Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just a Quickie...

Doing some work tonight on Ashes to Ashes but wanted to get a blog out there to my, no doubt, avid and rabid readership (thanks Mom...Mom?  You there? Oh well...). 

Things are going well.  I know, lots of times there are fun things to complain about. But tonight I have some soda, treats, and good music and am in a writing groove.  I hammered out about a thousand words in under an hour, which for me is great.  I usually do around 500-750. 

So color me pleased. 

Business is lining up nicely.  Agreements have been made, checks have been written, and now we get to actually work on the project. 

Excitement reigns supreme.

My book For Nothing has received a lot of attention lately.  Two interviews in two weeks about the novel and its success (which is because of you).  It has also stood at #1 for over two weeks in the crime genre on Amazon in both the US and the UK.  When I first started out, I thought a hundred readers would be my piece of success.  I could never have imagined that in fifteen days 15,000 people would download my little slice of the writing world.


Did I mention I have a new niece?  And another on the way?  Well here is the first one to arrive with Grandpa.  The picture might be in my top 5 of all time. The other four feature me, naturally.

That is it for now my friends.

TTFN Denmonites!


Friday, February 22, 2013

#1 Crime Book on Amazon FOR NOTHING

Happy Friday everyone!  It has been a long week and I am looking forward to getting out of the week-long craze of contracts, and marketing, and writing, and working the day job, etc.

I am going to go out tonight and blow off a little steam.

Hopefully, so are you!

Quick hit updates:

Spoke to the web developer today and am receiving a mock up for what our future website will look like.

For Nothing is the top download on Amazon in the crime genre.  That is #1.  The cool bit here is that it is not just in the US market but also in the UK and Indian markets.  Officially, For Nothing has topped the charts in its genre for 11 days now in three major markets on the leading purveyor of e-books.  Could not have done it without all of your support.  Thank you.

Signed another couple of contracts today that need to be kept secret for the moment.

Sent off a year's worth of tax documents crossing six companies to my tax advisor today.  I hope he doesn't get confused.

Tom and I put together a spec for the web development guys for our secret (to date) project.  We have some ideas which, hopefully, will take the author/reader community by storm. The web development guru was surprised at the amount of thought and forward thinking we put into the bones of this project.   (That is what happens when you have over a year to think about something)

That is it for updates though I am sure I am missing something.

Since it's Friday and this always makes me laugh - enjoy:

TTFN Denmonites!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Need A Time Machine

Some days are just busier than others.  I sometimes get pulled in so many directions I literally just spin in circles and accomplish nothing.  Other days, I break things down and attack them one at a time and just figure out a way to move things forward.

Fortunately, today I was able to accomplish a lot and my day is just getting started.

Being a corporate stooge by day limits my time to getting things done for my businesses and novels etc to "after hours".  There is often, quite literally, not enough time in a day.

Maybe if I work while running backwards....

What I really need is one of these:

And if I can't get one of those, maybe I can get one of these:

It is almost 5pm.  I think it might be odd that I have already worked a nine hour day and am excited about being able to get to work...for myself.

On the docket tonight:

  • Interview about For Nothing
  • Gym
  • Writing Ashes to Ashes
  • Finalizing a series of contracts for Cross Atlantic
  • Taxes with my accountant for D-Rated Novelists
  • Eating at some point
  • Sleep
It really is true, it doesn't feel like work when it is for yourself.  So if it doesn't feel like work, what is it? Dreaming perhaps.  But without dreams and dreams we strive to make our reality, what are we? 

Drones that just get by? 

Are goals the same thing as dreams?
I spoke to someone very important to me recently about dreams.  My conclusion based on that conversation was that being a dreamer for dreaming's sake, and not acting on those dreams, was bad. 

You can probably get lost in the fog of your own dreams and sit there, glancing at the shadows of where you wish you could be.
But if you use dreams to motivate you, or to propel you towards a better future, if you make those dreams a goal, well then that is when you can call me a dreamer.
And so I end with the immortal words of John Lennon:
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us

TTFN Denmonites!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life Can Be Messy

I remember a time when life was relatively simple.  There were definitives in my mind about almost everything. 

As we grew up, most of us knew right from wrong.

We knew when to be happy and when to be sad.

We knew what cartoons rocked our socks (Ninja Turtles) and we knew which ones were awful (Captain Planet can suck it).

Awesome. I always thought I was Donatello
Pure suck.  Who wanted to be Heart?
But as we get older life seems to get a bit less simple.  I am not sure if it is because we get more complex, or that we are so far along in the race we can't see the starting point from which the finish line seemed so linear. 

Lots of curves in the road and hills and fog creep into the playing field.

Things happen that we can't always understand but come to terms with in an effort to at least create a sense of normalcy in an increasingly muddled world.

People cry when they are happy.

They will laugh out of derision and not simple joy.

The 14 year old version of myself would completely disagree with the 21 year old version of myself about what is "right" versus what is "wrong" and the 30 year old me disagrees (in part) with both of those less worldly versions.

It used to be that when you did something to make someone happy, you were pretty sure the outcome would be, well, happy - hopefully for the both of you. 

But life isn't so simple.

You can tickle someone and get tears back.

A joke can be met with silence.

Love isn't always met with love.

The only certainty is that when we wake up in the morning we wake up and have no idea what will happen with anything we do despite what we think should happen.

So we put on a blind fold, spin the wheel, throw a dart, and hope that we hit the general vicinity of whatever we aimed at. 

We hope to hit the board not the bull's eye.

And if we do, we count it as a win, because through all of the above we come to terms with the fact that winning doesn't mean winning.  It sometimes means just not losing.

And we hope it is enough.

It has to be enough because; hey, if your head is above water at least you're not drowning...right? Right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Life: Hostage to the Law of Motion

Isaac Newton has three laws that explain motion.  His first law is sometimes called the Law Of Inertia.

Briefly, because I am not a scientist and also because I don't want to bore you, the Law of Inertia is this:

The state of an object's motion will be constant unless another unbalanced force acts upon that object.  Also, all objects resist change when in a particular state of motion.

People are not much different then the objects described.  In fact, people wrapped up in events seem to be very much subject to the Law of Inertia.

Consider a revolution. We describe it by saying "a revolution swept [insert country name here]."  It implies that there was a moving force that pulled people into it, not much different than the tide of a sea.

I say all  of the above because over the last two months I feel like I have been pushing a boulder.  The boulder resisted the change and I wasn't large enough, or enough of a significant force, to push the boulder or to keep my life's events from being as they have always been.

I have been working towards a goal for over a year and each step of the way has presented the challenge of changing an existing status quo. I have this issue, in some ways, in both my professional life as well as my personal life and the only way to change the current state of things is to become the unbalanced force that makes the change happen.

We made moves, felt the boulder wobble, but not budge.

Finally, on the brink, we got stuck in a legal wrangle that threatened to derail all of our work and make us start back at square one.

Who knew that the final bit of force would be the threat of no force at all.  With negotiations appearing to be at a standstill, the threat of walking away from the deal altogether proved to be the force necessary to push it all into motion.

After two months of getting nowhere fast, a deal was struck and hopefully, now, we are on the side of another law which Newton had a hand in.

This one is called momentum.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Writing Play List Tonight

I am hacking at the keys tonight and nothing is as inspirational to me as two things:

1) True love


2) Good music

With good music and true love you can really compel the world to go round.  I don't need to push the world on it's axis, but I do need to push my story forward.

So with a little musical magic, I embark on my endeavor.

On the docket as I write:

The Shins - Simple Song
Radiohead - Karma Police
The Pixies - Nimrod's Son
White Stripes - We're Going To Be Friends

The Whitest Boy Alive - Burning
Angus and Julia Stone - Just a Boy

Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
Jaymay - Gray or Blue

The Black Keys - Next Girl
Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait

Hope you enjoy the music!

TTFN Denmonites!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Little Things That Amuse

Today I was in the apartment with hetero-cubicle-life-mate Ri Ri. (He of the Chai Latte fame).

We had just taken a bevy of workout supplements and were getting ready for what we hoped would be an "epic" lifting of weights.  Both of us generally get tired through a day and don't exactly feel like working out, so we do weird things to make ourselves feel more excited about it.

Like take workout supplements.

And talk like weirdos.

"Can't wait to get this lift on," isn't uncommon.

Nor is him saying something like, "This chest routine is going to be diesel."

I have come to understand it is just part of the routine.  I find it humorous, and sometimes go along with it.  I usually mess up because I'm not hip or down with the "cool guy" lingo.  I will say things like, "Is it bicep day?"

He laughs and says, "There isn't a day for just biceps bro.  Get with it."

Okay. Fair enough.

But today, my "teacher" of all things "gym-cool" was in the kitchen and I look over into the living room where he has what I thought was a box of workout supplements.

This is what I find:

WTF? Step Up 3?

A box of DVDs he picked up from his parent's house. Among them is Step Up 3.  I assume this means he has seen and was a fan of Step Up 1 and 2?

"Ri.  Why do you have Step Up 3?" I ask.

"Bro?  Have you seen it?"

No. No, I haven't.

For those of you who are curious, here is the synopsis of Step Up 3 - from

After graduating high school from the Maryland School of the Arts (MSA), Moose, with his longtime BFF and fellow MSA alumnus Camille, decides to "grow up" by quitting dance and becoming an engineering student at NYU, much to the delight of his parents. An impromptu street dance battle in New York City in which Moose is involved against Kid Darkness of the renowned House of Samurai dance crew catches the eye of Luke, the leader of the House of Pirates dance crew. Luke convinces Moose to join his crew, which is comprised of a group of misfits who each has his/her own individual dance style. Luke and his crew live in what is called the vault - a converted warehouse - which has a living and dance rehearsal space upstairs and a dance club downstairs. Luke has his own personal reasons for creating the vault and helping these dancers. However, he is five months behind in the mortgage payments and the bank could foreclose at any second. Luke believes winning the $100,000 grand prize in the inaugural World Jam Championships would solve his financial problems. The Samurais, led by Luke's nemesis Julien, are their main competition. Beyond the prestige, Julien has his own motive for wanting to win and ruin the Pirates. Luke is also trying to recruit Natalie, a recent attendee to the downstairs club. In getting to know Luke, Natalie tries to get him to follow his own dreams. But Natalie's involvement with the Pirates may threaten its existence. Meanwhile, Moose is trying to balance his secret involvement with the Pirates against his commitments to school and to Camille, who secretly wants to be more than just a platonic BFF to Moose. But Camille may be able to take only so much neglect from Moose before even their BFF status is placed into jeopardy.

Erm. "...impromptu street dance battle in New York City..." ??? Lovely.

That is all.

TTFN Denmonites!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Ashes to Ashes Update

I am about to take the old knees out for a run in the evening air.  Usually, on my run, I can smell the salt water coming in on the breeze.  It rejuvenates me when I get tired, thinking about the waves just beyond the horizon over a small copse of trees that line the boardwalk.  Beneath the wooden walkway are tiny mounds of sand looking like brown, grainy, frozen waves in their own right; waves with shell and footprints and the rubble of ill-fated sand castles carefully laid by the most practiced of tiny hands.

The coastal air, the images it gives me, remind me that sometimes you can dream with eyes wide open.

Life, as much as it can beat you down, can also be inspirational.

When I am done, I know that I will be ready to rock and roll with Ashes to Ashes.  The novel is starting to come together and I find myself excited to sit down and write each night.  Our familiar characters are back at it - immersed in the politics of the underworld and surrounded by death at every turn.

Some are seeking it, others are hoping to avoid it.

Listening to tonight as I run and write:

  • The Lumineers 
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Vicci Martinez
  • Of Monster and Men
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Tom Petty
  • Muse
  • Death Cab for a Cutie
  • Jack White
Have a great night!

TTFN Denmonites!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Blackout and Beyonce Equals Weird Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday was great, mostly because of the company and the food and less because of the game. The game was just weird to me. It was an epic blowout until someone at the stadium decided to pull the plug on the power. 

[Prepare for RANT]

Can you imagine being the guy or girl in charge of the Dome during that game? That is probably the worst scenario ever. During the biggest game in your abode, at the most inopportune time, the lights go out. Not only that, it pulls the plug on the broadcasters that would fill that time with pointless facts and the brushing of the egos of the players on the field…stretching... because you can’t play with half of a million lights.

At some point it became apparent they COULD play, but the announcer’s booth wasn't fully functional so they kept the game on hold for an extra fifteen minutes so they could get it right for the television audience. They say five seconds of silence on the air is an eternity. How about several minutes? How about thirty minutes of no action during the championship game right on the heels of the world’s worst half-time show? 

Yeah, I said it. BeyoncĂ© was HORRIBLE. People are all over this like it was some excellent show. I don’t know if we watched the same thing. I thought about eating a bullet rather than continue watching her. She danced like a tired stripper. She sang three words of every song and did it with no passion and out of breath. Then she was doing giddy sidelong glances like she had never been the center of attention before.


That was followed by the blackout. 

People began to leave the Super Bowl party. After all, there was work in the morning for most. NFL, get the memo, hold the Super Bowl on Saturday so people can actually enjoy it in its entirety. Then maybe people might be drunk enough to use that as an excuse for enjoying that crap BeyoncĂ© put together. 

This is what was clearly supposed to be her best moment.  She came off as a trollop.   

[Here the rant shall end...mostly]

The game actually got exciting towards the end but by that time I was only half paying attention.  I felt even if the 49er's staged a comeback it was probably because of the effect on momentum the blackout had on a clearly dominate Raven's team to start the game.

The game almost reeled me in anyway, only to make me feel like the referees screwed the 49er's with several no-calls at crucial points in the game including their last attempt at a touchdown.   

Oh well.  I won some money in my fantasy football league, so I take monetary solace in that.

Also, the food was great.  I made my Yankee Noodle cookies.  

The treats I made...

People ate them and seemed to like them.  The rest of the spread was excellent as well.  Meatballs, chili, banana pudding cake, chips and salsa, fried chicken, and other snacks rounded out the tasty treats. 

It was all put on courtesy of my Dad who has an excellent new television for such events.

My brother Alex next to said TV

Ah well. The Buffalo Bills didn't make the Super Bowl so my chances of really being enamored with the event were slim to begin with, but at least the food and company held up to the highest of standards...even if the game and halftime show did not.

In the immortal words of every Buffalo fan everywhere, "There is always next year."

TTFN Denmonites!