Saturday, October 29, 2011

I'm Not Here to Bury Booksellers

While I was reading my email, I happened to stumble across an item about booksellers on the DorothyL list.

It's called 10 Myths About Bookselling.

Now, when I post to this blog, if it isn't a review, I try to write about books, reading, bookstores, libraries, etc.

I'm writing this post for the booksellers. I hope readers will enjoy it, too.

I thought the article was totally awesome. And I'm an author who makes most of my money from the sale of ebooks.

However, I still love print books. And I still publish all my novels in print editions, as well as ebook versions. Plus audio. Just sayin'. :)

Anyhow, I once wrote on another blog that I didn't think that print books would ever die completely. Essentially, I think this is true for the same reason that vinyl records haven't disappeared from the face of the earth completely. New technologies may become more popular, but that doesn't mean old ones will completely vanish. Necessarily.

And here's another thing. I share something in common with indie booksellers. I'm disadvantaged. I have a physical disability. It has a very real effect on my stamina and ability to write.

This is true whether I use speech recognition software or not. When your limbs are clenching non-stop and you can't do anything about it except grit your teeth and keep going, it saps your energy, creatively and otherwise.

I'm telling you this not in a bid for pity, but to let you know that I share your frustration at being at a disadvantage. I would love to be able to write even three books a year, but I can't. My physical capabilities simply won't allow it. And I need to maintain a work-life balance of some sort.

So I know how you must feel as you see Amazon take over the world of bookselling. It must really, really suck.

I'm not here to apologize for the way I make money. Fiction writing is my business. I've never asked you to apologize for allowing 100% refunds to publishers in exchange for returned books. You're in this to make money, too. So, I'm sure you had your reasons for adopting that policy. Let's not get all pissy over that, right?

I'm here as a friend of booksellers to offer a suggestion. You know it's important to have an online presence these days. A Web site is fine, but not enough. Start a blog.

Why a blog? Because a blog = power.

Case in point: one of THE smartest marketers on the Internet is Jenny Lawson. Her blog is called The Bloggess.

Now, she is entertaining, of course. Especially with awesome off-the-wall posts like this one!

But if you scroll down, you'll notice she has a place she calls "my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.)"

That's where she sells these products.

Now ... books are products. And you guys are booksellers.

That article about the 10 myths had lines that would look awesome on T-shirts, coffee cups and other things that bookstores could sell. On or offline.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

PS: It helps to think a little outside the (big) box, okay?

PPS: I have five blogs, so I have some experience. And through hard work (and luck), even a gimpy self-published author can make this list. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book-A-Minute Classics: When You Simply Don't Have Time to Read

These days, everything must be done fast. Books must be written quickly and published as fast as humanly possible. This is so readers can buy them as fast as possible.

Naturally, once bought, one would hope such books would be read. However, given the amount of things we're expected to do these days (as quickly as possible), it's often difficult to find time to read.

However, if you like classic literature at all, there is help to be had. Book-A-Minute Classics provides it.

You'll note that the site is especially useful for busy students. Check it out. It says: 

English teachers have the inconsiderate habit of assigning mammoth-sized works of literature to read and then actually expecting you to do it. This wouldn't be so bad except that invariably the requisite reading is as boring as fly fishing in an empty lake. Half of those books don't even have discernible plots. And let's face it -- the Cliff's Notes are pretty time-consuming too. Worry no more. Your troubles are over. We here at Book-A-Minute Classics have come up with a solution. We've taken all kinds of great works of literature and boiled them down to their essence, extracting all the filler (and believe me, there's a lot of it sometimes). In just one minute, you can read entire books and learn everything your teachers will expect you to know.

Yeah, boy, those Cliff Notes take so much time, don't they?

And even if you aren't a student, think of how much smarter you'll seem if you read some of these. :)

Of course, you could order this book ...

... but then you'd have to read it. And how idiotic would that be?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things Get Crazy in 'Citizen Insane'

Review: CITIZEN INSANE (Books on the Green 2011)
Author: Karen Cantwell

In this sequel to TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN, suburban soccer mom and wanna-be online film reviewer Barbara Marr is merely seeking a nice relaxing foot massage at a day spa. She and her good friend and neighbor, Roz, are supposed to go to one together and be pampered. However, a slightly crazy dizzy weird woman named Bunny (yes, really!) shows up in her yard. And she's turning around in circles, muttering to herself.

Now, on top of throwing a kink into Barbara's plans to hit the spa, it doesn't help that Bunny matches this description: "Towering close to six feet tall, she had a Cindy Crawford body and talked all breathy as if she were trying to be sexy, but really it just sounded like she was always on the verge of an asthma attack."

Keep in mind that Barbara has separated from her husband, Howard. In the first book, she found out he's an FBI agent and kept it secret from her like forever. Sound familiar? True lies. And she's a film nut buff fan. Get it? Anyhow ...

Also, keep in mind that Barbara has seen Howard with some mysterious blonde in a very nice restaurant. She calls the blonde the Fiorenza Floozy, because that's the name of the restaurant and, well, you know what they say about assumptions ... because Howard does look like George Clooney, after all.

So, Barbara's got a whole lot on her mind. And it's driving her a bit nuts to say the least.

This is creating a communication problem with her teenage daughter, but not (unfortunately) her mother, who insists on showing up at Barbara's door (unannounced) and giving her (honest and unsolicited) opinion (about everything).

Then, to top it off, her friend Roz asks for her help in resolving a problem with the school yearbook. And it involves attending the PTA meeting. Oh, my God!

If you think legislatures and high diplomatic circles are the only places where political games go on, you would be so wrong! Those guys are rank amateurs compared to the ladies of the PTA. And, as with all political games, you never know who's on what side or why.

High drama ensues when a couple of ladies get into it in a major way, after the meeting.

And I haven't even mentioned the part about the dead person yet. Oh, my God!

Let's just say that it puts Bunny in an uncomfortable position. And Barbara can't seem to keep her out of the house.

Is it a really a spoiler to say the two of them end up working together to figure out who really dun it?

It all culminates into a wild and over-the-top ending that pays homage to various television shows and films.

In short, CITIZEN INSANE is a mystery that cleverly combines over-the-top plotting and suspense with film homages and dashes of poignancy. This book will keep you laughing and turning the pages right up to its surprise ending.

PS: Barbara, word of advice. Crazy people aren't terribly reliable or good at coming up with plans. Next time, just pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1. Okay? :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas
Diy Bathroom Tumblr Wall Decor

You think you want for your bathroom design, you have a few things, you must be a way to go smoothly for your decoration. Here are some tips and bathroom decorating ideas for your consideration in the decoration

There are some great tips to use when you can choose that will help ensure that your bathroom has a finished exterior wall decorations. If you have one, you really like the furniture in the bathroom, you can consider selecting free decorative walls to help pull the room together. This can be the same or complimentary materials by selecting the shape of the parts. Choose wall decorations, you should also pay close attention to the color you use. A great tip you used when decorating accessories, is to choose a color from a major focus in the bathroom and repeated use of the decorative color. You can also choose the color tones for free, to ensure that your bathroom has a feeling of unity throughout.

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas
Diy Bathroom Wall Decor and Cabinet

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas
Many people choose into their own small space bathroom. This will create a luxurious, peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Choose bathroom decorated in calm and relaxing colors for wall decorations, can enhance this effect. With the right framework and the right picture the type of suspension system, and even boring illustrations may be the use of new energy. Fancy frame is not very expensive, there are many local shops and even shops on the Internet can provide you with an image of your low-cost housing. If this is not something you want to do, you can always make your own framework. Frame to ensure no conflict in the bathroom too much, or you will encounter the same problem the above tips.

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas
Diy Bathroom Flower Wall Quotes

Diy Bathroom Wall Decor ideas

Any of you hanging in the bathroom, you must be very clear that you are using the space. Trying to hang a very large wall within the framework of a small part of, will only lead to the bathroom appear smaller than it actually is. On top of that, it would seem very strange space. By the same token, you should not be placed in a large section of the wall only a tiny image. You might think that it adds a sense of artistic quality, but guests will be confused by this choice, and may even ask you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This is What Idiot Adults Think About Babies

Here's a link to a very frightening article about a baby who can't seem to figure out how a print magazine works.

The article isn't frightening because of the effect of technology on the baby's mind. It's because the parents are too stupid to notice their baby can't figure out how to turn a page.

I was raised watching television, but I didn't expect pictures in books to start moving, you know?

Has it occurred to the parents that this kid is just plain retarded dumb? Well, of course it wouldn't ...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Turtle Moves in 'Small Gods'

Review: SMALL GODS (HarperCollins e-books 2009)
Author: Terry Pratchett

There once was a deity named Om who took the form of a bull or so people thought. However, the people began to turn away from his true teachings. Thus, the god who once was a bull (maybe) was reduced to the size of a tortoise. Now, this poor little tortoise found himself wandering through the desert. Hmm ... sound familiar? Perhaps. But I digress. The tortoise/god was attacked by an eagle, because eagles know that turtles make some kind of good eating. So the plan was to smash this turtle/god into a pile of rocks the way eagles do with tortoises and other hard-shelled creatures they'd like to make meals of. But due to bad aim or luck or -- dare I say it? -- divine intervention, this plan went all out of skew on the treadle. The turtle god made a soft landing and survived. And he landed in Om, a place named after him, ruled by the church started by his purported believers.

So ... what's a small tortoise god to do? Seek out his flock, right?

And off he goes on his little stubby tortoise legs. With one eye. And a whole lot of determination. And a whole lot of attitude. And a few divine powers at his disposal. But very little else, unfortunately. Because he is stuck in the body of a turtle, after all.

And he runs across a simple man named Brutha. At least, Brutha seems simple. Brutha is a novice priest. Brutha hoes the garden and does all the dirty little chores that no one else wants to do. Brutha doesn't question the Church or authority (yet). Brutha just wants to live his life in peace and contentment.

Thing is, Brutha has amazing strengths. He has an open mind and an open heart. His mind is so open, he remembers everything. He has total recall. And his heart is so open, he has what you could call the ability to give unconditional love.

Brutha's mind is so open, he's the only one who can hear Om speak when he tries to talk to his so-called believers.

Okay, that's nice. But what's the catch? Well, there's a bad guy, of course. Or there wouldn't be a story, would there?

And the biggest, baddest guy in this story is ... Vorbis. Best. Bad guy name. Ever.

You might say that Vorbis is the anti-Brutha. He doesn't want peace or contentment. He wants nothing more than to stir up trouble and discontent. He does this for the sole purpose of being in a position to get others to do all the dirty work he doesn't want to handle and to be the authority figure.

And the thing is, Vorbis is actually weak. Because his mind and heart are both so closed. His mind is so closed, he can only hear his own thoughts rattling around in his own head. He's incapable of looking at things from anyone else's point of view or thinking outside his own little box (pardon my cliche, but it fits). And his heart is so closed, he has no compassion whatsoever, to the point where one might consider him a dangerous sociopath.

Now, Vorbis has a mission. He's going to Ephebe to meet with their leader called (ironically) the Tyrant. The Tyrant has a plan, but Vorbis has his own plans rattling around in his own head. And Vorbis is taking Brutha with him. Now why on earth (or whatever planet they're on) would he do this? He's afraid. He knows he's weak and Brutha has strength. He wants Brutha's strength. However, you can't get Brutha's strength by being Vorbis.

Okay, that's it.

Now, lest you think this all too serious and philosophical, please don't. Terry Pratchett makes it all as funny as hell. Lines such as, "Om, bumping along in Brutha's pack, began to feel the acute depression that steals over every realist in the presence of an optimist," made me laugh out loud. Brutha and Om go through many adventures and meet all sorts of interesting characters. However, to say more would be telling, wouldn't it?

And Om's so vulnerable for a god. People are always picking him up and thinking about turning him into their next meal. (For God's sake!) Well, turtles make good eating, you know? So ... Om needs Brutha for protection. A god needs his believer to keep him alive. And vice versa. Ironic, huh?

It's not really a spoiler to say that the good guys win in the end, is it? Or that gods could make miracles happen -- if they learned to look at life from the ground level.

PS: Death makes an appearance in this book. And the strengths I mentioned before take on even more significance, in the afterlife as Terry Pratchett describes it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm Busy, But Not Uninterested

Because I don't have a book review or a particularly scintillating article about books to post here today, I thought I'd post this article about the Top 10 Misused English Words. I can only hope that it will ultimately be useful to you -- literally. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mystery Scene Mag Review of 'A Crack in Everything'

I've written a review for Mystery Scene Magazine of A CRACK IN EVERYTHING by Angela Gerst. It's her debut novel and it's a real doozy. Here's the review.

This book features a lawyer as a protagonist. One that my own protagonist, Sam McRae, would probably like quite a bit. :)

Easy Homemade Wall Decor Ideas For Our Family

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas
The first place, people use the national decoration, a living room and kitchen. The kitchen is the hub of a family, should be warm and inviting. Some of the popular home decorating theme kitchen country chicken, chicken, beef, and apple. These projects usually have a complete on their antique, to improve the country's theme.

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas
Inkjet printer is another popular country-made decorative techniques. You can like a border around the room at the top of the mold. You can also design beautiful templates to suit your decorative wooden shelf or wall plaque made​​. This is a great way to decorate your home into your personality and beliefs.

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas

Your canvas, the mural in the same general areas as depicted in the application of color. You actually create your own free-style murals of the small version of modern art. This is great, the paint a little crazy to you, because you really can not make a mistake. Acrylic resin is very easy to use, you will see. If you are not careful of your color mixing, and produce unwanted colors, simply paint dry for several hours, then paint the color of law. Once you are satisfied with the location of the color, your work is complete.

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas
Pictures, artwork, souvenirs, more worthy of presentation really stand out just right. Learning and innovative wall decoration techniques, the basic framework of our favorite works of art you are prompted to front and center, then use our inspiring slides, found a large number of creative ways to showcase your project.

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas
Framework and pre-cut matting always convenient, general size, but when you have a piece of unusual size, purchase a custom cut mats, will make your work to fit almost any frame. Although you must visit framers, custom mats significantly cheaper than full price of the viewfinder.

Homemade Wall Decor Ideas

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peace, Love, Eternity...Singleton Hippie Art

Peace, Love, Eternity is Now...(c) Singleton"The sky above mewas tangled withtwisted little twigs,their boney fingers laced togetheragainst the wind....strumming sweet violin musicjust beforethe storm...a hundred thousanddragonflies paraded by,swirling,tumbling,dancing,laughing....And then, I knew....This was Peace."Words and artwork (c) SingletonPainted on a haunted hippie camp~out, watching

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dublin as Literary Mecca

On Sunday, I stumbled across this article in the Washington Post about Dublin's libraries. These aren't just any old libraries we're talking about. These places are like shrines to books and literature.

Here's some of what the article had to say:

We Dubliners take a lot of pride in our city’s reputation as a literary capital (not least because it lends our loquaciousness a certain gravitas, as if every quip were something more exalted than mere banter). Walk into any genuine pub in town, and you’re bound to see that famous poster of Irish literary heroes on the wall. It’s not idle boastfulness: Dublin can claim four Nobel laureates — George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Moreover, the names Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Flann O’Brien and of course James Joyce are synonymous with the town.

Mighty impressive, if you ask me.

So when literary-minded visitors to the Irish capital inquire about suitably bookish activities, there’s plenty to point them toward: literary walking tours, regular poetry and storytelling events, numerous literary festivals and a writers’ museum.

Literary type stuff, in other words. But, of course. :)

However, let's skip down to a rather ... interesting part.

Ascending the staircase to the Long Room requires an adjustment in scale, from the detail of the book to the huge space of the library in a few dozen steps. The Long Room is a breathtaking chamber, and entering it is like stepping into a vast cathedral for the worship of the printed word, with row upon row of book-filled alcoves stretching more than 200 feet before you and high up to the spectacular vaulted ceiling. Along each side stands a row of marble busts of great writers, starting with Shakespeare on one side and Homer on the other.

You see that part in bold with the underscored words? Does this suggest anything?

Could it be that print books have a permanence? Or, dare I say it, a value in and of themselves, related to history? Are print books as worthy of preservation as, say, the building in the above photo?

PS: Check out the photo with the article. Do you see any patrons using computer terminals?

Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas

Different colors of the color temperature can affect our emotions. Like red, yellow, orange and dark brown can make the place look warm and energetic. This means that these colors are good, and we often socialize with other family members and friends, such as living and dining areas of the wall color. Cool, such as green, blue and gray, can give a room a relaxed, tranquil feeling. Therefore, these colors are good the room, we usually like the bedroom to relax.

Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas
Paintings used to decorate almost any room: bedroom and living room, children's room, wine cellar and community halls, cinemas. Decorative wall painting, create your office a unique image, emphasizing the individuality and creativity.
Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas
Dark living room decoration, living room will become a very cool and interesting art. The concept of the dark living room decoration can be applied to the selection of furniture and paint the walls, dark. The dark living room decor is the right way to make the room look cool, attractive and stylish. For use illegal means to beautify the dark living room decoration. If you give a dark living room decoration, then you will have a living room is cool and interesting, you see in the image of the dark living room decoration.

Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas
Try to make the walls of your room color combination of painting and the nature of the earth. These colors often evoke a feeling of security, so make the room feel more comfortable. These are some creative ways you can paint the wall. Do not close your heart in your home the traditional way of painting the walls.

Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas

Living Room Wall Decorating and Painting Ideas
Art of painting walls and ceilings - is one of the most ancient art form. The cave paintings, paintings of ancient temples, ancient wall murals - all examples of the art of painting. Painting walls and ceilings has not lost its meaning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

50 Greatest Novels for Art Students

While the word "art" can mean different things to different people, those who study art may find it helpful to seek refuge in the world of literature from time to time.

For that reason (presumably), this article entitled 50 Greatest Novels for Art Students was written.

As the article states:

Preparing to enter the often brutally critical art world can be a tough journey. Art students need lots of support, practice and inspiration to make their time in art school the best preparation possible to take on a serious fine art career. While professors, other artists and students offer up a lot of that, books can also be an amazing place to get a little inspiration or insight into what it’s really like to work as an artist. Here are some of the novels we believe will be the best reads for young artists in training. Covering diverse genres like historical fiction and mystery, there’s bound to be something for every aspiring artist to curl up with on a rainy day.

 Hmm ... "brutally critical" ... "tough journey" ...? Can you think of any other pursuit to which those words might apply?

Think hard. :)

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