March 12, 2018

An education through #documentaries - #History #Food & #Science oh my!

I was a decent student during my school years. In High School, I found it easier to be "friends" with my teachers than most of the kids because, well, teenagers. I didn't have a firm grasp on Science or Math, even though I'd been put in honors classes, it was one of those subjects that never naturally clicked in my head.

I wanted to take physics, but I was failing honors chemistry. I ended up being switched to regular chemistry halfway through my junior year so I wouldn't fail the whole year. I enjoyed History and of course English and honestly wanted to understand Math and Science, being the SciFi fan that I was. I figured maybe if I did well, I could do something sciencey in the future.

Well, that never happened for me. I don't blame anyone, not even myself, because I eventually realized where my heart was, the written word.

My senior year of High School was awesome. One of my English teachers, realizing how much I liked reading, writing poetry and stories, and the like, gave me access to the school's book room with ALL the textbooks and novels, old and new, that students borrowed during the school year. I read every Shakespeare play we had. I even read some old textbooks with stories I'd probably never find anywhere else at the time. He eventually brought novels from home for me to read! (Still love you for that, Mr. Foley!!)

College was a strange time for me. I didn't take the classes I wanted to, instead, took all the crap classes they make you take like a math, a science, and psychology. After I dropped out of college (for a few reasons) and went to work full time, I found this awesome cable channel on TV called The History Channel. My love of documentaries began soon after.

I spent many summers between the late 90s and early 2000s watching documentaries on everything from War to Food to Historical Figures and even fun ones like Movie Making and Bio-Documentaries about famous people. It was like VH1's Behind the Music for everything that mattered in the world.

That love of documentaries made me realize how much I loved History AND Science and helped me understand the latter more than any teacher in school.

To this day, I seek out documentaries to watch so I can learn and expand my worldview and personal knowledge. Just this weekend I watched a few episodes of Ugly Delicious on Netflix, which is hosted by Chef David Chang as he goes around the world learning the history behind some of our favorite foods like Fried Rice and Fried Chicken. I was actually surprised that Chef Chang, being a world-famous chef, didn't know some of the ugly histories behind well-known foods. It was a lightbulb moment for me, too, helping me to realize how much most people don't know about how the world around them works, myself included.

Today, there are so many documentaries and real-life stories that you could probably find a new one to watch every day for the rest of your life and never get bored. In my mind, documentaries took the place of a big chunk of my education after college. I eventually went back with a major in mind, and still hated the fact that I had to take a stupid "gym" class and more science classes that had nothing to do with my major. However, this time, I actually enjoyed my science class because I understood it more after watching science-based documentaries the years prior.

Sometimes I wish I had watched more documentaries when I was a teenager. I wish there were more around back then to access. I  have a feeling if I had watched more, I may have understood Math and Science a bit more, and who knows, maybe I'd be writing some Hard Science Fiction right now. :-)

I was lucky. I found a way to educate myself in a way I enjoyed and it has stayed with me all these years. Here are a few I've watched recently.

All Governments Lie
American Creed
Mister Rogers -It's you I like
Seeing Allred
The Pulitzer at 100
The Kennedys

Great stuff to watch. Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

February 27, 2018

Win $100 Giftcard! - SFR Author #Giveaway


This is one of the biggest prizes I've seen in a while! Want to win a $100 Giftcard from Amazon or Barnes and Noble?

All you have to do is visit this link to enter!!

February 24, 2018

Why does everything feel so much harder these days?

 I was better off in my 20s.

I honestly never thought I would say that, but sadly it's true. Everything about my life right now is harder than it was fifteen + years ago, including paying my bills and selling books.

I make more money than I did back in my 20s but comparatively, I'm living paycheck to paychek now whereas I had a big chunk of change in my savings account when I hit 30.

I got laid off right before the recession started and from there, well, it's just harder to get back to where I was before, like many other people hit by the falling economy. Rent seems way more expensive. Food prices are crazy for certain items (usually the healthy stuff). At least gas isn't $4 a gallon anymore. Right?

Complaining is something I try not to do here on my blog, I have twitter for that, LOL, but I know for a fact it's not because I'm working less. If anything, I put in more hour between working, writing, and promoting than I did ten years ago.

Believe me, I know this is a "first world problem" and there are MANY more important things going on in the world right now. I also know I'm in a better place than a lot of other people, which is why I try not to complain. However, writing has always been my way of dealing with my personal issues. I put many of my real life situations into my books to see how characters deal with them, which isn't always how I've dealt with things in the past. It's been interesting to see the differences and I've learned a thing or two about myself, like I usually do when I write.

I've always known how lucky I am to have found writing as my outlet. I hope I can break out of this current funk and get back to it, because I know I have more to say, sometimes I just feel like no one is listening.

Do you feel better or worse off than you did in the past?

What do you do when you need to get something off your mind?

February 19, 2018

On Sale Now! #ThatNewsGuy - #Romance #NewsJunkies #NewRelease


#ThatNewsGuy is my new Contemporary Romance. I'm calling it a #DadBodRomance featuring Reporter Trapper Del rio and Smoothie Nutritionist Jessica Buckley. This is my first non-suspense, non-scifi romance focusing solely on the characters and romance. It's a bit steamier than my other romances, so fair warning! To celebrate the New Release, I'm having a special givaway! Scroll down to enter!
Check out the cover, blurb, and excerpt then pick up your copy on Amazon!

Everyone has a celebrity crush. What would happen if you met yours?

Taking a chance and making a change after his divorce, Trapper Del Rio signs up for personal training services to get in better shape for his embedded reporting gig with the Army. TFA Fitness Center is known for their discretion, having trained the famous and infamous alike over the years. When he meets the adorable curvy woman working at the Smoothie Bar, who blushes every time their eyes meet, Trapper wants to see where the explosive chemistry may lead.

After making a fool of herself the moment Trapper came up to her bar, Jessica Buckley didn’t believe the hot Latino reporter actually asked her out on a date. With a little prodding from her friends, Jessica risks dating Trapper, only to find him even more interesting off-camera. Jessica carefully navigates the intense feelings building between them, unsure she’s ready to give Trapper her heart, aware he’s going overseas in a few short months.

February 15, 2018

This world makes me sad.

I'm not going to write about the most recent episode of gun violence. Everyone knows what happened. I'm not going to write about all the sexual and domestic violence. Everyone knows what happened.

Still, we let our lawmakers do nothing.

My words may never reach the top where they can make a real difference, but I still put them out there in the world because it's a small thing an artist can do that may change one person's mind one day.

Writing has always been my escape. Writing has allowed me to not be afraid of my thoughts. Writing has given me friendship and love of complete strangers who are touch by my words.

I had a very rough time in High School. I was bullied. My home life wasn't the greatest. I had plenty of friends and family around me who had no idea the truth of my troubles. Why? I honestly don't remember anymore. Maybe I was afraid to speak up. Maybe I thought my life would change too much if I spoke up.

What I do know is that I found a way to deal with my problems. I confided in a few friends and teachers. I turned to writing and reading to get all the awful thoughts out of my head.

Not everyone is as lucky as I was to find a way to deal with all the shit this world piles onto us.

If you see someone hurting, help them up, don't kick them down further.

We are all human.

We all bleed red.

We all need to care, just a little bit more.