My fourth book just hit the (Internet) streets!

29 June 2014

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I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t posted anything since the release of my third book, “The Glory of a King” (still available for only 99 cents at Amazon.com and BN.com!). In my defense, I’ve been busy … working on my fourth book. And now “One World, Infinite Possibilities” is done, and it’s out, and its beautiful bold cover is staring you right in the face! Yayyyy!

And of all my books so far, I’m kind of happiest about this one. Not because it’s the latest, or that it’s intrinsically better than all my other books (I love ALL my books equally). But because it’s representative of a lifelong love affair with science fiction.

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“The Glory of a King” – my third book is out!

31 May 2014

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Getting the word out – my latest book is now available! “The Glory of A King” is a romantic novella set in a post-apocalyptic, post-technological future. Andrew I, monarch of the Kingdom Between the Rivers, is doing his best to rule wisely, with justice and mercy. He guides the army as they defend the borders, adjudicates disputes, manages economic affairs, whatever it takes to provide some stability for his people. But he does it alone – there is no queen by his side …

And then one morning, a mysterious – yet oddly familiar – woman, dressed in rags, shows up in his throne room, sees him … and passes out cold.

The simple, unexpected event, and everything that flows from it, turns Andrew’s life upside down. Who is this woman? What does she want? What will happen as a result of her arrival in the palace? And could this poor, homeless woman really be true love for a lonely king?

Well, to find out, you’ll have to read it. “The Glory of a King” is available for 99 cents (WHAT A DEAL!) at for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook e-readers. Amazon also has a free downloadable app that will allow you to read it on your PC or smartphone, so if you don’t have a Kindle or Nook, you’re covered.

“The Glory of a King” was actually the first work of it’s size I ever wrote – I created the first version of it in 2000 as a present for my wife Nina (to whom this version is dedicated). It’s one of the longest stories I’ve ever written, at over 20,000 words. And it ended up serving as a dry-run test for some of the concepts in my first novel, “The Slave Auction,” which I hope to have out this autumn – they both take place in the same “story universe,” with the same post-apocalyptic background.

Anyway, check it out, buy it, read it, review it and tell your friends about it. I think you’ll enjoy it a lot. I know my wife did.


The Redskins petition – and what it does (and doesn’t) mean

25 May 2014

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It was interesting to see that 49 United States senators signed a petition pointing out that the nickname of the NFL’s Washington Redskins is racist and urging the NFL to push the team to change their name. (Yes, I know that the graphic above says 50, and that it’s been reported in the news as 50. I’ve seen the petition and counted the signatures; it has 49 of them.) My immediate reaction was that this was a pretty damning indictment – nearly HALF the U.S. Senate saying you should do something is a pretty strong hint.

But then I looked into two things: the petition, and the signers. First of all, the petition is completely non-binding – it only “urges” Roger Goodell and the National (dramatic pause) Football League to “endorse a name change.” It only carries what I believe in legal circles is called “the force of moral suasion” – and given that these are politicians we’re talking about here, I don’t know how much moral force that really carries.

And second, there’s the matter of who signed it. There’s an online copy of the petition (you can take a gander at it here), showing specifically who put their John Hancocks on this piece. I recognized a lot of the names immediately … but I also realized a lot of big senatorial names weren’t on it. And the more I started looking, the more I started suspecting what might be missing … Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t call it a comeback! (… but okay, it’s a comeback)

22 May 2014

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Yes, indeed – after two years plus, I have returned to the blogosphere! (Loud, clamorous applause.) It’s been a long, difficult time – full of personal growth, adjustments to circumstances, and a few hospital visits – but I’ve come through (most of) it and am, I think, the better for it.

However, right at the start I must admit that I’m returning with an ulterior motive. Namely, promotion. You see, in the 25 months since I put this blog into mothballs, I’ve become a published author.

No, really, I have! In December 2013, I released my first e-book, a short-story collection entitled “Labors of Love: Three Short Tales of Hard-Won Romance.” I followed that up in April 2014 with another collection, “Survivors’ Tales: Stories of Lives, Loves and Dreams that Go Against the Odds.” (Both of these links are for the Kindle edition; Amazon also has an free app you can download to read them on your PC, tablet or smartphone.  If you have a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, you can go here and here.) They’re only short books, but I’ve been told not to “despise the day of small beginnings” – and let’s face it, one has to start somewhere. Besides, I think they’re really good (granted, I’m biased, but still).

And this is only the start. My hope is to have six books in circulation by the end of the year:

  • The Glory of a King – a romantic novella; aiming for a May 30 release.
  • One World, Infinite Possibilities – a collection of Earth- and near-Earth-based short science fiction stories; late June/early July.
  • The Slave Auction – my first novel, a post-apocalyptic/quasi-medieval romance; September.
  • An Unwanted Arrangement – another novel, this one set among the nobility of a similar-to-Earth world; November.

The two novels, if things work out, will become the first books in their respective series. And by “if things work out,” I absolutely mean “if they sell enough copies.” Because, while I write because I can’t not write (to quote Judy Blume), I publish to support my family. I sell books, I have money to support them better. I don’t sell books, I don’t have that money. That’s, alas, the way the world works.

So at least part of the time, this blog will be devoted to promoting my books in the hope that people will like what they see and buy them. I’ll also be talking about the state of Christianity in America, my wife’s and son’s disabilities, politics, movies, sports, pop culture and whatever else chances to tumble out of my flea market of a brain – just like I did from 2009 to 2012. But the books, and the process of making them, will make up a goodly percentage. And if you’re inclined to help, the best way you can do so is to click the links above, buy my writings (don’t worry, they won’t break the bank), read them, love them, leave positive reviews for them and tell your family/friends/neighbors/co-workers/missionaries that come to your door to do the same. It’d sure help. And I think you’ll like them, so it shouldn’t be a hardship.

Glad to be back. Let’s do this.

 


Mothballed

30 April 2012

This is the first blog post I’ve written in over two months.  And, for a while at least, it’s going to be the last.

I’ve enjoyed writing here, and I like to think I’ve sent a few things from here out into the world that were worth reading.  I don’t consider it for a moment to have been a waste of my time, and I’ve appreciated most of the feedback I’ve received.  But since I began this blog — way back in December of 2008 — my life has changed dramatically, largely in ways that I wouldn’t wish on Anders Breivik.  And it’s affected my ability to write, and to write consistently.

So after much prayer and thought, I’m going to do what I probably should’ve done a long time ago.  As of this writing, “Ray Anselmo, Professional Outsider” is going into mothballs.*

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Fading out on the 2012 Oscars

25 February 2012

So it’s usually about this time of year that I wrap up a series of blog entries predicting (well, attempting to) the winners of the Academy Awards.  Last year, it ended up as three or four entries, probably about 10,000 words, complete with historical markers and rules of thumb for how each category tends to go.  I’ve had fun doing it, had some success as well (last year I picked 18 of the 24 winners correctly), and I hope people have had fun reading it.

This year … it’ll just be this one article.  A month or so ago, I was all revved up for doing a big showstopper franchise of columns, but it ended up as just this little indie production.

Now, I’ll grant that part of the reason was the depression I’ve been pushing through the last couple of months (see my previous post).  But another part of the reason was that it’s been a pretty blah movie awards season.  And much of the reason for that was that 2011 was a pretty blah year for movies — especially the type of movies that tend to win Oscars.

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On depression and grace

23 February 2012

Another week and a half, another absence from the blog.  No matter how often this happens, I never seem to get used to it.

I know I should be more consistent with this.  For one, I have plenty of things to say.  For another, people seem to like them (or at least read them).  And I know the best way to “build traffic” to a blog is to post something, anything, every day.  So I know these long absences are working against my best interests.

And yet they still occur.  The reason they still occur, while simple to state, is not so simply remedied.  Basically, I find it hard to write when I’m depressed.

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