Post Fantasy Football Draft Hype…or Lack There Of

So I’m a day late on this follow up post, but I doubt anyone minds too much. I had planned on writing a quick hype post about how awesome my team is, but if you read my last football post, you’d know that my team probably isn’t that great. Take a look below:

That bad Ty? Really? I know that’s what you have to be asking yourself, following that up with: why do you do this each year if you’re really that bad?

Well truth be told, I don’t think my team is THAT bad. Do I trust it? Not at all. However, I’m cautiously optimistic that I can at lease get myself out of the bottom of the barrel this year with the lineup I have. So without further ado, here is what my projected starting roster looks like for week 1:

First off, I really hope you all love that my team is literally called Dumpster Fire 2019 with a picture of a fire on it. But second, if you’ve ever wanted to see a mix bag of starters on one team this is it.

I mean, I really don’t know what I was thinking with some of these. Antonio Brown just now said he was going to return to his team after throwing a tantrum about wearing a new helmet AND having frostbite in his feet. Like what?

Then I decided to keep Le’Veon despite his not playing this year. I waited on a TE until late and ended up with a mid-tier guy, and the rest of my starters are no means proven studs. It really is quite worrisome. So how does the rest of my team look? Well let’s take a look:

Now all and all, that is a decent bench and I think any of them can sub in well if I need them. In fact, I really don’t have much of a qualm with my bench and I’m kind of excited I was able to snag Anthony Miller.

Overall, I wish I could say I believe that this team is something special. A team everyone in my league should watch out for. But that just isn’t the case. I think it’s going to be a perfectly mediocre team that will at least dig me out of my consistent last place efforts and finally push me to the middle of the pack.

So what are your thoughts? Think I’ve made an accurate assessment or was I too harsh. Did you draft a better team. Comment and follow my pages to let me know what you think!

Oh, and if you’re in this league with me, just know I don’t think any of your drafts were much better. I think we’re all going to have a collectively mediocre year and I can’t wait to embarrass some of you when you lose to my team. Enjoy!

Fantasy Football Time

Well that time of the year has come upon me once again. That special time where I get excited for a few weeks, only to have everything come crashing down in shambles. That’s right: it’s fantasy football season.

If you’re just getting to know me on social media, well let me say that I absolutely love fantasy football and just watching the sport in general. Don’t ask me why, since I really don’t have a great answer, it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed sitting down and watching on Sundays. With that said…Bear Down!

But that’s not why I’m writing this today. I could probably go on for hours about why I love football and how the Bears are going to the Super Bowl this year, but this post is about fantasy football. It’s a very special hobby that I have that inflicts a wide range of emotions: from happiness to anger to straight up wishing I never got invested in it.

Tomorrow marks I believe the 7th year that a core group of college friends and myself have done a fantasy football league together and let me just say that it’s great. The day of the draft, most of us do our best to try and meet up and have a few drinks, some good food, and a lot of trash talk before it starts.

I always look forward to this part of the season because it’s when hope and optimism is still alive. It takes place in that magical time before you find out that Le’Veon Bell is going to sit out a full season when you draft him with the first overall pick.

It lets you forget about the year before when you make a big trade for David Johnson in the offseason, only for him to break his wrist in the first game or two and miss the rest of the season.

This time of year lets you also have hope that your luck will be better than THREE YEARS AGO when Adrian Peterson got hurt and I took him off the promise of a great season.

But anyway, I digress. I’m hopeful that this year will be the year with these guys. I’m already second guessing my keepers with Le’Veon in the first and Lamar Jackson in the 18th round which is always a good sign.

All that’s left to do is draft. I’ll more than likely give a full analysis tomorrow night coming off the high that my team can go “all the way” this year.

Side note: my team has been bottom 3 the last four years so I’ve got some high standards.

The Writer’s Corner

Hello all!

Seems like I’ve had a bit of success as of late covering writing on my blog. In honor of that, I decided besides doing a writing prompt every Tuesday and Wednesday, I would also give some tips for writing. Some of these may be about writing fiction, while others may cover other topics in writing as well.

However, today’s is going to focus a bit on world building. As of right now, I write for my own group called Pantheon Productions while also striving to become a best selling author. Both of these things are new challenges for me and so it has led to my life being engulfed in the world of writing. With both Pantheon Productions and my novel still in the beginning stages, I find myself really in the midst of world building and I decided I would share some things that I’ve personally learned while doing it.

The first is to think as broad as possible. There is a reason that world building is called “world building.” When I went into my first book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, I spent more time figuring the state of the planet I was creating over the finer details. Much like character development, the more you know about your world, the easier it is to write things.

This has lead to me asking some of the more bizarre questions in my writing career. Questions along the lines of “if it’s hot on the northern side of the planet, is it naturally cold on the southern?” “How long are days versus nights?” “What kind of plants and animals exist here?” All of this has been fun to do so far.

With that world building though, there is also the decisions to make in how characters will react and how believable to make it. I love writing in science fiction and horror and one of my favorite things to do in both of those is to make it feel as real as possible. That’s why as my projects come out for Pantheon Productions, or exerts come out of my manuscript, you’ll find that a lot of it is written to have the reader as immersed as possible. I want the reader or viewer to feel like somewhere nearby, the events I write are happening.

That’s what I think makes good world building overall. This can be said to be the same for about every genre and that’s the main point. As a writer, if you go in and take the time to understand every detail of your world, to a point that it feels real even to you, then you’ve done a good job.

That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. Check back in tomorrow for an exercise to help begin creating your very own world.

A Trend in Writing

As usual, I will try and keep this week’s blog post short and sweet as we come cruising in on the weekend full force. To end the week, I just wanted to touch on some trends I’ve noticed while entering the indie author scene and was hoping to get some feedback on this.

One of the main things I’ve noticed about a lot of authors that I’ve interacted with lately is that they are using their first two initials and then a last name for their pen name. Is there something that I have missed out on in this trend? Is there a reason for going this route?

Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why a lot of people like using pen names. I personally thought about using one for a long time. There is nothing quite like being able to ensure your privacy when you want it. There is also the thrill of being able to separate your work from yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen various authors have to explain that something a character said or believes isn’t what they personally believe. So yes, I understand the use of a pen name, I just don’t get the current trend of imitating C.S. Lewis. If anyone can explain, that’d be great because I’m at a loss.

The other trend that I’ve noticed is that there is still a big run on people either writing supernatural romances or fantasy. A decent amount of science fiction is being done as well. The main thing I want to address with this is an article that I read several years back. I’ve done my research and sadly I can’t find it. Essentially, it was written after 9/11 and during the Bush administration, It discussed the fact that artists have a tendency of creating art that reflects their time. (Also, I know that is a concept that is taught all through school, I’m just lamenting not finding this one specific article because it made more relevant references).

So, I think my big question is this, or I guess, questions is more appropriate. First and foremost, is this adventure into science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy being written as a response to a current political environment? I know personally my series is. My other question is if it’s not a direct response to these things, is it what pop culture is still demanding? Or is it neither of those things, and just the typical fact that authors are strange souls that enjoy writing on their observations in weird, twisted ways. That’s also something I personally like to do.

Anyway, I would love to be able to engage with people reading my blog, so let’s start talking! Post some answers below and lets have a discussion!

Talk to you soon.

The Curious Case of Helen Smith: Synopsis and Influences

Synopsis:

Helen Smith is an average professor at a mundane university in the town of Despain, Illinois. She teaches theology and has a love with comparing the various religions in the world. Her story begins in this series with her lover, Reggie, heading over seas to work for a year as a guest lecturer at Cambridge. It is with this in mind that Helen decides to take a year sabbatical as well, working towards writing a new book that extensively covers all the world’s religions and how they are nearly all the same in their teachings.

While embarking on this journey, Helen discovers a new and looming entity. A reference to a God that she has never heard of before. As she begins to study this new God in fervor, a dark and mysterious entity begins to reach out to her. As she continues to study, she not only begins to lose herself in her work, but also her grip on reality. The question will quickly be asked “what is real?” and “what can be trusted?”

Influences

With this series being one of the first on the docket to write and produce, I thought that I may share just a few little things that I’m using for inspiration. My hope is that while the series is being made, there will be a small collection of authors or series to check out to get you excited.

So from the writing side of things, one of the biggest influences for this series comes from H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s works have always been a favorite of mine, specifically the idea of Elder Gods and monsters from other planes. He always worked well with bending the distinctions between dreams and reality and that is something that I hope this series will do as well. A lot of Lovecraftian elements will be at play, so if you’re not familiar with the work, I would recommend checking out a couple of his shorter pieces like The Case of Charles Dexter Wardwhich coincidentally is where I got the inspiration for the title of this series.

The next author I would also recommend and is another personal favorite of mine is Edgar Allan Poe. His short stories use sound and broken up writing to build suspense and anxiety, and the dialogue and sound in this series will be done in a similar fashion. To get an idea of how sound would be used, I’d recommend  A Quiet Place, since the sound in that movie did a lot of the same things that I will be striving for, which is having sound with a purpose. Out of Poe’s work, I’d recommend The Pit and the Pendulumwhich does an excellent job at quickly building suspense.

Finally, overall I would recommend any kind of horror movie that relies more on a creeping unknown entity over your casual jump scare. In a way, this series will be paying homage to some of my favorite writers. Reading their work will help you see their influence in modern horror shows and movies like the ones I described. In the end, this is simply a guide for those that are impatient and want something to continue to wet their beaks until the official release of The Curious Case of Helen Smith.

How to be Inspired

So to start this post off, let me go ahead and give a bit of a disclaimer here: the title of this piece is not giving you a guarantee on how to be inspired. No, the reason this piece earned that title is because lately I’ve been thinking about inspiration and what it means to be inspired, along with how to get that feeling harnessed for yourself.

So let’s say you’re a bit like myself. You want to feel inspired and do great things in the world. I’m a firm believer that everyone on this planet is good at something and that they’re just looking for ways to show off what it is that makes them great. However, if you’re like me, then it’s nerve-racking to actually put what you’re talented at out there. I can’t tell you how many attempts it took to convince myself to sit down and actually start this blog.

So, as you sit here and read this, the thought may cross your mind to question what made me do it. Well, it was a mix of things. Sadly, it was not reading an inspirational article or seeing an inspirational text post on social media. While I find most of those to be nice and serve a wonderful purpose of putting out positive vibes, it wasn’t something that worked for me. Instead, what worked for me was simply family and friends.

Now when I say it was family and friends, it wasn’t them just telling me to go start a blog or put myself out there as a writer. When I decided to launch this page, it was nothing more than a private idea that I had and only shared with Kylee. As expected, she was more than supportive which helped get me started. However, what was a guiding force to get myself going was seeing others hard at work doing what they were passionate about. There were people I would see posting daily about the effort they were putting in every day to get what they wanted. I would see friends I graduated with posting about an upcoming book they had coming out or how they were in the process of writing a book. I would see others sharing their photography or regularly trying to find new people to photograph. I would see friends working on new music and posting projects they were working on. Seeing all of that, all the hard work and dedication, pushed and motivated me to do the same. That’s how this blog started.

Now that the blog has started, I find inspiration through the encouraging words and messages from my family and friends. At first I found myself questioning whether or not writing daily in a blog was worth it. I thought that it may be better to just follow the status quo of becoming a professional writer by continuously writing new pieces and sending them to magazines and publishing houses, hoping for my voice to be heard and that my work would be seen. But I found over these last few weeks that by self publishing on a blog and working with a great cinematographer, I’m inspired to write daily and constantly create new content.

It also helps to have a great support network. Since I’ve started writing and releasing content on a regular basis, people have been a constant positive influence on my work. I’ve found that receiving text messages and phone calls, messages on Facebook and shares over social media, and just general messages of encouragement to be an inspiring force that allows for me to sit down everyday and write. It’s where I believe inspiration truly comes from. It’s easy to sit down and share a video, picture, or text post saying to get out there and do what you love. However, I believe that if you want to be truly inspired, to get after what you love doing, all you need to do is just start in working on your passion and lean on your family and friends to give you the support you need.

Trust me, I know that may not be the answer you were looking for going into this post but I think that it’s the lesson that needs to be taught when it comes to this subject. There isn’t any major secret to be learned or anything like that. At the end of the day, you just need to get out there and work on doing what you love and as you do, your support network will help you with the rest. So good luck and if you ever need a kick in the ass to get yourself going, feel free to reach out to me. I’m willing to do for you what others have done for me.

How Millennials Are Ruining Everything

So in today’s post, I would absolutely love to touch on how my generation is ruining everything. This is something that has always been amusing for me to see, as I’m sure it is for most millennials. On the one hand, we have to ask, are we doing this intentionally? If so why? What did all these different markets do to hurt us so badly? What kind of confusing non-sense is this? Why would my generation be the one to kill everything that people love? Well, I’m here to break down some of the things that are considered to be “collapsing” because of millennials and give a hot take on why it’s taking place. To give you all a nice cited source, I’m going to pull the top ruined industries from an article on Business Insider. It’s back from October, so it’s a bit dated but will work for my discussion.

One of the first things that is listed in Business Insider’s article is the killing of restaurant chains, specifically cited is Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebees. According to Buffalo Wild Wings, the reason they’re hurting is because millennials enjoy eating at home or getting their food quickly while Applebees said that trying to cater to millennials hurt them. Looking at a different post from Business Insider, the writer seems to agree that the faster and more convenient places are to millennials, the more appeal there is. With this, I give them credit on being correct. They talk about this issue while also addressing the fact that changing technology and restaurants like Chipotle, which acts as a mix between fast food and restaurant, have drawn in millennial diners more. My main issue that I take with this is that it isn’t just millennials taking place in this behavior. This is a culture that has been established with the breakthrough in technology. I will also say that in personal experience, poor service and deals have also been an issue. There used to be a time when many of my friends and myself would go to a place like Buffalo Wild Wings and gorge ourselves on wings and beer while watching a sporting event. That changed as their prices went up and deals became mediocre. It got to a point where we decided only the lunch special was now worth going for. Why go someplace and spend close to $20 on food for yourself when buying a box of wings and a case of beer at the store and hosting at home is cheaper?

This leads to another industry that millennials are accused of hurting, which is beer. In a very entertaining article from Maxim, the author is upset about the fact that millennials ruin everything and are tanking beer. He laments and shows a chart of decline of beer and discusses how it isn’t fair millennials would kill an industry like that and believes the issue is due to marijuana being legalized. While this may be the case, my own theory goes a much simpler explanation: millennials are just more informed. This situation reminds me of how cigarettes worked. While beer isn’t quite as deadly as a cigarette, if you look back to the 60’s, cigarettes were popular due to the unknown health risks vs the societal norms. As researched emerged and proof came out they were bad for you, the industry saw a slow but steady decline. The same can be said for beer. Studies have shown that beer can lead to unwanted weight (hence the term “beer gut”) fills you with extra carbs, and more. This isn’t something millennials banned together to decide to destroy, it’s just something we’ve been educated on and decided not to pursue.

I could continue writing on this subject for days and while we’re killing so many industries, and trust me we’re supposedly killing a lot. Just a quick google search of the word millennial and you’ll find several articles up in arms about how my generation ruins everything. As much as I would love to defend us on all of these charges, I will instead just insist on a broad look of the world instead. One of the biggest things that I believe is happening is the general cultural shift due to technology. The internet, smart phones, and more have all lead to a need to have things faster and given people information at a quicker pace. When my generation has grown up with being able to search things on google, buy online, and offered all sorts of driving and delivery services, it’s no wonder these places have struggled. Let me be clear on something too: there is a healthy mix of problems for a lot of these places. Trying to cash in on quick trends isn’t the answer.

One solution that I’ve personally seen and thought worked well was at Home Depot and other retail stores that allow you to buy something on their app and pick up in store. This has allowed for these retailers to continue to sell their signature products but in the modern century. Upgrades like this, things to match the times will allow for these business to succeed. Those that don’t, or blame millennials are the ones in trouble. I can’t speak for my entire generation, but when I hear a company has pointed a finger at me and said “it’s my fault they’re closing” it leaves me less likely to do business with them again. Not to mention as someone that worked at a retailer that used this application of buy online, pick up in store, I can personally say most of the people using it were Xennials.

Moral of the story and this article is this: If you want to continue to succeed, maybe don’t blame the next generation for your company’s current shortcomings. Instead, look at the times and technology and see how your business or industry can either adapt or learn to perish.

The Millennial Concept

Hello all!

So if you can’t guess by the title of this blog post, my theme of the week is going to revolve around millennials. First and foremost, I’m writing on them because it may come as a surprise to some, but I am a millennial. The second reason is because I fit into this demographic, I felt it was best to write a bit on my generation and some of the things I have found interesting in how we’re represented and treated online. Today’s post will just cover the basics, like age range and who we are as a group. As the week goes on, I’ll be sure to touch on how millennials are “ruining” everything along with trying to give an explanation of why we do some of the things that we do.

So first and foremost, what is a millennial? Well if you want to go by the definition of pew research,  you’re a millennial if you were born between the years of 1981-1996. So I apologize to anyone that I’ve argued with in their later 30s, like I’ve said, you’re a millennial. In fact, anyone in the age range of 21-37, you’re considered a millennial as well. Don’t look at this as a bad thing though, because by this definition, a millennial is someone simply born within a time frame. Think of it this way, not all Baby Boomers are the same, it is just a definition for a generation.

So this brings a new question about, which is why millennials take so much flack if it’s just a label for a generation. For this, I feel there are a few things that go into the general distain of millennials. The first is extremely simple and that is the fact that the older generations are never okay with the newer ones. If you don’t believe me, just ask your parents and grandparents what their parents and grandparents thought of them as kids. Odds are, whatever your parents liked, your grandparents probably didn’t. Which is not a bad thing, young people always try to find a way of “discovering’ themselves.

Part of the problem with young people trying to find themselves though, is that the title of “millennial” is no longer used for the generation of people between 21-37. Instead it is used to describe any group of young people doing something inappropriate or “stupid.” If you’re not sure what I mean, look no farther than “gatsbying.” Gatsbying is considered a new, pointless form of dating by millennials where you pretend to have a giant Gatsby-esque party on Instagram in the hopes of impressing a crush. Now this seems like something millennials may have came up with; it’s done by young people using social media. Doing just a little research though, Gatsbying made it into public eye thanks to an Australian model by the name of Matilda Dods. A little more research into this model and I discovered that she is 18, which falls out of the millennial generation. Gatsbying, along with the tide pod eating craze and snorting condoms, both fall to the generation after millennials.

All of this, along with the growth of social media, have allowed for a poor image of millennials to be formed. YouTube videos of the post-millennial generation tend to go viral, and then Xennials and GenX see young people doing something immature, and then Facebook quickly explodes with how “millennials are the worst.” Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people in my generation that have earned us the critiques we get, which I’ll touch on later in the week, but isn’t that the same with every generation? The problem is there is now a platform in which it’s easy to get on and complain about this generation to a broader audience. The other problem is that the post-millennial generation also doesn’t have a name to call themselves yet. The New York Times did a poll, asking the younger generation what they wanted to be called, and the biggest response they had was anything but millennial.

The idea and discussion of millennials is something I see as constantly evolving and changing. With social media present and it’s large number of users, there will always be a critical eye on my generation. The main thing to remember when discussing millennials though, is not every young person is one. This will become even more important as time moves forward and new people are born. Instead of tarnishing an entire generation, maybe it’s time to begin looking at them as the future and what can be done to help fix the negative image that surrounds them. If anything, it definitely couldn’t hurt.