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Days Before Danger, Day 24.1

Danger Kids creator De’Quan Foster on his Tumblr Blog has written his daily blog entitled Days Before Danger for the 24th day in a row, as he continues to countdown to the release of our novel, The Twelve. The Twelve will be the first book released in the Danger Kids Universe. It is a sequel that precedes the main Danger Kids series which will span ten novels.

As we began the journey of bringing The Twelve to life; Foster said that I should write a blog about Danger Kids and I promised that I would. So here I am, many more days after that conversation which adds up to far more days than the twenty-four of Days Before Danger.

I’ve always wanted to write in the science fiction and fantasy genre, but my first published book ended up being a romance-suspense-thriller entitled The Virgin Surgeon; after putting aside two science fiction and fantasy novels that I still plan on writing. However, thanks to people like Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and my all time favorite, Joe Abercrombie; I was able to absorb thousands of pages of science fiction and fantasy for the better part of a decade. Yeah, I read all four Twilight books too.

Today, yesterday and a great many months before, I’ve been immersed in what too has become my own science fiction and fantasy world, the world created by DeQuan Foster, Danger Kids Universe. The most exciting thing about writing The Twelve is falling in love with a myriad of characters that I’ve created for the story many moons before putting fingers to keyboard to construct the story. Interestingly enough, one of my favorite characters to write in The Twelve is Scicremeon, a character created by Foster who I have had the privilege to develop. She is everything you want in a woman. Beautiful, headstrong, can beat the crap out of any guy, yet she still has a loving heart every once in a blue moon, for less than a handful of people. So yeah guys, that’s probably the girl you want to be your best friend and not your wife.

As my lunch break comes to a close, I get to ruminate on how I’ll begin the next chapter after finishing one early this morning around 11am. Right now as I write these words, I sit with Foster in my office going over a few things for The Twelve and book five; go figure. There is a lot of words already down, but so many not ready for publication. Hope you enjoy the ride with us and keep reading the story and give us your opinion. You can read the first six chapters of The Twelve on dangerkidsuniverse.com. “Before the world ends, find out how it all began.” #121212.

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

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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Danger Kids Universe

 

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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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How To Find Your Passion In Life

There are things that everyone wants, regardless of age, sex, race, or background. They are things like a comfortable home, security, someone to love, money, and good health. Recently, the biggest Mega Millions jackpot was claimed by at least three people. Thus all of us with the dream of becoming the lastest overnight millionaire fell short by at least a buck. I fell short by $19 or more aptly, another Friday night with Dominos pizza. That’s probablly better for my health anyway since I could stand to lose a few pounds.

And since we’re not among the new American millionaires, your life, like mine is probably largely unchanged aside from an extra pound or two and a couple of more bucks wasted on something we wanted, but probably didn’t need. Yes, I should have probably skipped the McDonald’s McDouble last night, but I love them. I’ll grow some will power tonight, I promise. So as each lottery jackpot continues to evade us, we must continue to search for and find a passion that drives us. Do you know yours? Yes? No? I finally know mine, and it took me about 26 years to revisit it, and put it into action.

When people of all ages tell me that they don’t know what they want to do with their lives, I ask them a simple question. What is your passion? Often that question is answered with the proverbial “I don’t know.” My follow up question is then; what would you do for the rest of your life even if you weren’t being paid? When that question is answered specifically and confidently, my advice to that person is to find a way to do that and make money doing it. Of course that is always easier said than done, but the cliche will hold true. When you’re doing something you love, something that you’re passionate about, you’ll never work a day in your life. I found my passion to be writing. It is something that I’ve always done since I was a kid, reading my stories to my brother off of notebook paper before we fell asleep. I’d read to anyone who’d listen and let them read whatever I’d written if they had the time. From September of 2008 to January of 2009, my passion to write culminated into my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon, published in December of 2011. The wicked thing was that I wrote the first 12 pages back in 2001. That fact shows that passion never dies, but only lies dormant.

So what if you don’t know what you’d do forever without getting paid? What if you really don’t have a passion? How will you determine your purpose in life? My advice is simple. Find it. Yes, yes. It is another easier said than done conundrum, but it can happen. The simplest way is to try to find ways to turn a hobby into a career. Volunteer somewhere or with someone in something that’s always interested you. A passion doesn’t have to be a tangible thing like writing novels, or playing instruments, or making films. It could be something as simple as wanting to help people. You could be anything from a day care center worker to a doctor. Or a mentor to somene who nees some advice and guidance. What I’m almost 100% sure of is that you wont find your passion by not doing anything. So go out and engage the world. If you love to drink, own a distillery, if you love to party, become a promoter, and if Jesus is Lord and all that you love, then there are a dozen churches in your community that would allow you to express your passion for Christ. Whatever it is that drives you will become your passion. You’ll know it when you find it.

Until next write…

Comment and check out my debut novel, The Virgin Surgeon.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Something About Me

 

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What Is The Purpose of Life

I’ll try my best not to be terribly long-winded. However, I’ve decided to write about a topic that is a question I, and many others ask on many occasions. What is the purpose of life? This life…my life…our life here on Earth. The Bible would tell you it is to serve God. Yet, if that was all it was about, why do I have free will? If all God wanted me to do was worship and praise him, then why do I live on a rock with wicked and lustful temptations? A place we humans call home that has things that I can see, touch, and smell that bring me happiness and joy, coupled with anger and pain. According to the Holy Writ, God made us in his image. Since he is God, it’s obvious his existence isn’t predicated on praising anyone right?

So I have to beg the question that, if I am a spitting image of God, then certainly I have free will to be as much like him as I can. To make things, to destroy them, to get bored with something and want to change other things around. The story of Noah’s Ark was certainly a story of the whimsical nature that is inherent in our make up. Humans destroy what displeases them (rats, roaches, other races, cars, planes, etc) and sometimes have a heart to keep somethings around and give second chances. But what does God do day to day if he exists in the nether-regions of somewhere no one has ever seen before death. Does he simply listen to prayers, answer those that he wants, and hit the silent button on the rest like I do with my cell phone. Is this life we live really just a game and wager between God and The Devil like some people believe or is God trying to accomplish something? This question in turn brings me to myself.

If God exists (we’ll get into my beliefs in another post) as we’ve been taught to think that he does then there must be a reason for me to be here. Today I know that I want to be a writer for the rest of my life. I’ve accomplished publishing a novel. I graduated from college long before that. I have yet to kill anyone. And I spend a large portion of my day helping others to see the wicked designs of the world so that they might live a more fruitful life than I have. Hell, that’s a life worth living if you ask me on a day when I’m feeling all warm and gooey inside. Other days I feel like who gives a damn about what’s next or what’s it all worth since it wont mean a damn thing when I’m dead. Even if I become as celebrated as Shakespeare, with my writing living through the ages, and people discussing what they believed I was actually like, I wouldn’t know right? I mean, a dead man can’t exist in the realm of the living. Does that soul really float around and watch its loved ones and protect them from time to time. I guess we’d like to think so.

No one knows what dying is like except the dead. Since the dead don’t talk, who can we ask. How can I know for sure that what I’m dreaming, doing, hoping for is what I’m here for. I know I’m not the only one who wishes they could just kick up, relax, and sleep through most of the days of the week. But we can’t. We’ve gotta get up when our backs hurt, get old, get sick, answer to that annoying person we call a boss and even when we become the boss there’s someone somewhere we still answer to. Doesn’t life sometimes feel like a revolving door of the same bullshit. And that question keeps being the question that never gets answered. What Is The Purpose of Life?

Right now, I don’t know and I don’t give a damn. Regardless of how unfathomable to the human mind it is, God doesn’t really have a beginning or an end, though the scripture of the Holy Bible (Revelations 22:13) says “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Thus, God just is and God will just be. So I’ll just be and become whatever it is I’ll be until the wind blows me some other way. For now I have things to do and adjust so that what I think I’m supposed to be doing can be realized. And maybe, just maybe, when I’m old and wrinkled or when I’m barreling into a speeding mack truck and my life is flashing before my eyes, I’ll get the answer and smile.

Thanks for reading and check out my debut novel, “The Virgin Surgeon,” in paperback or ebook.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Something About Me

 

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I’d Like To See “Asylum” On The Silver Screen

Claude Bouchard was one of the first writers I encountered when I began using Twitter again. Having already self published quite a few titles, he gave me a few tips and pointers on publishing my debut novel The Virgin Surgeon. So in the indie spirit, I promised to give his latest novel, Asylum, a go when I finished editing and publishing my own novel.

Thus in the indie spirit of supporting other indie authors, and keeping my word as a man, I navigated the touchscreen on my Kindle Fire, and dropped the $2.99 for Claude’s mystery.  

I blazed through 63% (Kindle location feature) of the book the first night and the other 37% the following day. It was an incredibly easy read. There weren’t those never-used-words that some authors use to try and make themselves seem more intelligent than they really are. Asylum featured normal conversation, real people, with real problems that I’m sure thousands upon thousands can relate to. An overworked Matthew Russel, psychiatrist, with an underappreciated, unattended, and ultimatelly unsatisfied wife Mrs. Cassidy Alexander-Russell. His absence was the price she paid to live a comfortable life, even though she was left to raise their 7 year-old daughter, and 9 year-old son alone. When Cassidy threatens to leave Matthew, he makes the sacrifice that he made at the alter of holy matrimony. He caters to his wife, his children, and becomes Family Man

Yet, something is off, and the price for happiness and comfort is often a high cost to someone or another. And while Matthew transforms into Family Man, new obstacles arise that the entire Russell clan has to face that will change them forever.

Why do I want to see this on the silver screen? Well, because it was written for television and it reminds me of Secret Window by Stephen King. I enjoyed that movie for its cerebral qualities, and I think I’d love Asylum just as much. Books are fun. But even more fun, are books with real life moving characters. Get a copy of this mystery for some easy entertainment.

Thanks for reading and check out my debut novel, “The Virgin Surgeon,” in paperback or ebook.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Hunger Games is Incredible

On Friday the 13th I purchased a Kindle Fire for two reasons. The first was that I began enjoying the reading experience with the Kindle App on my iPhone and I wanted something bigger. The second reason was, I wanted a tablet, but I wasn’t quite prepared to go all out on an iPad. Don’t you just love it when consumers have choices. Regardless of the argument of which is better, I’m satisfied with my purchase and finished the first book I reviewed on my Kindle FireElise Stokes’  debut novel, “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula.” I posted the review on the 15th and swore I’d spend the 16th (a day off because MLK did some great things), cleaning up and doing laundry. But I didn’t. When you purchase the Kindle Fire, you get a free month of Prime membership which allows you to watch movies and TVs shows and borrow a book every month for free with no due date. So if you’re paying the slightest bit of attention to the world, you know The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins has gained some steam and has been made into a motion picture which hits theaters March 23, 2012. And since my mentee DeQuan Foster recommended the series to me back in September. Since it was free, I figured I’d give it a try.

The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl living in filthy District 12 of Panem, a new country that stands in the ruins of North America. While living in some future after our now, Katniss lives a life more akin to medieval times. Every day she has to hunt with bow and arrow for her food to feed her sister Primrose and her mother. A mother who has been quite distraught since the loss of Katniss’ father to the coal mines some years ago. While she has her best friend Gale to go at it with, life is no easy task, but the forbidden woods become her sanity. And while Panem’s war is over, the rulers in the Capitol put their already ailing citizens into a holiday war every year that reminds them of their place on the totem pole. The Hunger Games.

At the reaping names are drawn, a boy and a girl, 12 to 18 years old from each of the 12 districts, 24 competitors. You win, when everyone else is dead. Twenty slips with Katniss Everdeen’s name was in the drawing, but her sister Primrose, with just one slip, out of thousands, was drawn. But Katniss, unlike any other in all the Districts, except the Careers, exercising an old rule and volunteers in her sister’s place. And when she is on stage her counterpart, Peeta Mellark is drawn. A boy who she has a strange past with.

The two of them are ushered off to the Capitol, dolled up for the cameras, matched as lovers, and thrust into interviews. Katniss and Peeta get the star treatment of their lives, right up until it’s time to set foot in the arena. Once there at the Cornucopia, 22 other people are trying to kill them from the start. Katniss is relatively at home in the arena, made to resemble a forest. But there are man made contraptions of harm concocted by the Gamemakers that force the competitors into deadly confrontation. As time passes in the arena, Katniss longs for home and a way to strike back at the Capitol.

Suzanne Collins does a superb job in constructing her characters. When you read it you can feel that the people of Panem have real issues. Not of just their own daily struggle, but of the class war that is going on, and the feeling of no escape. Everyone knows something is wrong, but no one has the wits to stand up to the dictators. Collins shows what effect war and violence have on children here, but it goes further. This book delves into the importance of survival, the fine line between love and hate, selfishness and selflessness. Major choices have to be made by young people that could have grave consequences for more than themselves. It’s a weight that Katniss has to shoulder for herself and her family. Maybe even for all of District 12.

This is an action packed thrill ride that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. The first chapter had quite a bit of information to weed through, but it’s totally essential. It’ll all come together by chapter two. So I give a whopping two thumps up for The Hunger Games. But the story doesn’t end here. It continues in Catching Fire. Stayed tuned for my next review. I’m going to follow the trilogy to the end.

Thanks for reading and check out my debut novel, “The Virgin Surgeon,” in paperback or ebook.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Cassidy Jones Packs a Punch With the Secret Formula

Elise Stokes’  debut novel, “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula” follows the titular character and her new friend Emery Phillips as they embark on a dangerous quest to save their kidnapped parents from viscious madman, Aurthur King.

After being exposed to retrovirus 10X, Cassidy acquires some incredible superpowers, and becomes a nearly invincible force against evil and the pretty nose of the most popular girl in school, Robin Newton. While her new found abilities allow her to smell pancakes in other homes, lift two-ton trees, and fight like a Kung-Fu wizard; her emotions become less stable. The calm, cool, and collected Cassidy Jones who was in control can barely handle being ignored by the super hot Jared Wells. No one needs a superhuman who’s off their rocker, and Emery Phillips provides the perfect balance to Cassidy’s boiling pot of emotions. Even with a missing mother and a dad who no one can pinpoint on the globe, Emery keeps himself and Cassidy Jones in control as they sneak around infiltrating computers and fortresses in pursuit of his mother’s location.

Elise Stokes put together a quality cast of characters in this teen action drama that even adults can b entertained by. I laughed aloud quite a few times and was most attached to Emery who complimented Cassidy quite well. His intelligence, bravery, and friendship was necessary for Cassidy who not only had to deal with the usual trials of a teenager. But who also had to contend with her entire world being turned upside down. The action was well balanced with straight forward and colorful dialogue. While the main villian was over the top, he didn’t scare this grown man a bit, but a few teens may shudder. The only downside I saw in this 1st person narrative, was I thought a couple of the words Cassidy used were a bit much for a 14-year-old’s vocaulary. Yet, this is the age of information.

If you’re looking for a cool story with lots of fun and excitement, give “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula” a go, you wont be disappointed. After which, you can continue to follow Cassidy Jones and her friends in “Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift“.

Thanks for reading and check out my debut novel, “The Virgin Surgeon,” in paperback or ebook.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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