Cutting Room Floor: Part 5

Scraps of papers on tiled floorShhhh. I have a title. Don’t scare it away. It took me a very long time to come up with one, but titles have always been difficult for me. Luckily, though, they haven’t ever left me high and dry when the pressure is on. 18 days to go, and I definitely needed a title so I could begin constructing the book cover. Now that the title is in the bag, it’s a rush to the finish. Here’s what I have left to do:

  • Finish the final edit (I’m 40 pages from the end)
  • Decide on final fonts and layout
  • Create a book summary
  • Confirm my author appearances in support of the book
  • Order and approve the final draft
  • Update my Amazon author page

And I’m sure there’s something else I’m forgetting at the moment but will show its head as the process continues. Did I mention I only have 18 days left? Oh yes, I forgot the acknowledgements page. We writers really are hardest on ourselves, aren’t we? A friend of mine is working hard on getting the second book in her series finished so she can get it out there in the world, and it’s so exciting for me to read her blog and see how alike and how different our paths are. I mean, I couldn’t imagine writing series books, but that’s all she writes. Maybe one day.

In the meantime, I’m still working hard on getting the word out there that I have a second novel about to be released. I was invited to be the special guest at a class on self-publishing at the library earlier this week, and I had an amazing time walking the participants through the process. It reminded me that writing and publishing novels isn’t just about writing and publishing novels. It’s about a connection with readers, the give and take of it all.

Now it’s time to get back to the Cutting Room Floor, but never forget just because you cut it doesn’t mean you can’t use the ideas elsewhere. Never get rid of anything. You never know when it might come in useful another time, and in another place.

Sam

P.S. – As soon as I’m done with the cover art I will post another Cutting Room Floor with the title reveal. Look for it!

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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

harvardThere’s a young man going to Harvard who had a 4.0 GPA last semester. That’s no surprise, as Harvard is one of the top universities in the country, and it takes someone with superior academic ability to even be accepted. The surprise is that this young man was born and raised in a trailer park, to a single mother who had him when she was a teenager.

This young man went to public schools all his life, and walked a mile to get to the bus stop every morning, but he never let any of that stop him, and he never felt like he had to apologize for it either. Instead, he broke the cycle and is in the process of making something of himself. Why should that be so surprising? Because unlike so many others, he believes in being other than what he was. He believes in a future of his own choosing, not the one he was born into.

Self-fulfilling-Prophecy

“A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to come true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” -adapted from the theories of Robert K. Merton

I liken it to the placebo effect, whereupon a person feels the effects of a drug they didn’t actually take because they believe they did take it. It’s all in how you approach your life, not in how others see you. That’s one of the major problems in society, the feeling that everyone else knows us better than we know ourselves. Too often we give in to peer pressure, to the ideas of everyone else about who we are, and about where we’re going in life. But it’s not about them and their views. It’s about how we envision our lives, and we can’t afford to forget it. Continue reading “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”

The Humorist

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” -William James

black dark text humor quotes funny infographics 1920x1440 wallpaper_wallpaperswa.com_100Girls like guys who are funny, right? I imagine if every female had to take a quiz with a list of attributes they admire on it, a sense of humor will probably be high on the list, but is it really the case? Well, think about it this way: if a guy is always serious, things would get boring rather quickly. But that’s where common sense plays a part. A guy who is never serious would also get tedious in time. It’s all about walking that delicate tightrope between the serious and the humorous.

But, of course, if I knew where that line was all the time, and how to stay atop it without falling, I would be a genius. Most guys also can’t balance that well all the time. So we try our best to read the “signs” given off by whatever females we happen to be engaged with (engaged being a state of interaction in this case). I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t been able to read those signs and some bad things resulted from it, or when I read the signs the wrong way and made a mess of things that way too. In those instances, I just tell my wife, “You knew this about me when you met me.”

Not the right response when the lady’s not too pleased that you’re joking during serious time. Believe me.

I do pride myself on being funny, but that kind of quirky funny, you know the type. I’m the guy who takes the obvious punchline and overdoes it, making the reaction funny, not necessarily the joke itself. I guess you can say I’m over the top in most things I do, but I do have the corniest jokes. Continue reading “The Humorist”

Checked Out: Week 3

thYou know, since I started this series I find I’ve been taking the time to read more than I was previously. Don’t get me wrong. I have always read a lot, but it seemed like I had fallen off just a little bit, and this series has given me a sort of revival. What has also helped is talking to more people about books. It’s funny how many people I didn’t realize were readers, people I talked to every day about so many other topics, but now I have more reading buddies, which is always more exciting. It also means, however, that my “to-read” list has grown in leaps and bounds. Currently at the top of my “to-read” list:

1. The Tiger’s Curse, by Colleen Houck
2. Divergent, by Veronica Roth

So many people have recommended both of these series that I feel my life won’t be complete until I at least start them. Yes, in this instance I gave in to peer pressure. When it comes to books you should add to your reading list, I think that’s the only time I think you should have no problem following the crowd. I guess I figure you can always stop reading if it doesn’t interest you, so why not at least start? I also recognize, though, that series books are a commitment, which is a reason I like to keep at least a few individual novels to break it up, or for when you’re waiting for the next book in a series (like I am with the Mortal Instruments series).

Books I have Checked Out this week…

1. The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson

2. The Tyrant’s Law, by Daniel Abraham

3. Little Black Book of Murder, by Nancy Martin

4. Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

5. Sycamore Row, by John Grisham Continue reading “Checked Out: Week 3”

What Black Men Find Sexy

image
Is this what black men want?

It’s funny how I picked up the November issue of Ebony magazine (for us black folk) and this headline stared back at me: What Black Men Find Sexy. It intrigued me, being a black man, that this article can tell me exactly what I find sexy. So I read it. You know, because I wanted to know. It blew my mind. Here’s what it said in a nutshell. Black men like…

1. When the ladies “flash those pearly whites.”

2. Soft hands. “Soft hands are important. Unless she’s a construction worker, they shouldn’t be rough.”

3. The “barely there” look. When the ladies wear makeup that makes it look like they’re not wearing makeup.

4. When the ladies have fresh mouths. She can be hot to trot, but if her mouth is foul that’s a deal breaker.

5. Pretty eyes. They’re the windows to the soul or something.

I found it interesting that the article said nothing about anything below the waist (hands don’t count). Apparently the brothers don’t care about 36/24/36 like Sir Mix-a-Lot told me we did. Of course on the magazine cover there is a picture of five “fine” black ladies who all have straight hair and “rockin’ bods.” What does that tell me about the things black men find sexy?

Continue reading “What Black Men Find Sexy”

Twenty-Six

261I told someone I was 26 the other day. She’s probably still laughing now.

Funny how perspective shifts. Back when I was 18 and telling people I was 26 they laughed for an entirely different reason. And when I was actually 26 I swore I was 21 instead. I recently celebrated my 37th birthday and I’m finally admitting to my actual age. Not just because people laugh when I tell them I’m 26, either, but because for the first time in my life I’m content with my age. So it’s funny how the Daily Prompt for today wanted me to ruminate upon the number 26, an age that seems an eternity ago. Here are some facts about me at 26:

* I got married in a 5-minute civil ceremony at City Hall, wearing jeans and a t-shirt
* I flew overseas for the first time, taking off for Ireland right after the wedding
* I graduated with my undergraduate degree in English, and I have pictures to prove it
* I started my first blog over on blogger.com, and I called it “Ruminations by Mr. M”
* I had my first major surgery in the hopes of being able to father children

Wow, I hadn’t realized how many significant things happened that year until I really thought about it just now. But it was indeed a good year, a year of firsts, and a year of excitement. In some vague way I knew I was on the downward side of my 20s, but I didn’t really change much that year. I remember at the airport in Boston I kept looking at my passport. It was weird being 26, being a legitimate adult, not just an early-20something, but an honest-to-goodness adult. It was humbling really.

Looking back, though, it was a legitimate in-between time. I got married that year, but we wouldn’t have our first child until nearly three years later. I had my degree, but I wouldn’t have my first teaching job until nearly two years later. My first blog fizzled after about 20 posts, not for lack of inspiration but because I just stopped writing it. Life happened, and I wasn’t up for actually writing about it back then.

Yes, 26 was a good year, but 37 is going to be better.

Sam

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