Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Before the presents are exchanged, the eggnog passed around, and the football games begin, I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (Happy holidays for you who don't celebrate) and a Happy New Year to all. 

It wasn't long ago that holidays weren't that important to me.  There was too much in my life that got in the way.  My ego and my past always seemed to get in the way of seeing what holidays were all about.  They are about spending time with your family, giving back to others that are less fortunate, and being kind to others.  Now I know it's cliche, but it's the truth. 

Family will always be your family.  You can't get rid of them, you can't change who they are, and let's face it ignoring them won't make things any better.  The best thing you can do is accept who they are and make the best of it and move on from there.  Yelling, screaming, and fighting about it won't do anything except cause more problems.  If there are issues to deal with, the holidays are not the time to choose to argue about them.  Take the person or people aside when it's not going to cause a scene and calmly talk about the issues you might have.  The holidays are meant to celebrate your love for your family and cherish the moments you will always have; especially during Christmas.  I can honestly say, I can still remember Christmas Eve with my family when I was a little kid because my parents always tried to make sure it was the best possible Christmas for us.

Giving back to those less fortunate is a great way to celebrate the holidays. The greatest thing you can do is help give a Christmas to those who cannot afford it or who have lost everything; even if it's buying a toy or two and giving it to a toy drive or a church.  Speaking of Church, they always have a giving tree and many people help as much as they can.  I would like to send a thank you to everyone who has helped out by sending gifts to the church and would like to encourage more people to do the same.  It means so much to the boys and girls who receive those gifts to have something to open up on Christmas.  We take something like that for granted every year.  So I would like to challenge everyone reading this to help out more in the next year. 

Giving back doesn't always mean spending your money on others.  You can also devote your time to helping out.  There are so many places where you can donate your time to food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and churches that can use your help.  So again I challenge everyone to make a difference in this next year. 

Finally be nicer to others.  Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean that its okay for you to snap and be crazy driving, shopping, and yelling at other people.  I know I'm someone guilty of yelling at people on the road and I shouldn't.  But people need to be more considerate and be less in a hurry.  Those two things alone can be so helpful to yourself and everyone around you.  Take a minute, breathe, and clear your head.  It's hard to do at first, but after a while it helps you deal with everything easier and your blood pressure will be a lot lower.

With that being said.  I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy safe New Year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Ever wonder where writers get their ideas from?  They can come from anywhere or anything.  When I started writing poetry, I would be sitting at work; thinking about random things.  Sometimes I would come up with nothing, but other times I would have a great idea or remember something from my past.  When I did write, people said I went into some sort of trance.  I was staring at the wall or out a window.  After about ten minutes I was done and ready to type it up on the computer. 

My brother has his own way of coming up with ideas.  He listens to what people say and gets an idea instantly.  He comes up with elaborate storylines in a matter of minutes that would be great to see on the big screen. 

Another way of coming up with ideas is through dreams.  That has been the way I have been getting new story ideas, and from what I have read a lot of other writers get their plots from dreams they had as well.  They are usually weird and abnormal, but most dreams usually are.  Sometimes they feel too real.  Some have you portraying the main character in the dream and other times you are a spectator watching everything unfold. 

There are many more ways people can find ideas on what to write.  Taking a walk through the park, the beach, observing people's interactions with each other, interactions with family, old jokes either with friends or family, songs, poetry, reading, and the list can go on and on.

The best piece of advice I can give when it comes to searching for something to write about, is don't discredit anything.  Write any and all ideas down; either in a notebook, type it on a computer, or enter it into a cell phone.  Don't ignore the thoughts that come to mind.  Keep them and look to them when you decide you want to write something.  If you think you can expand on it then go for it.  If you can't, don't scrap the idea; keep it for another time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Holidays-Happy Thanksgiving.

I would like to say first and foremost Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there reading this.  This year has gone by so quickly and so much has happened and so much to be thankful for.  For me I have dealt with near tragedies, the death of my grandmother, and a Super Storm Hurricane that destroyed a portion of my town, a huge area of where I spend a lot of time, and many other surrounding areas.  Thankfully we were spared and were only minorly inconvienced.  But despite any hardships we face in life, there is always so much we can be thankful for.  A met the woman I plan on marrying, my family has been getting closer together, both of our families love each other; making us one big wonderful and happy family, and I have been making strides in both my work career and writing career. 

Over the last few years, I have had such a different perspective on life as opposed to several years ago.  Call it growing up, or maturing, or even having a deeper appreciation for the little things in life.  Regardless, something I learned over the years is that everything that has happened in your life has led you to this point in your life.  Despite any hardships or if there have been great things that happened, I say be thankful for everything in your life; the good and the bad things because both have created who you are today.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Holidays

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Knowledge is Power

I have been writing for years and still found something very amusing.  A lot of friends and co-workers always bought me gift cards for book stores, and then I tell them I'm not much of a reader.  They always reply, but you're a writer so you must read all the time.  To be honest I never really liked reading.  It always had to be something that catches my attention instantly or else I couldn't read it. 

About two years ago I started working with my brother and his wife.  A friend of ours told me reading was an important thing to do in life.  Without reading, you don't really grow as a person; especially if you are reading empowering books and not trashy magazines focused on following celebrities.  So I started to read a few books and two of my favorite books were the Mentor, and The Instant Millionaire.  Both dealt with working hard toward your goals and never giving up on yourself even in the worst circumstances.  If you push hard, you can reach whatever goals you set for yourself.

Now I know what some people wanted me to do with what I learned from those books, but I chose to apply it to my writing career instead.  I knew if I pushed myself and truly believed in me, I could start reaching my goals.  I am proud to say that I reached my first last year when I put out my first book Chamber of Souls.  This actually helped me in other aspects of my life.  I became closer with my family including both of my brothers, I pulled myself out of what appeared to be a dead end job and found a great opportunity with a company that has treated me wonderfully for the last year, and even found the love of my life. 

But as I sat in my brother's living room last night, we talked about how fast I caught up to him in regards to writing movie scripts.  He has been reading endless amounts of books on writing from people who have done the leg work in the past.  His writing has become better because of it and he has taught me everything he is learning.  So I decided if I can learn fast from him, why not start reading books on my own.  Share what I learn with those that can benefit from it; including him.  And who knows, maybe I'll put out a best seller sooner than I would have or sell a movie script faster, or help someone who is reading this do the same.

The point I'm trying to make with this post tonight, is do not give up on your writing, your dreams, or yourself.  You can achieve if you believe in yourself and do the work.  Push yourself and stay motivated.  And read something that's empowering; you never know what it might spark within you.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A dark time

I'm sorry to say, this post will have nothing to do with writing.  I have been away from this blog for about 2 weeks now.  The first week I couldn't find anything to say, and this week my state/my hometown was hit too hard by Hurricane Sandy. 

Much of it has been talked about on the news, but focused on New York City and New Jersey.  While NYC was hit hard, Jersey was hit a lot harder.  However there are many other parts of New York that has been devastated.  Breezey Point has burned down, Broad Channel has been flooded out and destroyed, Howard Beach has been flooded and many businesses condemed, and the South Shore of Long Island has been turned upside down.  Many lives will never be the same.  They have lost everything; their homes, their clothes, their family members, businesses, and there are still millions of people without power and have to fight the cold nights without any heat. 

This is a very bad time for New Yorkers and people of New Jersey. People are homeless, they have lost everything, people have no power, there's no gas, and there are people looting the destroyed and ruined areas. Everyone needs to pitch in to help others around them even if it's something little. Donate your time, clothes, or money to help the relief efforts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Rewriting is the one thing writers don't like to do.  No one likes to hear their idea doesn't work or that it should be better than what you wrote.  That's what the writer interprets it to mean when you tell them they need to rewrite a story.  That's not what it actually means.  Critics, Literary Agents, Publishers even friends and family are offering advise on how to make your story better. 

Something I learned while doing constant rewrites is the more you write and rewrite, the better your writing becomes.  I have written and rewritten my first novel several times before I was satisfied with how the story flowed.  It has been about two and a half years since the last time I worked on that novel.  I started to write the movie script based on the novel to help shop it around more and found the beginning changed as I started to write it.  The beginning to the script seemed more eye catching and at that moment I understood what others told me a while ago. 

So here I go again.  Writing my first novel over again to spice it up a little more; make it more eye catching.  For the first time, I'm not upset about it.  I look at it as a step in the right direction to improve on what I couldn't before and a step closer to making my dream come true.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Poetry, Novels, Movie Scripts pt3

Sorry for the delay in this post.  It has been a very busy week for me with writing.  As you can guess by the title of this post, this is part 3; movie scripts.  This is something I am getting more familiar with each day.  With writing movie scripts, the first thing you need to do is buy the Final Draft program.  This one program is what every agent and production company wants you to use and it also helps to guide you along with an in depth (and complicated) tutorial of how to use the program. 

When writing a movie script, you have to keep as much of the focus on the dialog.  The dialog is how you should be telling your story.  The Action portion of the script is used to setup the scene setting intially and when there is a need to describe a character's action.  The typical length of a movie script goes from 90-120 pages.  The industry does not want you to go over 120 pages because each page equates for one minute of film.  If you are writing 120 pages or more for every script, 1. you better make sure the content of the story and characters are excellent, 2. you need to cut down some of the pages if they're not excellent, 3. the production company will look at it and think there's not enough content and will pass on the script. 

I have found out first hand that it is harder to write a book and then go into writing a movie script.  When writing a book/novel, you are focusing on the details through both dialog and narative writing in order to get the reader interested and at the same time get them to imagine what they are reading.  When writing a movie script your focus to detail has an estimated page limit to get the reader/production company/actor to understand the characters, what motivates them, what the conflict is, and the story as a whole.  Also when converting a book to script, it is very difficult due to having to cut back on the original content to save on your page count.  This is something I am learning first hand currently, because I am taking my first novel and creating a movie script out of it.  Within the first 10 scenes I have written, I have thrown out more than 10 pages of the book and changed some of the dialog to make it fit better.

That's going to do it for this post.  Please feel free to leave a comment and check out my other posts as well. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Poetry, Novels, Movie Scripts pt2

I decided to continue the series today and focus on part 2 which will cover writing novels.  Novels are a lot harder to write than poetry because you have to focus on telling a much longer story, developing characters, a good plot, and a storyline that hooks your readers.  There is a lot of detail you need to put into your novel. 
  • The first step in the writing process is always to be inspired to write.  I know it's sounds
    ridiculous.  There are a lot of people who want to write a best selling novel, but are not inspired enough and their work suffers.  The quality of writing is not at the level it could have been. 
  • The next step is to come up with a good plot.  In other words, figure out what your story is going to be about.  It could be anything from a war hero coming home from war and adjusting to a normal life, to a child dreaming of being a pirate. 
  • The next step is to determine the setting and genre of your novel.  Where is the story going to take place.  It is in the past, present, or future.  Is it in your home town, somewhere in your country, or someplace fictional.  Also you need to determine if your novel is going to be a comedy, action, drama, horror, science fiction, or romance type of novel. 
  • Next, create a list of characters.  I usually get a notepad out and make a list of names for possible characters and figure out which ones I would like to use.  I recommend starting with your main characters and work your way to the supporting or secondary characters.  I use the notepad to write out the character description, how their personality is supposed to be like, and where I would like to see that character end up.  A lot of the time, I base characters off of people that have been in my life at some point.  Especially in the beginning, it helps for the author to make a stronger connection to his/her characters.
  • The next thing (and I strongly recommend doing this) is making a chapter outline of where you would like the story to go.  My first novel I wrote did not have the structure that it should have (at first).  I wrote the story however it appeared in my mind (which can work).  But when you have the outline in front of you, it is easier to stay on track and focus a lot more on the details of the story than where it is going. 
  • At this point you are ready to write the story itself.  At that point it is all on you.  The only pointers I can give during your writing process are to make sure you are very descriptive with your settings and characters.  Use your dialog to tell the story and do not try to be perfect with your wording (this isn't english class).
  • Make sure you work hard at writing if this is something you really want to do.  Set goals or a schedule up for times to write or you should be at whatever chapter by this date. 
  • Edit and rewrite the story.  Trust me this is something you will find yourself doing quite a few times. 
Writing a novel is one of the things I love doing the most.  It helps you create a whole other world where you control your characters and become invested in them.  When someone else reads the novel, and they get that same feeling and investment, it gives you a feeling that can't be described. 
Here are some other links that might help you with your writing:

As always I welcome any questions or comments.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Poetry, Novels, Movie Scripts pt1

Over the next week I will be talking about the topics of writing poetry, novels, and movie scripts. There are many differences between these three genres of writing.

The first topic I will cover is poetry.  There are many types of poetry (way too many to cover in one post, but I will post a link that covers all of them.)
Here are just a few as examples.
  • Lyric poetry is a poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of a poet.  It does not tell a story of characters or actions.  The poet speaks to the reader directly; telling their own state of mind, feelings, and perceptions.
  • Haiku poetry is a type of Japanese poem written in three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.  It typically reflects on nature or creative images.
  • Free verse is a type of poetry that can be either rhymed or unrhymed lines without a pattern.  This allowed poets to break from the typical structure of poetry and express their feelings.
When I first started to write poems, I was always under the impression they needed to rhyme in order for it to be considered a poem.  As I studied at New Paltz, my professor assured me a poem is fueled by the emotion behind it.  A poem is however you decide to write it regardless of its structure or rhymes.  As long as the reader can picture and feel the meaning of the poem in their minds,  it is a successful poem.
Now there are several outlets for poetry writers.  Most Literary Agents and publishers will tell you they do not accept queries based on poetry, and for the most part they don't.  There are a few agents that will accept poetry submissions but they are very rare to find.  There are websites, blogs, and contests where you can have your poetry published; which is the path that most poets take.  There are quite a few that self publish their poetry and sell it online or personally.  These are the best ways to start getting your name out there as a writer for future projects when contacting Literary Agents. 
As I stated this is only part 1 of the topic.  Stay tuned for part 2 where I will cover writing novels.  As always I welcome any thoughts and comments on my posts.  And feel free to check out my interview on the Anthony Charles Podcast: and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for other updates:,!/TheRealPhoenix13

Friday, September 28, 2012


This is a little off the topic tonight but still works with being a writer.  Relationships are both a blessing and a curse.  Now before you agree, disagree or want to throw something at me, let me explain this statement.  When I was younger, (first started writing) I had a lot of relationship issues with my ex.  There were many things I needed to work on and there were about the same or more that she had to work on.  Never the less, we lived together for many years and had to deal with each other every day.  I told her a lot about the ideas I had and the dream of me becoming a writer.  There were times were she said she believed in me and a couple of times (when arguing) where she threw it in my face and told me I was dellusional.  I know it was in the heat of the moment, but there was always a part of me that thought she really didn't have faith in me that I could become a writer. 

Fast Forward to the present.  It's been nearly 5 years since my ex and I split up and now I am with an incredible woman.  She supports me and encourages me and I do the same for her.  When it comes to my writing, she continuously tells me to write even when I feel down and don't want to.  When I think of her, I have a stronger desire to accomplish more (she inspires me to work harder).

Just from that alone is a considerable difference between my old life and my current one.  But that's not why I chose this topic tonight.  I chose this because I have seen a lot of friends in bad relationships and ones that unexpectedly broke their hearts.  A lot of them have chosen to dwell on what happened and what could have been, others decided to pack up their stuff and move away and start over.  It's not me to tell you how to handle the situation.  The only thing I will say, is don't hold a grudge over what happened.  It means the relationship wasn't meant to be.  There is someone out there and the harder you look for them, the harder it is to see them.  And social media isn't the best place to vent your story to the world but if you want to talk about it, find a couple of close friends to lean on or write down your feelings about the situation.  You never know what a couple of pages of writing while you're in that emotional state can bring you. 

So as I said relationships can be a blessing and a curse.  It all depends on how you perceive it. 

Don't forget to listen to the Anthony Charles Podcast this week for my interview.

And follow me on Twitter and FB!/TheRealPhoenix13

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I wanted to take tonight to talk about friendships both personal and professional.  When you start out in school, you think everyone is your friend.  As you progress into your later scholastic years you either have a close circuit of friends or clique, or you are part of many groups in the confines of the school.  In college you have a new set of friends.  Some are in Fraternities or Sorrorities while others find friends through classes or school clubs.  Either way a lot of the friendships you created earlier in life have either been lost in the transitions or held together very tightly. 

In my opinion it's not until you are in the real world that you realize who your true friends are in life.  They could be current co-workers that you have known for years and spend a lot of time with.  Others could be new business associates that you come across and find common ground to start building a friendship on.  In some cases the friends you made along your journey through school are still going strong; even hundreds of miles away.

I have found that there are some people that want to be fake friends and fairweather friends.  Fairweather friends are people that come around when it is convienent for them.  Due to social media, there are now a multitude of platforms for these people to reach out and contact someone.  I myself, am one of those people where I will message people out of convience.  It's nothing to be shameful about because we all do that now.  Each day we read social status updates of people we follow or are friends with to find something we find amusing or interesting to talk about with each other.  It helps us keep up to date on people that we do or did care about and provides us topics to talk about when we decide it is the right moment.  In a way this is good and bad (but I will leave that for another topic for the future).

Onto the Fake Friends.  Fake friends are people that are around just to use others for their own selfish benefit.  They could be people that don't necessarily mean any harm but need something (advice, venting, guidance, money, or just around for the party).  I have come to know many of these people in my life.  Some were very trusted friends that got to know me pretty well, and when they got what they needed they left.  Others releaized they weren't getting what they wanted out of the friendship and decided to depart from my life as well.  Both of those are okay and I wish those people the best in their lives. 

Finally there are True Friends.  These are the people that are there for you no matter what.  They are the people that go out of their way to help you, trust you with their lives, and are always looking out for others best interest.  I can honestly say I am someone who values those traits in friends and have a good circle of close friends that I myself would trust with my life.  I may know some of them for nearly 15 years, others that I knew when I moved away, some I worked with, and others I met as of this last year. 

Regardless of who these people are, friends are the people that make every moment of life worth living.  They share in the good times and bad.  They provide inspiration and comfort.  They are the shoulder you cry on or the people you share a great laugh with.  I want to dedicate this post to all of those close friends and family that have always stood by me.

And on a side note, I would like to also post a link to my interview on the Anthony Charles Podcast this week.  I hope you all enjoy and have a great night.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bullying: A Must Read

This is going to be a topic that was brought up during my interview on the Anthony Charles Podcast.  During the discussion, the topic of bullying was briefly brought up and is something I would like to talk about a little more in depth.

There is a very fine line between joking around and bullying; even when you are friends with the person.  I am one of those people that were bullied all throughout school.  In elementary school it was minor, but there were still a small handful of kids that were bullies.  They would pick on me because I was the small one of the class and had a hard time not showing my emotions.  These people would exploit it and use it to harass me.  In middle school it was worse.  I tried to fit in.  I even let me grades suffer just so I wouldn't seem as smart to the "cool kids."  This was not enough and the slightest thing I did was scrutinized and made fun of.  It was at a point where kids in my class would threaten to beat me up in the locker room and one classmate even threatened to kill my mother and me if I ratted him out to a teacher or principle.  Thankfully none of that happened, but I was terrified all throughout the 6th grade.

Towards the end of 6th grade and during my 7th grade year, I realized the friends I thought I had were not really my friends anymore.  They turned on me because they thought I ruined their reputation.  It led to one of our classmates attacking me after school as I walked towards my mother's car (even though my supposed friend knew about this in advance and never warned me).  I also lost a pair of friends that were twins.  We knew each other and hung out constantly since the 3rd grade, but once they saw me as someone who would ruin their rep, I was thrown aside and made fun of by them as well. 

It took me the end of 8th grade to finally stand up for myself.  Another classmate wanted to prove he was tough and decided to pick on me during study hall.  I tried to hold my emotions in, but once the bell rang to end the period, I snapped and started to throw punches.  In a matter of seconds he was left on the ground and I was already out of the room before I was caught.  Throughout the day the kids who witnessed the fight wanted to see us fight again because they wanted to see the good kid get in trouble and possibly get his butt kicked.  Only half of this happened as we were caught within a minute of fighting, but they were not content and decided to drag my name through the mud. 

From that point forward, I decided I wasn't going to let myself be bullied anymore.  There were points in my life where I felt afraid, but I didn't want to give in to it like I used to.  I found different outlets for me to deal with my feelings.  I found my ways to stand up to the bullies that wanted to fight, but fighting is not the right answer.  Eventually I turned to writing.  I would create stories based off of situations that happened to me and poems regarding my feelings.

The reason for this post tonight is to increase awareness, not  just for our kids or what they might go through in school, but about who we were and some might still be in life.  People think joking around is harmless, but you never know how that person perceives it.  Some might feel it is a joke while others might think their friends really feel that way. 

The other reason for writing this post was because due to social media bullying and harassment has gotten worse.  Your whole life is exposed and the slightest mess up could be the next viral video on the internet.  They are people just like you and me.  Before you make a joke at another's expense or post a video of someone's screw up, think about how you would feel if the joke or video was about you.
Here are some links to anti bullying sites.  I think everyone should check them out especially if you have children in schools.  Or if you are a teacher, administrator, or someone who might be interested in helping out in this cause, I encourage you to check the links as well.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I wanted to use tonight to talk about one of the fundamental components to writing or doing anything in a creative artistic field; inspiration.  In my opinion, inspiration is what brings a writer to his/her craft.  It is what we look for in life to bring us the next idea for a future project or something to work on at that moment.  It can be found anywhere; in a movie, a TV show, music, nature, talking to friends and family, and sometimes even when you are at work staring at a door or window. 

You can find inspiration anywhere and in anything.  There are a few places I like to go to create new ideas.  For starters I like to go to the beach.  It doesn't matter if it is day or night, I will go there to sit on the sand and listen to the waves wash up on the shore.  I'll watch the sun or moon light bounce off the water and let the wind relax me.  I have written many poems based off of my time at different beaches.  Another area was the Walk over the Hudson.  It is upstate in Highland/Poughkeepsie area.  It's a long walk to get from one side of the bridge to the other, but well worth it.  I don't get up there that often, but when I have it is amazing to see.  You stand high above the water and watch it flow easily underneath you.  You can watch the cars pass by on the Mid Hudson Bridge.  This has provided ideas for one of my books.

There are so many examples of finding inspiration that I could talk about.  Instead I want to encourage you to use the weekend to enjoy the weekend, relax, and find some inspiration in everything you do.  For me I will be heading back into my old stomping grounds in New Paltz and Poughkeepsie this weekend.  I will also be on the Anthony Charles Podcast taping this weekend which will be available soon.  Stay tuned for details. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taking time to relax

I know there is a lot to discuss when it comes to writing, but I want to use tonight to talk about taking time out for yourself.  Now some of you might be thinking I can relax later when I'm done writing or when I made it big.  Others might say that's great and over indulge in the relaxation.  I know from first hand experience that both of these are the wrong thought process to have.  If you over indulge in relaxing, it becomes hazardous to your drive to succeed and in your writing ability.  On the other hand being too focused has its pit falls as well; such as being focused on one particular aspect of writing, burning yourself out, and of course it becomes a source of writer's block.

To succeed not only in writing, but in anything you do, you need to have a good balance of work and relaxation.  Take time out for yourself each day to enjoy little things.  Take me for example.  I work a full time job where I am on the road driving each day and come home to write up reports.  I have a whole night ahead of me before I go to bed, wake up and repeat it again the next day.  I choose to write the same five days I work because it is easier to get things done (I'm not saying for you to do this).  After I eat dinner, I watch a little TV and then go into my writing.  I am currently working on three different projects (a book, a movie script, and this blog).  Now I know that might seem like a lot, but I have a lot that goes through my head and sometimes it works for me and other times it works against me. 

Every night I still make sure I take the time to call my girlfriend, watch a movie or a couple of TV shows, play a video game, or just sit around and listen to music with the lights off.  I choose to do these things because they help to relax me and ease my stress from the day.  Once my head is clear and the rest of the world isn't influencing my thoughts, it is much easier for me to concentrate on what I want to write about. 

I hope this has been of some help to you.  Here is also a link that might help reduce stress.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Staying Positive and Pushing Forward

I worked in retail and dealing with the public for well over a decade now.  During that time, I have come across all different types of people.  I have heard their stories and what they wanted to do with their lives.  There have been people who wanted to be lawyers, doctors,psychologists,  actors, musicians, pro wrestlers, basketball players, rappers, surfers, skaters, and yes even independent business owners.  When I asked them why they didn't pursue it more, most of them said it was too difficult and not realistic.  Others said it was easier and more comfortable working a decent job that paid well and had benefits, or they didn't want to keep going to school to get the degree they needed for their career choice. 

Maybe these people weren't meant to have their dream job.  Maybe they weren't destined for it.  I don't believe that's true.  I believe everyone has a talent that they should share with the world.  Their dream is achieveable because it's been done by plenty of other people in the world.  Those people started out just like every single one of us, and yet somehow made it to where they are now.  So what is the difference between those who are working their dream job and those that are not? 

I think it has more to do with the motivation to push yourself further towards your goal, or maybe because everyone around you tells you it is unrealistic or it's an impossible goal. 

When I was in high school, I was someone who wanted to be a pro wrestler.  It was my dream since I was a kid and was told by too many people that I was dreaming; that I couldn't do it.  I told them I would prove them wrong, and I wanted to.  Unfortunately due to medical reasons it was something I could not do.  I dwelled on it for a little while.  After realizing my passion for writing and letting it become my voice, I knew there was a talent that had yet to be tapped into. 

There were quiet a few people who told me I wouldn't make it, and others that pacified me by saying oh yeah let me know when that happens.  I wanted to prove people wrong.  My friends and family were some of my biggest supporters.  They told me if it was something I really wanted to do, then go for it and don't stop until it happens.  Everytime I hit a roadblock or some sort of obstacle, including being told no by Literary Agents, I focused on my writing and became more determined. 

I can't give you the answers to the questions that plague your mind.  Maybe you need to find the proper motivation.  Maybe you need to surround yourself with the right people that will encourage you to pursue your dream.  All I know for sure is, anything that's worth having is worth working hard for.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Literary Agents, Publishers, and Known Authors.

Ever wonder how you become a writer?  I don't mean how to write a best selling novel, or what topics to write about.  What I mean is do you ever wonder what you have to do or who to contact when trying to get your novel/manuscript published.  I did for a long time.  For a short time I thought just word of mouth and talking to people would get me in touch with the right people.  When I used to work in Lindenhurst at a "cell phone company," I came across a customer who had a lot of contacts including a few in the literary world.  I gave him several chapters of my novel in hopes of getting it to the right people.  After a few phone calls, I was contacted by a well known author and agent Peter Miller.  He was nice enough to call me to discuss my novel, but unfortunately I was not a known writer and believed my material at the time was not what they were looking for.

With the one road that I put all of my hope into being closed, I didn't know where else to go.  I looked up another well known author (who will remain nameless) and emailed him directly to ask what I would need to do to become an author or to get signed.  That email to this day has gone unanswered. 

It took my father's dietician to tell me what I would need to do.  She told me most Literary Agents do not want to take a risk on a new writer who doesn't have anything out for the public to follow.  I was told to get published through different writing contests or to self publish a book.  She said books of poetry and short stories are generally disgarded by most agents because there isn't much of a market for it.

I however decided to take the idea of self publishing and use it to put out a book of poetry (The Chamber of Souls).  I knew my poems were a good way for my readers to relate to me and the situations that I went through.

In my final thoughts of this post, I want to convey that there isn't one specific way to get signed by an agent.  There are some that are picked up instantly due to circumstances or they have a well known name.  Others that seem like they burst onto the scene with a new unique concept have been on the same journey as the rest of us writers.  They have sent out querie letters to numerous agents; hoping their manuscript is finally picked up.  Although it may be a long road to hit that goal, there will always be that time when someone says yes and it will all be worth it.  I look forward to the day when I get that yes as well.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bonding Friendships Over Videos and Writing

There are many people you meet daily.  Some say hello in passing, others are strangers or customers, and then there are the people that were put in your life for a reason.  When I was younger I kept to the same set of friends and didn't like to welcome change into my life.  That was forced to change several years ago. 

When I lived in New Paltz and Poughkeepsie, I worked in an environment that I was very familiar with; a video store.  I met a lot of interesting people through the years.  Some were related to friends from my past, others I had romantic feelings for, some became my confidants, but a select few became very close to me. 

One in particular was a musician who had great aspirations to make it big and help others along the way.  We bonded over work and that we both watched pro wrestling.  He became one of my favorite people to work with.  We would crack jokes all night as we waited on the horrible and sometimes highly amusing customers of Poughkeepsie.  We talked a lot about my first novel the Phoenix Blade and his music.  Towards the end of my time in that store, he told me about how he wanted to dabble in acting.  I thought this was a great chance for him and could lead to more possibilites. 

When I moved back to Long Island, I lost touch with a lot of people and he was included in that.  It was something I didn't want to happen, but most people know that's what happens when you move away from your friends.  Thanks to social networking and social media, we were able to continue our friendship even from a 2-3 hour drive away. 

Last year he told me about an idea he had.  He met a lot of interesting people over the last couple of years who are musicians, writers, make up artists, actors, and producers that haven't necessarily had a chance to be recognized or have been recognized and wanted to help others who may be interested in taking up a career in that field.  I thought it was a great idea and supported him every step of the way.  He has truly embodied the spirit of being kind to others and shedding light on all types of artists.  For that I applaud you Anthony and am happy our paths run parallel to very similar goals.

Here are a few links to his podcasts.  I strongly recommend you listen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Poetic Beginnings

I've always had a way with words.  Ever since I was little my mother and even my teachers said that I write a lot better than I speak.  I would have to agree with the statement because it has always been easier for me to express my feelings in writing than spoken words.  In the past, when I needed to express myself, it was written in a letter or a constant rant of me venting my feelings.  At times they made sense and others were incoherent ramblings of a man who was frankly upset with everyone in the world including himself. 

I have to go back a little to my last semester at New Paltz.  During my creative writing class, my professor told us we had to write a poem for class and make it very descriptive; using minimal amounts of words.  I never wrote a poem that made sense and could rhyme, but my professor assured me a poem did not have to rhyme for it to be a poem.  To be honest I don't remember what I wrote but it was the first poem I wrote since deciding I wanted to be a writer. 

There were multiple times that year that writing poems put a lot of things in perspective.  It was 2009 and 2010 that brought on more of my poetic insights.  There were a few poems that were written in regards to a close friend of mine.  Who knew it would be a giant leap forward towards my first major literary goal.  So here is one of the first poems I wrote which was chosen to be part of my first book the Chamber of Souls (more to come on that).


Lying on the sand,

The beautiful clear sky lets the gentle breeze flow over me.

The red hot sun radiates my body,

While my mind simmers with memories.


I’m reminded of my happiest times.

Driving around town, the music blasting, with the windows down.

One drive makes everything feel right.

My friends are all I ever needed.


A glimpse into the sun reminds me of our time together.

Waiting for the next adventure to begin;

You’ll jump at a moment’s notice,

But you never notice the one starring you in the eyes.


Now I’m here, unable move.

If I do I’ll die.

Wishing I had the strength to tell you,

But fear I never will.


The lights are fading fast.

There’s a shadow standing over me.

I notice her eyes one last time;
I love you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2 Years of near silence

I felt like I lost everything.  The one in a million idea I thought would give me everything I ever wanted in life, was gone.  Months of work went down the drain when we had to factory reset.  I was devastated and didn't think I would ever be able to come up with another idea like that again.  It took me two years before I was able to come up with anything else to write about.  One idea stuck out in my mind, but could never do anything with it. 

By 2008, my life took a drastic turn for the best (although I took it as the worst at the time).  My relationship ended with my ex and I moved back home to Long Island.  I had to start over from scratch with my life.  I moved back in with my parents, my job botched my transfer and I was without a job. 

There was one brightside to the situation.  There was a desktop computer at my parents house that had an A Drive.  I was able to work on the Phoenix Blade again.  I pulled up the file for the first time in two years.  There was only two feelings that ran through me.  Happiness to see my work again, and anger at how my writing once was.  Somehow I managed to improve my writing ability during those two years and one failed attempt at writing a different story.  But now I felt rejuventated.  I had my original writing idea back in my hands; ready to be remodeled to my current writing style.  I felt alive again.  I felt like a Phoenix.

Monday, September 10, 2012


It's something everyone comes across.  The official definition says:

an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating.

I for one can honestly say that is a very true way to describe the feeling you get when faced with a setback.  There have been quiet a few setbacks throughout my journey as a writer and I am sure I will face many more. 

My first literary setback happened in 2006 (shortly after I started typing up the Phoenix Blade).  I was using the desktop computer at my apartment and kept finding a virus attacking the computer.  It would take complete control of my system and send a hundred or so pop up windows.  I couldn't even write anymore without having to close out a dozen extra windows on the computer.  My ex and I tried to run anti-virus software, but nothing seemed to work.  We had no other choice, we had to reset it back to factory settings.  I was able to save my work to a floppy disk prior to erasing everything from my computer. 

After the restoration, we still had issues and eventually had to get a different desktop.  There was another issue that was unexpected.  The new computer did not have an A Drive which meant I could no longer work on the Phoenix Blade book.  I was crushed and couldn't remember everything I wrote previously.  I didn't want to start it over again either.  I had no other choice at the time.  I left the Phoenix Blade novel behind for years.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Beginning pt2

Some people always wonder how writers get their inspiration for their books, blogs, movie scripts, poems, or stories.  I know it was always something I thought about; especially when critiquing a movie I just saw and didn't like (I'm sure that will happen to me one day too).  When I went to school in Farmingdale University and then at New Paltz, I worked for two video rental companies that will remain nameless.  These stores provided the perfect setting for my creative mind to work with.  I could see what plots and movies worked well with their viewers and what didn't; as well as give inspiration for future ideas for my own writing and how to make it better (I'm not saying to do that, but it worked well for me at the time).

Now this next part may seem a little controversial but that's part of who I am.  It took me until 2004 and 2005 to come up with my next book idea.  2004 was election year and was the first time I was voting.  This was my second year in New Paltz and began to see their point of view on society and politics (and watching Michael Moore documentaries didn't help either).  I was looking at the world through a different set of eyes; ones that were focused on being against the Republicans and more for the people.  As I said it was election year and we all know who won that one.  Most of the students in the area wanted a change in regards to the President and especially within the government and that was not something we were granted. 

For a few groups of people, they liked to protest their dislikes; especially government related topics.  However, I was a different kind of person and liked to write about it.  I wanted to change the world but didn't know how to do it.  So I wondered what if someone forced a change and what if that person was already inside the government?  I decided to center the book around a small group of friends who wanted to change the world and would go to any lengths to do it.  I wanted to call the book Tales of the Phoenix Blade, because I was uncertain how many books I wanted to create, I love swords, and the Phoenix was an important figure in my life (more of that in later posts). 

The Phoenix Blade book had its purpose and a nice plot to start, but it needed more.  It needed ways to attract a reader.  It needed to be entertaining, exciting, breath taking, and innovative.  I needed to create a book that could reach readers no matter the age or gender. 

The Phoenix Blade was meant to create change for the better.  Despite still not being picked up by a literary agent or publisher, it has already changed the lives of myself and a few others that I have let read it (More to come in the future).

This is only the beginning; there's a lot more to come.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Beginning pt1

When writing anything, you should always start with an idea and then work on your beginning.  So that is exactly what I'm going to do.  I don't want to bore you with the random childhood memories of how I started writing crazy imaginative stories in fifth grade and how I took part in the Creative Writing Club before school that year, but that's where it began.  Unfortunately I cannot remember much of that time or the stories I wrote.  To be honest there's not much I can remember from my childhood in regards to writing other than creating my own newspaper in sixth grade and selling it for a quarter (I've never been one to take No or you can't do that without coming back with a heavy response).

The next time I decided to write anything was after four years of wrestling in various backyard wrestling promotions on Long Island.  I was injured numerous times and knew I couldn't go after my dream of being a Pro Wrestler.  I was told by my doctor that the bottom of my spine was twisting pretty bad and was not advised to continue any kind of wrestling.  It crushed me that I was told I shouldn't wrestle again.  There was so much more that I wanted to do; more that I could contribute.  But in my mind if I couldn't be a wrestler, I didn't want to be part of it at all. 

So I started college in 2001 at Farmingdale University and tried to find a different path I could travel down; hoping to find a new career or dream to throw myself into.  As I sat in my english class I decided to write the ending to my wrestling life (the ending I wished would have happened).  I figured it woudl be a good and healthy way of dealing with things I could not control in my life.  I wrote every day during my breaks between classes and every night when I came home from work.  I included everything I could that legitimately occurred before writing what I wished would have happened.

It took another four years before I decided to attempt another book, but you'll have to wait for the next installment for that one.

My Mission

Ever wonder how people find their career path?  I always did until a few years ago.  It was the beginning of my path.  At first it started out as a selfish reason.  I wanted to be a writer to make money and to have the title of author added to my name and list of accomplishments.  I started writing my first novel and took a creative writing class at the college.  During that semester, I started to find my love for writing again, but it still took a while before I understood it.  It was in 2009 that I realized what I truly wanted to do.  I wanted to be a writer, but now I wanted to help other potential authors find their voice and become established writers.

So how do I accomplish what I set out to do?  For starters I put out my first book last year (but we'll get more into that later).  For now I'm going to write this blog.  Maybe starting from the beginning will do some good; for me or for someone else.