Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Shameless Self-Promotion Apology

I have a friend who has a cause very near and dear to his heart.  Day in and day out he goes on Facebook (and other social media sites) posting links that explain the cause and encourage others to support the cause.  There are times I want to tell him to shut the front door!  Find something else to post.  As much as I hate friends who feel the need to discuss the minutiae of their lives I almost wish he'd write about grabbing the sports section and heading off to deal with constipation.  Even an obligatory "at Starbucks" status would be less nerve-wracking.

This post is not about him.

As a self-published author, I am obliged to be a self-promoting parasite.  It is as much a part of the job as the actual writing.  Worse, it takes more time than I wish to invest and depending on the day and season takes much needed time away from that next brilliant insight the next project desperately needs.

I hate feeling redundant.  I struggle to post the same status messages desperately trying to find different words each time.  On some level, it feels less intrusive and less like cold-calling (a job I held for about four hours once upon a time) if I work off a varying script and resist beating the reading public over the head with the same buy me...buy me...buy me mantra.

That said, allow a shameless plug.  Black Friday is upon us.  While enjoying the warm afterglow of a holiday meal (assuming you survived the storm and made it to love ones and turkey), think about sitting in front of the fire enjoying a good book.  (Self-published writers have enough ego to add "good" before "book".)  If you order on Friday, it might even be there waiting for you when you get home.  There are no storms lurking that would delay you or the delivery of your book.

As a Black Friday special - and because the new novel will be coming out in early 2014 - I am offering "This Little Piggy Belongs to the Devil" at a 50% discount.  That's Friday.  All day Friday.  I don't care what time zone you live in, where you are ordering from, if you celebrate Thanksgiving or not...if it is Friday, the discount is yours.  Just enter the code.  It's already on Facebook, Google and Twitter - and cut and pasted below.

I will be back after Christmas shameless beating a drum for "Auf Wiedersehen, Lampione".  Until then, enjoy "This Little Piggy Belongs to the Devil" - with my apologies.

As posted on Facebook at 9AM 11/26/2013:

50% OFF Black Friday Discount.  "This Little Piggy Belongs to the Devil".  List Price $11.99.  50% savings all day Friday - ANY TIME ZONE.  Just enter code 7Q73LJZD.  Createspace store only. https://www.createspace.com/3678792

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just Joking, Honey

(A few years ago, I tried my hand at stand-up comedy.  I won't pretend I was good at it but I enjoyed the writing.  Every once in a while I have a thought I find amusing and I add it to the joke file.  Here's one of them.)

I cannot tell you how many times, in 37 years of marriage, I have heard the word “mine” from the wife.  You may feel that I should say “my wife” – or at least be tempted to say “my wife” – but I am “the” husband; I do not have possessions.  The wife has never used the word “our” – as in “our children” or “our car”.  She has certainly never used the word “your” – as in your pants, your socks, your shoes.  When the time comes, I will be put to rest in “her” plot.  I am not sure if that is generosity or punishment.  If you are married, you will hear your wife say: my couch, my table, my pots, my pans, my television, my computer, my condoms, my husband…

The wife will say – when she is mad at me – that she will not take any of my shit.  You may think she is giving me ownership of my shit but she is not.  It’s her shit; she just wants me to hold it for her.  In fact, she insists on it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flash Fiction

            (I am a creature of habit.  I write on a schedule – even if I do not know what I am about to write.  I get up every morning and, with that first cup of coffee, pound on my computer.

            The other morning, I was forced to reinstall the computer; my grandson or my daughter visited a site they shouldn’t have and the laptop started acting like it was swimming in molasses.  This, needless to say, impinged on my work time.  I filled it, while I waited for Norton and Office and whatever updates Microsoft insists I needed, by doodling in my notebook.  The piece that follows wriggled to the surface without any pre-planning.  I like it for its brevity and its tone.)


The Martini, Extra-Dry

             My doctor suggested that I stop drinking as part of his post-physical comments.  I invited him home for dinner – I am quite the imaginative cook – and made us both a Martini to whet his appetite and to introduce him to a more reasoned, evening routine.  There is nothing more civilized that a chilled Martini at the end of a long day.
            My doctor passed away soon afterwards.  Cardiac dysrhythmias.  It was quite unexpected.  It took his wife and family completely by surprise when they received the call.  He was only – if I had to guess – forty-something.  Fit, forty-something and dead.
            The Martini is a classic drink, one that has withstood the ravages of time.  It is not easy to make and must be served in the appropriate glass with sufficient preparation to honor the drink.  Do you see how I have frosted our glasses? And the olives, three each, carefully pierced through the center with silver skewers.  I do not abide anything stuffed into the olive.  Nothing extraneous should be added to the liquor.  Just a hint of brine to compliment the gin.
            I find salt heightens a great many sensations.  I have been watching the tiniest droplet of sweat gliding down your delicate neck.  I don’t know if you can even feel it but it is enchanting.  I have an almost irresistible urge to kiss you.  To kiss your neck.  It is not the salt that makes me want to do that – that is all you, by the way – but that hint of salt, the thought of that special taste, magnifies the experience.
            See what I mean?
            You are quite beautiful.  I am sure you aware of your beauty; you must see it every morning in the mirror and men – myself included – cannot help mentioning it.  It is the nature of human beings to appreciate beauty. 
            Don’t get me wrong.  This is not some tawdry attempt at seduction.  I do not enjoy pick-up lines.  Look around you…I prize beauty.  I collect books and old records, mostly classical compositions, and art.  Small pieces.  Little sculptures.  Little porcelain pieces that are so incredibly delicate that you crave touching them but fear breaking them at the same time.  Their fragility makes them…well, I guess you could say…exciting.  I find holding them positively arousing. 
            But, enough of me and my things.  The Martinis are done.  I have taken extraordinary pains with yours.  My doctor would claim I am being cavalier with our health but he is not here.  I do not mean to be insolent, but his absence speaks volumes.  If you ask me, there are quantitative benefits to the occasional vice.  I do believe they have extended my life.  Would you like to try it now or should we retire to the bedroom?  I have never been a particularly doctrinaire host; you are so beautiful I would gladly forego my favorite addiction…or, at least, delay it until later.
            The choice is yours.  I am your servant.
            I understand completely: the drink.
            It would be an absolute shame to waste such a perfect Martini.