Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest

“There is a $10 entry fee, which helps defray a portion of the cost of operating the contest. All entries must be received electronically or postmarked by *July 1, 2015*.
“Stories must be between 1,500 and 5,000 words in length. All stories must be previously unpublished (excluding personal website and/or blog publication). No extreme profanity or graphic sex scenes.”

For more info and where to enter: Thanks, Kathy Temean.

Writing and Illustrating

saturday evening postThe 2016 Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest is underway! In its nearly three centuries of existence, The Saturday Evening Post has published short fiction by a who’s who of American authors including Ray Bradbury, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Louis L’Amour, Jack London, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Tyler, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Sinclair Lewis, among so many others.

Now you have the opportunity to join our illustrious lineup by entering The Saturday Evening Post’s fourth annual Great American Fiction Contest. “This contest is a tribute to the Post’s legacy of featuring the most renowned American fiction writers,” says Steven Slon, editorial director and associate publisher for The Saturday Evening Post. “Our goal is to continue the tradition of finding and featuring compelling stories and the authors behind them.”

The winning story will be published in the January/February 2016 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, and the…

View original post 168 more words

Class Dismissed!

Indies unite! Save good authors from unnecessary despair and good books from oblivion! Eschew traditional publicatio!!

So you want to be a writer?

This is what I took away from the master class on how to get published last Friday: agents are pompous snobs.

Correction: the agents at this class were pompous snobs. ‘Well, the truth is, most people can’t write,’ one said in a lofty tone. The other one said, ‘And to be honest, I’m very, very busy with my already existent clients, so I don’t have much time to read from the slush-pile.’ However, they wanted to ensure us that if the writing was good, then of course they would take us on as clients.

Someone asked about taste, as in: aren’t agents just as subjective as the rest of us? How much of the decision making comes down to personal taste? ‘None,’ they said. We are professional people and know good writing when we see it,’ they said.

I raised my hand and asked how much of the decision making is colored by trends…

View original post 424 more words

My #SocialMedia Ground Rules: I Hope You’ll Adhere to Them; I Will Enforce

My #SocialMedia Ground Rules: I Hope You’ll Adhere to Them; I Will Enforce

Social media icons

Dear Social Media “Friends,” “Followers” and those who “Circle” me:

—Please do not privately message (PM or DM) me to promote ANYTHING or ask me to “LIKE” something or follow you. I will block you from then on.

—If you are an #author and want me to notice your books, write good books and let me find them. I don’t have much time to read much these days and I do not write reviews of most books. I’m trying to write my own!

—Please don’t request #bookreviews from me unless I know you and have reviewed your books already. I do not do swaps.

No Meme
image from

—Please do not become a “friend” or “follower” and then send me private messages in order to “date” me. It’s creepy. That is a horrible way to get connected. I will unfriend/uncircle you immediately.

—Please do not comment on my appearance, my photo, or my life in a private message if we don’t know each other. It’s also creepy. I will block you.

—Please do not “ping” me (put my name in your post) just to promote your…. whatever. See above.

—Please don’t ask me to vote up, promote, or review books I haven’t read. Do not send me “chain” posts or demand that I… Whatever. I won’t do it.

image from:

—If you keep posting (I give you one “free pass”) about Jesus, Mohammed, God, or your non-Buddhist religious books, I will mute and then “unfriend”/”uncircle” you. I’m not interested. I don’t want Bible verses (“Old” or “New” Testament), Q’ran passages, Vendanta quotes or anything else that is not Buddhist appearing on my pages, EVER.

—I will post quotes from Buddhist leaders any time I want. If you don’t like seeing those, mute or unfriend me, but please do not argue or post nasty comments about these posts.

—Please do not post pictures of anyone or anything else that is even a tiny bit NOT PG-13 on MY pages, ever, unless you’re making a salient point about sex-trafficking, abuse of minors or women, or health information.

—If you post “artistic” photos that are almost always pictures of half-naked people, I will mute your posts and probably uncircle/unfriend you; same if those are your usual book covers. My audience rating is to remain PG-13.

image from:

—In fact, unless we are actually friends and I know you fairly well, don’t post on my pages at all. PM/DM or email me and ask permission, being specific about what you want to post. Then, I will respond with “Yes, thanks!” or “No, thanks.”

—If I don’t like your politics but you are not offensively promoting them, that’s usually all right, depending on what they are. I’ll let you be. If I really hate your views, I can mute you.

—If you are hate-mongering, misogynistic, racist, classist, mean-spirited, name-calling and otherwise right-wing/ultra-orthodox anything and therefore, in my opinion, obnoxious, I will block you.

no isms allowed

—Please do not post rabid anti-Israel views on my pages, ever. My family is Jewish and some of them live there. Get a clue. I may not support all of its politics or actions, but I definitely support Israel’s right to exist. Intelligent, thoughtful discussions about Israeli politics and actions are welcomed; they are not always what I wish Israel would be doing, either.

Want to know what you are INVITED to do?

Curating Good Content: If you write or repost something you think I’d be interested in and it’s NOT an attempt to sell me your stuff, then by all means, “ping” me. I love learning/seeing new stuff on topics I’m interested in (which are MANY: check my previous posts. I will reblog/repost/share your great posts and give you full credit.

Connecting: If you are a reader of my books or posts, a sympathetic author, a meditator (especially Buddhist), a science-lover (especially quantum physics), a science-fiction fan, in harmony with me politically (feminist, left of liberal), or otherwise resonate positively with my writing, talk show and/or posts, please contact me to ask questions, offer suggestions, get to know me, especially if you live in or are coming through St. Louis, MO, USA!

image from:

Chatting: Want to promote yourself and have a great conversation while doing it? Check out my talk show, CHANGES conversations between authors, and offer to come on as a guest. Info is on my website:

Cooperating: Want more exposure? Offer to Guest Blog something that is NOT purely for self-promotion. Use my email address for these inquiries, which is on my website’s
“Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame.”

Community-Building: To get to know me, join groups/communities I’m active in (not a lot of those, though: on Facebook are “Clean Indie Reads,” “Fantasy and Sci-Fi Net,” “Gutsy Indie Publishers”; on Google+ are “User2User LIVE!,” “Lights, Camera, HOA!” are a few) and post something besides self-promotional posts and I might become interested in you and your books.

Collaborating: To get my attention, comment on my blog, follow my blog, comment on my posts, participate/view my talk show, CHANGES, buy my books and write reviews (or do that for Volume I, which is free), offer to help “crowdcreate” my two Volumes (VIII and IX), THEN email or PM me.

art by Aidana Willowraven

Crowdfunding: To support getting my ebooks into print, my videocasts into podcasts, my next two book covers and my ongoing support of other authors, my blog and my writing, AND get at least a free ebook or reduced-price editing/proofreading/writing tutoring services, please visit and donate to my crowdfunding campaign! I even sing a song for your consternation pleasure! :

I know many won’t see this, but it’s worth a try.

Where to find me:  main website, which has ALL links to books, other sites, reviews, interviews, CHANGES episodes, Guest Blog posts of mine on others’ sites, and more  Amazon Central author page Twitter: @sallyemberedd Spanners Series’ page on FB Sally’s FB page Pinterest Boards Spanners Series’ page on Google+ Sally Sue Ember on Google+ Youtube Channel Goodreads page  

“What to do to Keep Writing Even if You Think You Don’t Feel Like Writing”: Guest Post by John Howell #Amwriting #author

Suffer from writer’s block (which today’s guest blogger declares NON-EXISTENT)? Lack inspiration? Find it difficult to keep to a schedule, a word count goal, a deadline?

One of my guests on CHANGES conversations between authors (see below for more info about our Episode), John Howell, offer tips, advice, humor and more to help you out of your slump! Welcome to my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame”, John!

“What to do to Keep Writing Even if You Think You Don’t Feel Like Writing”:
Guest Post by John Howell
#Amwriting #author

a frustrated  writer for John H
image from http://venture

I am very grateful for the guest spot on Sally Ember’s blog. Thank you, Sally, for having me today. I had originally wanted to do some humorous stuff about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

However, as I thought about being a guest of Sally Ember, Ed.D, I had some second thoughts. After all, Sally’s blog is a source of all kinds of interesting information as well as a place to visit to learn new things. Stand-up comedy may be more of a fit over at my dump.

I should explain why I chose the subject I did choose. I have been asked, since becoming a full-time writer, about the most important piece of advice I could give a new writer. My answer always includes the advice to keep writing.

Just last week I was being interviewed and the question came up again. I gave my answer. Then, after the interview, I thought about what I would say to someone wanting to become a writer but not knowing how to keep writing. I decided right there and then to put some hints down on paper.

This post is the result of taking the time to detail some strategies that may be helpful to encourage a person to keep writing. So here goes.

To keep writing…

  1. establish a routine that includes writing something.
    This routine, by necessity, has to include other parts of the person’s life as well. It does a writer no good to commit simply to writing and meanwhile ignore all the other things that make a life a life. These other things include eating, sleeping, socializing and whatever work one has to do. It also includes those things that being part of the family dictate.
    When I first started writing, I would do jobs around the house in the morning and then turn to writing after lunch. One of the problems with this routine is there are so many things that can get in the way of the writing. Things getting in the way is especially true if the writing is difficult or the scene a little unclear.
    So, I changed my routine. I gave writing the top priority and once a minimum amount accomplished, I would be available for other parts of living.
    I am suggesting that new writers only commit to writing a low level of word count or page count. As a writer progresses, the count will go up during the same amount of time.
    I currently write one thousand words each day. After that, I am free to do other things or keep writing.

  2. do not show others any work that is not finished. Work includes full manuscripts, short stories, and poems. The quickest way to stop writing is to succumb to well-meaning criticism before the work is complete.
    Once you complete a piece of work, you can show it to anyone you wish and collect all the comments meant to improve the product. Trying this prior to finish is a completion-killer.

  3. do not recognize the phantom phenomena called writer’s block. There is no such thing. There may be a lapse in creativity, but as far as blocked is concerned, a writer should not give themselves the excuse of explaining the lack of writing as writers block.
    When I feel stuck on a story line, I write a short story. In this way, I am still writing and keeping the creative mind open. I find that the story will cause me to think of a solution. I have had some short stories become part of the manuscript, since the story solved whatever the issue was in the first place.

  4. vary the medium. Do this by creating a blog, guest posting on other’s sites, entering contests and writing book reviews. These are just a few of the things that can be done to keep the writing assignment fresh and interesting.
    Simply working on a novel day after day can cause the creativity to dry up: the writer will find they are going through the motions as opposed to bringing the passion and creativity needed for the task.
    I currently post seven days a week on my blog. The posts are original material and of various subjects. I do not write about writing. I spend enough time doing writing; I don’t feel like continuing the subject in some informational format. Besides, there are a lot of very qualified people who give a lot of good advice on writing. I just want to have fun. [Except for today!… note from Sally]

  5. don’t pay any attention to query rejections. The only message in a rejection is the piece did not fit what was going on with the reader at the time of the rejection. It could be that the one who is rejecting the work couldn’t face reading one more thing that day and didn’t take enough time. They could have awakened on the wrong side of the bed or quit drinking coffee for some unknown reason.
    The point is, when a writer gets a rejection, it does not mean to stop writing. It is just a rejection; heaven knows, we all have received a lot of those.

  6. find a way to reward yourself for accomplishing your daily quota of writing. It can be as simple as relaxing with a TV show or book. The important thing is that the writer is giving the writer permission to recognize themselves for a job well done.
    When I finish the week with my word quota achieved, I take some time on the veranda with a margarita. It’s not for everyone, but is my way of telling me I’ve done a good job for the week.
    By the way, there is no other person on the Earth who will give writers kudos for doing what the writer loves to do. If a writer does not love what they do, they should find something else to occupy the time.

To summarize, Keep on writing, no matter what.

Thanks again, Sally.

About John Howell:

John H photo
Photo by Tim Burdick

 John W. Howell was held captive for over forty years by organized commerce. In 2012, he was finally released to begin writing full-time. His novel, <em>My GRL</em>, has been published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of a <strong><em>John J. Cannon</em></strong> trilogy.
 The second is now with the publisher and the third in the final editing stage. In addition, John has also finished another novel not in the series which is being queried. 
 John lives with his wife and rescue pets on a barrier island off the coast of South Texas.

Find John:
Twitter: @HowellWave
Authors db:

my grl  John

My GRL is a fiction thriller telling the story of John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, who takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. John is unaware that his boat has been targeted by a terrorist group to be used to destroy a symbol of America’s greatness. John’s first inkling of trouble occurs when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was found unconscious next to the body of the woman who first sold him the boat. John now is the only one standing between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Links to My GRL:
on Amazon
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CAN:
Amazon author page:

Barnes and Noble:
Martin Sisters Publishing: Http://

John Howell was my guest on Episode 14 of CHANGES conversations between authors. Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:

Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts, read my guidelines and then contact me if you’re interested:

Book Promotion: Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni by Mary Smith

Very happy to see my most recent guest on *CHANGES* conversations between authors, Episode 31, featured here: Mary Smith!
Watch conversations with my previous *CHANGES* guests any time:

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on *CHANGES*, and
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest:

DreamQuestOne Poetry & Writing Contest is now accepting entries!‏

#opportunities for #poets and other #writers, here!

Writing and Illustrating


The above illustration was sent in from Craig Orback. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Click here to see more of his work.

This is DreamQuest One’s 10th year of inspiring, motivating and encouraging anyone having the desire or love of poetry and writing, to continue doing so without fear of failure or success. We are now accepting entries in our Summer 2015 competition at Dream Quest One. We hope you are still writing and artistically creating with passion and enthusiastically driven from your heart & mind to pen and paper. Enter your best poems and/or short stories for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $1275.00!

How to Enter Your Poems & Stories!
Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.

And/or write a story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, fiction or non-fiction (including…

View original post 320 more words

Runaway Smile is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards

So excited for Nicholas Rossis, my guest on Episode 7 of *CHANGES* conversations with authors and a guest blogger on my site, for his children’s book’s having been selected as a FINALIST for the 2015 International Book Awards! Mazel Tov! Good luck! ἴkalY tYkhy! ἴΚαλή τύχη!

Catch Nicholas’ and my *CHANGES* Episode and any of the 30+ others:  OR

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on *CHANGES*, and
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest:   OR

Nicholas C. Rossis

Runaway Smile by fantasy, science fiction and children's books author Nicholas C. Rossis is a Finalist in the 2015 International Book AwardsI got some exciting news yesterday, which I wanted to share with all of you! USA Book News announced the winners and finalists of THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA) on May 21, 2015.

Over 300 winners and finalists were announced in over 80 categories and awards were presented for titles published in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Runaway Smile, my children’s book, was an award-winning finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards, in the Children’s Fiction category!

I want to thank my parents, and my wife, Electra, and Dimitris Fousekis, and . Sorry, Electra told me that this is not that kind of post. She promised to listen to my speech as soon as I’m done, though, so I’d better wrap this up and fetch the shampoo bottle (which doubles as award-accepting-ceremony-microphone in our household).

Before I go, a big thank you to all of you who have taken the time…

View original post 25 more words

A free writing competition with a BIG difference – they want you to show off your marketing skills as well

#writing #competition #marketing
Thanks, Bridget, and Ape (for reblogging). I’m checking this out!


market stallNeil Raphel, acquisitions editor of Brigantine Media, says: “… publishing success or failure depends on our authors’ commitment to marketing.”
Brigantine Media, based in Vermont,  started life 30 something years ago promoting business books, but they now see themselves as a publishing house involved in fiction and education as well as business related projects

To spread the word about what they do, Brigantine is hosting Publish or Perish, a writing contest to reward an author who’s created not only a great book, but a plan for selling their great book.

Like what exactly?
The examples they gives include creating Second Life avatars for your main characters or hosting Twitter chats and offering writing advice.

The prize is  a publishing contract with Brigantine and a $2,000 advance.

Any writer can apply – they are looking for all genres, not limited to the ones that they currently focus on.

While there will…

View original post 64 more words

Writing for a Diverse World

#Diversity #childrensbooks
I love this bit: “…instead of PUTTING diversity into my manuscripts, I simply make it a part of my reality check. When I’m going through a WIP, one of the key things I’m always focusing on is how to develop the characters further, make them more real.

“And REAL people, are simply diverse.”

Yes! Thanks, Erika for writing and Kathy for posting.

Writing and Illustrating

erikaphoto-45Erika Wassall, the Jersey Farm Scriber here with my personal thoughts on

Writing for a Diverse World: Diversity in Children’s Books


Big topic folks. Very trending in the writing world. (look at me, using words like “trending”. Um, did I use it right? I’m getting less social-media-incapable every day! Shameless plug here: I’m not the best at that sort of thing. But please come follow me on Twitter @NJFarmScribe. I’m trying to get better! And hearing from you guys always helps!)

So anyway… the big D-word.

We’ve all heard the term thrown around. Agents are looking for it. Writers and parents are lobbying for its importance. But what does it mean to us as writers? In my opinion, that’s a very personal question. And I certainly don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.

I would like to start this post by highlighting that these are nothing more…

View original post 1,136 more words

EXCLUSIVE #Cover-reveal and #pre-launch Guest Blog post by Olga Núñez Miret

EXCLUSIVE #Cover-reveal and #pre-launch Guest Blog post by Olga Núñez Miret

Thanks so much, Sally, for having me as a guest in your blog. I remember with some trepidation when you interviewed me for your series, CHANGES (it was my first time being interviewed via Google Hangout On Air [HOA; see below for more info]), and how enjoyable the experience was. Now, I’m very pleased to take part in your CHANGES Guests’ Guest Blogger series.

Author Olga Núñez Miret

Author Olga Núñez Miret

When we discussed the post, although I wanted to talk about my new series, I wasn’t sure when my next book would be published.

I have been working on a Young Adult/New Adult series on-and-off for the last 3 years. It centers on a girl called Pink (well, Petra, but she doesn’t like her name), and two of her friends, and their adventures in high school. It has paranormal elements to it (angels, demons, bizarre prophecies…).

I wrote the first story in the series, Angelic Business 1, Pink Matters, before I started publishing my books. I left it simmering in the back of my mind. Then, about a year ago, I wrote the second book, Shades of Greg (don’t worry, nothing to do with the other Shades; it’s sort of the name of one of the characters.… Let’s say names aren’t his strong point).

After giving it some thought, I decided I would write the third book when I could. I kept in mind publishing them fairly quickly, one after the other, so people wouldn’t have to wait a long time to get the whole story.

When a writer friend, Teagan Geneviene, suggested I could be her writing buddy for NaNoWriMo last year, I thought it was the perfect chance to write the last novel in the trilogy: Pink, Angel or Demon? was born.

As I always publish my books both in Spanish and English, then came the tasks of translating, correcting, editing. Although translating works very well as a way of revising the original (as I have to read in great detail, I tend to spot inconsistencies, errors, names and locations changes and those kinds of things), it also takes a fair amount of time. I ended up with 6 books needing some tender, loving care and a lot of attention. Well, that’s my excuse for not having published them, yet.

But, things are moving along.

After much discussion and different ideas and suggestions from blogger friends, readers, and everybody I met (including making the decision to take pictures of all the angels I saw, anywhere I went), and after hard work from my friend Lourdes Vidal, whose mastery of Photoshop has always astonished me, we have the covers.

And as you’d given me this great opportunity, I thought I’d share the cover of the first novel with you all. This is a world exclusive!


Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. By Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. By Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Although this might change, this is the blurb of the story (so far):

PINK MATTERS is the story of Pink, a 17-year-old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been is the center of attention; she has also never made it to the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, “special,” both fighting for her attention, helping and telling her that she is the “key to the future of the universe,” she can’t help but ask: “Why me?”

I have shared the beginning of the book in my own blog, but I’ll let YOU ALL come and visit, if you fancy reading more or about a variety of things (including reviews, guest authors, audiobooks, classics).

Thanks very much, Sally, for this opportunity and for bringing me to meet all your readers. Thanks to all of you for reading and good luck to all your guests.



My website is:

My Amazon author page is:úñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

I have a Twitter account: @OlgaNM7

My blog is:

I also have a Facebook author page:

My Goodreads author page is:







Dr. Olga Nuñez Miret, M.D., Ph.D. was my guest on Episode 13 of CHANGES conversations between authors.

Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:

Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts, read my guidelines and then contact me if you’re interested:

Author Central INDIA

#Amazon #Authors: take note! Thanks, Chris McMullen!


Image from ShutterStock Image from ShutterStock


Amazon’s Author Central is now available in India.

Authors can now setup free author pages for Amazon India.

But unlike the UK, France, Germany, and Japan, this is really, really easy.

In fact, it’s automatic.

Once you setup Author Central in the US, it automatically propagates your Author Central page to India.

If you already have Author Central in the US, your author page should already show in India.

Would you like to check if your author page shows up at Amazon India?

If so, use this link: Once there, search for one of your books. Scroll down the product page and you should eventually find your author photo on the left-hand side.

Note that the Author Central info appears farther down the page than usual, below the review section.

Don’t have an Author Central account yet?

You should. It’s…

View original post 257 more words

Top 10 Characteristics #Presidential #Candidates for the #USA 2016 Race Should Have

We have more than a year to go and the field is crowded and, to me, depressingly unfit to run for President in 2016. In listening to, watching and reading about the current candidates, I despair. So, I’m dispensing FREE advice to them. I hope they listen and behave appropriately.

Top 10 Characteristics #Presidential #Candidates for the #USA 2016 Race Should Have

  1. Honesty. Seems obvious, but so far, every candidate from the two main parties, except Bernie Sanders, seems to be an inveterate, pathological liar. Bad start. Even worse are Presidents who lie to us: had way too many of those in the last few decades, right?
  2. Integrity. Also seems obvious. Again, sorely lacking in every mainstream candidate to date, except possibly Bernie Sanders. When is the last time we had a President holding office with integrity? Jimmy Carter? Pathetic crew we’ve had since then. Bums and liars, every one.

    See saw characterics
    image from

  3. Reliability. I want a President who can be relied upon to behave in consistent ways, espouse similar beliefs today as he/she will in four years and did four years go or more, and generally be somewhat predictable, while being open to learning and changing, when appropriate. Few candidates do exhibit this criterion, but it is fulfillable.
  4. Relatability. Have some qualities, experiences, life achievements that I can relate to, that we have in common. We don’t have to be exactly alike, but if a candidate has NOTHING in common with me except having a human body and being a parent, how can I believe that such a President would be able to consider and be empathetic to me, my circumstances?
  5. Advocacy. I want candidates who demonstrate strong passion, commitment, diligence, devotion and inspiration for their chosen causes, especially those that help people, geographic areas, other aspects of political life that have few advocates. I might not like what these candidates are supporting, but I would respect their ability to advocate and expect them to engage in advocacy successfully, when President.

    image from

  6. Ethics. This may seem redundant, but our Presidencies have been sorely lacking in all of the above characteristics for so long it seems we must be specific and particular, here. I want Candidates who hold strong moral positions and do not waver, even if those are based on their religious beliefs which I do not support or adhere to, myself. However, it is unethical for Presidents to impose their personal beliefs on the political system. I want them to know that and behave (and vote/veto) accordingly. “Separation of Church and State” is not just a bumper sticker. Marriage equality, anti-racism, compassion for the poor and downtrodden, equity, age/ability/gender/class fairness and anti-sexism are ethical positions my Candidates should also support completely. Do we have any like that, besides Bernie Sanders?
  7. Intelligence. Candidates must be educated AND intelligent. They must understand and employ science, logic, appropriate argument and rational thinking in all areas. A President must know what questions to ask, whom to ask, and when to say “I need more time and more information before deciding.” A President has to know whom to trust and which “research” is bogus. Is that so much to ask?
  8. Compassion. Kindness, empathy, sympathy, caring: emotional intelligence, or EQ, lead to and contain enormous compassion and are fundamental to the kind of person I want to run for President, critical for anyone actually getting elected. Not just for those “like us,” or for those we already care about, but compassion for ALL. That’s what I’m talking about. We have had many Presidents in the last few decades sorely lacking in compassion, with dire outcomes for us and the world that were caused by that deficiency.
  9. Humor. We really can’t have Candidates without a sense of humor. It’s not only boring, it’s scary when they can’t laugh at themselves, at appropriate jokes, at silliness. We need a President who isn’t afraid to be mockable, who will go on Saturday Night Live and be funny. Knowing when to be serious and when to be humorous are essential qualities for MY President!
  10. Health and Longevity. Here is where things fall apart for Bernie Sanders. What is the point of running if the candidate won’t be able to serve for more than one term? Not to be ageist, and I hope I’m wrong, but since he’s already almost 74, how could Sanders possibly serve in one of the most stressful, time-intensive jobs ever devised, as he goes into his early 80s? Serve well, I mean. Possible, but not likely, right?

image from

All right. If current Candidates (or future ones) do NOT measure up, BOOT THEM OUT! Demand better Candidates! Run, yourself, if you measure up!

Doing a Cover Reveal Soon? Done one Recently?

Great offer by the amazing Story Reading Ape (Chris McMullen) for indie authors: many components of his site support us. Visit and join! #coverreveal #indieauthors


Curtains from ShutterStock. Kindle Formatting Magic cover designed by Melissa Stevens. Curtains from ShutterStock. Kindle Formatting Magic cover designed by Melissa Stevens at


You can catch a glimpse of a cover reveal that I’ll be doing soon (for a book on Kindle Formatting Magic).

This gave me an idea: Why just reveal my own cover?

This is an opportunity for me to reveal other authors’ recent covers alongside my own.

I actually have a couple of new books coming out soon (including one with mathematical puzzle patterns), so I’ll have a couple of cover reveals coming in the next few weeks.

Have you done a cover reveal recently?

Will you be doing a cover reveal soon?

If so, let me know.

Just leave a comment on this post with a link to your cover reveal.

I don’t need your image file; I’ll just use WordPress’s option to link to your image, so that clicking the image…

View original post 76 more words

#Classes I won’t be taking any time soon or at all

As a lifetime educator and someone who believes in being an autodidact as well as a formal student, having earned three degrees and many certificates, I could easily imagine myself taking a class or two some time in the future.

The Cognitive Rehabilitation therapist I worked with recently in my now more than year-long journey recovering from Post-Concussion Syndrome mentioned some research that indicated that the surest and fastest way to rebuild brain functions and regain memory is to learn something new.

Great! I love learning!

image from

So, I perused the local listings for free or inexpensive classes, since I’m not economically able to fund expensive classes right now. Mostly, the offerings made me shake my head and laugh, which inspired me to write this post.

#Classes I won’t be taking any time soon or at all

  • Concealed Carry (CCW) Class
    “Complete the Missouri or Florida concealed carry permit training requirements in 1 day for only $90! This price includes EVERYTHING from course materials, gun rental, ammunition and range time. There are no extra charges!”

    As a nonviolent, anti-NRA, anti-guns, Buddhist meditator, I can say with certainty that this tops the list of classes I will NEVER take.

  • Learn the Secrets of Lasting Happiness and Success
    “In less than 4 hours, you will learn how to become the person you want to be in the place you want to be. Enter your details below and Circles University will email you an exclusive coupon to access this $149 course ABSOLUTELY FREE when it launches. Don’t miss this exclusive early bird offer available for a strictly limited time.”

    I actually went to the Circles University website just to see what it offered.

    Oh, my goodness. Egregiously New Age and otherwise misleading and awful stuff, there.


  • Deeper meaning of Zohar
    “Free Zohar ‘Crash Course.’ Book of Radience, Zohar. If you’re interested in The Zohar and everything it has to offer at a deeper level, we recommend starting with a beginner course in the fundamentals of Kabbalah. Courses are free, and are available for self-study and as live video classes.”

    I was born and raised Jewish but we never even talked about the Kaballah. The first time I heard about it was when I was in my thirties. I was friends with a former Catholic almost-nun (postulate who left the convent). She was interested in Jewish mysticism and thought to ask me about it. I stumbled and responded: “There is Jewish mysticism?”

    Soon, I was hearing about Hollywood and other celebs adopting/studying Jewish mysticism: it was competing with yoga as the new spiritual fad for a while. That really turned me off.

    Still turned off. Plus, Adam Sandler make a movie that used almost the name as “Zohar” (“Zohan”) for his weird character.

    Enough said.

    No, thanks.

  • Friday Night Bible Study + FREE Dinner
    “What we do: Start with dinner, sing songs, Bible study/discussions & end with dessert/ice cream. Who can come: All students & singles below the age of 30.”

    Even more than I dislike Jewish mystical subjects would be how much I despise the Bible, especially the “New Testament.” Can’t think of many things I’d rather NOT study, but add the Koran and the Bhagavad-Gita to round out the list of topics of study about which I am NOT spending any of my time learning.

    Luckily, for this one, I’m way too old. LOL.

  • Interested in a Mary Kay skin class” [sic]
    “I am selling Mary Kay
    “And I need 10 women or men too book a skin care class with me and learn something new about your skin [sic]
    “I can come too you or you can come too me [sic]
    “Also looking for people who are interested in learning about Mary Kay and becoming your own boss” [sic]

    I wish this woman would commit to taking an English class. I would tutor her for free. I would.

    I also hate everything to do with make-up (unless it’s for clowns, Hallowe’en, theater or movies), both using it and the entire industry that creates, researches, sells and supports make-up, so I’m clearly not her target audience.

    I kept looking.

    image from

  • Make Glass Beads and Ornaments”
    “Learn the art of glass bead making [sic] or ornament production with individualized one on one classes [sic]. All supplies and materials included. You will be able to take home beads or ornaments from your first lesson on. $35 per hour. 18 and over only.”

    I like arts and crafts. I like glass. I’m clumsy and lack talent, but, hey: they didn’t stipulate to needing talent or grace.

    However, I don’t celebrate Christmas or have any use for ornaments, and I can’t think of more than one use I’d put glass beads to: as the filler in a vase, which I rarely use since I am not a fan of cut (dead) flowers.

    Skipping this class, too, although I’d love to know why one has to be over 18 to enroll: can this class possibly be X-rated???

  • Bartending: a recession-proof career”
    “Whether you are looking to supplement your income or as a career change, bartending is a recession-proof career where you will meet new people, have lots of fun, and earn great money!

    The Bartending Institute has been placing people behind bars since 1979.”

    While I appreciate the last pun and the unintentional truth-telling that surely is behind it, gotta say I hate the entire concept of selling, drinking or purveying alcohol. Always have.

    Even more, I intensely dislike being around people who are getting increasingly intoxicated, especially men. This aversion to being in the presence of imbibing leads to my dislike of weddings, wakes, graduation parties, office parties and most other mainstream gatherings.


    Bartending is not something I will ever learn.

  • Become a GravOxy Fitness-Certified Rebounceologist

    I had never heard of any of this, but the jargon intrigued me and made me laugh. Also, sparked many questions:

    —Why is it “re”bounce and “re”bound?
    —What are they bouncing and bounding on FIRST?
    —Why is the certification to become a rebounce”ologist,” which means someone who studies “rebouncing,” rather than having finishers become certified teachers of “rebouncing”?

    I clicked on the listing.

    Oh, my.

    I provide, below, the definitions they offered: priceless. I especially like the capitalization choices and their claims of what constitutes a “science.”

    (By the way, aren’t gravity and evolution still listed as “theories”?)

    “‘Rebouncing uses acceleration, deceleration and gravity to strengthen
    every one of your cells simultaneously in a vertical plane. You cleanse your
    lymphatic system and triple your white blood cells in 2 minutes. No other
    fitness class embraces this energy! [“embraces this energy“?]

    Rebouncing offers an extensive range of health benefits that cannot be
    found in any other form of exercise. Rebouncing is also a comfortable and
    an engaging wellness option for children, seniors, special populations and
    sedentary individuals. However, not all Rebouncing techniques, or
    rebouncers (aka ‘rebounders‘) are equal and, unfortunately, there is a lack
    of instructor education. [What? Not all participants in the classes to become certified are equal, or not all who come to classes on rebouncing are equal? What group of people would be “equal”?]

    GravOxy Rebouncing is unique in that it incorporates the sciences of Gravity
    and Oxygen to maximize the effectiveness of workouts in a safe manner. Just
    as importantly, GravOxy Rebouncing can be used by any individual (from
    athletes to seniors), no matter the age or conditioning level.’ [What happened to the inequality concern?“]

    “Tuition for the certification is $450, which includes the instruction, all course materials and the complimentary use of a PROFESSIONAL-GRADE BELLICON REBOUNDER….”

    I went to their website to get a look at what this REBOUNDER actually looks like.

    image from

    Oh, no. That is NOT happening. Jumping on a tiny trampoline? Seriously? Not with MY body karma.

    No, thanks.

That’s my current list.

So far, so bad.

I will keep looking, but I’m not optimistic.

Am I too picky, am I not the target demographic (for ANYTHING?), or am I living in the wrong place? What about a MOOC [Massive Open Online Course]?

To be researched further…

image from

First (Possibly) Annual Bloggers Bash – It’s On.

I have lots of readers and *CHANGES* authors who might be able to come to this! August 1, #London, #BLOGGERS’ BASH!

Sacha Black

First (Possibly) Annual Bloggers Bash

Seeing as I offered to organise a get together, I should probably put my money where my mouth is and do some actual organising.

Sorry to those across the pond – I’m still working on the technology involved in that part, so this is for the European lot – unless those across the pond fancy a trip to the UK for a summer vacation that is…

Drum Roll please……

View original post 306 more words

Why Prisoners Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Eat Shrimp and Other Made Up Nonsense

The illegal incarceration of women and minorities, the privatization of the prison systems, and the inhumane conditions of most prisons are beyond appalling. I am so sorry for these circumstances, but thank you for posting, Janet Marcusse.

Janet Marcusse

People want to claim that prisoners shouldn’t get to eat shrimp or have crabmeat on their commissary because it would be luxury items that they don’t need and don’t deserve. It’s ignorant people who think we’re getting it for free. No. If we did for some miracle, get shrimp in commissary, it would be at least five dollars for a small packet that barely fits in the palm of your hand. And yes, WE, the inmates, pay for our food from commissary.

The food that we don’t pay for that is served to us in the kitchen comes in large boxes marked, “Not For Human Consumption”. Unless the food is black, we can’t throw it away and must cook it and serve it to the 900+ inmates at the facility. If the food is green, we rub more seasoning into it, cook it longer, and still serve it. If it…

View original post 754 more words

An Open Letter to #Indie #Authors regards Marketing Yourselves…

Listen to the APE! Stop Spamming and being boring, Indie Authors! Please?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

You KNOW I love you ALL to PIECES and I try to help you any way I can – BUT…I’m not an ape who beats around the bush (except to find food of course) so I’ll say it straight…

You’re driving me spare with frustration…


By your apparent lack of imagination!

I DO NOT mean when it comes to your storytelling talents.

I mean, when it comes to Promoting / Marketing yourself and your book(s).

Take the following common methods for example:


The same promotional wording, layout and general pitch on several host blogs, sometimes interlinked with schedules of where and when (often up to a three week period) the beleaguered follower of many of these blogs is forced to either, click on the Like Button to show the blog host that they support them, or, stay away rather than to read the same promo post…

View original post 413 more words

Anna Faktorovich

AND, if you’d like to get to know Anna Faktorovich even better, watch *CHANGES* conversations between authors, Episode 12:  
#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on *CHANGES*, and #Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest: *CHANGES* G+ HOA  

Reading Recommendations

Anna - Photo - SAMLAAnna Faktorovich

What is your latest release and what genre is it?Gender Bias in Mystery and Romance Novel Publishing: Mimicking Masculinity and Femininity – Non-Fiction/ Literary Criticism/ Feminism

Quick description: Examines gender bias from the perspective of readers, writers and publishers, with a focus on the top two best-selling genres in modern fiction. It is a linguistic, literary stylistic, and structurally formalist analysis of the male and female “sentences” in the genres that have the greatest gender divide: romances and mysteries. The analysis will search for the historical roots that solidified what many think of today as a “natural” division. Virginia Woolf called it the fabricated “feminine sentence,” and other linguists have also identified clear sex-preferential differences in Anglo-American, Swedish and French novels. Do female mystery writers adopt a masculine voice when they write mysteries? Are female-penned mysteries structurally or linguistically different from their male competitors’, and vice versa…

View original post 322 more words

Calling all authors support your libraries

I offered to donate (DONATE) my ebooks to my local library system and I got back a form letter saying “they couldn’t purchase these books at this time due to their policies.” !?!?!

This is the same library system that doesn’t carry Ms. Magazine, and when I asked a librarian about why, she had NEVER HEARD OF IT.

Lest you think we’re in the middle of “nowhere,” this is St. Louis County, MO.


I hope YOUR libraries are more receptive!

Best to you all,




Let’s start a movement!! If you write, donate your signed books to your local library and volunteer to read them. You get followers and future readers they get you in person.

If you have books donate them to small libraries that have so few and little money to buy more.

Get involved. Children that read get ahead. Ereaders are great but there is nothing like the adventure of going to a library and finding that perfect book. Take your kids get them a card. It is better for their minds and health.

Please reblog and share this post so we get the word out that libraries need our support. We don’t want to see a day when they are no longer there.

View original post

Like, Try, Why: Ursula K. Le Guin Edition

What an excellent example of how to promote reading via library selections for particular authors and genres! Ursula K. Le Guin SHOULD be read by EVERYONE!

wrapped up in books

I made this when Ursula K. LeGuin won the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Her novels transcend the (artificial) division between literary and genre fiction. If you’ve never read Le Guin, this guide will give you a place to start, and if you’re already a fan, hopefully you’ll find a new book. 

View original post 127 more words

*CHANGES*conversations between authors updates

TODAY in a few hours, Raymond Bolton and I will chat on CHANGESconversations between authors.

ALSO: unexpected opening for an #author guest for next Wed., 5/13, but must inquire about it by TOMORROW, Thursday, 5/7. or 

CHANGES Trailer Image_3  for more information.

Ask An Author

After you read this interview, you’ll want to see what Charles Yallowitz and I discussed in our video chat on Episode 9 of *CHANGES* converstions between authors:  

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and 
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest:  

Write of Passage

The first Friday this month happens to fall on the first. It just so happens to also be time for another Ask the Author, the feature that puts the author in authoritative.

phpXT7GODPMMay’s featured author is none other than Charles E. Yallowitz, author of the Legends of Windemere. He also happens to be one of the first authors I followed when I started my blog back in 2013.

Back then he had two books published in his fantasy series. Now he’s up to number seven in just over two years! He makes it seem easy, doesn’t he, but planning and writing a series is hard work. Have no fear, because Charles has plenty of advice about planning, writing, and marketing a series whether your series consist of three or twenty books.

Creating and Marketing a Series

may5The Legends of Windemere series is a fantasy adventure that currently has 7 books out and is planned for 15 overall. I believe…

View original post 1,108 more words

Interview of Moi on #RRBC’s Blogtalk Radio Today at 12:00 CDT.

Or, maybe you want more of John Howell? Check out our chat on *CHANGES* conversations between authors, Episode 14:  

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and 
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest:  

Fiction Favorites

a book-club-badge-suggestion-copy-1a microphone

Just a quick post to let you know if you need some company with lunch today I will be interviewed by the gracious Bethany Turner on her show Behind the Pen on Rave Reviews Book Club Blogtalk Radio.

You can listen in by clicking on

I will try to avoid cringe-worthy statements but won’t guarantee it. Bethany will have control and we will talk all things authorly. (Is that a word?)


View original post

Interview of Moi on #RRBC’s Blogtalk Radio Today at 12:00 CDT.

And, if you want MORE of Charles Yallowitz than what you get through this radio interview, check out our video chat on *CHANGES* conversations between authors, Episode 9: :  

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and 
#Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest:  

Fiction Favorites

a book-club-badge-suggestion-copy-1a microphone

Just a quick post to let you know if you need some company with lunch today I will be interviewed by the gracious Bethany Turner on her show Behind the Pen on Rave Reviews Book Club Blogtalk Radio.

You can listen in by clicking on

I will try to avoid cringe-worthy statements but won’t guarantee it. Bethany will have control and we will talk all things authorly. (Is that a word?)


View original post

Look whose QUIRKS are featured today on Keely Brooke Keith’s site?

Look whose QUIRKS are featured today on Keely Brooke Keith’s site? MINE, of course! Go visit, comment, follow, please, and SHARE!