Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My bog is dying... (a non IWSG-sanctioned post:)


My blog is dying...

And yet, I'm looking on, detached and only a little worried.

I'm sad because I've put three + years of work into this here thang, but I think I'm okay if I never write another post again.

I'll always be a writer - just not sure if I'm always going to be a blogger.

I'm a *horrible* return commenter, so I know I've lost a bunch of people due to my lack of support to their blogs, but I do have a few questions:

Have you ever lost the hunger to post?

How did you combat/fix the problem?

I'm curious to hear, if you have the time...

Thanks in advance :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG - The Auntology Edition


Today is IWSG… and also the deadline to submit for there new auntology!
This month's awesome IWSG co-hosts are: Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness and Fundy Blue. Thanks, y'ell. 

Oh, and by the wee, my name is Mark.
 I’ll be your swerver tonight. I hope you enjoy.
If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.
My entrĂ©e below for the auntology is entitled: What not to do marketing wise.

Today, I’m here to speak about my success in marketing. My thanks to Warden Hashtag, who first suggested I share some valuable tips—for a few laughs. Warden, #ThisOneIsForYou.

Initially, I'd like to bandy about, nay discus, and throw over some general ideas about your Novel.
For brevity, I’ll assume the position (cough) that you’re not writing Non-Friction.
Thus, the burning issue is for all intense and porpoises caused by Friction -- and what it means in this hot and cold world of readers.

Let's began! 
·         As a young, or established otter, you always want readers to come back for more. Easiest way to achieve this goal? Leave the book unfinished!

Think of a fancy novel cuisine restaurant. Their plates are big, portions are small, butt customers always leave hungry for more.

However, even if your wok isn’t finished, don't forget it should always be critiqued by other writers and “beater readers”
(Many are online. Mine live locally and always beat the crap out of me—for wasting their time, hence the name.)

·         One of my favorite marketing tips is the actuary storyline itself.

Some consider storyline to be added baggage that takes away from the look of the book, so I ask u: Is storyline really that important?

A few will say yes; but to me, it’s a mute point. I’ve found it’s more important to carry a large book under one’s arms than actually use a book for something so pedantic as reading.

(With Candy Crush, Angry Birds, free online slots and other intellectually stimulating movements available on the Spindle, who has the extra time?)

·         Squeaking about the look of the Book, covers are very important.

It’s important (did you notice how I entertwined two “importants” in just two sentences? This itself is an important tip. Good writers know now that the knowledge they learn now—and tomorrow, too—is important. I know. Do you know? You know now, don’t you! Ha, let’s continue, shell we.)

Ah yes, Book covers. The best ones are those heavy duty plastic types found in many good prison (and pubic) librarys.

You know, the transcendental ones that are so thick it’s hard to even read the title. Your bookshelf will have a uniform look that will make the hardest nail of a guard crack a smile, instead of a lemur.

·         Make sure you have a good editor.

They’re great resorts for when you write peaces like this one, only I created this myself this time.
            (Don’t worry, I’m a trained professional writing on a closed ciruit.)

Heaving an editor is important not only for the counting of words, but for the grammer and puckutuation, too.

·         And finally, pricing. I see a lot of books priced at various pricing.
Which is great and all, but to me, a good book is worth nothing less than $20.
It’s a clean, neat fissure and there’s no need to buy one of those little “give a penny, take a penny” plastic holders.

·         PS… The photo on the back of the book, and the author bio are useful for deflecting negative criticism, when the usual one of two people not understand the greatness of what they carry under their arms.

I suggest pulling random pictures on Instirgram (a man’s picture for a guy writer makes it easier) and bio information can be cut and plastered from Myspace.
(No one’e ever on there anymore.)

·         And finally, whatever you do, don’t wear a coconut bra and grass skirt… unless you can pull this fashion move off. 


Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated Treasures BlogFest (Hear Gary Scream!!)

Today is Alex’s Underrated Treasures blogfest.

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!
Post about your favorite unknown – MOVIE – BAND/ARTIST – TV SHOW – BOOK
Post about one or all four – dealer’s choice


I’m going with all four, (sadly there is no Hawaiian Hula Attire For Men section.)
To keep it real, y’all, one of my answers is, gasp, not real! It’s a Red Lemming.
Can you guess which one is the colorful cliff-jumper? :)

Movie: Traffic (Powerful movie shows how drugs do so much so evil, so quickly…)

Band: Rick Astley (Never Going to Give You Up? … Anyone? :)

TV Show: Luther (Available on Netflix. Alice should be in chains :)

Book: On Writing by Stephen King (So many people haven’t heard of IT :)

Thanks, Alex and happy Blogfest everyone.
PS: Gotta dash to Gary’s blog… can’t wait…I’m sure he’s been on pins and needles waiting for his post to go live :)


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Writing and the Angels...


For those who enjoy baseball, you may already know that while you were sleeping last night, my beloved Angels won the 2014 American League West Division.

It was such an improbable way to clinch!! If you want to check it out, here's a 3-min compilation video .

For those who don't give an owl's calling about America's Pastime,  bear with me.. there is a point... on how the Angels compare to you at home, writing alone :)

The Angels were not supposed to finish well this year (or say, complete an ms)

They had a lot of major setbacks in the middle of the year (kinda like when plot holes, "life," or no time to write happens.)

And yet, the team never quit... they never gave up on each other. (just like the Blog community coming together to read, crit and support all.)

Today, the Angels are in the playoffs, but they still have to win the Division, then the League Championships before they get to the World Series...
..And then they have to win that to be the big dogs...

(Which sounds a little like when an ms is written, you need to find an agent/publisher OR work through the various challenges/needs of self-pubbing.)

My point is...

At the beginning of the journey, so much is hoped for, but must be earned.

In the middle, *something* will happen to try and derail you.

And, in the end, it's how you handle the trials that lead you to the triumphs :)

Happy Writing.. and here's to the Angels and  playoff baseball in October :)

Photos Credit: Angels Media.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 - Memories of a Former Foreigner

(This is the annual "reprinting" of my inaugural post on Sept. 11, 2011 - lest I one day forget why I wrote it.)


The thing I remember most about 9/11 is how selfish I felt - at the very beginning.

September 11th was supposed to be the day I paid my debts and made some serious money. I clearly remember the last thing I said as my balding head hit the soft pillow on the 10th: "Tomorrow is going to be a great day, man, tomorrow is going to be a great day."

Source: Anthony Grimley
Five months prior to 9/11 and new to California, I had met several fellow Irishmen at a pub or six, which networked into an interview with a starched suit who looked me up and down to see if I could sell gold coins.

"I can sell a Yankees hat in Boston, or a Cowboys jersey in New York, surely I can sell a little coin over the phone?" I said, full of the optimism of the uninformed American sports fan.

My new boss didn't really care. I'd earn a bare stipend for a couple of months, and then work on one hundred percent commission, so no skin off his nose.

They call the big investors "whales," and it took five months of living off credit cards to reel two in. One lived in New York; the other was in Jersey. I arranged great deals with both retired men; deals that culminated on Monday the 10th, and happy as a pig in a blanket, I later went for a few drinks with the boys, having promised my whales that they'd receive the official paperwork via fax before noon EST Tuesday.

That's the only reason I was up at 5:50 a.m. PST, but as soon as I saw the plane hit the second tower just after 6 a.m. my time, I knew the deals were done - and so was I. (I had no clue how bad it would be - did anyone?)

I wallowed in pity for about thirty-five minutes until I heard another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. Driving to work in my new, unpaid-for Mustang, I jumped up as far as my seatbelt would allow, and let out a scream of hurt and anger I hope my ears will never again endure.

As an immigrant with naturalization papers in process, I had no doubt that the attack was on my country (I swore in July 3, 2003,) and my people.

In October 2001, I tried joining the USAF, but the recruiter told me a 19-year-old's pay "ain't going to take care of the credit problems belonging to a 31-year-old."

On 9/11, as always, I'll wear my Liz Claiborne WTC shirt that I bought 'cos the Statue of Liberty looks cool in the forefront (it was 2002 before I "saw" the Twin Towers for the first time.) I will also reflect on how I awoke thinking only about me, but ended the day thinking only about "U.S." and the thousands whose lives had been destroyed by hate and fear.

May the good God bless the souls of all those lost on 9/11, and Lord, please continue to protect those who, with a servant's heart, always run into harms way while we scream to get the hell out of there.

Thomas J. Foley, 32, Rescue 3, FDNY, died in the collapse of Tower 2, WTC, New York, 9.59 am, 9/11/01. RIP

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