The Death of eBay

 

After people bid on items and then backed out after winning got me to asking why.

eBay enjoys success for two main reasons.  One, much like Amazon, the service makes it easy for people to shop.  Within moments of a simple search with the ‘buy it now’ filter enabled, people can find what they are looking for, and it is already sorted with the lowest prices first.

After a quick look at their ratings and possibly the shipping time, a few clicks later, the item is purchased, and you are done.

This might be what saves them from demise.

Q. Why do you think they would die?

eBay started with the premise of an auction.  This is not an auction for new items, but old.

‘Old,’ as in items that have been around for a very long time and usually passed through the hands of several owners, possibly for generations.

These auctions allow people to part with ‘treasures’ that were once treasures of someone else.  ‘Treasures’ are emotional purchases.   Allow me to explain or, as Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, ‘You got some Splaining to do.’

My grandparents had this cheesy clock on their mantel that had a faux fireplace in it.  That clock intrigued me as a child.  I was told that they would ‘will it to me.’

As a five-year-old at the time, I had no idea what that meant, I just remember that at some time in my life it would be mine.  Well, it never happened.  Sad, I know, but there on eBay you can find that same clock, which is ‘very old’ now in different states of disrepair.

My only reason for thinking about spending money on it would be as a reminder of my grandparents every time I saw it.  Those types of purchases take you back to sometime in your life that hopefully was pleasant.   I am assuming that one would not purchase or own something that brought them back to a horrible time in their life.

eBay recently succumbed to the taxing authority, where Sales taxes are now assessed on all purchases.  If I sell an item for $100 and then out of state shipping is $30, and…now they collect a tax on it, the person buying it is looking at $140.  Rounded.  This happened, and the person backed out of the deal when they saw the final price tag.  Can you blame them?

eBay is about getting a good deal, not spending tons of money on taxes and shipping.

Working this in reverse eBay takes a percentage of the sale price the seller gets less than the $100, has to have an item that is worth more than the $100 and go through the trouble of listing, packaging and managing the transaction.

The taxing authority is the beneficiary of your work or your purchase, and I am sure eBay cut a deal with them to go through the trouble of collecting and remitting the tax, so eBay makes more money from the purchase.

My sales on eBay have all but stopped because of this and I would imagine that others who sell on eBay as a hobby or business have seen the same types of changes.

Here is what I think needs to happen.

Once an item is no longer ‘new,’ they should not be allowed to charge sales tax on it again and again and again.  That is absolute bullshit!

I would encourage you ebayers and, for that matter, antique mall shoppers and sellers to write your congressmen a letter objecting to this practice.

The problem with taxes is they only go up; they never go the other way.  States and other taxing agencies will tell you how much your tax dollars help, but in truth, they just rob the taxpayers of funds.  Municipalities, much like you and I, need to budget their dollars like you and I do.

The more they make, the more bloated and inefficient they become.  Taxes choke businesses, and in the end, it is you and I that pay the price.

While eBay resembles Amazon more and more, I suspect that soon you will find other auction sites or people figuring out ways to market their ‘treasures’ not using eBay.

We the people need to push back, and it is past time.

Re-press this post or forward it if you are like me and happen to enjoy shopping for Trinkets and Treasures.  Yes, that is going to be a business name for such artifacts.

If you know of such places, please let me and others know.  The system only seems to work for the government.  The way they waste your money, they do not deserve it.  Some things should not be taxed, and I happen to think old tchotchkes should be exempt from further taxation.

My proposal will be this; you collect sales tax if you offer new items where you have in quantity, which is indicative that it might be a business.  If, on the other hand, it is an actual auction, there should be no taxes.  That is also true of flea markets, antique malls, and yes tailgate sales where like-minded people gather to swap stories, tell jokes, and yes, trade junk.   We need to get some common sense back in our government, and it starts with you the people telling them enough is enough.

Folks, they work for you, we are not a serf class. Push back or be plowed under.

Much Love -TW

The Last Strad, a Tease.

 

It’s very late or very early, depending upon your perspective of things.  Insomnia is either my friend or my enemy, much like time itself.

Little Cat feet came to mind as I made my way from the bed to the window where everything glows from the ambient light, scattered by the small droplets of water.

It is not unlike me at 3 am to put the kettle on, and sit outside, and watch as the world sleeps.

My mind reels with the events of the previous day and this time l reflect on the last week.  I am troubled by the loss of life, and how much consternation that must cause to the survivors of those family members.  Italy is in my mind; my heritage in part is from a little town very close to where the famous violin maker created his works of art.

She came to the states when she was 16.  Through digging in Ancestry, we know the name of the ship that carried her to our shores.  My Italian blood runs deep, as does my English blood.

Care to guess what she brought with her?  Somewhere in a climate control vault lives a 1721 original Stradivarius.  The chain of custody was from her (his mother) to my grandfather, to my mother, to me.

One of the tuning pegs has disintegrated.  I was looking into purchasing to luthier tools, to repair it when I noticed the label.  Could it be a copy?  Who knows, even the experts are not sure.  Owners of Strads do not want it to be one, as that would lessen the value of theirs.

Still, it would be nice to have it repaired.  Can you imagine learning to play on a Strad?  Yes, I play musical instruments, and I think I would pick it up reasonably quickly but not to the level of those on stage.  Muscle memory is required, much like most musical instruments and typing for that matter.

I think about what her journey must have been like.  A square mast sailing vessel that depended upon the winds to move it along.  Long before the Titanic set forth on its one way trip to Davy Jones Locker, there were the real sailors.  No, I was not dissing those that work on ships today.  Think about what that would have been like being tossed about by the wind and waves.  Those old ships creaked and groaned and leaked.

The ships not only brought people and things, but they brought rats and disease.  History is rife with stories of such things that we in modern times are all too willing ‘forget.’

I stepped outside as the steam from my tea made little wispy curls those water droplets joined the trillions of others before me.  Iridescent colors only faintly color the otherwise gray surroundings flashing lights catch my attention.

What will this day bring?

How many more have stopped breathing?

When will it become too much for the healthcare system to handle people who are in need?

How long did it take Italy to get to the point of administering last rights, instead of putting people on the life-saving devices that are in short supply?  Today we were ordered to ‘shelter in place.’

What does that mean exactly?

I was forced to run a ‘mercy mission’ today, well Sunday, as there are people I know that needed TP and food.  Taking from my supply will extend their need to get out to ‘shop.’

A week without eating out has been rougher than I thought.  With the options dwindling, the desire for fast food has crept into my brain.  Now it is I who must find the mystical TP.  Not today or tomorrow but soon.

Monday, I will take the time to get my characters busy again.  So many of them are nestled in the pages of over 30 of my novels on Amazon and Smash words and, of course, many other places.

It is time to set them free and stop bemoaning my predicament.  This is just a speedbump on the journey of life.  Tap the breaks and move on.  It is bigger than I am.

As for the Strad, I am going to write a novel called ‘The Last Strad.’

I go and visit it on occasion.  It seems to be haunted.  It is almost as if I can hear it playing some melody from long ago.

 

Much Love -TW

Orwell or Conspiracy?

As a writer of all things fiction, I cannot help but notice the news articles slowly creeping out from different agencies.

Today we learned that the FCC had been investigating wireless carriers for selling data acquired from its users to third parties.  The data just happened to be your location.  Where you went and when you went.

Google was already busted for this.  Even with the phone in airplane mode, it still captured your every movement. Also, if you climbed stairs or your elevation from getting into and out of a car.

Smart speakers, TV’s and anything connected to the internet could indeed be a spy for the Chinese.

Alexa, Apple, and Google smart devices could very easily be listening to your every word.  Even that smart remote could be collecting data for someone.

Information is power.  Who benefits most from knowledge?  That depends on the information gathered.  It is not surprising to me as a writer that I find advertisements for things I just happen to be talking with someone about on the phone. Coincidence?

I had installed security cameras in my home as I travel.  One day I happen to notice the camera was not focused on what it was supposed to be but rather a door to the bathroom that I very often leave open.  I have since changed companies and cameras.

The American government has grounded Chinese drones used in different services.  Wonder why?

While all of this might make excellent fodder for novels like my novel Presidential Assassins the truth of it is, we are probably being spied on.

Do you have a right to privacy?

The laptops, desktops all in one computer’s phones and Alexa units with a screen, have built-in cameras and microphones.  Is your image on some server somewhere?

Unless you want to live like Fred Flintstone, using pre-historic birds to deliver your mail, just possibly we need to give up on privacy.

From the porn scanners at the airports to the cameras on every light pole that you see, someone somewhere is watching.  With all of these smart devices, someone or something is listening as well.

Your purse or wallet is littered with RFID tracking devices built into your credit cards.  As you pass by specific scanners, it would not surprise me in the least for them to be collecting data on which cards you have with you.

Toll tags not only make an easy way for you to pay for roads that your tax dollars might have contributed to, but they also give us that traffic data on the map which can be used for good or for evil.

Who controls the puppet masters?

Those government agencies that are responsible for oversight of entities like this seem just as flawed as the DMV totally bereft of any loyalty of who they work for and who pays them.

As the progressive left lobbies for free this and that I cringe thinking about what it would be like for those that run the post office and the DMV to be in charge of my health, my security, and so on.  We saw it with Veterans hospital and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

As the allure of free everything, causes you to think that maybe an old white guy who lies for a living has all the answers, think again.  The art of winning the political game is to lie to the masses in an obscure convincing way while blaming the other side for your poor decisions.

History is rife with examples.  Millions upon millions die when people like that get into power.

Vote for you who like, just remember, you can vote your way into socialism but, you will need to fight your way out. That will be with real bullets, not sticks and stones.  If you are disarmed, prepare to have numbers tattooed on your arms and learn to eat insects for food.

Giving up rights for promised security is foolish, and the stuff of novels much like mine.  Read history before that too is expunged from the records of life.  Unless you know what has been, you will repeat it.

Megalomaniacs live in DC and in other ivory towers around the globe.  That ass wipes that know better than you have armed guards. They will toss you and yours to the dregs of humanity as those are their useful idiots.

My novel Presidential Assassins is worth the read.

Check it out and leave me feedback.  As always, I love to hear from you.

Cheers from the wintry south!  Tomorrow night 28, the next day, ‘summer.’  Stay tuned!

Much Love -TW

Nude In The Woods!

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 lewd 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.

Much Love -TW

Feedback.  How should you use it?

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!

Sound familiar?

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?

Much love peeps.  -TW

Know the Rules, and Break Them!

Make it your story.

As writers, we are ever cognizant of the rules.

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.

Comments?  I love to hear from you as always.

Much Love -TW

 

Newest Release Coming Soon!

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?

Schadenfreude

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.

www.authortwscott.com   contact page

@authortwscott

@twscott823

TTFN

-TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are you?

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.

Much Love–TW

 

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.

-TW

How did I miss that?

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.

Currently, Tipping Point is on Kindle Unlimited so you prime folks can read it free.  In your Kindle app, you can make notes and so on.

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.

Follow me on Twitter @authortwscott.com

www.authortwscott.com

Of course, follow me on this blog…

The more the merrier, tell a friend!

Much Love -TW

Is your inbox anything you could share with your mother?

We live in an exciting world. When we can hide behind pseudonyms, it makes it easy to say things that you would not speak to someone in person, hopefully.
Here are a few answers to some e-mails that I get.

“What is wrong with “dick?” Don’t you lesbians use dildoes anyway?”

Hmmm, how do you respond to someone like that? Oh, wait…Who said I was a lesbian? Who said I wasn’t? I abhor labels, and if you read any of my novels, you would see that. As far as phalluses, who would want a moron like yourself on top of them?

If you truly understood the difference in the sexes, you would not make such statements.

I mentioned that I get a lot of dick pics in the e-mail inbox, and that is the intelligent response I get.

My interests in people are not what they look like, or what plumbing they have. I like intelligent, thoughtful, insightful people who may or may not agree with me but, they must respect my right to say what I wish, as I do theirs. Many of my friends and I don’t agree on everything. Perfect! Let’s talk about it over tea and let it go.

“Why do you write about lesbians?”

I write about all sorts of people. If you read my books, you will find that I have traditional relationships and then some which are just flat out taboo fantasies.

We all need a mental vacation at times, so I provide it in my novels. I have several friends who identify as gay, and I love them dearly. I happen to think that writing about lesbian relationships fills a void in this world. Diamond Joe is my favorite novel of all time for lesbian fiction. That book of all of my stories is one that I wish Hallmark would break their mold of man and woman, and make a movie of it. That novel is actually YA which is different from many of my books.

Diamond Joe will have you laugh and cry and allow you to see what some people have to go through to survive in this world. Same-sex marriage is a hot topic, and I don’t shy away from it.

“Have you ever been to a nude beach, is it really like that?”

I will admit to being nude around others in settings like I portray. Yes, it is very much like I depict in many of my novels. If you are curious, I would suggest that you pick up this latest novel, Kitties, Titties & Winks or the last series of Nudists of Shangri-La.
The issue with naturism is that there is indeed is no mystery. Once your clothes are off, and you realize that nudity is not what many make it in their minds, to quote the politics of the day it is a “nothing burger.”
That is why in many of my books I mention it, walk you or the character through the process and then spice it up with something else as naturism by itself is truly healthy and truly not enough to write a book about.

I do love the feel of the wind and sun on parts that are reserved for shadows. I never tire of that.

How do you find time to write so much and keep a day job?

Harold, I don’t sleep. That is not really true, but I am an insomniac. If the characters are active so am I. I cannot tell you how many times that I have crawled out of bed at 3 am and worked on a project till it was time to go to work.

If you are passionate about what you are doing it is a small price to pay. We can all rest when we are dead. Right now, today, this is for the living, and I live my life. I went out with friends last weekend, and the conversation focused on what was on TV worth watching.

I had zero input. I don’t watch TV. I have this incredible 4K, 55 inch set in my office that I might turn on when I am eating, and then it goes right back off. I do like YouTube. I love individual musicians, and I want to teach myself to mimic them on the guitar. I find that playing a musical instrument keeps me sharp and mentally alert. Playing also allows me to wind down and at least start the sleep process.

“Why do you use such hard words?”

Oh Phil, bless your heart.  I laughed at that one. Really? If you are reading it on kindle just highlight it and improve your vocabulary. I have an excellent command of the English language. That does not stop me from making grammatical missteps, or from typing you instead of your or you’re, but I do share my knowledge with you.

When I was young, I kept a dictionary with me whenever I read. Later in life, it was a college dictionary. I looked up every word that I did not readily know. It paid off.

Today we have tools that are marvelous. No, I will not dumb down my writing style. Unless I write that children’s book, I will juxtapose words with more than two syllables with everyday words that you might hear on the playground.
Those were a few of the dozens of e-mails that I cherry-picked.
Thanks for them even the snarky comments. At least you cared enough to stop by. As for the rest of this week…Read my books!
Seriously this book is worth your time, and I look forward to the feedback!

Much Love -TW