Best Quotes – #1

dan's sky

Image taken from PocketRubbish.com

This is the third and final installment for my 3 quote challenge. Feel free to check out #3 and #2 if you missed them.

Today’s nominee: Zanthee

Today’s quote:

“Whatever we focus on tends to expand.”

– Author unknown.

Despite my inability to source whoever said this first, this quote has proven true for me time and time again. During bouts of self-pity, when my mind is occupied with all the wrongs done to me, things I’m lacking, or the difficulties of my present circumstances, life seems to get worse. And fast.

Yet, when I spend time thanking God for all the blessings I have in my life, I find I am repeatedly showered with more. To a remarkable extent.

Too many people in this world pride themselves on playing devil’s advocate and searching for reasons to doubt, or arguments that state something cannot be done. I can’t even count the number of times throughout my life I’ve accomplished something that at one point in time seemed damn-near impossible. And whenever I do, I find the skeptics have already dropped their previous assertions, and are eagerly packing new worries to hurl. For me, true faith is realized once it is  properly distinguished from common misinterpretations. Amazing accomplishments don’t occur merely because you believe that they will. Amazing accomplishments occur because you focus on what you must do to allow them to occur.

Thanks again to Jacqueline for nominating me for this award.

Best Quotes – #2

einstein

Albert Einstein – Famous INTP

Best Quotes – #3

Day 2 of the 3 quote challenge calls for a second quote and a second nominee.

Today’s nominee: Vincent Wambua

Congrats!

My second favorite quote:

“INTPs sometimes delay their output indefinitely with constant revisions, sometimes even quitting before they ever begin.”

16personalities

This quote doesn’t come from a specific person, but it has made a profound impact on how I live my life. 16personalities, if you didn’t know, is a website that allows you to take a free, 15-minute personality test that will provide information specific to your strengths and weaknesses.

I mentioned in a post a while ago about how distraught I was to discover I am an INTP. We make up three percent of the population, and our social communication skills are ass-backwards. Part of the reason I’m so grateful to have taken the test is because of its dead-on analysis.

While my strengths include a relentless pursuit of understanding, my great weakness is my hesitancy to do anything out of fear it could be done better. Setting deadlines for books, posting on wordpress daily, and putting out short clips on my Twitter account help me to constantly confront this limitation.

I remember a book I read in the fourth grade about a boy who tried to be perfect. By the end of the novel, he was sitting in a chair doing nothing. If you spend your whole life trying to be perfect, you’ll never get anything done.

  • Thomas M. Watt
  • Author of Master

Best Quotes – #3

Thank you to Jacqueline Obyikocha who nominated me for this award. I’ve been selected to write 3 of my favorite quotes, and nominate 3 of my favorite bloggers to do the same. I will provide 1 quote per and nominate 1 blogger per day.

Today’s Nominee: Laura Pickren.

Congrats!

Steve Jobs was an influential man. I never knew much about him until recently. In one video I’ve been unable to track down, Jobs states that “influence is more powerful than control.” This really struck a chord with me.

There are different types of relationships, so many that I can’t even fathom attempting to list them one-by-one. The most common are: romantic, professional, and friendly.

It is becoming disturbingly commonplace for relationships to consists of one person attempting to exert control over another. The motivation to control is always the same – fear. Fear that someone will leave you, refuse to do business with you, or reject you. At its core, control is the action taken by people who wrongly believe they’re unlovable.

Used car salesmen, passive-aggresive girlfriends, and domineering father figures perpetuate stereotypes that I consider best represent controlling personalities. These types will trick, manipulate, and flat-out lie just to get others to submit to their will.

The reason I like Job’s quote so much is because it holds true. The fruitful relationships in our lives natural influence us – you listen to your best friend’s suggestion about what movie to see, the advice of a successful person encourages you to behave similarly, the loving support of your significant other lifts you when you are down.

Always remember: Fear controls. Confidence influences.

Come by tomorrow evening to read my second favorite quote!

Sunshine Blogger Award

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That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I have been nominated for not one, but TWO sunshine blogger awards. Many thanks to both lovely ladies, Jennifer Calvert and Karina Pinella. I have received a grand total of sixteen questions to answer. Due to my smart-ass nature, I’ve elected to answer them in a press conference format, along with two of my other personalities. Make sure to read through to the bottom, because I’ve nominated 5 others for the award along with my own list of questions. Without further ado, I bring you the joint press conference.

  • * *

Three candidates take the stage simultaneously. Standing at the podium on the right is Thomas M. Watt, who takes a sip from his bottled water then adjusts his microphone. The middle podium belongs to McWatty9, whose devilish smile and fiery eyes are enough to prompt any parents to put their children to bed early. Hunching over the third podium and breathing with his mouth open is Henry Huerto, and it appears he forgot to brush some potato chip remnants off his t-shirt.

“Any a you idiots got a question?” says McWatty9.

Most journalists lower their hands and take up their pens. A woman in a purple blouse speaks up.

“Who are your favorite published authors?” she asks.

“Great question,” says Thomas. “I’ve always enjoyed anything written by John Steinbeck, but some of his work stirs me emotionally, particularly East of Eden. I tend to shy away from anything that hits too close to home, so I’ve never been able to finish that book. Right now I’m really into Vince Gilligan-”

“Lady asked about published authors dipshit, not television writers,” says McWatty9.

Thomas nods. “Yes, I’m aware. Thing is, his shows include so many awesome plot twists and feature strong, dynamic characters. I really enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, so I guess I should include him, too.”

Man with a hawaiian button-down shoots up from his seat. “What did you want to grow up to accomplish in your life?”  Other journalist raise their eyebrows at him. He gradually sits back down.

“A lot,” says Henry Huerto. “But you know, I didn’t do any of it. I guess I’m just a loser…”

You could hear crickets. Every person in the room avoids eye contact with Henry.

“Right, uhh, what are your favorite Movies?” says a journalist.

“The one I made with your mom,” says McWatty9. “And it’s about how we made you-”

“I’ll answer that,” says Thomas, racing to grab his mic.

“‘Cause I boned her,” says McWatty9.

“Favorite movies,” says Thomas. “I’d have to say the Matrix tops my list. The moment when Neo stands up after being shot dead inspires me every time. I watched Silence of the Lambs recently, that was an incredible body of work. Also enjoyed se7en, especially the ending – it’s funny how much of an impact the ending of a film has on your overall impression of the movie.”

“If you got to choose your last meal in life, what would it be?” asks a reporter.

“Hot cheetos and a gatorade,” says Henry.

“You a teenage girl?” says McWatty9.

“No… that just sounds good right now.”

“Ya know where the Brooklyn bridge’s at?”

“Yea,” says Henry.

“Good. Go there and Jump off it.”

“Next question,” says Thomas.

An eight year old girl wearing a backpack stands up. “What is your favorite… temperature?”

McWatty9 jumps to respond: “Eighteen hundred degrees.”

Room falls silent.

“Why?” asks Thomas.

“Because that’s the temperature I’m gonna have Henry cremated at.”

“Introvert or Extrovert?” asks a journalist.

Thomas answers. “Introvert, for sure. I like people, but I feel the majority of social gatherings are pointless and irrelevant. People respond to you better when you’re successful anyway, so I’d rather pour my time into whatever skill I’m currently trying to develop. Currently that’s writing… besides, no matter what group of people I spend time with, they inevitably begin bashing some other person who doesn’t conform to their group. I genuinely hate that, and the more I open my mouth I discover I’m a disagreeable person. My mind is always working toward fixing some kind of problem. Interactive, or extroverted people put a lot of time and effort into their relationships. I put mine into stories.”

Media members nod.

“What are your favorite past times?” asks a young women with a low-cut top.

“You,” says McWatty9.

Thomas clears his throat. “If I’m going to be honest, I have to say I don’t care much for any hobbies or endeavors that don’t bring me closer to my long-term goals. I have an obsessive, addictive personality, and don’t live anything close to a balanced life… So I have to say none.”

“What about yourself would you change, if you could?”

Henry grabs his mic. “Self doubt, paranoia, overthinking. Emotions get the better of me. I hate myself.”

An unsettling silence comes over the crowd.

“Brooklyn bridge,” says McWatty9, through a cough.

“What scares you the most?”

Thomas answers. “I hate spiders.”

“Bet ya like turtles,” says McWatty9.

Another journalists stands. “Why do you blog?”

“I like to see the responses I get to my stories. It’s a free way to get feedback, and an easy way to tell whether I’m putting out quality work. For a long time, people only seemed to enjoy the poems I would post. My short stories have only recently began to entertain my followers, and I’m really thrilled about that… for a long time, I couldn’t pay people to read my work.”

Guy with a rasta cap shouts: “Who is your favorite musician?”

Thomas says, “Currently I alternate between Eminem and Coldplay. Chris Martin is a genius, but I have mad respect for Eminem, especially because I relate to his struggle to make something of himself. He faced a lot of adversity and didn’t have much support. I should add that Ocean by John Butler Trio is the most beautiful song in the world.”

“How do you feel about awards?” says a teenager with zits.

“Same as I feel ’bout you,” says McWatty9.

“What is your favorite dessert?” says a big guy with a mustache.

“Um, I kind of like good and plenty,” says Henry. “I don’t know, those sound good right now… Does anybody have some I could share?”

Crickets.

“What makes your world rock?” says the young woman with the low-cut top. She bites the end of her pen.

“Dreams of the future,” says Thomas. “That always beats my current reality.”

“Waddup,” says the guy with the rasta cap. “Favorite music?”

Thomas grins and answers: “Similar to my taste for cinema and novels. When something is well written, it speaks to you. I don’t limit myself to any one genre, I’m more a fan of the individual artist.”

“How important is it to you to be a famous writer?” blurts out a father.

“I’m happy just to write,” says Thomas, before scratching the back of his head, then biting his lips. “Actually, it’s everything to me. That’s what I want to do with my life.”

The moderator walks out onto the stage, and claps his hands. “Ok folks, thank you all for joining us. That’ll be the end of the questions, so… get the hell out!”

  • * *

Now for my 5 nominees, and my ten questions. If you are nominated, you have to answer these… your wordpress contract obligates you under penalty of prison time, in case you never read the small print when you signed up. My nominees are:

  1. Storytime with John – Kid’s a natural. He’s up there with A Opinionated Man (see below).
  2. Ben Myatt – Writes bad ass characters, though his latest post has me concerned.
  3. Kevin Cooper – Ally of indie authors everywhere, great person and writer of the Miedo series.
  4. A Opinionated Man – King of internet blogs, far too big to bother with this.
  5. Ray M. Meadows – Fantastic writer and confrontational twitter-er

And the questions I have for you:

  1. If you could instantly learn any one skill set (i.e. fly a plane, fix an engine, surf), what would it be?
  2. It’s a beautiful, bright sunny day. What are your plans?
  3. Neighbor’s dog defecates right outside your front door. How do you respond?
  4. You just won the lottery. What’s the first thing you do?
  5. What do you think of these questions so far?
  6. I disagree. State something that most people consider completely normal that always feels bizarre to you.
  7. Zombie apocalypse – Which personality are you in your group of survivors?
  8. Do you regret accepting this award?
  9. Why do you blog?
  10. Any current projects you’re working on you’d care to share?

Thank you again to Jennifer and Karina for the nominations, and congratulations to those whom I nominated! I’ll be back blogging a new short story soon.

  • Thomas M. Watt

“Master” and Social Media – 9/6

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Waddup, waddup.

I’ve been busy the last few days setting up a twitter and goodreads account. Well, not really. Setting up the accounts were easy – it’s figuring out what I’m supposed to do with them that has been giving me trouble.

My introduction to social media was myspace, but that was all about adding friends. I don’t even have a personal facebook account, and until two weeks ago ‘flippy’ was the only phone I felt comfortable using.

flip phone

  • That’s flippy.

Anyway, I’m in the midst of a social media push, tweeting like a madman about meaningful things… When you use a hashtag, are you supposed to press the pound sign (#), or is there a special hashtag button I’m unaware of?

Goodreads is another story. It looks like I can host a blog there, similar to wordpress. I tried taking one of their quizzes, thinking it would help me find friends or gain followers. Three hours into it, I noticed the quiz was titled “Never Ending Quiz.” I stopped taking it right then and there. I didn’t even get a good enough score for book worms to let me into their prestigious reading clubs.

I’ve got five beta readers working on ‘Master’ right now, and they’ve been overwhelmingly positive and excited about the material in their responses. That’s huge for me, because for the first time in my life I can honestly say I have a product that’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and ‘hard to put down’. It may not sound like much, but until you’ve put your own work under the spotlight, you have no idea how difficult writing entertaining fiction can be. #wordpressed

  • Thomas M. Watt

INTP – The Logician

albert einstein

Intp. That’s my personality type. The “Logician.”

It means that logic is my go-to for decision making. So when there is a group debate, and everybody is getting along fine and dandy by tossing around their feel-good ideas, I’m the asshole that puts someone down for bringing up a concept that has no actual foundation. For instance, when I attended my second writing group ever last week, and the group leader asked if we sought to include underlying moral principles in our stories, I opened my trap and explained that she was referencing theme, which is at the heart of every story, and is the driving motive behind every work of fiction that’s ever been written. While plot may be what a story is about on the surface, theme is the reason you tell it – you want your readers to experience and understand your worldview. It’s the reason you write, whether you understand theme or not.

Anyway, INTPs make up 5% of the population. We are fiercely independent, care little for social status or merits, and spend our lives consumed by life’s most profound philosophical problems.

The ‘T’ in INTP stands for thinking, as opposed to feeling. This is a problem; my method of communication is flawed. Maybe not flawed, but not typical. It’s not a good way to be for a writer, because readers come to stories to be emotionally moved, not to watch a protagonist take action based on logical deductions. Nonfiction writing is more natural for INTPs.

I don’t know; this has bothered me all week. To top it all off, I took the test again and answered with responses that were opposite to how I actually think and interact with the world around me. The result listed me as the most popular personality type, one who is wired to follow plans, do things the standard way, and generally find the simple path to success. I don’t know, I’m really distraught to discover just how bizarre my thinking is. It can be argued that it is a gift, because some of our greatest philosophers and scientists were INTPs, but personally I find it annoying. I guess the simplest way to explain it would be to say, I’ve discovered that the ways I find most comforting, the thinking that I find most rational, and the social dynamic that I strive to live by, is the polar opposite to the ‘right way’ of doing things. If I ever want to fit in and be less of a freak, I must engage in a behavior that is directly opposed to my instincts.

Do you understand how infuriating that is? It’s as if I’m an alien who’s human in appearance. Every move that feels appropriate to me is going to appear unconventional to others, and every ‘correct’ move is going to seem unattractive to myself. Should I just start doing the opposite of whatever my instincts tell me to do??

I don’t know. Don’t mean to rant, but honestly it wasn’t an accident, so the logical answer is ‘yes I did mean to rant.’

Take the test here if you want to discover more about your own personality type. As discouraged as I am, I promise you that taking it will be a rewarding experience.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Tinder Fun

tinder

A good friend of mine, let’s call him Harry, has this strange fascination with acting like a complete idiot in front of strangers. On a recent night of boredom, he decided to go on tinder and make a complete ass of himself. In case you’re unfamiliar with Tinder, it is a dating app where people match with potential partners then communicate to see if they have any chemistry. It is not uncommon for men to initiate conversations with pick-up lines. Harry, however, is no ordinary pick-up artist. Here are his results:

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  • Thomas M. Watt