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Stories I wrote from the grave



Yes that is my name on the tombstone. Yes I am dead. But I was able to write eight short stories of horror that is now a live e-book on Amazon. It is no easy task writing in a coffin. It is cramped and damn dark. Lucky me for me I memorized the keyboard. I also had the foresight to pick a tree that has Wi-Fi.

My logline for this book is:

Stories in the spectral shadows where transition from life to death becomes blurred; where shadows haunt both the living and the dead; where shadows disorient and confuse.

If, like me, you are dead, the book is free. If you are still among the living, you may contribute 3.99 to Amazon and they will come to my grave once a month and drop coins into the slot on top of the tombstone. Even the dead have expenses. Air freshener is a top priority. I also need a saw to cut off the tree root that is coming through the coffin bottom and edging towards my bottom. Quite uncomfortable.

I know, I know, stop complaining you say. We all have problems. Hey, I’m dead, a little sympathy please.

Story one is about a different kind of a theatre, one you may or may not want to visit. Story two is about a house in the woods that may or may not be haunted; it is for you to decide. Story three is about a man walking in a cemetery and has trouble communicating with those he meets. The fourth story is my humble attempt to reimagine the ending of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”

The fifth story is about a crazed killer who -no, I can’t tell you. Story six is about a boy going to his first parade. Ah, how sweet. So you might think before reading this story. The seventh story is about a man who wakes up and finds a dead woman in his bed and has no idea who she is. And the final story is about what happens to a writer creating stories like the previous seven, a story where some characters will be familiar.

For my family and friends on Facebook who never wish me Happy Birthday, never comment on anything I post, never like anything I post, you can buy the book, but do not have to read it. Just think how wonderful the cover will look on your desktop, what with my name on the tombstone.

Here is a link to this book on Amazon if you would like to contribute to my afterlife happiness.




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My return from a cyberspace black hole

It has been two weeks since my last blog. I would prefer to say I was on vacation, lazing on a sunny beach with a brunette and a blonde of the female species, idling the day away drinking grape Kool-Aid and playing tidily winks, but alas that was not the reason.

I am part of a Wi-Fi network and our home base from which we draw cyber-power was accidently dismantled for reasons that are confusing, humorous, and scary. I have also promised never to reveal how or why this happened in order to protect the guilty. The problem was resolved but after few days of deleting 1, 217 emails and ready to blog once again, a new problem arose which caused another shutdown.

The second problem concerned a modem and was so bad we had to bring in a NASA technician  to fix the problem. It took days, but he discovered that an alien power was hacking into our network and was gathering data on us. Our signal was redirected to a black hole in another galaxy, which as you may know, has shown to be in another dimension, one where time is in reverse. You can look it up. 

I have been in power outages when the house goes dark, you grab a flashlight, light candles, and sit in the dark. We tend to take electricity for granted and when it is not there we do odd things. Like trying to turn on a radio-what-oh yeah- that won’t work. No heat, so we go to the stove-wait that won’t work either. We have trained ourselves to turn things on, it is ingrained in us. The feeling of being out of network was similar. I knew I could not get on the Internet, but that did not stop my mind from telling me to see what movies were playing in town by clicking a favorite webpage. Baseball scores? Click MLB. com.

Without Internet access I felt cutoff from the world. I rely on it to inform, to entertain, to do many other fun and exciting things, though I am not addicted to social media. I can live without Twitter, Facebook, (though I have both) and all the other social sites. I prefer real social interaction to cyber interaction. But I am glad to be back-at least for now. Beware of black holes


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What is a the most important thing for a writer to do.

If I knew who made the quote I would cite the person, but I have no idea who said, “The simple act of sitting down to write is the most important thing you can do.” On the other hand maybe it is best we don’t know. I like the quote, but there is something wrong with it.

There is truth in the first part of the quote. Sitting down to write is a simple act. I want you to watch this amazing slight of hand video taken in Beijing. It lasts 4:33. When finished, come back and I will tell you something about the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_D6H-qNBFk&feature=player_embedded.

The man in the video, like any magician, relies on distracting you, making you look one direction so he can do something when you are looking elsewhere.  I sit down to write everyday. It is easy to do, a simple act. But often I get distracted because I find videos like this on Facebook or YouTube. But aren’t you glad I shared it with you.

Then there are times when I have the urge to hear a favorite song, like this one.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhDIGTldho.

Or if I want to get riled up with liberal indignation, I listen to Matt Damon in “Good Will Huntinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8rQNdBmPek&feature=related.

So you see, sitting down to write is not the most important thing you can do. Anyone can sit down to write, nothing important in that. It is a good intention to sit down, but writers are easily distracted as you have noticed if you watched any of the above videos. I distracted you with my sleight of electronic hand.

The lesson for today class, is if you plan on sitting down to write, then the most important thing you can do is write. Do not go to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and so on. You should of course come here to this blog for valuable information and insight. By the way, if you missed one of the videos above, you still have time to watch them. I am not really distracting you. I am being social.

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How to sell eBooks doing nothing

I recently published two novels on Kindle Direct at Amazon so it is fair to say I know nothing. But if you are new to eBook publishing like me or considering immersing yourself into e-world, you undoubtedly have researched promoting, advertising, and all that pizazz.

I thought about and used Twitter, Facebook, Google+, anything social media. There are people with websites saying they can promote your book, do advertising, and pretty much be a PR firm for you. But that costs a lot of money and there are no guarantees. So what to do?

One writer, who has sold over 1,000,000 e-books and is more an authority than my loony self, has the answer. And the answer is not much.

As J.A. Konrath, e-book guru asks, when was the last time you bought an e-Book because of a Tweet or Facebook ad. I had the feeling early on, before I read Konrath’s post, we writers in the social media world were like chickens running around with our heads cut off. We kept bumping into each other, but do we buy each others books?

Konrath says most of it is luck. Any writer knows he has to find his audience and it takes time for them to find you.

He does suggest that having a good cover is imperative. You must catch the readers attention, then follow up on your author’s page with a solid description of the book. And though he has gone the Twitter, Facebook, blog tour route, he suggest instead of  ‘pimping’ your book, you write more books. I guess the key is volume, volume, volume.

He closes his post by stating that you should not automatically believe what he says, not to trust him or any so called ‘expert.’ In other words, we are back to square one, lost in the funhouse, unable to find our way to e-book nirvana, making thousands in royalties each month.

My plan is to be patient, do what I can. I have already gotten two three star reviews for one book. But it is hard to be patient, so I may tweet now and then, click on over to google+ but mostly I will write another book.

Here is a link to Konrath’s post.  http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-sell-ebooks.html


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Here is why bloggers should not believe their view stats

There are more bloggers on the Internet than there are humans. Hard to believe I know, but I read it on the Internet.

August 2000 Issue of Yahoo! Internet Life

August 2000 Issue of Yahoo! Internet Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seriously I have discovered that some numbers do not add up. One day I received emails from those who clicked ‘like’ for one of my blogs. What was odd is that the number of ‘likes’ exceeded the number of views that shows on my dashboard. That means there are people out there who click ‘like’ without even looking at the blog they’re ‘liking.’ That’s one neat trick.

I don’t know if subscribers who get blogs in their email account are counted as views. I am thinking not, as I know those numbers do not add up.  Of course subscribers can be deleting without reading. Shame on you!

But there is a mystery about these stats. And it also applies to websites. One day according to my website hosting page, I did not get one view, which is quite odd. Okay maybe not that odd, though this August it views averaged in double figures. But on the day I had no views, many years ago, I also had a message from someone who visited my website and commented on a movie review I wrote. So how did this person read the review on my site, respond to it, yet was not counted as a view.

I emailed Yahoo and they told me in their response that page views are not accurate. I don’t recall them explaining why, but I do know there were web pages showing no views though I received responses from those pages, some in person from those who know me.

So what should we make of all this?

I will be checking my inbox, comparing them to views, analyzing data, and most likely conclude that it does not matter. I write because I write, not for numbers. But I did use the picture with the girl to get more views. Please like or comment. I just want to check the numbers.

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Never put off writing today when you can put it off writing tomorrow

I was going to begin working on my new novel this morning, but first I had to write this blog. A writer must have self imposed deadlines and schedules. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are days for this blog. Writing it is also a good warm up exercise.

Of course I, as any writer, must also Tweet about my two e-books available at Amazon Kindle, and another Tweet or two, or three, directing other Tweeters to my website where they can read excerpts from the books. Since I am on Twitter I should search for other people to follow, to see if they will also follow me.

Twitter 6x6

Twitter 6×6 (Photo credit: Steve Woolf)

And as long as I am being sociable, there are thirty communities at Google+ that I have to visit in order to comment on posts, give them the ‘+’ all in the hopes they will do the same for me. After commenting, promoting, and ‘+’ others, I can then promote my e-books, my blogs, my website. I promote the others first of course, not only because I am generous with my time, but also because if I don’t I will be chastised, exorcised from circle of friends, and banned from the community.

Having done all the above it was time for lunch. I did not make any progress on my new novel, but at least I was not wasting time.

After lunch I needed to make a decision about Facebook. It really does little good promoting my books to family and friends. Though some are encouraging, most don’t have a Kindle, and others don’t care. They are busy finding funny videos of cats to share. So do I now create a Facebook fan page when I have not enough fans to make it worthwhile. And what do I do on my fan page anyway?

Then their is marketing to consider. Do I buy Internet ads to promote my books? I am not ad buying savvy, but I can pay someone who will promote my books through ads and websites, though the cost for this ‘expertise’ most likely will exceed any royalties I could make. You must spend money to make money is the old adage. No doubt coined by an ad salesman.

Prior to the Internet writing was a solitary art, now it is a social art. My question is, when do I find time to write my next book? It is dinner time after all. Maybe after my baseball blog tomorrow.



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