Jay Cutler – I Don’t Understand The Hype




As a Chicago Bears fan, I take my fair share of torment from other fans. Not to mention, I’m a girl. The stigma with a girl liking football, and actually understanding what’s going on in a game, and knowing how to read stats of the players is disgusting. If it’s brought up in conversation that I like football, someone who doesn’t know me almost always makes some crack about me liking it to impress a guy. I find this the funniest because most of the guys I’ve ever dated, didn’t care for Football. However, none of the teasing and ridicule comes close to the level that I get for not being a fan of Jay Cutler.

When it was announced that the Bears had traded Kyle Orton for him in 2009, I was not happy. He led the NFL in turnovers that year and I refused to watch anything more than the Green Bay/Chicago games for the 2010 season because of him.

Let me explain something, I’m not a Football fan. I don’t watch it just because it’s on, or someone is playing… I am a BEARS fan… that simple. If the Bears aren’t playing, guess what? I’m not watching. So that being said, I guess it’s easy to see why these die-hard football fans, Bears fans especially, all give me crap about my dislike for Jay Cutler.

You can give me all the stats you want, yes I know that this season he is ranked as number 10 of the top ten QB’s, he’s got decent passing yards in comparison to some of the others on the list. These are not my reasons for my dislike of him. He is inconsistent. He is, in my opinion, one of the biggest whiners in the game today. Even those things aside, my biggest reason for disliking him?

As inconsistent as he is, let him have one good game, and everyone goes nuts.

I mute the games I watch a lot of the time because the announcers fall all over themselves talking about Cutler’s powerhouse arm, and act like he’s the damned Messiah. Guess what? He does have a good arm, but he is inconsistent in showing that. He throws these little 5-10 YD passes, when he’s not getting sacked, that doesn’t leave a lot of room to be impressed. ANNNND… when he does use this miracle arm of his, it’s normally intercepted. To me, that’s inconsistency. It’s a law of averages that if you do something long enough you’ll eventually get it right at least some of the time, right? How is it that when this applies to Cutler, that everyone talks about his great skills?

So yes, he had a good game on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, and wouldn’t you know it, ESPN and a myriad of other outlets all jumped on the Cutler is God bandwagon.

ESPN’s article was literally titled “It’s Cutler to the Rescue for the Bears”. Um… last I checked, it was his shitty playing (for a big part) for the last two games that put us at 2-3. I know it’s a team effort, and I do believe that the officiating this season has been dreadful, but you cannot be feared in the league as a team to contend with when your QB is in the top 10 for interceptions, just saying.

As much as I hate to say it, I am really to a point that it may be a few years without football in my life, as we have to suffer through this until his contract is up in 2020, and I’m not sure I can sit and watch his inconsistency, nor do I feel like watching the lemmings that flock to what a great player he is when he simply had one good day out of three weeks.



Album Review – Maroon 5 “V”




It’s no secret to anyone that follows me here that I happen to genuinely love Adam Levine. I loved his music first, as front man for Maroon 5, and then him personally after watching many seasons of The Voice on NBC.

The release of V, their fifth studio album, completely missed me. I’d heard the song Maps, but didn’t have any idea of the release date of a new album. While perusing iTunes last week though, found it. Needless to say the whole album has been on repeat for a week.

I think this album gets back to the reasons that Maroon 5 is so popular, the grittier music they made on albums like Songs About Jane, especially with the song Animals, which is their second single from the album.

However, fans that love Adam’s silken voice in ballads that move you, will not be disappointed with songs like Unkiss Me and My Heart Is Open, which features Gwen Stefani.

Overall I think that it was well justified for this album to debut at Number 1 on the Billboard charts, it’s been my favorite album of theirs by far.

The only downside/advice… Don’t remake cult classic songs like Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground.

This was a definite “No” song on the album for me, and I skip it when it comes on. This is one of those songs from my teen years that you just don’t touch, and Maroon 5’s rendition leans more towards jazz and blues than the alternative sound it originally had. Some remakes can be better than the originals, such as Let Her Go by Jasmine Thompson, I enjoy a million times better than the original version by Passenger, but this one should have been left alone.

Now, Sex and Candy is only available on the Deluxe album, which is totally worth it because you also get Shoot Love (which is a fave of mine), and the song Lost Stars, which was done for the movie Begin Again.

Overall a solid 4.75 out of 5 stars for this album, points only lost for the whole remake debacle.

Best songs: Unkiss Me, Animals, Feelings, Shoot Love.

Five Things You May Not Know About The Devil’s Angel



While perusing the interwebs for popular blog topics for authors, I came across one that recommended sharing some behind the scenes details of the books. I will do two posts like this, one for the first novel, The Devil’s Angel, and another for the second, The Devil’s Apprentice. I will, at some point, round this out with a third post after the release of book three, The Devil’s Downfall.

For those of you that have not read the first novel, you can do so FREE for the month of October HERE

I wouldn’t recommend reading further however, as there may be spoilers.

So here are some things you may not have known about the book The Devil’s Angel:

  1. The outline included five extra chapters that were told from Sebastian Monroe’s POV.

I hadn’t planned on having Sebastian be anything more than just in a few chapters in this book, thus why I’d included it in the end of the book because I knew it would be crucial to the rest of the series for the readers to understand him. However, the final line in the last chapter in the finished version of the book made me start crying and I just knew that it’s where it needed to end.



  1. Six chapters were cut from the final publication about Devrynne and Zarek’s time in New Orleans.

I didn’t want to like Zarek, I still don’t. Ultimately he is an asshole who deserves what he gets, but the six chapters consisted of a lot more lead-up to how they got together. It had some very intricate details about New Orleans. The Beta Readers all loved the New Orleans aspects but agreed with me that it made you feel bad for Zarek, and ultimately dislike Devrynne’s attempts at triumph over him.


  1. The title of this book was almost Killer Queen.

The song Killer Queen by the band Queen was Devrynne’s theme song for much of her inception and well into her coming to life in these books. The lyrics are fun, quirky, and fit Devrynne very much, also tied in with the fact she was supposed to be Luc’s queen.


  1. The movie Hannibal played a big influence to one of the more “horror” style scenes.

There is a scene in Hannibal when he slices open a man’s abdomen and hangs him over the edge of a balcony, letting gravity do the trick. Now I’m not typically squeamish, but the sound of this man’s insides hitting the cobblestone street below stuck with me. It was on repeat in my head during one of my favorite deaths in The Devil’s Angel.


  1. This was supposed to be a stand-alone book, no series intended, let alone potential spin-offs.

Everyone has asked about the backstory behind characters like Cash Montgomery, Ava Accalia, and Zarek Rosseau, and to be honest, I’ve considered doing a Prequel trilogy about those three. I was also just going to do the one story about Devrynne, but near the end of the writing of the first draft, decided to do a trilogy about her whole life.



Well there you have it. Are there any questions you have about the story, or the process behind writing it?

Being a NYT Bestseller Isn’t What It Used To Be



I did a post previously about an issue with watching an established author ditch their fans to pursue things under another pen name. In doing research on this author, it led me to another topic… what does it really mean to be a NY Times Bestselling Author?

I had always assumed that this status meant you’d officially “arrived”. That it meant the publishing offers were likely to be pouring in, but the more research I conduct into this, I’m faced with the cold truth that if you’re good at marketing, almost anyone can hit the NY Times Bestseller list for at least one week.

The reason I bring this up is because I noticed when I was researching the previously mentioned author, that their page stated they were a “NY Times Bestselling Author” and a “USA Today Bestselling Author”, so it struck me as odd that someone I would assume to be somewhat well-known and perhaps strongly established in the literary world would just up and abandon their fans like this person is.

Nicholas Sparks is, without a doubt, a true bestselling author. There isn’t a person around who is a reader or movie buff that doesn’t know who he is. He’s mainstream and very well known. On any random book of his available on amazon, you will find he has several thousand reviews of his work.

This other author has a small fraction of that… but I found the common theme with the reviews…

The majority were published within a relatively small, two week window, which took place right after the release of one of the novels. This very much supports the theory that a week of really great sales will get you to the NYT list, even if you don’t maintain those sales totals.

So here is what I’m assuming happens in cases like this…

You do a blitz tour, blogging and website hopping, all to promote the release of your new book. You garner enough publicity that if you set the rate relatively low, especially on e-book downloads, your release week you could get several hundred downloads right off the bat.

This is what the NYT list is comprised of, people who have had a very good week at sales. If you maintain that momentum, then you stay on the list longer. The NYT list has made headlines in recent years for people getting on the list by buying mass copies of their own books, just to get on the list.

So then, the question becomes, is being a NYT Bestselling Author really all that special?

Look at it like this, I could go and buy several hundred copies of my book the first week, make the list for the week and then I’m set. I have a fancy title of NYT Bestselling Author to tout to everyone.

To me, it doesn’t seem like it should be that way.

The other thing I found, is that this author in question, the one that puts NYT Bestseller on all of their books, websites, everything, may have never made the list at all. I did a search on their website, all the way back to when this author released their first novel under this name, and nowhere, at any time, was this author found. Now, it could be said that this author may have hit the list with one of their many other pen names, but is that then transferable to all of their pen names?

Is this something that is the new requirement somehow, the only way to make someone want to read your novel? I would think that the book, the writing, the cover, would make you want to read a book. I’ve never thought a book looked really good and then put it down because it wasn’t by a NYT Bestselling Author.

So that being said, how critical is it to you – the reader – to read something by a NYT Bestseller?

Also, do you think it’s bad business for someone to claim that they are a NYT Bestseller when they are not?

Pen Names and Publicity Stunts



I watched something unfold on Facebook last week that makes me want to address a few things with my reader base, and hopefully some fellow authors/writers to gauge their opinion, and to see if I’m out of line in my way of thinking.

Let’s address pen names…

First, I don’t really have an opinion on this. I get the anonymity behind using one, however, I’m vain enough that I wanted to be able to show off my accomplishments. No, pen name used.  I know several authors though, that for the sake of not blurring genres, write under several pen names, depending on which genre they’re writing for.

This is where my opinion of publicity stunts comes in.

I have stated here in the past, I do not feel I am selling myself short with offering my books for free or for 99 cents. I am looking to build an audience, and if any readers are like me, they are not really willing to put that much faith into an unknown author.

I get that there are a lot of indie-authors who have given up their day jobs in hopes of pursuing this dream, so I fully get that this is lowering your royalties for your books for you to do this, but it’s your opinion, just as this is mine.

I saw last week where an author, who shall remain nameless, jumped on the bandwagon of posting on Facebook about giving up on their dreams. This isn’t the first author I’ve seen do this, and I’m very certain it won’t be the last. This person stated that due to personal obligations, they were going to have to put writing on the backburner and go get a paying job. That’s understandable… being an author is RARELY a sustainable income, unless you are a rarity that can get a 6 figure deal right out the gate. In reality, that doesn’t happen that often. The truth is, it can take years to get enough of a following to make a sustainable income off of sales alone.

This writer then proceeded to state how they have spent in upwards of $30,000 by doing book giveaways and attending signings etc., and that it’s only because of how much they love their fans that they do this for them. They went on and on over how important meeting their fans and interacting with them has been for them.

Okay, I can see travel expenses if you’re travelling all year, costing you that much. But do you realize that an average novel (this author is self-published), costs you roughly $5.00 to obtain copies yourself for giveaways, and I find it hard to believe that you’ve given away 3000+ copies of your books.

The kicker in all of this was the plea for sympathy over this person having family obligations to think about, and how this is the only way, to stop writing under this pen name, and close down their author site etc., only to turn around at the end of the post and state that they will continue writing under their other pen name, but they are not divulging the information of what pen name that is to their fan base.

This post was met with some encouragement, but more upset than anything. The fans were supportive of the personal issues this writer is going through, but asked the question of why will they not divulge their new/other pen name?

I personally feel this upset is very justified. The ones questioning this writer’s decisions as more than just a publicity stunt were either banned from the writer’s Facebook page, or their comments deleted off the thread. This writer also posted several follow-up posts slamming anyone questioning their motives in this.

So I’ll say it…

How in the world are your “fans” not supposed to be upset when you say  how heartbroken you are to be leaving them, but turn around and say that they aren’t worthy of following your career elsewhere? Also, how can you start off with how you’re having to give up on following your dreams only to say, no, not really, just not keeping up with this page?

In doing some searching on some of the other author pages I’ve followed on Facebook over the course of my career, I see this seems to be a growing trend, normally to promote a work under a new pen name, in a new genre. I have found a handful of other authors that have pulled this stunt within the last year alone, all of which have done it centered around a new release on another pen name.

So my question is this…

Is this the new norm for indie authors? Does this author’s fan base have a right to be upset with them and their tactics?

The Dirty Dozen Interviews – Chris Morris

It’s FRIDAY! That means another interview!

Today we have the wonderful Chris Morris with us. I will say that I have enjoyed all of my interviews, but something bonded me with Chris, I felt a connection to him just from his interview, that kind of connection that you get when you meet someone who has face similar things in life. I feel truly lucky that my writing journey has led me to meet some really wonderful people, him especially.




Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: For as long as I can remember, I have been able to put words together in a way that moves people. In third grade, I won a statewide contest for writing. In high school, I won two more writing contests and was the editor for my school newspaper.

Then, adulthood hit, and I stopped thinking about writing. I pursued a series of career paths, until I settled into healthcare consulting. I realized I am really good at this career…but it left me unsatisfied. Through a series of crazy and unhappy health circumstances with me and my family, I picked up writing again about two years ago. Now, I find a freedom and joy in putting stories and truths together to inspire others and give them hope.

I have two full manuscripts in the final stages of editing right now. I plan by the end of the year to have at least one of these books in the marketplace, hopefully both.

Q: Did you share this dream with anyone, if so what was their reaction?

A: The first person I shared my dream with was my wife Barbara. She loved the idea from the start. She is 100% behind me, and honestly without her I would have given up long ago. Barbara is always pushing me to write from a deeper part of my soul, and I am a far better writer because of it.

The second person I talked to was my father. He told me to let him know when I am a New York Times bestseller, and that otherwise I needed to keep my day job. He continues to berate me and be generally disinterested in the efforts and energy I put forth into writing.

Q: I am quite aware of the negativity that family can give you, I’ve dealt with it myself for a very long time. Who has been your biggest supporter and your biggest critic?

A: My wife is my biggest supporter. We are dreaming together of me becoming a full-time writer. We are making a plan right now to allow this to happen, financially and otherwise.

As disappointing as my father is for me, I am my biggest critic. I constantly question my ability to communicate effectively. I lose heart when my blog statistics don’t meet my expectations. I cannot seem to think the best of me, no matter how many encouraging notes and strong admonitions to keep pushing I get from others.

Q: I have the same issue. I am overly critical of myself to the point that my mother-in-law gets very flabbergasted with me. That being said, when someone gives you an opinion on your writing, do you tend to believe strangers over people you’re close to, or vice versa?

A: I believe them equally, but in different ways. With my friends and family, I view their words through the lens of their experience with me. I know that (my father excepted) everyone near me wants me to do well. This can cloud their judgment, and result in a kinder opinion than I might otherwise receive.

Conversely, I understand strangers do not know me, but I also do not know them. I don’t know what brought them to my site. I don’t know what their day was like before they clicked to my post. I don’t know the pain they have received before we ever met.

I am learning to take all opinions from my writing in stride, I suppose. The only way I can grow as a writer is to be proud of the work I create, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. While I am my toughest critic, I am also the first person I need to please with my words.

Q: Interesting. Have you lost friends/families because of your writing?

A: On the contrary, I have gained friends through my writing. My life is richer and deeper in friendship because of writing. Fellow writers have joined me on the journey of growth. Others who suffer from chronic illnesses like me and my daughter have come along side to lend strength when I am weak, and give me the opportunity to return the favor when I am stronger.

Q: What is the thing you struggle with most about writing?

A: I get jealous of the success of other creative people. When I see another writer publish a book with a major publishing house, I get agitated and start wondering, “Why can’t I find this success? What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough?”

In these moments, I have to remind myself I am walking my own path. I will find my own success in my own time, and it probably will not look like anyone else’s success in the end.

Q: I struggle with that a lot too. My biggest was realizing that being a NY Times Bestseller doesn’t mean what it used to. It’s lost a lot of its appeal and awe. Have there been moments where you have wanted to give up on this dream? If yes, what has made you stick with it?

A: So many times in the past two years I have been discouraged by what feels like slow growth in my “tribe”. When I fixate on numbers, I always feel less-than. Invariably, when I start to feel this way, I get an email from one of my readers. They tell me how my recent post inspired them to push through rather than give up. I am reminded in this moment – I am not writing to get famous; I am writing to give hope.

Q: What is one thing that you wish you knew from the beginning of your writing career?

A: When I started my blog, I believed there was only one right way to do things, and I believe the self-proclaimed experts had all the answers. Now, I realize they can only tell their own story. What they call strategies are often nothing more than anecdotal proofs to support their own success, a success built on a variety of factors: luck, timing, topic, and early entry into a market. Most of these characteristics cannot be replicated. So, instead of following the experts, I am learning to walk my own path. If I had started with the courage to walk on my own, I would be that much closer to success.

Q: Do you have things/people you turn to for inspiration or can you sit down and just write?

A: I primarily write about my family and our struggles with my daughter’s epilepsy and my seizures, along with other topics related to chronic illness. As a result, it is not difficult to find topics to write. My biggest problem is finding time. I work full-time, have a wife and three kids, plus I am building a side business. With all these things happening, finding the time to write is a challenge. I have to be very intentional about it, and some seasons are better than others.

Q: What achievement in writing are you most proud of?

A: I would have to say my biggest achievement is finishing two manuscripts for books in the past year. I cannot wait to see these books out there for the world to see and buy.

Q: There isn’t another feeling in the world quite like it. What has been your biggest lesson learned in writing?

A: My biggest lesson in writing is that everything is practice. If I have a blog post series that is terrible, that’s okay…it’s just practice. I need to analyze what went awry and learn from it.

If I have something go incredibly well, that’s great…but it’s still just practice. I need to analyze what went well and learn from it.

I am constantly learning and evolving as a creative person. I will never arrive. So long as I keep this in mind, I will be able to stay even keeled and maintain focus over the long haul.

Q: If you could only pick one, would you rather be well known (NY Times Bestseller etc) for one piece of writing, only to be broke after a quick fifteen minutes of fame, or would you rather be semi-unknown, only making just enough sales to live modestly, as long as you were able to keep writing?

A: Without a doubt I want to be the semi-unknown, modestly living writer. This is actually a long-term goal for me. I want to create enough products that are well-received enough over a decent period of time that I can support my family with my writing. Since I have not published a single book yet, this is a long way off. But I do not want to be a flash in the pan. I strive for consistent excellence over years, with the reward of a decent “salary.”



Thanks Chris, for being a part of the madhouse that is my website for the day. I enjoyed getting to know more about you!

Chris Morris writes about how to maintain faith and hope in the midst of seemingly insurmountable challenges. As the father of an epileptic and a sufferer of seizures himself, he knows the pain of unmet expectations. But together, he and his daughter have learned: we don’t give in. We don’t give up. We don’t let the pain and aggravation and injuries and difficulties from this history and these illnesses keep us from living a full life.

If you would like to read more about Chris, or connect with him, you can do so through the links below:

Blog – http://www.chrismorriswrites.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cmorriswrites

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMorrisWriter



Reading Out Loud Editing: Does It Work?

putting me to sleep


So I thought I was done with the editing process of The Devil’s Downfall. Thought I had fine-tuned everything, fixed all the typos that had been missed, re-written some scenes and axed some others. I have the final proof copy in my hands, and let me tell you, she is a beauty. 702 pages full of one of my biggest achievements.

Now I’ve given a lot of advice here about how to publish, how to format, how to write, etc., but what I’ve realized is that I’m not great at taking advice. I have heard it said since before I even finished my first novel, that you should always read your books out loud. You will catch things that you would surely miss any other time. I’ve been told if you stumble while reading out loud, your readers will likely stumble and you should correct the sentence so that it flows.

I had reading out loud because I stumble usually anyway. I’ve attributed this to the fact that I read faster than I can speak. Same reason I have an issue doing more than outlining by hand. I can type 90+ WPM, which is a lot faster than I can write by hand.

Either way, I was sitting here the other night, irritated with another failed attempt at level 199 on Candy Crush, and looking at the proof copy… I decided just to read the prologue. I stumbled of course, so I slowed down.

Stop the presses! This actually helps you edit?!

Yes, yes it does.

I take most online advice with a grain of salt when it comes to writing. No two writing journeys are the same, no two people are the same in how they process information, so it would stand to reason that any advice given of what worked for one author, may not work step-by-step for you.

I’m here to tell you, this does. You will catch the way sentences fit together, the way the reader will roll them together and it’s easier to see where the subtleties need more explanation so they do not get lost.

So far, this has been the biggest discovery that advice was correct in my writing journey.

What has been the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Just a girl and her dreams…


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