I’m a writer, and most of my work combines comedy and dangerous adventure. My goal is to develop from being a writer to an author. Anyone who writes is a writer, but an author has been published. On the bright side, as Mark Knopfler said in Sultans of Swing, “He’s got a daytime job, he’s doing alright.”
The purpose of this blog is for feedback on my manuscripts until publication. I also accept questions or comments about things unrelated to work uploaded here such as my personal life or about the blog itself, but I ask you to read the FAQ first to make sure it hasn’t already been answered.
Anything that isn’t one of my manuscripts or something answered in the FAQ stays on this homepage. That includes my own reviews (I accept requests), writing tips I’ve found useful, and random quirks that couldn’t fit elsewhere.
There isn’t really a ‘quality control’ philosophy to this blog. Some of it is not bad, some of it is so-so, and some of it is downright embarrassing. What you see is what you get.
This front cover page seems a little dull. So here’s a little something to kick things off. How many of you remember that “Soulja Boy” song?
New update: Apart from my writing and music production, I am studying to become a network engineer. Computers have always been my second love. Writing is my obsession for anything artistic, but computers for any technical work. I’m a dual major in English and Computer Information Systems, but with the summer off I’m studying for certification tests.
I’ve been told by some, “computers are a decent career, but the medical field is better. It generally pays, even more, has a higher job growth outlook, more job security, etc.”. And after researching, I found they are mostly right. Programmers can be laid off as soon as their product is finished, whereas nurses, doctors, and therapists will always be needed. Lots of tech jobs can be done remotely. Meaning someone in India willing to work for half of your salary will outsource you. Not to mention much of the technology is beginning to automate itself. And you don’t have to pay machines over time, give them a paid vacation, or other pesky benefits. Another flaw with the computer industry is you are never done with school. You might be done with university courses, but you aren’t done with learning. Most certifications (such as Comp TIA or Cisco) expire every 3 years. It’s a pain in the ass to continue learning new material. Many people in the tech world get burned out. They get into it for the flakiest of reasons “I was inspired after watching The Social Network.”(or some other cheesy movie that makes the tech world look much more sexy and dramatic than it really is) “I am a video gamer and/or anime nerd, and these kind of people are stereotypically good with computers, so that’s the field I must go into.” Or the classic “Computer people make the most money, and I want to make the most money.” If you are thinking to become a computer professional for any of those childish things listed above, you are doing it for the wrong reason. Period. If you only care about money, get a bachelor’s degree in whatever is interesting to you, and then get an MBA. Or better yet, enter the health field where the easy money is.
When I say “easy money,” I don’t mean the work that nurses, doctors, etc. do is actually comfortable. I mean the jobs are all over the place and typically pay very well with incredible benefits. Let’s put it this way: if you are impartial to either entering the health field or computers, the health field is the better (neutral) option 9 times out of 10. Only when you live, breathe, dream computers is it the one you want. A health field professional will almost always make more and/or have better benefits than a computer-related professional with the equivalent education/experience.
I voted for president today. I did a write-in ballot for Bill Gates.
Yes, that means I “threw away” my vote. What I like about Bill Gates is he’s everything Trump claims to be, the difference is Gates is the real deal:
First and foremost, Gates, unlike Trump, actually HAS made great business transactions. Trump would have been better off if he simply invested in an index fund than these “business deals” he keeps making. Trump went from 1 billion to 4 billion between 1988 and now. That sounds nice, except again, he’d have made more than that by just investing an in an index fund. And any dumbass can do that. And it’s certainly no comparison to Bill Gates going from 1 billion to a whopping 80 billion in the same period.
Trump has sent businesses to bankruptcy. Trump has bribed politicians to give him “fair” deals. This link is one example of many.
Second, Trump is claiming to be the “family values” candidate to get the vote of evangelical Christians. This is the same man who has had 3 different wives, each younger and hotter than the last. This is a man that likes to grab women “by the pussy” and thinks he’s entitled to any woman he comes across… even married ones.
Bill Gates could easily keep divorcing and consistently be married to a 20something super model, but he has been faithful to the same wife his entire life. The Bill and Melinda Gates charity foundation has also done countless good things. He doesn’t say things one tenth as offensive as Trump, either… and he’s not even running for President of the United States. You would think people running for President would at least clean their act while they are running.
Bill Gates is not running for President, probably because he isn’t hungry for more power. This in and of itself is precisely why he’d probably be a good president.
Those who seek power are not worthy of that power- Plato.
Trump supporters like Trump because he ‘says it as it is,’ but this is dubious for two reasons. First, check out this. He lies more than almost anyone else. Second, I am someone who never sugarcoats anything, but I am a much more decent human being than Donald Trump.
…And the best part of it all is Gates is a wealthy, white, heterosexual male. So when Trump supporters say I can’t handle Trump because I’m a “social justice warrior” I can laugh in their face. In fact, Gates is much richer (and therefore more “privileged” than Trump himself. The difference is Gates actually had to work hard for his money, so he does not have the smug arrogance of someone who inherited almost all of it from rich daddy. Trump is, at best, a glorified version of Paris Hilton.
I can definitely understand why people want a president that, 1) had to work hard for everything he’s got. 2) Is a successful businessman. 3) has Christian, family values. 4) Is outside the political establishment.
I just think Bill Gates meets this criteria WAY more than Donald Trump.
But what about Hillary Clinton? It’s 1:30 at night as I write this so this is going to be lazier than the Trump section, but I’ll summarize.
Hillary is a war hawk. Her “experience” as secretary of state has already demonstrated that she doesn’t mind destabilizing the entire middle east. She has supported things such as NAFTA which has damaged the middle class. She and her husband have accepted over 100 million dollars in “speeches.” Supposedly she’s only getting paid for the speech itself, and not for influence. Yeah right. She supported her husband’s “tough on crime” laws in the 90’s which paved the way for African Americans to disproportionately be sent to jail. She voted as a senator to support the Iraq war, which I personally find unforgivable.
My father came here from a middle eastern country, and I’ve got blood relatives living in that part of the world that I care very much about. But even if I didn’t, those people are still human beings. There’s no way I could, in good faith, vote for Hillary Clinton.
Some Hillary supporters say “look at her official website and things like that. She agrees with your position on most of the issues.” Technically she does. Her ‘official stance’ on the issues are decent. However, saying you will be decent and actually being decent is different. When you look at her voting record, her corruption, her ‘experience’ as Secretary of State (which is more embarrassing than something to be proud of) you will see she is not decent. Bill Cosby ‘supported my positions on the issues’ for decades. Irrelevant. What he was actually doing was far worse.
And don’t make me laugh with the ‘you won’t vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman’ bullshit. You might as well say everyone who doesn’t support Bernie Sanders is anti-semitic, as is Jewish.
“But you’re a cis white male! What about all the minorities? Your vote is very selfish!”
Actually, I am not. I am of middle eastern heritage myself, and my father comes from a middle eastern country. Trump’s presidency has actually affected my own life, as well as that of my family members in Iran. But even if I were ‘a cis white male’ that doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to my vote just as much as everyone else. If the Hillary people are saying everyone who didn’t vote for her is either a bigot or ‘privileged,’ no wonder you lost.
Also, voting for Bill Gates (even if this is effectively throwing away my vote) is NOT the same as voting for Donald Trump. If Hillary won, the Trump people would be telling me that by ‘throwing away my vote,’ I mainly voted for her.
My Advice to females
This is coming from someone who doesn’t particularly identify as a feminist and someone who thinks Gender Studies/Women’s Studies/ pretty much any college major ending in “studies” is useless, so I’m probably not the most well-versed in this topic. Nonetheless, this is something on my mind.
What, in my opinion, is the number one thing holding women and girls back? It’s their fear of rejection and failure. What do I mean by this? Well, there are countless examples.
Take dating. Guys are 100 times more likely to ask out girls than girls are to ask out guys. Why? Because guys are much less scared of rejection. Even if she says no, he usually won’t make a big deal out of it. He’ll just move on to the next girl. He’ll ask out 500 different girls until one of them finally says yes. Whereas a girl won’t ask out a guy unless she’s entirely sure he’ll say yes. She thinks if she asks out a guy and he says no, that he made her look like a total tool. Of course, that’s ridiculous, but it is what many women think. And that’s the problem.
And like I said, dating is only one example. Women are also much less likely to start their own business than men are. I think that is a big part of why there are many more male billionaires, but also more men who are homeless on the streets. If you start your own business you could become a billionaire… you could also go bankrupt.
But if you’re persistent, pushing through failure will usually pay off.
There are lots of rich, famous musicians who wrote hundreds of excellent songs and/or got booed off the stage before they could write great songs and get big. There are lots of novelists with similar stories and got loads of rejection letters before getting published. I am still on my training wheels as a writer myself, yet I make my writing publicly available on the internet. Some of my writing friends refuse to do this, especially my female ones. When I ask why they say “because my writing sucks and shouldn’t be read by anyone.” So what if it sucks? First of all, maybe it doesn’t. The only way to find out what other people think is by showing them what you’ve got. Secondly, even if it does suck, they might tell you why it sucks, giving you room for improvement. Which you could keep doing over and over until your work no longer sucks. Thus, much more likely to actually get published.
I will also add that even if plenty of people think you suck or are worthless, or whatever another put down, you may still find success. The proof? Justin Bieber is one of the most hated artists in America… he’s also incredibly rich, famous, and has had plenty of chart-topping hits. Lots of people say Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey are stupid books. People laugh at those authors and say they suck. I am guessing Stephanie Meyer, and E.L. James (the author of those two books) laugh it off themselves… all the way to the bank. Stephanie Meyer makes an average of 60 million a year from her Twilight books. Most people won’t make that in a lifetime, much less in a year. I would trade places with her in a heartbeat, even if having a “shitty book” attached to my name is what it meant. And I’d question the sanity of anyone who wouldn’t. Even J.K. Rowling, who is literally a billionaire, or at least used to be (she claims she no longer is because of giving away to charity), has her haters. Remember all of those “Harry Potter is the devil/witchcraft/antichrist” people? Some of them actually burned Harry Potter books in a bonfire… Guess what that means? They bought those books. She still made money. If anything, that “Harry Potter is the devil” nonsense only helped her, as it brought more attention to her books. If you can’t handle at least some people hating your material/product/art/service, or even you personally, being successful is not for you anyway. People are naturally going to hate what they can’t have (or at least think they can’t have) themselves. Here are two very politically incorrect examples: 1) Kurt Cobain killed himself because he couldn’t deal with the haters. He should have thought about having to deal with the haters before working hard to get successful, in my opinion. Second, is the Jews. History tells us that they’ve been enslaved, tortured, killed, countless times. Seriously, if all you know of is the Holocaust, you only know the tip of the iceberg. Now they’re one of the most successful groups of people, especially if we’re talking about money (and power) per-capita. There are still plenty of anti-Semites now, as there’s always been. Can those haters go and just fuck off? You bet.
The people that are most successful at any trade are (usually) simply the ones who’ve done it the most, and pushed through mistakes and failure long enough until they finally found success. Ladies, let this be a lesson. If you see a guy you think is cute, ask him out. Will he say no? Maybe. If he does, he can fuck off. Because that’s exactly what he would think if the rejection were the other way around. If you limit yourself to people approaching you for judgment, while that sounds nice and cozy, when you really think about it, that means all you have is veto power without being able to write bills or laws of your own. And like I said, let that be a lesson to not only rejection in the dating world, but life in general. Boys are taught from an early age that rejection is ok, and I recommend it also be taught to girls.
“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard
In some ways I’m conservative, and in other ways I’m liberal. Very liberal on foreign policy and equality for minorities. Conservative on free trade and that socialism doesn’t work. That said, thank God we have a REAL businessman who can help guide Trump. Hopefully, he listens…
Why I’m an anti-patriot American, even today (as of writing this it’s 9/11).
I know I’m making lots of enemies for writing this. But if you read the little tidbit I wrote above this, you’re already aware I’m not afraid to keep it real.
When most people described the events of 9/11, one common expression I hear is “It was unthinkable.”
Was it? Four American planes were hijacked. Two of them hit the twin towers (the World Trade Center), a third hit the Pentagon, and a fourth, intending to hit God knows what hit a field in Pennsylvania.
Roughly 3,000 people died.
The Islamic extremists responsible for the attack were SOBs. Ok. The 3,000 deaths was a tragedy. Ok. I will take this time now to say I am not, never have been, and never will be someone who thinks 9/11 was a justified attack. The terrorists were wrong, and God has sent them to everlasting hell. Fine.
It was a tragedy. But not even remotely “unthinkable.” Or rather only “unthinkable” if you are an American. Getting attacked on your own soil is “unthinkable” for an American. America has never had a major attack on its own soil in its entire history unless you include the war for independence or the war of 1812. But those are so long ago they’re irrelevant to current events. I guess there’s Pearl Harbor, which is arguably considering it was a military base and not civilian.
Take the Vietnam war. A war that would have been short and relatively painless were it not for the United States. 2 million Vietnamese died, specifically because of the United States.
If 3,000 Americans dying because “they” attacked “us” is “unthinkable,” 2 million Vietnamese dying because “we” attacked “them” doesn’t even have a word in the dictionary to adequately describe it.
And what did these bastard apologists argue? “They’re fighting for our freedom!”
What freedom? What freedom would Americans lose if South Vietnam falls to communism? I’m no fan of communism by any means, but what freedom did we lose? When we left, sure enough, South Vietnam fell to communism. But did we lose our freedoms? Which one? Our right to vote? Our right to bear arms? The right to not have soldiers quartered in our home? Which freedom from the bill of rights can you name that we actually lost?
To the contrary, we not only didn’t lose freedom by leaving Vietnam but for many American men, we gained freedom. The freedom of not having to be drafted in an entirely pointless war against your will is a pretty damn good freedom if you ask me.
The people of Vietnam are of a different color and religion than most of the population of the middle east, but there are so many parallels.
Even before 9/11, America had done plenty of bombings and other “activities” in the middle east. Pretty much everytime we were acting out of self-interest and greed, with preventing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait is the only arguable exception.
After 9/11 we invaded Iraq, a country which was not holding Bin Laden, nor was in any way responsible for 9/11. Why did we invade it? For our “freedom.” Estimates say somewhere between 150,000 and 1 million Iraqis died from the Iraq war… and considering we completely ruined and destabilized their country, more and more are dying every day. Even if you only want to look at the very lowest estimate (150,000), that means we did 50 “9/11’s” on them, if you consider human life to be of equal value. Of course, I suspect many of these “patriots” don’t feel that way at all. First, it was “we are fighting for our freedom,” then it became “we are fighting for their freedom” which would be knee-slapping hilarious were it not for how many ignorant Americans truly believe that and how many Iraqis were brutally killed.
3,000 Americans died on 9/11. The attacks were brutal and indefensible, even in spite of all the atrocities “we” committed on “them.” But the amount of “them” we killed is the elephant in the room, next to how many “they” killed of us.
If we’re going to hold a day as Remembrance for 3,000 human lives lost “they” did to “us,” can we at least hold another day for the 150,000 (again, that’s a very bare minimum estimate) “we” did to “them”?
Osama Bin Laden deserved to die, and I was happy to see him go. But I do not feel the same way for (at least) 150,000 Iraqis.
And of course, the Iraq war is only one example. Just a fraction of the damage “we” did to “them.”
“They” slapped us around on the wrist, so “we” brutally gang-raped them and left them to die in a dumpster… and like I said before, we didn’t even attack the right person. And no “weapons of mass destruction” were found.
Do I condone terrorism? No, not even terrorism against the United States. Attacking civilians are always wrong. But when “they” burn the American flag and shout death to America in the streets, do I see where they’re coming from? Yes.
Being a person of color saying these words, some (who I’ve talked to about these issues in person) accuse of me hating white people.
This definitely isn’t true. Actually, I think political correctness, “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” are absurd.
In fact, I can counter that accusation with one excellent example: Germany.
Germany committed atrocities in world war 2. They’ve got no one to blame for it but themselves. Germany is also even “whiter” per capita than the United States. But guess what? The vast, vast majority of Germans today are ashamed of what their country did in world war 2. The occasional neo-Nazi skinhead disagrees, but they’re hard to come by… especially considering Germany has anti-Nazi laws put in place. Actually, it’s much easier to be a neo-Nazi in the United States than in Germany, specifically because of the laws they have.
Whereas as the average modern German will tell you they are ashamed of their countries war atrocities and they consider it a black stain on their history, so many Americans aren’t even remotely ashamed of our crimes we commit (and continue to commit). Germany post-1945 has been a peaceful and reasonable country. The same cannot be said for the United States.
So no, this isn’t a “white people” thing. I don’t think most “white people” are evil. If they were, the countries of Canada, Germany, Sweden, etc. would be even worse than we are.
What most Americans don’t seem to realize is the rest of the world would be having a party if America’s dominance in foreign affairs came to an end, and yes, even the “white” countries.
America has formally apologized for slavery by congressional order. That’s off to a good start, but until we apologize for all the other atrocities we commit, I am not comfortable to say I’m proud of my country. Hence, I am an anti-patriot.
It’s been about a week since I wrote the 9/11 piece you see above you, but I felt the need to add more. So here it is:
Even in World War 2, we were not exactly the “good guys.” We were just less bad than the Germans. First, they initially declared war on us and not the other way around. Second, nothing we did was as bad as the Holocaust. But the Holocaust is the lowest common denominator as far as bad things go. It is possible to be less evil than the Holocaust, and still be awful. I will explain.
Soldiers of color fought for their country, and when they came back home, they still weren’t considered equal citizens. The lives of Japanese Americans were interrupted for no valid reason. They were put in internment camps out of pure racism. No, that wasn’t as bad as the Holocaust, but the Holocaust is pretty much the lowest common denominator as far as bad things go. It’s possible to be less severe than the Holocaust, and still be pretty damn bad. Which brings me back to the original point: Just because Germany and Japan were wrong, does not mean we were good. We were the least bad of a bad bunch. Even that is debatable, considering we nuked two Japanese civilian cities… at a point in the war where the vast majority of Japanese fighting aged males were already dead or injured, and the country was crippled of resources to where they couldn’t feasibly continue fighting.
Also, “The Japanese never surrendered” is a sexy fairy tale that both sides wanted to believe in, but had no basis in reality. There were plenty of instances of Japanese soldiers surrendering to American forces. Also, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were CIVILIAN CITIES, not a military base. One person, I argued this to said: “Well, we’d have to kill every Jap on the Island if we invaded with troops.” I think it’s sad that so many Americans still believe that. You know, the whole “Japanese are all Samurai soldiers who have sacred honor, never surrender, and are as wise as Yoda” is a feel-good story for a Disney movie, but real life doesn’t work that way.
So the only country in the world who has ever used a weapon of destruction in practice is the United States, yet the United States is bossing the rest of the world as to who can or can’t have these weapons. And in some instances, we outright falsely accuse a country of having them (such as Iraq) and completely devastate them in the name of “freedom.”
Also, here’s another difference: In America, we have someone running for President with almost 50% of the vote saying the internment of Japanese Americans was possibly a good thing to do (Trump). In Germany, if a politician said the Holocaust could be considered safe, they’d instantly become an extreme fringe candidate and get their ass handed to them in the next election.
Some people are telling me, Daniel, from my Pax Romana, City of Angels book is a very divisive character. I was caught off guard from this since the book is light-hearted as far as action books go, but as I listen to them I see what they mean.
This is a time where Colin Kaepernick and other African American NFL players are refusing to stand for the national anthem. Nobody likes them for doing that, but it doesn’t matter. How many people are actually boycotting the NFL? Kaepernick’s Jersey sell actually increased after he did this until it was the hottest selling Jersey. For non-football savvy people, keep in mind this man is arguably the worst QB in the league.
So if people are only going to roll their eyes at black NFL players for refusing to stand for the national anthem, why are they so furious at Daniel for his unpatriotic beliefs?
First, Daniel is a heterosexual white man. It’s one thing when black people who have been profiled by the police won’t stand for the anthem. But for someone like him to say “fuck the USA and everything it stands for” is the ultimate sign of betrayal. They can’t understand why he would abandon his country. Which is why some readers view him as not only a betrayer of his country but also a race traitor. Even though he doesn’t hate white people, moved to England (even whiter than America is) and ended up with a woman who both in skin tone and in lifestyle, is even whiter than he is.
Maybe it’s borderline forgivable for black people to not stand for the national anthem. They were slaves for 400 years, and even after that weren’t granted civil rights for another 100 years. Maybe (in the eyes of these people) blacks were never “real” Americans anyway.
But if someone like Daniel, a tough, relentless, non-college educated white man is not going to “stand up” for this “patriotic” agenda, who can they count on? He’s “supposed” to be part of their core demographic!
The second reason why Daniel is hated is that he was an American soldier himself. He saw the brutality with his own eyes, experiencing it hands-on. Daniel isn’t some “liberal elitist” hiding behind ivory towers and liberal arts degrees. In fact, he despises those kinds of people almost as much as conservatives do. It’s hard to argue with someone like Daniel, considering he was actually there. I’ve talked myself to real American soldiers who openly oppose the war in Iraq, and the massive backlash they’ve received from friends and family.
True story: Ron Paul, a Republican politician who is a wealthy, white, heterosexual man and his military service, said the following during a national debate “If another country does to us what we do others, we’re not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a ‘Golden Rule’ in foreign policy. Don’t do to other nations what we don’t want to have them do to us” The audience booed him for this. There are a lot of things I don’t like about Ron Paul. But I absolutely respect him for sticking up for what is right, in this regard. Seriously, watch it. I really appreciate what he’s doing.
Third, people hate Daniel because unlike the NFL players who won’t stand for the pledge, they won’t actually do anything else or go anywhere. Daniel, on the other hand, put his money where his mouth is and moved to another country. And considering he was working as a top-notch mercenary rather than a pot smoking hippy that doesn’t understand how the “real world” works, Daniel was making a lot of money.
He is not a bluffer and will call you out on yours. When he says he hates America, he is actually serious, and that’s what bothers people. Of course, this doesn’t apply to 99% of my non-American readers.