Read When We Write

Do you find that your writing is at its best when you’re reading a book at the same time? Do you read in the same genre as you’re writing? I find that my writing is at its prime when I’m reading as well. This would make sense because I went through a long dry spell and now that I think about it, I wasn’t reading anything.

So before I go and dive into this, if you’re reading something as you write, be sure of 3 things.

  1. DO NOT rip off the writer. Being inspired by writing is one of the best tools we as writers can use. Even if you don’t downright plagiarize, it’s not right to rip off from writers.
  2. Make sure what you’re reading specializes in what you think your weakness is. Dialogue. Read a story that has rich characters and each one has a clear personality that shows in their dialogue. Too many stories die and wither from bad and unbelievable dialogue.
  3. Lastly is narrative. If you’re writing is weak on narrative, just like dialogue, read books that have long and meaty narratives. I always struggled with detail and narrative while my dialogue thrived. So I started reading books with long paragraphs of details and narratives. As soon as I began, I saw my writing improve before my eyes in just the first writing session.

Are you writing a love story that includes heartache and raw feelings? I’d recommend reading any one of the following: (Most of these are available on Amazon for absurdly cheap prices)

(No spoilers I swear)


I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This fantastic story is unknown by way too many. It’s a tender story of two brothers (Sam and Riddle) from a broken and dangerous home. They find comforting arms and a warm home in teenager Emily Bell’s household. The story thrives on hard situations with a violent father, and the love Sam has for his brother and the life his new interest – Emily has. The story sucks you in and carries you on each page.


The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

Tears have never been so close to my eyes because of a book. Matt Beaulieu’s wife Elle suffers a terrible injury and is left brain dead. The catch here is that he finds out she’s pregnant. Through this struggle to keep her body alive there are unexpected challenges that appear that will test both Matt and your heart. Flashbacks in this novel are key as they show the couple younger and allow you time and pages to grow close to both Matt and Elle. This story remains in my top 10 – maybe I’ll make a list sometime.

Are you writing fantasy?

I’m not too versed in this field of writing but I do have two recommendations.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

There’s a reason critics tell readers to shelve this next LOTR and The Hobbit. Kvothe (pronounced Kwothe) is a simple boy traveling with his family as a traveling circus. One day he finds his parents and his entire troupe slain. The culprit? A group of people that are thought of as fictional fairytales. His only answers are at a place called The University where they teach magic, but not the cheap “abracadabra” magic. It’s well thought out magic that happens in the mind. This book which is book 1 of a trilogy is good for everything. Narratives and description that rivals any book I’ve ever read and dialogue of equal value.

Need a short story for narrative value?

The Slow Regard of Silent Things – By Patrick Rothfuss

Yes same writer. However this small novelette ranging just over a hundred pages takes a side character from his trilogy and spends a few days with her. Auri is a cute, innocent girl who cracked. She isn’t mentally sane and sees the world in a different light. You don’t need to read his others to understand this. All you need to know is that she lives underground beneath a school and is gathering different items to make a gift for her friend. The entire thing is ALL NARRATIVE. Pages of description of rooms, chambers, pits, wells and everything in between. If you’re not a fan of fantasy, don’t be afraid to give this a chance because it isn’t fantasy at heart. It’s a story of a girl who sees regular items commonly discarded as something special. It’s truly an interesting read.

Are you writing horror?

Horns – Joe Hill

You may not recognize Joe Hill by his penname, but you may recognize Stephen King’s name. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son and let me tell you, he made his way into horror writing not by being King’s son, but by writing damn good stories.

Ig Parrish’s love of his life, beautiful Merrin Williams is dead; brutally attacked, violated and killed. The town believes he did it no matter what he says. After some drunken night to which he remembers almost nothing, Ig wakes up and has horns on his head. With these horns come influential power over others. He sees into their lives like a peeking through a window and can tell them to do things. This novels covers dark comedy, murder mystery, supernatural, romance, let’s just say it  covers everything and covers it well. This is one to read a few times, and then maybe watch the movie (which was actually pretty good).

Let’s go to the King.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Have you heard of this one? Because it’s not like other King novels. Trisha McFarland is a young girl who is forced to go hiking with her dysfunctional family. After taking a few steps away from the path, she is lost with no idea how to get back. She’s not in a small wooded area either. She’s lost in the Appalachian Trail. In addition to being a survival story, King weaves a sinister plot line with something watching little Trisha from afar. She can hear it growl, she can hear it move around her but she can’t see it. This shorter novel (speaking in terms of King’s usual length) is a smooth and creepy read.

Other very honorable mentions

This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathon Tropper

Do me a favor and read anything by this great writer. Every story he puts out, he creates a new story that mixes heartbreak, nostalgia, humor and some of the richest characters you’ll find in writing. Just do me a favor and read the story before you watch the movie…or don’t watch the movie at all.

This Bright River – Patrick Somerville

This lovely story is also in my top 10. Being my only exposure to Mr. Somerville, I’m not sure why I haven’t picked anything else by him. This book is about a tortured protagonist who has a dark history. He runs into a woman from his past with a terrible life as well and the two clash and mix. It’s a dark love story that travels through family secrets, possible murders and worse things still.

That should about do it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment what you like to read when you write, or what you’re reading right now.


Zac Zinn


Reverberations – A Poem


I feel deep reverberations from the trembling in my heart
It ripples through my chest and travels to the corners of my body
Lifting me with hope of a better tomorrow
Drowning me with memories of yesterday

The waves of yesteryears wash over me
High tide will be the death of my hollow whole
Only my hand reaches the surface
My lungs burn as I’m losing this fight

I’ve cried wolf too many times
At what I thought heartbreak felt like
Little did I know they were tremors
Compared to the earth quakes and hurricanes inside me

Do I plead for help from above?
Or try and swim myself to the air?

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Parking Lot Poetry

So it’s been a super long time since I posted something, I apologize. Life got in the way of writing.
I’m currently looking for a 2nd writer to assist in writing for this site. If you have any interest, shoot an email to

Anyway, here’s a poem I’m writing on the spot right now. Like right meow.

Nobody ever told me how this would be
After to many years I finally see
The error in my ways
Hindsight always pays

I can kick myself hard
Charge more on my card
To help me forget your face
But is forgetting worth the race

The race is life
And I’m going way too fast
Slow down please, please slow down
I can forget your face but I can’t rid myself of your heart

There it is, sitting in my car in a parking lot.


Photo from a few nights ago

Thanks everyone for sticking with,
Zac Zinn

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

A Gleam Of Light


I posted this a few days ago but I realized it wasn’t finished. This piece of writing, I am most proud of, here is A Gleam Of Light

A gleam of light from the street lamp up ahead radiates and reaches her eyes as she looks into his. It’s the twenty-seventh smile she’s shone his way this night but he’s trying not to count. Smiling back like he had a choice, the twenty-something year old man looks down at his watch and sees the night is closing. Another hour and the sun will show the darkness its light.
Any other given night he would have been in a deep sleep until the droning noise from the alarm clock sounded. The sound signaling it was time to be an adult yet again.
However this night, this night is a night to be a child in love. It is conflict free and littered with happiness. The details of the relationship are void and serve no purpose to this night. The only thing worth knowing is that it had been years since he saw her; and he had no idea how he made it that long without seeing a face like hers.
Her bright blue irises were a syringe injecting a drug into his blood and he didn’t want to stop the addiction. She had even asked him why he looked at her the way he did. He told her he never saw eyes that quenched all his worries before. Her face turned red and he stole a kiss on her cheeks.
He took her hand when he saw snowflakes melting on her bare skin. A light drizzling of snow continued on, covering the roads and sidewalks with a thin layer of white. Friction is created between their palms that turned to a spark when the beating in his chest couldn’t be contained. He raises her hand and kissed just above her knuckles. It is a move that proved again he isn’t after her body but her heart. The smile that pressed on her face and rosy red cheeks told him he already had it.
Their light back and forth conversation went on talking of yesteryears and days gone by. The memories of the past remind him that his timing had always been unfortunate in all ways; too early, too late, somehow too in the middle. But this night seemed quell those times because nothing else mattered compared to her. She is the object of his desire – his obsession.
Upon passing the street lamp, a darkness appears on her face that is more than just the absence of physical light. He asks her what is wrong but she stays silent. No words are needed anyway. He knows what’s bothering her so.
It was the separation of years between them. It is knowledge that after this night is over, the reality of life will take the place of the peaceful bliss. It is the belief that their lives aren’t meant to stay intertwined.
Sometime later still during the waning minutes of the night, they sat at a bus stop bench. Their hands were no longer together. The quiet has haunted him ever since it began; ever since they passed the street lamp. He yearns to go back to when the ray of light stretched across her face.
People always asked him if he wanted something fast or forever. Thinking upon the hours that led him to the bus bench with her, he thinks that it was a flash faster than anything he experienced before.
He wants to say something, say anything to give her some measure of comfort. Never did he want the night to end this way. He searches for words but they escape him in the way that eye floaters evade direct sight. Abandoning the comfort of words for touch, he slides against her and puts his arm around her. She leans her head against his shoulder and by the look on her face, is soon asleep.
It is now that the first sign of light peaks over the horizon. Down the street, a bus turns onto the road and drives towards them.
He holds onto her as if he would never get to again. The fear in his heart tells him so. Taking the precious last moments he has, he presses his lips against the top of her head.
The night is over.
Morning is here.
The fear of today and tomorrow had been ridden away earlier but now they return.
Speaking her name softly into her ear, he wakes her to enter the bus. He stands next to her with a heavy heart.
People always asked him if he wanted something fast or forever. When he thought on the night that brought him to the morning, he knew what he had was entirely fast.
He wonders a question he can’t find the answer to.
Why can’t he have something fast and forever?
He disregards the question because there is no answer and follows her onto the bus.


Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Rhyme & Reason


Yes I know this is a dark and depressing poem. I’m not one of those guys that lives in dark and terrible poetry.. However I’m in a point of my life where things are rather dark. So like why writer, I turn to words express myself.
Here is Rhyme & Reason

There is no rhyme
All I am is losing time
There is no love
It flies away like a fleeing dove

There is no reason
Just another fading season
There is no plan
I’m just a wandering man

This isn’t the year
It will shed the same tear
Where is my ever after
It’s lost in the wind with my childhood laughter

Thank you
Zac Zinn
Photo by yours truly

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

A Gleam Of Light – One Night

A Gleam of Light

Tell me a story that you’ve never had the words to tell.
Tell me of a night you never wanted to end.
When you laughed like a child walking down a well-lit city street.

Will you take a small journey with me?
Will you go on a brief vacation from the world with me?

A gleam of light hits her eyes and you see a small piece of your own personal heaven in them. Her rich irises of green shine through you and make you feel weightless. Those eyes become a drug you can’t stop taking.
There’s warmth between your hands when they touch. The friction increases against your skin and lessens between your smiles. Your mind races from idea to idea because even at your sanest moment, you can’t understand the extension of bliss you feel.
Even at that chaos, you’re aware of the friction between your hands. Holding hers, you let the friction turn to spark. The spark lit to a brief flame as your lips press against the top of her hand. A move that lets her know you’re not after her body but after her heart. When you see a smile form from pure happiness on her face, you know that you have it.
Your timing in yesteryears has always seemed to be off somehow but in this night… it all comes together.
But at some point she gives a sigh that sounds of sadness. Doubt penetrates your head and you think that maybe this was only a one night vacation from a lonely life. When the reality of life sets in, maybe this night is only supposed to stay within those hours.
The sun is peaking over the horizon as the first breaths of morning hit your nose. Your hands are no longer touching and you’re sitting at a bus stop bench. There’s sadness in the air because the night you didn’t want to end, is finally ending. With the bus only five or ten minutes away, you’re struggling to find the words to say. You need to say something to give some amount of reassurance, but the words escape you. Settling for the comfort of touch, you slide closer to her and wrap your arm around her. Resting her head against you, she quickly falls asleep after the long and exciting night.
The night is over
Morning is here
The fear of what today and tomorrow holds rests inside
But when you watch her clouded exhales leave her mouth you think
People either get something fast or forever.
This night felt like a flash of light much like that first gleam that reflected from her eyes.
You find yourself asking a question to which you can’t find the answer.
Is it too much to ask for fast and forever?



Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Today I Was A Pallbearer

My great grandpa died a few days ago. He was 100. I figure something like that warrants a post to put some of these feeling into words.

I never knew him too much. We used to visit him before he went to a home.

The funeral was today and I was a pallbearer. That was a first for me. Carrying a man to his final destination. I saw bystanders like myself stand, weep and listen to the pastor’s words and prayers. The thoughts and feelings I’m left with reminds me of something I wrote a while back that I’d like to share again.

What has changed?
Where does this leave us?
I can only answer this for myself

It’s an amazing journey
Filled with so much love
And so much pain

There is a song
Playing every day and night for us
In sadness and delight
It plays whether we choose to hear it

It’s an amazing journey
Filled with so much love
And so much pain

Picture via –

Thank you, Zac Zinn

Life Just Kind Of Keeps Going

You know life just goes on and the time doesn’t slow down. Whether the days go by slowly or quickly, the years will go by quickly.
It causes me to reflect on the people who used to be in my life.
There is a quote that I wanted to work into some place in a piece and I guess it fits here.
Don’t stand still. Keep moving.
I’ve seen how life can wash over a person. Keep moving and love the people you love more than you did yesterday.

There’s my closing thoughts before I pass out

Thanks, Zac

Thank you for reading
Zac Zinn

Half Passed Ten

I walked away again
I thought of you half passed ten
They say to me you’ll come around
But tell me, tell me when

I can’t wait too much longer
I won’t run too much farther
I’m running out of steam
In this never ending dream

I saw your face on my phone
I waited for the dial tone
They tell me to find the next girl
When each one takes a piece out of me

I came to find you alone
I wrapped my arms around you
You told me what I meant to you
Now tell me is that enough

I came to find your door closed tight
I saw it coming, I suppose
Still it hurts, this I know
What I’m saying s’I have to go