2018 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

The new year is here and that brings another list of goals, hopes, dreams, commitments, and changes. Here are my new year’s resolutions for 2018.

#1 Do not leave my cellphone by my bed while I am sleeping. I am tired of waking up in the morning, grabbing my phone, and spending an extra 30 minutes in bed while browsing pointless notifications. It is a terrible way to start the day. This year, I want to limit my time looking at a screen. I spend enough of my time looking at a screen at work and while writing books. Plus, it’s an obsessive reaction looking at my phone. You don’t think it is until you actually try putting your phone away and you start to crave it. It’s scary! This is going to be my hardest new year’s resolution; I have already failed at it the first night. I placed my phone inside my dresser on the other side of my room. I woke up and instantly felt the urge, the need, the desire to grab my phone, to check all my important updates and notifications. I tried to resist it, but I just couldn’t do it. I got out of bed, walked all the way to the other side of my room to free my phone, and jumped back into bed for another 30 minutes. It was a very sad moment and made me realize how important this new year’s resolution is.

#2 Write one blog post a week. I have been slacking with my blog posts. Much of my time has been taken up by releasing my first book, which took a lot longer than I anticipated. But now that my first book is out, and my second book is on the way, I am making it a goal to write one blog post a week to keep up my book promoting, share my life with my fans, and improve my writing skills. I have many ideas lined up including posts about photography, chapters of a mini book series called Junkland Journeys, book reviews, continuing my Disney movie reviews, topics about animals and entertainment. All good stuff that I enjoy!

#3 Take a picture everyday of anything. I am only on day 7 and it already has been so much fun! Everyday I wonder what the heck I’m going to take a picture of in my house. I surprise myself by thinking outside the box like this picture below…


Awesome, right? This new year’s resolution has also been making me more aware of my surroundings and making me appreciate the simple things in my life.

#4 Attend a writing conference. Now that I have released a book, I need to attend a writing conference. I am looking forward to this one! It will give me a chance to network with people who share the same dream as myself. It will also provide me the opportunity to get my book, Junkland, out in the writing world.

#5 Speak at a public event. I am good at public speaking when I know what I am talking about. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously know a lot about my book, how I made it, and about the writing world. But I do not know if that’s what people want to hear. I want to speak at my local library, but I need to work on organizing my knowledge and thoughts into a presentation that is something positive for my listeners to take something away.

#6 Move to San Diego. A pretty extreme new year’s resolution. It has been a subtle goal of mine growing up, and has been a real goal for the past two years. Now it is time to take action. Everything in my life in the past two years has been pointing me to San Diego. And I want to follow that path to see what it has in store for me instead of living the rest of my life wondering what could have been. I am nervous leaving my friends and family behind to move to a place where I know no one. But I am trying to keep telling myself that if it doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would, I can always move home.

#7 Practice my Spanish. I took Spanish for five years from 7th grade to 11th grade. I was too busy to keep up with it while studying engineering and mathematics in college. But after college, I had a lot of free time, and I wanted to pick it back up again. I have beaten Duolingo twice, I am on the 4th Harry Potter book, I love watching the show Club de Cuervos and other Spanish shows, I have been reading La Casa del Arbol (The Magic Treehouse) series, listening to Podcasts, and attending a Spanish speaking group at my local library every Thursday. Now I am visiting my friend in Spain in March and I want to put my Spanish to the ultimate test! Deséama suerte!

#8 Publish book two. This one is the most important. I need to publish book 2 of The Hoarding series by the end of the year. It is definitely possible. The first book, Junkland, took me a year and a half from start to finish. So I am hoping things will be a lot smoother with book 2. However, book 2 will be a bit longer page-length wise, and I need to take that into account. But I believe!

#9 Get in a solid workout routine. I made this one pretty broad because I do work out a lot. However, it can be difficult to keep a routine with my writing career, my full time job, and running errands as a real adult. Life gets in the way. I want to make sure I have a consistent workout routine that allows me to do any kind of workout at least 5 – 6 times a week. It doesn’t just have to be weightlifting. I want to run more, do more yoga, take more cycling classes, bike farther distances, try stand up paddle boarding, hike more trails, and play more tennis!

#10 Stay in the present and watch the seasons change. This one I started working on in 2017. I read an article from an author that said…Sometimes it is important to take a break from writing and enjoy life. This year, I watched Fall happen and watched the season change…I didn’t understand what this meant when I first read it. How can someone “watch” Fall happen? I couldn’t grasp that concept. Don’t we always watch Fall happen? But I gave it a try, and it was an unbelievable experience. I watched the leaves change. I was present in the moment. My head was clear, and I took notice of detail of different trees and colors and beauty. Time had slowed down. I felt happy. But once November hit with my book release, NaNoWriMo, applying to creative writing grad school, going to work, Thanksgiving, completing my friend’s work out routine, all of that ‘being in the present’ feeling had faded away. I was stressed again. I felt sick. My mind was racing. Time sped away from me. So I am making it a resolution to watch the seasons change and to stay in the present.

I am looking forward to a great year ahead of me full of happiness, good health, and staying in the present. I wish the same for all of you too!

Happy new year!

I would love to hear about your new year’s resolutions! Please share them with me!

-Patrick Johns








Junkland Book Fans

Happy New Year!

It has been an amazing two months with the release of my book, Junkland, which has already exceeded all of my goals. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fans! It was all of you who made this happen. Thanks for spreading the word and giving me the support I needed during the release and while I was writing the book to push me to reach my dreams. The new year will bring the second book in The Hoarding series, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Here is the video I promised. Thanks to all my fans!


-Author Pat




Book Review (2): Wicked

Gregory Maguire loved the classic tale of Dorothy and her encounter with the Wicked Witch of the West. But he wasn’t just fascinated by Dorothy and her trip down the yellow brick road, he was fascinated by the Wicked Witch and if she actually was so wicked. Gregory Maguire’s lovable character, Elphaba, was loved so much that his story was turned into one of the best selling Broadway plays called Wicked.


Wicked tells the life of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, before Dorothy takes her trip to Oz. The Wicked Witch wasn’t always wicked, however. She was once loving, caring, and kind. The story builds on the actions that drove Elphaba to become wicked. It builds on the idea of racism and equal rights in a world where Animals are being treated like animals, sorcerers and sorceress’ have too much power, dwarf sized people called Munchkinlanders are made fun of from their size, and a girl is harassed from being born with green colored skin. The story asks the question of whether people are born wicked or have wickedness thrown upon them.

Gregory Maguire showed a different side of the Wicked Witch of the West in his novel, Wicked. He showed the struggle of a girl who was born with green skin and how the world treated her. It reflected a lot on the racism going on in the world today. Gregory Maguire also added Animals in his world, especially to explain the Cowardly Lion who follows Dorothy around in the Wizard of Oz. These Animals were animals, but they walked, talked, and went to school like humans. But these Animals were not treated equally by humans. It seemed Elphaba knew the struggle these Animals were going through because of the torment she received through out her life of her green colored skin. So Elphaba makes it a big part of her life to bring awareness to people on how Animals are being treated and that everyone should be treated equally. She wanted to make a change. But making a change always comes with difficult decisions and sacrifices.

I did not like this book. I had a hard time finishing it, sadly. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this book ever since I saw the play on Broadway two years ago. I thought the play was amazing. It had great singing and songs, fantastic acting, and a well done story that tied well into the Wizard of Oz. Although the book and play were very similar, I enjoyed the story of the play more.

I thought the beginning of the book was well written and really drew me into the story. When Gregory Maguire drifted off to other point of view characters, who I didn’t feel strongly about, I lost interest.

The story also jumped around a lot. This caused for poor character development and poor story structure. Everything happened sporadically without any build up towards the plot point.

That being said, I thought the book was well written. Gregory Maguire has amazing imagery and his writing has a sense of humor.

I did not know this book was an epic fantasy nor a four book series. The four books are part of the Wicked Years series. I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I want to give the next book a chance. We will see.

What were your thoughts on the book? Did you enjoy it?

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Movie Review (4): Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

It is hard to find diversity among the numerous amounts of superhero movies that are hitting the big screen these days. However, Guardians of the Galaxy definitely adds diversity to the lineup.

I am very picky with my superhero movies. For me, it is hard to best Spider man and the Batman trilogy. Those movies take it a step beyond the classic superhero layout and add great characterization.

That being said, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is definitely a summer hit. I thought the overall plot was unique and not forced. I enjoyed the love interest between Peter and Gamora (especially since I have a secret crush on her myself). The writer, James Gunn, did a great job exploring deeper into the characters during this film.

I thought Drax the Destroyer’s part was kind of strange in the movie. He didn’t add much to the plot except for his hilarious one liners.

Baby Groot made the movie with his adorable eyes and his innocent personality. I am happy they found use for him through out the movie.


I also loved Stan Lee’s cameo in this movie; it is up there now with his cameo from Deadpool.

I thought the special effects were beautiful and realistic. The entire movie was colorful and intriguing to watch. It reminded me a lot like Star Trek with exploring new planets.

I didn’t think Peter Quill’s volume 2 playlist was as good as the first movie. I actually didn’t know most of the songs surprisingly.

I am excited for the third installment of this series. I am definitely not ready for it to end yet.

And I hope we get to see an adolescent Groot in the next movie!

What were your thoughts?


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Writing Tip (1): Just Write!

This will be my first blog about writing tips. And I feel very strongly about this one. I’ve encountered numerous people who seem really devoted to writing but now it’s a year down the road and they still are outlining their plot, or starting over with a new story idea, or playing video games and saying they will get to it tomorrow. People ask me for advice and how to do it and all I say is–just write! Just do it! That’s all it takes!

Watch this short video for a perfect example:

Spongebob writes an essay

For those of you who are too lazy to watch it, here is a photo to sum it up:


Besides being absolutely hilarious, it is so accurate! It doesn’t matter how much you write. You just need to be more like Spongebob and sit down and do it! Some days you will only write one really fancy word and other days you will write 1,500 words. But you will write nothing if you don’t do anything.

So don’t hesitate. Get behind your keyboard and type away while shouting, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” Or whatever works for you.

Just write!

What gets you motivated to write? Share it with me below!



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Fork and Cork 2017

The past weekend I traveled back to Blacksburg, Virginia to visit my brother at Virginia Tech (go Hokies!). This was my first time back since September; my first time back without really knowing any one at the school besides my brother’s class (no friends). But there are always new friends to be made in Blacksburg, Virginia and that was exactly what happened at Fork and Cork.

After a gorgeous day hiking at Mcafee’s Knob and a night of crazy downtown festivities, my brother and I went to Fork and Cork, an annual wine festival held in Blacksburg, Virginia, on the Virginia Tech campus.

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If you have never been to Fork and Cork, or even Virginia Tech…you. must. go! It is a full day of all you can drink wine tastings from the local wineries. You don’t even have to be an expert on wine to enjoy this event.


I sure wasn’t.

Local bands gathered on a stage to perform, local food trucks lined up to serve amazing lunch and dinner, the hosts at the different winery booths served a hefty tasting, and the community made you feel right at home.


So if you have ever wanted to visit Virginia Tech, I definitely recommend going for Fork and Cork. This is an experience you do not want to miss. You will definitely be seeing me there.


Now off to Virginia Tech again this weekend for my brother’s graduation (I cannot get enough).

hokie bird.jpg

Are there any fun community events at your school? Tell me about it!



Twitter: @patjohnswrites

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Book Review 1: Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland

I have been a fan of K.M. Weiland ever since I discovered her informative podcasts called, “Helping Writers Become Authors.” K.M. Weiland has a bubbly, fun personality which makes these podcasts fun to listen to. Not to mention they are short (10 – 20 minutes) and very helpful with writing tips. After a year of listening to these podcasts, I decided to read her book, “Dreamlander.”

Dreamlander takes the reader on a journey crossing between Earth and the dream world of Lael through Chris Redston’s dreams. When Chris is called into Lael and chosen to be a Gifted to protect the dream world, he accidentally brings back a prince who is out for the power of the Gifted and for taking over Lael. Chris works together with a princess, a Cherazii warrior, and also with his friends in the real world, to put a stop to the prince’s destruction.

I could not put this story down. The idea of waking up in another world in your dream is brilliant. It definitely gets the creative mind flowing for all of those dreamers out there. The world K.M Weiland created was absolutely stunning; she paints such a beautiful picture in her writing. I particularly enjoyed the tension between Chris and the princess and how they grew together through out the story. Their relationship reminded me a lot of Eragon’s and Arya’s relationship in the Inheritance Cycle series.

I can definitely picture this story as a television series.

I thought some of the characters could have been developed more in the beginning of the story to give them more meaning at the end. But I am excited K.M. Weiland has announced that she is currently working on the next novel in the Dreamlander trilogy. So she has a lot of room for character development with these lovable characters which I am definitely looking forward to learning more about. I will certainly be adding the next book in the series, Dreambreaker, to my reading list.

Overall, Dreamlander is a must read for anyone who is interested in epic fantasy. This beautiful world is only going to become more beautiful.

Movie Review: Logan

With its outstanding acting, well thought out plot, and ability to throw down some raunchy curse words, Logan was able to stand out with originality from its predecessors of X-Men movies.

Logan is definitely a top hit and a must see as a superhero movie, and as its own movie. It is able to go above and beyond all the original X-Men movies now that the R-Rated logo is slapped on there. We all know Logan as a man full of anger and bottled up emotion, but we finally get to see him really let it out in this movie especially with his use of F**k and S**t.

The Professor shows a different side in this movie. He is now a crippled old grandpa and cracks some hilarious grandpa jokes through out the movie that adds humor in this dark story, while still providing Logan with fatherly knowledge.

But what really makes this movie, is the stellar performance by Dafne Keen who plays Laura. She is only twelve years old, has little to no lines in the movie, and kills it! She is a rouge mutant who escapes a facility that is training children to become cold blooded killers. She does a great job acting like a real wild animal with her shrieks, screams, and cold attitude.


She reminds me a bit of Eleven from Stranger Things.


The message of the story is portrayed greatly by Hugh Jackman. He shows Logan as a bottled-up, lonely mutant; he is one of the last mutants alive. Logan believes that bad things happen to those he loves. But Laura helps break down Wolverine’s through out the story and helps him realize that what is most important in the world, is family and not being isolated.

In the end, Logan will go down as a classic in the X-Men franchise and also as its own movie. This is a great farewell to Hugh Jackman who played Wolverine for seventeen years. He will be missed. I hope Marvel sticks down this route of real superhero movies instead of the lousy summer hits.


Movie Review: Why Him?

A plot similar to Meet the Parents, with James Franco playing the Ben Stiller outsider role, and Bryan Cranston playing the Robert De Niro hard ass father role, Why Him? had its own unique qualities that made it an entertaining movie.

I went into this movie with low expectations mainly because I am not fond of James Franco’s acting, especially in recent comedies. He is a little too much for me, like his absurd character he played in The Interview. However, I was able to tolerate his weird sense of humor in this movie. James Franco and Bryan Cranston had a good rivalry and definitely made this movie entertaining.

But my favorite character overall was Gustav played by Keegan-Michael Key.


I think this picture explains it all. Key plays a flamboyant German who serves as James Franco’s servant through out the movie. Absolutely hilarious. I would see the movie just for experiencing this character. Seriously.

Beyond the overall plot, I thought this movie sent a good message out to all the millennials out there. I am especially going through the same mind set and change as Zoey Deutch’s character, Stephanie Hemming. Times are changing and people want support for their dreams, especially from their parents. They don’t want to be told what to do anymore. And that was what Stephanie Hemming had to struggle with during the movie.

It definitely wasn’t a classic like Meet the Parents, but I suggest giving this entertaining Rom-Com a watch.

Fun Fact: I forgot that Ben Stiller was one of the producers for this movie. Now the connection with Meet the Parents makes sense!

Happy movie watching.


Movie Review: Room

I have finally gotten around to watching this movie after a friend reminded me about it the other day. It is free on Amazon Prime so I thought why not give it a try. It already had me sold after seeing Kong: Skull Island with my new celebrity crush, Brie Larson.

Brie Larson

She is perfect.

Room is about a woman and a young baby held captive in an enclosed space and finally gain their freedom, letting the boy experience the outside world for the first time.

When I went into this movie, I thought it would be mainly about the woman (Brie Larson) and less about the boy’s experience. I thought it would be more about the struggle of the mother and her kidnapper. Even though the kidnapper wasn’t in it as much as I thought he would be, he still gave a creepy vibe through out the movie, knowing the kidnapper would come back.

The boy was born into the small shed and knew nothing about the outside world. When his mother tried to explain there were other things out there beyond the room, the boy would get stressed because he couldn’t comprehend or picture any of it. It was interesting trying to put yourself inside the boy’s shoes to really imagine what he was feeling.

I thought it was a powerful movie. The acting was amazing. I thought the boy should have won an award for his performance in and outside of the room.

My favorite part was how they went back to the room at the end of the movie to look at it one last time. I didn’t expect the boy to miss it, but it made sense. That was where the boy grew up. That was his real home. And I loved how he asked his mother if that really was the room they had stayed in because it was so tiny. The room really did seem to shrink at the end of the movie after being exposed to the rest of the world.

A creepy, yet inspiring movie. I definitely recommend this great flick.

What were your thoughts about the movie?

Thanks for tuning in,