Endings Are a Part of Life

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Some endings are expected and some take you by surprise.

The optimistic view is to see an ending as a new beginning which is easier said than done when betrayal is involved. If I were to count every ending I have been faced with in my long life, it would be a huge number, yet here I am; still standing. Endings are about loss. You probably were heart-broken when you lost a balloon or ball when you were little, but you got over it, and LEARNED TO BE MORE CAREFUL with the next one. Things are easier to lose than people.

In school you make friends and occasionally one will move away. You say you will write or phone, and you might once or twice before you get so busy with your other friends that you forget all about the one who moved away. You moved on. How many of your high school or college friends did you keep in touch with after saying goodbye upon graduation? I actually tried with a handful, but I found the effort to be one-sided. They had moved on. The same is true when they enter into a committed relationship, and again when they get married. Couples gravitate to other couples. The next time you encounter this will be when they start having children. Families hang out with families. Eventually, you will lose someone due to their passing away, and you will question whether you should have made a greater effort. Losses of those who we once cared about take time to heal, but heal they do.

“Time heals all wounds.”

Notice how they don’t tell you how long it will take. The funny thing is that all of the losses above pale, initially at least, with the ending of a relationship due to being betrayed. The reason is obvious, we have to get past the anger caused by betrayal before we can begin to deal with the loss.

It’s a double whammy.

If this is you this holiday season, reach out to friends or family, get showered, put on some nice clothes and go out to parties. Putting on the appearance there is nothing wrong will soon become normal, and nothing will be wrong shortly thereafter. Spewing venomous rage or throwing pity parties only increase the healing time. Most importantly you must remember that it was their character flaws—not yours—which led to them betraying you. Betrayal is toughest on honest people because we cannot rationalize this level of deceit.

Yet here we are . . . still standing.

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I hope all my readers will have a wonderful holiday season filled with genuine love from friends, family, and lovers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Yeah, I still say that.

If you like rebels who do not subscribe to political correctness, you might want to pick up a copy of my book.

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It’s a BIG book—literally and literarily!

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Librarians, and people considering publishing a paper book, this one is for you!

When I began writing Ms. Creant a number of years ago, I found myself reaching for my reading glasses more and more often as I researched the book. The decision to purchase them was based on my rationalization that due to the ridiculous amount of safety warnings being printed on labels these days, the font sizes were being decreased so much that only a very few people could read them. It had nothing to do with being in my forties.

Denial.

As a single guy in this age group, you cling to your youth amidst a mostly unacknowledged mid-life crisis, which means you wage war on the gray hairs more and more frequently until it is just a part of your unconscious daily routine. You have to attempt to look younger than you actually are in order to have any shot with women still in their child-bearing years—or so you have convinced yourself. Part of maintaining a youthful appearance in public requires that we can read a book without the apparent need of reading glasses; something I can do easily with a twelve-point font size.

Light bulb.

I would produce a book that people over forty can read at the beach without glasses. As it turned out there are both upsides and downsides to this decision for a self-published author.

Big 8” x 10” large print books are expensive to produce.

It seems that by choosing this size—after literally measuring bookshelves in libraries and bookstores—Ms. Creant would fall into Ingram’s “custom” category; something outside of their standard size offerings. I would go on to make the executive decision to proceed with this ideally sized book regardless of the fact that my book would be about five bucks higher in price than so-called “competitive” books coming out of the mainstream traditional publishers. Here is how I rationalized it at the time:

  • I have read enough books in my genre to know I was producing an original work; ergo, I was PEERLESS, and as such did not have to worry about “competitors”.
  • Additionally, my book is a legitimate reference / textbook whose competition is priced in the stratosphere by comparison. Most of those authors have PHDs and have many titles. Does anyone really care?
  • Lastly, I have purchased many large books over the years, sometimes for as much as three times the price that would be assigned to Ms. Creant. I ASS-U-ME-D all book buyers were just like me, in that they buy books based on the VALUE of the content rather than PRICE. It’s the words that count, right?

Yeah . . . turns out I was WRONG about all that stuff.

Always one to look on the bright side, it turns out that libraries actually like big paperbacks vs. the more expensive hardcover option; especially when taking on a book from a relatively unknown first-time author.

So, I have that going for me.

BIG news!

As a thank you for their support and to embrace, however reluctantly, the new wave of e-book options available in libraries, I have dramatically reduced the price of Ms. Creant in all the specialty library e-book platforms available from Smashwords. What more could they want? Oh yeah, reviews.

I have those.

Excerpts from reviews:

“Although, there is plenty of scientific, medical, and technical references laced throughout to draw from, Mr. Barker has managed to write the perfect self-awareness, self-help, self-insight book in a manner that is entertaining, witty, intelligent and informative without being dry and judgmental.” “It isn’t often that I say an author has thoroughly done their research, but in E. A. Barker’s case I can.” “5 stars across the board for writing, research, execution, and editing; a rarity for this reviewer.”

5 STARS – Savannah Morgan – Amazon.com

 

“Well, damn, I loved it. A wonderfully-written foray into the male psyche and too rarely plumbed ‘she done him wrong’ kerfuffle.” “Penned with wisdom, humor and a keen insight into the battle of the sexes and exes, this book kept me laughing, frowning, and on more than one occasion, prompted introspection.” “Brilliant book!”

5 STARS – Shelby Kent-Stewart – Amazon.com

 

“I LOVED this book!!! I LOVED being able to get a sneak peek into the mind of men. This book was both funny and insightful!!” “…I am so glad that I picked it up!!!”

5 STARS – Ebony Arrington – McMillan – Amazon.com

 

“I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from this book. What I got, was humor, insight, and some riveting stories about relationships, good and bad. Each story shone a beacon on flaws in character, strengths of character, and wit.” “I enjoyed meeting the people in the book.” “I gave it five stars because it is truly a manual that both men and women can sink their teeth into.” “Excellently written and surprisingly fun.”

5 STARS – Vicki Goodwin –  Amazon.com

 

“As a woman and a lesbian I was a little unsure about reading this book. Especially with it being from a man’s perspective.” “You will get a better understanding of the dynamics of relationships, of life and the do’s and don’ts. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read. You may learn things about yourself that you never knew before.” “Truly amazing read, you  won’t be sorry!”

5 STARS – Leah Negron –  Amazon.com

 

“ . . . it’s an original work in a sea of similitude.”

Patricia Annette – Massive Book Hog Blog

 

” . . . a fascinating fun read for both sexes.”

Eldon Taylor – Author and host of the Provocative Enlightenment radio show

 

“Yes – it is a great book. It certainly opens up dialog.”

Ravinder Taylor – Co-host on the Provocative Enlightenment radio show

 

“I am a woman in my middle sixties happily married for 45 years with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.” “This book should be read by men and women in their early stages of adulthood. The author was quite informative but had a good sense humor as well. Read this book with an open mind and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Keep writing E. A. Barker, you are a very gifted author.”

5 STARS – Amazon.com customer

 

“Personally I think that everyone that has ever been in a relationship or will ever be in a relationship should read this book. It is insightful, funny at times and not for children.” “I would give this book a 5 star review out of 5 possible stars. This is one you don’t want to miss. Try something different you won’t be sorry.” “Amazing.”

5 STARS – Roadie Notes Book Blog – Becky Narron

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“As a woman who has spent a lot of time trying to figure out how men see these types of things, this book was a breath of fresh air! Humorous and informative, I will definitely be recommending this book to others!” “Absolutely loved it!”

5 STARS – Amazon.com customer

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“. . . Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is far from boring, not my typical nonfiction read and not what I was expecting.” “I highly recommend this book for men and women, as well as young adults (teenagers).” “Bravo Mr. E. A. Barker!”

5 STARS – Denise – Amazon.ca

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“I approached this book with an open mind, and had to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it!” “I honestly can’t say if Ms. Creant will change the world, but it certainly altered my perception of it! Totally recommended – read this book, people!”

5 STARS – James Longmore – Amazon.com

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“Wow, I read this book relatively fast, and actually went back to read it again. There is so much information packed into the pages, it definitely warrants more than one read.” “I absolutely LOVE Barker’s writing voice.” “I highly recommend this book to everyone.” “5 Life Altering Stars”

5 STARS – Xtina Marie – Amazon.com & Goodreads

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“If you can read this with an open mind, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did and gain some very useful knowledge. I have a 22 year old son, and I’ll be getting him a copy to read. I hope he heeds the advice given, because I believe he’ll be a better man because of it.” “A definite must read.”

5 STARS  – Ms. D. Breault – Amazon.com & Goodreads

 

To see the full reviews follow these links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads.com

 

Thanks for reading.

E. A.

Banned Books! Let’s see if this post will get banned.

WARNING!

THIS POST CONTAINS PROFANITY WHICH HOPEFULLY OFFENDS SOME LOSERS!

 

It’s really about WHO is doing the banning.

In the land of Auth, we spend too much of our time on social media instead of writing or editing which would better serve our readers. That being said, every once in a while something truly interesting blows up in our news-feeds and this is my take on the latest of those.

K Webster’s: The Wild has made a big noise of late because (if I have my third party facts straight) Amazon and now apparently Smashwords have refused to sell her latest book due its content. It should be noted, I do not read most of the genres that my social media “friends” write in. My information has come from a couple of blogger friends whose opinions I trust, even though I challenge those opinions when they get too far from center.

Here is what I have found out about Ms.  Webster:

  • She is an above average writer who, apparently, is a very nice person.
  • She writes “romance” a.k.a. “mommy porn”.
  • Her facebook author page actually says she writes “reckless romance”.

I think it is this recklessness that created the shit storm which neither she nor her book rightly deserve.

On the upside, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

So WHY did this seemingly nice lady do this?

The 99.97% of humans who have never written a book, and who never will, cannot possibly understand what it feels like to complete a work which has taken months or even years to finish. We are absolutely elated. I can best describe it as the feeling you have after great sex, only it is your brain that had the orgasm and not your body. The afterglow lasts for weeks instead of minutes and I swear it is a hormonal response, but I have zero supporting science to back this theory up. Our brain had a baby and our hormones are all messed up.

Postpartum Elation excuses aside, (I own this. © 2017 :D) Ms. Webster made some mistakes:

  • She either did not use alpha-readers in her process; or she chose unqualified fans as alphas; or she ignored warnings that should have come from them about the “taboo” aspects of the book.
  • Her editor, if she used one, should have reeled her in, just as mine did when I thought  it was okay to publish thirty pages of explicit sexual content in my non-fiction book.
  • Her proofreader, or betas reading the galley, should have questioned the content and pushed for the use of a crystal clear reader advisory.

If she left all of the above out of her process, then she learned her lesson the hard way.

Good writing is an intellectual exercise. Great writing adds in an emotional investment component from the writer to the intellectual exercise.

  • Great writers go off the rails while writing passionately, and this is why the publishing world employs editors.
  • Great writers want to push beyond the boundaries of their previous books, and again, this is why the publishing world employs editors.

It is entirely possible that K Webster is a great writer who, at the same time, is also an irresponsible publisher.

This brings us to my opinion of what I have seen on social media:

  1. K Webster can write whatever the fuck she wants, and I will defend her right to do so with my fucking life, if need be.
  2. Book publishers, distributors, and retailers can carry whatever the fuck they want, and I will defend their right to CHOOSE with my fucking life, if need be.
  3. Writing about a “taboo” subject is not an endorsement of that behavior, nor does it imply that the author engages in said activities—you fucking piece of shit book burners.
  4. REAL STATISTICAL STUDIES SHOW that abnormal behavior is not caused by reading. It is far more likely to occur in those who do not read and who have a history of abuse themselves, Get your fucking head out of your fucking ass and LEARN before you voice a fucking opinion.
  5. Publishers and self-publishers like K, have a responsibility to inform prospective readers about ANY content which depict characters engaged in activities “outside of societal norms” or which could trigger a negative psychological event in a PTSD sufferer. If we do not regulate ourselves, you can bet your asses we will have moronic government fucks thrust this upon us, and they will go straight for our covers.

My PG13 (ish) book has the following on the website:

About the intended reader and a caution:

Ms. Creant was written by a man, from a man’s perspective, for men, and those soon to become men. Yes, many women have embraced the book as well, but it is doubtful any young female teenagers are likely to be handed a copy. It is difficult to state the exact age a young man should begin to explore the realities which lay ahead for him, so my first thought was to say age thirteen—the sooner the better. HOWEVER, I recommend we err on the side of caution. The book contains adult situations and sarcasm that the youngest readers may not comprehend without adult guidance to give them some clarification. This could cause an important message to be lost on them, or worse, they may embrace the poor behaviors illustrated. There are both young men and boys in the age range between thirteen and fifteen with significant variations in maturity levels found throughout the group. We can safely state that a young man is ready for Ms. Creant when he has experienced any of the following life events:

  • He has a poor attitude towards school.
  • He has been rejected by a girl.
  • He has a girlfriend.
  • He has had his first sexual encounter.
  • He has had his first heartbreak.
  • He has been caught with alcohol or drugs.

Reality check:

  • Amazon and Smashwords CHOSE not to sell her book. This is a risk every writer takes when they venture too far from what society deems to be acceptable behavior.
  • To see some of America’s REAL banned books, visit: The Week for an article by Lauren Hansen and Theunis Bates. This is truly disturbing.
  • Censorship is not a giant corporate entity doing what they feel is best for their business.
  • No one is telling her she cannot sell her book. They are merely saying they will not sell it.
  • No storm troopers came to her door to confiscate her books.
  • Did she cause outrage? You bet.
  • Will she benefit from all this negative publicity? Probably, if she sells copies from her own website or out of the trunk of her car.
  • Was this a staged publicity event? From what I hear, she doesn’t seem the type.