Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Revisiting The Tree

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the tree in my front yard, and how it seemed to be out of sorts because its feathered friends weren't visiting. In the comment section, my good friend Lynn suggested that I should post an update on the tree once it was in full bloom.

My friends, here is the tree in full bloom:




And a very short video clip of the tree's feathered friends visiting and saying hi.

video

The reintroduction of the bird feeders is what ultimately did the trick as the tree is now restored back to its former glory, post storm Alfred, and is now the center piece of that ultimate resort destination, G & J's Excitingly Exotic Emporium of Ecstasy.

Sometimes all it takes is just a little help from your friends to make you right, be they feathered or be they human.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

On The 27th Day Of The Fifth Month Of 1965

The person who thinks that this particular remake of a Don Henley song resonates so strongly that it became one third of the triad that continuously inspires his writing:



And who thinks that this song created by Monty Python respresents the best sing-a-long song of all time:




And who thinks that this particular song from the 80's geezer rock band Styx forewarned the crap that America is going through today:


And who thinks that this song by Huey Lewis and the News is the best song about being gainfully employed out there today:


And who can finally say with authority to all of those naysayers who said that he was a hack and couldn't write:


Coming Soon From Solstice Publishing
Is out with his family celebrating his 47th year of existence on the Big Blue Marble. Hope your Memorial Day weekend is turning out to be exactly what you want it to be.

Friday, May 25, 2012

O.M.G.! One Thousand Four Hundred Sixty One Days!

Memorial Day weekend 2008 started like every other weekend: me sitting on the couch on the backyard deck, goofing around with my computer and pretty much vegging out.

However, the goofing on the computer wasn't my normal run-of-the mill goofing. Normal run-of-the mill goofing primarily consisted of trolling the chat rooms and surfing the 'net. On that particular weekend though, my goofing around consisted of giving serious thought to a piece of advice that a former chat room bud of mine gave to me earlier in the week.

So I spent part of the afternoon not only thinking about the advice but acting on it as well. I went to the website, picked out a template, tweaked it, thought about a name, get the addy for the name {most important lesson learned was to never, repeat, never choose an addy that is 23 letters in length}, moved my cursor over to the "publish" button and then...nothing.

I froze.

Why?

Because I was about to take a huge leap. Up until that weekend, I was content to simply while away my time being a notorious somebody in the chat rooms {still am to this day, even though I haven't been there in about a year}, and write mediocre stories. But after thinking about it some more, and realizing that a blog would be a perfect for my stories and my writings, I hit the "publish" button.

And nothing happen.

I quickly realized that it would probably help if I actually put something up to let people know about me. Thus the legendary introduction post made its appearance, which was titled Greetings and Salutations!. And thus, a brand new blog was born.

Cedar's Mountain.

Like most new endeavors I happen to undertake, I have a tendency to jump body first into it, and doing a blog proved to be no exception, at least during that first year. I immediately put myself on a punishing posting schedule: two posts per day, every other day. Whatever struck my fancy, I wrote about. I did this for about four months and as most of you can attest to, it was the fastest way that one could accomplish burn out.

September '08 brought the first of many changes that not only Cedar's Mountain would experience, but I would as well. That change consisted of dropping to one post every other day. That particular change lasted for about a year, before burnout forced me to change to a M-W-F format that has lasted, in one form or another, for the past three years.

But that wasn't the only change that I would experience during my four years of blogging and writing.

In late 2008, I became enamored of flash fiction, mostly because of the positive feedback I got from this particular piece of creative non-fiction, and in the spring of '09, a new blog called Flashing Georgie's Shorts was born.

2009 proved to be my most creative year as I wrote about 50+ short stories for that blog. The bulk of the stories that I wrote for the blog were average and I had no problem publishing. However, the were a few that I wrote, that had a lot of potential, and those were held back. At the moment, of those half dozen stories that were held back, one has been published {of which the link can be found on the front page} while the rest have undergone minor-to-major tweaking to make them publishable.

The short story blog lasted until the early spring of 2010, when burnout and paranoia about plagiarism forced me to close it. But yet, even though I was down to two blogs {book blog was created to sell my self pubbed book}, it wouldn't last for long.

In early May 2010, another obsession knocked my door and asked to be let in. I looked around for few minutes to see what was around, then invited the obsession in, and thus, blog #4 was born, Shooting Suburbia. This nifty little photo blog of mine celebrated its two year anniversary in May and I'm gunning to make it a third, as soon as I can find some time to shoot a few videos.

By late 2010, I was again thinking about creating another blog, with the main reason being that as much as I like ranting and posting off the wall stuff, I was getting tired of putting up a disclaimer warning people of the potential for being offended by a particular post of mine. So I created blog #5 that was originally called "Partially Yours" but now called It's Always Saturday In Suburbia that would be what I'm found of calling a "junk blog". And to make it easier on me when it came to putting a disclaimer on a post warning people, I put a page in front of it that required you to answer "yes" or "no" before continuing. Even though the posting has been very sporadic on that blog, it still remains the home for my R & NC-17 rated ramblings and short story snippets.

In 2011, nothing much happened on the blog front. In between bouts of writing and querying, I was still posting like a fiend on this one and posting sporadically on the other two.

In 2012, it was almost the same old same old, in that while I was still posting like a fiend in between bouts of writing, the posts themselves weren't really up to my usual high standards of quality. Now if you couple that with some of the crap that I was going through this year, you'd be surprised to know that I was giving serious consideration to closing up shop and saying my goodbyes during the spring.

But, as they say, when new things happen in one aspect of life, a trickle down effect can occur. I sold a book in February, and the trickle down effect is that I'm getting my third wind for blogging.

So let's celebrate the fact that not only is this my one thousand four hundred sixty first day of blogging and this is combined post number one thousand thirty two, but I managed to stick to writing a blog to begin with.

I am truly blessed to have such good readers and good friends as you, who have crossed paths with my blogs, either as a drive by or as a permanent stop on your cyber journey for the past four years. Without all of you, I'm not quite sure that I would be having the success and adventure that I'm experiencing now.

Here's to another three hundred sixty four days of blogging, and as always, I thank you for your support.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Packing And Unpacking My Trunk

A couple of weekends ago, I finally finished my latest trunk novel, "Blackness In The White Sand".

Now mind you, I originally didn't set out to write a trunk novel. Hell, no writer says, "I'm gonna write a trunk novel!" You basically write a first draft of a novel, then decide whether or not you should refine it or pack it away.

Such was the case with this one. I had originally wrote it while I was busy querying Line 21, partially because I needed to keep myself occupied, and partially because I needed to have something waiting in the wings for next year. So I wrote a short story based on an idea and called it,"The Backpack". After I had finished, I decided to expand it first into a trilogy, then as a novella.

Fast forward to early spring '12.

I wound up putting it aside when I started getting some positive feedback on Line 21, and as you all know the end result, I'll continue on and say that I didn't pick up my novella until early March. However, when I had picked it up, thoughts of simply stuffing it into my trunk of uncompleted slush were running rampant.

Why? Because after I had sold Line 21, I got to thinking about the incompletes that were sitting in my trunk that were written in a similar vein. I also got to thinking about another novella that I was having second thoughts about as well.

So I sat down to complete "Blackness In The White Sand" in the most annoying way possible: throw some of the plot out the window and throw in enough swerves to make anyone's head hurt.

Viola! I finished the novella early Sunday morning, after I had come up with an ending that tepidly explained the entire story while taking a shower. I then proceeded to print out the last couple of pages, saved it to floppy, my hard drive and my flash drive, then packed it away in my trunk.

At the same time that I was packing my trunk, I was also unpacking. I took out the novel that I was working on prior to writing Line 21, blew off the dust bunnies and put it next to my computer. For those who need a refresher on what it is (like me), please check out this particular link.

As soon as I do a monster rewrite of my other novella (which features this particular nugget piece of flash called "What If" that becomes the basis of for the entire novella), I will tackle that other novel, which is about 75% complete.

As for the novella, the main reason why I'm rewriting it is that while overall the story is good, the first 14 pages are wickedly choppy. And because of that choppiness, it sags and stalls in that 1st half of the story.

The pace does accelerate and successfully sprints to the finish line in the 2nd half, so I want to make the 1st half match up with the 2nd. I also want to tweak the sex quotient, since it's sitting on the proverbial fence where one side is "R" and the other is "NC-17".

However, even before I can actually start the rewrite, I have to come up with a new title, as the current title "A Troubled Conscience" simply does not capture the true essence of the story.

Do you know how hard it is to come up with an acceptable title for a story? It took me about three days and multiple sheets of paper to come up with an acceptable title that I feel captures the true essence of the story: "A Shadow Warrior's Redemption".

I leave you with this thought:

Sometimes unpacking your trunk can be just as bad as packing it. Especially if you forget to put something in to kill the smell of red rot, bookworms and mold.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peacefulness With My Feathered Friends

Over at Shooting Suburbia we have part two of "Birds Of A Feather Flock To The Fauna".

Over here, we have Mother Nature touching our spirit in a way that shows us that sometimes, it's the little things that gives us the most pleasure when dealing with the valleys in our journey of life.


Last Saturday, I finally got my bicycle fixed. After having lunch at my favorite local restaurant:



I decided to take the bike out for a spin.

Destination: Mill Pond Park.

After taking a twirl around the park, I was bicycling down the homestretch, when I came across a most unusual sight.

I immediately cruised to stop, hopped off my bike and quietly walked it over to a park bench that was located on the far end of the pond and sat down to write this post.



My friends, as I write this post, stationed some 25 to 50 feet away from me are a gaggle of geese, some goslings, and about a half dozen ducks and mallards snoozing.

Words can't really do justice to the scene I'm witnessing, but suffice to say that simply sitting here quietly with only the sound of chirping birds, honking geese and leaves rustling in the breeze to keep me company, leaves me with an indescribable feeling of peaceful contentment.

No matter what the upcoming week will bring to me, I will definitely have this wonderful memory to draw upon whenever I need a little restoration of my inner chi.

Late spring in New England definitely don't get much better than this, and if it does, I'm certainly not there to experience it.

My spirit soared a little bit during that early Saturday afternoon, and that my friends, is all that you can really ask for on a gorgeous weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm Booking My Face

It is with great reluctance and with a heavy heart, that after an eight and a half month hiatus, I have reactivated my Book of Face account. Thus, I will once again be a conformist in a small part of my online life.

I really didn't want to do it, but a few certainu factors have nudged at my conscience with a ball peen hammer and said to me once they had gotten my attention, "It's time to face the inevitable."

"But I don't want to conform."
"You have to do this."
"But I don't like the changes that they've done."
"Book of Face is the lesser of two evils. Imagine what would happen if you'd decided to do Twitter instead."
"I lose my job?"
"Exactly."
"Maaaaaaannnnnnn."

Now I know you're dying from curiousity about what those two factors are exactly which are forcing my to make this radical move.

Factor #1: Declining blog readership.

Over the past several months, I've noticed a gradual decline in the amount of visitors to my blog. And while I do know that the usual factors of life, reading habits and online presence apply here, so does the factor of simnply being out of sight and out of mind apply as well.

For better or worse, if you're not a constant presence in some people's lives, they really do forget about you. Once I'd left Book of Face almost everyone in my circle of friends, and to a lesser degree, casual blog readers, stopped acknowledging my existence. Period. End of discussion. Became the living equivalent of what 1984 called "an unperson".

Factor #2: Publisher is heavily involved with social media, be it blogging, Book of Face or Twitter, and would like its stable of authors to be active as well. As you can plainly see I got blogging nailed down, so that left other social media sites like Space of Mine, Book of Face and Twitter to expirement with.

Space of Mine was immediately stricken from the list as I really don't know anyone on Space of Mine and I don't do music. Twitter wasn't even given a nano-second of consideration, since I really value my day job at the moment and the last thing I really wanted to do was get fired for speaking my mind.

Which leaves Book of Face as my second media social of choice.

Unfortunately, things will be different.

1} People will be able to find me under either a modified version of my name, under my pen name or under my e-mail. Since I wasn't able to change my name to my pen name (silly little rule about not being able to use any initials for a first name they have), I did the next best thing: added my pen name to my real name. I'll still have some random verification variables involved as well when it comes to people friending me, so hopefully things will balance out in the long run.

2} I will do almost no commenting on other people's posts. Too much drama and minutia involved and if I need to get a point clarified, I will send a private message. Also took way too much time the first time around, so it should be easier this time around. Lurking will be the operative word of the day, so be prepared to see a lot of "Likes" from my neck of the woods.

3} Since I've had more than my fill of posting semi-personal stuff on Book of Face, the less personal stuff I post on there, the less that their silly little Timeline thingy can plunge. So that leaves me with posting with my blog. Since I don't want to go through the aggravation of putting a widget up in order to get my blog feed sent through my wall (plus, from what I've read, there are some issues intergrating Blogger with Book of Face), my posts will be basically made up of my blog posts. That way, I can easily control what I tell people about myself.

Yay.

Sometimes we have to do things we don't really like in order to get the end result that we truly desire, which for me is publicity about my upcoming book, but done in a way that doesn't turn people off.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"American Falcon" by American Falcon

About three weeks ago or so, I had posted a link to a song performed by writer Chris La Tray’s band American Falcon. Recently, I took out my wallet and after prying it open with a crowbar, went to his website, clicked the link and bought the c.d.

This past Saturday (5/12) I picked up the c.d. at the post office and spent the day baptizing the sound system in my 2009 Altima with it. With the weather being absolutely gorgeous, it was the perfect day to listen to some good old fashion rock music. You know the kind that I’m talking about right? The kind that you hear at a friend’s outdoor party, or at a very small venue/bar, or at small town festival. The kind that makes you say, “Holy f’n sht, that is some seriously sick stuff!” The kind that makes you believe the cover liner note, “Twice the volume, 3x as salty”.

 American Falcon is what very few people call an authentic power trio, in that all they have is three members that play three instruments: guitar, bass and drum. As for the type of music that they play, I would say (and this is my opinion) that it’s very strong hard rock with leanings towards metal.

American Falcon’s debut c.d., simply entitled, “American Falcon” contains seven tracks that clock in at just a shade under forty-two and a half minutes. The playing is exceptionally solid, the vocals are consistent, the majority of the tracks kick major ass, and overall, it’s a pretty solid conceptual c.d.

I know you’re probably questioning that statement of seven tracks/forty-two and a half minutes, simply because most c.d.’s that clock in at that time usually have almost double the amount of tracks. However, with the exception of two tracks, everything else clocks in at the very minimum four minutes.

Those two tracks are something that you usually don’t find on a studio album. Most bands that have tracks that clock in at seven minutes are usually found on live albums, when they’re throwing in extended guitar/drum solos. However, American Falcon does an excellent job of pulling off those two long tracks.

The first long track is a song entitled “Blood Drunk”, and it serves as an excellent intro to the song “Tallulah Black”, which is to say that it’s dark and moody, which keeps with the general theme of the c.d.

The other long track is one (about twelve and a half minutes), that while the concept was pretty good, the execution was average. Track #7 is entitled “The Beast of Bray Road”, which is based on a non-fiction novel of the same name by Linda S. Godfrey, and it features two spoken word parts. One of the spoken word parts is from the horror novel and the other is from a Wikipedia entry.

While the horror novel excerpt was an interesting tease, the Wikipedia excerpt is where I had problems. The problem I had was that the background music, while very good, drowned out spoken word excerpt. And the spoken word excerpt was so overly long that there were times where I wanted to shut the c.d. off.

Overall, the c.d. was a real joy and experience to listen to, especially since I don’t get a chance to listen to that kind of rock music anymore. You certainly won’t hear it on commercial radio because it’s refreshingly original, and you know commercial radio doesn’t really like refreshingly original music.

I highly recommend purchasing this c.d. if you’re a devotee of great rock/metal music, and if this was an Amazon rating, I would give 4 ½ stars.

And in case anyone didn’t figure it out at the beginning, this c.d. was not given to me gratis. I wholeheartedly spent my money to acquire this c.d. of a local Montana band. Remember gang, local music is the best kind of music and you should support your local music scene as much as you possibly can.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blogging Tour And The Feathered Friend

First off, I want to wish all my wonderful readers who may be mothers, aunts, grandmothers or fathers doubling down as mothers, a very happy Mother's Day.

Now, on with the show.

If you click through to read this post, you'll see in the upper left of my blog, a picture of well known national and international best selling author Melissa Foster (Chasing Amanda, Megan's Way, and Come Back To Me), who is undertaking a fantastic summer blog tour. Ms Foster is undertaking this blog tour as a thank you for all of her wonderful readers that have supported her throughout her career, and if you click on the image, it will take you directly to the overall description of the blog tour, which also features some great giveaway.

The main reason as to why I bring up this particular blog tour is that Ms. Foster will be making a stop at Cedar's Mountain on June 18th, with a guest post entitled "Please, judge our books by the covers!", so please stop by to check it out.

The other part of this post has to do with the continuing resurrection of Shooting Suburbia. I've finally got my pictures back from Rite Aid and after downloading the picture disc, was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the pictures shot were of birds. Apparently, I was having a moment of flight (figuratively that is) and starting taking pictures of our feathered friends visiting the neighborhood.

The series is called "Birds of a Feather Flock to the Fauna", and it kind of ties in with last Tuesday's post.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What Do I Write?

Well, for one thing, it's not romance, which is the explanation that I gave everyone back in the summer of 2008.

In spite of my best attempts at writing romance, what it eventually boiled down to was that may writing was geared more towards what I originally had listed in my profile, which was the darker side of relationships. But even classifying my writing under that particular niche didn't work, as while the bulk of my stories dealt with relationships, there certainly wasn't any darkness to them.

So back to the drawing board I went, and after spending about a year or two writing a few more stories and getting two of them published (one of which you'll find the link near the top of the front page), I settled on the self-imposed label called "Quirky". But even that, while more than adequately describing my writing, didn't quite cover it all. Resigned to my fate, I decided to accept what my brain, my personality and my various muses have been saying all along about what I write:

I write stories flavored with sex, with amount of flavor dependant on what the scene or plot calls for.

For the past couple of months, I've been singing the hallelujah chorus for my commercial debut novel Line 21. I've been sharing with everyone almost every conceivable item or idea that was connected with the novel, including the cover (see upper left corner of the blog) and a short five page teaser. But then I got to thinking that while some of my hardcore regular readers have experienced what I've written prior to this novel and thus have a solid idea on what to expect, there are those newer readers and the casual drive-bys that may not have any idea on who I am or how I write and thus are asking themselves, "Why should I buy this upcoming commercial debut?"

And you know, that is a very good question to ask yourself, and even to ask the writer. Fortunately, I have a solid answer to that question.




Theirs was a doomed relationship that even a marriage couldn't fix.

Ray was the antithesis of a hairdresser. Handsome, muscular and a natural flirt, he was the solution to every woman's fantasies. All he wanted, though, was to be loved by the mercurial woman of his dreams.

Gwendolyn was a passionate young woman with a temper that ran as dark as her complexion. Desirable to both sexes, she was determined to find love, no matter what the consequences.

Who would be the first to betray their marital vows? Ray, who although was enlightened about the world around him, still had those old fashioned values that made him a hot commodity. Gwendolyn, vivacious and passionate, had the looks and the body that could destroy anyone that got in the way of her ultimate goal.

To be unconditionally loved. Can that particular end really justify the means?

Betrayed! is my self-published chapbook that I consider to be a very solid introduction to the type of story that my debut novel is about. It has almost everything that one could possible want in a story: romance, heartache, drama, action, and most importantly, sex.

Clicking on the title will give you the basic ordering info (and a nifty journey of the self-publishing process too), and for a limited time, it can be yours for the low price of $6.

Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed, and best of all, you'll have a better idea on the type of stories that flow from my proverbial pen to the proverbial paper.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Tree

Today's post is a about a tree, and to a lesser degree, Father Nature, spirituality, animals and the meaning of life.

The tree in question is this:


Not because it looks like that, but it now looks like, after its been battered from pillar to post in the past couple of years, death warmed over. This particular tree has some family history behind it, as it was planted by my late father shortly after we'd moved to Newington in '69. So it managed to survive almost 45 years of bad New England weather, although in the past year or so, the weather and lack birds, conspired to send it on to the great mountain in the sky.

Yes, you read correctly.

Birds.

Last year, with the economy being so crappy, I had to cut back on a few non-essentials, like birdseed. Because there was no bird seed to be had for the late summer of 2011, G & J's Excitingly Exotic Emporium of Ecstasy was closed for business.

And because it was closed for business, no birds came to visit the tree. And as hard as this is to believe, I think that deep down it bothered the tree

Yes, you read correctly.

Think about this scenario for a minute: Picture yourself as an old tree sitting in a quiet neighborhood. You're a bit weathered, got some broken branches, your bark won't bite anymore, but overall you're in good health. The one thing that you look forward to every spring and summer are your feathered friends from the mountain stopping by to eat some of the delicious birdseed, take a bath and to say hi.

Then for some inexplicable reason, the birds stop visiting. You can hear them merrily chirping away in the mountain and yet, they don't stop by to visit anymore. Without your friends stopping by to chit-chat, your days soon become unbearably long and dull.

Pretty soon, the sadness from being all alone becomes too much for you to bear, so you start thinking of ways to end your time on this wonderful little planet. Perhaps you decided not to stand as tall when the rain and windstorms start to hit. Or maybe instead of shaking off the snow with a snarl and a scowl, you choose to open your branches as far as they can go, as if to say, "take me, I'm yours."

To be honest with everyone, it really did look like,that for all intents and purposes, the tree simply gave up.

Anyways, I decided during the spring that G & J's should re-open. So I took the remaining bird feeder (the other one got demolished during storm Alfred) and moved it to the tree, and filled it up with some birdseed that was purchased earlier in the day. I also spread some on the ground near the tree, the bush were a few smaller birds had made a nest, and near the birdbath.

And waited.

And waited.

By the middle of the week, the wife pointed out that the tree was producing new buds. Not quite believing what I was told, I went out to see for myself. Sure enough, the tree was indeed sprouting some new buds.

Elated over the prospect that the tree still had some life left in it, I spent the next couple weeks making sure that the bird feeder and birdbath was kept reasonably filled. However, it still seemed that the feathered friends quotient was still sub par. Thinking about it for a spell, I got nailed with a blinding case of the obvious.

So last week, I went out and bought more birdseed, a dual bird feeder and some suet. Taking the old suet hanger, I transplanted it to within ten feet of the tree, hung the filled-to-capacity bird feeder, and waited

Sure enough, the tree's inner chi was completely restored, as if once again became the center of its own little universe. Birds of all kinds now stopped by to eat, bathe and chit-chat.

Do trees have souls? Some people think that they do and some think that they don't.

As for me, it's quite possible that a tree has a soul.

After all, without a soul, do you really think that the mountain would come alive in symphonic pleasure every Spring and Summer?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Musical Interlude

Sometimes mundane events that ordinarily you wouldn't give the time of day to, make their presence known and thus conspire to drive you absolutely slug nutty.

Yesterday was one of those days.

So in the interest of not only keeping everyone in a happy state of mind, but also to give me a bit more time to complete a post about a tree (yes, you read correctly), I bring to you Steve Martin. This particular bit comes from his "Comedy Is Not Pretty" album (I think), and for the next 20 years, was really my only exposure to bluegrass music.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Be Hold, Be Mystified, But Most Importantly, Be Fluglehorn

Yeah, I know, the title is simply yet more proof that sometimes when I string nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs together, and attach them with commas and a conjunction, it just don't make sense.

But, since this is my blog, I'm entitled not to make sense when the mood strikes me.

And it does.

With that said, let's ponder on a few metaphorical tangents, shall we?

We shall.

Pondering metaphorical tangent #1: I finally, after almost 2 1/2 months, got my loan from the bank. If you recall back in late March, I vented about the incredible amount of aggravation I was getting in trying to get an answer to a stupid question about my loan application and I wound up not only pulling my application but writing a letter of complaint about it.

Well, about two and a half weeks later, I got a polite response from a supervisor who not only agreed that my experience was atypical, but offered to help relaunch my application for me. With reservations, I agreed to her offer, and by the end of this past week, in spite of a few swerves that were thrown in my general direction, finally had my refinanced loan signed for.

Strangely enough, by the time I got to the closing, I had completely forgotten about how much I had originally requested for the loan.

Pondering metaphorical tangent #2: I spent a few days last week showing off my book cover to a few co-workers. I was very careful on how and who saw it, since I'd forwarded it to myself in an e-mail and the only way someone could see it, would be me offering to show it and the person coming all the way into my cube and blocking outside view of my monitor with their body.

However, after showing it to a few supervisors and chosen co-workers, those same people strongly suggested that due to the overly zealous hypocritical hypersensitivity in my agency to all things visual and audible, I should ditch the e-mail. That way, they intelligently reasoned, I wouldn't get into anymore trouble that I'm already in.

Since I had already gotten into trouble by
 using a particular word, I felt that their suggestion made perfect sense. So I ditched it.

However, since I'm not one to be cowed, I'm trying a new approach to showing people my cover. Namely, getting 100 business cards that will show the cover offer in a fantastic high glossy finish. Can you say, "Yum!" boys and girls?

Pondering metaphorical tangent #3: I'm finally inching ever so closer to finishing up my latest trunk novel, Blackness In The White Sand. I know it sounds very strange to say that I'm writing a trunk novel, because quite frankly, no one in their right mind comes out and says, "I'm writing a trunk novel."

Originally I didn't set out to write a trunk novel, I set out to write another novel. But once I had sold Line 21 to Solstice Publishing, I started thinking about the other two incomplete trunks that I had sitting in my trunk, which were very similar in content to Line 21. I also started thinking about doing some maintenance on a longish fantasy style short story of mine called "It's Just Business". I like the story (basic plot: revenge) but overall its kind of choppy, so I want to spend some time re-writing and polishing it to a high glossy shine.

However, before I can do any of that, I have to finish the project that I'm currently writing, and since I've proven to myself that I cannot multi-task when it comes to writing, it's been a semi-challenge to complete this novel. I say "semi", because I decided that in order to finish this thing, I should simply go off on enough swerves to tidy up all of the various plot points in the story. The end result should be novel that makes sense almost to the last chapter, then blows its proverbial mind away in the last chapter.

Pondering metaphorical tangent #4: The original purpose of this post was to fire the opening salvo to a brand new series of photos for Shooting Suburbia. Unfortunately for everyone, including myself, the camera has not made its way back to Rite Aid yet, so no pictures this week.

However, since I really wanted to put a new blog post up over there, I took the liberty of becoming redundant. Just like I've updated my book blog Books by G. B. Miller with a brand new post, so has Shooting Suburbia been updated with the same type of post that you saw here a few days ago, complete with links to the five page preview. I did tweak it though, by posting the query letter synopsis.

And finally pondering metaphorical tangent #5: In addition to updating my book blog, I took the liberty of plastering my remaining three blogs with a picture of the cover, along with the proper links for each one. I also updated the page for Line 21 by throwing the book cover in there as well.

I have a few other metaphorical tangents I can ponder about, but these five should be sufficient enough to get everyone's thinking cap greased up and turned on in preparation for the upcoming work week. Because as you so well know, our logic process usually shuts down Friday night into Sunday morning and only starts to come back to life Sunday afternoon thru the evening.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is Your Curiousity Piqued?

As I mentioned in last week's post, I was approached by the Solstice marketing dept in regards to creating the cover to my debut adult fantasy novel Line 21.

After that initial e-mail, I proceeded to spend the next week and a half working with the very talented cover artist Kelly Abell, in creating just the right cover for my novel. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy working with me, as I immediately started going off in all kinds of tangents with what I had wanted for a cover.

However, Ms. Abell was more than capable in harnessing and channelling the plethora of tangents into one coherent and lucid thought.

Starting with a basic scene of sand and surf, she managed to take all the snippets of plot points that I was throwing out with each successive e-mail, and create a series of covers that proceeded to inch closer and closer to not only what I wanted, but to what the book was about.

Last Saturday (4/28), after Ms. Abell did one last tweak, I was able to 100% approve the cover for my debut adult fantasy novel, Line 21 (please click on this link for a five page preview).




And in keeping with the quality of trouble that I seem to attract every spring, this cover will continue that excellent tradition of me attracting the wrong kind of attention at work to my extracurricular activities.

Sometimes, it really does takes a whole lot of hard work just to maintain the platinum persona that is me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Guest Blog by Romance Author Lizzy Stevens

In keeping with all things related to writing every Tuesday, today I'm honored to have Amazon and Fictionwise bestseller Solstice Romance author Lizzy Stevens stop and offer up a few ideas to promote your book(s). She is currently touring the blog world in support of her latest romance novel Blackbeard's Treasure.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for having me here today. Today I'm going to blog about all of the free stuff you can do to promote your books. I hope at least one of these ideas helps somebody out.

How To Promote Your Book For Free!!!

1} Set up a website. You can do this completely free at www.webs.com or www.weebly.com and if you want it to be a true dot com, you can got to www.godaddy.com or www.names.com, and I'm sure there are others and pay for your domain name for the year. It will cost less than $12 and then you can go back to the free site and use your own domain. You have no fees at all and you have a new website.

2} Facebook: Set up a Facebook page and friend eveyrone and tell everyone about your page. Use your page to promote your book. Don't just open the page but actually go there and post on it daily.

3} Twitter: Follow people and ask them to follow you. Tweet and retweet other people's tweets. Join in on the fun.

4} My Space: Same thing here. Friend people and ask them to friend you.

5} Manic Readers has free pages.

6} Linkedin is another great social networking site.

7} Start a blog. There are a few different free ones. You can try Blogger or WordPress, both for free.

8} Join Yahoo groups. Be sure to follow their posting rules.

9} Good Reads: Is abother really good place to promote your book.

10} Get reviews for your book. The more revies and good ratings, the better. You can take that review and then tell all the above places. Out of every good review you can get several promo opps out of it.



Blackbead's Treasure


Edward Teach, better known as the pirate Blackbeard, was killed November 22, 1718. Two months before, he purposely ran his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, aground at what is now called Beaufort Inlet.

He emptied the ship of all treasures into his other shop, The Tender, and fled to where nobody knows. Two months later, when he reappeared, he was killed in battle, and his body was tossed into the ocean. To this day, nobody knows where the treasure went.

For years, people have searched high and low for his treasure. It has been said that Blackbeard said nobody but he and the devil knew where it was located. Cassie Andrews returns to Branson Missouri to clean out her grandfather's house, who recently passed away. While emptying the attice she comes across an old diary belonging to a woman who claims to have been married to Edward Teach. Cassie soon realizes that she holds the key to the famous Blackbeard's Treasure.

Casssie turns to her friend Levi for help in finding the treasure. In her zeal to uncover the clues to Blackbeard's Treasure, Cassie lands herself in the hospital.

Attraction explodes off the page as Levi nurses Cassie back to health and together they experience the adventure of a lifetime to uncover their true feelings for one another and Blackbeard's Treasure.

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at georgebjr2006@gmail.com