And that's awesome! :) Soon, I hope to have an announcement about availability for you all. See you soon...
Many of you have heard the tale of Frosty the Snowman,And of the story they say,When children accompanied by an old magic hat brought him to life one cold day.But what you may not know is that on that same eve,There was another snow man who came to life in much the same way.
The children there,On that cold winter's morning,Set out for the day to play,In the wicked cold--roaring.
They danced and they played in the snow at their feet,When one decided to stack it 5 feet.
High into the air,Almost to above their heads,They packed the dense snow,And adorned it with threads.
Clothing from home,And a mitten or two,Then one found a hat,That had just blown into view.
Nobody knows from whence it had come.All they did think was that they were having some fun!So, onto the head the cap was presented, hooray!And with magical flare, the movement gave way.
First with a yawn,And then with a hop,The snowman stepped forward,All gasped as they watched,As the playful new snowman they built stepped forward and dropped.
Down in a bow,From his waist did he bend,Like a marionette on a string,He forwarded courtesy to new friends.
His cap in his hand in a delicate show,He then played with the children there in the snow!
Long throughout the day,And into the night,They all laughed as they danced,'Til the faintest sunlight.
Then Mother called them all in,And with an "Aww!" they all cried,Their friendly little snowman was fit to be tied!
But he knew a great secret,It was one that he shared,With the children all there,And any who would might care.
That with the cold night,He'd stand still and wait,For the morning to come 'round,For the children to come,And exit their gate.
"No cries, little friends!"He exclaimed to them saying,"In the morning I'll come,And we'll continue our playing!"
The children all smiled,And waved their good-byes,The snowman then sniffled,With tears in his eyes,For though the night short,He'd miss them quite dear,And long for the time,When the children were near.
For it is from accepting youth,That life comes,It's magic!Not to the old at heart,And that is quite tragic!
So, when you are out, in the snow just today,Play a little longer,And maybe this day,Is the one you will find a little magical hat,Then you'll have a new friend, too,And how about that!
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas: Irish novelist John Boyne said he was so wrapped up in this engrossing tale of a boy living through the Holocaust that he wrote the entire thing in two and a half days, barely stopping to eat or sleep throughout the ordeal. He notes that his other novels took months of planning and effort to write, but this story simply could not be slowed.You can do it, folks! The great novel is in you, bursting at the seams to get out!
"Ooh!" She sighed and immediately asked, "Will it leave a mark?"
There was a twinkle in her eyes when he held the dark leather strop to her face, forcing her to smell the rich, powerful, luxuriant fragrance that only craftsman-prepared cowhide can muster--that musky, silky, sweaty, dream-like fragrance of such masculine quality that it fills the nostrils and that the mind instinctively knows. The belt had been worn smooth from many years of touch and loving use; and through it could be seen off-center, hand-bored holes of various shape and size: some were round, others square, and a few were in the likeness of stars that a child might playfully cut from strips of construction paper. The thickness of the band held the holes to taught perfection; she liked that, and held in high appreciation the discipline of the design.
As the warm sunlight beamed through decaying window blinds behind the upheld, perforated belt, our blazing star painted zebra-stripe shadows on her tanned and willing body. She knew that for which she came would soon be tasted.
"Yes, it will."
His voice was deep, strong, confident, powerful, and it brought forth from within her memories of a long-lost father upon which she fixated often.
She harnessed the ball-gag carefully around her head and was nearly prepared for the lingering sting; but her gnashing teeth would need to bite when the time came--a time long needed--and her cries of desire and pain would need to be quieted, and he would not begin unless she was properly outfitted: order must confine the chaos. She took her time pulling the fasteners tight; she knew he wanted this as much as she did, and the anticipation was so rank in the room it could be felt even more than the small droplets of perspiration that formed on his brow.
When finished with the black-lacquered mouthpiece, she lowered her skirt to the floor, exposing her bare-end flesh for him to see, freeing it from the confines that the laws of man dictate. Her perfect heart-shaped ass stood stark in the room's morning air. He could see the gleaming of her piercings from where he stood, and the diamond stud twinkled in miniature reflection of the rising sun. He could smell her scent as it permeated the room, and this pleased him. He knew as the power of her musk increased so did the desire that drove it. Never once would he give his gift to the unwilling; and most certainly she was willing, waiting, and wet.
Arching downwards to brace for the impact, she was finally ready, and nodded in the affirmative as she bit down on the rubber ball that was held tight in her teeth. The time had come, and the much desired beating began.
From the rear seat of the taxi, the slowly approaching gray, dead trees in the distance looked like low-lying smoke, and the branches merely wisps of fumes that were diffused in the wind. Behind the gray wall of woods were the fir trees, green as ever--as their common name would show--and beyond those were the fields of corn that had turned color. He was nearly home.
It was harvest time, and Joseph Crow would soon be back on the Lakota reservation. Being a decorated war veteran granted him some privileges--not great, grand honors--but a ride to and from the VA hospital as needed, and that was good enough for him. Pulling up to his crushed rock driveway, Joe stepped out of the dusty yellow cab and signed papers the driver had prepared. These papers--a mere legal formality--simply allowed the taxi company to declare Joe "returned" and they could get their payment for the work done. Better than having to pay those crazy mileage fees; and Joe couldn't drive himself, at least not until his leg healed.
Joe didn't mind signing the forms; he got his ride, and really that's all that mattered. As he stood there, his right leg began to throb around the new stitches, but he'd survive. After all, he survived the Ardennes Offensive, where some shrapnel from a German grenade managed to lodge in his leg; certainly, he could survive itching that would ensue over the next few days.
As he signed the last line--much to the happiness of the taxi driver--a chill wind blew and Joe shuddered. Not entirely from the cold, but from something else. It was a feeling Joe hadn't felt since he was a young man in the infantry. Something was wrong--something bad was going to happen. He just wasn't sure what. It concerned him so much, he stopped writing mid-signature, and lifted his eyes to the horizon, over the fields of dusky, yellow, dried corn, past the farms, and to the smallest of trees miles away.
These premonitions that Joe would experience were the reason his father had originally chose him to be the village's new medicine man, but thanks to a draft notice, Joe went off to fight in Europe, but the village's needs still remained; and so, Joe's younger brother, Thomas, would end up filling the role. A role which he was never suited for--or meant to have.
The last time Joe felt like this was the day he was hit by that damn Kraut grenade. Joe was the lucky one, he was only injured--for which he received a Purple Heart--three others nearby were not so fortunate. They received the honor of a battlefield burial, and Joe was evacuated to the rear by medics.
Just as then: the same chill shudder. The same feeling of dread. Something was going to happen soon.
The taxi driver tapped the clipboard with his knuckles. "Done signing?" He was impatient and wanted to leave.
"Huh?" Joe's trance was broken. "Uh, yeah, sure. Here." Handing everything back to the driver, Joe stood still staring, wondering what was going on.
The driver left Joe standing there, alone, in his driveway, blankly scanning the horizon for what he did not know.
The four Fellaheen from places unknown had been brought before him, and at the beginning of his journey they were forced to bow, solemnly, and compelled to intone great and awful praise.
But he paid them and their honorarium no heed--they were mere puppets with meaningless lives and worthless souls; and before him they would subjugate themselves ten thousand times (or more.) And each repetitious motion exclaiming his grandeur would endlessly drone to the point of stupor. The sound of such music would be utterly meaningless in his ears, yet others that heard the torments would be driven to the brink of their fragile sanity--and this pleased him, that man might be made to suffer so.
He despised these slaves, yet he needed their aid, for his feet must not be allowed to touch the ground. It is written that in his footprints are stanzas of many unholy blasphemies, and God would not allow such abomination to taint the soils from which the First Man was made.
Upon the ground the unwilling servitors would lay prostrate as he walked upon their upturned backs as one might a carpet of living fibers. Their cries of anguish were purposefully muffled by their own hands, as they did not wish to dishonor themselves or the ears of he-who-walked upon them, for to do so would mean that they would be made to excavate their own tongues: such was the penalty written in texts no longer perused by the learned few--those ancient tomes that Man was not meant to know.
Upon the last of the four he would stand, waiting, until the previous three had realigned themselves before him; and when they finished their quick move to a new position, he continued on towards the city. It was in this way, on each aching and creaking back, and with each painful and jutting footstep, he would inch forward, ever forward, toward the barred gates.
When he arrived he found that the denizens had already fled, the city had been burned, and those too weak or infirm to flee had been slaughtered by their own kin--with throats cut, skin flayed, and entrails loosed from the bonds of the body. Men and women had been hanged from rooftop and archway, all by their own hand. Each of the dead, in their own way, escaped the chaos which would come with the approach of the unholy Dawn of Decay.
Within the empty city he marched--he and his living roadway of flesh--up to the city center, and then to the steps of the royal palace that were carved in marble as white as the snows of distant mountain tops. Stepping from the broken backs he then strode upon the hand-worked stones; and where he would step, blackness was left in his wake like the scorch of a recent fire--and in the soot were seen remnants of unspeakable things shimmering; and those that dared to peruse these glyphs found their spirits in a world of fire and pain.
As he took to the throne, he turned, facing the gathered throng that followed, then sat upon the alabaster seat that men claimed was carved by angels. In doing so, the dead that lay in the courtyards rose up, and sang to him in voices from the grave.
This hideous thing in form of a man smiled, for he no longer needed to hide his true nature, and the present living witnesses boiled in their own fear at the sight of him. His eyes swirled like inky black maelstroms, and where his hands clutched the arm rests, blood of equal blackness drained down upon the perfect, white floor. The blood, like living rivers, ran outward and down the steps, across the courtyard, beyond the risen corpses, and to the hidden corners of the Earth.
And God wept as Creation was undone.
Ok, if this is true and serious, I have to ask: Is this Amazon's job? Because if it is, then they suck at it. There are tons of e-books I've gotten that have far worse grammatical errors in them--and yet they pick on this guy? What the heck?
« on: Yesterday at 07:27:16 AM »
Allow me to blow off some steam....
Until now, I have had nothing but great service with KDP. But this morning, I got the following message:
During a quality assurance review of your title, we have found the following issue(s):
Title has punctuation and typo issue in it. Few examples are mentioned below:
*Location 811; Unnecessary comma - "a sofa back, and"
*Location 813; Unnecessary comma - "solid-brass, boattail"
*Location 1088; an appropriate word could be used in the place the letter "J"
Please look for the same kind of errors throughout and make the necessary corrections to the title before republishing it.
"...before republishing it"?
Now, I find that my book is listed as in "DRAFT" status on my KDP Bookshelf! This book has been published and selling very successfully since June 21.
I have to assume that these two events -- plus my inability to get sales statistics for hours -- are related. I just sent a fuming letter to KDP making the following points:
Whoever on the KDP "quality assurance" staff sent this message needs to go back to school.
I'm a professional editor and a lifelong professional writer. My book was heavily proofread by multiple individuals prior to publication. My use of commas in a series conforms to "The Chicago Manual of Style," in which the next-to-last item in a series is followed by a comma. And my use of the letter "J" was in the term "J school" -- an abbreviation for "Journalism School." It was used in dialogue and intended as slang during a conversation.
I am astonished that staff at KDP (a) are wasting time proofreading books, and (b) do not have the basic skills that such a job requires. If this staff member's incompetence has caused my book to revert to "draft" status, that individual deserves to be fired.
Agents and agencies that responded in any fashion whatsoever will get first "dibs" on any future submissions, and agents and agencies that chose not to respond will not receive a submission in the future.That's an important thing they're missing. See, sure, perhaps my first novel didn't grab 'em, I can dig that. Not all things are meant for everyone--we're not talking the mythological chameleon here--we're talking about a story; but what if my next book is a million seller? What if, because of their unwillingness to put forth the extremely simple effort of firing back an email that says "No, but thank you," they get nothing? Does that not mean that some other agent does receive the "glory" of the find?
We are avoiding names because we don’t want this story to be about one agent who spoke more bluntly than others whose objections were more indirectly expressed. Naming names can make it too easy to target a lone “villain,” who can be blamed and scolded until everyone feels that the matter has been satisfactorily dealt with.
Forcing all major characters in YA novels into a straight white mold is a widespread, systemic problem which requires long-term, consistent action.