Tag Archives: Writing

Eat Fish And Die – Awesome New Covers

Eat Fish And Die - Into The Wazoo of Death“Eat Fish And Die” is a series of satirical Mil SF short stories published by Hotspur Publishing. Two books have been released, and both have spiffy new covers made by the incredibly talented Mike Kingery. Here you can see the art used for the second installment of this series, Into The Wazoo of Death. And while Mike’s work is stunning, I thought I’d share a few images that demonstrate the process of cover art creation. Check out the following progression:

EFaD2 - Sketch 2EFaD2 - Sketch 1EFaD2 - WIP5

As you can see, we start from humble origins, but build up to a wonderful finished product. The thing I like most about working with Mike is his ability to collaborate. He doesn’t make a one-shot finished image and hope that it will do. He makes multiple tests, to get both feedback and inspiration, and then makes periodic updates that ensure the artwork meets expectations. Mike’s work is amazing, and I’m very happy to  have his talent next to mine as the series moves along. If you want to see more of Mike’s work, check out his website at the links provided.

 

Eat Fish And Die – Audio Book

Eat Fish and Die on AudibleMy Mil SF short story, “Eat Fish And Die” is now available as an audio book.  It features the incredible voice talent of John Pio, who makes the main character come to life. If you want to hear a quick sample, click here. For those of you who don’t know John, he has been working with his voice since 1996, starting as the voice for a major New York “movie and theater” phone listings service. With thousands of individual show blurb recordings under his belt, his voice has been heard hundreds of times daily. John is currently working on the second book of the series, Into The Wazoo of Death. Release date is expected in the first quarter of 2015.

Something Outside Your Interests, Yet Still Think It’s Great

I always enjoy getting positive feedback. Who doesn’t? Check out the following review of “Eat Fish And Die” at the Planetary Defense Command Blog.

The following comment impressed me greatly:

Normally, I would say that I don’t like humorous science fiction, and that I don’t care for a flippant writing style, but I really enjoyed this story. You know you’re reading work by a skilled author when you read something outside your interests, and still think it’s great.

Awesome! Of course, others may not like this quaint little story, some may downright despise it (no sense of humor obviously). But comments like this really make my day. Okay, hitting the Amazon top 100 list would be better. But hey! I’m not greedy.

Thank you Planetary Defense Commander!

Eat Fish And Die – Free on Kindle Select

Eat Fish and Die on KindleMy Mil SF short story, “Eat Fish And Die” will be FREE (all caps to get noticed by you tightwads out there) on Kindle this Saturday to celebrate Flag Day, Father’s Day and Bunker Hill Day. Do you even care about Bunker Hill Day? Neither do I, just don’t get it confused with Archie Bunker Day, where you sit around on your porch making rude remarks at people as they walk by. What could be more fun?

Anyway, save yourself a whopping 99 cents, and pat yourself on the back. You can even celebrate by going to the bar and drinking yourself into a royal stupor. You will of course have spent much more money chugging beers, but so many braincells will have died in the process, you won’t remember what happened.

Eat Fish And Die – Free this 4th of July

Eat Fish and Die on KindleIf you look closely, you will note that the title of this blog actually rhymes. Sad…isn’t it?

Well, even without poetic inculcations, you’ll be happy to note that my short story “Eat Fish And Die” will be free to download on Kindle during the 4th and 5th of July. I would have made it free on the 6th, 7th and 8th, but quite frankly, I expect you all to be so hung over that there’s really no point.

Eat Fish And Die is a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper.

If you haven’t figured it out yet: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. Duh!

Happy 4th of July.

So Many Ways – A Study in Euphemisms

Writing a humorous novel has required me to study certain topics, which up until now never ranked high during my college education. Namely, I never studied the wide variety of euphemisms for the male sex organ. I needed just one for a particular line in my book, but a long list published on the internet caught my attention. Chockfull of familiar terms, I found all the basics: weenie, johnson, dipstick, rod, love stick, pocket rocket, shaft. Sure, you’ve encountered these in one form or another. And when I say encountered, I do mean in the literary sense. Though it could be that some of you are more than familiar in the non–

On second thought, we won’t go there.

Nonetheless, I was surprised to come across some that were unknown to me. For example,”Texas trout banger”? I’m can’t imagine how that came about, and I have a pretty good imagination, if I do say so myself. And what about “the purple-helmeted warrior of love”? Okay…I suppose that one makes some sense.

What started as a perfunctory reading turned into greater recognition of general euphemistic patterns. For the edification of all, I decided it was best to share my findings. No, no, don’t thank me all at once. It was no trouble at all.

So without further delay, let’s begin:

Military — It may be too generous to say this, but I think there’s a possibility (a non-trivial one) that military types are responsible for a large number of these. There are many more than what’s listed here, but I do believe a broad spectrum is well represented:

Admiral Winky, bayonet, fun gun, Major Woody, man cannon, pink torpedo, Sergeant Stiffy, weapon of mass destruction, warhead

Animals Farm – Many of these are fairly easy to understand. Just a wee bit of imagination and most make sense in one form or another. However, not all are phallic symbols. Some are indeed quite cryptic, and I would beg anyone who understands “Texas trout banger” to come forward and explain it to me. That one is so bizarre, even Google shrugs with indifference:

Anaconda, beaver buster, bed snake, eel, hog leg, jellyfish, man’s best friend, nightcrawler, Texas trout banger, turtle

The Food Group – This is a quite popular grouping, and I’d guess it’s one of the oldest. You can just imagine dimwitted cavemen waving bananas around their groins while having a royal grunt fest. But with the invention of modern foods came the inevitable. What I found surprising was the use of fast food chains. It’s surprising how a whole new level of abstraction is reached within the minds of modern men (women too, I imagine):

Bacon bazooka, baloney pony, banana, beef stick, breakfast burrito, candy cane, corndog, cornstalk, doughnut holder, flesh Twinkie, Gummi worm, hot tamale, beanstalk, Captain Kielbasa, kosher pickle, lollipop, Jack In The Box, Panda Express, pig in a blanket, quarter pounder, rhubarb, Whopper (assume the Burger King Whopper), yogurt slinger

Fictional Characters – Here we see a sophisticated array of bizarre relations. I’m not sure every name makes complete sense. I take it some are based more on popularity than logic. Still, this list is quite fun to read, if not nostalgic in many ways.

Bilbo Baggins, Captain Hook, Captain Kirk, Curious George, Darth Vader, Donkey Kong, Fat Albert, Free Willy, Godzilla, Hercules, Mighty Joe Young, Mr. Magoo, Mighty Thor, Mini Me, Oliver Twist, Optimus Prime, Popeye, Prince Charming, Willy Wonka, Wookiee

I’m No Doctor But… – For some reason I find this group the most vile. It’s not that these terms aren’t funny, but their creation seems most likely attributed to snickering juvenile delinquents just having taken their 5th grade sex-ed class. If you find yourself laughing at these, please try to grow up by the time you finish reading this blog. I mean, if you’re an adult.

Cervix crusader, ovarian pool stick, pelvis thumb, placenta poker

All Hail The Chief – Nations are led by their leaders just like men are led by their manhood. What can I say? There must be an irresistible urge to compare one’s willy to the head of state. If hubris didn’t ensure such thinking, Richard Nixon made it a sure thing. Though, I believe Dick Cheney (yes, another major Dick) did help keep this tradition alive into the new millennium.

Mr. President, El Presidente, The Governor, His Majesty, The King, Peter the Great

Celebrities – Like fictional characters, I think this category is heavily influenced by temporal popularity. Still, there’s no denying the wondrous perfection with which some of these names fit the part.

Hairy Houdini, Magic Johnson, Monty’s Python, Mr. Rogers, Oh’Henry, Pink Floyd, Pope John Pole III, Tiny Elvis, Tiny Tim, Tom Jones

Anything Goes – This last category comes about from the sheer number that I encountered. At first I thought I might try to list all interesting combinations, but it soon became apparent that I should only offer the prefix, and then allow you — my esteemed readers with grace and good taste – to fill in the euphemisms that follow. My advice? Just use your imagination and see where it takes you.

Bald-headed —–, beef—–, big—–, Captain—–, little—–, love—–, one eye’d—–, mushroom-headed—–, purple-headed—–, trouser—–, Uncle—–, Mr. —–

Well, I hope you enjoyed the fruits (exclude the bananas this time) of my research. And if you got a laugh out of only a small part of this blog, then my work here is done. Just remember, it’s probably more fun to make up new euphemisms if you can. But if your creative juices are running low, pick from the smorgasbord available out there on the Internet. Without doubt, there’s something to suit all occasions and tastes.

Eat Fish And Die – Makeover

Eat Fish and Die on KindleIndie publishing offers writers fantastic benefits. Raking in millions of dollars by just– uhm, no that’s not what I wanted to say. Instant fame with just the touch of a– no no no, that’s not quite it either.

Sigh … let’s try this one:

The ability to experiment with the marketing aspects of eBooks as you bumble your way around the world of publishing. Yeah, that’s more like it.

Truth-schmooth, anyway, welcome to the rebirth of Eat Fish And Die, a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper. With a significant amount of marketing feedback (in a manner of speaking), Hotspur Publishing and I decided to try to reposition our product to better align itself with market demand. That’s business mumbo-jumbo for: hook more readers!

So what changes have we employed? First, I’m moving to a pen name. All my humor books will be written under the byline of S. Ron Mars. The thinking here is simple. Since my first novel has very little humor, there’s no compelling reason to associate all my books under one branded name. Sure, if fans just love me and my regular work, they’re probably going to find my humors stuff too. But for the casual reader, there is no strong reason to link the two genres. Some people might disagree, but I think there’s no harm doing this at my stage of development. My name (even a pen name) is like a brand, and as such, it should be on products that give readers certain expectations that the book they’re about to read is something like the last one.

In addition to a new pen name, Hotspur has redone the cover art to better emphasize the military aspect of this short story. My previous cover got across two things, humor and SF. Now all three aspects, mil, SF and humor are more equally on display. And because the title to some people may not appear humorous enough, we’ve added a warning label towards the bottom. It reads: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. We put that there because its…er…well, not that kind of story. Duh!

Like I said, this is still a bit of experimentation. Would it be nice to do things perfectly the first time around? You betcha-butt! But you know? Even big publishers have made a few mistakes. Well, maybe more than just a few. So in the end, I figure it’s just fine if Hotspur Publishing can experiment and improve things as they grow.

After all, no one ever achieved perfection the first time out the shoot. At least, I never did 🙂