Interview with Writer Alex Schuler

Wow, here we are in mid-September, this year is just zooming by.  Today I’m happy to introduce you all to author Alex Shuler.

Welcome to my Scribbles page Alex.

Thank you for the invite.

Of course, I love having authors stop by.  Let’s jump in shall we.

Excellent.

When it comes to writing there are so many choices an author can make, the setting, the time period, what the characters do, the style of book. Keeping in that train of thought, what tense do you prefer to write in? Is there a reason behind your choice?

I like to write in third person past tense because I feel it’s the most neutral, but I try to choose the best tense for each story and I’ve written in first person a few times. A lot of my projects require second person present tense, so I’m pretty comfortable with that as well.

I like to write in first person and third person myself.

For more information about writing tense click here for a really helpful article.

Not only do authors need to figure out tense of their story, but now, with all the advances in self-publishing they have choices on how to get their stories out there.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being traditionally published or the other way around?

Self-publishing requires more investment on the part of the author. Money, sure, a lot of times although some self-published authors are really good at cutting down costs, but also the time to find editors, cover designers, formatters, etc. or to do all that themselves. Traditional publishers will take care of all that for you, and may even do some marketing. Being published traditionally can also give an author the reassurance that a professional in the industry thought their book has potential.

But self-publishers also don’t share their royalties, giving the potential to make more money for their effort even at lower prices, and they have more control over when their books are released. They can also take chances on books that there’s a niche market for, but that traditional publishers wouldn’t touch.

It really just depends on an author’s goals.

As we’ve talked about the nuts and bolts of writing let me ask you, cause I’m curious, how much research do you do for your stories?

Urgh. I don’t much like research. Except when I do, at which point I start neglecting my writing for it. So I try not to do too much research until it becomes necessary. It really varies by project.

(Laughs) I think that is a similar problem all authors share.

One more question about writing and the writing process for you.  Tell me what are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I like constructive reviews, both good and bad. I don’t want people to waste their time with my book if they aren’t the right audience for it, and I think reviews play a vital role in that process.

That’s a good way to look at it.  Well said.

Thank you.

Last question, and this is a fun one. Do you have other hobbies?

I’m trying to focus most of my time on writing and painting, but I also play the ocarina and enjoy studying different languages and learning about different cultures.

Sounds like you have a very full and creative plate.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and chatting with me.  I look forward to hearing/seeing more from you.


More about Alex Schuler

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Alex lives in Colorado in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She loves learning new things and meeting new people. These days she spends most of her time working on her writing and visual art, and spends the rest dreaming about and planning her big trip bicycling around the world. You can find her blabbering about her writing and visual art at here, travel (as Rebecca Jones) here, or follow her artist or travel twitter accounts here.

Writing Update

I have so many updates to provide, but first with all the current devastation with the hurricanes in Texas and Florida and the major earthquake in Mexico I want to share some ways for you to help.

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Catholic Charities USA–Long term recovery and support click here

Red Cross–Immediate support click here

Caritas (Caritas International)–International relief outside the US click here

These agencies do amazing work and already have people in the areas helping.  There are many other non-profits who help as well.  These just happen to be the ones I tend to support when disasters hit.


When it comes to my world of writing a lot has been happening since my last writing update. 

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Firstly, I now have three books (two short stories and one novel) being published by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and I can now share release dates with you (so mark your calendars):

 

So, as you can imagine things are crazy busy with editing and working with the publisher on cover art and all that good stuff.  I can’t wait to share the cover art with you all.

Secondly, I’m still one of the judges over at the Rainbow Awards.  There have been so many wonderful entries and I’m excited to still be part of the process.  The awards will be announced in December 8, 2017 click here for the Facebook page with more information.

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On the writing front (yep, I’m still writing new stuff) I recently finished my novella T.A.D and it’s started to make its way around my writing group, so this is exciting. The feedback and suggestions I’ve been getting are wonderful and are really helping the story.  Also, I’ve been editing ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ there is still writing to do, so this project hasn’t been getting the love it deserves these days.  I hope to change that over the next few weeks.

I have a few personal things I want to share with you all.  On August 21, 2017, I became a Granduncle, my nephew and his wife had a bouncing baby boy.  Eric and I have gotten to meet the newest member of the family, so that has been really quite exciting, I’m very happy for my nephew and his wife. Also, I know some of you still ask and yep, Eric and I are still doing our weekly meals.  It really has been wonderful and super easy.  We love it.  On a bit of a sadder note, both Eric and I have family members who aren’t doing well health wise. It’s not easy, of course, when you live in separate states so you can’t be there for them. However, with the help of technology we get to talk and check in so that is something.

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If you haven’t noticed I’ve made a few changes to my website, nothing major but there have been some additions and modifications.  We’ll see what more needs to be done, but for now we’re making tweaks here and there.

Lastly, some of you have been asking about the headshots, well the short answer: it’s a process.  The long answer; we’ve taken two rounds of photos and we still want to take a third.  We’re trying to get various looks and moods, so it’s taking a bit of time.  I would like to have the headshots all done by the end of this month.  That is my goal, however, the photographer, and the others involved on the project may have other plans.  Either way, the photos are moving along and what I’ve seen I like, so that’s good.

That is about all I have this week.  Next week I have an amazing author interview coming out, so that is exciting.  Have a wonderful week everyone and if you’re in an area of the country or world affected by the hurricanes or earthquake, please be safe and take care.

Where has all our Mutual Respect Gone?

Over these last few weeks (actually, since the start of the Presidential Primaries) we’ve lost our collective minds.  There can no longer be a difference of opinions you either support ‘insert topic here’ or you’re the Scum of the Earth.  You’re the lowest of the low.

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Where is our respect for the person?  Where is our compassion for each other? Where is our ability to disagree with the philosophy but still respect the person? Where is our kindness?

Am I the only one who cares about these things? 

During this time, I’ve seen families tear themselves apart, friends stop talking to friends, and people lose their jobs.  We’ve witness nothing but hate on TV and Online. The worst part is this seems like this is our new normal. Not only for us, but for our country. It’s disappointing because I thought we were better than that. It’s dangerous because we’re tearing ourselves apart from the inside and we don’t seem to care. As long ‘we’ are right.

If we’re not on the brink of collapse as a country, I’d be shocked.

Why are we letting the media and the politicians do this to us?  We have the power.  We can choose to respect each other.  We can choose to disagree and not come to fist-a-cuffs. We have the control.  We can protest without fighting or destroying property.  We can fight for what we hold dear and still have a strong society.

Last May I wrote a blog titled ‘Stop Being Negative and Don’t be a Jerk’ (missed it click here).  I wrote it for Memorial Day because we needed these reminders.  Then in July I wrote a blog ‘Be a Decent Person–Shut down your Technology Once in a While’ (missed it click here). I wrote this because we need the reminder. I wrote these two blogs, and now this one, in reaction to what I see happening around me.  We’re on a downward spiral and instead of helping each other we’re hell bent on destroying ourselves.

Why? Again, am I the only one who sees this?  Who cares?  I can’t be. I refuse to even consider it’s just me, alone, trying to get people to stop and really take a look at how we’re tearing each other apart.

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Look, I’m not naive.  There are awful people all around waiting to take advantage of a volatile situation, but we can’t let them do it.  We have to police ourselves.  We have to treat each other the way we want to be treated. 

Some people say to me.  What do you know about hate?  What do you know about discrimination?  This is all easy for you to say because you’ve never experienced it. You’re a white male, you’re part of the privileged class.  You have no idea.

What they don’t understand is that there are more forms hate out there probably than people.  I’ve been threatened with physical harm for talking with a lisp and for being seen leaving the wrong kind of club.  I’ve been followed by thugs who, if I was caught, would have done who knows what to me.  I’ve had my car vandalized just for being me. I’ve been followed after I left a club having to drive to a police station before those following me decided to find easier prey.  I’ve been pulled over by the police having my car and my person searched for no other reason than being a teenager and male.  I’ve been fired from a job for being gay and then told by an expensive lawyer there is nothing I could do. Has it been as bad for me as for others? No.  We all have stories and for many it is worse than anything I can imagine.

Now, I could have allowed these awful events to corrupt who I am. Thinking about them still hurts and still makes me angry. But I won’t let them control me.  I won’t give any of these actions that kind of power over me.  And neither should we when it comes to all this hate and violence.  We need to step up and be the better people.  We need to show these hatemongers (on all sides) that they are wrong. We should celebrate our difference, not run people down or riot.  We have a right to disagree and to voice our unhappiness.  But, that is a right extended to everyone, not just the people who agree with us.  It is both our strength and our weakness as a nation.

We’ll never be able to change their minds fighting in the streets.  Heck, we may never change their minds at all. At some point all the rational-respectful people will have to sit down and say “That’s all right.” This is their problem and I refuse to allow them to affect the way I live my life and do my job.

You may not ever agree with them but you should respect them enough to walk away and go on with your life.  The worst thing you can do to any of these haters is take away their power and their spotlight.  Don’t let them control you, don’t let the media and the politicians control you. If each of us holds true to this one ideal, we win and the world will be a better place for it.

The best way to counter hate isn’t to fight it, but to show it kindness and goodness.  Hate is like fire, the more oxygen and fuel, you give it the bigger it gets.  If you take away its fuel it will burn itself out and vanish.

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I hope I’m not the only one who feels like this.  If you agree let me know.  I want to hear how you are fighting against hate and violence.  I want to learn about how you are respecting those that don’t deserve it to show them what being a human being is really like.

Until next week, be kind to each other and stand up to hate.  Fight cruelty with kindness and please respect your fellow brothers and sisters.

What is the Role of an Artist in Our World?

For a recent interview I was asked this question, I took a moment to reflect on it, then I provided an answer.  However, as I thought more about it the more I really liked the question and wanted to share more of my thoughts and the thoughts of others here.

When it comes to Art and Artists my opinion is, very simply, Artists show people the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, what can be, and what should never be.  Artists not only remind the world of what and who we are, but they also start a dialogue about society.

Without art and artists, we would have no culture.  There would be no books, no movies, no theater, no photography, no television, etc.  There would be nothing to push our boundaries or make us contemplate the world around us.  We would be a world of people who live in simple boxes that all look the same with our heads filled with nothing but facts and figures.  The world would be dull and boring.

I found this article on Chron that I like about 'The Role of Visual Artists in Society'. The article starts out by saying, “Not only do the visual arts provide pleasure and creative inspiration, but they also help foster dialogue and bring important issues to the public eye.”  to read the whole article click here.

I ran across another article on Art Web and they had this to say,

At times, art feels like it reflects the very core of humanity. Other times it is purely aesthetic, a luxury, a rare indulgence. Art can portray the rich complex beauty of the natural world, it can also make bold, ugly, raw statements that are unsettling, challenging and far from beautiful.

For the full post click here.

What I like about both these articles is they talk about both beauty and dialogue and that ties into my thoughts about art. No matter what your attitude is about art or an artist you will have an opinion and it will create conversation. That in turn builds bridges and unites us (sometimes for good and sometimes for bad).

Whatever you think of art and artist remember without them the world would be a boring place.

What are your thoughts on the role of art and the artist?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Until next week take care.

People with Dreams

This week I was thinking about writing a blog post about Toxic People, but I stopped and decided I wanted to go in a different direction. I wanted to go with something positive.  There is so much negativity in this world why add to, even if it was an attempt at being supportive and helpful.

Instead I want to talk about people who have dreams.  Quite a while back I did a blog post about ‘Why we need to Celebrate Dreamers’ if you missed it you can read it here it was mostly about our space program, science, and big dreamers who create big change.  Today, I want to talk about the everyday dreamer.  We all know them and we should all support them.

As a writer, I get to interact with creative people on a regular basis, even in my day job I get to work with creative sorts and it’s fun. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Recently, I was chatting with a friend.  She and I went to lunch, and I found out about her dream.  It’s a small dream one that involves something I had no idea she was passionate about.  The more she and I talked the more I saw the fire in her eyes and heard he passion in her voice.  I was amazed.  Her passion and the way she talked got me really excited for her and her dream. I wanted to help.  I needed to help her reach her goal and her dream.

That is part of who I am.  I never thought about it until she told me how her family wasn’t very supportive of her dream.  Her family loves her, of course, but the way she talked about them in reference to her dream, it didn’t seem to me like they were being encouraging of her dream, and it was sad.  It made me sad, and it made me more determined to do what I could to help her with her dream.

I don’t know what will happen and I don’t know how this is going to pan out, but I’ve had people help me with my dream so I’m gonna help her with hers.

Why I’m sharing this with you is because supporting people with dreams is something we can all do.  It doesn’t cost anything.  It doesn’t hurt people. It’s being a good friend, family member, spouse, or whatever.

In fact, click here for 10 ways to help others achieve their dreams, and no it doesn’t cost anything.  It’s all about being supportive.

The next time someone opens up and shares their dream with you. Don’t laugh at them, don’t tell them it’s dumb, and don’t tell them all the reason’s it won’t work.  Instead, listen to them, ask what you can do to help, and be positive. They are telling you because you matter to them.  Because they trust you and they are looking to you for encouragement.  You may end up being the only one who believes in them and their dream.

I count myself lucky. No one ever told me that a dyslexic, gay guy, with no degree in Writing or Creative Writing could write a novel.  Everyone supported me and helped me a long the way, and I did it, with a lot more coming.

So, I know that other Dreamers out there need validation.  Whatever their dream is.  Be supportive of Dreamers and if you’re someone with a dream reading this.  You can do it, whatever it is, I have faith in you and so do others. Don’t give up. Keep trying.  The only way you fail is by giving up.

As for my friend and her dream, we’ll see where it goes, but I’m planning on encouraging her and helping her as much as I can.  Cause I believe in her and I believe in her dream.

I’d love to hear if you have a dream you want to share?  Do you need encouragement?  Leave it in the comments and I’ll respond.

Until next week, have a great week and keep dreaming.

Be A Decent Person – Shut down your Technology Once in a While

Here’s the thing. I say this both tongue-and-cheek, but also with a pang of honesty.  We suck.  We treat each other like trash and we have no mutual respect.  Oh sure, there are people who we are nice to and tolerate, but the truth is with the advances in communication we treat each other like crap.  Think about it for a moment.  How often do you actually talk to someone?  When do you put your technology down and actually have a conversation?  I bet not very often.  And when you do put the tech down you’re not focused on the person you’re with, but what you’re missing on your cellphone.

I’m guilty of this, that’s why I know what I’m talking about.

I’m trying to be batter about this.  We all need to try to be better about this.

There was a time before cellphones. When we had to sit and actually talk to each other.  We had to learn visual clues about human communication.  We had to talk in full sentences and not in 140 characters or emojis.  There were no selfies (think about that term ‘selfie’ sounds like ‘selfish’ it also excludes others and makes whatever we’re doing all about ‘I’. To hell with anyone else – Right?).

Anyway, in the time before technology we had to write letters to communicate or talk on the telephone (a landline – gasp).  If we wanted to talk to someone we would have to make an appointment or schedule something.  We had to be invited to visit them.  We didn’t email or text them at all hours of the day (which by the way is totally rude.  I don’t want to hear from you at 2am.  You better be dead, or dying, or the world should be ending.). Spending time with each other was an event (that was only about 30 years ago) so not really that long.  And what happened at these events/parties?  Well for one, there was a certain code of conduct. There were ways you talked to each other, how you addressed one another, it was all about etiquette. I’m not talking ‘Downtown Abbey’ etiquette, but still there were social norms we all adhered to.

Not anymore.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love technology (well most of the time).  I have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor/).  I have a website. I have a Twitter account @Writer_MDNeu and I spend quite a bit of time on them, but when it’s time to shut it all off I do.

I hear you all gasp.

What do I do when I shut it all down? How do I survive? 

I read.  I write.  I cook.  I do things around the house.  This weekend my husband and I had a bunch of projects to work on at home.  I visit family and friends. We go to a movie.  We go shopping.  We go and eat (without cellphones). It’s amazing when you go to a restaurant and see people sitting there looking at their phones for the entire meal and never (and I mean never) talk to the people they are sitting with.  It’s sad.  It’s rude.  And it’s disrespectful.

How did we as a species survive all these thousands of years?  We made connections.  We formed communities. We bonded with each other.

Now we bond with technology, what does that say about us.  What does that say about where we are going as a species? As a people?

Did you know Millennials are having less sex than any generation in the last 60 years?  Don’t believe me here’s the article: 

Millennials Not Having Sex

I pose a challenge to everyone who reads this.  When you go out with family or friends instead of checking the little screen in your hands peer into the eyes of the person or people you’re with.  That’s magical.  It’s a moment you won’t forget.

I’m not telling anyone to give up their tech (I know longer believe it’s physically possible), but just be a decent person and put the phone away.  Shut down the tablet. Be in the moment with those around you, because at some point those people won’t be there anymore, and what will you remember of them?  The top of their head bent over a glowing screen or their eyes, and their face?

I would prefer to remember the eyes and face, but maybe that’s just me.

To remind you all here are a couple of etiquette rules to live by:

  • Be a gentleman and open the door (any and every door) for a lady.
  • If you’re on a bus or sitting on a bench offer your seat to a pregnant woman. Or offer it to an elderly person. If you can stand with ease, then give the seat to those who can’t.
  • Ladies, when a gentleman opens a door for you say, ‘thank you’ he’s not disrespecting you, he’s treating you with respect. Do the same for him.
  • If you ask a person out, you pay.  You don’t spilt the bill.  You ask, you pay. Simple and respectful.
  • When you’re having a meal with someone put the cellphones away, talk to one another.  Whatever you share while talking is so much more interesting than what’s on your cellphone.
  • Be kind to each other.  Let me repeat that, just be kind. 
  • Treat each other with respect even if you don’t agree with them (especially if you don’t agree with them). I really need to work on this.

Until next week.  Have a great week and build connections and be a decent person.

Agree with me?  Don’t agree with me?  Let me know down below. I love hearing what you all have to say.

Writing Update

I didn’t realize until today the last time I provided a writing update was in April.  So, let’s get you all up to speed on what is happening in my wonderful world of writing.

To start, I’m happy to announce, ‘The Calling’ will be published in January 2018 by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and honestly a little scary. It’s cool to dream this will happen then when it does, it kind of freaks you out.  There is a lot to do to get the story ready for publication as you can imagine.  If you have some time to check out NineStar Press here, they are a ton of wonderful books by some amazing authors and they are a good group of people to work with.

Next up, this year I have the honor of being a judge for the 2017 Rainbow Awards.  It’s exciting to be part of such an activity and I can’t wait for the award winners to be announced.  If you want to learn more about the Rainbow Awards check them out here.

Third, I’ve written a short story ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ its a cute short story and one I’m hoping to get published (fingers crossed).  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, you can read the blurb for ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ here.

On a more personal note, I’ve been busy working in the background on some new headshots and working with a few really good friends on how to not only market my novels but also myself.  It’s an interesting process one I didn’t think would be as difficult as it is.  It’s like this whole new world is sitting there and I need to figure out the best way to navigate it all.  So, as we move forward, you may see not only my photos change (may all that is fuzzy and warm take mercy on you when those come out), but also my website. There may be updates/changes to my Facebook Page and all of my social media as well.

Also, you’ll be happy to learn we are still doing our weekly meal in a box.  Its great and we still love it.  If you want to see pictures, let me know in the comments below, also, if you want an update on how we’re doing I’ll happily share.  There are some new developments.

Now more on the writing front, I’m still working on Book 2 of ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ and I’m working on a novella called ‘T.A.D.’. I’m about two-thirds of the way through ‘Conspiracy’ and ‘T.A.D.’ has its first draft finished and I’ve started the editing process so the writing is moving forward.  There are a few more stories that are floating around, but nothing nearly as far a long as these.

With respect to my blog, I’m changing my posting day to Mondays in hopes to get more traffic. I have to think about and pay attention to these things now.

Well that’s about it for this week.  Next week I have an exciting Author Interview coming up.  So, stay tuned.  I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment, drop me a line and remember to like, share and subscribe.  Until next week keep cool and #HappyPride2017

There are no Guarantees in Life

This week I was reminded that there are no guarantees in life.  A friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer and she is being very aggressive in her treatment.  She’s not the first person I’ve known to do battle with this disease and I’m sure she won’t be the last.  What this news reminded me was that life, our lives, aren’t a dress rehearsal and tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.

You can run ten miles a day, be a vegan, eat healthful and workout four times a week.  Or, you can sit on your couch all day, eat a steak breakfast, noon and night, never eat a vegetable, and your treadmill can be a clothes hanger.  None of it matters, cause when the journey is over the journey is over.  The point, live your life.

How many times have you thought, ‘oh I’ll do that tomorrow’ or ‘it can wait’? More frightenly when have you passed up on doing something you really wanted to thinking you’ll get around to it later?  What happens when there are no more ‘laters’?

I guess what I’m going for is not to wait.  Don’t go crazy and don’t be irresponsible, but don’t wait.  Eat healthful, get some exercise, go outside, all that is important, but mostly get up and do it.  Take that trip. Take the class. Paint that painting.  Learn to cook. Ask that guy or girl out.  Go do it.  Live your life because you never know when your ticket to ride is over

Stop Being Negative and Don’t be a Jerk

This Memorial Day Weekend I wanted to talk about all the negativity and general jerkiness I see these days, both on-line and out in the world.  Over the last week I’ve been reminded just how lucky and blessed I am.  If you follow me on Twitter and on Facebook (which I hope you do) you should know that this week I got picked up by NineStar Press they are going to be publishing my book ‘The Calling’.  Getting the news made me stop and think how I got to this point.  Yes, there was a lot of work involved.  And, yes, there was a certain amount of luck.  But, I also believe one of the key reasons I got picked up was because of how I treat everyone and how I interact with the world.

I’m not perfect.  No one is.  And I sure don’t shoot sunshine and rainbows out my rear-end. But I can affect what I put out there and that influences the way others interact with me.

When I first started my writing journey I got a lot of really hard negative feedback.  People were tough on me.  I could have fallen down the well of negativity and self-pity it was so bad.  After a few days of sulking and licking my wounds, I went back to writing and wrote and re-wrote.  Instead of being a jerk I continued to thank folks for all their feedback and I continued to be grateful.  It wasn’t easy, because some people were mean, and like many writers my ego is fragile (Lord help me when I start getting reviews).  At the time I only had a Facebook page and instead of complaining on Facebook, I continued to post things about how grateful I am and how proud I am of others (oh, and dragons.  I love dragons).  Sure, every so often I posted something that I found appalling.  Doing so was never to jump on the bandwagon of being nasty or with the intention of hurting anyone.  It was always with the goal in mind of making people stop and think. It was always comments like this:

  • Be kind to one another.
  • Think before you speak. 
  • Don’t be nasty.
  • Don’t be cruel.
  • Don’t promote hate.
  • If you want to make change work for that change, don’t complain or moan-and-grown.
  • Support each other.

During a time when everyone was fighting and arguing; crying and complaining; blaming and fear mongering, I continued on…

Oh, man this is starting to sound preachy and give the illusion of me being so perfect.  Ugh.  I’m not.  I’m so far from perfect.  I whine and I complain, I have good days and I have shitty days, I can be cruel and I can be mean, I’ve been known to make people cry.  I will continue to be everything I try to say we shouldn’t be, not because it’s my goal, but because I’m human.

What I want to get across, today, is the need for us, all of us, to do better.  To be kinder, to not allow all the garbage happening outside our ring of control to take over our lives.  When we only promote negativity that is all that surrounds us.  How can we do great things if we’re stuck in the bubble of being a jerk? Or being nasty to each other.  We’ve had men and women die and suffer to provide us with the opportunities to do whatever we want.  To give us a chance to make the world a better place.  We can’t sit here and use that gift to promote mistreatment of each other.  We are one human species and we need to celebrate that.

There are people, not really people, but monsters, out in the world ready and willing to kill each and every one of us (Liberal or Conservative; Straight or Gay; Man or Woman; Young or Old).  Why? Because we have all these wonderful gifts and opportunities and they’re jealous.  Don’t help these creatures of evil.  Don’t add to their power.  Don’t be negative and don’t be a jerk.  Turn your back on all the garbage and go out there and make the world you want to live in.  Support each other, be kind, help one another, and if you don’t agree with someone then prove them wrong by words and deeds not by arguing and fighting.

Good things happen.  Dreams come true, when you push away all the crap and all the hate wonderful things happen, strangers give you opportunities. Friends break down into tears when you share your good luck.  You end up inspiring others.

I challenge everyone who reads this to do something positive, whatever that is.  Leave the pity party and get off the negative bandwagon.  Go out and do good.  It can be small like a friendly message of support on Facebook to big like volunteering in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.  Just be kind and promote goodness. That is what we all need and I promise you goodness will find you.

Happy Memorial Day, don’t let their sacrifice be in vain.

As always I love to get comments so please feel free to leave your thoughts below.  If this Blog Post spoke to you, feel free to share it.  See you next time

Managing Multiple Writing Projects

First, let me start by saying, “Ugh!” This weeks blog is gonna be short, which I hope is cool with everyone.

Did you know there are literally hundreds of resources for managing multiple writing projects?  There are software programs, books, blogs, webinars, seminars, etc. It’s crazy.  I get people need help to focus; we all need that kind of help…

Oh look, squirrel.

Where was I? Oh right, staying focused.  Right now I have three projects I’m working on.  I’m writing A New World–Conspiracy, I’m writing TAD (my new writing project), and I want to edit/rework ‘The Reunion’ which was just published on Tall Tale TV, click here to check it out.

So, how do I keep it all under control?  I’m very basic.  I use outlines, notes, research, and character sheets. That’s all I use and for me that’s all I need.  I’m familiar with writers who use Scriverner and love it, which is great.  For me it’s one more item to manage.  It’s like using Microsoft Projects at the office, sure it works but you’ve got to manage it and populate it.  Ugh.  That’s way too much work for me. I like to keep it simple.

I understand that what works for me may not work for everyone and that’s great. What I’m really curious about today is what other writers think and use.  How do you keep everything you’re working on straight and organized?  Heck, you don’t even need to be a writer, just a busy person with a lot of balls in the air.  If you’ve got some great tips and tricks tell me.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time, have a great week.