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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everybody Hurts...sometimes

(To be read while "Everybody Hurts" by REM plays automatically in the embedded jukebox at the bottom of the blog).

Originally, I was planning on beginning this post with the question, "Is there anybody out there?" It would have been a little Pink Floyd for your day, and who doesn't need a little Floyd?

In the end, however, I decided to go with the feelings that had been driving me to address this topic in the first place, and that was a little bit of frustration, melancholy and the "blues". It certainly wasn't depression or anything like that. Let's be clear. However, ever since I was a teenager, I have handled these types of situations the same; bottle them up and turn on the music! I used to sit in my bedroom and listen to songs just like "Everybody Hurts" for hours. One would have thought that I might have made myself worse with depressing songs like that, but somehow I felt better afterward. Maybe I felt like others were sad or lonely just like I was, and that we were all "suffering" together. I don't know.

I have been blogging since January, learning on the fly much of the way. Now I am on three different blogs. On this one, I have 70 followers. On my Facebook author's page, I have 156 followers. Lastly, on Twitter, I have 56 followers. Certainly some of those are repeats, but in all of those wonderful possibilities, I very often receive few comments. Each time I post, be it Wicked Writers, Something Wicked This Way Comes or Dance on Fire, I post a note and link on Facebook and Twitter. If it is one of the other two blogs, I always come back here and post a note and a link.

Does anyone else go through periods where you wonder whether anyone is paying attention? You spend a great deal of time writing a post, polishing it and double-checking that everything is perfect, only to have one or two people leave a note. How do you deal with it?

Perhaps many of you out there have so many followers now that this never happens to you anymore. Can you recall the early days of blogging when the feedback was pretty non-existent. Would your advice simply be to keep at it and trust that the folks will be attracted to what you're doing eventually?

Lately, I have been busy. I lost my pc for a week when it got hit by a virus. It's okay now, but I did buy myself a laptop before that happened. However, between nearly 11 hours a day at my day-job, three blogs and an on-line magazine that I write for, I have spent very little time following my favorite blogs. Is that the key? The fact that everyone else is in much the same boat? Reading, reviewing, writing, working day-jobs, too?

There were two reasons, I think, for sitting down to write this post. First, to feel sorry for myself for a moment and then to get rid of the useless emotion that it is! Secondly, to write something constructive and real. Perhaps other bloggers might be feeling some of the same things and are struggling with it like I was, albeit briefly.

Actually, I'm sounding quiet cavalier about the subject, when in fact it bothered me this weekend more than I'm letting on. I had a post for Wicked on Friday, a restaurant review for Kings River Life Magazine and another post for Something Wicked, but heard very little back. I'm better now, but it did bother me.

How many of you have gone through the same thing? How did you get over it? Maybe you are going through much the same right now. I hope not.

Unfortunately, a fellow supervisor at my workplace was found dead of an apparent heart attack Monday morning by his 14 year old son. He was 51. That may have had something to do with getting me through the "woe is me" period that had taken hold during the weekend. If we could ask him, I bet he wouldn't be too worried about posting something that very few, if any, had read.

Perspective. That was what I had needed after feeling sorry for myself. I hope I don't soon forget it.

If any of you have felt the same, I hope to hear from you. If not, good; but say hello anyway. If you end up being too busy to stop by and never know that this post was written, I promise to hold my head up and not let it get me down.

And I certainly hope that you weren't able to stop by because you had way too much on your plate, and unable to enjoy the day. I would think that my departed friend, Russ Garcia (God rest his soul and bless those young children that he left behind), would have much to say about that.

We'll talk soon.

Postscript: If you are new to this song and have never seen the video, you should. I tried to post it here, but Warner Bros. records would have none of that. Follow the link to YouTube and check it out here. I've watched it twice these past few days, myself.
In about a week, I'll add some new tunes...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something Wicked...

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I just wanted to drop you a quick line, letting you know about something new. I am honored to have been invited to help out with fellow Vamplit Publishing Authors' Nicole Hadaway and Marissa Farrar's blog, Something Wicked This Way Comes. There, the ladies bring reviews and articles concerning film, books and anything else to do with the paranormal. Sometimes the subject matter may be dark and horrific, other times simply intriguing and odd.

As fate would have it, I had been planning to do a review of another fellow Vamplit Author, Timothy Hobbs' and his novel, The Pumpkin Seed. I read it because I had been curious about it for a long time. If you like dark vampire stories, I think I may have something for you. So impressed with the work was I, that when the opportunity to work with Something Wicked... came up, I thought it might be the perfect time to do so.

Nicole and Marissa are really talented and I am pleased to work with them in any capacity that I can. I hope you'll swing by and have a look. I'll see you there.

We'll talk soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Goin' On?

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. Forgive me for posting rather infrequently, not that I was the most scheduled of bloggers. Things continue to get interesting.

Hopefully you are a fan of Wicked Writers. This week, the prompt was who we thought were the great writers writing today and/or who were our favorite writers. I weighed in and you can read what I wrote here. Please don't read only my post. We have quite the stable of writers over there who bring so much to the table. It's okay if you end up liking one of the others better than me. I'll forgive you. ;)

On Saturday morning, my latest article for Kings River Life Magazine will be out. This time I try my hand at a restaurant review. Since most of you will not be able to fly out to the Central Valley of California in order to try the cuisine, I hope you will be able to taste enough of it by the end of the review.

I have also had the pleasure of accepting a contributing position at Something Wicked This Way Comes, Nicole and Marissa's joint venture. I look forward to helping out there however I can. We're still working out the details, but hopefully we will have something fairly soon. Perhaps as soon as early next week. Both of those ladies are talented and have been fantastic to me. I look forward to gracing their blog.

This year has been flying past. I have spent the time doing PR for my e-book, Dance on Fire, and very soon will happily switch gears as it becomes a paperback. Details should be following as summer turns to fall. I will then be handing over the sequel, Dance on Fire: FlashPoint for a winter 2010/spring 2010 simultaneous paperback and e-book release.

I thank all of you who have been following along with me on this ride, be it here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Thank you for your well-wishes and encouragement. Even when you have stopped by only to say hello, it has been wonderful.

We'll talk soon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Musings

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Long time, no see.

I'm afraid that no one has heard much from me in about a week. I had just finished my two week vacation and was back at work when I received a text from my wife, informing me that our pc had a virus. We attempted to fix the problem, but were unable. My hard drive is in the hands of others right now, and hopefully will be returned cleaned.

Thankfully, I had my iPhone; however, it isn't quite the same.
Many of you are aware that I blog not only here, but with Wicked Writers. Also, I work for Kings River Life Magazine, a local on-line magazine in my area. With all of that, as well as my fiction writing, I needed something.

Today I went and bought myself a laptop. Yes, that's me in the grainy photo, learning how to use the nifty new web cam. One good thing is I will no longer have to fight my family to get to the desktop. Another, attempting to write while in our living room is not easy. You should see me wearing headphones and listening to classical music in order to drown out the family noise: television; my X-Box 3 son
yelling into his microphone as he and his buddies kill aliens or foreign armies; and my other son, playing his Baritone.

In any event, I'm glad to be back. I have met some cool and interesting folks on Twitter in the past week and they all have blogs that I can't wait to visit. I plan to begin doing that now...just as soon as I allow my wife to have time to check out her Facebook!! LOL!

I told you it's been a week!!

Thankfully, we'll be talking soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Circle of Friends Award

Greetings. So the other day, one of my newest friends blessed me with an award. She is Carole Gill over at Demon Vampire Horror. Right now you're thinking to yourself, "Just what does someone from a place called, "Demon Vampire Horror", give you? Red meat? A horse's head to wake up to? I assure you that it was nothing like that. The blog title might be scary, and her writing might be good and scary, but Carole is a sweetheart!

A good friend of Carole's gave it to her, and then she passed it along to myself and four others. That's really all that one needs to do with it: pass it to five others that mean something special to you and let them know. That's it.

Carole gave the award to a few of the same people that I might have wanted to give it to. Wendy over at W.J. Howard, Gaynor over at Vamplit Publishing (by boss and hero for loving the unpolished novel that I sent her), and lastly, Marissa Farrar . These wonderful people represent some of the first who greeted me in this new world of writing/publishing. I adore them and thank them for all that they have meant to me in this pivotal first year. One not included in this list is Nicole Hadaway. If you know her, then you know why I will not add anything to her plate right now, other than to mention that she has been fantastic to me as well, and I count her as a friend.

I could simply have given this award to those mentioned and I would have been perfectly justified; however, I have met some new people who have become very special to me, too. So, rather than give those above a sugar rush from too much love, I will give this award to the following:

Lola Sharp over at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Julie Musil
Jenny Baranick over at Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares
Maria Zannini
And last, but certainly not least: C. J. Ellisson over at C.J.'s Daily Grind and/or Wicked Writers.

If any of you are unfamiliar with the aforementioned folks, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit. They will add a little light to your world as they have to mine.

Thank you so much, ladies.

We'll talk soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wicked Writers Friday

Happy Friday, Fire Enthusiasts. I have to remind myself of the days since I have been on vacation for two weeks and haven't been writing the date all day while at work. You know what happens, right? What's the date? Excuse me, what's today?

The reason that I am posting this morning is to let you know that today is Wicked Writers' Friday. This means that I am posting today. This week, the prompt was the future of books in the next five years. I begin my post by discussing some very interesting things that are no doubt on their way, making the reading experience potentially more interesting.

Then we make a nasty u-turn, because I have been hearing and reading so many comments from people who seemingly don't want to even hear about e-books. That's when the fun begins.

The article was supposed to be informative, engaging and fun. I hope the folks don't get too riled up. We'll see. You can read the article here.

But, please, don't just read my post. The team has come up with some very interesting things to say, coming at you from several different angles. We have Anastasia Pergakis, a first post from J.D. Brown and wait until you see what we've got from George Allwynn. He's still getting comments!

Thanks so much.

We'll talk soon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lola's Contest

Greetings. I want to thank everyone who took the time to listen while I ranted about the lost art of covering a yawn that I posted the other day. There's still plenty of time to catch it if you missed it.

The other reason I am posting this morning is to assist my friend Lola who is hosting a contest. Yeah! I know; Kinks and Barry Manilow. [whispering] She's heard it all, so let's keep it to ourselves, shall we? Here's the link to her Sharp Pen/Dull Sword blog. You can find the details there. If you don't know Lola, I recommend that you meet her. She's cool people!!

Lastly, my take on the future of books and e-books will be up Friday morning on Wicked Writers. I hope you'll surf on over and have a look. Feel free to correct me if you feel it necessary. Hopefully, those of you on the fence with regards to e-books will see my point.

We'll talk soon

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Rant

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there. Please excuse me for a moment, will you? I'll get to you in a minute. I'm looking for something. It's killing me, too, because I just had it yesterday. What in the world could I have done with that damn box? Ah! There it is, hiding in plain sight.

You just never know how important a box is until you don't have it. Am I right? Sometimes you need it to house some of George Carlin's stuff, sometimes it is your own stuff. When you are moving, you may need a great many boxes in a great many sizes. Other times, you simply need one box. Like today. At this very moment in time all I need is one moderately-sized box. It doesn't need to hold very much. In fact, I will not be putting anything in it at all.

It just needs to support my weight.

That's right. It's a soapbox! And you, my friend, will be my audience. Thanks for volunteering.

What's that you say? You didn't volunteer. At least you don't remember having done so. Well, that's alright. I'm here. You're here. Think of this as Hotel California. You know: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Let us begin, shall we? Now, now, come back. I have a place for you

I have something that I would like to rant about. Since I'm on vacation this week, none of my 100+ employees are forced to listen. My kids have heard this before...many times. They neither approve of what I am about to say, nor do they feel compelled in the least to sit here and be forced to listen to it yet again. Why I cannot control my two boys, I'll never know. I'm sure it has something to do with past practices, but I am reluctant to agree that the blame is mine. Naturally, I blame their mother!

Kidding, of course.

Just what, you ask, is the subject of this rant? Procrastination? Ha! You're an amusing one. NO! IT IS NOT! It is the yawn! What? What do you mean by that laughter? I assure you that it is quite important, indeed. Stop that laughter at once. I beg you. (Please.)

From my kids, to my employees, to the man on the street, and finally to the cute woman that I just happened to stare at for a full minute; would you all please cover your mouths when you yawn! My children do this incessantly, and when I correct them, they complain that I am the only person on the face of God's Green Earth that gives a rip about this. Well? Am I? I look forward to comments.

Wait! Not you. I'll allow you to leave, but not just yet.

My wife just reminded me that President George Washington had once weighed in on this topic. I looked it up. Apparently, while only 16 (my eldest son's age - I should show him this, If I could only trap him as I have you), copied an English translation of a French book on manners. It was entitled, Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour: In Company and Conversation. Among the 110 points that he made, he made the following: "If you cough, sneeze, sigh, or yawn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yawning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside."

Thank you, Mr President. I never thought I would here myself saying that.

To my children, I say: "Do what I tell you, damn it!" Oops! Did I say that aloud? Okay, let's try that again. "Please, guys, it really isn't just me."

To my employees: "Are you bored? I do have other things that I need done today if you would like more tasks assigned to you..." That's what I thought.

To the man on the street: "If I want to see someone with a chunk of food hanging out of their teeth, I'll watch Jaws again!"

To the cute woman in her early forties that I was staring at, I apologize for that. I assure you that I discontinued staring when I noticed you yawn. You see, you have a great many features with which to attract someone. Unfortunately, your gaping maw is not one of them.

Thanks for listening. I will let you leave now.

We'll talk soon. ;)