2016… Back on Track (2015 Year in Review)

by admin on March 28, 2016

What can I say? I thought 2015 would start off in beast mode for me, maybe have one or even two new novels blazing the social media pages in mass marketing campaigns. But… well… seeing my mom lying in a hospital bed suffering through the last stages of her life killed the “beast.”

Last year was a series of highs and lows for my wife Stephanie and I. The first part of the year was particularly difficult as we lost my mom in March. She battled cancer for nearly thirteen years, and finally succumbed to her illness on March 5, 2015. In the weeks leading up to her passing, family gathered to say goodbye and support each other, including her three sons together in years (me and my two brothers, which is something that hadn’t happened since 2011), just a few days before she left us. A few weeks later, family came from far and near to celebrate her life, and though the circumstances were sad, it felt good to spend time with family that we don’t see nearly enough. We miss her so much, and are doing our best to live our lives in a way that would make her proud. She was particularly insistent that we “be loving toward each other,” so we focus a lot on that as well.

While we spent a good portion of 2015  grieving and tending to end-of-life matters, we did manage to have some fun. In August, Stephanie and I accompanied my brother-in-law Bill and his family to Costa Rica for an epic family vacation. Bill and his wife Jessica (with their three kids in tow) were returning to the site of their honeymoon to renew their vows on their 10-year wedding anniversary, and we felt so blessed to witness this special event. The trip was also perfectly timed, as by this point we really needed a vacation. We spent two weeks traversing the Costa Rican countryside, hiking to waterfalls in the rainforest, ziplining through trees, tubing down rivers, swimming in the ocean, eating, sleeping, resting, and enjoying stress-free moments, which had been in short supply over the past year.

On September 4th, my nephew Miguel and his wife Cassie welcomed their second daughter, Chanel, to the world. We were so excited to meet her, and travelled to Michigan to visit them in early November. My brother Kenny also made the trip from Germany to meet his new granddaughter. We had a nice few days of family bonding time, and even watched a Michigan football game from the sidelines! We know it made Mom so happy to see her boys making an effort to spend time together.

Exercises-for-Older-Veterans-with-PTSD-original

Finally, on December 3rd, I presented my Master’s project (a book I wrote entitled Exercises for Older Veterans with PTSD) to a panel of Kinesiology faculty at San Jose State University. I’d been working hard on the final project for several months, and this was the culmination of two years of work in the Master’s program in Exercise Physiology. I am now the proud recipient of a Masters of Arts in Exercise Physiology!

I think 2016 will start off on the right track, considering I’m almost done with my third novel. Look out for Tangled Web in the summer of 2016! Back on track, baby.

 

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Beast Mode in 2015!

by admin on January 11, 2015

Me in 2015!

Yeah, I know, I know. I’ve pretty much abandoned this website, cobwebs and dust all over the place. I posted my last blog in what, June? Pitiful. In my defense, I started a new school semester, and since I’m a few cards short of a full deck, I took on 9 units (3 classes). That may not sound like much, but with graduate level classes, my schedule entailed a buttload of reading and writing. I had to write two final papers, about 20 pages each in APA format, based on a topic of my chose (I wrote about physical activity and its effect on post traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans for both classes). That meant hours of researching scientific literature, reading said literature, writing the papers, editing, APA formatting–yeah. Oh, by the way, I still had to finish homework and study for exams (one class had 4 exams, the most since high school). Sh*t was no joke. Oh oh! Not to mention my dumb butt took TWO physiology classes. The dearth of human body material made me want to gouge out my eyeballs, grab an ice pick and stab my skull through the empty eye sockets. I was…

Oh, sorry about that visual. You, uh, get the point.

But you wanna know what’s crazy? Through the mayhem, I wrote more of my latest work-in-progress Tangled Web than I did in the lazy summer. How? By the time I started the semester, I had finally finished revising the novel outline (which I had struggled with for months). And since I formed a habit of writing with my iPhone in the digital notepad–I wrote this entire blog with my index finger, like a boss–I took full advantage of breaks everywhere. You’d be amazed how much you can write during a jam-packed schedule with a cellphone–while standing in line (waiting to order something, grocery store line, etc), sitting in a lobby, during TV commercials, in the car (not driving, of course), while exercising using Siri, before bed, when nature calls, etc.

As a result, I wrote (and still write) almost everyday, at least 5 times a week, sometimes pumping out 500 words or more. As of this writing, I’m at around 42,000 words and hope to complete Tangled Web before late January.

You know what that means, right? That means I’m ready to go back in the game, coach. Been too long, way too long (my last TPC-published novel was in 2011!). Book promotion, more social media engagement, author interviews, advertising, book conferences/fairs–yezzir. In 2015, I’m going beast mode, Marshawn Lynch-style. That includes revamping this website, weekly blogs (at least until I publish Tangled Web), contests, and a chance for YOU to publish AND get paid for your work in an upcoming anthology (I believe writers should receive compensation with dollar signs). Stay tuned.

In the meantime… HAPPY (LATE)  NEW YEAR!

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Quick Tips for An Extended Summer European Vacation

July 8, 2014

Just before the official start of the summer, the wife and I embarked on our first international journey–a European hop to Italy and the Netherlands. Can you say epic? I checked off a few items on the ol’ bucket list, let me tell ya. We traveled to eight cities, averaging three days at each stop […]

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My First Live YouTube Video!

May 8, 2014
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Back in the Game!

April 10, 2014

From the The Pantheon Collective site: Daily rigors of a busy life have funny ways of keeping us from doing the things we are most passionate about. The TPC3 can attest to that. Oh, it’s been a while, so let me re-introduce the “TPC3”: Stephanie Casher, James W. Lewis (me), and Omar Luqmaan-Harris. Nice to […]

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Author James W. Lewis a Nominee in Global eBook Awards

March 21, 2014

For Immediate Release . . . March 03, 2014 – Award-winning novelist James W. Lewis’ controversial anthology, “Black People Can’t Be Republican And Other Hot Button Topics In the African American Community,” has been nominated for best short story collection in the 2014 Global eBook Awards. About the book: In the eyes of many, an […]

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Big Things Poppin’ in the 14!

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Wow, 2014. Can you believe it? It’s been four years since my publishing company The Pantheon Collective started this new venture that led to four published books and 30,000 copies sold. Who knew? This year, look out for new books from the three of us. If all goes well, it will be […]

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F.A.T.E: From Authors to Entrepreneurs

December 27, 2013

  What is F.A.T.E, you ask? It’s our first collaboration and the first of its kind, as far as we know. F.A.T.E: From Authors to Entrepreneurs encompasses excitement, exhilaration, doubt, fear–all the rollercoaster human emotions mangled together during the process of not only launching a debut novel, but a new publishing company at the same […]

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Into the New Year…

December 9, 2013

Well … I didn’t meet my NaNo goal by the end of November. Matter of fact, I was about … um … 44,000 words short, BUT! I have a valid excuse. I’d mentioned if I didn’t finish 50,000 words by November 30, I suck monkey balls; however, I’m in grad school right now and at […]

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NaNo and F.A.T.E In Our Own Hands

November 17, 2013

Earlier this month, I hopped onboard the NaNo bandwagon, hoping to jump-start my latest novel TANGLED WEB. So far, I’ve … oh, if you don’t know, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month, an initiative where thousands of writers pump themselves up to write their novels in November. The goal is at least 50,000 […]

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