Fight the Good Fight (Echoes of the Past Book 1) Blog Tour

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That night, David took a long shower; also known as a Hollywood shower by those in the CDF. The term traced back hundreds of years; to where, David wasn’t quite sure. It referred to taking a long shower while in space, as opposed to a space shower, in which you turned the water on for thirty seconds, turned it off, lathered up, and finally turned it back on again to rinse. His bunk was thankfully quiet and empty due to the rest of the men assigned to that berthing compartment being absent, finally giving him time to think. The idea of being a part of something larger than himself embodied the motto of the CDF, which was “Semper Paratus” or “Always Ready.” If he was being honest with himself, it appealed to him.

Lying in his bunk, he pondered over and over, What do I owe the Terran Coalition? Do I owe it anything? Does everyone have a duty to stand up for the freedoms we’ve received and fight against evil?

Finding no solace, he decided to place a real-time comm call to a friend from boot camp, Sheila Thompson. It would cost his entire comm time ration for the next three months, but he had to talk to someone, and his mother wasn’t the right person to have this conversation with. As he reached for his tablet computer, his mind thought back to boot camp, where he met Sheila three days into the ten-week ordeal.

http://www.echoesofthepast.net/

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Dealing with Anxiety in a Fast-Paced World

It seems like just when we get used to our phone or computer, another one comes along that is better and faster. Everything is faster and everyone seems to want to move at the speed of sound. What happened to slowing down and relaxing? I bet none of the teenagers now would even understand if we told them to stop and smell the roses. Well, they could actually just Google it but they still would not really understand what it actually means. Why is everyone in such a hurry?

Why Are We in Such a Hurry?

In the beginning, nature pretty much went along as a slow pace, moving at nature’s schedule when time was only noticed by the passing of the seasons and the cycles of the moon. Until humans decided they wanted to change time (daylight savings time) and move along at their own schedules whether it went with nature or not. In ancient times, when it got dark, it was time to go to sleep and when the sun came up, our days would start. That is not true anymore! Now some of us get up and work or party all night long and sleep during the day. Some people barely sleep at all because they are too busy with technology, gaming or talking on Facebook or Twitter all night long. We have disconnected from nature’s nice slow pace and tried to adapt to living under our new unnatural time pressures. Talk about some stress!

Anxiety Disorders

So, it should come as no surprise that we end up in our doctor or therapist’s office trying to figure out why we are so anxious all the time. Many experts are calling this condition time poverty and it is actually recognized as a psychological stressor. Trying to keep up with society and pushing ourselves to catch up when we fall behind is causing a great deal of anxiety in many people. In fact, anxiety disorder is the number one most common mental health condition in the United States. In fact, about 40 million American adults, which is over 18% of the population. On a more global note, approximately 1 in 13 of the world’s population suffer from anxiety.

Exercise

There are many things you can do to deal with your anxiety in this high-tech world. The one that seems most obvious is also the hardest to do, which is to just unplug. Turn off your cellphone, put down your tablet, and get off the computer. Get outside and do something physical such as taking a walk, bike riding, hiking, swimming, jogging, tennis, baseball, whatever you want to do. Exercise is good for both anxiety and depression and it is also good for your physical health. The “feel good” chemicals in your brain (serotonin) increase during and after exercise, making you feel more relaxed and satisfied. It can also help keep your mind off your stressors and keep you too busy to worry about checking your email or updating your Facebook status.

Talk to Someone

Another way to relieve stress is through talk therapy or cognitive behavior therapy. Both of these can be done from home on your electronic device for those of us who are just too busy to set an appointment. In fact, BetterHelp has more than 2,000 licensed professionals that are available to help you right now.

Interview with Breakfast At Your Place

1) Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What brought you together for this project?

 

The band formed in 2013 in Paris. It initially consisted of a keyboardist and lead vocalist, a guitarist and a drummer. We put up an ad for a bassist, but a cellist answered by mistake. We gave it a try anyway and we loved the mash-up! Since then, cello has been at the heart of our sound. We have worked with several female singers through the years. For instance, our single Lost at Sea features a Californian pop singer and a French opera singer. Alexia, who joined the band in 2017, is now our lead singer.

 

2) What was the inspiration behind this single, “Visions”?

 

More than great causes, personal suffering is an important source of inspiration for us. That’s what’s affects us the most. We often observed how people sometimes seek refuge in dreams and fantasy worlds to escape reality or even their own thoughts. That’s what inspired us for Visions. In a way it’s the sequel of our song Lost at Sea, which was also about depression but with a more down-to-earth approach.

 

3) What theme or message do you hope your song conveys to the audience?

 

This song was written above all for people who feel hopeless or depressed, to make them feel understood and to soothe their minds. To show that we understand not only their distress but also their high sensitivity. That’s why we wanted the song to be dreamy and not too dark. If the song can help everyone else understand how it feels to be depressed it’s a great thing, but it was not our primary goal.

 

4) What genres or artists have inspired you with the development of your song?

 

Natacha Colmez, who wrote the cello solos, has been inspired mostly by classical pieces. We’ve also been listening to a lot of Irish music lately so it’s possible that it has influenced the single somehow! 

 

5) What advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there looking to put their music out there online?

 

From conception to distribution, all our songs are made entirely by us. We also produce our own music videos. Learning how to do everything ourselves has been obviously time consuming, but it’s all worth it in the end I think. Now we can produce exactly the sound we have in mind, and we can spend as much time as we need recording, mixing and shooting the videos. I’m not sure if it’s an advice to give every artist but it does work for us.

 

6) What are your future plans? Any new music or tours on the horizon?

 

We’ve always tried to find a balance between studio work and tours. We came up with a concept a few years ago that works well for us: we offer our fans to play live in their own living rooms, in a totally acoustic format. We really appreciate the proximity with the audience and the very warm atmosphere of these concerts. Of course, we also do shows in bigger venues, mostly in Paris. The next one is on April 27th at the Bus Palladium, which is a mythical place of the rock scene since the 60s. We’re really looking forward to this show!

 

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The Basics of Bipolar Disorder (Guest Post)

Hi there my friends. I’m honored to once again be hosting a guest post from the incredible website BetterHelp. The post they’ve put together for you guys is near and dear to my heart, as Bipolar Disorder affects someone I love and care for dearly. I may talk about that in a separate post, but for now I hope this post will help anyone suffering from Bipolar Disorder or anyone who knows and loves someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Take special care to read the article and click the links, especially if any of you feel you need help in this regard. Thank you once again to BetterHelp for this amazing guest post, and I hope you all will enjoy it.

Anthony Avina

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You may know it as manic-depressive disorder, but it is typically now referred to as bipolar disorder. This is a serious mental health disorder that affects close to three percent of the United States population. Bipolar disorder is a double-edged sword in that it causes both severe depression and mania or hypomania, which is an extremely high mood. There are several types of bipolar disorder, including bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I disorder is characterized by having at least one manic episode that lasts at least seven days and is followed by a depressive or hypomanic episode. Those with bipolar I disorder can also have psychosis, which is a period when emotions and thoughts are impaired so much that you are no longer able to tell what is real and what is not real. This sometimes includes hallucinations.

Bipolar II Disorder

This condition consists of having more than one period of depression and a period of hypomania but no manic episode. Hypomania is a less severe type of mania that causes some manic episodes but you can still perform your daily activities. Many people with bipolar II disorder are mistakenly diagnosed with depression because they do not consider the hypomania a part of the disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a milder type of bipolar disorder. With this disorder, you will have both depression and hypomania on and off for several years but it will not get severe enough to affect your daily life. It is called cyclothymic disorder because you cycle through high and low emotions over and over again. This condition is rare and only affects less than one percent of the American population.

How You Can Tell if You Have Bipolar Disorder

Even though the signs of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person, there are some that are common in all patients. These symptoms include:

Mania

  • Not sleeping
  • Talking louder, faster, and more often than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Trying to do more than you can handle (overbooking yourself)
  • Extreme behaviors such as gambling, unprotected sex, spending money that you cannot afford
  • Drinking in excess or using illegal drugs
  • Rapid thoughts

Depression

  • Feeling sad, despondent, and helpless
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Anger or aggression
  • Crying bouts for no obvious reasons
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Memory lapses
  • Thoughts of suicide

Risk Factors

According to experts, bipolar disorders are genetic, but they can also be affected by environmental issues like constant and extreme stress, lack of sleep for long periods of time, addiction to alcohol or drugs, physical abnormalities in the brain, and/or chemical or hormonal imbalances.

Treatment

The treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications such as a tricyclic antidepressant, an atypical antidepressant, monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). In addition, those with bipolar disorder should talk to a therapist on a regular basis. This is important because some of the medications can become less effective over time and your therapist will be able to tell just by talking to you if you need to switch your dosage or medication. If you do not have a therapist to talk to or you are too busy to find the time to make an appointment, you can find a professional on BetterHelp.com. Just click here to talk to someone, with no appointment necessary.

What Is Depression? (Guest Post with BetterHelp)

Hello there everyone. This is Anthony Avina. I am honored to be working with BetterHelp on this guest post regarding depression. I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness, and I hope this will be the first of many guest posts working with this amazing company to bring awareness to these very serious topics that affect so many people. I hope you guys will enjoy this article and if you or anyone you know is suffering from any sort of mental health disorder, please be sure to go to this website and find the necessary resources and support systems you need to help you or those you love. Now here is BetterHelp with a look at depression.

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How to Live with Depression

For those of us who suffer with depression, we know that life is not as easy for us as it is for other people. What makes it worse is that depression and other mental health conditions are “invisible” diseases so nobody can tell what is wrong with you just by looking at you. While some may think this is a good thing, it also makes it hard for others to understand why we may not feel like getting up and going to the beach with the gang or how it takes everything we have to just get out of bed on some days. In fact, I am sure some of you have heard “you are just lazy,” or “quit being so dramatic,” or my favorite “it is all in your head.”

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder that is very common in both adults as well as children. In fact, it is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects one in six people at some point in their lives, which is almost 17% of the American population. It is not just feeling sad or grouchy for a while or being upset because you lost a loved one, although that can trigger it. Depression is a group of symptoms that include:

  • Feelings of sadness that lasts for more than two weeks
  • Lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Sleep changes (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or sleeping more than usual)
  • Extreme fatigue or listlessness
  • Feeling empty or lost
  • Crying for no obvious reason
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Slowed speech or movement
  • Thoughts of suicide

Who Is Most at Risk?

While anyone can suffer from depression, it is more common in some people than others. For example, women are twice as likely to have depression as men. Other risk factors of depression include:

  • Hereditary – Mental health conditions such as depression can be hereditary so if someone in your family has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, you may be more susceptible.
  • Chemistry – Many experts believe that a chemical imbalance (too much or too little) in the brain is a major cause of depression.
  • Previous mental health disorders – If you have had trouble with anxiety or depression before, you are more likely to have another bout of one of these mental health disorders.
  • Environmental situations – Many situations such as abuse, neglect, extreme poverty, or exposure to violence can make you more susceptible to depression.
  • Physical ailments – Certain major chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can cause depression.

What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is talk to someone. Even if you do not have a doctor or therapist, there are experts who are available to you that can help. In fact, you can talk to an online psychologist without even having to leave your home or make an appointment. These therapists are licensed and trained in dealing with depression as well as many other disorders. There are other things you can do in the mean time to make your life easier to deal with such as:

  • Exercise – Force yourself to get out of bed at least once a day and move around. Even if it is just to get up and take a shower and walk around the house.
  • Smile – According to experts, even a fake smile can make you feel happier.
  • Break things up – Do things a little bit at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. Thinking about all the things you have to do that day can be a major block but if you break things up into smaller tasks, it is much easier.
  • Talk about itTell people how you feel. Even if they do not seem to care, talking about it helps you understand your illness.
  • Goals Set some small goals for yourself. Talk yourself into doing at least one thing from that goal list every week.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore it and do not try to hide it. There is nothing to be ashamed of and it is more common than you think. Talk to someone. Today.

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My 2018 Goals

It’s a new year. 2018. The time to make changes, set goals and decide what you want your life to be. While some things are out of our control, there are so many things we as people are capable of doing to make positive changes in our lives. As an author, a blogger, a writer and a YouTuber, I have made a decision to make 2018 the year of Anthony Avina. In other words, I plan to better myself in all aspects of my career, and make this the year my goals become somewhat of a reality. I also want to improve my own personal life, including being more open about the life I’m leading with you guys, the readers. With that in mind, I thought it was time to write about my 2018 goals.

No, this isn’t a New Year’s Resolution kind of thing. Instead, I’m going to be focusing on setting goals for myself to work towards with no commitment that they will definitely happen, but with the hope that maybe, just maybe, I can accomplish these goals. So here are my 2018 goals!

Personal:

I plan to get healthier. Those of you who don’t know need to know that I am never going to be 100% healthy. I have several disabilities that hinder me and my daily life, including Dercum’s Disease (look it up), Fibermyalgia, Hashimodo’s Disease and probable Rheumatoid Arthritis (test pending). These diseases have no cure and have made it impossible to get a 9-5 standing job, to be able to run, hike, or work out normally. It’s also lead to weight gain. If I’m being honest with myself, part of it is due to depression and eating food I shouldn’t. However a lot of it is due to the diseases themselves, which some lead to weight gain you can’t control. Before all of these illnesses, I was working out. I was loosing weight and getting fit. That life of a skinny or athletic person is never going to happen for me, but I’m OK with it. I have accepted this is my life and I am striving to make 2018 the year that I at least improve my health. Already I have been doing well on a new diet, cutting out most of the carbs I used to eat in my life. I am also starting to walk with my little dog Sammy and will be working to improve the amount of walking I can do. No matter my size, I’m determined to be happy in my body and still get healthier.

I also plan to push myself to get out more. As I mentioned with the disabilities I also have depression, anxiety and social anxiety. I have a hard time conceiving a situation in which I could approach someone and strike up a conversation without any lead up. Talking with people in real life is a lot more difficult than emailing them or live chatting them. When I got sick, I had a lot of friends that suddenly stopped talking to me. It was high school, so I tell myself that they were kids who had their own lives and moved on like any other teenager and young adult would have. However it was difficult to make friends after that. This year I plan to change that. I want to converse more and talk with the online friends I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in the last couple years. I also want to travel more and meet new people, befriending them or possibly starting a relationship with a woman I meet in the world. Overall I want to push myself to be a more social person.

Professionally:

2018 is going to be the year I move forward with my career. This year, I plan to make my blog here and my YouTube channel prosper. I am dedicating myself to writing more on this blog and growing both my subscriber base and newsletter following. I want to entertain, educate and start a conversation in multiple areas on both my blog and channel. I am going to be doing way more book related posts and videos. I have gotten over 150 book review requests and that number continues to grow. I am hopeful I can build both my blog and channel into a thriving community where we can discuss books, pop culture and the world at large in a positive and happy arena.

Finally, this is the year my writing takes center stage. Towards the end of last year I was fortunate enough to get a new job working for the online publication TheGamer, a popular entertainment magazine where my articles have garnered over seven million views thus far. I want to grow my presence on the website and make that a big priority for my work, bringing the most entertaining articles possible. I have some exciting Nintendo related articles coming to the site soon. I also plan to self-publish and traditionally publish books. I have several self-published books in the works right now, and will be working to write and edit/publish more this year. Most exciting of all, I have a publisher I’m working with on my first publishing deal right now. I can’t reveal the book or the publisher yet, but I just finished the editing phase of the process and my book is now in the hands of a proofreader, so needless to say I am so thrilled that my writing career seems to be hitting an all-time high and I feel this is the start of a wonderful new phase of my life. This is where my dreams of becoming a writer begin to take shape, and I will work to make that a reality in the months to come.

Those are my main goals of 2018 guys. I hope you’ll follow along as I go on this journey to make myself and my career shine in 2018. If you guys want to watch my latest YouTube video where I talk about these goals, be sure to check out the link here! What are some of your goals of 2018? Leave them in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to my blog and sign up for my free newsletter! You get a free short story when you do and it’s free to sign up. Thanks for listening guys and I look forward to hearing from you guys!

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Powered by Indie: Why I Love Being An Indie Author

It’s not easy doing things on your own. Yet as many have said before me and as many will say once I’m long gone, nothing in life worth doing is
easy. It’s these words that have kept me inspired to pursue a career as an author, and have kept me going all these years. Over time, my writing
has improved and has grown, as have my ideas and ability to connect with readers and writers alike. The sense of community, of creative vision
and of belonging have helped reinforce my belief in the written word, and that’s why in honor of Amazon’s month long celebration of indie writing,
I thought I’d talk about why I love being an indie author.

There’s a very simple reason why I love being an indie author: I love having creative control over my story. While I dream of being able to work
with a publisher someday, I love being able to decide how to develop my story. I like having a say in not just the story, but the direction I take
the marketing and the way my story is formatted. When you have a creative vision, you like to have a sense of control over your final product, and
with indie publishing you don’t have anyone to answer to in that regard.

Overall, I think I enjoy the deeper connection I feel with my readers as an indie author. I think indie authors have an added advantage of being
closer to their audience because they come to it as readers themselves, and they are more in touch with what the average reader is looking for.
I know my writing has improved greatly as a result of connecting with readers over the years, and that’s why I wouldn’t trade being an indie
author for anything. Like I said, I hope to be able to work with a fantastic publishing company someday, and I actually have an opportunity to
work with a great publisher in the coming year, which I’m looking forward to. However my career began in indie publishing, and I love the
freedom that comes from having control and passion at your fingertips. That is why I love being an indie author, and I hope you aspiring authors
out there will consider taking a shot on yourself and self-publish your book.

You fellow authors out there: why do you love being an indie author? And all you readers out there, who are some of your favorite indie authors?
Leave your comments down below!

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