Tony’s Review: The Tipping Point by Walter Danley

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No rating – didn’t finish it.

(This was a read-for-review sent by Mr Danley)

I got to 25% of the Kindle copy of “Tipping Point”, a corporate thriller set in the world of real estate before I stopped. It was fine for the most part before the 25%. For the most part…the rest of the time, it read like a first draft: There were tense changes, POV switches midway through paragraphs and numerous typos. A character on a ski slope inhales the “fridge mountain air”; a major characters name is mis-spelled; There were sentences without a subject that made no sense.

A bigger problem was the telling and not showing, particularly of the love interest, who we were told was beautiful four times without being shown it once – having someone stare at her as she walked by, for instance.

The notes at the end made this clear that this was a revision of a book already published…and that it had been proofread by a few people before it saw the light of Kindle-dom. These were mistakes that should have been caught by that net and weren’t. Also in the addendum was an extract from Part Two of the series, where a character “…barley escaped with their life.” Ouch.

What started out as the main plot – the murder mystery of a character killed by a hired assassin – just fell apart at the 25% mark into recondite and very…very…dull real estate jargon. It wasn’t moving the plot along, so I skimmed it to the end of the chapter, where another real estate board meeting was taking place, filled with more boardroom jargon. I skimmed that as well, then decided it wasn’t going to get any better and dropped it.

Sorry, Mr Danley. You pretty much lost my interest when you spent a chapter talking about how the assassin came to name his cat.

Tony’s Review: Emma, Jane Austen

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3/5

Emma Woodhouse is an early 19th century matchmaker. She’s also very rich (I saw a modern comparison put her wealth at $3 million or so in 21st century value), very bored and a snob – and a spoilt brat with a sense of superiority and inflated ego.

In the 19th century, the only way a woman could make her mark on the world was to marry; it was the only way she could secure her future and the future of her children. Marriage to the right man was all that mattered. And when I mean the right man, I mean a richer one. Everyone in 1815, it seems, was a social climber.

It’s background like this that you need to have before you go into this book, or Emma’s attempts at matchmaking and her refusal to marry won’t mean a thing. Once you get that idea of the social set, you’re on your way.

I had a hard time getting into this book. No fault of Austen; I was reading thirty minute snippets at lunchtime in a very noisy and distracting environment at work, and not much seemed to be happening – endless dinner parties or arrangements for dances or visits, mixed in with Emma’s hopeless attempts at matchmaking and discerning human behaviour.

I didn’t feel I was being fair to the book, so I started reading where it was quiet. Suddenly, something about Austen seemed to click. I practically heard it. Everything she was doing with the characters and situation started to make sense.

And let me tell you something: Austen is a bloody brilliant writer. Her characters are warm, witty, full of life and idiosyncrasies and funny. They are human and jump right off the page. Her small cast of characters and her observations of humanity are spot on.

Here’s an example. Mrs Bates: That woman. Will. Not. Shut. Up! And then Emma calls her on it, and realises how much it has hurt Mrs Bates. As a reader, I thought, I’m just as bad as Emma. I’m just as rude for not listening to her, or at least tolerating her. Brilliant.

Emma and her life herself take some dissection. Her social set consists of about ten people in one village, and she has no means of travel for long periods away from home. Her father worries a lot about everything, convinced some disease will strike her down if she does, and Emma respects that.

Her life is boredom, essentially. She matchmakes the people around her to stretch her strait-jacketed life and to alleviate the tedium – a tedium I felt as keenly as her as she arranged yet another trip to Randalls, or discussed the best place to hold a ball.

The only thing about Emma’s matchmaking…she’s not very good at it. No; she’s useless at it, completely misunderstanding everything that’s going through other people’s heads and hearts. Her ego and self-assurance won’t admit to any fault on her part though. She’s convinced she can’t be wrong.

She also refuses to mix with people below her, or those she considers ‘inferior’, like Jane Fairfax. She’s not an easy person to like. But despite that, you stick with her because you glimpse the good in her – in her respect for her father, her heeding advice for Mr Knightley, she shows the good woman she could be. And she does get better. A whole lot better, by the end of the book – she’s a woman transformed.

I enjoyed this a whole lot more than Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps now I’ve got the hang of Austen – she’s a writer having a blast and a whole lot of fun – I might go back and give it another try.

I certainly have a lot more time for her now.

Tony’s Review: Coraline and other stories, Neil Gaiman

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4/5

 

My first dip into the Gaiman universe was an enjoyable experience. Like a day at the beach – sometimes the wind will drop and the vista of the sea before you will open out to infinity. You’ll settle into your chair of choice and sigh, contented. The next minute, the wind will be kicking sand into your eyes and the sun will be shooting shard of lights into your eyes from the choppy ocean.

Gaiman is like that. When he’s good (which is most of the time), he’s excellent, with a wry and humorous turn of phrase, a delicate touch of wit. When he’s bad, he’s mediocre, and doesn’t do a lot for you. You shift in your seat and push on, hoping he’s going to get better again.

This was a collection of ten stories and one blank verse…

Coraline, the header of the book. An old-fashioned fairy tale, with an old-fashioned witch and a feisty heroine. Nothing new here, not really, but Gaiman spins the tale with a deft wit into an exciting and at times frightening tale. To be honest, I was more scared by Coraline’s parents’ indifference than by her Other Mother. Great bedtime story for kids though.

The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds This is an absolute hoot, a riot of a tale. A hard-boiled detective working the nursery rhyme beat, full of characters like Little Jack Horner and Humpty Dumpty, aka The Fat Man. Just brilliant, and I guffawed and chortled my way through it. One to read aloud, detective voice included.

Don’t ask Jack The weakest and shortest story in the collection, about a malevolent toy abandoned in a toy box. Such little happens that it wasn’t worth the effort.

Troll bridge A spin on the tales of trolls that live under bridges, but more about the boy (and later man) who discovers it. Since he’s a jerk, we don’t really care if the troll catches him or not; and since he’s a jerk, the story didn’t do much for me.

How to sell the Ponti bridge The oldest scam in the book – selling something that isn’t yours. A twist at the end, but it isn’t a particularly good twist, and doesn’t lift the story above average.

October in the chair A homage to Ray Bradbury, full of strange imagery and twisting sentences. The story itself is quite weak, but the frame around the story is nice, full of seasonal atmosphere and wit.

Chivalry Another hoot of a tale. An old lady finds The Holy Grail, and refuses to part with it, even when a knight makes her better and better offers. Wonderful tale, especially the little epilogue.

The Price A family takes in stray cats, and one of them repays them. Interesting story; what was refreshing was how genre-savvy the character was. He locks the cat in the basement, and his life starts to go wrong. He releases it, and his life improves. He’s smart enough (for a change for a literary character) to realise what’s going on.

How to talk to girls at parties Thinking about this one again, I see where Gaiman was going with it. Talking to girls when you’re a teenager is like talking to strange aliens who make no sense. In fact, I think it still is.

Sunbird Strong characters let down by an average story and so-so ending.

The witch’s headstone A boy – who might or might not be dead – can see the dead and interact with them. He decides to buy a witch a headstone as a favour. Too easily resolved, this could have been stretched a little more and the characters given more depth to make it more satisfying.

Instructions A blank verse poem about going on a quest, with some cool imagery. Falls apart at the end though, like Gaiman didn’t know what to do with it.

So, in the end, what do I think of my first dip into Gaiman? I liked the way he developed his characters, and his world building – sometimes in a phrase or two – was brilliant. His characters are very genre-savvy, which is energising. When the boy in “October in the Chair” meets another boy in a graveyard, he knows (as we almost instantly do) that the boy is a ghost; as when the man in “The Price” who finds that a stray cat is protecting his family when he locks it into the cellar and his life begins to break.
His endings seemed the weakest part of his writing. He seems to be aiming for twists in some of his stories, but they were laboured and obvious.

However, I think I’ll be back for more Gaiman. I’m intrigued enough to continue reading!

IAM15 Interview…Tony Talbot

    Thanks to everyone for taking part in Indie Month 2015!

Hope to see you next year…

IAM 2015 - Topper

To round out Indie Month, we’re talking to AfW regular Tony Talbot

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Tony Talbot started writing short stories in 2008, after a dream he had and couldn’t shake; Finally his wife told him to write it down or stop talking about it.

He wrote his first Young Adult novel, Over the Mountain, in 2008, and has completed several others and a growing raft of short stories since.

He lives in a village in Leicestershire, UK, with an American wife he met online and two cats. As well as writing, he enjoys reading, playing on the Wii-U and not getting enough exercise.

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What is you favourite way to spend a rainy day?

Listening to it and watching it from somewhere dry. I love a good rainstorm.

You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it?

Forward a week so I can sell it to myself on Ebay. 🙂

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

A laptop, A Kindle with a solar charger and a good internet connection. And an endless supply of Jelly Beans.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Oh, so many! To Kill a Mockingbird is just sublime, as good as it gets.

How do you react to a bad review?

Sulk for weeks. Tear my hair out. Then go and write something else. You’re never going to please everyone, so if most people like it, you’re on to something.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Mostly it was shock! “They liked it! I’m getting paid for doing this, can you believe it?”

One food you would never eat?

Broccoli. It’s just not right, and I don’t trust it one bit. I always feel like it’s judging me.

What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

Having reviewers saying that something made them cry, or carried them away to another world for a while. That’s pretty amazing.

What was your favorite book when you were younger?

Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton. I adored that book, and I still have a copy.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Never give up. And always put everything you have into everything you write.

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?

I’d love to be right at the place and time where we know, without a doubt, that aliens are communicating with us. To look into the sky that night, point at a white dot among the millions and say, “There they are.”

What is your favorite Quote?

Currently, not one from a book, but from a maintenance plate on an elevator / lift: Keep well oiled to ensure satisfaction.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

A librarian for a while. An undertaker (I thought: it’s great job security!). It was always something always bookish and indoors-y.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Wil Wheaton. He’s about four days older than me, so the age is right for a start. He’s a great actor, very under used talent. I think he could pull off playing the Shining Light that is Me. 😉

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Dean Koontz for seeing the tragedies of the world with humour; Stephen King for seeing the horror that lurks inside normal people; Charles Dickens for his characterisation.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Oh, all of them are parts of me, the good bits and the bad. The lovers of rainstorms and the socially awkward teenagers.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

There was a photo essay the other week in “The Atlantic” – they have a cool photo section – and it was people who dress as zombies and then go and parade through cities. I thought: What about if real zombies were in there as well and no one noticed – they all thought they were REALLY good at staying in character while they ate people’s brains…And how would the cops know who to take down or arrest?

Hidden talent?

Double jointed thumbs – both of them. It’s a little freaky.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

Star Wars Episode VII. It’s going to be BIG.

Cats or Dog?

I have two cats now, so I’m heading towards cats on this one…

Apples or Oranges?

Oranges if they don’t have pips. Apples if they aren’t too mushy.

Cause or Effect?

Oh, effects. They’re much more fun, aren’t they?

Heads or Tails?

Heads. Always heads.

Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. Twitter is a strange, truncated world…

Truth or Dare?

Truth. Or maybe dare. Is there a third option?

Text or Talk?

Talk. I can’t get the hang of text speak…

Favorite quote from a movie?

“Why is the rum gone?!” Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Guest Post: Short Stories 101

I was emailing an Australian friend the other day (Anna Hub). She’s written four novels and just finished a fifth (The Ninth Hunter, well worth looking for when it comes out). But…she’s not sure where to start with short stories.

Most writers start with short stories and progress to novels, so it’s curious to see it the other way round…

“Bigger” (54 words)

“Mick? Did you hear that?” Elbows him awake.
“Wassup?”
“Something downstairs.”
“Bloody cat.”
“No. It sounded bigger.”
“Bloody dog then.”
“No! Bigger.”
“Bloody kids.”
“Bigger!”
“Bigger?”
“Yeah. Lots bigger.”
Mick purses lips. “Burglar?”
Eyes wide. “Yeah.”
“Big burglar?”
“Yeah.”
“Good.”
“Wot?”
“Then he can take the bloody cat, bloody dog and bloody kids. Goodnight!”

 …the trick with short stories is to use your reader’s knowledge of the world to your advantage. I didn’t need to say these two are in bed and asleep when the story starts; I didn’t need to say it’s most likely the middle of the night (Most burglars don’t work afternoons, after all). “Elbows him awake” takes care of most of that in three words. Mick has a name, but his partner doesn’t. Trim the fat and leave what you need.

Short stories don’t need to be that short either. Technically, anything under 20,000 words is ‘a short story’, so you have a lot of room to move around in. Most of mine come to between 1500 and 3000 words, for example.

The real fun with short stories is to take what the readers assume and find a way to twist the end. So a short story about a man exploring an alien world turns out to be a robot exploring earth, for instance. Or drop in a humorous spin, like “Bigger”.

Here a great one from science fiction master of the twist and short, Frederic Brown:

“Earth was dead after the last atomic war. Nothing grew, nothing lived. The last man sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…”

Everything you need is right there. We know who the story is about, we know the world he lives in, and there’s even a hook for suspense. Twenty seven words to create a world and tell a story.

Shorter than that? Here’s a (possibly apocryphal) story from Ernest Hemingway:

“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”

Short stories are a great way of perfecting the art of keeping the bits you don’t need out of your novels as well. Sharpen your skills on them and it will always serve you well.

(Reblogged from Musings: The Blog of Tony Talbot)

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Where can we find you?

Find me online at Amazon, @authortony, http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk – or drop by for a chat at Goodreads.

Thanks for taking part in Indie Month, Tony!

IAM15 Guest Post…Anna Hub

IAM 2015 - TopperToday we’re talking to Anna Hub about…

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Shadow Hunters (Book Two)

“He said it wasn’t like the Valley, he never said it was paradise.”

Selena has survived her transfer into the Shadowlands — she has already beaten the odds — but she soon discovers that although life outside the Valley may be different, it is no less dangerous.

While she searches for a purpose in her new life Brayden sets out to prove he’s not bound by the compulsions of a hunter, but can he master his Instinct before the villagers come to destroy him?

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When I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.

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Guest Post: Why I became and Indie author

These days, being an independent author becomes more viable with each passing week. In the couple of years since I first self-published there has been a huge shift in publishing platforms such as, Amazon, Kobo, Createspace, all of them recognising the growing market and making publishing easier than it’s ever been. And the best is yet to come. Plenty of authors are dropping their publishers and taking the indie route to regain creative control of their work. You can write at your own pace, choose your editors and your book cover, market according to any strategy and of course, keep all your royalties. Why wouldn’t you want to be an indie author?

Are we still battling against the idea that you need a publisher for legitimacy?

Honestly, anyone who’s written a book knows the labour comes long before the publisher. We’ve spent weeks, months, years pouring our heart into our work. We’ve suffered headaches and RSI, we’ve edited out thousands of words and replaced them with better ones, we’ve agonised over single sentences and analysed every plot element until we’re sure it fits. At the end of all that, why would we hand it over to someone else and ask them if we’ve succeeded? I guess the first question we need to ask ourselves, is why we write and what do we hope to achieve?

When I started writing, I set myself goals. There were so many dreams I had for myself and for a long time I believed finding a publisher was at the top of that list. Like so many others, I thought that was the benchmark to measure myself against. But after years of working on my series, I told a friend I planned to seek a publisher and his single response changed my entire perspective.

He asked why I’d written the books but my answer wasn’t, ‘to be published’. In reality, I became a writer to help myself make sense of the world. I use words as a means to digest my thoughts and without this vessel in my life, I don’t feel balanced. That was where it all began, and when I realised how much I loved it I wanted to see how far I could push myself. I didn’t want to put words on the page just for the sake of venting anymore, I wanting to create something that embodied who I was. To build an entire world where I could face my fears and grow into the person I longed to be.

My friend said it sounded as though I’d already succeeded and I finally understood that I didn’t need approval from a publisher. I thought I needed the shiny wrapping paper but in that one conversation I finally took a step back and acknowledged that I’d already made it. I was complete long before my books even went to print.

For me, placing that sense of achievement in someone else’s hands would have been destructive. All along, this journey was meant to teach me to recognise myself and while the books themselves aren’t perfect, they gave me the gumption to stand tall and be a proud indie author.

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Where can we find you?

Website: http://annahubbooks.com/

Blog: http://annahubbooks.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annahubbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnaHubBooks

Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/p5dku7q

Amazon.co.uk http://tinyurl.com/nq979c8

Amazon.com.au http://tinyurl.com/px73bzu

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Thanks for taking part in Indie Month, Anna!

(If you enjoyed Anna’s post, she’s going to be blogging for us from time to time…so check back soon!)

IAM15 Guest Post…Carmen Stevens

IAM 2015 - Topper

Today we’re talking to Carmen Stevens about…

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Anne

Fourteen-year old Anne Falkman is an arrogant, desperate orphan trying to live any way she can on the streets of London. Through her desolate, lonely years, a hope was born within her, the hope that fate would bless her and give her lasting happiness. Growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, Anne has nurtured a fear of men. She also fears marrying and giving birth, which was the death of her mother and caused her father to go mad and violently hate his daughter. When a series of events gives Anne a chance for happiness, she takes it and achieves her dreams, but at what cost? Will she attain the life of happiness that she dreamed of? Which choices are the best ones to make?

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Carmen Gross, pen name Carmen Stevens, was born in Fargo, ND, March 1992. She currently resides in Detroit Lakes, MN, where she is a recent college graduate and works part-time. Carmen published her novel “Anne” in July 2013-an exciting, richly-written historical work about a young English girl who makes many bad choices throughout her life and then struggles to find redemption.

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Guest Post: Why I Love Being an Indie Author

Because I’m in control of everything involving my book, and I’m a bit of a control freak, so this is a good thing to me. I try to do my best every day as I promote my book. I take advantage of guest posts and book reviewers, utilize social media sites to get the word out, keep up with the writers’ groups that I’m a part of on Goodreads and Facebook, write in my blog regularly, and so forth. It’s definitely not the easiest job in the world, but it’s also not the hardest. I try to have fun with it, and I encourage other indie authors to enjoy their promoting as well. I do look forward to attaining a career (I attended college for Paralegalism) and get some steady money coming in so I can do more to promote my work. In the meantime, however, I’m happy just doing what I can to promote my work and myself as an author. Thanks very much for this opportunity!!

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Where can we find you?

My Links

Blog: http://bubblymissy16.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carmstevens

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191165.Carmen_Stevens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hisfic

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/carmenstevens

Book’s Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Carmen-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00E4D3HY0

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372253

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18245315-anne

Thanks for taking part in Indie Month, Carmen!

IAM15 Guest Post….Bryan Perkins

IAM 2015 - Topper

Today we’re talking to Bryan Perkins about…

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The Asymptote’s Tail

Far into our future humankind controls the fabric of reality with such ease that “here” and “there” have become one. Space is bent such that many separate worlds exist, most in complete ignorance of the others. The Asymptote’s Tail begins the story of the interactions between seven of those worlds.

In one, a servant imagines life with no master and learns if she can withstand the risks that come with freedom. In another, a young girl is forced into freedom of another kind when her parents disappear and she sets out to find them.

An actor learns how much work is done by who in which worlds and decides what he wants to do about it, a black cat tries to decipher the ways of humankind and protect his owner as she does the same, an assembly line worker seeks revenge for the death of her son, a police officer learns what the job entails and decides if he can stay on the force, and a scientist vies to regain control over her inventions which are being used to wreak havoc on all the worlds of Outland.

As each new perspective illuminates experiences from the old, the Sisyphean nature of chasing an endless limit and the totality of contradictions inherent in a divided system become clear. “Then” and “now” take on as little difference as “here” and “there”, for in the end, we are all, everywhere, and forever chasing The Asymptote’s Tail.

The Asymptote’s Tail is an epic science fiction novel and the first in the four-part Infinite Limits series.

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bp(Author photo by Geoff Badeaux)

Bryan “with a Y” Perkins is an Air Force brat who ended up in Louisiana by way of Nevada, Arizona, California, Rhineland-Palatinate (in Germany), and Colorado. After graduating from Airline High School in Bossier City, Louisiana, he received a Bachelor’s in Biology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge then scurried further south to New Orleans where he works a soul-crushing job for just enough hours to pay the bills and support his true passion, writing.

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A Day in the Life of Bryan

by Bryan Perkins

At seven in the morning, sometimes six-thirty, sometimes nine, but every day of the week, sharp cat claws, delicately caressing your eyes and nose, or brushing through your hair, awaken you. Mr. Kitty is ready for the day.

You’re not, though, and Mr. Kitty knows it. That’s why he wakes you up.

“Oh, alright,” you grumble, moaning and groaning, crawling out of your bed to eliminate yesterday’s waste before stumbling back into your room to sit behind the desk and wake up the laptop that’s waiting for you there–asleep itself and probably no more ready for the day than you are.

First thing’s first, though, no matter what any of the three of you want: You have to get to work. Luckily–or unluckily as the case may be–you’re already there, so you begin as soon as you sit down, getting the worst part of your day out of the way.

Work is painful, soul crushing to even talk about. No one knows what it is–not even the people you work for–and you don’t care enough to explain. “Search engine evaluation” the people who pay you call it, but everyone you tell that title to confuses it with SEO so you don’t use it often. You prefer QA. You do quality assurance for search engines is what you tell anyone who asks–not many people, you don’t get out much. Which is true, in a sense, but you’re more like a taste tester, putting yourself in the shoes of a million different Google users, imagining how satisfied they each would be with the results of their unique personal searches, an oddly intimate relationship to have with completely anonymous strangers who you could never hope to meet.

After two hours of murdering your soul for a wage, only leaving the same room you slept in to get a drink or pee, Mr. Kitty is ready to leave. You are, too. You both actually start getting antsy around the half hour mark, but you’ve been trained so well by time that the energy doesn’t properly burst until hour two. When it does, it’s time to go outside.

Mr. Kitty is probably up on the mantel already, staring at the door of the office/bedroom, meowing to get out, so you slip the red bandana in your back pocket and snap Mr. Kitty’s pink harness and leash on. You live too close to a busy street to let him run free anymore, but he’s too used to being wild to be cooped up inside all day, so you both had to compromise. The red bandana gets tied outside your neighbor’s door so her bear of a dog, heavier even than she is, doesn’t eat the cat it’s been licking its massive slobbery jaws at for months.

Walking a cat for ten minutes is not like walking a dog for ten minutes. You don’t walk Mr. Kitty, you follow him, walking as quietly as possible so as not to frighten him, until he goes somewhere you can’t, then you turn him around and follow him some more. Usually you stay in the shaded parking lot behind your building, sniffing cars, tearing up the wooden fence with the same sharp claws that woke you up, or chasing the neighborhood cats out of your territory, but on some days, Mr. Kitty likes to walk all the way to the corner of the block, only running and hiding if there’s a bus or truck to hiss with their pneumatic brakes and scare him away.

After ten minutes, it’s back inside and back to work, whether Mr. Kitty–or you, for that matter–likes it or not. You grab a granola bar for breakfast, to eat while you work, and after two more hours of near soul death experience, it’s ten more minutes in the yard with Mr. Kitty. You work two final hours, usually while eating lunch–frozen Quorn, soy, and quinoa have been on the menu a lot since you gave up meat–then the third ten minute walk with Mr. Kitty, which is the best, because your soul is finally free to rest and recuperate.

Now the beers pop open. You don’t do that, they do it of their own accord, you swear. Besides, you live in New Orleans, a little casual alcoholism is accepted–if not actively encouraged. And though Hemingway has been fake quoted so often–it wasn’t him, actually, but Peter De Vries–as saying “Write drunk, edit sober”, you say “Two o’clock, time to drink” whatever stage of the process you’re in.

And now you’re writing, or editing–as above–but it doesn’t matter. Your soul is healing itself from the beating it took earning the right to do this. An hour passes by within the blink of an eye while you play in an imaginary world filled with imaginary people. Another beer opens, more worlds, more characters, more stories. And you write and you write, and you know it’s the writing, not the beer, repairing your soul, but another one opens anyway, because today is a new day and it’s never ending.

Then six o’clock rolls around. You’re exhausted from traveling through space and time to dimensions unknown, dimensions you wish so desperately–and work so tirelessly–to share with other people, and a little drunk because, in the four or so hours you’ve been writing, you’ve downed and crushed at least three tall boys of Busch beer. So you stumble out of your room, the half full beer still in hand, and there are your roommates, there is the real world again, there is Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, dinner, paying taxes, rent, and electricity, movies, TV, walking to the grocery store because you don’t have a car, there’s everything that goes away when you’re inside that imaginary world you just came from, there is everything real.

Life is harder for you there, but you press on. Maybe, if dinner filled you up enough to sober you, you crack open another beer, maybe you watch some Community or Doctor Who before going to bed early–nine, ten o’clock early–to read yourself to sleep. Whatever you do, eventually, you pass out, you enter another imaginary dimension, one which you have less control over, a dimension almost as chaotic and tumultuous as the real world, but this one filled with both made up and real characters alike.

And when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, that nothing in any of the dimensions makes sense, usually at seven in the morning, sometimes six-thirty, sometimes nine, but every day of the week, sharp cat claws, delicately caressing your eyes and nose, or brushing through your hair, awaken you from that dreamland and tell you to get back to work, because Mr. Kitty is ready for a new day, and it will never end.

Bryan Perkins 06/03/15

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Where can we find you?

Website: http://bryanperkinsauthor.com/

Blog: http://bryanperkinsauthor.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BPerkinsAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BryanPerkinsAuthor
The Asymptote’s Tail paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Asymptotes-Tail-Infinite-Limits/dp/0996395318/

The Asymptote’s Tail eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Asymptotes-Tail-Infinite-Limits-Book-ebook/dp/B00XNIUFLA/

Thanks for taking part in Indie Month, Bryan!