An open letter to my editor

(this post is dedicated to April Woods, who saved my butt and helped get Rakasha out the door on time and professionally edited)
Dear Madam Editor,
To answer your questions:
    Yes English is my primary language.
    No I have not been out of the country for an extended (decades long) period
    Yes all of my punctuation keys do in fact work.
    No, I do not believe my laptop is now more physically fit from typing a marathon’s length of run on sentences.
I was changing my trash as I do every week and think I may have found one of the mitigating factors to the errors you corrected for me  please see the enclosed picture for further explanation.
your author
ME !!
(Rakasha will be free on KDP on 7/5/2013 !! )
The editing issue discovered.

The editing issue discovered.

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Orphan Musical Instruments

Hello my fellow miscreants,

I was listening to some random music (something I do a lot) and drinking my ‘Author Juice’ (something I also do a lot) and had a funny thought, that I decided to inflict on all of you.

Setting my Ipod on random always creates moments. Sometimes I jump from Beethoven to Primus. Sometimes I go from Allison Krause to Amy Winehouse. Needless to say these jumps tend to be hard for me to follow.

Today the jumps were easier, Theory of a Deadman followed by AC/DC, and some Jackal.  The trick today was it started me thinking about orphaned musical instruments & their players.

If you know Theory of a Deadman, you know they have a song called ‘Truth is…(I lied about everything)’  it starts out with the lead singer, and a ukulele player, who has a solo in the song.  Then we jump to AC/DC ‘It’s a long way to the top when you wanna rock and roll” complete with the greatest bagpipe solo ever recorded in Rock and Roll History. End with Jackal and the ‘Lumber Jack Song’ and suddenly I realized that we should have a moment of pity for the performers on these tracks.

I submit for you, the following image.  Your young, and you want to play the guitar, but your parents instead sign you up for Ukulele lessons. An obvious move to prevent you from ever having a job in music, or at least one that involves groupies!  So now you’re a renowned Ukulele player, and you get that call.  A big name, or semi big name, or someone you have never heard of before want you to lay down a track for their upcoming album.  You dust off your bus pass and stuff your instrument into its case. Blaze a path across the public transport system to spend the next few hours shining.  Your moment has arrived. And for all your years of practice, you can now tell everyone that you have played your Ukulele on a rock and roll album. Granted your odds of scoring a groupie have gone exactly nowhere, but still…

Now shift your attention to the poor bagpipe player, and instrument that even when well-played sounds like cats being disemboweled. In order to get there, you have to start out bad and get better. I’m not really sure how you would know, bagpipes seem to hit one of two extremes; terrible or Ok.  Not really much room between those points.  It becomes painfully obvious that they aren’t scoring any groupies, except maybe the octogenarian Scottish crowd. I can’t help but wonder how many days were spent thinking “if my parents had only let me practice the Tuba, I could be popular!”

I’m not even touching the guy with a chainsaw, although I suspect they didn’t need anywhere as much practice

A few dozen years ago I would probably have listed Harps and Violins in this list, but the harp twins (Camille and Kennerly) the harps are cool, or at least performing with them is.  Lindsey Sterling and Vanessa Mae have made Violins viable options as well.

So I am unsure about the future of Tubas, Ukuleles and Bag Pipes.  There have been some attempts to integrate them to Main stream, but none have seemed to stick. I doubt that even if you get a comely lass to dance and play them (and to be outstanding performers like the ones listed above) that these poor interments will ever escape the ‘not optional breeding stock’ pile.

My only conclusion:  This is why I shouldn’t set my Ipod to random and my author juice to ‘gone’

Reading is Dangerous?

Greetings my fellow Miscreants,

Today I have learned an important lesson one that I feel I need to share with you all.   Reading is dangerous!  There are some materials out there you should NOT read.  Todays story will explain this better.

As many of you know, my wife and I have come to a truce about my doughnut consumption. I am no longer allowed to have them in the house, and she now has authorized our teen-aged son to consume anything he finds in my car.

The agreement we have reached, I will no longer use my CC or Debit card to acquire doughnuts, and she will pretend she believes I have stopped sneaking my delicious sugary confections!

Today that system was threatened.  As I walked up to my doughnut shop, I discovered it was closed. No explanation, no sign, just closed.  I determined after a minute that no amount of banging on the door or licking the glass was going to change that.

I realized I had only two options:  1) calling the white house, or the senate. Having troops deployed to the shop to arrest the owner for treason and forcing him to make at least a batch of my beloved doughnuts. 2) Drive to work and use the not as good shop by the office.

Had I known the events that were to follow, I would have taken option 1

After another 45 minutes (I have a hellish commute these days) I went to the backup shop – this shop is not as good, their frosting is too sweet and lacks real flavor.  (I confess to being a doughnut efficiendo). In the store were three women.  One older, two college aged.  All three had on various graphic tee shirts.

The older ladies was pink, and said “Yes they are fake, the real ones tried to kill me” [and being serious for a moment, a salute to her for not only surviving cancer, but for owning the disease. Much respect from me – now back to the story] the two college aged ones had shirts as well. One had a picture of an angry bear and said “I don’t have to out run it, just you” [cute enough] and the other one had 2 polyhedral dice both showing 20 and the caption “Yes Their Natural”.  This shirt appealed to both my male nature and my D&D Geek.

One of the girls said to me “Gawk Much?”  I now realize that I was ‘staring’ but in my defense the words on all their shirts were curvy, not flat and took my brain a moment to sort out the words from the breasts.

Unfortunately for me when I replied my brain and mouth were out of sync.  My brain was processing the dual thoughts of how much fun those dice would be to roll and how, if there were dice like that in high school, D&D would have been far more popular.

As a result of this when my mouth responded, it missed a word, instead uttering the partial sentence “just admiring your Tee’s”

The deafening silence from the ladies on both sides of the counter was a testament to how badly that sentence needed the word ‘shirts’. I am about sure I am banned from that doughnut store.

Who knew reading could be so dangerous!

My God complex

Hello my fellow miscreants,
By now you all know I am in the final charge for my novel’s release date (sometime in November).  Because it’s my first, I am going to end up Indie publishing it, [I do not have the name to get a publisher interested – and with out that first ‘hint’ I am one of a million people trying to do a book].  no big deal.  I sat down and priced out some things I would need.  [all these numbers are from professional sources]
                  
                   Book cover – 400.00
                   Model (for campaign) 15.00 an hour [only restriction – no nudity]
                   Photographer – 50.00 an hour for 4 hour session [has done a ½ dozen covers and has a photo book out – IE he has some credibility]
                   Makeup Artist – [for monster on one of the covers] 150.00
Not the end of the world, well with in the budget.
The reason I have been so quite these last few days, I wanted to look at using other ‘amateurs’ like me, people who are trying to break out of the amateur status and go pro.
For me to lose my amateur status, I have been submitting articles and shorts for publication.  I have already received 2 article requests <taking bow to your applause>.  Granted, for both articles, I got Jack Squat for payment, and they are in small distribution E-zines, but still I am putting my writing out to show what I can do. It’s getting my name out, building my ‘brand’ that is important.
I put out feelers for people who are wanting to break out, and had 4 meetings:
The local book cover person I talked to told me they needed 800.00 to do it ‘because there is a lot of things they will need to learn how to do’
It’s after statements like that when I am happy people can’t read my mind.
The model that replied sent a head shot, but she wants 20.00 and hour, has a tattoo on her leg we will need to cover, but can’t use makeup because its ‘fresh’, doesn’t want her face on the book cover, wants her boyfriend at the shoots with a full veto power, and wants 10% of the sales because she is on the cover.
All I can think is “I want a new sports car and a naked supermodel to drive me around!”
The Photographer I know, who is still unemployed, and no longer is receiving benefits wanted 200.00 an hour.  He has no work published, no professional credits, but he did spend 10K on his equipment and needs to recoup the costs.
I swear I need Botox so my facial tells are subdued, the grunt and walking out of the meeting I can’t control…
And  last but not least, my makeup artist can’t make any of the 8 dates I asked about because they are going to birthday parties, the water park, the amusement park….(fill in the list as you wish, I quit reading after getting that far)
So the moral of these stories of frustration?  If you are going to do something (like publish a Novel)  and you’re tempted to ‘help out the locals’, use your God complex and remember that the Lord helps those that help themselves.

Fathers Day – Miscreant style.

Today is father’s day. For those of you who are new dads, and are thinking back to mother’s day, the day when you brought your lovely wife breakfast in bed. Today you will see the other side.  Your lovely wife and kids have, by now woke you up and delivered to you an ugly tie and a new tool, along with a list of things you can repair with it.

I once asked my children’s mother about this, about why she gets a day in bed with breakfast, and I have a honey-do list. Like somehow plunging the toilet or snaking the drain are less annoying when you have a new tool to do it with.  Her reply is that we have 2 children, and that she had to carry said children for 18 months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  In other words, it will be 650 years (assuming 8 hour work days) before we are balanced, with some credit for extra time invested.

The good news for everyone, I am wise enough to not even try to argue with that logic.   And now that I have earned down my time, with only 626 years to go,  I thought I should take a moment and tell my spawn “Sorry”

Sorry I never learned to duck when I carried you on my shoulders through the door.  Sorry your mom stopped us from building our home-made rockets out of house hold chemicals. Sorry I didn’t realize the tent was leaking on our trip.    Sorry I woke you all up yelling expletives to get you out of the van    (although in my defense, it was on fire at the time.)

Hope all my fellow Miscreants are doing well, and that the children that you know about have acknowledged your special day.

How to be a Happy COW (Child of Writer)

Follow my Attempt to Change to an Author

So as some of you noted from comments, I was asked about COW (Child of Writer) this is an even broader subject then POW & WOW so I will start by narrowing it down.  If you are a semi –mature, living on your own, human being (possible with spawn of your own) and your Parental unit suddenly wishes to become a writer, you’re out of luck. I have no advice for you, or at least not in this article.

This is for the small ones.  First of all, congratulations. If your dad is the writer, you are one in a million.  Twenty years ago male writers were not considered adequate breeding stock. The odds of you being conceived, even when adjusted by the level of alcohol your mother drank before meeting your dad, would never creep above the “not really going to happen” level.  Now adays, a writer can hide…

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Losing her Touch

Yesterday was terrifying to me!  Because of obligations I made I needed to take my wife sized units van. And because of her refusal to ride the neighbor’s dog like a horse, she took my car.

This alone would not worry me much. It’s a fact my small car is easier to park, far more nimble than the van, and wife sized unit is used to being unnoticed by larger lumbering predators, so she knows when and how to move.

The problem comes from her health kick.  Now that we are in our forties, and unfortunately know better. Mixed with her desire to live as long and as well as possible there are some food items that are no longer allowed in our house.

I miss chips, I miss pretzels, I miss all my copious amounts of red meat. But the single largest loss to me: doughnuts.

I brought some home once, and explained to my wife sized unit that they were healthy! I asked the woman behind the counter if they were free range, antibiotic and hormone free doughnuts.  I took that confused face she made as meaning all doughnuts are that way.  Hence these are healthy doughnuts.

Wife sized unit did not see it that way, and forbid doughnuts from the house.

In a single declaration I became an outlaw. I was forced to smuggle my round pieces of heaven into the house.  Most times she would not catch me. Every now and again I would find my smuggled round beauties with bit marks, or gone all together.

I was not sure if it was the wife sized unit or the teen age son that found and decimated my stash. Really there was no way to find out. After all anytime you open with “Who ate the food items I smuggles in against the wife and Dr’s orders?” you never get that question answered!

I have been forced to hide my stash in the car now.

While driving her van to my contract job I reached under the driver’s seat, to suddenly realize when I exchanged Keys I forgot to move my stash. I don’t know what fresh hell was under her seat, but I knew that my beloved breakfast feasts were under the seat of the car she was driving. They would make themselves known when she moved the seat (at 4’10” she can’t use the same position that her 6’2” husband does). Even if somehow she missed the package, the doughnuts will end up making my car smell like doughnuts when the sun comes out.

I waited all night for the inevitable fall out of her discovery, but somehow she missed my little beauties. This maybe the first time I was glad she failed to return the seat to where I keep it. My precious survived, undetected.

My wife is losing her touch, although I suspect the Novocaine the Dentist gave her was a factor.

Bureaucracies

(sorry I have been so quiet – but I have had a reason – see below)

Bureaucracies

I have said, more times than my poor wife sized unit has wanted to hear, that a bureaucracy is a system that is so Fub’rd that no single person could have come up with it.

Any time you have a large company or a government agency, you are guaranteed to have a bureaucracy. Some of the encounters I have had over the last couple of days:

1)    A company I was bidding supplies for rejected my bid (my bid for the temp job I have I should say), because I came in below their budget. I was allowed to resubmit my bid, at a higher rate, but was not allowed to save them money – after the entire budget was set already!

2)    The Government is going to hold 8 weeks of my unemployment. This is Standard Operational procedure.  If I should go do day labor, or freelance computer work they will not pay me at all. So I have to find a way to go 2 months without income

3)    My Unemployment will be shut down every 2 week unless I stop working the contract jobs, I can’t avoid this. So every month I will have to spend an hour & a half of my life on the phone (because you can’t do this on the internet) to keep my claim ‘active’.  The word ‘dis-incentive’ comes to mind.

4)    My jeep failed Emissions, by .01% to get it fixed I have to take it to a shop, but I can’t because the registration is up, and I can get a temp because it hasn’t passed emissions. So now I have to have it towed, but the tow company won’t tow it without a valid registration.

5)    I have to apply for at least 3 jobs a week.  Sadly, if there are no jobs at my skill or pay range, I have to apply for ‘the best possible match’.  Meaning I will be applying for either jobs that Pay what I am worth but I am not qualified for, or for jobs that I am so overqualified for that even if I got hired all it would mean is I was the smartest burger flipper at whatever fast food joint I am stuck with.  (and exaggeration, I don’t have to apply for any job whos’ total weekly pay is less than my unemployment – but still)

6)    My 2 new websites are finally coming up, I couldn’t start working on them until the DNS information had been approved, which means I waited for a phone call because automatic systems can’t confirm the information that the phone call did.  BTW – the 2 questions it asked me over the phone, my full name and my zip code.  I personally think the guy on the phone was just lonely…

So next time any of you hear me talking about “Author Juice”, also known as Beer,  Consider that the above examples have all kicked up in the last 8 days, than wonder why the heck I am sober enough to even write this!

 

How to be a good WOW

Hey All -I’ve been in “author land” latly, and between job hunt and editing, haven’t posted much over here, but this is something my fellow miscreants should all enjoy!

Follow my Attempt to Change to an Author

Greetings all, no real news but I have been thinking about something that I find interesting, and decided if I liked it you may (after all you’re reading my blog)

I should note this is less for my readers, most of which are fellow authors like me, and more or your significant other.  They are WOW’s or Widows of Writers.

I know your writer isn’t really dead, but they are in their head, practicing their craft, and putting their stories to paper. They aren’t ignoring you (intentionally) but sometimes, when they are in the zone there is little attention left for you.

How to tell you’ve become a WOW is easy enough, just watch the signs.

The signs are easy to see, one day your loved one started to spend more time in your house library. Another sign being your house has a library.  You have more books in your…

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