Archive for Inspiration

Oasis Islands in the Bog of Eternal Rejections

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on May 31, 2018 by Jessica Crichton

bog

Over the years I’ve had plenty of aspiring authors ask me how to start in the book publishing business. While inside I’m wondering why they’d ask me and not someone who’s actually published (because I still do have that self-deprecation many self-published authors have — especially us “old ones” who lived through the not-quite-over days of self-publishing demonization), outside I ask them if they’ve written their book yet. About half the time they have not, so I tell them to start there.

It’s funny how many get irritated that a writer has to write. *Facemalm*

Anyway, if they have written the book, I tell them the obvious (to me anyway) next step, which is editing, workshopping, beta…ing and other various cleanING up… ings. The few who have done that enough to have nightmares about it (pro tip: this is a good indication that you’ve edited enough) may finally begin to dip their fingers in the Bog of Eternal Rejections that is… QUERYING.

Dun, dun, DUUUNNNN!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from their dream. In fact, I care so much about this particular dream that I haven’t given up in over 20 years of wading through the Bog. But anyone who expects this to be an easy road to money and fame is not cut out for being a writer. It’s hard. And it’s discouraging. And for the vast majority of writers it takes a very, VERY long time to even get trade published, let alone make enough money from it to quit one’s day job and write full time. (This is at minimum wage levels by the way, let alone millionaire status.)

*BIIIIG breath.*

Okay. Now that I’ve thoroughly dejected you with the bad news, it’s time to give you some well-earned good that may help you see a little light at the end.

I’ll start by saying no: I have not been signed by anyone as of the writing of this blog. Not any agents, and not any editors. My point isn’t a big bonanza LOOKIT I FINALLY MADE IT! post, and not just because signing doesn’t guarantee success any more than querying does. My point, instead, is to show a step towards that success, and highlight when, even though it’s not what you wanted, some things should still be celebrated as a victory. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and along the way there are plenty of positives we tend to overlook because they’re not the finish line. But it’s those positives that keep you going when it feels like you’ll never make it (and trust me, I know that feeling!)

So here are a couple of my own recent oasis islands in the Bog:

oasis 1

Ahh, full requests! For those who are brand new to the publishing world, or those who aren’t writers and are just interested, these are requests from agents or editors to see your full and complete manuscript. (If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to send a full manuscript when you aren’t finished writing it, let me give you a little advice: NEVER QUERY AN INCOMPLETE FICTION MANUSCRIPT! FINISH IT FIRST!) 

*Ahem.*

ANYway, these requests usually come after either an initial query or a partial request, and the first time you get one feels AMAZING! “YES!” you think, “THEY LIKED MY QUERY! I’M SO IN!” Except you aren’t. They’re just giving you more of a chance to be in. And I’ll be honest, every single one of my full requests have so far ended in a rejection. This can hurt even more than a query rejection because the request gives you more hope, and the higher you rise, the farther you fall.

“Wait!” you may be saying, “isn’t this supposed to be POSITIVE?” Yes. Yes, it is. And I’m getting to that. See, the fact that full request rejection can hurt so bad can make any writer forget how great they are as very positive guideposts. For example, my own history:

  • I got zero full requests for my first novel, The Veiling Society. (Don’t look it up; it’s not worth it.) Yup. Zero. I queried it for about 3 years before giving up and self-publishing, and this was back before Createspace when self-publishing cost an arm and a leg (or, in our case an entire tax return). This was my first true foray into publishing.
  • I got two full requests for Dr. Fixit’s Malicious Machine. That may seem pretty great except I queried about 60+ agents over the course of a few years.  As you know, I ended up self-publishing that one through Amazon, and I can say I don’t regret it at all.
  • As of this writing, I have gotten SIX full requests for Tipani Walker and the Nightmare Knot and I’m not finished querying. I’ve been querying for only half a year so far, and at the moment three of the fulls are still out there being looked at by agents. The other three did end up in rejections, but two of those were great rejections.

I’ll get to how great rejections are even a thing in a moment, but first I want you to look at where I’ve come. My writing HAS gotten better. My queries have gotten FAR better. Full request rejections hurt, yes, but the fact that you get full requests at ALL is something to celebrate. It means you’re closer than you were, and you’re GOOD at this! So good that they want to read more. And while rejections can happen for any number of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with your skill or passion, full requests are all ABOUT that! They mean an agent or editor liked what they read enough to want to read more.

And that, you should absolutely, be proud of!

oasis 2

Rejection hurts. That’s a fact of life in any circle, including publishing. But there are different kinds of rejections when it comes to agents and editors. Three main ones, in fact: (Yes, there are other kinds but I’m trying to be concise here. Pfft.)

  • Rejection 1: The Silent Rejection
    • This rejection is the worst, and, because Murphy’s Law sucks, it’s also the most prevalent. How does it work? One word: Crickets. Yeah. Agents and editors just don’t reply to you at all. Ever. About anything. I understand why they do this. With thousands of queries in their inboxes a day, it’s just not a good use of their limited time to answer every one, especially ones they aren’t going to pursue. That said, it does suck. Every time. Especially when you don’t even realize you’ve been rejected until the spiderwebs in your inbox begin to show signs of cobbing.
  • Rejection 2: The Form Rejection
    • This is only slightly better than the silent rejection in that at least you know you were rejected. The good news is these are usually only given for queries, not partial or full requests. The bad news is, they give you nothing by way of constructive criticism. A typical form rejection is pasted below for your scrutiny. What does it mean? Noone knows. And I’m sorry, but if you get this kind of rejection from an agent, it’s all you’re gonna get from them.
      • Thank you for your submission, which we have read with interest. Unfortunately, we did not feel enthusiastic enough to take this further. We are sorry to give you a disappointing response, but thank you for thinking of us in connection with your work.We regret that we are unable to give further feedback due to the large volume of unsolicited submissions we receive.
  • Rejection 3: The Good Rejection
    • Ahhh the GOOD rejection. These usually come after a partial or full request, and they’re pretty neat to get, despite being rejections. What even is a good rejection? One that gives you real feedback of course! And not just because constructive criticism can be great for growing one’s skill, especially from the pro’s. No, they’re also great because they take TIME, and time is not something agents and editors have a lot of. So why would they waste time sending you, someone they aren’t even signing, an individualized rejection? Because they feel you’re worth that time! You. The tiny whisper in their storm. You were WORTH acknowledging! Even though in the end they had to pass, MENTION that rejection next time you query them with something new, because they liked what they saw, and they’re letting you know that. And to give you a little more pep to really PUSH for these rejections, here are the two I mentioned earner, both of which I have gotten within the last week (specific agent’s names have been deleted for privacy purposes.):
      • Hi Jessica,Thank you for being so patient throughout this reviewing process. I, and the other agents who read Tipani Walker and the Nightmare Knot, really enjoyed it. You’re an exceptionally talented writer and I liked SO much about this book, which makes my next comment even harder. I liked this book very much, but I didn’t quite fall in love with it the way I had hoped to in order to take on this project in such a saturated market. I wish I had better news! Please know that I genuinely adore your voice and that I’d be honored to take a look at anything else with your name on it.

        Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your work and for your interest in The Seymour Agency.

      • Dear Ms. Crichton,Thank you for the opportunity to read TIPANI WALKER AND THE NIGHTMARE KNOT.

        You’re a very talented writer and there were many elements of your book that I enjoyed: the strong voice, the authentic characters, and the originality of your ideas. I especially loved some of the passages about knots and time–very impressive. That said, after careful consideration, I just didn’t ultimately connect as strongly with the story as I would need to in order to pursue representation. As you know, these decisions are highly subjective and another agent may have an entirely different opinion.

        Thank you again for reaching out. I wish you the best of luck in finding a good home for TIPANI WALKER AND THE NIGHTMARE KNOT.

        Sincerely,

        Writers House LLC

Yes, you read the signoff right: that second one is from WRITER’S HOUSE. While it hurt to be rejected from both them and Seymour, these rejections, which not only tell me why they rejected me but also complimented specific things about my writing AND asked for future queries, were, once I was over the initial sadness, wonderful gifts to me, and proof that even if I’m still up to my knees in slime, I AM working my way through the Bog to the other side.

And you can too.

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On Motivation

Posted in writer's block, Writing with tags , , , , on May 12, 2018 by Jessica Crichton

I don’t want to write this blog post.

Today, I have the motivation of a skink. It’s literally taken me two hours to write this much. Yesterday I wrote four chapters of “Guts and Glory” book 3, but today I can barely blog.

Motivation. Where does it come from? Why does it go away? And how on Earth do you stay motivated enough every day to keep going, even when you would rather turn on the TV and drool into your ice cream for 8 hours straight? I know that to get from A to Z in the career I want, I have to do something to push towards that goal every day, but some days — and even back-to-back days — I just can’t. You could say that really, I just don’t want to, but when it comes to creative writing, “can’t” and “don’t want to” are very similar. After all if you don’t want to write, that reflects in your work and everything ends up stinky. So it’s not just motivation to write that’s needed, but motivation to want to write, which can be a lot trickier than just forcing yourself to sit down and smash keys.

Sorry, but this post isn’t going to wrap up with a pretty list of motivational ideas, unless those ideas are in the comments in which case they belong to you, and I thank you for them. I myself don’t have the answers, just a blog post with a dichotomous purpose: asking for ideas and forcing me to write something today, even if it’s not much at all.

Kinesthetic Learning as an Adult

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2018 by Jessica Crichton

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It’s funny what we think we know. Logic can serve us well, or, if imperfect, it can lead us far off the path we wish to tread.

My own logic, for example, is almost comically imperfect.

Pathos, Logos, and Aramis — I mean Ethos — are the three pillars of critical thought. In order, they mean emotional, logical, and athoritic (athoritical? Authority..cal? Hmm…) proof. In other words, we use these three tools to prove something is true in academic study. Personally, I’m stronger in pathos than the others, though I absolutely understand the importance of ethos — trusting authorities who have done a ton more research and work in an area than I have. Sometimes these pillars can be abused, such as when a crooked politician uses ethos and pathos alone to convince the masses he’s correct, or, in my case, when only logos is used… and the logic is flawed.

I am a kinesthetic learner. That means I have to actually do something to understand it. If you just tell me or show me, I’m not going to retain anything. I’ve known this ever since 6th grade, when I was invited to the “smart” kids’ school because my best friend went there and they had a bring-a-friend day. I did such a great job that the teacher was confused as to why I wasn’t enrolled. She even called up my regular teacher to ask. The reason? I made D’s and C’s. The “smart” kids made A’s. Funny thing was, if I had gone to the “smart” school, I would have made A’s because they taught kinestheticly, as opposed to the “regular” school that taught exactly the way I didn’t learn. The “smart” school teacher understood this and got angry, but there was nothing she could do. I continued to go to the school that was wrong for me simply because I couldn’t do well enough there to go to the one that was right.

Frustrating, but I learned an important lesson — I wasn’t stupid, just different.

I used that lesson through middle and high school, and while I didn’t get perfect grades, I did okay for myself. College and graduate school were even better. I learned what I wanted, how I wanted, earning my Bachelor’s as valedictorian and my Master’s with a 4.0. You’d think I’d remember all that as I continued to learn after school.

Yeah… not so much.

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog (and thank you if you have!) I’ve been going through a new adventure lately, trying to learn how to sell my books and get myself into the industry as a viable (read: respected by my colleagues) author. Now, my logos thinking told me there were logical steps to take to go about this that made sense. They were, in order:

  • Write the book
  • Edit the book
  • Publish the book
  • Tell people about the book online
  • Wait for people to read the book and thus, care about it
  • When the people cared about the book, then they would come to the website, watch the videos, buy the next book, etc.

So, logically the LAST steps would be to:

  • Finish the website
  • Write Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. to an audience that’s already there because they already care about the book
  • Keep posting videos, again for an audience that’s already there because they already care about the book

This made sense to me. I was using logos, after all. LOGIC! The ONE of the three pillars of critical thinking that NEVER LETS YOU DOWN.

Turns out, I’m not even part Vulcan.

Another part of my logic was that writing anything about… well… writing… on here would be pointless, considering how many other writing blogs are out there covering the exact same thing. Pointless, redundant, and a waste of my time to tell people what everyone else has already told them a million times.

All this, of course, flew in the face of what everyone was telling me. I have friends in the industry who I love and respect beyond this world: published authors, agents, editors. All of them have given me advice. I can imagine how many authors like me — unpublished in trade but wanting to be, unagented, unable to write full-time — would kill to be in my place. People pay good money just to sit with an agent or editor for a few minutes, and here I had them as friends, telling me what I needed to do in everyday conversation… for free! But I blew off that coveted advice. Blew it off! Why?

Because to me, it wasn’t logical.

*Facapelm*

This brings us back to the way I learn. They told me things. I didn’t get it. They showed me things. I didn’t understand. I argued because it didn’t make sense that anyone who hadn’t even read the book would care to follow me, watch my videos, go to my websites, etc. Why would they? What would be their motive if not to learn more about books they already liked? This was LOGICAL dangit!

But I had forgotten two vital things about myself:

  1. Logos is not my strength.
  2. I learn by doing.

Lately, I have begun to dip my toes into the “illogical” waters of my friends’ advice. I’d like to say I came to my senses, but to be honest it was more of a pathos response. In other words, I was discouraged by the results of my own logos-fuled decisions. So, begrudgingly (“it doesn’t make SENSE dangit!”) I turned to ethos, and finally listened to the authorities who had been trying to teach me all along. What was that advice?

Act like I already have an audience, and they will come.

What?

But, as illogical as that seems to me, the results, though small at this moment, have been a lot more encouraging even within the first day or two, than in months of following my own logic. I’ve Tweeted about both my book and my blog even when nobody seemed to notice, replied to other people’s Tweets, posted on Facebook in what felt like a vacuum, worked more on a website it has felt like nobody would ever visit, and continue to upload videos to a Patreon only two people follow. I’ve stayed positive when I felt anything but. I’ve been upbeat, excited, and prevalent. Does it still feel like I’m screaming into a void? Most the time. Are people responding anyway? Yes! Not tons — not even tens — but enough to keep me going.

I’m doing it, and thus learning how. This is my strength. I can’t forget that.

Still doesn’t make any freaking sense though. Grumble

On Encouragement

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2018 by Jessica Crichton

Lately I’ve been rediscovering my favorite T.V. universe of all time: Star Trek. I started by watching “Voyager” from beginning to end (thank you Netflix!) because it’s my favorite-favorite. Now I’m around the middle of “The Next Generation”. I’m watching them from favorite series to least-favorite. (Sorry “Deep Space Nine”.)

When you’re a trekkie like me you learn a LOT about Roddenberry’s universe, including behind the scenes stuff that can be quite illuminating. One of those things, which seems to be the same for every series (though TNG is the most infamous for it), is first season flopping. Though arguments abound over which series is best, it seems each one has started hard but ended beloved by at least a few fans (and in the Star Trek fandom, “a few” needs at least one k after it!) Indeed, when one re-watches TNG especially, one can’t help but cringe jeeeest a little at how… well… BAD… the first season or so is. No matter how much of a fan you are now.

For a struggling writer like me, that is enormously encouraging.

I’ve been writing seriously since I was 16. I decided on that particular age because I was first published then: my own review in the local newspaper on “The Chronicles of Narnia”, though I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. Now 24 years later (you do the math), I am still writing… when I’m not at my day job.

People tend to react similarly when you tell them you’re a writer. Questions like, “are you published?” abound, as well as comments somewhere along the lines of, “I have a great idea for a book — you should write it!” I’ve learned to field reactions like this with a fair amount of grace; after all most people really have no idea how the publishing world works, and I’m all about education. That said one question in particular still grates on me: the dreaded, “do you do that for a living?”

The answer is no.

Still.

24 years later.

No.

At least I’m not alone. The vast majority of writers don’t make a full-time living on it, and those few who do are mostly not the Stephen King types. They’re lower middle class on down, and they work hard for the privilege of writing full time. Many spend more time promoting themselves online, through school visits (for kidlit authors) and the like than they do actually writing, which is what they’d really rather be doing. In a way in this day and age even writing full-time is more than one job. And despite all that hard work, most full-time writers struggle with bills and “dry” seasons when their royalties are lower than usual. Sometimes these “dry” seasons can be anticipated. Other times they can’t. As a mother with children to feed, clothe, and house, I have not been comfortable enough with even my best royalties to try quitting my day job.

There are days — even weeks — when this can feel terribly discouraging.

Most every writer dreams of being free to write what we love without fear of becoming homeless. To not only have an editor, but one to whom we can go with an idea and automatically get clearance — and a nice advance — to write it. The J.K. Rowlings of the world are few and far-between, but to be one of them: that is OUR lottery dream.

And it’s a pretty, pretty dream indeed.

The funny thing is, despite their sometimes awkward or insensitive questions, most people outside of  the publishing world are extremely encouraging and supportive of writers. We are usually seen as brilliant, creative, unique, and even akin to superhuman for being able to even write a book, let alone publish and sell it. To most people, whether we can pay the bills or not with it has little to no bearing on this awe they view us by.

To writers like me, the dichotomy of this can be somewhat bemusing, but ultimately encouraging. I’m a brilliant superhuman, guys!

And so I keep writing my books and watching my “Star Trek”, dreaming of the day when my own first season comes to an end. When I can finally say I’ve grown out of “The Naked Now” and am ready for my own “Inner Light“. Until then, I’ll take the questions with the compliments, and keep my eye on the future prize of answering that dreaded question with a yes.

Finally.

Yes.

Adventures in Book Promotion Day 7-ish: Motivators

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2018 by Jessica Crichton

I’m going to write a short blog today, but it is an important one nonetheless. I have been down lately, struggling with my own inner demons as well as external issues (*coughlaptopcough*) which have demotivated me so much. But then you come along. The readers and the artists. To tell me not to give up. To gush your love of my world and characters and stories. To remind me that this IS my passion, even when I feel no passion at all.

So… thank you. I CAN keep going… because of you.

Finding Me

Posted in Mental Health, Writing with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2017 by Jessica Crichton

Today, I’m thinking about paying it back.

Over the course of the last year, I have had some wonderful friends step up and help me out WAYYYY more than I ever wanted to need. Oftentimes this help came in the form of money, especially when I lost my job back in March. (Did I forget that part yesterday? Yeah… it was pretty easy to believe I’d lost every ounce of good luck I ever had for a while there!) I spent a great deal of time feeling guilty for that, and trying to figure out how to pay them back. For me, money was the only way to repay money, and I had none, so you can imagine how frustrating it became. A vicious cycle of feeling not good enough. One wonderful friend even made me promise NOT to pay her back. “I don’t want this to become a burden on our friendship,” she’d said. I’d appreciated that at the time, but didn’t understand how my presence in her life was at all beneficial to her – or anyone else, for that matter. In the darkest times, while I never considered suicide (because I refused to put my kids through that) I did seriously consider removing myself from everyone’s life for their own good. After all, the only thing I ever seemed to do anymore was take. I desperately wanted to give, but I literally had nothing to offer. For a long while, I didn’t even have the emotional energy to be there for them when they needed to talk about their own lives for once.

So why did my friends still want to be my friends?

Coming out of the dark has been a slow processes, but one big step up in it was finally landing a great, stable job with benefits in July. I now have an income again, but I’m still struggling a bit to get stabilized from the financial blast effect. For that reason I still can’t pay my friends back in money.

But if there’s anything I have learned this past year, it’s that money isn’t the most important thing in life.

Finding myself again has meant a lot of inner contemplation, meditation, therapy, and other hefty mental and emotional exercise. All to answer a question that some find easy to solve, but far too many struggle with:

What is GOOD about me?

I have always been GREAT at self-deprecation. Nobody has been better at owning my flaws than me. Even when I was shown this past year just how awful those flaws can be, while it was hard to see, it was soooo easy to accept. After all, I’d spent my whole life practicing the art of self-abuse. Self-hatred was only a natural next step in that processes.

And I have never hated myself more than I have this past year.

Healing doesn’t happen when you keep ripping off the scabs. Reliving my flaws every day, hating myself more and more, I could barely breathe, let alone heal. But for a long time I didn’t think I even had the right to. And that’s where any kind of hope to do so ended. In order to even begin healing, I had to learn to believe I deserved it, and I just didn’t have that in me. My self-hatred was so strong that I literally couldn’t come up with anything positive to say about myself without automatically adding a million “buts” and negative caveats to it.

I couldn’t SEE myself.

But my friends could.

Why did they keep helping me when all I deserved was pain? Why did they stay in my life when all I could give them was a burden? If I was such a terrible person, why did they still care about me?

Knowing the answer, I realized, was VITAL in finding a way to even begin crawling out of that terrible black hole.

And so I asked them. Sometimes on Facebook, sometimes in person, but never just once. I didn’t believe the answers. I desperately wanted to, but just… couldn’t. So I kept asking. It was almost a desperation, and not at all logical. Some people got tired of it, and more than a few unfriended and even blocked me. Many stated that I was needy, overly emotional, and shared too many personal things. Others never would be able to answer at all. My first ex, and father of my children, asked me “do you even HAVE friends anymore?” (I still don’t blame him for that, but to understand why you have to know details, and I won’t be giving any.)

But there were a few very special, wonderful friends who refused to give up on me. They answered my questions every time, always with the same answer, though sometimes stated differently.

Why did they keep helping me when all I deserved was pain?

Because I helped them in the past.

Why did they stay in my life when all I could give them was a burden?

Because I deserved friends and light in my life.

If I was such a terrible person, why did they still care about me?

Because I wasn’t a terrible person at all. Because I was a good person, and they loved me for me.

After a while, the questions and answers turned into conversations. They reminded me of things I did for them in the past: Listening to them when they needed me. Giving them food or helping them clean their homes, or teaching them things. Even being a source of inspiration as a writer and – and this was the hardest to accept – as a mother. Most of these things I had entirely forgotten about. I was good at remembering every terrible thing I had thought, done, and felt, but terrible at remembering anything good. My friends were my memory, and they helped me begin to see myself as a whole human again.

In the end, though, it was one of my children who finally broke through and let the full, glorious light in, by showing me a video he said he thought I needed to see. You can find it here, but warning: it may trigger some deep pain if you have ever hated yourself. That said, it is mighty in the healing department too. It’s funny though; I didn’t cry until my son turned to me and said, “Don’t listen to the demon, Mom.” Then everything came pouring out, and my children held me as I cried.

Even now, writing that brings tears. But they are good tears. Healing tears.

I’m still pulling myself out of the shadows. Some days they overwhelm me, even now. But my friends, and my children, have shown me how I not only CAN pay them back, but how I have paid them forward in the past. Not with money, but with the Me I forgot I was. The Me they reminded me of.

And you know what? I kinda like her, too.

The Demonization of Feel

Posted in Books, Shiny Happy Musings, Writing with tags , , , on November 14, 2013 by Jessica Crichton

I just realized a great big flaw in my writing. It’s not subconscious — in fact, I have forced myself to do it on many occasions as it goes against my natural instincts — but I didn’t realize how detrimental it was to my work until recently. I have forced it upon my writing because this flaw has long been seen as a strength, not just by me, but by many people in our current society (at least, in America where I am). What is it?

The demonization of feel.

So often lately I hear people say things like, “don’t be so emo”, “what a whiner!” and “nobody wants to hear your bitching”. The idea seems to be that with maturity comes ice-cold logic and the ability to bury any and all feelings, especially the negative ones. Nobody wants to be an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on anymore.

And especially nobody wants to admit that they sometimes need that, too.

Like many, I have seen my emotions as something to be ashamed of, because I have been told this over and over again by the society around me. In my characters, too, I have pulled far back from their emotional development because, “readers don’t want to hear a bunch of complaining”. My characters had to be strong, tough, and above all, emotionally self-sustaining.

In other words, they had to be inhuman.

In The Counterfeit Zombies of Noc, I delved further into emotions than I ever have before, showing Tab as extremely vulnerable. I worried the entire time that maybe she was being too whiny, crying too much. But then I thought, in her situation I would certainly be crying too. In fact, most kids her age would be crying at the VERY least. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t making Tabitha a whiner, I was making her human.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There can always be too much of anything, and I have certainly found myself rolling my own eyes at certain people who can’t seem to ever say a happy, thankful, hopeful word to save their apparently horrendous, soul-sucking lives. But there’s a difference between being an emotional vampire and never admitting — even to yourself — that you have emotions in the first place. A happy medium is needed here, as it seems to be needed more and more these days… everywhere.

People have feelings, and contrary to popular opinion there’s nothing wrong with that. But if we can’t support each-other, even in the hard times — especially in the hard times — then sooner or later we’ll all find ourselves just as cold, alone, and two-dimensional as the unemotional fictional characters can can’t seem to care about.

John M. Cusick

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author and publisher interviews

Jay Duret

We Shall Not Cease From Exploration

JM Hauser's Blog

A Writer's Corner on the Web

hmargulies.wordpress.com/

Harry Margulies Author

Phoenix From Ash, llc.

Encouraging restoration, healing, and expression through writing.

Treble City

Cody, the Arang-a-roo and the Omni-zoo

Indigo Sea Press Blog

Indigo Sea Press Blog

Lou Treleaven

Children's author, writing coach and playwright

Young Kwak

I am a photojournalist, sports photographer, and sometimes a commercial photographer and videographer.

Kid Lit Reviews

Honest, Thoughtful Reviews