Love is the answer?

WIKIPEDIA

There’s a rather talkative pigheaded brute of a character in my WIP whose name is Rick, Happy, Henderson. Happy loves to philosophize and pontificate to…at?… his work partner about whatever the latest topic is he’s studying during night school as if he’s now a subject matter expert. He’s not of course and he always manages to maneuver whatever it is he’s rambling on about toward a general diatribe of how the weak with their Rule of Law and “societal norms” have managed to upend the universal natural order of might makes right, which, in the end, as he sees it, limits his ability to pick up chicks.

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Death by Stooges

According to this, “The Trump administration apparently found [Peter Navarro, the little known stooge/fringe economist/mastermind behind Trump’s whacked-out trade war] after Jared Kushner, most likely thirsting for knowledge, searched for books about China on Amazon. There, he found Navarro’s “Death by China.”

My first experience with Navarro was seeing him interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. It was pretty scary. I’m not a fan of Fox News as a whole, but Wallace’s Fox New Sunday is always top-notch and holds all its guests accountable in my view. Wallace’s interview with Navarro was no exception — it gets pretty testy.

Navarro made a documentary based on his book, a book, it’s reported, that he carries around with him as he stalks the halls of the White House trying to scheme his way as close to Trump as he can get. Apparently, his scheming worked well, as evidenced by his ability to get Gary Cohn axed and the steel tariffs implemented.

Here’s the documentary. It’s long and I’m in the process of watching it. I’ll update this post with my thoughts of it, if any, after I finish… that is if it hasn’t forced me to rip my eyeballs out in anger first.

We’ll see. I consider myself rather hawkish on China so, despite Navarro’s quick rise to the top of the Trump Administration Stooge list, I’ll try to keep an open mind…

#prayforamerica

 

Featured photograph courtesy of Business Insider

 

The Lullaby Effect of Carter & Lovecraft versus When Nietzsche Wept

I’m only a so-so fan of HP Lovecraft. I guess I’ve read as much of him as I have more out of a sense of allegiance to the horror genre than a sense of loyalty to his literary acuity.

Which is why I was somewhat surprised when I found myself selecting Jonathan L. Howard’s CARTER & LOVECRAFT the other night when cruising my Overdrive app looking for an audiobook fix for which to fall asleep to…

Which, to me, is the primary purpose of audiobooks – literary lullabies.

And most of the audiobooks I listen to do a great job of it.

In fact, they do such a great job of it that most audiobooks I listen to, I don’t finish because each night I always have to go back to the last point in the book I can remember before drifting off to sleep the night before, which is, more often than not, only a minute or two after I started listening.

And the books I do manage to get through before the loan ends I often only remember in sketchy patches.

The last audiobook I checked out before CARTER & LOVECRAFT was Irvin D. Yalom’s WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT: A NOVEL OF OBSESSION.

I picked the book because I loved the premise: some dude analyzing Nietzsche. Awesomeness.

It starts out strong, even has a cameo with a young Sigmund Freud. But, with each passing night, it began to drag on more and more and I found myself falling asleep faster and faster, which, while not good for my literary needs, is a boon for my physiological ones.

But it’s not just the author’s fault that his or her book literally puts me to sleep. The reader’s ability and voice is nearly just as critical to the evolution.

The reader for CARTER & LOVECRAFT is Ari Fliakos. He’s perfect for Carter, the book’s gumshoe narrator and he rocks it… and he just happens to be Audible’s 2017 Narrator of the Year. So yeah, Fliakos’ award-winning voice probably has something to do with the fact that, since I’ve started listening to C&L, I’ve been listening much more and sleeping much less.

The narrator for WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT is Paul Michael Garcia and he’s pretty good, too. But he’s nowhere near as good in WNW as Fliakos is in C&L. My biggest problem with Garcia’s narration is that he makes Nietzsche sound very effeminate. Now, I know Nietzsche wasn’t the most manly of men, plus he had his health issues, but how Garcia read him was a distraction for me… and pretty much a sleep sedative.

Come to find out, Garcia might have been on the mark with his Nietzsche voice acting, though, at least according to a bunch of nerds who scraped together some of Nietzsche’s DNA and put together what they say is a prediction of what he sounded like.

Not that it matters (except in keeping me awake at night), but his writing is much more masculine than his voice.

Anyway…

Back to C&E…

Yes, it is good, genius, in fact, as is evident by the dark circles under my eyes.

It is a superior mashup of a Dashiell Hammett hardboiled gumshoe vibe and HP Lovecraft creepy horror vibe.

It’s one of those rare audiobooks finds that I like so much I spend time listening to it during the day.

I could try to explain to you what it’s about but, I’m sleepy from… lack of sleep so, if you’re interested, forgive my laziness and just check out its book description at Amazon or other fine bookstores everywhere.

 
 

What’s My Name, Again?

And here I thought it was going to be such a dramatic hassle to change the name of my novel from The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor to Inside the Skin.

I mean, I’ve been wanting to change it for quite a while now but kept putting it off thinking it would take a grand act of our dysfunctional Congress for it to happen.

But guess what?

Yup, you guessed it… it was a delicious piece of cake.

Seriously, for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), all I had to do was go in and edit the book details to reflect the new name. Same for Smashwords, the service I use to distribute my books beyond Amazon.

For the paperback, there was a bit more work involved. I published it through CreateSpace and, because of the IBSN requirements, they do not allow name changes and your only recourse it to contact their support team for help.

Which I did.

And the woman who helped me was awesome, thankfully.

My choices were limited, however, which is to say, I only had one. I could unpublish/retire the old version of the book and then publish a whole new version. Once it went live, I would have to call back and have them link the print edition with the Kindle edition. Which I was prepared to do.

But then I asked a question somewhat off-topic.

I noticed a few weeks ago that my links pointing directly to my books at CreateSpace were being redirected to Amazon, so I asked the support lady about this. Come to find out, Amazon is merging all CreateSpace services within KDP. So I asked her if, since that would be happening soon, wouldn’t it be best if I use the new print service (that I noticed for the first time when I changed the Kindle title) that is now offered by KDP.

And she agreed, that def would be the best option since, once the print edition went live (which it now is), it would automatically be linked to the Kindle edition (which it now… is not (the nice CreateSpace support lady said it would take a few days for this to happen)).

Pretty cool.

So, the name change was the easy part.

The less than easy part was getting all the content spiffed up – front matter updated, new intro, new outro, et cetera, et cetera…

And the even more less than easy part was preparing the new book cover and getting it properly formatted and uploaded properly…

It wasn’t so much of a hassle with the Kindle and Smashwords editions, but it took some significant jiggering with the print edition.

However, I prevailed in the end and now everything is up and running (except at Smashwords… it takes them forever to approve books/changes and distribute them to all the retailers).

So, yeah…

It wasn’t a five minute project, that’s for sure…

But it wasn’t the project from Hades that I expected either.


Yeah, I know this Blink song is called “What’s my Age Again?” not “What’s my Name Again?” but just go with it, okay. This song’s been stuck in my head the entire time I’ve been working on the name change… but, of course, I’ve been singing it as What’s my name again?

Because that’s how I roll…