Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Good grunt work progress early a.m. A good thing, too. Rest of day was reading.

Tomorrow is another day etc.

posted from Bloggeroid

CS asks for photo

Creative Screenwriting getting close to its new debut. I guess this from their request for a photo. I sent the one with Sketch, which got a quick reply, "nice looking animal!" The dog, I presume.

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Gin rummy.

posted from Bloggeroid

Keeping it simple

Watched a doc on the Amish last night and found myself sympathizing with them. If your lifestyle is to get everywhere in a horse and buggy, that's not easy to do today. I mean, cars have gotten so complicated you need computer hookups to work on them. Gone are the days of streets filled with teens working on their cars. Self-reliance gets more difficult and may in fact be damn near impossible today. A sorry state of affairs in many ways. Our values go down the tube with our quantitative progress. This is going to hit me very personally soon enough. I can see it coming.

99 cent sale

Stealing the Wrong Identity, on sale until Saturday, link in right column.

posted from Bloggeroid


Many political ideologies are defined at root by one's view of Evil. Many progressives, for example, believe in human goodness and perfectibility more than I do, who has a Lord of the Flies view of human development. How one views Evil colors how one relates to "enemies" and so on. And in extreme, this tendency can become evil itself. Self-protection becomes greed.

More and more, I think the failure of the human experiment is built into our hardware. An over-simplification goes this way: as we become more humane and empathetic, we also become weaker, and in battle the stronger, not the wiser or kinder, win.
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Decent promo

602 downloads, which is decent. Useful? The jury is still out, despite the marketing gurus who insist yes.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Gin rummy.

posted from Bloggeroid

A very thoughtful review

Unusually thoughtful, 5 stars for Emil ...
I am not the intended audience for Deemer's books - I'm an avid reader who enjoys the depth and development of the novels I read. The short, clipped passages here are somewhat frustrating for me. In a way, EMIL'S LAST ADVENTURE reads like the treatment for a movie (Deemer is a professor of screenwriting, after all), leaving me wanting much more. But in another way, I appreciate what Deemer is able to do in just a few pages, and there's no doubt his characters come alive for the reader in just a few words.

Two things I will remember most about EMIL'S LAST ADVENTURE: 1) the Goosenecks of San Juan River, in Utah (I had never even heard of them before reading this, but the images I found on Google were so breathtaking I'm determined to make the trip!), and 2) "Song of the Turkey Buzzard," by poet Lew Welch ("Not the bronze casket but the brazen wing, soaring forever above thee, o perfect, o sweetest water, o glorious wheeling bird"). This is a satisfying and thought-provoking story that is definitely worth a read.

Top 10

Here's a silly exercise. Why did I have such fun doing it?

Birthday present

UCLA plays Oregon in Eugene on my birthday, alma mater v. alma mater. I grew up rooting for UCLA and even played briefly for UCLA's 1948 coach of the year, so I usually root for the Bruins in these face offs. Be a fun way to spend #74. No one in my family tree ever reached 75. I may set a record. Or not.

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Progress, despite

Grunt work this morning, despite less than 100%. Dinner date, which I don't look forward to, alas.

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Checking in

To the university just to check in. Chatted with office mates. Actually not feeling 100%. Being cautious. Need to schedule exam with doc.
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Monday, July 29, 2013


Gin rummy, on a roll.

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Pope Francis On Gay Priests: 'Who Am I To Judge?' | ThinkProgress

Pope Francis On Gay Priests: 'Who Am I To Judge?' | ThinkProgress:

"Pope Francis has framed himself as a more inclusive—or at least more populist—pope since ascending to the Catholic church’s highest position earlier this year. He has received praise from many religious progressives in recent months for a series of actions that reach beyond traditional Catholics, including washing the feet of women as well as Muslims during mass; inviting homeless to dine with him at the vatican; calling on priests to drive more “humble” cars; and for publicly declaring that all people—even atheists—can be redeemed by God."

Kissing feet of AIDS patient
I'm not Catholic and generally have criticized much about Christianity over the decades. But I like the new Pope's style. I have long thought a progressive Pope could do wonders because of his stature and the world stage he occupies. I can't recall liking a Pope as much as my first reaction to this one. I'd like to see him lead a march on the White House. That ought to shake up our ignorant arrogant government a bit ha ha.

Books reality 101

From the Passive Voice ...
Here’s a bulletin to Publishers Weekly and the American Booksellers Association from the reality-based world:
- Amazon is one of the biggest successes in American business to arise during the last 20 years.
- Amazon is one of the most admired consumer brands among both businesspeople and consumers in the United States. By and large, Amazon customers love Amazon.
- Authors are moving toward self-publishing and away from traditional publishers in droves in large part because Amazon treats them well. Traditional publishers treat them poorly. Most bookstores treat indie authors poorly.
- Some indie bookstores are run by fine people, but a job working as an employee of a small independent bookstore is almost certainly a dead-end, low-wage career. A job working with Amazon, in a fulfillment center or otherwise, almost certainly pays better and offers much more opportunity for advancement than a job working in any bookstore, Barnes & Noble or indie.
- The book world is changing. Authors are being empowered as never before. You can probably benefit from the change if you want to, but the change will happen with or without you.
- Despite what you tell yourselves about printed books, readers like ebooks. Readers like lower ebook prices. Readers like wide ebook selection. Readers like being able to order a new ebook wherever they are and whenever they want a new book.
- Printed books will always exist, but as print runs grow smaller, prices will inevitably move higher.
- Hating on Amazon makes you look like a bunch of out-of-touch losers. It is absolutely the wrong way to respond to changes sweeping through the world of books.
UPDATE: PG just checked starting salaries for open fulfillment jobs at Amazon – the people who work in the warehouses, pulling orders and stuffing boxes. Depending on location, they ranged from $11-13.50 and include health insurance, stock plan, etc. He’s not an expert on bookstore jobs, but he thinks a whole lot of those begin at minimum wage with no benefits.

The Business of Mass Incarceration | Common Dreams

The Business of Mass Incarceration | Common Dreams:

 "But this is not a new story. It happens to families every day in our gulag state. Bourne is one human being among hundreds of thousands routinely sacrificed for corporate greed. Her tragedy is of no concern to private contractors or supine judges and elected officials. They do not work for her. They do not work for us. They are corporate employees. And they know something Bourne is just discovering: Incarceration in America is a business."

Perhaps even a bigger business is aging. Corporations have to keep the elderly alive, barely, in order to profit from them.

A productive morning!

Seems like a while since I've been this productive. Lots of marketing chores, plus grunt work on #6. Feels good to get things done.

If I have a great week, might finish up #6 grunt work. A release next week is doable.

Need to check my mailbox at the university. Maybe tomorrow morning if the car is available.

A great way to start the week.

If you want to see 89 U of O touchdowns in a row, head on over to the Round Bend Press blog where TS reminds us that fan comes from fanatic. Do O and UCLA play this year? I hope so. Hmm maybe with new conferences they don't, except in possible playoff. Too complicated. "The world is too much with us..." etc etc etc.

posted from Bloggeroid


Typical ordinary Pdx weather has returned, chilly and gray. It burns off in the afternoon but the mornings suck. I really miss Calif. warmth.

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Adjustments to proof

Made some minor changes to #5 before checking again and ordering just now, a gift for special friends. Looking good.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Didn't get much done today either, other than playing with Sketch.

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Gin rummy score.

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Headline of the day

"Mass. girl, 9, becomes youngest U.S. chess master"

I love it!

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Morning surprise

Two new 5 star reviews met me this morning, one for #4 Stealing Identity and one for the promo mystery. The absurd game going well.

 But #3 Refugee got 3 stars from reviewer wanting traditional prose.

Need to get more done today than yesterday.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hard copy

Paperback proof of #5 arrived ... very nice, as slim as a book of poems, a nice gift for a few special friends. Really feels like my signature story. "Not the bronze casket but the brazen wing." The end.

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Glad I got scrapple made this morning because my energy has tanked. Mariners game just started, something to focus on as I try to stay awake. Plans to the wind.

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Oh my

Reading the SF paper this morning, I see Cal's second football game (Sept 7), a home game, is against ... Portland State.

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Fire is gaining in gin rummy marathon.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

O what a good boy am I

Lots of yard work - for me, at least - this morning. When H returns, to store for scrapple stuff and something to bbq tonight.

Sketch keeping me smiling. A born comic, that dog.

posted from Bloggeroid

The routine

After I digest breakfast, off to do yard work, then continue #6 work, then some marketing chores, then reading. All low key, moving slowly through the day, ad befits an old fart.

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New promo

50 downloads already.

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Comfort breakfast

H has a friend who raises chickens and gives us a dozen eggs with some frequency. What a difference! Thick shells, large bright yolks, pre-corporate food and a delight. Used in my comfort breakfast. Time for a new batch of scrapple.

Morning yard work! I promise. Then, while I recover, #6 grunt work.

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New promo

Off to a good start ... it's a murder mystery.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013


My current lead in a Gin Rummy marathon against the Fire.

posted from Bloggeroid

Free books

Just read an interesting defense, indeed advocacy, of giving books away, not for sales but for advocates, those enthusiastic fans who will toot your horn on social media. The writer, now a best seller, started this way and still primes the pump with freebies on occasion.

Not sure how you could prove this one way. or the other. I am trying to resist all conclusions until next summer, after I retire. Not easy to do since I am impatient by nature. But I am hangin' in like Gunga Din, as the Killer liked to say. (That's Jerry Lee Lewis for any yunguns reading this ha ha.)

posted from Bloggeroid


A lazy summer day ... luckily I got a lot of work done early in the morning. Lots I should and could be doing ... but no thanks.

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Marketing chores

Busy morning ... made media kit ... started setting myself up at Goodreads ... rec by Amazon ended morning with a bonus.

Need to take Sketch out again, exercise for both of us.

Nice to see H jazzed.

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2 good surprises

Got a call from H, who just sold a painting and is jazzed about it. Then I got a mass email from Amazon recommending mystery/thriller/suspense books - and Whistleblower is the lead book! This is remarkable - especially after just rejecting it for a singles. Different editors, I assume. Which tells you something. Anyway, this will be a good test to see how it translates into sales. Man, last thing I expected.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Waiting for the monthly marketing webinar to begin. So far, useful in theory though the jury is still out on whether theory works in practice. This is all an education if nothing else. But I'm very glad I'm getting the Overdrive stories out there. This is its own reward, in the last analysis.

Blessed Are the Rich | Common Dreams

Blessed Are the Rich | Common Dreams:

"In case you don't dwell in the plutocratic, narcissistic, Ayn Randian fantasyland where the Kochs hang out, "labor mobility" is right-wing psychobabble for social Darwinism. Remove all remnants of America's economic safety net, they coldly theorize (while wallowing in their nests of luxury), and the poor will be "freed" to become billionaires."

'via Blog this'

How Twelve States Are Succeeding In Solar Energy Installation: New Report | ThinkProgress

How Twelve States Are Succeeding In Solar Energy Installation: New Report | ThinkProgress:

"The group, which Environment America termed the “Dazzling Dozen,” is comprised of: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont. "

Shame on Oregon and Washington.

Crime author sues paper over negative review | The Passive Voice |

Crime author sues paper over negative review | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

"A true crime author is suing a paper over a damning review of her book about a woman who killed her husband – after it emerged the man who wrote it was engaged to the killer."

'via Blog this'


Took Sketch on a long walk, he wore me out. Now to do some grunt work and recover.

posted from Bloggeroid

[Ars Philosopha] | On Suicide, by Clancy Martin | Harper's Magazine

[Ars Philosopha] | On Suicide, by Clancy Martin | Harper's Magazine:

"That self-destruction should be morally blameworthy because of its selfishness is, if not paradoxical, at least a bit odd. After all, if there is one thing I am entitled to as a human being, only one right I am permitted, it ought to be the right to life: this right, it has often been argued, is a kind of necessary precondition for any other right one might claim. But does it make sense to say that I have the right to life if I don’t have the right to end it when and as I choose?"

'via Blog this'

A Writerly Retirement: Zero Sum Universe

A Writerly Retirement: Zero Sum Universe:

'via Blog this'

Digital proof

Already got a digital proof of #5 paperback version. Ordered a hard copy just to be sure but it looks good. This will be a nice slim book to give to friends, my "signature" story at the end of my career. I dig it.

Lots of grunt work, marketing work, busy work, downsizing work, facing me here in the basement office this morning, on a gorgeous day ... wrote a poem about that this morning.

Headline of the day

Два мира вашего сценария (перевод статьи автора Charles Deemer)

About the two worlds of the story. Used to this sort of thing in Eastern and Scandanavian languages, not Russian. Go to article.

A day in the office

A cleaning lady coming in, so upstairs will be hers and I'll spend a few hours here in the basement office, getting work done, I presume. Not a bad deal.

Still thinking about that double play in the ninth. Man, the Ms are on a roll! Nice to see for a change. The new young guys are really coming through, like Miller and Franklin. Day game today,  too, which will be fun here in the office.

Cravings ended up with 87 downloads for its promo. And here I thought, well, if Devil's Music gets over 1200, C ought to get a few hundred. Wrong.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mariners win 8th in row

What a 9th! Ms take 1 run lead into 9th but Cleveland gets runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs. Then an amazing 5 4 2 6 double play, force at 2nd, tag runner on 3rd in run down. Strikeout ends it. Go, Mariners!

posted from Bloggeroid

How the other half lives

Accepted an offer of a free lunch, and a first rate lunch it turned out to be, to hear a sales pitch for the expansion of a retirement community in town. Man, it sure is nice digs! And way, way, way over our budget. Must be nice to be able to afford a setting and services like that.

As I like to say, we're too poor to be rich and too rich to be poor.

A gift for friends

Emil's Last Adventure, the Overdrive tale from the screenplay The Brazen Wing, sure feels like my "signature story," for which reason I am going to make a few print on demand paperbacks to distribute to friends as gifts. Early going away gifts perhaps. Remember me this way. Emil's Last Adventure (Stories In Overdrive) Emil's Last Adventure (Stories In Overdrive) eBook: Charles Deemer: Kindle Store:

Overdrive #5 is published.

The next one:

Monday, July 22, 2013


Win tonight, 7 game winning streak, only 5 games under .500. Keep it up!

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Emil's Last Adventure

Should be able to release tomorrow, Overdrive #5. May make print version to give as gifts since this seems to be my signature story.

What will #6 be?

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Still waiting

Not one visible benefit yet from those 1200+ freebies.

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Feel more like I'm on vacation at home than over the weekend in Idaho. Attitude, peace, quiet. Not always such comfort here, alas, but often. I take what I can find.

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Home sweet home

As nice as it was to see the Palouse, It's nicer to be home. Simplicity is the order of the day. Staying home, low key and quiet, is about as simple as it gets.

Not surprised by Amazon rejection. Too off the mainstream. Also won't surprise me if present slow progress is the name of the game, period. Better than before but nothing to brag about. Yet some genuine enthusiasm by those who get it. Well, I've seen all this before.

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Change of heart

The 4 star review of Cravings suddenly disappeared. Say what? Then today the same reviewer posted a new one with 5 starts. Interesting.

Quick trip to Idaho

Quick trip to Lewiston over the weekend, leaving Thurs and returning yesterday. Primarily so H could visit troubled grandson in program there. I also visited Dick's oldest son, my unofficial godson.

Highlight for me the landscape, the Palouse, always knocks me out and this may well be the last time I'll see it live. Disappointment was the visit itself, which somehow got sidetracked into current affairs, he defends Zimmerman, etc, you get the picture. I mostly bit my tongue and got out of there as quickly, as politely, as possible.

You can't go home again etc. But the landscape! It was worth the trip and brought back many fine memories of cruising the area with Dick when we were young, bar hopping across the rolling hills. I'm damn glad I did that. It was a different country then and those parts were filled with folks with Wobbly roots. Back when the blue collar was radical. Seems like a dream world.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Amazon doesn't think much of Overdrive, rejecting it for Amazon Singles category, which has marketing benefits. Popularity would turn that around, no doubt, but no sure thing there. Just keep stumbling along until this turtle marathon is over.

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Strange win

Mariners get only one hit ... and win 4-2.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sinking spell

Energy this morning but after a long walk with the dog, I feel like that old blues tune, Goin' down slow.

Yesterday I found myself listening to opinion after opinion with which I disagreed but without energy to get into it. Being nice in social gatherings can be taxing ha ha. That's why I try to avoid them.

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This is a marathon run by turtles. I may not live long enough to see the results.

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Friday, July 19, 2013


We did get a nice review: "funny, bloody and unique." I'll take it.

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Very slow, disappointing start to the first Overdrive promo. First day is usually the strongest, so I no longer expect much.

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Proofing and polishing #5. Should be published next week. Still undecided about my next one.

A great drive out the Columbia Gorge yesterday. Oregon at its best.

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Good morning

A beautiful morning in the Pacific Northwest. Just checking in.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Word of the day


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Promo results

36 downloads, an incredible drop from 1200+. This weekend is the first Overdrive promo, Cravings #2, and an interesting test. I would hope to get at least 500 but I really have little sense yet of how and why this works. That's why it's called an experiment.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


90% of the time, watching sports on TV, I mute the sound when the Star Spangled Banner or God Bless America is sung - because they seldom are sung simply and become more about the singer than the song. As now, at the All Star Game.

The exception I can think of is the Army-Navy game, where the songs are traditionally honored by bands or glee clubs. Otherwise it's usually show off singers.

posted from Bloggeroid

All Star Game

When I was a kid, I loved playing the all star baseball board game, with anybody I could find, playmates or aunts most of the time, or alone if nobody was around, and I scored all the games play by play, keeping statistics in spiral notebooks, a regular fanatic for the game. I wonder if it still exists.
posted from Bloggeroid

Near the end

More progress on #5, and I think I can finish #5 grunt work tomorrow. Then the careful polish, proofing and the rest - should be ready next week.

What will my next one be? Good question.

Amazing progress while running on half cylinders.

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Word of the day


posted from Bloggeroid

No diet

I've lost 15 lbs in the last 6 or 8 weeks without changing my eating habits. Maybe I have something. Annual checkup in August, find out then, I guess. I don't want any diseases that aren't terminal. Why delay the inevitable? I don't want any disesses at all before the Overdrive experiment plays out. Can't learn much if I'm dead.

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Good Overdrive progress this morning, which is quite an accomplishment since I feel like shit.

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The Writing Life II: Hypertext and Hyperdrama by Tegan Zimmerman on Prezi

The Writing Life II: Hypertext and Hyperdrama by Tegan Zimmerman on Prezi:

From the comment: "the class loved your work!", which I take to be not so much a comment about "me" as a comment about HYPERDRAMA, and it pleases me that students respond positively to it.

Blah blah blah

From 2007, more true than ever.

Monday, July 15, 2013

What J.K. Rowling's pseudonymous novel says about commercial success | The Passive Voice |

What J.K. Rowling's pseudonymous novel says about commercial success | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

 "Even J.K. Rowling can write a good book that drops into the ocean and barely makes a ripple."

'via Blog this'

Despite everything

Despite a slight funk, have managed to make good Overdrive progress today, helped by Ella-Louis duets, an album I originally bought when I was in high school, I believe.

Deleted my news apps. Going to do the small town thing right here in Puddle City.

Have this sudden interest to bury myself in Victorian literature.

JK Rowling book

This mystery she submitted under a pseudonym, which went nowhere until she put her name on it, making it #1 at Amazon, is an old lesson. Doris Lessing did something similar decades ago. Philip Glass has argued that art should be anonymous to avoid this very cult of stardom.

Never happen. This culture has little use for art except in the marketplace. It wants stars and scandal and the profit that comes with them.
posted from Bloggeroid

Head in the sand

Man, there's a part of me that wants to move to a small desert town in the southwest, settle in without owning a TV, without owning a radio, read no newspapers except for sports, go online only to upload new volumes in the Overdrive series, and just drop out of the world of socio-politics and live my last years in secluded, quiet reflection and nostalgic appreciation of good moments in my past. Man, that sounds comforting.

Tit for tat

One thing I wish the Z prosecution had done was reverse the charges. It was Trayvon, being stalked, who was in fear and so turned and stood his ground. It was Trayvon, stalked and in fear, who acted in self defense. No one can doubt Z was the aggressor. He was told to stay in his car and wait for the police. He refused.

There is only one element that makes this complicated. Institutional racism.
posted from Bloggeroid


Joyce called it the nightmare from which he strives to recover. In different ways, both Thoreau and Norman Brown give value to actions free from its influences.

I judge the freedom in a country by the ease with which one can drop out of the mainstream and still exist, living Thoreau's "majority of one." This is why we remain attractive despite a history embedded with genocide and racist manifest destiny. This is why I'm troubled by recent trends that make this harder.

And this is why I feel so lucky to be an old man. Great timing for my journey.

"Life is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there." Bill Deemer.

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No regrets

Through my long career I did almost none of the "standard marketing strategies" I now do in my Overdrive experiment. The fact is, I came of age as a writer in a different literary culture, when respect was more important than popularity, where - to cite an example - the two pop writers (TV and sci fi) at a literary conference at the Univ of Colorado in the late 60s came off as embarrassing buffoons, as hacks, to most of us there. The most respected writer there had just published a literary novel that cracked 2000 in sales, a magic number at the time (that's right, TWO thousand!). The environment was elitist, yes, but also healthier for literature. The mantra came from Gertrude Stein: "remarks are not literature."

I feel blessed to have had such good timing. Starting today, I doubt if I would have become a writer because popularity, the driving force now, was never central in my needs. I was raised with the sensibilities and values of a mathematician, and I retain them.

No regrets. And probably much to say when this expetiment is over.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pathetic promo

At a point where the mystery had over 1000 downloads, this weekend's literary novel (with more prestigious endorsements) has 28. It's not surprising; just a sad commentary on the obvious.

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Racists on the doorstep

Well, my comments on the Z case has brought some racist comments that I won't publish. Depressing. But it certainly speaks to the long, lingering sickness in this country. I think this will get worse as whites move into minority status. Good old CJ in my novel is/was right on. Right on.

I think of my poem about the guy plowing his field who learns of Lincoln's assassination weeks after the fact. How sweet it must have been.


  The justice dept will not pursue the Z case. A civil suit will go to trial in a few years and Z will lose but skip the country, with lots of monied help.

A divided country

Lots applaud the Z verdict, lots condemn it. Maybe it will take another civil war to settle the culture wars -- or maybe time will change realities, as whites become a minority. Whatever happens, glad I won't be around to see it.

cummings ends a poem by saying there's a hell of a good universe next door, let's go. Alas, we'd just fuck that one up, too. Must be something in our DNA. The greed gene?

posted from Bloggeroid

Productive morning

Great morning, good progress on #5, about 20% done now. Might finish next week. Off to read the Sunday papers! Get lazy. I deserve it.

Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world

George Zimmerman, Not Guilty: Blood on the Leaves | Common Dreams

George Zimmerman, Not Guilty: Blood on the Leaves | Common Dreams:

"The decision the six jurors reached on Saturday evening will inspire anger, frustration, and despair, but little surprise, and this is the most deeply saddening aspect of the entire affair. From the outset— throughout the forty-four days it took for there to be an arrest, and then in the sixteen months it took to for the case to come to trial—there was a nagging suspicion that it would culminate in disappointment. Call this historical profiling."

'via Blog this'

Poem for the day

From The Dish (Andrew Sullivan):
“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry:
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Sick in my stomach

What made me sick in my stomach during the Zimmerman fiasco was the gloating head of the prosecution after the verdict, self-congratulatory and delusional, talking about how she kept her promise to Trayvon's family to bring out the truth etc., how great American justice is etc., acting as if she'd just won the Super Bowl. All I could think of was what Mark Twain wrote in Puddn'head Wilson:
"It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it."

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quotation of the day

Et tu America? --Trayvon's teen brother

posted from Bloggeroid

Not guilty

posted from Bloggeroid

Long view

Once I have a dozen or so out, two new strategies become operative. 1. I plan to bundle three to a volume and publish paperbacks as well as ebooks. 2. Invite other screenwriters to submit, assuming a clear audience has developed by then. #6 will be the first by someone else, a thesis splay I particularly like. There are half a dozen scripts by former students I'd publish in the series without hesitation.

Got 7 pages done on #5, which is based on my favorite script. I'm curious how a drama will do.

Suddenly quite lazy. USA-Cuba soccer game on. Check it out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Stories In Overdrive: Looking ahead

Stories In Overdrive: Looking ahead:

8 new stories lined up! The next one ...


The greatest early surprise of the Overdrive experiment is the spin off of increased sales for Kerouac's Scroll, A Gift Before Dying, Soddom Gomorrah and Jones, my literary fiction. Cool and unexpected.

No tangible benefit yet from those 1200 books I gave away. Yeah, it's only been two weeks. But it would be nice to get something tangible sooner rather than later. The theory says a dozen reviews. So let's get started, marathon or not.

posted from Bloggeroid


I've known for quite a while that talent doesn't guarantee success. You surely need some talent as a writer but far more important in the real world is an ability to hang in and keep writing while being rejected. Many, probably most, of my best students just quit and do something else. Perfectly understandable. In this context, the writers are those who can't stop. Writing has become existential.

Look at the jury story below. I am rejected a dozen times at NW Mag. But I keep trying. Finally they buy the jury duty story. Have anything else? Ah, yeah. They buy something they rejected maybe six months ago. Over the next several years, they buy everything they'd previously rejected. Why? Because now I was a "regular contributor."

Seems unfair but actually it makes sense, which I didn't learn until I became an editor myself. I had pages to fill with quality writing. When something came up, as it often did, and I found myself needing a writer, I got on the phone and called someone I knew, whose work I had published. Even though my fondest memories as an editor are of two writers I "discovered," launching their careers, the day to day routine and pressure require more secure decision making.

It doesn't look fair from the outside and didn't to me. Once in the inner circle at NW Mag, it was a dream come true.

The question for young writers is, Can you hang in there until you get that first big break that opens doors?

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Jury duty

In 1967-8, a grad school dropout, in Portland to "become a writer," which at the time meant two things, selling freelance journalism and publishing short fiction in selected literary magazines, especially The Literary Review and Prism International, both goals accomplished by fall 1969 when I returned to grad school, now an MFA student, during this period of learning and transition, I got summoned to jury duty. This led to my first big break as a journalist.

I'd been trying hard but failing to sell to Northwest Magazine. I was struggling enough the jury duty pay looked good, especially since I'd be reading and writing all day. Who would put me on a jury, with my long shaggy beard and radical ideas? I didn't think much of American justice anyway.

To make a long story short, I got on several juries and was impressed with how seriously my fellow jurors took their task. I came out with a changed attitude and my personal essay about this became the first thing I sold to NW Mag. The editor asked for more and also started giving me assignments. I sent in something previously rejected and they bought it. I ended up selling them every piece they had rejected! Aha, so this is how it works. I was in the editor's inner circle now and I made sure I stayed there.

All this came to mind with so much focus now on the Zimmerman jury. My first break as a journalist.

posted from Bloggeroid

First month of summer

A huge success. My original goal was to get 3 Overdrive books published. In the entire summer! I just published the 4th. I under-estimated my skill in using find and replace on computer codes to reformat text.

The reception so far is satisfying. Over time I want the numbers to pick up considerably but for one month in, I can't complain.

This is a marathon and all I can do is continue putting one foot after the other.

One disappointment. Downsizing. No progress. Need to change that.

I especially like the two reviewers who enjoyed Overdrive as a new kind of reading experience. Will this attitude catch on? We'll see.

posted from Bloggeroid

Classic game

Root sports' classic Sunday night game is a great one tomorrow: Edgar Martinez's 7 RBI game against the Yankees in the playoffs. I'll be there.

Sketch much better, almost normal. He even barked.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 12, 2013


What a differrence a genre makes. The promo of a mystery 2 weeks ago resulted in over 1200 downloads. This weekend the promo is a literary novel, which has a nice plug at a major book site today. I anticipate maybe 50 downloads. Reality 101.

posted from Bloggeroid

A tad better

Sketch slowly improving ... reaction to shots, I assume. I also assume the vet knows what the hell she's doing but it's good to remember that half the vets graduated in the bottom half of their class.

posted from Bloggeroid

Missed anniversary

I had a 20th anniversary on June 13th that came and went without notice. Given the context, not a bad way to noncelebrate, as cummings might say.

Sketch is sick, hence the bad internal clock this morning. Probably reaction to shots from vet yesterday. Keeping an eye on him.

I don't feel so hot myself.

posted from Bloggeroid

Slow mind

Sketch is sleeping in, which is unusual. My mind is sleeping in, too. No energy whatever to start the day at a time when I often do. Not sure if I'll get anything done today, the way I feel now.

I don't like my pacemaker. It itches. What happens if I don't replace it down the road? Automatic croak?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is the process working?

Nice if unusual that sales picked up today. Perhaps it's a fluke. Perhaps the process is working. Eventually we'll find out, I suppose.

posted from Bloggeroid

Stories In Overdrive: Early kudos

Stories In Overdrive: Early kudos:

'via Blog this'

Active day

An unusually active day in the marketplace, with reviews and sales. No idea why.

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New review

New 5 stars for Roswell. There's actually review inflation at Amazon, I think, and far too much importance given to them but they clearly have become an important factor in the marketplace. If you are trying to sell copies, this is the game. I suspect I'll have much to say about this when the Overdrive experiment ends.

I liked that the new review mentioned "a different kind of reading experience," which he dug. Because it is for most readers.

posted from Bloggeroid

Where do they get these guys?

The incompetence of the Zimmerman prosecution is very sad. Z will walk. Vigilantes win again.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wishful thinking

Almost immediate sale of #4 as soon as it was available. Be nice if it was a reader of the others, just waiting for the next.

Sketch gained weight and needs to lose it. All my fault naturally.

posted from Bloggeroid

New promo

Starts tomorrow. I anticipate many fewer downloads because of genre difference. We'll see.

posted from Bloggeroid

Charge station

I need my spirit charged here on the sinking Titanic. A first rate film might do it. Browsing time.

posted from Bloggeroid

A little break

Think I'll back off the Overdrive project for the rest of the week and focus on more mundane chores, where I've fallen behind. Try to get a concrete plan for downsizing.

Sketch wants attention.

posted from Bloggeroid

Stories In Overdrive: Release day

Stories In Overdrive: Release day:

Stealing the Wrong Identity was published this morning, Overdrive #4.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Just made next to last submission, so Overdrive #4 should be released tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Need to decide order of next ones ... and work on Saudi script, which is much harder than working on mine.

Busy day. Now time to bring office downsizing front burner.

posted from Bloggeroid

Bad press

Just read that the thinker who most influenced Ghandi was John Ruskin. Time to revisit. Victorian lit gets a bad press, throwing baby out with bath water of British political arrogance, the model for our own.

Strangest grad school final I ever took was Victorian Lit. I was nervous, didn't have an A going in, needed to ace it. The matronly prof gave me a test ... then said, Mr. Deemer, I had the strangest dream about you last night.

Holy shit! What do you do with that? Whatever, I aced the final and got my A. But very strange, never forgotten.

posted from Bloggeroid

Overdrive #4 coming soon

Where the Hell Is the Outrage? | Common Dreams

Where the Hell Is the Outrage? | Common Dreams:

"From the first breaths of life to the last, our lives are being stolen out from under us. From infant care and early education to Social Security and Medicare, the dominant economic ideology is demanding more lifelong sacrifices from the vulnerable to appease the gods of wealth."

'via Blog this'


Sure don't have the stamina I used to have. 9 a.m. and I'm ready for a nap! Made new cover. Still have to read and polish text. But later.

posted from Bloggeroid


I don't like this dude. His racist vigilante attitude caused the whole mess. But I think by the letter of the law, there is enough reasonable doubt to get him off. The reaction will be angry. I wish the judge would lecture him but she won't. Many will see this as continued injustice. No progress on the Titanic.

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Hello and goodbye

Up for the morning routine with Sketch, who is like clockwork. But not ready to stay up and work. So back to bed, sleep or radio, whichever works. Lots to do today! My kind of day.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Looking ahead

I wonder how difficult my last year of teaching will be. All about attitude, and the key is not to regret going one more year ... which does occur to me in fleeting moments.

A tad of marketing progress today. In today's climate, I wonder if I even would have become a writer. Not visibly, I suspect. Do an Emily Dickenson. Be a math teacher. Oh, I wrote a poem about that.
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The Huffington Irony

I realize that sex sells etc etc etc but never have I seen such attention given to female flesh and cleavage by a so-called progressive cyber-rag as the Huffington Post's addiction to soft porn. But nobody seems to give a shit, including all the women contributors, so I guess this is an irony to dinosaurs only. Interesting.

posted from Bloggeroid


Watched first season, loved it. Then early in second, my favorite 2 characters leave ... so I'm done.

posted from Bloggeroid

Productive morning

Already did all my necessary work regarding Overdrive. The rest of the day is gravy. Will do some cooking.

But time to start the downsizing, too, which I'm still trying to formulate in my mind.

Monday, July 08, 2013


Very good for my attitude to be back in my routine. I don' t think so much about ... well, if you pay attention to what's coming down, you know what I mean. Constructive distraction. I should bottle it.

posted from Bloggeroid

Back to normal

At last, the holiday weekend is over. Really disrupted my work rhythm. Glad to be back into, or trying to get back into it. May take a few days.

Man, this whole ebook marketing thing is nuts. Something culturally and seriously wrong with this entire dance. I keep thinking of Ezra Pound's "The ABC of Reading" and the complete fit he would be having at all this socializing over literature, the democratization of art. There's got to be another way, a more literate way, to do all this.

But an experiment is an experiment, and I move forward. But this is not endearing me to pop culture ha ha.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Early start

Already put in a good grunt work session. Great to start the day right.

Just finished my comfort breakfast. All is well.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 05, 2013


Not much energy today. Still managed some grunt work on next two Overdrives. Eager for Monday and more normal routine.

posted from Bloggeroid

We got through it

Sketch and I survived the 4th. He headed under the bed in the evening and was still hiding under there when I went to bed. But early in the morning he was back on the sofa, cuddled against a pillow, just like normal.

Total normality doesn't return until Monday when everyone is back to work and I can reengage the summer program. But there is plenty of grunt work to do in the meantime.

Am reading a book called Chicago 1968, which may be he best thing on the sixties I've ever read. More later.

Thursday, July 04, 2013


I missed this 2007 Sissy Spacek film when it came out, which dramatizes the radical changes of a wealthy young woman through the 1960s. No surprises but an almost iconic journey familiar to many who know the era. A decent film of the sixties.

posted from Bloggeroid

Home on the 4th

Were going to a movie but decided not to fight the crowds. Maybe take a drive, dog for a run, nothing more ambitious than this. I can always do grunt work on #4 while listening to jazz in the cool basement office.

Can always bbq hot dogs.

Really interesting woman who let her sons see Overdrive.

A very lazy day to be sure!

posted from Bloggeroid

First rate reviewer

The woman who sent the personal email with a negative review gave Whistleblower to her three sons, ages 17 to 27 to read - and they loved it! "All the boring stuff is taken out." In other words, story trumps rhetoric.

This is a remarkable response - and a remarkable thing for her to do. Maybe there is a fan base out there.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Perfect game

Retelecast of the Felix Hernandez perfect game this Sunday, Root Sports, 9 p.m.

posted from Bloggeroid

For All Mankind

This documentary blows my mind. About going to the moon, narrated by astronauts. So much hope and possibility here, so much heroic human achievement, soon lost in politics, the Kennedy coup, the rise of plutocracy. So much squandered by greed. Such potential to solve serious problems. Thrown away. The human tragedy.
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How I got a blank book to the top of the Amazon charts | The Passive Voice |

How I got a blank book to the top of the Amazon charts | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

"“Shed! Your book is number 44 on Amazon… Congratulations!”

Most authors would delight at this news, and of course I was thrilled, but in my case, the book in question was a little bit different to other books. And that’s why my jubilation was, let’s say, mixed with disbelief and abject bewilderment. Because my book, entitled What Every Man Thinks About Apart from Sex, is completely and utterly blank.

That’s right, you read that correctly, my book contains two hundred pages and each one has nothing printed on it."

Well, ladies and gentlement, here is the reality of pop book culture in a nutshell. I wish I was surprised that something like this could happen.

Vibrations in the brain

Keep hearing lines from the excellent Madrid production of Mahagonny:
"The greatest criminal is a man without money."
"Where is the telephone?"
"Let's go to Banares where the sun is shining ..."
"Nothing you can do can help a dead man." 


This is a first rate documentary, which presents coherent arguments on both sides of the issue and reveals the complexities involved. This is refreshing in the current climate, where the issue is mostly dealt with by knee jerk ideologues. I was especially impressed with a woman from the CIA, who presented a view I consider rational and sane.

Disclosure: I had a top secret codeword clearance in the Army Security Agency, an experience that no doubt influences my assessment of the current issues. But what is nice about this documentary is that there are no political extremists represented. Both views present coherent arguments.

Negative review

One reviewer disliked what I'm doing at Overdrive so much that instead of writing a highly negative review just emailed me with constructive criticism, which was to write a novelization rather than what I am up to.

This, of course, misses the entire point of the experiment. However, she was most kind not to post a negative  one or no star review, which would reduce the average, which matters ridiculously much in the Amazon marketplace, very absurd really but it's reality, and I expected responses like hers to be sure. I kindly wrote back and referred her to 5 reviewers now who disagree and who like the new form very much, but there will continue to be those who hate it. I hope they all have good manners like this one and write me privately rather than go on a tirade at Amazon. But I also expect this to happen.

I think in the end it will be word of mouth that makes this work. Reviewers are important to launch it, to gain visibility and validation, but in the long run, readers dig it and tell their friends or they don't.

I don't share the enthusiasm of one reader who thinks this will really catch on but I surely hope she is right!

It's a marathon, so we are not going to find out anything soon. But all early signs I find encouraging.

Nice plug

One of three mysteries highlighted over the weekend, from thousands (!) offered. Good sign.

I'm a featured author at Freebooksy

Overnight developments

Total downloads during promo = 1273.

Roswell got first review, 5 stars, "keeps you glued to the page."

6 different books sold overnight. Very highly unusual.

No promo this holiday weekend, then one after the other through rest of summer.
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Mariners play like champs

Beat the Rangers 9-2 in Texas. If only this was typical ...

posted from Bloggeroid

Nice slow day

Relaxing day, a little work on Overdrive, two movies on Fire, a couple review requests ... bbq steaks tonight. Not bad for this least favorite week.

posted from Bloggeroid

The End of the Line

Imagine a world without fish. It can happen. This documentary shows how.


Watched Oliver Stone's 1986 film on the Fire this morning, only second time I think. It's a masterpiece. Stone is a master filmmaker, whatever one thinks of his politics. This is an engaging, dramatic, funny, horrifying political drama. "Based on a true story." Amazing scenes. Stone keeps fighting the good fight against very long odds. He's a treasure.

Getting through the week

The next few days are the worst. Hangin' in like Gunga Din!

posted from Bloggeroid

Four started

Did a few pages on #4 last night, a start. One foot after the other.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 01, 2013

Mahagonny in Madrid - what a find!

Streamed a production of my favorite opera, performed in Madrid in English, that is outstanding! Better than the LA Opera version I flew down to see. Gritty and grotesque, set in a garbage dump, it's really something. If you want something special, check it out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Political correctness

Decades ago a white lady from the south used the N word. Gee. Because she's a celebrity...because she ADMITTED it, her career has tanked.

What a bunch of hypocritical crap. You don't think elderly congressmen from the south ever used the N word?

The moral is never admit anything.

posted from Bloggeroid


2 requests for review copies this afternoon. Love sending them out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Promo update

At about 1200 downloads. Doubt if we'll make 1500. Ends midnight Tuesday.

posted from Bloggeroid

Williams loses!

Great! I admire Venus but not Serena, who has no class.

posted from Bloggeroid

Extreme Nature

I fear we are past the point of no return and our "natural" disasters will continue to get more severe. In this context, natural means caused by human ignorance and greed.

posted from Bloggeroid

Home as vacation

There are moments, like presently after my signature comfort breakfast, when home, this small house off the street, often visited by deer when we moved here, before adjacent development, feels like a vacation rental. Yes, I feel like I'm on vacation. At home! Extraordinary feeling.

So despite lots to do, from yard work to downsizing to Overdrive 4, I'm in no rush to get started today. Mellow is its own reward.

posted from Bloggeroid

CS article sent!

June 9th was the date of the email when the Creative Screenwriting editor wrote me, Send more! So 3 weeks later isn't so bad. I finished the article in 30 minutes but it took me weeks to get to it. I left this side of the business to avoid the stress of deadlines and I'm not about to let an editor trick me into getting back in it ... I told him, and he agreed, I'd contribute when I can, and that's the way I want to leave it. Of course, as a young writer, beginning, I would have loved an editor to give me this much attention. Eventually I developed a good relationship like this with Joe Bianco at Northwest Magazine.

Well, the burden of the day lifted, I am suddenly mellow.

Vets diving for cover

This is the week that our veterans, whom we send overseas to do our sometimes necessary and always dirty work, then ignore them when they return -- this is the week that those in hospitals and at home hear fireworks and dive for cover, yelling, "Incoming!" July 4, 1993, in a VA hospital, was my introduction to this unfortunate and neglected holiday tradition. The 4th has never been the same.

So I never look forward to this week and don't now. I'll get through it. That's about it.

Renewable Energy Closing In On Natural Gas As Second-Largest Source Of Electricity Worldwide | ThinkProgress

Renewable Energy Closing In On Natural Gas As Second-Largest Source Of Electricity Worldwide | ThinkProgress:

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Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already? | ThinkProgress

Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already? | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'