Guest Post: Jess C. Scott

Some Thoughts on Writing by Jess C. Scott

Building Facade UWS

Hello Logan Readers!
I came across Logan’s website through a couple of blog posts which he wrote:

I always like reading about different cultures and interracial relationships, so I could really relate to the first link!

With regard to Logan’s second, I had a recent similar experience with one of these websites charging a high fee for a book review provided by a “professional.”

It’s one thing to allow people to share their own opinions. It’s another thing to pay people who purport themselves to be “professional reviewers” and end up providing subjective opinions instead of objective criticism.

The first thing I noticed about my review was that it contained a factual error, which undermined how objective or thorough the reviewer was with their critique. I didn’t feel that I got what I paid for with that particular transaction, which is why I requested a refund through my credit card company. The credit card honored my request after I wrote a couple of emails with supporting evidence to back up my case.

So:
Logan and Jess: 2
Kirkus: 0

Thankfully, I’ve had much better experiences with other writing and publishing endeavors.One was at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival where I met several poets and writers who were extremely talented but refreshingly down-to-earth. I had a little luck in the romance/relationships department as well, with a sequence of events that certainly outdid my imagination… (Logan edit: more info!)

Meeting those artists was very important. It reminded me of the reason(s) I like to write, and that writers who love to write respect the craft of writing. It has also inspired me to raise the bar for myself, so that I don’t get stuck in a writing rut.

Everyone has their own reasons for writing and it’s important for a writer to be aware of those reasons.I hope other writers relish the unique ups and downs of their own publishing journey too. You never know who you’ll meet or get to know, who you’ll inspire or be inspired by, as a result of something you happened to write, whether it’s published online on a blog or through other means.

Isn’t that what makes life all the more interesting? :)

SHORT BIO:

JESS C SCOTT has work appearing or forthcoming in Word RiotBards & Sages QuarterlyOpEdNews, Akashic Books (Thursdaze series), and The Maine Review. San Francisco Book Review describes her novel Playmates as “a psychological thriller at its best.” Jess participated in a literary debate at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival. Her website is http://www.jessINK.com. and her blog is at: http://jesscscott.wordpress.com/

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Mussels at Bistro Citron

Taking off our comfortable selves for a night

Bistro Citron in the UWS

Her: We should go on a date.
Me: OK.

It’s funny, when two people are actually dating, there’s some excitement as we prep that version of ourselves. But after you get married, you both see less and less of that version of the other person. That’s just how it goes.

So every once in a while, you have to make plans to dust off that version of yourself.

Me: (looking at wife) Whoa, hello there pretty lady…
Her: It feels nice to get dressed up once in a while.

Burger at Bistro Citron in the UWS

We went to a place called Bistro Citron around the way that got great Yelp reviews. We ordered the mussels, a medium rare burger for me, and a Frisée Salad with Lardons and Poached Eggs for her.

We got the mussels first and, I’m no slouch when it comes to eating, but the mussels did me in. The serving size was ginormous.

Me: I don’t know if I can finish that.
Her: Really?!

We tend to eat early to have the joint to ourselves. It was like we were dating again.

A few drinks later and we were on our way home and back in our comfortable faces and our comfortable clothes within the hour.

Her: We need to do this more often.
Me: I would go back tomorrow.

Mussels at Bistro Citron in the UWS

Location: off to wrassle
Mood: nostalgic
Music: These old wings just gotta be good for something
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Don’t want to download the Facebook Messaging App?

How to avoid the Facebook Messaging App

3

This isn’t part of my usual nuthin.

Facebook has been annoying me because of it’s insistence that I download the messaging app. So I got rid of both apps on my phone.

The downside of doing it this way is that you no longer get notices when people write you on Facebook; the upside is that you’ll have zero data/battery sucking apps from Facebook.

Note that you can have the best of both worlds by keeping the original Facebook app on your phone just so you’ll get notices but you’ll be interacting with Facebook via your browser.

How to do it in 5 easy steps

This works for Android/Chrome but I’m sure there’s a way to do this via iPhone and other browsers.

  1. Pull up Facebook on the Chrome web browser on your phone.
  2. Press the three vertical dots on the upper left hand side.

1

3. Select “Add to homescreen.”

2

4. Give it a title.

3

5. Enjoy your Facebook Messaging free phone.

4

Off to be a lawyer.

Back to the usual nonsense tomorrow.

Location: Desk, looking a CoSs
Mood: annoyed with FB
Music: you just want the attention – I’m not your toy
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Guest Blogger: Nicholas R.W. Henning

Another blog interview

Welcome to Chinatown

Most of last week was just work but I did have to Chinatown so that’s always a nice excuse to get some good Chinese food in.

Not too many pics because it was cloudy and overcast but I do like this one.

———–

Australian novelist, Nicholas R.W. Henning, read The Men Made of Stone and gave it a four-star review! There’s something about this coming from another writer that I find particularly flattering.

After all, The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.

He also asked me some interview questions so you can read the questions and answers here and here.

And here’s his review.

I need to have a strategy to get these reviews with more regularity. After all, I’m totally comfortable putting my money where my mouth is.

———–

On a related writing point, the person that wrote me last week letting me know that he bought both of my dating books actually wrote a five-star review on A Great Online Dating Profile  on Amazon UK.

It’s nice getting the positive feedback – even nicer knowing I helped someone. He used my “EZ-Pass” idea, which I know from personal experience works, and found it worked for him too.

Sweeeeeeet.

And now, back to the grind…

Location:  off to wrassle
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Don’t you wonder why everybody cries every time you walk away?
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The story of Tyre, Alexander, and the Elvis Barbershop

The Siege of Tyre and things that matter

Screen Shot of the Elvis Barbershop
Somewhere across the world, there’s a barbershop in Lebanon called the Elvis Barbershop. It’s located at the red marker you see above.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about the Elvis Barbershop except that I like its name – who names a barbershop “Elvis?”

It’s located in the city of Tyre, which is a peninsula off of the mainland.

Siege of Tyre.
Siege of Tyre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it wasn’t always a peninsula. It was an island for probably millions of years when Alexander the Great came by in 332 BC.

Alexander (Al, to his friends) had taken over much of the area and this was the last bit to be conquered. But the inhabitants of Tyre refused to surrender because they were an island fort with 200 ft (60 meter) walls.

And they were so arrogant that they tossed Alexander’s ambassadors over the walls to their deaths.

So Al filled in the land between the mainland and the island, pulled his weapons over, and laid siege to the island – now peninsula – for 70  days.

Afterward, he conquered the city-fortress and destroyed everything.

Fast-forward 2,400 years and there’s a fella in the world – presumably named Elvis – that has a barbershop on the ground that Alexander laid. An act only ancillary to Al’s main goal still affects the world to this day.

I’ve mentioned Alexander the Great in this blog and buncha times, mainly because he had such a profound effect on the world and how I look it.

Thought about all this because someone contacted me and said that something I wrote affected his life.

I think we all hope that the things we do have some lasting good effect far beyond ourselves.

The hope that somewhere in our wicked, wicked childhoods, we must have done something good that means something to someone.

Location: off to wrassle
Mood: thrilled
Music: nothing comes from nothing
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It’s not just a piece of paper

Marriage is not just a piece of paper

Couple on boat on lake with balloons

Wife: Do you know what I want?
Me: World peace?
Her: No, nachos!

Some time ago, a buddy told me that he was (finally) getting married after living with his girlfriend for almost a decade.

When I asked him why, he reminded me that he had just come back from a vacation in Europe. Turns out he was involved in an argument with a local peddler.

Somehow, things spiraled from there and he ended up getting arrested.

But while locked up, his girlfriend wasn’t allowed to even visit him as she wasn’t a relative. She also wasn’t able to go back to the hotel to get his passport that day because she couldn’t prove she had a right to be in the room as he booked it with his hotel miles.

Only after the a day of waiting was she finally able to get in, get their passports, and clear up the matter.

Whenever someone says that “Marriage is just a piece of paper” I shake my head with disbelief. They’re only focusing on the emotional part of it – which I also don’t believe is true – and not on any of the legal and societal aspects.

Recently, just heard about another friend going through something similar here.

Marriage is a lot more than just a piece of paper. Even if you don’t think so, the rest of the world does.

Me: Look at it this way, now you two need a court order to break up.
Him: Is that a good thing?
Me: (laughing) It is in my case.

Location: start of a new work week
Mood: relaxed
Music: All on my own I don’t think that I’d have faired so well
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You can’t be afraid if you laugh

If only something was enough

Old Fashioned with Rye

Met up with RE Mike the other night at a bar in midtown. Had myself an Old Fashioned with Rye and met some folks.

The usual summer swing.

Church in Manhattan

Lately, the press is all about Robin Williams’ suicide. There’s a number of a things going around that somehow glamorizes the whole notion of suicide in general, which bothers me no end.

Years ago, I wrote about a much less well-known comedian named Richard Jeni doing the same thing.

Felt then, as I feel now, what a colossal waste.

And the other time I wrote about suicide was with another comedian named Richard Gethard, who’s thankfully still alive.

I like Richard Gethard. I liked Richard Jeni. And I grew up watching Robin Williams – remember seeing him first appear as Mork on Happy Days back when it first came out. They made me laugh.

Stephen Colbert once said that, “If you are laughing, you can’t be afraid.” That’s one of the truest statements there are. I suppose that it’s why the people that have some of the saddest experiences laugh the hardest. It’s the only way they survive.

Sometimes, though, I think people just get tired of being afraid. And sometimes it’s not enough.

If I could have wished them something, woulda wished them something that was enough.

————-

Here’s a really good page on suicide, including the main question, “Are you thinking of committing suicide?”

Location: prepping for travel
Mood: disappointed
Music: Oh how can I survive? Will I make this drop this dive?
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A book-blogger review

A Review of The Men Made of Stone

The Men Made of Stone

Worked all weekend because I’m potentially away in DC for a few days. Heard the weather was great in the city but I wouldn’t know.

On a different matter entirely, two years ago, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer named David Hall read my novel. For those of you that don’t know, a Vine Voice reviewer is one that that’s been selected by Amazon to review things and they are considered some of the most reliable and honest reviewers since it’s invite only and based on authority.

Mr. Hall gave my book five-stars out of five.

And I should note, I don’t know Mr. Hall and never contacted him. He selected my book on his own and loved it.

About a month ago, had another bout of insomnia, so I emailed about 15 Amazon reviewers out of the blue and asked them to review my books. And I just asked them to write an honest review because I think my book is good and I put my money where my mouth is.

Well, Amazon reviewer Kimberly Ranee Hicks agreed to read it and also loved it, giving me another five stars. Turns out she’s also a blogger and sent me a list of interview questions for her readers because she wanted to know more about the book.

Now, if you’ve not read The Men Made of Stone and don’t want to know any details, don’t click over to her blog as she gives a pretty through synopsis of the book. But if you’ve already read it or don’t care about spoilers, check out my interview at Kimberly’s blog - It’s a Book Thang!

On that note, I believe that when a fighter says he can fight, he should accept any challenge.

Similarly, I believe a writer should believe in what he or she writes. Pick up my book a copy of my book pretty much anywhere and, if you hate it, let me know and I’ll give you back what you spent on it.

Which reminds me of this movie…

But really, I will. Because  I don’t think you’ll ask for your money back.

Not because I wrote it, not because I have a Vine Voice review or 20 five-star reviews, but because it’s a good story.

Read the first 30% right now online for free or click below for the right link for your reader and see if you don’t think it’s a good story also.

 The Men Made of Stone - Logan Lo

 

Location: prepping for meetings
Mood: flattered
Music: I might let you break my heart if mine was all that I was worth
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But that’s the actual nomenclature

Cold Ass Beer – Chug it

Cold Ass Beer - NYC Sign

Student: Did you just curse in class?
Me: I don’t consider “damn” and “ass” cursing. It’s more the hard K sounds I think…

In both the wrasslin gym I go to and my own fencing class, cursing is verboten. However, what constitutes cursing is different for different people.

There’s this move that is called by the creator of it S____y Rubber Guard. I mentioned that to someone in my class the other day and ended up doing pushups.

Coach: 40 pushups
Me: But that’s the actual nomenclature!
Coach: Do you want 50 pushups?
Me: I didn’t even want the first 40.

Still, I try not to curse casually, as you know.

Which reminds me that I’ve had a number of people read The Men Made of Stone recently that are surprised at just how much cursing there is in it.

I tell them that it’s the characters and not so me but I can see why they might be surprised.

Speaking of the book, I’ve gotten some more positive feedback that I’ll tell you about in the next few weeks or so.

On another note entirely, it’s getting hot as hell here. I could go for some cold ass beer.

Or rum. Either/or. Damn, it’s hot.

Location: behind a gate with a busted handle
Mood: hot
Music: Big kosher pickle and a cold draught beer
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Slooooowly walking all over the city

Neir’s Tavern from Goodfellas

Neir's Tavern from Goodfellas
End up having to go to Harlem, the Bronx, and then immediately out to Brooklyn for work last week. That’s bad enough on a regular day and worse with a bum knee.

Everything took twice as long.

Actually ended up crossing the border between Brooklyn and Queens – which means I hit every borough except Staten Island that day – and found myself in front of Neil’s Tavern, which is where some pivotal scenes of Goodfellas were shot.

It was in the middle of the work day and I had another client meeting so I couldn’t stop by for a drink. But I told myself I’d come back.

Over the weekend, my cousin crashed on my couch to prepare for the Triathlon, which is in the UWS so she got to see my insomnia on display at 4AM.

Her: You’re awake?
Me: I’m always awake.

After she finished up, we went out for some Cuban-Chinese food in the hood and then I got back to work.

I’ve got some other interesting news to tell you about but I’ll tell you after it’s settled down some.

Him: Remind me, what’s Neir’s? Did we use to sell crack rock out of that place?
Me: First of all, you *know* we sold crack rock out of Neir’s because you said, “Logan, let’s sell crack rock out of Neir’s.” And I said, “You just need the word ‘crack,’ as the word ‘rock’ is superfluous in that sentence.” Secondly, it’s also where Henry finds out Nicky is gonna be made. Although that didn’t turn out how they expected.

John Venn on Google today - 2014.08.04

Just realized that today’s John Venn‘s birthday, the guy that made Venn Diagrams and large influence on how I see the world.

Location: hobbling to the gym
Mood: still hobble-y
Music: you, you can be mean And I, I’ll drink all the time
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The musings of an insomnia-plagued writer in the city that never sleeps.

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