Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Guest Post by Jeremy Raynolds - 5 Main Problems Writers Face When Starting

Being a writer is comparable to the work of a painter in terms of designing a special universe in which the audience is able to lose itself. Creative people appear to be wizards because they form grotesque stories out of nothing. Still, they are human beings who have their own baggage of puzzles, resulting in grievances or thoughts holding one down from doing the job: writing. In fact, authors often struggle with the concept of an idle page, with the construct of story writing format, and failure to love their own art. However, all writers experience similar feelings.

Today, we are going to lift the veil on ‘how to write a story’, along with the major challenges arising during the process of creating.

Writer's Block
Unfortunately, this problem is the most common to creative people, especially writers. At the same time, it’s normal, as you cannot simply have your inspiration overflowing all the time. So, you wake up, day by day, with no creative ideas, and all you want is to push this aside and write, but you can't. You feel totally crushed, and certainly, not in the mood for constructing any valuable content. Such writer's block can be very risky, especially if this emotional state persists. Frequently, such trouble occurs when you are sitting still. To fight this, engage in sport activities. Make sure you are getting enough workouts; it will not only make you strong, but also set your mind in the right direction. Walk outside, meet with friends, and have fun. You will be surprised at how productive you are at the end of the day, and creative writing ideas will come naturally.

The absence of thoughts
You might be assured that you are skilled enough, but still be out of plan or writing ideas, because writing a story is much harder than writing an essay. No worries, it’s a regular thing among contributors, and the good news here is that there is always a solution.

Creative writing is based on two points: observation and reading.  Admire sights around you, be it trees or any other part of nature. Read and discover everything that comes your way. Reading is an elixir to the poverty of sense.

Being timid and doubtless
These are the main problems which may afflict a novelist. No matter how much experience you have or how valuable your skills , you cannot move on until your confidence with the subject builds. Removing doubt is not only about being aware, it is also about being prepared to claim your own worth.

In case you cannot quiet the crippling voice of disbelief inside, another thing to remember is to find a person who will understand and support you. This individual will help you accept yourself and think big. Also, and this is important...join writing groups or writing courses to get acquainted with someone who can be your ‘champion’ and, in turn, can champion you.

A so-called ‘perfect style of everything’
Everything starts before you take a pen or press a button on a keyboard. You try to draw an ideal picture in your imagination, and you never find it possible to transfer the right meaning. It is all about perfectionism, and the whole nine yards. Many people have a battle with the peculiarities of perfectionism, and this is why a short story may take two months to write. The reason for such procrastination is that the artist prefers not to release anything to the audience until it's fully edited and "perfect", and sometimes, this can be our undoing. Do not be afraid to free write, and then improve upon it later. You'll be amazed at how much writing you get done.

Fear of rejection
It is the consequence of being criticized by the society or even your followers. You might be overwhelmed by the emotional breakdown. The first step is to realize that it is just a feeling, not a reality. Surround yourself with devoted friends who can help you build fortitude and work on reconstructing your self-assurance.

In fact, there are no perfect “fit-all” story writing tips. There is only self-confidence, getting things done, and being focused. The key to getting more done is to concentrate.


Contact Jeremy Raynolds at jeremyrray89@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Finally here!

After numerous rounds of editing and months of waiting, Daughter of Zeus is now available for pre-orders on the Champagne Book Group website.
Daughter Of Zeus


    The future can be a terrifying prospect, especially when Ada Freyr discovers she can manipulate electricity. Ada is grief-stricken when her abilities result in the death of her husband. and terrified of being discovered by the Prominent-run State. Unusual citizens are labeled Undesirable, and are never seen again.
    Ada drives to Atlanta, intent on finding her father. She blames everything that’s happened on him, and vows to kill him for ruining her life. However, once Ada meets her father, she realizes he’s no longer the alcoholic she remembers: he’s now a Congressman with a family and a new name, ready for a Senator’s seat.
    Ada’s scheme lands her on the Undesirable list, leads a stranger to stalk her, and stunts her relationship with her siblings. Soon, she has to decide which is more important: a vendetta, or forgiveness.

Join the giveaway below for a chance to win an e-copy and a $15 Amazon giftcard!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Parmasad- One Brave Little Cookie and SPN’s for Everyone!

While reading Parmasad, I thought about tone and voice. Many of the students I tutor value what they call "objective writing", and many pride themselves on the ability to write for a nameless audience. I tell these same students that even though it's academic writing, it's still writing, and writing should never be boring (a.k.a. voiceless). Good intentions aside, writing to the god of the nameless usually leads to a nameless tone in the writing, and there's no "there" there.
In writing a scholarly personal narrative (or a SPN), one injects personal experience into a larger academic conversation. Thus, to "signify" in a SPN, a writer need not adhere to an autobiographical format, because focusing on specific moments in time as they relate to bigger issues can be just as impactful, (Nash 30). Parmasad displays the effectiveness of SPNs when writing of the cultural disconnect she experienced while growing up as an Indian in Trinidad. Putting moments of her life under the microscope, Parmasad analyzes the importance of writing: "this remarkable exclusion, this invisibility, this feeling of voicelessness filled me with a maddening need to use my writing not as a shield but as a weapon to contest the historical marginalization of a whole people and the negation of my experiences" (135). From her viewpoint, writing is a tool to challenge the cultural limits and bring others to a higher level of understanding. 
In my estimation, an SPN is essential to academia because a properly executed SPN will delve into the "raw marrow" of the writer's life, while bringing the validity of the experience to the forefront of a larger framework, (Nash 26). Developing confidence in writing often goes hand in hand with constructing a narrative, as writers glean key concepts after a re-telling of their experiences. Writing narratives can never be counterproductive, as I'm of the mindset that every high school student should write an SPN, and then again as an undergrad, and then again times again. Much like Nash's idolization of Kimble, the fugitive who reinvents his story in weekly episodic arcs, all writers should endeavor to find their ever-evolving voice to establish meaning (34-35).
Art can be lost if it cannot be understood. An important aspect in writing involves connections and how they're made. To sustain a connection, the language must be effective, and what better use of language as a learning tool utilizing your own voice? As an undergrad, many students are required to write a narrative essay, with no research or larger connection necessary. In contrast, writing an SPN is similar to cutting out a part of oneself, laying it across a table, and magnifying the meaning to fit a larger context. Both types of writing have a purpose, but at differing points in an academic career, an SPN is more purposeful. In fact, several drafts into either, new voice and meaning can be found..
Works Cited

Nash, J, Robert. "What is scholarly personal narrative writing?" Liberating Scholarly Writing. New York: Teachers College Press, 2004. Web. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Red and Gray Giveaway

If you enjoy free books like I do, you have the chance to win a copy of A Gray Life, now through July 25th.

The giveaway is featured on , so click here to activate the good luck monkeys!

As an added bonus, I'm giving away three e-copies of A Gray Life from my blog. To enter, all you have to do is email me or comment below. Tell me about the first book you read and why it was special to you. 

The first chapter book I read was from The Babysitter Club series. I can't remember the exact book, but I can remember the static joy that came after. When I finished the last page, I jumped up from the couch and grabbed my mom, full of the largest sense of accomplishment my 2nd grade self had ever held.

Good luck, readers!

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Blogger and Book Reviewer: Cassie Sparks!

It's an understatement to say the Internet is littered with bloggers and book reviewers, especially when the sentiment is coming from a blogger! However, blogger Cassie Sparks is different from the rest of the herd because of a few things:

1. She doesn't charge for reviews or promotions.

2. She's open to reviewing most genres, except for Westerns (sorry, Westerns).

3. Her response-time is quick (for the time being until she becomes too popular for her own good!)

4. She supports indie authors. 

From her mouth:

I am a full-time mom of boys, nursing student, and professional reader/reviewer. I love to read anything and everything but usually shy away from westerns. I love helping out authors, especially up and coming authors. Feel free to contact me for reviews. I will let you know a general timeline on when to expect my review. I will post reviews here, goodreads, amazon, smashwords, and audible if an audiobook.

Read about her review and promtional policies on her website.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Free Copy of A Gray Life from Amazon

On April 24th-25th, A Gray Life will be available on Amazon for free!

Download a copy to your respective devices, and then look out for a giveaway and fanfic contest soon after...!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Ugly Truth About Micro Loans

Micro loans. They're presented as a benevolent force, especially the NGO's operating in Bangladesh. Most forms of capital, i.e. loans, have been traditionally denied to the poor, who had no collateral to offer. However,  micro loans in Bangladesh are offered without the expectation of collateral, barring the strategic use of honor and shame. 

According to Lamia (1998), honor and shame already play a heavy role in Bangladesh society, beginning with women. Honor is an exemplarary asset to wield in rural Bangladesh, and can be measured and lost by how honorable a woman behaves. Even as micro loans are offered to women,  Lamia (1998)concludes that over 90% of the loans are used by the men of the household. Therefore, the practice of lending money to rural women under the pretense of economic freedom seems a bit misleading, further complicated by the issue of shame.

As theorized by Spradley & McCurdy (2009), philanthropic efforts and/or gifts, usually come with unseen strings attached. With micro loans, the unseen string is shame. To lose face, or experience shame, in Bangladesh is something a family might not recover from. Since women are the extensions of family honor, and therefore shame, when the loans are not paid on time, shame is a powerful instrument used by NGO's to secure a return on their investment.  Lamia (1998) goes into detail about how women are shamed into paying back their debt: spitting on them as they go by, pulling their hair, hitting, cursing them publicly.  Lamia (1998) suggests that the 98% repayment of micro loans can be viewed in a whole new way when shaming is considered.

Overall, micro loans in Bangladesh have positives and negatives,  but mostly negatives.  One positive thing about the micro loans would be the 50-60% interest, compared to that of rural loans, which can inflate to 120% interest (Lamia, 1998). Many negatives attached to micro loans stem from the revolving sides of honor and shame.  If not for those two societal elements already present in the society of Bangladesh, the high success rate in repayments would probably be a lot lower than it is. 

Read more about micro loans here.


Watch the documentary Women's Bank of Bangladesh.