Hey 3.5 readers.
Please earn your keep around here and download a free copy of my books:
Hey 3.5 readers.
Please earn your keep around here and download a free copy of my books:
This will probably be hard to explain due to a lack of exact dates and keeping things anonymous but I’ll try.
When I was young I really wanted to be a writer. I got internships in that both summers and then in my last semester I had a really big internship where I spent a semester in a big city working as an intern for a big organization. Honestly, I was basically a coffee fetcher, but it was fun and I fetched coffee for some big names.
After college, I returend to Podunk and got a small writing job locally. There was a part of me that wanted to go back to the back city and pursue a life there as a writer. It didn’t seem far fetched. As a young person in my early 20s, I’d already gotten a lot of experience. The rents wanted me to pursue something more practical and while I don’t want to throw them under the bus for doing what parents do and I realize it was up to me follow through with what I wanted, I ultimately chose the practical.
Do I blame them? A bit. Do I blame myself the most? Of course. There comes a time in adult life where you have to realize your parents don’t know everything and you will have to defy and disappoint them. Don’t worry though because either way it will work out great for them. If you defy them and do what you want and it fails, they can say I told you so forever. If you defy them and do what you want and it succeeds, they’ll say they were behind you all along and it was their idea. Also, fun fact, if you obey them and do what they want and it fails, they’ll say well you should have been your own man and what do they know.
Anyway, I blame myself entirely. It is a week man who blames others for their failings.
I told myself I’d do the practical for a while and then after I’ve made some money I’ll do what I actually want. (Kids, FYI this doesn’t happen. Don’t buy that shit if someone tells you it does.)
Long story short, the practical thing didn’t work out. At that point I thought maybe I should go back to my true love of writing.
But I was a wuss. So I did another practical thing. This practical thing actually worked out.
I do feel like I cheated myself though. The writing world had accepted me early and I ended up worrying that I’d end up 30 and failed because I wasn’t being paid much at 20. Now I realize that yeah, that just happens. You have to pay your dues but good for you, your foot is in the door. Your feet are on the first rung of the ladder, so keep climbing.
At this point now, I’m 40. I’m self sufficient. I suffered a lot though and to be honest, a lack of stability made relationships difficult. I had to come to grips this year with the fact that it’s too late to have children. Technically, I can have them forever but all the women in my age bracket are closed down for baby business.
Could I adopt a little Chinese kid? Sure. Do I fear they’ll send me a faulty one on purpose and refuse to take it back? All the big ticket purchases I’ve made in recent years where I open the box only to find that the item is missing a part such that someone at the factory was asleep at the switch tells me yes. (Was this meant as a joke? Partially.)
There’s nothing I can do about it now, but the regret is palpable. I had my foot in the door in what I wanted at an early age. Then I talked myself out of it. Then when that failed I was free to go back to what I wanted but I chickened out again. Ergo, had I just stuck like ten straight years in what I wanted, I probably would have gotten to be where I wanted.
Although sometimes now I think maybe it worked out because I guess I’ll never know for sure writing would have worked out.
I guess we never know how things work until we do them. When they don’t work, we are certain the opposite course would have been a success.
Question – How do I cope with this regret?
My answer – Keep writing self published books and hope one of them hits.
Feel free to offer your answers in the comments.
Hey 3.5 readers.
Bookshelf Q. Battler here.
I suppose we all get wrapped up into the good of self-publishing i.e. all the great success stories big (the self-published millionaires) and small (the person who finally got to see their name in print even if it doesn’t make a dime) and in-between (the person who makes a fairly decent living but has yet to become wealthy)…but it’s worth noting there are some shenanigans going on as this article points out – plagiarism, unscrupulous characters ripping off authors, stealing their content and packaging it as their own, violating the rules and so on.
Has anyone ever experienced any self-published hi-jinx?
“Disco Werewolf is a flash in the pan,” Boogiedown Barry said while sipping his fifth drink of the evening. “All these young up and comers to the disco scene. They’re all razzle and no dazzle, all trash and no sash, you know what I mean? They’re all about the kooky get ups first and the actual art of dancing comes in at a distant second, if that. You getting all this down?”
“Dancing…comes…in…second,” Claudette mumbled to herself as she jotted her interviewee’s words down in her notebook. “I got it, but you have to admit, Disco Werewolf can dance.”
Barry looked out at the dancefloor, where the furry funkmaster was matching the beat, note for note, with his big fuzzy feet. All kinds of sexy ladies pushed each other out of the way for a chance to shake their booties in the wolfman of the hour’s general vicinity.
“Bah,” Barry said. “I admit nothing.”
“Do you know who he is?” Claudette asked.
Barry raised an eyebrow. “Do I know who he is?”
“Yes,” Claudette said.
“Sure, I do,” Barry said.
Claudette looked at Barry with anticipation, pen at the ready.
“He’s the rat bastard who’s ruining my life,” Barry said. “Look at him. Hogging up the floor while the rest of us can’t get a foot in edgewise.”
The aspiring journalist frowned upon realizing that Barry didn’t know the secret to the question she was trying so desperately to answer.
Barry sipped, then belched, then sipped again. “What did you say your name again was, little filly?”
“Claudette Who?” Barry asked as he ogled the gyrating rump stuffed inside a short orange skirt just a few feet away.
Barry immediately snapped to attention, no longer interested in the aforementioned heiney. He looked the kid over. “Jenkins, huh?”
“Who are you with?” Barry asked.
“Freelance is what I should say to be honest,” Claudette replied. “With any luck, for the New York Courant.”
“Huh. You look a might underripe to be a reporter if you ask me. Then again, no one asks old Boogiedown Barry anything anymore. Oh, they used to. How they used to hang on my every word until that fat pile of…hey, don’t write this part. This part is off the record.”
“You hate Disco Werewolf,” Claudette said. “I got it.”
“I do,” Barry said as he watched the monster get freaky. “Then again, I’m starting to think I shouldn’t. I mean, does the lion hate the lamb? Does the hound hate the fox? Does the axe murderer in all those cheesy, bargain basement slasher flicks hate the horny teenagers he’s always chasing around? You see where I’m going with this?”
“Not at all,” Claudette replied.
“I know I’m good,” Barry said. “I know he stinks. I don’t have to prove nothing to nobody, you hear?”
“I hear,” Claudette said.
Barry swished the booze around in his mouth like it was mouthwash, then swallowed. “Now that, you can print.”
Thump. Thump. Thump. A pair of heavy feet cut through the crowd, trudging their way to the bar. Soon enough, Barry and Claudette found themselves in the company of a big ass werewolf, as well as his hangers on.
“You’re the best, DW!” one man shouted. “You’re far out!”
“Groovy, baby!” came another male voice. “Positively groovy!”
“Disco Werewolf, are you seeing anyone?” asked a female voice.
Barry was standing right beside Disco Werewolf now, but refused to acknowledge him. Disco Werewolf looked at the fella who used to be the club’s number one dancer and growled. “Grrr.”
“Huh?” Barry asked as he chewed on a toothpick and looked around the bar, anywhere but in the werewolf’s direction. “Somebody say something? I don’t know, because I don’t talk to nobodies.”
Disco Werewolf let the rude comment slide off and raised a finger. Ferdinand the bartender practically tripped over himself as he rushed over with an aluminum shaker in hand.
“I got your usual right here, DW, baby,” Ferdinand said as he opened the shaker and poured the contents into a glass. He popped a toothpick into an olive, inserted it into the drink and handed it over.
The werewolf sipped.
“How is it, sir?” Ferdinand asked. “Not too dry, I hope? You know what, Disco Werewolf, you just say the word and I’ll throw it out and make you another.”
Disco Werewolf guzzled the concoction down in a single gulp. Ferdinand waited in suspense for the verdict. The monster kicked his head back and howled in delight. “Ahhhh-wooo!”
Ferdinand smiled while the Looky Lous cheered. “Don’t you worry, Mr. Werewolf. I’ll keep those coming all night long. Free of charge. Totally gratis, on the house. Mr. Sugarshine told me straight up, his mouth to my ears, that I shouldn’t even dream of taking your money.”
Disco Werewolf nodded and patted the barkeep on the shoulder.
“Oh wowie, zowie!” Ferdinand said. “I’ll never wash this shoulder ever again!”
“Like you’ve ever taken a bath in your entire life, spazoid,” Barry said.
“Pipe down, has been!” Ferdinand replied. “And you’d better make good on your tab, Barry! It’s already $108.57 and counting! Mr. Sugarshine can’t be expected to subsidize deadbeat rummies forever!”
“Bah,” Barry said. “Mr. Sugarshine can subsidize both cheeks of my ass.”
Disco Werewolf was about to walk away when he felt a tug on his paw. He looked down to see Claudette. He locked eyes with her and for a brief moment, looked as though he were in a daze.
“Disco Werewolf?” Claudette said as she held up her notepad and pen. “Claudette Jenkins, hopefully for the New York Courant. Do you have a minute?”
They say that canines can’t smile because they have no lips, but on some level, the club’s resident dance hound looked happy. He patted the girl on the head, tussling her hair. Then, he took the pad and pen, scribbled something down, and handed it all back to Claudette before returning to the action.
Ferdinand leaned over the bar. “Hokie smokies! What’d he write?”
Claudette looked at the pad, then showed it to Ferdinand:
Stay in school.
“Wow,” Ferdinand said. “If I were you, I’d have that framed.”
Barry felt the need to interrupt. “Pbbht! If I were you, I’d have my head examined.”
“Stick a sock in it, lush!” Ferdinand said. “No one asked you!”
“Bah, your mother wears combat boots,” Barry replied.
New York City – 1979
“Are we going to do this or what?”
In a dark, dank alley behind Sweet Johnny Sugarshine’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge, Private First-Class Steven W. Sykes, honorably discharged, felt the cold gritty pavement press into his knees as he looked up at the sizable bulge taking up space in the crotch of a pair of jeans that belonged to his longtime friend and army buddy, Rick Danfield.
“Yeah,” Sykes said as he took a deep breath, held it, then exhaled. “Here we go.”
The moonlight glistened off of the gooey product that Danfield had applied ever so liberally to his curly hair. “Come on, man. This thing ain’t gonna suck itself.”
Sykes pushed his sunglasses up, leaving them perched on his forehead, sitting atop an American flag bandana he used to keep his long, brown hair out of his eyes. “No…you got me there. It certainly isn’t going to do that. Nope. No siree Bob.”
Try as he might, Sykes just was not able to move his hand, mouth, or any other body party anywhere near his pal’s member.
“Jesus Christ, Sy-ko,” Danfield said.
“Don’t call me that!” Sykes barked.
“Whatever, man,” Danfield replied.
“I never deserved that nickname,” Sykes said. “I served my country with honor and distinction in the war. I was in complete control of my mental faculties the entire time.”
“Who cares?” Danfield asked. “It was ‘Nam, brother. Everyone did some crazy shit. You mean to tell me you were able to walk around the jungle with an ear necklace for four years but slurping the old salamander is where you draw the line?”
Sykes pointed a finger up at Danfield. “I did not cut those ears off!”
“Whatever,” Danfield said.
“I found those ears!” Sykes said. “I was holding them until I could return them to their rightful owners!”
“I’m not judging, man,” Danfield said.
“There’s nothing to judge,” Sykes said. “Uncle Sam asked me to give Charlie hell and that’s what I did.”
“Fine,” Danfield said. “But the fact remains that I’ve yet to find a steady chick, and you’ve yet to find a steady chick, so we might as well help each other out until our chick ships come in, ya dig?”
“It’s ridiculous that we’re both still single!” Sykes said. “Our fathers sailed to Normandy and cock punched Hitler and when they came home, they were swimming in poon, but we get forced to fight a war over the economy of a faraway Asian country where everyone is trading rocks for chickens and all the cooze says, ‘Oh no! No hot snapper for you, baby killer!’”
“I ain’t kill no baby,” Danfield said.
“I didn’t kill any babies either!” Sykes said.
“Check it out, man,” Danfield said. “The country’s startin’ to pull its shit together. Jimmy Carter done went and pardoned all the draft dodgers.”
“And those cowardly sons of bitches are pulling down more trim than we are!” Sykes said.
“Everyone’s startin’ to heal,” Danfield said. “Startin’ to forgive. Only a matter of time before the public starts looking at us with the respect we deserve.”
“I’m not asking for much,” Sykes asked. “I’m just tired of being treated like a criminal for doing what my country told me to do.”
“Aren’t we all?” Danfield asked. “But hey man, can I give you some free advice?”
“If it will delay me getting a mouth full of man meat, sure.”
“Look at yourself, brother,” Danfield said. “You got your fatigues on. You got that bandana. Everybody’s trying to forget ‘Nam and you’re a walking reminder of it.”
“I’m proud of my service, Rick.”
“You should be. I’m proud of mine. But you’re more than a soldier, Steve. And a’int no lady gonna give you the time of day if you keep walkin’ around, lookin’ like a billboard for the least popular war in American history.”
“Fair point,” Steve said. “But wait, why should I listen to you? What do you know about scoring with babes? You’re out here trying to get your sausage gargled by a man.”
“So, that’s pretty gay.”
“What’s gay about it?”
Sykes shot his buddy a look as if to silently say, “Really?”
“I’m all about the pussy,” Danfield said. “But I’ve been thinking, what if all the gay dudes are onto something? Would it be so bad to try it and then if I like it, I’ll go all in and if I don’t, no harm done.”
“No harm done?” Sykes asked. “But then you’d be gay!”
“What?” Danfield asked. “A fella gets his pickle smooched one time and that automatically makes him gay?”
“Of course, it does!” Sykes said.
“If a man writes one sentence, is he a professional writer?” Danfield inquired.
“Well,” Sykes answered. “No, I suppose not.”
“If a man bangs a drum, does that get him a spot in an orchestra?”
“If a man runs a single mile, does he take home a gold medal from the Olympics?”
“OK,” Sykes said. “I see what you’re saying. We’re young. We’re in our prime. We should be trying new things. Sampling the smorgasbord of life, as it were.”
“Exactly,” Danfield said. “Now, enough talk, man. Get to work already.”
“You got it,” Sykes said as he smacked his lips together. “I’m…uh…going in. Going in for the big suck-a-roo. Here I come and…hey, wait!”
“What if you don’t like it?” Sykes asked.
“Then I will have learned I don’t like it and I’ll never do gay shit ever again,” Danfield said.
Sykes nodded. “OK. That makes sense. I’m sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry about.”
“I’m just nervous, you know?”
Danfield patted his friend on the head. “It’s cool. Just let it happen.”
“Alright,” Sykes said. “This…this’ll be fine, right?”
“It’s not going to traumatize me at all,” Sykes said.
“I don’t see why it would,” Danfield said.
“OK,” Sykes said. “Here I come…no big deal.”
“Just like chewing on a hot dog.”
“Right,” Sykes said. “I love hot dogs.”
“Who doesn’t love hot dogs?” Danfield asked.
“Not this guy,” Sykes said, pointing to himself. Ever so timidly, he moved his face closer to the bulge before abruptly backing away. “Wait!”
Danfield rolled his eyes. “Man! If you don’t wanna do it, then just say so!”
“It’s not that!” Sykes said. “It’s just…we promised we’d do this for each other.”
“But what if me sucking your dick teaches you that you’re not gay, then am I still going to get my dick sucked?” Sykes asked.
Danfield blew a contemptuous raspberry. “Pbbbht! Hell no. You can’t ask a straight man to suck your dick.”
Sykes stood up and threw up his hands. “I’m sorry bud. I wanted to do this for you but I was promised a certain level of reciprocity and if there’s no guarantee that I’m going to get it, then…”
“Shit, Steve,” Danfield said. “Do you want me to go first?”
Sykes thought about the question, then shook his head in the negative. “No, because then if it turns out I’m not gay, I’m going to feel bad when I realize I’m too straight to suck your dick, you hear me?”
“I get it,” Danfield said. “Maybe this experiment was ill-advised.”
“Nah, buddy,” Sykes said as he wrapped an arm around his friend. “I just think we need to find some bonafide, legit gay guyswho would just like to slurp our poles for the joy of doing so, with no preconceived promises of reciprocity and…”
“Was that you?”
“I didn’t say anything.”
The pair headed for the street when the sound came again. Grrr.
“You hungry?” Sykes asked.
“Then, what in the…”
From out of the darkness, two yellow eyes appeared. They glowed. It was sheer chaos. The soldiers had no clue what was going on. One claw grabbed Sykes. The other grabbed Danfield. Their heads were knocked together, causing them to lose consciousness.
I’ve been in a funk all year, 3.5 readers. I’m hoping for a day when I can really sit and concentrate, put in all my hours on crafting books.
In the meantime, I need stories that have that special ability to flow out of my brain, through my fingers and onto the keyboard.
I’ve been starting new books and getting stuck all year until recently, for some reason, the next story that has apparently chosen to use me as its vessel appears to be:
The Last Driver, Episode 1, 3.5 readers. It’s on sale now on Amazon.
Globalists and Nationalists are fighting for power in the future. (Wait. Doesn’t that sound like the present?)
Elderly ex-bank robbery getaway driver Frank Wylder is, in a world filled with self-driving cars, the last man who remembers how to drive one. To the dystopian world government, that makes him an enemy.
Get your copy today:
(This video is the best thing I ever got a woman to do for five bucks.)
Hey 3.5 readers.
Five years ago, this blog was conceived when I was crying myself into a cheesy burrito at Taco Bell, upset that I had not yet achieved my dream of becoming a professional writer.
I then realized that blogging technology exists, everyone was doing it, that I was someone and ergo, I should also add my voice into the vapid Internet vacuum.
And so, on that fateful day, this terrible blog was born. Ironically, it wasn’t the worst thing that happened that day. Years later, I would come to realize that when I ate a burrito, I was engaging in highly unwoke cultural appropriation, for I am not a Mexican and therefore have no right to consume Mexican food.
To condense this tomfoolery, I have never forgiven myself for either atrocity – the blog as well as the unwoke food choice.
Worse, I continue to do both to this day, having not learned my lesson. Come to think of it, I’m eating a burrito as I type this right now. Mmm tasty for a minute, but then an hour devoted to cleaning cheese out of my keyboard later. Oh well, nothing good in life ever came easy.
When I first started, this blog was supposed to just be a little hobby. Something to give me an online presence. In the meantime, I was going to work on books and try to query them and then be like, “Hey agent! I have a blog!”
That never bore fruit. Instead, I got hooked on the world of self-publishing. It remains to be seen if that was a good thing to get into or not.
Part of me thinks it is a viable business opportunity if I just remain patient and realize that it is a long game where you have to get maybe 5 or 6 really good books out there before people take notice.
Another part of me thinks life would be so much better if I’d just throw my computer in a dumpster, toss in some gas and a lighted match, set it all ablaze, extinguish it, leave a note of apology to the dumpster company and then spend the time I use for writing on something like, oh, I don’t know, walking on a treadmill and making green smoothies.
I’d say that last option would make my doctor happier but honestly, I don’t think my doctor could pick me out of a lineup.
I’d quit this if I could and there’s a part of me that thinks maybe social media is ruining everything. Sure, it gives a voice to the voice-less, but it also gives a voice to a lot of a-holes and I fear I may be one of them.
Here are some stats I’ve scored in my five years of bloggery. You tell me if they made this futile exercise worth it:
(All numbers are what I’ve racked up since the blog began 5 years ago.)
POSTS – 3,537 (Mostly about farts)
VIEWS – 122,325 (Mostly Aunt Gertie)
VISITORS – 80,078 (Mostly people who came here for directions on how to get away from here.)
And there you have it. My blogging all boiled down to the stats. By the way, I also have 2,605 who have clicked the follow button on this blog but somehow, I only have 3.5 readers. I know 3.5 is facetious but it isn’t that much of a stretch either. On an average day, I’m lucky to crack maybe 20 or 30 visitors. Getting over 100 in a day is reason to pop the champagne.
So, let me know what you think about my 5 years of blogging. Oh, and if you’ve followed me from the beginning, for a couple years, or just started recently, thank you…and also, I hope whatever ailment you are suffering from that keeps you housebound and unable to do anything productive so all you do is just read dumb blogs like this one clears up soon.
Buy my book! Buy it! Buy it now! Buy it immediately!
Or don’t. See if I care.
As the song goes, the best things in life are free, 3.5 readers.
Well, that’s correct, because my books are life changing experiences and I don’t think that’s too much hype, or maybe it is. I don’t know. Know what I do know?
All this week.
I know you’re busy, but you’d be doing me a favor if you’d grab one, or better yet, leave a nice review (that you agree with of course.)