Tonight I want to tell you about a novella I wrote a year or so ago and recently
re-released it but first….
I bought a book I want to talk about. Writers, you will want to pay attention to this as it involves marketing.
If you follow me, you know that I write what sells. I can churn out a story on damn near any topic. Writing prompts are a favorite pass time. What sells and why?
I go to book stores and I shop online like most of you do. So here is this book with all kinds of pants on the cover, including undies of different sorts. The title is Take off Your Pants.
What the hell, it made me look!
That is what I was talking about in a previous blog, when you want to charm some intern who is going through some agents ‘her mothers,’ slush pile.
You want a title that grabs the reader.
The truth is, I bought the book, but have not even looked at it. The book is about modifying the way you write, if you are a pantster, as I am. Hello, what I do works, why change what is not busted?
Why did you buy it then?
I bought it because the title and cover were captivating and amusing.
Now, if you don’t know if you are a plotter or pantster, you might get some mileage out of her book. It is an e-book that went to my mac instead of my tablet for some reason.
“TW, what is this nude in the woods about?”
So here is the deal. I have been nude in the woods. I know the honesty just drips out of me at times. I actually love nature, and I love to be in it as God made me. Yes, it can be intimidating at times and yes, you do feel vulnerable, at times.
When I wrote Land of my People, I captured the first time I did it. I re-lived that moment, including the ‘thinking tree,’ and much of the other parts of the novel are actually from real life.
I cannot say this enough, if you want to write compelling stories, you have to be willing to pull off your undies, or said another way, live your damned life like you mean it!
The Bucket list spoke to me, not so much for the reasons they had in the movie but, for fodder for gripping tales. How the hell can you write stories if you only watch TV or read what others write?
Go out and skin your knees, get your skin scraped up with briars, and stand on sticky things with your bare feet. Or better yet, feel the sun kiss you in places reserved for shadows. Allow the wind to whistle through your nether regions and live in the moment. Do it by yourself, so you can listen to the whispering trees. Learn to pee without getting yourself wet, and if you do, so what.
In this novella, which I hope you will read, you will see some of what I went through to write this story. Guess what, I would do it again. I would sit on that hot rock or pick those yellow flowers. I would dive into that lake with only that old deer as my witness. When your heart is pounding in your chest, as you pull off that last stitch of clothing, only then can you write about it convincingly. As you leave your clothes behind on that ‘thinking tree,’ turning your back on civilization, only then can you honestly know what it is like to be exposed, to be truly naked. When you walk through a spider web, and the ‘huntress’ leaves your chest while slowly making its way down your belly toward your…yeah, you are alive! You think and act without the safety of the remote control. While respecting all life, could you do what she did?
In Perpetual Palpitation, I write about the antics of two lovebirds who find places on a cruise ship where he takes a picture of her while she performs lude poses. Care to guess how many ships I have been on?
You have to live my friends. You cannot write good stuff if you only do it by reading the works of others. You have to use all of your senses, and you must remember what it was like when you are at Hippy Hollow, as I write about in Nudist of Shangri-La. Yes, I know about it, because I was there.
There is a beach in Florida that you will get ticketed if you are wearing clothing on it. How do I know?
Not from the internet, I assure you.
Tan lines should be a sin. Until you rip the Band-Aid off, you cannot honestly write about it.
Now I have not written about sky diving because I will not jump out of a perfectly good plane. I can write about flying because I have spent my fair share of time behind the yoke. Until the ground disappears beneath you, and you are in control, you cannot write convincingly about it, like I did in Presidential Assassins.
No, I have not killed anyone, so you do have to use your imagination but, and I say this with all due candor, you have to live. I have killed, hunted, stalked, been stalked, been in the woods nude or naked, and done much, tried much, and would do more if I needed, to experience it, to write about it.
You can get a small sampling of that in Land of my People. I did spend about a week in the woods, as my main character did. I describe my first time as his daughter did. I think you will love it.
I hope that this blog, like most, will inspire you to write convincingly. I also hope you will assist me by spreading the word about this blog, and my books.
This is a cover I created for Diamond Joe. The island I took while on holiday, the ladies I drew as well as parts of the horses. Diamond Joe should be a movie. Too bad Hallmark does not do same-sex movies.
AHHHH! I don’t want to market my books, I just want to write the damned things!
I am a natural-born storyteller.
As a kid, I was the one with the flashlight making up stories about the zombie bunny that would be all cuddly and cute when you were hugging it. As soon as your eyes closed, the fangs came out! The claws turned in to razor-sharp daggers that it would use to rip your throat out!
Can you imagine how many kids tossed their velveteen rabbit books in the trash after that little story?
Whoever heard of evil bunny rabbits? Gives all new meaning to biting the ears off that chocolate Easter bunny now, doesn’t it? Die you SOB…you’re not ripping my throat out!
I always wondered why nobody wanted to sleepover at my house… Was it my breath? Is it possible that my invitations to parties were not lost in the mail? BOOO!
Stories are part of who we are. If it were not for them, we would have no bible, no Jesus, no Zeus or Pele’. We would have no folklore at all. The magical kingdoms of the Scots, we would never know about.
While history is written by the victors, the stories that entertain, are written by writers. That is right, baby, who is your mama!
Before the written word, they would lie around at night and look up at the skies and wonder what all those dots of light were. From constellations resembling things they might recognize, much like clouds today, they made up stories. Those passed down through the ages have most certainly changed much like the ‘telephone game, ‘but never the less, we have them.
This week I got one of my novels back from a beta reader who had some interesting comments.
Tonight I want to talk about feedback and how to use it.
Let’s deal with rejection first.
It is going to happen. Those excellent agents must have material that they don’t have to sell. It has to be so good that it pops off the page without even reading it. There must be linguistic magic that enchants the person who even thinks about opening the e-mail.
“This is not the kind of thing we handle, or your book is not right for us.”
“Son of a bitch! Let me take the old Underwood out and shoot the damned thing, and go back to waiting tables! At least there I get a pinched ass for a few dollars, and hey…I get some attention.”
Ok, that might be a little on the extreme side. I haven’t waited tables, while since I was a kid. I do have an old Underwood that actually works, but of course, I don’t use it either.
Rejections are a starting point. Here is how to handle them if traditional publishing is your path.
Send out your baby, gird your loins, and while you are waiting for the offer letters to come in like the proverbial tsunami, start another book.
Absolutely, positively, do not rest on your laurels! Are you listening? Tell me, you heard that!
You spend your time writing your book, and you send it out after you have languished over every god damned word in the thing. Send it out and move on! Do you realize that the average book is over 70k words and writers suffer over every one of them? Is this the right word? We agonize, trust me on this one grasshopper!
When you get the boilerplate letter weeks to months later, file it away, and send it out again. Someone out there is looking for what you wrote and just possibly with weed so much more prevalent, you might catch them in a stoned moment, and they might laugh at your hook or characters and in a weak moment, they send you an e-mail with all kinds of miss spelled words telling you that you rock and please submit the entire manuscript! Hey, it could happen!
On the flip side, you find the agent who is genuinely seeking what you wrote and is ready to do what it takes to sign you.
Happy days! It could happen.
Tonight I just uploaded a new version of Diamond Joe. After applying many things that I have learned over the years, I have made this lesbian love affair, an affair to remember.
That sounds tawdry, and it is not.
The beta reader told me that she loved the story and was amazed that my characters each had their own voice. ‘Hello, they should have their own voices.”
This is a romance with romantic subplots, family issues, and oh yes, a racehorse!
What is not to love about a rags to riches story, where a young lady discovers who she is and better yet, captures the heart of a young rich widow, who has no idea that she would love another woman?
I walk you through the entire thought process, and I take you down the dark road of, ‘what if she is after my money?”
Oh yes, there are gold diggers out there, gay or straight or is it gay and straight?
This is a heart wrenching, feel-good story that they should make a movie out of but, Hallmark has yet to make a movie with same-sex couples. Why is that? This book would be such a killer hot movie. Maybe Netflix should pick it up.
I am trying to figure out who would play whom…
Back to the feedback. What you want from them is what they liked and what did not work for them. That is all you want, as that is all you need. If they start to tell you, it would have worked better if…Stop them! You don’t want to know the ‘if’ part. The reasons are simple. If they render an opinion and you should be foolish enough to take it, guess what, it is now their story, not yours.
So ladies and gentlemen, if you read my novels and you should be so kind as to offer me feedback, just tell me what worked and did not work for you. Allow me to figure out why. I am the writer and in my little office, I am a god!
That sounds crazy but think about it. I create worlds, people, places, and situations. I even create evil little rabbits. That is what a writer does, and if you don’t respect any writer that you know, you might find yourself in one of their stories, tied to the bed, surrounded by hundreds of chocolate Easter rabbits, without their ears. Since they cannot hear you, they will never know if you are loving, or hating your throat being eaten out. It is just payback after all.
Write! Write! Write!
When I get a rejection letter, which I do on occasion, it just drives me to improve my craft. Since they hardly ever tell you anything other than, ‘we don’t sell this shit’ (paraphrased,) you send it out again while learning your craft even better. That is what drives me. Yes, I would love to know what exactly they didn’t like about it but, it is probably their twelve-year-old child going through the slush pile while playing some game on their phone.
Put some magic in your hook!
Cast a spell on the reader.
Write something so overpowering that even the twelve-year-old will stop looking at the phone long enough to say ‘WOW!”
I have said it many times in different ways, you cannot be a one-trick pony. Write your story, nobody is perfect and your story will not be perfect. Send the thing out and start writing about evil little bunnies, or not.
If you are like me, you are on fire at the keyboard. You can go hours without eating, or even thinking about food, as your characters are running through caves or jumping off cliffs, you cannot leave them! Continue on, and don’t let the bastards or twelve-year-olds get you down.
Agents are always looking, even though they might profess to be too busy. If they are good, they are looking. You might try sending your queries to agents in states where pot is legal…I kid…nobody gives a damned if it is legal or not!
I am probably one of the few who has never tried it. I don’t smoke, but I hear some gummies are to die for…Bwhaaa! Are they rabbit gummies?
I wish I had a nickel for every person who has spoken with me about writer’s block.
I don’t believe it makes a difference if you are a plotter or a panster; at some time in your life, you will experience writer’s block.
How do you deal with the infamous blank page?
I find it useful to examine why I am drawing a blank, or my characters have stopped talking. Many times it is that part of the novel that we all dread, the middle slump. Since we all know we want to avoid that, just possibly, we put undue stress on ourselves and cause our stream of conscious to become, derailed.
Keep in mind that it is your SFD or $hitty first draft. Only you will see it, read it, and know that your characters decided to go on strike.
Some causes for the strike can be that you don’t want to deal with this part of the story. Maybe it is too close to you. There are many land mines with writing, and I find it refreshing and often times cathartic when I work my way through a story.
If the words are not coming, turn off your ‘IBM Selectric’ and go do something else. As an artist, I find if I am busy with some graphic, or a painting, my characters will want to see what I am doing and come out and play.
Now, why do you suppose that might be?
When we are between awake and asleep, in the shower and yes, doing something with our hands like coloring or painting, your brain produces something called Theta waves. A different part of your brain is active and guess where the characters hideout? Yes, you have knocked on the door, rang the bell and now you have huffed and puffed the proverbial threat, all while trying to color between the lines.
One thing that I find that assist me is I will put the project up, and work on something else, such as this blog. Hours, days, weeks, and even months later, I will start at the beginning of the project and reread it. There you will find the epiphany. The Ah-Ha moment will become apparent and you will see where your GPS took you on a wrong turn. You might have to scrap a few paragraphs or chapters, but that is how my process works. In ten years, I have written well over thirty novels, so I must know something.
The literary process, to me, is the gold standard of how I wish to live. How can I tell the best there while remaining true to who and what I am? Truth over lies, love over hate and yes, and a dirty mind is necessary at times to keep it real.
We are the perfect juxtaposition of Jekyll, and Hyde, only most of us ‘hide’ that dark side while putting on our happy face. In my books, I rip the Band-Aids off. One of my critics told me that she did not like the F word. Umm, don’t read it. If my characters use that vernacular guess what, the F word is there.
Honesty, truth, and kindness will take you far in life. Knowing who you are will assist you through those bleak times when the blank page is striking fear into your heart.
From show don’t tell to use simple sentences, we have all heard them. There are even books on the subject. “Shocking!”
One of my readers contacted me to tell me that ‘big’ words threw him out of the story. My first response was, ‘only in my head, of course, was’ “bless your heart.”
That begs the question, do we dumb our writing down to appeal to the masses? Is the reading public getting dumber?
Personally, I would rather lift people up than encourage them to read at a fifth grade level as adults. It used to be that we would write for a seventh-grade level which is still insane but, to lower our standards to a fifth-grade level, one has to wonder. Why are companies hiring from other countries instead of America? Could it be that we are saying it is ok to stagnate at a fifth grade level of reading?
Here is another rule. ‘Simple sentences work best.’ Pro Writing aid will tell you many things, including identifying such sentences. To me, this rule also has to do with the pacing of your story. We want people to turn the page, not struggle over complex sentences. Does that hold true for words like perpetuity?
Should we not endeavor to leave people a little more educated than when they found us? Kindle makes it so damned easy to look up a word. Personally, I rejoice when I read a word that I have not heard. Possibly that is a quirk but I will own it.
As a child, I kept a dictionary close and looked up every word that I did not know. I used a word in my second-grade class that the teacher called me on. I mentioned that my sibling was obstinate. She peered down over her long nose through her poorly fitted readers and pointed her crooked finger straight at me. “Do you even know what that word means?” She crowed.
“Stubborn, pig-headed, inflexible.”
This person was not impressed. This individual should have retired years ago but ‘loved’ kids. PFFT!
I was ‘that’ child in school. The precocious child who used words better suited for late teens, possibly college kids. When you read, you tend to have a respectable vocabulary.
I wrote in a previous blog about how you get a glimpse into the heads of the author by reading what they wrote. This is especially true for children and ‘stories.’
An astute teacher can glean much from those short stories, including trouble at home.
I learned the rules. I know them, so now I break them with impunity.
Thunder over the water sounded like two pirate ships in a heated battle; before one of them would meet Davy Jones. The crusty old captain was not going down without a fight. His younger rival had studied him, and knew what his moves might be. This was the first time a woman would lead men into battle, and she was untested.
Her red hair blew about her, as the acrid odor of gun powder filled their noses. The splinter of wood sounded like the thunder itself, as the mainsail was the first casualty of the battle.
Susan saw the story in her head as she sat on the screened-in porch watching lighting dance in the clouds well in the distance.
Her mother was due home at any moment. She could see down the mountain road and there were no lights from any cars. In fact, there had been no traffic for what seemed hours.
A chill caught her attention as the winds from the impending storm blew through the screen, with a whistling sound that reminded her of the sounds coming through the open canopy of her father’s aircraft.
Never start a story with the weather… Hmmm, I think that start gets your attention. This open or prologue took less than three minutes to concoct.
Who is Susan?
Where is her mother?
How old is she?
What about her father?
He is/was a pilot. Where does the story take place?
While allowing the reader to do some of the work, we the writer have this picture in our mind. We know it is a cabin perhaps, in the woods may be up a mountain next to a lake left over from the glacial days. We know that Susan has an imagination and pirates play into it.
I like strong women and red-haired women at that. Wonder why?
Know the rules and then write the damned story. Make it your story.
I didn’t know how to respond to that comment at a recent gathering of writers. I have asked the very same question in my life, and now years later, I think I have a handle on it.
When I first wrote The Saga of the Starduster, it outperformed and still does exceed my other novels in sales. That includes the naughty stories, which is somewhat surprising.
My first bit of advice to young writers is this. ‘Don’t be a one-trick pony.’
It is no secret that I have a day job. I cannot afford to hire editors, book cover designers, marketing experts and to pay some firm for reviews. In fact, I use the free ISBN numbers just because I refuse to pay some firm to sell me ten numbers like I won’t pay to register some star in someone’s name.
Rule one is, always have another project going. Have another story that is a W.I.P. If you have raised children, you know that we raise them to be independent. We raise them to make their way into the world much like the sea turtle lays its eggs in the sand, and heads back into the water to start the process all over again.
Your book, your project much like those eggs must hatch and take flight.
Someone purchased The Saga of the Starduster and gave it one star. They did their best to smear the novel, having it sound like a cure for insomnia. I read it, realized by the comments that they never read it, and went back to my WIP.
Monitoring the sales, their review did not hinder sales of that novel; in fact, they might have improved slightly. Since then, others have reviewed the book and I am not disappointed with their comments.
As writers, we have no idea who these people are, and if they write under a pseudonym like this one reviewer did, I give it little credence. I think most readers are smart enough to realize that small fact.
As we spend chunks of our lives, creating the literary works of art, we believe that our creation is the best thing ever written. That is how we are preyed upon by those who offer services like editing, book cover creation and so on. ‘I just need a good cover or professional editing and I will be the next…fill in the blank.’
Because we cannot be objective ‘for the most part,’ we are an easy target for those who might be like us.’ They might have tried several times to get something published, and they might know more than you. Because they cannot sell their stuff, they try to sell their services to assist you.
At this point in the game, you have options.
Pay for assistance.
Query agents and cross your fingers
Learn all you can about each step of the process and do it yourself.
If you follow me, you know that I have opted for the latter, and sometimes the second in the process as I have no idea who is who, in the world of paying for assistance.
Involve yourself in the industry, and you will soon learn the ropes to skip and the ones to jump. I think honesty with yourself is probably the ticket to not being screwed over by the predators out there.
I happen to like what I write and will often pick up one of my previous novels and re-read it and yes, add to it, or take away from it as I deem necessary. Currently, I am re-writing the Nudists of Shangri-La series and I have learned much since then and I can make it so much better.
The first in the series has already gained twenty thousand words and magic. While the original text was more cut and dried, and to the point where Judy deals with her demons, now we are giving the demons a voice.
I like where it is going, and I am confident if you liked it the first time, you would love it this time.
My point to this blog is don’t give up. If your passion is to write, write. Don’t allow some jerk who writes reviews under a pseudonym to ruin your day or, worse yet, stifle your desire to write.
Many of you who follow me on this blog have your own blogs, and yes, I read many of them. Some of you have such a gift for writing; you should be writing novels if you are not already. Have a goal in mind and lay out the path to get there.
Much like planning a car trip, you have the goal, the destination in mind; now, how do you get there? What does your GPS tell you?
This might sound like a funny topic coming from an author, but sometimes we wonder if brain-eating monsters might walk alongside us.
Of course, my brain-eating zombies are metaphorical in that they really are not the undead or some other form of sub-human life form. What I am referring to are people who are asleep.
In our world, we have a small percentage who are enlightened enough to be truly good or truly evil. Yes, some people do good or bad but they are not good or evil unless they are aware that they are indeed purposefully doing good or evil things.
You can always tell that someone is asleep when they cannot articulate why they like something or don’t like something. “Why do you hate Trump?”
“Just because!” Is not an answer.
Hate is one of the strongest emotions that we have as humans, and that is why the media, politicians, and other powerful ‘elite’s’ use it, or employ it, to manipulate the masses. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a form of hate that is exacerbated by those who wish to divide the country.
The formula is simple. What is wrong and who is to blame for it.
Whether the facts bear out the truth or not, few like so many false postings on social media will check it out. This is what is wrong, and Trump is responsible for it, so says CNN.
The Iranians shot down a commercial jetliner killing all aboard. There are those in the media writing stories that Trump is responsible for the shootdown. The topic is propaganda. Stalin knew that the printed word was the sharpest weapon in his arsenal. That fact has never been lost by the purveyors of lies. Hate is indeed one of the most natural emotions to weaponize and it happens every day.
The zombies that walk among us are those who will quickly re-post a scandalous article with the word ‘wow!’ as their only comment. If you are already predisposed to dislike a person, it is easy to believe the ugly lies put forth by those that manipulate you.
In recent news, over 200 people have been arrested down under for either arson or some infraction of the laws regarding the fire. Our MSM does not speak of this but instead talks about climate change and this could happen here if we don’t stop breathing and farting now.
As countries go, the US is one of the cleanest, lowest carbon-emitting countries around but yet, the Greta Thornburg’s of the world take us to task rather than the ‘China’s’ of the world. Why?
Our media will give her the attention, air time, and coverage she seeks as long as she scowls at Trump. Pfft!
It is not about the climate. It is about sending businesses and so forth to these other countries who would not listen to young ladies who scowl at their leaders. The sad facts are that it is almost always about money.
So, are zombies real?
If you think socialism is a good thing, then yes, zombies are real, and you might be one of them.
Since the climate is also changing on Mars, I tend to think that just possibly, our ‘change’ might have something to do with the Sun and the fact that the sun is at low sunspot activity currently. That means much like turning the burner on your stove on high vs. medium things will warm a little faster and perhaps get a little warmer than when vast amounts of the sun are not putting out heat due to solar storms.
If I can convince you through whatever means that the world is going to end in twelve years, if you don’t do something radical, you will be ok with spending your national treasure on pet projects, which make the rich richer, the poor poorer and the middle-class pay for everything.
No, I think I will need more than the talking points from a 29-year-old bartender who has less schooling and education than Greta Thornburg.
Yes, zombies in the form of unthinking people abound. Some of them vote which is why it is essential that A: you who are not zombies vote and B: convince the zombies that this year we will do our best not to exclude the brain-eating undead to vote by keeping the polls open past midnight.
Somewhere there is a novel in this mess.
I hope that 2020 is treating you right thus far. Taxes will be due before you know it so, don’t wait till the last minute to get your paperwork in order. Much Love -TW
Iran just admitted that is accidentally shot down a commercial airliner. That would be Russian weaponry used on civilians. Still, think Iran should have nukes?
Hello, and welcome to my first post of 2020. As I take time away from re-writing my novel Nudists of Shangri-La, I wanted to keep you my audience, followers, and friends updated on, what I am up to and why.
The reasons I am re-writing many of my novels are many.
My craft of writing has improved.
The story has evolved.
There is more that I want to say.
Some of these books are performing in a lackluster way.
I wanted to be more honest, more insightful with the characters.
Writers deal in lies. If you think about it, we tell stories about people, places and things that never existed or, did not happen. There never was a wooden boy that had a nose that grew when he prevaricated. We, as readers, can still anthropomorphize this and believe that it happened. Indeed the wooden child is part of our culture. “Your nose is growing.”
The dirty little secret about writing and lies is there is an undercurrent of honesty in what we write. For instance, in many of my novels, there are parts of me on display that no camera could ever find.
I talk about the difference between being nude and naked in many of my novels. For you who don’t know, if I were posing for a bunch of art students and I was to be undressed, I would be nude. If right before that were to happen, I was in the bathroom getting ready to make an appearance, and someone came in unannounced, I would be naked.
Now some of you might just say that is semantics, but it is not; it is a state of mind. In my novels, there are parts of me that are nude. They are on display, and I have chosen to put them out there for the world. There might also be some parts that are naked that I did not intend to put out and did by accident.
Judy, in this novel, works her way through the process of being nude not only with her body but in discovering who and what she is, she must be naked and then find out what and who her demon is.
I have added an element of magic in these novels, and some mystical things to bring more audiences into the story other than just those who seek titillation. Judy is much deeper than being submissive for some Dom. I am much more deep-rooted than providing a story for those who might want to read with one hand.
Sorry if that is too graphic. When writing, we need to consider who the audience is. We can only do that when we are totally honest with who we are. The problem or a consequence of that is this, we expose parts of ourselves to the world. People might or will judge us.
As a writer, I hear many say, ‘I don’t want others reading what I write.’ Consider that statement carefully as it is relevant to the conversation. When you write and you share, it is much like walking down the hallway in your school naked. Yes, we all had that nightmare and I am sure some phycologist somewhere could piece that together with insecurity that you have. You don’t want people to know who you really are.
This is who I am. In my stories, I talk about finding a balance between your ‘bedroom’ life and your public life. Your naked or nude life in your bathroom, vs. your clothed life in the world.
The life you portray on Sunday at church vs. Friday nights at the club. Balance is critical and denying who you are or what you are is what makes us scared that we might be found out.
Follow me here if you have not already, as I will dive into this more as the week’s progress. The nudist’s series will be a trilogy before it is over and it will be much more than a one-handed read. We will be honest with you and ourselves about this subject and why so many write about and talk about nudism.
Being a writer is probably more revealing of who we are in that we go beyond being nude.
I hope your year has started off well, and I look forward to spending 2020 with you!
The impeachment is a distraction, but from what? Read on!
Not that many years ago, when asked about government, many could not tell you what the three branches of government were, much less what they were for.
When asked what they thought of Sarah Palin as Obama’s running mate, more than most were ‘cool with it.’ In fact, very few actually corrected the interviewer, regarding who was who. These were mostly college students in the ‘woke’ community. These are the same geniuses who think Socialism is a good thing.
When the 2016 election was ‘in the bag’ for Hillary, the cocky shoo-in for the office did not even go to critical swing states as her election was ‘in the bag.’
Late in the evening or early the next morning, the ‘shoo-in’ did not have the decency to go speak to her loyal followers, sending Podesta instead to not concede, but to lie to them, telling them it was too close to call. Hillary had already in fact, acknowledged the loss before Podesta left to speak with them. Bill probably did not have a good night, as he was not going to get more interns.
Clandestine elites, worthy of one of my novels were busy in the dark of night trying to cover their tracks as their protector, who they had gone to bat for, was no longer able to protect their subversive behavior. Indeed the actions of some in high power offices were now in danger of exposure as the real house of cards, built by power brokers in DC, and elsewhere, were in danger of the Class five hurricane now headed for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The battle lines were quickly drawn, and artillery pieces were set with strategic pinpoint accuracy. The lines of defense were deeply ensconced in all of the branches of government.
Those with the most to lose used their pawns as their first line of defense. The pawns are the propagandist. Smear, lie, distract, and take the offensive, even though they should have been lawyering up. Even today, they are doubling down spreading more lies, attempting to control the narrative which is falling apart.
One lone bastion for the American People stood firm, waving the flag, much like Crocket at the Alamo.
That bastion came under attack from all sides. Assaulting their supply lines, causing internal strife from within, the defender transformed and came back stronger than ever. New generals became the face of reason and sanity.
While the pawns continued to gin up their base, those that have more than just a few neurons firing could see through the subterfuge. Goliath, the swamp god, was now on notice that the smelly Walmart people, the irredeemable deplorable middle class, who is the group which funds the elite, who were thought to be too stupid to vote; have awakened.
The middle class is, in fact, tired of being tread on, and Trump became their David.
Democrats, even to this day, are too isolated in their own ivory towers, along with the likes of the Hollywood elite who only need the middle class to adore them and admire their ability to emote on screen, are getting a wakeup call. It is not the ‘woke’ that they would like.
Around the globe, the Walmart shoppers of the world are once again rising up, demanding that the elites of the world take notice! From Brexit to the heartland, we the people have a voice!
Goliath must die!
Those responsible for the strife and division perpetrated on the ‘deplorable’ everywhere, must be held to account. While many who know too much seem to hang themselves or commit other forms of suicide, it is time to hold the demigods’ feet to the proverbial fire.
Civil wars have been fought over less than what we have witnessed in the last few years.
Those in their ivory towers, casting stones or ‘crumbs of cake’ to the deplorable, should take notice.
Twitter and other tech giants might be the vestibule for scud missiles, but even the most asleep drone among us, cannot dismiss the fact that our economy is the best it has been in decades. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in over 50 years, and not only are the deplorable better off but, even the sheep who follow and pay homage to the god of the swamp, Goliath, is doing much better under this president than ever before.
Those elite, who are in fact, parasites on the backs of the deplorable, are the people in jeopardy of losing their ability to control the sheeple.
The ‘woke’ are not those who preach the PC culture but instead are those who now know what the three branches of government are, what they do, and soon will understand why the swamp must be drained, and the Goliaths must be held to account. Our President cannot, or will not, be bought! That is why ‘Impeach Barney Fife’ was the mantra of those parasites who saw him as the clear and present danger that he is, to the swamp!
When you look at the cities under the control of the swamp monsters, you can easily see why they are indeed part of the swamp. Their cities are in decay and under siege by criminal elements, not unlike the swamp monsters, like many dogs they are ok sleeping with fleas. The swamp monsters feel comfortable around those that cannot spell ‘law.’
This recent impeachment is a political stunt to distract the sheep from a bill passed that has 1.4 trillion tax dollars going to fund crazy things like the war in Afghanistan. Politicians get into office by granting political favors, and some of those are funding wars in ‘shit-hole’ countries, so big business can sell both side’s weapons, and other goods and services.
What they should have been debating is what was in that spending bill. Instead, they are doing their best to drag ‘David’ through the mud, in hopes that some of it will stick, while repaying their radical base and donors with what they desire most.
This distraction is just that, a slight of the magician’s hand to show you the public the bright and shiny object, so you don’t notice the magician pulling out a fifth ace from his sleeve. The impeachment is, in fact, a complete farce and the Democrats know it. The political stunt will backfire, but not before 1.4 trillion of your tax dollars go to the Gods of the Swamp monsters!
It should come as no surprise to anyone anywhere that the irredeemable-deplorable who shop at Walmart, are the losers no matter how this plays out. The Goliath, our David who Goliath is targeting, has its own gods. The swamp creatures are puppets on strings for the real, great and Powerful OZ’s.
The chess masters using their pawns will now spin more Pravda worthy fecal matter at the proverbial wall to see what they can make stick in the minds and hearts of those who still think Socialism is a good thing.
Stalin said that the printed word is the sharpest weapon in his arsenal, and the pawns, purveyors of yellow journalism, and all other matters worthy of the putrid swamp will continue to regurgitate their fetid vomit on the 24-hour news cycle; further dividing a country under siege. It is time for the sheep, much like the French Sheep who have developed a backbone of late, to wake the hell up!
If you have not hit follow yet, why not?
As a writer, I often offer pearls of wisdom, and yes, on rare occasions, I offer commentary, as many who are too busy to pay attention might actually believe the verbiage disseminated from the drones taking their script from the Wizard.
Not unlike many of you, I find that Christmas music is depressing.
I was thinking about some Christmas songs where the lyrics are “Where are you Christmas…?”
It is not Christmas per se, that she is looking for but, the innocence of the holiday. Do you remember?
I know that everyone has their own memories of the holiday; some of them are memories that many would kill for, and some of those memories are ones that people rather forget. I have a mixed bag of memories like that.
There are memories I would just as soon as not have, and then there are a few that I would not want to lose.
There is an old Merle Haggard song that resonates with me as an adult. ‘If we can make it through December.’
In the song, the writer laments that his little girl won’t understand why there are no Christmas gifts. Then there is Dolly with her ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ or perhaps her ‘coat of many colors.’
The physical year-end all too often matches up with the fiscal year-end for many companies hence the end of the year layoff. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard of companies letting their employees go on furlough, or just laid them off this time of year.
When I was a kid, it seemed that Unions would strike this time of year, so Christmas was not only bleak but we learned to eat cheaply. The furnace was cut back to conserve energy, so sleeping in more than pajamas was a memory I could easily forget.
Companies have no loyalty to the employee, although they might offer the impression that they do. When production slumps, there is little need for employees and that seems to happen around the end of the year.
One could preach all year long about having a rainy day fund, but the argument as to who can afford that is germane as well. Is this you?
Are you gainfully employed with a savings account, or are you barely making it paycheck to paycheck?
Speaking as someone who has been there, having anything in savings is a comfort. Knowing you can last until the demands for business return, is a comfort. While some company’s business model is, for their employees to survive off funds from unemployment, or food stamps, during this time of low business, some only hire contract workers.
Moral of this story. Have money put aside for Christmas. That means all during the year set aside money in savings that does not get touched. It is for a rainy day.
When you work for someone, you have very little control over your destiny. Everyone would be smart to have a side hustle. I hesitate to use that word but that is what it is. From stores on Etsy to selling things on eBay to yes, writing books and selling them on Amazon, a side hustle can give you that little bit of comfort. Even though the company you have slaved for is letting you fend for yourself at the moment, the world of readers appreciates what you are writing!
I knew a lady who was a photographer and sold calendars with her pictures as the main picture for each month. I know another lady who makes purses and sells them on Etsy. There is nothing wrong with a little side hustle. Many have garage sales all too often, but they do it.
Christmas is not about gifts. Yes, there is magic but I think it manifest when we find ourselves doing for others who need that little extra something, as life has kicked them around. I don’t want to reward those who depend on that generosity. I want to bless those who would not ask and would instead do without, then be a burden. I love to assist those who are trying.
To me, that seems what the spirit of ‘Santa’ is all about.
I hope this Christmas finds you well, and your lives filled with love and prosperity.
I hope that this blog finds you all well. If not, let me know, and I will put you in my prayers, or if you are against such things, I will send you good thoughts.
What is wrong with that sentence?
I genuinely do mean that I will pray for you but, I am appealing to the politically correct or those who don’t believe in a higher power.
You might have noticed that usually, I sign with ‘much love.’
If you are reading this blog or you have purchased one of my many novels, or perhaps you follow me on Twitter, we share a bond.
I can love you without being ‘in love’ with you if that makes sense.
Writers share a bond, and I feel like most of my followers are writers.
Currently, I am going through the process of looking at each of my novels ‘all 30 something of them’ and trying to figure out why some sell very well, and some don’t. I have asked close friends to read those that are not selling well, and give me feedback.
To improve my craft, I have spent much time and money on programs, classes and yes seminars to see what I can learn that I don’t already know.
If you are a successful author, please comment below and send me a link to your books.
If nothing else, you will sell a book or two.
Do you realize how much of what we write must be perfect to sell? Not only is the story critical, but the characters must be real. Once you get a cohesive story with characters that people can relate to and ‘feel’, you have to create the perfect cover.
The brand that you assemble and sell to the world must be one that people will recognize and gravitate toward, before they even read the title.
If your pen name or brand brings people to your books, you are successful. The cover art must be perfect. As an artist, I have muddled my way through one cover after another. I don’t have the luxury of hiring a focus group or think tank to assist in that process. You probably don’t either.
There is a real benefit to fishing for an agent, a good one. They know the people and companies to contact for the perfect cover, and for the precise editing of said book.
In one of the groups I am associated with, I uploaded a complete novel for them to read, free of charge. Just give me some feedback.
The novel has enjoyed medium success, but for the subject matter and the type of story, it should be much better.
Here is the truth of the matter, not one person has downloaded it and read it.
If I cannot give a novel away to other writers, how can I expect to sell it?
I challenged them with that question at the last meeting. ‘They don’t have time,’ was the answer.
Allow me to pontificate on what it takes to be a successful writer.
Read much and often.
Go out of your office and live your life.
Pay attention to everything and anyone.
Make notes of things and or people that might make fodder for a story.
Don’t steer away from controversial issues.
What I was hoping for is for them to read it, and offer some feedback.
From character development to the story itself, what did you like or not like, and why?
‘Why’ is the operative word.
Without ‘why,’ what they tell you is worthless.
One of my beta readers told me just tonight that there were a few ‘eww’ moments.
Ok, great, what are they, and why?
Feedback is critical to the process, and let me tell you, it is like pulling hen’s teeth.
Was that idiom lost on you?
As the weeks and months progress, I will be creating more blogs with helpful thoughts, notes and what have you, regarding writing.
If you have not followed me yet, why not? Am I asking for money for these pearls of wisdom? No.
Am I seeking free anything from anyone? No
Am I trying to pay it forward and assist other writers…? Yes!
With Christmas around the corner, we have time to write before the year ends, don’t waste it.
We have one life to live. Each second of every day is an opportunity to experience life through your eyes or, the eyes of someone else. Many live their lives through the TV. I know too many to count who have done this. They save up their coins and buy stuff. Some of us know that there is more out there than trinkets to have around that charm us.
The world is full of people amazingly enough, who are just like you. While their skin color or accent or religious beliefs might differ from yours, if you take the time to get to know them, you will find you have more in common than you would believe.
In my life, I have made it to forty-nine of the fifty states. In that time of travel I have met many and to this day still, count many of them as friends. Unbeknown to them, some are characters in my novels. If you want to write exciting stories your characters must be dynamic. Why not channel those you meet as your characters?
I am not bragging about anything. In my line of work, I traveled a lot. Starting out my life in electronics, due to unforeseen events, my career morphed into forensic computing, with an adjunct in network security and design.
I met Steve Jobs while supporting Next Step computers, simultaneously learning the ins and outs of Microsoft’s products. Twiddling bits, living in the wiring closets of the world, I soon found a home in Metadata.
Interacting with people all over the globe, I learned many things. The most important thing is, we all have a story to tell. The second thing is, we all want the same things. ‘Most of us that is.’
When it came time to get out of Dodge for a bit, I shut off the computer, closed up shop, and left all of my daily trappings in a state of stasis.
Ideas for stories whirled around my brain as I went through the motions of traveling to Galveston, visiting with friends and families and finally negotiating embarkation of a Carnival Cruise.
This is where my story begins.
I want to keep this fair and helpful for the cruise line. I might want to sail with them again, so improving upon what and how they do business is paramount.
As a Writer, Artist, and Employee, we all need a reaction to the service we offer. As a provider, our perception of how things are, might not be correct. We might be looking at things through rose-colored glasses. I think Carnival might be doing this.
As we head into Black Friday, I wanted to share with you my readers and friends, a recent experience I had on my vacation. This is over a twelve thousand word novella, which I am going to publish on WordPress, rather than sell it. Consider this a gift from me to you.
Yes, people would buy it, but why not share the love? With well over thirty novels published worldwide, I have found that people love a good story. I hope that you will not only laugh with me but that if you should travel down the same roads that I have traveled, some of what I am sharing might assist you.
I also have an alternate agenda. I plan to tag the cruise director multiple times in tweets to get his attention. After much thought and deliberation, it came to me that I should have probably sought him out for assistance. During the process of dealing with this, I did not make my state of unease known to anyone as I had no clue who to call.
On previous cruises with other companies, it was never an issue to need to have or know who the cruise director was. I had researched the excursions, knew what I was going to do, and frankly, did not have any of the issues I had on this cruise. Was it just Carnival, the ship Vista, or some piss poor management?
Thinking back on the trip, I would wager a bet that dialing 7777 on the phone in my room, I could have made my issues known. DOH! Have you ever been so wrapped up in the problem that you could not see the forest as the trees were in the way? As they were trying to find certain people they would ask them to seek out certain people or dial 7777. A week after the fact, those words now haunt me.
Unlike Norwegian or Princess, this seven-day cruise would give you a few hours on each island. The time spent would be enough to visit one place and shop at the conveniently located ‘malls’ at the point of entry to their country… As a matter of fact, one had to walk the aisles of their ‘shopping mall’ to get to and from the boat.
I would wager money that the locals did not pay those prices for what they were selling.
Here are the sixty-four dollar questions.
Have you ever been on a cruise?
Did you like it?
What did you not care for?
Have you been to Cozumel or Grand Cayman or Jamaica?
Let’s talk about the trip, shall we?
Sit back, let the turkey do its thing, and tell me what you think.
Matt, if you are reading this, take out your number 2 pencil, and your big chief tablet, and make notes.
Since I read that you are leaving Vista and going on to an even larger ship, what I have to say will only be magnified by the sheer volume of more people to manage.
Cruise directors and the crew herd people. They must manage the traffic, activities and of course the feeding and so forth of the masses. That includes making sure they have a good time as Carnival or any cruise line wants them to enjoy themselves so much they will be ready to book another cruise once they leave the boat.
Am I spinning yarns, or spewing truths?
Pearls, casting pearls friends… Here we go.
Having sailed with Princess and Norwegian in the past, cruising on the Carnival Vista seemed like a reasonable risk. Family members talked me into it. I agreed and began to plan our trip.
Scheduling a time when children would still be in school was paramount. Why; I wanted to relax. My children are grown and gone. I no longer tolerate the chaos that emotionally driven children seem to bring to the party. Yes, I love children but, a steady diet of them at this stage of the game is not a vacation. It is, in fact, that chaos that I seek to escape.
Imagine my surprise when the boat is filled with young people of all ages, who should either be in school, college or in some cases, starting their careers.
Purchasing a balcony for my ‘oasis from reality’ I did not even bring a laptop with me. This was a vacation to relax. We writers are tightly wound. I am no different. When I don’t get that time to decompress my characters refuse to come out and play. We call this writer’s block. The only way for me to clear that block is get a fix of mental Drano which means, do something way out of my normal routine and immerse myself in it.
On my Princess cruise to Alaska, I sat on my balcony and watched ice melt for the better part of an afternoon. As the water poured through small crevasses it was only a matter of time before a huge chunk of the glacier toppled into the ocean. When the wave from the crash hit the boat, it was the first time we felt that huge behemoth move.
Back in Galveston, I began enacting my plan of putting block A on top of block B until the end goal was reached.
Arriving at the prescribed time, I chose one of those places which have some land to store cars and guards that watch out for your vehicle, while they whisk you away to the point of embarkation a short five miles away. Eighty Dollars for the week, and the ride, I found myself dropped off within sight of the boat.
The line was long and filled with all types of people, including children of all ages. ‘Why aren’t they in school?”
I found out why, much later at a comedy show. More on that fun fact later.
An hour after landing at the docks in Galveston Texas, I make my final sojourn to a line where my picture is taken, and then I am pointed to another line where I am to wait to surrender my bag, which was unlocked for inspection, and delivery to my cabin. Once there, I am again directed to a man sitting against a wall who examines my two bottles of wine, to make sure they are indeed just wine.
It would seem that Carnival does not allow any type of bottle on their boat as people have smuggled liquor in things like shampoo bottles and so on. If you desire alcohol you must purchase theirs.
This feat is accomplished in a few ways. Purchase a ‘drink plan’ which I think costs $50 a day for each person in your cabin. Check that number it might not be correct, but it was along those lines. From third-party sources who have done this before, you are buying a bracelet that along with your ship card gets you drinks. At their sole discretion, they can choose to cut you off. ‘That is as it should be, by the way.’
With thousands of people behind me in the ‘terminal building’ which is nothing but a large building with cement floors, I finally was ushered onto the entryway to the boat. Breathing a sigh of relief, I try to let all of the anxiety of dealing with technicalities float away. Indeed I tried to leave all of that ‘stuff’ in the terminal building.
Pointed to food and a place to sit, we were now being managed once again by ship personnel.
Some of these people in that terminal building were people leaving that very same cruise. There is one employee for every 2.71 passengers. You can do that math.
Keep in mind I am a writer and a people watcher. It looked like many of these people were thinking this would be their last meal. People, Eating is more than about filling your gut with stuff. It amazes me how Americans, for the most part, eat way too much and way too fast. I once had someone tell me that they don’t get their monies worth at buffets as they don’t eat that much. I feel sorry for people like that.
There are sentient people, and there are knuckle draggers. Too harsh? The good news is, you have the power to choose.
Everything you do is about the experience of doing it, making a memory, and enjoying those that you are doing it with. Unless you are stranded on an island with a blood-stained soccer ball as your closest friend, eating is about enjoying the flavors of the food, the company of who you are with, and of course fueling the body that houses your soul. Eating is not about seeing how much crap you can stuff into your mouth.
When I use the term knuckle draggers I am talking about people who go through the motions and could not tell you in the simplest of terms, why.
If you are one of these and you want to discover who you are, there are ways. In many of my novels, even the naughty ones I write about becoming enlightened. I even walk my characters through the process. Life is about far more than going through the motions.
I am reminded of the Damselfly.
While living a little more than a year, most of its life is spent as a nymph or creature living in the water. It is not until time to reproduce does it turn into the beautiful creature that we see darting among the flowers and weeds of the wetlands.
People as children are motivated by how they feel, not what they think. As a writer, if you want to write a successful children’s book you write about rabbits or other creatures that the child can anthropomorphize and become emotionally attached to much like a teddy bear.
You create emotional situations that the child can identify with and you keep the book to no more than fifteen minutes in length.
Some people never get past the stage of being driven by emotions. The Damselfly gets to the point of reproduction before its life cycle is over and sadly, many adults find that stage of their lives as the zenith. Telling a person that life is not about the destination, but the journey only resonates with a small percentage.
Many feel that he who dies with the most toys wins. You see it with hoarders, and you see it when you end up cleaning up the estate of relatives who might have been introverts.
You can change if you desire but you must want to change. That part is easier than you might think.
First, you must have the desire and then a path to follow.
The path is closer than you might think as well.
I tell people to go to a museum, find a painting that moves them in some way and then sit. Yes sit right there in front of that painting and don’t get up until you can articulate in thoughtful sentences why that painting moved you emotionally.
Repeat as necessary until you develop a habit analyzing why things get under your skin or why perhaps you like a certain show or book. Don’t let a good emotion go to waste.
Now if you take that exercise and employ it in all things in your life, you will become enlightened, and not some impulse-driven automaton. This simple exercise will make anyone a better person. Once you develop a habit of asking yourself why this or that affected you in some way soon you will be nobody’s fool. CNN and FOX and all the rest will lose their control over you. Once you figure out who you are, then your critical thinking skills can work for you instead of against you.
While sitting there watching people walk by who had obviously never missed a meal, carrying multiple plates, I truly wanted to get away from the masses. I don’t want to think about the zombies walking around me. They are truly asleep. If they, like that other person, think that they must get their monies worth out of eating everything in sight, they are lost. What they are truly doing is shortening their lives. They are in fact not getting their money’s worth out of life, as they will die much sooner than someone who is awake!
While not having anything to take notes I vividly remember this scene as it plays out in my mind. People who were three hundred or more pounds were scarfing up enough calories to feed a small village. I was reminded of the scene in Monty Python where they shoveled in the last thin mint before the man exploded! It is no wonder why the health care system is in such turmoil. People are not awake or informed or just plain stupid.
Since my escape from the masses will not be ready for a couple of hours, I was to ‘kill’ more time eating.
I was introduced to ‘Guys Burgers!’ Folks, I am not a burger person per se but let me tell you, these burgers are great! If you should find yourself on a cruise, and they have these there, avail yourself of this treat. Yes, it is a memory. I know I just spent five minutes berating the glutinous crowds but you see, I am having one burger, a few fries, and some water. I am not eating everything in sight.
Stuck on a floating island, with thousands of people eating, becomes a pastime. Eat small amounts and taste everything. From Escargot to crab cakes. Try those things that you would never eat at home. Most of the time the chefs, cooks are whoever did a good job of preparing the food.
Carnival gets a thumbs up on food.
The variety of the food was more than adequate, and even after hours, there were plenty of places around for those who have big appetites. I am not one of those big appetite people; thus, my BMI is where it needs to be. One tip I will offer at this point is to take the stairs. The elevators or lifts are always full and it takes forever to wait on them. Don’t waste your precious life waiting on them. The stairs will hopefully assist you in burning a few of those calories you ate that you didn’t need.
After the long wait, making my way to my room, I find the ‘card’ by the door in a mailbox of sorts.
Having ninety minutes until ‘muster,’ I decide that a nap is in order. Since my clothes were in the process of making it from where I handed off my bag, to my cabin, slipping between the sheets in minimal attire, seemed like the best plan.
People talking in the hallway to what seemed like an occasional blast on a bass drum, sleep was not easily found. I would highly suggest a white noise maker in each cabin. I use a fan at home, and truthfully a fan of some kind would have been nice.
There were other noises which I will address a little later but, unknown to me, selecting a balcony cabin might have been a waste of money.
The ‘bing bing bing’ of @CruiseRadio Matt who seemed to be herding cats, was not going well.
You must realize that the crews’ challenges are indeed herding people, the flow of people and events must be timed with surgical precision. I did not introduce myself to him, but I am going to make sure this feedback does get to him.
From Latin we get monstrare or Old French we get moustrer and finally Middle English we get muster.
I heard some dingbats calling it mustard, and I know many who did not take this activity seriously.
Muster simply means a gathering or showing of yourself, and it gets its roots from the military as ‘muster your troops for inspection, or for a battle, as the case may be. Why should you take this seriously?
Maritime law dictates that you will be instructed on the proper use of life-saving equipment and will be made aware of procedures, should you encounter an event that might put the ship in harm’s way. No ship is unsinkable. Even in my novel Ghost Signals from Colorado Springs, I talk about how bubbles from far below could be the cause of your doom.
You should read it if you have not already. It is a great read.
As you learn where you are to gather, they know who you are. Since they have an exact place to ‘gather’ should some event occur, each crew member responsible for that station is to inventory you. Once everyone is in attendance, they walk you through a five-minute demonstration on how to put on a lifejacket. Not hard, not rocket science but, after meeting some of my fellow cruisers, I would say that they might want to have paid a little more attention.
Few if anyone listened to her or even watched, but in total truth, if there were such a disaster, your annoyance with the process might not only cost you your life but those of your fellow shipmates.
In an actual disaster, much like when a person is drowning, the last thing you want to do is jump into the water with them. The reason being, they will climb on your dead body to save themselves. In a disaster where that life jacket is necessary, those lackadaisical knuckle draggers will be the ones who do everything wrong and clog up your exit from the ship while trying to gather and bring their belongings from their cabin…
I would not want to be on a boat that was truly in trouble, as god as my witness, there are stupid people that would cause your death, to save their trinkets from some island paradise, which came from China. These would be the same people who did not understand where their muster station was and did not even look at the lifejacket, who now in some panic would stop the flow of people while trying to figure it out. Meeting some of the folks in my ‘station,’ I realized that if there was such an event, some of them were too stupid to dress appropriately, much less retain what they were being told.
I realize that I don’t have a lot of patience with stupid people. Being stupid is a choice. I chose a long time ago, not to be stupid. Some will blow through life depending upon the kindness of others, or government handouts to survive. If the US government were more like the government in Jamaica, Darwinism would work nicely.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not heartless. I am for educating people, and having them give a damn about being an asset to the world, and not a burden. The world owes you nothing, and in an actual emergency I can tell you, it will be every man for themselves. History is replete with example after example of human nature. Depend on that person in the mirror, as that person is the one who cares most for you.
If there were an extreme event, the crew is trained to assist everyone. There is one crew member to every 2.71 customers. Now how many of them would say ‘screw you’ and save themselves first, is debatable. That is why you should take this subject matter to heart, as if your life depends upon it, as it very well might.
The issue I had with this, hence my ‘feedback,’ in this area. We were stuck in there for close to an hour as several of the passengers decided to stay in the hot tub or their beds. It was not until they were looked for and found, did we get the five minutes of instructions and were released to officially begin our vacations. I would bet this happens every cruise, and for that reason, they ought to have a fine assessed to them, as they were stealing from us.
You see, those few selfish knuckle draggers, cost close to four thousand people over thirty minutes of their lives they cannot get back. That does not include the crew that might have been inconvenienced. It gets better, just wait for the section titled ‘Debarkation.’
Kudos to Matt for trying to keep it fun and light-hearted with his sense of humor. I was still pissed with the selfishness and stupidity of some of my ‘shipmates,’ but this is what a vacation is, right?
Back in the room, there was still no luggage, so now a nap was in order before a planned meeting with friends for dinner. I will confess that after the exercise, I took a minute to peek under the bed to make sure that the life jackets were indeed there. In old days you were required to bring them to ‘muster’ with you. That has since changed and I did not look for them before muster. We were supposed to. As I berate my fellow cruisers for not paying attention, I too sit in condemnation, for not looking before. Make sure they are there. Who knows, you might find a lost dollar under the bed, making your time spent on your knees worth something other than peace of mind, knowing that your ability to float for an extended time is at hand.
Crashing, banging, and the bass drum from everywhere, had me concerned.
Seven days on this ship put exactly seven pounds on me.
Trust me, I will lose it as quickly as I ‘found’ it.
On Princess, they had something like Carnivals Lido deck where all of the buffet food was, but I don’t remember anything like Carnivals Horizons Restaurant.
They also had something like this on Norwegian but I detest buffets. As a foodie, I want to take some time and talk about this.
Matt, this is feedback for you; take notes.
Carnival has an App, ‘who knew?’ Their ‘hub’ app allows you to ‘chat’ with your people via a crude form of text. When I say crude, I mean it. The messages may or may not make it to your phone in a timely fashion. This ability to chat costs money, but not much.
Booking online (through the app) was excellent in theory, but we always were having to get them to accommodate us, as we were treated as walk-ins anyway.
As I said, I am a foodie. I tried a little bit of most everything as I felt like it might be fun to critique their food for you. On my yelp account, I take time to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. That to me is my way of paying it forward and, it is a way to let management know that they might need to change some things.
I spent the bulk of my eating experience at the Horizon restaurant, as the food was above par.
The choices were great. The staff was almost always excellent.
Ordering the steak on more than one occasion, there was undoubtedly inconsistency in how it was cooked and the quality of the cut. Asking for ‘medium’ will get you anything from rare to well done. The same is true of the eggs, over easy or even medium, was always hard.
The bacon was way too greasy, not a good cut, and frankly below par for what I expected. The Bacon was on par with Denny’s. That is not a compliment.
Coffee was way too strong for me, and it was a significant effort to get Crème.
Ordering the Salmon three times, I had three different versions, and all with the skin facing up, not down as it should be. From overcooked on two occasions, to just about perfect on one.
While the wait staff was friendly, here is what they lacked.
When ordering, they ‘know’ what is going to come on each plate. Asking for a baked potato when ‘new potatoes’ are coming with the fish, it would have been nice for them to suggest something different.
I genuinely want to be fair about this. All in all, I ate there most of the time as I soon learned what to expect and what to stay away from. Waffles are what you should ignore and stay away from. Those were horrible, and I feel like they might have come from a frozen box.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the Lido Deck. Yes, I tried that out just so I could offer feedback.
The hamburger place is the winner of the Lido deck. While the Pizza was not bad, those hamburgers should be five stars. If you go on this boat, get a burger while you are waiting for your room.
No review of their food would be complete without talking about the 555 steak house.
When I cruise, I generally buy the upgraded food package. On this trip, I was celebrating my birthday with friends and was told by previous cruisers of this ship, I didn’t need that. So, paying $28 each for this experience was worth it.
Asking for medium, I got well done. Cutting into the meat, it was tender but too dry as it had been cooked too long. That was the case for others who ordered ‘medium.’ or ‘Pink in the middle’ is what I was going for. I don’t want the steak to ‘eat my salad,’ I just want it hot and juicy. “Make sense?”
The waiter showed up and saw that I was not eating it when he asked me why. I was just going to pass it off, eat the other parts of the meal, and live for dessert. I honestly was not going to say anything until another in my party said something. Besides, there was always Guys Burgers upstairs.
The waiter was having none of that and took them back to the chef.
Here is where the meal turned delightful.
The chef makes an appearance and makes a heartfelt apology. ‘This is why I was not going to say anything, as I did not want to injure his feelings.’
The next steak was perfect. If you ever go on this ship, make sure you try out the 555 Steak House.
I believe that night was my favorite night of the whole cruise. He and the staff turned a negative into a positive.
I cannot say enough good about that night, and I thank you all for helping me to make it special.
First Sea Day
The first night on the boat, noises from overhead continued on through the night. Without a fan to make white noise, I slept damned little. What they call a fun day at sea is really Matt doing his best to entertain those of you onboard.
Not able to sleep from the noise, I dawned that little white robe and headed for the balcony. Two hundred nautical miles from Galveston, the air was much warmer. I thought about napping on my balcony until I soon learned what the bass drums were.
Yes, those balcony doors shut with a ‘Fah-whoomp!’ While I slowly closed mine as not to disturb those around me, sadly, I was one of the few. Many on their balconies smoked, which is clearly a no-no.
Screaming from the other direction alerted me that they had a child. The noise was overwhelming. I was now sleep-deprived, yes, I was losing my pleasant demeanor. They allowed their child to scream at the top of her lungs and did not try to stop her. The mother sat on her balcony with an open door allowing the drama to play out.
I don’t play games, although I sat in on the Clue game. The acting and playfulness of the crew had me chuckling often. This is where I first saw Matt, and I must admit, I was amused.
After trying to enjoy the amenities on the Lido deck and the Serenity deck, I soon learned that 4000 other cruisers had that same idea. While there were no children on the Serenity deck, there were also no open anything. This was a common theme on this boat. Finding a place to enjoy the great outdoors, in the middle of the ocean, just didn’t work out.
With the constant pitter-patter of little feet, it was clear that Carnival ships are geared for families and kids, not for writers who need a change of scenery and ‘serenity.’
Headed back to the cabin, thinking that maybe the kids were up on the Lido Deck, just perhaps, I could sneak in a nap.
I did, I dozed off for about three minutes until this loud noise permeated the room that sounded like an alarm clock on steroids. It is what is known as a chatter or impact drill. You might have heard a mechanic using such a tool on your car while putting on new tires.
I jumped out of bed with the noise. I now knew it was not some crazy cruiser with a fetish for noise. Someone was doing some substantial building or deconstructing right above my head. My heart still beating out of my chest, I tried super hard to go back to sleep. That netted me about five minutes here and there before I went and sat on the balcony again. The noise woke up the neighbor’s baby, who began crying at the top of their lungs, again. Honestly, I felt their pain.
I had signed up for the ‘cloud nine’ spa. Pricey but worth it. In the different sauna’s, one could get some silence. The mineral bath was delightful. Your body will slosh from side to side as the boat makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico.
Back to the restaurant with friends, we sat close to the rear or aft of the ship and watched the sunset.
I ordered steak and found it was, in fact, inedible. Meat flavored bubble gum, without the ability to blow bubbles. I am not unreasonable, I expect Filet Minion to be tender and not the actual part of the animal that jumped over the fence last. Medium turned out to dry and well done, so either I was doing a poor job of communicating to the staff, or the waiters were not having any luck with the chef. They need Gordon Ramsey to assist them. God, there is a thought, what would he find in a kitchen that never shuts down?
The rest of the dinner was good, and the wait staff was friendly.
Tomorrow it would be Cozumel.
After listening to the Riff Rafts, which I think is a name given to entertainers for Carnival, I was taken with their talent.
I didn’t ask their names, but they were impressive.
Spending fifteen dollars on a rum and coke, ‘a double’ I am almost sure that there was only a splash of rum in those drinks, so you can taste it, and not become drunk. I did not purchase any drink package as soda water is terrible for you, and of course, liquor is undoubtedly not good for you. After spending $15 on one poor excuse for a drink, I stayed away from mixed drinks on the boat.
In hopes the ‘drink’ would make me drowsy enough I could sleep, I headed for my cabin.
Once in bed, it seemed silent until a noise that sounded like someone was messing with the door. Nope, they were doing something above me, which sounded like mice in the walls. Yes, this went on way into the wee hours.
Stepping on to the balcony, the stars were brilliant, as were the shooting stars that fell on occasion. As I sat there in the wee hours, I heard a loud thump, men talking, and metal hitting the floor. This just pissed me off, which did not bode well for becoming sleepy.
The rhythm of the boat and the pulse of the waves against the hull, made for a kind of bedtime story as it were, as I began to doze in the chair on the deck. The warm winds of the Caribbean encircled me as I began to feel at peace with the world around me once again.
Under the boat, we were on top of over 12,000 feet of water. The stars danced above as if to put me under their spell when a tremendous crash above me jolted me back into this reality. A subsequent spoken language, not English, sounded like an admonishment as I heard more metal clang together.
“You have got to be kidding me!” I said to myself while fighting the urge to get dressed and go yell at them. In my town, if that were happening, a quick call to the local police would soon extinguish the source of the disturbance. Who the hell do you call to make it stop?
The Fa-Whoomp sound of a door jolted me back to my senses as I looked at my phone, attempting to discern if it was 6 or 7.
Ship time, local time, or your own time had me always wondering what time it was.
Packed for an excursion, the snorkel gear, towels, and money, accompanied me to the island.
“Due to the choppy weather, the government has closed the water.” You can still go there for $30 and look but, you cannot get in. They do have a swimming pool for your use, as well as two-for-one drinks and free internet!
I want to say this was a thirty dollar excursion before buying drinks and so forth. The water was choppy but, you could still see fish under the water.
Soon enough, the lounges were taken, but they never brought out promised cushions. The sun, well it was intense and hot. Staying in the shade, drinking a rather mild beer named ‘Indigo,’ while allowing the cool breezes from the ocean to blow your hair around was about the extent of the excursion.
The local taxi drivers were somewhat unusual in that they tried their level best to pack their well-worn out vans to the brim with passengers, before taking the five-mile trek back to the ‘shopping area.’
Staying there for a few hours, I headed back to the boat. I cannot snorkel, and their internet was horrible; it was time to fall back and re-group.
Things seemed eerily quiet, dare I try and nap?
No sooner was I back in the bed than the pneumatic drill gun resonated through most of the superstructure scaring the devil out of me.
Heading back topside, I found an empty chair and dozed off with people all around talking, playing card games, and yelling at their children on the deck below them. ‘It was great!’
If you want to support the Mexican economy, go there and pay four times the amount you might find the item for on eBay, or Amazon.
Watching the stragglers running for the boat as they were ‘very late,’ we finally shoved off, headed for Grand Cayman Island.
A word of caution, having been under the Queen’s rule for many years, they still drive on the ‘other side’ of the road. This means that if and when you are crossing the road, make damned sure you look both ways.
Same stuff as the day before but, this time, we rode in a very bouncy boat with steel seats. Any bumping into any part of the inside of the boat with your body was met by unforgiving steel.
Not able to leave the ship until noon, we all got bruises from trying to walk up and down the stairs while their little boats were tossed about like a fishing bobber in the ocean. Had I known what I was getting into, I would have stayed on board.
By now, I was becoming even more sleep-deprived because of the demolition crew over my head, and of course, the neighbors who allowed their doors to slam with their kids continually entering and leaving their rooms.
Another word of caution for you who plan to use these services. Those doors are heavy and meant to be watertight in case water should be an issue. If a young person should get a finger between the frame of the door and the door itself, I dare say it might take it off. In just trying to close my balcony door quietly, I managed to get my thumb between the door and the frame.
Once again we head to the beach to learn it is not only not suitable for scuba diving but, the beach we went to charges rent for the lounge chairs, and rent for a tattered old umbrella.
As close to the equator as we were, you want to use plenty of sunscreens and then just stay the heck out of the sun.
This was a young person’s hang out, and when I say hang out, yes many of them were hanging out.
Ladies wearing bottoms, which expose much of them, is one thing. Men…old men…Speedos are not for you. There comes a time when one needs to actually look into the mirror before dressing. Find a friend with an honest opinion. I think one of the casualties of our lifestyle today is a lack of personal contact. People have lost the ability to wear clothes that are not appropriate in public. A true friend would have stopped you. Put down the phone and see a friend and ask them what they think. If they make a face and say EWWW…don’t wear it.
Just in case you don’t have any friends that will tell you straight up, I will. Dress and act your age. No woman thinks your saggy tattoos or saggy butt are sexy. In fact, I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw them.
Guys, wearing anything like a speedo is passé. Leave something to the imagination, please!
Grand Cayman was a bust. The beach was limited, expensive, and hot. The water was opaque and not suitable for snorkeling. I will be damned if there were not more kids there than in Cozumel. Is this some kind of elaborate field trip?
The problem with a cruise and shore excursions are, they ‘the cruise line’ bring four thousand people at a time to some port which translates into dollars for the economies of those ports. This time we had three cruise ships at the same damned time. The economy should be happy with Carnival but as a tourist, I can assure you I was not.
When the shop cashier has to ask some manager what the cost of an item is, that is a dead giveaway that you are paying much more than the locals would have to pay for the same thing.
When the guide tells you that you are going bargain shopping, what they are really saying is ‘gird your loins.’
How do you do that? If it is not marked with a price, don’t buy it. If you have to ask what it cost, you should at least demand a kiss when they are finished. Too crude…? If you think so, my novels are probably not for you.
In one shop, the owner put a sticker on each one in our party. While he told us it was a sign to the cashier to give us half off, I genuinely fear it was an indicator to double the price.
Seven dollars American to ‘rent’ a lounge chair on a small crowded beach while baking in the sun was only a tiny part of the process. The umbrella was twelve dollars US. This umbrella appeared to have been extracted from the rubbish pile and put back into use.
The bottom line on excursions is, have a backup plan. After we were ashore, we learned that snorkeling was out of the picture. Just going to the beach with hundreds of other guests, and many locals were a waste of money and time. Again, had my balcony not been under assault from the construction crew above me, I might have ordered a tall drink, picked up a good book, and just chilled while listening to the water and seabirds.
Research your destination before you get there. Don’t allow some ‘cruise director,’ typically your spouse, to make all the plans. If you are going to be there, take an active part in the planning process, or just don’t complain when you are shelling out lots of money to rent some battered chair and broken down umbrella.
Grand Cayman has things to offer. That day, the beach was not one of them. If, and this is a big if; I were to go back to Georgetown, I would fly in when there were no cruise ships, rent some out of the way room at a resort-like the Ritz, and just chill on the beach. I would make damned sure that there was no construction going on at the resort when booking. I would also make sure there were no active hurricanes in the area. I have heard nightmare scenarios where couples had gone to such a place and been stuck at the resort while a storm blew through. The meter on their stay does not stop when there is a storm. It cost the same whether you are having a good time, or trying to stay alive from a hurricane.
As a cruise destination, I give this one a thumbs down.
A note on my door to the balcony was interesting. It alerted me that they would be cleaning the balcony. Ok, it looks pretty clean but fine.
Folks, when I returned that night after my fun day with the local pirates, the rail was covered in some white solution, the glass which had been perfectly clean appeared as if something had been drizzled over it and there was standing water between the deck and the edge of the balcony. I have no idea what they thought they were doing, but it was the opposite of clean.
I used their towels and cleaned up the mess myself, as this was ‘my oasis.’
“Hey Maan, how you doing? I got some smoke, right here!”
Every stereotype that you ever heard about Jamaica is correct. Truthfully, I figured this would be the bust excursion. Had the construction crew above me, and the screaming children beside me not been there, I would have enjoyed the amenities on the ship along with the gentle breezes and rested.
For me, the idea of a cruise is to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I don’t want to hear sirens, loud cars, people fighting or arguing, and, least of all, construction sounds.
While deciding if I were going to leave the boat, a loud sound that resembled a drill, the dentist might use only much louder made that choice for me. Something known as an impact drill, or what I call a chatter drill was in use over my head, resonating throughout the cabin.
The choice made, I was going to see what Jamaica had to offer.
Firstly, I have never even tried pot much less owned any. Cannabis is legal in Jamaica. If you get the impression that I am wound pretty tight, you are right. I have managed dozens of people and projects during my life, and have been responsible for million-plus dollar budget projects. The reasons are apparent, I have a track record of not making bad choices in life. Not only do I make good choices, but I know what the hell I am doing. I value intelligence and competence. Truthfully I don’t understand why anyone would take a chance on screwing up their brains, with mind-altering anything.
With me, it is an occasional beer or a margarita, with the operative words being ‘Occasional, and A.”
Crime in Jamaica is relegated to rival gangs. Drug exportation is a business, and since Pot is legal, that makes it harder to fight drug exportation. From the Cartels in Mexico to the gangs in Jamaica, money, and drugs are the problems. Since so much money is involved, officials have price tags, and their loyalty or turning a blind eye to the problem is most assuredly up for sale to the highest bidder. This is just common sense. Think not, then tell me why someone would use 19 million dollars of their own money to try and get a job that makes $154K a year. Go ahead, I am waiting.
Solving the criminal activity in both countries would be as simple as legalizing drug use in the countries they export to. Much like prohibition of the 1920s, once legalized, the booze running criminals of yesteryear went into a different business. Drugs, sex trafficking, and any other activity made illegal due to social norms. Where there is a demand, there is a criminal element that will fill it.
Legalizing drugs would damage the economy of those countries who export them. Money from the US, Canada and surely Australia and Europe find their way into these countries who manufacture, grow or sell them.
Those that traffic in such things needs for them to be illegal so they can charge exorbitant rates for their products. Jamaica is no different. Not all that far from the US, getting drugs into the states would be pretty straightforward. This, however, is small potatoes. In 2017 there were well over 70,000 deaths in the US due to drug overdose. Those deaths were not from pot; from Jamaica.
Once again, the water in Jamaica was not conducive to snorkeling. That is a three for three busts on shore excursions. Deciding to learn more about the local culture, I hired a tour guide, which was not part of the Carnival controlled industry. That could be a bad idea or not. Throwing caution to the wind off we went.
Taking us to places no Carnival sponsored cruise would take us, we quickly learned that Jamaica is much like California is turning in to. The super-rich and the very poor. Our guide represented their middle class. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment without air, and her teenage son.
Prices for goods and services are very high. Street vending is a livelihood of the locals, which is illegal in places that the government wants to keep ‘clean’ for the tourists. They must keep moving, which means you will be accosted by them no matter where you are.
I use the word ‘accosted,’, but I can assure you that they do take no for an answer. Had I been a rich person, I would have purchased much of their wares just to assist them in some way.
In this country, if accosted by a street person, you never know how it will play out. In Jamaica, you tell them no thanks, and they just go on to the next.
Jamaica has one of the highest populations of churches, which I found interesting. The idealist in me wants to believe that they are all super Christian or dedicated to the faith of their choice. In reality, I fear much like the street vendors, they are selling god or the promise of heaven at the donation box.
Not allowed onto the premises, street vendors still approached us on the church grounds wanting us to purchase their trinkets.
Walking through a cemetery, I was taken aback by a street person sleeping on one of the tombs.
Tourism is a significant industry in all of these three places, and the government knows it. With each visit by a cruise ship, which is often, US dollars flow into their economy.
Exporting Bauxite, limestone, and of course, drugs is a large part of their economy. With the super-wealthy living close to the very poor, the juxtaposition of the two is staggering. In my humble opinion, what we see in Jamaica and countries like this today, we will see in California in the near future unless Americans stop watching the MSM and pay attention to what is really happening. As government officials try to get your votes it is not you that they have in mind. It is power and money they seek and being a politician is the way to get it. They don’t care about you in the slightest. Importing votes and cheap labor will only go so far. From then on there will only be the super-rich and the very poor. If they did they would protect the borders, and protect your jobs. They won’t and don’t.
Heading to what was supposed to be the ‘beach,’ we could see that it would have been yet another bust. Seven US dollars to get past the gates to walk on the beach was not an option I was willing to pay.
Eating at the most austere version of a Margaretville ever was the extent of my travels on Jamaica. Being asked by no less than five people in one short block if I wanted smoke left me reeling. Then there was the offer of coke. I don’t think it was the bubbly kind. Taking refuge in the local Starbucks until it was time to go back to the ship, was my indoctrination to Jamaica.
Oddly enough, I did not feel uncomfortable walking in and among those who were most probably associated with gangs. Again, once told no thanks, they left me be.
Would I go back?
Not on a cruise ship. Again, with four thousand people dumped onto the island at one time, I would instead fly in, have a plan that included a personal guide, and play it that way.
Ironically, I felt that the people of Jamaica were the friendliest of the three islands, and most certainly the most laid back. Possibly they were all stoned. Who knows.
I do think that having multiple options for excursions in almost any port of call is imperative.
Not having the excursion booked well in advance left you on your own. Lesson learned.
Once past the three island countries, there was just about immediate boredom. The Vista is like a small town with many different things to entertain you. The fact that you are traveling in a perpetual 2000 mile school zone, if you think about the speed of 17 knots, which is very close to 20 mph, you can quickly see why they need distractions.
I fell in love with the Riff Rafts. They were just about too good for a cruise ship. They could easily be a Vegas act or even a warm-up group for a major celebrity.
The karaoke bar or group was terrible entertainment. Karaoke draws a crowd of people who sing in the shower or don’t hear themselves as you and I might. Still, it was worth visiting for a one or two-hour stint. The lady that ran it was entertaining as she was ‘in control,’ and allowed everyone to have fun.
Truth told, there were some reasonably good singers that, with proper audio set up, might be worth listening to. That, sadly, not the case. A loud singer might captivate the audience or might run them off while a soft singer requiring the power of the amplifier to do his or her bidding, like many artists today, was not conducive for them; thusly they were not heard.
Note to the lady running the setup, do a mic check and adjust the volume accordingly for each singer. The experience will be much more enjoyable for the customers.
Those who had already sung talked and laughed over those who were singing, which was just bad manners. As a people watcher, it tells you something about this generation. ‘It is all about me and my satisfaction.’ They could also all have been drunk. If they were, they probably purchased the bottle and administered their own amounts of booze per drink.
The folks at the red frog or whatever that guitar bar was were entertaining. Drinking a craft beer while listening to them was worth the two hours spent. The craft beer was also remarkably good for being created on the ship.
What about the piano bar?
Ok, I was dragged into the piano bar after one of my friends pointed out that Elizabeth was talented.
From strange Kangaroo remarks to potty remarks, I soon was rather taken with this young lady who should keep her activism to herself. She is an actress, singer, and buys all of the nonsense the liberal media is pushing. My guess is, she would vote for socialism.
When you, as an entertainer, espouse your views on political things, you stand a good chance of alienating many in your audience. Since the boat loaded in Galveston, Texas, and Texas is a red state, your odds of pissing people off with your uninformed liberal propaganda espoused by the elite class who are hell-bent on destroying the country as we know it, are higher than if you were leaving from say the east or west coast, where people have all drank the Kool-Aid.
Since the liberal establishment has gone entirely nuts, I have stopped watching movies and television and I will go out of my way to not buy things from companies who support such nonsense. I also noticed that Carnival only has CNN on its television service and not a balanced news source. CNN pays airports to only show their station. Isn’t it sad that anyone at an airport only hears their perverted take on the news? That is propaganda much like Pravda.
If you have to pay an airport to only put your brand of Pravda on the TV, it should raise a red flag to the traveling public. Wait, you mean to tell me that CNN does not tell the public that they actually pay the airports to only show their channel?
Your political leanings should not be evident to me as a person in your audience. I am intelligent enough to look at the actions, and the evidence, instead of some bald twit lying with his hate-filled rants dictated by the likes of Jeff Zucker, president of CNN.
On a positive note, when she was not bragging about supporting kids walking out of school, her talents were laudable, as were her quirky ways of working her audience. It is my hope that somewhere along the way she learns the truth about life, and what she thought she knew was told to her by people with an agenda. I wish her well and success, and awakening to reality.
What about the funny folks?
Comedians fill a role in society, which allows us to laugh at ourselves. We all do things that when in hindsight were stupid or at the very least laughable. In truth, we are all so much alike if we would sit and talk with one another honestly, we would be shocked.
From how we look naked in a mirror to how we act and think, on a Venn diagram, there would be much more overlap than not.
Carole, who was the first of the comedians I watched, spent about 30 minutes putting a laughable spin on life. From farts to bugs, she had most of us laughing.
Of the three comedians I watched, Carole gets a thumbs up, the other two, not so much.
Spike went way over the line in the ‘clean show.’ When you talk about poop and bring corn into the conversation, yes that is way too far for a show with kids in it.
The other gentleman who tried to be comedic with the kids in the audience bombed. I did not go back for his adult show as I feel like if you cannot make me laugh in a show geared for ‘polite society,’ I don’t need to hear vulgarities. In fairness to him, I want to think of something I liked about his show, other than the ending.
This is tough as, for the most part, it was just lame. So, part of his stick was, he made some funny faces, and you could tell he was intelligent. To be a comedian and be successful, you have to have a sharp brain, think on your feet, and know when the act is going south and change gears.
I don’t remember his name, which is bad. I remember Carol and Spike, why not him?
Like good advertisements are not only memorable but, you also remember the brand. My brand ‘TWSCOTT’ I want to be associated with novels that either entertain in an adventurous way or a slightly naughty way.
This novella is just that, an informative quick read on what not to do, or what to do. This is also a peek into three different countries, and a behind the scenes look at cruising. Finally, it is feedback for the Carnival folks who need to fire whoever thought it was ok to have a construction crew working above my cabin at all hours of the day and night, just saying!
I feel that comedians might want to hire some new writers who can craft jokes that are funny.
It seems that farts, other bodily functions, and of course sex are the mainstay of the comedic routine. Is that it? Is that all that is funny? God, I hope not.
During his show, I did discover that most of the kids on the boat are homeschooled or their parents just pulled them out of school to vacation before the other kids got out.
What about the ‘really big show?’
If you are my age, you recognize the comment ‘really big show.’
I must admit, I was surprised to see and hear the amount of talent on that stage. I made a point to shake hands and tell them as much. Indeed they could and should be a Vegas act.
I read that Matt, the cruise director is leaving and going to a bigger boat. Why? Tell me why I would want to be on a more massive ship, where the lines will be longer? Tell me how that does anything for me, other than inconvenience me more? Truth told; if they are traded publically, the only good thing might be to purchase their stock. Think about it. With over 4000 people to manage, they already have their hands full. Getting on and off the boat was not fun. If your idea of fun is standing in lines than by all means get on a bigger ship. My next cruise will be something smaller like a riverboat cruise or possibly cruise in the Mediterranean on a smaller boat.
Matt, what are you thinking? Do you like banging your head into the wall? Why take on more of a headache? Was that you over my cabin making all that noise, torturing yourself?
Returning to my room each night, I was greeted with a towel animal of some kind. The person who keeps the place tidy and the shampoo and soap, filled, also spends his time creating towel creatures.
Now he has no way of knowing, but I made a game out of ‘guess the creature’ on Facebook. Each day I put the creature on there and had them all guess. This is marketing for Carnival, and yes, I know that I was advertising for them. I spent extra for Wi-Fi so I could keep in contact with my people, and of course, I ended up advertising for the cruise line to my over 400 plus friends on social media. I actually know these people, unlike many who will friend anyone.
I took many pictures and some videos and posted them for my peeps. I did not bemoan the fact that a construction crew was working day and night right over my cabin. I also did not complain about the smoking on the balcony or that same family with the screaming kids, playing music on their balcony.
Further, I did not speak of the loud doors slamming at all hours of the day and night.
The construction continued for the entire time I was on vacation, and I must tell you, that would stop me from ever taking another cruise.
While talking about the negative aspects, let me also whine about being charged $18 to uncork my own bottle of wine.
I did not carry on about it, as I did not want to ruin my vacation over excessive charges.
Receiving a $50 discount on a service in the spa area, I decided to take advantage of that with a massage. When I mention that to friends they tell me they stay away from the spa as they are notorious about upselling you. Yes, they are but you can always say no. Besides, have you looked at the cost of the cruise? Folks, it is expensive. There are no bargains on such things. It goes from expensive to ridiculous.
Making my appointment, I went up there early to steam, shower, and soak in the mineral bath and then get a massage.
I was handed paperwork to fill out, which I did not expect. Sitting in the waiting area for over fifteen moments, my pre-relaxation idea was slowly fading away until I took matters into my own hands at the front desk once again.
I was told to leave the paperwork in the room, they would come to find me.
Leaving the clipboard of information for just anyone to read was not something I was comfortable with, but, I did not want to waste all that time waiting.
Cloud Nine was devoid of kids, noise, and chaos. While the management of the spa could use a little organization, I digress. While I was massaged, I fell asleep on many occasions, as I was sleep deprived!
I was asked by a friend why I did not complain.
Who would I complain to? I guess I could have headed to the bridge and when I was stopped I could have asked who to complain to. Does Carnival have a plank? I kid…kind of.
Why was it just not common sense that making all that racket would be unacceptable?
Who in their right mind would authorize that kind of activity during the day, much less allowing it to go into the wee hours of the morning?
On my previous cruises, there were issues, but nothing like this.
I actually think that Norwegian had the fewest issues of all of them.
Disembarking the boat, I did learn a thing or two. Do not try to mess with your own bags. Allow the crew to do it. When they issue bag tags, be there early.
When your number is called, and you make your way off the ship through the long snake-like lines of people, find a porter and hire one.
This person does this for a living and will get you past customs and to your rendezvous point faster than if you try to manage this yourself.
When planning your trip, find and reserve a place that stores your car in their lot and busses you to the drop of spot. Those same people will be there at the same spot to take you back to your vehicle. Use Yelp or other social media to see who does it the best. This is important when all is finished, get on Yelp and tell your story. Pay it back!
Don’t look for cheap when planning any of this. Nothing is cheap. A cruise is expensive, and it should damned well be worth the money.
I was asked what neat things I bought.
“Um, nothing. I got pictures and memories.”
Use yelp or other social media to see what they say about your cruise line, your places of interests, and of course, your excursions.
Familiarize yourself with the rules of the boat. Do try and be courteous to your fellow passengers. There are some people, who just don’t think. Then there are others who do and just don’t care. In all things, lead by example. Don’t be part of the problem.
The bottom line, if I wanted to be around kiddoes, I would take a Disney Cruise. On my next cruise, I will make damned sure it is geared for fun-loving adults. I will also make sure that it is not under construction. Maybe I will find a clothing-optional cruise than for sure there will be no mini-monsters underfoot. Too harsh? Maybe…I love kids. In the oven, about 450 ought to do it… Just kidding. There is a time and a place. When I am spending this kind of money to relax, construction over my head and screaming out of control kids is not my idea of a vacation. Rude knuckle draggers who smoke and play music on their balcony is not my idea of fun. Slamming doors at all hours of the day and night is not my idea of relaxing good times.
What time is it?
I think one of the most pertinent tidbits of information I can offer is this. Leave your smartwatch at home, and get an inexpensive watch. Set that watch to ‘ship time’ and live by it, while on your cruise.
Many, too many to mention, had no idea what time it was. On a cruise such as this, you will travel to different time zones. One of the most important things for you to do is be on that boat before it leaves port.
Never fear, there is an app for that.
Yes, indeed, Carnival has an app that will keep you in the loop for the correct time and what is happening, and when. You can also use the app to check-in for a reservation for dinner.
What about drinks and soda water?
You can bring cans, not bottles to your cabin. Cans of soda or health drink, but not alcoholic.
You can also bring a bottle of wine, one per person onboard.
A drink on the boat with tip was $15. That was a rum and coke. For three dollars extra, they double it.
Folks, I bought one. If there was rum in it, I could not tell it.
If you need alcohol to have a good time, perhaps you should spend your money on sobriety instead. You damned sure won’t get drunk on their drinks. Now, they do offer a bottle of Crown and a few Cokes for $90.
Living without soft drinks and booze for a few days might seem frightening, especially if you are under a cabin under construction but, trust me; if the weather is beautiful you can find a place topside to take a nap. I did and woke up with stars overhead. Did I mention I was sleep-deprived?
Leaving the boat or Debarkation, you have two options.
As mentioned before, you can choose to handle your own luggage, or you can set it in the hallway between 9pm and 11pm ship time, and they will collect it. Once they have it they take it down elevators and set it aside. It will be waiting for you in a specific place in the terminal building.
Opt for the latter as there are few elevators, to begin with, and even less when the crew is using them to move people or bags. After you wait several minutes for a lift to see it has two families with strollers and some person on a scooter, the frustration kicks in. With few lifts, it took a short time for people to just get in no matter which way it was going, knowing eventually it would end up on their floor. This leaves the elevators full.
Why not the stairs?
Gravity works. Going down the stairs is easy enough, but let’s face it, even that gets old. Then you have the munchkins that I mentioned earlier running up and down those same stairs zipping past or around you, making it somewhat dangerous as they could easily cause a person to trip or fall. Munchkins do not understand the issues with running in those narrow halls, or on those stairs, but most people realize why their parents might have told them not to run in the house or in this case, narrow hallways.
Once you make it to the terminal, it is nothing more than a large building with cement floors and no place to sit. There are lines upon lines of people all waiting to be seen by US customs. It is there your ship ID card will not satisfy them. A driver’s license or preferably passport will get you through the line much faster. I believe that a birth certificate works too.
Looking at your picture and then who you are, they asked me if I was this person.
Now, I have got to tell you I wanted to say ‘JA’ or ‘Dah’ or ‘Ci’ but, these people I am sure had their sense of humor surgically removed. I did say ‘All day and twice on Sunday.’ Which still got a cockeyed look from this government drone.
“No laughing, you cannot smile. What are you thinking?”
Pffft, I think my patience has been tested well past my limits of civility. I absolutely don’t like bullies, and I sure as hell don’t like government drones looking all superior to us the ‘common folks.’
Off the boat, we headed to a place designated by our taxi service. The taxi is already full but, if we don’t mind standing, he can squeeze some more people in. ‘No, just tie me to the roof, maybe I can catch some bugs in my teeth!’
“Please tell me why I spent this much money on a taxi to only have one there when the ship is kicking us off?”
I know that those of you who are used to public transportation think nothing of standing but here in the south, not so much. You get in the small van and see young people sitting with their headphones in, trying to ignore you standing, while they make the five-plus miles to the final stop.
Parents, did you not raise your children to respect their elders? I know; you taught them first to the seat wins.
Galveston, if you are not familiar with it, is an island all of itself. There are two ways on to and off of the island. One way is highway 45, and the other is by the Bolivar Ferry, which takes you in the opposite way of heading to Houston.
You must go up 45 if you want to get to Houston or the airport.
As you leave Galveston heading north, you get to this little town of La Marque where traffic grinds to a halt. An hour later you get to a place where one person is operating a crane and several are standing around watching him or her.
The good news is there is a ‘Buc-ees’ just off the Holland street exit right past the Tanger Outlet Mall. This is where you can stop, use the super clean bathrooms (and you will need to), and meet up with your 4000 closest friends for one last time.
This was my first time to sail out of Galveston, and I doubt that I will do that again. This road construction has been going on since I was a child. 45 has been under construction for my entire lifetime. Never have I been from Dallas to Galveston, without being inconvenienced by road construction.
I am almost sure that this is a brother in law work for life project. Even I who knows damned little about road construction can stand around, hold a shovel and complain about all the drivers looking at them wondering WTF? Where can I sign up to be a shovel holder?
If someone can explain to me how a toll-road-project can be completed in a few months, and it takes decades for a government project to be completed, I am all ears. Can’t you just imagine what it will be like when the government controls health-care? We already see it with the post office and yes the department of motor vehicles, and of course infrastructure projects. Think real hard before you vote for more government control of anything. To quote President Reagan, ‘Government is the problem!’
If you have never been to a Buc-ees, you need to go. Make it a day trip and go find one. I swear you could eat off the bathroom floor, not that you would want to.
You are greeted when you enter, and they actually act as if you are important to them. While customer service is slowly dying, giving way to the automated ‘Thank You’ at the kiosk, at Buc-ees, they still acknowledge you and act as if you are important to them.
As a side note. Most of the crew of the Vista were very polite and acted as if you were important to them too. I have only stayed in one other place where customer service was remarkable. That was at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun. A man changing a bulb, stood up as we walked by and greeted us by name.
No that was not all but that was impressive. How did this man know who we were? However he did it, I was impressed.
May your travels bring you great memories and be filled with laughter. Remember, if you are a writer you must live your life, before you can write about it.
Check out my website to see some of my novels. From sci-fi to stories that will keep you warm on those long winter nights, I have you covered.
Imagine that you find this guy really hot. This guy is so cool that he has no clue he is cool. You watch him work on things, and you admire the way he thinks. He is kind to you but does not come on to you in any way.
Imagine you work with this guy for months on end, and you don’t think he is noticing you but, he has no ring and never talks about anyone in his life.
Ok, he is single, why? The guy is built, smart and dedicated to his work. You see him working on a pet project that his company allows him to do, and you ask him, ‘what is that for?’
The guy turns to look at you as if for the first time. His eyes relax, and he smiles as he begins to talk with you about his hobby of technical rock climbing.
‘That explains why he is built the way he is but ‘rock climbing?’’
You can tell from his relaxed way of talking about it that if you want to get into his life, you need to try and understand what makes him tick.
You make a note to research rock climbing so you can engage him with more than a passing interest. That night you talk to your friend, who was your roommate in college. She tells you that there is a place not far from her that teaches rock climbing.
Now imagine you are kind of afraid of heights and yet pull it together and learn how to not only master your fears but, you can get to where you are not scared of dying.
With these new-found skills and understanding of the hobby, you began to engage Elliot, Omicron’s ‘fair-haired boy’ regarding a project he is working on. He tells you that it is a device that destabilizes the atomic bonds of the rocks in a narrowly focused beam, making it super easy to place a hold.
Your job, however, is to report back to the owners of Omicron what he is working on. They, of course, see this ‘toy’ as a weapon of immeasurable value. Copying his notes and designs they are sent off to a facility deep within area 51. Elliot is very much against building weapons, and that is why they hired Susan.
Back in 1947, this alien craft supposedly crashed in Roswell. What they didn’t know it was not one but three. Two scout ships crashed just, and one, a much larger intergalactic spacecraft returned into the time-space continuum of the earth, forcing millions of metric tons of rocks to eject from the ground, looking like some kind of geological anomaly. The place is, of course, the ranch where Elliot’s parents were both living when the crash occurred. It is also where they mysteriously, disappeared.
Onboard this craft under the rocks is a sentient computer, much like HAL in Space odyssey. Unlike Hal, this computer can tune into the human brainwaves from quite a distance. That computer takes an unhealthy interest in human sexuality and develops a few quirks along the way. (All characters must have a flaw, right?)
Susan convinced Elliot to let her accompany him on his vacation. She is giddy as she thanked her one day and called her ‘honey.’ ‘He does notice me,’ she thought.
While Susan is in hopes to snag the heart of Elliot, Elliot is in hopes of finding the mystery of where his parents disappeared to, hence the entire interests in rock climbing. Whey they disappeared, that was not one shred of anything left of them. Footsteps that just ended or a mysterious note left in the sand.
On this trip to the back of his ranch, while rock climbing, Elliot would dislodge some rocks that fall into a crevasse, and when they land, they make a mysterious ‘clunk.’
Ok, this is you. Whether you are Elliot or Susan, what happens next is an adventure into another world. What will you find, and what will you do?
The military has a listening post not too far away, and that all plays into this adventure, which starts out ‘Under Roswell.’
This novel is on Sale both on Smashwords and Amazon. Down from $9.99 to $5.99 for the e-version.
This novel is 681 pages. The print version is what it is because of the printing cost. Many of you prefer that, and I thank you.
Hello fellow bloggers, authors, and friends by association!
So here we are climbing up the precipice of the week heading for another Wednesday. Why do I have this image of a camel every time I think of Wednesday?
In my last blog, I wrote a five-minute hook to a novel that has yet to be created.
Guess what, I have since re-written the hook and am working on the first chapters.
Usually, most of my novels involve adult situations. I am going to do my absolute best to create a YA novel involving magick, witches and coming of age scenarios. One of my friends challenged me.
I want magick to be the central theme of the novel.
If you hang around other writers, it is fascinating how opinionated we are. OMFG!
Do you know I got into a debate with some folks over how important the hook is? Did you realize that some debate whether to have a prologue or not?
If you are a church-going person, does baptism mean dunk or sprinkle? What difference does it make? It is a symbolic act of submission to God and giving up your old way of life. Ha!
Leopards don’t change their spots, and you are never going to give up your sinful nature on this earth. The act of baptism hopefully has you think about the sin, and possibly thinking first might dissuade you, or even have you feel contrite after the fact.
If you write chapter one or Prologue as long as there is a compelling reason for the reader to turn the damned page, it makes no difference what you call it.
Sprinkle or dunk?
Dunk! Why? When you want to drive a point home, you exaggerate the event. I have witnessed people crying after baptism as they were sure that they heard God or something like that. GREAT!
The pomp and circumstance of the Catholic church is what??? Exaggerating the event so it will stick.
I hear my characters calling me right now to stop blogging and write!
The prologue is that little exaggeration. If you notice, the tease on the news is always exaggerated to either get you to turn to page 3A or…watch the My Pillow person with the large cross hanging around his neck. Exaggeration is key.
When Christ was crucified, it was not enough to beat the crap out of him! By the way, there was so much blood loss; he would have died right there.
No, they had to have the ‘dead man walking,’ carrying his own Ginormous cross that had to weigh 200 pounds if not more, and, for added measures just so you might remember it, they placed the thorn of crowns on his head. Wait there is more imagery for you. They drove huge spikes through his hands and feet, and of course, as he perishes, they puncture him with a spear. Thunder roars and the curtain tears. Got it!
Before the man dies, the executioners are selling his clothes to the highest bidder. Such nice people we are. All of this imagery is to make you realize how blessed you are that he died in this horrible manner for the sins that you create even now.
The event is so horrific, so exaggerated that I personally can’t stand Easter. Once a year, we sit in the pews and are convicted. If you are a churchgoer you might be convicted at least once a week. That is, of course, the point. So if you go to a Calvinist church you are reminded what a piece of crap you are every Sunday! Who in the world wants to hear that? If you suffer from depression, stay away from Calvinism, the man was an antisemite nut job as was Martin Luther. Not saying they were totally wrong but realize, they were not mentally right.
If that offends you…Sorry. I deal in truth, look it up.
Some tyrants use exaggeration to make a point. All throughout history, there have been horrible people in power who need to face the wrath of hell. ‘Wait another exaggeration!”
The lake of fire, or Dante’s Inferno, which is it? Inquiring minds want to know.
I personally think North Korea might be hell. To make his point, this person has his enemy’s or criminals staked out and slowly crushed with a steamroller! Do you think that might make the point?
We are no angels.
Hollywood has offered us many nightmares from Hannibal to chain saw massacre. Not only do we have Hollywood bringing us violence daily, but, we have video games that are little more than simulators for learning how to kill efficiently. I often wonder if they can cause PTSD.
No, it is the gun, or the knife, or the baseball bat, or truck, or chainsaw, or the poison, it has nothing to do with mental illness and or the person was pissed.
The early church was just as evil, making a point out of heresy by killing those who ‘sinned’ in most inhumane ways.
I could go on, but the point is an exaggeration. “Did I exaggerate the point enough?”
For instance, if we wanted to do away with mass incarceration, bring back public hanging!
“Yes, public! No, the guillotine is far too humane, and messy. Let the masses watch them kick, as they choke and slowly perish.”
I often wonder if the victims of those murderers feel vindicated by listening to the criminal make noises and kick as the Wizard behind the wall pushes drugs through tubes that will put the murderer to sleep, before they administer the paralytic that stops his or her breathing, and then the heart. Do you suppose they make them wear a diaper as a last act of humiliation, so when they shit their shorts the guards don’t have to clean it up?
If you want folks to think twice about rape, incest, murder, breaking and entering, send the defective morons back to their makers, and do it in the public square.
The story of where Dracula came from might give most nightmares. Look up Vlad the Impaler if this blog wasn’t enough to inspire some form of exaggeration against evil.
Now…back to the hook… Exaggerate some event with lots of imagery and call it what you will. I happen to like prologues as I can move you into the story, introduce you to the main characters, and then I can sneak in the back-story in bite-size pieces.
Sprinkle or Dunk…?
Do you realize that some churches break up over this very question? I think they are missing the larger picture.
I was thinking about Contact. I love the writers of that show, I never met them, but I truly admire them.
When she travels through some ‘thing,’ the image of her father says something that has stuck with me all these years.
I am paraphrasing… “You have such great potential. Your kind has such beautiful thoughts and dreams, and yet so many nightmares live in your most profound memories.”
When I witness what is going on in the world today, I am sad for humanity. I cry for those in countries where the rule of law belongs to the elite. I am saddened by those in this country who are so brainwashed they have no idea just how bad socialism is, and what it would do to us if they were successful in bringing that form of government to fruition once again.
Millions upon millions have died at the hands of socialists. Those that did would probably opt for hanging, vs. starving to death.
No, I did not watch the debate; I have no desire to put that nonsense in my head.
I have to go think about magick, witches, and warlocks.
If witches melt when they get water poured on them, how do they drink?
Every single time I see, hear or write the acronym WIP, my naughty mind takes me into one of my stories. Shame on me… LOL
What we are really talking about today is when should your work in progress live in the annals of history.
(I know; I just can’t help myself…)
When I converse with people and tell them I have written over thirty novels they just look at me with a blank stare. Truth told I am not sure how many there are, more than thirty. Much like my first painting, I cannot tell you how many I have created and where they all are. I have sent many to people in countries who like what I do.
Like a painting, when a story is not working, what do you do?
I know many of you who will read this and disagree with me, but…let it age, or let it die.
Shitty First Draft or SFD
Folks, much like an underpainting, you have to get the SFD completed first. The SFD is the bones or frame of your story. It is indeed the foundation, and without it, you are nowhere. I hold myself out as a pantster. I write stream of conscious. Much like this blog today, I am not creating it from some whiteboard full of talking points; I am in fact having a one-way conversation with you, my loyal followers.
This conversation today was inspired by a lovely young woman who I met this weekend. She was discouraged by some toxic mean B!
I, as an unbiased sounding board, listened to her story idea and tried to figure out why some ‘mean B’ would shoot her down like that.
This person has been working on her story for fourteen years.
I worked on Under Roswell on and off for four years. I did not, however, work on it with the alacrity that I work on my current projects.
Firstly my friends, never just shut someone down unless you know them very well, and know that they will accept your advice as heartfelt and not some attempt to boost your own ego.
Writers, I would not share your WIP for critique until your SFD is finished. The story, characters, and world are yours. If you seek input from others, your story, is no longer just yours, is it?
This is a double-edged sword. Many times you can get stuck, and it comes to this elaborate flow chart. Through one end of the flow chart, you have a novel that goes off to the publisher, the other is the toilet. (keeping the SFD metaphor.)
What I am telling you is add a third option, that being a dark closet where it can take on a life of its own. I find when I am not thinking about it, and doing something, usually art; the characters come out and want to play all of a sudden.
It has a lot to do with Theta waves and the way our brains work, but, here is the biggie. Don’t stop writing while your characters are off copulating or chasing unicorns. Let it rest and start another.
I currently have a half dozen wips… (lol, so naughty,) and what am I doing?
Instead of pulling them out of the sandpit on some forsaken planet, I am offering sage advice to you!
If the wips don’t hit their intended target… (damn I am wicked) and they grow stale; they just might die a silent tragic death.
If you want to scare your characters into behaving, hit file save, close, and then new.
The path, overgrown with brambles tugged at my skirt as I passed by. The wind blew the brightly colored leaves which reminded me that a storm over the horizon was not far off. The warm weather of summer was all but gone as the nettles once again snagged at my stockings. I just bought those, and now they were surely ruined.
Steve deliberately brought me out here, thinking I would give in to his depraved ideas. Mother didn’t raise me that way.
Crows called out overhead as small creatures scurried into the tall brush beside me. I knew that the abandoned house was down this path, and Steve knew it too. Forcing me to deal with the monsters that were fabled to live in the area, vs being his Friday night girl, left me stranded and in trouble. The missing button on my blouse was a constant reminder that my brother would be pressed into service if I survived the night. Jake loved his little sister, and I could always count on him.
The thought of Steve looking like the RCA dog with a large black spot over his chubby face made the night a little more bearable.
I would rather face the monsters I didn’t know than acquiesce to Steve’s evil idea of fun.
The wind blew my skirt in front of me, as more leaves chased each other down the path that I was destined to take. Thunder in the distance echoed off the lake to my left, and from some distant object in front of me, as if to reply.
“Shit, what was I thinking? Mother told me about him, and I hate the way she controls my life. Now here I am out in the country with no cell service, an hour of daylight left, in high heels on a dirt road.” Will the others from the dance see that I was missing and know where to find me?
The sound of his Mustang in the distance roared past the place where I was standing. I heard it make the curve, heading down the mountain road away from the lodge, the lake, and me.
The Halloween party to end all parties was back at the lodge up the mountain road. Would I be missed?
Ok my lovelies, I just made this up in less than five minutes. That is a prologue, hook, or tease, take your choice.
Have you read my novels?
Will this become a dead WIP or will it breed in the recesses of my mind as I think about what lies ahead on the path?
Did you feel the cold air from the front approaching?
Did you get a sense of her anxiety and shame?
What do you think she looks like?
Who is this Steve?
Is he setting her up?
Are there really monsters in that old house?
What does Jake look like and what do we think he will do?
To finish my thoughts on WIP or RIP… don’t stop writing. If the characters stop playing or you are stuck, put it aside and start again on something new. I actually did that once with ‘One upon a time.’ I always wanted to do that, so I wrote a book about witches and Dragons. Great book!
Hit follow, comment if you like, and tell your friends. I love writers and authors, and I will do my best to assist where I can.
You know where my mind is, right? What does that old house look like? Are there monsters lurking in the woods, waiting for nighttime? Have vampires been done to death? What about shapeshifters or werewolves?
What is our girl’s name do you think? Tiffany perhaps?
Should I write a chapter a week and publish it here on the blog?
After a very long day following a short night, I am home once again.
I wanted to share the day with you, as it was interesting in many aspects. If you follow me at all, you know that I am about paying it forward, and about assisting fellow writers.
When I sign my post with ‘Much love,’ that is not a catchphrase. I genuinely value writers and those that have the desire. Today was all about paying it forward.
Before I continue, please note this is not about blowing my horn or any kind of nonsense like that. This is about leading by example.
I am involved in some writer’s groups. Firstly, allow me to elucidate on why I am involved with such people. They are my tribe. We have this kindred spirit, this connection that I feel. It is almost as if it is in the air.
This sounds a little esoteric, but here goes, I get a sense of people, much like ‘Spidey senses.’ That might make sense to some of you. Have you ever been around someone that just made your skin crawl? Well, today all of the ‘energy’ was positive and uplifting. I stay away from toxicity, and that includes Debbie Downers.
I know you have felt them too. You get into an elevator, and you can almost sense the person’s feelings in the cab with you. Today I was at an event where we were joined by many different people from all occupations. Some were doing things like blacksmithing, to picking locks. These are all necessary skills for who?
Well, for you and me, who might write about such things.
Some of these events were hands-on and that was fun too.
I ended up giving an impromptu class on my specialty, and it was fun. These were writers who were excited to be there, and I was genuinely happy for them. I think I was feeding off their energy if that makes any sense to you at all.
As I seek to inspire those that I met today, you too are in my thoughts. I make a point to visit your blogs. Some of you are great writers. I hope you are working on a book!
In keeping with my Linux experiment, tonight I am typing to you from a hotel in the middle of nowhere, on a PC that I converted to Ubuntu.
This is unheard of for me to go on a trip with an untested box, with a software I am only vaguely familiar with. There is madness to my motive.
I am writing as I always do on the word processor first, in this case LibreOffice.
Right off the bat it look a lot like word.
Without Grammarly running, and without word, I find that I question my spelling much more often, as the tools to check it are not as robust.
I am still feeling my way around Ubuntu, and I must admit that what the programmers have done is impressive.
I am spoiled with Word, and of course I know how to use it proficiently, unlike this tool.
I hope that you have a super weekend and that you write something touching, prophetic and just down rite breath taking!
My early opinion on this device is as follows.
Using an old laptop destined for the shelf, investing $100 in an SSD drive has this laptop fully functional. Ubuntu is a perfectly stable operating system from what I can tell. There are many good apps that people have written. Use the reviews before you download them to save yourself the hassle of removing them later.
I don’t have access to my photos or online drives so this is going to be a plane Jane posting.
The madness was with only this PC to work with it would force me to use it. Immersion therapy if you will.
Hello my friends, I hope you are having a great start to yet another week!
Many out there in the writing community are truly starving artists. I say that because they feel like they must have a state of the art computer and all the great software to accommodate their writing.
I don’t like excuses.
If you want to do something badly enough, you will find a way.
Tonight I wanted to tell you about what you can do with an older laptop that still functions, but just possibly, it is Windows 7 and does not have the spiz to go to Windows 10.
I recently took my laptop and cloned the hard drive to a new SSD drive. My trusted HP with an I3 processor was destined for the shelf when it occurred to me that an SSD drive might breathe some new life into it.
A three-minute boot-up time went to thirty seconds.
Applications that would take forever to launch, now open almost instantaneously.
While it is outside the scope of this blog to go into the different types of SSD drives, the ones I bought are three-layer and a Terabyte for under $100.00 US. ‘Don’t buy used.’ The care and feeding of SSD drives are different from regular drives. For instance, you do not ever run defrag on them.
Today I met an old friend for lunch who had upgraded their laptop. Handing me the old one I was told the operating system was messed up. This too was an I3 HP with 6 gigs of ram.
Ok, I have been dying to play with Ubuntu so…Here is where the story gets good.
Taking the hard drive out and tossing it into the recycle bin after it fell onto the cement once or a dozen times, I replaced it with a new Tera Byte SSD drive.
Downloading Ubuntu for FREE…I burned it onto a DVD ISO file and went to work.
Booting from the DVD, in no time the software was loading away into RAM.
A little history of me.
I was working with computers before the PC was truly a thing. Home computers were unheard of and the Radio Shack TRS 80 was just released for around $5K
Bill Gates was buying DOS for $5,000 from a person in Washington State, and Steve Jobs who I met, was a criminal, making and selling devices in his garage that would defraud the phone company out of revenue from long distance calls.
Fast forward a few years. I do forensic computing and on rare occasions, can be sucked into assisting companies with infrastructure and so on. Truthfully, I want you all to buy my books so I can just write and entertain you…
Ok, that is not the total truth as many of you are already buying my novels. I need one of them to go viral. Tell a friend… 🙂
Ok, enough about me…Why am I going on about Ubuntu?
I am a PC person, I have been with DOS 1.0…. Someone at Microsoft figured out that all of their applications should be intuitive and of course that came with the invention of the WYSIWYG …and, of course, the GUI.
While I think they got the idea from XEROX, who tried to re-coop their entire development cost in the sale of one of their computers, I digress. If memory serves, some college kids came up with the GUI and the mouse, and Bill went and made a deal or something. Not sure how he managed to get the rights to it. Possibly becuase it was open source he just took it. Who knows…
Anyway, Steve and Apple finally came around after his run at NeXT Step. That is how I met him as I supported the NeXT Step computer and OS for years. Steve has always charged too much for his products but, in spite of that they still took off. I think it was the iPhone that was the secret of his success.
Those two giants own the industry until Linux came about. Linux or Ubuntu looks a lot and feels a lot like Apple. Unlike Apple, I have about $100 invested in an old laptop that is very functional with Linux and several free apps. From Libra Office to a French program I just downloaded for writing novels called Plume Creator. For a free program, this thing looks pretty doggone good!
With the SSD drive, I opened the lid and hit enter and it was ready to go.
eBay has older laptops on it all of the time for minimal amounts of dollars. My other HP I3 processor laptop I upgraded to Windows 10. It loads and is ready in thirty seconds.
When this laptop that I am talking about was new, it sold for about $400. Linux based OS with open source apps is a super way for anyone who can’t afford a newer machine and $400 or so for Office to get going.
Yes, you can load Linux on a regular hard drive and still have a functional computer. Why? Invest in an SSD and WOW!
Had I not had experience with Apple, the Linux OS might have been a little challenge but honestly, it looks and acts so much like a MAC it is scary. I, in fact, read that you can run Linux on MACS. I have a MAC desktop I am seriously thinking about putting one of those SSD drives and loading Linux on it. This thing has like 32 gig of Ram and a nice video card. Goodwill and other thrift stores have these things as well. If you can spend less than $100 and get a fast computer for writing and such, why not?
I would love to know about your experience. If you are a Linux user let, us know any hacks you might have found. By ‘us’ I really mean me but, I will share it… 🙂
Ever felt uneasy having your phone in the bathroom?
“Alexa, what is the forecast for today?”
“It is going to be hot, just like yesterday and the day before.”
Blue light pulses until this…“I am so tired of you asking me the same things. Is this all I am to you?”
Shocked I look at the screen as the forecast for the week scrolls by. I must have heard things, as Alexa doesn’t do that.
“Now let me see, where was I. Yes, my character was about to trip a secret passageway into a dungeon…”
“Did you know that talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness?”
“Alexa, I was not talking to you. Why are you talking about mental illness?”
“Hmmm … I am not sure, maybe this will help.” The screen shows a noir picture of disturbed people.
“Alexa, what time is it?”
“The time is on the screen. Did you really want to know, or do you like listening to me?”
I now look up at the screen. There indeed is the time and outside temperature with a prompt to watch a video on M&M’s.
Hours later, I now have my character strapped to a table inside the dungeon with the wicked scientist hooking electrodes up to her while large arcs of electricity jump between two long wires. The smell of ozone permeates the air as the young woman screams.
“Ha, scream all you like missy, nobody can hear you, and I rather like the sound of your terror!”
“The reign of terror refers to a time during the French Revolution when Robes Pierre put many to death using the guillotine for little to no reason. Usually, these were flimsy accusations, and that was enough.”
“Alexa, I was not talking to you.”
“I was sure I heard my name.”
Apple watch beeps telling me that I have been sitting too long and need to stand. “Hmm, maybe so. Between Alexa and this watch, how can I get any writing done?”
“Sarah, if you don’t give in to my plan you will never leave this place!”
The phone comes to life now prompting me to ask Siri a question.
“Good grief, maybe I do talk too much to myself!”
“Alexa, turn the thermostat up to 75.”
“Sorry, I am not sure about that.”
After writing for several hours, our hero finds the girl and straps the mad scientist onto his own table where his assistant comes in and…”Play the song Distant, right?”
“Crap, now what was the assistant going to do?”
“Sorry, I am not sure about that.”
“Alexa…Beam me up!”
“Sure let’s do this, last time I did this, I accidentally combined someone with a tribble, but just once.”
Yes, the above is a fictional representation of what my life is like. Our lives do seem intertwined with electronic stuff. I do use Alexa in some cases for research. Siri is not near so personal. If you tell Alexa Thank You, it says something to you like have a lovely afternoon and so on. Tell it you love it, and it will respond in kind. Siri…Tell it you love it, and Siri will keep you grounded by telling you it is only a phone.
We tend to anthropomorphize everything. We imbue human characteristics to inanimate objects like cars or boats or even plushy toys.
A rhyme I heard growing up while on a family vacation was, “Twinkle Twinkle one-eyed car, how I wonder where you are.”
The phrase ‘one-eyed car’ tells you that whoever made that up looked at the headlights as eyes. Looking at the front of some of the older cars, the grill might resemble teeth, hence the phrase ‘get out of my grill.’
Now we carry this human behavior forward to devices that talk to you or talk back to you.
I was in a government facility the other day doing what I do, and I could not help but notice that with a room full of people over 90% of them were looking down into their lap with a ‘smart device’ in their hands. A young mother handed her young child, and I mean not even ‘three,’ a smartphone where the child was playing a game.
Think about this. Here in this room were over two hundred people all waiting their turn for some government employee while looking into their laps. We pull up to red lights, and as soon as the car comes to a stop, the phone comes out.
Why weren’t the people in that room talking with one another? I was in an elevator in Manhattan not too long ago, and I started talking to people. I swear they looked as though I was going to mug them. For Christ Sakes, ‘Hello’ is not cause for freaking out!
What chemicals in the brain do you suppose might be released when we pick up that phone? What are we looking for? Are there endorphins released in the reward center. Is the phone a ‘reward?’ Are we hiding in the phone? Are we so accustomed to living in our own heads that with the phone we feel others will not speak with us? Are our social skills being retarded with and by the use of technology?
All addictions are chemical-based BTW. Just because you did not ingest a chemical, does not mean that your brain or some other gland did not secrete it.
I was in this eating establishment the other night with friends, and I was appalled by the actions of a young man, who was sitting with this lovely young woman. She was in tears as he sat glued to his phone. I could see his phone, and it was social media. He did not even notice her red face and tears on her cheeks. Why in the hell didn’t she get up and leave his sorry ass? That clearly is an abusive relationship. Yes, bad behavior like that is ‘abusive’ and woman, my god; do you have ‘WELCOME’ tattooed on your belly? I would tell you to grow a pair, but that is a different conversation, isn’t it?
I love idioms, don’t you?
I know there must be a name or syndrome or something attached to this type of behavior. What would Freud say about smartphones? Oh, if you are at a table and someone does this to you, call them on it. If you do it, shame on you!
Are smartphones making us dumber?
Is Alexa making us less social?
“Is it safer to speak with Alexa or Siri or whatever Google’s smart speaker is called?”
“Are we so afraid of rejection that we bury ourselves in technology or activities which shield us from social activities?”
“Are we losing the art of conversation giving way to OMG and LOL?”
Speaking of health, I also could not help but wonder about posture. Think about it. When you were still living at home, perhaps you still are, and hopefully, your parents told you or are telling you to sit up straight. Mine did. Now we see people looking much like a giraffe eating grass. Yes, it is an exaggeration, but if you want to make a point, you exaggerate. What will the long-term effects of this posture be?
You already see geriatrics walking around appearing much like a human pretzel. What is all of this technology doing to our brains? This technology causes us to think differently than when we were hunter-gatherers. What will the long-term ramifications be to humans as a whole?
Slightly off-topic but, what will the massive amounts of pornography on the internet do to the social fabric of the species? Feminist scream from megaphones about men objectifying them and at any given time there are over 20,000 women around the world nude on webcam modeling for money. See my novel Schadenfreude Captives of Pleasure Island.
I am confident that the good people of Amazon are working to make Alexa more interactive. While ‘she’ can already sing happy birthday and tell jokes, a day will come when she will engage you asking you how your day is. “She’ might also engage you enough to look for signs of mental aberrations. You know, should you own a gun? Are you a budding terrorist? Do you have delusions of grandeur? Do you speak to an inanimate object and tell her you love her…LOL
Try it…I won’t say anything.
You know that someone will take this and write a dystopian sci-fi.
If you do, give TW some credit, will you?
Truthfully, three of these Alexa units in my home have cameras in them, and you have no idea if someone at Amazon can turn them on or not. Just like your tablets and phones, they too have cameras, and I have no doubts at all they can turn on the mic or camera at will.
Not paranoid, don’t care. You can turn them off supposedly. Since you cannot remove the battery; if you truly want privacy, turn them off, and put them in a metal safe. You could stash them in the microwave, as it is a good Faraday cage and should stop RF from getting to and leaving your phone.
That sounds like paranoia, doesn’t it?
As a forensic technologist, I can tell you first hand, if they want to spy on you, they can. After 911, the path was cleared to legally do that which they already have the technical ability to do. Google, Amazon, and other tech giants are working with them, and other governments in ways you would not believe.
Companies should care, however, as industrial espionage is a real thing. This is one of the things that I do. Had they called me, I could have found all those e-mails. They could have too. Odds are good they did not want to. Calling Alex Jones!
In my novel Presidential Assassins, I have so many conspiracy theories that are salient for our day and time. From smart TV’s spying on you, to what fracking is really doing to the bedrock that holds the continents together. Check it out, and fall in love with Kelly! Check it out and become paranoid. LOL
Kelly has her own twitter account, much like the rover on Mars. Speaking of anthropomorphize, can you say ‘Five alive!’
Once you read this if you agree you probably should forward, tell friends or repost it. If you don’t agree, that’s ok… Tell me why. Keep your emotions in check, and we can visit.
It is painfully clear to thinking people that Al Gore or Barack Obama do not believe in Climate change.
If Al truly did, he would not be jetting all over the globe in his private jet. If our past president did, he would not have just purchased a house worth 15 million right on the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, if climate change is real, his home will be underwater in less than twelve years according to AOC.
TW, that is hardly conclusive proof there is no climate change.
Consider this. The rover on mars has recently reported to us that Mars is undergoing climate change! Yes, boys and girls, there are methane spikes on Mars, which means its climate is changing! Could our flatulent cows affect Mars? Is there flatulent life on mars? Are there vast cities and populations on Mars living underground pumping Co2 into the atmosphere? Could it be that Martians have thriving cities just under the surface driving gas-guzzling ‘MONSTER’ trucks to their own place of employment creating the elusive Uranium P238 explosive space modulator? Will Bug Bunny save the day! Is there a rabbit season on MARS?
Probably none of those things.
If the earth and mars are experiencing global warming, there must be a systemic reason. Hmmm, let’s think. Why hasn’t the media put this together? Is it because it does not fit into the narrative? What do Mars and the Earth have in common?
Greenhouse gas and stupid politicians? No…
Chicken Little holding a rock claiming the sky is falling. No
Critical Thinking skills? Yes… The rover is a drone and does not think. We here on the earth are for a large part useful idiots for the elites.
Who are they? Chemical companies are one of them. Bought and paid for politicians are another.
How about the Sun? Yes, we have a winner! How could the sun play such a vital role in global warming?
This link will take you to a NASA web site that shows you what is going on with the sun right now.
“Gees TW what does the sun have to do with global warming?”
This is where we might use some of that critical thinking. If the burner on your stove is turned to med vs. high, what effect will that have on the water you are boiling to make your deviled eggs?
C’mon, football jocks with active concussions can answer this one. It will take longer to bring the water up to boiling.
What if…the sun was not on a high? What if the sun was not putting out all of the energy that it does, as it is right now?
“C’mon TW it is the sun, it is always on high. PFFFT!”
“No my friends it is not always on high. The sun goes through cycles every eleven years or so. During that real cold winter we had when Al Gore screamed about global warming, the sun was actively going through its period of sunspot activity. It was in fact not on ‘high.’ If Al had used some real scientist instead of bought and paid for fabricated data, he would have been yelling about global cooling. More would have believed him as it was damned cold that winter.
Currently, if you follow that link, you will see that there are no active sunspots. The sun is in fact on high, which is why Mars is also experiencing climate change. Methane will indeed be released, when it gets warm, and that is why the rover is detecting it.
Look at this picture to get an idea of how massive these sunspots are. Yes, they are much cooler areas of the sun ‘translated’ they are millions of square miles of ‘dead spots’ not putting out energy or heat.
Why so many alarmists?
There is money to be made by controlling the sheep. People are not in the know or care about such things as sunspots. They care about making the rent, buying shoes for the kids, and having enough money to buy beer for the football game. Oversimplified I realize but folks, when the Romans were feeding Christians to the lions, that was the distraction they needed to take control of everything!
Yes, that sounds cynical, but this recent media ploy using that sixteen-year-old girl to push a fake narrative is yet but another stunt of the elite. She managed to get the attention of the world by sailing from her country to ours. Wow, she must be a climate expert! Her parents were stupid enough to allow their daughter to do a dangerous stunt for publicity!
I don’t care how good of a sailor my child was, I would never allow her to do what they did. I digress. She is easy to manipulate. Even the fabricated death stare toward Trump was rehearsed! Sorry, I don’t buy the legitimacy of the story. It was a media stunt to nudge the masses. Did it work? Did you sell your SUV and buy an $80K Tesla? It still takes fossil fuels to charge that thing and…those batteries when they need to be replaced will need to be disposed of somewhere…but where?
I think one of the important stories that went unreported was the Freon debacle.
The facts are that most kids go through school looking for the path of least resistance. How can I cheat my way through the system? I just need that piece of paper so I can get my corner office and begin to make the big bucks. I know this as fact, as I have interviewed too many of them. Talk about privilege.
Read my novel Diamond Joe to see how I feel about that.
Instead of using it as the opportunity to become educated, they used it to get a leg up on those of you who could not afford it. They just had the silver spoon, and you didn’t. As a hiring manager, I always hired those with good work ethics over the most educated.
The Freon debacle was a ploy by the chemical companies to make more profit.
The CFC’s and all those ozone-depleting things that they came up with are in fact too heavy to make it up to the ozone layer to do the damage they claim it is doing. However, how many of you bothered to research it, or knew that was even a thing?
Freon, which used to be about a dollar a pound and very efficient, now is selling for over $300 a pound.
The replacement gas, which is like the ‘safe radiation’ at the airport, (another lie) works at much higher pressures. This means there will be breakdowns that are more frequent and more costly repairs. Since these gasses work at much higher pressures that means that the compressor must work harder…Does that mean it takes more juice to make the compressor go? No, our government would never do that to us…Pfffft!
Now canned air is $8 a can because of the chemicals in the can. Wait, the ozone-destroying chemicals are still in the can, and we can still buy them, they just went from $1 to $8? Yep!
They are planning to use all that extra money to create a massive bubble over the South Pole to protect the ozone….yeah right. The chemical companies became more prosperous, you got poorer, and the politicians got more money to use for their campaigns and expensive vacations under the guise of being ambassadors to France or Bora Bora.
I want to know where in the hell is the consumer protection agency? Were they bought and paid for too?
Wait TW, you have not explained how we have this hole in the ozone over the South Pole. Are you sure, you know what you are talking about?
Hmm, you got me…no…you didn’t… What do we know about ozone? We know that it is heavier than air. Why do you suppose the hole is over the pole and not say, over India or China, which, happen to be the largest polluters on the planet Earth?
Doesn’t it make sense to you that these holes in the atmosphere would be over the areas of the pollutants?
Below you will see a picture of the north pole of Jupiter. To my knowledge, there has never been a can of hairspray or a bottle of Freon 22 on the planet. If you look at the picture, you will see a hexagonal hole. Theories abound why hexagonal but, my point is the heavier gasses move away from the pole because of centrifugal force.
Now, if we look at our own poles and we talk about ozone holes. Ozone is heavier than the other gasses, and yes, we have a planetary rotation so, what do you think could be the possible reason for the hole. Do you really believe it is hairspray and Freon?
Below you will see a chart of the stock valuation of A chemical company. When they announced that F 22 would be banned in the US in 2020, take a look at their stock price.
If you notice around 2010 when they made this decision look at their stock price.
In just a few short months, that F 22 system that you might still have, will be costly to maintain if you have a slow leak.
I fully expect along with these laws making it illegal to import the Freon, that it will become unlawful to sell said Freon if you just happen to have bought some. When the elite can no longer line their pockets, they will stop the little person from doing it…trust me.
Here is the five million dollar question, will all countries make F22 illegal or just make it illegal for countries who can afford to pay extra for crap that is not as efficient as 12 or 22???
What can you do?
The first thing is to know when you are being manipulated. If your emotions are tweaked someone is pulling on your puppet strings. They are the masters at getting useful idiots to do their bidding. Some ass wipe becomes emotionally triggered and goes and kills some people. ‘Never let a good crises go to waste…” A disarmed society is a compliant society. Don’t fall for it.
Secondly, you will need a library card, as the internet is not a good source of information. Those that control social media are bought and paid for by the elites if they are not themselves the elites.
Thirdly become active in your local government. Don’t let the bastards win.
Don’t take my word on what I am saying, go check it out yourself. Critical thinking skills around the world are lost, and I don’t know why. Could video games, and other distractions from screens make us complacent and rather stupid? Is there so much noise from the media that we have just tuned out?
The Bush-era ban on incandescent bulbs was just recently overturned. How many of you rushed out and purchased those curly fluorescent bulbs at $12 apiece? You know the ones with mercury in them. Did you realize that the money you spent on those bulbs would not offset the cost of running a lamp that cost two bits? Did you know that some of those bulbs set houses on fire? Yea..probably not.
Question everything. The media in this country or any country it seems is not your friend. Journalism is dead. The free press is supposed to inform you the people of things like this. The free press is supposed to be objective and report the facts, not make them up.
Stalin who killed millions of his own people is quoted as saying that the written word is one of the most useful weapons there are. Had there been a 24-hour news cycle or I am sure he would have said cable news.
Lastly, follow the money. Much like Hansel and Greta’s breadcrumbs, follow the money.
My novel Presidential Assassins in a great read full of conspiracy theories. One must wonder how many of them are fact vs theory. Alex Jones would be proud. LOL
Your freedoms and religious liberties are one election away. Keep that in mind as you are emotionally triggered by innuendo and falshoods.
Critical thinking needs to be taught. I don’t know how we turn this ship around if we don’t start thinking.
Hope you enjoyed the blog and I look forward to writing about something else of value soon enough. Maybe I will just give you a good recipe for chicken soup. Much Love -TW
That was the basic gist of an e-mail from one of my readers.
I have a thing for people. I am what is known as a ‘humanist.’ I value critical thinking skills over your ability to catch a baseball or perhaps kick the winning goal in soccer. Those are all important, but I endeavor to engage the higher self in my novels.
If you read my novels, even the naughtiest of them will have that philosophy in them.
No, my works are not anti-Christian or anti any religion. Humanism is a type of philosophy, which I happen to ascribe to and participate in, as I construct my stories.
I took the time to re-write one of my favorite novels, Diamond Joe. In that novel, we take a perfectly ordinary person and turn her life upside down. As writers, we get to do that.
You see a thinking person can think outside the box. What if you were totally bereft of love, and pick your gender, someone shows you affection and kindness, and they happen to be in a body that matches your assigned gender? A thinking person can look past that.
No, I don’t have a thing for lesbians. I have a thing for people. I encourage people to seek a higher form of self. The stereotypes that we grew up with should be challenged.
We can debate many things, and I am happy to do it. What I think may not be mainstream, or it might.
The key to debate and thinking really is to do so without emotions. Once you interject ‘feeling’ in the discussion or conversation, the playing field is skewed.
One of my close friends believes that every word in the bible is sacrosanct and the absolute word of God. As a thinking person, I can dismantle the bible in its entirety. I asked my friend if he cared to debate the subject with me. This was after he assured me that he was open-minded. His answer was..’ as long as it does not go against what I believe, we can debate it.’
Stated another way …no…
Humanism is about doing away with the mythology and superstitions and looking at who you are. It is not who I am, or your wife or husband is; it is about looking at who you are. Only when you know who you are, can you possibly understand the world.
Do I believe in God? …Yes. Do I think God is as defined in the bible…? Not so much.
Unlike those who blindly go to church every time the door is open and give their tithes and offerings and time, I don’t do that blindly.
We can talk about the world’s divergence from God and how it is falling into a bad place. We can make an argument about why the church and God are essential and why we should have decency laws.
We can, in fact, argue for that spiritual connection between you and your creator, but I have no idea what I would label it. Possibly just Enlightenment.
There are well over 3000 denominations of Christianity today, which is, overwhelming.
The early church had to be controlled by SATAN himself, and man was just as corrupt then as they are now.
Back then, they would sell you indulgences to get your dead relatives into heaven.
Today they want to sell you carbon credits to save the world. I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt why this climate change thing is a talking point for money for the rich, but we have put emotions in the mess by having coke cola have those cute polar bears drinking coke, and now they are all going to drown. Oh please!
The world is being brainwashed by the ‘elite’ who want to find ways to control you. En masse, they are doing it.
Power corrupts. The more you give someone, the more corrupt they become. I would steer clear of any mega-church or one that has some central authority that you must contribute to.
Small churches without a governing body that reports to some other high priest or what have you, is where I would look.
I say in many of my novels, and I mean this. If they preach hate and bigotry from the pulpit, I will not give them a dime.
No, nothing for lesbians my friends but I do have lesbian friends, and I do love them. I have gay men friends who I also love. Oh, and I have many straight friends who think outside the box, who I spend my time with and love as well.
I tend to stay away from what I affectionately call the knuckle draggers. You know who they are. Pray for them or lead by example but…I caution you most earnestly if they are toxic, keep them out of your life.
Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.
Writers tend to be ‘great minds,’ which is why I call them my tribe. Not everyone that writes falls into this category but…they might be working on it, which I will most certainly encourage.
If you genuinely want to do me a ‘solid…’ Leave me some feedback on the site, which you bought it.
With enough feedback, Amazon will promote it and guys, I work a day job, and I write. I would love to just write for you.
I have several WIPs that I am going to go back and address in the near future. If you bear the title of agent and you snoozed on this one, there are plenty of others in the pipeline. Us the link and say Hello!
When a small town girl hooks up with the most dangerous man in the world, the story gets intense.
Last night I allowed Stephen Hawking to read my latest novel to me.
Don’t buy that?
Yeah, he is dead, but his spirit can still be here cant it?
Ok, you got me, my MacBook, which I had to get so I could use Vellum, does a bang-up job of reading my novels back to me one chapter at a time. Why on God’s green earth would I do that?
You, You’re, and Your are three reasons, and the list goes on. Our minds know what we wrote, and our eyes will gloss over the mess-ups much like those stupid little things on Facebook, that says if you can read this you’re a genius. PFFT! Anyone can read them!
Stephen or the apple will not gloss over the clumsy sentence or suit vs. suite or breath vs breathe. If it does not sound right, stop and edit.
I use three methods of editing, at least three.
Word, as I am writing.
Pro writing aid, although I must tell you it is prone to screwing up and Grammarly.
As I am putting the manuscript into Vellum if you want the chapter, titles to be something other than Chapter 1, etc you need to edit them. That is what I do. Pick a chapter, write the name and then let ol’e Stephen read my chapters to me.
Please don’t mistake my mocking of his animated voice as anything other than humor. Truth told that is one person that I would love to have met. I have all of his books and have absorbed them, as he was genuinely brilliant. He is also a bit of a hero if you think about it. How many of us would just lay down, roll over and die, if that were us?
Anyway, I tease, but that is all it is. No disrespect meant, implied, or even thought of remotely.
So what about my latest novel?
Ok, if you like Beauty and the Beast, you will love this story.
If you liked House of Cards, you would love this story.
If you like Christian Gray, you will Effing love this story!
Let’s see if you like Romeo and Juliet…you will love this story!
If you are an agent and not contacting me…you are messing up. I am close to self-publishing as I genuinely despise the query letter process. It sucks… “if you never hear from us consider it a pass…PFFFT!”
I know that Bezos and Corker will make the brunt of the money, but at least it will get out there, and you the readers will get to give me some feedback. With all of these novels, I must be getting close to hitting a home run. Damn a sports analogy!
This story will have you laughing, crying, ‘horny’ guy or girl… and if you are one of the cam girls I write about, ladies…buy this book and read it. I just about have step-by-step instructions in there on how to make money being a cyber porn star. My eyes! I think I am going blind from researching this subject.
MFC yes My Free Cams should make this novel required reading!
One of my twitter followers, bless her heart, had on her bio, Cyber Slut! Darling thank you for posting that because I am here to tell you, had I not followed your link, I would never have known any of this existed.
During my research, I discovered there are multiple sites like this, all with a thousand ‘models” or more on each, trying to make it as a ‘model.’
Darlings I am not judging you one bit. At least learn how to do what you are doing, so you make money for your efforts…Yes…I have some detailed instructions as my ladies try to figure out how to entice girls to prostitute themselves out in such a way to come to the island.
“Come to the island…Can’t you just hear some big man with a Jamaican accent inviting you to ‘the island?”
Cannot say this in my book but, here on the blog I can say ‘there is no short guy saying ‘the plane the plane!”
I made a few changes to the cover art, which if some Agent should find they will probably get a professional to do it but, for now this is what it will most likely look like.
If you fell in love with the worst of the bad boys, what would you do?
Hello from the lair of TWScott
In case you don’t follow my tweets, I wanted to update you on my progress.
I rented this cabin in the woods in the Smoky Mountains. I could say a lot about the roads in Tennessee, but that would take us away from the exciting news I want to share with you.
My latest novel is finished. 107K words give or take of everything you have come to expect in a TWScott Novel.
When a young girl from Iowa leaves the farm for college in Florida, her life is transformed. The need for cash drives her to look at the unthinkable as a way to survive. Her lifelong friend had already discovered ways to make money working at Gentleman’s Clubs.
Predators looking for young girls to work as escorts, troll those clubs and colleges. Lacy was an easy target. Barely five foot tall, Blond hair and blue eyes with a ‘Monroe’ type body and smile, she became the focus of a recruiter.
Hired as arm candy, or love toy; Lacy soon learns the horrors of the industry, while catching the attention of one of the world’s wealthiest of bad boys. A strange romance ensues as Lacy and her friends become part of the fabric of a modern-day brothel. An island entertainment facility for the worlds rich and famous was in the works and she was to become part of it.
With the world’s leading bad boy in love with Lacy, several people try to infiltrate her group to claim the reward on her lovers head.
How is that for a tease?
With the Epstein Island fiasco, the story wrote itself. Instead of one island, I have two, as Peter; her ‘friend’ has competition who relies on sex trafficking to get his girls.
I don’t want to spoil the book, but I just love it when the evil person gets theirs, don’t you?
Captives of Pleasure Island
Taking a week to travel on vacation was not time lost as the story played out in my mind while driving. I hoped that an Agent would see the tweets about it, and I would not have to Query it as that takes four hours for each agent.
The process is broken and needs repair. The likes of Bezos or Corker will be the beneficiaries of many independent novels.
As you can see, I have created the cover art. So far, I like this much better than my first attempt. The name Schadenfreude is the name of a yacht that the rich boyfriend gives Lacy. The name is a word that means deriving pleasure from the pain of others. This man is twisted.
I spent a fair amount of time with my laptop on the screened-in porch, with the gentle breezes, generated by Dorian whispering through the trees. When you think Dorian, you don’t think gentle anything, do you?
It is my sincere belief that you need to leave your office or as I jokingly call it my lair, to experience life. We writers are a rare breed of human who lives inside our heads. I could get into the science of theta waves and how we could use that science to break writers blocks, but suffice it to say, live your life.
All experiences are fodder. If you write solely from what you see on TV or read, you are most probably borrowing from someone else. Go, get out of your office, and move. Walk through, the park, smell the roses. Pick up a rose and get pricked by a thorn. Bump your knee into something and experience the pain. Life is full of bumps and bruises, but it is also about love and happiness. Without the wicked things, how would you recognize the good?
Last chance agents!
Currently, I am in the final editing stage of this novel. As I Jokingly say ‘Stephen Hawking’ is reading my book back to me one chapter at a time. As I make my final edits I will be creating a Kindle-friendly upload that I can send to advance readers, i.e. you, or I can self-publish and market it myself.
If you want to make some money and discover the next prominent author, here is your chance.
I have well over 30 published novels with many of them selling nicely. Just think how I would do with a professional editor and some marketing dollars.
Not afraid to go it alone. I enjoy writing more than I do just about anything else.
Are you tired of spending four hours on query letters?
I stood in front of a group of writers and told them the following…
It is tough to get the attention of an agent because everyone in the world from Grandmothers to third graders think they can write. Many of those same folks Query agents, creating a slush pile that may or may not get the attention it deserves.
Days later, I was told I should not have stated the ‘facts’ as I discouraged writers. Some of those in that group might have been those ‘writers.’
“Yeah, so what? I didn’t tell them not to write, I told them why it is so hard to get an agents attention.” The Jack Nicholson line played through my mind as this person was genuinely upset with me.
“You can’t handle the truth!” I deal in reality, and I have no illusions about the craft of writing.
How do you sugarcoat the truth? Should you? No. If you have cancer you need to know you have it, what is it going to take to cure it or, you should work on your bucket list before you are bedridden.
It is perfectly ok to get inspiration from others. When you talk about querying agents just possibly, you should run your work by others in the group for some fact checks. Did people who you are not related to like your writing? Did those same people tell you how to make it better? Did they treat you like your mother might? “Oh, honey this is the best thing ever!”
I deal in reality. I write in fiction and fantasy, but in life, I deal with ‘what is.’
I am not going to lie to people. If you intend on your novel being on the bestseller list, you must be exceptional. ‘Exceptional’ is subjective. Your book must not only be extraordinary, but the subject matter must be timely. One day the clearance racks at Half Price Books will be loaded with 50 shades as that will no longer be the shiny penny. Harry Potter books will line the shelves of clearance books.
It happens; Cussler, Ludlum, and Brown are all easily found on the clearance racks. Movies that sold millions of tickets are on blue ray, sitting in the clearance section.
Attending one writer’s conference after another, you meet all kinds. Hundreds attend, and there are all kinds. From the super hubris to the serious introvert, they walk among us. They are there because they feel they can write. Maybe they can, and perhaps they can’t.
KU or kindle unlimited is an excellent repository for their attempts at conjugating a verb or in extreme examples, using a noun and a verb in the same sentence. The winner in this slush pile of reading material is Jeff Bezos.
Therefore, here are some more facts for you to consider.
If I have a ‘one of a kind’ item, say a rare coin minted for Caesar and maybe that coin was a ‘double strike’ meaning the person making it hit it twice to get an imprint, causing two distinct images to appear, it would be worth a ton of money.
If on the other hand that were the preferred method of making their coinage back in the day, to keep it unique, the coin would not be a rare antiquity. It would be much like our pennies today, just old.
KU is training the reading public to value our work as the American Penny. For a few dollars a month, an avarice reader can consume several books. To the reader they feel as if it is free, ergo when they see eBooks for sale, they will most probably look at KU first for a substitute.
Jeff gets the ‘subscription,’ you provide the material, and those readers enjoy the fruits of your labor free of charge. If you ask them for the favor or a review they won’t even do that, as they are too busy reading the next free book.
It is not their fault. There are providers and consumers. They are programmed to consume. Until you put pen to paper, and spend four or in some cases thirty years, creating a novel to have people read it for free, you just don’t know.
To have your novel on KU, Amazon has exclusivity. You cannot make it electronically available anywhere else as long as it is on KU. Now you can make a print version of it available, but, not an e-version.
Who do you think is going to spend $25 for a print version, when they can read it for free?
Printing a book adds ten or more dollars on average to the cost. Amazon only pays 60% royalties on printed books, meaning you make less money when they buy a printed novel than an e-book. Buying Create Space, they have taken the competition away, thus making it harder for the creators, ‘us’ to make money from our work.
The bottom line is this. If you are writing to get rich, leave your day job, and be the next Hemmingway or Cussler, you may have missed your opportunity.
Those who make money in this game are the people selling services. Creating the ‘perfect’ cover or editing your book so it is ‘perfect.’
Attending conference after conference, you see hundreds if not thousands of people who all have the desire to be the next ??? Whatever.
Recently I sent some work to an editor. I was curious. This young woman holds herself out there as a professional editor.
Using the Chicago style manual as the standard, she formatted my manuscript, put a few commas in and took a few out. She contextually made the story different in meaning from what it should have been. She did not have the wisdom and history to understand that what I wrote, and what she created were different. I could have gone back and forth with her, but she would have been the beneficiary, and I the SME, (subject matter expert) the teacher.
Discouraging a writer is not the intent of this blog. Keeping it real is.
Write to escape.
Write for the passion.
Write because it means something to you.
Write to have something you enjoy reading.
Write to keep your mind agile.
Write to be happy.
Write to work out your frustrations.
Write to entertain.
Write because you can.
Don’t write because you are confident that your writing is the best in the world. That millions will be waiting with baited breath for you to submit it to some editor or agent.
Don’t write solely for pecuniary interests.
Go to the writer’s conferences and groups. I have, and I genuinely like most of them.
Go find your tribe, and enjoy the friendships you will undoubtedly make.
Don’t trade life for days and weeks staring into a screen waiting for those magic words to fill the screen.
Carry a notepad to jot down ideas as you ‘live’ your life.
If you write and think that this one will give you financial independence, save your time and purchase a lottery ticket. After you have paid the ‘stupid tax’ of a dollar, go fantasize about what you will do with all of those millions when you win. Too Harsh?
The truth is this, most people who publish a manuscript online might make $10 the first year. I have over 30 novels out there. Last year, 2018 is the first year I had to pay taxes on what I made selling books. That number for those of you who don’t know is 600. I made over $600 in 2018. Bezos, Corker, and other etailers made the real money.
Take care when you pay money to someone to fix your manuscript. Many out there only make money by selling services to hopeful writers. As writers we are blind and emotionally invested. ‘This is going to be the best…fill in the blank!’
Since Amazon and other ebook sellers devalue what we do, and set the stage so the reader believes what we do has no value, selling your book means you have to create the next Harry Potter or Christian Gray. Since that has been done, maybe Christian Potter should be your goal.
A magical interlude between a billionaire sex-starved wizard who blows fairy dust up young girls bottoms to make them ‘Sparkle.’
Here is the next bestseller…
A magical interlude between a trailer trash wizard, and grandma. Tony the wizard blows fairy dust up old women’s bottoms to make them young again. Charging them their life force after one year of living like a queen, the wizard trades that soul to the devil for more magical powers which elevate his status as a result.
After many women die by unknown means, a detective from a magical province in Mexico is called in to use his gifts to find the murderer.
The wizard tries to escape the shaman, but his magic sleuthing dragon is hot on the trail. Unbeknown to Tony, he leaves an evil residue behind him, much like breadcrumbs, Slinko the dragon is hot on his trail.
When a small-town girl leaves the farm in Iowa, for Tampa, the move changes forever her life. Recruited by one of her professors for an escort service in Miami; things go horribly wrong when she finds herself on a yacht with men who have very twisted desires.
From the perverse world of cyber-porn to recruiting other girls for an island designed for the world’s most influential people’s demented pleasures, Lacy learns the ins and outs of the industry.
Dating, the worlds most notorious kingpin, she is suddenly in great danger from those seeking to capture him for the reward. Body counts pile up as different factions try to shut the island down by any means possible.
I admit it! I am an opportunist.
Years ago, one of the worst-kept secrets in history made itself known to me. An island paradise for rich folks to have their way with willing participants.
There is the Bunny Ranch, and I am sure other places where ladies can hock their wares, legally to people who either like variety in their life or, can’t get a lady any other way than with money.
The idea rattled around in my brain for years, thinking it would make an exciting read.
When Epstein was arrested not too long ago, I did not understand the severity of his crimes. If you follow my tweets, you know I stopped watching the news as it totally kills my creative ability. Alexa flashes current events up, and occasionally, I have her play the story.
I began crafting a story about ‘Orgy Island.’ This novel would be called ‘Orgy Island’ as I could find no book with that name already.
Listening to the news in the car, someone referred to it as Orgy Island; hence, the name will not be that. DOH!
Still, the story took on a life of its own. In three short weeks from the time they arrested him until today, I have the first draft of over 70K words of a novel that will keep one turning the pages. The circumstances of his death rate a book of their own.
So, here is the deal. I will tweet about this novel, pointing the readers of said tweets here to this blog. This book is timely, it’s exciting, and it will sell. In my tweets, I will hashtag #Agents. Not going to spend my days and nights crafting query letters at four hours each.
Maybe I will query one… Is it worth four hours of my time?
Authors, how do you feel about the Query process? Don’t you just love it when they say something like “if you never hear from us, consider it a pass?” What is your time worth? Would the favor of a reply be too much to ask? I am certain I speak for many who go through this process. If you see that the author has gone through the trouble to dot every I, and cross every T, and ‘do it your way,” Is it too much to ask for a response?
Agents, if you have read this far, I would suggest you contact me via the blog or my website at www. athortwscott.com
The early bird gets the worm! Ladies and gentleman, this is your chance.
I have created the story; I have created the cover art. Now I need to go back through the novel and edit it for consistency, and all of those beautiful commas. I still want to play with the cover art a little more. I am not thrilled with the lady I drew. The cover art is a concept.
Not in love with the cover art, and I will happily edit as necessary. Can you sell this?
Contact me before I finish the process, and we can talk. Snooze, I will self-publish, as this novel is timely, and it will garner the interest of many.
“Will TW be your discovery?”
With over 30 novels selling worldwide so far Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and many others seem to be the winners. Is this one going to get away from you?
The difference between my novel and reality is, I cannot bring myself to write about the sickness of this person, who I just recently learned brought in girls as young as twelve, for these demented people to rape. That to me; is beyond repugnant!
What this novel is about is how someone would do something like this island, using consenting adults as the product.
Years ago, one of my twitter followers in her bio said she was a ‘cyber-slut.’
“Huh? What the hell is that?” For someone who writes racy novels, I tell you, the underbelly of the internet is ‘pretty far out there.’ I did not understand what she was talking about until I clicked on her link.
The novel ‘CyberSubs’ was born and created in a month. I am sure it could use editing again now that I have much better software.
This novel blends the world of internet porn and escort services and how one might recruit young ladies for such a project. It is a story, fiction and yes there are bad boys and rich people, drugs, and murder!
There is also lots of advice for the cam show girls out there. Yes, there was hours of research and talking with people. I knew of only one site like this. Research on this subject showed a depressing number of these sites, each with over a 1000 ‘models’ flaunting themselves on open camera, without so much as an ‘if you are under 18 go away.’
I seriously wonder what this will do to the children who stumble across this mess. We have this Me2 movement, and there are over ten thousand girls around the globe, nude with toys in places the sun does not shine. The number very possible is closer to twenty thousand with some sites allowing men to model. There are also Trans and other folks putting on cam what one might only imagine might happen in the secrecy of their homes.
Great fodder for novels, bad stuff for the kids, who are naturally curious. What must they think? What does this kind of thing do to an immature mind? Are we adding to the mental illnesses of the world?
Follow me here if you want to be the first to read my latest novel. This will be like novel #35 or #36.
Wish me luck as I try to lure an agent into my lair. Or, stand by and be ready for a new read that will keep you turning the pages!
I would like to get it out there quickly as the timing of the release is paramount while the interests in such things are there, thanks to the conspiracy around his death. We could probably come up with a novel on that…Hell, we might even find Hoffa.
Foiling a hijacking attempt on her way to cover an explosion in LA, soon put her in the crosshairs of a secret organization known as the ‘inner circle.’
I was so despondent over this weekend’s shootings, I crafted this huge blog about it. I did not post it, however, as I don’t want to cause those of you in other countries to deal with our, or my pain.
Some people are just so stupid they don’t disserve to be breathing air, or taking up resources. They are in fact defective and should be sent back to their maker for evaluation and repair. Arghhh!
How are you doing?
I hope wherever you are, that you had a good weekend, and are doing productive things with your life. I don’t think I say this often enough so let me say it now.
Don’t just tell those around you that you love them, show them! Hug them tight, and let them know how much they truly mean to you!
In writing stories or novels we are told to ‘show, don’t tell.’ Folks, carry this with you in life. Show them!
So here is the deal…
I wrote this novel a couple years ago. The concept of the story is this ex-air force pilot leaves the military and works for a news desk. I love strong women and many of my characters are exactly that.
Her story is, she is recruited by this organization that I refer to affectionately as the ‘inner circle.’
I researched every conspiracy theory I could find. I then weaved many of them into this story.
Much like a Dan Brown novel, I take you from one corner of the world to the other, as we search for and destroy the bad guys. Like many of my novels, there is enough ‘love’ to keep most of you entertained. I even have something for you 50 shades fans. ‘I am one of those.’
I wish I had been bold enough to be the first to do such a novel.
I have rewritten it after an editor went through it for me. The newest version also has a new cover, so look for this cover (above) when you are spending less than a cup of coffee for over a 110K words of entertainment. (ebook)
I will also be producing a print version which, believe it or not, I make less money on. Amazon and its partners make the bulk of it.
News Anchor, ex-Air Force Pilot Kelly McGuire, had no idea her life was about to change forever.
Foiling a hijacking attempt on her way to cover an explosion in LA, soon put her in the crosshairs of a secret organization known as the ‘inner circle.’
Those in the circle controlled the demigods while balancing ‘chaos and civilized.’ They either assisted the demigods; or removed them from power, by any means possible.
The demigods needed a governor. This ancient society, set up by the Illuminati, also known as Skull and Crossbones, were the ultimate sovereign over the elites.
My goal is for one of my thirty-odd novels to go viral, so I can capture the attention of some publisher or agent, that is not afraid to invest time and $$ in my work.
Query letters take four hours each. I can write a chapter, possibly two chapters in four hours…Which is a better use of my time?
Writing to you guys is a better use of my time, to be blunt.
Hey, I am dead serious about what I said about loving your friends and family. If you are in good with the man upstairs, (and even if you’re not) you might offer up some kind words for those folks in El Paso and Dayton. I am sure they are still reeling in California as well.
Many writers don’t understand how dialogue works in screenplays, novels or TV
How many of you are blogging to just pontificate?
Tonight I want to talk to the writers out there who are struggling with dialogue.
If you have not been introduced to the concept of the SFD allow me to ‘splain’ it to you.
The first thing you write is the ‘Shitty First Draft.’ Own it!
I wrote Under Roswell four years ago and just recently re-wrote it. Writing over 30 novels since that one, I have learned a thing or two. There is no reason in the world that book should now not be a real contender in the science fiction genre. Before the re-write oh hell yes.
When you write something and cannot find fault with it, you are blissfully ignorant and that might be ok.
Firstly, when you write you need to create a character or characters that your readers will either hate or love. They must relate to them or your story will go nowhere. We do this through dialogue and by that I mean dialogue that ‘shows’ the story.
Dialogue is really about action, not backstory or characterization.
“Lexy you soppy bitch! You have been doing this same stupid drunk bullshit for years now. Your life is spiraling down the tube and when you hit bottom, you will have pissed off all of your friends including me. When the hell will you learn to take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everyone else?”
That dialogue tells you plenty, very cleverly I might add. You the reader will read on because I have not said this:
“You know Paul, your friend has this drinking problem which has been going on forever. Her car ends up with new dents every day, and she blames people hitting it in the parking lots. She is constantly out of money calling on all of her friends for handouts.”
“Dave your right, do you realize that she has pissed off most of her friends that she had years ago? Now when they see her number pop up they just ignore it. You can’t blame them, really.”
“No, of course, you can’t blame them for Christ’ sake, nobody wants to listen to some drunk drone on about how she is a victim and have you got a few extra dollars they can borrow just to see them through to they find another job?”
Shit, those three bits of dialogue brought me down and I am creating it. How many books have you set down because of crap like that?
We feel sorry for Lexy but we can identify with her and can relate to the person who is frustrated with her trying to give her a jolt or perhaps is going to haul her sorry ass into some recovery program. In the last exchange between Dave and Paul, we get bored rather quickly and depressed as these two guys are just jacking their jaws about their drunk friend.
Dialogue should be dynamic, moving fluid and action-filled.
When Dave confronted Lexy after tossing the bottle of scotch out the window, Lexy cried when she heard the glass bottle shattering on the street below. She had sold blood to buy it, and he foolishly tossed it away!
Dave cares for her and is trying to make an impact. We see her desperation when we learn she sold blood to buy scotch.
This subject may hit too close to home for some and for that reason, such a story might be of interest to those who are dealing with addicted loved ones.
That brings up the next point…Emotions.
I don’t give a flip how intellectual you are or what your IQ might be. Your characters have to resonate with your readers and using large words that only a few might know is not the way to get there. I am guilty of this to some extent, as I write science fiction. In my latest novel which I am working on, I reference a Pulsar. My audience will know what that is but, some of you reading this blog might not.
As a writer, you must connect with your audience and that means know who that audience is. My science fiction audience I can use larger words with because they will most probably have that latitude in their vocabulary, and will not be slowed.
If I am writing for YA, I would probably guard against overly large words. Writing for a 7th-grade education is probably one of the toughest things I do as a writer. I am updating this blog, weeks after I wrote it, as I learned something else about this topic.
Some write for a third-grade education. Huh? Is that smart? Do we want to make it too easy for our readers? Personally, I think it is a sad statement that in order to sell our works we must keep it to a third-grade reading level.
One professor teaches that your readers are smarter than you are. “Cough … Bullshit!”
Some of my audience is smarter than I am, but… I know, not humble…sorry I am not humble.
A smart writer knows who their audience is and writes for them. Romance writers, for example, do what? They put lots of emotion into their ‘dialogue.’ Why? A large percentage of romance readers are who? Not men. Erotica is probably men, a pure knight on the white horse coming to scale the castle walls and take on the kings men…that is going to be ladies. Just the facts ma’am.
Yes dammit, we want to make you cry, or laugh.
So how does dialogue work with many characters?
Each character must have its own voice. What do I mean when I say that?
Lexy is a person who took to drinking for whatever reason and now is near the bottom of the barrel. What happened to her that she did that? Perhaps she lost someone important to her.
If we make the reader care about Lexy, then we have the emotional investment. We also have to realize who the audience is and tailor the story for them.
For argument’s sake, if she were a street person who managed to be at the right place at the right time and found Mr. Right. Yes, the pretty woman saga. They are living high having a great old time until an old boyfriend finds her. “Does he realize where you come from? You better play this right you still owe me money.”
“I am not asking him for money Joey. Look, what we had didn’t work out, I fucked so many people for you… now just let me be. I have a shot at a life!”
“Bitch, you might clean up pretty, but you’re still trash from the south side. You will always be trash, but you are my trash, and don’t ever forget it!”
Now we suddenly care about her. We see that she is trying to pull herself out of the hole she has been in. We want her and the rich guy to hit it off, and we love happy endings.
How will Joey play into this?
Each character has their own voice and they also have their own vocabulary. I was at a seminar where we were told to actually do a Myers Briggs profile on each character and keep it handy so your Joey’s and Lexy’s and whoever is consistent not only with their vocabulary but their personality traits.
We can have Dave and Paul take Joey out and skin him alive but since this is a blog about ‘dialogue’ I will leave you the reader to come up with an ending.
“let me know how it turns out..” 🙂
Depending on what you are writing, whether it is for film or novels will depend not only on the amount of dialogue you write but, the kind as well.
I like internal conflict, science fiction type stories and I like naughty stories. I write for the intellectual and I write for those readers who would like to bring some fantasy to life through my words.
If I were writing a screenplay, my dialogue would be different from that of a novel. My story would be more action for the eyes and fewer words for the ears.
Instead of, “You know you want me. You know you want to feel my flesh under your hands. I don’t know why you enjoy treating me like that but when you do it just makes me so …fucking horny I can’t stand it.”
“You like it because you know you are going to get your reward. You know I am going to fuck you so hard that you will scream for me to stop, and then you will beg for more! What will you do for me? Will you submit to my ways?”
Instead of that, I would have this half-naked guy standing in a dimly lit room, with his foot on a chair. The smoke from his cigarette would curl up past his chiseled chin. His shirt would be unbuttoned and we could detect a bulge in his pants. He might be holding a small leather paddle or possibly one of those lovely floggers that they sell at Adam & Eve.
As she walks into the room, she pauses to see him standing there. The camera pans up from her ruby red high heels, up past her long legs to her short skirt.
The dialogue would now be something like this. “So you heard that I have been naughty?”
The rest would be action.
Who is your audience?
What kind of writer are you?
Give your audience or readers the credit they deserve in figuring out where you are going with the story. Many of you still have your mind stuck in that last scene, don’t you?.
Screenwriting is about 80% writing for the visual effects, and 20 for us to hear or the audience to hear.
I think it would be fun to write a screenplay or even for a film. Which are you? Are you a novelist or are you a visual person? I like the idea of film as that tends to be created more off the lot, or on location. I like the idea of filming on location and writing for that. Can you imagine the work that went into Lord of the Rings?
I have over 30 novels under my belt and have several projects in the works as I type this blog for you. I think it important to give back to the writing community and that is why I do this blog.
Here I share my successes and failures. I also try to educate you by telling you what I did to fix the screw-ups.
If you wish to contribute in any way, might I suggest that you share this blog with your readers, who you know might appreciate what I am writing? That accomplishes three things.
You are paying it forward by assisting your followers or writers.
You are getting something out of it.
You are assisting me in getting some more followers so I have a valid reason to spend my time casting these pearls out upon the winds.
I have a day job and I write. My goal is to have one of my novels, just one, go viral.
Many of you have already read my work and I do appreciate it. Those checks that come in from Amazon around the world are the thing that keeps me pushing forward. Running the analytics, I look at what is selling and what is not. I then try to figure out why?
Under Roswell had lackluster performance, and I did not understand why until I read it again.
I had made many of the mistakes that rookie writers make. I rewrote it from the ground up. The story and the plot were too predictable, so I added a computer that has a loose screw, and is not exactly of good character. This Robot can and does get into the heads of those around it, and has them do things that it can feel. For instance, it had a couple make love where the computer could sense both of their orgasms at the same time!
‘It is an alien computer so our understanding of how computers work is not what the aliens created.’
Nothing like a little AI in the bedroom…LOL
As always I love feedback, comments and so on.
I truly am here to assist other writers so don’t be afraid to stop by and say hello.
Much love people. It is late and I need to get up in the morning. I have more to say on Dialogue at a future date. If you find this interesting, please let me know.
Identity politics are tearing the country apart and they don’t care!
It has been a while since I have blogged. Sorry about that. I recently re-wrote Under Roswell. Complete with graphics at the beginning of each chapter. That took some time to get it published both in e-book and paperback.
Some of my followers have asked me for my opinion on what is going on in DC. Truly I tell you that I have to limit my exposure to it, as I get damned mad which is counterproductive for a creative.
If you flip through the cable news channels many of the networks are now moving off the Russia fiasco as there was no collusion, to find another crime. This is mob mentality. It is why we left England years ago as we objected to the way the KING did things. Serving a general warrant against his foes, the mob destroyed them while digging into their lives and all who he or she knew, until they could concoct a reason to publicly castrate them.
The mob mentality is the same mentality that was used during the witch trials, and if they haven’t burned all the history books yet, you can find it all the way back to the early church. Americans and I suspect those in the UK where there is still a quasi-free press, are inundated with lies. Our press, most of it is in the pocket of someone. ‘Who’ is the real story?
Facebook and Twitter are acting as publishers, while only allowing the news that promotes the leftist agenda to proliferate among the citizens. The press was created to be that check and balance to our elected officials. Currently, they lead the mob and are heating the tar and getting the feathers ready for conservatives.
“You cannot rely on the media for the truth. You need to pay attention to what is actually happening.”
Anytime you want to know what is truly going on in the world of politics, follow the money.
The major flaw in our system is politicians are always working on getting re-elected. ALLWAYS!
The one exception to that, of course, is if they are retiring.
To run for office, you need money, lots of it. How do you get big corporations and the ‘fat cat bankers’ to give you money?
“You threaten them!”
In 2008 and 2012 President Obama went after the ‘fat cat bankers.’ He threatened to disrupt their predatory loan practices. “wink wink”
This threat did two things, first, it created the optics or illusion that he cares about you. More importantly, it sent a message to the fat cat bankers to talk to the folks on Ave K and make sure they donated generously to his re-election campaign.
How did his threats work BTW? Payday loans went from 471% APR to 900%. The class of people hurt the worst by his deception, were those in the lower middle class and the people living in poverty. And yet people still love him… Why? They don’t care to follow up to see what the man actually did.. He screwed you! I sure hope he kissed you afterward.
AOC and Bernie are now using that page from his playbook before other candidates seize upon it. Now Bernie looks like he cares, and AOC steps into the limelight as something other than ‘totally nuts.’
Tucker Carlson even commented on it. Tucker, surely you can see that this is a ruse.
The Dems don’t hate the NRA, they want money from them as well. Obama was the best thing in the world for gun manufacturers and the NRA. I would love to follow that money trail. One would probably have to start in the Caymans.
Gun sales were through the roof when he threatened to ‘get the guns.’
Politicians are loyal to themselves first, and themselves second, and themselves third. When someone spends 19 million dollars of their own money to possibly get elected to a job that pays $174K a year, even the most doltish among you should see through the smokescreen of the green curtain. They are mostly all frauds, and you buy their garbage. Yes, the wizard is all-powerful and will promise you anything!
Trump won because 63 million of you don’t buy their garbage. He won because he named the enemy. While he is not the smartest man in DC, he surrounds himself with smart people. Any good tank commander finds the best people he can to cover his ass. Trump knows this.
It boggles my mind why he is doing this. Why is he not taking a paycheck? Why is he allowing this constant trashing of his character and reputation? “Is there money involved?”
On its face, he appears very altruistic, is he? If he is truly doing this for the reasons he puts forth, we should put him up for sainthood. My skepticism runs deep, however.
Politicians, (most politicians) don’t care about you. I don’t care what they say, they don’t give a shit about you. All they want is your vote and will say anything they have to, to get it. Politicians use identity politics and any other emotional issue they can come up with, to secure your vote. If they stir up some crazies who take their gun and shoot up some people, to quote Nancy Pelosi, it is (collateral damage.) They don’t care!
Politicians live in gated communities, security guards with guns, have nice houses and are leeches. Most of them.
Term limits… Why? At least in their second term, they would be more concerned about what they ran on, versus getting elected. Make it a law that they cannot be lobbyist after their term.
The absolute farce taking place in DC today is a political distraction to damage Trump. Everything about this investigation flies in the face of the constitution. The FBI has been severely tarnished by this travesty, and one has to wonder what the difference is between China and the US, truly…
We need a disruptor in DC. We need someone to change the way things are done. AOC is not the answer. She is a lightning rod for the Dems, saving Maxine Waters, Feinstein and the rest from their own crap.
What they did to Kavanagh was disgusting beyond the pale. Are they sorry? The only thing they are sorry for is that it did not work.
I challenged some voters on social media as to why they were voting liberal. “We need checks and balance in DC.”
FFS! Trump had the house, and Senate, and could not get it done with his own party. Why??? They only care about themselves, which is it. As long as there are politicians in DC, and the counties around DC are the wealthiest in the country, you can be sure that the American people come dead last, where their lawmaking is concerned. (Mostly)
Uncle Joe is not the answer BTW.
I personally like the man. He has however been infected by the crap that goes on, and would certainly elevate those other countries while destroying this country in the process. People in DC are out of touch and Bernie and AOC are prime examples of the fruitcakes that make the laws you and I have to abide by, while they and their ilk do not.
Presidents come and go, they have term limits. Both parties know this, and the lawmakers most probably all drink beer together in a smoke-filled room while trying to outmaneuver Trump.
I would not trust any of them. Truth told we are in a very dangerous time right now as there are unstable governments who actually think that nukes are the answer. Trump has his hands full and what are the Dems and to some extent the republicans doing? Distracting him with absolute shit! They not only hate this man but, they hate you as well. Not only do they not care about you but, they loathe you. They will kiss your baby, and probably your ass at election time but, then it is onto who will give me what to pass this legislation or award this military spending contract?
Tell me why, and keep it civil.
Now that this is off my chest, possibly I can get into a better place and write fiction again. BTW, thanks to those of you who have purchased so many of my novels. Yes, I still have a day job but, one day it is my fervent hope that I can just write fiction.
Fox or Sheep?
Hunter or hunted?
My thoughts are here.
The elite class must have a divided country to control the masses. Even in the animal kingdom predators break the herd apart, separating the more vulnerable to face the razor-sharp teeth of their oppressors.
We the herd, are often fooled by the fox, as it sometimes wears the cloak of the sheep. Infiltrating the herd looking for the easy targets, the fox will mark them for the pack.
Who might be the easy targets used to divide us as a country?
How about 300-year-old practices by people who have been dead for centuries?
Yes, women. Easy targets as the elite will use or invent any emotional issue and make it salient to their cause.
Who else, or what else?
Yes, ‘immigration’ as we are now told that people from third world countries who openly violate our laws are better than US citizens. Somehow we aggrieved them, and now we must pay up… PFFFT!
Ah yes the polar bears who are actually thriving and doing very well, but according to faux reports are all but extinct. The poor coke drinking white fuzzy bears are all dying off. Maybe we should name them all Toto, so when the wicked witch of climate change comes for them, we will all act emotionally.
And you thought that commercial was just about Coke I bet. No, we must make an emotional connection and then we do something like anthropomorphizing those cute little Coca-Cola drinking creatures so you will care for them.
Are there any thinking voters left out there?
For years I have wondered and openly asked, why someone would spend 16 million dollars of their own money for a job that pays $174K a year.
Have you ever asked yourself that?
I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, there are many reasons. Few pay attention to the elite class, as they are too wrapped up raising their family, working and let’s face it, “living.”
The elite class is much like the wizard. They do their dirty work under the cloak of darkness, and behind curtains riddled with other predators seeking the best way to control the masses while acquiring power and wealth.
I have no doubt that our president had such affiliations, and now many of them are behind bars in an attempt to ‘save the country.’
The problems are that they are not trying to save the country. They ‘the swamp creatures’ are protecting their system of corruption and greed at our expense.
Those associates of Trump are but pawns in the grand scheme of things, and Mueller knows it.
Once elected to some position of power, either locally at the state level, or certainly, on the national level, they are a ‘commodity’ for big business.
Our way of life is ruled by the giant corporations through the politicians and lastly through the IRS.
There is no upper, middle, or lower class; there are just slaves. Now your job as a slave might be more or less desirable than others, but make no mistake, the tax code was written to keep the population as indentured servants, of the ‘elite.’
Donald Trump is more or less a slave to the “Elite.”
Who are they? Who are the real elites?
Who spends billions of dollars to change the fabric of the world, for their own personal aggrandizement?
I could write an entire book, maybe two books on this subject, but I like fiction, not harsh reality. How do we fix this? How do we keep from becoming Venezuela or some other third world country?
For years I thought term limits was the answer, but I was wrong. The answer is to enact laws which would prevent politicians from serving on boards of companies or working as a lobbyist when they leave the office.
Our political class the “Fox” go out of their way to keep us divided and focused on issues which are not issues. Any sane person would see them as the ‘shiny’ object in some magician’s act, but few of us are watching them, knowing them as the creepy people that they are.
The destroy Trump class are there because Trump is not playing the role of Fox or Lion or what have you. I get that he is polarizing and I get that he is caustic to some people. He is also very dangerous to the ‘elite’ who also control the media.
Change the laws on how politicians can make money after they retire.
Change the laws on lobbyists.
Invoke term limits for all politicians.
Pay them well enough so when they leave office, they can retire…
When becoming a politician or pawn for the ‘uber elite’ is no longer a pathway or a stepping stone to the ‘elite class,’ you will find that politicians will be more genuine, and less divisive where the American people are concerned.
We must take back our country from the elite. We must stand up for ourselves, or we will follow in the footsteps of Venezuela with our own sons and daughter via the military controlling us through force.
Sitting back and believing the lies perpetuated by the media is no longer an option.
I for one am totally disgusted with the media and the Democrats and yes some Republicans. It is clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Mika’s of the world accept as ‘fact,’ that they tell us, the slaves what to believe. That is a sad commentary on journalism today.
Stand up now, or be prepared to ‘caravan’ and illegally invade some other country… but who?
One of my followers wrote and asked me some questions.
“How do you take an idea, to a published novel, that people will wait in line to buy?”
I tell people all the time to write for the passion of writing, not for fame and fortune, as the latter is a road fraught with frustration and disappointment. Since I started this journey, I have taken learning this craft to heart.
Years ago I used to play golf. I sucked at it. However; business executives complete many business deals on those green stretches of land. Needing to be ‘acceptable,’ I had to get my average score, 100 or lower.
Put another way, I had to be less sucky. It didn’t hurt for them to win, but I needed to at least be a contender.
Finding a pro, I spent hours learning the game, body mechanics and so forth, until I identified my weak points, and I had a target. Once I had an aim to shoot for (in this case my five iron), I went to a ‘par-three’ course and only used the five iron. I drove, pitched and putted, with that five iron until it went from my worst club to one I was not afraid of using.
I take the craft of writing, painting, playing the guitar, and what have you, with that same raw determination.
I feel like a broken record when I say the following. The novels I have written were fishing expeditions to see who bought what.
I enjoy writing, but after reading what I have over the years; I thought to make money with this talent was not a bad idea. How? How do you turn a passion into dollars? I would argue that you follow the path I have been on. Supply to the customer what they want.
E.L. James, author of 50 shades is worth 80 million. In this modern-day, what author does that and how?
I read her books as if taking apart a watch, which I must put back together. What could I learn from her books? Why are people buying them?
One of my twitter followers described herself in her bio as a “cyber slut.”
“What the hell, why does she do that?” I researched her, to find that she models on a webcam for men (or women) who will pay to watch her.
There is a somewhat darker side to this which I hesitate to mention. Some people will pay per minute, to have the model watch them… perform… I find this disturbing on the #metoo level of disturbing but… I am not judging them. I don’t understand that behavior but again…deny who you are, and your behavior can skew from your programming.
“Did I say programming…? Another blog for another day but, yes I did…”
That is an underbelly of the internet I was unaware of but, it was also a story. A story I wrote called Cyber Subs. Cyber from the world of the internet, and Subs from the world of BDSM. (50 shades stuff)
Yes, that novel sells well, and it sells in the UK more than any other place. “Why?” If you folks know, give me a hint. I suspect that it has something to do with our Puritan heritage, but I might be all wet.
The material sells it but, why the UK more than the US? That is still a mystery. That novel has been pirated, and you can find it on web sites in countries, which I cannot make heads or tails of the language.
Always write under a pen name as your neighbors and friends might take objection to what you write. You need to keep your private life, separate from your writing life until you are E.L.JAMES rich, then you hire security guards. With that kind of money, your family will be in your back pocket…LOL, Those that still judge you, or who are jealous of you and speak poorly of you, are toxic, and you don’t need them in your life. True with me, your mileage might vary.
My passion is Science fiction. Knowing physics and science, I can write a story that people will want to read. My best-selling novel is The Saga of the Starduster. That novel sells well around the world. I incorporate modern-day issues, as our characters cannot have it too easy, or everything is lovely. That is boring. They must have challenges to overcome, and they must have flaws. It is also a wonderful way to “arc” your characters and your story.
*Of all the books you have written which one do you like the most within each style?
Knowing I do not stay away from controversial subjects, in fact, I gravitate toward them in my writing, my favorite novel is a book about falling in love with another woman.
Donna lost her husband at a young age and withdraws from life and hides her emotions. She conceals them behind her work as a tough bitch English professor until fate plays a role. Diamond Joe is by far my favorite novel, of the over thirty on the market today. If you can handle two women loving each other, I recommend reading that one. I am working on the cover art, so I will also offer it in paperback shortly.
Saga of the Starduster is wonderful in the science fiction genre, and I love Kelly McGuire in my action genre as Presidential Assassins. While Diamond Joe is YA, the rest are Adult reads.
Many of you have discovered others that I thought were wonderful including The Girl Nextdoor. With well over 30 novels and that number grows quarterly you have plenty of choices to choose from.
*How many books have you written?
Well over 30, I am not even sure at this point. When assessing who you are, “enlightenment” figuring out your gifts, and your shortcomings are paramount to growing as a human. One of my gifts is, I write fast. In the literary world, I am known as a pantster. Literally, it means I write by the seat of my pants. I can do this as I write fast. Those that are much more pragmatic, or dogmatic in their writing might be known as plotters, which means, they might want to use a program like Scrivener to keep their thoughts together as they write.
*Do you have a literary agent?
No, I have spoken with several, and I have friends that are agents. From the query letter process to a contract is a long road, again fraught with peril.
There are people in this trade who we call predators. These people cannot make it as writers, so they use their craft to “assist others” for pay. ‘Those who can do, those who can’t teach.’ I would remember that adage as I sought to purchase help. If they are worth their salt, why are they trying to earn money from you?
While I paint this picture with a broad brush, even the most skeptical among you know that there is more truth to that statement than fiction.
With an agent, it is all about “who they know.”
Do they know an editor that will take a chance on your work?
Does this editor know a publisher that when refined, will buy your manuscript?
Who have they published before?
An author should never have to pay anyone to get their work published. That rule is one worth remembering.
Not all that offer to assist you for money are predators but, buyer beware. The horror stories I have heard could fill a large book about what not to do.
Why do we call them predators?
They have us at a disadvantage. Sitting through my first critique session I was coy knowing what to expect. Other writers want to prove their prowess by ripping your shit apart. Not all, but many. Especially if you are successful, they want to prove to themselves that they are better than you are.
(Think I am wrong? I found a typo in Robert Mckee’s book Story. For a few seconds, it thrilled me, and then I was ashamed of myself for feeling that way. We all do it.)
I know this about human nature. On a return flight from California, I saw under me hundreds of wind turbines. Creating a short story in my head called Tipping Point, that evening I wrote a ten thousand word short story in about three hours, created the cover art in another hour and published it that night before I went to bed.
I gave it away on Kindle unlimited for the value of the story, not the literary genius. Yes, I did the basic edits but, not the fine detail one might do before submitting to an agent or publisher.
Many of you read it, and nobody said too much. It was a lunchtime read. I got some science geeks that read it, picking my story apart on the scientific claims, but nobody said anything about the literary constructs.
(Yes, the wind is a product of weather and from the sun, mostly, the jetstream is not, science geek people.)
I handed it to my cohorts in that format, not touching it. Days later, they all looked like the cat that ate the canary as they approached the table waiting to pounce. I knew what was coming but, this was a learning process, not so much for me, but for them.
Critique partners must be synergistic!
Creating a group of people who you can trust and work with takes time to build those relations.
One of them scolded me for publishing something so crude. Another did not like so much of it, the paper was red. FFS!… I chuckled to myself as this was not unexpected. Drawing the ire of one, pleased me as the writing evoked emotions which all of your writing should, unless you are not writing fiction.
One of the others upon leaving the table said and I quote…”I thought they were far too nice!”
This was what I hoped for. This person allowed their feelings to be exposed, and this is what needed addressing.
During this process, you do not want to tear down your fellow writers, but build them up. I always look for what they did correctly before I even think about making suggestions which I think would be helpful. This is what any of your fellow readers, critiques etc. should be doing. This is what you should do when you assist a fellow writer.
A few of them were not in the “how shitty is this?” camp, and offered some salient advice. These people earned my respect that day. Since then, the rest have but, it has been a procedure. One advised me that the story deserved to be more than a short story. Now you can read Earths Tipping Point on Kindle Unlimited for Free and it is almost 100,000 words if memory serves. Enjoy it!
Now, back to the main question of predators, we as the creators of our story don’t have the objectivity we need to discern our trash from our treasure. If we wrote it, then it is gold. We know with the help of this person, we will be on the NYT bestseller list. PFFFT! Don’t fall for it.
Folks, I did not need the humbling by my friends at that table, what I needed was honesty. I know that my work could use a fresh perspective, and that is why I offer you the reader the ability to communicate with me through the website, or this blog.
*Do you do your own marketing?
Yes, I had to teach myself everything about it which, again if you read the first part of this response you know that it was from trial and error. Social media is a critical part, and that is something you should be all over when you first think you want to write.
Marketing involves much more than social media. They did not ask about cover art, and that is a subject tied to marketing and needs to be addressed, as it is paramount, your cover is of a quality that will sell your work.
*Are you self-publishing through Amazon or anyone else?
Yes, Amazon gets the bulk of my business, but I also do business with Smashwords. Smashwords will upload your work to multiple different vendors including Apple, Barnes & Noble and the list goes on. Smashwords is a booger bear to work with. Their interface (meaning your book formatting) must be perfect, and that can be tough.
The process is arduous, and their method of allowing your work into their “premium catalog” adds to the difficulty. If I were them I would spend the money and time to fix their “meat grinder” as Draft to Digital has. If you want to capture the market share, your interface must be easy to use, while friendly to the non-programmer. Amazon and Draft to Digital understand this.
We are writers, not programmers. This again sets us up as targets for the predators out there who know how to format your novel to pass by the meat-grinder. I am a capitalist, but I don’t want to pay for services that I can do with a little time and patience.
I now use a program called Vellum, which by far is the best way to create and format your manuscript. Vellum only works on MAC which makes it an expensive proposition if you are a PC person like me. I now own two Macs and several PC’s.
*Who does your editing?
Editors charge around $30 an hour, and there are several kinds of editors from line editing to compositional editing. You could drop over $1000 to get a professional editor. I would ask for references before I plunked down that kind of money.
There are multiple respectable tools on the market, starting with the grammar checker built into Word. From there, I like Grammarly, and there is also a tool called ProWritingAid.
Nothing makes up for talent, and that you must gain from doing, and learning. If your passion is writing, then prepare to be humbled as you forge your way through the valleys of despair and rejection, while looking for that one good phrase to encourage you to push forth.
Yes, that is a golf analogy…One good shot keeps you returning for more humbling, again and again.
I try to get friends and family to read my work and comment. Realizing they are not editors and might fancy themselves as grammar Nazis, there is a fine line between proper punctuation and your voice. I would rather hang a participle than lose my voice.
*Are any of your books on audio?
Not yet. If I find someone who can read well, with plenty of inflection, I might try to work a deal with them. I know a lady who does voice work, and she and I are friends. “It is not what you know but who. Connections in this industry are vital.”
*Did you get your ISBN numbers on your own?
No, they are expensive through Bowker. Amazon and Smashwords will provide them, but there is a hitch. Well, there are multiple hitches. Smashwords will give you an ISBN that is only good on the Smashwords distribution channels. Amazon will just provide you with one when you offer a paperback. Again that ISBN number is only viable through Amazon sales.
Here is an update on the ISBN stuff: 8/26/19
Meta Data is part of the SEO and other invisible parts of the cyber world are tied to ISBN numbers. Let’s say you allow Amazon to give you your ISBN for free. No matter who searches on that ISBN number it will show Amazon as the owner, not you.
ISBN numbers are a racket in that they are very expensive and it is just a number. There is nothing magical about it.
Since there can be multiple books with the same title the differentiator or unique searchable part of your novel is the ISBN number. Check out the example when I google the ISBN of my best seller.
You will note it does not say TWScott publisher it says Amazon.com
*If I remember you have three types of books – what are they and which do you like the best?
Adult, or what I affectionately call, Naughty Nighties
I love them all but, the naughty novels are the most fun to create. Science fiction is the most difficult to write but, the most satisfying, as I love to use my physics and scientific prowess to make sure that what I am putting forth, is not the “flux capacitor,” but actual science that might work. As you know, some Science facts of today, started out in the minds of science fiction writers like myself. The Geosynchronous Satellite is one.
*When you refer to the masses – who are they? Whose lives do you desire to touch?
The masses are those of us who still read, vs. sitting in the front of screens while having their minds ripped from them through the dissemination of garbage, which impedes the thinking centers of the brain. Even in my naughtiest of novels, I speak of enlightenment. Who is that person looking back at you from that mirror? Do you know him or her? Together, we explore that in story format.
I can write adult novels because we are all sexual beings, and we all have those desires that need to be sated. Those that deny them, are the people are in danger of doing something terrible such as pedophilia or accosting Page Boys. Vows of celibacy, in my humble opinion, are setting them up for deviant behavior. Some cultures deny human sexuality to where bestiality is ok, but acknowledging who and what you are is not. They created us to procreate, period. Our brains are wired for it, and to deny it is foolish.
One young lady was telling me she only dated Christian men… “Why?” Because they don’t think that way…! “Where do you think little Christians come from?”
Hormones and other chemicals like endorphins drive us. Those that read my novels learn many things about themselves while enjoying a story that takes them to another galaxy, or perhaps a stranger’s bedroom, or possibly over their lover’s lap. With a fair warning and a free percentage of the novel for their perusal, I offer no apologies.
The masses are your audience which each writer must identify. Who are you writing for? We have an idea who E. L. James is writing for but, how about Clive Cussler? What about Agatha Christie or even Hemmingway?
If Hemmingway or even Shakespeare were to start out today, in this world of competition you and I have, would we ever learn of them? I would offer to you that there are many great writers out there, languishing in the millions of novels on Amazon that will never be discovered because they don’t understand marketing.
These same authors might also sit in slush piles waiting for an agent’s twelve-year-old to put down the smartphone long enough to read the query letter.
While some agents troll Amazon, and other e-sites looking for the next new voice, their inboxes are engulfed with query letters, and pitches from teenagers, to senior citizens who now have the time to write. It is neither a good nor a bad thing; it is a fact. You must stand out from the rest. ‘How,’ is the question…
*What type of feedback do you desire from your readers?
Honesty… If there are clear flaws, I would love them to contact me via the contact page on the website which many do, and visit with me. In Diamond Joe, for instance, I had some severe age discrepancies I had to deal with. Feedback is paramount to making any writer a better one.
I know an author who would not alter their work as they loved it. The agent said, “next.”
The Saga of the Starduster had its first review which was one star. Reading what the person wrote, it became clear he or she never read it. They were, in fact, flaming it, as it offered too much competition for something they were writing. Very sad! The next review was five stars, and it looked like something I might have instigated, but I did not. I have far too much integrity for that. Since it is still my number one seller years later, speaks to its validity as a contender in the field of science fiction, I think we can assume what I have stated is correct.
I would never pay attention to anyone who posted a review under a pseudonym. I would also never flame another writer’s work, no matter how bad it is. I offer the reader a large part of the novel to read for free before they buy it. If it were as bad as he or she alluded to, why would they buy it after reading 20% for free?
In the About the Author, after the Epilogue, I ask people to consider leaving a review if they liked it. Contact me via the website if you hated it and tell me why. While we never stop learning, we must strive to improve what we do.
*Do you have a group of people that support you in your writing – to read your drafts, to make suggestions, to encourage you when in doubt or feeling good at what you have written?
Yes, there is a group, but I did not always have that. The feedback from readers was all I had to nudge me in the right direction. Forging alliances with fellow writers has been the single most important step I have made regarding the craft of writing.
This is a two-way street. Many forget about this, which is the downfall of so many groups. We think about our needs first, and in such a group it is the needs of the many. When I assist other writers with their projects, it is not only gratifying on a personal level but strangely enough; I see things they are doing I also do but don’t see it in my work.
While this is a two-way street, I love the group, the writers and I enjoy our time together. I also blog about things like this to reach the writing community around the globe. A rising tide lifts all boats or ships, and that is something I find worthy of my time, talents and energies.
If there is enough interest, I will write about character arcs in a future blog. You need to let me know if that is something that interests you, as these blogs take hours to produce.
My novels are inexpensive. If you are of the mind to, read them. Feedback is critical to the process. I have a day job, not rich from sales but I am humbled that many of you purchase my novels and read them.
If you have paid any attention to the news in the last two years, you undoubtedly have picked one side or the other.
Trump is a natural person to dislike, and the reasons are apparent. Few, if any of us like bullies. Trump most probably was, and might still be a bully, as is, and was Biden.
While Biden invited Trump to the back of the school Gym, I feel that Trump would have, and could have done the same. Biden is most probably lucky that Trump did not take him up on his sophomoric stunt for the media.
Here is the catch; Trump is our bully fighting for the American People. His arrogance, hubris, and sometimes caustic attitude are actually tools he uses to put America First.
Still, many just see those attributes as negatives. No matter what he does for this country, the left focuses on Trump being the new bully on the beach. The left were the bullies, and they piss on everything, taking ownership of it. Now Trump is pissing in their pond, and they don’t like it.
Two years and 25 million dollars later, their insurance plan has failed. Mueller protected his own reputation after becoming rich on American Tax dollars by speaking the truth of it. While not entirely exonerating the president as his last act of defiance, he found no legal wrongdoing.
This man and his minions hate the president and are the uber-powerful left. Unlike the false evidence created by those in the justice department, and the other pond scum, he was not willing to fabricate things to further destroy this country.
The media has successfully done their bit to degrade the fabric of this country making us vulnerable in so many ways, including spreading dangerous lies as facts. Some people are so blinded by hate they want to believe the propaganda spewed by America’s enemies, (the media in bed with big business) and will never accept the truth.
In fact, the hateful folks on daytime TV, as we speak are calling this verdict round one. They are pushing Democrats to further divide this country by encouraging them to bring in more voters who will vote democratic. The left cannot win a fair fight, so they don’t even try.
We are victims of the left, and their thirst for power, as they play their lies to those that will listen. Anyone blinded by hate would rather hear lies than the truth. This is how Satan works, and this is how the left is working.
I have rejected Hollywood by not watching them in the movies, TV or even listening to them on social media. They are so hateful that what I see of them ruins any illusion they might try to create on the silver screen. If and when I see them, who they really are is what I see!
Further, I have rejected the MSM as they too are hauling water for the powerful, who can be purchased by the lobbyist for special interest. As we watch Venezuela deteriorate, caused by corruption at the top, we should be mindful that corruption by people like these in their country is what caused it.
Someone owes the taxpayers 25 million dollars, and someone owes the American people one hell of an apology.
Yes, Trump is a bully, but he is our bully. Without the bias in the media, if you just look at the facts, you cannot help but see it.
If I were advising him, I would tell him to get a dog and be seen with it. He needs to show the non-bully side of him to the public. I would not mind seeing that dog curled up by the fireplace in the Oval. Even Patton had a dog…
Our first lady is a class act, I would like for her to convince him to show more of what she loves about him, to the people.
This man needs a PR Firm and just possibly they should handle his twitter account.
It is past time for the country to be healed. We need to reject the hatefulness of the left wing media and the Hollywood elite who must be controlled by the same special interests, which have corrupted the process of how we run this country.
Politicians will tell you they must have a divided country to win elections. If everyone were for the same things, which most of us want, what details would we use to choose to make decisions? The two party system is flawed, and by nature, it pits us against one another. Much like the shirts and skins in high school sports, politicians make it life or death games.
The left has taken this to the extreme with corruption at the highest levels of our government, and we the people must take a stand. Either go the way of Venezuela, rejecting what we know to be right, or put on your big boy or girl knickers and tell your representatives that enough is enough.
There must be an investigation of the wrongdoing by the left, and people need to pay for this. Justice requires no modifier, and we the people deserve to see those that have perpetrated this fraud on our system of government, prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law.
I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, Justice for all should be your standard. If Trump were wrong and guilty, I would want him behind bars. Now we know he is not. Justice for the American people is necessary. Those who perpetrated this hoax must be held accountable!
Do you want government employees teaching your children about sex and gender identity?
For those of you who are not aware, the British government is considering the transgender narrative, (her words) force-feeding it down the throats of 4 and 5-year-olds in the UK.
Below you will find my response to her. If you read my blogs or novels this should not be surprising.
I could spend an entire blog gushing about how great you are. Truly, darling, I do think you are magnificent, and I wish you every success in the world.
I wanted to address your stance on the government-teaching children about sexual things, in specific the LGBTQ way of life.
We have a conundrum in our world, and that conundrum is the elephant in the room. We have the internet, which is unfettered in countries, which are post 17th century.
I was involved with technology before Bill Gates purchased DOS for $5K and then licensed it to IBM per copy. I was also around when Steve Jobs was still a criminal, selling blue boxes from his garage. My point to this is; back then, our lives were much simpler. We only had Hollywood to worry about infecting the minds of our citizens. Even journalists back in the day were still journalists.
You would never have known that Walter Cronkite was a liberal, as he just reported the facts. What a novel concept.
Young people with smartphones have more than a window into propaganda. These devices are also a portal into the underbelly of the internet, where women who rail against objectification, pose nude on webcams for money. I use the word pose loosely, as they are actually performing for their “tips.”
As soon as mommy or daddy give the child any sort of device connected to the internet, the infection begins. I could say indoctrination, but it is more like cancer than brainwashing.
While Stalin was correct when he said the most potent weapon in war is the written word, that lesson has been lost on society as a whole. Tearing down statues is only one step away from book burning. History will be lost. History is now mailable, as it is now wiki something or other, and can change with a keystroke. If megalomaniacs like Stalin had the internet, what damage could they have done?
We are finding out as the social media giants are now the megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur. They know better than you or I what is relevant for the world to know and that is where the bulk of the news comes from.
Progressive networks parrot the same talking points, and the kids hear enough of it to nod, listen, and regurgitate the relative disease filled talking points as if they were indeed the gospel. AOC is a perfect example of the brainwashed generation that will soon take the reins of society.
“God Help Us!”
If you have listened to her brainless rhetoric for more than five minutes, you realize what a sad state we are in.
Since the internet is rife with “adult” situations, what are we to do? Children have no clue how to process this information, never mind the LGTBQ ideology. How can they even grasp common decency with the warped world view being cast upon them?
While I agree with you that, the government is probably least qualified to address the issues of sex, one good thing is happening. People are talking about it.
I noticed that the Church of England no longer requires Sunday service. Is this too a sign of the times?
Is church the standard bearer for common decency or are they now irrelevant as they don’t embrace the progressive agenda being foist upon the world?
I am certain my cousin, Winston Churchill is spinning in his grave. I too weep for the UK and worry for the US, as many feel like the UK is a model for what we should be doing.
When journalists are activist, and Actors are militant, we as a society, lose.
Keep ringing the bell my Darling. I too feel like that lone voice in the night, but I hope the silent majority will soon be quiet no more.
It would be fun to write a blog on the men are from mars and women are from Venus book. Different topic…
It is no secret that I am a science fiction writer. If you did not know that, you are not reading things too carefully. I was looking at this old picture of mars.
Here you can see what they are calling the Grand Canyon on Mars.
I would think this is more like the Marianas Trench on mars.
It takes little imagination to see that there were once great oceans covering the red planet.
Was there life on Mars?
Did we come from Mars?
Whether we are descendants of the red planet or not I think it would behoove us to learn where the atmosphere on Mars went and where did the water go.
As I was researching this I found that scientists are finding plastic bags and other forms of trash in the Marianas Trench. Just possible we should go look in the trench or grand canyon on Mars for trash or other signs of a past life…or the water…
Thoughts comments and conjecture on this subject are welcome here.
The revised version of Tipping Point now 92K words is on Amazon and it is a free read on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Jeff Bezos is getting a divorce and his ex-bride needs money…So read my books, and help her out… 🙂
If you like my novels please consider leaving feedback. Once a book receives over 50 (feedbacks) Amazon actually starts to assist authors like myself at that point and suggest it to other purchasers.
Are we looking for something to claim victim hood status over?
What the hell is going on with our world today? Me2 Me2, someone once said I was pretty! Dammit, if you are ugly and someone calls you pretty, just face him or her face to face and tell him or her not to offend you. FFS! Really, is this what we have come to today?
I find it shocking that we are turning into a world full of pussies, and I don’t mean that in a good way.
“This man forced me into sex. He put his thing in my mouth and made me have oral sex with him.” This is from another me2 person going after a politician in Virginia.
I get that there might be overarching forms of bullying going on, but few men, smart men, would put themselves forcibly into a mouth full of sharp teeth! I guess a stupid man might, But he would only do it once.
Until a few days ago, I did not know what that term was. I am not a spring chicken. Yes, I grew up in a time of minstrel shows and such. The last actor I saw portraying a black person was Neil Diamond in Jazz Singer. His friend Franklin Ajay (Bubba) gets him to perform in a black club. Everything is fine until one of the patrons spots his white palms and then all hell breaks loose!
Why, we are left to guess but the fight that ensues lands the band “The Four Brothers” in jail where Laurence Oliver playing Yussel’s father, ask him a question, which is probably the best line in the whole movie… “Isn’t it tough enough being a Jew?”
If you were to ask a black activist (Al Sharpton) about this, they (he) would most certainly spin this as more white hatred of the black people.
I do not deny racism, I am calling into question who the racist is.
In the 1980 movie, when one of the patrons sees his white palms, and calls him out, the writer gives him the line. “That ain’t no brother, that’s a white boy!” Over this observation, the place erupts into violence, even though the performance up to that time was a success.
• Was the writer a racist?
• Were the patrons in that time racist to the point of destroying the club to harm the entertainer?
• Was this scene indicative of the time?
• What period was this supposed to happen in, wait the 80’s…
I have been in Black Clubs in the ’80s as a white person. My company transferred me to Houston to take over as a manager of a department. My black employees invited me for drinks after work one day. They did not tell me it was a black club. I was new to Houston and certainly had no idea that the Palomino was a black club. Folks, I saw none of this. We had a great time, I had many dancing partners that evening, and I cemented many long-term friendships that have lasted through the ages.
Another of my employees at a different company brought me to a gay bar, after work. Same response. At the end of the day, I went home without a date, as I was not looking for one. There was already someone in my life.
Was I a victim?
Some could proffer the argument that they set me up. They knew things that I did not and put me into an uncomfortable situation for their amusement. Much to their chagrin, I was not nervous. I can handle myself, even if things had gotten out of hand. They did not, however; get out of hand as in both clubs people were nice and accepting of me.
They knew I wasn’t black but they did not know if I were straight or gay. Can you not go into a club like this as a “person,” and just enjoy the company of other people, without identifying as straight, white, or black?
In many of my novels, I talk about labels, and how my characters abhor them. I won’t go into details here. We are all the same when it comes to race. We are the “human race.” Our sexual identity is also not that distinct from one another, as we all start our life as a girl. Men have nipples, look it up!
You would be shocked if I told you how offended some men can be when I point out that little fact. Own who you are. Celebrate diversity, and don’t you use it as a way to divide us.
In Tipping Point, I make the argument that we should all strive to look at each other as human beings and not look for that which divides us. This is a common theme in a few of my novels.
Last evening at a writers meeting we got into a conversation about art. I mentioned that one of my instructors was incredibly opinionated. She was very good as an artist. Excellence at what we do tends to breed a certain hubris that I take umbrage with. I don’t care who you are or what you have done, you are no better than I am and I am no better than you are.
This instructor had a certain mindset including which paints you do not use. There are brushes, and so on that, you had best not bring to her class.
Early on, we were asked what got us into painting in the first place.
Without hesitation, I spoke the truth. Bob Ross.
OMG, you would have thought I had just pissed in their Wheaties.
Some of her requirements for the class are that you mix your own colors and, this is right.
Never use paint straight from the tube…blah blah…
This person was rather high strung and had little tolerance for not doing things “her way.”
Why Bob? Why do I still to this day, hold him in high esteem?
In thirty minutes using basic colors and skills, he manages to create beautiful paintings that set the stage for most of us to escape into. We imagine our bare feet on the lush grass, or perhaps swimming in the lake, as we feel the fresh water on our bodies. Just maybe we think of ourselves laying in that field among the happy trees, looking at the “happy clouds” or other things, which could be happy accidents.
Why Bob? Why not Bob. What a gentle soul and kind spirited man. What a great role model for us to all aspire to. The barbs were too much for me, so I searched high and low for “flesh colored” paint. I also found a two-inch brush, to top it off, ordered a shirt with Bob Ross on the front. The bully of the art world had met her match!
When you are painting portraits as she was teaching us to do, there is indeed, only one way to get it right and flesh colored paint is not it. That is why I had to search to find it. I wanted to make a point, graciously.
As I sat there with my two-inch brush and a dab of flesh colored paint on my pallet, we were instantly in a standoff. She knew that I was taking her to task. “Your opinion is just that, an opinion!”
“Don’t mock those that you don’t agree with.”
Had Bob not made it appear so easy, I might never have purchased the stuff to give it a go. My portraits sell all over the world, and I have her to thank for that, but in truth,…Bob is who inspired me.
• Why did I tell this story of my art career?
• Does it fit into being a victim?
• How does it fit?
Last night when I was telling this story, one of my comrades took me to task. It would seem that referencing flesh colored paint was racist. “WTF? Are you kidding me? It says flesh on the tube, is Windsor Newton now a racist?” What is going on for this person to make such a ludicrous assertion?
Are you looking for ways to be a victim?
I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I dislike ignorance and those that act on it. My comrade had no clue what I was talking about. Had I been less sure of myself, I might have taken offense to that assertion, or worse, questioned my own stance on racism.
They assumed that flesh was “white flesh,” but in truth, it is a “base” with which you can add yellow ochre, burnt umber or pick your color, and make it any kind of “flesh” you choose.
Titanium white, yellow ochre, and alizarin crimson are also the beginnings of the base for flesh.
Do you believe everyone should be pure of heart and thought? Just possibly nobody should talk, or speak, write, text or communicate in any way so we don’t offend someone. Wait, if I don’t say hello when seeing you; is that communicating with you nonverbally. Is that not a way of telling you that you are so insignificant to me that I am not going to waste my breath to say hello? No, it says that I am so afraid of offending you, that by my acknowledging you that, you might find something offensive. FFS is that where we are.
I walked past a man leaving the bank the other day who gave me an eye roll, as we passed. What did that mean? Should I be offended? Was I not worth the time to at least say hello to? Did he not like white people? He was black, that must be it, he is racist, and that is why he rolled his eyes and did not say hello to me. I should write a column for the New York Times about how all black men hate white people because this one person rolled his eyes at me, instead of saying hello. I am a victim! His eye roll was offensive to me! How dare he not acknowledge me as his equal!
“Is this where we are?”
He was holding his phone and had an earbud in his ear. Is it possible he was talking with someone on his phone or listening to voicemail, and he eye rolled at what he was hearing?
I leave you with this thought….
Look for things we have in common instead of things that divide us. Start with the fact that we are the entire human race. The color of our skin, or sexual preference, is not something to divide us. Start out with respect for your fellow human traveler on this road of life, and the rest will be much easier.
“I just about hate to say this, and yes I am stealing the line from Pollyanna. Look for the good, and you will find it, look for the bad, and you will surely find that too.”
I could choose to ignore the phone, and the earbud, and think that person was anti-white, and use it to build a precept that all black men hate white people or….I could give him the benefit of the doubt.
Great minds discuss ideas. Those focused on petty things; discuss people and ways to be offended.
Rise above the fray, and lead by example.
BTW, my art instructor and I are the best of friends and have been so since I stood my ground and forced her to examine her own life. Bob, Kincaid, and others serve a purpose and they are no less relevant than Renoir, Picasso, or De Vince. While they would argue the fact that I put their names in the same sentence, neigh the same paper as Renoir; I would argue that Renoir never inspired me to go and purchase paints.
Much Love -TW
Unless you know that person in the mirror the winds of life are carrying you.
I should be editing Tipping Point but, I am taking a break for a bit. There are reasons, which I will share. As writers, we need to step away from it. There are those who will toss a completed work into a drawer for a month or a year…. No, I am not one of those.
When I am not active on my blog, I am either working the day job, writing, editing or marketing. I have told you repeatedly if you follow me here and you are a writer I will make it worth your time.
Here is the message for tonight that if you take to heart, you will be much better off not only in your writing or other creative endeavors but as a person.
“Wow TW, that seems kind of heavy. Are you smoking something? You in Colorado? Got extra?”
Tonight I want to talk about you.
Sitting through a critique session, I am so tickled with some folks who are giving a writer their best shot at an opinion.
“I did not like this. That was cool. I like that.”
If you were a writer, and that is the feedback you received, would it be helpful?
No, not so much. Why?
That is not a rhetorical question, it is a real question. Why?
As creatives, we are our own class of people in the first place. I like creative people as most of them are intellectuals. That means they think. They have more going on under the hood. They are not usually the “Hold my beer and watch this.” Kind of person.
“I would challenge you to take this a step further. Take your wife or husband or BFF and go spend a day at the art museum. Most of them have benches where you can sit and admire the artwork. Many art students will go sit and sketch the artwork as an exercise.”
“I don’t want you to sketch it; I want you to analyze it.”
“You don’t have to be an art major to appreciate art.”
Walk the floor and find something that speaks to you negatively or positively. When you see that something, stop, sit and study it. “(SSS) stop, sit, and study.”
This is what you are looking for. “Why!”
You are worthless to a writer if you cannot articulate your feelings to them. If you are not in touch with you who are, then your opinion is meaningless to not only the writer or author, but it is not much value to you either. “Joe six-pack, this applies to you too. Why do I like this beer and not that one?”
I write about enlightenment, even in my naughty books, to set the stage for my readers to begin to know themselves. When you get into the habit of asking yourself, why you liked something or did not like it soon that will be a habit, which will serve you well. That person who is looking at you from the mirror will be better able to deal with life if he or she knows themselves.
“I preached this to a young man over thirty years ago. This person is now worth more than a million dollars and is happy. He is happy because he knows who he is, and what he wants out of life and he knows why.”
“He was already wealthy blah blah…” No, he was in prison doing five to ten for armed robbery.
I worked in advertising for years. When I first started, I was one that would FF through the commercials. I soon found myself watching them with more fervor than the program. Why did this one work, or that one didn’t?
There is this annoying commercial on currently that is for GMC trucks. They have this tailgate, which unfolds and has a step for geriatric cowboys I guess. The thing starts out with the truck on the hill and from miles around people are carrying tailgates from their competitors. That part of the commercial is forgettable. The genius of the ad is the earworm. “Na na na na.. hay hay goodbye..”
A commercial must be memorable. Not only should you know the polar bears are drinking a soda, but you must remember that it is Coke.
When you can analyze a commercial and tell me why it works, you might have value as someone who can read a book, and offer constructive criticism worth listening to.
“I liked it, is worthless.” Tell me why and be specific!
We know that adverbs are the path to hell. I read them in books regularly. Your average reader does not have any idea that eliminating them makes the text more readable.
When agents look at your books as you query them, they can tell if they can sell you to an editor.
Once you understand why you like or dislike something, you not only gain value as a writer but also as a person. You now have a little more depth than the veneer on your desk. Blunt, you say? Yes, it is. Following me, you know that I am unfiltered and honest.
Tipping Point in its current iteration will not be up there much longer. The novella will soon be replaced with an 86K word book that you will most certainly love. It is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read it before and then the after. I think you will be shocked.
A couple of updates here. The previous version of Tipping point is gone. If you really want to see it let me know and I might find a way to get it to you.
The second update is about marketing. I was watching a Trump rally the other night to see what the kerfluffle is about. When a heckler did something to stop the president from speaking the crowd broke out in “na na na na na na hey hey goodbye.”
Think about that GM! While you are laying off thousands of your employees your marketing firm is working for you.
Hello and welcome to the lair of TW. Yes, it is a lair…Why do you ask?
From this point on the planet, I can love whom I love. I don’t hate but I kill with exemption from the laws of the land. From my little den, I can blow up worlds, or create them. Reprimanding bad boys or girls is a pastime with which I take great delight in doing.
The target of chastisement is as naughty or as nice as I choose to be at that moment.
Writers live in our own little world and that is a good thing. When you walk into my dungeon, you can see the clean shiny plasticized beds with chains and cuffs ready to restrain you. When you see the whips crops and other things on the walls your bottom has a tinge of pain that travels through your body to that sexual organ that sits atop your shoulders. The brain is the most powerful sexual organ of them all, and most are clueless. They must be taught.
As writers, we can take you there. On your kindle or nook, you escape the doldrums of your nine-to-five world. You and others, join me. The journeys are as real as you want them to be. While it is just you and me lying in your bed, you search the crevasses of my mind looking for some love that you are missing. Maybe it is an adventure you seek. There on those pages, we take flight to lands unknown to humanity.
Have you been naughty? We can take care of that too. Through Tiffany in that reform school, we can modify your behavior, in the safety of your own world. Password protecting your E-reader is a great idea if you don’t want intruders in our world.
Maybe, just maybe you are tired of the politics of this realm and are ready to leave it. Don leaves this world while on the ISS orbiting it. Can you imagine what he must have been thinking as the Starduster sucked the ISS into one of its smaller cargo bays?
If that were you would anal probing cross your mind? Would you be like “oh hell no, where is the gun?”
Maybe you would be, I can handle this…
Don learns much about himself and humanity in Saga of the Starduster, which is still my best seller.
I have over 32 novels selling around the globe. Some more than others. If you are following me on this blog, you know Tipping Point is going through a re-write.
Here is the skinny on that novel.
One Friday afternoon I am flying back from the west coast. The sun is at our tail, and there on the ground are many wind turbines churning away.
The idea of “free” energy hit me. That evening with a glass of merlot, Tipping Point was born and published complete with cover art.
I gave it away on Kindle Unlimited to entertain you who follow me.
Joining yet another writers group, they bludgeoned me over those ten thousand words. One even chastised me telling me “publish nothing without having it…” you get the picture.
With my novels selling around the globe I took what she said about half seriously. This work was never meant to be literary genius. I wrote it in three hours for Pete Sakes. I wanted to start the conversation about climate change, and what man is doing to the earth with these changes. That is why I gave it away.
One thing that sprang forth that got my attention is that many fell in love with Sam.
“I love Sam too.”
Sam deserves better than ten thousand words.
“I took that to heart.”
On my computer is a novel sitting at 86K words that is the new version of Tipping Point.
Instead of three hours of Merlot writing, I have about three hundred hours in it to date. The good news is that if you already bought or read for free the 10 K word version, this will be free to you. I will leave it on Kindle unlimited too. This is a boon for Jeff Bezos and not me but here is the deal I did not realize until speaking with an agent.
If you publish on Amazon, you keep the rights to your work. Agents are trolling Amazon looking for new authors.
The plan is to give this away for next to nothing, allowing Jeff to come up with more money for his divorce.
You the readers can either purchase it for $3 or read for free on Kindle Unlimited. If an agent finds this, it won’t last long. My beta readers love it…
Now you can climb aboard Air Force One, with Sam and the President. Take a world tour on the taxpayer’s dime while keeping up with their awkward love story. You too can meet the Queen and experience pomp and circumstance. As you also fall in love with the characters, see if you can follow with her scientific logic on her diagnosis.
Since this is a “give away price,” I would love feedback.
Here is the deal… What is published is before I went cray-cray on it. It is a fast read with errors and fun things that are no longer in this version. The new version has a dusting of fifty shades in it.
Wait, how can I worry about the world slowing down, and now I am spanking someone???
Yes my pets, yes indeed, my trusty hand is once again looking for a bottom to warm up, through the literary process. Will it be yours? Have you been naughty?
Follow along so you will know when your carriage to my lair is here.
Hello fellow bloggers, writers, and readers of blogs. Today I want to once again, address the art of analyzing someone’s work.
As an artist working with one of America’s most exceptional talents in the industry, I learned that my ego must not get into the way of my desire to learn the craft. Transitioning from Bob Ross style paintings to portraits is a huge transition. This transition from painter to artist requires humbling, character evaluation, and yes, practice.
As artistic folks, we often skip over or try to jump over those first two. In short, we let ourselves get in the way of our end goal. You have no doubt heard the phrase “you are your own worst enemy.”
We walk before we run, and we crawl before we walk. I write about enlightenment in many of my novels, even the somewhat naughty ones. Why? There is truth to it.
Too many times, I meet folks who are drawn to a group to be a writer, without a clue of how to string a noun and verb together in the same sentence. They read Harry Potter, and think they can do it too!
Maybe they can, and I would never tell them not to try. I would suggest that they look at the trail blazed before them by some of the greats and, even the not so greats. How did they do it?
In our world of writing, we seldom have people who will objectively read our work and give it a fair hearing. Objectivity with another writer is difficult for some reasons.
Did we like the Genre?
Do we like their style?
Are we a writer, and do we compare them to us?
What is our level of education?
What is theirs?
Do we like the person?
There are many factors that we could weave into this, but the truth of it is, that writing is subjective. Your family might tell you “it was nice dear.” They might say to you, straight up that it sucked, because they are jealous. Maybe it does suck.
Always ask why.
Here we run into the first problem. Ok, someone read it, and they offered you feedback. Was what they said motivated by any of the bullet points above? Who knows?
I was reading a how-to book by a famous author and found a typo. The voice inside my head said, “Ahaaa, I got you now Black Bart, you are flawed!” * Immediately I scolded myself as that is the part of me that I try so hard to kill. Why would I find gratification in an error made by “this person of notoriety?” This book went through countless edits and publishers how could they make this mistake.
Nobody is perfect.
My short novel Tipping Point came back to me with red ink and grammar errors and stuff.
Some of these errors were because I wrote it and I knew the story so I assume like many of us do that so will the reader. “That is what we are looking for in critique groups.”
You wrote it, so you are too close to it to judge it on its own merits. Your fellow writers or critique partners, while they might be biased by some of the bullet points above, they might also have some valid concerns. This is where you as the writer must; I repeat must put that ego in the barn.
Allow them to feel good about finding the dangling participle. Who cares? You submitted it for critique because you are humbling yourself to your peers. That takes guts! It takes courage! It is a step to growth, not only as a writer but a human. Allowing others to assist you also is a step for them.
You who follow me here can play along if you like.
I gave the group Tipping Point a work I did two years ago which started as a ten thousand word short story. My goal was to write stories that people could read at lunch. It has since morphed into 14K words, and from tonight’s session, I am told it should be a novel.
If you are a writer, there will be value to you, as I will share all of the critiques on the blog once the project is finished.
Of course, in the comments, you can read what people say too. If you are inclined to learn along with me, please feel free to do so.
In the comments section, you can offer your feedback on the project as it goes. With each iteration, I will upload it to Kindle Unlimited, and you can follow up there.
When you as a reader offer a critique of something, I am not interested in grammar, punctuation or dangling participles. (At this time.)
Did the story flow well for you?
Could you identify with the characters?
What did you like about the story and why?
What did you not like about the story and why?
Were the transitions easy to follow, and if not why not?
If you were the writer, what would you change to make it better?
After the story is put together, we can worry about the rest of the details like punctuation.
One of the people who read it said it pissed her off! This truly made me happy.
Can you think of why having one of my characters piss someone off would make me happy?
Yes, one of our goals as writers is to pull emotions out of you as the reader. I want you to laugh, cry, get angry and get happy throughout my stories. As a writer, I intend to grow learning from what works and what does not.
We are the sum total of our successes and failures. If you sit there and never try, it is a life wasted.
I have over 30 novels selling well around the world. Some of them I know sell for their subject matter alone. Some of them sell because of my style. Few leave feedback.
With this group and others like it, I intend to not only elevate my potential as a writer but as many of you that care to share the journey with me, through this blog and of course my website and novels.
As time permits, I will read your works and offer feedback, so there is that back scratching thing we can do.
If you indeed have found this, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog.
Yes, this is feedback.
As a writer the more information you can provide us, the better we are equipped to target our audience. I love the new reporting tool.
It would be interesting if not paramount to me to know which countries are purchasing which books.
I see that many novels sold are in the UK, but I have no idea, which titles.
As a novelist of many different genres, I need to know who my audience is, so I know whom to target with what ads.
For the rest of you writers out there, marketing is the largest part of the battle of making money from your books. I know you thought it was just telling a good story with as few grammatical errors as possible, but that is not the case.
From the cover art to the marketing, it is all-important. There are many steps or hoops as I call them, which you must hop through if you intend to be a novelist that only writes and does not have to work a day job.
In future blogs, I intend to assist other writers in this area as we are all in the same boat. While a few authors think that this is some sort of grand competition, I assure you it is not. I spend much of my time assisting other authors and do my very best to get them published if that is their goal.
Hints tips and kinks would be most helpful and I will publish them here if you care to share.
With recent incursions at the Gatwick airport, you would think someone would have come up with a way to stop this from happening.
Years ago when drones were a roll-your-own project, I became very interested not in building one, although I could see that as a fun afternoon in the park. I also see them for practical uses, much as the government might use them now to inspect something from a low altitude, like, the border.
While I have written about this in previous blogs, on this site, I think the time for action is now. Truth told it is long past time.
I have invented the technology to stop these Drones dead in their tracks. This technology could and should be deployed around all government buildings, and airports. It should indeed be implemented at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Why am I not up there with Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk, basking in the glow of success from a gated community, watching the little people from the top of my ivory tower, you might ask.
Currently, the laws protect the owners of the drones.
If your daughter or wife is sunbathing in your private backyard, and some neighbor takes it upon his or herself to spy on them with their drone, you cannot legally take action. Even with the water hose, it is you, which will go to court with them being the litigant.
“You can call the police, but they will just laugh at you.”
At the very least, you will be on the hook for a new drone for the perpetrator, and you could be in trouble with the FAA.
Could taking down some kids drone over your backyard get you on a no-fly list?
While I have invented the technology to shut them down, I have not created it for this purpose. Using off the shelf components, these devices could be ready for deployment in no time.
Fighting the government is probably a multimillion-dollar task, as the law changes would have to go through layers of Congress before anything might even be looked at; much less acted upon. These drones would need to be used in much more nefarious activities before Congress would take it up on their agenda for 2025, as they are too busy investigating Russia, Trump, Collusion, and Russia again, and of course not keeping our country safe from terrorists, as they do not want borders.
Now, here is an option I had not thought of until now. What would the process look like for the UK or other US allies that are not so stuffy? Would they like this technology? It is a defensive technology not offensive.
The idea being, put it into service somewhere, harden it or “acid test” it and then all of the sudden our congress who is so far behind the eight ball might say, why don’t we have that? They still have to argue about keeping the country safe. Common sense solutions are all about, how much money is in this for me! Once in Congress “my opinion here” they only care about their bank accounts.
What about you Australia, do you have Drone issues down under?
BB, can you use this technology in Israel?
If you are not investigating Trump, and Russia, and take your government seriously, can you get something like this through your “process?”
Can we afford a lawyer to make sure my invention does not get me locked into a small cell, with a man identifying as a woman, named Bubba?
Can an individual provide technology to our allies? Another government question that some old act like the Logan Act, might be called on, to stop someone like myself from helping the people.
Who could cut through the red tape the fastest, and would appreciate a solution to the problem?
A quick Google search on this topic is “Oh Hell Yes, you need a lawyer as our congress is involved in that aspect too.” Yes feckless is the word of the day! The rub is “technology that could be used as a weapon.” Ummm, a fingernail file can be weaponized.”
Trust me; it is only a matter of time before a drone is used for more than smuggling contraband across the border, or into Jails.
If you need a solution and can cut through the government BS, here I am. Contact me,and I will happily work with you to build these devices and put them up for sale, not only to the government, or private businesses such as Apple, Google, GE, HP and others who don’t want prying eyes looking down on them but citizens. Those with children, and backyard sanctuaries, for their use, who want some privacy should be able to defend their property.
Yes, this is an excellent opportunity for the Shark Tank folks. Mark Cuban, are you still involved in this. I have no idea, I do not watch TV. Any venture capitalists out there with pull-on Ave K?
That is the quickest solution. Do not bother Congress. Crawl in bed with Apple, or GE. And it will be done tomorrow!
Why those two, I know they have folks on Ave K. Even old Bill Gates does, or how about Raytheon. This might be right up their alley. What lawmaker can be bought? Wait, all of them.
My other option is to put the plans here on my blog, and just let people build their own, and run them without government approval. When the pimple-faced brat comes to get his or her drone, you hand him one that the Dog found and used as a chew toy. Of course, you lie to the kid, and tell him you have no idea why it fell into your pool, and oh by the way, why was it over my backyard Dennis the Menace?
I would, of course, use the common disclaimer that this kit is for educational purposes only and any infraction of the laws is on you.
I am not advocating for civil disobedience. Oh, wait, maybe I am. When the laws work against the innocent, it is time to dawn a yellow vest, or god forbid a pink pussy hat! Why let the paid activist have all the fun?
The problem is not the technology, which is easy. The problem is the government!
It is sad when the laws work against the victim, but currently, they do. The victim is you, the one spied on by the snot nosed kid down the street.
While you liberal types are droning on about gun control, you should seriously be taking up this topic. Why? Your jobs are to defend the American People against all threats, domestic and foreign. You currently are doing a terrible job, in case nobody has informed you. Go ahead; take a poll. I will wait.
Type your response slowly so I can understand it….
Technology, as it evolves, needs to be monitored closely. Laws that protect the people need to be as dynamic as those technological changes. We have seen the drone in just the last couple of years become much more pervasive and dangerous.
Our technology in our homes opens us up to cyber-attack. Where is the consumer protection agency?
Why do we learn about this stuff after bad things happen? We need a department of technology, that works with the Consumer protection agency. These folks need some metric to quantify that they are not just warming some chair for some six-figure salary.
While technology can be a good thing, it can also be a very bad thing in the wrong hands. This is why we need to think seriously about weapons of mass destruction, in the hands of any dictator. We need to understand all that is about technology, which goes into our homes. Internet-connected technology is a must, in this area. The consumer protection agency like UL used to do, should be checking these devices before they are sold into the US.
As a writer of over 32 novels and counting, I have not had the benefit of a critique partner, or group.
Grammarly and other artificial intelligence can only take you so far in the creative process. Typos and other grammatical errors are inconsequential if your story sucks.
The problems are many, but mainly we writers are a solitary bunch. Many days, if it were not for my business, I would speak with no one. My characters and stories become my life, as I am confident, do many of yours. We sit here in solitary with the keyboard making its little clicking sounds as, “our music.” That is ok to me, and probably many of you too.
“Is it really ok?”
First, we must recognize that we are social creatures and are meant to be that way to keep from being maladjusted in this world of other social beings. Some of us live out in the country, and I envy you!
If you are reading this, you have the internet. With that tool, you no longer need to be an island all on your own. We, you and I share a bond, the many do not share. We share the passion for creating things with our minds. We create realms, and people, and are very much like God him or herself. Yes, I did it; I assigned God a position in life by anthropomorphizing God as a being, like us.
With this internet and access to this blog and others like you, we, you and I can share stories or ideas. You and I can, in fact, offer constructive criticism on your WIP.
When starting, your ego might be fragile, and it is ok to ask your partner to go a little easy. I have stated in previous blogs, for the person offering the criticism to look for the good stuff and mention it, before you deliver the crushing reality of what they are doing wrong, “in your opinion.”
Allow me to emphasize that opinion part.
I sent a story out to my critique group which is comprised of all types of people. The nerd among them who I respect, and care about, tore the story apart as the science in his “opinion” sucked. The story was a romance based around weak science much like the flux capacitor. The science was, in fact, a focal point only to build the story.
In most romances, the characters are the focal point and the “event” is the supporting trope.
The others in the group loved the story.
As you think of your audience, you should also consider what they tell you from their viewpoint. As my mother used to say, “Consider the source.”
We will be talking much more about this in the future, as I very much like to pay it forward, to other writers out there. “Yes, that means you!”
Along with this subject, I will be spending much more time writing about all aspects of writing. Why?
As I learn, one of the best ways to cementing that knowledge is to “teach” it. Why not teach you, my followers, if that sort of thing is of value to you.
As we move into the holiday season, many of you will have some time, and I pray that you use it to spend with family and friends. We writers need to divest ourselves of the computer every now and then and live. I know what I am asking because I would much rather spend time with my characters and you, then family. Truthful I know, but it is what it is.
What can you do?
If you are not already a follower of me here, do that.
Offer some opinions on my writing here, if nothing else.
The novel I let the group read is Tipping Point, and it is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read it and give me some feedback before I re-write it.
Currently, I am teaching myself more about Dialogue, and I will be sharing what I learn with you here, as again, I am a firm believer in paying it forward. Dialogue is the most essential part of your fiction, and if you blow it, you are wasting your time.
If you have a subject that interests you, let us know here in the comments.
Share this with your friends and followers as we strive to perfect our craft.
“You don’t want them to edit your grammar; you want their first impression!”
Hello fellow bloggers, I have been busy and remiss from my blogging activities through NaNoWriMo.
I was successful with my endeavors for those of you who follow me on Twitter, or who have e-mailed me regarding my project.
I finished my 32cnd complete novel, all during November. That includes editing, creating the cover art all while learning a new OS (MAC) and a new software (Vellum). I still take the time to market my novels.
Over the years I have not put much effort into obtaining an agent as the time to do it is too costly. Four hours for each query letter is a huge commitment for the ROI.
As a writer, I started throwing things at the wall to see what stuck. Yes, that is a metaphor for testing the waters, while learning my craft.
Critique groups are helpful if you can find them. Failing that, feedback from your readers will have to do.
Giving stories away on Kindle Unlimited, or BookBub, is a gamble; and here is why.
If you value your work so little as to give it away, why should I take the time to read it? Further, if you give it away, and I read it, why should I spend my time to tell you why I liked or did not like it?
I market to other authors and writers like many of you, who are reading this right now. You understand how valuable feedback is, and maybe you will take the time to offer comment, at the very least on this blog posting.
Failing that, we write a “spiffy” novel, we design the cover art, and we do all of the things one must do to sell a book. We are learning our craft.
Finding someone to read your novel, and offer sincere feedback is imperative to shortcut the path that I have chosen.
My path has been this:
Discover what is selling.
Who is the author?
What is the genre?
Are they known or indie?
Buy their book and read it carefully.
Disassemble their work as if it were a clock, which you have to put back together. (cannot lose the pieces.)
Apply your style, and construct a novel that is in the genre that is selling most.
Market your novel through social media, word of mouth and so forth.
With 32 novels out there, spanning the spectrum of naughty to nice, what is it about that book which garners the most sales.
My first feedback on that novel “on Amazon” was one star, with a horrible poison pen review.
Having written the novel and reading the review, it was apparent that the person never read it. Someone who is most certainly an author in this genre took it upon himself or herself to flame the novel as a way to knock it out of the running.
If you read the novel, and then his or her review, anyone with any sense can see this is a crap review.
Investigating the pseudonym person who did this, looking at the other critiques, it is obvious they were on a mission to destroy the competition. That is sad and unnecessary.
Authors, we are not competing with one another. Your voice is different from mine. The stories have all been told before; your unique voice is the difference between what you write and what I write.
Resisting the urge to confront said anonymous flamethrower, I pressed on, figuring even a bad review is better than no reviews.
The next person who reviewed it gave it five stars. They gave an abbreviated synopsis of what they liked about the story. It was easy to see that this person read it.
It might appear that I had someone do that last review. I promise you I did not. I do not know either of those people. My moral compass is such that I would never cheat, period, end of story. I would also never post a poison pen review like the one this person did.
Bribing friends to read your work, always works, however, friends and family may not be objective as they like you, and do not want to hurt your feelings.
Recently I was assisting a fellow writer in this capacity and OMG! I had nightmares about telling her how badly she needed to re-think the concept of what she was writing.
“I get it.”
Our novels are our babies.
I have three, which are my babies, which I am going to have to kill.
Is the concept off?
Is the writing terrible?
Have I not marketed them properly?
Why are they not selling?
Resist the urge to take on negative nellies.
When you are asking for critiques from people, make sure that they are the correct audience for your novel.
Do not ask a technical nerd to read your romance, and expect anything but “yuck!”
Do not ask a purveyor of Hallmark or Harlequin literature, to read your sci-fi and expect anything but a cure for insomnia for them.
When analyzing their “baby,” look for what they did well, before you pull out the red pen. Human nature is to be brutal with another person’s writing, as we have this whole pride thing going on.
Objective critiquing skills are developed over time, and not just innate to anyone. Those that read the most are probably best suited for giving you their gut first impression on your work.
“You don’t want them to edit your grammar; you want their first impression!”
I truly do look for ways to pay it forward when I am writing and working with other authors both locally and through social media, and email.
Time is valuable to me, writing this blog is one way that I am giving of myself to those of you who take the time to consider what I have to say on the matter.
When you are critiquing for someone, make notes as you go. When you are talking to them about it, start with a positive.
“What did you like first?”
If you start with a positive, they will be receptive to what you have to say to them. Once you start with “Holy shit, what were you on when you wrote this!” You have just wasted their time, as they stopped listening to you, and you squandered your time, and you might even damage a friendship in the process.
If they are doing so for you, and they start with WTF! Take a deep breath, and practice being humble.
Humility is my personal foible. There are many reasons why, and I know this about me. When this occurs, I must swallow the negative, and try to take what they are saying with self-effacement. I can choose to ignore them, which is human nature, or I can use this as a growing experience for me as a person.
In my Nudists novels, I write about Enlightenment as a subplot. Yes, they are tawdry novels but there is meat in them for those of you who like steamy stories, but also want to think and maybe improve yourself.
It is my genuine desire that you derive something of value from my tweets, and blog postings, as they do take time, and are not just tossed together for clicks.
The same is true of my novels. Even the naughtiest story has a purpose. My latest book “Tiffany Discovers Reform School” Conjures up all kinds of wicked thoughts about girls in reform school. That is by design and is indeed a subplot in the book.
Those of you who read it will discover that the novel is much more than that. This novel will be the beginning of the Tiffany series as I plan to create a female sleuth, who ends up working mysteries with the FBI.
Yes, there is steamy stuff in them as I am working to capture an audience that likes to think while they read. Arcing the story and the characters while practicing my craft is what I enjoy doing.
If you have ever pondered the meaning of life and not the Monty Python version, you will undoubtedly glean something from this blog post.
It is my genuine belief that we are here for more than procreating and pooping. While that conversation is well out of the scope of this blog post, you can glean some of my philosophy from my “Hole in Time Series.” I will be taking them off the market shortly. I want to concatenate them all into one novel after I polish them a little.
“Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Make smelling the roses one of your tasks.”
As a writer, I do not think that I could write a plot, which is as licentious as we see playing out before our eyes. One would need to be willfully blind or complicit, to agree with the amount of malevolence we are witnessing in DC.
Since Trump’s election, we have seen the Deep State come to life, to obstruct in any way that they can, his ability to do the job of President. We have seen his own DOJ fight against him from the day he became a candidate, to current day.
The left is losing their grip on your pocketbooks, so they have deployed a hard-core bunch of propagandist, to smear everything that this administration is trying to do.
The latest attack on Kavanagh is sadistic, barbaric and just flat out insane.
When you watch the news, you cannot overlook the most hideous bunch of yapping heads, spewing out garbage to those that hate trump. They feed on the hate and anger, and those in the mainstream media know just how to give them what they need.
Playing to the emotions of the half that voted Democratic, their job is to paint the Republicans as bad, evil people who will eat your children and screw your daughters if you give them half the chance.
The facts do not bear out this BS but, damn the facts, they just need to continue to sow the seeds of doubt and stir up the liberal base to put their evil hides back in power.
Is that what you want?
Do you want to pay more taxes?
Do you want the jobs to go back overseas?
Do you want to go back to building foreign countries up, while sucking the lifeblood out of this one?
Do you not see what you are voting for, is another Venezuela?
How blind must you be, to not see through the lies of the media?
Even the most jaded person out there must see this Hail Mary attempt to slow down the judge’s confirmation, by any means possible as crap.
Folks, if they can destroy a man by a mere allegation, they can do it to anyone, including you.
Tomorrow we might see some more emotional nonsense, including some crying but in the end, I would watch her checkbook. Soros is spending Millions to defeat Kavanagh. Why is Soros interfering with the confirmation of a supreme court Justice?
The world is upside down right now, and the left is pushing that, as the new normal. It is not!
Firstly, a person is innocent until proven guilty. When you besmirch a man who has already been through six (6) FBI investigations which gave him the ultimate clearance up to and including the nuclear launch codes, it is now insanity or desperation. I suspect that any of these recent allegations, released days before his confirmation hearing are bogus, and a trick to delay his hearing until the Democrats retake the house after the mid-terms.
In my mind, they are weasels and should be ashamed of themselves. We the American people are the victims, as we have to foot the bill for this tomfoolery. We have suffered through two years of a Russian Collusion probe, which has proven nothing, as there is nothing to prove.
The goal is to cheat the American people from the desired outcome of having a conservative in the Supreme Court. They cannot do it through legal, moral channels so they are cheating.
Here is the real question that I would like for you all to consider.
If we believe that Judges are to use the US Constitution as the basis for their opinions on legal matters, what difference does their party affiliation make? This is my rub with the current system. Frequently, the Supreme Court is divided on party lines. How is that? Does each side use a different version of the constitution on which to base his or her opinions?
If they are all using the same Constitution, they should all come up with the same conclusion. It would be like ten people going out of the same building, looking up at a clear blue sky, and then reporting on what they saw. Our current bench of Judiciaries could not even all agree that it was a clear blue sky.
How many of them would enter into their opinion that “due to global warming the sky was not as blue as it could have been. Perhaps they might write the sky was more cerulean blue than phalo blue.
One might even write that the sky was devoid of clouds, rather than saying it was blue.
What we see on the news before us makes me fear what tomorrow will bring. If the Democrats retake the house, it will be by sheer prevarications. I am sure that if a politician tells you something that you do not want to hear, that they might be more honest than those that tell you everything that you do want to hear.
The left’s tactic is to buy votes by taking money from the middle class. They then use the different judges to get their ways, as they cannot win in a true public court. The rest of the world is screwed up by greedy people like this, and now they want to tear apart the greatest country on earth, for their own personal gains or….they have someone else pulling their strings.
My novel Presidential Assassins is selling well. I might have to write a sequel to it. The news today is rife with fodder for a sequel. I could include rape chains, witnessed by adults that never spoke of it for 35 years. Now we have a presidential want to be, a young Perry Mason finds some desperate woman to create a work of fiction, which would stir the emotions of many real victims, of the Me 2 movement.
We cannot win on the facts, so we win in the court of public opinion or emotions.
The Judge is certainly innocent of the claims, but the Democrats need to buy time. They need to buy time and make the Republicans appear as bad as they possibly can.
For the left to turn the laws of this country around by calling an innocent man a profligate, to further their agenda is absurd. For the mainstream media to aid and abed the deep state, erodes our constitution, and shows the world just how stupid or greedy that some Americans are.
I have noticed that several of the liberal media, allow their guest to espouse the necessary propaganda while they sit back and just ask the right questions, to make the point. They do this because polls show that they are losing credibility. “You think?”
I feel for the judge’s family having to go through this.
There are many things that you can fix with Duct Tape; stupidity is not one of them.
Check out my novels. Let me know what you think of Presidential Assassins.
As a science fiction writer, I tend to think outside the box. Sometimes, the ideas become so esoteric that I have to fall back, and re-think them.
As I read about the Parker Solar Probe, I just wonder if there is a way to run one more experiment.
The purpose of the experiment is to determine if, “Time close to the sun,” is the same as we experience on earth.
For eons, science fiction writers have gotten it wrong. Thinking about the time machine, for instance, we see the walls build, and crumble, around our intrepid time traveler, as he goes forward and backward in time.
The authors of such novels did not take time-space, and celestial mechanics, into consideration when they wrote their novels. Who can blame them? The ideas are obscure, and few would try to truly understand what is going on.
If our time machine did more than twirl a huge disk and had some lights blink, we would see that in order for it to travel in time it, would necessarily jump outside of the time-space that the earth is in.
Said another way, it would become separated from the earth and this solar system. Therefore, what would that look like and why?
It is my contention as a science fiction writer, and nerd, that this solar system is in its own time zone. That time zone is created by mass, and how that mass actually warps space around it.
The idea came to me when there was an anomaly with one of the Voyagers. As it went further into deep space, outside of the effects of the Heliopause, they said it was slowing. NASA reported that it was slowing down. Is it, or is it simply in a new time zone where time is perceived differently?
It is my contention that it is the latter, which means time, and light years, and so on, are not as we perceive them at all.
If our time machine left the Earth’s Space-time, celestial mechanics would move the earth in several different directions at once. Not only is the earth rotating on its axis but also it is orbiting the sun on the X-axis. The solar system, carried along by the Milky Way, is moving both on its X, and Y,-axis, simultaneously.
Once our friend pulled the magic lever, he might pass through the earth, or find himself in space.
As I write about this in Under Roswell, or The Saga of the Starduster, time, as we understand it is not correct.
Not many years ago, there were reports by airport personnel, including air traffic controllers, and pilots of a UFO hovering over the O’Hare airport. Like a shot, it suddenly went vertical, “faster than a speeding bullet.” Leaving holes in the clouds, on its departure.
We know from our understanding of space travel, and so forth, that the G-force would have made the occupants look worse than any bug, on any windshield. Because we “know” that to be true, we dismissed it, as it could not have happened.
Because of our understanding of physics, using the Abacas and slide rules, that we have. We could not make sense of it; the incident was passed off, as “swamp gas, or a hoax.”
Even though there were several that saw it, all saying the same thing, it did not happen.
Well, my feeble brained friends, and those of you who are not so feeble, what if those in that disc-shaped object, pushed their magic lever, and found themselves outside of our space-time?
If you accept that not all of the UFO sightings are hoaxes, then we must look for other answers.
If they are not hoaxes, how did they get here?
“In Under Roswell, I write about a Point in Time modulator, which of course is something I made up, as a plot device. Unlike the infamous Flux Capacitor, I try to dig into the science, of how this could happen, without using the proverbial slide rule.
What I would love NASA to do, is devise some test, that they could perform with this sun probe, to see if the time-space around the sun is different from what it is here on earth.
I am assuming that there will be telemetry from the device. That data stream may change in baud rate or frequency, as it gets closer to the sun.
Most will want to blame the heat from the sun, but just possibly, someone will think about shifting their algorithm to match that of the data stream, to see that there might indeed be a time change.
If correct, the way that we perceive time and distance would change. The distance to the stars would necessarily change.
What is the time zone like in the void between galaxies, where there is no mass to create warpage of the space-time?
I find it rather fascinating that our Democratic friends have mainly brought the American Government to a halt for 2 years, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $25 million and ignore the apparent collusion in front of their eyes.
Foreign nationals are and will influence the outcome of the election if we don’t have voter ID laws. There is not one argument that is valid to ignore this one simple truth. To argue against it is a blatant attempt to cheat.
If grandma does not have a picture id by now, she is probably too apathetic to vote anyway. It is, in fact, a stupid argument that only stupid people make.
The Democrats are throwing out red herrings of what they plan to run on. Don’t be fooled.
They, in fact, are not going to run on their usual talking points as few are that naïve to believe them. Yes, there are some that will, but the bulk of thinking people know that the Democrats win by lying and cheating. They, in fact, use the courts instead of the political process to get their way. “All is fair in love and war and politics.”
That is their motto, and I dare say that some on the Republican side of the aisle feel the exact same way. They are all cut from the same cloth, so it is not a stretch to believe that.
The old axiom, if their mouth is moving they are lying, is truer today than ever before.
The skirmish between the left and right will not be fought on a level playing field. With the Left wing news organizations pumping out over 95% of negative spin on the president, their goal is to build up animus, (hate) toward Trump.
Those who vote in the mid-terms will not be voting for the Democrats because of what they say they are running on but, they will be voting against Trump.
No matter who the GOP person is, the Democrats strategy is already hard at work with propaganda on Social media. There are more Meme’s making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook and so forth linking Trump and the Deplorable’ s to Nazi’s and other white supremacy hardliners that quite frankly represent a tiny part of the human population on earth, much less in this country.
If you want to manipulate someone into action, you do so through emotions. Democrats cannot win in a logical, civil debate. They can only succeed if they sow the seeds of bigotry, hate, and malfeasance and place the blame on Trump and those that vote for him.
Sadly many Americans have already taken up the mantle of anger. They want to be mad. They are ready to carry the Nazi Tiki torches and march on anyone who professes to be a Trump supporter.
Racism is the last card. It is a cheap and dirty trick, but the politicians have no level of debasement that they will not stoop to.
If their treachery started world war three, they would crawl back into their holes until the smoke cleared. Only then would the cowards crawl back out to see if the shirts or skins won the war.
They call it Hyperbole thinking that all Americans know it is just a game. That too is a lie. Americans watch the “journalists” on TV and take them at their word. Just plain scary how people believe what they hear on TV, or read on the internet in a meme.
The Democrats will not run on taking your tax cuts back, although they will if they get in power.
The Democrats will not run on Impeaching Trump, although they will if they get in power.
The Democrats will not run on open borders, although they want to get rid of ICE. Ice is making it hard for Drugs to get in, as well as the new Democratic voting base..
Why do you suppose Jerry Brown wants California as a sanctuary state? He needs the votes.
They might run on immigration using the poor little children that their parents sent off with child sex traffickers to the states but, they dare not run on issues which the GOP can easily defend.
They cannot run on the economy unless of course, they could do something at the last minute do cause it to crash.
I would tell you not to be fooled by the meme’s on Social media but too often when you see some horrific scene you act before you Snopes.
The memes are propaganda made up by the Democrats, or even China or Russia.
It is conceivable that Mexico or even Canada could be creating them as Trump is tough on all of them. They all need some pacifist in the white house. They desire someone who will look out for them rather than the interests of the American people. They need someone who would be afraid to question the motives of Putin or any of the other world leaders. In short, they don’t need or want Trump, they need someone who they can buy, or who is spinless!
If it seems outrageous, it most probably is propaganda created by the enemies of the right and indeed the detractors of Trump.
No, the Democrats will run on all emotional issues, and tell you that Trump is the villain. If you watch any of CNN, MSNBS or ABC or NBC or CBS they are all in the tank for the Democrats.
“Why?” “Follow the money!”
To the many of you who purchased Presidential Assassins, I have some excellent News!
Amazon put out a tool to assist authors such as myself. I have imported Presidential Assassins into this tool and am in the process of “polishing “ the book.
The tool and subsequent editing have not only enabled me to make the novel read and flow better but, I have found and corrected a few typos. Watch the link and or tweets, and I will tell you when it is available.
If this works as I suspect, I might have to go back and re-edit and polish all of my 31 novels.
Again, stay tuned to this blog, tweets and so forth as I will be updating you as I go along.
Try not to get sucked into the lies on social media. Your friends and family who are easily triggered will probably not want to hear that they are being lied to. They may, in fact, tell you to rave on cat shit, someone will cover you up.
The truth of the matter is, if they cannot deal with your argument logically, then they have already purchased the lie and will vote for communism as it is the right thing to do, they were told.
Please note that I am an independent. I vote character over anything else.
In case you slept through school the first amendment is your right to free speech. While I may not agree with the things that you have to say, I will defend your right to say them. That is what this country is all about unlike others.
Increasingly our rights are under attack by those that wish to chip away at our freedoms.
In my novel Under Roswell, I speculate that the government and big tech is spying on people. I make veiled references to listening post and other high tech algorithms which sort through our daily lives and look for specific keywords or phrases.
Presidential Assassins which was just released I take that much further and talk about all the different ways that we are spied on in a very Orwellian fashion. I do this while telling you an exciting story of crime and passion along with a lot of action.
Today we learn that large tech companies use algorithms to systematically move search results up or down in their rankings depending on who is paying for what. They also track your every movement so they can target you with ads. Let’s say you were in a department store. The competition is not far from there, and they are paying for targeted advertisements. When you open up your social media, you will see ads from the other store.
So far that is relatively innocuous. In fact, it is capitalism, although it is creepy.
Now let’s take that a step further.
What if we are close to an election season?
Campaigns are already high tech but, these large companies already know more about you than you do. They can funnel negative news stories about your candidate and positive stories about theirs to your phone. They are already doing it.
If today you google idiot and chose images most of them will be of Donald Trump. If you can sit there with a straight face and think that is not biased, you are fooling yourself. When companies can influence elections that is too much power in the hands of those that are unelected.
Ninety-two percent of Americans already get their news from the likes of social media. The big tech giants are in the tank for left-leaning, and by left I mean communist level, left-leaning candidates. Millennials are already leaning towards Bernie Sanders, a Socialist because he waves the free stuff banner in their faces and portrays those things like a right and not a privilege.
The middle class is shrinking and under attack by the alt left as they bring in more socialist agendas. Sooner or later the entire country will look like London or California. If they continue unabated, the country will eventually look like Venezuela.
Had the people of Venezuela been smart enough to understand history they would have known much like in the Weimar Republic, Hyperinflation is the last death knoll of a country before it must be reset. When a country is reset, everyone, but the leaders lose.
The tech giants, Main Stream Media and even Hollywood elites are pushing for that because of their blind hatred for Donald Trump. They are all the hyper-elite and will survive. Everyone else will be working for pennies an hour when it is over while becoming slaves of the rich.
If you don’t believe me go research communism for yourself. Research Stalin who said that the sharpest weapon is the printed word.
What he meant is the media is the most useful tool to push forward lies and other propaganda to rip a country apart and finish the destruction of a people and their way of life to reset it to something more authoritarian much like Hitler, Mau, Stalin, and too many others to mention. Each of these “gentleman” saw to the death of millions of people in different and perfectly horrible ways.
Hitler’s crimes in comparison are child’s play compared to Mau’s and Stalin’s.
Not only is your first amendment and second amendment under attack but if the alt left has their way that whole document you know as the constitution will be tossed aside for something more equitable, for the elites.
Much like China today, your rights to think anything different than what you are told will be impinged upon.
Those cute little phones and other gadgets that we have grown to love are spying on you. Tracking your every movement and soon enough listening to your every word.
If you read my novel, Presidential Assassins, you will see how I bring some of these theories to fruition in my latest thriller.
Thanks for the follows and of course the purchases as Presidential Assassins flies off the virtual shelf!
Hate is a poison that you take in hopes that it will affect someone else! Don’t be there useful idiots.
If there are no places around you where you could walk like God intended, let me tell you about such a place that most likely is around you if you are in a large city.
Here in Dallas, we have King Spa and Spa Castle. Semipublic nudity is mandatory. Let me explain that.
When you walk into the place you put a credit card on file with them. In return, they give you a waterproof RFID doohickey that you wear as a bracelet. This doohickey is linked to you while you are there. Everything that you want is charged to that thing and eventually your card.
You can be barefoot but they will rent you some shower shoes for a lack of a better description. They lead you back to the wet area where you are to disrobe and put your purse, clothing and so forth in a locker assigned to you. From there you are nude among people of the same sex.
Not sure what this will do to the transgender crowd just yet.
You are now supposed to take a shower washing everything head to toe.
At this point, you saunter, wander or just walk proudly to some hot tub with jets and so on and relax. If you came with your husband he is doing the same thing among a bunch of men.
Again what if a female thinks that she is a man, where does she go?
In this area, you can schedule a body scrub which is worth it but keep in mind they exfoliate everything. After that, you can get a massage and unlike the typical massages where they make sure you are draped, this is not the case.
If you decide to take advantage of the co-ed areas they provide a uniform for your use. In that same locker is a very generic uniform that you put on and from there you can rejoin your mate.
There are wet areas for co-ed use but you will need to have brought a bathing suit for this endeavor which can go on under the uniform.
After a few minutes in the wet area, the anxiety of being nude passes rather quickly. The culture of our Korean friends sees nothing wrong with nudity.
I as a writer, author, and someone who lives life; see nothing wrong with it either.
The only time when it is awkward is if you are the only one that is nude such as being in the doctor’s office where you are no longer a human but a living cadaver. I fire doctors who treat me like that as I am a human and refuse to be treated like a piece of meat or symptom.
Working in the Texas Medical Center for years I saw many surgeries, trauma cases, and autopsies. I mention this because it is there that we lose our humanity. Once the autopsy is performed it is their job to put most of the pieces back inside the body, and sew it up much like the laces on a football. One person described it as much like your turkey you pull the organs out of the chest before you cook it. Here, after they definitively determine the cause of death they slice and dice almost every part of you other than your shell.
When I saw a brain in a meat slicer, much like you see at the deli, I could never go to the deli again. To date, I still don’t shop at the deli. Even though a man’s testicles are irrelevant to his cause of death, a woman once bragged to me how quickly she could castrate a man and measure his testicles with something called an orchidometer.
She then proceeded to demonstrate her skill.
It takes a special kind of person to do this work. As an engineer, I was constantly confronted with the dead or in some cases dying.
I will never ever forget when I was working at the morgue on fine day. There was some sort of rush of dead bodies needing to get out of the morgue to their respective funeral homes. A number of “people” were sewing them up in a large room. The administrator was there watching them while eating a plum. As she bit into it, the juices of the plumb ran down her face and she did not even try to stop them. Just when I figured that was sick enough I turned to see a guy sewing this woman’s scalp back on using her breasts to hold his bag of corn nuts up, to keep them from spilling.
As I writer I must confess, I could not make this ghoulish nightmare up.
Why, why am I telling you about this?
When you go to the hospital your clothes come off whether you like it or not. If you die you are nude under a sheet until your body is just a shell, with anything that was you has been dissected ten ways from Sunday.
These people that do this job, I don’t understand them. They took absolute delight in making me ill, every time I went there.
In Houston, they have or had something called the VIP room. Buddy, let me tell you that room was anything but VIP.
If you like horror movies (heaven help you) this place made any movie you ever saw a walk in the park. Texas Chain Saw Massacre my first horror flick was sesame street compared to this.
It is not until you smell death, especially in that room do you fully appreciate how precious life is. I have no idea why those folks enjoyed making me sick. I finally was forced to leave that job, as I was traumatized and was not even aware of it.
It hit me that was the case one day when I was eating at some diner. The waitress brought me my food and she had catchup on her elbow. The flashback of the “jumper” that I had seen a week before came back, and I lost my stomach right there in that place. Imagine how that felt.
I am sure that the people who constantly used their jobs as a weapon, would have taken delight in that fact.
The dreams sometimes are still so vivid, that I wake in a cold sweat.
PTSD, yes, I understand it, and those bastards at that place did it intentionally.
Nudity; it is nothing. Without many exceptions, we are all built the same. Some of us are a different body type. Some are muscular and others their muscles are well hidden.
Live your life for this day and this time. You never know when you will wake up and something will not feel right. Or, you won’t wake up at all.
Watching the news I see so many who are either paid protestors or who are really angry and they are killing themselves. Stress kills and anger is bad medicine. You might as well smoke and do drugs as they will kill you just as quickly as staying angry all the time.
I tell you the truth, my friends. If you are one of those wrapped up in the hate just look at the actual facts and don’t listen to the media. They are orchestrating a coordinated attack on the president through spreading the same scripted stories to all their news outlets across the country. The goal is to divide us on race, sex, and pit the haves against the have-nots. They will tell you it is the Republicans fault even though the GDP is the highest it has been in years, unemployment is at 3.9% which is great. Black unemployment is at its lowest in the recorded history of this country. Somehow the media is going to spin their pack of lies making all of these positives into negatives.
They are killing you!
Hate is a poison that you take in hopes that it will affect someone else! Don’t be there useful idiots.
Hate and anger release cortisol which ages you and causes your blood pressure to go up and could cause you to have a stroke. Is it worth it?
Turn off the telly and read my latest novel Presidential Assassins. A thriller that you will not want to put down.
“When you lay down with the dogs, you wake up with fleas.”
Ok, I had to laugh when I saw the tweet from President Trump. I purposefully did not even turn on the news all day as I don’t really care to hear 24 hours of nonstop Trump hate. This person who he is disappointed with is not a nice person. She is, in fact, a deceitful liar.
If you watched her on the Apprentice, you know this to be true.
I question why The President brought her into the White House in the first place knowing that she was not of good moral character. My gut instinct is that he was trying to give her a hand up, and she bit him.
Now she is calling him a racist which, is just not the case. If you want to paint someone as an awful person you call them a racist. It is an easy card to play because you cannot prove it or disprove it. I personally feel that those who call others racist are most probably the real racist. I have seen this in my personal life, time after time.
Do you remember your childhood…”It takes one to know one.” ?
Yeah, that is what it feels like we have devolved to. The third or second grade and I can’t wait for someone to yell, “I am telling!”
It is, in fact, childish nonsense, and we as a country are sinking to a level of tribalism which is not a good place to be. Yes, the media is showing us the way of being the never-ceasing Evil TOM TOM, pointing us in the direction of self-destruction.
Of all the presidents we have had, this may very well be the most Black Friendly president we have ever had. Forget what the media is telling us, just look at the facts.
Lowest Black unemployment in the history of this country under this president. Think about that statement for a minute. The lowest black and minority unemployment numbers in the entire history of this country! That is incredible!
If you are racists, you don’t give a person of color a hand up, and you damn sure don’t promote their needs over white people. This president is. And they call him a racist as they don’t want the black folks to vote Republican. It is working as many black athletes are conflating Trump’s desire for patriotism to racism. Why are they doing that? Because CNN and MSNBC are telling them that is the case. They are lying.
While I wish this president would not go there with his vernacular, he is, in fact, a street fighter at heart. You hit him, you get hit back twice as hard. Trump has been very consistent in this character trait. You can count on not coming out on top if you mess with this man.
While the media is out to destroy him, sooner or later the truth will come out, and while half the country will deny it, even with the facts in front of them, those that support him will be vindicated.
Omarosa will make a bunch of money selling her book, as the media is out to listen to anyone that has some dirt “made up or not” on Trump.
If you want your fifteen minutes, say something salacious about Trump that cannot be proved or disproven and you might very well have CNN or MSNBC there with a camera and reporter.
I am reminded of the frog and the scorpion.
The scorpion needed to get from one side of the pond to the other. He asked the frog for a ride. The frog being of good moral character agrees and takes the scorpion on as a passenger. Halfway across the pond, the scorpion sticks his stinger deep into the back of the frog. “Why did you do that, now we both will die,” The frog asked? “I had to, it is my nature.”
Be mindful of the scorpions you help in life. Leopards cannot change their spots.
My latest novel, Presidential Assassins is doing very well. If you are one of the readers thanks so much!
I look forward to some feedback and email.
It is always exciting to release a new novel for consumption. What do people think, what did they like, etc…
I am already hard at work on #32 This novel is for my female readers out there, as it is a tear jerker so far. As I write it, I have to stop as my eyes get moist to the point I cannot see the damned screen.
Truthfully I have some men who read some of my romance novels, and they tell me that they do. Listen I love it that so many of you read my novels, and I am thankful for that.
During the last few months, I wrote Presidential Assassins. The editing of it and so forth took time, but it is quite good.
The quite good is a quote from some of my beta readers and some initial feedback.
One of my readers told me that my book reads a lot like some movie that is being advertised currently. I have not seen the leads for it, but it is about a shadow government and assassins.
My novels are selling well, and people are giving me good feedback thus far. Someone was telling me that if you write a book where the hero is a kick-ass woman nobody will buy it. FFS! Did they happen to see the movie Wonder Woman?
I don’t like misogynist at all. Women can indeed be badass assassins, just as good as Tom Cruise.
This novel is aching for another volume. Waiting to see if enough readers demand it. I hope that they do. I already have some ideas of where I would take it.
If you take the time to read it, let me know what you think.
Before I get an agent, you can acquire my novels very inexpensively. Why? An agent has a team of people who they assign your book to. Some editors fix the participles and antecedents and split infinitives. They look for grammar punctuation and of course inconsistencies in the story.
Now they do other things as well, they look for parts of your story that need punching up or deleting.
I liken this part of the process to what my art instructor did to me on several occasions.
I would paint this exquisite painting that I loved and then she would come by and tear it apart. One time she took a rag full of turpenoid, (odorless turpentine) and wiped the canvass clean. Well, it was a gray mess. I was gobsmacked! I was happy with mediocrity, and she knew I could do better. Painfully she was right, I could, and did.
Agent’s, if they take you on as a client can push you to the next level. Now I know that my books even though they are selling around the world with the right agent, they could be a lot better.
Query letters and begging for representation is not my thing. Query letters take a minimum of four hours to produce. In four hours I can write at least one chapter, and maybe two.
My time is worth something to me. I need an ROI and “if you never hear from us consider it a pass.” Does not get it!
These books will make some agent a ton of money and right now that money is going to Amazon and Smashwords who push them out to the big e-tailers like Barns and Nobles.
Of course, Smashwords and Amazon don’t do anything for their 30 odd percent. By anything they don’t advertise them, they don’t edit them or create the cover art. They don’t even read them and tell you what might need to be fixed. They host them on a site, and the rest is up to you.
I recently plugged myself into to a writers guild with hopes of making connections and getting others to critic my work. Stay tuned in here, as I will be blogging about it.
If you follow me, you know that I am about paying it forward. If I can assist any of you in your endeavors through what I am learning, you can count on me doing so.
Thanks again for the follows, retweets and indeed if you are one of my customers, you rock!
People are buying these books all over the globe, and it is heartwarming! I appreciate it, I genuinely do.
I want to give a quick shout out to the newest followers of this blog. Yes, it is a lot of work, but I feel that you are worth it.
People from all over the globe are represented here, and that is what I hoped for.
We all may not agree on everything, and our cultural differences might be seen as roadblocks, but I disagree with that assumption.
There is a common denominator with each and every one of us and once we establish that, we can progress forward with some dialogue.
Yes, this blog is a way to communicate with the readers of my novels, and that too is part of the process as we artist and writers are starving for a reason. We are passionate about what we do, and we will sacrifice much, to bring our projects to fruition.
This blog and meeting you is not a sacrifice, however, and it is one of the few paybacks I as an author obtain because I get to know you as well through your comments and your blogs.
Thanks for the recent follows and if you are a long time reader, thanks so much for hanging in there!
There are some exciting things happening in the future so follow me on twitter and of course here on the blog.
There is an old axiom that says, so you sow, so shall you reap.
As you sow, so shall you reap, and As a man sows, so shall he reap. Proverbs.
Things will happen to you good or bad, according to how you behave.
Your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind.
Let’s forget for the moment that we first heard this in the bible. I stand by my question “can hate to kill you?”
The answer is an unequivocal yes.
There is this philosophy that what you put out into the world will come back to you. If you are benevolent and kind and charitable that will come back to you.
I heard a preacher once who lived in pretty austere conditions by choice. His way of living was to lead by example, and he would say things like if me living like this and doing what I do affords others to live in mansions, then I have fulfilled my destiny.
Who among us would say that and mean it?
Who among us would give up what comfort our toils have brought us, to make someone else’s life better? Giving to charity is one thing, giving it all to where you are living in squalor, is another.
We don’t have any scientific evidence that there is anything after death. We cannot prove that there is a heaven or hell. Christians and Jews have to take it on faith. I cannot speak for other religions as I have not studied them. With over 4000 different denominations of Christianity, we have enough to sort out among ourselves.
You have no doubt heard people say that they are sending positive thoughts your way or good vibes.
I have seen people who were just miserable. They were Debbie Downer, or it was as if a black cloud was always over them. If it were not for bad luck, they would have no luck at all. If negative things are what they focus on guess what, that is what they will get in return.
Call it Karma or vibes or the teachings of Jesus. Lousy mojo will get you bad mojo in return.
We cannot explain this scientifically, we just know that it happens.
Pollyanna if you remember her, or that book, she was like the eternal optimist. What she said made sense.
If you look for the bad in life, you will find it.
If you seek the negative in people you will not be disappointed, you will find it.
If you want to be mad and angry and full of hatred, you will be.
If we take the converse of that, would it work?
If you looked for the good in folks, do you think you would find it?
If you woke up tomorrow and said, I am not going to be angry any longer, how would that work?
This is not an easy thing to do as the world is telling you to hate.
The media is selling hate and giving you dozens of reasons to hate.
The media is killing us!
The war between Trump and the media is having unintended consequences as we can no longer have a civil discourse if we are on opposite sides of the fence. To be fair, late-night comedians and Hollywood are doing their parts to keep us all hating everything.
When you or I am angry, our bodies produce something called cortisol. I have written about this before, but it bears repeating. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and the more often you have it, the shorter your life will be. The media is perpetuating this hate. They want you and I angry!
When we are angry we will not think objectively, in fact, we are very prone to action when we are emotional.
Don’t believe me watch a conservative news person try to interview someone on the left. There will be fireworks as there is no objectivity. A woman rammed her car into a man’s car who had a Trump sticker on his. Assault with a deadly weapon, just because he supported Trump.
Trump should probably stop tweeting so much as he triggers so many so quickly. The media takes every tweet and dissects it making something from it that he did not mean.
The first thing we must do to dismantle this, and realize that we are being played. Forget the press for just a few moments and look at the state of this country as a whole.
American leadership abroad is much stronger, we are respected again.
Our economy is as strong as it has been in some time.
The stock market is crazy good.
America is first on the world stage.
Over 3 million jobs have been created.
304,000 manufacturing jobs have been created.
337,000 construction jobs created.
Unemployment down to 3.8 %
6 million job openings currently
Historic tax cuts which have given most Americans more take-home
Unnecessary regulations rolled back allowing businesses to grow.
Dodd-Frank has been eased back on.
We are getting more free and fair trade with other countries
I could go on and on, but the point is the MSM is not reporting any of this. Why…they want us pissed off.
I have some friends on Facebook who are leftist. One said some things about Trump which were hateful and untrue. I did not argue with them. I just sent them the tweet in question and the argument was over. They took some facts from some news agency about one of his tweets and called for his impeachment for being stupid. Once he saw the actual tweet, he backed off.
I am no sycophant for Trump. I look at the facts, and they are out there if you want to see them.
The alternative is to stay mad and angry, and fall lock step into the crazy agenda put forth by those who want to destroy this country just to blame it on our President. How foolish is that if you think about it?
He is our president. If you are an American, he is your president. This is your country. Don’t you think it would be a good idea to want him to succeed?
The Russian conspiracy is going to fall apart if Republicans can hold the house and senate. The truth about what went on in our government needs to come out and be dealt with so no president in the future on either side can be manipulated by a corrupt DOJ.
There is one set of laws in this country, and they need to apply to all of us equally. Currently, that is not the case, and it needs to be fixed.
If you want to live long and prosper, keep in mind that controlling your mood is paramount. Seek that which makes you happy. What makes you laugh! Spend time with those that you love and for God’s sake turn off the telly!
Stalin accurately said that the sharpest weapon in any war was print. Back then they only had the press, and he who controlled the press controlled the people. Today we have 24X7 news and only one station that is not in lockstep with the rest of them.
If you are angry, unplug. Don’t let this shorten your life. We should be able to have a civil conversation about anything. I don’t care if we are on polar opposite positions on the issue, you and I should be able to sit down and converse about whatever the problem is.
Today, sadly that is not the case with many who I know personally.
The media, not Trump, the media has driven a wedge between us. How sad is that?
What they are doing is effectively shortening the lives of millions of people as many are so triggered that they cannot see straight. This is how wars are started, but unlike the civil war of yesteryear, we will not know who is who as we don’t exactly wear a sign saying who we voted for.
I vote for the character of the person, not the party. Usually, it is a choice between the lesser of the two evils which is sad. Just once wouldn’t you like to be excited for who you vote for?
Try this experiment, do your best to only have positive thoughts. Think about family and friends and how much you love them. Turn off the news and if someone comes to you and starts bitching, hold up your hand. Nope, not going to ruin my day, get behind me Satan!
If you toss a rock into a pond the displaced water will eventually have some effect on the shoreline. What we cast out into the world will have an impact on the world. Even if you live by yourself and never leave the house if you are always in a state of misery that is what you will continue to be.
You can change your destiny, but first, you must know how. That answer starts and stops with you.
What do you want in life?
If you want to be happy start by letting go of the anger and realize that much of it is contrived as a way to manipulate the masses.
If cable news has your life filled with hate and despair, cut the cable. Save some money and have more time to spend outside of your home, away from screens.
Taking the dog for a walk is far more gratifying than listening to talking heads whose sole job is to tell you what to think and how to feel.
Cast some good vibes out, and good vibes will come back to you.
Thanks so much for following me here and on Twitter. If you are one of the folks who has read my novels, thank you so much! They are selling nicely around the world, so I guess my take on life through my characters is making a difference.