A BIG thank you goes to Nicolle over at Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert for nominating me for the Liebster Award. If there was a Supreme Follower That Every Blogger Wants award, she would win it!
The rules are simple!
- Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display award.
- Answer 11 questions the blogger gives you.
- Give 11 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of the nomination.
- Give them 11 questions to answer.
So, without further ado, here are my answers to Nicolle’s questions:
- What is your favourite memory?
It’s kind of personal, so I won’t go into detail, but my favorite memory is the moment I realized that my girlfriend is the most amazing person in the world to me.
2. What is one thing you regret, and if you could go back what would you do differently?
This is an interesting question because it actually haunts my the books I write. A regret I have is not standing up to a guy who was clearly harassing a girl (albeit in a public setting), and I just walked away. If I could do things differently, I’d punch him!
3. What are your goals at the moment?
Pretty much what they’ve always been! I’d love to have my book become world famous (of course), I’d like to continue pursuing my girlfriend, and become a successful engineer at the same time.
4. How are you feeling right now?
Pretttttty gooooood. 🙂
5. What did you have for dinner today?
It’s 1:52 PM. Haven’t had dinner yet! I think we are having some form of chicken though…
6. When was the last time you cried, and why?
A couple weeks ago because I was seriously missing my girlfriend.
7. The funniest joke you heard?
“Why can’t Helen Keller drive a car? Because she’s a woman.”
Sexist plot twist 🙂
8. Do you have any pets!
I don’t actually!
9. Who inspires you the most?
God. My girlfriend. God and my girlfriend. They work wonderfully together 🙂 My girlfriend is literally one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the blessing of knowing.
10. Your favourite song?
Ahhhhh…tough one!!! Too tough, actually! How about this one?
11. What are your hobbies?
Uhhh….WRITING! Reading, blogging, playing football, snowboarding, and talking to people. I like talking to people about interesting, deep things. It’s the spice of life!
11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MYSELF
- I’m color blind. Yes, it’s true.
- I’m the only red-head in my family. Don’t ask how that happened!
- It says on my drivers license that I have green eyes but my girlfriend insists that they’re blue. For obvious reasons, I will agree with my girlfriend 🙂
- I’m a devout Catholic. Does that make you uncomfortable? We tend to do that sometimes…
- I’m actually 5’11 and three quarters but I tell everyone I’m 6’0. Who wants to be 5’11 and three quarters?
- I prefer sausage over bacon. Sausage is more…fulfilling.
- I’ve had two knee surgeries, both of them football-injury related.
- I’m one of seven children (note fact #4)
- I’ve been homeschooled all my life until now.
- I attend Villanova University for engineering. GO CATS!!
- I got a concussion snowboarding and was really loopy for several hours…I had been convinced that the Ski-Patrol had performed mouth-to-mouth with me in order to resuscitate me. Go figure!
Thanks again to Nicolle for nominating me!
My questions for you are the same as Nicolle’s! Here they are:
- What is your favourite memory?
- What is one thing you regret, and if you could go back what would you do differently?
- What are your goals at the moment?
- How are you feeling right now?
- What did you have for dinner today?
- When was the last time you cried, and why?
- The funniest joke you heard?
- Do you have any pets?
- Your favourite song?
- Who inspires you the most?
- What are your hobbies?
But actually! I’ve heard that successful self-published authors have these, so I decided to go procure one for myself.
I officially have my own Author Page on Amazon! If you’re the kind of person that looks into these things, check it out here! If you aren’t…check it out anyway! 😀 XD XD
Note: this is a throwback post! I believe that this topic, however, is always relevant! Enjoy!
There are plenty of people in the blogosphere trying to get attention. Every now and then, I might run into a person who says “I don’t care how much attention I get; I’ll still blog and write.” And that’s a great mentality to have. You shouldn’t let everyone else’s opinions stop you.
But still, at times, it feels like everyone is trying to promote SOMETHING.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Some bloggers are trying to “promote” their emotions, the outcome of their relationship, how their weekend went, etc. Similarly, other people are “promoting” advice, or a message like religion or political philosophy.
Others are simply sharing their love of something by promoting that something. For instance, some people review books, TV shows, movies, etc., just for fun.
But all of this involves promoting yourself too. You won’t be able to promote anything unless you promote yourself.
And promoting yourself can be a big deal when you’re like the majority of bloggers out there…when you’re trying to promote what you write.
Take It From Me
Take it from me: there’s a lot of competition. I’m sure most of you have realized this. Everyone wants people to be interested in what they’re selling. If you’re an author and a blogger, then you’re a marketer. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, I can’t lay down a “road map to success” for any of you. In order to do that, I would need to find that road map first! But I can pass on some advice I got.
Allow me to tell you a story:
I’m a senior in high school. I’m sure most of you remember this time in your life where you had to start making adult decisions, particularly concerning your future. For me, this involved what I was going to do in college. I already have a free ride to an amazing college (thanks to my awesome, hard-working dad), so the question was, “What will I study in college?”
I’m not going to go into too much detail, but, basically, my parents were strongly pushing me to make a decision based on my financial future. As I’m sure most of you know, I would like to pursue a degree that has to do with writing and literature. But my parents were advising me to do something that could get me a nice job; a job that I could use to support a family.
I also happen to be pretty smart when it comes to things like math, physics, etc.
So I thought, “Well, I could be a math major. Or a physics major.”
In the end, I ended up texting my older brother who had graduated from the same college with multiple degrees. He’s a physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer (I know, smart guy!).
I asked for his advice, if he could see me as a mathematician or a physicist, and he replied with a simple question: “Why not an engineer?”
I didn’t really get the point: “Why?” Why would it matter? All three majors were basically the same, right?
Math majors and physicists have all the skills to do what an engineer does, as far as I could tell. In a lot of cases, they took similar classes, but for different reasons. All that was really different was the degree you got.
That was what I thought.
But then my brother told me something that I believe applies to waaaay more than just college and choosing a degree.
He told me that no industry/employer/company needs mathematicians or physicists anymore. They need engineers. Why?
Because engineers have something to OFFER.
You see, engineers are able to USE their knowledge of math and physics to create PRODUCTS. They don’t just have the knowledge, they can USE it. And this is what people want. My brother wasn’t saying that mathematicians and physicists are good for nothing.
But people want someone that can be useful to them. That’s the way the world works.
How does this apply to writing and promoting yourself?
You have to become something that people want. Or better yet, something that people NEED. Be useful to other people.
This is the best way to promote yourself; by offering something that people want. Sometimes this means not talking about yourself. Maybe this means sharing advice, writing a review for someone, or something else entirely.
Whether we like it or not though, this is the way the world works. People will want you if they need you. So develop the skillset and gather to yourself what people need. The best way to promote yourself is by promoting what people actually want.
That’s just the way it goes.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!
What do you think?
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This is a great world-building song. It fills you with peace, awe…and a sense of magic! Take a deep breath and let the creative imagination FLOWWW!
Krale is a great artist, definitely check out more of his stuff if you get the chance!
To anyone who’s interested, my fantasy novel, Elithius, is only $0.99…but for a limited time only! Check it out here.
I hold them tighter, allowing the moment to last. Finally, finally, they’re safe once again.
Then Cassie grunts. “John!” she exclaims, the maturity and earnestness of her tone surprising me.
I whirl around. Perhaps I thought too soon. He’s standing there, beside the body of the dead giant Evil, watching us.
The Red Captain…Nirak.
Crouching, I don’t remove my gaze from him. I sink until I feel my fingers close around the hilt of my sword, and then I stand upright. I slowly, cautiously raise my hand, and in a gentle, drawn out motion, remove my cloak from my shoulders. It jerks and waves as it flows away from my body, alighting delicately on the ground to my right, the way the wind beckoned it.
“I’ve been watching you, ever since you entered Howaito Maki,” his voice comes to me from across the distance of twenty feet between us. “At first, I didn’t know why I found you so interesting. But now, I think I understand.” He gestures with his sword, pointing at me, “Who are you?”
“Do you remember me?” I question. “Your Evil left me for dead in the middle of my own home, and you kidnapped my little brother and sister.”
Nirak pauses, thinking for a moment, and then smiles, “Yes, I remember you. You were the first family we found. I had given my Evil orders not to kill any of you three, so that I might have a higher number for the sacrifice, but my Evil didn’t listen very well. They were too…excited. They felt too…challenged.” I grunt, unnerved and uncertain as to the meaning of his words, and then he speaks once again, “I ask you once more: what is your name, human?”
I grit my teeth and state boldly, “My name is John Hedekira, son of Anthony!”
“John Hedekira,” the Red Captain repeats. “Indeed, you are interesting. Do you even know what ‘hedekira’ means?”
I grunt; I don’t know. I didn’t even know my last name had any significant meaning. “I’d stop acting so confident,” I say, trying to change the course of our conversation. “You’re outnumbered and the prisoners have been saved! You can stop asking questions, because I don’t feel like answering anymore!”
Nirak lowers his head, baring his white teeth, his yellow eyes both glaring and smiling at me, and he questions, “Are you sure?”
The sound of feet pounding against the ground fills the air. Across the courtyard, exiting the gate in the next wall, a squad of thirty Evil emerge, each one bearing a long pike and a short sword. I look about warily, watching as the thirty Evil fall upon the dazed army of Castrum Fortress, and then I swiftly return my gaze to Nirak. The Red Captain raises his sword. “This fight is not over.” And he charges me.
I hop backwards, accepting his blow against my blade, making sure I’m covering both Cassie and Luke. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Faith and Bernard approaching. Good, maybe they can get Cassie and Luke out of here. But Nirak…I’m focused on him. I feel as if…this is destiny that we should fight, and I kill him—
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I feel as if I must write this.
Two days ago, I posted an article about how disturbing it is that we humans, as a society, have a twisted appreciation for violence. I was condemning the fact that we enjoy watching violence and stated that violence desensitizes us, thus making violence more acceptable in society. I wanted to know why we felt this way. Why do we enjoy violence? We do we even, at time, crave seeing it? Why does it feel good (say, from a contact-sport perspective)?
One blogger, Karandi over at 100WordAnime, challenged me in the comment section, stating that she disagreed with me. Most people are not desensitized by the violence in movies or video games, and their feelings of real violence vs. story-violence are quite separate.
Now I don’t know if I agree with Karandi entirely, but I had an experience this morning that caused me to consider her words in greater detail.
If the following makes you feel uncomfortable, please forgive me.
I’m in college and I live in an apartment with my sister and one of her friends. We noticed, to our dismay, that we have a bit of a mouse problem. So we bought a mouse trap–the sticky/glue kind, that traps the mice but doesn’t kill them. My sister forgot to buy mouse poison to place on the glue traps, so, while the mice would be stuck, we would still have to do the dirty work of getting rid of them.
Being the man of the house, I stated quite calmly that I would be happy to “finish the job”, in the event that we caught a mouse.
Well, I walked downstairs this morning to find not one but TWO mice caught in a trap. One of the critters was smack-dab in the middle of the trap, the other one was caught only by the tail. Grimly satisfied that we had caught them, I proceeded to get the broom…but then I decided that the broom was too soft, and I probably wouldn’t be able to kill the mice.
So I went back upstairs to get my shoe. After pulling the mouse trap out, I looked down at the two little things. And hesitated.
I wasn’t sure what made me pause. Maybe it was the fact that, with a shoe, I would have to get close to them in order to smack them. Maybe it was because, when they saw me, they started panicking, and writhing, trying to get away.
Did I feel bad that I was going to kill them…? Was I just afraid of them?
I didn’t really get it. I watch plenty of violent shows; some of my favorite anime are very violent. I imagine myself as the characters, taking down Homonculi, Titans, you name it. I’m positive that, if I were in those same circumstances, I would be powerful, strong, determined, and fearless.
And now I’m looking down at two mice, trying to be a man, but afraid to finish the job.
I didn’t have my contacts in, so these things were just two brown fuzz balls. There was no sense of empathy as a result. Honestly, I believe my hesitation simply arose from the fact that killing them was going to take deliberate action. I didn’t feel “guilty” for what I was about to do. I think that, at heart, I was afraid to kill, simply because…
…well, just because.
There’s something about killing that I find scary. Even if I’m killing two pesky mice that keep on eating our food. Once you kill something, it’s gone, and you are responsible. It doesn’t matter that it was for a perfectly good reason. There is still something scary about hitting something until it’s dead.
Well, once I reasoned that they could possibly escape, I did it. I was, after all, the man of the house. It would’ve been wrong for me to leave the dirty work to my sister or her friend. We also had another woman and her 5 year old sister sleeping over. I had to finish the job before any of them could wake up and witness the dirty work.
After I hit the mice once, any hesitation thereafter was nonexistent; it seemed nicer to end it as quickly as possible.
Once the deed was done, I felt satisfied with myself, but I was also shaken. It wasn’t death that bothered me, but killing specifically. I find it interesting that, although I thought I would’ve had no problem killing them, I ended up feeling disturbed. Even though I thought violence was cool and empowering, I really didn’t have it in me to behave in such a manner.
And…well, that’s my story.
Violence, I suppose, oftentimes IS separated from what we see in movies or anime. We are not what we watch.
Faith Pinck is the female lead in Elithius. She starts out as an innocent 16-year-old, wanting to “make the world a better place” and “find something fulfilling to do”.
She never thought that she would end up doing that alongside John Hedekira, becoming a full-fledged warrior in the meantime.
Faith’s theme is about the courage to do what’s right, to stand up against evil, even though you might be small. It’s about hearing the voice of truth underneath the lies that world tries to tell us. It’s about retaining innocence and a sense of honor and virtue, even though the circumstances make us feel like turning into monsters. It’s about holding on to love and teaching others to do so, even when they are tempted to hate.