Friday, October 28, 2011

Note Night!

Heh heh!
This is play off the PTI call of "Puck Night!" (for hockey) or "Ball Night!" (for basketball)...

It's NOTE NIGHT! Time to sing our first concert of the season with the IPFW Choral Union tonight.  Canadian and Korean folk songs and a couple of Mass movements in Spanish.

It's gonna ROCK.

So...if you're in the neighborhood, drop in to IPFW tonight for Note Night! (Note: It won't be called that on the program. Just sayin'.)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time for the Buzz to Begin!

I am just about to put the finishing touches on the final Author Approved version of Voice of Innocence, and the final version of the cover will be available...shortly. :-) So it's time to start the BUZZ!

Can you BUZZ for me?

I am setting up Around the World in 80 Days for this novel--so if you love novels, if you love romantic suspense with a little "woo-woo" in it, if you love mystery, if you love happy endings...get on board.  I want to get a copy of this e-book in as many hands as I can possibly get, and to do that, I need LOTS of little "elves" to help.

I will send you all the information you'll need as time goes on--all I need you to do is let me know you're willing to plug the heck outta the thing! Indicate which e-mail lists you're on, which you're allowed to post on, what free sites allow book publicity, etc., etc., etc. I'll be researching this as fast as my little hands can type, but it's time to start this machine NOW, so I'll be glad to give it its first push. Wanna help be a part of one HECK of a book launch?

Here we go!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fools and Little Children....

My mother used to say, "God watches over fools and little children."
I am afraid I was both last night. :-)

I put my office to bed successfully...except that I forgot I had left a candle burning on my desk. An open flame, not even within a vigil light container, simply a small candle on a china plate.

It burned all night long and no one either noticed it or thought to blow it out. I think I even got up in the middle of the night to make a pit stop, saw the light in the office, and didn't think to investigate. (Lots of light comes into our house at night, due to our being on a corner with a street light and frequent traffic.)

But that shows where my concentration to speak.

Fortunately, there were no papers or anything else near it to catch in any way, and the china plate held up fine.

But still.

I'm never that careless. I must have been preoccupied.
Proof positive that there's always Someone else watching.

I am thankful. :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things I Need To Give Up...In No Particular Order

1. Clicking on any political Web site whatsoever.
2. Clicking on any current affairs Web site whatsoever.
3. Clicking on a great number of Catholic blogs.

Reason: They only depress, frighten, and confuse me. :-)

4. Playing computer games. Yeah, I know. I still get my work done. But sometimes, those little buggers are WAY too tempting!
5. Clicking on Craigslist for ANY job at ANY time. I've never yet clicked on a promising link on Craigslist and found it to be anything but a link that goes to a message saying, "This job removed," "This job no longer exists," "This job cancelled," etc., etc., etc.
5. Clicking on Craigslist, come to think of it, for any reason.

Reason: Colossal wastes of time.

7. Clicking on pretty much almost ANY job site anymore.

Reason: Millions of people all looking at that same site. 9.9 million of them will probably apply for the job, even if they don't suit it at all, making the recipients of their resumes curse, try to recover their overloaded e-mail systems, and discard your application without reading it...and you'll never hear back, period, no matter what happens.

8. Staying at my computer all day as if I were in a real "day job."

Reason: I have good productive times of the day and not-so-good times of the day. Staying at the computer attempting to work through lull times is a) no better than putting in "face time" at a cubicle post and b) counter-productive. It leads to mistakes, or at least stuff that comes out of me that could be better.

9. Reading anything, anywhere, that the USCCB puts out.

Reason: should be obvious to anyone with a Catholic brain. See reason behind items #1-#3 above.

10. Maybe...Facebook.

Reason: Clicking "like" to social causes, political causes, or religious causes doesn't change a damn thing in the world; seeing 43.7 people sharing the exact same YouTube video is irritating, to say the least; and gimme enough time, I'll think of plenty more...

Of course, I probably won't give up on some of these things.
But the first few...
about the first nine, to be exact...
I'm going to really try to do.

Life is too short wasting it getting upset at things that there's no way in hell I can change by getting upset about them.
No one is listening to my brilliant posts on these places.
I have better things to minister to the world through baked goods.

Can I get an "amen" on this? (heh heh)

Next, I will come up with a happier list: Things I Need To Do More Of...and More Of...and More Of!


Thursday, October 13, 2011


....or so I've been called, several times, over the past 12 hours.
This is a good thing.
If my brilliance actually pans out and gets someone what we hope for from'll be a even BETTER thing.

Now, to make all this brilliance start paying for a change!

More later. I promise. I won't dangle you for too very long.


Friday, October 07, 2011

You Get What You Pay For...And That's The Problem.

I am registered at umpty-ump job sites for writers; some of them are overall better for prospecting and actually getting hired than others, but over the past couple of years on them, I've gotten some pretty good gigs.

That being said, however, one question still has to be asked.

Why is it that people think writing and editing should be cheap work?

It's like living in an alternate universe to encounter the pay rates that some people think are justified for a profesional writer. It is not uncommon at all to see things on job bid sites like, "Please bid on the amount you would charge for 10 articles, 500 words each...our budget is no more than $2 per article. If you want more, don't bid."
Or another of my favorites:
"I've written a book of ______ pages (anywhere from 75 to 300+) and want a good editor for it. Just go through, clean up spelling errors, make it read smoothly, etc. Budget is $50."
(Good luck on that.)
Or, the final favorite:
"I've written a fictional novel (sic) that is 65,000 words. Please bid on how many hours it would take you to edit this and get it ready for publication."
And then it's followed by an estimated budget of $100, if that much.

So maybe it's time for some straight talk here.
1) No one, and I mean no one, with decent English skills should be expected to produce 500-word articles on every subject under the sun for $1 or $2. I don't care what country they're from. I don't care what every other article mill pays. If you want quality, you ought to be willing to pay for it. The very minimum a 500+-word article should command on any site is $10. (Even that's low for decent writing.) You say that to these people, they laugh you out of the house. Trouble is, I've also seen what they get for $1 or $2, too. Unfortunately, the joke's on them.

2) No one, and I mean no one, should expect a professional to edit a book for $50. That's a nice price to pay for an initial consultation to see if you and the pro editor should work together at all. It's a nice kill fee, although it's a little low for even that. But that's barely one hour's pay for a freelance editor in some of the smaller markets; to expect an entire book to be edited for that money is an insult. Unless, once again, you really don't care about quality. Trust me. I've seen what a $50 edit looks like. You don't want it.

3) No one, and I mean no one, should put one sentence into an ad describing a book and then expect  an editor to give an intelligent bid on the hours it'll take to edit it. Frankly, I have no idea how long it will take me to edit your book until I see some of it. Yes, that's right. I actually need to see if you can write before I can tell you how long it'll take me to teach you how to do it right. :-) Once I see a couple of pages--or, better yet, a chapter--then I can give you some ballpark figure of potential hours involved. Remember those old standardized test questions where one of the multiple-choice answers was, "There is not enough information here to solve this problem"? Guess what? You've just written another one.

4) No one, and I mean no one, should ever, ever, ever, ever EVER think that it's correct to begin an ad with, "I've written a fictional novel." If you don't know what's wrong with that sentence, your work's not going to be worth the time and blood it'll take out of me to edit it. Period. There are no exceptions. No, not even you. Maybe especially not you.

Does this sound like the ranting of an embittered editor? A wonky writer? A person who's just not familiar with the "global marketplace" and thinks everyone should be paid "inflated" American pay? Or are people in the marketplace just so totally misinformed on how rare really good writers and editors are that they are willing to take schlock and publish it, as long as it fits their budget? Are we really so ignorant about what it takes to write well that we don't know the difference when we see it?

The world at present may be awash in more "information" on the Web than ever before...but the great majority--I don't think its exaggerating at all to say probably 80% of it--is almost unintelligible, it's so badly written and/or edited. You've got so-called professional writers' sites full of typos or mistakes in word usage. You've got people applying for gigs that want "experts" and "native speakers"...only their test scores show English comprehension skills of 17%. And these people get hired...because they're cheap.

What's wrong with this picture?

Apparently, it's a matter of a massive number of potential hirers out there who've never heard, or believed, the phrase "You get what you pay for." If you pay schlock...that's what you'll get. And it must be said that part of the problem is many of the employers involved are so illiterate themselves that they have no way of telling schlock from scholarship.

It's worth remembering....
Just because people can speak English doesn't mean they can write it well.
Just because someone's taken an English test that proves he can write a sentence in English doesn't mean that sentence will make any sense, will flow, or will be something someone actually wants to read.
Some people know the difference. They're worth paying for.

But until the prevailing mindset accepts that, takes a deep breath, notches its belt buckle in by one, raises its bar, and decides to pay good writers what they're actually worth...the cycle will continue.
There is a better way. It's sitting here, right in front of you. It looks expensive at first. It's not.
Because quality things always are worth what you invest in them.
And investing in good writers, like me, is the only way this cycle will change.
Don't be cheap.
Be smart.
Go for the good stuff. :-)


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hidee Ho, Neighbors!

Yeah, I know, it's been done. :-)
But I think I've come upon a great way to keep myself blogging more frequently...make this the "home" page of my browser when I go on the 'Net.

Simple, huh?
Yeah, I know. Shoulda thought of this, oh, like five years ago.

Call me deliberate, I guess.

In the meantime...anyone got mortgage money for me? Click the "donate" button. I'm working hard, but the money isn't matching the workday...yet. I can cover ALMOST all the bills...except for the biggest and most important one.

Ain't that always the way?

Anyway...contribute. Buy my books. Everybody bring someone to the blog, read the previous posts, enjoy the tips and publishing opinion contained herein. You won't be sorry. I promise.