One Insult Goes a Long Way!

bully

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and strangely enough, sometimes it seems one size — at least to them — fits all.  I’ve recently posted an article about the topic of bullies…but in today’s society, it seems that one article is clearly not enough.

When I graduated Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina in 1987, I had developed quite a bit of confidence in myself through all the physically and mentally challenging situations in which I found myself at the hands of extremely intimidating drill instructors.

Prior to boot camp, I had always been a very shy young man.  I was actually so scared of girls it was unbelievable to those who know me now.  I was so timid that I never even mustered up enough courage to ask anyone out to the prom and did not even go.

One important thing that the Marine Corps did NOT teach me was wit.  Wit is one of the key weapons to be used against the bully.  I recently explained this to my soon-to-be 13-year old daughter in a conversation about how to handle bullies.  I’ve always taught her to first allow the teacher a few opportunities to correct the situation.  And when that fails to strike back!

Having been bullied in high school, I found myself being bullied in boot camp once again, this time by fear-inspiring drill instructors!  But it did not end there either.  I soon found myself being mentally and socially bullied by my fellow Marines.  I eventually evaluated my situation very closely and discovered that they were using wit against me.  And I was basically completely unarmed in that arena.

So I purchased a book of insults, and things changed quickly!  When one Marine hurled an insult at me, I caught him off-guard with:  “Are you ugly, or did your neck throw up?”  I immediately saw the fruits of my labor when the guy, for the first time, had no comeback!  He was clearly shocked that I suddenly outwitted him.

So I learned and memorized more good insults!:  “Oh!  You must have been passed out when the brains were!”; “I could have this battle of the wits against you, but I refuse to fight an unarmed person.”, and so on!

It’s not enough to memorize good insults; you need to be able to successfully and confidently deliver them, using inflection in your voice at the right times and maybe adding that complimentary ping of sarcastic body language.  You need to deliver them like a pro stand-up comic!  Maybe channel Andrew Dice Clay when he addressed two guys who were heckling him:  “Are you guys Neal and Bob, or is that what you do?”

Another important thing to remember is that they should not be overused.  Doing so may give people in your social circles that you are desperate for new material.

For those of you who wish to outwit social bullies, here’s a very important book for you.  I purchased a digital edition for free on Barnes & Noble, but it may have come off the free list since then.  It’s called:  An Introduction to Insult Comedy.  My daughter has informed me she will use these three insults directly from the e-pages of this book:

  1. If your brains were cotton wool, you wouldn’t have enough to make a Tampax.
  2. If I throw a stick, will you go away?
  3. Oh you’re not dyslexic, you’re just stupid!

Bullying, when I was a kid, tended to be more physical in nature.  Nowadays, it is clearly more social and has evolved to be such from since when I was a young man just fresh out of military boot camp.  Wit can carry you a long way!  By learning some fresh and witty insults, I immediately turned the table on some of those social bullies, in the very same way my daughter is about to.

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Last Call!

Cover

Tomorrow is the very first day of my official book signing (at least with actual books sitting in front of me!), and I just wanted to ask all my local family and friends to please come out and show your support.  If you do not want to buy a book (maybe you aren’t a reader; maybe you already own my e-book; maybe you just aren’t into action thrillers; etc.), that is perfectly fine.

Your presence there could still help me garner publicity, since people tend to be curiously drawn toward gatherings.  This in and of itself could help me sell books.  If anything, it also helps give me a boost of confidence and helps me feel that all the planning and coordinating of the event was all worthwhile, which is all extremely important to fledgling fiction writers.

I am extremely proud of 2018: An Uncivil War.  Not only was it my very first completed full-length novel, but it still continues to boast a 5-star rating on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  It has reached bestseller status on Amazon.  So I feel that the book has — without a doubt — earned its stripes.

2018 has a very noble purpose:  to show what our nation would look like if all citizens herein became completely divided over the issue of gun rights and gun control.  According to one of my reviewers, at least one of the events depicted in my novels has come to pass.  So the novel is very visionary and epic and certainly deserves on the bookshelf of anyone who truly loves action thrillers.

If for some reason you cannot make it out to see me tomorrow afternoon, please at least say a prayer for me and my continued success as a writer.  I have made some great progress, leaps, and bounds, but I am — by no means — out of the woods yet.

Take care, and God bless all of you!

Writer’s Everest

mount everest

Any writer worth his salt clings to the dream through thick and thin.  And very few actually make it!  From what I have observed in this unforgivable business, these are the levels of success:

  1. The Act of Writing:  The writer simply picks up a pen or sits behind a keyboard and writes a poem, story, play, or other literary work.  Most writers start here.   And many of them end here as well.  The writer, at this point in the game, is considered more of a hobbyist.
  2. Low-Level Discovery:  The writer finally becomes published or known as her work is sampled within a small community (e.g. published in school or local newspaper; play performed by community playhouse, etc.).  She may or may not have received any type of compensation for her work.  If she did, it likely wasn’t much.  The recognition from this accomplishment finally makes the writer consider her level of seriousness toward writing.
  3. Willful Determination:  The writer finally decides that she is serious about the craft and completes her first large-body work.  Maybe it was a novel or a screenplay.  But the project entailed months of work and a great sacrifice of free time.  Now the writer decides to look for ways to get the work and herself discovered.
  4. High-Level Discovery:  The writer possibly decides to look for an agent.  In rare cases, he finds one and ends up progressing immediately to the Ultimate Discovery level of success.  More likely, however, he finally becomes either published in a magazine or other small work or self-published digitally or in print.  He may have even won a writing contest.  Overall, his work becomes available in the local community or nation in which he lives.  It may even become available internationally.  The fruits from the labor are still lacking, however, requiring the writer to keep his regular job working in sales, retail, manual labor, administration, or whatever other menial job he is working.
  5. Collective Growth:  The writer continues to work hard at producing and publishing various bodies of work while spreading the word about it in all ways possible (e.g. word of mouth, book signings, print and broadcast media, online social media, etc.).  Money continues to flow in, but still does not permit the writer to quit his day job.  Meanwhile, agents may be scanning his Social Media, watching him very closely in consideration for future representation.
  6. Stuck in Literary Limbo:  Most serious writers are unfortunate enough to find themselves stuck in this almost hopeless existence at this stage in the game.  They feel as though they have done everything in their power to represent themselves and their work.  But no one seems to be biting.  Sadly enough, many writers give up at this point in the game after having stayed persistent throughout the previous stages of accomplishment.  Though I mention this lack of success here, this could also end up occurring anywhere before this level I’ve suggested (e.g. at the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th levels).
  7. Ultimate Discovery:  The writer either accidentally or intentionally becomes discovered by either an agent or one of the major traditional publishers, though the latter is extremely rare.  If discovered by an agent, the agent — if he is at all worth a damn — will agree to represent her before all the major traditional publishing houses or production companies out there while receiving pay only when she gets paid.  So the search is on for a publisher who will contract this writer to write one or more books under their name.
  8. First Success:  The writer suddenly gets her chance to be published by one of the major publishers of books (e.g. Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, etc.) or contracted by one of the major production companies (e.g. Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, etc.).  The writer finally makes enough money that she can quit her job, though she is still not out of the woods and may not be quite wise to do so.  After all, many writers have fallen from their first book or production deal when their book, show, or movie did not earn all the money back that was used to produce it.
  9. Continued Success:  The writer’s first success contributes to a return on investment and possibly even brings in quite a profit!  He continues to have success in whichever industry he has chosen to write.  His profits continue to increase, and he can definitely now more safely quit his day job after having proven himself in the field.  In many such cases, the writer’s agent may get several requests from other publishing or production companies to negotiate better deals for the writer.
  10. Ultimate Success:  The writer is now known as more than being successful; he is now known as a trademark and / or one of the Greats (e.g. Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, etc.).  In some cases, the writer may become so filthy rich that he purchases a baseball or football team!

Now Available for Pre-Order on Amazon! (Sample of Story)

Christmas Teaser

Once upon a merry time of Christmas in today’s modern world…

 

Amidst the aromas of warm apple cider and richly sweet cinnamon rolls, the black officer glared angrily at the crabby, middle-aged homeowner as he rambled on!

“This was Santa, man!  He really exists.  And he’s a black man with a gray beard.”  In the background, not even an antique wall clock’s solid, distinctive tick tock could soothe the escalating animosity brewing up within the policeman as he continued to listen.

Now Officer John looked at his partner, Officer Lennon, with a scour that reeked heavily of disapproval while the man nodded his head impatiently.  Nary could the heartily warm, richly colorful, and most elaborate décor ever allay this policeman’s mood that was being quickly tested!  Maroon and sage green ornaments dominating a tree that never would have fit into a single of the modest homes in which he had ever lived.  This tree played goliath to the biggest 7-foot tree that he’d ever enjoyed on any given Christmas many years before the economy of the world petered out like an old Dodge truck that hasn’t been made for the past half dozen decades!  An aroma of cinnamon and apple spice lingered dreamily throughout the luxurious home, which basked in the penetrating heat from the fireplace.  The entire setting had initially lifted his spirits, which immediately plummeted as he continued listening to this probable liar’s tale of a black man dressed as Saint Nick looting his more than livable home.  The home and décor, impressive as it were, served as but the sweetest icing on a spongy dung cake.

Officer John finally, with a lack of hostile temperament, broke his long-awaited silence.  “Are you trying to say that Santa stole your kids’ toys because he is black?”  The urban cop’s dark and deep brown eyes seemed to drill to the back of the Caucasian man’s skull.

“No, man!  I swear!  I’m just telling you that he’s black so you know who to look for.”

Finally, Officer Lennon weighed in.  “Nothing to get angry about, George.  Probably just some thief having fun on Christmas while looting houses.”

George John was not buying it.  He figured the one having all the fun was standing right before them telling tall tales to express his blatant racism in an inappropriate, yet strangely festive manner.

“What all was taken?”  Dean Lennon decided to take point on writing the report.  He lifted his clipboard and readied his pen.

“Danny boy’s brand new X-Box One was taken.  And he had only opened it not even four hours earlier!”  Danny stood right next to his father with a perturbed, defiant scowl permanently tattooed upon his face as if he had just found out that someone peed in the lemonade he just drunk.  Standing next to his brother, Steffan immediately expressed his stake in the matter.  ”And I left my I-Phone 5 next to our television.”  He pointed to the massive-looking projection television in the huge and spacious living room.  “And Santa did not even eat the cookie I left him.”

Officer John thought to himself:  Only one cookie?  Geez!  Mighty gracious of the stingy little brat boy.  Maybe this is why Santa took instead of gave in this household – though he, of course, no longer believed in Santa or the true magic of Christmas.

Mrs. Bentley sat nervously on the couch.  It mattered not, to her, that the children had lost more than $2,000 worth of gifts that had been carefully shopped online or in the most prestigious of shops and department stores in all Manhattan.  What bothered her the most was that a scummy thief entered their home…dressed as Santa Claus of all things!  As their two little girls continued to sleep, unaware of the disappointment they would find within the next few hours, the boys went on describing other items that were stolen…items other than brand-new gifts…items they had owned for at least the past couple of years…two bicycles!  Three ugly sweaters (at least as far as the kids were concerned!)!  Four older I-Pods!  And a parrot they taught to say:  “Bite Me!”

The police officers spent an hour in this house, which was located in a premiere New York neighborhood, on a frozen, chilly and snowy Christmas Day trying to get enough information to figure out what the hell was going on.  Little did they know that their work was cut out for them.  As Christmas lights danced wildly in many a yard, and as smoke billowed from many a chimney in the big city, they would spend hours reporting to various homes in this same neighborhood, listening to variations of the same story:  A thief came in at night, took many belongings from the children, sometimes seen, but more times not.  Little did they know that Santa was real, was frantically desperate to save Christmas, and was really taking toys from all the naughty boys and girls in this and other upscale neighborhoods where the wealthy spoiled their children completely rotten all year long.

But even Santa knows, though at times is too ashamed to admit…

Payback’s a bitch!

If you enjoyed this sample of Phil Sanderson’s The Saint Who Stole Christmas (Off-Color Edition), please consider pre-purchasing it on Amazon for the Kindle.  There is also the Children’s Edition for those who enjoy a story with less adult humor.  These editions of the story are based on the series featured here on Raw, Raving Rants of a Struggling Writer.  But the story has been totally reworked to also include new characters that were not featured on this blog as well as expanded descriptions.  Both editions will release on Nov. 1, 2014.

If you wish to buy the story but do not have a Kindle E-Reader, you can download the app for Windows, Android, etc., here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=klp_mn

If this story does not get you in the mood for Christmas, then nothing will!  

Gratitude and Humility

I only asked two local Greenville newspapers to give me a kind plug for my book signing. The Greenville Standard was kind enough to do so; I guess I did not have enough charm for the Greenville Advocate to bother with the request. I wish to thank the Greenville Standard for helping out a local struggling writer once again. it is really nice to see that there is at least one local newspaper still around that believes in supporting their local talent. God bless them.

To Hell with Politics!

rubens_bill_and_monica

In most cases, if a politician’s lips are moving, then he or she is lying.  At least, this is the case here in America.  I don’t know if the same can be said in other countries.  But I imagine that it probably can.

Here in America, our government has become known as being heavily corrupt and abusive toward its rights and the people it claims to support.  The Republicans blame the Democrats.  The Democrats blame the Republicans.  And the finger-pointing never ends!  It is enough to make even the most patriotic citizens say, “To hell with politics!”, and then move to Australia or Europe.

Our country’s government has been racked with more scandals than it cares to admit.  At least a couple of presidents have run their business like kings in a monarchy.  And neither political party is blameless in all the muck of it.

Personally, I think more like the Republicans than I do the Democrats.  But there are things I cannot stand about both parties.  My biggest complaint against the Dems is that they tend to believe in a lot of things that I do not agree with due to my conservative upbringing.  On the other side of the river, I cannot stand the GOP because of their good-ole-boy network in which you have to have money to be able to be equal to everyone else.  They do not believe in a fair flat tax.  They want the working class to pay the majority of the taxes, while they keep sipping their tea and smoking their Dutch Masters in the halls of power (that is unless the Dutch Masters have been relocated into some intern’s vagina somewhere).  It really turns my stomach!

Then we have the IRS scandal…that lovely organization that loves to tax the shit out of all of us.  And didn’t we have a revolution a couple or few hundred years ago to get away from being taxed to death?  Hell!  It appears that our government has become our own King George!

What is the answer?

Some conspiracy theorists will have you believe that the current government needs to be overthrown.  And I’m not too sure that I disagree.  But realistically, I know that any government in the world has the potential to be abusive to the people it claims to govern.  I hate to admit that all of this makes me wonder why the hell the American Revolution ever took place at all.  Some self-proclaimed patriots will try to convince me that “at least now we have tax with representation”.  But, to them, I say:  “My ass!  As long as we have an electoral college, there is no such thing as representation.”  After all, how many times have to majority of the people voted for one individual to only have the electoral college offset it?

So what do you feel the answer happens to be?  As for me, when all the shit starts flying, I choose to duck down and stay clear.