Weekend Wrap-up / Inktober Day 16 (Compass): The only constant is change.

October 15: Compass (I’m not good at drawing people, but these are a good pair of eyes I have to admit)

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Anyone else caught off guard with the changes in the WordPress editor?

My preview pane no longer opened in front of my editing page, and the font was different than if was before. Did I do something? Change a setting inadvertently?

Nope. They changed it. Didn’t tell me, did they tell you?

It’s not like it wasn’t functional, just different. It felt weird. We get used to something after experiencing it for x number of days/months, etc., and now we have to get used to something new.

Ever drive an automatic vehicle after years of a standard? If you have then you have reached for the non-existent gear shift many times since.

From my blog this week:

Free Book Friday, Book Review and my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author T.J. Christoff – Another in a series of conversations with new authors!

Thursday Thoughts/ Inktober Day 14 (Tick): The Final Frontier – Captain Kirk in space.

Weird Wednesday/ Inktober Day 13 (Roof): Nothing to See Here – I didn’t feel like writing anything that morning and I got a post out of it.

Tuesday Tirade/ Inktober Day 12 (Stuck): Stick to it. – Non-stick frying pan? Don’t count on it.

Music Monday/ Inktober Day 11 (Sour): The Unknown Known – What band do you like that no one knows about?

Pumpkin vs. Spice / Inktober Day 10 (Pick) – Can you?

From the blogs of others:

Throwback Thursday #8 – Collections – We all had them growing up, maybe we still do.

Humor Quote By Steve Martin: “A day without…” – He’s a “Wild and funny guy”.

Promote a Poet/Writer Thursday, October 14, 2021 – Find a new favorite?

.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday, Book Review and my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author T.J. Christoff

But first, Inktober day 14: Helmet

October 14: Helmet

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


In Conversation With Author/Poet T.J. Christoff

About the interviews:

When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.

I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author TJ Christoff. Glad you could make it.

Hello Leon, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

Your poetry goes back all the way to 1983. What took you so long to publish?

That is an excellent question—

Thanks.

Actually, I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident. Everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to. I didn’t publish sooner because it just wasn’t the right time for me to do so.

Why did you decide to put all your collections into one volume?

I really think I did that more for myself than for anything else. I wanted to have a published book with all of the poems that I had written and maintained to that point in my life.

Is there a poem that you have written that you think best encapsulates you?

There have been many, but that changes over time as I change over time.

I know what you mean. Any new projects on the go?

I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree, so my writing projects are pretty much on hold for now. However, I have always said that I am merely the conduit for a much great source to use as He (or She) sees fit. I can’t write to save my soul. So, if I am inspired, I will write, but I am not consciously thinking about new projects at the present moment.

Inspiration sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? It’s not something that can be turned on or forced.

That’s a fact! I can’t tell you how many times I have “tried” to write a poem, only to be disappointed by the results. But then again, there have been countless times when I would be trying to fall asleep at night, tossing and turning, only to have to sit upright, turn on a light, and grab a pen and paper to scrawl the words that seemed to be pouring out of me from seemingly nowhere. Once penned, I would find that I was then able to drift off to sleep very peacefully.

When you are not writing, because we can’t do that all the time, what do you enjoy?

LOL…School has me writing quite a bit. In fact, I just had to write a 1- page paper for this week’s assignment. But, on those occasions when I do have a bit of free time, I usually spend it with my three dogs and my kitten, or with a few friends just making memories.

Music is a part of my life, what about yours?

Ah yes! For me, music is like air, I can’t imagine my life without it!

Care to share any of your favorites?

I love pretty much all music, with the exception of heavy metal. However, my favorite is Contemporary Christian music. I really appreciate how positive and uplifting the songs are. The thing about music, is that it can very quickly affect one’s emotional state. It has the ability to transport a person through time and space almost without effort. The way I see it, there is already plenty of negative going on in the world, so I like to find ways to funnel in as much positive into my life as possible. I get that through listening to Christian music.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like music or get some sort of emotional benefit from it. Are you ready for the lightning round?

Let’s do it!

Great! Here we go.

Favorite city?
Sedona
Pet Peeve?
Rudeness
Least favorite food?
Anything seafood
The Late Show or The Late Late Show?
Is there a difference??
If there is, it’s negligible…
Last binged show?
Grey’s Anatomy

Well, that all the time we have today, Thanks for participating. Anything you want to plug?

Feel free to check out my website at www.tjchristoff.com

I just did.


Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Have you read The Martian? Then you’ve read Project: Hail Mary. Kinda

It’s not verbatim, that would be…well, not a good idea for an author. Authors have their own unique writing style and trope preferences, and Andy Weir is no exception.

Spoilers after this point. Just sayin’.

Man stranded: Check
Man uses science to survive: Check
Man makes mistakes using science: Check
Man almost dies: Check
Man doesn’t die: Check
Man makes life or death decision: Check
Man becomes a teacher: Check

That last one was disappointing. In The Martian the main character ends up teaching at NASA (in the movie for sure, I don’t remember if the book ended that way). In Project: Hail Mary the final paragraph is him teaching a class of alien children. This would have been a great ending if I hadn’t read the previous book. It only made sense that Dr. Grace would go back to his chosen career.

Did I like it? The concept was well thought out and believable. Some of the science was confusing at times, but I find that with most sci-fi books. So yeah, I liked it. Kinda.


New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

New Authors: Poetry

Eight poets offer free samples of their work

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Thursday Thoughts/ Inktober Day 14 (Tick): The Final Frontier

Inktober Day 14: Tick

Inktober Day 14: Tick

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/

Thursday Thoughts: The Final Frontier

I’ll never go to space, but I am glad that William Shatner got the opportunity.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday/ Inktober Day 13 (Roof): Nothing to See Here

October 13: Roof

Roof with no walls
Offers shelter
Walls with no roof
Offers…nothing

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Weird Wednesday: Nothing to See Here

Well, not nothing as you already figured out, but what’s weird is that I don’t feel like writing anything today—

“Maybe you should plan out your posts in advance…”
“Shush, you. Maybe you want to write today’s post?”
“Maybe I will.”
“Really? You’d do that for me?”
[snarkly] “No.”

Anyway, after putting the finishing touches on my newsletter—

“See, you do that in advance.”
“Are you done?”
“Yup.”

As I was saying, after putting the finishing touches on my newsletter, I didn’t feel like writing anything else, so here’s my newsletter if you would like to check it out:

Lines by Leon Newsletter: October 13

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Tuesday Tirade/ Inktober Day 12 (Stuck): Stick to it.

I don’t like sharing my day with anything…

Inktober: Day 12 (Stuck)

If this didn’t happen to you when you were a kid, then you weren’t a kid.

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Tuesday Tirade: Stick to it.

Have you ever seen the commercial where the fried egg slides around on the non-stick pan? Ever try to melt a bunch of candies and wipe it clean in one stroke of a paper towel? How about frying anything with no worry of having a difficult clean up? Muffins dropping out of an overturned tray?

My takeaway?

  1. Eggs don’t slide like that
  2. Melted candy, although very tasty, is messy
  3. I made a blueberry pancake this morning–Yes, a pancake. Why make 3 small ones when you can make one big one—and the blueberries left little round residue marks that took soap and water to remove. Non-stick my—
  4. Muffins in my Betty Crocker tray cling for dear life when upended

Things will stick to my grandmother’s cast iron pan unless a liberal amount of oil/butter is used. No worse than my other pans. I have four. Cast iron, Green Pan, Gotham Steel, and an old non-sticker that was probably one of the first (and probably not the healthiest.)

To make clean-up easier, maybe I should just boil everything.

“Rice and pasta will stick.”
“Oh, right.”

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday/ Inktober Day 11 (Sour): The Unknown Known

October 11: Sour

Went for the literal…

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Music Monday: The Unknown Known

I found my old iPod shuffle which had some playlists that I hadn’t heard for quite some time. Each song brought back memories, some pleasant, some…well, not so much.

Often we stumble upon a band that grabs us from the first note, chord, or lyric, and think, “I wonder if anyone else knows about this band?”

Of course they do. But sometimes it feels like we are the only one who likes them, and we do one of two things: Tell people about them or keep it as our little secret—which it is not. Bands don’t exist without a following, large or small.

I heard Frightened Rabbit about a decade ago and no one I knew had ever heard of them. I listened to them a lot, but then they dropped off the radar as my life moved on until the discovery of that iPod I mentioned.

When I was preparing to write this post, I was going to post a video…then I discovered that the lead singer had taken his own life several years ago.

I can’t pick a favorite song. Maybe you can.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Pumpkin vs. Spice / Inktober Day 10 (Pick):

October 10: Pick

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Pumpkin spice.

There. I said it*. You either like it or you don’t.

I don’t. I do like pumpkin pie, though. Curried pumpkin soup is also delicious. Toasted pumpkin seeds are a pain to make, but worth it. You can treat pumpkin as the squash that it is and cut it up and roast it with salt, pepper, and paprik—

“Isn’t that pumpkin spice?”
“Ummm…”
“Ha, ha! You like pumpkin spice!”
“NOOOOooooooo…..!!!!”

Yeah, OK. But I don’t like it when it messes with my coffee. What about you?

-Leon

*You can also say “Punkin Spice” and some people with think it’s funny**.

** Cuz, it sounds like how a kid would say it***

*** Kinda like saying passgetti.****

****OK, I’m done with the footnotes now.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weekend Wrap-up / Inktober Day 9 (Pressure): Feels like Fall

This is the best steam I have drawn (just sayin’)

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Weekend Wrap-up: Feels like Fall

What does fall feel like? Not like spring, that’s for sure.

In spring, the sun rises and sets along the same celestial path as it will six months later, but in fall, you can feel the summer warmth being pushed out of the way.

I don’t have a favorite season—they all have their charms.

From my blog this week:

Free Book Friday / Inktober Day 8 (Watch): Looking out for #1? Right here. – Made it to #1 on Amazon (well the free category)

Thursday Thoughts / Inktober Day 7 (Fan): Opinion Media

Weird Wednesday / Inktober Day 6 (Spirit): Not-so-Super Superpowers – What’s yours?

Tuesday Tirade / Inktober Day 5 (Raven): Amazon’s Algorithms – Oh, the ongoing joy…

Inktober Day 4 / Monday Musings: Pictures at an Exposition

From the blogs of others:

#FineArtFriday: The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table by Salvador Dalí, 1934 (revisited) – I have never seen this painting before. I like it.

On the doom and gloom side:

Electric Cars: More About What They Don’t Tell You

An Excess of…Population

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday / Inktober Day 8 (Watch): Looking out for #1? Right here.

Yeah, the book cover is a bit blurry in the thumbnail. I’ve updated the picture with the highest res and still…(thanks, Amazon). Looks OK on the book page.

Free books. Who doesn’t love ’em?

[murmuring]
“I do. Do you?”
“Yeah. Maybe that guy over there?”
“Maybe…”

So, if you have been following the ongoing saga of the not-so-free-perma-free poetry book, you’ll know I have had a great time chatting with the wonderful CSRs over there at Amazon. But as they say, “Fifth times the charm.”

I sent out the link on my blog and newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, and today, BINGO. #1.

Well, #1 in the free category, but #1 nevertheless. There is some correlation between the rank of the free vs. full collection, but the full collection hasn’t cracked the Top 100 yet.

Yet.

https://amazon.com/dp/B083Y6DPLY – Free Kindle version

https://amazon.com/dp/B083QPV6TQ – Not so free full collection

Well, onto Inktober and Free Book Friday:

October 8: Watch

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Free samples: Poetry, Memoirs, and Fiction


Sci-fi available on Amazon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Thursday Thoughts / Inktober Day 7 (Fan): Opinion Media

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Thursday Thoughts: Opinion Media

Was social media inevitable? If it didn’t make money…

Should we call it what it really is: Opinion Media?

Isn’t that what free speech is? Having a platform for expressing your opinion? Perhaps every post should have a watermark that says, “This is an opinion.” Unless it’s been fact-checked.

“Who’s going to do that? Isn’t that impossible?”
“Impossible? Yeah, I think you are right.”

So, who do we trust? News outlets?

News stations all have a social media presence. Why? Many people are not watching/reading traditional news platforms, so they had to in order to keep their market share. Surely, we can trust them.

Ummm…News channels choose what news to air, and that news is what will get them an audience. We hope that they fact-check. We hope.

Maybe we should call it Ego Media?

Likes and follows and re-tweets, oh my! It seems that many are in it for the attention and ego stroking.

“Look at me! Pay attention to me. How great am I?”

Bandwagon Media?

It didn’t take long for corporations, businesses, politicians, and celebrities to join the masses once the masses had joined.

[whispering] If you build it, they will come…

Maybe the more appropriate name is Shaming Media or Hide-Behind-the-Text Media.

It became easy to be a bully. Anyone could do it and reach a wider entourage without direct contact with the victim.

We hear that social media platforms are responsible for low self-esteem and skewed self-image in younger users. That used to be the arena of print, TV, and movies. But young people are not using those for the amount of time they are on digital devices. The amount of screen staring and the reliance on technology just us up for failure.

Am I anti-social media? I am when it is harmful, and harm comes in many different versions.

Join me on Twitter! @linesbyleon

Psst. You see more here on my blog.

Psst. I’m also on Instagram @lines_by_leon, but I only post my cartoons on Monday and Wednesday

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!