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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sages and Warfare


A Sage is defined as being wise through reflection and experience or characterized by wisdom, prudence, and good judgment.
That being stated one of my favorite books in the entire world is Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”  The Art of War is believed to be written by Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and philosopher.  Scholars disagree as to the actual time that he existed and when the book was written but it was definitely written in the BC period approximately over 2,250 years ago.  In its thirteen chapters it explains most elegantly the many facets and complexities of warfare.  The beautiful thing about the book is that its principles are just as relative today as they were when the book was written.  These principles can be effectively used in almost every type of conflict or business situation and why the book is required reading at Harvard Business College and West Point, the Army’s Military Academy.
Today I will touch ever so lightly on one of the primary points of the book, The Art of War.
Let me preface the point of my post with a couple of facts.
I am an author, who at this time has written four Science Fiction action adventure novels, two are published and two are at the editors and to be released soon.  Currently I am writing my fifth novel, the third and final installment of the Alexander Hawk Series.  I enjoy writing for many reasons, but one of the reasons is that you can create alternative fictional worlds and situations.  In these worlds you can bypass politics, racism, religions, and focus on deeper base issues that affect our human condition.
In spite of the wisdom of the principles explained in the Art of War, wars are not waged in this manner by man on earth because it is too profitable for the primary parties involved.  I know this doesn’t make sense initially but until the profitability of warfare can be taken out of the equation it will not change.  Just as with many of the atrocities which happen every day on our civilized planet until the profitability of the situations can be removed these will continue to happen over and over again.
One final preface to my point about the wisdom of ages being ignored is that in the case of undermanned and under financed rebels actually fighting for a cause such as freedom or relief from persecution from another entity, they may not have the resources to wage war in any higher form than actually fighting.
In Sun Tzu’s book he describes the levels or forms of warfare.  The lowest form is what we are accustomed to seeing in the news every day.  Actual fighting between troops slugging it out on the ground killing each other, or forms thereof described as guerilla warfare where you strike and hide.  With the sophisticated and expensive weapons available around the world today it generally doesn’t produce an equal match up for open battle field conflicts like the wars of the past.  Terrorist attacks, booby traps, and guerilla tactics are most common means today of combat with other military forces acting as police in a reactionary fashion to the attacks as they happen.
According to Sun Tzu:
All warfare is based off deception.
Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Translated this means the highest form of combat is to defeat your enemy without firing a shot.  No loss of life, no destruction of property and no money being made off the conflict from the sale of weapons, property stolen, or any of the myriad of ways to profit off the defeating and killing of your enemy.
I have mentioned in previous posts about my years of thinking about what a race of beings would be like that never developed the flight or fight response.  A society that lived at peace with its members and communication and cooperation were the means used to solve every dispute.
In my second novel “No Rules Of Engagement” I tell of the solution of this society when they meet their polar opposite, a military dictatorship that exists to feed its war machine.  To complicate matters I have it to where the peaceful aliens cannot communicate with the militaristic aliens.  In a fictional setting such as my Alexander Hawk series I can take away the political and financial aspects of warfare and examine and play with more philosophical concepts of warfare such as fighting a war using the highest form of warfare.
Don’t worry there is plenty of fighting in the first and second book to keep it fun and interesting.  By the way the second book, the sequel to “No Rules Of Engagement” is at the editors now and will be released in the near future.  Stay tuned to my posts for release dates and specials.
My Editor is still working on re-editing (third time), this book, because apparently it still has issues with proper English and some formatting problems, but were working on it.  I am providing links to the book for Amazon and Smashwords but fair warning until I announce the Re-Release of this book, it still has issues!
For Amazon Kindle Use
For all other formats including Nook and Kindle goto Smashwords.com

Monday, August 27, 2012

Psychics


Of the mind, mental.  A person who claims to have an ability to perceive information hidden from normal senses through extrasensory perception.
If I was sending e-mails, Tweets, and other stuff that I would describe as Spam to all the people who I have in my circles on Google, or who have me in their circles, my Twitter followers, or the people who have connected with me on Facebook or Goodreads stuff advertising a religious belief of mine, or religious preference of mine I would be sued by the end of the day!

Yet I get stuff for psychic readings almost everyday!
I am not getting down on psychics.  I think it falls into the category of religion or religious beliefs.  It is backed up by what people believe to be true about the world we live in regardless of what we can prove or disprove.  I don’t push my beliefs in this matter on others as I respect those who don’t push their beliefs on me.
Let me point out a couple of Facts.

If a psychic was real and had the abilities a great psychic would actually have they would know I have no interest.  If I had a working time machine, a subject I play with in many of my books on a daily basis, I would not step one day into the future for fear of ruining the surprise or changing the possible outcome through a preconcieved advanced knowledge of the future.  A true psychic would pick up on this and not contact me, ever!

Second is that every few months I see ad’s for and bill boards for Psychic Fairs!  If there were really psychics and so many of them were planning to meet together on a specified date they would all know and pick up on it.  Why would they need to advertise the Fair?  When I see these Ad's I always think about buying a billboard that says “Learn to Read, Fight Illiteracy!  1-800-DUM-BASS”  If you can’t read, you wouldn't be able to read the bill board.

One final note on my rant.
Does everybody get ads for wigs, or just people with perfectly beautiful bald heads!  Am I being profiled because of my lack of hair or just being paranoid?


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Turns in Time


I have mentioned in previous posts my family is Scottish, Clan Gunn, my father was born in Scotland and his family was from the Glascow area.  I am the first generation of the family born in America.  I was born on Castle Air Force Base which used to be located outside Merced, California.  My father was part of SAC, Strategic Air Command, and a Drill Instructor during his time in the Air Force.
When I was between two and three the men under my Dads command made a tiny regulation Air Force uniform with the sergeant stripes, and the SAC patch.  I wore this when I was itty bitty and my father said I would march around issuing orders and his men would snap to.

Later my folks got me the jacket, and kilt (Clan Gunn Tartan) to wear.  They have pictures hanging on their wall at their home of me and my little sister dressed in our traditional Scottish attire.
This weekend my four year old Hayden wore the same kilt I wore as a child.  My youngest son Garth, wore the Air Force uniform I wore as a child.  For anybody wondering this is what an Air Force uniform looked like in 1968 – 69.  My boys, Second Generation Scottish American!  Damn I'm Proud!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Fight or Flight Response


When I was a young man I wasn’t trained to fight and the rules of the house were to never hit your brother, figuratively and literally.  As anyone with brothers and sisters knows, there are going to be fights and they are going to strike each other from time to time.  My father who was raised as an only child and always wanted a brother or a sister couldn’t understand this dynamic of growing up with siblings.  My father was also a strict disciplinarian who previously to being a father of three was an Air Force Drill Instructor and later a police officer in California during the late sixties – there was very little fighting when Dad was around.

Later in life I joined the service.  Being the typical rebellious teenage boy, since dear old Dad was ex-Air Force, I joined the Army just to further piss him off.  I was going to conquer the world, be the best soldier they had ever seen.  I was and probably am still brain washed by the military’s training standards.  I did eventually learn how to fight and defend myself to the point that I wasn’t afraid of getting beat up if I stood up for myself.

The greatest lesson I ever learned as a man was that I could get knocked down, kicked and punched and still get back up and fight some more.  Unless someone killed me they hadn’t won!  The best example on film of this I have ever seen was Tom Cruise getting his butt stomped in the movie “The Last Samurai” where he just kept getting back up.  Or Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke” the same type of thing happened.  In both cases I know what the writers and directors were trying to get across and what kind of person they are portraying with these characters.
As I got older I eventually began to read more, especially history, and specifically Military History books because they were and still are very interesting to me.  I understand the fight or flight response.  The fight response from my younger days when I was learning to stand up for myself and learning how to fight and the flight response from my very early years when I was afraid of fighting and getting hit or beaten up.  It’s a learned behavioral pattern.
From years now of studying history and the rise and fall of great civilizations and the countless wars and even more countless souls who have died in those wars since the dawn of time, it amazes me that we haven’t progressed as a species except in our manner of killing each other more efficiently.  Upon the many realizations you get through time from studying the human condition and our unnatural yet dominate tendency to fight with ourselves throughout history, several things become clear.
One is that if you’re alive on Earth today that means your family, your linage has survived through the multitude of wars and disasters since the dawn of time.  You have the will to survive engrained in your DNA and the ability to fight and survive, even if you haven’t learned how to use it or never tapped into it yet.
The second thing is that mankind will never stop fighting with themselves, short of one common enemy that we must unite together in order to survive and defeat this Non-Human enemy.
Now this would require there being an alien, spaceman, creatures, or something showing up intent on our destruction, but wanting to keep the planet intact so they may reap and enjoy all it has to offer, just without us.
This idea of Fight or Flight Response once got me pondering an idea that plagued my spare thoughts for over ten years.  What would happen if the first human inhabitants of Earth didn’t fight?  They realized the obvious negative consequences of killing and fighting amongst members of the same race as stupid as a couple of two year olds trying to kill each other over the same toy.  It was thrown out and a means of communication and cooperation were sought out until an intelligent equitable solution for all parties involved was found.  This society would never develop the fight or flight response as part of their developmental process.  Fight or flight would be taking a step backwards intellectually and evolutionarily.
I considered over the years how a society like this would be different from that which we have on Earth.  I feel I was honest in my evaluations and estimations in creating this figment of imagination of a totally peaceful society.  I engrained into natural problems they would encounter and the ways they might decide to handle those which would be most equitable to all parties involved.  It is not a utopian society and aspects of their world would seem barbaric and backwards to our standards.  Just as our allowing people to own their weapons, rampant criminal activity, no true rehabilitation process to convert criminals to productive members of society again, wholesale wars and atrocities committed against groups of people all over the planet over and over again.  See my point.
For my imaginary world I figured they would have left their planet to find other worlds to expand their enormous population to and in order to harvest more natural resources to support their over crowed home world.  I made up a name for them, the Macktonics.  The Macktonics would have scouted out nearby worlds with life, say like Earth, and then deemed them as Do Not Disturb, for they are about to exterminate themselves.  They are a peaceful society so the idea of declaring war on us to take our planet from us wouldn’t even have crossed their mind.
Later my thoughts turned to what would happen if they met their exact opposite to themselves?  A race of beings that is totally militaristic, totalitarianism to the max, with no other choice but to be part of the military machine to conquer worlds to rape the planets of natural resources, use them as military bases, and everything feeds the war effort.  Couple that with not being able to communicate with these beings what-so-ever.  The Macktonics options would be to run somewhere else or die.  Or would it?  What if they knew of Earth and traded with the United States for help in fighting the enemy and training them to fight so they could defend themselves in the future in return they would provide resources and technology that would keep the United States the major super power for the next century?
I explore this line of thinking in my Alexander Hawk Series.  The first book is out and has been since August of 2011.  It is still being re-edited for the third time, soon to be re-released in a much purer literary form and not missing any chapters from formatting errors.  If any of this has seemed interesting in the slightest stay tuned for the re-release of “No Rules Of Engagement” the first book in the series.  The sequel is written and also at the editors to hopefully be released later this year also.  I am in the process of writing the third and final book of the series now.  I am not providing a link or offering free copies of this book until I get the new and improved version on the websites Smashwords and Amazon.  So stay tuned, follow my blog posts, because soon it will be release in an accurate and complete form and there will be giveaways and FREE Days for this novel also.
I used tank pictures because during my time in the U.S. Army I was a Tanker!
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My First Novel "Whisper"


FREE E-Book My First Novel “Whisper”
 

For Ipads, Nook, KOBO, KINDLE, or just read on your computer or phone.

Use Code CS38X at checkout to get for free until the end of the Month!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38922

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Goose, Mallard, and the Albatross

In July I did a blog post about the Grumman Goose largely because I feature this plane in my upcoming novel “Leviathan Deterrent”, which will be published later this year, the sequel to my first novel “Whisper.”  I mistakenly stated in that post that this is the same plane that is used in the movies “The Expendables” and that they wreck in the “The Expendables 2.”  It was actually a larger later version, the Grumman Albatross that they used in the Expendable movies.
The Grumman Goose originated in 1936 as a rich mans water taxi to get from Long Island to New York.  For those interested in the history and specs of this grand plane and the one featured in my upcoming novel which is to be released soon.
See my post from July.  http://thomaswilsonstoryteller.blogspot.com/2012/07/grumman-goose.html

After the success of the Goose and World War II, Grumman Aircraft developed the larger Mallard for commercial use.  It had many of the features of the smaller craft (the Goose and Widgeon) such as the twin radial engines, high wing, underwing floats, retractable gear and a slightly larger tail.  They built 59 Mallards between 1946 and 1951.

Crew: 2                       Capacity: 5,000 lb. or 17 passengers.
Length: 48ft 3in.         Wingspan: 66ft 7in.                Height: 18ft 9in.
Max Speed: 215mph.              Cruise Speed: 181mph.
Range: 1,289 mi.                     Ceiling: 24,500ft.

An improvement of the design of the Grumman Mallard, the Albatross was developed to land in open ocean situations to rescue downed pilots and other flight crew members.  The HU-16 was the largest twin engine amphibian built by Grumman Aircraft.  The prototype made its first flight on October 24, 1947.
Originally designated as the SA-16 for the U.S. Air Force which ordered 297 for use in the air-sea rescue role, as the 'Albatross' was able to operate from land, water, and snow and ice when fitted with skis.  Produced from 1949 – 1961, where they produced 466 of these amazing planes, primarily as a search and rescue and combat search and rescue aircraft.  The primary users were the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Hellenic Navy (Greece) along with 21 other countries.  The Albatross was redesignated as the HU-16 in 1962.
Its deep-V hull cross-section and substantial length enable it to land in the open sea.  The Albatross was designed for optimal 4 ft seas, and could land in more severe conditions, but required JATO (jet-fuel assisted take off, or simply booster rockets) for takeoff in 8 - 10 ft. seas or greater.
The majority of Albatrosses were used by the USAF, primarily by the former Air Rescue Service.  The USAF utilized the SA-16 extensively in Korea for combat rescue, where it gained a reputation as a rugged and seaworthy craft.  Later, the redesignated HU-16B (long-wing variant – with a 16 ½ foot increase to the wing span) Albatross was used by the U.S. Air Force's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service and saw extensive combat service during the Vietnam War.  In addition a small number of Air National Guard, air commando groups were equipped with HU-16s for covert infiltration and extraction of special forces from 1956 to 1971.
Chalk's International Airlines Albatross arriving in Miami Harbor from Nassau, Bahamas, in 1987.

In the early 1980s Chalk's International Airlines owned by Merv Griffin's Resorts International had 13 Albatrosses eligible to be used in scheduled airline operations.

Crew: 4-6                    Capacity: 30,353 lb or 10 Passengers.
Length: 62ft 10in.       Wingspan: 96ft 8in.                Height: 25ft 10in.
Max Speed 236 mph.              Cruise Speed: 124 mph.
Range: 3,220mi.                      Ceiling: 25,000ft.

Please excuse my oversight on my original post.  Consequently we all get to learn about the growth, development and just a sliver of the history of the awesome amphibious flying boats, which are not only beautiful to behold but highly effective and versatile aircraft.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Plateaus


A Level of Attainment or Achievement.

I hit two levels which I attribute to getting closer to being discovered, and people talking about my books and rushing to get them when the new releases come out.
The first is I managed to get over 1,000 followers on Twitter.

The Second is my blog, this blog you’re reading right now, has stayed at over two hundred hits for an entire week!
I know as far as the results of internet marketing goes both of these numbers are miniscule in comparison to some of the website or social marketing things which exist go.  In my little sphere of the world and from where I started from in January of 2011, these are both milestones.  Primarily for the fact that both are in an upward trend.
I am getting feedback on both sequels to my first two books which are also out being edited and getting closer to being released every day, that both books are miles ahead of the first books in the series.  Which according to my plan on how to sell more books is to write more and better books is also a step in the right direction.
I know there are classes I could take, and any number of e-mail opportunities which I delete daily from my in box on ways to maximize my exposure, make money off my blog, and be a household name overnight.  I don’t believe it works that way.  Plus I have way too much fun dreaming up new stories and writing them than I do anything else.  So I’ll save my money and focuses on what I know in time will snowball as I get closer to being discovered – My Writing!
Have a Great Day!
For those who visit my blog and want to follow along, stalk me, or are fans of mine right from the beginning I have included some of the ways you can follow my progress, stalk me, or tag along for the encouragement.
Follow Me on Twitter:
Add me to one of your circles on Google +
Thomas Wilson  Science Fiction Writer
On Goodreads dot com
On Shelfari
Or on Pinterest!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Support Units


Besides the story which this author feels is the most crucial element of any good book, what else is required to write your novel, or series of novels?  As all books are different, as are the writers who write them and the methods and techniques we authors use to get to our end goal which is another finished book, the following is just suggestions that this author has come across of possible support material for writing your masterpiece.  Take what you will, leave what doesn’t apply.

(The picture above is a picture of a combat support unit.)
I.  The Characters Sheet
            A.  The Cast of your book.  Where you keep track of the names you used and who does what to whom.
This is very important as I learned when writing my first book “Whisper” because Carl Sanford’s wife had one name in the start of the book and a different name at the end of the book.  Whoops!  By the time the book was edited she and I both knew what her name really would be.
            B.  This can also be useful for recording the characteristics of your characters.  Hair color, eye color, height, weight, build, what are they like.  In a series you may need to describe them more than once or as you add bits and pieces to them over time through the books you want to have a record of what you have said about them.
II.  A Time Line
What happens in what order.  Since both of my first two books deal with elements of traveling through time this was a must have in order to keep things straight and in a logical and consistent manner.  My second novel “No Rules Of Engagement”, I had to go back through the book at the request of one of the editors and add date and time tags throughout the book because it is so hard to follow.  The time line for it and the sequel is eight pages single spaced by itself.  I am thinking of including the time line at the end of the sequel to “No Rules Of Engagement.”
III.  The Outline of the story.
I use many of these.  I generally start with an overall outline but it changes as I get stuck and change things to un-write myself out of corners.  My best plot twists have come from writing myself into corners and then thinking my way out of them rather than backing up and rewriting my way out.  For “No Rules Of Engagement”, the training battles, and later for the sequel which includes major battle sequences I used many smaller outlines for particular sections of the book to work out the timing and keep stuff straight through and during the actual writing of the chapters.
IV.  The Travel Log
Where the action is taking place, where the characters will be visiting, eating, what they will be doing, staying the night, etc.  The sequel to “Whisper”, “Leviathan Deterrent” which should be out later this year has the characters from Whisper running around Europe, South America and parts of North America.  It was handy to have research material about the places they were staying, what they would be doing, how they would get from point A to point B in the book.  I cataloged all that in the Travel Log.
V.  General research material.
This is where you put the stuff you look up for use or description in your stories.  I generally do much more research than what actually makes it into the story or past my editors red pen.  I keep the stuff I research in case I need to refer back to it, or want to use it in another story later on down the road.  Sometimes just browsing through the research material can spark all kinds of ideas for the truly creative and imaginative mind.
VI.  Book Sales Spreadsheet.
What started off as a single page worksheet in Excel has grown to seven pages of records.  When I first started I only had to track sales on Smashwords.  Later then I added Amazon.  Then Amazon UK, DE, FR, IT, and ES.  Then other places where I have listed my book for sale.  It is handy to keep records of royalties earned, royalties actually paid, expenditures associated with your books, and writing.  It is a business.  At some point you’re going to be sitting in front of an accountant or tax person trying to make sense of this all, so keep it straight.
As you add books to your portfolio or virtual book shelves that is that much more to keep track of.  I also want to know how many copies I give away.  How many virtual copies are out there potentially being read, so I track free books, partial downloads (on Smashwords – because they may lead to a potential sale later on.), and books sold.  If you don’t have a sales spread sheet to keep track of book sales start one now!
That’s just a few of possible support materials you may need or want to create in addition to writing and working on your book.  Again we are all different and go about reaching our writing goals differently as we all come up with different books.  That’s part of what makes the whole thing so wonderful, reading, that is!

Best of work on your novels and books.  Now get back to work! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

How do you find your Target Market?


I keep seeing these posts and tweets about Write to your market!  Target your Audience!
How do you find your Target Market?
It’s this question I would like to address today.
You don’t!  They find you!
This is part of the process of getting discovered.  Getting discovered can be equated to getting your books and name out there in the world where people are discussing them, telling their friends about them and then a mass of people rush to buy your books.  If you’re writing good books they will be panting at the door when the next one comes out to buy it, and if you’re writing great books they will pre-order it months in advance of it being released.
In traditional publishing they put all the like books together on the shelves to help readers discover similar books by different authors.
In E-book publishing and where us Indie Authors live they have taken it step further to help sell more books and help get you discovered!  Every place you can buy E-books has built in a special program which works much better than being on a shelf near your book.
It says in some form similar to People who have purchased this also bought these books and shows other similar listings.  When in seconds you can check out similar books, read reviews, or even download trial samples of the book in question to start it and see if it hooks you.
The authors that have had break out books in the last couple of years have generally three or more books out on the market.  If you have one book your chances of being discovered are very low.  Write more books!
The fact that with e-books that you can download the first portion of the book for free in many instances is awesome.  So for the Writer the goal is to set the hook – using a fishing analogy!  You have to Grab the readers interest in those first few pages so they feel compelled to know the rest of the story.  In many cases you have to sell the book by the book cover, the synopsis of the book on the website in question, and the first few pages or chapters of the book.  Good reviews of the book help also.
I have stated many times throughout by blog posts that all the great writers that I researched say that until you write and publish your one million words you’re just spinning your wheels.  Some get discovered and make a splash in the ocean of being published before that point but many aren’t even noticed by then.  That translates to ten books of at least one hundred thousand words.  Basically ten full sized novels, which research also shows readers, prefer the fuller more developed books that end up between 80 to 120 thousand words in length.  So if you don’t have five or more books out there and many more on the way you had better keep typing and get busy.
You want to sell more books, hone your craft, and write better books, it is that simple.  When you have enough out there, if your stories are great, in time those who like to read your work, that elusive group you and nobody else can pin down as much as they like to discuss and chew on and on about it, Your Audience, will discover you!
For more on writing for your audience check out my previous post about Know your Market and Write to Your Audience!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fashion, Boudoir, Shapes and Women


My wife keeps getting on me because she says when she gets on Pinterest now it’s like she is looking at soft porn and it is because of my posts which show up because she follows me and I follow her on that that site.  Yes, I am on Pinterest!

My wife got me started with it, and it was one of her boards which is entitled Boudoir that really caught my interest.  Before Pinterest and my wife I had no idea the word Boudoir existed or what it meant, but it definitely had an allure to my personal tastes.  I also very soon afterward created a Board entitled “Real Womens Styles/Fashion” because the body style of most of the woman I have ever met and that I particularly really like are referred to by the fashion industry by mean and derogatory names in my humble opinion.  Shit like Plump, Hefty, Plus Sized, and even Obese, all of which I find highly offensive and insulting to woman.  I am a healthy red blooded American male of the heterosexual variety and it is these same women who really turn me on!  I think Fashion models, the unrealistic size of 1 or 2 should be treated as a disease.  How can zero be a size?  If you’re a small demure woman and that is natural body size and shape so be it – but we know for many of these woman it is a disease and unrealistic.
As I was Pinning, as it is called, my soft porn pictures (as my wife refers to them), it dawned on me that there is no finer, more beautiful, sight to me than the subtle shapes of the female form of our species.  It is truly astounding at how many sizes, shapes, colors, combination of colors (eyes, skin, and hair), that these exquisite forms come in.
I am probably the least knowable person on the planet about any aspect of fashion.  I would bet that beyond my complete misunderstanding of the rules and working of the English language that fashion and poetry would be the two subjects that would come in second and third as shortfalls of my being able to comprehend them.  I do know what looks nice to me.  What is pleasing to my eye therefore considered fine art of photography by yours truly.
When you look over the pins on my boards that show scantily dressed woman of different shapes and sizes there is more going on than what some people would call pornography, distasteful, or offensive.  In my defense all the pins I have posted have come off Pinterest and most off of other woman’s boards.  I Pin what I like, what I find pleasing to my eye, and what I consider one of Gods greatest achievements outside of air and food which are essential for life, the female body!
I marvel in the multitude of ways to take what is already beautiful, perfect and exquisite to the highest degree, the female body, and dress it in everything imaginable to make it sexy, seductive, and mysterious.  Fashion designers are masters of the highest degree that should be given as much credit as the works of fine art hanging in museums to the models themselves that pose wearing these fantastic outfits.  From Denim, cotton, leather, latex, lace, and silk and God only knows what else, they can make these women stunningly more beautiful than God designed them to be.  Some of these pictures are frankly the stuff that dreams are made of.
High heels, which I have heard can be extremely uncomfortable, do the most amazing things to the shape of a woman’s leg and bottom.  Hose and Garters are magical!  The stocking style gloves are sexy as all hell.  Corsets and the many variations of such are wickedly alluring in their array of styles and fastening in that they close with ribbons, hooks, laces, or string.  Then there are bikini’s, lingerie, panties, and bras which come in such stunning and mind blowing of types and styles not to mention the colors!  From denim cutoffs and a plain white T-shirt to the awesome dresses and gowns made for balls and dances of days long gone by, it is all so magical, wonderful, marvelous and all wrapped around gorgeous, magnificent woman!
My Pins, as my writing, usually have subtle meanings below the surface which makes them mean more than the Pins themselves or the words I use which make them more special for me.  I love the female form, the way it can be dressed, how all that combined can cause such stirrings in men.  It is this interaction since Adam and Eve that has made the world go around.  All art, works of literature, forms of human endeavor can be reduced to the love of a man and a woman.  This is where we live, exist, dream and hope.  It is the outwardly appearance and forms that spark and jump start this whole interaction of people, love, hope, dreams and eventually leads people to children and becoming higher more evolved beings as parents and grandparents to care and raise the children.  When we reach these later stages of life our hearts and desires are still those of the young as our soul doesn’t age.  I don’t feel like I’m 46, or half as old as the way my children see me.
I have Pins of Keys and Masks also, but each of these are just the artistic representations of what Keys mean to me and the masks we all wear for different reasons and purposes in the world every day of our lives.  Guns represent freedom and our willingness to die for our beliefs, and our will to survive.  Soldiers and War are the guardians of our somewhat free, more free than in many parts of the world, way of life, that we have fought to attain and will fight to keep over and over again through time.  It is an eternal struggle between the aspects of good and evil which are a part of all of us, as we are all human.
I don’t judge when I see half naked pictures of men or woman on others boards on Pinterest.  Instead, I recognize a young soul and person who is confident enough in themselves, in what they like, that they will Pin whatever in the hell they want.  If you don’t like it, don’t look!  It appalls me at the number of people who are so offended by Gods greatest creation, the sight of his children, clothed or unclothed, in its many wondrous shapes and forms!  Grow up people or spend the rest of your life being offended.  If you insist on shutting your eyes and not listening to the world, do us a favor and shut your mouths also, for those of us who are awake, paying attention, and actually living in this world for all its good and bad, we don’t want to hear you.
Offensive is things are Racism, Ignorance, not being able to read or write, Starvation, Homelessness, Cruelty to Animals, and the shit heels we keep electing to run our great country who buckle and give in to crap so we don’t offend someone as a society.  We’re offending people every day, get over it, and let’s try to fix truly offensive shit and tell the rest to shut up.
“I may not agree with what everybody says but I will fight for their right to say it and be heard.”
On that note I will shut my mouth!
If anybody is interested I am providing the link to my Pinterest boards!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Now you know the rest of the story.


How long does it take to produce a novel?
As I prepare to write the last chapter of my fourth novel it dawned on me I don’t really know how long it takes me to write a novel.  Since starting this new enterprise which has transformed my life, given me a passion and direction as strong as my family and faith, but that I can directly focus and work on daily, I have not been able to work on a book from start to finish.
When I finished my first book I sent it off to be edited, and started my second book.  Before finishing my second book I got the corrections back on the first one and jumped into correcting them.  Then I published my first book and moved back to finishing the second.  I sent it off to be edited and started my writing my third book.  I got the corrections back to the second book and was halfway through fixing it when I found a new editor and began re-editing the second book again.
It has been writing, stop go back and edit – make changes, rewrite, and correct a past work, publish it on-line, then back to writing.  I know holding down a full time job, trying to spend enough time with your family so they don’t exile you, especially your spouse and writing books, and editing them is similar to two full time jobs.  The weeks fly by and your life becomes a blur.
I have begun remembering occasions and events which have happened by when they were in relation to writing a particular book, or the editing and publishing of a book.  Then there is the days where you get nothing done because between work and trying to write a blog post, tweet about your FREE days on Amazon for your book, Google Plus, Face Book, and trying to be as social as hell when inside you just want to sit in a closet with your computer and get another chapter or two knocked out for your next book.
I thought about trying to keep a writing log to record the hours I am actually writing on a particular book but alas that would be one more thing to do and that would keep me from actually writing.  So no, I have no idea how long it takes to write a book.
I know the writing is just the fun and exciting part for me.  Later you have to pick the perfect title, cover art and then write those horrible little pieces where you have to describe your book in 200 characters in a way that makes people want to read it without revealing or giving everything away about the story.  Just shoot me.  That is so hard, especially for the person who just dreamed up, twisted and intertwined 100,000 + words of their heartfelt work into a hopefully entertaining and exciting new novel.  Now just belch it out, super mini synopsis!
Then there is the editing and rewriting, the changing the little phrases and details that sometimes demand the need to further make changes to the entire novel.  The painstakingly slow march through your work multiple times until you can’t stand to read it one more time.  But you know it is good and all this work is to make it as good as it can possibly be for your readers, so it must be done.  Each time you realize you must make another romp through the same pages you can almost see in your head by now makes your heart sink in agony.
Then when you get back to chapter nineteen of the book you were working one you have to re-read the entire thing so you don’t make any silly mistakes because you forgot you already made a point, dropped a hint, mentioned that persons eye color in chapter two.  It can be maddening!
It is maddening!  It drives me crazy to a degree beyond the manic obsessive compulsive person I already am!  Why do I love it so?!  Why do I feel like I am not living if I am not writing?  Where does this compulsion to make these stories up about imaginary characters and the over whelming need to write it all down for others to correct, judge, and criticize later?
When you have published your first book and get that that first great review from someone you have no idea who they are or where they come from but they got it!  They totally understood your purpose, the story, the underlying elements within the story, then you will understand why writers are so driven to give that reader the next chapters to the saga.  To paraphrase Paul Harvey the great radio announcer I grew up listening to, “So now you know the rest of the story.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Interrogation Techniques


Anybody who saw the movie “The Dark Knight” and saw the scene where Batman interrogates the Joker has to appreciate his lack of following the recommended rules for interrogating a suspect.  He can get away with that stuff because he’s Batman, a vigilante, and it’s effective as hell.

For a while after that movie was out two guys made a couple of YouTube Videos spoofing the Dark Knight Interrogation scene between Batman and Joker playing up the point that it is hard to understand Batman while he is growling/talking his questions.  The guy playing the Joker just keeps saying he can't understand and Batman keeps hitting him and growling at him.  I tried looking them up to play provide the links to them on this post but YouTube said the videos were unavailable at this time.
My daughter and I went and saw “Dark Knight Rising” and there was one scene where he is back in growling/talking mode asking Bane where the detonator is but then hits him in the face before he can answer.  Batman repeats the question and hits him again not giving him time to even try and answer the question.  The whole scene is only moments long but my daughter and I both burst out laughing when we saw it because it was like they put it in the movie just for all those people who caught the spoof videos of the interrogation scene from the last movie.  I talked to some of my friends and they said people laughed at that part when they saw it and others who had seen the spoof videos said they recognized it also.
I have to believe it was intentional from Mr. Noland, to provide some touch of levity in what would normally be an intense scene for those who never saw the second movie or the spoof videos.  I enjoyed that they did that, poking fun at Batman and honoring the two guys who spoofed the scene from the Dark Knight movie.  My daughter and I both thought it was hilarious!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spiritualism on Two Wheels


I own a motorcycle.  I am not a die hard died in the wool biker, but I am more than just a weekend warrior.  I have rules for riding.  They are more of guidelines than rules etched in stone, but I try and follow them.
1.  I ride on clear and sunny days.  I have riden in the rain from driving tanks in the Army to full on typhoon type thunderstorms on my bike.  I prefer nice sunny days.
2.  I don’t ride my bike as transportation.  I will not ride it to the store, to work, to purposefully get somewhere.  I don’t enjoy riding in traffic, sitting waiting on traffic lights.  I don’t ever want to get to where I am in a hurry to get somewhere so I won’t be late while riding a bike.
3.  I don’t ride others bikes or let anyone ride my bike.  My first bike was wrecked by someone else just after I learned to ride it before I got licensed or insured.  It was twelve years before I was able to get another bike.
4.  I don’t enjoy the buffeting of wind, noise, and harshness of driving over 60 for longer than a few moments at a time.  I.E. I hate driving on Interstates.  Interstates are too close to driving in a car and its full of cars with people driving who are not paying attention.
I do love riding.  It is a solitary activity for the most part.  You and the road.  No cage, no windshield, no seat belts, and very dangerous!  Most bike accidents I have heard of or known the bikers involved were accidents involving cars driving over or into motorcycles because they never saw them.  That is one of the reasons I don’t drive in the city, in traffic, or use the bike for transportation.
When I get to ride I sneak carefully out of town to a back out of the way two lane blacktop.  The old highways that were used before the Interstates built is where I love to ride.  Very ocasionally you run across a car but most of the time its just you and the road.  I run about 50 miles per hour with a half helmet and no windshield.  My pipes are Vance & Hines Cruisers that make my Kaw 800 Vulcan sound like a Harley Davidson and are loud enough it can be heard three blocks away.  This is where I really live – exitensionally I live another life entirely when I ride.  Separate and apart from the rest of the world.  Taking the road less traveled in no hurry, with no cell phone, no where to go in particular, and searching for that sense of nirvana that from time to time I get to experience momentarily while riding.
I once read the more you try to describe Zen the farther you get from it.  What I am going to try and express in words is the same way.  From time to time while riding I experience something that is beyond reason, description, understanding and yet so profound, grounding, clarifying, and real that the rest of your life pales to mere existence to get by until you can ride again.
When you’re riding you have to be hypersensitive to the road, the bike, and your surroundings.  The experience I have felt is where you are there, attentive and driving the bike, but where another part of you disconnects and plugs into the rest of the world, its vibrations, feelings, its pulse.  Your thinking clarifys.  The phrase that every grain of sand is where it supposed to be totally makes sense as you experience this out of this world tranforming experience.
When I have to skip church to go riding I know God totally understands I am attending a higher and finer church than has ever been built of motar, bricks and wood.  My time on my bike is more spiritually moving than any church service I’ve ever attended or sermon I have ever heard preached.  To share the experience of riding today with my wife and with a very good friend of mine and his wife, to introduce him to a slower and different kind of riding experience is a gift to myself on a spiritual level.  I feel more focused, grounded, aware of my own mortality, and thankful for the life that I have.  I relish my family more.  Everything seems more real, the colors more vibrant, food tastes better, life is richer.
To some the rules may seem stupid or bogus, but to me they keep me focused on riding in a safe and enjoyable manner that gives me the very best of the experience, eliminates a lot of the risks and threats associated with riding and lets me envelope myself with the best parts of riding.  I hope to be riding my bike well into my golden years.  I love going to that other place, that out of this world experience that I have only experienced while riding.  My idea of heaven is residing in that special place eternally!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Self-Promoting Your Book


For any of you who follow, stalk, or seen something from or about me on the internet Wednesday or Thursday, or about my first novel “Whisper,” it is because I was promoting my book.  Amazon Select is a program where if you make your book exclusive on Amazon you can join their Amazon select program.  It must be only for sale and distribution exclusively thru Amazon to qualify for participation and it must stay on there a minimum of 90 days.
During that time period you can run sales where you offer your book at a discounted price and for a period of five days of your choosing you can actually give the book away for FREE.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Why would anybody want to give their hard work away to people for FREE?  Even though it is a FREE download it counts as a sale in Amazon’s system so it raises your book up in the sales category based off units moved.  The goal is to get in the top 100 best sellers, top 50 or best case scenario hit the golden sweet spot of the top ten!  I didn’t get anywhere close to the top 100 with the giveaway of my book.  I did get to learn the specifics of putting a book on there and participating for the last 86 days.
Tuesday, Whisper will come off the select program and I’ll re-publish it on the other venues for sale so it can be equally enjoyed by all types of E-reading devices.  I personally am a big fan of Smashwords dot com and the many avenues of distribution they have available.  Smashwords and Mark Coker’s Guide to formatting your book for their meat grinder allowed me to get started and published.  My sales have virtually been non-existent there for the last 90 days because of my two books the one that has been through being edited three times and is good to go has been “Whisper.”  My second novel is still published on Smashwords but still needs help.  Rather than turn potential readers off my work by promoting a way less than perfect book, I haven’t been promoting it at all.
The next three big things on my plate now that I am taking a breather from helping promote my book and acting like a spamming computer whore, screaming get my book.  First is getting my second novel “No Rules Of Engagement” ready to go, completely re-edited, re-formatted, and re-launched.  Second is to make the editing changes to my third novel which has not seen the light of day on the internet yet.  “Leviathan Deterrent” is the sequel to “Whisper” and will be out shortly after the re-launch of NROE.  Thirdly I am in the final chapters of writing my fourth novel and off to the editor with that so we can to try and publish it before the end of the year.
If you’re an Indie Author you will have to promote your books.  My editor also doubles as a publicist and arranges to have my book listed on different websites where they list FREE Kindle books.  I try and help with tweeting, posting stuff on my blog, posting links on Google+, and some Facebook stuff.  Frankly my true personality is that of an introvert who if I could – would lock myself away and just read and write books.  But I can’t!  I am forced to go to my day job five days a week one week and six the next while I act like a normal happy person who likes interacting with other people.  I find that funny as some people have said I am an extrovert and outgoing because I will talk to anyone – but it’s forced most of the time.  I will talk to anyone.  I am not shy by any means and I am a very curious person by nature but I have discovered that is the writer in me looking for stuff to put in my books.
I feel relieved when these things are finished and I can sit back and relax while I continue writing on whatever novel I am currently working on.  I wrote “Whisper” in 2010 and have been through the editing process three times with that book.  I have spent a lot of time promoting it during the five free days it was free on Amazon.  I can’t wait until the sequel of NROE is finished because I am going to start a new series of books.  I have been with the same characters and up to four books for going on three years.  It is time for a slight change before writing the last of the Alexander Hawk series.  I have a story roughly outlined for the next Wiley Randolph book if I decide to go there.  I really want to write a new novel with new characters and explore and investigate a real threat to our modern society before writing another book on these two series.
I apologize to any of my friends, acquaintances, and contacts who feel I have bombarded their social media outlets the last two days.  I want to publically Thank all those who took part in my little promotion and did get a copy of “Whisper” to read sometime in the near future.  To you all I sincerely hope you enjoy the book enough to take part in the FREE Days for “Leviathan Deterrent” when it gets published and gets to that stage later this year.  Maybe I can break the top hundred best-selling books with that one!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ignorance and Stupidity are Relative


The old saying, “You can’t fix stupid!”

It really depends on where you are in the world, who you’re talking to, and how much you filter what dribbles out of your brain before it escapes your mouth as to how far your head is stuck up your ass at the moment.

You’ll have to excuse my language as my father was an U.S. Air Force Drill Instructor and growing up I thought the phrase, “Get your head out of your ass!” was a form of endearment!

We all have our short comings in life and subjects that escape our bounds of comprehension.  I myself suffer from a complete misunderstanding of proper English and am challenged by spelling and grammar.  One could say to endeavor at the age of forty something to change my stars and become a writer would be stupid!  As I am rather well read and widely yet very eclectically educated in many subjects and varied interests, writing is the perfect challenge.  As I may struggle with English until my dying day as an author it will definitely keep my editor busy and gainfully employed.

From years of reading and being dissatisfied with the endings of books I thought about becoming a writer for many years.  Ten years actually, which is way longer than many people spend at the same job.  I just passed the twenty year mark at my day job with all the relish and excitement one gets for turning 22 years old.  I recently read about a man who spent eleven years just trying to get published so ten years thinking about it, one year to write two novels in my spare time and four months to learn how to self-publish my own book and I am about even with the other guy with one extra book published!

I published “Whisper” originally in January of 2011.  I published my second novel, “No Rules Of Engagement” in August of 2011.  Both books badly in need of work on, wait for it, English!  Between getting both books re-edited I have managed to write the sequel to the first one and almost finished with the sequel to the second one.  “Whisper” is good to go and today is the last FREE DAY it will be offered on Amazon dot com.

PLEASE CHECK THE DATE << IF ITS NOT AUGUST 2 ND >>  YOU MISSED IT!

Don’t run out and buy the second one YET!  “No Rules Of Engagement” still needs help and is being re-edited by my editor to be re-released soon!  Stay tuned to my blog, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter and I’ll let you know when it is good to go.  If you have previously purchased a copy of it you can always re-download the corrected version for free when it’s fixed.

Coming out this year will be the Sequel to “Whisper.”  If you enjoyed Wiley Randolph, Carl Sanford, Lisa Conners, and Russell Reynolds you’ll love “Leviathan Deterrent” as it picks up where “Whisper” leaves off.
I am excited to be re-releasing the new and improved version of “No Rules Of Engagement” and am very excited that hopefully before the holidays get here the second part of that series will be out.  Alexander Hawk, Intel and the crew discover a new and sinister enemy that is using the Gators as their puppets to work and fight for them.  Where the first book was mostly training and a few surprises the second novel is high adrenalin science fiction action packed and guaranteed to please or make you sick!

If you have not read any of my books please take advantage of the FREE offer of “Whisper” today and I hope to see you back to enjoy my stupidity again and again.

 
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