Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How to Lose a Man or Woman in 1 minute (or less)

How to get rid of a guy in 1 minute or less? Many a woman has debated this question and many have come up with pretty good answers. As soon as you meet him, or shortly thereafter:
  • Tell him you are in a weight-gain phase of your life.
  • Tell him that you are a shopaholic and deeply in debt.
  • Tell him that you must see your mother on a daily basis or you just can’t think straight.
  • Tell him that your family would love to meet him. Immediately. Your father owns a shotgun and you still don’t know what happened to your last boyfriend.
  • Tell him that it’s you, not him. And then just walk away
  • Tell him you were just paroled from prison on a murder conviction. You were guilty.
  • Don’t tell him you are lesbian - this might just encourage him to try to “convert” you.
  • Don’t tell him that he is a dickless wonder - this might just encourage him to prove you wrong.
  • Tell him that you are going to shave your head today - just to see what it looks like.
  • Howl like a wolf at the moon at inopportune times. Mid-day in a crowded shopping centre or restaurant is always good. Yip a few times at the end of your baying.
  • Tell him that you must have a family immediately. You must have 13 children in the next 13 years to fulfill your destiny to save humankind.

Of course, there are always ways to lose a woman in 1 minute or less. As soon as you meet her, or shortly thereafter:

  • Tell her that you live with you mother because no one can take care of you like mummy.
  • Tell her that you are unemployed and planning to stay that way. Welfare is a wonderful thing you plan on using the rest of your life.
  • Compare her unfavorably to your mother
  • Compare her unfavorably to her mother
  • Tell her that you need a wife/mistress who would ideally be your maid, cook, doormat, sex toy and totally devoted to you while you go out to find someone better.
  • Tell her that you find intelligent women unfeminine.
  • Tell her that you find brainless women the epitome of femininity. Brainy women are too much work and very threatening to your masculinity.
  • Tell her that you want to get married and that you’ll live with your parents for your entire marriage. Why go anywhere else?
  • Tell her that you’re gay - but she might decide you are perfect, safe male friend material, so be careful with this one.

I’m sure I could come up with more. The above was written tongue-in-cheek. If you are truly not interested in a person who tries to pursue you, either romantically or platonically, be nice and kindly say you’re not interested, rather than leading them on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Publication Date March 19, 2009!

I have a release date for my debut novel, Pitch Dark, a full-length, romantic suspense adventure. Cerridwen Press will release it on March 19, 2009 in e-book format. And you may well ask, what is an e-book?

An e-book is a book that is in electronic format, meaning that a reader can download the book from the Internet, in a variety of formats (pdf, word, rtf etc) and read it on their computer, on their e-book reader (of which there are many, even iPods can store e-books so that users can read from their iPod) or print out the e-book onto paper if they so choose.

What are the advantages of e-books over traditional paper books? Well, for one, trees aren’t cut down in order to produce the paper used. For another, the reader doesn’t need to drive or take the bus to a bookstore to get a book. The book is delivered directly to your computer. No wasted gas or pollution. E-books are also priced less expensively than paper books.

What are the ‘traditional’ views of e-books? Traditionally, the prevailing view was that e-books were of poorer quality than their paper cousins. That may have been true at one time, but it is no longer true. Many very well-written books are turned down by traditional publishers because the publisher wants a sure thing. Traditional publishing costs and risks are so much greater than e-publishing just by the nature of the beast. The risks are so large that publishers lean towards big name authors and to authors who write in the most popular genres. E-publishers don’t have that issue as much. Yes, the still hire editors and cover artists and promote the books, but since they’re not printing actual books, they can afford to take risks on lesser known but equally or superior talented authors who write excellent stories.

E-publishing is the democratization of publishing. Less expensive books. Equal or better quality writing. Deliverable to any computer on the planet in seconds. Fewer costs. Less pollution. Decreased use of natural resources.

Traditional publishers are also realizing the benefits of e-books and many are now offering e-books themselves. Traditional publishers are interested in a less costly production and distribution model and e-publishing is it. No need to worry about book returns of 70%. Book returns are those books originally purchased from the publisher by a bookstore or book chain and did not sell. The publishers then must give back the money the book buyers paid for the books. So authors of books may only be paid once a year, once book returns are known. With e-books, there are no book returns. The reader has bought the book. End of story. The authors are paid regularly based on their actual sales, not on projected sales.

I didn’t mean to go into e-books, but once I started I thought I should explain the significance of e-books versus traditionally published books. Some people say that they don’t want e-books because of eye strain. Right now, there are e-book readers available that don’t have that problem. The screen actually looks like a piece of paper. And you can store many books in one e-book reader: you can carry a library of books with you in a package the size, perhaps a little heavier, of a paperback novel.

The publishing industry is going through a shake-out, one that is being accelerated by the global economic slowdown. Traditional publishers are looking for ways to decrease their costs without decreasing market share or quality. E-publishing seems to be the answer.

So my novel will be an e-book, easily purchased from http://www.cerridwenpress.com. At your convenience starting March 19, 2009. Cover art by Croco.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perception is Reality

I was speaking to someone who recently read a study regarding the influence of expectation on the performance of students and teachers in grade school. Three teachers were selected for the study and they were told that in the coming year that they would be receiving students who were gifted. These three teachers were also told that they themselves were the top teachers in their district and this was why they were being selected to teach these students.

During the year, the students marks were the best in the district and, in some cases, some students’ IQs increased by a significant amount.

The first catch? The students were selected by ballot with no concern given to previous grades or performance. The second catch? The teachers, unknown to themselves, had also been selected by ballot--they were regular teachers. Not a superstar in the lot.

So, it would seem that intelligence and performance can be linked very strongly to an individual’s perceptions. If a student is treated as if he or she is an gifted student, then they may become a gifted student. If a teacher is told that he or she is one of the best teachers, then the teacher may behave like the best of teachers.

Human beings will live up or down to expectations. We’ve all heard this but it’s never been so clearly illustrated to me as with the above case. Of course, the above will not work with all people but expectations can play a major part in determining the outcome of any endeavor.

If you think you will be successful, then you will be successful. You’ll do things that successful people do. If you think you will be a failure, then you will be a failure. You’ll do things that unsuccessful people do because you don’t expect to be successful. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Your reality is shaped directly by your perception of reality. If you expect the worst, you will probably receive the worst. If you expect the best, you will probably receive the best. This isn’t to say that you can dance through life like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and everything will be peachy and the world will be a wonderful place. You must shape your perceptions. If your perceptions are not serving you well, then you need a new set of perceptions, which takes time, patience and effort. And can be incredibly painful.

So your feeling and perceptions are your responsibility. Your responsibility to nurture or change, your responsibility to cling to or abandon those feelings and perceptions that harm you.

We all struggle with feelings and perceptions of inadequacy. We all fear looking silly or unattractive or a host of other undesirable things. We are all special in some way. We need to take a good gentle, objective look at ourselves and see ourselves for what we are.

Fragilely human.