That’s me, Julius Athens.

Howdy! Let me be the first to welcome you to this beautiful blog. What do you think?

This is the page where I would love to tell you––

  1. My grandiose accomplishments.
  2. My envy–waxing awards.
  3. Endorsements from idols of the literary world.
  4. Praise from every corner of the earth.
  5. Hell, all the free stuff that’s been thrown at me just for writing a good book.

But I don’t have any of those. It’s unlikely I ever will. And that’s okay, because that’s not why I write. Why do I write?

I write because my imagination keeps me up at night and because I have something to say. I know of characters whose voices echo in my mind and whose world has a history to be written. Neither can remain silent any more.

Yes, I’m an author. But aside from writing speculative fiction, I’m also a blogger (I do run a blog after all 😉 ) and a philosopher––not a professionally employed philosopher mind you, but a follower of philosophy. Philosophy has brought both guidance and discipline to my life, to my writing, and whose benefits I believe can help you too. My knowledge on writing can be just as beneficial, if you’re an author like myself.

But if there’s one thing I’d like to tell you right off the bat, and perhaps this is somewhat counterintuitive, it’s that I never intended to pursue a career in literature. I had every intention of graduating with a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering way back when I first started in ’09.

But I realized that wasn’t for me. There was no passion there, no sense of purpose, that’s what I eventually came to realize.

So to right that course I switched degrees. But not knowing where my passion lie I switched over to its relative, Computer Science. Well that didn’t do squat either. I wasn’t satisfied. “What the heck did I want?”––one of the questions I began asking myself.

Yet again I made another major change (third time’s the charm, right?), and into the Fine Arts. A complete 180 in profession, which, although more suited to my creative spirit, nevertheless, it did not fit. I couldn’t do enough with this degree. Not enough that would bring me the satisfaction in a worthwhile career nor the passion that makes life worth living

I dropped out not long after. That was something I never imagined doing. But that decision was influenced by my dissatisfaction with college, an idea I had for a story, and being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. That latter took a lot out of me, and if by chance you have this disease, I’m sure you can relate.

However a couple years later I was back at my local community college, now pursuing graphic design. Guess what happened? Well, I actually did graduate!––but with an Associate’s in Arts.

To put it straight, “That hasn’t gotten me shit.” Why would it?

For whatever reason no degree that either my four–year university or my community college had could summon that drive within me. After years of post–secondary school I came to the understanding that of all the degrees on offer, there wasn’t one that I could get behind and dedicate my time to.

It was unfortunate because I love learning, especially the older I’ve gotten (far away from all that damn homework), and I’ve always wanted a collegiate degree (I still do). What’s more, college, as we know, has a proven track record of earning the graduate more.

But to pursue something I don’t love, to commit to learning a profession for the remainder of my life, that I can’t fully support emotionally or mentally?

That’s wild. I just can’t do that. I need meaning in my life through what I choose to do with my short time on this earth. I need to make it count because I want to connect with, and ultimately inspire, people: you. That’s why I started this blog. That’s what I believe we’re each put on this earth to do.

But for me I can only accomplish that goal when I truly care for what I’m doing as my life’s work. I slowly but surely learned that over the years. It’s opened my mind to a greater self-awareness.

Writing was my savior, so to speak, and the craziest thing is that I never thought of myself as a writer. I hated writing in school, but that probably had more to do with what I was writing than the art itself. Tough to find joy in something when all you’re writing is either reports about crap you don’t care about, or essays about other crap you don’t care about. It all smells like crap in the end.

English I hated you. I wanted to slap you.

And yet that repugnance wasn’t enough to hold back these ideas which started harassing my head after high school. I wrote down an outline for a few, which I then scrapped because they simply weren’t up to snuff.

But one idea was simply too strong. I couldn’t get it out of my head like I could with those other duds. I don’t know what it was about this idea that drew me to it almost obsessively, but I had to get it out, and the only way I knew how was through the written word.

I don’t think I hesitated, I just went for it. I started writing.

I was still in college when I struck out on this venture. Still negotiating through that dark labyrinth trying to find that orb that would speak to me, reveal to me what I had to do with my life. It wasn’t until after I acquired my Associate’s that I decided to put all my weight in my writing. I always fell back on it whenever I questioned my studies, but I never committed.

Below is a quote by author Cheryl Strayed––

“One of the scariest things in our lives is actually doing what we know we want to do.”

No doubt. It’s like you’re going against what society wants, and society doesn’t even know you. But when something you know is worth pursuing, you just can’t ignore it. It takes your focus away when it’s always at the back of your mind. You’re fighting against yourself.

Sounds counterproductive, right? That’s because it is.

“Don’t dare to be different, dare to be yourself — if that doesn’t make you different then something is wrong.”

Above is a quote by Laura Baker. It’s like a self-evident truth the more you read it, but it’s not so easy to adapt to.

Once more it goes back to society. Like doing what you want to do, being yourself––your true self––in your true profession is a challenge when society appears to you to want you to follow the grain. Going against the grain is a risk and a crazy one at that.

I took up writing because it’s how I can truly express myself. It’s what I know I have to do. It’s what my spirit wants. Sometimes I like to think of the spirit as an agent that’s always searching until it’s “spirited away,” until it finds that something to latch on to that can direct its loving attention.

I like to believe my spirit has found that something. Nothing has given me the satisfaction quite like the ageless craft of the pen and paper––or the keyboard and digital doc now. It’s meant I don’t have to search anymore, nor guess, I just know.

I just have to write.

 

 

Miscellaneous: To Whom It May Concern 

I’m always listening to music. It’s an interest of mine as strong as my writing. The difference? I merely listen to music, I don’t write it.

Classic Rock, Rap/Hip-Hop, Contemporary Pop, 80s Pop, EDM, Dance, it all fits well and smooth in my ears––except for Country. That’s a hard foul, meaning, it’s not for me. But if you like, hey, more power to ya. To each their own I say.

90% of the time, when I have the telly on, you bet I’m watching ESPN. I love sports. I love College Football, especially the SEC (I’m from the South, y’all). So fall is generally my favorite time of the year. There’s not a place I’d rather be on a Saturday night than in front of a wide screen watching some Saturday Night Football. How could you say no to that? Blasphemous!

Outside of sports there isn’t a whole lot else I watch. The Daily Show (Mr. Stewart you were the best!), It’s Always Sunny In Philly, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Atlanta, such are the shows I give some of my time to and boy do I enjoy each one. If you haven’t seen Atlanta, I highly recommend it.

Other interests of mine––

  • Star Wars! (I’m a nerd––and proud to admit it. 🙂 ).
  • RPGs (role-playing video games such as Skyrim and Witcher; again, I’m a nerd).
  • Traveling
  • Drawing
  • Sitting down to watch a good movie, from Superbad straight to Deliverance.
  • Anything with Bill Burr.
  • Going for a walk on a beautiful, bright day.

I’m an author and a philosopher who can confidently state that nobody writes and nobody creates like I do. Speculative fiction is my domain. I created this blog not just for my stories, but to help you with your writing and to inspire you to never give up on your dreams. I’m not going to give up on mine, so why should you?

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