Tagged: books

my book is FREE

My book Scab is a memoir of college and crisis. You can get the book for FREE today through Wednesday.

freebook

Here’s a few excerpts of reviews from my book’s Amazon page:

“Jackson’s style is crisp and clear. He has an uncanny talent for meshing pathos with humor in a way that is both deeply moving as well as just plain fun.”

“I love Brannon’s attitude about it all. As difficult as it was at times, his sense of humor, humility and outlook on life are uplifting.”

“By the end of this book, you will see the resilience of the human soul and psyche. No matter what depression may visit, a person springs back into life, even if unwilling at points, and goes on about his business. Brannon has done a tremendous job of conveying this concept, all with a candid, darkly humorous recollection.

“Scab took me on an emotional roller coaster of emotions that I didn’t want to end.”

“I think anyone whose ever moved away from the safety of home to pursue a dream will find something to relate to here. I honestly couldn’t put it down.”

Click here to read the synopsis, check out the full reviews, and grab your copy of the book so you can go deep inside my head. You will laugh. You will cry. And by the end of the book, you will feel triumphant.

Thank you.

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SCAB book teaser

kindle kick

I’ve been on a Kindle kick recently, perusing the site for free/super cheap books. I often go to the Kindle free best sellers lists and download interesting titles. Even the paid titles are extremely cheap, usually under 2 bucks. There’s also a great website/app called Wattpad where you can read free books. The writing is of a significantly lesser quality but I’ve still found some decent stories there. And let’s not forget the public library. Great resource for free books. I’ve been enjoying adding to my Kindle collection because it’s part research and part I’m poor.

The poor part comes in because I’ve been more bummed than usual these past few months. My hours keep getting cut at my job-which is contributing to the poor part-and I’m going to have to find another one soon. But there’s no other work out there right now. And there hasn’t been for ages. I’ve been looking. And also being on a diet has annoyed me because I can’t stuff my face to squash my pain like I used to.

So with nothing else to calm my cravings or distract me from my decreasing paycheck, I’ve been checking out of life by reading these free/cheap books. I think it’s a good, healthy distraction.

Going back to the Kindle freebies, one of the trends I’ve noticed is many authors will put up a free book but will use it as a hook to get you to buy their other books. Many of the books are the first parts to a trilogy or series. Sometimes that can be a turn off for me because I’m often not looking to get that invested. And what if I do like the book? I’m going to have to pay for the others but I don’t have the money for that so I just won’t even read the first one.

I’m not saying it’s a bad strategy at all or that there is anything bad about it. I’m just not financially stable enough to buy a 12-part zombie apocalypse epic. Plus, there’s too many good free books out there.

And that’s the other problem. Because I’ve been amassing so many free books, I wonder how I’m ever going to get them read.

Lastly, a lot of authors have been following the erotica trend thanks to the Fifty Shades phenomenon. And I’m just not into that. So the best sellers have been saturated with book covers of shirtless men embracing petite women and that means the selection has been kind of slim lately. But I guess that’s good because it’ll give me a chance to catch up on all the other books I’ve collected over the months.

And as I read, I’m researching. I’ve read some self-published books that read as well as one I can find in a bookstore. I’ve also read some that are obviously the work of an amateur. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re good. Despite the flaws, most of them are still good stories. And I think that’s because most people who want to write a book can tell a decent story. Yeah, that’s a generalization and of course not everyone with a novel in their head will flawlessly transfer it to the page but I’d like to think people who have no business writing books generally won’t. I know I’m not an athlete and I certainly have no desire to try out for the NBA.

But the point is the majority of the books I’ve read have been mostly enjoyable. At the very least, I haven’t come across a book I haven’t been able to finish.

Each time I find a flaw or feel wonky about a portion of the story, I try to compare it to my own work, to ask myself if I’m making those same kinds of errors. And sometimes reading these books helps my confidence. I think I can write as well as some of these authors. And then I read others and it inspires me to write as well as they do. It pushes me to want to improve my work so I can match their quality.

On the other hand, sometimes I worry that some of these bad writer habits might slip into my work. What if I subconsciously let my writing slack because I feel I’m as good as they are. If this author can get great reviews with average writing, maybe I can too?

But there’s more to selling a book than the quality of writing. There’s the subject and how you market and a whole lot of good luck. Of course, excellent writing will always be the best way to sell a book. Marketing and topic trends always change but engaging writing is the most consistent form of advertising. And I need to remember that. I also need to remember that I want it to be good for myself. Even if no one else reads it, I’ll know I did my best and put what I believe to be a quality product out there. I hope that will be satisfaction enough. And if others can connect to it, that’ll be a bonus fuzzy feeling.

southern fried zombies

Did anyone watch Town of the Living Dead on the SyFy Channel? If not, it was a docu-series about a film crew in Jasper, AL who were struggling to make a full-length zombie movie.

I was excited to watch this show because 1)zombies and 2)I actually chased a girl to Jasper and that’s where I had my first kiss. So I have a special attachment to that city.

The show chronicled this group of amateurs as they struggled to put together scenes with no money, no special makeup effects, and no idea what they were doing. It was funny and endearing. It almost felt like I knew these people because I recognized their accents and southern colloquialisms.

Usually I cringe at southern representation on television because the shows always make the people seem like uneducated hicks. Maybe I’m in the minority on this one but I never felt the cast of the show were put in a bad light or made to look like white trash. Sure, they were country but that was a part of the charm.

But instead of showing these people farting in each other’s mouths or filling up the bed of a truck with water and using it as a redneck hot tub like you’d find on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Town of the Living Dead actually showed people with aspirations beyond drinking beer and mud riding. They were creative and passionate about their project.

One cast member, John, was the writer and director of the zombie movie. I related to him the most. He was a creative guy who dreamed of making a film but was stuck in a small town with very little artistic opportunities. While he worked on the film in his spare time, he earned money by working at RadioShack. Here I am, also a writer and also stuck in my own retail hell. I feel ya, brother.

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writer by night

I think my body is just more aligned with nighttime.

I have so much trouble waking up in the morning. Knowing I have to get up and go to work doesn’t help but I still find it difficult to get going even on my days off. And it’s not for a lack of sleep. I get enough. But it just feels so good to be in bed.

I often hit the snooze button way too many times. One of the reasons why I do that is because I’m often dreaming when my alarm goes off and I hit the snooze because I want to finish the dream. But I usually nose dive into a different dream, which is then interrupted by the snooze, which I want to return to, which usually sends me spiraling into another situation. And the cycle continues.

I can’t think, can’t get creative during morning hours. It’s only when I’ve settled into the day can I settle in front of the computer and write. But that’s usually by 8:00 or 9:00pm. And that only allows me a few hours to get any work done.

I always tell myself I’m going to write as soon as I get home from work. And then I sit down in front of my computer and check Facebook, etc., eat dinner, then take a nap. I wake up and check all my social media again. Then I watch television and before I know it, it’s time for bed.

But when I know work isn’t looming on the horizon, I can sit down without worrying about going to bed early and I can pump out some decent material. If I could, I would write all night. That’s when all my gears are greased and ready for productivity. I could write until the morning meets my muse.

But the world isn’t made for night owls like myself. Sure, I could take a night shift position at some job but that also wouldn’t do me any good. I’d be able to sleep in late but those precious dark hours that could be spent writing would be spent working. I like my setup right now. My hours are decent enough to allow me enough time to get some quality writing done. I just don’t always take that opportunity and instead piddle away the time until right before bed. That’s usually when inspiration strikes. But it’s usually put out before I can produce anything good.

I wrote all the drafts for my book once the sun went down. I write most of my blog entries when the moon is out. I just feel I work better that way. When I can even force myself to work.

While I was writing my book, I still had ideas I wanted to express here but didn’t have the time so I wrote small blurbs and saved them as drafts. I’m now 25 drafts deep and I want to clean away this clutter. So the next several entries probably won’t be polished. As much as I would like to articulate my thoughts the way I used to, something has changed with either me or my writing or possibly both but I’ve got too much on my mind to focus on any one thing these days. So I’m going to start quickly rolling out these drafts just to get them off my mind. Rapid fire frustrations and quick vignettes of regret.

life homework

When I was a child, I came home from school and went straight to my room and did my homework. It just made sense to get it out of the way so I could watch Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers uninterrupted.

As I got older, the Internet took precedence over algebraic equations. There was just so many other interesting things to do and the fact that I hated math didn’t help my procrastination. When I was in a chat room or downloading music on Napster, I always told myself those word problems were waiting. It was like getting your teeth cleaned or taxes done, an activity you know is necessary but one you put off for as long as possible. It always stayed in the back of my mind and I always felt guilty for not getting it done right away but that didn’t stop me from waiting until the last minute.

When I graduated from college, I felt free from the burden of homework. I could get a job, put in my 8 hours and then go home and be lazy without the worry of another deadline weighing me down.

But that was before I decided to write a book.

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