Writer Interview: Lewis Smith

picsMy words alone only carry so much meaning alone. While I like to say that my words make worlds, other people’s words have just as much power.

Therefore, I’ve interviewed a few different writers. This one was an email Interview with Lewis Ben Smith.

Lewis was my 8th grade History teacher and it’s still taken some getting used to calling him “Lewis” rather than “Mr. Smith”. Recently, however, Lewis has been more of a peer of mine, as we sometimes edit each other’s work and promote one another. I know him well and have read, in full, two of his four published novels. Continue reading

Proud vs Pride

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For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.

There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading

Chain Smoking

21762046_10210204500455748_9149997079439913457_nFirst and Foremost I must give credit to the idea of “chain smoking” to Austin Kleon in his book Show Your WorkIn the book he discusses the importance of chain smoking (in relation to writing) and gives examples of writers who practice it. Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to Steal Like an Artist and write like the idea were my own.

Chain smokers go through multiple packs of cigarettes a day. As of 2013, the average adult aged smoker went through almost 22 cigarettes each day. In order to continually be smoking without a break, they often will light one cigarette with the butt of another.

Can we, as writers, identify ourselves as chain smokers? Not in the (albeit unhealthy and honestly gross) habitual way of literally inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, but in how we write. Are we going through multiple pages a day? How many writing hours are we averaging a day? Do you light the beginning of one story with the end of another? I believe we should all strive to be chain smoking writers. I know I do. And In no way am I saying writers have to write 22 pages every day, but continuing forward without a writing hiatus is more beneficial than we may give it credit.  Continue reading

Book Reviews

picsTHE BREAKDOWN

B.A. Paris

Simply put, “The Breakdown” blew my mind. Now, it’s fair to say that many readers may have saw the ending coming, but I honestly did not. I had thought I’d been clever enough to figure it out but I was sorely wrong.
My main complaint about “The Breakdown”, and this complaint was almost enough to drop the rating to 4 stars, is the pacing. There were multiple moments throughout the novel that I felt bored. The scenes felt repetitive and unnecessary, like I was struggling to get to the point of the book. But once I did, it all made sense and it made it totally worth it.

Continue reading

Halloween in November

15871719_10208170781854054_6750330212750455719_nThe month of November.

Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, finals studying and jumping in piles of leaves. Also Alicia’s birthday month, but what a lot of writers know November as is something much different, and much more horrifying than anything Halloween brought that year.

NaNoWriMo.

Also known as National November Writing Month.

What is NaNoWriMo? Basically, it’s a non profit organization, a challenge, and a writers wonderful, terrifying party. Continue reading

Rejection, Doubt, and Acceptance.

13765830_10210295914338318_3015040440471482001_o“Don’t worry, keep trying!” “You know Harry Potter was rejected eleven times before it was finally accepted!” “You’re a great writer.”

Rejection is the number one worry, fear and warning when someone desires to be a writer. The process of publication is a torturous, tiring and time consuming one. You’re work must be pristine, void of mistakes, sellable and original. A typo and you’re out. A cliche and NIX. Crappy cover letter? Don’t even bother submitting. Never been published? Sucks to suck!

The more you submit, the better chances of being accepted but also the more rejection letters you receive, and soon they start piling on themselves. Soon, the gracious rejection letter starts to sound like this: Continue reading

Environment is Important

12278639_10208395080578662_3292872301469764662_n“I’m going to work.”

“Where do you work?”

“Oh… I’m a writer.”

“So, where are you going?”

As a writer, you have to create your own working environment. Setting aside the work you do to actually get paid, you still have to make time for your craft. And this work can’t be a second thought, or something you do in bed right before you go to sleep.

Unless that is your perfect environment. Continue reading