It’s That Time Again

A few months ago I had a week of guest posts on here. And I’m ready to do it all again.

I have regular readers who I know are pretty interested in what I have to say, but I’ve posted almost every day of 2015! Which means a little change in perspective is probably in order. And I’m looking right at you.

It’s easy. I post about ANYTHING pertaining to books, writing, or publishing on here. Which leaves countless topics for you to discuss in a guest post. And don’t worry about trying to think of a topic I haven’t discussed before because my thoughts were most likely different from what you have to say.

Here are the only rules:

  • No book reviews.
  • No creative writing (poetry, short story, flash fiction, etc.)
  • No lists.

And that’s it! All you have to do is comment that you’d be interested in writing a guest post and I’ll send you an invite before the end of the day. You don’t even have to tell me a topic. I’m aiming for the first or second week of June to have the week of guest posts, which means I’m looking for five posts for each weekday. And of course, I reserve the right not to publish your post for any reason at all.

If you’re curious about what to write about, take a look at the guest posts from my first time doing this.

How to Feel Like Writing Again.

Are Writers Stalkers?.

I’m Going to Slit my Wrists if you Don’t Publish me….

The Wonderful World of YA.

The Buddy System.

Interested? Then leave a comment!

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Are Epilogues Necessary?

There once was a time in which I wouldn’t even read epilogues. I think it was probably high school. And then one day I decided to continue reading after the last chapter. I have no idea why I never read them in the first place or why I suddenly started reading them later on.

But when I really think about them, are they really necessary? I would guess that more than 90 percent of the books I read have no epilogue at all. Because generally speaking, in crime fiction the case has been solved. And if it’s a case that’ll span multiple books, then there’s still no reason to have an epilogue. I’ve seen authors include the opening chapters of their next books more often than I’ve seen epilogues.

I mean, tell me what an epilogue accomplishes that can’t be accomplished with the final chapter. I guess if it’s something like J.K. Rowling did, then it’s not so bad. But most books or series don’t need that additional information. Or do they?

Do you think epilogues are necessary?


On this day in 2014 I published Ten Most Haunting Male Literary Characters.

 

How Long Have you Been Writing?

Simple question.

I’ll say I started writing in May/June of 2013. And I stopped a year later. Ha. But basically that’s true. Anyway, I know some of y’all are in high school with stories to be told later on in your life, but I also know several people on WordPress who have been writing for decades. DECADES.

Which means there’s a mixed bag of writers on WordPress. Some who have accomplished absolutely nothing and others who have more stories or books published than James Patterson. Maybe not, but still. There are some really accomplished people on WordPress and I bet somewhere along the line they’ve come across my little part of cyberspace. Maybe. Wait, James Patterson, are you reading this?! (Let’s see if he responds).

But seriously, I’m just curious to see how long some of y’all have been writing and what you’ve been able to accomplish during that time. Have you been published by a Big 5 publisher? Self published? Maybe you’ve written some collections of short stories or poetry? Or perhaps you’re working on your first major project? Just tell me so I can stand here in admiration.


On this day in 2014 I published 1,000 WordPress Followers and Giveaway!. Currently sitting at 2,813 WordPress followers. Not too shabby.

 

Should Certain Books be Read by Certain Readers?

No. It’s a simple answer to a dumb question.

Imagine if Barnes and Noble (online) or Amazon asked you prior to checkout if you’re a man or woman. Or if you went to your local bookstore and they took one look at you and said the book you’re trying to buy is only to be bought by someone who looks different. It’s crazy talk. And you probably read this as if it’s somehow funny. It isn’t.

Remember that article (even though everyone knows it was clickbait) about adults reading YA? And the big fuss that arose from it? When someone says that any book should only be read by a specific reader, they are embracing the same stupidity present in that article. Imagine if Harry Potter could only be read by young boys. No girls. No men. No women. Or if The Hunger Games could only be read by teen girls. The list could go on and on.

Most genres have a target audience, but any popular book will transcend that audience and be read by just about any reader. So if a guy wants to read YA or erotica or any genre generally perceived as female, then who’s to tell him he shouldn’t? I’d make the same case for girls reading “male” genres, but I’m not sure which genres fall into that particular group.

What do you think?


On this day in 2014 I published A Literary Tattoo? I think Yes!.

 

Marking Your Books

I remember being told to always read with a pencil during my high school and college years. Or pen. Or highlighter. And that doing so would enable me to locate and better remember important details of the story. Ask me how many times I actually did this. Go ahead.

“How many times did you read with a pen or pencil, John?”

Not once. Why? Because I’d either retain the information or I wouldn’t. If I had to go back and revisit the text, then I likely was ill-prepared for any kind of test or exam and that falls on me.

And now I know people STILL do this even once they’re long passed the years of analyzing literature. But I don’t get it. What is being accomplished by underlining that quote? Or writing in the margins? Is it really so hard to read at a pace at which you can retain what you’e reading. I read about a page a minute in most books, right? Could I read faster? Sure. But I don’t see the point of just trying to read as fast as possible. At the other end of the spectrum, I also don’t see the point of trying to analyze every single word of a given text. If you think the author has hidden some underlying theme deep within the words of the book, fine. But that doesn’t mean that you should read the rest of the book searching and searching for evidence that your suspicion is correct. Just read the damn book.

If you’re not trying to analyze the text, then what are you doing underlining and highlighting and noting? Serious question. Cause I’ll randomly come across sentences that have been underlined in the Kindle versions of books and have no earthly idea why someone would want to save them for later.

Do you mark in your books?


On this day in 2014 I published Why is it Still Acceptable to Strip Books?.

 

Reading With HoloLens

You likely have no idea what I’m talking about, which is why you should continue reading.

Microsoft was awarded a patent today that could change the entire reading experience. Books. Magazines. Newspapers. All of it. Now you’re probably wondering how they plan on doing this. Well it looks like they’re planning on doing it through what is described as a “blended reality” headset (HoloLens). The headset and the patent would work together through augmented reality tags and sensors to display characters and scenes from the book AS YOU READ. That’s pretty damn great.

Imagine reading through an intense shootout between 5-10 people and getting to experience that. Or a fight to the death between two characters. Or just about any kind of action sequence. I personally think certain genres will work better with this technology than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be embraced by most readers. I have no idea how well this will catch on, but this technology aims to greatly improve the reading experience, and I see no reason why it won’t.

You can read an article about the patent and headset here.

What do you think about changing the reading experience with the use of this blended reality technology?


On this day in 2014 I published Your Favorite Bookstore.

 

Two Years After Graduation: My Progress

Last year I wrote a post about what I’d accomplished in the year since I finished school. It’s only fitting that I do it again.

Two years ago today I walked across the stage at the University of Houston Downtown graduation ceremony. It was quite the day that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Probably helps that I have a picture from that day on my nightstand just a few feet from where I sleep. You can read a little about what I accomplished in the first year after graduating from college here.

I’ll only be talking about what I’ve done in the last year from this point on.

The end.

Seriously. During my first year I wrote my book and started this blog, but in the last 365 days I haven’t done much. It hasn’t been a lack of motivation. I haven’t written anything, which is fine by me because there’s something much more important that I need to figure out before I think about that. It’s called a job, a real one.

I’ve been actively searching for a job since at least August. All of them in CJ. And nothing has panned out. Now I’ve reached the point at which I don’t think I’ll ever be working in CJ, which is disappointing and ridiculous at the same time. First, the American criminal justice system as a whole is under a microscope right now. One would think CJ agencies all over the country would actively be seeking out applicants who have a college education and have displayed over the course of their lives a high level of moral character. I have. This isn’t me bragging, it’s simple fact. Second, I know based on my experience during these last few months that I’m much more qualified for any CJ job than a significant portion of the applicant pool for any jobs in the area. I can’t speak for other parts of the country, though it’s very likely the same, but most CJ applicants down here apply with a high school diploma and a few college hours. You know just as well as I do that there’s a big difference between someone who went to school two or three semesters and someone who finished.

That last paragraph just seems like a rant, but oh well.

My main goal for the last year has been to find me a job in CJ, and I’ve failed at that. Now I need to reevaluate what my future holds.

No question for y’all today. Last year’s post included a handful of pictures, but not today. I don’t feel like including any.

PS: my failed job search has nothing to do with the economy or the worth of college degrees in today’s society, just know that you’re wrong if that’s what you’re thinking.


On this day in 2014 (as you already know) I published A Year After Graduation: My Progress.