Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review



The year 2013 is less than twelve hours away from being over (depending on where you live).  As we approach 2014, looking back at the-year-that-was seems appropriate. 

I like to divide the year into two categories.  

There is My 2013 and then there is The World's 2013.

Today I’ll focus on My 2013 and tomorrow I will look at The World's 2013...maybe the day after tomorrow if tonight gets a bit dicey.  

My 2013 was filled with moments of struggle, strife, and chaos. All of that crap can threaten your perspective of a year-under-review if you look at it from the muck of your boot-heel.  But by comparing year over year, the gains are more obvious.

Here are the highlights:

Physical Fitness 

Began 2013 at a high of 182 lbs.  Ended the year at a low of 164 lbs while lifting weights on average 4 days a week and sprinkling in cardio here and there.  

Business

Formed pubshelf from a series of pre-existing marketing and publishing entities with my business partner Tom Humphreys.  We started with one client and through word-of-mouth and being lucky enough to work with extremely talented writers we were able to help dozens of writers achieve more than half a million books sold since March.  

Speaking of books sold, I finally broke more than 100,000 books sold or downloaded  (of my own novels) halfway through 2013. This was possible thanks to a small but amazing fan base that helps me through my days by believing in my work. 

All 25,000 of you that show an interest on Facebook, Twitter, etc - you really do keep me motivated.  

Thank you for that.

Family and Friends

I started the year with one niece and ended it with three nieces and a nephew. 

The year began with my Dad being a single man and ended with him being married to a lovely lady and another sister being added to the family.  She is engaged, so soon I will have another brother as well.

I also caught up with many friends throughout the year, whether that was traveling to the UK a half dozen times on business or going to six different weddings. I thought that would have me in the clear moving into 2014 but three weddings have already popped up for the next year. I guess I will get to use my airline miles.

Which brings me to my next topic...

Travel

Started the year in Florida. Ended the year in Florida.  But in between I went to six states and three countries.

Books Out

Started with two books published and ended with two books published.  This is a real let down, but I thank you for your patience.  I have two books that are nearing completion and my vow is to have both books out by March.  Ashes to Ashes, should wrap up An Upstate New York Mafia Tale, the trilogy, and The Hundred Heartbreaks of Harlan Halifax will show a different side to my abilities as a writer.  Both are moving along quickly and I believe that in March we will have doubled the total from the beginning of 2013.

That's it for my personal updates. The next blog will take a look at The World's 2013.  I won't give too much away but I promise you this... I won't mention Twerking.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Movember Update 2/3 Done!

Just posting a quick Movember update for those of you that are interested in our lip sweaters so that we can "change the face of men's health".  This has been a fun exercise in hair growth and slightly reminds me of having to take care of an egg in home economics classes way back when:



Getting a group of men to keep their mustaches for thirty days is not as easy as it sounds but, now at nearly three weeks into the flavor-saver fun, finally everyone seems to have fallen nicely in line.

It may have taken threats.

Cajoling may have been needed.

Promises to certain ladies may have been made.

Gifts given.

But the results speak for themselves.

Just take a look at these monuments to masculinity in mustachio form!

Titans of tangled testosterone!

Unfettered follicles of fame! (Don't hate on the Pope in the top left.  He has blond hair but it is actually a nice full stache.)


Hope our mugshots keep you entertained -  happy Tuesday!

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Movember Update Day 12

The men have really started to separate themselves from the boys and what a difference a week makes in turning a Movember Hero into a Movember Zero. As this tale of the thistle ticklers gets deeper into lip doily development, I have promised to keep you updated.

This week's hero is No-Man Notheis for standing tall in the face of friends fleeing him just as the action heats up.  Nick shares an office with last week's hero, KanYe-Wheezy who shaved a grizzled man growth off of his giant chin.  However as the month has heated up and his cheek hugging affectionate friend has inched its way back onto his face, KanYe has found it hard to depart with the familiar fuzz.

KanYe Today:                            

    Before Being Called Out               Ashamed of Himself




Nick has gloriously grown this guy over the last 12 days:
 
 
It's too bad his compatriot felt compelled to cower beneath the comfort of his forbidden beard.

Meanwhile the rest of the crew has held up to their end of the bargain and as of yet there isn't a welcher among them. K-Swoll even got his license renewal with the stache! If this man doesn't deserve a hero award I don't know who does.

K-Swoll cemented this look for the next 8 years, until his license expires or he conveniently misplaces it.  Though let's be honest, no one is trying to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles unless they absolutely have to...

 
Mine has developed nicely, and though I am no stranger to facial hair, it has been a while since the stache got to stand alone amongst the stubble of my face.  It is enjoying the attention of being conditioned each night, combed, and then rubbed with evaporated milk and silky oils imported from India.
 
 
 And then there was Tom. Despite a 14 hour trip to London, and a same-day back to Wales (due to vehicular issues) trip, he still managed to make the most of his lip-titan.
 
He looks remarkably like Edward Scissorhands
 
Some of you may be asking about The Pope and though he didn't get the picture in on time, word is he looks very close to this guy:
 
 






TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Hate To Love My Pals -Mustache Amended Post

A "no-show" mustachio in progress, a man from the depths of Georgia, forgot to send in his photo yesterday. No-Man Notheis rectified the situation today, but did so with a bit of a shot at me since the University of Florida Gators were a bit toothless in their efforts against the Georgia Bulldogs last week.

While I hate to do it...

It was a pretty good shot and so I appease the victor.


The correct term is "Jorts" though.  Everyone knows that...at least in Gainesville, GA. Also, we have yet to play Vanderbilt, but as of this post I can say, "At least we haven't lost to Vanderbilt."

Dick.

As you can't really see his pristine face, here is a close up:

Visions of the GA victory dance in his lenses.

And after letting his hair grow about 5 days we end up with:

I don't know....What YOU talkin bout Willis?

If and when we get further updates I shall post accordingly.  The next mustache update for the bulk of the group will be Monday as I think we all agree that some time is needed to cultivate these staches before we present them to the public again.  The last thing we want is our upper-lip follicles to get a case of stage fright...

TTFN Denmonites

-ND

Monday, November 4, 2013

Movember: Some of the Cast of Characters

With the end of the weekend and the welcome to a wonderful and Mo-tastic Monday, we usher in Day Four of the charity event that is all about bringing more awareness to men's health.  I promised last week that we would try and assemble pictures of the roster, and though I have a few pictures of the team with the hairless cheeks, some were not timely about getting photos back to me, so I offer unto you, the reader, what I have available.

The Cast

KanYe-Wheezy                                                          Day 4
K-Swoll 
        
Nic-Sizzle
The Pope

Tom

Not featured due to lack of photographic evidence:

J-Kib
No-man Notheis

For more details on on our team please check out our team website, The Fu Manchu Men

Thanks for checking in!

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Friday, November 1, 2013

Welcome to Movember -Tribute Post

Well, it's that time of year again;  that time where the autumn air is crisp and the promise of winter lingers just beyond the horizon.  It is a time when, more than ever, men around the world need their facial hair in order to survive the wickedness of the winter elements.

And of course it is that time of year, where in honor of Movember, (that isn't at typo) men are required to shave their coveted and carefully crafted crumb catchers and cheek cowlicks before embarking on exemplary, entertaining, and new gregarious growths of follicle glory.

While everyone puts the focus on individuals who have to grow their man-staches. I think it is important to note the individuals who have been growing facial hair for near to a year and then need to part ways with their blessed beauties in order to start from scratch.

So with that in mind, let us pay tribute to our fallen facial hair giant.


   

In a later post I will do a team lineup.  Getting pictures from everybody is like herding cats, so for now just enjoy the glorious metamorphosis above or check out our team page and leave a small donation for men's health if you feel so inclined.

Team page for the Fu Manchu Men

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guest Post: Author Ed Dasso of Past Aghast


Ed Dasso is the author of Past Aghast.  He has agreed to do a guest post for those of us at Cat Get Off My Keyboard.   I asked him to write a bit about the underlying Post Traumatic Stress Disorder theme prevalent in his novel.  As our warriors return home from engagements abroad, and there are sure to be more engagements to come, I felt like it was as good a topic as any when exploring current relevancy within a piece of literature.

His novel is excellent and you can purchase it by clicking the cover above.  

Ed says:

“You read about it in the headlines - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been blamed for a number of behavioral health issues for war veterans…” is not only the start of the synopsis of my novel, “Past Aghast”, but also describes how I developed the plot for my first major work of fiction.

As a physician I’ve had plenty of opportunity to see people afflicted with PTSD and see how it can significantly impact their lives. One day I received a call from a long-time friend, who had been deployed to Iraq twice. He told me that he’d just learned that a third deployment colleague of his had suffered from PTSD, returned to the States, and put a gun in his mouth as a way to escape the torment of PTSD.

I decided it was time to put pen to paper.

Even though I strove to make this an entertaining work of fiction, I’d also hoped that the main protagonist, being a veteran afflicted with PTSD, would somehow help to raise interest in veterans who suffer from PTSD. Sometimes these veterans suffer for the rest of their lives. In case you are interested, my blog contains links to articles about how PTSD increases the risk for depression and suicide for veterans. In creating the plot and characters, I used many actual experiences from my medical career and weaved them into the story. I wanted to create a story that combined the gritty characters like those in Vince Flynn books with the intriguing medical setting story lines found in Tess Gerritsen stories.

I also wanted to portray my female characters in a way that is consistent with my medical experience with many nurse colleagues, so you'll find the women characters in my books to be strong-willed but compassionate. My main character is intended to be someone who is believable; someone who is smart, compassionate...and yet has human flaws. I feel the main character should portray an example of the old adage, "there are no heroes, just ordinary people who perform heroic acts.” The book offers some "behind-the-scenes" views of the strange occurrences that can happen in the field of medicine, especially at large, metropolitan medical centers.

Fact is stranger than fiction far more often than most people would believe and many might be surprised at the number of events in my book that are based on an actual experience of mine. Lastly, this book is a work of fiction and, as in many works of fiction, I've taken a common issue and given it a different life. The character's responses to his affliction of PTSD are not necessarily reflective of current medical knowledge and scientific facts related to PTSD. I do hope, however, that the story may bring some attention to the struggle that many veterans face in dealing with PTSD.

Though I’ve published articles in national healthcare journals, written many "Ask the Doctor" columns and spoken frequently at national healthcare forums, fiction writing is reviving a lost love from earlier periods in my life where I enjoyed writing short fiction stories. In addition to a number of years as a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care specialist who spent many hours in emergency rooms, operating rooms, and intensive care units, I’ve also led teams in designing, creating and deploying population health programs to help people deal with depression related to their poor health.

I hope that you give Past Aghast a look and find embedded in the harsh realities of PTSD an entertaining novel that also makes you look at life with just a bit of a different tinted lens.

-Ed Dasso

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guest Blog Post: DCJ Wardle

Pubshelf has a new client named D.C.J. Wardle who wrote an interesting novel that is a humorous take on one man's ambition and the lengths he will go to to climb up the social ladder. I asked him to come by and share his thoughts on his novel "Trading Vincent Crow" as well as his process when it comes to writing. Before we jump into it, just a friendly reminder for all my Denmonites, on Friday is the cover reveal of Ashes to Ashes, the third novel in the Upstate NY Mafia Tale trilogy.

Now for the main attraction...



The blurb:

“Trading Vincent Crow” is the humorous journey of a young man, desperate to extract himself from the bottom of the heap as he tries to leapfrog his way up the ladder of success, continually trading his life for a new and better one. This means that he has to swap his entire life – the job, the pad, the threads, the girl, every three months to ensure that he is rapidly propelled forward to where he needs to be. His travels from obscurity toward his dream of being slightly less obscure force him to tackle new social challenges, to keep pushing himself upwards, and not to become comfortable with small gains. Of course, that all sounds like a water-tight plan, noble and worthwhile. In reality Vince ambles ill-equipped and with social ineptitude into new and unfamiliar situations where he becomes a bit-part actor in a variety of other peoples’ dramas and plans as they also play out their own selfish aspirations of personal betterment. 

D.C.J. Wardle:

The book is written to be fun and entertaining. Of course humour is a very personal thing, so to qualify that statement, it’s primarily written to be fun and entertaining to me. Hopefully readers will also be able share in the enjoyment that I had through the process of writing it. The journey toward self-improvement enables numerous disparate and quirky characters to emerge in to the pathway of Vince, some of whom are sympathetic, some selfish, some are villains, but all provide texture and colour to the world that Vince must negotiate if he is to make something better of his life. The style of writing is quite episodic, and with every change of job or situation the plot is able to spiral in a new direction and maintain pace and interest. The many sub-chapters provide a fantastic space in which to work tangential sub-plots and off-beat observations. It was particularly entertaining as a writer to use this device to deviate from the plot momentarily and provide a vignette for an incidental character. This opportunity seemed to fit well within the style of the book and provided a wealth of openings for comic scenarios.

In comparison to my earlier creative writings, Trading Vincent Crow is something of a departure in terms of style and content. Over the years I’ve developed more confidence in my writing which has enabled me to write not only what I think is entertaining but also put it out there for public scrutiny. I actually started to really enjoy the process of creative writing about fourteen years ago. It was during my first overseas posting, and as a development worker I was posted to a small village in Cameroon, a lone volunteer managing the construction of a water supply project. The village was remote. There was no TV, telephone, or electricity. We did, however, boast a village chief who was the most powerful of all the witches in the region, and the villagers lived in fear of his dark magic. There were ceremonial rituals involving the village elders, a number of unfortunate goats, dancing around the drums in the firelight, and various adventures to different parts of the country. Consequently, for the first time in my life, I had a lot to write about, and began to really enjoy sending letters home about my adventures. I then decided to write a short story about the pop band that I had played in at college. I wrote it on scraps of paper, and found myself cutting out paragraphs from different pages and sticking them at the sides of others with duct-tape. The resulting collage of scribbling needed instructions to negotiate. After discovering the pleasures of this creative process I went on to write longer stories about my adventures in Cameroon and the subsequent places I’ve worked. This led me to get more involved in writing fiction, which has included writing a couple of novels, and a series of children’s books about the environment. My writing about my travels seems to have waned a little in recent years. I think that after so many years of moving between countries for work I am a little less fascinated by the experience compared to my earlier career. However, I’m never quite sure where I will find myself next, and so the prospect for inspiration is never far away.

At the moment, a big challenge is finding the time to write. However, I found that having a full time job actually suited the development of Trading Vincent Crow. This is because having a limitation on my writing time forces me to spend more time thinking about an idea, enjoying it, and letting it evolve and develop long before anything is written down. During my busy week there will be times when plots or situations are brewing away intensely in my head but I have no opportunity to express them. When I do get the chance to put down the narrative, I have scenes that have been rattling around inside and comic lines that I have been rehearsed in my head for so long that I’m ready to feverishly get the whole thing out of my system. This has been great for Vince in achieving the concise style I was aspiring to. It often results in writing where the sub-chapters are not only contributing to the bigger story but also becoming mini-stories in themselves. In taking such a long time to write a book, I feel that it is not rushed or forced, and is richer in its ideas and content as a result. I have very purposely avoided too much descriptive narrative or in-depth development of emotional nuances so that the story bounds onwards like an enthusiastic spaniel, and hopefully it’s not too long before the next wry smile is induced. Usually I will try to sit down each weekend for several hours and expunge the build-up of thoughts that are cluttering my imagination in to my laptop. I have applied the same approach to the sequel to Trading Vincent Crow which I am currently in the process of finalising.


Me:

Thanks for stopping by!  Really appreciate the insight and I know several people who are already interested in snapping up your novel.  Come back soon!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Author Joe Conlan of Namelss Guest Post

I am pleased to have Joe Conlan who is the author of Nameless, the #1 Amazon Thriller novel in the UK, doing a quick guest post on my site.  Joe Conlan and I met through twitter and hit it off quite well instantly as we both enjoy exploring the darker side of human nature through our writing and have several things in common.



For example


  • We both write about serial killers.  Mine exist in the world of the mafia whereas Joe's hang out on hiking trails.
  • We both have flawed detectives trying to get to the bottom of things.
  • We are both in sunny Florida, though Joe is a bit north.
  • We both currently hold #1 rankings on Amazon for our novels.

Italian hitmen count as serial killers right?


I asked Joe to come up with a quick bit about serial killers, but first let me introduce the man, the myth, the legend...

Here is the skinny on Joe Conlan

Joe Conlan was born in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. He has lived most of his life in Florida, the great majority in the Fort Lauderdale area. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida and practiced law as a trial attorney for 15 years. Three of those years were spent as a prosecutor in the Broward County State Attorney's Office.

He now lives in Jacksonville, Florida. He has two grown children. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his family and two best friends who happen to be female Rhodesian Ridgebacks.



Here is what Joe Conlan had to say on serial killers

"It was my honor to be asked to write a guest spot about serial killers by my good friend Nick Denmon. Rather than discuss the particular real-life monsters of the past and present, I thought I would write about what it is, exactly, that captivates us fans of stories involving those evil psychopaths. Speaking for myself, I can’t say that I’m absolutely sure. I am the type of person who wouldn’t harm a fly. I do love to hate them. But, is that enough to create a fascination? Some theorize that the media has glorified serial killers, almost making them idols. I can’t say that I idolize Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. There probably are some sickos out there that do, but, I don’t think they represent the majority.

Others would say that our interest is heightened by the fact that they are not something we hear about on a daily basis. We don’t hear about the aegus platyodon leopoldi, an extremely rare insect, either. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t care less about them. In the end, perhaps it’s just that paradoxical and compelling attraction we have to stare at something that grosses us out to no end, but we can’t turn our eyes away."

The Book Blurb

Chilling and taut, NAMELESS, introduces a fresh and exciting twist on the deadly game of cat and mouse. FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel Falcone unwittingly steps onto course for a head-on collision with a frighteningly brilliant psychotic serial killer, whose harrowing childhood abuse and neglect left him devoid of humanity and salivating for revenge.

Ratings

Amazon: 4.8
Goodreads: 4.6
Barnes and Noble: 4.5

Where To Get It

Barnes and Noble

Where To Find Joe Conlan

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Porcelain Dolls Are Creepy

My mom keeps a collection of dolls in her house.  They are a bit creepy when you enter the doll room alone.  Something about their painted features makes me feel uncomfortable.

And I am not alone.

I wonder how many other people out there find them to be unsettling.

Consider my sample size...

My little brother hates them.  I once surrounded his bed with them and the result was a tearful child.

My buddy and I were talking about them and he agreed they are creepy.  He said his grandma has hundreds of them.  I told him their unblinking eyes bother me...

I thought about it...

And thought that if they blinked it would be worse. He agreed.

So three people spring to mind immediately.  If I thought about it a bit or asked around I bet I could find even more.

Here is a photo of the creepy porcelain doll that looks down at me every time I change my clothes or sleep in my mother's guest room.


Look at her...she is clearly plotting something.

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Friday, July 12, 2013

Life Moves Pretty Fast


In under two weeks I met two of my nieces for the first time.  The first was Milana Iris Denmon, courtesy of my brother who lives in Arizona.  He sent his lady to us on a fact finding mission and as an offering, she brought forth the first born child of their union.

We found her offering to the Denmon Elders to be acceptable.

She isn't picking her nose...just chewing a few fingers.

She is adorable and very mild mannered.  Her eyes are absorbing life and she refuses to blink until she gets as much in as possible.

I think she is practicing hypnosis...

And just when I thought they didn't make babies any smaller...

On July 3rd my older brother decided to convince his lady to catapult a child into the world as well.

And along came Danica Denmon... 

video
At about two hours old...quite content immediately. 

Since I have done Danica a disservice by showing off the little lady before she had her makeup on, here is another with her a bit more prepared for the Paparazzi ...

She looks like a Keebler Elf.  See below for reference.


That's it for now.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a nice weekend and took a few moments out of their day to thank someone they know who has served, or is serving, in the military.  It is important to remember that there is a cost associated with everything and fortunately, for many of us, there are those who are willing to pay that price for others.

Nothing is for free.




But in the American tradition, I hope you were able to take time to be with family and friends and enjoy some sun, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.

Maybe a few adult beverages as well?

I helped my brother break in his new patio and we had smoked meats, hamburgers, hot dogs, and my personal favorite Papa Bear drink - Bud Light Lime.

There was also a healthy dose of the sunshine, the beach, and my niece getting food all over her face.

Red, white, and blue cupcakes? She appreciates Memorial Day for sure.

Ashes to Ashes Update

I am running a bit behind as far as my scheduled release date for Ashes to Ashes but am diligently working towards wrapping the novel up.  The cover art is in, and once I make a few adjustments, we will reveal the cover here on my blog.  

So keep your eye out for that.

As always I appreciate you and your patience.  

Have a great week!

TTFN Denmonites! 

-ND