Bernie pic

Bernie pic

Friday, 28 September 2012

Amazon declares me profane

Amazon thinks we are profane.

They said my profile was unacceptable because it contained a profanity. WTF! I carefully re-read my profile and tried a few changes but the message came back: PROFANE
I deleted the only remaining  thing I could see they might object to. Sure enough, the new version passed muster.

On the road to Damascus Paul’s book pummels your brain

IF The Book of Paul were a music album, a critic might say it had cross-over appeal.
It has a feel of a genre novel but it is hard to classify because of its elements of sci-fi, dystopia, psychological drama and comedy.
I believe its publicity machine  is running with supernatural thriller and that is a good as label as any.
I read not much genre fiction apart from Chandleresque private-detective yarns. While I say ’’not much’ , none at all is closer to the mark.
New York author Richard Long was able to hook me and keep me on the line until the end. That is a good effort as, before reading The Book of Paul, I thought tarot was an Asian root vegetable. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Richard like John in his own write

Day 4 of the Book of Paul tour is here.
Today we have a guest post from the author Richard Long.
Welcome to the Save the Book blog, Richard.
Make yourself at home. Can I get you a cup of coffee?
No, you want to get started. Fire  away!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hey hey Paul-eay, how many kids you kill today?

Welcome to Day 3 of my part in the whirlwind blog tour of The Book of Paul.
On Day 1, author Richard Long was kind enough to eloquently answer my questions on his supernatural thriller.
On Day 2, we ran an excerpt from the novel.
Today we return to Q&A, one of my fave media for discussion and robust debate. The questions are from blog-tour organiser Novel Publicity.  In the interests in massaging my ego, I may introduce my own comments. We will see. Let the fun and games begin.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Day Two in the Life of Paul

YES, it is Day 2 of my part in Richard Long’s Blog Tour of The Book of Paul.

It is Day 2 and I already have to apologise to yesterday’s readers for misleading you about your opportunity of winning all these fabulous prizes. It seems you all have the opportunity to win as you will discover when you read on.
After yesterday’s goof, I probably did not endear myself to blog tour organizer , Novel Publicity who kindly let me have a go, as we love to say in Australia.
At this point I had better show my tour badge to authenticate I am really part of this great enterprise and not some crazed troll.

I thought I would play safe today and post one of the files tour organiser, Novel Publicity, sent me. It is an excerpt from the novel.

Monday, 24 September 2012

More than just a naughty boy: the life of Paul

This week, Save the Book is part of a whirlwind blog tour in support of Richard Long’s novel The Book of Paul. I am not sure what the tour badge is about. As I understand it, only the bloggers can win the prizes. WTF, they give me badge: I'll wear it

Critical readers have their say about 7 Shouts

A fun read June 10, 2012
By Jane.S
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don't laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say 'marown'.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Make the sort of money your book, art or performance deserves

I had the privilege of listening to Dr Ernesto Sirolli for more than an hour today.

He was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Moreton Bay  

Creative Industry Expo 2012

Moreton Bay is a region of Queensland Australia and is where I live.

I will try to explain as simply as possible what Dr Sirolli had to say.

If I do what you consider a good job, please send a link to this post to everyone you know who is an independent writer, artist or performer.  It concerns how good artists can make a decent living from their work. Anybody working in the arts knows that is just not happening today.


Dr Ernesto says all work offered for sale involves three processes.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

What’s hot these days?

A MAN who has been dead for 30 years, an 80-year-old car and a teenager are the hottest tickets of the week.

More than 160,000  readers of  British music magazine NME voted John Lennon as the greatest rock icon of the past 60 years.

The top 10 are

  John Lennon
   Liam Gallagher
   David Bowie
   Alex Turner
   Kurt Cobain
   Amy Winehouse
   Jimi Hendrix
   Morrissey
   Noel Gallagher
   Ian Curtis

For the record Ian Kevin Curtis (July 15, 1956 — May 18, 1980) was the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division.
Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. In the 1980s he was the lyricist and vocalist of the The Smiths before commencing a long solo career
Alex Turner[4] is the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter of the English  band Arctic Monkeys.

If you do not know the rest, what are you doing still reading this; Move on to the car yarn.

Cashing in on a car
In 1994, Morrissey had a hit album, Vauxhall and I. 

I would love to say it was a humble British Vauxhall which fetched more than $5 million at auction but I would be lying.
At the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, UK, on Saturday 15th September
An extraordinary an unrestored 1928 ‘S’ Type Sports Tourer Mercedes fetched more than £2.8 million. Type Sports Tourer battleship grey ‘S’ Type was owned by the same family from new and had never been restored, retaining its original blue leather upholstery in its entirety.
Never has the tag “one owner” had so much value. Oh Lawd, won’t you sell me a Mercedes Benz.

A 1929 Maserati Tipo 26M four-seater sports racing car raised £1,681,500.
A1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 SS Competition Tourer went  for a lousy £1,099,100.
What the highest priced Vauchall went for is not recorded. Used to be such a sweet car, too.

Still a sweet girl

Abigail Gibbs, 18, has signed a six-figure publishing deal with HarperCollins for her vampirific novel.

Gibbs is  a sweet girl, and like Morrissey, a vegetarian. There the comparison  ens as the teenager can’t stand blood while Morrissey bleeds from the mouth,mthe ears and the amp.
Ì do wish people would stop writing things like six-figure sume. I have to count ion my figures to some up with $100, 000 or more.
I do hope these bidding wars for indie writers continue. One day they might get down to you or me.

HarperCollins's publishing director, Shona Martyn, said: ‘I think this book has traction – Abigail's storytelling is pacey and vivid; her characters and plot are sexier than Edward and Bella.’’
E&B, I presume, are characters in the Twilight series.

 In the meantime, this book has not sold for a seven-figure sum.

But you can buy it as it rushes past 7 reviews.

                  HERE   and HERE

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Less is more if light on your feet

American ballerina Gillian Murphy
is part of an allegory for independent authors

I LIKE this story because I see it as an analogy of how to make a success of independent writing.
Throughout the world arts organisations are struggling as we seem to be near the bottom of the sponsorship – government and private – cycle.
So how does a ballet company survive let alone thrive in a New Zealand city such as Wellington with a population of 364,000 people. A tiny population by city standards but it gets worse.
Here are the priorities of the Wellington Regional Plan 2010-2012

The priorities for 2010 - 2012 are
  • more people get into work and stay in work
  • more children are safe
  • more young people stay on track
  • reduced reoffending by young people
  • improved quality of life for older people
  • communities are better able to support themselves.

Notice any mention of fostering the arts? No!
Well what does the government see as the backbone of the Wellington economy?

Our economy
The key industries and employers in the region are:
  • public administration and safety
  • professional, scientific and technical services
  • healthcare and social assistance
  • education and training
  • retail trade.
Any mention of the arts or even entertainment? No!
A born-again Oliver Cromwell would seem to fit in here.

But perhaps it is the government not the arts community of Wellington which is out of touch with reality.
In November American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Gillian Murphy will perform in  a new staging of Giselle,  co-produced by Wellington based Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Ethan Stiefel and internationally acclaimed principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, John Kobborg.
The production will be in the home of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, St James Theatre Wellington.  The London Evening Standard newspaper described the RNZB as “a text book case of how a small company can defy the debilitations that size usually brings.”
For the Standard, bigger is not more secure. Bigger is more precarious.
Notice also tha,t for the NZRB, smaller does not prohibit international co-operation.
How does the company do it?
For a start, the St James Theatre  was designed for vaudeville. Maybe the Cromwell ruin song was performed there. As a music hall, the St Jimmy is lower and broader than usual ballet houses and it enhances intimacy between performers and audience.
St James Theatre is surrounded by bars and restaurants, many of which offer special pre-theatre dining menus and deals. As an example,  Logan Brown at 192 Cuba St offers a three-course bistro menu for $45 and a $55 ballet package which includes an additional glass of champagne and taxi to theatre. 
The City Life Wellington  Hotel  at 300 Lambton Quay  offers  weekend packages from $179 for a studio room, subject to availability.

The point of this story is not that Asians, Aussies and Kiwis should rush to the season of Giselle though they can book at
Rather it is that indie authors can ci-operate with one another and relatewd industries to makes less more.

Instead of more of the same offer less of the different

Monday, 10 September 2012

So U Wanna Write Sumthun

Albert Jarry author of the short story  
The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race.

IF there is an author’s grand plan for successful writing practice we would fail to have the rich diversity which makes literature a thing of beauty.
I write all the time: it is my day job and often my night occupation. Deadlines focus the mind but when I set out to write something which I suspect might turn out above average, I let the work ferment in my mind, and perhaps my heart and soul.
Once the idea is ripe I tend to write it all out without revision until the end. It kind of works, but I suspect some semi-scientific creative process works  on the raw idea before I put finger to keyboard.
Today I came across an article which might have some of the processes I employ  sub-consciously.
The article is by a media editor, but I imagine it could assist authors of short stories, novellas  and full-length books.
The article is called  6 questions journalists should be able to answer before pitching a story.
Below is the reference. You can either read the thing whole or my derivation for book authors.

First, you will note the title has a number in it, a strategy beloved by internet marketers. Everybody seems to be on that sort of stuff these days including the article’s author, Tom Huang, is Sunday & Enterprise Editor at The Dallas Morning News.
Even indies should be pushing their story to their publishers, themselves.
Si here are the six questions with my thoughts on them.

1.       What piques your curiosity about the story?
This is will be the theme of your story or the underlying reason you are telling it. You do not need to write down that theme or even understand it completely as you will tweak it in the writing process.  Be aware that it is there; it is basic; it is important.

2.       What’s new about the story, and why do you want to tell it now?
Most good stories are universal and timeless, but geography and timeliness will make readers more perceptive to them. Is this the right time and place for your story?

3.       Why will the reader or viewer care about the story?
There are two answers to this question. The first is because it is well written. The second is because it speaks to some readers who hear it clearly. A book has never been written which every reader hears. If you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no-one.

4.       How can we tell this story digitally?
Critics of eBooks are quick to affirm their drawbacks, such as their lack of the comfort of physicality. But eBooks have comforts hard copies do not – the ability to link anthology authors to their stories and bios, as an example. Linking to other digital works is another. It is early days for eBooks. Be aware of break-throughs in formatting and linking

5.       What questions will you need to ask to get this story, and what sources will you need to consult?
This is the basis of your research. If you do not enjoy research, you might need to change your mindset. Similarly if you enjoy research too much, you may delay the telling of your story.

6.       How much time will you need to produce the story, and how much space/time do you think the story deserves?
If you set out to write a novel, your story had better be up to that length. If you are writing a short story, it needs to be compact, even if told in a light style.
It is a good idea to set yourself a minimum number of words a day. If you write 1000 words a day, your first draft of a novel will take about 90 days or 4 months, given that you are unlikely to write seven days a week when starting off. Four months for writing; eight months for revision and  editing will give you that book in a year, the goal heritage publishers love,
If you set a deadline, you will likely fail. If you do not sett one you will certainly fail.
Remember even the Boulevard of Broken Reverie has an end to it.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Trolling for good grammar part 1

 A leisurely stroll with trolls

Trolling for blue fish, a1866 lithograph by Currier and Ives

THE heritage media in Australia is hunting for trolls after a celebrity was hospitalised with a breakdown following Twitter exchanges.
As it turns out, the celeb was not entirely blameless in the internet banter , but, as she admitted, she met more than her match.

Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their own level and, once there, beat you with experience.

I am not much interested in the latest attempt by the heritage media to use print to troll internet discourse.  But I was taken with the notion of finding a little more about the on-line community’s assessment of trolling.
I found this excellent presentation by Californian web developer Nicole Sullivan who is also a gardener and poor car parker. I too am a gardener and poor parker. While I am not entirely sure what  web development is, I am pretty certain it is a cool thing for people, other than myself, to do.
Finding the Sullivan presentation required incredible discipline on my part as it was on the second page of a "trolls" Google. It was not even the top item on page 2, but I found it. (Alright it was #2. but that is not #1)
In response to my superhuman feat, I am asking you to play the presentation all the way through

Have you played it all the way through? You sure? You know I can wait you out until you do. You already know about my boundless discipline.
I have to play it again, anyway , as I need to quote  the bit I am interested in discussing.
Let’s watch it again together, shall we?

The advice in the vid is solid and concisely presented.  Alright, but the piece I want to talk about is where Ms Sullivan trolls “the grammar nazi” and I am sure she is talking about me.
“People think grammar is very, very, very important. I don’t understand them,” she said, looking right at me, through my computer screen.
Let me say, first up, one "very" in a sentence is usually one too many – ha! ha! gratuitous trolling.
No, what I really wish to say, is Ms Sullivan would not think half-assed web development was good enough. So it is with writing. “Mean what you say and say what you mean” applies to personal morality, refusing to troll and writing.
Sloppy writing creates confusion, reduces elegance and anchors the imagination, hampering glorious flight.
These are not just academic or aesthetic considerations. They go to the heart of whether the self-publishing revolution will liberate or debase literature. Heritage book publishers will tell you it is the latter. Conscientious self-publishers with respect for good grammar are assisting in making it the former.
Writers and readers need only to remember their childhood to know lots of good treats are in Grammar’s house.

                           Finally let’s enjoy an anti-trolling classic

Bernie Dowling. September 3, 2012

Available at AMAZON