Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Really Did Have an Idea For a Good Post...

Last night, I fell asleep to reaction mechanisms dancing in my head. They were going on for what seemed like forever, and they were happening so fast that I couldn't really comprehend what the hell was going on. I just remember things turning to things, and then to other things. I wonder how much of it really made a lick of sense?

How nerdy is it to fall asleep "dreaming" of reactions?

Last week, I fell asleep thinking about Richard Broozer and his yet unwritten suicidal past. That was interesting. Actually, this is interesting too, though in a much different way. Learning different reactions requires some patience, and of course, a head for memorizing seemingly useless and methodical information. MCPBA and alkenes yield epoxides. Epoxides can be opened to make other things. BUT you've got to be weary of stereochemistry, that can be a real bitch!

Also, ibuprofen actually is made up of two enantiomers, both of which are in the little pill you take to get rid of your headaches. One of them is totally ineffective. So really, only half of your ibuprofen is actually effective.

Last week, my boyfriend bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Latin. He's only taken a semester of Latin, and he's already trying to read the damn thing! He reads it to me and proceeds to ask me what he just read.

Speaking of Organic Chemistry, I have my lab tonight. My lab partner is one of the most meticulous people I've met, and insists on following directions exactly. Last week, she insisted on putting our material in a vial (what the directions said) vs. an Erlenmeyer flask "just in case somebody decides to check our drawers." But that's cool, at least she seems to know what she's doing.

My friend just sent me a picture of himself, where he looks like he's attempting to impersonate a rabbit.

I hate when people advertise their books as "free for Prime Members!" You mean free to rent for Prime Members?

Also: The Dowry is free on Amazon today. After today, I'm not doing anymore free promotions for awhile (at least until about March or so), so get it while you can! Srsly.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Twitter Experiment, Part 3: What My Twitter Looks Like right Now.

Except for the yellow. That was just so I would officially have all colors of the rainbow featured in this picture.

After 3.5 Wonderful Years, My Ipod Seems to have Died...

For some reason, ever since middle school, I've found that playing music in the background of whatever I'm doing, be it studying or writing, helps me tremendously, to the point where I almost cannot do anything without it.

Yesterday, of course, was no exception. I trekked over to the library in hopes of getting some studying done, seeing as I have a scary exam coming up on Wednesday night. Like always, I had brought along my iPod and the cheap pair of $20 that's lasted me about 2-3 years so that I wouldn't have to sit in complete silence throughout the day.

I took out the ipod, plugged in the headphones, and attempted to shuffle all of my music. Hit the button, the screen switched over to "Now Playing", and...nothing. No sound, no movement, nothing.

"Did you try turning it off and on?" Yes, many times. A few times, it completely reset itself on it's own, complete with strange clicking and whirring noises. It seems to have confused itself.

Granted, the screen on this iPod was completely messed up, on account of me leaving the iPod in my jacket pocket then proceeding to toss my jacket on the floor. It sounds careless, yes, though my ipod had survived so many other beatings that I'm surprised this was the one that did it in. Also, considering I did this last May and had been using the iPod frequently in the months since, I obviously had not damaged it beyond repair; just beyond conveniently seeing the "Now playing" screen.

In case you were wondering, I'm not an Apple Junkie. The iPod is literally the one Apple product I own. Otherwise, I own a HP Pavilion running Windows 7, my last PC was a Dell Desktop running XP (which I still have, actually, I just haven't turn it on in over a year), and my phone is a Motorola Droid 3. Why do I have an Apple iPod? I bought it in May of 2008, when that seemed to be the only mp3 anybody had (obviously they're not the only mp3's, though!). I'm not even going to attempt to lie and say, "I really like the interface" or something, because somebody will come in here, swoop down on me like a hawk, and say, "The interface sucks blah blah technical jargon." Yeah, I own an iPod because it's what was cool. And you know what? With 80gb of memory, I'm perfectly fine with that. I just wish it still worked

Saturday, January 28, 2012

7 Methods You Should NOT Use to Advertise Your Book

  1. Do not, under any circumstances, go streaking in the middle of a crowded sporting event and write the title of your book in large letters on your back with a sharpie.
  2. Skywriting. From what I've seen, this only exists in the movies. However, I do live in Wyoming, so maybe this does occur in larger towns, and I've just never seen it.
    • 2a. Skywriting in Wyoming as a form of advertisement is probably a really awful idea.
  3. If you or somebody know works delivering pizzas on the side, I would suggest not writing the name of your book on the inside of each pizza box for the people you deliver to to find. This is especially true if you write erotica; opening a pizza box only to find something like "DEEP THRUST" or "MY FIRST LESBIAN EXPERIENCE" might be unnerving for your customers.
  4. Myspace. Nobody uses Myspace anymore.
  5. If you ever feel the need to take revenge on somebody, and spray-painting graffiti on their property seems like the best way to get back at them, do not take that as an opportunity to squeeze in some free advertising. That said, you would probably make the job of a policeman a little easier that day.
  6. I would suggest not asking your drug dealer to "spread the word", especially if you go by the pseudonym of "Heisenberg". 
  7. Finally, in all seriousness, telling NOBODY about your book isn't helping anybody. So go on, if nothing else, call your mother and tell her you're a published author.

More Terrible 8th Grade Writing: Take Over the World Plot 2010

If you'll recall, last week, I did a short post about my terrible 8th grade story, Kirby vs. The Free Noobs, where I detailed exactly how I laughed out loud in hysterics when reading it out loud, because it was just so damn funny (to me). From what I gather, I'm alone in the fact that I love going back to my old writing every now and again and enjoying a good laugh. Most authors I've met are all "MY OLD WRITING SUCKS AND MAKES ME WANT TO DIE." Okay, maybe not that extreme; though most writers I've spoken to have thrown most of their old stuff away, and according to them, for good reason.

But come on; where's the fun in being a writer if you can't go back and laugh at how bad you used to be? Come on, I know that at least some of you wrote Twilight fan fiction before the movies came out and Twilight hate was rampant. I'm sure somebody wrote a freaking hilarious poem to their middle school crush. Come on, anybody? Nobody is going to raise their hand here? This saddens me; I had really wanted to start a weekly "Our Old Writing" kind of thing, where we all get together and post chunks of the worst of the worst. Nobody? Oh, okay.

Anyways, the following is the first "chapters" of something I attempted to write in about ~2006, and it is hilarious on so many levels. Why? Well, first and most obvious, it seems that I was typing on a machine that apparently lacked spell check - I left all the misspellings and errors in, just to add to the fun. (Note: I suspect most of these errors are more or less the product of the fact that my typing skills sucked then, and still suck today.) Also, I used to "draft" characters, which meant drafting names of my internet friends. That's why, despite the fact that everybody apparently knows each other, they're calling each other by their entire usernames. "Hey, what's up, Gleming123?" "Not much, Halo1991." Though really, the most striking hilarity of this story is the fact that most 8th graders know nothing about politics; this piece shows it. 

Also, the title of this monstrosity? Take Over the World Plot 2010.

"Good evening on this beautiful March 10th, I'm Motumbs here with the nine o'clock news,"
As Kirby was sitting in her chair brwsing her TV in search of somethnig to watch, she noticed something unusual on CNN.
"It is today that we announce a death, but not a sad one. No, tonight we announce that China is now formally a democracy. After many years, someone has managed to overthrow China's communist goverment. We now go live with China's new Emporer...Emporer Diricos,"
Kirby watched with intrest, it's not everyday that communist is once again overthrown. The TV told the story, and Kirby was fully engaged in it, as if it were a hypotizing weapon. It was sort of like a weird dream she once had. Then suddenly, jsut as the story got over, the phone rang. 
"Hey," It was her friend, Gleming123.
"Hey Glem, hey did you know China isn't a communist goverment anymore?"
"Nope, I assume there is nothing on TV?"
"Wanna go see a movie or someting?"
On March 10, 2007, noboy suspected that Emporer Diricos was up to anything suspicious. They thought of him as a hero, a savior, and "The Greatest Man Alive," For the most part, people thought China's communist days were over. Yes, they were, but a new, more terrible fate lie within the Chinese.
But let's move on.
"Ding Dong!" Kirby hopped out of her chair and answered the door.
"Hey Glem," She smiled.
"How are you?"
So Kirby got into Glem's car and they drove off toward the theater.
"Hey what movie do you wanna see?" Kirby asked.
"Dunno, how about that one movie about the guys who steal a lot of money and get busted for it?"
"Oh that one? I heard it wasn't all that good. How about a scary movie?"
"The one about the girl who got kidnapped, raped, and killed by a skeleton?" Glem suggested.
"You know, as dumb as it seems I heard it was really good, is that one fine with you?"
"Fine by me,"

Also, speaking of my old adventures as "Kirby Tails", I just found the coolest thing ever: a Kirby Tails pokemon card. It's the seemingly non-sequitur image at the top of this post. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Twitter Experiment, Part 2: My Experience with Twitter so Far.

What I expected: People tweeting every single moment of their day. "Just got out of bed." "Just ate breakfast." "Getting in the shower." "Showering ;)"

What I Seem to Have Gotten: "Buy my book!" "[TITLE] is free on Amazon Today!" "[Preview of Book]. [Only $x.xx on Amazon] [Link]."

I suppose that's what happens when you just start following indie authors.

What I Like: I've been "tweeting" for a week, and already, I have 72 followers. Considering it's taken me nearly two months to get 8 followers here on this blog, I would say it's not a bad deal, especially with the possibility of people seeing my stuff and thinking, "Hey, I'll totally Retweet that." Is it going to happen often? Probably not; I'm not really all that interesting. And with so many others clogging up feeds with "Buy my book!", what chance is there that my little Family History is going to be mentioned? It's highly unlikely.

What I dislike: Again, the fact that so many authors use it for only advertising, and only advertising. I've already unfollowed one or two people who only posted advertisements, and posted them all. the. time. I've got enough of that without seeing your picture every other tweet.

Also, some of the "Worldwide Trends" that pop up in my side bar seem so inane and stupid. I don't care about Britney Spears being president, or whatever. So far, my favorite has been "Replace Band Names with Doofs."

What I would like to see more of: So far, this entire endeavor feels very impersonal. When I see a tweet about something other than "Buy my book!", I'll often try and respond, just to try and open up a conversation with somebody, though I've had very little of the same. In fact, most of my "personal messages" are from people I've newly followed telling me to "Check Out [X]." Today I had a "personal message" from somebody saying "We make book trailers for $150!" Most of the book trailers I've seen have been nothing more than something of a powerpoint-type show with pictures, music, and words, and I've never really heard of them helping generate any type of sales. If I have $150, I'm probably going to spend that on advertising my book somewhere. But that's another post for another day.

So far, I can't say I'm disappointed with Twitter. Again, I was pretty anti-Twitter ever since I heard of the website, and still am, to some extent. I suppose this was more or less of an experiment, since I kept hearing that it was an excellent social networking tool for reaching out to readers and other writers. And it is, really. Like I said; I've gotten 72 followers in a week without doing anything other than following others. However, I was hoping to use this as a tool to "connect" with others; thus far, I feel like I've entered myself into a not-so-successful advertising campaign.

In other news: there's this awesome new site that's been created by a Redditor, Reddit Authors. The point is to show off Redditor-produced content. The site is new, though it looks sleek and professional already. And, from what I can tell, the creator seems like a pretty nice guy. Also, I'm on there (but, for whatever reason, Family History: Part 1 is not, though Part 2 is. Weird.) and I didn't even have to request it. Seriously - if you're a Redditor, I suggest at least stopping by and taking a short look around, and not just because I was somehow automatically thrown into some "Yay! You're Affiliated!" category.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Last Poem I Ever Wrote (To Date).

Last year, to gather a few extra credits, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to enroll myself in an "Introduction to Creative Writing" class.

Overall, the experience was pretty "meh", actually. While there were one or two older writers who did actually produce some quality stuff, most of the "peers" were young freshmen, some of whom were probably taking this as an "Easy-A" class. Then again, many of them were also English majors, so the latter statement is more difficult to "verify".

Anyways, one of the units we were required to do was a poetry unit. I hate poetry. Okay, so hate is a strong word - but I do very strongly dislike poetry. More so than that, I hate analyzing poetry. I hate being expected to search for hidden messages, matching words to meaning, etc. It's just not for me.

So, naturally, I was more or less very apathetic about the whole idea of a "poetry" unit. But, we were required to choose a poem we had written recently to submit to a workshop. Oh, and we also had to read our poetry out loud to everybody. Blech. Did I mention I'm not a poet? Anyways, like I mentioned previously, I was very apathetic and, quite frankly, unhappy about the idea of poetry. And, of course, the "spunky, sassy, fun" me wanted to show this. What better way to do this than in the format of a poem I was required to read out loud to the class?

The journey began. Determine to express my extreme irritation at having to deal with poetry, I took the theme of a high school student also very apathetic about poetry (it seemed appropriate, I suppose) and started Googling different sorts of poetry. What came out, of course, was less than ideal; however, it did show me that I was either in a terrible group of writers that day, or that I am a god when it comes to poetry, because I only remember one very minor criticism about the piece. Anyways, here is the piece, entitled, "Untitled Poetry Written by a Jaded High School Student."

In school, they told me to rhyme,
But I haven’t got the time,
Nor will it ever earn me a single dime.

“Leaders love alliteration,” Lucy loved to lie.

In school, they say learn
when we only want to play.
So we write Haikus.

Poetry Type
Used by teachers
Not for creative purposes

O Poetry, the bane of thy existence.
Especially now, with my Terza Rima.
From me, please disappear into the distance.

There once was a poet named Thyme
He claimed he was a master of Rhyme.
Then the rappers walked in
With grammar like sin,
Said, “We limerickin’ ‘bout hoes and crime!”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

After My "$40" Post on Reddit, Somebody Posted This. Appropriate?

A Very Short Preview from "The Night Life."

I love working on The Night Life, because there are so many different characters with so many different lives. There is, however, a lot of dialogue - possibly too much, I'm not sure. Anyways, while in the shower a few nights ago, I got this brilliant idea for a short add-in about the main character, Richard, and I thought it tied into the story very nicely. Though, this isn't what this preview is. Actually, the following few lines are a conversation about Jane, who at this point in the story is known to most of the dancers (strippers) as Richard's girlfriend. Basically, here's two dancers gossiping about Richard and his "sickly" "girlfriend", Jane:

            “She’s so pale,” Dani droned during a particularly dull moment. “And gosh, those bones – is she anorexic?”
            “Gosh, probably,” Mary stepped in. “I knew a girl from high school who was anorexic, and even she wasn’t that thin!”
            “I bet Richard encourages her to starve herself, too!” Dani gossiped.
            “And what is she, in high school? That girl doesn’t look a day over seventeen.”
            “Seventeen? She barely looks old enough to menstruate!”

Also: if you liked this, don't forget to check out "The Night Life: Chapter One" from Amazon. (No seriously, though, if you really want to see it, just leave a comment or send me an email, and i'll just forward you the pdf or epub file or something).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Family History: Part 1 is now $2.99 on Amazon.

At first, I thought that all of this fuss over pricing was a bit of rubbish. I've seen it all over the place - blog posts dedicated to authors musing over "raising prices". Forum posts with the theory behind the "99 cent" zone. Just the other day, I read about somebody who lowered their novel prices to $2.99 from about ~$6 per book, and found that risk paid off. when it came to sales.

Initially, I was planning on making both "Part 1" and "Part 2" at $2.99 each, just because. But, after some thought, it seemed better to try $3.99, just to see what happened. So far, not much has happened. So, I figured I would lower the price, just to see what happens. I'm not expecting much, but you know, it's an experiment.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

RIP House (AKA The Coolest Thing I Ever Made in High School).

I had left this thing with my dad after its completion, seeing as I really had nowhere else to put it. The thing weighed a ton and was really useless other than just looking really cool. But alas, it seemed my cat wasn't very happy with it. My dad just told me that the little dude pulled it down off the shelf - it was sitting on some kind of cloth, and you know how cats are so curious and love playing with things.

Really, though, I'm just glad the little dude wasn't hurt. That thing was probably heavier than he is.

At least you weren't hurt.
In all seriousness, though, I'm both mad that the coolest art project I ever did is destroyed, and relieved that the cat wasn't even scratched. The little dude is both young and spry, so yeah, that house wasn't going to get him anytime soon, I suppose. So...good going, little dude?

I've Not Done a Photography Post Lately...

Took this years ago with my first digital camera. I think the
thing was a 3 Megapixel Camera with 2x Zoom?

This was my most popular post on my DeviantArt, when I still used
DeviantArt. Maybe it's just because most people aren't used to seeing
mountains? Taken in Medicine Bow Natl. Park, Wyoming.

Took this in Mexico. One of my favorites, though I'm not
really sure why.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In 8th Grade, I Wrote a Story About My Favorite Game...

I am a pack rat. I save everything that seems to have any value and have a tough time throwing anything away if it seems like it might have some value in the future. I'm almost a hoarder, really. That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, and it probably is. But seriously, I keep some of the weirdest things: notes from middle school boyfriends, old movie tickets, and of course, old snippets of writing.

I've wanted to be a writer since about the age of 6. I'm not joking here; this has literally been a dream of mine almost for as long as you can remember (considering children do not start forming concrete memories until about the ages of 3-4). In other words, my recent publishings are not just the result of, "Hey! I think it would be fun to write a book!" Nope. More like, "Hey, let's realize a lifelong dream here."

But, with all good writing comes about 1000x more bad writing. We all have to start somewhere, right? Well, tonight, I stumbled upon this gem. I even read it out loud to my boyfriend, and while doing so, I was pretty much in hysterics, because the whole thing was so stupidly funny. It probably did not help that I pictured the video below, as well:

So yeah, picture that (minus the shoving the remote up the anus), remember that I wrote this quite a few years ago, and hopefully, laugh about as hard as I did:

Kirby vs. The Free Noobs (Circa ~2005).

No! It can't be!! I cringed at the thought, grabbed my head and ran up the stairs. I couldn't handle the idea! I tried to escape, but something was holding me back. I struggled for air, I couldn't breath. I could hear the sick sound of my own wheezing "Huuuuuh...huuuuuuh..." The lack of oxygen got to my brain, and I felt numb all over. I felt my body collapse. I can't believe this is happening!!

Ok, so it wasn't nearly that bad. But it was bad, just the thought. Decieved, not by a friend who wanted to take a screeny with my hard earned stuff only to run away. Not even an ameture scammer who switched the coins at the last second of *************, decieved by my own parents. "We're cancelling your membership this month." Were their exact words.

"BUT WHY?!" I shouted.

"Well, your going to be gone for a week anyways, and you play that game too much anyways."

"But..do you know what can HAPPEN in three weeks?! They might release a white dragon or something!! Or a new skill!! I can't believe your doing this!!" I wanted to rip out my hair and scream. Even though new skills weren't due until July, I was devistated. A whole month without runescape. MY parents had hacked me of my favorite hobby.

I Just Did My First Review. Was I Too Harsh?

The other day, I received a message on Reddit with an offer. The offer was simple: a review for a review. I read/review his, he reads/reviews mine.

I hope he comes through, by the way, because I can't help but wonder if he will.

Anyways, the book in entitled Agents of Light and Shade by S.L. Pineda, and follows the lives of come-and-gone super hero Captain Splendor and the recently released from prison Anton. It takes the traditional comic book-like Super Hero/Super Villain and gives them real, human qualities. The heroes, as it turns out, are flawed; while the villains are not just 100% pure evil people. 

My review from Amazon is below.

"Agents of Light and Shade" stars two meta-humans, Captain Splendor and Eclipser, in a low point in their lives.

The story starts out talking about how Anton, AKA the Eclipser, has just been released from prison after a fifteen year sentence. Meanwhile, Craig, AKA Captain Splendor, is shown to have a troubling gambling addiction and has turned to endorsements from pizza commercials to support himself.

Although it is noted the Captain Splendor is a "super hero" and the Eclipser a "former super villain," it is easy to believe the opposite in the beginning of the story. For most of the story, it is nearly impossible to see the "villain" in Anton/Eclipser, especially when he notes that he "plays by the rules" of Super Hero/Super Villain encounters. Meanwhile, Captain Splendor, a supposed super hero, is characterized as a being with many flaws. He is addicted to gambling (though we never see this first hand; we are only told this through the story of him attempting to repay his debts), he is messy, he mooches off his friends, and of course, we see how truly weak and moral-less he is as the story progresses (as in, unlike Anton, he doesn't follow the rules, and he even breaks out of his "Super Hero" role a few times throughout the story).

What I liked: "Agents of Light and Shade" tells the story of typical Television and Comic Book-like Heroes and Villains and humanizes them. Super Heroes are assigned flaws while Super Villains, as it turns out, are not all bad people. Heroes hold grudges, they gamble, and as it turns out, they're very flaky people. Villains, as we find out, stick together, work hard, and do what they can to support their families.

What I didn't like: The story is filled to the brim with cliches and unnecessary metaphors. Granted, in this novel, they are necessary to some extent, since the entire story is about traditional super heroes and villains. That said, they do not just appear in relation to the characters themselves; they also appear too often in the writing style. For example, there's a portion in the story where the author is characterizing Craig's mom. The author characterizes her with a paragraph talking about how "if you gathered all the bitchy women in the world and had them vote for their top ten favorite living bitches and then had those bitches vote for their favorite bitch, Matilda's name would not come up. She would lose to someone famous like, say, Imelda Marcos or Barbra Streisand. No one with a functioning brain would think of Craig's mother as their favorite anything." The author attempts to be humorous, though to me, the cliches and metaphors often come off as unnecessary.

Also, there are too many characters. Some of them are important, some not. There is a side story about Sara and a cook in her husband's restaurant, Matias. Sara is an ex-super villain and ex-man. In the main story, her only real purpose was to give Anton a job following his prison sentence, to show that "Villains stick together". While the back story is interesting, parts of it do not make sense (for example, I'm still not really clear on why she entered into a sexual relationship with Matias), it is not necessary to the main story, and it almost feels as if it were written in the story to shoehorn in a moral lesson on transsexuals.

Overall: This is an interesting story if the whole "Super Hero/Super Villain" culture appeals or interests you. It is a unique take on the traditional "Hero saves the day, Villain goes down" story that features both humans and villains.

Also: I don't know if this is appropriate here, but the description for the story is took clunky.

I've Started Watching the Show "Eureka", and Something's Really Been Bugging Me...

Wouldn't a Molecular Biologist Know Better than to Sanitize Everything?

Friday, January 20, 2012

This is Totally What's Going to Happen in 10 Years.

If you didn't already see it in the top right corner, this is from Cracked.com.
"7 am."



"Mth clss."


"I nap."

"I wake."

"Dine Time."







"4got Hw."


"Nu iPod."

"DJ Weezy."

"Help me"

"My tweets"

"r bng sent"

"by my 15"

"Year old."

"No its the"



Aha ha ha...that's a terrible joke.

The Twitter Experiment, Part 1: I Guess I'm Tweeting Now

Right now, I'm not sure if "Ew" or..."Ew."

When I first heard about Twitter back in 2006 or 2008 or thereabouts, I thought it was the silliest idea ever. I STILL think it's the silliest idea ever, actually. It's like a website dedicated to Facebook statuses, only they can't be long winded. And sometimes, you just need to be long winded, right? That's why I wrote a book or three.

And now, I'm supposed to be tweeting? I'm only doing it because that's what "they" say I should do. I would rather write long-winded posts - that's why I got a blog. And Facebook - I can put notes and long statuses up on Facebook.

Is my distaste to Twitter unprofessional? If I don't like it, why did I bother joining up? Well, maybe I'm confused as to why I went from selling at least one book per day to nothing. I'm doing some more free promotions coming up soon, but nevertheless, all of this waiting is frustrating. I'm hoping for results. Is that bad of me, wanting results? Wouldn't you want results?

Anyways: Follow me, @KT_Hall_Author on Twitter. Don't expect brilliant quotes at 140 words or less, though.

Also, I'm following WWII in Real Time.

The End of a Dry Spell?

It seems that, after a dry spell since Saturday/Sunday, I have finally sold a copy of The Dowry in the UK.
In other news, a year from today, the US might be inaugerating a new president.

Speaking on inaugerations, here's a fun fact about myself (because you all care so much!): I missed Obama's inaugeration because I had to take a Chemistry test. Go figure.

But anyways, to whoever in the UK purchased that book, thank you for ending my dry spell.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing "Hard to Get".

Sometimes, when I tell people about Family History and what not, I feel like I'm playing a game. What kind of game, I'm not sure, but a game nonetheless. And it is definitely not "hard to get".

In my insecure teenage years, I somehow developed the mentality that the only, I repeat, only way a guy would ever show interest is if I played some form of the game "hard to get". Though really, this mentality applied not only to teenage dating, but also to, wel, everything really. It's actually rather poisonous, because unfortunately, that mentality sort of continues over into everything. No, really, everything. I don't even like soliciting people for reviews, for reading my book, for anything, because I'm still slightly terrified of seeming too eager.

Now, I feel like everything I've done during the past few weeks has conflicted with that. Posting everywhere - "Read my book!" "I have a book, it's awesome!" "Look, links to my blog, Facebook, Amazon books...look! Look! Look!!" It feels so...degrading. Yet everyday, I find myself even dropping hints in Reddit. "Oh yeah, I have a book. No big deal. Cough cough." Posting things in the "Post a Random Fact About Yourself" threads in my teeny little forums. "Look! I'm selling things! Yeesssss!" Even Digg. I hate Digg, but I made an account solely to post my blog posts and books there. *Barf*

I have failed my fifteen year old self by subjecting myself to this. Yet, at the same time, I have made my fifteen year old self proud by writing and publishing books on Amazon. Actually, I am also making my fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, and sic-year-old selves proud by doing this. Not to make this a counting game, but I'm making so many of my other selves proud too.

But, I can't make myself too proud if I don't go out and solicit people, because then nobody would read my work, and all of my efforts would be for naught. So, to make my fifteen year old self proud, I also have to disgust my fifteen year old self a little bit. It's slightly paradoxical. Oh well. It's not like anyone's fifteen year old self is the best muse for anything, anyways.

Bring it On: Why Isn't My Book Selling?

I suppose I'm in desperate need of some advertising.

That, or I just need a little more gumption. However, I am proud to announce that I did do a fair number of Organic Chemistry problems this afternoon. We're going over reactions of alkenes.

So, perhaps it's not gumption I'm lacking. After all, I did just agree to a trade: a review for a review. Also, I think I'll be nice and post that Redditor's book here. Not that it will benefit him any.

Speaking of which, would anybody be so kind of to review a book of mine?

I digress. Despite the start, this actually isn't a "I'm a new writer and I'm not a best seller!" rant. (However, how fantastic would it be to be a best seller two weeks in? I would be jumping for joy!). No. Actually, I'm writing this because I am confused. Why? First off, let me note: I haven't sold a book since Saturday, and Chapter 1 of The Night Life, though free, has had only about 120 downloads in 4 days in Amazon's US store. For comparison, The Dowry had about 750 downloads on the day I made it free.

If you're reading this, you're either thinking, "But KT, what's up? You've only been published for three weeks! Why so impatient?" or "Who are you? I just stumbled on this by Googling SOPA!" (Alas, that ship seems to have sailed with Blackout Day.)

Really, though, I'm confused because other people say it's good.

From Kindle Boards:
Your blurbs and samples are too good not to draw heat.
They are tight. They pop.
(Are you having us on?)
Give it another day or two.

I took a look over your books; they both appear to have great covers, and the sample chapters were well written and interesting. 
And from Reddit:
...this book looks interesting. I loved the sample. I think I'm going to buy it.
Okay, that all seems well and good, right? Sure, it's only three people (I actually had one or two more buried in Reddit comments), but still, if three people are personally messaging me to tell me that the book seems interesting and they loved the sample, what about the people who see it and say nothing about it?

Oh, look, a suggestion appears!
I did notice that you haven't got any reviews up however. I was selling one book week basically until I got three or four reviews up; you really want to reach that 'five' number. Ideally they should be four or five star reviews... and I honestly prefer a scattering of fours (which is all I've gotten), since I think that means they're being critical.
So, is that what it's going to take, eReaders? You want me to solicit people for reviews? Well, if that what it's going to take, then bring it on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA: Now Reddit's Back Online, Here Are the SOPA Blackout "Jokes" I was Really Searching For...

...never was there a filthier title added to this blog.

Come on, though, nobody ever got through these "dark" times moping around.

Dirty, dirty filth...

Does Anybody Else Ever Find is Strange that, Despite the Last 50 Years Worth of Cultural Change, Modern "Household Product" Commercials Continue to Star a "Stay-at-home Mom" Role?

Whew. Sorry for the long title.

But yes. Am I the only one occasionally bothered by the continued "Stay-at-Home" mom role often portrayed in commercials?

Really, it's not so much that they're still portraying the whole "Stay at home mom" thing. That is okay. Obviously, that still exists, despite what this woman likes to think. I support stay-at-home mothers if that is what they choose to do. That said, I also support and acknowledge the existence of stay-at-home fathers, single parents (both mothers and fathers), and of course, gay and lesbian couples with children (gasp!). Oh, and though they are rarer (to my knowledge), there are polygamist families, even in the United States (also, they're probably not all Mormon families living in Utah).

However, right now, I'm not here to discuss the number of different types of families out there. Really, I'm asking a question to people in charge of advertising these common household products: People, why are you not updating your commercials? Even Television producers are way ahead of you all (and I'm not talking about anything airing on TLC).

Before I get accused of appearing ignorant, I'll take a moment to point out that I do understand more than it may seem at the moment.

  • Right now, I imagine that most people in control of this kind of thing are Baby Boomers. Here is (what I believe to be) a somewhat relevant XKCD Comic. (However, with SOPA blackouts, I can't actually check and make sure I'm linking to the right one.) Most Baby Boomers grew up in that environment - raised by a stay at home mother and with a working father.
  • Obviously, though I cite "Modern Family" as an example of this Other-Family Acceptance thing, I realize that this sort of thing is very recent, where it seems that, in the past, the mention of homosexuality was just that - mentioned. It seems most of these shows never actually "starred" a gay or lesbian person.
  • Homosexuality was considered a mental disease until 1973.
  • No matter what I say, somebody is going to see me as "ignorant."
Back to advertising. To this day, why do so many commercials selling household products work to appeal to moms? First off, doesn't everybody need some of these products? I am not a mother, but I'm pretty sure that I still need to clean my house every now and again. I haven't bought paper towels in ages, but I do find myself wishing I had some. Oh, and Kix Cereal - "Kid Tested, Mother Approved" - what about fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings? Sometimes other people, not just mothers, get stuck with the grocery shopping.

What about Bounty's above "Dance Cooking" commercial? What message is that trying to send? "My husband tried to tell me how to clean the house, but WHAT DOES HE KNOW BECAUSE HE DOESN'T CLEAN THE HOUSE?" What silly husband thinks that it takes three sheets of Bounty to clean up a mess, because it only takes one. Of course!

tl;dr: Advertisers, we're living in the 2012, which is culturally and socially much different from the 1950's. Isn't it time to consider updating your ads a little bit?

On SOPA: Better Safe than Sorry.

To be honest, I never thought twice about doing a SOPA post, because while so many people are nervous over the bill (see Reddit's r/SOPA), I never expected this to pass. I still don't expect it to pass, really. That said, I'm glad that at least two major sites, Reddit and Wikipedia, have blacked out for today in protest?

"But why? It's not like you thought it was going to pass anyways."

Ironically, it was this post, somebody who more or less agrees with me, that made me want to post this. From an itty bity little forum that nobody has ever heard of:

This all seems very silly. SOPA wasn't going to pass in the first place, lobbying alone would have kept a bunch of 70-somethings with absolutely no idea how the internet works from causing it to self-destruct, just like nearly every other vast overreach of power in U.S. history, and even if it had Obama, especially in an election year where young (read: internet reliant) people are again going to be an important group for him, was always destined to veto the f*** out of it. All this would have happened even if word about it didn't get passed around faster than a drunk virgin in a frat house, but when it did, this whole let's be overly dramatic and shut errything the f*** down thing became rather useless.

But I'm glad everyone went ahead and got their panties in a bunch anyway, and at the end of the day it's those silly websites losing ad revenues, not me.
 First off, Wikipedia doesn't even have ads; they run purely off of fundraising. Second, Google isn't shut down, they've just blacked out their logo, and Reddit is only shutting down for 12 hours in an effort to (hopefully) not affect international users. So yeah, they are losing somemoney, but nothing compared to the money they would lose if, for whatever reason, this ridiculous bill did pass and everything is shut down.

tl;dr: Better to protest now and alert Congress how the rest of the world feels about it, then to say nothing, and, oops! "D00d, Y cnt I do my hw on Wiki now?"

That said, why not have a little fun with some SOPA humor?

If you just search "Sopa" on Google images, you still get Pictures of Soup.

P.S. Facebook, you should have blacked out too, at least for something like, four hours.

P.S.S. Even if SOPA doesn't pass, there's a greater chance that PIPA could pass.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Here is What I have been Listening to Lately...

"It Makes No Difference" - The Band; Beautiful song, probably one of the best songs they ever did.

"This Night" - Billy Joel. Billy Joel is one of my favorite artists, though I had mostly ignored this song until recently, when it happened to come up on shuffle in my iTunes library. Now, it's among my favorites by him.

"Levon" - Elton John. I find this song all at once sad and quirky, if such a combination ever existed. 

"Shape of Things" - The Yardbirds. Fun Fact: This band started the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

"Family History: Part 1" on GoodKindles.

I ran across this site on Kindle Boards, and like always, I decided to give it a whirl. Check it out!

Facebook 'Like Button' Added.

You see it there, on the side?

Yeah, if you have Facebook, you really ought to click that little button?

Why? Well, because then, I won't have to spend money on advertising. Now that I have or will do that anyways.

Also, boyfriend really wants me to get a Twitter account as part of advertising. No offense to Twitter users, but I've been staunchly anti-Twitter since it became popular, so unless I start seeing a very large benefit of getting a twitter account anytime soon, there will be no updates from me on Twitter.

Also, don't forget to download a free copy of "The Night Life: Chapter 1" today...or Friday. Whenever, really.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Night Life: Chapter One is for Sale up on Amazon. However...

So, I'm pretty much an ignorant Little Spoon.

*Cough* I mean, I'm a big spoon.

Anyways, I was hoping that I would be able to offer a free preview of Chapter One of The Night Life up on Amazon; however, it seems that unless I put it up on Smashwords, I won't be able to do that for a little while.

Well, I'll get around to doing that eventually.

That said, unless you really want to fund the "KT Hall Fund" (ha), then seriously, do not bother paying the 99 cents for the book. If you're really that interested, I'm more than happy to send you a PDF.

Also, that said, it will be free for the next five days, give or take (ahem, take) for the next five days. So, you can also get it there.

FYI, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006XXOQX0

Like I said, though...don't buy it. Don't borrow it. Honestly, I'm probably going to remove it after a couple of "Free" days. This was done purely for advertising, and this is not something I want to sell. That feels dishonest at best.

Seriously, if you're reading this and are sincerely interested, just email me, comment here, or something.


Hooray for success!

Since January 4th, 2012, I've made $25.31 off "The Dowry" and "Family History".

Come on, you know you're insanely jealous of my immediate success.

That's more than 10% of my rent for the month, after all.

Or, it could be a meal or two from a Chinese Takeout place for Boyfriend and I.

Or, it could almost pay the gas bill for last month.

Yeah, you know it. I'm a success.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Family History: Part 2; Now Available, and Free in Amazon Today.

Family History: Part 2 can be viewed here.

I'm mostly experimenting by putting it up for free...will putting Part 2 up for free boost sales for Part 1? So far it seems to have worked semi well.

Description: In the midst of a heat wave during the spring of 1992, Mark Dowling finds himself stranded in the tiny town of Northgate, where he quickly befriends one of the Mayor's daughters, Lindsey Deland. A normally stable, secure, uptight town, Mark Dowling's arrival rocks the town to the core, and even the most predictable townsfolk find their lives changed irrevocably by not only Mark's presence, but also by Lindsey's long lost and newly returned Brother, Thomas.

More than one-hundred years after the end of "Family History: Part 1", the second half of this riveting tale follows the lives of Lindsey Deland, and later, her son. After more than a century, the once-forgotten family curse will be revisited as one man finds himself attempting to solve the problems that had plagued his family's line for the past two centuries.

Anyways, I'm thinking about kind of doing one free book per weekend, since right now, seems to be what is working for me in terms of getting readers. In an impatient attempt to get readers, I put 2 of my old books up and put them for free in close proximity to one another, and considering I had no "fan base" to start out with, I'm getting about a sale a day. I would call that something of a success, considering I've only been at this for 10 days.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Still a Noob at "Working" Amazon; however, I'm Pretty Sure "The Dowry" Actually Sold copies.

That's right! Three people, technically four, actually bought "The Dowry". You crazy bastards, you realize I wrote that when I was fifteen, right?
To the fourth person who returned my book: You realize I wrote that when I was fifteen, right? You're a smart man.

That said, offering a free download of "The Dowry" was a relative success. So far, there have been a total of 744 copies sold and downloaded. When I checked this morning, the number was at 741. So, at least three people actually decided that, for whatever reason, the book was worth buying. Probably that kick ass cover I created in about half an hour (re: I need to develop my 1337 Photoshop skills). So, between selling at least three copies, and the awesome thing a professor of mine said to me today, it's been a pretty good day.

By the way, for the one person who might read this between now and 1 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, "Family History: Part 1" is still free until, well, 1 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. That's 12 a.m. Pacific Time, 2 a.m. Central Time, and 3 a.m. for you Easterners. (See side bar.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Dowry: Free Download, 1/8/2012

The Dowry, by KT Hall

I was going to wait until 1 a.m., Mountain Standard Time, to make the official announce it and have it be true; however, I just got back from picking my roommate up from DIA (about a 2-2.5 hour drive from here), and even though all I did was sit in a car (okay, so really, I was just the GPS), I'm tired and do not want to wait another 40 minutes to "officially" announce it like I had planned.

That being said, I have had one or two well wishers, as well as one or two Redditors who have said, "Oh! Family History! That looks like an awesome book! I want!" - I have had no bites yet. That's right, donut holes.

So, I hope this works.


Seriously, though. This time zone thing is working against me right now, because even though it's already January 8th for me, it's not January 8th for those folks out in California.

However, if all goes as planned, California will be in the ocean soon anyways.

Speaking of which, this reminds me of this video, which I remember watching for the first time in something like 2003-2004:

Good night, everybody!

P.S. Google searches continue to yield increasing numbers of visitors searching for slutty outfits. The only appropriate response so far: LOL.

The Eventual Reality....

My Current Project: The Night Life

Dean Wesley Smith, who's blog I tend to read once in a blue moon, seems to think (at least in this post) that many writers have the ability to churn out a book in about six months. That's two books a year.

I'm not saying it's not possible; however, I don't see that happening for me anytime soon.

For example, I've been working on my current project, entitled The Night Life, since February 2010.

Now, yeah, that is almost two years. However, in two years, I've completed two drafts, and I'm working on the third right now. So far, the third has been slow going, especially since I'm working on some of the less exciting parts of the story, parts of the story that are necessary to understanding the lives of the characters, but are just not the most fun to work on and tweak.

The "real" Tanya Roberts.
The story takes place in the tiny town of Socorro, NM (to this day, I'm not 100% sure on why I chose this location) and centers around the lives of three people: Richard Broozer, Tanya Roberts, and "Jane". (Note: when I chose Tanya's name, I had no clue that she shared a namesake with the actress who plays "Midge" in That 70's Show.

Richard Broozer is somewhat of a secretive man, who, since his mother's unexpected death, was put in charge of running his father's old strip club. He does so begrudgingly, mainly to appease his father and keep peace in his crumbling family. However, Richard also struggles with a secret he finds himself fearful of revealing, especially to his father: he is gay.

Tanya Roberts, meanwhile, is an employee of Richard's. A former engineering dropout, she supports herself with erotic dancing in Richard's club, The Night Life. She mentions an interest in journalism; however, due to the modern media market and pressure from her mother, she chose instead to forego that passion. Her life, for the most part, remains stagnant.

"Jane" is discovered by Richard one day. She is found wandering aimlessly in a convenience store, where she confesses to Richard that she remembers nothing, not even her own name. After some deliberation, Richard takes her in, but at something of a price: Richard convinces Jane that, prior to a drunken night, they were a couple, and that she belongs to him. 

I hope, one day, I will finish The Night Life (don't worry - I will).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Color Photos from the 1950's

A Collection of Colored Photos from the 1950's from CNN.

I love these photos, because first off, it seems so rare to see colored photographs from before about the 1960's and 1970's.

For whatever reason, I feel compelled to post some of my favorites here.

To the left, this one is one of my favorites in the first set, merely because it is probably the first one that is very obviously from the 1950's. For me, these kinds of dresses on women that young are very rare to see in this day and age. Nowadays, such attire would probably be questioned - "You look nice, where are you going?" Not that these three people weren't already going somewhere nice - it is likely, particularly since the man is also gussied up in a suit and tie.

More amazing, though, is the sheer quality of the photo. There's absolutely no grain, very few strange, out of place colors, etc. It almost appears staged in a way, as if somebody dressed these people up, tracked down a vintage restored car, and ordered these people to stand and pretend they lived 50-60 years ago.

The photo to the left, on the other hand, shows a girl (teenaged girl?) celebrating her birthday. Or, at least, we assume it is her birthday, since she is the one sitting in front of the cake. I love this photo, because this scene is one that is probably a familiar image from many of our childhoods, and yet, based on the style of the hutch in the background, you kind of get the feeling that the girl is celebrating her birthday in her grandmother's house. At least, that was my first thought. However, I think that, when you think about it, it is momentarily amazing that birthdays obviously have not changed much in the past 50-60 years.

I'll admit it, this photo (left) I like mostly because of the woman standing second to the right. Either she is very unhappy to be at this outdoor buffet/party, or she completely missed the instructions to "Smile for the camera!" Other than that, I mostly love seeing all of these women wearing dresses, since such a sight in these times is so rare to see.

Rick Santorum's Wife's Abortion was Different.

We all know the saying, "The Only Good Abortion is My Abortion."

We all know people who claim they would "fight to the death" for abortion to be illegal.

Mother's life in danger? "She still has a chance!" Young teenager raped? "Well, it's not the baby's fault that it happened!" Incest? See the latter.

However, abortion is an issue where, at this point, not much more can be added to the debate, so I'm not even going to try. At this point in time, there's very little sense in me doing a post right now that details my thoughts and feelings on the matter.

That being said, here is an excellent article about Rick Santorum and his wife's abortion, which took place in 1996.

Also, for some momentary political humor, check out Spreading Santorum.