Friday, September 28, 2012

aPad-4: The Importance of Naps

A Paragraph a Day: The Importance of Naps

WHEN I WOKE UP at nine this morning, the first thing I thought about was taking a nap when I got home at 5. Wake'n up just so I can sleep.

I SPENT ABOUT twelve hours yesterday authoring, and I have also been putting in mad hours for the last month or so. When I'm feeling drained, or if I feel I'm in need of a break, I take it. I think that's common sense when pushing yourself creatively, physically, whatever. Take a nap--it's refreshing.

OKAY. Maybe a nap is not the clarity or refresher you need. Maybe, you can relax and recharge by going out with friends, watching a movie, reading a book, playing a game, working out, going to the opera, eating out. The list of things you can do to recharge your brain, and thus your creative mind, is endless.

THE MOST IMPORTANT part of leisure is to let loose and shut off your brain so it can return to proper form. Your stories, your writing, your creative endeavor will be much better for it.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

aPad-3: The Host with the Most

A Paragraph a Day: The Host with the Most

MOST OF YOU writer's out there in the digital-sphere most likely have a web presence. Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Tumbler? YouTube? Etc? Yes!

AND SOME OF YOU  may have blogs and even websites. I started THEJASONJACK.COM two years ago as my official website. It's hosted by the free blogging/website creation site So far, it has worked for me. I intend on getting a real web host, one day.

THE PROBLEM with hosting services is the upfront fee (usually one, two, or more years multiplied by a monthly rate that has to be paid upfront) I know I don't have in the budget, for the foreseeable future. This made picking a free, but with WAY less customization, "host" a much simpler choice.

WHERE TO START? Do you own your domain name (the "")?

Go to,, or (the most trusted sites, from my experience and research) to buy one. I've used Namecheap for the last two years and never had a problem, although LuckyRegister has killer prices at the moment.

WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE, you'll be able to use your shiney new domain at WordPress or most hosting sites. Now, go out and register your domain name, start building a site, and make a name for yourself!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

aPad-2: Today's Subject--I Predict a Predicate

A Paragraph a Day: Today's Subject--I Predict a Predicate

"The family enjoys eating and playing with the animals."

MY COWORKER HANDED ME a slip of paper with this written on it, asking whether or not this was a compound subject and/or a compound predicate. And of course, as a writer, I froze. My mind blanked and I totally forgot what a predicate was.

WHY? Candidly, I learned more about grammar in my first semester in college than during my four years of high school. My college English professor was WAY more invested in what she was doing, and I was too. I bought a little maroon book called The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need then preceded to teach myself what a subject and predicate was among other grammar rules.

THIS WAS BACK in 2004/2005. When I was asked to analyze the sentence above, of course I was rusty. I already knew what the subject was, and it took a few minutes to remember that the predicate modifies the subject (usually the predicate being the main verb of the sentence). In the example above, the subject is "family" and the predicates are "enjoys", "eating", and "playing".  One subject, multiple predicates.

IF ONLY I was taught this in school, at a younger age, I would be so much better for it. Maybe. Which is funny, because my coworker went on to tell me her son's teacher told her students the word "animals" was also the subject of the sentence. Funny, because that's what's called a direct object.

THANKS, The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need. I'm not saying I'm a language guru, because I'm not, but maybe teaching myself the rules of grammar was a good thing.


aPad-1: Do it Yourself to Get it Done

A Paragraph a Day: Do it Yourself to Get it Done

TWENTY FOUR HOURS AGO, I wouldn't have guessed I'd come up with a novel idea I'd be finished with a day later. The thing is, no idea is too small. Sure, the word count may not be the length of Tom Clancy novels, but the idea itself is way more important than the page count, the word count, and the arbitrary prestige that comes when writer's write tons. What good is a story, one page or one thousand pages, if the core idea isn't fleshed out to its fullest? Answer: it's nothing.

In the coming days, I hope to share with you the culmination of twenty four hours of work (twelve straight hours of labor on the keyboard with pizza in hand), a project I did not know existed that has now found its way into my heart.

When no one else will write the novel for you, write it yourself. When no one else will do life for you, do life yourself. Don't give up. Just get it done.