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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Discovery

On Smashwords dot coms Site Updates, one of them is about how Discovery is more important to the success of your book than marketing!  It provides a link to a blog post written by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, where he further states that, 'Word of mouth' is what most readers use to discover new books to read.  I may have said that before, posted it here, once or twice, either way I am pretty sure I have heard that before.
I consider myself a prolific reader.  Even though I have read about half as much as I did in 2009, because I have unfairly been writing more than I have been reading, I'll wager I'm in the top percentage of readers in the country.  Because of my new found love and passion of writing, and building a group of loyal and demanding fans, I will continue to write more books.  I go through times when I have more books to read than I can possibly ever read and times where I just want something new!  I finished two or more books within the same week of each other, and want something entirely new.  Something I have never read before, a new author to follow, just something different.
Contrary to what my wife and close friends have been saying, I do talk about other things than my books or what I am currently writing.  I talk about what I am currently reading, the authors, their works, likes and dislikes about current or recent reads.  I know the friends of mine who read books, just like other readers know which of their friends happen to be readers.  We talk about the books we are reading.  We share what newest books were just awesome.
Another important point that Mr. Coker points out is that once an author has earned a readers trust that they know they are going to get a well written great read from them, the reader will search out other books by that author.  You will hopefully maintain that trust for many years until you disappoint your readers.  I have been on that side of many new releases of well known great authors that just delivered a mediocre book after a long string of fantastic great books.
I understand completely now why I had to wait for months and months and what seemed like an eternity for an author to come out with their next masterpiece!  It takes a long time to craft, write, re-write, edit, edit, and EDIT a book.  Trust me this time is important, you as the reader want a great book, as good as the author is capable of turning out at this time as much as the author wants a great book you feel compelled to tell all your friends about.  That way we both win.  It takes forever to even attempt to get it almost right.
The best news is if you read any authors first works and then each successive book after that in most cases you will see a marked improvement.  I know personally I am going to what I feel are Herculean Efforts to make my current work better than anything I have previously turned out.  I have a friend on Goodreads who recently gave my newest novel a three star rating.  My new goal is to get to where one of my new releases in the future will get a four star rating and eventually a five star rating.  I was and am extremely humbled by all those who read my second novel and rated it at five out of five stars.  But frankly it is only my second book, and I am learning more every week, a little bit here and a little bit there about writing.  I don't want to be at a point where the world is grading my books at the extreme top of the spectrum for quite some time.  I would like to feel for many years to come that my best is yet to come.
As my English skills, writing skills, vocabulary and the myriad of other attributes that all rolled into one makes a person a great author mature and season me into that time honored treasure I dream for my books to become.  I realize as I progress we can all point out a great leader.  We can list the attributes of a great leader.  We know one when we see it, and we know when we don't.
Readers know good writing when they read it.  They also recognize mediocrity when they read it.  My point is you need to build a following, and you do that by writing good books.  Hone your craft, yourself, feed your mind, study your craft, and write better books.
So to summarize, Write, Publish, Discovery, build a following, then back to writing.
Pretty much just be patient, if you're writing you will get better, as you get better and finish more books your chance of being discovered goes up, and if you're writing great books you will build a following in time.
If you love an author's book then tell the world about, blog about, comment about it, write reviews about it and most importantly tell all your friends and family about it.  If you didn't care for a book, just go grab another book!  It serves nobody to spread negativity about anybody.  Maybe it was the author's first book?  If it was only alright maybe try their second book, they more than likely are only going to get better.  I love James Rollins books, and stumbled upon his books when he was first starting out.  They were not awesome, but they were very unique and took me somewhere NEW, where I hadn't been before, in ways I had hadn't been taken before.  He earned my trust as reader and over the years his books have raised the bar in his genre to new heights.  I aspire to just get close to his level and ability in the next few years.
Then to leave him in the dust!  Oh vanity, what a terrible trait to possess.  But you should have a goal, a target, or ideal to strive for.  James Rollins is one of my target levels to reach for.  There are others, and other genres, as we should all hope, the Best Is Yet To Come!!

Hospitals

I mentioned yesterday, that one of two places you will be hard pressed to find me at is a Hospital!
Tomorrow, I have to go a Hospital!
My father, born in Scotland, Ex Air Force Drill Instructor, Ex California Cop, Ex Construction Superintendent, original old school hard ass, asked me to take him to the Hospital.
My old man doesn't ask for help.  So when he asked me, I arranged to take two days off work to help get him there and get him home again.
He is going in for an operation.  Some time ago in the middle of the night he stubbed his toe on the microwave cabinet stand in his kitchen.  He broke the toe that is next to your big toe.  Then he just dealt with it.  It was never set, so it didn't mend itself properly and now consequently it needs to be re-broke along with possibly the big toe.  I have to pick him and my mother up at their house at 7:00am and take them to the hospital and then later get him home.
I took Friday off to go over and help with anything they may need help with, because frankly you don't know what is going to come up that you didn't think about beforehand.  They will have no idea how bad it will be until after he has the operation.
So if I don't get around to writing a blog post for the next two to four days, I am fine, I will just be taking care of my family.
On December 10th, 2011, the Saturday, I have a guest blog post coming out on the site Six Letter Press.  It is about me and one of my many adventures during my time in the Army.  It mentions my Dad!  If you haven't already go there and book mark the site so you can find it easily on the tenth.
http://sixletterpress.wordpress.com/
There is a scene in my first book that is recounted by a Marine and a stunt pulled in a morning formation involving a Red Santa Claus hat.  That actually was perpetrated by yours truly in the United States Army sometime in 1986, at Fort Knox, KY.  So if you have read "Whisper" and come across that scene know you know the truth behind the story.  I would have gotten in a lot of trouble if not for the fact that it was so ballsy and extremely funny.  I definitely got the point if I did anything even remotely similar there would be dire consequences.
If you haven't read "Whisper" yet, check it out.  It is my action, adventure story that turned out as a love story so I am told.
For the Kindle
For multiple other Formats
For the Nook

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Two places you will be hard pressed to find me at is a hospital or a cemetery!
This story starts on this date in 1832, November 29th, when Louisa May Alcott was born in Philadelphia.  She was probably best known for her book "Little Women."  During her life she encouraged a sculptor by the name of Daniel Chester French, whose best known work is a sculpture of President Lincoln seated at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  He was commissioned by Ralph Waldo Emerson to do a piece known as "The Minute Man."  Of course Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered to have led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, and was a champion of individualism.
Come to find out in Concord, MA, in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, along the northeast ridge, is what is called 'Author's Ridge.'  Buried there along with their families members are Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and sculptor Daniel Chester French.  What a distinguished collection!
I was just blown away when I read of those who were buried so close together in the same area.  As an aspiring author and interested in things of a literary nature it found it very interesting, enough so that I thought I should share it with my many friends.
I had found two pictures to add to the post, one of the entrence gates to the cemetery, and one of Henry David Thoreau's Grave that the headstone just reads 'Henry', which is soo Perfect!  They were copyrighted pictures and I couldn't figure out how to insert them into the posting.  I am such a computer boob at some things.  There was a day believe it or not back in the early eighties when I was building robots in my gargage, get away from computers for just over ten years and you come off as an illiterate old person who doesn't understand the technology.

Contest Update   Germany 0   France 0  Great Britain is going to end up being the all time ruler!  Two days left.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thought Fulfilling Prophesy

Ever heard the saying, "Fake until you make it."?
There is something to that, it is becoming evident that what you think about things, situations, and other people has a huge impact on what happens or does not happen.  I don't intend to delve into the meta-physical science of this phenomenon any more than to say there is strong evidence to support it in many different experiments and fields of science.
My personal experiences with this are really lame, border line superstitious, if not downright silly, but we each should do what makes us feel good and helps us have a better quality of life.  Let me preface this with there are many people who are stuck in negativity every day.  All they can focus on is the negative things they feel, see, experience, and think, and according to this theory this will only perpetuate negative things and feelings which only keeps them mired in negativity.  If you come into contact with a person who can only generate negativity, run away as fast as you can.  If you can't escape being in contact with these people then put up your (Their Problem Shields) and maintain your good feelings at all cost.
(Their Problem Shield)?
It's their problem that they are mired in being negative, that all they can see is bad, that all they can do is preach doom and gloom and try to mire some company in their mess so they won't be alone.  It is their problem they are upset.  Because they yell and scream, they moan and complain and try to throw it all your way so in some magical way they make themselves feel better.  It is not your fault they are angry, upset, depressed, and stuck in a whirl pool of negativity!  Don't accept it as yours!  Tell yourself it is their problem, not yours!  Walk away.
Now for feeling Good!
Everybody wants to feel good, and happy, enthusiastic, loved, excited and just so bubbly we make others sick at just how damn happy we are.  You control your emotions!  They are yours all the time, everyday, for the rest of your life.  If you're unhappy it is your fault!  Feel un-loved!  Your fault!  Change the way you feel!  It is all up to you and only you.  The sooner you discover this the better you will feel all the time!
New Shoe Days
A long time ago, but not so long ago, most people didn't own but one nice pair of shoes.  You ran around barefoot most of the time to save your good shoes for church or school.  Even then the good shoes might have been hand me downs or second hand shoes.  Maybe your best shoes were new but they were cheap, but they were yours and they were new!
To me getting a new pair of shoes is a big deal.  Nothing in the world beats the day or the feeling you get that first day wearing new shoes!  It always makes my feet happy, and makes me feel like the richest man on earth.  I like my children having good socks and shoes.
"Find a Penny pick it up.  All day long you'll have good luck."
Whether it is true or not, if you think you are having a lucky day, then you feel like you are having a lucky day!  Maybe you didn't win the lotto, or win anything new!  But to have that feeling like you are just the luckiest person walking around is priceless!  The peace and joy you feel in your heart is amazing.  If you can get that feeling by finding and picking up a penny then why not!  If I find a penny I say that saying quietly to myself and say a silent prayer of thanks to God almighty for granting me a lucky day, for making me just one penny wealthier, and thank God for all the blessings he brings my way.  Try it!  It is amazing how it works.
Be Thankful, for the little things, the things you have received and the multiple things you have not received!  Thankful for things not received?  Yeah, watch the news at about any time and within minutes you see stories of people you are glad that whatever happened didn't just happen to you!  I find when I am being thankful, truly and deeply thankful, sincerely, I can't be depressed!
Lastly, Fake it until you make it!  Be happy, be energetic, excited, act like you are having the time of your life.  There is no place on Earth you would rather be or anything you would rather be doing than what you are doing at this minute!  Very soon you will find you are glad for what you are doing and you are having fun!  Nobody can truly love you if you do not love yourself.  So start taking care of yourself and be happy, change your attitude and the rest of the world will follow suit and change to follow you and how you feel.
Tell yourself I am going to do this or that, and go do it.  You create your own reality!  Don't like where you are at, change your mind set and change your world.  It may not happen in an instant, or a day.  That's where you are faking it until you make it.  At first the trick is to not stop faking it, until the change happens.  Fake it with all you have!  Not for a minute, not for an hour, but all the time.  You project happiness, success, excitement, joy and love, and the universe, God, or whatever you want to call it, opens up a flood gate and gives you what you are putting out there right back but tenfold!  So think about what am I sending out into the Universe?  Happy or sad.  Hopeful or dismal.  Excited or bored.  Loved or unlovable.
When you practice this philosophy there comes a point where you never have to fake it anymore.  You still have days that or ho hum but you focus on being thankful and lift your spirits up, and then start flowing out happiness and greatness again and it starts coming right back to you again.

I hope that everybody who reads this is having the best day they have ever had, is getting swamped with unexpected blessings, good news, better opportunities, and that whatever you need most in the world at this time comes unexpectedly right up to you today!  It might be that what you needed most was to read this post!  Have a Fantastic Day!  Everyday!

I want to say Welcome to our newest Follower, but I am not sure of his name or if he is actually still on this plane, but Welcome all the same.
Contest Update
Amazon DE   ZERO
Amazon FR   ZERO

The freaking cat decided it was a democrat, I had to put it down.  Just kidding!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beaver Moon

Despite the name there is nothing pornographic about this post.
Among new things I have run across recently is the names given to full moons in different months.  Let me preface the following chart with an explanation of the term Algonquian.  Algonquian is a sub-family of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic Language family.
Month                     Old English                  Algonquian
January                    Old Moon                     Wolf Moon
February                  Wolf Moon                   Snow Moon
March                     Lenten Moon                 Worm Moon
April                         Egg Moon                     Pink Moon
May                          Milk Moon                   Flower Moon
June                         Flower Moon              Strawberry Moon
July                           Hay Moon                     Buck Moon
August                     Grain Moon                 Sturgeon Moon
September                Fruit Moon                   Harvest Moon
October                  Harvest Moon                 Hunters Moon
November              Hunters Moon                  Beaver Moon
December                 Oak Moon                       Cold Moon
I find it interesting that the Old English term is in many cases the same term only a month later than the Native American term.  I would have to do more research to figure out if this was because of an interpretational connection, seasonal, or coincidental.
The term Blue Moon refers to an extra full moon in a season, if a season has four full moons instead of the normal three, then the third of the four would be referred to as the Blue Moon.  In the late nineteen hundreds in the United States it has been mistakenly considered the second full moon is was called the Blue Moon, but this is not correct.  Normally a Blue Moon occurs once every 2.7 years as there are generally 12.37 Full moons per year.
Not extremely Earth shattering but probably something most people don't know!
On a personal note as an Author and trying to sell the books I have written and published.  It has bothered me that my first book is having an awesome record sales month, but hardly anybody is buying my second and much better book.  I was concerned with the state of the world economy that maybe it is because my second book is priced at $4.99 where as my first book is at .99 cents.  So I created a code for my second book and posted on Google Plus, Twitter, and my Blog that for Thanksgiving only my second book would be available for .99 cents and provided the code.  There wasn't one single taker!  Not one.
It could be that with the holiday and people being busy that nobody noticed.  Could be?  So I am announcing now that December 10, 2011, a guest post written by yours truly will be appearing on the sLp website.

http://sixletterpress.wordpress.com/
Check them out and bookmark or favorite the site ahead of time!
That day and that day only I will announce and provide a code again making my second book available for .99 cents.  So if you're interested in saving 80% mark your calendar for December 10th and check in here, go and visit the sLp site and read my guest post, but get your code here to get my book.  One day only!  So be ready.
New Markets Contest Update
Amazon DE   ZERO
Amazon FR   ZERO
Amazon UK may end up being the bragging winner by default in just a few short days!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy, try not to eat too much, and mostly be thankful.

Be back Friday

Oh, Today Only on Smashwords dot com use the CODE  CE76X
and get my book for .99 Cents!  That's 80% Off the regular price for Thanksgiving Only!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85282

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Dreaming

Day Dreaming, Brain Storming, or your Muse whispering to you, whatever you call it, it is a wonderful magical experience.  My father used to get on me all the time growing up to pay attention, quit day dreaming.  I was paying attention just not in the way he thought I should.  I am glad today that through all those years I never quit day dreaming.  My son has a more active imagination than I do, and I whole heartedly encourage it in every way.  I have actually even considered writing down the stories that my son tells me for posts for my blog.
I enjoy the mental escape of day dreaming, thinking about the stories I am writing, that I want to write, twisting plots, pitting characters against each other in the most sinister of ways.  I relish in the total freedom with the story to take it in whatever direction I wish and get as twisted, and sick as I want to be.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I get the same enjoyment writing the story that readers do when reading a great book.  Only it lasts much longer, because the process is so much slower.
In the Interview recently done of me by Linda Barnett-Johnson.
She asked an interesting question about do I have stories or characters that haunt me?
Oh, and I do.  It is so hard to just jot down notes and ideas concerning these stories and tucking them away for some later date when I will get around to writing them.  Trying to focus on my current stories, plots and characters instead of getting caught up in a story I am not prepared to commit to at this time.  I try to listen to my Kindle read to me while I drive back and forth from work, but sometimes my Muse just yells shit at the top of her lungs in my head so I can't focus on the story I am trying to read/listen too.  So I end up turning it off and listen to my Muse rant and rave and try to remember the important elements to take notes on them at the first available time.  I have tried speaking into a hand held recorder the ideas I get when I drive but then the Muse becomes quiet for fear of being recorded and discovered by the real world.  So I don't use the recorder and let the Muse rattle away rather than take the chance of her leaving and my day dreaming ending and the flood of ideas being reduced to a dribble.
I once heard that everybody can't day dream.  That a lot of people have trouble even imagining what they are reading about.  They don't dream.  They don't imagine crazy wild scenarios playing out in their head.  I can't imagine not being able to.  What a black and white boring and miserable world that would be to live in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let them see what they have done.

It was today in history that President John F. Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas, TX.  Jacqueline Kennedy refused to change out of her blood soaked clothes for the first press conference of the new President Lyndon B. Johnson.  She said, “No.  Let them see what they have done.”

From 1992 until 1998, the Assassination Records Review Board gathered and unsealed about 60,000 documents, consisting of over 4 million pages.  All remaining documents are to be released by 2017.  Someday it would be nice to know if the U.S. Government was actually hi-jacked by LBJ and the power brokers of that time.  One of the things about studing history is sooner or later most of the skeletons come out of the closet.  Most of the time it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what really happened, who did what, and how and why history books tell a different story.

FYI The U.S. Government has also said that all information in regards to Un-identified Flying Objects, Operation Blue Book by the Air Force will be released in 2039.  So by the time I die, I should know about who really killed and had Kennedy killed, whether there are actually are flying saucers but not if President Obama was truly a U.S. citizen or if his presidency was the second coop of our government since 1963.

Tin Pan Alley

Originally Tin Pan Alley was a section of New York City, NY.  It was West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan.  It started around 1885 and ended sometime between the Great Depression and the nineteen-fifties depending on who you talk to and how you define it.
Tin Pan Alley was during its time the center for music publishers and song writers who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and the very early 20th century.  During its hay day it was the home to names like Harry Von Tilzer, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and Hoagy Carmichael.  This is where you came to get music and lyrics!
When phonographs, records and radio replaced sheet music as the driving force of popular American music, Tin Pan Alley began its decline.  Today this area is known as NoMad neighborhood and the Floral District.
Although not all located in one area New York has over time became the central hub of Publishing in America.  Within the city it is headquarters, or has offices representing the biggest and best publishing houses in the world.  New York has approximately just over 27,000 printing and publishing companies within its limits.  I wonder if self-publishing and the rise of the E-book will have the same effect as records and radio did on the music publishing industry?
I wonder what the number of new authors was in 2006?  How many new books entered the market in 2006?
I wonder how that compares to new authors entering the market in 2010 or 2011?
I wonder how many new titles entered the market, traditional and E-books, in 2010, 2011?
Is the shift caused by more people wanting to write and publish books than the publishing houses can handle?
Because tons of people want to publish books but can't actually write?  I read prolifically, traditional books and E-books.  There are slush books on both sides of the street.  There are some real gems in the self-publishing world coming to light as their work gets a chance to see the light of day.
It appears the publishing industry may be affected with the same timidity that a lot of movie producers have caught in recent years.  Shying away from unknown quantities and instead looking for tried and true sure things.  It is obvious that both suffer from not reading enough good books to make truly informative and novel decisions about which direction to go in the future.
Does the industry as whole just have a shortage of good editors capable of handling the flood of new material?
Has there just recently been a tremendous influx in literary interest around the world?
Or has the demand always been there but held back, told no, been silenced by the publishing industry until 2008?  Is the influx the overflow that has always existed but just recently been given an outlet and means to make their work available?
I can't help but wonder what literary master pieces the world missed out on over the last century because they were ignored, turned down, quota's for that type of book were met for the year, or because the author didn't have the persistence or means to keep hammering away at the wall to be noticed?
Too many questions.  I should stop before somebody gets an original idea.
Still reading, "The Power of Impossible Thinking" plus three other books.  Still writing the sequels, on chapter six of the sequel to Whisper, and chapter eight of the sequel to No Rules Of Engagement.
Contest Update   Amazon  DE  Zero
                            Amazon  FR  Zero
Going to give this to December and then I will go ape shit crazy on my blog forever about how great the United Kingdom is compared to the other two.  The UK is my second largest market in the world outside the United States.  I have been asked to send copies of my book to India to be reviewed and get featured on a India E-Book website that promotes authors and books in India.
Unfortunately I am waiting to get my Christmas bonus from my day job to afford to purchase copies of my own book to mail overseas.  That would be depressing except I do have a job and do normally get a Christmas Bonus, and do have books of mine I can buy and promote.  So as Monty Python and crew would say, Look at the bright side of life!
Amen and Good Day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Smoke Jumping

I had never heard of this, which I found surprising because as a child growing up in the great northwest forests of Idaho, forest fires were a big threat and I spent some time every year I lived there helping my Great Uncle Garth fighting forest fires.
Smoke Jumpers are firefighters who parachute into burning forests and use axes, shovels, and other tools to contain, slow or stop forest fires.
Again from the incredible book "The Power of Impossible Thinking" that I have been reading, Wagner Dodge, a smoke jumper in the disastrous Mann Gulch fire in Montana in 1949, found a brilliant way of saving himself from a fire bearing down on him.
He lit a small circle of fire around himself and let it burn, and when the forest fire got there it just went right around him.  It was not a backfire, which is designed to run up and meet the fire and stop it.  It was one of the first recorded uses of an escape fire designed to create a circle of burnt grass around the firefighter so the fire can rush by him.  Today this is core knowledge of smoke jumpers.  For Wagner Dodge it was intuitive brilliance that saved his life.
I learned as a small boy that fires come in different forms and move in different unpredictable patterns.  Sometimes a forest fire can spread as fast and as swiftly as the wind through the sky.
I was just blown away by more New Ideas, from this book!
Contest Update   Amazon DE   ZERO
                           Amazon FR   ZERO
and no name for the politically challenged Cat. 

Author Interview of ME

There is a wonderful Interview of your truly on this Blog, Please check it out.

http://lindabarnett-johnson.blogspot.com/

As I have said word of mouth sells books, and this is one of the newest forms of that via social networking.
Author Interviews and Book Reviews/Interviews help get the word out.

In multiple E-book Formats
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85282

On Amazon for Kindle or a paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Engagement-Alexander-Hawk-ebook/dp/B005KG60US/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321889294&sr=1-1-spell

http://www.amazon.com/No-Rules-Engagement-Alexander-Novel/dp/1466275375/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321889475&sr=1-1-catcorr

Last week I sold a copy of this book, paperback, and this week when my friend Phillip Woody got back from his hunting trip in northern Missouri, he informs he his mother bought it because his name is it.
His Grandmother was looking at his mothers copy of the book and asked him, I wonder who this Phillip Woody is?  He said, It's me Grandma!  So she is buying a copy of the book, because his name is in it.

That's two copies sold just because his name is it!!  I am not complaining, I'll take whatever sales I can get, and gladly sign copies for whomever buys them.  But I just throw out into the World that Phillip Woody's Name is in my book!!!  So hurry and buy a copy today!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Social Networking

I just don't fully understand it yet.  But in my defense I am slow on the uptake of some topics, understanding women, understanding the current political structure of our government, and social networking.
Why does it matter how many follows you have?  Why does it matter if I follow you that you will follow me back?  I pick people for following, friend requests, and liking that I feel I would enjoy interacting with.  People who have similar interests as mine, as least as much as I can figure out from their profiles.
On Goodreads I base it off of how many books a person has read, and what books they have read, and sometimes what country they are from.
My assumptions are that the more books a person has read, probably that person is more knowledgeable and intelligent.
The books a person reads gives me some insight into what they like to read and how open minded that person might be.
What country they are from because I would like to make connections with people from different countries and hopefully somebody will try one of my books and start telling their friends how awesome the books was.
On other sights I connect with editors, fellow writers, readers, and anybody who I feel I might be able to make a connection with on some level.
Very few people ever actually send you a message and make a connection with you.  I know at the other end of all my e-connections is a living breathing, thinking person and we all are bombarded with information from multiple sources every day.  Everybody's mind sets and mental concept of reality is going to different to some degree based off what they see, read and hear.  Based off of where they live and their culture.  Based off religious beliefs, education, and family background and the environment they were raised in.  We all will not mesh, or see things in the same manner.  We will not all get along.
There are those who use it for a social media outlet as it was designed to be used.  I have made some wonderful connections via the internet, from my angelic inspired Editor, to book reviewers, people who do and post author interviews, and some very nice fans that not only read but like the stuff I happen to write.
There are also a lot of very angry disturbed people with a lot of free time on their hands.  There are those who bombard you with mean menacing repetitive posts or e-mails to buy their stuff.  I do mention my books from time to time, suggest them to some readers, but for the most part I try to offer interesting, upbeat, fun stuff, that I feel people may enjoy reading.
I am an incurable smart ass, cynical, devil's advocate, and love great and compelling conversation.  I, like my daughter, will many times take up an opposing viewpoint, even one I don’t' necessarily agree with to engage another person.  I don't do it to be mean, but to learn, see if they know why they believe what they believe.  It is one thing to have a mind set about something, but if you can't back it up with real live truth and knowledge, what good is it!
I also truly strive to look at everything from multiple open viewpoints, think outside the box, and ask way too many questions.  It helps with understanding things in a multi dimensional way rather than just off the surface.  Maybe we should try to interact a bit more deeply with our multitude of connections, get under the surface of who that person is.  Go far quality of connection instead of quantity.
The haters and nasty people, delete them, un-follow them , and forget them.  Eventually if we all adopt the same mind set with the nasty peoples, the only ones they will have to talk with will be the other nasty peoples.  One can only hope.
Not so educational but probably insightful about me.  Tied in to the other posts I have done and with some self introspection on your part hopefully this has been insightful in challenging your own mental mindsets.
A clergy man, years ago, came upon another gentlemen walking along a road in Virginia.  After talking with the man for a while he was sure the gentleman was a botanist because of his knowledge of plants and trees.  They walked and talked and later the clergy man changed his mind and realized this person must be an architect because of his knowledge of buildings and structures.  Then again he changed his mind to believe this person was a fellow clergy man like himself.  Finally he found out the man was a representative of the new government.  The man with whom the clergy man was talking to happened to be Thomas Jefferson!
"I cannot live without books."  Thomas Jefferson.
If you haven't figured it out yet I am a huge fan of this unique individual!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tom's Politically Challenged Cat

Somebody tweeted yesterday about one of the Republican candidates and their ability to win the election from President Obama.
I made a silly comment about my cat could beat Obama but I am not going to vote for him.
Thus began a flood of comments, back from all over concerning my jest.
I have a few points to bring up about this.  I don't feel those who are using social media outlets to get noticed by the public and to gain a following to further our interests should take hardnosed stances and potentially turn off entire segments of the population by our personal beliefs.  I also don't want and will not be a wishy washy politician and agree with everything.  It is just not in my nature.  I am not a politician.
As far as the cat, I had to give my cat up earlier this year when we found out my youngest son was allergic to him.  Cat gone, kid doing better.  It broke my heart to some degree.  Neo (named by our newest follower of this blog, My Daughter (Kristy Wilson), after the Character from the movie "The Matrix."  Kristy still is owned by my cats sidekick Trinty, who is a jet black beautiful animal with the usual bad disposition most great cats have.  So currently I don't actually own a cat.
For purposes of upcoming Tweets and Google posts where I will be continuing the moronic, idiot and dumb antics of my politically challenged cat, I am asking my followers of this Blog and anybody else who happens by to leave name suggestions for this poor misguided mythical beast.
This hopefully will fare better than the International Contest I am running between France and Germany!
Contest Update
Amazon FR  ZERO
Amazon DE  ZERO
Post your suggestions as comments and sometime next week we will choose the best name.
It dawned on me that the cat can be a good platform to express idiotic public responses to different movements without actually pissing anybody off.  So far the results are funny, sarcastic and right up my alley.
I do want to throw out that Six Letter Press, a Blog will be featuring a guest blog post written by yours truly on December 10, 2011.  Please mark your calendar to pop in there and check it out on the tenth.  I will include a link to the site for those interested to pull them up, check them out, save to your favorites or even possibly follow the fine writing and posts of this blog.
http://sixletterpress.wordpress.com/
Possibly sometime in the future Miss Trista from that site may contribute a guest blog post to this site.  I would also invite any of my followers who would be interested in doing a guest blog post to this site to E-mail me at StorytellerTDW@yahoo.com.  I know for a fact several of you are extremely talented writers!  Subject matter will be wide open, would prefer no porn or erotic literary posts, no decidedly bias or racial posts, or anything that may be construed as hateful.  I prefer upbeat, encouraging, funny, with some sort of educational benefit.
Unless we are talking about mythical mindless cats and their political agendas!  Then we will cut loose!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Newest Member

Fellow Members of My Blog
The newest member and follower to join this group, if you hold your cursor over the pictures, the one that comes up as Kristy Wilson.  That's my oldest child, the light of my life, awesome conversationalist, and the only person I know with as dark of a sense of humor as I have.

Welcome Kristy, my daughter!  Hey check out the newest book review of No Rules of Engagement!
Not too shabby for only my second book.

Newest Review of No Rules Of Engagement!!

http://freebookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-review-no-rules-of-engagement-by.html

Review

Overall Feedback: Unbelievably well written story. This is a hold on to your seat, rampant ride into space military action. The action is non stop and Thomas has really done well to grab a hold of the reader and not let go until the last page. 

Point of View: You will be following young Hawk as he realizes was he is born to do.

Voice: It seems to me this is more about realizing the truth of yourself rather than the truth people choose to see in you.

Character Development: You will get a real feel for the main character. I do think that the supporting characters could have used a little more polish.

Plot: Twisting turning action packed space military adventure. Need I say more.

Dialogue: Believable and natural.

Pacing: The writer will run away with your imagination leaving your heart racing and you breathless.

Setting: Perfect and adds to the imaginary real to this story.

Continuity: A couple issue in the beginning but nothing that will keep you from enjoying a great story.


Description from Amazon

For eight year old orphan, Alexander Hawk, the question, "Is there other Intelligent life in the Universe?" has been answered with a resounding YES!

Plucked from a correctional facility for boys because of a test he never even finished, Alexander is sent to train for combat against an alien race of Alligators which is attacking another group of aliens, the Macktonics, who have allied with United States in return for advanced technology.

The United States' gathers an army of children so they will arrive at the perfect age for fighting. Alexander faces grueling training exercises as he struggles to rise to the challenge of preparing to save the placid Macktonic alien civilization from pending attack. Before his training is complete he comes face to face with the enemy. Alexander becomes student and teacher as they square off against a superior aggressor. Traveling through time portals crossing time and space to gain intelligence, and ultimately to hunt down their foe before they attack the Macktonics.
Available at Amazon 
http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Engagement-Alexander-Hawk-ebook/dp/B005KG60US
Available at Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85282

New Ideas 2

I hate to keep going to the same well but when the water is so cool, clean and refreshing you can't help it.  Plus, I haven't finished the book yet.
Extreme Programming stresses customer satisfaction!  Novel Concept!
It improves a software development project by focusing on communication, simplicity, and feedback.  Extreme programmers communicate with their customers constantly, keeping the program simple and clean, and start getting feedback from testing as soon as possible.  Their idea is to get the customer a working program to handle a specific need as soon as possible instead of trying to design a full all encompassing program with all the bells and whistles at some later date.  In this model they add components, bells and whistles as they go along.  Changes throughout the development process are based off of the customer's changing requirements and actual feedback from testing all along.  This allows the software to change through the developmental process.
The whole process emphasizes teamwork and communication.  Another wonderful Concept!
Once achieved the team work process can continue as the rules and priorities change to fit a company's specific changing needs.  This would be a good model for companies as well as our government!
Customers enjoy being part of the development process, and programmers and developers contribute regardless of the experience level.  The Managers focus on the communication and relationships of all parties involved.  Unproductive activities get trimmed to reduce costs and lesson frustrations of everybody involved.  WOW!  What a concept.  Could this be applied to government agencies?
One way they work to achieve this process is to put programmers working together, while one focuses on the line by line code the other one is always examining the big picture and overall direction of the project.  Slower with its initial inception but faster in overall long term development generally resulting in a much better product, with less bugs, more focused and customer friendly end product.
One other piece of mind candy was in looking at things differently.
Apparently at some point the U.S. Government developed a military war game system designed to entice players to eventually enlist in the military.  The game consisted of a virtual soldier going through a simulated boot camp and then an increasing series of military missions.  Much later one aspect of the game that caught the militaries attention was when they looked into the strategies and tactics used by the highest scoring players in the game.  The unconventional tactics that were wining the computer games was seriously looked at for ways of improving on real world field tactics in actual combat with surprising results.
Feed Your Brain!
Writers get back to work!  Aren't a lot of you doing that novel in a month thing?  Why are you surfing when you could be writing?
The rest of you . . .
Do you read during those few minutes before works starts, because you get there five minutes early?
Do you read before you go to bed?  Best time because it gives food to your mind before you turn it over to your subconscious to chew on.
Do you read during your lunch time?
Buy a book and get busy.  You only live once!  You are so lucky to live in an age where there is more things to read and more ways to read from different mediums than ever before in history.
Stop playing the mindless games and feed your brain, improve yourself, have an adventure, a romance, investigate a mystery.  If you only knew the awesome stuff you're missing out on!
Contest Update   -See post from November 8th  New Amazon Markets.
Amazon DE   ZERO
Amazon FR   ZERO
Remember if you plan to Win the contest to leave the time and date and some information about yourself for the blog post dedicated to the winner!  Do not leave it to my imagination.  If you have read either of my two books you will heed my advice and leave your autobiography as a comment!
Welcome New Follower   Mark   Man about couch and internet personality!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Ideas

I love when I can find new ideas, new technologies, and new information to clog my head with so my subconscious can chew on it.  God only knows, and those whose read my books, where I will regurgitate it in some new fashion.  If you don't feed your mind new stuff from time to time it has no product or fuel to piece together those insightful break through AHH HAA moments that we usually get in the shower with no way of writing them down so we don't forget them.  I am always astounded when I get those, because it is if this new idea just forms into existence from seemingly nowhere.  The truth of the matter is that our wonderful brains are processing stuff on many levels for days, weeks, and sometimes months or years before it relinquishes the results.
I am still reading the book "The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the business of your life and the life of your business."  By Jerry Wind and Robert Gunther.  I am only halfway done with it and already it has me questioning how I look at things.  Are my mental models accurate depictions of what is really going on in the world?  Are dynamics of what I am doing changing?  How can I experiment with new ideas, new models, to be more effective, enhance my skills, be a better manager, a better writer, a better parent, or husband?
This book is expertly put together in a highly impacting manner.  Every chapter takes you into real world experiences and challenges your accepted ways of doing things, looking at things, shows and introduces new models being experimented with and used by companies, and even the military.  I have this book as an E-book but will have to buy a hard copy so I can keep it on my desk and put sticky note tabs throughout, highlight sections and look up parts to do further insightful research on the subjects and how they relate to me in business, and as a writer starting a new career.  I find myself stopping while reading it asking questions.  I have to grab paper to write the questions down so I can remember them later.
There is a whole chapter on how to deal with the literal flood of information we are immersed in on a daily basis.  You all know what I mean, between the things we have to read, want to read, e-mails, texts, web-sites, blog posts of those we follow, advertising, not to mention radio or television or YouTube stuff.  With all that we know we are missing good stuff, because it just passes us in the daily stream, and daily the stuff we do want to follow grows.  It is staggering!  Well they have a means of dealing with it, strategies, concepts, and how to garner what you want and forget the rest, and cruise on faster.  After reading that chapter and practicing their insights on the subject I am ready to actively search for more stuff to stream through.  Amazing I know!
So point being this.  If you're not feeding your mind, have a heart and feed your brain it is hungry even though you think it is overtaxed at the moment.  With an influx of good information that is entirely new to you, your brain can astound you again and again with new thoughts, ideas, insights, and connections.  If you're in a rut, read something entirely new, surf something different, and expand your horizons!  Spread your wings and let your mind soar!
Writers, break is over, shouldn't you be writing?  Everybody else, buy a book and save a starving author while you feed your brain something new.
Have A Great Day and God Bless.  Amazon DE  ZERO  Amazon FR  ZERO.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Literary Stuff Today in History

Herman Melville's book "Moby Dick" was published on November 14, 1851.  It was met with mixed reviews and mediocre sales.  Melville (Aug 1, 1819 – Sept 28, 1891) was an American novelist who first became well known for the "Typee" which became a bestseller and the first of three well renowned books.  His popularity declined in the late 1840's and never fully recovered.  Published a month earlier in London as "The Whale", it wasn't until the 1920's, thirty years after Melville's death that "Moby Dick" became immensely popular and considered to be an addition to the American literary canon.
On this date in history, November 14, 1889, Elizabeth Jane Cochran better known as Nellie Bly set about to beat Jules Verne's fictional record of circumnavigating the world in 80 days.  Traveling by Ship, Train, and Burro she returned to New York in 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes.  She actually got to meet Jules Verne in Amiens during her trip.  Her later book "Around the World in 72 Days" became a best seller.
Jules Verne a French Author (Feb 8, 1828 – Mar 24, 1905) is considered by some to be the Father of Science Fiction.  His books featured many inventions and mode of travel before they were well known or in some cases invented.
A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
Around the World in Eighty Days (1873)
I wonder if she went with a valet, or was followed by a detective from Scotland Yard?
In the book by Verne they do not travel by hot air balloon, although it is mentioned briefly.  Because of an earlier written book by Verne, "Five weeks in a balloon" which first made Jules Verne a well known author it has emerged as mythology about the book.  The 1956 movie adaptation of the book actually added to Verne's story by including a hot air balloon for part of the trip, and many latter versions of the book actually had a balloon on the books cover!
Other News Worthy Events
My second novel "No Rules Of Engagement" has received another Review on Goodreads.com!
Still sitting at a perfect five out of five stars!  Which frankly I still can't believe considering it isn't selling, and it is only my second book.  I am still plowing away at the sequels to both "Whisper" and "No Rules Of Engagement."
Apparently not too shabby…
http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Engagement-Alexander-Hawk-ebook/dp/B005KG60US/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321287610&sr=1-1
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85282

Contest Update
Amazon DE   ZERO
Amazon FR   ZERO

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Look

Men through time and experience develop a look.  We recognize it in others who have it.  We instinctively know when others don't have it, because we can't see it.  It's funny that generally those who have the look are not generally the people who cause problems without having a good reason.  They are generally pretty laid back, until somebody threatens them, their family, or somebody they care about.  Or unless someone else is just being completely moronic and stupid and public because they think they are going to get away with it, or in worst case scenarios because they think they are some kind of bad ass.  It is always unfortunate when someone who is dangerous has a run in with someone who thinks they are dangerous.

As I started the post off with this look takes time to develop.  It generally develops after you have been knocked down more than once and know you can get back up and ask for more.  It develops after enough training or fights that you're confident in your ability to inflict large amounts of pain and severe discomfort upon another individual in a rather short amount of time and usually under some duress.  It develops because you know you can withstand the punishment of other better skilled men and still inflict enough damage the other guy is going to end up in the hospital with you.  You know you may lose but you're tough enough to take it and dumb enough to take an ass whoopin to not just let go.  Or you know you can totally take the other guy out and inflict just enough damage to dissuade them from being stupid for the moment, or a bit more to maybe cause a life changing moment in the other person's life.

That's why people learn martial arts, lift weights, train on punching bags, learn to fight with swords, shoot guns accurately, throw knives, and many other ways of hurting to killing our fellow man.  We learn to defend ourselves so we can walk around without being afraid or so we can relax and enjoy the good parts of life knowing that if the evil side of life presents itself that you will not be caught unawares.  The confidence is a freedom unto itself.  It lets you relax your guard and enjoy life.  It lets you stand up for others who can't defend themselves.

It's something I learned between my time in the United States Army, taking Kempo Karate classes, and from my father growing up.  I learned about weapons as a child in the back woods of Idaho growing up.  From shooting pistols, rifles, and shotguns and somewhere along the way I learned about archery, sword fighting, how to throw knives and axes.  Some of my friends and I were discussing that look you recognize in some men which gave me the idea for this post.  Some people will never get it, some will never understand.  Those of us that have it recognize the look in others who have it.  So when you see that look and get that that feeling of maybe I shouldn't push this point.  Maybe you should reconsider your current course of action, or the next stupid thing that's on the tip of tongue.

You never know what the other guy knows or has been through in his life.  You can't measure the level of the other guy's persistence, drive, or endurance.  Some of the most dangerous men I know are the nicest looking laid back guys who generally have a smile on their face and are the salt of the earth.  Until you cross them or piss them off.  If you're lucky, you'll see the look before they tear you a new one.

Have a nice day!  Remember to Smile and be extra nice to others in Missouri, it's a right to conceal and carry State.  You never know who may be packing heat, hell grandma could be carrying a gun.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Bronco's Jersey

Saturday morning and we are at work at the tire warehouse.  I was having a discussion with one of my warehouseman about if I was the Head Coach for the Chiefs and knew we were playing the Bronco's this Sunday.  I would make sure I knew the names of the sisters and mothers of my players and have people send them fake E-mails about doing terrible things with their sisters or insulting their mothers.  How I would secretly put a bounty on their quarter back for the defense to win if they hurt him and knocked him out of the game.
When low and behold my warehouse manager gets out of his car wearing a Bronco's Jersey.  Obviously, in this place of over flowing testosterone, and Kansas City people being almost fanatical, about our team, the Chiefs.  Alright we are fanatics!  I couldn't let this go unchallenged!
So I put the word out throughout the warehouse and drivers that I wanted somebody to bring me the Bronco's Jersey!  That no matter what happened nobody would get in trouble for jumping the warehouse manager and taking the Jersey off of him.
Now as I have alluded to in past posts, this job is a hard job, done by some very hard men.  My warehouse manager is one of the toughest and he isn't afraid of shit.  Even if he was afraid he just doesn't care.  So after putting a bounty of sorts on his jersey I told him what I had done.  After all we not only work together we happen to be great friends.  I know most people wouldn't do that kind of stuff to their friends but he knows me and should have known better than to wear a freaking Bronco's Jersey to work.
It took four or five guys to jump him and get the Jersey off but before my morning city trucks left at eight forty-five I was in possession of the offending piece of material.
I gave it back to him, after all he is my friend.  He may think twice about wearing the Jersey next time, but knowing Kenny, he would do it again.  That's part of what makes life so damn much fun.
To Kenny Kutter, Jr.  My friend, ally and co-worker.  My kind of people, in spite of his crappy wardrobe discussions.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Beautiful Rememberance

One of my friends, one of those new kinds of friends we make on this wonderful medium of the Internet where we meet people through test messages and social media, but never face to face.
One of my friends of this sort, Jan O'Kane, did a beautiful blog post about her father, a lone survivor of an entire platoon during his time in World War II.
Please go and read it.

 
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