The way forward for our little “Indie Author Book Selection & Review” flash of a grassroots response thing we got going here…

I guess there is something to be said for operating on leftover pizza highs…

First off, I believe both a sincere thank you and a hearty congratulations are in order.

We’ve had quite the response to the “Hey Author, what’s your book about?” post from a few days back.

And for that, I say, from the bottom of my heart to the tips of my inked and computer key calloused fingers, Thank you all very much.

To date, fourteen awesome Authors have submitted their books for consideration. (And there is still two days left until submissions will be closed so if you’re considering it even a little bit, times running out so let’s chop chop to it, okay Authors), sixteen votes have been cast for favorite Authors, and 108 Readers have given a thumbs up of “Like” for the overall concept of this grassroots Indie movement that we started and is taking off right before our eyes.

And for that, I congratulate you. You all are just the greatest, and, with your greatness, you are exemplifying all that is possible, in the most positive terms, in what this little experiment called the Internet has to offer.

So, what’s next?

I don’t know if you’ve been following the updates or have seen the timeline on my sidebar, but here is the way forward:

In less than an hour, at 8:00PM tonight, I will post my review of John Northcutt Young’s story A NOTE.

Which means, I will soon be in the market for a new story to read.

Tomorrow night, Friday at 11:59PM to be exact, I will close the comments section down on the original solicitation announcement.

And then on Monday at 8:00PM, I will announce my selection of the next book I will read and review.

See the right sidebar for the complete timeline.



And then, after that, we, and by we I mean you all will have to decide if we have enough momentum to do this all again.

I sure hope so…


Hey Author, what’s your book about?


So, I’ll soon be finishing up the story I’m currently reading (To see it, scroll down the sidebar on the left side of the page until you come to the CURRENTLY READING section. No, no…your left not mine!) and I’ll be wanting to read something else when I’m finished.

And I was thinking, which happens sometimes, usually right after eating leftover pizza for some strange reason (guess what I just had for lunch), and I was thinking, you know, I would really really like for the next book that I read to be yours.

And then I thought some more, well, if I’m going to read your book, how am I going to find out about it…

And then it hit me: Why, you can just tell me about it right here where we normally meet and chat from time to time.

It would certainly make it much easier and cut down on all the hassle and time it would take for me to seek out and find your book hidden amongst the verdant and pretty yet thickly tangled jungle of all the other book sites out there.

So, what do you say, Author? Can I read your book?

If so, then tell me, and by me I mean us, me and all of my reader friends who stop by on occasion for a visit.

Tell us a little bit about both your book and your writing self in the comments section. You know, a short synopsis of the story and a short Author bio. Include just enough stuff, and no more, that you think I’ll need to be compelled to tab right out of my cozy little site and rush off to find your ode to literary perfection.

And after you convince me that your book is the book that I will be reading next, I will announce it here with a post and profile it in the CURRENTLY READING section until I choose my next book to read.

Which could be a while since I’m such a slow reader…

Anyway, after I read it, I promise I will write to the best of my ability a flowing (and maybe glowing, but glowing is not guaranteed) review for it both here and at Amazon.

Oh yeah, and Goodreads, too, I guess (I don’t have much going on there but my blog feeds into it automatically…I guess I can cut and paste the review, too, so it’s all proper like).

But I will review it here and at Amazon, guaranteed!

Sound good?


So starting now go ahead and tell me all about it.

Let’s keep it loose and have fun. Because, let’s face it…

This ain’t the Paris Review, that’s for sure.

This is the Anytown Review, for the real, the tangible, the down-to-earth writers and readers.

So keep it real, okay Authors?

I’ll leave the comments open on this post until I make a decision.

My current read is a short story so it may be soon.

But I am a pretty slow reader (did I already mention that?) so…who knows for sure.

Until then, check out my current read, A Note by author JOHN NORTHCUTT YOUNG.

And while you’re at it, you should stop by John’s website and say hello.

And if you decide to buy John’s short story, which I hope you do, remember to always tip your server…meaning John.

Meaning, please write a review for him, and by him I mean all Independent Authors like him…and you…and me.

I can’t wait to read your book!

Oh yeah, for all of you out there who are not authors (or if you are an author but do not intend to tell me about your greatness because you’re one of the (stereo)typical needy and insecure type of authors too shy to trumpet your own glories, which means most of us), i.e., Readers, I ask for your help in this little thing we’re getting going here.

If I’m fortunate enough to have authors leave comments about their work, I ask that you please read through the comments and “Like” the ones that sound compelling to you.

The final decision will be mine, but, since I am also one of those (stereo)typical needy and insecure type of authors who is easily swayed by public opinion, the chances are that the majority just might rule in the selection process.

But we’ll see…

I’m literally being propelled by my leftover pizza high and thinking this up as I type, so if you have any ideas or feedback, or just want to let me know what a pretentious jerk I am because where do I get off thinking I can be a gatekeeper of finely tuned literary masterpieces then, well, please let me know…


Let’s reserve that just for the Authors.

Please give me your highly anticipated ideas and suggestions via an email through the Contact page. Or just scroll down to the bottom of the Contact page and leave your comment there.



Well, that’s that then…

What do you say we do this?

Right on?



P.s. For an idea of what the final product will look like, template-wise, you can check out my published reviews here.

(Oh yeah, and BTW, we all know there’s nothing better in the world than free beer; however, free books come in a close second, wink wink. But free is definitely not a prerequisite…only a compelling story is. But I’m just sayin’…)



UPDATE #1 – Be advised, Authors, that too many links in your comment submission will put it in the spam wait queue so you will not see it until I approve it. (Yeah, if you read my “Pro” Tip about moderating and approving comments you know how that makes me feel.) I don’t care how many links you include, I just want you to know I have to approve those first …am I getting redundant? I’ll stop now…

UPDATE #2 – Hey Readers, please help me out by taking the time to read over the Authors’ submissions and clicking the Like button for the ones you like the best. Thank you.

UPDATE #3 – Just received word that the author of my current read is having a giveaway promotion until Oct 20. You can check it out at his site or get the free story here.

UPDATE #4 – Keep an eye on my Tagline Status Update. I’m tracking my progress there.

(For more information on Tagline Status Updates, check out the “PRO” TIP: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WRITING RESOURCES – GUARANTEED! (QUICK TIP #1)

UPDATE #5 – I will post my Review of A NOTE by John Northcutt Young tomorrow evening at 8:00PM*, Thursday, 23 October 2014. I will suspend further commenting on this post at 11:59PM, Friday, 24 October 2014. And I will announce the selection for my next INDIE AUTHOR BOOK REVIEW at 8:00PM, Monday, 27 October 2014. Sound like a plan?


So, any Authors out there considering submitting a book, you still have a couple days to tighten up your proposals and get your submissions in.

And Readers, please continue to “Like” the submissions you like best. It’s a great help to everyone.

Good luck to all…and to me…I gots me some writin’ to do, fast like.

*All times are Eastern (NYC) USA


Poem Man

Poem Man, the poem

Come hither all ye children
And gather round,
For the Poem Man cometh
To your quaint town.
He’s bringing the most magical, beautiful,
Spectacular sounds…
Sounds that you may have never heard before.

He has the sounds of pinks and yellows
And midnight blues.
You’ll hear rainbows and gumdrops
And morning dew.
Come hither sweet children,
Bring your parents too,
To hear the oceans converse with the shores.

Look, yonder cometh he
From the valley below.
Can you see on his shoulder
His talking, orange crow?
Make haste sweet children.
Get ready for the show,
For the time is drawing near.

He carries his poems
In a large, burlap sack.
Doesn’t it look heavy
Upon his broad back?
In it, not a rhyme is missing—
Not a riddle does it lack.
Be still now sweet children for the Poem Man is here.


Well, since the poem Butter was reasonably well-received a day or two ago, it inspired me to create a Poem Man page where I’ve included scans of the original book cover and introduction, as well as a Table of Contents listing all the poems and links to the ones that I’ve already shared online. You can find the new page under the BOOKS heading at the top of the page, or you can just click here.


So You Wanna Be A (Literary) Superstar – UFW

True* story.

Cypress Hill’s popular rap (I do not and will not abide by the punk arse “hip hop” nomenclature) hit (Rock) Superstar was originally entitled (Literary) Superstar. However, when it came time to record the song, B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs had recently overindulged on the stuff that we are supposed to Just Say No To, which, if you know anything at all about Cypress, you know there is no such thing as overindulgence to them regarding the Just Say No kind of stuff.

Long story short, every time they tried to rap the words Literary Superstar, their cotton-mouthed tongues kept tripping over all the syllables.

Actually, it’s pretty tough to rap even while sober.

Go ahead and give it try…providing that you’re sober, that is.

It is Friday night after all.


Of course the word Rock is much easier for the THC-impaired to rap than Literary so it was quickly edited into the lyrics and the rest, as they say, is rap history.

So what you need to do, all my writin’ rappin’ literary geniuses out there, is to help restore truth to this video. Every time in the song where they rap the word Rock, I want you to rap the exceedingly superior word Literary. The louder the better.

Go ahead and give it a try.

It is Friday night after all…


Be advised that this video is potentially UFW.

Yes, I know most use the acronym of NSFW, but hey, we’re writers, right? And a writers’s job is to edit that junk down, right? So why use four words – NOT SAFE FOR WORK – when three will do – UNSAFE FOR WORK?!


[Unfortunately, I can’t find a version that will play in post. You’ll have to click out to watch the video. Hate having to make you click away from here but I guess I’ll have to take one for the team…]


*Yeah, you just may want to verify the veracity of that assertion with Snopes before you start spreading it around.




And by me I mean us.

At least those of us who learned as children that Sticks and Stones Can Break Our Bones But Words Can Never Hurt Us…

Okay, maybe sometimes words can hurt but that is not the point.

Okay, maybe that is the point but so what?

We’re Writers, right?

And if you’re not a Writer (which has to be just about impossible if you are posting stuff online) then you’re a Poet or an Artist or some kind of Creator who turns dreams into magical data streams for the world to observe and appreciate.

And as Creators, aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be leading the way to the Ideal?

Aren’t we supposed to be the voice of those who have no voice, or who have no means, or freedom, to express that voice?

If so, then what are most of you out there afraid of?

Okay, based upon my exceedingly-less-than-scientific observations, this post should either offend or illuminate just about every WordPress Content Creator, i.e., blogger, out there.

And my gut (where my science is explored and calculated) is telling me that most of you will mostly be in the “offend” camp.

I would say easily ninety-percent of the comments I leave in response to a thought provoking post have to first be approved or moderated by the site’s Creator before they are published.

Why would you, you the Writer and/or Poet and/or Artist, you the Creator, why would you do that?

What are you afraid of?


Are you getting so many responses to your posts that the evil hoards of Trolls have taken up arms (Words) against you in an evil effort to suppress your magic and genius?

Probably not.

But if you are, congratulations are in order.

To me, the evil Trolls are just a sign that you made it. You are a success.

Your voice is being heard.

And that is a good thing.

And we all know, because Ms Yin and Mr Yang tell us so, that with the good comes the bad.

In all honestly, I can’t wait until the Trolls come after me.

Bring it.


You know what I see whenever, which is almost always, I get that little message that says my comment has to first be approved/moderated?

I see fear.

I see you hiding in the shadows cast by the glow of the light of your computer screen.

I see you shaking in your pajamas, afraid of what someone might say in response to your artistic genius.



Yeah, maybe.

But while you are busy screening and redacting all the comments you are receiving, there are people all around the world fighting, and dying, to be heard.

To have a voice.

To not be moderated.

What, you think I’m being a little melodramatic?

You think it doesn’t matter whether or not you screen your comments.

If so, then I think you are being very, very (adverbs…yeah, I know) naive.

Law of Attraction, my little insecure genius…


At a minimum, first impressions matter.

What is one to think of you when their first interaction with you involves you first having to do a security check on them?

Trust issues, is what I think.

But then again, some of you may not even know that you are the Putin of your very own Police State.

You may be suppressing freedom and free speech literally (yes I said literally…because I mean it!) around the globe and not even know it.

So, for all the Freedom and Free Speech Lovers around the world (of WordPress), here is all you have to do to fight back against the evil forces of oppression:

Go to your Dashboard, click on Settings, click on Discussion, and then please, please, please, if checked, uncheck the Comment must be manually approved and Comment author must have a previously approved comment boxes.

Do it and I guarantee you will feel empowered knowing that you are not afraid of all the evil forces that are out there just waiting for the right time to attack.

And if you are afraid, it’s okay.

We all are to some degree.

Because, let’s face it, Words really can hurt.

And that’s a little scary.

But when the attack comes, and it will, be ready for it by building up your arsenal of creativity now.

Rise Up! to the challenge.

Work like a possessed ninja on your Writing and/or your Poeting and/or Arting skills.

Use The Force.

Be the Creation.

And when the attack comes, destroy it with Creativity and Expression!

And if that doesn’t work, you ask.

Fuck it…just delete it.

Like the Boss Moderator that you are.

Power To The Putin



Well, I guarantee that you will get more “Likes” from me, at least.

And that is the collective “you,” btw.

Look, I love, love, love to read.

And I especially love to read Indie Authors, Indie Poets, Indie…

Well, let’s just say you had me at “Indie.”

Which is why I believe WordPress is the best invention since the remote control.

WordPress is an organic eruption of creativity and expression.

WordPress is Indie Heaven.

If I could marry WordPress, I would…among other things.

In fact, there is so much Indie creativity and expression erupting from WordPress that it is impossible to gather it all in.

That is why the WordPress Reader is so critical to me and my endeavor to read and appreciate as many Indie Writers and Creators as I possible can.

I pretty much live in that Reader.

In fact, you could just about call me a WordPress Reader agoraphobic.

I really get a bit antsy when someone, or something, tries to prompt me away from it.

So, if you are one of those creators who think you are going to get more page views by only showing a summary of your post in the Reader so we’ll click out of it to your website, well, I’m here to tell you, chances are you probably won’t.

At least not by me.


Hear me when I say that I really want to both like and “Like” what you have created. And while I may not always like your message and/or content, I will just about always like and “Like” the effort.

As you well know, as is evidenced by your own sweat equity, Writing and Drawing and Poeting ain’t always easy.

It takes effort, and I like effort…especially when it’s coming from others.

But I am not going to like or “Like” something unless I read it, all of it, with my own eyes.

Now I’m sure some so-called pro bloggers will “Like” just about anything, whether they like it or not, and whether they read it or not.

But that’s not me.

I’m here for the content and the relationship building that quality content generates.

But if you’re trying to drag me away from my Reader then…let me tell ya, you better have a really, really good hook of a title and some powerful content in that Reader summary.

It happens sometimes.

And I really look forward to those times when it does.

But, in all honesty, it doesn’t happen nearly enough.

So, help me help you help me by going to your Dashboard, then click on your Settings, then click on Reader, and then where it says For each article in a feed, show, please, please, please click on the Full text radio button.

If you do, the Writing Gods will smile on you.

And so will I.

I guarantee it…

Like/”Like” it or not.

Is it just me or…

Do others get excited for a flash of a second when they think they are reading a splashy headline about the literary giant Milan Kundera and then feel all bummed out when they realize it’s actually about the actor Mila Kunis and then feel even more bummed out when they realize they couldn’t stop themselves from reading the entire vapid article?

Amtrak Picked These 24 Writers to Get Free Roundtrip Rides

Something to aspire to…


Amtrak announced the 24 writers chosen for its residency program on Wednesday, which offers the winners free roundtrip rides on Amtrak. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car that includes a desk, a bed and a window with a view of America’s countryside for inspiration.

Here are the chosen recipients:

Ksenia Anske, a Seattle-based fantasy writer

Scott Berkun, writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist

Jennifer Boylan, author of She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, the first bestselling work by a transgender American

Craig Calcaterra, writer at NBCSports.com

Jen Carlson, deputy editor of Gothamist

Farai Chideya, award-winning journalist and Distinguished Writer in Residence at the NYU journalism institute

Anna Davies, young adult novel ghostwriter and writer for The New York Times and Salon.com

Korey Garibaldi, doctoral…

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