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
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 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.

Categories
poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 17 (The Moon)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  I’ve seen some fairly funny twitter conversations lately among poets who are coming to terms with the fact that they keep writing poems about the moon. For better or worse, the moon seems to exert a powerful hold on poets, as this large collection of moon-themed poems suggests. Today, I’d like to challenge you to stop fighting the moon. Lean in. Accept the moon. The moon just wants what’s best for you and your poems. So yes – write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon.

The Moon
 
Are you coincidence
Or is your presence providence
Without you
Auroras decrease
Life would cease
Seas no longer pulse against the shore
Life would exist no more
In early times a harbinger
Perfect blanket to the sun
Announcing that the world was done
Never revealing your alter ego
The side of you kept hidden though
Until we broke our earthly bonds
Snuck behind and found
You were same all around
A rock in the sky
Without you
We die

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 17


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 16 (Tumbling Verse)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Because it’s Friday, today I’d like you to relax with the rather silly form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound. 

(Note: Hmm, sounds like many of my pieces anyway…)

Ramble On (Not just a cool Zeppelin song...) 

I feel that poetry
Is kinda like climbing a tree
A view that you want to see
In the clouds where you ought to be
Rhyming like Silverstein
Imagery sets the scene
Reflecting what could have been
Defining the mood you’re in
With words maybe not so thin
Starting to sound like Eminem
It’s no longer between us and them
No different just more alike than
We want to admit my friend
I throw down some respect to send
Wordsmiths they are in the end
To all the sixties beat poets and
Eighties rappers I’m now a fan
So now that it nears the end
It’s back to the start again
Now’s not the time to feign 
Grab onto that state of being
Just wipe the slate clean
Remember that I climbed that tree
I just got back to poetry

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 16


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 13 (The Day the Earth Stood Still)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out tomorrow.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

They came yesterday
And surrounded the world
Humanity braced
For something to unfurl

A voice in our head spoke
In everyone’s mind
The whole world did pause
For a moment in time

It said:

We could not put a finger
We’ve been watching this show
A drama, a comedy, or variety
We really didn’t know

Who writes these scripts
They seem somewhat inane
This anger, hatred, and fighting
Felt simply insane

We thought you were acting
Until we realized
You do this by choice
It’s really not wise

Most have stopped watching
It’s obvious too
You as a species
Don’t know what to do

We are going to take over
And rewrite the show
We’ll get you that Oscar
Then we can go




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.