Monday, March 26, 2018

Ant vs Rubber Tree, How to Do the Impossible...

There’s a tea commercial making the rounds that begins with the phrase: “Americans are inherently optimistic.” It uses a few lines of Frank Sinatra singing High Hopes “Just what makes that little old ant think he’d move a rubber tree plant. Anyone knows an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant.”

The commercial didn't downplay the effort involved in chasing impossible dreams, but somehow the image in this old song bothered the heck out me. It has a kind of whistling in the dark positive thinking that has caused harm to many people I know and love. Somehow goals that are literally, physically impossible can be magically achieved by rugged individuals bashing their heads against a brick wall only armed with that patented American trait of optimism. I’ve seen this in action and sometimes it can set people up for inevitable frustration and failure. Obviously, anyone with high goals will fail on multiple occasions. Failure can be useful when it leads to retrenching, rethinking and trying another tactic.

But the whole idea of the futile efforts of the lone ant bugged me (pun optional) until I started to think, “Wait a minute. That’s not how ants, and indeed humans, get things done.” Ants are the opposite of go-it-alone, rugged individualists. They could actually move a rubber tree plant if a whole bunch of them got together. That’s why people are freaked out about Army Ants. Do not get in their way folks, they nearly took out Charlton Heston in the 1954 film . The Naked Jungle

Pursuing dreams can make life worthwhile. Even solitary writers like myself can find ways to connect, learn and share resources. People do achieve amazing things, but mainly through hard work, planning and sheer cussed grit. Also joining forces with other people, just like the ants.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

New Ebook Covers for Josephine Fuller

There’s always more to learn in book publishing. My new goal is targeting readers with ebook covers that pop up and wave at the reader out of the overcrowded waters of the sea of books. I've been bashing up against the wall of book publishing for decades now because I've got some pitbull terrier blood and an unquenchable need to tell stories and make jokes.

Oh, yeah, so what about readers who might want to read these stories and laugh at these jokes? Who are they and how can they find my books? It turns out it's possible to answer these questions, at least I hope so!

Here are the new covers on the ebooks for the Josephine Fuller mysteries. thanks to Sharon Lipman at Fantasia Book Covers for designing them and Peggy Elam at Pearlsong Press for putting them up on the net. (You may notice that the paperback books have different covers. Long story short: paperbacks change more slowly.)

A slain designer of plus-sized clothing, a killer now stalks Josephine,

A Top Secret safe cleared out and an admiral kidnapped in San Diego. The family doesn't want him back and someone's targeting Josephine to keep her from getting answers.

Josephine finds the body of a well-known mountain climber, who is also the woman who broke up her marriage. Now she's the prime suspect.

A body in a wine barrel in the Northern California Wine Country sets off a chain of murders and has Josephine trying to clear the name of a plus-sized adult film star whom she is sure is innocent--at least of murder.