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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

In Defense of Slurs #banter @TheLoadedPen

*Warning: Please do not read if you are offended by crude language. Can't get quality authors...

 Chris Meyer

I love slurs. A good slur is a poetic combination of the right consonants, choice syllables and a strong dose of bad-intentioned meaning.  Is there a better way to succinctly sum up your derisive opinion of another person than to call her or, especially him, a “cunt?” 
Look, I’m not trying to coarsen up society; I’m not making the case that we should bandy “cunts” about needlessly.  (Although it is a sad thing that only the Brits can get away with using “cunt.”  Which reminds me of the Ricky Gervais quote, which is something like, “There are only two times you can use ‘cunt.’ When you totally mean it and when you totally don’t.”)  Slurs aren’t for everyday conversation in polite society.  But they should be the weapons of choice when a social interaction turns savagely impolite.  (And, as weapons go, verbal ones are usually far preferable to physical ones, no?) Let’s be clear, the power of a good slur is the rarity and precision of its use.  In those relatively rare moments when we want to offend, the slur is our rhetorical right cross, our semantic stun grenade, our verbal nuke.
Sadly – and even dangerously -- the slur is in danger of being drummed out of society.
As a nightclub bouncer in Los Angeles, I was subjected to – and, therefore, developed a connoisseur’s appreciation for – more slurs than, I think, the average citizen.  “Cunt.”  “Faggot.”  “Spic.”  “Kike.”  “Nigger.”  I heard them every night.  (Yes, it’s a lot like starring in a Mamet play.) 
When I was called a “cocksucker,” I didn’t take it to mean that the speaker hated gay people; I took it to mean that he (or she) found my erudition in the face of violent confrontation un-manly and/or unworthy of respect.  When I was called a “faggot,” I didn’t feel an urgent need to lecture the speaker on the etymology of the word.  The slurs I faced had one target – me.  Was I offended?  Of course – that’s the point of the slur!
As best as I can tell, the slur has become endangered by our HR-culture where the dispassionate third-party, the disinterested observer, the looky-loo unaffected by the heated emotions that trigger the tactical deployment of a slur rushes to politicize the slur and search for the potentially more profound offense behind it.  I find that to be a pre-programmed, mechanically academic, knee-jerk impulse that will only lead to reduce our speech to the nuanced maze of circular logic normally reserved for disgraced politicians and PR spokespeople:

Driver #1:  “I’m going to kick your ass, you big-nosed motherfucker!”
Driver #2 (turning on his iPhone camera):  “What?  Say that again!” 
Driver #1 (an anxious gulp): “Well, let me just stipulate that I misspoke. I have a long-standing record of tolerance for big-nosed people.  I was one of the first to buy Barbra Streisand’s Emotion in 1984 and I still cry every time I watch Roxanne.  I’d also like to clarify that by the unfortunate use of “motherfucker,” I meant no offense to fathers who clearly should be fucking mothers on a routine basis.  My staff will provide my DVD collection of Eight is Enough as proof that I have an abiding respect for the procreative power of fathers…”

Are we allowed to offend anymore?  Or are we comfortable policing our speech, defanging our words in a quixotic quest for a neurotic utopia?  If we are, that starts us down a very dangerous path. 
Let me explain by way of a hypothetical. 
You find yourself staring at the unfunny end of an unfunny .40 handgun.  “Your fucking wallet, homie!” A 5’5, 140 lb. vato  holds out his hand toward you.
Unfortunately for him, you’ve spent your lazy Saturday watching old Charles Bronson movies and you’re feeling a little feisty.  As you hand your wallet over, you affect a snarl and cling to the last shred of dignity that you have.  “Enjoy it, you little fucking spic.”
Admit it.  Reading this, you just cringed.  Hell, I did too.  From the comfort of my chair, my blood pressure just north of bradycardia, I am dispassionate and polite.  I have the luxury of disinterest – after all, it’s not my money the vato is taking and it’s not my cheek kissing the mouth of a gun. 
Now let’s say you get even feistier (maybe you watched a Chuck Norris marathon as well).  You grab the vato’s gun and, pulling it away from him, beat him down.  But you go too far.  You stomp him, far exceeding your need for self-defense.  You don’t kill him necessarily, but you’ve committed a crime, no question.  Because of our hate-crime laws, calling the guy a “spic” may tack on few extra years to your sentence.  Again – not because you beat the guy up, excessively.  But because you called him a name.  Sticks and stones may break his bones, but your words will keep you in prison.  Censorship is even worse in the UK.
The crime shouldn’t be the slur.  The crime should be the cause of the slur.  If a guy rear ends me and calls me a “faggot,” I’m not going to take offense because of the slur, I’m taking offense because of the rear ending (come on, that’s funny!).  Let us judge people by the content of their actions, not the phrasing of their anger.  Let’s save our outrage for something more than semantics.
In other words, don’t be a pussy.  You donkeyfucker.

  Icarus Falling: 
The True Story of a Nightclub Bouncer Who Wanted to Be a F#@king Movie Star But Settled for Being a F#@king Man
 The true story of a failed actor, who - still tantalized by the promise of LA - reinvents himself as a nightclub bouncer.


Working both downtown and on the Sunset Strip, he is thrust into the bloodstream of LA. Amidst the unending parade of strung-out transients, shimmering miniskirts, enraged gangbangers and unhinged party people, he avenges his history of cowardice, atones for his past infidelities and tries to become something better than another Hollywood casualty.

Christopher Paul Meyer writes noir and nonfiction. He is a former bouncer, comic, soldier, firefighter, actor and prison chaplain.  In addition to Icarus Falling, he has written five screenplays, three of which were optioned and/or commissioned.  When not writing, he enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, improv comedy and political rants delivered in an angry mumble at his reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Writing confessions wanted #authors #writers #wip #authors #bloggers #confessions #authorconfessions

 Wanted: Writers!
Let's do this again for spring 2017!
Who wants to play?

For the summer, my theme on WWBB is 'confessions of a writer'. 

I want fun author confessions (or a list 1 to 10 naughty confessions) of 100 to 500 words to make a blog post.

Writing confessions can be funny, shocking, bad, silly... and they make us human. We're all fallible to mistakes. So be proud of them and tell all!

If you're interested in sharing your confessions send me an email  for more info, or just send me the entire confession together with your author media (links, book art, blurb) asap and I'll get you on the blog!

All articles on WWBB will appear on Facebook shared on Twitter via Triberr. Books will be sent to Book Junkies on Pinterest.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Do your kids love their BMX bikes? Love reading? Double whammy! @katdefalla

How to take care of your bike
By : Peabody Cleveland O’Neil
Age 12

I ride BMX bikes. A lot. I love riding my bike. But what most people don’t know, is that you have to take care of your bike for it to work good.

Things you’ll need:
1. Two adjustable wrenches
2. Socket wrenches
3. Allen wrenches
4. Pliers
5. Flathead and Phillips Screwdriver
Here's a pic of my bike!  
6. WD-40
7. Bearing Grease
8. Rags
9. Spoke wrench (if you have spoked wheels)
10. A mallet (depending on your crank set)
11. Spare brake pads
12. Air pump (for tires)
13. Turtle Wax (to shine up bike at end)
14. It’s also good to stock pile old parts in case you need anything. Your parents won’t like the mess in the corner of the garage and if they are like mine, they’ll yell at you for it, but it’ll be well worth it when something breaks!

First off, make sure to bring your bike into the garage or house every night. Rain on your bike can make it rust and I saved up a long time to buy my frame and fork! Also, don’t forget to wipe off your frame, fork, and handlebars if they get wet.

Here are some things I do for my bike every two weeks (when I’m riding hard every day):

If you’ve been riding hard core in mud, make sure to spray it all off with a hose first! If you’ve been riding a long time in mud and wet weather, you should take apart the crank and take the wheels off and take apart the front and back hubs (axels) and take apart the headset and take the fork off. Then you clean off all the bearings and parts and then re-grease all the bearings with new bearing grease. Then put it all back together and clean the chain off and oil the chain. Spray WD-40 on all the brake lines where the break grips are. Make sure to check the brake pads and make sure they are not worn. Before you put the wheels back on, make sure to check that they are straight and true. But it you are like me and have Skyway Mags, you never had to worry about that! Then check the air in your tires and make sure all the brakes and hubs and cranks are working properly.

Now you’re done! You’ve cleaned and re-lubed and checked your entire bike so it will work perfectly the next time you ride it!

AND THAT’S THAT!!! You are now ready to ride, so RIDE ON AND BE RAD!!! 

Also, I found a video on how to do that bike stuff if I made you confused…

Flying Mutant Zombie Rats
Kat De Falla

Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O'Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!

Buy now!
 But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. 

With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.

Author Kat de Falla was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she learned to roller-skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher. 
Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients. 
She is married to her soulmate, classical guitarist, Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Something for readers of avid science-fiction @MortHerman

The year is 2230 and this protagonist Sam Greenhut's interview
from the book
Future's Edge
Mort Herman

Janus: “I’m sitting with Sam Greenhut, Chief Scientist of the Wheeler Corporation and head of Global Network operations. Sam thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule.”

Sam: “You’re very welcome Janus. My schedule is not as busy as you might imagine.”

Janus: “That’s hard to believe, but many say you are very accommodating. You do realize, you’re a celebrity. You have a great family legacy. How does that feel?”

Sam: “Yes, everyone tells me that.  The Wheeler Corporation does a good job marketing the name Greenhut, but I have an important job to do.”

Janus: “You are in charge of the most technologically advanced Network in history, yet you shun the spotlight. Some tell me you avoid the technology in your daily life, hardly ever tapping into the resources offered by the Global Network. You even insisted this interview take place face-to-face. That’s highly unorthodox.”

Sam: Janus, “I prefer to interact one-on-one. I just feel more comfortable that way. The neural implant is just a tool and I use it only when it’s necessary.”

Janus: “Would you say you are anti-technology?”

Sam: “Hardly. I marvel at the technology involved. It’s truly groundbreaking, impacting humanity in a ways no one could have imagined. We all know of the benefits. However, I see another side. A side where people have become too dependant on it. Yes, it fills our every want and need, but along the way, we have lost something. I prefer self-reliance. For example, I communicate with the people at this facility using the spoken word, not by sending a neural message. I think people appreciate this. For me it’s all about personal relationships and teamwork.”

Janus: “Is that a page out of your sailing excursions?”

Sam: “Exactly. We conduct team-building exercises on board. Not a bad job sailing with your team.”

Janus: You are credited with creating a backup system for the Global Network. Something done without the blessing of the Wheeler Corporation and the Corporate Federation. Some feel it undermines the faith people have on the Global Network….. Standby please.” Yes. Really? Yes sir. Immediately.
“Thank you all for listening. That concludes our interview with Sam Greenhut.”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Mort Herman has a Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering. Holder of six patents, he worked at several companies including IBM, Texas Instruments, AT&T and Lucent Technologies where his specialty was semiconductor electronics, systems design, and marketing.

Mort lives on the Jersey shore with his mate Mary Ann. When he’s not writing, Mort is an avid sailor, a wood sculptor, and a charter member of the Arts Society of Keyport. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he added his technical, artistic, and project management skills to the design and implementation of three, free form concrete sculptures that replaced destroyed public art in the town of Keyport, NJ.

Future's Edge

Most people do not carry the fate of the world on their shoulders. Sam Greenhut does. 
 By the year 2230, the world is no longer dependent on fossil fuels. All power is harnessed directly from the Earth’s core. 
A clever integration of neural technology and wireless energy gives rise to the Global Network (GNET), revolutionizing society.

Diverse industries operate efficiently under the umbrella of a neurally connected world economy, powered by an unlimited geothermal fuel supply controlled not by Presidents, Sheikhs nor Monarchs, but by a Corporate Federation run by seven individuals. 
This is the state of the world when the Corporate Federation charges Sam Greenhut with ensuring GNET’s unquestioned reliability and integrity. 
Sam sees a world whose population is totally dependent on GNET, as if the previously admired trait of self-reliance was weaned from the gene pool. Inevitably, the insatiable demand for energy prompts a reckless decision by Corporate Federation board members to expand the geothermal energy lattices. 

Despite Sam’s protest, the choice to exceed the cautionary “Greenhut Limits” precipitate a string of earthquakes that destroy GNET and plunges the planet into the chaos known as “The Upheaval.”
What happens next fundamentally alters the destiny of the planet and catapults Sam into the center of The Seed – book one in my science fiction trilogy, Future’s Edge.
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Excerpt from Future's Edge
… With the village stabilized and work preparations for the upcoming season proceeding smoothly, it was finally time for Kappi and Elizabeth to depart – a little later than usual, but still in time to be comfortably cradled between winter and spring. They left Tyber in the capable hands of the core group of people who had been with Kappi since the beginning of their enterprise. As agreed, Frank stayed behind to carry out his primary job of caring for the puppies. This was to be Kappi’s and Elizabeth’s alone time.
Their preparations were simple and swift. They chose to take their three favorite dogs led by Jupiter, the oldest, strongest, and most even-keeled of the lot. He had the experience to tame any wild or unsafe actions of the other dogs and could administer discipline when needed. Tassi (Tassiorpok, the guide) was the youngest and she possessed the keenest of senses. When there was uncertainty concerning the weather, a sound, or what path was the safest, Tassi was the one all looked at for guidance. Lastly, there was Angus (Angusuktok, the good hunter). Angus could smell prey for several kilometers and understood by verbal command what animal Kappi and Elizabeth wanted him to seek. This proud team was considered a vital, integral part of their family.
Off they went on their adventure with their dogs carrying food, supplies, clothing, hunting weapons and tools. They were finally able to leave behind the realities of the real world. There was no need to discuss their destination. Each knew instinctively where they would go.
With Tassi in the lead, Kappi provided the verbal commands that guided them toward a special hidden river valley. In the summer months, the river would flow freely, but now it was completely iced over. Tassi understood where Kappi wanted to go, and he let Tassi guide them with little intervention.
Elizabeth and Kappi were struck by the sheer majesty of this place even though they had been there before. Their place, which they called Uyaraut (meaning “precious stone” in the Inuit language), was bounded on three sides by cliffs providing a magnificent vista of the frozen river valley as it stretched for kilometers between the Arctic Ocean on the north end and the cloud-topped mountains to the south. Their camp was about halfway down the steep slope on a relatively flat area with a deep cave at the most easterly point. Uyaraut presented a perfect view of the sunset at this time of year. The setting provided shelter from the strong winds relentlessly funneling across the treeless, snow-encapsulated tundra.
Throughout their stay, Kappi and Elizabeth hardly uttered ten words to each other. In Uyaraut, they let in the solitude, the silence, their heartbeats, their individual breaths and all that surrounded them. It was an empathic event for Kappi and Elizabeth and it bridged the barrier of mental separateness intrinsic to humans. Uyaraut acted as an amplifier…