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Category Archives: Something About Me

Days Before Danger 90.1

VanishThere are approximately 11 days left until the release of The Twelve, and I have to say that I’m excited. In the wake of writing, sleepless nights editing , and a girl I’ll never want to take out in Hurricane Sandy again; along with trying to pull everything together for the release, hoping to design a half decent website at dangerkidsuniverse.com, I’ve missed my 12 day increments in writing Days Before Danger. Now that me and De’Quan Foster are in the last stages of production, I had a moment of pause to sit down and finally write another post on my blog that has had very little of my attention. Sorry Fiction and Folly, I still love you, but I’ve been loving The Twelve a whole lot more.

Today, and most of tomorrow, we’ll be reading through yet again, to make sure that all the T’s are crossed, all the I’s are dotted, and all the periods, commas, semicolons, and words are in the right place for the release. Fingers crossed for no hiccups on #12/12/12. The cover of the book was posted early this morning on Twitter @dkuniverse, so we hope you have a chance to take a look at it. The final edits were completed yesterday and we think we’ve got something you’ll like thanks to our pal and cover artist Elizabeth Douglas.

Running on 4 hours of sleep was not at all fun from a physical standpoint, but quite fulfilling from a creative standpoint. I did manage to see Skyfall with De’Quan Foster, which we both thought was pretty amazing. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s worth the cash for a chair in the theatre.

I also picked up the lastest release, Red Country, from my favorite author Joe Abercrombie, which will be the first book I’ll read on my two month break from writing after The Twelve releases. If you enjoy gritty, in your face fantasy as much as I do, you’ll want to check out some of Joe’s stuff, he rocks.

Lastly, I can’t wait to listen to Rihanna’s new album, Unapologetic, which I picked up on a run to Target about a week ago. I know I’m late on this one, but like my teachers always said, better late than never. *Smiles* So we here at Team Danger Kids hope you stay tuned for The Twelve set for release on December 12, 2012. We hope that you love reading it as much as we’ve loved writing it. And remember, you can always contact us at info@dangerkidsuniverse.com, to leave a comment or ask us a question concerning Danger Kids. This is A.S. Washington signing off.

Until next write…

Grab my book of poetry, The Musings of My Epic Mind for your Kindle or Nook for just .99cents.

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Days Before Danger, Day 48.1

This is just my third Days Before Danger post, but this Sunday, October 21, 2012 will mark the day that the eighth chapter of The Twelve will be posted on dangerkidsuniverse.comAfter which, chapter nine will be released on November 4, 2012 and then finally chapter ten will be released on November 18, 2012. At that moment, there’ll be just twenty-four more days left until the release of The Twelve. On December 12, 2012, the first step in the journey of the Danger Kids Universe will have been completed. Those of you who have supported us until now will have the opportunity to find out what happens to the characters you’ve met and a few that you haven’t. You’ll be in the know as much as we are about The Twelve, and that will be awesome. I’ll be happy to hear what people think of the entire book and whether we did a good job or not. That’s always really a fun part of the process of writing. While most writers are often times their biggest critics, they have to think highly enough of their writing ability, stories, or characters to be brave enough to share it with the world. I mean, the worlds that we have constructed here with The Twelve and Dangers Kids are just a fraction of the wacky things that go on in my brain and that of my co-author De’Quan Fosteras well as our buddy Eric Cooper.

With fifty-two days remaining until launch of the first book in the Danger Kids Universe, I can honestly say that there is nothing I’d rather be doing at the moment. It took me nearly twenty-five years to realize that writing was my passion in life. When I was growing up I wanted to be a car salesman, a video game maker (I still want to do that), an investment banker (I buy stocks), and just plain old rich. Who doesn’t want to drive a Lamborghini right? Maybe my dream car isn’t your dream car, but I’m pretty sure you’ve got one. Or a place you’d like to visit, or a wild and crazy thing you want to do. Money sure helps, and puts opportunities in reach. However, today I know that I’ll be writing until I die, whether it brings me two-hundred dollars or two-hundred million dollars. And while I have dozens of other interests, there is nothing I would put ahead of being able to sit down, develop characters, craft a plot, and write a story.

So for those of you who are on this ride with us and enjoying it, I thank you for being around to give us some of your energy to keep pushing along. I hope that you’re out there enjoying life and living your passion to the fullest. If not, it’s never too late to get started. Cliches are old, cliches are redundant, cliches are very much boring. But cliches are very much often true. Some aspects of Danger Kids is like a job. We’ve got to reedit, make sure the words are spelled right on the cover, order proofs, set a reasonable price and all that jazz. But no day in the Danger Kids Universe is like going to work. I welcome it with open arms and get to take a lot more days off :)

If you’re with us, keep up to date with us by following us @dkuniverse. Get a daily dose of Days Before Danger by De’Quan Foster on our Tumblr page. And most certainly like us on Facebook. This is A.S. Washington signing off. I’ll see you again for Days Before Danger, Day 60.1, just twelve days from now.

Until next write…

Grab my book of poetry, The Musings of My Epic Mind for your Kindle or Nook for just .99cents.

 
 

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Days Before Danger, Day 36.1

Today, the seventh chapter of The Twelve scheduled for release on December 12, 2012 was posted on dangerkidsuniverse.com. We are more than a third of the way through until release and each day gets more and more exciting. I spoke with my co-writer De’Quan Foster every day this week and we talked a lot about successful franchises and what made people gravitate to stories like Harry Potter and Twilight. For us, in the case of Harry, it was his being an orphan, the black sheep of the family, having pressure to succeed, and simply being young and trying to find out who he was, was what drew us to Harry. Even if you couldn’t directly relate to each one of the things Harry had to deal with, you could at the very least sympathize with them all and understand the difficulty of his existence. With regard to Twilight, it was Bella and Edward’s love that drew so many women of all ages in. Even the most beautiful girls feel awkward and sometimes inadequate, not deserving of something special. That was Bella, seemingly out of place in the world; and she happens to be the only girl the most attractive boy in school is interested in. Edward, outwardly is everything any boy wants to be and what every girl wants, but even he is fighting strong feelings inside that are often only shared with closest of friends and lovers. Not to mention that everyone is in some way or another looking for love.

With The Twelve, we’ve been challenged with the task of making gods relatable. Of adding the human element so that characters like Thutmos and Black Dawn don’t seem so out of touch with what happens to you and I on a daily basis. That has been the fun part of this entire journey for me. Trying to figure out what they should say; when, how and why. Up until this point, I’ve been hearing that people really like Scicremeon and Black Dawn and that makes me happy. Each of them is dealing with a great deal of emotions that are difficult to suppress. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction to these characters as the story continues to unfold.

Outside of the Danger Kids Universe I’ve been nursing a sprained ankle that I suffered in a pick up basketball game Tuesday evening. People have made their jokes as I limped around the work place Friday saying I’m getting old or calling me the old man. For one, I’ll have them know that I was handling myself quite well on the court against a few youngsters; and I am only in this condition because I didn’t follow good equipment guidelines of playing basketball in hi-tops, rather than low-top tennis shoes. Lesson relearned. Yet, within their jokes and warnings that have gone unheeded is the constant reminder that you’re only as old as you believe you are, and that you shouldn’t live life in fear of inconvenient things happening. Sometimes things will happen that are out of your control and opportunities for greatness happen few times in a life time. Therefore I must carpe diem, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

This is A.S. Washington signing off.

Until next write…

Grab my book of poetry, The Musings of My Epic Mind for your Kindle and Nook for just .99cents and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @dkuniverse

 

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Black People: A Poem From “The Musings of My Epic Mind”

Yesterday I ordered the proof of my first collection of poetry The Musings of My Epic MindThis book is the first poetry milestone in my writing career and the second after having published my first novel The Virgin Surgeon in December of 2011.

This particular poem was inspired by both a mild-loathing and love for the socially constructed “race” of people called black people that I am apart of. As well as from my conversations with people, especially a young man that I have mentored for the past 7 years, De’Quan Foster. I hope that you enjoy, but take from it what you will, such is the way of poems. The writing of this poem was also partly inspired by Emily Frankel’s article entitled Prejudice on her blog; as it pushed my hand to write. The article was very enjoyable for me because of the honesty with which it was written. That is something that I can always count on Em for on her blog and in the emails we share. You can surely read about her on her website but for a little background, Em is a dancer and writer of some acclaim. She is also the wife of actor John Cullum and the mother of actor JD Cullum who you may have seen on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Wizards of Waverly Place respectively.

Black People

Often times they are hated in my brain
Ill tempered people quite uncouth
I see them without brakes, a running train

From idiocy and ignorance, they should refrain
Ever weary of words that pass the tooth
For in study the world can be gained

Reparations are a waste, thus forget the claim
Grab your coin of luck, call success in your booth
Since it cannot be erased, that old stain

Let it remain only as a memory on old plains
For the natives suffered as much in truth
It is for them to flush their crap down the drain

For they are all dead, nothing but books explain
The tyranny of those boats and those troops
Hold fast to education subdue anger and disdain
Greater things will come, blood is strong in your veins

Until next write…

Read my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon and stayed tuned for The Musings of My Epic Mind

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Poetry, Something About Me

 

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Keep Your Opinion

Unless I ask for it, keep your opinion. And if I ask for your opinion, give it to me in the nature of my question. Thus, if I ask you what you would do; don’t tell me what you would do if you were me. If I ask you what you think I should do; don’t tell me what you would do, tell me what I should do based on what you know about me. But most importantly as I’ve said before; keep your damned opinion to yourself if I don’t ask for it. What I don’t need is your extensive wisdom and knowledge because you’ve been there and done that. Most certainly I don’t need your nonexistent knowledge since you haven’t even been where I’ve gone. I can make my own damned decisions and I’ll choose to live my life exactly how I want to.

Where is this all coming from? Well since I’m putting it out to the world, it stems from something I was thinking about this morning. On more than one subject, I’ve been asked, why this or why that. Why did you do it this way? Don’t think it sends the wrong message because? Usually when people say that, this is what they mean? Or, hey you know, this is what Jesus would have done. So what! I’m not Jesus, and I certainly couldn’t live up to the historical accounts that were written about him. And if what some people believe is right, the man is God in the flesh and I know what I’ve done with my own flesh. No thanks, simply shoes that I don’t want to wear.

The stark revelation that can to my mind became my new motto in the span of about 3 minutes and it is simply this. “Keep Your Opinion To Yourself If What I’m Doing Isn’t Negatively Impacting Your Life” (going to get a shit made). Yup everyone word is capitalized because the emphasis needs to be applied to all of you meddlers. Nothing I’ve done in my life until this point has caused you grief, done you a disservice, wrecked your car, or slapped your momma. Until that occurrence exists in your reality and mine, keep your mouth shut, and hold your opinion. Unless of course I ask. Like the old saying goes, “nobody asked for your two cents.”

Good day world. I’m sure this item may draw some ire, so to the meddlers abound in this life and the next, this had nothing to do with anything recent. This arose from a juncture of contemplation on a number of things in and around me. That is it in its simplest form. I didn’t ask for it, but since there is a comment section, give me your two cents. I’m asking because you were going to form your own opinion any way. Right?

Until next write…

Read my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Something About Me

 

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Winning Is A State Of Mind, The Only Thing I’ve Learned From Charlie Sheen

My relationship with social networking has been a love-hate thing since the very beginning. I try to avoid the hype, but end up bring sucked in by friends and colleagues. A kid that I mentor @mrdefoster (more on him some other time) suggested a while ago that I “get on Twitter.” So I did…I started an account used it for about a month and then disappeared for about a year. Eventually I came back to the world of Twitter (when I got my iPhone 4) and then found out what hash tags were for as I began seeing them. Then I saw hash-tag-winning like #winning and then #thatswinning or clearer to my eyes, #ThatsWinning and then the spin off of #ThatsNotWinning and all these variations…OK, I know you don’t want me to write them all out. I got in on the madness but didn’t know where it originated. Then I asked and I heard a name I’ve known for years, yup, Carlos Irwin Estevez a/k/a Charlie Sheen.

Of course people were shocked when I didn’t hear about the interview and that Sheen was a big party guy and enjoyed “ingesting” drugs and a whole lot of them. Nope, wasn’t shocked, he’s eccentric, he’s cool, he’s Hollywood and above all he’s Charlie f*#$king Sheen I said to myself. Who cares. But of course people did and people do, and since I was writing #winning #ThatsWinning and #ThatsNotWinning all over Twitter I should at least know where it stems from. So I typed in Charlie Sheen Winning in the YouTube search bar and got a bunch of videos. Some were spoofs, others were redos by Sheen himself, and the other was the actual interview with Andrea Canning of ABC.

In the interview with Canning, Sheen said some interesting things. Those of us who like to call ourselves normal look at them as crazy, nonsensical, ridiculous, and some just plain old stupid. When asked why he didn’t die when he overdosed Sheen said “Dying’s for fools.” When asked if he’s bipolar his said he’s “Bi-Winning,” i.e. winning when I’m sober and winning when I’m intoxicated. When asked about his brain, his thought process, she said he’s wired different and that his “brain fires in a way that isn’t from this terrestrial realm.” That was so cool and I was totally in agreement with it. I’m definitely wired differently from other people. Aside from those kinky things I’m sure you can wrap your mind around, I don’t liked being touched when I’m driving. Some people can double over, be grabbed, laugh, look at people in the eye while they’re talking with a hand on the wheel. Not me, don’t touch me, especially if I’m on the highway. And lastly, the man has tiger’s blood, and I think that’s cool too. I’m pretty sure his mother wasn’t a cat, but he’s talking symbolically.

Let’s face it. All of us who aren’t super duper successful go to conferences, read self help books, and delve into deep discussion with people about things we already know the answers to. We want to know the big secret to life and people looking to get rich get pissed off when they go to a  conference where Donald Trump is the keynote speaker looking for step by step advice on how to become wealthy and he goes off and says something like, “you can achieve anything you believe, just set your mind to it,” or if he tells the story of his life and how he got to where he is. We get frustrated and read The Secret, learning about the law of attraction, and Think and Grow Rich, learning to write things down all the while thinking positive thoughts. We get books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit. Or we’re spiritual and read books by Joel Osteen, learning about the wonders of God and Jesus Christ that you knew growing up in church next to your grandmother’s friends.

Charlie Sheen is the guy who writers like Napoleon Hill go to talk to find out what it is that makes successful people tick. Why was Sheen able to perform so well on Two and A Half Men. Why’s his career been so long? Well simply because he is #Winning. He’s winning on both sides people, he’s bi-winning, he believes he has tiger’s blood and he’s wired different. The definition to #Winning is “the belief, desire, will and determination to know that you are a winner, you will win, and you will be winning on both sides during your ups and downs, simply because you and your brain said so.” Its his state of mind and state of being that determines his success. For he’s not truly failed since after earning more than any actor per episode on television and then being fired. After that he went on tour and a new show featuring Sheen will be hitting the air very soon. So if you want to be able to say you’re #Winning, have a #winning state of mind because #thatswinning and if your state of mind is screwed up to the point where you have no belief, will, desire or determination to get what’s coming to you, then you’ll fail; and we all know #ThatsNotWinning.

Until next write…

Comment and read my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Celebrity, Something About Me

 

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Don’t Blame Zuckerberg For Investing On Hype

Facebook is simply this. A free sign up, free usage, social networking and online gaming site. Some people would like to call it a technology company. Yet, its money isn’t made from technology. The vast majority of their money is made through selling ad space on their popular platform. Big companies pay millions of dollars on the “HOPE,” “PRAYER,” and “OPPORTUNITY” that one of Facebook’s 900 million users world wide will click on their ad, come to their site and purchase a product. I’ve been using the internet for about 20 years and I think I may have bought 1 thing through clicking on an ad from a website.

When Facebook announced it’s IPO back in January, people were screaming that hey, it’s the next Google. I too, who missed on the Google IPO and the Apple turnaround when the stock was trading at $2 didn’t want to miss on the next potentially monstrous stock market success of Facebook. That’s what Facebook could have been and was thought to be. A behemoth making billions of dollars in revenue, and billions of dollars in net income and growing in excess of 5% year after year. What’s not to like about that? Blinded by the hopes for riches I said nothing, and guaranteed myself that I’d buy at least 10 shares at the expected price of $45 dollars. Now Zuckerberg’s being sued for supposedly dumping shares.

So what went wrong on May 18, 2012 when the stock debuted at $38 and rocketed up to $45 when the market finally opened. Well aside from the complete screw up of the NASDAQ system, I say a whopping nothing! The fact is, insiders always have a leg up on the investment community because they’re called insiders for a reason. They’re already privy to more information than the average retail investor. Sure, Facebook’s underwriters bought shares to keep the price where they wanted it, but large corporations or people with big pockets do this daily on the stock market. It’s called pump and dump. They drop in $250M and watch the volume increase and then you buy on speculation…and then they sell, laughing at you all the way to the bank. And that’s what everyone else did. They bought on speculation thinking that Facebook was going to be the next Google. Yeah, the company that opened at $85 and has since shot up to over $700 per share and is currently sitting at about $576 a share. Even if you weren’t an insider and Facebook’s stock chart looked anything remotely close to Google’s, you’d have made a nice penny.

Then wherein does the major difference lie that makes Google a better investment than Facebook at the time of the Facebook IPO? Well remember I said Facebook announced it’s IPO in January? Yes. Ok, so they didn’t go public until about 6 months later. Thus, you can imagine with all the hype building there were some other reports that had quite a few naysayers. Here are a few things that stuck out and made me realize that Facebook wasn’t anything close to Google. These are the reasons I decided to increase my position in a dividend paying utility company vs the long shot on the Facebook IPO.

1. Both Google and Facebook makes billions from advertising. But Google’s AdSense ad business is more profitable at the moment. So much so that even you could make money on your website running AdSense ads. Yes Google will cut you a check, how big is dependent on your website’s traffic and click through rate.

2. Google has products and Facebook does not. If you have a smartphone that’s not an iPhone or a Blackberry, then you’re probably running some version of the Android smartphone software. Yup, that’s made by Google. Google actually has its own phones too that run Android. Then there’s the Google marketplace for all Android smartphones on all the major service providers. Are you seeing this picture clearer?

3. People don’t use Facebook to find out useful information like where to get the best deal on a vacuum cleaner, they Google it. Yeah, the company’s name is now an adjective for “using an internet search engine to get useful information to help you in school, develop your business plan, and find out how.” Us dinosaurs use to use YAHOO!

4. Facebook’s biggest need is the ability to monetize mobile usage. Up until this point they have not. Which means, they’re leaving billions of dollars on the table. There have been dozens of reports floating around the investment and technology community saying that mobile is going to dominate PCs, and do to it what the DVD did to the VCR. In my mind I don’t think so, but hell, who knows. Facebook still doesn’t know how to turn a profit on it and sees it as their biggest need.

5. And perhaps the most glaring is Mark Zuckerberg’s impulse purchase for $1 billion dollars of Instagram. A company that had no revenue at the time, because like Facebook, it is a free platform for people to post pictures and talk. But unlike Facebook, it has no ad business. Zuckerberg made this decision without consulting his shareholders. He did? Yes, because he still has a majority stake in the company so no one can really vote him down on anything.

And to end this painstakingly intelligent article I’ll say this about investing. Insiders will always get rich on IPO’s if they sell because they usually have millions of these little pieces of paper called shares that have no actual value except what people “THINK” they are worth. It’s imagined. On May 18, 2012 Facebook was worth $100 billion because somebody said it was, and then somebody thought it was. It was most certainly not worth $100 billion on paper i.e. financial reports. And since the company was private up until May 18 and didn’t have to file public reports, you weren’t privy to the information insiders would have been privy to. Even the most oblivious insider with just 1 million shares was going to walk away with about $30-$50 million dollars if he sold his stake on IPO day. And the fact that as IPO day approached, some of the biggest insiders i.e. billion dollar companies kept increasing the number of shares they were going to offer to the market. Ding, ding, ding, because they knew the valuation was overinflated. The tried and true tested way to make intelligent investments is to study the companies you want to invest in and make informed decision based on solid financial information and buy at a fair price. So don’t blame Zuckerberg because he did what any other insider would do and sold off some shares. Maybe he had more information than you, but how many times has the stock market tanked since you’ve been born. Exactly. If you were suckered into this ad company that has no other business for even $38 dollars per share, then you’re looking at about a $12 dollar loss since Facebook is trading at $27.40 as we speak.

Be smart…don’t invest on hype and most certainly don’t blame Zuckerberg.

Until next write…

Comment and read my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon

 

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