Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[Ancestry/Life Philosophy] 30 Northern [European] Praiseworthy Virtues

(**My comment: An excellent list to use as a guide for becoming a better person and living a more balanced and meaningful life -- at least to me. These are all virtues worth cultivating, regardless of who you are.**)

What are the 30 Northern Praiseworthy Virtues?

Definition of praiseworthy (adj)
Bing Dictionary
[ práyz wùrt͟hee ]
admirable: deserving praise
synonyms: admirable, commendable, laudable, worthy, exemplary, creditable

Viking rules were simple

The Praiseworthy Virtues of the North

This list of praiseworthy ethics is taken directly from the lore of Northern Europe. Nothing listed is modern opinion but, instead, comes from the very words of our Northern European ancestors. Their wisdom and knowledge was recorded in the sagas and Eddas. This word-hoard to the English-speaking peoples in its legend, song, and story is our source. It is a very mine of "noble and pleasant beauty and high manhood," as Sparling terms the Eddas and sagas in his introduction to the Morris and Magnússon translation of Völsunga Saga. These ancestors of the Northern European peoples are the source of what is thought to be praiseworthy. Their wisdom is timeless and what was praiseworthy then, is praiseworthy now. For a more complete examination of these ethics as they appear in Northern lore, see Trúlög and Sögumál.

What is praiseworthy?

1. Gifting is praiseworthy.
2. Generosity is praiseworthy.
3. Moderation is praiseworthy.
4. The maintaining of frith in all circumstances is praiseworthy.
5. Courage is praiseworthy.
6. The seeking of good over ill is praiseworthy.
7. Hospitality is praiseworthy.
8. Courtesy is praiseworthy.
9. Tolerance is praiseworthy.
10. The pursuit of wisdom and knowledge is praiseworthy.
11. The defense of freedom is praiseworthy.
12. Industriousness is praiseworthy.
13. Vigilance is praiseworthy.
14. The protection, nurturing and forbearing of kin is praiseworthy.
15. Showing respect for elders is praiseworthy.
16. Loyalty to friends and kin is praiseworthy.
17. Keeping an oath is praiseworthy.
18. Honoring the sanctity of marriage is praiseworthy.
19. Refraining from mockery is praiseworthy.
2o. Refraining from arrogance is praiseworthy.
21. Making kin, honor and justice more important than gold is praiseworthy.
22. Cleanliness is praiseworthy.
23. The maintaining of one's dignity in all situations is praiseworthy.
24. Good organization is praiseworthy.
25. Persistence is praiseworthy.
26. The rule of law is praiseworthy.
27. To try one's steel against an opponent fairly is praiseworthy.
28. Respect for the dead is praiseworthy.
29. For a man to never strike a woman is praiseworthy.
30. To not abuse one's power is praiseworthy.


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Smashwords: Dan Poynter, The Father of Self Publishing, Passes...

Smashwords: Dan Poynter, The Father of Self Publishing, Passes...: Sad news.  Dan Poynter, the man I consider the father of modern day self publishing, passed away yesterday after a long illness. Dan le...

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Only 99 cents through November! Marked for the Best by Lilith Braun (horror/paranormal/erotica)

Grab your copy now for only 99 cents through November. 
Horror/paranormal/erotica—Adults only!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the place where my family and I live

For those of you who know that my family and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you also may know about the tragic shooting deaths that occurred downtown yesterday. Everyone in our family is okay, but please keep the families who lost loved ones yesterday in your thoughts.

The people who were gunned down and lost their lives did nothing wrong. They were minding their own business, just living their lives. Until a selfish, rifle-toting man bent on chaos and destruction mowed them down like animals.

We live about five to ten minutes from where the final shootout occurred, depending on the volume of traffic. We often pass through that intersection (90% of the time, in fact) when we head downtown. It's in a neighborhood where nobody would think it wasn't safe to walk, ride your bicycle, or stand outside on your porch.

We've often gone through that drive-thru at Wendy's, as well as the McDonald's across the street from where the shootout with police happened. There will never be a time that we will go by there in the future that we won't be reminded that innocent people lost their lives there.

The people who were shot by the gunman were random people on the street, just minding their business on a Saturday Halloween morning. This was a senseless tragedy that did not need to happen. My heart aches for their surviving family and friends.

We do not have any other info than you may have read at this point. However, this is not something we could've ever guessed would happen here in Colorado Springs. But I guess that's a refrain we hear all too often these days.

Thank you to the police officers who risked their lives to stop this man from killing more people. If it had been a Monday morning, there probably would've been more victims.

As you spend tonight with your family and friends, please keep the victims' families in your thoughts during this awful time.

Thank you, stay safe, and much love to all.

(**NOTE: Please do not use the comments of this post to begin a debate about guns. Quite frankly, I don't want to hear about guns right now. Right now I want to use this post to ask people to remember the victims and their families. Any comments that go against this request will be deleted.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

[Shared post] Writing a 750-page novel? Don’t.

[Want more posts like this? Visit The Writer's Dominatrix]

Thinking of writing a book over 500 pages? How about 700? Or even 900 pages?

Do yourself—and your readers—a favor. DON’T.

Yes, some books are huge, like Stephen King’s tome, The Stand. But most of us are not Stephen King. What’s more, if you’re a new writer, most readers aren’t going to stick with your book much past 300 pages. That’s right, reader engagement often drops after that length. So tighten that shit up, folks. Hack, slash, and edit until your book manuscript is as close to the magic page or word count as you can get it.

Chances are, you can tell your story in fewer pages. Big-ass books by inexperienced authors usually mean there’s a lot of editing needed. Unless your book is outstanding or special in some way, readers won’t finish your tome. I don’t care how much you think it’s the next Great American Novel.

Writing a manuscript that’s over 500 pages—much less 900 pages—will get your masterpiece put back on the shelf or unpublished in the first place (if you go the traditional publishing route, that is).

You can do one of two things:

1. Rein in your ego, write tighter, and increase your chances of selling lots of books.

2. Ignore my advice, struggle to engage readers, and fail miserably at selling copies of your bloated tome.

Are there exceptions? Of course! There are exceptions to everything, you silly wabbit.

For instance, if you’re writing a literary novel, your word count will be markedly different than that of a picture book or YA novel. Use common sense. Do your research and hit the so-called sweet spot on your word/page count.

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to gamble on being the exception to the rule. You feelin’ lucky, punk or punkette?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

[Blog post from The Writer's Dominatrix] Are you a give-a-shit writer?

Originally published at The Writer's Dominatrix

Look, I get that writing a book manuscript isn’t easy. I know it takes countless hours of your life and it can drain your brain like nothing else. If writing were an easy feat, every person would do it. But that’s no excuse for sloppy manuscript submissions. At the minimum, you should have punctuation in your manuscript, as well as paragraphs. Who the hell thinks having NO PARAGRAPHS in a manuscript is a good idea?!*

(*Interrobangs are so much fun to use, aren’t they?)

Please, respect your editor and publisher. Don’t send them a manuscript that’s laden with errors and half-assed efforts like missing quotation marks (really?). Does a person who never uses quotation marks realize that dialogue requires such marks, or were they too damned lazy to bother with it in the first place? I’m betting on the latter.

While you’re at it, why don’t you run a cursory spell check so it appears you made an attempt to check your work in some small way before you shunted it off to your editor or publisher? Yeah, that would be nice. Oh, wait. Is that too much to ask? For many so-called writers, it is. Learning the craft of writing is SO last century, isn’t it? I mean, who has the TIME? *insert hair flip*

You can always tell the difference between writers who sling together a manuscript in hopes of selling a bunch of books to make a wad of cash versus a writer who takes the craft of writing seriously. The latter will obsess over every. little. detaileven after the manuscript is out of his or her hands. In fact, once the book is published, the caring writer will still regret not making even more changes before the book found its way onto the bookshelves. This type of writer gives a shit.

And the slapdash writer? This is the kind I want to strangle (not really, but the angry emotion is there). Well, that writer doesn’t give a damn about much of anything. They’ll serve up a pile of prosaic poop and expect their editor to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Who needs to know anything about spelling and grammar, right? The editor should fix all of it, so why does the writer need to know the difference between their/there/they’re? Who has time for figuring out and learning homophones, right? This type of writer gives no shits…at all. They’re the type who will fling crap at a wall and then expect others to turn it into a Picasso. If you’re this type of writer, you’re an asshole. Yep, I said it because it’s true.

The funny thing is, once writers who don’t give a shit have their books published, they’re shocked to learn they’re not outselling J.K. Rowling. Take it from me: these writers almost always go out of their way to tell you how they are the next big thing in the literary world and how all their books will be bestsellers.

Conversely, the writer who gives a shit hardly, if ever, allows those words pass his or her lips. It all leads back to thinking of writing as a craft and something you do for your entire life, as opposed to something you do on a lark to see if you can rake in money so you can brag about it to your Aunt Martha at Christmas time.

Writers who care will write no matter what. Most of the time, they want to earn a living with their words so they can keep writing as a career instead of being stuck in a hellish cubicle doing something they absolutely hate. They cannot NOT write. It’s not possible. Writing is not just what they do, but is an essential part of who they ARE.

People who masquerade as writers only give a shit about writing when they can get something superficial out of it. You won’t find these types at literary meet-ups or discussing the wonders of Shakespeare or Murakami. They won’t know who Jack Kerouac is, nor will they know the difference between David Sedaris and David Copperfield (he’s an author, right?). Because, heck, they probably don’t read much. Reading is for boring people, you see. They may even brag that they haven’t read a book since high school or college. They aren’t concerned with the importance of literature OR the art and craft of writing. They’re concerned with the potential for fame and quick cash to use for their next casino trip to Las Vegas.

It pains me to say it, but the people I’ve described in the previous paragraph are still considered writers. If you write, you’re a writer. But not all writers are the same. This type of writer never earns my respect, nor will they ever. They use writing like it’s little more than a White Chapel whore for their personal pleasure. They use it, wring out what pleasure or benefit they can, and then toss it to the side with nary a backward glance. They don’t truly care about books, writing, literature, authors, readers, or anything of the sort. It’s all about what’s in it for them — that’s it. They’re users, not givers.

Do me a favor, will ya? Strive to become the type of writer who gives a shit, not the kind who doesn’t. If you don’t have the proper respect for books and writing, find another hobby. We need more givers and fewer takers. Which one are you?

Friday, October 16, 2015

[Author recommendation] Rebecca Forster

This is my longtime friend and colleague, Rebecca Forster. She has been an author for a LONG time (decades!) and she is amazing!

Please stop by her author page and give her some love, if you would. Then grab some of her books on Amazon. You won't be disappointed! She's been one of my mentors since the early 90s! Such a wonderful human being, too. Love her!