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Feeling, not hearing, the upcoming drums of war…

Lately, I’ve been having a recurring vibration pop in my head. I call it a vibe, as it is not so clear as having an exact definition. Premonition would be too strong a word, and yet, feeling would be too broad. It is not a trance, nor a day dream,  or for that matter, night dream either.

I would like to compare this to a wifi network; It seems that I can be traveling and then I get hit with this vibe. It is similar to picking up a broadcast of unknown origin; my location has no importance as to the frequency.

In my book “True Ghost Stories: Tales of the Natural, Supernatural, and Just Plain Weird”, the subject of trance, or psychic is explored. This phenomenon is usually explained as to communicating with spirits or ghosts. The narrator is not in a familiar place, and metaphysically traveling in a fringe dimension of sorts for this communication.

My vibe started out as one who is a baby boomer knows all too well; a sudden thought or reminder of something that happened many, many years ago. Why the thought popped up at that exact moment remains a mystery. In my own specific case, it was a reflection of something I had written for an assignment while in junior high school. The theme of the piece was a young man leaving his family to join an Armed Forces service. The conclusion of the story was insignificant to me at that time. What was resounding was the saying goodbye scene.

Days later, while driving, I felt a very strong sense of a circumstance in which “duty calls”. This time, there was no imagery, merely different emotions coming forth. From the immediate family’s side I felt pride, sadness, and the age old pondering of why this had to happen. From the young man’s point of view, adventure and excitement. As this feeling intensified, I did hear drums in the background.

So, how to interpret these themes? There is no real clarity or Eureka! moment. I have a small fear of upcoming war, where these unexpected and rushed emotions will be played out over and over throughout the nation. By chance, an away rugby game had our car pooled team mates and I passing the Dover Air Force Base, for the first Iraqi war, and observing a huge military cargo plane, resplendent in it’s camo patterns. I felt that same rush of emotions while observing this monstrous war time piece of equipment.

Am I alarmed, or more importantly, disturbed by these images/sounds? Not really, as I recall a strange, recurring scene that I had experienced for many years.  The image started out simple enough: Darkness, with the entire visual a very dark grey. In the background an indiscernible rumble, that eventually builds up to a roar. At the top of the grey image, a light shines through, across, revealing the mass to be a giant wall of water. The loud sound, not unlike a motorcycle pack at this point, is the water falling. The scene could be interpreted as a tsunami, tidal wave, or just a really advantageous surfer wave, but i doubt it. Nothing came about from this imagery, and I did not connect it to any recent headline or world event.

Perhaps that now i am dwelling on this, an autosuggestion jarred my memory. Regardless of the circumstance, I had a very strong recollection of the time my brother and I, aged no more than six or seven years old, attended the local library for a summer reading club. (This had to be in the late sixties!) Two college aged coeds serenaded our little group with an acoustic guitar; the song choice was, “Leaving on a jet plane”, which I am assuming was a Vietnam war protest song. Their passion was quite visible, as one was almost crying.

In regards to my soldier’s farewell theme, I could be influenced by the current state of world wide affairs; my premonition could be nothing more than an auto suggestion  of headlines, news reports, and Middle Eastern state of affairs. For everybody’s sake, I certainly hope so.

How modern technology is ripping off the younger generation

Hard to believe, but almost a full month ago I finished writing my book. I naively assumed that the hard part was over. I won’t bore the reader with the gory details of formatting, self publishing, finding error after error after error. Rather, I will share a very sobering experience that happened to moi.

A self publishing company made available to me, at no extra cost, a cover template. I must point out that they did offer, starting at $399.00, a professional cover option. After experimenting for many, many hours, I believed that I had formatted the perfect cover. There was one major flaw: the picture I used was “stolen”, in my outside editor’s words, from facebook. Permission, copywrite infringement, plagiarism were all terms thrown at me. But, really, where would I find such a cool picture as a faceless woman in a black veil, staring at the camera? (Her black fingernails were a bonus; the picture was in black in white with a black background.)

My friend Katey suggested we do something original, and offered her services. Actually, i do believe that i begged her to model for me, but that’s not relevant! After several weeks, the black hat, black dress, and corresponding make up appeared. Using my cell phone camera, several shots of Katey were taken. I had a glorious mis mash of her stored on my computer. Now what?

My dilemma was solved with a car ride. My next statement may be unbelievable to anyone over thirty, but Katey simply had me send her my pics from my cell phone to hers, while she was driving. In less than thirty seconds for each picture, she formatted the photo to a black and white image, complete with “softer” lighting and other finishing techniques.  Another minute, and I had all these pictures sent back to me.

Here is my observation: Normally, it would have taken me over a day to do this task. Furthermore, if we were to back track about ten years ago, I would have imagined that this feat would have taken over a week, through some expensive advertising agency. I can not begin to estimate the cost. After all, imaging, formatting, and designing a book cover?

My point is that Katey did this under five minutes. To those who cringe at the mere mention of her driving, there was no real risk involved, in my opinion. Katey drives my car to and from our work; I tend to other things while sitting shotgun. It is a straight, non challenging ten mile highway drive. I am confident in her skills for this.

I did not offer to pay Katey anything for her service; I offered to publish her real name on the inside cover. She declined. I was puzzled and called her out on her lack of publicity motive. She more or less yawned, as this action was no more challenging that brushing her hair or getting dressed: an everyday action. After all, you do not get paid for performing the above listed tasks, do you not?

Somewhere, somehow, I belive Katey is getting screwed over, don’t you think?

Why “Self or Traditionally Publish?” is a Dumb Question

Bookshelf Battle

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.

BQB sounds off. BQB sounds off.

Self vs. Traditional Publishing – Which route should I take?

For awhile now, I’ve read posts that begin with this very question from a number of bloggers.

Apparently, there’s a lot of folks who feel this is an either/or proposition.

Allow me to provide my take on the issue by posing these questions:

  • Should I continue working a day job or should I put all my time and money into buying and scratching lotto tickets?
  • If a nice woman comes up to me tomorrow and expresses an interest in going out on a date with me, should I take her up on the offer or should I tell her to hit the bricks because Scarlett Johannson might (I repeat “might”) knock on my door and demand my sweet, sweet lovin?
  • If I enjoy telling jokes to people, should I continue telling them or…

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Completion of my book….now what?

I have now entered a phase that I never would imagine….I submitted my finshed manuscript for copyright, care of the United States Government. Whoa! Now what?

For the writer’s out there, I know, I know….self publishing versus query letter; traditional versus non traditional, extra expresso shot versus decaffeinated?

I would like to thank my outside editor for being with me every step of the way….one cannot imagine taking this “bunch of stories”, in different fonts, styles, and formats and suddenly gazing at amazement at an actual table of contents? This is heady stuff. (I am a neophyte, so please bear with me.)

I am open to any and all suggestions as to the how and why of promoting/selling my book.

It is non fiction, so I have been told that is a plus.

My title?

“True Ghost Stories: Tales of the Natural, Supernatural, and Just Plain Weird.”

(of course!)