About Me

Ok, so here we go. I have opened up my mind for you so that I can share these characters and stories that have been floating around in my head for years now. They are truly a part of me. It’s really crazy how much I care about what you, the reader think of the people and places that are part of my stories.

If you don’t know me, my name is Joshua David Ashburn, I write under the name Joshua David. So far I am unpublished professionally, but I hope in future blogs I can update and change the status on that:) I have one short story published out on the Amazon Kindle site entitled “The Survivors”. It was mainly my test run for whether or not I would like the Kindle Publishing platform.

I also have a novel out entitled Nowhere.

There are three reasons I think this will be a great platform for me to utilize:

First, I need the exposure. I need people to read me and let me know if what I write really cuts the mustard.

Second, I think it will propel me into writing more.

Third, I think it will be fun to present some of my stories in blog style so that my readers can read them in segments and await the additional episodes as I write them.

Outside of writing, I have a day job, which is something else that I’d love to update and tell you one day that writing has become my day job, but we’ll see. I work for the State of Texas, so that’s good. I have a gorgeous wife of almost twelve years, and we now have four children. We live in a small town, in a house that seems like it could be a writers house.:) It certainly invokes the imagination.

I have a degree in religion, I have a small record collection, I love camping, and I like helping people. I’ve never really done much in the way of social media and sharing my opinions on the internet, so you probably won’t find many opinion posts on here. I will, however, try to make a valiant effort to update my writing here and keep the momentum of the stories going for you. I have about twenty stories that are all in various stages of completion.

Most of all I want you to enjoy your visit to my posts and my blog site as a whole. Please let me know if there is something that needs attention or if you have any questions about any of my posts. Thanks for reading:)

My April Camp Nanowrimo Project: Short Stories!

Hey Everybody! Hope you all are doing great. I’m loving the good Spring weather we’re having down here in Texas. It’s just bad for allergies!:)

My blogging goal for this April is to not fall off the radar like I’ve done in previous Nanowrimo months. So I have a plan to blog short discussions on the short stories I’m writing as I start them throughout the month.

Here’s a list of the working titles for each:

The Odd Life of Misses Porter or The Final Affairs of Master Wexford

The Last Light of Planet Earth

The Wanderer Volume 1: The Storm

Kingdom of Darkness

A Brief Word on Hypersleep Studies Volume 1: Chiliagon

Albert Einstein: Chrononaut

One Soul In The Sea

The Boy With Dragon Wings Volume 1: The Boy Who Would Become a Hero

The Pygmies

Three Seconds in Time or The Polymorphism of Julia Brighton

I have several that I’ve written and several ideas that I have little more than an idea for. I’m going to try and tackle the unwritten ones first and then if I finish those I’ll spend the rest of the month editing the completed ones.

All together I really want to carve a lot of new ground this next month. This month’s goal (March) was to complete the full outline of my novel project Horntooth’s Farm just in case I get chosen as a finalist in the contest I entered it in. I’m happy to say that I’m almost completely done with it and the process has led to a lot of new scenes, twists and emotional grounding.

But I’m ready to jump into April and my short stories. So I’m hoping to close out this month with a successful outline and start next month with a Nanowrimo driven, short story writing fever. 🙂

How about you all? I’d love to hear more about your projects or if you’re thinking of participating in Camp Nanowrimo this April.

“I Am The Writer” by Joshua David

This poem/prose is meant to be an encouragement for those on the fence about participating in Camp Nanowrimo this April, or any Nanowrimo event for that matter. Post any questions you may have in the comments and I’ll try to answer them ASAP. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

I AM THE WRITER

By: Joshua David

I am parasitic. I feed off the world around me, absorbing sensations, breathing in sights and sounds, and consuming the possibilities and what if’s of my environment.

After I feed, I digest in quiet stillness within my mind. I could be anywhere, but not there when I digest.

I have stared at the flickering lamppost of an ominous alley or out into the glossy blue pond of upside-down trees and digested the stories within.

Then when digestion is done, I assimilate, translate, and convert this new source of energy into words. Whether on paper, or in digital universe, these words slowly begin to change into a story.

They transcend from what once was into what may yet be. The story is ever evolving into something more. Something beyond me and greater than I alone could ever be.

This cycle of intaking, processing, and pouring out is something as natural as breathing to me and it is a part of me whether I like it or not so I tend, for my own sake, to treat it as a gift.

If I want to pursue success at this gift, I must hone it into a keen skill which uplifts, enlightens, and entertains others or else I risk trapping these stories in the seclusion of my own mind and spirit.

In many ways I must become the story. I become the land and the people. I am the boy, I am the girl, I am the killer and the hero, I am the tree and the forest, the drop of rain and the waterfall.

I am the butterfly outside a cancer patient’s hospital window which brings hope, and also the tornado which rips down the protagonist’s childhood home.

I am the orphan, the outcast, the oppressed, the obscene, the vile, the wretched and corrupt.

As the story, I see over it and around it, under it and between it, but also through it; for I have crafted it and know it’s intimate makeup.

My characters depress me when they are depressed, and bring joy to me when they are elated. I am proud to have them exist within me, but prouder still when I am able to express them out into the story.

It is like breathing life into their existence, and putting their world into motion.

A writer’s words are their breath, and the story, their heartbeat. The meaning of it all is their life.

I am the writer, and so are you.

Go forth Writer…

Speak worlds, write life, craft existence between darkness and light…

Forge the boundaries between good and evil…

Spin the web of life and death into something magic and eternal…

Become the story you were meant to be…

Be brave, and be the writer.

My Plans for Camp Nanowrimo

Hello Everybody,

I hope you’re all doing spectacular today! I just wanted to drop this message to announce that I will be participating in Camp Nano this April. If you’ve ready my blogs on camp before, then you know how I view all that Nanowrimo has to offer. Essentially I almost always come up short of my goal, but I look back and know that it works as a tool for producing writing that would not have existed otherwise.

So I think my goal will again be the lighter 40,000 words as opposed to the 50K during the full blown Nanowrimo. 40k helps me to focus, not so much on the number of words, but what I need to write. I haven’t set my project yet. I’ve been revising a couple of shorts and working on a new one. Last year I completed 40,000 for a short story compilation, so I think this year I might try to finish that with a few new stories.

It will be a good break from my Novel Horntooth’s Farm. I really hope that this April, I can get back into my writing routine. Lack of a routine is the one thing that I feel  has prevented me from pushing anything new out in awhile. If I can get back into the swing of taking the time to write again, then you may see several new things from me this year.

Hope you all are excited for camp! If you haven’t done a Nanowrimo event yet, I definitely encourage you to try this April.

Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Hey Everyone,

I hope all is well. I just want to update you on the latest news and happenings from my realm of existence.

First off, I got another rejection letter, this time for one of the contests I was really hopeful on. It’s a short story I wrote entitled “One Soul in the Sea”, just didn’t cut the mustard with the judges I guess. So it’s back to the old ACME drawing board on that one. I’ll have to rework it and then decide what I want to do with it.

Next, I entered a chapter from my current novel project, Horntooth’s Farm into the James Patterson Co-Author Competition. I have to work hard this month to complete an outstanding outline for this novel. On April 6th they announce the 10 semi-finalists and those ppl send James Patterson their completed outline for their novels.

I’m taking a risk sending Horntooth’s Farm. It’s not really a crime mystery/thriller, which is of course Mr. Patterson’s realm of expertise, but it is a gripping emotional thriller/adventure drama 🙂 which I’m hoping Mr. Patterson decides to take a gamble on. Ultimately it could be one of those books that changes lives, if I can get it out of my head and onto paper the right way. Fingers crossed the whole month of March for this one, which may make typing the outline more difficult. 🙂

Lastly, this weekend was spent taking some chill time for myself and clearing my mind for the month ahead. I spent about six hours on Saturday completing this massive Halo dropship for my five year old son Link. Poor guy has been waiting since Christmas for me to build it. It had over 1,000 pieces and glossy instructions that made it difficult to distinguish camo pieces from black pieces, but we got the job done!:)

My wife and I were able to get our Garage Sale fix in, and also found time to sit on the porch for morning coffee Sunday morning. Overall, it made for a great weekend and a good refresher before getting back to work crafting words into worlds.

Until next time, Be well

Joshua

Here’s an Excerpt of this Week’s Writing as I Break 15,000 Words on Horntooth’s Farm

Hey Everybody,
I hope all is well in your universe, I know things have been going pretty decent here as I work on my next novel. I know I’ve posted about Horntooth’s Farm before and I think I’ve even made it my Nanowrimo project a couple of times. I feel like in years past it has seemed too daunting of a book to tackle and has been put on the back burner. This year however I’ve had a couple of breakthroughs on it and it has been fleshing out rather well.

I feel like I owe a lot of the momentum to the writing course I began at the beginning of the year. It’s called James Patterson Teaches Writing and it’s hosted by the Masterclass website. It has made me ‘practice’ the technique of writing more and through some of the lesson assignments, I’ve been able to overcome some hurdles that I just couldn’t previously get over.

So now, without making you read too much more, I’ve decided to share a little section of this week’s writing with you. I’m not trying to spoil it for you, but I must warn you that this is an intense scene with some violence and is about a dog attack. Just in case you would rather read about happier things. I’ll try to share more next week.

Excerpt from the chapter “Huntin’ Hounds” from the novel Horntooth’s Farm:
The first dog nipped down on Pete’s right ankle forcing him onto his knees. Then the second dog sprang up onto Pete’s back and latched its jaw down into the meat of Pete’s left shoulder. The two dogs then pulled against each other, spreading Pete out prone onto the ground. He screamed as the last dog caught up to them and began tugging at his right arm. He punched up at the dog on his shoulder, but there was no force to his swing signifying that the tendons in his shoulder had been torn.
At that moment, the horror that I was seeing with my eyes triggered something deep and primal within my mind. Some faculty of reservation which those who are civilized possess broke like a dam giving way. And in its place came some ancient instinctive survival mechanism. It grew quickly inside me, rising like a tornado of violence. It filled my chest until my small body could contain it no longer and it released itself into the open air of that morning in the form of a mighty war cry so guttural and barbaric that it is still to this day a wonder that a sound like that ever came from these lungs.
I picked up a stone from the ground and raced like a lion to Pete’s defense. One of the dogs after hearing my animalistic cries, tucked back in a whimper into a fold of tall grass. The other two let loose from Pete and now growled and snarled at me as I advanced, charging like a lunatic.
The Alpha dog sprang at me, but I swung hard and clobbered it in the head with the stone. It let loose a symphony of pain and landed haphazardly on the ground next to me now stunned and afraid.
The second dog tried to run round me opposite to my strong arm like a boxer circling the ring. It thought it could use its speed to come around and get an attack from behind, but I strafed sideways and turned so as to keep the beast always in view. Finally it sprang from a glancing angle at my rock clutching arm and bit down hard.
I snarled like some rage filled monster as blood formed around the dog’s bite. With my free hand, I punched at the dog’s eyes and ripped at his ears. He then released his pry at my arm and snapped at my free hand. I lunged forward and then dropped on top of the dog and started wrestling the animal across the sandy ground.
Finally, gaining the better hand, I perched myself on top of the dog. It snarled and pressed its legs up against my chest. I struck down hard with both my fists, over and over, punching and clawing, until finally the dog began to panic and wriggled itself out from under me. It then ran back whimpering the way they all had come, and never once slowed or looked back. The alpha dog followed, still stunned and at a slower pace. Lastly, the dog in the grass barked nervously at me and then turned to catch his pack.
As I stood to my feet, I felt like a giant. I breathed in heavy stair-stepped heaves. The whole struggle could not have taken more than a few minutes, but somehow, I felt different, like in those moments I had both forever lost some boyish innocence of my past and at the same time surpassed some threshold into manhood.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. You’ll have to read the completed book later this year to know what happens to Pete and Russ and the rest of the children on Horntooth’s Farm. Until then,

Joshua