Why I Share Articles About Anxiety


As I have grown to understand the full scope of my anxiety, I am more open about discussing anxiety.  I tell people I have anxiety.  Some believe they can relate and are sympathetic.  Some do have anxiety but never speak of their own struggles.  I sometimes wonder if they think I am brave for vocalizing mine.  Then there are others who do not understand anything.  They associate anxiety with being nervous before a test or feeling stressed at work.  They do not feel anxious every second of every day.  They are why I share articles about anxiety.

Someone offered me a neck and shoulder rub.  They said, “You’re so tense.  Loosen up.  Relax.”  I replied, “I always feel like this.  This IS me relaxed.”  At the time, I did not know all the physical symptoms of anxiety.  I have experienced muscle tension as long as I can remember.  I did not realize I lived with this condition for almost 20 years.  Everyone says I look tense, on edge, or hyper alert.  It makes them uncomfortable, but they have no idea how uncomfortable I am.  Their discomfort goes away; mine is constant.  They are why I share articles about anxiety.

I want to understand myself, so I can heal and grow.  I want other people to better understand where I am coming from and possibly appreciate me a little more.  I want potential romantic partners to understand why I worry or lack confidence in myself.  I want everyone to be patient with me and understanding.  I want to be loved in a way I have never known.  I want to feel comfortable and at ease with someone; with everyone.  I want to feel like I am not a burden to everyone around me.  That is why I share articles about anxiety.  That is why I write articles about anxiety.

Writing & Revision: My 4 Steps


Everyone has a different way for doing anything and everything.  When discussing the writing process, some prefer typing over handwriting and vice versa.  Which is better for someone starting their writing career?  You must figure that out on your own.  Some people type faster than they write.  Others cannot type at all.  Try both and decide which one works best for you.  You will eventually have to type your work, but the first step should feel easy and natural, so you can get your thoughts out quickly before you lose them.  These steps are my process and may not work for you.  This is just a guide to help you find your own process.

1.  Write the Rough Draft

I prefer writing by hand.  I always have.  I can ink out the words on paper faster than I will ever type.  My hand can keep up with my brain and before I know it, I have written four pages.  I am not against typing the first draft, but I save that for short blog articles or lists.  Long form fiction; I am writing that by hand and will not type until the short story or chapter is finished.

2.  Type the Rough Draft

When I finally go back and read what I wrote, I am shocked at how many grammatical mistakes I made.  Things are misspelled or missing letters (seriously); it looks like a jumbled mess.  Fortunately, I know what I thought when I wrote those terrible sentences, so I correct them as I type.  Sometimes I forget to write down a thought I had.  I do not know how I missed it but I add this in as I type.  If I had typed the rough draft first, I would spend more time correcting mistakes as I go than getting the words out.  This is why I handwrite first.  I get everything saved on my computer, fixing the minor grammar and spelling errors.  The 2nd draft is finished.

3.  The First Revision

I consider this the first real revision.  I print the document; 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, double spaced.  The focus of this revision is to flush out the ideas and expand the details.  Depending on what the story needs, I will add dialogue and build better character descriptions.  I make sure there are no plot holes unless I want to have plot holes.  I remove the passive voice in every sentence.  I remove the words “is” and “was” and rewrite the sentences so everything still makes sense.  Some sentences I delete all together.  I make the notations in ink and then I make the corrections on the digital file.  The 3rd draft is finished.

4.  The Show & Tell Revision

I always heard people criticize my writing by saying, “Show me, don’t tell me.”  The annoying aspect of this criticism; they never offered any examples.  Plainly put, I did not know what they were talking about.  I had to learn this on my own.  This is the most difficult part of revision for me and can result in multiple drafts during this step.  You revise and have a fourth draft, but you have more to show so you write a fifth draft; and so on until you have the best story ever written.  An easy out with this is using dialogue to describe things in the story.  Otherwise, you have to find ways to describe the anger in a character without saying, “This character felt angry.”  The writing process never ends and will always take longer than you prefer.

As I mentioned before, everyone’s process is different.  Experiment.  Try new things and learn what works best for you.  There is no right or wrong way.  Some things to remember; if you want to get published in a magazine or have a book traditionally published, you need to eliminate all the passive voice and always show not tell.  The more writing you do, the better you become.  Keep writing.  Keep revising.  Keep submitting to online journals.  The difference between successful people and everyone else is successful people have failed more times than everyone else has tried.  Never give up; never surrender.

2018 Starts Rough

We are one month in to 2018 and my life is already a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  While leaving out the extreme personal stuff, like my daily battle with anxiety, I will attempt to give you a recap of my life and my many misadventures.  For starters, I no longer work at a bar which is psychologically satisfying.  I served 5 years as the Head of Security and this only added more stress and magnified my anxiety.  I jumped off the boat at the first opportunity that presented itself.

This brought about other complications.  I had a couple weeks of free time and this was painful.  My mind rebels at stagnation.  With a bit of motivation from some minor grief, I have been writing up a storm.  I finished the first draft of a novel back in November and I have slowly started the revision process along with revising several short stories I have neglected.  Recent motivations caused me to write a screenplay, first one, and it has been revised once.  I am hoping to produce the film within the year, but it does not follow a traditional film script, and this could cause complications.

I have also started writing online articles in the hopes of starting a writing career.  I wrote a couple articles for BuzzFeed and you can view them Here.  I also have a couple articles on my LinkedIn profile and you can view those Here.  The writing I am most proud of are the articles featured on TheMighty.com.  These articles help me cope with and better understand my anxiety and it is a great place for people with any disorder to go and feel like a part of a community.  Just because you are struggling does not mean you are broken.  You can view all those articles Here.

As far as work and making money, I have actually turned down a couple jobs because I did not want to work some crap office job that I would hate after a couple years, just like every other job I have ever done.  I am trying my hand at this freelance gig and hope that it pays off.  I need more writing projects and I am already working on doing more in the entertainment industry of Tucson with my company, VaudVil.  It will be a long process and none of it will be easy, but I am so much more satisfied with my life even with all the uncertainty.  I think I am finally ready for my future.

Don’t Set Goals for the New Year; Set Goals for Life


As the year comes to a close, one reflects on everything that has transpired.  So many horrible things have happened and yet, I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  I have nothing but a sense of hope for the coming new year.  I feel there will be more tragedies and horrors for the world overall but my personal life, my small world, my tiny existence is about to move into a place it has never been.  I cannot say exactly what I mean because I personally don’t even know what I mean.  Things will get better.

Here are some of the hopes, dreams, and goals I have for the coming year.  I hope to get a new job that does not involve working nights and hopefully pays well.  Arguing and wrestling with drunks lost its appeal many years ago and I hope to never work in a bar environment for the rest of my life.  With a new job that frees up my nights and weekends, I will perhaps have more of a social life.  Although, I’ve never been much of a social person due to my anxiety, but I will have the opportunity and that makes me happy.

Having recently finished the first draft of a novel, I know that my writing endeavors will evolve over the next year.  My skills as a writer are growing and there are several things I need to work on to improve but I have the tools I need to achieve this.  I feel I will surely have something published soon.  If not in 2018, I will definitely have something published in 2019.  I hope to have more blog entries starting with this one.  I will not make any promises other than writing more.  Less concrete goals work better for me.

I have always felt I would change the world with my writing but felt there were many obstacles and barriers preventing my achievement of this.  I believe I know what these barriers are and I have a plan for removing them one at a time.  It will be a long process but I will achieve my goals.  I want to mention that all these hopes and dreams and goals are not New Year Resolutions.  They are simply goals one sets in one’s life.  My New Year Resolution is the same every year.  Be awesome and feel sexy.  I meet this goal every day of every year.

I hope to bring some of my newly found skills in writing to you, the public of potential or aspiring writers.  There are many things I was told over the years about writing but no one could ever offer examples of how to achieve these things.  Sometimes I thought they were just regurgitating what others had always told them.  I have found examples of these common things to avoid and, more importantly, examples of how to fix them.  It will take some time to implement these changes but I feel confident that I will finally reach success.

“Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry” by James Pack #FREE

Someone was kind enough to share my eBook promotion. Pariah Bound is available on Kindle for free until December 26. Merry Christmas! Be sure to visit http://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/

Nesie's Place


Pariah Bound cover

“Pariah Bound: The LonsomePoetry”

By: James Pack

Genre: Poetry/YA

Release Date: September 14, 2017

Amazon KUGoodreads ButtonFREE through 12/26/17!


The complete collection of poetry by James Pack. The poetry in this collection was written between 2002-2016. Gripping poems of a struggling youth and fantastical fictional narrative poetry for all ages. Pariah Bound comprises all the emotions and dreams of a young man still discovering his place in this world. With over 250 poems, there is something for everyone in this complete collection.


Biography

James PackJames Pack is a graduate of Full Sail University with a Master of Science Degree in Entertainment Business. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona majoring in Theatre Arts with a minor in Creative Writing.

James has worked for several theaters throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Arizona. These theaters included summer stocks and local theaters that hosted touring productions such as Broadway tours and Cirque du…

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Dollar Tales

I have a new eBook that will be released on Monday, October 16.  It is available for pre-order and it will download automatically on Monday if you do.  It is only $0.99 and includes two versions of one story.  The original was first published in 2015 in my collection of short stories, Killers, Monsters, & Madmen.  The second version is the story in its entirety.  There was a lot of the story cut out for the first publication and now you can read the whole thing.  This story will also be included in my forthcoming collection of short fiction titled, Morbid Museum.

There will be other eBook coming throughout the next year leading to the release of the new collection.  These will be a series called Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum.  “The Ghosts Inside” is available only on Amazon Kindle.  There will be free promotions now and then and I will inform everyone of these free deals.  Be sure to find my on social media: @jamespackwriter and tell me what you think of my writing or what you think of me.  Please be kind but honest.  I will post some of my writing here on my blog as well as all kinds of other things to keep me writing.

You can also find my book of poetry, Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry, in both eBook and Paperback formats.  Check back regularly for free promotions and giveaways of this title as well.  I also do a little music production which I will be posting something about in the near future.  I will be hosting some panels at the Tucson Comic Con in November and I will share more details about that as we get closer to the convention.  Let me know if you’ll be there!

Slow Transitions

There has been a lot going on.  I am still transferring my VaudVil website to a new host but things should be back to normal by next week.  I have self-published a collection of all my poetry, Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry, which is available for Amazon Kindle and Paperback.  I have another eBook coming out on October 16 (a small one), Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum,  in preparation of another collection of short fiction I am working on and I even put out some music for sale though I don’t think many will be interested.  It has been a busy couple of weeks but I am always happy to stay busy.

I plan to have more writing on this blog in the near future once I have a few other things finished.  It is difficult to write fiction everyday when you also want to write articles everyday.  It is all very time consuming with a full time job but I think I will manage.  If there is anything you would like to see me write about, please send an email or fill out the contact form.  If you would like to write a review on any of my books, please contact me and I will send you a free PDF.  I do not have physical copies yet but once I do I can offer those for free as well.

Variety Performance is Growing

There are more and more event producers seeking variety performers for their shows.  Many of them have produced burlesque exclusively but are expanding the kind of entertainment in their shows.  This is good for everyone; however, what they consider variety usually involves circus or vaudeville type acts.  They of course do not define what they mean by vaudeville acts.  VaudVil hopes define what this means.  A vaudeville act could be any kind of performance art.  It could be standup comedy, an actor reciting a monologue, someone who juggles and uses the balls to play the piano while he juggles…anything!

What these producers are likely searching for is something that has not been seen or done before.  It is very easy to find a standup comedian but how often do you find a comedy duo?  What about comedians who also play guitars during their act?  Where are the Abbott & Costello type comedians?  Where are the Smothers Brothers type comedians/musicians?  Where are any ventriloquists?  These are not likely found in Tucson and probably not in Phoenix either.  How does one nurture this kind of performance art?  Where are the people who are interested in learning these kinds of performance art?

VaudVil is going through a rough year but we hope to find ways to help would-be performance artists learn new trades and crafts.  There are few magicians in southern Arizona (I am only aware of four and only know of three who actually get work).  But again the question is how does one nurture this kind of performance art?  We at VaudVil are currently researching all the things we need to have buskers in Tucson.  Busker is a fancy word for street performers.  This will hopefully encourage more variety performers to crawl out of the woodwork and enhance the entertainment of Tucson and southern Arizona.

Branding Tips for Individuals and Businesses

What is Branding?  Branding is a person’s gut feeling about a person, place, or product.  Brands can be positive or negative and people opinions of a brand can change over time.  Branding yourself or your business can involve many things, such as; slogans and trademarks, online presence, and social media usage.  How you or your business interacts with the public is also a major part of branding.  Your customer service can create a positive or negative brand so it is always important to strive for excellent customer service.

It is important in branding to describe what you do in as few words as possible.  This is not a slogan or catchphrase.  Try to develop a short phrase around two to five words that sums up yourself or your business.  For example; when people ask me about what VaudVil is, I tell them it is “Tucson’s Source for Variety Entertainment!”  The worst that could happen when I tell people this is they may ask “What is variety entertainment?”  Another example; you have an Italian restaurant, someone asks what you do and you say “Authentic Italian Cuisine.”  Too easy!  You can develop a catchphrase or a slogan to build upon your brand, think of Nike’s “Just Do It,” but you first have to figure out what it is that you or your business does.

Continue Reading at VaudVil

The State of Entertainment in Tucson

Entertainment is a very broad term.  Before we can appropriately analyze this we have to be more specific of what exactly we are talking about.  When I discuss entertainment in Tucson, I am not referring to sports, I am not referring to national tours, I am not referring to seminars or festivals, I am not referring to films or movie theaters, and I am not referring to contests.  So what am I referring to?

We are talking specifically about the local entertainment and local talent right here in Tucson, AZ.  We are talking about local musicians, local singers, local actors, local dancers, local performers, and local entertainment.  Over the last five years there has been a surge of local talent in Tucson and it continues to grow every year.  Tucson has become a hub for Burlesque performance.  One can easily throw a rock and hit three people who perform or have performed burlesque at a local bar or other venue in Tucson.  And that is the problem.  There are so many performers but not enough shows or venues for all of them to perform.

Continue Reading at VaudVil