Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

Thank You For Downloading The Last American Wizard!

 Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy of 
The Last American Wizard. 

I cracked the top 100 in Action & Adventure (Free, of course) which is very high praise.

To those who downloaded the book, PLEASE give me a review on Amazon. I frankly don’t care if it’s positive or negative. (I’m a big boy, I can stand the pain.. Sniff, Sniff….SOB!)



It’s Happening : Terry Irving’s First Urban Fantasy Novel #mustread #urbanfantasy #kindle #new

It’s done, It’s UP, it’s FOR SALE.


sweetheart rewrite COMBINE 2

On August 1, 2013, “The Last American Wizard”, Episode One of “The New Abnormal” will be for sale on Amazon Kindle. It will be a complete story in itself as well as only the beginning of a dramatic novel which tells how the United States is hit with a bloody sneak attack, absorbs the blow, and fights back to find and defeat the enemy.

It’s a story that could be ripped from today’s headlines except that the enemy is mystical and the weapons are magical.

There are no vampires and werewolves in this book–only very real people with very UN-real talents. A journalist who becomes America’s Last Wizard, Politicians who begin to show their essential natures as elves and dwarves, a haunted smartphone, and the oldest program at the National Security Administration–codenamed “Barnaby”.

It’s as if Tom Clancy‘s tough and nuanced spy craft were mixed with a lot of Jim Butcher‘s wise-cracking wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden and a touch of Kim Harrison‘s pixie witchcraft but in the end, it’s a completely unique experience.

Check it out! Olivia Slocum’s #new #novel – Dawning

The Claymore and Surcoat

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~ Fredrich Nietzsche

[Terry: A very special Welcome to Olivia Slocum, who is already on the Friends of Hey Sweetheart but has been cruelly ignored over the past weeks. In recompense, a big shout-out to the debut of her first novel!]

And Finally the Sun has Dawned over the Horizon (otherwise known as the official release of my novel)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00024]I’ve never liked beating my own drum, but as writers we have no choice. So I will make my own drum roll here as I announce that Dawning (which many of you have heard SOOOOOO much about that you’re either waiting in eager anticipation, or you’re ready to smack me up-side the head) has now gone live.

Scotland, 1599 . . .  He abandoned her. She had failed to be enough for him. The empty space he left behind hollowed out her heart, and she wondered what to do with the rest of her life.

When Ronan leaves the clan to seek his fortune, Triona MacAlastair fears she will never see him again. Four years later, a threat against her life forces her to depend on a mysterious, cloaked rogue known as Blackhawk.

She knows he is capable of protecting her, but what is he hiding? Why does he refuse to show his face?    

So, everyone do me a huge favor, since my future sanity depends on it, and BUY MY BOOK. RIGHT NOW. GO ON. CLICK THE LINK…. Oh, sorry, I had a little mental slip there. Please forgive me, I will be normal now.


$2.99 a download. If you don’t have a Kindle, amazon has an app that will allow you to download it to a variety of devices.

So what are you waiting for?

And now, in order to keep up my status as an obsessive Sherlock fangirl. As well as to draw more female attention to this post:

Ben Cumberbatch says: “Buy Olivia’s book.”

via And Finally the Sun has Dawned over the Horizon otherwise known as the official release of my novel | The Claymore and Surcoat.

Olivia Stocum

If you’re reading this, then you’re wondering who I am. So here you go.

I live in New York state with my husband, three children, and our Jack Russell Terror. Oh, sorry, I meant Terrier. I’m a Celtic musician and love folk rhythms. Growing up, I rode horses and shot a bow, and generally lived in my own little world where I had adventures with Robin Hood.

My novel, Dawning, can be found on amazon in kindle or paperback.

Tìoraidh an-dràsta (bye for now)

And There It Is – Dawning On Amazon

How to Survive When You’ve Been Fired and Your World is Blown Apart




  The middle class is disappearing at an increasing rate as excellent workers who thought of themselves as essential members of a corporate team are fired. At first, you have to deal with the shame and social stigma–you’ve failed your family and your own self-image. Then comes the hard realities of looking for work–dealing with job advertisements and Human Resources and endless interviews. Finally, if you don’t find a new position, how will you survive?  How will you feed and house your family? Are you destined to lose all that you’ve fought for?


One out of four Americans has lost their job during this endless recession and even more have had a friend or family member out of work. A new book, written by veteran TV Journalist Terry Irving has the answers you really need to deal with the emotional, financial, and practical aspects of this sadly far too common situation.

How does he know? He knows because, even though he has won multiple Emmys, DuPonts, and Peabody Awards for his reporting, Irving has been fired several times and spent 9 out of the past 20 years without a steady job.

He hasn’t just studied the problem.  He’s lived it and he’s done better than survive. He owns his home, has a top credit rating, has put two children through private schools and good colleges and, most importantly, has had fun along the way.

Check out this book on Amazon Kindle today and get the tips and tricks you’ll need to survive from someone who knows exactly what works and what doesn’t.

  How to Keep Your Lifestyle After You’ve Been Fired

How To Fight — For Writers Who Need to Write & Not Fight

Zevon in a promotional picture from 2000.

Zevon in a promotional picture from 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, I’m not a Mixed Martial Artist or a SEAL but occasionally your fictional hero pretty well has to “hit somebody” (Warren Zevon song about hockey players). Now, I have a problem with a couple of things about both book and TV/Movie violence.

1. My understanding is that if you hit someone in the face with an unprotected fist, the fist is likely to lose. It you cut your hand on the teeth, your hand will blow up like a balloon from the infection.

2. How do these people know precisely how hard to hit someone on the head with a pistol to keep them unconscious for exactly 3 hours with no lasting effects? 4 years of Med School?

3. Hitting someone over the head with an object (say a tire iron) would seem to risk a Murder rap.  Or at least years of paperwork and civil trials.

4. Anyone who discharges a firearm anywhere but a firing range is in serious trouble. A cop is going to be doing paperwork for years and, from what I read, killing someone is a major traumatic act (for the killer! I know it’s traumatic for the victim!) So when is firing a gun an acceptable risk?

5.  Every time I get a “wound,” (say a hangnail), it doesn’t go away when I shake it off. And I really  doubt that a “flesh wound” means that you can go through a 15 minute bar fight in the next couple of weeks, let alone hours.

So, I did buy “Throwing Lead: A Writer’s Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)” on Kindle and LOVED it. It tells you which revolver will probably break your female protagonist’s wrists, where those pesky bullets go after they miss the target and why hiding behind any part of a car but the engine block is completely useless.

and now, I watched this guy Travis Roesler of the Fight Smart Training Program run a bunch of neighborhood toughs ragged by simply dodging their punches. He’s also got a YouTube subscription channel that essentially shows you a series of ways to win a fight in a rational way or simply avoid one. (I once had an Aikido teacher who said it’s very effective to just keep slipping blows until the other guy just starts laughing)

So, just because you’re a wuss (like me,) is no excuse for having silly-ass slugfests or bullets that end up killing some 3-year-old a half-mile away. Here is a short list of stuff from Kindle
The Gun Primer: A Writer’s Guide To Firearm Facts For Fiction
Science Fiction Weaponry: A Guide for Writers (Throwing Lead Singles)
Writing Fight Scenes
Write The Fight Right
Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons (Classic Wisdom on Writing)
and, of course, if something does go wrong.
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure

These probably aren’t the best books (and I would greatly encourage suggestions) but at least it will keep your protagonist from simply looking like an idiot when you really want to look cool.

Welcome to a new friend: Jane Endacott| Word Savant

Word Savant

via About | Word Savant.

My name is Jane Endacott, and I’m a blogger and fiction writer.  I recently released my book, Odious Seed and Other Stories, on Amazon Kindle.  I’m currently working on a YA series titled, The People of Fire & Water.  I also offer services as a writing coach for those who want to improve their process and style.  The purpose of this blog is for other writers and creatives to find connection in the creative process.

I’ve called myself a writer for a long time and have practiced it in many forms.  Besides reading voraciously and enjoying food as if it were my last day on earth, writing is one of the few things that come naturally to me.

I am an avid runner and am always training for the next race.  I also practice Zen Buddhism, which I have written about here.

Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, feel free to contact me with challenges you have with your own writing process.  I’d love to answer your questions and help you work through them.

On Writing

A list of some of my favorite books on the craft.  I’d love to read your comments below with books you’ve read that have helped you learn the craft.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg – This book is by far the best, when you’re a new writer and just starting out.  It definitely lives up to it’s subtitle.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield – The kick in the ass you need to stop making excuses.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing & Life by Anne Lamott – Thoughtful wisdom from an amazing writer

Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch – Writings about Zen and creativity from one of my favorite artists.

Get Odious

This week I released a book of short stories, Odious Seed and Other Stories on Amazon, which you can find here.  Here are 5 reasons why you should get odious with my short story collection, Odious Seed and other stories.

  1. These are stories to keep you up late.  These are the kind of stories that will have you up past midnight.  You will be so absorbed that you won’t notice the time pass.
  2. It’s the only place where you can read about two nuclear scientists falling in love, an invasion of ladybugs, and a seed that grows in a man’s body all in one book.  Come on, how many books have stories like that?  Just this one.
  3. It’s a chance to read a new author.  You have everything to gain by branching out and reading work by a new author, work that will stimulate and engage you.
  4. The stories are better when shared with others.  These stories inspire readers to share them with like-minded readers.  Chances are there is someone you know who will take pleasure in them.
  5. You will find meaningful connection.  As a storyteller I aim to give my readers connection and a reading experience that relates to their lives.  I put my best stories in this book, and I think you’ll be happy you picked it up.

Download my book today, and come back and share your thoughts.  I’ll file this post on it’s own page titled “Get Odious.”  I’d love to hear your comments.

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE

Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?

Writer's Block 1

Writer’s Block 1 (Photo credit: OkayCityNate)

Far too many writers build an audience of the WRONG people. As a writer, you craft a work that is meaningful to you, and you wonder how you will connect it to the world. So you begin engaging with people online and off, telling them about your writing.And guess what? Guess who is MOST interested in this journey you are on? Readers? Nope. Oftentimes, it is other writers.So we do what feels validating and welcoming: we join amazing communities such as We forge relationships, we grow our platforms with people who want you to succeed as a writer.But therein lies the problem.

In other words: YES, engage with other writers. But don’t stop there.


Every single week, learn more about who your readers may be. Engage with them in tiny ways online. And off. Learn what it is about your writing that cuts to the heart of why your ideal audience readers. Discover what it is about one of your stories or books that jumped out at people.

How do you begin engaging with readers? Just a few ideas:

  • Read. Read books similar to yours, if possible. Engage as a fan would. Leave reviews online, recommend books, consider who else is doing the same.
  • Understand what other books are like yours, especially those published in the past 5 years. Where are they shelved in bookstores, how are they displayed, what comes up in “People who who bought this also bought…” in Amazon?
  • What is the language that other readers used again and again in reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other sites?
  • Who are these readers – specifically? See their Goodreads profiles, understand what else they read.
  • Talk to readers. On social channels, follow them, comment on their updates, and learn about them. Engage as a fan of similar work, not an author trying to promote your own books.
  • Develop a group of beta readers.
  • Everywhere you go, ask the person standing next to you: “what do you like to read?” Then ask why.
  • Join book clubs, attend events at bookstores and libraries – do anything possible to chat with other readers about why they read. Study the expressions on their face, the cadence of their voice as they talk about reading.
  • Talk more about other people’s books than your own.
  • Create profiles of your ideal readers. Create lists of where you can find them online and off. Go there. Often.
  • Craft messaging that gets readers interested in your writing. Test this again and again, both in person, and in digital channels. Revise constantly.

via Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?.

A New World Record (well, for ME anyway)

Novel Writing Tips and Techniques — Excerpt: Organizational Tools | Second Wind Publishing

Novel Writing Tips and Techniques From Authors of Second Wind Publishing — Excerpt: Organizational Tools


Organizational Tools: Name Charts


Coco Ihle

Author of:

She Had to Know

As a reader, quite often I find in my hurry to get into a new book, I race over character names and then get confused later about who is doing what. When character’s names start with the same letter, the confusion is compounded. I’ve had to discipline myself to take my time learning the names as they are introduced, thus avoiding backtracking. My reading experience is also enhanced by investing my thoughts in these people from the start.

As a writer, I decided to make it as easy as possible for readers to meet my characters in a way they would remember. To accomplish this, I introduced married people as a couple, gave some distinguished description for the lone individuals and made sure names were not similar. I also wrote out a background profile for characters who appeared, both major and minor. That way, their names fit their personalities and thus are easier to recall for the reader.

A really handy tool I used early on was a chart I made, divided into two vertical columns. The left heading read: “First Names of Characters.” The right, “Last Names of Characters.” I started with the letters of the alphabet on the extreme left, A-Z down the page and did the same for the right column. Next to the alphabet letters I filled in my character names, first names in the left column and last in the right column. This gave me a visual of what letters I used for my names. It’s quite easy to repeat letters unconsciously and this is an easy way to catch those repetitions. I had to change character names as a result of this exercise, but it has eliminated problems for my readers. I even included page numbers (in parenthesis) next to a name of a lesser used character in order to find him/her later when rewriting or editing.


Novel Writing Tips and Techniques is available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon (Print & Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), Smashwords (all ebook formats including palm devices)

via Novel Writing Tips and Techniques From Authors of Second Wind Publishing — Excerpt: Organizational Tools | Second Wind Publishing.

Welcome to a new friend: Everyrosehasathorn | sshalsnoy’s Blog

sshalsnoy’s Blog

“We read to know we are not alone”–William Nicholson

I live to challenge myself and try new things, but im hardly as crazy as the yes man. My blog is to help people with a creative side like me focus and remember, art is a culture phenomenon, nobody can predict where it may go and what changes you will make to this path.

via About | sshalsnoy’s Blog


English: Image of a wooden pencil sharpener.

Graphophobia is the fear of writing. I thought it was a joke when I heard about it but no, its a real thing. I suppose if your a really bad writer you could be afraid of writing. Or maybe you had a traumatic experience with a pencil sharpener when you were a kid so now every time you see a pencil you freak out….My problem is worse, its that I cant put my pencil down sometimes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had this problem but I feel kind of ridiculous with how obsessive I am with my writing. That brings me to my next thought, it takes a lot of work to make a novel. And a lot of time where you really want to be doing something else but you have to sit yourself down in the chair and actually work. Would writing a novel be possible without my obsessive compulsive disorder? Could I really sit and write from sun up to sun down: then when I’m not writing, thinking of how it could be better in my overcrowded mind? I’m not that determined in life, I’m just simply not. Yes, my obsessiveness may cause me to clean too much or sing to EVERY song I hear on the radio (even if I don’t know it), but it is a convenient little disorder that gives me purpose. I would have to think that a good portion of writers are obsessive. Without it, we would never be able to put all the work that’s needed into not just making something good, but something’s that’s great!

Make money with your dirty little secret


Fan fiction in the making

Okay, so everyone wants to make money with their writing right? Well more people write than I think you realize, just most don’t ever try to have it published by an agency or are rejected. Sometimes these writers give up and others turn to fanfiction. Yes, fanfiction. Very few will admit to writing it because its not cool and often has dark and risqué subjects that aren’t traditionally accepted into society, but the amount of stories on the major fanfiction sites is astonishing and shows its real popularity. While some of it is subpar, a good portion of it is astonishingly good. These people aren’t writing for an agency so they are able to spread their wings and write what everyone actually wants to read but wouldn’t necessarily get in a book store. Well all you Fanfiction writers…your breakthrough may be here thanks to Amazon. They are launching a pay per fic platform that will allow you to sell your stories for money (you only get a cut of the profits) but if your good and currently making zero dollars for your brilliance if could be worth a try! Right now only a few people are coming forward to be part of this program, but as if gains popularity it will only be a matter of time till more people are in on the action…and money!

Money cash


The Gift Part Two Got E-Booked! | Novel Ideas

The wait is over! The second volume of Mike Trahan’s highly acclaimed biographical series is now available on Kindle!

Have you been waiting for this moment?

I know I have! E-readers around the world can now travel with a copy of one of the most interesting books written about the Vietnam War…

You can get your copy right NOW right HERE!

A Note From Mike Trahan:

“This book covers my Air Force years from October 1966 to April 1970. It begins where my first book “The Gift” left off. I have just graduated U.S. Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training and am on my way to my assignment in C-141 Jet Transport Aircraft. I will take you along as I fly the C-141 all over the world for two years. Then we will go to Vietnam and fly combat missions in the AC-47 “Spooky” Gunship and the EC-47 “Electric Goon” during my last year on active duty.

Come along with me. I think you will enjoy the ride!”

via The Gift Part Two Got E-Booked! | Novel Ideas.

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube.

Why would anyone want to watch me on Video?

Welcome to a guy who’s been a friend for quite a while: mishaburnett

My name is Misha Burnett. I am the author of Catskinner’s Book, a science fiction/urban fantasy novel available from All On The Same Page in trade paperback and on Amazon in e-book.

I am hideously excited and tremendously frustrated by the experience of being a self-published author. There is so much I have learned since I first launched Catskinner into the world in July of 2012, and the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know.

This is an interesting time to be a writer, and I am convinced that there is so much that nobody knows yet, not the traditional publishing establishment, not the freelancers, not the reading public or the ranting pundits–nobody.

What do I know for sure? I know that if self-published authors are going to survive as entrepreneurs and small businesses we will survive together, and if we fall we will fall separately and at each other’s throats.

And so this blog is both a manifesto and an invitation. An invitation to writers and readers, to editors and to critics, to booksellers and book buyers, to anyone who loves the art of words and has an interest in the future of letters.

Get involved. The future is not yet written. Let’s make it happen.

via About The Author | mishaburnett.

More Thoughts On Kindle Worlds

I know I should be writing about James and his undead friend escaping an exploding haunted dollar store, and I’ll get back to that in a minute, but I was browsing the #KindleWorlds hashtag on Twitter, and I’m finding some thought provoking material.  There’s a lot of crosstalk and chatter, and I’m seeing people reacting to having their preconceptions challenged, which is always interesting.  Initial responses seem to fit into several broad categories.

  • Fanfic is pathetic and charging money for it is stupid.”  It’s usually not stated quite so baldly, but the attitude is there.  I have no doubt that there are bad examples of fan fiction, but, you know, there is also bad landscape photography and bad folk music and bad Mexican food, which does not imply that no good examples of those arts exist.  Condemning works a priori because of the subject matter or origin is sloppy thinking.
  • “If it’s not porn nobody will want it.”  There is a lot of talk about Amazon posting that they won’t accept pornographic works as part of the program.  This attitude seems to stem from people who read and/or write erotic fan fiction and seem to think that no other kind exists.  To my mind, that’s rather like assuming that photographers who are looking for models must be looking for nude models for porn shoots.  (I live with a photographer, and, yes, there are people who think that.)
  • “Amazon is evil for trying to make money from fans.” There is a very vocal fan fiction community who state in no uncertain terms that fan fiction is done for the love of the art and doing it for pay will ruin it.  Do professional athletes ruin the Lions Club softball games? Despite the worry that having professionally licensed outlets for fan created works will lead to the for-free fan sites being shut down, the reasons that for-free fan sites aren’t shut down now will still apply.  From an economic standpoint, it simply isn’t practical for Amazon to engage in legal battles with every volunteer webmaster out there.
  • “This is a raw deal for writers.”  The terms that seem to be emerging involve Amazon owning the rights to any stories submitted and all characters contained within.  Well, people who have actually done media tie-ins say that is the way that writing works set in someone else’s universe is usually done.  The short answer is that if you build something in another writer’s sandbox, that other writer gets to keep it.
  • “My tinfoil hat is too tight and the voices in my head can’t breathe.”  I mean, seriously, there is some epic crazy out there.  Industrial strength gone. Somebody call the What The Fuck Police, because these guys are off the chain and around the bend.

The best explanation that I have read (and I wish I could cite the source, but I have browsed too many links and now I can’t find it again) is that what Amazon is doing is not monetizing fanfiction so much as crowdsourcing media tie-ins.  There is a submission process and an approval process (how well they work remains to be seen, of course) and the contract seems to echo industry work for hire contracts.

Would I consider submitting a work for Kindle Worlds, given what the terms are likely to be?  I might, actually.  Not with any of the current properties (I don’t watch any of those shows) but I could see myself writing in the world of “Lost Girl” or “Walking Dead”, and I would be willing to create characters and situations that I would relinquish control over, if it was clear that’s what I was doing from the onset.

Okay, enough of this, I need to get back to work on my own world.

Ladies And Gentlemen, Boys And Girls Of All Ages!

Okay folks, if you live in or near St. Louis, MO, or you can make the trip to St. Louis, MO over the summer, I urge you to get tickets for Circus Flora’s Summer 2013 show, “A Trip To The Moon”. 

It will be running from May 30 to June 23, and tickets are available through the website (via Metrotix) or by phone.

Why?  Because this is a chance to see a live circus performance in the old tradition.  Circus Flora presents their shows as an episodic review, a single narrative told in various acts.  It is a style which has been passed down virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is a style which is unfortunately dying.

This is a locally owed and operated troupe of performers who are  schooled in the skills and traditions of travelling performers, a piece of living history preserved in the 21st Century.  The work in an intimate venue, playing directly to the audience.  There are no cameras, no video tricks, just flesh and blood, artists and audience sharing the wonder of their art.

Really, I can’t say enough about them.  I blogged about the troupe last year, but I had just started my blog then and I didn’t have much of a readership.  Now, I have more followers, and by gum I am going to use my influence in the blogosphere to promote something I genuinely believe in.

Go to the show.  It is worth buying a ticket.  It is worth making a road trip.  In fact, if you are from out of the area and you want help planning a trip, message me.  I’ll help you with maps, help you find a decent hotel if you want to stay overnight.  This isn’t something that you can see just anywhere.


Welcome to a new friend: Dirk Porsche : Shiggy Enterprises | Things That Will Make Your Life A Little … Different …

Shiggy Enterprises

Things That Will Make Your Life A Little … Different …

Summary Page

Almost a year ago I read the book: “New Programmers Survival Manual” by Josh Carter. Overall I liked it and special parts such as “Get Your Tools In Order” inspired me to personally change some things. There was one chapter about keyboards and touch typing. I have tried to learn touch typing before. But I was infected by the idea once again. This time I was willing to force myself through the first weeks of nightmare slow writing and aching forearms. To support that I chose to switch to a different key layout. So that it would be useless to look at the keyboard. Besides QUERTY (actually QUERTZ on my German Keyboard) there is the DVORAK Layout. It is quite old, standardized by ANSI and optimized for speed and writing English texts. The problem was, no “Umlaute” and you need those for the German language. Yes I know there are adapted versions, but while looking around I stumbled upon NEO2, specially optimized for German and with a quite extended strategy for different key layers or levels (reachable through modifier keys, e.g. shift, alt). Giving each layer a special purpose. Level M4 for example makes all special symbols that you typically use for programming tasks easily accessible. Take a look at the NEO2 homepage for more information (it is German, though). So I started and was so damn slow it was a pain.

Picture of the a intermediary result of TheTasTaTur Mark1

I became used to the new layout, though. And after one month I was able to write half as fast as with my prior 4-fingers-keyboard-dance. After 3 month I was faster writing code then before I switched to NEO2. After 9 month I had beaten my old speed for prose.

English: A printed circuit board inside a mobi...

Another thing that draw my attention in Carters book was the recommended Kinesis Keyboard. While looking where I could order one, I found other similar keyboards. Especially the Maltron keyboards and the TypeMatrix seemed interesting to me. I struggled deeply. But I couldn’t get myself to order one of those because neither seemed really what I wanted. By that time I had a quite clear understanding of how a ideal keyboard for me should look like:

  • For esthetics and because I am quite used to notebook keyboards the keys should have a flat profile.
  • The keys for the left and right hand should be separated, so that you can move them around. Reposition them independently of eachother to your actual sitting pose.
  • The keys should be ordered in a matrix instead of the classical staggered rows – that was a hart time learning to move my left hand pinky under the ring finger to press the “Z” key (in NEO2 there is the “Ü”) and stretch the right hand pointer to reach the “Y” (in NEO2 the “K”).

Second picture of a intermediary result of TheTasTaTur Mark1

Inspired by the interesting selfmade and selfmodified keyboards layouted in NEO2 that you can find on the layouts homepage – especially this one looked adoring: Tastaturselbstbau von Daniel V – and because I remembered Arduino – and that I was looking for a worthwhile project I might tackle with it – I said to myself: “Hey, why not create your own keyboard”. The constrain was to keep the material costs beneath the price tag of 359€ for the Kinesis Advantage Pro and to create a somewhat nice looking and quite practical solution that I could really use in my day job.

So that’s how it all began. To give you a preview of how it all ended these two pictures of an intermediary version of “TheTasTaTur Mark1″ should give you a good feel for it. Later I added a thumbstick and mouse buttons. I have no picture of it yet.

English: Screenshot from Linux software KTouch...

Read the stories about how it went from there and about key modules and key caps, the keyboard matrix and resistors, arduino uno and power saving, bluetooth hid and RF as well as debouncing and mouse moves by thumbstick in one of the next posts in this category.

Summary Page


Sketch153115151I can hardly resist to vomit into a corner, everytime someone comes up with a new and fancy 3 to 5 letter acronym for some stupid simple concept. BYOD, which stands for “Bring Your Own Device”, is another glory gory example.

If you haven’t heard of it, feel blessed, and close your ears for anyone mentioning it to you. It might be, that this is only some local movement, though. You know, we Germans tend to come up with such and similar stupid things by ourselves, from time to time. Most prominent and irritating example is the word handy meaning mobile phone.

Currently and for more than a year now (if I remember right) our (IT) press is polluted with articles about BYOD. Discussing the pros and cons, what you can/should/shouldn’t do about it, what rules to empower, … and on and on and on.

Two cellphone SIM cards (bottom and top)

I bring my own devices, for more than four years now. Well before the acronym, and it’s hype came to existence. I do this, because my employer isn’t willing/able to provide me with the devices I enjoy working with. I tried a few times to get what I wanted, but failed, even with such a simple thing as a keyboard. I’m quite picky regarding certain things, I admit.

We have a corporate shopping cart, where you have to pick your equipment from. And a defined set of devices supported by our inhouse support crew. All that stifles your choices and there is nothing fancy left. Orderly things a bigger company is supposed to have? I guess not, much money is burned in managing that stuff. A little more trust in the capabilities of the employees – or enabling them, or get rid of those employees who don’t get it – would cost much less and would result in superior safety.

Nevertheless, I started to pay for my gear, with my own money. Since I’m supposed to know what I’m doing, it’s tolerated and I never had any issues. But I wouldn’t BMOD, if my employer would provide me with the things I need.

English: Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inha...

English: Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants 1997-2007 distinguished by developed, developing and global world, source: ITU ( (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BYOD boils down to a lame excuse. Provide your employees with the equipment they think they need and the whole concept evaporates.

via Shiggy Enterprises | Things That Will Make Your Life A Little … Different ….

The Dreaded Post Office


I learned yet again, that I’m living in an ivory tower. Actually, there is only a very limited number of places I usually go. My work place, quite intelligent and grown-up people in the majority. My home, my almost sane family. Our neighbourhood, one of the better in Krefeld. An idyllic world. But from time to time I have to leave that capsule of righteousness and hilarious problems. Last Saturday such a time had come.

Pleasant Anticipation

Amazon notified me just a few days earlier that they shipped One Piece #66. This one was finally supposed to finish the Fishmen Island Arc. I made a habit out of collecting the books until they conclude an arc, and than read them altogether. Otherwise, those cliffhangers drove me crazy and I couldn’t wait two to three month until the next one came out. I was forced to spoil for what happens next. That has always taken a little bit the fun out of it.

I was happy. Now I could finally consume the other four books laying on my bedside table.

The Message of Doom

Arriving at home on Friday afternoon, I found one of the most feared things in our idyllic-world capsule: a message from the mailman. Actually Amazon ships their books with DHL and they are not allowed or unable or whatever to use a mail box. We have an opening in our front door for letters and stuff. This tiny parcel could easily fit, and no one except the people living in the house (only us) could pick the parcel up. So where is the point in denying to use it? Despite this, their are usually neighbours accepting our parcels. But sometimes you have simply bad luck.

I mentally prepared to visit the central post office. That literally took me down for the rest of the day. The last time I was there, not so long ago, I spent two hours in the line for a similar small parcel. It always happens on Fridays, and you cannot pick them up before twelve o’clock the next day. The opening hours on Saturdays leave only one hour, to do so. And since DHL created those dreaded Pack Stations, there is only the main post office left. I was cursing them. They never really made the leap from a governmental service to a customer friendly company.

The Odyssey Begins

I took my Kindle with me and hoped to read another good chunk of The Emperor’s Edge, which I can highly recommend to any fantasy book fan. When I entered the hall the line actually wasn’t that long, only once through the 60 meters wide hall. I estimated around an hour of waiting. Luckily they don’t kick you out at one o’clock, they merely don’t let new customers in and handle the line till the end.

Reading was hard from the beginning, since two girls were behind me that chatted constantly as if they haven’t seen each other for years.

After ten minutes – the line moved around 5 meters – I noticed a young woman (mid 20′s, I would guess) who paced back and forth between a counter and the form fill out area (sounds like chill out area, but is quite the opposite) ignoring any line and almost jumped over the barrier that separated the counter area from the waiting line area. She wore a tracksuit in light blue. You know one of those, hip-hop style thingies. I’m not aware of the correct technical term.

The next thirty minutes I was able to read. The chatter behind me was so constant I could easily blend it out and was sucked into the story.

About Nazis and Bulgarians

But then it was getting real loud. The post officer was shouting at the tracksuit woman. At first I couldn’t understand what they were saying. But as the loudness grew I caught a few words: “… said, not going to pay … can not read … need ID …”. I dismissed it and tried to get back to the story. I couldn’t. They were getting louder and louder, and as I was getting closer and closer I was able to understand clearer what they were talking about.

The post officer, was denying to pay out 2.000€. She was a Bulgarian citizen and had her Bulgarian ID with her. The post officer claimed not being able to read her ID and without an ID he wouldn’t give her the money. Apparently she had something, that normally, provided she had a readable ID, would legitimate her to receive the money. That part was unclear to me, because I didn’t witness from the beginning. She argued that she desperately needed the money now. The post officer said that he understands, but can do nothing without a valid ID. As it turns out, he was already the manager in charge. Nevertheless he involved a second officer to witness the not readability of the ID. But eh, what should he do, question his boss? That wouldn’t happen. After some more minutes back and forth and her pointing fiercely at the part of her ID where she claimed all information was available in latin letters, she accused him of being a Nazi. She didn’t use the word, but she screamed under tears: “YOU ONLY TREAT ME THIS WAY, BECAUSE I’M BULGARIAN … THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME, BEFORE”. He felt offended and dismissed her. By then, it was my turn, and I was called to the counter right besides both of them. They exchanged a few more not so nice, but still somewhat professional, words. Then she walked off, under heavy tears. The whole hall had witnessed the spectacle.

What Did Just Happen?

English: Political world map shaded according ...

English: Political world map shaded according to the number of cell phone subscriptions in each country and spanning the years 1980-2009. Data is from Mathematica CountryData ( (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tried to tell the facts as emotionless as possible, so far. Now my interpretation: the post office still employs the laziest, stupidest and most ignorant people you can find on earth. There are exceptions of course. But not him. He denies to decipher an ID that’s different from what he normally sees. She had a somewhat questionable outfit at least in the eyes of an old stubborn post officer having only a few years before retirement. Her German was broken, but she seemed to understand everything. He feared being duped and made a decision early on, which he couldn’t withdraw. Pride … you know. Since the whole hall has witnessed.

As I was waiting for my parcel to be found in some dungeon, there was a call from the door. “She is back, and brought her boy friend. What shall I do?” The managing post officer was serving a different customer by now, continously muttering about being accused of being a Nazi and that he is unable to read cyrillic and that’s always the same with those Greeks. He shouted back: “Let them in”. Shortly after, I received my parcel and found myself in front of closed doors. Another post officer had kept the doors locked. The woman and her boyfriend sill outside. He looked almost as expected: similar age as her, a tracksuit, barrel chested, thick necked, short hair, grim face. If he would have grown bigger than 1.7 meters, I would have been a little scared by now.

Trying to Escape

The post officer guarding the door urged me to wait. She called out again for the manager. He said again to let them in, but to wait a second to finish his current customer. While I was waiting to get released, a woman nearby (almost at the end of the line), said to herself: “Ah. That’s so sad.” The door guard instantly snapped at her: “What is sad?”. The woman, apparently feeling attacked, answered after a hesitating moment in a low somewhat trembling voice: “Everything. Everything in this country.”

As it took more much more than a second to finish his customer, and I couldn’t bear to stare at the couple outside of the glass door any longer, I opened the parcel and found out, that the Fishmen Island Arc is indeed going to end in this book. The door guard finally let me out and the tracksuit couple in. I was lucky to miss the coming moments at the dreaded post office.


Afterwards I was blaming myself. Maybe I could have helped her in the first place. But thinking again I dismissed that thought. Other encounters with this stubborn post officers have proved me, that you can’t teach them anything. And well, I don’t look that trustworthy either. He would have accused me to conspirate with her, be it just silently.

A graph showing the growth of UK mobile phone ...

A graph showing the growth of UK mobile phone subscriptions over time. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I confess I’m also a coward and have learned quite early to keep myself out of trouble. But that was not the biggest hindrens, it was more the fact, that I felt like a spectator, not really there, disconnected, unable to interact. Like glimpsing through binoculars from my ivory tower down onto the real world. Have you ever experienced a similar feeling of disconnectedness? Should I try to you keep myself more “grounded”? What’s the point, why do I blog about this encounter?


[OK, my brain just exploded.  –Terry}

“Full Circle” (Part One of “Time Cut:1969-2013”)

Full Circle: (Time Cut: 1969 to 2013)

“Full Circle,” the first volume in the multi-part memoir

“Time Cut: 1969-2013”

is now available exclusively on Amazon Kindle.

Please Note

(before you email me)

 There are now free apps on Amazon

that will allow you to read a Kindle Book on just about anything –

from a PC or a Mac, to an IPad or a Nook.

Click here to download

Written by Terry Irving, the new author whose debut thriller, “Courier,” will be published by Exhibit A, the crime imprint of Angry Robot Books in May, 2014.

“Time Cut: 1969-2013” is a genuine and honest story of 45 years working in the maelstrom of national news, Ranging from ABC to CBS to Fox to MSNBC and CNN and from picking up news film on a motorcycle to executive producing the Capture of Saddam Hussein.  Over these years, Irving has won virtually every national news award (twice!) and his work has been praised by the best in business–Ted Koppel, Aaron Brown, Wolf Blitzer and many more.  When major news broke, he’s been there–from presidential campaigns to war in the Middle East, from oppression in China to freedom in Africa.

In his book, “Nightline: History in the Making and the Making of Television,” anchor Ted Koppel described Irving as, “Nightline’s most talented breaking news producer.”

“Time Cut” is also the stories of the people behind the TV screen–the triumphs of a story well-told, the sorrow of witnessing tragedy, and the crushing urgency to beat a deadline. It’s a very personal tale of triumph over a family history of alcoholism and depression, the sparring and dueling of network office politics, and starting over–not once but again and again. Throughout this memoir, Irving writes with the flair, humor, and honesty that made him the “go-to” writer/producer for Nightline, Fox News Sunday, NewsNight, and Don Imus on MSNBC.

“Full Circle,” available now at the low introductory price of $2.99, covers from 1951 to Irving’s first visit to Washington in 1969. It’s a story of a family history that would rival any Faulkner novel for it’s terrible secrets, the pivotal day that divided one era in America from the one we live in today, and the story of breaking out of a family seemingly determined to destroy any chances for success or personal happiness.

When new editions of “Time Cut” appear–once a month throughout 2013–they will include all prior chapters for the same price.


Mike Trahan Goes Wild With The Gift… | Novel Ideas

Mike Trahan announced yesterday that there may be a third book in store for his readers. The book will focus on his experiences as a Delta pilot after the Vietnam war. Mike said recently that the story would be the most fascinating of the trilogy and he can’t wait to get things written down and out there.

Recently, Mike released his second book The Gift Part Two: The Air Force Years to rave results. His fans have already said that this volume surpassed the first in content and style of writing. Mike has already got a hit on his hands and the fans’ approval of a second and third volume just shows that he is beginning to gel with his readers. Sales have now started to mount up from around the world.

giftpart2The Gift Part Two is scheduled for release as a Kindle book in the near future. The story tells of Mike’s experiences in war torn Vietnam. He undertook many hair-raising flights and writes frankly about the day-to-day struggles military and Air Force personnel faced. The story is a tell-all, honest and frightening account of a subject many have forgotten about. In the process of battling with the returning warriors, many have forgotten the horrors the warriors faced.

Mike makes no political statement about the war. As a true patriot, he talks only of the duty he was expected to fulfill. He talks about what he faced, what he dealt with and what he went through. There is no doubting the honesty of this Texan who has no tall tales to tell.

via Mike Trahan Goes Wild With The Gift… | Novel Ideas.

A Book of Poems: Fantasy vs. Reality

A Miscellanea Of Topics | Imagineer-ing

A Miscellanea Of Topics

Posted on 11th May, 2013

Reviews Received and an Interview Posted

Shade of Evil

“Thief” by Steve K Smy

I’ve received two very kind reviews. Shade of EvilOne is for my novelette Shade of Evil (G1: The Guardians, #1), and appears on Julie’s Book Review, written by Wende Sheets. Wende awards it 4 stars! This review has also been posted to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The second is for Thief (The Thief Series, #1), and appears on Tracey Wickham’s blog. "Thief" by Steve K SmyTracey gives the short story a glowing 4 stars! The ebooks are available from most major online book stores in ebook form, though Thief isn’t available from Amazon. There’s also a new interview that features myself on Book Goodies.

I would be very grateful if you could leave feedback on these on the appropriate sites.

New Tale Progressing

The third tale in the G1: The Guardians series is progressing nicely. More, the cover is doing even better and has me very excited! It is being created by my son, Reuben, who is a gifted artist. In fact, the concept drawing is so incredibly impressive, I’ve decided to hold back on showing it! I can’t wait to see the finished artwork. I also decided that there will be a reduced copy of the image inside the book, in black and white. I haven’t yet established whether this tale will be a novelette or a novella, though.

via A Miscellanea Of Topics | Imagineer-ing.
Steve K. Smy’s Author Page

Welcome to a new friend: Donald Lockwood–Got Fans?

What Do I Offer?

Looking to turn your online business into real income? I’m here to help.

I write with as much humor and valuable information as possible. I use picture examples and real case studies of effective social media campaigns. It is much easier to learn and retain information if your educational material is entertaining and supplemented with visuals of real working examples. I’m no arm-chair guru, I know from my own experience running a successful Etsy business.

You Need Real Fans to Get Results

If you’re here you’re probably interested in getting more traffic to your page, gaining more fans and followers, or becoming more successful with Etsy.

I have a lot of great information to share on these topics. I have had amazing success with my own online business and I am working on publishing all my information in eBooks on Amazon Kindle, or for reading just as easily on a computer. As I write my books I will be sharing tons of valuable information for free here on my blog. I’m hoping to use this blog to gain my own readership. As I release my books I will be giving them away for free, initially, so I can gather honest reviews on Amazon. If you follow my blog you will be first in line to receive the free downloads!

My Etsy Success Story

I take care of all the marketing, sales and business development for an Etsy store called Shunami. We sell made-to-order custom shoes in a wide range of colors, textures and designs. While developing our Facebook page I discovered a lot of really amazing techniques for building an audience, encouraging them to share my content and keeping them entertained. After only 2 months, the Shunami Facebook page now has over 25,000 fans!

My Etsy store has only been open since the beginning of March. In just those 2 months it has generated nearly $5,000 in revenue. It is quickly becoming a full-time job for my girlfriend and I. We had 20,000 views our first month and 46,000 so far in the second month. I am very excited to see and report our continued growth in the months ahead!

Try My First eBook For Free!

Are you ready to turn your Etsy shop into real income? You can start today by reading and interacting with my blog. I am happy to answer any questions you might have and offer personalized advice for your store or fan pages. I have 1 eBook already published and I’ll happily give it to you for free in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading!

Etsy Stats – First 2 Months:

Etsy Stats: First 2 months

via About | Got Fans?.

I’ll help you reach the top!

Climb to the top\

My eBook is Available for FREE Download for the Next 12 Hours!

Are you struggling to get more Facebook likes?

What if I told you that in just one month, I managed to gain over 25,000 highly targeted fans for my new Etsy store’s Facebook page?

Would you want to know how I did it? Probably. That’s exactly why I wrote this step-by-step guide that will enable anyone to have the same level of success with their own Facebook page.

Written by an Etsy store owner that created massive success for his business using social media, this guide gives you all the information you need and nothing you won’t use.

You won’t find any ambiguous concepts or foggy ideas inside. This is a straight forward guide for a proven system, written in an easy to follow, step-by-step format. Simply follow all the steps in this guide today and you can gain a thousand new fans by tomorrow.——

That’s an excerpt taken from my book description on Amazon.  Only 12 hours in and it’s already #5 for free books on advertising!  If you download it for free, please leave a brief amazon review to provide feedback and help me get some sales in the future. :)

I can run up to 5 free download days.  This day was just a test run, I wasn’t planning to promote the release, but seeing how many downloads it’s gotten on it’s own I decided to give it a shout out here and on my Facebook page as well.

I plan to run the additional 4 free days soon, so if you missed the window you can certainly catch the next one.  Keep in touch!

P.S. – You don’t need a kindle device to read kindle books!  You can download their kindle app for PC, Iphone, Ipad, or what ever gadget you use to stay connected.  There are so many great books on kindle, and many of them can be downloaded for free.  Don’t be a fool, pick up an ebook!

sweetheart rewrite COMBINEGot Fans? Gain THOUSANDS of Facebook Fans EVERY DAY With $0.01 Facebook Ads

ABOUT MY WORK | mastermindsecretofloawofattraction


My name is Roda and I am an author. MasterMind is available in print as well as kindle format. I have authored 3 other titles for the Kindle which are

1) Learn about video marketing – a beginner’s guide

2) “Learn How” Series on the Law of Attraction – Success On a Plate


via ABOUT MY WORK | mastermindsecretofloawofattraction.

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d|gI+Al hEGeM0n ...d|g|Z|nE

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