I would rather…

…shoot myself in the head.

Wait, what?  Shoot myself in the head?  How the fuck did we wind up here?  Well, I suppose, in order to understand the end of the story, we have to return to the beginning.  I’ll try not to linger too long, after all, I really should get this over with, right?

Yesterday was a day not unlike any other.  I worked from ten to seven at my part time job.  I came home and finished getting my things together for a book signing, even if I wasn’t able to have my next two books there due to certain technical circumstances.  I spent an hour grooming my appearance, had a light lunch, and then spent the better part of my afternoon promoting my work at the local library.

It wasn’t that big of a deal that I hadn’t had any sleep, I typically don’t sleep when I have so much that fills my day.

  1. I’m a full time father.  Most days I made my children’s lunches for school, my wife’s (when she can come home) and youngest’s lunches in the afternoon, and I make try to attend their various daytime functions, if they have any.
  2. I’m a BBQ enthusiast.  I love to grill or smoke foods as often as I can, and the weather be damned!  I also make and sell my own BBQ sauce via ThatGuy’s BBQ.
  3. I’m a full time author.  I’m always writing, whether in my notebook or my online mediums, and I’m currently putting the finishing touches on books three and four, with two already self published.
  4. I’m a part-time web-designer.  I work by contract, designing or creating e-commerce sites for established and new clientele.  Most of my work is very similar to my own site.  It’s easy enough to manage, or update, but still takes time to get it just right.
  5. I’m a part-time ghostwriter.  Last year, I was approached by a peer in the writing industry and asked if I would want to do some work for said person and I accepted.  I write because I love to, and even if it doesn’t build my pen name’s reputation, just being a part of that machine was enough for me.
  6. I’m a part-time book reviewer.  Much like the web-design, this is by contract.  Unlike said job, this one usually pays in reciprocation.  Sometimes I’m the one paying to do it.  “Now why the Sam-Hell would you go and do something like that,” you ask?  In the writing game, it’s the grease that moves the wheels.  Common courtesy goes a long ways, my friend.

I’m sure you get the picture.  I could go on, my list does continue to grow and change from time to time, but to be honest, this isn’t really the point.  I was talking about yesterday.

After the book signing, I attended a surprise birthday party for one of my brother-in-laws.

Again, wait.

Yes, I mean to say that; I worked for nine hours at my part-time job, I came home and prepared myself and media for my book signing extravaganza, and I had yet to sleep!  What?  Why are you shaking your head like that?  By this time, I have only been awake for twenty(ish) hours, with only two hours of sleep behind that.  It’s no big deal, really.  I’m used to it, after all.

So we’re good?

Good.

It was a well-planned party, even if the start was a little bonerific.  Long story, and out of respect, I won’t get into it without the party’s permission, but let’s just say it was hil-freakin-arious!

I stayed for a few hours, well past the twenty-four hour mark, but it was time to get home and pay the (piper) tab for our sitter(s).  Our kids were already way past their bed-times, and the house would need to be picked up a bit before my head could make sweet, sweet, z’s to my pillow.

(Mmm, z’s.  Even now, after I have been awake for two hours, I still tremble in anticipation of the thought!)

It was an hour later that I would find the point of this whole story.  The birth of this blog post.  The reason I should just eat a fucking bullet.  Or, so the words of a drunkard enjoying the sound of his own voice would suggest.

My wife stayed behind to help clean after the party.  It’s what our family does, we work as a unit to get things done.  No sooner had I left, when this, kid, began informing everyone of how incredibly stupid the employees are at my steady job. By his own merit, you know, because driving trucks takes a fuckin’ IQ over one forty to do, the only people who can get a job there are military vets and, well, people so stupid they wouldn’t fit in anywhere else.

My wife let it slip, but when he didn’t stop, she first took offense, and she then went on the offensive.  Apparently, his opinion was shared by the other attending party-goers, for rather than standing on her side, they opted for the “let’s just move past this and forget it ever happened” option.

No problem.  In my line of work, you kind of get used to being shit on.  Kids, walmartians, book-reviewers…  Nothing surprises me.

What really hurts, what disappoints me more than anything else, is the silence that my wife stood against.  Seriously guys.  I wouldn’t have let that shit go down if it was you someone was talking about.  If you weren’t going to stand up for me, you could have at least supported her.

“I would rather shoot myself in the fucking head than to work at Walmart.”

That was the final straw, the one that broke the camel’s back.  It brought forth the fuckyoualls from my wife, drove her to tears, and sent her packing from a party that she was trying to enjoy.  Nothing kills your buzz though, like someone tearing your significant other apart, aside from everyone else letting it happen.

Okay, I suppose I get it.

Walmart’s not the ideal place to make a living.  Pay’s only adequate if you work the over nights, but even then, you are doing more work than you’re actually worth. Especially when you are good at, or enjoy, what you do.  Then, you are the shift’s workhorse.  Expect to be moved around to several departments, to help finish other associate’s work, and to not be thanked for it.  They get off on that shit.

What you do have going for you are the benefits.  Wallyworld’s benefits have saved our family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years.  They offer bundling packages through your phone carrier that takes a good percentage off of your bill. Associate discount?  Winning.  Stock sharing?  Yes.  401k? Right the fuck on.

I’ve earned the respect of my peers through hard work, believe it or not, and have even made a few friends on the way.  Again, winning.

I’ve made some mistakes in life.  We have been dealt cards that are out of our control.  But rather than lie down and take the ass-raping life tends to hand you, we continue to drag ourselves back to our feet, flash our toothless grins, and fly the almighty bird of defiance.

My wife took one for the team last night, but I was there to pick her back up.  I’m used to taking shit from other people.  Unfortunately for other people, my outlet to healing is in the words.  And.  Oh yes, and.  I will write your sorry asses into my story.

I’ll pass on that bullet, sir.  I’m doing just fine.  In fact, I dare you to wear just one of my shoes for a day, and then we’ll talk about stupidity, bullets, and choice of professions.  I would be surprised if you didn’t cock that big ole tool of yours and put it in your mouth.  (See what I did there?)  Careful now.  That bullet’ll come faster than you expected it too.

 

Personally, I would rather mind my own business than to piss off a writer.  We tend to hang our laundry out to dry.

 

WORD OF THE DAY:  Fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck. Fuck the fucking fuckers in the fuck, fuckin’, fuck.  Fuuuck me…

 

 

 

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Book Signing

Last year, about this time, I had already attended two signings and was gearing up for number three; an event geared towards publicizing upcoming writers and local authors.

As most of you, or at least those of you who follow my occasional ramblings, know, I was met with some success at said event.  While my books didn’t fly off the shelves, (due to the blizzard raging outside), I made several great contacts and had the chance to meet some awesome readers!

This year has been somewhat frustrating for me, what with the delays, setbacks, and other such business, so this couldn’t come at a better time.  I need this.  I am ready for this.  I only wish I could say that I’m walking in with my completed trilogy.

Oh, don’t get me wrong!  I have two books waiting to be released.  J.R. van Helsing was met with great interest in September by a publisher whom I have spoken at lengths about a possible partnership.  (I’m currently waiting on a response once they have fully reviewed my work.)   The Darkness Defines Us is also finished, however, I am waiting on the cover art to be completed.

There have been some hassles with the latter, but I believe I have found an answer to my problems.  With this title, I wanted to do a local promotion; ‘Local Author & Local Artist Combine Talents For Book’, or some such thing.  This wasn’t an idea I was first willing to run with, but after meeting with artist who volunteered her skills, it soon grew on me.

Unfortunately, I think she didn’t know what she was in for and had to bow out of the project a month later.  It’s only too bad that I had to find out a month later!

I found another who wanted to try his hand at the project, and I offered it as a passing when he showed some interest in getting back into the art world, but he, too, had much more on his plate than he could handle.

Finally, I ‘think’ I have found someone with the time (and gumption) to get the job done.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but if this works out it will be very cool for both sides of the party.  His work will represent my book, and I can help spread the work of a musician/artist at the same time!

That being said, I wanted to share with you my upcoming book signing.  I realize that most of my readers won’t be able to attend, however, in my excitement I couldn’t help but to share!

I will be at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (1515 SW 10th Ave, Topeka Kansas, 66604), at their ‘Great Writers, Right Here’ Event on December 6th from 1-5pm CST.  

Local Author Fair – After the Curtain Call

Local Author Fair, December 8th, 2012

To be fair, this image was taken ‘outside’ the Local Author Fair.

It was everything I expected it to be, and it was not.  My first booth was stationed just inside the entrance to the library.

libraryMap1

I was originally going to share my table with another author, but due to the weather, she wasn’t able to make it.

The check-in time was between 1-2pm, and having arrived exactly halfway between those times, the hour and a half wait was excruciating.  I’m thankful that my wife was able to attend the event with me.  Not only was the small-talk nice, but she got a chance to see the world that I have become a part of.

Even though there were a handful of tables just inside the circular entrance of the library, we were the last authors seen as people moved into the main section of the library itself.  (From where I’m seated and to my right.)

Reactions were mixed.  My first visitor was a devout Christian from a local Baptist Church.  Drawn to my table by the graphic cover of my novella, he quickly began to question me; first about my book and then about my faith.

I immediately sensed that he wasn’t interested in my book.  Even though I described the synopsis, the protagonist and the reason for the stigmatic Jesus on the cover, he was more interested in my soul than in my work.  The more I talked about my book, the less he listened until finally, I answered the one question I had been avoiding, (which he asked each time after “What’s it about?”) Whether or not he was satisfied by the answer, he beat a hasty retreat and I only saw him from afar for the rest of the evening.

For the next hour, and until the 3pm start time, I passed out many business cards but not a single book.

Now, I should mention that there was also a Novice Writers Forum which was offered to a limited number of people.  A small handful of Best Selling Authors spoke before a small group of people about the publishing and marketing process of one’s book.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend this but I did get a chance to speak with a few authors, as well as those aspiring to be, as they exited the meeting.  One woman in particular stayed at my table for several minutes as she asked about my experiences as a self-published author and expressed her desires to do so with her own work.

I wish she would have shared her name with us while she was there.  I asked, but I’m not sure she heard me.

She was an elderly cancer survivor, writing as her energy allowed her to, who came to the Fair to speak with published authors and discover what she could about the finishing process.  She made her way around the library via electric wheelchair and when she spoke, you really had to make the effort to listen.  The natural acoustics of the building, combined with the dozens of people making their way through it, made it difficult to hear.

We spoke for ten minutes and after taking a card and leaving the promise to read some of my online work, she made her way to next table.

Next to me were two authors.

One, a Bob Fraught, was the first author I spoke to who was a part of the Fair itself.  This was also the first of two times that night that I showed just how nervous I was.

I had seen Bob and his wife arrive earlier that night, she even introduced herself as he was setting up their side of the table, but hadn’t paid very close attention as he was removing his coat and scarf.  As a result, when he came to my table, I inadvertently asked if he was part of the Fair as well.

“Yeah, dumbass, he’s right next to you,” says my inner voice as he confirms this in his own words.

Open mouth, insert foot.

But at least he remained friendly about it.  He asked about my work and also described his as well.  If you have a chance, click on his link and see if his work interests you!  It describes his journey through various major surgeries.  He’s a man with a SUPER positive outlook on life and one I’m happy to say I had the pleasure getting to know, even if my skills for observation were a bit off.

He returned to his chair when his table-buddy, Tad Pritchett, arrived and began to set up on his side, but more on him later.

It was 3pm, time for the show to begin!

The library was abuzz as people began to trickle in to support their favorite [local authors].  We three thought we were sure to see some major traffic at this time, but as they came through the main doors they turned and entered the hall where the majority of the authors were stationed.

And so the first hour came and went without so much a single person.  Bob and Tad stood off to the side visiting while my wife and I did the same at our table.  Because we were stationed across from the checkout counter, we did see many familiar faces as they were leaving, but they were there for the sole purpose of borrowing and not buying.

Eventually, an events coordinator came around and invited us into the main hall, where there were several open chairs from authors who had either left early or hadn’t arrived (also due to the weather), and soon we were part of the cool kids crowd.

libraryMap2

Okay.  I apologize if this isn’t easy to see.  Getting a clear picture uploaded to my computer wasn’t the easy task I envisioned it to be.

I soon found myself seated at table next to an ex-FBI agent; Mark Bouton, who was selling a number of books that day.  We exchanged pleasantries, as well as talked about our books for a bit, before settling in for the last half of the event.

There was a lot more activity during this hour than the first.  Of course there was!  We were just inside the door and a couple of tables in!  If you look at the first map, this new seating is in a hall off to the left of the round room in the Rotunda.  We were seated at the left end of table 27, Tad moved to table 26, while Bob and his wife had table 15 to themselves.

As I mentioned, there was a lot more traffic in here.  What I have yet to tell you is that by this time, they were only there for the children’s books, history books and one erotic novel (which I seen tucked under every person’s arm as they walked by!)  Actually, it was my wife that pointed it out to me, but from that point on we counted seven of them traveling by!  The verdict?  Mommy porn wins the day!

Okay, that might not be true.  Another author, Charles A. Silvestri, seemed to be pushing the books out faster than anyone else on our side of the room!

By this time, Mr. Tad Pritchett came by the table for a visit.  We talked a bit about our books, after which he expressed his interest in my own, despite his phobia of vampires, and mentioned that he would like to buy a copy.  He also expressed an interest in self-publishing and mentioned having some questions he would like to send to me, to which I more than happily agreed.

So it would come to be that Tad and I would exchange books.  By the time I was able to get my own copy a week later, he had already finished mine, and with some very complimentary words to boot!  We’ve since agreed to exchange reviews on each other’s work and I am happy to have had the chance to meet him.

The Local Author Fair was coming to an end.  The events coordinator made her rounds to each table, explaining that they were closing the hall soon and we began to pack our things together.  I had only sold one book, but I left with something much more meaningful.

From Tad, I have a book about the Battle of the Bulge, from the words of those who fought in that war.

From Bob I found that despite how much pain and suffering one can or must go through, there is always a silver lining.

And from Mark I received an offer to join in a local author’s group that meets regularly to discuss their current work and share samples of their writing.

No, I didn’t successfully share my book as much as I would have liked.  What I did was meet some wonderful people and gain some very lucrative opportunities.  And I say lucrative, because a writer can only stand to profit from an author’s group, as well as the open invitation to return to next year’s Local Author Fair, right?

Of course I can.

 

This review was written about a book signing I took part of on December 8th for my first book; The Rise and Fall of John Rizzerio.  Information about this novella can be found by clicking on the Dusty Tomes menu tab on my website.

R. Richardsson