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

First 5 steps to book marketing & MASTER Update – 9/9

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Contrary to amateur belief, it’s most beneficial for an author to market their work before it is published. This way, potential readers will have something to look forward to, much like the opening weekend of a new blockbuster movie. That’s why we see trailers for movies that aren’t going to appear in theaters until much later; to generate some hype and anticipation.

If you’re like me, promoting your work is alien to your nature and feels like an insult to art (I am trapped by this deep-seeded ideal that beauty should be recognized the moment it is seen, and is apparent enough in itself that it should never have to be pointed out to anyone. Then I remind myself that Van Gogh never sold a painting).

Fortunately, the world wide web holds an endless bounty of information, and enough google searches will get you off the sidewalk and onto the main road. I owe a lot to Benjamin Myatt, author of the High Moon Rising series for pointing me in the right direction. His books have been downloaded several hundred times over. He recommended I check out this link, which led me to a free, downloadable PDF file that includes a checklist of the most effective ways to promote my book.

Now that I have a plan for marketing Master, I feel much better about my future as an independent author. It’s hard for any artist to accept, but nobody is going to buzz your doorbell to ask if you’re the next big thing. You’ve got to bang knuckles door-to-door and say, “Here I am.”

Below is my list of things to do today in order to get the ball rolling in the marketing department. Follow along if you’re in the beginning stages of promoting your work.

1.) Contact three potential cover artists (whose portfolios include covers for psychological thrillers)

2.) Create a list of keywords that describe ‘Master’, seek out blogs that express interest in those keywords

3.) Involve myself in an online forum without being called an idiot, getting booted, or giving out my address to someone who wants to help me receive an assault and battery charge.

4.) Figure out how Goodreads works (What’s this place for? Am I supposed to log-in when I read a book, then log-out when I’m done?)

5.) Figure out how to get more twitter followers.

* One final note, tomorrow (9/10/15) there is a #pitmad event on twitter that allows you to pitch your story to tons of literary agents. (write your logline in 140 characters or less and use the hashtag #pitmad). I plan on entering Master, and suggest you enter whatever story you’re currently working on.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Update From Berkeley

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Spent all day yesterday shooting improvised scenes with my buddy. He wants to do a parody on MTV’s True Life. This particular episode focuses on a young man named Trent, who is obsessed with himself. I play Trent’s best friend, who tries to help Trent see the errors of his ways.

I think we got some good shots yesterday. I also felt that the more alcohol I consumed, the better an improvisational actor I became.

Today’s going to be more of the same, and I’d be lying if I told you that acting for my friend with a video camera in a public space is something that comes easy to me. At the end of the day, though, the people willing to make asses of themselves in public are the same people who give themselves an opportunity to make money doing it.

Happy Sunday.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Versatile Blogger Award: Feast Your Eyes Bitches

I've been nominated for this!  So exciting....

That’s right, I won it.

Versatile blogger award?? What’s that, you ask?

Oh. Ha. A ha, ha…ha. you don’t even know what it is.

Well let me fill you in on a few little details:

The versatile blogger award doesn’t just go to anybody. There is a lengthy process involved, and the qualifications needed just to be nominated are enough to make your head spin. Let me give you a little perspective by telling you what I went through to win this award. I warn you – the daily grind to keep this blog so fresh and clean might come as a shock to you.

– I wake up every day no later than 4:30 a.m.

– I look at my alarm clock and wait until I fall back asleep.

– I wake up again at 9:30 a.m., when my alarm bell rings. I press the snooze button.

– I wake up at 11:23ish and pop out of bed, do three or less pushups, then blast my walk-out song as I make my way to breakfast. (a walk-out song is the rap song that plays for professional baseball players when they approach the plate to hit.)

– As “Ice Ice Baby” blares through my studio apartment, I punch the air with a series of aggressive jabs, secretly hoping I’m beating the shit out of the ghost who can’t be touched but can still feel pain. You might think that’s stupid, but when a ghost haunts your place, you can either stand up for yourself or just pretend he’s not there. I’m not a ghost pussy, I’ll stop fighting when he stops stealing my socks.

– I sit down and pour myself a bowl of cereal. It comes in this enormous cardboard box filled with dozens of bowls of cereal. I have to shake it really carefully, because a lot of the time more than one bowl will pop out, and even when I do only get one, the cereal always spills everywhere.

– I grab the milk from the fridge, then cautiously pour it all over my kitchen table, over the pieces of cereal. I then lick up the cereal as fast as I can, or else my Reeses Pieces are going to waterfall over the edge and wind up on the floor. And I hate eating food off the floor. It’s a lot harder and you can’t even sit down.

– I get on my computer and post a blog entry.

That’s EVERYDAY folks! Except for the weekend when I need time to recover, obviously. But next time you think about spending one full year of your life training for the versatile blogger award, I want you to ask yourself: Am I really willing to wake up at 4:30 am, just to post a blog entry? Because if you’re not, I just don’t think you’re gonna cut it in the free-online-blog-one-vote-wins-it-copy-and-paste-your-own-trophy award category.

Thanks again for nominating me, Aunt Joanna!! :)))) Check out her blog, she’s an amazing writer and an even greater story teller come thanksgiving.

Anyway, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Because now I get to write 7 interesting things about myself, and then I’m supposed to nominate 15 other bloggers 5 other bloggers for this award. Here’s 7 things you didn’t know about me:

1. I’m exceptionally boring.

2. I like turtles.

3. English is my first language.

4. That’s all I got.

5. I like Emenim? Specially the song “When the music stops.” That song is bad-ass.

6. A New Kingdom, the book I wrote, has just been nominated for a Hugo Award in the science fiction category.

7. Number 6 was a lie.

And now, to nominate 5 exceptionally versatile bloggers:

1. His actual name is writeswithtools. That’s how confident his parents were that he’d be a literary genius, which he is. His blog features post-after-post of useful storytelling information. In fact, merely browsing through his blog for a few minutes will help you improve your own writing dramatically, and at the very least open your eyes to the techniques and devices all great story-tellers use.

2. Linda G. Hill. She is so versatile, she actual maintains two blogs – one where she writes about life stuff, the other where she writes fiction.

3. Amy Barlow. Aka sharp little pencil. She has been my friend since the beginning of my wordpress (good old mcwatty9 days), taught me that it’s “all right” and never “alright”, and is a genuinely smart and funny person. She writes a lot of poetry and is never afraid to speak her mind. I like that about her.

4. Mike Steeden. He rhymes about drunk tom-foolery with pure elegance. I want to get drunk with this man. I think there’s a lot I could learn from him… But more importantly, I think he’d be fun as fuck to go out with.

5. Misha Burnett. He’s a really good writer and has incredible insight into whatever topics he chooses to discuss. This is someone who puts a lot of thought into what he writes, which probably explains why his novel, “Catskinners Book,” is beginning to sell like hotcakes.

Ok, that’s it. Congratulations to my versatile blogger nominees, now you get to nominate 15 other bloggers and write 7 interesting things about yourselves!

– Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom”

Surgery Yesterday

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This picture is actually being taken as I write this sentence. That’s right, using only the mouse. Don’t ask me how, this kind of technology has not been made available to the public yet.

Will be here much over the next week. One handed pen-edits? No problem. One-handed typing? Sloooowwww.

You can see my sleep station beside. It’s that white blanket.

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Probably not going to be traveling much further than here.

And the Liebster Award Goes to…

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1.) Where do good ideas come from?

2.) Five minutes with any celebrity – who would it be and what would you say?

3.) Who is your favorite writer, and why?

4.) What is more important for authors today – being an artist or having networking skills?

6.) Would you rather have great sex or an avid readership?

7.) You are walking down the street and see the most awful sight you could ever imagine. What is it?

8.) The life of a writer – Blessed or burdened?

9.) SpongeBob SquarePants or television news?

10.) Tell us about your most current book or WIP –

  • Give me the title and a quick pitch.
  • Why are you in love with this idea?
  • What am I going to get out of this, as a reader?

And the award for this years, 2013 Liebster goes to…

1.) Misha Burnett – Exceptionally smart and a true recluse. Wrote, “Catskinner’s Book,” a science fiction/urban fantasy novel.

2.) Adrienne Morris from Middlemay Farm – Gifted writer and nostalgia fanatic. Winner of the Editors’ Choice award for, “The House on Tenafly Road.”

3.) Kevin Brown – Writes with directness and purpose to each and every word. Published close to 200 articles for Examiner.

4.) Christine Keleny –  Writer, reader, author, and publisher. She’s most famous for writing the entire Rose trilogy, and runs CK Books. Her blog is a must-follow for any aspiring author.

5.) Ayse Juaneda – Her paintings are legendary. Genius. Beautiful. Best artist in the world? I think so.

Congratulations to all you award winners! Answer my questions and nominate the bloggers who you think are deserving. Fill out your own list of questions, then spread the Liebster love by announcing your own winners.

McWatty9 Wins Liebster Blog Award

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That’s right folks, I won an award. In case you didn’t know, Liebster is a word some humans use somewhere. I am grateful to be nominated by miss Alex, you can visit her blog here –http://thebewildered20somethingwriter.wordpress.com

In receiving this nomination, I must nominate several other bloggers and throw my own questions at them. I will post that later. But for now, I am on the spot, answering Alex’s questions. Big breath. Here we go –

What inspired you to start writing/blogging?

  • Well let me start out by saying I’m extremely nervous right now and can’t quite think clearly. I feel so on the spot and I know I’m making a fool of myself but the thoughts are coming fast and the hands keep typing them. Ok. Blogging? Well I wrote a book but I didn’t know any other humans so I felt a blog would be a good place to meet them. Along with humans, I am told fellow writers come here, too. Do you think I’m going to sound stupid when this gets posted?

If you could shrink any animal–real or mythical–so that it was pocket sized, what animal would you shrink and keep as a pet?

  • Well first off, Alex, thanks for easing the tension. Not. But in answering your question, following that comma back there is the rest of this sentence. I would shrink a… I would… Shrink… dog?

Name three guilty pleasure books and/or movies that you’re sorry you’re not sorry you like (say that three times fast).

  • So sorry not sor- wait. So sorry you’re not sorry I’m not – wait… shoot… Okay, so sorry I’m not your sorry I mean you’re… DAMN! Ok. Three guilty pleasure movies I’ve seen? Hmm…. I love Macgruber. I think it is the funniest movie I have ever seen and nobody else even likes it. Saw Jack Reacher the other day after hearing everybody whine about Tom Cruise being in it. Sorry, but that movie was awesome. Went out and bought one of the books in the series. Lee Child’s the man, by the way. Go check him out! Third? Hmm. Third. I really like… I… like… Umm… The Notebook. Why? Because when you’re asked by a girl if you have a guilty pleasure and you don’t say The Notebook you are an idiot.

If you could change your name to anything, what would you change it to?

  • Anything but Aaron, because Aaron is a girls name.

What inspires you creatively, i.e., what gets your creative juices pumping again when you’re in a bit of a slump?

  • I bash my fist into my head as hard as I can. It’s like magic.

If you knew you only had one hour before the zombie apocalypse, what would you do?

  • Cover my face with dirt then start walking with my arms straight out as I mumble, “Need… to eat… brains.”

Name the weirdest/funniest/coolest/most memorable/etc. dream you’ve had.

  • Oh, c’mon! Obviously a sex dream. Should I go into detail?

What advice would you give your six-year-old self?

  • You might as well give up. It’s never gonna happen.

What are the five things that make you the happiest?

  • I like toitles.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

  • Star Wars VS. Star Trek, when they finally sack up and make it happen.

Well, that’s it folks. I would bow right now, but I’m not going to. Why? Well I don’t know why, I thought all the questions were done with.

Thanks again Alex, hope after reading this you’re not ashamed you picked me. For the rest of you, watch out, I’m going to be posting my own nominations and questions later today.

– Thomas M. Watt

What do I make of these comments?

  1. So I just read the comments to my latest short story, and here is what I got. Not really certain how a blogger is supposed to respond to this, let alone interpret what it all means. 
     
    1. Tricks R. Forkids says:

    But he didn’t touch her, see her or call her again so why is he about to be killed? DONT KILL HIM!!!!! NO!!!!!

    • He’s referring to me Tricks. Now off I go, 3 hops I must take, let’s hope I don’t fall in the lake!