Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What I've Been Up To

While I haven't touched this blog since I took a break from the 365 Day Writing Challenge in February, it doesn't mean I've stopped writing. On the contrary, I've been writing up a storm. One of the reasons I took a break from the challenge was because I had several books I'd completed that I couldn't find the time to publish. Since that time, I've published 13 books! I didn't complete all of those during the challenge, but I'd love to bring attention to the books so that you can all check them out if you're interested.

1,000 Character Writing Prompts - This book took a great chunk of the challenge as I invested over 150,000 words into this bad boy. It's a great deal at $2.99 on the Kindle for that number of words and I'm currently working on developing a cheaper paperback edition so I can get it down from $10.25 to $7.99. If you need some help with your character development, this is the place to get it from.

1,000 Creative Writing Prompts for Holidays - A compilation of five of my holiday writing workbooks, this collection contains prompts for over 20 different holidays that delve into the origin, the traditions and the delicious food of these wonderful festivals.

 First Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays, Second Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays, Third Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays, Fourth Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays and Fifth Grade Writing Prompts for Holidays - My collection of writing workbooks based on the most wonderful holidays of the year. Each book contains 200 prompts and some space for your kids, students or self to write under each prompts. Great for copying and using for the classroom!

The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 1-2, The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 3-4, The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 5-6, The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 7-8, The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 9-10, The Writing Prompts Workbook, Grades 11-12 - My first collection of workbooks made up of prompts from my first two books, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts and 500 Writing Prompts for Kids. The books give kids and students the opportunity to write below each of the prompts in convenient 100 page paperback workbooks.

Phew, so that was a lot of links, but I'm happy to start putting them out there. I still need to find a balance between writing, publishing and promotion. One of these days, I'll get there. More life updates forthcoming. Until then, happy writing!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've decided to take an intermission from the challenge to get these 8 books I have waiting on the shelf into publication. I'm sad to take time off, but I think it'll be better in the long run. Besides, it means I can try to make the end of the challenge sync up with my 30th birthday, which will be cool :).

Be back soon and will post here occasionally if I feel inspired to do so!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 163: Valentine's Day

In order to be the best boyfriend I can possibly be, I'm going to spend as little time on this Valentine's Day post as possible :). I pushed myself hard to finish some of my often uncompleted tasks in the last 36 hours, which means that I'm finally getting a new and hopefully functioning phone, that I'm really close to getting all 61 blogs needed for my two month blog tour AND I've even made progress in a silly little time wasting game that gives me some kicks in the midst of my tough writing tasks.

Today, I wrote a character writing prompts post about vegans and yesterday, though I didn't post the link, I wrote one about Jews :). I also put something together for the blog tour centered on a Charlie Brown quote and I continued to work on the prompts book. Off to have some scenes from an Italian restaurant :).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 162: Audio Book

Today, I worked on the 2nd recording for The Post-College Guide to Happiness and it's been a really exciting process so far. I realize that most professional audio book folks probably take months to perfect every word possible, I'm trying to do it in three sessions since I'm funding it all myself. I really hope that people love the book, love my voice and think highly about the effort I've put in :).

In the writing world, I worked on a blog tour post about happiness and the wisdom of sticking to your skills. I've also got a character writing post to put up and I continued my work on the writing prompts book. Off to watch the Voice!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 161: Whitney Houston

What can we learn from the death of Whitney Houston? Certainly a lot of things. So many artistic people assume that if they strike it rich or make it big in the industry that all of their demons will be magically whisked away. Even though there have been many too-young celebrity deaths to prove otherwise, people still think that fame is the key to emotional health. In many cases, it's the opposite. Addiction is a scary thing and I don't think it's fair in all cases to blame the addict. I saw a Facebook post on my news feed today that said we shouldn't show Whitney Houston sympathy because she was a drug addict and death happens to those who engage in that sort of thing. I understand what he's getting at, but I still don't think it's a fair assessment.

Whitney Houston brought a lot of joy to people's lives and she was still doing it today, even if her talent was on the decline, with a recent movie remake in the pipework. When she was at the top of the world, her voice could be heard everywhere around the world and we loved everything about her. Her problems with drug abuse became public knowledge over a decade ago and seeing her decline has been painful. Since there had been previous reports of her death prematurely over the years, I didn't believe it at first, especially since earlier that day I had read she was up for a potential judging gig on the FOX show "The X-Factor."

Back to what we can learn. Even those on top of the world can fall without the proper help and love in our lives. Even if we get the top medical care and have a wonderful family, we may be too far down the rabbit hole by that point unless we recognize our own problems right away. We don't know if Whitney Houston's death had anything to do with drugs at this point, but drugs had to have been a factor in the decline of her health that made her susceptible to whatever killed her. If you have a problem with drugs or any addiction, find help or someone that will force you to get help immediately. The more time you spend under the thumb of this addiction, the more likely you are to die prematurely.

I loved Whitney Houston's voice and even I have been known to sing a long to "I Will Always Love You" from time to time. Whitney, you will be missed.

Today in writing, I continued work on the prompts book, posted a prompts page on character writing prompts on perpetual students and I am about to begin working on my blog tour post for the upcoming Happiness Blog Tour. Very excited! Just need to find about 20 more blogs to host me :).

Have a good rest of the weekend everybody!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 160: Jeremy Lin

I'm definitely excited about the emergence of one Jeremy Lin. I got to watch my first few highlights of him last night as the Knicks held on against an angry Los Angeles Lakers team. I've got a little bit of Linsanity going on, as the kids like to say. I think it's awesome to see someone come up from the bench, literally from the Development League and kick some butt. I have no idea if he's for real or not, but I hope that Jeremy Lin continues to be a force for at least the rest of the season.

Today, I've hit a nice little milestone. I've written 400,000+ words toward my blogs and books since September. I'm about to release my 2nd book of the challenge, with seven more on the way shortly after that (re-releasing some of my writing prompts into workbooks and journals for those of you just checking in). My huge and potentially unattainable goal is to hit 100 books sold per day by June. Last month I hit around 35 books per day and this month I'm still over 30 a day so far. Releasing books that could all be major sellers for me in the next month will hopefully build some big momentum by June. I will continue to believe in and embrace this seemingly ludicrous goal, which will help me pay off my credit card debt. Hey, if Jeremy Lin can put up 38 on Kobe, I can sell 3,000 books in a month. Totally :).

In my writing on this fine Saturday, I worked on the new prompts book, wrote a blog tour post about thinking and happiness and I posted a character writing prompts post about knights and warriors. Happy rest of the weekend everybody. Keep on keeping on, Jeremy Lin!

If you are interested in finding out more about my work, check out my author page on Amazon, on which you can check out all of my books. If you have a book blog, I'm currently looking to do a blog tour starting later this year. Feel free to contact me at my Build Creative Writing Ideas website. Thanks!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 159: Home Alone

On most days, hanging out home alone and doing my writing is something I'm used to and have no trouble with. On a day in which I'm sick, it would certainly help to have someone around to bring me soup, etc. While Amy wasn't able to stay home to take care of me, I feel as though the best way to take care of myself is through proper medication and supplementation. By using supplements like apple cider vinegar along with the medication to suppress my symptoms, hopefully I can be done with my illness twice as fast so that I can get back to writing with a full noggin between my shoulders :).

Today, I worked on the secret prompts book, write a post on internal happiness and posted a blog post on the subject of character writing prompts about sages. Have a great snowy weekend, Chicago!