Friday, November 8, 2019

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight.
No, wait.
That's not where the story starts.
The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook.

She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi.
I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay."

Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place.
We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay."

Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring". Seriously I don't know how I'm still alive.

Anyway, Michelle explodes one morning over missing pizza. This is our first real spat. "What," she screams, "Do you just wait till someone trusts you before you show them your bad side?"

Her teenaged son ate the pizza. He said as much. That was the end of that. But again, I was still in that phase of the relationship where everything was food and OMG THAT RACK THOUGH so I was like "Hurr, okay."

December 2010. Maybe 11, maybe 09. Trauma has a way of bending time. The spats have increased. They're somewhat random and almost always over nothing. I made my mistakes, but I didn't think buying a certain sort of peanut butter qualified as turning her daughter against her. Turns out that almost all of her exes worked her over or are in the criminal justice system or blah blah blah. Not trivializing her trauma, I'm not even sure today how much of it is true. But she did have to endure some harsh realities. In hopes of getting through that my lust I mean love is true, I ask her what I can do. "Well, marry me and I'll trust you."

That sounds like a great idea!

Never been married before, let's do that!
The court-based wedding was a good day. One of my oldest friends came down to be best man (and was kind enough to ask if I knew what the hell I was doing) and food was had. It was a good day.

Then, everything changed.
I began to see that the good person was the facade and the monster was who she really was. Now, I was no bargain. I was broken in my own ways, very type A and combative, and just a general joy to be around. Our personalities did not mix.
Her rage would manifest every Thursday. I always knew it was coming because her skin was pale and her eyes were like mirrors. When there was nothing in her eyes, it was time for war. 

Now, I'd been in combative relationships for most of my life. I was born and raised into one. So the yelling, screaming, name-calling, that was just another day of the week. But the hitting started about three months later.

I remember thinking are you serious? Like, you know I used to fight for a living, right? You really wanna hit me?
Well, she did. She really did wanna hit me. And she was about my size so her hits did not lack power.
There was no telling what would start it off. Any little thing at work. The fact that her daughter and I were getting close. Or the groceries not put away a certain way. My favorite was Well a real man would love to get up early to make breakfast for his wife. Yeah, showing this woman that I could cook turned out to be the best idea *ever*.

You know, if you take any sort of punishment long enough, it becomes normal. You love the good moments and that's how insidious abuse is. You love those good moments because they don't come around very often. And when the bad times come, they're worse. And they're always your fault. See what you made me do?! Yeah, it turns out the movies are inspired by real life. Who knew?

At first, I tried to roll with it. I've been taking beatings my whole life, right? I've been taking beatings since I was five. My first memory in life is a beating. WHAT'S. ONE. MORE?!
If her beating on me kept her from going off on her daughter (which became another threat, although to be fair she never did) then so be it. And sooo many nights I would take a beating into oblivion, to where she was exhausted and breathing heavy. By then, the apologies stopped. This was just the way it was.

Eventually, I snapped. I don't have to hit you to hurt you, I said, but if you come at me again, I'm gonna defend myself--where'd you get that knife?!

Yes, that's when crazy Saiyan level two came out. In the form of blades. Sometimes she got me, sometimes not. But at least the apologies returned.
By now, my friends know what's going on and are concerned about my safety. Can't imagine why.

But to make things all better, I got her pregnant.
Niyana Vera Tingle.
Stillborn February 2, 2013. I remember because I pleaded with God to give me some kind of sign that He hadn't forgotten me and the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl and I had never cried so hard in my life. 

She broke completely and went into a mental institution. I got to plan my daughter's cremation while fielding a call from said institution telling me that she was trying to escape. So the next time you think you're having a bad day...

She conned her way out. Neither one of us cared if we lived or died at that point.
I will end you tonight.
Okay, now we're caught up.
See, Michelle was crazy. I knew that, she knew that. The doctors knew that. But she wasn't stupid. She never left evidence.
Never put it in writing.
All bets were off with that message that flashed across my phone screen sent from the back bedroom of our apartment like some horror movie.
Now I had proof.
Now she had nothing to lose.
And she hunted me that night, too. She controlled everything. The finances, the phones, all of it. She'd turned the network off so I couldn't call out. All of my clothes were in the bedroom, behind her. I was barely dressed. I'd hoped to ride it out until I saw her shadow in the hallway because she was watching me waiting for me to fall asleep.
I sent out a prayer via Facebook to one friend, asking him to get in touch with another friend who worked with 911 dispatch. The same friend who'd warned me about this.
So, being a grown man with more than twenty years of martial arts experience, I ran for my life.
One shoe, no shirt, something that barely qualified as pants and lovely Seattle weather. I ran for my damn life. The police station was only a mile away. She couldn't drive but I didn't know if she was chasing me. I just ran. I would've ran all night if I'd had too.
But I made it to the police station. Finally, they believed me. I'd only called twenty or thirty times before.
They arrested her. She was no longer allowed to be alone with me. The divorce was long, bitter, and brutal, just like our marriage, but in the end, I paid a small sum of money, she got charged with a few crimes (including cyberstalking) and slapped with a restraining order.

I never saw her again. She would still try to reach out via text or social media, but the last time was maybe four months ago.

You don't really recover from something like this. You learn to live with it. Life is different now and so much better. I'm a mess, but the good kind of mess. I have a stable support system. Good people around me. Everything is, for the most part, okay.

I don't know what the stats are for the LGBTQ+. I imagine it's worse.

No human being deserves to feel unsafe at home. If you think you're in a toxic relationship, you probably are. Know the signs, because it never starts off bad. Victim grooming is subtle. Narcissists spin webs like spiders. It almost always starts out as the most positive thing in the world, to create the illusion. Then the problems begin. Promises to keep the illusion going when paradise begins to fray. Marry me and I'll trust you.

When things go bad there's always the apology and promise that it never happens again. Less than one percent of the time, it doesn't actually happen again. Everyone else becomes a statistic.

If you believe you've been a victim of domestic violence do not stay silent. Abusers thrive on control. There are a lot of resources available to you if you need to get out in a hurry. You can contact me and I'll do what I can for you, in confidence.
I got out.
You can too.

Thanks for reading.

This will be the final post on the Road Home, and this will remain a pinned post for anyone who needs help. Thank you all for reading and following the journey thus far. Please forgive me for self-destructing two years ago. I've learned, and I have all new titles coming next year. Watch Facebook and Twitter for announcements. There's also a private group for readers on Facebook if you'd like to go behind the scenes, and Patreon will be going live 11/15/2019.
God bless, be safe, and thanks for being here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

You Don't Have To Listen

There's a whole bunch of bad stuff out there, on the internet. Some will say that it should be taken down (censorship) while others will argue to let them stand (freedom of speech).

Most of us trapped in the crossfire forget how much power we truly have.

We don't have to watch.
We don't have to tune in.
We don't have to allow it into our minds, our lives, and our headspace.

The greatest weapon the viewer/reader wields over the content creator is choice.

People will always put out bad stuff.
But you don't have to listen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Last Word: Samsung Galaxy S10+

I've had this phone for about a month now. It has yet to explode, so there's that. I used an LGV20 for the past couple of years. It's a great phone and even better music player. The LGV20 had the best sound quality of any phone I've ever heard, but I've been a loyal Samsung user since the first Galaxy. The Smithsonian offered to buy mine, but I'll never part with it.

Remember the slide-up screen and physical keyboard made us feel like spies? Good times.

My LG was good to me, but I was eager to return to my Samsung roots with the phablet that would serve as my virtual assistant. So right from the unboxing, let's dive right in.
Okay, first of all, I like the curved screen, but I've heard horror stories about a hard sneeze turning it into a Thanos victim. The Armadillotek case should fix that! Now it doesn't feel like I'll break it in a moment of anger, and I really like the stand. It would use it to watch Netflix on the day job but of course I don't do that because I follow the rules.
Hey, this case doesn't stop the phone from charging wirelessly either. Cool.

The Armadillotek case is pretty thick, but the Q charger doesn't have a problem with it

The battery life on this phone is flipping ridiculous. I usually start to see issues on the battery about a month after buying a new phone, but not this beast. I run my phone hard between writing, social media, music, and podcasts and that's usually before I get out of bed. I'm usually down to sixty percent before I even get out my front door. The Galaxy S10+ takes hits like Rocky Balboa. I've had this thing off the charger since last night and I'm barely down to 86%.
Putting the fingerprint sensor on the screen was a really bad idea. The LGV20 had the best fingerprint recognition in the business. Two years, it almost never failed. The Galaxy S10+ thinks I'm trying to rob it. It's a nice idea, but we're not past the age of needing a physical fingerprint reader.

Luckily, the facial recognition feature is damn near perfect. Almost too perfect, because I can unlock my phone from across the room. Whether I mean too or not. This is great for when I'm trying to get away with something (like watching something when I'm not supposed to be), but not so good when I'm in public.
The phone itself is a workhorse. I mentioned earlier how hard I can run these poor things, but with 8 gigs of ram, I am probably boring it. I've had multiple apps going at once, including Pokemon Go and Looney Tunes with no slowdown, and very little battery impact.
This... Camera… Is... Amazing…

Look at this picture of the moon. No other words needed. If you've ever tried to take a picture of the moon, you know the struggle is real. That struggle does not exist on this phone. Plus, you get a million different filters and options, including one to send straight to Instagram.
I'm not quite ready to say this is the best phone I've ever had, but I am almost there! If you're in the market for an upgrade and need a powerhouse, this is what you're looking for.
Thanks for reading.

The Last Word is a series featuring tech, games, movies, and stories about a month or longer after the release date, when no one's really talking about it anymore. It'll appear on my new blog, coming soon. The next entry will feature Capcom's Resident Evil 2.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2018!

I won't be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I've done it every year since 2010. I love it. The mad rush, the reckless abandon of throwing rhyme and reason to the wind and just telling the damn story. But this year, buried beneath a stack of stories and 2019's ambitious publishing schedule, I can't make the time.

But I've done NaNoWriMo enough to know what it's about. NaNoWriMo will help you discover if this life is for you. It will help you develop processes that will see you through to completion. It will, more than likely, launch your publishing career if you have the stomach for it. 

I've done Nanowrimo broke, homeless, flush, with a full-time time job, and with kids. I confess; I've even sacrificed day jobs in November for the pursuit of NaNoWriMo (protip: don't do that. It's a good way to end up broke). My point is twofold; NaNoWriMo is great for figuring out if this life is for you, and no matter your circumstances if you are really want to do it, you can. 

So this November, rather than participating in NaNoWriMo myself, I'd like to help you get through it. I'm gonna publish new posts on the process every week, but if you need something more personal, if you need advice or a kick in the ass, hit me up and I'll do whatever I can for you.

Because this is a great time of year to be a writer, and I'd like to see as many of you succeed as I can. Thanks for reading, and hope to hear from you. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Talk

Turns out the most difficult conversation I would ever have to have with my son would not be about sex, but the color of his skin.

My son came into my room two days ago. He didn't say anything. He just bent down and gave me a hug. His heart was beating so fast and hard that I could feel it in my chest. I asked him if everything was okay, he nodded. Pressing a bit, I asked if someone he knew had died. He's a teenager. They rarely give up the right answer on the first ask. Blessedly, he shook his head.

When he finally did pull away, he showed me his phone. This is what I saw.

This was a rage I know all too well.
A little context. I've had custody of my son for the past five years. He came from two very broken homes and was almost feral when he came to live with us. He didn't know how to act and quickly became unwelcome in certain homes. This was four years ago. He's a very different person now, one who gets A's and B's (most days) in school and doesn't (often) have to be hounded about his chores.

If living in this era has taught us anything, it is that hate is as much a part of the human existence as love is. One of the most painful things I've ever had to tell my son is that no matter his accomplishments, or how far he goes in life, there are some people in this world who will hate him simply because he exists. This hate will be compounded if he dares succeed beyond them. 

No, it's not fair. 
No, it's not right.
No, I don't know why it has to be this way. I wish things were better. I wish the world wasn't like this. But here we are.

Another harsh reality I had to shed was that someone walking up to him and saying this word to him was legal. As much as some of us don't want it to be, once you start picking away at the First Amendment, there may be no stopping it. 

While calling someone the ugliest word in the English language is legal, a physical reaction is not.
Often this word is used as bait, because once you start swinging, you've committed a crime and they're quick to put you through the legal system because they can. 
So I told my son to do something I never had the strength to do. When someone walks up to him, looks him in the face, and calls him that name, swallow your anger. Take a step back, turn around, and walk away.

They may follow. Let them. Walk away.
If they spit on you, or they dare put their hands on you, do what you have to do.

I don't know if we'll ever arrive at a place where that word doesn't mean anything, or if hate has no power. While we have to deal with hatred, we can control how we react to it. 

We owe it to ourselves and our kids to set the right example.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Can We Start Over?

I'm Avery.
I've made some grave mistakes lately that I'd like to atone for.

I am no fan of the current administration and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But in my zeal to speak out against it, I've allowed my anger to get the better of me. I've gone after people to ridicule them. I've put things on the net I can't take back. I could hardly be called a unifier.

To make matters worse, I've boasted that I don't want to be. Let those who continue to be complicit be scorned and ridiculed as they deserve! We'll drag them into the better future whether they like it not.

Yeah, not the best persona, I admit.

We are the United States of America and we share the planet with a few billion other people. Nothing is going to change that. So whether any of us like it or not, we're going to have to learn to co-exist. As someone who has made himself part of the problem, I'd like to apologize for my actions.

I'm sorry.
I mean that.
I have been wrong.
I may be wrong again, but I will certainly do my best to keep from doing it as often as I have.

That said, maybe if I tell you, openly and honestly, how I feel and where I'm coming from, we can start a dialogue.

I am afraid of the conservative mind. I have let this fear devolve into something close to hatred.
I am automatically distrustful of anyone who starts singing Trump's praises. I (impulsively and often erroneously) assume that if they are praising Trump, they want to see people like me deported, enslaved, or dead. I assume they force their wives to be barefoot and pregnant. I assume they spend their spare time shooting up the sky.

I have been racially accosted by people who believed these things. So has my family.

To be fair, I'm not completely right...but I'm not completely wrong either.

The pinnacle of my argument, and why I rail so hard against the administration, is because I feel that in the end they are about the revocation of choice. Of basic human rights.

Courtland Sykes stated that he expected to come home to dinner every night and blasted the feminist movement along the way.
If this is what his wife wants for him, great, more power to him. Where I become apprehensive is when lawmakers attempt to make this the law of the land.

I grew up in an affluent black household, where dinner was expected on the table precisely at the same time each night, or violence ensued. My mother was rarely given a choice. It's a horrifying thing for a child to watch, and it stays with you forever.

Courtland Sykes alludes to as a woman, you must do this.
The feminist movement says as a woman, you can do anything.
That's why I support the latter and battle against people like Sykes.

The age-old, endless, and some would say unresolvable debate.
I don't like guns. I grew up around them, I don't see them as toys, I don't think they're fun.
But that's just me.
If you're still reading, I'd like to let you in on a little secret.
No one's coming for your guns.

They've been shilling that line since the eighties. It's a lie, meant to drum up fear and get everyone to purchase, yes, more guns. Meanwhile, I promise you, the NRA is laughing it's collective ass off and they should be.
People who wield guns so zealously scare the hell out of me because I believe they are looking to use it. They are looking to be the good guy with a gun, eager to put down the bad guy with a gun. The idea that we could all become so desensitized to the idea of personally taking a life should horrify all of us.

Please understand; it is no small thing to take a life. It is not easily shrugged off or forgotten.
And if it has become so, we should all take a collective look in the mirror to try to understand how we have arrived here.

I have been both shot and shot at. I have lost more than one friend to gun violence. I'm acutely aware of how devestating a few seconds of violent action can be.

Guns aren't going anywhere, whether any of us like it or not. Instead I propose we harshly sentence those who use a gun in the commission of a crime.
Example; rob somebody at gunpoint? Automatic ten years.
I propose we teach firearm safety in every public middle school in America.  Because maybe if we teach children to respect the gun, they'll be less inclined to use one violently later in life.

And when a kid takes a gun and shoots up a school? I don't know. But I suggest we look at the parents.

I don't have all the answers, but I know I'm tired of being angry and watching my back. I want to have the uncomfortable conversations that we may either have peace, go our seperate ways, or both.

I have been wrong, but I'll be better.

Can we do this together?

Thanks for reading.

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading to the end. When I'm not trying to make the world a better place for everyone I write things. I write things like The Anniversary, a science-fiction romance most people seem to like and for only a buck, you can't go wrong. 
Tell you what. I'm writing my first big book and I'm trying to get people interested in my writing, so if you jump on my mailing list, I'll give you a copy of the Anniversary for free. Just let me know what format you'd like.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How Racism Dies

I learned an important lesson about racism yesterday.

For context: I'm one of maybe two or three black people who work here.

So yesterday, when a friend of mine showed me an apple pie facsimile made entirely of ritz saltines and tartar (?!) my first, natural reaction was "Wouldn't that be a Cracker Pie?"

Several seconds of stone silence gave way to uproarious laughter as I considered packing my desk and saving HR the trouble.
They were really laughing, though, even as I was trying to backpedal my way out of it. Finally, the guy who showed me the recipe (?!) in the first place said "Dude, no, it's good. Don't even worry about it."

I have to admit; I felt kind of stupid after that.

This morning, it hit me. I know it may not seem like it because the loud, ignorant people have the microphone, but if you look closely at world events, it can be argued that racism, one of the stupidest and ugliest concepts to curse the human race may be dying.

The fact is, far, far fewer people care about skin color than they do about whether or not you'd choke a puppy. The idea that someone would hate someone else based solely on their ethnicity is so stupid that it's literally becoming a joke.

That's how you beat it. Not with audacity or violence, but with HUMOR. We're at a pivotal time in history, where the forces who would encourage this are feeling momentarily emboldened and justified by a set of rights that has yet to figure out how to outlaw them.

If there was ever a chance for the intelligent of us to show up as one and drive them back into the shadows, this is it. Because racism IS so stupid it can be funny, and maybe by showing those who refuse to change just how stupid they are, we can be rid of this disease once and for all.
We've decided to permanently call that recipe (?!) Cracker Pie just so you know.

Thanks for reading.

Offbeat Christian, indie author and trying to strike a balance between family life and being a nomad, Avery K. Tingle is on a quest to write 200,000 words between two novels by the end of 2017. You should follow the misadventures on Twitter and Facebook. Also, he loves coffee to an unhealthy degree. You can support the journey by funding his Patreon, for which he'll be profusely grateful on social media. He also has a short on Amazon you'll like.

Monday, October 16, 2017

3 Takeaways From Engaging Fans When You Have Social Anxiety

"So, I finished your book..."

Are there any words more horrifying to the writer's ear than those seven? It took me three tries to even type the sentence. I can't imagine how many typos the first draft will generate.

So one of the perks/curses of being an out-there writer is that every so often, you'll be fortunate enough to have someone you know purchase your book. This is not the vast, endless, relatively faceless ether of the internet. No, this is an up-close-and-personal transaction, where someone you may see on a daily basis took a chance on your story with their hard-earned money.

If you have any kind of social anxiety (hi there!) this is akin to a death sentence.

I've had hi-and-byes with people who enjoyed my work before. I've even been fortunate enough to sign a few autographs. But I've never had someone I saw on a regular basis take serious, financial interest in my work. 

Fun fact: Few people who say they will buy your book actually do. Which makes those precious few so important.

So when this guy walked up to me and recites the Seven Deadly Words, I wondered if that's what the dinosaurs felt like when they saw the meteor coming. 
So of course, critical analysis kicked in. This guy's bigger than me. I can't get around him. Pretty sure he can snatch me by the neck if I tried. Would it be rude if I suddenly said I had to go to the bathroom? Bathroom emergency? Yeah, that's it! No one asks too many questions when you suddenly make a break for the toilet--
--ahh, this is stupid. Might as well hear what he has to say.

Understand, please, that most of that stayed in my head. I think. I hope. What I managed to say, and what I recommend saying, is "Thank you! What did you think?"

This led into one of the best conversations I've ever had as an indie author/entrepreneur. These were the takeaways;

  1. You Left A Plothole. (GET A EDITOR)Ladies, gentlemen, fellow artists, one can neither overpay nor overestimate the importance of a good editor. Seriously, get one. Get one right now. If they have good references and a good reputation, get yourself an editor and don't even think about hitting the publish button until you've ran that story through your editor. Turns out my top-selling title left an egregious plot hole that myself and my editing staff missed. I cast no blame; I'm the author, I run the business, I should have caught it. The good news is that I have an excuse to update and re-release the Anniversary. More on that later. But in the meantime, get yourself an editor. Here's a good one.
  2. Feedback is Good, But...Roughly fifty to seventy percent of in-person feedback I get on my books doesn't do me much good. The most common ones were about specific character gripes, as in "this would've been so much better if this guy was gay!" or "Hey, you know what would make this better? Rape fantasy!" Yeah, I wish I was joking. People have said that to my face. I think I deserve a cookie for not hospitalizing them and catching a court case.
    A lot of the feedback you get may have nothing to do with your work. Some people don't read the descriptions before they buy, or they expect one thing and get another. There's not much you can do with that. But every so often, you get one or two people who will give you constructive, objective feedback on your work. This is priceless. In this case, the reader outlined what worked, what he enjoyed, what he found a little jarring and the like. It was an honest conversation between a reader and an author. They may come few and far between, but they make wading through the useless stuff worth it.
  3. Gratitude Is Everything. Above all else, keep this in mind. The reader did not have to buy your book. They didn't even have to download it for free. Money is a little hard to come by these days, and time is even more scarce. So when someone decides to devote both of these finite resources to you, appreciate it. Even if they tell you something you don't want to hear. Especially when they tell you something you don't want to hear.Truth is, most people you come across are pretty decent and just want to be heard. Treat them with respect. Thank them for their time. Listen to what they have to say. Don't listen to reply, listen to learn. Writers live and die on their fan bases, and repeat customers keep us out of the top ramen section. Treat your readers as best you can and you will reap the benefits.
    I thanked my reader for the feedback, the criticism, and for pointing out the plothole because hopefully, I won't repeat the mistake. He didn't ask about my other work and I didn't pitch it. Everything happens as it should, and trying to force things can lead to disaster.

Overall the experience was nowhere near as horrifying as what I was expecting, or what I've already endured. I'm learning to love this part of the job and I hope you do too.

Have you ever dealt with a reader, player, or fan? What was your experience like? Share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard.

So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down.

The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding.

The paper is thick and durable, not easily torn. I tend to be brutal with my writing instruments and I have yet to do any damage to the paper. That alone almost makes it worth the selling price. At the bottom of each page is a QR code meant to number pages in bulk upload. I haven't tried this feature yet but there are serious issues that come with native syncing, which brings me to my next point.

Accompanying the notebook is a free app you can get for both Android and Apple, and this is where the Rocketbook falls a little short.

At the bottom of each page are seven symbols. In the app, you can designate each symbol to correspond to the app of your choice, which means you should be able to auto-send notes to Evernote (a personal favorite), Onedrive, Gmail, and others. Simply mark one of the seven symbols, scan the page, and the app should handle the rest.

Rocketbook's  Seven Symbols

It took one week of trial and error before the damn thing started auto-sending to Evernote. Blessedly, you can use Android's native share feature to send scanned notes to the app of your choice, or if you're like me, you can use Evernote's scanner to upload your notes directly into the notebook of your choice. Considering that this is supposed to be one of Wave's key features,  poor execution makes this a letdown. I finally had to draw hard asterisks in the symbol I'd designated for Evernote before the scanner finally auto-uploaded. Now that I know how it works, I'll use it, but using the old-school share button works just as well.

Another key feature of the Wave notebook, and the main reason why I bought it was the idea that I could microwave the thing (wow) and use it over and over and over again. So day one, I drew some squiggles and threw it in the nuke machine for twenty seconds at a time, per the instructions.

Image Courtest of boygadgets

As you can imagine, this makes the notebook really, really hot. It took about a minute to completely erase my first notes and even when it did, ghost lines were left over. The site's FAQ warns you this will happen, but my OCD didn't like the idea of not having completely clean sheets to work on. I got over that pretty quickly.

I've since filled four of forty pages, and I imagine it may take me a month or so before I need to nuke it again. This means I'll get approximately half a year's use out of this thing before I need more.

Remove the unpolished gimmicks and thirty bucks will get you a durable notebook that should last you a good long while, depending on your usage. Future updates should include making auto-uploading simpler by being able to place checkmarks over symbols and a dedicated pen holster. As a novelty item or a gift for the writer in your life, this is a good purchase.

This is not worth a cent more than thirty dollars as is, though. As with most new things, some refinement is in order before a higher asking price can be justified. Overall, I'm satisfied with this and may buy another one, but I can't see abandoning my traditional notebooks for this one altogether yet.

Thanks for reading.

Offbeat Christian, indie author and trying to strike a balance between family life and being a nomad, Avery K. Tingle is on a quest to write 200,000 words between two novels by the end of 2017. You should follow the misadventures on Twitter and Facebook. Also, he loves coffee to an unhealthy degree. You can support the journey by funding his Patreon, for which he'll be profusely grateful on social media. He also has a short on Amazon you'll like.

Monday, September 18, 2017

IFTTT For Writers Part 1: Facebook

I discovered IFTTT (If This Then That) about a month ago while I was looking for a way to connect the Road Home to Medium. Ironically I still haven't found an applet that can do that. I have set up numerous applets that make my life easier;

  • Texting a code word to my lost phone to turn it into the alarm clock from hell
  • Get new NASA wallpapers daily
  • Notify me whenever my wifi drops (for which my bill is thankful)
  • Automatically turns off my Bluetooth whenever I disconnect a device.
I'm still tweaking. There's so much more. Apparently, there are these things call "Smart Lights" that have been missing from my life. But anyways...

The most beneficial part of IFTTT is that it has eliminated the time needed for sharing content across the web. I used to spend more time sharing than writing, and when you combine that with promoting others, that can really eat into your morning. My publishing schedule used to look like this;

  • Write/Edit Post
  • Publish Post
  • Shrink links
  • Publish to Twitter
  • Publish to Facebook (2 Pages)
  • Publish to Pinterest
  • Publish to LinkedIn
  • get the idea

Since IFTTT, my posting agenda looks more like this;

  • Write/Edit Post
  • Publish Post
  • Shrink links
  • Publish to Twitter
  • Publish to Facebook (2 Pages)
  • Publish to Pinterest
  • Publish to LinkedIn
  • I can work on my books now!

So in this post, I'm going to show you in three easy steps how to automate your Blogspot blog, so it auto-shares to your personal and professional Facebook pages.

1). Go to and create an account.

2). Migrate to "Settings" and link your Google and Facebook accounts.

3). Search for Facebook. You should get a screen that looks like this;

4). Click on "Facebook."

5). Click "Share new Blog Posts To Facebook"

6). Click "Turn On."

7). Here, you can customize whether or not you get a notification when the applet runs. Connecting your Google account should incorporate your Blogspot info, so you don't need to enter it here. 

8). Customize this info as you see fit. You can alter the headline of what appears on Facebook in the lowest field.

9). Save.

10). Enjoy your day! Any new publication should now auto-post to your Facebook page! Sometimes it can take up to an hour to appear, and you should see this little icon to know that it worked. 

I don't use this particular applet. The one I use posts instantly and has never failed. So get in here and poke around, find something you like and go with it.
If you need help or anything, drop me a line in the comments and I'll get back to you. If you know something about this I don't, please, educate me.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writing/Publishing Update! (September 2017)

I know, I haven't done one of these in ages. I think my last one was more than a year ago.

The number one question I get from both friends and fans is are you ever going to re-release your books?

Well, the short answer is, no, I'm not.

I confess that I fell into a trap after Era of the Scourge: The Ring of Asarra, The Anniversary, and Era of the Scourge: Reclamation. Those titles did better than I was expecting and I got arrogant. I figured I could market those stories forever and not have to worry about anything else.

Yes, I'm an idiot, I know. But the good news is that I learn from my mistakes.

I've decided to take all of the lessons learned over the past two years and turn them into something I hope you'll love. I'm writing two one-hundred thousand word novels over the next three months because I just didn't have enough stress in my life.

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation and The Ring of Asarra are being retconned into the current universe, which begins with Era of the Scourge: Avelith. For those of you who've been following me for awhile, Era of the Scourge (think Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones meets Street Fighter 2) is a prequel to Universal Warrior, and they all take place in the same universe at different times.

Avelith, the first official main story in the Era of the Scourge series, takes place early in our world's history when our planet was ruled by the original four horsemen of the apocalypse. Cut off from the Haevens in the First Dimension, twin sisters attempt a harrowing journey through the wildlands of Panagaea to seek help and find themselves embroiled in a civil war between ex-slaves known as the Fatherless and an impossible enemy.

Agoura Hills is about as far outside my comfort zone as it gets. I've written (and tossed) three drafts before I realized what the story was really about. Based on a true story, Agoura Hills (Supernatural YA Mystery Thriller) follows Chance Bailey and Celia Youngblood-Dobson as they race the clock and other forces as they attempt to unravel the mystery of what's been taking people from the nearby national park. First of a trilogy.

Both of these books are going to come out 2018.
I'm also going to lose a lot of money on these stories because they're first in the series. People rarely buy into first in the series. Justifiably, because people deserve to know that the stories they become invested in will be finished.

In the meantime, my other stories; Run, The Anniversary, The Appraiser, and anything else I have out there not connected to Era of the Scourge will be given away to new newsletter subscribers.

Thanks for reading.

Offbeat Christian, indie author and trying to strike a balance between family life and being a nomad, Avery K. Tingle is on a quest to write 200,000 words between two novels by the end of 2017. You should follow the misadventures on Twitter and Facebook. Also, he loves coffee to an unhealthy degree. You can support the journey by funding his Patreon, for which he'll be profusely grateful on social media. He also has a short on Amazon you'll like.