Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Werewolf Solution: Donation

Hey all!

Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of The Werewolf Solution over the last few weeks. After some thought, I decided to round off the donation to a nice even number.

If you'd like to donate to Doctors Without Borders, click here.

And if you're sad that you missed your change to pick up one of my books and have the money do some good, well, never you fear. I'm still giving 10% of all my book sales to Ethiopia Reads.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blood Calling: More Cover Options

More cover options. Not quite sure they go with the book, but there's something about 'em... Hmmm...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blood Calling: An Excerpt:

Coming in 2 weeks:

You want a story? Let me tell you a story.
Last August, five things happened to me:
1) I turned 18. This is important later.
2) I started my senior year of high school as a social pariah.
3) My parents got divorced, and my mom kicked my dad out of the house and let her personal trainer, Chuck, move in.
4) My grandpa died.
5) He left me a vampire-slaying kit.
Well. Kind of. That’s all jumbled up, but I’ll break it down in a minute.
Let’s start with me turning 18. When you’re born in August, before you can enter school in most places you have to take a test – are you smart enough to enter when you’re a year younger than everyone else, or are you dumb enough that you end up a year older than everyone else?
Ultimately, I fell into the dumb category, although the test I failed had more to do with me being clumsy than anything else. When I cried and told my mother that I didn’t get to go to school because I was stupid, she told me that the only reason I hadn’t gotten in was my lack of coordination.
I’m sure she chose to dumb that statement down to something I could understand.
In essence, I didn’t get into school because I couldn’t stand on one foot. That’s what held me back.
I know, right? The girl who can’t stand on one foot gets a vampire-slaying kit. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to make a TV show out of my life.
As far as the divorce goes, that had its own complications. My mom is actually a lawyer, so she talked to a couple of guys in her firm and got all her papers in a row, and bam, my dad’s out the door and living in an apartment, and trying to find a job.
Which sucked for him, because he let my mom work high-powered lawyer hours while he did the stay-at-home thing. Man has a college education and no work experience, unless he wants to open a daddy day care.
Which I’m guessing he didn’t. I don’t know. Haven’t talked to him in a few months. Been preoccupied.
But you know that.
Then there was my grandpa dying. People always ask you, when someone dies in your family: Were you close? What do you say to that? “Nah? Didn’t like him very much? Glad he’s gone?”
The real answer is, I was close with my grandpa before started to get old. I mean, actually got old. From walking to wheelchair, deaf, can’t remember anything, muscles all loose so he can’t talk old.
I loved my grandpa. I did. But that was hard to watch, and I wasn’t ready for it. You know how they always say, “Oh, it was a blessing,” when someone like that dies?
I think it was, for him. Whatever’s next after this life thing, wherever he went had to be better than to be trapped in that body while it fell apart on him.
I said he gave me a vampire slaying kit, but that’s not true. Or rather, it is and it isn’t.
He was my mom’s dad, and she didn’t need the house, or anything in it. She went in, took some pictures and a few things she remembered from when she was a girl. Told me I could go in there and take whatever I wanted.
So one day last summer, I went through the whole house. All of it.
Took the candy dish he had. He always used to keep jellybeans in there. I wasn’t much of a fan of jellybeans, but I’d always have a few when I was there.
It was like candy corn at Halloween. No one really likes the stuff, you have to have a piece or two to make the season feel right. You know?
Maybe you don’t know.
Mom already had the pictures, so I figured that was pretty much it for stuff I needed. And then I got to the coat closet.
That was one place I always loved in grandpa’s house. I don’t know what it was, maybe an old leather coat, maybe a set of boots, but I loved the way that closet smelled. I used to go in there when I was little and close the door, and just sit.
So that’s what I did. Just for a minute or two. Or that was the plan. What happened was, I was tired and needed a nap and I took one, and when I woke up all the light from outside was gone and there I was, sitting in my dead grandpa’s dark, dark, dark closet.
So I fumbled around, but I couldn’t find the doorknob. Don’t know how that happened. So I reached for the pull chain for the light, and it came on, and I realized that the reason I couldn’t find the doorknob was that I was all turned around and facing the back of the closet.
And what do you know? There’s a little wooden panel back there. Never saw it as a kid.
So I pulled at it, and there’s this glossy black box inside.
I pick up the box, and step out of the closet. The thing looked like something you’d stick jewelry into, only it was a little bit too big, and way too heavy.
I figured I’d found the family jewels or something, so I cracked it open. Didn’t even notice the big silver cross on the top of the box at first.
What’s inside? Stakes. Wooden stakes. Five of the things, all sharp and pointed. And a bunch of little crosses on necklaces. And some vials of water. Holy water, I would guess.
And this little pistol thing. With two hammers, and some powder, and a leather bag with these little balls I found out later were pure silver. Worth a few bucks. More than a few.
Now I ask you – what do you do with something like that? Sell it? Keep it? Hide it back in the closet to freak out the people who buy the house?
I know what you don’t do. You don’t tell your mom, or your dad, or anyone. Especially if you take it out of the house and stick it in your trunk.
I do recommend you go back into the closet and see if there’s anything else in that little cubbyhole, though. I thought maybe there’d be more stuff, or a letter explaining that we were part of a long line of vampire slayers, or maybe a letter from Joss Whedon, that guy who created “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
But no.
I mean, there was a note, but all it said was:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Post for #GoatPosse

I was recently asked to join a posse, but first I had to complete... a meme. About panties. So here 'tis. I hope my answers please you:

What do you call your panties/underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?

** Honestly, I don't really think of them by any name other than "laundry," because I do the laundry in the house and they are always in the wash. Or coming out of the wash, at which point they must be put away.

However, I do have a four-year-old who potty-trained not all that long ago, so there's a LOT of discussion about "underpants."

Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in only your underwear?

** I have not. I rarely remember my dreams, and when I do, they are always related to the end of the world. This is why I write horror, I guess. (Feel free to check out my books. You can find them over there -> )

What is the worst thing you can think of to make panties out of?

** Jalapeno peppers.

If you were a pair of panties, what color would you be, and WHY?

** Black. I'm utilitarian, not pretty.

Have you ever thrown your panties/underwear at a rock star or other celebrity? If so, which one(s)? If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your panties/underwear at, given the opportunity?

** I'm going to go with no, and more importantly, is that something guys do? I can't see it as a fannish-type thing that most women would enjoy. I can't imagine going to an Aimee Mann concert, tossing my underthings onstage, and having it end in a way that doesn't involve Aimee calling security.

You’re out of clean panties. What do you do?

** I'm a dude who only wears men's clothing. So really, I'm always out of panties. If you're looking for what would happen if I was out of underwear, I'm going to say, "Wash some." Did I mention I do the laundry in the house?

Are you old enough to remember Underoos? If so, did you have any? Which ones?

** I am. And oddly, I recall my brother having/wearing Superman underoos, but I can't recall wearing it myself. I probably did.

If you could have any message printed on your panties, what would it be?

** Once again, do men really have things written on their underwear? I suppose some do. I had a friend who had a matching tie and boxer set. That was always good for a chuckle whenever I saw him wearing the tie.

Sitting here trying to think of an answer, I came up with about two dozen somewhat-naughty ideas, but I'm pretty sure they'd be ineffective as far as my wife went, so... I'm going to have to pass on this one.

How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat?

** Are they sort of sickly and weak like me? Because in that case, like 10. Also, what size is this goat? Because if it's like a newborn goat, I could probably do it on my own.

Tag Four People and tell them why you are being so cruel to them.

I have no one to tag, really, because I think everyone in #teamgoat did this one already...

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Werewolf Solution, August, and Ethiopia

If I didn’t make it clear in my essay about how I’m giving 10% of my book profits to Ethiopia Reads, my heart lies in the country where my daughter was born.

Sadly, Ethiopia and the country that borders it, Somalia, are in dire straights. You can read about it by clicking here, but I’ll warn you, it’s a heart-wrenching story.

I talked it over with my wife, and we’ve decided to send all the profits from the month of August of my new novella, “The Werewolf Solution,” to Doctors Without Borders.

What’s the novella about? Here’s the tagline: “In a world where werewolves have revealed their existence, a werewolf must track down the werewolf who killed his father before the killer can get to his son.” If you want to know more, you can check out the first review here. Or read an excerpt here.

Will this cut into my giving to Ethiopia reads? Not a bit. If “The Werewolf Solution” makes $100, I’ll send $100 to Doctors Without Borders, and $10 to Ethiopia Reads. That’s five books and enough vaccines to fight infections in 40 people.

The thing of it is, maybe you don’t want to buy my books, but you want to give. That’d be great. Click here, and give whatever you can.

And if you have no money, and still want to help, do me a favor. Link this entry on your blog. Post it on Facebook. Throw the link up on Twitter.

Help me to help Ethiopia and Somalia.

You can buy “The Werewolf Solution” on:

The Kindle

The nook

And if you find that you need an app for your computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android, go here.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Werewolf Solution: An Excerpt


It was the kind of night horror movies are made of.
Full moon? Check.
Dense woods? Check.
Heavy shadows? Check.
A rustling in the bushes that may or may not be the wind? Double-check.
But at the edge of the woods, the nightmare turned into something of a puzzle, if you didn’t know where you were.
Specifically, a werewolf resort.
A werewolf resort has, by law, two standard blockades. The inside layer is a twelve-foot fence made of electrified barbed wire. Built up around the fence is a twenty-five-foot-high, three-feet-thick wall made out of brick. It is impossible to scale from the inside and you’d have to be a fool to want to scale it from the outside.
Steve and Earl were fools, though they were well-prepared ones.
With a pair of matching clunks, their ladders struck the top of the brick wall. They ascended, glanced around, nodded to each other, and two sets of chains and bars unrolled to the ground. These were hanging ladders, which would allow them to descend on the other side.
Moments later Steve and Earl were on the ground and standing in front of one of the compound’s gates. Near the gate was a yellow metal box on top of a pole. As Earl opened the box, its hinges emitted a rusty shriek.
“Shhhhhhh,” said Steve.
Earl glanced at Steve. “Not my fault.”
“The woods have ears.”
Glancing around to assure himself that they hadn’t been spotted, Steve slipped off his lightweight pack and pulled a couple of items out of it.
The box had a keypad on the inside right. Steve stuck the first item out of his pack, a red LED display, above it. It flashed twice, beeped softly, and displayed 081499. Steve punched the code into the keypad.
On the left side of the box, a one-inch hole lit up. Steve placed the second object, a rubber replica of a thumb, into the hole.
Nothing happened.
“Maybe you got a defective thumbprint,” observed Earl.
“It’s not just a thumbprint. There’s a needle in there, which takes a DNA sample. The sample has to come from a member in good standing.”
“Where’d you get it?”
“A member.”
Steve restrained himself from adding the word “stupid” to the end of his statement. He jerked the pseudo-thumb out of the hole and jammed it back in. No go.
“Maybe it’s bad DNA.”
“For a quarter mil, it better not be.”
Steve jiggled the thumb. He was starting to sweat.
So was Earl. “This was a bad idea. Let’s bail.”
The lock on the gate clanged open, and the gate turned on well-oiled hinges.
“You were saying?”
Steve dropped his equipment back into his pack and pulled down his night-vision goggles. From his belt he yanked a compact-but-dangerous-looking gun. Earl did the same.
Steve took the lead, stepping into the compound with the brazen assurance of a guy who has done this kind of thing before. His eyes tracked the horizon for movement, his gun at the ready.
Earl, on the other hand, had the faintest of twitches – the kind a man gets when he’s new to a situation and can’t ask a steady stream of questions. His nerves kept him looking everywhere at once, instead of at the spot that would have kept him alive: A set of yellow eyes a few yards away.
He didn’t get a look at the fangs just below the glowing orbs, either.
Steve was a little more attuned. He tapped Earl on the shoulder, and pointed a little behind himself. In one smooth motion they spun, guns at the ready.
There was nothing there anymore.
Steve was starting to regret bringing Earl along on a poaching so soon. Earl was too jumpy, and unprepared for what might be out there. But it was too late now. Steve rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck.
An echoing crack sounded nearby.
As one, Steve and Earl crept towards it. They had reached the edge of a clearing. Inside the woods, two wolves pulled at a deer carcass.
“Is that-” said Earl, with more volume than was safe. Steve cut him off with a look.
Earl stared like a kid at Christmas. Anyone looking at him would have known he was seeing his very first living, breathing werewolf. Steve had the head of one mounted above his fireplace, though if anyone in authority ever asked what it was, it was, in Steve’s words, “Just a regular ol’ wolf.”
Steve smiled to himself. “Grandma, what valuable teeth you have.”
“What?” said Earl.
“Aim for the heart. Head, teeth, paws ‘n claws are the easiest to sell.”
“On it.”
Both guns came up, each aiming for a different wolf. Fingers started to squeeze their respective triggers.
Something seven feet tall raked its two-inch claws through Earl’s back. Earl spun involuntarily, a matching set of claws sliced through his throat, and that was all she wrote for Earl.
Steve spun and attempted to aim at his assailant, but he was too close to the beast to bring the gun into a shooting position. A now-bloody paw swung for his head, and only his military reflexes dropped him into a rolling crouch before it was too late.
Steve popped to his feet like a kung-fu master, dropping his gun in the process. There was no time to grab it. He ran back towards the edge of the compound he’d just come from. The blood pounded in his ears, and he could hear ragged breathing. But he couldn’t tell if it was his own or that of the nightmare he was trying to leave behind.
He was smart enough not to turn around and find out.
Steve reached the gate a minute later, grateful that he was still in the habit of running five miles every morning. He was less grateful when he realized that the gate was once again latched shut and electricity crackled through the barbed wire.
He reached into his boot and yanked out a ten-inch knife. He tried to slow his breathing, but five miles a day or not, the adrenaline shot the biped werewolf had given him was still singing its way through his veins.
He spun around, putting the fence to his back, and considered his options. The nearby trees had been trimmed back to prevent wolves from jumping the electric fence, but perhaps he could still climb one? Keep the wolves at bay with his knife?
Steve felt his tracking mode kick in – something was nearby. He glanced around. To his left, nothing. To his right, nothing. Up in the trees?
Steve’s last thought as the claws and fangs that had brought him so much profit in the past sought his most vulnerable flesh was, “Hundred thousand a claw, easy, for a biped.”


It took Ted Grave a few seconds to realize his intercom was buzzing. It wasn’t that he was lost in thought, though he was, but his previous receptionist, Rachel, had been more of a knock-on-the-door kind of woman.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. What happened was, Ted had gotten a new phone system installed, and his intercom system had become part of his phone system. The man who sold it to him claimed his installer would explain how it worked.
The installer, however, said that there was a separate trainer who would come in and give Ted an hour’s worth of instruction on how to use his new equipment.
A week went by, and Ted waited for someone to call him and talk about training times. It didn’t happen.
Ted made a half-dozen phone calls to the company that installed his intercom system, trying to get someone to train him on how to use it. First, his sales rep was on vacation. Then his sales rep didn’t work there any more. Then Ted started speaking to managers, who assured him that the installer had trained him, and it said as much in their files.
When Ted insisted that he had received no training, he was told that he could return the phone system for a full refund. The manager claimed that this was all he could do.
Meanwhile, Ted’s receptionist and Ted had gotten used to polite knocking and personal introductions for each of Ted’s clients. And they decided they sort of liked it. So Ted threw his hands up in the air and began a new, more personalized approach to customer service.
Then it had all fallen apart. Rachel had come to him one day with a smile on her face, and tears in her eyes, and she had told him that she was adopting a child.
She hadn’t needed to inform him. Because she was the first known werewolf allowed to adopt in the United States, it was a landmark case that was the top story on every blog and newspaper in the world.
With all the controversy surrounding her expanded family, Rachel had, with much regret, told Ted that she needed to be a stay-at-home parent for a while. Ted understood.
Together, they had read their way through hundreds of resumes and interviewed dozens of candidates for Rachel’s replacement, finally settling on Jean.
Jean, who was good with people, better with technology, and still a little flustered during this, her first week on the job.
Ted located what he hoped was the right button, and pressed it.
“Doctor Grave?” said Jean, through the intercom speaker.
“Ted. My patients call me Ted.”
“Doctor Ted?”
“Just Ted.”
“Well, um, Ted, in five minutes you’re going to be five minutes late for the council meeting that was moved to today.”
“Terrific. Thanks, Jean.”
Ted slid open a nearby drawer and pulled out a mirror, checking to make sure he was presentable for a council meeting.
Generally, he used it in his sessions as an exercise, a “when you look in the mirror, what do you see” game, but it sometimes came in handy for such occasions.
“What do I see?” he said mentally. “I see a guy in his mid-thirties who needs a haircut because he’s a child psychiatrist and he should look more professional in the office. I see a guy who always gets the knot in his tie a little wrong, even though he’s been knotting his tie every weekday for ten years now. I see a guy who always manages to be late for these stupid council meetings-”
The intercom buzzed again. “Doctor Grave?”
“Ted,” replied Ted, grabbing his keys off his desk.
“Your next patient is here.”
“Didn’t I cancel that appointment?”
“Sorry. No answering machine, no answer. Should I have him reschedule now?”
“Yes. No. Hold him there a minute.”
Ted closed his laptop, jammed it into his bag, and walked out into the lobby.
While his office had become a collection of piles over the years, his previous receptionist had kept the lobby looking smartly professional. A great deal of that had to do with the fact that Rachel’s husband was the head janitor of the building, and he always made sure that everything was dust-free and the trash cans were emptied.
Since Ted had been, in Rachel’s words, “instrumental” in their adoption process, Rachel’s husband kept the lobby extra spic and span, with the notable exception of Jean’s desk – which, over the course of her first week, had become a collection of paper piles rivaling Ted’s own.
Jean sat behind her desk and looked nervous, something she’d been very good at doing since he’d hired her.
In a couple of worn-but-cozy chairs sat Ted’s new client, who worriedly bounced his gangly thirteen-year-old legs while his even-more-worried-looking mother glanced around like she was scared someone might see them.
Ted flipped through the Rolodex of his mind. He always had been good with names, a genetic gift of sorts from his father. “Ben?”
Ben looked up. “Yeah?”
“C’mere for a second.”
Ben looked to his mother, who nodded. Ben got up from his chair and slunk over to Ted. They looked at each other.
“You want to tell me about it?” said Ted.
Ben shook his head: No.
“That’s probably not going to make your mom too happy, seeing as how she’s paying all this money for me to listen to you.”
Ben gave Ted a look only teenage boys who suspect they are being patronized can give. A rough approximation of a smile that says, in its own quiet way, that he isn’t buying it.
Ted knew the look all too well. “You know what I do, right?”
“You’re a shrink.”
“I’m a psychiatrist.”
“Like I said, a shrink.”
Ted resisted the urge to glance at his watch. He knew he was late for the council meeting already, and that he didn’t really have time for this. He also knew that sometimes you only got one shot with a patient.
“We seem to be getting off on the wrong foot here, Ben,” he said.
Ben shrugged.
“Let’s try again, shall we?” Ted extended a hand.
“I’m Ted. I don’t play a doctor on TV, because I’m a doctor in real life. I decided to get a job listening all the time because I never get tired of hearing people talk. You?”
Ben considered for a second, then shook Ted’s hand.
“You like girls, Ben?”
“Sure, whatever.”
“I like ‘em too. Especially with ranch sauce.”
Ben didn’t crack a smile.
“And a dash of sea salt,” said Ted.
Ben started to laugh, but stopped himself. His mom hated jokes like that, and Ben refused to pick sides just yet.
“See, that’s called a joke,” continued Ted. “You were supposed to laugh, and that would make us friends, which means you could talk to me about what the problem was.”
Ben looked away.
“First timer,” said Ted.
“Where’d it happen?”
“Slumber party - I wanted to have some friends over, it was my birthday.”
“Thirteen, right?”
“I’m guessing Dad’s the carrier of the family.”
“He travels a lot.” The answers were coming a little faster now.
“So he didn’t have the talk with you?”
“He said he wanted to be sure.”
“There are tests. Your dad-”
Ted stopped speaking as tears formed at the corners of Ben’s eyes. Stupid dad. Stupid dad, not telling him.
Ted looked at Ben’s glassy eyes. “Scared a few people?”
“I didn’t know. I didn’t know that I’m a freak, that I’m a-”
“Kid, you’re not a freak, okay? You weren’t the first, you won’t be the last, it’s something you can deal with. It’s who you are. Lots of people live with it for their whole lives, and they all turn out fine, okay? Look at me. I’m practically a productive member of society.”
Ben’s throat had closed up. Ted could see that the kid was ready to talk. Needed to talk. But first Ben was going to need to cry this out, and come back without a lump in his throat choking off all his words.
“This is where you have to say okay,” said Ted.
Ben got himself under control just enough to say, “Okay.”
“I’m not convinced, but I’m running late so that’s going to have to do. Now talk to my receptionist here, she’ll get you set up with another appointment and you and I will have a long discussion about this in the very near future.”
Ted grabbed a tissue out of his pocket and handed it to Ben. As they touched hands, Ben stepped forward and locked Ted into a hug. Ben’s face flooded with tears.
As many times as this had happened, Ted was never quite sure what to do. Close his eyes and really hug Ben? Stare at the wall? Mentally count the seconds? He settled for giving Ben’s mom a reassuring smile.
After a minute, Ben got himself under control and stepped back from Ted. Ted looked into Ben’s face, wanting to reassure him without sounding cliché.
“I’ll see you soon.” It wasn’t perfect, but it would have to suffice.
Ted picked up his bag and walked towards the front door. At the last possible second, he thought of a better closing line, and turned around.
“Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I was camping with the Scouts my first time. It’s still part of campfire lore in my old troop.”


The council room was part of the main office building at the local werewolf resort. It was standard issue, with several gray-and-white-templed council members surrounding a large oblong table so unexceptional that one would be led to suspect that the standard issue table came with a standard issue council as part of a kit.
This was not far from the truth.
Most towns had only a handful of werewolves, which meant people who would rather be watching football at home frequently ended up in hour-long meetings they’d rather have skipped. They sat restlessly at a table covered with open manila folders.
At the end of the table sat Lewis Pine, head of the local council. His face was etched with the wrinkles of one who has just crossed the threshold of fifty, his smile giving the accurate impression that he was the type of man who would sell ice to Eskimos, all the while assuring them that it was finely graded mineral ice.
“Sitting in front of you, gentlemen, are the facts, in plain black and white. These men were poaching, they spent a lot of money to do so-” orated Lewis.
The double doors clunked open as Ted huffed in.
“Doctor Grave,” said Lewis.
“Lewis.” Ted had learned very quickly once he joined the council that referring to Lewis Pine as anything other than “councilman” irked Pine to no end. Ted took every advantage of that opportunity.
“You’re late. Again.”
“Well, perhaps if someone bothered to inform me before ten this morning that the council meeting was moved to today-”
“We tried to reach you. You were unavailable.”
Ted took his seat.
“Despite the fact that I have a home number and an office number? Both of which have voice mail? And a cell phone, and a pager, and an e-mail address, and three separate mailing addresses?”
“And are they all on file?”
“Indeed they are, Lewis.”
“Well, I’ll talk to my secretary about it, then.” Lewis turned to address the room. “So hard to find good help these days.”
The council laughed politely.
“You could say the same of politicians,” added Ted.
The laughter came to an abrupt halt.
Lewis returned his attention to the matter at hand. “Well, Doctor Grave, it seems you’ve managed to catch the end of the meeting. We were just wrapping up.”
“Did the council discuss the resort incident?” asked Ted.
“We just covered that.”
“And what did the council decide?”
“There’s nothing to decide. The punishment fit the crime, I’d say. Open and shut.”
The council murmured its approval. There was television to be watched.
“Absolutely not!” Ted wasn’t normally one to raise his voice, a fact that his fellow council members knew. They braced themselves.
“Doctor Grave-”
“Lewis, this is the exact opposite of an open-and-shut case. We need to get outside authorities involved.”
“It happened at the resort. Period. That’s as close as you can get to another country without crossing a border.” Lewis was taking a tone with Ted that was just off from “What are you, five?”
“They got into the complex,” said Ted. “That means they got a DNA sample from a member in good standing. They also brought in a code-breaking device, which means someone told them how to crack the gate’s randomized password,” said Ted.
“They no longer pose any threat to us.”
“Yes, but whoever provided the technology does, and whoever provided the money to buy that technology-”
The double doors swung open again.
Lewis looked at the doorway, momentarily distracted from trying to shut Ted up and bring an end to the meeting. “Who are you?”
A petite brunette slapped her miniature tape recorder on the table, pressed record, pulled a notebook and pen from her bag and flipped her notebook to a blank page.
“Wendy Nix. Gazette,” said Wendy.
“And what are you doing here?” said Lewis.
“I’m a reporter. I’m reporting.”
An uncomfortable silence permeated the room. Wendy shifted from one foot to the other, trying to break the pin-drop quiet. “These council meetings are open to the public. State statutes.”
“Is that right?”
Ted grinned, inwardly and outwardly. “Yes. It is,” he said.
“Well, perhaps it’s time to reexamine the bylaws,” said Lewis.
“Perhaps it’s time to reexamine the security measures at the resort your brother is running,” said Ted.
“I won’t involve outside forces,” said Lewis.
“That’s fine. But we’ve had multiple break-ins, and if your brother doesn’t up security and investigate this attempted poaching, then I and the rest of this council will see to it that he’s replaced.”
Lewis stared long and hard at Ted. After a moment, his gaze shifted to the tape recorder on the table. He’d been railroaded, and there was no way out of it as long as the recorder’s little red record light was lit.
He looked back to the council at large. “All approved?”
“Aye!” said the council, as one.
A quiet anticipation filled the room. Everyone knew they were seconds from being released.
“Good,” said Lewis. “Meeting adjourned.”
The council moved like first graders at last bell.
Ted stood up, but held back a moment. “Lewis-”
“Adjourned means go home, Ted.”
The council was practically out the door.
“You said we would discuss my father’s research at the next meeting,” said Ted.
“And we will.”
There was a sharp click as Wendy snapped off her tape recorder. Ted looked at her.
“Do me a favor and quote him on that.” Ted grabbed his bag, heading for the door.
Wendy looked up. “Actually, I was wondering-”
Ted was already gone.

This book is currently publishing, and should be available either August 15 or August 16. Keep checking!

To read the rest of this novella:

On the Kindle

On the nook

At Smashwords

I'm still giving 10% of all my book profits to Ethiopia Reads.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Find a Job

(This article is part of a book called How to Find a Job, which now is available as an ebook on Kindle, nook, and Smashwords. All of the chapters have been revised, many have been expanded, and the book contains three bonus chapters (including Negotiating) that are not available on this blog.)

Back in April of 2008, I left my job as a technical writer to take a job as a Communications Specialist. Ten months later, I was let go during a national company-wide 3% layoff.

As of 2011, in a strange twist of fate, I am now back at the company that laid me off, this time as a technical writer.

The primary question I always had when a member of one of my various networking groups got hired was always, “How did they do it?”

The thing of it is, I kind of want to echo something one of my networking group leaders said many months ago in one of our meetings: “If there was a book that told you how to get a job, and it always worked, someone would have already written it, and everyone would have read it.”

I want to add to that thought, and say:

Try Everything

To draw from my own story:

1. By the time I finally got hired at my old company again, I sent out over 250 resumes. I got some interviews. So send out resumes.

2. I spent two semesters teaching Basic Movie-Making to high school students. I had an amazing time, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I got that position when a friend of mine happened to be talking to the director of a local school, who was wondering aloud where to find someone to teach a movie-making class. My friend just happened to have a DVD of one of my movies. He loaned it to the director of the school and a few days later I got an email about the job. So make sure to network.

And more importantly, consider opportunities outside your comfort zone.

3. I spent three months as a freelance journalist and blogger when a local magazine found my work through LinkedIn. I got my most recent job when the company found me through LinkedIn and asked me if I’d be interested in going back to the same company that had let me go two years ago.

So get on LinkedIn, if you aren’t there already, and get your profile updated. Someone out there might just be searching for you.

In the end, I spent almost 2 ½ years unemployed or under-employed. I taught high school students, wrote a lot of cool articles, and wrote some well-reviewed e-books that you can get on the Kindle or nook. And I started giving 10% of my profits to Ethiopia Reads.

And in the end, I learned that there really is only one way to find a job:

Try Everything

If you’re looking for a job now, the very best of luck to you. Don’t give up. And Try Everything.