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Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day!

Welcome back to Voyage of the Mind. We’re celebrating another week of success! If you want your quick guide to success, pop on over and read about failure first. Sound counter-intuitive? I promise it’s not!

This week, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, an award given by bloggers, to bloggers. Very, very cool!

In news from other parts of the Internet, I finally changed my Twitter profile picture. One of my Twitter friends said I look very fierce! It’s actually a still from my first YouTube video, which is a reading of my poem “In the Garden.” Here’s something funny about me: I record pretty well, but photography dreadfully.

I also reached five thousand followers on Twitter, which isn’t very exciting news — but it’s exciting for me because it feels like a big milestone! My other goal for June, numbers-wise, is to reach 100 followers here on WordPress. I’m currently at 95. So if you’re an ardent journeyman on Voyage of the Mind and you haven’t followed me on WordPress yet, please consider taking a couple minutes to make an account and follow Voyage of the Mind! That way, you’ll never miss another post — they’ll be delivered straight to your mailbox. (Internet mailbox, that is.)

Three pieces of news from my writing life

Number one, I’ve been chugging away on the revision for Blue and White, my YA mystery novel. And later today, you’ll get a second sneak peek in the form of a character reveal! Woo-hoo!

Number two, I’m starting another series here on the blog! This idea was too good for me to resist. I got inspired after watching Marriage Story, which I’m reviewing here tomorrow. And I’m a longtime reader of the Modern Love column in The New York Times. I wanted to do something in that vein — something dealing with love and relationships in the modern world — so I’ve started work on The Speed of Love, which will chronicle the separate yet intertwined lives of three couples. There will be humor, sadness, reflection, drama, and of course lots of love! Sound interesting? Episode 1 will arrive this week on Friday.

Number three, perhaps the most exciting piece of news. I am going to publish a collection of short stories and poetry, titled Metamorphosis. I’ll possibly make it available on Amazon in the future, but when it first arrives on July 20 it will be available exclusively here on Voyage of the Mind. Metamorphosis will contain 10 stories and poems, most of which have never before been printed (a few will be reprints that have appeared on the blog). Upon arrival, it’ll cost just $0.99 — but will go up to $1.99 after a month. So start collecting those $0.99 pennies!

And here’s a little contest for you — comment on this post, and you’ll have a chance to win a free copy of Metamorphosis. I’ll pick three lucky names, secure your emails, and send it to you direct. So get commenting!

I’m also on the lookout for advance readers to pre-review Metamorphosis, so if you think you have what it takes and would like to read 10 short stories and poems for free, use the contact form below to get in touch with me.

What was on the blog last week?

Last week, I brought you all sorts of content. Start off with some pieces of current events — here’s my reaction to protests and police brutality, and here’s my take on that contentious Tom Cotton op-ed aired by The New York Times this past week. Stay informed.

I also posted lots of poetry — check out “Voices” and “Breath.”

I added two pages: one to house my Netflix series guides (right now I’m at work on Chef’s Table) and one to house all that poetry. Check them out if you’re looking to quickly access either of those categories.

I posted This is Not a Sad Story, Episode Three, which deals with my childhood struggles with anger and emotion management. You should check it out, even if you missed the previous episodes (which you can still check out, of course). Here’s the thing, people. Mental health issues have roots. One of my goals in This is Not a Sad Story is to trace the roots of my mental health issues. And, news flash, This is Not a Sad Story is about to hit sad bits. So those of you who relish reading about suffering, come hither. All other normal people, I promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called This is Not a Sad Story for a reason, remember? And I’m writing to you today, so you know the ending — which really isn’t an ending at all — can’t be that sad.

I brought you a historical fiction short story, “For Love of Homer,” which is actually an excerpt from a large body of work I’ve done on the life and times of Alexander the Great. If you’re a history buff (or even if you’re not), check that one out and let me know what you think!

What will be on the blog this coming week?

As I already mentioned, I’ll be reviewing the film Marriage Story tomorrow. On Tuesday we’ll have a Tuesday Talk about food and cooking literacy, something I touched upon briefly in Saturday’s Q&A column. On Wednesday, This is Not a Sad Story, Episode Four, AKA the beginning of the sad part of the story, will come out.

Thursday Truths will see some real talk about sexual and gender identity, inspired by the big to-do about J.K. Rowling’s statements regarding transgenderism. On Friday, you’ll get a short story. And on Saturday, we’ll be back with Q&A. If you have questions you’d like aired in this week’s Q&A column, let me know!

I’ll also be posting poetry and recipes throughout the week, along with more of my Chef’s Table guide, so you can look forward to those as well.

One last very important note…

Voyage of the Mind is open to submissions from readers and creators like you! I do touch on this on the What is this all about? page, but I want to make it very clear: I love ideas and I love hearing new ideas! So if you have an idea for a post or a post you’ve written that you think exemplifies the spirit of Voyage of the Mind, reach out to me with that idea and we’ll see what we can do to give it — and you — its moment in the sun here.

I am open to poems, short stories, other forms of writing, artwork — if you’re a photographer and would like me to feature some of your photography, reach out! — reviews of just about anything, recipes (which could simply be linked from Good Eats, so feel free to shoot me over a recipe to test, cooking bloggers!), process pieces (how you did X, how you made X, how you wrote X, etc.), personal stories, or just about anything you might have up your sleeve. Pitch it to me. I do edit, but I don’t bite. Pinky promise. And I will always try to give you helpful feedback on your work, even if it’s ultimately not a good fit for Voyage of the Mind. Don’t be a stranger!

From Voyage of the Mind, I’d like to wish you a fabulous week. Thank you so much for your continued companionship here! We have a long journey ahead, so keep your seatbelt fastened and stay tuned.

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