Day: September 15, 2017

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:


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.



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 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, 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)


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.