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.