Archive for June, 2013

History has a lot of lessons to teach and they are about to be taught again in the U.S.  Have a look at the preface to the book and see if you can figure out where we are in the cycle described there.

Preface

“Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within.  Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.  The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas.  New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies.  Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas.  Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all.  Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era.  It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out.  Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States.  Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties.  The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.”

Henning W. Prentis, “Industrial Management in a Republic”, 1943

I’ve always been a big nerd. To others it’s been clear for a long time, but I’ve only recently been able to admit it to myself. I mean, the signs were all there: I read a ton. I love playing Boggle. I get upset when others use “who” when they mean “whom.” I don’t own a pocket protector but it wouldn’t shock me if 10 years from now I had one … made out of leather … and embroidered with my initials.

But for one shining moment, one GLORIOUS MOMENT, when I finished writing my book, OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, I felt like a complete and utter badass. Here’s why.

1. Writing a book is hard.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I have an idea, I’m going to write a book about it” and then watch as they never did it, I’d have—well, I’m not sure exactly how many nickels I’d have because I’m terrible at math, but it’s safe to say I’d have a ton of them. Many people
don’t write a book because it’s extremely hard. Forcing yourself to sit down, brainstorm, write, edit, rewrite, edit, cut, add, rewrite, workshop, rewrite and rewrite some more until you’ve got somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 words is grueling work. Most can’t do it. When you’re one of the few who can, it really makes you feel good about yourself—an important quality in a true badass.

Oh-Boy-Youre-Having-A-Girl

2. Editing is painful.

All the effort and time put into writing a scene can all go for naught if it doesn’t mesh just right with your story. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite scene: If it’s not right for your book then it’s not right for your book—and has to be cut. Deleting your writing, especially words you’ve sacrificed so much to create, can be incredibly painful. But you do it in spite of the pain because, deep down, you’re tough as nails and you know your book will be better off for it.

3. Knowing when you are “finished” is impossible.

Is your Chapter 1 strong enough? Are you doing enough showing and not telling? Should your main character be walking or sauntering in this one particular scene? You’re on draft #17 and, after reading it again, you think an 18th draft may be necessary. (There’s one sentence in OH BOY that I rewrote every time I reread it!) Finished may be a definitive term when it comes to the end of a baseball game or a Broadway show, but it’s relative when it comes to writing. After all, in writing there’s no clear sign that your manuscript is perfect. At some point, every writer needs to take a leap of faith and have confidence in his or her work. It’s not easy to do, which is why it’s a form a badass-ery.

4. Cold-querying agents is scary.

Cold-querying agents is like knocking door-to-door in an unfamiliar neighborhood and trying to convince people that they should not only appreciate your haircut, but they should invest in your haircut. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself (and your manuscript, which you’ve been working on for who knows how long) out there for the world to judge. Not many people have the courage to do that, but badasses do. [Like this idea? Tweet it!]

5. Rejection is everywhere (and yet you still carry on).

Whether the rejection is from an agent, a publisher, a writing group critique partner, your inner critic, or a family member who doesn’t believe writing is a good use of your time, you still battle forward to accomplish your dream of completing a manuscript and having it published. Persistence and determination are necessary traits in a writer (as well as a badass).

6. Getting paid for your work is harder than ever.

We all daydream of seven-figure advances and splurging on something we’ve always wanted, like a fancy car. But the truth is a majority of advances are so small that they aren’t even enough to buy a used car whose heyday was nearly a decade ago. If you’re writing a book, you face difficult odds and little reward—and yet you press onward because writing is what you were born to do. Sounds like the same mantra of a superhero—and a superhero is just a badass in a costume.

7. Accomplishing a dream is rare—and awesome.

Many people try to write a book but only a few ever succeed. Whether it’s because they didn’t put it in time, make the difficult sacrifices, were too scared they weren’t good enough, gave up when the going got hard, etc., they didn’t do whatever they needed to do to make their goal a reality. If you’ve finished your manuscript (or are on your way to completing it), you’re part of a small, select group of people in this world who have. And anytime you’ve worked hard to accomplish a difficult-to-achieve dream, you are, without a doubt, a badass … and no one can ever take that away from you.

This article comes from Writers Digest and credit goes to Brian Klems for this piece. I thought it was pretty good!

By the way, I’m still offering free copies of my book Truth’s Blood. If you want one just let me know, here or request one at whalersman@gmail.com

I’d like to hear some feedback on this.

For those of you who have ever written and published a book, what was one or the most frustrating and/or surprising things about the journey?

Was it the fact your friends seemed reluctant to read your book, no matter how inexpensive or even free it was? – This was surprising to me, I mean friends are friends right, you pretty much expect them to grab your book and see what its all about. Didn’t happen. I don’t think I’m alone because recently I’ve read about this happening to other authors. Still, it was a surprise. The feeling I got, and it was just a feeling, was that supporting me would grant success they themselves aren’t experiencing. I’m curious what others have experienced.

Was it the marketing experience? – It’s kind of overwhelming isn’t it. As in, it makes writing the book seem easy by comparison. The self-publishing world is developing and changing so fast that just staying up with it is a challenge, let alone trying to figure it all out as a Newbie. Easy to spend a lot of money here without getting much in return. I’m really curious to hear what people have found works for them.

Was it the feeling of being taken advantage of by the sharks known as publishers? – A new fish in these waters can only be called on thing – BAIT! The sharks that swim these waters are experienced sham artists that make used car salesmen look like saints. I have since learned of better avenues down which to proceed when I publish my second book, at least better than the way I went the first time, but all of them seem to be black holes attempting to fill themselves with money. Which can only be right – right? After all, self-published authors are main stream publishers rejects correct? Well you certainly get that feeling from them. In real life they are probably all warm and fuzzy. This is an area I wish to learn more about and welcome any feedback regarding publishers you feel you could recommend.

Of course the experience wasn’t all negative. There is a lot of satisfaction in producing your first novel that is priceless in many ways. And since my intention was never to get rich, but to simply write a book others would enjoy while enjoying the writing process myself, I consider it all a great success. The pitfalls mentioned above are just that, and anything self-published authors can do to help other new authors avoid them should always be offered for they take away from an otherwise amazing adventure, the adventure of writing your first book and seeing it published.

Would love to hear some feedback on this. Have a great day everyone!

I am in need of more reviews on Amazon, therefore I am offering my book, Truth’s Blood, for free. If you will send me the email address for your kindle, I will send you the book. I also have it in PDF form if that’s what you prefer.

Rest assured I will not spam you. I hate it as much as you do.

Recently I received the review I requested from Kirkus Reviews. While I didn’t receive their coveted “star” award, the review was pretty positive and I’ve posted most of it below.

In Roberts’ post-apocalyptic debut, the Lang family survives in a disintegrating United States occupied by the Chinese military. The year 2016 sees America crumbling. With the Bill of Rights suspended, aerial drones target citizens by presidential order. Consumerism and debt have ruined the economy, while college graduates don’t know the meaning of
self-sufficiency. What better time for the Chinese to invade and collect their due? When it happens, everyone is caught unawares except Cliffson Lang, his wife, Jean, and their friend Monk. Living in Oregon, they farm their own produce and raise chickens. They work hard (as do their sons, Zach and Dustin Lang), surviving within their means. They aren’t
affected when the government cuts aid programs (to repay the Chinese) and rioters start destroying cities around the country. But shortly thereafter, the Chinese . . . (spoiler) The
invaders then begin collecting gold and silver from traumatized Americans nationwide. Monk and the Langs keep their spirits up, staying informed via ham radio about militia resistance to the Chinese and the carnage created by roving gangs. Debut author Roberts convincingly brings this hellish future to life. He begins the novel with frequent, sumptuous depictions of nature: “Scattered gray clouds rode across the sky on a chill zephyr born of winter, while a cool breeze played hide and seek throughout last year’s raspberry canes.” Such beauty allows the full weight of later atrocities to hit the reader: “Disfigured by Dustin’s shotgun blasts, the bodies left behind dark stains and chunks of flesh on the grass.”

But between the peace and violence . . . a solid action narrative awaits.
Morals and bullets fly in this cranky action thriller.” Kirkus Reviews

I hope you’ll check out this dystopian thriller and leave a review on Amazon for me. http://www.amazon.com/Truths-Blood-ebook/dp/B00AREMKV6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371998177&sr=8-1&keywords=truths+blood

And don’t forget, I am happy to send you a free copy if you will provide me a way to send it to you. you can contact me at whalersman@gmail.com
Have a great day folks!

So much of what is talked about in the end of the world, SHTF scenario type of books, (mine included) is read as pure entertainment and nothing more, when really, we should all be preparing. Check out the article below. I can’t even guess at the time frame, but it is real and we should all be doing things that prepare us. Here is the link.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/if-the-yield-goes-significantly-higher-the-market-is-going-to-freak-out

More importantly, there are a couple of books out there I will soon be reading and wanted to pass them along to you. Written in 1933, “Flight from the City” by Ralph Borsodi. Mr. Borsodi documents their move from the city and his families efforts at not necessarily becoming self-sufficient, but less dependent. I’m told its easy to read too.

Bordosi’s “This Ugly Civilization” 1929, drives one point home – “History, which is one long record of the imbecilities and the injustices of governments, furnishes us good grounds for seeking some alternative solution for them.”

Another book you may want to look into is Kevin Carson’s “The Homebrew Industrial Revolution.” It focuses on the modern statist government and how it raises the cost of living. Carson quotes Bordosi extensively and goes on to show there is an emerging alternative economy which reduces the requirement for an ever increasing income stream to live.

Bordoci’s words are timeless and reading about his experiences of living through the depression are something we can all benefit from. Both these books I’ve mentioned can be found on line for free. Borsodi exposes the hidden costs of large-scale production and shows the wisdom in locally sourced goods, plus, it’s just plain a fascinating story.

Do you ever wonder why mankind seems to find it impossible to learn from the lessons history has to teach? Why is it mankind can look upon the things societies have done in the past and assume the very same thing can be done today but obtain a different outcome? Rome fell for a lot of reasons but one of the main reasons was their inability to control the nations borders. Ring any bells? Germany printed tons of money (literally) and destroyed their currency. At one time Argentina was the fourth largest economy on the planet, prior to destroying their economy with socialized everything. Far flung wars have brought down many nations.

These are just a hand full of examples, but it seems our own nation is thumbing its nose at history and the examples that cry out from the past. The romans coined the term “bread and circuses.” It meant, feed and entertain the masses and they wont pay any attention to what your government is doing. Today Hollywood practically has its own wing in the White House and GMO corn and soy are fattening the masses. Few seem to notice what is taking place in our nation, let alone care.

Now please don’t be going all political on me here. If you take a political position then you’ve already blinded yourself to at least some of the realities taking place in our nation. Both parties are as guilty as the other in taking our country down this road. You simply cannot support either party without supporting war, inflation and the loss of liberty. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but even a casual glance at history clearly lays bare the errors of our ways.

So why do I bring this up? It’s what led to the writing of my book. Take some of the major lessons history has to teach, apply them to the present situation in the U.S. and write a fictional tale of how it might all turn out.

It’s my first novel so I focused on two things I’ve always found enjoyable in the books I read – well developed characters you can relate too and imagery that draws you right into the moment. Or as one reviewer on Amazon noted “Fantastic Imagery!”

I believe its a book that will stay with you long after you put it down. At times creepy, other times funny, I think you’ll find it to be a page turner. I hope you’ll check out.

“Man’s past is filled with truth’s shed blood.”

I hope you’ll check it out – Truth’s Blood.

Have a great day folks!

This reluctant author actually enjoyed participating in this interview on BookLOADS and I thought I would pass it along.  Just click the link below and may you all have a great day!

http://bookloads.weebly.com/june.html