Monthly Archives: June, 2013

44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know | Author

44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know

Connect With Other Authors –

  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #WordCount
  • #WriterWednesday (or #WW)
  • #WritersLife
  • #YALitChat
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #ScriptChat (Screenwriters)
  • #PoetTues
  • #ZineChat
  • #WritingParty
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #WriteChat
  • #NaNoWriMo
  • #WANA (We Are Not Alone community)
  • #PBLitChat (Picture books only)

Connect By Book Genre –

  • #RomanceWriter
  • #SciFiChat
  • #KidLitChat
  • #RWA (Romance Writers of America)
  • #ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
  • #MGLit (Middle Grade Lit)
  • #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
  •  #MemoirChat
  • #FlashFic
  • #Romance
  • #Horror
  • #FanFic
  • #YA
  • #History
  • #Biopic

Tweetables –

Get Industry Information –

  • #WritingTip
  • #WriteTip
  • #GetPublished
  • #BookMarket
  • #BookMarketing
  • #PromoTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #SelfPub
  • #Publishing
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor
  • #AskEditor
  • #EBooks
  • #IndiePub (or #IndiePublishing)
  • #BookMarketing
  • #PubTip

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #WordAThon
  • #Creativity
  • #WIP (work in progress)
  • #1K1H (write one thousand words in one hour)

Connect With Readers

  • #FridayReads
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #StoryFriday
  • #MustRead
  • #TeaserTues
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #FreeBook
  • #FreeDownload
  • #Kindle
  • #Nook

via 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know | Author.


What Makes J.W. Run? | Novel Ideas

What Makes J.W. Run?Adventure, Fantasy, Interviewsby nickwale

J.W. Northrup has been away from us lately. He has been writing a second book, a huge project for a writer already busy with numerous undertakings. I want to ask you, what makes such a busy writer ask for more and more responsibility?

J.W. has already toured all over the Internet. He has sold numerous copies of his book “The Gold Slaves“. He has appeared on webinars, virtual meetings and has published a successful series of short stories. He has been interviewed by the best.

But this new book he is writing is something special. It’s a book that will be on the lips of the masses. I can’t tell you anything about it yet. But it’s going to be one helluva read. What makes J.W. run?  Success makes J.W. run like hell towards the finishing line.

Q) J.W., how do you feel about the success of “The Gold Slaves” so far?

A) It’s been one hell of a journey, and I just can’t stop feeling excited about what comes next. The whole concept of this next book is going to have everyone scratching their heads wondering if they are still dreaming.

Q) You keep mentioning thatnew book. Can you tell me anything about it?

A) Nothing except this– it’s going to be about every single person living on this earth. It concerns everyone.

Q) How can it be about everyone?

A) You will see!

via What Makes J.W. Run? | Novel Ideas.

Catching up with Old Friends: Movies, Silently

Pardon my depravity… Animated GIF


Marion Davies wasn’t the only funny lady in Show People. Polly Moran, a Sennett veteran, plays her stuck-up and nutty maid. The terrible comedian person is, of course, the lovesick Billy Haines, who has arrived to stop Marion’s wedding.

On a side note, best wedding dress ever.

via Pardon my depravity… Animated GIF | Movies, Silently.



Walk and Bike in France.

20-itaxassou walking holidays france

Walking in France : Basque Villages and Landscapes ( 70 photos ).

walking in france basque villages

A mythical hiking path that crosses from West to East the Pyrenees range, the GR10 that covers over 895 km. The GR10 is one of a number of official long-distance paths, Grandes Randonnées, in France. A real Pyrenean dream  focused on the Atlantic part here in that pretty physical programme crossing the famous colours of the Basque Country : green hills with white and red houses.

( Ici & Là Nature – Walk and Bike in France  )

60-basque village ici et la nature france

french basque country localisation

itxassou basque village ici et la nature

20-itaxassou walking holidays france

Sixty Some MORE via Walking in France : Basque Villages and Landscapes 70 photos . | ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES BLOG.

Catching up with Old Friends: Poetry on a Roll

What Was She Thinking?


 Just looking at him

she cannot stand

the sight of what she sees.

She wonders what

was going through

her hide and seek.

Back then.



She is puzzled.

via What Was She Thinking? | Poetry on a Roll.

Welcome to a new friend: CB McCullough | McCullough Writes

McCullough Writes

The question is… are you reading?

About CB

C.B. McCullough lives in the northeastern United States with his beautiful wife, Vanessa, and a small menagerie of pets.  The Fallen Odyssey is his first DSC_0033book.  He does most of his writing in a little house in the woods.

C.B.’s resume also includes online sales writing, ghostwriting family history/memoirs, and digging up artifacts as an archaeological technician.

via About CB | McCullough Writes.

The Night Also Rises

Fools rush in, where devils fear to tread…

Night lasts for days on planet Jannix, and in a city full of murderers, thugs, gangsters and con artists, no man ever can be sure he’ll see another dawn.  So when private investigator Jack Tarelli is called to the home of an enigmatic billionaire just hours after an unspeakable murder, he knows a long, long night has only just begun.

Led on a chase into the shadowy underbelly of a city that never wakes, the hard-nosed and uncompromising Jack will stop at nothing to track down a deadly killer whose motives are shrouded in corruption, betrayal and deceit.  But as connections to Jack’s own dark and mysterious past arise, it becomes clear that this is more than a search for the truth; it’s a race against time.

Drawing on the classic Noir style, this Science-Fiction/Mystery novella will leave you breathless and begging for more.

The Path Less Traveled (The Fallen Odyssey, Part 1)

The odyssey begins in The Path Less Traveled, a sample of The Fallen Odyssey, a new epic fantasy novel…

When seventeen-year-old Justin Holmes wakes from a strange, amnesic slumber, he finds himself in an unknown land, far from his rural Pennsylvania hometown. With no memory of how he came to be in this world of vast grasslands, sky-scraping mountains and double moons, he can but cling for dear life to his only allies: an illusive old hermit, and a cold-blooded, duplicitous mercenary.

When unwillingly recruited to help rescue a kidnapped princess, Justin is whisked off into the wild on an otherworldly adventure, all while struggling to learn what twist of fate has landed him in this strange, alternate dimension. He can only hope that within the wilderness of this fantasy world can be found some clue that will lead him home.  Trapped in this medieval realm of prehistoric animals and powerful warriors, Justin must uncover his destiny on his trek down The Path Less Traveled…


The Night Also Rises on Amazon

The Path Less Traveled on Amazon

The Fallen Odyssey on Amazon

More from C.B. McCullough

C.B. on Facebook

Without Putting A Word On Paper

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”  – E.B. White











Turning Reality Into Fantasy: A Horse of a Different Color

When you think Fantasy Fiction, certain elements automatically come to mind– three of which, you can almost bet on:

  1. Swords
  2. Magic
  3. Horses

Most fantasy worlds– excluding Contemporary/Urban Fantasy– come devoid of any means of modern amenities.  ”No phone, no lights, no motor car.”  So how do people get around in fantasy fiction?  A horse, of course, of course.

Well, not so in The Fallen Odyssey.  When I started writing these stories, I decided it would be kind of a neat challenge to rebel against the convention of using horses.  What if, in this world, the horse never existed, and humans instead relied on some other breed of animal for transportation?  (I sense a disturbance in the Force… As if a million horse-lovers suddenly cried out in terror…)

The result of my experiment was the steed.

The Steed

Standing nearby were three ranch animals…  They had umber-brown, muscular bodies, similar in size and shape to a horse– standing tall enough to look Justin eye-to-eye.  Like horses, they had short hair, hooves, and wiry tails, but their long faces had the pronounced brow ridge of a camel, and their snouts were elephant-like trunks that hung halfway to the ground.  To Justin, they looked like the kind of bizarre, extinct species you might see painted on the wall at a natural history museum; an ice-age, mammalian precursor to modern life.  He stared at the odd creatures, watching their trunks pull up clumps of grass and place it in their awaiting mouths.  All three had saddles on their backs.

Justin approached… but he didn’t know what he was supposed to do.  The thing seemed to be watching him, and despite its docile manner, he was suddenly wondering what kind of teeth were under that trunk.

– from The Fallen Odyssey by C.B. McCullough

This creature is referred to only by the simple moniker, steed.  Steeds play a key role in our story from here on out, and while they are very similar to horses in implementation, we find out that their hardiness makes them suitable for all sorts of conditions.

It is for good reason that Justin compares them to museum exhibits, as the steed is based on an actual species that existed on Earth, long ago…

The Macrauchenia (Macrauchenia patachonica)

Macraucheniidae was a family of ungulates of the Litopterna order.  This animal would have looked, to our eyes, like a combination horse-llama-camel, with a goofy little trunk-like appendage hanging from its snout.  Macrauchenia went extinct 10-20,000 years ago, during the late Pleistocene, along with many other unique and strange looking mammals.

While Macrauchenia was the basis for steeds in the world of The Fallen Odyssey, the steed does not adhere to the scientifically-accurate Macrauchenia, nor is it meant to.  For one thing, Macrauchenia was larger than a horse– almost ten feet long, and about a thousand pounds heavier.  And for another matter, steeds have long, opposable trunks, more like an elephant.

I’ve found the development of new and interesting animals to be one of my favorite parts of world-building.  It’s fun to imagine what human culture would be like, had one little thing happened differently– like the horse.  It’s not that farfetched to imagine– if the horse never existed– cowboys riding across the American west on the backs of camels.

Stay creative, friends!  Write long, and prosper.  – CB

Welcome to a new friend: JOE RUBINSTEIN – the Inker – the Artist | eCharta


The blog

English: The general Bonaparte in Pont d' Arco...

Why this blog

Welcome to the blog of eCharta. This is the place where you can hear our voice, our thoughts and our plans about our main product. We have a lot of things to share with you, in a less formatted way and this is the ideal place to do so.

We aim to provide you stories about the paper artifacts we love, the technical aspects of eCharta and announce you what’s next. We expect to hear your voice too via comments, suggestions or even your own articles (just contact us for that). eCharta is a world of paper and as you already know paper has a long history and a brilliant future. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to take the most of it and help you become real partners with us. This blog will enhance and clear our voice in this direction.

In case you’re wondering who’s behind this blog and eCharta itself, please take a look at our website. And please feel free to search for help anytime you feel to.

via JOE RUBINSTEIN – the Inker – the Artist | eCharta.

Napoleon the Great through postage stamps


figure 1

Napoleon crossing the Alps

Very rarely has the title “Great” been conferred on anyone throughout the course of history. There has always been some reason for those bearing it and who rightly deserve it: Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and so on.

figure 2

figure 2

Napoleon the Great was a military genius and he would have been

figure 3

figure 3

considered even greater if Alexander the Great had not been born, who was the only general never to have been defeated in battle. Napoleon was born in Corsica (Figures 1,2) in 1769 and became an artillery officer. This, in the long term, proved to be one of his strong points. After the turmoil of the French Revolution, he had a rapid progress, starting with the Italian Expedition (1796) as a commander in chief. He won a personal victory at the battle of Arcole (Figure 3).

He defeated the Mameluks during the Expedition in Egypt, in 1798, while the scientists that escorted him laid the foundations of Egyptology (Fig. 4). However, the sea battle of Abukir, where Nelson was involved, (Fig. 5) blocked his advancement. Napoleon became Consul in 1799 and Life Consul in 1802. The battles that he personally took part always crowned France with success. However, the great victory in Marengo, in 1800, was brought by Desaix (Fig. 6).

Napoleon Crossing the Alps


Much More at

Comic List Last Week – Jun.23.13- Preview

Its back my weekly  preview list of comics that I read and liked although this time there are a couple that I did not like so much. Here it is starting with my least favorite pick…

Thunderbolts v2 011-000Thunderbolts #11 by Daniel Way and Phil Noto: I usually try to find the best in a comic and share it but sadly this issue did disappoint me, left me with the worst of impressions. The conclusion of a story-line which was closed in a rush, with no meaning or any specific consequence and plot-lines just left dangling. I love all these “heroes” who are featured in this comic but they are so much out of character. Liking the roster is not enough to continue reading it though. I’ll just give it one last chance to see if the new creative team will freshen it up and give it an edge that it’s supposed to have.

Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna: It’s quickly Uncanny Avengers 009-000becoming one of my favorite reads. The art is excellent and the story is consistently becoming better each issue.  More accurately the character interaction and how the plots strengthen with actual twists and turmoil’s for this specific team are quite intriguing. There is continuous conflict between the X-Men and the Avengers and each part has its right and wrongs whenever they debate a situation. A very cool comic and a promising one. There is Kang, Immortus, Apocalypse Twins, X-Men & Avengers all in one comic what more can you ask?

Cable and X-Force 010-000Cable & X-Force # 10 by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larocca: Nothing special in this issue which doesn’t mean that the story was not good. We see the Uncanny Avengers pursue and attack X-Force just as they about to go on separate missions to deal with multiple future disasters. The fun part is that Blaquesmith returns and in the most unexpected ways. I like this title not only because the art is superb or that the story is good and intriguing it’s also the original X-Force team with a couple of pretty cool new addition Forge and Dr Nemesis! I really like it and I will continue to read it as a long time fan.

Venom #36 by Cullen Bunn and Pepe Larraz: What I like about Venom Venom-036-(2013)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-01is that even if they decide to rip the symbiote out of Flash Thompson he has become a very developed character that can easily now hold his own title with another superhero persona. I have seen in each issue the inner workings and demons of Flashes mind and Cullen Bunn continues to add more layers to this. In this issue Flash deals with a new crime lord who seems to be a lot more ruthless than what he expected. The art by Larraz is very nice, I like it plus the cover by Shalvey and Bellaire is amazing.

Constantine 004 (2013) (Digital) (Darkness-Empire) 001Constantine #4 by Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire and Fabiano Neves: To be honest I expected more from this issue but I believe it serves its purpose. It’s a standalone issue where Constantine decides to take a day off. He fights a mage crime lord and finds that Sargon is still keeping an on him. In a way issue 4 works as a prologue to the upcoming crossover between Justice League and Justice League Dark. A nice issue but not enough.

Half Past Danger #2 (of 6) by Stephen Mooney and Jordie Bellaire: ThisHalf-Past-Danger-02-(of-06)-(2013)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-01 comic book can easily be compared to a movie and not because of its story but mostly for the dialogue and the structure of how the story unfolds. Issue #2 continues to be as interesting as the first one with its character interaction and art, the simple things like expressions accompanied by body language has won me over. It’s also fast paced but not rushed, Simon Mooney moves the story forward with action but with the necessary time to build his heroes and the plots. I’m not saying more about the story you should read it it’s a great comic.

Keep on reading comics!


Con Barbatsis for eCharta

New X-Men – Read it and enjoy it

X-Men-v4-001-(2013)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-01Let’s see this all new X-Men title by fan favorite creators writer Brian Wood and artist Olivier Coipel along with the talented colorist Laura Martin and inker Mark Morales. There has been much anticipation for this X title due its new twist.  This time the roster consists of a full cast of X-Women Storm, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Rachel Grey, Psylocke and Jubilee and it seems that many more will be featured and referred to from all ages of X-Men history from the youngest to the eldest.

I too anticipated with a thrill this comic because it features my favorite female heroines from all the Marvel Universe and wanted to see how Brian Wood will handle this comic. All the characters have a big history and are known for having the strongest most dynamic personalities which thankfully Chris Claremont had built a couple of decades ago. So did Brian Wood do justice to these heroines? Yes he definitely did.

Each heroine is shown strong and dynamic using their powers as an extension of their personalities.  All of them know their place on the team and how they will be more useful in achieving to save a situation from a fatal disaster.  They are well-trained heroines who take the initiative to act upon a critical moment but also know when to follow orders and listen to suggestions.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen such a well-organized full functional group that use methodical tactics in an almost successful way.  This does not mean that their individual personalities aren’t fleshed out.

Storm is portrayed as the ultimate confident leader, Kitty shows her usual wittiness and cheekiness, Psylocke is prv16373_pg3lethal and a strong inquisitor, Rogue has full control of her powers and is more passionate in using them; all seven of are in character to the point.  They are not weak insecure females, they do not flaunt their powers and physiques they are strong confident heroines but above all with a realistic human personality.

Brian Wood has built a strong character driven comic with a lot of emotional and action moments perfectly balanced.  He has created a story arc where the main villain is considered an extreme threat and you understand this by the terrified reaction another arch nemesis of the X-Men has when he realizes the villain is in the X-Mansion.  Also from issue one Brian Wood is weaving a new plot thread concerning the students which eventual will become a main story at some point.  Story wise it’s a great issue one promising even greater ones in the future.

X-Men-v4-001-(2013)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-16Now the art is fantastic Olivier Coipel has given his best work.  It’s beautifully drawn with an excellent storytelling and great perspective angles.  Each character is drawn with a different body language showing both attitude and personality.  Also colors by Laura Martin and inks by Mark Morales compliment the art making it a visual delight.  The art on this comic is simply brilliant its level is so high that you cannot distinguish it as something separate from the story. You have to see it to understand how good it is.

So the new X-Men title has succeeded in delivering an amazing issue one and we have to thank this brilliant creative team that has approached it with total respect both for the heroines and for the readers. It’s not about how the women of X are perceived but a team book with individuals who are shown to us in the best way; dynamic, powerful and strong-minded.  This is a comic book I strongly suggest to read because it promises a lot of thrilling moments in the future which people will be talking about for a long time with satisfaction.

Read it and enjoy it!

Welcome to a new friend: Anna M Dobritt

Anna M Dobritt

Fantasy Worlds and Fantasy Fiction Writing

via About | Anna M Dobritt.

One step closer..

Reblogged from Writings of a Mrs:

Click to visit the original postOne foot infront of the other…keep on keeping on..
Excellent advice 🙂



        Rain slashed against the window with the accompanying sound of thunder in the background.  Raven opened her dark grey eyes and found herself staring into a pair of amber eyes. Seeing his human was finally awake, Ebony started meowing. With a grimace Raven gently pushed him away.

Aw hell, Eb, use a breath mint!” She muttered as she sat up and rubbed her eyes. As usual, she wore a pair of sweat pants and a tank top to sleep in. At five feet eight inches tall, slender as a rail nearly as flat as the proverbial board, with very short black hair; Raven Wyng would never be considered beautiful, but  attractive in a rough sort of way.  In her right earlobe was a silver dagger earring, a gift from her lover on their first anniversary as a couple. She had tattoos on both her shoulders: a raven perched on a skull on the right and a pair of spread raven wings on the left.. Her most striking feature was the scar on the left side of her face that ran from the corner of her eye down to her chin. Her companion Jennifer Wells said it gave her character. Raven thought it made her look like a maniac.

Getting out of bed, she stretched and yawned, listening to her joints pop and crack. “Wonderful. It’s going to be a miserable day today.”

“It’s only as miserable as you make it, love.” Jen entered the room carrying two mugs of coffee. She was dressed in blue jeans, a black t-shirt with a cat on the front, a denim vest and a pair of red high tops, Like Raven she sported a silver dagger earring in her right earlobe. Raven thought her lover could make torn rags look fashionable. “Figured Ebony would wake you before I left for the bookstore.” She smiled fondly, her love for Raven shining bright in her forest green eyes. Jennifer was as tall as Raven and slender but nicely proportioned, with short fiery red hair and bit of a temper to go with it.

Raven padded over and grabbed one of the  mugs, then gave Jen a kiss. “I really wish you wouldn’t give Eb tuna in the morning. Fish breath is not something I like waking up to.”

Jennifer eyed her, a hint of worry showing. “Bad dreams again?”

Nodding, Raven sipped at the life-giving brew. “Yeah. The same one I’ve been having off and on for the past month; voices in the background, weird runes floating about and what looks like a map.” She glanced down as Ebony rubbed against her legs, purring. “It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just figure out what the voices are saying.”

“At least it wasn’t the other nightmare.” Jen put an arm around her.

“True.” Raven absently rubbed the scar on her face.  “Sorry I’m in such a grumpy mood.”

She grinned. “After six years together, I’m used to it. What are your plans for the day?”

“Finishing that article before my editor reaches through the internet connection and strangles me. Then working on the revisions for the next book. The fans keep hollering for volume two. I might stop by the bookstore today too.”

“You feel up to driving?”

“I should be ok once the rain clears up. According to the weather report, sunny and hot this afternoon and through the rest of the week.” She looked at Jen. “You know you don’t have to work at the bookstore. I have more than enough money so neither of us have to work again.”

“I like working there. Sherry said she’s bringing a new box of books she purchased at an estate sale. Who knows what treasures might be in there. Besides, you own the shop. I’m just looking out for your interests.” Jen drank some coffee. “Don’t forget, Lysa and Nicole are throwing that party tonight.”

“That’s tonight? I forgot all about it.” Raven drained her mug, then set it on table at the foot of the bed. Like every morning, Ebony jumped onto the king-size bed and curled up in the middle of  it. “Heh. Looks like Eb is making sure I don’t go back to bed after you leave.”

“Already got their gifts, so you don’t have to worry about that. Had two more of those rings and medallions made.” She held out her left hand, admiring the gold ring on her ring finger. A heavy gold band set with amethyst, ruby, emerald, topaz and sapphire. The inside of the band was inscribed with their names, ‘Jennifer & Raven’ and a date: 06-06-2005; the date they exchanged their vows. The medallions were similar to the rings and inscribed with the words ‘Together Always’. “My uncle is the only family member who accepts me for who and what I am.” Jennifer sighed. “Families can be so cruel sometimes.”

Raven shrugged. “At least you have a family, even if most of them don’t want you around. I don’t even have that.”

“Still no luck in finding out who your parents are?” Raven had entered the foster system as an infant and spent more time moving from family to family until she reached the age of eighteen. The last foster parents she had were the only ones who really showed her love and understanding. For that, Raven was eternally grateful and wished they were still alive so she could tell them.

“No.  Maybe I was hatched in some secret laboratory.” With some effort she locked away the despair that always hovered in the back of her mind.

“That would explain a lot.” Jen put her mug down and pulled Raven close. “Tell you what, I’ll be nice and be the designated driver tonight.  Then you can drink as much beer as your want.”

“Now why would you want to do that?  You enjoy drinking as much as I do.” Raven pressed against her.


Submission time is NOW | The Artificial Selection Project

The Artificial Selection Project

A journal. A podcast. A blog. A revolt.

The Artificial Selection Project is open to fiction, non-fiction and art by anyone with a grudge and a set of writing to back it up. The work must be previously unpublished and the sole property of the writer/artist submitting.We are looking for fearless engaging work and are open to a variety of formal and narrative modes. Challenge us, surprise us, confound us, terrify us, but whatever you do, bring us with you. Also when submitting, please include your name and complete contact information.SUBMIT ORIGINAL WORK TO:THEARTIFICIALSELECTION@GMAIL.COM- The Guidelines -Fiction: 7,500 words max. Preferably between 10-15 pps, as space is limited. And we are open to flash fiction as well.Art work: A jpeg of your original work of at least 300 DPIWork submitted simultaneously to other publications is not a problem. Just let us know if some other folks accept it. We also do not accept previously published work.Upon acceptance, The Artificial Selection Project reserves the right to edit your work as we see fit, though we will seek your approval beforehand.The deadline to submit is August 1, 2013!- – –

Our Past

The Artificial Selection Project is California’s breakout new literary publication featuring the work of authors and artists that the literary world has deemed unfit for publication. The Artificial Selection Project was born from a creative writing masters program in which students found themselves being berated for pushing envelopes and challenging literary traditions. This stifling of creativity in a program that was designed with creativity specifically in mind was a travesty, so the students decided to do something about it.

All too often, writers are told that their work is “too extreme” or “too experimental” and that they should tone down their writing. Perhaps focus on traditional frames of thought or some more well-defined story archetypes. The Artificial Selection Project has a better idea. We say write the madness in your head. Explore the darkest corners of humanity. Scream and cry dissent in ink on any surface you can get your hands on. And bring us along for the goddamn ride.

via Submission time is NOW | The Artificial Selection Project.

A Comic Book Call to Arms?

I started writing fiction in my mid twenties. It happened by accident really. I broke my finger making it impossible to draw. Writing proved to be a good substitute. Before … Continue reading

Featured · 8 Comments

Submission time is NOW

– OUR CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS IS CURRENTLY OPEN – The Artificial Selection Project is open to fiction, non-fiction and art by anyone with a grudge and a set of writing to … Continue reading

Featured · 10 Comments

Interview Spotlight: Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross (Pt. I of III)

We here at The Artificial Selection Project recently caught up with Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross to discuss, among various other things, their recent conglomeration, The Rapture of the Nerds, and the … Continue reading

List of Wonderful Calls for Submissions

Check out our list of what we think are pretty nifty literary mags that are currently open for submissions. If you have a literary journal that you’d like featured here, … Continue reading

Do You Believe In Yeezus? (Opinion)

At this point, it would be a waste of time to sit and list all of the reasons why Kanye West’s Yeezus is such an epic release. Its groundbreaking street … Continue reading

Three Odd Reasons to go to School for Writing (Opinion)

Academically, the only way to become a better creative writer is getting a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s from an MFA Program in fiction or poetry. Assuming that more … Continue reading

Well Written, Muckily Plotted – Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!”

Karen Russell’s debut novel Swamplandia! does a few things  right and, unfortunately, many things wrong. Taking place in the lush swamps of Florida, Russell paints an incredibly tangible landscape, with … Continue reading

Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?

Writer's Block 1

Writer’s Block 1 (Photo credit: OkayCityNate)

Far too many writers build an audience of the WRONG people. As a writer, you craft a work that is meaningful to you, and you wonder how you will connect it to the world. So you begin engaging with people online and off, telling them about your writing.And guess what? Guess who is MOST interested in this journey you are on? Readers? Nope. Oftentimes, it is other writers.So we do what feels validating and welcoming: we join amazing communities such as We forge relationships, we grow our platforms with people who want you to succeed as a writer.But therein lies the problem.

In other words: YES, engage with other writers. But don’t stop there.


Every single week, learn more about who your readers may be. Engage with them in tiny ways online. And off. Learn what it is about your writing that cuts to the heart of why your ideal audience readers. Discover what it is about one of your stories or books that jumped out at people.

How do you begin engaging with readers? Just a few ideas:

  • Read. Read books similar to yours, if possible. Engage as a fan would. Leave reviews online, recommend books, consider who else is doing the same.
  • Understand what other books are like yours, especially those published in the past 5 years. Where are they shelved in bookstores, how are they displayed, what comes up in “People who who bought this also bought…” in Amazon?
  • What is the language that other readers used again and again in reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other sites?
  • Who are these readers – specifically? See their Goodreads profiles, understand what else they read.
  • Talk to readers. On social channels, follow them, comment on their updates, and learn about them. Engage as a fan of similar work, not an author trying to promote your own books.
  • Develop a group of beta readers.
  • Everywhere you go, ask the person standing next to you: “what do you like to read?” Then ask why.
  • Join book clubs, attend events at bookstores and libraries – do anything possible to chat with other readers about why they read. Study the expressions on their face, the cadence of their voice as they talk about reading.
  • Talk more about other people’s books than your own.
  • Create profiles of your ideal readers. Create lists of where you can find them online and off. Go there. Often.
  • Craft messaging that gets readers interested in your writing. Test this again and again, both in person, and in digital channels. Revise constantly.

via Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?.

The most shocking truth behind life. | Living with ADHD

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

The most shocking truth behind life.

June 29, 2013

The greatest achievement you can have is yourself. You soul and happiness. We all have a destiny, a destiny to live and die. To achieve greatness within ourselves, to share our love and wisdom. We are who we are, because we choose to be. You must first laugh and smile, and hold those close to you. Then allow yourself to be free from any worry, any pain and any stress.

You’ll never truly understand what you can achieve in the world, but if you truly put your heart in to it, you can achieve anything you like. Conquer the world, tell that girl you love her, move away, explore! Make an impact on the world!

As I sit here, I watch people who don’t want to achieve anything. People who are lost, and even with guidance refuse to open their eyes to the world. If I could tell them one word, that word would be “aspire”.

I realized that my heart was in the wrong place, that I wasn’t achieving what I could. So destiny changed my life, I changed my life. I’m now helping others, helping them to succeed in life and to make sure they can achieve whatever they like. It’s what I was born for, I was born for a purpose.

The most shocking truth behind life. | Living with ADHD.

The World’s Top 10 Best Painted Cats | The Worlds top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

The World’s Top 10 Best Painted Cats

Painted Cat

Painted Cat

For this Caturday post I started with a single image of a cat with what looks like a pattern of a cat on it’s back! Could I really find 9 more just like it?!? Well it seems it was something that people are calling “Cat Painting” and if that sounds weird it is because it IS weird. I have no idea if they are real or not, but some of them look rather amazing indeed…

The World’s Top 10 Best Painted Cats 


Painted Cat

Painted Cat

10 – It all started with this image so I just had to include it: Cat with cat on back!

Painted Cat

Much More at The World’s Top 10 Best Painted Cats | The Worlds top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!.

Check out Terry’s Book “On the Road (Time Cut: 1969 to 2013)

Handing down your legacy…. « The Culture Monk

Handing down your legacy….

By culturemonk on June 29, 2013 • 0


by Kenneth Justice

~What will your legacy be?

That is something I’ve been thinking about for some time. Ever since my father died in 2008 I’ve been pondering the meaning of what it is to leave a legacy.

How do you want people to remember you?

One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & The Wa...

One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve recently watched quite a few documentaries on Bob Marley and a picture has been forming in my mind about the man; he wanted to be remembered by,

–> the love he had for his family and friends

–> the passion he had for music

–> his commitment toward the freedom and equality of all people

–> and his  love for Africa

I’ve talked quite a bit about the fast paced nature of life here in Western Culture because I believe it is this fast food frenzy paced way of life that leaves many of us feeling a tad bit overwhelmed.

Perhaps you are thinking; “Kenneth, you want me to think about life legacy today? I barely have enough time each day to brush my teeth and put on clean clothes!”

Unfortunately, many people are in that same boat; they are so busy, so conflicted with day-to-day responsibilities, and so overwhelmed with merely keeping their head above water that they are thankful to put their head on a pillow at the end of the day and breathe a sigh of relief that they made it through the day alive.

I don’t have any simple solutions…..

I realize life is fast paced……but is that really what we want to leave as our legacy, is that how we want our children to remember us; “my mother was  overwhelmed”

In my days as a college student studying counseling I was taught to help people learn that they can be happier if they slow down their life…..

You can’t control traffic….but you can change how you react to it

For MORE CLICK Handing down your legacy…. « The Culture Monk.

Houston Fine Arts Scene 0613

A Realistic Wedding Announcement | Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

A Realistic Wedding Announcement

Posted by justingawel on June 28, 2013

The text on yellow says "Speed bump"

Dr. Henry Walker, a disgraced former pharmacist, is to be married to the apparent fourth love of his life, Jessica McMillan, on September 7th of this year in a private ceremony that several of his family members are protesting. Like any couple, they’ve had their speed bumps down the road of love; between Walker’s distaste for face tattoos, McMillan’s struggles with passing the GED, and, of course, Walker’s now-ex-wife, Tracy.

It wasn’t the easiest storm to weather, but with indifferent affection as one’s sail Walker and McMillan endured the rough seas and whipping winds of divorce court, losing one’s license to practice medicine, and being forced out of several homes. People may call it chance, others might think of it as fate, and even some would call it God’s work.

It all began that momentous Wednesday evening in December of 2012 when passions coincided, the universe stood still, and romance took the wheel. While closing up the hospital pharmacy, Walker was dreading sitting through another one of his eight-year-old son’s karate lessons since Tracy’s incessant nagging would be forcefully penetrating his unconsenting ears the entire time.


Like all of his nights, he realized it would be another blur of complaining and gin that would predictably end with him miraculously becoming even more physically unattracted to the overly ample, pendulous flesh of his then wife. Meanwhile, at the hospital’s coffee shop, McMillan was stuck on a four-syllable word in an Us Weekly article while pondering how she could get Oxycodone for the night now that her ex-boyfriend-turned-drug-dealer or was it the other way around was in custody.

From Day One, she was always the brash, outspoken one of the couple. Just before closing up she approached the pharmacy counter and asked him out on a date. A date to his car. A date to his car where they would wriggle parts of each other’s bodies into other parts of each other’s bodies resulting in physical gratification, and in her receiving the sum of four Oxycodone pills. Walker couldn’t say no to those big, blue bloodshot eyes. He was melting right there, but likely just from desperation to orgasm into something that wasn’t his hairy knuckles, his frumpy wife, or his old, “repurposed” baseball socks for the first time in a blue moon.

Oxycodone varieties

And so this fairy-tale has continued for the last seven months; a relationship based on a pure exchange of sexual favors for pills lined with the threat of blackmail—truly the strongest known foundation—has blossomed into the two arranging to be wed in holy matrimony.

much more at A Realistic Wedding Announcement | Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby.

I am in love with you. | for the love of Nike

I am in love with you.

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

Why hello my little lollipops!
You guys know I love y’all, right?!
Let’s get connected and stalk each other.
Follow me on facebook, instagram, and the twitter.
That way we can type sweet nothings in each others’ ears.
But really– 6,000 wordpress followers and growing strong.
Without you guys, this blog is nothing.
Thanks  a million and four for making it worthwhile.

I am in love with you. | for the love of Nike.

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE 2
Buy at Amazon and Support Hey Sweetheart

Puting Buhangin/Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines | toemail

Puting Buhangin/Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

My feet are itching! It is summer indeed. I can’t wait for another solo backpacking adventure coming this month. My gears are ready. Itinerary? Who needs it? I don’t. I go spontaneous. No planning. Just pure adventure.

How about you? Are you ready for summer? Share with me your travel plans. We might meet on the road. Keep exploring!

feet,flip flops,beach,Puting Buhangin/Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines

Great open road attitude, have a great one! :)

via Puting Buhangin/Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon, Philippines | toemail.

Welcome to new friends: Joe Platt and Lynda Renham-Cook| Generation Passport

Generation Passport

Generation Passport is the end product of two years of traveling and teaching.  It is an online travel magazine and blog.   The goal of Generation Passport is to not only inspire generations of people, but to teach them how they can use the internet to work and travel in the modern world or “Work and Travel 2.0.”

In 2011, I traveled across Asia.   I have accumulated thousands of photos and had the experience of teaching in the former Soviet state of Georgia in 2012.  Travel has taken me out of  a bubble existence  into  a world that hasn’t even been documented yet or is just known to very few.  Generation Passport reflects the sum of my knowledge, and other’s,  from working and traveling with the use of technology.

In much of the world, there are people who consider themselves trapped for economic reasons or by life circumstances.  The internet has given travelers and workers tools  that didn’t exist  even a few years ago.  For example:  did you know you can travel across the world with free accommodation based solely on your character and a network of travelers?

I hope to take this generation of people, young and old, away from the negativity of the modern world and show them that it is possible to work and travel in the modern age.   Generation Passport  will adapt and change as the internet resources for travel change.

This is a collective effort and I need writers.  Contribute?  Join the club!  

I’ll give you a picture and biography slot below me for your help.

Start here…the very first post from January 2013– Generation Jobless or Generation Passport?


DSC01809Joe Platt

The founder of Generation Passport, writer, photographer, traveler, English teacher and EMT-B.  Joe has backpacked Asia and was the first foreign teacher in two schools in the  former Soviet state of Georgia through the program Teach and Learn with Georgia.  He hopes to teach others how they can use the internet to work and travel 2.0.

*Note:  Soviet artwork and propaganda is an interest of mine.  I am not a communist.

Lynda RDSCF6331 - Copy (2)-1enham-Cook

is a bestselling novelist and freelance writer. She is associate editor for the Scavenger magazine online and has written for other News Agencies as well as  British magazines. She has also spoken on BBC radio. She writes Romantic comedies which have all made the top ten humour chart.


via About | Generation Passport.

Top 10 Cool Things You Don’t Know About In Asia

There are things out there that you don’t know about.  I’m lucky in that I’ve been to places that people don’t know exist.  However, no matter how things are for you or where you live Your Backyard is Another Person’s Mystery Land.

Essentially, outer space is here for you to find on this planet.

Top 10 Cool Things You Don’t Know About in Asia

10.)  Thai menthol

thai menthol

Poy-Sian menthol–dropper on far left, inhaler and cap.  source

Thailand was the first country I went to in Asia.  The cab drivers and tuk tuk drivers were sniffing this little bottle of something.  Had I been in the U.S., or anywhere else, I would have thought it was some kind of  illegal substance.  Thai menthol comes in this little bottle with an inhaler.  You can unscrew the cap and use the dropper.  You put two small drops of it on your temples and you feel like you are in a halo of menthol–like floating in space.

9.)  Betel nut

betel nut

Betel nut in Myanmar (Burma) source

I admit, I still don’t know exactly what betel nut is.  I made loop in Asia and in Myanmar there was this strange red substance in people’s mouths and on the ground.  I thought “oh what is this?”  So I bought one and began to chew it.  It is a little nut wrapped in leaves and it makes you feel happy when you chew it.  I’m not classifying it, because I don’t know what it is.

And I thought when chewing it…”this is stupid…this is stupid…WOW I FEEL REALLY HAPPY ALL OF A SUDDEN!”  Then I started laughing for no reason.

8.)  Cheap street food




Should You Start Shooting Heroin or Should You Go Traveling?


China, 2011.

Instead of altering your mind with drugs, you are altering your physical reality you are accustomed to.   So travel is a reverse drug–you don’t change, everything around you changes.

So I turned on the T.V. and saw the A&E show Intervention.  If you don’t already know, the show is about people who have various addictions and undergo an intervention by friends and loved ones to stop their addiction.

Well, this one episode was about a drug addict on the west side of Chicago, not too far from here, who squatted in a vacant building.  During the show it mentioned she had spent thousands of dollars on drugs–something like $40,000 plus dollars on drugs.  $40,000 dollars.

I then wondered what kind of travel you could do with that kind of money.  With $40,000 plus dollars you could probably go over to various parts of the world, exchange that for the local currency and live like a king for  a while.

  • You could probably go couchsurfing for a few years
  • probably start a business on an island
  • probably go to China and rent a penthouse in every major city
  • disappear somewhere
  • hitchhike for years
  • get away from all those losers who make you want to use drugs
  • get to a region of the world where you can’t talk to anyone
  • find losers to hang out with in a different country
  • make yourself not a loser
  • resolve whatever problems made you want to do drugs in the first place
  • get on drugs that make you not want to use drugs
  • replace traveling for drugs
  • buy a gym membership
  • live on a dollar a day in a third world country for the rest of your life and then reincarnated life after that
  • jump out of a plane
  • take a motorcycle around the world, maybe even a few times–and buy the bike
  • probably a car too if you want
  • go to South America
  • buy a camper
  • get some sort of education
  • buy a computer to educate yourself
  • dress up in a suit n’ tie or formal attire and go to a high end benefit and look really cool with a rented luxury car and donate thousands of dollars.
  • pretend you are cool–you can do this with less money


Chinese baby confused at  sight of crazy white man, China 2011

This is not to bash drug addicts.  My point is that traveling is almost a kind of therapy, when done correctly.  It almost alters your consciousness because you are put into large groups of people and terrains that are not native to your birth culture.  These people don’t act like you, think like you, or maybe they don’t even look like you.  Instead of altering your mind with drugs, you are altering your physical reality you are accustomed to.   So travel is a reverse drug–you don’t change, everything around you changes.

…there is no greater drug than travel.

I think a lot of people get into drugs because they are bored.  Maybe that is why rural America has a crystal meth problem.  And of course, a lot of people make money by having you on drugs and certain groups are kept in their place by them.  So instead of spending time and money on drugs, find a way to escape–quite literally  Because there is no greater drug than travel.


‘fog’ Chongqing, China 2011

[Terry: This is SO COOL. Why does it only have 1.3 Million followers? ]

Welcome to a new friend| Cole Ryan

Cole Ryan

Cole Ryan


Hm.. I never know what to write here.

I’m Cole. Nope, I’m not famous enough for this to be written in third-person. I just thought I could use a blog as an outlet for some of my thoughts. I’m not a pastor or theologian or anything, I’m just a writer. I didn’t really think I’d get as much traffic as I have.. so I’m doing my best to make any improvements I can!

There isn’t very much to say about me, but there is plenty to say about my goal. To simplify it, though, I like to borrow Desiring God‘s mission statement: “Everything we do aims to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

I wrote an eBook.. Dear Guys: A New Way To Date

Follow me on Twittah: @KingCohl

Subscribe to mah newsletter/email list for short, monthly updates! was formally known as

via About Me | Cole Ryan.

Christians & Dating

June 27, 2013 by Cole Ryan

Christians aren’t very good at dating. There have been plenty of Christian dating books and articles, and all of them have addressed the fact that there is a problem with the way we view dating, but none of them have really gotten to the root of the problem.

Ultimately, I think there are two reasons why the way we date doesn’t really work too well.

1. We either take dating too lightly, by simply dating someone to have fun or to fit in: in doing this we don’t even treat dating as a gateway to marriage – we hardly ever even consider marriage as an option.

2. Or we over-spiritualize and/or over-romanticize dating: in doing this we think that somehow “the one” is out there waiting for us – as if God designed a soul mate specifically for us.

Both of which are destructive.

I don’t think that the answer to either of these problems are as black and white as we like to think they are, or that they can be fixed as easily as we think they can be. These problems can’t be fixed with strategies and

formulas, that is what makes them tough.

I do think that if we get to the root of these problems that they will be much easier to fix. Most dating books and articles talk about the actions that take place within dating, they talk about how to date. I don’t think the answers we’re looking for will be found in behavior modification – we have to dig deeper than that. We have to find our motive and intention behind wanting to date someone, we have to find the reason for which we date someone.

I think focusing on the root of the problem rather than the surface of the problem is universally effective, yet we don’t apply this logic to dating.

This is why I wrote Dear Guys: A New Way To Date. It’s not your typical Christian dating book. It’s not a book telling you when to date, or how to date, it’s all about why we date – because when we figure out the why, it will change the when and the how.

I Recommend



Love Does by Bob Goff




Asaph’s Arrows by Kings Kaleidoscope



The Village Church – Sermon Audio

iPhone App:


Ask Pastor John



The Resurgence



Welcome to a new friend: Let Us Be Travelers

Let Us Be Travelers

Everybody Wants to Change the World… But, Nobody Wants to Change.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” — Jack Kerouac

by letusbetravelers

“You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.”


I am on the forensics and debate team at my school. I compete mainly in acting events, but one of my events I give a speech. I was looking through my laptop, and I found my speech from last year. I have not read it in months, and I read it tonight. I thought I would share it with you all, and, hopefully, you will be inspired.

If you had the chance to change the world, what would you imagine? Some of you would think substantive: halt all wars and riots, end world poverty, find the cure for cancer. While others would think on a smaller scale: lower taxes, free health care, or maybe even change the attitude of teenagers. No matter how immense or minute, a change is a change. The question is why isn’t anyone doing anything to fix these universal problems? The answer?

   Because everybody wants to change the world. But, nobody wants to change.

This world of ours, this land of beauty is filled with problems. Think about the hundreds of thousands of people dying each and every day. Think about the poverty and hunger children have to face.  The pregnant women who are HIV positive. The little boy that just found out he has cancer. Racism, sexism, hatred of homosexuals. Riots, rebellions, terrorism. Rape, murder, suicide. Drug addicts, adoption, abortion. Halfway houses, or no house. I think all of us in this room would say these are things we all want to lend a hand to, to rally over, to take a stand for. But, what is preventing us; why are we not taking an initiative?

Clearly, we need a change. Today I am going to show you how you can be that change. First, we’ll get to know our ‘enemies’ that prevents us from changing. Next, we’ll realize the importance of change. Finally, we will take it upon ourselves to initiate the change the world truly needs.

I turned on the radio one evening and started faintly listening to the voice of the monotonous man from the speakers. He kept on repeating, “We need a change. We need a change and we need it now.” My mind habitually went to where it usually goes when I hear the word change, “Who is it going to be this time?” What is stopping people from taking that first step of change? This leads me to my first point: knowing our ‘enemies’. We can summarize that with the three F’s: Fear, Failure, and the Future. This is a phrase that requires a little thought. Fear is a feeling we have all dealt with at one time or another. It is something we first experience as children and are conditioned to respond to in many different ways. Now, no human is impervious to this intangible feeling; however, we can learn how to overcome it. Fear has power over us because we allow it to hide in the darkness and terrorize us. The solution to this problem is to shine some light on that darkness, so it won’t be that powerful. Which brings us to failure. As humans, we are petrified of this two syllable word. Failure is simply not an option. However, on the road to success and change, there is a vast amount of failure. Failure should not be a deterrent to your progress and success in life. Failure is an inevitable part of change, and in fact we should celebrate it – without failure we learn nothing. Fail, fail often and learn. And finally, the Future. The future is something we cannot see or predict, and I believe it is this uncertainty that causes numerous of people to hide behind the status quo. It is easier to remain in one’s comfort zone than it is to face the unknown that change will bring. Fear, Failure, and the Future. Solomon Johnson, a trained communicator, once said, “These three ‘enemies’ are within your capacity not only to control, but to conquer.”

You’re either thinking one or two things by now: how can I be that change or when is this round going to be over? This leads me to my second point: realizing the importance of change. Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane and see how various individuals stepped out of their comfort zones and overcame prevention. Writer and activist, Gloria Steinem captured the hearts of thousands of women she has impacted. Through her years of outspoken writings and support, she has proclaimed the freedom of women. This feminist icon was nationally acknowledged as a leader for the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s and 70s. Steinem campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as other laws and social reforms, to help eradicate countless laws that discriminated against gender. Next, Betty Friedan was the founder and president of the National Organization for Women. She was one of the most dominant feminists of the 20th century. Her bold novel, The Feminine Mystique, served as a catalyst and helped spur on the twentieth century women’s movement. This led to the establishment of lasting benefits for women today. Finally, Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist who led Black Americans through his inspirational speeches, conveyed through the words of God. He had direction and a purpose when he talked about the morals and laws of segregation and when he delivered his famous address, “I Have a Dream.” So, why should you change? Take these influential people as examples. What would the world be like if these three leaders did not take that first step of change and, instead, waited for someone else to take it for them? Women probably wouldn’t have the same rights and privileges as men do today. Segregation of Black Americans and Caucasians might still be in occurrence, having separate seating and water fountains. What these individuals have in common is that they saw something that needed to be changed in the world, in their society, and they took the first step of being that change. Their first steps created opportunities for improvement.

Now that we have discussed what prevents us from changing and why we should change, it’s time for the moment you have been waiting for: to take it upon ourselves to initiate the change the world truly needs. How do we go from merely observing the change, making a note of it, and proceeding to do nothing, to the other option of adapting and taking action? It’s all with that first diminutive, baby step of change. Author Andy Ryan’s book “This Year I Will…” spells out why change is difficult:

Whenever we initiate change, we activate fear (there’s one of our enemies again) in our brain. If the fear is big enough, the fight-or-flight response will go off and we’ll run from what we’re trying to do.

Rather than rejecting ourselves as unchangeable beings, we can guide our change in the desirable direction by developing new habits. You can change the world one habit at a time. Confucius said, “Men’s nature are alike; it is their habits that separate them.” So, how does one develop a new habit? Leo Babauta, an author, proposed a basic outline on his Internet sensation blog of how one can develop habits. Focus on just ONE habit at a time. I want to wake up earlier and go for a job, eat healthier, start applying for scholarships, read every night, learn how to cook, all at once! Even though I might have enthusiasm for all these goals, I’m setting myself up for failure. I know. I’ve tried many times. Write it out paper. It’s easy to wake up in the morning and think to yourself that you’re going to change something about you today. Who among us hasn’t done that? But whether we yell it or whisper it in our heads, it isn’t enough. Write out your motivations, your obstacles, your strategies for overcoming. Log your progress. This is a motivational tool because you want to write good things in your log. Having a log assists you in succeeding because it reminds you to be consistent and makes you become aware when you are not. Babauta summed up the last one effectively: If you fail, try again. This is the beginning of the end of our bad habits. John Dryden, an English poet, once said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

After today, I hope you no longer have to ask the question, “Why isn’t anyone doing anything to fix these universal problems.” We first got to know our ‘enemies’ that prevent us from changing. Next, we discussed the importance of change. And finally, we learned how to initiate the first step of change this world genuinely needs. Remember our three enemies: Fear, Failure, and the Future?  Solomon Johnson came back and said, “May your Fear turn to be your Freedom, your Failure turn to Fortune, and your Future turn to Fame.” In short, we all have the potential to change the world. The Dot Boston said, regarding this subject, “You are not just one person, you are a whole entire being!” Find something you are passionate for and take action! What this world needs are people who are not content with the status quo and are willing to make a difference with themselves and the world. Michael Jackson nailed the concept of change in his song Man in the Mirror, “If you want to make a world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change.”

Be. The. Change.

via Everybody Wants to Change the World… But, Nobody Wants to Change. | Let Us Be Travelers.

To a New Beginning

by letusbetravelers

“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars”


I want to personally apologize for not blogging for the past month. I have had a lot on my plate with school and various activities that I did not have time to blog. But here I am! I had Prom this past Saturday, and it was an overall good experience. However, this post is not about Prom or school or the fact that Neutral Milk Hotel is reuniting for a tour or anything that has happened in my life in the past month. This post is about what awaits me in the future that has not arrived yet. With that being said, let me get to the point:


My new passport (I lost my previous one) came in the mail today. I am now officially ready to leave for Haiti in 49 days, and I could not be happier. I have been thinking about the future a lot lately. If I cannot have control of my present, I will have control of my future. I believe that my purpose in this world is to make a difference.  With that being said, I want to start a project that I will work on during college and after, depending on how the project is going. I have always had a heart and an emotional understanding to children in third world countries. I want to do something that will help those children because they deserve a better life. I have been thinking about a project for six months now, but I have yet to come up with a definite plan for a project.

If you have any ideas for a project or want to collaborate, comment below or e-mail me at

I believe that this project, whatever it may be, will be the reason why I am here on this earth. I am sorry this post is short and sweet, but I wanted to get my idea across in the most simple way as possible.

A Short Story: The Orange Balloon

by letusbetravelers

In my Honor Writing class, we were assigned to write a short story. We had to choose one of our journal topics as our prompt. I chose my journal topic “Last Words.” Anyway, there isn’t much more to say. You just have to read for yourself! So… I hope you enjoy reading my short story! Oh, and I would like to give a big thanks to Matthew Canestraro (Vigil Blue) for editing my story and making it truly beautiful!


The Orange Balloon

“I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.” – Virginia Woolf

I have never been the type of man to see beauty exist in anything, nor have I ever wanted to be that kind of man. I have neither been nor wanted to be the type of man to see beauty hiding in anything. At the moment, however, I am overwhelmed by inexplicable beauty in the form of rain drops falling outside my window. One, two, three… Something about the rain reminds me of a distant and suppressed memory – one that happened nearly two months ago.

* * *

It was a late September night. The rain was coming down without remorse. I squinted through the windshield and the rain and the dark for the lines on the road, and tried my best to stay between them. My wife Alice was beside me, and our precious little daughter Mary was in the back seat. We were on our way home from visiting Alice’s parents, so naturally I lit up a cigarette to help loosen the knots in my nerves that only in-laws could tie so tight. I opened the window slightly for the smoke to escape.

“Stop that now! Smoking’s going to kill you one day, I simply know it will!” Alice hated when I smoked, absolutely hated it.

“Can you blame me?” I asked with mock exasperation. She was still angry, but I could see the sliver of a smile – her parents drove her just as crazy. I smiled to myself and for a moment, the rain fell and the car hummed and nothing happened. Then everything happened, all at once. I remember Mary was asking when we’d be home, so I turned around to tell her “soon.” But the rain was blowing in through the open window, and the wheel was slick and my hand lost its grip. Alice grabbed my arm and squeezed hard. I looked over at her. She was staring straight ahead, her eyes opened wide and her mouth unable to utter a sound. I tried to straighten out, but it was too late. Our car had swerved into the other lane, and the dim headlights of another car collided with ours.

* * *

My mind escapes the memory of the wreckage and slides forward a month. Two houses were empty after that day – one belonging to a young couple. The other, a happy family. I missed them desperately. There was no one to blame but me. With an inexplicable slip of a hand, I killed four people. And two of them – two of them were… Can a person ever recover from a mistake which killed so many, yet left him alive? I couldn’t learn how to function with the burden of guilt, so I simply didn’t function. I just smoked my days away. I smoked, then I coughed. It became harder for me to breathe. The pain in my heart spread to my chest. I thought the accident had damaged my lungs. The doctor took a couple of x-rays of my chest. He told me I should sit down, and I took a seat. What he told me next is a blur. His mouth was moving, but I heard no sound. Then one word cut through: cancer. The doctor diagnosed it as small cell lung cancer. My prognosis for surviving the next five years was six percent. The doctor was terribly sorry.

* * *

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[Terry: Watch this kid. She can WRITE.

And, if you feel so inclined, buy my book at Amazon.]

Tarkeenia! Ellen Mae Gives Us More Tarkeenia! | Novel Ideas

The first extract I ran from “The Unseen Promise” was so popular, I was asked to do it again! So, let me present some brand new Ellen Mae Franklin to you! I hear on the grapevine she might be coming over for an interview, soon, very soon…

We can be heroes,if just for one day The happy pair had spent months together, travelling Tarkeenia without any real endpoint. Just wandering from one place to the other, suiting themselves as it pleased. It was an unusual union, but for some strange reason it worked. Well, most days anyway. Today was different, however. It was one of those days, the kind that makes you feel crabby, even though the sun is shining – and grouchy, because you couldn’t find that poking twig that kept you wide awake for most of the night, and testy, because Coal, the fire sprite, just wouldn’t shut his talking hole. Today, Brar just wished the sun would do its business of shining. Quietly mind, for he so desperately needed a full night’s rest. Then maybe after that he could cope with his travelling friend’s incessant whining.

via Tarkeenia! Ellen Mae Gives Us More Tarkeenia! | Novel Ideas.

My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s | (from) Little Blog of Letting Go

Little Blog of Letting Go

My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’sJun27I have not been nearly as active on my blog and WordPress in general as I would like, and I want to share the reason with you.I’ve been caring for my elderly mother at my home for the past 7 weeks. She had been hospitalized after a fall at her house in Indiana and I brought her back to Seattle with me to help her recover. I already knew it in my heart, but two days ago she was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. And it’s fairly advanced, on the border between moderate and severe.

She will be with me for another three weeks, and then I have to take her back home to my dad. I’ll probably stay there for a week or so, to help her get settled in back at home. So, for at least the next month I imagine I won’t be much more active than I am now.

It has brought lots of things to my attention that I didn’t know before. Namely that no amount of “senility” is normal in the aging process. Dementia is COMMON in the elderly, but it is never normal, and any signs of “senility”, memory loss, confusion, etc. is NOT normal, and should not be accepted as part of the normal aging process. If you notice these signs, get your loved one evaluated by a geriatric specialist as soon as possible.

I noticed signs of what I thought was the normal memory loss that comes with aging years ago. But, it was mild, and we just thought it was part of getting old. If only we had realized the problem then, we could have slowed the progression of the disease.

I have also learned that there is a direct link between depression and dementia. My mom has suffered from severe depression for years. They aren’t sure if depression causes dementia, or if depression in the elderly is an early warning sign of dementia, but there IS a link. If an elderly person you care about has depression, don’t wait! Get them evaluated for cognitive impairment by a geriatric specialist!

Listening to my mother talk about her own thoughts of suicide to the geriatric psychiatrist was heart wrenching to me. Listening to her try (and fail) to count backwards by 7 brought tears to my eyes. When I talked to her, I knew she had some dementia, but when I saw that she couldn’t even draw a clock face with the hands showing 11:10, I was shocked. She still reads like there’s no tomorrow, but she could not spell WORLD backwards.

After things settle down for me, and I can devote more time to my blog, I plan to write a more extensive article on dementia, but until then I will leave you with one more plea: Get your elders evaluated early, by a specialist. The basic test they gave her was called the Folstein Mini-Mental.  The earlier you get a diagnosis of dementia, whether Alzheimer’s or another form, the more treatment options are available!

via My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s | Little Blog of Letting Go.

A New World Record (well, for ME anyway)

The world’s largest production bike

Adil's Blog

While there is no end to what you can do with a custom made engine, the Triumph Rocket III was built as the largest production bike at around 2300cc with a 141hp on a two wheel monster. However the folks at Carpenter Racing thought that this wasn’t enough so they made some engine modifications to add another 100hp bringing the total to 241hp. I saw the bike at this year’s International Motorcycle Show and have fallen in love with it. And after watching this  video from Triumph I’ve become a bigger fan of Triumph as well.


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Thursday Tips: Going Solo | 1001 Scribbles

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

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Thursday Tips: Going Solo27

Thursday Jun 2013

In the fall of 2006 I drove to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a weeklong photo shoot. It was my third time to visit the area for photography, having shot there with a group of others in 2002 and 2003. This time, however, I was on my own. It would be my first overnight photo shoot alone. Since then, heading off for extended photo trips by myself has been the norm rather than the exception.

I feel that there are clear advantages, at least for me, that come with solo shooting and I want to share them, as well as some of the disadvantages that are an inherent part of heading into the field by yourself.

The most important benefit, as I see it, from going out with my gear by myself is…I end up with better images, on balance, in comparison with when I shoot with others.  I presume that this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it certainly was self-evident to me when I returned from that Upper Peninsula trip in 2006.  When I’m out by myself I’m able to focus entirely on photography, with no concerns about anyone else’s needs or desires.  I decide where to go, how long to stay, when to quit, whether to wait out the light, whether to go around the next bend in the trail, whether to see if I can find a better vantage point…you get the idea.  I’m in full control of everything, and I find that incredibly enabling and an undeniable boon to personal creativity.

If I want to return to a certain spot at a different time, no else has to agree to it; I just go.

If I want to skip dinner to take full advantage of evening light (something I almost invariably do when I’m on these shoots, by the way), I just skip it.

If I want to spend the “bad light” time in the middle of the day scouting a new location, I simply head off.

If I want to hike to an overlook in the dark to be at “the spot” at civil twilight, no one has to approve.

via Thursday Tips: Going Solo | 1001 Scribbles.

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