Day: July 14, 2017

AWARD: Black Cat Blue Sea

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Many thanks to Alex @ Coffee Loving Bookoholic for nominating me for this award. Please check out Alex’s site before you even finish reading my tag. You might meet a new friend!!!

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What Is This Award

This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.

 


Rules

  • anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers
  • the nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator
  • the questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions
  • if any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award

 


Questions

  • do you listen to music while reading? if yes, what’s your favorite music to listen to?
    • No, I don’t. I need utter quiet to read and comprehend. If I’m surface reading an article or blog, I can have other noises in the background, but if it’s a novel or something important, I usually go to a room by myself.

 

  • if you had to choose, would you rather live near the mountains or at the beach?
    • Absolutely the mountains. I love cool weather with different levels of nature and structures. I do not like warm weather and I am not a swimmer.

 

  • in case you’re watching booktube, who is your favorite booktuber and why?
    • I don’t watch it. I’ve never been comfortable with myself on camera nor on web videos, as they make noise when you’re trying to be in a quiet location. I would like to give them a chance. Any suggestions from my friends reading this?

 


Nominees

 

Questions

  1. What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?
  2. Tell us 4 things about yourself, one of which is not true… and see if we can guess.
  3. Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

 

About Me

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! Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All 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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My Novel: Father Figure (Week 2 – Friday, July 14th, 2017)

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Based on the votes, you chose Father Figure as the next novel I write. Last time, we kicked off the weekly updates with an introduction to the book and my accomplishments during week #1. It’s already the end of week #2, and I’m happy to report that it’s been a productive one. For a summary of the novel, scroll to the bottom of the post.

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Status:  Friday, July 14, 2017 – Week #2

  • I edited the chapter by chapter outline by moving a few events around, adding two additional chapters to add to the drama in the opening pages, and incorporating some key dialogue points and lines into the first ten chapters.
  • I flushed out detailed bios for the 2 main characters and 6 of the 12 supporting characters. Molly’s and Brianna’s physical descriptions have been fully detailed, as well as their relationships with each of the family members. Both women have clear goals and objectives, thus driving the story arcs where I need them to go.
  • I’ve settled on the ethnicity, race, age, sexuality and attitudes for 6 of the 12 characters. By doing this, I’ve come up with two sub-plots which will help drive the story along, as well as provide depth to the characters. I’m finding myself slightly enamored with one of these supporting characters, trying to decide her ultimate fate among a sea of options.
  • I’ve listed approximately 20 locations that will appear in the book, organized by the 3 primary cities in which the story takes place. I’m working with a few friends who know those places well enough to provide some critical backdrop details. And within those 20 locations, e.g. coffee shop in NYC, professor’s office in the university, I’ve prepared a summary of the overall look-and-feel that will be included in each setting.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #3

  • The remaining characters will be flushed out so that I have a 1 to 3 page detailed bio for each supporting character, depending on how frequently (s)he appears, and a 7 to 9 page bio for the 2 main characters.
  • The narrator’s voice still needs more focus. It will be third-person omniscient but I’m debating the structure of the voice, e.g. direct and clear versus amusing and fluctuating, pending which main character is the focus point. Hard things to figure out, but important before you start writing in my world.
  • Detailed timeline by date, not specific to chapter. A true list of dates and times that all the action occur so that I can ensure I’m including appropriate connection points, drama, red herrings and shocker moments. You are in for a thrill (at least I hope) with 3 really suspenseful scenes and 3 moments where the intention is for a WTF reaction of “no… that can’t happen!!!”

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • While I didn’t have as much time as I’d hoped to work on the novel this week, I definitely devoted a solid 10 hours to it. It’s amazing the moments of brilliance you have about a plot or a character when you find uninterrupted time to truly ponder.
  • I’ve decided to add some big diversity points into the story. I’d known in the beginning that I wanted one of them to be included, as I felt it was a major component of a character; however, as I thought about what story I’m trying to tell here, I felt it needed to play a larger role. I’m going to need to research more as a result of this decision, but I think it’s also going to make the connection deeper with readers.
  • I’m debating the father. I keep picturing a scene from Star Wars and going back to…. “Well… maybe her father really should be X instead of Y.”

Ugh, just tell me who your father is, Brianna. NOW!

 

Open Questions / Thoughts

  • I’m still working through the ending. Cliffhanger or fully tied up? I may write both and see what a few beta readers think. The way it’s planned, I’d only have to write 2 to 3 chapters differently, which is less than a week’s work for me, especially since I have both endings clearly in mind already. The response last week from everyone was split fairly evenly, so if you have any examples of good or bad cliffhanger endings in books with sequels, throw ’em out there for me to consider.
  • My first thought on the opening lines… still very much a work in progress… and more just about setting the tone:
    • “I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with school today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father and me manage that register.” The back of Janet Graeme’s left hand stained her daughter’s flushed cheek with a burning imprint as she pushed passed her towards the stove. The piercing whistle of the tea kettle not only took precedence over the conversation, it disguised Amalia’s unexpected hollow whimper.
    • “But Momma, all the girls from my soccer team will be at the lake. We’re just gonna go for a swim and watch the sun set. I’ll be home to help with dinner,” Amalia replied, the strain in her voice grew weaker with each of her mother’s refusals to let her be a normal kid for once. She knew it wasn’t time to give up.

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

  • Amalia Graeme, sheltered and abused for most her life in Mississippi, longs to escape her difficult family and small hometown in 1984. When her older brother returns with his best friend, Amalia is tempted to have her first experience with a boy that summer. As they head off to college for her first year and his senior year, she begins to learn about life and love, battling her loss of innocence with the attraction she’s developed to an older professor. After she suffers a few personal tragedies, Amalia is forced to head back home, uncertain how to handle the permanent impacts on her life and future. No matter where she turns, someone or something always takes away her possibility of hope.
  • Brianna Porter is desperate to discover the purpose of her life, develop confidence in who she is, accept the consequences of who she has fallen in love with, and discover her father’s identity. Set twenty years in the future in New York City, there’s a connection between these two women’s stories that is about to be discovered. As Brianna stumbles upon her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father, rocked by a truth that could completely change the future. It may be too late to deal with the impacts of unleashing a history that was meant to stay buried for many reasons. When it leads to someone’s death, Brianna must come to terms with the choices she’s made and what is left of her own future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for 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 it in December, 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 124 – Unpredictable

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Unpredictable: unexpected; not foreseen; up in the air

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In life, there are times when it’s necessary to be predictable and there are times when it is not. I could go on for a very long time about how I am predictable, or cite examples of when I try to be unpredictable, but I will not. Instead, I’m taking us on a little sideways path, still aligned with the 365 Daily Challenge, yet also in a bit of a new territory. For as far back as I can remember, there are moments in our lives when we feel the following  way in some shape, manner or form:

  • You’re in a rut and seem to consistently do the same repetitive things
  • You have an afternoon, an evening or a whole day with some flexibility or time on your hands, and want to use it wisely, but can’t think of anything to do
  • You have the same fears or wishes but never see any movement or traction in a positive direction

I’ll stop there as I am fairly certain we’ve all been there at least once for at least one of these items. As this is a blog about the truth, I fully admit, I have encountered all of these quite frequently, and to this day, I still do. But what I’ve learned is that there are two ways to handle it: (1) Do nothing and it stays the same or (2) Change it!

Sure, there’s a little bit of work involved, depending on how much you want to address any of these items, but I solidly believe it will be worth it in the end. Here’s my suggestion to each of us as a goal we need to incorporate into our next few weeks. Pick one of the above general areas of concern. Narrow down the specific component that you’d like to address. A few examples:

  • Eating out at the same places because you don’t know what else is available.
  • Cooking the same meals because you don’t have time or recipes for something else.
  • Visit the same movie theatre or watch the same TV shows because, well, they’re just available and easy to access.
  • Never trying some new activity that you’ve thought about in the past as really fun but have been lazy about trying it out.
  • Always finding yourself afraid to speak up to new people and share you opinion because your voice may not be valuable or warranted.
  • Tons of ideas about new hobbies but somehow it’s overwhelming to pick up something new.

You’ve undoubtedly got a few in your head beyond what I’ve proposed. And now here comes the word association portion of the 365 Daily Challenge. You’ve grown so predictable, you can’t even imagine how to get yourself out of this nasty little dilemma. But it’s time for a change. It’s time to take a small part of your life and make it unpredictable for the greater sake of your future. Now don’t be throwing all the rules out the window and going for broke on a new life of chaos and disaster. Put a little game together for yourself so that you can ease on into your new life of charm and titillation. {Aside: Does anyone else hate that last word as much as I do… titillation?}

Decide the frequency of this new thing we’re talking about. Perhaps it’s Monday night meals, so it would be weekly. Maybe it’s the weekend each month you want to take the kids somewhere new. Perhaps it’s the daily 3 minute conversation you need to have with a stranger. Whatever it is… write up all the options / examples… put them on individual pieces of paper and then fold them up. Or if you are tech-savvy, find an online tool that allows you to randomly select a choice out of a group of options. And ease into your unpredictable life-changing plan… and randomly choose one of these options at the frequency you desire. In the immortal words of ABBA:

On Me! (*Couldn’t find an ABBA GIF with this song)

But here’s a link to the sound clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-crgQGdpZR0

  • If you picked “cook a new recipe,” then draw a recipe out of the hat, so to speak, on a Sunday, get the groceries and cook that food whatever day works out best for you that week — with the kids, significant other, spouse or friends.
  • If you picked “try a new activity,” then choose one of them at will (or have someone else reach into the hat for you), and take a chance on it. Do a little research and just go do it because the paper in that told you to that day… let some control go!

The point is to have fun. To try something new. With boundaries since you picked all the original options and still in a bit of a safe zone. If you’re feeling risk-friendly, throw some “out there” choices into the hat, so that you can keep pushing yourself a little more. And forgive yourself when you draw an activity that perhaps is too overwhelming for the day you chose it. Put it back, draw something else, but promise yourself the next time you draw it again, you will do it. I’m gonna give some thought to this over the next week… and next Friday, at the end of my 365 post, I’ll reveal what my “unpredictable” actions are going to be. How about you?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Patty @ Moohnshine’s Corner. Patty and I connected about two months ago when I stumbled across a post similar to the one I linked in her name at the beginning of this paragraph. Suddenly, tons of fantastic covers showed up in posts on my WP Reader every Wednesday for Hump Day. I leave the rest to your imagination when it comes to what to do on “hump day.” I also felt connected to Patty as her husband’s name is James, which is my given name, and anyone who chooses to marry or spend their life with someone named James has gotta be a good person in my book. We torture our partners and spouses something fierce!!! But in all sincerity, Patty is a fantastic blogger. She posts nearly every day, even when she’s on vacation and in a kayak, and there’s always something interesting or beautiful about the post. She makes it fun, even in the incorrectly spelled name of her blog, and she tells me there is a story behind it, but I’ve yet to find out! Maybe you’ll have better luck if you go check out her site and meet this new friend. It’s a true reader’s book site, full of author content, book tags, contests, feedback, opinions and a general safe space to dish all about our favorite book characters. Grab yourself a bottle of some homemade hooch — as I’ve heard it referred to before (Scandal reference) — and settle in for a fun escape from the day.

 

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.