Thursday, November 8, 2012


I was just sitting by the computer right now. Searching the App Store over for a good journaling app – which means a journaling app review/rundown is probably in the near future. But the point is, I’m not actually doing anything that I’m supposed to be doing. It’s November. November means NaNoWriMo time (see for details). I ‘m supposed to be writing.

I’m supposed to have written 13,333 words by now. I’ve written just over 2,000. In fact, this blog post is likely to be almost as long as my entire novel at the moment.

This is my 4th year taking part in NaNoWriMo, make no mistake, this isn’t the first time I’ve very much on purpose procrastinated. There is no other excuse for it, I have been genuinely procrastinating this first week of NaNo. I haven’t had much else besides the occasional class here and there, but nothing to have a genuine excuse for not reaching my daily word count goal. No real reason why I shouldn’t have 13,333 words right now.

The point of all this? It’s perfectly possible to catch up all those words. It’s perfectly possible to still reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. Procrastination is okay… to a point. It’s perfectly normal to procrastinate – especially on things that our minds make harder than the task actually is. There’s nothing wrong with it, on one condition – you do not give up.

The more you procrastinate, likely the more work you’ll have to do, and the more perseverance you’ll need to achieve your goal. It just means that at one point, you’re going to have to be doubly focused on what you need or want to get done.

So if you’re taking part in NaNo – don’t give up. After procrastinating in NaNo in years past, I have written 5,000 words in a hour in order to catch up. So if you get down to the last day and found you haven’t written a word, with enough perseverance, you can actually finish that novel in one day.

Of course, that would be master Yoda writer mind level, and I really, really don’t recommend it. But it’s 2% staying on schedule, 98% perseverance that will get you through. So keep going!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Geek Food

Every time I use the term “Geek Food” (also known as “Gamer Food”), I get laughs. But that seriously should be a more widely recognized category – and that is the reason for my blog post. I’ve asked several people if they actually know what geek food is, but very few people know if they aren’t geeks themselves. Let me break it down.

Geek food – eh-hem – is food that does not get your fingers greasy, goopy, cheesy, sticky, or crummy. It is food that is easily consumed and in no way will harm the electronic devices that are generally such a large part of our lives.

Food like M&Ms, Hershey’s Pieces, Reese’s Pieces, and the Pizza and PB&J flavored Gamer Grub are all good examples of geek food – and to be honest, all I can come up with at the top of my mind.

Are you a gamer/geek? What’s your favorite geek food?

“If every beginning had an end,

we would have found the end of the internet by now.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

To Be or Not to Be?

A few weeks ago, I went to see The Hunger Games in theatres, I thought it was great, so naturally, I started reading the series and is now my new obsession. I just finished reading The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and started reading The Mockingjay. I’m fond of both the books and the movie because the storyline is like nothing I’ve read before. Sure, there are plenty of post-apocalyptical novels around, but unlike the others, this one didn’t have an aliens and what-not. It’s utterly realistic and believable – and that thoroughly appeals to me.

If you’ve read or seen The Hunger Games you know it’s all about life and death… or in other words: war. *SPOILER, HIGHLIGHT TO READ* –> As I was reading, it was obvious that Katniss Everdeen wasn’t going to die because she’s the main character, but all of the other characters are up in the air. It was simultaneously comforting and annoying. <- So I got to thinking with my author mind: What if the main character died at the end of the book? Or the middle of the book? It’s very, very rare to find a fictional book where the main character dies at the end.

My question to you is: Would you keep reading a book if the character died at the end? Would you prefer the character to die at the end? Would you prefer they live? Does it depend on the book?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Different Types of Criticism: Post-Publication

A few weeks ago, I explained the different types of criticism you’ll run across as a writer pre-publication. Today, I’m explaining what you’ll face after publishing. I’m going to break it down a differently than I did last time, as you still receive bad and good criticism, I just want to elaborate on how to deal with it, and also the different kinds of places you’ll deal with it.

Post-Publication -

This is when the book has been published and is available either as an eBook, Audiobook, or Print book – after rounds of editing has been complete and it’s up for sale everywhere.

Reviews -

Bad Reviews: You’ll probably receive negative reviews from professional reviewers, unskilled readers, and everything in between. The absolute most important thing to remember post-publication is to not comment. Don’t comment on it at all. You’ll just make yourself look bad.

If you receive the review from a friend, co-worker, or just someone who has done the review for you and they are speaking directly with you via email or some other form of communication, thank them for their honest opinion. No matter what they’ve said or done or how bad the review – thank them.

Good Reviews: Pretty much the same rules apply no matter if the review is good or bad. Indirect review (i.e. Amazon or Goodreads review section, etc.) – don’t comment. Direct review – give thanks.

Regardless of if the readers liked the book or are just slandering your work or name (which doesn’t happen all that often), they put time into reading it and should be thanked for their time.

In Person – So let’s say we’re at a book signing or some other public event and a person who has read your book comes up to you.

Bad critic: They say it was a bad book or they didn’t enjoy it (I’ve only ever heard about this happening once, never experienced it myself, so it’s a rarity). Since it’s face-to-face you can’t actually ignore them… well, you could, but it would be almost as rude as saying something you might regret later. Just bite your tongue and say “I’m sorry” or “I’ll take that into consideration” or something to that effect.

Good critic: They say they enjoyed reading your work or similarly something positive. Thank them. Thank them for reading. Maybe even feel free to tell them about some of your other books.

You can begin to see a bit of a pattern in how to deal with things. If you’re a new writer, you can save these rules and use it as a cheat sheet that way you can stop and take a breath the next time you’re faced with criticism.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Different Kinds of Criticism: Pre-Publication

When you’re an author, you’ll be getting plenty of criticism at every stage in writing. For a lot of aspiring authors, that’s a big part of what’s holding them back from getting their work off the back burner and out in the world. To cut to the chase, there are two main areas of criticism with books, and I’m going to explain them, and how to deal with them. This week, I’m going to explore pre-publication and in the next two weeks, I’m going to explore post-publication.

Pre-Publication -
This is when the book is freshly written and you might post it somewhere online for feedback (places like or a writing group.

Bad Criticism: This is where people comment saying things like “This is bad. This is wonderful! I don’t like it. The characters are weak. The plot is choppy. The descriptions are wonderful!”
Why is it bad? It isn’t a helpful comment. It doesn’t point out what exactly it is that makes the character weak or why they think the plot is choppy. I’ve seen the “why” missing very often in a lot of criticisms, and good or bad, it just doesn’t give you anything to go on or prove that they even read your work.
How to deal with it: There are two different ways to deal with this, first, you can ask the commenter to elaborate on the “whys”. Secondly, you can just ignore it. Usually, if it’s a trusted commenter in my writing group, I’ll ask them to elaborate. If it’s a commenter online, I’ll probably just ignore it.

Good Criticism: Also called “constructive criticism”. This is where, good or bad, you have information about what you did right – and why – and what you did wrong – and why. "
“The character was weak because of all of the “telling” in the work, and also, you use a lot of crutch words.” This is the bare minimum for a good criticism.
Why is it good? It tells what’s wrong and gives you an idea of how you might fix it. It also is clear that the commenter is familiar with what they’re talking about, making them a valid source.
How to deal with it: This might sound like a no-brainer at first, but it’s a little more complex than how to deal with bad criticism. First of all, it’s a rule for me to not apply what I’ve learned with the new criticism unless I strongly agree with it or at least one other commenter says the same. This is because everyone has their own opinions, but if more than one person says that same, it’s more likely that others will also agree. So you may hold off on applying it to your work.
In terms of what you’re doing right, it will probably be a good idea to take note for future reference. It can be helpful in revisions and in your future writings to know what to add more of and what to do minimally.
Constructive criticisms can help you to learn about your habits, your weaknesses, and your strength. They’re really a necessary part of the writing process and – new writers especially keep in mind – NOT a bashing of your work. If you understand what kind of criticism you’re getting, then you’re better equipped to handle it.
Lastly, I would like to make sure you never bash someone for commenting on your work whether it’s good or bad criticism you’ve received, or even just an outright bashing. Never. Ever. Make a big deal of it. Best thing to do is ignore it.
Good luck in your writings! Any questions, leave them in the comments.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Books Everywhere!

Last year, my books weren’t a large focus for me. However, I my spare moments planning out the books I have swirling around in my mind, but I didn’t actually get to do much writing or taking action. I was able to participate in a wonderful event at my local zoo – Summer Safari Nights. I hope to be able to do the same this upcoming summer. And other events as well.
This year, I have a lot in the works as far as new novels go. Besides for the anthologies, you haven’t seen anything from me since 2009, which has been way too long. But this year, we’re looking at the release of Howl. It will be released exclusively on March 12th and I’ll be signing off the first copies at the Tucson Festival of Books.

Howl is part of what has kept me so busy! After I begin this semester at college, there’s no doubt I’ll be busier, so I’m attempting to get this thing as ready as I can get it before then.
Also, here’s something I haven’t mentioned in awhile – The Jewel of Onsolot, the first book in my Artifact Series, I’ve just been assigned an editor and will be working on getting this gem (pun intended) out, hopefully by the end of this year.

Both of these novels are different from anything you’ve read from me before. A Gift from Above was a bit of a young-adult, contemporary, fictional, novel-ish…thing.

The Artifact Series is a fantasy about witches and wizards and… pretty much every single magical element I’ve ever heard of – dragons, unicorns, vampires, ghosts – you name it, it’s in there.

Howl is a paranormal… fantasy… thing… it focuses on werewolves – and only werewolves – and it’s my first novel that has a bit more romance than any of my other novels. The romance has a bit of a written-in-the-stars vibe, so those who are into that type of thing, should look out for it.

Okay, I’m done taking up your time! Get back to work!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It’s a New Year!

Hello readers,

This blog post is long overdue. Every time I’ve sat down to write the post, something else has captured my attention. And after you read this post, you’ll have a good idea of what has captured my attention. This is going to be a longer blog post, so grab your cup of coffee or tea and settle down – it’ll be worth it!

First, over my holiday break, I was able to finally get my YouTube channel started. I actually have two tutorials posted, and some other random videos on there. I’m really looking for input about what you’d like to see me do on the channel next. So either head over to my channel or post in the comments with suggestions.

I’m working on getting some of my cover songs uploaded and do some new tutorials as well. My goal for the new year, is to just try a wide variety of everything… Within reason!

I’m getting ready to upload the final video in a series of my own painting DIY thing that I decided to film with my brother. So, go check that out.

2012 New Years BannerNow, here’s the part where I stop talking about me, and start talking about stuff that you can do that I’ve put together. A big event that is going on right now is the “Happy” New Year Challenge. You can get all of the details on the page, but the basic idea is I’m challenging everyone to post something online that is “Happy” and positive every day for a month.

For every participant who completes the challenge, I will be donating $1 to the American Heart Association. And I’m also bribing participants with prizes too. Also, if you’re participating or not – you can sign up for the official daily newsletter. It only goes until the 15th of February, and it’s chock full of happiness – and also short – so you aren’t bothered to read a long email. Every day, it features a “happiness” tip – like hanging out in the sun, and playing with charities and other things that I do that make me happy. As well as daily song suggestions and a quote of the day.

male-profile-with-text-hiFinally, today my eCourse launched – How to Create Indepth Characters - If you’re a fellow writer, trying to get inspiration to start a story, or just interested in improving your writing skills, check out my course. The first 10 people to enter the code – CHARACTER – get in free, after that it’s $5. So get over there and check it out!

There’s a bit more babbling I have to do about my writings and some great stuff coming up in the future, but I’ll save that post for later this week.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

So, in honor of New Years, I’m sitting down and writing a quick blog post. It’s probably crazy of me, but I did actually make some resolutions before the clock struck twelve. This year, instead of making a resolution to lose X pounds, I’ve gone for something a little bit easier.

First – and most importantly – I’m not going to make a resolution to do anything that I wouldn’t normally do, instead, for everything I shall do, I shall do it with the utmost passion and to the best of my ability. Whatever I do, I shall do it my best – and then some. It shall be a year of over-the-top performance.

Second, I shall explore hobbies. Because after this holiday break, I’ve realized that I really need to find some hobbies. I need something to do in my off-work hours besides work.

These past few weeks, I’ve been completely lost trying to do something – anything – that didn’t have something to do with work. Very difficult since apparently all of my hobbies are my work.

So, I shall be testing out new hobbies. Going to start with dancing, see if I can get into that… Take some YouTube lessons… Have a hobby that you enjoy? I want to hear about it.

In light of the New Year, I’ve put together a challenge for you all based on my observances. I think it’s a great idea, and I’m even bribing you all to do it – for every successful participant, I’m donating 1 (one) dollar to the American Heart Association. So, head over here to check it out, and get your friends to join in -

I have so much going on right now, and will be doing a post in the next few days attempting to cover it all. For now, I’ll end it here.

Recommended New Years song – Good Life, by OneRepublic