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 So far I am unpublished professionally, but I hope in future blogs I can update and change the status on that:) I have one short story published out on the Amazon Kindle site entitled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:)

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

11,000 Words Into My Latest WIP and Other News

Hello Everyone, I just wanted to post an update on my recent writing. Here’s the scoop,

First off, I’ve designed a working cover for my novel Horntooth’s Farm. I’ve completed my official final outline of where the character’s start and end and everything in between so it has helped me keep on target for writing.

Thus far, I’m a little over 11,000 words into the first draft and I have some of the major scenes fleshed out. So if it stays on track for what I’m estimating in length, I’m a little over a tenth of the way if not more through my first draft.

The contest that I entered finally closed to participants which is a good thing considering I entered back in November. I’m hoping to hear something by the end of the month on that. I’d love to have some good news to spread at the end of the month.

I’m considering renaming my short story “The Pygmies” to “The Gazers” and then trying again to submit it to some different fiction mags for possible publication. I’ll let y’all know how that goes as well.

Check back at my Amazon page every weekend for possible free sales on my self published writing. I’ll let you know if anything changes there also.

In a nutshell, I’m trying very hard to make 2017 my breakout year in writing. I’m confident that big things are still on the horizon. I’ll keep you all posted here in the blog. Wish you all the best,

Joshua

Catching up, and a Request for Beta Readers

A Quick Catch Up on Current Events

Okay, so it’s been about a week and a half since I’ve posted anything, so I think I need to do a ‘Catching up, here’s what I’ve been up to’ post.

First off, I have to say that after a short series of rejection letters/emails and the even worse ‘no response’ deadlines, I took a break from writing for a while. When I say a while I mean about two weeks.

That’s one way I know that I’m meant to be a writer, is that it really feels weird to not be writing at least something. Even when I have writer’s block, it’s not really a block period, it’s just that I can’t seem to focus on the project I was hoping to focus on because something else has crept up and cut in line.

So starting this year I took a little break, tried to clear my head, enrolled in a writing course, and thought a lot about who I am, who I want to be, what defines me, you know heavy stuff like that.

I reread the short stories that I’ve been submitting for publication and I really think they are good, I just have to find the editor/publicist that thinks the same.

This week I picked back up the old pen and notepad with a new story in my brain and I’ve been writing it down as it comes. So far so good, so I’ll see how far I can get into it before something else cuts in line.

Outside of writing, I went to Iowa for about a week just before Christmas and saw some family that I haven’t seen in more than ten years. Now I’m doing some projects around the house and I’m soon to tackle a tree house for the kiddos.  Wish me luck with that!

Beta Readers Needed

I’m looking for anyone who wants to beta read these short stories for me. I can’t pay you, but if you like to read I think you’ll enjoy them and if you don’t so much like to read, they aren’t very long at all. I can’t post them because a lot of the places I’m submitting to won’t even consider them if they’ve been published on my blog.

I need some real feedback on them though. I’d like to know if they make sense (something I often wonder about my writing)

If there are any takers, please comment here and I’ll work out sending you an email with a .pdf version of the short stories. Thanks ahead of time!

I really believe that 2017 is going to be a big year. I feel like 2016 was a year of climbing, and maybe 2017 will be as well, but I have to say that the view does seem to be getting better along the way. So keep climbing with me! God bless, I hope all is well and take care of yourselves,

Joshua

6 months, 48 posts, 500 views, 41 followers, and a full set of mixed emotions about my writing path…

So, the close of 2016 brings me to a point of mixed emotions. It’s been a good year I guess, in terms of my blog at least. I did get my novel out in the open and I have built a decent blog in the six months that I’ve been at it.

Looking forward to 2017, I’m hoping its the year I get published. I know that’s the wish for every author, and I know I’ve driven towards that goal for several years now, but this year feels different. I feel like I’m in the fog just before something big comes my way. If I can just navigate forward for a bit longer, I feel like I’ll work this problem out. Either way, I have a calm, and sober hope for next year. Big things are out there past this end of 2016 fog.

So the title of this blog is literally my blog stats as they are currently. I know nothing of growing or maintaining a blog, but to me they seem like decent stats. I want to thank everyone who has decided to follow my blog, you have really become an encouragement to me. I’m hoping that I can see even more growth and momentum in the coming year.

To me, the most noteworthy thing about 2016 was all the new ideas I had. I’ve been working on a lot of stuff, and finished some, but I’m feeling a bit derailed now at the end of the year. Currently I’ve started the Masterclass course “James Patterson Teaches Writing”, and so far I’m liking it. I’m hoping it helps me to focus myself a bit and perhaps get organized going into 2017.

If you’re still reading this, I want to thank you 🙂 I hope it wasn’t too rambling. Please continue to follow me and read me, and I’ll do my absolute best to push new and exciting stuff out in 2017!

Happy New Year everyone!

Joshua