Cross-pollination begins in the home

I’m not a great self-promoter.

If you visit here regularly, you probably know this. If you’ve never been here before, see above.

I bet most people who stop here don’t even know I have another blog. Yeah, it’s mentioned in the sidebar, but sidebars are the last refuge of people who are not great self-promoters.

To take it to center stage for a minute, I have another blog: scottnagele.com. On that blog, I write about . . . well . . . writing. I know it sounds like a real hoot, but give it a chance. I mean, some people make good livings marketing online videos of themselves playing video games. It has to be better than that. Right?

Good bloggers with multiple blogs cross-pollinate their readership. I’ve never been disciplined about that, which goes a long way toward explaining my opening sentence. I’m giving it a try. Let’s see how it goes.

One of my favorite things to do over at that other place is to post flash fiction. (Read more flash fiction from scottnagele.com.) In the spirit of cross-pollination, I will blatantly plagiarize a short-short from my other blog below. I hope I don’t get sued. I’m definitely suing.

What’s in Your Wallet?

I asked the nurse to hand me my wallet. She fumbled it a little and a condom fell out. She kept a straight face, discretely picking it up and setting in on my blanket. Then she left the room, not wanting to burst out laughing in front of me.

Rocky, my roommate, grinned at me from his bed. He was 50 years older than me, with his scraggly beard and glassy eyes.

“Sorry about that,” I said.

Rocky chuckled. “I understand. I was a young buck once. You a college boy?”

“Yeah.”

“I never went to college, but I did have my fun.” He nodded at an inevitable transition. “Then I got married. Margie and me was married 40 years, and I liked that a whole hell of lot better than carrying one of them things in my wallet.” He gestured toward the condom I struggled to stuff back into its home.

“40 years? That’s awesome!” It seemed like the right thing to say.

“It was.” He sighed. “Except for the last few. She got Alzheimer’s. I carried her license in my wallet ‘cause she’d lose it otherwise. She’d lose anything you gave her.” He shook his head. “Then she’d snip at me about it. Finally I said, ‘Margie if this next 40 years don’t go no better, I’m calling it quits.’ That was the last joke I told her.” He frowned. “Not a very good joke.”

“I’m sorry.” I didn’t know what else to say.

“She passed almost two years ago.”

I didn’t want to say sorry again. “Do you still keep her license in your wallet?”

“No. I couldn’t look at it every time. It only reminded me of the past. But I guess she told the last joke. After all that time wedged in that little sleeve, it left a faint impression of her picture on the plastic, like a ghost staring up at me.”

“Did you get a new wallet?”

“Oh no. I don’t mind the ghost. It doesn’t give me bad memories; it says she’s still with me. And being how I already invested 40 years, I guess I’ll keep her.” He turned his wet eyes toward the window and spoke at the sky. “Yup, I guess I’ll keep her.”

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Our usual boyhood shenanigans are interrupted for this important announcement

It seems like it’s taken forever, but it’s finally here. I can now hold in my hand a copy of A Housefly in Autumn that doesn’t have the word PROOF stamped in bold letters across the last page. This is the real deal. The book is live.

Now all I have to do is sell it. There should be a richer reward for writing, editing, formatting, and generally coordinating the production of a novel than the big prize of having to persuade people to buy it. I mean, yeah, there’s the sense of accomplishment, but writers are dreamers. They have big, glorious dreams about their work. Rarely does the dream culminate with nobody buying the book. The reality may end that way, but not the dream.

So let’s not worry about reality for a minute; let’s focus on the dream. The dream is that all kinds of people, from all over, get behind the book and spread the word to other people I could never reach on my own.

If you are inclined to help with this dream, I am grateful for any assistance. Whether it be through social media, word of mouth, or smoke signals, I’ll take it. I need all the help I can get spreading the word.

My baby can read!

Big Man is first in line to get his copy.

Here is some information about the book.

Title: A Housefly in Autumn

Genre: Young Adult and up. I’ve tried to create something that both young adults and adults could enjoy while attempting to do some things that are different from the current trends in YA fiction. Time will tell if different is a good thing in this instance.

Synopsis: At 17, Anders Christiansen was a young man overflowing with potential. All his teachers believed he was destined to blossom into a leading man of letters, enjoying a life of rich rewards.

That was before the accident.

Now, Anders’s great talent lies fallow. He can’t produce the complex ideas he once did. His thoughts are slow and his words simple. The world holds little promise for him anymore.

Struggling to build a meaningful life out of the wreckage of his dreams, Anders learns the value of simple treasures. Loyalty, devotion, and even sacrifice hold rewards of their own to renew hope after tragedy. Love can cause hurt, but he who gives love when he hurts the most will reap a joy outweighing the pain.

Anders gives meaning to his life in the way he spends it. He will face grave danger to spare those he loves, and though his gifts be diminished, he will share them freely with even the humblest of children. Though never sought, Anders’s reward is immense and enduring, showing the millions of reasons to go on sharing even the simplest of gifts.

Purchase Links:

Paperback

Amazon (U.S.A.)

http://www.amazon.com/Housefly-Autumn-Scott-Nagele/dp/1502492954/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434470691&sr=1-1&keywords=scott+nagele

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-housefly-in-autumn-scott-nagele/1122120147?ean=9781502492951

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Housefly-Autumn-Scott-Nagele-ebook/dp/B00ZPQ05AO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1435071078

I haven’t told you how good the book is because you should never trust the author to tell you about the quality of his product. You can trust that I’ve poured years of hard work into this book. Whether that’s enough is for the reading public to decide. Thank you for helping me reach them.

An old dog’s new trick: asking for help

I’m not good at asking for help. I’m much more comfortable helping than being helped. I don’t know why; it’s probably some kind of pride thing. Or stubbornness. Who knows?

This self-publishing biz has taught me there are some things you can’t do alone. Writing is a fine thing to do alone, but writing sometimes leads to publishing, and publishing beats the hell out of introverts.

You don’t have to ask for help if you can afford to pay for it, but I can’t do that either. Take that, foolish pride!

I’ve had to learn to ask. I’m still learning. It’s a long lesson.

So this is me, practicing asking for help.

If you’ve been following this or my other blog, you may know I’ve been preparing a new book for publication. It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally on the cusp of having the project pulled together. My wife is planning a small release party for me on June 25. (This happens to be the anniversary date of Custer’s Last Stand, but I was never into omens, and it was a pretty good day for Crazy Horse.)

Over the past couple years, I’ve asked and received valuable help from beta readers, editors, and a talented artist named Jessica O’Brien who provided the amazing cover art.

Jessica's wonderful cover art.

Jessica’s wonderful cover art.

Now, I need more help, lots more. Perhaps even your help, if you are willing.

Besides visitors to my blogs, and a sprinkling of people on Facebook, few others know about this book. Once the book is released, this has to change. I need people to help spread the word. So, to any who are willing, I humbly ask that you use whatever social media you are comfortable with to help. Whether it be a link on a blog, a Facebook post, a Tweet, whatever you’d like to do will help.

I will announce the official release. (You bet I will!) I will then welcome your assistance. You don’t even have to tell me how you’re helping spread the word, although it would allow me to thank you if you did.

Helping does not mean you have to buy or read the book. I’m just looking to let people know the book exists so they can make their own decisions about their interest in it. If you want to read the book and share your impressions of it, that would be fantastic, but just pointing a few people toward the book to see for themselves is also very helpful. Whatever you are willing and able to do is appreciated. And if you’d rather just wish me luck, I’ll take that too.

Some info about the book.

Title: A Housefly in Autumn

Genre: Is Young Adultish a genre? I’ve tried to write a story that would appeal to Young Adults as well as General Fiction readers. In doing so, I have incurred the risk of missing both audiences, but what is life without risk? (Just ask Custer.)

Blurb: A Housefly in Autumn is intended for Young Adults and up. A historical novel, set in 19th century Europe, it follows the life of a young man whose dreams have crumbled down around him. In an act of heroism, he sacrifices his own promising future to save the life of another. Now he must decide whether to cling to the unlikely hope of regaining his old life, or aim his efforts toward making the most of the life fate has dealt him. Though it is difficult to let go of the rewards that life once promised, perhaps the greatest rewards are the ones earned by building new hope from the bits and pieces of wrecked dreams.


More description can be found here. I will post purchase links when they are available.

A big Thank You in advance to all willing to help.

 

 

Truth is stranger than fiction, and has better acting

For reasons unassociated with my personal viewing preferences, we have been watching movies on the Syfy channel of late. This is the outlet where up-and-coming actors and screen writers practice as they wait for a big break that will earn them recurring roles on Lifetime, thus winning them fame and respect for their craft.

The two big blockbusters we watched recently were Sharknado and Snowmageddon. Sharknado was a tornado made up, or at least consisting largely, of sharks. Rather than sucking things up, as might be expected of your garden variety tornado, Sharknado spit things out, namely sharks. It is possible that it may have originally sucked them up from the ocean, or SeaWorld, but I missed the beginning and I don’t want to make assumptions, as I am not a trained Meteorsharkologist.

Storm's comin'!

Too much said?

In spite of the shocking nature of the material, the acting was outstanding. The sharks nailed all of their lines. I think many of them did their own stunts. If not, the stunt doubles were made up perfectly; I couldn’t tell the difference between the stunt sharks and the lead actors.

Snowmageddon was about a winter storm that, beyond hurling wind and snow at innocent folks, also shot at them. I’m not talking about real bullets; that would be ridiculous. This snow storm shot flaming chunks of ice that exploded into fireballs on contact, just as you would expect to see any bad winter storm do.

It's not winter without fireballs

I knew I should have bought a snow blower this year.

At first, I thought this was Mother Nature’s revenge for our cavalier use of fossil fuels, but then Snowmageddon appeared to take special pleasure from attacking a bus. Well, Mama N., if you insist on destroying our means of mass transit, I guess there’s nothing we can do to please you. We might better learn to take our flaming ice beatings like men, or add extra horse power to our vehicles so we can run away faster.

Incidentally, all of this wacky weather was caused by an enchanted snow globe. Maybe it’s time to stop worrying about carbon footprints and start questioning our need for dangerous souvenir collections.

Shortly before we switched the TV over to the Smurfs movie, my son asked me about Snowmageddon, “Daddy, is this fiction?”

“Yes.”

“Because it’s not real?”

“Yes.”

“Was the shark tornado movie fiction?”

“Yes.”

“Then what about aliens? Are they non-fiction?”

This wasn’t so easy. Though I’ve had conversations with space aliens online, I’ve never met one face to face. Still, the universe is a big place.

Before I could begin to formulate an appropriately wishy-washy reply, he answered for me. He pointed his finger directly at me and exclaimed, “Yes! Aliens are real!”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“Because there was a show about them on the History Channel.”

I’m not sure which channels to get my news from anymore.

Let’s just watch the Smurfs. They’re good, honest folk. Salt of the Earth. Real people.