Monday, November 23, 2015

Why You Should Review My Books

An Astoundingly Simple 3-Step Process 

A fair number of you have read my books. I know because you've told me in person or in emails or, in one unusual case, by bonded messenger. But the majority of you have not reviewed my books on Amazon. So far, my books are a waving hand far back in the upper rows of a crowded stadium. But that can change today provided you follow my simple three-step process:

First, visit my Amazon Author Page.

Second, select the book you have read, or perhaps, you would like to read. You may choose from:

A. Jury Doody - An excellent JP Mac starter essay detailing my experiences as a juror on a strange case of spousal abuse. Short and inexpensive; only in eBook.

B. The Little Book of Big Enlightenment - A fine fictional shredding of New Age religion and aggressive marketing as a guru and a Viagra salesman quarrel over the best way to sell "Condensed Enlightenment." Only in eBook.

C. Fifty Shades of Zane Grey - A parody of E.L. James mawkish tome set in the Old West. Young Anna Ironhead seeks love from railroad tycoon Lash Grey, but will she succumb
to Grey's bizarre eroticism that often acts involves rubber mittens and a cake. The sex is mostly implied, hardly any bad language, and the violence is cartoonish enough to take the sting out. Available in eBook and softcover.

Third, review the correct book.

Ah, but how? You've never reviewed anything. You're not an English major. Words escape you.

You could start by watching Yaasha Moriah's short video presentation on book reviewing for beginners:

Yassha writes speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy. Her video is well-lit and she speaks lucidly. In short order you'll learn how you need to identify the main character(s) and the conflict such as Jack and Jill needing to get up a hill, then leave the reader with a question on the main dramatic action. (Will Jack and Jill get up the hill?)

There are tips on listing pros and cons, alerting readers to potentially offensive content, and other simple-to-understand methods that'll have you first timers writing like pros in a heartbeat.

Why review my books? Well, once a book accrues over 50 reviews,  the algorithms kick in and your text shows up in all the right places on Amazon. Sales increase and I'll be able to afford a trainer to whip my big ass back into shape and avoid the heart attack that, by rights, should be parking out front of my life right now.

So give a watch. Review a book. Help make an overweight man healthy.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Blogging Ten Years at Write Enough!

(Image: prweb)

 Writing, Running, Medical Woes, TV Animation and Books

(And lately, quite a bit on H.P. Lovecraft.)

Last Saturday, November 14, marked my decade anniversary. Back then I was training to run my first marathon with Team in Training. To add links, italics, etc. to your posts, you had to enter html code. 
Now I'm a fat blob with more medical conditions that a small hospital and have trouble shagging my big butt anywhere but the refrigerator. But no more html. 

In 2005, I really thought blogs were a fad and didn't want to piss away my work on an electronic screen that no one, beyond my wife and a few friends, would ever read. 

I was mostly right. This blog wandered from place to place, event to event, much like me. Often it went through long periods of neglect, months without even a comment to mark its webly presence.  I've only recently cracked 200k unique views. Regular posters have come and gone while blogs themselves today carry the whiff of a 56k modem. But I'm glad I started. 

Knowing that whatever I write may well be read instantly has made me more conscious of what and how I compose, more aware of what can be left out. In short, it's improved my craft and for that I am grateful.

So happy anniversary Write Enough!

One day, I'll type the last post.

And I'm hoping it has nothing to do with medical woes.



Woodrow Wilson: Future PC Non-Person

Going, going, gone from the public eye. (Image: Indigogo)

Ex-Pres May Join Lovecraft as Historically Scrubbed

This happened faster than I predicted.

According to NBC News, protesters have finally discovered Woodrow Wilson's racism. After a sit-in:

"President Eisgruber and two other Princeton leaders . . . agreed to a number of actions including a request to Princeton's board of trustees about removing Wilson's name from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as well as to survey students about removing the name.

The university leader[s] also agreed to initiate a request for the removal of a mural of Wilson from a school dining hall, to enhance cultural sensitivity training for faculty, and to establish rooms on campus for "cultural affinity groups.

The students also secured immunity for those who occupied the president's office."

Of course, no one is saying you can't study Woodrow Wilson, or Lovecraft, without a trigger warning.

Just yet.
"Begone, foul, unclean reporter of news." (Image: Shot in the Dark)
And while evidence runs against me, I'll venture that we are witnessing the high water mark of pc bludgeoning. Maybe it's wishful thinking. But I believe we are destined to be decent to one another and communicate without indexing discourse to the feelings of the most hypersensitive and intolerant.

It's folly to judge historic figures from a century ago by early 21st Century politically correct standards. PC will fade. In time, all the ist and phobic words will appear as clunky and obtuse as cyclopean lawn gnomes.

Speaking of discredited Lovecraft, I eagerly await a book by French author Michel Houellebecq. Entitled H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, this work examines H.P.'s writing and influences. According to Amazon reviewer Tom Rogers:

"Houellebecq focuses on the sources of inspiration for Lovecraft and their impact on his creations and his narrative style. He seeks to show that Lovecraft's distinct voice derives from his psychology and biography. Dreams, racism, a minimalist personality and a crippling bonanza of paranoias, delusions, and depression are the raw material for the analysis . . . ."

In addition, Rogers observes that:

"Houellebecq makes the point pretty thoroughly that images of racial pollution and degeneration power a lot of HPL's stories, but it's worth nothing that while the horror writer talked a good racial game, he didn't really walk the walk. He married a Jewish Ukrainian and worked briefly on a propaganda book for the Italian government. These represent three races he claimed to despise."

Ah, a complex human being. A shame the World Fantasy Award was uncomfortable with nuance.

Click on the book link above and scroll down to read all of Rogers' review. It's the top one.

h/t for NBC NEWS:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Beta Reader Blues

Dan in a mysterious mood.    Image:

Why Can't They All Be Like Dan?

Dan is a speedy zephyr. Dan is a molecule of light, knifing through dark matter. Dan embodies all that is noble and fair in beta readers. Dan absorbs a 200 + page draft in a week—and provides notes. Are the other beta readers sluggish, poky? No. They are generous helpful souls aiding me in making my book better.

But there is only one Dan.

My health has been off-kilter the last three weeks, with minor colds, headaches, coupled with inertia and a drooping ennui, all garnished with mundane depression. I eat and sleep way too much. Since April, I've been focused on this novel. I've done paying work as necessary, but this horror-comedy text has commanded my passion in a way no other writing project has done in many a year.

When I finished on Nov. 2, I swore I would never attempt another novel.

I am outlining the next one now. This upcoming venture will be sci-fi and requires more research as it tells the tale of a resolute young man attempting to complete a simple task while avoiding death at the hands of scummy aliens and monstrous kaiju.

As to the Dunwich Diversity Seminar, I wrestle with a new title. Ideally, it would incorporate comedy, horror, H.P. Lovecraft, and pc professors. But that may be too much. I'll settle for unadorned horror as long as the image is compelling enough. So far, I've got:

Dunwich, Diversity and Death
The Lurker at the Faculty Meeting
Clash on Sentinel Hill
Miskatonic Masscre

More will follow, or be suggested.

Have a robust weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Radical Islam Strikes Paris

158 dead and counting.

"This is Hell"

On the subject of offending actions, I find myself sadly blogging once again about innocent people  slaughtered by Islamic terrorists. Here are a few thoughts:

Similarities between the massacre at the Bataclan Theater and Beslan. In both cases, killers shot innocent people while wearing suicide vests, then blew themselves up when security forces arrived, butchering additional victims. (A lot of children at Beslan.)

The war in Syria and Iraq is brutal, creating battle-hardened cadres who don't mind blood and aren't unafraid to die, thanks to their religious doctrine promising paradise to jihadis. They are trained in weapons, small-unit tactics, and won't do stupid things like the '93 World Trade Center truck bomber who was captured after returning to the rental company for his deposit. We're not gonna be that lucky with these guys.

We may have to alter American police procedure. Normally, cops seal off a hostage scene and attempt to negotiate. These Islamic goons seem down for a big body count. Cops need to be ready for dynamic entry into a very fluid, dangerous situation with many innocents present.

This kind of attack is more scary—to me—than 9/11 which was linked to airplanes and specific buildings. Something similar to these Paris attacks could erupt in any mall, movie theater, concert, sporting event. It's much more direct and personal.

The Council of American-Islamic Relations should not be interviewed after incidents like this. CAIR are Islamic boosters. If the University of Alabama football team went on a rampage and shot up a mall, the person to interview on the news would not be the guy with the Crimson Tide"bumper stickers who deplores the violence, then cries, "Roll Tide!"

Radical Islam is our foe, not "violent extremism."

My prayers to the families of the victims.

Lovecraft Out as Award Image


Easter Island statue in formal attire or ex-World Fantasy Award?

H.P. Banished by PC into Stygian Darkness 

Weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft's image will no longer grace the statues presented at the World Fantasy Award. According to organizers, authors and readers lobbied to have Howard Phillips likeness removed because he was an "avowed racist" with "hideous opinions." As reported in The Guardian:

"Last year's winner, Sofia Samara, who took the best novel prize in 2014 for A Stranger in Olondria, raised the issue in her acceptance speech, saying that "I can't sit down without addressing the elephant in the room, which is the controversy surrounding the image that represents this award." She told her audience that it was "awkward to accept the award as a writer of colour," [but not out of space] and thanked the board for taking the issue seriously."

I always thought Woodrow Wilson was a fairly big racist. U.S. President during Lovecraft's life, Wilson re-segregated the civil service and informed blacks that "segregation was a blessing." But he never wrote weird fiction and there are no award statues named after him, just high schools and bridges and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the hundred thousand dollar bill.

In time, he will offend and his name will be removed.

Perhaps by the light of a gibbous moon. 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Lovecraft Horror Book Draft Done

Image: Arctic-Andy

Dunwich Diversity Seminar Ready for Beta Buddies

Since my last update back in August, I have trimmed the manuscript to a more manageable size, suitable for the eyes of discerning readers. This tale of a party girl grad student who realizes she's the only one capable of saving earth from Lovecraftian monstrosities has fastened onto my subconscious with lamprey-like tenacity. For the last nine days, I've done little but edit pages. (I did eat meals and washed periodically.) But enough fiddling with this update of Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror. Away with this clash between the politically correct and a sinister warlock; off to the discerning toward the end of the week.

For the detail-minded, I cut 20 chapters down to 16; 304 pages to 216; and 99,386 words to 69,986. (I lopped off my funny, Lovecraft allusion-filled epilogue because it was anti-climatic.) This latest count doesn't include the, as yet, unwritten front and back matter.

And, as some may note, no Halloween release. As it stands now, I'll release the eBook version by Christmas and the soft cover shortly thereafter.

But for today, I will merely say, "Boy, am I happy to be finished."

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