Are you a digital creator?

When I say digital creator, it means do you create content and post it on the internet somewhere? If you started your WordPress blog/site then you are on your way. Every post you manifest and put into words are a divine expression that someone wants to experience. At first it will just be people that actually know you. Your circle of friends. Your family probably won’t take an interest in you, unless they are already in that circle of close friends. If your kid was selling candy bars for school, who would buy one? That is your tribe.

There aren’t a lot of movies or stories about blogs, but the one that does come to mind is the Julie Julia show about a wanna be chef who uses a blog to document it. One trend that smartphones has sparked has been taking pictures of your food. I’ll admit, I love it. It gives me inspiration to make something, try something new, or go to a recommended restaurant. If you check out my Instagram, I have posted pictures of food that I have actually cooked/created. It helps me with ideas for dinner when I need some fun ideas. Putting your hobby on Instagram also helps you to keep your photos organized. Sure you can keep things on Pinterest, but how many sites are you going to use on a regular basis? Right. Some of those sites are just time vampires. One cool thing with using the free WordPress site is you get a plethora of free images in their database. My other site doesn’t really use photos much (by choice).

Technically it is Novel November so there should be hundreds of aspiring writers who are challenged to write a novel in a month. It can be done. I think a new Stephen King thriller is due. I could be wrong, he might still be arguing with Elon on Twitter.

I think a more fun challenge would be “Write something you want to get on the banned book list.” Now THAT could be something I could get behind.

Just Keep Writing … fiction

The other day someone asked me what new projects I was working on currently. I sort of laughed as my project list is never-ending. I looked at my dashboard to look at exactly how many “book” projects I have started. WAY too many. Oh if I only had all the time to just sit and write. Any writer out there can tell you that writing, like any other chore, is a time consuming, sometimes tedious task.
I have contemplated which I think is more difficult, writing fiction or non-fiction. Writing fiction was fun. I was creating characters, personalities, and underlying deep-seeded messages. It became work when the subplot became a tangled web of suspense and surprises. Non-fiction is more black and white. They are both difficult and simple in their own ways. If you are writing non-fiction you may have a lot of research to back up your findings. Many people “think” they are writing non-fiction, but they are really writing their life memoir. It’s true. Go look up any self-help author and dig a little. Are they able to write intelligently without including their own personal life experiences, opinions and thoughts, … or are they citing other people’s work?
So to answer the earlier question, what projects am I working on … too many. Am I currently writing? Yes and no. I am not writing any manuscripts and unfortunately Angel Academy has not picked up at book 2 just as of yet. My guardians tell me to be patient and the right moment will hit me and like the first book it will be done in record time. I’m alright with that. If you didn’t know, the first book was channeled to me by angels and was completed in just 25 days. I should have a scheduled “writing” time like I did when I was working on A.A., but I don’t. I think all writers will agree with me when I say you really have to be in the right frame of thought to start creating.
One of the things I encourage other fiction writers to do is keep a 3 ring notebook that has characters divided into sections. If you have just one main character then things are a little easier. In the fiction world this is where you really do get to play “make believe”. You have to be able to intelligently discuss your character and everything about him/her. Imagine you are talking to a director of a movie and you need to help cast the perfect person for your main character. In your mind, he/she should easily appear like magic and talk to you, with you, just like a real person. Ask yourself, what are your character’s major flaws or weakness? What will be the downfall? Will your character be good or bad? What morale challenges are you going to throw at him/her that will enchant your reader to fall in love with or hate the character? I also tell authors that if they are writing fiction, that one day you might actually get to meet someone who is cast as that character in a movie. The more in-depth you can get with your characters the better.
One of my favorite story-telling tricks/tactics to drive readers deeper into the plot is by introducing stories within stories. The deeper you can pull your reader the more likely they are going to stick with the book and finish it, and hopefully recommend it. So what do I feel is one of the best techniques? Why that is super simple. Your character needs to have a deep, dark secret. Voila! Your reader is more likely to want to know what that secret is. So now you as the reader are hooked, and you want to know more. If you watched the last Star Wars movie then you know exactly what I am talking about as far as writing goes. How many questions are left unanswered? If you want to string your readers along even further you don’t answer them and instead introduce more clues to the initial dilemma. The secret. There are other tactics, such as killing the parents at an early age, losing a spouse/child, but not saying the how, when, why and so on.
Most important when writing long fiction, such as a novel, is to remember to keep things entertaining. If there are parts that seem to drag on, then you will lose your readers. I can think of several books that I just couldn’t finish. Most people read for entertainment or for learning purposes. If you can do both at the same time, then hats off to that writer.
So to wrap things up on this article, if you are a writer, published author, aspiring someday writer/author, then this might have helped motivate you to write your best work ever. I personally think that everyone has a story inside of them, … just waiting to explode into an imagination of entertainment. I know I need to sit down one day and write my own auto-biography. It actually is pretty fascinating and many times can lead to all nighters of me just talking. My author website and my Facebook page are the only places where it is partially documented.  One day when I am dead, people will say “Aaron M. Stephens? He was the author of Angel Academy, among many other pieces.”

Amazon Rankings

So it has been quite awhile that I have checked my Amazon rankings for Angel Academy. The book continues to do well and I have multiple avenues of marketing promoting the book. Today when I went to Amazon, something new greeted me on my book page. There are new rankings past the top 100. Like most authors and readers out I wonder how a book is doing after it has released. What keeps a book on the top 100 or top 1o?
So it is kind of cool to look at the different categories and know that there are literally thousands of books in one category.
Screenshot 2014-11-24 10.23.17
Here is my screenshot proving to the world that I am a one time #3 best-selling author.

Cold Calling #telemarketing

Here’s how I get results when I cold call. (Oh how I love telemarketing)


“Hi, this is Aaron M. Stephens, the international best selling author of Angel Academy with over a hundred thousand fans worldwide. Would you like to entertain the idea of having a small percentage of those fans in your establishment for a book signing? I can sell directly to you bypassing my distributors, Ingram, Baker & Taylor providing you huge margins with my wholesale book discount. I only give them a 45% discount, I can give you 60% discount, no minimum and of course all my books are returnable.”


Big words for an author eh? All they hear is “I can give you money from my fans. More money with your discount. I won’t get screwed over by you with books that might not sell.”




“Hi, this is Aaron M. Stephens and I wrote an award worthy children’s masterpiece in 25 days about a magical imaginary world of angels. My goal is to tell children all over the world that God does love them very much, and angels are watching over them. Do you think this is something your store/chain would want to carry as a book? The title is Angel Academy. Already I have over 1000 pre-orders, the book comes out next month. I am in the top 20 for children’s religious fiction on Amazon. This is my first novel.”


This is what they hear: “My amazing book is new, hot, fresh, never been written before and YOU are a Christian I can tell by gasping of air. You had an angel experience and we were meant to work together.” Okay, maybe not quite like that, but that is what I am thinking back at them. My superpower can project thoughts into people’s minds.


So if you’re an author or soon to be author, this is a very helpful sales strategy you can implement. Amazingly I haven’t seen anything for authors/writers on cold calling, selling, scripts or anything. So, here is one of many cool ideas for my friends/fans. Just make some phone calls. I like to talk, but I also like to write.

Authors, Writers, Editors

It’s all who you know. Yes, the words rang through my head like a loud gong banging over and over.  Yes, I know it’s all who you know so that’s why I am always out there meeting new people. Over the last few weeks I have managed to meet not one, but TWO published authors. I am so thrilled that Marcia Reece is my new client AND she is going to mentor me for my new book that she inspired me to write.  Yesterday she suggested a book that I read. It’s a book on how to write a book that sells you. If you are interested in it, you can find it on Amazon. This one is different. It contains FOUR blueprints for a bestseller.  One of the things the author suggests is to interview all of your characters in your book. How do you know what they are like if you have never done this exercise? I thought it was a great idea and when I get to a fiction character I would probably do that.  Actually, one of my books has me as the hero, so it might be a fun little activity to actually interview myself like it was for a magazine spread or something.


Marcia Reece came to Mile Hi Church and spoke about her invention of “Sidewalk 51swtfjtxXL._AA320_QL65_Chalk”. She also went on to tell us how she published a relationship book that became an Amazon best seller. I have never been so captivated as I was listening to Marcia. Using clever marketing tactics she managed to get her book in the spotlight through traditional marketing methods, press releases. We quickly became friends and before she was my client I noticed her Facebook banner was pixelated and distorted. I found her Marriage Mouse graphic she had used (drawn by the Disney Princess artist) and created a new banner for her as a token of my appreciation. She said I am amazing!  I loved it. I got a compliment from someone who really thought well of me. I just knew we were on the way to a fantastic voyage.  Of course I told her the title of my book idea, and right off the bat she was intrigued and interested. That was definitely a good sign.


Another thing I learned is that while I am excited to talk about my new book, title, idea, target market with everyone, it’s probably not a good idea. I mean, what if someone heard about my idea/title/concept and stole it from me before I could get it copyrighted and published? Don’t talk about your book, write it. I have many book ideas running around in my head, and thankfully because of the advent of technology they are all being stored safely on the “cloud”.


Anyone can write a book. Anyone can publish an Amazon kindle book. Writing a good book that has a specific audience who wants to read what you have written may be more of a challenge. Fortunately for me I have had numerous parties tell me that I am a good writer.  I have been encouraged in the past to write a books, I just never had the right guidance.

Suspension of the Disbelief

A long time ago, when I was learning the craft of writing, I learned a few things here or there. I knew that when someone was smarter than you it is better to listen rather than to talk.  I also learned that in order to get the answers you seek, it is imperative that you ask the right questions.  Ask lots of questions.  People love to talk. So ask them a question.  One time someone told me you are smart when you have the right answers. I had another person once told me that he thought I was smart. Naturally I asked why he thought that.  I’m not the first person to shout out the right answer in a trivia sports bar. In fact I’m probably that last person. He said he thought I was smart because I always asked questions.  I imagine we all have our own idea of what think “smart” is or isn’t.


So back to literature, I learned the term “suspension of the disbelief” which in most simplest term means you have to make your story BELIEVABLE, whether it be fact or fiction.  The term resurfaced again in the killing literature movie “Basic Instinct” and as she so eloquently put it, “It teaches you how to lie.”  And if you think about it, every piece of fiction is just a story.


I think almost everyone believes in ghosts or spirits. And there is quite a following of vampire fans and with the whole Twilight Saga, werewolves too.  I’m not quite sure why but my Netflix kept insisting that I watch this show called “Being Human”.  If you haven’t seen or heard about dead girl, ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire (who can go in daylight) who all live in the same house.  I am not really a huge fan of vampires … come on, drinking blood to survive? Humans who turn into killing dogs because the moon is in a phase? Really.  I think it just makes for good storytelling.  I do however believe in spirits, ghosts, dead people.


So I watched 3 seasons of the show over the weekend. Overall it was a pretty decent show. It kept me hooked watching it while I worked. Season 4 just started on the SyFy channel.  I missed the season premier as it was on LAST night.  Bummer right?  Nope, with DirecTV it will be playing again Saturday night. It’s one of those shows that you really don’t need to see all three seasons to pick up watching the 4th season.   With Netflix and Amazon prime who really needs cable?

Calling all AUTHORS!!!

So 2014 is now just upon us and like everyone out there, there are new year’s resolutions that are to be made. For some, they will be easily forgotten.  A friend of mine said her resolution was to write something every day. I personally thought that was a fantastic idea and something that I too could actively practice.  So after much thought, I decided that I would use this blog as my main “pouring out of thoughts” medium.  If more than anything, for me to be able to document some lofty goals, set forth some new ideas and then perhaps in a year we can revisit some of the things I set out to do and see how many of those actually came into fruition.


For starters, I have this book in my head. I have a story to tell. Whenever I sit down with someone and start telling “who I am” and where I came from, I get all kinds of responses. Most of them which include “Gee, have you ever thought about writing a book or short story about this?”  So here I am, 40 years young in life and never once did I ever write an actual story to tell everyone just how interesting I am/was. Who knows, some day I could be really famous and then people would really want to know my story.


So I meditate every day. It helps to center me. During my meditation many things will come to me. Those are some of the things that will end up in my book. So using the open source platform WordPress, I found a company that built on it and made it designed to publish an E-book.  It is called “”.  So that is where my manuscript is living. The nice thing is it helps you to write the correct sections, chapters, and so on. And when it is all done it will export it to the correct format you need. The best part is that it is free.  Yes, it really is free.  It was designed and created by a writer & developer for writers. It should not be harder to create a book than it is to create a website.  I completely agree.


My book title, if you are wondering is still in flux. I am currently working on a draft title “According to Aaron — The Chronicles of A”.  Like I said, it’s a rough draft but at least I have something started.

Body & Soul

What if …


Humans took care of their body and it never “wore” out? The thought has crossed my mind many times, and I read once that the longest living humans all are from Okinawa, Japan.  So what is it about this magic little town that these people live so much longer?  Is the sun better? No pollution? No, there has to be more than just the location. There has to be some innate workings that allow these people to live longer, healthier lives.  Perhaps it is a combination of things, such as diet, exercise, mental peace with the world and oneself?


My body is a temple.

Sounds kind of funny doesn’t it? When I think of a temple, I think of a very sacred, religious place … such as a church. The word sacred brings all kinds of images to mind, and the common denominator in all of those, is it is something very precious, … something that you would take extreme care and caution in its handling. I like to use metaphors … as a teacher, it is good practice to be able to relate things to people so they “get it”.  So, with the auto show starting tomorrow, cars make for good examples.  If you drove the most expensive car in the world, and it can be whatever you want it to be, would you drive it recklessly and put cheap gas in it? Leave it out in the sun and expose it to the harsh elements? Would you run it for years without a decent oil change or a tune up? Well, I think we all know that the answer to that is “No, of course you would never be so disrespectful to something that is so expensive and valuable” … to some, so sacred.  Yet, this is what people do to their body every day, on a daily basis.

Water is your high octane gas.  Sun screen is your clear coat wax. Fruits and vegetables are oils and lubricants. Tires are your orthopedic shoes/soles. Your annual physical (at a real doctor – not Web MD) is like your spark plug tune up. Your body will cost much more than any hunk of metal that gets you from point A to point B, but many people take better care of that hunk of metal than they do their own body, their temple.

Cars are just one example of something that people place high value on, somewhat because of what cars give us.  High cost = high value to many.

And for the smokers out there, I hate to break it to you, but your car has never had an air filter change.  And you can’t yank your lungs out and bang the dust and dirt out like they can at Grease Monkey.

I Have Found

Have you ever had those moments in life that you look forward to and you just can’t wait for that event to happen?  Of course you have, we were all kids once and just “couldn’t wait until Christmas”. Well, those of us that are Christians anyway. I just found out if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness you didn’t get Christmas.  Wow, talk about sucky.  So then when that big day comes, whether it be a birthday, new job day, orientation, first day of school, first wedding, Christmas, or a special friend coming to visit, it comes and goes and before you know it … it’s over. All the presents unwrapped, driving home after the first day of work, opening your textbooks to start your first “homework” (Yeah I’m that instructor that assigns things the first day of class), or driving your friend back to the airport, it’s all over.  You take a deep breath, reflect about some of the best times you’ve ever had … and just hold on to them and treasure them forever.  That’s how I felt about this weekend. And this is what I learned all in one weekend. Yes I wrote this, it isn’t something that has been forwarded across the internet a million times.

I have found that good friends make for good times.
I have found that giving someone an unexpected compliment will make anyone’s day.
I have found that introducing myself first, … it forces me to have courage.
I have found that you can misjudge someone by their looks.
I have found that a friend who shares information is opening a door of trust with me.
I have found that distance does not separate friendship.
I have found many new friends in my own backyard.
I have found out about my own fears, based on what I see in my friends.
I have found that I can make many people’s day, simply by showing up.
I have found that my friends value and love me.
I have found that I would rather give it all away, than to receive.
I have found that sometimes you really do have to give more than you expect.
And I have found the best times are when you go into the day expecting nothing.  “No expectations”. That way if something doesn’t go as YOU might have wanted them planned, you are not disappointed.

So I guess I have to say that I really am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of guy.