December 28, 2016

Parental Boasting

I have, from time to time, bragged about the creative artiste that is my daughter Jenelle.

Dancer, skater, musician, exceptionally smart person, she has also branched off into other mediums.

Like Clay:

And Paper:

Also she'll branching off into animation, since that is now her career path of choice. However, today we introduce yet another facet of creativity: writing.

As some of you may or may not know, Jenelle helped me with editing a story for my latest book, What Is Life? Well, the other day, she presented me with a piece of flash fiction that clocks in just under 1400 words. I read it and found it not only to be good but rather dark as well. I asked her what she wanted to do with it, and she said that she wanted me to share it with everyone on my blog.

I really didn't ask her why she wrote it (which I think is a question that most writers have a very hard time answering. I know I do), but I did ask her what the story was about, because I didn't quite get it on the first read through. I did once that point was clarified.

So my friends, if you would follow me to Cedar's Mountain, you will find a nifty piece of flash/short fiction that I call, The Journal. Please let me know what you think, either there or over here.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 21, 2016

Writing Up-To-Date v2.016

As per the norm every Wednesday, we bring to you a semi-fresh post from I Are Writer!, which features an update on a book review posted this past August.

For today's post, I thought I would bring everyone up-to-just-over-the-speed-limit-date in regards to my writing. As you know, the majority of my writing updates can be found at I Are Writer!, which for those who are cruising by for the very first time, is the current result of wanting to shake things up with my blogging.

For those of you who read my post a month or so ago about the continuation of this blog, no final decision has been made, since we're still waffling like HRC.

I've been chugging/chipping/snipping/clipping away at my current project, The Friendship Has Begun, for the majority of the year and I'm happy to say that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The word count presently stands {as of 12/18} 50,588, with the page count standing at 85.

I'm pretty happy about that, since it's taken me forever and a day to find a project that would click {aka, stick with me so that I would look forward to working on it}. However, as I'm nearing completion, I'm now finding myself ankle deep in a prickly bush.

The micro-flash fiction version is this: took old story; gutted; complete re-write using original as outline for the new.

The thorny problem I'm having is something that some of you may or may not experienced, and that's writing to a sequel. In my case, I originally wrote the sequel, self-pubbed, and decided to re-write the sequel {currently stands at 35 pages} into something better before belatedly realizing that I needed to fix/rewrite the first story.

So, because I wrote the sequel before writing {or I should say, re-writing} the first, I'm finding myself referring to the sequel to see how I should write what is currently a peripheral character that got introduced in this story, but is getting fleshed out for 3rd billing in the sequel.

In the original version of the story, I had the peripheral character all bad ass & bitchy {pardon the word, but it really does fit here} towards Nikia. Who sadly, turned into a major head case and ultimately killed the story, much to my regret {last time I let that particular event happen}.

So I'm now re-writing this peripheral character to be more like the one that I created in the sequel: a curiously complex person, vulnerable and confident at the same time. Because of doing things out of order, which for linear guy like myself is simply not done, I'm finding things are really grinding to a crawl. Which, after looking at the last chapter of the story, is probably a good thing, 'cause while I can write a good sex scene that lasts less than a half page, having to devote an entire chapter to it, is something I'm not really looking forward to.


Anyways, this concludes our writing update. Tune in next week where we might wax philosophically on why it seems that most Hallmark movies have as their main character, a writer.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 14, 2016

Always Sarcastic, Never Snarky...It's The Blue Light Special

As per the new norm, a fresh post is to be had at I Are Writer!

The other day, I was racking my overly mature brain for something to write about, when BAM! it hit me.

"Why don't I write about a category on my blog that hasn't seen the light of day since March of this year?"

So off the grid I went, to search of times gone by @ Cedar's Mountain. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to write about, so I picked a couple of tags {Blogs & Writing} and started to skim/scan/read the various posts under those tags.

Let me tell you something {to quote that great philosopher, Fire Marshal Bill}, I was seriously amazed at the quality of the blog posts I wrote five plus years ago, and how much passion and creativity oozed out of each one.

Blog: February 2013 & September 2011; Writing: June 2011, August 2011, August 2011, and September 2011.

It really seemed like for all intents and purposes, I had literally burned the candle at all three spots to write each and every post. A bottomless well of blog creativity, or so it seemed, from 2008 to mid 2013. But, it seemed that blog creativity came at a heavy price. While I was furiously pounding away my blog, trying to make it the best thing around {at one point I had almost 150 subscribers}, my regular writing didn't really grow and mature the way I had envisioned. Or even intended for that matter.

So when I decided to switch gears to concentrate more on my regular writing and put slightly less focus on my blog writing, it had a boomerang effect. Instead of staying at the same level of high standard that I had originally set for myself with my blogging, the quality of the blog posts began to slip. Barely noticeable at first, but within a couple of years, it grew to the point where I became disappointed {but not quite disillusioned} with my output.

The quality of my writing, on the other hand, grew exponentially. All the sarcasm, all the snarkiness, all the biting humor eventually found a safe and snug home within my storytelling. Somehow, in the span of five years {overlap/crossover with my blogging}, my writing improved to the point where I am able to consistently insert roughly 5-7% of my quirky personality into every story I write. Not so much as to make it vehicle for my ego, but just enough to give my characters, of both genders, a richness that was m.i.a. in the early years.

I'm not quite sure what the main point of this blog post is. I guess you can say I'm having a flashback, in which I write a story with a plot that was there at that particular point of creation, but disappeared the moment I wrote the last word. So in keeping with the flashback, we can safely say that based on the post title and the opened paragraph, the initial plot point was to riff on an old post. But soon after, we did a bait and switch, and went off on a tangent that had absolutely zero to do with the blog and all to do with writing.

So to finish up this flashback, I leave you with a flashback-type of song that I'd first heard in a Popeye cartoon.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 7, 2016

IWSG #15: I Am...Back?

Yes, it's hard to believe, but after a one year hiatus of participating with the world famous Insecure Writer's Support Group, I decided to take the semi-polar ice plunge yet again.

So without further ado, I welcome one and all to the Father Nature's Corner's Version 2.016 of the IWSG blog hop, because you just know that on the 1st Wednesday of every month is when every single writer worth the computer they use to churn out fantastically high quality verbiage comes together to commiserate, to challenge and to toot their highly polished Flugelhorn to the high heavens. get everyone up to speed since we've last got together, I converted one of my semi-dormant Tumblr blogs earlier this year to a (mostly) basic writing blog called I Are Writer! At that blog, I share, expound and expand on my crazy writing adventures. When you get a minute, please feel free to peruse, and please note that commenting isn't really allowed on it. Not by my choice, but by their design.

On the writing front, around early August {e-book} and early November {print}, I came out with a modest short story collection entitled What Is Life? that tackles the twin themes of the four stages of life and the four seasons.

Also on the writing front, I'm happy to announce that I have limited copies of my only traditionally published book, Line 21, on sale for more than to 50% off the Amazon cover price of the reissue. Please click on the title for further details.

And now, the part you all been waiting for, or at least checking the time on your computer, The. Question. Of. The. Month.: "In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now and how do you intend to get there?"

I see myself five years from now, happily plugging away with my writing. Consistency has always been that one semi-annoying trait of mine that has dogged me throughout most of my life, so I would like to channel that consistency into my writing. I'm a slow writer by nature (I self-publish roughly once a year), so I would like to be able to pick up the pace a little. Which probably would mean a radical change from the current length of my writing projects (which is roughly long novella/short novel) to something much shorter and tighter.

I would also like to see myself firmly entrenched in one particular genre as opposed to being all over the place. While some people say diversifying is a good thing, I find that I need/want/crave the consistency of writing a particular kind of fiction. I don't really mind venturing off into the worlds of G/PG/PG-13, my feet has always been firmly planted in the realms of R/NC-17, and that's where I would like to have the bulk of my writing remain, with only the rare exit to those family-friendly worlds.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to stop by to read and say hi, and I look forward to visiting everyone in the near future.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

November 30, 2016

Catch Me If You Want, 'Cause I Ain't On Fire

Yas, I are having one of those weeks again, where I'm both motivated to blog, but can't find a topic in which to expound upon. I thought about doing a continuation of last week's post on censorship with one on non-FB FB censorship (aka, someone who controls a group on FB censoring stuff on a whim), but there was nothing that I could stretch out longer than this particular paragraph.

So, that leads us back to the square root of the hypotenuse of a baseball triangle {I double dog dare ya to figure out what I just wrote}.

I can say that I have a fresh post up at I Are Writer! that you can peruse at your leisure. And thus is born a post.

It's been a little over a year since I split off my writing posts from my blogging posts, and truth be told, I couldn't be happier. While it's been a king-sized teeter-totter of a ride here, over there, it has been nothing but calm waters. I'm having a blast re-exploring parts of my 11+ year writing adventure and creating new posts on the previously unexplored parts of that same 11+ year writing adventure.

Right now, I've just started a series of posts {1st one started on 11/19} that will explore the three-to-four w's behind my current W.i.P. The Friendship Has Begun. Earlier in the year, I did some deep sea exploring on the novella with the placeholder title of Blackness In The White Sand, which was pretty cool. And touched upon the journey of bringing What Is Life? to fruition.

Overall, it's been an extremely fascinating journey in reconnecting with the various nuances and foibles that goes into the creative dribbles that spurt from my highly skewed imagination.

For those of you who may have either forgotten or never knew the "whys" behind the various stories I've written, I strongly suggest that you start the journey by checking out my Tumblr blog. And if you really want the skinny, you can go all the way back to GWB II/Obama I {yes, that is when I started blogging}, check out all the various writing tags at my archive blog, Cedar's Mountain.

Tune in next week when I'll be rejoining the writing blog hop that is the Insecure Writer's Support Group for the first time since November 2015 {seriously, it's been that long}.

In the meantime, here's a video of a song that has been rumbling around my brain for the past week at work.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

November 23, 2016

Who Says You Can't Read That Book?

As per the norm, we have a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, which in this particular case starts a series of posts (hopefully) exploring my current work-in-progress The Friendship Has Begun.

With that out of the way, let's delve into the topic of choice: books (c'mon, the post title was a dead giveaway, right?).

Unlike last week's post, in which we had some research material to play with, today's post was a spur of the moment kind of deal. How? Well, younger child Jenelle was reading out loud yesterday evening that ye often banned olden book for American Lit, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I had wandered back upstairs to see what all the excessive verbiage was all about, and younger child had told me what she was reading.

I said, "Really? You're reading a book that uses colorful language, including the word that rhymes with diggers? I'm impressed."

For those of you doing a drive-by reading of this post, do not get your panties in a bunch.While I did use the word as it pertains to the content of the book while talking to youngest child, I did not use it here. I used a substitute.

She said, "Yeah. The town of Manchester (sic) banned the book."

Now, the main reason why I was impressed {and I'm not impressed by a lot of things our local public school system does}, was the fact that they were letting the kids read Samuel Clemons (aka Mark Twain) in general and this book in particular. While he is an interesting writer, most people are small minded enough not to get the point of how he writes. And for the sake of brevity, I will not even remotely go there.

Anyways, it got me to thinking about the overreaction that some people have to the written word these days. People, it seems, have a big problem dealing with the mores and values of yesterday. Shoot, some people have a problem not only with the mores and values of today, but with the written word of today.

November 16, 2016

Political Toddlerism 101

As most of you know, I rarely touch base on the national political scene, simply because the national scene doesn't affect me as much as the local/state scene does. But....with vitriol from both the left and the far left in regards to the Presidential election reaching heights of stupid not seen since Gore v. Bush, I thought I would add my five cents to the discussion.

Two days after the election, after I had gotten extremely fed up with all the whininess erupting from my Facebook newsfeed, Facebook pagefeed (pages that websites/businesses have on Facebook) and the blog world, I wrote a post on my wall. Now, on the average, I usually write roughly two-three updates per week on my private (aka personal) wall and two updates on my public (aka author's page) wall.

This is what I wrote:

So. Those who reside in the land of rose-colored glasses are throwing monumental hissy fits 'cause they got their panties so tightly wound that their eyes are popping.

People, people, people, it's your fault that your candidate lost. Did your candidate do her job by getting everyone out to vote? Was she in touch with EVERYONE or did she simply concentrate on her base? Most importantly, did you not know the old adage that whatever demeaning/insulting/belittling comments you say to others about who they support will always come back to bite you in your collective buttocks?
And before you hammer me for being a supporter of D.T., I voted Libertarian. Everyone had a hand in this. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. So man up and take your punishment like the adult you claim to be instead of the toddler you're portraying yourself to be.

Let me tell you, the hissy fits that people threw/are throwing truly boggle the mind. I have friends going off the deep end about how HC won the popular vote but DT won the electoral college vote. I have seen a well-respected blogger from the U.K. decide that he was going to close his blog 'cause DT won the election (seriously) and he was emotionally drained from it (my words). My 15 1/2 year old daughter, who I treasure deeply, went off the deep end because DT got elected. I have co-workers (mostly black) go off the deep end.

I understand that the entire world (except the DJIA) is upset over this. But, remember this, your candidate's party (and the media) didn't do all it could do to get people to vote for her. I certainly didn't vote for her. I didn't vote for him either (except in the primary). But, unlike the well-educated & the millennials who sponge off mommy & daddy, I've seen first hand the national destructive economic policies being applied on the state level. I've seen how I've been demonized by the ruling Democratic guv'nor because the state is bleeding red ink. I've seen the current administration drive business out of state (General Electric to Massachusetts and Aetna probably to Kentucky next year) due to punitive business taxes.

I have seen my Democratic guv'nor, in the past 8 years, when he doesn't get his way, cut spending to social services. You know, the social services that all left and far left scream about as being untouchable for the poor. He has sliced spending at a social services agency that is facing two federal lawsuits for not meeting deadlines in a timeline manner.

So please, do not sit here and tell me that the Democratic party is good and the Republican party is bad.

I leave everyone here some food for thought: for those of you who think that the Democratic party is inclusive to all types of people, who was it exactly that was in power in the South for the first 6 decades of the 20th century that created all those Jim Crow laws? And pumped blatant segregation up the wazoo and made it a way of life for everyone in the South?

Most importantly, who didn't want to end slavery nor give everyone the right to vote?

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

November 9, 2016

Don't Cover Me With Your Rhythms

As most of you have probably gathered from over the years, I are very opinionated about music. Almost everything that has do with music from a listener standpoint (as opposed to a musician/creator/performer of same) I have offered an opinion on.

Commercial radio? Sure thing. Country pop? Absolutely. Different genres? Goes without saying. Etc., etc., etc.? Ad nauseam.

One thing that really rubs me the wrong way is cover music. Not cover bands, for which they are a very important component to the enjoyment of music, but songs that are covered by other artists. For me, cover songs fall into three distinct categories:

1} songs covered per genre;
2} songs covered that put the original to shame;
3} songs covered for no other reason than to keep a bands name out there.

1} Songs covered per genre.

With some genres, cover songs are part and parcel of the repertoire. These genres include: Americana, Bluegrass, Alt-Country, Blues, Cajun/Zydeco and Jazz. For example, Bluegrass is notorious for doing cover songs of certain songs that actually make the song more enjoyable for the listener. Songs by The Grateful Dead come to mind. Can't stand the band but listening to a bluegrass version of Friend Of The Devil makes it palatable.

2} Songs covered that put the original to shame.

With some bands/artists, they can do a cover that not only puts the original to shame, but creates a top 40 hit in the process. Bob Dylan is notorious for having his stuff covered by bands/artists that create a top 20 hit in the process, like Jimi Hendrix with All Along The Watchtower and Manfred Mann with The Mighty Quinn. Or they may not crack the hot 100, but still create a version that kills, like The Hooters did with Don Henley's The Boys Of Summer. And of course, you can't forget Leadbelly's Black Betty, that was done by Ram Jam. And Johnny Cash w/Fiona Apple doing Bridge Over Troubled Water.

3} Songs covered for no other reason than to keep/get a bands name out there.

I'm sure you can come up with a few head scratchers in regards to certain songs being covered. The way I see it, if a band is long in the tooth or up and coming, one way to keep/get their name in the news (and corporations licking their shoes) is to do a mediocre cover song. Examples include U2 doing a crappy cover of Carl Carlton's Everlasting Love, Pearl Jam doing a weenie cover of J. Frank Wilson's The Last Kiss, Mr. Big's cover of Harry Chapin's Cat's In The Cradle, and The Atari Boy's atrocious cover of Boys Of Summer.

Feh. Double Feh. Triple Feh.

I actually wanted to go elsewhere with this post about cover songs, but ya know, the minute you decide to stop for the night, whatever Mr. Momentum you got going for yourself usually bites the big one. I mean, I mean, I mean, I'm just sitting here on the group W bench, minding my own business, when BAM!


I was struck down with case of Retroactivus Childhoodiness (as opposed to Famishus Famishus).

For yet another installment of G.B. Miller, semi-professional writer, check out my latest @ I Are Writer! 

Until next week, please keep in mind that even though we're about to go through four years of hell on earth with whoever the new occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be, worry more about the lethal headache taking place in your own backyard that your friendly neighbor politician will soon torture you with. Because it's the up close and personal that will beat you down, not the yokels in D.C.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

November 2, 2016

Tell Me Why Again I Became A Writer?

Normally, the opening stanza would trumpet to the world that there's a fresh post up at I Are Writer! for you to peruse. But, like a few weeks ago, today's post would be a slight redundancy/elaboration of that post, which was to basically say that I now have print copies available of What Is Life? for the ridiculously low price of $4.50 + 6.35% sales tax.

Books By G.B. Miller
 I say ridiculously low price because at both Amazon and CreateSpace the price is $5.99. Anywho, today's post has something to do with that book, among others.

About a month ago, a writer friend of mine (Rebekah Raymond) said she was sponsoring a table at a local festival up in Calgary and did something of a cattle call for any and all indie writers to join. I was one of the chosen few (yay me!) so I started what I thought would the easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy part of the process, which was gathering a few books together and ship them up to her.


The first inkling that I had that this was going to be as smooth as two day old razor stubble was that I found a few typos in the aforementioned book (the horror!). So, after contacting the formatter, I sent my manuscript off to be fixed. Two weeks later I got the PDF file back and uploading I went.

The second inkling I had was when it came to time to ordering the book. Originally, I gave myself enough time to order and have shipped the normal way (standard shipping, roughly 2 weeks). But because the time frame got shortened, I had to upgrade and have it shipped priority mail, thus doubling the outlay of funds for the books.

I proceeded to spend the five days stressing out because the expected delivery date was November 1st, and my dashboard said "Processing Transaction". After firing off an e-mail to customer service (say what you want 'bout Amazon, their customer service is pretty good), I was reassured that everything was still going to plan. Sure enough, the books arrived this past Friday (10/28).

We then spend the better part of three hours gathering 15 copies of my books, plus postcards of same, plus business cards, plus a priority box, plus packing tap, plus bubble wrap, plus customs form, and putting a nifty package together for shipment.

Overall, the outlay of funds {$64.45 and two free e-books} and the 80-20 split of total sales makes this technically a loss. But, I'm looking long term here. I'm normally a semi-introvert kind of guy (seriously) and pimping myself or my writing doesn't come naturally or easy to/for me, so the opportunity for greater exposure for me and my writing was simply too great for me to pass up.

Short term, I have the sticky issue of ordering more copies of this book, because while I was gather product for this shindig, I discovered that I didn't have enough copies to offer. I had five, but since one was in so-so condition, I had to offer up one copy of the original version for sale.

So, this is why I spent the past few weeks frazzled to the point where I decided to spend even more money I didn't have by creating bookmarks at VistaPrint.

The post title asks the proverbial question. Do you have an answer to share?

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

October 26, 2016

Books Are Here, There And Every Which Way But Where

Normally at this time I would succinctly state that a fresh post is up at I Are Writer! for you to peruse and enjoy. However, it would be a redundancy (much like the guv'ment) to direct you towards there, since today's post is not-quite-the-carbon-copy of that post, but it comes pretty damn close (topic, but not content).

A few weekends ago my brother, after much delicate pushing and prodding by a few residents of this household, came down to the house to start the very long and labor intensive process of reorganizing/purging of the vast amounts of schtuff he had stored here for the past several years. Most of which either came from his house, my father's two offices and my grandfather's house.

Speaking of grandfather's house, we (collectively the family) pulled out hundreds of westerns dating from the 50's thru the 80's/90's. The end result for these are to see what's what and sell them.

Anywho, during the course of the cleanup, which as a guv'ment employee I supervised (j/k) we got to discussing the amount of books that dad had. I didn't realize just how many he had until my brother thoughtfully pointed to the one dozen tubs that he had pulled out to re-store.

As you can imagine, the first reaction/words out of my mouth were not "Seriously?" but "Holy sh!t"

My second reaction was to open up one of the tubs and pull out a very old book that was in a Ziploc storage bag. The book itself looked to be in remarkably good condition, with only a little wear to the cover. I brought it inside and took it out of the baggie. I opened the over just enough to see what the publication date was and perhaps one or two pages. Sufficed to say, I was very impressed with the condition of this book.

I went back outside and told my brother I think I can find a home for this book as I know of a historical society that specializes in this content. The book was The Official Complete Guide to The Lincoln Highway 5th edition (c) 1924. A few days later, once I had the time to research this bad boy, I found that the historical society who thought would be interested, didn't cover the Lincoln Highway but covered US 40.

So back to searching I did go. A few minutes later, I found the website to The Lincoln Highway Association. I proceeded to spend next half hour or so tooling around the website, checking the links, checking a semi-defunct blog and checking a Facebook group run by the owner of the defunct blog. I started my inquiries with the FB group, but all I got out of the admin was an acknowledgment that he accepted my private message.

Note: when I'm looking for help on something I know just about zilch, I will often shoot a polite e-mail to a possible solution/contact and ask if they aren't the right person could they point me in the proper direction.

Suffice to say, I went back to the website and shot off an e-mail to the main contact addy. I got a response the next day, and long story short, they would be very appreciative of my donation. A few days later, I packed up this bad boy in triplicate (Ziploc bag, cushioned 9 x12 envelope, then a priority mail envelope). Including extra insurance ($100), the entire package cost me $10.49 to ship.

Like I stated, this was my good deed for the day. I am somewhat of a weird American history buff (having worked in a library for 8 years), and I wanted to make sure that the book would go to a place that would 1} not stash away from prying eyes and 2} allow people to view it/use it for research purposes. I know if I had donated it up here at my previous employer, it would've more than likely stay locked up in the special collection, never to be seen/used again.

For all intents and purposes, unless I find another book of historical value like this one, this will be my last donation. While I do enjoy making donations, I'm also looking to make a few extra dollars for both myself and my brother.

So we can truthfully say that we have found something mundane to occupy our time between periods of pursuing the craft of writing.

And that, my friends, is a good thing indeed.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

October 19, 2016

Yas, The Music Done Come Around And Around

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of today's post, I want to remind everyone that I do have a fresh post up at I Are Writer! for you to peruse and abuse. Additionally, I did a little house cleaning and knocked out some 30+ blogs from my follower's list. Most, if not all, were pretty much d.o.a., as in either not updated for years (seriously) or not updated for several months. Might do a post about the state of blogging in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, let's go exploring my c.d. collection!

As you recall (if not, simply scroll down this page to refresh your memory), I waxed semi-poetically about the questionable music choices I had made over the years. This time, I would like to wax semi-poetically about the c.d.'s that perpetually make it to my car or my c.d. player at work. Some of these may be familiar to you, some may not.

I literally have dozens of c.d.'s that I consider to be my faves, but I will try my best to keep down to 10. So, in no order of importance, my list of faves. As a sidenote, the way they became my faves is that I got to enjoy exploring the c.d. after buying it for one or two radio friendly (aka hit) songs.

1} Drops Of Jupiter by Train. I first got into them with their song "Meet Virginia", and it sort of spiraled into the usual foray of buying a small chunk of their catalog (I have 4 of their c.d.'s). The title track really got to me, to the point where it was the partial inspiration behind this book, plus a few other stories to boot.

2} My Private Nation by Train. Yas, I know, another one by Train. This c.d. rocks from beginning to end. One of the best all around c.d.'s from a band that I've come across in quite sometime. Check out the song All American Girl.

3} Honky Tonk Boots by Sammy Kershaw. I've made it know far and extremely wide just how much I hate the current state of psuedo-country (aka pop) music. To me, most of it sucks (which I confirmed by listening to some of my recent selections. However, this one fell out of the norm. I saw it at my public library (naturally), and I figured that one dollar is a good enough investment. After just one listen through, this became another car player favorite. Solid and well written/played from beginning to end, I enjoyed it so much that I left a review on Amazon for it. Check out the song Tennessee Girl.

4} Time Stood Still by The Hooters. Always loved The Hooters during their heyday, so when I saw this c.d. while I was wandering around the late lamented Circuit City, I picked it up and checked out the contents. I recognized only one song, Boys Of Summer, so per the norm, I bought it. If you've been hanging around long enough, you heard me wax poetically on how this cover blows away the original out of the water and onto dry land. The rest of the c.d. goes without saying. Exploration was a joy and it became another staple.

5} Dirt by Alice In Chains. One of my fave bands from the 90's. Never saw them live but did enjoy their music. Their debut c.d. is what put them on the map and ultimately showed the world what could've been had Layne Staley not succumbed to a nasty heroin addiction. Would? is the song that did it for me (first purchased a soundtrack from a crappy movie for it). If you like this band, you should check out Jerry Cantrell's solo work.

6} Stranger Than Fiction by Bad Religion. California punk rock band that compares politically to The Dead Kennedys, their song 21st Century (Digital Boy) actually got some commercial radio play, which is how I discovered this c.d. The rest of the c.d. actually grows on you after a while and ultimately became another car staple.

7} Jericho by The Band. We all know The Band. Once thought by the 90's to be on the downside of their career, they came back with this c.d. The song that got me hooked, simply because it got radio airplay (trust me, when you're a band that is in geezer rock mode, you get radio airplay), was their good cover of Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City.

8} Living In The Present/Future by Eagle Eye Cherry. I found this in the vast used section of FYE. It looked interesting enough so I figured why not. The c.d. is solid and entertaining from beginning to end, but the song that hooked me was Long Way Around, which featured his sister Neneh Cherry.

9} Chariot by Gavin DeGraw. Killer debut c.d. (if you pick up a copy, it comes with the full acoustic version of the c.d.). The song that got me hooked was I Don't Want To Be. Solid all the way through. Will have to search out his stuff as he seems to fall off the commercial radio charts.

10} The Family Jewels by Marina & The Diamonds. Okay, this one was recommended to me by Sparkling Red (who has temporarily stepped back into the real world), and this c.d. did not disappoint. Catchy as all hell, this debut will suck you in and never let you go. Check out the song Hollywood.

And that, my friends, is a (very) brief sample of car faves. Tune in next week when we'll attempt to find something else in my c.d. collection to talk about.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

October 12, 2016

You Cannot Be Serious About This Music

As per the norm, I have a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, in which I elaborate on why it's important to quadruple check your writing before hitting that send button. And here's an odd tidbit for ya: while this blog is slowly losing followers (41 at last count), my Tumblr blog has gained followers (currently at 10 overall).

But, you really don't want me to bloviate yet again about the muddled state of my blogging, so let's get on with the post, which was written 24 hours ago @ the time posted thereof.

Last week, I mentioned that I had finally finished cataloging my vast c.d. collection (a small correction to the total should be stated. I have 504, not 501, as I found three c.d.'s that I had missed when I'd emptied my racks a couple of months ago) and that I would share some of the more unusual selections that I had bought in the past three years or so.

As I've mentioned previously, I started expanding my musical horizons some 20+ years ago when I landed my first job with State of Connecticut. This expansion accelerated when my public library started selling gently used c.d.'s as fundraising fodder for the library group. So basically I started picking up anything and everything that caught my fancy. Some made sense and some made others scratch their collective head.

In no particular order of importance, here is a top ten list of artists that I've bought c.d.'s from that five years ago had me saying, "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww."

1} C2C: Tetra. This group of three play/performs what is commonly called dance music, but in my day was called techno & electronica. I first got attracted to this group because of the song Down The Road used to be played a lot on a local college station, mostly as a bridge between programs. Drove me nuts since they did not identify the songs they used as bridges. Overall, a very cool c.d.

2} Cherry Poppin' Daddies: Zoot Suit Riot. They play what is called Swing/Jazz. I previously purchased a c.d. from The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones. Wound up not liking it, but I thought I would give the genre another shot. Didn't like this one either, but at least I blew just $1 as opposed to $10 on the Bosstones.

3} La Esperanza: Esperanza II. I'm always intrigued about classical guitar/flamenco music, which was the main reason why I picked this one up. Very intriguing c.d. According to Amazon, you can only buy this as an on-demand c.d.

4} LFO: LFO. Boy band. 'nuff said.

5} Spice Girls. Spice World: Girl band. Okay, so I was intrigued enough about the group some 25 years after the fact to see what all the brew-ha-ha was all about. Seriously. And you bet I'll torture your ears. If I can tolerate it, you can too.

6} Jennette McCurdy: Jennette McCurdy: Former NickTeen star on the show ICarly and the one and done show Sam & Cat (with Arianna Grande). Sings in a country vein. Haven't listened to yet.

7} Tatu: 200km/h In The Wrong Lane: I heard about them somewhere. After reading their Wikipedia entry, they were a very successful Russian dance/electronica music duo. I got about one track in and turned it off.

8} Richard Kastle: Streetwise. Contemporary classical music musician. more than 'nuff said.

9} Hollywood Undead: Hollywood Undead. White boy gangsta rap. Check out my unvarnished 2 star review.

Uggh...can you believe that all I came up with is 9. 9 out of 504 c.d.'s that got me to scratch my head as well as yours. Which means that the remaining 495 c.d.'s have some kind of redeeming quality to them. Except maybe....

10} Phish. Farmhouses. I hate Phish. Hate them with a passion. Would rather listen to an album side of live Grateful Dead on the radio (yes, there is a program on college radio that has a segment called Flashback, in which he highlights an album/c.d. for the first 75 minutes or so) than listen to Phish. Having said all that, you're probably asking why did I pick this  up then? Simple: click on the link and you'll see that nowhere on the image is the bands name. On the spine, the name is small black print on gray background.

Thus my friends, a top ten list of questionable music choices. Next week I'll take a shot at my favorite 10 c.d.'s  of all time.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

October 5, 2016

I Gots The Rhythms In My Heads

As per the norm on this semi-stable yet highly abnormal blog, a fresh post is to be had at I Are Writer!, which features an update (among other things) to the status of the print release of What Is Life? (currently available for your Kindle and its various offshoots).

So, the other day, I finally finished cataloging my vast c.d. collection. Among the various minutia that I'd learned along way, was the fact that I slightly underestimated (not stratergized) the amount of c.d.'s in my collection. I believe I'd previously mentioned that I'd possessed about 600 c.d.'s. Well my friends, the actual amount of c.d.'s is not Levi 501 jeans, but 501 individual releases of single, double and in one particular instance, a Curtis Mayfield box set.

Impressive, eh?

You know what's more impressive? The amount of places that I patronized in order to purchase my c.d.'s. A total of at least 17 different places and two people were graced with my presence. These places include defunct music retailers like Circuit City & Borders, defunct local supermarkets like Food Mart, a concert venue and the ever popular B&N. But by far, the bulk of my purchases, topping at 57.8% {290+}, were made at my local public library.

Coincidentally, the public library is probably where I spent the least of amount of total dollars, with the bulk of the c.d.'s costing me but one-tenth of a Alexander Hamilton. The most expensive places on my shopping list were Amazon, Borders, B&N, FYE and the ever popular store. Yes, about 6% of my purchases were made at the unknown store. Why unknown? Because even someone like me, who has a very good memory for all kinds of pointless minutia, can't recall every place that was graced with my presence.

I think what makes this collection all the more impressive is that it's been roughly 20 years since my ears were opened to the beauty that is college/free-form radio (that would be 1996). From that point forward, I learned not only to listen to all kinds of genres but to appreciate those genres as well. There are still some genres that I will not listen to unless I either get the c.d.'s on the cheap (like country-pop) or just not listen to period (pop and most classic rock), but beyond that, I've listened to roughly two dozen genres/sub-genres of music.

From hard rock to heavy metal, bluegrass to Americana, classical to Cajun and everything else in between, I've sampled them all. I have some c.d.'s that I've enjoyed and some that would make you scratch your head and ask, "What in the world were you thinking?"

Well, my friends, I'm hoping to bring to you within the next week or two some examples of "What was I thinking when I decided to buy this?"

Until then, I leave you with a video of a favorite song that was covered, in my opinion, very badly by U2.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

September 28, 2016

Is It Time?

Got the opening lyrics of this song rambling around in my head and  I thought  I would share Adrian Belew's nifty cover of it today.

While you're jammin' on some good early 80's schlock, I thought would spend a few minutes contemplating the meaning of life, or rather, the meaning of blogging.

Blogging, for me, has changed radically as a platform to engage the various peoples that I've come across over the past 8 1/2 years. From an initial start of six to eight posts a week in 2008, we have dwindled down to two posts a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) on two different blogs. While the Saturday blog has been exclusively devoted to my writing journeys (albeit a mix of PG-13 & R), both fresh and re-heated, which in turn has allowed me to find my ju-ju again, this blog has of late, become a vastly different enterprise.

To be honest exceptionally blunt with everyone, my ju-ju with this blog has been pretty much decimated. I'm finding it to be extremely difficult to come up with any kind of meaningful post for this blog. Doesn't matter what the potential topic may be, I've covered it at least a baker's dozen times. Even if it's writing related, I've covered it ad nauseum here.

With that being said, one can come to the not-quite-erroneous conclusion that I'm riding off into the sunset. While I do have one foot in the stirrup, I'm pretty sure that due to no arm strength to speak of (thank you Mr. DNA) I have no conceivable way of swinging my pasty white leg over the horse and saddle.

So until I can figure out a way to either get that pasty white leg of mine over the horse and saddle or  remove my other pasty white leg from stirrup and give the horse a slap on the rump, I will continue to think very long and very hard about what I want to do here.

The 4th Quarter is upon us (no, not the football 4th quarter, but the traditional business calendar 4th Q) and one way or another, I will have a decision for one and all on what I want to do with this wonderful Blogger blog on New Year's Day 2017.

In the meantime, if you do follow football, I implore you to come over to the dark side and become a member of the cult we call The New England Patriots.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

September 21, 2016

I Done Left Them Speechless

Blogging on the fly, as of late, is something I'm not exceptionally good at. Take today's post for example. Due to some computer related issues, coupled with work and family obligations, I wrote this post between 6:30 and 7a this morning. Yup, freshly born, freshly squeezed and freshly flattened like a fruit fly.

But, I do have a topic in which to wax poetically really?, philosophically really??, nastily much better.

 As most of you probably know, I've been published in that very rare triad: self published/vanity, self published/normal, traditionally published. Today's post will cover a very rare encounter with ASI aka Author's House.

I've published two books through them, of which Betrayed! is still available for purchase. The other we simply will not go there as it took me quite a while to recover from that stupendous mistake. Anywho, periodically, like every couple of weeks, I receive both e-mails and phone calls from them. The e-mails usually go to my Yahoo accounts, which are seldom used for anything of import. The phone calls I usually screen like a hawk, so they never, ever make it through to me.

Yesterday (9/20), a very rare one made it through my work phone. It did for the simple reason of this being a short week due to circumstance inflicted on us by our state IT agency. So while I was talking to a co-worker, my phone rang. I politely excused myself to answer it, sensibly thinking it was a staff member with a payroll issue.

No such friggin' luck as it was a happy/sappy marketer from ASI. I decided right then and there to go on the super polite offense of delivering a reality check. He started his tired spiel about the various sales that were going on for my books.

I stopped him and said that the first one should not be available for sale as I sent in paperwork three-four years ago to delist it. He then started with the second book, and I stopped him by saying that I was in the process of re-writing the second book and that there was no need to do anything to that book. He then started to ask what I was doing for my readers, and I reiterated that I was rewriting the book for my readers.

He then started his spiel about using ASI to publish it and I said, I was planning on using Amazon and Smashwords. I also said, why should I pay to get it published when I can publish it for free and the cost is simply a 70/30 royalty split with Amazon & Smashwords.

On that particular point I started to pour it on white hot bubbling heavy and subsequently I got from him was ummm....ummmm...uh-huh. I did pause long enough to give him time to respond to each extremely valid points, but apparently he had a really hard time deviating from script.

I finished up my conversation by politely saying that I didn't need anymore books because what I have has allowed me to open a bookstore and file a Schedule C every year. I also said if he wanted to send me paperwork to delist the other book that would be fine because I was more than content to let the book gather dust on their website.

Because he still has no response to my salient points, I wished him a great day and hung up.

There really isn't any moral to this story beyond stating that sometimes you have grab stupid by the nape of the neck and present them with a Dick & Jane 1st grade primer, because frankly, that's about their IQ can really handle. I'm sure I'll continue to get calls from them, but if I continue with the same point of attack, they eventually get the message and put me on their do not call list.

*Or not, because after all, I am the conductor of the Obvious Train and I'm making the stops to pick up those who still need a clue. "All aboard! You! You!"

*borrowed from the Nick show The Thundermans

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

September 14, 2016

Simply Full Of Delicious Tofu Goodness

Normally I would say that there's a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, but lately the content is not quite so fresh, in that it's a simple rehash of my writing adventures for the past 8 years, updated for Tumblr. But, if your curiosity is piqued, then curiosity fulfillment is a just a click away.

Now, for those of you who, after reading the post title, think that I just started playing poker with a pinochle deck, nothing could be further than the distance between lucidity and The Donald or The Hillary. I are still a meateater, with the occasional bit of poultry and fish thrown in for fun. However, the need to write a post of subsistence this week has forced me to drift to the dark side of humanity.

Namely, vegetarianism.

Earlier this year, my wonderful 15 1/2 year old daughter, Jenelle (she had just dyed hair prior to this pic and was vamping it up for dear old Dad) decided, after careful thought and consideration, to become a vegetarian.

The reasoning she used was what most people use when deciding to eliminate meat from their eating habits. Which is to say, that family life as we know it, got turned sideways and wrapped itself around a sunflower.

For those of you who may have not paid attention to my various ramblings about vegetarianism, long story short, while I'm not overly thrilled about it, I accept it at face value, and so long as those who do, don't try to mock me for what I eat, I don't mock them. I also try to learn about it as much as possible, since I have friends and co-workers who are, so at the very least, I can help my daughter get along with what she is.

Shopping for her can be an adventure, and indeed it was for the first few months as we tried to figured out she liked or didn't like as it applied to her new diet. But it did eventually settle down to something that made things, if not slightly redundant, at the most slightly compatible.

The only adventures we have in regards to her new eating lifestyle, is that because she is such a high energy/high octane kind of gal (skating, marching band, dance, skater gurl), is making sure she gets enough protein. So the collective (family, skating coaches) that deals with her on a minute basis 24/7, gently (and I do mean gently) nag her about eating the right kind of foods that will give maximum protein.

The other adventure we have is making sure that she can participate in eating out activities. Nothing worse, I believe, than not being able to participate in group eating activities. Which usually means I'm always on the prowl in finding suitable places for her to eat at. I found some places (Burger King & Moe's Southwest Grill) that carry veggie burgers on the menu. There are others (Subway for example), that she is not thrilled about. Then there are places that she has found on her own that satisfies what she needs/craves for fast food.

While there are the occasional blips (hissy fits for accidently having meat sauce inadvertently placed on her pasta), overall it has been a relatively smooth transition. We don't question her reasoning as to why the change nor do we speak disparagingly about it and she appreciates the time and effort that we spend in assimilating her wants/needs to every day life.

And ultimately, that really is the only thing you can honestly do as a parent: respect the decision that your child has made and help make the transition that much smoother in the long run.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

September 7, 2016

The Silence Of Radio's Neo-Modern Age

 Okay, so it's a seriously long title for a very short phrase: radio silence. Chances are, if you're under the age of 30 and not an narrow-minded activist of some kind, you probably don't get the concept of radio silence. Radio silence is basically keeping one's mouth sealed shut while doing something not-quite-legal so that you don't get caught, or keeping one's mouth sealed shut while trying to get the jump on the peoples doing something not-quite-legal. or simply keeping one's mouth shut while something worthwhile is going on (i.e. a concert not featuring rock music).

But, there are times when radio silence can be applied to other kinds of issues that don't necessarily fit that round hole so that you can nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.

For example, over the years, you have heard me do some stupendously intense venting about my co-workers, mostly over the ungraspable concept of comprehension. Well, over the past year or so, I've applied the concept of radio silence to dealing with recalcitrant co-workers, with remarkable results.

Ya see, I have a small percentage of co-workers who must have a minimum two and half page e-mail, consisting of back and forth replies before they can actually comprehend what I'm saying to them (often ad nauseum). Because of this thoroughly unnecessary neediness, I would frequently find myself answering those e-mails in an increasingly snarky/hostile tone and manner. Finally, it got to the point where I knew that if I responded to one more of their increasing obtuse replies, I would get into trouble.

So, what I would do is simply apply radio silence to this staff member by not answering their latest salvo. Presto! No more dealing with people who simply REFUSE. TO. GET. IT.

Ultimately, it made my work life a whole lot easier, because they no longer had someone they could drive nutty with their constant neediness.

On the flipside, radio silence came in handy whenever I would receive an e-mail from someone who was hell bent on causing me grief by insulting my intelligence (among other things). I usually got those kind of e-mails from union stewards who were trying to show how sanctimoniously right they were and how wrong I was. With those e-mails, I usually forwarded those to my supervisor to handle.

Yes, indeedie-doodie, radio silence is a job saver for me, since now, instead of unleashing the mouth from hell whenever I get an e-mail from someone who's comprehension skills are at the level of a toddler, I simply read and delete.

And occasionally, print and share the stupider ones with my co-workers.

Tune in next week, where the goal is to have something either a bit heavier or bit esoteric. In the mean time, here's a peacock from Clinton, Tennessee chillin' on the homestead.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 31, 2016

Expanding Your Musical Horizons Is Fraught With Aggravation

Some of you may recall back in the 1Q of 2016, I mentioned my intentions about possibly participating in the 2016 A-Z Challenge. I also mentioned that the amount of prep work needed would probably not make participation a reality for this year.

The topic? My C.D. collection. The prep work needed? I was sincerely afraid you would ask that.

A brief info dump is required. About two years ago or so, I had a decent size collection of roughly 300+ c.d.'s that I would listen to with a good degree of regularity. I had samplings of genres that had interested me: hard rock, rock, metal, bluegrass, punk and alt rock. And just like I did with my record collection, I often bought the c.d. for the one or two songs that got radio airplay, then had a ton 'o fun exploring the rest of the c.d.

Then when I moseyed to my public library one fine day, I saw some used c.d.'s for sale. Turns out that in addition to the huge semi-annual book sales that the library holds every year, they also had stuff for sale on a daily basis. Long story short, I decided to help the library and expand my c.d. collection at the same time. So every time I went to the library (about once a week or so), I walked out with five to ten c.d.'s costing a dollar apiece. You name the genre, I probably picked up at least one c.d. from it.

Fast forward to today. Today, I have 3 huge c.d. racks totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of 600+ c.d.'s (note, if you need a good quality c.d. rack, that triples as a DVD/Blue Ray DVD rack as well, please consider buying it from Amazon. Took me & my daughter about twenty minutes to put one of them together). It has gotten so large that because my memory isn't like it should be these days (which @ 94% recall is pretty damn good), to prevent the remote possibility of buying dupes, a good database was needed.

So about two weeks ago, I cleared out two of my c.d. racks and brought them downstairs to begin the laborious process of data-entering them into a stripped down Xcel spreadsheet. With everything else going on, it should take me about two to three months to get them all entered. In the meantime, I have put a moratorium on my c.d. buying until I get at least 85% of my collection entered.

Once I get it all done, I'll probably spend some time creating a couple of static pages for the 2017 A-Z Blogging challenge.

So essentially, while the immediate goal is paticipating in the 2017 challenge, the overall goal is to have a written record of what I got, so when I decide to add to it, I know what I don't need. Gotta love tapping into one's latent OCD when the situation calls for it.

Oh, and to give everyone a sobering reality check, when it comes to the chasing the almighty dollar, the music industry is head and shoulders above the rest.

Back in the day when I was my daughter's age (early 80's), new vinyl long players cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 to $14, depending on whether it was a single or double. Vinyl is now exploding in popularity again, so new vinyl long players are starting somewhere in the $25-$30 price range for a single, and $40-$60 for doubles. This includes both new releases and reissues of old releases (example, Prince's Purple Rain now retails for $29). I'm sure Amazon will start to come down on the vinyl releases soon, but you can pick up new vinyl at B&N, Urban Outfitters and other fine semi-high end retailers. Used may be tougher, but locally, we have a great place called Integrity & Music.

Yes, the things we do to open our brain just a little bit can sometimes bring up the question, "Is it worth it?"

In this case, it sure is.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 24, 2016


So. Over at the land of Tumblr, which is currently owned by Yahoo, but soon to be owned by someone else (Yahoo that is), we have a fresh post at I Are Writer!

Over at Amazon, as promised we have our poison pen, or rather, poison computer book review of The Butler's Child. Strangely enough, if you scroll down a bit, you'll see a hilarious comment that someone left calling me a "racist" for equating a well known murder case with another well known murder case. Because I have a basic understanding on how things work on the Amazon commenting forums, there is no way in Sulfur City that I will dignify that comment with a response.

Even though it was a lovely addition to this post, the state of being offered by the post title (pop culture reference King Of The Hill) isn't about that, but about the annoying little things that go wrong when you're trying to take one step forward but find yourself doing the cha-cha.

Annoying little thing numero uno: I decided to participate in a giveaway that a fellow author was doing. She was asking for leftover schwag that people had to use to create giveaway boxes, so I decide to participate. I shipped some stuff out last week (postcards & business cards). Yesterday, got an e-mail from her friend asking if I had mailed something to her. I said "yes, why?". She said, "it came postage due". I said, "seriously?". She said, "yes. because it was shipped media mail, the postmaster opened it, examined it, and determined it was advertisements."

I was actually warned about this on my end 'cause the post office was cracking down on people who used media mail to ship more expensive non-media items. So what I said was this to her, "you can either pay it for me and I'll reimburse you, or return to sender and I'll reship priority mail."

If she chooses #1, I'll send her check for the amount, plus free copies of my books from Smashwords for her aggravation. #2 I'll reship it and will still give her coupons for my books.

August 17, 2016

My Life Is Indeed Weird

'Tis a strange week that I've experienced so far.

As per the norm, a fresh post is up at I Are Writer!, and as per not the norm, an ultra rare post is up at Cedar's Mountain. Yes, you read correctly: a fresh post is up at Cedar's Mountain. For the first, and quite possibly the only time this year, I blew out the dust bunnies and wrote a fresh blog post at Cedar's Mountain. The why behind it is very simple: I was challenged by a meme that a Facebook friend posted in his newsfeed the other day about health insurance. Since I'm not one to let a particular topic that I know a little bit about go unanswered, answering it is what I did. However, since I didn't want to gum up my weekly blog with a one off that was seriously long on verbiage and seriously long on sarcasm and nor did I want to post it on my adult blog, Cedar's Mountain became the default choice. If you got the time, please check it out.

As for here, I like to write a short blurb about my lovely daughter Jenelle.

Jenelle is kind of like me at her current age (15 1/2) when I was growing up: smart, a smart ass, and someone who reads way above her age level.

Just about everyone here knows the age level kind that I gear my writing towards, and over the years I've made doubly sure that none of my writings made it to the astral plane that my daughter travels on. Being the responsible parent, I try my best to keep track of what my daughter reads (when she does read) and nudge her towards age appropriate material (he says with a straight face).

So you can imagine my surprise (no really, I was...semi) when she mentioned that she wanted to read my latest.

J: "Dad, I want to read your book."
GB: "Excuse me?"
J: "I want to read your book."
GB: "It's only available on Amazon and I have it listed as 18+, so you won't be able to buy it."

The next two minutes basically covered a few certain workarounds that those under 18 perform when they want something out of their age range. The next two after that had me explaining why it was listed as 18+. She kept up the pressure by saying she talked up my book to her friends. Finally I said this:

"Okay, here's the 3rd draft of the e-book, sans the 18+ story, and a postcard that you can share with your friends."

And thus ended the latest encounter/skirmish with my daughter, which I probably did not win (I rarely do).

We finish up this post by highlighting a non-fiction book that I read in which I plan on writing a scathing review on. I read an auto-bio by famed civil rights attorney Lewis M. Steele entitled "The Butler's Child." In a nutshell, in my personal opinion, this book from beginning to end is one ginormous apology for white privilege. Apparently Mr. Steele, whose family was the Warner Brothers movie company, suffered enormously from white privilege and spent his entire life apologizing and trying to make amends for it. I would say more about this, but the more I think about this book, the more angrier/annoyed I get. So I'll save my anger/annoyance for the 2 star review that I plan giving this book.

Tune in next week, when I'll have more pearls of wisdom to share with one and all, and quite possibly, a book review too. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this question: ever read a book that afterwards left a very strong negative impression on you?

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 10, 2016


As per the norm after a very minor hiatus (due to redundancy issues), a fresh post is up at I Are Writer!

Now, back to here.

I had a very tough time in coming with a blog post for today. I'd first started off last week writing about my dream world, but I hit a traditional four tine fork in the road. Then, I started writing about radio silence, but it soon took a turn for the nasty, so we put that on the back burner as well. That left me with the prospect of not having a post for everyone and in fact, I came this close to performing a post repeater from early July when I was on vaca.

But, I couldn't do that to everyone yet again.

What to do, what to do, what to do....then, out of the tiny corner of my brain, inspiration struck @ 5a this morning (seriously).

Let's write about skool!

For those of you who may not be parents or part of the decrepit US educational system, feel free to move on to the next blathering drive-by post. But, if you feel like that you must hang around to get in your fair share of "HA! BETTER YOU THAN ME!", go for it. On this blog, smugness is a virture.

Just like the retail Christmas season, which pretty much starts in October, so goes the retail skool season, which usually starts the 2nd week after skool has ended for everyone. My answer to that is pretty much my boilerplate answer to everything else that starts earlier than God: W. T. F. IS GOING ON HERE?

Summer is short enough as it is, why ruin it for millions of kids and millions of parents by shoving down everyone's collective throats skool related crapola!

August 3, 2016

What Is Life?

Now available for pre-order, my short story anthology, What Is Life?

Only on Amazon will you find this nifty e-book for the wickedly low price of $1.39. Cover was done by Kellie Dennis at Book Cover by Design and formatting was done by Go Published.

"What Is Life?" is the eternal question that we all seek the answer to. This four act play sets out to answer that question with stories featuring the twin themes of the four seasons of Nature and the four stages of life.

Cedar Mountain looks at a year in the long bountiful life of a gentle mountain through the eyes of the mountain itself. The keeper of secrets old and new, of experiences young and old, this gentle mountain has seen it all. Not with jaded eyes, but with eyes that radiate pure love for the world around it.

The Forest samples a moment in time, when spirits and sorceresses ruled the world with a ruthlessness that was efficiently gentle, and nature was a just means to an undignified end.

Creativity In Action looks in on a not-so-typical day of Todd, a wanna-be writer of dubious adult fiction. The trials and tribulations that he goes through in order to write boggles the mind and yet, somehow when all is said and done, gets the reward he richly deserves.

Red Stripe examines a typical day in a not-your-prototypical punk rock musician. Krystal, in addition to being an extraordinary vocalist, is also an exceptionally polished classical guitarist. A rising start with the drive and determination to be the best guitarist/vocalist in punk music.

The actual release date is August 12th. Avoid the rush and be the first one on your block to get the latest from one of your fave writer/.bloggers today!

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.