Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some lessons learned while running the maze

Some lessons learned while running the maze Every morning I tell myself, “Ken, you are not really a rat. You are not in a maze.” As a trained psychologist that is such an easy metaphor. I assure myself that I am not looking for a piece of cheese hidden down a series of paths by an omnipotent experimenter who wants to see if I can learn. Considering how many questions there are and how little I have learned over the past seventy plus years, my mantra may be mistaken. Maybe I am a rat in the maze and a slow learner to boot. But I have learned some things. As a younger brother, I have, for example, learned to trust but not too much. After all, how many times does a kid have to be played before he learns that his big brother isn’t always his friend, doesn’t always want him around? As a result, I know that friends and family are important and that they usually care; but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work at living and plan to take care of myself. Translation into my current career as a writer – market, market, market. If I don’t sell my books, nobody else will. I at least take comfort in the fact that most of my friends and family either buy copies or at least make believe that they will and don’t ask me for freebies. For the record, my brother buys but does not read my books. Another moral? Be grateful for little things. Another lesson from childhood: I loved dogs, at least the idea of dogs; we didn’t have one so what did I know? I also loved riding my bicycle. In case you don’t know it, some dogs don’t like bikes. In those days dogs ran free, and the ones that didn’t like bicycles would chase a kid riding down the street. Yes, we rode on the street and nobody knew what a helmet was. The dog that bit me was a collie, which made the insult even worse because of all the dogs I didn’t know collies were my favorites. Lassie Come Home and A Dog Named Lad had already been read and reread. “Grrr.” “Ouch.” “Mommy, Mommy.” You can imagine the details. The lesson learned – what we most love can often be the source of greatest pain. In case you don’t get it, think of your first love – that first rebuff or breakup. Remember, too, the rejection note garnered by your first literary submission. Enough said? The thing is that I didn’t stop loving dogs. As an adult, I owned a number of them. Most were great, but my wife and I had one Corgi who hid under the bed and made herself and us miserable. I have over the years written and tried to write a number of books. I have loved them all when I started. Some have given me great pleasure and I hope have done the same for readers, but some of the others just led to frustration. Their early pages were stored – at one time in closets now on computer drives – with the hope that someday I would go back to them, but I know that I won’t. I have learned that as attractive as a book idea may be, it may just end in disappointment or perhaps just hiding under the bed. Still, I do not give up my writing just because one story or novel bites my creative hand nor because a work is rejected. I do not turn my back on what I love because I might get hurt. No, I keep writing. Success or no, I cannot stop my fingers from their keyboard. Which brings up one more lesson I have learned, perhaps the strangest of all life’s little truths. To explain it I must tell you why I learned to read. Quite young and naturally curious, I asked my father where babies came from. He informed me that he was too busy and that we would talk later. That wasn’t going to happen, but I knew the answer lay in books, specifically my uncle’s medical books, which were stored in our attic while he was in the Army. I set out to master the skill of reading. Highly motivated, I learned quickly, but not from my uncle’s books; they were written in Latin. It didn’t matter: I had both the joy of reading and a great lesson: The goal I had originally sought was not reached, but the journey had become its own reward. I am a writer; I love to write. Perhaps there is cheese at the end of the maze. Perhaps there is fame, fortune, a movie deal, a mention in The Times. Perhaps? But it doesn’t matter so much because I love to write. If I am in that maze, at least I’m a happy little rat scurrying about. VISIT KEN AT:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012



It isn't only about you

Authored by Philip Nork

The journey of self-discovery is a lifetime trip; and just like the fingerprints you possess, yours will be uniquely different than anyone else's. There are things that are common in each-such as good and bad times, emotional highs and lows, and choices that will need to be made.
These choices that are presented to you can greatly define how you live your life. They may be influenced by the people you meet, symbols that are strategically placed along your journey, and especially by however you choose to worship your idea of God. Being that no choice ever comes without consequence, there really is no right or wrong answer; either road taken will eventually get you to where you're supposed to be. Although some roads take longer than others in order to reach your final destination.

 About the author:
Philip Nork was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the oldest of three children. His early years were devastating as he endured the divorce of his parents, the death of his beloved great-grandmother, and the resulting feelings of isolation and loneliness. While these events took their toll, they also shaped the man he grew up to be.
Phil had a different perspective than his friends and his experiences were totally unique. As his young male friends were busy playing baseball, defending their turf, and hitting on girls, his time was spent reading, listening to music, writing his feelings down in his journal and trying to understand the differences in people and to figure out how "we can all get along."
After graduating early from high school, he entered the work force as a way to help support his mother and his siblings. To get away from the reality of his life, Phil spent much of his off time with his friend Joyce, a lesbian. She was able to help him experience women at his own pace and taught him many of the lessons he was to put in place. As more and more straight ladies entered his life, these experiences allowed him to learn more about human nature and he was able to turn these special times into the stories in his book.
Phil lives in Nevada with his wife and their son. He mixes work with his love of writing. He spent the first 25 years of his working life in the restaurant industry. He took all the knowledge from his early days at McDonalds and parlayed that into a successful stint with Panera Bread. He rose from the day to day operations of a general manager to become an Area Manager and then a Training Manager for that organization. Teaching and speaking in front of hundreds of trainees day in and day out helped him perfect his easy going style. He is now an Area Manager for CDS, a marketing and sales firm which specializes in working with the vendors of Costco Wholesale Warehouses.
In addition to writing, Phil is a baseball card collector, an avid reader, and enjoys listening to the music of his youth, especially Rod Stewart and Air Supply.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Sales Getting Musty?

Adapted from the multi award - winning Frugal Book Promoter

In the world of publishing as in life, persistence counts. Of course,
there is no way to keep a book at the top of the charts forever, but if
you keep reviving it, you might hold a classic in your hands. Or your
marketing efforts for one book may propel your next one to greater

I can't tell you how often I've seen authors who measure their
success by
book sales give up on their book (and sometimes on writing) just about
time their careers are about ready to take off. I tell my students and
clients to fight the it's - too - late - urge.

Publicity is like the little waves you make when you toss pebbles into a
lake. The waves travel, travel, travel and eventually come back to you.
you stop lobbing little stones, you lose momentum. It's never too
late and
it's never too early to promote. Rearrange your thinking. Marketing
about a single book. It's about building a career. And new books can
on the momentum created by an earlier book, if you keep the faith.
the marketing ideas in this book, rearrange your schedule and priorities
bit, and keep at it.

Here are a few keep - at - it ideas from the second edition of The
Book Promoter:

 Run a contest on your Web site, on Twitter, or in your
newsletter. Use your books for prizes or get cross - promotion benefits
asking other authors for books; many will donate one to you in trade for
the exposure. Watch the 99 Cent Stores for suitable favors to go with

Hint: Any promotion you do including a contest is more powerful when you
call on your friends to tell their blog visitors or Facebook pals about

 Barter your books or your services for exposure on other
Web sites.

 Post your flier, brochure, or business card on bulletin
everywhere: In grocery stores, coffee shops, Laundromats, car washes,

 Offer classes in writing to your local high school, college,
library system. Publicizing them is easy and free. When appropriate, use
your own book as suggested reading. The organization you are helping
pitch in by promoting your class. The network you build with them and
students is invaluable. Use this experience in your media kit to show
have teaching and presentation skills.

 Slip automailers into each book you sell or give away for
publicity. Automailers are envelopes that are pre - stamped, ready to
Your auto mailer asks the recipient to recommend your book to someone
else. Your mailer includes a brief synopsis of your book, a picture of
cover of your book, your book's ISBN, ordering information, a couple
your most powerful blurbs, and a space for the reader to add her
handwritten, personal recommendation. Make it clear in the directions
the reader should fill out the form, address the envelope, and mail it
a friend. You may offer a gift for helping out, but don't make
getting the
freebie too tough. Proof - of - purchase type schemes discourage your
audience from participating.

 Send notes to your friends and readers asking them to
your book to others. Or offer them a perk like free shipping, gift wrap,
or small gift if they purchase your book for a friend. That's an
ideal way
to use those contact lists you've been building.

 While you're working on the suggestion above, put on your
thinking cap. What directories have you neglected to incorporate into
contact list? Have you joined any new groups since your book was
published? Did you ask your grown children for lists of their friends?
you include lists of old classmates?

 Though it may be a bit more expensive than some ideas in this
book, learn more about Google's AdWords and AdSense and Facebook's
program. Many authors of niche nonfiction or fiction that can be
identified with often - searched - for keywords find this advertising
program effective.

 Check out ad programs like Amazon's Vine review service.
agree to provide a certain number of books to Amazon and pay them a fee
for the service. Amazon arranges the reviews for you. It's
expensive, but
it gets your book exposed to Amazon's select cadre of reviewers who
only write reviews for your Amazon sales page but also may start (or
restart!) a buzz about your book.

 Some of your reviews (both others' reviews of your book
reviews you've written about others' books) have begun to age
from disuse.
Start posting them (with permission from the reviewer) on Web sites that
allow you to do so. Check the guidelines for my free review service blog

 Connect and reconnect. Start reading blogs and newsletters
once subscribed to again. Subscribe to a new one. Join a writers'
group or
organization related to the subject of your book.

 Record a playful message about your book on your answering

 When you ship signed copies of your book, include a coupon
the purchase of another copy for a friend—signed and
dedicated—or for one
of your other books. Some distributors insert fliers or coupons into
books when they ship them for a fee.

 Adjust the idea above to a cross - promotional effort with a
friend who writes in the same genre as you. He puts a coupon for your
in his shipments; you do the same for him in yours.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kept me on the edge of my seat

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story. Kept me on the edge of my seat, July 11, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Ulasiga (Paperback)
First let me start with saying I read for enjoyment and I thouroughly enjoyed this novel.

I started the novel with a concern that this was going to be too much science fiction; of which I am not a fan. I was surprised to find a little horror, a little science fiction and a lot of adventure and mystery. The author paints a very clear picture of the heros in this story with realistic descriptions and personality developements.

The writers imagination took me to the forest, a grocery store and inside a cave. I felt sadness and joy along with the characters and especially cringed for Justin. I actually found myself smiling with the children Davy connected with. I also found myself cheering for Davy and Roberta as they struggled with everyday tasks.

Thank you Mr. Parkhurst for an incredible read.

I look forward to reading future books from this author