Do you fall in love with your characters?

Are you writing about you?

Greetings, my fellow writers, authors, and friends.

I find it exhilarating when a character becomes more than a Skelton.  We, you and I start with an idea, and before you know it, we have become Gods.  Yes, we have created the Sahara or perhaps a moon with an atmosphere the Earth’s size that happens to orbit a failed star.

The tension, of course, is, what is the stability of the failed star? How close must the orbit be to a gaseous giant that is only working at twenty percent?

Our Captain ‘Dirk’ is either a lovable single syllable kind of guy, or perhaps it is a fierce redhead who her subordinates refer to as sir.

Somewhere in the pages, our characters become real to us.  We see them.  We can hear their soft sexy voice or perhaps the shrillness of her commands as she orders the helmsman to face the enemy five times their might.

Having written over 34 novels and then some, I find that my characters come to life in other stories.  They call that crossover, but, to me, I think it might be a little deeper.

What if we are creating the perfect lover?  When we play god, what if our needs and desires leak out from our axiomatic ink wells and land on our proverbial parchment paper?

Guess what my lovelies, they do.  If you want to know someone in an even more intimate way than perhaps their spouse knows them, read what they write.

Even on these blogs, I read many blogs that you all write.  You see, pets, if you are following me, the odds of me ever getting a hug or even a handshake are distant.  There are a few of you who I wish I could hug; I feel your pain in your words.

I peruse your musings.  Some of you keep it very much business and use your blogs to eke out a living. 

The truth is I have a company, a job that occupies much of my time.  I should be writing murder mysteries inventing a new Sherlock Holmes.  We could use a Digital aware investigator, with the charm of an English gentleman, don’t you think?

I write because it removes me from this world.  My characters, for better or worse, are all parts of me. My god, I think I know where they came up with the story for Cybil.

Some poor bastard fell off his trolley, and they left him or her with a pen and paper.

I have read many of your posts. Some made me laugh, some cringe, and others cry.  The world we currently live in sucks in so many ways.  I would count those ways, but that is counterproductive to who I am as a person.  To me, the glass is half full.  It must be.

How do we not fall off our trolley?

If you are young and healthy, I think you go about your life.  I believe that living in fear will create toxicity within you, much like harboring hate will. Those of you who have written such blogs, you know I am speaking with you.  Notice I did not say at you.  From me to you, this is a gesture of friendship and love from a stranger. I share what I do, so you know that you are not alone.

Like so many others, these words are much more revealing than if I were walking down Main Street anywhere, naked.  Our Body is but a house for our soul.

My relatives come from the other side of the pond.  Winston Churchill is in my family tree. I’m not too fond of cigars, but brandy, now we both could agree on that. I can picture him and I sitting in a library sipping brandy while discussing what must happen to save the country.

My characters are all parts of my soul, from my cheeky redhead in Presidential Assassins to Don in The Saga of the Starduster.

My god; what fun that was to be abducted by aliens!  To trek across the voids of space to wake up in a space station in another Galaxy.  Don, part of me, was kidnapped by a ship full of nudists.  Can you imagine nude aliens?

Kelly, she is part of me too.  She is the part that takes no shit from anyone.  Trust me; I have that side.  Unlike many of my writer friends, I love to shoot guns.  From skeet to competitive target shooting, a bad guy does not stand a chance in hell should he or she trespass.  That is one reason I can never return to where my cousin did so much, for so many, to have it all taken away by so few.

To be stripped of my right to bear arms is unconscionable.

Presidential Assassins is a thriller and a half, with sex and action.  Much more action but damn, Kelly is …mmmm.  It is too bloody bad Kelly could not get turned loose today.

There are other novels, some very naughty and some nicer.  My point is, all of those characters are parts of my Cybil. 

When I am at conferences, I don’t wear a badge that says TWScott.  I rather like that incognito mode.  You see, some might only read the naughty novels and think I am less of a person than they are.

That is why we use pen names, so the judgmental assholes of the world don’t piss in our cheerios. Yes, we walk among you mere mortals, so beware.  The truth of it is we all have our bedroom face and thoughts.  Those who would look at you or I, and think less of us should look into the mirror.

I hope this epistle brings you some comfort, some joy, and some laughs.  I meant what I said about not being alone.  There is much more that ties us together than tears us apart.  Those who preach hate on the cable channels are the assholes you should gird your loins to avoid. Someone is paying them to spread lies, misinformation, and well, propaganda.

Much love -TW

The Three Hundred

David never suspected that the Ularins targeted him to save the human race.

Blinding White Light

The white orb in the distance is all that was left of home.  Once a thriving population of over three billion people, it was a cold dead rock.  The beacon alerting wayfaring travelers to steer clear of this world was set on automatic. 

Powered by the radiation emitted from the globe, the message would repeat until such a time there was insufficient radiation to fuel it. The message created in all known languages warned of the extreme radiation hazard.

“We set the last of the beacons, what now?”

“We have enough supplies for three months give or take. Did the Ularins leave us anything in the database regarding habitable planets?”

“They wiped all of the information except one-star system.”

“Where is it?”

“300 light-years in that direction,” Bill said, pointing to a small blue dot.

“The binary sun?”

“It is nothing like we are used to.  Two blue stars locked into a death spiral.  Why that star system and not one like ours is anyone’s guess.”

“That is in the handle of the big dipper, isn’t it?”

“Yep.”

“We are looking at an image three hundred years old, for all we know it has collided and is already a supernova.”

“They selected us and brought us to this ship; they must have had a plan,” Bill said.

“They gave us a puzzle and a fighting chance.  We have two hundred and ninety-eight other souls on board; let’s hope one of them has some ideas.”

Bill turned to leave as David sat there looking at the planet, which was no longer blue.  Passing outside the orbit of the moon, the earth appeared much like Venus.  A white dot against the ebony backdrop of nothingness.

The old base on the moon was now vacant, as the last of the Ularins headed out on their next mission.

***

Years before, David had been an advocate for humanitarian groups to eradicate the diseases where the plague had popped up.  There were hot spots created by mass migrations of people who had no food.  Much like the locust that gave them a reason to migrate, they traveled in packs overwhelming ‘civilized society.’ Destroying infrastructure, taking what they wanted before burning it to the ground, they murdered the people who were there before them..

His part of the military focused on finding those responsible and stopping them by any means possible.  Finding the blackened remains of towns, David threw up the first time he saw what was left behind.

Pregnant women had been tortured, their breasts cut off, and babies cut from them only to be eaten.

Young women were taken and raped, men were killed, and children either became slaves or were eaten.  Finding children and babies on spits over what was an open fire shocked them profoundly.  David and his group were disgusted by these animals.  They sought to wipe them from the face of the earth. Society had been pushed to the brink. Those that were pushed, de-evolved into the savages they came from eons ago.  His anger was causing him to de-evolve too.

Lawlessness broke out in every country, and the government ceased to be effective.  Killing its own people by the tens of thousands only sparked outrage by civilized society.  A civil war between the people and the government pitted father against son.

David left the military when his tour was up.  He did not like where it was headed. The fabric of the military broke down when they were forced to use missiles, tanks, and other weapons of war in the suburbs where they grew up.

Turning their weapons on their respective governments, society stopped.

A virus created to eliminate the old and sickly was set loose on humanity. The elite held the formula for the vaccine and kept it a secret.  The virus would remove millions without one bullet fired.  The single strand of RNA, like most unstable viruses, evolved.  The vaccine designed to protect the elite failed.

This virus was a genetic doomsday device.  Created to be thousands of times more infectious than its closest related cousin, it was unstoppable. 

Turning the body’s defenses against itself, those who caught it died a most horrific death.  Much like fish removed from the water and left on the beach to gasp for breath, this was the fate of billions of people, young and old alike.

The earth was languishing in pestilence. Millions were dying every day.  Large fires to eliminate the bodies that were once a weekly occurrence, turned daily.  Massive fires never ceased to reduce the bodies and try to control the plague. Some countries hauled the remains up to active volcanoes, where the earth could devour its own.

The odor of burning human remains only magnified the stench of rotting flesh.  No pocket full of posies would fix this.

What were once a proud people, were now piles of porcelain teeth, titanium knees, and hips, with the occasional golden nugget that was once the pride of someone’s mouth.

The Ularins had been watching from the moon.  Listening to our broadcasts, they had seen it all before.  An intergalactic police force, they waited patiently to see if the humans would evolve.

With the death of so many, so too was the end of any infrastructure to supply food.  Those that would survive would need to be the ‘master race.’

Pulling pages from Joseph Goebbels’s life, the media became the propaganda machine controlling the people through fear, emotional triggers, and hunger. There were still megalomaniacs in the world who believed that some form of equilibrium would occur, and they could swoop in and offer them a solution.

The virus had other ideas.  Science had reached its zenith and fell short of its ability to sustain itself. Those who worked to cure the effects of the illness succumbed to it.

The media let the phrase slip out, ‘A man who does not benefit the world by his life does so by his death.’

Re-writing ancient text to include this aphorism into dogma, had a minimal effect.  Many who had never cracked the sacred book before, had little idea what was original and what had been added as a control mechanism.  History had been erased by those who felt they knew better.

Those that read the text and committed suicide to aid the rest were too few to be of any use. 

Extolling the virtues of abortions through the media, were also too little too late.

Little did those who tried to limit man’s population know that they would need babies.  While supply and demand for resources should equal out, the virus had other plans.

Gang warfare became a nightly occurrence as city after city was torched by the ‘have nots.’ Politicians hoping to capitalize on their votes, lost control and soon became victims of the mob.

As resources became harder to come by, the average age of those that needed to die went down from 70, to 60, and then to 50.

The virus was tweaked again and released on to the world stage.  Younger megalomaniacs took over the development of the virus, the war efforts, and the propaganda.

Children were slaves and forced to work in the fields.  If they wanted to live, they worked from sun up to sundown.

The media dutifully told the world what was wrong, and whose fault it was. Of course, what they were preaching was whatever the elites told them to say.  Government controlled fact-checkers quickly debunked clandestine videos of the truth.

Slavery by non-disabled people was praised as patriotic, even when it meant bringing most of the food to the ivory towers of the gods.

The Ularins paid attention from their base 250,000 miles above the earth. Scouting missions were a constant as even certain media would release reports of UFOs by independent journalists.  The mainstream media used those reports as distractions. 

***

David had worked hard teaching people how to farm.  People who had grown up in front of computer screens were thrust back into an agrarian culture.  He had grown up in Iowa and knew all about Farming.

With the death of the internet, social media lost its control over the masses.  Radio and TV were next to come under assault from the lack of power.

When Samantha, his old neighbor, heard what David was up to, she contacted him via radio, using solar panels and batteries for power.  Traveling home, the two were once again on the same farm. 

He listened from the porch as he heard her inside with pots and pans on the top of the old potbelly stove.  The aroma of cornbread and roasted chicken filled the air.  Sitting on the porch of his parent’s house, the stars were more vivid than he had ever seen them.  Samantha was inside, trying to keep from burning their dinner.

Once the government fell, those who still had weapons put an end to the roving gangs.  It was not only the criminals that did not turn in their guns; it was also the farmers, the people who did not live in the city, and those who knew history.

What the virus did not kill, they did.  It was kill, or be killed. Those that knew how to survive bit their lips and defended what was theirs. 

With no lawyers, judges, or politicians left, the society which survived the plague, and the riots were polite.  It was not uncommon to ride into town and see people with stretched out necks, swinging in the breezes. The law of the six-gun returned overnight. The gang bangers did not know how to react when people fought back. 

The silent majority was silent no more. 

Coyotes from the river sent out their lonely calls. David made sure his livestock was safely in the barn.  Not unlike the roving gangs, the varmints were hungry too and were much more cunning.  David had set traps, as coyotes are nothing more than dogs that are not tame.  Dog meat is edible.

While David was looking up that stars, he had little clue that someone was looking down at him.

***

The roving gangs that were still alive brought their unique diseases with them.  Setting up radio links, the farmers knew their movements.  Assaulting them on their own grounds, there were more piles of bodies that needed to be discarded.

You either provided for the common good, or you died.  Goebbels would be proud.

The population of the planet went from billions to millions to thousands.  The remoteness of the clans halted the spread of the virus.  If they controlled the gangs, the virus would stay at bay.

The rich and powerful became the hunted. People learned the truth about the media, the lies, and what governments had done to them.  Those who were filthy rich became worm food.  Even on their private islands, they were sought out and destroyed for their treachery.  The list of billionaires who played god became the worlds most wanted.  There was not a safe place for them to hide. They had betrayed everyone, even their servants.

Part of the original design of the virus was to sterilize women.  Anti-abortion groups made it too hard to get the population under control.  The designers of the virus had the virus attack the endocrine system, among other things causing the hormones that generally control the fertility process, to stop working. 

New births plummeted before the virus mutated, eventually taking out those who were vaccinated against it.

Distancing on a massive scale would stop the spread but ensure that if they ever traveled too far from their clan, there was mutually assured destruction. Each group had their unique genetic version of the virus.  Their herd immunity only protected them.  They thought that was their answer until the biting insects infected the animals that occupied the skies, and even the livestock.

Another reason for the extreme distance requirement is the virus was airborne.  In order not to panic the masses, the governments of the world did not share that information, using draconian methods to control the spread instead.  If the virus spread, they blamed the population and not the fact that it was airborne.  They missed the mosquito as a carrier. Nobody suspected it until a researcher discovered it while researching other pathogens that seem to be mutating and traveling.

Since it could only be seen under an electron microscope, the researcher that discovered it disappeared before she had time to announce her findings, so the gods thought.

A release from a hand written note made it an underground radio station that informed the public much to the chagrin of the government.  To control the masses they needed to control the flow of information.

This bit of data turned citizen against citizen, which was another distraction from the truth.  There were reasons that the gods did not wear PPE.  They knew it was worthless.

Sterilized and separated, radio from a primitive time allowed some to communicate.  Creating energy from wind, solar, and biofuel, gave some lights, but few knew how to utilize feces as a form of fuel. Even fewer knew how to farm.  These electrical devices had a finite life span. There were no more factories.  If they could not make it, grow it, or steal it, they did not have it.

The gradual demise of the animal called man was in the works.  Those who stayed in the city did not last long.  That is where the gangs stayed until all of the resources had been depleted.  Rats soon were the only living creatures that inhabited the skyscrapers, where the gods used to live.  They carried their own version of destruction.  The bubonic plague followed the rats into the streets, alleys, and gutters where the dead and dying laid, waiting to become food for the vermin.

The gods were massacred by the very people they sought to control.  When the lights went out, and money was no longer useful, their own guards turned on them.  Some gods were tossed off the roof of the 32nd floor for an audience who craved blood.  Anger filled their hearts. After there was no more gods to destroy, they turned on each other.  The streets ran red, attracting more rats to the feeding frenzy.

History was replete with this very behavior, but of course, the history books had been destroyed. They had been labeled as racist, homophobic, and sexist. The gods knew that an ignorant society was much easier to control than one who was educated.  They had learned this from the days before the civil war when it was illegal to teach a slave to read.  The politicians who promoted that law remembered it, and used it without mercy.

A select few gods had their fingers on the buttons of a nuclear arsenal.  If they were going to go, they were taking the rest with them. 

***

With the ability to adapt, very much like a chameleon, the Ularins found the cure for the virus. Inoculated themselves before embarking on their missions, they cured and disinfected all those subjects that were under consideration before abducting them.  From their ship in orbit, the Ularins watched as once brightly lit areas of the globe went dark, they knew the end was near.  From their base on the moon, the noise of the once-bustling world diminished.  That noise is what drew them to this part of the galaxy.  As the radio emissions slowly faded, TV signals were broadcast at diminished power levels, with far fewer signals detected.

Artificial satellites went silent, piquing the curiosity of the Ularins.  Some of the satellites lost their geosynchronous orbit, raining down on the planet below in a spectacle of fireballs.  With the chaos on the streets, nobody even noticed when the international space station lost altitude, breaching the earth’s atmosphere at over 17,000 miles an hour.  Had people been alive on board, they might have been able to warn the people below that there was incoming.  Sadly the occupants had perished from starvation, as there was nobody to send supplies to them.

The fireball lit up the night sky over Siberia before exploding with the force of an atomic blast.  A few in the northern parts of Alaska felt the shockwave but had no idea what caused it.

Sporadic low power communications interested the Ularins, who soon had targets of places to visit.

The time to harvest was near. Their job was clear, find the best and the brightest of the population, and remove them before the extinction event.   They had already found the first two, they needed three hundred total.

Stars

David sat in the control center as people from different countries were educated on the ship’s systems.  The Ularins had developed a virtual teaching tool, much like some of the video games that were produced.  Unlike the video games which used the body’s senses, this tool went right into the neural pathways of the brain, creating synapses and neural pathways as needed.

The humans were unaware that their animalistic instincts for fight or flight were being modified.  Those lower lizard brain functions were responsible for the carnage of that world throughout its troubled history.

Downloading every bit of the earth’s history, the humans were also taught it in painstaking detail. 

The Ularins allowed them to see, feel, smell, and taste the entire history of their world.  From Hitler to the Rape of NanJing, they experienced all of it.  When Vlad the Impaler was part of the lesson, many were shocked beyond belief.  This was the price these three hundred people must pay for their salvation. This was their lineage, their history.  The evil people that they hailed from were responsible for the horrific deaths of millions, and these three hundred saw it all.  The end of the lesson was the creation of the virus and the evil atrocities that greedy people perform for power.

The failure of the education system was directly to blame for the massacres throughout human history.  While the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result, if they didn’t know history, they could not begin to comprehend why ideologies like socialism would never work. 

David was still ruminating over some history. The PTSD caused by the lesson was healed before the lesson terminated.  The memories would never leave.

Samantha could tell he was deep in thought.    Being healed did not stop one from thinking about what they learned. This method of teaching allowed one to experience all of it with all of your senses.  There was not shutting your eyes or plugging your ears.  The three hundred were to complete their education before being allowed to pilot an intergalactic spaceship.

They realized how evil the gods were.  Their right to vote was never so important to them after they learned why.  They and people like them put some of those gods in their ivory towers.

The importance of their vote never occurred to many, as they were all lost in their little worlds.  That was not their fault.

They were damned sure going to know how this happened. The Ularins would make sure they understood why their race was now on the verge of extinction. They would know why their world was at the beginning of a nuclear winter.

Samantha appeared, breaking David’s trance.

“Are you coming to bed?”

“I don’t know, look where we are.”

“Dave, ever since they took us off the farm, you have had little sleep. You need to rest to stay healthy.”

Dave allowed her to take his hand, leading him off the central control room floor.  Bill took over as she led him away, down the main corridor toward their quarters.

Sitting on the bed, he watched as the moon was much closer. “Look, you can see where their base was.”

Sam looked at the crater, and what was left of the edifice, they lived in.  Removing her clothes, she cleared her throat.  Dave turned around to see that sleep was not forefront in her mind.

Hours later, he awoke with her in his arm.  They were past the moon, headed out of the solar system, or so he thought.

“Can’t sleep?”

Dave looked over at her brushing her auburn hair from her face.  “I slept.”

“Three hours is not much sleep.”

“Why did they pick us?”

“Are we going to have that conversation again?”

“Sam, they put us in charge of three hundred lives.  These are all that is left of the race known as humans.  Surely there are better-qualified people on board to lead us.”

“I think your humility has something to do with why we are in charge.  Are you worried about the supplies and how we are going to survive?”

“That is part of it, we are out here in space, passing by the moon with only this small minuscule part of billions of stars mapped out for us.  Why there?  We are leaving our home in the dust as it were.”

David knew he could go where he wanted, but for some reason, the Ularins had only mapped out this particular region of space.  They did not tell them why.  It was like breadcrumbs in space, leading them to a binary star system. 

The crew was going through the education campaign that was more like indoctrination. The computer downloaded their memories and then added to them.  These would be the brightest and best of the human race.

David and Sam had gone through it first before the others were aboard.  The image of the white flashes from the planet below them still played in his mind.  Someone, several others had thought there could be a winner with nukes.  David did not know that the minuteman defense system was set to automatic.  When an incoming target was confirmed, the system responded in kind.

“I think we can go back and learn more if we need more information.” She said.

“How do you know that?”

“Dave, they made me a kind of doctor.  As we proceed, I have to go back and learn more.  That thing creates these pathways between the hemispheres of our brains. The more pathways the more we can learn.”

“I don’t want another history lesson.”

“We come from pretty shitty people.  They wanted us to know that.  We are capable of great things too, we have to choose.  We can dream wonderful things or we can dream evil things.  Now that we understand the evil, I don’t think anyone who goes through that would pick it.”

“I hope not, I would hate to have a psychopath on board.”

“They will not allow a mentally disturbed person to inhabit this ship.”

“What does that mean?”

“If they are defective we will jettison their body in to space. That teacher is also judge and jury.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“You do now, hope the Ularins picked wisely.”

The beeping sound from the door buzzer brought him back to the present.  Pulling the sheet up over Sam, he dawned a robe and went to the door.

“Bill wants to see you; he thinks he has an idea.”

“Give me ten minutes; I will meet him in the conference center.”

Sam turned over to see him tossing the robe on a chair.  “No time for an encore performance?”

The chuckle caught her by surprise.  “I don’t remember you ever being this amorous on the farm.”

“We were not safe on the farm.  I had to cook as a cavewoman might cook.  No, I was not in the mood.”

“We are in space, we have a limited amount of supplies, and I am still waiting on the crew to be educated before I can plan anything.”

“Do you want to kill my mood?”

Turning to face the bed, he laughed, “no, I have a lot on my mind.”

“I know, once you are on task I don’t stand a chance.”

Jumping back on the bed landing on top of her, they were now facing each other. “I have loved you since we were kids.  We may not have haylofts or swimming holes, but we have a huge ship that even with the others on board, it is like we are the only ones here.”

Brushing his blond hair back away from his eyes, she kissed him again.  “There is an area on the ship that is made for Farming.  I would bet the Ularins got the seeds for such things.”

“Farming takes water. I need to go see Bill; when I am finished I will come back here.”

“Promise?”

Kissing her, he headed to the bathroom to dress and leave before he was distracted once again.

Bill was looking at some charts he pulled up when Dave walked in.

Handing him coffee Dave was wide eyed.  “Where did you get this?”

“One of our crew is now a chef.  She always liked cooking but after her ‘education’ she learned how to use the equipment in the kitchen.  Programming it for humans, out comes coffee.”

“Does this solve our supply problem?”

“Yes and no.  This device uses the same energy that our engines use.  We have to find dark matter, and we have less than three months to do it.”

“Perfect, we have to locate and figure out how to get a theoretical compound within three months, or we all die.  Do I understand that correctly?”

“It is not theoretical; we have storage tanks full of it.  We need to learn how to handle it and more about it so we can speculate about where it might be.”

“That wasn’t in my education, was it in yours?”

“No, presumably, someone on this ship will be a physicist.”

“I hope they turn up fast, the sooner I know where to head, the quicker we can get that part of the puzzle behind us.”

“Our tanks are full, think about that skipper.”

“Shit, that means we make regular trips to the gas station.”

“Bingo, I am betting this stuff is more abundant than we think.”

***

Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  This is where you come in. 

Years ago, I was working on writing more judiciously.  When twitter was more restrictive than it is now, I wrote several chapters of The Saga of the Starduster in tweets.  Stream of consciousness. 

This story you just read is, act one, of a stream of conscious session with the keyboard.

This blog is un-edited and a rough draft.

 If you want an act two, tell me.

If you have an idea for act two, let’s hear it.

What I would like from you is this, do whatever it is you do to reblog or copy or share or what have you.

Since the COVID virus, sales of my novels have cratered.  Now I realize that people are hurting, and that is one reason I am going to create this story on my blog for my followers.

If you can do anything to drive traffic this way, I would appreciate it greatly.  I can even make that little heart sign with my own two little hands.

As a business owner, I am not eligible for unemployment insurance.  I have been frugal with my money, and book sales have assisted in the past.  Too many more months of this, and I don’t know where we will be.  Maybe the Ularins will come to get us.  J

Much love -TW

Day 47

Should we give up on wearing clothes? Would zoom meetings be more interesting?

How has your life been affected?

What changes have you made to affect a positive effect on your life?

I joke about naturism but I did read a blog post about naturists getting together on zoom.  How would that work?  Why?  I thought the purpose of naturism was to be one with nature?  Is it something else?

Life goes on, my friends.  We do what we must to make ends meet.  Currently, I am pulling from savings to keep everyone happy, but that can only last so long.  Sadly there are many out there that cannot scrape together $500 if they needed to.

Today the blog is not about writing; it is about being human.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know that I am a humanist.  I love people.  With luck, one-day people will be my bread and butter.  By that, I mean studying that which we do, all end up as fodder for my novels.    Some of this stuff seems unreal that it could be made up.

Months ago, when this all started, I wrote a blog about mental health.  I knew that this much of a change in people’s lives would bring out or manifest aberrations in their personalities.

Did you see the video of the two police harassing a mum who lived in a mobile home?  Two officers banged on her door and spoke to her in a very demeaning manner.  They, in fact, talked to her as if she were stupid.  The story made the rounds on the media, and they made sure to tout the fact that she lived in a mobile home.  Not everyone can live in a gated community with $24K freezers filled with $16 a pint ice cream.

Whatever your station in life, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They did not need to be terse with her.  Her child plays with one of the neighbor’s children and has done so for some time.  This child cut across one of the neighbor’s lawns, and they called the police.  For real?

I was out getting the mail the other day, and my neighbor was walking their dog.  I stopped as usual to visit, but on this day, she stays a good ten feet away from me.  Her dog didn’t hesitate to get her belly scratched or give me a doggy kiss.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoid people?

A comedian was making fun of Biden.  We all know he is a little on the creepy side when it comes to women and their hair.  They said this social distancing is going to kill him.

Ok, I am a hugger.  Not any of those half-ass hugs either.  Again if you read my novels, you know that I preach about being there for the hug.  I get it.  For my neighbor who has also been in her house for 46 days, to stay ten feet away from me, is alien.

I have noticed that many are talking about how China is going to repay the world for their deception.   The more we learn about the lab, the virus escaped from, the worse it gets.  While many leaders of countries might feel like letting it slide under the rug with a few good old boy deals in cigar smoke-filled rooms, occur I don’t think all countries will deal with Xi Jinping in that manner.  I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin talking about this virus.  Somehow I don’t think he will settle for some Chinese made crap in exchange for the damage to his economy, not to mention the death and destruction in Russia.

The problems with this virus are many.  We don’t know what we don’t know.  All of the research was destroyed.  In a face-saving move, the propaganda has been prolific, but, somehow I think the chickens will come home to roost.  The WHO will need to clean up its organization, and China will need to find some way to make things right with the world.  How?  That is the question.

Please keep in mind I do not blame the Chinese people.  I know many, and I am very appreciative of their culture.

As of right now, 212 countries and territories have reported a total of 3,402,018 confirmed cases of the virus.  There are over 239,622 deaths because of this. The numbers are the highest in the United States because the US is doing the most testing.  1,131,492 cases with 65,776 deaths and counting.

This event is historical, and many of us writers should be documenting it.  Before history is changed to fit some narrative, I would encourage writers to tell their stories.  Blog about it if nothing else.

Once you put it on the internet, it will be somewhere for all eternity.

Much like these blogs, I could delete them, but trust me.  Somewhere in some vault along with 33K emails, will be these words.

Will yours be among them?

I did spend some time working in the garden today.  It was a sunny day.  You would never guess where the sun kissed me…

Much love, Stay safe.  We will get through this.  -TW

 

Who are you? Who do you want to be?

There are times I look into the mirror and don’t recognize the person looking back at me.

I am often amazed at the conversations I hear at writer’s conventions and other gatherings.
Some are so philosophical, and others are somewhat whimsical. Before I get into what I have in mind, I was thinking, I  would love to take a cruise with a group of writers. Most of us are so introverted it would be a safe bet that you would not have trouble finding a seat at the shows.

Can you imagine 3000 writers all texting each other, instead of talking?
Ok, not my reason for this blog.

I love a healthy debate. Often on this very blog, I put out controversial issues and invite discussion, conversation or at least a comment. Guys, I do this for you.

I should be working on one of my many works in progress.
When I am not creating, I am editing and if not that I am marketing.

That is the life of a writer. Now, I take that a step further, I live my life. While I will not jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I will undoubtedly fly one.

While I might not jump off a cliff with a bungee cord attached to my ankles, I will traverse the cliff in Peru to see Machu Picchu. Peru is lovely this time of year.
When I was young, I took jobs where I traveled a good bit. I learned that when you boil it down, Maslow knew a thing or two.

Years ago, I hit that part of ‘self-actualization.’

In many of my novels, I address it as part of a plot, but I call it Enlightenment.
I maintain that many of those around us are asleep. By that, I mean they are going through life on autopilot. Much like birds build a nest, copulate, lay eggs, bring food back to the chicks and they somehow leave the nest, knowing how to fly, and repeat the process.
We call it nature because we don’t understand it. I think it is something more. I believe in genetic programming. Why do you suppose we are inherently repulsed by creepy crawly things? Spiders and snakes, for instance, are phobias of many.

How is it that birds know to do what they do?

Yes, this is a cliché, but Bees, the same thing applies.

Maslow states that it is not until the first layers of our needs are met, can we get to, self-actualization.

As a writer and humanist, I happen to love philosophy. Some of the Sufi philosophy gets my attention much like Socrates and Plato do as well. I don’t know about you but, I love ‘thinkers.’

You might love those with lots of muscles and brawn or possibly curvy women with booty but, I appreciate someone who thinks. I find that attractive, sexy, and satisfying.

People often confuse our sex organs with what is below our waist. Your sex organ or the part of you that is attractive is between your ears. No, you will never see a valentine with a blob of gray matter on it saying ‘hey baby.’
I would chuckle but, that is just me.

Many of my novels I weave some of this into them to hopefully leave this world a little brighter, happier place than what I found it. I want to leave something behind that others can learn from without writing stuffy textbooks that will be replaced when some government or group with an agenda tosses them into a book-burning pile.
If you want to know the state of our society, watch what is trending on Twitter. It should scare the piss out of anyone with a brain.
Let me know what you think.
Much love -TW

Ejecting your readers.

Oh man, I hate writing about this subject.  I am so guilty of this!

So here is the scoop, if you are an author, writer, or just want to be one, you should read this.

 

A few years ago, I wrote a tale about two young ladies who find love in each other’s arms.  That seems relatively innocuous but…I then bring in some forbidden love that rocks their world and changes the dynamics of the novel completely.

Kitties Titties and Winks turned out to be one of the naughty best sellers I have done.  Now we know who the readers of this novel might be.

Ok, I am not judging anyone.  I write this stuff for your enjoyment.  The story, no matter what, must hold your attention.  If you like me have ever been reading a book and the time slides past your bedtime, you know where I am going.  ‘Just one more chapter.’

To me, that is the mark of a good storyteller, I can’t put the damned thing down.  Fair warning I have learned this technique of the years and will be going back and employing it on earlier novels as time permits.

The problem with me is, I rarely ever hear or read a word that I don’t know.  Not bragging, I have something known as an eidetic memory.  If we are talking, I can recreate the conversation in reasonably accurate detail.  Usually, I employ this ‘gift’ when I hear a word I don’t know.

When I choose to use those words, guess what, I eject the average reader out of the story.  If I were to write: “Julie wanted to be pragmatic about the whole situation but, her husband’s gesticulations gave her a sense that he would be truculent if she pushed it further.   Vs. Julie wanted to be sensible about the whole situation, but her husband’s gestures gave her a sense that he would be hostile if she pushed it further.

Which one of those two sentences would you rather read?

I like the first one as there is not a word in it that I don’t use every day in everyday discourse.

Your audience, if they are being honest, would rather see the second sentence.

While we are storytellers, and yes, we have intellectual prowess over the average reader…probably…, the average reader is who we want to titillate with our tales. We don’t want them to have to work.  Our job is to entertain, not teach.

I would argue that our job is both; however, I want to write something that has appeal to most people.  That means my pretties, we have to write to a seventh grade, and some would say fifth-grade reading level.  More people watch TV than read.

Fair warning, where science fiction is concerned, I write for college-age people. If you don’t know a word, hit the little button on Kindle, and it will tell you.

We love our readers.  We genuinely do, but we have to strike a balance between pros that keep them turning the page and prose the have them put the book down as they don’t feel like learning new words. Your audience might just want to escape into your world that you have created.

Titties Kitties and Winks is an imaginary world where many of the rules of modern-day society are trashed, to give the reader a sense of what it is like to love another woman.  In this rags, to riches story, we get a sense of what people will do for money and what happens to them when they get it.  In short, the story is erotica but, much more than that, it is about love in a very unique setting.

Titties Kitties and Winks is not a literary work of art.  The imagery in the story will paint pictures in your mind that no matter your gender, you will enjoy it.

As I progress in the craft of writing, I will give you more hints and tricks via this blog.

Recently I re-wrote Land of My People.  The Novella went from 10 thousand words to over 20K.  No, I did not add more fluff; I put in more tension, conflict, both external and internal, and some backstory.  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

Honesty: So, you want to be a writer.

 

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!

 

Much Love -TW

Is Linux the Answer?

Is Linux a threat to Apple or Microsoft?

 

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… 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you writing For Free?

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.’

No, wait…

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.

 

Much Love -TW