John McCain (R-AZ) is my senator and a senator with whom I seldom agree. He is sponsoring a bill that would create 'a la carte' cable and satellite TV pricing, something I have wished for since my basic DirecTV bill began ballooning. Thank you, Mr. McCain. He compares the cable and satellite package bundling to "forcing customers to pay for the entire menu at a restaurant in order to get what they want to eat." My point exactly.
I have a higher priced package than the most basic package only because I want the local channels. (see what i mean?) That gives me more than a hundred (hundreds?) of channels I have excluded in my favorites list. I don't watch the kid's, christian, shopping, music, Spanish, or many other channels. In fact, the reason I got a satellite dish in the first place was because my cable provider, at that time, did not have Comedy Central, the place I get my kid's, christian, shopping, music, and Spanish information.
I think they can switch on/off any individual channel for each customer. They switched on the local FoxSports channel for me when I called and said I wasn't getting it.
I once bought a set of 12 Magic Markers because I needed only a brown one. I recently bought a 6-piece accessory kit for my Kindle. All I needed was the charger, but the kit was cheaper than just a charger from Amazon. So, I am willing to pay for something I don't want to get something I really want, if it's a one-time event. The TV package is monthly with ever increasing cost. I don't like that. I'd rather be able to pick the channels I want even if a channel I pick has some shows I would never watch.
So, I hope McCain gets a bundle of support for this bill. I hope it becomes the law so I won't have to pay for Jewelry Television, though I'm sure many people couldn't live without it.
But it won't pass. AZ will be a Blue State before that happens. Why not? Same reason a lot of good bills don't pass - lobbies.
Opponents say customers would not save money. Smaller channels would not survive. Prices of popular channels would be high. Etc.
Again, thank you Sen. McCain for working in my interest. I guess the DC lobbies are more powerful than you and me.
The article at USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/05/20/mccain-revives-a-la-carte-cable-bill/2325953/
29 Verde Valley authors will be signing and talking about their books at an
AUTHORS FORUM AT COTTONWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY,
SATURDAY MAY, 4, 2013. 11am-2pm.Unfortunately I will not be there due to registration problems, and I am disappointed as I was looking forward to meeting local readers and friends.
I planned on making the following two offers at the forum.
1. FREE E-book copy of WILLOWTREE .
2. CONTEST to win a signed copy of the paperback.
I am making the same offers to visitors of this website until May 4th.*
1. You can download a FREE copy of WILLOWTREE at SMASHWORDS.COM.
How? Click the link. Use this code at checkout for 100% off: LX24B
(Note: the download is available in many formats to be read on any device, or computer)
2. To enter for a chance to win a signed trade paperback copy of WILLOWTREE, just let me know.
How? a) click the "contact" button above and leave me a note and your e-mail address. (I promise no spam. I will use address only to notify the winner.)
b) Message me on Facebook
c) Tweet me at BoveMike
d) Stop me on the street, golf course, library, or Walmart and say "Hey."
e) US Mail, telephone, etc.
*Free e-book offer is valid for anyone worldwide. Paperback contest is limited to Canada and the United States. Both offers end at midnight Saturday May 4, 2013.
I was also looking forward to seeing author acquaintances and meeting new local authors at this event. I wish each of them has an enjoyable and rewarding day. I hope to be included next year.
I had declined participation in a charity golf tournament in favor of the forum, and still planned to attend. After coming up with the above offers, I have decided to join my golf team and defend our
Gee. I just got over Christmas.
I'm simply jotting down a few of my recent random thoughts.
-So Amazon is going to take over GoodReads. I can't decide if it is good or bad. I'll wait to see what happens. But I know I would favor it and be excited if GoodReads would take over Shelfari.
-So, there's a new Pope. I like Bill Maher's take: Francis is a good name, but his real name, Jorge Bergoglio, is a great one. It sounds like a brand of expensive shoes. Oxfords or pumps by Jorge Bergoglio.
-Baseball is back. Baseball, the seven month show preceding football. I prefer the real baseball of the NL...no DH.
-Winter is over, I guess. My golf course in Arizona was closed one whole day.
But that could happen any time of the year if enough rain falls. I think the average is once a year.
-I noticed some Facebook 'improvements' as they call 'em.
When I see my pages look screwier, I know they made an improvement.
-I would plant some flowers along the walk and driveway in the front like we used to every spring.
The javelinas would like it, too.
-I worry a little bit about Iran, North Korea, and our southern red states.
-Next month I turn another decade. I'm old enough to be Pope, get discounts on lots of stuff, and have strangers call me 'Sir.' I have a long and event-filled history; I can remember some of it.
-It's not just me who can't make a decision. I hear "I don't care" and "It doesn't matter to me" quite a lot.
I served on a jury recently. We got hung; we were 6 vs 6.
-I don't waste quite so much time on the computer as I did in the past. I waste a lot on my Kindle Fire now.
-There are a few TV shows that I like to watch. (Alert! "Call the Midwife" Season Two started on PBS this week)
Commercials annoy me more than ever. Whoever invented the MUTE button - thanks a million.
And speaking of annoying commercials and being old, I resent all of those drug companies targeting me for their drugs-with-side effects-worse-than-the-illness during the news programs.
Can I watch one sporting event without Viagra or Cialis? Commercials, I mean.
-My wife wants a cat. I do and I don't.
-My WIP is at nearly 50% completion.
- Oh, my! It's April?
I was reading a conversation in the March 2013 Harper's with Maurice Sendak and Emma Brockes of The Believer (Dec.2012). It is all interesting, as Sendak is, but his answer to: "What do you think of e-books?" is what stopped me.
"I hate them," he said. "A book is a book...really like a lover...I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading."
I recalled conversations with my wife about e-books versus real books. We agreed as aged and avid readers that we preferred the old fashioned kind, and couldn't understand why anyone would rather have a Kindle or Nook. Well, now we both have e-readers and read from them daily. We do not frequent the library as before, but usually are into a pages-bound-with-glue-book that lies nearby. We do digital and paper.
I wondered if other famous authors have answered the question posed by Brockes, or have given their thoughts about e-books. Yes they have.
"There is no future for e-books because they are not books." Ray Bradbury.
Ray is wrong there, about the first part anyway.
"A paperback has a sense of permanence...I can spill water on it and it will still work." Jonathan Franzen.
And drop it and throw it without worry.
“It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd.” Penelope Lively
Best quote I've heard in a while.
“How do you press a wildflower into the pages of an e-book?” Lewis Buzbee
That's what old books are for, Lewis.
“I read fast, carelessly, superficially on the screen, and don’t enjoy it. I don’t know why.” Ursula K. Le Guin
I sometimes experience this as well.
“Life without a Kindle is like life without a library nearby.” Franz McLaren
Sure. But if I had a choice, give me the library.
And there are the kids:
"You can tap on a word to see what it means and you can make the words big or small." – 9 year-old girl
More at: ebookfriendly.com kids e-book quotes.
One more thing (This is true):
A few days ago before turning off the light and going to sleep, I used my Kindle as a bookmark, saving my place in the hardcover of a Harlen Coben mystery I am reading.
Review of Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan 1-10-2013
I enjoyed every bit of Mill River Recluse, a story I did not want to stop reading, and a story I did not want to end. Darci Chan is a talented storyteller. As a reader I like to be able to follow the story without struggling for meaning, or dealing with unnecessary passages. This book is not without it's subtleties, but is straightforward prose with terrific characters, great dialogue, humor, unexpected and predictable events. Changes from past to present and back again in narratives are sometimes confusing to me, but not in this case. Chan's scene-time shifting technique is flawless and interesting. The reader learns what is necessary in due time. Without a doubt, Mary, the recluse, is a unique literary character who will be referenced in many future discussions of other characters. Other characters in MRR, especially Father O'Brien, are well developed. Their personalities and activities become important details in fulfilling the essence of the story.Having lived in the Rutland, Vermont area for nearly twenty years, it was a pleasure to read of familiar places Chan describes.
I now understand what all the fuss is about concerning Darcie Chan's first best-selling novel. And, there are spoons.Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
Not saying happy new year.
Not asking about your resolutions, or telling you mine.
Not listing the 10 best, or worst, of 2012.
Not making predictions, or saying I-told-you-so.
Not ruing unfulfilled promises or expectations, or making new ones.
Not liking or sharing cute, clever, political, or photo-shopped posts.
I’m a bit excited about the Christmas Book Sale going on over at Self-Publishing-Coach.com, partly because my book, WILLOWTREE, is one of the books included in the sale, and partly because of all the savings being offered on other books! There are over 60 books from multiple genres that are listed for free or reduced price during the days of the sale – December 13th through the 15th, 2012 – AND the folks over at Self-Publishing-Coach.com are going to be giving one lucky reader a $25 Amazon gift card that they can use to get even more books for themselves or to give as gifts this holiday season.Besides my book, authors such as Congressman Joe Pitts, Dr. Minette Riordan, and international speaker and bestselling author Janet Perez Eckles are just a few of the names that readers will see on the books that are included in this sale. The books range from romance novels, to business strategy and are from both self published and traditionally published authors. There are publishing, marketing, and other books for authors from Shelly Hitz, Heather Hart, and Amber Polo.
Readers can save up to $200 on books during this sale, so I highly recommend checking it out by visiting http://bit.ly/ChristmasBookSale .
My visit to the Heard Museum.
I recommend visiting the Heard Museum in Phoenix if you are at all interested in Native American culture. There are many fabulous displays of Indian art, memorabilia, customs, and history. The most important and impactful part of my visit was learning more about the Indian Boarding Schools. Many of these schools opened in the mid 1800's through the early 1900's, the first being in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Their purpose, simply stated, was to "civilize" or "europeanize" the children of the "savages."
One particularly moving display was a barber chair, long black hair on the floor, and a quote on the wall reading in part "We'd lost our hair and we'd lost our clothes; with the two we'd lost our identity as Indians." The image of the hair under the barber chair and that quote will stay with me forever.
The Heard Museum has good parking, a nice restaurant and wonderful shops.
In Willowtree Bruce wonders why so many Indians have common English first names for last names, two first names, like Robert Peters, or Ben Samuel. I admit when writing about that I did no research, only made an observation. After learning some of what happened at the boarding schools, I did look into the origin of these names. One interesting account from the superintendent of a school for Crow in Montana can be found at this link from the Library at the University of Virginia. http://bit.ly/SfuND6
Frank Terry, the superintendent, not an Indian but coincidentally having two first names, gives insight into this naming and renaming of Indians for their benefit, which, of course, means for the White Man's ease in keeping track of them. He says frontiersmen chose to give them "uncouth" names like Jim, Sam, or Pete as their last name. Later, authorities changed to "more stately names" as James, Samuel, or Peters.
If you enjoy reading uplifting magazine articles or books such as the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, then you'll love the new release 25 Years in The Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, now available as a bargain e-book for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, and more. This collection of poignant and uplifting essays is the perfect book to enjoy over your morning coffee. The stories will warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life.
My essay titled "Can One Beer Change Your Life?" is one of the stories included in the collection and tells about my career change.
As a tie-in to her mystery book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, novelist and award-winning journalist Stacy Juba invited her author colleagues to answer the question “What were you doing 25 years ago?” Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick. This book will help readers to discover new authors for their to-read list, and inspire them to reflect upon the small defining moments that have shaped their own lives.
The book includes a foreword by Elaine Raco Chase, award-winning author of seventeen paperback novels with over 3 million books in print. Publishing credits of the contributing writers include New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling, and Amazon bestselling. They also include recipients of the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, Mississippi Author Award, Benjamin Franklin Award and Eppie Award, as well as nominees of the Pushcart Prize, Agatha and Shamus Awards, to name a few of the many honors.
Barnes & Noble
For a list of authors and essay titles and more information, visit: StacyJuba.com
Finally, join the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror Yahoo Group. Readers are invited to stop by and answer regular memory sparker questions, discuss which essays resonated with them the most, meet many of the authors, and get the inside scoop on their latest book releases, special offers and news. Download tons of freebies in the Authors' Corner!
MY YARD WORK PLAN
The early morning sunlight coming through my patio door brightens a large rectangular patch on the sage green carpet, the same carpet that needs a shampoo.
I have delayed that chore with a pretty good excuse- it has been much too humid lately for it to dry properly. Outside, I see clippings on the ground surrounding the hedge, evidence of my twenty minute yard work commitment for last week. We have had a good monsoon this summer and I am grateful for the much needed rain, which is never enough here in the high Arizona desert. I can judge the success of the monsoon by the proliferation of weeds in my yard that I see through the door. Perhaps I will tackle those weeds for twenty minutes this week. Pull some big ones and spray the rest. The photina, oleander, bird-of-paradise, lilac, and mesquite tree all need trimming. I try to keep the tops of the oleanders below the roof line, but somehow they are now three feet above it. I have a note, in my head, to take the clippers to those guys, but I seldom come across it.
I can see the Chevy and have a mental note to change the oil and filter. The new oil and filter I bought two weeks ago are in the garage, but I can't see them. Now, the dog is at the patio door wanting to come in. I'll have to bring baggies out and collect her things, later. I sat here to work on Stinger Maguire, my new book, and I actually did some research, but only wrote this blog post. I shouldn't have opened the drapes and seen all the work opportunities outside; it's too hot to work out there.
I can also see the hot tub on the patio, which often helps form my daily itinerary. My plan is this: fifteen minutes in the hot tub, make a peanut butter sandwich, and eat it on the way to the golf course.