Drilling Down – Tim Ferriss Style

One of the things becoming more important as I get older and more seasoned in the publishing industry is the need for efficiency.  I’m already (mostly) an efficient writer but I could improve. I’m still on my personal growth kick though and when I got the last 5-Bullet Friday email from Tim Ferriss, he was pimping his new book Tribe of Mentors.

His email had the first chapter in which is defined the premise of the book and set up the most powerful interview questions in the best order to pull the best responses from his guests, all of whom are world class performers in some manner or another.

I know, it makes more sense to put up his current book, but I don’t have it yet!

I thought for the sake of my own personal development, and of course, blog content, I’d start answering these questions to maybe give you, the reader, some help.  Or fuck, I don’t know, maybe see where MY head is at.

Let’s begin.

1. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

This is easy right now. Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani and Tools of Titans, by Timothy Ferriss.  Both books are not only solid and chock full of information that can radically shape your life, but I’ve talked extensively about growth and breaking of the brules in our current culturescape here, and again here. Both books are definitely challenging.

2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.

Well, purchase “I” didn’t make, was my iPad Pro 2. For someone with visual impairment issues, getting into the stock market and looking at stock charts on an iPhone 6+, along with reading e-books. Even over my kindle fire, the iPad is superior.

But that doesn’t count since A: it’s over $100 and B: I didn’t buy it.  I’ll have to come back to this question.  I really don’t buy much right now outside, books, cigars, alcohol or food. And when it comes to food, I buy a LOT of food.

3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

I can’t say I have anything specific. This answer is subject to change obviously, but right now, nothing’s coming to mind. Part of that is because I’ve been learning to control me more, and that means my emotions remain more in check, along with my logic so I don’t let gut reactions get the best of me in the situations where that’s not the best reaction.  Have I failed? Sure I have. Spectacularly, in fact. I can remember this one time in real estate I fucked up this purchase, a $60M (yes that’s MILLION) apartment complex that was in downtown Arlington. I couldn’t structure the deal because I’d been looking at the deal entirely wrong.

I was trying to obtain financing for myself, rather than invite a team in to give them a better rate of return and still make some cash. I was trying to be a lone wolf, which appeared to be working for me in publishing (up until this last year) but that’s a different ballgame altogether.

The next time I tried to buy commercial, I went smaller and looked hard at the numbers, but also had a better idea of how to structure the deal because I’d called upon my mentors.

By the way, I now ask my mentors and supporters for help in publishing.

Chai, the awesome GM at Highland Cigar Company here in Atlanta rocking my fedora and a cigar

4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

You create your reality. It’s all about what goes in your head and comes out of your mouth that dictate how your life goes, so stop blaming others for your circumstances and the life you’re experiencing. Create your life.

5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Cultivating the cigar culture in Atlanta – because when I was at a low, the fellow BOTL and SOTL reminded me that I was still family. (For context, I tend to run lone wolf more than I should – more than any human should, really)

6. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

Few things actually. Really simple three chord college rock (think songs like Breathless by Lifer, Comedown by Bush, Someday by Sugar Ray – Fans of mine know I NEVER touch shit that’s in 4/4 or isn’t damn annoying, musically), umm, Kekism, Meme magic, #AllHailBlueWhale, and don’t get me started on my rules for what to drink and when it can be served. Offensive gangsta rap, geeksta rap, all that shit’s absurd. But I fucking love it!

7. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

I am Enough. Thanks to Marisa Peer, incorporating that into my life has been the biggest improvement since T. Harv Ecker’s belief that I can rewrite my own story to support me.

8. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

Advice to take: If you’re going to rise above humanity in the easiest manner, work for or become an innovator.  That will get you ahead faster than the old methods.  Study money, not people, economics, not liberal arts, then when you have a grasp on money and how an economy is supposed to function, study people through psychology. And remember, sometimes you need to let some of that shit go.

Advice to ignore:  Anything that sounds like bullshit, honestly. If it goes against whatever integrity you’ve developed to date, and it rubs you the wrong way, fucking chuck that shit.

9. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Self publish from the start.

10. In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

Everyone and everything that doesn’t serve me, honestly. I’ll flat out just say “nope, not serving me.” The fact that I can actually turn shit down has made a tremendous impact, because unless it’s a personal matter, it doesn’t matter because it’s just business and I’m out for a win-win but first I’m out for me – something I’ve ignored for too long.

11. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

Sascha at Occidental Cigar Club, San Francisco December 2013

Usually that’s the time when I need to decompress or “deload” as Tim Ferriss says. That usually means a cigar out on the balcony, glasses off, glass of bourbon or wine, and maybe my iPad just so I can talk to the girlfriends. I’ll play chess. I’ll change the soundtrack I’m listening to from something djent-heavy to either a lighter (is death metal lighter than djent-death?) style of metal or a completely different genre.  It’s not unusual for me to be listening to Devildriver, Whitechapel, Anciients, The Room Colored Charlatan and then J. Balwin or Yelawolf and Twenty-One Pilots all in the same afternoon.

Else I’ll take off to the cigar lounge in downtown Decatur and sit for a few hours with a cigar and enjoy THAT moment – to refocus.

If you enjoyed this post and getting a deeper look at who I am, it might be time for you to look at some of the best World Class Performers and you can do that through Tim Ferriss’s books at his site.

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Slice the Cake’s latest kicks ass compilation

Yeah, we’re talking about Djent and my music obsession.  I need the heart because if this is my blog, and my site, and I’m going to lure fans in not by talking writing shop all the damn time, but by talking interest, let’s talk about “Odyssey to the West” the last album from the dynamic death/metal-core band Slice the Cake, made up of members who from what I understand, have never met in person.

I won’t go into the detailed explanation of what this masterpiece is about, someone else did that here. Short version, the album is a journey based loosely on “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, by John Bunyan. It strays from what the link above says, but I’m not familiar with the particular allegory.

But I will say that the album on full rotation, from start to 78 minutes of music, Shakespearian Soliloquy, death metal vocals, clean vocals, acoustic and heavy guitars, calm drums and death metal blast beats tied up with booming bass, has moved me. Parts of it pick up from their previous album “Other Slices” in the love department and the meaning I’ve pulled from that segment (taken possibly out of context) where as parts of it like Unending Waltz challenge my Soul.

Yeah.  Because a musician asked the right question of the emotional listener.

Unending Waltz – give it a listen.  It’s…somewhat typical for fans of more aggressive metal and fans of this band. It literally shatters me when the Oracle starts speaking, because of the questions she poses to The Pilgrim on his journey.

I’ve only known sadness until recently and this song was a huge reinforcement of what I wanted my characters to go through in order to provide you with release.  Unshed tears needed to fall while I wrote, and they probably need to fall when you read my stories if you’re digging in that hard into what I’m trying to convey.

This still falls into line with a basic tenant I’ve been learning. The Oracle once asks tough questions to the Pilgrim and makes him question himself to the point of even calling him a coward. Then she puts forth another ideal that may work better for him. “Because it’s all so simple, can’t you see?”

The entire composition of this one song gets me every fucking time.

It makes it harder to write through tears but the stories come out better because I emote.  I release.

In the end, “What are the chances, that I would come to see with such great ease?”

~~~~

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Life Hacking – an author’s journey

Over the last year you have probably noticed I’ve been on this spiritual and physical growth path in an attempt to not only increase my financial success but increase my happiness in life.  I’ve been driven to succeed even more.

That started when I first read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Ecker. Some of you may know on that other site that I am now T-Sascha Illyvich and there’s a reason for that explained in my profile.

The journey started many years ago honestly when I was still living with an ex in Houston, TX.  I’d begun reading Zig Ziglar and gotten into the idea of motivational speaking and learning to grow mentally since that was lacking.

I’d become a Toastmaster when I lived in California.

When I came to Georgia and found a place to call home, I’d re-read T. Harv’s book and then came across the seminar. I detailed that experience a little in this #holdontothelight post.

Shortly after that, I’d become a member (Free) of MindValley Academy and found myself immersed in free (and sometimes paid) training on how to supercharge my life in a grand spectrum.  In the post mentioned above I also talk about my affinity for author and lifestyle hacker, Timothy Ferriss, embracing simple yet powerful techniques that 10x my life. Everything from simplifying and reclaiming time, to hacking my diet, I’ve been embracing it.

Now I’m going through Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by MindValley founder Vishen Lakhiani. He is proof that you can actually change your reality to bend it to your will via the things he’s done in only the small time I’ve been following the instructors he’d brought to MindValley.

In CodeEx, he talks about the 12 areas of improvement, based on LifeBook, a program developed by John Butcher and without giving away Butcher’s program, Vishen asks you to think about these twelve areas, question them and really expound upon them. A girlfriend of mine is currently engaged in the Lifebook course and says the actual paid for course is deeper than what Vishen mentions, but the difference is that Vishen, like Tim Ferriss is hacking things for “busy people.”

You may be wondering what the fuck ANY of this shit has to do with my writing or my normal interests as a cigar and alcohol connoisseur and sex god.

Experience!

Writers ARE the TRUE reporters of the world.  I have been quoted as saying “We are the heart of the world that beats with pain,  pleasure, agony, ecstasy, hope, dreams, fears, goals, wants, needs.”

I’ve also said “Remember, we are dreamers who dream the impossible, then write it like it’s fact because the world needs that.  The world hurts, and we, especially as romance writers, are the cure.”

All of the things I do to my life impact the lives of others around me and allow me to enjoy a greater range of emotion and then put that down on paper for you, the reader.

And in the end, aren’t we all looking to feel something?

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Unedited Excerpt – Clint

Clint shifted uncomfortably in his seat, but met her stare with a hard gaze.  “I promise, it won’t land on you.  My brothers have my back and we’re going to finish up the mess with our local associates soon as we can.  But that’s all I can say.”

“Else you’ll have to call me your ol’lady and make me subservient?”

Clint snorted.  “As if you’d ever be submissive on any level.  Why do you think I hired you?”

Chuckling, Haley waved a hand about.  “Oh, I don’t know.  Because maybe you said to the universe, I want the biggest bitch to be my lawyer?”

“Yeah.  We’ll go with that.”

Funny how he didn’t backtrack on them being a couple.  For the time being, she’d chalk it up to exhaustion, alcohol and stress.

Not that she wanted to be his girlfriend.

Or did she?

“Something going on in that pretty head of yours, Hales?  I saw the wheels spin for a moment.”

“No.”  Haley didn’t try to stop the yawn from happening in hopes of deterring Clint’s actions.

He set a hand on her thigh but didn’t move it any further.

The spark between them flared brightly, making her stomach clench in anticipation but the look in Clint’s eyes not only told her he wanted her as bad as she wanted him, but he’d be patient staking his claim.

“Tired?”

“Yeah.”  She faked another yawn but the look on his face said he wasn’t buying it.  But, Clint took another sip of his tea and rose to his full height.  “You should probably walk me out then.  It’s getting late and we have a thing.”

Nodding, Haley stood and moved back from the couch.  Any small space she could find herself in with Clint was not a place she needed to be.  Not right now.

Before she made it to the front door, Clint was on her, pressing her against the wall, fingers holding her shoulders, and his mouth on hers.

She pushed back against his chest but the bulk of his muscle stopped her and she finally reneged when his tongue slid into her mouth and she made the mistake of inhaling him.

Yes, she tasted him, the beer, the cigar, but her nostrils flared at him.  Instead of shoving him away, she’d found her hands clutching his shoulders for dear life and moving to his upper arms while his fingers tangled in her hair.  Another hand captured her around the waist and pulled her into him while he nipped and sucked at her lip, biting playfully with enough pain to stake a claim.

It pissed her off.

Unfortunately, it also hardened her nipples and made her nether region take notice and her breath hitch.

Good thing she hadn’t decided to change when she’d come home.

Haley kissed him back, inhaling his essence while he slanted his mouth over hers.  She couldn’t stop herself from wrapping a leg around his waist and pulling him even tighter against her while she cupped the back of his head.

He’d slid one hand down to grip her ass through her jeans, giving her a good, hard squeeze.  The move felt as possessive as his love nip, even though what he’d said to her earlier replayed in her head.

That noise was slowly drowned out by him sucking in a breath and kissing her hard, gliding his tongue over, and ultimately between her lips.

They wrestled for control of the kiss, but he won.  It wasn’t the MC influencing his hormones, this was all Clint.  The man who was in control of everything, kissed her.

His tongue explored her mouth as though searching, learning.  Each slow, deliberate lick had a purpose and hit its mark, heightening her arousal further.  Skin grew too warm and she wanted to pull his cut off, yank off his clothes and hers, but he’d kept himself pressed against her so she couldn’t get a finger between them.

He backed off, sucked in a breath, as did she.  Then he leaned in and kissed her once more, this time, with softness.

Haley tasted all of him and more, her body throbbing now from the way he caressed her mouth with his.

Then he pulled back and moved away from her before making his way to the front door.

Before she could respond, Clint had let himself out, shut the door behind him with a quiet click, leaving her heaving and frustrated, leaning against the wall in her living room.

His mug still steamed slightly but the heat from the tea was nothing compared to how she wanted to melt when he finally kissed her like he meant it.

Goddamn him.

~~~

This is the first of probably 3 MC romances I plan to write during the 2018 year. Clint is already finished in draft form but I need to edit it. I’m looking for betas, and those who subscribe and donate to my Patreon will get sneak peeks!

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I was looking for something else and came across this photo gallery of graffiti murals.

My Youtube Channel for readers and authors!

Some of the work is pretty amazing!  Back in December of ’16 when babygirl was here we’d taken a trip down to Krog Street Market, which is sort of like Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  I hear the Ponce City Market down the street is bigger/better but also bouzy.

I like bouzy heh. You should all know that by now.

Click here to see what Atlanta’s East side beltline has to offer.

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Thought I’d share one of the more beautiful…

Houses I walk by when I’m headed to Highland Cigar Company.  See, the train doesn’t get me all the way there but it does stop at Inman Park/Reynoldstown.

First, some brief history: Our Beginnings

Further toward North Highland Avenue is this beauty – I’d LOVE to smoke cigars and relax on that porch with bourbon and company.

Inman Park is Atlanta’s first planned residential suburb and also Atlanta’s first electric trolley neighborhood. Created at the cusp of the twentieth century, this ideal Victorian neighborhood — curved streets, generous residential lots and verdant parks — was built upon the wrecked land of Atlanta’s Civil War battlefield, two miles east of Downtown Atlanta. – From Inman Park website.

That being said, it’s a brief walk, about .7 of a mile from the MARTA stop to Highland and during the Spring and Fall months, the walk is quite enjoyable.  Large sweeping trees overhead, beautiful Victorian houses, plenty of landscape? Yeah, that’ll get me in the mood for a #SundayNightChillSession all right!  The neighborhood is pretty large with both implements of modernity and history, including a park, the Church and a series of lofts in some of the older buildings that have been repurposed.

The remodel on this is gorgeous!

Anyway, the houses in this area are iconic, with gorgeous Victorian style architecture. I truly enjoy the walk through the neighborhood and for the last two years, have done the Inman Park Tour of Homes for a relatively low fee.

I needed to do something to shake up my normal cigar/booze routine and this just seemed cool.  I’ll throw up a few pictures in another post later about interiors, but being able to see some of the houses restored to either former glory or modernized with impressive designs was awesome.

The second photograph is actually the finished product. When I first arrived here, they were rehabbing the house and about four months back maybe? I saw new owners moving in.  It was pretty and the exterior looks amazing.

Even going into the old church was astounding.  I really loved the stained glass windows and will have to find those photos to accompany the exterior to the right of this post. Oh and both my youngest Girlfriend and I got to ring the bell last time she was in town and we did the tour of homes.

 

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Chess fans!

I’ve been playing chess more intensely for the last three years, and have finally found a partner! I mean we play via chess.com client for iPhone/Android but still. I’ve been with this kid for some time and we go rounds often.

Most folks don’t know that I am a fan of the game. I picked it up in high school, my Freshman year as something to do after school and my friend/neighbor and I would play for two hours at a time over one game. Then do it again. I remember when Tool’s first full length album Undertow which, for the time was a long album. It clocks in at 72 minutes, if you include the hidden track. (I tried some acid once…)

We were just playing, knew the rules, understood the goal. Capture the king. That was it.  The next year I had enrolled in Cross Country so that eroded any free time I had, along with my AP/Honors classes (yeah, fuck that shit. Listen, don’t bother with those, they are only for your delicate, teenage ego ONLY) and I no longer could keep up.

chess1Fast forward to my early 20s. I picked up an online client once I’d settled in with an ex girlfriend in Houston. I kept up as best I could, but I still had no idea about anything other than thinking several moves ahead. Writing took up more time as I decided to ditch the cancer that is a traditional job (I’ll do another blog post defending that position later) and become an erotica writer.  Only I became an erotic romance author, instead.  Then, as luck would have it, I ended up in yet another long term, but long distance relationship until moving to California where the relationship was long term, but now we lived together. It wasn’t until 2011 or thereabout when I picked up the game during a dead spell in winter.  That I think was the winter I decided to drink all during the month of December and when I say drink, I mean from sunrise (or 9 AM in this case) to bedtime (or Midnight in this case) and my ex was on board because, hey, what else was I doing?  I was suffering from burnout -which is NOT writers block.

Writer’s Block is a lie. I covered that in an earlier video post here.

Burnout occurs when you’ve written all year and not refilled the word well or restocked your imagination. Block is just a bullshit state of mind.

Anyway, I remembered this amazing thing called Youtube.  Yeah I’m a little fuckin’ slow.  Some days…remember, drunk (sort of?) and burned out. I started watching chess videos and memorizing moves and positions and learning the finer arts of the game.

chess2Things such as openings became important and here’s a hint. If I’m playing white, I almost ALWAYS open with Kings Indian Attack, though lately I’ve been toying with the Fried Liver Attack.

Mid games: Mine sucks if I don’t do it right.

Endgames:  Same.  I either have it or I don’t.

Now I do tactics daily when I wake up, have this partner I’ve been playing with often enough that it’s a regular expectation honestly, and when I’m smoking a cigar I’ll do the occasional bullet chess game.  That’s where you have 3 minutes to complete a game and in my set up, if you move quickly, you gain time.  Two seconds. I’ve been lucky to win a number of games through time loss on the other side when I was clearly having my ass handed to me, but I’m getting better.

It’s a mental exercise that lets me stretch and play. It also serves to remind me of a very important life lesson.

Look at the ENTIRE BOARD before making a move.

Let that sink in.

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Video: How To Defeat Writer’s Block

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Stop The Presses – a #HoldOntoTheLight Post for 2017

I was honored enough to be asked to return to help Gail Z. Martin out on her campaign for mental disorder awareness, depression and suicide and last night had this brilliant post in mind.

Naturally, I can’t remember what it was.

But alas, I am a writer and have the solution thanks to my social media feed and the Fake News.

When we talk about mental depression, we’re really talking about a state of being that seems to many of us, a state we cannot control. Though, to some extent, via my second post from last year, we can. Thoughts that go in to our head can influence, and will influence us on a deep, subconscious level.

It’s hard to stop that spiral but is it easy to keep it at bay for as long as possible?

Sure. Yes, as writers we’re supposed to be accessible in this modern day and age but when things get out of hand on social media?

TURN THE FUCKING SOCIAL MEDIA OFF.

Focus on scheduling your posts ahead of time, handling all your business, and then turn the shit off. It isn’t serving you.

Yes, this may seem counter-intuitive as I stated above but what’s more important? Your career or your mental health?

I have a number of tricks I use to blunt what I think might be depression and they all involve some form of disconnecting from reality. Again, thanks to Tim Ferriss, Vishen Lakhiani and as of late, Emily Fletcher.

My first trick usually involves taking a solid day off and disconnecting from technology completely. I can’t go so far as Tim Ferriss where he ditches his phone except for texting and GPS, I have three girlfriends. But if I have my iPad in my hand, I’m reading and it’s fiction – romance usually. Or personal growth, but even that’s kept to a minimum.

This gives my mind a day away from ANY of the bullshit on social media that can create anxiety.  I’ve also found myself eager to come back to whatever project I’m working on when I do return from that day off.  I’ve also found my creativity spike. My ability to get back into a story explodes even as I say “I don’t know if I can do it.” Two hours later, 3k written. BAM.

Something that’s still having a long term effect on me is a commitment I made to not just The One in my heart, but the others who occupy room there too.

This is a snippet from an IM I sent.  The IM that started that is in Italics.

“I am not about money and you don’t have to be rich for me.”
It’s made me think about the way I work as an author and my own financial goals. It’s made me question them and start to really untrain myself from HAVING to kill myself for novels and just write them the way I always should have – because I enjoy writing them and my growing base of readers enjoys reading them.
It’s made me think about my models of reality and the fact that, originally I had to prove myself by working very hard and showing proof, even at the expense of my own life, that I’m not lazy. It’s how I developed my heart condition. So, I have to untrain myself from that, and realize that I am truly happiest as an author, speaker, teacher, professionally.
An unexpected one was that for a long time (before we met as adults) I had to prove myself, my worth to my loved ones, and ultimately myself. That simple statement she said, started to unwind in my head. Because she loves me as she does, unconditionally, I have nothing to prove. I only have to be me.
These all came from my teenage years and the brules I bought – IE the stories/lies I’m always telling you that humans buy. I’m choosing new stories, ones that are more conducive to a happier, more fulfilling life.

~~~
That commitment was made just after the Millionaire Mind Intensive I did last year. The reason that came about is because The One comes from money and I had this old brule in my head about what  “I” needed to be, and now “how.”

Now I won’t lie, I was at a con recently and shit came up again I thought I’d buried – hence a problem. The suggestions I’m offering are not one fix solutions. They take time.

Think about it. You grew up with a system of beliefs that took 20, 30, 50 or more years to develop and SEAL IN. One meditation session or a weekend event on personal growth will only begin to uncover the dirt hiding the shit.

Zig Ziglar stated plainly. You don’t bathe just once to get clean forever.

Next tip: Seriously?

Once a day, watch this.  It’s called the Six Phase meditation and is a brain hack that guides you into a more blissful state of being. Science is behind it. In 40 Years of Zen, Vishen, Dave Asprey (Bulletproof coffee/diet) and a few others hooked their brains up and spent 7 days all day meditating through various phases and watched brain wave patterns change. What they found was that when you meditate using these methods, your brain takes on the same patterns as someone who has spent 21 to 40 YEARS in Zen meditation. 

You can read Vishen’s blog post here.  The takeaway from this though is that doing something that takes you out of your SELF and connects you with Source (god, goddess, whatever you call it) has a profound effect on your behavior and mental state.

Last year I was out getting liquor and the bus ride was a pain because the bus runs only once an hour in either direction and I live in the hot state of Georgia and after starting meditating practices, I found myself feeling “bad” for bitching about the heat. That may seem like a small thing but you have to understand that for years, I ran on my anger. I LOVED it.  I let it run everything in me from (unconscious) behavior to belief in my writing.

I have kept this practice up for most of the year (since April/May of last year actually) and have found myself just deciding to “have one less.”

I’m not making a conscious choice to drink less. I just find that I do. The blog post talks about the secret to enhancing brain waves as being forgiveness. That usually means all the pinheads and morons who have pissed us off, we release that energy.  But, what if  as I mentioned in a previous post that’s you? You bought the bad story. You bought the lie. You did the damage because YOU let them sell you shit?

Forgiveness runs both ways. It’s been a lesson I struggle with because I LIKE being a Type A person but nobody is born that way. I allowed them to create this in me. Now? If I use the hacks to be that Type A person, I’m efficient. But my dreams haunt me sometimes and there’s a younger version of me screaming at me. (He stopped screaming a few years ago when I started acknowledging him) and now?

Part of my six phase routine is actively forgiving myself for what I did based on lies and mistruths.

Truth be told? I’m actually a LOT lighter in energy and spiritual weight. Creativity comes faster, more often. I’ve come up with three story ideas since starting this blog post honestly.

I appreciate more out of life. From my bartenders (the greatest) to my girlfriends (I have the best girlfriends) to the deals I make in publishing, to the work I do, I have found that life just feels better. Again, disrupting the mind is something that should be done often and routinely but with inconsistency to keep you fresh and that may just help.

About the campaign:

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK),SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com and join us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeHoldOnToTheLight

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Food stuffs – Fried Shark recipe

Something I don’t mention much but you’ll see a lot of on Instagram is my obsession with food.  Yeah, I enjoy cooking too.  Having three girlfriends actually makes me remind myself that when one of them is present I have to actually make food that tastes good and isn’t boring or the same old steak and buffalo with fries.

Fried Shark and Wine

Recently I tried shark.  Not sure what type of shark Dekalb Farmer’s Market has, but I know what I’m eating is steak sized basically. I bought a few pounds worth when it was on sale a few weeks ago and now that I’m back from DragonCON, I’m cooking again.

I was curious to know if you could fry shark.

Found this recipe:

Lb. of Shark

Dash of garlic powder

Dash of salt and black pepper

Dash of paprika

1/2 cup of flour

Sprinkle the garlic powder, paprika and salt/pepper on the shark, then coat in flour and fry in vegetable oil.  

I used olive oil and Hungarian Paprika.  I have Spanish Paprika too. I wasn’t terribly thrilled to be honest.  I doubled the “dashes” but kept the flour the same. It was good but my better efforts went to the curried potatoes I’d made along with the shark.

I served with Chromatose 2016 Bergermac from France but I was hoping the recipe had more power to it. I’m a cigar smoker,  I like power!  Next time I’m going to find a variant and see what I can do.

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