My weekend started on Thursday, 02/21/13. I attended 2 benefits. The first on for a foundation dedicated to childhood cancer. The second, a foundation dedicated to ending domestic violence against women.

Friday, 02/22/13, kicked off with an art exhibit of artists from Osaka, Japan. It ended with a show by local band, The Aardvarks. They scored my second highest rating. I consider the Aardvarks show an official start to my 2013 concert / live music season. Great job to everyone involved with the art exhibit! If the Aardvarks can pull off future shows close to that one, high recommendations!

Saturday included variety. Starting off with the "You not invited" exhibit by the Alternative Gallery. The location was a small book shop in Easton, Pa. This was followed by a second exhibit of Japanese dance at Soft Machine Gallery. Next up was a social night with live music courtesy of Lehigh Valley Faces. Ending the night with my last review from Mezza Luna. Another Lousy Cover Band did one hell of a high energy show! 
 
 
"People who fear death. Fear life even more."
 
 
I wanted to give this cafe a quick mention. Today was the second time I stopped by. The first was at the grand opening. Like most places, they had a Valentine's Day event. I am single, so, scratch the "dinner for two" part. I see what the food and service were like.

I arrived around 4:15. The place was empty. No big deal. Early for dinner. After having a short conversation with the person at the counter, I decided on a BLT. I was informed they had free samples of potato chips. Sounds good to me. The BLT was good. This may sound strange, but, I was impressed with the chips. I asked what brand and was told none. They are made at A Taste of Soul. Leaving the skins on is a key to the taste.

The service, excellent. I did not even realize there was a slight delay. Until someone apologized for it.

A Taste of Soul has a good variety in their menu. The layout is very relaxing. Tables along the counter with a main dining section in the back. It's a place with good food where you can take a break from life.

http://www.facebook.com/ATasteOfSoulAtTheCaringCoffeeCafe
 
 
As an author / journalist, I wanted to share my most unique experience. A TV interview I had on RCN's Community Spotlight. Looking back on it, It felt kind of strange in some aspects. The first was being asked the questions. I am used to asking them. The second aspect: watching myself on TV. Doing a critique of my responses, actions and voice. It was very different. Coming from someone who had a lifelong case of stage phobia, I had a blast doing it!
 
 
Everyone was new, unknown or an indie at some point.
 
 
"Every, single, person is a writer. All you need to do is have a conversation. Every day of your life is another page written in a story." - Michael Phoenix.
 
 
I have given this serious thought over the past few months. On both sides of my writing, author and journalist, I could care less how many awards I win. There are a few reasons why I do.

I realize awards mean recognition, either by readers or peers. To me, they are just another line on a resume. Most awards are nothing but popularity contests. Some just prove how much ass kissing a person can do. Especially on the internet, there are so many awards a writer can win. Major publications / organizations down to individual bloggers have them. Not all are based on a specific criteria. Some are just created for the person / organization to get noticed. At worst, to satisfy a person's ego. Example: "Hey, check this out. I am giving out awards in these categories. I have no, established, criteria. I really do not have any valuable content. I have awards for writers." This is an extreme example, but, it does exist.

I do not blame writers for trying to get any award. For new writers / authors it could mean increased sales and exposure. For writers who want to make it their career / life, it could backfire in the long run. A long list of awards does not always mean you are a great writer. Popularity does not always equal quality. By popularity, I mean amount of awards received; not feedback and reviews.

At best, I try for reviews and interviews. Interviews I enjoy because they help me explain my writing. Another reason: some of the questions asked make me look at my writing from a different angle / perspective. Reviews is fairly obvious. What the readers think of my book or article.

If I ever win any awards, would I turn them down? Honestly, it would depend on the person / organization. If they are established and very credible, no. If they are not credible, yes. This would be open to my interpretation and research.

Do I enter contests and kiss ass for them? No. I admit to trying to kiss the local media's ass for an interview. I did get one without doing that. I did get an interview from another author / blogger. Every contest I would enter takes time away from writing and other projects.

I also admit to being guilty of planning awards at the end of this year. There will be only a few categories. I am calling this "honors". I know the terms are synonyms. There are differences. The "honors" I am planning will be based on my criteria which I will post. They will also be based on what I have experienced. Right now, music / humanitarian / writers will be my main categories. My, end of year, "honors" will not be a popularity contest. I do not care how much of a following someone has. Yes, I am guilty of what I have stated in the this article. I also realize authors / writers / musicians may not take it seriously. I do not expect anyone to. I want to give recognition to people I feel deserve it. I will not be doing for my own ego or site views by a long shot.

Yeah, I did think about starting an e-zine (magazine in ebook format). I had a few suggestions on the local side. Both local and beyond are over-saturated with publications. I do think about writing from both sides: The writer and publisher.

Feel free to leave comments and disagree with me.
 
 
It has been a very busy week. This weekend, updates here and hubpages will include 2 interviews, a music review, short article on a local book store. I will be expanding my articles to indoor football. The first will be posted this weekend. 
 
 
I have two, main, projects I am working on this year. One is a benefit for two local places that help out the homeless and people in need. The second is a two part project. Part 1: Record my first album. So far, the lyrics to 3 tracks are written. Part 2: Write about about the entire process as I go through it. Both should be interesting and very challenging. 
 
 
In my experience, the most frustrating parts of being a self-published author was not the writing or editing. The first was formatting for e-book. I found out the hard way, e-book is an entirely different ballgame when it comes to formatting. The second most frustrating was trying to get exposure through the local media. As of this blog post, I have not been able to get a book review or author interview. Apparently, the local papers only promote authors who are published through "traditional" means (publishing houses). The local news has a slight interest in businesses, art galleries, local music. The only exception being RCN's Community Spotlight. I did an interview and touched on the challenges of self-publishing. The local media does not realize the amount of authors that are going to self-publishing. They also have no idea how much more challenging self-publishing is.