Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When Editors Overreach

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
           From Karn Evil 9 by Emerson Lake and Palmer

Well I’m back. How have you been? I’ve been busy. We rebuilt our patio and I rebuilt the fence. We also have a new puppy, EMD Watson. But that, as they say, is a tail for another day.

What brings me here today is that I’ve recently had the dust shaken from my gilded view point of the publishing community. I had to do something last weekend that it never occurred to me that I would ever do. I asked a publisher to pull my story from publication in their anthology.

I’ve worked with many publishers, so far all very small press unfortunately, and everyone has been courteous, kind, and reasonably intelligent. Once you receive the coveted acceptance email from the publisher the next item you will receive is the contract. In it there is usually a line that states “The Publisher reserves the right to make minor edits to the body of text, which will then be presented to the Author for approval prior to Publication.” The key words in this sentence are “minor edits”. Herein lies the problem.

I received a copy edited by the publisher. The email attached implied that the edits were very minor and few except for removing all of the interview portions from my story. Immediately I was on guard. The interview portions were transition segments I was using to let the reader know more about MIS Disposal and the man who created it. I liked these sections and felt they made an interesting switch between scenes, not unlike a relevant quotation before a chapter which you see in many books.

I opened the file not without some trepidation. I wasn’t prepared for what I found.

The first few pages contained many revisions I felt were a bit arbitrary.
Example: revising a minor character from saying “A minute only” to now become “Only a minute”. Okay, fine, not what I wanted, but no big deal. I liked the more formality of the voice of the first one feeling that is the way I thought the character would speak. But in the end, no big deal. I could let him have this one.

In the next paragraph he began to change verb tense and to actually make the action more passive. Example: I wrote “The army pulled in.” He changed it to “The army had been pulled in.” Now why do this? First, it took an action that was happening right at that moment and made it happen in the past. Second, the addition of “had been” also made the action more passive. It didn’t fit with the rest of the paragraph.

So far not too bad. Then I went a few pages on. That is where the editing stopped and the rewrite began.

It started with a paragraph scratched out entirely and replaced with nearly the same wording but different order. Another “have been” was added in along with a “that was”. Much of what was done did not affect the writing for the better. On the contrary it weakened it.

The next page was worse. The entire page was red, the entire next three pages were red. He had rewritten everything and even added in imagery that did not exist in my original story. “A line of soldier moved in tandem like a monstrous centipede.” Huh? No, that’s awful. There was an entire new paragraph about the monster attacking a hospital. What? Nothing even close to this was in my story. WTF?

After 9 pages I stopped writing comments and gave up. It was no longer my story. He had changed the voice of the story, taking me away and putting in himself in my place. I looked ahead a few pages. Page after page had been crossed out and redone. He was making himself co-author and what’s worse, making it a really schlocky story as well.

I saved what I had done and sent the editor an email saying I’d be happy to look at edits to my story but what was sent to me was a rewrite. In the past an editor might say, make this part more exciting or this sentence is missing some color. Then they would allow me the opportunity to revise it. Not take it upon themselves to do it. I told him that if this is the story he wanted to publish I couldn’t allow it and asked it be withdrawn.

He replied stating that due to time constraints on the publication he was sorry but would pull my story. He was totally surprised that I had reacted in such a way. No one else had done so. Many of his comments had come from suggestions by a number of “beta readers”. No wonder it sounded so disjointed now. It had been rewritten by a committee.

Obviously there are authors out there that will let someone else totally rewrite their story and still feel fine with putting their name on it. There are a couple dozen in that anthology it seems. I’m not one of those. For $11 and a free copy it just wasn’t worth it. I want to be able to point to a story, say this is my work, and be proud of it where ever it is published.

I never thought I would do this, it never occurred to me I would ever want to do this, but it’s done. The story has been pulled. I never want to do this again.

Did I do right? Did I overreact? Does this make me a prima donna?
Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget I still have 3 more stories being published this Fall. I’ll keep you posted.
And as always, thanks for reading me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's "The Binnacle"?

"What is a Binnacle?"

If you're a sailor you'd know that a binnacle is a waist-high case or stand on the deck of a ship, generally mounted in front of the helmsman, in which navigational instruments are placed for easy and quick reference as well as to protect the delicate instruments. Its traditional purpose was to hold the ship's magnetic compass, mounted in gimbals to keep it level while the ship pitched and rolled. (thanks Wikipedia)

"Okay, that's pretty cool ," you say, "but really why should I care?"

It is also The Literary and Arts Journal of Coastal Maine at The University of Maine at Machias.

"Okay, cool again, but... where's Machais?"

Machais is on the northern coast of Maine. Go a step farther and you're in Canada. Now will you stop a minute and let me tell you my news?

"Oh, sorry. Go right ahead."

Thank you.

Every year UMM holds a writing contest for the Fall edition. 150 words, any theme, any topic. I seem to be pretty good at flash fiction (see the Best of 2011 and 2012 anthologies at NECON ebooks) so I entered a story. It is called "What Scares Him" and you'll have to wait to read it because out of 925 entries it was selected as an Honorable Mention. So I didn't hit the money, but my little story will be published in their anthology as a print edition and ebook.

It will also be made into an audio file available on the website. That happened with my short story "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie" as part of the zombie humor anthology "Zombies Ain't Funny". It's pretty fun to hear your words being read aloud by someone else, someone you've never met.

"I remember reading that. Very funny. And I see that I could just click on the picture of the zombie jester on the right if I needed a copy."

True, and thanks for the plug.

But that's not it. They will also enter my story along with the others selected into an awesome literary lottery. They are sending them all to Garrison Keillor for possible inclusion in his daily radio feature The Writer's Almanac. Now that would be too exciting to even consider as being real. But I am, at least for a few days.

It's a good little story, sad, but moving. It turned out to be a bit too prophetic, but that then is a story for another day.

To view the list of finalists and winners in the UMM 2013 Ultra-Short Competition, visit the UMM website at http://www.umm.maine.edu/binnacle or their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TheBinnacle on July 1 and follow the Update or Ultra-Short links. Or just watch for it here. I'll keep you posted.

As always, thanks for reading me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Back in Action With Good News


I know, a lot of time has passed and a lot of things have happened, and not all for the good. But we don't need to go into all of that. I'm back and will attempt to keep this up and loaded on a regular basis. Life is crazy and I think I may be getting a little crazier. So let's go onto the good news.

+ "Pacific Rim" opens this summer. Have you seen the trailer yet? If not head over here: http://www.pacificrimmovie.net/. It looks fantastic. A great summer movie to keep me excited for the main event NEXT summer, the release of "Godzilla".

+ Have you ever wondered what happens after the giant monster has been defeated? My short story "Clean Up On Seventh Avenue" tells you exactly what happens. And soon you'll be able to read it all as part of a new anthology by Grinning Skull Press. http://www.grinningskullpress.com/default.html More news to follow soon.

+ Do you need some fun summer reading? Some already has. I just received my first royalties deposit for my ebook, "Doctor Zombie Lives Next Door." Try it this weekend. Let's build up my retirement fund!

+ Bernie Clayberg, the golem detective in my Wrong Side of the Rainbow stories, now in Stupefying Stories, has his own twitter account. Follow him @BernieClayberg or #RamsesBernie. Their second adventure is soon to be published. You can also read their first adventure here:

That's it for today, kiddies. But stay tuned for more fun and insightful musings here on Bibo Madness.
Thanks for reading me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another winner at NECON Ebooks - Horror Haiku

This just in! My entry into NECON Ebooks Horror Haiku contest was picked as a winner this month! Go to http://www.neconebooks.com/flash.htm to read my entry "Just Another Kaiju Sunday" and others. This make the third haiku contest I've won, one other for NECON last year and then for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Have you ever written a haiku? Try it. It's all in the syllable count. Five in the first line, seven in the second, five in the last. Try it. Leave yours in the comments.

Be sure to check out my earlier post with my short story "The League of Intergalactic Grandpas" and my plea for other interested grandpas to help me make The League a reality.

As always, thanks for reading me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Calling All Intergalactic Grandpas!

Are you a grandpa? Do you have an insane knowledge or interest in something that you'd like to share? Have you ever wanted to be part of a blog? Read on....

As you probably know, if you read any of these posts, I enjoy writing some odd and occasionally published fiction. Last Saturday night I hit "Send" on my entry into the NYC Midnight's 2013 Short Story Competition. I had entered with them before. A few years ago I took 8th place out of nearly 500 entrants, fortunately still placing in the money.

I really enjoy the concept for their contests. It's an elimination format. In the first round everyone is divided into 25 groups. Each group then gets a different genre, subject, and character. The judges review the entries and then the top 5 from each group advance to the next round. There are three rounds in this contest with the top 4 receiving from $1500 to $100. You never know what parameters you will receive. That's the fun part. It stretches you as a writer by drop kicking you out of you comfort zone.

My requirements for round 1 were an action/adventure, an alter ego, a grandfather. When I told my wife she just started laughing. Then I did to. I guess that's why I took a chance and decided to do something light-hearted, something fun.

So here's what I came up with?

The League of Intergalactic Grandpas
A trio of grandfatherly pop culture specialists attempt to defuse the theft of a prize artifact, prevent the explosive death of hundreds of innocents, and still not miss dinner. Well, two out of three is still pretty good.

Crazy, right? We'll see how the judges feel about it on April 9th, decision day. Round 2 starts April 10.
You can read my story in the previous post for this blog. 

My story got me thinking. What if I actually created "The League of Intergalactic Grandpas"? What if the blog featured in the story became real?

Grandpas, I need your help

A regular blog is a vast complicated time consuming monster. You can see how regularly I post here. Sure, my intentions are great but... well, you know how it is. I am looking for other Grandpas to write a fun family oriented pop culture/ activity/ just about anything under the sun blog for grandfathers and their grandkids. We'll talk about anything and everything, movies, books, fun things to do or see, you help me come up with it, we'll write it.

To make it work, I mean really really work well I need a Divide and Conquer strategy. I'll never do it myself. I'm looking for other Grandpas to write articles for it with me.

Are you interested in sci fi? fantasy? horror? movies? books? the outdoors? fun activities to do and make? Do you want to make sure your grandchild turns into a nerd or a geek just like you? 

Join me. Let's give our grandchildren the best of our fun, crazy, ridiculous knowledge. Leave me a post, drop me a line. If you aren't a grandpa, pass it on to one you know. That is the only requirement to be a part of "The League of Intergalactic Grandpas".

Let's do this thing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The League of Intergalactic Grandpas

As some of you know I entered the 2013 NYC Midnight Short Story Competition. It is an elimination contest. In each round the writers are divided into heats and given a genre, an object, and a character. The top stories from each heat advance to the next round. One of the nicest things about this contest is that those entered can post their stories for the others to read, review, and comment. I post my story here for you, them, and and anyone. 

GENRE: Action/Adventure
OBJECT: an alter ego
CHARACTER: a grandfather

So sit back. Disconnect your reality switch. I hope you enjoy my little adventure. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present...

"The League of Intergalactic Grandpas"
Bill Bibo Jr

“Assemble the League in fifteen minutes. We'll make them pay for this insolence!" 
Paul threw back his black hood and laughed the laugh of evil revenge just as the door opened and his wife tiptoed in.
"Sorry, dear, you go on with what you're doing. I don't mean to interrupt," she whispered and handed Paul a small piece of paper. "Just in case you're going out."
Paul waited until she tiptoed out before scanning the note.
"Captain, make that thirty minutes. I have to put some gas in the Imperial Cruiser. And remind me to pick up some milk and eggs on the way home."
The League of Intergalactic Grandpas in “The Scone Wars”

The Grand Ballroom of the Hotel du Saint Pierre was filled to capacity plus a little bit more around the sides if anyone actually counted. At a table near the stage a group of young wizards waved their wands chanting every spell they knew in the hope that their diet sodas would change into something more profound for the evening’s festivities. A troop of armored soldiers sat on either side of their dark lord looking disappointed their weapons weren't allowed in the ballroom. Nearby a table of trolls pounded their table calling loudly for their meal.
Paul couldn’t take it anymore. The pounding was making him even more nervous. He had to ask them to be a little quieter. He slid his chair back clipping the heel of a very large and very muscular man dressed only in fur trunks and a feathered headband. His body was tinted a deep orange with intricate patterns painted on both arms indicating he was a barbarian mercenary from the planet Blombar. Paul looked up into the warrior's face and he wasn't smiling.
"Amazing costume," Paul said quickly. "My colleagues and I run a blog, 'The League of Intergalactic Grandpas'. Perhaps you've heard of us? We're covering the convention. I'd love to interview you later about your influences."
The barbarian's growl turned immediately into a thin crooked smile.
"I'd love to," he said. "You know I try to base my costume on the books of…”
Paul quickly lost interest. He scanned the room. Kooks and crazies every one of them, but they were his kind of people. Infinite-Con was the largest gathering of sci-fi fantasy and pop culture devotees in North America. Tonight was the Annual Award Ceremony. Paul and his two best friends were nominated for Blog of the Year.
Paul swirled his black cape and held up a hand. The barbarian went silent.
“Excellent. Can I tweet you when I have some free time?” Paul asked.
The barbarian nodded and walked away smiling.
“Nicely deflected, Overlord,” said Roger.
Roger's specialty on the blog was super heroes, in the movies, comics, wherever you found them. Paul felt sometimes he went a little too deep into the genre. Tonight he was dressed in blood red tights, mask, and obligatory cape depicting his online persona, Captain Redheart. He'd recently taken to wearing his costume more days than not. Then again the ladies, especially those in attendance this weekend, seemed to go for it as proven by the gorgeous young mermaid at his side. 
Paul looked over to his companion for the weekend. Charlie, like most young kids his age, was nose to his cell phone. Paul wished that Charlie would pay a little more attention to what was going on. It wasn't every day that his grandfather was nominated for a national award.
The third member of The League was late. Terry covered the world of horror from blood sucking vampires to brain eating zombies. He was also a conspiracy buff and amateur ghost hunter. He told Paul that he had to check some equipment he had placed last night. He promised he would not miss the award ceremony.
Three others filled out the table. Dressed identically in white polo shirts, khaki shorts, and something that looked like a camera around their necks, Paul could not figure out what characters their waxy complexions were portraying. He tried asking them but they wouldn't leave character. They smiled, nodded, and whispered rapidly to each other. The middle one finally said, “You may call us Bob.”
Paul spotted Terry by the doors in the corner and waved. When Terry saw him he came running, nearly knocking the tentacle off of a green octopod. He was out of breath when he reached their table. He was clutching one of his recorders.
 “Guys, you have to listen to this. I think I've discovered something,” he whispered.
“Can it wait, Terry? They're about to serve dinner,” Roger said.
“No, it can't,” Terry said. He glanced around and bent down lower. “Something is going on. You have to listen to this. Come with me. Now.”
He turned and ran out the door. Roger shrugged, kissed his young mermaid on her gill, and followed.
“Charlie, will you be okay here?” Paul asked looking over to their table mates.
They all smiled, nodded, and whispered rapidly to each other. The middle one said, “You may call us Bob.”
“Why don’t you come with me,” Paul said.
Out in the hallway Terry waved them to a small alcove.
“Last night I set this recorder in the exhibition hall near The Star of Oblivion. I checked it a few minutes ago,” he said looking each direction. Determining it was clear he pushed “Play”.
Silence. Static. A guttural noise, low and dark.
“Now if you think that is some ghost talking, I have a mermaid waiting…” Roger began to move back to the ballroom.
Terry cut him off with a look that hurt more than a slap. “Just listen,” he said.
More static.  Silence. A male voice. “The Star of Oblivion. Beautiful, isn’t it?”
A second voice, younger, also male. “Yeah, I guess. But what is it?”
“Who cares? I just know it’s worth a lot of money to a certain collector.”
“So what are we waiting for? Let’s grab it and leave this freak show.”
“Not now. There are too many people about. We’ll do it tomorrow night, during the awards. Everyone will be in the ballroom. We’ll have it all to ourselves.”
“And then we blow this place?”
“Then we blow this place.” Static. Silence.
Terry shut off his recorder.
“What do we do? They're planning to steal The Star and kill everyone in the process,” Roger said.
“I don't know,” said Paul.
“The Award Ceremony is going on now. By the time the police got here, it might be too late,” Terry said. The recorder rattled in his hands.
Charlie looked up from his phone. “Why don't you steal it yourself?”
“What?” said the grandpas.
“If you take it and hide it, the thieves can't get it. Maybe they’ll just leave and not blow up the convention.”
“I like it!” said Roger and started toward the exhibit room.
Paul grabbed him by the cape and pulled him back.
“We need a plan,” he said.
Roger pulled his cape free and ran.
“We don't have time for a plan,” he shouted over his shoulder. “We have to save the day.”

When the others caught up Roger was standing behind a large palm tree. He motioned the others to hide around the corner.
There was only one guard, a chubby volunteer who had drawn the unlucky short straw to stay behind watching over the entrance to the Star of Oblivion exhibit. A smattering of applause bled through the doors of the ballroom and the guard looked over in that direction. So did Paul. Both wondered what they were missing.
Roger gave the others a thumbs up and ran for the guard.
“Captain Redheart!” he shouted and hit the guard on the neck with what one might guess was a karate chop.
“Ouch!” said the guard, jumping to his feet. “What'd you do that for?”
Roger paced in circles, clearly disappointed that his feat of physical strength had not worked. Paul saw he was getting ready to attack again so he casually walked up to the stunned volunteer.
“Sorry about my friend. He gets a little wound up. He forgets his medication at these things. I hope he didn't hurt you,” Paul said.
“No, I guess not. But the exhibit's closed.” the guard said rubbing his neck.
“I know. We're your replacements. You get to go in. There’s a spot at a side table being held for you. Look for three guys dressed alike with cameras.”
“That's great. I've never been to one of these conventions before.”
“New guy gets the worst job. Happens all the time. Go on. We'll take it from here.” Paul said dismissing the young man with a wave of his hand.
The guard barely had “Thank you” out before he was across the corridor and into the ballroom.
“He forgot to leave us the keys,” Roger said.
“No problem.”
Terry took out a credit card, slid one side to reveal a compact set of lock picking tools. In seconds they were in.
The exhibit room was dark with one spotlight in the center of the room illuminating The Star of Oblivion. It was round, smooth, and entirely black with three stunted projections. The official story stated that a Siberian farmer found the Star in his field. He claimed it fell from outer space. When local authorities tried to discredit him, the internet legend grew. Now here it was, inches from Paul's out stretched hand.
“So we meet again,” said a voice by the door.
It was the orange-tinted barbarian mercenary from the planet Blombar and once again he wasn't smiling. His partner, badly dressed as an ogre, or at least that’s what Paul thought it was supposed to be, pointed a gun at Charlie's forehead.
“Sorry, Grandpa,” Charlie said.
“Let's make this quick. You give us The Star, we give you the boy.” said the barbarian.
Paul looked at his grandson and then at The Star in his hands.
“Can I ask one thing? Why blow up the convention?” he said.
The ogre looked over at the barbarian. “What’s he talking about?”
“I have no idea. We just want The Star. We have no intention of blowing up anything.”
“No, that would be our intention.”
Stepping out from the shadows were the Bobs. Each held their cameras out in front of them.
The ogre turned his gun toward them.
“Stop right there,” he said.
Arcs of orange light leapt from the cameras striking the ogre. He crumpled to the floor. The barbarian ran to his side.
Terry made a run for the door but one of the Bobs blocked his way. He motioned Terry back toward the others. Another Bob grabbed hold of Charlie pointing his camera at him.
“Now it is our turn. Give us The Star and we shall give you this small human child,” said the Bob.
Paul handed it over.
“Now give me back my grandson,” he demanded.
The Bob said nothing but peeled back his hand as if he was removing a glove. Beneath the disguise was a green tentacle. It rolled it around examining The Star and pushed one of the projections. The Star attached perfectly to his camera.
The Bob set The Star back in its display case.
“Now what?” asked Paul.
“Now in fifteen of your minutes The Star of Oblivion will ignite sending everyone in the Ballroom to their own personal oblivion. I love it when a weapon truly does what it says it will do,” the Bob said.
“But why?” asked Roger.
Tentacled Bob nodded to the others who removed their disguises as well.
“Half the people in that room are not from this planet. They are visitors using your convention as a cover. What better place for a large number of aliens to gather undetected?”
“I knew it,” said Terry.
Everyone stared at him.
“We intend to send a signal to the Intergalactic Alliance that we will not tolerate their intervention.”
“You’re nothing but space terrorists,” said Roger. His eyes narrowed and his fists clenched. “Well, not on my watch. This is my planet, Mister. Captain Redheart!”
He threw himself at the Bob knocking him to the floor. Terry and the barbarian jumped the Bob by the door. Charlie bit the tentacle of the Bob holding him. It screamed in pain and released him. Paul grabbed Charlie and they ran from the room.
Paul threw open the doors to the ballroom. The audience turned and seeing him began to applaud.
A ninja next to Paul said, “Wow, man, great entrance. Congrats on winning Blog of the Year.”
Paul and Charlie wove through tables and well-wishers to the stage. Paul wondered how they could get everyone out of the ballroom. He might have won the award but how can you celebrate when across the hallway there were three aliens with a bomb.
Thanking the MC he took the microphone. “Thank you, everyone. We, The League of Intergalactic Grandpas, are much honored. I’m sorry I’m late but I have to tell you…”
Charlie grabbed the microphone from his grandfather. “We just saw Joss Whedon and Neil Gaimann in the bar across the street.”
In seconds the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel du Saint Pierre was empty.
“Nicely done. I almost regret having to do this.”
In the doorway was a Bob. He aimed his camera at Paul and Charlie.
Suddenly he folded forward and fell to the floor. Behind him stood Roger’s mermaid holding a chair.
“Well, I didn’t regret that at all,” she said.

“So you’re not a volunteer but a Federal Agent?” Terry said.
The grandpas, Charlie, and the mermaid sat around a table in the empty ballroom.
“That's right. We knew The Star wasn’t naturally formed or of terrestrial origin, but we didn’t know what its purpose was. So we staked out every place it was exhibiting hoping to find some clues. Fortunately you got them to show their hand, so to speak,” she said.
“And we missed dinner,” Roger said.
“Fine. I'll take you all out. My treat,” said the mermaid.
“This will make a great blog post,” said Paul.
“I’m sorry, you can’t tell anyone what happened,” she said.
“Not even if I write it as fiction?”

One year later Paul again stood on the main stage at Infinite-Con.
“I’d like to thank everyone for making us your Blog of the Year two years in a row and your choice this year for Best New YA series. I, and all Intergalactic Grandpas, thank you.”


as always, thanks for reading me

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kindling (Thoughts on about my Kindle)

It's been a month now since my lovely wife (and favorite muse) gave me a Kindle Paperwhite for Xmas. I developed some definite opinions about it. I never thought I would be one to embrace an e-reader. I love the feel of a real book in my hands, the texture of the paper, the weight in my hands, the aroma of a vintage tome. And I love bookstores. It is physically impossible for me to walk into a bookstore and then leave empty handed. Oh, it's been done, but it hurts.

So why did I want one?

E-books are the way of the future. More and more publishers are doing e-versions. More and more people are buying e-books. Fewer and fewer people are buying hard copy books. And the price of the bestsellers at the major houses is coming down. All this taken together indicates that people are still reading, and reading more by some counts. The world is changing and to be a part of it you have to be aware of it.
Besides most of what I've been selling lately is in electronic format only. I wanted to see what it actually looked like in its final form on something made to show it.

What's it like?

The Kindle Paperwhite is small, about the size of small trade paperback. It is very lightweight and very very thin. At first I found it awkward to hold, not having the depth of a book, but I soon got used to it. The Paperwhite is an e-reader only, no apps, no sound, no motion. It stores books and you read them. That's it. I did n't need another place for games, and such. I wanted an e-reader only.

The good?

I am one of those people that must read in bed every night in order to fall asleep  It can be anything, a magazine, a current book, what ever, but I must read something. It allows my mind to shut down, to stop worrying about the day's activities and what will come tomorrow. Reading allows me to escape, relax, and go in a completely different direction. The Kindle is the perfect tool fro reading in bed.
It is very easy on the eyes. The brightness of the illuminated page can easily be adjusted for daytime or night. I have found that instead of reading a paragraph some nights before my eyes get heavy, okay many nights, I now read a chapter or two or three before telling myself it's time to sleep.

It's very easy to get content. E-books are everywhere. Amazon has daily specials where they will drastically reduce the price of 4 books to usually something under $3. Or there many sites that publish free titles in kindle format (.mobi). Many are of classic now in public domain. I recently downloaded the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the entire OZ collection of stories. You can download them on to your computer and then transfer to the Kindle.

I can also upload any document in PDF format and read it on my Kindle. Very handy. Here's a recent example. In Wikipedia you can make a single document from numerous entries and then save it as a PDF. Upload it to my kindle and it's there when I want to review it.

The bad?

This surprised me. I've already stated I am addicted to books. I have many many books. Too many if you ask my wife. They line every shelf and are staked in corners in precarious piles. I've found it very difficult to get rid of a book. It's like losing an old friend. (Unless it's a really bad book, then you just want it out of the house.)

But I have found there is less of a connection to e-books. Is it because they have no physical presence, no tangible connection, no tactile essence? I don't know. I do know I find it easier to stop reading a book I'm not too interested it, and even delete it from my collection with little or no remorse. Poof, it's gone. What's next? It makes me feel bad in a way.

The fun part?

It's my new toy. And my new toy needed a case, a cover, some protection. My son told me about some people who had converted old books into case for their e-readers. What cool, yet ironic idea, creating a case from the thing it replaces. I went looking for a cheap old nice book to cut up. I found something quite by surprise. It was at Michael's craft store, a Star Wars journal for $3. It bought it knowing that if it proved too small I'd at least have a nice little journal. It worked perfectly .
So I guess it's going pretty good. Right now I really only use my Kindle at night but time will tell. E-books are the future whether we like it or not. We adjust.

As always, thanks for reading me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Three Titles For Your Kindle!

My available works for kindle.

This anthology includes the first story starring the detective team of Ramses II and Bernie Clayberg, "The Wrong Side of the Rainbow". Stayed tuned for the sequel "Death Bites" in an upcoming month from the same publisher, Rampant Loon Press. (I know, how perfect is that?) Look for more after that. The series is just beginning.


My first novel for middle grade reader. What would you do if your neighbor wanted to take over the world? A little scary, a lot of fun.

This anthology includes my story, "Charlie Decker and the Last Zombie". It's also available as an audiobook.

And thanks for reading me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Visit From Neil Young (on my Kindle)

First the good news! The second adventure from the detective team of Ramses II and Bernie Clayberg is being picked up by Stupefying Stories. I received word on January 2. Now that's a great way to start teh new year. I'm hoping this is on it's way to becoming a popular series.

If you missed their first adventure, "The Wrong Side Of The Rainbow", you can find it here:

My lovely wife gave me a kindle for Xmas. Very nice. I love it but more on that later. As a new kindle owner I discovered that Amazon has daily deal on ebooks. Every day a new set of ebooks at very low prices usually under $3. Check it out here: kindle daily deal

Recently one of the daily deals was the kindle version of Neil Young's new autobiography "Waging Heavy Peace" for only $1.99. Neil Young has always been a musical hero of mine so I snapped it up immediately. I dropped everything else and began to read. I was in for a big surprise.

Let me say I was really looking forward to reading it but after I began it was too long before... well, let me say that in my opinion it is one of the worst things I have every read. Definitely a stream of consciousness book it is all over the place.

Yes, Neil, we know you like model trains, we know you are a big audiophile and hate the mp3 file format, but please give me a break. I'm not. The narrative bounces from his Lionel trains to the startup company he's planning back to trains to a few paragraphs about vacationing in Hawaii with friends back to trains back to Hawaii back to Puretone (his file format) and finally back to his trains. I made it for 4 chapters and had to stop. I couldn't take it anymore.

Sorry, Neil. I tried, maybe not long enough but I tried. I will say I did not delete the book but kept it hoping to return to it at some day hoping it might get better. I really wanted to like this book.

If you like model trains and Neil Young you just might like this book too. Give it a try if you'd like.

As always thanks for reading me.