To Jen (poem)

Jennifer Lawrence poses at the 85th Academy Awards nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills

To Jen

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Why can’t you see
That I love you

I love you as Mystique
And Katniss too
Oh damn it
I love all of you

I love your smile
And your eyes
And your humor
Please be mine!

I could go on
Unless you see
That we’re perfect
Marry me?


Don’t laugh at me. Jennifer Lawrence is my future wife.

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2014: What do I think of you?

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Photo Credit

Here it is, my 2014 recap! Cause I know you’ve been dying for me to write this. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that this will not be all about blogging or books or writing…it’s going to be about all things me, and some not. Might as well get started before you die of boredom.

I’ve seen other bloggers write their recaps in chronological order, but no. I’m not doing that. I’m going to hit on whatever topics I want. First up…Blogging.

Blogging

Talk about a fantastic year. Did you see my WordPress annual report that gave you a little insight into my blog? If not, you can do so here. What’s happened on this blog is as unlikely as it gets. I blogged for six months last year and had a grand total of 1200 views. Let’s be real, that’s nothing. I was literally writing for myself cause no one else was reading. I only blogged about writing my first book. So I’d write a chapter and then write a blog post. I’d go a week without writing and I’d go a week without blogging. I didn’t read other blogs and I definitely never commented on any. I guess I thought WordPress would magically make my blog popular. Didn’t happen.

I turned the year with something like 80 WordPress followers. My app currently has the number at 2184. That’s pretty significant. And I’d have to say it’s all because of a change in format. No longer do I write about my writing, (especially since I haven’t written in months) but about anything that comes to mind. Sure books are the heavy focus, but now I include poems and my thoughts on particular subjects like Pearl Harbor and D-Day. I just realized that I posted 12 poems on here this year! Which means I’ve written 17 poems in my life. I think my Halloween poem was by far the worst. I mean, I shouldn’t have posted it because it was terrible. But I wrote it at like three in the morning and went to sleep. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite. I really like the autumn one. And also the reading one. But the materialistic one too? Ugh. I can’t pick a favorite. You try.

And what my annual report didn’t tell y’all was that there were more than 10,000 comments on my blog this year! Read that again…10,000! That’s why I like blogging so much. I get to discuss all these things I have going on in my head with people who know so much more than I do.

AND I’ve gotten the chance to get to know some great people over the course of this year because of this blog. Maybe one of them (or me) will one day write a huge bestselling book and go on a book tour so I can attend an event and be like, “Hey! I’m that guy who goes on rants about books on WordPress! It’s nice to meet you!” I heard there’s a WordPress expo? Maybe? Someone find out.

I have some lofty goals for 2015 for Write me a Book, John! First, I want to hit 40,000 site views for the year. Second, I want to reach 5,000 WordPress followers. And third, I’d like to post 25 new poems on here in 2015. Think y’all can help make those happen?

2014 final blog stats:

282 posts

30,102 views

12,195 visitors

5,302 Likes

10,159 comments.

Reading

Hmm. This was a terrible year for me, which you already know if you read this post. I managed to finish a grand total of seven books this year. I’m basically a reader who spends more time talking about reading than actually reading. I read a couple good books and a couple that were okay, but that doesn’t matter. I need to read more. Period. This is serious stuff.

Work

This is a topic that I’ve really only shared with a handful of y’all. So, now I might as well share with all of you who decide to read this. Most of you don’t know that I work in retail. I actually started when I was 17 and I’ve been at the same job ever since. I make more and I have a different title, but the job is largely the same. I started the summer before my senior year in high school and worked all the way through college. And now 19 months after graduating from UHD, I’m still there. I have no issue with the job. But now I’m looking for something more. In each of the last three months I’ve had three major interviews for CJ related jobs (my degree is in criminal justice). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the first two. BUT the most recent one was just over a week ago and I’m moving forward in the process. There are five steps total. And this is the first of the three that I’m confident about. I’ll have to let y’all know what happens. I have about three weeks before the next step.

Sports

I’m from Houston. I’m a die hard Texans fan. You probably already know that their season is over. They finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs by a single game. But I’m not going to complain too much about a team that improved by 7 wins over last season with largely the same personnel. Nope. And the Rockets (NBA) are looking more and more like legitimate title contenders with each passing day. James Harden is leading the way with an MVP-caliber start to the season. Wouldn’t it be something to have the NFL Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) in JJ Watt AND the NBA MVP in James Harden? JJ Watt will most likely be the unanimous winner of the DPOY and his case for MVP is out of this world. Let’s see what happens. All things considered, I’m excited about the future of the three major sports teams here in Houston. Jose Altuve just won the batting title for the Astros. Just an FYI.

Writing

Ugh. My goals at the beginning of the year were to write two books. I wrote maybe a third of one. Which is fine, I’ve known for months that I didn’t want to revisit the story until the new year. Well, time to put up or shut up. I have about 30k words written and I know exactly where I left off. I may even have a little surprise for y’all about this at a later date. We’ll see.

But my writing goal this year is to finish the first draft of the story I have now. No other timetable. I just want to finish it. I think I can. Even if I start working a new job, I think I’ll be able to finish it.

The Hunger Games

Yep. Gets a whole bullet to itself. Hm. I bet if I did a search of my blog for Katniss of THG or anything at all related to those three books that I would come up with a couple dozen posts. I mean, I’m obsessed. Sure I didn’t reread the books like I said I would, but now all I do is sing¬†The Hanging Tree. Not even kidding. Matter of fact, here. Watch. Yes I know that Jennifer Lawrence isn’t going to win any Grammys any time soon, but really? Did you expect her to sound so…perfect? Seriously. You can’t listen to that and not be impressed. And the movie itself wasn’t bad. It wasn’t as memorable as either of the first two, but no one expected the first half of the worst book to be the best movie. At least no one who knows anything about the movies and the books. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the series. Pretty sure I’ll be that crying uncontrollably emoji once it’s over. Not even kidding. Y’all have no idea. I want the mockingjay pin tattoo.

YouTube

This is one that I would never have imagined happening. I’m big on TV. Y’all know this. Before 2014 I had subscribed to a grand total of zero YouTube channels. And I could have named one YouTuber. But then in July I discovered Superwoman. I still sing her song #Leh just about every day. And I watch all of the videos she releases. But that’s not all. I’m now subscribed to maybe a dozen channels that range from top ten lists to pranks. I discover new channels almost every week and have discovered that I’m genuinely entertained by people who just put themselves in front of a camera and record. Here’s Superwoman’s 2014 recap. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this really made me happy to see. I know I don’t know her personally and I’ve yet to meet her, but there are very few celebrities who I believe are as genuine as she is.

People

Oooh getting personal. I’m no different from any other person. I have people in my life who matter more than or less than the next person. 2014 was no different. I’ve had a number of people just kind of drop out of my life this year, and one that I never would have expected. But hey, that’s life. I still have a number of people who I personally admire and respect. I’ve written about a few of them on here this year.

Overall 2014 will be remembered for the people I now know from blogging and for me beginning my career search.

So I think that’s it. No real major events. No random kids. No random marriage. Not really anything that would mean something to someone else, but that’s okay. It was my year.

The Mockingjay (poem)

This is my third straight post that has something to do with my favorite series. Yeah. I’m a little obsessed. Oh well!

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The Mockingjay

Every cause
Needs a face
We have ours
The Mockingjay

Katniss is ready
To fight the fight
That needs to happen
To make things right

She’s the leader
Who we need
To lead us
To ultimate victory

Photo Credit

Saturday Selects: The perfection we all know as Jennifer Lawrence

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Each time I write one of these posts, I feel obligated to let the newbies to my blog in on what exactly they’re all about. My Saturday Selects series of posts occur on the first Saturday of each month and cover a topic that is unrelated to books that I feel like writing about. This time around I’m going to tell you all about the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence.

Now I sincerely hope that you need no further introduction besides her name, although I had one person comment on my About Me page just a couple of weeks ago congratulating me on my marriage to Jennifer. Folks, this is a dream and if it ever came true I’d leave all of you in a minute because I wouldn’t be able to spend more than eight seconds away from her side. So, since there are some people in the world who have no idea who one of the most famous actresses in the world is, let me rattle off a few of her major movies that most people would instantly recognize her from. X-Men: First Class. X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I really shouldn’t have to go any further. Silver Linings Playbook. American Hustle. Okay, there are a few more movies, but these are the big boys of the group. If you still have no idea who she is, then just leave now.

Let me tell you about how I came to fall in love with this woman. It was a dark and stormy night, wait, just kidding, It was 2012. I had just finished reading The Hunger Games just days before the movie’s release. Remember, before I read the book I had no idea what the series was about or that there was going to be a movie or anything at all. I just knew my brother kept telling me to read the damn thing. So I eventually did. I’ve finished the book and for some reason did a little Google searching about it and discover this smoking hot blonde who is set to be Katniss in the upcoming theatrical release. I had no idea who she was. I hadn’t seen the first X-Men movie, nor was there any name recognition. Guess what I did first? I texted my brother who had gotten me to read the book and told him that this Jennifer Lawrence person was NOT Katniss. Way too sexy. Way too sexy. Way too sexy. Okay, maybe I didn’t type it exactly like that, but it was something similar. I pictured Katniss as a girl who looked like she’d had a tough life. Who was rarely happy. And who was stronger than anyone I’d probably ever met. Jennifer Lawrence looked like she belonged on the cover of a magazine or something.

Oh but what a difference a movie makes. I saw the first movie on its release day, of course, and fell in love. Jennifer Lawrence was Katniss just as much as I’m me. I left the theater that day knowing what I had to do. I had to find out everything I possibly could about Jennifer Lawrence. And I have.

In my opinion, though I’m sure some of you may disagree, she doesn’t act how you might expect someone to act in her position. In a few short years she’s become a superstar in Hollywood. What I mean is that you can Google search any interview she’s done in recent years and she’s herself in every single one of them. She’s sarcastic, hilarious, obnoxious, and even blunt at times. She doesn’t act like she’s better than anyone, she makes fun of herself all the time, AND she’s a great actress. How can you not be in love with her?

The one thing that I’ve heard more recently than ever before is that perhaps we’re getting tired of her act. That she’s had her time as America’s sweetheart and now we’re moving on to someone who doesn’t act or speak the way she does. The name I’ve seen as her replacement is Lupita Nyong’o. I think she’s great, but no. If people want to claim that it’s all an act that has run out of steam with the public, then that’s fine. But let’s not forget that she’s as sure a bet as there is for consistently great acting performances. I don’t think we’ll be forgetting about her anytime soon.

If you’re wondering at my reaction to her Oscar win in 2013, this was it, “YEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.” No sarcasm or exaggeration. And yes, I was on my feet. Lastly, if I ever met her somehow, let me tell you what would happen. First, I would cry. Second, my heart would stop beating. Third, she would revive me using CPR. Then we’d get married and Mr. Hoult would be out of a female companion.

I’ll leave you with some pictures.

Oh my goodness. In looking for pictures of my main lady for you all, I found one of those things where they merge the faces of two people. It was her and Emma Watson and holy mother of perfection, I couldn’t look away!

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Jennifer Lawrence poses at the 85th Academy Awards nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills

Seriously guys, tell me this last picture isn’t BEYOND any word there is to describe physical appearance. Stunning. Gorgeous. Breathtaking, Beautiful. Sexy. No. None of them are adequate. Simply perfection, in more ways than one.

Books I Will NEVER Read

Photo Credit: Book Snobbery

I’m not a fan of bashing authors, but I’m not bashing authors really, I’m bashing their books. There’s a difference!

Okay, so I know most avid readers like myself have a number of books that will not ever be read for any reason. Not even if there’s a zombie apocalypse taking place and I’m the lone survivor with just the one book thrown on the floor in front of me. They are to remain off-limits forever and a day. Let me just give you the list.

1. Fifty Shades of anything

If you’re a fan of EL James, great. I’m not and never will be. I’ve known the very basic concept of the book for a long time now, but I just read a little of the Wikipedia page that made me want to slap someone. The first book sounds absolutely horrible. I mean, if you want to read about that stuff then partake in it yourself. Or go watch a movie. Or find a website. Do something. Don’t read about it. Makes me think you’re kind of gross. Don’t get angry at me for saying that. It’s my blog.

2. Twilight

I know Stephenie Meyer has been heavily criticized for her writing skills and the way she portrays Bella. Those are pretty much the two reasons why I won’t be reading any of the books in the series. Let me be clear, though, I would read this entire series 100 times before ever reading the first book from the above mentioned series. My reasoning for not reading these books is mostly because they don’t seem like they’d be interesting reads to me. Sure the writing may not be great and Bella isn’t the most memorable literary character of all-time, but the only book I’ve ever read about vampires was Dracula. Yes, I loved it.

3. Divergent

I think some of you may be thinking how I’m putting this series of books in with the other two. What I’ve read and heard about this series of books has mostly been that the first two books were pretty good and the last one was disappointing. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve read. Those have nothing to do with my decision not to read this series. There’s only one reason why I won’t read these books. It’s going to sound crazy, but oh well. I won’t read them because of all the comparisons they get to The Hunger Games. THG is my adult obsession. I LOVE those books. LOVE them. You’ll recall that I named the trilogy my favorite series ever in a previous post. Well, it’s because of the very slim off chance that I like Divergent more than THG that I won’t read them. I’m in love with Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss and Effie and Prim. I don’t want that to be overshadowed by Veronica Roth.

4. Anything written by a celebrity

I fully realize that most celebrities who ‘write’ books don’t actually write them. They have the help of a journalist or author or someone who actually writes the book for them. It’s not that I think the books are poorly written, it’s that the books are generally bad. For instance, I don’t have any interest reading about the whole rags to riches stories that so many athletes claim. It’s great that you went from food stamps when you were little to millions of dollars a year in salary, truly, BUT you won’t find me reading about it. I’m not including former presidents in this group. I think their books would be rather interesting to read. I look forward to reading George W. Bush’s book at some point. Not necessarily because I’m a supporter of his, but because his presidency was the first of my life that I actually understood a little about what was going on.

5. Anything with seductive people on the cover

I mean, come on. What’s the point? I work in a store that carries a very selective section of books. You’ll pretty much only find the major bestselling authors there. The ones I can name off the top of my head who I can recall seeing this past weekend are James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. BUT half of the books that I don’t recognize the author names have half-naked people on the front. It’s annoying. Won’t ever be reading those books. Not a one.

This would be my reaction to reading any book on the list.

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

Okay, so I know my list wasn’t exactly a list of particular books so much as it was a list of types of books I won’t read. But that’s it. Do you have any books that you’ll never find yourself reading? Tell me why.

In other news, I just passed 500 WordPress followers less than a month after reaching 200! You guys seriously make me happy.

A Valentine’s Day Duel: Ron & Hermione vs. Katniss & Peeta

ImageHappy Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you spend the day with someone special. Or, if you’re like me, you can spend it with your books. So, since it is Valentine’s Day I thought it only fitting to discuss two of the most well known literary relationships of the last decade. I’ll give you a hint…there have been a total of ten movies in which these two pairs of lovebirds appear so far, with two more on the way. Any guesses? Ron and Hermione of Harry Potter fame and Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. Let’s dive right in.

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Ron and Hermione

I am a HUGE fan of the Harry Potter franchise, but I have to admit that I have not read any of the books yet. I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I NEED to read them. I will at some point. But that’s not the point of this post. We’re talking about witch on wizard love. I considered including Harry and Ginny in this conversation, but Ginny isn’t quite one of the big three in the series, so Harry gets left out even though every book bears his name on the cover.

I’m sure every person keeping up with the literary world, and probably plenty who don’t, heard J.K. Rowling admit that Harry and Hermione would have been the better couple rather than Hermione and Ron. I tend to agree with her. Again, this is coming from someone who has not read the books, but Ron and Hermione just seem….odd together. One of the images I have in mind as I write this is in Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Ron abandons Harry and Hermione. While he’s gone they share a pleasant moment in which the two are seen dancing even though they’re in the midst of a dire situation. You can’t possibly tell me that Ron would be capable of such a thing. After all, he did abandon them.

Also, Ron isn’t exactly the brightest of the wizards attending Hogwarts. We all know Hermione is a brilliant witch. I can’t be the only one who pictures her with a similarly brilliant wizard. I think Harry fits that mold quite well.

I applaud J.K. Rowling for writing the story as she originally imagined it. But I also applaud her for admitting that she should have done things a little differently.

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Katniss and Peeta

The unlikeliest of partners. I HAVE read all of the books in The Hunger Games series and I’ve seen both movies. So I guess you can go ahead and call me an expert on the matter. Okay, maybe not an expert. BUT I absolutely love the series and not just because my future wife Jennifer Lawrence happens to play Katniss.

The two are thrown together during the first chapter of the first book in the series during the annual Reaping in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts is chosen to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. Katniss’ younger sister is actually chosen but Katniss does the unthinkable and volunteers in her place. She’s the first ever volunteer from her district in the 74 year history of the Games.

The relationship between the two starts off a bit rocky. Katniss is independent and not the most sociable person while Peeta is about as likeable as it gets. The two remain polite with each other until Peeta admits during an interview before the Games are set to begin that he’s got a crush on Katniss. I mean, I don’t blame him. She’s perfect! Katniss doesn’t like being thrown a curve ball and gets a bit upset. Then she goes on to score an 11 out of 12 during her individual showing for the Gamemakers. Peeta then decides that he no longer wants to be trained alongside Katniss because there is only one winner.

Once the Games begin and Katniss is on her own and Peeta is nowhere to be found it is announced that there can be two winners from the same district. Katniss goes on to keep Peeta alive with the help of sponsors and the two ultimately win the Games, but not before they tick off the Capitol in doing so. Katniss put on a show for everyone watching to make out like the two were madly in love. She did it to survive while Peeta wasn’t acting.

The two are forced to act as if they need each other in order to live after the Games, and although they do their best, it may already be too late. They may have inadvertently started a rebellion.

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My Favorite

This actually isn’t all that hard for me to decide. Katniss and Peeta. Hands down. I didn’t go into the second or third books of the series because I refuse to spoil those for any person who reads this who may not have read them. If you have read them then you are well aware of how their relationship evolves over time. But in the first one Katniss is about as upfront as she can be with Peeta under the circumstances. While the cameras were rolling she acted in a manner that kept both of them alive. And as soon as they were out of the limelight she made it known that it wasn’t as real for her as he might have thought. I guess my reasoning for liking their relationship slightly more than Ron and Hermione’s would be because we know what we’re getting from the start. Ron and Hermione take FOREVER to make it happen. (At least in the movies)

So tell me, which would you rather be a part of….Ron and Hermione or Katniss and Peeta?

Just for kicks, which nickname do you like more? The Boy Who Lived or The Girl on Fire?

2013: What a Year

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2013 was quite the year for me. So many great things happened and 2014 will have to bring it in order to compete. Now let me talk about some of those great things.

College Graduate

There was never any doubt that I’d earn my college degree in recent years since I planned my schedule two years in advance in order to walk across the stage in May of this year. But still, it’s difficult for me to put into words just how great that day really was. I come from a family of eight siblings, I’m the second youngest, and not one of us had been able to complete the task of earning a college degree. Until me. That in itself is something to be proud of, but I was also proud of the fact that I was able to get that degree in my hands in just three years and be the youngest student in my graduating class at 21. May 18, 2013 is a day I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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First Book

I started 2013 with two very distinct goals. The first was to graduate, which I did, the second was to get started on my first book as soon as the first goal was complete. Well, every reader of this blog knows I managed to accomplish that as well. Less than two weeks after graduating from UHD I began work on my first book. It became a five month long process that culminated in its release on October 29. I just stated above that I won’t be forgetting my graduation day any time soon, well I also won’t be forgetting the day my first book was released. Again, I struggle to put into words what it felt like to hold my own book in my hands. It was a remarkable feeling that hasn’t been tarnished by the fact that several friends and family members still haven’t read it nearly two months after its release. I WROTE A BOOK! That’s all I’m still thinking. And you all know that I’m fast at work on the second.

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One of the low points of the year has definitely been my lack of reading. In 2012 I started and finished 44 books by 17 authors. This year, if you’ve taken a look at my What I’m Reading page, you know that number fell to a miniscule 15 books. I mean, can you blame me for falling behind my reading a bit as I finished my final semester of college and wrote my first book. I’m definitely somewhat disappointed, but it’s understandable. Like many serious readers I think, I rank the books I read. Well, my favorite book that I read in 2013 was Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch #14) by Michael Connelly. It currently ranks in at #15 on my overall best books list.

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Entertainment

Those of you who read many of my blog posts know that I typically talk solely about my book and writing. Well, why not change it up for the last post of the year? My absolute favorite movie to be released could only be a literary adaptation, right? It’s easily Catching Fire. By a longshot. Something that you guys don’t know is that I am obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, I know I’m supposed to be this professional author and all of that, but she’s perfect and I’m in love. Not to mention the fact that she dominated the year.¬† She needs a Twitter so I can tweet her everyday.

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You guys also probably don’t know that I am obsessed with country music. My favorite song that was released this year was probably Beat This Summer by Brad Paisley. This was a tough call because there weren’t many songs that I REALLY liked.

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Lastly, I’d like to wish every one of you a happy new year. I’m sure it’ll be one for the record books.