Tag Archives: blogging

Which Shall It Be?

Which shall it be?

I have spent the last few months contemplating exactly where I wanted to go with my life. Many people would argue that being talented in many different areas is a blessing. I would have a hard time disagreeing with such an argument, however, many speak to the merits of focusing on one thing and I can see the logic in that aswell. In the end, one must take into consideration all things relevant to a subject before making a true decision. One cannot just decide this is the path, without knowing every path.

Let us examine those paths that have been taken and their results.

Music- I have created 3 digital CDs with songs dating back to 2002 through last year. I have gained over a 1000 followers on various sites. I have had many compliments on my vocals and have even collaborated with other artists. However, sales in this area have never been huge and in general, I realize that at my age I am not marketable for large record labels. TBH, I am not even remotely healthy enough presently, to do a live show at this time. However, it should be noted, that while this may have been probably my least successful of the career paths I have tried, it is the one I love the most and have a natural talent for. When I speak of natural talent, I am referring to vocal abilities, not my music composition skills. Let’s move on to the next path I tried.

Writing- I have been writing longer than any of the other paths by far. I always excelled in English classes and in fact, even in advanced English and Creative Writing, bringing home an “A” was no big deal. For many years, due to having kids, I stuck to writing short pieces of writing. Ones I could quickly set aside such as poetry, prose, and short stories. Then after being diagnosed with Hyper-Thyriodism I woke up and realized I needed to get started onto bigger things. I began writing novels. Eventually, I wrote 3 novels and at one point I had 25k followers on Twitter with several thousand followers on blogs. I must confess that I used a “secret” technique to gain those followers, but writing skills were really what allowed me to continually gain followers. However, the true success of book sales seemed to allude me. I desired to know why, and found after a few very blunt and drastic actions, that I fewer followers and more collectors of followers than I expected. This was frustrating because I knew if people would just read the books, they would become true fans. Not having the resources needed to continue down this path of no support, I found myself moving down my next path.

Photography- Of these 3 paths, photography is the one I have the least serious experience with, but it is at the same time, the one I have made the most money from. How odd that is? I have been an Amateur photographer for about 5 yrs. and a pro photographer for the last couple of years. Yes, that means I have been paid to do shoots and have made money from my photos. But this is the pathway that also the greatest pain in the ass. Models don’t want to work for free, because they think an Instagram feed is a portfolio. The ones who have an actual portfolio expect to be paid enormous sums of money just because they posted some photos to a modeling site. Granted, models are not the only thing you can shoot photos of, but every photographer wants to have a well-rounded portfolio. Fact is, the photos I have made money from are not the ones with models in them. This pathway has given me a few followers on Twitter and made me hate Instagram. The constant following and unfollowing there is just despicable.

So now that we have summed up the paths we have taken and shown briefly the merits, pitfalls and success of each, lets move on to the future. What does my future hold?

Let me give you the easy answer. My future holds for me whatever I desire. You see, I am a firm believer of self-destiny. I believe we decide, moment-to-moment, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, what we are and what we will be. I have already decided that some day I will be famous. I decided that a long time ago. What remains is the how. That is not my concern though. Now, anyone reading this would think I must be crazy, and they might be right in that assessment. However, I should point out that crazy does not equal wrong. In fact, crazy just means, you see things that many cannot see.

After examining all of the evidence of the past paths taken, there is no clear winner guaranteed of giving me fame, money, power, or success. Thus, I have decided there is only one path I can take. The path of no decision.

There is absolutely no reason why I cannot do all. Should I have to settle on one thing just to gain more followers? I think not! I believe being happy with what I am doing is more important. In fact, I believe happiness is, not only the ultimate measure of success, but also the highest goal that everyone should strive for, in their life. What good is a life bound to pain and misery? It is of no worth. Rise above what is bringing you down and seek happiness. Everything else will follow. Sometimes it just takes awhile to catch up.

Having said all that; I can now share with you some of the things I have been working on and future expectations.

I’ve been working on multiple songs and buying some new equipment. Expect some new songs to come out in several months, along with a completed digital CD by Early 2019 at the latest.

I have been plotting the storyline of a new novel and have been working on the final chapter of “The Art Of Creative Photography”. Expect the novel to be released in early 2019. The final chapter within a couple of months.

Now that I have a vehicle of my own, you can certainly expect more photos to be released, as I now have the ability of making “day trips” in and around the Houston, Texas area. There are so many awesome things to shoot in this area that I could certainly spend multiple lives trying to capture it all and wouldn’t be successful. The Houston metropolis area is second only in size to New York City. It is a very “spread-out” city, not to mention Galveston Bay and the ports and Islands there and around the Houston area. I should mention that while there might be the occasional random person in my photos, I won’t be seeking out any more models. My time of working with the few I did, left a bad taste in my mouth. Suffice it to say, there are so many other subjects for photos, that there is no need for me to seek out such ignorant subject matter again. Expect photos being posted at irregular intervals throughout the year, with a photo book to be released, most probably in 2019.

As you may have noticed, I placed all of my major projects for release next year. The reasons for doing this are many. I have a new computer on its way. I have found my MacBook Air just does not have the space for music production. Thus, getting, setting up, and learning to use a Windows 10 computer is needed. This way I can devote the entire computer’s HDD to music creation.

I also have another camera on the way. It is a medium format TLR camera. I want to move more of my photography into the film realm. I have found that I can manipulate the photos well enough to preserve the beauty of film photography and use some digital enhancement to create a hybrid photo that has the best of retro and modern technologies. I’ll have to take some time to learn that new camera.

Lastly, I am anticipating having to hire someone to edit my books or just submitting them to traditional book publishers. Most likely the latter and that will most certainly be a 2019 release.
Of course, there is always the fan to consider. If you tell a fan a creation will released by a certain date and don’t follow through, you lose a certain amount of trust. I don’t want that to ever happen.

Now you know what I know. Do you feel informed? Included? Excited? Well, you should be! Many good things are coming! Not just for me…but also for you! How do I know? I just do!

Take care…




Filed under General Stuff, Pictures, Thoughts, Writings

Why I use WordPress.com and why you should too!

Before I became an author of books, I was a writer of poems and a musician but most importantly, I was a community manager on MSN communities and I was a graphic designer.

During that time as a community manager, I learned that creating your own graphics is absolutely essential. If you used the same stock graphics as everyone else, you might as well shut down the community. Nobody was going to join. It did not matter how great your content is. What mattered and always will, when it comes to any website, is the appearance. If it does not make a great first impression, it will be the last impression.

This is true of every website on the Internet. The reason is quite simple. If you cannot make an original site, then people have no confidence in your professionalism. If they have no confidence, they won’t buy, read, listen, or even bother to glance around.

That does not mean that the persons behind the site are necessarily unprofessional. It just means they were too lazy to make themselves look professional. On this one, I will have to side with the masses. If I go a website that is poorly designed, I will leave. Who has time for extra headaches, right?

The point I am trying to set in here is, it is more important to learn how to create your own graphics, than it is to spend money on buying someone else’s stuff, which they have sold a billion times. No where on my blogs will you find stock photos(other than company logos for recognition purposes). I create all the graphics myself.  This guarantees that nobody will have graphics like mine and it WILL be a new experience for them.

Someone suggested on Twitter to today, that you use premium themes. But let’s analyze this for a moment. If you buy a premium theme and use stock photos(graphics), then that is a the equivalent of serving shit on a golden platter. You completely wasted your good money, UNLESS you are going to go all in and pay for custom graphics. Then you are basically looking at someone building a website for you.  That is going to cost you at least $500.00!

My suggestion would be the inverse. LEARN TO CREATE YOUR OWN GRAPHICS! Then no matter what kind of theme you choose, you can create a custom site for your visitors.

Sure it will take some time, but the money you save can be used on advertising!

Invest $100.00 in photo editing software such as Photoshop Elements. It has enough customization options for most people. Learn a little html. Do these in your spare time, when you are not creating. A website, you should not expect to be an overnight success. It takes time and that is the time you can use to learn.

You can start that journey toward a successful website right here at WordPress.com. There are so many great themes with various options, including customization options, that it is the perfect place to start and even keep your blog permanently, as long as you do not plan on making money from the blog itself(placing ads). Note: They may have changed this policy and allow you to do that now.

This website offers plenty of free space( I have over 1000 pics on this blog and still have lots of space), they have a great spam blocker that actually works. They have plenty of widgets(plug-ins), layout choices, etc. all with no coding knowledge required. You can upgrade your account at any time to remove ads, add more space, or even install a custom or premium theme, should you desire.

Now, I do not use a custom landing page. I never will. It has been my experience that you cannot force people to do anything they don’t want to do. Trying to do so will only cause them to leave or to give you false information. If you want people to visit and return, just make their visit enjoyable.

Feel free to look at my stats on the front page and you will see I am not talking out of my ass. I have nearly 700k visits in eight years time. That is nearly 100k visitors a year and with less than 12 posts a year. Obviously, I am doing something right.

If you follow the path I suggest, not only will you save money, you will have fun learning something new, and you will have more money to put into things that matter…like advertising! There is a reason big companies spend lots of money on it every year. It actually works if the advertising is targeted.

Of course, the obvious question might be why don’t I advertise? The answer is simple…I have no money. I spend it all on medicine thanks to Obamacare. But that is a different story, for another day.

I hope this article you found useful. If so, please like, link, share, or comment. Your support is always welcome and appreciated!

Take care!


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Just so you know…


I have posts on Twitter that state there is a lot here and that this blog is old. Just so nobody thinks I am a liar. Here is the proof.

Nine years worth of jokes, funny pics, reviews and rants. Try to enjoy yourself a little and see what you have been missing right under your eyes.




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Filed under General Stuff, Pictures, Thoughts


With nearly 20k followers on Twitter, and over 3000 subs on various blogs and music sites, it is impossible for me to welcome each person individually. Of course, I wish I could. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories! Until I find a way of cloning myself a few hundred times, this will have to do. 🙂

A brief summary about myself. I have been writing since I was 12. I love the horror genre and that is what I read and write mostly.I also write fantasy and mystery.You can learn more about my writing just by surfing this site, if you so desire. I have been singing and playing guitar since I was 15. All of my music is FREE. (who actually sells music these days?) The music I create embodies Rock, Blues, Chill, EDM, and Downtempo. Give it a listen if you like.

I have only recently started doing photography, but I studied the craft very carefully before beginning, and spent the money required, to do it justice. I am unhealthy and trying to build a legacy, before I die from all of the health problems I have. Everything I create is with that in mind.

I currently live in a new RV in Texas, with my wife and a majikal cat named appropriately, Jinxy. If you want to learn more about me, or just seek something to discover, here is a complete list of all my website-

http://jb-thomas.pixels.com-My main photos site. You can buy prints, cards, iPhone cases, tote bags, towels, shower curtains, and much more with my best photos on them.

http://licensing.pixels.com/profiles/jb-thomas.html– If you would like to license my photos for books, online ads, TV, or many other things, go here.

https://www.facebook.com/jbthomasphotography– I will be making all future photo related posts here. Come join us!

axewielderx.wordpress.com -Main blog with jokes, funny pics and music.

authorjbthomas.wordpress.com– This is where ALL of my writings are. Poetry, prose, short stories, Novel chapters, and more.

amazon.com/author/jbthomas– My amazon author page where you can buy both e-book and paperback versions of my books. There are more book links, in the My Books” section of this site.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5251326.J_B_Thomas-My Goodreads profile.

http://www.reverbnation.com/lucidchaos– My reverbnation website. All music here is in mp3 format only.

http://lucidchaos.bandcamp.com– Any format, lossless or mp3, is here. For those who like the best sound!:)

http://soundcloud.com/lucid-chaos– I only put sneak peeks of music WIPs here. I don’t care for soundcloud’s limitations.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Axewielderx– Various videos ranging from music videos to gaming casts.

http://www.facebook.com/authorjbthomas– My FB author page. This is strickly for the fans. I hate FB and self iced my personal account there.

http://axewielderx.tumblr.com/-Tumblr– It catches most of my posts from nearly every blog.

https://twitter.com/JB_Thomas– My twitter account where I do most of my daily posting.

I want to thank each and every person who has followed, subbed, or become a fan. I hope you enjoy the ride you just climbed aboard, and tell your friends, before the train has left the station for good. Take care and feel free to contact me anytime. I will answer as time allows. 😎  If you would like to connect on any of these sites, just send me your info via the contact page.



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Filed under Animation, Apps, Comedy, funny, games, General Stuff, Guitar, Humor, Jokes, Little Moments Of Truth, Music, Other Places, Pictures, Plasma TV, Podcast, Poetry, Polls, Reviews, Shadow Shifters, Thoughts, video games, Videos, Where the Water Leads, Writings, Xbox 360

Taking a break has benefits…

While I have touched briefly on this subject in a few posts here and there, I have never really went into detail on what taking a break means, for the creative driven individual. The thing that drives creativity is ideas. Ideas don’t just drop out of the sky. Ideas come with life experience, through the process of living life. That is why a lot of authors don’t create that break out book until after 40. They simply have not lived enough, to really fill out those great ideas, with actual life experiences that relate to the book. It seems like such a simple idea and one probably everyone should know. Complex, deep, and meaningful writing comes from living life. Write that down and don’t forget it. It is important.

The reason I say this…my reason for telling you this hard truth, this cold reality, this small bit of wisdom, is because knowing it will benefit you. No, I was not just trying to be some arrogant asshat in saying it. I was trying to give you something.

At any rate, the only way you are going to live that life you need and require, to write the most amazing things people have ever read in their lives, is to take breaks from creating, and then doing something different. What that something is, can be anything you want. The point is to step away, step back, and recharge the creative batteries. Then when you come back to creating, you will find new ideas, and plenty of drive to follow through on them.

Obviously, there are certain times, when taking a break from creating, should be done. I don’t recommend doing it while in the middle of writing a novel, however, if that is part of your writing style, then by all means go for it. However for most, the optimum time to take a break, is the when you do not have any big projects your deeply involved in and you are feeling a bit worn down.

I must confess I had a 2nd reason for making this post. That was to announce that I will be taking a break from creating myself. This year I have already completed 9 songs, finished a novel, and made over 20 writing related posts this year. My creative batteries are in definite need of recharging.

So what does JB do to “take a break” ? JB escapes reality by playing video games. Yep! I know not extremely exciting but video games have a couple of unique advantages for me. They don’t require me to be highly mobile, which I am not, at my young age of 49, and with my health issues, climbing Mount Everest just does not seem like a good idea. Video games are also great generators of ideas. Whether it be a simple game that requires little more than good controller control or it be games that require you to think and solve puzzles. Each has its merits in the creative thinking department. Yes, I could further explain how each has its merits, but I have enough faith in my reader’s intelligence level to just move on.:)

This time around I will be playing with a New Xbox One. I picked one up on sale yesterday that included Titanfall. I was also able to download for free Project Spark and Killer Instinct. And of course, I purchased the latest in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed 5: Black Flag. Also this time around I may broadcast my horrible gameplay at Twitch. While thinking games I do fairly well at, the games that require fast fingers I have to die like half a billion times to get it right.,lol! My gamertag for xbox live is oOLucidchaosOo, for those who want to join me or just hang, w/e.

While I am on break I won’t be creating anything new. That does not mean I won’t be getting online in the mornings, and doing some tweeting, because I will be doing that. It only means I won’t be starting any new projects until my newest book, Shadow Shifters has been released. It is still in phase one of editing but I am told they are 3/4 of the way through the book, so probably in a couple of weeks it will come back to me for my first edits on it, and then it will go back to editing, rinse and repeat until everyone is happy, then to the beta readers for their input on it, then final adjustments and formatting are done. Then the book is published. So as you can see, I may be on break for a little while. 🙂

The only posts I am likely to put here will be reviews on the games/system I am playing with, and announcements on the Shadow Shifters progress on my author blog.

Until I type again…

Axe(aka JB)





Filed under games, General Stuff, Thoughts, video games, Writings