Malaysia vs. North America (United States and Canada)

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Sincerely, James

So around this time, 7 months ago, I had just arrived in Penang, Malaysia. I didn’t know anyone here, and could barely order food from a restaurant. Now that I’ve had enough time to get used to it here, I’ve been keeping stock of a few differences between here, and I thought putting some of the few differences down now would be a good idea.

1. Holidays

Nowhere that I’ve been has been more multi-cultural than Malaysia. Boasting a strong Chinese and Indian community (Just take into account that over 40% of citizens are immigrants down the line due to importation of cheap workers from a recently as the 1950’s) Because of this, and adding on a very strong Christian community aswell, people are always celebrating something. Some examples would be Chinese New Year, a month-long event, Thai Pusam, and Indian celebration of a fallen hero. And in some cases…

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The Five Emotional Stages of a Book Signing

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Shannon A Thompson


I was featured on Lit World Interviews, and we discussed Take Me Tomorrow, including the meaning of the title, a few reviews, and what I love most about my characters. I spoke of Sophia and Noah, stating, “when the two come together, a dark serenity clears the tension around them.” But you can read the full interview by clicking here or check out the dark serenity by looking here.

My latest poem – The Autumn Railroad – was added to my interactive poetry series on Wattpad. Be sure to like, comment, and/or share for your chance to be mentioned on Coffee and Cats. Here’s the opening two lines:

“it was a place of great indifference, the type

of indifference that only happens in limbo…”

The Five Emotional Stages of a Book Signing

On Thursday night, I had my first book signing in seven years, and…

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5 Ways to Optimize Your Writing Even When You’re Not Writing

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Cindy Fazzi

Makena Beach photo by Cindy Fazzi Hitting the beach can be good for your writing. (Makena Beach, Maui, July 2014. Photo by Cindy Fazzi.)

Many successful authors—from Ernest Hemingway to Khaled Hosseini—have imparted the same advice: Write every day. But when summer or Christmas rolls around, even the most diligent writer has to take a break for a few days or weeks. If you feel guilty and resentful when you’re not writing, learn how to optimize your downtime.

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4 Reasons for Using a Pen Name: Why I’m Using a Pseudonym

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Cindy Fazzi

Pieter Claesz Painting “Still Life with a Skull and a Writing Quill” by Pieter Claesz. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “The Collection Online.”

When my novella, “Taming the Juggernaut,” is published by Lyrical Press, the book won’t carry my name but my pseudonym—Vina Arno. It’s going to be my first book-length work of fiction, so some people are asking: Why use a pen name? I’ll explain below. I also looked up other writers who used pseudonyms—from Agatha Christie to Stephen King—and came up with four good reasons for using a pen name.

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7 Life Hacks for Writers

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Anita Rodgers Mystery Writer

7 life hacks for writersReports  of my death have been greatly exaggerated – I’ve just been working hard on the second draft on the new novel. We’re close – we’re very close. Anyway, my bad for letting the blogging duty slip. So, here is a little list of writing hacks that I use that may be helpful to you.

For those who don’t know what life hacks are this sums it up nicely:

Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem of a person in a clever or non-obvious way.

The List

  • Character names:  Stuck for character names – pick up a phone book, a registry, a membership list or anything that lists names. Believe me, real life can offer up names that you couldn’t think up in a million…

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