All posts by spectacularwriterzackpalm

Stuck in my Head

I’ve been working for most of this weekend. I’ll be working a majority of tomorrow as well, doing some editorial work for a friend of mine, mentor really. While working I typically find myself listening to music. It allows me to have this small background noise while I work through everything.

One particular song I’ve had while I was doing my routine had been “Lift Me Up“, preformed by the fantastic Five Finger Death Punch. Not too familiar with these fantastic musicians? Here’s the song –

I decided to play it, over and over again. It spoke to me. Quite a few songs that were created by these talented artists have always spoken to me rather well. That excites me the most. When a band is able to play a song and have it speak to me, it’s fantastic.  I build stories around them, I have a deep connection with the song itself, and I find myself being unable to pull away from it.

The song speaks to me in a way of how I use to feel. I always wanted to take on the world. Have it try to spit me back out, I rarely had the chance for that to happen – maybe that’s why I never backed down from challenges. I failed, hard sometimes given how big the obstacle was in comparison.

Regardless, I loved it. Taking on hard challenges and moving on meant the world to me.

What does your favorite song mean to you? What is it? I’d love to hear.

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My stomach full, I licked my lips with the meal fully conquered and resting peacefully down in my belly. Content was a small word to use how I felt, but it would do for now. I was indeed, content.

Thankfully for me, my Aunt had a late-night swimming class tonight. It wasn’t too late, I glanced at the clock earlier and it had been ten til six. The Spring time air greeted me with a swift wave along the front of my body. Zipping up the front of my jacket, I continued down the street.

I had left a note on a refrigerator. Told her I was going to be out with Johnny for the next few hours. Promised to be back before eleven, all of that. It was a school night, after all.

Sticking my second-to-last clove into the corner of my mouth, I sucked in the charred smoke and continued down a series of blocks. John didn’t live too far off from me. We exchanged when we’d be over at the other’s residence. His turn this week. He owed me for the shit that I pulled him out of during school, last Friday.

That thought made me grin. My mind raced back to that moment almost in slow motion, Johnny’s pale, red topped head diving under a lunch table. One of the school’s “big-baddies” thought it was him that had nudged him earlier that day. Must’ve been easy to deduce it to good ol’ John-boy, the way his lanky, skinny body could produce enough force to toss the “Goliath” a few feet.

The guy had been pissed off. Wasn’t interested in hearing any reason or going with any sorta logic that still bobbed inside that useless head-can of his.

Blowing out a puff of smoke from the clove, I made it to Johnny’s. His nice had been nicer than my Aunt’s. The garden had been tended to recently, the windows were dutifully cleaned, and the painted still have that new house glitter that you somehow noticed when you were a little kid, peddling down a street in your bike, zipping past everyone in a hurry. Even though the air was gripped by the fresh, cool feeling of Spring Johnny’s house gave me a feeling of warmth.

Sorta like I belonged.

Before I arrived at the front door I flicked away the now dead clove. Johnny’s parents knew I smoked, it was hard not to smell it on my heavy jacket. They let me live my own life, mentioned something about “kids always had a reason to rebel”. Didn’t know what I was rebelling about, but that worked just fine for me. Knocking hair, I was welcomed with the insightful eyes of Johnny’s father, Bill.

“Hey, Bill.” I called him by his first name, didn’t like me saying ‘Mr. Houston’, or ‘Johnny’s dad’. Liked it better as Bill. “Came over to check up on Johnny, he hanging around?”

Bill nodded in his usual way, smiling as he opened the door as an invitation. “Sure, Jackson, he’s right upstairs in his room. You know the drill, you know, for the lady.”

I always gave Bill an odd look for that added bit. He did it every time, but I understood. Tossing my shoes to the side of the door, I trotted up the stair case past the kitchen. Juliet, Johnny’s mother, had made something magnificent. I didn’t bother commenting on it. Johnny was likely going to fill me in when I arrived upstairs.

Blasting past his sister’s room I got to the one with an AC DC poster hung on the front. Knocking, the loud music had covered up Johnny’s welcome as I walked in.

It was probably when I walked in that our adventure, and our problems, started.

Goals: Updated and New Ones!

It’s been a week, and it’s time to bring my first set of goals!

Here’s a recap of what I wanted to do for the first week:

  • Become up-to-date with all classes come Saturday evening
  • Complete up to ten hours of work (or complete all work, whichever is first)
  • Make sure to work out at least two hours (free form)
  • Keep up with three meals a day
  • Sleep a total of seven hours a night
  • Write nearly 5,000 words on current fiction story
  • Complete 10 new blog posts by Saturday evening

How have I done? The first of these goals had something that I did naturally. Keeping up with the first week of classes is never difficult. I met this one with ease, and kept it all under control. Ready for the second week of classes, and all the due dates that come with that!

Now, for work I wasn’t given ten hours last week (this week though,  I have a handful!). I got the work that I needed to have done, presented to my boss who needed it in a timely matter, and did what I do best for the company – research and write! Things were excellent on that front.

Working out is a different tale, however. I squeezed in enough time last week to get a total of an hour and a half in free form working out. The worst difficulty that I had was keeping myself occuppied for those twenty minutes a night that I had slotted away to work out. Also, after a long day of going to class and keeping myself organized in that sense I never had the mood for it. This is a goal that I’m going to repeat for this week. I’ll hopefully meet the requirements and continue to better myself.

Thanks to my new schedule, this term is making it easier for me to get all of my three meals each day. Thankfully I’m finding more time for this and not growing too hungry throughout walking around campus.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you’ll know that I’ve given up coffee. To add on to giving up coffee, this has removed me sleeping and forcing my body to want to sleep much earlier in the night. This allows me to wake up much more in the AM than what I’m use to and thus gaining those seven hours is excellent!

This is a goal I’m most ashamed of. I haven’t written too much regarding my current fiction project (only topping off at 1,000 words) and did not get even close to the 5,000 I had predicted. This is unfortunate because this week I’m going to find myself reading quite a bit more and not too much time to write down any ideas / thoughts I’ll have regarding my story. I’m going to try this one again.

The blog posts were done without flaw! I took a bit of a break over the weekend to see to other tasks, and had radio silence on my blog. Thankfully, I had finished the 10 post cap by Friday. Awesome for me, but I can definitely add more material to this space.

Here are my goals for this week:

  • Write 5,000 words on my latest fiction project
  • Work out for two hours this week
  • Keep up with work and add more reading material to my nightly list
  • Find time to relax after each hour of work / school activity (I’m horrible about taking breaks that are reasonable)
  • Fix up the damn bike (my mode of transportation has become a minor danger to myself and others)
  • Write three reviews to games

Hoping that this week is better than the last. Wish everyone the best!

What Makes An #Editor publish a Short Story in a #Literary #Magazine?

While I recently wrote about how on Google Plus users need to have engagement with other users around the social media website. Part of that engagement is sharing other’s content that you think is interesting, inviting, cool, or just plain kickass.

In this case, this post crafted by Daily (w)rite is in the kickass category. For those writers out there looking to get their feet wet in writing, check out what she has to share regarding the Cigale Literary Magazine.

Google Plus and Why You Need To Be There

I’m a huge fan of Google Plus. I’ve been using Google Plus predominately for well over four months. While I’ve been there for that small amount of time, I’ve been learning quite a bit.

My biggest discovery is that you can no longer be invisible. If you’re interested in being a writer, or you’re a business owner a face should be associated with you. To present yourself in such a way can be difficult. The idea of placing a face to your business, your personal face for example, has been a concept the internet had pulled away from. Although, Google Plus wants to pull the shroud from over other’s faces.

google_plus_2

Because of this, Google Plus has become the ultimate playground for businesses, writers, artists – those with a much more creative lifestyle, even in their work, will enjoy this and get the most out of this. Yes, your circle of friends that you sometimes do not see every day may not be on there but that’s okay! This isn’t want Google Plus is used for, It’s used for getting to know new people you would have never had the chance to meet otherwise.

Naturally, it’s nerve wracking  for those to begin. There are always simple questions that pop up: Am I doing this right? Did I share too much? How do I do that really cool thing someone else did? Should I join these people? Should I follow them?

It’s quite a bit to take in all at once – we’ve all been there. My favorite process when I’m working on a problem of similar size is to break it down and work it into chunks.

Best way to start off: Check out the What’s Hot section, write a comment. 

It’s simple, a good way to start things off and see that not everything on Google Plus is terrifying. You might have a few people commenting you, maybe even mention you, and they’ll like the comment. As you start out you’ll begin to understand that engaging will be you best friend. Engagement is how you begin to have people follow you – never forget to share anything, too!

Next step: See who Google Plus recommends for you to follow.

There will be a selection of handful of individuals who have a wide range of followers. Those followers have circled that person for a reason – go find out why! Watch them post material, see what they’re talking about and the most important thing: Watch them engage! Engagement is what Google Plus is all about.

Another step to finish up your first day: Write a little bit about yourself.  

That can happen in your “about” section, write a quick post saying something about yourself, or even making your profile a bit prettier. You’re going to want to get rid of that blue face, as well. Share with others what you look like, and something creative, or just cool to look at, in your cover picture. The more you flesh the page towards yourself, you’ll find more people beginning to follow you, and engaging with you!

All of this never happens within a day (unless you have some time for it!) and don’t expect tremendous results. Everything happens in time. Give it a few days, share, comment, post some stuff that you think are cool or something you’ve written. This place is made for those who are looking to be creative – utilize that aspect!

To help you start, here’s a quick list of people you’ll want to start following Google Plus: Mark Traphagen, Martin Shervington, Sean Cowen, Wil Wheaton, John Ellis and Alexandra Riecke-Gonzales.

Check them all out, they’re fantastic.

You a writer? Here’s a few cool people (and even a few local brands who are spectacular and run around on Google Plus) who you should definitely check out: Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger, David Amerland, Jesse Wofdylo, Dustin Stout, Jason Brick, and SEOWiSE.

An excellent selection for those wishing to dabble in the world of Google Plus. Here is also my own Google Plus page, you may find me here as Zack PalmI promise I don’t bite, and I invite everyone to give Google Plus a try – it’s a higher quality experience!

 

TableTop, YouTube Gaming – A Game for Everyone (This one’s for writers!)

Haven’t heard of this? This series has been on nearly two years now. I’ve only just caught myself up with the material shared by the fantastic people over at the GeekandSundry YouTube channel. I have to say, I’m a huge fan.

This is a show hosted by the multi talented and hilarious, Wil Wheaton. If you’re a Star Trek fan (or a typical geek such as myself), you’ll know the name holds some weight in the gaming / nerd community. What happens in the show is Wil brings on three other celebrity guests for about anyway from twenty-five to thirty-five minutes places a board game, or a game that can be played on a table.

Hence the name of the show – TableTop.

GS-Tabletop-Logo

Spending a bit more time on this channel then I would have liked to over the break (I linked the channel in the beginning paragraph). If you’re a geek or into learning about new games, definitely check them out. They offer several shows produced that you can find and entertain yourself.

To add, I support those looking on Google+ and adding their page to follow. They’re a fantastic network that I believe many should check out and enjoy in their off-time. Certainly relaxing!

Why do I bring this up? Also, why do I think writers should check it out?

Well, one exclusively I started watching immediately had my head spinning with ideas that could happen within it. What is it? It’s a game titled, Once Upon a Time!

The video below has Wil facing off with some other writers who find themselves weaving a story with the cards they hold. I won’t spoil what’s going to happen, but I believe everyone will enjoy the outcome!

If you haven’t subscribed to this channel, I think it’s time that you do. Gaming is for everyone (something Wil says often) and should definitely be tried by those looking for a little relief in their life. A time that can bring families, friends, and other together for a few hours with laughs, tears, or yells of hatred.

Alright, the last one wasn’t exactly the perfect family moment, although which family ever is? Sometimes you need to be angry and frustrated and your loved ones – board games can be your outlet at one another!

Be sure to check out more that GeekandSundry brings up and more from TableTop!

Reminder – Psych Tonight!

Here’s a quick shout out to one of my top-five shows of all time. Tonight, Psych is back for season 8 of it’s fantastic run on USA. It’ll be on at 9 pm, PST.

I’ve been watching this show for years. Shawn and Gus’ team work together and chemistry on set is extraordinary. The actors, Mr. Roday and Mr. Hill respectively, work outstandingly with one another. Other than Sam and Dean Winchester (from Supernatural) I haven’t seen two actors click together as well as they do.

Psych-Season-8

Weeks ago, Psych also released a musical special. Have you seen it yet? As long as you provide your Network Provider log in information here on the USA network website (link provided) you can go over and check that out. It was definitely an excellent show, and the lyrics and actors/actresses work on the show was incredible. A big hat tip towards the writers, of course!

I’m going to also post here the trailer for what to expect. Who else is going to be watching? Who else is just as excited?

Psych-o’s unite!