Wanna See Me Doing Some Cool Ninja Stuff?

This has nothing to do with writing or storytelling, but I thought I’d share it here just because I can.

On Nov 6th, my older daughter and I competed in a taekwondo tournament! I did a couple creative routines – one with a weapon (sword) and one without a weapon. I’m particularly proud of my Maniac routine, which was my Flashdance pastiche!


Sword routine! Now with more mask.
Maniac routine – a Flashdance Pastiche!

The Problem With Star Trek: Discovery

Guess who’s the most important person in the universe?

As you probably know, I’m a huge Trekkie. Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) is one of my favorite series of all time. The TNG series finale is DEFINITELY my favorite series finale of all time—I dare you not to cry when the main cast all sit down to play poker for the last time! I’ve been lukewarm about the Star Trek series that came after—Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise—but I’m still in love with the Star Trek universe overall and its science-heavy storylines and themes of hope. So I was super excited when they announced a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. I even subscribed to CBS All Access so I could watch it!

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The Rise of Skywalker’s Critical Flaw: What Happens When You Mistake a Motif for a Theme

Well that sucked.

[Spoilers follow, but come on—who hasn’t seen this movie by now?]

So right about a year ago, I speculated on how The Rise of Skywalker would end based on the themes established in The Last Jedi. Something like Rey becoming her own person and Kylo Ren coming to peace with his light and dark sides. That’s sort of what happened, but anyone could have guessed that based on how all Star Wars movies usually go.

I’ve been trying to write this blog post for a while now – specifically, for about a year – but every time I did, it just turned into a bitch-fest about how much I hated the movie, and then I lost interest and stopped writing. I mean this movie’s already been torn to shreds by basically everybody, AND it’s now almost a year old, so why waste my time piling on?

But after ten months of reflection, I finally feel like I do have something to add to the conversation; specifically, what happens when you mistake a motif for a theme (…spoiler: The Rise of Skywalker happens).

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Current Status and Future Plans

My eldest daughter taunting her dad during a game of Jenga,…which she eventually just kicks over. What we do in quarantine.

Greetings all! I’m back from another one of my periodic long absences with some good news: I finally finished the first draft of my latest mystery novel, Identity! Now I need to do a couple rounds of edits, slap together a query letter and synopsis, and then send it out to a few agents (per my own advice) and see if I get any bites.

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Another Way to Tell a Story: Sociological vs Psychological Storytelling

On the occasion of the largest pandemic in a century, you might’ve watched or re-watched Contagion, a star-studded 2011 movie directed by Steven Soderbergh about a deadly virus originating from China that sweeps the globe. The film is currently having a renaissance on Netflix due to its striking similarities to real-world events, though its more cerebral and realistic take on a world-wide pandemic resigned it to an underwhelming box office haul upon its originally release in theaters.

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Self-Care: 6 Steps to A Better Writing You!

This is me like every day at work. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I’m still going to work.

Self-care is something we could all stand to get better about. At the risk of dating this post, when there’s a pandemic happening and some leaders seems totally unequipped to handle a real-life crisis, you gotta take shit into your own hands, you know what I’m sayin’?

I’ve always been one of those people you want to be with when the ship is sinking: I will make sure we LIVE, GODDAMMIT!! I’ll find a way. Leadership can’t make a decision? Screw that. I’m the captain now.

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Social Media: What’s In It For Authors?

You said it, random guy.

Most social media platforms have accounts you can maintain specifically for a business, where you have access to a mix of features that’s similar to but not quite the same as a personal account. For instance, a business account on Facebook will let you create events, run ads, and track analytics. You also don’t have “friends” on a Facebook business account like you do on a personal account; people simply like and/or follow your page.

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Author Websites: The Essentials

Websites! Looking something like this, but better!

Every author needs a website, it’s a simple as that. It’s your central hub for everything, like your online house. Luckily for you, what’s actually on your website is pretty simple. The basics are:

  • Home (your default landing page)
  • About You (aka Author Bio)
  • Your Books
  • Blog
  • Newsletter Signup
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Author Newsletters: All Your Burning Questions Answered!

Here’s a really, really bad example of an author newsletter.

Author newsletters are one of those things that used to be super-hot when the first author stumbled upon one like the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey found the black monolith of human evolution. But now that everyone’s got one, they’re less potent than they used to be. Who doesn’t have a black monolith they keep in their basement but now mostly use as a clothes rack, amiright?

So you might be wondering: do I need one or what? And what the hell am I supposed to do with it?

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Screenwriting Versus Novel-Writing

Don’t we all wanna be this asshole? Look how in the zone he is!

Throughout my blog posts, I often use examples from novels, TV shows, and movies. Some of the resources I cite for aspiring authors are actually screenwriting guides. Yet this website is supposed to be offering advice on writing books, not screenplays or teleplays. So why do I use non-book examples?

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A How-To Writing Website for My Mom – and You