My idea isn’t original??

If you don’t already know, I work part time in a library, and a rather big one. Well, bigger than I’m used to, but having a floor for youth and two for adults I feel constitutes big. Anyway, I work on the youth floor and was shelving some YA books and I have a tendency to read the back covers and occasionally a random chapter…or two. Well, one of these books, Renegade by J. A. Souders, made my heart stop beating.


It was my story.

Well, not exactly mine, but the concept was the same. Evil Ruler controlling a paradise with mind control. Main Character a offspring of said Evil Ruler. Some one from outside world comes along and opens MC’s eyes. Try to escape/stop Evil Ruler. The End.

renegade back cover

So naturally I checked the book out, read it, and decided that it was different enough from my idea that I could continue working on my story. Luckily, I am still outlining at this point. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that they are just they same story and I am very saddened.

Goes to show you there is no such thing as an original idea.

However, having done massive amounts of world building already, I decided to actually use it all instead of a fraction of it, which didn’t eliminate the similarities completely, but masked them by making it a part of a much bigger story.

And I mean bigger.

Example: Say my original idea was like a bookshelf filled with lots of amazing books. Well, I came across another bookshelf that had many of the same books, I decided to be different by upgrading to a three story library. Boom. Take that!

It’s a little overwhelming to say the least. Fun, but overwhelming. So much so nothing is making sense anymore, in the story at least. Real life never made sense so no hope there. Also, every idea I have for this story feels like its coming from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, or Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International. (Darn you guys for coming up with awesome stories! Both are amazing books and you should definitely read them.)

There’s no such thing as an original idea, but there are always original ways to look at them.

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Look! I’ve done stuff!

I haven’t written a post since mid-November, but I swear it’s because I’ve been super duper productive. And a bit lazy. But we are allowed to have days off right? Anyway, perhaps you’re wondering what this stuff is that I so proudly claim that I’ve done. There are three things, so if you would sit down, I will tell you.

  1. I completed the first draft of The Shepherd! This was my Nano novel and I managed 40k before the end of the month, but it took me another three weeks to finish it because of the cover the LTU Music society was doing (More on this below). I’m glad it’s done, but come February I will be tackling the second draft! The first draft’s final word count came in at approx. 46k words.
  2. LTU Music Society’s Cover. I go to LTU and there’s a organization that began a few years ago that just focuses on people getting together and playing music. Well, I was the president for 2 1/2 years, stepping down officially as of December 31st, 2017. Anyway, as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, we did a cover of their song, Shadow of the Day. I play cajon and produced the track; a bunch of people did everything else. It turned out pretty sweet and you can check it out here
  3. Audio Short Story. I wrote Hallucinations for an anthology called Ghosts on Drugs about a year ago. Sadly, I didn’t make it in, and had no idea where else to send it. So I put it here. A few months ago, I bumped into an old friend who is an aspiring actor. I had wanted to do an audio version of my story since I had put it on my site, and since my friend was also interested in voice acting, he agreed to narrate my story. That is now up on SoundCloud.

That’s it. I have a busy January ahead – outline my next story, beta read another, school, work, etc. but I will try to be back again, hopefully with tea in hand.




Inactivity, NaNoWriMo, and more…

Just going to do a quick apology for not having my next blog post come out when I wanted it to. I’m trying to aim for every other week and I think it’s been at least 3, maybe four, since I last released one. So again, sorry, but why have I been delayed? Well, school, family illness, work, music, etc, but mostly-


By now you’re probably sick of hearing about this so I won’t go too long, but I am also doing Nano. I set myself a personal goal of 25k, so I could balance my already busy and crazy life, but I hit the 1667 word count for the first seven days and decided to keep going. 50k it is! Currently, (Monday night 11/13) I’m at 19,315, some 2300 behind. In about 20 minutes, that deficit will grow another 1,667 words…

Besides that though, I also attended my friend’s, Barbara Pietron, book release party. Her third book, second in the Legacy of Legends series. It is about a teenage girl and a Native American boy who have encounters with old cultural myths and legends and try to solve the problems these legends create. No stupid YA love triangle or vampires or YA love triangles with vampires. Check it out and support a Michigan author! Barb’s website:

Along with all that writing stuff, I’ve also been doing some recording. My good friend, Christian, who is an aspiring actor, did some great voice work on my short story Hallucinations and I’m currently working on editing those takes together. I’m also apart of LTU Music Society and we’ve been recording a cover of Linkin Park’s Shadow of the Day as a tribute to Chester Bennington.

School and work trudge along as usual, and my mom is feeling better for now. I seriously can only do so much at times…

Also, this website/blog thing is an ongoing process as I learn what makes a good site and what I can do with it. I’ve thought of a few changes that might make signing up for my email list easier and also reduce unnecessary pages or content, hopefully that’ll make the site more purposeful and easier to navigate. But that comes in December and if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

I think that’s it for now. Keep reading, Happy writing, and Rock on!

New Music: Foo Fighters and Knuckle Puck

Two of my favorite bands with two new albums!
These aren’t reviews


Foo Fighters: Concrete and Gold

Foo Fighters release their new album about a month ago in mid-September without me knowing. Bastards. I forgave them and listened to their new album. This isn’t a review, just my thoughts.

Foo Fighters have great music, but their albums from There Is Nothing Left to Lose and onward all sound the same. When I sat down, (well, laid down-I felt awful that day) I expected the same old, awesome music. I had already heard their first two singles, Run, a 90’s-esque, grunge tune, and The Sky is a Neighborhood, a blues-rock, almost sing-a-long song, and I liked them both. Not personal favorites, but they served their purpose and got me excited for the album.

The rest of the album was nothing like previous albums and blew me away. Thick, fuzzy guitars and snappy drums kept me engaged the whole time. Dave Grohl’s voice had a nice distortion around the edges, unlike Rival Sons, who go overboard with that effect. There’s also nice keys/synth action on some of the songs. If I didn’t have to watch my money, I would have bought the album on the spot.

“I’ve been drinking dirty water/The taste of sweet revenge, best served cold” Dirty Water off Concrete and Gold by Foo Fighters

Knuckle Puck: Shapeshifter

I got to see Knuckle Puck almost exactly a year ago, along with Real Friends and The Wonder Years, and while I went there solely for Real Friends, I walked out wanting more Knuckle Puck. Also with a new-found love of crowdsurfing and ears that didn’t stop ringing for two days.

Knuckle Puck-Royal Oak Music Theater
Knuckle Puck live. I was pretty close, wasn’t I?

Over the summer, Knuckle Puck has release a handful of singles (Gone, Double Helix, and Want Me Around) that got me super excited for the new album. I listened to Gone, and Double Helix pretty much on repeat, singing along where I knew the lyrics. I began looking up tour dates for Knuckle Puck so I could see them and even considered buying a shirt and their CDs (yes, the physical copies).

While Foo Fighters destroyed my expectations, Knuckle Puck barely met them. The songs, while catchy and fast, felt just a step above standard pop/punk. There wasn’t a song that really made me stop what I was doing and start dancing or scream lyrics, the way the singles did. The album was good enough that I was able to listen through and be entertained, but lacked that punch that made me want to hit play again.

Sometimes, a second listen can make or break an album and both of these albums do deserve a second listen.

Some people say they can’t listen to an album in its entirety. They can’t focus, they don’t care about the other songs, etc, but I think that’s what makes the artist shine. That’s where the gems lie. The songs that are so ladened with the artist’s emotions that you feel like you are them and they play every live show. Those are the songs that make an album. Anyone can write a good song. Writing an album? Twelve songs that pull you through and teach you lessons about yourself and others. That’s hard to do.

“You always did feel just like home/But you were always so unreachable.” –  Wait off Shapeshifter by Knuckle Puck







Tea Time (Round 2)

Mowing lawn is actually one of my favorite activities, but I’m an outdoors person and mowing is pretty mindless. I try to brainstorm stories but my mind wanders and I usually end up singing songs to myself.

Mowing lawn with an electric push mower that needs to be plugged in with an 150 foot extension cord…A bit more of a pain. My roommate bought it and now I’m used to it, but I’d step on the cord every five feet at first.

And once the hard work was done, I settled down for homework (aka everything but) and a mug of tea. I don’t know how I’ll preface the next kinds.

I’m trying to be more scientific and keeping everything as consistent as possible. Keeping the tea bag in for a minute and a half, using the same mug, etc. I’m also seeing how long a glass takes to cool, and how long before it gets cold. Some outside variables there, but I’m not a scientist. Sue me.

(Please don’t)

First up: Peach herbal tea.

Time to take to cool to drinkable level: 21 minutes 6 seconds

Time before tea gets cold: 40 minutes (not ice cold, but where the tea is like room temp)

Time it took for me to drink it: 42 minutes

What I liked: It didn’t have that after taste that the others had so that was nice. It allowed me to power through the cup of tea fairly quickly.

What I didn’t like: I’m not a huge peach person. So the smell and flavor wasn’t my favorite but I was able to get past that.

Blueberry herbal tea

Time to take to cool to drinkable level: ~18 minutes 15 seconds

Time before tea gets cold: N/a

Time it took for me to drink it: 30 mins and I stopped. This is not my tea. (see below)

What I liked: It was drinkable way before the peach tea was. That was nice.

What I didn’t like: It didn’t really have a blueberry smell. I had to stick my nose in the glass, millimeters away from the tea before I smelled anything. Good way to burn the tip of my nose.

So far the Blueberry is my least favorite. I’m only halfway through it and its a struggle. Maybe it needs to be sweeter…No. Bad idea.

Anyway, I still have Raspberry tea to try but that’ll be for next time!


Tea Time

I have tried Peppermint, Black Cherry, and Mixed Berry teas. I talk about what I liked and didn’t like about each.

First, I’m going to apologize for missing last week and have decided to make this an every other week event. Darn school, but who really needs a college degree anyway?

So far I’ve tried three teas. Well, four, but I don’t remember what that first one tasted like since I had it months ago.

  • Peppermint
  • Black Cherry Herbal
  • Mixed Berry Herbal

I bought a variety pack of herbal teas, so I’ll be drinking those for a bit. Don’t worry, there’s five flavors! It was the first time I’ve tried any of them. Before I launch into any one of them, I’m going to say a few things in general about drinking tea.

I have about a 15 minute window to drink a whole glass. I can’t drink it when it’s freshly made because it’s too hot (who would have guessed?) so I usually wait until it cools down. But after that little window goes by, its too cold and just tastes…eh. That’s the problem with hot drinks in general (especially hot chocolate).

I also feel quite…what’s the word…proud? Noble? No. Stuck-up? Anyway, I look forward to trying these different teas and feel like dancing as I’m preparing myself a cup, so that’s a good thing. There’s a few drinks that haven’t lasted more than one glass. *cough* beer *cough*

Peppermint Tea

Surprise! It tastes and smells like peppermint! 0_o

I know you’re stunned. Pick your jaw up and I’ll continue.

What I liked about it: I love peppermint to be honest, and this one did not disappoint. From the smell of the pre-drink breath to the blossoming warmth of the peppermint, I drank this cup fairly quickly.

What I didn’t like: After the amazingness ended, I had this after taste, sort of like rubber. Or maybe not, I’ve never drank rubber, but the tea left me with a flat taste. Perhaps it was my mouth just begging for more, though I hate to be cheated like that. And honestly, I noticed this with all the teas I’ve tried so far. It might just be a tea thing.

Black Cherry Tea

What I liked: The smell. Hot cherry tea smells very similar to warm cherry flavored Jell-O, which you should try. It is amazing.

What I didn’t like: That amazing smell lied. It tasted like tea (which isn’t a bad thing) and not Jell-O. I was so pumped for warm Jell-O.

Mixed Berry Tea

What I liked: Again, this tea smelled amazing. I really love anything berry smelling food/drink so I could sniff this tea all day.

What I didn’t like: Like with the Black Cherry Tea, the smell had mentally prepared me to expect something other than tea. But it still tasted like tea, which again, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So I have 3 more herbal teas to try out, you can expect those in 2 weeks! I’ll try to have more solid ways of comparing the different teas. And as always, throw some different teas my way and I’ll try them out!

Tea For Thomas

Join me, for today I begin my adventures to discover the best tea…

Earlier in the summer, I tried coffee at my summer internship. Going from getting up at a luxurious 8 am to dragging my butt out at 6 am in a week’s time, wasn’t easy to say the least. Even when I’m at home, on the farm, I still get up about 7:30-8 am. I am not an early riser, so I needed some help waking up in the morning.

Coffee tastes like crap.

Not apologizing for that statement. I find it hard to enjoy something that tastes like boiled poop, and looks like it too. Plus, I had to put so much cream and sugar into it just to get it to be drinkable, that it could be argued that I wasn’t even drinking coffee, but syrup. Either way, I gave up.

I ended up getting Mio with caffeine and adding it to my water in the morning. It worked so I would drink a bottle, sometimes two, of purple water. I still do, but not as much since I am back to a normal sleeping schedule.

But what does this have to do with tea?

Well, some of my writing Twitter friends, suggested I try tea (some varieties have caffeine to my understanding). I refused, because all I had before was bottled or canned teas and they taste horrible. Close to coffee horrible, but slightly above it. They begged me to try it; well, I’m assuming they got down on their knees, but I couldn’t actually see, since it’s Twitter. They even started a hashtag #TeaForThomas and turned Teafor into my nickname. I decided this: since I heard blogs could help a writer with a platform and building audience, I agreed to try tea once I got back to school, then blog about it.

Last week I drank a peppermint tea and this week I bought a sampler pack of herbal teas (drinking a mixed berry tea right now and liking it so far). Next week, you should hear me talk about what I thought of those and others I try along the way. If you have any teas you think I should try, leave a comment, or a shoutout on Twitter with #TeaForThomas.

My twitter friends are @AnnaKaling, @AjChasingmytale, @Amberfyre, @AkkalonAS, @ilikeyourtalkin, and @RyanMacayden. Check them out, drink tea, and rock on.