Little Help Please

Hello Everybody,

As you probably know, self-published authors have a huge mountain to climb when it comes to breaking through the barriers setup by mega-publishers wanting to keep us at bay. Their collective attitude boils down to this. If you aren’t a previously published bestseller, don’t call us because we will never call you.

Okay. I’m a big boy in more ways than one and I understand that the game is rigged from the start. But miracles do happen and I refuse to give up on my dream. No, that doesn’t mean being a bestselling author; I don’t need riches or fame. All I need is enough to pay the bills and maybe take the family out once a month to a sit-down dinner.

Still, I refuse to give up but I’m not beyond asking for help. So here it is. I’m creating a video to promote PNTP and the production company wants me to get as many fresh reviews as possible. In the past, I’ve been remiss in asking for reviews because it’s hard for me to do. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just me. So anyway, now I’m asking. If you’ve already read PNTP please go to

https://www.amazon.com/Positives-Negatives-Tricycles-Pancakes-Pollack-ebook/dp/B00MZD3A98?ie=UTF8&keywords=L.%20Davyd%20Pollack&qid=1465056786&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4

and tell me what you think.

If you haven’t read PNTP go to www.LDavydPollack.com . All my eBooks are priced at $1 including PNTP. You simply can’t beat the price. And just to show you that I’m not in it for the money; I’ll be willing to trade a free copy of any eBook for a review. All you have to do is go to my website contact page and ask me for one.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

Davyd

 

 

Trump and Bush, Pot and Kettle – 1

Normally, I don’t bring political discussion to this blog unless it has something to do with writing. But I have a few pet peeves and this one has finally made it to the forefront, so I’ve decided that it’s time to talk about it. By the way, here’s my disclaimer. Yes, I’m a contemporary fiction writer and no, the things I’m going to tell you are not imaginary. It really happened.

First, let me set the scene. Apparently, a few nights ago the New Hampshire Republican Primary Debate took place. I don’t know if it was broadcasted nationally and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. All I can tell you is—if I could have watched it, I wouldn’t have. I live in Florida, not New Hampshire. It’s why I wasn’t interested enough to find out if the debate was televised and it’s why I am eminently qualified to write this post.

The candidates are currently using the divide and conquer strategy, which means they pair off and rather than attack the democrats as a cohesive group, they attack each other. Good for the democrats, I suppose. Anyway, one of the most talked about and heated exchanges happened between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush and it had to do with the subject of eminent domain. If you are a reader of my blog then I know by definition that you are intelligent and understand completely the concept of eminent domain. But for those of you who are new and haven’t begun to absorb the brilliance of L. Davyd Pollack (through osmosis), eminent domain is where the government can come and take your stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is or how much it’s worth. They take it from you and they pay you what they want. It’s never a fair price and the average Joe or Josephine losses big time. Furthermore, even if you have connections with the government, the price is never fair, of course in this situation, the government pays too much and the tax payer (Joe and Josephine) gets hosed, again.

Okay, back to Trump and Bush. During the debate the back-and-forth escalated and both candidates were talking over each other to the point where Trump shushed Bush. Members of the audience could be heard groaning in response to the shushing to which Trump responded. He did it by calling out the few noise makers as part of the donor class and he was right. I’m here to tell you that Trump is hitting the nail on the head.

While Trump may have used eminent domain when he was a businessman, not a candidate for political office, Jeb used it when he served as Governor. And he did it in order to pay back a debt to one of his biggest political donors. In the spirit of full discloser, I voted for Jeb twice and . . . hindsight is 20/20. I would never vote for him again, for anything . . . ever!

The reason? It’s a bit long and somewhat convolute which is why I’ve broken it up into two posts. I will do my best not to bore you with the follow up. And Mr. Trump, if by any chance you have someone on your staff looking for a heads up from a very small voice hidden amongst the masses on the internet, I have something you may want to explore. In Jeb’s case it reeks of hypocrisy (the pot calling the kettle black). He accused you of using eminent domain in an attempt to acquire the property of an elderly woman. Well, in Jeb’s case there was no attempt, he actually has confiscated private property all over the state of Florida and here’s the kicker, it wasn’t real estate. Furthermore, some of that property belonged to me and there is no doubt in my mind that some of that property also belonged to elderly women.

The down and dirty is in Trump and Bush, Pot and Kettle – 2

Why I’m Glad January is Over

There are more than just one or two reasons why I’m glad January is over, but there is only one I’m willing to talk about today. As a writer of contemporary fiction, I’m always trying to find new and better ways to promote my work. Part of that includes enlisting the help of paid consultants, whose advice (since I paid for it), holds a lot of weight. By the way, so do I: this will be clear in a moment.

One of the things we writers have to do is internet marketing through blog posts. Personally, I like blogging, except when I’m told that I have to do it. Which is also why I like being an indy writer. There’s no publisher, agent, or editor hounding me about deadlines. I write what I want, when I want. It’s great for the creative mind; not so much for the creative wallet.

Anyway, my internet marketing consultant suggested that I write one blog post per week. I countered with one per month citing my full-time job as the excuse for not having time for more. Eventually, we settled on two per month and that really is a reasonable expectation.

As it is, January came and was more than three weeks old with no blog posts by yours truly. My marketing guy noticed the deficiency and in an entirely professional manner, meant only as a well meaning suggestion, sent me an email with ideas for a blog post. He said January is an awareness month and that I should consider this list as possible topics.

 

Weight Loss Awareness Month [1]

National Codependency Awareness Month [2]

National Mentoring Month (United States)

Stalking Awareness Month (United States)[3]

Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (United States)[4]

Healthy Weight Week (United States)[5]

 

Okay. I get the main idea of an awareness month designation is to bring difficult issues that may go unnoticed into the public eye. But . . . for those of you who have never met me, I’m about 5-7 and 235 lbs. And in case you haven’t already noticed, January, the month after all the gluttonous holidays are over—begins and ends with weight loss.

Bahhhhh – Humbug!

I know that treadmill is under this pile of clothes somewhere.

 

One Space or Two, Too Spacey Today

I’m not sure why this is an issue but I hear other writers ask about it all the time, so here it is again. Should there be one space after a period or two? Ugh . . .

Look, years ago there used to be a thing called a typewriter. It came in two versions, manual or electric. The manual had levered keys that when pressed hard enough, would swing an arm with a letter (lowercase and uppercase) engraved at the end of it. The face of the engraving would strike an ink ribbon and then the paper, leaving a printed letter. Pressing the shift key at the same time as you pressed the letter key, gave you uppercase letters, otherwise you got lowercase. It was always the same font and always the same spacing.

Electric typewriters were a major improvement and gave you soft touch keys with no levered swing arms. There were two options that I know of, print ball or print wheel, depending on the model. The benefit here was that you could change fonts by changing the ball or wheel, but spacing was pretty much fixed.

There’s a common theme here . . . fixed spacing and it’s the reason standard practice at the time was to put two spaces after a period. It not only helped to delineate sentences, it kind of looked better too. By the way, I’d like to point out that this is all information I gleaned from the musings of ancient wordsmiths. I for one, will never admit to having seen such a device in person or god forbid, using one—eh-hem, eh-hem, eh-hem.

Okay, history lesson over. Today we use computers, laser printers, and word-processing programs that offer more fonts and spacing options than we as writers, will ever need. Double-spacing after a period in no longer required because word processors already compensate by automatically adjusting proportions. Throw in some word wrapping and justification, and Bob’s your uncle. I’ve always wanted to use that phrase, hope I did it right. Hey, does anyone out there know what the hell Bob’s your uncle really means, and where it originated?

The long and short of it is this, no double spacing after a period. Period. Don’t believe me? Just pick up a book, look inside, and see for yourself. D’oh!

father, son, physical, disability, cat million, dollar, house, car, bills, moral, dilemma brother, fraternity, college, roommates, teammates, friend women, career, family, power, girlfriend BookCoverImage SJ&M

“Brothers,” Free through 11/02/14

There was a time in my life when I worked as a salesperson. First, in-store retail sales and after reaching a level of success there, outside sales. Back then, if you worked for Sears and you made it to the appliance department—you reached the top. The only place you could go to earn more money as a commissioned salesperson was outside sales. Unfortunately, those positions were few and far between. Basically, someone had to die or retire before you had a chance of getting one of those jobs.

Two years after I started selling appliances, someone decided to retire from Sears Heating and Cooling. Guess what, I got the job. And if I didn’t have designs on becoming a writer, or Kmart didn’t buyout Sears and destroy the outside-sales department, I’d probably still be working there. The people were great, they were all highly trained professionals, and we all made good money . . . including Sears.

Why do I bring all this up? Well, there’s one golden rule of sales that all good salespeople know but only the experienced ever follow through on. When you’re on a roll, don’t stop, always ride it out to the end. Inexperienced salespeople always lose track of this rule especially after they make a big sale. The worst thing you can do for your wallet is to quit when you’re hot and start celebrating too soon. The ride will end on its own, no need to cut it short, get back in there and close another. If you don’t, someone else will.

What’s the connection? As a promotional tool, “Brothers” is doing better than I anticipated. True, I’d like to sell books to as many readers as possibly for as much money as I can get. But money has never been my prime motivation for writing. Readers were, and still are; that’s why all my books are reasonably priced. Let’s face it, if wealth is your only motivation, you probably have a better chance of striking it rich in Vegas, and no, I haven’t run a statistical analysis . . . I’m just saying.

So, to sum it up, “Brothers” is getting out and touching people—no sense in stopping now.

Thanks to all of you.

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Hi guys,

I’ve had a request from a fan. Yep! I got a few. He asked if I would extend the free promotion on “Brothers.” Originally, I was only going to do the two-day deal, but for my 2.63 fans and approximately 50 followers of this blog, I’ve extended the promo one more day. I might extend it through the weekend . . . probably not, we’ll see.

I know, it’s awfully magnanimous and benevolent of me, but I’m generous and kind (for those in Rio Linda) like that.

Thanks all.

 father, son, physical, disability, cat million, dollar, house, car, bills, moral, dilemma brother, fraternity, college, roommates, teammates, friend women, career, family, power, girlfriend BookCoverImage SJ&M

 

After Graduation, A dream inspired by “Brothers”

“Darren Dixon,” the female reporter was short of breath as she caught up to the unlikely hero. “Your first home run of the post season is a walk-off to win the series. How did it make you feel?”

“Great.”

The reporter needed more. “Darren, you aren’t known as a homerun hitter; you were facing their lights-out closer with a 3-2 count. It was the bottom of the ninth, two outs, down by one, and the leadoff man was still camped out at first. With all that pressure, how did you know you had a walk-off in your bag of tricks?”

“I didn’t.”

She still needed more. “So tell us Darren. What was going through your mind before the pitch?”

He looked into the camera and a smile came to his face. It was the smile of someone who knows a secret, and has just decided to share it. He turned back and looked her in the eye. “You’re right. I’m not a homerun hitter. My average is high but that’s because I connect and get the hell out of the batter’s box as fast as I can. I’m faster than most and my job is to advance the runner and get on base. But last night something changed. You see, usually, I don’t get nervous about games, not even post-season games. I get excited but not nervous, for me there’s a difference.

“But last night I couldn’t relax to save my life. I just kept tossing and turning, eyes wide open, and I was really getting on edge. It’s something I’m not used to. Anyway, I like to read and it was late so I grabbed my Kindle and browsed around looking for something new, you know, to take my mind off of things. Of course, the first thing I searched for was something baseball related, I couldn’t help myself, and up comes a link to a short story called “Brothers.” And guess what? It was free. I thought what the hell, it’s free, so I downloaded it. Five minutes later, I’m reading this story and not thinking about anything else. The next thing I know its morning and at first, I thought I dreamed the whole thing, but I saw my Kindle next to me on the bed and then I remembered.

“All day, every time I started to feel nervous I’d think about the story, the dream. It just kept popping into my head and it was a distraction. But it distracted me in a good way, because thank God, I wasn’t anxious about the game anymore. Later on, standing there at the plate, with the game and the championship on the line, I started to think about the story.

“I regained my concentration just in time to see the pitcher take the sign and start his windup. But as he gained momentum, something weird happened—he seemed to move in slow motion, kind of like a dream. When the ball came out, it looked as big as a cantaloupe. It was a fastball but it looked like it was moving slow. Then it started to drop a little and inched its way to the outside of the zone. Everyone knows that’s not where you pitch to me. I always hit those, but never out of the park.

“The next thing I knew, the bat was coming around and it felt light as a feather, I could see the ball like never before. I could see the bat; I saw it all. When the bat connected, it felt like butter, smooth silky butter. I have never hit anything that hard before but I knew it was gone.” Darren winked at the reporter. “I guess there’s a first time for everything; I never hit a walk-off homerun before, and I never saw a pitcher throw a cantaloupe either.”

The reporter got what she asked for, unexpected as it was. Ramblings about a story and cantaloupes? What was that about? But her time was almost up, there were other reports waiting. “Just one more thing Darren.” He nodded his approval and she went on. “The camera caught you saying something as you watched the ball and started around the bases. What did you say?”

Darren smiled the same smile he had from before and said, “This one’s for you Mikey.” He winked again, “Thanks,” and started to walk away.

“Wait!” The reporter couldn’t leave her impromptu exclusive open like that. “Who’s Mikey? Is he a close friend?”

Darren turned back as he walked, “Read Brothers.”

I know guys, it’s a shameless plug, but what the hell. You can download “Brothers” for free today and tomorrow. It’s my way of saying goodbye to the 2014 baseball season. Just go to my website www.LDavydPollack.com  by clicking one of the links below.

Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a review too. Don’t worry, I can take it.

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As Promised

As I promised in my last post, I’m going to talk about negative comments; actually, I’m only going to talk about one negative comment. It was about my blog and blogging style, and interestingly, it didn’t even come from one of my fellow bloggers.

One thing is for sure, we writers have to grow a pretty thick skin. In my opinion, a thick skin is crucial to maturing as a writer. How else can someone you trust, tell you what you need to know, and do it without scarring you for life?

On September 22, 2014, a handful of hours after I received and read my first comments at Davyd’s Blog, someone I trust asked me how my day was going. I was still stoked about getting my first positive comments, a bunch more likes, and even a few more followers. BTW, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was getting a little anxious about the lack of comments . . . and this individual was well aware of the fact.

I thought to myself, rather than tell her outright how my day was going, it would be cool if she went to Davyd’s Blog and read the new comments for herself. I was still pretty happy and I thought she would be too.

To my disappointment, she only elected to read the comments, not the posts, and then advised me that if I wanted to get more traffic, I needed to shorten my post. She said nothing about content regardless of whether or not a post generated comments, just that my posts were and are, way too long. She didn’t even pass judgment on the comments themselves, good, bad, or indifferent. The only thing she said was that when a reader sees an 800-word post, they run the other away.

Is this true? Do my bloviations repel? My ears are open, my skin is thick, and this post is done. What do you think?

 

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The Day After Yesterday

Today is the day after yesterday, which turned out to be a very significant day for me. Why? Because three very important things happened to me. One has nothing to do with writing and so I’ll leave it for another time. The other two . . . we can talk about.

It’s been almost a month since I published “Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes” and early signs are looking—I don’t want to jinx it. However marketing, which is something writers have to do, not want to do, isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work. As part of my marketing plan, I’ve become active in social media. I know. In social media marketing you never admit that you’re doing it, marketing that is, it’s a cardinal sin. But the truth be told, for a one-man show like me, marketing is a part of my life and if I didn’t talk about it, I wouldn’t be honest. I’m not perfect, but I try to be honest. At least my social media marketing isn’t as gratuitous as say, Doubleday or Penguin. They and others like them all have active Facebook/Twitter campaigns. But honestly, who among us really thinks they care a hill of beans about what our children brought home from school today? Unless of course, it was one of their books.

This blog, to a much smaller extent than other social media, is still a part of my overall introduction to the world and therefore, helps with marketing. But in the scheme of things, it differs from Facebook and Twitter in some important ways because here, it’s all about me. I say what I want, for as long as I want, and it’s up to you whether or not someone reads it. Just like book sales. If I write a book and publish it, you, the reading public are the ones who decide if anyone will actually buy it. No one is holding a gun to your head.

As a writer/publisher (I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this blog then you are one of the tribe or thinking about it), you know people who have read your work, or better yet, purchased and read your work. Of these, you’ve probably asked them at one time or another, what they thought. Maybe they liked it, maybe not, and maybe they had some constructive criticism; we’ll stay away from the jealous destructive criticism. You ask, they tell, and some of it is helpful and a lot of it is not. But there’s a fundamental problem with the entire process. The people critiquing your work know you and their underlying agenda is usually not to hurt your feelings, so they lie. No, that’s too harsh—they soften the truth.

That’s why social media marketing has some problems. Most of the people you contact in the beginning and for a long time after, know you in some way. If I put on my publisher’s hat and start to think like a businessman, then I have to ask an important question. Sure, you can sell a copy of your book to your coworker’s soon to be ex-boyfriend, but can you sell a book to Jane Doe living in Phoenix, AZ who doesn’t know you, your coworker, or her soon to be ex-boyfriend? The answer is. Who knows? Maybe.

I’m new at publishing and I’m new at blogging, though to me it seems entirely plausible that if you can get people to take time out of their busy day to read a post on your blog, you probably can get them to consider buying a book. But if you can motivate someone to not only read your blog, but afterward, leave you a positive comment, you might actually be on your way to finding something better than a sale—you might have a fan.

With that in mind, my blog has only been up for a short time but I was beginning to get concerned about the lack of comments. I had plenty of likes and my follower list was growing thanks to all of you, but comments, there weren’t any.

Yesterday, I finished what I was writing early because I got an earlier than normal start. With the extra time, I decided to work on my blog and when I signed in, lo and behold, there they were, my first comments. And to top it off, all three were positive. Thank you all very much. Yes, I know three comments aren’t thirty-three and hell, I may not get anymore. But the way I see it, it’s a start, and a sorely needed pat on the back. It’s lonely out here . . . all by my lonesome.

Needless to say, for anyone who might want to put in his or her two cents, don’t be shy. I’m not. I tell you what I think; it’s only fair that I hear what you think. Good or bad. By the way, you may have noticed that we only talked about one of the two writing related things that happened to me yesterday. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the other, negative comments.

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Right or Rewrite, is that the question?

When I first started out as a writer, I never thought I’d be a rewriter. In fact, twenty years ago if you had told me that I’d be a writer of anything except business letters or the occasional thank-you note, I would have laughed at you. And I’d have good reason, I was in construction, I worked with my hands, I built things, real things. I didn’t sit around writing all day.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my experience as a contractor would be invaluable to me as a writer, check that, a rewriter. I know. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense and I’ll tell you honestly, I didn’t put the pieces together for years. It wasn’t until a friend of mine who was critiquing my work, happened to mention offhanded, that I write in layers. We were talking about writing styles and she said that mine was like layers of an onion. And then she asked me how I did it. I was truly lost for an answer because I had no idea what she was talking about—and I told her so.

At first, I think she thought I was being evasive, but the topic came up often and my answer was always the same. She wasn’t being pushy about it or anything, but her inquiries got me thinking, maybe too much. I really didn’t have an answer and . . . I don’t know if this is going to make sense to anyone, but I didn’t care that I didn’t have an answer. That’s the thing that bothered me the most, and it caused me to think even more.

You see, I’m the type of person who needs to understand how the things in my life work. The phrase “it just is” drives me up the wall; I need to know why it just is, except when it comes to my writing. Eventually, my friend got tired of asking and concluded for herself, that my style was purely an organic process. Again, a statement like that about anything else except my writing would drive me crazy. But in this case, it served as the perfect answer. To this day, I still use it and people accept it as gospel. Personally, I wouldn’t if I was the one asking about someone’s style or process, and maybe that’s why I’m writing this blog. By the way, for those who don’t know, style and process are two different things.

So, here it is for anyone who’s interested. First, I’m going to address process because it’s the easiest, the mechanics behind my style. I get up in the morning and go into my office, sit down in front of my computer, and start writing. I do this every morning. That means seven days a week. Excuses are for other things, writing in the morning comes first. Everyone who knows me knows not to try and contact me until after lunch. If they call before that, they get my voicemail. You want an example of organic? That’s it. And guess what? It’s fun.

If you write the way I do, it doesn’t take long before you have a whole bunch of shit that most people wouldn’t pay a penny to read. Think of it as a huge construction site so completely littered that you can’t take a single step without walking on something. Many of those things are hazardous, like a 2×4 with random nails sticking out of it. Ouch! Then, there’s OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Believe you me, if you let your construction site get as bad as I describe and OSHA hasn’t already written a citation, they will, and you’ll get a visitor or two, and it won’t be cheap.

So how does this all relate? Here’s a simple illustration. In construction, you go ahead and put in place policies and procedures to address the problem, and then assign people to carry them out. For our little scenario, three to five laborers and a hand full of dumpsters should suffice, when the clutter builds up, they get rid of it. Cleaning (putting refuse in the dumpster) and organizing (making sure that tools and machinery are properly secured), is what the last half hour of every workday is used for, and one of the best ways to keep OSHA at bay.

In writing, it’s the same thing, only I’m the laborer, the dumpster is my delete key, and rewriting is my procedure. It’s what has to happen before I make things right, and that’s when my writing style, the style of layers, begins to take shape. I suppose that in order to complete the analogy, I need an OSHA equivalent but fortunately for us writers of fiction, censorship is still limited. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I used to dread the thought of having to rewrite everything I already spent days, weeks, and even months writing. Now, I not only rewrite, I do it all the time. I don’t dread it; I look forward to it—making it right is fun too.

PS – I rewrite twice as much as I write. Just kidding, it’s more like four times as much—okay, five . . .

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