2013 was a great year. Midnight Whistler Publishers put out Blue Standoff and Mars Quake. Ink Smith Publishers put out Adventures of a Space Bum, and I wrote ALONE over November. Along with being published by prestigious publisher, Ink Smith, I had a signing at the local Barnes & Noble, a milestone in any author's life.
My wife and I celebrated 19 years married, 24 actually together.
Her dad and mine are both doing great.
This year, I shed 40 lbs and took control of my nutrition. I let down my guard over Thanksgiving, but my pants are still falling off of me.
My health has never been better and I am surrounded by friends and family.
As I look forward to Christmas, I can safely say that there is not a single thing that you could buy and put in a box that I would wish for Santa to bring me. My needs are met and my desires are not tangible.
I am grateful to you, my loyal fans, friends and loved ones, for your support and caring. May we all have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year.
Every year as Halloween grows close, I grow very nervous. You see, for the past five years, and this year, I have begun a novel on November 1st.
The goal for me and thousands of other novelists around the world, is to write 50,000 words by the end of November. Now, I may joke about it, saying the words don't have to be in order, or that you can use only small ones, but the fact is, once I get going, I can't stop.
Here it is the 13th and I have over 54,000 words written. My story is nowhere near complete. I still have a main character to kill, a moving scene to describe and my hero to leave in a situation that touches the soul and brings a tear to the eye.
Every year I begin the same way, with some half-baked idea that I'm not really sure of, one that makes me wish I had read more books about writing, had read all those sites I bookmarked with tips about character development and plot outlining. Every year, I start each day writing 1100 words before lunch, often in my PJs. (Just kidding, I don't have any PJs.)
Every year I find myself in the pickle of sitting back, looking at the last chapter I wrote and wondering, "What in the world happens next?"
Yet, inexplicably, every year, I end up with a finished novel. I edit over December and January, have a few friends read it and do what I can to re-write it into a really good novel.
Three of those years I wrote a conspiracy theory series. The fourth year I wrote a sci-fi about a quake on Mars that reveals something in the red dirt. Last year, I had a police detective buying a DVD from the $2 bin and discovering that it was exactly like the case he was working on. That was fun to write.
This year, my book is called "Alone." It's about a woman who loses her husband and son in a car accident. Her life is shattered and on top of that she is being asked to move out of her house so that a full family can move in. (Things are different in the future.) She then gets chosen to become part of a project to start a colony on another planet. You'll have to read it to find out why and what happens after that. I wish I knew the whole story, but I haven't finished writing it yet.
Stay tuned for the exciting path this book takes. Or
It was made clear to me by a couple of friends that I had upset some people with my blog, "Why I Don't Want to Die." I apologize. My purpose was to show that the world is not yet perfect or even a great place to return to as a kid. I do believe in reincarnation so that is an option to me. If you don't, that's OK; we'll still be friends.
So I would like to now report that in the past six months, I have made some changes. My wife, Eileen, and I have given up coffee and alcohol for the most part, and went full vegan for three months. We are now adding a bit of organic chicken and ocean-caught fish, but the majority of our diet is fresh veggies, organic and mostly raw. We are also following a regimen of herbal remedies of one Doc Shillington of New Mexico to good result.
Eileen has lost a little over 30 lbs and I have lost 40 lbs, though weight loss was not the primary goal. Thought I was told I had "spots" on my very expensive PET scan, I have not had any invasive surgery, radiation or chemo. I have no symptoms and what few external signs I show have grown smaller. I feel 40 again. It turns out Cancer thrives in an Acid environment and cannot grow or exist in an Alkaline environment. So if you only eat foods that are alkaline, not acidic, you will kill whatever is eating you.
In other good news: Ink Smith Publishing has signed my book, Adventures of a Space Bum and the release is this month. Watch for it.
On top of all that: my recent release, Blue Standoff, is available and making sales. Mars Quake will be out in September. The release party will be in the Basetti Art Tile Studio in Raleigh on the first.
So you see, all is well. Thanks for bearing with me.
The innovations of the internet have made a writing career far more lucrative and valuable than it would have been about 15 years ago. With such a heavy emphasis being placed on text as a means of search engine optimization, the written word has seen a resurgence in worth due to such a high online demand.As a result, today’s independent writer has an incredible opportunity to reach more people than ever before because of the ability to use the internet, not only as a source of employment, but as a high-traffic marketing medium.
There are more online tools and methods available to a writer than ever before, and knowing how to properly use those tools and leverage them for exposure will make a tremendous difference in the amount of eyes that see their material.
In general, writers will have two primary approaches they can utilize to self-promote their work online. Promoting Content via Online MediumsIn this scenario, a writer will use one of the following mediums to promote content that they are working on and build a potential readership, which is invaluable for anyone looking to be published.
-- In this case, you use your blog to promote your material
; it would act as a running commentary on your book, discuss things that pertain to the same topic as that material, and allow you to connect to your audience on a personal level.
● Guest Blogging
-- While you need to avoid pure marketing and salesmanship, guest blogging is a great way to at least mention and link to outside work.
● Social Media
-- In this case, simple marketing and sales pitches are more acceptable; however, you still want to season it with actual value and substance.
These are all mediums you can use to freely promote and market your writing (and eventually, novel), all while generating organic awareness and interest.
Social media is a familiar part of the toolbox and it provides you with an easy way of engaging with people who are interested in what you’re writing about while also giving you the opportunity to promote your content and get more eyes on what you’re doing.
In fact, it is even possible to set up a website
specifically for fielding all of your updates, which can be helpful if you have a particularly active social media presence. Building a Freelance Writing Career
Your second approach is a bit more straightforward, in that you use the internet as a platform for freelance writing and contribution to actual blogs and websites. Instead of writing content for publication outside of those mediums, you’re writing it for them.
A lot of the methodology gets repeated here. Essentially, you are trying to build an online presence
as a reputable and reliable writer.
In this vein, you become a private contractor or independent consultant of sorts, where you offer your service to blogs and websites and, with time, build a solid online resume and repertoire.
Your work will typically land in one of the following places:
● Your own blog
-- Contributing material to your own blog for your loyal readers and RSS subscribers is the most basic form of freelance writing.
● Other people’s blogs
-- As a guest poster, you can easily market your own name and brand by offering up valuable and informative posts for other people’s blogs. It’s a win-win for both parties.
● Business blogs and websites
-- Often times, business blogs and websites will pay for content since their employees are usually busy with other work.
● Online portfolios
-- Once you have a collection of work, setting up an online portfolio is a good way to showcase your work and offer people a quick solution if they want to see writing samples. A Good Time to Start
Everyone’s online marketing strategy is unique to their situation and experience; however, while we might see variation from person to person, the overall strategy and approach remain the same, and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future.
The internet has made it now a better time than ever to be a writer. Those who feel they have the patience and work ethic to pave their own way as an independent author and contributor have all the tools right at their fingertips.
If you’ve got the drive, now would be a great time to take advantage of it. Marcela De Vivo
is a freelance writer from Los Angeles who covers everything from health & wellness to music, travel, and gaming. After promoting her work and building up her freelance career, she now specializes in social media marketing to help other writers gain exposure.
Today, I've decided to lighten up. I realize that my recent blogs, "Why I Don't Want to Die" could have been upsetting to some and I apologize for that. I truly meant to say that a child today has a great many pitfalls to traverse on his or her road to a full and rewarding life. In other words, we have a lot of work to do - I still have a lot of work to do.
So here is a lighter post from a lighter person: To wit: I have lost 15 lbs in two weeks by eating certified organic, raw vegetables. Yes, folks, the man who once survived on a loaf of bread, a glass of wine and thee beside me has gone vegan. Luckily, so has the person beside me. Eileen has lost as much and is the better for it.
There is other good news: Two (2) publishing companies have agreed to publish my fiction works. Wavelength Publishers has contracted to publish "Mars Quake" about something that appears on the surface of the red planet after a seismic event. Ink Smith Publishing has contracted to publish "Adventures of a Space Bum" about a young woman who travels around the universe in an automated space repair vehicle. Look for the former out in spring and the later out in the following fall.
As for me, my change in lifestyle includes study and search for insight into my spiritual self as well, in order to better equip me for the journey to come. This is Earth, after all. Nobody gets out alive.
Encroaching Government Meddling
In a couple of my novels, I have touched on implants. As I write this, GPS tracking devices are in our cars, in our phones and in our laptops. In 1994, a friend of mine wrote a very intelligent book called Microchipped: How the Education Establishment Took Us Beyond Big Brother. In it she told of the plot to install tracking chips in children. Today, a short decade later, the "School Locator Program" is installing chips in children to locate, track, monitor and spy on them, beginning with Texas schools. It's a trial balloon to gauge the level of public resistance in the wake of shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. Implanted locator chips are being commercially sold for pets and grandparents, to keep them from wandering off. Rich folk are being sold them for their children to protect against kidnapping. The government is putting such chips in combat soldiers for easy identification of bodies. It's a short jump to making them mandatory for every man, woman and child on the planet. If you don't understand how that would be bad, my explanation will not make any sense to you either.
In my present state, at 68, with the doctors hovering to pick over my bones, I still have the potential to cry out against these things. As a child, I would be at their mercy. Therefore, it is not the wrath of a vengeful god that I fear, nor the promise of a heaven or hell choice, but the prospect of birth and all that follows that frightens me. With that in my future, I'm going to hang on as long as possible.
Besides, Star Wars VII is coming out in March of 2015 and I don't want to miss it.
War is an acronym for "We Are Right." Nobody wins a war, there are just lesser losers. The children are the biggest losers in a war. Today, there is war around the globe. Some you hear about and some you don't. If a child survives a war until it is a young adult, the child is called into service, sent into battle and killed. Those who do survive today's wars come out broken, with more labels consisting of labels. PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If a country is going to send it's young men and women off to war to get most of them killed and the rest of them permanently damaged with PTSD, why don't the people of the world get smart and ban war? War is bad for children and other living things.
There used to be hundreds of types of corn. I would go to the county fair and see corn of all colors and sizes. We had yellow corn at the table, but I wanted to taste the other corn, the red corn, the black corn, the golden corn. But now Monsanto has given us one strain of yellow corn. If someone grows something else, Monsanto lets their corn blow into the neighboring fields and then sue them to take over their farms. Then Monsanto becomes larger and grows more yellow corn. There are countries that will not allow genetically altered foods to be grown within their borders. Maybe I'll get born there. That could be nice. Or maybe not.
There are places, I'm sure that there are places in the USA as well as the rest of the world, where children toil in sweat shops, where eleven-year-old children are forced to marry, where slave labor begins early in life. In China, little children work to make electronics that rich, American children simply must have or they throw a fit. In many countries, girls and women are not allowed education. There are places where famine and disease are the rule, not the exception. The millions spent to elect a politician, spent to throw a party for a useless celebrity, spent on mind-altering drugs, would be much better spent wiping out disease, hunger and abuse of people around the world.
Further down-sides to reincarnation:
At thirteen, one's body changes, as the sexual attributes begin to develop. The pressure to engage in sexual activities, as stated above, is high. These days there are free condoms given out at school, classes on sexual education, including alternative lifestyles should I want to try one of those. Even in
elementary school, there are books entitled "Billy has Two Mommies" or "Sally has Two Daddies." The opportunities to stay a child until one is ready to grow up are few and under constant assault. If I'm a kid, I want to stay a kid for a while before I am forced to enter the adult world prematurely.
There are people who listen to me. I appreciate them. It's nice to be listened to, to have your opinion count, to have something to say, even if only on Facebook, and to have someone "like" it. To begin anew with absolutely no credibility is frightening. Not only will I have to learn to talk again, I'll have to wait years until someone will take anything I say seriously. Even if I say something wise, they'll just look at each other and say, "Ain't he the cutest thing?" If I am born a girl, incidentally, it will take twice as long to gain credibility.
In the Sixties, I sang songs of tolerance, marched for civil rights and learned to treat those of other colors and races as equals. I thought we handled all that then. What happened? There is still racial prejudice in this country and in others. I am currently one of the "new minority," a white male. There are people who hate me for being white, for being not Hispanic, for being at all. Suppose I am born black? Will white people hate me? Suppose I am born of a mixed family? Will I spend my growing years trying to find my place in the world? Prejudice is a terrible thing; for children, it is worse.
"That's not fair!" was the battle cry of my growing years. We expected grownups to correct the injustices of the world. Instead, they just said, "The world isn't fair, kid. Get used to it." The world still isn't fair. Congress is costing our soon-to-be-bankrupt country a fortune while doing nothing. Presidents spend hundreds of millions getting elected and spend the next four years campaigning
for the next election. Courts are overloaded, prisons our full and there are two many laws not to break one every time one goes out of the door. How can a child grow up in a world that calls itself intelligent and is still not fair?
(more to come)
Further down-sides to reincarnation:
Every school has one. They make adjudications as to what is going on with you and prescribe drugs to make you less aware of your surroundings. If it is a beautiful spring day and your mind wanders, they will give you a label with letters instead of words. ADD, ADHD and all that nonsense. With the label comes the intensive testing and with the intensive testing comes the prescriptions. Once the cycle begins, it goes to an inevitable conclusion and then you're sunk.
Which brings us to: Child Drugging:
Ritalin is amphetamine, a drug. It changes how you behave. In children, it makes you quiet and manageable. Good for the teacher in the overcrowded classroom, bad for the child. Young adults applying for military service who are found to have a Ritalin history are often refused because they cannot take orders or be trusted with a weapon. What does that do for the child's chances of a CEO position, a teaching credential or public office? Each time a drug is revealed to do more harm than good, it is pulled, repackaged, renamed and put out as a new, improved product. Psychiatrists give drugs to children, often without parental consent. Schools get a stipend for each child on drugs. Every school shooting involved the shooter being on prescription drugs and under the care of a psychiatrist. Do I have to go on?
It is my understanding that there is more peer pressure today than in my school years for a child to engage in harmful activities. The pressure to have premature sex, to take street drugs (or prescription drugs for recreation) or to join gangs and engage in criminal activities is higher today than ever, or so I am lead to believe. Peer pressure was a bitch in the late 40's and 50's; imagine what it is
More drawbacks to reincarnation:
I was horrible to my little sister when she was a baby. I was also pretty intolerable
to my parents. Why they didn't abandon me early in life is a tribute to their
patience. So when I get born, what if there are older brothers and sisters just
waiting to reek retribution on my head? Will I survive long enough to enjoy
brotherly and sisterly love?
It's always best, in my humble but well-traveled opinion, to have two parents. Even
if they both work, as mine did, it's good to have two. I had friends who spent
every third weekend at their dad's two-bedroom apartment in town, putting up
with the girlfriends and boyfriends that followed such breakups. They were
unhappy, spiteful children who knew the world was out to get them.
Egad! What a place to put a child! I either walked to school or took a public bus or
trolly. Today, a yellow bus pulls up and takes you where the school board has
determined you should go. The school bus is said to be a horrible place where
one can lose one's shoes, lunch money, homework or patches of hair. The
classrooms are over-crowded, the studies are more to do with how you feel about
it all rather than how to read, write and cypher. Too many children come out of
public school ill-prepared for higher education or for the workplace. There are
other dangers in public school.
When I was a kid (this time around) I worried about getting beaten up, having my lunch
money stolen or losing teeth, which happened a few times. Today, the kids carry
guns and are on drugs. You can get shot in school, and not from some nut case.
There are neighborhoods where children die regularly from gun and knife wounds
and it is not reported in the news. Anyone larger, meaner or traveling in packs
can be a danger in today's schools. Parents wring their hands but are rendered
powerless by the school board. School boards sit around and vote on which school
bus you will be intimidated on. As a child, just going to school for the first
time at the age of five, or four or - these days - three, I will be at the mercy
of the gangs.
(More to come)