Archive for December, 2011

I kinda disappeared there for more than a week, didn’t I?

Sorry about that.  Truth is, I’m now out of town and pretty much all around out of it.  Traveling and staying with family over the holidays kinda messes me up, you know?  Meanwhile, I’m sending good wishes of safety to my sister in New Mexico who has to brave a snowstorm in order to pick up her daughter at the Albuquerque airport.  Last year at this time she picked the girl up just fine, only to do two perfect 360’s on the highway on the way home.  Happily no other car was nearby and she just drove onward.

Meanwhile, good wishes also to my housesitter and my lazy old kitty.  And to my best pals who’ll stop by my home and make sure all is okay.  And to all of you readers and writers out there.  May you have a peaceful, happy, prosperous, loving Christmas and New Year or whatever holiday you celebrate.  May all your literary wishes come true.

And may The Compass Master become a bestseller along with all my future books.  Amen.

Talk to you again sometimes next week when I’m back home.  And take care on those snowy highways.

Promo Time

on December 16, 2011 in Misc 10 Comments »

I am so obviously sliding downhill in these final days before Christmas as I frantically get errands and shopping and cleaning done when I’m not at work.  But now at least I can happily announce that I completed a couple small promotional projects for The Compass Master.

First off, I finally got a bookmark designed and printed.  Here’s what it looks like – isn’t it pretty?  I’ll be spreading a bunch  around to people and places in a minor first step to make the title and cover more visible.

The second project was to get Compass registered with Publishers Weekly for their next supplement (March 1, 2012) which will list self-published books.  The editors will also review at least 25 submissions, so of course I’m hoping that my tome will receive their PRAISE and ADMIRATION (this is me practicing positive thinking). The cost for this dubious privilege was $149.  Ouch.

As you know trailers are a hot promotional tool for a lot of writers and publishers, but up to this point I hadn’t even considered doing one.  Then I saw Ciara Knight’s cool home-made (you’d never know it) professional-looking trailer on Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog.   That’s when I wondered if I could make one.  The weird thing is I’m really inclined to produce on the super cheap a longer, FUNNY video/ trailer, even though Compass is a serious thriller. Maybe because comedy sells.  Or maybe because this promotional stuff can get so tough and overwhelming that I just wanna have some fun.

In the meantime, hope y’all have some fun with your own writing and promoting.

No Luck So Far

on December 12, 2011 in Misc 6 Comments »

Well, so far I’m not chalking up a whole lotta success in the ghost hunting department.  One reason could be that I started and finished way too early in the evening (I’ve been running around with work and errands and so much stuff I’m beat by then and fade out fast.)  Maybe another reason is that I’m not a “sensitive,” or whatever the term is.  So maybe I gotta work on being a “sensitive.”

You know what’s a hoot?  That Grant and Jason on Ghosthunters, who look like a couple of normal plumbers and not like the New Age-y type, are “sensitives.”  This likely explains why they always seem to the ones on the team to get the best sightings and stuff.  And I know this ‘cause I read their book Seeking Spirits.  Turns out Jason learned Reiki meditation/energy techniques from a lady friend that somehow made him able to see things he couldn’t explain, while Grant was just plain born with the ability, as in He Sees Dead People.  (Well, not quite, but close).

Sigh.  That’s not the case with me.

So now my plan is to just keep trying on the hunting part, but also do more meditating.  If anything, sitting down and quieting myself has always helped to focus my mind, and I even feel better and happier.  Course, finding time for hunting and meditating between now and the holidays is pretty much just a fantasy.  Maybe in the new year…

Postscript:  Maybe this link is better suited to Halloween than to Christmas, but it’s a sweet video of TINY abandoned infant bat, “Lil’ Drac,” being raised by hand.   What I really love is how he likes to rock himself after he’s been fed.

This last weekend I figured I’d finally get to my work place to do some ghost hunting, as I’ve talked about doing here before.   Friday night wouldn’t work because the concierge and cleaning crews are still around.  But Saturday and Sunday nights were open.

That, however, was before the snow and ice and frigid temperatures came swooping in over Denver like a mean-spirited grinch.  Hell, I didn’t even drive ANYWHERE this weekend because too many neighborhood roads looked like ice skating rinks, and if you listened you could hear spinning tires just about anywhere.

At least I got some reading and writing done, and I tried to study French (a Layla thing), but that seemed too relaxing and I can’t relax these days because I’m supposed to be figuring out ways to promote The Compass Master on the cheap.

Happily, thanks to Stephen King, I’ve got one interesting topic for you today:  a “letter” the length of a full editorial that King wrote a few days ago for The New York Times. In it, he rebuts someone for giving a negative appraisal of the Kennedy presidency.  But what would be striking to any writer is King’s analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald.  He begins with a quote that grabbed and held me:  “Mr. Douthat has concentrated on Oswald’s political actions and statements, and ignored the man’s severely damaged personality.”  Then this:  “Lone gunmen like Oswald act for other reasons [than political], regardless of what they may say in an effort to look rational.” For several more paragraphs, he puts Oswald under the microscope and does a fascinating dissection.

Now I’ll ‘fess up and admit that while I’ve read several of King’s books, I haven’t come close to reading his entire, phenomenal oeuvre (fancy French word).  But one reason I keep going back to him is 1) his writing style and descriptions can be spot-on, and 2) this man brilliantly understands characters and their motivations.

As for those snootier “literary” writers or critics who opine that King is just another “commercial” (i.e., inferior) writer, then they should take a look at The New York Times list for the best books of 2011.  King’s 11/22/63 is in the top five novels.

Here’s the link to King’s editorial: