Thomas Paine – Conflict

Thomas Paine - Conflict

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Unbelievable! – My Pinterest Followers Are 1500 Strong And Growing – Discover Why!

Unbelievable - My Pinterest Followers Are 1500 Strong And Growing - Discover WhyI’ve been running my Pinterest account for quite a while now, and I just passed 1,500 amazing followers. Here’s some quick stats on the site, before I give you a peak at what those followers are seeing…

  • 59 Boards, including writing advice, story prompts, wildlife pictures, codes, magic, quotes, writing research topics, my latest blog posts, and more
  • 187,300+ Monthly views, which if you consider things is a huge number for a small-time Pinterest user.
  • 28,100+ Individual pins
  • And now 1,500+ devoted followers, and growing by the day.

Here’s a sample of my top boards.

  • Birds of Prey (5,143+ pins, with 6 topics) – For those who know how much I love falconry, and getting up close with raptors, or love these amazing creatures themselves.
  • Writing Prompts (6,219+ pins) – Looking for a story starter, or something to kick-start a scene? This is where you want to be looking.
  • Big Cats (1,400+ pins, still being sorted into topics) – Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars… If they’re larger than a house cat, they’re here…
  • Bullet Journalling (1,910+ pins, with a whopping 29 topics) – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve seen how I use my Bullet Journal to stay organized. This board covers everything from starting your own bullet journal to hacks that can help you really personalize it.
  • Character Creation (1,140+ pins, still being sorted into topics) – This covers character building, character descriptions, fashion notes, and even a collection of character ideas.

Readers Might Enjoy These Boards:

Fellow Writers Might Enjoy These Ones:

Not only will you learn something about me personally, but you’ll be getting an insight into the kinds of research that I do for my stories… Who knows, you might just find clues to an upcoming plotline…

Check out my Pinterest Boards Today!

Celebrating 1000+ Pinterest Followers

What You'll Find In My Pinterest FeedIn November, I posted that my Pinterest account had passed 500 followers, and in just three months, that number has doubled.

Even more stunning is that Pinterest reports that I’m getting over 212,900 views EVERY MONTH!

I’ll admit, I’m stunned at how rapidly my following has increased. It’s something I love doing every day, but I don’t always give a lot of thought to what I’m pinning.

I pin an item if:

  1. If it looks interesting,
  2. I want to follow up on it
  3. I think my followers might find it interesting
  4. There are potential stories behind the item

I’ve now got 55 boards, covering everything from topics I’m researching for my stories, to my personal interests. I’ve even started to split some of those boards down into topics, so don’t be surprised when you find my “Character Creation” board has a “Character Bank” topic (where I pin ideas/images that might become characters at some point).

With over 24,100 individual pins my followers can find everything from writing advice to writing prompts; from images of Seattle and the surrounding area to owls and wolves; from different kinds of magic to codes and languages.

You’ll even find a lot of my blog post images on there too, with links back to the original posts.

Here’s a sample of my top boards.

  • Birds of Prey (4,470+ pins) – For those who know how much I love falconry, and getting up close with raptors, or love these amazing creatures themselves.
  • Writing Prompts (5,470+ pins) – Looking for a story starter, or something to kick-start a scene? This is where you want to be looking.
  • English Language (640+ pins) – Everything from spelling and grammar through to sayings and alternative words.
  • Big Cats (1,120+ pins) – Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars… If they’re larger than a house cat, they’re here…
  • Bullet Journalling (1,570+ pins) – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve seen how I use my Bullet Journal to stay organized. This board covers everything from starting your own bullet journal to hacks that can help you really personalize it.
  • Character Naming (170+ pins) – This covers everything from explanations behind people’s names to what names were popular in given years.
  • Story Inspirations – Fantasy Art (990+ pins) – They say “a picture paints a thousand words”, and some of the images pinned to this board could inspire even more.
  • Wolves (660+ pins) – Getting up close to wolves was an experience I’ll never forget. And as a writer who loves wolf-shifters, I’d be remiss in not giving these glorious creatures their own board.
  • Creatures (200+ pins) – Creatures urban myth through to ancient gods and legendary beasts.
  • All Things Writing (970+ pins) -Yeah, actually not sure how I ended up with multiple boards for writing tips…

 

Not only will you learn something about me personally, but you’ll be getting an insight into the kinds of research that I do for my stories… Who knows, you might just find clues to an upcoming plotline…

Check out my Pinterest Boards Today!

Weather is a fact of life… So is getting hit by flying debris

Weather services say that Alaska does not experience hurricanes, and that’s true, for the most part. But sometimes for those of us living in certain areas, it can seem like it. You see, I live in a valley between two glaciers, and winds tend to get funneled straight through my local area.

As you can see from the image above, we’re currently experiencing winds of 35 mph, with forecasts of gusts up to 54 mph. And this is the third day we’ve had conditions like this, with it expected to taper off by Friday.

Let’s put those wind speeds into perspective, with some information about how they’re classified…

So 35 mph is a moderate gale, and that’s pretty normal here year round, especially during winter high winds. After 13 years living here, I’ve come to expect trees to sway, and prepare to push against the wind when walking against it. But then, these winds are still more than strong enough to pick up trash, dust and has the potential to cause minor injuries if you aren’t careful.

Then we run up the scale two whole categories, with 54 mph winds. Now we’re talking about a strong gale, and real damage and potential for injuries to happen. At this point, expect shopping carts to roll across parking lots whenever they’re left loose. Watch out for cross-winds while driving, flying twigs and small branches. Keep hold of your car doors when opening and closing them, and check your roofs for missing slates.

I went out earlier today, and almost got blown over three times, and had a car door slam shut because I didn’t hold it with one hand while trying to load my shopping. Thankfully, I’d finished loading, had stepped aside, and was about to close the door anyway.

Also in the process of writing this post, I’ve lost power twice. Admittedly, only briefly in both cases, but for long enough to reboot my router, cable modem, and drop me into pitch blackness.

[update: I lost power again 20 minutes after scheduling this post. This time for almost 80 minutes. And since I rent, I don’t have the account information for the power company to log my outage. Spent the time reading a book, on my phone, in bed, while trying to stop the screen rotating every time I moved…]

Q: Who calls 18F temperatures, with 54 mph winds “Fair and Windy”?

A: The National Weather Service, that’s who!

I beg to differ. Personally, I’d say it’s cold and extremely windy. But then, I guess if I wrote the weather reports, I’d probably end up scaring people more than the NWS.

But I’ll tell you one thing. Experiences like this definitely make me take weather into account when I’m writing scenes. After all, the weather is as much a character as any of the people I create.

Disclaimer: No Debris Was Harmed In The Writing Of This Blog Post!

A 2017 Round-up 3 of 3 – A Year In The Spotlights

 

In This Post:

  • Books featured in “Book Spotlights” during 2017
  • Authors featured in “Author Spotlights” during 2017
  • Update on the reader survey

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books and authors that have featured on “Ramblings of an Author” over the last twelve months.

Want Your Book Spotlighted?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

J.N. Sheats

Heidi Angell 

Andy Peloquin

Connie Cockrell

Claire Plaisted

Rosemary Cawkwell

Stephanie Ayers

Renee Scattergood

Toi Thomas

A.L. Mabry

Patricia Josephine

Cassidy Taylor

Interested In Being In The Author Spotlight?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

 

I’m Still Taking Views From Blog Readers

A 2017 Round-up 2 of 3 – The Year In Books

 

In This Post:

  • Statistics About My Reading Habits in 2017
  • Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • Non-Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • My Personal Book Releases, and feedback from readers

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

Target Number Of Books To Read: 25

Number Of Books Actually Read: 37 (28 Fiction, 9 Non-Fiction)

Number Of Pages Read: 7,982

Comment below – let’s see how we all did on our reading targets

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Fiction Recommendations

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Non-Fiction Recommendations

Evaline Transcendent

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

Released: July 26, 2017

Blurb: Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.
The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?

Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At its core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.

Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Reviews: 

Love reading! Love reading many things but not science fiction… So it’s strange that I LOVED reading this!!! A short and wonderfully captivating story which REALLY should be made into a movie!!! You’ll see why yourselves – no spoilers here 😉 I’ve just downloaded his other book too YAY 😀

Book Dreams Volume #1 (Brain to Books Anthology)

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDXD64

Released: April, 2017

Blurb: Here, we present the talents of assorted artists. In this collection, you will find short stories, continuations, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holland, Ash Krafton, Sanzaki Kojika, Tyrean Martinson, C.T. Callahan, Natash Jackson, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, Jeanne Richards, Charlene Jones, Angela B. Chrysler

A Walk-Through For Setting Up A 2018 Bullet Journal

 Having used the Bullet Journal (BuJo) system since the start of 2017, I’ve learned a few things about what worked for me, and what didn’t.

I also wanted to use the opportunity of starting a new journal to setup some page formats. For that purpose I went and purchases some stencils, which would allow me to create some amazing looking pages (hopefully).

Below are some of the thoughts that went into creating my 2018 Bullet Journal. For a better view of some of these pages, check out my “My 2018 Bullet Journal” board on Pinterest. (Clicking some of the images will take you to the relevant sections

I’ve seen a number of different keys in the last year, since I started using the Bullet Journal system.

Since I was starting a new journal, for a new year, I decided to take a look at some of the things that worked for me over the last twelve months.

  • Switching from filling boxes completely to indicate a completed task allowed me to include an ‘in-progress’ status.
  • Having icons for Email, Calls, and other location/device specific task made it easier for me to prioritize my workload based on where I was at the time (a trick I learned from ‘Get Things Done’).
  • I also decided to use these as tag for tasks, events and appointments, so that I could differentiate them.

The Index is your reference guide to the contents of your Bullet Journal. Because the Bullet Journal system allows you to add topics (also called collections) at any time, you need an index to help you find every page that forms part of that topic.

  • When creating a new topic/collection/calendar page/etc you just add the page title and page number to your index.
  • Anytime you add a page that is relevant to a topic, you just add the page numbers to your index.

The Future Log is where you focus on the year ahead, without worrying about the minutia of everyday events.

That means you don’t need a vast amount of space, because all you’re recording is key events which you are booking ahead of time.

I needed something quick and simple for this particular section of my Bullet Journal.

  • I went online and purchased stickers for the date labels (which I DID have to trim a little for this purpose).
  • Those labels make it easy to get a glance of the weekly breakdown.
  • The box under each label is used to note down the important birthdays for that month.
  • The remaining space is used to log events, appointments and tasks that are happening on days, weeks and months ahead.
  • When the time is right, you copy the item to the relevant Monthly Overview, and from there into the Weekly Overview and daily list.

This is where you move down to the monthly level, and get an overview of what’s happening over those few weeks.

  • I included an events and task list, as well as a section for events/tasks that need to be moved/added to the following week.
  • I left just enough space in the boxes for each day to make very basic notes.
  • At the bottom you’ll notice some other boxes I added for my book reading and review lists, as well as my Pinterest tracker, and the live dates of my weekly blog posts.

Here’s your chance to get an overview of the week ahead, and what tasks, and events you have coming up in the days ahead. (Spot the note scribbled in the top margin, regarding my apparent inability to spell DECEMBER).

  • This is pretty much the exact same weekly layout I’ve been using for almost six months.
  • The left-hand page tracks my works schedule, home/personal schedule, my blog schedule, writing/editing plans, and promotions.
  • I left these pages almost exactly the same as they were in my 2017 journal. All I did was move the habit trackers to the bottom of the page.

Since this is the start of the journal, there’s nothing to actually see, yet…

But I decided I wanted to add a little bit of interest to my daily lists. Banner images are something I experimented with during November and December, as I tried to decide on a format.

Then the stencils arrived, and I was able to combine the number and letter stencils with shapes to create something simple. I’m rather pleased with the result.

I’m an avid reader, as reviewer, who sometimes volunteers to pick up Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). ARCs allow reviewers a chance to get their hands on books, before the general public, in return for an honest review.

Because my reading plans were very disjointed in 2017, I wasn’t always able to get to ARCs before the book released. So these pages will give me a chance to split my regular reading from my ARC promises.

This is another of those wonderful concepts that I’m using to try and be better prepared for movie releases.

Last year I missed a lot of movies at the cinema because of issues with work scheduling and finances. Hopefully by having the dates logged, I’ll be able to request days off for movies I really want to watch, before it’s too late to see them.

I’ll also use this to track movies and TV series that my wife and I want to purchase.

Journal:

Pens:

Stickers:

Stencils:

If you’d like to know more about how I designed and created these pages, let me know in the comments.