Monday, November 30, 2015

What day is it again?

Happy Cyber Monday!

Or was that Saturday?  Black Friday now starts on Thursday, I really can't keep these things straight!  Maybe I'll just crawl back into a fantasy novel: things make sense there.

Happy reading!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Christmas Classics

Warning: this post has nothing whatsoever to do with my books or writing or literature.  Thank You: Management.

I grew up back in the dark ages when we had three TV channels and a VCR was considered cutting edge.  Back then everybody watched the same movies and shows because that was the only thing on and it was the same thing year in and year out.  I still don't like 'The Wizard of Oz,' but we watched it faithfully every year because that's what people did back then don't ask me why.  At Christmastime things really got exciting because there were all sorts of 'classics' to watch, most of which I wonder how they ever came my that moniker except that there was nothing else on and it sort of became tradition and around the Holidays we have a soft spot for tradition.  I'm not sure these so-called classics will survive to pass on to the next generation, at least in my house.

Charlie Brown is just depressing, and that's all I will say about it.  Rudolf has its endearing moments but the clay-mation is kind of creepy and Santa is a downright jerk.  Frosty is okay but nothing I want to watch again unless I'm stranded in an airport and there's nothing else on except CNN.  Of the newer 'classics,' 'Elf' and 'The Santa Clause' are cute and I don't mind watching them (only the original on the latter however) on occasion, and no 'Home Alone' is not even on the list; I'd rather watch Charlie Brown.  The one movie that should be on this list, but it isn't, is 'The Nativity Story,' which I think is an awesome rendition of the actual Christmas story.  Yes it is a bit cheesy at times, but it is also heartwarming, a little mysterious, funny, suspenseful, and an intimate look at what the characters might have actually experienced and felt.

As a kid I never really understood who Joseph was and the struggles he had to endure in a culture that looked on out of wedlock birth as a capital offense and the courage it took for him to claim that baby as his own.  With all those angels and wise men you kind of overlook the fact that Mary was probably just a teenager and got to travel a long ways while eight months pregnant before cars and highways after her entire family and community basically decided she was just another fluzie, and did I mention the jealous King who decided to kill any upstart Messiahs?  Talk about drama!  This is way better than melting snowmen or determining how santa is going to get through the fog.  Maybe one day it will be placed among the Christmas pantheon right alongside Linus wearing a blanket on his head and proclaiming, 'hockey stick!'  If anything, it is at least a lot less depressing.

Friday, November 6, 2015

To be continued…?

As an indie author, I'm always looking for new or better ways to publish my work.  I've been a smashwords fan from the beginning of my indie career (a breathtaking 3 years) and am still a happy client.  I expanded to amazon because, well, it is amazon, though I really have not been too thrilled with their treatment of non-amazon exclusive authors (or even non-prime members on occasion).  I dabbled with 'draft to digital' but found no reason to switch from smashwords.  Today I thought I'd explore google play, but apparently they are closed to new authors temporarily (I believe it dates back to May!) but, 'hey, come back soon and check it out!'  Soon?  Six months is not soon (this is November).  I begin to wonder if they are scrapping the program, and if so, it would be nice if they'd just be honest and say so.  But I do believe they also purchased Oyster (a monthly reading subscription service) so maybe something is brewing?  But for now, I guess I'll just stick with the same old same old.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

'Tis the season!

Yes, it is that time of year again: time for the random Christmas Hymn Lyric Review.  What does it have to do with my books?  Nothing, but who cares?  Now down to business.  This hymn has always been a little odd to me, and I don't think I've ever heard more than the first or second verse, but we're working on a piece in choir right now that contained the words 'Glorious now, see Him arise, God and King and Sacrifice,' with the traditional melody and it made me curious.  So I found the entire thing for your erudition (and my own).  It is actually quite an interesting little composition, if politically incorrect, but then any traditional Christmas hymn is technically that nowadays so without further ado: 

'We Three Kings:'

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bits and pieces!

I was going to enter a writing contest based on the classic fairy tale of sleeping beauty, but in deciding I am not author enough to compete therein, I have published my two attempts at remaking the classic tale in 'Over the Hills and Far Away,' for the more serious tale and made a Foible out of the other.  Look for 'On Sleeping Beauties: A Foible.' at smashwords, apple, and barnes and noble soon!

I have also released my fourth 'In Shadow' book, 'Captain of Shadow,' so forget the preorder.  It has also been released at Amazon in both stand alone and as part of the complete collection.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

To preorder or not to preorder?

Well we are a day older and a day closer to the release of my new preorder and I don't think anybody cares, when I was assured this preorder thing was the best thing since sliced bread, but then store-bought sliced bread isn't all that great either, so maybe I'll just take my chances next time and release the book when I'm done with it.  It's a great little trick to rack up opening day sales for big name authors, but for us nobodies, it really is kind of silly!

Monday, October 19, 2015

No trick, just a treat!

Get a free copy of my new book, 'Captain of Shadow,' but act fast, like good chocolate, this deal won't last long.  Use coupon code MX94P at before Oct. 21!