Category: author

Film at 11

Film at 11

Don’t you hate clickbait?

Admittedly one would have to be willfully stupid to fall for the antics of the ratings-craving media. If you put Trump in the title, the haters will click to see who is suing him now. The MAGA crowd will click to hate on the haters. It’s a win-win.

An article in the news today is about the Earth’s core that has stopped spinning. Top scientists agree that it has stopped. And…

Here is the pitch…I wrote a book called Earth’s Last Hope…Follow the link.https://www.amazon.com/stores/Scott-Taylor/author/B0BQCX3SRH

In my humble opinion, we have it all wrong. Scaring the shit out of people to change their behavior is how they control the masses. Film at 11.

Tectonic plate movement pushed the land together, causing it to buckle and rise out of the slime. There is also land that is now high and dry, caused by water loss due to the cosmic wind. The inconvenient truth that is making Gore a billionaire is a damned lie.

If you want to know the fate of the Earth, take a look at Mars. Yes, folks, that’s the future of the planet, no matter how much carbon dioxide you fart.

Unlike the x bartender, self-acclaimed climate expert, AOC, or the infamous Greta watch me scowl thorn in the butt berg, they are willfully stupid.

Allow me to elucidate.

Once upon a time, the Earth had much more water than now. Not just two thousand years ago when Jesus was doing his thing, or when Noah was searching the hardware stores for gopher wood, but a long time ago. We are talking about little land being above the water line so long ago.

I get a kick out of the flood story in the bible. Where did the water go?

Listen up. I believe that I know.

There is this thing known as the cosmic wind. Yes, wind, but not the kind that blows your hair around.

We lose 90 tons of atmosphere every day.

“WHAT?!” That (?!) is an Interrobang, btw.  Save the interrobang… 😊

Yes, (90) ninety tons of atmosphere is blown into the vacuum of space every day. I suspect the water levels will continue to recede, and the climate might warm up because there is less ice. The ice melts and fills the oceans, but the weather will change as the ice melts, and there is less of it.

Again if you want a preview of what is to come, look at Mars.

If you don’t believe me, think again.

Greta, listen up. Fifty-odd years before Galileo studied the heavens with a telescope, a guy named Copernicus determined that the planets revolved around the Sun. The church was not happy with him or Galileo.

This is important, Greta. Pay attention.

Let’s admit that religion gets in the way of the facts without throwing this whole post into a rant on religion vs. science. If God has a language, I think it would be math. That is just my opinion.

Now to the meat of the issue. Why is the Earth headed the way of Mars?

If you study the Sun, you must have at least wondered what fuels that big ball of light.

Without the math, which you wouldn’t look at anyway, the Sun burns, uses up, 5 million tons of its fuel every second. Go back and read that sentence again.

Why is that important?

Back to Newton and Copernicus, the Earth is falling. Each body in orbit around the Sun is falling. When you add in velocity, you have an orbit.

Our moon is falling, as are the space station and all those satellites up there. Along with the space junk, it is all falling. When the space junk slows down, it loses its orbit or decays, and then we have to worry if the sky is falling.

The Earth has a velocity of about half a million miles an hour. In my book, ‘Earths Last Hope, our alien friends capture Venus and tug it into a higher orbit by increasing its velocity.

Back to the Sun. If the mass of the Sun is decreasing by 5 million tons a second, sooner or later the orbits of the bodies that are falling will do what?

If you said they move into higher orbits, you are a star. Well, not a star like the Sun, but you get a proverbial gold star.

If a body such as the Earth, which is more or less in the goldilocks zone, goes into a higher orbit, what do you think will happen to the climate?

Take your time; I can wait.

On a cold night, when you back your butt up to the fireplace to warm yourself, you might notice that the further away from the fire you get, the cooler it gets.

As the Sun loses mass, the orbits of all the planets will change and move outward. Venus one day might be where humanity ends up. I hope we stop killing each other and grow up so we can tackle the tough questions and not ‘he who dies with the most money wins.’

The climate will get cooler as we move further away from our star. Since the process is so slow, you will never see it. I would wager that Mars was once much closer to the Sun, as were the rest of the planets.

If Al who didn’t invent the internet, Gore really gave a shit about the climate, he would not be flying his private jet around the globe. Scaring the shit out of you is his ‘film at 11’ moment. (that is the absolute inconvenient truth.)

You can read my book. It is a page-turner. I might have other thoughts on Mars in the book…spoiler alert…

-Best

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Why Write…New Release

Why Write…New Release

Why Write,

As I publish my latest novel, ‘Earth’s Last Hope’ people ask me, why?

That’s a head-scratcher.

I will couch this next paragraph with blunt honesty. Everyone thinks that they can write.

While you might have made it through high school English and college, that doesn’t mean you can write. It’s not impossible, but it takes practice. It takes more than just practice. It takes passion.

When I think back on all the hours I spent learning to paint or play the guitar, the passion drove me.

“Why?”  That is the question that drove me.

Since I began my writing career, I have written over forty-five million words. Yes, that’s quantified.

Much like my early painting, I cringe when I look backward at my previous works.

‘That is how it should be.’

Some predators thought they could write. Since these predators can’t, they pose as SMEs in a facet of writing.

I know of nobody that doesn’t think their first novel isn’t going to be a New York Times Best Seller.

Reality is a sucky thing, but don’t stop dreaming. Dream big. Be real… Get beta readers that you trust.

These posers know that if you spend time writing a novel, you are so involved that you will spend money to make it big. While they laugh all the way to the bank, your hopes are what you got for your money.

I get that same ‘feeling’ when I purchase a lottery ticket. My dollars’ worth of entertainment is this. “What will I do with all that money when I win?”

Friends, that is the only reason to spend that dollar. If you paid attention in your statistics class, you understand that the house always wins. Stay out of gambling joints unless you have money to piss away.

Yes, I go to Vegas but have an ‘oh shit budget.’ The key is to realize that the ATM is not a slot machine.

When those wheels don’t end where I wanted,” Well, Shit.”

When the house wins….”Well, shit.”

Vegas is an atmosphere for entertainment. Not a retirement strategy.

Writing novels is not a retirement strategy; it is entertainment. Firstly, it is entertainment for the author. Secondly, it is a stepping stone toward being better at your craft. Thirdly and lastly, it is entertainment for your audience.

With those few words of wisdom, let me expound on my latest novel.

Earth’s last hope, in short, is this… Hope.

In this novel, I kill off 8 billion folks and destroy the planet, and …the story has a happy ending.

Please don’t spoil it for yourself and read the last chapter first; it won’t make sense.

For you writers, the characters had negative and positive arcs. The story has negative and positive arcs.

For you readers, it’s a page-turner.

The story is light sci-fi, a thriller, and a romance with a strong female lead.

I hope you read my book, give me feedback and if you like it, please go to the place you purchased it and leave a review.

Over a million books are put into the marketplace every year. Trust me, few of those books are worth the time to read.

The Star People is the backstory of the main character. I published a version of it in our league’s Anthology to whet the appetite of readers like yourself. In Earth’s Last Hope, those few chapters are included but modified to go along with the rating and theme of the book.

Some names changed, as did the rating. MA 14.

Thanks for reading the blog and for following me.

Follow me if you are interested in writing. I pick different topics and expound on them, cutting through the BS. Just free info from me to you.

Much Love -Scott

Earth’s Last Hope
Toxic Twitter

Toxic Twitter

Around 1982 I ran a BBS. For those who were not into computers (or alive), in 1982, it was an age when personal computers became affordable. They were still damned expensive. If you were to adjust for inflation, the cost of a PC back then would be equivalent to $15K today.

Bill Gates had just bought DOS from a fellow in Seattle for five thousand dollars, repackaged it, and leased it to IBM.

A BBS hosted at home meant a dedicated phone line, a UPS, and other hardware and software. A BBS was a hefty investment.

Water seeks the lowest level; if you sleep with the dogs, you wake up with fleas. Two cliches apply to my efforts to spend this kind of money and time.

The idea of the BBS was a place to exchange technical ideas with other like-minded folks.

It wasn’t long into the process when the first pornography was uploaded to my rather expensive hobby. I suppose Cheryl Tiegs disappearing one piece is mild in comparison, but it was pretty surprising. Someone bothered to take the time to photoshop her picture from SI, make it a GIF, and upload it. Of course, it went viral, and I imagine that even today, you can locate it floating around on the internet.

It must have made an impression; that was forty years ago.

The BBS came down when someone uploaded porn that was more graphic and certainly nauseating. The fleas were rampant. I wanted nothing to do with depravity which some people found amusing.

Fast forward forty-odd years.

I get these messages in the e-mail from Twitter that tells me they miss me.

As an author, social media is essential. Telling people about my latest book release and getting them interested is a perfect application of the media.

I am in the finishing stages of writing a novel called Earth’s Last Hope. As an adjunct to this process, I went back on Twitter last evening to see if my accounts still worked, and so on.

To my shock and horror, what I found in a matter of minutes made a nude Cheryl appear godly.

Without the gory detail, I saw a man hanging from a bridge. It was real. I witnessed animal cruelty which I find reprehensible, and then I saw a video of an execution. Yes, folks, Twitter suggested it “for you,” and there it was. A man was killed with a backhoe.

There were other less shocking things.

The point I am making is this. Those kinds of videos will screw some folks up. You cannot unsee an execution.

There was another execution by a cop. The cop shot the man several times. The video showed him drawing up into the fetal position before he expired.

You cannot unsee this stuff.

This post is about mental health. We wonder why kids of a young age shoot their teachers or parents and blame guns. It is easy to blame something that you can’t control. It is much more difficult to glance at the mirror and think that you might be part of the problem.

We see teenagers do violent things with each other and wonder why. Could we be the role models that they are following?

I know a company pays people to scrub the internet of such stuff. I know folks who work for this company. Could it be that they have an axe to grind against Musk, so they are allowing this kind of crap to stay visible?

Back in school, we were thrilled to see a projector in the classroom after lunch. That meant a movie. Hmmm, we were shown the film ‘The Execution of Private Slovak. Why?

What compelled the teacher to think this was an appropriate film for kids?

All these years later, I remember the film vividly. I remember them telling the soldiers who would be firing the bullets into this man, where the heart was, and so on.

Vietnam was still going on, thanks to LBJ. The draft was still in vogue, and I suspect that since we were close to that age to be ‘conscripted,’ the film might be shown to keep us from fleeing to Canada. That’s a guess.

My point is the film was disturbing. Much like the things we see in these Tik Tok videos, much of it is disturbing to the core.

Garbage in, Garbage out is something I believe strongly. I am all for free speech. I think that age-appropriate free speech, much like age-appropriate situations, is necessary. How are young minds supposed to interpret things like snuff films? Now, if you add to the mix actual executions not made in Hollywood, how do they process something so grotesque?

Twitter, in its current form, is not safe for minors. I don’t want that stuff in my head, and I know how to process it.

Twitter should have a safe filter, much like Google’s safe search.

-Best

Don’t use the condiments

Don’t use the condiments

On a local social networking site, a person sounded off about some child drinking from the chocolate syrup bottle at the local BBQ joint. She corrected the child and told management what had happened. The girl behind the counter tossed the syrup. When the boy told his father, he glanced at the woman, waved, and left the establishment.

The thread went on with many weighing in.

Since my thoughts are more verbose than intended, I thought I would put this on my blog instead.

It starts with the parents. It might be more profound than that. Kids are being raised by video games and what used to be Hollywood.

The economy is such that usually, both parents must work. Your children are not raised by ‘Father knows Best, or Leave it to Beaver.’ If they are in a single-parent home, that lack of good behavior goes double. Where do they then learn what is socially acceptable?

I am a writer. Often my characters bump into today’s value system. It has been incumbent upon me to learn where these kids get their values. It was not an exhaustive search. After looking at some of the games they play, examining the amount of unsupervised time they have, and the educational system tolerating bad behavior, I had my answers.

Not long ago, I was in the food court close to some teenagers who were lamenting about their home lives. These were kids wearing designer clothing. They each had a smartphone, some had braces, and they went on about how crappy their parents were. I had to leave.

Speaking with children of different generations, I notice a variance in what they think is acceptable behavior. It is rather shocking.

Today’s 30-somethings that I speak with are clueless. At their age, they should be saving for retirement. Instead, they rent an apartment equivalent to the house they grew up in. They attempt to live as if they were still under their parent’s roof and eat out as if it were free. Many parents enable this behavior by supplementing their income. Their kids live paycheck to paycheck, usually running a deficit by the end of the month. Much like that college loan, they also have credit card debt. Why? They were never taught to manage money.

Instead of attempting to do it for themselves, they complain about how crappy life is and, yes, spend their free time on the computer playing video games. It is no small wonder they cannot afford their student loans.

The gaming industry is $188 Billion. Proponents of video games will argue against what I am telling you. Still, from Sandy Hook to many other mass shooting events, most of those shooters had one thing in common. Can you guess?

One of the officers investigating Sandy Hook told the press that the kid was ‘very proficient’ at killing that many people. It was almost as if he were trained in the military. Huh…

The Parkland Shooter was part of a unique program where his misdeeds (criminal) were kept secret from the School to avoid the school pipeline to prison. The argument for this program is that kids will grow out of it. One trip to the south side of Chicago will change the mind of most. The FBI knew about the shooter’s violent proclivities and were even warned before the shooting. They did nothing. I am still amazed that the activist David Hogg has yet to figure it out.

A teacher in California was beaten by a student because ‘she gave him a failing grade.’ The school system tried to convince the teacher (while she was still in hospital) not to press charges. If memory serves, he broke her jaw, among other things. It would ruin the boy’s life if you pressed charges. I wonder where that ‘child’ is now?

Playing video games releases endorphins which make the player feel good. The hormones and chemicals released are addicting. We humans can be addicted to almost anything, even pain. Does that fact shed some light on why some self-harm?

Those game players reading this will likely chime in, telling me I am wrong. Truth is, I am not mistaken. If you were to honestly log the amount of time you spend playing games, you might be surprised. How does it make you feel to win or take that hill? How do you feel when you lose? When confronted with the truth, how does that make you feel? How does that make you feel if you are a sniper and kill the ‘enemy? No, I am not wrong.

Can you guess why Syrup Boy was drinking the syrup? Sure, it tasted good, but what else? Yes, chocolate is addicting, as is anything that makes you ‘feel’ good. That little feature of most animals is for the survival of the species. I don’t need to spell that out for most of you.

Those proponents of video games immediately tried to spin things differently, but…If you live in a world full of violence, day in and day out, guess what happens to your psychic? Where did this Sandy Hook killer learn to be so proficient? He blew one of the teacher’s heads off and was heard laughing about it after the fact. One wonders why. Was it what he expected?

Were you aware that you could get PTSD from video games? Now we have VR (virtual reality), which will most certainly make the game more real or immersive. Are we even looking into cause and effect? No, it’s the guns doing it.

It is almost as if we should have a consumer protection agency or something looking into cause and effect. What happens if?

There is a real danger among us; syrup boy is just one minor symptom that we are doing something wrong. The prison population is a vast indicator we are doing something very wrong. PFFT

Cause and effect, garbage in, garbage out. Why has nobody put this together? Is it that unpopular? Can we not handle the truth? Are we not paying anyone to look into such things?

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, it will all be ok.

I mention the $188 Billion gaming industry because they hire PR firms to spin events like some mass shooting in another direction, away from the obvious. IT’S THE GUNS!!!

Guns are an easy emotional target or trigger word. That is why gaming lobbyists push the gun narrative. They know what it is, but $188 billion pays for PR firms and lobbyists and buys congressmen. It also makes the 2cnd amendment and the NRA the enemies of the people. If they can tie it to a political party, that is just a bonus.

Mental illness is rife. Covid, the lockdowns, and much more play into what is happening. With the lockdowns, the youth have more time to immerse themselves in these games. During the lockdown, the youth were not as socially active as they might have been. Games are an alternate reality. One wonders where reality and games collide. Add drugs into the mix, and that line will get super blurry.

Uvalde; his grandfather was a drug dealer, his mother a junkie, and you know grandma was not innocent or clueless about where the money came from. Pot today has a THC content of up to 95%. In the ’70s, the THC content was about 5%. The effects on the brain are mind-numbing and can cause uncontrollable rage. A toxicology report is still pending on the Uvalde shooter.

Riddle me this, why did the City of Carrollton, Texas, spend tax dollars on creating an E-sports (gaming facility for kids to play video games?) Wouldn’t it be better for kids to play these around their parents? Is this a taxpayer-funded babysitter or surrogate guardian who would also drink from the syrup bottle? Is it for kids who can’t afford a gaming computer?

In truth, I am uncertain what this facility is. On the surface, it sounds like a taxpayer-funded Dave and Busters, only for video games, period. Shouldn’t we try to get kids away from the keyboard and outside playing sports?

I am glad that the kid that shot up the July 4th celebration was such a coward that he gave up without committing suicide by cop. We need to learn what motivated him and everything else we can. He, like others, will end up being a statistic, but nevertheless, information is valuable.  

Where did he learn to be a sniper? He must have known about ballistics to shoot that distance and hit the target. Where did he learn?

Many people claim that School is a pipeline to prison. They blame it on things that are far from the facts. To quote Jack Nicholson, ‘They can’t handle the truth.’ In School, you learn the basics to get by in life and are introduced to social mores.

When I went to School, if your shirt was not tucked in correctly and you were caught, you earned a swat. For the rest of that day, every time you sat, there was this stinging reminder to make sure your shirt was properly tucked in.

Some parents argue against such things. They doth protest. Their argument is that you are teaching kids to hit; I disagree. You are teaching them that we have rules. While you are here, you will follow them. Trust me, parents, kids know how to hit already.

If you have flown, there are more rules than I care to count. Do not joke with the TSA.

In society, there are rules. You and I have those same rules. We get hit in the pocketbook if we speed or drive erratically. If you have one of your tires over the line in a handicapped parking area, the fine is over $600. I am talking about accidentally crossing that little white line with one tire.

One lady had just picked her kid up from school. She was on her phone while speeding through the school zone. The motorcycle cop had his lights on. He tried to get her attention for over a mile before he was forced to go up to her window at a red light and tap on it. I hope her child watched that interaction.

She was terribly distracted by the conversation on the phone. Speeding through a school zone is a hefty ticket. On your phone, while driving in a school zone is yet another. Not seeing the cop for at least a mile…Those mistakes will be quite the spanking.

My point is that there are rules; when do we start teaching them to our kids? There are social mores that are also incumbent upon us to teach. We don’t drink from the bottle. We cannot be our children’s friends. We must be parents first; that is our job. We are not talking about child abuse or beating anyone; we are talking about course corrections. We are talking about parenting. Know what your child is doing. We parents are held accountable for their actions until they reach adulthood. Our job is to raise them so that the criminal justice system does not have to.

Some scream about prison overpopulation. We, the parents, are in part the cause of this. The lack of morality and, yes, the violence are symptoms of not being engaged with your progeny.

Dysfunctional families are endemic to the problem, and that is what congress should be addressing. Breaking the cycle of single-parent homes requires education.  

Drugs and the promise of easy money probably eclipse poor parenting, as even the best of parents end up burying a child due to an overdose. Some lose them to gang violence. That, of course, is systemic of drugs and the drug culture.

It starts at home. You are the person they will model until such a time they attempt to emulate some actor or actress. If you teach them correctly and raise them right, you will not need to worry about what the schools are doing to indoctrinate them into this woke world of weirdness. You might also keep them from hanging with the wrong crowd.

Anyone who teaches your kids to hate their country must be in a different vocation. Any person who grooms your young child must be behind bars for pedophilia. The messages children get today are mind-bending. Homeschooling is almost a must.

Your options are clear. Either be of good moral character and lead by example or teach them how to look innocent in a lineup.

-Best

Retirement or just the next phase?

Retirement or just the next phase?

I hit that magic age where no employer wants to commit to a real honest-to-goodness job. That’s ok; I knew it was coming, most of my friends are older, and I have watched this phenomenon play out year after year.

There have been unexpected occurrences starting in 2020.

Before Covid was a thing, I managed to catch it from a masseuse. She was from China and spoke little to no English, not that it mattered. This was not my first time in this business. While there was a language barrier, she managed to know where it hurt and was able to manipulate the fascia or what have you in such a way to stop the muscle spasms.

It was 68 degrees in the room, and she was sweating profusely. I remember thinking, she must be working hard. I better tip her extra.

Three days later, I was in my doctor’s office with a sore throat, breathing issues, and a fever. At this stage of the game, the virus was not transmissible from humans to humans. It was not airborne and was only in Wuhan near the wet market.

We were assured by the CDC and the WHO not to worry. Pelosi was taking photo ops in China town along with its population, and the head of the health department in NYC was among the Chinese folks in NY, telling the world it was safe to go amongst them and…enjoy Chinese New Year’s Celebrations.

Words Matter and they all lied to us. While they might have given a get out of jail free card to Big Pharma, those that lied to us should be held accountable. They knew they were lying.

Backing up in history, about 30 years, I was in a head-on collision with an 84-year-old man who was drunk. I wrote the story as a memoir for the Anthology my writer’s group put together.

I wrote it as a cautionary tale. I will put a link to the Anthology for those of you interested in such stories. My story is the very last one in the book. The Roads We Take

That fateful day changed my life. I was forced to re-invent myself. The impact had a combined velocity of 110 mph.

There is a reason football players make the big bucks. The abuse they put their bodies through has a cumulative effect, and they will pay for it later in life. Much like every injury, broken arm, or leg you might have had will cause a twinge of pain during a weather change, imagine your entire skeleton as if it were on fire.

No, there were no grand settlements. One of my lawyer friends told me he could make me a rich man. The persons who were culpable had the same insurance company. They would not have paid the price for what she enabled, and he did. He was obviously well known in that town, the cop protected him, only wrote him up for left of center.

I heard the argument between him and his wife. There was only a thin curtain that separated the two of us. “You promised me that you would not drink and drive if I got you that new car!”

“Well, we were out of beer and it was halftime. I was just going to Kroger.”

Pffft! Every day, over thirty years later I pay for his lack of judgment and her enabling him. I am certainly not alone.

Life goes on; you do the best you can. Hence the massages and chiropractors and the occasional doctor who remarks while looking at the x-rays…’I would hate to be in your body.’

It could be worse; I know it, so I press on. Hence retirement.

Many, too many, in fact, have given up. They have taken the government up on whatever entitlements they can get and just survive.

It is always a red flag to me when I speak with a friend, and they ask have I seen this or that on TV?

I don’t watch TV. I know how that sounds, but to me, it is noise. Those that you see on the screen cannot relate to you or me for the most part.

If it were not for writers, many would be as vapid as the force that makes balloons rise, hot air. Don’t believe me, find some on Twitter and read the garbage that they spew. From their ivory towers and gated communities, they scream, “let them eat cake.” ‘Cake was a metaphor for the scraps that fell off the table that the dogs got.’   

With few exceptions, there are not many I would like to meet. Introduce me to the writers; those are the geniuses.

You might have guessed by now that I had to re-invent myself once again.

I went from an engineer to computer support to the management of teams of folks working in the IT field. Back when I started, it was Data Processing, that tells you a little.

Today I am winding down my company www.timedok.com. The company serves many but mainly takes care of municipalities. All good things must end. The machines I sell and service are used less and less. The pandemic has expedited the process. The supply chain failure by this administration have not helped.

Currently, I am in the middle of writing a science fiction novel which you will hear more about if you follow me.

Why not just retire, you might ask?

One of the most repeated failures by retirees is they don’t plan for what they will do after the job. I cannot speak for women, but as a man, I can tell you that most of us identify with what we do for a living. Most of us take pride in what we do, and we do the best we can.

Suddenly you find your pay has reached some magical number that a bean counter has decided is too much. Around your company’s fiscal year end, your boss is given his budget. He or she is forced to let someone go to raise your salary or find someone less expensive than you, and keep as many employees as he or she can.

Usually, that happens long before you reach retirement age. Then what?

I started this blog at a certain age nobody wants you. It is not because of age discrimination per se but they know you were probably making a salary that would exceed what they could or are willing to afford. The application, which is a legal document, most of the time asked what your salary was.

If you didn’t plan for retirement both financially and with an idea of how you will occupy your time, what do you do?

The house you paid for undoubtedly you will find yourself taxed out of.

Thanks to the failures of the government of California, my taxes have exceeded what the original house payment was, and there are no signs of the taxes going down. In fact, if I were attempting to live off social security, the taxes would take most of it.

Why California? There seems to be a mass exodus from the west, because of the cost of living and taxes. Those from the West who voted for the policies which have destroyed their state are heading East. They most probably will not have figured out that their ideology, and the way they vote is why they are having to find jobs back East.

Government is good at taking what’s not theirs. It becomes easy to understand why there are those who learn how to take advantage of the system and live on whatever handouts they can get, including housing.

It is a form of socialism but shhh, the right is not aware of it yet. They still think if Bernie is not in office, we are fine.

The re-invention of myself is nothing unique. I see retired people in the hardware store earning whatever the government will allow them to earn without subtracting that amount from their (entitlements.) I was offered such a job not long ago. I chuckled at that offer and left with my purchases to play plumber at my home.

With this book I am working on, do I expect it to make me millions? No, I am, in fact, a realist. One of the largest issues with getting published today is that everyone thinks they can write.

These people range from school-age kids to retired people who have a story to tell. Once they create their tomb, they send it off to agents, where it sits in what is known as a slush pile.

The slush pile of want to be authors sits for days, weeks, or months until either they have time to sift through it or they hire their teenage child to sift through the thousands of entries, while he or she plays games on their phone.

No, I don’t expect the weeks to months I have invested in this project to make me rich. This project, much like learning to 3d print, or teaching myself python, is simply a transitionary device from working to retirement. Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning, or they die.

You can be old and have a terminal illness, and still have a quality of life while you are sucking in air. Don’t waste it.

If you want to understand why writing isn’t a get-rich scheme, look no further than Kindle Unlimited. Ten dollars a month to Jeff Bezos and read all you want. That book that you might have spent a year of your life creating is basically free to anyone that subscribes to KU.

Unlike those books in Barns and Noble that sell for real dollars, e-books are worthless. Services like his and others have programmed the reading public to believe that your efforts should be free to them.

I know of an author who spent 35 years creating one novel. No, I don’t think writing a book is a get-rich scheme unless you are a tv personality and can hype your book multiple times a day.

Writing the perfect novel, is only a small part of the puzzle. In the future we will be examining what those other parts might be, and how to pull them off without an agent.

Make sure you hit that follow button.

-Best

The Ubiquitous #Query Letter @badlitagent

The Ubiquitous #Query Letter @badlitagent

(The following is a satirical expression of frustration with the egocentric gatekeepers of the publishing world.)

I am not picking on you @badlitagent, I like your snark.

There are many out there who claim to “know the secret” of how to write the “perfect” query letter.

 

If you just follow, their simple steps, agents, and publishers alike will seek your manuscript!

 

“Who believes that?”

 

I am a writer, I write!  When I am writing, I am lost in the story.  The characters take on lives of their own and demand that I faithfully capture their personalities and character traits, as well as their actions.  The story must be cohesive, that is where I live.

When you find yourself spending more time researching each agent, constructing a query letter, creating a synopsis per their idea of what that is, and first few pages in whatever format that desire, something is wrong.

The actual hell of it is, you are not, repeat not, trying to catch the agent’s attention.  They are too wrapped up in their position of power, to bother to read your query letter, much less respond to them.  No, they have interns that may be going to college or maybe in high school.  Hell, they might have their twelve-year-olds reading them.

 

(Looking for interns)

“If you like to read certain books that we represent, we will hire you as an intern.  You must be able to “read” several query letters, and write a report on each in one sentence or less.” 

 

When researching the agent, this is typical.

“If we don’t respond in eight weeks, consider it a pass.”

 

How fucking lousy is that!  You spend hours crafting the perfect Query letter, and the agent does not have time to respond with a  simple form reply..!?

 

“I want some fucking feedback!  Why? What about this letter, or this manuscript, turned you off on the project. What was missing?  What one thing if it had would make you excited?”

 

Some will send you the form letter “Your story is not the kind of material we represent.”  Please please please continue to bang your head against the wall though; we like to hear the banging, as it keeps us awake!
(It is what you represent, because I researched your damned site, and your bio, and who you have published thus far, so either you did not read it, or your intern cannot read!)

 

Here is what I think they mean to say. Allow me to translate this for you.

 

“If you have a proven track record of selling millions of books, we might consider looking at your manuscript.  If you were on the New York Times bestseller list, let us know that too, so we can ask the intern to read more than the title of what you send.  We only have time to spend on sure bets. If you are not a famous author, please, do not bother us! I know we say that we are looking for first time authors but we all say that, don’t we?  Whatever you have written, it is trash unless we can sell at least a million copies of it, without investing any money or time on it what so ever.  As the matter of fact; if you can sell a million copies on your own, just send us 30% and we might be persuaded to have the senior intern look at your next project.” 

 

“If you still want to send us a query letter, use one syllable words so our interns who are either stoned or still in pre-K can understand them.  Thanks for your understanding now, go fuck off! And, have a nice day!”  

 

My advice…

 

You cannot be a one trick pony.

 

You must have more than one novel in you.  Get published in as many places as you can.  Whether that be newsletters, magazines, short stories and unfortunately self-publish something.  Consider it a giveaway because there is little to no protection for intellectual property rights once you put it on the Internet.  There are programs out there that can take Kindle or other types of e-books and turn them into PDF’s so they can be “shared.”

 

Many write short stories and give them away just to get their “brand” out there.

 

Truthfully we have no idea what the intern is looking for; it could be word count, Genre, style of writing or eloquent phrases or pixie dust.   Since their website does not give us any information on where they went to school or what they like to read, it is a crap shoot!

 

The bottom line as I see it, you must “be someone” already, to get their attention.

 

Your thoughts are always interesting to me, feel free to elucidate on your experiences.

 

Maybe you have an agent that reads his or her own query letters?  Tell us about that.

 

Remember that most of this is satire, with some frustration mixed in.

 

-Best

 

© All rights Reserved 2016

 

 

Pioneer deceleration problem, My take. #space #time

Pioneer deceleration problem, My take. #space #time

 

In 1992, we launched Pioneer 10, which is leaving the solar system.  As it reaches further away from the sun, it has begun to decelerate.

Scientists believe to have discovered the solution.  They are proposing that particles leaving the spacecraft as heat are pushing against the forward momentum of the craft slowing it.

“I beg to differ.”

Using the good old formula F=MA, that simply does not seem to add up.

I read about this anomaly years ago and have noodled the issue for, well years.

 

Time is not a constant.

We here on earth think of time as purely a linear progression that we measure with clocks, watches, and calendars.

For years we have all seen the model of the solar system on a green grid with the sun, planets and other bodies all warping the fabric of space as they “fall” in their respective orbits.

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Picture the solar system not on a horizontal plane but inside a bubble.  Maybe it is an oblong bubble and not a perfect sphere but a bubble never the less.

Now picture the other things inside that solar system in their respective bubbles, each creating a bubble that is respective of its mass.

That bubble is warped space.  Its intensity of warpage is directly proportional to the amount of gravity.

When we see these huge storms on the sun that go on for days, or the Magellanic Clouds that seem to be frozen in time, this is our first clue that time is not a constant.

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If we could build a craft that could tolerate the heat of the sun and orbit it much closer to the sun, I also suspect that the storms on the sun would happen at an accelerated rate.  That craft would be in a different “local time.”

 

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Pick this handy little gadget up at Think Geek!

 

 

 

Much like traveling through the country we pass time zones and date zones.  If you hopped in your faster than lightspeed spaceship with your version of the flux capacitor and left to see the Horsehead Nebula, when you got there, it would not be there.

Leaving your “local time” heading outside of the solar system would put you into another time zone.  Instead of being based on some ancient 60 seconds to the minute, the next “bubble might be 75 seconds to the minute.”

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Traveling between the Bubbles in that area of empty space, where gravity does not play a role might very well find you traversing the distance in “no time,” as there is nothing there to create the bubble!

Pioneer 10 and 11 are slowing because they are reaching the end of this bubble and entering into another local time.  Once outside the bubble of the Milky Way, I suspect it will speed up significantly.

Where the demarcation point of that bubble is, is truly a mystery.

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This postulation can be proved or disproved with a simple test.

As the spacecraft get further away, does the bit rate of the telemetry change at all, even in the slightest?

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The bit rate should not change with distance, only time!

I am a science fiction writer.  I don’t pretend to understand the books of math that these scientists do.  Because I don’t constrain my thought process to what I can find a formula for, I can think outside the box.

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The postulations no matter how preposterous they may seem to the scientific community, I claim them as mine and hold that copyright.

They may very well find themselves in one of my next novels which is possibly the only place that they belong.

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2016

 

The sophisticated waltz of the #query letter. #LiteraryAgent

The sophisticated waltz of the #query letter. #LiteraryAgent

The sophisticated waltz of the #query letter. #LiteraryAgent

Having read countless blogs on the subject of the “perfect query letter,” I have concluded that something is very wrong or broken in this process.

The process is this:

  • Research the agents.
  • Who considers your type of manuscript?
  • Research their track record.
  • Are they large or small?

Small agencies have less time to read every query.  They then cherry pick, out of the 10’s of thousands of wannabees. There is no shortage of writers.

Large agents do the same, however; because there are more of them, they may see more letters.

Keep notes of all of the agents that you queried, you do not want to bother them with duplication and, if they sent you a form letter or even worse ignored you, that is good to know too.

Remember that some of the best authors out there are facing the same task, the same rejections, etc. because agents are so swamped with queries that they do not have time to do this properly.

When I do a direct marketing campaign for my business…my real livelihood…I have about a 2% return.  Every hundred postcards usually net two customers.

Query letters are probably even more subjective.  It is more important that you know who the agent is and how they deal with letters.  Whom have they helped in the past? What is there rate of taking on new authors?

My no bullshit approach would be, “Would you like to make a lot of money, look at my damned manuscript!”

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They do not play that game, like a princess they want to be, wooed.  Money does not seem to be a factor in the selection process.  Think foreplay on steroids, complete with all of the best manners when you are on a date for the first time.

“My novel will make you misty with anticipation of the next paragraph!”

When Mr. Covington came into the room with his shirt half torn, Sheila knew it was only a matter of time before she would feel the brunt of his hunger. The passion, which raged inside, tipped the boiling point, and was about to spill over!

Depending upon your agent, they will either reject it or become hot, thirsting for more… Is this what people read?  Can I market it? What did Sheila do to get Mr. Covington so stirred up?  What does he look like? What is his hunger?  I must know more….Or not….

 

My dream is this….

When the novel sells over a million copies, I want to take the time to send a copy to all of the agents that have ignored me or…sent me a form letter… Is that petty?  Maybe….  If I do have to self-publish the first novel, I will make “E.L. James a verb, much like google it!”

Keep at it my friends; the spoils go to the one who never gives up. As always, feel free to write. I love hearing from fellow writers. 

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are but Pawns on the chessboard of life. @oann

We are but Pawns on the chessboard of life. @oann

We are but Pawns on the chessboard of life.  @oann

Today’s news regarding the slide of oil prices brings back the memories of the volatile world in which we live and just how much of it centers around our lack of energy independence.

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Still fresh in my mind are the long lines at the gas pumps of the “world coming to an end” oil shortage of 1973.

Much like the world ending “Global Warming Hoax,” I do not trust any of them.  (with good reason…they lie!)

If you really want to know what it means…follow the money… Who gets rich if we stop using coal, or we all use sunshine and unicorn magic instead of fossil fuel?  If Al gets to sell you his carbon credits that he already has printed, who gets the money for them, and what do they do with that money?

Many of my readers are too young to remember or know about the oil shortage hoax, so for those of you that were not driving in the 70’s here is the deal. 

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In 1972 Gas was about .50 a gallon.  $5 dollars would fill my car…The price per barrel of crude was $14.00.  Minimum wage was $1.85. I made minimum wage for a while until I went to work flipping burgers making $2.10. “I was of course in school; this was popcorn, gas and movie money.”

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All of the sudden there was this “Energy Crisis!” We had gas lines and limited supplies. According to Carter, we were going dry and in a few years’ time, there would be no more gas…ever!

 

70070-full.jpgThere were oil tankers crashing into each other as well as running in to under water obstructions spilling millions of gallons of oil into the ocean.  The shipping lanes, which they had navigated safely for years prior and years since; all of the sudden became more dangerous…?

My contention is that those ships were sitting off shore waiting for orders to make their delivery and ran into things because they were in places that they should not have been.

As Americans went from paying .50 cents a gallon and allowed to purchase all the gas that they wanted, that changed overnight. Suddenly it was mandated as to how much and when we could purchase gas.  No more than 10 gallons on odd or even days depending upon your license plate, and of course, the price jumped. Like sheep, we fell in line because our leader was someone we could trust, and if he told us this, we would do it.

President Carter responded to the crises thusly…. This is part of his speech…

“The oil and natural gas that we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are simply running out.… World oil production can probably keep going up for another 6 or 8 years. But sometime in the 1980’s, it can’t go up any more. Demand will overtake production. We have no choice about that.”

“To some degree, the sacrifices will be painful—but so is any meaningful sacrifice. It will lead to some higher costs and to some greater inconvenience for everyone. But the sacrifices can be gradual, realistic, and they are necessary.”

“We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and our grandchildren.”

This is not the first time a sitting president has lied to us….Nor will it be the last.

Oil production during this period was steady with a slight linear progression all except one…The Middle East.

In 1970, The Middle East topped the oil production of North America, continuing its production to 21.894,000 and in 1974 to finally peak in to 22,020,550 in 1979.  At which time they cut production back to a low 10,645.400 1984.

There were other players in the market, but make no mistake, the Middle East was the driving force.

During this time, Asia Pacific was ramping up its use of Oil… In 1979, they peaked usage to 10,917,244 barrels a day.  At this same time, North America was sitting at 21,483,623 with the largest consumer of oil being Europe and Eurasia coming in at 25,117,430 barrels a day.

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The problem was the OPEC Embargo.  Egypt and Syria announced that they were no longer selling oil to countries that supported Israel. Less supply of oil caused prices to rise 134%.  In response to this Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Qatar unilaterally raised prices by 17 percent.

These events caused issues with our markets and eventually negatively affected our GDP.

Once again, we were held hostage over oil in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.  OPEC once again raised prices by another 14.5%.  The US then halted Imports from IRAN and Kuwait, Iran and Libya cut production.  Saudi Arabia eventually raised the prices of crude to $24 a barrel. These factors brought an increase of oil up another 118% in one year. The Gulf War precipitated another increase of 113% in 1990… This adversely effected the strength of the US dollar as the feds started to lower interests’ rates.

Lines

 

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We had long lines at the gas pumps because the Middle East who we now relied upon for oil.     Years of negotiations finally eased supply but the price was no longer .50 a gallon. Today the barrel of oil dropped below $30 a barrel.  If things were equal that should make a gallon of gas about a dollar.

These are the scant few facts that history tells but… I would really like to know the rest of the story.  Who profited? Why did Carter fill our heads with lies?  Who was pulling his strings?

 

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The Embargo that inconvenienced millions was a political play. Today we have a glut of oil on the market bringing the prices down to record lows taking the world stock markets with it.  They are blaming the glut on less demand … are you trying to tell me that there are less cars?

The Middle East for some reason, “economics” is crushing its competition by making oil supplies more abundant.  This adversely effects the other oil companies, as now exploration…fracking… and other sources of obtaining oil is no longer profitable.  With oil at $30.00 a barrel, all of the oil producing countries of the world will be effected, with Russia, amongst one of the countries hardest hit.

Enjoy your cheap fill-ups as your 401K is adversely suffering because of this.  

  • “Do they still teach economics in school?”
  • “Have they common cored our people into actual stupidity?”

 

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Now she is pretty…This is far more important than your survival…look at that pretty dress…that bracelet is stunning…I wonder who did her hair… Sarcasm..yep!

If the kids of today understood anything other than who got an award in Hollywood or who was sleeping with whom,  or…what video game is great and why…they might actually protest our out of control politicians.  These overpaid bags of hot air who paint with unicorn blood and fairy dust, create rosy pictures for those of you who watch passively the greatest president that we ever had…ever…give the greatest State of the Union address ever!  If you do not believe me…ask him….he will tell you that himself if, he can pull himself away from his selfie stick or mirror!  “Yes, that is sarcasm.”  If the only politics you followed are on MSNBC or CNN and then watched the State of the Union Address you would buy the lies.

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There is some sort of scandal with her and mean girls but that really does not interests me…She is attractive … but completely not germane to anything that I am talking about.

“Folks, they are lies…. People such as myself are not going to be able to keep this fight up forever…you had best engage and smarten up, unless you want to go the way of Greece.”

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Protest in Greece turns violent… Out of free money…

I will take this opportunity to put a plug in for a news network that is strictly news.  No opinions, just the facts. http://www.oann.com/

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I actually think she is great!  I think she went to the Blaze …

Their reporters at time are sophomoric, but I find that part of the charm.  Just the facts, no spin.  They are currently in a battle with the major news networks, as the multi media giants are pulling strings to keep them off cable networks.  Verizon still has them but Time Warner and Charter who seem to be under the thumb of certain people in the administration, do not want them. The FCC is going to have to get involved with this one but I am certain that they “the multi media giants” can drag this out until after the election, as to keep the left wing loons influencing politics as they have been doing forever.

Seek the truth my friends!

-Best

© All rights reserved 2016

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My Shameless plug for the Blaze…

 

 

Getting Published #writer #author

Getting Published #writer #author

 

I write the following from what I have learned thus far on this subject.  I would appreciate input from those of you that have made this trip successfully.

Write Well 

It cannot be overemphasized enough to write well.  I have read many books written by people who were self-published. They wrote their story that they wanted to tell.  Not being able to make their fortune from their manuscript, they self-published. They spent the next several months trying to sell enough of their books to re-coop their investment.  Not everyone was meant to be a writer or published.  If they had read their work more carefully they would have discovered that it was not written well.  This leads me to my next thought.

Write for your enjoyment. 

The passion that most writers have is not to sell millions of books, just to write.  It has been said that if you want to get to know the author, read their book.  Take this one-step further.  If you want to get to know yourself, who you are…, write a book.  When you are reading your story, if you are listening, you will find yourself in your characters.  Insight as to who you actually are will come out in their actions and feelings.

If your characters do not have feelings, you need to go back and try again.  Sell the story through their actions or feelings.

Which reminds me, do not try to do this for a living, until you are famous.  Your sanity might depend upon you being in this world with a day job. We are social creatures, being around people and not in your world of your story all of the time is important.   Of this… I speak from experience…

Start out with a bang!

The first few pages sell your book, especially for an unknown. The prologue is a good place to entice the reader to want to know more, than you can build the story after the prologue. Once you become a JK Rowling, than you can let your name (or brand) sell your product.

Be well read

Most successful writers read a lot.  While I have read some “flash in the pan” books that were not well written, nor were the authors “well read,” that actually made it.  Statistics show that more often than not, books that get published, are from people who were well read.

Have a story that is unique and interesting

Your story should be unique.  If it is a rehash of a common situation, there is a good chance it will sit on the circular file cabinet of some publisher, until the janitor makes his or her rounds.

Expect rejection

You must have thick skin to be in this vocation.  Your own family may not like what you have written.  Do not expect everyone to love it as much as you do. This is your baby, your passion not theirs. As soon as you send it off to someone, start working on something else. One of the publishers that I have been talking with might take a year before they get back to you simply telling you, no thanks!

A Good Agent

First off, agents are about as hard to sell as are publishers themselves.  Many folks take up writing as a get rich scheme instead of for the pure passion of writing or telling a story.  Agents get a commission for what they do.  Never pay someone up front…If the agent is a true agent worth their salt, they will know from your synopsis if this is something that they can sell.

Do lots of research on your agent before signing.

Good agents are available. Locating them through a writers league might be a good idea as the others in the league might have an experience to share.

Finish your work before you think about getting it published

I have spoken with many who get some idea for a book and immediately approach an agent or publisher.  You have nothing to sell, until there is a manuscript of 120,000 words or so in your hands.” 

When writing your manuscript do not get hung up on the word count!  After the editing process, your 135,000 words might be around 95,000.  Somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 seems to be optimal.

Check your work well before you send it off…

As alluded to in the last point, editing your work is paramount.  When you decide to send it off, it should be as good as you could possibly make it.  I like to read it aloud although one trick that I found is to have something like “Nuance’s Naturally Speaking” full edition; read it back to me, one paragraph at a time.  Your mind will skip over clumsy sentences or bad grammar.   The program only reads what it sees so the “you instead of the your” will pop out at you!

Try to get something published in a magazine prior to getting your book published.

This is a great idea for first time writers.  Write a short story or several, 5000 words or so and submit it to magazines.  If they publish it, they might pay around $500 for the story (one time) but you then can write on your cover sheet…published in….  That is a great way for your manuscript to get more of a look than 3 seconds, of some agent or publishers time.

“What magazine you ask?”  What do you write?  Sci-Fi… Pick a science fiction magazine and approach them with a story…

Submission guidelines are critical…

Everyone has some idea of what they expect to see when they open your manuscript.  I have found double-spaced block type, cover sheet etc… They should have guidelines to follow…follow them not just a little bit, to the letter.

Have a well-written synopsis keeping it to two pages.

This is a problem for writers.  You need to tell the complete story, with the ending in 500 words or so…2 pages…  Look for guidelines online… Oh yes, it must be written well…

Purchase The Writer’s Market published by Writer’s Digest

Query Letter

Send a query letter even if they say they are currently not accepting. The worst thing that will happen is you wasted a stamp.  (One page)  Many publishers may say that they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts but truth be told, they all want best sellers.  A query letter cost you .50 cents and it might perk their interests.

Sending your manuscript to agents and or publishers should not be with a lot of fanfare.  Simply box it “if it fits its ships” or padded envelope and let the post office do it for you.  No FED EX nothing like that…Media Mail in fact… Anything else gives the appearance of desperation.  “They should be lucky that you have chosen them to publish…”  Ok, maybe not but, you get the gist.

Now go back to writing and tell a story….

-Best

Below are a few links that I have found while digging.

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/

http://agentquery.com/publishing_mp.aspx

https://querytracker.net/whatisqt.php

http://www.writersmarket.com/

https://duotrope.com/

As a favor to me, many of you read and like my posts, which I thank you from the very bottom of my heart.  Follow me; share what you see.  Thanks!