Posts tagged ‘lawrence dagstine’


I discovered this blog (and subscribed to it) following a tweet by Victoria Strauss. Some of the names were familiar enough to make me wonder how widespread scams and general misbehavior is on the part of small press publishers. Phoenix Fire is charging their authors to publish their works in a back end vanity manner.

Money should flow to the writer, not from them. It’s an old industry proverb.

The authors could self-publish for far less than they are being charged here. If you do an ebook, it is very easy to master the forms in which you upload them to the distributor. The Smashwords format works fine for kindle also. Making it double easy to just do a single format and publish to both.  The only change you need to make between them is that Smashwords wants the copyright page to feature the words “Smashwords Edition” so you just take it out of the version you send to kindle.

Publishers gamble on their authors earning back the costs of cover and editing.  They do not make the authors pay for them. And they should never promise more than they can afford to give their authors (blog tours, promotional objects, etc.)  or can reasonably handle.

Another aspect of this that is mentioned in the Suess’s blog post is that the “blog tours” turned out to be just three blogs operated by the same individual under different names. I had a personal experience of this several years ago. I hired a publicist for my company, Daverana Enterprises, and discovered that this was the only thing she did. I was appalled at the subterfuge and felt that it was both dishonest and cheating.  Since then, I have witnessed a fair number of “PR” firms holding to this practice.

Back when I was doing PR in the bad old days before the internet, I bought a $500 book each year that had the contact information for every newspaper, local TV and radio across the country, as well as the MAJOR places and shows, including Oprah and Regis Philbin.  You sent out press releases and made phone calls. When you landed an interview for your clients, it was real and not fake.

The internet has allowed for a huge percentage of fakery and all of us should take offers and brags with a grain of salt. Always google a company or individual before trusting them. And while you are at it, confirm that any testimonials are real. It has become a commonplace for some places to use alts to promote themselves. Others like the Albee Agency are attributing testimonials to real people who have no idea they even exist.

Read Writer Beware blog and make it a bible for avoiding scams.

Living with Diabetes

Last April I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2. I had been losing weight without changing my eating patterns. I’m very over weight, but not obese. I used to keep my weight off by exercising and taking long walks every day.  Then post-polio syndrome kicked in and I was unable to walk easily. less then five minutes of walking puts me into so much pain that I become nauseous from it.

I was never a big eater or a regular eater. I ate erratically, some times going all day without eating and then over eating the next day when my appetite returned.  I still have issues with food. Sometimes I have to force myself to eat.  Once or twice a year I’ll go four or five days without eating and then have to acclimate myself to food again.

In addition to the polio, I have PTSD (that has been discussed before in this blog). I think that there is a stress component to the periods in which I can’t eat.

However, once I could no longer exercise (I require a wheelchair to shop),  I put on ten pounds a year until I weighed 200 pounds.  I’m only five feet tall and that makes me a real tubby.  I have lost a lot of it since the diabetes arrived, mostly by changes in what I eat.  The hardest part of the diet is that I am supposed to eat three regular meals and three snacks. I take my glucose levels three times a day and I take metformin HCL.

I am still forgetting to eat some days, but I have begun using glasses of vegetable juice and sugar free fruit beverages that I create in my blender for the days I can’t bring myself to eat.  Regularity, as much as i can manage it, has curbed the binges.  My glucose levels are staying in the low normal range. I’m also making pots of soup and stews that are low carb.

I don’t miss the sweets. I have never been a big sweet eater, not even as a child. What I do miss is the pasta and potatoes that were the mainstay of my previous diet.

I am finding that the diabetes is manageable.  I had fish and fruit for lunch. In two hours, I’ll have half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter that contains no sugar. Reading the labels is a necessity. I was shocked at how much of our food contains high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar.

The older we get, the more physical issues we develop. I’m 58.  That means that they are piling up on me.

I was eight years old when I contracted polio, so I have very few memories of what it was like to be normal. In a sense, that is a good thing under the circumstances because I am very familiar with how to strategize around difficulties.  Over the years, I have seen how much harder it is for an adult to adapt to physical challenges after an illness or accident that disables them. They seem to be far less ready to cope than those who were disabled as children.


Theaker is a Nitwit and a Weenie: Part 3

More and more I have decided that I have nothing to lose by taking out my aggravation in a blog post.

Theaker states that I threatened to ‘smack’ him and wanted to go to bait him by joining.  The only person I wanted to bait over there was Dagstine.  As I have stated many times, I feel that just by being a place and being nice will draw a true troll out to strike.  It’s the type of tactics that Sun T’zu mentions several times in his book on warfare.  You give the enemy a target and allow them to strike where you want them to.

What is wrong with being nice? Does anyone not understand the mean people do not like to see people being nice in the area they claim as their own?

As to the smack?  Well that makes him a weenie.  Only a true weenie boy would consider that statement a physical threat.

Oh dear oh dear that wheelchair bound crippled woman is sooooo scawwy to poor widdle Theaker.  “Oooh, oooh, she’s a gonna smack me.”

Are you, in your prime of life and a male, really that frightened of a woman crippled by post polio syndrome?  Are you really that much of a bloody coward?

Dead and Cloned

My dear friend John  is a full blown schizophrenic.  I have known him for many many years.

The episode with Dagstine reminded me of an incident a year or so ago when John went off his meds.  When John goes off his meds he usually does or says something that embarasses me.

Five years ago he decided that I was the Virgin Mary and  searched my apartment for the Holy Grail.  A year or so ago, he decided that I had died in 88 and been replaced by a clone.  He became terrified of encountering me in the building.  Then he decided he needed to warn the world about the fact that I had died and been replaced by a clone.

So he left posts, long and short, about the fact that people ought to avoid me or they might end up dead and cloned also.  I managed to get them taken down.  However, google has cached one of them.   Sigh.

I assure you all that I am not a clone.


All are welcome.  Our editors and authors drop by off and on throughout the day and night.  We are having a lot of discussions about the anthology Whistling in the Darkzone.  And other nitwit relevant topics as well as industry stuff

In view of the recent bannings at Author’s Pub

All the people who were making Author’s Pub vibrant and alive again have been banned from it.

My techs would like to know what features you used most and what you would like to have on the Daverana site.

“I would like anyone that has posted at authorspub, that is reading this, to tell me about the features you used most, why you used them, how you think they could work better, and if you think they are vital to a website” Daverana techs.

I am Janice

I am not certain why Nicky insists upon calling me Janice.  Ever since Dagstine discovered that my real name was Janice Rae Frank, not my pen name, Janrae Frank, they insist upon calling me.

No one ever called me Janice growing up.  It feels off.  I suspect that Nicky is trying to throw people off by calling me Janice so that I do not show up on a google.

Therefore I am adding Janice to my tags.