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JAY LONG Posts

Writer’s Life : What I Can’t Leave Home Without

As June sneaks in – I mean seriously, where the hell did the first 5 months of the year go? – I find myself thinking ahead to vacation like I do every year. This year is a bit different however, as I am in the middle of sorting out my family’s home, where 35 years of ‘stuff’ has accumulated. This year won’t be spent in the usual beachfront getaway of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey but rather pushed back a bit as I prospect properties in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and plan a move.

3 Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

If you’re like me, Microsoft Word was and may still be a mainstay on your PC. I know when I was younger I thought I was all that when I had a full install of Microsoft Office. As time grew on, my path in life did as well. My needs and priorities changed. I spent my money on software titles like Photoshop and Dreamweaver to further my web and graphic design business. Microsoft Word wasn’t a necessity. I found an open source alternative that was free and used that. I could save DOC and DOCX files – I was set.

Microsoft Office still corners the market but there are several reliable free options out there to be found. All very useful, with many of the features of Word and all compatible with existing documents.

10 Poetry Books For Spring 2019

It seems as if poets have taken over many of the writing communities and with good reason. Some of the writing today is simply outstanding. I created a post in the past about 12 Poetry Books You Didn’t Know You Should Read and I wanted to create a new one. So many good books have come out in the last six months. Below you will find 10 of my favorite recent poetry book releases, in no particular order. I hope you’ll check them out and add them to your collection.

Does Empathy Kill Creativity?

As a storyteller, I have always been able to throw myself into any given situation. When I was younger, I didn’t know exactly why that was or even if it was a thing. As I grew older I came to understand I am what is officially known as an empath. And because of this, I have always been very in-tune with emotions and situations. It truly has its benefits and unfortunately, its drawbacks as well.

Social Media Hashtags For Writers

If you have spent any time on social media, any time at all, you have seen hashtags used within a post or comment. Back in the day, a hashtag was simply known as a pound symbol. Today, it is a way to start, follow, and participate in online conversations.

As a writer, promoting your brand is vital. Hashtags are a great way to stay on top of the conversation in your genre. The writing community frequently uses hashtags as a way to self-promote, announce projects, and follow trending topics of interest.

Don’t feel as if you are alone on an island when it comes to social media hashtags. Just how they work, what they are and how they can help writers on social media platforms is sometimes confusing.

John Singleton : Writer, Director, Producer, Human

John Singleton exploded onto the Hollywood scene in 1991 with his Academy Award-nominated screenplay for Boyz In The Hood and became the youngest person nominated for Best Director. He was 23 years old.

Singleton captured inner-city life through the eyes of three life-long friends. The storyline of Boyz hit home with me as I had also grown up within an inner city setting. Although the violence each character in Boyz In The Hood experienced was above anything I myself dealt with, the daily struggles, pain, dangers, and loyalty found within the community were very similar.

The Pros of Self Publishing

Until recently being self-published was looked down upon. It came with a stigma of not being good enough to be published using more traditional methods. To some, self-published authors weren’t authors at all; they were hobbyists.

Over the past several years, self-publishing has become a welcomed norm. The internet and social media are big factors in the growth and acceptance of self-published writers. In fact, indie presses are responsible for nearly 50% of all digital book sales and over 1 million titles annually. The number is truly astronomical.

5 Free Online Photo Editors

Artists and writers have been able to make use of the ever-growing trend of creating visually appealing posts for their work. Obviously, Photoshop has been the graphics designer giant since the earliest release in the 1990s. Unfortunately, Photoshop also came with steep price tag in the $400 range. Since then, Adobe has gone to a Cloud-based version of most of their top titles. Photoshop runs about $240 annually ($360 if you choose the entire Adobe suite).

For those who are on a budget, GIMP is a free, open-source alternative to Photoshop. It is very much in-line with many of the features Adobe implements but there is a slight learning curve and a few tasks that aren’t as smooth as its Photoshop counterpart. But with that said, GIMP works wonders and did I mention it’s FREE?

This post is not about software titles. With technology stepping up, web-based applications are fast becoming a go-to option. Listed below, in no particular order, are 5 of the top graphics and photo editors available online. Each of them has the features needed to create stunning graphics or carry out the simplest of tasks. It really comes down to which one holds the most ease of use and personal preference.

The One Thing That Changed My Writing Career

I have been writing since I can remember. In fact, when I was a young child I would emulate my mother’s writing. I’d take a black felt pen along with a yellow legal pad and simply pretend I was making words. Line after line I’d scribble in blocks of ‘cursive’ writing. To this day, I have a love affair with pens and pads. I even get care packages from friends and fans sending me different types of notebooks, journals, and an assortment of pens for writing. To me those little packages are priceless. So you can say writing has been a lifelong journey.