Crime Fiction Novel by Yours Truly

Today is plug a novel today, and this time it is one of mine. This one was first created way back in 2006 and is still seeking members of the target audience. Luckily there are stories which are ‘timeless’ and are able to maintain their freshness better than many edible preserves.

Those who only read books put out by the big main publishing houses will have to wait but those interested in good stories they can get for their Kindle readers are in luck with this one.

What is one of the most important differences between books and films or TV? The ability to get into the minds of the characters, of course! Here, in this urban fiction of how to solve a crime in the big city of Indianapolis, readers are treated to a great deal of mind reading right along with events of the outer world. In that respect, it is almost as good as hanging out with good friends.

A special team is hired by the City to help local law enforcement tackle a serious villain and his latest plot. Can they solve the puzzle before one of the city’s best protected boundary is violated?


Writer’s Advice: this depends on which type of writer you are.  If you don’t know trying some can help answer the question.  If you just need it to be a job, that can influence your decision.

Personal Note: Trying to make a living writing for me, personally is difficult but not every writer has this problem.  I even tried to make sure I would have some other good day job and just write on the side, but that ‘side’ was forced center stage circa 2004. 

Cross-cultural: They say Germans are Krauts.  This either means they are cabbages or herbs.  If cabbages I think I now conclude that it is just that they are psychologically more tightly wrapped to themselves for their own safety from the winds of Northern Germany than those who are more loosely packed like the lettuce.  I think maybe they are more like herbs but were just glad that someone learned at least one German word and did not bother to correct the English speaking people.  Krauter tee is a cornerstone of German medicine..Or was in the old days, and so is as much ‘heritage’ as the heavy use of bricks and wind mills.

Southern Germany is mountainous and Northern Germany is flat.  Strangely enough, Indiana is similar in that respect.

Good luck out there, all over the place where you read this.

Keep your day job – and other myths

Advising writers can come from many places – both physical and psychological. There is advice clearly designed to get rid of any potential competition by assuring people about the negatives: much like with acting and some of the other arts. “That’s great; so what are you going to do for a living?”

There is some truth to that advice: the vast majority of those who try to earn a good living in the field fail to, but there are many roads to real success within the industry which may be viewed as special information.

Salaried journalists and people with relatively day jobs working in the publishing industry as editorial assistants and literary agents may or may not choose to say to someone something like “Don’t quite your day job” or “There’s no money in writing,” but when people hear them say that, if they even do, it seems harder to quite believe.

When one meets struggling poor people who seem bright and talented but not earning much and they admit to being writers or claim to be, then it seems believable. This is more like the stereotypical wait staff in restaurants explaining that they are an actor or actress. It is not necessarily a lie, but evidently it is not going that well or else it is just not how it seems.

When it is a novelist or an actress – well, it is one of those professions where a lot of people scoff until or unless one makes it big, if that ever happens, and then they just smile and tell you how they were behind you and believed in you all that time and you let their lie go because you want them to still talk to you because aside from that, they were often kind to you. Many never make it that big, and some make it to something in between total failure and overwhelmingly successful.

Teachers, when they care, will not usually discourage their students but may encourage the art without being able to help make any connections to paying work. There are acting coaches and MFA literature teachers who can give students the keys to financially inclusive real world professional success but many cannot.

Fiction Characters 2014

Character in real life matters a lot, but it also matters in fiction. Character creation, portrayal, description and expression are all meaningful. The nature of the art form being used influences the manner is which character can be known, perceived, understood etc..

We all know some real life characters and some fictional ones. There are also ones we may be overly or insufficiently sure of – mythical figures, gods, heroes, heroines and so on.

Where do we find fictional characters? Books, adventure games, plays, TV shows, movies, the comics and all too often at the office. OK, that last one was a bit cynical, but that’s how it goes.

Recently the big fiction characters in my own life have been the ones for a science fiction novel series that I’m now writing the second novel of for the series and a group of characters used in some Dungeons and Dragons gaming. Yes, I do that even though I am an adult. There was about a decade when I did not but my son likes it – he is imaginative and likes it. He plays online versions way more than I ever did or do, and we both play real time group and have played ‘traditional in person’ style. He likes to create characters. While we don’t deal with it all the same way, we both like creating and using characters in fictional settings. This goes beyond mere observation. I view reading as being between mere observation and the type of enactment and portrayal of stage actors. Movies and TV are a little different because in some ways they work like stage theatre but in other respects they really don’t.

Guest Authors ?!

My plan for hostessing a guest author at the blog weekly has already gone wonky. Despite that, but also because of it, this week I’ll name some off the top of my head and see what happens.

LJ Sellers writes detective Jackson novels and has at least one novel that uses a different detective. You can check out her books here:

Nancy Conner aka Nancy Holzner Conner has written some nonfiction manuals but she has also written about urban apolyptic zombies in her Deadtown fiction series. She looks more like a librarian than like a zombie generating witch, at least, as far as her avatar photos show.

Jen Owenby has been running a resume writing business to earn money while also writing other material. She has a very friendly blog. Try it here

Living in the Countryside

Living in the countryside is known to have a mixed reputation. There are people who live in cities who think that once people have children, they should move to the countryside to avoid crime or problems of that nature. There are people in cities who long for the quiet and peace and low cost of living often available in the countryside.

There are people who live in small towns and are desperately waiting for the day when they are old enough and have enough money in their pockets or bank accounts to get out of there.

Both cities and more rural areas also have people who love it that way. There are people who go both ways, and are those who really don’t.

The reality is that whether or not I like it I have spent more time by myself in person – meaning that most people don’t interact with me most of the time even though we live in the same village. There has been some ‘relief’ from this, as it was never my preference before. The other main reality is that I have spent more time in this village without getting to the nearest city than in all of my life before 2010 and age 42. I had lived in small towns before, but most of the time, I went to the city every week even though I did. Here, I have gone for months getting no further than a place big enough to be a large town but not really having the kind of population or organization I would usually associate with a city.

This Saxon village has a few basic qualities that set it apart from an American village. One, is that people have neighbors. Near the center of most villages that is true, but for Americans farming usually means that one needs to travel for 15 minutes or more to have neighbors. This village, as reported elsewhere, has a bunch of human residences but tractors and farm animals are also a norm of the village life and ambiance.

In 2014, the weather this time of year is well above freezing and the amount of light is much better than it was back in December.

It’s You

Yeah, you – out there. I am here, but important in this blogosphere relationship is that so are you – out there in your own version of here. Try to share the blog around in your own connections to see if anyone you know takes to it. Try to do it the same way you do if you like a movie or a book or a color of shoe – nothing more, but nothing less.

That blatantly admitted I’d like to thank the 3 of you who clicked on yesterday, causing me to know that you are really out there. I hope you only clicked on like from interest and not because one of your friends bet you $5 or something.

Some of you may know that I am seeking literary agent representation for a recently completed novel and working on both the sequel and on a writing sample for an academic post as a doctoral fellow where they pay me to finish the advanced studies for becoming a philosophy professor and they also help me by making me and letting me teach while having mentors who will correct me and give me a chance to fix it if I screw up instead of just firing me because I am supposed to know how to teach already. The position is an an Austrian city and lasts for 6 years. It is not the ideal location in terms of wanting my son around and still preferring English and missing the USA and the UK but it is one of those situations where the opportunity to be paid enough to really live on doing what I love rather than not getting paid to do what I love or not being allowed to do what I love matters enough to me to go live in an Austrian city. They will pay well enough for me to cover most or all of my son’s expenses but it will not be enough pay to sit around bragging amongst the middle class…It will be more like: hey, they paid me well enough to not need welfare!

It’s Cross-Cultural Wednesday

Here at the blog, it’s cross-cultural Wednesday.

During the previous week the simple cultural differences about grocery shopping came up. When I was young and had never been to Europe I had heard that the Europeans were more likely than Americans to do daily grocery shopping and to get less at a time.

Now it is decades later: is it still like that? So far, in my own humble experience, which may not be typical, the difference that I have felt the most is this: 1) In the USA, usually, if a customer dares try to assert their right to use a re-usable bag they brought with them, the cashiers normally manage to force at least one or two more plastic or paper bags onto the customers. Those who accept being supplied their bag by the store, may be allowed to choose paper or plastic. 2) In Germany, many shoppers show up with their own basket. The situation is the opposite of how it is in the USA. If you have really neglected to bring your reusable bag or basket with you, the shop can sell you one – but they are able to trigger your sense of guilt or just social faux pas. Germans bag their own groceries except that they re-use their own devices meaning their skills at packing and estimating exactly how much fits both their budget and their basket – and often to ride their bike or walk it home.

For Americans in Germany the shock of the cashier staring at you as if you are nut job for not having brought your basket is profound. For Germans, I imagine that it may be truly upsetting – especially for the environmentally conscious, to bring in their basket and have unecessary plastic bags forced on them and to have cashiers look at them as if only naughty idiots touch their groceries immediately after purchase. In either direction, one can adjust but I think it is natural for someone to feel weird when confronted by the other approach.

Granted many of those who only use one shopping basket either shop often even though they are not financially poor or because they are. A lot of married women in Western Germany have not had careers and if their husband has not provided two cars or if she has not traveled with him in order to retain control of the car while he is at work, they are left with bikes, or public transit and their own feet. As a side effect, there are a lot of married German woman out there with their baskets as one means of getting out of the house even if they don’t have jobs.

Daily Life as a Spiritual Experience 2014

Here are a few basics tenets of what spirituality is and how it works in real life.

1) Being alive means that you are having a spiritual experience. When it does not feel subjectively as if one’s life is not even vaguely spiritual that means that: A) either you have had your entire brain and life force removed or B) you are having a day or year or decade that spiritually actually is not, or does not seem to be working out for you.

2) Basic methods of assessment: A) If it is making you miserable but making you (or I or anyone) a better person – like drug or money or sexual or political power withdrawal or some kind of misery like that, no longer beating your spouse or stealing etc… Then it is probably spiritually good even though it sucks right now. Sometimes things get worse before they get better. B) if the misery is not being caused by painful changes that are causing you (or I or all of us) to become a better person then spiritually that may be more like bad pain than good pain and you should change what you are doing. C) Done correctly, good oriented spiritual practices will also help you be happy and to have a life that you like although you will meet people who disagree or who don’t fathom how the life that is right for you is not the way they prefer to live.

It actually takes place in the real world. The best simple way to understand is to say that it has to do with being aware – self consciousness is a biggie in those who like to get into dialog about what is spiritual and what is not.

Writer’s Advice – mixed bag February 2014

There is a lot of advice out there for amateurs and for those aspiring to be professionals. It does seem to be true that when the successful are polled although they did all have to write well and make the right connections the ways that people connected the dots, so to speak, is not the same. It seems the individuality does have a real influence on the best methods for how someone can find their own greatest success.

For those really just looking for a steady job there are ways to do that as a writer but the whole approach and ambiance may be different from that of ‘the writer as artist’ or ‘big, huge star author’. The most published writers are often the journalists, advertising writers. The other mos published do so as part of their daily jobs that may make some writers uneasy. As previously mentioned: grant proposal writers and people working corporate documentation.

Other prestigious positions as writers, are the academic realm and in the arts.

Nonfiction books often sell more easily than fiction although passionate readers of fiction may find that hard to believe.