Tag Archives: blogging

The End?

Right now, I’d say the odds are 75-25 that this will be my last blog post. Blogging has been a lot of fun, especially meeting the fine folks that I have through here, but sometimes, you have to wake up and realize it’s time to put away your toys.
Writing has been fun, and a decent outlet for me. Yet, on occasion, reality will haul off and slap you a good one. My face is still stinging this morning. Let me tell you, it shakes you to the core to realize that you are no better than someone from your past. In this case, it was my ex, Christine. She used to kick my ass fairly regularly. Does this mean I hit someone with my hands? God no! If I did something like that, I wouldn’t be writing this now.
No, I did something much worse: I used my words to hurt. It really fucks with my confidence and faith in myself to know I had it in me to do this. What makes it so much more disgusting? I promised this person I would never do it to them because they are getting it from another. What kind of person would do that? The worst kind. Some would say it’s okay because I was upset. I call bullshit on that. That makes it even worse. I feel absolutely like shit that I did this, yet part of me hopes I’m never forgiven by this person. I don’t think I will ever forgive myself.
Am I asking for sympathy? Hell no. forgiveness? No. Not that either. Then why am I writing this, you ask? Simple. As a warning that I’m not a good person despite what may be thought. Good people don’t violate someone’s trust. Good people don’t hurt others with their words.

What was said, you wonder? Without going into specifics, I said to this person they were acting like their abuser in not letting me choose for myself what I was going to do. Real nice, huh?

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Inspiring Blogger Award

This is interesting: I was just nominated for my first blogging award. The nom came from the lovely Sooz over at her blog, dreamshadow59.wordpress.com. According to her, I have to name 7 interesting things about myself. I have a small problem with that: I don’t think I’m that interesting. Others do. So, I’m gonna cheat a bit (probably won’t win, but eh). I’m gonna tell some things about me that aren’t general knowledge.

1) I’m an atheist. I really can’t stand religion, nor do I understand the need people have to hope that there is something out there.

2) I’m a giver. If I like you, I’m going to give you all that I can, be it time, caring, a shoulder to cry on, ect.

3) I’m a pimp. No, not the illegal kind. I mean, if I like someone’s stuff, I will talk it up everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Linkdin, WordPress, ect. I want everyone to see this epic stuff.

4) I’m a midget. Seriously. To leave my third floor apartment, I base jump down each stair. It’s exhausting I tell you. What? You know I’m bullshitten? Oh, alright. I’m 6′. (shrugs) I thought it was funny.

5) I’m a word thief. I kid you not. There is a fellow blogger (I’ll mention her later) who doesn’t like to use the F-bomb on her blog. She came up with “Feck” to take its fecken place. I liked it. Boom Mine. One of my friend’s doesn’t like to have “-ing” at the end of her words. Instead, the end with “-en”. I’m sure you’ve seen that I swiped that fecken thing too. 😀

6) I like fecken with people. Are you a homophobe? Come, gimme them sweet cheeks, boyo. Are you deeply religious? Luke, I am your god. Are you strongly atheistic? You will be much happier when you accept Jesus in your heart. But, I only do that if I like you in general.

7) I seek to help others, but I don’t know how to accept it for myself.

And now for the part where I’m supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers that I think deserve it.

Sweet Mother She’s a blast, and is willing to share some of her inner struggles. Also, the originator of the almighty “Feck.”

Sooz She’s epic. I love reading her blog. Some of her stories are pretty hot. 😉

R.S.Guthrie A friend of mine with several published books. He’s a good man who is willing to give me a hand with my novel. His books are really good. Go check them out on his blog.

Kevin Rau is another friend of mine who has published several books. He, too is willing to help me out with my novel. I really like Kevin’s H.E.R.O novels. Go get them on his blog. The first in his series is free.

Vy is as big a fan of Sweet Mother’s “Feck” as I am. She has a great blog, too.

Fab is one of my best friends. She is going through a lot, and is pretty tough. She’s new to the blogosphere, so, why not go check her out?

Miss Snarky Pants. She is funny as feck. She’s fond of snark, so she’s a woman after my own heart.

There. All done. Good luck to all I have nominated.

Hopping Around the Internets Jan 21-Jan 28

I’ve gotten together with a few of my friends to introduce y’all to them and them to you. These folks have entertaining & educational blogs. Here they are:

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HERO-NewMarkets1Kevin is a writer of superhero novels. I enjoy reading his stuff, and his site is a lot of fun to explore. You can find him here. He’s running a contest where you can win a copy of his second novel, H.E.R.O. – New markets (his first one is free).

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19Rebecca is a great lady, and an excellent comedian. Her blog gets me to laugh and brightens my day whenever I read it. You can find her here. And did I mention I get to call her a friend? Feck yeah!

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Firecracker-cupcake-2Vy has a hilarious blog that features recipes commentaries on things that matter to her. Warning, don’t go to Vy’s blog if you’re hungry: you want to go devour cupcakes after reading. Here’s where to find her awesomeness.

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wordpress-banner2-2Lanise is a great author with a herculean task in front of her: writing four books simultaneously. Sheesh. I’m having a hard time with one. Here’s her site. She has some posts about her novels and some other interesting stuff. Go look.

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zeldaFab is another beginning writer with some funny posts. Her’s is the newest blog of all that is here. Go check her out and give some love, eh?

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These folks are all taking part in the blog hop. Click around, get to know them, maybe win some prizes. Speaking of which, I’m offering a critique of a 1,500 word entry. Here’s how it works: Click on the links to go to everyone’s blog. Read an entry other than their hop and comment. Return here, tell me that you did so in the comments below and add a blurb about your work and your e-mail address. I’ll announce the winner on the 28th of this month.

Mental Illness (Otherwise Known As BS)

Modern natural science relies on laws uninfluenced by human desire or motivation. We use the same physical laws to explain why planes fly & crash, the same chemical laws to explain the therapeutic & toxic effects of drugs, and the same biological laws to explain how healthy cells maintain the integrity of the organism & how the cells can become cancerous and kill the host. We don’t have one set of medical theories to explain normal bodily functions and another to explain abnormal ones.

Except where that relates to psychiatry, that is. We have one set of principles to explain the functioning of a mentally healthy person and another to explain that of the unhealthy, or Mentally ill person. We attribute acceptable “rational” behaviors to reasons, but unacceptable “irrational” ones to causes. The mentally healthy person is viewed as an active agent; he chooses such as to marry his childhood sweetheart. In contrast, the “mentally ill” person is viewed as a passive body: As a patient, he is the victim of injurious biological, chemical, or physical processes acting upon his body, eg., diseases (of his brain), for example, of an “irresistable” urge to kill.

According to psychiatric theory, certain actions by certain people ought to be attributed to causes rather than reasons. When and why do we seek a causal explanation for personal conduct? When we consider an actor’s behavior unreasonable and don’t want to blame him for it. We look for excuses masquerading as explanation instead of simply an explanation that neither exonerated or incriminates.

Holding a person responsible for his act is not the same as blaming or praising him for it – it only means that we regard him as an actor, or moral agent.

The “mental patient” who attributes his misdeeds to “voices” – that is to an agent, other than himself, whose authority is irresistable – is not the victim of an irresistable impulse; he is an agent, a victimizer rationalizing his action by attributing it to an irresistable authority.

It is not by accident that, in all the of psychiatric literature, the is not a single account of a schizophrenic to be especially kind to his wife.

– adapted From Mental Illness: Psychiatry’s Phologiston by Thomas Szasz

HELP THE ELF: I Found Santa’s Missing Nice List!

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa's NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I've been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that's right...I found part of Santa's missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:

ImageChef.com

NAME: Jennifer Boyce & Fabiola Surya

LOCATION: North America

NICE LEVEL: Jen, 95%; Fab, 94%

NAUGHTY LEVEL: Jen, 5%; Fab 6%

OBSERVATIONS: Jen and Fab are great friends, awesome beta readers, are generous with their time and all around fantastic women. They could, however do with more pineapple! The amounts they eat is terrible.

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa's missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Ladies, I feel so blessed to know you! Though it isn't much, I hope you enjoy the gift I sent to your inbox and have a wonderful Christmas!

How about you, Readers? Is there someone you'd like to say Happy Holidays to, or tell them how much they mean to you? JOIN US! There's plenty of days left until Christmas, and sometimes a kind word can lift people up in a way that they really need. It's as easy as sending a free ecard or email note, posting on a Facebook wall or sending out a tweet. So go ahead and spread some kindness and cheer!

Photo credit:

assorted gold baubles (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0

Into The Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake (Raw Update)

I began to travel the hallway, looking for a way out. Torches, their oily smoke rising to mate with greasy soot staining the walls above them, created islands of intermittent light, oases in the lightless ocean of gloom. The islands of light lasted maybe fifty feet before I was swallowed by the darkness once more. There was maybe two hundred steps in between the torches. I tried to move as silently as possible because I had no idea if any guards lurked in the shadows. To my ears, straining as they were to catch any unusual sounds, my footsteps sounded like the rumble of thunder.
My eyes strained at the darkness while I was in between the pools of torchlight. My heart pounded as adrenaline raced through my body, keeping me alert and ready to fight, or flee. My muscles sang with coiled energy ready to explode into action. Something scuttled in the darkness, claws on stone. As I approached the next bit of dark, leaving another circle of light, something black scurried out of the shadows and raced towards me! I exploded into action, giving a ripping battle cry and slamming my iron staff down on it with all my strength!
The poor rat shrieked, spun in place and raced back the way it came. The iron bar impacted the floor, severing the tip of the rat’s tail, and sending a shower of sparks and stone chips into the air. Shockwaves radiated up my arms as the sound from the hit of metal against stone raced it to the dance floor of my aching head. The bar fell from my impact numbed fingers.
“Fuck me,” I said softly. “I am freaking wired. Angriz would be disappointed.”
I sat on the stone floor to attempt to regain my composure. My butt finished the message from my eyes to my brain: the floor was a labyrinth of small to medium rocks and mortar. It was uncomfortable, but I was able to push that away as my breathing returned to normal.
I closed my eyes and folded my legs tailor-fashion. The backs of my hands rested against my knees as I began to meditate as Angriz had taught me when I was blind. I focused first on my breathing: long and slow breaths pulled through my nostrils down to my toes followed by rapid exhalation through my mouth. Then, I began to count my much slower heartbeats. After 200 of them, I slowly rose to my feet and once more took up my improvised weapon.
As I stole through the hallway, I was puzzled by the fact that there seemed to be no other cells. ‘What kind of prison has only one cell?’ I thought. Six steps later, I stopped and slapped myself on the forehead. ‘Duh! Solitary confinement!’ I didn’t know whether to be pleased to be thought that much of a threat, or to be worried that I was considered too valuable to be housed with other prisoners. I decided that it didn’t matter after a few seconds to contemplate both scenarios.
I continued to prowl the dank stone corridor, sticking mainly to the left wall. I had my iron bar in my right hand gripped firmly, ready to use it at a moment’s notice. I allowed my left hand to lightly skim the wall as I went. My fingers encountered roughness as if the walls were stucco with the occasional break for moisture and a couple of times for patches of slime. Oddly, I didn’t feel any of the pink moss. I paused in my trek to arm sweat from my forehead. When I did, I realized I was at an intersection of corridors. The one I stood in went on into the darkness. ‘I guess they forgot to pay their electric bill,’ I thought inanely. A breeze came from the new corridor. It traveled from my right to my left. A moment later, I heard creaks and clangs that reminded me of an antique elevator. I decided to investigate. ‘It might be a way out!’
I found a torch-lit alcove and a rusty iron grate across from it which enclosed a dark shaft that ran up into the ceiling and down below the floor. As I examined the grate, which looked like a rusted collapsible fence, the clang and crash of ill-maintained gears came closer. Before I could look for, much less find a place to hide, the gate opened with a sharp Bang, and a nasty looking monstrosity stepped off.
It looked like a 152.4 cm tall, humanoid wingless bat with all the skin ripped off. The thing’s angry red muscles rippled as it moved, causing a clear, glistening and viscous fluid to roil down its body. Nictating membranes flicked across its oil drop eyes when it saw me standing there with the torch light behind me. It gave a high-pitched battle cry, showing jagged teeth and yellow saliva, raised its shortsword and shield, and then launched its attack. Its first few wild swings were so easy to dodge, I didn’t even bother to block them. It screamed in frustration, or I think it did, anyway. It may have been congratulating me. I twirled my iron bar in a defensive pattern. The bat-like creature tried to thrust its blade at my stomach. The blade was intercepted and redirected along a different pathway with a squeal of metal and a shower of hot sparks, some of which landed on my bare flesh. I hissed in pain, and before I could stop myself, reflexively halted the spin of my staff and brought the far end down on the skull of my opponent. All at once there was the sound of iron breaking bone, a fine spray of bluish ichor from the impact zone and a death scream from my opponent. ‘Damn it,’ I thought. ‘I wanted to try to get some answers from this thing.’ Heaving a sigh, I stepped away from the crumpled bat-creature. No point in mourning lost opportunities now.

Perils of Being Old…

This could be me... if I had someone to make a list for me.
This could be me… if I had someone to make a list for me.
…Or is it senility? I can’t remember. Speaking of forgetting stuff, I forgot that Last week, I was supposed to be updating my blog. According to the schedule I had set for myself, last week was supposed to see a Raw update of Jennifer Steel, A contest on Wednesday and a guest post by R.S.Guthrie. I think I accomplished one of those things. And that’s only because it wasn’t in my hands.

I have to look into setting up a calendar and schedule these things. I hope I don’t forget to look at the calendar…

Also, I have been forgetting my writing. I have been wrapped up in informal counseling of two friends. They’re going through some rough stuff at the moment. As I have gone through similar things a decade ago, and fought through it, they tell me I have a unique way of viewing things. I think they’re the most magnificent people I know.

Eh, before I get too lost in my ramblings, I’m gonna go look for those calendars. I just hope I don’t forget why I’m looking for them…

Image credit: Scott Hilburton

Today, R.S.Guthrie Takes Over…

Rob-75x850-Cropped…Posting on my blog. He’s a great author of Books such as Black Beast and Lost. Both are phenomenal books. Give them a read. To check out what up coming novels he has coming (like Blood Land) Check out his blog robonwriting. Tell him beginingsinwriting sent you. Without further ado, here’s Rob:

The Self-Publishing Dream (Or Was It Nightmare?)

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It was so much simpler when writing was just a dream. I mean, everything works out in a dream, and unknown things like deadlines and marketing campaigns with their cost and timing and effectiveness aren’t in the dream—after all, their unknown, right?

And what about the slush pile you were planning to avoid by self-publishing instead of sending your manuscript into the maw of overworked, underpaid, tumultuous world of traditional publishing? Send it there you might never see it again and even if you did what were the chances of it not having a form rejection slip attached to it?

Here’s the rub: the slush pile has moved to the marketplace. Yes, the ability for any man, woman, or child with an Internet connection to publish a book is one of the most fantastic things to happen to the unpublished writer. Want to know what one of the absolute worst things to happen to those same writers turned out to be?

Same thing.

Now this is not all doom and gloom. If you’re like me (or you were a Scout) you like to be prepared. Know what you’re in for. Muster your courage. Become the warrior you were always meant to be. (And when you’re done fighting those bloody battles you’re really going to need that sword as a machete to cut your way out of the middle of the “Jungle of Unknown Writers” for the next few years.
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Writing the book is the easy part, my friends. It really is. You have about three or four other full-time jobs awaiting you after the completion of your masterpiece. You are the Marketing Department, the Accounting Department, the Art Department, the Accounts Payable department, the CEO, the CFO, and a few other jobs I’ve forgotten due to the anti-depression medication.

Okay, that’s more like six or seven jobs above and beyond AUTHOR. The good news is even if you went the traditional publishing route, were signed, and waited until you were old and gray to see your book on the shelves, you’d be expected to do most of those things yourself (at your cost) anyway.

So here I am going to lay out some things, high level, you need to think about and my opinion on them (based on semi-substantial experience):

1. Hire a cover designer. There are a LOT of them out there who work for major publishers (or even publishers in general) who do work on the side. You should not have to pay more than $100-200 for a really nice cover. Make sure that you get the spine and back cover if you are going to have a paperback made.
2. Have a paperback made. You aren’t going to make money off of it, but you owe yourself after dreaming all those years of seeing your book in print to finally see it in print! And people want signed copies (book signings are a great way to meet your readers and even if they aren’t giant revenue producers, they make you feel more like an author and things that bolster your confidence are going to be very important in the first year or two.
3. Hire an editor and a proofreader. Yes, two different people. I like to think of it as checks and balances because the professions do overlap so you get some bonus work by using two different professionals instead of just one. (I hope I didn’t just ruin half my relationships with editors and proofreaders.) Again, you should be able to find reasonably priced people for each but expect to pay a bit more for the editing. That’s hard work.
4. Whatever date you have in mind for your “release”, plan to send it to advanced reader/reviewers as far ahead of time as possible. They are called Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) and you need to leverage them big time. Some advertisers won’t even allow you to pay for an ad without a certain number of reviews and a particular average score (say 4.5 out of 5 stars). You’re also going to have better luck actually getting them to post the reviews if your book is already out there digitally published on Amazon (and wherever else). Trust me, you hitting “publish” and your book being “available for sale”, while majorly exciting for you, means nothing to the marketplace. Just another web page no one knows about…YET.
5. Get on every social networking site there is (Twitter, Facebook Author Page, LinkedIn, GoodReads, etc.). And do it now (i.e. ahead of the release of your book). They say buyers have to see your name 3-4 times before it sinks into their brain that they might want to buy something from you. You need exposure. Pay for a decent website. That’s one thing that’s going to cost you a little bit more—definitely one of those “you get what you pay for” things. But look at it this way: your webpage is like your home on the Internet (and will be for a very long time). It’s also Grand Central Station through which all trains of reader will connect to your books. Make sure it looks good and performs nicely.
6. Grow thick skin. I mean skin that makes an alligators look like rice paper. No matter how good you are, no matter how nice you are—in fact, many times inversely proportionally to these things—you are going to be disliked, poorly reviewed, and even hated. You won’t even know why. This is the hardest part for me. I take things personally. DON’T. EVER. If you write well and produce quality material, the readers who love you will one day come. To Hades with the rest.

I know this makes self-publishing sound scary. Guess what? It is. Nothing worth getting in this life is without hard work, crazy levels of patience, and the ability to levitate above all the crap and still get up every day and start it all over again.

If you are truly a writer—if it truly is a passion; if you love it—you’ll get up every day and get done what needs to get done.

I Heart WritingIt’s a love affair. Actually, it’s a marriage. Love affairs come and go. This is your passion; this is what you’ve decided to dedicate your life to—richer, poorer, sickness, health, good reviews, haters, etc.

No one can take away your talent OR your love. And the combination of the two (with a lot of determination and outlasting the others mixed in) will get you there.

Click this again.
Click this.

Thanks for those words, Rob. They are ones to study on. Now, if y’all will excuse me, my Kindle says I downloaded his new book, Blood Land already. Let me go read it. I’ll review it here when I’m done.

Dreams Image credit: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Guy With Sword Image credit: aaronamat / 123RF Stock Photo

I Image credit: burakowski / 123RF Stock Photo

Jennifer Steel And Other Changes

This week is the last one for Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. raw updates appearing on Fridays. beginning next week, Fridays will be the day of the guest post (I hope). Also, I aim to begin running simple contests beginning next Wednesday. Jennifer Steel Raw updates will Alternate with Carter Blake ones if I have more stuff to post. If not, they will come on Tuesdays. Without further ado, here is the last Friday Jennifer Steel Raw update.

Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Raw Update)

Jennifer looked around the training room. With the exception of the colorful mats on the floor, it was pretty bland. The walls were a stark white and the ceiling matched. Rob pointed to the opening behind him.
“Ladies locker room. You will find a gi in your size. You’ve already been scanned.”
“I have a question, Worth.”
“Yes?”
“How did you know I would agree to join?”
“I know all, remember?”
“Right, you’re god. How could I forget?” she said sarcastically.
‘I’ve been too lenient with you mortals lately.” He grinned when she rolled her eyes. She shook her head and headed into the locker room.

She looked around, not really impressed with the interior. It looked like every other locker room she’d been in. Rows of metal lockers stood side by side like soldiers at parade. They were a nondescript utilitarian grey. Each had a copper nameplate near eye level for an average sized woman. Before each row of lockers was a long wooden bench. The benches were a varnished white pine. The floor was a rough textured tile that she could feel through her soft leather boots. As she advanced further in, she was first greeted by the stench of sweat and dirty gym clothes. This was followed by a variety of flowered scents that when taken in all at once, wasn’t all-together unpleasant. She knew these were the body washes and shampoos the others used after their workouts. She came to a locker with her name engraved on the nameplate. She reached out and lightly touched the beautifully flowing script.

Jennifer Steel,
Agent of the F.S.I.A.

The letters were etched fairly deeply into the metal. The way the letters streamed into each other felt marvelous. She allowed her hand to slide downward, enjoying the feel of smooth, cold steel. When her hand reached chest level, a beep sounded. Her hand had continued further past, so she stopped and raised her hand to that point again. Three beeps sounded this time, followed by a warm green light playing over her hand. From within the locker, there was a hollow click and the door swung open. She pulled it completely open and a light clicked on. There were two shelves about eighteen inches apart near the top of the locker, and an empty hanger dangling from a crossbar. She peered at the top shelf. On it was a turquoise jacket, pants and belt, carefully folded. On the bottom shelf was a grey sport bra and a pair of grey spankies, athletic underwear. Next to the underwear was a roll of white tape. She dressed, finding that the gi fit perfectly and was incredibly light and smooth. It had to have been made from silk. She grabbed the tape and headed out, barefoot, to the training room.

Rob was already there, dressed similarly except his gi was black and trimmed in red. He was doing some moves like a dance. But, he then snapped out a few kicks and punches in rapid succession. He dropped to the ground, sweeping his right leg around in a circle, then whirling back to his feet. He twirled through the air, kicking out first one leg, then landing on it and thrusting out the other one. He continued this for several moments before halting and smoothly moving into a series of rapid punches. She walked up behind him, causing him to spin while throwing a fist towards her face!

Usually, I don’t like Mondays… [post 1 of 3]

…but today is actually a good one. Shocking, right? Today, we’re going to have three posts from me, this one and two others.

This first post is to remind you about an announcement I made last month (seen here). I had asked author R.S.Guthrie to guest post. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, life got in the way. Mr. Guthrie got a bit swamped and he didn’t get a chance to write that guest post. He recently go a break and has informed me that he intends to send it to me by the end of the month. His guest post will touch on indie publishing and some of the tools he uses. Sounds epic, right?

If you haven’t checked out the books I mentioned in that last post (click the blue “here” above for the reviews), the links to get them are as follows: Black Beast and Lost. Click the links and buy them. Do yourself a favor by getting two great books and help R.S.Guthrie by supporting his work. Oh, click here to get to know him a bit better. He loves hearing from fans.

Later, I will post about the friendly adverb and I’ll add another Carter Blake update.