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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What's not there? Another Secret of Life.

On March 15, I shared in a post about one of secrets of Life.
Today I will share another nugget of wisdom, I didn't invent it, I didn't discover it.  I believe the origin to be from the Orient, or Eastern Philosophy.  But even of this I am not sure.  I am only passing it on.

The most important things in life are those that are not there.
The part of a glass we use, is the empty space inside.
The part of a bowl you use is the empty space inside it.
The part of your home you use is the empty space inside.
    The more empty space generally the more valuable it is, concerning houses.
The part of a tire that holds the wieght and does all the work, is the empty space inside the tire where the air or nitrogen would go.
The really important things are not things you can grab or touch. 
It is the feelings you have for your kids, or that they have of you.
    The feelings you have for your parents, or that they have of you.
         The feelings we have for others in our lives.
         The feelings we have for our spouses or significant others,
           or how they feel about us.
The sunrise or sunset.
The warm feeling you get from other people, or the sun on your face on a really cool day.
The feeling of being ok, alright, right now being able to read this from where ever you are at this moment.

Your dreams and plans, which in reality will always be more important than anything you have all ready attained, own or possess.

Start looking for and appreciating everything in life that is not there or you can not touch or grab.
Be thankful for the absence, and the being without as many things as you can, instead of for all the things you have or want.  Consider the things you maybe don't want, could be without, could do without.

During this time of reflection remember our brothers and sisters in the country of Japan, a great many people who are doing without a great deal, of many things.  I am constantly amazed by the Japanese people and their resolve and determination.  I saw a picture on line where the main road from Toyko to the damaged region of the country looked like it had been literally pulled apart and shredded.  Some how they managed with in hours to repair this entire section of road to brand new condition.  How could they do this so fast and so well?  Because they had to, in order to get relief and help to where it would be needed. 

I was totally amazed!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

American's Live at Madison Avenue.

It dawned on me while listening to the recorded message of a trucking company while waiting on hold for them to find out where my load of tires might be that missed their delivery appointment 45 minutes ago, that American's live in a world of advertising.  We exist and live at Madison Avenue, the home of Advertising.  I can't speak for other countries. 

You never hear the truth about companies?  You see their advertising on television, bill boards, on the sides of trucks.  You hear their advertising, either on the radio, or their phone message.  When have you ever heard a truthful ad, or seen one on television. 

I deal with trucking companies all day long, 365 days of the year, as the company I work for receives freight from literally every corner of the globe.  Every trucking company's ad is telling you how they are the leaders in logistics and transportation of the country or the world. 

I know one company that the closest they can get to a delivery appointment time is maybe the right day of the week.  Another one habitually takes two appointments to get any freight to you.  They have never made a scheduled first appointment. 

There is another freight company that charges the company I work for 38.00 every time they call to make a delivery appointment.  I called them and explained if I got 38.00 every time I spoke to one of my customers I would have retired years ago.  We don't pay it!  A lady explained to me over the phone, that everybody is doing that these days.  No they're not!  She went on to explain that if I told the shipper that I require a phone call for a delivery appointment and they mark it so on the Bill of Lading that they would charge them and not me.  I explained if I call the shipper it would be to advise them to find another shipping company that can actually make a living by delivery freight and do not have to subsidize their inefficiency by charging to call and make appointments.  She replied that I didn't need to be hateful.  I said I am not being hateful.  I explained neither the shipper nor my company is going to pay the charge, and I will advise them to not use your company or we will refuse the shipment.  She hung up on me.  Now really, who was being hateful.  Needless to say none of our suppliers use that company any longer. 

You never hear a phone message at a company say,
"We suck!  We are trying harder not to suck as BAD as we have in the past." 
"We need to charge a fuel surcharge because the rest of the world is charging it for stuff."
"We need to raise our rates to pay the litigation our company has lost in the last year, it surprising we're not bankrupt yet."
"The increased amount of coronary incidents in our establishments is actually because we are serving botulism disguised as Chicken Parmesan."
"Yes our product kills people, but your grandparents, and parents bought it for years and still managed to have and raise you."
"We are making awesome profits, we have to now because we will not be allowed to pollute the world and kill people this way forever, sooner or later people are going to figure it out.  Plus, who do you think pays for election advertising campaigns.  We do, otherwise we would be closed already."
 I may have gone too far.  My original point was going to be:
No wonder so many Americans have such a distorted idea of the truth and reality when the world we see, hear and experience day in and day out is so completely distorted.  We wonder why people can't agree on things, because we don't all inhabit the same plane of distortion.  Some of what all of us believe is wrong.  Some of what all of us have heard or read is not the truth. 

It starts with grade school in history classes and worse as you get older.  Think about when you were younger and the things you believed to be truths.  The thoughts and dreams about the world you live in.  If your under 25 and reading this you may not entirely understand what I am driving at for another fifteen or twenty years, and there is a good chance many who read this will never get it.  So if your reading this and your saying, "What in the hell is he talking about?", just never mind. 

For me it is a constant source of amusement listening to the miss information, miss speaking (as it is called by politicians now a days), and miss direction of the media. 

In a utopia all advertising would have to, by law, be written and paid for by your consumers.  All advertising would have to be backed up by citing sources, and facts, like a college paper.  Anything that could not be verified would not be allowed to be distributed as information.  If new facts or discoveries become available, even in the text books concerning history, it would have to be rewritten to accurately describe the truth no matter who it implicates or how it makes your country or culture look.  WHOOO  That would shake things up a touch.  It was just a thought. 

Have a Great Day!  Thanks for sharing my world if even for a moment. 

If you are still reading and still don’t understand what you are reading, there should be a button at the top that says "Next Blog" or "Home", HURRY and CLICK that NOW.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How much is a month worth?

Ipilimumab.  Don't ask me how to pronounce it?
It is a new Drug for the treatment of skin cancer, that was just approved by the FDA.

I am not saying I am for or against this.  I am not making a judgement call one way or the other, but after reading the article it begged the Question?  How much is a month worth?

If you have cancer and are dying nobody could say how much another day would be worth, a week, or four months.  It is the moments, connections, lasting impressions we leave with those we have touched and leave behind, that truly matter. 

In the article it stated that this new drug was not a home run, but maybe a solid base hit, as it only made about a four month extension of life for those treated that had positive results during the clinical trials.  Solid base hit?

It said last year 68.000 people were diagnosed with this form of skin cancer (metastatic melanoma).  Of those patients 8,700 died.  That's 7.8 percent of those diagnosed.  It hasn't cured anybody of the cancer, it only has extended the life of a small percentage of the patients in the clinical trials.  85% of the patients tested had little response to the drug, according to the article.  It said 12 percent had a fatal Immune reaction during the study.  Fatal means that twelve percent died from just a reaction to taking the drug!  So if the drug was tried on the 68,000 diagnosed, 8,160 of the patients may have a fatal reaction.  Only 8,700 died from it without the drug, according to the same article. 

I do think it is a milestone in the way we treat cancer, by treating the cancer through immunology rather than chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy treats the tumor directly, where as treating the bodies own immune system to deal with the cancer itself seems to be a better approach.  From the results listed I really don't think it sounded positive enough to be passed for general use in public, obviously it is already passed enough tests to be used in clinical research. 

They went on to mention the company that is producing the drug and how they are losing the patent protection of two of it's major drugs in 2012.  The article mentioned that the company projects that the new cancer drug will produce an estimated 960 million dollars by 2015.  It's getting passed by the FDA resulted in a 57 cent jump in the companies stock and a sister companies stock jumped also.  Which got me thinking.  960 million divided by the number of months between now and the end of 2015 would be 57 months, would equal 16.8 million a month.  For four extra months of life, the company your buying the drug from will have banked 67.3 million.  How much is a month worth?  Well for one company it is worth 16.8 million a month because of this drug be allowed to sell on the market.  I am not the person to make a judgement call on this.  If I was diagnosed with cancer it would definitely effect my opinion, and four months longer with my family might be worth a hell of a lot more than 16.8 million.  I am only asking a question.  I am glad people are working on a cure and apparently headed in the right direction.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wouldn't be Halarious

Woundn't be Halarious is the Spell check on the Compose part of the BLOG didn't work?
Wow, thought I was doing awesome!  Yeah it has a glitch, your spelling still sucks.
Sorry it just caught me as funny!

Writing Coach & Editing

I wish I was posting something fabulous that would shake the world, saying, "Hey wake up, Pay attention!  This is important!"

Not so much.  I am busy learning the craft of my new passion, which is writing.  Funny, I say new passion. I have been playing around with it for years.  I just only got serious about it last year when I wrote two books. 

Only got Serious about it, not exactly, but that's what I thought.

Upon editing my second book and meeting whom I call my literary angel, I am getting more serious about writing.  I truly understand the importance of having your work edited.  I truly believe every author should have somebody read their stuff and critique it before they publish, because by being the author it blinds you certain aspects of your writing.

It is amazing how you can read something 15 - 25 times and it seems so fine, maybe even good.  With the right comment or question all of a sudden right in front of your eyes it metamorphsis's into something entirely different.  I was looking at my work yesteday, a particular piece of it, and I watched it go from fine to Blah!  Blah! OH BLAH right in fron tof my eyes!!  It was amazing.  I knew my new writing coach was right!  I felt some misgivings about the initial writing, but thought it was fine.  I was being lazy, and untruthful with myself.

Never be Lazy!  Readers are unforgiving, ruthless, they want great writing. 

I am doing a Latin Writing Dance!  One step forward, two steps back, but I am learning an immense amount of really good stuff! 

If your a really Great Writer, why are you here reading this?  If your not and honest enough to admit it, get a writing coach, literary angel, what ever you want to call it and learn.  You have to be honest with yourself first, and who ever is helping you must be honest or it won't work.  If your not honest about it, your writing will still look fine, you may feel insulted, and in that attitude you will remain, unfortunately so will your writing.

I used to teach people to draw.  When ever you put your crayons down and stopped drawing is where you will be when you pick them up and try again.  You don't naturally get better at it because you are older and have managed to learn to write legibly.  I imagine writing is not much different because of the creative aspect of it.  Anyways I am pre occupied for a while being schooled!  I relish it, need it, want it, and will deal with my impatience day to day. 

I am too opininated and like to throw my two cents into the ring, so I will be back to more creative posts before long.  As with things about writing, this is one of my steps I am happy to take, so I thought I would mention it, rather than not post anything.

One final note - this is the first time I have written a post or ANYTHING and when I hit the spell checker button, NOTHING!  I didn't miss spell a damn thing!  @(*%^**#  Sorry had to get up, I just fell out of my chair!    Have a GREAT DAY!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Synchronicity

Synchronicity is .  . .
Is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance.

"meaningful coincidences"

a causal connecting principle

an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events.

Last night I finished my home work for my literary angel, and WOW.
SYNCHRONICITY (I wish I could say that word)

I sent Chapters one and two of my second book to my angel.  Got on messenger and related I had sent it, I mentioned I started reading the angels newest book and mentioned a part in Chapter one of the story.  Well that part was true!  It had a direct correlation to part of what I related in Chapter two of what I had just sent the angel.  So the angel has a direct, Very Direct relation to a historical event that was related in both pieces of work.  It was the most bizarre experience of Synchronicity I have ever experienced.

Any of you who read my stuff, here or in my books, will find out sooner or later I am religious, converted rather late in life mostly because of my wife.  I still have a problem with cussing, in that I still do it habitually, and I know it is wrong.  I sure God knows I do it, and he is working on me about it through my wife and she has enlisted my oldest son in the crusade by having him repeatedly tell me, "Daddy don't say that." 

I am a devout Christian because of things I have witnessed which can only be nothing short of a miracle or divine intervention.  A faith Experience.  Many believe, but until you experience something personally that cements your faith in God almighty, you will struggle with faith and your belief.  I love the church my wife and I attend because they are very big on, you knowing what you believe and why do you believe it.  They don't tell you what to believe.  They preach the Holy Word of the Bible and even present different view points on some of the controversial topics, but they believe a Christian should know what they believe and why.

There are times when God has plans for your life and ready or not, when it is time, God moves.  Your plans don't matter.  You want to make God laugh, by all means put your hands together and tell him about your plans.  You understand that point much better when your two year old son starts laying out his plans for the way the evening will go according to him, and as a father you're like, "That's nice and that might make you happy, but this is what is really going to happen."  It dawned on my one night while explaining that to my two year old that God pretty much does the same thing with us, only he doesn't always explain it so well.  Then again maybe he does but we are listening like a two year and more concerned with our plan we don't see or listen when he is telling us. 

I am old enough, wise enough to realize that not everything is a coincidence, God brings people into your life for a reason, and it might be years before you figure it out.  We may never figure it out.  Looking back I can see how my plans and my life has changed and not quite gone the way I had imagined it would, and as it turns out I have ended up in a much better place and better off for what has happened.  I know when God is working in my life and adjusting things, getting ready to change things, and I am wise enough to sit back and marvel in his awesome power and design and watch it unfold.  When I was younger, I would act like my two year old and fight and kick and resist the changes, try to force my plan.  It doesn't work.

There is an oriental proverb that says, that every grain of sand is exactly where it is supposed to be.  When you understand that you will realize we might not like everything that is going on, but it is all according to his master plan and design.  You can fight it, refuse, change the course but in the end it just means you end up at the same point later in life having taken a little harder and longer road, than you might of.  I probably could have listened to the writing and English teachers years ago and been a writer years ago, but it probably was not the right time.  I needed seasoned, experiences, tempered, and mellowed in certain areas to get to where I am at right now.  Exactly where I am supposed to be.  We should open our eyes and ears and listen and watch what's going on around us very closely.  We live in a supernatural world and too many don't see all that is truly going on around them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Teaching an old new tricks.

I am an old dog, but I always remember the immortal words of Indiana Jones.
"It's not the age, it's the mileage."

At 43 I turned a new page in my life.  I began writing, seriously.  I finished my first novel, "Whisper" and my second novel "No Rules of Engagement".  Whisper for good or bad is done, and self published.  It was my first, to prove to myself I could really do it.   Many of the feelings, experiences, steps, discoveries, and lessons learned I have posted about here.

Since publishing Whisper, I have taken up writing a blog, trying to self promote Whisper, making connections with other writers and exploring aspects I know I will have problems with later.  I have continued making the changes my editor sent back to me on a printed rough draft of "No Rules of Engagement".  I have realized with Whisper and with the work I have been doing on NROE, that my current editor is helping me learn to correct basic English punctuation problems, and spelling errors, but much more is needed.

I don't even remember how it started but I have made a contact, a friend, a discovery that to me is as big as finding a 15 foot diameter chunk of gold in my back yard.  I am happier about tonight and what has transpired than if I would have just won the freaking lottery.

Let me back up and explain a couple of things.  I came from a little town in the Panhandle of Idaho, that consisted of one post office, an elementary school, three bars, a truck stop, a tiny general store, and a few people.  Athol, Idaho at that time in history could be passed on Hwy 95 if you blinked.  I moved there the year I entered 1st grade.  I don't remember 1st Grade, I remember I was in love with my second Grade Teacher, I passed third grade with 7 F's.  The teacher had one more year before she retired and refused to flunk me and have me in her class one more year.  She said I was smart enough and passed me.  Fourth grade the teacher got pregnant and the year was finished out with a substitute.  Fifth Grade - No Spelling, History but heavy in math.  Sixth grade, Heavy in Math, but we did have vocabulary and I sucked at it.

It became obvious a few years later I had developed a extreme interest in Math and Science and easily excelled in these areas.  Twice as a child I went deaf and my hearing wasn't restored until I got tubes put in my ears, but these times in my life I became very inward oriented, read a lot, and my imagination and creativity soared off the charts as a result.  This is explains in a sense how a person can become extremely creative with a passion to write and have little to no English skills.  ME!

I have met an angel of literary mercy how is helping me for free with English, Polishing, and feedback on my writing.  In a way that I understand.  I discovered I am not stupid, just ignorant of English mechanics.  She manages to get me to write, rather rewrite and ask questions which probably come naturally to those who had a decent education and managed to learn English skills as they grew up.  She has managed to show me in a single chapter how to improve what I write, by how I write it.  The true magic and benefit of this is if I learn how to do this on my own, my work in the future will still need to be checked, for accuracy, punctuation, spelling, but hopefully the mechanics and rough spots will disappear because it will have been written correctly the first time out. 

I am generally excited to get to write, but I am shaking with anticipation to rewrite "No Rules of Engagement", and definitely rewrite the first half of my third book I have been writing.  I have gotten a lot better in the last year but I feel I am about to start making some great strides in my literary education.  That coupled with what I feel is a bit of talent and over flowing explosion of imagination, plot twists, and awesome characters, my fans (the few), will have to wait a little longer for the next and following books but they will be much better for it.  I really need this help!  I have the time.  So it will be a longer than I anticipated before that next adventure comes out.  Thank you my angel, you know who you are.  Fans hang in there.

This is one more step in the journey and the process.  So I had to add a word or two about it.  Good night It's 1:00AM in the morning and I have church tomorrow with two toddlers.  This is the fourth time this week it has been 1 or later before going to bed.  Anybody who knows what I look like, knows I need all the beauty sleep I can get. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sharing Issues, Ideas and Thoughts

I've spent the majority of the last two days sharing, reading, posting, with people on Linkedin and Writer's Digest Community.  It dawns on m there there are a lot of friendly, helpful an smart people out there.  It is funny how the same concerns, questions, and themes keep showing up. 

I started a discussion on a collaborated effort of Artists, Movie Makers, and Authors.  I now want to add a fourth element to this which Professional Editing. 

A gentleman by the name of Carter Harkins, says affiliated with both sides of the fence on this issue and he suggested a means by which Artists, Editors, and Movie Makers (for Trailers) could set a price for said work, contribute their portion to the work in question, then they would get a percentage of the book until that amount was reached and then they would paid in full and after the Author has paid them all back the rest of full proceeds would be the authors from then on out. 

If your already a starving artist, you could starve a little longer for Professional Help.  In a scenario such as this everybody would be getting work.  Better Art covers, trailers (good or bad, what you dreamed of or not, it would rely on who you choose, the price you set, etc.), professionally edited work.  This would definitely bring up the level of Indie Authors to a more professional level to that of the Big Publishing companies.  We would sell more books!  Eventually make more money.  We would definitely be noticed more easily.  Especially if Artists were promoting 'Say check out this book, I did the cover Art!!'
Movie makers sharing the trailer around promoting their work with a link to your book.  Every time we sell a book they get closer to be paid off for their contribution to it. 

Carter Harkins is right on track.  Still need a web site, or some place like Smashwords to step up and be the on stop shop, where as Authors are working on their next project they sign in and sign up and collaborate with the artists, editors, an trailer makers so it can all come together as a finished product.  Each team doing what they do, to the best of their ability, for the price negotiated in the process of deciding how intricate and much work is needed to finish each piece.  Bring it all together as a finished product, everybody promoting it through their friends and networks, from where ever they happen to reside.

As I write this we could add a fifth element of Promotion, and let the promotional experts do their thing and cut down on the cheesy self promoting posts on the social sites and have it successfully promoted, reviewed, interviews of Artists, Writers, Movie makers, Editors (the unheralded heroes behind many great works, who hardly ever get mentioned). 

If properly done this would be huge.  I predict their would be a flood to the site, to collaborate together, share, and promote every body's work.  It would be overwhelming at first.  The Big Publishers would really come up short because then the Indie Publishers could compete professionally on the same level they do, and pay their way to doing it.  This is a work in progress.  Stay tuned....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Review of my Book by OBS

WHISPER BY THOMAS WILSON: BOOK REVIEW

16 March 2011 View Comments
Thomas Wilson
Whisper

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz    Thank you Annabell, my friend.


Book can be purchased here:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38922
Synopsis: Whisper is the short story of a ships short existence, a Captains last mission, of a life of testing things for the navy. Captain Wiley Randolph is about to retire and has regrets of never settling down, finding a wife, or creating a family. The crew of the USS Whisper tries to get back to their rightful place in time after accidentally being sent into the past over 200 years while testing a device to make the ship invisible. Captain Wiley Randolph and his crew fight against time, a 200 year old frigate, a Japanese Zero, and a German Wolf Pack of submarines. He also finds something very special he didn’t even know he was looking for.
Review:
Whisper, for the most part, was a pretty decent read. I did enjoy a good deal of the book but not everything.
The book starts out rough. It takes a little while to get into the story. The language of how things work in the military and how to run a ship is hard to understand. For example, when Wiley says, “Hard to port, reverse port engines full, flank speed on starboard engines, steady ship up on 140.”  I have no idea what any of that means! The author could have done a better job making sure his audience would understand what he is conveying through his characters and story since every reader doesn’t actually know about ships and how they function.
The dialogue read too harsh causing it to feel like an over dramatic play. It was just too hard to relate to. The descriptions throughout the novel were too generic, there needed to more vividness, better detail.
The concept of presented within the book– a new technology being created that can in a sense make people and objects invisible for a given set time and also transport an object or person to another time period–is pretty darn awesome! The author did a wonderful job of explaining how such a technology could be created and work effectively. He also did a good job of showing what happens when humanity puts too much trust in technology. Technology is often fickle and rarely works the way we think it will.
I did like the fact that the main character, Wiley, narrated the story. I like when the story is told through characters. The book becomes more personal and intimate in a sense. The problem in Whisper though, was the book kept getting confusing because it switched between the author narrating the story and then Wiley narrating, sometimes right in the middle of a paragraph! As a reader, that made enjoying the book difficult.
Wiley was a great lead character. He is a God-fearing man, who is loyal and determined and honest. He manages to keep his head straight even when chaos breaks out. You know you can trust him without a doubt. He’s the type of guy you would want in your corner.
There was a great deal of action through Whisper and as an action lover myself, I truly appreciated that aspect of the book. The suspense and tension throughout those scenes was well written.
Unless you enjoy reading stories centered around technology and the world of the military, Whisper may not be your cup of tea. But for those of you who are willing to approach with an open mind, you may find yourself actually liking Whisper.
With some editing and a good rewrite, Whisper has the potential to be a very good read.
You can find more info about the author Thomas Wilson at his blog:
http://thomaswilsonstoryteller.blogspot.com/

Increased Gang Activity In Kansas City Area

I keep hearing about Increased gang activity in the Kansas City, MO area.  I have a few thoughts about this, that I feel compelled to share with the world.

1.  Missouri has a neat little law, that provided you take the right classes and get registered you have the right to conceal and carry.  For those of you who don't know what that means.  You have no idea who is secretly carrying a loaded pistol, in public, in this state. 

     Now originally I grew up in the back woods of the Panhandle, of the State, of Idaho.  Yeah, it's a State!  The panhandle is the skinny part between Montana, and Washington State.  It is mostly Rocky Mountains and forests.  We had to haul water in a 500 gallon tank on a 1950's pick up truck from a natural spring, (where water comes out of a rock), and drive it back to our little farm tucked away in the woods.

As a child we had hunter safety courses in Grade School, every year.  Everybody in the county had to haul water once or twice a week to their place until we all put in together and dug a well and put in our own water pipes, over acres, and in 1979 we got to stop hauling water year around.  Back in the days we hauled water, beside the area where the trucks would park and wait for their turn at the spring, there was a rifle range set up.  Everybody would practice shooting, and teach their children to shoot.  I grew up with a loaded rifle leaning against the door jam of the front door.  Most house's were that way.  We had mountain lions, bears, wolves, and other nasties running around.  Gun control where I grew up meant being able to hit your target even if it was moving. 

My best friend, and greatest fan, Phillip Woody grew up here in Missouri and is every bit as good a shot as I am.  (I am going to make Phillip famous if I keep telling stories about him.)  We went hunting at his place in Northern Missouri a few years ago, and while cooking dinner on the back porch of his place, cooking steaks, we got tired of shooting the coke cans and paper plates we had set up.  So beyond our targets was a whole bunch of flowers with a bunch of butterflies flying around the flowers.  So with single shot 22 caliber rifles we start shooting butterflies, shooting from the hip, and hitting them.  There is silly version of this story in my next novel to come out, where this idiot gets accepted into the Special Forces because he wins a bet about being able to shoot a butterfly with a M60 machine gun.  I forgot I put it in there until Phillip called me and asked, "OK, which one of us is the idiot?"  He reads all my rough drafts before anybody else.  He came up with the title for that book, "No Rules of Engagement", it will hopefully be out this summer on Smashwords.  I get distracted. 

2. So a lot of people are packing heat in Missouri.  There are a lot of them that are good shots.  I once met a couple and as we talked, they asked where I was from and I said Kansas City.  They thought from old western movies they had seen we still rode horses in the street and had hitching posts in front of buildings.  Well let me clear a few things up.  Kansas City, MO is a normal big city with all the good and the bad.  No we don't have hitching posts in front of places.  Are we a cow town, Hell yes.  We don't have the same atmosphere cities in the east have, and aren't nearly as liberal and laid back as some of the cities on the west coast.  Kansas City, MO is in Missouri!  There is a Kansas City, Kansas, but it isn't even pimple on the ass of Kansas City, MO.  If anything Johnson County, Kansas, the next county over from where Kansas City, Kansas is located has several very well to do communities and I have heard it is one of the richest counties in the entire country.

3.  If gangs are importing gang members in from other major cities to the Kansas City area, it is only a matter of time before they mess with the wrong redneck in this area.  People don't carry guns because they are comfortable to where around.  They carry them for protection and because they are not going to take any shit from anybody.  I can't wait until I hear about some gang banger car jacking the wrong little old lady and getting ventilated in the process.  Not that a story like that would make the news, but if what the news people are talking about around here is right, it will only be matter of time.  Missourians know.  Most everybody is very polite because if you get stupid to the wrong person they may pop a cap in your ass. 

4.  I don't pack heat.  I have the wrong attitude to carry a gun,because would just end up shooting some idiot during rush hour traffic who shouldn't have a license to begin with.  Plus I love Sam Elliott's line from the movie, "We we're soldiers", when Mel Gibson asks him if he wants an M16 instead of his 45's.  He says if the time comes he needs one there will be plenty of them laying around.  If we ever have total chaos and rioting in the streets and I need a weapon, there will be plenty of them laying around. 

Happy St. Patty's Day to my Irish Cousins.  No I didn't wear green, because I Scottish, the only one to pinch me today got kicked in the shins.  He knew better, he is a good friend.

Open Book Society Book Review

My book was Reviewed by Open Book Society Today.  Not a Glowing review, but in the words of Donald Trump, "Even bad press is press."  It wasn't all bad.  At some later date they will be posting an Author Interview, of me of course. 

They said they would let me know ahead of time so I could alert people, but I didn't know until I saw it on their site today.   I could have an e-mail about it when I get home.

St. Patrick's Day

I have one of those 'This Day in History Calenders' on my desk.

The First St. Patrick Day's parade took place this day in 1762 in New York City.  Homesick Irish soldiers serving in the British Colonial Army staged a parade celebrating their heritage at a time in history when "the wearing of green" was banned in Ireland.  The parade participants reveled in the freedom to speak Irish, wear green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes.

I am first generation American.  My father was born in Scotland.  So when a very good friend of mine pinched me for not wearing green today, I exclaimed I am Scottish as I kicked him in the shins really hard.  I work at a tough place.  He later came in to my office, upset that his shins were still hurting and put me in a head lock, I stabbed him in the hand with my ball point pen (not terribly hard, he is a friend of mine, very close and old friend) repeatedly until he let go and I could get out of my chair.  We broke a lamp, (it needed replacing anyway the switch doesn't work, had to unplug it every night to get it to go off) and tore up my office a bit.  We both are little bruised, and still close friends, no hard feelings. 

I think we are so close because of the mutual respect we have for one another and the amount of pain we each know we could inflict to the other if we ever did really all out fight.  I think we were rolling around on the warehouse floor fighting years ago when we started to like each other.  My friend Rodney is black and bald, and I am white and bald, and we both will never say die or quit, and we both know it.  We kid with people and tell people we are brothers.  We both enjoy the funny looks people give us when they are like, 'You can't be brothers?'  We are really close friends and have been for years, we might as well be brothers.

My only other bit with this post today was, Scottish or Irish, don't F**K with us.  We actually enjoy fighting.  I would rather not, but if a problem arises, even if I get my butt kicked, somebody else will be going to the hospital with me, guaranteed!  My family comes from Clan Gunn, and the motto on our crest is "Aut Pax, Aut Bellum", which is Latin for Either Peace Or War, which is pretty accurate with my family, we don't go looking for fights but rarely will we turn our back on one. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Secret of Life

I say one, because there are several, but I feel very generous so I will share one today.

God gives everybody certain gifts.  It is your job to find out what they are and what you will do with them.

The big secret is different for everybody. 

I am Operations Manager at the company I work for.  I do 100% of the hiring at the branch I work for.
One question I ask every person I interview.

"Disregarding Money, Education, Where you need to live, if you could have your dream job, the one thing in the world you would do even if you didn't get paid for doing it, What would that be?"

It's a hard question, if you find the answer for yourself consider yourself blessed.  Immediately plot out what needs to happen to get you from where you are to that point in life. 

If you find this thing, what ever it my be, and you can do it.  You will naturally want to be the best at it.  You will work at it with everything you have.  You will have a passion for it.  It will show in your work.  The excitement level you have when you speak to others about it.  You will have an overwhelming enthusiasm for working towards this goal.  Doing what you love to do and letting that consume the energy of your life is to work towards a higher purpose.  It will change everything.

What is your answer to that question?

For what it is worth, I am a leader, not just a manager.  I ask the question, not to enlighten a candidates purpose in life.  I ask the question to see if they can handle pressure and think about and discuss a hard question in an interview?  Have they ever considered the question?  Did they respond right away with an answer?  Are they sitting there without a clue in the world?  What is their dream?  Can I use this to later motivate this person to rise above anything they have ever done before in their life?  Can I help them get closer to their dream, or will hiring them destroy them in time and crush their spirit?

I Have An Idea

I think somebody needs to create a group within Linkedin, Facebook, Writer's Digest, or one of these platforms, to bring together the following:

New Beginning Self Published Authors – who need Art work (Book Covers), and short movie clips (Trailers) for their books.

Artists wanting to get their name out and get requests for Artwork, doing cover art for books.

Budding Film Makers to make short trailers for books.

Each in their own right is a creative enterprise.  Everybody wants to make money.  Everybody needs to get established, get their name out into the world.

We need a place where these three groups can work together for next to no monetary gain at the outset.
Obviously when any member of this group gets somewhat established and some degree of success then they can pay more for said services or charge more for said services.

The more professional an Authors book looks on a web site ( COVER ART ), and if it has a creative catching trailer that gets customers to purchase the book, then they will sell more books, make more of a name for themselves.

The more work an Artist has, then they can raise their prices slightly from Free to $20-30 dollars for a piece of Cover art. 

The more work a movie maker has the higher they can set their price.

Maybe start everybody joining the sight at FREE and Tier One, and each time an Author uses a piece of Cover Art, or a movie clip, made to order, it jumps him up a tier with each book he publishes.  With each piece of work an Artist gives away, it moves them up a tier to $10 dollars for the next piece they commission.  Same with Movie people.  Do Ten pieces you have made you have made $450.00 and can legitimately commission your work for $100.00 or more a piece, but by this time your established, you have a track record of 10 books you have Illustrated the cover art for or Ten Movie Trailers for Books. 

Each Persons Profile will show their work.  Authors – books
   And What Tier they are in.                        Artists – Covers Published
   Contact information for Person                 Movie Makers – Trailers

To start with, at tier one through ten; the Author must list the Artist and Movie maker in the Copyright page in the front of their Book.  Where ever they are promoting their book they must mention by name the Artist and the Movie maker. Whenever possible promote or publish a link to Artists and Movie Makers Platform.

As each person graduates Tier Ten they are on their own.  The Website or Platform puts them on a Wall of Success as having progressed through the Tiers and established.  If any of these three groups cannot progress through the ten levels successfully they maybe should reconsider their objectives.

I Don't want to create or run this kind of a service, but I honestly believe it would be a beneficial service to all three categories.  I want to write.  I am an Artist and could do my own art work, but I would rather use the time to get another book ready to be published.  The Authors could distribute rough drafts of their books to the Artists and Movie makers to read to get a feel for the piece they are trying to create that would be right for the book.  I realize this would require a lot of trust on the part of all three groups to not steal or take advantage of each other through this process.  I have done my first book with Smashwords dot com and Mark Coker the creator of Smashwords has operated the site on a trust basis and I believe it is doing extremely well.  There will be instances of miss understandings and miss use but those people could easily be removed and blocked from the platform as well as maybe even a page where dis respectful behavior is noted and certain people to avoid contact with.  Somebody with a lot more intelligence than me would have to work that out and write the appropriate language to facilitate that aspect of the platform.  

It is an idea.  I will post a link to my blog on a few of the places where I am making connections and contacts through the writers communities.  We can only wait to see if some enterprising computer savvy person steps up to the challenge.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan update

Just heard form our friends at TOYO Tire.  For those that are new here, my day job I move tires for a living.  LOTS AND LOTS of tires. 
Our friends at TOYO Tire have said that all industry is shut down in Japan right now, the the TOYO Tire plant is intact and not damaged and has no water damage from the flooding.  They will keep us posted as to when things might be up and running again. 

The entire nation of Japan and it's people are in my prayers, and I am very worried about the continued reports that our coming out about the power plant problems in the country.  I posted a bit ago on Twitter, that the only thing these poor people have not had to contend with is Godzilla showing up in the last week.

I do not intend to be mean or insensitive, but I am Scottish, and a Sci-fi Writer.  I grew up with Monty Pythons sense of humor.  Look on the bright side of life!  Those of you old enough to remember Monty Python and the troop, know what I am talking about.  I couldn't help myself! 

It's a small world and get smaller everyday.

In my parents day if you heard something on the news that was somewhere else on the globe, chance were it would never directly effect you, and you didn't know anybody actually involved in the situation. 

Today, with the earthquake in Japan last week, I know a kid my younger brother went to school with in High School, who was a foreign exchange student from Japan.  He is alright, my brother checked in with him.  But I asked about him because I remembered him.  My daughter is attending William Jewell College, in Liberty, MO and in her second year of taking Japanese as a language and consequently through taking the class knows several people from Japan already.  She has heard from a couple of them, and a couple the word is still out, we're waiting to hear if they are alright. 

My friend Phillip Woody, who I have mentioned quite a bit throughout my various postings, got to watch a video from a friend of his, sent by a friend of theirs who is in Japan.  She, (the lady in Japan), held her lap top up while using Skype and showed the devastation outside her own window as things where actually happening there in Japan.  She told them that their daily food ration where she is at, is one carrot a day for right now.  Can you imagine?

It just makes it so much more real and devastating when you know people who are there and living through the experiences, that the rest of us are just getting tidbits of on the world news broadcasts.  My heart goes out to the people of Japan and the many challenges they are facing and will face in the near future, in the efforts of cleaning up and repairing their lives and country in the months to come.  They are in my prayers.

The world has reached a point where even the little things effect others around the globe.  We can choose to ignore it or think it doesn't matter to us, but we would be lying to ourselves.  Mankind needs to pull together in an organized fashion, above and outside of borders, languages, religions, and political beliefs and start working for the betterment of all mankind, everywhere.  We truly are our brothers keeper, and our brother is ours.  We need to respect mother nature and planet earth, because she can shake us off her back like a dog scratching flees.  Don't believe me, ask our brothers and sisters in Japan if she can.

Weather

I mentioned Friday about the weather in Kansas City, while discussing riding my motorcycle.  Saturday I rolled my bike out of the garage and started it and let it run for a while.  I upset my oldest son who is almost three, because he was convinced if Daddy started the bike, he was going for a ride.  I did run it around for a couple of blocks, it was chilly, but I wanted to blow carbon out of it that might have built up idleing, and let the battery get charged up good.  Anyway, it's monday morning and it is snowing!  Winter advisory out.  I told you so. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Virtual Book Shelves

As of yesterday my First Novel "Whisper" was distributed through Smashwords Distribution via their Premium Distribution Catalog!!!
It Went out to SONY
                      APPLE
                      BARNES & NOBLE
                      DIESEL
I have actually been able to pull it up on Sony's Ereader Site and Diesel's.
Have not found it on APPLES or Barnes & Nobles yet, but they say it could take up to a week to show up on the actual site it is distributed to. 

Basically though the virtual places people can stumble across my book just went into the big time, where their are literally millions of people browsing there daily for new books to read.  The E-Book Market is growing at an exponential rate.  It is FREE, It is Easy, and hopefully it is Profitable.  Stay tuned and I will let you all know how it comes out.  I know it will really start working when I have multiple books on multiple sites selling daily.  Ta Ta For now.

100 Downloads

Whisper, my first Novel, an E-book, which I published this January on Smashwords, and later on Amazon,

HIT 100 DOWNLOADS TODAY!!

I couldn't give it away for people to read and give me feed back on while still in the editing phase of writing.
Today it hit hit 100 Downloads on Smashwords.  I know it is a small milestone but for me it is a milestone.  In the times in between books when doubt and dread seep into your subconscious, and they will.  You celebrate every little victory and keep right on trudging along editing the next book to be published, and writing the next book to be edited.  Now honestly it's 100 downloads, mostly because it has been free on Smashwords all week for the Read an E-Book Week Promotion.  I started the week at 40 something downloads.  I have actually only sold 2 books on Smashwords for money, and 3 on Amazon.

The other night I went to the movies with my daughter, and my phone buzzes every time I get an E-mail.  I have Smashwords E-mail every time someone downloads a copy of my book, and all the way through the movie, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz.  I can't wait until I am working some evening writing and my phone just runs it's little battery into the dirt from buzzing and each time it will actually be a paying customer and future fan of my stories at the other end of that making my phone buzz!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Riding Motorcycles

Today is going to be near 60 degrees in Kansas City, feels closer to summer than spring today.  As the weather turns warmer it gets me thinking about riding my bike again.  I am not a die hard biker, a fair weather biker at best.  Riding my motorcycle scares the living shit out of me.  The day it doesn't scare me anymore I will sell it.  I am not afraid of me wrecking the bike as much as I am somebody in their car, mini-van, or truck not paying attention and running over me while I am out just trying to enjoy myself.  I hope to be riding when I am an old man.  So I have rules I follow as closely as I can.
1.  I Never use my bike as a primary means of transportation.  I never want to be in a hurry to get anywhere while riding.  When I ride my bike, I get there when I get there.
2.  I try to ride on nice sunny days.  This is Missouri though and the phrase, "If you don't like the weather stick around a minute it will change," was started here.  I have literally seen it rain on one side of the street and dry and sunny on the other side.  I seen it go from clear and sunny, to heaven unloading it's fury from the skies within an hour.  It will go from snow and ice to hot and sunny within one to two days.  We have all four seasons, sometimes in the same month.
3.  The Cell phone gets stowed in the bag, when I take a break I will check to see if I have any messages or missed any calls.
4.  I drive as careful as I can, to get from my garage to the nearest, empty, back highway, barely used and forgotten roads I can.  I plan my bike trips using the old highways, the ones that people used before the Interstates were built in the fifties and sixties. 

Someone may ask why own a bike if it is so dangerous, scary and I don't get to ride everyday and all the time.  I'll tell you.  First let me start with I don't do it every day and all the time and I will be riding when many others are dead, injured or sold their bikes.

I Live more in the time I ride than most people do their entire lives.  There are times when you are hyper sensitive to everything around you, the road condition, temperature, smells, animals, other traffic, wind, the feel and sound of your bike and yet?  You go to a place of total serenity and peace.  There is a Chinese Proverb that states that every grain of sand is exactly where it is supposed to be.  This is a place where that kind of shit makes sense on a multi-dimensional level.
It is a feeling that is so perfect, so there in the moment, so real, and yet too real, that you can hardly contain the phenomenon of the feeling.  I imagine heaven as living in that state 24/7. 

After experiencing this feeling, for the first time, I look for it to come over me again.  It sneaks up on you, and you realize your back to it, as if you drove into an invisible fog that elevated your consciousness to a higher plane.  I am positive God allowed mankind to invent motorcycles because he is a biker at heart.  He wanted a means of sharing this feeling with his children.  It has only happened to me at times when I have been riding my bike, totally alone on the road, on nice sunny days, on crappy old forgotten highways of America's yesterday.  I feel at times as if the rest of life is just the means to get to the next ride and to return to that feeling for even a moment.  This description of this feeling so fails to describe the exquisiteness of the sensation, that it reminds me of a book on Zen I read once that said that "The more you try to describe it.  The farther you actually get from it."  This is the same way.  Needless to say I love to ride my bike; it is for me, a religious experience of the first order.

My Prayers go out to the people of Japan and everywhere else that were effected today by the Earthquake and resulting waves caused by the quake. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Update on First Novel

For those of you following along concerning my first novel, I posted a week ago that my novel finally made it into Smashwords dot com's Premium Distribution Catalog. 

Starting Sunday March 6th, 2011 Started Smashwords promotion for Read an E-book week, which I opted into, in order to help get noticed I made my book free for the entire week promotion.  My sales ( people downloading the book for FREE have been steady since Sunday.  Nothing Earth shattering, but for a completely unknown author to have people choosing to download my book and try it amongst the literally thousands of books out there to pick from, I feel grateful and honored.  I truly hope that many of the people who are giving it a try will be entertained and add me to the list of authors whose stuff they watch for to read future works of mine.

Today's news is Smashwords has shipped my book to Apple yesterday as a new offering of theirs to show up on Apple's site with in the next week.  If you consider the platform to be a virtual bookshelf, my book just landed on a really big book shelf.  Hopefully this week it will ship out to more places. 

I get discouraged at how long this process seems to take but then I realize I could still be e-mailing query letters and snail mailing query letters to agents and waiting for rejection notice's.  I could still be unpublished, and unknown.  Considering that I realize that as of today 88 people have downloaded my book to read at some time in the future.  Two people have posted reviews of my book on Smashwords, and one person wrote a wonderful review of my book as a comment on my blog.  I have two actual sales (for money) on Smashwords and three on Amazon, one of which is in the UK!  So I tell myself that I am still way ahead of the unpublished, getting known by those who have downloaded my book and are giving it a try.

I am very curious to see what happens with the sale of my book as it gets distributed to more major sites through Smashwords Premium Distribution.  I have read about authors having breakout's in different outlets at different times.  I know that all comes down to who is talking about what books they are currently reading, reviews written on different sites about said books, and promotional bits being done by the author.  I will keep everybody posted as I find out for myself what happens.

One final bit for those that are curious about my experiment concerning naming one of my posts Free Nude Pictures.  The hits to my blog stayed the same all that day until between 11:30 and 2:00AM the following day when the hits spiked to somewhere between 75 and 80 hits.  Then everything went back to normal.  So I imagine on that evening there were a few frustrated porn surfers who keep getting directed to some lame site about some guys first novel.  Oh well.  I was curious, it had the results I was looking for as far as does the title of the blog attract a certain criteria from the search engines? Yes it does, and that knowledge is helpful and good to know.  It also shows what a few people were looking for between 11:30 and 2:00 that evening, I am sure they where sadly disappointed.  I have to say it gives me a little chuckle when I think about some poor shmuck clicking through my blog wondering what the Hell!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Internet, Blog, and Ideas.

"The Pen is mightier than the sword." was used by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his play "Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy" in 1839.  What makes me think of this is by looking at the STATS category on my blog dash board and with whats been happening in the world in the first two months of this year.

I made my first post to this blog on January 17, 2011, of this year.  Granted, this is by no means the Blog of Blogs, with stunning graphics, witty writing, or life changing ideas.  I am truly amazed that in the short time I have been posting to this blog there have been 265 views of this humble rambling little blog;

228 from the United States of America      8 from the United Kingdom
8     from Singapore                                  3 from Russia
2     from Australia                                    2 from Iran
2     from Mexico                                      2 from Philippines
1     from United Arab Emirates                1 from China

As a writer if I had revolutionary, visionary, or other controversial views that I was eloquently spreading across the world in order to build a following, to bring people together, to change the world this could be a powerful medium.  Thankfully, I just want to occasionally rant, share my experiences in writing, self publishing, and mediocre lessons about life I have acquired through 44 years of being a true graduate of life's lessons of hard knocks.  I fear as governments of the world realize what a powerful and interactive means of communication this can be, we will wake up one day and there will be no Internet. 

For the first time since the Tower of Babel, in the Bible, when God confused the languages of the people, the world once again has a way of communicating across borders, cultures, countries, languages, in order to share ideas, pictures, thoughts, and hopefully work together to provide a better world for everybody.  Imagine if we all got organized on the Internet; Writers, Artists, Musicians, Editors, Comedians, and people of all walks of life to share, help, encourage, and solve the worlds problems outside the confines of classes, governments, religions, cultural beliefs.  OH MY GOD!  Just think of the ramifications. 

In truth I am not that much of an optimist.  Mankind has been fighting since Cain killed Able and I believe we will continue right up until Armageddon.  I truly believe a movement of divine proportions as eluded to above would not be possible until more people can read than those who cannot read.  Until helping your fellow man is more important to you than your personal narrow views of the world.  Until our humanity can catch up with our technology.  Until our love for our fellow man is greater than our fears of different people and their cultures.  As a science fiction writer I honestly believe only a common enemy (not of Earth) that mankind can unite against, to fight for our very survival, will be the only way to pull us all together, as the true brothers of the human race, we actually are. ( or Armageddon.)

Even as an American I find it mind splitting hard to swallow that people in our country can protest at other families funerals for their fallen family members who served in the service, because our own first amendment gives them that right.  Years ago when studying American History and one of our great patriots said, "I may not agree with what he is saying, but I will defend his right to say it to the death." I never dreamed it would be applied to such a disrespectful act as protesting at another families funeral.  That the soldiers who died for our freedoms and fight to keep democracy alive in the world we live in.  The same soldiers who provide this kind of freedom have also provided the freedom to have protesters at their funeral. 

There are many, thousands of wonderful acts of kindness preformed throughout the world daily that get no press, no posting on blogs, or honor of any sort.  I truly believe in Freedom and the rights we have in America.  I pray for the people who are dying for what they believe in throughout the world today.  That they do truly get freedom and not a disguised new kind of tyranny to replace what they had.  America is not perfect by any means, but we are a work in progress.  It only took since the dawn of time until 1776 to put it all together.  The whole social experiment is just over two hundred years old, and it is still to be seen if our politicians will run it into the ground or if they will listen to the people of this great country and do what is right, and help preserve our republic, state, and beautiful country.  If they don't, a little revolution is good every now again, my father used to say.  My father was born in Scotland, a country that for centuries had to hide their bag pipes and weapons and continually had to fight for their freedom.  At least for now in America we have the right to bare arms (own weapons) and the Internet!  I pray that the pen is mightier than he sword, and always will be.  

I know the cardinal rule is to avoid politics and religion and I have brought up both in this posting.  If I offended you, there is a button at the top of the page that says NEXT BLOG, that is your right.  My main point is there is a means of sharing, communicating, and helping each other in a fashion that has never existed before on this planet.  If we are sharp enough, and can ask for help, give help, educate, communicate, we may be more productive and intelligent as a whole than the few who are currently holding the puppet strings of imagined power.  Nice thought.  On a lighter side have you seen the you tube videos of the people in Walmart, it blows my idea of common intelligence all to hell.

Amen and Good night.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Editing FIND and Replace

Editing sucks, at it's finest.  In Micro Soft Word, the program, word processor I use to write my books with has a function FIND which will search your document and Find specific words or groups of words.  What I found interesting was when I had to correct a misspelled word I could use Find and Replace With to search the document from top to bottom and correct every place I miss spelled the word.  It also works with instance's of punctuation!  It is an extremely valuable tool. 

Writer beware, practice first on some other piece of work, or make a back up copy of your manuscript before you start using this editing tool.  As fast as it can fix things, it can massively screw things up also.

Careful, creative, and practiced using of this tool is best.  Also works well with formatting.  A great book about formatting tips is Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide to Publishing on Smashwords, which is down loadable for FREE on Smashwords dot com.

Let's Win One For The Gipper.

Today in history March 4th, 1888 was the birthday of Knute Rockne, legendary Notre Dame football coach.
I will never forget watching the Movie 'RUDY' where he hops up on the stool and reenacts part of the famous lines from this coach!  Anybody (Especially Writers) who wants a lesson in persistence should watch the movie RUDY!  What always stuck with me through the years, was when he would go talk with the priest about trying to get into Notre Dame, so he could play on the football team.  The priest would ask him, "Have you done everything you can possibly do?" 

"Have you done everything you possibly could do for your book?" 
Polished it, corrected spelling, punctuation, used proper English (as much as you can.)
Have you formatted it properly, and have you self published it, at Smashwords or any other fine self publishing place?
Have you told your friends and family, handed out business cards with information about how to follow you and find your book on the Internet?
Have you went through the process to get different web sites to review your book on line?
If your feeling discouraged, find the movie RUDY and watch it, very inspirational.
Try and not get discourage, you don't conquer the world in one day, Nobody ever has, not Napoleon, Alexander the Great, not even Oprah!  Sometimes the best thing to do is just keep writing and editing, and let nature take its course.

"Let's win one for the Gipper", was a line Rockne used to his team referring to Notre Dame player George Gripp who had recently died.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Smashwords Premium Ditribution Catalog

TODAY MY NOVEL WAS ACCEPTED!

Why is that a big deal, becuase NOW my book will be included in the E-book catalogs of
Barnes & Noble
Sony
Kobo
Apple
Diesel
Already on Amazon, but also soon to the list will be Amazon

Potential market of people who can stunmble across my book while looking for their next great escape in literature will soon be measured in the MILLIONS!  This is about the same as when a traditional book would be shipped to chain book stores the world over!  It will be on tons (virtually not literally) of book shelves very shortly.  I have it out to be reviewed by several book sites, who will be helping spread the word when they do the review of my book.  As I have said all along, it is a process and what has up until 4:00PM Central Time in Kansas City, Missouri has been a very normal day, has turned exciting.  I just made a huge step forward with my first novel.  Thank You Mr. Coker and Smashwords!!!

Revolution in the air

Mark Coker of Smashwords dot com has lifted the flag of revolution.  Please see Smashwords Blog at http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/03/nietzsche-and-downfall-of-big.html

I am e-published at Smashwords, someday, maybe I will be traditionally published but this was quick, easy, and FREE to self publish my first novel on Smashwords.  I agree with Mr. Coker that Readers determine what sells and what will not.  Readers decide what the future of publishing will be.  Readers Decide who the next Great Authors are going to be, by what they purchase and where and how they purchase it.
AMEN. 
My father was born in Scotland, I was raised with traditional Scottish Values.  He always told me growing up, "A little Revolution every now and again is a good thing."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still figuring stuff out . . .

My first Novel "Whisper" went past 60 downloads today on Smashwords dot com.  Now as that is a milestone for my novel, it is still what I would call 'Un noticed.'  That is considering the number of people on the Internet, buying and downloading e-books.  My account balance is still at the $7.82 cents, which translates to two people have actually paid for the book, and I know one of the two is my best friend and biggest Fan Mr. Phillip T. Woody.  Thank you again Phillip! (You still need to write a review of my book on Smashwords.  No I will not clean the crayon marks off your computer screen when your done.)

I still have only one sale on Amazon dot com.  I keep track of the number of downloads my book has received each day when I check the dashboard on Smashwords, while I am checking to see if my book is still pending on gaining entrance to their Premium Distribution Catalog.  I keep waiting for it to either be rejected again or gain acceptance.  It was rejected once so far because I had quotes around the Title on the title page, because I had not center a couple of items on the title page correctly, and because their was a white border around the cover art because it was just not the right size.  While checking the download numbers they give two numbers, total downloads and books sold.

Total downloads includes all downloads including the free trial of 30% of the book.  Books sold is the number of full downloads from either buying the book or using a coupon code to get the book at a reduced price or free.  The difference between these two has been in the twenties for some time now and as of yesterday it has been shrinking.  It dawned on me that some of the places I have been putting the free download code on websites is also somewhere people may have seen the book and partially downloaded it.  These people have had to have gotten the code and downloaded the full book for FREE.  That is alright by me as I am posting the coupon codes where ever I can get away with it.  I am glad somebody somewhere is interested enough to download it.  Hopefully in time people will read it and return and write reviews on the book or maybe keep tabs on me looking for New Releases of my future books.

I am writing the sequel to Whisper where we will go back and learn how Wiley was trained specifically to command a Submersible Air Craft Carrier.  Subsequently his first command goes terribly wrong when he is notified during the shake down cruise aboard the SAC that he is to hunt down the other SAC and retake the ship from a former classmate with the help of a Navy Seal Team.  Not a happy ending, but very exciting stuff.

I am in the middle of editing my second book that I also finished in 2010, "No Rules Of Engagement."  A much darker book about an army of children sent on a six year training mission into space to train to fight a new enemy.  Imagine eight to ten foot beings that would be the same as if Alligators become the dominate species on earth.  They are run with an ant hill type mentality and their entire society is based off warfare and expansion of their galactic empire.  Leading this group of children are eleven of the brightest kids they could find on earth.  The powers to be are praying one of them is the next great military leader of their time.  Alexander Hawk, the youngest and brightest seems to be their shining star if they don't break him through the training.  I have enlisted a talented artist, Jerry Hibbs, who is reading a rough draft of the story to help me come up with some better cover art before I get done with the editing and formatting of the story.  Hopefully by mid summer I will be e-publishing this book which I know already will be at least a three book series.  Phillip loved this one, and is on me daily to write the sequel to it.  Soon, my friend, very soon.

So far I have two reviews on Smashwords and one left on my blog, all three have been glowing and great.  I keep getting compared to Tom Clancy and that can't be bad, because he is one of the greats!  I have read several of his books over the years, even though I really enjoyed the older sailing yearns of Patrick O'Brian and Captain Jack Aubrey.  They combined two of his books and made the motion picture "Master and Commander" staring Russell Crowe a few years ago.

Dandelions for your car!

My day job is Operations Manager of a large tire wholesaler in the middle of the United States of America.  While I spend every evening and spare moments Writing, Editing, and Formatting my next books for E-Publication, I pay for my families existence with trying to move tires in and out of our facility, day in and day out,  as efficiently as possible.  In the tire industry it is just as crazy and topsy turvy as the publishing industry seems to be. 

First a bit of history concerning the economy of tires, the world market, and the Chinese.
Over the last 11 years as tire sizes have changed and newer tread designs have emerged, tire companies worldwide would sell their older tread design molds to factories in China to manufacturer the older designs as cheaper tires to place into the world market of tires.  This had the benefit of keeping the tire lines available at affordable prices and helped China by supplying the molds and equipment to increase their manufacturing base and improve their place in the world economy.  The (Certain) Unions went to President Bush numerous times asking for a trade tariffs against Chinese built tires being imported into the United States, without any knowledge of the supply chain and how it actually works concerning the building and supply of tires.  President Bush never levied a tariff on imported tires from China.

These unions were strictly looking at stopping the import of Chinese goods because U.S. companies with their exuberantly priced unions are losing ground in the world market of manufacturing because other countries will provide products at a cheaper price.  Over the last decade with the increase in manufacturing in China more of their population has moved from the poverty level to their middle class than we have in total population in the United States of America.  Essentially they are experiencing an Industrial Revolution in China.

In 2008 the tire industry was down and companies were looking at anything to help protect their bottom line and numerous tire manufacturers closed plants in the United States and other parts of the world.  Bear in mind that only Cooper Tire is a strictly U.S. manufactured tire and they even have stuff they import because it is cheaper and more economical than building themselves.  Every other tire manufacturers are global companies with manufacturing facilities scattered all over the globe.  The tires are brought together in huge mixing warehouses where they are distributed to wholesalers around the world who them stock and supply the literally millions of tire shops around the world.  Basically though in 2008 everybody was downsizing and tightening their belts.

President Obama came into office and enacted a tariff against Chinese imported tires of 30% over the next three years.  Currently we are in the second year of the tariff. 
First off, the tires that companies in the U.S. were importing cannot build these Chinese built tires, because they have the molds!  We sent them there!  In order that they could be built as cheaply as possible.  

Secondly, and what nobody could have seen coming is the rebound of the auto industry, the increase in the Chinese buying automobiles by the millions, because more of their population can afford them now.  China is looking at limiting the sale of automobiles because there are so many cars they are experiencing areas of total grid lock daily in that country.

Thirdly, that the rubber manufacturing industry would have the worst years ever in producing rubber because of floods, bad weather, and a myriad of other problems.  Natural rubber trees can only be grown in a few special parts of the world.  They take five years from the time you plant a rubber tree to even begin producing the rubber sap which is literally tapped from the tree daily and harvested to get the stuff with which they make natural rubber.  

Tires are made from natural rubber and synthetic rubber.  The natural rubber comes from trees and the synthetic rubber from crude oil, and we are all aware of what has been happening with the price of oil.  If a there is anything in the news or rumors of news the price of crude oil jumps up and gasoline in America goes up even if the price of oil slips a little bit.  Hell, this blog post will probably cause gas prices to rise some more.

2010 saw major jumps in the price of tires from every manufacturer in the world, with the price of natural rubber being the primary culprit.  2011 and increasing tire prices makes the gasoline industry seem tame by comparison.  It is only the beginning of March and there have been prices increases, prices bumped again before your done changing prices from the last increase. 

A German company is experimenting with getting a rubber substance that is almost identical to the sap from rubber trees from a variety of Dandelions!  Yes, Dandelions.  The world can rid itself of many things but haven't figured out to prevent these yellow marvels from invading our yards each spring. In the near future 30% of what we drive on may be manufactured from these pesky weeds.  It does open up more areas that can be able to produce rubber if this works out; because I am sure the little buggers even grow in hell.  Researchers have found that a particular breed of Dandelions produces a substance which is almost identical to natural rubber.  Dandelions don't take five years to start producing either.  Soon we may see Dandelion farms all over the place to help produce natural rubber for the myriad of products which use natural rubber in their production.  Ok, so the tire industry may start making the publishing industry look kind of lame, because Dandelions, Really!!  It's true.

 
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