Author Archives: David Booker

About David Booker

A brief (and somewhat ambiguous) biography. One hundred words, more or less, about David Booker might include the following: though lost in the cosmos without a compass, he has nonetheless managed to find his way into middle age. As to what he will do now that he is there is still a matter of speculation. He often seeks guidance from his youthful daughter as he alternately approaches and retreats from the slow expansion of his waistline and the slow collapse of Western Civilization as he knows it. He hopes the two will reach a libration (or libation) point and he will creep into old age with some dignity and clothes intact.

Monday morning writing joke: “Zombies, part 3″

Q.: What did the French zombie waiter say to his customers?

A.: “Brain appetite.”

A zombie went to a zombie doctor for his yearly checkup. The doctor asked him what he had been eating lately.

The zombie said, “Writer’s brains.”

The zombie doctor told him to quit before he got “Clogged authories.”

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Big Publishing is the Problem | Hugh Howey

Big Publishing is the Problem | Hugh Howey.

A few weeks ago, I speculated that Hachette might be fighting Amazon for the power to price e-books where they saw fit, or what is known as Agency pricing. That speculation was confirmed this week in a slide from Hachette’s presentation to investors:

So, no more need to speculate over what this kerfuffle is about. Hachette is strong-arming Amazon and harming its authors because they want to dictate price to a retailer, something not done practically anywhere else in the goods market. It’s something US publishers don’t even do to brick and mortar booksellers. It’s just something they want to be able to do to Amazon.

The biggest problem with Hachette’s strategy is that Hachette knows absolutely nothing about retail pricing. That’s not their job. It’s not their area of expertise. They don’t sell enough product direct to consumers to understand what price will maximize their earnings. Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple have that data, not Hachette.

Beyond their ignorance of pricing strategy, Hachette also has a strong bias toward print books. Their existing relationships with major brick and mortar retailers gets in the way of their e-book pricing. This has been confirmed by my own publishers, who have admitted privately that they would like to experiment with digital pricing but don’t want to upset print book retailers. This puts their pricing strategy at odds with their investors’ needs, their authors’ needs, even their own profitability. In sum, they are making irrational decisions with their pricing philosophy. Hachette is making the same mistake that many publishers make, which is to think that harming Amazon somehow helps themselves.

The same presentation by Hachette to investors stressed the importance of DRM and

The rest of the article at: http://www.hughhowey.com/big-publishing-is-the-problem/

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The blathering idiot and the Pro-Accordion Party returns

The blathering idiot opened his front door. On the other side was Lydia and … and the consultant. The consultant was in front.

“May we come in?” the consultant asked, but was inside before he finished the question.

Lydia followed him in.

“Is your child home today?” the consultant asked.

“Child?”

“Your daughter?”

“I don’t have a daughter.”

“Xenia,” Lydia said.

“She is not my daughter,” the blathering idiot said. “It would be nice if she were, but she is my ex-girlfriend’s daughter.”

Pro-Accordion Party strikes again.

Pro-Accordion Party strikes again.

The on-again, off-again relationship with Zoey was off again. Maybe for good this time. There was some thick-glasses looking guy hanging around her these days. She said he was just a friend.

“Oh … that’s most unfortunate,” the consultant said.

“I agree,” the blathering idiot said. He missed Xenia very much. Maybe even more than his ex-girlfriend.

“Can you get another?”

“Another?”

“Daughter.”

“I guess. But I might have to get another girlfriend first. That might take some time.” The blathering idiot had not had a date in … he couldn’t remember. It had been even longer since he had had any intimacy.

“We don’t have time.” The consultant’s high forehead was covered in sweat.

The blathering idiot wondered if it had started raining. He glanced up at his ceiling: no leak.

“Let me try,” Lydia said, stepping forward.

They were all still standing inside the blathering idiot’s front door.

Lydia was as blond and as pretty as the blathering idiot remembered.

“It’s like this,” Lydia said. “The Pro-Accordion Party is gearing up for another run at the highest office in the land. We realized from the last time that one of our biggest mistakes was not starting early enough. My friend here did some polling and he found that a candidate with a daughter polled better than one without a daughter. So we were hoping you would still be interested in running and that your ex-girlfriend’s daughter would be interested in accompanying you.”

“You have a daughter,” the blathering idiot said.

“Yes she does,” the consultant said. “And she could loan her to you for the campaign.”

“My daughter is not fodder for this campaign!” Lydia said.

“We all must make sacrifices,” the consultant said.

“I sacrifice enough for Pro-Accordion Party.”

“My wife told me it was either my career or my marriage … and here I am.” He threw his arms open wide.

“Not my daughter,” Lydia said again. A tear trickled down her cheek.

The consultant put his arm around her. “We’ll talk.” He looked over at the blathering idiot. “If, you’ll excuse us for now.”

The blathering idiot opened the front door and they left.

As they walked down the steps from his porch, the blathering idiot signed and hoped it meant he would see Lydia again. Maybe even for a date.

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Photo finish Friday: “The Big Bang”

Introducing ... the Pistol Pump.

Introducing … the Pistol Pump.

The Pistol Pump. For the gal on the go. For the gam on the lamb.

Ladies, make ‘em turn their heads.

Ladies, make him ask himself: “Is she really packing heat, or is she just aiming to see me?”

Kneel in church and the guy behind you will be all fired up.

Ladies, watch the sparks fly when you take to the dance floor in these pumps.

Safety straps extra.

Repeating models not available available in all states. Check your local laws.

A new product brought to you by: Heel fire and dance nation.

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Raindrop”

Each raindrop touches /

one moment of forgotten /

pain on the window.

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Writing tip Wednesday: “Very Short Fiction Contest”

Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award

Glimmer Train

Glimmer Train

Deadline: July 31, 2014

  • Prizes:
      1st place wins $1,500 and, of course, publication in Glimmer Train Stories.

      2nd place wins $500, or, if chosen for publication, $700.

      3rd place wins $300, or, if chosen for publication, $700.

  • Other considerations:
      Entries should not exceed 3,000 words, but any shorter lengths are welcome. (Writing Guidelines)
      Winners and finalists will be officially announced in the October 1 bulletin, and contacted directly the previous week.
      Reading fee is $15 per story. Please, no more than 3 submissions per category.
      Simultaneous submissions are okay. Please notify immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • Details at: http://www.glimmertrainpress.com/writer/html/index2.asp

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    Oh, Monday

    Oh, Monday, I feel none of your promise /

    and all of the life left to me lies bundled up /

    in bed dreaming and believing /

    in a Monday yet to be.

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    Monday morning writing jokes: “Zombies, part 2″

    Q.: What is the capital of the United States of Zombies?

    A.: Brainerd, Minnesota.

    //

    Q: What’s the nickname of the United States of Zombies?

    A: The Brain Drain.

    //

    Q.: What do you call a Zombie sink?

    A.: A Brain Drain.

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    Charleston Daily Mail | Old friends reunite over “Star Trek” fan films

    [Editor's note: You could call this finding old friends through fictional characters. It's interesting what storytelling can achieve.]

    Charleston Daily Mail | Old friends reunite over “Star Trek” fan films.

    Dale Morton was 43 years old when his childhood fantasy came true.

    He walked through the red turbolift doors and found himself standing on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

    The screens were all lit up, the lights were all blinking and it was all Morton could do to keep his welling emotions under control.

    There, in the middle, room was the command chair where Captain Kirk recorded so many of his famous captain’s logs.

    “I’m standing in the place where Kirk usually stands. I’m standing in his point of view,” Morton said.

    To his right was the station where Commander Spock dutifully monitored the spaceship’s shields.

    A few steps over was the panel, where engineer Montgomery Scott would crank the ship’s engines until he was “giving her all she’s got, Captain.”

    Morton wasn’t really aboard the Enterprise, obviously, but it was the closest possible thing.

    - See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140717/DM06/140719379/1420

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    Star Trek Data & Trek Helped Fan Feel More Comfortable in Her Own Skin

    Star Trek Data & Trek Helped Fan Feel More Comfortable in Her Own Skin.

    [Editor's note: This article is an example of how a fictional character can help someone in real life.]

    by Samantha Bell

    All my life, I’ve had trouble relating to people. Social skills never came easily to me (and still don’t). As one could probably guess, this was frustrating, and left me many times in a state of helplessness – or worse yet, hopelessness. By my doctors, teachers, coaches and especially my peers, my differences were always perceived as something negative, something to be ashamed of, an ailment I needed to overcome before I could start my “real” life. For a while, they had me convinced. I was mad at myself and the world, and in my moments of despair, I was left wondering what I should, or even could, do.

    Turns out, it was not a matter of what to do, but who could help. Despite all my efforts to fit in, I found myself drawn to Star Trek, which set me apart even more. I never imagined it would end up giving me the encouragement I needed to change my life. Star Trek is inspirational for many reasons: a utopian future, the advancement of science. But in my case, it was a single character who really moved me – everyone’s favorite android, Data.

    At first, I saw him as just another alien life-form that I would watch,

    Read the rest at: http://www.startrek.com/article/data-trek-helped-fan-feel-more-comfortable-in-her-own-skin

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