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Friday, December 30, 2011

Plans, Goals, or Bucket List

I don't really believe in New Year Resolutions!
I do believe in Lists!
By writing something down on a list you create some real and tangible in this world concerning that item.  You're declaring to the Universe, Your God, or just to yourself, that this is a target, and short of death or dismemberment you are heading headlong into achieving that objective.
My Mom made a list of ten things she wanted to do in her life a few years back and a couple of the items were kind of out there.  By the end of the next year she had done all ten things on her list.  She had to make a new list.
I over accomplished what I wanted to do for 2011.  I published my first book in January 2011 and by May was actually getting sales of the book.  The planner in me, sat down one evening and looked at my sales, figured if each month I could sell four more than the month before and carried that out on a spread sheet through 2011 and on to 2026.
Knowing I was planning on publishing my second book in September 2011, I added some columns and copied the cells from the sales of my first book over to my second book starting in September and on ward.  Over in the 2012 Column, I copied the sales figures again starting in May and on out.  Adding one new book a year!  The figures in 2026 are staggering from my limited perspective.  Amazingly though from May of 2011 till December 30, 2011, My actual sales of books have surpassed my Book Sales Projections Spreadsheet!  It proved to me that those numbers for 2026 can be real numbers by adding one book a year and just doing what I am doing.  If I happen to publish two books in a given year, it will only speed the process up.
A couple of factors that are not figured into this mix is that readers may start looking for the sequels coming out and initial sales may blow away what's on the spread sheet!  ( I won't complain about that.)  If a particular blog group, reading group, Goodreads book club, or Oprah says something about the book and it goes Viral that will blow away the numbers on the spread sheet.  (Again, you will never hear me complain about that.)
My point here is to make some Writing Plans for 2012.  Write them down!  Make them hard!  Reach for the freaking stars with your desires.
Nobody is going to show up and slap your hand and break your pencil at the end of 2012 if you didn't attain all your goals.  You're not graded on it!!
So go crazy!  Shoot for the stars with your goals!  Write down things to do.  Things you want to do.  Things you want to figure out, it doesn't matter that you don't have a clue as to where to start, just write it down.  To get published!  To Publish yourself!  Start a Blog!  Write a guest Blog Post!  Build a website!  Whatever you want!!
The Amazing part of this is you will find you may do everything on the list and then some by this time next year!  Wouldn't that be great!  Write it down.  Keep it somewhere you can look at it throughout the year, to keep items on the list in your mind.  Then watch out because lightening might strike!
If you are into New Year's Resolutions, check out this ladies resolutions for 2012.
http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/

I follow her Blog because she makes me laugh, and we can always use a good laugh.
May God Bless and have a Happy New Year!
I may or may not post another Blog before next Tuesday, either way I am not going to stress about it.  One of my goals is to de stress, and enjoy more, while writing my happy ass off!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Optimistic – Pessimist

I consider myself an Optimistic Pessimist!
The glass is half hull, but it is also half empty at the same time.
I try to be optimistic in all situations and keep a positive attitude even when I am failing.  I don't see the world through rose colored glasses, or think it is a beautiful place where anybody can do anything they want.  I believe in the American Dream, but never forget it is an ideal, a dream and only ever actually attained by very few.  I strive for what the Declaration of Independence called for, 'The pursuit of happiness.'  It isn't a right or guaranteed.  I believe in hard work, persistence, and never say die.
I see the world through the eyes of a realist, a wolf, a capitalist pig, the first born son of a Scottish immigrant.  I look for the evil, threats, underlying corruption, cheating, lying, and all the filth that is part of our natural humanity.  In spite of this dark view of the world, politics, and its people, I travel through the world with my eyes wide open and marvel when I see the random acts of kindness, beautiful flowers, children playing, sunrises and sunsets.
I have hope for humanity in spite of a history that screams there is no hope for us.  A history that that proves mankind will never get along in tolerance, peace, and co-exist as one species, as humans, and work for the betterment of our entire species.  Never in Earth's history has mankind gotten along, and lived in peace and tolerance with his fellow humans.
As a father of three children I have hope!  I will train them up to think on their feet, to read and learn for themselves, so they can decide what they believe and know why they believe it.  I will teach them not to follow people or governments blindly.  I will teach them to fight, in order to protect themselves and their families, and to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
I plan for the worst case scenario at all times to the best of my ability.  I try to always remember the wonderful lessons I learned while in the military.
"Maximum Utilization of Available Resources."
It means to do the absolute best you can with what you have available.
Improvise, adapt and overcome your obstacles.
That real men don't cry, we don't want to discuss our feelings, and don't generally give a rats ass how we are dressed.  You get up and go to work and do the best you can.  Life is hard, but it beats the shit out of the alternative!  I will take a man who is trying and hasn't given up every time over the person who won't try or who just wants to give up.  If it was easy everybody would be doing it!  Working hard for things makes you appreciate them that much more.  I would rather work hard to gain something than have it handed to me on a platter.
This is no disrespect to Mr. Nicolas Sparks what so ever.
But when I make enough money from my books that I can stay home and write full time I will have so much more of an appreciation for the work it took to get there than somebody who sold his first book for a million dollars.  To make it to where I am headed working day and night, with no agent, no real publisher outside of a website which allows me to fill in the blanks and download a computer file I labored over for months.  No advertising, no promotional budget or tours, no book signings, all just doing the best I can do with what little I have and just hammering away it day after day.
Plan for the worst, if it happens you were as prepared as you could be.  If it doesn't then you were ready anyways.  Plan to succeed.  Work your plan.  Get up every day and be the best you can be, the best writer, best editor, best parent, best worker at your day or night job.  It doesn't matter if your job is sweeping a floor somewhere, mowing the grass, or taking out the trash; do the best job you can do every damn day.
Remember success is the journey, this now!  What you're doing today is your success, so enjoy it, revel in it, because this moment, this second right now is all you will ever truly have.  The only thing we can truly have, enjoy, change, affect, and realize is this moment in time.  Before this moment is the future and that is always uncertain, and the past is the past, you will never fix it or change it.  Plan and work today for better and more successful moments in your future.  Do not waste all your moments lamenting over the past or hoping for something in the future.
Enjoy your moments as they happen, enjoy your journey, your success, ENJOY YOUR WORK!
When you love what you are doing it changes everything.  In spite of this big bad mean world you can make your dreams and the dreams of others come true.  You can change your little corner of the world.  Be the person who makes everybody feel like they are the most important person that you got to speak to all day long!  Be dynamic.  Be true.  Be faithful.  Be yourself!
God Bless and have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Review of No Rules Of Engagement

My newest work received three star's from Amy on her blog site, but she openly admits right up front that this was like nothing she had ever read before, and way out of her normal genre that she reads and reviews.

Here is the point, that knowing that going into the situation I would have asked her to not review it, but keep the book and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it.  As it is my overall rating of the book will drop a notch towards an even three.

She also states in her review that one of the characters cuts another characters finger off, which is incorrect.  In fact two different characters break a persons finger.  Still upsetting but it is supposed to be upsetting.  I don't think breaking a finger is quite as bad as cutting a finger off. 

In the immortal words of Donald Trump, "Even bad press is press!"  So I am putting the link to her site so my readers can read what Amy has to say about my book.

It isn't a bad review, but I think she may have rushed through it, didn't get the point, or had trouble getting into the story.  As I said earlier, we all roll the dice when we go this route for reviews of our books.

So please check out the review of "No Rules Of Engagement" at Following the Reader!
http://followingthereader.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-no-rules-of-engagement-by-thomas.html

Book Reviews and Author Interviews

As aspiring authors trying to be discovered in the flood of E-commerce and especially in the epic flood of new books hitting the market with new, cheap, if not FREE e-books there are two FREE ways to self promote your book and help get the word out.
                              Book Reviews and Author Interviews!
Of the two Book Reviews are more geared towards getting your book discovered, as it is about your book.  If a person stumbles across a review of your book and it sounds interesting they may purchase it.  I have found this is a risky daunting task for several reasons, and I hope the information I pass along is helpful.
1.  Some Book Reviewers charge you to review your book!  I feel this practice is at best a conflict of interest if not plain morally wrong.  Especially if you pay for a review and get a bad review!
2.  Most Book Reviewers, do them for FREE, but they seem to perform this function in a marathon type manner.  Personally I enjoy reading.  No, that's an understatement.  I Love to READ!  If you love books why would you rush to get through one?  I am still in my first year of doing this and of those who profess to be Book Reviewers, and then run through the book so fast that they don't read it carefully, several negative consequences can be the result.
     a. )  Wrong or Miss Read stuff gets reviewed or reported about your book in the Review!  This may turn potential readers away from giving your book a try.
     b. )  The Reviewer reports they didn't get it, or that your book contains inconsistencies, which may again turn potential readers away from reading your book.  This may or may not be the case with your work.  I have had two instances in ten where something similar to this was in the review and each time elements from a.) were included also where miss leading or wrong information about the book was reported.  This clearly shows the Book Reviewer rushed through the book and was guessing, gleaning, halfway speed reading to get through your work, just so they could get another book review done.  The reader of the Book Review doesn't know what is right or wrong concerning the review, and are taking the Reviewers word for what they thought of your book.
     c. )  Your book is not what the Book Reviewer enjoys, normally reads, likes, or understands.  This will result in a confused if not outright bad review.  It isn't their fault.  Not many of us can read a book on advanced particle Physics, genetics, or biology and write an intelligent and cohesive review of the book, especially if we were not interested in the book, or didn't understand most of what we were reading.  The fair and honest thing for the book reviewer to do is contact the author and say, "Hey, this isn't my cup of tea, I think I should pass on this one."  If a reviewer does this to you, heed the warning and let them walk away.  I think too many times the Book Reviewer doesn't want to admit this is not their general genre or area of knowledge and put themselves out on a limb and write the best review they can with what they didn't enjoy or understand.  Let's face it; I would suck at reviewing Romance novels!
     d. )  Not all Reviewers know how to write a decent review.  Some tell about the book in a general manner without giving away any secrets, these are good.  Some tell about the book in a general manner and parts and things they enjoyed about the book, these are great.  Some try and write like what we had to do for book reports in high school or junior high to prove to the teacher that we actually read the book.  They in essence re-tell a condensed version of your book.  This isn't that great.  Let the reader discover the book on their own.  I feel a Great Book Review should entice the reader to purchase and read the book.
     e. )  An author friend of mine had a review done of her work and the reviewer trashed it.  Come to find out the reviewer's downloaded copy was corrupted somehow during the transfer.  The author's book was fine, and not all messed up.  Yet this review and bad rating are out there and unfixable because of the wrong impression gained by the reviewer from not having an accurate copy of the work.  If you get an E-book and it looks all messed up and things seem all out of place, before you jump to any conclusions make sure you have a good copy of the book, the right format for your reader, and nothing wrong the device you're reading it from.
As far as Book Reviewers go you roll the dice with the rest of us.  Everybody is different and comes from different back grounds with different educational mind sets.  You could take 10 people and have them all read the same piece and not everybody is going to enjoy it.  Not everybody is going to get the same stuff out it the piece.  Hell, if you quiz them on the piece you will clearly see that everybody read the same piece, but got numerous different stories from the same piece of material!
Book Reviews and Book Reviewers are important!  They do help get the word out.  People read reviews and make decisions based off the reviews they read.  As an author you should make a list of the Reviewers that work well with the stuff you write.  Maybe make notes as to their accuracy concerning your book, the time it took them to review the book, and how they rated it.  Be leery of using book reviewers who read hundred thousand word novels in two to three days.
I do think if a Book Reviewer reads a book they thoroughly hate, that's total unmitigated crap, they should just pass on writing a review of the book.  The world is negative enough and we don't need to be pouring more negativity into it by trashing somebody else's hard work.  Many great literary works were considered flops or downright failures at the time they were published only to become considered classics much later.  In some cases the books didn't become successful and great works until long after the author had passed.  So what somebody hates today may end up being an international bestseller and classic literature in time.
I have from time to time over the past year gotten my best results with gifting copies of my books to total strangers, with the simple request that if they enjoyed the book to please write a review of the book!  So far these by far have been slower more thorough reviews of my work.  These have been the kinds of reviews I want potential readers to read about my book.
Author Interviews
I have not found a downside to these yet, unless it is the time away from my writing I spend answering the questions.  Alas, this is but a small price to pay for somebody taking the time and interest to interview you and post your interview on their fabulous website!  As an author I find it fun and exciting each time I start answering the questions for an author interview.  The Interview questions, most of the time, have been unique, intriguing, and informative.  Usually you are asked to provide a photograph, the answers to some questions by the interviewer, and links to follow you such as the following:
Twitter                     Google +              Facebook
Author Pages           Your Website       Your Blog
Pictures of your book or books, and links to find them for sale on line.
I would suggest finding and making a list of places that do Author Interviews.  I have only done one interview with each place so far, so I don't know how this will play out in the future.  A facet I am just getting into is doing Author Interviews on this Blog in return for the other Authors doing author interviews of me.  This seems to be a win/win to drive followers and readers to each other blogs, get the word out, generate some buzz, and all for Free!  If you give at least as good as you get it should work out as a wonderful means for Independent authors to help support each other!
I am not opening up a free for all to do Author Interviews at this time as I feel it would take too much of my precious time from the writing of my books, and that is of paramount importance to me at this juncture of my writing career.  I believe to start I find Indy Authors I happen to run across through day to day business and pleasure surfing through the media sites I inhabit and do it on a individual invitational basis only, maybe about one every other week.  Only time will tell.
May God Bless You, and Have a wonderful and productive day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life and Death

My family background is Scottish!  My father was born in Scotland, my mother from Missouri, and I am sure every families customs and beliefs are different and we generally take on certain customs and beliefs from our parents.

I was raised believing that one should celebrate the end of ones life with all the gusto that one would normally celebrate a birthday with.  The whole mourning process, the ceremonies with the body in casket, fancy head stones, and expensive graves for what is left of your spent and used up earthly body is beyond me.  Your body once your dead has about the same significance as a empty aluminum Coke can, except you can get a few cents for enough empty pop cans!  Your body is not you, it isn’t even who you were.

I was raised believing this way, that death isn’t a sad time but a rejoice full time.  My family holds wakes.  I was raised believing that if a person was a good person it should be a hell of a party, with people remembering good things and times had with the recently departed.  If the person was not so nice then it probably won’t be that good of a wake!  As I said that is the way I was raised to believe about the death of people.  As I get older and have started losing people close to me, it really challenges my beliefs.  It forces one to think about life and death, the afterlife, and your religious faith in what you believe.

I have been with Community Wholesale Tire for going on twenty years and it is amazing how many people you meet and get to know in that span of time.  Today, I got word that a gentleman who was working for Community Tire when I started there in 1992 has passed.  He has worked there since 1985.  Officially he has been retired for the past couple of years but as recently as last month he has driven for us as a relief driver, in a pinch, when someone calls in or goes on vacation.  I am not sad, but I am experiencing a severe sense of melancholy.

I think what is bothering me most is the fact that the world is so short of decent hard working honest people, who are just so truly a pleasant to be around, that when you lose a friend like that it is truly a terrible loss.  This was one of those gentleman you may only meet the likes of such once or twice in a lifetime.  It is quite the loss of a very sincere friend, co-worker, and one hell of a standup guy, from an age gone by.  Old School, real stand up guy.  I am filled with such memories of his teaching, helping, instructing me and the younger drivers.  During his tenure with our company he drove way over a million miles without an accident.  He was always pleasant and cheerful, with a touch of gruff to let you know he cared about you.  I shall really miss him.

God Bless and Good Night every one.

Oh, Thursday, there is going to be one hell of a party!  A wake for the one the grandest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of sharing so many parts of my life with over the last twenty years!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Exclusive Author Interview J.L. Murphey

Let me start by saying Jo is a great friend who is an experienced Author, Awesome Editor, and so much more.  I got the wonderful opportunity to get to interview her.

AKA JoAnn Murphey/ Jolee Morriss/ J.L. Murphey/ Grandma Jam

1.  I remember reading "Escape from Second Eden", and learning that much of the story is true and based off the life of your parents. Without spoiling anything can share with us some poignant points that were based off your parents and their true to life adventures?

There were enough poignant points to keep me writing the skeletons out of my closet for many years. My father's impression before I started writing them in books was, "What could she know? She was only a kid." He has since changed his thinking and realized just how much my sister and I actually remember of our travels, the Malatov cocktails, the riots, kidnap attempts, demonstrations, terrorist, the martial law, and the dangers involved in their living and working overseas. He always told us when he began our self defense classes, "Honey I love you, but if you are kidnapped no ransom would be paid because you would be dead." That's some pretty heavy stuff for an five-year old. This was years prior to the events of "Escape from Second Eden."


2.  What was your motivation for writing "Sacrificial Lamb"?

The Sacrificial Lamb started as a short piece for a writing exercise, but the main character, Jacqueline Luann, would not leave my head. All my novels have my life experiences in them. A lot of what this young girl went through was similar to the emotions my youngest daughter went through being physically and emotional abused by a relative. All the self doubts, the indignation, the fear of being found out is all part of what I helped my daughter face and recover from. For the bad guy, Olin, he was a compilation of some of the worst scum I ever had the bad luck to meet as a police officer. I wanted the reading public to really hate this guy and I think I succeeded.


3.  After reading the first two books mentioned above, my next forte into your literary work was "Zombie  Apocalypse : Redemption."  I generally don't read horror stories and your book is a perfect example of why I don't.  When you can read a book that scares you in the middle of the day with the sun shining and the lights on, it is pretty scary!  Where in the world did that come from?  What motivated you to go in that direction?  Are you a fan of the Horror Genre?

Actually, no. I am not a horror fan or at least wasn't. I'm basically a scaredity-cat although I have a strong stomach and a medical background. I never thought I would write horror. If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever write horror I'd have said no. The premise behind "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" is the rush to find a cure for the plague which turns people into zombies. Which basically makes it a suspense novel which I am good at writing.

The idea came from the May 18, 2011 CDC warning of Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness. I first heard it on Fox News and was shocked, but in reading the actual warning, it was a ploy for hurricane preparations. I was relieved! Then my husband and I were talking later about conspiracy theories and the FEMA camps located in ten states.  I wondered what would make someone WANT to get in a truck to go to one of these...ta da. The whole story formed in about two days in my head. I've always watched shows on home improvement and saw a missile silo home. I got to thinking what if.  That's all it takes for me to form a story...a bunch of what if's.


4.  What is in the works that we can look forward to for 2012?

Currently I have another espionage suspense entitled "The Mayan Serpent," a second suspense southern fiction "Surviving Hank," "Zombie Apocalypse" Travelers" in the horror genre  (I may also publish the third in the ZA series next year"Zombie Apocalypse" Controller), four books in my Sweet Haven series, two ghosting projects which I'm not at liberty to speak of yet, and two co-author works in progress.

5.  You wear many hats.  Minister, Culinary Instructor or Student?, Editor, Blogger, Writing Coach, and still manage to write and publish your own books.  I know you do your own art work, and make or help make movie trailers for your books and others.  How do you do it all?  Do you have a routine?  Just a super crazy schedule?

All indie authors wear a bunch of hats...even you.
Actually I am a retired culinary instructor and currently other than a few classes here and there...not a student. Editor, yes with twelve other authors. Writing coach, for you and about four others I'm always available. My ministry work is as a traveling minister which is basically what a retired minister does. I fill in for ministers who are sick or on vacation, have a drug and alcohol court ordered counseling sessions, perform the odd weddings, baptisms or funerals...so I'm semi retired.

How it all juggles together? I'm the master juggler and I am woman. I can multitask to beat the band. I take breaks from my own writing to edit others, illustrate, make trailers and assorted other things. I may spend an hour or a couple of days doing these other things. It is all a creative process and outlet. I'm a creativity junkie. I feed off of it and am inspired by it. My major plus is that I can type fast. On average I can finish a 50K word manuscript in a couple of weeks depending on how detailed it is.  Every writer needs breaks, I just use my breaks doing other creative things and by helping others.I jump starts my own creative juices. I also learn as I read others. I also only sleep about four hours a day and have done this for decades.

In my work life, I've always worked two jobs, with husband and children at home, and wrote. I've been writing for a few decades now. This year was my breaking into the fiction market which is standard publishing wise shorter, and harder to get into. I chose self-publishing rather than going with one of my standard publishers because it works for me. It may not work for every author out there but the pace is my own as are the deadlines. If I don't write a book in a few months it only matters to me and my pocketbook. My writing is not an 8-5 job. It's a 6AM-9AM job, a whenever I can squeeze a few words onto a page, edit in a bathtub or doctor's office with my printed pages and a red pen, and when the muses strike type job. This is for my relaxation and escape from my world. I'm often seen wearing a t-shirt which says, "I'm in my own little world...it's okay, they know me here."

It's all in how you prepare to write. I call it doing homework. I prepare in depth character studies on each of my main characters. I have the plot down pat. I know the beginning, the middle and the end or what I think is the end before I start. I'll take a large sheet of computer paper and do a brain storming bubble map and then it's just connecting all the events. If I need an extra detail, the internet is available with just a couple clicks. I layout everything prior to me starting to write. (usually this takes a couple of weeks). The editing is probably the longest period which can last a few months.  I have thought about the NANOWRIMO, but it seemed a bit redundant for me.

6.  Of all the things you do, which do you enjoy doing the most?  What gives you the most satisfaction?

Creating something from nothing. I'm an avid recycler. I can see what it is and figure out what something can be. For example, my son-in-law works in construction. He had a job where all the screen doors of a complex was headed for the dump. I saw something different. I saw a greenhouse.

What gives me the most satisfaction, besides my grandchildren, is helping others. To know I've touched someone else's life.

7.  Tell us about your children's series?

My Sweet Haven Series for children is everyday issues children face. They started out with my grandchildren talking to me and me listening. Listening is a gift and often overlooked. Art Linkletter wrote a book in the late 60's called "Kids Say the Darnedest Things." My grandchildren were talking to me about a local child being kidnapped, bullying, a parent going into the hospital, divorce, stepparents and assorted other issues. Being grandma, I couldn't let them worry and tried to help them understand what was going on in their world. Being grandma, I can spoil my grandchildren rotten and then send them home. (very big grin). It started as a game with storytelling. We'd all sit in a circle with bunches of different candies in the center. Face everyone learns better when it's fun. The series is different than anything I've seen on the market. It helped my grands so I figured other children needed help understanding issues also.

8.  Your writing covers a lot of ground, are their other genres you plan to branch out into in the future?  Mysteries?  Fantasy?  Romance?

Shhh, don't tell anyone. LOL I'm branching out in a co-author spot into paranormal romance next year...another genre I never thought I'd write. I do have a couple science fiction novels which are presently sidelined, but they also fall into the suspense description. "Resident Space" is premised by an assassin aboard a residential space ship similar to the ResidenSea ship on Earth. "Engineered Death" is a futuristic look at what the world becomes with all the current bio-engineering of everything. I'm also looking into screen writing. I'm always hearing about new innovations, discoveries, and assorted other fact which spur my imagination.

9.  Do you see yourself settling into a single Genre, maybe a series, or just keep surprising us with different new and exciting excursions?

Nope, I hope not. There are too many stories rattling around in my brain. It's like a smorgasbord, you want to try everything. I'm an eclectic reader so it seems natural to me to be an eclectic writer. If I ever become a best seller in one area, I may focus more time in that one genre although this is highly unlikely. I know all the publishers and agents say specify one area of expertise, but in my life I've found so many different and interesting areas to try. I do not live my life to have regrets. There are too many of those in life. The kicker is a writer should write what they know and I know too much stuff. I have a phono and photographic memory with a genius IQ. I get bored easily and always look for new challenges.

10.  If one of your books was chosen to make a movie out of it.  Do you have a favorite or one in particular you would like to see turned into a screen play?

I'd love to see "Escape from Second Eden" turned into a movie. The logistics would be killer though. I can see my "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" making it to the screen before that happens though...zombie are the new cool thing, but honestly I'd peg it as a medical suspense rather than a horror genre. I mean just because it has zombies it's horror like just because there are clandestine bits in "Escape from Second Eden" it becomes a suspense thriller.

11.  Is there anything in particular you would like our readers to know about you I didn't ask you about that you would be willing to share with us?

I would like the opportunity to say thank you to my readers both present and future. I write because of me, but they read because they want to. It's always nice to be wanted. Whether a review is good bad, or indifferent, I'd really like to hear more from the readers. Without feedback from the readers, it's like shooting a pistol in the dark.

12.  How do we keep tabs on you and follow you about the virtual world?

twitter @jomurphey
Each one of my pen names has it's own facebook page. Jo Murphey orJolee Morriss     Grandma JAM and Johanna Kihara coming soon

jomurphey@yahoo.com

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

I know many people will be receiving E-readers, Ipads, Kindles, Kindle Fires, Nooks, or possibly just a new cell phone for Christmas.  Yes, there are many apps for reading your favorite authors books on your cell phone.  My bid today is to become the newest addition to your favorite authors list!

"No Rules Of Engagement" has been getting great reviews and holds a 4.6 rating out of five on Goodreads dot com.

It is available on Amazon Barnes and Noble Smashwords and Goodreads.   
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.

The following is an excerpt from the book.
Carlisle started the discussion.  "We are coming along well with the war ships, fighter craft, landing craft, and the assortment of weapons you have requested.  Our people are working as diligently as possible in their construction efforts.  As you know this has placed a tremendous strain on the standard of living and the supply of materials for our own people's use.  We endure the hardships to give you what you need to fight for our people.  We appreciate your training of our people so we may have an Army of our own for our continued defense once this business is concluded.  The request concerning the outlawed technology has been unanimously rejected.  It is much too dangerous.  Your other request for access to time travel technology is up for discussion.  This is the reason I have been sent here to negotiate the terms and conditions in which such technology may be used."  Carlisle bowed his head as he finished and then after a moment he raised it slowly.
Harrbinger started in hot and heavy.  "You must reconsider about the antimatter fusion weapon.  We have to have that weapon in order to succeed in the future battles we anticipate with the Gators."
Carlisle raised his hand and Harrbinger paused.  "This will not be discussed the case is closed, it was denied."
Alexander touched Harrbinger's leg under the table.  "May I, sir?"
Harrbinger motioned for him to go ahead.
"Dear Carlisle, I know your people are much more advanced technologically than my own.  We are barbaric at best and we love to fight.  We do not wish to waste our lives in fighting any more than you want your people rounded up and killed.  Have you ever seen a battle where both sides are fighting?"
"No.  I have not."  He looked surprised.
"We train to fight in simulators which by the name means they simulate real combat except you don't actually die you just get thrown figuratively out of the battle simulation if you're killed.  May I show you a recorded battle simulation from our training on this ship?"
"Oh, yes, yes, yes.  Please do!"
Alexander opened his laptop, turned the computer on, inserted the memory chip, and spun it around so Carlisle could see the screen.  Alexander played the simulation of the large enemy formation fighting theirs.  It was set to stop when it reached the statistics of those killed at the end of the battle.
Carlisle watched intently, and he jumped a couple of times when ships blew up rather spectacularly in close up.
When it stopped Alexander got up and walked around to his side of the table.  Alexander motioned to the chair next to Carlisle.  "May I sit here?"
"Yes, by all means."
"It would not take you long to figure out how many battles of this magnitude could we do with our Army of two million, one hundred thousand troops with this rate of casualties in each battle.  Keep in mind the figure of troop strength is counting your troops training with us on your home world.  When our numbers are gone or down to next to nothing they will annihilate us, you, and your people.  We have no idea of the number or strength of our enemy.  If they out number us ten or twenty to one adjust your battle casualty numbers to account for that."
Carlisle gasped at that statement.  He appeared to be getting the point loud and clear.
"Where we need your help is coming up with a suitable, legal weapon that we can discuss the development and production of that will level the odds just in case they greatly outnumber us.  It would be a tragic shame if your people went through all this work and suffering only to delay the enemy from killing you by the time it takes to fight one or two battles and then we all die.”
Alexander continued, “On Earth, in our past, we developed what we call the atomic bomb, by splitting an atom of uranium, causing a chain reaction, and just letting it rip.  It was a very noisy, dirty, and nasty weapon that made the entire area where it was used uninhabitable for anything because of the radiation fallout from the bomb.  The development of the bomb was stupid and reckless from an intelligent standpoint of rational human beings.  Yet we did develop it, tested it, and even eventually used them on human beings to stop a war."
Alexander started a video of an atomic bomb going off on earth.
"It was horrific in its destructive power and could destroy an entire city with one bomb, one blast, using one airplane.  It took actually using two of those weapons, and vaporizing two cities to stop the Second World War on our planet.  The result was many years of peace because nobody else had such a weapon to challenge us with.  The phrase that describes this peaceful phenomenon is 'Peace through superior firepower.’  We need such a weapon again only of a new magnitude."
Alexander started another battle scenario where they used nuclear weapons against the enemy's fighter formation.
"This simulation is using our atomic weapons against the same formation as in the first battle."
Alexander waited while he watched and noticed Carlisle jump back each time the screen would flash white as a nuke exploded.  "You can see the results are a little better, but we still would not last long against our enemy, not enough to substantiate your cost of preserving your lives for such a small amount of extra time.  We did run a simulation of what the illegal weapon might be capable of just for experimentation, but realize we are only guessing at what the results might be as there is nothing real that exists to test or gather accurate data from."
Alexander started the simulation and let it run where one ship came in and took out the entire formation of enemy ships with one missile.
"If such a weapon was not illegal.  If we had such a weapon as this you can easily see how we could effectively fight over two million battles before being totally eliminated and the enemy no matter what his strength at some point would have to realize the cost in life and equipment is too great for absolutely no gain.  They would be forced to agree to peace with conditions or die as a species.  I realize this weapon is illegal and not to be discussed so I will just give you the videos to take back to your people and let them come up with a suitable weapon to put the odds in our favor.  The more odds in our favor the better chance we have of developing a peaceful resolution to the problem.  We impress upon them they can't beat us.  On this chip is the simulations you just watched, and I have faith in your intelligence and will to survive that you will figure out the proper and legal method for us to attain our mutual desired goals."
Alexander paused to catch his breath, grabbed the pitcher from the table and poured himself a glass of water.  He took a drink before proceeding.  Carlisle had been silent this whole time and the expression on his face went from amazement to stunned shock.
"Shall we begin our discussion of the time travel apparatus for gathering intelligence on our enemy?"  Alexander looked around to everyone for approval and read their expressions and body language.  Harrbinger pissed, Ramone bewildered, and Carlisle looked as if Alexander had kicked him in the balls.  Then he wondered if the aliens had balls, but Carlisle’s face read total abject defeat.
"My dear Carlisle, are you alright?  You don't look to well.  Have a glass of water."  Alexander grabbed a glass and poured him a glass of water and placed it carefully in his hands.  "I apologize."
Carlisle looked at Alexander with a confused expression on his face.  "You apologize for what?"

God Bless, and Have a very Merry Christmas everybody!








Thursday, December 22, 2011

Transformations

As we approach 2012, another new year, another tick on the clock of our age, and a step closer to our ultimate demise, let us consider what I want to call Transformations.  This is on the optimistic point of view that the Earth will not be destroyed and mankind will continue puttering around after our own self interests throughout and beyond the year 2012.  There is a large group that believes next year is the end of the Mayan long count and that spells disaster for us.  From my limited knowledge and reading I believe the mainstream Medias math is wrong and the actual end of the Mayan long count will be December 2039, but that is another book and for another post!
Transformations   To Transform ourselves!  Into what you ask?  That is for you to solve.
Let me explain.  Before 2010 I thought I knew what I was doing, where I was going, and I had plans.  Then I started writing!  That was my Transformation!
I am not saying writing will be yours.  It could be anything!  Your goal is to find the thing you were meant to do.  You need to find your inner passion for one thing that will transform your life.  Oprah's was talking to people about difficult subjects.  Mine is writing.  Honestly before I started writing I had no idea what my true passion was or how it would change my life.
I have a renewed vitality!  Before I started writing I would be in bed every night by 10:30 to 11:30 every night I had to work.  I thought I worked hard.  I thought I was driving towards my goals.  I get up at 6:00 to 6:30 every morning and goto to work Monday through Friday and every other Saturday for half a day, at my day job.  I get off work and go home and eat dinner and play with my boys, and try and spend some quality time with them.  They go down for bed between 7:30 – 8:00 most nights.  Then I start my second job.  Writing and all the wonderful aspects that it entails.  I have been routinely staying up until 12:30 – 1:00 every night for most of 2011.
I noticed the other day that I seem to be in better shape than I was a year ago.  I had somebody ask me the other day if I had lost some weight.  (I haven't, just in better shape.)  I just had the best year ever from my day job, and I have published two books in 2011.  I have had a tremendous year!  The biggest difference is I have been transformed.  I am happier, self-motivated in all areas of my life to get me back to the next moment I can write.
I started 2011 with the idea in mind of self publishing my first book.  I had many obstacles to overcome.  I didn't think of myself as a writer or an author.  Now with two books published, having actually signed numerous copies of each book in paperback, and having received multiple royalty payments from my book sales, I AM AN AUTHOR!
My point here is not to gloat.  My point is to find something you absolutely love to do and then do it.  After you're doing it find a way to make money from this endeavor.  It doesn't have to be much but some monetary recognition of your work.  Your love for what you do and the enjoyment you get from doing it will pour into your work.  It will overflow into all the other areas of your life.  You will be transformed!  It will change your life in ways you cannot even fathom at this point!
So forget about New Year's Resolutions and start soul searching and looking for something you absolutely live to do.  Find out what special gift God has waiting for you.  We all have one, but everybody doesn't find it.  Make it a priority to find your place, your niche, your passion!  Then begin the process of transforming your life starting with You and what you love to do!
God Bless and Good Hunting.  One hint, if you love doing it, it should be fun to you.  Go have some fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Make Believe and Fantasy

I always think about the bitter sweet parts of associated with certain aspects of the way some, probably most; Christians celebrate Christmas with their children.  In time it becomes one of the rites of passage into growing up.  As it increases our understanding of the world in general and how it isn't as nice and safe a place as we believed when we were much younger.  It is funny how as a child's mind becomes old enough to understand concepts such as time, and death, that all the more easily the shades of make believe fade away into the stark reality of the so called real world.
In ancient times there were stories of the other worlds, and how as the moments surrounding the edge of night and during the last fragments of such before dawn the portals to which would momentarily be opened for things to pass between the worlds.  The other worlds contained sprites, fairies, dragons and all manner of make believe.  Not by any means a safer world but one of perpetual magic and wonderment.  A reality of stark danger with the adult versions of our childhood fantasies where time doesn't exist.
It has always puzzled me how ancient civilizations all over Earth have Dragons in their mythology.  Always portrayed as large lizards, that can breathe fire, and possess magical abilities.  These mythical beasts exist in pictures, carvings, totems, and legends from times so long ago that nobody can say what was or wasn't.  Did these creatures exist all over the planet at one time?  Or did different civilizations with no apparent contact with each other all make up the same mythological characters, with the same attributes, by coincidence?  If they existed where is the archeological evidence of their existence?  What proof do we have they did or did not truly exist?  We have the pictures, and such mixed with stories and legends about them on the one hand supporting their existence, with no evidence supporting that they ever existed according to science.
Is the popularity of the genre of fantasy and magic an extension of our base desire to believe in what we lost through our rite of passage in becoming adults?  That reading these stories makes our big mean nasty world a bit more acceptable, livable, tolerable, because we can escape through a literal porthole into the neither world of our imagination with our favorite authors as our guides.
I told my wife last night as she was finishing with some Christmas preparations that I was so excited because we were going to have to buy some cookies!
"Why?!"  Her head snapped around looking at me all seriously like me getting my hands on some cookies would be some mortal sin.
"For Santa Claus!"  I stated with a sly grin on my face while trying to play innocent.
"Oh, Yeah."
There are parts of Santa's job I would love to have, like an entire night of eating cookies and drinking milk as you fly around the world giving wonderful surprises to good little girls and boys.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batman Robs A Bank

One of the reasons I made the plunge into writing is because I dream of being a Super Criminal.
I know most people grow up day dreaming about being a Super Hero, but I always day dreamed about being the bad guy.  As I got older, whenever I got bored I would plan out some outlandish heist.  I planned how to rob the local movie theaters, the banks, malls, the local casinos and even the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Kansas City.
The Criminal has everything in their favor.
1.  They are not hampered with obeying the laws.
2.  They can take all the time in the world to plan the crime down to the smallest detail, and come up with redundancy plans for every aspect of the job.
3.  Have access to state of the art technology and time to train and practice on various aspects of each job.
4.  They can pick and choose where they want to work.  They don't have to work in snow and sleet unless it is needed as part of the plan.
5.  They are not guilty until they actually perform the crime.  With the exception of suicide and assassinating a President, for both of these crimes you're guilty for just planning it.
So with years of planning crimes, and how to divide teams up with each part only operating on a need to know basis and each team only performing particular aspects of each crime, while I the mastermind sit back and supervise the entire operation, while not actively being involved and thereby not guilty of committing the crime.  My minions would be guilty and liable.
Personally, when I am at a drive through window and the mindless fast food attendant gives me back too much change I have to tell them, and give them their money back.  I have a conscious that is ten times bigger than my evil streak and corrupt mind.  So for all my day dreaming and planning I would actually make a terrible Super Criminal, because I just couldn't do it.  I do enjoy the fact that my conscious is clean and I have absolutely no trouble sleeping.
So that is partly how Writing became an option for me.  In my books, my characters, my literary minions can be as bad as I allow them to be, and I keep my conscious clear!  What does all this have to do with Batman and him robbing a bank?  I thought I would share a fool proof plan to rob a bank and get away with it at least once!
Dress up as Batman!  Pick a bank, walk in, and wire tie the hands of the guard behind his back.  Make sure to look at the cameras and wave!  That's the magic part of this plan.  Retrieve the money from a couple of the tellers and leave the bank.
I know Batman doesn't use a gun but unless you're sure you can convince the guard to stand still while you put the wire tie on his hands, you may consider bringing some leverage.
Robbing a bank in America is a Federal offense and you will forever have the FBI on the case hunting you down until they catch you.  They don't ever close a bank robbery case until it is solved.  So having a gun isn't going to matter much because one of three things will happen.
1.  You might get away with it to be forever hunted!
2.  You will get shot and killed in the process.
3.  You will get caught and spend multiple life sentences in an overcrowded not so nice Prison.
When the FBI gets there the first thing they will do is review the banks video footage of the crime.  They will see Batman looking at the camera and waving, and robbing the bank.  Then they will immediately put out an APB (All Points Bulletin) for BATMAN!
You will get away with it once.  Please whatever you do, DO NOT attempt this because if you are not absolutely the first person to attempt this, they will shoot you as soon as you walk in the doors because of the rash of Batman's robbing banks all morning.
This isn't my best plan it is only meant to be a joke.  Some of my better plans will be come out in later years in some of my books.  Besides writing and being a touch OCD, I plan things, I make alternate plans.  I can't go to the restroom without a plan.  Planning things out, being on schedule, on target, reaching my objectives is all part of my base programming.  I can't shut it off.  Take that and mix it in with an over active imagination and a word processor and watch out!
I have often thought how lucky society is that I have a conscious.  Yes, some people grow up wanting to be Moriarty, Lex Luthor, or even the Joker.  I have Lex Luther's hair duo down pat!
Moriarty was Sherlock Holmes Arch Enemy for my readers that haven't yet had the pleasure of actually reading the wonderful works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 
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