Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

I present to you my Christmas story for Heather Arundel's contest. You still have one week if you intend to enter. The prizes are a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, a beautiful e-reader cozy, and a leather writing journal. So far there are only two entries including mine.
Leave a comment below saying "I would like an ARC" if you would like to read my debut novel set to be published in May. I shall choose a winner next year. I ask that if you are interested, to please visit my Goodreads page and mark it "to read".

My friends, I shall see you in January. May all of your
wishes come true.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Congratulations to Cindy Borgne for being our 10 Lords A Leaping winner, the Prometheus trailer, and Jedi Ninjas

At the end of November, blogger Sarah Belliston organized the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. Well the day that I was told to announce my winner is today.

Huzzah Cindy Borgne

You have been chosen by to win $10 to Amazon.

If you don't already know Cindy, she's an award-winning author of science-fiction. You can find her website located here.

UPDATE...Here is the Prometheus trailer I've been waiting all week for (it gives me shivers):

And here's a video of the greatest Star Wars tribute ever. Jedi Ninjas.
I found this video last week and it only had 315 views. It's since gone viral.
I tweeted about it, so you may have already watched it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And the game of the year is...SKYRIM. Plus the trailer for the HOBBIT

So I've been playing Skyrim on the weekends. My character is level 12, and I've killed three dragons now. I just wanted to post some screenshots for you because I think the game is so visually stunning. Note: You can click any of these to make them bigger. And yes, this is really what the game looks like through and through. Clouds move, I get stuck in blizzards, I hear footsteps coming up behind me, shadows change, day turns to night, etc. It's completely engrossing and has really consumed my writing/reading time. But truthfully, I'd rather play Skyrim than read 90% of the fantasy that is presently being written. It's like being in your own "visually stunning" book.  I read somewhere that it broke a billion dollars in just a couple of weeks. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Some of you may ask, why are guys not reading? Well the answer is in these screenshots. Boys eat this stuff up.
This is me and Lydia (the girl on the left) climbing the steps of the highest
mountain in the world to consult with the mysterious Greybeards about magic.
Not far from us is a badass ice troll that I finally killed by burning him down
with magic flames from my fingertips. Note the beautiful mountains. And yes
the clouds do move in front of the mountains sometimes obscuring them.

This here is actually Lydia and I after having killed said ice troll in the above
caption. We climbed the rest of the way without my horse that got spooked
and ran off.  The encounter with the Greybeards was fascinating as they taught
me how to use my Dragon Voice.

A dragon that I killed in single-hand combat. It swooped out of the sky at me
but by this time I've got all steel armor that has enchants on it and a pretty
awesome sword. I had to heal some during the fight but I can do that with
my restoration magic. I just took cover behind trees so it couldn't get me
with its breath weapon. Then I kicked its ass.

Me and my house thrall Lydia. She's my complete servant, always addresses me
as "My Lord" and whatnot and fights by my side. She's pretty powerful.

Another screenshot from a different angle. Not how awesome the water looks.
It's incredible to me that it looks so real. I've swum around and caught fish
with my bare hands in it. Pretty cool, huh?
Skyrim is a game where you can do just about anything. You can walk over to mountains, explore buildings and ruins, jump off of cliffs...the world is so real and so incredibly detailed that the grass sways in the wind and the tree leaves flutter. You can customize your character so completely that you determine the shape of their nose, the color of their irises, and the style of their hair. Each item is so intricate that you can rotate it in three-dimensional view and find clues on the actual item on how to solve a puzzle.  I found a gold dragon claw set with rubies that when I turned it over, discovered how to open a magical portal deep in a dungeon. I did so, defeated scores of raving monsters, and got my first powerful magical item. It was pretty awesome.

It's also a game that has inspired countless online memes. Checkout Skyrim Hoarders in a google search. Below, click on the short video and watch. You may ask yourself...why? Why would someone collect all that? The answer: because YOU CAN!!! The video is only 13 seconds long. In this game, you can own a house and store anything you find in your home. You can organize it or just throw it in a room. As you can see, some guys are having too much fun with this by collecting junk, skulls, or even bodies.
If you would like to add me as a friend, my "handle" on STEAM is "kavrik519". We can chat while playing :)

Tomorrow I shall reveal who won the 12 Days of Christmas "Lords A Leaping" give-a-way from Sarah Belliston's blog. Also, I will probably "gush" some about the Prometheus trailer which is due to hit Apple's movie trailer site on Thursday.


Thanks everyone for getting me over 50,000 page views in less than a year. I think that's pretty good traffic.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Little Chat With Author Brinda Berry

I don't know exactly when I started following Brinda's blog. It just kinda showed up in my Google Reader so I assume that I just went to check her out and liked what I saw. Soon after that, I read her debut novel called The Waiting Booth, and I reviewed it on all the usual sites giving it four stars out of five.

The Review:

Warning, there are some spoilers ahead.

The Waiting Booth by Brinda Berry is an excellent book. The majority of the time, the book remains in first-person perspective looking out at the world through Mia. She is in a difficult spot because her brother Pete has been missing. However, soon she meets two mysterious and extremely hot guys that offer to help her uncover the whereabouts of her brother. Despite a rough start, she eventually learns to trust them. But there is enough tension in the book that you never really know until close to the end if Regulus and Arizona have Mia's best interest in mind.

I thought the men in the book were particularly engaging. Brinda knows how to write them with just enough flavor to allow them to leap off of the page. She also takes chances with her writing by switching occasionally to third-person perspective. It isn't particularly "jarring" as one might expect because she treats these shifts in point-of-view as their own separate chapters. I might have gone about it differently. However, it does seem to work okay particularly as a vehicle to impart information to the reader that they may need to know.

Brinda also has a thoroughly engaging story. She has an amazingly detailed world and has done a lot of impressive world-building to allow the reader to feel its authenticity. I think that this book would appeal to readers of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi or perhaps those who love strong female characters with paranormal powers (and mysterious men). All I can say is, I hope Brinda is working on a sequel.

Q: Was the online mmorpg in your book inspired by World of Warcraft? It had a certain "authenticity" to it that I could really relate to having been a competitive player for five years in a guild that maintained top 200 ranking in the world (not to brag but this is not easy folks). If so, do you play? If no, how did you get that level of authenticity?

A: It would be difficult to create a fictional MMORPG game without being influenced by WoW. So, yes, I would say that my fictional online game, Quest of Zion, was influenced by the gaming elements of WoW. I don't play multi-player online games as you can probably vouch for the time investment necessary to be successful. That's quite an achievement you listed in the question. I have enjoyed single-player RPG gaming like Final Fantasy and many others in the past. Gaming has always been an activity and discussion topic in my home. My son is majoring in computer science with an emphasis in game design, so we've had lots of discussions about my fictional game.

Q: Suspend time for a moment. You can have any actor from any age of Hollywood to make The Waiting Booth into a movie. Who do you cast for Mia, Austin, Regulus, and Arizona? Who plays Dr. Bleeker?

A: This is really a torturous question for me. If I were in charge of casting today, I would choose unknowns to play the roles. I'll take a stab at it. You do have to imagine these actors at a younger age to fit the characters from The Waiting Booth.

Mia- Ellen Page (of Juno and Inception fame)
Austin - Adam Lambert (I'm giving him a shot at acting.)
Regulus- Ian Somerhalder (currently of The Vampire Diaries)
Arizona - Brad Pitt (think very young Brad Pitt)
Dr. Bleeker - I think I'd like to have Bruce Willis here. Really.

Q: One small point that probably cost you the one star in my rating is my dissatisfaction that there is no Pete in this book. The whole plot revolves around Pete. Why did you give us no payoff and can you give us a hint as to when we will see Pete?

A: Pete is the unfulfilled quest in this book. I knew from the moment I plotted the book that this would be an issue for some. On the surface, the book may be about finding Pete. To me, this is a story about Mia growing into her own skin and accepting her abilities and inner strength. Mia's synesthesia is a secret in the beginning, and I think it's evident that she's afraid to open up to her friends about who she is. She has trust as well as abandonment issues. As for Pete, you'll be happy to hear that Pete plays a much bigger role in the second book, Whisper of Memory. Without giving away too much, I think you might be satisfied with Pete's role in the second book.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book and are you working on the sequel? When can we expect it to be available for download?

A: A friend of mine told me about a news story involving an outdoor camera that captured some bizarre photos. It seems that there were all kinds of monstrous snakes and creatures crossing a piece of highway after Hurricane Katrina. Around the same time as hearing that story, I noticed a "red waiting booth" near the highway on my daily commute. I wondered what the kids saw every morning while they waited for the bus. The "waiting booth" was torn down a couple of months ago, but I have some pictures of it. As for the sci-fi elements of the story, I've always been fascinated by the concept of portals and dimensions. So, those are all the ideas that merged into The Waiting Booth.

I have a tentative release date of May 2012 for the second book, Whisper of Memory. I am currently working on the third (and last) book in the series.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your publisher?

A: My publisher is Etopia Press. Etopia is a small press with horror, fantasy, romance, and YA imprints. They are a royalty-paying publisher with wide distribution through major retailers. You can visit Etopia's blog at if you are interested in their catalog or submission guidelines.


Mark it "To Read" on Goodreads.

Buy The Waiting Booth now on Amazon for $5.99
Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Cold Winds Are Rising

In case you missed it, HBO released the teaser for season 2 of Game of Thrones.  Oooh it has me so excited. We are only four months away from more of the White Walkers!
And yes for those of you that read the books like me, that is the voice of none other than Stannis Baratheon providing the voice over. Rather chilling, don't you think?

Have a great Monday.

Friday, December 16, 2011

TransShifter by Cindy Borgne

I recently finished TransShifter by Cindy Borgne. This is a short story, and boy was it good.

Here's my review:

Five stars out of five.

This story is beautiful. Cindy Borgne is a titanic voice among new authors. Aside from having won multiple awards early in her career, she dares to explore a short story of love between a wounded soldier and an alien (who more often than not) takes the form of another man. This bold direction is refreshing and powerful because it has the courage to ask "Can we choose with whom we fall in love?" And "does sexual orientation actually matter?"

As a science-fiction story, Cindy is in full command of her powers as she weaves a tale of a world where nearly immortal entities travel in the form of electro-magnetic waves. But for all of their omnipotence and their ability to see the wonders of the universe, they choose to spend time with humans. The how and the why are within the threads of this story.

I strongly urge people to read TransShifter. It's quick...probably will take you an hour is all...and should belong on the same shelf as other great science-fiction shorts such as "For a breath, I tarry" by Roger Zelazny (probably one of my favorite short stories of all time-embedded link if you want to read it yourself).

You can download the short story absolutely FREE from Smashwords HERE. Seriously, it's worth an hour of your time.

Have a great weekend. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Welcome to the Bah Humbug Blahg Fest by none other than Grumpy Bulldog

Today is my post for the Bah Humbug Blahg Fest created by my friend, Patrick Dilloway. It goes all day long and you still have time to enter if you haven't done so already. If you don't already follow Patrick, please visit his blog and click follow. Then, create your post answering the following question:

What are the 12 things I hate most about the holiday season?

Here are my answers:
1. Christmas music 24/7 on every radio station. It isn't so bad now that I live in a city, but boy when I lived in a small town with only three radio stations on FM this got really really old.

2. The bitter cold (it lasts six months). I live in the northern hemisphere and December is miserable. Additionally, where I live, there's always temperature inversions creating smog through the whole valley for weeks at a time. 
I'm not a fan of this.
3. Hazardous driving conditions. Snow and ice make for difficult driving.

4. No sunlight. On the night of the winter solstice there is more than 14-hours of darkness. That just sucks. Christmas is only a few days after that so it's almost the same. It seems like all I do is live in darkness.
5. Television consists of mostly reruns because its the period following the November sweeps.

6. That Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together. In order to visit family for both vacations, it requires lots of time off, travel, and you have to turn around and do it again.

7. Finding an affordable gift for someone that already owns everything that is affordable and who has few activities that don't cost a lot of money. In other words, they don't read...haven't read a book ever. They just want to go on vacations, remodel the home, and scheme about ways to buy exclusive cars. Hard to get something under a hundred bucks when what they really want is granite countertops.

8. The celebrity Christmas album that everyone is talking about. I don't want to hear how Justin Bieber sings "Jingle Bells".
Sure he's posed here in the snow. In reality he's tanning under lime
trees in California because he too hates the cold.
9. Receiving a gag gift from a friend that thought you'd think it was funny when in truth, it's crap.

10. People who make a big deal out of Xmas versus Christmas.
Everyone loves Monopoly, right? The Community Chest card "XMAS FUND MATURES"
never got any complaints in any game I played. Why does this always pop up?
11. Inflatable yard decorations. I hate them. They're ugly and people keep them in their yard for too long and the wind deflates them and knocks them around.
I will always live in a neighborhood with an H.O.A. so I can report
people that let this go on too long. You would either love me as
a neighbor or absolutely hate me. I don't think there'd be an
in-between state.
12. Fattening sugary foods are everywhere. No matter where you turn, at the office someone has cookies, pies, cakes, rolls,'s ridiculous. They bring them to work to fatten up the co-workers so that their families don't get fat. And I have a love/hate relationship with food. I'm at my best when there is no temptation.
Christmas calories don't count. Yeah, right.

Before you leave I want you to know about one being run by Heather Arundel at her blog My Demon Spirits. In the contest, she wants you to write a holiday-themed story (it can be scary or whatever) that is 500 words or less, post it on your blog, comment on Heather's blog that you posted it and link back to it so she can see where it is, and then click "follow" on Heather's blog.

You can win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, a beautiful e-reader cozy, and a leather writing journal. The cozy's are done by Zizi Rho Designs by a lady that just happens to write and knit at the exact same time. You try pulling that one off.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making macarons is really hard

This last Sunday, my friend Meg gave me my Christmas present (a little early). We attended a cooking class together at Sur La Table which is at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. What were we doing you may ask? Making a French macaroon. They look like this:
Now, these little delicate pastries may look like tiny hamburgers or perhaps...weird Oreos. But I assure you, they are really really hard to make. I was flabbergasted. What makes them so difficult and temperamental...I'm going to go over the short list with you right now:
  1. Macaroons are really made with three ingredients. Egg whites, powdered sugar, and almond flour. However, these ingredients must be perfect. The eggs that make the egg whites have to be a minimum of two weeks old in the fridge. If you use younger eggs, the chef told us we would fail.  Additionally, the egg whites need to be set out for 24-hours at room temperature before you use them. Any less and it's guaranteed failure.  As for the other have to have 100% pure powdered sugar. There cannot be any contaminants, so you have to pay for the good stuff. No cornstarch. And the same goes for the almond flour (which costs about $15 for a small bag according to the chef). This helps to explain the price tag of charging $2.00 per cookie for these temperamental things.
  2. The egg whites must be whipped in a metal bowl with a metal beater. Somewhere between soft and hard peak, you have to add the food coloring. It cannot be liquid or dry because either of these will cause your recipe to fail. You need to use the gel food coloring and it has to have "no taste" on the label because the color you end up with will be less once cooked. If you whip the egg whites to hard will fail. That's how temperamental these cookies are. There's a narrow corridor of success. It was kind of mind-blowing. Just to give you an idea of what Meg and I went through over the course of three hours...we added a teaspoon of orange flavoring (the recipe called for it) and failed to whip the egg whites enough so our batter was too runny and we failed :(. There is no levener, so the egg whites are everything to this dish.
  3. I had to sift the powdered sugar through a chinois strainer three times with a wooden spoon. This is to get air into the powdered sugar. And yes, anything less than three times is failure. Once the almond flour and the powdered sugar were mixed (a delicate act since to do so too violently churns the almond flour and sugar into butter) it needs to be folded into the egg whites CAREFULLY. If you are ham-fisted with it, then you over fold the egg batter and the recipe is ruined. Basically start over (we should have done this).
  4. Once you get the egg batter done then you make the stuffing for the middle. Caramel, fudge, or some other buttery thing were our choices. These weren't so difficult...although the caramel had to be done with care.
The ones that I made with Meg turned out hollow.  However, people said they still tasted good. Below are some photos I took during the 3-hour class:
So, anyway...macaroons are hard.

Happy Wednesday.  And don't forget, tomorrow is Patrick Dilloway's Bah Humbug Blahg Fest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thinking about water conservation

I frequently tune into "Talk of the Nation" on NPR and they had a great topic yesterday yesterday that really got me wondering where humanity seems to be headed. You can find the program that I listened to here. As many of you already know, the world hit a population of 7 billion earlier this year. To comprehend these numbers, here are some staggering facts:

1) It takes 1 liter of water to create 1 food calorie.

2) The recommended daily allowance of calories a person is supposed to eat falls between 1500 and 2000 calories a day.  So per person, that's 1500 to 2000 liters of water that goes into the food that sustains each person each day that the sun rises.

3) Multiply that by a little more than 7 billion, and that's how much water is consumed each day around the globe, and it's only getting worse.

And this doesn't even account for other things that need water (for example, animals need water as well).

There are already 12 major river systems in the world that do not reach the sea.

I'm not trying to be negative, but I think we're screwed. That seems unsustainable to me. I try to create as little of a carbon footprint as I can. But I guess when someone like me chooses to do so, there's another person on the other end of the spectrum (the Duggar lady of 20 Kids and Counting fame is just an example) that just keeps popping them out. Do you know how many resources a family with 20 kids consumes? I think it would be just mind-boggling.
A selfish, selfish, selfish family pictured here.
And you know what, despite the fact that she had a miscarriage last week, I don't feel sorry for her. Not one bit. I think she's beyond the point of ridiculous, and that she has only herself to blame.

It really makes me question the ethics of this country that we give celebrity status to a woman that has tons of kids.

What about you guys? Concerned at the population on an overcrowded planet? Or could you care less? Do you think that it's all a "liberal agenda" and that people should have the right to have as big a family as they want? Let me know in your comments.

ANNOUNCEMENTS for the blogosphere:

1) If you get the opportunity, please go visit Stephanie Schmidt's website to see her wonderful "The Twelve Days of Bookmas" that she did. She even decorated a book tree and rewrote the lyrics to 12 Days of Christmas to match the pictures she chose. The originality and time she spent on this was epic. Please go check it out.

2) Please join the Bah Humbug Blahg Fest hosted by author Patrick Dilloway. The rules are simple because Patrick likes simple.  On Thursday, December 15th post on your blog the answer to this brain-teasing question:

What are the 12 things I hate most about the holiday season?

By doing this and copying the badge featured on his website to your blog sidebar, you are entered in a drawing for $25.00. That's the easiest $25 I have ever seen.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop ends today

Hello everyone.  This is a friendly reminder that all entries to the giveaways for Sarah Belliston's 12 Days of Christmas blog hop will end tonight at midnight. The winners will all be announced on her blog according the schedule posted below. Additionally, for my particular giveaway, I shall name the person on December 22nd. Prior to this (at midnight tonight) I will be notifying Sarah with the winner's name.

Thanks everyone for participating. If you have not entered, you should do so by clicking on the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop button on the left.

DEC 13 - Jaime Morrow

DEC 14 - Tessa Elwood

DEC 15 - Lisha Cauthen

DEC 16 - Morgan Shamy

DEC 17 - Rachel Bateman

DEC 18 - Carrie Butler

DEC 19 - Jess Melendez

DEC 20 - Charity Bradford

DEC 21 - Athena Franco

DEC 22 - Michael Offutt

DEC 23 - Cherie Stewart

DEC 24 - Suze Reese

DEC 25 - Santa

Have a great Monday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Why I don't give to the Salvation Army door ringers at Christmas

The Salvation Army door ringers are out in full force, and I've always stuffed a few dollars in the little red kettles every year.

However, this year, I'm choosing not to do so. Jeff clued me into this over at his website located here and it just made me a little angry.
If they are going to claim to be a charitable organization, I don't think they should take a stance like this.

As Jeff said in his post on this same topic, it's important to examine a charity before you give to see if they match your values.

See you Monday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Truth has no agenda

I saw a movie about six months ago called The Invention of Lying, and although it was funny, I kinda wished that I lived in that world. For those of you that haven't seen it, the movie is about an Earth where lying has never been invented. People just tell the truth all the time.  In answer to questions like, "How are you?" The main character gets responses like, "I'm terrible and have come up with a plan to commit suicide tonight in my apartment if I have the guts to do it. I'm a terrible coward."  The response being, "Oh well best of luck then."

I just think people lie way too much. They lie to avoid embarrassment, they lie to avoid punishment, and they lie to prevent hurt feelings.  Sure, I know the reasons of why people lie. I just wish it wasn't that way, and honestly I think the truth makes the world a better place.

Recently, a friend told me a story. She is a Hispanic American whose first husband was a black man. As a result, her beautiful daughter had natural dark skin. She took her daughter to a daycare here in Utah and after work, went to pick her up. The lady at the daycare said, "Please don't bring back your child. I cannot care for your child. You need to find another daycare."

She asked, "Why? Was she bad?"

The lady responded, "No. She's black. I will not care for a black child."

Instead of getting angry, my friend responded as I would have responded.  "Thank you. Thank you for admitting that you're a racist bigot. I will find another daycare for my child. I honestly am thanking you because had you not said something, you could have harmed my child. I'm glad it never came to that."

And she promptly went in search of another daycare asking questions like "Are you okay with the fact that my daughter has very dark skin?"

As a man with mixed ancestry myself, I understand perfectly how even though it is 2011, when you don't look a certain way or act a certain way you will be discriminated against. I appreciate truth.

More examples from life. Wouldn't it be better if people were honest in their interactions with others?

Take Sandusky of the Penn State scandal. If he had the guts, he should have just come out thirty years ago and said, "I like to screw boys. I'm a pedophile." Then maybe he could have moved to Thailand or some other place that doesn't prosecute pedophilia and not be in the trouble that he is in. At least boys would have been protected, and he could have claimed to be a part of the human race by outing himself as a monster. As is, he's more slug than human.

People who don't believe in God or the teachings of a religion yet remain within the ranks of a religion giving tithe simply because they don't want to lose friends or shatter the lives of their families. This is living a lie. And it gives strength to a religion (and their agenda) because you support them with your cash. I manage to eek out an okay existence by being an "out" atheist. I have no family and kids and play a lot of video games and read books. I wish it were different, but at least I don't lie. Lying is for cowards.

How about going up for a promotion at work? Here's the situation. You have more experience than the other guy. You have more education. Yet the other guy gets the job. Wouldn't it be nice if the boss just said, "Hey, the other guy is more attractive and even though he's married, I'm hoping I can screw him once or twice despite the fact that he's married." Don't laugh...I've actually seen this happen. I no longer work there...but yeah...I saw exactly that. Being the guy that didn't get the job, I would have liked to have had the truth. I could have quit sooner.

How about people who follow you in social media exclusively because they want to sell you their stuff?  The lie is that they are interested in you.  The truth is that they have no intention of ever actually being interested in you. They just want your money. Wouldn't it be nice to hear the truth?

Another example: a man I once knew gives his wife a doughnut every day after working midnight's. He knows that the wife has been trying to lose weight but says, "She loves the fresh doughnuts. It's a way I show that I care." The truth is more sinister: "I'm an insecure man and think my wife will leave me for another man if I don't fatten her up and make her feel ugly." I've seen this in really did happen. I called the guy on his bullshit, and he 'fessed up to it.

A person says, "I will read your book." The truth is they have no intention of doing this. Just be honest. "I don't read and won't buy a copy of your book." I'd be fine with that and would say, "Thank you. I never expected your support anyway. It's not like we exchange Christmas cards."

A person gets to be friends with you so that they can befriend a friend of yours that they want to have sex with.  Just be honest, "I find this person attractive and want to warm up to you so that the other person will like me and we can screw. But I really have no intention of being your friend and would prefer if you dropped off the face of the earth once I get what I want."

I like truth. I rarely get upset at truth. If someone finds me uninteresting, they should just feel free to say it. "Mike, I find you uninteresting and frankly, don't ever want to interact with you again." My response, "Thank you for being honest. We shall never interact again. Bye."

Occupy Wall Street is a movement that I've watched with fascination. It's people banding together over simple truths and they are not afraid to let people know that they are upset.  The truth is that some people are living lives that are so much better than others and work far less for it. The truth is that 1% of the people control 99% of the assets. (Mr. Jay Noel corrected me and I apologize for this gross mistype. When I originally wrote this post it was around midnight, and I just wanted to get it out there. 99% just stuck in my mind--with no editor to catch my glaring error, it just got posted.)  Here is Jay Noel's words (and he is correct) from comment below (sorry everyone I knew this but it just didn't come out that way although what I "knew" came closer to 50% from the news):

"Other than your gross miscalculation of the 1% (1% actually control anywhere between 38% - 42% of the nation's assets depending on which study you look at. The IRS confirms this. Still lopsided, but a FAR cry from the 99% you stated)"

Now onto the rest of my post ==> And the truth is that many in that 1% could give a crap about anyone in the 99%. I bet if poor people died by the millions or got gassed, they wouldn't shed a tear. They'd say, "At least I don't have to support deadbeats anymore." They should just tell the truth. Let people see them for the assholes that they are.

Funniest truth I heard all week came from a Catholic. I respect what he said. "Go through life and sin a lot. Otherwise, Jesus died for nothing." I was stunned given his beliefs but laughed my ass off.

Most people are so fake. I'm kinda sick of it. Do the world a favor. Next time you find yourself wanting to tell a lie...just stop. Come out with the brutal honest truth. Let people see you for who you are. Be true to thyself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm Insecure and interviewed at the same time in one day.

It's time once again for the monthly "Insecure Writer's Support Group" that Alex Cavanaugh started on his blog four months ago (wow 1/3 of a year gone just like that).

Today, my insecurity is just wondering if I suck or not. As my publishing date looms, I almost feel like bagging the whole thing and stuffing my book into a box somewhere and never letting it see the light of day. I just don't have any confidence in myself. However, against this cowardly inner voice is that of my friend Kathy.  Over Thanksgiving I gave her an ARC to read and she's already finished it. She told me she thought it was incredible which made me feel really good.  It was the right kind of random input given at just the right moment to make me shake off my issues with my writing.  Do any of you hear those voices? The kind that whisper to you that you suck? I hate those voices.

The other part of today's post is an interview. I was checking my inbox the other day, and I came across an email addressed to moi asking if I'd like to be interviewed. I instantly thought, this is going to be fun! I've never been interviewed before. So if you'd like to check it out, please go visit the lovely >>> click>>> Leigh Covington at her amazing blog.

I'm just tickled because I got to talk about my book. No one ever wants to talk about my book. I'm not saying that's a bad thing...that's just what writers are like, you know? They talk about their books, and expect you to listen.  I'm content doing that because someone has to listen, you know?  I try very hard to be a good listener because I don't think people get listened to enough (not even Alex and he has a whole lot of people listening to him).

Finally, I want to say that I appreciate all the support from the "to read" clickers on my goodreads sparkling cookie gif featured on the right.

Now for some Wednesday witchcraft.

On the gif below, place your hand in the center of the image and the dots will appear to move faster.

You're welcome.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm a Pied Piper and the Easily Flushed Blog Hop

L.G. Smith over at Bards and Prophets bequeathed me with the Pied Piper Blog Award created by the Geek Twins (I guess Alex infected her a few days ago)...anywho...thank you L.G.!
The rules are simple:

1) List three of your favorite followers and why.
2) Pass the award onto three bloggers that you feel deserve their followers the most.

I'm going to break the rules a little and pick out some followers that don't get a lot of comment love (and I hope that changes):

1) Benoit Lelievre has a cerebral book blog called Dead End Follies where he analyzes books that he reads and talks about serious film. I hope that you go and visit and partake of some of his wisdom because the man is smart smart smart.

2) Mr. Briane Pagel who keeps several blogs. The one I visit the most is Thinking the Lions. It's mostly about his journey through life as a middle-aged lawyer who has one set of grown kids and another set of babies who just happen to be autistic and run like perpetual motion machines.

3) Ms. Marjorie who sometimes writes on her blog Upwards Over The Mountain. She says in her latest post that she is considering another blog. What I really like about Marjorie is how worldly she is. She's incredibly young, speaks multiple languages, has been to China and Taiwan, lives in New York City...I mean...sheesh...just incredible. So whenever she chooses to breeze on by I think it's wonderful. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City has recognized me for just a moment.

Okay, so now who do I pass this award onto?

1) Patrick Dilloway who blogs at Grumpy Bulldog's blog. Patrick's personality is similar to my own so I think
 it's natural that we are blogging buddies.  He's not afraid to say what he thinks, and I appreciate that honesty.

2) Brooke R. Busse because I promised Brooke that she would from now on be the recipient of blog awards that got passed onto me. Aside from that though, she's just a really smart writing person/woman/teenager. Brooke's blog is at Paper Mountain. Get to know her now before she is famous. Famous people don't ever look at you anymore.

3) Charity Bradford because Charity is going to win the Hugo, and I want to say that I predicted it here first. Find this awesome future award winning author at her blog Charity's Writing Journey and ride her coattails of success.
I've joined the Easily Flushed Blog Hop that is the brainchild of Cassie Mae. It takes place all day today. The prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card. All you have to do is comment and post this polar bear on your blog and tell people/tweet about the contest. Please follow the link and go win a gift card. :))

>>>>>Eeep! I forgot the easily flushed story so here it is <<<<<<

I went to a house to fix a computer internet issue. When I got there, I discovered that the people used wireless. I asked them to take me to the router so I could reset it. Well the router was in the basement behind some sex toys. I said, "Hmmm, I can't quite reach it. Could you get it for me." It was very awkward.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet Kim Simmons of Cubicle Associates

I'm one of those writers that goes to an editor before I actually submit my work to agents or publishers. I know, I know...some people say "that's a waste of money" and "you'll never get that money back." 

Truthfully, I have a job that pays my bills, and I have no illusions about success or the lack thereof. At this point in my life I write because I have stories to tell. I wish I made money at it, but if someone were to ask me, "Do you consider it a job?" I'd answer "No." A job gives you money. Thus far I haven't earned one penny. The balance sheet is in the negative. Do I care? Kinda. But I consider it the cost of doing business.

Big time authors will tell you "Money flows one the author." Well no shit. But sometimes it's good to get someone to edit your book and if you want quality and it to be done in a timely manner by someone with qualifications, then you should pay that person for their time.

I feel lucky to have found Kim. She's affordable, catches many of my obvious errors and some of my not so obvious ones, and she tells me flat out when stuff I write is not working.  She fact checks some and does line-by-line editing. She's also not afraid to tell you when something isn't working and sucks. She edited one of my novels in 2-months. How's that for fast? And I'm serious when I say, working with Kim will not break the bank.

Kim has a business called Cubicle Associates and it's located here.

Q: What made you decide to create Cubicle Associates?

A: I had been on a quest to figure out what my true career desires entail. I've had all these great experiences and I was trying to figure out how to "marry" them. Through brainstorming and prayer...Cubicle Associates was born!

Q: What part of your professional background has proven most valuable with your business ventures?

A: I would say just about every experience. When I was in college I worked my way through as a secretary and administrtiave assistant at the university I attended. I learned a great deal about office etiquette and interacting in a professional setting. As a journalist I found my "voice as a writer" and learned to broaden my scope. Its been a great journey to say the least.

Q: What kind of work are you looking for right now?

A: I'm looking for clients that I can help. Small businesses are ideal because I really believe my talent lies in helping at the ground level. Whether setting up administrative assistant practices to assisting with brand management and marketing; I have a passion to be of help.

Q: Tell us one professional thing about you that you really take pride in that may set you apart from others offering similar services.

A: I'm great a resource. I take great pride in exhausting all avenues of reseach to find answers and/or solutions. Thankfully, down through the years I've built up a good network which makes research and resourcing a bit easier for me.

Q: What advice, if anything, would you offer writers who are looking to publish professionally?

A: Be authentic. No matter the genre, what gets and keeps an audicence is what they can relate to. So don't try to do what someone else has done. Be you. No matter what an editor or professional tells you, there is an audience for your product.


I graduated from Wayne State University with a BA in Journalism. I was hired first as a general assignment reporter and then promoted to features reporter for the Lima News, in Lima, OH, a newspaper with a daily circulation of 75k. After a number of years in Ohio I moved back to Detroit and began work as the Manager of Events and Conferences for the American Red Cross. In addition I freelance for various local papers in the Detroit area.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I want you to win seventy dollars for almost nothing.

This post is about good cheer and what you can do that is absolutely free that will make someone happy.  With December just starting and nano ending for many of the bloggers, there is a lot of loot up for grabs in the blogosphere.  I'm highlighting some of this free loot for my weekend post.  

Seriously guys and gals...we're talking
like ten minutes of your time max.

First off, my contest for the $10 Amazon gift card is still going.  You can find my post located here.  All that you need to do is leave one comment. That's it and you are in for the drawing.  It's the easiest way to earn ten bucks.  I'm not making you follow anything, subscribe to anything, I don't even care if you never come back to this blog again.  I received instructions from Sarah Belliston who is running the Twelve Days of Christmas thing and she told me to pick a winner on December 22. So that's when the contest ends.

Also Charity Bradford is giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon as well as a one chapter critique. Charity is an INCREDIBLE writer. I've read some of her sci-fi book and I tell you, it was a page turner from beginning to end. I couldn't get enough. I'm so excited for the day when she lands a huge book deal and movie contract and whatever else that she can get her hands on because with talent that big, she has to succeed. But that being said, a one chapter critique from Charity is like OMG so awesome I cannot even describe it. She will set you straight. She will tell you if your story is working. She's got the chops...she's a hair's breadth away from landing an agent as she's pitched to them and they've requested full manuscripts from her, etc.

As if that weren't enough, Mr. Briane Pagel is giving away a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card for just going to a non-profit website and wishing some conjoined twins a Merry Christmas. Seriously, this is easy money. And look at these darling kids...think of how they will smile knowing that strangers are wishing them well. I know that I would. So please go and do so and get in this drawing for $20 bucks.

And the generosity
doesn't end there!

Up comes author Patrick Dilloway with an amazing blog hop. I'm posting my entry for it on Monday. But Mr. Dilloway is outdoing me, Charity, and Mr. Pagel with a $25 Amazon gift card for one lucky participant!
Like seriously...$25 and all you have to do is make one entry for the bah humbug blog fest before December 15th, 2011.
So yeah...that's $70.00 up for grabs on just a handful of blogs not to mention the stuff that Sarah Belliston is giving away on her blog.

Stop being lazy, go and make a few comments, and earn some dough for yourself for Christmas.

Have a great weekend. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bubba's Resume

My Resimay

To hoom it
mae cunsern,

I waunt to apply for the job
what I saw in the paper.

I kin
Type realee qwik wit one finggar and do sum a

I think I am good on the
fone and I no I am a pepole person, Pepole realee
seam to reespond too me well. Certain men and all the ladies.

I no my spelling is not
too good but find that I Offen can get a
job wit my

salerery is open so we kin discus wat you
want to pay me and wat you think that I am

I kin start emeditely.
Thank yoo in advanse fore yore

hopifuly Yore best aplicant so




Because my resimay is a bit short - below is a
pickture of me.

Employer's response:

Dear Bubba:

It's Okay honey ... We've got spell check.

See you tomorrow!

Ladies, don't even deny that you wouldn't hire this guy :P
Have a great Thursday :)