Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Boots in the House and Saying Goodbye

Any Marine family knows "boots in the house" means your Marine is home, usually from someplace far away. Our grandson Drake is home right now, actually at his parents' home but they live very close and he's been in and out of here so I claim "boots", too.  Forgive me, I have to include a picture of my son and my grandson taken at church last Sunday.

If Drake looks a little tired, it's because he drove cross-country, 30+ hours straight through, to be at church that day. Our Pastor was retiring and that was his last service. I think it says something about both of them that a 19 year old would do that.

Pastor Ken Kirk has been our pastor for seven years. He's an extraordinary man. A retired Army Chaplain, he was a perfect fit for a congregation that is made up of many veterans, retired military, and some on active duty. As a two-time cancer survivor, he knows about pain and fear, and faith and hope. He's all about joy and loves to laugh, and people couldn't help but laugh along with him. He helped me though losing my Dad and when anyone was sick, he was with them at the hospital every day. He believes in love, kindness, and acceptance, and he taught us to be a blessing to others. He's a man worth driving 30+ hours to see one last time. 

Pastor Ken recognizes Drake in front of the congregation during his final service.

Pastor Ken ended every service with these words: "God loves you...just the way you are." I'm going to miss hearing that every Sunday. I'm going to miss him. God speed, Pastor Ken. And God bless.

I know it's a little late on Wednesday but it's still hump day so I have to include this.

Yeah, it's a Marine thing. 

Thought this was funny, I did.

I could hear Yoda's voice here and it cracked me up.

Okay, full disclosure - the following is a blond joke. Yes, I know they're not politically correct but I was blond before I was gray so I'm claiming blond rights. 

Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 p.m. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV. The 10 p.m. news was coming on.
The news crew was covering the story of a man preparing to jump off the ledge of a large building. The blonde looked at Bob and said, “Do you think he’ll jump?”
Bob said, “You know, I bet he’ll jump.”
The blonde replied, “Well, I bet he won’t.”
Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, “You’re on!” Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob. “Fair’s fair. Here’s your money.”
Bob replied, “I can’t take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 p.m. news, so I knew he would jump.”
The blonde replied, “I did, too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again.”
Bob took the money.

Aw, come on. You know you laughed.

And speaking of "aw" it is. 

Yeah. Me, too. 

Okay, I've got to wrap this up so I can get it posted while we're still on hump day.  I haven't quite gotten into a good posting routine yet so bear with me if I'm a little off schedule. 

Hope I tickled your funny bone and helped you over the mid-week hump.  See you next week.

Thought for Today: (stolen from Pastor Ken)

God loves you...just the way you are.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Strange Thing About Short Stories...

Happy Hump Day

Yeah, I've missed a few every one so far in 2018...but it seemed like I should have some grand re-opening plan when I started posting again and I couldn't come up with one, so I just kept putting it off.

I actually joined Procrastinators Anonymous but they kept postponing the meetings.

But I did something recently that may be of interest to anyone who writes short stories, so I decided to share this.

I'd never been much into short stories - writing them or reading them - until my local writers group started doing public readings at local bookstores a few years back. We'd pick a theme and everyone would write a about thousand words and ten of the stories would be selected for the author to read aloud to whoever happened to come. I started doing pieces to read and discovered I liked short stories - writing them and reading/listening to them.

Several years passed before I found my short groove, mostly writing stories for anthologies since I was used to writing to a theme, and in 2017 I had seven stories published in various anthologies. I knew there wasn't any money to speak of in being part of an anthology but there was another downside I wasn't expecting. Invisibility.

Someone would hear I had a short story in an anthology and they'd ask, "Can I find it on Amazon?" Well, yes...and no. Most anthology listings on Amazon only include the name of the editor(s) and maybe a few of the authors. All the contributing authors' names are listed in the details but not in Amazon's author know, the thing people can search on. I'm published in nine books currently available on Amazon but if you try searching there for LD Masterson, there are no matches.

Then someone told me about Amazon Author Central. Authors with published work available on Amazon can set up an author page gathering all their work in one place, complete with a picture and a bio and links to blogs, websites, social media, etc. Cool, huh? So I set one up. The Author Central support people verified that I was actually in the books I wanted to include and, bingo, I had an author page. Now I'd be searchable on Amazon, right? Nope. The nice support people failed to mention that having a page doesn't add you to "the list". If I had a book published under my name that was available on Amazon, I'd be on the list and someone could find that book, click on my name and find my author page from there but otherwise, I still don't exist.

The only thing Amazon does offer is a direct link URL to my author page that I can add to my email signature, my blog (there it is at the top of the right sidebar) and other social media, my business cards, etc.  But when someone asks, "Can I find you on Amazon?", the best I can do is tell them, "Sure. It's" and hope they have a good memory.

It's a little thing but downright frustrating, you know?

On a more cheery note, I had a short story included in the June 4 issue of Kings River Life Magazine.  That won't be on Amazon but you can read it here:

And since a hump day post has to have a funny, here's one that seems appropriate...

Good ol' Snoopy.

 And, of course, we need an "aw"...

Come on, you know you said it. 

That's it for today. Now I wait to see if anyone still stops by here. If you do, please say hi. It'll make my day.

Bonus Funny for Today:

Blog posts aren't the only thing I procrastinate on.