Guest Post with Devorah Fox! Pros and Cons of Fantasy Writing

Hey, guys! Its Spring Break for the crew and I have had a fun couple of days. I tried to go to the our lake nearby and it started storming! I tried to get my friend to go a contemporary moment with me by standing in the middle of the park’s road and raise our hands to the blasting winds and stormy lightning, but she just ran to the car. Then I got to drive to Dairy Delight and get my a Hot Fudge Brownie Supreme. Yummm…. So today and tomorrow are my working days. Today I’m working on these posts and then later read as much as I can for reviews I will post as soon as I can. I’m excited to get my thoughts out there!

Remember my review on The Lost King by Devorah Fox ? Well, I’m so happy to post her own guest post on this very here blog!


About the Author

Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Publisher and editor of the BUMPERTOBUMPER books for commercial motor vehicle drivers, she has branched out into developing smartphone apps including the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in the The Barefoot Palace in Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast where she writes the “Dee-Scorveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com


The Lost King is an adventure filled story I’m sure any fantasy reader would appreciate the hard work put into it. I know I loved the story and really loved the aspects of her fantasy world.

The Lost King Summary: img_6090-1

When all you have owned, everyone you have loved and everything you have done are gone, who are you? King Robin Bewilliam awakens one morning to find himself mysteriously transformed from a beloved and respected ruler to a homeless vagabond. His quest to uncover and break the bewitching spell that plagues him and regain his kingdom sets him on a journey of adventure, romance, and self-discovery.

Devorah Fox.PNG

Fantasy Writing: Pros and Cons


Setting The Lost King, Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of KinBewilliam, in the Middle Ages was an example of heeding the Muse. Im not an avireader of stories set in that time period, although I do have a few all-time favorites such as Rebecca (Sir Walter Scott) and Stealing Heaven (Marion Meade). For the most part I read contemporary mysteries and thrillers. However, from my first imaginings, KinBewilliams story demanded to be told in a “once-upon-a-timefashion. I planned taddress traumatic life issues such as divorce and career displacement and felt that the reader would find them more accessible in a fairytale setting

History was never my best subject in school and I did not have years of study to call upon. At first I had no plans to research the Middle Ages. I was simply going tmake up a world set in a “time long ago.I was writing a scene in which King Bewilliaaka Robin takes something from his pocket and found myself wondering if they hapockets in those days. I did a little research and sure enough, they did not. They hacountless clever devices for waging war, for killing and maiming each other, but thehad yet to invent on-seam pockets. Instead, they carried their belongings in pouches and purses. I rewrote the scene

From that moment on, I couldnt write a syllable without researching it first. Did they have that? Did they say that? Did they eat that

The downside was that The Lost King and all the other King Bewilliam novels were National Novel Writing Month projects. National Novel Writing MonthNaNoWriMo, for short—is an organized marathon that challenges writers to writ50,000 words in 30 days. Thats about one-half to one-third a commercial length novel. Im not a speedy writer to begin with, and having to conduct research made it a reachallenge to meet the daily goal of 1667 written words. On occasion I would leavmyself a digital note to look this upand I would move on to the next scene. However, for the most part, I had to do the research before I could write. I couldnt just writaround it. I had days during the marathon when I didnt reach my word count goal until mid-afternoon, after which I still had hours of work to do for my day job.

The upside was that the research often inspired me. I did not know what I walooking for until I found it. That meant a lot of surfing the Internet and I washed up osome truly foreign shores where I found hidden treasures. For example, in Book Two, The Kings Ransom, I wrote myself into a corner. King Bewilliam had to find a way tescape an enemy fortress. I got him in with no plan for getting him out. Researchincastle construction turned up a solution and saved the day, not to mention the kingI have since found that the need to do research doesnt end even when Ive set stories in contemporary time. My Mystery/Thriller stories take place in the US in th1990s. I lived through those times but its long ago enough that I dont remember everdetail, especially with regard to technology. I had to look up when certain devices ansoftware first made their appearance. In some ways it was harder to research what didn’t happen than to investigate what did happen

Someday perhaps I will write a story that’s a complete invention. However my current works-in-progress that my planned stories all require research. My history teachers are probably having a good laugh.”


Catch the Sparks Within! By Alex Abaz-Chapters 19 and 20

I’m here, and ON TIME, for the next two chapter reviews: chapters nineteen and twenty! With my pizza (with ranch…yummm…), I am ready to tell you my thoughts.

Chapter Nineteen: Fear causes a fight-or-flight response but shock stops us in our tracks.

I always liked the idea: Fight or flight. I never knew why. Maybe because he held options. If you run away, that’s your instinct. Nothing wrong with it. Sometimes all you can do is run away, create distance to plan everything over. That’s me in some cases. In other cases, I tend to fight. Not as in fist-fight. More like my anger gets the best of me and I snap. I chose to fight.

Then Abaz adds a new word: freeze. I have definitely frozen more than I have flown away or fought. When the anxiety kicks in, all sense of movement disappears. I’m left breathless and unable to process any kind of information. I am doing this more often now that we’re talking about the mission trip to Ecuador. They are all telling me I’ll have to get up and tell people my testimony. I will have to get up and speak to people and actually make sense. Public speaking is one of my worst fears. Telling me I have to do… you’ll have to wait until the end to tell me that or else I won’t listen to another word you’ll say after that. Just asking me, “Are you nervous?” makes me zone out immediately. I’m a hard person to deal with, I know… I have to deal with myself everyday. Lol.

Abaz does a wonderful job, outstanding even, at expressing what it is like to be caught in the “freeze” response. It’s a good in between the “flight” and “fight.” Sometimes we have no idea what to do with ourselves. People will act out when they feel backed into a corner. We all know what an animal does when it’s uncomfortable. It’s more than likely to bite you.

“Shock can paralyze us,” Abaz says. We need that predictability in ours lives. I agree that we often find ourselves desiring that. I can say this now, ever since I gave my life to Christ, it has not been predictable. One day I will act completely out of character. The next moment I’m back to my shy little self with my head in a book. Christ calls me to do things I would normally say no to. It makes me uncomfortable, but I still try because I understand it’s for the best. And guess what? I make it through it every single time. I take a deep breath, just like Abaz says to do, and I reset my thoughts and my perspective. Sometimes, you need to start from the beginning to understand the situation at its full extent.

I guess this is a good transition to move into the next chapter…

Chapter Twenty: Some Events are meant to change the directional flow of our lives.

To what I said about Christ changing my life… I did not expect to be where I am now. I really don’t. The directional flow of my life changed forever because of Him.

And it goes for a lot of other instances. Choosing to do something, like signing up for something you’ve never done before. Things happen: getting into a fight with a friend, having a close one pass away… when it happens, it’s like there are a millions arrows pointing in every direction. It gets crazy and you have no idea how you’ve come out of all. But either way, it changes you–for better or for worse. That’s for you to decide.

“A storm can blow things apart.” Yes, a storm can. It’s wild, you can’t predict it. It switches what you once knew around and around until you’ve lost complete sight of them.

But don’t worry. Abaz says it perfectly: “A new beginning is a chance at a better life.” Take that beginning as a way to grow stronger. Once something falls down, you don’t build it back up the way it was. It’s just going to fall over again. There are no specific steps on how to get over the storm that turned your life around, but there’s always a way. Never say you can’t get back up, because you can. And you tell yourself that you will.
Are you willing to adapt to the new beginning placed before you?

Catch the Sparks Within! by Alex Abaz -Chapters 17 and 18

I have received a free book in exchange for a honest review!


Yikes! Where have I been? Tuesday was a mess, I dare say. I wanted to post Wednesday, but the schedule didn’t allow it until today. Let’s just get to the review, shall we? 

Chapter Seventeen: “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.”

The minute I read the title of this chapter, Skyrim instantly popped up in my head. “Some may call this trash… Me? I call them treasures.” This is said by the clerks in shops, a phrase you end up saying with them because they will say it all the time.

But how true is this simple phrase. Abaz mentions how wasteful people can be… how unappreciative we can be. This is so true. It has been said over and over and over again. People throw away everything, just so they don’t have to mess with it anymore. Even today, there are people who go without food every day, who would love to take that sandwich you’re throwing away because you said you hated turkey.

I see this a lot in school. Every day at the end of my lunch period (we’re the last lunch) my friends and I will watch the lunch ladies throw away buckets of good food into the trash bins. Like I’m talking about bananas, pickles, lettuce… good food that no one ate so therefore they throw it in the trash where no one will be able to eat it now. My friends constantly say that it’s so wasteful, and I agree. Lately, our Leo Club has been collecting items to bring to a nearby homeless shelter. We wondered if all this extra food could be brought to people like them. It would do them a service.

Chapter Eighteen: “Laundry is an Endless Chore.”

Sadly, I am not old enough to share my experience with the change in technology. To me, technology has always been there. I’m used to it (well, somewhat… I have horrible luck when it comes to electronics).

And yes, Abaz, I hate laundry day also. I do my own clothes, but knowing me, I never know which one is dirty and which one I left on my bed because I was frustrated with finding nothing to match it. I HATE folding clothes. It’s something I end up losing patience over. Blah.

And while I have no say in the evolution of technology, I do have to say we have have gone a long way. I’m going to go to gaming systems just as an example… and it’s something I have actually been around long enough to understand.

At first, my type of gaming was following people around and asking for food from random people who would stop by our house to hang out. Of course, with my cute, little face, no one could say no.

My next was the Nintendo. Not the handheld ones, but the big gray box that had two buttons in the front with a huge cord connecting to a small controller. I would play Super Mario on that thing for hours with my dad. Sadly, it’s so old now that it doesn’t work… I wonder if I even still have it…

Then I also had the PlayStation 2, now that I know we still have. I have some of its games on my bookshelf. I had a blast playing Mortal Kombat on it.

Then I got an Xbox one year. That’s when they started having the Kinect Adventures. You could move in front of the sensor, and it would respond. That was pretty cool to me. I also 

Now I have a Xbox One, which is similar to the Xbox, but allows more commands and such.

And think, now they have a Virtual Reality gaming systems now. Not jsut the one you put on your head and look around, but where your chair moves to motion of your character. Isn’t that so cool? Where you can see around you, and it’s like you’re there. I never got to try one before, but I know one day I will have to try it out. I cannot wait!

And it just gets bigger from there. Around us, the world is changing. It’s gone so far from 2000. Not just with gaming systems… cell phones, home appliances, computers, education, medicine…Our expectations have risen, and now we are just waiting for someone to come up with something else that is even grander.

Abaz is right… We have come a long way. It’s so exciting to imagine where the world will be in a couple years.

 

 

The Lost King by Devorah Fox

I have received a free copy of this book for a honest review. This does not in any way affect my review in any way.

My rating for this unique tale would be a four out of five. Great job, Devorah Fox, for this intriguing story about a king discovering himself and the truth about the world around him.

If you haven’t read this book and just happen to skim through this review, I’ll say this to summarize the book: A king has found himself deserted in a land he does not recognize. To find his kingdom and his wife, he must venture through unknown lands, meeting people to help him along the way. I would encourage you to pick this book up if you love medieval ages. This is a perfect book to learn more about that time.

Characters? Appealing and very interesting. Robin’s friends are hard to dislike.

Humor? It was okay. I chuckled a couple times. I also found humor in the smallest things but that is literally me– I will find the most serious things funny.

Romance? It doesn’t overflow on the plot, but you’ll catch it easily. You’ll ship it before you even realize what’s happening.

Action? Very little, mostly dialogue, moving around, stuff like that.

Language? A little hard, but fairly easy to understand.

I think you should really pick it up. It mostly deals with finding a way to get his kingdom back while also finding himself through his adventures. I highly recommend being open to the characters and King Bewilliam’s interactions with them. It’ll make the story ten times better in this way, as it focuses a lot on relationships.

I enjoyed it a lot. I was very interested in where things were going. By the end, I was questioning what the next book will reveal.

Good-bye, non-spoilery people!


 

The characters. I really loved them to the extent that I kind of did not want anything to happen to them. Later in this series, I feel like I would grow more attached to them, as I would get to understand them even further. I absolutely love Meeyoo, the little kitten that follows Robin around. I thought having Meeyoo in there was the story’s comic relief in a way that made you happy when Meeyoo showed up. “No one hurts the kitty!” I loved the other animals as well, like Duncan and Charger. I could just imagine their personalities.

Now I’m usually very critical about what I read, about what I like to read. At first when I was reading the animals almost speaking to Robin, I got a little skeptical about it. I kind of felt like I was reading a younger children’s book…But I have to say it did grow on me. I found it pretty hilarious, actually.

Queen Alexandra… when we first see her, she’s fighting a dragon, which was pretty great. I love a strong woman. I enjoyed her personality, how she wasn’t strict and represented the kingdom she reigned. I enjoyed that. I ship her and Robin so much. Like at the very end, I kept thinking: “Just kiss…please.” I trust her completely along with David.

Speaking of David, we didn’t get to see him much, did we? Just the very beginning and the very end. I really loved the fact that he was a barber. I don’t know why, I just loved that diversity. When we got to go back to Riverington, I got all excited. “Off to see David, the wonderful barber of all…”

And finally Bernard. I feel like I should talk about him since he is was reason everyone is in debt and the reason DAVID HAD TO LEAVE HIS SHOP… But I’m not salty about it. No, no. I kind of felt bad for him, but that’s my personality showing. I always somehow end up feeling bad for the villains. I mean Bernard put everyone in debt, he lied, he borrowed too much money to make himself look better… He was a complete mess. Then when we actually get to see him, he’s completely lost his mind. I wanted to hug him. Yeah, I was angry at the fact–that David can’t be a barber–that everyone was going downhill. Robin’s own kingdom was completely washed away. Like what on earth was Bernard thinking? As I type, I’m actually in Personal Finance; and, sir, that is not how you finance.

The romance… As I said before the romance in this book is very mellow, but it is there. I ship Queen Alexandra and Robin so much. But on the topic of romance, Robin is not very wise. Throughout the book, he admits to sleeping with other women, like Dolores. While I don’t agree with what he does, it does make his character a lot more real. He does have his flaws, something I did not see in the very beginning. But no, he’s a king with a broken marriage. I really, really hope that his relationship grows with Alexandra later on as they completely deserve each other. I mean, come on.

Okay, the one thing that did bug me in this book was the lack of action. That’s probably just me, though. I love a good detailed fight. I enjoyed the dragon fight for the .5 seconds that it happened. In the back of my mind, I feel like this could be a book that could hold that type of action. Like if it was wanted in the story, you could easily bring it in and it wouldn’t look out of place. A lot of the running around that Robin did really kind of killed the mood that I would have enjoyed the transitions better if there was a bit more conflict involved in between the moving around. The bandit thing really made me happy. Go, Robin! Show them who’s king around here! Then again, the author has every right to put what she likes in her book and make it how she wants it. If she feels like the fighting was unnecessary and she enjoys it as it is, then that’s her decision.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It will be something I will look into later on after all my other books are taken care of. I really enjoy the writing style of it all. It kind of reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was very different than what I’m used to which may be why I had to open up a lot more than usual. That’s how it was when reading The Magician’s Nephew. I soon came to enjoy it and appreciate the uniqueness she threw in there.





Thank you, Devorah Fox for letting me review this book! I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing with this story! It has a lot of potential.


 

Catch the Spark Within – Chapters 14 and 15

I have received a free copy of this book. This does not affect my review in any way.

Hey, guys! I am back, bringing on the next review for Alex Abaz’s inspiring book. Let’s get started!

Chapter Fourteen: “Wit and Humor are So Underrated.”

I really enjoyed this chapter, because it made the point that in the deep sadness of life, it’s so important to know how to bring smiles to other people. I love making people smile. It brightens my day.

Alex Abaz talks about her uncle and all the things he had went though in his life. If some people were in his position, humor would be hard to come by. But he does it anyway. He keeps doing what he does best, and he does it in spirit. How beautiful.

It really encourages to have a sense of humor, even on those not-so-great days. Appreciate life with an open mind and heart. Be better than your situation.

Chapter Fifteen: “Fear can be Debilitating.”

We all have a fear of something. Mostly all of us have some kind of phobia… “a severe and irrational” fear.

Mine? Bugs. I hate them. They’re not a phobia, but they sure do make my skin crawl. A phobia of mine would have to be shots. I HATE shots. Never liked them. Never will. The thought of them make me anxious and uneasy. While others may call me pathetic for having a fear of shots, it doesn’t change the fact that I have an irrational fear of them. “You’re petrified… you can’t breathe.”

But we have a face our fears, as Abaz writes. When I found out I was going to Ecuador, one thing they mentioned was that I would have to get vaccinated so I would not get the diseases they have. In seconds, I was tense. I was shaking. Every day after that I would think about at least once a day about how I would have to get those shots. (Even I think I’m pathetic.) Even so, I never said I wouldn’t go to Ecuador. After all, in the long run, they are just shots. Shots over helping so many children. Of course I would take that. There’s no doubt in my mind. My fear is still there, but I will NOT let it affect how I choose to do something.

I’m also pretty shy. If I’m not comfortable around someone, I can be so silent. I hate public speaking. I hate being in public in general, to be honest. I’m as introverted as they come. But I will not let my fear of being around other people, my fear of not being good enough, my fear of people not liking me, my fear of failing in every way possible, to keep me from trying for my dreams. I constantly try and train myself to express myself more and more each day. I try to regain this confidence I haven’t had since I was a little kid. It’s so scary, especially when I look around and see other people living life so easily. But I will get out of my comfort zone. I will try.

And though I try, I will fail. I’ll get scared and turn away. Thank you, Abaz, for reminding me why fears are an obstacle that can be overcome with the right ambition. It reminded me to keep at it. 

Sweet 16 Special!

So I was told that a birthday post was in order. Happy birthday, me, I guess lol. Anyways, I decided to do something special for tonight….

And that special thing is a nice run down throughout my reading life. Catch everyone up on how I became a reader and what led me into the reader I am today!

I’ll tag a couple of bloggers that I follow to do this as well when their birthday rolls around. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy! (UPDATE: If you end up seeing this before I fix it, no one is tagged as of right now. I have no idea how to tag people 😥 Me + Technology/computers/the mix = lol wat.

Here we go…

Elementary,

The reason I didn’t put a specific age for this one is because it isn’t all that important to the topic of reading. I just wanted to point out that I did read at this time, but I never really saw reading as a great past time. Read-Around-the-World-Day was the day I had to sit there all day pretending to flip the pages.

When I was doing my AR tests, I read a bunch of Magic Tree House and Judy B. Jones. They were my all time favorite. I also enjoyed reading about supernatural things like ghosts and the Bermuda Triangle. Those made me mad crazy for more information. Imagine my face when I was told the Bermuda Triangle was nothing but an area that was lost to towers (I am not very caught up with this information so do not take my word for it.)

Age: Eleven-Twelve,

Around this age I was in middle school. I did not have many friends. I was that girl who thought she had to fit in to… fit in. I was that girl who turned her back on the friends who were willing to be there, because I thought they were not cool enough. Yet I cried about how lonely I was. I pushed everyone away, thinking I could get better.

Truth was, I didn’t need better. Because I already had better. I meant one of my best friends today while sitting down for a middle school movie… Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. 

I sat next to my friend as she told me how much she loved the books. I was all into the movie, too.

“Who’s the dude with the goat legs!?”

“So when you cut a head off, two more grow back?”

“His shoes are flying!!!”

And my friend told me that this was nothing compared to the books. I was a bit iffy about it, but I was so into the movie I asked to borrow her book. This our relationship grew. Reading opened my eyes up. It helped to see the world in a different perspective. 

I fell in LOVE with Percy Jackson. I don’t think I ever read a series so quickly in my life. One moment I’m reading about the Sea of Monsters (which, by the way, explained the Bermuda Triangle in a whole other light haha!), and the next I’m onto the next series: The Heroes of Olympus.

I got to The Mark of Athena, and stopped there… why? Because it was the LAST BOOK UNTIL THE FOLLOWING YEAR. *tears*




Age: Thirteen?

Still in middle school. By now, I have my own groups of friends. They accepted me, and I called myself lucky to have them. I still read, but I usually kept to my one genre: YA fiction. To be honest, if it wasn’t Percy Jackson related, I hardly looked it’s way.

Hey, but it was a start.

I joked around with my friends about the books. We have inside jokes that I’m sure they would get the moment texted them: “I hope your eye twitches.” (PJO fans, I expect you guys to understand this.) Life was great!

I was a bit of a fangirl over these books. I swear, I knew almost everything about Percy Jackson. I loved Greek Mythology. I was thirteen, and I watched documentaries on this stuff. Like, you know how there are Twilight fan girls out there? Hanging posters of Edward on their walls and screaming every time his name pops up? That was me. But with this series.

Age: Fourteen,

This was my eighth grade year. Stuff started to get really awful for me. I got in fights with my close friends over stuff I deeply regret today. It was a year that I felt like every night I would cry. Lunch hours were spent in silence. (It got better, though!)

I was on the House of Hades I believe. I was still very much a fangirl. Very much. (CRIINNNGGEEE.) I remember one of my friends telling me in the ninth grade, “You used to be so crazy.” I’m so sorry, fellow classmates.

I was a bit distracted from reading due to the fights. But I do remember reading The Mortal Instruments. I fell in love with this series too. I got a couple of my other friends to read them, and still today we joke around about Sebastian and Jace and whatnot. Talk about major geek alerts!

This series really opened my mind to other books. It made me realize how big the reading world is. I should go explore it.

Reading really kept my mind off of things. Reading also saved me. Without Jesus in my life, in that moment in time, I would not have changed, and I would not have been able to see all my wrongs.

This series really opened my mind to other books. It made me realize how big the reading world is. I should go explore it.

Also… this was around the time I decided I wanted to become a writer. I wanted to write books and make people smile just like my favorite authors could do for me. I wanted to put a smile on someone’s face. I wanted to make someone’s day. Just doing that would make it all worth it for me.





Age: Fourteen-Fifteen,

High school. Oh, boy. Freshman year was a little tough at first. I’m such an introvert that it kept me from making other friends. My close group of friends moved away, others did not have a problem talking with other people. I felt alone.

But no pity party here, because I sucked it up. I ended up falling in love with reading. I read all sorts of fiction. I loved historical fiction, I loved dystopians, I loved contemporaries, I loved anything that felt good in my hands. Freshman year was also when I read The Chronicles of Narnia. It was presented to me by my youth pastor. It may have took me the entire year, but I did enjoy every minute I spent reading and analyzing every word of it.

I fell in love with The Infernal Devices. Today they are still a top favorite. I started watching book-tubers on YouTube like PolandBananas and JessetheReader (Many others as well). I wanted to start reading books to get their meaning other than just reading them. So I did.

Since the day I decided I wanted to start writing, I came up with this story that only a few people know about. It is one story I hope to write about one day, once I have modified it. And man, has it gone through a lot. Name changes. Plot changes. Setting changes. Same concept, but every year it evolves into what I want it to be.

I have practiced writing. I studied websites on tips and good writing habits. I had people read tiny prompts that I wrote. The passion continually grew and grew. But I hardly ever published any of my work. I was too scared… am too scared.



Age fifteen-SIXTEEN,

We’re getting close to the end! Sophomore year has been by far one of my favorite years in a long time. I forced myself out of my shell, and I actually made friends with a lot of people. I met people who shared common interests. I met people who knew what I was talking about half the time!

For the first semester, I was in Art. Throughout art, I would make fan-art symbolizing my favorite books. My art teacher thought they were beautiful, and I even remember one person going, “Hey! I love that series!” Thank you, Brad.

My genres expanded greatly. Around this time I joined LilBooKlovers. Thank you, Kester, for this wonderful opportunity! I have always wanted to review books and to talk about them. This blog was one of the best things to ever help me.

Again, I wrote and I wrote. I showed a friend of mine. And I wrote. Took a long break. Wrote. My story was still changing by the things I experienced.

By the next semester, my story was something completely different. Today, it is something I feel like cannot go to waste. It has come so far. I haven’t wrote the book. Far from that, but I think about it all the time. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to share it to the world.


This is my Reading Story. Not too grand, but it’s what got me into reading!!!

I want to tag the following people to do this when their birthday comes around or if they would like to modify to fit something closer, feel free! If you would like to do this tag, feel free to do so!

I tag: 

Jannin from The Booknerd Dragon

Rendz from Reading with Rendz

Aaron from Swords & Spectres

 

Catch the Spark Within – Chapters 12 and 13! By Alex Abaz

I have received a free copy of this book for a honest review. 

Hey, back and better than ever! These following chapters were very short, therefore the reviews may be short. But they were wonderful nonetheless!

Chapter 12: Crises are not fun but they do present opportunities to do more than just rescue and repair matters.

Crises are never fun. They cause tension between people that probably wasn’t there before. But are they necessary? Yes, sometimes they are.

Alex Abaz assures that crises bring opportunities to heal relationships and to grow personally. A fight with a best friend, we’ve probably all have had one, can strengthen the bond between two people, if it all ends well. You learn more about someone and understand each other a little more.

They can be hard to get through. They make you want to give up mid-fight. Voices inside your head tell you to give up. To walk away and pretend nothing ever happened.

Don’t do this. All you’re doing is hurting those around you. All you’re doing is making it worse. Try to find that finish line. Find the resolve to all of it. “Put aside the hyrt and reach out.”

Chapter 13:  Our Children are Entrusted to Us for such a Short While.

Now, I’m not a parent. Far from one actually. I still have parents whom I trust to take care of me until I’m responsible to take complete control of myself. 

But I do agree with Abaz that children take after their parents. They sponge off their parents’ actions and habits. 
Let’s just say if my parents decided to follow the ways of their own family and didn’t raise me the way they did, I’d be a completely different person. They both changed so my brother and I could have a chance in making a difference in the world.

Parents should be open to the child’s interests. Discipline their child to do what is right. Don’t lay off raising them until it is too late. Be their parents so when they are ready, they will fly high. 

Catch the Spark Within! – Chapters 10 and 11 by Alex Abaz

I have recieved a free book in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review in any way.

Chapter Ten: The Sound of Silence can be Deafening, Especially When You are Not Alone.

In this chapter, Abaz explains how silence can be deafening or it can helpful.

Silence… Being in a room full of people, silence seems “awkward.” Being with yourself, the noise of our minds fills in the absence. We can either take the silence as a way to clear our minds, to think things through; or we can allow the silence to crowd our minds with thoughts we don’t intend to be there.

I overthink…a lot. Especially when it’s silent. In some ways, I do not have a healthy mind, as Abaz says in this chapter. “Our thoughts are not always rational or true.” 

But sometimes silence is the one thing we need. In an argument, sometimes you just need to stay silent and think about the situation. Let the silence cool things off.

“Silence is an intereuption to give chance for an idea to surface.” Most of us love to have peace and quiet when doing a project, writing, drawing, etc… We get annoyed and we cannot focus well when the silence is gone. You lose a piece of your mind, it seems. 

Silence can be a good thing. But it can also allow unwanted thoughts into our brains. Remove those thoughts from your mind… “focus on what’s in front of you.”

Chapter Eleven: When We React to a Situation in Anger, It Always Makes It Worse

Anger. We’ve all dealt with it. Anger isn’t a bad thing, but it can make you do bad things. It can leave you with “resentment, hurt feelings, and regret.” 

For most people, myself included, anger blocks all form of good communication. We are blinded with anger that causes us to lash out at the something or someone.

I used to be so bad in middle school when it came to anger. Every time I got angry or frustrated, I took it out on other people. I’d wait a day or two and then cry over the fact of what I did. Still today I feel guilty of snapping at people or telling someone off who didn’t deserve it. I let anger control me. 

I still get angry. Everyone gets angry. It’s how to deal with it. Will we let it consume us? Let it consume our thoughts and our relationships? 

Now that I know more about how to act when I’m angry, whenever I do I usually keep to myself. Going back to Chapter 10 above, I just need some silence to think it all over. Think about why I’m angry, how angry I really am, will it go away soon, and how I can resolve the problem. It’s good to step away from the argument at hand. It’s good to take a break for a little bit to gather yourself. Abaz recommends it. Have you ever let something slide for a little bit? Does the anger ever go away? Eventually it does. And if it doesn’t, think of mature ways to resolve the situation. Don’t lash out, don’t start yelling… Control your anger. Talk it through. Forgive the person who has done you wrong. 

Sorry for the short reviews! I have the flu, and couldn’t read the chapters yesterday due to napping the moment I got home from school. I feel a lot better now (it isn’t Type A thankfully), but I’m still contagious so I’ll be napping for the next few days! 

Catch the Spark Within! Chapters Eight and Nine by Alex Abaz!

I have been given a free book in exchange for a review. This does not effect my review in any way.

Chapter Eight: Generosity is Giving of Yourself and of Your Best
In this chapter, Abaz defines the true meaning of generosity and how people tend to misuse it.

We all know those people who do kind things for other people just for the reputation and the attention they get for what they did. It’s a common theme in stories. A person is seen helping others, but by the end of the story, they are revealed as selfish and greedy. Only in it for the money and the publicity. 

Generosity is not defined as a way to “get rid of our clutter.” If you have an old shirt that you hate wearing, and have it shipped off to Goodwill, it really isn’t being generous; you’re just helping out your closet space. 

“I believe that real generosity calls for a sacrifice.” Give up something you would rather keep to help another person out. In this chapter, Abaz makes good examples of types of generous actions: 

“Giving your sister your favorite skirt is hard; giving cash thins out your wallet; volunteering at a soup kitchen steals your time; babysitting your friend’s children on your day off restricts your schedule.”

Generosity isn’t hard to reach. It’s the little things in life that bind us together. Small things have a big difference.

Generosity could even mean not doing something. We’ve all had those fights with friends and family. We’ve all had to go back and forth until someone won. In this world today, no one ever lets someone else have the last say. No one really cares what you think personally unless they believe it too. It’s hard, I know. I struggle expressing my beliefs and being shut down for it. If you find yourself being this person, stop for a second. “The most generous act is to listen patiently without argument or judgement.” Listen to someone say their side to the story, let them be heard for what they’ve experienced. Even if you still think they are wrong in the end, at least you were generous enough to let them have their say.
Chapter Nine: Entrepreneurship is a Wondeful Way to Capitalize on your Skill Set

A business starts with an idea; an idea that grows with the patience and the motivation. Business such as Apple or Nike started with an idea that could benefit people while also giving them money. 
From afar, it seems that owning a business is the easiest thing in the world. You go to college, become smart, create an idea for the world to sing upon, and boom! Money. After all your minions build your temple, pasting your name on checks, copying your logos for advertisements, maybe even a statue for your achievement in waterproof underwear, you get to sit back and watch the view from your hot tub sprinkled in rose petals.

This isn’t Ancient Egypt. Don’t for a second think that being the owner of a business means you can skip the stress wrinkles. Owning a business means you have to maintain that business.

Abaz makes a similar introduction in this chapter, simply saying that owning a business is hard work. While you own the business, the clients own you. No clients, no business. You left in the awkward middle, trying to keep both sides from falling off your shoulders.

Where is this all leading into? Well, there is a reason people become entrepreneurs… no, it’s not for the money. It’s the satisfaction. Your idea that was once a part of your dreams becomes a reality before your very eyes. This dream of waterproof underwear was too good to be true, yet you went ahead and tried. You tried. It’s a big deal to try.

See, this person over here has a way cooler idea. Maybe their idea of undergarments was.. (at this point I have no idea what I’m making up here) a waterproof suit that went under your clothes and made you more flexible. I would love to do a nice toe touch. But I can’t, because the person never went along with the idea. Guess I gotta go with the waterproof garments. 

But you see, your business is doing pretty well. No one has come along to top it. 

If you have an idea, work on it. Work, work, work. Never stop until that dream has been made into reality. Never know when someone might want to a waterproof flexi-suit.

Okay, I’ll quit referencing the undergarments.

But the bottom line is, you can be so right. You may not have control over how the world will react to your idea, but there is a possibility people may love your idea. Your idea may work. But it will never work until you actually try. “Even if you don’t really have control, you feel you do. It’s better to try and fail than to not have tried at all. At least you know what was possible.”

The Spark Within! Chapters 6 and 7 by Alex Abaz

I did receive a free copy of this book. It does not affect my review in any way. 

   Chapter 6: Hardship and Poverty are an Assault on One’s Existence 
   I liked this chapter (totally not the fact that the Hunger Games were mentioned…) a lot. It had a lot to do with poverty and the hardships that come with it.

    “An assault on one’s existence.” This was well explained through mentioning Katniss and Gale as they talk about what it’s like to leave in District 12. They are rules by a higher class of people, and the thought of rebelling was death. It was unthinkable at the time. It was their life and they had no idea how to live in otherwise.

    I’m not the richest person in the world, okay. I go through my own little fits where I wish I could get something only to realize I have no money. I don’t have the newest brand of clothing. I have off-brands and hand-me-downs. Mostly I’m okay with it. They’re just clothes. But then you have those people who have a distaste for that kind of stuff. It’s “not in style.” And I think that’s when it really gets to me. 

     But we’re talking even lower than not being able to buy the newest jacket or Converse. When I read this chapter, I thought of all of those who fight and try to get food on the table every night. There are people out there who only own one pair of shoes. Some people don’t even have a home! 

     And if you have ever been on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen those videos that show a kind homeless man being attacked by people passing by. People judge him and tell him to get off his butt and get a job. It’s awful. Sure, maybe he did throw his life away, but pushing him down like that won’t help him back up. “We must cultivate a sense of respect for diversification and a desire for everyone to have the same opportunities.” That man will not get better, he will never find a job, he will never get his life in order, unless there are people out there willing to help him. Other than helping him, we shame him for putting himself into that situation in the first place. How cruel.

     The poor single mother trying to get enough money to send her children to school will have a tough time saving money for their college. Yet for some of these parents out there don’t even care if their children even attend school half the time. Some of the high school students don’t even care if we get a diploma. And when they do get into college, they blow their money on parties and drugs. And still this mother raises her children on top of two jobs, telling them to get scholarships and make her proud. How we take our opportunities for granted. 

     I’m taking personal finance this semester. There is one thing that is told to us over our online classes: Save. Spend. Give. Once you’ve saved up, you’ll have money you don’t know what to do with. Give it to someone in need. Walk up to someone on the ground in the midst of a city sidewalk. Set a cheeseburger or an apple beside them. Tell him you will pray for them. Give them respect.

       That’s what really went through my head throughout this chapter. I’ve always wanted to help those who struggle in their finances. Just to give them opportunities that they couldn’t get from anywhere else. Some people really deserve to have a nice home and other people to love on them. 
Chapter 7: Most of Us have Unrealistic Expectations of What is Possible in a Day

This chapter was pretty short, but I did think a lot about it.

How much stuff do I want to become when I’m older? 

I want to be a writer. I want to be a graphic designer. I want to go to college and I want to have a family of my own. I want to be well known for inspirational works of fiction. 

This will sound weird, sometimes I daydream about being part of an announcement that my book will be turned into a movie, displayed for the whole world to see. I daydream that my life will still be together.

And yet there are people out there, people who are famous and known across the world that obviously do not have it together. They’re stressed out constantly. Between the fans and the work and the constant travel. I want YouTube a lot, and a lot of my favorite YouTubers (who are usually full of energy and smiles) post videos that they are taking a break for a bit to calm down. Too many things are happening and it’s making them sick.

It makes me think what if the life I want isn’t the life I need? What if the life I want isn’t realistic? 

I know this chapter is about the possibilities inside a day. Getting things done within one day. Managing your time and admitting when something can’t be done, but all of it compared to a career isn’t all that different. Sometimes, you have to admit you cannot do both. You have to choose what you’re able to do. One of my favorite YouTubers said once at the end of a vlog (not quoted to exact words), “I’m not having fun anymore. I’m always stressed out and irritated and it’s affecting everyone around me as well. I have take a leave for a bit to catch up with myself.” He couldn’t take the pressure of having so many things placed on him. Many other celebrities have that same exact problems. Normal people have the same exact problems. 

“When we plan our projects realistically we stand a better chance of achieving our goals,” Abaz writes at the end of the chapter. Look at the reality of your situation. Is it possible? Is it really? Be honest. I have to rethink a lot about what I want my future to hold. I have to know my limits.