Week of: 4.29-5.5

Greetings, from last week into the now.

This practice is establishing itself in my head as something needed.


Weeks fly by in an instant and before you know it the school year is over, my clients will soon be taking trips, and I, the ever-swimming independent contractor that I am, must decide on what course of action to take to progress forward.

Forget winter.

Summer is here.

Hello. Welcome to my Weeknotes.

Last week I put the final touches on Project: GREY. After going through copyedits (which I only recently learned are very different from line edits) in the 2nd draft (where I took a red pen to printed pages) the 3rd draft was typing up all the changes I found, checking for any other unnecessary grammar bumps, and simply scanning for an overall sense of connectivity between the story threads.

Does the character I introduced in Chapter 2 have the same name when they pop back up in Chapter 8?

Does this character have the appropriate job title or did I make one up?

Does this story have an overall feeling of connectivity and linkedness? As in, do any obvious roadblocks pop up that could derail the entire story?

So after doing all that, I took a week off.

As I wrote about here, if no one else is going to celebrate your accomplishments in the early stages of trying to be a published writer, then that falls on you.

The Trials of Apollo #3: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (GoodReads)


I’ve been a fan of Riordan’s since The Lightning Thief, and coincidentally, so have each of the classes I’ve taught. The first Percy Jackson book was a popular hit when I read it out loud to my students, and for good reason. Riordan’s tale of a young boy finding out his father is one of the Greek gods before being swept into a conflict too big for normal humans to comprehend resonates so well with kids. They want that adventure, that grandeu, and Riordan’s signature humor hits the right notes usually.

And then…


What started out as the weakest of Riordan’s sequel series (Including The Kane Chronicles, The Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase) has just turned in one of its best installments.

Apollo, banished from godhood and turned into a flabby 16-year-old boy named Lester, is working to stop the evil machinations of Roman emperors brought back to life. (Long story.)

While the previous 2 books in the series spend what I consider way too much time on a) how old Apollo is and the things he’s seen, or b) how “funny” Lester/Apollo is, this book turns in a different direction.

Character and stakes.  Death means something, and if this is what the emperors are capable of in small doses, you understand the immediate danger they pose to the world at large.

By the end you feel hollow, empty, and fully aware of the danger facing our heroes as Riordan gears up the demi-gods and their former-god for one last battle against the Roman Triumvirate. Let’s just hope he keeps with the heavy, heartfelt drama and tense action demonstrated in this one for future installments, and not so much the first two entries.

  • I continue to try and learn about the art of blogging. Hopefully, I’m improving, and when I’m feeling down and doubtful, The Art of Blogging blog tells me to never, ever give up.
  • Jane Friedman’s blog is a constant source of valuable information for writers and anyone looking to get into publishing. Basically: Bring value to your readers’ time.
  • Nigel Coutts routinely blogs about educational philosophies and ideas. Here, he states we shouldn’t be comparing one country to another because, hey, we’re all different and we don’t adopt each other’s learning styles.

“While there may be some lessons to be learned and applied from one system to another, it would not be possible or effective for Australia to wholesale adopt another nations systems and process for education.”

Gonna leave you with Akira Kurasawa, telling you writing is something you have to get good at, and that takes time.

Enjoy building the castle.

I came to a funny realization, in that it’s a blind realization where a face hugger has been planting babies in you for weeks and you just never noticed until you finally got a breath of fresh, non-face hugger air.

GIF by Because Science

What you eat affects your mood.

And I’m 31-years-old.

No longer can I just eat what I want, thinking I’m doing my best to stick to a healthy lifestyle but secretly devouring an entire party bag of tortilla chips. No, what I eat matters to my brain functions and work productivity.

Again, written about this before, but I was feeling like garbage yesterday. I mean, HOT, SWEATY garbage. So, I did one of those 8/16 hour fasts (where you eat within 8 hours, then don’t eat anything for 16 hours), which ended this morning at 8am.

I feel great.

When I’m not poisoning my body with sugar and overly processed carbs, turns out, I can get a lot done and feel pretty good in the process.

Who knew?

*slaps self in the face with a banana and gorges an all fruit smoothie with yogurt and protein granola

That’s another week out. A calm week can lead to a revved follow-up, so long as you’re prepared to put the foot down.

Let’s make it one of those.

Thanks for reading,

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Twitter: @robacosta

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com

Check out mine and Arnie Bermudez’s webcomic, The Juan!