Monday, August 31, 2015

Charge or Drain

In life, there are people that charge and others that drain. Some people you see briefly and your step has some extra pep to help you bounce through the day. Other people you almost dread seeing because they drain the very essence of your energy.

Obviously there are many shades to either side of the equation and of course things vary with moods and how you feel overall. What doesn’t change is that most times people are not conscious of the toll or boon they are in someone else’s life.

For my part, as a teen I was often one to brood even though I often had a cheery disposition. I thought I was pretty Ok and that people hung out with me and enjoyed my company. Then in college, a fellow student whom I was good friends with actually told me that they couldn’t talk to me anymore because I was too negative, something that actually blew up in my face a couple of other times during that period in my life. It was an eye opening experience because sometimes you need a dry slap in the face to have some sense knocked into you and clearly see your areas of opportunity.

Did it sting? Of course. It still does but that’s a good thing because it’s a reminder that I have the choice to charge or drain, to be positive or to drag people down. As time passes I make much more of a conscious effort to give the best of me and to be fully conscious of how I am. I won’t be rosy every day, and sometimes the sun doesn’t shine so wonderfully, but I have a choice of what I put out there and how I affect other people.

That’s why I crack jokes when I’m sick, that’s why I lend an ear even when I’m drained, that’s why I try to be a highlight in someone’s day. Does it always work? Of course not. But it doesn’t mean I can’t try and keep giving my best, however I define that on any given day.

So what about you? Do you charge or drain?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Renaissance Geek

I am happy to see so many people embracing their geeky side. I’ve always had a geeky side to me and I’ve always insisted it adds to the charm even if on occasion people are left with the sole option of shaking their head at my comments or wondering what obscure movie/tv reference I'm alluding to.

The thing is that the age of jock is kind of passe. Sure, being a jock is still sought after since it’s an age old archetype, the hero. What seems to be happening though is that there are other types of heroes that come into play, and some of them are indeed geeks. Don’t believe me? Go to a comic con, then go to a panel, and be sure to play close attention to how some actors/writers/artists/directors are revered.

In my case, I’ll always be an odd mix of things. Big Trouble in Little China shall always be one of my favorite movies and I shall always keep what Jack Burton says close to heart. I shall also always keep in mind my love for Zelda, for Mario, for Metroid, for Secret of Mana, Xenogears and Final Fantasy. My dreams are often splashed with colors from Narnia, the Wizarding World and Middle Earth.

As a writer, I do my best to keep it varied and the same as my role in being a geek. To me, the best part about being a geek is the unabashed passion we are allowed to show for the things we love. I love puns, I love poetry, love short stories, love novels, love it all and I want to do it all. And that’s part of my mission in my definition of geek. I want to be a Renaissance Geek if you will.

I’m not saying I want to wear period wardrobe although if it fancied me, I’d go for it. No, I’m saying that as a geek I like to keep what I watch/read/listen as varied as what I write, because there are different kinds of geek out there and in my own little silly way I want to salute them.

That’s why I write on my blog, that’s why I write novels and stories, that's why I indulge in poetry, that’s why I make visual typos, adventures with Twist, silly pictures and geek out at any opportunity anyone gives me if they mention any of my fandoms.

Because it not only is Ok to be a geek, it’s pretty awesome.

You can wear shirts that clearly establish you’re a geek, with some cerebral capabilities and a sense of humor. You can have action figures with which you identify. You can embrace characters so much that you cry every time they get killed. You can name pets and plants after your favorite character. You can be you and there’s an ever growing community of people that will accept you exactly as you are.

So for me, I’m a surfer, I’m a writer, I’m a gamer, I’m a poet, I’m a singer, I’m a guitarist, and I am a geek…. Because I am me and all of these things are held within the definition of my self.

What’s your definition include?

Peace, love, and maki rolls.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So you want to write a book Vol 4: Concrete steps to publish

Quite a few people have asked me detailed steps on how to publish a book, so before I keep talking about the intangibles about actually writing the book, here’s the steps I take for when I publish my work. The main disclaimer here is that this is the way I do it. It’s not the only way, it’s not even the right way, it’s a way. By all means, explore, search, research, ask and interrogate people all you like because in the end, your path is exclusive, it’s yours. So by all means, take what works here and pursue that dream.

Step one, make sure you’re happy with your work. I know it sounds like a no brainer, but think of this as a no time limit test and what you put out, that’s what it is. I’m not saying you can’t update, review, or edit your work. I’m saying it’s best to be comfortable with what you have before submitting your work. For this, read it yourself. Give it to people to read, proofread it, revise and review, just be comfortable with it because you’ll be able to publish by yourself :D

Ok, so you know your manuscript by memory. Now you can visit the Library of Congress website

Since I’m a fan of playing it safe, send yourself a final copy of the document with your final draft to your email to have evidence of date about your work. You should also add the Copyright symbol to the document with the year you finished. (If you need the symbol, here it is so you can copy paste it :D ©).

Back to copyright, go to the above link and follow the steps. It’s pretty easy and although it takes a little getting used to, it’s not rocket science. You’ll create your account, put all your information and the such and you will be able to submit the final version of your manuscript to let it hang out among other works of art.

Next step, create physical and digital versions. For this I recommend visiting CreateSpace.

CreateSpace is the company I use to print my books and it’s an Amazon subsidiary. They have templates available and although it takes some getting used to, it’s fairly easy. You create a new project, new, title, all that info. It gives you pretty easy to follow steps. Then you choose a template for the interior of your book (size of book and you download a template where you will basically copy paste the interior of your book). It’s a little annoying to format but it’s something you have to do to learn or pay them to do it. I’ve formatted all of my books, just in case. Later you pick the interior whether it’s full color or black and white, the type of paper (white or cream) and if your cover will be mate or glossy. It all depends on your taste.

When you finally format your project, you will upload it and verify using the online preview to see how your book would look in physical form. It’s real simple and honestly, what you see on the screen is what you will get. I’ve done it four times and it’s always been pretty faithful. When you’re happy with how the book looks, order the physical proof version of the book. You receive it, check it out and then decide whether it’s good to go or needs adjusting. If you’re happy? Mazel tov! You’ve completed a project.

After you approve that, the website gives you the option of converting it to an eBook which seems highly probable you’ll be interested in doing. Much the same as the physical version, you will be able to launch an online viewer to see how it would look on a Kindle and when you’re ready, there you finalize it. I do recommend saving another file of your manuscript and saving it as an html and uploading a Word document. I’ve heard horror stories in regards to uploading manuscripts in PDF so word to the wise, watch out.

Honestly, the worst part is formatting and you may need to adjust a lot. There are no shortcuts and each project has its own set of challenges.

So there you go. If you’d like to ask any more writing questions about publishing or writing in general, by all means, drop a comment or check out my Facebook pages at and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Peace, love, and maki rolls.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Sometimes Life happens

Life has been generous to me in the lessons it's offered. It's been a continuous invitation to do my best, to give my best, to learn, and to experience. It's just some of those experiences aren't always pleasant.

Life is often far from perfect, even though it is good.

It's good to live life and to take a step back to take a look at the good and the bad and be thankful either way or maybe that's how I choose to see things.

Sometimes you smile, sometimes you hurt. Some people will be with you for a long time, others will be with you a shorter amount of time. You will experience hurt and unfortunately, it's likely you'll distribute hurt as well even if you don't mean to.

That's because sometimes life happens.

You can try your hardest to give your best every time but in the end, you will commit mistakes because that's an essential part of being human. Heck, you might even say or do things you regret. Another part of life and although you will feel pain for those events, you have to live with it and that's not a bad thing.

Maybe you were emotionally distressed when you said something. Maybe you were out of control when you did something. Maybe you hurt so much that you passed that hurt onto someone else without meaning to. Last I checked, no one wants to see someone they care about hurt and unfortunately sometimes the pain shows and we pass it onto someone else.

Like I said, sometimes life happens.

Life is a series of experiences, of emotions, of events, of choices. Some will be good, others bad, but in the end, it's up to you to embrace whatever you have because it's all precious.

You sometimes won't get the chance to say goodbye, sometimes you won't get to say you're sorry, sometimes you'll suffer alone... but by the same token, you sometimes do get the chance to end things on good terms, sometimes you're able to apologize for a moment of weakness or anger and sometimes you can find an extra shoulder to share the burden.

Such is life... and that's a good thing even if it isn't perfect.

Peace, love, and maki rolls.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Orgullo de Madre

Orgullo de madre

Está de madre este orgullo que tengo
Como crece y se supera y busca explotar.
Es que no hay quien lo contenga.
La sonrisa se me escapa
Y no hay por qué atraparla
 Mientras los golpes de pecho
vienen de atrás del costillar.

Qué gusto
Qué alegría
Qué orgullo de madre

Que siento por la mía.