Found Another Great Fitness Video!

If there is one thing for sure, it has been a while since I posted anything. Life has continued to be a bear to the point it has inflicted damage on my participation in NaNoWriMo and all my other projects. So why am I writing? I’m writing because I need to and I wanted to share with you. That’s what a blog is for.

Health and exercise have been a major focus of mine because it is one of the few things that is keeping my stress in check and keeping me from losing it. Not only that, I’ve now got a desk job, so the old days of burning of them calories while working in a warehouse are long gone.

I think it was a post ago about an exercise website that I learned about and found another great exercise regimen that I am hoping will take care of the weight that I have gained from sitting at a computer and staring at it. It’s called “7 Day Weight Loss Challenge, Lose 10 pound in 1 Week”

Here’s the video:

The best part about it is that it can be done from one point in the house without having to go out in the cold and run (it’s getting closer to winter here and running in the cold is not fun).

It reminds me of a lot of the exercises that I did in the military when we alternated our running day. Getting a hold of this video brought back a lot of nostalgia and saved me from having to dig through my records and finding the steps. The nice thing is that I won’t have to do squats in the middle of the pouring rain!

Go ahead and give it a try, I found it very challenging and you can always add it to your regimen you already have something else you do. Do you have a specific exercise that works well for you? Why not tell me in the comments below!

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YWriter6 – The Software I develop All my Stories in

YWriter6 Software logo
(c) Simon Haynes

Just a little while ago I was talking to my best friend Jessica Werner about the software that we use to write our novels. If you have been in the writing world long enough, you know there are quite a lot of options out there ranging from the simple pen and paper to the complicated and advanced Scrivener.

It dawned on me that I haven’t shared the program that I use to write my novels and novellas and why I like it. So, to rectify that mistake, here is my discussion and review of Ywriter6.

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Apocalypse Orphan (2016) – A Review

Apocalypse Orphan (The Fractured Earth Saga Book 1)Apocalypse Orphan by Tim Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to the great people at Book Tasters, I was given a copy of Apocalypse Orphan by Tim Allen to read and review. Suffice to say there were a lot of ups and down about this book that I’m going to cover. First though, one of the biggest things I wanted to note is how much work the author put into a 100,000 plus book, and it shows.

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The Time Probe (2017) Review

The Time ProbeThe Time Probe by Victor Bertolaccini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I stumbled upon Time Probe by V. Bertolaccini while perusing smashwords.com. As it is my go to site for indie author books, I like to keep up with what is going out there. The long blurb and cover were very interesting and I decided to give this book a whirl. Like many indie books, this one has its positive points and drawbacks.

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October Nights (2017) Review

October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and HalloweenOctober Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween by DeAnna Knippling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This year I really did not get a chance to participate in any Halloween writing. Though not my favorite genre, I do enjoy writing a scary story. Still wanting to get my fix, I decided to try out Deanna Knippling’s October Nights: 31 Tales of Hauntings and Halloween. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.
Initially not sure what to expect with a collection of flash stories (any author knows they are hard to write), I found her style and presentation of these world snippets fascinating. They hover between just an idea for a future book to a quick peek at worlds and what they could become.

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Postcard online? Who knew that was possible?

Me...with a online printed post card!When it comes to advertising, I’m not someone who really says anything unless I really like it. I stumbled upon something really interesting that I had to try. Did you know you can actually send a postcard online? I had no clue!

The first time I realized that you could do things online that was originally regulated to the waking world was pizza hut. I remember sitting in my dorm room when I was the military hungry but too lazy to go out. Randomly going through google to see what there was, I stumbled upon their online order page. I was shocked! You could actually just type in the pizza you wanted and they automatically delivered it? Was this some sort of magic? It actually worked!

Since then I have just been amazed with the things you can do and sending postcards online was one of them. I was looking about for novelty ways to announce my new novella Star Traveler: Atlas Gambit and stumbled upon MyPostcard.com. I tried and I actually loved the quality of the product that I got (as you can see from the pictures). Honestly, let me show you in a bit more detail:

As I explained in the video, this card was really impressive and felt like a high quality print you would get from a tourist site.

One thing that really tickled my fancy is that you don’t actually need to go to the website to place an order. You can download their app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple Store and do it right from your phone!

I mean, how snazzy to just take a picture and get it sent as a postcard online? I know, I know. I’m very excited for a card but for anyone that knows me, I’m not the type to recommend something unless I actually like it and I love knick knacks! Just ask my beautiful wife who has to swim through all my weird collectables I got while single. So, take a moment to look at the website and see if can help you create your own mementos!




Did you like the postcard? Do you have another advertising way for authors? Why not comment and let me know or subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with all the other fun, author things I find!

Picture of the Postcard

 

Yes, Fan-fiction is Real Writing

I think one area of the writing world that gets a lot of flak is the fan fiction world. If you were like me (before my scolded me), I felt that Fan fiction was the dregs of the writing world. I not only found out that was unfair but rather cruel to the hard-working writers who live and thrive in that world. I’ll admit, I was one of those “writing snobs” until my beautiful wife put me in my place.

Fan Fiction is Real Writing

Writing is writing. I never thought fan fiction was more than self-gratification  until my wife began to tell me some of the stories that she had read. I could not believe how much detail and dedication that fan fiction writers have put in to their works. There was even a story that was over a million words! I’ve never broken fifty thousand, let alone a million.

There is a lot of dedication to the fan fiction world, more than maybe some of freelance writers have ever put in to our own work. Even though it’s not an original world, many of the stories bear the blood, sweat, and tears of a dedicated writer.

It’s No Different than a Professional or Aspiring Author

When in terms of dedication and being a writer, fan fiction writers are exactly the same as a professional or aspiring author. Many writers, including myself, got started in other people’s worlds and pour the same amount of dedication and heart in to their works. Many times they do not have the ability to get an editor or professionally proof read their works.

Independent publishing can suffer the same amount of editorial error and proof reading mistakes since a lot of us are in the same boat as a fan fiction writer. Unless we’re established with a decent fan base, many of us cannot afford hiring an editor.

They have feelings too

Fan fiction writers are people just like you and me and the horrible amount of critique I have seen from other authors is saddening. There are people behind the story no matter how bad or good it is. To attack a writer’s work is never acceptable. That is why critique is important and should be taken seriously. They deserve the same amount of feedback as we do.

Fan Fiction Writers are a strong knit community

And I am glad of that. My wife has given me a tour of the fan fiction world and they care for each other a lot. They have the advantage of not only having the bonds of being a creator of fan fiction, they also have the love for the world they are writing in.

So the next time you see a fan fiction story, why not give it a shot and if you find issues, give feedback like you would any writer of any story.

The Ivory Child (1916) Review

The Ivory ChildThe Ivory Child by H. Rider Haggard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I take all the H. Rider Haggard books that I have read, The Ivory child stands out to me as one that almost unseats Allan Quatermain as my favorite of his works. The Ivory child was an amazingly told story about two ancient religions and their symbols fighting each other and Allan was only there with a friend to try and save the man’s wife.

It had everything you had come to expect from a Haggard novel, but this book had even more including references to previous books of him, and they came together in a beautiful finale.

As with many of Haggard’s books, there can be a lot of monologuing, but I found it sparse and easy to get through in this novel. It is especially fun if you have already read Allan and the Holy Flower as there are discussions and re-occurring characters from that story.

I am giving this book five stars because I feel that it is a five-star book and I look forward to reliving that adventure again one day.

View all my reviews