Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

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The World Is Still A Pretty Awesome Place Photos…

2nd Re-blog today, ’cause it’s just so good :-)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Don’t Let The Evening News Get You Down,

The World Is Still A Pretty Awesome Place


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How Politically Correct Should Writers Be?

Bold opinions in today’s re-blog — definitely something to ponder…

Lit World Interviews

A while ago a well-known author published a book about a rich, handsome man who pretty much had anything anyone could wish for becoming paralyzed in an accident. He and the woman hired to care for him then fell in love, but at the end he chose to commit suicide rather than carry on. This caused quite a few disabled people to be deeply offended, and this was pretty obvious in the reviews. Several suggested that she hadn’t done her research properly, or she would have realized that it was very insulting to those in similar circumstances in that it suggested that living in that way was so unbearable that death was preferable. Most of those real, live people strive for the best lives that they can. They don’t generally give up, and I’m sure that they have just as much joy during the course of their lives as anyone…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Nine

Love and Unity

Alexander M Zoltai
Dedicated to
Audra Michelle Kee


When Sam’s parents died, he’d moved in with his grandfather.

Two more different males would be hard to find.

Grandfather let Sam do whatever he wanted when outside the home, since Sam was indeed a young adult; but, inside the home, Sam had to learn a few rules. The hardest one to follow was to not talk people down, which Grandfather called “backbiting”.

Today had witnessed one of their most intense discussions about this issue.

Grandfather: “How was your day, Sam?”

Sam: Not too bad, Gramps; but, Pete at work can’t do anything right. Sometimes I think he’s screwing up just to cause as much trouble as he can.”

G: “He can’t do Anything right?”

S: “Right, he’s as dumb as a brick.”

G: “Dumb as a brick…”

S: “Gramps, come on, you know what I mean—he’s always acting stupid.”

G: “Always?”

S: “Geez, why is it so damned hard to talk to you?”

G: Well, Sam, have you considered it may hurt me to hear you refer to another human as always stupid, not able to do anything right, and dumb as a brick?”

S: “Hurt You? I don’t get it…”

G: “You didn’t know my father…”

S: “Met him once, but sure didn’t know him…”

G: “He could seem to be the nicest man when out in public; but, at home, he couldn’t seem to stop himself from railing against all of humanity, one human at a time.

“The fact is, once they’d interacted with him a few times, folks could sense this in him,  even if they’d never experienced his behavior at home. Unless they had to associate with him because of business, they avoided spending more than a few minutes talking to him.

“I doubt most of those who shunned him knew why they suddenly needed to be somewhere else, because he could act like he was sweet as a buttercup.”

S: “Well, O.K…. so your dad did it all the time?”

G: “Yes, he even spewed hatred at businesses and organizations and the weather and God.”

S: “Well, I don’t do it All the time, do I?”

G: “No, Sam, but doing it at all harms you, deep in your soul—my father died an extremely lonely man…”

Grandfather promptly left the room and Sam fell into a trance of internal investigation…


Talks like this happened about once a month with various members of Grandpa’s extended family being introduced as the star offenders of moral etiquette.

Sam began to wonder how his grandfather had turned out to be so loving… He also began to wonder how Grandpa could still stand to be around him—put up with his behavior…


Over the next year Grandfather began to suffer more and more from his maladies of aging—Sam began to treasure his talks with him, wished they could last longer, happen more often…


Grandfather died…


Sam got married…


Sam struggled in his life—fought with himself to be internally moral until he finally attained love for and unity with all other humans…

This amazing transformation came in a rush, like a sudden payoff for all the gritty moral work over the years; and, it burst from his heart the moment he saw his daughter’s first child—a boy…


Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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Is the tone of your prose in tune with your novel? A simple exercise with Pharrell Williams and Yellow Magic Orchestra

Today’s re-blog has Roz Morris expanding on “The prose is like a soundtrack for a movie, the lighting, the mood.”

Nail Your Novel

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson drunk and playing 20 questions in BBC Sherlock Season 3 Episode 2 The Sign of Three A moment of uncharacteristic levity in the lives of J Watson and S Holmes

Your prose does more than simply describe what happens. It creates the experience in the reader’s mind – the atmosphere, the themes, the lighting, the mood. Imagine the book has a soundtrack, like a movie. In fact it does, because the ‘music’ is created by the shape of the words and the images they conjure. A writer’s distinctive style is often called their ‘voice’, and that voice speaks the book inside the reader’s mind. So we have to be very deliberate with every word.

But quite often, writers don’t realise they’re actually sabotaging their narrative by inappropriate word choices.

To hone your awareness, try this exercise

Pick a simple scenario. Let’s have a character waking up in the morning, climbing out of bed, putting on a dressing gown (or, if you prefer, a suit of armour)…

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10 Sites with #Free #Ebooks

Before I share the sites with free ebooks, a few words about the site that let me know about them — No Shelf Required.

Here’s what they say about themselves:

“Portal on all aspects of ebooks and digital content and for all creating, reading, publishing, managing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, educators, librarians and information science professionals. With contributions from book and library professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.”

Their Mission page has this:

“The mission of NSR is to educate, enlighten, and, most important, inspire those who are in one way or another involved with ebooks and digital content of all kinds (e.g., audiobooks, videos) so that the book and library industry around the world can do its part to help spread literacy—the only effective weapon in our collective fight against misinformation, poverty, favoritism and inequality.”

It’s worth a trip over there to see what they offer and, perhaps, find a way to help them

I already knew about three of the ten sites they list; but, was pleasantly surprised about the others (the descriptions following the links are quotes from the site…): attempts to partially fill the gap between e-collections and all the variety of other material that has been brought together across the Web.

Eserver is a growing online community where hundreds of writers, artists, editors and scholars gather to publish works as open archives, available free of charge to readers. is based on the premise that small gifts by many users can free ebooks from the DRM fetters that bind them…in essence, ‘ungluing’ them in a virtual way.

Knowledge Unlatched offers a global library consortium approach to funding open access books…

HathiTrust Digital Library is likely the most oriented towards academic researchers, largely because it was the product of 13 universities that made up the Committee on Institutional Cooperation…

Smashwords — Though only a fraction of the full collection is free, it is still substantial…

World Public Library shelves millions of PDF eBooks in hundreds of languages, containing hundreds of the finest eBook and eDocument collections published on the Internet today.

Internet Archive provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books.

B-OK is probably the largest free ebook site…

Project Gutenberg — The oldest (1971) of such collections, it currently has a collection of 53,000+ volumes.


Stop working, Stop socializing, Stop Everything & Read More Ebooks :-)
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com