Tuesday Tirade / Inktober Day 26 (Connect): Ripe ideas

“I don’t like twisty things.”
Inktober Day 26: Connect

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


Tuesday Tirade: Ripe Ideas

Planning for National Novel Writing Month: Brainstorming ideas


As I cut into the avocado, I knew immediately that it was a mistake. The razor edge of my paring knife pierced the outer layer entering the still hard, unripe (and therefore inedible) inner flesh. Too hard for guacamole, the halves were wrapped in plastic in hopes of salvation without oxidation.


The bananas, bought green—why were there not any bunches with a yellow hue?—sat amongst the apples and oranges in the bowl. Each morning, the anticipation of having the perfect banana, yellow with some black mottling, for breakfast was enough to send me into a nervous state. Finally, on that cloudy day in May, it happened.

Unfortunately, the next day, the remaining bananas were all black, as if during the night a coup was declared, so I was forced to quell the new order by placing them into the freezer to be forgotten until a loaf of banana bread was required.


The peaches were piled high. Removing any other than the top layer would result in a catastrophic avalanche. I choose one that had a slight give when I pressed my thumb where the stem had been. Do I roll the dice on this one? Will it be juicy? Mealy? When I cut and twist, will the skin extricate itself leaving the remainder firmly attached to the pit? I couldn’t risk it and placed it back for the next unlucky victim.


Vine-ripened tomatoes, straight from my garden, ruins any chance of being satisfied with the store-bought variety. Yet, despite the fact it is mid-winter, I throw caution to the wind, only to be deeply disappointed…again. Will I ever learn?


Ahhh, Squash. You never fail me. I forget about you, yet when I need you, you are always there, waiting, ready to supply the needed nutrients I have been craving.


Will any become the next great novel?

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Monday Musings / Inktober Day 25 (Splat): How Slow Can You Go?

Inktober Day 25: Splat (Pestus Pancakus)

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

Monday Musing: How Slow Can You Go?

I took out the first pizza from the 500-degree oven and set it aside to cool. As I proceeded to place the second one into the oven, the pan caught on the rack, jarring it from my hand. I watched as the toppings slowly—or so it seemed to be—sliding off the tomato sauce lubricated crust and landing on the bottom of the oven.

Five hundred degrees if hot enough to melt cheese on contact, caramelize onions, and crisp the edges of oily pepperoni, not to mention making a mess that’s nearly impossible to clean. I quickly scooped up the remains with a flipper before too much damage was done. Cleaning up is a whole other story.

Some things in life look great in slow-motion. The diving touchdown catch or the flapping wings of a hummingbird. Some things in life happen slowly but are not so great—the sliding of your vehicle on an icy road as it makes its way toward the rear end of the car in front of you.

Other things seem to happen in slow-motion. The pizza incident, for one. The closing of a locked car door after you realize that the keys are still in it and it’s after hours (and also a holiday). Falling of your bike gives you a chance to reminisce on the last ten minutes of fun you had before pondering how much it’s going to hurt when you make contact with the ground while trying to formulate a plan to do a stunt-like barrel roll ending in a quick leap to the feet, hands raised, looking around to the onlookers and crying out, “Superstar!”

In reality, you know it’s just going to hurt.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Inktober Day 24 (Extinct) and a Sunday Survey

Inktober Day 24: Extinct

Mistakes
We made a few
Then a few more
Consequences piling up
Identifying the tipping point much too late
Futility becomes the word de jour
We didn’t learn a thing
From the past
Mistakes

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

Sunday Survey

When I started conducting my author interviews, it was a way to get to know the people that I was participating in my BookFunnel and StoryOrigin promos. I thought I would post them on Free Book Friday along with the promo information.

Well, I now have 7 in the queue, and In a bit of a quandary. I’m running out of Fridays!

Let me know if you want me to post two interviews/week.

Haven’t read any? http://linesbyleon.com/the-interviews/


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Weekend Wrap-up / Inktober Day 23 (Leak): What can you draw?

October 23: Leak (What’s not confidential is the name of the manicurist…Don’t go there.)

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


I’ve been told I’m good at drawing hands. Well, the left hand…or the right hand when it’s holding a pen or pencil.

I’m blown away by how some artists can draw with such realism. Talent? Of course. Practice? Definitely. So, any chance I get to draw a hand I’ll take.

Ask me to draw some eyes and I’ll break out into a cold sweat.


From my blog this week:

Oct 22 Free Book Friday, my latest Interview: In Conversation With Author George Horner – I’m on a roll.

Read all my interviews here: Leon Stevens Interviews Himself and Others

Thursday Thoughts/ Inktober Day 21 (Fuzzy): The Last Great Year. – You young whipper-snappers…

Weird Wednesday/ Inktober Day 20 (Sprout): Cartoons Return – Yay!

Tuesday Tidbits / Inktober Day 19 (Loop): Too Much or Too Little – Time to clean out the fridge.

Inktober Day 18 (Moon) – My favorite so far.

Monday Merch: Artists and Authors Wanted – Got a product to share?

From the blogs of others:

#PictureOfTheDay and #writingprompt: 22/Oct/21 – I always enjoy Stuart’s photos..


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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C’mon, space stuff!

Thursday Thoughts/ Inktober Day 21 (Fuzzy): The Last Great Year.

Gen Z. Don’t get it? Ask your parents.

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


Thursday Thoughts: The Last Great Year?

No answers here, just a whole lot of questions.

Are our lives better now than they were a decade ago? Two? Do we need to go further back? At risk of sounding like the stereotypical comedic grandparent (of which I am not): “I remember when…”

Ask 100 people what the last great year was, and you will probably get 100 different answers. And by picking one, you have committed to a date where everything has gone downhill ever since. The farther back that date is, the longer we have been descending into chaos on a collision course to an uncertain future filled with dystopian nightmares and world wide societal collapse.

OK. That’s way too melodramatic.

Each generation will have their own criteria. Was it a simpler time? Were there advances in science and technology that made things easier? Are we healthier because of a medical breakthrough? Is connectivity an advantage or disadvantage? Maybe there was an event that changed your life for the better—or the worst. Do you wish you were born sooner or later?

Ask 100 people what the last great year was and I’m pretty sure that no one will say 2020 or 2021.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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C’mon, space stuff!

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 four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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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 four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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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 four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday / Inktober Day 6 (Spirit): Not-so-Super Superpowers

Let’s get to Inktober’s business first:

Double Shot

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


Weird Wednesdays: Not so Super Superpowers

Some superheroes use their powers for evil—[boo, hiss]—others for the good of humanity—[Yay!].

Superpowers come in all forms: genetic, accidental, mutation, experimental, or otherworldly intervention.

We can’t all be so lucky (unlucky?), but we all have some hidden talent. Maybe not talent enough to be on that show—or that other show that’s kinda like that show, but something that when harnessed can only be described as…well, meh.

Some people may use their talent for evil—[boo, hiss]—others for…well, for themselves, never to be revealed to humanity. Sometimes people just need to know, so here is your chance.

I’ll go first.

My not so super superpower is the ability to get toothpaste out of the tube long after most people would have given up and tossed it away. How long, you ask? Days? Yes. Weeks? It’s been done.

What’s your not-so-super superpower?

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!