Saturday, August 31, 2013

Geek is the new sexy

Geeky women of the world, rejoice… there are droves of men hungry to love you. Men who want women who read, who want to talk with you about what is happening in the X-Men Universe, who dream about you when you Cosplay and who love you just the way you are.

Although some sectors of the videogaming and the nerd contingents are still resistant to accepting women as peers, the paradigm is breaking and I can’t be happier. Women are being recognized for their beauty within and beyond. Women who love to eat ice cream, women who can have six packs abs or a little fluff, real women, of ALL types. That’s because beyond sex, there are men who like to talk. Sure there is still an overabundance of jocks, then again, there are jock women… so they can make jock sex, have jock babies and enjoy themselves... it is their right. Now, that doesn’t change the fact that every day, there are more geeks… it’s becoming popular to be a geek, there are TV shows that promote geekism as a valid and worthy sector in society… one that needs more attention and support and who is getting more people every day.

Although there will unfortunately always be a place for superficiality and vanity, there is a push towards an intellectualism I actually am interested in promoting through my writing. There is a movement to be yourself, love yourself and improve yourself. It’s not only just OK for women to like comic books, it’s becoming those AHA! moments when guys know they found their soul mate because she corrected him on which was the correct date on which the Hobgoblin made his first appearance (1983 in the Amazing Spider Man #238).

That’s because there are men who love you with your glasses, don’t take them off. That’s because there are men who actually like your hair color, no matter which color you choose for a particular week. That’s because it doesn’t matter if you're thin, chubby, ripped, bubbly, cheery, serious, goth, punk, black, Asian, freckled, have braces or don glasses… you are beautiful in your own way and every day, it’s becoming easier for men in general to join the bandwagon of seeing beyond what is sold in the media as beautiful, instead responding to the beautiful women you are.

We only ask that you remain true to yourself, be healthy, keep reading, stand your ground, and by all means, outgeek us. Explore the woman you are and love her. Give her good food, good things to read, and indulge in great conversation. Feel free to have a brownie or eat your ice cream yet also feel free to eat an apple or a grape. Rot away a Sunday as a couch potato, yet take a walk later... and ask us to go with you.

We know the media has insisted that you need to be a certain way to be considered beautiful; we beg of you, DON’T LISTEN TO THE MEDIA. Don’t listen to trends or fashion statements… listen to your heart and soul and be yourself. Allow yourself to have action figures and play videogames, and also allow yourself to learn to dance. Drink beer, have a soda, toast with wine and also drink water.

Above all else, be yourself… because after all, a woman, who knows what she likes, how she likes it, and why she likes it will be sexier than anything you try to emulate. Let the cool kids have their fun… in the end, they will have to face a sad fact… that what you are today is what will be cool in a couple of years, and they’ll have to catch up and backtrack on their pompousness.

So here’s to all the beautiful geeks of the world, the future of sexy is yours.

Peace, love and maki rolls,


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Method to madness: scheduling vs. spontaneity, which is better?

Rather than going on a pre-answer rant, let’s cut to the chase… there is no method better than another. Each option has its own virtues, pros, cons and vulnerabilities. The fact of the matter remains, sometimes you need to go the direction opposite of what usually works for you if you are firmly set in your ways if only to keep yourself on your toes. Let’s profile each:



Helps you be more productive. When you stick to a plan, you are often rewarded for concentrated efforts. This means that if you force yourself to write nonstop for a couple of hours, you can really boost your word count.

More structured. By having a preset hour and goal, you will get to your quota or at the very least, get near it. You will see your writing also become a bit more consistent, which itself has its pros and cons.

More measurable. In a world where people are obsessed with numbers, results and measuring, you have a pretty good idea of how long something will take you to do. Although that may seem trivial, that is a vital part of being a writer if you happen to chance on a deadline. You’ll know how long you need to get X or Y done.


You write out of habit. You may hit quotas and pump out thousands of words, but you run the risk of writing for the sake of writing and although commendable to a point… does that really make you happy? Are you writing your best work? If you are (which is a possibility, don’t let anyone tell you differently) then by all means, stick to it and plow away.

Creativity within the narrative becomes secondary. For me at least, having a very rigorous word quota honestly doesn’t work. I actually normally try to finish a chapter to capture lighting in a bottle and have the same feeling flowing throughout rather than settling on starting and stopping. I’m actually the same way when it comes to reading. I HATE leaving a chapter unfinished.

You focus on results rather than the story. I know people who meet ridiculous deadlines and push through out of sheer stubbornness but if writing Only Human taught me anything, it’s that the story is paramount, that when it comes, it’ll come in torrents and that at least for me, having a schedule is useless.

OK, so what about the other side of the coin?



There’s freedom in flexibility. Truly something I enjoy of the times I’ve written in the spur of the moment is the sheer flexibility of going wherever my brain wants to go without overthinking it. I’ve known to pick up a notebook and pump out a full 15 page chapter in one sitting and knowing when my system NEEDS to write has helped me tremendously in my writing, especially in the sequel to Only Human (10 chapters done, woohoo).

Creativity often thrives. By letting your impulse drive your will to write, you’ll be at your creative zenith and put in a 1000% with little or no effort and truly, when writing is effortless, some of your best work may be borne.

Personality shines through better when unpressured. I found my voice as a writer when I finally desisted from having to write and if anything, I’ve enjoyed a lot of people saying I have a voice all my own throughout most of my work. That’s special to me and worth the price of admission.


This can take a LONG time. Only Human took 8 years to write. From research, to writing, to transcribing, to editing, to publishing… eight years. Having a full time job and other responsibilities did pose challenges, although the reality is that I didn’t want to force it and when it took off, it flew on its own…  but eight years is a long time. In about 2 months I’m already almost 25% done with the sequel… then again, I did find my voice, which explains a lot.

Editing can be a nightmare. When you write stream of thought and leave long gaps between writing sessions, weird things can happen… plot holes, tone shifts, you forget where you wanted to go and cohesion is a pain. I learned the hard way.

So in the end, what I’ve done is combine elements of both styles and have found a happy medium. When I feel too much time has passed in between writing sessions, I bite the bullet and force myself into a groove and when I feel I’m being too rigorous, I’ve known to step away from a page, another valuable lesson I’ll talk about later. The end all correct answer is that you have to find what works for you and constantly tweak your formula to always be productive yet always enjoy. So best of luck in that search. 

Peace, love and maki rolls,


Method to madness: Fear can inspire

Fear paralyzes, it robs of sleep, it tortures… but it can also inspire. In all its shapes and forms, fear is one hell of an inspirational fuel source. Even the fear of writer’s block can lead to moments of brilliance. That’s because fear is one of the most powerful emotions that can cause us to do superhuman things, make idiot decisions or completely freeze us.

As a writer, I love exploring emotions and human nature and fear is one of those emotions that I’ve noticed fascinates millions of people. Even though we want peace and love, we want to suffer, we want to be afraid, we want the adrenaline that comes with fear and explore our limits to this emotional drug in various forms.

People scream at an amusement park ride, their heart rate spikes and even though it’s at a well established park, even though all the precautions have been taken… you can still die. And we like that.

As a surfer, adrenaline is a big part of the experience because every single time you go surfing, you’re risking your life and health. I’m not the most extreme bodyboarder, yet I have my share of reef tattoos and close calls. I’ve almost drowned twice and have been in serious trouble an extra two times… yet the desire to surf remains. That’s because I know what type of fear I like and make no mistake about it, we all like some type of fear.

It could be the thrill of watching a really scary movie, it could be the emotion of coming close to death from sky diving, it could be reading a particularly gory story or it could even be getting caught in public while getting frisky, the fact remains, fear is fun… most times.

Regarding writer’s block, some people are panicked at the mere notion of this concept… yet it happens often. Probably the fear of this affliction can even help to bring it forth, yet there’s nothing wrong with that fear… actually, it could be a good thing.

One of the most important works of fiction I’ve ever read is Dune by Frank Herbert. Within those wonderful pages is something called the Litany of fear… a mantra of sorts used by the Bene Gesserit women as part of their training to complete physical, mental and emotional control. It reads as follows:

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."

When you embrace your fear and I mean really embrace it and explore that fear, you will unlock a vast bastion of inspiration that you’ll have a hard time to control… because fear demands to be expressed… it demands attention. So by all means, next time you don’t know what to write about, be afraid… be very afraid and let go of yourself.

Peace, love and maki rolls.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Q & A to someone who sent me a Q & A

So a blogger was kind enough to post my bio here and a Q&A I went overboard with here. Good times.

In a nutshell, Feed my reads is a community about connecting authors readers, illustrators, publishers and people in general and the sheer energy, and optimism with which Fraser replies to, organizes, and promotes this community makes you want to hit yourself for not being half as motivated. Above are the links to the bio and Q&A, although to keep the ball rolling, I had an extra 8 questions I would have asked myself that I sent along so the fun part about asking wasn’t one sided. So here are the 8 questions I asked Feed my readers and the answers.

Click here for my answers to the same questions.

Peace, love and maki rolls.

1. What are you currently reading?

I'm working my way through the Raven collection from James Barclay. If you haven't checked them out then I highly recommend them as this is a series I keep going back to.

2. What has your experience been with independent books?

I'm not a writer but I would never judge a book based on it not having a certain publisher.  I have read some amazing books that are independently published so I say give the book a chance based on how it feels to you in the description.

3. What are you currently working on?

As I run FeedMyReads I am always working hard to ensure that I am bringing authors, bloggers, illustrators, publishers and readers a great community where they can all come together and have a great experience.

4. What are your favorite places to write?

I sit and scribble stuff to myself whenever it comes to me (not a writer but I do have ideas for the community regularly) and then work on it at a later point when I feel like I can sit in an organised space and take my time.

5. What inspires you?

Reading the great comments I get from people in the community and the amazing feedback I've had from authors as the community is nothing without all the guys who make it what it is.

6. What has been the inspiration to some of your projects?

FeedMyReads came about after a chat with an author online who mentioned that she rarely had chances to chat with her readers but really wished that there were more ways to connect with them.  I sat and thought about how much publicity other so called celebrities have and so decided on building a community where we were all about being real to what people love.

7. What are some of your life goals?

I would love to be able to help people to be happy and to see their potential and get rid of the barriers they've put up for themselves.

8. What’s the best compliment you’ve gotten from someone who’s enjoyed your work?

I get lot's of compliments all of the time but one person said that I had changed their life since we have been about and that she was more confident and had made loads of great new friends which made me feel fantastic.