Thoughts on the Robocop Remake

I’d call it disappointing if I’d had any hopes for it in the first place.

There are no spoilers in this post — nothing you wouldn’t know from watching the trailers. But, I’ll put part of it behind a cut anyway.

Our brother in law took us out to see Robocop last night. We weren’t going to see it otherwise; it was definitely something we didn’t want to pay money for.

It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. It wasn’t terrible.

It wasn’t awesome, either.

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In defense of “Y’all”

I’ve noticed that people seem to hold a lot of vitriol and hatred of the term y’all. I can only assume this stems from the belief that if you have a U.S. Southern accent, you’re automatically less intelligent than the rest of the country and/or world, therefore using words like y’all mark you as less-than by intellectual elitists.

Well, I am an intellectual elitist, and I think the word y’all is just fine. I also don’t believe that a Southern accent automatically makes someone stupid, which makes me a bit of a pariah in elitist circles.

We need more gender-neutral terms in our language. Everything is so male-dominated — people won’t blink at saying “You guys” for mixed-gender groups of people, but say “You gals” and suddenly you’re emasculating every dude in the room. “You dudes” is another term. “Hey bros.” We may throw women a bone by saying “Hey dudes and dudettes/bros and ladybros,” but you’ll notice that doesn’t happen very often. (And the words are basically just the same, with a suffix or prefix tacked on. Don’t even get me started on -ette being a diminutive.)

Yet saying “You all” seems strange, and stilted. If I try to say “You all” as two separate words, I end up saying “You all — all of you — all the people I’m talking you — you all — whatever, just come over here.” As a contraction, however, it’s much smoother, much shorter, and gender-neutral. “Hey y’all, come over here for a second.”

I mean, really, what else can you ask for? It’s perfect for everyday use. I don’t understand why people think it should be limited to the Jason Stackhouses of the world, or that using it makes you less-than. It doesn’t. Southern accents don’t make you less-than. There are tons of smart people with Southern accents, and tons of stupid people without. Dear gods, folks, stop with the hatred of people just because they come from a certain region.

And anyway, nothing sounds stupider than “Youse guys.”

Why Bellica is $4.99, and why my other books will be too

Friends! Romans! Countrymen fellow indie authors!

We are in a crisis. We have been selling ourselves short. Pricing our books at $0.99 just so we can get the impulse buys, driving the market down, forcing our fellow authors to do low prices as well just so they can compete.

This is all wrong.

If you’re publishing your book via Kindle you only get $0.3465 of that $0.99. Yeah. They take $0.6435. Sell a hundred copies and you’ve just made Amazon $64.35 and yourself $34.65 for a book that most likely took you a few years to write and countless sleepless nights.

Price it at $2.99 and your royalty jumps to 70% — $2.09 a book, while Amazon makes $0.90. Sell a hundred copies and suddenly you’ve made 209 dollars, while Amazon has made 90.

Which scenario makes more sense, here? Who should be getting the bulk of the money for your book? Amazon, who, yes, provides a valuable service but hasn’t done as much work on your book as you have and will still not promote it for you, or you, who’s written it, gotten it edited, found a cover design, formatted it, advertised it, sweated over it, lost sleep over it, and obsessed about it from conception to completion?

Bellica took me 13 years to complete. Why would I sell myself short? It’s worth $4.99 — hells, it’s worth more than that, but I had to drop the price to stay competitive.

Writing is now my full time job. This means that Bellica will remain that price for ebook format, and the paperback will remain $26.99. This means that The Jade Star of Athering will be $4.99 after the promo period price of $2.99; as will Dead Transgressions, Islands of Fire and Water, and any other novels I produce. Novellas and poetry collections will be slightly lower, but I will never drop my books below the price of $2.99.

Continue reading “Why Bellica is $4.99, and why my other books will be too”