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Everybody Knows Leonard Cohen

guitar-2Yesterday we lost another important musical legend, Leonard Cohen. Odd since I listened to his latest release two days ago. I never thought he would die. He was one of those voices. Forever ingrained in the consciousness.

My love grew from a single song. A single lyric so many years ago:

Everybody knows the good guys lost.

Today those words are never more true.

We lost when he took his last breath.

 

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Thank You for a Funky Time…

In case you slept through yesterday, let me say, Prince died. (BTW, Whitney and Micheal are gone too.)

Today there is speculation about painkillers being involved. I sincerely hope not. Those are dangerous, deadly things.

But I don’t want to focus on that. I’d rather talk about Prince, or rather my sister, Jennie. I was a little too young for music when Prince first hit the scene. But my sister wasn’t, and she developed this fascination with this little androgynous man. Not that I knew the word for it. I just knew I was witnessing something special.

And dirty.

So dirty.

And hot.

As I grew up, I came to appreciate him, in all his weird, sexy glory. Name changes. Funky hair. Superbowl performance. And most importantly, some of the best music of my lifetime.

So thank you, Prince, for a funky time.

Here’s still my favorite song of his: Darling Nikki

I knew a girl named Nikki

I guess you could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
Masturbating with a magazine
She said how’d you like to waste some time
And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind

She took me to her castle
And I just couldn’t believe my eyes
She had so many devices
Everything that money could buy
She said sign your name on the dotted line
The lights went out
And Nikki started to grind

Nikki

The castle started spinning
Or maybe it was my brain
I can’t tell you what she did to me
But my body will never be the same
Her lovin’ will kick your behind
Oh, she’ll show you no mercy
But she’ll sho’nuff sho’nuff show you how to grind

Darlin’ Nikki

Woke up the next morning
Nikki wasn’t there
I looked all over and all I found
Was a phone number on the stairs
It said thank you for a funky time
Call me up whenever you want to grind

Oh, Nikki, ohhhh

Come back Nikki, come back
Your dirty little Prince
Wanna grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind

“Hello, how are you? I’m fine. ’cause I know
That the Lord is coming soon, coming, coming soon.”

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Officer Involved Shooting – A Cop with My Last Name

I try not to get too political here. I want you to like me for me. But recently, my cousin, John Kazimer, who is a cop in Cleveland was involved in a police shooting.

A shooting called foul by the victim’s family.

My cousin was wearing a body camera at the time and the video is linked below for you to form your own opinion.

http://fox8.com/2016/03/10/i-team-exclusive-video-shows-cleveland-officer-shooting-robbery-suspect/

I know my cousin. He’s not perfect. But he does the job because he wants to help people. This is apparent, when, after shooting the suspect, who was wanted on multiple felonies and carrying a gun in his waistband-a gun he clearly reaches for in the video-John saves the man’s life by using his former medical training.

None of that is my point though. My point is this. I believe some cops are bad. That they kill innocent people because they can. Often it’s about race.

I also believe this, my cousin isn’t one of those. He didn’t shoot this man because he could. He is a veteran cop, as well as a veteran. He faces the possibility of death everyday. He loves his city.

I am proud to be a Kazimer, though I was lucky enough not to get the Kazimer nose. I am also proud to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Serial Murdering is My Business and Business is So-So

Yesterday, PW had an article about Amazon pulling an eBook memoir of the infamous serial killer, Robert Pickton, who is convicted of killing six women in B.C and might be responsible for at least 40 more. The book was transcribed from Pickton’s own words by his cellmate. The retailer pulled the book, published by Outskirt 38661-v2-197xPress, here in CO and a total vanity press, after an online petition surfaced. The publisher has since stopped publishing the work 

Now I am in no way condoning his actions. In fact, as far as I’m concerned he should spend his days tortured by the faces of the dead. 

However, I do wonder about the ability to pull a book of the e-shelves due to who writes it or it’s content. Are we setting a continued bad precedence of banning books we as a society deem too much? Then again, should this bastard benefit in any way from his murders? 

Amazon has every right to rid their shelves of anything. It’s a retailers prerogative. 

I also as a reader have every right to decide for myself what to read and what not to. And trust me, his book is on my NOT list.

Do I have any answers? Nope. Just questions. Getting older is hell. You start seeing more gray than black and white. 

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Budgeting for Indie Publication

Yesterday I talked about what is your writing worth, well today I’m over at the RMFW blog talking about indie publication and how much does it cost in actual figures, not vagueness often consumed on the internets. 

But I wanted to add, when you ask about how much is your writing worth, and then turn around and don’t back it up by putting your money where your mouth is, whether that’s in marketing dollars or time, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

Okay, so here’s the link to the RMFW blog post. Let me know your thoughts. 

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What is Your Writing Worth?

Recently there’s been a hub-bub in the writer world about Huff Post and their stance on paying writers. Which basically is, hell no, why should we pay you? You’re getting exposure, isn’t that enough you greedy pricks?

I might be paraphrasing.

So the question becomes, how much is your writing worth?

I have books that have sold very poorly. I’m talking not enough for a Happy Meal, so I have to settle for the Sad one. FYI, it comes with apples.

I have books that have sold fairly well. I’m talking KFC family meal money.

I write for the RMFW blog. They don’t pay me.  I also have stories on amazon for free or for real cheap (AKA $0.99).

I get exposure. Meaning I understand it. Not that I get a lot of it. Which is my own doing as I think writing for free for the Huff Post is a joke. It’s all about their attitude toward writers. Toward the people who give them content.

Anyone every heard of don’t shit where you eat? Without writers Huff Post would be a lame bunch of videos about cats. Who wants to watch that for 8 hours a day?

Really the choice is yours, dear reader. Write for free. Don’t write for free.

Expose yourself.

Um, or don’t. It’s probably not a great idea. You’ll get arrested and then try to blame me for telling you to do so.

 

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What Harper Lee Gave to Me

Harper Lee is dead.

Tears welled in my eyes as I read the news. Weird since I’d never met her. Hell until 20 years ago I’d never read a single thing by her, not that she had a lot of words in the world. Just one book (I won’t count that monstrosity published recently).

I’ve read To Kill a Mocking Bird countless time since my very first time. In fact, I make a point to read it once a year, as a reminder of what a great book sounds like, what it invokes for the reader.

Harper Lee gave me so much.

Before I even knew she was a she.

She gave me my first literary love in Jem.

My first regret at not growing up in an era like that (Okay, my only regret if I’m honest).

She gave me Boo. An anti hero if there ever was one.

I can’t repay even a small bit of what she gave me. But today, on the day of her death at the age of 89, I offer this. Harper Lee, you gave me a reason to look for more, a reason to seek what is beyond the obvious. A reason to hope for a future.

Thank you.