Goodbye ESPN America, I will miss you

To be honest, I dont watch an awful lot of TV with sound. Before that confuses anyone, given where I work, we have masses of screens on, for the racing, for the football (soccer) and other sports, but for obvious reasons, given its a call centre, we dont have any sound on, 99% of the time. Yes, there are a few occasions when the sound goes on, but not very often.

At home, where I can have sound on, the viewing is limited. Pretty much BBC News, Sky Sports (mainly for cricket), and ESPN America for Baseball, College Football, and other things. Sadly for me, tomorrow is the last full day of ESPN America on TV. Why, its something that annoys me even more, is because of Football on TV politicking!

Basically BT Sports have bulldozed in on the football market, and have bought up the ESPN channels over here, and are only keeping the main channel in action.Even if they do (seemingly unlikely) continue to show baseball, there is no agreement with Virgin Media, so its gone for me anyway.

Let me explain. Most of the Premier League football up to the last season was on Sky Sports. ESPN had 1 or 2 games as well in a week, as well as showing plenty of other football. I didnt care, never watched the channel, as people know, I cant stand football! But I did watch its sister channel, ESPN America. Mainly for the baseball, yes, but other things too. As well as college football, they do some fantastic documentaries in the 30 for 30 series. Only Sunday, on an early shift, I sat engrossed as I watched a feature on a 1962 college football team who remained unbeaten during the season, but that was barely the feature of the film. Yes, it was Mississippi, in the days of segregation, about the first black pupil at the college. Oh wow! Unbelievable now to think that 50 years ago, in the Deep South, that was still going on. Did you know Michael Jordan played baseball, as well as basketball? I wouldnt have done, but for another film in this series.

But seriously, apart from the baseball, which I will seriously miss, there is one gem that I will miss just as much. You’ve probably missed it, its broadcast at 6 am, then again at 7 am, Tuesday to Saturday over here, and its called Around The Horn, hilarious stuff. Mainly because of one man, a genius called Woody Paige. The rest are good, but when Woody is on, its crazy!

So all I can say is, thanks ESPN America, for all the good memories, I’m going to miss you.

For those of you who have never seen Woody in action, here’s your chance

Homeward Bound

Though my moment was at Leeds station tonight, not Widnes, the station that its believed Paul Simon wrote this song about. Its the one that holds the plaque, though details now make it unclear if it was the exact one. But…

My entertaining moment tonight had nothing to do with a song, and more to do with the fact it was a hot, summer Saturday evening, and a few men reacting to it. I arrived on the platform to be greeted by 1 topless man, not a pretty sight. Not that that was enough, very soon another one arrived, complete with family, and looking very ‘pink’ to say the least. Before the train arrived (yes, it was a few minutes late, major shock…not!) another, who at least had a vest on, but it wasnt covering much, to say the least.

If I was interested in men romantically, believe me, those 3 could have put me off! Seriously, do some men think thats a suitable style of dress for a public railway station, especially if your figure is, err, less than perfect, shall we say?

Anyway, enough of those scary thoughts, enjoy a classic video

Other news, the photo shoot happened on Tuesday, not quite sure when the pics will be here, but I’ll post some when they are. Viewing was meant to be next Tuesday, but has been delayed slightly, so be patient. Oh, and a new ebook story from Ms Brooks will appear next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday, I suspect. Oh, and for Paypal purposes at least, I am now Merry Brooks Publishing! Feel free to buy any of the stories, I’ll provide a link to the new one when posted.

A homage to another Ms Brooks, shall we say?

Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon

Yes, today was one of those rare days of late, where I actually did get the chance to laze on a sunny afternoon, no idea what went wrong! I make up for it tomorrow though, 11 hour day at work then, ah well…

So yes, the afternoon was spent watching the Test Match (Cricket) on TV, while dressed in a light summer dress (still warm seeing it was nearly 90, and very humid), drinking a glass of chilled white wine. And before anyone says I was slacking, all the review reading was done, and I cant do any more with the new story posting, as I havent heard back yet about the cover.

I know, the holiday is only 9 weeks away, but the insurance matter is now sorted out, and I cant do the ESTA properly until I know where I’m staying the first night, so…I lazed on a sunny afternoon! Nice pizza for dinner, nice bath afterwards, what more can I ask for?

A photo session, you say? Well, that could well be happening on Monday, vintage style, so should make the perfect profile shots for my author persona too. Sadly, I might have had today off, and 2 days at the beginning of next week too, but after that…you dont want to know! So I’ll enjoy life while I can. If it does, I promise to post one on here.

The video, yes, bit obvious I hope, at least to those of you old enough to know this song, anyway

Well, someone is buying the stories

Well, principally one of them, ‘No Place Like Nome’ has already hit double figures in its own right, but at least ‘Its Leaving Old Ireland’is finally off the mark, if only just. Well, in a few places at least, someone opened her mouth, and said that if I hit double figures, I’d have to put up another story, and now my arm has been twisted lol! Not that I’m complaining mind, just wasnt sure it would happen, thats all.

Before anyone asks, no, I have no plans to put up the vast majority of my Robotunit8 stories, mainly because the vast majority are robot transformation stories, and dont fit in with the Merry Brooks persona. There are a few that would work in the sense of no robots, but not in the historical side of things. Also, I’m not a fan of putting books up for sale that people can read elsewhere for free, so…and that really was my full library of unpublished stories.

Having said all that, there is one story that fits in beautifully with the whole Merry Brooks style, its principally set in the 1920’s, though one or two liberties are taken with technology that would have been available in those days. The inspiration for it, and indeed the title of the story come from an OMD song, yes, Pandora’s Box. Without that song, and that video, I may not have become as big a fan of Louise Brooks as I am now, and indeed I make no guarantee that I would ever have known of her, but for that.

So yes, its fair to say that despite the name, Louise Brooks not appearing anywhere in the story, there are plenty of connections to her, if you know what you’re looking for! 😉 And actually, the 2 main men of OMD get cameos too, as a sign of appreciation, even if Paul Humphreys played no part in the making of the song.

No, it wont be appearing on good book sites immediately, I have my eyes on a cover, just need to purchase it, but I need to then find out how you get it titled up and things, as for the first two it was done as a gift for me, so not a clue how to get it done without help.

But yes, coming soon, ‘Of An Innocence Divine’ by Merry Brooks. Hopefully that sells a few copies too!

The video, well yes, how did you guess? Not the official video, but still plenty of Louise Brooks in it, including one brief section of her in later years, when you get to hear her speak.

A guy named Joe

Thats right, Joe Mudak to his friends, though I can say with 100% conviction, thats not his real name. In fact I know his real name, assuming his Facebook one is that, and I’m pretty sure it is, but no, I’m not telling you that one.

Anyway, Mr Mudak and I go back quite a way on the Archive, and the Forums, and I would say we get on pretty well for 2 people who have never met, and probably never will. Its fair to say his stories tick my most critical boxes, the ones about good plot, and good characters, and quite often a nice touch of humour, but not always. I know for some those arent the most critical ingredients in mind control porn stories, but they are for me.

Right, a while back ‘Joe’ got into this whole ebook publishing thing, and though he’s never likely to make his living by it, I gather he doesnt do too badly out of it. Some of them I’ve read indirectly, as they were either Archive stories, or based strongly on them, but others, just for selling, I’ve missed out on. Nothing personal, I barely have the time for the updates nowadays, let alone anything else.

Thankfully, he still posts stuff up at the EMCSA too, something I really appreciate at least. Anyway, a while back I promised him a blog posting to advertise his writing, and I’ve finally got to it. Sorry, Joe, its taken a while, but thats my job for you!

To save you hunting, heres his profile page at Smashwords

Go check it out, and maybe buy something. Oh, and talking of buying something, one of my stories has managed 2 sales, the other is yet to break its duck. So please…I have got one more story that fits in with the persona up at the Archive, but I will only move it across if it seems worthwhile. So if you want to know what it is, you need to get my sales into double figures. Well, no harm in trying lol!

The video choice, well, given I know Mudak is something rude in Russian, I did consider Dee-Lite, and Groove Is In The Heart, as its the only record I can think of that I know, with a Russian artist in it. But instead, I’ve gone for an artist I know we both love, who died far too young at the age of 38. What songs we missed out on, its depressing to think about

The deed is done

Yes, I finally, finally got around to getting the 2 stories posted up at Smashwords, and through another site, they will soon be available at several other good online bookstores as well.

What’s that? Some links? Oh well, if you insist, and even if you dont…

Will take you to them.

So far the samples have been downloaded a few times (alright, only 4, but they’ve only been up about 9 hours), but no one has bought the full works yet, a moment I look forward to, when and if it happens. And whats more, Ms Brooks now has her own Facebook account as well, though I suspect it will be mainly for publicity, and not much else. Its hard enough keeping up with my own Facebook account, but lets see what happens.

I’m sure the rumour that JK Rowling is quaking in her boots at the news, is totally false lol!

Will there be more? I dont know, these are the 2 I wanted to get an audience for, but there is one archive story that fits in with her style, so if these take off, I might post that as well. Beyond that, unless its an overwhelming success, then time to write might be the snag. But who knows?

The video, well, I know these are ebooks, not actual books, but I just couldnt resist plumping for this one, all the same

Way up north…

Yes, I’m getting closer to that moment when the stories will be released, everything is now in place except the time to get the stories transferred to word doc, and the account opened up. And then… Given that I’ve got 3 days off in 4 next weekend (Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday), that should be my chance to get it done. Yes, I promise, I will get it done, and I will let you know when…after all, I want sales, so publicity has to be the way to go!

I’ll be honest, it may not be Smashwords that gets first go now, I’ve been led to a site called Draft2Digital, which seems less demanding in its requirements for sending it through to them, seems to have a pretty good delivery pattern, so… I probably will post at Smashwords in time, I’m told they have a better market, ah well… But to get things up and running, D2D might be easier.

Sadly I wont be able to lay my hands on all my fortunes for a while (ha ha, if I sell a dozen combined, I’ll be thrilled) as any payments to me will be subject to 30% tax, as I’m not a US citizen, and dont yet have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), to avoid doing so. Sadly, given that you have to give them passport identification, and I travel, err, a bit, I cant be without my passport for long enough to send it to and from the US. So, if I get time when in Richmond in September, and assuming I can find the tax office there, I’m hoping I can sort it out then. If not, I’ll just keep donating cents in taxes lol!

Oh, and I gave you a clue to the first story a few blogs back, so here is a clue to the second one

Just thinking about it, if there is a niche for time travel stories, I might make my fortune, and keep the IRS happy too!

Oh, and you know I said about not getting my hair cut too short, ah well…its not much longer (if at all) than Louise Brooks wore her hair at the back! Slightly fuller head of hair, and of course blonde, but…its short.

See that, with blonde highlights, and I love to say this, slightly more fringe, and its pretty much my look. No, I dont look that pretty though! Just hope its not too boyishly short, for those who dont look at my chest lol. Will anyone at work even notice? Hmm…