The Reader in Me

I missed another post yesterday, well maybe to you I missed it, I had plenty of time to write one and several ideas but I just didn’t feel like it. So I don’t think I missed anything more than I just didn’t do it. But that’s neither here nor there. I have a simple one for you all today. Y’all know I like writing posts in which I get to answer questions about my reading or books or whatever. Wellllll I have another set for you guys to read. Each of the other two times I’ve written this type of post I’ve had a number of bloggers copy me, so one of you needs to continue that tradition.

Okay. Might as well get started. Oh, I found these questions here. I’ll do the first ten today and the last ten tomorrow.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

Ooooh. This is actually a tough one to answer. I know for sure that I’ve had some books at least since my sophomore year of high school. I’ve probably had a couple handfuls since before then. Okay. I’m going to have to take a wild guess and say that the book that I THINK has been on my shelves the longest is A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon. I have another of her novels that I read right around the same time that actually won an Edgar. Didn’t even know.

2. What is your current read, last read, and book you’ll read next?

Don’t really have an answer for any of the above.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in the history on the universe who did not like this book. I’ve written about it over and over and even dedicated a full post to it back in March. Sorry, Mr. Dahl. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but probably won’t?

The Bible. Ha. Just kidding. I’ll never read that. No matter what reasons people give me. Hmmm. I don’t think I have an answer for this one. Cause I’ll read a book if I want to and won’t if I don’t. Pretty simple.

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement”?

Uhh what exactly does this even mean? Is it supposed to be a book I’m saving for years and years from now? Or…I don’t even know. Anyway, I’ll just say Potter. Cause when the movies ended I vowed to wait awhile before actually starting the books. Cause once I finish them there’s no going back, the entire phenomenon would be over. I know there are millions of people like me in that I grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The first movie was released when I was ten. You see what I mean. So I’m saving the series for forever. Although I have now read the first and have the second right here next to me. Once I get to book seven I imagine that I’ll wait at least a year before actually reading it. Cause then I’ll be done and  I’ll no longer have anything more I can take away from the series that haven’t already. I know a lot of people reread the full series every year, but I know I won’t be doing that. Of course, with all that being said, I read THG trilogy in a really short span and finished the series shortly after the first movie was released. Eh.

6. Last page: Read it first or wait til the end?

Oh boy. I read mysteries. Where’s the mystery in reading the last page of a book before actually reading the book? Makes no sense. Okay. Let me go pay $13 to go to the movies and walk in during the final five minutes. Yep. No. Literally the dumbest thing I know readers do is reading the last page first.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

The person who created these questions has obviously never written a book. To say that the Acknowledgements section of a book is a waste of paper and ink (you’re talking pennies) is simply moronic. This is the kind of person who thinks one person writes a book. This is the kind of person who has no respect for what authors and writers do. This is the kind of person who says “Oh, so you just stay home and write?” This is the kind of person who has never written anything of substance in their life. I almost always skip the Acknowledgements, but as someone who has gotten to write just one Acknowledgements section I can tell you that I spent quite some time on those few pages and every person mentioned helped with the book. I very much hope that not a single one of you who reads this will think they’re a waste of ink and paper. Then you fall into the category I mentioned above.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Easy. My own. Andrew Banks. Perfect girl. Perfect job. Pretty intelligent. Strong physique. Helps people.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

No. I don’t know how many times I have to say that I read because I like reading and because it’s the greatest form of entertainment we have today. Whatever I have going on in my life has absolutely nothing to do with what I read. I’m not trying to cope or deal or get away, I just want to read my books without someone thinking that I have some motive for doing so.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way?

I buy all my books. Nothing special about it.

Okay.  I rather enjoyed answering these questions. Had to really think about a few and then had those that were pointless, as usual. Feel free to go ahead and answer them yourself or let me know what you think of my answers.

What Moves Your Characters?

Before you start writing your comment about what “moves” your characters let me stop you. That is NOT what I’m talking about. And frankly, I’m not even interested in that topic because I’m sure most of you have read my rant on all the people who claim to be so “moved” by books and all that junk. Yeah…don’t get me started.

Anyway, I am talking about what your characters actually get around in, what they drive. I can’t tell you what hardly any of my favorite characters drive. I know Harry Bosch mostly gets around in an unmarked LAPD Police Interceptor. These are the black cars with the spotlight in the front that you see driving around every once in awhile. They probably remind you of a Crown Victoria, but they’re not. For future reference, there could very well be a police detective in there. I know Kinsey Millhone used to drive an old Volkwagon Beetle. But she also used to walk from place to place quite a bit. I know at least one of my favorite characters drives around in an old Chevy Nova, but I have no idea who it is. The point I’m making is that in my reading experience the vehicles of the characters in the story have not been a big deal.

I can of course tell you what cars I’ve mentioned in my writing. My protagonist drives what he often refers to as an “old Mitsubishi.” Sydney drives a BMW. There have been a couple other cars mentioned, but none that the reader was ever in.

I’m just thinking about how much thought writers put into what their characters drive. I mean, I know just about every choice a writer makes is calculated and made for some reason, but I’m thinking there is a long list of things that would come before trying to decide what make and model car your MC should have. You all should definitely know by now that my character is me, and I bet you’d guess that I gave him my car. That was all the thought I put into what he drives. Although in my second book, which is indefinitely on the backburner, I gave a young, attractive, intelligent lawyer a car that’s something of status symbol. So eh, maybe I think about it more than I know.

Tell me about you and your characters. What do they drive and how do you make such a decision?

This post was inspired by the fact that I just got a new car yesterday! I had my first car since just before the start of my senior year in high school and it was definitely time for a change.

This was my first car.


This is my new one.



Books in School Classrooms


Photo Credit: Apples for Your Eye

School is just now beginning for most of the country, and with the start of a new school year comes the start of many new careers in teaching. More than 500 new teachers are starting this year in my former school district and many of these new teachers face similar challenges. But one that I’ve happened to see article after article written about is the struggles that come with trying to have a small assortment of books within the classroom. I’m not talking textbooks or workbooks, I’m talking books.  Books for the students to read.

I am fully aware that there are new teachers starting out this year that don’t teach English or ELA at all who may not have as many books in their classrooms, but I can remember just about every elementary school teacher I had having some books in the classroom. And my future English teachers in middle and high school definitely did. But let’s be real, new teachers have limited resources to outfit their classrooms with the proper supplies needed for their students. Especially books. Teachers are now utilizing crowdfunding websites for this specific purpose. Most I’ve read about are attempting to raise $500-$900 for supplies for their classrooms. This is for ALL supplies, but think about how much it would cost just to buy maybe 30 books, which isn’t many.

There’s an organization in my area that provides new teachers with $100 for supplies, but we all know they need a bit more than that. This is where you likely expect me to tell you about a new teacher I know personally who could really use your help this new school year. I’m not going to ask you to give your money away, nor should you feel obligated to do so. But I will say that I think it’s great seeing so many new and longtime teachers going to such lengths to get books in the classroom, because a classroom without books seems inadequate. I would be surprised if you disagree.

Judging a Book by its Author


Photo Credit: Larkable

We’ve all heard the stupid saying about judging books by their covers. Easily one of the more annoying things that you hear about books, but have you thought about judging books by their authors? I think it’s a real thing worth discussing just a little further.

I’m not going into judging books by their covers because I’ve actually already written about that practice before and we all know that it absolutely does happen. Let me explain to you what I mean when I say judging a book by its author. How many of you read multiple series? If we’re being honest with ourselves it takes all of two seconds to realize that publishing is going in much the same direction as movies have in recent years. It’s all about sequels. Plenty of authors are still writing great stand alone novels, but it seems that just about every author and their mom is writing a series, which is perfectly fine with me since I love a number of characters who I don’t want to stop reading anytime soon. So a lot of series are being written So what, right? Well, not exactly. You see, this may have given rise to judging books by their authors. How, you ask? Let’s say you just finished the first book in a series. You liked the book and you immediately log into your Amazon account to purchase the next book in the series without looking at what the book is about or the reviews or anything at all because you just know you have to have it.

This is where judging books by their authors comes into play. We all judge books, but now that you know you like the series and the characters and the author’s style of writing you’re almost certainly going to compare the book to the first in the series that you just read. I think it’s much easier for us to compare books within a series than it is to compare books completely independent of one another.

So that’s judging books by their authors, when you compare a book to other books you’ve previously read by that particular author instead of comparing it to everything you’ve read. I can’t be the only one who does this. I can easily tell you my favorite THG book or my top two or three Harry Bosch novels, but it becomes much more difficult to go down a list of my all-time favorite books. So tell me, do you judge books by their authors just as I do?

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Blogger edition

Okay guys, assuming that your name isn’t Patrick Star and you don’t live under a rock, then I’m certain that the title of this post tells you exactly what I’m writing about. I would hope that would be all of you. BUT if somehow or other you have no idea what the ice bucket challenge is, you’re in luck. It all comes down to professional golfers last year started the ice bucket challenge in order to donate to their favorite charities. Over the course of time the challenge morphed into being all about ALS. So there. People are pouring ice water over their heads and MOSTLY donating money.

That’s the basic premise. But what you hear about online from people who THINK they’re sounding intelligent is that all these people are wasting water. How does dumping ice water over your head help people with ALS? They say people are just doing it to be part of the phenomenon that has spread across the country. They say no one really cares about a cure for ALS. My response to all these people would be…..shut up.

If you’re one of these people, then unfollow my blog right now. Cause there is nothing intelligent about criticizing people who yes probably want to be a part of the challenge, but who are also donating their own money that they absolutely don’t have to. And what are you doing? Trying to record a video that you think a lot of people will agree with because you seem to be under the impression that you’re seeing something in all this ice bucket challenge business that no one else is. Everyone knows that a little bit of water is wasted. Every person who does it knows this. But let me ask you something.  Have you ever just stood in the shower that extra minute, or two, or ten? You’re talking a whole lot more water than just a bucket. Do you run the water while you brush your teeth? Oh look, more water wasted. Maybe there’s a drought ongoing where you live and you still run your sprinklers during the day. See, don’t sit there and act like you’re this wonderful perfect person who cares so much about water, cause you don’t. And if you want to make it out like you do, find some water causes online and donate there.

Now let me tell you all something fun about my ice bucket challenge. I actually challenged three bloggers! It’s not like I’m going to nag you if I challenged you and you don’t do it, but It’d be fun to watch your video if you do.

Just a few last things before I show you all my video. I’ve been reading article after article about people who have actually had to deal with ALS and let me tell you, I haven’t read a single one that says they think it’s stupid. Cause it is raising awareness and it is raising money. With that I leave you with an article from the Huffington Post in which someone very close to ALS gives her thoughts on the ice bucket challenge. Second, here’s a video of someone talking about why he did the ice bucket challenge.

Access the article here.

Watch the video here.

That’s all for today. No book stuff, but now you have to watch my video because I may or may not have challenged you!

The Perks of Being a Writer


Photo Credit: Writer’s Digest

Okay guys, I’m certain that I could write a book about the so-called perks of being a writer. And hey, maybe some clueless soul might confuse the title with The Perks of Being a Wallflower and mistakenly buy it. I can dream, right?

Let’s get on topic here. For the sake of this post, let’s assume that you, the writer, earn enough money from your published titles for writing to be your one and only job. You’re not James Patterson but you’re also not John Guillen making zippo.

Make your own hours

This is one of those things that other professions just don’t have. I mean, I suppose a business owner could also set his or her own hours, but last I checked there are a lot more people in America who don’t own their own business than those who do. But as a writer you can write every other day or three hours a day or eight hours a day or on no set schedule at all. Tell me that isn’t the coolest thing. Sure I know that if you don’t write enough, then you could potentially miss deadlines and yada yada, but still. The hours a writer actually writes is solely dependent on the individual.

No commute

Plenty of professionals live a lengthy drive from their place of employment. And then you have others who may be able to walk to work each day if they live in an overpriced apartment in the middle of the city. But writers don’t have to deal with any kind of commute to and from work. If I want to only write at my desk at home, then I can. If I want to sit out back and write as the sun falls, then I can. If I have a favorite cafe that I frequent for my writing purposes, then I can go there whenever I feel the need to do so. A writer can literally work anywhere, others can’t.

No boss

I know what you’re thinking. A writer has a million people within their publisher who may or may not tell them what to do. But would you really put that in the same sentence as your boss at work who never leaves you alone about the dumbest things? “Get me coffee.” “Get off the internet.” “Where’s that report?” “Were you just taking a selfie?” I don’t think so. After all, this writer has a nice body of work and an agent who can always look for a better publishing situation. Writers are like every single aspect of a business in a single person.

No set salary

Again, I know what you’re thinking. This can also be a very bad thing, especially for a self-published author. But our writer for this post is not self-published and has several published books already. But let’s be real, every working person goes into their annual evaluation thinking they’ve done a good job over the past year and deserve a pay raise. And so many of these people are disappointed over and over again. But a writer doesn’t have to look at his or her work that way. They could write one book that someone likes and that someone could go back and buy the others that are available. A writer can always earn more. And that is not a bad thing.

Okay, I kept this list short because I wanted to hear from you all. What are your favorite perks of being a writer? I’m counting on you for some good ones I haven’t thought of yet!

If you Could Jump Into any Story



Photo Credit: Reddit

This post is partly the result of a conversation I had very recently with the rather awesome Jess. Seriously, if you aren’t following her blog then what the heck is the matter with you? Just click her name and then hit follow. Easy. I’ll even wait.





Okay. Hopefully you followed directions, but I’ll know if you didn’t. Now I suppose I might as well tell you what today’s post is actually about. Fine. The other day I randomly asked Jess which movie she would live in if she could. Her answer was eh. But then I started thinking about it and came up with Narnia. Yeah I know there are actually three movies, but how freaking cool would it be to live in Narnia? I haven’t read the books, but they’re definitely on my forever TBR list. Now I’m taking the question a bit further and thinking about the books I’d like to jump into. I’ll limit it to books I’ve actually read, so that leaves out six of the Potter books. I’m not sure I’d want to live in Panem. Maybe I’d want to jump into the life of a hotshot PI? But likely not. I’m not funny enough. Perhaps I’d want to take on the life of a homicide detective from LA or DC? Nah. Now I’m pretty much down to just two series. Halo and Gears of War. Yes the video games are great, but the books are so much better.

Both are engaged in seemingly never ending wars with some not so friendly opponents. I think if I had to pick one story to live in…..then I’d pick the Halo stories. Because there’s some really bad stuff going on throughout the entire universe, but the USMC is tough to take out. And let’s not forget, Master Chief. I’d maybe want to meet him because he’s willing to shoulder any burden thrown his way, no questions asked. I’m talking the whole of humanity here. Quite frankly, the guy is something we need more of.

Now let me ask you, if you could thrust yourself into any story you’ve read, which would it be? And don’t you dare tell me some Nicholas Sparks novel. No.

Writing by Hand


Photo Credit: Epidemic Answers

I’ll never claim to be an expert on anything writing related, but I think it’s safe to say that just about every writer today uses some kind of word processor on a computer when it comes to getting words on paper. Technology has definitely made writing a bit easier in recent years. But perhaps a few of you are old souls and prefer a much more time consuming process to get pen to paper. Maybe you write by hand.

I’m not sure how many years we’d have to go back in order to reach a time period in which everyone had to write just about everything by hand, but I know the typewriter has been around for some time. I’m sure there was something before even the typewriter to make writing a bit easier on the writer. But we all know that one person who never wants to embrace technology for whatever reason, right? There are millions of people who don’t have smartphones or who don’t have flat screen TVs, and that’s okay. But are there writers who still write all of their novels or poetry or short stories by hand? I can’t say, but maybe you can. Happen to know anyone (yourself included) who writes by hand? If so, tell them they’re crazy and let’s come together to buy them a laptop. How about it?

Need a Drink?


Photo Credit: Vindale Research

Hey look, I didn’t post on ANOTHER weekday yesterday. Did you notice? Eh. Probably not. Oh well. First off, this post is not me asking about what your favorite beer or wine is, because you should know by now that I do not drink anything that requires you be 21 or older. I still don’t see the point. You’re all alcoholics if you ask me.

Now you’re probably like “Okay, now you’ve insulted me for the last time!” Maybe. What I am asking about is whether you need something to drink when you write. I’m a horrible mulititasker and I’m still not writing, but back in the day I’d rarely have anything to drink while writing. Here’s where I throw in some lame joke about “but I really needed a bottle of water at my side on those days I was really working my writing muscle.” I just threw up all over my pile of dirty clothes. All those stupid writing quotes I see people tweeting and blogging about make me sick. They think they’re revealing something hidden and great that no one else knows about even though they probably just Google searched “writing quotes” and picked one. Get out of here.

Anyway, the only beverage I’ve ever had while writing has been the occasional bottle of water. And oddly enough, I usually finished it rather quickly. I mean, I can always drink a bottle in a few seconds if I want to, but I don’t do that if I’m just sitting. Eh. But what about you? I know SO many writers claim to have a coffee addiction that probably just males them feel like a writer cause no one thinks for themselves anymore, but do you have a beverage of choice that you must have once you get writing?

Would You Rather…


Photo Credit

Okay guys, since I missed a day this week I decided to reward you all with a post today. And what better way to do it then something nice and easy? I found this set of questions on Booky and decided that I’d answer them instead of trying to come up with something I thought was worthy of a Saturday post. So…might as well get started. I haven’t even read through them yet.

1. Would you rather read only trilogies or stand alones?

This will likely be the easiest of all the questions on this list for me to answer. I have read a whopping two trilogies and a million stand alones. I don’t think I need to say more. Though you all know very well that my favorite series and character come from one of those two trilogies. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you need to read more of my posts. You’ll catch on.

2. Would you rather read only female or male authors?

Call me sexist, I guess. It would have to be male authors, BUT not because I think they write better or create better stories or characters. But because my favorite series that I’m reading at the moment happen to be written by old guys. Eh. Of course this would mean I would have to do without Mr. Potter and Katniss. Yeah. This isn’t a fair question. Stupid question.

3. Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Oh come on. Amazon. Every. Single. Day. Cheaper books and greater selection. And who likes walking over people reading in the aisle. Not this guy,

4. Would you rather all books become movies or TV shows?

If someone claims to love books and stories and all that fun stuff, then how in the world could you possibly answer this question with movies? You can’t. Movies are much too limited if you compare them to a 10 or 15 or even 24 episode season of a show.

5. Would you rather read five pages per day or five books per week?

Five pages is nothing and five books per week is something I’ll never do. But if I had to choose, then I’d definitely choose five books per week. Why would you choose less reading over more?

6. Would you rather be a professional reviewer or author?

Ha. Reviewer? You’ve obviously never read my blog you question maker person. I hate hate hate writing/reading book reviews. Author for me, though I’m near certain that’s not happening.

7. Would you rather always read your top 20 books over and over or always read new books you haven’t read before?

Again, the person who came up these really needs to brush up on their John Guillen trivia. I don’t reread books, not even my favorites. So obviously I’d rather read new books.

8. Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Ooooh. That’s a tough one because I could literally have the exact same conversations and interactions with people in a bookstore as I could with people in the library. I’ll go with librarian because that would mean I went to grad school and make more moulah. Ha. Everything can’t be about the books.

9. Would you rather only read your favorite genre or every genre but your favorite?

This is a dumb question. Why would you deprive yourself of your favorite genre to read everything else? Like 90% of my books are crime fiction. I’m already only reading my favorite genre. Idiot.

10. Would you rather only read print books or eBooks?

I could very easily do both. BUT my Kindle rarely gets used while my shelves are usually adding books. Print.

So that’s all I have for you today. Nice, fun little post that actually got a little difficult in the middle there. Any thoughts on my choices?