Saturday Selects: The Consequences of Inaction

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday on topics that fall outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Yes, today is Sunday.

I have a story to tell. It doesn’t have a happy ending. I have three dogs. One large dog and two small ones. Over the last few months the large dog has been aggressive toward both of my other dogs. In December I said it was time to get rid of the large dog. But my recommendation was not acted on. My other family members seemed to be more concerned with how much they claim to love the large dog rather than the fact that the two other dogs were in danger.

Two days ago there was another incident. And again nothing was done. They continued to just act as if everything was normal. There was another incident early this morning. The time for action has long passed. Emergency surgery and thousands of dollars forces one’s hand.

This is what happens when you take for granted your ability to take action in a timely manner. Your animals shouldn’t be forced to live in fear. They’re members of your family just like your siblings, parents, and children are. If you have an aggressive animal, take immediate action. Just like you would if your family member was in immediate danger.

My family didn’t. And our dog will be a constant reminder of what happens when you don’t do something when you still have the chance.

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A Second Book Idea?

Could it be? Have I finally thought of a new book idea? Yes.

A little back story here. I self-published my book more than three years ago. I didn’t come out of college with the goal of securing a good job or traveling the world, I came out with the single goal of writing a book. Some of you will recall the original name of this blog as Write me a Book, John!.

After I published my book I immediately began work on book 2. Cause I’m obviously a prolific author. I soon realized the second time around was different. The drive simply wasn’t there and the story itself wasn’t clicking. I made it about 30,000 words into that first draft of my second book when I abandoned it. My memory tells me I wrote myself into a corner I couldn’t get out of.

Early yesterday morning I came up with a new idea. And who knows, maybe I’ll get started on it sometime soon.

There are plenty of writers out there better than me. Better stories. Better ideas. Better writing backgrounds. Which means I have plenty of room for improvement. Leggo.

What do you do when you’re discouraged with your writing? I did nothing and it’s cost me nearly four years.

A Story I Know You’ll Love

Ron Lynch is a name likely completely unknown to you. And Matthew Flores is probably no different. But the rest of the world is becoming more and more acquainted with the two by each passing day. Let me tell you why.

Ron Lynch is a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS). For those of you located in other parts of the world, USPS is our primary snail mail service. Recently Ron Lynch discovered 12-year-old Matthew searching through junk mail for anything he could read. And Matthew even asked him if he had any extra mail that he could read because his family doesn’t have a car and can’t afford for him to take the bus to his local library. But Mr. Lynch decided to do something just a little bit better than junk mail. He put this on Facebook.

One would expect the typical person to have a few hundred friends on Facebook and to actually interact with a fraction of them, right? Wrong. This post has caught fire. People all over the world have been rushing to send young Matthew books to read. And I’m asking you to join in! I’m not asking you to send him a box of all your favorite books, but if you do have a book or two that you think this young boy would enjoy, then I say ship it to him. I’m getting on Amazon and finding something for him right now as I sit here and write this. I’m even going to include a personal message.

Matthew just wants to read as much as he possibly can, and I want to help him do that.

Let’s all give Ron Lynch a nice salute for what he did. He showed us that the world isn’t such a bad place after all. There are plenty of good people all around.

PS: The address for Matthew’s local post office is at the end of the first picture. You may have to click “see more” depending on your device.

This happened after just a few days.

I decided to send him a boxed set of the Percy Jackson series! But then I realized that he’s already gotten it. 😦 I’m going to think about this for a day or two and then decide. But you don’t need to wait for me!

It would be really nice of you to share this post with your friends, followers, or whomever. Because it’s impossible to have too many books, right? 🙂

Any Reason to Use Wattpad?

logo_Wattpad

On this day in 2014 I published Male or Female Protagonist: Why does it even matter?.


I’ve never used Wattpad. I can’t even remember playing around on the site. But I know a lot of bloggers use it. I’m just wondering if it’s actually useful.

I’m not going to pretend to know exactly how it works, but from what I’ve heard I gather it lets users create an account and then post original stories. Am I on the right track here? I guess one can receive feedback, perhaps? Not sure. But I’m just trying to figure out what draws a writer to the site. I can understand someone sharing one of their first stories, but I’m not sure I see any positive coming from an experienced writer sharing a new story that could be self published or pitched to an agent or entered into a competition. I just don’t see the point.

I’m not against the site. I’ve never used it. But outside of someone just beginning their writing journey, I’m not sure it’s really all that useful. If you’ve proven yourself as a writer, published or not, why use Wattpad? I don’t know the answer.

Photo Credit: Wattpad

Revisiting an old Friend (Andrew)

I’ve been very open about the fact that I haven’t been working on my second book since….maybe February? Which is fine, I’m not particularly worried about it at the moment. But I’ve now decided to finish that story before working on anything else. It won’t be right now. Probably won’t even be this year. But I’m thinking hopefully around January/February I’ll be able to devote some time to finishing the story.

I’m in the midst of a very important period of time that requires my full attention for the next couple of months, otherwise I’d read over my story and get writing. But again, I’m not in a rush. I know the story and where I left off. I’d considered working on new projects and even abandoning the story altogether, but neither of those will be happening. This is the story I want to finish. And I’m going to.

So tell me, what’s the longest you’ve gone without working on a particular project before going back? It’s going to be right around a year for me.

Ending Your Story

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

We’re all writers here, right? I know most of you have several manuscripts complete at the moment. Some of you probably have dozens. Well then that means you have some experience bringing your stories to a close.

Before I begin, I first want to say that I have no issue with happy endings. Fiction is not supposed to be 100% believable, otherwise how could you have all the crime series that never seem to end? Now let’s talk about ending your story. Personally, I’m a big fan of the ending that fits. So if the main character must lose someone close to him/her, then I’m okay with that. If the main character gets seriously injured in heroic fashion, then I’m okay with that. Or even if the story leaves you with a cliffhanger. I have no issue with any of these as long as it fits.

I think writers can be guilty of writing a happy ending just for the sake of doing so, at times. I’d say that’s the only issue I’ve had with story endings. The ones that leave you scratching your head like “whaa?”and thinking how in the heck did the author come up with that. I’ve never once had an issue with a story ending in a manner that forces you to read the next book in the series. Or ending badly for a main character in the book. I honestly think it’s more difficult to write these kinds of endings. Because readers have almost come to expect a positive resolution to the events throughout the book.

When it comes to my own writing, well I have just the one story that certainly had a happy ending. But I have every intention of continuing the series and absolutely throwing in some curve balls when it comes to the endings. Am I going to have Andrew killed in a shootout with a bad guy during his last case? Eh, probably not because I don’t want him to go out like that. But you never know, right?

What about you? In your writing do you have any preference when it comes to endings? Or perhaps in your reading.

PS: I apologize for not replying to comments at all recently. I have a giant orange number staring me in the face right now of pending comments. I’m going to do something about this. Finally. But I always read what you guys say. Always.

Everyone has That one Novel in Them…or do they?

This is one of the dumbest things you’ll hear from anyone who claims to be a writer. And probably from people who know nothing about anything. I’m talking about that stupid saying that states that EVERYONE is capable of writing that one good novel during their lifetime. Or maybe I’m taking the phrase too literally. Maybe it’s supposed to mean that everyone has a story worth telling? Either way, no. Just no.

Let’s tackle my first issue with this. I find it hard to believe that someone could actually believe in what they’re saying if they’re indeed stating that everyone is capable of writing a book. Have you ever known someone who lives okay, not rich but capable of buying most things they’d want, maybe a new car every few years? Of course you have, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m describing you. Okay. And then for whatever reason you get a look at one of their emails or a letter or some form of their writing and you realize how bad it really is. I’m not talking bad as in you have no idea what they’re trying to communicate to someone else, but rather that they struggle to string together cohesive sentences or misspell the most basic words. There’s nothing wrong with people who write poorly, heck maybe they had some bad English teachers during their school days, but to say that EVERYONE is capable of writing that one novel is just not true. I think it’s what someone repeats over and over again who knows their writing needs a lot of work.

Let’s now tackle the second issue about whether everyone has a story that needs to be told. I have no issue with someone bringing light to an important situation or event. But if you’re going to sit there and tell me that everyone has a story to tell, then I have just a single question for you. How can you make that statement and then very quickly criticize all the books that are written by celebrities? Are their stories any less worthy of being told than mine or yours? Are their stories any less worthy of being read or told simply because they have more money than you or I could ever imagine? That makes about as much sense as this whole thing.

There’s no truth to this stupid little phrase that gets repeated over and over again for reasons I simply don’t understand. I really wish it would be struck from existence never to return again.

PS: I’ve been really lax about posting this month, so I’m going to try to post everyday for the final two weeks of September to kind of catch up a little. Maybe I’ll succeed, maybe I won’t. I’m at least going to  try.