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Don’t Read This.

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You’ve ignored my advice, curiosity has won, you couldn’t resist a sneak peek. I’ve been guilty of clicking on sites I have no real interest in, out of curiosity. Okay, maybe a mild curiosity but only to broaden my knowledge! If you believe that you’ll believe anything. The downside is your interest automatically registers with similar sites, suddenly your computer screen bombards you with pop up ads for all manner of suspect sites. And beware of viruses. What deranged person would get pleasure from inflicting pain on others – and it is painful, totally frustrating and can be expensive. Luckily, I have only had to deal with this once – I still don’t know the cause of my dilemma. Serves you right you might be thinking. Similar problems can infect your junk email box. It’s not uncommon for me to find 50 unread emails in my junk box. I ignore 99% of them, but very occasionally an offer might catch my attention.

 

 

This is not what I was wanting to talk about, it’s a headline to catch your attention. Now for the real message.

A POLITICAL MESSAGE.

Two subjects which you should never talk about at a social gathering (and I class this blog in that category) are politics and religion. But I couldn’t resist even though my knowledge of both subjects is highly suspect. Okay, scrap religion, let’s talk politics, that’s got you sitting upright. One word says it all, DONALD TRUMP. I don’t even live in Trump Land – there’s Trump Tower, Donald seems to have a panache for plastering his name on everything he touches, and he sure has shaken up U S politics. Make that world politics. All the old rules have been relegated to the rubbish bin, what is said today may have no relevance tomorrow, fact and fiction have become so blurred that I think even Donald is confused.

In my tiny part of the world, Donald still manages to dominate headlines, what a Godsend for the media. I have to say the message portrayed is almost unanimously negative, not that Trump will lose any sleep over that. I await with bated breath to see if he manages to secure a second term in office. That’s it, I nothing further to add, it’s all been said before by those infinitely more knowledgeable than I. My opinion doesn’t count, I don’t get a vote. I’m just a bemused casual observer.

 

THE MEDIA.

I feel they have in many cases lost the plot, they have lost any semblance of neutrality. I’m talking about our local media but suspect it is a worldwide trend. Here they don’t just report the news, in many cases they make the news. Moments after an interview they pick a small segment (usually an answer to a question to sensationalize) as their lead story which totally misrepresents the tone of the interview. Oops, I’ve obviously become a cynic.

Several quotes spring to mind.

The written word is mightier than the sword

Mmm, maybe, possibly.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

Really, what about all the text bullying that is rife today?

 

I have the solution. Turn off the TV newscasts, they’ll only depress you. Ignore the newspaper, it’s only FAKE news. Grab a good book and let your senses run wild. I know your next question, where can I find a riveting good read? Silly you, check out my website and if it’s a scintillating short novelette. Electric Eclectic is custom made for you.

 

 

CATCH 22

 

CATCH 22

 

 

Six for one, half a dozen the other. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. What on earth am I rambling on about you might ask? Let me explain, as a writer my mission statement is to sell books, hopefully, lots of books so I can sit back in blissful contentment basking in glory with a bulging bank account. Yes, writing is a passion, almost a labour of love but I‘m human, I thrive on feedback, an acknowledgment that my efforts are appreciated by readers.

Here’s the rub, us writers are small fish swimming in a vast ocean, being noticed, let alone read is challenging. Most writers are not marketers, some resort to desperate measures. I’ll make my book free, people will read it and think, ‘yes, I need to sample more of that reader’s fine work.’ History shows us that doesn’t often work, yes, the free books might be downloaded, but only a small percentage ever get read. Writing is a time-consuming exercise, it can be argued free books devalues not only your efforts but also fellow indie writers works.

Okay, that’s the downside, but as a writer I want my books to be read. Why bother writing if they stagnate on a bookshelf, a computer hard-drive, gathering cobwebs. Against my better judgment I’ve joined the ever-growing crowd, I have a free book. Actually, I have two free books, but there’s a small catch. To grab my second novelette (not available for purchase) you have to sign up for my ‘Reader’s Collective mail list.’ It’s not that bad, you will not be inundated with spam, just an occasional update, a glimpse into my fractured thought processes, and of course special deals. Yes, you can remove your email contact at any time.

Available from:  Amazon   Smashwords  Nook   Apple  Kobo

Ian-Welch_TARGET---Prendergast-Uncovered_59td5nc9

BOOK 1 -Prendergast series

Monochrome Thriller Wattpad Cover Target – Prendergast Uncovered, almost a spy thriller, a hint of a love story, but not really stepping up to the mark on both counts. I wanted to write something different, a reluctant hero, a beach bum surfer who stumbles into a hornet’s nest. Inside Target is a link to the free novelette.  ‘Only the Good go to Heaven.’ This is the ONLY way you can obtain this fun story, you don’t want to miss this limited opportunity. What have you got to lose, grab your copy of both books before I have a change of heart?

 

CATCH 22

 

Six for one, half a dozen the other. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. What on earth am I rambling on about you might ask? Let me explain, as a writer my mission statement is to sell books, hopefully, lots of books so I can sit back in blissful contentment basking in glory with a bulging bank account. Yes, writing is a passion, almost a labour of love but I‘m human, I thrive on feedback, an acknowledgment that my efforts are appreciated by readers.

Here’s the rub, us writers are small fish swimming in a vast ocean, being noticed, let alone read is challenging. Most writers are not marketers, some resort to desperate measures. I’ll make my book free, people will read it and think, ‘yes, I need to sample more of that reader’s fine work.’ History shows us that doesn’t often work, yes, the free books might be downloaded, but only a small percentage ever get read. Writing is a time-consuming exercise, it can be argued free books devalues not only your efforts but also fellow indie writers works.

Okay, that’s the downside, but as a writer I want my books to be read. Why bother writing if they stagnate on a bookshelf, a computer hard-drive, gathering cobwebs. Against my better judgment I’ve joined the ever-growing crowd, I have a free book. Actually, I have two free books, but there’s a small catch. To grab my second novelette (not available for purchase) you have to sign up for my ‘Reader’s Collective mail list.’ It’s not that bad, you will not be inundated with spam, just an occasional update, a glimpse into my fractured thought processes, and of course special deals. Yes, you can remove your email contact at any time.

 

Ian-Welch_TARGET---Prendergast-Uncovered_59td5nc9

BOOK 1 -Prendergast series

Here’s what I’m offering: Target – Prendergast Uncovered, almost a spy thriller, a hint of a love story, but not really stepping up to the mark on both counts. I wanted to write something different, a reluctant hero, a beach bum surfer who stumbles into a hornet’s nest. Inside Target is a link to the free novelette.  ‘Only the Good go to Heaven.’ This is the ONLY way you can obtain this fun story, you don’t want to miss this limited opportunity. What have you got to lose, grab your copy of both books before I have a change of heart?

 

Target available from:

Amazon   Smashwords   Nook   Apple

Kobo

Monochrome Thriller Wattpad Cover

A Supercilious Seed

 

Is writing an addiction?  Is there a writing bug circulating around the globe? Three million plus titles on Amazon surely means something. And how do writers come up with the inspiration for their next masterpiece? From a personal viewpoint, my mind is always ticking over. I hear an innocuous comment, I read something, maybe a newsclip catches my attention. I then dissect, manipulate, add my own spin and ‘Hey Presto’ a fledgling germ of an idea pops into my rampant brain. I quickly jot down a paragraph, a page, or a chapter or two before the moment leaves me. For example take a look at ‘A Supercilious Seed,’ a short extract concocted from fresh air.

 

writer at typewriter

 

A SUPERCILIOUS SEED

I’m a seed, not just any seed, I’m special. I’ve lain dormant all winter, but is that so surprising? After all, there are animals in the colder climates that hibernate for the winter months, so why not a seed? My peaceful equilibrium is aroused by the warming soil cocooning my soft shell. Its time, spring has sprung. I drink a generous mouthful of lukewarm spring rain. I feel my body gently swelling, a tender shoot emerges and races skyward. A bubbling, euphoria envelopes me, I am about to burst into the sunlight, to issue a statement to all the other plants. They have competition.
And this is a competition that will leave them green with envy. Yes, of course, they are already green, but it is a wishy-washy hue they display. The winter months they have endured above ground has hardened their leaves, the biting southerly gales have twisted and contorted their struggling bodies. I don’t mean to sound conceited or smug, but facts are facts. It is undeniable, I am a fine specimen of a plant. My leaves are shiny and healthy, I have a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Very soon I will have grown so large that I will starve my surrounding neighbours of any meaningful sunshine. They will wither and struggle while I grow stronger and healthier by the minute.
Already I sense I have caught their attention, their furtive glances in my direction are a dead giveaway. Do I feel any pity or sympathy for their plight? No, all I am experiencing is a contemptuous indifference. I am about to make my mark in this world. If there were a plant Olympics I would be heading straight to the podium.
Yes, I can hear them whispering, I know it’s about me, jealousy is a fine thing. It will be amusing to eavesdrop on their murmurings. Listen to them.
“Why is it here?”
“Who is it?”
“What is it?”
Why are they laughing? No, it’s more of a snigger. What did they call me? Yes, there’s no mistaking, they’re saying I’m a WEED!

weeds for sale

Okay, A little bit of light-hearted nonsense, I like to have a bit of fun. But it does give a glimpse of my writing prowess. Want to sample more – perhaps you’re not ready for a full-length novel? I have three short novelettes on Electric Eclectic. While you’re there take a look at all Electric Eclectic’s stable of talented authors. A  pot pouri of genres to wet your taste buds.  https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/eebooks

MY three offerings on ELECTRIC ECLECTIC:
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Phantomf.jpg  chantillylace EE.jpg

 

 

PEARLS OF WISDOM

 

 

IT’S A CONSPIRACY. It has to be, there’s no other explanation. We are now in July, another year half gone. But where has it disappeared to? Have you noticed how the years are racing by at an ever-increasing rate of knots? And the momentum is building; blink your eyes and another year has ticked by.

Is this a problem? Hell, yes, – it means we are rapidly approaching ‘the Twilight Zone.’ Forget any mid-life crisis scenario, I must have slept through that. Wait, a little voice is whispering in my ear. “Your midlife crisis was when you caught the writing bug.” Okay, I might have received the calling a little late, but that was no crisis.

 

Maybe the Twilight Zone isn’t as scary as it sounds. I recall a 90-year-old billionaire marrying a gorgeous twenty-something-year-old girl. And what about Hugh Hefner who exemplified ‘you are only as old as you feel.’ Unfortunately, I might have an issue, my bank balance looks decidedly dismal compared to those two. A couple of quotes spring to mind.

‘Money can’t buy you happiness.’ Really? I’d put money on – it sure would make being miserable a lot more pleasant.

And when a billionaire was asked how having money had impacted on his life, he replied. “Money’s not important unless of course, you don’t have any.”

 

I’ve just thought of a solution to my financial dilemma. I need to sell a million or so books. Let’s start with you! About now I should add a link to my books, but I don’t want you wandering off and missing the following ‘pearls of wisdom.’

 

We still have our galloping time issue. Someone is fiddling with the clock. Who do I blame? Donald Trump? Vladimir Putin? Or is it the little rocket man, Kim Jong Somebody? The three unlikely bedfellows appear to have formed an unnatural mutual admiration clique. Very scary.

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 HEALTH is always in many people’s minds. Maybe it’s their fruitless search for eternal youth. Another quote springs to mind – some Indian Guru. ‘Life is a terminal disease.’ There is a plethora of conflicting information or should that read misinformation. Eat this and it will cause cancer, or heart disease or maybe diabetes. Or if it manages to get the tick of approval and is good for your heart you can bet your bottom dollar it will be cacogenic.

 

 I’m no expert but my conclusion is if something tastes good some killjoy posing as an informed expert will decide it is bad for your health. I even heard ice cream and chocolate should be avoided or consumption limited. That’s bordering on blasphemy. And I suspect the health benefits attributed to vegetables such as broccoli and kale is just another malicious fallacy perpetrated by persons with a sadistic personality.

 

BUT the real issue I have is the rampant changes being imposed on us especially those IT related. Imagine our grandparents or great-grandparents being dropped into today’s world. They would think they had landed on another planet. This leads me to recall an article I wrote for a local publication – they had a gap to fill.

 

 

TECHNOLOGY MELTDOWN

 In this modern age of digital devices, many of our Senior Citizens and even many waiting in the wings to join this illustrious group suffer from technology overload. Perhaps that’s a generous assessment. We’ve all heard of kids suffering from A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder), but have you heard of T.D.D. (technology deficit disorder)? And it’s not limited exclusively to those who qualify for Grey Power membership even if they are over-represented.

An old retired women with circular glasses in a black and white close-up macro portrait.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Not true, yes you can, it just takes many hours of repetitive schooling, and bucket loads of patience. Unfortunately, after numerous years of absorbing all manner of important facts, practices, and information our senior citizen’s memory banks are full to overflowing and retaining any new technology becomes challenging. Their hard drives are in serious danger of meltdown and refresher courses have become essential. Most of our Senior Citizens have conquered emails and internet banking, they have even embraced smartphones and I Pads, albeit with a few hiccups along the way. But just as they are smugly congratulating themselves on how technically savvy they are, some damned smart young geek comes up with some new undecipherable product which performs some nondescript activity that most ‘normal’ people had never dreamt of.

If all this hasn’t triggered high blood pressure don’t forget that everything you now do on the ‘Net’ requires a password. You are advised to change your password regularly and never, never write it down. The IT whizz kids have obviously never suffered from M.R.D. Yes, that’s a new one – memory retention disorder. We can all understand the necessity of passwords for internet banking and maybe accounts where we make online purchases, but the password requirement is everywhere. Anyone wishing to hack my telco or electricity account is welcome to my password. It’s ‘STUPID,’ while you’re there you may as well make a payment!

To solve the password retention problem, you could follow some basic simple rules. Yes, you could use ‘INCORRECT’ as your password, that way when you enter a password the prompt will read your password is ‘incorrect.’ To simplify the issue what springs to mind when you ask yourself the question ‘what’s my damned password?’ An option might be ‘cantremember,’ or simply ‘Iforget,’ but why not ‘forgotten?’ Invariably under the log in box, there is a message – forgotten your password.

 

Visit the author’s website for info, updates and a special FREEBIE deal. Website

AND don’t forget Electric Eclectic:  A showcase of short novella showcasing the writing prowess of selected authors. Plus competions and so much more.

 

 

 

 

THE HOLY GRAIL OF PUBLISHING

The Holy Grail of publishing: This is for you writers.

You’ve written your novel, stood back and said to yourself. ”That’s good, better than good, it’s brilliant.” My advice, get some unbiased second opinions. I remember doing a critique of an author’s manuscript, it was on a site where authors help authors. The author’s accompanying message said, ‘don’t tell me to change anything, I’m happy with my story, I’m publishing it as is.’ It was a sort of a warning – do not criticise.

I replied, ‘yes the story is fine, but I think you should look at …blah blah blah.’ A diplomatic response.

Guess what? She agreed with me and said she was rewriting those pieces.

The message is;

STEP ONE, write your best work possible, listen to beta readers, add a great cover and use a proofreader. But you knew that, didn’t you?

Indie authors have in the past suffered criticism from the traditional publishers.’ The books are substandard, littered with mistakes.’ Sometimes this criticism has been justified. A poorly written and compiled book damages not only the writer’s reputation but indirectly all Indie writers.

STEP TWO, marketing. Now the situation becomes murky, we are authors, right? Not marketers. This is where we all (myself included), stumble, flounder and often fall off the wagon. We publish on all the e sites, blog, tweet, post on Facebook ‘my new masterpiece has just been released.’ No worries Amazon will sell my book, after all its brilliant. It’s just a matter of time – the cream always rises to the top. Right? Wrong. Amazon is a search engine that just happens to sell books amongst other things. Who is going notice my book amongst the three million plus titles? To get noticed, to sell books we have to delve into the unknown and attempt to master the dreaded marketing hoodoo.

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There are numerous books and coaches offering their services, for a price of course. I read all the advice I can lay my hands on. A common theme seems to be to build a fan base of readers, you now have their email contact, you can feed them some scintillating offers to purchase your books. The only problem is enticing a prospective reader to give you their contact. The use of free books as a carrot is very popular. Everyone is doing it – ‘the reader will sample my work and want to buy more. At the very least they will leave a review.’ Read Paul White’s blog on the pitfalls of this approach. It no longer works. It is self-defeating and harms all Indie authors. We all like a bargain – why pay for a book when the eBook sites are littered with freebies.

 https://ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/that-was-2009-now-its-2018-it-doesnt-work-anymore/

 

OR IS IT A LOST CAUSE? Maybe we are doing it all wrong. Nick Stephensen ‘Your first 10,000 readers’ is adamant. Freebies do work IF you do it right. Very few writers are.
WE all enjoy a good read but how do you decide on your next book when the market is flooded with titles? Sorting through a multitude of dare I say sub-standard offerings is a time consuming daunting prospect. The answer is Electric Eclectic. A special site showcasing a select group of authors writing prowess – all are short novelettes in a multitude of different genres. JOB DONE.

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WHAT IF?

Has it ever crossed your mind, ‘I wish I was a little smarter?’ Wouldn’t it be great to have an IQ like an Albert Einstein? You could be a rocket scientist, or maybe a commuter whiz who has just developed a new APP which is taking the world by storm. Imagine sitting back in a deck chair on some sun-soaked tropical beach sipping on a Pina colada. And the best part, money keeps pouring into your bank account and you don’t even have to lift a finger. Okay, maybe occasionally to have another sip of your delicious drink.

If this sedentary lifestyle doesn’t suit, what about a more challenging career choice. You could be a medical researcher who has just discovered an earth-shattering new medical cure. Your peers would gaze at you with an unabashed reverence. Your name has been shortlisted to receive a Nobel prize for services to medical science.

STOP, wait, hold it. Be very careful what you wish for. Brilliance is only a whisker away from INSANITY.

Now, what if I told you I can be all of the above, and achieved with my only mediocre IQ. Yes, that’s right, I’m serious, I’m a writer. I can conjure up any number of mouthwatering scenarios. The only limitation is my imagination. I can be transported into a magical mysterious world with a few clicks on my keyboard. But I’m a generous person and don’t want to keep all this for myself, you are welcome to share my adventure. https://www.iangwelch.com/

Have you taken a peek at Electric Eclectic? There’s something for everyone, talented authors showcasing their wares in a variety of genres. Click on the emblem. Exciting things are happening.

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