Tag Archives: Struggling

Free “Dracula Untold” Theme Pack!

 

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As I draw nearer to completion of my first horror novel, “An Interstate Ghost Story: The Girl on the Highway”, I cannot help but enjoy other horror films that serve to inspire me. Please enjoy this free theme pack I have created from photos of “Dracula Untold”!  It works on Windows 8 and 8.1!

Download it here:  http://ow.ly/CQqNG

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New Puzzle Piece — GOTH Cover Reveal!

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As time draws near for the release of Phil Sanderson’s second novel (his first horror!) An Interstate Ghost Story: The Girl on the Highway, we will reveal extra puzzle pieces until the cover is completely revealed sometime around Labor Day next year (this date is tentative, of course).

For more information, please visit Sanderson’s Official Website.  By subscribing, you can receive a free copy of Chapter One!

To Hell with Politics!

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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.

Little Red Chevette

 

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What most people did early in their lives, I did a little bit late.  

For example, most the people I talk to lost their virginity when they were between the ages of 14 and 18.  Not me!  I was SUPER shy before joining the Marine Corps at the age of 18.  Even afterward, I was not AS shy, but it always took me plenty of liquid courage to go up and start talking to girls.  Sure, I was trained to kill communists in dozens of different ways, but no one ever trained me to be a seasoned gentleman.

Secondly, most of my fellow classmates went to college much earlier than I.  My Filipino father, upon finding out that I was thinking about enlisting in the Marines at the age of 18, offered to send me to college in the Philippines.  “Our family is wealthy over there,” he explained.  “You will have servants working for you.”  But I had never been there and had no desire to live there without having ever visited.  Thus, I did not go to school until after I finished my seven and a half years in the Marines utilizing the G.I. Bill benefits in which I had enrolled.

Lastly, driving was another thing.  Truth be told, I was terrified of getting into an accident and killing either myself or someone else or maybe even both!  So at the not-so-tender age of 23, I finally got the courage to learn to drive and eventually get my license.  This was in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  I was at the twilight of my womanizing days and had — previously to getting the right and means to drive — had always gone out with friends who drove or took the bus (in California, the state of my first Marine Corps duty station, they actually had an incredibly convenient and efficient transit system!).  But the secretary at the Joint Public Affairs Office at New River, North Carolina, was selling a 1983 Chevy Chevette for only $600.  The year was 1990, and I was what some called a party animal and what others called a pussy hound.  The truth of the matter was that I was an idiot who could have started my education in those years, but chose — instead — to piss them away in bars all across the state of North Carolina.

Though I did not enjoy wisdom in those carefree years, I did instead enjoy making some fond and fun memories:

  • My First Screw  

No, this was not the first time I lost my virginity.  That had been in a Mexican brothel when I had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.  There was this one screw I kept in the change cubbyhole next to my gearshift.  I usually did this to get a laugh from my friends when we all would go through the drive-thru’s at various restaurants.  Whenever an attractive girl would hand my my food, I would cast a wolfish smile and say:  “Wanna screw?”  This went on until this one girl told me, “Sure”.  And I actually gave it to her!

  • My First Accident

My first accident occurred during the winter not long after I purchased my Chevette.  The morning had been misty, and I had been running late for work.  So I did not have time to let the windows defrost properly.  So I was dumb enough to try driving under those conditions.  It was all doable until the sun was causing an impossible glare.  And my friend had seen that I was coming up fast on a car stopped at a small intersection.  And I plowed it!  My entire front end looked like lettuce.  The back end of this guy’s mid-sized automobile looked absolutely fine!  

I eventually took the car to a body shop where they rigged a chain to the front bumper on one end, and to the  ground on the other.  They reversed the car, pulling the front end back out the way it needed to be…simple, but effective!  Then they just tapped all the dents out of what was left of the evidence.

  • My First Near-Miss

At one point, I tried to pass a car on a two-lane highway.  But the Chevette was never really known for its powerful engine.  But my new driver confidence failed me, and I ended up in a ditch to the left side of the road stuck in some mud.  Well I was with two other Marines.  And one of them got out of the car and used a tree-branch to try to move the car into a better position.  Well, when I gunned the engine, the car tires splattered mud all over the place, and he was covered!  But at least we were home free with no damage to the vehicle!

  • My First Customized License Plates

My first customized plate was simply:  PLAYBOY.  I chose it to be funny, but at the same time serious.  It was funny, because the last car a playboy would traditionally drive was a Chevette.  But the serious thing was that I was the real poor-man’s playboy!  And I actually did manage to pick up a few girls in my little red Chevette.  And many of them laughed their asses off when they saw the license plate.  When it came time for me to renew my license plate, I changed it to PAID 4.  

  • My First Punchline

One of the girls I picked up in a bar resulted from a funny little punchline I used:  my car itself!  I was in a nightclub and met this one girl I felt quite desirable.  We started talking, and she actually asked me:  “So what do you drive, Phil?”  I told her a red “‘Vette.”  And when we both left the bar and she saw what I drove, she laughed her tail off.  

  • My First Theft of a Minor

I have only stolen two times in my life.  The first time was when I was only 8-years old.  And I stole a car, if you can actually believe it!…a MATCHBOX car.  And I never could play with it, because I was afraid some policeman might see me and arrest me on the spot.  So I almost learned my lesson.  In what would eventually become my car many, many years later, I stole once again.  This time it was beer.  I alluded to this event in my first novel (2018: An Uncivil War).  This is what had happened.  An underage girl and her friend both asked me and a buddy — we were in a liquor store in Wilmington, NC — to take their money and buy a case of beer.  I promptly explained that was against the law.  So she said that if we would do it for her, she would allow us to take her to a party.  The problem was that these girls were gorgeous and we were horny!  As I was waiting in line to pay for the beer, two other guys came into the store.  And they invited them to the party too.  So the new problem was that they wanted to drive over with them instead of us.  So, after I paid for the beer and gave them back their change, they asked me for the beer.  I simply told them I needed to maintain appearances, since my car was parked right out the shop’s window.  “I’ll follow you guys,” I told them.  But instead, my buddy and I slipped away over to Wrightsville Beach where we met some other girls and shared the beer with them!

In 1993, I sold the Chevette to a Hispanic staff sergeant of Marines and used the money to purchase a black Buick Somerset, complete with sunroof!  Then from there, I’ve also owned a Ford Explorer, a Mercury Topaz, a Ford Taurus SE, a Chevy Prizm, a Ford Taurus SHO, a Ford Winstar, a Honda Accord, and the Honda Element and Hyundai Elantra I drive today., So my little red Chevette may have been the cheapest ride I’ve ever owned.  But it’s also given me some of my most precious memories!

 

It’s a Mad World!

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If you had told someone 30 years ago that we would be carrying wireless phones which boast the capability of taking pictures, allow paying bills, permit shopping, allow playing video games, act as a flashlight, allow you to read electronic books, allow listening to music, allow watching of videos, allow the receiving of electronic messages, and offer free long-distance, they would have looked at you crazy and asked you how much doobage you had been smoking!

Today’s technology, on the surface, looks like a wonderful, amazing, and wonderfully amazing thing!  But is it really that good for us?  After all, many people feel as though it makes us lazy and complacent.  Now people are able to shop online with their phones and personal computers.  That does save gasoline and wear and tear on your shoes.  But the downside is that you deprive yourself of healthy exercise.  And you also have to be patient and wait for your product to arrive and hope it arrives in top condition.  In some cases, you have to pay for that shipping.  So, sure!  It’s definitely convenient.  But is it really worth the cost of our health, overall condition of your new product, and the labor used to deliver it?  To some, perhaps.  But to others, definitely not!

Technology is not the only thing muddling up our now complicated lives.  United States tax laws are more unfair than ever before, allowing the rich to stay rich while keeping everyone else in the struggling classes.  Tax laws  are more complicated than Chinese arithmetic!  Our justice system is shot to hell and needs to be put down like a rabid animal.  Nowadays, we have the best justice system that money can buy.  You used to be able to retire at the age of 65.  But because people are living longer (lifespan now is 80-years old where it used to be 70), people are having to work longer.  Sometimes it makes me wonder if I really should be thankful for the advancements in medicine.

Things used to be so much simpler when the cost of living was not higher than people’s salaries.  One spouse used to be able to stay home and handle household duties and supervising the children until the other — the primary breadwinner — got home from work.  Now it takes dual income in order to live even the slightest bit comfortably.  And because parents today are not able to spend as much time with children, many children get involved with friends who aren’t the most savory to parents.  Thus they sometimes end up being criminals at a young age.

Do we really want our youth here in America to earn the criminal label before they become adults?  It doesn’t help that teachers are now so knee-deep in paperwork requirements that they barely have time to grade their papers, much less spending one-on-one time with each pupil or student.

Add to this the fact that most companies are under the gun in meeting financial goals that they now only care more about a person’s production than they do their livelihood.  Thus, many employees get unfairly fired and have to find ways to support their families.  It is no wonder that some of them end up robbing banks, snatching purses, and dealing drugs in order to feed their family.  I remember when you could work somewhere and the boss really showed how much he cared for his workers, and it was mostly genuine and not just a put-on.

Finally, debt has become an American staple in modern life.  Our government serves as the perfect example of inept spending quite possibly exceeding other countries in this area.  And most American adults are now in debt.  Many more nowadays are filing bankruptcy due to this spend what you don’t have American culture.  Credit card and loan companies get away with tempting people into situations in which they do not need to be.  And on top of this misdeed, they are allowed to charge exorbitant fees.

So technology — however good and impressive it is — still does not forgive the fact that life is now more complicated than it really needs to be.  Whatever happened to humanity and compassion in day-by-day society.  I truly believe it has gone extinct.

 

Men: How You Can Train Your Inner Dog!

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Most, if not all women, have heard the old saying:  All men are dogs!

But as men, we all know this is simply not true.  Because how can we be dogs when dogs are man’s best friend?

I propose that all men have an inner dog within him.  The dog comes out more and more as we go through puberty and beyond.  From there, it is up to us to eventually tame this dog lest it wrestle control from our general psyche, making us do and say foolish things that we may or may not live to regret.  Some men want to let the dog run free and hump the leg of every beautiful woman who crosses his path.  Others prefer to gradually introduce this inner dog to a woman of deep interest in hopes that she will eventually decide that she likes the dog.  In places like England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand, many men freely allow and encourage their dogs to chase pussy from one end of the town to the other!  Some men have completely given up on training their inner dog after having tried.  Sadly enough, some men don’t even realize they have an inner dog.  And they never realize it until they do something totally regretful.  In my personal case, I was single and made a vow to God in prayer that I would never bed a married woman.  Never mind the fact that premarital sex is a sin in the Bible!  Well, one night, under the spell of Red Dog and the enchantment of a woman who I’d kissed before noticing a wedding ring on her finger, I broke that vow.

Many men out there know just what I am talking about.  Maybe some of them have made complete asses of themselves before they realized that there was this little obnoxious and annoying puppy in their inner being.  Eventually, a puppy becomes a dog.  And the dog eventually may reign supreme…or so it seems.

I’m here to tell you:  You can teach an old dog new tricks!

In the Marine Corps, I used to be one of the most hopeless womanizers.  I should have been in school, getting a bachelor degree at the base educational facility.  But I was in the bars instead, carousing and chasing the fairer sex.  Eventually, I met my ex-wife and my current wife.  And, sure!  I had a period of wildness between my divorce and my second marriage.  To me, it was a good time to let my dog off its leash.

Anyone who knew me when I was single would probably have never guessed that I would be one of the most faithful men a woman could ever hope to marry.  And my ex-wife and wife both know that I am a truly honorable husband.

So how did I go from being the canine king to the faithful husband of the year?  I trained my inner dog.  And here is how you can too:

Single man dog training:

  • Don’t get involved with anyone with whom you work!  It may seem cool and exciting at first, but there is nothing cool about getting shit-canned because you dipped your pen in company ink.  Just try feeding your dog when you don’t have any money coming in!
  • Don’t mix business with pleasure.  Because the people with whom you work may be able to get dirt on you to use at a later date.
  • Always wear a condom during sexual encounters.  A pregnant woman either becomes your wife or rich on your tab.  Keep in mind that every father should make great efforts to support his children.  Getting married can also crimp your lifestyle if you are not ready for it.  In this case, your dog may not just roll over; he may just roll over and play dead!
  • Control your liquor intake, or it will control you.  Your dog may just go barking up the wrong tree!  I found this out when I was drinking under age in 1989.  A gorgeous babe was staring at me from the other side of the bar.  So I just walked up to her and started kissing her.  I thought things were going very well until I felt a tap on my shoulder.  Next thing you know, I turn and get sucker punched.  To add insult to injury, I was too drunk to defend myself.  If I had been more sober, maybe I would have realized this girl was at the bar with her boyfriend who ended up not taking too well to seeing us kissing.
  • When you are wasted, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  You really should not even do it if you have had anything to drink.  But I got into the habit of tossing my keys into the air and seeing if I could catch them as I walked out to my car.  I never did have trouble catching them.  And I never did get pulled over and busted for having been drinking.

Married man dog training:

  • Never allow yourself to be alone with another woman other than your wife in enclosed quarters.  If you have to, be sure to leave a door open so that you may be able to have witnesses if the time ever comes for that.  A good witness comes in handy when your watch dog isn’t watching closely enough.
  • Never let your dog go where it doesn’t need to be.  Just as you would never let your dog run around in the streets, you need to watch where you maintain your company.  Married men have no business being in bars.  Some men think that wearing a wedding ring in a bar will keep women from hitting on them.  Actually it is quite the opposite.  Many women take great pride in luring men away from their marriages and in between their sheets.  Neither do they have any business being in their home with only another woman who is not their wife.  Likewise, they should not be in another dwelling alone with another woman who is not their wife.
  • Don’t fall for society’s stimulating suggestiveness.  Women wearing next to nothing advertising whatever it is they are advertising is likely to make your dog drool.  Be strong!  Don’t let your dog go anywhere near such advertising, no matter how much it tempts you to stare.  Television shows now glorify cheating on your spouse.  Talk about a sure way to get your dog into the doghouse if not put down altogether!
  • Always remember that honor is a rare commodity in today’s world.  Who says a dog cannot be a gentleman?  There is a painting of a bunch of dogs playing cards together.  So I guess this artwork blows that theory to hell!

These are some of the ways that I have trained my inner dog (at least as far as the married tips; for I used to always let my dog run stray when I was single!).  So what about your inner dog?  Is it ready for a Scooby Snack?

Social Survival on the Internet Highway!

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The internet reminds me of some of those freaky-looking dudes in the Mad Max movies who tried to kill, steal, and plunder gasoline from anyone and everyone who crossed their paths.  And, like Mad Max, we have to survive the day for a hopefully even better sequel!  All of this has to be done on a slightly different interstate:  the Internet Highway!  But instead of using guns, crossbows, spears, and all sorts of other weaponry, we have to use our personality and various social sites and various social tools along this mysterious and adventurous stretch of treacherous roadway.

My goal as a writer is to develop a social following on the internet more so than to write any certain number of books by any given certain date.  This may sound a bit off the mark, but there is a method to the madness.  

I’ve learned, after self-publishing a book, that it is not enough for an independent author to (hopelessly!) market the hell out of his book.  The author has to do everything in his power to establish a loyal following.  And for this, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have the ear of everyone who has subscribed to me and my activities (and sometimes lack of).  

You may be asking:  “Why is this more important to you than getting a substantial amount of writing on the market?”  Saturating the market with everything Phil Sanderson is definitely important to me.  But at the same time, finding the means to accomplish it more effectively is of higher priority.  One reason is that there is no point in coming up with a large quantity of material when there is not that many people interested in doing anything with it.  Secondly, one of the main things agents look for, when trying to find a good author worth her salt to represent, is just that:  a huge following!  

Yet I am really quite surprised with how everything has turned out.  I’ve been established on Facebook now for more than five years and only just recently started getting really involved with Twitter.  But strangely enough, my success with the little tweety bird is phenomenally greater than it is with with the big-blue “F”.  I plan to break 1,000 followers next week on Twitter.  But I don’t even have anywhere near 100 likes on my personal Facebook page.  

I am also quite pleased with my success here on WordPress.  If you are receiving this article, then I largely have you to thank for this success.   I am really starting to develop quite the following on Goodreads as well.  And I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it is because I run my WordPress blog through Goodreads.  So, thank you all so very much.  On the other hand, I am also encountering slow starts with Google+ and Pinterest.  And I only barely exist on Authors Den.  

But I have a pretty cool strategy that I believe may help me out.  Since I’m encountering leaps and bounds on Twitter, I plan to market all my other social sites through that medium.  It’s not rocket science, just good, commonsense advertising.  And I am hoping that this article will help give you guys some ideas as to how you may be able to boost your own social campaigns (in the even that you have need to do so).  

So please remember to take a lesson from Mad Max when it comes to successfully reaching your various social media marketing destinations:  As your trucking along in your day-to-day tasks — be it creating art or music, or writing books — the most important thing to remember along the journey is to not run out of gas.  And we do this by making sure that we have an active, captivated audience who actually gives a damn about what we are doing.

Until my next article, be blessed!