Viva Las Vegas!

Photo taken by me.

I took my vacation in Las Vegas this year, and I absolutely loved it. If you’ve never been here before, I suggest you should definitely visit it at least once in your life. Let me explain why.

Even though they sometimes call Las Vegas ‘Sin City,’ there are quite a few things you can do out here that involve no sinning whatsoever. They have so many nice hotels out there that have everything you need. So, if you don’t want to go out in the hot Nevada heat, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. The hotel I stayed in, New York New York, had a variety of restaurants and stores inside it. They had a theater where they do their live shows. They even had their own rollercoaster!

However, if you do want to leave the comfort of your hotel, they’re plenty you can do outside too. They have multiple shopping centers on the Las Vegas strip. At night, the Bellagio has its own lit-up water fountain display, which occurs every fifteen minutes until midnight I believe. The Mirage has a volcano show near the strip that’s spectacular at night. They were even doing tours to see the Grand Canyon. I missed out on that, but I might see it the next time I’m out there.

Photo taken by me.

And, of course there’s gambling. Don’t worry about looking for a slot machine — they’re everywhere! I saw them as soon as I got off my plane at the airport. I tried my luck at my hotel and lost over a hundred dollars. If you’re going to gamble, do it responsibly. It makes no sense to lose most of your money, and not have enough to pay your bills when you get home.

There were probably some things I missed, but I was more than impressed with my trip to Vegas. I will definitely go back at some point in the future. If you ever thought about going, I hope this blog has helped you in some way. Don’t solely rely on what you see on the news and in movies. If you’re curious about Vegas, go there and check it out yourself. You might be surprised!

Hola!

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Hola! How are you doing? Fine, I hope. I’m just stopping by to let you know that I’m still here. I know it’s been ages since the last time I’ve written a blog post. I’m not going to make any promises, because life often gets in the way, but I’m going to try to post more on here. Thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you have a marvelous rest of your day!

A Shocking Revelation

Image courtesy of Kat Wilcox from Pexels

Hello everyone! Sometime in March 2022, my hope is to have my new book published. Until then, however, I present to you Chapter 6 from my current book, Days of Revelation. I hope you like it!

Chapter 6

Reggie’s dead body was discovered inside of his house around five o’clock the next morning. A female cousin of his went inside the house after she saw the front door halfway opened on her way to work. As soon as she saw his body lying motionless on the living room floor, she sprinted out of the house in a panic and called 911.

Twenty minutes later, the police and emergency responders arrived on the scene. It took the police an additional fifteen minutes to cordon the area. As soon as that was done, Detectives Kenneth Anderson and Raymond Walker came to the location to investigate.

The detectives walked past a small crowd of people standing near the road in front of the house. When they got to the front door, they analyzed the damage done to it and the bullet holes near the door jamb.

Once they got inside, they walked by the police officers in the kitchen questioning the cousin who discovered the body. The detectives flashed their badges towards the officers. One of them escorted the detectives to the living room.

The fifty-seven-year-old Anderson masked the disgust he felt looking at the blood and brain matter on the floor. He also saw a white powdery substance on the glass table near the couch.

“Cocaine,” Detective Walker said to his more experienced partner.

With latex gloves on, Anderson searched Reggie’s pockets. He found five hundred and sixty dollars on him in all twenty-dollar bills. Raymond grabbed the handgun that was on the couch and placed it on the table.

“Bag up the evidence after you take pictures of everything,” Anderson told the officers and the crime scene investigators.

“We have a second body in the master bedroom, sir,” one of the officers said.

“Show me where it is,” Raymond commanded.

The officer led the detective down the hallway to the bedroom. Once they got there, they noticed that the bed was moved, and clothes were all over the floor. A couple of opened dressers indicated that the perpetrator or perpetrators were looking for something.

Anderson saw the naked body of the second victim lying on the closet floor in a pool of blood absorbed by the carpet. He looked up at the built-in closet shelf and saw that the contents on it were scattered and unorganized. It also looked like something was missing, given the clear space amongst the items.

“What do you think they took?” Walker asked Anderson.

“Maybe drugs, maybe a weapon,” Raymond responded. “If whoever did this wanted money, they would have taken it off of Reggie after they killed him.”

A crime scene investigator walked inside the bedroom. “I need you to grab every piece of clothing that’s on this floor, especially if it’s women’s clothing,” Kenneth told the CSI investigator. “Grab that blanket, too.”

“No problem,” he replied.

The two detectives walked back to the kitchen to talk to the woman that discovered Reggie’s body in the living room.

“Ma’am,” Anderson said, “do you know if anyone had a problem with Reggie? Someone that might wanted to kill him?”

“I can’t think of anyone around here that wanted to kill him,” she responded.

“Why do you think that?” Walker asked with the sound of sarcasm in his voice.

“We’re family round here! It was probably one of those bastards from the Southside. They are back here every week starting some shit!”

“Can you specifically think of someone that might wanted to do him harm?” Anderson asked with a calm tone in his voice. He knew his partner’s question made her angry.

“No I can’t, but it could have been any one of them,” she said.

“Thank you, ma’am. If you find out something, can you please give us a call?” Anderson said as he handed her a card with his contact information on it.

The woman threw the card on the floor and said, “Y’all don’t care — y’all just going through the motions. Can I go now?”

“You can go,” he said as he looked at her in disappointment.

She walked out of the house toward the crowd that was now causing a commotion outside.

“Let’s wrap this up,” Walker said to the officers and crime scene investigators. The detectives left the house and headed toward the crowd standing near the road. The light from the rising sun now illuminated above the trees across the street.

The detectives stood near the police officers who were standing by the road to address the crowd. “My name is Detective Kenneth Anderson. Did anyone see or hear anything last night?”

“You know what happened here, pig!” one of the men in the crowd yelled.

“What y’all do to my cousin?” another person shouted.

Three additional officers positioned themselves in front of the crowd.

“Please calm down — we’re just trying to find out what happened,” Detective Walker said.

“I don’t know nothing,” a young man said. “You better find out what happened to my boy.”

“Black lives matter!” a woman screamed. Some of the people in the crowd repeated what she said.

“If you hear anything, please let us know,” Anderson said before handing his card to an older lady in the crowd.

“Let’s go,” Walker said as three more police cars drove up to the scene.

As the detectives walked towards their vehicle, a police officer announced to the crowd on a bullhorn, “Please disperse! We need you to back away, so we can clear the area!”

“Somebody better tell me what happened to my boy, Reg!” a man in the crowd yelled.

“This is your last warning!” the officer yelled. “Please clear the scene, or you will be arrested!”

A teenager went up to the officer with the bullhorn and cussed at him. The officer hit him with the bullhorn and took him to the ground with the assistance of another officer. The remaining officers, now donning gas masks, threw tear gas into the crowd. Some officers took out their batons and went toward the crowd to force them to leave the scene. A few people in the crowd ran, while the ones that remained scuffled with the police officers.


Cain observed the chaos from his bedroom window. He went back to his mother’s house at one o’clock that morning. The only people he saw on the street at that time were two drug-addicted prostitutes looking for potential customers. So far, it seemed like he had gotten away with murder.

Look! The police have no idea that you were involved.  They probably think it’s somebody in the crowd. Now, the next thing we need is a car.

“My mom has a car,” Cain said in a soft whisper.

We need a different car! Before we do that, we’ll wait for these cops to leave. Then we need to find out where the mayor is going to be next.

“Do I have to kill him? He seems like a good person.”

He must die because he is evil. He works for Satan and he secretly wants to destroy us all.

“Okay, okay — I will do it,” Cain confirmed to the voice inside his head. He looked back outside through his bedroom window. He saw four people in handcuffs being placed in the back of police cars. He also saw EMTs carrying what looked like two body bags out of Reggie’s house.

Lay low. If anyone asks, act like you don’t know anything. Just relax — you’re going to be busy in the next couple of days.


Do you want to know what happens next? Find out by purchasing a copy of the book Days of Revelation, available now on Amazon and Kindle!

Another Year, Another Shot at Greatness

Picture taken by 5598375 from Pixabay

Happy New Year! I know it’s a day early, but I need to get it out of the way now before I get too lazy to post this. I enjoy the start of a new year because I look at it as another beginning. Another chance to get things right. Another opportunity to complete goals that will ultimately improve our quality of life.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do carry with me momentum from the previous year. New Year’s Day is the day I hit the acceleration — the day I push harder toward my goals. For example, my new book will probably be published by the end of January. I did the same thing last year with my previous book. Coincidence? Not really — I made a strong effort to complete them at the end of those years, so I can come into the new ones with an advantage. Books I could publish immediately if I wanted to.

Who knows, maybe this momentum will help me write blogs on a consistent basis (don’t laugh too hard). Basically, what I’m saying is that we should take advantage of the New Year. If you have a job, most likely you will have that day off anyway. Use it to set goals. Use it to complete something you didn’t finish the previous year. Use it as a starting point on your road to greatness!

Storytime!

Picture taken by Joseph Redfield from Pexels

Storytelling was my number one reason for becoming an author. Not book sales. Not fame and notoriety. Storytelling. Stories that have lingered in my head for years. Stories that I have told my friends. One day, I said to myself, “if they like hearing them, maybe they’ll want to read them too.” I didn’t get the results I wanted in that area, because listening and paying to read something is two different things.

However, it’s possible that other people might want to read my stories. They might find them entertaining. That’s why I decided to become a self-published author. I had no desire to go with a traditional publisher. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful when someone gets their book traditionally published. It’s just not for me.

For me, writing stories is kind of like a brain dump. Getting the stories I dream about down on paper. Philosophical and spiritual truths I want to share with the world. I used to draw my own comic books, but I got irritated with it, because I was too much of a perfectionist. It’s more work too — I had to tell the story, draw the characters, the background, format the pages, and write the dialog in small bubbles. I stopped doing it, because the joy for it was gone.

One day, I read an exceptionally bad book. I was mad because I paid for the crap. Then I told myself, if they can do it, I can do it too. Instead of trying to create a comic book, all I have to do is simply write my stories down on paper.

Of course, you know it’s more complicated than that. I learned as I was doing it. I had to re-educate myself on grammar rules. On the importance of editing (a lesson I learned the hard way with my first book). Choosing the right book covers, page formatting, etc., etc. Today, I believe I got most of it figured out. Even if I don’t, I’m content with the work and the abilities I have now.

One thing I’ve never had an issue with is storytelling. Too many times, I’ve been bored to death by books written by so-called great authors. That is why I’m asking you to expand your focus beyond traditionally-published books. Give books written by self-published authors a chance. You will be surprised by how good some of these books are. Are they perfect? No. You might see a misspelling, a grammar issue, or a punctuation error. If they’re minute, hopefully you could look past them. The reason why I’m telling you this is because as a reader, I don’t want you to miss out on a great story. A story that could possibly change your life.

Yes, This Blog Site is Still Active

Picture taken by towfiqu barbhuiya

Hello, everybody. It’s been a while. As you see in the title of this blog, I still have an active blog site. I apologize (once again) for my absence, but you know how it is. Sometimes, life gets the best of us. I’m not saying this to imply something tragic has happened. There are a few things that have stopped me from blogging constantly, and I admit, laziness is one of the reasons.

However, I’m also working on my third novel. I’ve been lagging behind on that as well, but I can say with confidence that I’m almost finished with it. Hallelujah! In my opinion, the creative process when writing a book can be exhausting, so a lot of things I have to set aside because of it.

Then it’s the good old day job. We have to make a living right. Unfortunately, I spend most of my time at my place of employment. Literally. Unlike a lot of people, I work twelve hour shifts, including overtime. Six in the morning until six in the evening. It’s hard to do any kind of writing for yourself when you’re working those kind of hours.

Then it’s the laziness part, aka Twitter (just kidding). I love interacting with the people in the #WritingCommunity. The people there are very knowledgeable and friendly, so it’s quite easy for me to spend a lot of my time on there. Lucky for me, I do this a lot at work (I’m a multitasker lol). If you have a Twitter account, and you would like to follow me, my user name is @JCMaine. I follow back the majority of the time, unless you’re a bot. I don’t want to waste my time interacting with a robot or a scammer.

So, that’s it. I’m still here. I’m not making any promises, but I’m going to make an effort to be more active on here. Until that time, I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don’t Feed Into the Hate

Picture taken by Ian Panelo from Pexels

I have to vent about something. I need to vent about the fake bravado and toughness I see on social media.

I want to see people win, whether it is in life, or on social media. The only exception I have to that is when someone tries to get ahead by putting other people down, either subtly, or directly.

Certain people on social media wants to discredit every successful thing you did, in order to make themselves look better. They will tell you that this doesn’t matter, or that don’t matter, only because they’re not doing, or unable to. They constantly talk about how they’re going to kick somebody’s ass, or how they have someone’s back, even though they live in the boondocks by themselves somewhere. What I’m about to say next sounds like hating, but the worst part is that they have people who agree with them. They agree with the hatred, and bully-like mentality (even though they say they hate bullies) they spew on social media. It’s sickening!

These people don’t know anything about pain and despair. Poverty and violence. Some of them have been spoiled all of their lives. Now, all of a sudden, they’re tough. They drop F bombs like it’s nothing, like it scares someone. They’re not tough — they’re imposters!

The haters — the fake tough guys and girls on social media — are more of a problem than you might imagine. The ones with a decent amount of followers are looked at like role models by a blind few. The ones who are led astray by them carries their negative influence over to the real world, with devastating consequences. They get cursed out, they lose their jobs — some even get assaulted. They’re lives are ruined, while the influencer of hate who’s scared to leave their house still lives comfortably.

I beg you, please don’t feed into the hate. Don’t let someone’s petty anger change your view of the world for the worst. Our words have the power to make it a better world for all of us. Let’s make it, a better tomorrow!

A Flawed Christian

Picture taken by Key Notez from Pexels

I’m writing this to clear up a misconception about me. A few people have pointed out the differences between my blog page, my books, and my post on social media. “You talk about God, but you also say this and that.” For the record, what I am is a flawed Christians. You know what — I don’t like that title. What I am is a flawed human being. Yeah, that sounds better.

I am a follower of the Christian faith. I read the Bible and I follow the instructions in it most of the time. However, I do occasionally succumb to temptation. One of my biggest weaknesses is women. Does that mean I go around and have sex with any woman that will show me attention? Absolutely not. What it does mean that I might occasionally give a woman a compliment or smile at her to let her know that I like her. I used to do a lot worse when I was younger, so old habits die hard. Why am I writing about this? Because this topic shows up in a lot of my writing. In my books, I write about sex, sometimes in lengthy detail. Does that mean I don’t believe in God? No, it means I wrote about sex.

Also, on social media, it will show people what you like and don’t like. They will use that as a way to judge me, but if I see a picture of a beautiful woman, most times I’m going to like the post. I don’t believe it’s a sin to do that. If someone is expressing their opinion in a derogatory manner and I agree with their opinion, more than likely I’m going to like it. Does it mean I will use their language? Probably not. Sometimes, I say negative things on social media too. Is that a reflection of my personality? To a certain degree. Like most people, my emotions get the best of me. It does not mean that I’m a bad person.

With that being said, I do sin. We all do, whether we realize it or not. The Bible acknowledges this. The reason why the New Testament exist is because Jesus recognized this. Now, this post was not meant to convert you to Christianity. I just want people to understand that a sinner can believe in and love God. That’s why I write about it. That’s why it’s in my books. It’s not blasphemy — it’s just my unique way of expressing myself. I’m a human being that make mistakes — I just hope you can accept that.

Admire Your Creation

Picture taken by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

But let each one test (their) own work, and then (their) reason to boast will be in (themselves) alone and not in (their) neighbor(s).

–Galatians 6:4 ESV (Parenthesis used in scripture to replace singular pronouns.)

As a writer and author, I would love for everyone to read and admire my work. I long for people to buy multiple copies of my book. For them to give me a ton of positive book reviews. To have millions read and interact with my blog page. I desire all of the above — but they are not the main reasons why I do what I do.

Truth be told, I mostly write for myself. Yes, I’m sharing it with the world, but what I write is mostly what I want to read. I don’t write what’s popular. If that were the case, I probably would have sold more books.

Two major things I put above profit and fame are my soul and my peace of mind. The same reason why I write what I like is the same reason why I wouldn’t do certain jobs. For example, I could never do a job that would require me to lie, even if it paid good money. I would feel impure if I did that, even if it made me a rich man.

I could never write something that would encourage someone to do something wrong, regardless of the financial gains. Written communication and media has a tremendous influence on society. It would eat at my consciousness if I knew my words influenced someone to commit violence against another person.

That is why I write for myself. I know if I like and enjoy what I create, there are plenty of people out there that would like it too. What I write is in line with my personality and my morals, and I will experience joy creating it and sharing it with the world.

Rest!

Taken by me.

According to some religions, Saturday is considered to be the Sabbath Day, the day of rest. Most Christians believe that Sunday is the reserved day. Regardless of what day it is, I believe we should set aside one day during the week to rest and recharge.

I would normally write a detailed blog explaining why we need to understand or consider doing something. In this case, however, I believe you already know the reason. You, in particular your body, are the only one that determine whether you need to rest or not. So, the only advice I will give you is for you to listen to your body. If you don’t have any urgent matters to attend to, and you feel drained or unmotivated, recharge by taking a day for yourself to rest and lay around in your bed, like I do from time to time. 🙂