Categories
cartoons Just plain weird Weird Wednesday

Weird Wednesday: May 12. Cartoons

If you are new to Weird Wednesdays, it is my day to share some of my odd writings, or more often, my cartoons: “The Miniscules” and “The Untitled”.

Sometimes it’s hard to make yourself laugh. I have to admit, this one did.
I might have just watched the season finale of “The Curse of Oak Island”.

That’s all the weirdness for today.


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

Categories
humor Uncategorized

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 Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
writers

Tuesday Tune-up: Writing Tools / Programs

I thought I would share my experience with the tools and programs that I use for writing.

Grammarly

I sprung for Grammarly last year. I didn’t always agree with the Word editor, so it was good to get a second opinion. It does make me aware of some of the common mistakes that I make, and I definitely have improved with my punctuation and clauses.

I do get emails like this that make me scratch my head:

OK. 99%? Is nobody else writing?

Money well spent, I suppose, or I paid attention in English class.

Me do good.

When I write, I’ll usually do a page, then go back and turn it on to check, otherwise I’m constantly looking to the right.

Shaxpir

I was looking for a way to organize my drafts and ideas, and Shaxpir seemed to fit the bill. You can create folders, chapters, idea pages, character and setting sheets, and the basic level was free after the 8 week trial of the full program.

Once you put work into it, it saves it on their cloud. I was wary of this but I continued to use it…until…it stopped working.

I tried the community forum but found it a ghost town, and took way to long to figure out how to contact with a CS agent, Finally, someone got back to me saying there was a problem and they’re working on it.

Still waiting.

Luckily, I did not have much new work on it, but enough that I’m not pleased. My NaPoWriMo poems were all written on it; those were all reposted on my blog.

I had moved some older work to it, which thankfully I did not delete any originals.

You know how they say good news travels, but bad news travels faster?

Run!, Run away!

Kindle Create

Pretty easy to make a Kindle ready book for free. But don’t think you can use it for anything else. What you make can only be opened on your Kindle readers (no MOBI here), or uploaded to KDP.

Calibri

Free eBook converter. Upload your word doc. and create EPUB, MOBI, of PDF. Then open what you made and realize that Word docs are not “what you see, is what you get”. It takes some experimenting and googling to get the right formatting (hint: page breaks are your friend – sometimes), but overall it is pretty easy to use.

Just remember, readers can set their font and spacing on the reader to what they want, not what you necessarily had envisioned.

Publisher Rocket

I figured that I was going to write more books, so rather than spend countless hours on keywords, just spend money. It’s just money, right? (I dislike spending money, BTW)

It’s a one shot cost, so I’m set. I used it to update my keywords and to maximize my Amazon ads.

Inkitt

Yeah. Not a program, but worth a mention. I had tried Wattpad last year, but got frustrated with the lack of being able to even mention a piece of your own work. I know it’s to limited shameless promotion, but it got a bit too restrictive.

So I turned to Inkitt to see if I can reach new readers. Not much better.

I tried to weigh the positives and negatives.

Cons:

  • Wouldn’t let me single space my poems
  • Formatting is one size and only has bold and italic options
  • You can import your word doc. but even with page breaks, you still have to manually separate chapters and because of the previous point, no other formatting is transferred
  • Reaching readers. After posting on some of the community boards (which there are very few), I’m still unclear why the book that I published doesn’t show up on the recently published list.

Pros:

  • Hmmm. Haven’t found one yet.

Other tools worth mentioning:

My Brain

Not recommended. Too scattered and full of glitches. Very steep learning curve (Think years. Many.) Some good ideas if you search through the weird stuff.

My Fingers

Visually dependent and index dominated, despite repeated training. Tend to miss “a” in favor of the “CAPS LOCK”. Visually dependent.

-Leon


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

Categories
humor

Second Chance Sunday: May 9

How do I choose the second chancers? Small number of views, mostly. Posts that may have been lost in the feed that I think are worthy. Sometimes, I’ll read a post and revise it slightly or fix broken links.

This is one of my earlier posts when I was developing my writing voice. I still am, I don’t think we ever stop, do we? You’re right, we shouldn’t.

Reading: Paper or eBook – On my other blog it was easier to insert poll questions, so I tried it here.

Dredged Up from the Past

Some of my posts from my old blog didn’t make the trip over. Until now: From May 2020, two months in:

Things that I regret watching:

  1. The Dead Don’t Die: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop. What could go wrong? It’s a parody of Zombie films that unfortunately misses the head shot. There are a few chuckles scattered throughout, but not enough to give it any stars. Watch Zombieland instead and give this one a double-tap ( Ha! Get it? 😊 )
  • Avenue 5: Compared to such space comedies such as: Red Dwarf and The Orville, well you can’t compare it. It falls flat right from the start. I couldn’t even watch the whole first episode, but I went back and forced myself to give it a chance. Now 4 episodes in, I’m committed, or I should be committed. Why am I still watching? For the good of everyone else so that they shouldn’t have to.
  • The Masked Singer: One show in and I discovered something, just PVR it, zap through the first 55 minutes and then the 3 minutes of the “Take it off” chant, and you know who it is. Ta-Dah!
  • Sports Bloopers: I’m officially bloopered out. And great plays out.
  • When will they start airing old games? Oh, there they are…
  • Goldmining shows: I keep watching these and keep getting angry. The things that go wrong shouldn’t go wrong if they knew what they were doing. I can see things they shouldn’t have done. How can you let your water supply go dry/muddy when it’s the lifeblood of your plant…? (I know, if nothing went awry no one would watch)

And finally:

  • Infomercials: No I haven’t got to this point yet, but a Flow-bee would come in handy.

If I missed anything let me know. Happy viewing!

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

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

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

Categories
cartoons Just plain weird Weird Wednesday

Weird Wednesday: Cartoons

If you are new to Weird Wednesdays, it is my day to share some of my odd writings, or more often, my cartoons: “The Miniscules” and “The Untitled”.

Both showcase my odd sense of humor while minimizing my drawing skills.

Here is a short video that you may not have seen yet:

The Miniscules: Origins trailer

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

Categories
humor

Decisions, decisions

I went to pick up shampoo the other day. The questions needed to complete this task came at me fast and furious:

Is my hair fine? Sure, I guess it’s doing OK.

Dry & damaged? Isn’t everyone’s?

Needing of fuller body? Maybe.

Fizz control? Shoudn’t have used the last one.

Do I want conditioning? Yes. I suppose.

In need of a silky sheen? Does it ever!

Dandruff? Who am I, my dad?

How much grey hair am I getting? (Oh yeah. Gonna be just like my dad)

Does it have cracked and split ends? How should I know?

How long have I been standing here? Hey, look! This one is cheaper. Now just to quickly grab a tube of toothpaste.

Wait. What the…!?

-Leon


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

Categories
poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 24 (Animals)

NaPoWriMo

Sometimes the prompts are too specific.

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

Write a poem about an animal…Got it.

The Cat Says "Meh"

I often wonder 
What animals think
Exercising free will
Or running on instinct

The smaller the creature 
The less it has choice
I suppose that’s the case
What would they say with their voice

I can’t see a housefly 
Trying to have fun
But the dog in the park
Enjoys fetch and run

The birds come to my balcony 
At the same time each day
If I’m late they do tell me
I guess they trained me you could say

To know their thoughts 
I could surely wish
As Adams quite elegantly put it
So long and thanks for all the fish


 

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 24


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

Categories
cartoons humor

Weird Wednesday: April 21

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-untitled008.jpg
It’s not called Weird Wednesday for nothin’.

The Miniscules:

OK. Now to write another poem…

-Leon


Last day:

Categories
poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 19 (Time to rant. Yay!)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves.

When I read this prompt, I thought “Great! Two of my favorite things: humor and complaining.” Turns out it’s not so easy…to stop.

Ready...Set...Rant!

We love to complain
It’s a right we have you know
As I began to write
The complaints started to flow

There are so many aspects
Of everyday life
If you have a few moments
I’ll tell you of strife

I wake up with the birds
Not the melodious type
The crows in the trees
Gearing up for a fight

When the tomatoes looked red
Under the produce light
Then I bring them home 
And they don’t look quite right

Bananas bright yellow
When picked the best bunch
Three days later
They all ripened at once

(Don’t get me started on the avocados)

We can put a man on the moon
You’d think that they could
Make toilet paper perforations
That tear as they should

You bought the pet
You must feed and walk it
Don’t be a jerk
Pick up your dog’s s@%#

Running out of time, so…
“I” before “e” except every other time you think you’re correct
You thought you right but then “What the heck?”
The woman who threw her cigarette on the ground before entering the store
When I called her out, she shrugged and chose to ignore
The guy who zoomed past, cutting me off the other day
Then turned on his blinker and turns right away

I’d like to go on
I need to bring this to an end
I’m just making dinner
And my rice is boiling over (again)



Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 19


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

Categories
poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 18 (Chapters)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. Or, a chapter title from a favorite book.

Each day we write our own chapter and most people don’t even realize it.

You, The Author
 

When the final chapter closes
Will the last words linger
On each question the book poses
While along the spine runs a finger
Will the book be tossed aside
Regarded as a pantomime 
Or something a bit more dignified
That will stand the test of time
Your parents write your prologue
Life gives the option to be heard
While you can’t write your epilogue 
How do you want to be remembered?



Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 18


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