Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why Is The Past Important

Lessons From The PastI remember, as a kid, going to the video store and renting VHS tapes. And then came along DVDs. And, OH! Was there ever an uproar about them! Some people wanted to stay with the times, and we all thought (even secretly) they were nifty.

But we saw the future and we knew our beloved cassette tapes would fade out and we would have to RE-BUY all the movies and albums that we already owned.

What am I going on about? I’m talking about the past. And Why do we feel it’s so important to hang on to it.

When I was in high school, me and my friends created a role play game. During the game, one of my friends, Matt, asked my character that very question. And as hard as I tried to explain to his character the importance of remembering the past…he kept hammering me.

And you know what? It came to a point when he had me backed against the wall. Figuratively.

So, why do we hold on to the past? Why should we hold onto the past? Let’s take a minute and talk about the two obvious reasons: We’re sentimental and we learn from the past.

Without a doubt, we are sentimental people. With the exception of minimalists, and not getting into hoarders, the average person likes to keep photos and mementos of people they loved, places they’ve been, and so forth.

I know I’m guilty of this. I even, on the occasion, buy something that I once had growing up. Material things. Funny they can mean so much to us.

The other reason is because we learn from the past. We advance as a society from learning from our mistakes to (hopefully) do better in the future. For this important reason alone we cling to the past.

But as my friend kept bringing up, why do we keep up historical parks and memorials? Why don’t we just discard old relics to make way for the new? Why do we keep things instead of just forging ahead?

I’d like to hear your opinions. Comment below and share your thoughts on why the past is so important to us. Till next time, have an awesome day!

Dealing With Grammar Nazis

Bad WritingWhen it comes to the rules for writing I don’t know everything. I didn’t go to school to major in English. I never took any courses specifically relating to writing. I’m not perfect nor do I pretend to be.

Everything I know has taken me my lifetime to learn. I’m always trying to continue to hone my craft; whether it be sentence structure or marketing strategies as an Indie author.

Writing, and doing it correctly, is an art. It’s (technically) not as easy as people think. Which is why a lot of people who want to write a book don’t ever try to pursue doing so.

With that said, there is a group of critics out there that like to, not necessarily bash writers, but nick pick their work. We all know the people I’m talking about.

Yes! I am referring to the grammar nazis! That’s a lower case “N” on purpose, by the way.

So, who are these people, why are they so picky, and how do you deal with them?

Well, before I answer that, let me just say that if I was to ever receive any harsh comments and/or reviews then this will be that moment! I realize there are some reading this who are going to shred this post to pieces, but that’s ok!

Because, for rest of you, if you read the comments those people post then you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about here. Thereby adding free examples without me dishing out a dime!

This is strictly me thinking off the top of my head. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and this is mine.

Anyhoo. Where was I? Oh, yeah…

Grammar nazis are a wide assortment of people. Some are teachers/professors, some are writers, others are readers, but some are the “holier-than-thous.” But don’t let the terminology fool you.

Most of them aren’t bad people. Of course there’s the authors and editors, but many of them are just regular folks like you and me.

Which leads me to the “why.”

Grammar nazi’s are, in a nutshell, OCD. I’m sure you have something your OCD about, right? Well, these guys just happen to be picky about grammar and its usage.

Face it!

Nobody wants to read something filled with bad grammar. And they also don’t want to see the incorrect use of punctuation that may cause confusion of what the piece is conveying.

Writing rules are in place for that. Every writer knows this and has (at least) a good handle on things. Some more than others. I fall into the “others” category.

To deal with grammar nazis is like putting up with that annoying relative no one likes. They’re not going away. You just have to live with the fact.

Don’t let the critics tear you down. You didn’t make it this far in life listening to other people’s opinions of you, did you. No! And your writing should be no different.

But there is something you can do to help ward of the hissing critics; whoever they may be. And that’s simply taking the time to better yourself.

I make a crap load of mistakes. This post you’re reading now is probably filled with them! And I am sure those mistakes will be pointed out to me. But I am still publishing this.

I don’t let the fear of a few obstacles in the road keep me from going down it. I do the best I can, go back and try to make it better, put it in the hands of others to read, and move on.

Re-read the positive comments and share them. This is a good way to reinforce your ego. Or, you could just ignore those negative comments altogether; which I know  is hard to do.

Be kind. Lots of people who comment are just trolls. These people have nothing better to do in life than to try to make life miserable for others. This is, I’m only speculating, because they have no life of their own and they’re probably envious of you deep down.

So instead of getting mad at them, pity them. But what ever you do, don’t throw back anything negative. That’s what they want. It’ll just get you worked up and make you look bad in the long run.

The moral of the story is this:

There will always be opposition in all areas of life. If you are trying to get your feet wet as a writer, or thinking bout it, then put your ideas on paper.

Ignore what bad may come at you down the road. You can’t change it, and it’s a pointless reason to worry. So start writing! Do it NOW!

And remember: There’s always time to improve and make things better.

Potential Future Video Blogs From Kyran Ravencroft

I’ve been doing some thinking. I have come to the conclusion that I want to do some videos, or “vlogs,” if you will. for my author website blog and/or Youtube account. Filming For Youtube

But there lies the ever bothersome problem of being vidayo cameraless. No camera means no videos. No videos means a sad version of me. Gah! Always something!

But here’s my plan for them:

Being that I tend to be an unorthodox person, I want to add a bit of, um, “humor” to my videos. And anyone who has seen my past videos from back when knows what that means!

People tend to think of authors as these serious people, and that’s probably the case for many (perhaps most), but not for all of us. And certainly not for me.

I know there are rules to writing and blah, blah, blah. Even though I had to reluctantly conform to society because of family and such, I’ve never been one that understood why people would want to keep themselves in a box all the time. Not that there ever was a box to begin with, but to each their own.

I like doing my own thing. I have a warped and twisted sense of humor that most people don’t get. Some even frown upon it I think, but those people are boring anyway. *laughs* Just kidding.

I’m not a comedian. I don’t think I’m “funny” per se. But I am goofy and sporadic when the mood hits me. Which is kind of ironic when you stop to think of how dark my imagination can be at times.

So until I have the funds to put towards a portable hand held motion picture capture and relay device, then I will continue to simply write. Which I’m going to do anyway, but that’s beside the point.

When the day comes I can purchase a video camera, I may just get the best of what I can afford. I’m talking Wal-Mart stuff. Nothing big and fancy.

I’ve been looking at a couple lately; one of which is the Gopro. Any ideas on this or suggestions on any other cameras? I’d like to read your thoughts in the comments!

As always, I’d like to thank everyone for their support and readership! It’s you guys that I write for in the first place.

Be sure to check out my T-shirts, and again, thank you! You are all so very awesome!

Komplex Sinplicities: Origins Of The Title And Book Cover

Something that interests me about a book is what interests a lot of readers and that is how the author ever came up with the story. Where did the characters come from? What was their inspiration(s)? KS2-BACKGROUNDcover

I know, in terms of traditional book publishing, there is an arsenal of people that take an authors manuscript and turn it into the finished product we see on the shelf.

Sometimes they change bits of the story in a way that will sell more books, and the original title may even get changed for much of the same reason.

The cover of the book may have been one of thirty or more possibilities before being decided upon. All of this work goes into getting the most out of a book so that it makes a lot of sales.

In the world of the Indie author, this team of professionals isn’t available; making the author, not only the author, but the editor, publisher, graphics designer, marketing agent, and so forth.

Also, a word about covers, self publishers have the access to sites that specialize in book covers for a fee. these covers are well thought up, well made, and often look like they came from a big publishing house.

But I like taking a more hands on approach. I’m no graphic designer, and certainly no where the level as many of the Photoshopers out there, but I can do enough to make an interesting picture or two.

To be honest, some of my more cooler pictures I’ve done turned out the way they did by total accident. I start playing around and eventually I get this nifty picture. It’s fun. I enjoy doing it.

So I make my own book covers. My best and most favorite is a picture I did that I’ll be using for one of my current WIPS (Work In Progress). Want a hint: There’s a bird on it. You’ll know it when you see it.

For Komplex Sinplcities, which I’m finishing adding content to before going into the long editing process, you’ll see a red background with wavy lines and a symbol in the middle of the cover.

The wavy lines was one of those accidents I told you about. the original idea was to have just a solid red background with the title and name in black and nothing else.

But that’s where the symbol came in. I wanted to add a simple, yet unique, item to the cover without it getting too busy. I thought long and hard on the title and tried to let my mind brainstorm with itself.

Then one day, I had the idea to put a bio-hazard sign on the front. I decided on this because people associate the sign with death, darkness, fear, maybe chaos, confusion, and so on.

But that wasn’t enough. It fit the “Komplex” part of the title, but it didn’t fit in with the “Sinplicities” part of it. More time went by before the idea of adding pitchforks came to me.

Crossing the pitchforks was the first thing I thought of doing, so I did this and placed them over the bio-hazard sign. That didn’t look right. So then I moved them underneath the bio sign. Still wasn’t sitting quite right with me.

Then the idea of separating the forks and placing them on either side of the bio symbol hit me. I did this and tilted the prongs at an angle, but, like the other ideas, it was too space consuming and busy in the picture.

So I thought on it some more. And the idea to cross them and put them in the bio-hazard sign hit me. I did this and angled them and stretched them so they fit evenly.

Presto! There it was! I had my symbol.

As for the title, Komplex Sinplicities, along with the other WIP I mentioned earlier, actually started back when I was in high school over twenty years ago.

Being it was so long ago, I couldn’t tell you now exactly how I got the idea for the title other than I wanted something unique. Complex Simplicities seemed pretty fitting, but it didn’t have that “feel” I was looking for.

I needed something that (mostly) my generation could associate with. So I changed a couple of letters and knew the words I was looking at was to be my book title. And after all these years, it has remained so.

The cover itself, once I decided on the main look of it, has gone through many subtle changes. In terms of marketing and sales, there’s probably a version or two that would do better than the one I settled on, but oh well.

But there ya have it! An in-the-nutshell look at how I came up with the cover to my upcoming book: Komplex Sinplicities.

Be sure to follow my blog for future posts of news and inside looks into my books and how I came about creating them. Thank you for stopping by! Hope to see you next time!

Pancakes Or Waffles?

To bacon? Or not to bacon? THAT…is never a question! But what sometimes is a question is should I go for the golden crispiness of a waffle? Or should I go for the soft cakey texture of a pancake? Pancakes vs. Waffles

Bacon is an easy choice. But when confronted with the option of pancakes or waffles… Well, usually, I am a pancake kind of guy. I mean, how can you wrong with pancakes?

When I was growing up, my grandmother would often make us pancakes. We didn’t get waffles too often; which may explain why I prefer them less. But when she did it was, more often than not, they were waffle iron waffles.

Waffles. Say it with great enthusiasm. WAFFLES! Funny, isn’t it?

Now days, I grab the “just add water” stuff and have at it. I don’t mind cooking, but I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of quicker is better when it comes to food. But not always.

They say that the longer it takes to cook something the more rewarding it is. I already know how true that statement is, but you have to remember… I’m lazy! *laughs*

So I do the quick mix, original or buttermilk (I likes the buttermilk stuff), throw in the water, stir the heck out it with my fork, pour, and impatiently wait for the bubbles to signify it’s flipping time.

Fast forward…

Pancakes are done! Yay! Now comes the heaping globs of unhealthy butter. Then, wait… okay. Maybe not heaping globs. But then comes the waterfall of artificially buttered flavored maple syrup. And, of course, the figurative half gallon of cold milk to go with it! Yummy Pancakes

And once I get all of my everything-wrong-with-the-American-diet items together then it’s chow time! The problem with this part of the cycle is my tendency to over eat. But, I’m a happy camper even if I do.

So what’s your preference? Are you a pancake or waffle kind of guy or girl? And do you prefer the toaster stuff or the old fashion home cooked stuff?

Do you like putting blue berries or chocolate chips in the mix? Any special or crazy way you serve it up? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

Right! I think that’s about enough jabbering for one post. Be sure to click the little “Follow” button towards upper right hand side of the page. You never know what’s going to be in the next post!

 

My Favorite Season

There’s a part of the year that I look forward to above all others. A season of the year that brings back that grand inner child feeling. It is, by far, my favorite season of the year. It's That Time Of The Year Again

Can you guess what it is? Are you looking at the falling leaves in the GIF and just feeling a total loss? I’ll give you a hint:

Some people call it “Autumn” and some people call it “Fall.”

Have you guessed it yet? Ha! I knew you would figure it out!

Yes, Fall is my most favorite time of the year. At least it is in the area I live and grew up in. Maybe if I lived in another part of the world then that would change.

So why do I like Fall? Or Autumn? Does it matter which word I use? Is there a correct term here, or does it even matter? Should I capitalize the words? You’d think, as a writer, I’d have the common sense to know better!

Anyway…

For me, growing up, the winter time meant Christmas, getting together for a couple of days with family, playing with my cousins, gifts and toys galore, tons of food, and going deer hunting with my dad.

Spring time meant another school break, pretty weather that allowed me to play more outside, ride my bike, fishing, and the knowledge that summer break was just around the corner.

Then summer did come. School lets out, more outside activities, more fishing, swimming, the family vacation, more bike riding, and, of course, FREEDOM!

Freedom meant staying up a bit longer, but not much longer because I grew up in a sort of strict household that sheltered me from what most kids were exposed to, and freedom of getting away with taking a bath later than normal (some times not until the next day if I was lucky).

Eventually, summer would come and go and bring in the dreaded new school year. But there was a positive catch to this: The oncoming of the Fall season!

I looked forward to, as I still do, the turning of the leaves and keeping a keen eye out for my first colored leaf to fall off a tree and float its way to the ground to where other leaves would soon be gathering as well.

I anticipate, as I did back then, going outside and smelling that first brisk wind that carried with it the smell of the autumn leaves. Yeah, you know the one!

Upon sniffing that first cool crisp breeze, I always think of my most favorite holiday that is also just around the bend: Halloween! The one day you can be somebody or something else and no one would care.

Halloween would give way to Thanksgiving, and that meant another family get together, more play time with my cousins, and lots of food.

Thanksgiving, for me as a kid, was a catch 21. It had the positives of the things I just mentioned, but it also meant the fading out of my most favorite time of the year to Old Man Winter.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always liked winter to a degree. It just depends on the degree! *laughs*

But there’s a lot of inner emotion that swells up when Fall rolls around. It’s a feeling that’s very difficult to describe other than it’s when I feel most alive inside.

My spirit bounds, my creative process is everywhere all at once, and I just have this overall feeling of goodness. That, to me, is what it’s all about. To live life in that way everyday… Sigh.

So here we are with August, my most dreaded month of the year, just days away. Dreaded because it’s the hottest month of the year, the most mosquito infested month of the year, and the start of another school year.

And for you kids who may be reading this, if you’re anything like I was, you know how horrible it is to start back to school! I know your pain, my friends. Believe me!

Now, some of you may be reading this and agreeing with me right now while others are thinking of a different season in your minds. So what is your favorite season of the year and why? Leave a comment and give us your story!

Thank you for visiting! Have a great day!

 

10 Signs You Should Invest In Vagina

Okay! You probably read the title and are completely freaking out right now! Or maybe you read the title and really want to read about those 10 signs you should invest in vagina.

*slaps back of hand* Blog Post Idea Generator

Bad! BAD boy! …or girl! BAD I say!

So what is all of this about, you ask? Well, I came across a blog post generator, and, just for kicks, I thought I’d try it out. It’s by HubSpot, and you can find the link to this generator here.

You may already be familiar with this. I don’t know. I’m not brand spanking new at blog posts, but I am fairly new at it. And I have heard/read about blog post generators before and said to myself:

Se-e-elfLet’s go try one and see what it comes up with!

So I did! And here is how this particular one works. It’s pretty cool, actually, and good for a laugh if for nothing else. Alright. Moving on…

When you pull up the site, you’re going to see there are three (3) blocks for you to enter a noun into. Think of any 3 (three) random nouns, or something perhaps that relates to one another (preferably related to your blog), and hit the “GIVE ME BLOG TOPICS!” button.

Here are the nouns, the THREE words describing a person, place, or thing (or idea) that I thought of. And don’t ask me “why” I chose these three particular words. Because I don’t have an answer for that.

Anyway, the resulted number of 5 minus (or, take away) 2 is the number of words I put in, and they were:

  1. Airplane
  2. Chocolate
  3. Vagina

After typing in my noun choices, I hit the button, and then, like magic, the generator spat out five topics (a weeks worth of things to talk about) just like that. Want to know what it gave me? Well, here are the results:

  1. 7 Things About Chocolate Your Boss Wants To Know (That’s just too funny! If anyone writes a blog post about this come back and let me know.)
  2. How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Airplane (I’m not sure if they are talking about the mode of transportation or the movie here. Hmmm…)
  3. 10 Signs You Should Invest In Vagina (I should probably leave this one alone. Or maybe write a post on it? What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments below!)
  4. 20 Myths About Chocolate (This could actually be a blog post. In fact, I think I may have seen it somewhere before.)
  5. Why We Love Airplane (And You Should, Too!) (Yeah, I think they’re referring to the movie; of which I haven’t seen. That’s totally taking my noun out of context!)

Pretty cool, huh? That was fun! And funny! Ok, one more time just for giggles. Let’s take three more words and see what it comes up with. Let’s use the words:

  1. Penis (JUST to be fair, guys!)
  2. Wombat (Because I just love saying the word wombat.)
  3. Potato (Why not?)

Ok. Here we go! Let’s see what the blog post generator from HubSpot comes up with!And the results are (drum roll, please!):

20 Myths About Penis (I can only imagine what some of you are probably saying right now. You’re probably laughing, too! Alright. Back on subject…)

15 Best Blogs To Follow About Wombat (Is there even ONE blog about wombat? Please! Somebody tell me!)

Why We Love Potato (And You Should, Too!) (Yeah, I can already see how this is going to be repetitive. But it’s still cool, nonetheless!)

10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Penis (Guys, I promise you I am not making this up! I think I’ll leave that one where it stands.)

The History Of Wombat (Sounds like the History and Discovery channels got together and made a documentary about the poor little wombat.)

Okay! So, there ya have it! A fun, and possibly helpful, blog post generator. All thanks to our friends over at HubSpot.com.

I hope you have enjoyed this post! If so, leave a comment and check out the T-Shirts that I went through the trouble to make JUST for you guys!

Thank you for visiting! And until next time, as always, shave a donkey!

How To Tutorial: Folding A Fitted Sheet

Here’s a quickie post for ya!

Most people I know, including myself, do not know how to fold the dreaded fitted sheet. So, I thought I’d share a video or two with you guys.

I grabbed these off of YouTube because I’m just too darn busy (and too lazy! Shhh!!!) to make a video myself. So I’m not taking any credit for them, just so ya know.

Anyhoo… This is for you! Good luck!

 

 

In case you missed it, here’s another one for ya!

 

 

Well, I hope you found the videos as helpful as I did! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and get the stupid sheet back ON the bed! Grrr!!!

15 Events In History I’d Like To See

Moments In History

History is chock full of things I wish I could go back and watch unfold. As one who is interested in historical events, I could make a seriously long list.

But, this is a blog post. Not an encyclopedia. So, in no particular order, I’ll jot down a few major events I would like to go back in time and witness first hand. Let’s get started…

  1. The first thing I’d like to see, and I think most people would be on board with me on this one, is to go back to when everything first started. Whether you’re a Creationist or a Big Banger, this one would be worth the trip!
  2. The beginning of life. I believe this one pretty much speaks for itself.
  3. The Bible stories. I mean, c’mon! You know you want to!
  4. The building of the great pyramids.
  5. The extinction of the dinosaurs. Provided, of course, I could live through it.

Of course, those are all pretty obvious ones. Here’s some other favorite moments I would like to go back and see:

  1. My birth. I know that sounds awkward, but it’s true.
  2. All of Victorian London. What can I say? I’m a bit of a Steampunk fan!
  3. I most definitely want to go back and see exactly what it was that made Plato write about Atlantis.
  4. It may sound a bit strange, but I’d like to be a fly on the wall and watch certain authors as they wrote their masterpieces.
    For instance, I’d like to watch J. K. Rowling as she wrote the first Harry Potter book on the napkins and scraps of paper she used.
  5. The library of Alexandria in its prime. That should prove interesting! But I’d settle for the invention of the wheel.

There are some darker times I would want to witness, too, simply because of their historical significance. As horrific as they were, I feel like the only way to really understand them is to have been there. Some of these tragic and sad moments would be:

  1. The sinking of the Titanic – starting five minutes before it hit the iceberg.
  2. The bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
  3. I would want to be witness to the controversial Lincoln and John F. Kennedy assassinations.
  4. The height of the Black Death.
  5. And lastly, I would want to watch Leonardo Da Vinci paint the famous Mona Lisa. I know that doesn’t sound all that bad, but maybe, for him, it was. Think about it!

So if you could go back in time, what would you want to see?

25 “What If” Questions List

From time to time, we all have those random “What if” questions that pop into our heads. Well, I can assure you, I’m no different!

I thought I’d post a few just for fun. Enjoy! What If

  1. What if, instead of making the sounds animals normally make, they say the name of what their species is known by in the language of the country in which they live?
  2. What if you had a pen that would allow you to write in whatever you wanted it to? Like, one minute it could write in ink or paint, then in graphite, then perhaps in blood or crayon.
  3. What if our planet was as big as Jupiter? Or bigger? Or as small and icy as Pluto?
  4. What if we lived underground without the knowledge or concept of what light was?
  5. What if hair and grass had feelings and voices?
  6. What if we didn’t have to breathe?
  7. What if one day you woke up or came home from work to find the characters from your favorite movie or book you wrote/read all in your house? Some playing cards or eating at the table, one watching television, one washing dishes in an apron, another attempting to vacuum the floor, and so on.
  8. What if you woke up and it was yesterday? Or last week? Or last year?
  9. What if you woke up one day and you were some one else? Or some thing else?
  10. What if nothing or no one looked as they do now?
  11. What if we were as tall as ants or as big as fabled giants?
  12. What if certain things we take for granted were never invented? Some examples are: cell phones, microwave ovens, springs, toilet paper, milk chocolate, fast food restaurants, the domestication of animals, concrete, fermented alcohol, and written language.
  13. What if we could communicate with animals like we humans do with each other? Mind Blown
  14. What if everyone on the planet was a single race, a single sex, and spoke a single language and, perhaps, even looked all the same? Your wheels are turning, aren’t they? *evil laugh*
  15. What if we communicated telepathically and could see and hear each other’s thoughts?
  16. What if we weren’t the dominate species?
  17. What if we were invaded by hostile aliens or the zombie apocalypse happened?
  18. What if there were no hot and cold temperatures outside; everyday was the same level of comfortable to everybody? How would that work for us with fire and ice and cooking/refrigerating food?
  19. What if we didn’t know any better than to be nudists?
  20. What if there was world peace with no one understanding the very concept of violence?
  21. What if humor did not exist nor the concept of having fun?
  22. What if we lived in a society that didn’t have to use money and/or fossil fuels?
  23. What if we could naturally fly; with or without wings?
  24. What if everyone only lived for the day they were currently living – not caring about the past nor planning for the future?
  25. What if life as you know it was just…different…in every way?

Comment and share your “What if” scenarios!