Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mangohead is Live!

The Mangohead Chronicles Fan Page is now live and is the best place for updates on Mangohead and his hijinx across San Marcos.

In other news, it seems as though the writer platform thing is actually working. I'm getting a lot of people from both twitter and facebook to visit the new project site but they're not translating into votes. Hopefully it will though as soon as I get some more people to share and vote. I figure there must be a way to link polls from a blog to a facebook page. Does anyone out there know how to do that?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mangohead and the Zaboca Thief - An Update

This is my first serialized novel. I shall be posting up weekly updates. I will also be using some of YOU as characters, but of course I won't tell you which character represents who. Please Note the character and not their motivations or inclinations are based on you, i.e. ONLY how the character looks, not how he/she thinks. The only way to find out if I included you in this story is to read it, week by week, as it comes out on Tuesday Evenings. I will also be asking a question to see which way the story goes the next week, in the form of a poll, so don't forget to vote.

Mangohead and the Zaboca Theief

Interruption for a cause here guys. I'm still working on the 30 day author platform challenge, but I wanted to interject here to mention a project I'm working on. I'm not sure how many of you are fans of West Indian Fiction (I'm pretty sure most of you have never even heard of the genre) but being a Caribbean author, I've been bombarded with the standard of fiction writing in the Caribbean to be the likes of Sam Selvon, V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming et.al. If you've never heard those names, I advise reading some books (The Lonely Londoners by Selvon, A House for Mr. Biswas by Naipaul, and In the Castle of My Skin by Lamming are among my favourites by these authors). Having been influenced by this and the concerted postings of the anecdotes of my friend Angelo Bissessarsingh on his facebook page, I've decided to give this thing a whirl. I've decided to do a weekly column with my writing and post it where available to see if I can get some readership involved. I plan to include all the diaspora of the Caribbean region, especially of the small rural district where I grew up.

Have you ever been inspired by a friend? I'f love to hear how...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Of Furniture and Moving

Personal space is a thing that I have to see about getting and maintaining responsibly. The "responsibly" part is what escapes me. I'm moving soon so I went to check to see if I can afford furniture on my current wage and it turns out that, hey, I can! That said, I'll have to see about how I'm getting furniture from outside the apartment to inside the apartment. The size of the door makes it slightly impossible. Which brings me to the question: Who Invented Doors that can't fit a bed through? Like seriously.

Have any of you guys ever had the need to move? How was it? Furnished or Unfurnished apartment?

Monday, October 22, 2012

30 Day Platform Challenge Days 11 and 12

Taking a little breather here to get in a blog post. I've gotten to days 11 and 12 of the challenge and I won't tell you what they are because it requires input by you guys and gals etc.
Firstly, I found this on my blog feed today and just HAD to share it because as writers I know that we ALL get into a certain humdrum way of writing that leads to our stories etc. being single-voiced and at times monotone. Miss Tydell makes some good points in that post and I'd advise anyone who writes to read it so you don't end up using one storytelling style all the time. Variety IS the spice of life after all.
So readers, do you have blogs? I'd like for anyone who reads or read this post to comment me back with your blog address so I can add you back. I like following new blogs; it's more variety. I guess that makes my life spicier than Mexican Chili?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Busy schedule just screwed everything up

So between moving (from whence I will have no internet for about a week) and all the stuff going on in my personal life, my updates have been a little sparse. I'll have to apologize. As it is I'm not sure what happened that made me end up getting home at 2:45 yesterday morning, but whatever it was it was probably good.
Couple the amount of sudden appointments I have with the idea that I'm sick with some sort of stomach bug and you get a person whose mind isn't on blogging, but rather is on trying to make sure his innards don't revolt and try to run for the border. Here's to hoping I'll recover sometime soon to be able to continue the 30-day challenge!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Days 7 and 8

So for day 8, I was tasked with creating a LinkedIn profile here which took about an hour total. I managed to join a few writing groups and pending approval on a few others, but I'm well on my way I think. Day 7 was simply adding a share button to my blog posts if on the off-chance someone decides they'd like to share my work with someone else on twitter or facebook or even G+.
I also am keeping up with other blogs and commenting sparsely on posts using disqus (which I need to set up properly, note to self,: do that soon). I undertook a minor writing exercise on The Write Practice blog using the word "refusenik" in a short flurry of writing that would take up 5 minutes. It didn't turn out all that great, but it's not unreadable either. I dunno if it evokes any emotions though. I'm trying for emotion in my latest series of writing and I don't know if I'm failing miserably at it. Maybe I should just stick to tried-and-true writing with trope-like storylines and predictable characters...ah who am I kidding, I was never like that in the first place.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Soapbox Time - Part I

I would define an intellectually devoid society as one that foregoes common sense in favor of tribal politics. Since I am living in such a society, I am saddened to see time and time again the populous taken advantage of by the Capitalists that somehow have wheedled their way into political dominance of a Socialist country and the media simply propping up and facilitating these pigs in their unending march forward to destroy Trinidad and Tobago. Of course the sheer amount of "big-words" I used in the preceding paragraph would make its complexity far removed from the average Trinidadians ability to comprehend. But I need to get this off my chest, regardless of who listens. I guess that's what blogs are for. My opinion, Ladies and Gentlemen, are as follows:

  1. We live in a country that is by and large socialist, as most of our governmental initiatives are designed to benefit the populous in either one way or another. For the last thirty-odd years, the ruling-class of the island has been chiefly made up of capitalists and swindlers in all fashion and form. It is a glaring oversight of our system that someone who owns a business that enters some form of government or another can continue to run that business advantageously, allowing him or her to drastically undercut their competitors in one way or another. Not to mention the vast numbers of government contracts that are given to their own companies or companies of their colleagues (see "Parasitic Oligarchy").
  2. The ruling party (yes I state this as a singular because regardless of which party enters power the major issues will still fall under the political blanket of "conservatism") is supported financially by a series of businessmen that have ingrained the idea of "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" into the minds of any politician in the country, thus making sure that when the party they support is voted into power, legislation is passed that makes their business easier to run while simultaneously causing competitors a large degree of discomfort (see Ariapita Avenue Traffic Plan).
  3. The media, although made up of different agendas and collectives all come down to the the same thing, i.e.  they need to make money, because media is a business. Going against the government does not make money. Seeming to go against the government as a method of providing a supposed balance to political issues guarantees kudos from both the misled public (who see it as them doing a bang-up job to expose the filthy that settles in the government) and the government (who feed them the stories they "leak" in order to lay a smokescreen over the obviously unethical goings-on in both state boards and authorities). This just makes the average citizen more of a fool, and doubly so because they don't realize they're being made asses of (see "Project Pride" & "New Piarco Airport Building").
  4. Government in this country, regardless of which faction it is, is concerned only with filling their own pockets and not with helping the average man. Ask these politicians when was the last time they took a maxi or a taxi? When was the last time they drove to the impoverished parts of the country and shared their ill-gotten wealth? It seems that the only times these things happen are when TV cameras are in close pursuit to show off a "humanitarian aid" story. That's not Humanitarian. it's disgusting and self serving. This country's income is based mainly on oil. In a relatively short amount of years our oil will be depleted. The present governments and it's immediate forebears have been and still are engaged in spending out money faster than the country can make it (see "NAPA", "Helicopter rides to Siparia").
In conclusion of this blog post that will probably be seen by a grand total of five or maybe six people (Trinis are notorious for their inexcusable aversion to reading), it comes down to this: People, ALL people, should at least be politically educated in the things that matter to a society like ours. Recently I took a quiz designed to tell which political party one should support in the upcoming US presidential elections and a similar one tailored to the British elections, each coming to their conclusion by asking questions and comparing the answer to the manifesto of their party. When the party (again, only one in this country, whether it be PNM-flavored or UNC-flavored, it's still conservative) can answer questions based on the future of Trinidad's Economy (in words understandable to a ten-year old), their stance on abortion, gay rights, the rising crime problem (again with a plan that can be understood by a ten-year old), then I'll say that they're an actual party. Until such time both the politics and the media of this country is quite suited to the banana-republic Trinidad and Tobago is striving to be. In eighteen years, whatever God you believe in would do a great job of saving you from the mess you'll put yourself in. When the shit finally hits the fan, the people, i.e. the everyday, common man, the ones who put those parasites in power, will be the ones to suffer. And by the time they realize what they've done and are ready to revolt, the time for revolution will have long gone.
If anyone has spotted any glaring misdemeanors I may have done, injustices to the system and my opinion on the government, then feel free to rebut me. Also, if my point of view differs from yours, then feel free to present your point of view in a calm, collected and intellectually sound manner as I have done.

Monday, October 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo is coming

I know that it's almost November and that means I'm going to have to figure out how I'm going to get this NaNoWriMo thing going when November rolls back around. It'll be my 5th year and I'd like to finish a novel draft within the 30 days again this year. I've got a good subject too: I'll be working on finishing my second part of the trilogy. I've already got the major elements down and I'm working on cleaning up the original, which needs some cleaning up as far as my editor friend suggests. It's exciting!

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

The challenge for today was to comment on a couple blogs. I was well set up for this because I've been following a few blogs on my blogger ticker and so I was in a good position to set it off.

One of the interesting things about reading those blogs is that you get insight into how other writers think and work. It's quite fun to read those posts and sometimes, not often, comment ont hem. However, I feel I have to challenge myself to leave my comfort zone and start commenting on those blogs to see if I can get some traffic to my own. No post is an island after all...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Days 3, 4 and 5

Dear Blog,
I know I've been absent for a bit, but here's the thing. The last three days the platform challenge had me making a user page on facebook and twitter and drumming up a following. I've discovered a couple good ways to reach out to fans and got some advice from a friend of mine who's into marketing. I'm getting a bit excited and hopefully won't be overwhelmed by the whole issue. Here's to success!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

Short term and long term goals

Short Term Goals
  • complete another novel manuscript first draft before the end of the year
  • work on streamlining the current novel manuscript
  • work on building a writer platform so I can have my second book work on the success and pull up the first one
Long Term Goals
  • Learn and start writing in Spanish
  • Move to Lima for a year
  • Travel a bit
  • Dedicate myself to someone else
  • Settle down

Monday, October 8, 2012

30 Day Writer's Challenge - Day 1

Name (as used in byline): Jason Dookeran

Position(s): Freelance Writer, Engineering Technician, Budding Novelist

Skill(s): Editing, creative writing (poetry and fiction), technical writing, problem solving, idea generation, public speaking, willingness to try new things.

Social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger.

URLs: http://tapclok.tumblr.com

Accomplishments: Has had short stories published in magazines, has completed a novel and self-published it on the kindle via the KDP platform, completes about 1000 words a day in writing.

Interests: Writing (all genres), reading, MOBA type video games, board games, worldbuilding, Magic: The Gathering

In one sentence, who am I? Jason Dookeran is a Caribbean-based fiction author who spends his time thinking mostly about the things people prefer not to think about.

Stop Wasting Time!

Yes blog, I know it's hard for me to stop doing that, but I have to. I have to stop wasting time and I have to man up and see how well I can do what I have to do. I need to get my book out there. I need to make it worthwhile and I need to start getting things done.
I got my second review yesterday, a 5-star this time. I was impressed. Slowly but surely I'm gathering momentum, rolling down this venerable pile, hopefully taking some rocks with me as I keep on rolling. God that's the worst euphemism I've ever used.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

T20 World Cup

West Indies won it. As a West Indian fan, I have to say it had to have been the most intense, nail-biting, worrisome final I've ever seen them in. From the get-go Sri Lanka was looking to be the better team. Hell it took them 17 balls just to score the first runs off the bat. And then things changed when Marlon Samuels entered the Picture.
Now I won't lie, being a WI fan for so long, I have my doubts about Samuels. He's been a mediocre player at the ODI level and wasn't really outstanding until he started playing with the T20 team. Even then he was only middling, but then things changed rapidly in the Semis and Marlon took it onto himself to finally explode into glory instead of end up as another failure to launch.
So as the WI (most particularly Marlon) looted 54 runs off one of the best fast-bowlers in world cricket today (Lasith Malinga), the tempo changed. WI closed at 138, not a HUGE score by any means and SL was in a mood to let us know that it wasn't over yet. The boys in maroon weren't done yet though.
Coming out to bowl, Dilshan and Jayawardena were a force to behold. In the Super 8's, they demoralized the WI bowlers chasing a similar total. SL would have thought they had this game in the pocket. Then Ravi Rampaul did the unthinkable.
Rampaul is another WI player I have no love for. He's not very consistent and his wide-outside-off-stump line annoys me because it makes it so easy for the higher order batsmen to pick him at will. But every once in a while when Ravi fires, he fires well.
In his first over, Ravi bowled a beautiful, nigh-unplayable delivery to remove Dilshan's stump and send him back to the dugout. WI had their first scalp but it was FAR from over. As Dilshan walked back forlorn and defeated, the captain Sangakkara was looking poised and calm, ready to take the fight to the WI.
A steady partnership built between these two, Sangakkara and Jayawardena. They are friends off the field and peers on the field and despite the one or two chances they held out to the opposition, they never really felt threatened. Then while going for a big strike off Narine (a REALLY bad decision) Sammy had Jayawardena caught in the deep.
Sangakkara followed suit not soon after, trying to accelrate the scoring, and SL never recovered. There was a small flash of brilliance towards the end from Kulasekara, but it was far too little, far too late. Rampaul got the brunt of this assault, going for 21 in one over and totally losing his rhythm. Still as the final wicket fell, a simple catch to birthday-boy Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies fans both at home and abroad (along with the the majority of the Indian fans) erupted with delight. The West Indies had won their first world cup victory in International Cricket in thirty-three years. We have finally turned the corner.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Finding a way

Dear Blog,
Yesterday was pretty action packed. Despite the fact that my internet connection speed plummeted during the day for some inexplicable reason. I managed to throw together a makeshift green deck that needs some editing to actually be finished. Sounds like a lot of colour for a monocoloured, but I think it'd be cool to try running it in a standard tournament. I mean I know Ravnica's out, but maybe my mono green will screw with people's heads. Maybe.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Dear Blog,
I'm sleepy, that's true. I've been sleepy all day today, but it may be from either lack of iron or just plain tiredness. This promoting lark ain't all it's cracked up to be, let me tell you. Sometimes I feel like saying fuck it and leaving it there, if it sells it sells. Then I realize that just won't fly. It won't work, I've tried it before.
No, I think I need to dedicate more of myself to this, to making it a good, marketable novel. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's just not getting the attention of people who should notice it. I'm impatient I know, but it fuels my fire to be this way. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

From TerribleMinds - A Self-Evaluation

Hello Blog,

Second post of the day, I must really like you, huh? Anyway, down to the meat.
One of the blogs I follow is that of author Chuck Wendig (Terribleminds). Today's post on his blog sets readers a challenge to evaluate themselves and I thought I'd fill it out for you so you'd know I'm not actually wasting my time (Stop looking at me like that blog, I swear it's true).

How’s it going, writing-wise?
Well, it's going. I've managed to hold on to my quota of 1000 words a day (more or less) even after the release of my novel on Kindle, which is an accomplishment for me. I tend to take some time off after I finish a project and after that novel I took about a week and a half off writing completely. When I restarted I came back renewed.
How goes progress on any current projects? Whatcha working on?
Two novels and a novelette. Strictly speaking they're all novelettes because they haven't made it past the 15,000 word mark as yet.
Any problems with said projects? Issues you’re having?
The biggest issue is to figure out which of the three projects to work at on a day-to-day basis. I still have to get started on my novel sequel, which I promised I'd have out before May next year for beta-reading. Considering if I'm working on that novel I won't be working on anything else, I should complete the manuscript in a little under two months, hopefully. I think my problem is time. I don't dedicate enough of it to writing and I damn well know it.
Beyond individual projects, how’s the bigger picture looking?
Well I published my first novel (Shardhunter - Air & Fire) and I'm still looking at getting some of my short stories out there. I've seen the Amazon Singles thing and I'm considering getting one or two of my pieces for preview by their editors.
What are your strengths as a writer and storyteller?
My descriptions are one of my strengths as are my attention to action and pacing. 
More importantly: what and where are your weaknesses?
My downfalls are my attention to physical details of character traits and the ability to follow through on a plot. I have no qualms about killing my characters...unless they grow on me.

So there you go Blog, a rundown of the things I'm working on and what I plan to do. And well, you know I'm working my ass off with these book marketing strategies I'm putting into place.Not much to show for it, but hopefully soon I'll see some differences.

Marketing Horrors

Dear Blog,
On day two of this, my foray into the world of self publishing, I'm once again tempted to ask what the hell I was thinking. I mean I'm pretty sure that (putting aside the grass-is-greener mentality) I would not have as much work to do if I had went the traditional publishing route. Yes, I do know that I probably would have to go do the beat-walking myself and honestly, I already have a job.
I guess, on further consideration, it's not such a bad thing to find myself in this situation. Drumming up sales (no matter how small they seem now), has the kinda of grunt labour that I appreciate. No one can say I'm not putting my all into this book.
Dear blog, I know it's a bit of opening myself up with this statement, but I am afraid. I'm afraid that I will give it my all and I will fail. But I suppose that failing is a natural part of life and unless you take the chance then it's not worth it anyway. Everything, no matter how "sure" it seems to be has a small chance of failing. It's risky but it should be worth it. At least I hope so.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting out there...

Blogging comes to me from time to time as a method of release. Of escape. Of pretending to be someone who I'm not. It comes as a way of speaking into the void and not expecting a response back. In light of this, I've decided to start afresh and keep this blog solely for my writing, after it has been polished. I will post interesting tidbits about what I'm working on currently and at the same time update you, my dear blog, on things that affect me professionally and personally. But no, I won't be writing into the void anymore. For you, my blog are now a living instrument, a breathing, thinking, doing thing, and with this final keystroke I give you life.