Getting Over The Hump – J. Carson Black

Please welcome J. Carson Black to Getting Over The Hump Day. J. is the author of 13 novels and has lived in the traditional publishing and indie publishing worlds.

 

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THOUGHTS ON BOOKS, FILLIES, AND THE OCCASIONAL DOMINATRIX

 by J. Carson Black

As I come to the end of my fourteenth novel, it has become clear to me that all my books have something in common.

They are exactly like recalcitrant racehorses.

I think they’re fillies. Fillies are known for making their own rules.

Every one of my books has been hard to load in the gate. They break slow and loaf along far behind the field, no matter how much I scrub on them, kiss at them, or shake the reins. No matter what I do, I’m just the jockey, and I can’t exactly pick the damn thing up and carry it on my shoulders to the wire.

They put on occasional capricious spurts of speed just to confound me, before dropping back to take in the view.

Finally, though, when it’s almost too late–the pace quickens.  We start to pick up horses, but the wire is coming up fast.  There’s a deadline looming. Still, after thirteen previous books, I’m pretty sure we’ll get there.

Although it’s never pretty.

A few things that have helped me:

Writing every day. (Or trying to.)

Writing a certain number of words every day.

Getting up early and starting while still sleepy.

Going for a walk.

Not thinking about the book while going for the walk.

Jigsaw puzzles.

Not thinking about the book while I’m doing jigsaw puzzles.

“Written? Kitten!”

“Written? Kitten!” has become my best ally. The little online app shows me a picture of a kitten for every hundred words I write. Best of all, when I’m in Written? Kitten! I’m not writing in Word.

When I’m writing in Word, I goof off.  I change font colors or go back to look at Page 2, or Chapter Seven, or I write down my word count and calculate how much further I have to go today–constantly.

I understand there’s a mean-spirited dominatrix-type app called “Write or Die” which is popular with masochists. You can choose a strict punishment for not writing, or a lenient one. I think somebody wears a hood, although I’m not sure. Maybe you end up with a rubber ball in your mouth.  If you don’t write enough, your precious words disappear.

I don’t respond to that kind of encouragement. I would just roll up in a little ball and cry like a baby.

 

 You can find J. at her website or on Facebook.

 

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Cruising in your Eighties!

Please welcome Mike Befeler. Mike was a tennis prodigy in his teens, but that was a very long time ago. Now Mike writes Geezer-lit, books about old folks with a touch of mystery and humor. He’s a riot in person. The last time we were on a panel he made a joke about geezer sex and I offered to meet everyone in the bar afterward so we could rinse the idea out of our minds.

Here is Mike talking about his latest book, Cruising in Your Eighties is Murder.

 

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The best part of writing my most recent Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery, Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder, was doing the research. Since the novel takes place on an Alaskan cruise, I forced myself to take a cruise in preparation for writing the book. Reluctantly, my wife and daughter agreed to accompany me so I wouldn’t be lonely.

Our cruise started in Seattle with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria before returning to Seattle. We also spent most of a day sailing through Glacier Bay.

And what a coincidence—my protagonist, Paul Jacobson, happens to take the same route. The main difference is that I didn’t encounter any murders along the way. But because Paul is a dead body magnet, he comes across several as well as becoming enmeshed in international intrigue.

Paul is in his mid-eighties and has short-term memory loss. I’m younger and can remember things most of the time.

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The morning before I got on the cruise ship, I walked around Seattle. Nothing happened. The morning before Paul embarks, he takes a walk around Seattle, gets into an argument with a street person and later finds the same man dead in a garden. Go figure.

In Juneau, we visited a fish hatchery and saw the Mendenhall Glacier. A calm tour. Paul accidently knocks a woman into the fish hatchery and is chased by a bear near Mendenhall Glacier. He leads a more exciting life than I do.

The rest of my cruise was enjoyable and calm. Paul’s cruise goes downhill from there, ending with an encounter in Victoria’s Butchart Gardens with a Latvia mob boss and a cast of supporting characters who decimate a section of the gardens. I enjoyed my cruise more than Paul does, but his trip is certainly more entertaining.

 

Mike Befeler writes the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series including CRUISING IN YOUR EIGHTIES IS MURDER, SENIOR MOMENTS ARE MURDER, RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER and LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER, which was nominated for the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery of 2009. Mike is vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. http://www.mikebefeler.com

 


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The Twelve Days of (Christmas) the Mayan Apocalypse (12)

The world is ending soon. We don’t have much time. If you’re new to the Twelve Days of the Mayan Apocalypse, you might want to start here.

Day 12: This is the Big One

The meteors are raining down. The end is just minutes away. The sun is setting and the end of the world will be spectacular light show or orange sky, streaking balls of flame, and explosions hitting the earth.

You can be anywhere in the world to watch the spectacle.

Where do you go to watch?

Who do you bring with you?

Feel free to post pictures on my facebook fan page.

Thanks for playing along. I hope you enjoyed the Mayan Apocalypse.

See you tomorrow. Maybe!

You’ll need something to do in the post-civilized world, so order one of my books while Amazon’s servers are still up and UPS is still delivering! Your money won’t be worth anything on December 22nd, so spend it while you can.

If you’ve never read me try: The End of Marking Time, Sin & Vengeance, or Dinner At Deadman’s. Or get a signed book and help needy kids at www.22wb.com.


The Twelve Days of (Christmas) the Mayan Apocalypse (11)

The world is ending soon. We don’t have much time. If you’re new to the Twelve Days of the Mayan Apocalypse, you might want to start here.

Day 11: I’ll Have What He’s Having

Life was good for about ten hours. Your new lover arrived and you spent a blissful night together.  In the early morning hours the two of you slipped outside to view the stars. You held hands, looked up into the sky and far to the south, streaks of light rocketed down from the heavens.

At first the white-hot streaks could have been shooting stars, but they continued for ten minutes then twenty. They kept coming by the dozens all morning long.

When the sun rose, other couples came out and gaped as you all watched the streaking balls of stone crash to earth in little fireballs all along the horizon.

By breakfast it was clear the strikes were coming closer, raining down, destroying everything in a slow march of burning rock headed toward the army base. The good news was that the zombies were being wiped out en masse. The bad news was that there was nowhere to hide from the relentless meteor shower.

The team decides that driving north is futile. You have a full day to enjoy before the meteors start hitting.

What do you choose for you last meal? Don’t forget dessert!

Feel free to post pictures on my facebook fan page.

 

You’ll need something to do in the post-civilized world, so order one of my books while Amazon’s servers are still up and UPS is still delivering! Your money won’t be worth anything on December 22nd, so spend it while you can.

If you’ve never read me try: The End of Marking Time, Sin & Vengeance, or Dinner At Deadman’s. Or get a signed book and help needy kids at www.22wb.com.


The Twelve Days of (Christmas) the Mayan Apocalypse (10)

The world is ending soon. We don’t have much time. If you’re new to the Twelve Days of the Mayan Apocalypse, you might want to start here.

Day 10: It’s Your Turn

First thing in the morning on day 10 you fly in your twelve couples and turn them loose on the base. None of them complained about your lousy flying because they were so grateful to be safe of the zombies and have plenty of food and water, they’d follow you anywhere.

Your zombie-killing friends took the liberty of finding mates of their own. The group elects you mayor. Everything is great. You are in charge. You’re safe. Everyone is happy. You just need someone to spend your quality time with.

In your position, you can have any person on earth you choose.

Who will it be?

 

You’ll need something to do in the post-civilized world, so order one of my books while Amazon’s servers are still up and UPS is still delivering! Your money won’t be worth anything on December 22nd, so spend it while you can.

If you’ve never read me try: The End of Marking Time, Sin & Vengeance, or Dinner At Deadman’s. Or get a signed book and help needy kids at www.22wb.com.


The Twelve Days of (Christmas) the Mayan Apocalypse (9)

The world is ending soon. We don’t have much time. If you’re new to the Twelve Days of the Mayan Apocalypse, you might want to start here.

Day 9: A Matchmaker for all Time

It only took one day for the survivors to get restless inside the military base. Whether it was bravado or boredom, they all ventured outside the gate in search of something to help the camp.

You decided to play it safe, stay behind the fence with your friends from the jeep, and practice flying one of the three remaining helicopters. After a few hours you learned to get ten feet off the ground and hold steady. You didn’t dare go any higher until you saw a huge dust cloud a mile away.

You flew up one hundred feet saw your new friends surrounded by a dazed horde numbering in the hundreds. You wobbled and fluttered back down as fast as you could and crashed to the deck so hard it felt like the landing gear was going to fall off as soon as you got airborne again.

You sucked so badly at flying,  your zombie-killing friends refused to get in the helicopter, so you all hopped into a Hummer and sped out of the camp. By the time you reached the wreckage it was too late. The fifty caliber on top of the roof screamed out rounds into the horde, but the zombies had already cornered the band of wandering survivors and devoured them.

All you could do was turn back and get inside the fence before you were overrun.

When the horde finished feeding and moved along you were left with the realization that you needed to start repopulating the world with new survivors.

Choose 12 couples to begin the process. They need to be young and healthy enough to have lots of kids. They don’t have to like or even know each other yet.

Who will you choose?

 

You’ll need something to do in the post-civilized world, so order one of my books while Amazon’s servers are still up and UPS is still delivering! Your money won’t be worth anything on December 22nd, so spend it while you can.

If you’ve never read me try: The End of Marking Time, Sin & Vengeance, or Dinner At Deadman’s. Or get a signed book and help needy kids at www.22wb.com.