Google+ Followers

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book Deals, Writing, and Other Stuff

Hello once again...life has been keeping me on a fast track for the past several weeks, so I have not had time to completely process what has been going on. For all we say about slowing down and stuff, we really don't.

I will say this: my full-time work at GeoTraffic has kept me before numerous computer screens or behind the wheel of my long-suffering Honda for longer than I want, but I cannot complain. I'm full-time, I will have proper insurance, and I'm finally getting paid.

...did I mention I also have a book deal?

Yes...it finally happened. 

It's sunk in, and this is quite an event in my career. Yes, a dream to some extent come true. 

Here's the deal: about a month ago, I received a contract offer from Sunbury Press, which is located near here. They have a pretty fair-sized company with quite a roster of folks. I'd seen their books about, but didn't know much about the company.

Last summer, when I promoted "Parasite Girls" at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg (yes, I'm really name dropping, aren't I?), I shared the space with Robert Walton, who is on their label, as it were. He's author of "Fatal Snow," an interested adventure type story. Nice guy, and he put me in touch with the publisher.

I'd gotten some good feedback from the fellow, and so I went on about my business of getting what I THOUGHT would be my next book, "Drifters..." ready to go.

For some reason, I decided to again try and pursue an agent or a publishing deal with another book, "A Moment in the Sun." This one got some really unusual feedback from people. My friend Alice heard my shabby synopsis, and said, that one's interesting...

Another friend, Kat took the time to read the draft for me. Her response was very good. She liked the main character, Rei; she understood what Rei went through, and what some of the others were doing. She got an awful lot of it.

She predicted a winner.

Meanwhile, another friend Shelby agreed to read "Drifters..." This was right up her alley, she's just above the age group, and was avidly reading works of that sort. She was quite taken and thrilled with the adventure, and positive.

But is it ready, I wonder?

Doing too much, and too fast, and with too many plates being balanced doesn't work anymore. Multi-tasking is something I no longer do well. It gets tougher as you get older, and yet other things aren't so bad.

I'd decided to go through the channels with Sunbury, and "A Moment..." I didn't expect much. One agency in New York did ask for a two-week read-through period...they eventually said no, like the others.

All the others. Rejection is stock in trade in life, folks. You deal with it.

So...all of a sudden, here's an offer. My attorney friend Marakay looked it over...standard industry contract, but no screwjob. No murky fine print, no, "NOW WE HAVE YOUR SOUL" type of stuff.

They also don't mind Mitch Bentley doing the cover, but that's my cost to bear. No worries; why do you think I have a job?

So I signed. I have about 60 days to get it in, and hopefully they'll grant me a little more so Mitch can do his magic.

For those who ask: "Drifters..." is on hold, but not permanently. I think it needs a little more time, and I need to see if the sequel holds up in my head. I think it does, but that's for another year. 

"A Moment in the Sun" is a more logical step forward, and Mitch I think is right in his analysis. Flipping the titles is not a bad thing.

Here's the intro:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/13569033/A-Moment-in-the-Sun-Chapter-1the-Beginning

Got some good feeling from people. They like the start of this one. Like "Parasite Girls," "Moment..." deals with a peculiar aspect of Japanese society, but this is a problem that can be anywhere, and is.

I won't tell you what it is. Sorry, heehee.

I think there's more to do, and I know this will not be out till next year, but things take time, and I need to be patient with this one.

As it stands, I have this, I have work, I have my health (precarious at times, it feels), but I must carry on.

Having "Parasite Girls" in hand was quite a good feeling...the one that I get from a true publisher, and when I see this in shops...yes, then I will have done it.

Dreams are not unattainable. You have to go for them. You have to make them happen, and you cannot let anything stop you.

I admit, this has come at the expense of other things. Mundane things, stuff others take for granted, or find so necessary in their own lives that they can't let go.

I've let an awful lot go, and I cannot regret what I have done or not done. In the end, I know what I'm doing is right. 

My hope is to live long enough to see the reactions, and see the real feedback from people who "got it." 

That's better than money, believe me.

So, if I don't speak to you before then, have a Joyous Yule, or however you enjoy your holiday. I don't mind how you do it, but the people who think Christ is in Christmas...well, that was a Pagan holiday you know. Christ didn't have a thing to do with it, until that story was written by a Roman aristocrat.

Heh. 

So now I must be off to shamelessly plug my upcoming book, and get my car fixed. Fun, fun...see you when I do.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Writing Essentials, or "How the F**k Do You Write All That?!?"

Greetings, blurkers, bloggers, readers and whomever else comes this way...earlier this week, I was issued an interesting challenge by my fellow writer, Christie Stratos.

Christie is my proofer, and has done excellent work for me on "Parasite Girls" and what MIGHT be my follow-up, "Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross." More on that later.

So anyway, Christie challenged me to show/tell/explain to you how I write, and what in particular do I have around me when I do so?

Well...first let's see how Christie gets it done:


Okay! There are certainly no hard and fast rules as to how to write, but every writer does have their own little methods, ways, and so forth.

I pretty much write when I want, but when I'm on a writing/editing project, you can find me in certain places. There is no one place for me.

Now, since I don't own a video camera and I'm damned if I know how to use the one on my laptop, I'm going the old-fashioned way. I've taken lots and lots of pictures.

Work tends to make my hours different, so there is no set time you're going to find me at one of these places. I do not particularly like to write at home unless it's at night, and there's reasons for that. Several reasons for that...

First...I was challenged before Neil Young went off on a certain coffee franchise, and now everyone is in a, "WHICH MOTHERFUCKIN' SIDE YOU ON, BITCH?" mode. So you're gonna see pictures of a familiar place. 

As a former girlfriend likes to say: DEAL.

During the day, I'm at one of the places like this one:


This is my standard setup. Generally I will sit at one of the tall chairs, because the tables give me more space to spread my work out.

Note the necessities:


The laptop w/Zombie Snow White gets a lot of compliments and questions. Eye-catching but for that, and not usually what else I need.

My first book, "Parasite Girls" is out for all to see (shameless plug!), along with a flier, and I have business cards...always have business cards, people!

Other items: the ubiquitous jump drive, of which I have several. My entire literary career is on these things; one is stores in a fireproof safe, and I have Dropbox, and who knows how many other backups. Also good to kill off old drives and replace them.

To the right in the 2nd picture is my new external hard drive, a Seagate. Neat little thing, and a gadget I like a lot.


SCREENSAVER.

Pertinent to your work! People must see the SCREENSAVER. This is YOU that you are promoting.

Now, there are a few more things one needs; I generally work in public spots in order to have human contact. A necessity; people-watching is quite good, because character details, ideas, sketches, and especially fashions are useful future tools. It is not unusual for me to make mental snapshots of outfits that fit my characters.


COFFEE. LOTS OF COFFEE.

Since I don't drink anymore, this is my last drug of choice. Iced is how I usually drink it, but dark roast pourover is also good. Lots of cream, and cinnamon. Caffeine fuels the brain...remember that.


MUSIC. AN ABSOLUTE MUST.

I well remember the days of records (do you?), and typewriters (betcha don't). That album side had to get me through a few pages, and often I'd keep going and not get up to change it.

iTunes is good for something. My tastes run the gamut, and often I'll play the music that is working in tandem with my writing. Or it's whatever's on my computer. My desktop has all my rock, blues, Americana, etc., while the laptop has everything else, plus some duplicate stuff.

I have no set music to work to, whatever I feel like usually.

Now...that's away from the house. At home, I have two spots:


This is the Vibe Room. My office, studio, writer's room. The desk is a cluttered mess, from where I occasionally write, DJ, and do other things. You'll note two of my assistants at the left...more on them later.


Other side of the Vibe Room. Music, plus my altar.

Now since I'm weird about the keyboard that came with my desktop, and since Windows 8 has got a bunch of things that leave a lot to be desired, I don't write much with it. I use the laptop for almost all actual typing, writing and so on.

But...in the winter, it's damned cold in this house. So at night I opt for Plan B:


The bed is old but comfortable...you shall also note my assistants. Baldrick is in the foreground of this one, and he usually is close at hand to offer editorial advice. 


Namid also makes herself available to review my notes. Or sleep on them. Her brother Qi is in the background...when he is not offering advice he's usually either sleeping or doing something that causes the bed to feel like it's breaking 10 on the Richter Scale.


Then we have Sofia. This is usually where you will find her, between me and the keyboard.

So I'm certainly not left alone while I work.

Christie had noted she keeps a thesaurus at hand, which is a good idea. 


I keep a severely condensed bookshelf. There were more that I lost some years ago, and I gave away about 250 on Bookcrossing. These are reference materials, inspirations, entertainments, resources and other things.

I also have on my computer a ton of tabs for notes, and also the reference stuff, and Grammarly.com -- well worth the cost, let me tell you.

Well, that's a little look into my essentials for writing. But the main thing is, WRITE.

An old painter friend aptly said: the only way to accomplish anything is to DO IT.

Now...I hope in the very near future to have some big news about the next step in my career. I shall know more soon...but in any case, enjoy your writing. This is not a job, this is what you do.

Enjoy, Peace, Out.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arrogance, and the Obnoxious Fad that Passes for...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

...you know where I'm going, right...

Religion.

Yep. I'm headed down a track that is sure to offend some of you, and start a whole new debate. I again have found myself in that position of having to defend my spirituality from someone who is not ready to admit that there's any "god" but their own.

I had a long, and interesting talk yesterday with not one, but two people. I will not use their names, because that's not necessary. But I received two points of view, and have reached my own conclusion about myself.

The first is a fellow who remembered me from several years ago. I'd come to write a piece about his workplace. A decent man, and I feel a good one, really I do. Hadn't seen him in a while, and he's back in town.

He wears his mask well.

The conversation turned to religion. I'll make no bones about what I think of Organized Religion. I defend to death your right to be what you will be, and are. But I draw the line when you use that "faith" to attack others.

I am sure he didn't mean it as such, but I was under attack.

When a person listens, but does not hear, and continually turns and twists words back through his own prism of belief, a tenuous one at best, and continues to attack you, what is that?

It is not the "faith" that a follower of Jesus should do, IMHO. Jesus (whom I now believe was not a real person, but a fabrication) did not walk about the world tub-thumping...but as Gandhi said in paraphrasing, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

I recall my Congregational upbringing, until I was 12. I remember sermons and a church led by two of the finest, kindest men I knew then, and find hard to match. Reverend Hazen, and the man who later replaced him, Reverend Fuqua. Two men who treated every single person with kindness, respect and decency. 

They did NOT attack with religion, they did NOT try to convert you, they did NOT make you feel inferior and try to make you one of them.

What the fuck happened?

Televangelism, electronic media, and a radical savagery of the faith, and it crosses all boundaries.

The discussion with this fellow reminded me of when I was 15. I was under attack by a teacher, and her fellow born-again haters. A hateful, thinly-veiled cynicism and disgust for all that were not like them.

You may be a Christian, but you are not Christian enough. Ever.

I recall feeling bullied, and attacked, and questioned. I wasn't already good enough as a human being for my own family, let alone this!

I am going to tell you what I am. I am Buddhist. I meditate to Kirtan, and I am a Pagan. Our people were here before Christ's creation as a character, and our people's ways were co-opted, borrowed and stolen.

And they have the nerve to try and wipe us off the map.

They have the nerve to massacre 18 million people in Central America, and wipe out the entire native population of Cuba, in the name of "God" of course.

I do not discount the massacre of a million Armenian Christians in the First World War. I do not discount the massacres during the wars in Bosnia. Nor the 13 million Hitler did to death...not just the Jews, but Cossacks, Krimchaks, Russians of all stripes, and those caught up in the occupied territories. Two million or more murdered during the regime of Pol Pot.

Not to say how many Stalin eliminated. Or Mao Tse-Tung wiped out.

And we see what the "Islamic State" is now doing in the Middle East.

What the fuck happened?

What happened to the Good Samaritan I learned of? What happened to the people who showed respect and kindness to others, regardless of what they looked like or where they came from?

When did faith get caught up in patriotism? 

This much I have learned: we cannot change other's minds. We cannot turn others who cling to views that they are fearful of losing. This fellow clearly had his prism, and all thing must pass through it.

I don't think, again, he meant harm. But he would not listen. To him, I am a terrible person, a lost soul, a creature destined for Hell (which does not exist).

And his own self-flagellation is bizarre. A sinner who will never be forgiven, no matter what. A life of existential suffering, and yet...oh yes, he'll be in the Good Land or whatever it's called.

But to suffer that whole way?

Suffering exists. But we do not have to die for it. We can make things better.

I am who I am. I am not perfect, as I'm human. I have tried, believe me I have tried not to hate. I don't believe in it. Hate is too strong, and hate kills.

I don't know of anyone who hates me. I don't know of anyone who despises me. I'm sure some don't like me, but that's fine. 

I do not profess to know great truths. "Jesus he knows me, and He knows I'm right...been talking to Jesus all my life." Genesis, the band...heehee.

No. 

I call bullshit.

I am Me.

I can trust myself to make the right choices.

I can trust myself to be as mindful as I can.

I take responsibility for this, and all things.

I do not agree with a lot of things, and I don't like a lot of things. I stand against a lot of things, especially the mad cults of Organized Religion. If you go there, it is your business and your decision. I do not say you're bad because of it. I hope it is right for you.

THIS is right for me.

There is One Race. The Human Race. We're it, folks.

Let's stop the hating. Let's stop killing. Let's stop feeling so fucking threatened by every little thing.

I'm gonna do my best. Here's hoping you can too.

We don't need to obsess or talk about IT all the time. To do that leads to the tunnel that you will never escape from.

This is a good world, but we each have to make it good. Stop looking for shit to stir. We can make this thing work, folks.

In my writing, I write what I want to see, not what others tell you you are supposed to see. Does that make sense? I hope so.

NOW...that all said, let me tell you about the second person.

Without going to deeply into it, this individual talked to me in an interview about her life, her career, her family, and what she loves doing. We are artists in our own way, and our own right.

This person, younger than me, showed incredible poise, maturity and sense of place. It has nothing to do with religion, and posing, and hiding behind something.

She was There.

Doing what she loved, and knowing the fulfillment to herself, and to others. Not about money. Not about fame. Not about anything but doing what is right for HER.

In her, I see how the madness can end.

I was reminded of why I write, and why I do the things I do. It is right for me.

Be right for you, and don't let others browbeat you, attack you, piss on you. You cannot change them, and you do not need to change for anyone.

Be YOU.

YOU is what is right for you. Change when you need to, and accept the inevitability that it does happen.

I change when I will, not when others dictate it to me.

I go where I will, not when others tell me to.

"An' it harm none, do what ye will."

My sense of place has been restored. I don't know if any of this makes sense, and I'm sure some of you will be stunned by this. 

I hate no one. I have malice toward none. I don't blindly love everyone, but I really hope that as we go on, we can be what we will be, but try and respect the differences.

And the similarities. 

We are all one...we're all we've got, folks.

Peace, Out.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Motivation, Madness, the Number 20 and "Drifters"

Greetings once more, blogworld...this is the first time in a while that I have time to write something other than what I am working on, and that is partly due to the inability to get in gear at a time when I must absolutely do it.

Where have I been? Back on the road again for GeoTraffic.com -- after the layoff, I was called back in. Restructuring has gone on, and I am back in action for them. Needless to say, glad to have it, and I think we might just make a significant step in the near future. Gotta be optimistic.

Busy doing my other jobs...Radio PA part of this week, which means getting out of bed at about 1:30 in the morning. Not much different than Geo, because the morning shift for me means getting up at 3:30. And the travel, and all the other stuff.

Writing...okay, recently I hammered out after several false starts a manuscript called, "Night Dawn."

https://www.behance.net/gallery/19966397/Night-Dawn-Chapter-5-Excerpt

It is potentially a young adult novel about one person's struggle through a critical period of teenage life, rife with numerous issues...most of which I experienced myself. Long way to go before that's ready. I had to get it out of me.

20.

I am not completely sure what counts as full and finished...but I may have 20 manuscripts or books written. 

20.

I can't remember if that number includes the horrific sci-fi novel I wrote in the 90's. But...since 2007, that's what I have been doing.

20.

So...what of "Parasite Girls?"

Forgive me, but I am going to say something that needs to be said. If I had a nickel for every single person who told me they were going to buy or download my book...I'd have a very big bag of nickels.

To those who have, THANK YOU. I am appreciative and respectful that you laid your money down for me. I hope the book is worth it to you, and that you at least enjoyed it. I hope you also let others know it was good.

The past year has been a year of learning what NOT to do. I have learned quite a bit about promotion on the fly, and I am going to have to use a very different set of tactics when I get the next one out there.

And yes, the next one, "Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross" has potential for more than one book, but that's too far down the road. 

https://www.behance.net/gallery/14840009/Drifters-Chapter-9-The-Lonely-Ocean

There is a rough cut of it. I will be editing this fall, Mitch Bentley will be working up his magic for a cover, and I aim to publish again by Amazon.com -- I am not impressed with Smashwords and its lack of action, so I may not go with them for the ebook thing.

This is more of what I write, the young adult world, a bit of fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, travel, and yes, madness. I'm good at the latter.

I am also endeavoring to get another work, "A Moment in the Sun" a read from publishers or agents. This one is young adult/adult fiction...crosses over. Friends have told me this one has something more to it. 

I have to go all out for this...this is what I enjoy doing and what I want to do. The aim has been and still is, to get some of my work out there, get that built up, and then hope by the right time, someone will notice that, "Hey, this guy has something good."

I think I do, anyway.

One thing I've noticed--you still need a big name behind you, you still need a real deal publisher or you will not get much notice. I don't care what anyone says...we all can't get a "Colbert Bump," as a colleague suggested I go for, or have some self-serving twit on TV or wherever touching themselves over you. Doesn't work.

A band can make their own records and tour...but you still have to have support behind the scenes.

I am if anything, a stubborn SOB. I don't quit, even when my better judgment says I should.

So yeah...it's a battle. But one that I approach with the idea that at the end of the day, I'm still alive. So I haven't lost.

The one thing I wish I could get is about a month or two where I didn't have to chase money and could seriously map out what I need to do, beyond the writing. So far, I think a lot about it; not much more. 

It will get done when the time is right. Anyway, I need to hit the pool, and get ready for round two of my workday.

Round 3 is at 3:30 am, or as my colleague Tim Lambert says, "Oh-Dark-30."

Check out what I got on Behance...ask me questions, I'll have answers.

Peace, Out.





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In a Job/Outta Job, Book Signings, Creativity, Mania, and the Summer I Didn't Remember...

Well, greetings once more...been a while indeed since yours truly found a moment to sit down, think and actually have time to write this blog thing. I have got to tell you, this has been on crazy fucking summer, and as the title notes, I don't remember it.

I should say that I do remember it, but I don't remember having much time to enjoy it. The summer that was 2014 was one of intense work, travel, road-running, creativity and not a fair bit of madness.

I've talked a bit here and there about my new job, reporting with the GeoTraffic Network. It is no secret that there have been some issues, and I am one of the laid-off. The hope is that this is not for more than a short period. I'm still employed, I have some work here and there, and this old radio hound is back to jobbing about for different companies while keeping an ear to the ground.

That is how it goes, folks. Nothing is ever certain in this business, and I'm not here to rant, rave, bitch and moan about it. I've done this 30 years--it merely IS.

I am hopeful things turn around, and if they do, great. If not, life goes on, and we all do.

THAT SAID:

Let's get to the next important, big thing. I had my first-ever book signing last Saturday at Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, PA. "Parasite Girls" was front and center on the main stage. I shared the spot with Robert Walton, author of "Fatal Snow" and my cover artist Mitch Bentley also arrived:


Here we are...Mr. Walton is in the background, and we're doing our best to sell the book to this gentleman at the left.


Nice man, and we met quite a few cool folks. One good friend of mine I'd never met showed up...our dear friend Alice Potteiger came off a long run w/o sleep at the Pullo Center to take these photos and others (love you, Alice!)...had some nice conversations, and a big thanks to the Midtown Scholar for their kindnesses.

Good time all 'round...also made some good networking contacts. "Fatal Snow" is published by Sunbury Publishing, and I recently had an email exchange with its head, Lawrence Knorr. I am encouraged by Mr. Knorr's feeling that I am on the right track, and getting my work out there.

The whole weekend makes this thing worth it. It is going in the direction I wanted.

Now what is next? The potential for recording an audio version of "Parasite Girls" is there. I am looking into that possibility now, as well as planning my work towards getting more promotional time to put out the book.

At the same time, I must get ready for the follow-up. My first foray into the Young Adult Fiction world is "Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross." You can read rough bits of that here at www.behance.net/torygates along with other things I've done.

I've been trying to figure out what to do with this story, and its potential for sequels. Today, I had a very deep creative urge, and suddenly the past few months of what would I do next with the Drifters Club became clear.

There is a possible sequel, and even a third book, another trilogy. Do you know how many of these I have?

I have two other, unpublished trilogies, "The Other Roads Club" and "The Outcast Society." When I'll get to 'em, no idea.

"Drifters" is next on the agenda, but in the meantime I continue to write, and consider the next steps.

There are so many steps, so many avenues, but I need to choose wisely and figure out the direction for each one. 

I feel very much like the Nowhere Man in "Yellow Submarine." I'm doing all these things, but who is there to read them? Or hear them? Will they ever?

I have assigned myself the task of living long enough to make sure I've gotten a requisite amount of work ready to be published. I aim to live long enough to see this, and all of this come to something, dammit.

The world is flying by me as I do this, but that is my life. I do not see any other option. Being out of work for so long left me time to do this. I could not spend years hiding behind my keyboard and sniping at the universe like a fucking troll, attacking people for the problems I think I have.

I don't have a problem, per se. I really don't. I have a lot of stuff to be thankful for, and I plan to make use of what I've got. My second life began in 2007, when I started writing the "Sweet Dreams Series," another that must be got out. 

I'll do this on my own, until the time comes someone gets what I am doing. Advice people ask for is how I do it...now that's gonna get me into a mini-rant:

Here's the thing: for years, YEARS, people have around me been saying, they have ideas for books, stories, this, that, etc. I'm gonna do this, do that, get this, be that...

...and they never fucking do it.

They don't think they can, don't think anyone will be there, don't have time, and invent a million excuses why and why not.

THERE ARE NO FUCKING EXCUSES THAT WILL WASH. NONE.

My painter friend Sunny said it over 20 years ago...you just have to do it.

That's what I do.

Am I fucking nuts? Probably. Clearly mental, at times...manic at times, depressed more often, but still fairly even keeled enough to know when to stop and when not to.

Okay, I don't always do that, it's true. But I'm working better at it.

So look...as fucked up as I'm sure a lot of people must think I am, this is what I do. I do what I love doing, I do not do things I don't enjoy. If I don't feel right in a situation, I leave. Not because I am paranoid, or whacked out or any of that. I have to do what is right for me, or I don't survive. That's it.

Anyway...I hope for things to improve in different areas, and I do my best to stay healthy,not worry too much and find good shit where I can.

I'm outta here...Peace.

Friday, July 18, 2014

You May Think I Am a Broadcaster, But...

Hey all, a quick one here: I wrote this a few days ago for LinkedIn.

Thought I'd share.

TG

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140708201527-104651325-you-may-think-i-am-a-broadcaster-but?published=t

Go check it out, please...if ever you have wondered what I'm about in these days, here it is.

Updates...working on a new piece, "Night Dawn." Slow progress...am getting ready for a re-edit of "Drifters," and whatever else happens.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"You Only Became What We Made You"

Greetings, all...forgive my not blogging for quite some time, but I have been busy. There are an awful lot of things going on for me, and as usual I feel like the only time I arrive here to talk about it is either because:

1. I for once have nothing else to do (not true in this case).

2. I am wondering if the world around me really does exist in this fucked-up state (kinda).

3. I am falling back into significant depression and am trying to find my way out of it again (BINGO!).

You would think I should not have anything to be depressed about, but do not tell me that, because it changes from minute to minute.

I am right now in a sort of mixed-manic phase. I know this, because I am jumping ahead, and then backward again in an effort to recover lost ground, and on account of my thinking too far ahead so that I forget things. Too many things.

So anyway...GeoTraffic has been keeping me busy. Very busy, in fact so I am traveling an awful lot right now. It's good, the money is good, and I am hopeful to have a more set schedule in the fear future.

My usual summertime depression is upon me. You won't really see it, but I fucking hate summer.

I do not like the season. I do not like dealing with what Mainers like to refer to as "Summer Complaints," i.e., TOURISTS. I am also not enamored with a lot of things. I mean a lot of things.

I had kind of a strange date the other day. I won't say who this was with, but needless to say we were sort of introduced, and we talked a lot in leading up to a meeting. Went well; nice person, intelligent, etc.

We are too different.

Isn't that interesting?

Well, yes it is true. We like each other. No attraction beyond that. Nothing.

Oh well, you can't really force these things, can you? I have no regrets, and I'm not going to be on the hunt, so bear that in mind. 

I realize that I am not the most outgoing of people. But I do not think I am unapproachable. I am perfectly approachable and willing to engage, unless you want to talk to me about religion, politics or THE DRAMA YOU THINK I CAN HELP YOU WITH.

Forgive me, but: DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR THERAPIST?

Now...in the midst of all this madness, I am trying to figure out what the fuck I am going to do next.

I have some friends (thank you all) who are "beta reading" my upcoming Young Adult work, "Drifters." One friend has been reading bits at a time, and so far she has been quite positive.

Waiting on the others. Also, I just finished the mind-numbing and migraine-inducing proof of "Drifters." Went alright. Christie Stratos, my Proof Positive reader, did a fine job and pointed out some issues. 

Now, there is another: "A Moment in the Sun." One reader says so far, I have set a very fast pace. Faster than she usually can handle. But she likes it a lot.

This is good; can't wait for the others.

Now...if you like, you too can be a beta reader, let me know. But bear in mind, if you agree you will read it and give me an honest view, no punches pulled.

I can take criticism, lots of it.

So there's still "Parasite Girls." I have not done any readings or anything like that because I honestly have been too busy with the real world. Sales aren't good, but I didn't expect that. This was an object lesson in learning what to do and not to do.

Efforts to get signings lead to nowhere, but I kind of keep at it.

I wonder what is the point. I am adrift in a sea of horrific romance novels, smutty fan-fiction and knockoffs of whatever is popular now. Everyone thinks they're the next great author. I'm not saying I am that, but I write better than a lot of this shit.

At least I hope I do.

Don't worry, this is the usual cycle of doubt, self-criticism and verbal and literary self-mutilation that I go through about every three months. Nothing's changed at all, folks, haha...

And of course...I have another idea...another very strong, bizarre idea for a story. Do I write it? Do I start writing it?

Argh.

That's where I am, folks.

The quote of the Who song is because I just got the 2013 Wembley Stadium performance of Quadrophenia. Review is good, but mixed. Sonically, fucking insanely good! Roger, well, his voice was not all there, but in his mid-60's what do you expect?

He is in finer form on his new collaboration with Wilko Johnson, "Going Back Home." GO GET THAT!!!

"You only became what we made you..." -- No, you make yourself, you allow yourself to believe THEY did it to you!

I make ME...I remind myself of this...

...away I go.

UPDATE: this makes me feel better. Be prepared.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=402370749884864