Meet Elisa Michelle

I want to introduce you to Elisa Michelle.

Elisa’s a writer who is, besides being very, very young, on a quest to find herself in the convoluted and crazy world which is publishing in 2011. She’s very talented (and I’ve always thought so, from our earliest encounters on deviantART), and is trying her hand at sort of a dark fantasy-dystopian future sort of novel series. (She has to finish the first one though.)

Elisa’s very smart, but she’s also young and impressionable. Nevertheless, she presses on as best she can and I think she does a decent job of weighing her options. She’s also very good at procrastinating.

I’ve offered to help Elisa with her writing, though she hasn’t taken me up on it (she might not think much of me as a writer — I certainly don’t at this point). But like most other writers I know, she thrives on feedback. And one story she wrote recently got picked up and put on StumbleUpon. Once it did, she got thousands of hits and hundreds of reads, and now she has dozens and dozens of comments too. The piece wasn’t stellar in its writing, and may not even have been a unique or unusual idea, but the piece spoke to so many people. The writing’s weaknesses and flaws actually helped it read more realistically than if she’d cleaned it up too much. And the reviews are, to a person as far as I know, positive.

So, I thought I’d take a moment and introduce you to Elisa Michelle, an up and coming writer with a lot of talent and not nearly as much security or resolution as she needs. (Yes, dear, you need to decide whether you’ll publish or self-publish, get in or get out, and get on.)

Check out her work, and let her know what you think.

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, all rights reserved.

‘Nother Late Post

Well, I’m late getting this one up again. Sorry.

I honestly have an excuse this time though. We had overnight company last night and enjoyed IRL face-to-face interaction with a childhood friend of my wife’s who came in from California. The people he’s staying with paid for his trip, have paid for all his meals, drove him down and dropped him off to be with us and will be picking him up again today. And all this without accepting our offer of money for gas, dinner, a hotel room or even cookies. What generous folk they are!

Because of their good hearts we have a chance to see someone we haven’t seen in almost 10 years and spend good, quality time with him. It’s been a blessing beyond what I can express, and I know my beloved is glad she didn’t have to miss the chance because our crappy car limited how far we could go. That and my job, of course.

So that’s why I’m late posting, but hopefully I’ll have something for you on Friday. No promises though, because I’m WAY behind on my non-fiction thing and didn’t do squat with that last night.

See ya!

-JDT-

Hey, Yellowcat, I.O.U. …

… an apology.

Last time I posted (a week ago now!), I mentioned my friend Yellowcat and said I didn’t always agree with her in my post. In context, I was talking about how she posts on her amusing blog about her customers and how they act, but I never said that in my post. And even now, trying to explain, it’s a bit jumbled, so I know I didn’t communicate what I intended.

I was complaining – okay, raving – about people on Amazon who give a book a one-star rating because they don’t like the price. Well, the author doesn’t control that, and the author is the one reflected in those reviews. The other potential buyers looking at the ratings of a book will see several one-star ratings and might be put off buying it without reading the reviews themselves.

I said, in my last post, this is akin to someone giving my friend yellowcat a bad tip because they don’t like the restaurant’s policies or prices. I added that I don’t always agree with yellowcat’s viewpoints, but I said that without making it clear that I DO agree with her, completely, on that point. She should not – neither any other food server, for that matter, unless they participate directly in setting policies for the restaurant – be punished by poor tips for things out of her control.

I will clarify now: I agree that authors should not be punished for book pricing as I agree that yellowcat and people doing her job should not be punished for restaurant policy over which they have no control.

So, Yellowcat, I apologize for sounding like a complete ass who just disagrees with you. I think highly of you and I didn’t mean to appear otherwise. We don’t always agree on the customer-server conflicts, but I have always considered you a friend and I hope I haven’t offended you with this careless statement. It was not my intent to do so. I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness publicly.

In other news, I’m still slurping and slurping and slurping. *Sigh* I’ll miss NaNoWriMo again – I usually do – and this year I actually have ideas I could pump through. Oh well. Like I always say, there’s always next year.

So… how was your weekend?

God bless all.

-JDT-

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Painful Rounds

I’ve been to a few blogs over the last couple of days to find people I dind’t expect to reveal their pain revealing their pain.

Seems the world has been less than kind to a lot of people recently, and while a few I know seem to make a habit out of stepping into a barrel full of scat and coming out smelling like a rose, it’s been sort of eye-opening for me to find most people are as vulnerable to pain and suffering as I am. I guess misery really does love company.

Not that I’m wishing anything but good fortune on those I see and follow. In the blogosphere, the only real friends I have, I don’t like finding out how much agony there is. I pray for them when I know they’re hurting, but I’m learning a lot about prayer right now and well… I don’t know.

How about the faithful readers and commentators here? Any of you have something bothering you you’d like to unload? Anything hurting you right now, keeping the smile from your face, keeping the spring out of your step? Or maybe it’s more serious and is weighing heavy on your heart. Dragging you under, so to speak.

You’ve all been good to me, now I want to try and return the favor.

This is your thread. I’m not going to answer, but for everyone who leaves a little bit of their pain here, a little piece of your heart laid bare and hurting here, I’ll be praying over the weekend for you.

It’s all I can offer to do to help you, if that matters to you, and it’s the least I can do for those for whom I have cared so much.

Sound off if you’re of a mind to. And God bless.

-JDT-

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Who’s Your Friend?

Some of you have a lot of friends. I can tell because you write about them regularly on your blogs. You might be telling us about the weekend activities you shared like WIGSF, or it might just be the way you interact with them which indicates you have some sort of relationship, like my wife with her pals.

Most of you have friends. And outside lives to share with them.

I’m not of that ilk, however. I’m cut from far different leather than most of you. Some of you will find me “weird” or “different” — “unusual” at best – and that’s fine. Others will sympathize with me. Others will see themselves in me.

But I don’t have any friends outside of cyberspace. Not really.

When I was a boy, I had friends from school. Most of them lived more than walking distance from my house. Those who lived around me polarized into cliques when school started and summer friends became autumn enemies or winter cold shoulders. I met a few kids in relative walking distance from my house and those friendships could be nurtured a little. Then my family moved out of our old neighborhood, established with kids and settled residents, and into a new neighborhood. Shortly thereafter, I went to a new school. After that, nothing was the same.

The Catholic school kids I met seemed nice. They seemed like quality people. They weren’t. Having money to send kids to a parochial school didn’t make them better people, only better educated than the teeming filthy dirt-children of the California public school system. (At that time, among the worst in the nation; I’m not sure that’s changed much.) They were only schoolyard friends for the most part. They had friendships forged long into their pasts – I mean, I joined them in sixth grade and they’d been in that school and chumming around since kindergarten or first grade, maybe longer. Several of them grew up near the school and they lived there until the newer developments uptown called their parents to bigger homes, nicer homes, more affluent (-appearing) homes. So they had their cliques well established.

They sort of let me in for a while. I continued trying to be friends with them – one lived only a short walk from me until I moved away in 1991 – through high school. Blindly loyal, I stick by people until it becomes painfully, blatantly obvious I’m being stupid, which takes more extreme measures in some cases than in others. I stuck with them despite some of the mistreatment I got. (As an example: I was the most popular of the “crowd” when I got my driver’s license months before the next one of their clan; once I wasn’t the only one able to drive, I stopped getting invitations to join them on the weekends and such. But I was too stupid to figure it out until much, much later. Oh, and also, they lied about it.)

I have one friend, still living to my knowledge, whom I’ve known from birth, literally. My mother used to hold him atop her stomach while she was pregnant with me. He’s a year, a month and a day older than I am. He was a good friend, but distance and absence wreak havoc on relationships. I lost touch with him permanently when I moved to Illinois. A few phone calls, but the last of those occurred in … what? 2001? Something like that? It’s been a long, long time. It’s okay; I wouldn’t want him to see me this way anyhow.

I’ve had a few “friends” from various jobs I’ve held, but like school friends, they’re only situational. Movement shifts things. I don’t have any friends now except those with whom I can maintain contact over the Internet – via their blog or mine or email. Sad, but true. And my poor ability to keep in touch with people doesn’t help. Most of my friends end up putting forth the lion’s share of effort in that regard, I’m sad to say.

How about you? Where do the bulk of your friendships lie? Where did you meet most of your friends? How good are you at keeping in touch?

Sound off, then have a great weekend. 🙂

-JDT-

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