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My Summer Reading Challenge!

I have resolved to undertaking a reading challenge this Summer — it’s a challenge that I have designed myself, and with any luck, will broaden my literary exposure spectrum. If you’d like to participate, I’d love to have a support system and encouragement as I go along.

The challenge is to read 15 books this Summer, an ambitious pace to a lot of folks, myself included. The rules are simple: only one book can satisfy one category. I’m going for diversity and a broad spectrum of books.

So, here’s the categories to be met:

  1. A romance novel
  2. A mystery novel
  3. A sci-fi novel
  4. A book randomly selected by a bookstore clerk or librarian
  5. A book assigned to high schoolers
  6. Any novella
  7. A “classic” book
  8. A book selected by a friend
  9. A book selected by a stranger
  10. A book in a genre that you typically don’t read
  11. A book meant for kids (young adult counts!)
  12. Read a book in one sitting
  13. A book of poems
  14. A book that has been banned from schools or libraries
  15. A book longer than 70,000 words

I’ll let you know how I did on the second week of September! Wish me luck!

I designed this challenge to make myself a more complete reader — there are a lot of times where I feel like I cheated myself out of a lot of reading experience because I was stubborn and didn’t want to go with the flow. Essentially, I’m making up for lost time.

I hope to see you with me!

In Gratitude to the Phoenix!

I try to live my life in gratitude — my mother taught me that, to look for things to say thank you for. In doing so, I come to appreciate a lot of things that I have going for me. I have been blessed with the opportunity to take a talent and put it on display — I have been even more blessed with all of you who have supported me through this journey. I will never understand what encouraged you to pick up my books, but I won’t question it, I am moved by your support.

It’s been about a month since “Days of the Phoenix” has come out, and I think it’s the perfect time to say “thank you” for a few things that has made the book’s release such a rewarding experience:

  1. Thank you to Amazon for providing a platform for independent authors and writers to make their work a substantial product.
  2. Thank you to every best friend I’ve ever had — you, all of you, are in Simon Bellinger in one way or another. I’m sorry that distance has kept us from being closer, but I carry you with me every day.
  3. Thank you to my Attention Deficit Disorder — my brain is wired to be creative in a very special way and I try to embrace that.
  4. Thank you for people who don’t mind sharing their stories and experiences with me — while I’m not putting their details into my work, their stories will often inspire an ember of a story that is original; this works in culmination with my ADD.
  5. Thank you to everything that has ever made me feel anxious; after the book has come out, we can live in harmony and I know that I have just a little more control.
  6. Thank you to everyone who reached out after my Mom passed away. Truly, there will never be a time when I will read “Days of the Phoenix” and not think about my Mom, wishing I had just a few more minutes. Your outpouring of support was treasured and I’ll never forget you.
  7. Thank you coffee — you are delicious and make me smile!
  8. Thank you to everyone who read the book before it was released, your feedback was crucial and invaluable!
  9. Thank you to my Mom, who taught me to read.
  10. Thank you to you, for reading this blog and sharing in my victory!

Writing has been such a substantive and rewarding journey for me — I am grateful that I’ve been able to release more than just my first novel, and that I have the good fortune and resources to continue perusing something that makes me feel so complete.

I will see you on your next trip through the Millerverse!

Weeks of the Phoenix: Swearing on the Mirror

As of today,  I have told you everything I can tell you about “Days of the Phoenix” without damaging your ability to enjoy the story unfold. It has been a process and I am very glad to have been on the journey. When such a project is complete and you have done your duty, it’s good to take a moment to reflect about what has been done and what you are looking forward to.

I’m going to do just that in this week’s blog.

Continue reading “Weeks of the Phoenix: Swearing on the Mirror”

Weeks of the Phoenix: How Do You Get Invited to the Assembly?

In “Days of the Phoenix,” our main character is declaring that he will free himself of the shackles of mental illness and he will find an authentic and true version of himself in the throes of the social experiment known as “the Assembly.” How the main character gets into the Assembly is for you to find out after you order your book on May 7th, the question at hand is, how would you, as an individual, get into the Assembly?

The good news is, I’m something of an authority on the matter, so I’ll give you some inside clue as to how you could find yourself in the middle of the project designed to free the most authentic version of yourself:

Continue reading “Weeks of the Phoenix: How Do You Get Invited to the Assembly?”

Weeks of the Phoenix: Location, Location, Location

Here’s a fun factoid: most of the towns and locations in my work are fictional. There are two exceptions: Detoit, Michigan (where Echolocation played the record label showcase in “Broken Promise Records”) and now Carolina Beach, North Carolina in “Days of the Phoenix.” For the most part, the rest of the cities and municipalities are completely fictional.

I do that for a specific reason: I can be as creative as I want to be when it comes to my work. Say that I need a town in New Mexico that has the world’s biggest Nacho Buffet – I can either hope that this town exists, or I can create one. Now you have to ask yourself: is Renacido, New Mexico, home of the Nacho King Buffet & Grill a real place?

Continue reading “Weeks of the Phoenix: Location, Location, Location”