Tag Archives: twitter

What the F%*K is Wrong with People?

WARNING: This post is a rant and will contain very little, if any, content of substance. It may, however, contain offensive language. If you are offended by any thought expressed by me, I apologize in advance. Some of the content, not of my creation, will – or at least SHOULD – offend you…be forewarned.

Rated R

Okay, now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, I would like to open with a question.

What the f%*k is wrong with people?

Not all people, but an ever-increasing number of them.

Social deviance is nothing new, but the age of social media seems to have elevated it to the point where it is now acceptable to act like a complete a$$hole in a public forum.

annonymity Back in the days of face-to-face conversation there was usually (not always, but usually) a filter. We might have thought something about the person we were talking to, but there was something about eye contact that gave pause to saying it aloud. Now that conversation has been, or is being, replaced by typing – and eye-to-eye is giving way to eye-to-monitor – that filter is being eroded.

The problem is compounded when the anonymity of the internet creates a digital mob-mentality and people jump on a bandwagon they’d ordinarily ignore.

I understand that people are entitled to their opinions, and I am also aware that not everybody likes everybody else…and the combination of those two facts often leads to “less than respectful” remarks – especially when it comes to celebrities. mob mentality

Back in the pre-social media days many of these remarks went largely unheard – thankfully.

Not so anymore…nowadays our preferred method of communication is instantly available world-wide. Everything we say (post) can be seen by millions of people before we have a chance to reconsider saying it…and it seems that some people are using it as their personal platform in hopes of getting their fifteen minutes of fame…AND (the worst part of the whole thing) it seems that the easiest way to make that leap into the limelight is by being more rude and offensive than the last douchebag.

What set me off, you ask?

In a way, it’s been building for some time now.

Every day I peruse the internet and find myself asking (aloud) “What the f%*k is wrong with people?”

Some of the things people post are, to me, absolutely mind boggling.

I freely admit that I am not perfect. I have my opinions and I am pretty staunch in my beliefs…but I do my best (this post notwithstanding) to follow one of my mother’s staples of wisdom…”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Granted, I am not above posting a humorous meme about Kanye’s antics or some other such silliness…but there is a line that I won’t cross.

I won’t even approach it.

It’s the line that separates the majority of people from the scum.

The final straw came in the form of a series of tweets directed at former Major League Baseball player Curt Schilling.

Curt has a daughter about to enter college where she will pitch for the college softball team.

Being a proud father, Curt tweeted about his daughter’s accomplishments.

I’m sure; as a celebrity, Curt expected some “colorful” backlash…he was probably even prepared for a little bit of rudeness.

What he got was something that nobody could have ever expected, and something that nobody deserves – a barrage of replies about his daughter that left rude and disrespectful in the rear-view-mirror and sped away from it at Mach 2.

We’re talking about comments that would make the proverbial drunken sailor blush. Violent, sexual and deeply personal.

Curt responded with a blog post (see it here) and, in my opinion, is exhibiting restraint that I can’t imagine. Thankfully I don’t have a daughter, because if I did, and something like this happened, I would be out of my mind with rage.

In the interest of full disclosure – it is well documented that I am a Red Sox fan, and Curt Schilling played a major role in their 2004 and 2007 World Series Championships…but (believe it or not) that has nothing to do with my reaction to this bullshit.

If this had happened to Alex Rodriguez I would be equally as outraged.

This behavior – REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER BULLSHIT RATIONALIZATION YOU HAVE FOR IT – is so far down the ladder of social acceptance that if we took the express elevator to hell we’d still have to look down with binoculars to see it.

Honestly. Any person who thinks there is even a hint of justification for this sort of garbage is a moron of the highest order, to be grouped with child molesters and animal abusers.

This is what I say to these scumbags…

Yes, this is a free country, and…Yes, you have the right to say whatever you want, but…Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.hate speech

You are nothing more than a degenerate, moron, scumbag – and your parents should be locked in a Turkish prison for raising you so poorly.

Maybe you’re a refugee from an alternate reality where this behavior is common-place. If so, do the universe a favor and go back, I’m sure you’re considered one of the elders there and your wisdom is surely missed.

That’s all I have to say…actually, I have a lot more to say, but to say it in this post would mean reducing myself to the same level as the “people” I’m talking about.

I told you there would be very little meaningful content in this one.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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2014 Review – It Was a Very Good Year

Once again we are watching yet another year fade away in the rearview mirror.

Sometimes I think there is some sort of universal phenomenon that causes the years to go by faster as we get older. Sort of like a roller coaster…the long slow climb up that first hill is followed by a neck-breakingly fast plummet which really makes you appreciate the scenery you ignored on the way up.

Anyway…I digress.

2014 is in the books and it’s time for the annual recap.

From the perspective of my writing career, I have to say that 2014 was, by far, my best year (to date).

Let’s run down the highlights (in no particular order):

 

5-Digit Territiory

I joined Twitter in October, 2009 – shortly after my first novel was released – because I had heard it was a good way to network and market.

At the time I looked at networking and marketing the way a St. Bernard looks at catnip.

When I met Armand Rosamilia a year later I think I had about 80 twitter followers. Armand showed me how to use twitter and, most importantly, how to avoid being intimidated by its rapid fire, life-at-a-million-miles-an-hour pace.

Within a month I was up to 600 followers.

Here we are, just four years later and I have crossed the 10,000 follower mark – something I never thought possible.

twitter 10k

I thank you all for your support! I am truly appreciative for every single twitter follower as well as facebook fan and everybody else connected to me through social media.

 

An Audiophile’s Dream

When 2013 ended I was doing two radio shows on Surf 97.3.

Tim Baker’s B-Sides, Deep Cuts and Cool Covers (Friday night from 7-8 pm) was in its infancy and I was also partnering with Armand on Friday Night Writes (Friday nights from 8-10 pm).

In the early months of 2014 Armand’s schedule took him away from the show, leaving a two hour void in Friday night’s programming. B Sides cover

This void gave birth to The Tim Baker Friday Night Music Extravaganza.

At the suggestion of station manager DJ Vern I took over the 8-10 block, flying solo and replacing the writing-related talk with good ole’ fashioned rock and roll.

The show airs on Friday’s from 7-10 pm EST on Surf 97.3 FM and http://www.Flaglerbeachradio.com. It has been fun for me since day one and has developed a loyal, if not somewhat rabid, following!

Every Friday night I spend “the best three hours of my week” entertaining people with music, but even if nobody was listening I would still love doing it (although DJ Vern might not be too thrilled)!!

 

Oh! The Horror!!

Those who read my work know that my genre (the one that defies classification) will never be confused with horror, yet 2014 saw me contributing stories to two horror anthologies.

The first story was called Dying Days – Angel and appeared in the anthology Still Dying 2… an anthology of stories released by Armand Rosamilia based on his Dying Days zombie series.

I also submitted a story called Road Wearier to a collection of short stories called State of Horror – New Jersey. SoH New Jersey

I surprised many of my readers with these stories, and to tell the truth, I surprised myself a little too!

 

Singin’ the Blues

In the fall of 2014 I released my 7th novel – Eyewitness Blues.

Eyewitness Blues is the story of Martin Aquino, a young man with less sense than luck, and a knack for landing in bad situations.

Convinced that his life is beyond salvage, Martin decides the witness protection program will provide him with a fresh start.

Sort of like hitting the reset button.

Eyewitness Blues final cover

Unfortunately he hasn’t witnessed anything and things go downhill from there!

Practically from the day it was released Eyewitness Blues has been receiving great feedback.

Several readers have told me that, of all my books, it is their favorite. The reviews on Amazon are extremely flattering.

 

The Off-White Knight Rides

It seems that Ike took on a life of his own in 2014.

The final project of 2014 was a collection of short stories featuring my enigmatic anti-hero.

The book is called Path of a Bullet – A Collection of Short Stories featuring Ike.

The title came from a quote (by Ike) in one of the stories where he tells his compadre, Brewski “The shortest distance between two points is the path of a bullet.”

Florida author Susan Nicholls  penned a very nice foreword for the book and internationally acclaimed author Seumas Gallacher wrote an amazing review.

Six other writers contributed their own stories about Ike to the book. I don’t know how other writers feel about fan fiction, but I take it as a huge compliment. The fact that my character made enough of an impression on other people to inspire them to write their own stories is incredibly flattering and (at the risk of sounding cliché) why I write!

10807997_4705964944190_673894021_nSales of the “Ike has my back” tee shirts were better than expected too!

The Ike Anthology has been so well-received that work has already begun on the 2015 edition. I plan to write at least twelve stories for it and there will be additions from 11 other others.

Stay tuned for a blog post in the very near future formally announcing the other participants.

 

Speaking of 2015

I am hardly a prognosticator, but I’ll do my best to let you know what’s on tap for 2015…

The aforementioned collection of Ike short stories is planned to be released in early December and is tentatively being called Muzzle Velocity.

Many of you have heard the story of my ill-fated, 1988 attempt to write a novel called Full Circle. Well the time has come to drag Full Circle out of the closet and give it the attention it deserves.

From the day I began scribbling it down in a spiral-bound notebook all those years ago I have always felt it was a book that needed to be written – and now its time has come.

I have spent the past few weeks gathering & reviewing the 15 or so chapters I had written back in the day. I’ve also been going over the many thoughts & notes jotted down on everything from post-it notes to cocktail napkins (and never thrown away!) as well as compiling some new ones. As soon as the holiday madness dies down I will be diving into Full Circle. If all goes well it should be available in the fall of 2015.

I also have an idea for anBTJ coverother Steve Salem (he of Backseat to Justice) novel and I am going to try to crank that out as well.

Hopefully, a year from now I’ll be writing a recap about all three of those projects!

 

Thank you to all of you for sharing 2014 with me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support.

I hope each, and every one, of you are blessed with peace, love and prosperity in 2015!

 

As always – thank you for reading

 

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How NOT to Build Your On-Line Following

Last week on my radio show (Friday Night Writes, co-hosted by Armand Rosamilia) we discussed two separate topics which I’m going to fuse into one for the purposes of this blog post.

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The two topics were Twitter Tips for Authors and Authors Should View Each Other as Teammates Rather Than Competition.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2010, but I really didn’t start using it regularly until 2012 when Armand gave me a crash course – so I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert.

However…

There is one thing about Twitter that is, to me anyway, common sense. It also applies to Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

It Doesn’t Cost You Anything to Follow Back.

Seriously.

As Independent Authors, we rely on social media to expand our audience and reach out to potential readers. Unfortunately some authors treat it like a competition…like we are all fighting over that one reader.

On a typical day I will follow anywhere from 10 to 50 new people. Many of them are other authors, but not all. Generally, about 75% of the people I follow will return the courtesy and follow me back. Most of the people who don’t are usually large entities who can’t possibly follow every one of their followers.

twitter followers

For example, this morning I followed the Library of Congress (@librarycongress). They have over 550,000 followers, yet they only follow 7, and 3 of those are other branches of the LoC.

I truly don’t expect a return follow from them.

At the same time that I followed the LoC, I also followed several other people, and within 2 hours almost all of them had followed me back.

There were 3 (all Independent Authors) who sent me direct messages.

The messages were worded differently, but all said basically the same thing…

Thank you for following me, let’s connect on Facebook too.

message

Okay. No problem.

I’m all about the networking…

I proceeded to click the link they so thoughtfully provided to their facebook fan page and give it a like.

I then tried to send a reply to them saying I had connected with them on facebook, and I also provided them with a link to my facebook fan page.

I hit send and got a red flag saying I was not allowed to send a direct message to this person because they do not follow me.

This happened for all three of them.

message2

You took the time to send me a message asking me to like your facebook page, but you can’t follow me back?

So guess what I did.

That’s right. I unfollowed them.

 

This is the way I see it…

You are an Independent Author…I am an Independent Author and we are both trying to succeed in a pursuit where the odds are decidedly against us.

I can’t speak to your reasons for not wanting to follow another author, but I can give you my reasons for doing it…

Authors read too…yeah, that’s right – not only are we writers – we are also readers. So every time you don’t return a follow you have alienated both a colleague and a potential reader.

Authors have readers…think about it – establishing a two-way connection with other authors opens the door to attracting some of their followers.

You might learn something…at the absolute minimum; you should view connecting with other authors as a chance to learn something new and helpful. None of us know it all, but all of us know something.

 

Being an Independent Author is not for the timid. It’s long hours and hard work for very little money. On a dollar-per-hour basis, we’d probably do better flipping burgers.

Doesn’t it make more sense to work as a team, rather than trying to fly solo?

If we all help each other we all win.

People buy lots of books. I know people who read as many as five books a week. It’s not like buying a car or a house…we are not salespeople competing for that one buyer’s money.

book salesman

So when another author follows you on Twitter (or any social media platform), take a few seconds to follow them back…it costs you nothing and you’re helping all of us.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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