Tweeting Yourself Into Flutter

Well, it’s that time again.

Time to make the call for public participation in my forthcoming second book, Flutter, which will be available August 30th.  We did this for Anointed when it came out, and my publisher seems rather insistent upon offering me the leeway to do it again (for reasons she may still be trying to determine).  What I’m looking for is simple: Review my book.  Review it before you read it.  Review it as if you’ve never read a book that you’ve reviewed before ever not reading it.  If you’ll pardon the obvious copy and paste let down, here’s a small sample of what made it into Anointed  last time:

 “Yeah, I read it.”
–Lucy Swope, reader

“Anointed is about at least as good as the half of Bret Easton Ellis’s The
Informers that doesn’t involve vampires.”
–Russ Marshalek, RussCommunications Publicist for Anointed

“I don’t really feel (Anointed ’s) subject matter should be treated with a
sense of humor.”
–Unnamed editor’s rejection note, circa 2007

“Not quite the Bible, but just as funny!”
–Katie Moss, bookseller

“This is the thrilling conclusion to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series!
You don’t want to miss it!”
–Christopher Choyce, Technocrat

“After 12 hours of work, sleep deprivation, and an Insurance audit, this
book makes even more sense!”
–Sharon McGehee, PharmD

“Anointed should be required reading in the men’s restrooms at all
American airports. It will keep that wide stance in check and prevent
wandering hands from slipping under the stall. Praise Jesus!”
–Collin Kelley, author of Conquering Venus

“I liked it. It was better than CATS. I’m going to read it again and again.”
–Kimberly Kennedy, media personality and
author of Art & Craft of Entertaining

“The funniest take on organized religion since the Left Behind series.”
–Tim Fredrick, Babygotbooks.com

“Apparently the Anti-Christ wears cheap polyester suits and sounds like
Tony Soprano when he speaks. I mean, that’s all I got.”
–Amanda Lauter, MailChimp.com

“Oh, this is, um…nice.”
–Zach’s mom

With the exception of the Unnamed Editor, who is very much real albeit nameless, these are meant in jest.  Or maybe they weren’t.  Never thought to ask.  Hm.  I may need to review this a little further.  Are my friends really that funny?

Anyway, one small twist this time.  As Flutter is meant as a tongue-in-cheek rail on Twitter, all reviews will be handled, and printed, by way of a Twitter username.  Not on Twitter?  Well, why the hell not?  I mean, you don’t have to actually update or anything.  Just be there.  Like a kid with cotton candy watching the parade of elephant, while relishing in the sweet tangy scent of splishy-splashy urine.  Better than a car wreck, is Twitter.  So, get yourself a username if you don’t have one, use it if you do, and give me the best blind review of Flutter that you are capable of.  You can comment on this blog, comment on my Facebook page (on either my wall or the link I post to this blog), or you can tweet it (AGGHHH! NO!) and add my username (@zsteele).  All posts on Facebook, or here, need to have a Twitter username attached, otherwise it’s bunk, and will be fed to the Rancor.  So here’s your chance.  Get your words in print.  Entry into this prestigious club of pontification is limited, and the deadline is, let’s say, July 5th.  So, two weeks.  You know you want to.  Send/post/tweet as many as you want, but quite obviously, you’ll only get one in the book.  And do remember to add your username to all non-Twitter posts.  I’ve reserved some old codgy British lady to confirm that your username exists.  Don’t try to cheat Mrs. Featherbottom.  She’s, um, special.

Forgetting the Wheel

Sometimes you forget how the car moves.  That’s when it helps to look at the wheel and remember that it spins.  Naturally, you then wonder how the wheel spins, and that’s when you look under the car and freak out.  I mean, there’s something keeping the wheels attached together, and then there’s all these little spinny things, and all of that goes somewhere up front, and that’s all attached to the mountainous nonsense under the hood, and, well, sometimes I get religion.  It must be a whole let better to just say, “Oh, hey the wheel spins,” and then let the rest fall into the hands of a suddenly all-knowing (and mechanically divine) God.

So, the present spins the future into the past, is something of what I’m getting at here, albeit in a disassociated car-to-God-analogy kind of way.

You are distracted from the bad analogy...

So, I was feeling nostalgic today, as I wrote a new bio for my publisher’s website, and I dug up an interview that the irreplaceable Russ Marshalek conducted, on behalf of the fantasmic book blog, Baby Got Books, when Anointed first came out. Here it is, in its grammatically correct entirety:

A completely non-biased and properly-punctuated interview with Zachary Steele, author-type person of Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO

Baby Got Books: Describe in 5 words the plot of Anointed. In another 5 words, tell me why i should read it again. Then, in 5 more words, tell someone who hasn’t read it why I should read it again.

Zach Steele:Reluctant man becomes corporate Christ.
Because it’s freakin’ funny, man.
You won’t get it anyway.

BGB: Who all would you say you ripped off in writing Anointed? And by ripped off I mean in terms of both intellectual content and money.

ZS:I ripped off a lot from God, you know. He’s pretty much the author of the Bible, right? So, I have to include him. Aside from the that, it was pretty easy pickings with Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, Kyle Watson (though you wouldn’t have heard of him) and some finely-detailed intellectual hotness from Marisha Pessl. As far as money, that’s pretty easy. I ripped off my publisher, but she won’t figure that out for a while, and likely all of my readers (once they’ve read it and realize what dreadful crap it is).

BGB: On a scale of 9 through 10, how awesome is Anointed?

ZS:All of my scales go to 11, so that’s pretty much where I’d put it. It completely redefines “awesome”. In fact, the use of “awesome” is now outdated and has been replaced by “Anointed”. As in, “Man, that sure was an Anointed movie, wasn’t it?” I would wager that, when I am old and fading away–or perhaps even dead already–people will still be discussing how Anointed completely altered the methodology of writing and saved the publishing industry. But I’m pretty modest about it all, actually. I’d rather not discuss it any further.

BGB: If you end up on Bill O’Reilly, and he’s all screaming in your face and cutting your microphone’s signal and stuff without listening to you at all, what will you have for dinner after?

ZS:After? How about during? I’ll be sidestepping his questions while waving a fork in the air and taking my time dining while he rants about stuff I surely won’t be listening to anyway. Steak au Poivre with Dijon Cream Sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, a nice Chardonnay, and a bowl of cheese to throw at him when he stops talking. No wait. I wouldn’t do that to cheese. Maybe I could get a soufflé or something instead. After, I might go for an Icee.

BGB: In terms of your writing style, what books would you say influenced your second novel? oh wait you haven’t written it yet.

ZS: Ha! Good one coming from the man who hasn’t even written his first book yet! Look out David Sedaris! This guy’s a riot!

BGB: You solicited quotes about the book, aka “blurbs”, from your Facebook friends. Are you just too lazy to actually hunt down famous people?

ZS:”Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” ~Winnie the Pooh~ There’s a famous quote for you. Happy?

BGB:Your press materials all begin with “Satan and the Antichrist walk into a bar”. Tell me a good joke about a pope and a rabbi. Or a pope and a rabbit.

ZS:The Pope (not ‘a’, you idiot) walks into a bookstore to look for a book about Catholicism, because he doesn’t understand any of his followers, but before he can make it to the section oddly marked “religion”, he is distracted by a sharp sound from the back of the store. When he goes to investigate, he finds a large cage with a fluffy, bouncy rabbit inside, and a sign atop the cage that reads, “Cadbury Rabbit, Bookstore Bunny”. The Pope smiles and leans to the cage and says to the rabbit, “Hello there, little rabbit. I am the Pope. How are you today?” To which, the rabbit bounds in a quick circle, stomps a foot in a loud thump, stares at the Pope, and says, “Nom, nom.” The end, joke over. A POPE AND A RABBIT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Do you get paid to come up with these questions or did you pawn it off on an 8-year old?

BGB: How freakin’ awesome is your publicist?

ZS:Question #7 may answer that better than I can. It’s very difficult to answer this question though, now that Anointed has completely redefined what is understood to be “awesome” and taken over its use entirely. I suppose I can say that my publicist is less than Anointed, more Anointed than “awesome” (in its former form), but not as Anointed as my book minus me. Hope that helps.

Mah Birfday

Today is my birthday, or, as some have called it, the anniversary of my birth.  I don’t really care how you spin it, as long as it involves cake.

It needs to involve pizza, if at all possible, as well, though a good run through at a Hibachi joint will serve as a nice substitute, if necessary (and it’s generally superfineok with me if it is).

So, what, pray tell, do I want for my birthday?  Well, I did find seasons two and three of Six Feet Under on sale, so that’s an easy Win.  I was gifted the first two seasons of Dexter, so that’s Win number two.  Hibachi?  Check.  Cake? Check…and, check, actually (Win, Win).  Tasty Coffee? Archer Farms Fudge Brownie, with Bailey’s Irish Creamer (not Bailey’s itself I am sad to say), check, and Win.  75, ooo 7th Day Adventists? Chec…wait, what?

In honor of all that I am likely to do wrong over the next ten days, and because this is my damn blog, and I can write whatever I damn well please, I would like to say that there is no greater gift on my birthday, than this:

59th General Conference Session

(I have no idea who this guy is, but I hope I get to sell him a copy of my book)

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A General Conference Session is a unique occasion. There is no moment in the life of the Church which demonstrates so vividly–so tangibly–the extraordinary way God’s Spirit is moving among us. And so I’m delighted to invite your presence and participation at the 59th Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in Atlanta, Georgia, June 23 –July 3, 2010.
Now, I do have a job to protect, so I have some boundaries, but when you have someone tell you that you shouldn’t sell books on Vampires because it is an affront to God (sadly this wasn’t said to me, or I probably would have hissed, and bitten her), it evokes a certain need to speak your mind.  Of course, on the heels of my blog about Jesus slaying vampires, I’d say that, in relation to Vampires, the Christians have very little to be worried over.  I mean, zombies, or werewolves, or emo-goth-punk-hipsters of the FU I’m Texting Generation, are far more threatening at this point.  Frankly, I think the Second Coming is on delay while Jesus polishes his skills a la Neo and the Matrix, and catches up on South Park episodes involving the Goth Gang, but the next ten days may teach me otherwise.
Also–and as a serviceable farewell for the moment–I’d like to leave you with the opening paragraph of the worst book ever written, Apocalypse South, by Kyle Watson.  If you haven’t ever read this book, do it now.  Buy it used, and read it immediately.  This is complete, and unedited by these hands.  Frankly, it wasn’t edited by any hands and is the poster child of everything that is wrong with Print on Demand technology.
“A host of demons is hovering above the crust of the earth.  They are waiting on their leader to speak to them.  None of them are speaking words to one another, only hissing and snickering has come forth from the mouths on their evil angelic faces.  Their leader is dressed in a black robe wearing a gold colored breastplate, and his demon followers are dressed in brown robes with silver colored breastplates.  The leader starts to speak when a demon asks a question.
‘Satan, since we have lost the war in Heaven, what is our next plan?’
The Leader roars like a lion before he speaks.
‘How many times have I told you to call me Lucifer and don’t you ever again say that we have lost anything.  You hear me?” Lucifer says infuriated.
Ah…that’s better.
They say you can tell everything you need to know about a book from its first paragraph.  I gave you a couple of lines of dialogue to reinforce the point.  Now, go find a copy, and read it.  Then tell everyone you know.  I’m going to make a bestseller out of this guy yet.

An Apocalyptic Twilight

Today, I offer you what I consider to be a tasty treat.  However, first, here are some links, and feel free to watch this video of Stephen Colbert doing his thing with Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter.  Had trouble posting it, so you’ll have to just click the link.

  • Santana has made a heartfelt, and somewhat desperate plea to our new President.  I can’t think of a better request in these robust economic times, when people are so busy with work and excess that they have nothing better to do.  Thank you, Santana.
  • I’m a statistic!  I’m so proud of myself for involuntarily participating in an American Survey!  You gotta laugh, right?  Right?
  • I am an avid fan of baseball.  I am also an avid fan of Chick Fil-A.  This just rocks my world.
  • Apparantly, wealthy people in Britain are just as prone to excessive snobbery and isolationism as their counterparts in America.  Poor Goolgians, just doing their job, and this is what they get
  • Let’s see…you’re telling me it took a spear to the head to learn this lesson?
  • “Mom!  Dad!  I made it into UC San Diego!  I’m going to college!  My life is finally turning up!”  Uh-oh.  Acceptance Fail.
  • Now you have to hear it as well.  I’m not going to be the only one, dammit.
  • I am both a fan of, and a friend to, Paul Jenkins.  In the world of comics, he is one of the iconic figures.  Great writer, wonderful British wit.  His Origin story of Wolverine is still a revered work in the industry.  Now, it’s becoming a film, and I have to admit, that I am excited.  It would appear that more than 100,000 people were obviously more excited than I am, and have seen the movie before it’s even out.  Lucky bastards.

Here’s a link to the Southern Authors blog.  I did a post yesterday (just scroll down), and somehow managed to decide that the dvd release of Twilight was a great subject matter to discuss.  In fairness to ME, though, that movie was just so awful it was worth every minute.  I mean, it was so poorly directed, so horribly acted, so predictable in its cinematic attrocities, that I was riveted.  Completely spellbound.  Ok, that’s a stretch, but I was entertained.

I liken that movie to a book that I carry around with ME everywhere I go.  I find the temptation to read it at MY signings to be too compelling to resist.  It too, is so bad, it just circles right on around to good.  It’s a cult-classic to all those who have read it, or at least parts of it.  It is Apocalypse South, a print-on-demand book by Kyle Watson.  I hold no pretense that Mr. Watson will wander upon my blog, but if you do, good sir, by all means contact me.  I can sell this book a thousand times over if you want to help out.  Granted, you should be made aware that I would not be selling it on its literary merit, but rather, on its lack of it.  In fact, MY wife Alice had decreed that Mr. Watson’s use of something she calls, “adjectnouns” is, in fact, a groundbreaking technique that is difficult to consistently maintain.  For example, “forest woods”, or, “forest trees”, or, “shirt uniform”.  I’m just randomly opening the book here.  There are a ton more. 

One of the most entertaining bits of this book (and there are SOOOOOO many to choose from), occurs shortly after the rapture takes place–on I-285 in this case, though I debate whether or not this already happens on a daily basis–and general hysteria has taken those “Left Behind” (oops, did I say that?) by a gripping force that is only just a touch over-dramatized.  Judge for yourself, though:

Dakota glances back at the line of gasonline under a car fire.  The sparks from the car are just enough to light up the gasoline trail headed right to Dakota’s shoes.  He takes of running at full speed.  The car explodes and Dakota dives onto the pavement.  He slowly begins to sit up with his clothes torn.  He has sustained cuts and bruises throughout his body.  Dakota tries to maintain his composure when he notices the back of a woman lying on the side of the interstate.  He can hear her crying.  She looks so much like Desiree from behind.  Believing it may be her, he forgets about his pain and rushes over to her.  he presses his hand on her shoulder.  She turns around screaming out loud.

“Where is my baby?”  She grabs a hold of Dakota’s shirt, “have you seen my baby?  He was just in my womb.”  Dakota is stunned that it isn’t his wife and is horrified by what she says about her missing baby.  He is sorrowful for the lady, but his emotions don’t last long as he hears a loud noise approaching them.  he looks up towards the sky and sees a passenger plane coming right at them.  Then he looks straight ahead of him and views a herd of people stampeding toward them.  He realizes everyone is running toward the exit ramp to escape the coming plane.  Dakota helps the lady up off the pavement.

“Lady, we must hurry up and move or we’re both going to be killed.”

“I can’t go,” she replies, “What about my baby?”

“Your baby is gone and we have no time,” he responds, “We must run.”  He begins to run, dragging her along by his waist side.  She is sobbing tears of pain.  The herd of people are gaining ground on Dakota and the lady.  The airliner takes a nose dive onto the interstate.  Thunderous explosions erupt as the plane crashes.  Debris is flying all over the surrounding area.  Dakot realizes that he has to do something quick or they will be killed by the stampeding people or by debris from the plane crash.  They are inches away from being crushed by the people.  Dakota leaps just in time onto a grassy hill under the bridge, and next to the exit ramp.  He holds onto the lady as they roll down the hill and the mass of people pass by them.  Some of the people are being hit by debris, causing injuries and even death.

Even death?  NOOOOOOOO!  Sorry, I had to say something.  It’s near impossible to even type that without wanting to break in and make comments.  The book I own, which I’ve had for nine years now, is actually written in quite thoroughly by MYSELF and others who have braved a read/edit as well.  I actually signed off on page 83, as it was seriously beginning to hamper my writing efforts.  I didn’t hear the whole book until Alice (MY books by Alice professional) read it during a road trip a few years ago.  Since that time, I’ve made a concerted effort to spread the wealth.  If not only for the entertainment value, then for the illustration as to how one does not go about writing a book (and why some POD books are such a negative drain on self-published authors).

Just typing it has worn me out.  Perhaps I should go read Twain, or Tom Robbins, or some other high-grade, literary mind to recharge.  Actually, no, I’d rather have some bacon.  That should do just fine.