To all my readers and followers, please keep in mind that I have now moved over to my new blog, Father Nature's Corner, so Cedar's Mountain is now on a semi-permanent hiatus.

If you're looking for the wit and wisdom that Cedar's Mountain is known for, please click on the link up above or to the right, and I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Number 333, Take Duece

Once again we took out our pick axe and this time spent several minutes mining the year 2009 for the next redeaux, and we had successful conclusion to our endeavors when dug up blog post number 333. Blog post number 333 contains a nifty little diatribe about the hazards of being a pedestrian, and since the main goal of this new series is to write an update to the original, an update is what I shall do.

This one should be a no-brainer, since it just so happens that I've had a few close encounters this week with the human species worst invention since the wheel. I call this one....

Puree of Parking Lot!

This past week, I've had a few near misses in which I came this-close to becoming puree of parking lot. Puree of parking lot, in my very humble opinion, is the ultimate worst case scenario that you can have as a pedestrian.

Think about. If you're a pedestrian walking down a street or a sidewalk and a car comes at you, not only do you have a lot of room to get out of the way, but you don't have to worry much about getting slammed by another car. In a parking lot, if you tried to get out of the way, you run a very real risk of getting schmacked by another car.

Such was the case two nights ago (2/25).

I had stopped at my local gas station to run an errand before going grocery shopping. I pulled into the parking lot and parked on the side. Leaving my wife in the car, I got out and starting walking towards the entrance. Suddenly, some yahoo who decided to change directions and go back to the gas island that he had driven by, started backing up in my direction. Worried, I changed my direction to avoid him. Oblivious to his surroundings, he changed directions and stayed on the same course of action.

Seriously worried, I changed directions to avoid him. Still oblivious to his surroundings, he changed directions and stayed on the same course of action.

Now I know you're probably wondering why I didn't yell at him, and there is a simple reason for that. I've been in pissy mood since the weekend and although I did not take out on the family, I would've been more than happy to take it out on someone else. However, because I still value my job (my job frowns on negative contact with the constabulary), I kept my mouth shut and changed directions one more time, and this time, we had success in dodging the wannabe and his pussy SUV.

The next encounter was yesterday leaving work.

An ungodly percentage of American drivers drive like freakin' maniacs in parking lots. If the posted/common sense speed limit is 15 miles per hour, you go 15 miles per hour. You don't go 30 miles an hour in a work place parking lot. Only Richards go 30 miles an hour in a work place parking lot. Only Richards will give you dirty looks if you step in front of them and force them to either slow down or apply their brakes.

Such was the case here.

I was walking down the ramp and saw that a car was speeding from the far end of the parking towards the employee entrance, with the intended destination being the front exit. So with zero thought for my safety and 100% thought of pissing the driver off by making him slow down/stop, I continued walking down the ramp and into his path of travel. This forced him to stop, for if he had tried to go around me, he would've smacked another car that was picking up a co-worker head on.

I gave him what I call a "fractured look" (a fractured look is basically a visual F.U. that people give when they dare you to respond to their actions), then continued my same infuriatingly slow walk to my car (yeah, I got that kind of slow walk down to a science).

So my friends, that is my little rant for the day. Before I step down from my soapbox, I leave you with this question: what do you find more annoying as a pedestrian, having to dodge traffic while out for a walk, or having to dodge your lame brain co-workers/strangers in a parking lot?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Resemble That Remark!

I have a thankless job.

When things are going great, we don't get the credit we deserve. When things are going crappy, we get the credit that we don't deserve.

We clean up other people's messes because those other people don't do what they're supposed to do, and yet, no matter how many times we tell them to do something, they still do it wrong. Better yet, they make a mistake and don't tell us about it until the last possible minute, and oh btw, it needs to be done before payroll closes, and oh btw, we're doing an upgrade and cutting your nose off to spite your face, 'cause we can.

Anywho.

Respect is definitely not a two way street in my agency. A lot of over-inflated egos demand it, but are loathe to give it.

And  would you believe that these over-inflated egos actually expect to get paid properly even though they don't follow the rules, 'cause you know, rules are for the little people.

Not them.

Anywho.

We trade horror stories in our unit about people who manage to say/write the most incredibly stupid things about us and in front of us, and express shock and dismay when we actually call them on it.

For instance, a coworker of mine has been called all kinds of things, simply because he tries to do his job the way it's suppose to be done. Like getting timesheets from staff members.

Contrary to popular opinion, in order to get paid properly you have to hand in a timesheet, that has all your hours (both worked and non-worked) written down, in a timely manner. The other day, my co-worker was riding in an elevator with two other people, and those people started talking about him in rather derogatory manner. 'Course, they didn't know he was their payroll clerk, so they were talking about their payroll clerk and were calling him a "timesheet nazi", simply because he had the temerity to ask for their timesheets to brought to him in a timely manner.

Just before he got off the elevator, he happened to identify himself as their payroll clerk. Well, you can imagine their shock and dismay when they found out who he was. They immediately start saying that they weren't being serious and that they were simply joking around.

Another time he told me that he was given a timesheet that had a derogatory sticky note about him still attached. Suffice to say, the same reaction that was previously mentioned in the last incident was given this time around by the people who were caught.

No one in my unit is immune to this kind of criticism. I myself have been thrown under the bus quite a few times because people didn't get their own way or didn't do something because they thought someone else would do it for them.

I had one particular individual who actually threw a very long temper tantrum over a mistake that they had made, and that temper tantrum continued even when my supervisor and myself decided to bend the rules and fix the problem so that their paycheck wouldn't be short, and we told them as such.

I had another accuse me of being "mad with power" because I had the audacity not to pay them something because they didn't fill out their timesheet correctly. And, I gave them the opportunity to actually fix it, and yet, they felt it wasn't necessary to respond to my response, 'cause you know, I'm just a payroll clerk.

We also have staff members who are just clueless beyond all help. I can't tell you how many times that what should be a simple one minute phone call stretches into something that ranges from 10 to 20 minutes, simply because they either don't get it or refuse to get it, or even admit that they're wrong in the first place.

And then we have staff members who like to drop names (veiled threats) if we don't do something for them right then and there, especially if that something is very out of the ordinary. Our usual response is something in the realm of, "So?" or "Okay?". In other words, whatever name you're dropping isn't likely to do thing one for us. Or for you.

What it boils down to isn't much, because we don't ask for much, just a little respect for what we do for you. We make sure that you get every dollar that you deserve, in spite of your best efforts to sabotage your own paycheck. Or, if doesn't affect your paycheck but someone else's, sabotage your own job. Because of that supreme effort in dealing with you on a daily/weekly basis, wouldn't it make sense to show just a smidgen of appreciation to the people you use and abuse.

And for those of you out there who think that this is limited to the public sector, think again. Take a moment out your busy day to thank the person who makes sure that you get every dollar that you deserve, that every deduction that's supposed to come out does, and that your leave balances are correct down to the very last minute. They do an increasingly thankless job in today's increasingly stressed out work environment, and we should try to make things as painless as humanly possible.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Number 757, Take Duece

As I sat here pondering just exactly what I want to blog about, a scary thought thrashed its way to the forefront and said (in a seriously stoner style voice) "Hey! What about if you took a new spin on an old mess?"

Puzzled, my first response to the thought was, "What in the wide, wide world of sports are you mumbling about?"

My second response, after I had thought about it for a while, mostly because I had to translate stoner mumble into abnormal American English, was, "Fer shure."

To translate for the normal folks out there in radio and t.v. land (no I'm not turning into Joe Dolce), I thought I would revisit some 5 year's worth of blog posts by having someone (anyone for that matter) with more intelligence than myself pick a number between 1 and 942, which in turn will allow me to pull up the corresponding post, post the link and write a brand new post that is somehow related to the original post.

Whew!

Anyhow, I decided to start off the festivities by pulling up #757, which is about voice mail at work, and write a related post to that one. And before you ask, the rest of the post is not written on the fly, as I have a pre-written post about a month old all set to go. The next section is called....

The Telephone Is Ringing!

If you're like me, the bulk of your daily contact with the outside world is either thru the e-mail or thru the telephone. I've covered the petty annoyances with e-mail a few years ago, as well as with voice mail, so today's post will cover the petty little annoyance when you actually pick up the receiver and either say "Hello?" or to dial out.

Annoyance number one usually goes something like this:

"Payroll, G.B." (yes, I realize this is grossly unprofessional, but after doing payroll for 9 years, this is the best anyone is ever going to get)

"Can you hold on for a second?"

That's right boys and girls. I have just received the human version of a robo-call, in that the person called me and put me immediately on hold. I don't have a problem if I get put on hold a minute into the conversation due to some emergency, but if you put me on hold the second I pick up, the following will happen:

CLICK!

I'm not going to sit here and wait for you to get your act together. Get it together prior to calling me. That means whatever distractions you got going on in the background, be it family, t.v., or you have to pull over to the side of the road, fix it, solve it or destroy it. Then call me.

Annoyance number 2 is a bit more complex, and it goes like this:

Phone rings, I pick up and before I can say hello, I will inevitably hear one or more of the following things going on in the background.

1} screaming kids
2} screaming baby
3} screaming t.v.
4} screaming stereo
5} man/woman having a conversation with an unnamed second person

My usual response to this irritating background noise is to simply listen and wait until the person on the other end speaks. And depending on who the person is once I hear their voice will often dictate on how annoyed I should get (varying degrees of faux to real).

If I know the person and know their situation, then I'm more likely to cut them a lot of slack. If I know and don't like, then I won't cut them any slack.

Finally, annoyance number 3, which usually happens if i have to call another guv'ment agency. While I don't come across this issue dealing with the feds, I do come across this when I'm dealing with my own kind of stupid.

About 4 months ago, I got some paperwork on a former employee that I didn't know what to do with. So I called the peon who sent the form, and proceeded to listen to a two minute voice message detailing where they would be and what they were doing on a given day. I finally got to the end of the message, got the beep telling me to leave a message, but before I could leave a message, a computer voice broke in and said, "We're sorry, that mailbox is full."

Then it hung up and disconnected.

I won't tell you how incredibly pissed off I was when I got a dial tone in my ear, but I will tell you that I fired off a short fax asking for the person to contact me at their earliest convenience.

Still looking for that call back.

Telephone.

The purest and the most original form of inducing modern rage on the planet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fulfilling My New Year's Resolution 2013

About three and a half years ago, I wrote a novella based on this short piece of flash fiction, which was originally based on doing what I do best in my spare time: people watching.

The original plot of that piece of flash fiction was something that was pretty basic and somewhat overused: obsessive love. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less, and as you can see by the comments left at that post, everyone agreed that it was a pretty decent piece of prose, also nothing more and certainly nothing less.

By late December, I had managed to write a roughly thirty page novella, details of which can be found here, broken link and all. And up until recently, the hardest part in writing this novella, was trying to come up with a decent title for it, which after six tries, became "A Shadow Warrior's Redemption".

For the next couple of years, I would periodically tweak it before sending it off to the only part of my writing life in which I have a sparkling .000 batting average: writing contests. Eventually, I got fed up with having a .000 batting average with that story (really, all of my stories that were submitted to writing contests), and after doing one last edit to keep myself occupied while the glacial wheels for publishing my book creakily completed its one and only rotation, I stuck it in my world famous (to me) slush pile of semi-ignorance.

Fast forward to late 2012.

While I was posting a short series on what slush novel I should work on next, an unexpected offer happened to pop up in my other online home (Facebook). So being the flexible writer that I am, I quickly switched gears and pulled out my novella. After giving it some thought, I decided to try something a little different. I had been writing my personal slush crime novel in the first person/present tense for the past several months, and after working through a few kinks, I decided to try the same approach with an already completed story.

So I proceeded to spend the next month re-editing/re-writing my entire novella in the first person/present tense p.o.v. Being pretty stoked about what I had accomplished gave me enough motivation to write out a super short synopsis (678 words) in the first person and the query letter, with a 79 word synopsis, all in the span of about a week and a half.

With everything all set and ready to go, I contacted my friend to ask if her offer was still valid. Sadly, things went bump with her (she was very unhappy with her current publisher), and thus, the offer was no longer valid.

Expressing sympathy for my friend's predicament (about two months later, another friend went through something much worse with the same publisher), I nevertheless decided to soldier on and within a week, I started querying the novella. I immediately sent out one query to a publisher that was looking for novellas, and while I was deciding who to query next (one will definitely be sent to my current publisher, as they're now reopened to some types of submissions, and one will not be sent to that anonymous publisher I had previously mentioned), I also decided to revisit the idea of doing what I did with Line 21 back in 2011 when I had begun querying that novel: create a page to chart the journey to publication of A Shadow Warrior's Redemption.

Thus, I present to you the reading public, the static page for my latest project, A Shadow Warrior's Redemption. Just like with Line 21, you'll be able to follow the journey of ASWR to publication. I don't believe I'll be able to duplicate the success I had querying Line 21 (struck gold on the 13th query), but I do believe that I will strike gold sometime this year with this novella.

And thus, fulfill for the 3rd consecutive year, my New Year's resolution of getting at least one story published.

2011: Short story entitled "Red Stripe"
2012: Commercial debut novel entitled "Line 21"
2013: Will it be ASWR?

Monday, February 18, 2013

What Is Present Is Simply The Epilogue To The Past

Today's post is the end result of combining too little sleep, too much snow, a general malaise of the body and early morning overtime into one big fat pot of charcoaled nothingness. In other words, genuine real world burnout.

This past weekend, while I was searching for something to write about for today, I started going through my big fat notebook of the first year and a half (May '08 thru Sept '09) of this blog. A few things gradually stuck out while I was perusing that notebook.

1} I was a really mouthy blogger. Mouthy as in, seriously sarcastic and seriously caustic.

2} I wrote some seriously long essay style posts.

3} I had a lot to say and most of the time, I went for the jugular with each and every post written.

By going through this notebook, it's interesting to see not only how I had started developing as a blogger but how I had started developing as a writer. In those early years ('08 thru '09) I was really all over the place with my blogging and my writing. I guess one could say with a certain degree of truthfulness, that I was trying to find my voice as a blogger and writer.

Problem was, my voice as a blogger was not the same as my voice as a writer.

As a blogger, my voice was simply oozing confidence to the point of arrogance. I wrote what I want, when I want (which in those early years, was a punishing pace of one to two posts every other day). I mean, I covered almost every single general topic that one could think of, at least how it applied to me. Truth be told, in those early years, there was almost no feasible way to stop me or shut me up. For all intents and purposes, I was a blogging machine during those early years.

But (yeah, you know that one was going to show up sooner or later) one very valid and feasible way not only showed up to stop me, but it damn well took me by the shirt, jacked me up a few feet, then threw me down a well traveled path that countless others had taken.

And what was that one very valid and feasible way that decided to grace my humble abode?

My conscience and his bitchy wife the Muse decided that it was time for me to serious up with my writing, so they collectively stopped by in early 2010 and basically jacked me up and threw me down the path of where no truly sane and fragile ego dared to tread.

The path of most resistance? Getting published.

So thus began a quest, fraught with perils, pitfalls (without Harry), potholes and more alliteration that you can possibly and unequivocally shake a finger at (but not with a pointed stick), to get myself published the normal (aka not self-publishing) way.

'Course, this meant that two things needed to happen: I had to clamp down on my blogging voice and pump up my writing voice.

But, to pump up my writing voice, I first needed something to pump it up with. That something was finally found back in 2010, which was first specifically mentioned in mid March of 2010 (if you scroll down the entire month, amongst all those posts with a general theme of sex and broken links, you will recognize a post with a title that is now the central focus of my nascent writing career).

From that point on, I did indeed find my writing voice and to this day, it has not left me. That writing voice of mine is the glue that is both keeping me grounded and to a lesser extent keeping this blog going.

As the title says, the present is simply the epilogue to the past, and my past is what truly got me here to the present.

I may someday unleash my true blogging voice again, but at this point, it will clearly be riding shotgun to my writing voice, because right now, my writing voice is now driving the 442 in the extreme left lane down the interstate highway that is my life. And it's my writing voice who will determine how much of my blogging voice will bleed through to grace your computer screen.

And no, I'm not saying goodbye, 'cause you know, you really can't get rid of me that easy. I'll still be here to feed you fresh meat (or fresh vegetables if you happen to be vegetarian), except starting next week, it will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with an alternating weekend post thrown in for good measure, because you know deep down, truly deep down, you guys are more than just my regular readers.

You are my cyber friends and my cyber family. You mean as much to me as my flesh and blood friends and family do.

Have a fantastic Monday, and I'll catch you on the flip side of Wednesday, when I'll introduce the story that will help me fulfill my New Year's resolution for the 3rd straight year. In the meantime, please check out this piece of flash fiction that my publisher put up on their blog last week for Valentine's Day. It originaly was part of a top five spammer lovefest tag post.

It's called, "A Long Difficult Journey".

Friday, February 15, 2013

What Do You Take Me For???

The other day I got a phone call from an ex co-worker asking about their 1099, and why they hadn't received it yet.

Normally, this question coming from anyone but this person would've been accepted without question, But since the question came from this particular individual, it raised all kinds of flags.

Why?

Because this person is incredibly smart (runs her own music oriented business) and knows how to play the state system like an expert, so in order to get what they want, they will come off as none-too-bright.

Anyways, I returned their call and briefly explained the situation. After they had gotten the answer that they were expecting, and after some guarded small talk was made, the real reason for the phone call was presented.

I listened for a moment, asked a pertinent question, then said I would have to clear it with my supervisor.

Well, that wasn't the answer they were expecting to hear from me, so a few tense words were exchanged. I reiterated my position that I would have to clear it with my supervisor, a few more tense words were exchanged, before they decided to drop the issue and end the phone call.

I hung up and went about my business.

Now if you think I was upset about this, I wasn't. I was more disappointed than anything else. You see, I'm kind of big on BEING HONEST. IF YOU'RE HONEST WITH ME, I have no problem in being HONEST WITH YOU, nor do I have any problem in doing the occasional favor from time to time.

But, DON'T PLAY ME FOR THE VILLAGE IDIOT. I don't know about you, but I detest being played for an idiot. If you keep LYING to me or being less than forthright, chances are pretty good that I'm not going to continue doing favors for you.

Don't pretend to be my buddy when you really want something, only to treat me like shit afterwards. Remember, it goes both ways, so if you treat me like shit, chances are pretty good that I will nitpick you to death to others.

Bottom line, don't treat others like they're beneath you or treat them with utter contempt. Believe it or not, people can and do see through your charade and discover that the real you is a wickedly shallow piece of human flesh that they'll ultimately have no use for.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why You Cliche Me?

Cliches.

We all speak them, be they partial or full. And, if you're a writer of stories (not songs, different animal), one of the many important things that get shoved into your head is "never use cliches". To the old way school of thinking, using cliches signifies laziness and lack of effort (unless you're a songwriter).

While for the most part that may be true, what some of those old school thinkers don't really appreciate, is that in the hands of a good writer, a cliche can be another weapon in their vast arsenal of creative goodies.

Why? Because a good writer will realize that a judicious use of a cliche template can make a story flow just as smooth as if it weren't there to begin with.

I came to this epiphany (for lack of a better term) while I was proofing my PDF for print release. One of the small reason why I got to where I am right now, is that I didn't have an over reliance on cliches. While my story does have some cliches, I did make a concentrated effort to make them pertinent to the scene in question.

I think that is the key in using cliches: making them pertinent and/or relevant to the secene question. Too often, people will throw a cliche in because it sounds nice and not because it makes sense. I mean, what good is throwing in a cliche if it don't make sense?

I'm finding that this is one of the small things that makes me grow as a writer, in that I'm weaning myself from an over reliance of cliched words and phrases. Sure I'll still use them, but I do want to make sure that when I do use it, it's relevant to the scene.

How about you? If you're a writer, do you make a concentrated effort to make the cliches that you might use relevant and more importantly, fresh for the scene? If you're a reader, doesn't matter if its a book, magazine or newspaper, do you appreciate the use of cliches, or do you find the usage a bit of a distraction?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Our Cheeks Spanked Cherry Red By Father Nature

As most of you know, Connecticut got spanked kinky style with almost four feet of snow over the weekend. Now truth be told, my general opinion about Storm Nemo (yah, stupid name) was something like this picture.



As of Monday, it became something like my current header.



But sometimes, a couple of photos can't quite accurately describe or catch what a particular event wound up being.

So being of unsound mind, I decided to shoot a before and after of Storm Nemo. If you follow me over to my semi-dormant picture blog called "Shooting Suburbia", you can check out the before and after videos of Storm Nemo!!!

I should point out one very strange change that Blogger made to their video/picture editor. Apparently, you can upload videos in the following ways: from YouTube, from your YouTube videos, from a webcam and from your phone. No longer can you upload videos directly from your computer. You now have to use YouTube if you want to upload personal vidoes from your computer to your blog.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Review That Book

I originally started writing book reviews on my blog to fill up an otherwise empty page for a given day. And back then, I would wax poetically and write in excruciating detail as to why I liked (or disliked) a particular book that I had read. I didn't mind offering my opinion on what I had read because I knew that more often than not, people would say, "Interesting" and leave it at that. And on the occasion that I had decided to review a book from a writer that I personally knew, I was very careful to make sure that I sounded positive in the stuff that I didn't like and emphasize that what I didn't like was due to personal taste and nothing else.

Eventually doing book reviews on my blog got to be a chore and the last book review I'd posted was in 2010 (I believe), while the last music review (yup, even explored that for a bit) was in 2012. And there, another aspect of this blog was shunted to the side never really to see the light of day again.

Or so I thought.

In early 2012 as everyone knows, I sold my book to Solstice Publishing, and one of the requirements that I needed to fulfill was to review one book from a fellow Solstice writer per quarter. I figured that this would be no problem to do. A snap, one might say.

Yeah, right.

The first problem that I had, was, as you can probably imagine, being able to write something pithy, concise and most importantly, have it clock in under 250 words. That one I was able to overcome after digging way down deep into the inner recesses of my memory and channel both my chat room persona and my Facebook persona.

The second problem that I faced, was getting used to the fact of offering my opinion on a given book. This, believe it or not, was extremely hard to do get used to. I really had no problem in offering my opinion on a writer I had no connection with, but when it came down to offering an opinion on a book written by someone I knew, it became wickedly difficult.

But, as they are wont to say, I buckled down, and so began my other niche career of writing book reviews. Overall, between this blog and what I've posted on Amazon, I have written about 30 book reviews.

Even though I have the same procrastination tendencies for writing book reviews like I do for editing/re-writing, there has been a pleasant extra silver lining in all of these writings: my personal writing has gotten better.

Having to work with a tight word count has forced me to tighten up my grammar and summarize my point quicker.

So for those of you who might be reading my blog for the first time and are thinking about dipping your quill into the game of writing, give serious thought about writing book reviews. It's the safest way that I know to work on your writing without getting into trouble.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Banned Yet Again

As promised, an update about my book signing yesterday, and the title of the post should give you an idea on how it ultimately went.

I got there on time and started setting up my table: bookmarks placed on the table, two sets of business cards, the two e-book displays, two displays of books and a small pile of books for people to peruse through. Started promptly at 9a and was my normal jovial self as I was brimming with loads of confidence and self-esteem. Pimped my book pretty good, gave the entire spiel on how it wasn't self-pubbed and it was pubbed the traditional way, gave the brief synopsis (A young lady was in debt to her uncle the loan shark and the only way she can raise enough money was to become an adult movie actress.

Only got grilled by one person (evil harbinger on what was about to happen some twenty minutes later) who asked what my book was about, and who the writer was that wrote the blurb that is prominently featured on the book jacket and bookmark. He also happened to mention what his speciality was at the agency, then wished me good luck before taking his leave.

Twenty minutes later, two people who run our Affirmative Action department stopped by to tell me that they had received a complaint that I was selling PORNOGRAPHY, so they came down to investigate. For the next 15 minutes or so, we had a polite conversation on the following: trials and tribulations of what I personally went through in order to get this vending gig, what I had and didn't have displayed in my cube, and what I showed and didn't show in regards to the following images:




Purchase your autographed copy here!
 The one thing that they did make clear during the conversation, since the first thing out of my mouth when they told me that a complaint was made was, "Should I contact my union steward", was that this wasn't an employee issue, but a vendor issue. After further discussion, in which we both made salient points about our respective positions, it was strongly suggested that my vending gig should end for the day.

I politely said that I would do it one better, and not only would I end the vendor gig for the day, but I would take the rest of the day off, as I was truly upset about this and I didn't want to go back to work and have it poison the rest of my day (which my supervisor agreed to once I had explained to her what had happened).

The end result was that I sold 3 books prior to closing and one afterwards, and had at least four more that wanted to buy it after lunch (word of mouth does indeed work).

So, this is what I'm now forced to do if I want to sell my book: I will keep a small stack stashed in a backpack, which will be stored in my car. I'll take orders from people and will either retrieve right then and there, or mail it to them.

Speaking of mail, as promised, the link to purchase not only an autographed copy of my debut but an autographed copy of my chapbook and a special deal on a two-fer can be found at the last picture listed.

I'm not overly thrilled about my personal reputation taking unwanted body shots from narrow minded tools, but I tell you one thing, I will not back down from a fight. For those of you keeping score, this marks the third time in less than a year that I've gotten severely negative feedback about this book.

For any of you out there who are writers, or if you do things not related to writing, have you ever faced the issues that I'm facing with my book?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Three Weeks To The Day And I'm So Ready For This

On February 28, 2012, I announced that I finally accomplished this seriously major goal that I had set for myself.

On February 5, 2013, I will be having my very first book signing for Line 21, as I will be appearing as a vendor at my job. Even though I'll have a semi-captive audience, as the building isn't really open to the general public beyond the ground floor, this will be the first time that I'll be presenting myself to my co-workers as a writer, and not as a flaky co-worker. More importantly though, this vending gig will allow me to properly pimp my book without getting into trouble or violating the rules.

I'm pretty sure I got almost everything that I need for the book signing, but let me double check my list.

1} New business cards?


2} Business cards of the book cover?





3} Bookmarks?


4} Displays pimping the e-book? Absolutely!

5} Extension cords for the mini-DVD player? Yup!

6} DVD to show the potential book buyers what the book is all about?



7} But most importantly, do I have this bad boy in print to sell?


Damn straight that I do.

I have everything that I need in order to (hopefully) pull off this five hour book signing. I've also did as much word of mouth that I could get away with doing to let people know that I got this book signing happening.

I also like to point out that I did the one thing that probably all writers do when they publish their very first book and get their hands on a print copy: I drooled and spent a nearly a whole minute completely speechless as I opened the big ass 25lb box and took out a pristine copy to hold, study, read and basically savor.

Whether I wind up selling out of my initial purchase of 25 books or if I sell just one is beside the point (almost). The fact that I'm putting myself out in public to pimp something of my own that I really and truly believe in is seriously major step in the right direction for me.

I would like to close out this post by once again thanking everyone who have stuck by me through thick and thin, not only on this blog, but behind the scenes in the real world. I really couldn't have done this without your support or your encouragement. Without it, I don't think I would be doing what I'm doing now.

And I promise not only to post a link at my book blog where you can purchase an autographed copy after the book signing, but I promise to give you an update on Wednesday to let you know how everything went.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blue?

And now we finish our mini series about nudity and women in fiction by exploring the sixty-nine shades of diversity called censorship...umm....personal taste.

Tongue is not planted firmly in cheek. And if you really want me to go there, I will. Just not on this blog.
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No, not that kind of blue, although I haven't been that in a few years, but the kind of blue that people would say as a clean substitute for smut, and I'm not talking about the organic kind that is a bane to most wheat farmers.

I thought I would talk about how one can get banned without even knowing about it.

The other day I was on Facebook, trolling thru other people's conversation threads and checking out my notifications, when I came across one from someone who happened to invite me to an event that he created, in which one could share their book trailers.

I clicked on the notification and found myself reading a comment put forth by the creator of the event that contained the following guidelines.

1} No nudity, except classical art.
2} If it contains even a slight hint, a warning/disclaimer must be posted.
3} He reserves the right to remove any book trailer that he deems offensive.

As you can imagine, this did not go over very well with a few people, including myself, since it would virtually eliminate everyone in the erotica genre. It certainly eliminated me, because the only nudity contained in my book trailer is my book cover.


As for posting a warning or disclaimer, I think not. If I thought something of mine was obscene for Facebook, chances are excellent that you wouldn't see it on Facebook. I have a tendency to treat people as adults (the horror!) and thus responsible for their actions. If someone doesn't like something because they think its obscene, then they don't have to watch it.

By the flip of the coin, I don't like it when someone tries to censor me because they don't approve of what I have to say. Censorship and uneven enforcement of the rules were some of the reasons why I left the chat rooms and moved over to the blogs. And by saying that you reserve the right to yank my video if you're offended by it, kind of sounds like political correctness.

In any event, while I didn't go nuclear over this particular issue (and I really couldn't because I was invited to this event), I did voice my opinion about this little hitch in the giddyup, mostly because of the censorship/sanitizing of the event.

I did mention the fact, rather emphatically, that it is very hard for someone who writes quirky erotica to find a marketing opportunity for their work. A good chunk of the time people are a little leery in allowing a person to pimp their erotica.

In the end, I politely declined the invite and gave the reason why as being the rule about nudity that was instituted.

So how about you? Have you experienced something similar to what I went through? If you've created an event such as this, would you have the same rule in place?

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) 2008-16 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