Friday, June 23, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

An Open Letter To All Good Police Officers




Dear Officers;

Thank you for the service you provide. It's no small thing to risk your life every day to keep our civilization intact, especially when it seems like half the world is calling for you to resign or worse. Please know that your efforts are appreciated.

I am a black man living in rural America, and I know there are good police officers out there. Some of them cut me breaks when I was a kid and some of them live in my neighborhood now. I've had more positive experiences with police than negative ones.

The murder of Philando Castile is deeply disturbing on many levels. This was a man who had never committed a crime in his life. In the span of forty seconds, he'd gone from a standard pullover to violent statistic. In the span of forty seconds, Officer Jeronimo Yanez went from addressing a broken taillight to firing seven rounds into a vehicle that also carried a four-year-old girl.

Mr. Castile informed Officer Yanez that he had a firearm. Officer Yanez wouldn't let him finish the sentence, indicative that he was already on the defensive. Is it possible that Officer Yanez genuinely feared for his safety? Yes. Is it possible that this could've had a different outcome? Absolutely.

My question is this; if a person of color can legally own and operate a firearm and still lose his life at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect, where does that leave us?

Officers, I am scared. I admit it. Whenever I'm pulled over, I immediately put my hands outside the door just to diffuse any possibility of aggression. I always inform the officer that I'm not armed and that my driver's license is in my back pocket. I ask permission before I reach for it. Do I want to take these steps? No, and I shouldn't have too, but I have a family I want to get home too. (Blessedly, all members of law enforcement in my county where bodycams).

I worked a long time to get my life together and I am scared of losing it because the wrong officer sees me as large, brown, and a threat.

It should not be this way.

What really frightens me is this; as tensions are unusually high between brown citizens and police, one day, someone is going to fight back. It will all be recorded, too. An officer is going to make an erroneous assumption and the victim is going to successfully defend themselves.
Or worse, it will be assumed that an officer trying to do their job will be aggressive, resulting in pre-emptive action. If you think things are bad now...

None of us want this; not us, not you. I'm asking every decent member of law enforcement to please, for the sake of everyone involved, stop and think before reaching for your firearm. Your aim is to protect and serve, and a lot of us feel as though we are being hunted.

I also ask that decent police renounce actions such as Officer Yanez's. That you stand together and publicly vow to do whatever is in your power to reduce the chances of events like this happening.

At the end of the day, I promise; we all just want to go home. So let's get there together.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Father's Day, For Everyone Else





Father's Day is a difficult day for me. On one end, I'm grateful for the second shot I got at fatherhood. I love both of my children. I hope to heal the estrangement between myself and my oldest. I hope to put my youngest son on a path far removed from the one his mother and I endured. Love comes first, always. I'm grateful to be a father. More than being a writer, nomad, storyteller, whatever, I love being someone's father.

It also dredges up horrible memories of my own childhood. Days spent in sheer terror; waiting for my father to come home and inflict whatever bad mood he was in on the rest of us. Wondering what kind of beating I was going to take that night. Hell, sometimes I wondered if I'd even make it through the night.

The times weren't all bad, though. There were baseball and basketball games. Super Bowls as I got older. Events just he and I did. It was him who first introduced me to Green Lantern.

Which makes the day all that more difficult because while my father was a tyrant, I know he loved me and raised me the best way he knew how. We have buried the hatchet, but we don't speak much now. He still sees me as a failure and I'm learning to live with that.

So I wonder; when I scroll through selfies of people with their dads, am I the only one who feels robbed of something? It's a horrible jealousy, I admit it because all I ever wanted was my father's approval and as I approach middle age, I'm finally coming to terms that I will never completely have it.

No matter how successful I become, or what good I do in the world, or who I help. It will never be enough for dad.


Ah, Tuesday.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay


Is any of this familiar?
Do you deal with this too?

Then please, know this, from a father.

You are not a mistake.
You are loved.
You are not alone.
You are cared for.

You can't see it now, but one day, you will be strong. You will do good in the world because you won't want anyone else to endure what you did. You will take the pain and the anguish and you'll forge it into a sword that will do so much good in the world that it'll make the bad memories make sense.

I'm sorry for what you're going through. Or what you've been through.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The storm will pass eventually. And the sun will be beautiful.

Happy Father's Day.

Thanks for reading.

If you suspect someone of being abused, I can help.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Help Me Understand.


Everybody has one person on their job that no one would miss if they went missing.
They have one person who just brings the day down, everyone hopes they call in sick and pray they never come to an office function.

If you think your job doesn’t have this person, congratulations; you are this person.

The person you want to step on these. Image Courtesy of Pixabay.
Anyway, someone close to me relayed a story about this person, and how glad everyone will be to see them go. What makes it worse is that the person’s employer is a good boss.
So the way this story goes, the One We Wish Would Go Away is baselessly haranguing the boss, and up until this day, the boss was oblivious to it. Circumstances arose in which the boss was finally made aware of the One’s animosity towards him.
The boss just slunk back into his chair, shaking his head. “Why?” He asked, “Why doesn’t he like me? I’ve bent over backward to keep him here.”
“I don’t know.” The storyteller replied, shrugging and wishing she could ease the pain, “But if I had to guess, I’d say it was because of your faith. Not that it’s any excuse.”
He shook his head. He wasn’t one to talk publicly about his religion. In fact, up until that day, he’d never named his faith aloud. He walked the walk, though.
“I don’t understand.” His reply was hopeless and desperate, “Why would he hate me just because of that?”
That really hit me; the profound sadness. I don’t understand.

That's damn good question.

Well, hairball back at you, bruh.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.


Hatred is such a pervasive and corrosive snake. The worst part of it is that you think it feels good. It's simple and requires no explanation. It simply 'is'. You feel it and that's enough.

It requires no understanding.

And it is the surest path to destruction. That's the real price of hatred. It cannot tolerate anything other than itself to exist. The inevitable conclusion of hatred despite the flowery promises is destruction.

Truth is, people will give you plenty of reasons to dislike them without being blind about it. Most people are also pretty approachable and want to be heard, even if it's to be disagreed with.

Love is not the antithesis of hatred. Understanding is.

Some of my favorite memories while galavanting around the country revolve around finding something strange, asking someone knowledgeable, and learning. For example; cow tipping is actually pretty cruel. Please don't do it.

It takes strength to admit we need help, and that there is something we don't understand. Most people are willing if the chance is given.

If I don't know, teach me. I'll learn.

If I don't understand, help me understand.

Help me understand so we can put the world back together.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Thanks for reading.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

On Writing, Part 2: Writing With ADHD




I was twelve years old, standing beneath a gray sky in Berkeley, California. Beside me, my mother wants to take my hand but is trying to respect that I'm too old for it. She stands there, in front of the student med clinic at her alma matter of UC Berkeley. She is taking several deep breaths, on the verge of happy tears. After so many years of disruptive behavior, and questions with no answers, I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder. At last, things made sense.

(c) Grey Brechin

After a few moments of contemplation, my mother looks at me and says; "We don't have to do it, you know."
"Do what?"
"Medicate you."
Mom saw what certain medications did to other kids. She likened it getting lobotomized.
It was a no-win situation. The medication the doctors were advising, Ritalin, would mute me. Without it, I'd be a hyperactive nightmare for my parents. But I'd keep my imagination. I turned down the medication.
Giving me the choice was one of the best things my mother ever did for me.

Attention Deficit Disorder is a learning disability that makes paying attention to one thing very difficult, almost impossible unless it's highly stimulating (like a video game). It's a TV in your mind that is always changing channels, and you are not in control of the remote. The hyperactive variation means the channel changes once every second. People who deal with it suffer from low self-esteem and struggle to form positive relationships (check and check).

TWEET THIS: WHAT IS ADHD AND HOW CAN IT MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER


It can also be a tremendous boon to creativity because your imagination never stops going.
But sitting down to write, focus that creativity into a single objective can feel like a slow death.

I've been living with ADHD for almost thirty years. I've written and published, a number of shorts over the years, learning to tame the disorder to a point where I can work. Here's how you can succeed as a writer ADHD.

Make Time For Your Writing

The mind craves routine. When you first attempt this, it may be like trying to hold lightning in your hands, but as you get used to it, your mind will acclimate, and then anticipate that the time you set aside is solely for the writing process.

Keep The Browser Closed

Oh, internet, you wonderful, beautiful time sink with your adorable, hilarious gifs and memes and tweets and Facebooking. You have enough open browsers in your mind (it took me three tries just to write this sentence), so minimize the distractions and keep your browsers closed.

Block Out The World

Seriously. No phone, no notifications, no nothing. Music may help the process along. Don't let anything get between you and what must be done. Which brings me to my final point.

Focus!

Ryu learns to focus
One of my favorite animes, Street Fighter 2 V, had Ryu in a temple trying to learn Hadoken. He could see his ki firing over the place like random bullets. He realized these were his intentions, and that he had ''too many thoughts, too many questions". He realized that he could focus these intentions into a single attack and fired off Hadoken. It's the best analogy I can think of for sitting down and getting the job done. You have no distractions, nothing to get in the way at this point except what's in your own mind. What are you here to write? Bring your mind to that. Again you may find yourself wrestling the lightning, but it does get easier over the time. Bring your focus to the project at hand, and focus only on that. Then, put your fingers to the keyboard and trust the process. Living with ADHD doesn't get any easier over time, but it can be a boon if you allow it. I've been writing as long as I've been contending with this disorder, and thanks to these tips, a lot of trial and error and my wonderful mother, I'm better for it.



TWEET THIS: FOUR WAYS ADHD CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER

Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

On Writing, Part 1: Respecting the Craft

Welcome to my new series on the writing process "On Writing" because I couldn't think of a better title for the time being. I've been an indie author for eight years and in that time, I've been a ghostwriter, writing consultant, both traditionally and self-published author, and above all else, a tremendous screw-up. 
Right now, I'm working on the final draft of my first real novel "Agoura Hills". Inspired by actual events, this is the story of two kids who get to the bottom of a centuries-old mystery when tragedy strikes close to home. As I wind down the process I'll share my many, many screwups and hopefully triumphs. Hopefully you gain something from them and if not, well, maybe I can make you laugh. 
Enjoy.


I've had pictures in my head--whether I wanted them or not--for as long as I could remember. Writing wasn't really a means of expression as it was a way to quell the voices in my head. Sometimes, they'd scream. Then, I got older and found out I could use writing to inject myself into my favorite stories and suddenly it became escapism.

No one will ever, ever read those. I'm hoping my mother burned them.

Like a lot of other creatures, I was cursed with an overflow of voices of "logic" and "reason" telling me that we didn't need anymore starving artists, that I needed to find something that had a "sure future". I'm sure some of those people, like dad, meant well.

I tried to the normal life and it drove me crazy. I write not because I necessarily want too, though I do. I write because it quells the noise in my head.

So imagine my surprise when people start telling me my writing is good. One person even compared me to Shakespeare.
But last year, I reached the zenith.

A friend of mine posted to Facebook, commenting that I was doing well for myself. Sure enough, Amazon had included my new release, a short story (!) in their newsletter because first week sales were through the roof. When I published a novel to Kobo later that year, it stayed in their top fifty for weeks.

You know the problem with being really high up there? The fall hurts.
After so many years of hearing what a waste my writing was and how I'd never make it, I felt like I could do no wrong. I could publish anything and it would be a hit (Shut up. I know.). So I quit caring so much. I relaxed (too much). I went through the same routine and published a lot of complete and total shit over the last year. I figured it was better to stay in the public eye than publish good stuff.

I KNOW!!!


The original cover to Reclamation.
I added a subplot one week before release.
That's when I knew it had to go.
A better version is coming at the end of the year.


You know what? I eventually pulled almost everything I wrote, too. Especially the novel. Poor workmanship. I could have--should have--done so much better.

I've learned, especially over the last year, that if you want your writing to be successful, you really have to treat it like a job and hold yourself accountable. You have to respect the craft. Or it will kick your ass.

So thus far, this is what I've done to ensure I do better work.

1). Write (Almost) Every Day.
Writing isn't a painless process. I feel like I've run miles when it's over. Sometimes I'm left with a headache. Bleeding onto the page? That's me. The process is both a relief and a trial by fire. I don't do it, I go insane. I do it, I'm wiped out.
So I write Monday through Friday for a few hours--and then I stop. Sometimes I could keep going, but I stop anyway. Right now it's just about establishing the habit, getting my mind used to the process. Then I'll try to be Superman.

2). More Productive, Less Busy.
I don't want to spend entire days killing my brain in hopes of getting that one scene right. I have time (God willing). I'd rather spend a few hours working, refining, getting things ready to publish, and then the rest of the day seeing to my other obligations. Eight hours of poor work isn't as good as four hours of good work.

3). Get Out Of Your Own Head.
I spend most of my time on social media in groups, rather than posting my own random stuff all the time. I make sure to stay on top of my email (turns out there was son good stuff in there). In the last four days alone I've become aware of more opportunities than I learned of all last year. You can't create in a vacuum, but you what you allow in.

The funny thing is, no matter how good Agoura Hills turns out to be, I still expect to lose money. It's my first real outing, I'm not going to pull it (I won't have too, it's a good story). There are no overnight successes, and you don't start to see real results until you have a backlist--and you have to be damn good at what you do.

So this is my journey. Thanks a lot for reading, tagging along, and there's anything you want me to tackle, let me know in the comments.




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Simon & Schuster is WRONG.


I'm familiar with Milo Yiannopolous. Personally, I think he's a used airplane barf bag who's very good at what he does. Do I agree with what he says? HELL no. Do I (begrudgingly) respect his right to express whatever opinion he wants? I did, up until recently. And I still do, but I don't think we should encourage it. I think he should be relegated to the spot underneath someone's shoe where the rest of that sort of thinking belongs. 


Also, I don't think Simon and Schuster gives a damn about hate speech. They care about cash-speech, and they should; they're a business, and a business' job is to make money. Like it or not, the used barf bag has a huge following and these people are willing to part with their hard-earned dollars to hear what he has to say. Do I agree with it? Hell no! Do I respect their right to spend their money how they see fit, including on this guy? Absolutely. 

It would be foolish to think that the execs over at Simon and Schuster didn't sit down and converse amongst themselves about the backlash this deal would represent. They figured that the benefits would outweigh the negativity, and they made an offer. 

That is horrible to think about.

This guy has made a living railing against everything America stands for; diversity, equality, and prosperity for all, but you know what? People want to hear what he has to say. So let's make money off of that. The bad press will die off eventually. Hell, the book will probably launch at number one because of it. 

I had a hard time writing that because that thought process is utterly reprehensible, and pretty much puts on display what made last year such a bust. Not only will bad behavior get you rewarded, it'll make you rich.

I could see both sides of this argument, but you have to come to a point where you realize this is wrong, and it has to be stopped. Maybe you can't stop it, but you can make your opinion known. That's what the internet is for. 

It's no longer enough to say I don't support this and take no action against it.

YOU CANNOT SAY YOU DO NOT LIKE GUNS AND THEN PUT ONE IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE KNOWN TO USE IT RECKLESSLY. 

I do believe that every human being should be afforded the exact same rights and opportunities as anyone else, and I don't understand why this is such a hard concept to grasp. No matter what people like Barf Bag say, gender and color don't make a damn bit of difference when it comes to who a person is. 

So this is me, a little, unknown indie author, adding my opinion to the pile. Simon and Schuster is WRONG for backing this book. They are WRONG for rewarding this divisive sack of rotten flesh for his hate speech. And they are WRONG for magnifying the platform from which he can spew hate.

Diversity and respect to the First Amendment is one thing. But when it begins to encroach on the rights and sense of security of others, it crosses a line and it's time we faced up to that. 

I will not be purchasing any Simon and Schuster Books, or books from their imprints, for the foreseeable future. 




Thanks for reading, especially this because taking a stand is not easy.
Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.



Friday, December 30, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

I Deal With Mental Illness, And I'm Okay With That.



Yesterday, I suffered the worst panic attack I've had in over a year.
It felt like a bomb went off on my chest, immediately followed by a fist closing around my heart. I had trouble breathing. For a moment I thought I was having a heart attack. I almost called 911.

I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. I take Trazedone, once per night, to manage the latter. It's helped. These are conditions I'll likely have for the rest of my life, and I've made peace with that.

Mental illness should never be stigmatized, and no one should suffer both the symptoms and people telling them to "get over it". I hope that if anything is to be learned from the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, it's that mental illness should be brought to light and addressed, not demonized. This is who we are. Trying to belittle us is only going to make things worse, not better. There is no "getting over it". We deal with it as best we can. Please don't make it harder on us. 

Ask instead if there's anything you can do to help. Chances are we'll be grateful for it.

On the plus side, it's really cool when people say you're crazy and you actually are.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

LG V20 Reviewed

I don't need a phone to do much; it just needs to do everything.

It needs to be a writing tool.
It needs to run my Playstation emulator. 
It needs to play music like I'm in a concert hall.
Oh, and the battery needs to last a ridiculously long time.

So when it came time to upgrade my phone, I nearly returned to Samsung despite the recent, explosive debacle. I still have the first Galaxy they ever released, so the loyalty runs deep. But the S7 was too small for my hands, and the LG V10 had been good to me, so I went for the upgrade. 


The LG V20
The first thing you notice is how smoothly this phone operates, right out of the box. LG smartly moved the volume to the side of the phone. The uncomfortable layout of the LG V10 is a thing of the past, and that's the first of many improvements. 

Once I loaded up my apps, games, and music, I put the phone through the gauntlet.
As a writing tool, the phone is excellent, though the smooth finish tends to cause the phone to slip in your hands. Typing is like playing a game boy, and while I prefer Swiftkey, there are no issues with the default keyboard. Switching between apps, going between OneNote to Jotterpad, is quick and easy. I hammered out about five hundred words in notes without struggling. It doesn't make me forget the Galaxy lines, but for writing, the phone works.

I couldn't believe how long the phone lasted once I loaded my emulator onto it. I keep a lot of Playstation games on hand because you never know when one's gonna need to get their old school Star Ocean or Final Fantasy on. I played FF7 for a good three hours, with no apps running in the background, and from a full charge,  the battery fell to eighty-two percent.

That's unheard of. 

I've had the phone a little under a week, and the average full charge lasts about a ten hours. I'm up at six, down at eleven, and maybe I'm down to fifteen percent. As with any emulator, the phone gets a little warm during long play sessions, but as of yet, I haven't seen my battery suffer for it. 



The Playstation collection. Part of it, anyway.

LG touted the sound capabilities of its flagship phone from the moment they announced it, so I was looking for a reason to make them eat their words. 
I was wrong. 
In fact, the sound quality on the LG V20 was so good that I'm rethinking Bluetooth headphones. There is a noticeable drop in quality when you're not hardwired. But when you are hardwired, no phone produces better sound, period. 

Which takes me to the final, wonderful surprise;

Wenatchee, Washington. Ain't it a sight?


Ye gods, this camera!
The LGV20 sports dual, 16-megapixel cameras which, as it turns out, makes all the difference in the world when taking photos. This is the clearest picture of a winter sun I've ever taken and I can't wait to try the night sky. 

I'm not ready to hail this as the best phone I've ever used, but I have yet to find any glaring flaws. If I want to take down a quick note before I hit the sack or listen to music at dangerously high levels, the phone delivers. I'm curious to see how it'll hold up when the Samsung Galaxy-E series comes out.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.





Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Remembering Carrie Fisher

I barely remember seeing Empire Strikes Back. I was a child, and what stuck out the most was the battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the bowels of Bespin.

I remember Return of the Jedi a lot more. I was too young to appreciate the sex appeal of Carrie Fisher's slave outfit. What I remember most vividly was when she grasped her chain, leaped behind Jabba the Hut and proceeded to strangle the life out of him. To this day, it's one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in any film. It took everything she had, and it wore her down, but she would not let go until that fat bastard was dead.

Leia wasn't a passive leader. She was out there on Endor, in the thick of things with Han and the Rebel Alliance. This was my introduction to the female superhero.

Go ahead. Shoot at me again.

It wasn't until she died that I realized how profoundly I'd been struck by her portrayal of Princess Leia. Today, I still have a hard time reconciling her with what one thinks when it comes to the traditional Princess. Thanks to her, I've never viewed women as weak or a "lesser gender". Quite the opposite; the "lesser gender" will choke the shit out of you if you push them far enough

Shhh Go To Sleep

I saw her in a couple of other films, but like a lot of people, Star Wars stuck. I know she wrote books, but again, Star Wars stuck. I laughed my ass off when I read that she used to have sex with Princess Leia fans. I missed a major opportunity in life. Not that I would've had a chance anyway, but let a man dream.

You know, when I read that, though, it hit me; this woman overcame so much to get to where she got to in life. And she absolutely did not give a damn what the haters thought of her. There was no insult you could piss her off with, no shade you could throw her way because she'd looked in the mirror and faced down every little bit of darkness that stared back at her. And she came through smiling on the other side.

We may not see a life lived freer for quite some time.

The loss of Carrie Fisher is painful not just because we lose an icon, but because we lose an example of how life should be lived; freely, with love and laughter, and brutal honesty in all facets of existence.

But her work is completed now, and I hope she knew how much we loved her at the end.


May The Force Be With Her. 




Friday, December 23, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

"Run" A Free Short Thriller, Is Now Available!

"RUN" A FREE SHORT THRILLER, IS NOW AVAILABLE!
Pursued by soldiers, a child attempts to escape what remains of her war-torn city.


This is a FREE SHORT THRILLER. All proceeds received will be donated to Rescue. org to benefit the victims of Aleppo. You can donate by either purchasing from Amazon or by going here.
The link will take you the store of your choice. Nook and Kobo versions should be available shortly.
Thank you for reading, your help, and have a wonderful holiday season.

--Avery K. Tingle
The Gamer Author

Monday, December 19, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Introducing "Run"



Run: A young girl sneaks through what remains of her village, evading soldiers as she tries to reunite with her parents.

Run is a short story that will drop for all e-readers on December 23, 2016.

One hundred percent of all donations received for this story will be presented to rescue.org to benefit the victims of what's happening in Aleppo. This story will be free of charge. If you purchase it from Amazon, the proceeds will be given to Rescue.org.

Links will be posted on Friday.

Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!

Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.