F is for Fish Sauce, Flavour, Phan Thiết and Phú Quốc

C.J. Peter:

Saving this one more or less for me, but it is a fine read for foodies as well. Viva le fish sauce! :-)

Originally posted on Chris Galvin:

nuoc cham and fresh herbs

The Vietnamese alphabet has no letter F. But it does have the letter PH, as in phở, and also Phan Thiết  and Phú Quốc, two places famous for fish sauce. The former is a southeastern coastal city. The latter is both Việt Nam’s biggest island and a district that includes this island and twenty-two smaller ones, tucked under the curve of Cambodia’s coast, in the Gulf of Thailand.

In his book Bút Khảo Về Ăn (Notes on Eating), Dr. Lê Văn Lân relates an old folk tale that he remembers his mother telling him. Here’s my rough translation:

A long time ago, a northern village held a feast-tasting challenge to open the spring celebrations. The banquet table groaned under a spread of the rarest foods of the mountains and seas. Whoever could correctly name the tastiest dish would win. According to tradition, the competitors entered one by one. A single drum…

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What Kindle Unlimited Means For Authors

C.J. Peter:

Another author chimes in. I’m on Mark Coker’s side of the fence on this one, and will not sign up for “Select”.

Mark’s post can be found here: http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/07/is-kindle-unlimited-bad-for-authors.html

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Now that Amazon has uncorked their Kindle Unlimited service I, like many indie authors, was curious. What does this mean for us withered scribes, scribbling away in our garrets and bobbing on the waves of Amazon’s massive literary marketplace? Will I get paid if I join Kindle Unlimited? How do I add my book to the mix? Will I become fabulously rich?

Full disclosure: I’ve been mucking about with indie publishing for a year now with the Mytro Project and, with enough digging, you will find one or more of my books on Amazon.

With that said, let’s address our scrivenarial concerns.

Will I get paid if I join Kindle Unlimited? I have asked Amazon for more specifics on how royalties work in Kindle Unlimited but what appears to be happening is that they are treating Kindle Unlimited books as part of their Kindle Direct Publishing Select Program. KDP Select…

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The patience of Job, or whipped…not sure which

So I got a call last night to pick up from an old town Arvada tavern. Picked up the young guy who had walked there to have the bar call the cab. (Their phone was dead.)

I took him back to the car that his girlfriend tried to park INSIDE a curb. (Bent the wheel badly..thus the need for the cab.)

The girlfriend who was waiting, immediately starts complaining and yelling at him and demanding to know where he was…even though he had TOLD her he was getting a cab for them. I took them all the way down to the south side of Denver to their place ($$$ fare)…and she spent the entire ride berating him for all of his issues. It would have been a real annoying ride…except everything she was yelling at him for…was her fault…and she started every diatribe with “I did blah blah blah”…or “they’re so mad at me, but it’s your fault because…”

It was entertaining as hell partly for the spin, and partly for how he “yes dear’d” her the entire way without losing his cool once. I was seriously impressed with his ability to control what HAD to be the urge to punch her lights out.

Got a message today from dispatch…SHE left the key to the car she wrecked…in the cab. I wonder how that’ll get spun.  :-D

A post for Margie


Tonight, while taking another of my regular patients home from the kidney center, I found out that one of my favorite dialysis patients, Margie, passed away recently. I’d been her driver fairly consistently for the last couple years.

I kinda’ thought as much, as I hadn’t seen her in a bit, and the last time I DID take her home, she said in a worn out voice, “I’m gettin’ pretty tired of all a this”.

She went in to the hospital on a Wednesday, and passed away the next morning a few weeks ago.

(Most of my customers on this treatment are worn after the process because the hemodialysis treatment is very stressful, done 3 times a week for 4-6 hours at a shot and the technology is right out of the 1950/60′s…literally.)

She was a teensy tiny little black woman originally from the Bronx, and could be a real fireball when she felt like something wasn’t right. She had a real weakness for sugar cookies, which she would bake and eat,”cuz the store stuff ain’t up ta’ snuff”…even knowing that she wasn’t supposed to because of her condition.

I always enjoyed taking her home from the kidney center, and I miss her and our conversations along the way.

You want proof that medicine is about revenue and not fixing things? Look no further than dialysis.

R.I.P Margie, Your Cabbie

Fake Bestsellers, Concern Trolls and Hidden Agendas

C.J. Peter:

The author pulls no punches. Good stuff.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

boomLast Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result.

Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury.

Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller – the key “fact” in Horwitz’s tale of woe doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Can you guess what it is?


Tracker1Boomwas published on January 29 this year. According to KND’s Tracker, before the Op-Ed, the highest rank it achieved in the…

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The ‘Proofs’ are in, and I feel fine..except for the sore throat.

2014-07-02 14.58.29

The book proofs came in yesterday. Today I got up, still under the weather from a sore throat/chest cold (gotta’ LOVE summer colds, le’sigh), and looked at my desk. Yep, not a dream,  the hard copy is still sitting there.

The “proof” isn’t the final product…but it’s close. It is the point where the last changes are to be made, the cover art looked at, and where any last minute manuscript flubs or goofs get fixed.  THEN I upload the last changes/fixes and push the “PUBLISH” BUTTON.

The interesting thing that struck me about all this is that I pushed “publish” last year on the e-book version of this work, and while I was jazzed, I guess there really IS something more tangible to seeing the work in the paper format.

The process also forced me to take a long hard look at what I had finished on the e-book side, and then take another pass to clean up stuff that I’d missed in the earlier version.

The wondrous part of all of this is the realization that I COULD. No gatekeeper telling me no.  No legal worries.  The work is mine, and if I feel like making a lil’ nip/n/tuck after the fact, it’s my decision.

At some point down the line, if I’m even a little bit successful financially with this endeavor, I will DEFINITELY hire an editor, as the job of picking nits and polishing the work is REALLY time consuming. Getting it close, no problem, but when one has to self-edit/format/market, etc., one begins to realize just how much work getting the story from inside of the head to the printed page publishing really is.

That said, the first time is also the time of learning.  Of discovery. Of Joy.

Here are some pics of the book, and now ‘scuse me while I go sneeze and take some medicine. :-)

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The print version book cover is done!

After Burning_FULL-Jacket-3

So after an italics goof and subsequent catch by FB buddy and fellow author Kellie after I posted a version of this to facebook, the revised and updated cover is off to Createspace for re-re-re-aproval. Thanks to my friend and outstanding cover art guru-mojo-guy Rob for the cover and subsequent outstanding band-aid fix!
I finally finished and uploaded the updated digital versions as well to Smashwords, and Amazon. That was more futzing about than I’d anticipated, but life tends to be all about the ‘futzing’, so it’s all good…and once the print version goes live, the ebooks will be matched up so purchasing the paper book will get the buyer a deep discount to the ebook version on Amazon.

Now, (knock on wood) I can get back to what I LIKE to do, which is, of course, to stare at walls, bang on the keyboard with my skull, cat vacuum, and try to avoid internet-ey stuff on a daily basis in a joyous attempt to get words and sentences out so I can do this all over again a bit later this year with the next volume in the series.

Of course I’m studiously ignoring the word “marketing” for the moment. I have to, of course…that is the lot of the independent author who takes on all the hats involved in publishing, but right now, at this particular moment in the river of time, I think I’d rather be herding cats…blindfolded. :-)