Saturday, April 30, 2016

WQ177 + Book Update

20,000 words plus on the new novel, 'How to 2'...I hope my publisher will take it!

In April, I've been hovering around the 100k Amazon Author Rank...anything from 40k to 150k, might not seem much, but it is to me! I'm in the Top the moment...give it a few days and I'll be back in the 300k...:-(

Dictatorship update...Our Illustrious Leader wants to move the Crown... again! Last time it moved to Parliament...I guess he wanted to try it on every day...this time he wants to move it to a museum for a TON of money, TAXPAYERS' MONEY...I guess he has enough money himself now to put a copy in the museum and keep the real Crown at home...the home he doesn't own, of course.
And that home? And all that land around it? And all that land his friends own? Well, they're building a tourist railway on it, for a TON of money, TAXPAYERS' MONEY. For who? No one goes there!
Oh, and if a journalist asks a question the Government doesn't like, they are banned from Parliament. Freedom of Speech...not happening!
All fun and games here...people say "If you don't like it, get the fuck out!" I believe they are stupid to want to live in a country which the Government is blatantly and transparently robbing them blind, and then tell me I'm the one who should go. This would be such a fantastic place to live if it wasn't for this Dictatorship. "Down with the Dictatorship!" that's what I say. And "Education for the cretins! They also have a right to think!"

So...WQ177! - image below, rhetoric, perspective, sudden stop

(Note: I am offended by those who think the Holocaust never happened. BUT I am also offended by those who make money from trying to portray it, knowing full well that it is 'in fashion' at this moment to write about it, write novels about it and produce movies about it. It happened. Let them rest in peace. Humans are bastards. They will do anything for POWER.)

"It's a matter of perspective, you see," said the Commandant.
"Yes?" said the Commissioner, visiting the camps in the area. They were standing facing a wall of frosted glass. Beyond this barrier could be seen bodies, moving around, mingling.
"Those who find themselves in power will do as has been done before, to hold and increase what they have already gained, oppressing those masses which allow them to do so, and so because of this, those in power understand themselves to be Gods among men and so will act in such a way that they themselves will eventually believe that they are Gods and that nothing will bring them down and..."
"...and that's why you have over two hundred naked people locked in the kitchen?" asked the Commissioner, halting the man's rhetoric.
"Yes. Being naked is of course another form of oppression, destroying their humanity..." The Commandant came to a sudden stop.
"What's the matter, Commandant?"
"I think I left the gas on." A pair of hands hit the frosted glass as people panicked in the kitchen. The hands on the pain slipped down and disappeared, leaving only faint images of lying bodies seen through the glass. "Oops, my bad."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Transgender Bathroom Law: What?

So I've been sitting on the sidelines, watching law upon law appear in the USA, banning transgenders from using the 'wrong' public bathroom, I guess from fear that they will molest those of the 'opposite' sex, specifically, those born 'men' going into a women's public toilet...mmm...
This week a certain  'non-transgender, hetrosexual former speaker of the U.S. Senate' was sentenced to prison for child molestation... that's where they're coming from. Those politicians creating these laws are all PERVERTS or have some kind of sexual molestation on their mind. Maybe it comes with all that power, seeing as sex IS power.

Now, back to the toilet (flush). I don't know about you, but I go into public toilets to go to the toilet, to relieve myself of waste from food consumption. The only people who go into toilets to MOLEST or RAPE are those who are SICK. So, those politicians who created these laws are SICK because they have it on their mind that people go into toilets to do that, especially people who are transgender who wear the 'wrong' clothes.

Now, let's move onto Transgender people...some would say they're confused...there are a LOT of confused people, and they're not confused, they know what they are. I would say "Hey, be what you want to be, just don't make such a big thing about it and shove it down my throat every two seconds, ya prima donna".

But then, who's making such a big issue out of this, huh? Who? The politicians or the transgenders?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekend Quickie 176

I'm back up in the top 100k Amazon writers right now because someone read 11 pages of "Rage of Atlantis" on KDNP (or whatever it's called).
Still working on "HTBACISES" 2 (can you see something going on with that title?)
I came 3rd equal (4th, really) in the 2016 Iron Winter be honest, there weren't many Iron Writers voting, but I only got 4 votes, whereas the winner got 7..Congrats, Alis Van Doorn!
BUT...there was no 2015-2016 Annual Final, and there were the 3 finalists from that 'season', including myself, in this Open competition, and I was the only one to hand in an entry for this I guess I am the 'unofficial' winner of the 2015-2016 Iron Writer season...which is something. Not recognised, of course. Nothing changes there...

And now it's Iron Writer Weekend Quickie Number 176!
Go and see the other stories on the Iron Writer site here...
Or just read my take on the elements here...:-)

WQ176 - image above, passion, self control, naysayers - 200 words only

"What the hell did you do? What is this?" asked Tithe.
"I've prepared the field, see?" Kethier gestured towards the tilled soil.
"Have you no self control? You've destroyed the fauna! The place looks so... so... empty..." said Apptha.
"Empty? No! I had a dream, a dream of such passion, such joy! I'm going to invent..."
"No," said Tithe. "No, you're not. You're going to put back all those plants right now." Tithe looked around for the trees that once stood on this scarred land.
"But that's it! More will grow! And we can eat these!"
"No, we won't. Don't be so stupid. Since when do we eat trees? Fruit from trees, yes, but not trees themselves...except those ones that leak, but they're very sticky," said Apptha.
"No, no, you don't understand! We will grow a special grass here and..."
"Grass! Grass? We're not cows, Kethier! Get a grip!" said Tithe.
"No, we collect the seeds from this grass, then crush them, add water, then make a mixture, put a pinch of salt and some type of bacteria in it to make it rise and..."
Apptha smacked Kethier on the head. "Enough of that. Mavis! Where's my roast rat?"

Saturday, April 16, 2016

WQ 175 + Evidence of Dictatorship part 2,458

Yep! Shops are open on Sundays again...but wait...what's that? Two MPs voted against! Oh my! The Prime Minister has fined them 100,000 Forints for voting their opinion! He wanted to be popular! (to reverse a hated law he created in the first place...these citizens have short memories, rather like goldfish). How dare they destroy the image by voting for what they thought was right (of, course, they voted wrong but as an MP, you can vote any which way you like). A little talk to would've been okay, but a fine? For voting the way you wanted to? Something rotten in Denmark...if it were Denmark...

And here's Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 175! A space feel...
And mine is here, too!

WQ175 - image above, anxiety, braking distance, a crutch

"So, you're just gonna sit there?"
"With your feet up and a beer from the cooler?"
"While our ship, our only way home, is crippled and unable to take off again because you 'got the braking distance wrong'?"
"And I'm standing here using a ladder as a crutch?"
"And you're not at all worried about how the hell we're getting home?"
"Nope. I've got me beer. Could be better, could've brought a TV to see the football."
"Wh...where did that cooler come from?"
"I got one of the ground crew to put it in the capsule before we took off. Why?"
"Was it approved by Mission Control?"
"Was what approved by Mission Control?"
"The cooler! Was the cooler approved by Mission Control?"
"I guess not."
"You do know that the added weight is probably the reason why we're in this mess, don't you?"
"Really? Didn't think about it. It's only beer."
"Only beer!?!"
"Don't stress yourself. it'll only bring on one of your anxiety attacks. Control told me, you know?"
"That you weren't really fit for this mission."
"What! Look at you! You're drinking..." Tex fainted.
"See? Mission Control? One to bring back, over."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Am I becoming known? Yeah, right, LOL

Had a look at my 'Amazon Author Rank' and in the last 6 months, I was in the top 100,000 Amazon writers for 17 days, as opposed to TWICE in the 6 months before that...9 in total since June 2013. Strange. I haven't actually written much in the last 6 months. Is that an indication of something? Maybe I should stop writing entirely...I could move up into the Top 50,000! LOL

It's been WELL over a year since I wrote a novel-sized story (50k words). It is time for...

"How to Build a Castle in Seven Easy Steps" 2...

...still working out a few plot holes but I think it's there...the storyline, that is. Here's the title. Is it long enough, do you think?

"How to Sink a Ship in Eight Long Excruciatingly Tedious, Stinkingly Evil Nights"

...yep :-)

Working through it as you read, 6000 words and this space...
And where's "Dani's Shorts 6"? DS5 finally got over 100 free downloads without being formatted according to' standards.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sunday Shops open? IT'S A TRICK!

Finally, well over a year later, shops are allowed to open on Sundays. Yip yip! Now we all have that one day to get the weekly shopping done and not cram the shopping somewhere into the other days and get all stressed up about it! Go to church? WTF?
(oh, by the way, I have a story in the Iron Writer Winter Open Final over here...go and see...

So...the Government did a U-turn! Is there light at the end of the Dictatorship? Nope... there's something else going on here...

Okay, so the Government closed the large shops on Sundays over a year ago. Why?
1. to allow those workers who did work on Sunday to rest and not be 'exploited'...super, but they wanted the money because they got 100% overtime. I don't care what they say, Inflation is HIGH.
2. The only shops allowed to be open on Sundays were under 200m2...there is a certain large chain of shops called CBA that are 200m2 maximum, in every village and town...and they are owned by...the Government!
3. to satify their coalition religious political 'partners'.

The Opposition Party wanted to help the citizens and tried to apply for a Referendum...blocked by an old woman who happened to be a the wife of a pro-Government town mayor. They tried this year and a gang of security guards from Fradi, a football team run by a pro-Government director, blocked them and allowed the same old woman to hand in her dumbass question before them. Then it was rejected and the Opposition Party waited outside the official office days before it opened to hand in their question. Referendum was on! The citizens were happy.

A few days later, maybe one, the Government made a bill to scrap the 'Sunday closing' bill (with some adjustments), and this was passed the next day. Shops are open again! Yeah! ...erm,,, read between the lines...and adjustments...

Why did they make a U-turn? The Government have said, OPENLY in recent interviews that they did it to stop the Opposition party from becoming 'popular'. Yep. Oh yeah, and those 'adjustments'?
You see, workers used to get 100% overtime rate on Sundays. This new bill cut it down to 50%.
So the Government can say...
"You see! You have to work another day in the week and you don't get paid well for it! The Opposition party did this to you! They are bad, very bad!"
When the citizens hate the Opposition Party for doing this (yeah, right, they're the ones who closed the shops in the first, the Government will pass another bill which will adjust the overtime rate back up to 100%. Then they will say...
"You see! We are good to you! We give you more money! We are your heroes, your champions! Our Reform is working!"
Up yer arse.
Inflation is RISING. The country is going to HELL.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

WQ174 + the FINALS!

Got through to the Iron Writer Winter Open 2016 finals...yes, another, and it was close thing, I tied with two other writers in my bracket...Final soon to come...
Here was my 'winning' entry...

And Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 174 is up!
Here's the place to go to see all 'entries'...
And here's mine :-)

174 – image above, “out with the old, in with the new”, death, services rendered

"Why me?" She flicked the ash off the top of her cigarette and took a sip of the warm short coffee.
"For services rendered? How would I know, I am merely the messenger. And the executioner," said the black suit. A particular bulge protruding from inside kept the other customers away.
"And what would be gained from my death?" she asked. The cigarette burned down in red flame as she sucked the nicotine and smoke down into her lungs.
"For you?"
"Do you get pleasure from your job?" he asked, checking the bar for any interest in their conversation.
"Immense pleasure. Immense."
"As do I. It is not every day I take someone out in, and I quote, "the most excruciatingly way possible". I will enjoy the next few...days."
"Days? My, I didn't know I had it in me." She stubbed out what was to be her last indulgence. A mother passed by the window pushing a baby in a pram. "Out with the old, in with the new. End on a cliché, why don't I," she said with a smile.
"Out of curiosity, madam, and for my records, what's your profession?" He got his chloroformed handkerchief ready.

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Mules, Knaves and Close Shaves" + 5th review of "All For Love" :-)

Well, my friend Mathew W. Weaver has his new book out today! Go and check it out!

And some activity! Finally, a review on the site for "All For Love"...4 stars...well, better than 3...

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another one of Dani's gripping stories. This time a crime mystery; a sad, sensitive story with added humour and a typical "Dani suprise" twist at the end. I highly recommended it for a holiday read.

Thanks, Frank! (a regular reader :-))

I have so many 'starts' to new books at the moment. Today I now have a start to a new Graham

Sunday, April 3, 2016

One Star Review of the Afterlife blog tour Day 2 - an Interview with the Editor

Welcome to the One Star Review of the Afterlife blog tour!
It's  the second day now, if you'd like to see the first day or know where it'll land tomorrow,
You can even enter a rafflecopter giveaway competition to win a prize!

Today I'm giving the editor of "One Star Review of the Afterlife", Giovanni Valentino, Editor in Chief of Strange Musings Press, an interview! (I have a story in that compilation...very good story, that)...Yeah! Whoop! Yeah! (cough)... so let's get right on to it! Yeah!...

First question. The name. Why One Star Review? Why the Afterlife?

            The title “One Star Reviews of the Afterlife” came from a crazy comment I made during a dinner party. For some reason, one of my guests felt the need to cross that line of discussing ‘money, politics or religion’ in mixed company. Said guest made the mistake of taking a strong stance against organized religion to defend their choice of being an atheist and it was really bringing the party down. I tried to steer the conversation back to something lighter but they wanted to dig in. After a minute long diatribe about people betting so much on an afterlife they had no proof of, I said, “Too bad they don’t have an app for that. Like Yelp! For the hereafter! That would be the best selling app ever.” Everyone laughed and the discussion turned to just what kinds of afterlives might get a one star review. From there, a theme was born. FYI, about almost all of the ideas from the party were submitted by someone.

Second question. How did Strange Musings Press come into being?

            Strange Musings Press came into being as a dream reinvigorated. I published Alternate Hilarities as a fan zine in the 90s, more about that later, but stopped because the cost of publishing back in the day was too high and the quality you would get was too low. And you couldn’t get small print runs either. I would have to order at least 1000 copies of any one issue to get time on the schedule with the printers and I didn’t need anywhere near that many.
            Fast forward to 2012 and an author friend of mine had just gotten back the rights to two of her novels because her small press publisher had gone under. She asked me to look into the cost and efforts of getting those books back into print via self-publishing and I was surprise to see how easy it was now a days to get your own work to market if you just had some computer savvy. Having mad skills in Microsoft office, I could do a lot of the work myself and I had a few good contacts that could help me with the rest.
            My friend got her books back into print with a different small press but I’d been bitten by the publishing bug again. So I started Strange Musings Press and for much less money and at a higher level of quality, I brought Alternate Hilarities back from the dead.

Third question. This compilation is the fifth ‘Alternate Hilarities’. What is the history of the series and has it changed since its beginnings?

            Like I said, Alternate Hilarities was originally a fanzine I produced during the nineties. (see attached cover art)  At the time, humorous speculative fiction was rare and it was hard to sell without a big author name behind it. I couldn’t make any headway with the big magazines of the time but I started getting things in print after someone introduced me to the small press. Small presses of the day were offset print magazines produced by fans of the genres, hence the term fan-zine. They didn’t pay well, or at all sometimes, but you frequently got contributor’s copies of the issue you were in and mild bragging rights. After receiving a few contributor’s copies, I realized I had the skill sets to do better. I produced 6 issues and it was fun. I ran my stories along with many other great ones. In the end the cost of producing each issue got too high to justify continuing this fun project and for the sake of domestic tranquility, I put it to bed.
            In this new digital age, a lot of the costs have changed. Since I can format the files in Word, the eBook’s cost is just my labor and with print on demand, I don’t have to shell out big bucks to do a full print run for a print edition and fill my basement with boxes of my ego.
            As for the modern incarnation of Alternate Hilarities, you’ll notice the first edition doesn’t have a subtitle or theme. I just took any humorous speculative fiction that came my way, horror, fantasy and science fiction. It worked out fine but I felt the anthology was a little disjointed, so I started with the themes. I was never brave enough to try a themed issue in the old days because I never got enough submissions to even try. I got a little braver after getting over one hundred and twenty submissions for Alternate Hilarities one. My first attempt at a theme, Vampires Suck, was a little rough because it was a little too narrow. I only got seventy submissions for that one. That’s why the next two were more open, Hysterical Realms being just fantasy and Weirder Science is just sci-fi. I took a chance on One Star Reviews of the Afterlife. It’s narrower than my original idea of paranormal stories but the Afterlife has a lot of range to it like Heaven, Hell, Ghosts, and I even threw in a few undead ones.    
Fourth question. Will Strange Musings Press move into other areas, such as novels or other types of compilations?

            The original plan was to do a few different anthology series. We had another one called Romantic Ruckus. It was a parody of the romance genre with the tag line of “An anthology of stories about Love gone wrong!” My friend Kara Leigh Miller was the editor of the series but she got busy with other projects and we never produced a second one. I’ve consider doing others but I keep hoping to find someone else to be the editor. Have you got any ideas?
            I’d love to start taking submissions for full length novels but I don’t have the capital to do it right just yet. I can do a lot of the work of getting a book to market myself but I still need to budget for promotion, art work and I’m a terrible line editor. I’d hate to ruin someone else’s book because I wasn’t ready. It is a plan for the future.  If the full length science fiction parody epic I’m working on now doesn’t find a home, I’ll make it the test case for the Strange Musings Press novel line.

Fifth question. What are your ‘pet peeves’ when it comes to editing? 

            I have a list a mile long but I’ll keep it to my top two to avoid sounding whiney.
            My biggest pet peeve is people who submit without reading the guidelines. Stories that are too long or too short are irritations but stories that aren’t even trying to be funny or 5000 words of boring to setup a punchline just drive me nuts. It’s a humor anthology. The first thing your story needs to be is funny or at least trying to be funny. I might not get the joke but I can tell when you’re trying.
            The second would be people that don’t provide a cover letter. It’s not a hard thing to do and it’s very important for your submission. Just introduce yourself with a quick bio, plug your story and give me something about your publication history, even if it is an honest admission like “I have no publications to date”. It seems simple but so many authors find it too daunting to promote themselves. A good cover letter sets the tone of your relationship with the editor and starts your submission off with a better chance.  Here’s a link to a post I wrote about it, 
Sixth question. Where do you think the publishing industry will be in five years? (for example, will self-publishing be banned?)

            The publishing industry is changing. The digital age has made putting your work out for the world to see very easy. This has led to a huge rise in self-publishing and an explosion of new small presses. This is both a curse and a blessing. More authors have a chance to get their work out there. Works that might never have seen the light of day because it just didn’t fit in an one genre. Some of these are good and some are bad.
I doubt this new trend will ever be banned. A lot of people are making money on it like Amazon, Createspace and Smashwords. Still, I do foresee online retailers making things a little harder on the self-publisher sometime soon to weed out the chaff. I’m not sure how they’re going to do it but I’m ready to make sure I’m not left behind.

Seventh question. What’s your favorite color?
            My favorite color is red...

Thank you, Giovanni Valentino! And all the best for "One Star Reviews of the Afterlife"!
You can get it here...! 

Giovanni Valentino -
Strange Musings Press -


Saturday, April 2, 2016

WQ173 + Manna-X #FREE...yes....

Second blog post today, for WQ173, really, but I might as well mention that 'Manna-X' is's good, that's what they tell me...

..and can see all other contributors as well as my own here...
...and here's mine...

WQ173 - image above, self depreciation, intuition, "Just the ticket"

Another year, another anniversary. She handed him a gift.
"But... but we said no gifts," he stuttered, taking the box from her.
"Well, it is our anniversary," she smiled. He looked at the box and gave her his 'Bambie' eyes.
"I'm such a brute, the worst partner in the world," he whimpered. "I haven't got you anything."
"That's okay. Open it," she said. With another 'I'm-such-a-shit' look over to her, he reluctantly opened the box.
"Wow! 'Shrek, the Musical'! Really? That's just the ticket I wanted! How did you...hang on." He looked closer. "That was two days ago. The performance was two days ago. This IS 'just the ticket'."
"Yes, it is. It was really good, too. See? Fifth row, middle seat, a few kids in front of me, so I had a clear view of the stage. It was sooooo good." She gave a little leap of joy, bouncing her curvature before him.
"Uh-huh," he sighed.
"It gave you a thrill, though, didn't it? isn't that what counts? Besides, my intuition told me you wouldn't get me anything." She smiled and walked away. He took out his phone and called.
"Del Frisco's? I'd like to cancel my reservation..."

Friday, April 1, 2016

NEW BOOK (story) OUT! + Manna-X #FREE + 2016 Winter Open Finals!

 Without a word...No.62 in General Humor! #free "Manna-X" ...come and help it break the Top 50!
Yep! My story, "Afterlife is a Bitch", is now available in the anthology "One Star Reviews of the Afterlife" Cool, huh? I even got paid for it...well, I WILL get paid for it...some time...yep! Paid!

And YES, I'm yet again in an Iron Writer Open Preliminary Round (2016 Winter)...please come and read my 500 words "The Blow Up Prank" can even vote...:-)'s Saturday! Which means it's an 'Iron Writer Weekend Quickie Day', 200 words of absolute tripe, linking 3 elements and a picture together...later...