365 – December 2017 Posts

365 Challenge: Day 294 – New Year’s (LIST: Holiday)

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New Year’s: the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the 1st day of January is often marked as a national holiday

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I chose holidays and now we’re in our final week. I’ve gone with New Year’s because that’s what happens tonight into tomorrow — and it’s a perfect ending to this holiday list. Let’s explore why I love this holiday:

  • It’s a new beginning.
  • It’s a time to remember and reflect.
  • You can embrace change.
  • I love the song ‘Auld Lang Syne’
  • I have a few traditions, like holding money and ensuring the house is cleaned up with no outstanding laundry and a fully stocked food supply.
  • I have fun memories of my father and I banging pots at midnight when I was a child.
  • I live in NYC but will NEVER EVER go to Times Square.
  • I don’t really eat any traditional foods — none are very tasty from what I know of.
  • Watching the BALL drop on the TV.
  • Resolutions.
  • Off from work.
  • The possibility of a whole new approach to things.
  • A truly defining marker.
  • Hope for things yet to come.

I prefer to be at home. I have this weird moment as the ball begins to drop where I want and hope to be perfect starting at midnight… eat healthy, no drinking, say and think positive things, behave, just do everything right! As I get older, I realize that it’s not about picking a moment to change, it’s about incorporating it one by one into your lifestyle in healthy ways. But ever since I was a child, it was always a game to see how long I could hold on in the new year. Now that I’m no longer a child, though at times I like to think I am (ha!), it’s more about that breathtaking moment when the ball drops — to tell myself how lucky I am, kiss the one I love and wish for the brilliance of tomorrow. For me, that’s all about being in the comforts of home, or with a very small crowd, where it feels cozy.

How do you feel about New Year’s Eve or Day? Do you celebrate in any special way?

 

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often 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. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: TBD
  • Week 48 – 52: TBD

 

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.

 

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365 Challenge: Day 293 – 2017

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2017: the current year — and a memorable one for me

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Although I am one day early with my final post for 2017, there is some logic behind today’s 365 Daily Challenge choice. Tomorrow is a Sunday ‘list’ day and the holiday I chose is New Year’s, which means the post really can’t be about 2017. As an ode to everything I accomplished this year — my last official random 365 Daily Challenge post of 2017 — I want to say goodbye to a very life-changing year.

When 2017 began, I was 39 years old, had just completed writing a draft of ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ and was about to start the process of achieving one of my life-long goals — publishing a book. I was afraid of being ‘unemployed’ by giving up (or putting on hold?) a successful corporate technology career just a few months earlier. I was hitting that next decade by turning 40, wondering how I truly felt about myself. I would be putting myself far out there in front of friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. It’s a lot of change at once, but it was also a lot of opportunity. I created a list of items that would be my measurement of success when I granted myself permission to explore this alternative life path. As I come up on the one year mark (February) of sending the manuscript to the first literary agent, I will review and compare how I’ve done. As the 365 Daily Challenge officially ends on March 12th, I will probably hold a countdown noting everything I learned during this time frame.

For now, as I look back on 2017, I am thankful for everything that has happened. For the mistakes I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned and the progress that’s occurred. A few fleeting thoughts:

  • Many people talk about writing a book, but I actually did it. Regardless of its success or failure, this is a huge accomplishment — I am proud of myself. Very few people actually give themselves permission, or have the fortitude, to make this happen.
  • Between the first draft and the one that was published, I cannot possibly explain the extent to which I learned and developed my style and voice. It’s still in adolescence, but I am confident in the growth that is building each day. I see it already with the level of writing in Father Figure, my second novel.
  • Blogging is a way to express yourself, but it’s also a method to grow more comfortable interacting with strangers. By embarrassing myself with all aspects of who I am, I learn how to accept my own faults and to be less judgmental of others. People are different, and it’s okay. You don’t have to like everyone. Not everyone will like you.
  • Unfortunately, there are mean and rude people you will encounter, but they are in the minority — and they serve a purpose: To push you to stay honest, to remain open-minded, and to behave better than them. I’m finding ways to use their negativity to drive my success forward.
  • Change happens every day. Goals are re-prioritized. 2017 taught me how to grow more comfortable with living on the edge when it comes to people giving you feedback on your words, imagination and style. In the end, all that matters is you are happy with what you’ve produced.

I will always remember the year 2017 as a major turning point in my life. I am thankful for everything and everyone — much gratitude to each of you. May you have a wonderful last 24 hours before we start anew…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 292 – Crash (Author Alert: Lina Langley)

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Crash: (a) collision, (b) name of a company in a cool book, or (c) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Lina Langley

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If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who (s)he is, what (s)he is writing and how to buy any future work. 

I am pleased to present the very talented Lina Langley. Lina and I met about one year ago when we were reading each other’s draft work. She was helpful with feedback and suggestions on very early versions of my debut novel, which I will always be grateful for. I’ve read one of her more recent novels and can’t wait to jump into more in 2018. You’ll find my review of Welcome to Crash here.

Lina’s novels bring dynamic characters and interesting conflicts to the forefront of the story. You immediately connect with them, but you’re not sure how/where you want it to end up. It’s increased my interest in reading other genres with surprising elements I didn’t know I’d enjoy — I won’t say much as I don’t want to give away the plot or the cleverness within the story. It wasn’t at the forefront of the book I read, but it touches the surface in a way you find yourself drawn in… wanting more. It’s a different kind of read – a good one – something that will push your boundaries and offer a great surprise and connection.

Without any delay, let’s hear from Lina…

———-

Welcome to Crash isn’t a romance.

I can see how it would be easy to expect a romance. I half-expected it to be a romance myself, when I first started writing it. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance. I love writing romance. It’s one of my favourite genres!

So I set out to write a poly m/m/m with one of my all-time favourite tropes. But that wasn’t what Welcome To Crash became at all—the relationships are important and romance is a huge part of the story, but the story isn’t about the romances.

The story is just about Damien. He’s 20-year-old visual arts student with epilepsy, and things are changing rapidly for him.

But regardless of what happens around him, or to him, the story is about Damien. Who Damien is as a person, from the beginning to the end, the decisions he makes, the person he chooses. It never becomes about anything else, not even when everything around Damien begins to change.

Damien is an oblivious character,  which is necessary, in some ways, for the plot. But he’s oblivious in other ways too, in ways that don’t immediately make sense. His obliviousness is something of a defense mechanism. Damien is both extremely vulnerable and detached.

In a way, the story is about bringing these two parts of his personality together to make him whole, and how he’s trying to do that.

So if you decide to read the book, don’t expect a romance. What you should expect is a real mess.

A relatable, young, sweet mess, who is totally trying his best. Even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, not even to himself.

 

Links To Learn More About This Great Author

http://linalangley.com/

https://www.subscribepage.com/langleyreader

 

To see more about Lina Langley on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out the author’s dedicated page where future content and books will added as (s)he publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 291 – Mistake

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Mistake: an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

mistake

As I prepare to write my New Year’s resolutions / thoughts for 2018, I spent a few minutes today looking at various quotes. This one, written by a writer, struck a chord, as it seems important to use this message as a guide when planning our upcoming year.

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***

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.                   (Neil Gaiman)
For more, please see:  https://www.brainyquote.com/lists/topics/top_10_newyears_quotes

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 290 – Cane

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Cane: (a) the hollow, jointed stem of a tall grass, especially bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan, or (b) a slender stick, especially one used as a support for plants, as a walking stick, or as an instrument of punishment, or (c) a name spelled differently

cane

The word ‘cane’ or ‘cain’ has been prevalent the last few days, which made me want to somehow incorporate it into the 365 Daily Challenge. As I’m away with family this week, the posts are a bit shorter. Why this word, you ask?

  • We put candy canes up on the tree and in some of the Christmas items all around the apartment, but I never ate a single piece of candy cane! I have a few peppermint items, like chocolate bark, but I didn’t eat a candy cane. I will need to do that this week before New Year’s Day!
  • I love ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ enjoying both the TV show and the books. On Christmas Eve, before we left on the trip, W and I stumbled upon an episode of Murder, She Wrote without Jessica Fletcher. It was news to me that she’d taken off many episodes, which meant another detective was the focus on the show. There was a British insurance agent who walked with I thought I was a cane, but later learned was umbrella. As it resembled a cane, I’m going with it. He took the round handle off, and it had a bunch of devices to pick locks. I need one! No questions, please. 🙂
  • Sugar cane is something we’ve all eaten, but I always realize around the holidays how much I consume. Of course, there’s the 5 pounds we put on at the holidays, resolve to take off in January… blah blah blah… yes, that will happen. But I’m craving sugar this year. I had so many cookies at my mom’s on Christmas, desserts  such as pecan pie and English treats from a friend, then I consumed a small cake for my anniversary, and now I’m eating even more while away. It’s too good to resist. My goal in 2018 — to visit a sugar cane plantation to see how it grows and figure out how to cut down this sweet tooth.
  • I like fried chicken and try new kinds whenever I can. I’ve never eaten at a Chick fil a, so while we were back at the airport again yesterday (they forgot to send my luggage… long story, maybe Ryder will rant about it when I return), we stopped for fast food — another thing I rarely do. We saw a Raising Canes chicken location, which I’ve also never eaten at… since it was more local, we went there. It was delicious, except they only had 1 fryer working, so it took a lot longer than expected.
  • Lastly, Cain, spelled differently, was 1 of the 2 brothers from the Bible, whom we have heard a lot about over the years. The classic good versus evil battle — the nice brother and the bad brother. Brothers were at the center of my year, given the family of 5 in my debut novel. But I’m also an only child… so being around my other half’s family this week reminds me of being part of a large family with tons of brothers or siblings. Always a good thing!

Today’s 5 interpretations of the word ‘cane’ seemed like a good path to go… unrelated but related… words that all mean something different to us. Did I miss any that should be here? I’m spending time working on Friday’s author alert… hope you’ll be excited by this one!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 289 – Charity

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Charity: an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need

charity

Earlier this month, I opened a poll for the 2017 Truth Award, where 12 wonderful bloggers were nominated for their gifts to me this year. After all the votes were tallied, Ryder announced the top 3 winners last week. I’ve mailed each winner her signed copy of my book with a special message from me, as well as a gift card where appropriate. In addition, all three winners picked a charity for me to donate money to in her name. Today’s post is all about being charitable around the holidays — you never know when someone may need a helping hand. I congratulate the winners, not only for being chosen by their peers, and picking three wonderful charities, but also for choosing to donate more on their own accord — that was very generous! Without further ado, the charities they picked are:

Nel – Animals

Noriko – Clean Water & Literacy

Mischenko – Children

I am working with each person to donate the money this week. Checks will either go to the winner, so she can send the money in her name, or if I can easily send it myself on her behalf, I will do that — the donations will be out in the mail by 12/31. Many thanks to all these wonderful bloggers for their charitable donations, both in heart and mind — including all of you who are donating time or money this holiday season. Finding time to volunteer helps those in need — both the volunteers and those receiving the gift.

Happy Holidays!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 288 – Squeaky (RYDER RANT)

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Squeaky: short, shrilly cry or noise; squeal

squeaky

I was tempted to share a wonderful version of my friends singing Jingle Bells, but I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about an all-dog choir. We might sound a bit squeaky, so I skipped it. Instead, I wish to each of you, via my words, many happy holidays this week, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or anything else I’m not familiar with (tell me, so I know in the future, please). We had our celebration last night, where I received two gifts, plus a bunch of treats. I also received three special gifts in the mail this week. They all have a different squeak to them, and that’s why today’s word is squeaky — but it’s driving me nuts. Can’t anyone be quiet on the holidays? Meet my new friends who may not last very long if they keep this racket up:

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  • Foxy: Grandma gave me Foxy because I look a lot like him! We played a lot when she was visiting last weekend.
  • Squirrel: She doesn’t have a name yet, but soon… I like to chase them, so maybe Chase!
  • Bunny: I received Bunny from my friends Murphy and Ophe in Michigan. He’s very heavy and I can’t throw him all that far, which is good… the tree is safe for now!
  • Santa: This one makes so much noise, and it sneak attacks me with its twisty head. Santa beat me up yesterday and I was so angry I sat on him for an hour.
  • Hammy: I had fun unwrapping hammy because it squeaked the whole time I tore at the paper. If only it were real.

I had a wonderful dinner last night before I left with Ella this morning. I stay with her at Christmas since the Dads leave on their trip this afternoon. They made me beef wellington, honey & thyme carrots, and Pommes Anna. Julia Child is always visiting this house! They even had a wonderful Christmas pudding from a very special English friend. I’m pretty certain they also had a few holiday drinks and a bottle of red wine; I personally don’t touch that liquor stuff, I’m a Prohibitionist — yet they drink like the fishes. In the immortal words of my favorite new friend, Patty Hogg, from the Amy Sedaris show: I’VE SAID TOO MUCH, I’VE SAID TOO MUCH. Click the link if you want to see what Dads have been watching all week long.  They exchanged presents, too. This is what I bought them for the terrace:

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It’s time for me to unpack my bags for this 5 day stay… happy holidays! See you all for New Year’s Day next week!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin