Writer Interview: Jack Kardiac

SquintRightFacingIn order to continue discovering how other writers see our crazy writing world, I’ve talked with a long time writer peer of mine, Jack Kardiac.

This interview was another over email. I met Jack online (goodreads.com). We met when I posted a need for a beta reader for my short story collection, Perspectives, and he responded with a proposal: I’ll read yours if you read mine. Therefore, I read his second short story collection, Squint, to be available for purchase soon. We worked really well together and have continued to ever sense. I look forward to working with J more in the future. Below is a short biography about Jack and a blurb for his available book, Squint. Continue reading

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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

Observations: Signs

picsThe drive from my childhood home to college takes me through Dallas where I see this sign. “We won’t tell your husband” it says. To this day, I can’t figure out the intended meaning of the advertisement.

Are they reaching out to women who may feel unsafe or whose husbands are too controlling to allow them guns? Is their target audience girls who want to know how to use a gun without their husband’s knowing for a less ‘self-defense’-y reason? Are they extremely sexist? Or extremely feminist? Why would their husband not need to know? Are they saying girls can’t handle guns or girls should be allowed to handle guns whenever they want? Continue reading

Lattes and Murders

21557532_10210178347961952_1736647627170701057_nThe abrupt scream of the steaming wand makes me jump and spin towards the door. Staring at the empty coffee shop in front of me, I curl my hands into fists, annoyed at my own anxiety.

“Sorry man,” the barista says.

I turn, offering him a half hearted smile. “Don’t worry about it. Just a bit jumpy, I guess.”

The barista, a tall man with tattoos covering both arms, shrugs. “Makes sense. What, with all these murders. Did you hear about the last one?”

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

Dark Colors

21462786_10210178347641944_6627037810111179313_nMost vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.

I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.

Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found.  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

Young Ignorance and Adventure

21078830_10210094010933579_3042036252880962403_nMy fingers were cold and stiff, covered in mud and growing numb to the increasing wind. I used a stick to dig, uncovering the long metal pieces. Despite it still being early in the day, the sky was losing light quickly. I whipped around at the sound of crashing. A tree not far away had broken at the base and fallen.

A small hurricane was underway. I, being young, stupid, and obsessed with crazy adventures, had no plans on seeking refuge indoors. The creek beside my house was filled with trees, many of which were dead and threatening to fall under the force of strong wind. If I truly valued my safety, I would have already been inside, warming up and sitting on the couch with my sister. However, there was an old sewing machine buried in the bank of the creek and this discovery would lead to riches my small brain had never known. (In reality, I would uncover an old Bartlett Sewing Machine that would be broken in many places and no more valuable than a rusted piece of metal.) Continue reading

The Glass

21077224_10210045709286068_6398435211009267583_n“Is your glass half full or half empty?”

Well, fictional person I created to start an imaginary conversation for the purpose of making a point, it really depends on the past condition of the glass.

I always had trouble with the “Are you a glass half full or half empty” concept because my answer seemed to be “it depends” every time. It depends on how the glass got to that point.

See, a glass isn’t always one or the other. If water (or wine…) was just poured to the top and someone drank half of it, then the glass is now half empty. Alternately, if the glass was just filled to the current level, then it is half full. You can’t look at something and, with no knowledge of it’s past or it’s circumstances, decide it’s current condition. Its’s just too relative for that. So the answer to the question is going to change with every different circumstance.

It’s relative to the beholder.  Continue reading