Tuesday, October 28, 2008

She's Teaching me About Employment and the Economy

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, created a host of careers for the characters in the society from which I hail, but she can't wave the magic pen and create jobs for her friends who are looking for work in your society. After speaking with one of these friends, she started to explain something to me. War, high gas and food prices, a housing market meltdown, record unemployment numbers, etc. make the headlines—and have been making the headlines for years. The mass media bombards already stressed people with constant negativity, constant gloom-and-doom.

You can't turn on the television or radio without hearing some negative political ad frightening middle-class America about their health benefits or some negatively charged news story trying to out-sensationalize the "other station's" negatively charged news story. A local job fair drew 11 employers and more than 700 job seekers one weekday afternoon and the local news stations couldn't stop emphasizing how this was a harbinger of doom for the area…and with three more hours of the job fair to go!

But the television and radio aren't the only culprits feeding your society's stress. The front page of newspapers flash the latest business closings and County job cuts, leading above the fold with headlines that state the number of people losing their jobs for the sake of saving taxpayer dollars. You can't fire up your e-mail server without seeing headlines that tell of war, death totals, the latest victims in corporate scandals, etc.

It's enough to drive an already stressed out person over the edge. (Sandy would be an already stressed out person, by the way.) It's enough to make you want to unplug all devices that can receive a signal.

What brought this to her mind was a job interview one of her friends went on. It was at a rehab center. THAT place is hiring. THAT place is at capacity. THAT place needs more employees to handle the influx of disturbed, substance-abusing people who seek medical attention to help them through this troubled time.

And that's a shame.

What has this society come to when stress is so great that, as a community, people are falling apart? It will be so wonderful when the elections are over and the political crap can stop. It will be wonderful when the eventual upswing in the economy takes place. It will be wonderful when people stop listening to the constant bombardment of crap and start accepting that there are good things going on around them, too. Won't it be a great day when there's so much good news that the local news station will have no choice but to lead with a good news story?

In the meantime, Sandy encourages you to try to look on the bright side of life. (She also suggests a great fantasy novel at this Amazon page to take you out of reality for a while.) She posts inspirational quotes at her main blog every morning and tries to give fun, light, creative writing ideas there. She says we can't bury our heads in the sand (wait…what? How would you breathe? Oh, well, it's a strange colloquialism!) …we can't bury our heads in the sand, but we can shut out some of the negativity, focus on the positives and uplifting things around us, and wait out the tough times together.

Looking forward to a great news day,
Nigel Taiman
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

She Got Up Too Early

But it's not her fault. Nor (this time) is it mine. You know how I like to offer subliminal suggestions to my fantasy author when she's sleeping...and this often results in her waking up and writing in the middle of the night or early in the morning. It can make her very fussy with me, but the results are worth it.

Today was not my fault. Today she curses Waste Management.

You see, she's got the windows thrown open wide to give the air conditioner (thus the electric bill) a break. I suggested this might be unsafe but she lives on the second floor and she figures anyone climbing up to break through the screens in the middle of the night deserves a sword through the heart anyway (yes, she keeps the cutlery near the bed). But this morning at the cheery hour of 5 a.m. the garbage truck emptied the dumpster about 40 yards from her bedroom window. It first had to back into position with its backup alarm wailing.

She's not pleased. I think this means Tuesday nights will find the air conditioner on and the windows closed.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She Found This Blogsite...

I'm not happy.

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, reviewed a site called Writers and Authors over at Today the Dragon Wins this morning and it has me quite concerned. She liked the site. In fact, she went on and on in rapturous tones saying, "oh, check this out!" and "oh, look at this!" and "oh, there's a thesaurus!" Whatever that is. (Okay, she's just explained that the thesaurus is part of an "Online Reference" tool that the administrator, Jo Linsdell, has up all the time on the site.)

This site has myriad features that are going to lure my author back when she should be listening to me. It has interviews with other authors and she's just always intrigued by what other authors have to say about their publishing experiences. It can be exasperating for us characters when we're trying to force-feed ideas, you know.

And then yesterday there was an article about Lulu.com, which had facts that Sandy obviously didn't know about because she felt the need to interrupt me and read them to me while I was trying to interrupt her. It's all very disconcerting. I went to the site myself when Sandy took a break. The mission statement claims the site is "a place for people in the writing industry to gather and share experiences, tips and advice. Not to mention promote their latest work and discuss various topics related to the writing industry. Included in this blog you will also find; links to sites for writers, competitions and contests, interviews, writer and book event listings and more..." Just what I need: competitions and contests to take Sandy's mind off the job of editing Book III.

Blast Jo Linsdell for making the site so inviting to writers. If you're a character, I tell you to avoid letting your author find it. Avoid it at all costs. If you're a writer...well...it's at this link.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She Reminds You That Choices Meant for Gods is Available as an Inexpensive eBook, Too

Whether you enjoy collecting hardcover books for your shelves or not, sometimes cash for such luxuries runs low. Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is in a "low-cash" phase these days due to medical bills, foreclosure, etc., so she empathizes with others in negative cashflow situations. (She says "it sucks a lot.")

So, for those of you who want to read new fantasy but don't have the funds to pick up Choices Meant for Gods at the local Barnes & Noble or Hastings book store, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender has your answer. Download the pdf from the publisher's site. It's only $3.99.

You see, the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods is the story of the amazing heroine, Amanda Chariss. It tells of love, tolerance, overcoming insurmountable odds, standing up for yourself, not backing down, coming of age, befriending dragons, and irritating evil sorcerers…but not everyone in the world is able to shell out nearly $30 for a hard cover, first edition book from a fantasy author they've never read before. Enter the oh-so-economical eBook.

If you're unsure about your $4-purchase, you can read a bunch of five-star reviews of Choices Meant for Gods on the Amazon page... Then link over to ArcheBooks Publishing to order/download the electronic version for much less money than the physical book. You can also read the first three chapters for free at that same link.

I know you'll enjoy the story.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

She's Free

After 17 long months of waiting on "the other side" to get "their" act together, my fantasy author is finally free. Yes, she's single again. And she's very pleased with this.

Seventeen months ago, she filed for divorce from someone who is divorce-worthy. And that's all she's going to allow me to say about this person. (If you've been following the blog from home, you know I've wanted to run him through with a sword on more than one occasion. What!? It's my blog! I'm allowed commentary.)

Fine. She's told me to mind my manners.

The point of this post is to say that Fantasy Author Sandy Lender is rejoicing. She's keeping the pen name for pen name purposes, of course. You don't do several years of marketing, while you know you're getting your maiden name back, and then switch gears on everyone. Besides, the name "Lender" is in the middle of the alphabet and is more likely to get browsers at the book store. (See the pseudonym discussion that went on quite heavily during the entire month of June at Today the Dragon Wins. Several guest bloggers and visitors had interesting comments concerning last names.)

Now that Sandy is single again, there will be fewer manic visits to the attorney's office when "the other side" misses a deadline (oh, you have no idea...a divorce with no children and no assets doesn't go on for 17 months unless one side is actively insane...what!? I'm merely stating my opinion!) Fine. Once again, I'm stating here and now that I'm pleased to see my fantasy author freed up to write instead of flitting off to the attorney's office. She's free to buy paper and toner cartridges because the "other side's" $4,000+ overdue bill is NOT landing in her lap after all. She's free to date a guy if she decides we're worth the time (although, I should warn all members of my sex that she keeps swords and a short temper these days...and she does write about ways to kill sorcerers with or without magic...)

That's my subtle way of suggesting everyone stay clear and let her write.

Congratulations are in order!
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