I am giving away two paperback copies and two e-copies (Kindle, Nook, or even PDF) of A Clockworks Orchard: Rivets & Rain, which features my short story, "Never Mind The Nonsense, Here's The Sex Truncheons."
The physical books are via a Goodreads giveaway. So if you're interested in one of those, click on the image link below.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, sometimes I find a lot of humor in my work as an infosec and privacy pro.
For example, a few days ago I received my copy of the "ABA Bank Risk News." (In this case, ABA stands for American Bankers' Association.) Under the header of "Bank Robbery Roundup" were the following headlines.
FBI and area police seek information leading to arrest of 'bearded bandit'.
'AK-47 Bandit' who shot Chino officer tied to three bank robberies..
Fresno's 'Smelly Bandit' pleads no contest in bank robberies..
'Baseball Babe Bandit' sought in bank heists.
‘Bucket List Bandit’ robs 4th bank.
Police: Female bandit caught after robbing 4th bank.
‘Bad hair bandit’ faces 21 bank robbery charges.
‘Ball Cap Bandit’, another person arrested for Germantown bank robbery.
‘Wicker Park Bandit’ pleads guilty to bank robberies.
A few of these merited further investigation, and then comment.
For example, in the "Baseball Babe" story was the passage, "During the incidents, the woman hands the teller a demand note and threatens the bank employees. After receiving money, she has been seen leaving on a bicycle, officials said."
On a bicycle? And they can't catch her?
Or consider the "Bucket List Bandit." "Whinham said a man walked into a Wells Fargo branch July 6 and had a note ordering the teller not to mess with him and to hand over a specific amount of money. The note also said he had just four months to live. The man's claim that he's dying hasn't been confirmed by police."
What is wrong with the police in Roy, Utah that they can't tell whether a man that they haven't caught yet is lying about a terminal condition?
Finally, there is the "Bad Hair Bandit." The picture does show very bad hair. (It's a wig, though.) What intrigued me were the opening two paragraphs: "A registered nurse suspected in a string of multi-state bank robberies in 2011 was arraigned on 21 counts of robbery counts in Sacramento federal court Friday. Cynthia Lynn Van Holland, 48, described by prosecutors as a transient from Washington and Idaho, was caught on Interstate 80 minutes after a bank hold-up in Auburn last August."
Whoever heard of a transient registered nurse?
This stuff is almost as good as the "stupid robber" stories...you know, the ones where a guy hands the teller a note written on the back of an appointment reminder from his parole officer.
Feel free to share any dumb criminal stories you've heard.
Back in 2009, I conceived and began work on a book of interrelated short stories, No Strings Attached. I worked on it piecemeal -- filling in sentences and paragraphs here and there, based on whim -- for about a year. Then in the summer of 2010, I focused in and worked on it diligently. The end result was that I completed three of the seven stories; my word count went from 40,000 to over 100,000.
At the beginning of 2011, I decided to take a break from it, and worked on a few other things: Udopia, which I finished, and Nightmares, which I finished. I also wrote a few short stories.
Earlier this year, I resumed work on No Strings. I was making decent progress, but then a few other projects came up: "Worm Herding," "Never Mind The Nonsense, Here's The Sex Truncheons," "Tinkerhell," plus a few others I'm keeping under wraps. The first two have been published (Amazon link 1 & 2); the third is being reviewed. So it's not as though these distractions are bad. Quite the contrary, I think they've been worthwhile detours which have helped my writing resume.
Yesterday, I went back to No Strings, and was amazed to see that the last time I had touched it was April 19. But I'm looking forward to continuing it, because the story I'm on now, "Obsession," is really funny.
In a previous post, I recounted some wins and some losses. One of the losses was my poem "Love Is Not..." which I had submitted to Cleveland radio station WCLV as part of their Valentine poetry contest. It didn't even place in the top 10.
Undaunted, I submitted it in March to Forward Poetry (in the UK) for their Aspects Of Love compilation.
And it has been accepted!
Since you might not be in the mood to order a book of poetry from across the pond (though I'm not going to stop you) here it is:
Love Is Not ... Love is not Kind nor true, Blind nor blue, Breathless nor endless, Fair nor doux.
It is not All you need, Sown as a seed, Nor a banquet on which we feed.
It does not Make you complete, Nor make your heart beat.
But when love can give and bend, be strong and heal, Those are the words which make love real.
The book should be out by October.
In a previous post, I mentioned a daily e-newsletter that I receive which features a (supposedly) targeted ad. The other day, I received this one, which either is a lucky guess, or accurately targeted, since I am a writer.
But seriously, could they have picked a cheesier, more stereotypical picture?
I think I will give my wife explicit instructions that if she ever walks in the office and sees me wearing a black beret, she is to hit me on the head repeatedly with the unabridged dictionary.
It's an interesting, short piece. I would suggest you check it out. But the main point is this. If you use an e-reader -- a Kindle or a Nook -- then you obviously know that Amazon or Barnes & Noble are aware of the fact that you downloaded, for example, The Hunger Games.
But did you realize:
- If you read The Hunger Games in a single eight-hour sitting, they know.
- If you read the first ten pages of The Da Vinci Code, and then stop reading, they know.
- If you bookmark or highlight a passage, they know.
But the author in me thinks, Hmmm. I can't help but be intrigued by comments like "Pinpointing the moment when readers get bored could also help publishers create splashier digital editions by adding a video, a Web link or other multimedia features" and "If you can find out that a book is too long and you've got to be more rigorous in cutting, personally I'd love to get the information."