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About this journal
I post vampire porn and random squawks here. You may also be subjected to local news, provided it's absurd, and pictures of my children during their formative years. Politics will be mentioned at times, and it goes without saying those posts will also be absurd.

September 2013
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ozma914 [userpic]
A writing excerpt, more Scouts, and the best Becky

So, we paid a little money to promote The No-Campfire Girls on the Fussy Librarian newsletter, which resulted in a few sales. Then I doubled down by letting social media have it with both barrels. I sent out a newsletter, then put up two different posts on multiple social media platforms, including some I still have never heard of and others that don't exist yet.

(By the way, FaceBackTalk will be huge.)

I even tagged some celebrity former Girl Scouts with what amounted to begging. Up to this point, the total effort has produced zero results, in sales or reviews. (To my knowledge; sometimes these things move slowly, like my bathroom sink.)

So the next time your father says "you get what you pay for", stop snickering and pay attention.

I'm tempted to paraphrase Davy Crockett by saying social media can go to hell--I'm going to edit. But after Crockett said something like that, he went to Texas and died at the Alamo. I'm not sure I want to fight to the last adverb.

Besides, social media can be pretty cool, what with the family's baby pics and the backdraft simulators, so as long as you don't get addicted or expect too much from it, it's okay. Another besides: I was once followed on Twitter by the original Becky from "Roseanne", so I've already had my fifteen minutes of fame. (And after she followed me her Twitter account disappeared; coincidence?)

Besides X3, I've gotten a lot of moral support from friends and fellow writers online ... so here's a reward in the form of a short excerpt from The No-Campfire Girls. It's free. You get what you pay for.


Cassidy stopped in her tracks. “Oh, no.”


For a moment Cassidy listened to the voices, then she gripped Beth’s arm. “Whatever you hear from now on, just remember this: Only half of it is true.” She took a deep breath, then marched on toward the barn’s entrance.

Director Harris stood inside, along with two wranglers—former Lookout Girls who now specialized in the camp’s horses. The wranglers looked greatly amused. Mrs. Harris did not.

The object of their attention was an old man who stood with his arms crossed. His craggy face was brownish-red, his nose a great tomahawk-like hook, his eyes brown and clear. “Whatever might help should be tried, Director Harris. We accomplish nothing if we don’t try.” He wore jeans, work boots, and, despite the heat, a long sleeve red flannel shirt and cowboy hat. Even the horses stood still, fascinated by him.

“Oh, my gosh.” Beth whispered to Cassidy, “He looks like a full blooded Indian!”

“Half Cherokee. But he’s full of something.” Cassidy took another deep breath, then stepped into the barn.

Cassidy knows this guy. Beth followed the other girl in. Well, it made sense: Unlike Beth, Cassidy lived around here, and the nearest city wasn’t all that big. Heather claimed the nearest mall called her name from three hours away.

Mrs. Harris didn’t notice them at first, but the old man looked around. “Osiyo, Cassidy.” He sent her a mild smile. “Maybe you could explain to your director that I do an effective rain dance.”

Cassidy drew back a little. “Hello to you, Running Creek. Beth Hamlin, this is Running Creek.”

“Call me Simon. I don’t stand on ceremony.” He looked at Mrs. Harris again. “Although I do know how to conduct ceremonies.”

A moment of silence followed. Everyone, Beth realized, looked at Cassidy.

“Mrs. Harris, Running Creek—Simon—is trained and experienced with rain dances.”

Mrs. Harris sighed. “That doesn’t mean—“

“These things must be done right,” Simon told her. “Once, in 1997, I danced too long. It was a hundred year flood.”

“I didn’t question your ability to do the dance, Simon. But you’re here to teach archery in place of having campfires—not to change the weather so we can have the campfires. I don’t think it’s proper to do what amounts to a religious ceremony in front of all these girls.”

Beth didn’t see how a rain dance would be any worse than the Lookout Girl rain song they’d sung at breakfast, but something told her bringing that up would be a bad idea.

Simon stared at the director for a long moment, then whipped off his hat to uncover a full head of pure white hair. “The politically correct police strike again.” He bowed to Mrs. Harris, nodded to the others, then walked out the door. The horses watched him until he disappeared, as if waiting for his next trick.

The wranglers tittered a little, until Mrs. Harris threw them a glare and they went back to work. Then she turned her attention on Beth and Cassidy. “You know Running Creek—Simon?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“He came well recommended, but I’ve never heard of him doing rain dances before. One has to wonder if he’s for real.”

“He’s really half Cherokee,” Cassidy told her.

“And what’s the other half?”


Beth looked at Cassidy. How did she know so much about the old man?

“Irish. I think the word we’re looking for here is blarney.” Apparently too rattled to ask the girls why they were there, Mrs. Harris walked out the door.

After the director left, Beth cleared her throat. “Blarney?”

“I think it kind of means … bull … droppings. I wonder if Mrs. Harris is half Irish, too.” Cassidy smiled. “They’ll continue to not get along.”


ozma914 [userpic]
The value of navel lint, or: Girl Scouts cause an e-book breakout

I had a business plan all ready to go when we published The No-Campfire Girls, and it was, if I do say so myself, fool-proof:

First, we tell everyone half the proceeds to go a good and worthy cause, and that much of the other half go toward advertising that good and worthy cause.

Second, we set the e-book price at only 99 cents and, even better, the print book at just five dollars. Hey, you can find 99 cents in your navel lint collection. (It's up to you to dig it out.) Not only that, but these days 99 cents worth of navel lint is worth five bucks, so there you go.

Third, we spread the word among Girl Scouts, since that good cause was to support a Girl Scout camp. There are about two and a half million Girl Scouts in America today. So the Scouts of Camp Latonka would spread the word about this cool new young adult novel to other Scouts in Missouri, who get the word out through the Midwest, and before you know it I'm on Oprah's book list. No, I have no idea of Oprah was a Girl Scout, but she would know a fun read when she sees one.

But speaking of Oprah, the next step would be to have The No-Campfire Girls endorsed by famous Girl Scouts. I may only remember a few Taylor Swift songs, but I know a former Scout when I see one.

By which I mean, I looked it up.

So pretty soon Swift, Gwyneth Paltrow, Susan Lucci, Abigail Breslin, Dionne Warwick, Kattie Couric, Martha Stewart, Mariah Carey ... let me take a breath ... Celine Dion, Dakota Fanning, Barbara Walters, Venus Williams, and my favorite, Sheryl Crow, are all telling their fans, "Buy a book and save a camp!" (trademark pending) ... "Oh, and enjoy reading!"

According to my math, these steps would result in 8,914,976 sales. If every one of those buyers likes the book, that in turn will result in approximately 475 book reviews. Since online publicity depends so much on book reviews these days, that many should result in at least another ten billion sales.

I confess, my calculator app froze up a few steps earlier, so that's some quick and dirty napkin calculations that I had to read off my face in the mirror, after an unfortunate chocolate mishap. But I think it's a fair approximation.

So, Girl Scout Camp Latonka is saved, and I see a book series in my future!

Well, I did. The plan stalled along the way, possibly during the "going viral" stage. Or maybe I should have led with, "It's a fun, story--really it is". But I'm working on it.

And, just in case, I've already got a sequel planned out ... maybe I'll put in a cute puppy.

Squeaky [userpic]
Perm Sale!!!

The rumors are true (No there weren't rumors I just made that up). InsaneJournal is holding a rare Permanently Insane account sale. We are celebrating the upcoming end of tax season tomorrow, also Friday is [info]squeaky's 40th birthday!!! I started this site in my early 20's and we're still going strong. To celebrate we are setting the price of Permanently Insane accounts to $40 to match, thats a $10 discount of our regular price of $50. This sale is scheduled to continue until Monday morning 4/23.

ozma914 [userpic]
Girl Scouts, or coffee? I vote books.

The No-Campfire Girls was featured Sunday on the Fussy Librarian daily newsletter; the site's all about books of various genres, and can be found here:


It costs a few bucks to do the ad, but it did bring sales. The Amazon ranking for The No-Campfire Girls rose from just over three million to 41,341 that day, which is its highest Kindle ranking, so the extra effort clearly did something.

That's especially important because half the proceeds for the book go to support my wife's Girl Scout Camp Latonka, in Missouri. (Not "former" because once a Scout, always a Scout.) This is our second such effort, with the proceeds from another book, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, going to the Albion Volunteer Fire Department.

And they don't get charged for the advertising!

This is also why I didn't set The No-Campfire Girls to free: Can't raise funds that way. Not to mention the e-book is already only 99 cents. You can even pick up the print version for just five bucks: That's a lot of entertainment, for the price of an extra small plain black Starbucks coffee.

I'd planned to do a whole promotion thing around the Fussy Librarian appearance, with the idea of getting it as far up the rankings as possible. But my mother landed in the hospital (she's out now) and some other things happened, so now I'm going to launch that effort afterward instead, for about a week. I don't self-promote nearly as much as I probably should, so I think my readers will forgive me, especially when it comes to a good cause.

What will my extra promotion effort entail? In the immortal words of Indiana Jones, I dunno--I'm making this up as I go along. But look for more about the book later, and until then please support the Girls Scouts by picking it up on our website at www.MarkRHunter.com, or over on our Amazon page:


ozma914 [userpic]
The Dog Ate My Homework

The Dog Ate My Homework


“He didn’t get the microwave popcorn, and apparently the can cooler was too chewy.”

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