Tag Archives: humor

A Wretched Read and a Trip Where I Was Beat Over the Head With Jesus

24 Feb

Hello Gang!

So, I’m back from another visit to North Carolina where every time I turn around I see a new church and everyone I speak to “God Blesses” me. While it’s all very nice, I happen to be agnostic. Therefore, the multiple daily doses of Jesus tend to get my eyes rolling. Still, it’s more amusing to me than anything how people set so much store in a religion that is merely compromised of the stolen elements of several other older religions – including many of the Pagan beliefs. Just saying! However, I don’t want to start a holy war on my blog and I am open-minded enough to feel that people should believe what they want – just don’t try to shove it down my throat. ๐Ÿ™‚ That being said, the area and the people of North Carolina are simply beautiful and I look forward to moving there – churches and all. LOL!

While I was there, I took a book with me that I had just started to read. It is entitled “Comprehending Columbine” and it was really disappointing. I have read about Columbine extensively, books, the reports, the journals, websites, you name it. This book, which was supposed to be a scholarly research project was completely subjective and many liberties were taken so the author could support his own theories. It was a very irresponsible publication in some aspects if you want to be blunt about it. Anyway, here is the link, and here is my review. Do with it what you will!

Chasta Schneider’s review
Feb 24, 13 ยท
1 Star on Goodreads, 2 Stars on Amazon (due to the different meanings of the stars on each site)
Comprehending Columbine
by Ralph W. Larkin
Oh boy… This author is a bit confused as to what kind of project he was attempting to do. It is marketed as a researched, scholarly type of work, one based on research and facts. It ended up being more along the lines of Capote’s “In Cold Blood” genre in that the research was mixed with the author’s assumptions, opinions, omissions, and storytelling.

I am not an expert on Columbine, I am however, extremely well-read on the subject and I don’t just mean the books. I have read the boy’s journals, the police reports and thousands upon thousands of documents that go with them, studied the websites, have researched bullying, etc… That being said, this is why I have a lot of problems with this book. Not only are there inconsistencies, there seems to be a blatant disregard for facts. Some examples of this would be anything from the small details such as saying that Eric threw a rock at Brook’s windshield when in fact it was a snow/ice ball – not an important detail, but if you are going to report on something, be accurate. A more glaring example would be how Dylan is continuously portrayed as a bi-sexual simply because some reporter said he had met him on a chat room and Dylan had told him so. Really? You’re kidding me right? (Sigh) I did read about the claims the reporter made regarding having been chatting with Dylan in some random chat room where he told him he was bi-sexual – why the reporter would have even asked a teenage boy about his sexuality I don’t know (eyebrow raised). It was in one or two of the countless reports on this case – and may have been touched on in another book โ€“ I believe it was. Anyway, the story was discounted because there was no proof and they were unable to find any records of it ever happening. Also, as everyone knows, you could be talking to anyone in a chat room and they certainly don’t need to tell you the truth. The consensus was that the reporter was working an angle for his own glory and it was disregarded completely. The other half of that, that I find terribly troubling, Larkin was supposed to be researching, yet he latches on to a story that all involved agreed was fictitious and he says nothing about the actual things that Dylan was conflicted and depressed about that you can see all over in his journal. Dylan was in fact, rather girl crazy. Unfortunately, girls were not crazy about him and as the rejections piled up, you can literally see the steps of the changes he goes through from elation, to depression, to suicidal, back to elation(new girl), and so on, until he ultimately becomes hateful and bitter. While not as full as Eric’s, Dylan’s journal is extremely telling and should have been considered for this work. Larkin also makes some sort of statement about how once their planning had begun, they were determined to follow it through. He also calls Dylan nothing but Eric’s disciple. Again, not true. Dylan writes in his journal after being hurt and rejected once more that maybe going NBK with Eric is the only answer after all (implying by the context of the entry that he was not as serious about it as one would think when they were planning it). Immediately after that sentence, he wrote “Gawd” as if the thought of it was ridiculous. I would highly recommend that people read Dylan’s journal – especially since Larkin has completely ignored it in this book. Probably because it would greatly contradict his “confused about his sexuality” theory.

This book also offers up a lot of regurgitated material – constantly in fact. Not only was it the research of others, many instances were quoted repetitively throughout the book.

One thing I did like, were the student interviews. It was interesting to read their thoughts and experiences. Clearly, there was bullying that was rather brutal to a certain part of the population, but it seems that a large majority of the students were not subjected to how violent things could really get. While these interviews were interesting, Larkin takes a lot of liberties with them. He also seems to freely diagnose people and situations – enter the fiction.

This is a troubling book in that it is inconsistent, subjective, and in some cases fictitious. Larkin seemed to be focused on Eric only, and ran rampant with his personal assumptions. If he wanted to write a subjective book regarding his assumptions regarding Columbine, perhaps he should have chosen a different title, perhaps something like, “My Assumptions Regarding Columbine.โ€ I could offer a lot more as to why I have issues with this one, however, you get the gist and I’m ready to shelve it. Be careful here if it’s your first read on Columbine – it’s not the most accurate information and there is way too much omitted in order to benefit the author’s own theories. It’s rather misleading.

When I returned home from my trip, I decided to take it easy and finish some of the other stories I’ve been trying to get through. I finished the prequel named Final Destiny by V.K. Ramsey finally. I think this series has a lot of potential. I’ve truly never read anything like it. It could use some editing, but the story is compelling. Here is the link and the review.

Final Destiny: (GUARDING THE LIGHT Part 2.)
by V.K. Ramsey
Chasta Schneider’s review
Feb 24, 13 ยท
4 Stars
Read from February 03 to 24, 2013

I really like the overall concept of this story as a whole. It is very complex and contains elements of spiritualism, martial arts, paranormal, and teen angst. You find yourself more wrapped up in this one as opposed to The Third Key, probably because you get to meet Jason as teenager and you get to know his character much more intimately.

The scope of the story is infinite. It has endless possibilities and has the potential to be an incredible series, full of adventure and nail-biting suspense. My only suggestion to the author would be that when writing about teenagers in America, it would be better to research how they talk – especially in Jersey. Through all of Jason’s dialogue, I felt that he was foreign. I feel that this book would really gain a following with the benefit of a bit more editing.

The Guarding the Light series is an original, action-packed, good vs. evil, spiritual, paranormal, push-the-limits-of-the-imagination, James Bond meets Pin Head (Hellraiser) type of story. It has so many elements to it that I’m not sure exactly how to categorize it. If you are looking for a read that is any genre except romance – this one’s for you! I look forward to seeing this series mature.

Well, I’m back to taking it easy and reading some more. I’ll check back soon!


YAAAY – My First Bad Review! LOL!

19 Jan

So you’re probably wondering why I’m saying yaaay about it. Well, why not? Not every story is for every person and evidently, mine wasn’t for her. No big deal – especially since her average rating for books overall is only like a 3. I say this now, after having picked myself up off of the floor, having cried hysterically and pounded my fists on the floor until they were bloody. Seriously though, there is something that she mentioned that I would like to address because it may affect you, Dear Readers, if you have an old version of “The Missing Chapters”.

This was the first book I ever wrote and the first book I ever published. I did this on my own, knowing nothing about which services were good and which weren’t etc… I was, indeed, the proverbial “babe in the woods” when it came to publishing and editing services. On the first draft, I had several people helping me with it and I made the mistake of not proofing it myself. Needless to say, I should have. When I realized there were issues, I sent it off to an outside company to have it edited and proofread. Once again, I trusted that they would get the job done and I put the new file back out there without checking it (late October timeframe). Yes, I know, DUMB! My only defense is that I have an incredibly demanding day job, which leaves me little time for editing myself. Well, as you may have guessed by now, that service was bogus. I don’t even think they did anything to it at all. I did end up getting my money back from them. Third time was finally the charm. I found another service and this time, I proofed it myself before putting up the new file. This final version was completed and uploaded in mid-December. That being said, for anyone that received a prior version, you’re going to have some minor grammatical errors in your copy, which I profusely apologize for. They were hardly the type of errors that ruin the story, but they were there nonetheless. My only solace is that most of the people who received the prior copies, got it for free. This was a HUGE lesson for a new author, a lesson that I am helping another author with at present. I don’t think I’ll ever trust a service enough to not check the file myself again. It’s just not worth it no matter how long it holds up publication. So there you have it, my painful and extremely embarrassing lesson in how NOT to handle your editors.

The rest of her review was about how my characters showed too much love for each (did I mention it’s a romance?) and it took too long to get to the climax (aren’t climaxes normally at the end?), and my favorite, I put too many details in the story (huh?). LOL! Seriously, I’m only poking at this review because it’s my first 2-star, so it’s a pretty easy target. I read some of the other author’s comments on GR about how you’re not a real author until someone gives you a 1 or 2 star review and fillets your book for you. I guess I’ve crossed over! I truly do appreciate all feedback, even the bad stuff. I can’t get better without it. I also have to keep reminding myself that I will never be able to write a book that everyone loves – it’s impossible. As much as every author would LOVE to do that, it simply can’t happen (sniff). We’ll still keep trying though! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, if you would like to see what this woman was bitching about, check out “The Missing Chapters”. The Kindle and Nook versions are on sale for $1.99 because I want everyone to read it so they are ready for the sequel later this year. Maybe I’ll send this reviewer a copy of the sequel just for shits and giggles! ๐Ÿ™‚ I jest. Again, it was the first one – this HAD to be done. Wait until I get my first 1 star! It will be game on for that MF! LOL!

Enough about me, I totally want to tell you guys about this band that I met through twitter. They asked me to listen to their album and since I was going to be on my computer for a while, I thought, why the hell not? WELL, I listened – then I bought it! It is really, really, really fantastic! I love music and I love to turn people on to new bands so you guys have GOT to check out this band! I’m not kidding – I bought the damn CD before I had even listened to all the songs. My favorite song is Dreamer but I love them ALL! The band is called The Amends and this is their 2nd album. It’s called “What We Could Be” and it’s awesome. I want to emphasize that no one asks me to promote their stuff and I wouldn’t do it if they did to be honest. I only promote what I personally like. And I REALLY love this album!

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend!


6 Jan

(Sigh) I was planning to get some writing done this weekend. Instead, I find myself procrastinating. As any writer knows, if you’re not in the right state of mind, writing is virtually impossible. You may as well just do something else because you are not going write anything worth a darn. So, I’ve found myself reading, posting on Facebook and playing around on Twitter. I figured I would update my blog – at least I’m writing SOMETHING this way. Who knows, maybe it will put me in a mood to work on my novel.

So let’s talk!

First and foremost – if you haven’t done so already, you need to go and purchase my newest mature YA novel. Ha ha, just kidding – no but really, She Knows Something You Don’t Know (Death’s Gift to Sabrina)
Don’t forget to leave a review! You will start to see direct links to things that I like on my blog. There are a lot of people bashing amazon right now, but they really do have some phenomenal tools out there. Even if you don’t like them, you can still use their site to find just about anything you might be looking for. I have not personally had any issues with amazon, I’m actually a big fan. If they mess with me though – they will hear about it – and so will you!

So, I watched “The Painted Veil” today. It makes me cry every time. If you have not seen it, do watch. It is the most heartbreaking love story, ugh! So emotional! I have actually never read the novel, but I finally ordered it. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. Here is the movie link. The Painted Veil
Here is the book: The Painted Veil

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading this weekend – I read all the time though. You have to read a lot to write well – fact. Currently I’m reading this: <Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing
It is quite graphic and quite horrific. I think it’s important to remember these events. With all of the new horrors in the world, and how everyone acts as if these types of atrocities are new to this generation, this will be quite eye-opening. These types of crimes have been happening for a long, long time. Even back then, people never saw it coming from those that committed the crimes. In hindsight, you can see the signs leading up to these events, yet, we spend such little time reflecting on those signs so that we recognize them going forward. We need to start learning from these events. That is why I thought that “If Only I Had Known” by Dr. William H. Dodson is a rather important novel. He gives us tools to identify the possibility of this type of crime BEFORE it is carried out. This is why history is important – learning from our mistakes and improving what we did right. You can get this novel here: If Only I Had Known: A True Story

On the lighter side of things, I think I offended some of my Facebook followers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Actually, I think that their parental monitors kicked in and severed their ties to my page. As everyone knows, I write everything from mature YA to erotica. Well, I made some jokes about my erotica novella and the words sex and porn were used, which immediately led to me losing some likes… Ooops! I have a lot of young folks following my page from the new YA novel, which is great, but it is a mature YA novel so, I don’t think those words were inappropriate. Everyone has heard them and everyone who should be on my page knows what they are. I don’t write for 14 and under so they should not be following me without their parents consent anyway. Those internet monitoring things are pretty cool actually.

I am now following Ricky Gervais on Twitter. He is my favorite comedian ever. He tweets a lot which is awesome because right in the middle of a crap day, I get something like this: “When I see a fat mum in leggings & a drunk shirtless dad shouting at 6 kids under 8, I want to go up and ask to see their child license.” God I love him! In fact, he is tweeting the worst movie reviews I have ever heard right at this moment. HILARIOUS! If you wonder what kind of sense of humor I have, just listen to him some time – that’s what it’s like. Or read my books – it’s all over the place in there. Sarcastic and smartassed, it’s who I am. I’ve learned to embrace it. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Sucker Punch” has got to be one of the worst movies ever created. Did I mention that I sometimes blurt out seemingly random statements?

I’ve now come to the conclusion that writing this isn’t putting me in the mood to work on the novel. So, I’m going to give it up for today. I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend. I am going to wrap this up and got take some Advil. See you all later!

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