As many of you already know, I tend to write and post a lot on this blog — sometimes too much from I’ve heard. Between the older book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge, I’m constantly in your mail box! Part of this journey has been a self-induced push to get me into a habit of writing every day. Last fall, I wrote a book and am currently working with and searching for the best agent to represent me to publishers. If you’re interested in reading a few chapters, you can find out more here.
While I’m on that path with an agent, I need to get started on the next book. And as I’m nearly done with updating all my older book reviews, I’ll probably get more seriously started in July or August with writing the next novel. I’ve created several outlines over the last few months and a couple of chapters here and there, but I haven’t quite latched on to what story to tell. Since I’ll have more time on my hands once the older book reviews are completed, I should directly replace that time with writing the next book. And I think I’ve got the perfect idea.
I’m going to spend a week writing each chapter, a few days editing it, and then post it online on my blog. This is both good and bad… it means if I have edits or changes from previous chapters, it might be a bit disjointed at times, and it also would make it harder to publish in the future. I’m also locking myself into several hours of work every week for the next 52 weeks — a whole year! But… I’ve completed 25% of the 365 Daily Challenge, so I obviously have the stamina. I can and will do this. Maybe we’ll decide instead of 1 full novel it will be several shorter novels, or a few major sections of several I get started on. The goal being to get myself back on track. And that’s where you come in….
Once the older book reviews are completed and I have a few weeks to outline my next book, I will post a chapter every 7 to 10 days (depending on editing time) on this site. Anyone who wants to read it can read it. Anyone who wants to reply can reply through comments, polls or privately email me. But… to make this even more interesting, I’m going to summarize the eight (8) options I’m currently considering. And based on all votes received between today and June 30th, I will begin drafting the next book based on the summary that receives the highest count. So you get to choose!
Some may say I’m throwing away content that a publisher will never want if it’s already so public. Others may say I could confuse readers if things change with the plot along the way. But you know… where else can you take a chance if not among your blogging friends? Is anyone else doing this? What if this helps me become a better writer and the next book I write is the best seller? It’s not about finding the secret formula to getting published. It’s not about how to make the most money. It’s how to tell the best story. And that’s my goal. Without further ado, below are the 8 options to choose from with the poll at the bottom of this post.
Memory of Time
Historical Fiction (1860s to Present)
Over the course of a two hundred year period, five (5) people’s lives are connected. Readers will learn bits and pieces in each chapter, as each section will focus on one of the five characters. You won’t see how or why they are connected at first, but it will become more clear as the story unfolds. And when it finally comes together, through tragedy and happiness, a single thread connecting them all, will culminate in a choice one person has to make: revenge or forgiveness.
Mystery in two time periods:
1980s – Amalia Graeme is attending college. She has a boyfriend, but she’s secretly attracted to her professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him but one night, a stranger enters her life and she is never the same again.
2000s – Brianna is desperate to get out of NYC and attends school where she tries to discover who she is and what she wants from life. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man she only met one night and never saw again, but found herself pregnant months later. Then Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal where she confesses to finding out she was pregnant and not knowing who the father was. When she reads an entry about who her mother’s boyfriend was back then, connections start falling into place in her current life with best friend Shanelle. Could that be her father… and if so, what does she do now?
Amulet of Hope
Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Mystery
Two spinster sisters fell in love with a man in 1700s Germany when they were 39. Ruthless Ottilia tricked Nikolai into sleeping with her and became pregnant. Innocent Eva pined and when she learned of the trickery, she confronted her sister after she gave birth… the two sisters fought and Ottilia went over a cliff. As she fell, she cursed her sister with the amulet that each of her children would suffer by having to make the choice to save one child while letting the other die. If no choice made by the time the mother was 40, all her kids would die immediate and tragic deaths.
Fast-forward to present time. 17 year old Vera finds the amulet among her mother’s belongings. Her mother is about to turn 40 but had a car accident and is in a coma. She meets her grandmother who’s been estranged for years. She’s faced with a choice… to use the amulet to save her mother and kill one of her siblings, or let her own mother die. What’s happened over the last few hundred years that drives everyone’s choices?
College Campus Mysteries
Kellan Brunswick is a 32-year old writer who has recently moved back home to Wellington, Pennsylvania, a small historic town on the central PA border with New York tucked away between the Wharton Mountain range and Crilly Lake. Kellan’s come home to Wellington to see family for a little when Braxton College, the school Kellan’s father recently retired from (as President), has a murder. Kellan needs a break from his Hollywood writing life and sticks around to help clear his dad of the murder, only to find out way more secrets about his family than he expected.
Cozy mystery series (Present)
While the series focuses on Brody and his cousin Evelyn, the extended family will play a large role in each book. Brody Hillcrest disappeared years ago to escape a tragic accident only to find himself hiding in Italy away from his entire family. When his clever cousin Evelyn finds a way to hunt him down, Brody’s forced to face his family and explain his absence. Evelyn throws a party in honor of her first book being published where family and friends celebrate her success. But a murder happens while Evelyn is revealing that she brought a surprise guest — cousin Brody is home after a 5 year disappearance. Brody and Evelyn learn that many of their cousins have some connection to the deceased welcome-home party guest, but neither wants to believe their own family could commit murder. The duo investigate the murder victim and their family, even though they have no professional cop or PI experience, as they want to protect one another but also find themselves intrigued with the challenge of detective work.
All the Gifts I Have Received
Thriller and Suspense (Present)
A woman receives gifts from a secret admirer. At first, they are sweet. They soon turn dark and dangerous. As she turns to the people closest to her, they all begin to look suspicious to her. She involves another friend she’s just met who’s a detective. As he closes in on finding her stalker, he realizes there’s a lot more to the puzzle than anyone knew. The woman’s family is not who she thought they were. And when the woman disappears, he fears he’ll never find her again. But he does. And when he does, he’s shocked to learn who has her.
Thriller / Mystery / Suspense (Present)
In the opening chapter, a man is at a grave saying goodbye to someone he loves. As the chapter ends, he asks how it all happened… how they ended up with him sitting by her grave and her being dead.
Reverse the story back to the beginning… and you’ll learn what happened to them, how much love can cost you and what lengths someone will go to in order to get what they want. The goal is to be chilling and suspenseful, each chapter dropping a few clues as to how the person died. But when you get to the final chapters, and the truth comes out, it may be a good thing it turned out this way.
The Power of a Pact
Family Drama (Present)
A family has the perfect life. But one by one, things turn for the worse. It sends them all spiraling into disaster. The father hits a point where he can no longer go on. One night while up late, he stumbles upon a chat room where people make a pact to meet up one night and kill one another, as they are afraid to take their own life. He spends weeks discussing the ways and places with the friend he meets online. They finally settle on the details. But as one of them is on the way to the meeting site, someone they know learns of the plan. It’s a race to see if the disaster can be prevented.
Note: These are working titles, which may change as the book unfolds. Also, the plot is general so that I have some room to work within the lines.
Thank you so much for participating in the vote, spreading the word and reading any content you choose to read in the future. I’ve enabled it so you can choose your top 3 choices, as there may be a few you can like. Ask any questions you have!
I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” 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… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.
Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.
Many thanks to Joanne at YAGuitarist for tagging me in this very fun challenge. We recently started following one another but always find some fun conversations and great posts when I check out her site. So now you should go there, too.
PURR – As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?
It’s generally a cozy mystery series. I’ve finished a few of them, but one I’m taking my time on is Joanne Fluke’s “Hannah Swensen” series. It’s very light and a bit on the border between mystery and romance (which I do not read), and Hannah’s inability to make a choice between Mike and Norman drives me nuts, but I always smile and feel at home when reading this series. And I’ve recently learned she has a third suitor and does get married a few books from now. Very exciting! And it was turned into a few TV movies with some semi-famous stars. Check it out.
SLEEP – What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?
I really struggled with Lisa See’s Peony in Love. It has so much ethereal language full of beautiful images and deep cultural history, but I nodded off a few times. Kate Morton writes similar books, but I absolutely love hers and have given them 5 of 5 stars. I should try another Lisa See novel, as a few people I respect have noted she has had some winners.
TWITCH WHILE DREAMING – Have you ever dreamed of a book you read?
No, I don’t think so. I tend not to dream all that much. I can’t remember the last time I did dream, nor what it was about. If I had to choose one, I’d say it would be something in the horror genre, as I love those, and occasionally they give me the creeps late at night.
SEEMS TO PLAY NICE…UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT – Which book had the biggest plot twist?
Sally Hepworth’s The Mother’s Promise felt that way at two points in the book. I just didn’t expect what happened to happen. It was sneaky. Good writing.
CUDDLES – Which book character would you give a hug to?
Maya from Beartown. She’s innocent. She was hurt. And it felt like no one really cared about her enough to fix the problem.
CATNIP – What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?
Amanda Prowse’s The Idea of You. Sometimes you don’t get what you ask for directly. And you learn to love it anyway.
CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?
You should check out my Favorites shelf on Goodreads. Includes the following books:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Murder on the Orient Express
And Then There Were None
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Night Over Water
The Turn of the Screw
Flowers in the Attic
World Without End
The Book Thief
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Forgotten Garden
The Da Vinci Code
The Hunger Games
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
The Philosopher’s Apprentice
THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book?
Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone. Check out my review. You’ll know why… OMG!
BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T – Least favorite cliche?
Dead people coming back from the dead. Overused plot device. Need to do something different.
THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most Underrated book series?
Tough one…. Diane Mott Davidson’s “Goldy Bear Schultz Culinary” cozy mystery series has always been a good one to me.
This marks the end of ‘What Cats Do’ book tag. I will be tagging people to do this tag so feel free to ignore or not do this tag if you’ve already been tagged or simply doesn’t want to do it. But, who will be able to resist not doing such a cute tag? ❤
Tag you are it! Plus anyone that wants to participate should join in the fun.
I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” 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… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.
Humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance
In my apartment, there are 2. In my building, surely hundreds. On my block, thousands. In my neighborhood, perhaps one hundred thousand. In my city, a few million. In my state, probably twenty million. In my country, over three hundred million. On my continent, nearly six hundred million. And on my planet, there must be seven billion. People. I am 1 person. There will always be a reason to be humble.
The word humble has two parts to it, at least from my viewpoint. There is how you feel about yourself and how you feel about others. Both are separate and distinct, yet they are very connected in how you interpret this powerful characteristic. Let’s start with a focus on others.
People often say they feel humbled by witnessing another’s selfless actions
Seeing someone do or share something beautiful without any expectation in return is a humbling experience
Understanding the achievements of those with little demonstrates humility at its core
And when it comes to your own humility:
Recognition of the value you bring without overselling or highlighting it to others
Stepping aside for others when you feel they’re more deserving
Content with the simplicity of what life offers without a reliance on always reaching for more
Those are the things that come to mind when I think of my definition of someone who is humble. To me, a humble person doesn’t ever think about whether they have true humility. It’s a natural essence that materializes about them, not unlike an effervescence or glow from something that shines or bubbles. Innate. Inherent. Honest.
A quick trip through the land of InterWebs brings an article I found interesting. You can see it via the link, but I’ve listed just below the seven qualities that the humble exude.
Know good things lie ahead and are okay waiting for them
Have strong relationships
Rather than dissect each one to determine if I am humble, I’m going on instinct with this one. I am not nearly as humble a person as I should be. I certainly exhibit some of these qualities, a few to a lesser extent that the others; however, a humble (wo)man should not ask how to be more humble. It should just happen as though the inner guidepost deep within your body and mind takes you to the destination.
This is a journey I believe in. When I look around and see all that we’ve achieved, I am humbled to witness the strengths of others before me, beside me and in front of me. I included no GIFs in today’s post, as I want it to speak for itself. I am one (wo)man. I am grateful for those who show us how to be more humble. Thank 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.