Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Week Continues

On the Beyond the Trope Blog, I discuss C.S. Lewis. He's a big reason why I write.

If you haven't done it already, go check out our website (linked above), and subscribe to the podcast through iTunes. If you don't HAVE iTunes, you can always subscribe through FeedBurner. PodBay.fm also has some options, including embedded listening.

Monday, February 24, 2014

This is the Week!

I'm excited to remind all of you that the Beyond the Trope podcast goes LIVE tomorrow!

Wanna know a secret? You can already subscribe on iTunes and get the first episode. It's official tomorrow, but today it's already there.

So rather than sticking around here and reading something random that I wrote, go check out Beyond the Trope, maybe comment on the blog, and listen to our debut episode.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Date Night!

Date night is incredibly important, especially for couples who have been together for more than two years. As time wears on and lives get more complicated and busier, it gets harder and harder to keep a relationship "fresh" and "exciting." And date night is a great way to keep building on that relationship.

I'm actually taking my wife out tonight because with sickness, podcasting, day jobs, and trying to get writing stuff done, we haven't spent much quality time together. We're not going to do anything super fancy. We're just going to head downtown and eat at one of our favorite (low-moderately priced) restaurants. Then we may go to a local beer bar we enjoy, or we may hop over to the arcade/bar that's for 21+ customers only.

There are many other things we could try to do, too, and we're both excited to see what the evening holds. It's important, and I'm overjoyed at the idea of doing this on a regular, or even infrequent basis, for the rest of my life.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind. Check out the Beyond the Trope Blog and see what our halfling-cyborg had to say about community.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Learning Curve

Over the last few months, I've been working on self-improvement. It's not just because I want to be a better person. I love learning, too! And along those lines, I'm learning that there's a lot that I can pick up quickly, but then it takes a long time to start progressing from there. And in other instances, there's a LOT that I have to learn right away before I can even think about moving beyond the "beginner" phase of a project.

For example: I'm learning HTML5 and CSS3. Unlike music (where I learned a few notes and quickly translated that into learning songs, then translated that into writing songs), coding is going to require a lot of bookwork before I can sit down and design my first website. In a practical sense, anyway.

But I'm working on several writing projects, too, that may move me closer to getting published because they're making me figure out new ways to write. I've already learned a lot about writing, and since I have that base to work from, the progression on these other projects feels smooth and relatively straightforward.

The takeaway from this should be that when someone (you or I) sets out to do something, success will only come from sticking with it. How easy or hard it is should have no bearing on whether or not it's going to succeed or fail. In fact, some of my biggest successes came from some of the slowest-starting projects in my life. School, for example. When I started college, I'd been out of school for three years. I had no idea what I was doing, and I had to figure stuff out on the fly. I genuinely thought, based on my initial struggles, that I was going to do poorly in college. Turned out, I maintained a 4.0 until I decided to move on to other things.

And over on the Beyond the Trope blog, Michelle discusses a similar idea. She talks about how important it is to NOT let our current conditions dictate our future plans. Go check it out and maybe leave a comment!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Great Food: SPAM 'N Eggwich

My best friend and I joke around a lot, and we both love great food. He's actually a chef and makes some of the best food I've ever eaten. But we both love a childhood classic: the SPAM 'N Eggwich. It makes us laugh, and we love to tell everyone else around us when we're discussing this savory meal that "You know you grew up poor when the SPAM 'N Eggwich is one of the best meals you've ever eaten."

So cringe if you must, but if you enjoy great flavor try this recipe:

1 slice (approximately 1/8" thick) of SPAM—MUST BE SPAM! EXCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!!
1 egg, scrambled
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 english muffin, toasted
Salt and Pepper Egg to taste (though you won't need much salt because the SPAM has plenty)

Throw the SPAM on a skillet. Get a light sear on both sides (slightly brown and warm to the touch since SPAM is pre-cooked).

Scramble the egg is SPAM runnings. If there's not enough, add a thin slice of butter. When the egg is almost done cooking, scoop it together to make sure it remains in a smallish circle shape.

On the english muffin, stack eggs, then SPAM, then cheese, then top of the muffin.

And enjoy your freaking heart out!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Announcement!

Today I can finally make THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

A few weeks ago, two friends and I got together and recorded a podcast. We've been working tirelessly ever since to get it up and running, and with the few snags we hit along the way, I wanted to keep the info on the down low just to make sure we didn't put out a release date before we were ready to launch.

Well, our soft open begins as of today! To on over to Beyond the Trope and look around. Our first episode will be out in two weeks, but keep an eye out in case I manage to get something up early for the "out of town preview."

We have a blog set up, too, and my Wednesday posts on this blog will be replaced by a weekly post on the Beyond the Trope blog.

So that's it. That's what we've been working toward, and it's something we hope to pursue for years to come.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Great Food: Chili

A few years ago, I shared my first chili recipe with all (three) of my readers. Over the years, that recipe has changed a lot. It's more complex, has a broader range of flavors, and tastes SO much better. To the point where I get super excited about chili day at my house!

So here's what you need:

1 lb. of Ground Beef (Hamburger), browned
1 can of Chili Beans
1 can of Kidney Beans
1 cup of Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup of Tomato Paste
1 cup of Diced Tomatoes
1-1 & 1/2 cup of Frozen Corn
1-2 Diced JalapeƱos (remove seeds and ribs for a milder chili, leave them in if you like hot chili)
1/2 cup of BBQ Sauce
2 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Diced Onion
1-2 Tbsp of Chili Powder
1/4 tsp of Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
1 14 oz. can of Beef Broth (or chicken if you don't have beef)
1 cup of Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon

Mix all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Joy of Creating

Every time I sit down to write a book, after I've outlined the entire thing, excitement sets in! I love writing. It's something that gets me up in the morning (with the help of an extremely loving wife).

Trying new methods is great, too, and as an unpublished author, I have the freedom to experiment and expand my talents. Writing a book from two POVs is proving to be an interesting endeavor, and it's challenging my brain. It a good way!

Doing something new and creative is important, especially if I want to learn. I don't think I can get more excited about writing a new book. It's thrilling to send out queries for a finished book while putting together the next manuscript. It makes me feel like I'm actually serious about this.

Sometimes, I just have to sit down and remember that this is fun, even when it's 5:30 in the morning, and all I want is another hour or two of sleep. At least the coffee keeps me warm.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Charity of the Month: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Cancer can be a devastating disease. When someone hears they have cancer, many times, they fear the end of their life. But thanks to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, survival rates for blood-born cancers are going up, to the point where it's not necessarily a "death sentence" anymore.

Please head over to their site and donate a few bucks to further the research they perform. Your donation could save a life!