it doesn’t make sense that we only feel good while we are on vacations, or just for the weekend, or just an hour a day. I’ve got to assume we only do this life thing once, and should do everything we can to get it right. Or maybe we go around a million times and the previous life decides where we start the next one, in which case you still want to make the most of life. I’m being broad and cliche right now but its an introduction, cut me some slack. We’ll have plenty of time to go into detail, at which point I’ll drop the cliches, and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

And this blog is my tool for making sure I don’t forget the goal I set today, which is to feel this good everyday, find the fun in everything, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, talk to people, seek out experiences, and take chances. If I go a week without posting, it probably means I am failing. Or it could mean I am accomplishing my goal so well that something crazy and unexpected has hampered my posting, like a spontaneous visit to the Yanomamö tribe of Brazil to participate in their ash eating ritual of cremated relatives. But hopefully my experiences will be somewhere in between and I’ll post regularly.

Excellent!