February 27, 2015

Issues?

Yes, I know, I'm a little bit late this week with my second post. I do have a good excuse, but as a supervisor thoughtfully opined the other day, "The truth makes a poor excuse." (yes, this was her actual retort when I told her the truth about why I didn't do something), so instead of uttering the truth, we'll simply continue to stumble along in willful ignorance while you think of a good lie to tell me in the comments that will pass for a good excuse for being late with a post. The more outlandish, the more believable it will be.

Anyways, I was motoring through my day trying to think of something, anything actually, to blog about. I had a few thoughts swirling about, but nothing of any real consequence formed solidity. I thought about family, and the lack of everyone being in the same place at the same time, but then I thought, "Nah, who wants to read about me whining about my family? What's the fun in that?"

So, I hooked onto the next swirl, gambling. I figured since my post on smoking was a homerun (got two shares on Google+), I could write one on gambling. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. Whereas I put a little time, effort, and research into the smoking post (when a post takes me 1 1/2 hours to write, you can bet your sweet bippy that it's gonna be a winner), there was no way in H-E-Double-Toothpick that I was gonna put that kind of effort into a post being written on short notice.

Finally, I decided to try one last time to hook on another swirl: SEX.

February 23, 2015

When Ya Gotta Pimp, It Better Be Eye Candy Personified


Time now for the pimping...um...marketing segment of Father's Nature Corner, because after all, talking about my writing is one of the three original tenets of my blogging career, with the other two being my acerbic/mellow wit and something else that momentarily escapes my snow hazy (got socked with bi-weekly snowstorms since January 1st) memory.

Over this past weekend that featured several inches of non-soft fluffy white stuff, I received a very small order (like 5) of print copies of my latest novel, which are available for roughly 30% off the Amazon cover price for the wickedly low price of $7.50 plus tax.

Additionally, I have available for purchase, the original version of the same novel, also at the same ridiculously low price of $7.50 plus tax.

And as an added bonus if you act now or in the future, I will throw in absolutely-positively-no-silly-strings-attached-free-as-a-wind-swell-on-a-beach, a copy of my short story trilogy Broken Promises, available from Smashwords in all major formats.

All the details and samples that you can possible want/need/crave/must have can be had at Books By G.B. Miller:

To purchase a copy of the aforementioned books click on this link.

To sample the book before buying, click on this Smashwords link.

To read the synopsis, click on this link. Please note that the link redirects to my adult blog.

And finally, if you want to check out the Amazon reviews for Line 21, you can click on the Amazon link.

Finally, I take both plastique (PayPal), money orders and if you're really adventurous, that funky green stuff with the pictures of famous dead people.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

February 19, 2015

Socialized Media

Yesterday (2/18), I decided to perform another installment of migrating myself from my personal Facebook page to my public Facebook page. So the first thing I did was to take advantage of the new "call to arms" button that they added to all the business pages, by creating a "shop now" button for people to purchase my modest output of books.

And like most new things that I try for the 1st time, I had issues setting it up. Every time I added my Books by G.B. Miller addy, Facebook would give me an error message. So after having no luck using IE11, I moved to Chrome and still had the same problem, although I did get a more specific error message. I gave it some very tiny thought, then decided to experiment by putting in my Tumblr book blog addy. Imagine not to my surprise, it took the Tumblr addy without a problem.

So apparently the fact that my Blogger book blog addy is still in Facebook jail (went hardcore about a two years ago pimping my commercial debut) is preventing me from using it as a direct link to that "shop now" button. Which in my opinion sucks major giraffe testicles.

I really didn't want to use the Tumblr addy for "shop now" button link, as it would require people to click on way too many links to get from there to my Blogger book blog. So, I did the next best thing: I added the link to Cedar's Mountain. Now before you start telling me that I made a faux paux, let me tell you that I did no such thing. If you click on the link, the one and only post that pops up describes all four books that I have out, each one complete with a very short background dump plus direct purchase links.

I'm not a proponent of blanket censorship, only very selective common sense censorship (and most of you know I have a very high tolerance of strange stuff). And the one thing that absolutely pisses me off, is when someone who isn't me labels a benign link of mine as suspicious, which in turn prevents me from using it on a given website.

So a happy camper I am not today. I don't like it when I finally decide to take a specific action on something after waffling about it for a few months, only to have an annoying semi-permanent glitch pop up to rain on my parade, or as Judge Judy would famously titled her memoir about her time in family court, don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 16, 2015

Smoking? It's All Good!

The other day I was doing some serious thinking (and I knew it was serious 'cause I saw smoke coming from my ears) about a popular vice that perpetually have all segments of society up in arms, and after I had finished, I thought, "Let's see what kind verbiage I can spew for on an unsuspecting readership." "This will be a cool topic to write about!"

It's funny how a major vice can be looked at/viewed/considered with such diverse opinions, yet for the most part, has been portrayed in a (mostly) positive-to-neutral light, with shades of hypocriscy thrown in for good measure.

Now I'm sure you're asking this blogger, "How in the world can smoking be portrayed in positive light? Are you mad?"

Frankly, no. But before I answer part one of the question, let me give you a very brief background dump.

I am a non-smoker, although I did try it when I was a teenager (really smart since I have asthma). Never got addicted, which made it a helluva lot easier to quit. I've had friends who were smokers, and for the most part we got along fine. I've had a few late family members who were smokers, of at least one who passed away from cancer that was related to smoking. I do not push my views on others and although I am somewhat hypersensitive to smoke, that's more due to working in smoke free buildings for the better part of 20 years than anything else.

Now, to elaborate, I am not mad when it comes to tobacco. While I don't smoke, I do have some fond memories of tobacco in my lifetime. For example, my next door neighbor was a hardcore pipe smoker, so I got to know almost instantly whenever he was outdoors. When I used to deliver the morning newspaper, there was an older gentleman who drove down my street smoking a big cigar. He would drive down my street at the exact same time every day, so it was easy to tell whether or not I was running behind with my deliveries.

And like a certain segment of the population, I do enjoy the aroma of a good quality cigar, as well as good quality pipe tobacco. I also feel that when a person smokes a good quality cigar, they give off an aura of self-confidence that can drift into arrogance. Which is why I will sometimes write a scene or two that features my characters smoking quality cigars (usually with Connecticut tobacco, which is a cut above most domestic tobaccos).

I do differentiate between cigars and cigarettes, because for the most part (in my opinion), cigarettes fill a necessary junkie-style fix. Feel the same way about chew as well, And above all, cigars give you better bang for your buck, because you get quality over quantity all the time.

However, there lies the hypocrisy.

One of the ways that all 50 states set their budgets is an over-reliance of the so-called "sin tax", which in this particular case, is heavy taxation on tobacco. In Connecticut, the state minimum for a pack of non-generic/non-Indian cigarettes, after you factor in the various taxes, is roughly $8.75, not including sales tax. So if you're a cigarette smoker in Connecticut, to buy a carton of cigs will cost you roughly a week's salary, which is roughly $100.

To put that in proper perspective, when I started working grunt retail in 1986, the price of a pack of cigarettes was $1.25+tax. When I left grunt retail in 2001, the price per pack was about $2.75+tax and a carton of smokes would run you about $25+tax.

Now, most states have anti-smoking programs, and some, like New York, feature some seriously depressing PSA's to nudge you in the direction of quitting. Problem is, they and everyone else, doesn't really want you to quit. The more smokers that quit, the more the budgetary bottom line gets destroyed. Less smokers equals less taxes collected which equals less revenue. And since most states are purely incapable of performing fiscal restraint (mine is notorious for that), you know that having lots of ex-smokers is a very bad thing. Ex-smokers means raising taxes yet again.

Bottom line: smoking, while not good for your health one bit, is good for your economic well being. And because it's good for your economic well being, you know damn well that states are going to find ways to recruit the younger generation to smoke, thus filling up those financial coffers yet again.

So this realist says, if you're gonna smoke, spend your money on good quality cigars. Less habit forming and it makes you like you got some brain cells in that noggin of yours. Because as you know, quality trumps quantity, and in today's world, quality is the name of the game.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

February 12, 2015

Write Me A Story Daddy!

The other day, as per the typical norm, I was bored on my computer. Reading my blog subscriptions wasn't doing it for me, Facebook wasn't doing it for me, and I certainly wasn't motivated to actually WRITE a blog post. So I did what I usually do when I'm bored: I go on YouTube to watch music videos.

So went searching for a song, specifically a song which was cover of a Bee Gees song that I'd heard on the radio a week ago. First I thought it was done by Primus (because the band in question sounded like Primus) so off to a search I did go. Didn't find it, so I went searching for Bee Gee songs. Didn't find it either as I couldn't quite remember the snippet needed to find the song. But, while I was searching, throwing words together to form song titles, I somehow threw the words "American" and "Pie" together, and you can pretty guess what I came up with: multiple versions of the song.

However, I did come across a wickedly cool short film version of the song, which I would like to share with all of you. It's been one of my favorite all time story songs, and for those who don't know what a "story song" is, in a nutshell, it's considered to be both a good bathroom break song and the ultimate in flash fiction. I didn't realize it at the time, because I thought those kinds of songs were decently constructed, but decades later, they really were tightly compacted and exceptionally structured short stories. Harry Chapin was a very good proponent of writing those kind of songs (Cats In The Cradle and Taxi are two fine examples), and most artists have at least one song in their catalogue that qualifies as a story song, and at least one artist has built an entire career out of two versions of one perennial story song.

This one, however, has apparently spawned not only other covers, but interviews with other musicians who expound on the overall influence of this song to this day. You be the judge of the one song that Don McLean came to loathe so much that for years he refused to play it in concerts.



(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.