Friday, June 28, 2013

Musica!

It's been a very long time since I'd talked about music. In fact, I think it was this particular post in which was the last time I wrote about my personal taste in music, and this wickedly popular spammer's post was the last (and as far as I know, only) time that I talked about what kind of music I listen to while editing.

The other day (like a month ago) I went shopping on Amazon to buy some new music that was slightly old. I had a few song titles in mind and as I'm prone to do, I wanted to purchase the entire c.d. For these particular songs, I do this because I enjoy exploring the entire c.d. (or album) that a given radio friendly song is pulled from.

So with that in mind, I bought the following c.d's that contain the following radio friendly songs.

1} The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (remastered):

This is one of the few supergroups from the late 80's that I really enjoyed. For those of you who don't remember, this group featured the late Roy Orbison, the late George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. It features such radio friendly hits like this one:



2} Fallen by Evanescence


This contains their monster hit "Bring Me To Life", which a lot of people think is all they know about them. Considering they have a solid catalogue of work, this seems to be a good as place as any to sample their work. Btw, this c.d. absolutely rocks.

3} More Legend Than A Band by The Flatlanders


I got turned on to this alt-country band back when I used to listen to a roots-rock music show in the late 90's/early 2000's. This c.d. is an upgrade to the cassette I currently own, and if you ever want to listen to what Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore first sounded like back in the day, then this c.d. is for you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stupefyingly Dense

Contrary to popular opinion (and in spite of what those two nitwits have been saying about me), I haven't really gone away, but more like simply taking an extended vaca from part of my cyberworld existence. Specifically, a brief powder from Facebook.

While Facebook may be a pretty good thing to keep up with friends and family, it can also be a bit of a soul crusher.

Case in point: I have an ungodly amount of writers in my circle of friends as well as amongst the fifteen dozen pages that I have liked, and with the exception of about what I can count on one hand, it seems like almost all of the writers in my newsfeed are type AAA personalities with extreme tunnel vision and density.

Every time I look at my newsfeed, I get seriously disgusted with the type of status updates these people throw out on a regular basis. You know the kind I'm talking about: "Oh, I just cranked out 20K more words on my next book!"; "Oh, I'm inviting you to a cover reveal for next book that's coming out in  three weeks!"; "Oh, I just made Amazon's top 2,000!"; "Oh, can you give me enough likes to hit 2,000!"

It's just so never ending, pounding my eyeballs and brain cells until I'm about ready to punch out my computer screen to make it stop.

I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but the excess verbiage is so relentless that more often than not, it's seriously making me question my chosen path of relaxation.

This past weekend (6/22 & 23), I finally cried uncle. While I didn't do something drastic as deactivating my account, I did the next best thing: I stayed away.

Staying away allowed me to finally get off my sorry ass and do something about my writing, which as luck would have it, is what the 2nd half of this post is all about.

First, a brief update on "Shadow's Vengeance" (aka ASWR).

After doing a little judicious editing as it was suggested by the editor, I resubmitted to another imprint under that publisher's umbrella. Sadly I received a rejection in early June. I have not decided on whether or not to continue with my querying. I am for the moment leaning towards self-publishing. However, I do have the luxury of biding my time with this, which is directly due to the next item on the agenda.

Rewriting my chapbook "Betrayed!"

I am doing a complete hatchet job on this book as I quickly realized that even though my writing was pretty decent in '09, it was not for this particular story.

There are way too many issues with this book for me to list, so I'll simply skip to how I'm rewriting it.

1} Paranormal. I'm currently hip deep and extremely comfortable with this genre, so it's being rewritten much like my other novellas that I have.

2} Sex. Lots of it and better written than what's already there.

3} Verbiage. Because I'm applying what I know now to this story, the page count will grow exponentially. Example: while keeping within the basic outline of the first chapter, it has now ballooned to something more in line with what I have out there now.

This weekend was spent making excellent progress as I cranked out roughly 4,500 words of text. And for those of you who don't think that's a lot, keep in mind I write everything out by hand first before transcribing to the computer. Writing by hand allows me to focus & concentrate on what I want to say better than sitting in front of my computer waiting to be inspired.

I'm hoping to carve out another chunk this coming weekend now that summer is here and the mountain and town is in full bloom and my bicycle is now back in working order, but a recent accident involving the wife has thrown a small wrench into that plan. Nevertheless, we will persevere and hopefully will have something completed by the end of the summer.

And for those of you who know me on Facebook, I'll still check in from time to time, but until I can get my anger under control (writing while angry, you know I haven't done that for a few years) small doses of Facebook is about all I'll be able to do.

Monday, June 24, 2013

We's Knots Flutternuffer!


Heys! This is Yello Bear's uglier cousin Ralph Doohicky, and I'm filling in for Yello Bear, who's busy recovering from drinking three dozen honey jello shots the other night. Even though his sugar is a whopping 500, I've been told that he'll be back to his abnormal self sometime later this week, once he's managed to work off that sugar buzz by completing that two lane highway that he started building earlier this morning.

Anyways, I'm borrowing GB's blog 'cause he stills stupefied with his writing, although just before he was handcuffed to the bed and lovingly spanked with a cricket bat, he did want me to pass on the following message to everyone:

Success! I done wrote 4,100 words this past weekend the extremely hard way.

Ummmm...yah. That GB's one strange fellow, isnt' he?

Anywho, today's post won't be filled with all kinds of insults to you the reader, 'cause only mental deficients like Flutternuffer would do stupid stuff like that. Instead, yours truly Ralph Doohicky brings to you another pictorial post of GB's neighborhood, entitled appropriately enough, Alive Is The Neighborhood.

Oh and, about that intro at the other blog, that was actually written by Yello Bear prior to him going out on his jello shot binge this past Saturday night, so being the good cousin that I is, I simply copied it verbatim to the post.

And one more thing: I figure since today is the start of probably another crappy work week for most of you, I thought I would get your day jumping with this nifty little number by the late great George Harrison.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Fluffernutter!!!!


Yah, this ain't no party, nor is it that honey-jello-shot for brains bear. This is G.B.'s annoyingly fat Al Bundy clone of a cat Fluffernutter. And I'm barging in today 'cause G.B. is busy trying to decide whether or not he should write or simply chuck it all and cover himself up with compost and think unpleasant thoughts of what might have been, so his little hardwired brain is currently incapable of multi-tasking a simple thing like writing a blog post.

So I took upon myself to cough up a beer flavored hairball (and no, my beer of choice ain't that wimpy beer Bud Light. I'll leave it up to the smarter people out there to guess my liquid of choice and it ain't beer. Beer is for wimps) and type up a post for G.B. 'cause you know, the only smart thing he's done so far is kick me out of the house. Not that it didn't work, 'cause you know you just can't get rid of Fluffernutter, because without Fluffnutter, you don't get the remote.

Anyways, I dug around one of his folders and found this nasty little poem that he done got some ten years ago. It's got no title, so I've taken the liberty to come up with one.

Frenemy

When you are sad...I will get you drunk and
help you plot revenge against the sorry bastard
that made you sad.

When you are blue, I'll try to dislodge
whatever is choking you.

When you smile, I'll know that you got laid.

When you are scared, I will rag on you
about it every chance that I get.

When you are worried, I will tell you
horrible stories about how much worse
it could be and to quit whining.

When you are confused, I will use little
words to explain it to your dumb ass.

When you are sick, stay away from me
until you're well again. I don't want
whatever you have.

When you fall, I will point and laugh
at your clumsy ass.

This is my oath, I pledge to the end.

Why you may ask?

Because you're my friend!

Send this poem to ten of your closest friends
and get depressed because you 
realize you only have two friends
and one of them is not speaking to you
right now anyway.

P.S. A friend will help you move, a really good friend will help you move the body.

So there you have it ladies and gentleman, boys and girls AND children of all ages. A bottom feeder of a poem written by someone on this great blue marble with way too much time on their tiny little hands, brought to you by the best cat in G.B.'s house, Fluffernutter.

Be sure to tune in next to see who will write the next blog post: the best cat in G.B.'s house, Fluffernutter; that honey soaked alki Yello Bear; or the titular head of this blog, G.B. Miller.

Personally, my money is on Fluffernutter. D'oh! Did I say that? Shame on me. Perhaps I should be sent to my luxurious kitty box with a large helping of Taco Bell Nachos Belle Grande (yeeeeccccch) and a six pack of wimpy beer (coughing up a hairball) to wash it down with as punishment, for I am a very bad putty tat.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Is Alive: Neighborhood

As I'm still recovering from both being sick and missing the corresponding days from work, and with Monday's post laying a bigger egg than the chumps at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue pleading ignorance about the NSA and IRS, I thought it would a fabulous idea to have a pictorial post.

Therefore, I'm next door at Shooting Suburbia today hosting part one of "Alive Is The Neighborhood". Won't you swing by and spend a couple of minutes from your busy day enjoying the sights of Cedar Mountain?

I knew you could.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Unsound Mind?

I have nothing original on tap today to speak of (well, I could give you the incredibly longer version as to why I was sick for two days last week, but why gross you out on a Monday), which is directly related to that short little sentence in the parentheses. So for your amusement please check out this tiny little news story from the September 14, 1927 edition of the Manchester Herald.


INSANE FROM TERROR, HE COMMITS SUICIDE

Feared his Brother-in-Law Would Return Home To Murder Him.

Elmira, NY: Tragic and violent death with had alrady shocked the countryside near here with the double murder of two state troopers, had struck again today and George Miller* of Sullivanville, lies dead, a self slain victim of terror.

Miller, who blew his brains out with a shotgun, was a brother-in-law of the fugitive Wilmot Wagner, sought in two states as the murderer of State Troopers Robert Roy and Arnold Rasmussen.

Breaking after a five day vigil during which time he constantly stood on guard over his home, evidently fearing the return of his brother-in-law, Miller killed himslef in a moment of dispair, his relatives believe.

Since the murder of the two troopers who were slain when they attempted to arrest Wagner on a petty larceny charge, Miller has sat day and night with a shotgun across his knees. It is believed the crime committed by his brother-in-law had unsettled his mind.

"I'll get him before he returns and gets me," he was siad to have exclaimed. Relatives are at a loss to account for his fear.

Meanwhile, an enlarged posse continued their search of the New York and Pennsylvania border section for some trace of Wagner.
*A co-worker originally found this news story and found it incredibly funny that the person who ate his gun had the same name as myself, so he printed it out and gave it to me. So apparently I'm a doppelganger from 1927. Yes, we collectively had an extremely black and twisted sense of humor back in the day. Remind me to tell you about it some day, if you think you can handle it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man Cave!

Man cave!

video


Man cave!

video


My friends, up above you will see two slightly different versions of why I was offline for most of the past week, as I paid the ultimate price for redecorating.

Between working for 2 1/2 solid days moving, emptying, decluttering, rearranging, moving again (and before you ask, I most certainly did move those wooden cubes filled with records as is. some I moved myself, some I had help with. most weighed 50+ pounds. also moved the cabinet with the 45's with help from son's friend, but I emptied that first), re-rearranging, unpacking new computer, spending gobs of money on products for the computer, I wound up being a complete and utter mess.

Why?

Let's start with son having a job delivering the morning paper, thus using an alarm that goes off at 2 & 2:30 in the morning. Add severe sleep interruptus (go to bed at 10:30p, get waken up at 2, at 2:30, and finally waking up at 5). Multiply the end result by one solid month. Add in working one's self into the ground on man cave project for 2 1/2 straight days in crappy humid back/leg/arm/hand killing conditions. End result: instead of going back to work on Wednesday, we collapse from sheer exhaustion and spend two days in bed doing the very best impersonation of a cat, coupled with fever, chills, nightmares, daymares and saluting the porcelain gods.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely!

Would I do something like this again?

Only if I was expanding further into the basement, otherwise, hell no.

And just for ha-ha's (HA!), this blog post will be repeated sans video but with still pictures and new verbiage on Sunday at Shooting Suburbia.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making Pop Culture Work

When you talk about pop culture to someone, more often than not, that person either rolls their eyes or gives you the "uh-huh" response. You know, the "I'm pretending to agree with you 'cause I really don't care what the hell you're talking about" response that we give to people when we're trying to leave a conversation as quickly as possible.

In my world, I try to make my pop culture references relatable to the issue at hand, because there ain't nothing worse than having a pop culture reference not make sense. So the other day, when the weather outside was a bit overcast, I happen to mention to my co-worker that Bob Ross was sad.

After a brief explanation of who Bob Ross was, they got it and went along with it.

For those of you who don't know who Bob Ross is, you can either check out this video, or read my ten second explanation.


Bob Ross was a well know extremely laid back painter who for decades had his own do-it-yourself painting show. He specialized in painting landscapes and one of his catch phrases was "happy white clouds".

Thus, when it was overcast, I would say that Bob Ross is sad. When the sun poked through a couple of times, I would say that Bob Ross is starting to smile. When it looked like the clouds were about to open up, I would say that Bob Ross is angry.

Anyways, once we got that out of the way, it opened up a whole new line of conversation about old children's  shows (Mr. Rogers, The Electric Company and Sesame Street), and children's shows from the 90's.

I showed off my knowledge of voice actors and musicians/bands who did theme songs/incidental music.

Example, music:

The B-52's did the theme song for "Rocko's Modern Life"; Heavy D & The Boys did the theme song for "Police Academy: The Series" cartoon.

Example, voice actors:

Cree Summer (actress who was in the show "A Different World") did the voice of Suzie in Rugrats and All Grown Up and the voice of Elmira in Tiny Toon Adventures; Bill Fagerbakke (actor in "Coach" and "Oz") does the voice of Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants.

Ultimately, a good afternoon was had by all tripping down memory lane.

I leave you with this final thought:

On the local radio station they have a contest called "Google or Genius" and on one show they were giving away tickets to see a local off-off Broadway musical, and in order to win the tickets you had to answer the following question:

What is the address of the brownstone building that Oscar the Grouch lives in front of?

The first caller actually got it wrong. The 2nd caller got it right.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We Is Offline

Greetings and Salutations to one and all!

Just a quicky post to let you know that I will be offline for the next few days. One reason is this:



Another reason is this:


major brownie points if you can guess the event that this song is referring to.


But the main reason why I'll be offline for the next few days, is that I'll be attempting to binge and purge the room that I share with the furnace and hot water heater in the realistic hope of turning it into my man cave. I told myself that as soon as I bought myself a new computer, I would redo my man cave into something that is 100% me. Well, I bought a new computer (Windows 7) a few weeks ago, thus, this coming Monday & Tuesday, I plan on doing some rearranging of all the crap that is in this room. I'm hoping to get it cleaned enough so that by later in the month, not only can I start moving my monster record collection into one easily accessible area, but I can get back to writing as well. Because of this, I'll have sporadic access to a computer (like at the public library) and thus will be suffering major withdrawal symptoms along the way.

However, there is one more thing that I need to take care off. I did have a contest last week, and even though I didn't have a lot of commenters, a promise is a promise, so the winner of an autographed copy of my book is.....Lynn!

Lynn, when you get a free moment, please e-mail the particulars on where you want it sent to.

And that, my friends, is a ceasar chicken wrap. I'll catch everyone on the flipside of Wednesday/Thursday, which is what I'm shooting for as a return date to the cyber world.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dribs, Drabs & Drools

Hi de ho neighbors and neighborettes!

It's been quite a while since I did one of those random update posts, so I thought that now would be a good time to give everyone a few random non-writing updates about my life.

1} Dribs

Facebook: I finally came to the realization that if I waned to maximize my presence on Facebook, I needed an author's page. So, in the last week of April, I did just that.


The most interesting thing about it, besides being able to run another page on Facebook, is that I only need one log in account to use both. I can either participate as myself, or as my alter ego. More than likely, I'll do the bulk of my participation as myself. Another reason why I did this was to break up the monotony of my status updates by moving all my writing related stuff to my public page and keeping the quirky stuff to my personal page.

However, there is one drawback to this now. Because I went hog wild over the weekend (May 31st thru June 2nd) in trying to pimp my page for a contest, I have now landed in Facebook detention. What is Facebook detention? Facebook detention is where you now have to do a CAPTCHA (aka word verify)before you post a link, so that Facebook doesn't think you're a spammer. Kind of sucks, but I'll deal with it the best I can.

2} Drabs

A few weeks ago, I had entered a contest giveaway sponsored by the legendary Brandon & Bryan of A Beer For The Shower. They were giving away a free paperback copy of their novella "Lost and Found", and all you had to do to enter was to either comment about it on Facebook or on Twitter, then e-mail them about it.

Well lo and behold, can you believe I won a copy? I'm pretty excited about this 'cause it seems that this might be the book to get me back into the groove of things with my reading. Plus, if you can believe it, this makes the sixth book that I've either won or landed as a freebie in the past five years.

Life is indeed good.

And as a personal note to B&B, should they be reading this, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and as soon as get a free moment, I'll leave a review for you.

3} Drool

Speaking of life, I thought I would share with everyone a small personal snippet about myself that I rarely share with anyone publicly in the cyber world.

I have a nifty neuromuscular disease called CMT, and sadly it has settled into my hands, which in turn makes them look like the perfect shape to play the slots with (sometimes). Also allows me to call myself one of Jerry's Adults (j/k).

Anywho, I deal with it the best I can and have developed excellent workarounds to make sure that my daily existence is smooth as cat fur. One of those workarounds that I have is that I grab certain items from the top and bottom (i.e. soda cans and take out coffee) because that is where my grip is the strongest.

I rarely grab items like that from the center because lately the involuntary dropping of items has become pronounced, and one way that I attempt to counteract that is to squeeze the item extra hard until I can regroup with my other hand.

Sometimes though, I suffer the consequences of not being able to regroup. Most of the time it's no harm no foul. This time though, lots of harm lots of foul.

Short version: Three of us were trying to enter/exit a building at the same time. I get caught in the squeeze and the lid to my very hot coffee pops and my coffee and exploded all over me. 99% went on my pants and boots. 1% went under my shirt.

Repeat, went under my shirt.

Can you say, "HOLY F'N SHT BATMAN, THAT F'N HURTS!!!!!!!!!!"

Can you say, first degree burn on a most non-vital sensitive part? Can you say non-stop pain for the rest of the day?

Can you say, a good laugh was had by all at work because, let's face it, no matter how bad it looked and how bad it was described, people laughed afterwards (including myself).

And thus, we leave you with this happy video:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Picture Me Burned Like A Pop Tart

There's still time to enter my mini-contest for a free autographed copy of my book. Details can be found here.

Not burned out (although that thought has crossed my mind) but simply burned. Went through a wickedly nasty humidity flavored heatwave this past week and we're just simply burned out from battling it, and because our disposition has turned a bit hostile, I thought that it would be nice friendly gesture on my part to soothe this tired mind/tired body/tired spirit by showing you some pictures. And you know what would be even friendlier? Showing them here!

So, here are a few pics taken early this May, sans captions. The sub heading for these pics in my flash drive is "Hope Springs Eternally", and it includes an updated pic of the world famous front yard tree. Enjoy!















Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Right Turn Than Straight Ahead

"It's deja vu all over again!"---Yogi Berra

 For those of you who have been with me for quite a while, you know that I hit paydirt after a baker's dozen of queries and two wickedly intense re-writes that spurred on by "an almost but not quite there yet" rejection/invite to resubmit from my current publisher.

Well my friends, as the quote up above says, it is indeed deja vu all over again.

My publisher was one of the companies that I had queried in the first wave for my novella, "A Shadow Warrior's Redemption", with the query being sent on the last day of February. Almost two months later (a very decent turnaround), I received a response. And just like the query for Line 21, the response for ASWR was exactly the same: "almost but not quite there yet" with an invite to resubmit.

The issues with the particular novella are radically different from the first: to whit, here is what the editor had to say (who I respect immeasurably):

"I'm ambivalent-there's a lot to like, and the synopsis worked fine for me. But I felt that the first few pages were confusing to the reader, and this isn't helped by the switches in tense. Also, maybe the title is a bit a giveaway?? It's close. I'd also wonder about using the name Ashanti (singer/songwriter of the same name might not like it?). And I don't know what is to be gained by referring her initially for many pages as 'the young lady' instead of using her name".

They finish up to say that after I get the following issues fixed: tense issues, ensure that the visuals are clear on the body switch and I review the MC name, I should re-submit to their paranormal line called "Solstice Shadow".

So the good news is that the novella has fixable issues and an offer to resubmit.

The fixable issues are:

1} Tenses: I rewrote this in first person/present tense, so maybe I have too much head hopping?

2} Name change for MC: difficult, but doable.

3} Title change: extremely difficult but necessary. I've done about five title changes already, so I'll have to bang my head against the wall for number six.

4} Clear visuals on the body switch: this is uncharted territory, so I'll be open for advice on this one.

There is a fifth, but that is tied in to bullet point #2.

So there you have it boys and girls, children of all ages. Once again, I'm three queries of the way through to fullifilling my 2013 New Year's resolution of getting at least one story published per year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update: I had originally wrote this post about three weeks ago. Since then, all of the bullet points have been fixed. As expected, number three took me the longest and I finally came up with not one, but two viable candidates: "Shadow Vengeance" and "Shadow Justice". Both of these titles were directly inspired by this poem written by my writer friend Charles Gramlich on his blog RAZORED ZEN.

I now have an issue that I need your advice on. To tie these potential titles into the story better, I've been toying with the idea of changing (again) the name of MC from Alexi to Shadow. In turn, this will allow me to add the 's and create a more personal/tighter connection to the story.

Also, I would like your opinion on which title I should use. Please give me your choice on which title I should use and whether or not I should tweak the character name to fit the title.

And...to make it more interesting, I will be giving away a free print copy of my debut novel to a random commenter on this blog (I'll be doing this on Facebook as well). Drawing to be held at the end of the week.

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