Writing at the Dawn of a New Year

Alas, dear readers, it is the dawn of a new year. Well, I’m glad for it. The lack of posts to this blog has not gone unnoticed. To that end, a fresh cut. My method of existence, as a writer goes, is slowly crystallizing. It is crystallizing nonetheless. I’ve kept myself busy, though with secular work and the holidays, as well as writing and creating. Over in Patreon-land, I am trying to wrap up the year. I wanted to post another poem, but the likeliness of that happening is waning to me. I already did a vlog up date, a Behind the Scenes clip and possibly one more thing to wrap up the year. I enjoy sharing video snippets about my processes and other things. But, I’ve got to re-focus on the writing. The best part of the last month is that I finally finished my newest short, titled “Faery Hill.” It’s a dark gay fiction with a touch of magic. I won’t be posting this to Patreon immediately as it is in submission to an anthology. And I’m also in the editing and revision stages. I’m glad I had the chance to write this story. Regardless if it sees publication. I am pleased I was able to take on an external challenge and see it to completion. I am satisfied with the story and am pleased with what I wrote. And I couldn’t be more redundant. I also feel I’ve hit a mark in what the editors may be looking for to include in their anthology. More on that as it develops. In the meantime, I may offer an alternate ending on the Patreon stream, and you’ll be able to check it there if it perks your interest.

Now that this is complete, I can refocus on writing my next short story, a story of Kontraskia. As I have mentioned, Kontraskia is a fictional fantasy world I created, and I shall present its debut piece, which will also serve as an introduction to this world just ahead of the first novel in the Kontraskia series titled, “The Fall of the West Tower,” which I am writing now. I am very excited to introduce you to the characters to come and to the stories I have to tell. It will definitely be something different from what I typically offer, but I think worth the venture. I will continue to share other short fiction as I go along, and I will also finish the sequel to “The Distance to the End.” So, there is still plenty which to look forward.

There is also the poetry, of course. I am currently putting together a new volume of poetry. The volume is titled, “The Vanishing Poet.” I am hoping to get the book out around spring. I’m very excited about some of the work that will be included in the collection, as some of them are very dear to me and have much history. I do also have an idea for another collection to follow, but that’s a bit far out for now. I know this probably sounds like a lot, but I multi-task some. Most of it is time, that’s what I need. I’m grateful for the time I do have, and I am thankful for the time to come. May all our time come. Well, I’m gonna wrap for now. I’ll see you next year. Have a good one.

 

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About My Book, The Distance To The End

So currently at my Patreon  account I am doing a timed release of my novel The Distance To The End. It’s my test run for future novel releases on that page because more will be coming. As you can also purchase the book online or order it at your local bookshop, I probably won’t be posting the chapters on The Root of Many Returns, but I will definitely publish a sneak peak, which is also a deleted scene from the story. I’ll tell you more about that another time. For now, I wanted to share some intel on my debut novel. It was published about a year and a half ago now and is the first in a series of novels that will take readers through the best and worst times of the poet and writer, the protagonist of the book, Nicholas Duke. I consider the book to be literary pop fiction. If you’d like to read a review of The Distance To The End, I have posted one at the end of this blog post, along with a link to the website on which it was published. A brief summation of the story is an excessive Las Vegas weekend, but the story is not a Hangover type shenanigan, rather it examines the relationship of Nicholas Duke and his boyfriend, as well as the relationship of his friend Neville and Gladys Acosta, when a sudden windfall makes it difficult to keep their vices in check. But, hey, it’s Vegas, so what else should a reader expect. There will be a sequel to this book. It is actually something that I will be working on soon. I’ve already begun it, but there are other writerly projects that currently have my attention. I think I’ve already complete the first chapter. As I’ve mentioned, The Distance To The End is the first novel in a finite series of Nicholas Duke novels. It will also be the only novel set in Las Vegas for Nick. I don’t see him going back. I do, however, have plans for a different work of fiction to take place in Vegas, but that’s a future future manuscript waiting to happen. For now, I can only encourage readers to pick up a copy, or subscribe to my Patreon and get chapters at an easy and gradual pace. If you order the book direct from me, you’ll get a signed copy that includes free shipping and handling. And don’t forget to stay tuned for the sequel to The Distance To The End. Thanks for the read. As always, more poetry, fiction, and haiku await. Have a great experience!

 

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thedistancetotheend-med

 

The Distance to the End
by Michael Aaron Casares
Serasac Press

reviewed by Yuliya Geikhman

“We were creatures of the moment. We were high on life in ways some would never understand.”

Four former drug users return to Las Vegas to celebrate a substantial lottery win. What could possibly go wrong? Nicholas Duke is drinking the moment in. For him, life is perfect. He has his estranged boyfriend, Raoul, back in his life, and his two best friends, Neville and Gladys, are around to partake in some nostalgic activities. The four are living the high life of limos, private planes, and lots and lots of drugs. None of them seem to realize that a lot can happen in just one short trip, especially when your destination is the city of vices.

In fact, vices are a central theme in the friends’ adventures. Despite their mixed backgrounds, Nick and his friends all equally partake in an impressive number of mind-altering substances. They stumble around Las Vegas, fueled by a drug and sex high. The reader is taken along on a ride that starts at a crawl but quickly escalates into a full run. The book reads like a mind-bending dream, seen through Nick’s hazy perception of the world. Between trips (both literal and figurative), Nick ponders the nature of Las Vegas, vices, life and death, and even God. Nick’s relationships with Raoul and others around him are also on display here, revealing how even the strongest bonds between people can become fleeting in an instant.

The Distance to the End reads like a beginning to a grand adventure in life. It leaves many questions unanswered, but shows promise for future entries about Nick and Raoul.

 

This review was originally published in The US Review of Books. 

http://www.theusreview.com/reviews/The-Distance-to-the-End-by-Michael-Aaron-Casares.html#.Wh0PYUqnHIW

 

Blog Vs. Patreon

 

Hello, dear readers. It has come to my attention if you’ve gone through my pages and visited my links, you may want to know what’s going on with my Patreon site, and what’s going on with the old Root of Many Returns blog. In truth, I have decided to jump on the band wagon regarding Patreon and allow that method to facilitate some resemblance of financial security. We’ll see how it goes. I figured, why ask people to commit to buying an entire book? Why not offer a variety of sample fictions at a nominal price. But I have so much more to offer you. So, what about this blog? You may wonder. Will I be featuring my writing on The Root of Many Returns, as well? Well, yes. Yes, I am. So, to offer you, the reader, a taste of what I have to offer, you may enjoy any fiction, poetry, whatever I choose to share. If you like what you read, please consider a subscription on my Patreon, or buy one of my books.

So here’s the difference between the two, as far as content. I will produce both Patreon-only and Root-only content and I will share some content, as well. The Patreon feed will contain exclusive material, including behind the scenes content, video and .mp3, digital downloads, and, to top it off, most of the Patreon-content is early release. Sometimes months in advance. I have short fiction, poetry, haiku, and photography for $1 per month. So, just set your card to autopay, and don’t even think about it. $1, and bam! New stories and poems in your mailbox and so much more. For $2 more you get novel chapters, which are exclusive to Patreon, as they will be published as books at some point in the future. If you join now you can access my entire backlog, which is just growing.

I plan to share poetry and fiction on this blog, The Root of Many Returns, as well as blogposts and other non-fictional writing. I will work to finally realize the potential this venue has cultivated. Ultimately I am looking to create a library of literature you’ll find engaging and memorable, and I definitely welcome feedback and suggestions. And I welcome the first readers who’ve subscribed to this blog. I hope you enjoy what I have to share. My goal is to share the truest voice in all the work I offer you. Enjoy what comes on The Root of Many Returns, and take it to the next level on my Patreon website.

 

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Deciphering What’s To Come – Part Two

Fiction and storytelling were my first loves growing up. There are some dedicated poets out there who knew from birth they were bound to a poetic destiny. Not me. Not entirely. When I was a child my days were filled with stories of superheroes, ghosts and monsters, other worlds, and serial-type storytelling. As I grew up, my storytelling transformed into comic art form. I still have most, if not all, of the stories I told through comic books. Some of it was what is now considered ‘fan fiction,’ but I also produced many original works with my own characters and stories. It was the most fun a chubby, little nerd boy could have on his own. It was also very rewarding to have family and friends entertained by my drawings and stories.

So what kind of fiction can you expect to read, you may wonder? As I mentioned, I will be sharing short fiction and lengthier fiction. I have dozens of stories in my head, and I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time talking about what I’ll produce as much as producing it. The scope of short fiction is too vast to pinpoint. I write quirky stories sometimes, most with elements of surrealism or magical realism, however you want to call it. But I also produce general fiction and literary fiction. I am developing a serial novel which will focus on the lives of several individuals taking on distinct traits of their characters. I am still debating how the story will develop as a whole, but am already working on bringing it to life. My most recent work, the novel The Distance To The End, is, in my mind, literary fiction. The book follows the life and times of Nicholas Duke, a gay poet and writer. There are no elements of fantasy, surrealism or any other mode of genre writing.

The novel is also written to appeal to a wide audience, and as such does not have a focal point on the LGBTQ aspect of the character. He is simply a character who happens to be gay and this is his story. I think of writers like William Burroughs when I think of this series. His early novels, Queer and Junky, featured gay protagonists, but this was more of an afterthought than a pitch for the story. My Nicholas Duke novels are the same. The Distance To The End follows Nicholas Duke and his once estranged lover, Raoul, as they spend the weekend in Las Vegas with Nick’s best friend, Neville Acosta and his wife, Gladys. Pretty straight forward story telling driven by the characters. As one may expect, there is a lot of drug use and alcohol abuse in the story, but its not a typical Las Vegas tale. And it’s a far cry from stories like The Hangover series. The Distance To The End is the first in the series, the hook, if you will, and will also be the only story featuring Nicholas Duke set in Las Vegas. At least for the foreseeable future. I have six novel outlines for Nick Duke, and at this point the series is finite, so I encourage readers to get as much Nick Duke as they can. I may write some vignettes with the characters introduced in Nick’s universe, but the majority of this story and timeline will have to be read through the novel. The Distance To The End is available wherever books are sold; if not in the shop, you can get the book for sure by way of special order, or just grab it online. Who knows, though, if the people want more Nick Duke, I may find a way to accommodate. I am working on the next installment in the Nicholas Duke universe, and you are welcome to tag along chapter-by-chapter.

Another series I am working on is an age-old tale I’ve wanted to tell for decades. Prior to this, I have not disclosed my desire to share my fantasy novels. My idea was first dreamed  of when I was a teenager. I was an avid reader of fantasy novels growing up. I could not deny the fact that I was inspired by the stories and the art and the concepts of magical realms and diverse characters. My favorite was the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. I can guarantee, however, these stories will be nothing like the world of the Disc, or anything like you’d find on the streets of Ankh-Morpork. My story takes place in the magical land of Kontraskia. The story of Kontraskia began like most, when I was a teenager and in comic book format. It was then converted into a novel. It was the first novel I completed, and  at the age of twelve. The stories of Kontraskia have been inside me, and randomly scrawled on paper for decades, and, in all honesty, I never thought I would bring them to life. At least not until I was around fifty years old. But, the characters have continued to speak to me through out the years, and recently have begun to scream at me on the inside, and they are ready to come out. So the fantasy series of Kontraskia has been developed for years, and I have many stories to tell. I couldn’t say whether or not I’d compare it the masters like J.R.R. Tolkien, or Terry Goodkind, or Tad Williams or the likes, and it’s not a complex medieval inspired venture like Game of Thrones; no, the main premise of the first novel I ever wrote featuring the land of Kontraskia evolved around a chosen victor risking his life to save the soul of a king. That was the premise that birth this world, and there is oh, so much to come.

It’s a mixed bag you’ll get from me. Hopefully you’ll follow along. You’ll see there is plenty for everyone. I’ll bring you your contempo-fiction, and raise you fantasy and science fiction. I’ll offer you short stories, and season it with poetry and haiku. I’m really looking out for the reader, and the fan desiring to get lost in these realms. So, stick around for the ride. I appreciate you and want you to enjoy your visit to the different worlds I intend to bring. Thanks, you.


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Deciphering What’s To Come – Part One

Poetry has been a mainstay for me over the last two decades. I am a huge supporter of poetry. I believe poetry is among the last written art forms that speaks direct from the soul of the poet a message conveyed to the world. Poetry is very important in that it is a vehicle of truth and insight as seen from kaleidoscopic emotions, thoughts, dreams of the poet. It is like a magic spell, or an incantation, a shard of their essence. Of course, I have particular view points on certain types of poetry and its discourse, but ultimately, poetry is more direct (even if abstract) in speaking the truth of the soul, the heart of the writer, than a mode like fiction or non-fiction. To that end, poetry usurped my writing in a strong way from my teenage years on through college and beyond. The press I run, Virgogray Press, is a publisher of poetry. I started Virgogray on the D.I.Y.  in order to house my own self-published creations beginning in 2003. I self-published my first book of poetry, Sad Height (2005), under the pseudonym Jacob Gray. The costs were huge for a young man of twenty years, but I went through the process, and though my endeavors were unsuccessful by market standards, I learned a lot, and carried on.  I even organized, booked, and funded my own reading tour which took me across the great southwest United States. That was truly a worthwhile experience. After that I went on to self-publish several chapbooks of poetry: Limbo (2006), Ghost Roads (2008), and The Terrorist (2009). I was fortunate to have other independent presses publish my chapbooks: Green Tea America was released by New Polish Beat in 2009, and The Winter King, an epic-inspired poem, was released in 2010 by Shadow Archer Press. In 2011, I published This Reality of Man, my most recent poetry collection. I am currently working on a new collection of poetry, and am very excited to finally bring life back into my verse. The biggest take away for myself during this time, however, is that between the years 2007 and 2013, I was heavily involved in the publishing and sharing of other poets work. I released chapbooks, and then collections of poets work, Virgogray releasing just under 50 titles, some of which included poetry anthologies and serials. The majority of my creative work went into reading, selection, editing, formatting, and promoting the work of other artists. And up until 2010 all my publications were hand made by yours truly. Everything the budget of my independent press required came from personal funds. I’ve spent a lot of money, and a lot more time, on poetry and the press. The titles of the Virgogray library are a beaming success and boon to literature, creativity and the artists involved. I have built a library of poetry and poets of which I am proud. While I have scaled down the activity of the press due to time and financial constraints, and importantly because I now desire to focus on my own creativity, I still edit and publish the flagship poetry publication at Virgogray Press called Carcinogenic Poetry. But, even as my eyes return to my first love, fiction and storytelling, you can be forever confident I will continue to churn out new verse, new words, new truths, and you won’t be left thirsty. . .

 


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Welcome, Dear Reader

Even In Death

 

Welcome to The Root of Many Returns, the legacy website of author Michael Aaron Casares.  Here, readers are invited to review dozens of works including poetry, fiction, and more. Gain insights into writing and other issues in Michael’s blog. Be sure to like and share your favorite pieces. Offer feedback in the comments. And come back often because we’ll have new stuff to read, and the website will continue updating.

Join the mailing list to be the first in the know about events and public readings, and to get poetry and short fiction delivered right to your inbox. You’ll also be entered into random drawings with prizes to include signed editions of the author’s books, artwork, and more.

Support Michael by joining his Patreon account or get a copy of his books This Reality of Man, The Distance to the End, or A Trick of the Eyes. Ask for them at your favorite bookstore, tell your friends and family, order them online.

 

 

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