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Monday, October 1, 2012

Being Liverpool continued!

All right!  It's time to continue my Liverpool video game career!  For full discloser here, I'm going to admit to putting the game difficulty on "Amateur".  I tried playing on the "Semi-pro" level and it just wasn't working for me.  I was having problems keeping a hold of the ball, passing, and could barely even get shots off at the goal, let alone score anything!  So I moved down to amateur.  And believe it or not, the game is still a challenge!  Maybe because I'm an American, maybe because I'm not used to the controls, I don't know.  But even on Amateur the computer still comes after you when you play!

So now I've pretty much got my squad all set up.  Or at least I think I do.  *chuckle*  That's one of the fun things about these new video games, just when you think you have all the great players you need, they start to get hurt and things go all to hell!

Before I get into what happened, let me say a few words about Liverpool's real life new manager.  I like the guy!  I like him a lot!  But from what I've been told, a lot of Liverpool fans don't care for him as manager because he wants to focus on bringing up and developing young talent.  (Kind of like what I'm trying to do in the game?  *chuckle*)  The fans want wins and good players now, not developed players later.  Oh well.  On to my season.

So I started out playing a team called West Brom.  It should be easy, right?  I'm playing on amateur level.  Oh no, West Brom comes right after me!  I ended up winning the match, but the score was 2 - 1!  That's all I could pull off, 2 goals.  Wow...I'd better work on my game, or maybe change something.  The way West Brom scored their goal was pretty disturbing, too!  One of my back fielders (Is that correct?) sprained his knee!  His name is Daniel Agger.  So Agger sprains his knee, the announcers start talking about it and the man he's guarding runs away free towards my goal.  The ball gets passed to him and I'm thinking "Oh no!"  I'm sure the goal keeper had some profanity going through his mind as well as this guy scores on him!  DAMN!  And on amateur, too!  But at least I won the match. On the down side, Agger is now injured.  So I end up replacing him with Mbaye in the starting line up.

Before my next match, I was watching the tv show Being Liverpool again.  And I see them talking about how this really good player has just arrived named Oussama Assaidi.  I have him!  I've been using him to warm my bench, though.  I decide I should maybe put him in, and he's been doing pretty damn good!  I play him at LF and we beat Arsenal 3 - 0!  Very good!  My 17 year old named Sterling is scoring a few goals now, too!  I'm doing well.  I also notice something:

When I play at Anfield, my home stadium, my players play better.  On the road things are tougher.  Very interesting!

Anyway, I move on and see I have a tournament match for the "Champions Cup" coming up next.  This should be interesting.  I'll be playing a French team called LOSC Lille.  This should be easy, right?

No problem!  It's raining, but that won't matter...will it?  I start the game and score my first goal.  And then these guys CAME AFTER ME!  It was all I could do to keep them away from my goal!  Even on amateur level, these guys played HARD!  I score a second goal, and so do they!  DAMN IT!  I don't want to lose in the first game of this tournament!  Luckily, near the end of the game Sterling puts one home and now it's 3-2.  I actually manage one final goal just at the end of regular time and make it 4-2, but this match was ROUGH!  Now I'm wondering how tough some of the later brackets in this tournament might be!  Damn!

Only one other notable thing to report.  This game allows you to maybe be picked to also manage one of the international teams.  I received and email saying two teams might make me an offer to manage them soon, Romania and...wait for it...the UNITED STATES!  The US probably isn't going to have the strongest players, but then being a first year manager I'm not going to get offers from any of the larger teams.  Romania actually sounds fun, though.  But if offered, I will go for managing the US team.

Ok, back to being a boring writer and video game player for a bit.  Bye bye til next time!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Being Liverpool

Let's start off with saying I'm American.  That being said, I grew up not really knowing much about soccer.  I grew up in the 70's and 80's and soccer just wasn't prevalent in my life.  It wasn't on tv, I never saw any scores, and was never really taught anything at all about it.  And that's too bad because right now I'm really finding a love for the game!  

The newest soccer (football?) game came out today called Fifa 13.  I've played the demo version and love the game!  And since it has a manager mode, I want to start out managing my own team.  But who should I pick?  Well, I found a show on tv that really sparked an interest in me.

The show is called Being Liverpool and is a sort of look at the Liverpool football club in England.  I guess they've been around for something like 120 years and have a long history.  After watching the first episode of the show, I decided I wanted to Be Liverpool!  And so starts my quest as an English football club manager!

Needless to say, European football is a lot more complicated than American sports are when you take into consideration selling and buying players, salary negotiations, loans, and things like that!  But I learned all I could before I started the game.  We'll see how I do.  I figured I would keep track of how things are going here in my blog!  Hooray for Liverpool and Robert as their new "Gaffer!"

The game let me download the current roster to start with so I already have all the changes and things that the current skipper has done.  I don't like that, though!  It isn't his team anymore, it's mine!  So of course I have to try and muck things up!  *chuckle*  Ok, let's look at sending a few guys off on loan, putting some guys up on the transfer block, and picking up some new talent!

As a side note, I don't know who most of the 15,000 plus players in the game are.  *chuckle*  So I'm mostly going on stats, things I read on the internet, and trades I watched on Youtube.

To start with, I put a guy named Joe Cole on the transfer block.  I'm sure in real life experience counts, but in the video game this guy is 30 years old, sitting on the bench, and eating up a lot of my money.  I can't have that!  Some of the old guys have to go!  So out he went.  I sent a kid named Jack Robinson out for loan for the season.  So he can play for another club and build up his skills before coming back stronger and better.  I had wanted to try and sign a guy named Antonio Valencia, but he plays for Manchester United who are a big, rich club and after an inquiry they told me they weren't interested in letting me have him.  I probably could have persuaded them to send him my way for a huge pile of money, but...I don't have a huge pile of money to spend at the moment.  So I forgot about him.  I am still trying to negotiate for a kid named Fellaini.  We'll see how that turns out.

* * * *

Things aren't going well trying to get Fellaini.  I offered whoever the hell he plays for 9,500,000 pounds for him, but they want 12,500,000.  Geez, WAY too many zeros!  I upped the offer to 11,500,000 pounds.  We'll see what happens.  This guy is draining a ton of my money, though.

* * * *

Ok, after simulating a few days, someone decided they want to pick up Joe Cole.  It's a team called Galatasaray SK.  No, I don't know who they are either.  But they officered me 3,700,000 Pounds for him.  (Sorry, I don't know where the pound symbol is on my keyboard.)  I could probably send them a counter offer and ask for 4,000,000, but I'm trying to get rid of him anyway and can use the money.  I send him on his way!  BYE JOE!

* * * *

Ok, the cheap asses have rejected my offer of 11,500,000 pounds for Fellaini!  Do I really need this afro guy on my team?  I'll try one more offer of 12,500,000 pounds.  That's the number they're telling me they want.  If they don't take that, screw him!

* * * *

Ok, forgetting Fellaini for the moment, here's an interesting happening:  Chelsea wants to buy my CF Luis Suarez.  Suarez is rated as a pretty good player and one of my starting team!  I'm not going to sell him to them!  Geez, they think they can just throw money at me and I'll give them one of my best players?  Screw that!  Offer rejected!  (They offered me 22,500,000 pounds for him, by the way.)

Maybe I should try to borrow a kid for a season and see how he does?  I found a kid named Deulofeu and decided to try and borrow him for a season.  18 years old and probably still wet behind the ears, but we'll see what we can do with him.  Another kid who's only 17 I figured I'd try and buy.  His name is...are you ready?  Ibrahima Mbaye.  We'll see how things go.  I haven't even played my first friendly match yet!

* * * *

Now the damned Italians want to buy my goalkeeper!  Hell no!  Go away Italians!  I reject the offer and they come back and offer me more money!  I don't want more money, I want a good goalkeeper!

I ended up getting both the kids I was shooting for.  Deulofeu is loaned to me for this season and Mbaye was sold to me, and will hopefully develop into a great player.

* * * *

FINALLY, I did get Fellaini!  And then it looks like people in the press were unhappy that I'd spent that much money to transfer him to Liverpool.  Well screw them!  *chuckle*  

Ok, time for the first friendly, and you know what?  I think I'm going to start the game with a bunch of the young kids just to see what happens!  Here we go!

* * * *

For my first friendly match I played Atletico Madrid.  Some team from Spain, I guess?  *chuckle*  I played on "semi-pro" level and still barely beat the computer!  The score ended up 2 to 1 Liverpool!  My winning goal came with only a short time left on the clock, too!  Very nice!  Ok, well I'll update the blog after I've played a bit more.

Oh and by the way...the first goal of the season for me was scored by Fellaini who the press said I had spent too much money on!  *chuckle*

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gay Chickens

Normally, I won't post anything political.  Not that I'm afraid of offending anyone, it's just not worth it to me to get into an argument with friends over some stupid, political stuff.  But this time, things are getting too funny not to write about.

Now I don't care if you're gay or straight.  What the hell is it to me?  I'm straight and if some gay guy were to hit on me, all I have to do is say "I'm sorry, I'm straight.  I'll have to say no."  If some girl hits on me and she's not to my taste I can turn her down, too.  Now 99% of the time neither one of these people is going to suddenly "Hulk out" and make me have sex with them!  

"Oh you don't like me, huh?  We'll we're having sex ANYWAY!"

Other than prison, this just doesn't happen!  So why are some people so opposed to gay marriage?  If you aren't gay and aren't trying to marry a gay person, what do you care?  Some people seem to think that if you allow gay marriage, it might turn them gay, too!  We can't have that, can we?  

So now we come to Chick-fil-a.  Suddenly if you don't like gay people, you order food there and then post a picture of yourself on Facebook or somewhere.  So people are waiting in line for hours to buy some processed chicken stuff that I probably wouldn't feed to a stray dog, just to show that they don't like gay people.  And the gay people want to fight back, too!  One lady is trying to set up a "Kiss-in" outside of a Chick-fil-a.,0,3873417.story

So who wins in all of this?  Chick-fil-a is making tons of money so some people can prove they don't like gay people.  The gay people are all getting needlessly upset about it.  And finally, Colonel Sanders may be gay! ... ... ... Uh, how did I get to this conclusion?  Well, see for yourself!

People don't like other people because they're gay, or black, or Mexican, or Jews, or whatever.  People just hate each other.  And using hate to market your product apparently works.  Things don't look good for our society, do they?  *sigh*  I think I'll go get some beef somewhere and pass on chicken for now.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm Important!

Ok, what the hell is with people?  I've recently run across a few people with an inflated sense of importance.  They seem to think that for some reason, they are more important than anyone else.  

"You'd better give me what I want, or I'll have you removed!"

Removed?  Removed from what?  What the hell is this?

"I'll leave right now and then talk to the manager tomorrow!"

I've never understood the people who think they're so important.  At first I thought it was just people who had "Manager" in their job title, but I was wrong.  There are so many other people who inflate their importance!

How about being a guest somewhere.  Does that make you super important?  In a way it does.  And yes, I do think guests should be treated nicely and with a special touch.  However some people think that if they're a guest that means they can treat a host like shit.  Where do people get this kind of attitude from?

"I woke up in a puddle of my own vomit and now my phone's gone!  You need to check the cameras RIGHT NOW and see where it went!"

What cameras?  What are you even talking about?  Why are there cameras watching you while you're puking on yourself?

"There are cameras everywhere in a casino!  Now check em!"

Ok yes, this is an example of some drunk in a casino.  And it's a fairly extreme situation.  (By the way, the cameras in casinos are there to watch the gaming, not to take video of drunk people so that we can tell them later where their cell phone went.)  But have you ever had a guest in your home who asks if they can use your bathroom and then leaves it a huge mess afterwards?  What the hell?  I just cleaned the bathroom!

How did I get talking about dirty bathrooms?  Where is someone less important than me who can clean this?  What the hell was I even writing about?  ... ... ... Oh yeah, people who think they're really important.

Forget security and guests and things like that.  Let's talk about writers.  Have you ever heard this one:

"My book is much better than The Lord of the Rings!  So it must be someone else's fault that it isn't selling!  Why don't I have a ton of reviews?  YOU PEOPLE NEED TO START DOING YOUR JOBS!"

"You people?"  What the hell is this?  And why would you compare what you wrote to The Lord of the Rings?  (Actually, I was going to put "50 Shades of Gray" but didn't want to sound too "cliche'")

I've written a number of books myself and I'm happy when one is bought.  I don't blame anyone else if some of my work doesn't sell in droves.  It's not some marketer's fault if my work isn't going out left and right.  They can't force people to review my books.  DUDE!  Enough with the self importance crap!

Ok, I'm going to end this chaotic rant because I have the One Ring and I'm more important than everyone else and so don't have to write anymore!  "I'M A MANAGER!"  Oh wait, I'm not a manager.  At least I don't think I am.  (A manager with the One Ring?  How...random.)

Stop thinking you're so important and spend a few minutes making someone else feel like they're important.  You might be surprised at the results.  They might end up thinking you're actually important, too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What you can do

The world is a strange place.  And now New Yorkers have to go thirsty!  Want to know why?  It's because King Bloomberg has decided that no one can drink more than 16 ounces of soda.  Or is he a mayor?  I get confused.  Obviously he gets confused, too.  Anyway, Mayor King Bloomberg decided that it's bad for you to have more than 16 ounces of soda at one time so he's going to make it illegal to sell more than that.  It must be good to be the king.

On the flip side, it's still legal to go out and buy a carton of cigarettes and smoke them all at once.  That can't be bad for you because Bloomberg still allows you to buy and smoke what you want, right?  And Vodka must still be good for you.  Hell, you can go out and buy a half a gallon of that stuff and chug it down all at once.  Bloomberg doesn't seem to care about vodka or cigarettes.  But try and sip that 17th ounce of soda and he'll be right on your ass, fatty!

How did you New Yorkers vote this guy in?  Next, he'll be telling you how much candy you can eat and then he'll probably put Willy Wonka in prison for dealing candy!  The prison bread tastes like prison bread!  The prison water tastes like prison water!  The snozberries taste like...well, you can't taste the snozberries because King Bloomberg will probably think they're bad for you and then outlaw them.  Poor Willie Wonka!

How about we have a vote on a few other laws?  Maybe New Yorkers should be allowed to vote on a law that says King Bloomberg is only allowed to ride in a car half a mile a day.  Too many emissions, his riding in a car isn't good for me!  So he can ride for half a mile and then he has to get out and walk wherever he's going.  It's not healthy to ride around in a limo and choke me with the smog that comes out of the tailpipe!

So here's the new enemy of New Yorkers according to King Bloomberg.  A fat guy with a Super Big Gulp.  I guess there's no crime in New York, and no unemployment.  The big concern is soda now.  Just like the fun people in Washington D.C. if you want someone who does this kind of shit elected as king of your city, more power to you.  The people in Washington elected a crackhead, why shouldn't New York have a king?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

All men want is Sex

All they want is sex!

I heard a girl complaining the other day that all men want is sex.  This was after she had come out of a dance club and had been unsuccessful in picking up a man.  She was dressed in this really small dress with her boobs hanging out.  And she thinks all men want is sex, huh?  People are just unreal.

All penguins want is snow.  All cats want is to sleep.  All cannibals want is to eat people.  (Wow, where did that one come from?)  Are those statements true?  I want more than sex.  I'm a man.  So I'm sure cannibals want more than to eat people!  I mean there has to be more than just luring the nice National Geographic photographer behind the Chief's hut to smack him in the head with a rock and then make a stew out of him.  (or her)

So why would some women get the feeling that all men want is sex?  That is what a lot of men are looking for, but you have to take into account where you're finding these men.  At a dance club most men are there trying to pick women up for sex, yes.  How about a grocery store?  Do all the men in there want sex?

Woman: Hey Big Boy, what brings you here?  Would you like to buy me a drink?"

Man:  Uh...I just want some carrots.  Why are you hitting on me in the vegetable section?

That poor guy just wants carrots!  He's not in the grocery store looking for sex.  He wants vegetables!  Maybe if you looked in different places, men are there for more than sex?  We might actually have other interests!  Or maybe not.  Las Vegas is a pretty self centered city.  A lot of people here just want to use other people.  

Ok, I haven't answered my question about what men want.  But at least I put up a blog.  I'll leave you with a good piece of advice, though:

If you're visiting some strange tribe way out in the middle of nowhere, don't go back behind the Chief's hut no matter what someone tells you is back there.  Not even if you think you might find some sex.  You'll just end up in a stew.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A few old things from my past...still very amusing, though!

Who Do I Think I am?

I was yelled at the other day. I was invited into an office and then the guy began yelling things like, "Who do you think you are?" I looked down at my nametag, but that didn't help as it said Write name here. So who do I think I am? I think I'm writing a book, but since I'm not finished am I still an author? He yelled at me, "Do you think you're paid to make decisions?" I wanted to answer that, but couldn't decide.

A while ago I actually walked to the Human Resources office and asked for a job description for what I do. I was told it was still "being written." Next time I'll check with Martian Resources, maybe they'll know what I'm paid to do. The Humans certainly don't seem to have a clue. So since I don't have a job description, who do I think I am? Am I paid to make decisions? Obviously the people who pay me can't decide either!

So what am I actually paid to do? See the supervisor and be told what to do? But how can he tell me what to do if there isn't a job description? A lot of memos get put out where I work, but nobody ever seems to sign or take credit for them. "I want flags put up everywhere!" one memo will say. And when someone else doesn't want flags put up, the person who wrote the memo says, "I didn't write that, I don't know where it came from!"

Who do these people think they are? I can't understand these people who won't make a statement and stand behind it. "I didn't say that!" they'll scream at me as I look at the memo with their name on it that says whatever they claim they didn't say.

Back once again to who I think I am. Can I make decisions? I believe the answer to that is yes. I can make decisions, and I will stand behind that. Can the guy who yelled at me make decisions? He can't decide. He certainly has a talent for making enemies, though. I've made the decision that I don't like him. I should put that in a memo. Imagine getting a memo from me that says, "I don't like you." How horrifying, huh?

I'd like to think I'm one of those people you should be careful of on your way up in the world because you may be meeting me on the way down, too. And I remember how everyone treats me. So who do I think I am? I'm WRITE NAME HERE! So there. 

Who is this guy?

Ever run into someone who remembers you from long ago and you don't remember who they are? So many people come and go in my life and to be honest, a lot of them are unimportant to me. If I stocked shelves with you six or seven years ago, I don't know who you are! Did we mix cake batter at a party in San Vito, Italy twenty years ago? Who the hell are these people?

Memory can be a really funny thing. I can remember going to a bright, Italian beach with two young, lovely women twenty years ago! I can remember their names! I can remember how sunny it was, how much fun we had, laying out our beach towels! But I can't remember the name of the guy who shook my hand the other day. I think I worked with him about six years ago. How come he remembers me? Do I make that big of an impression on people? MY GOODNESS, maybe I'd better behave a bit better now!

Obviously this guy didn't, because he shook my hand and seemed happy to see me! Maybe he watched me mock someone else? I wonder to myself if those two lovely women who went with me to the beach remember that day, or even remember me?  "Hey Baby! Nice bathing suit! When does the Elf Queen need it back?"  Do these people remember me calling them stupid? Do they remember me mocking them, or imitating their walk?

Well, I'm quite certain I didn't say anything like that. Shockingly, both young girls obviously found me amusing or they probably wouldn't have been at the beach with me. So if I had said that, they might have even laughed! Ha ha! What an impression! Elf Queen. I'm just Mr. Original, aren't I? Is this making an impression? Maybe I'd better behave in what I write? Nah, if I behaved in what I write these blogs probably wouldn't be as interesting and you people wouldn't be reading this.

Who do I remember from my past? I remember the women. But how many men forget lovely women from their past? Actually, we probably forget quite a few when we meet new, lovely women. Do I remember any guys from my past? One or two. I'm supposed to look towards the future, aren't I? Am I going to be signing books in a bookstore someday when some excited person comes in screaming, "Don't you remember me? We mixed cake batter together in San Vito twenty years ago!"

"Uh...were you the one wearing the outfit the Elf Queen needed back?"
I worked with quite a few women in the Air Force and to be completely honest, I can only remember the names
of two or three of them. And two of the three are the two girls on the Italian beach! I wonder what kind of impression I left on them? Will I be running up to them in a bookstore some day screaming, "Don't you remember me? I'm the guy that made the Elf Queen suit remark on the Italian beach!" Probably not because I told you, I DIDN'T ACTUALLY EVER SAY THAT TO ANYONE! At least not that I recall.

To the few people from my past who I do remember, if you see me again it'll be lovely to see you and shake your hand! And to those whom I don't'll still be lovely to see you again and shake your hand! I'll just pretend I do remember you. And please.....get the Elf Queen her suit back!
You’d think this wouldn’t work, but it did. Did I actually do this to a guy? 

Both of these are pulled from the book "Vegas Ramblings".  The book is in black and white though, no color.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What do you want me to do?

I have idiots ask me that question.  "What do you want me to do?"  Actually, I want them to go away.  I wonder how these people get through everyday life.  Do they really have to be told what to do?  I mean, do they go into a bank, wait their turn and when they get up to the teller ask them "What am I here for?  What do you want me to do?"

I'm simply stunned by this kind of behavior!  And before you people wonder, yes I'm speaking about when I'm at work!  And if people I work with read this, they'll probably know exactly who most of the people I'm talking about are!  Although I really doubt the people who I'm talking about will read this.  They might find a computer somewhere, but would probably just sit in front of it and ask it "What do you want me to do?"

Have I confused you yet?  This is how a typical situation at work goes:

Someone calls security dispatch and says that there is someone throwing food in the cafe.  I assure the caller that I will send an officer right over to take care of things.  Now I have to use the radio to call someone.

Me:  Control to Charlie Three.  (I get no answer, and so have to try again and again.)  Control to Charlie Three.  Control to Charlie Three, yoo-hoo Charlie Three, are you out there?

C3:  CHARLIE THREE, GOOOOOOO!  (This guy is way too shook up and needs to calm down.)

Me:  Charlie Three go over to the cafe, there is a report of someone throwing food.

C3:  Charlie Three, GOOOOOO!

Me:  Go to the cafe and check on someone throwing food.

C3:  Someone's throwing food?  What's the location?

Me:  The cafe. 

C3:  Ten four, the cafe!  And what's going on there?

Now one of the other fun people decides to chime in:

H1:  This is Henry One, do you want me to head over there?

C3:  This is Charlie Three, what's going on at the cafe?

Me:  Henry One, go ahead and head over and back up Charlie Three.  Person throwing food.


H1:  Copy, back up Charlie Three.  What's his location?

By now I'm rubbing my forehead and wondering why I didn't go to college.  I really wonder if there are people this dumb in every career field.  Now another phone call comes in from the cafe.  It's Charlie Three calling:

C3:  This is Charlie Three, I'm at the cafe.  What's going on here?

Me:  How would I know what's going on there?  I'm out here in dispatch.  

More radio traffic from the brilliant Henry One:

H1:  Ok, I found Charlie...AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!  THEY'RE THROWING FOOD AT ME!  WE NEED MORE OFFICERS OVER HERE!  (When he starts screaming, his voice goes up a couple of octaves!  At first I think it's a woman screaming over the radio and am trying to figure out which female officer is calling for help.  Then I realize it's just Henry One.)

Still on the phone with Charlie Three:

C3:  They're throwing food at him!  What do you want me to do?

Me:  Who is throwing food at who?

C3: At him!  They're throwing the food at him!

Me:  Ok, how about you go over and tell whoever it is to stop throwing the food?

C3:  What do you want me to do?

This wasn't Animal House.  Some people had two kids who were a bit worked up and were throwing a bit of food.  They saw Henry One and lobbed a biscuit at him.  All these two idiots had to do was to walk over to the parents and ask them to get a bit more control over their kids.  "What do you want me to do?"  For crying out loud!

If you work with me, don't go off asking other people about the food fight!  This is all made up!  So don't start thinking you know what's fiction on my blog, and what's true stuff.  You'll never figure it out.  I have a hard time figuring out what's true myself because the true stories are sometimes so much dumber than the stories I make up!  I honestly can't believe the reality I live in now!

But then, "What do you want me to do?"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Publishing then and now

So, you want to write a book and get it published?  The world of publishing has come into revolution!  It's so different today than it was even 5 years ago!  Want to know what it used to be like?  Well listen up, people!

Traditional Publishing

Digital publishing was just starting to get going 5 years ago, so let's go back 10 years.  Just ten years ago if you wanted to get a book published, things were pretty complicated.  Here's how everything worked...or didn't work, if you ask me.  After writing your novel, you would need to write a query letter for it.  This basically told the entire plot in a page or two.  You would try to make your book sound as exciting and interesting as you could, and then you could submit it to a publisher.  BUT, most publishers wouldn't accept submissions from just anyone.  They would only take submissions from "agents".

Agents?  What the hell?  Why...?  Well, never mind the why for now, let's hire an agent to sell our book!  Now you have to interest an agent in your book before they will "take you on".  You can't just hire someone, you first have to send your query letter to them and then if they think the book looks interesting and might sell, they'll take you on for a percentage of your book sales...IF they can get a publisher to buy the rights to your book.  This can take months of trying, and come with lots of rejection letters.  I've tried this, and didn't really even get letters back.  I got back form letters that weren't even signed by a person.  So I then had to wonder if anyone had even READ my query letter!

Ok, let's pretend that we did finally get accepted by an agent.  We'll call him Fred.  Fred now goes out and tries to get all the publishers who work with him to buy the book.  "It's fantastic!" He tells them, as he's also trying to sell all the other authors and books he represents.  So now not only has it taken you however long to write your book (some authors take years for just one novel!), it's taken us a couple of months to get accepted by Fred the agent.  And then it takes Fred a few more months to sell your book to a publisher.  Damn, I wanted my book out as soon as possible!  Finally though, Fred negotiates a deal with a publisher and lets you know that your work will finally be published!  You're so happy now, the world will get to read your story!  Fred is a really good agent and has negotiated you a 10% royalty!

Wait...10%  Just 10%?  That's 10% of any money your book makes in sales.  Yup, that would be considered a great deal with a traditional publisher!  Some authors have gotten publisher deals for as small a 2% to 4% for royalties.  Even though that's a really small number, you'll be getting your book and name out there, right?  We'll see.  Oh, and while we're talking money, your agent will receive an average of 10% to 15% of your royalties.  Fred wants to get paid too!  He's working for you, and so he has to get something, right?  But is it really fair for him to get 15% when you're only getting a 10% royalty?  Fred doesn't want to gouge you though, and agrees to only take 10% of your 10%.  What a great guy Fred is!

Now Fred sends you the book contract from the publisher.  This is the 50 page document agreement between you and the publisher (and Fred, so he can get his 10% of your 10%).  At lot of the stuff is kind of hard to understand, but Fred has seen a lot of these and can answer most of your questions about what's in the contract.  MOST of your questions.  It's usually recommended that you take the contract to an attorney on your own and have him read it to see if it's fair.  And even if it's not quite fair, you're going to want to sign the contract anyway because you really want your book to be published, right?  

With traditional publishers, signing your contract usually comes along with an "advance".  The publisher will estimate how many copies of the book will be sold and then advance the author a third of what their royalty payment would be.  An average print I'm saying average book will sell a run of 5,000 books during it's lifetime.  I'll get to the lifetime of a book in a minute.  So if the publisher thinks your book will sell around 5,000 copies, and they decide it will be priced at $14.95, you would get a royalty of around $7,475.  Your advance for that would be about $2,490.  And let's not forget Fred!  Fred takes his 10% of your royalty advance, too!  So he gets $249 of that.  And this is just an advance on the amount of your books they hope to sell!  If they don't actually sell enough to cover your advance, they're going to want some of the money back!  Check your contract, Fred should have explained this.

Now the publisher moves on to the editing stage.  After waiting for months and months, an editor gets back to you and tells you that they don't like chapter 8.  They want it removed, and they want chapter nine rewritten so that cousin Elmo doesn't die when the electric blender explodes.  But cousin Elmo dying is a major plot point, you think to yourself!  In chapter 10 all the other characters go to his funeral!  Oh...and the editor also wants you to either rewrite, or lose chapter 10, Elmo's funeral.  They want to completely change your book!  (This doesn't always happen, but for this example, I'm showing something that major publishers sometimes do.)  You tell the editor that you don't feel comfortable with removing chapters, or rewriting the plot.  He tells you that you either cooperate, or take your book someplace else.  Read your contract, Fred should have explained that they have complete control of the editing and are entitled to make any changes they want.

It's not really fair, but you change the book around and get things written the way the publisher's editor wants.  He take months and months to review things.  Sometimes they can take up to a year just to edit a book.  (This is for fiction books.  Non-fiction books can go a bit quicker.)  Now someone sends you the picture of what your book's cover will look like.  You aren't really thrilled, but actually have no say at all in the matter.  If you complain, or ask for changes, it's possible they'll consider you "difficult" and cancel the contract.  Damn.  Once again, not really fair!  But you accept cover, and a "proof" of the book is printed for the editor to look over.  They might even send you a copy of the proof for your book.  After the proof is approved, they begin printing the books.  Now remember, in the earlier paragraph we decided the publisher thought your book would sell around 5,000 copies?  That's all they have printed up.  These all get shipped to a warehouse somewhere and then from there they will go to bookstores for people to buy.  

Now comes another hard part.  Bookstores are only so big.  They get new books in every week, if not every day!  They all go up on the shelves, but being a new author, your book probably isn't going to be setting on some big display somewhere.  Those spots are for Stephen King books, or Harry Potter books, or something that is sure to sell major copies.  So your book is put up on a shelf and waits to be sold.  Most books, if they don't sell within 3 months, will be sent back to the publisher.  Back to the warehouse.  And after so long, if your book isn't selling, it'll be discontinued.  Now it's done.  You've made what you've made from it, and that's the end.  Since publishing is a business, most major publishers now only want to put out books by celebrities, or known authors.  They only want books that are sure to sell.  They won't take any chances.  This also hurts readers.  You can't find the next new, great author because all there are in the book stores are books by Snookie and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Digital Publishing

Now let's take a look at the new revolution in books, digital publishing!  I am so thrilled by this, it's almost hard to put into words!  Digital publishers put out books for electronic devices like the Kindle, or Nook, or iPhone and iPad.  People love these, and so do I!  So how do you get your book published by a digital publisher?  You can always self publish your book, but that's a whole different story.  For digital publishing, you don't need an agent.  So long Fred!  You were a big help (sort of) with the major publisher, but now we don't need you anymore!  Back to the beginning, you write your novel.  You're then going to email a short query letter to the digital publisher of your choice, and if your story isn't very long, you also attach the entire manuscript to the email.  The publisher will take a look at your work and then either email you back a rejection (I'm sorry, but your book just isn't what we're looking for at this time.),  or an acceptance and a contract.  I've had two books accepted by two different publishers and one took around 5 weeks to get back to me, the other one accepted my book within a week.

Wow, back to contracts again.  I didn't need a lawyer for the contracts I received from the digital publishers I work with.  They were written in plain English for the most part, and I completely understood exactly what was expected of me, and what the publisher would be expected to do.  And if I had any questions at all, all I had to do was ask.  Not ask Fred the agent, ask the publisher.  They were very friendly and helpful!  What a change from traditional publishing, huh?  No agent, no lawyer to look over the contract!  Wow!

A lot of time digital publishers won't give you an advance on your work.  I've known a couple authors who have gotten advances, but they've established themselves, and have plenty of other stories published.  It helps if you've got other work out there.  And as for royalties, digital publishers pay on an average of 40% to 60% royalties on your book.  60% is on the high side, but some will actually pay that.  Now we move on to the editing.  When I first heard from the editor assigned to my book, he told me that if I didn't like any changes, to let him know and not accept them.  He wanted to make sure my story didn't change, and wanted to make sure I was completely happy with everything.  He COW, SO I CAN STILL KILL OFF COUSIN ELMO IN CHAPTER 9?  The funeral scene is back in chapter 10?  I love these guys!  No mention of "Do it our way, or we'll drop your book!"  No demanding changes to my manuscript!  This is great!

Next you hear from the cover artist.  When you sign your contract with a digital publisher, some also have you fill out a sheet telling what you'd like your book's cover to look like.  The cover I've received so far didn't look like what I asked, and the artist apologized to me for that.  But she didn't just force the cover on me, she ASKED for my approval.  If I didn't like it, she would have done up something else for me.  COVER APPROVAL?  I'm...I'm just stunned by this!  I asked for one change on the cover, and she was happy to do it for me.  No one called me difficult.  No one threatened to drop the book.  

Now the book is scheduled to come out.  Since it's digital, the publisher doesn't have to worry about printing copies.  You don't have to worry about space on a shelf for your book, it gets put up on a website. And will even be put up on bookstore's websites for people to see!  Your book goes on for the Kindle, on Barnes & Noble for the Nook, and in the Apple iBooks store!  It's out there, and people can see and buy it!  And best of all, it doesn't just disappear in 3 months!  It may sell a few copies, but even if it isn't selling thousands of copies a month, it'll still be up for people to see and maybe buy later!  Your book doesn't have to be discontinued...EVER!

For the digital publishers, your contract runs for so many years.  The contracts I've gotten are for 2 years.  After 2 years if you want the rights for your work back, you get them back.  If you're still happy with the publisher, you can let them keep the rights for another 2 years, or whatever your contract says.  Digital publishers are fantastic for readers!  You can now find new authors everywhere!  Digital publishers will take a chance on you if your story is good!  You can find all kinds of new works and writers out there, and quite often writers will even put a digital short out there for free!  This helps promote the books they have for sale!  You can even usually download the first few chapters of a book as a sample to see if it really interests you.  

So, here's is my final determination:

Traditional Publishing = Do what I say, or else!

Digital Publishing = Let me help you get your work out there!

I love digital publishing.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where's my money?

I'm a blue collar kind of guy.  I work so I can eat.  Well, eat and entertain myself, and write, and on and on and on.  And when I go to work, there is a time clock there.  Before I start work, I clock in.  When my shift ends, I clock out.  There is also a "sign in book" that sits near the time clock.  Before each shift, I sign the book and write the hours I'll work for that night.  That way if the time clock somehow screws up, the book will still show my hours.

I'm apparently one of the few who bother to clock in and out where I work.  Now I have to sit at work and be lectured because some other employees don't bother with the time clock, or even the sign in book.  They show up, hang out, and then go home.  Then when it comes payday and they don't get any money, they start trying to say the casino and security managers are screwing them out of their money.

"I wasn't paid for last week!  This isn't fair!"

"Did you clock in and sign in for the week?"

"I don't remember!  But you have to pay me anyway!"

So now this idiot wants paid for hours that there is no proof at all that he worked.  "I said so" is not proof you worked!  This is supposed to be a job for adults!  And yet a good amount of the people I work with aren't even responsible enough to use a time clock!  It's not that hard!  And since there is a security briefing before the shift starts, and since most of the employees line up and clock in before the briefing, you really look even more stupid when you aren't clocking in!

To be fair, some of these guys who don't clock in show up to work late for most shifts.  So much so the director of security had to put out a memo that you're no longer allowed to show up late.  Too bad no one will bother to enforce that.

And so finance where I work have their hands full trying to pay people who don't clock in and won't use the sign in book.  It's way too much trouble to do that!  That's just way too hard!  Some days I really wonder how some of these people show up to work and stay upright.  Isn't it too much trouble to stand up, or sit up in a chair, too?  Geez!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New year, same big headed idiots.

Hi and welcome to my Vegas adventure!  It's a new year here, and nothing has really changed on my end.  It's an election year, so that means my mailbox will start to fill up with crap telling me I should vote for one child molester, or another.  Ok, so they don't all molest children.  Some of them steal money, or abuse women, or cheat on their wives, or...

Ok, time to forget that.  I don't usually talk about politics on my blog and there's no reason to start now.  Instead, let's start out with a picture of somewhere in Vegas:

How's that?  Nice?  Yes, it's really beautiful!  What you don't see is the car wreck behind the Paris hotel. One car slammed into another one going way over the speed limit, and then idiots jumped out of the car that caused the wreck and ran away.  Now when the police show up, they say they can't prove who was driving the car, and refuse to talk to the owner, and won't blame anyone even though there's blood everywhere and 3 people are dead.

There's a lesson there.  People always talk about committing the "perfect crime".  If you want to kill someone, bring them to Vegas, run them over, or slam into the car they're driving with another car, and then get out and run away.  No one will blame you for anything.  Free murder here, folks.  The people who get prosecuted are the ones who stay with the wreck.  But if you run away like a coward, you can drink and drive, drive recklessly, and do whatever you want!  Cool!  Unfortunately not so cool if you've been hit by one of these morons.  ALWAYS HAVE UNINSURED MOTORIST ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE IF YOU LIVE HERE!

But it's a new year now.  We should all be happy, right?  Right?  I have a camera that I've decided I need to carry around with me most of the time.  At least when I'm off work.  And I should be posting pictures of what goes on here every so often.  So feel free to come and listen to me bitch every now and again.  Ok, before I end this I'll show you a short video I made last night.  It's a teaser trailer for one of the stories I wrote that will be coming out in April.  Read it, it's a good story!