Category Archives: Ramblings
For some reason, people like to hear about goals authors set for themselves. I don’t blame them. It’s interesting to look on the other side of the fence like that.
But! Here’s the thing . . .
People follow people for specific reasons. It could be because they’re interested in an author’s life, what a lead singer is having for lunch, or whatever. There’s countless reasons to follow some one of interest.
So, yes. This is my writing blog/website. It’s devoted to my writing. But I am, believe it or not, a real person. With real problems and concerns. And I even like to do things outside of writing.
GASP!!! Heaven forbid an author do ANYTHING except write all day every day!
Yeah, well, get over it. Anyhow, I thought I’d come up with a list of things I want to accomplish in 2016. They include things related to writing, but they also include other things also.
So, without further adieu, I give you my goals for 2016:
- Publish Komplex Sinplicities. If you read my blog before this one then you will already know that I have ordered my first proof for the paperback. There will be an eBook version to go along side it as well.
- Buy a vehicle. This one we did already. I say we because me and my wife don’t make those kind of decisions alone. Besides that, we may both drive it, but it’s really for her anyway.
- Work on my other writing projects. I have so much stuff to get out it’s crazy! I can’t just work on one thing. My mind doesn’t work like that. So I bounce from project to project.
- Work on illustrations. I have cover art and ads to work on, but I ALSO have a book project that will be illustrated almost like a children’s book would be. But this is no children’s book. I also have a comic strip type book I want to work on. Only time will tell.
- Publish one other book with eBook and one eBook. Talking about a challenge! This may be easy for some people to do, but not everyone has that kind of time! Again, only time will tell.
- Metal detect more. Until last year, I slacked off from my metal detecting. And that, my friends, is a real shame! So I plan on doing more of that and maybe some bottle digging. I have a sifting screen that I’m gonna put to more use this year too.
- Upgrade to a better metal detector. I’m more eager to do this than I can express with words! I’m looking at getting the Garrett At Pro and grab myself a NEL Tornado coil to go with it. It’s PAST time I found those deep targets that’s been out of my reach this whole time, dang it!
- Take a trip. Due to life and all that, me and my wife haven’t had the chance to really go anywhere in the last year or two. So this year I’m looking for us to take a trip. We know where we want to go, but it’s going to be a while yet before we are able to. It is what it is, I guess.
- Make some videos. I have a camera, not a very good one, mind you, but I have one all the same. Whether it’s metal detecting videos or videos about writing, I’m looking to throw some up on Youtube. If you have any ideas for some, let me know!
- The usual crap. Every year I tell myself I’m going to lose some weight, eat better, and blah blah blah. Well, I did lose about twenty five pounds last year. Don’t ask me how I did it, but I did! But my #10 goal(s) are just the usual things we all say we’re going to do every year, but end up not doing.
And there ya have it! My personal top ten goals for 2016. It’s not everything I want to accomplish this year, but it’s the ones I think you would be interested in knowing about.
So tell us what goals have you set for yourself this year in the comments below. And tell us how you’re currently working towards them. Until next time, and as always, have an awesome day!
It has been one long and tedious journey to even get to this point: Ordering the first proof for the paperback. Whoo hoo!
But, we’re not out of the frying pan just yet. There is still plenty of work ahead. With that said, I want to go over a couple of things about where I am at right now with my writing.
Firstly, let’s go over what will happen once the proof arrives. So the files look good and the eBook files are waiting for their upload. It has been my experience, being this is my first paperback, that publishing a paperback is a whole different baby than doing eBooks.
In short, eBooks are formatted differently. You only need a front cover where as you need to create the spine and front and back covers for the paperback. The paperback cover has to be tweaked to meet the page count.
The interior is also different. Paperbacks are just that . . . paperbacks. Which is to say you are printing a physical book. So when formatting for this you have to think more traditionally.
On the flip side of this are the eBook files which are HTML and look different on digital devices. although there is a lot of freedom with what all you can do with digital files there are some things you’re going to have to sacrifice in order for the book to look right on a person’s reader.
Another thing to think about are pictures, links, and so on. Of course, in a paperback these things are printed on the page wherever they are in the file. Not so with eBooks. However, links can be clicked in digital files which will take the reader where ever you want to take them; website, landing page, etc.
Most people already know these things, so I’m not going to go into formatting details here.
Secondly, as stated before, the work isn’t over yet. Once the proof arrives it will need to be thoroughly gone over and looked at with the attention to detail of a forensics lab.
Such things I’ll be looking for are:
How does the cover look?
- Do the images (live elements) fit? Are they cascading too much one way or another? Are they off kilter? Too short on any side? How is the image quality? Is the text clear and readable?
How does the interior look?
- Are the pages starting on the correct page numbers? Is the text aligned properly? Is there any weird spacing anywhere? After reading the book from cover to cover, were there any grammatical and punctuation errors?
. . . and so on.
After going over every inch of the book, corrections will be made (if there are any and there probably will be) and the files will be re-uploaded. Should that be the case then another proof will be ordered and the cycle repeats itself.
Once everything is fixed and finalized then comes the heart pounding moment when you push the Publish button. But hold on a minute!
Are you promoting? Do you even have a marketing strategy? This should have been worked out a long time ago. If you don’t or haven’t promoted yet then don’t release that book into the world just yet. You need a following!
I’ve got my marketing strategy laid out. It may not be the best of them, but I feel it will be good enough. It’s not like I’m looking to be the next J.K. Rowling. I just want people to read my stuff.
Anyway, moving right along . . . .
So what’s to be expected after Komplex Sinplicites? Well, I plan on writing a blog post just on this topic; and maybe soon. But, for now, I’ll just say there are several other projects in the works.
The hard part is is there are so many of them. Writing takes time and, sometimes, focus. I’m a fairly busy guy! And there are a lot of times when I just don’t feel like writing for whatever reason.
Hey! Writers are people, too, you know!
In conclusion, I’ll keep doing what I do when I can find the time to even do it. The first proof, again, is on its way. I’m already working on other projects. And I’ll start throwing on the thick promotion stuff soon.
In the meantime, thank you for your readership! And stay tuned for future updates by clicking on the Follow button. I hope to see YOU on the other side!
Imagine something for a moment.
Now imagine that you and your family being dragged out of your house and herded into the street. There are men with guns, barking dogs, and people crying and screaming all around you.
You’re loaded and carried away in trucks to the train that awaits you. No one has any idea what is going on, where they are being taken, or what is about to happen to them.
After a few minutes, the trucks come to a stop; you have arrived at the train station. More men with guns hastily let down the gate and yell at you to get out and move into formation. There are more dogs barking, crying, fear, confusion, and soon a door on the boxcar you crawled into is slammed shut and locked.
It’s a long ride to where you are going. But for a moment, and only for a moment, you relax for reasons you can’t explain. But, for you, things have just gotten started.
Finally, you arrive at your destination. The door opens and the scene upon getting out is more terrifying than anything you went through before getting on the train.
You’re torn apart from your family. You’re chances of seeing them again are slim to none. Your bag is tossed into a pile with bags of persons that came with you and before you.
What happens from here depends greatly on which destination you were sent to. Unfortunately, you have stepped foot in the worst possible place you could be.
You’re going to die here.
Thoughts of what is happening to your family are going through your head. At this point, you can only pray they are able to survive.
What would you do? Where would you go? How would you survive? Three basic questions, but very important questions should you happen to ever find yourself in this situation.
Whether the end of mankind is due to biblical events, or man made (virus/nuclear) causes, the scenario is a scary one if you think about it.
There’s many “preppers” out there that already have bunkers, food and water caches, and an arsenal of weapons and ammo. These guys, surprisingly, each have their own ideas and theories on how to make it through the apocalypse.
But what would I do? What would be my game plan? Well, I’ll tell ya:
Let’s say that some freak incident occurred and me and my wife were the last two human beings on earth. The first thing I would NOT have to worry about is shelter. Shelter, fire, and food/water are always at the top of any survivalist’s to-do list. But the priorities of each can vary depending on the situation.
So with millions upon millions of buildings across the landscape, shelter would rank low on the priority list. And thank goodness!
The next thing I would want to worry about is the means to create fire. And though I’ve had training with making fire without matches or lighters, mind you, it’s more difficult to do, I’d still take advantage of the man made resources available until they became unusable.
Having the ability to make fire means cooking food, sterilizing water, keeping warm, protection, and so on. Fire is essential for life if you plan on living for more than a couple of years; if you make it THAT long.
Food and water. let’s first handle the food problem. If we were the last people on earth then there will be an over abundance of canned food available.
We could live on this for a long time, but eventually it WILL go bad. Unless wheat grew on its on for years to come, and we found a way to bake bread without a conventional oven (which is easier than you think), then making things with grain would also be low on the priority list.
Wild edibles would be brought into diets more as staples than exotics. The need to hunt and fish would, of course, become the norm. Luckily, I can do both.
Water, on the other hand, would be at the top of the list on any given day. You can survive for days and days without food, but you have a week (give or take) to live. Less than that if you are in a hot and dry area.
But water should be everywhere, right? Yep! So what’s the problem? Lots! Not to get into all the ways to get clean water, the most common method is boiling it. Hence the need for fire.
Bleach will be easily accessible for awhile, and I know adding a few drops to a gallon of water (and letting it sit for a few hours) will bring the water to drinkable status.
Over time, clothing will be an issue, and I can see the return to wearing furs becoming the fashion. But, with abandoned clothing stores everywhere, we could probably avoid the fur issue for awhile.
Medicine. Sigh. There’s the monster! Sickness is inevitable. We would raid what storage cabinets we could, but not all medicine would be usable over time.
We would keep what we could for as long as we could. After that, then it is what it is. In the meantime, herbal remedies, which I sometimes use already, will become our medicine closet.
One of the most important strategies to staying alive is one most people don’t think about: keeping busy! Whether alone or with my wife, I would make it a point to have fun, stay creative, and keep busy looking for supplies, water, and growing/finding food.
We’d need to relocate from time to time to keep up with food and supplies. I’d want to mark circles of distance on a map around our current location. This way I can set a limit to our gathering zone and where we are currently within said zone.
My vote wold be to take only what you think you need and those items you may not come across in the next area. Nomads and wild animals have learned this tactic long ago. It’s a good lesson to pick up.
Speaking of wild animals, what of the wild dogs and zoo animals? Wolves and coyotes? It’s my belief the first two would be the biggest concerns.
Domestic dogs are everywhere. And, eventually, they’re going to find their ancestral roots to survive. This means, possibly, turning on you. What zoo animals you have to worry about will begin congregating and re-populating. Luckily, guns and ammunition will easily attainable.
The thing you have to worry most about is being ambushed. And they will be a constant threat, so you better get use to the idea of no longer being at the top of the food chain. So, yeah, we would be packing at all times.
No one can tell you exactly how to survive through or after an apocalypse. But there are basic rules and strategies that most everyone will agree upon.
The smartest thing you can do is to not panic and use your head. Common sense, though seemingly a rare thing in today’s society, can go a long way.
So that’s a very broad and general view of what me and mine would do, but it’s a start. What would you do if you or your family were the last humans on earth? Share your survival plans with us in the comments!
And, welcome! To MY WISH LIST!
When I was thinking about writing this post I was thinking of some of the things that I actually have on my wish list. But then I got to thinking… Why not kick it up a notch? Why not make an EXTREME wish list?
So that’s what I decided to do. Also, trying to choose only one category to list this post under was a difficult choice to make. But I decided to list it under “Ramblings” because, well, just because.
OK! So let’s get on with it!
Some of the cool things I would really like to see, do, or own are:
- Experience ZERO gravity! (I think this one is on my real wish list, too.)
- Ride a rhinovirus! Wait… That’s suppose to be rhinoceros.
- Walk the Red Carpet at a celebrity awards show…AND RECEIVE AN AWARD!
- Be able to morph into any animal at will.
- Be able to fly and/or turn invisible at will.
- Time travel! And see…the dinosaurs…
- Have enough money to buy no less than 5,000 acres of ANYTHING at the drop of a hat.
- Stand on the top of Mt. Everest and yodel at the top of my lungs like Tarzan.
- There is NO number 9!
- Be able to explore other planets.
- Take an exploration submarine trip to the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
- Take off in a fighter jet from an aircraft carrier. O-O-OH YEAH!
- Sail around Cape Horn in an old school style sailing ship.
- Fly around the world in a hot air balloon that looks like the head of Darth Vader.
- Own and be licensed to fly a real life mock up of the Millennium Falcon.
- Have a major motion picture based on one of my stories.
- Be able to actual enter into any book I want and be IN the story!
- Own a gigantic real life fire breathing dragon!
- Have my theme music. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!
- Be able to fully communicate with any species of insect and animal.
- Invent something positive that would revolutionize mankind existence as we know it.
- Use the power of my mind to make litter gravitate before me into a tightly compacted ball for disposal.
- Cure worldwide violence.
- Experience WARP SPEED! ZO-O-OM!!!!!
- Hang out with real life Ewoks.
- Win the National Pancake Eating Championship!
- 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. ‘Nuff said. But an old Shelby Cobra will do just fine, too! Anybody willing to donate a kit car?
- Take a tour of Cinderella’s castle.
- Ride a real life (and human friendly) Godzilla through the streets of Tokyo! Woo Hoo!
- Own a real life, fully functional LIGHT SABER! If you can get me one then we’ll talk about details later.
Ok! So there’s my 30 (well, 29) things I’d like to see, do, or own. Hope you enjoyed the list, and leave a comment some of the things YOU have on your EXTREME wish list!
This can be a bit of a touchy subject. As I am not one to get into religious debates, I don’t usually bring this sort of thing up. However, I do find the topic of reincarnation interesting.
Now before you go biting my head off, you must understand something. I’ve had an interesting life in terms of otherworldly things.
I grew up in a Baptist church (saved and baptized) under a rather strict father and grandparents. I was sheltered from a lot of things, and when you do that to a kid it only increases their desire to explore.
So, that’s what I did. I went exploring. I won’t get into all the details, but quite simply, I had (and was) experiencing things that defied logic as well as what the bible was teaching me to believe.
So I opened my mind to other possibilities.
Eventually, self hypnosis and past life regression were some of the first things I began to look into. And, wouldn’t you know it, but things (memories?) began to surface.
I haven’t gone down that road in some years now, but what I can remember from it is suiting to how I am today:
The memories, if you will, are of me on a sailing ship. We were sailing very close to a sheer cliff that was very tall and like a tan-ish color.
I know I had a woman back home that hated for me to be out at sea and would wait for me often at the docks; searching the horizon in hopes to catch a glimpse of our ship. I know she did this because she had told me at some point.
I have always loved the old sailing ships. Later in life I would find myself working as a deckhand on towboats and I discovered the feeling of working on a boat was very soothing to my soul.
I’m attracted to water. I long for the ocean more than I care to admit, but the funny part is… I get sea sick! But, at the same time, I do love being in the mountains too.
So are these feelings the old roots of my former self that have sprouted into my current life? Or do I just really enjoy the mountains and being on and around water?
Who knows for sure?
There have been, and currently are, people in the world that can remember things from their past lives; or so they say. Sometimes, the memories they talk about can even be found in old documents to help support their claim.
However, some of the things they mention aren’t historically correct. And other people use these mistakes to slam those people, and the idea of reincarnation, to the ground.
But, honestly? If they can remember something that supposedly happened 50 to 400 or more years back, then don’t you think some things will naturally be fuzzy and obscured? I mean, what did you have for breakfast two months ago from today? Exactly!
Like I said, I’m not writing this to get into a contest over whose beliefs are right or wrong. Because of my own past, I have been forced to question my own beliefs. And what I believe in is my own business.
Now, since I’ve gotten COMPLETELY off topic, let me think for a second on what I’d want to reincarnate into if I had a choice.
Well, I’d probably want to be an animal; either a falcon or an owl or maybe even a three toed sloth. And for some good reasons. The most important of which is:
Animals don’t have to worry about bills! They don’t have to work. They don’t have to worry about renting or buying a house, buying groceries, their car breaking down, getting shot for wearing the wrong color shoes, and on and on I could go.
But, really, I love flying! So I’d probably cast my vote to come back as a bird. And if I had to come back as a person? Then I’d say a pilot or writer or maybe an actor. Although, a space explorer would be awesome, too!
Hell! Let’s put the icing on the cake, shall we? Let’s even bring me back as the opposite sex. I mean, why not?
On the other hand, knowing my luck, I’d probably end up coming back as a lump of crab grass or as a slug. I think I could handle being a snail, though.
So how about you? Without going into what religious beliefs you have, and just for fun, what would you want to come back as? Share it with us in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and have a good one!
Hello, world! Welcome again to my blog!
I was thinking the other day about how people insult and look down on the average person when they break out in something new. Then, later down the road, some celebrity does the exact same thing and everybody loves them for it!
So here’s my advice to all of you mens and womens and childs… If you want to act or sing or write or whatever, and you have a unique way of going about it, my advice would be to follow your heart.
Do what feels right to you. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing or how you should be doing it. Just don’t.
The world has become the world we know because of unique people just like you and me. I am sure if you read up on how some of those people (people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many others) got their start you will find they were mocked in the beginning.
They were told they would never make it. They were ridiculed and laughed at, but instead of bowing down in the face of adversity, they kept pushing until they succeeded.
That’s what I am telling you, my friend. Not everyone makes it to the top, of course. And even some of those who do are short lived. But who is to say you won’t be the next big thing? Either way, it’s worth shooting for the stars!
Let’s take me, for instance…
My upcoming book, Komplex Sinplicities, is a maelstrom of poetry, suspense, comedy, a bit of horror, and who knows what else. It’s not published as of this very moment in time, but to SOME those I have talked about to about it have kind of sneered at the idea.
Here’s why: When a person picks up a book they expect to see one sort of genre. They are expecting a certain feel from cover to cover, and Komplex Sinplicities kind of goes against the grain of all that.
But I did it for good reason. Things in the world are continuing to evolve and transition from one thing to the next. That’s putting people out of their comfort zones, but it’s the way the world seems to be working now days.
I don’t know if anyone has ever done a book quite like mine, but seeing the changes in the book market as they are, I think there should be a pioneer…a leader in the industry…to begin a new era in how we look at books.
Like I said, I may not be the first, but I’m definitely going to get some nay sayers commenting about it. And you know what? That’s fine with me. But if I don’t start this, for a lack of a much better word, revolution then some one else will.
And the best part? My next book, although very different from Komplex Sinplicities, will be just as chaotic. What can I say? I don’t do “normal” if I can help it. I find it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
So keep your nose to grind stone. Grow ya a tough skin, and do what you want to do. That’s what I have to say about it.
Do you have something peculiar and different from the norm? Leave a comment! Tell us how you plan on revolutionizing the world?
I 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!
When 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.
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.