Tag Archives: humor

They Say, They Say, They Say, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

The point of this blog is something I have probably mentioned before. Being that it brings with it such a lack of understanding, I believe it bears mentioning again.

I’m sure we’ve all heard a phrase such as, “They say it’s gonna be hot today,” or perhaps, “They say if you don’t rotate your tires, they’ll wear unevenly.” Finally, they say, “If you sneeze with your eyes open, they’ll pop out of your head.”

Now, we have to ask ourselves who is “they” since “they” have a massive amount of influence over our daily lives?

I imagine a panel of crinkly old aliens sitting around a semi-circular, high-tech desk. Each one dressed in a futuristic robe, carrying an exotic staff.

They grunt in a guttural fashion constantly spewing out things that, according to them, are things we say. “We,” of course, meaning, “they.”

Giving the concept of “they, them, or whoever,” anymore thought than this is probably not a good idea. I just wanted to give you a heads up. I’m going back to my current manuscript. Have a great week.

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Water, Water, Everywhere and Only a Few Quintilian Gallons to Drink

Our bodies can do without water for a short time. Deprived of H2O, dehydration takes over, we dry up, then die. Down through the ages, if you put it in a nutshell, the way we gathered water is a bit of a misnomer.

When we were hunter-gatherers, we drank from pristine streams originating in the mountains. As we became more civilized and built cities close to rivers, we drew water from the river in the same place we emptied raw sewage. We have names for periods of time such as Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Jurassic and so on. I like to call this water retrieval period, “Stupid in Reverse.”

Today most of the population drinks bottled water. Not so many years ago, I would have laughed had someone told me  I would be paying for it. The funny thing about this is, when I tested my tap water against the brand of bottled water we were drinking at the time, the tap water tested superior to the bottled water and by a significant difference. I even wrote a novel, Rising Tide, about a world inundated by water. There was land available but it was definitely at a premium. What it boils down to (no pun intended), is there’s water everywhere–in the ground, the air, oceans, rivers, streams, creeks, mud puddles and pretty much anywhere you can think of (except the arctic which is actually the most arid place on earth with deserts running a close second). So the next time you pick up that cool, clear glass of water, be thankful you’re not drinking from a municipal source a hundred years ago.

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Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Let it All Hang Out

I had a newspaper interview yesterday. It’s fun to sit beside the interviewer and talk about yourself for an hour or so. Then, after the interview, there’s a photo session. It makes you feel good knowing that something you’ve done has brought pleasure to a stranger.

I’ve been fortunate to have been featured in a number of newspapers, several radio interviews (one of them national) and two television appearances.

The one that stands out (and when I say stands out, I mean stands out) was my second appearance on the silver screen. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006. I did the interview in question a few years later. I used a glorified walker known as a rollator. I was in the studio along with my wife, the interviewer, three camera men and probably another six people (male and female) milling about. I was required to climb upon a platform that was approximately six to eight inches higher than the floor to participate in the show.

Several people gathered around to steady me, while my wife knelt and helped raise my feet onto the platform. Well, wouldn’t you know it, my pants picked that particular time to fall to the floor. To make it worse, I went to the studio the way I went everywhere, and that was commando. I attempted to call my wife’s name as she was concentrating on lifting my legs. I could coerce no sound to leave my mouth. She finally looked up and we rectified the situation. No one said a word and the interview proceeded without a hitch, although I imagine the story was retold more than once.

You never know what’s going to happen as we pass through our day-to-day lives. But ain’t it fun to find out? It gives us plenty to laugh about after the fact.  

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The Saying Used to go “If you want to write, write.” Not If You Want to Write, Write, Re-write, Edit, Market, Market, Market

As I begin my blog, we are experiencing sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 50 mph. Trees are falling and power outages occurring around a good part of the state. In case you’re wondering, I live in Virginia. Fortunately, my power is still on, and no, I didn’t knock on wood. I hold a firm belief that if rapping my knuckles against a slab of tree (albeit finished) makes one iota of difference in my life, then I need to rethink my entire existence.

I’m working on a new science fiction/fantasy hybrid that is becoming extremely frustrating. Not because of the manuscript, but my inability to spend time working on it. Here’s where the irony rears its ugly head.

The time I need to write the book is spent on another necessary aspect of the writing biz, namely marketing. It’s not my intention to sound like a broken record or beat a dead horse, but something must be done about this travesty. I have spent many sleepless nights and grueling days pondering this conundrum. After many years of searching, I now have the perfect solution.

All we need do is lengthen our days. It would be a simple task. Change our present calendar to reflect six months instead of twelve, forty-eight hour days and a ten-day workweek. Aside from a few minor tweaks, I believe this would solve all of our problems. Just think, finally enough time to finish manuscript after manuscript, without the marketing beast hoarding every minute . . . at least I think so. What if marketing expands to meet or even exceed the percentage of time it demanded before the change? If this occurs, we’re right back where we started, only with twice the marketing.

Best leave bad enough alone; I don’t want to experience worse.

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Marketing is a Necessary Necessity That Will Unnecessarily Necessitate My Necessities

“This is probably the most mature, astute novel of the last half century that I’ve just finished. Me want ice cream.”

Ifin I had my druthers, I’d write all of the time. Alas, knowing this is a virtual impossibility, I’m bound to taking care of all the other stuff that pops up. Of course, I’m speaking within the parameters of writing and its many aspects.

I spend an enormous amount of time on marketing. When I published my first novel, I didn’t realize this milestone was the easy part. With a thousand or so new titles jumping out each day, how do you get your work before the eyes of the public without this valuable tool?

All right, so I know I have to market . . .  what does this mean? Sometimes I wonder if there are as many ways to market a book, as there are books? I know I’m being a bit facetious but there are many methods to employ into your marketing scheme.

My day goes something like this:  In the morning, I’m ready to play. What’s the first game?  Marketing for Money. I try to limit my time to several hours in order to promote my books each day. What’s the next game? Depending on the day, it could be “What’s my Blog” or to keep my website interesting there’s always, “Name that Newsletter.” Every once in a while I’ll slip in, “Support my Short Story.” Then comes the time of day I actually get to work on my latest manuscript. I call this, “Recess.” When done, I usually find I’m satisfied with the day’s work and fired up for tomorrow.

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February, February Where Would We Be Without February . . . I Guess We’d Be a Month Short, But I’m Not so Sure it Would Matter

Well, here we are in February. The same place we are every year at this time. As a writer, different months lend themselves to a multitude of subjects to record on paper. March, April and May bring new life, the budding of flowers and trees, the chirping of birds and the lifeline we all love. For without it, the flowers, vegetables and trees would not experience this rebirth. I am of course referring to the sneezing, eye watering, snot locker filling and extra throat drainage we endure due to this lifeline, POLLEN! We huddle inside waiting for the green dust to exit. June through August lend themselves to vacations, family outings and a plethora of fodder in the surrounding foliage, to create all sorts of creatures and little nasties to highlight fantasy and science fiction novels.

September and October bring us the beautiful fall colors; November-Thanksgiving, December-Christmas, January, a new year and February . . .  well, February is kinda just February. There is Valentine’s Day. You know that made up holiday where couples feel obligated to buy cards, go out to dinner, pay twice the amount for a dozen roses as you would any other day. Do we really need a day to say, “I love you?” I think we’d be better served using the template for Valentine’s Day without spending the money but expressing the love every day.

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A Day Off, a Day Off, My Kingdom for a Day Off . . . Or Not

Each week I try to take some time off from writing to give myself a break and clear my head. I know this is a good strategy, but like an addict I start jonesing when I’m not happily tap, tap, tapping away, sending sentences across my virtual paper.

You have to realize my position as an author. I have two manuscripts going at the same time. The first is volume IV in my RISING TIDE series. I felt like I needed a break from this sequence of books, so I began a standalone sci-fi/fantasy novel to fill this sabbatical.

Because of my selfishness, I have allowed characters left in my charge to undergo needless trauma. They’ve been left hanging for an extended period of time. There are men and women in dire straits not knowing if they have a future–whether or not they are going to live or die, and even worse, what has happened to the one who holds their fate on the tips of his fingers.

There are characters in the book I am writing now, some in the very throes of destruction when I go to bed each night–that live in terror wondering, when or even if, I will return to give their life meaning. It’s such a struggle knowing I am responsible for the lives of so many; however, books must be written. This in and of itself gives me great comfort. I now know I am not alone. There are scores of concerned authors battling this injustice . . . I think I’d better stop right there. This is getting way too melodramatic . . . Nuff said.

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