Writing a Dream

The Writer

Rumbling Heart – New Cover Art

I got into the mood to work so here is a decent Photoshop job I did on a new cover for the book. The guitar was black, but I needed it to be red. Now to work on the font!

Close-up of girl with guitar


100 Things I Learned About Japan from Anime

Here is a quick list of 100 things I’ve learned about Japan from Anime. (obviously satirical)

1. There is always some spineless guy who ends up with 5-7 girls all pining after him.
2. Making someone a bento is one of the greatest things in the world (I would agree with this).
3. The older a girl gets, the larger her breasts.
4. Excitable girls always tackle some hapless guy and land on their faces, crotch first.
5. Boys often get random nosebleeds throughout the day and no one notices.
6. All Americans that live in Japan are narcissistic a**holes. (Come on, I’m American and I can laugh at it)
7. 16 year old guys in high school always have a long lost childhood friend that they forget about.
8. Girls will almost always kick a guys’ butt.
9. When women fight, they always rip each others clothes off, but what’s left always manages to cover up their privates.
10. Cherry blossoms.
11. Never let your guard down or some pervert with a camera will start taking your picture.
12. Every girl except the very nerdy bookworm with glasses can do the high jump.
13. At least once a year you end up at the beach with one male friend and 5-7 female friends wearing amazing bathing suits…except for that one girl who wears her school swimsuit.
14. Someone always manages to win tickets to a hot springs spa.
15. And the theme park.
16. For some reason, women feel the need to take the spineless guy with them to buy lingerie where each of them asks his opinion of their chosen outfits.
17. Don’t worry about bringing your lunch. 7 girls will always share their lunch with you, even feeding it to you.
18. Fireworks on the beach.
19. Girls in Kimono’s are amazingly beautiful.
20. The only people who attend anime release parties are middle aged guys all wearing headbands.
21. The guy will always choose the absolute worst thing to do when the best girl confesses to him.
22. Harihu Suzumiya is God. Get the f*** over it.
23. Every hot girl you know will eventually end up sleeping next to you.
24. It snows every year on Christmas.
25. No one’s parents are ever home.
26. They guy we end up listening to always sits by the window, 1 seat from the last.
27. Lusting after a flat chested, 16 year old girl is completely acceptable as long as you make fun of her first.
28. Every girl you know just happens to have different colored hair making it remarkably easy to tell them apart.
29. Oh, that damn blonde guy.
30. If your parent’s aren’t home, they’re dead and you and your younger sister have been living on your own since you were 10 because, you know, that’s totally acceptable.
31. Mysterious transfer student.
32. You best friend is guaranteed to be a pervert. It’s going to happen so don’t fight it.
33. The smartest person in class is also the most stuck up. Jerk.
34. Certain students get special treatment like being allowed to read in the library while the rest of us have to sweat it out in class.
35. Everyone takes home economics.
36. All the protagonists suck in sports, except Yamato from Suzuka because he’s the man.
37. Everyone loves eggs!
38. I’m heading off to the all you can eat cake shop. Who’s with me?
39. Frequently visiting adult themed tea houses isn’t creepy at all.
40. Karaoke or you’re out of the club!
41. The cultural festival basically means you get 5 days to screw around at school while possibly scoring with a hot girl. Why is this not in America?
42. Discount Ken Watanabe.
43. Oh, you love me and you sacrificed your life for me? That’s sweet…but I still don’t choose you.
44. Every time you end up at a public bath you somehow end up in the girls side and no one calls the police.
45. Public baths?
46. You can destroy buildings, murder people, set off explosions, and no one ever dies.
47. Every vampire is hot and for some reason, still in high school.
48. You made me a bento without making the sausage look like a little octopus? A**hole!
49. All you have to do is say you feel sick and you’re allowed to sleep in the nurse’s office all day.
50. Sinking every ship in your anime is completely acceptable. In fact, author’s love your tears (Oreimo).
51. Visiting that hill just outside the city somehow solves all your problems.
52. Every part time job you get as a high schooler is embarrassing yet that one guy you like always manages to walk in when you least expect it.
53. Why does that mother not slap her kid for lifting up my skirt!
54. Pocky.
55. Almost everyone still uses flip phones. Apparently, Samsung and Apple haven’t made it to Japan yet.
56. Only perverts buy figurines of their favorite anime characters.
57. Dating sims are amazing!
58. It’s not Sony, it’s Suny.
59. The girl with the long, white hair who barely speaks is the most awesome girl ever…until she literally rips out your heart.
60. There are no stupid girls, just stupid guys.
61. Even now we will cheer for Taiga and if you don’t, she’ll kick your a**.
62. If a girl shares her bento with you, the entire class will scowl at you the entire time.
63. Robots.
64. Girls with their long hair in ponytails are amazingly cute.
65. Every student is forced to take an English course, but they all suck at it.
66. This is what every girl in Japan looks like.

67. Screw the rules, I have money!
68. Reading adult themed manga on the train is completely acceptable.
69. Everyone visits Okinawa at least once.
70. Bon festivals are awesome!
71. Marrying your cousin is not considered weird.
72. B*TCH FLAKES! Eat up, Baka!
73. Hercules beetles are fairly common and girls don’t freak out at all when one flies into their hair.
74. If you’re a lonely guy, don’t worry. By tomorrow some girl you’ve not seen since childhood and whom you don’t remember will crotch tackle you the next morning.
75. Loli’s are not lollipops.
76. She hates you and tries to murder you? Now she is making out with you? Makes perfect sense.
77. Always go to the roof to confess to someone because…well, just because.
78. Most girls do not have lips until they are wearing lipstick. That’s weird!
79. Putting your head on a girl’s lap is the most erotic thing in the world.
80. Sure, let’s head off to the beach for several days and solve a mystery because f*ck school.
81. If you’re an alien sharing your body with a 16 year old boy, it’s perfectly fine to destroy half the city because no one will care.
82. Every girl I know has a secret life as a teen model.
83. All adult males are ridiculously huge while their teenage counterparts are all small and wimpy.
84. So that’s what the red string means.
85. It’s perfectly acceptable for your 15 year old sister to take a bath with you unless the girl you like just happens to walk into your house, unannounced and feels the need to see if you’re in the bathroom not by knocking, but by just walking in.
86. Photography clubs.
87. Kendo looks fun! I should try that!
88. Every girl you like wants to kill you for absolutely no reason.
89. We’re locked in the equipment closet again? Why does this keep happening to me and some random hot girl?
90. There is no such thing as sex. The stork brings the babies.
91. Schools in Japan don’t have air conditioning.
92. Card games on motorcycles.
93. It takes 4 episodes for someone to power up and the fight lasts all of 68 seconds.
94. All teenage males are perverts.
95. All female teachers have massive breasts.
96. All male teachers are middle aged with glasses.
97. The characters from Cowboy Bebop are not from Texas.
98. The police are the most clueless people in the world and always arrive after a seven hour fight just finishes and there is no one to arrest.
99. Everyone hates Kirino.
100. The younger you are the biggers your eyes get.

100 “sins.” Sentence: (drumroll) (Credit to Cinema Sins for the Ding idea)

Marriage to MIKURU ASAHINA!

mikuru

(bow)


28 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

After 28 days, I have noticed a significant change in my overall mood. I can’t say I am not feeling a little low, but the low is not as bad as it was 28 days ago. I noticed I have been sleeping quite a bit more. I can’t say if that is a symptom of my depression or if I am just feeling a little zonked out. I know when I was on Invega (an antipsychotic) I felt like a complete zombie. While I am no longer on that drug (now on Fanapt, a very low dose), I do feel sort of zombied out, but not as much as I did back then. I still feel emotion and I can still experience some bad lows. However, it looks like the Prozac is doing its job and prevent too many lows. They are still there, but they don’t come as often.

I have found that there are times when I still deal with some pretty bad anxiety so I can’t say that the Prozac is helping as far as that. I have gotten some questions as to other known side effects. To address each one, here is a short list and my experience with them.

 

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out; – I have felt light headed at times, but not enough to pass out. This isn’t unusual for me though. 
  • agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; – I’ve not felt overly agitated. It is normal for me to have hallucinations. I have felt significantly more nausea. Again, nausea is normal for me, but it has been more prevalent since starting Prozac. 
  • headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop); – I have had some pretty bad headaches, but as with some of the other issues, headaches are normal for me. Same as the others, the headaches have been slightly more intense, but they are manageable so far. 
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. – I’ve not experienced any of these side effects. 
  • drowsiness, yawning; – It has gotten somewhat significant. I find that I am quite tired a lot of the time, but cannot sleep. I have been using OTC sleep aids sparingly(diphenhydramine). 
  • tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous; – This is normal for me. I have Klonopin to help with meltdowns from anxiety. For reference, I take the Klonopin, on average, twice a week to knock me down. I do not take it daily. 
  • dry mouth, upset stomach, mild nausea; – See above.
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams; – I’ve mentioned my sleep issues. My dreams have almost always been very strange and often lucid so this is not unusual for me. 
  • mild rash; – None so far. 
  • changes in weight or appetite; – I’ve mentioned this before as well. I am seeing what is slowly becoming a significant weight change. I first noticed I wasn’t feeling nearly as hungry about a week or so after starting Prozac. There have been days where I’ve not eaten at all. To avoid any complications, I have started scheduling my meals and setting reminders to eat. When I do eat, I am eating far less and am almost never hungry. I am eating simply so I won’t feel light headed or fatigued. I still enjoy the taste of food so when I do eat, I am usually having something I really like. I have, since my teen years, be really into pastas and high carb foods; a habit I picked up when I used to play tennis. I do have some pastas now, but as I said, I’m not eating nearly as much as I used to. I can think of only a single time in the past 3 weeks where I’ve felt a little hungry and that was at the end of the day when I’d forgotten to eat anything. In the past month, I have dropped about 15 lbs. I was working out quite a bit, but then I hurt my back (have had a bad back for years) so I stopped to let myself heal (this was before I started the Prozac). Even without the workouts, I am still dropping weight. I suspect when I start up again with my workouts, I will drop more weight which is fine with me. I have carried a lot of extra weight most of my adult life so dropping 30-40 lbs will do me some good. 
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; – I’ve not noticed any of these symptoms. 
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat. – I have had a slightly stuffy nose, but I am going to say it’s probably from my allergies. I have common seasonal allergies so that could be the reason why I get a stuffy nose from time to time.

I’ve read studies that have seen an increased proclivity to violence from people taking Prozac. I’ve not experienced anything that would suggest this happening with me. I’ve always been a very passive person though. I have never been the type to go around looking for an argument or a fight. If you have been known as someone with a short temper, make sure you tell your doctor if you find yourself a little more on edge than usual.

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you want my diagnosis for reference, I was formally diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder (depressive type). The medications I am on right now to help with this are Prozac, Fanapt, Klonopin, and Buspar. I also take a few other medications for unrelated health issues such as Zanaflex for migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

If you have questions, you can comment all you like and I will respond or you can use my contact information if your question is of a personal nature.

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega ...

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega retard tabletta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


14 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

 

Here are a few more things I’ve experienced 14 days into taking Prozac.

 

I’m still not feeling hardly any desire to eat. It looks like that side effect isn’t let up at all. As before, I don’t mind it at all as it’s helping me drop some weight. The only issue I am having is making sure I eat enough. Every time I eat I am never hungry. I only do it because I have to. I’ve also found I am less thirsty which goes hand in hand with the hunger thing. I’ve dropped some water weight, but not a huge amount.

 

I cannot say this is from the Prozac as I’ve experienced them before, but I ended up with a massive migraine on Sunday, the 14th day of my prozac intake. It was quite bad. I had all the classic symptoms: upset stomach, nausea, any little noise threw me off, even the dimmest if lights were too much. It was bad. I ended up sleeping through most of it with some help from my Zanaflex. After that, I ended up with a tension headache which wasn’t any more pleasant.

 

My pain threshold is getting smaller. Again, I cannot say that this is necessarily because of the Prozac. For some reason, I have been having major problems with my back lately so I am deal with significantly higher pain levels. I am always usually about a 4 or 5, but lately it is getting up into 6 and 7, occasionally hitting 8 and 9 which is really bad. I do have some Hydrocodone 7.5’s to help with it thankfully. I have an appointment set to see my general practitioner in about a week for my back. I did end up at the ER because of the pain which is where I got the Hydro. It was given as a short term solution.

 

My mood seems to be stabilizing a little. On the Celexa I was previously taking, I was still having really bad mood swings. The prozac seems to be helping a little. I cannot say for certain yet. It might be I am just going through a period where I am in a slightly better mood. I will update this on my next post 21 Days of Prozac.

 

I did have one very strange side effect that I’d not experienced with other SSRI‘s. One night for about three hours, I experienced a very strange sense of euphoria. I’d not taken any of my muscle relaxers or any pain medication. I felt very lightheaded and it almost felt like I was floating above my bed. I couldn’t sleep during this period, but the sensation of lightheadedness was so intense that I dared not get up. I was still in pain, yet I felt free and almost like I was going to break apart into molecules. It was a very odd sensation that I can only attribute to my brain releasing some sort of natural painkiller like a continuous endorphin rush. For a time, I thought maybe I was slipping into psychosis as my hallucinations did increase during that time. They were manageable though and not scary at all. Seeing them actually made me feel at ease.

 

Well, this is my update after 14 days. When 21 days have come, I will give another write up to see if the three week threshold provides any added relief.

 

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac)

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


NSA Spying Fiasco

Here is a little something I wrote up about this whole NSA fiasco.

This all reminds me of that scene with Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight when Batman is doing everything possible to locate and capture the joker. Batman lets lucius know he took his sonar idea and applied it to every cellphone in the city for the sole purpose of catching one man (A terrorist). Foxx refers to it as “Beautiful, unethical, dangerous.” When Batman says he must do everything he can to stop the joker, Foxx looks at him and says “At what cost?”

Even Christopher Nolan saw this coming as many of us did. How many more liberties are you willing to sacrifice in the name of safety? How many more laws are going to pass, taking away more of our freedoms until we realize that we have completely given up on the idea of freedom and have become slaves to fear? Even with all these new laws that are supposed to keep us safe from terrorists, I don’t feel even a tiny bit safer. In fact, I feel more like a prisoner. Knowing I can’t do anything unless big brother is looking over my shoulder goes against everything I was taught about the USA growing up.

For years, people have been talking about the novel 1984, saying that we are heading in that direction. Most of the people who said that stuff were called conspiracy theorists. Well, it’s not longer a theory. It’s a fact. For so long allowing the government to do this kind of thing has been seen as a slippery slope. Well, I can see us sliding already. Many people 50 years from now will mark this as the beginning of the end of our freedom. It start with the Patriot Act and it continued with what we are seeing now. I openly admit to being a staunch Obama supporter all these years, but this…I cannot accept.

I know this program started under Bush, but Obama kept it going. I refuse to live in a police state. These violations of privacy are unacceptable. When I am an old man and look back on my life, tracing back to when I lost faith in the “American Way,” I can mark this as the starting point. I can see now why some millionaires are leaving the country. Not only for tax purposes, but this country is no longer free. There are a ton of other countries out there that are safer than ours but their people are truly free. I am sure any number of them would be happy to take a few more millionaires in.

Referring back to The Dark Knight, Foxx finally said to Batman “I’ll help you this one time, but consider this my resignation. As long as this machine exists at Wayne Enterprises, I won’t.” I wish politicians had as much backbone as a fictional character. One can only wish they would have the guts to stand up for what is right. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is wrong on so many levels. I am not one to make idle threats, but believe me when I say if and when I’m financially able to leave this country, I will. As long as this sort of program exists in the United States, I won’t.

 

This is no longer the land of the free. It is the home of the scared. For years we have been told that if we don’t do this or that, that the terrorists will win. Well, guess what. They have. Sure, the government will say they have thwarted an attack here and there, but if they are hiding this program from us, who is to say any of what they tell us about preventing terror attacks is true? You know how the terrorists have won? We cannot go anywhere in our country anymore without being on camera. We cannot watch television without the NSA knowing about it. We cannot surf the internet, make a phone call, send a text message, or have what we thought were private conversations on Facebook without big brother watching every single thing we are saying. Even Michael Caine‘s character Alfred Pennyworth told Batman what he felt they would eventually have to do to catch the jewel thief when he was in Burma: they burned the forest down.

I’ve lost all confidence in the US Government when it comes to protecting the rights of its citizens. When a government can take any citizen it wants and jail them indefinitely without filing charges, you cannot consider this a free country. Yes, they really can do that. Go read the Patriot Act and it will show you how it can. The same thing for people who still think the government needs a search warrant to tap your phones. They don’t. Again, it’s in the Patriot Act. All they government has to do is say that they think you are a threat and they can completely tear your life apart and there is nothing you can do about it. You can view all the data on the Patriot Act here. 

People will still argue that these laws are in place to protect us. I do not feel any safer than I did before 911. It is a sad fact that everyone dies. No amount of laws will ever keep us 100% safe. It is a cold hard fact. There will always be terrorism and there will always be mass killers walking into schools and movie theaters looking to kill as many people as possible. Short of taking away virtually every freedom we have left, no law will ever stop these things. Ever.

Cover of "The Dark Knight: Wide Screen Co...

Cover via Amazon


Rumbling Heart “Kickstart” Edition

In preparation for the release of 5 new books by the end of the year, I have decided to revamp my current release Rumbling Heart. In this updated release, currently called the Kickstart Edition, there will be several new and exciting extras to go along with the improved story. Here are some of the ideas that will hopefully make it into the new version:

  • A “Did You Know?” section with interesting factoids about the book, the characters, and the process used in its development.
  • Alternate Art and covers that were previously used or considered for the cover.
  • Q&A section where the author Richard Allen and Executive Producer Emily Carmichael answer various questions about the book and their methods.
  • A brand new cover which differs significantly from the current one.

As this will be the 3rd version of the book, any previous fans who redownload when the new version is released and go through the story again will notice several changes that we all feel needed to be made. While the overall story will remain intact, the most noticeable change will be overall length. The very first version was quite long, coming in at over 500 pages. The version that was at first going to be the first version was around 525 pages so there was already some significant editing work done on that one. Version two was even shorter, coming in at about 475 pages. Regardless of the fact that significant edits had already been done, we felt it best to shorten the book even further. While we do not have a page count at the moment, the effort to shorten the book will hopefully take it down to as little as 400 pages. While this is in the higher range of our estimates, we still want to be sure that the overall quality of the story does not suffer so don’t be surprised if we don’t hit that number. Keep in mind that 400 pages would be the story itself and not include any bonus content.

Keep in mind that if you already purchased this book from Amazon, all you have to do to get the new version when it comes out is download it again. There should not be any additional cost.

Keep your eyes open for more information regarding the 5 books slated to be released by the end of the year as well as more information on Rumbling Heart: Kickstart Edition.

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RHcover1x


Withdrawal – Pristiq

This is a personal recollection of my withdrawal from Pristiq. I cannot say that this will happen to anyone else. This is just how it worked out for me.

 

I was ordered off the drug because I was getting significant side effects. I was told by my doctor to stop cold turkey. I was instructed to call my doctor, his nurse, and even suicide hotline if needed because they knew withdrawal was going to be rough.

At first, I felt alright. I just kept myself busy and distracted, but over time I began to see shadows climbing my walls. This wasn’t too bad though as this was something I’d dealt with in the past. The following day, I began hallucinating badly. I could see music. I could hear my hair growing. I feel the Earth moving below me. I could literally feel emotion. It was very scary but at the same time almost beautiful.

Then that bad times came.

I start hallucinating people coming into my room. I knew they weren’t real as I’d had these type of hallucinations all my life. However, they were starting to invade all of my senses at the same time. Not only could I see the people coming into my room, I could hear their moans. I could smell their sweat. I could feel their fingers touching my face. I could taste their tears.

It was as if all my senses went into overdrive. The next day i had a full on meltdown. I began pacing through my house, walking in circles and I couldn’t stop some of my OCD behavior. I would keep looking at clocks and I my mind would start doing mathematical problems with the numbers I saw. At one point, I found myself sitting at a table and forming algebraic expressions. I kept searching for answers to my math problems in the strangest places. I found myself counting my pens, thinking they were hiding something from me. Once I’d counted them all, I add that number to my algebra problem and kept writing numbers all over various sheets of paper. I ended up standing again and pacing around my living room. I start sweating badly and I began to pull hair out of my head. In a moment of clarity, I thought that I was having a full on anxiety attack so I went to my room and ripped open a bottle of Klonopin and took one. I found myself in the living room again, pacing, whispering to myself, almost chanting. Finally, I screamed like I’d never screamed before. I couldn’t stop myself. Then the Klonopin kicked it and took my legs out.

I don’t even know how long I was on the floor. I could hear a voice in my head telling me that I needed to be clean. I found myself crawling to the bathroom. I turned on the water and crawled inside the tub. I let the water rain down on me for over an hour. I didn’t care that it was cold. I got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and fell asleep on my bedroom floor.

The next day I woke at about 6am…and I felt alright. I was really tired, but I felt like myself again. I felt like I could breathe. I felt clear. I looked outside and the colors of the world were rich and vibrant and the air was clean and fulfilling.

Some people say they don’t remember coming off certain drugs, but I remember. I remember everything.

I cannot say that this will happen with you. I admit there were other things that probably made my withdrawal much worse that it probably should have been. I never told my family or my friends about this. I didn’t want to worry them. I did tell my doctors and my therapist. They were glad I was alright.

Desvenlafaxine succinate 50mg Tablets (Pristiq...

Desvenlafaxine succinate 50mg Tablets (Pristiq brand) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Vitamins

Since I don’t always eat right, I take vitamin supplements. I was looking over them all and noting their daily values.

Vitamin A = 70%,

Vitamin C = 150%,

Vitamin D = 100%

Vitamin B12 = 83,333%

Umm…Hmm. I see. So…this is how it begins.

 

Superman logo

Superman logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hopeless Romantic

As defined by (of all places) Urban Dictionary:

1. This person is in love with love. They believe in fairy tales and love. They’re not to be confused as stalkers or creepy because that’s not what a hopeless romantic is. All hopeless romantics are idealists,the sentimental dreamers,the imaginative and the fanciful when you get to know them. They often live with rose colored glasses on. They make love look like an artform with all the romantic things they do for their special someone.

“Angie is a hopeless romantic,she’s always writing beautiful love poems to her boyfriend Mike.” 

“Jack is such a hopeless romantic, he’s always bringing flowers and doing the sweetest things for his wife.”

2. A hopeless romantic is not the same as a hopeless flirter. A hopeless romantic dreams of who they will spend the rest of their life with and what the two of them will do together. They want to be romanced with sweet simple things and the thoughtful amazing surprises. They dream of being loved but also loving somebody. They don’t just want somebody to hold them. they also want to hold someone. They realize that love isn’t just about one person but both people. they are hopelessly in love with being loved AND loving back.

“My friends is a perfect example of someone who isn’t a hopeless romantic. She says she wants to be romanced, but she flirts with every guy. And I mean EVERY guy. She calls herself a hopeless romantic, but shes not. Once she has a guy that just wants to love her, shes get bored after two weeks and then when he gets a new girlfriend, she suddenly likes him again. Thats not hopeless romantic. Thats just hopeless.”

3. Hopeless Romantics are NOT hopeless per-say, but very true, caring, and loving people. They are “NOT MADE FOR TODAYS STANDARDS”, sadly. They believe in passion, chivalry, and true love. They have loved sincerely at one point in their life, discovered what love feels like, and can’t understand why it was not returned in the same form. Hopeless Romantics are usually dreamers, idealists, and sincere, however what they expect in any relationship is a full return for their effort and caring, to be loved as much as they loved. What makes them “Hopeless” is the fact that they are few and far between in todays daily life, and usually get let down in the long run, even though they gave all they had to give, money, love, time, housing, belongings. Hopeless Romantics give 100% ALL the time, and hope for the same in return.

Hopeless Romantic – “One Day you’ll find someone who appreciates you, loves you, you gave so much, you were so true and faithful, you did EVERYTHING RIGHT.”

I didn't write it, but I did photograph and fl...

(Photo credit: Looking for a Lighthouse)


Heroes and Bad Reviews

Sometimes distractions can lead us away from our goals. Often times I find myself getting tunnel vision when I am writing an idea and that’s not always the best thing. For the stories I am developing, I had a point A to point B plan and that was not the way it should have been. There is more to a great book than who, what, when, where, and why. An explanation can be developed from those, but not a great story. Sometimes stepping away and doing other things can help you reclaim your idea from a narrow vision and assist you in turning a good idea into an magnificent book.

In October, I purposely stepped away from my stories and kept myself from writing. Why? I felt like I was becoming bored with the process. I still had idea I knew were good, but I felt like something was lacking in my writing. I needed to find a way to develop more than just an A to B story. My first book Rumbling Heart was more than an A to B story and it shows in the quality of the development not only of the work, but also the characters and the atmosphere. Sometimes reading a book can help you reevaluate and refocus on what you are trying to do. In my case though, being able to now see things from a different angle is a double-edged sword.

I looked over my work and even over some reviews and bits of feed back I have gotten over my work. The good reviews are always nice, but it is the bad reviews that always stick with you. Why? Just human nature I suppose. Here is a snippet of a negative review RH got and my response to it.

reviewNegative reviews happen. There is no way around it. Being a writer I accept that and I know there will always be people who either do not understand my work or, for whatever reason, want to find reasons to make it seem as if I did a huge disservice to the human race. I did find it interesting that this person thought her review was constructive. You can see my response to her review in the photo as well. Her response was once again nonconstructive. I liken this review to calling someone names because that is essentially what they did. If you feel the need to call me (or my work) “stupid” without offering any reason as to why you felt that way or any way to improve it, the review is completely pointless. Offering no way to improve on something is about as bad as crying because you didn’t get your way. If I were a coach and I told a child they were terrible at football or whatever other sport I was coaching them in, I wouldn’t remain a coach very long. Obviously you cannot really liken coaching to reviewing a book or a movie or whatever else you can give feedback on. Reviewers aren’t coaches. I realize that. But at the same time people who do offer feedback need to understand that the main reason you give feedback, be it positive, negative, or mixed, is so people who develop their ideas can improve and make things better the next time around. What is the point of simply calling people or their work names? Sounds to me like certain individuals either lack the ability to express themselves or they feel the need to tear someone down.

Success also breeds negativity.

I will not say I am very successful. I haven’t sold a ton of books and I haven’t made all kinds of money at this. It was never really about money anyway. I have over the last year and a half gotten hurtful messages and emails from people who see that I was somehow able to hash it out and write a book. Not many people can say they’ve done that. Sure, some people can write a small story, but my first book was 475+ pages. A little long, but anyone has to admit that writing a book of that size takes time and commitment. My followup to my first book is much shorter, but still comes in at about 300 pages. No small feat. Another big story for me which is about 70% complete will probably come in at about 275 pages. Again, not many people in the world can say they can sit down and accomplish such a thing. I am not saying I should automatically get a great review for the effort, but I would hope that people like me…artists…deserve at the very least a review explaining exactly why our work is either good, bad, or mixed.

A good review does not always have to be positive. If you gave me 1 or 2 stars, but explained why this or that was unappealing to you, I could respect that. Not offering any explanation whatsoever makes me think the person is either just looking to be mean or trolling. In a way, they are kind of the same thing.

If you are a reviewer like I am from time to time, do the artist a favor and explain why you think one way or another. In the end, we will thank you for it and so will other readers.