365 Challenge: Day 191 – Relaxed

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Relaxed: at ease while on day number two of the trip to North Carolina

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Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is relaxed. After an eventful issue being delayed yesterday at LGA, we arrived later than expected into Charlotte and had less time than planned to explore on the first leg. It was still a fun half day, and we’ll be back there again for two days at the end of the trip. We had a delicious breakfast at the hotel this morning, met several other nice folks, and drove four relaxing hours to Wilmington. Along the path, I found some similarities to my recent trip to Louisiana, in that there were churches every mile on the main roads. On this one though, it wasn’t just Baptist; there were every denomination. Growing up in NY, we really only had one Catholic church in each major town, so this is definitely something new for me to experience when it comes to other parts of the country. The other fascinating part of our drive today was the ultimate relaxed situation — death… there were multiple cemeteries in every town along the drive. I stopped counting after 20 in the first hour, but I did ask W if we could consider buying or building a home near a graveyard. Perhaps it was because he drove the whole way today (his choice, not mine), but the answer was a resounding NO. I thought Ryder might like to sit outside our house and watch the ghosts. Oh well…

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Court Building in Wilmington

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View over to the areas with the beaches

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View at the dock in the downtown area

We had a late lunch and cocktails in the downtown area, walked around a bit and did some shopping. Bought a new candle and body soap made with bourbon; now I can drink in the shower and not feel weird! All in all, the town is not exactly what I thought it would be. Less ‘seaside’ and more ‘downtown’ than other areas close to the water. But we have tomorrow to explore too, so I’m hopeful to see more of it.

I hope you don’t mind these short posts, as I am trying to stay in vacation mode. I am reading everyone’s comments but not able to respond right now, as I’m either navigating the drive or trying not to trip and fall while walking around each city. I will respond when get back to New York. Thanks for all the well-wishes… looking forward to catching up. For now, I’m relaxed — the exact goal of this trip… at least the first ten days. The wedding at the end will be more for fun. Can’t wait for Orlando!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 190 – Delayed

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Delayed: when your trip doesn’t start off as planned, some might be upset the flight takes off later than expected — not me, I just drink wine at nine in the morning

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It’s the first day of the trip to North Carolina. We arrived at the airport at 7 AM for our morning flight and were even asked to board the plane early in the hopes we could take off sooner than planned. It was a different kind of boarding experience than normal for a few reasons: (1) They had us form into lines to get to lines to get on the bus, (2) We boarded a bus that took us to another part of the airport, and (3) The pilot said we’d be delayed due to a ‘missing message’ on one of his systems. I just knew it was going to be a fun travel day! We sat on the plane for about 90 minutes when they had us de-board, sit on the bus for ten minutes and re-board another plane just a few feet away. What a fun experience!

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We finally took off, landing in Charlotte, North Carolina about 2 hours later than planned. Oh, well… it happens. We are staying at the Duke Mansion, an unbelievably gorgeous old mansion full of gardens and pathways to wander all about the grounds. Above is a shot of the sitting area in our bedroom.

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Above is a shot of the fountain in front of the mansion that welcomes you when you pull up to the front entrance.

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A small piece of the garden in the backyards. I took about 50 pictures for future posts. At least 15 different sitting areas with landscaped paths, benches and beautiful flowers.

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Me sitting on the screened-in veranda / porch attached to our hotel room. A swing hanging from the rafters. A bunch of comfy chairs and a ceiling fan. No delay in hopping on that one!

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And then there was the need for something to drink. Our lovely concierge mentioned there were no bottles for sale at the hotel (only glasses). She suggested a store called Harris Teeter, about a 5-minute walk from the hotel. We embarked on our little trip… and 20-minutes later, we found it. It was a grocery store that also sold wine. Quite a delay for a much-needed beverage to relax. Inside the grocery store was a wine bar. We almost sat down to have a glass, especially to avoid the 20-minute walk in the heat back to the hotel. I forgot to take a picture, sorry!

Took a brief siesta and then went to a great taco dinner. Back at the hotel now, writing tomorrow’s post which you will read in the morning. I’ll try to take better photos along the way. Hope you had a good weekend! No more delays – it’s bedtime. Sleepy! Zzzz…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 189 – TV Shows Watched (Top 10)

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TV Shows: the ‘Top 10’ favorite TV show Jay currently watches

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: My Ethnicity
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Meaningful Colors
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held

The next set of 5 Sundays covers the ‘Top 10’ of entertainment options that I spend my time thinking about or doing: Authors/Books I Read (Week 26), TV Shows Watched (Week 27), Countries to Visit (Week 28), Foods to Cook (Week 29), and Places to Spend Time (Week 30). It’s a bit of an unwieldy set of similar items, but these are five leisure activities where I spend a majority of my time, which clearly speak volumes about who I am and how I like to keep myself occupied.

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Next up this week are the TV shows I find myself always recording and watching. It wasn’t too difficult to pick these shows, as I have slowly started to drop a lot from my regular queue given my focus on writing and reading. The ten in this list, in no particular order, are the ones I absolutely adore and will always watch new episodes. There are also a few older shows that I always watch, but they aren’t on the air anymore, e.g. Frasier or I Love Lucy. All in all, this will definitely tell you a lot about who I am!

  • Younger
    • About a 40 year old woman in NYC who gets divorced and pretends she’s 28 to get a job in publishing. While I’m not a woman or divorced, this feels a bit like my life. I turned 40 this year and constantly tell everyone I’m 30 (most of the time they believe it, too!). I quit my job to work as a writer and have been thrown into a whole new world.
    • Josh is adorable (can’t deal with the tattoos — I melt!). Maggie is hilarious. Liza does exactly what I’d do most of the time. I swear they based this show on parts of my life. Season 4 just ended but I can’t wait for the new one next year.
  • Great British Baking Show
    • A cooking show based in Great Britain where 12 contestants have a bake off over ten weeks, cooking delicious desserts and breads based on a variety of challenges.
    • It’s civilized. It’s in the Cotswolds. I could eat everything they make. And it’s always so beautiful. I would like to be a contestant but I’m not from that country. They made an American version, but I’m not interested in it. Mary Berry and the two hosts from Seasons 1 thru 6 made the show. But they all left and I may stop watching. I’ve only seen the first 3, but plan to buy the rest later this year.
  • How To Get Away With Murder
    • A show about students in law school that teaches me how to murder someone? I love it. The acting is superb. The story lines are just insane. But it’s always packed with drama and suspense. Seasons 1 and 2 were the best, and I’m getting a little worried about what’s happening in the last few, but I will still watch. {Scandal used to be in the top 10, but last season made me annoyed, hence it’s #11 of about 15 that I watch now.}
    • My favorite character is of course the primary one that Viola Davis plays. I am scared of that woman. I hope the final season (whenever that is) focuses on who kills her. So many would want to, it would be amazing drama. Yes… I like shows about murder but only because I can enjoy it from a distance! 😛
  • Schitt’s Creek
    • A quirky show about a family who lost all their money and move to a town they bought years ago on a whim. The actors are all ‘out there’ with the characters they play, but the humor is top notch. They all have the same facial expressions and you would swear they are related. Well, actually, the father and son (Eugene and Daniel Levy) are father and son in real life.
    • This one might be my favorite, but I won’t commit. The whole list of shenanigans will have you in tears from laughing so much. The stupidity of the things each family member actually thinks will have you exploding!
  • Who Do You Think You Are
    • A show that helps celebrities trace their genealogy. I love ancestry research and have traced my own relatives back to the 1700s in Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. Two branches have been in the USA since at least 1750 from what I can tell.
    • I learn new techniques from watching the show and I get to know a few of my favorite stars. Always amazing to learn who has connections to what part of history. Some day I’ll find a branch of my own family there!
  • Modern Family
    • A family full of reality — as you know while watching this, it’s exactly what happens in each of our own families. They capture the weird moments, the loving memories and the hilarity that we all go thru with parents, children, siblings and in-laws.
    • This one has been on the air the longest, and might be starting to go down hill, but for the most part, it still has a good deal of humor. I love the concept of family drama, that’s what I write about in my own novels, so this is perfect storytelling in my opinion.
  • Grace and Frankie
    • About 2 couples in their 70s. The two men leave their wives and marry one another. The two women live together as best friends. They learn how to deal with each other and a bunch of hilarity ensues. I’m not beginning to properly do it justice, but you must give it a chance.
    • I struggle to believe the characters in the two male roles, but the women are amazing! If I name everyone, this post will go on for too long, so just look it up! I did write a post all about this show a few months ago.
  • Mom
    • A comedy about mothers and daughters, alcoholics and a bunch of family dynamics. The best lines come from this show, and the looks between all the actresses are amazing. Sometimes it’s sad, too. Makes you almost cry.
    • It actually takes a difficult topic, and while it teaches you about the impacts of drinking too much, it also helps you learn how to recover. I love how the show isn’t always about just making you laugh. It pushes you to really think about a situation. I did a separate post on this show months ago.
  • American Horror Story
    • No one quite knows what it is about, but each year is a completely different set of characters and stories. They are all connected somehow, but I won’t share any of the theories at this point. It focuses on every possible topic, always includes science-fiction and fantasy, as well as completely weird plots you can’t even begin to understand.
    • We’re on the 7th season at this point with a focus on the impacts of hysteria over the 2016 election results, entitled ‘Cult.’ But it’s also about killer clowns. So I’m not quite sure where it’s going yet. Murder House will always be my favorite.
  • Kimmy Schmidt
    • A show about a girl who was trapped in an underground bunker for 15 years by a cult leader. She moves to NY and has to learn about everything she missed. Every character is over-the-top and unbelievable, but you constantly laugh or shake your head, thinking “it’s funny but I don’t quite get it!”
    • This one has so many different weird story lines, you can’t help but find yourself curious how far the show will go sometimes. And you don’t really need to watch them in order, as it’s often an individual episode with a few connections to prior ones.

A few interesting things pop out at me when I look at this list: (1) With the exception of the two ‘reality-like’ shows, the other 8 all have a main character who is gay. And even in the reality shows, there’s always guests or contestants who are, 2) They all have some sort of extreme component to them, e.g. murder, based on a weird character, and (3) They are primarily dominated by women. If I had to step away from my life, those are actually three things very apropos about my own life, so it makes total sense why I love these shows. It’s a bit amusing when you make this type of list and discover the common threads, huh?

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What are your favorite TV shows? Which ones can’t you miss?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 188 – Dog (A Ryder Rant)

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Dog: 10-year old shiba inu with an attitude

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Someone knows we are leaving today and he is not happy!

Hi. It’s Ryder. I know I usually post on Mondays, but is seems my schedule is all twisted up for the next two weeks. Dads leave on their trip early tomorrow morning and told me to get my post out today instead of Monday. Apparently Monday begins something Dad 1 calls “Picture Posts,” where he’ll take a picture of something on his trip, choose an appropriate word and riff about it for a paragraph. WhatEv’s… I can be flexible and post today instead of Monday. I chose the word ‘dog’ since that’s what I am and I never actually used that on the 365 Daily Challenge… how funny! Welcome to an early edition of Ryder’s Rants. I’ve only got a couple of stories to share today.

Suitcases are out. That means packing begins. Dad 1 does not pack. He takes his clothes out, leaves them on the bed and makes Dad 2 pack. And Dad 1 is normally the organized one. He’s got spreadsheets for everything. I’ve seen him pack before, and it ain’t pretty. He gets frustrated easily over those types of things. Dad 2 would rather pack for both than listen to Dad 1. If my paws were big enough, I’d try to hold the iPhone and take a video of it for you. It’s usually amusing as Dad 1 keeps taking out more and more clothes to try to squeeze in, but Dad 2 yells at him to stop. “You bring 7 shirts for a 3-day trip and never wear them” It’s true. Dad 1 isn’t very good at these things. It’d be better if they brought me along to supervise the trip. They’ll probably end up in Kentucky instead of North Carolina at this rate. They leave in twenty-one hours for a 15-day trip and not a stitch of packing has been done. It’s gonna be a fun day watching this little farce.

I’m planning to spend a lot of time in the Enchanted Garden today since I won’t see it for a long time. I was flipping through a new outdoor catalog that arrived this week and stumbled across a bunch of things I wanted. I told Dad 1, and when he went out to visit his parents on Thursday, they went to the flower and garden store. Dad 1 took tons of pictures to show Dad 2, who was jealous as he had to work. Dad 1 told Dad 2 he could have $3 to spend… ha… that was an amusing text message conversation. I learned a few new words that day! Anyways, Dad 1 wanted to buy a birdbath for me. Dad 2 said no, he was tired of finding dead birds and feathers hidden behind the trees and large flower boxes. In my opinion, if they choose to leave me alone during the day, it’s my right to do whatever I want to do to keep myself occupied. As you can imagine, there’s no birdbath coming this year. Dad 2 got his way on this one.

Ella picks me up tomorrow morning at 8am. I complained last night that I wouldn’t get any real meals while Dads were gone. They bought a lasagna pizza for dinner. I got a few pieces of crust out of the deal, so it wasn’t all that bad. It’s quite tasty. Think of a lasagna, minus the noodles, baked into a pizza. I think I gained about a pound from eating it, which is 5% of my body weight (I’m a svelte 20 pounds), so I’ll have to run around the apartment today to lose the extra weight before I go on my trip. You never know when you might meet a fine single female doggy while away from home. I’ve got a lot to offer others, so maybe I won’t be on my own the whole time. But if not, it’s better that I don’t eat too much people food as it can be harmful to my belly. I wonder what I’ll get tonight, though I believe they’re going out to dinner since there’s no time to cook.

I’m not sure if I’ll get to post while they are away since I might be so busy with my own trips. If we don’t get to chat again for a couple of weeks, rest assured, I promise I’ll be back in early October with lots of stories about my own vacation, what Dads bought me while they were away and how the homecoming turns out. And the best part is while I’m away, the season will turn to autumn, which I love. I can’t wait to go frolic in all the leaves, take long walks in the park and maybe even sneak a piece of apple pie. I heard rumors they’ve already planned a two-day weekend to visit some friends up in the Hudson Valley at the end of October. I love that place… fresh farm stands, orchards, wineries, antique shoppes, romps in the woods… ooh, very exciting. Have a wonderful rest of your September and talk to y’all next month.

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Bye! Miss you!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 11 – Friday, September 15th, 2017) – Sending to Beta Readers Tonight

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Round 1 Edits are complete. I’ve even incorporated a few pieces of feedback on the first two chapters from the beta reading team. I feel sadness over putting the novel on hiatus for two weeks, but the break will give me the energy boost when I return from vacation to power through the next phase. In the meantime, this will be the last Father Figure update until Friday 10/6. For now, I am thrilled to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

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Status:  Friday, September 15, 2017 – Week #11

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • All grammar and spelling has been corrected to the best of my ability. I plan to step away for a few weeks and look at it again with a fresh set of eyes, as I know I’ll find a few minor updates once I’m relaxed. Those types of items will be easy to fix in Round 2 Editing.
    • I removed 5% of the pages / content, leaving me at 378 pages and 112K words. I know I have another 5% that will need to be cut to clean up excess wordiness, but I plan to wait until after beta readers have some input before I slash and burn!
    • I corrected 95% of the perspective or point of view (POV) issues that I could find. I’ll fix the remaining ones after receiving beta feedback as depending on whether I keep a few small sections, the POV issues may disappear on their own.
    • Character and setting descriptions have been enhanced and made consistent throughout all chapters.
    • It will be released to a few beta readers this evening!

 

Next Steps: Plan for Next Few Weeks

  • Vacation: 9/17 thru 10/2 – No work to be done on Father Figure.
  • Round 2 Edits (beta feedback incorporation) will occur from 10/3 thru 10/20.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I am looking forward to putting this out of my focus for two weeks, but I’m also looking forward to jumping right back in on 10/3 to review beta feedback and begin Round 2 Editing. I hope it only takes 2 to 3 weeks to finish this effort, as I’d like to send it to agents and the publisher in early November, pending how much remaining work I have to do with Watching Glass Shatter, my first novel. I’m really excited to think about this second one coming to a conclusion, but also shocked that it will have taken just under 4 months to dream, write and edit a ~375 page novel.
  • In October, it will be time to start thinking about novel #3. I already have ideas, but I will not let myself work on it until  Watching Glass Shatter is on on the market and the initial 30 days of advertising and sales have occurred. Anyone interested in participating in another poll again to let readers and fans pick the third novel?
  • In November, Book Reviews, Blog Tours and Interviews will be the priority for Watching Glass Shatter, but I will also prepare an outline for novel #3. While Watching Glass Shatter starts to enter normal reader mode, around 12/1, I’d like to start writing again, assuming Father Figure’s edits are complete and in final stage review with the publisher.

 

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Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom she had a one-night stand, later finding herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father and stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 187 – Riff

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Riff: (a) short repeated phrase in popular music and jazz, typically used as an introduction or refrain in a song, (b) random discussion or “going off” about something in Jay’s blog (might be a commandeered definition again)

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In Thursday’s post, I mentioned the next word would be ‘riff,’ but for some reason, I had a slightly different definition in my head. I knew it was related to music, but I also thought it meant to just randomly talk about something in a negative way / complaining. When I went to my trusty online dictionary, I had a moment of “wow, you’re not very bright anymore, are you Jay?” It seems I might have re-purposed this word in the past for my own usage. Rather than make up something today, I will accept my foolish mind’s mistake and try to build a halfway decent post around the word ‘riff.’ And maybe someone can understand the logic that lurks deep within my recesses.  {Aside: Did I use the word ‘recesses’ properly or have I made another Jay-ism? As I write this, I used the word ‘rents in a sentence to a friend I adore. She didn’t know what I meant. I suddenly realized… Does no one else call their parents the ” ‘rents ” sometimes? … My friend claimed it might be a Jay-ism. Perhaps that’s the real issue here… is there such a word as ‘Jay-ism’ ?}

I have no musical talent whatsoever, so the word ‘riff’ is going to be a difficult one for me to get around. But I have a cute story. A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a post about visiting some friends and their new apartment on the West Side, where they had a music room in their building with a karaoke machine. About ten of us hung out for close to two hours, trying to pretend we had talent. A few people did. A few did not. I was in the ‘did not’ group. I sang two karaoke songs and I’m fairly certain the mirror cracked on the wall. I could not, would not, should not (pick your qualifier) ever riff or jam or try to be musical. But I wish I could be! When I waited in Penn Station today before hopping the train out to Long Island to visit my ‘rents, there were a few riffers (is that a word or am I making up sh*t again?) hanging out near the subway. One guy played the cello, and he was quite talented in my opinion. If I could play any music, it would be the piano, violin or cello. The reverberation in any of those instruments has a way of manipulating my core by blending together everything which I hold sentimental and emotional.

So the cute story part… as I’m listening to him play the cello and sing, I’m standing a few feet away where I don’t think anyone notices me. Somehow, my legs started moving a little and I must have said a few words aloud. The singer called me out and waved at me to come join him. OMG, I turned red and ran down the stairs to wait where the train would eventually pull in. Sometimes I don’t know how I actually keep myself functional in NYC. But I do envy those who can just riff on a whim’s notice, whether it’s rap or reggae, slow or fast, it’s a talent to understand music and words to the point you can combine them in a way that truly entertains people. I can do that with my writing (sometimes… I hear a few of you laughing out there… it’s okay, I have my moments)… find the words to mesmerize someone. I’ve made myself cry a few times with some passages. I’ve even developed a crush on a character I’d created. {Aside: Is that weird?} I also riff in my head a lot, but it probably sounds like a cat in heat. I’m definitely not ever going to do that in real-life in front of anyone ever again.

Then we come to my own made up definition, which is basically what I sometimes do in these 365 Daily Challenge posts. Exactly what I’ve just done today, you are all thinking… I just type away at my computer, with what I thought was an alternative definition of the word ‘riff,’ by spewing anything and everything that comes from mind without stopping. Some days, it’s actually amusing and educational. Other days, I’m sure folks wonder what I was either smoking or drinking that day. Though, if I’m being honest, I’ve never actually smoked anything, neither a cigarette or pot. I grew up around smokers and it just never appealed to me, so I avoided that whole thing. No comment on anything else, as this post is about riffing, so keep your mind from straying, please.

I rather like the Pitch Perfect movies, too, as they riff a bunch in them. But then there’s another image that comes to mind when I think of the word riff… or at least the word ‘riff-raff.’ I remember my grandparents making comments during TV shows from either the 1970s or the 1980s, where they always showed some kids in the hood or hanging out on a street corner, called ’em riff-raff. I think they said it about Sister Act 2, when they were working on the cars and singing aloud outside the church. It’s kinda funny how all these words evolve into different meanings and have peculiar interpretations, depending on where you are from or where you have lived.

What’s your thoughts on the word riff? Are you capable of it? What instruments can you play? Do you think my made-up riff words and posts are just going downhill? With the quality in today’s post, I’m sure you’re laughing about me right now.  And I’m with you in spirit. And as I’m about to start working on the final day of editing the novel, Father Figure, before I send it to beta readers this weekend, all I can think is:

Please don’t tell me this is what the writing in my novels sounds like!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 186 – Coffee

Posted on

Coffee: a drink made from the roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced

coffee

Since we leave on our North Carolina road trip very shortly, my focus the next few days is planning the final itinerary, closing up edits on the novel and packing. I also need to start shortening my posts since I only plan to post a picture, select the word that comes to mind and riff about it for a few hundred words. Oh, there’s a good word for tomorrow: riff.  And ultimately, we all need a vacation sometimes, don’t judge me!  But today is all about the coffee. I was overly tired this morning and stared at the coffee pot as it dripped, waiting for the luscious flavor to wake me up. I wondered how others feel about coffee…

Many of my online friends are clearly tea drinkers, so I will perhaps focus on tea as the 365 Daily Challenge word in the future. As for coffee, my earliest memory of it was going out to the diner with my grandparents when I was about 8 or 9, asking for my own cup. I was not allowed to drink it at that age, often told it would stunt my growth. I vividly recall coming back from the doctor one day after he told me I’d probably grow to about 5’11. I continued to beg for coffee (maybe that’s where Ryder gets his begging from…), which eventually led to a small compromise. My grandfather would pour the creamer from those tiny little cups into his coffee, then pour coffee into the creamer cup for me. It was smaller than a shot glass, but I felt so special that I was able to drink coffee with the adults. I all honesty, I’ve been an adult even when I was a child. I skipped over childhood for some reason — I think I just liked socializing around my older family members rather than cousins or even friends sometimes. I was am weird. We’ve all got problems, right?

Anyway, the doctor was wrong. I topped out at 5’7 which has always bothered me. I wanted to be 5’10 or 5’11. I blame the coffee. What else could it be? Silly genetics? No one else in my family was tall. Ah, coffee, I’m easily distracted again today. My mom drank Folgers so I drink Folgers, but I’m open to almost anything. She yells at me now when I buy a canister in my grocery store which usually retails for about $6.50. I’m too lazy to check the size, but you probably know it — typical canister of coffee. OK, fine, I went to check: 11.3 ounces or 320 grams. You can’t call me lazy anymore. She now buys it for me on Long Island and delivers a few bags when she visits on Sundays. I think she gets it on sale for around $2.99. How awful is that price difference? Better yet, it’s probably even less in other parts of the country. There’s a whole different post one day… how can prices vary that much??? Yikes, I am all over the place today. Go ahead and laugh.

W likes Community Coffee from Louisiana, so we occasionally buy a few bags and have them shipped. His stepmother once sent us a huge bag, and it was really good. I had tried it when I was down there, but you can never tell from one cup, plus my memory is bad with those types of things — unless we talk about it, I forget it. I have too much to remember about characters and plots to even try to hold on to the mundane things like which coffee I like, how to put my socks on, you need to put the key in the door before you turn the knob… We even ground our own beans from that bag, which is definitely a fun thing to do. Thank you Joni if you are reading this!!!

I’m a 3 to 4 cup kinda guy each morning. I use a fat free hazelnut or french vanilla creamer, which means I don’t need to use any sugar either. Sometimes I’ll have another cup in the afternoon if I need a pick me up. Rarely at night. Not sure how/why I’d drink coffee after dinner, seems like it would wake you up more than increase your metabolism so your dinner is processed for sleeping. Eh, what do I know? Anyone have a good reason for nighttime coffee? Better question… anyone know how coffee was invented? It didn’t just suddenly show up in a cup on some office worker’s desk one day. I think I have some research to do while I’m on the plane. Unless we can all agree coffee was just materialized into a cup one day by someone brilliant named Mr. Coffee and leave it at that. If there can be a Mr. Burpee, there can be a Mr. Coffee.

The point today of this post… how does everyone else like their coffee? I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to drinking this beverage of choice. I can’t handle it straight black, just a little too bitter for me. I’ve slowly been able to stop adding a teaspoon of sugar and just include milk or creamer. Beyond that, anything’s fair game. I’m not a coffee snob, but I do appreciate those who are. I find it respectable! Tell me more as I want to try a few new things. When do you drink it? Hot or cold? How many cups? What brands? What roasts? What do you put in it? Grind or no grind? What coffee shops do you love or hate? Do you go for all the fancy stuff or just plain dark coffee? Looking forward to all your responses! Thanks in advance.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.