Lemme tell you something…

Posts tagged “Books

Because You Create


So there’s this new anthology accepting submissions and their theme and your idea match.

So now you’re all inspired! The words are flowing and you’re suddenly the Mozart of your keyboard. You zoom right past the 4,000 minimum, no problem. Soon you realize you’ve crossed the 8,000 word max, but you’re really feeling this damn story! Finally you wind up writing 14,582 words. You read it. It’s beautiful! A few edits here and there and you’ve nicely trimmed it down to exactly 14,000 words.

The hell? Nobody ever wants 14,000 words. Yet there’s no way you can cut the story to 8,000 without ruining it!

Deep breath

Okay, okay, you still have a week left. You work to think of something else and you struggle, struggle – no that story sucks. Don’t waste time with it. Start another. Struggle, struggle, struggle to write another story for the antho. You’re almost there. You push it to 4,000 words on the … no. No, you’re not going to submit it like this, you need to edit this shit. Look here where you used the word “this” twice in one sentence! Gah! You pull an all nighter and wind up with 3,200 words.

Damn it!

You go to Facebook to clear your head.
Some asshole in a group brags about getting books off torrents because “The information wants to be free!”

Right then! At that moment! As you click on and crawl through their page, you know that even though you’ve never wanted to own a gun, you could likely pawn your lawnmower for one.


Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.

Who did my blog art? I’ve no idea. All the meme generators seem to carry it, but even if it’s in the Public Domain, I’d at least like to credit the artist. Does anyone know?

pb300The information wants to support its creator.
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
Is a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Looking to burn a whole $20 and maybe buy a doughnut?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Then go buy a doughnut.

Got a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.



ECA long time ago I worked at a Barnes and Noble and got this,

Understand the scenario now, we’re INSIDE the Barnes and Noble,

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a book.”
Me: “Yes m’am”
Customer: “It’s a fiction one, not one of those self-help books.”
Me: “Okay”
Customer: “It’s brown. Has a brown cover.”
Me: “Do you know the name of the author?”
Customer: “No, but the book is fiction.”
Me: Do you know the genre?”
Customer (gives me a patronizing look): “Fiction.”
Me : “Yes, but the genre?”
Customer (enunciates like I’m the one being obtuse): “Fiction. Fic. Tion.”

Sidebar: What does it mean when you get too many customers like this? Does it mean you lose your temper? Not me, I suffer fools gladly!

Me (maintaining composure): “Yes, but is it Science Fiction- ”
Customer: “Why would I read science fiction?”
Me (composure cracking – must. not. laugh. in her face!): “What genre do you prefer to-”
Customer: “Can I speak to somebody who knows what they’re doing?”
Me (relief!): “By all means. I’ll get the manager.”
Customer: “Well thanks for that!”

I call our manager on the mike, but stay with the customer as that is both professional and I also enjoy seeing my manager squirm. A former teacher and librarian, she really doesn’t have the tolerance for these people.

Manager: “How can I help?”
Me: “This customer would like-”
Customer: “I can speak for myself.”

Now customer has all of her information together, thanks to our conversation, and presents it thusly –

Customer: “I’m looking for a book with a brown cover in the fiction genre.”
Manager: “Certainly m’am”

Stands before computer screen

Manager: “Author’s name or title?”
Customer: “I don’t know the author’s name, or the title! That’s why I’m here!”
Manager: “M’am, I’ll have to ask you to lower your voice for our other customers.”
Customer: “This is so stupid. You’re talking just like him.”
Manager: “We’re trying to help, m’am. Genre?”
Customer: “I just told you the damn genre! Fiction! FICTION!”
Manager: “M’am, I’ve already asked you to lower your voice.”
Customer: “I wouldn’t be shouting if you all weren’t treating me like I was stupid!”
Me: (I have to turn away at this point, and abruptly busy myself with something, anything)
Manager (controlled burn): “Don’t go anywhere, Easy (E.C.).”
Me: “Okay.”
Manager:  “Fiction is not a genre m’am, it merely differentiates between factual and non-factual. Genres are like crime drama-”
Customer: “Why would I read a crime drama?”
Manager (anger simmering to a boil): “M’am, I don’t know you.”
Customer: “You sure as hell don’t! No wonder people don’t read anymore!”
Manager (under pressure anger): “M’am, this is the third and final time I’ll warn you about your tone.”
Customer: “Fuck you! I’m leaving!”
Manager (steam escaping, still angry): “Have a nice day.”
Customer (storming off): “I’m never coming here again!”
Manager (boiling anger reducing to simmer): “Thank you.”
Me: “Marry me.”
Manager (still simmering anger): “Shut up.”
Me: “I don’t care if you’re older.”
Manager (breaks into reluctant smile – anger gone): “Shut. Up.”


At this moment, I should probably mention that my eBook, PERPETUAL BULLET, is available at Barnes and Noble.


ECFirst, there was this,

Barnes & Noble Bows To Apple And Amazon; Exits Tablet Business

To which I made this observation early today,

This is not the first time B&N threatened to abandon the Nook.

And whether Microsoft buys it or not, someone (likely already making tablets) will buy Nook since the user base, while small compared to Amazon and Apple, is too large to ignore. In an arena where 6% is a joyously significant sales increase, that audience will provide a hefty lift to whoever incorporates Nook technology into their next generation of tablets and smartphones.

On the other hand, if no one wants the Nook and current customers are faced with the dilemma of losing all of their book purchases and starting over? That will create a huge distrust of all future eBook purchases not only for the Nook audience, but for the other eBook buyers who notice and wonder.

No tech lasts forever, ask anyone who replaced their VHS with DVD and DVD with Blu-Ray or streaming. Ask anyone who replaced their tapes and records with CDs and their CDs with MP3s.



Difference between movies, music, and books is, you can’t make the book look any better in your mind. You can’t make a book full of text sound any better. All an eReader does is make carrying them around more convenient (but! The latest eReader holographic-ly projects the words into the air! I can read the book, In The Air!
The Words Are In The Air!!!
THE AIR!!!).

Nope. That story is as good as it’s gonna get!

Now for the UPDATE!
Barnes & Noble to Discontinue Nook Tablet Business, Continue With E-Readers


Barnes and Noble has decided to follow the business model of little start-up Microsoft vs gargantuan IBM (circa 1980). Why limit your tech to a single manufacturer (Beta vs VHS – circa 1984) when you can license it to everyone (Android vs Apple – circa 2007 to current)?

Assume as always that people will separate into two groups: Those who want the name brand and those who want the greater bang for the buck.

I’m all for Amazon (they give authors their own page. WTF, Barnes and Noble? How many damn boats can you miss, already?), but personally, I don’t see Jeff Bezos being able to create a mindless consumer cult around himself the way Steve Jobs did.

Buying the latest Nook from a new manufacturer isn’t a game changer or product killer.

Eventually people who own any tech will buy newer tech. Kindle has gone through several generations now and watched their customers “grade up”.  Consumers do that so long as the new tech runs their old stuff. How many of us replaced our VHS players? CD players? Hell! Some folks may already be on their second Blu-Ray player. And nearly all Blu-Ray players are made to be compatible with DVDs and many with CDs.

Sony and Nintendo (and to a lesser extent, Microsoft) know to make their players somewhat backward compatible and video games have the highest consumer turn-over rate of all recorded media. People rarely hold onto those things.

Caveat: My eBook, PERPETUAL BULLET is available both for the amazon Kindle as well as the B&N Nook.

We Came To Texas

ECMy wife and I have family out here. Mostly in-laws.

Well, they’re all My in-laws, not my wife’s. For Luz, they’re her actual family. Although some of her actual family are also married to some of her in-laws.

I’m the only atheist though. The big skeptic in the family, that’s me.

I’m not complaining, that’s the way it is with all of my family. Wonderful that some celebutard atheists can grandstand on their beliefs and call everybody else “Stupid” or irrational. Me, I have to either be tolerant or be an asshole. Being an asshole is a very small part of my physical make-up – as it should be – and I intend to stay that way.

So my wife and I hit the trail in our beloved 1998 Ford Mustang V6, along with our wonderful friend, Nina.

We left San Diego, California to share a Thanksgiving holiday with the Texas family!

So long to my bro, Kelly. So long to my step-nieces and step-nephew! So long to Natalie and Danny and Randy all the rest of my family and friends in San Diego and California!

Hoo be doo. Not much about Highway 8 driving across California.

Hoo be doo. Not much about Highway 8 driving across Arizona. Well, except for The Thing?

We connect to the I-10 which will carry us the rest of the way to Houston.

Hoo be doo. Not much about Highway 10 driving across Arizona. Well, except for The Thing?

Then we take a side road to a small, out of the way town about 60 miles from any main roads.

This is Sierra Vista.

Sierra Vista is next to Fort Huachuca, where the U.S. Army does all kinds of military test and experiment stuff.

What kind? I don’t know. It’s all classified government stuff.

In fact, they may not actually do military tests or experiments there! That’s how damn classified it is!

However, it is known that when you want an out-of-the-way military base to do your military tests, Ft. Huachuca is a good place!

Not that they do that there.

One thing I can be sure of is that the place has what Environmentalists call a Net-Zero school.

In fact, at the Colonel Smith Middle School Arizona, they specifically teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Here’s a YouTube video.

And what do they teach at such a prestigious, Science school, certified by none less than the ultra Environmental Green non-profit organization, International Living Future Institute?

Water divining.

Water Divining

Our Green School is an Awesome Green School! And our Science is an Awesome Science!

I shit you not.

I couldn’t believe it myself.

Water divining.

A so-called “Green” school run by environmentalists: Accent on “Mentalists.”

Sierra Vista The Herald

No kidding. The article ran in this issue of Sierra Vista The Herald. But maybe the whole article was simply a mistake. After all, the newspaper also misspelled “Canvas”.

It’s definitely what I’d call a Net-Zero school.

Greenies love it though, so I’ll let this article in the Green section of  Huffington Post enthuse all over it.

Maybe a follow up issue of that newspaper printed some kind of correction. Maybe they were teaching superstition in class that day.


This is the art of my Cousin-in-law, Tiffany Brown.
It’s a portrait of her family.

Yeah. That’s it.

Ahem! Anyway…

Luz and I met up with my side of the family and Aunt Carol and Uncle Harry welcomed us with open arms.

A nice breakfast the next day and a tour through my cousin Daryl’s artistic home – courtesy of my very talented cuz-in-law, Tiffany, and we were back on the road.

A long and uneventful drive through Arizona.

A long and uneventful drive through New Mexico.

Those long drives through California, Arizona, and New Mexico were nothing!

Now comes the drive on the I-10 through Texas!

Well now that I’m back in Texas I have to eat stop in El Paso for a Taco Cabana! I just have to!

Ahhh!!! So much better after a meal at Taco Cabana! Now I’m ready for the great Texas crossing!

At first we cheered with every 100 mile post marker.

WOO HOO! 100 miles into Texas!
WOO HOO! 200 miles into Texas!
WOO HOO! 300 miles into Texas!
WOO HOO! 400 miles into Texas! Uh baby…?

Luz didn’t cheer with me at 400 miles.

“Baby! You didn’t cheer! 400 miles angel!”

WOO HOO! 500 miles into Texas!
“Aw honey! Come on! We’ve covered 500 miles! 500 freaking miles, baby!”
She gave me a withering, ‘Seriously? Come on.’ look at 500 miles.


400 miles, baby! We’re probably the only ones on the road for a hundred miles! Here! Let me capture the moment!

“Woo Hoo! 600 miles!
She glared at me at 600 miles.
“600 miles in …just one state! …is all.”

We stopped for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

FeoNote: California has many good things, but one of the things about California that absolutely sucks is No Cracker Barrel.

But California does have Lucille’s, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Carney’s Hot Dogs, Rubios, and El Pollo Loco! They have some other stuff there too I think.

“woo… hoo … er … 700… miles”
She was asleep at 700 miles.

I did nearly all of the driving because, Holy freaking shit do I ever love to drive!


Look honey! There’s a car on the other side! Finally! Another car! Honey?

And if you love to drive, good luck finding a better place to road trip than the state of Texas!

400 of it is at 80 mph! It may be no Autobahn, but it is one hell of a lot longer!

At this point I should mention that I’m a very experienced, life long road tripper, so I made sure we had everything we needed to handle anything that would come our way short of an asteroid.


Believe it. We had Every. Single. Thing. We needed to handle Anything. Don’t road trip without it!

We would arrive in Houston safe and sound.

I've never known any state to be as mad for reading as Texas. You find gas stations - even chain gas stations - selling used books along the I-10.

I’ve never known any state to be as mad for reading as Texas. You find gas stations – even chain gas stations – selling used books along the I-10.

And we did!

What a great roadtrip!



New thing!

The family in Texas has gone all vegetarian.

What will I do?

Yes, I will go to your church and be with the family to welcome the upcoming Holiday.

Yes, I will eat your vegetarian meals when we’re in your house among your company.

Yes, I will bow my head before we eat, hold hands, and let my sister-in-law say grace.

And I will do it all with true warmth and a genuine smile because I love you all.

Compromise: This is what being with family is all about.

Hell No, I will absolutely *NOT* eat a freaking TofuTurkey on Thanksgiving!

This is *my* country’s holiday and I will cook you all a delicious Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. And you will love it!

Compromise: This is what being with family is all about.

Tiffany - who also sculpts - gave Luz and I early Christmas presents. This is mine! It's about the size of a half dollar and my name is sculpted to look like earthworms!

Tiffany – who also sculpts – gave Luz and I early Christmas presents. This is mine! It’s about the size of a half dollar and my name is sculpted to look like earthworms!

So for nearly one full week (because whoever heard of a Thanksgiving dinner without leftovers?), the vegetarian part of my family ate meat.

Yes, I have returned to Texas!