Gift ideas?

I just happened to check in at my Zazzle store and noticed the sale is just on for today. I wish they would let me know beforehand.

This is the best deal I’ve seen in a while: 50% off all mugs!  
Code: XMASJULY2021

Designs by Lines by Leon

Just a few of the many designs

Fundamentals of Grammar: seven basic rules of punctuation #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Mark Twain famously said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

MarkTwainEatAFrogQuotLIRF04042021Many authors  are just beginning their careers and trying to self-edit their NaNoWriMo manuscript. The problem is, they don’t know how to write a readable sentence or what constitutes a paragraph. If they are hoping to find an agent or self-publish, they have a big, ugly job ahead of them.

Most public schools in the US don’t go into depth in teaching creative writing, so the majority of students leave school with only a cursory understanding of basic mechanics.

We know good writing when we read it, but when we are just starting out, getting our thoughts onto paper so others enjoy it eludes us.

Learning to write in your native…

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Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

My father is the most honest and hardworking person I know. He is also altruistic, caring, and generous. There is no one in the world I look up to more or would rather emulate. It’s a hard goal to reach, and when I stumble, I have no fear, for I know he will catch me—or at least cushion the fall. I have never seen him angry. If I did, that memory has been erased by his forgiveness.  

I can’t sit and talk to people for hours—minutes even can be a stretch. But with my dad it’s easy. Comfortable. Safe. Non-judgmental. Educational. Entertaining.

We are also evenly matched at Jeopardy.

As I age, my features become a reflection of this man. As he ages, I see who I am to become. In essence, I can see into the future. I am very fortunate to be his son. I couldn’t have asked for better.

My mother is the only one luckier than I.

I love you, Dad.


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!

Fibbing Friday: Complete the

I’ll jump at any chance to be funny, so thanks to Maggie @ fromcavewalls who got it from: Fibbing Friday 4th June

Complete the following popular proverbs or sayings in your own personal style please!

1. A stitch in time is less painful than the stitch in my side.
2. Too many cooks means someone is getting sent home early.
3. Many hands make awesome shadow puppets.
4. A bird in the hand means you have some seeds in your palm.
5. Actions speak louder. Tell that to the mime.
6. All that glitters is carpet after craft day.
7. People in glass houses have no damn modesty.
8. Fools rush in and get the best seats.
9. Don’t count your chickens in the barn, there’s just way too many, and they won’t stay still!
10. Give them an inch and 7/8ths, ask them if it’s more than an inch and 15/16ths, then tell them to subtract one from the other. They’ll never ask you to help ever again.

Give it a try!

-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!

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different […]

Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thursday Thoughts: NFTs – WT#?

Might as well ask me to explain this.

I don’t understand crypto currency, so it is no surprise that NFTs baffle me as well.

Did somebody really pay $900 000 for a flying, pixelated cat—or is it a pig? 2.9 million for the first tweet? Really? NFTs have exploded onto the marketplace over the last year—well maybe longer, but I only started hearing about them recently. Now artists (mostly digital ones) are flooding the market trying to cash in.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing works of digital art being created, and art can be an investment, but is the aforementioned cat/pig going to be worth more? Just like indie authors, I’m sure there are more NFTs that don’t make any money than the ones that do.

So, I decided to read up on NFTs. I’m not that tech savvy, and I don’t think that would be able to navigate my way though the steps, but I like to learn stuff. While most NFTs are digital art, you can do the same with a physical work of art.

Here is how I understand it.

  1. I make a drawing
  2. I make a digital copy and create an online identifier of proof of its originality (as a blockchain, which I don’t get)
  3. Before I sell it, I need crypto currency and a digital wallet
  4. OK. I do that—somehow (remember that I don’t get that either…)
  5. I pay a marketplace to host my art
  6. Pay someone to market my art
  7. I pay the marketplace when the art sells
  8. I realize that I did not purchase enough CC, so I buy some more—and pay a transaction fee
  9. My carbon footprint increases because apparently making any type of CC transaction takes huge amounts of energy (like powering a small town for a few days kind of power)
  10. I have to figure out how to cash out my Doge coin before it tanks
  11.  Count my profit/loss—probably a loss

In conclusion,

  1. Someone is making money, and it’s probably the platforms the artists are using
  2. Some art is priceless, other art can fetch a ridiculous amount of money
  3. Some art should be labeled “art”
  4. Some people have way too much money
  5. Now, how do I get my hands on “Hamster Dance” now that “Charlie Bit My Finger” is no longer available?

There you go, the definitive (diminutive?) guide to all things non-fungible. Now what the heck am I going to do with this? :

Sticks with Wine (only $230 000. What a bargain.)

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!

Thursday Thoughts: Blogging Questions?

I’m relatively new to blogging, only doing it since 2019, and I’d like to get your thoughts on a few things.

Do you blog more than you read others, or are you primarily a reader? I suspect most people on WP write more, but maybe there are more that just enjoy the various offerings.

How often do you update your web pages? I have been working on streamlining my landing page, trying to keep it uncluttered and easy for visitors to find what they need while showcasing my work.

How much storage space do you use. Oh, I still have plenty, but there are a lot of photos and such. If I delete them, then the posts that use them will have the little “image not available” on them.

Do you find the block editor “yell at the screen worthy”?

And now he dirty word: Monetizing

I use my blog to: exercise my writing skills, entertain, inform, and to let people know that I am here. Through my blog, readers can visit my website if what I write is interesting to them. While there, they can: purchase any of my books or merchandise, receive free samples of my books when they sign up for my newsletter, listen to some of the music that I have written, and look for free offerings from other authors I promote. 

I notice that some posts are partial, which if you wish to read the rest, a link is provided that will take you to the writer’s website. Obviously, this will boost the traffic there, but do you tend to pass those over in favor of staying within the WP feeds? I could probably put my posts onto my Medium.com page and get more reads there, but that feels like I’m trying to control where the reader goes.

Do you use your blog primarily for revenue, or is it for the love of writing?

There you go. Discuss.

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!

Open Book Blog Hop: May 11

Twenty-six letters and many possibilities (to go off-topic)

We know a lot of words. I think I read that children can learn upwards of 500 words or more a month when they are in elementary school. This is based on the the fact that by age twelve, the average child should be able to understand about 50,000 words.

That’s a lot of words.

Words change and evolve, appear and disappear, fall out of favor, or become that word that everybody uses until we are all tired of it.

When we listen to someone talk to us, do we hear spaces between the words, just like we see the spaces in a printed line of text? If you pay attention to a speaker, you will realize that there are very few breaks between words. When does one word end and the other begin? That’s for our brain to interpret. Was that a compound word or two separate ones? Listen to a different language being spoken and see if you can hear any breaks.

I decided to dictate what I had just written. I tied to speak fairly quickly. Here is what I got:

we all know a lot of words I think I read that children can learn upwards of 500 words or more a month when they’re in elementary school this is based on the fact that by the age of 12 the average child should be able to understand about five 50,000 words that’s a lot of words words change and evolve appear and disappear fall out of favor or become that word that everyone uses until we’re tired of it when we listen to somebody talk to us do we hear the spaces between the words just like we see the spaces on a printed line of text you pay attention to a speaker you realize that there are very few breaks between the words when does one word end and the other begins As for our brain to interpret was at a compound word or two separate ones listen to a different language mean spoken and see if you can hear any breaks

Other than punctuation, I have to admit it is accurate. Then I noticed that there is a language filter, so being a funny guy, I thought it would be humorous to see what would happen if the computer thought I was speaking a different language. Each time, it gave up after a few sentences (I probably won’t get back on topic…).

French : Oui no – Yeah, that’s all it did.

German: Vino Worms – Wine worms?

Italian: Vino allora words – Wine, then words.  Now that makes sense.

Spanish: Quemar aumentar School eso es bastante factor de abertzales Biblia – Burning increase School that’s pretty bible shed factor. That’s bizzare but it hung in there longer.

Chinese: Wind Word accessories The Children – Sounds like a proverb.

Finnish: Schengenin grande superfood ferber terve new century – OK, now it’s just tossing in whatever, although I heard that Finnish was difficult (the language, not the people. They’re lovely.)

Back to the the topic. Whatever it was…

-Leon

Want to play along? Do add a comment if you like, or you can even link your own blog to this one by clicking the blue button below.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
  6. https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74

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!

Music Monday: Nobody’s Perfect

I finally changed the strings on my guitar. Wow. What a difference.

Will that give me motivation to play more? I still enjoy playing, but sometimes it feels too much like a chore.

It takes me a long time to learn a new piece of music (or re-learn something). If I step away for a while or start a new piece of music, the hard work dissipates and I feel I have to start over again. When I finally get to the point where it’s not going to improve anymore, it’s still not to my liking, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s not perfect. I know that my skill set is not set up for perfection.

Nothing is ever perfect though, is it? I wrote a quote that read:

“Perfection leaves you nowhere to go.”

Where do my imperfections lie? I can play a certain part correctly several times, but then make a mistake where I never before. I misplace a finger on a string. I forget a part or section that I thought was memorized. When I go to record one of my pieces, just the pressure of pressing the record button is enough to make it seem that I didn’t practice it at all, so it takes many takes to get a complete piece.

I have been trying to practice and record one of the first pieces that I wrote, “Riviera Galliarde”, and hopefully, by putting my goal in writing, I’ll be able to share it with you very soon.

Stay tuned.

-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!