Is a Patron like a Patronus?

In a way, yes. Both a patron and a patronus help the one they’re connected to.

I love being a patron. I give a small amount monthly to two worthy entities on Patreon: Pulp Literature Magazine and Inspire Nation Show.

I feel good doing it. Not just receiving the rewards, but knowing I’m helping someone accomplish something that inspires them and others. I can’t afford to give much, but that’s the beauty of being a patron. You don’t have to give a lot to make a difference to the creators, because each creator (hopefully) has more than one patron.

And now I’ve decided to take the plunge and open a Patreon page myself. As some of you know, I’m moving from writing juvenile fiction to writing novels and screenplays. Unfortunately, I’m in the VOID – that dreaded, poverty-stricken land between once being established in a genre (the juvenile fiction) and working to become established in a different genre (novels and screenplays).

So far, my Patreon page is still in development, and today, I developed the rewards: those things I give in return for support. So fun to gather up the things I can give! Cards, ebooks, paperbacks, sneak peeks, your name in a video, you naming a character in a novel, editing services, and biggest of all (to me anyway), my eternal gratitude!

Just so you know, you don’t have to be a patron to receive gifts from me. I have two free ebooks out there that are just waiting for you to read them, and soon will have more! Look for Winter of the Crystal Dances and Dark Fire on your regular ebook site. If you can’t find them there, let me know your ereader, and I’ll direct you to the right place.

If you are interested in becoming a “Patronus” of my work, watch this blog for the announcement that my Patreon page is LIVE! And please feel free to ask me any questions you want.

Happy Reading and “Patronizing” to All!

Think Like A Fiction Reader

think-like-a-freak“Think Like A Freak” by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner: Loved the stats. Loved the examples. Loved the entertaining writing. The book just sped by.

What it’s about: Most humans make decisions without using much original thought. We’re hardwired to think a certain way, and because of it, our thinking is predictable and we have common blind spots. The authors give a few ideas of things to do to start thinking like a freak, things like saying “I don’t know” when we actually don’t know (which is the only freaky thinking thing I’m good at), ignore the supposed limits, think like a child, give incentives to others, getting “your garden to weed itself”, and finally, the benefits of coin flipping in place of decision making.

What I thought while reading this book: I’m very typically human. I have the usual patterns and blind spots – and so I was very appreciative of the things I learned while reading this book.

And considering the usefulness of “Think Like A Freak” to me, where I went mentally after reading is a weird leap: Though I learned what “Think Like A Freak” actually outright taught me, I didn’t learn more, because of the nature of non-fiction, or at least the nature of “teaching” non-fiction (as opposed to “real life experience” non-fiction).

Don’t get me wrong. I love non-fiction and I read a lot of it. I’ve learned a huge number of extremely valuable things from non-fiction – but I believe even more strongly now that non-fiction is limited. Why? Because by leading me along a focused track, the non-fiction writer doesn’t give me the mental freedom for diverse thoughts before I’m once again being hustled along by more focused facts, proofs, and logical reasonings.

When it comes to the deeper stuff of life, I find fiction the better teacher. If I head out on a mind tangent in a story, there’s not the same pressure to get back to the proper lesson at hand. Theme can whisper, tempting me off or on various paths, but I don’t have to listen. Even more, characters’ personalities, thoughts, and actions can be profound lessons. For example, I just finished a book by Louise Penny (my next review) that blew me away on the immense value of playing the long game with patience and kindness, and how those qualities might look in a person.

No non-fiction book has ever given me as much value as some fiction. Maybe I’m a freak for being this way, but honestly, since I’m such a typically thinking human, I believe I’m probably in the middle of a vast herd – and I admit, I hope that’s the case. To have fiction deeply inspiring so many people in their lives? To me, that’s a beautiful thing.

42 Books

booksMy newest venture: 42 books in 52 weeks!

Why 42?

Because, “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is 42” – at least according to Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Also, it gives me 10 weeks to fiddle around and procrastinate. ?

But why do it at all?

First, I’m great at buying and downloading books and starting to read them, but not so good at finishing them – so this project is selfishly meant to motivate me.

Second, I am inspired by many of the books I read, and yet I don’t have a satisfactory outlet for the thoughts they encourage. So I’m creating that outlet, in the form of blog posts. Some will be reviews, some will be random thoughts inspired as I read that book, but every book will get a blog post. Promise.

I know I’m the big winner here, but I hope you get some value out of my new commitment too. Books and links added here, as soon as I start. I’d love to get your feedback on the books too.

Cheers!