Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updates-- The George-Anne

Hello reader or readers! I have been updating my blog as much as I should and I apologize! I have been busy with school and life. The Georgia Southern Writing and Linguistics department have really gotten to know me in the past semester. (I hope the enjoy that.) I've also had a few readings that have been an honor to read at.

Another cool thing is I'm published! Well, technically I've been published here, but we don't count this. And, no, it's still not a Literary Magazine-- although I think I'm close. I'm talking about the George-Anne newspaper here at Georgia Southern. My friend and the opinions editor need a reliable writer to have a column. Needless to say I was asked first (or so I'd like to think) and I said yes!


Fun stuff right?

Here are some links to me in the George-Anne:

http://thegeorgeanne.com/author/jamesdevlin/

I have quite the dapper picture. Huh? Thanks for taking a read and sorry for the wait. I'm trying! Leave a comment or follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Jdevlin8492

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

End of 2013 Blog Post

The school semester and the year 2013 are now coming to an end. It has been one busy semester for me. With work, school, and writing but I have grown a lot in the year of 2013. I just hope I can get more time to blog for my few readers. Thanks again guys.

I just had to, I'm sorry. :)

My writing classes went great this year, my poetry and fiction have both improve tremendously and I can almost taste my first published poetry pieces. I ha
ve had some pretty good replies with people very interested in my work. Still, rejection letters, but they were nice, fancy ones. So wish me luck there.

For those of you who don’t know I’m an assistant teacher at Portal Elementary school, and it’s such a rewarding job. I now know that I want to grow up to teach college level writing. MFA Program your next on my hit list.


I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and I hope you’ll hear from me again soon with more than just an update.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Phased" vs. "fazed"


Ever wondered what the difference between "fazed" and "phased" was?

Neither did I! Until I was proof reading my friends short story for my fiction class and Microsoft word told me she need to change "phase" to "fazed" and I said "whhahhhahaaat?" So like any normal human being I turned to the internet, namely Google, and looked up the difference between the two words.

Get it? Phaser. 
I learn the variance between “fazed” and “phased”.  These two words are altered and not a lot of people realize it’s a common mistake, even with professional writers. It’s mostly because the two word are homophones and easy to mix up. Heck, I didn’t even know fazed really was a word, I’m sure I’ve heard of it… But now I’m second guessing that.“faze” means: “to disturb, disconcert, or daunt; caused to show discomposure”. “phase” refers generally to stages. Like, the someone going through the phases or the phases of the moon. Which leads me to the question, in Star Trek why was it called a Phaser and not a Fazer? It did seem to go through phases. Well, I guess it did have a stun setting.


Here's a different Fazer. 

Well, leave me a comment and let me know what you think, also let me know how I did!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Writing Space

A writing space is a beautiful thing that all writers should have. It's as important as a pen or the paper we write on or laptop those like me who are computer savvy with the handwriting of a four year old.

What is this writing space you ask? 

It's just what you can probably guess with your creative, intelligent minds. It's the space you write in, the place you can just sit down, get comfortable (or uncomfortable if your into that) and write. 



This is my modest writing space, a small folding bed mat on the floor, messy and all. With the drawers on the right side and the wall on the left, it makes a great little cave for all of my writing escapades. What you can't see is the rest of the room, it's surrounded with the nerdiest stuff you can imagine: a stacked collection of books on my cabinets, a fantasy game map poster, a Nightmare Before Christmas poster, a Pokémon poster and, a wall filled with my memories and my achievements. This helps me remember my child side, my creative side, and allows me to lower my guard and be free. My wall of my achievements gives me drive it has my first public reading of my short story, my honors program acceptance letter, my girlfriend, and a plaque my parents gave me. Why the Nightmare Before Christmas poster you ask? Because hey, it's an amazing movie!


I hope you all enjoy my space and I would love to see or here about yours in the comments or on Google+! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why I Write

I've had a lot of free time lately, maybe too much free time, and trust me there is such a thing as too much free time. In this time I've had time to write, think to myself, apply for jobs, move into my new house, but I've used most of my precious time to play mindless games. I look back now as I'm typing this and wish I would write more. I know I need internet to do a blog post, that's why this is so late, but Microsoft word doesn't need internet. Let's get old school, pen and paper doesn't need internet. Even both my hands work! I can not excuse myself from not writing and this brought me to a conclusion, something's wrong. Why don't I want to write? It's my major in college, it's my passion, it's my dream. I must be in a funk. What makes me happy? Is it truly writing?

I had a writer friend give me this advice, he said:
"Everyone mistakes getting the most out of life as traveling and doing billions of different things. It's really just asking yourself what genuinely makes you feel good and always looking for ways to re-define that foundation so that you don't feel lost. So if I'm starting to question why I write and for what reason, I look back at what originally sparked my love for it in the first place."
That leads me to that same question stated in his quote... What sparked my interest in writing? Why do I want to write? I'll try to answer that today:

It all goes back to when I was a kid, I had a huge, innocent imagination with ideas flying around everywhere. Some kids didn't like that, maybe they were jealous that I always won the scholastic competitions because I actually knew how to read and write. For whatever reason, I got picked on, a lot. I would escape my torment by making these fantasy lands in my head and creating these detailed characters that I would be or explore with, just like in the books or movies. Lord of the Rings was the book for me, even R.A Salvatore's Drizzt series helped me a lot. My dad would always explain the plots to me because I couldn't always grasp them, something I need to thank him for. A group of us kids banned together and made the "Comic Book Club" where we all wrote stories and shared them together. I remember Bunny Boy, Wolf Man, and Husky Boy, I still catch myself doodling them in college now, somethings never change.

But now I'm questioning myself, did my passion from writing come from trying to escape the harsh realities of life? Maybe, but is that all bad? I find that 90% of poetry is hopeless to fall in a category I like to call "The Human Condition Question" All poetry seems to try to answer this question, ponder this question, complain about this question, or simply talk about it. My poetry usually does the same. But, I find that writing about it is healing in a way. I even find reading poems help me... Maybe others feel the same.


That being said, maybe, I write to heal myself along with others, as we all struggle to deal with this "Human Condition." Maybe this blog post will help more than just myself, who knows, I wish it would help the world. I'll just have to keep writing and hope one day it can be part of what fulfills that wish.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Motivation To Stay Active

"What keeps you motivated to stay active?" This is a question I've heard a lot lately. This question refers to my drive to workout, but it affects other aspects of my life too, like my writing. I don't think getting motivated is as simple as getting up and doing some writing, but when you really look at motivation, it is that easy. 1) Just Do It: Just like Nike's slogan, you need to "Just do it." This can apply to any aspect of your life: Applying for a job, studying, working out, writing. You need to get up and work at it. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it.



2) Find Support: This was a big one for me for both writing and staying active. I'm a loner by nature; my girlfriend is lucky that I hang out with her.In the past, finding friends and finding time to hang out with them was a struggle. Now that I am in college, I discovered that in order to keep writing, you need motivation and people to share your work with. I find places like classroom settings, new friends who write, clubs like the Writers Guild. Maybe you don't go to school or you're not ready to leave the house but you can find support online: I'm part of a fantasy writer forum online called Mythic Scribes which I mentioned before in my blog. You can find someone, somewhere who would love to read what you write. Naturally, we are pack animals, so make like your ancestors and get social.

3) Don't Say You Can't: Just don't sell yourself short. I know many talented writers who don't think they are good enough to write a book or start a simple blog. I know too many people who say, "I can't do this or that." You need to stop saying "I can't." You CAN. You're just chose not to. Like my first point, just do it. Don't hesitate. You will be surprised at what you can do. How can you know your limits if you don't test them?

4) Push Yourself: Something that works for me is pushing myself. Shoot for the moon, aim for the stars, and even if you miss, you will land in the clouds. This doesn't mean you should beat yourself up if you miss the moon or even if you miss the clouds. When you push yourself and aim high, you will always come out with more progress made than if you didn't give any effort or if you never started in the first place. That, my awesome readers, deserves a prize.

5) Rewards: After a hard workout my friends and I all go and eat a great meal. We don't call this being fat after a workout like some people tell themselves. We simply call it "Mass Gain" and we know we earned it after the workouts we do. After any day of writing, give yourself a break. Let yourself read a book or watch T.V. Whatever you like to do. All work and no play makes jake a dull boy.
6) Write/ Workout: Get yourself motivated and engaged your mind and body. Push your body and engage your creativity. Working your mind and body go hand in hand. This will boost your confidence in amazing ways. I know you can do it. You should know that too.

I hope you enjoyed and remember you can leave me a comment anytime. I also need to thank Sarah Ryniker for her support in my writing. She even helped write this post, what a champ!
Write on!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Writing Panel GSU


I went to a Writing Panel for publishing at my school Georgia Southern University. It was tons of fun and full of laughs and insight. It was set up but my new group called the Georgia Southern Writers Guild. It had speakers like professors ranging from Jared Sexton a writing and linguistics professor to, English department chair head David Dudley and many other professors. Here are some notes I got.
Enjoy, comment, and remember: never stop writing!

Writer Panel GSU:

1.       Keep at it! Try your best from day one.
2.       Once you get published, it only gets easier.
a.       People will start to help you once you prove yourself
b.      Markets will look for you and for your work.
3.       Don’t worry, you won’t die like Kafka, alone in an alley way.
a.       Just keep trying, it will be hard and only a little percent will get hired.
4.       You cannot do it for the pay, you probably won’t make much.
a.       Do it for other reasons.
b.      Write something you want to put you name on.
5.       You can always write erotica. ;)
6.       Academic writing rocks, but there are other forms.
7.       Form rejection does happen, and you will get bad reviews; the writing world is a wheel that can crush you.
a.       Get a thick skin and embrace what you do. Know that you’re better and that you tried your best. Feel good about yourself.
b.      Just accept you will have critics.
c.       Expect that it will happen.
d.      Don’t take it personally, let it go.
8.       Writers block happens.
a.       It can come from pressure on yourself.
b.      Don’t say you have writers block, it’s a curse.
c.       Try not to procrastinate.
d.      If you can use a template.
e.      You can stop at a good point in your writing. So when you get back you have a lot to write about.
f.        READ!
9.       Write constantly!
a.       Get that “shitty” first draft down.
10.   Some days as a writer are hard.
a.       It’s work. It’s warfare.
b.      Other critics are bad, but sometimes you’re your worst critic.
11.   How to carve out time for your writing:
a.       You have too. Make it a priority.
b.      Find the best time of writing for you and make it happen.
c.       Have your priories straight. Love, work, writing, family, friends, etc.
d.      Graduate school will give you time to write.
e.      Realize your wasted time and use it, compromise.
12.   Be mindful that you can be hypersensitive as a writer.
13.   It’s not bad to repeat words. Just don’t trip up with your writing.
a.       Some words are “Suspicious” words. Used to try to make you sound smarter that readers will notice more.
14.   Write what you want to write than find the appropriate place.
a.       It’s okay to trust your editor. They know what they’re doing, usually.
b.      “Don’t bend over for them and ask them to make it rough and make you like it. Be humble and welcoming to edits and make you like it.”
c.       Know your boundaries.
15.   Try not to edit on your first draft. Just write.
a.       Turn off your monitor when you write. Ignore it.
b.      Use pen and paper.
c.       Have a “Write” mode and “Edit” mode.
16.   You will have to rewrite a lot.
17.   “You will regret your life no matter what you do so do what you love.”
18.   “Write what you care about from your first publication to your last.”