The Busy-ness of Writing!

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Since I was a teenager, I’ve always DREAMED of being a writer.  Little did I know just how much work was involved.  I thought to myself, after becoming a journalist:  “Certainly being a book writer can’t be much busier than this.”  Man, was I wrong!

Shortly after I got out of the Marines, I researched what it took to become an author of fiction books.  I found out that it involved sending hundreds, if not thousands, of query letters to publishers and agents in order to either secure a book deal, or at least representation for such.  But those were the old days.  

Then came the dawn of self-publishing!  

I suddenly realized it was a brave new world for anyone who wanted to make their dream come true.  Unlike regular tradition, anyone who possessed enough money for the investment could pay to have their book made into reality.  There were no letters to send out.  No one you had to impress.  

The good thing about this was obvious.  Talented writers, who had previously not received a fair opportunity, and who had a great story to tell, could now get it out there and share it with the reading public.  Unfortunately, the downside of this was that some people who had no business writing a book would put — what many avid readers would consider — complete garbage on the market.  And then you had everything in between.  Thus, readers found themselves becoming much more selective and careful when making their purchases; and they found themselves publicly sharing their opinions (via the internet mostly) freely and liberally with any who would listen.

Just when it seemed that the writing revolution had played its last card, then came the ebook revolution.  Now anyone could suddenly write a book for free!  And the same thing as above happened once again, only this time in a new electronic format.

The main thing that all of these methods of publishing have in common is the writing itself.  And, if you do this correctly, this will keep you super busy in the very beginning.  Effective writers conduct research and schedule and keep interviews with key people who can give them helpful information for the books they write.  So here you have only three vastly time consuming duties in the single duty of writing.

As for the various ways of becoming published, there are advantages and disadvantages to each avenue.  I’ve never traditionally published myself, but I’ve heard that, the advantages in this classic way of publishing far outweigh the disadvantages.   For example, most traditional publishers will pay you up front to begin writing your book.  With the investment being made on the front end, the publishers make their money as your books begin and continue to sell on the market.  If they end up receiving a return on investment, then you can almost bet they will offer you another book deal.  If not, then there is always flipping burgers or dancing topless (or maybe both simultaneously…though I would not much recommend this!).  

As for the disadvantages of traditional publishing, many stories abound about how writers suggested a certain look to their cover and were totally blown off by the production team.  It is sad there is little creative control unless it is somehow written into the contract beforehand.  

As for self-publishing, it is about totally flipped upside down as compared to traditional publishing.  No one produces your book until you pay them.  Usually they will give you a lot of leeway in creativity.  Because of the usual steep investment required in self-publishing, most companies give you a lot of creative controls for your money.  

When it comes to ebook publishing, it is basically the best of both worlds, but without the final proud moment of holding a physical book in your hand.  You have complete creative control over everything.  And it costs basically nothing other than time (unless you pay someone to design your book cover) to produce your book and publish it to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and various other publishers / booksellers out there.  

The biggest thing I have discovered about both self-publishing and ebook publishing is that in the end, writing the book seemed to be the easiest aspect of the process.  The hardest part, that which I never bargained for, lay in the marketing required for making any sort of profit.  I’m totally new to the process, but I am becoming very savvy very quickly as I post constant updates on Facebook, Twitter, and other various social media websites out there.  With traditional publishing, this is one headache that many writers are thankful to avoid.  And for this, I am very jealous of them.  

Many of you probably ask:  Was it all worth it in the end?  I cannot honestly answer this, because I haven’t yet reached the end…whatever the end happens to be.  Hell, maybe I end up doing an imitation of the King of Rock and Roll and end up dying on the toilet — not exactly the end I’m wanting, but okay.  Or maybe I become the next best thing to Tom Clancy.  Now, there we go!

What I can surely tell you is that quite a bit goes into writing a book, no matter how you do it…especially if you want to make any kind of money for doing so.  

Rode Hard and Put Up Wet!

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Many of you have probably heard by now that Jay Leno is going to be handing over the reigns of the Tonight Show to Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 17.  “It’s not my decision,” he has stated. “I think I probably would have stayed if we didn’t have an extremely qualified young guy ready to jump in.”

This quote alone seems to put everything in perfect perspective.  It matters not that Jay Leno was loyal to NBC for more than 20 years!  There is always a younger person to step up to the plate as soon as our bosses push us far, far away from it.

I’m a huge James Bond fan.  And I’ve even seen discrimination there as well.  Pierce Brosnan was not attracting enough young fans (in the opinion of the producers); so at the age of 50, he was more or less pensioned off.  Strangely enough, however, Roger Moore was allowed to play James Bond until he was only two years shy of 60!

So the vicious cycle continues!  It does not discriminate as to whether we are a celebrity or a carpenter.  At least the celebrity most likely has a much nicer nest egg to fall back upon.  We continue to spit on our aging population and call it “retirement”, whether or not they are ready to quit working.

It’s in the cards, and has been for millennia:  The older we get, the less valued we are.  I’m well into my forties.  And the only interview I have received from anyone, while being unemployed, is from a company selling insurance.  I personally believe that the only companies who willfully hire older people consistently are those in the sales industry.  I believe they do so, because they actually value the experience that we can bring to the table.

My folks, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but age discrimination is alive and will always thrive!  Try working for a video game retailer, being the only one who is older than your district manager (and in many cases much wiser!), and see how long you last!

If you can land the job in the first damned place without dying your hair, then you can effectively say that God worked a miracle.  If you don’t dye your hair, then don’t be surprised if you were denied employment because of some bullshit reason other than the truth — you’re too old (at least in the opinion of some puke who was probably crapping himself in the highchair  when you were doing the very same thing he was doing when he interviewed you).

If you ever file a complaint of age discrimination, expect the company to explain to the Department of Labor that you “did not have the desired skills for the job”.  Or maybe instead:  you “were overqualified for the position”.  Or the save all:  “The person who was hired had the most compatible background to those who are most successful in this line of work.”

When it boils down to it, it is age discrimination that we end up finding wrapped up like a gift under a Christmas tree when we wake up in the twilight years of our lives.  We are all doomed to be victims of an unfair labor system that has always been such from the dawn of time.  And the beautiful thing about it (at least to the discriminatory pricks who call the shots) is that nine times out of ten, there is never one single way to prove it!

The bottom line is that it does not matter how hard a man or woman works in life, he or she will — in the end — find themselves rode hard and put up wet without so much as a “golden watch” at the end of it all.  The sad thing is that we won’t be there to see the bastard who discriminated against us get the same treatment in the end.  Otherwise, we would know just where to stick that golden watch we never got!

When the Hell Did the United States Become a Monarchy?

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Obama has gotten away with more than his fair share of scandals in and out of the White House; he’s gotten away with lying to the American people countless times; and he has gotten away with rewriting the rules of government in ways that benefit only him and his party.  These same rules of governing were meant to keep a fair balance of power so that no one man had more power than Congress and no one government had more power than its people.  This same balance of power is key to a government by the people, for the people.  Now what we have is a government that prioritizes its own interests above that of the people it laughably claims to represent.

Transgression after transgression, why is he still in power?  Why is he allowed so much leeway and latitude?  Hell!  John F. Kennedy got assassinated for much less!  All he wanted to do was pull the troops out of Vietnam.  But this closet Muslim in patriot’s clothing has flaunted the audacity to apologize — on behalf of all Americans — for our arrogance.  He has even bowed to other world leaders symbolically taking us from being the world’s superpower to the world’s stupidpower.  

Not to sound ugly or anything, but why hasn’t anyone assassinated him yet?  Americans in Benghazi were killed on his watch, and very little was done about it.  Not only did his camp deny their negligence, but he even lied about his personal knowledge that this had been a terrorist attack.  These needless deaths happened because the embassy was not given the security support they had asked for well enough ahead of time that these deaths could have been prevented.  And no one answered for this betrayal by the very hand of our government.  No one ever does!  During the tax targeting scandal, the official responsible was simply moved to another position in government when she should have been fired.  No one has still answered for the mess known as The Affordable Healthcare Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.  The woman in charge of getting the website ready by its October 2013 deadline failed horribly, but — like everyone else — kept her job to only create more blunders within the upcoming weeks and months following.

I once got fired from a major retailer for being honest to customers.  But, only in Obama’s White House can you get people killed and be allowed to keep your job or — in the worst case — only be transferred to another one.

I don’t have the time to list specific examples and instances in this article, but look it up yourself!  You will see that Obama does what the hell he wants to do and continues to get away with it.  We have a Congress with no balls to impeach him; and we, the people, continue to let him stay in office when we really shouldn’t even be letting him breathe, especially after all he has done to discredit our nation and to mock our very faithful and fair system of government.  

Please understand that I don’t really want Obama to die.  I just want him to fear death and act accordingly in order to prevent it from happening.  But from what I’ve seen thus far, he not only acts without fear of accountability; but he somehow gets away with it over and over and over again.  

The United States, with the election of this man who cannot even produce a valid birth certificate, is now clearly a monarchy.  And not one single damned person here in this wonderful country can clearly tell when, where, or how the hell it happened.  

<Sarcastically> Hail!  Hail!  King Obama!