Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Publishing Events

Lots of places to read about the current state of writing and selling.

First, Laura Miller of Salon has a piece on how modern writers must market their work, and how so many great writers would have failed utterly at this.

And this piece on Wunderkind Amanda Hocking, the Queen of Successful Self Ebook Publishing, who has decided to outsource so much of the work of promotion to a big pub house. She's finally signing a print deal, which is the right move for her at this stage. And she's right- the constant drive to promote means you have less time to write new material.

Lastly, the flip side of that, where an established pro is tired of dealing with the issues of a big pub house, and the lost revenue, and so just turned down a half-million dollar deal, in favor of self-pubbing his next two books. Again, it's the right decision for him. Barry Eisler piece

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ebook off to publisher!

Have spent some time in getting my novel, A Memory of Grief, properly formatted for my publisher, Briona Glen, to upload to Smashwords, where it will soon be available for purchase as an ebook!

Yup, it's on the way, folks! After a long time and much persistence, my first novel will be out for sale. The print version is in the works as well, hope to see that out in 6-8 weeks.

Been a long road. There are stringent requirements to getting the book properly posted in the premium catalog, but I have faith that my publisher will do it right. It'll be available in all epub formats: Kindle, Nook, the Apple ereader, PDF, HTML (so you can read it in any web browser).

The book also contains Chapter One of the followup book in the series, A Fall From Grace.

And I'll be working on an audio recording sample of the first chapter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Poems Published

Haiku Journal has just published a few little haikus of mine:

Used to love this form. Strict outline with a few well-chosen words, tending toward a single effect.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daughter Getting Published

Am a very proud dad. My daughter Erin has just had two of her poems sold, to Literature For Kids, a nice little market.

Her poems are by far better than mine. Beautiful imagery and word use. She'd written these up some time ago, and I thought they were terrific. They were snapped up quickly, so I guess I was right. Now I'm thinking she should do more...

Best part is, she's got bragging rights, as her pay for these will be more than I got for mine. ;-)

One due in July, another in September. Will post the link when they're up.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

And Another One!

Wow- I've got another piece published, this one in The Funny Times:

The best pay so far, for the shortest piece I've done. Hmmm...

Great new market-- got my copy, and they've packed a great deal of humor into one edition.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Latest Publication

The new Fungi anthology is out on Amazon-- and my story, "Locust Time" is the first one you read!

Also includes works by HP Lovecraft, Ramsay Campbell, Dave Daniel, and a special section on Ray Bradbury:

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Today's entry is going to sound a bit harsh. Sorry about being a downer on St. Patrick's Day.

Today in the newspaper there are two stories about American murderers.
Both of them have escaped justice, because we don't seem to grasp that concept, to our everlasting shame.

One murderer is a CIA contractor who killed two people in Pakistan.
He got off because someone threw money at the families of the butchered people.
Way to show the world what America is all about.

Another was a Marine, who gunned down an unarmed person. Apparently, he hasn't even shown remorse over taking the life of a human being. This happened years ago, and he still hasn't been convicted.
Yup, real American values.

So the next time some jingoistic dimbulb asks why people in other countries hate us, you can tell them. Because the American people allow our leaders to send killers to other countries, butcher civilians, and get away with it.

And it's all using our tax dollars, fully supported by us. So tell those angry idiots to stop complaining about how high taxes are, until they protest how their money is used to massacre people.

Oh, yeah, and what do you think would happen if soldiers from some other country came over here, shot down a few people and then skipped off? We'd be calling for war.

Just remember kids-- murder, kidnapping, and torture are all okay if Americans do it. If someone does it who's not American, then it's EVIL and must be stopped at all costs.

What a bubble we live in.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Modest Proposal- Kiva for College

There is essentially a war against the middle class in this country, and one of the fronts is the absurdly high cost of a college education. Needless costs, as detailed in many places, and many of the colleges raise their prices to match that of their competitiors, out of cowardly fear that they wouldn't get enough business if they were a few thousand less.

Shamefully, a middle class family must pay the price of another house for each child for a (what may well be substandard) four-year degree. By straining the middle class in this fashion, we're headed toward being a Third World country.

With that in mind, there is a great organization, called, which brokers micro-loans around the world. You can search for viable candidates, make a small loan, and chart the progress of the loan and loanee. This is a wonderful way to help those in need, and can be done in small amounts that make a real difference.

So- my modest proposal is to have a similar organization for student loans in this country!
Students in need would post a short profile, including area of study, and people could make loans toward the total. And know their money was making a difference.

And we can take it a step further. They could exchange some parts of the loan for approved community service. A student could earn their degree, spend a little time helping others, and excuse a portion of the loan.

What a difference this could make. Kids wouldn't graduate with six-figure debts, and wouldn't be in economic servitude for years. And they'd get a real education by working it off helping others.

All in favor? How can we get this going?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The War on Teachers and Sense

So- a certain political figure in Wisconsin, backed by members of a certain political bent, decided to declare war on teachers. One of their attacks says that these middle-class teachers are somehow greedy, for having the temerity to ask for scraps, such as affordable health care and a living wage.

These political dipsticks are the same ones who stridently defend the indefensible pay, privileges, and power of the super-rich CEOs and bankers.

How backwards can you get?

They say that the rich ones who contribute little, and who cause irreparable harm on a regular basis, should be rewarded with more yachts, mansions, and gold, wrung from the taxpayers. They say that you and I should support the bailout of these irresponsible failures, with billions of our tax dollars.

All this, while insisting that scraping-by teachers, who can barely afford a first mortgage, and who put in 60 hours a week or more to teach our children, are somehow sucking the life out of this country with their evil lust for more than they deserve. Yeah. Teachers, whose only "privilege" is to get assaulted by parents, students, and administrators, are the bad guys, while those with multiple houses and millions in the bank are poor victims.

So there you have the political philosophy of a major party in this country in a nutshell. Explains why we're in such trouble- because somehow people still listen to these idiots.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Social Network

Well, I finally broke down and watched the movie The Social Network.
Not the movie, the behavior it portrays. It's one of those films which shows the ugly sides of humanity, and makes me want to scrub out the gene pool with a powerful bleach.
I cannot stand sociopaths, and watching them gleefully smash through the lives of others and accidentally profit while doing so is not something I prefer to dwell on. Yeah, we are a debased society, and we reward the worst trolls with the most gold, for ruining what little of value is left.

People who cannot deal with other people have resorted to living their lives via the Internet. Witness the popularity of Second Life, a sort of recreation for many who should think about a First Life. Passing time in a harmless hobby is fine, but not to the point where it inhibits the player from forming real human bonds. And each passing year it gets worse.

So if you want to see how we as a culture and a society have devolved, watch the movie. Most of the women are portrayed as little more than prizes for undeserving slimeballs, who gain their favors with gold and fame. Wheee, women as desperate, gold-digging, semi-hookers. How special.

If this is what we have become, someone owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Poem Published

Got another poem out-- "Memories" was just published at Poetry Quarterly.

This has been an interesting sideline. I've written little bits and bobs of poems throughout the years, but never did anything with them. Then I had one I thought was good (I was channeling Anne Sexton, after all), so I sent it out, and Ghostlight bought it.

So I pulled out dusty old files, polished them up, and sent more out. Have sold half the poems of what I'd written.

Also was encouraged by my daughter Erin, who wrote a couple of very good poems. They're circulating in the submissions ether.

Doesn't shake the world, but it's nice to get more publishing credits. The more you have, the more editors take you seriously.

So it's a free online read. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Job Help Special

Know anyone looking for a job soon?
Rosstrum Publishing is running a special discount for Tax Season on my ebook, How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills. From now until April 15th,
  • Go to Smashwords (this link).
  • Enter coupon code ZH82X at checkout
  • For only 99 cents, get an ebook of good advice on how to give the edge in an interview!