The Writer’s Block Syndrome

This past month, I’ve been struggling with severe writer’s block. I almost never succumb to it’s cold, calloused embrace, but this month has been a doozy for my writer’s mind. What’s worse? I had a paper due; a long paper.

In an attempt to conquer this…impediment…I wrote this short soapbox rant for my nonfiction class:


Writer's Block Syndrome

Today, I have a problem. A real, big-time problem. It’s a problem every writer faces, a problem every writer fears. It comes with no warning, but strikes a quick, agonizing blow to your self-esteem, your peace of mind, and your overall sanity.

I’m talking about writer’s block. The wicked, wicked illness of every writer.

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Cover Reveal and Designs for Author Zachariah Wilhelm

I’m about to mention Zachariah Wilhelm’s awesome new book, A Spark of Light, which is now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. Inside you’ll find a collection of short fiction and essays that center on the universal theme of light in a world of darkness. Also, if you want to keep up with his current projects, you can visit him on his website!


In college as a writing major, we get to the end of our education and have to compile a portfolio of all the best work we’ve done in our core writing classes. What’s even more daunting is this: we have to print it in a physical book form, complete with a cover.

Most writers are not graphic designers. We imagine all the cool book covers we’d like to see with our name on them, sure. And we might actually attempt to design a few, but for people at PCC, they typically syphon the project off to a graphic design friend to better focus on the content (since that’s the main part that will be graded).

My portfolio is next semester, but half my class is doing theirs this semester. Eager to practice and attempt a book cover myself while helping my fellow writing friends, I asked Zachariah Wilhelm, who sat next to me in Creative Nonfiction, if he had a cover designer yet. He said no, and the design was due in two weeks.

I volunteered. And boy was I ever excited.

This is what we came up with in the end. He wanted the spark to have severe contrast with the darkness around it, since that’s a strong theme he has throughout his stories: that spark of light in the darkness, that flicker of good in a world of evil. We also wanted to try to connect some of his pieces together with the cover, so we decided to rely on a dark forest and a tire swing, both of which are mentioned in the book.

Zach's Book Final Flattened.jpg

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Published In America’s Emerging Writers

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 7.38.51 PMToday I’m happy to announce that my short story (Fruits of the Spirit Daycare) has been accepted by Z Publishing and is included in their America’s Emerging Writers series. You can pre-order a copy of the book, Florida’s Emerging Writers, today by following the link and get it up to two weeks before the official publication date (September 6).

As a further reason why you should check the book out, any money that I raise through this publication will help pay my way to my very first writers’ conference. Going to a writers’ conference has been on my bucket list for literally years, but I’ve never been able to go–nor felt equipped to take such a step forward in my writing career.

But now I’m ready to take a stab at it, and you can help me make it there.

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An Interview with Best-Selling Author Robert Liparulo

When I was a senior in high school, I got the once-in-a-rarity opportunity to interview my favorite author. I grew up reading Robert Liparulo’s teen fiction in junior high. In fact, when the books were coming out, I remember actually having fights with my friends over who got to read the next one first. One particular instance involved me throwing Whirlwind on the table between my two friends as they both dove for it, pleading to the others’ humanity, bribing each other for the chance to read it first.

Good times.

Anyway, the following interview was turned in for my senior writing class, now resurrected here on my blog:

 

220px-Robert_Liparulo,R1-05ARobert Liparulo is the bestselling Christian author of the widely acclaimed teen fiction Dreamhouse Kings series, as well as his adult fiction such as Comes a Horseman, Germ, and his adult series The Immortal Files.

As a creative writing student and a Christian YA author wannabe—not to mention a huge fan of Liparulo’s works—I immediately wanted to try meeting with him for an interview assignment. We worked out a time through email, and I had the privilege to meet with him via Skype Saturday night. Mr. Liparulo was extremely nice and a blast to talk to—very warm and friendly, and he had a great laugh!

Robert Liparulo

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Obon Festival Returns July 14 (Burke Connection)

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Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 7.25.15 PMObon Festival Returns July 14
The Fairfax Station Ekoji Buddhist Temple prepares to host its annual festival for everyone in the community.

The Ekoji Buddhist Temple off the Fairfax County Parkway in Fairfax Station will be hosting the only Obon festival in the Washington DC area July 14. Admission is free, and the temple invites all visitors, no matter their religion or culture, to celebrate the annual event.

“It’s a time to show your gratitude and respect to all those people who’ve passed away before us, because they made the world; we are the next generation,” said Reverend Nariaki Rajan Hayashi, who has been Ekoji’s minister for the past three years.

Because of the growing number of visitors per year, with last year’s attendance at 1,700, the Ekoji Temple plans to extend its hours for the festival. The temple and grounds will be open starting at 3 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m.

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Serving Meals and Blessings to Homeless (Profile: Vienna Connection)

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Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 7.02.52 PM.pngServing Meals and Blessings to Homeless
Karen Curtis of Antioch Christian Church helps feed 100+ visitors of the Lamb Center, a Fairfax homeless ministry

The minivan comes to a stop in one of the few remaining parking spaces outside the Lamb Center in Fairfax. Seatbelts pop and side doors roll open as a handful of members from Antioch Christian Church climb out of the gray-green vehicle to help unload the back.

Three crockpots full of homemade chili and nearly 100 baked potatoes are nestled in the back of the van, all prepared specifically for the homeless people who frequent the Lamb Center—a Christian-based ministry that serves people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County. Continue reading

Burke Community’s ‘Living Room’ Relocating in July (Burke Connection)

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Burke Community’s ‘Living Room’ Relocating in July (Burke Connection)
The 20-year-old Hopsfrog Grille plans to expand its service by moving to a larger location

“The owners are very good people. They care about what they’re serving and how [the customers] get served,” said Paul Fouché, a customer at Hopsfrog Grille for 20 years.

In fact, manager Kostas Daskalakis cares so much, that he’s decided to expand his local bar and grill mid-July to accommodate more customers. Affectionately referred to as the community’s “living room,” the future Hopsfrog Grille is under construction only a mile away in the Walmart shopping center on Burke Commons Road.

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