Trumpettes in my books ( I did Nazi that coming)

Yesterday, for the first time in presidential history, Donald Trump spoke at a ‘value voters’ summit hosted by the nefarious hate group ‘Focus on the Family.’

After promising support for LGBT Americans, he ditched them for his base.

Mostly, because his presidency sucks and he needs the support of his base.

I really don’t want to focus too much on what was said there, but he validated this organization that stands against my marriage. He told them that they their homophobia will be supported by him. Pence, a virulent anti-gay former governor, passed a law in Indiana that backfired spectacularly. Jeff Sessions has reversed the governments support for L.G.B.T people.

I’ve never been more worried for my country, for my friends, and for my own life as I am now under this administration.

Yet, here we are.

Often times when someone who is an actor, singer, writer, stands up and says something that his base doesn’t like they are told to shut up and sit down or they’re told to shut up and (______) fill in the blank with their chosen profession.

Get out of politics they say.

Well first off, fuck you.

This administration is a direct threat to my family. This goes beyond politics, this comes right into my home, into my consciousness, and it’s influencing my work. It’s anxiety, it’s fear, it’s rage, and fury.

Your political choices are also a threat. Maybe you voted for fiscal responsibility, party loyalty, or the republican party that once was – you know, the one that used to stand for freedom and liberty.

However, the failure of Trump to move any sort of policy forward, legislative or otherwise, and the narrowing of his support to his more virulent fans, has caused him to shift over to the evangelical hate groups with bullshit names like “Focus on the Family.”

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The amount of cognitive dissonance required by you to vote like this and then curl up with one of our books, or books written about gay people, knowing you’ve made our lives that much harder – is beyond the pale.

And yet – here it is. There are other books you should probably be reading. Mein Kempf comes to mind.

Or perhaps some poetry, one in particular by YEATS comes to mind:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sound familiar?

There’s a lot of scared and hurt people out there. A lot. There’s no telling what this will turn into since the world has decided to lick the proverbial boots of authoritarianism. And once again, we’re engaging in a fight for our survival.

I am reminded of P!nk’s lyric, “I’m not here for your entertainment. You don’t want to mess with me tonight.”

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This idea that people shouldn’t speak out, especially those who are trying to create a brand for themselves, or make money applies to those who are more interested in that side of the equation.  And you may find writers out there who write this stuff and still think like you do. However, that’s evident in the kind of work they put out anyway and it always has been.

These aren’t just books. These are people’s lives. Fictional characters developed from running a pen over the scars people carry.

Thank God, I and so many more of us out there are artists. And Art requires that we honestly reflect the world as it is. So, quite frankly your money is no good here anymore.

Please leave. You’re uninvited. It’s just you and your hand tonight.

 

 

My adventure in self publishing

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Patrick Fore

I just come off of publishing a full length novel, When Heaven Strikes, and there’s so much that goes into self publication I feel like I need to take a moment and address it for those who are considering writing their first book or who may want to break away from traditional publishing.

First, and probably the most expensive part of the whole process is editing. I have run into costs that range from .004 cents per word to .05 cents per word.
If you take a base novel (which is 60,000 words) it looks like this.

.004 * 60,000 = 240 and that’s the lowest I’ve ever seen
.05 * 60,000 = 3,000 and that’s the highest I’ve seen

and that’s per sweep

The more reputable or the more well known the editor is, the higher the cost but the trade off is, the least well known they are they may be cheaper but they may not be as good and that requires additional sweeps.

Factor in cover art which can range from 50 bucks up to 300

Then you have to pay for someone to format the book for you for both the ebook and paperback

Once all of that is complete – then you have promotional stuff like creating a book trailer which can run you 100 bucks or more and a tour service which can run anywhere from 25 bucks to 100 dollars depending on what package or service you use.

You could end up, to produce one book, spending a great deal of your own cash.

And all of this takes time to do. So while you may have down time between purchases, you’re burning hours going through everything.

Now, if you go with a traditional publisher – they absorb that initial cost and all you’re responsible for is working through what the editors send you.

However, especially if you take an advance, you may not see royalties on your book for awhile. When you do, depending on the contract you signed, your royalties will usually be less than half (usually around 35 to 40 percent) of the money earned.

And none of it says that mistakes still won’t be present. You try to minimize that, of course, but shit happens. Stuff slips through and if that’s the case you can have someone go back through it at cost.

The best advice I can give is to establish a budget and while I know its difficult to do that – especially for people who are just starting out or people who don’t have a lot of money – if you have to make a change jar to throw your quarters, nickels, and dimes in – do it. You’re now in business for yourself and if you’re in the self publishing world – you are responsible for everything.

The reader doesn’t get to see any of that. They get the finished product and it’s really strange when I see comments about how they won’t spend more than x amount of money for a book. And especially the whole KU thing where people associate that with Netflix or Prime.

It’s not the same. Actors don’t get paid from that, they get all their money up front before the film is made. So should a movie flop, or should it break box office records, their pay is the same. The set people, the director, the producer, etc. all their money is taken care of by the unions. It’s the studios that make royalties off ticket sales, residuals, netflix, prime, dvd sales, yada yada.

So when I see authors selling their book for less than five bucks on the market it really upsets me. Not just because they’re making it harder to compete with them, but because they’re short changing themselves and everyone else around them.

It becomes that much harder and that much more competitive to produce a book – and the idea of making a living off of being a writer or becoming popular as a writer is becoming more and more difficult. You have to hustle your work every single day and that’s just as difficult. Most of all because it pulls you away from your next project.

All of that sucks. I think the average person would be astounded if they were to actually sit down and do it themselves.

But I think there is a flip side to it, a silver lining, despite genre fiction, ‘the rules’, the lack of a publisher pushing you in one direction, the market forces, goodreads, the critics, all of that liberates the author to write what they want. All of that gets muted. They can cultivate an audience from the very bottom and slowly over time build a readership that is loyal despite what the author writes and is more open to what they have to say. They’re more open to the way the author’s style comes across and becomes familiar with that voice. It allows the author to move around and not get bogged down in having to appeal or wanting to appeal to a certain kind of reader.

And it allows the author, I think, to say things that need to be said in their work, it allows for authenticity, without their work being diluted by the aforementioned.

I think literature right now is going through a golden age and Amazon is on it. They publish something like 3,000 books per day and KU is taking a huge chunk out of author’s profits. And while technology is king, and not content, it won’t stay this way forever. I think if authors sort of banded together, and I think they will eventually, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction. Meanwhile, I think those who love the craft, who absolutely must write, who have a passion for it, will stay and get better at what they do slowly but surely.

 

Author’s Triumph (poem)

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 Joshua Earle

 

 

 

I feel worn out
the words have run dry
disappearing into the air
the finish line behind me
on this mountain I built myself
that once rose out before me

On shaky burning legs
gasping for breath, stitch in my side
I lean over and take in
the ice cold air
somewhere above the clouds
with the sun on my face

The thunder rolls
somewhere beneath me
the rain I’d run through
mixed with my sweat
clinging to my heaving chests
but its silent here

Sixty thousand four hundred
steps I’ve taken
lost my place and slid
on broken pieces of other’s
shattered dreams
I cut my hands
when I skinned my knees
and packed my mouth
with snow

But now, here
atop my mountain
made by me
the sun shines bright
casting my shadow long
behind me
I bask sinking to
my knees
refusing to feel the sting

I’ll float down
it’s always the same
I’ll sink and slide
laughing
down is always easier
than going up
grace, my help, in
the rear-view mirror
and i’ll sleep

then one day
my fingers will itch
and my mind will grow
restless as wanderlust
sets in again
and like some forgotten diety
I’ll summon the rock
from the earth’s deep core
and thrust it twice as high
once again

but for now I’ll stay
in the sunlight above me
surrounded by friends, my husband
my God
casting long shadows back
on the mountain face
clutching the finish line ribbon
as it flutters, broken, in my hand