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Tips For Texting ‘THAT’ Guy

Angry-texting

The female is a sometimes wicked and fickle gender, but we are nothing if not intelligent – always analyzing our male counterparts and finding new ways to thwart them… while also weeding out the creeps! Let’s face it, in this current day and age, people rarely spend a lot of physical time getting to know each other at the beginning of any relationship (what with your hectic work schedule, needy best friends, and that yoga class you’ve been meaning to attend). Because of this, we often find ourselves spilling our guts and deepest, darkest secrets over the next best method of communication: texting. Like most games, the dating game has become wrapped around social media websites like Facebook, and has shrunk into the ever-changing cellphones that we hold at our thumbtips. Unfortunately, not all of us are prepared for this transition, so I’m here to help my fellow sisters-in-arms to better understand the different types of guys we’re going to come across in this crazy, beautiful world of digital love.

1. Innuendo Winky Face Guy

This guy is never short on a sexual pun, turning all of your innocent comments into dirty innuendos. He will probably follow his genius wordplay with a cheesy winky face, allowing you to marvel at his typed sexual prowess, all the while hoping that you’ll take the bait to spend a romantic evening in his unkempt bedroom watching Netflix. Cue cliché yawn while he wraps his arm around you and, just in case you were wondering, it’s no accident that one of his fingers happens to be touching your boob. At this point, you’re about five seconds away from a typical grope session so, if you aren’t as excited as he’d like you to be, I’d get out of dodge.

2. Naked Pics Guy

Naked Pics Guy has actually become quite a favorite among women these days – favorite to ignore, that is. Every time you feel like you might be making a connection or getting to know this guy, he destroys your fantasy image of his mature perfection by asking you for a nudie.

3. Too-Many-Exclamation Points Guy

This guy is just annoying. I mean, how excited can you be about something – or anything, really? Such a small thing to be bothered by, I suppose, but couple him with Too-Many-Hahaha’s Guy and you’ve got yourself one irritating bloke.

4. RP Guy

RP (Role Playing) Guy is actually pretty rare, but deserves a mention regardless due to the strange and unique nature in which he creeps you out. His texts are typed in such a way as to draw you into the moment, which is almost romantic, right? Wrong. Instead of saying goodnight like a normal human being, this man will probably type something like “I wrap my arms tightly about your waist, pulling you in for a warm embrace as I leave you to slumber.” Sweet in its hint of fantasy, but weird in the long run. If you’re into this sort of thing, go for it! If not, don’t be alarmed. Although these guys tend to be a little more sensitive than the rest of them, they can (and will) take rejection.

5. The Drunk Texter

Ah, yes. Mr. I-Only-Text-You-When-I’ve-Ingested-Half-the-Bar Guy. This guy usually texts you randomly, and is almost always three sheets to the wind (that’s purdy drunk, mmk?). He will probably invite you over or offer to recklessly make the drive to your house for a late-night hookup that will most likely end in disaster, if not disappointment. My advice? Avoid these texts (and possible calls) as though they were the plague. Nothing good ever happens after midnight, even Cinderella knew that! So put your phone on silent and go back to sleep!

6. Last Resort Guy

I bet he thought we forgot about him, but that’s impossible to do with his ever-random and inconvenient calls to remind us of his pesky presence. This guy is never less than charming, probably calling you sweet little nicknames like Baby or Hun, but don’t be fooled. These are probably little tricks he uses to avoid calling you by the wrong name – because this guy has already gone through girls # 1, 2, and 3 before calling you. If you refuse to say goodbye, however, keep your chin up! Maybe someday, with good behavior, you can rise to be #2, or even, dare we say it, #1! (cue puke face)

So there you are, ladies – a detailed ‘heads up’ about all of the wonderful things to come as you step out into the realm of text-dating. If you don’t like what you see here, don’t beat yourself up. Meeting guys out there in the ‘real world’ is always a close second as far as dating options go.

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Bare Necessities of Writing

bare

No matter the hobby or project we decide to spend our precious time and effort on, we always make sure to give it our all in order to achieve the best results. However, despite popular belief, you don’t always have to do it alone. Here is a short list of resources that every fantasy author should have while creating their fictional masterpiece, and hopefully more than a few of them can help you on your way to greatness.

1. Music.
You would be surprised by how much something as simple as having background noise can help you clear your mind and find your groove. Music has been a tried and true method used by students across the globe to aid with studying and retaining information, but it is also a great way to keep you focused on a long writing project as well! Many theorize that this is due to music being one of the only things that activate almost every part of the human brain at the same time, allowing information to flow or collect more easily. Pretty cool, right?

The common cliché’ of using music as a focusing tool is forcing yourself to listen to the prancing tones and mournful melodies of classical music, but recent studies have actually found that almost all music (even heavy metal) has found a place in our carefully crafted toolbox. If it’s late, however, I’d suggest keeping the AC/DC to a dull roar, as your neighbors may be focusing on the backs of their eyelids and won’t appreciate the late-night type session.

Musical-Wallpapers

2. Have A Good Editor.
Finding someone you trust to go over your work and find flaws or fix grammar issues is not always an easy thing to do, but I would highly recommend engaging in the search. A good friend (or even a hired expert, if you prefer to keep things professional) will more than come in handy when going over your precious pages, as another set of eyes is more likely to find mistakes that you’ve either grown accustomed to or didn’t even notice. Little phrasings that are second-nature to us may stand out to your editor, helping you realize that describing a character’s temper as *half-cocked* may not fit in so well with your Medieval-themed novel. Some editors (like mine) can be a little more opinionated than others… (example below from my current book’s partially-completed manuscript)

editor

3. A Fan.
Always have at least one fan to push you along and encourage your work. There is nothing better than sitting down and launching into your next plot point (which is genius, by the way!) to someone who is genuinely interested and excited to hear about it. As with therapy, speaking your thoughts out loud can help you discover new ideas or theories, and that can make all the difference in an intricate plot.

This fan can be the typical mother waving the #1 FAN foam finger over her head, or it could be a spouse or good friend – it doesn’t matter. As long as you have someone telling you that “you can do eet”, that’s what counts.

do it
4. A Critic.
Let’s face it – nobody likes a critic. These people can be mean and ruthless, and they can pick your whole book apart with the tug of a single thread. Intimidating, right? Absolutely. So let’s stay away from the professional critics for awhile and focus more on finding a friend that doesn’t mind looking for plot holes or time-line confusions. This person should hopefully enjoy reading, and especially reading fantasy, or their opinions are going to be a little bit harsher than usual. If listening to this person’s assessment causes you to feel as though you need to change everything, or even give up and start over because there’s simply too much to fix, you have found the wrong critic. Simply thank your friend and find another person to look over your work. Good constructive criticism is handed out with a detailed reason why the writer’s idea doesn’t fit, and it usually comes with other ideas for the writer to think about. Even if you don’t take these ideas, they will kick-start your mind into finding solutions much faster and more effectively than a simple, “this story sucks, brah.”

RAT_111

5. A Clean Working Environment.
Numerous studies have found that depression, mental fatigue, and even a hindrance to creativity can result from having a dirty environment. People, by instinct, have a deep desire to control the things around them. If your bedroom or office has gotten out of control, it begins to affect you in many different ways, and can even lead to poor health and a lowered immune system. If you intend to finish that book in a timely manner (and you don’t want it to be tainted by a sour mood), I would highly suggest that you finally pick up that pile of dirty laundry and take out the trash.

doofy

(On a side note, I’ll be very impressed if you can recognize all of the movie-related pictures!)

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Fantasy Novels and Writer’s Block – 5 Steps to Getting Back On Track

calvinWriting isn’t something that comes easily to everyone and, in fact, it can even be considered a super-power in many cultures and societies. However, as any avid Marvel or Capcom fan will tell you, every super-power has its weakness. Superman has his Kryptonite, the Human Torch can’t stand asbestos, and even the Hulk struggles with his uncontrollable rage. For authors, our weakness is strong, but simple: Writer’s Block.

Although there are many tips and tricks out there designed to help budding authors get over this impenetrable wall of doom, I have gone and made a list of my own; one more dedicated to those who have taken on the challenge of writing in my own particular genre – Fantasy.

  1. Have a creative friend to bounce ideas off of.

This is perhaps the most important of all my writing tips, and it is a very big key to any successful author. After all, let’s face it – writing is a lonely profession. We spend hours upon hours hunched over our laptops or computer monitors, tip-tapping away on our keyboards while drinking copious amounts of caffeine. Sometimes we hide away for days at a time, and rarely do we find people who are as interested in our book projects as we are. However, without the opportunity to openly discuss your novel and ideas with other people, you are limiting yourself to just one mind. This means one path for your imagination to follow and one person to catch any flaws, holes, or errors in your book’s plot. So, pick a supportive friend that you trust and make sure they have creativity of their own (writing, painting, acting, etc.). This friend will listen to even your worst ideas, while hopefully presenting a few ideas of their own and, even if you don’t take any of their suggestions, this will give you a broader scope of things to play around with in your mind.

  1. Play Dungeons & Dragons.

Having also been the center focus of an earlier post, I firmly believe that Dungeons & Dragons is a major stepping stone to creating any fine fantasy novel. This nerdy little game is jam-packed with enough awesomeness to kick-start any author’s imagination, and I have found it to be a tried and true method of banishing mental fatigue and Writer’s Block.

  1. Perform a Daily Fantasy Warm-Up.

There are many articles out there that advise young or new authors to write a little bit every day, even if it’s just a sentence. It could be about anything at all, and this will help you get over your writing obstacles. However, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes we just need things to be a little more specific. So, if you’re struggling with Writer’s Block, instead of writing something random every day (some blah-blah sentence about the weather or a description of that blanket Grandma’s making), write one sentence every day that eventually tells a small story. For example, if I were struggling with my current novel, I would wake up today and, on a separate piece of paper, I would write something simple: “Once upon a time, in the small city of Linford, a young boy came across a golden coin while sitting on a park bench.” The next day, I would add one more sentence that related to the first: “As he plucked the coin up off of the ground, the boy felt a small tingling sensation begin to course through his finger tips and up along his arms.” The sentences are simple but they get your mind revving, and the story doesn’t have to be related to your novel.

  1. Read.

Reading is a very popular method for ridding yourself of Writer’s Block, and it is also a favorite way to find inspiration for new plot ideas. This is not a method that works for me, however, but I thought it worthy of a mention just in case it could help one of my readers. If this method does not work for you, don’t worry. Some of us are very critical of our own work – more critical than others, perhaps. Because of this, reading a great book may only intimidate us or make us question the value of our own work. If this is the case for you, just as it has always been for me, then I would suggest watching a fantasy television series, such as Game of Thrones, to get that brain bubbling.

  1. Always bring a notepad!

I cannot stress this enough, and so I’m going to try harder: Always, ALWAYS scribble down your ideas. Good ideas, bad ideas, ideas that strike in the middle of the night or when you have soap in your eyes, it doesn’t matter; they are all ideas and an idea is the first step to making a decision. Just because something doesn’t fit in your plot now doesn’t mean it won’t later, and you’ll be glad you kept it within arm’s reach when inspiration strikes as suddenly as it tends to do with our kind. The primary downfall to any author’s successful novel would be thinking the words, “That’s a good idea, but I’ll remember it later.” It doesn’t matter how many times you go over that idea in your head, trying to make it stick like glue, it’s still going to float out of your head like a butterfly the next time you get distracted. A large contributor to Writer’s Block is a lack of content, but you HAD content… you just forgot it. Now your notebook is empty and you have nothing to add to your new novel.

So that is my own personal list of successful tips to get over that pesky Writer’s Block, and even a couple ideas to help you find further inspiration for that epic fantasy novel of yours. Let me know which ones worked best for you and feel free to leave a couple ideas of your own!

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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How Dungeons & Dragons Will Make You a Better Writer

Dice

For those of you who don’t know, Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy game that is mostly played via word of mouth – with nothing more than the use of your imagination. Sounds lame, right? Well, it isn’t. In fact, if you ever decide to give it a try, you just may find that it’s the best, most addictive game you’ve ever played. The best part about D&D is that it’s almost completely free to play! All you need is a set of dice (yep, the weird-looking ones with all the sides), a piece of paper (or the real character sheets if your Dungeon Master is feeling fancy), a  love for fantasy, a few friends, and an experienced nerd.

Once you have what you need, your Dungeon Master (who was hopefully awesome enough to make his own campaign story) will now lead you on an epic journey of twists, turns, monstrous creatures and moral choices, all tied nicely together with a healthy dose of controlled chaos. Your job as an adventurer is to decide all the actions and dialogue that your character makes in response to everything and everyone that crosses your path and, depending on your luck with dice, this will shape your character’s destiny either miraculously or terribly. You’ll never again feel the same joy as when you rolled that 20 while shooting an ogre with your bow, killing him with one hit! But you’ll also never know shame like that time you rolled a 1 and shot your healer in the eye (or whatever other terrible punishment your sadistic DM can think of). So, now that I’ve explained Dungeons & Dragons to you, my dear readers, let me explain how this game has shaped my own own perspective and how it will help you achieve greatness in writing.

The first time I ever heard of Dungeons & Dragons, I was nothing more than a young teenage girl. I had already developed quite the imagination and was often found tucked away in a corner with my nose in a book, but I had yet to dabble in the fine art of playing any kind of game that wasn’t presented on a TV screen (Super Mario Bros. anyone?). However, due to my teenage obsession with being accepted, coupled with the negative attention that was given to those who played the game (mostly from school bullies), I didn’t have the nerve to try it for many years. After finally leaving home as a fresh adult, I eventually met a few friendly people in my new apartment building and, after several months of good friendship, it was finally brought to my attention that my new friends were… well, nerds! Among many things, these wonderful people taught me how to fix my own computer, how to program certain software and, you guessed it, how to play Dungeons & Dragons.

From the first several minutes of playing this game with my friends, I was hooked. Not only did I get to create my own character essentially from scratch, but through this character I was able to experience virtually anything that the DM could throw at me. My friends and I fought dragons, found treasures, made friends along the road that later betrayed us, and even paid for a prostitute or two in a brothel (always use protection!). The adventures were long, usually lasting months, and eventually my character (if he/she survived very long) became so bad-ass that I couldn’t help but feel like I’d officially reached pro-status.

Despite all of the laughter, fun, and even occasional outrage, the one thing I picked up on while playing this game was its complete and total flexibility… almost as if the boundaries of the game were meant to be manipulated. You could literally do anything! If you were clever enough to make it sound legit, and if you were mildly lucky with your dice, there wasn’t a thing that couldn’t be done. Cornered on the edge of a cliff by a giant ogre? Well, remember that time your friends laughed at you for choosing the ability to create a gallon of water anywhere? You thought you’d need it in case your character got stranded in a thirsty desert, but who’s to say that gallon wouldn’t best be located inside the skull of that giant ogre? Roll a good number and enjoy your Dungeon Master’s fury when his precious goblin’s head explodes without even swinging his over-sized club.

The first thing a game like Dungeons & Dragons will teach you is how to always think outside the box. For example, a well-placed Mage Fist to an enemy’s unfortunate testicles can give you a much needed advantage and end a battle much quicker than regular attacks that simply drain health points. The craftier you become, the more you challenge your DM to keep your character in check and, in the end, the campaign may simply turn into several adventuring friends trying to drive their diligent Dungeon Master clinically insane. Because of this, the game can get quite competitive, but if your DM isn’t clever enough to explain why you can’t flood his ogre’s brains with water, at least without creating new rules or worldly guidelines, then you have free reign!

In writing, this concept is often the same. I have had many people approach me with a constant concern: “There’s a huge hole in my plot and I can’t make it work without starting over.” Here’s my advice: Play a few hours of D&D with your friends. If you don’t feel clever enough to stretch or manipulate your plot to make something work, then you aren’t exercising your imagination, which is almost a muscle in itself. Just as writing regularly will actually improve your grammar and literacy (without even taking a class), so, too, will your imagination improve when forcing it to think outside the box. As with all things, practice, practice, practice, and watch the plot of that epic novel start to wrap itself together nicely without you even breaking a sweat.

However, I must warn you: don’t think you can take a shortcut and play a video game instead, as it’s highly unlikely that you will achieve the same result. With video games, there is too much structure and, therefore, less options. If your character in Assassin’s Creed is in a tight spot against a big boss, you can’t think to yourself, “I’ll just throw dirt in his eyes! That will distract him while I take out his minions.” Instead, you are stuck with the abilities your character has and the small map around you. No room for imagination, and no DM to piss off when you thwart his best attempts to kill you.

An added bonus to playing this game is that, because you’re playing with actual people, you learn what other adventurers would think and worry about along the way. Your sister is playing the healer? How sweet. But she’s getting real sick of you meandering away from the group and getting yourself caught in traps – probably because she has to use her vital resources to keep you alive after she finds you bleeding out on some spikes. The lesson: the healer in your novel probably feels the same way, and this may give you a small idea for something to add to your chapter, or even a bit of personality depth to give to that character. That’s right! If you want to have true insight into your characters, you have to listen to your buddies rant and rave while you journey through the amazing world of Dungeons & Dragons. Observe the roles they’re playing and how those characters interact with each other – this is literally your free ticket into the minds of real people while they journey through a fantasy world! Sounds like a good cheat sheet to keep nearby if you want the characters in your novel to be more realistic! Take inspiration from the different personalities around you and flex that imagination by getting yourself out of tough situations (or into them, if you’re hungry for adventure!). Unless your dice are cursed (and we know this happens), there should be no reason you can’t have an amazing experience. Not to mention, if you have a good Dungeon Master, you just may learn a thing or two about creating breathtaking worlds, giving life to various villains and heroes, and even discovering and using loopholes to your advantage. With the game of Dungeons & Dragons, and especially with your writing, the only limits you have are the ones you place on your own mind.

So go and find that dusty basement full of nerds, throw on that Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and make sure you brought your best set of dice (yes, the sparkly ones!) because you’ve got adventures to go on and that book’s not going to write itself!

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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