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365 Challenge: Day 361 – Tips

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Tips: (a) monetary gratuity for doing a good job, or (b) new segment sharing advice for writers on the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog

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Today is the 5-day countdown until the 365 Daily Challenge is complete. I’ve chosen tips as the word to discuss in my post because it will be one of the bigger segments on my blog in the coming weeks. I have a few other reveals in the next few days, but this is the first of the vision unfolding before our eyes… I’m not entirely certain how it’s going to come together, but I plan to spend the next two weeks mulling over the approach, style, and content I’d like to share. Along with last Sunday’s flashback word mentor, I want my website and blog to represent a big piece of who I am… someone who likes to help other people by sharing all that I’ve learned on my own journey. Through the 365 Daily Challenge, I often suggested tips or provided advice on a few topics. In the enhanced blog, I want it to be a more formal approach where I have a few different segments or arcs throughout the month.

A few of the areas I’m considering:

  • Tips for writers. While I’m a fairly new author, I have been writing for years either professionally in my business career or creatively in my personal time. Providing tips doesn’t imply I’m an expert… I’m certain my editor will concur with that statement! I have loads of mistakes in different drafts of my books as they’re being written. In the first published version of Watching Glass Shatter, it contained a bunch of grammatical and proofreading issues (all later corrected) because it’s hard to find your own mistakes after re-reading the same thing repeatedly. Once I brought in an outside editor, it was life-changing. And so… I look at tips as a way to share things I’ve learned, explanations on how I write, or thoughts on options for others to try. These tips could include things like: (1) how to build characters your readers can connect with, (2) what are filter words and how do you remove them from your novel, (3) what ways/tools can you use to find duplicate/repeated words in your drafts, (4) how do you use Twitter to find new readers, or (5) how do you build a timeline and outline before you begin writing without going crazy.
  • Tips for life. The world is a big place. Our education can be formal or informal. I’m often surprised at the types of things people don’t learn along the way, but probably should have. Things that help you build a stronger, happier, and more efficient life. Many of these things I was lucky enough to be taught throughout the path. Some I learned only after failing miserably along the way. And in a few small cases, it just came naturally to me. But that’s now how it happens for everyone else, nor do people truly get the ‘life education’ they should get early enough to make an impact. These tips could include things like: (1) how to manage your money when you’re first starting out after school, (2) how do you handle constructive criticism, (3) how to think for yourself and not just go with what others want, (4) what do you need to do to achieve a balanced day, or (5) why is it important to trace your ancestry?

Both of these items are only partially fleshed out, but I’m passionate about the necessity of these lessons and experiences at an early age / period in life. I spend a lot of time thinking inside my head about how much we all face the same issues, yet we fail to truly enact the change to make the future better. It usually comes down to not having built your life with these principles at an early enough stage. I’m far from perfect. I make mistakes all the time. But I have a strong foundation and easily find my way back to peace. I would love to share my approach with others in the hope it helps even just a few. I’m thinking through how to make this work on a blog — also always open to suggestions. I thought I’d share just a little in today’s post about how I see tips playing a bigger role on my blog in the future. Looking forward to everyone’s ideas and feedback.

 

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

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Book Review: His Name is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin and Chloe Mathis

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I was introduced to this adorable children’s book in early 2018 and liked the premise enough to add it to my TBR. A young boy befriends another kid who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Knowing how awkward life can be for a third grader, especially while playing dodge ball in gym class, I was curious to give this one a shot. His Name Is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin explores the impacts of a school children learning how to put themselves out there, find friends, develop confidence and teach others small life lessons. While the book is relatively short at 24 pages, it’s filled with wonderful drawings and a great moral lesson. To top it off, the book is co-written by the author’s young children… even including multiple sketches (really fantastic for their age and contribution to the book) and artwork by the whole family. It’s a very cute story, and I think it would be a great addition to all libraries and a family’s reading shelves. I’d recommend it for being fun, inspirational, rewarding and confidence-building. Kudos to this wonderful family and the adorable book they’ve built together. The world needs more people like this!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all 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. 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.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon by Russ Towne

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Review: Five (5) stars — what a fantastic children’s book! Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon, published in 2017, is my second read from Russ Towne. I’m not sure I can decide which of the two I like better, but both are at the top of their genre. When I first read this picture/chapter book, my immediate reaction was that it resembled at a very high level the story of Beowulf. I say this only because it’s about a village trying to protect itself from a powerful and scary monster, but in truth, it feels apropos on other levels given I could see this book being a bit of a classic in its own right.

The writing is clean, direct, funny, memorable and solid from all angles. The illustrations are captivating; I found myself looking at them twice — once before I read the page, then after I finished to see what I had missed the first time. Alex is an adorable kid whose bravery and modesty are a lesson we should all learn; however, it is the queen who proves to everyone what moral we should be taking away from the book. She helps school her own townspeople in how to best work together to accomplish a goal. And as readers, we will very quickly learn how not to judge a book by its cover. (By the way, the cover of this one is brilliant. It will make you laugh throughout the story as you see what unfolds in this little quest to save a village!)

There are tons of children’s books available these days, and many of them are good. But when you want to select the best ones for your kids or to give as gifts, you want to know it’s a perfect fit and a truly remarkable read before you buy it. I’ve no doubt in my mind that this book and author will do well. There’s a beauty and truth in the stories he tells without ever feeling formal or educational. The balance between a cozy read in a big comfy chair and an introductory discussion on how to be a good person is quite strong. That’s where this author strikes gold.

I encourage you to read this book, or even one of Towne’s others, as you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to sample more this year. I also look forward to sharing this one with some family members soon, too.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all 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. 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.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 263 – Xenophile

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Xenophile: A person attracted to that which is foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners or cultures

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I looked through the last 260+ words (yes, I’ve been at this for a while!) and found nothing that started with the letter ‘x’ in the list. Today’s word needed to start with an ‘x’ not because I missed using that letter or because I brilliantly discovered that I missed using it. I’m not that smart, but someone else is… and she happened to realize it a few weeks ago. So today’s post is dedicated to this brilliant woman — who also happens to be the same person I spoke about providing the word ‘dawdle’ a few days ago. She’s suggested a few more words, so keep your seat belts buckled, as it’s gonna be a few weeks of very cool choices. There were two other ‘x’ words I thought about using, but I admit I searched an online dictionary to verify I hadn’t missing anything obvious. There were about 50 words to choose from, mostly in the medical field. That wouldn’t work — no offense, but I’m not sure I’d do them justice. The other two options were ‘xerox’ and ‘xenophobia.’

If you’ve read a few past posts, you’ll know I love to travel and learn about other countries. It makes more sense for me to go with ‘xenophile’ as the 365 Daily Challenge word for today. I’ve always felt a strong connection to other countries, mostly from my heritage, but also the Latin American ones. I took Spanish as my second language in middle and high school, as well as 8 Spanish writing and literature courses in college. I could speak in fluently for many years, but not using it everyday has limited my proficiency. I adore culture and learning about different peoples and histories from all over the world. I celebrate the unique or distinct qualities we all share, and I’d rather experience the upside of knowing culture than the downside of being a xenophobe.

Life’s short, even if you life an entire century. The world changes so fast each day, there will always be something new and different. I choose to explore it, rather than run from it. What I know is clearly NOT the only acceptable way of existing or doing something; therefore, it’s my responsibility to learn as much as I can about everything around me. No, I’m not on a soapbox! I’m just expressing how I live my day. I won’t ever know it all, but if I’m lucky enough to be exposed to a few wonderful pieces of the world throughout my life, then it’s something too celebrate. I am a xenophile and I admit it!

What are you favorite words with an ‘x’ ?

What are you favorite parts of the world to visit ?

What culture do you come from ?

 

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

365 Challenge: Day 216 – Grocery

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Grocery: (a) place you buy food items, or the food items you buy in a store, (b) a place to get compliments and NOT be rude

grocery

Today’s 365 Daily Challenge message is simple. You never know when what you see happening isn’t really happening.

Weeks ago, I mentioned the frustrating grocery store near me that had no brisket to cook for Ryder on the return from our vacation. Well… I went back yesterday to buy another one to cook last night for dinner this weekend. The store had no brisket again, but at least I picked up a pot roast as an alternative. I added everything else to my cart and got in line at a register where I was next to be checked out. There was an older couple taking their time with packing their own groceries and being a bit rude to each other and the cashier. Lines were building up and another cashier was just wandering around doing nothing, as this couple kept re-bagging multiple times. I was slightly annoyed at how the store failed to provide appropriate customer service and formulated some words in my head to try to help speed the situation along; however, I was also inclined to be careful not to be rude myself, so I said nothing and just let it go.

The customers leave and the cashier rings up my groceries. I begin bagging my own (I always help, as I was once a cashier and appreciated the help) and then the other cashier who had been wandering around doing nothing, walks over to the register. All three of us have a conversation where I learn before I had arrived at the register, the second cashier had started bagging the previous customer’s groceries. But the rude customer told him to go away noting that he would break everything and no one should touch her stuff. The cashier also told me the same rude customer was there shopping the day before, cursing out the person in line before her because that other customer was taking her time and holding everyone up.

Wow! I learned a few things… it’s good I didn’t say anything, as I would have been wrong… the cashier did try to help and was told to go away. I didn’t have all my information. I also learned rude people are just rude, and they probably don’t even care how they treat others.  But then I had the best lesson: the cashier soon turned to me, saying… “Don’t ever grow up to be rude like that, lad. You’re so young, it could happen to you one day.” In all sincerity, this cashier was barely 10 years older than me… calling me lad… telling me “when I grow up.” My moral less today:

Don’t be rude. Don’t say something if you’re unsure of all the facts. Your reward in the end will be someone telling you how young you look!!! What a big win for me that day… and the pot roast is cooked and ready to eat tonight. Life is good.

 

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.

Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends

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Where the Sidewalk EndsBook Review
4+ of 5 stars to Where the Sidewalk Ends, a collection of poetry published in 1974 by Shel Silverstein. What a wonderful book to read with children at any age; that is, both any age for the reader and the children! I first read this book when I was about 10-years-old, and then again in college. From the brilliant characters to the alliteration and rhyme, to the memorable lines and funny situations, it’s one of those books where you will find something new each time you read it.

I cannot imagine being this creative. I can dream up stories about real people and situations and have written several, but to have an imagination where animals and things can talk, have emotions, interact in peculiar ways… to find the words to compare and contrast… to describe and draw precious creations… is true talent. I admire Silverstein’s massive fantasy world of freedom. He was so unconstrained in his ability to develop a world with just enough charm and beauty to win us all over. It’s a book all about perception, but without taking the didactic and pedantic approach.

Children see things differently than adults. Adults have limits. Children have experiences. But what happens on the other side… where something is too far to see, or too close to imagine? Who lives in the crack between cement blocks? The world of freedom does… and that’s where Silverstein wants us to go, where we are all equal, without preconceived notions… to be able to explore as if we are seeing something for the first time… and connecting with everyone around us. That’s how to motivate readers with this book… children learning to see more than what they actually see.

I could go on and on… but I’ll stop. It’s just a wonderful way to learn.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog 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, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all 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.

View all my reviews