Archive for August 2019

Literary Success #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

My friend PJ McLayne’s article for the Open Book Blog Hop this week.

Source: Literary Success #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted August 19, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Goal!   9 comments

What does literary success look like to you?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

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3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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What Tastes Like Literary Success?

The easy answer for me is seeing that my books are being read. Yeah, all indie authors are jazzed to see our books finally in publication. And, yeah, it feels good to sell a book and make some royalty. A little coin in the pocket isn’t a bad thing, especially since there’s a cost to publishing and it’s nice when your books break even or, gasp, make a profit. I’m a capitalist and, while writing as a hobby is something I’d do anyway, making some money off it is gratifying.

But, unexpectedly, was what happened when I published my most recent book in November 2018. The sales weren’t especially overwhelming, but I’m used to that and it was before I had discovered Amazon ads. The book that comes out later this year will be a full test of the efficacy of that program. No, in November I clicked on Kindle’s KENP Reads beta report and saw this amazing report that showed me which books were being read and I could do the math and see how many books that translated into. I could see that someone (I imagine the same readers) were starting with Book 1 (Life As We Knew It), going to Book 2 (Objects in View), going to Book 3 (A Threatening Fragility) and then finishing with Book 4 (Day’s End) and they were doing it, often day after day … binge-reading my series. While I’d love it if they left a review when they were finished, this is sufficient applause for me.

In fact, it was far better than getting paid when someone buys the book, which could sit on someone’s TRB for years. Instead, I get real-time data showing the books are being read. (KENP has now come out with a royalty estimator so you can see approximately how much money you’re making from those reads). That scratches the literary success itch for me in a way I didn’t even know I wanted.

Would I like to be a best-selling author? Of course I would. Any author who says they don’t want that is either lying or in denial. We wouldn’t publish our books if we didn’t want them to be read. Most of us are, unfortunately, going to languish in the shadows for our entire careers. We have to define success in something other than the dollars our books bring in the door. For me, it’s people reading my books. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do a happy dance if I broke into best-seller territory, so isn’t it lovely that KENP is now being used to calculate best-seller rankings. And, last month was the first time my KENP royalties outranked my sell royalties, so … yeah … starting to look kind of shiny around here.

A Prince of Liechtenstein Discusses Private Property and Political Discourse | Claudio Grass   Leave a comment

[Adapted from an interview with His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. H.S.H.

Source: A Prince of Liechtenstein Discusses Private Property and Political Discourse | Claudio Grass

 

A Prince of Liechtenstein Discusses Private Property and Political Discourse

TAGS Global Economy

08/16/2019

[Adapted from an interview with His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is the Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG, as well as president of the Think Tank ECAEF (European Centre of Austrian Economics Foundation). He is Chairman of Industrie- und Finanzkontor in Vaduz (Liechtenstein).]

Claudio Grass (CG): The spirit of governance, as well as the local culture of Liechtenstein, seem to support and work in harmony with the ideas of personal freedom, independence and especially respect for private property. To what extent do you think this was influenced by the heritage and the history of your family and of past generations?

H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein (PML): We have a very well-balanced governance system here in Liechtenstein, which results in cohesion and prosperity. It is proof that the combination of monarchy, direct democracy, and the high autonomy of the municipalities works well. This combination forces all parts of government to apply credible politics. The monarchy’s reputation and strength are based on the balanced family constitution and the rigidity applied by the Princely family toward its members with the effect of discipline and a high sense of responsibility. It is widely agreed that a democracy can only function on the ideals of personal freedom, independence, subsidiarity, personal responsibility, and respect for private property.

CG: What about today? Do you see these values and individual rights as being under threat in recent years and how are they defended in Liechtenstein?

PML: Unfortunately, even in Western democracies, the values of freedom and independence and the respect for private property get more and more eroded. A flood of laws limits freedom of choice and regulations violate property rights. In today’s European societies, many are tempted to happily exchange freedom against an illusion of security. Unfortunately, also in Liechtenstein we see such an attitude, much less pronounced but still existing. However, our systems are robust enough to protect individual freedom and property rights.

CG: The European Center for Austrian Economics Foundation (ECAEF) has played a key role in researching and promoting sound ideas and advancing arguments for self-responsibility and limited government. It can be argued, however, that the political trend seems to be headed in the opposite direction for quite some time, with some even claiming that WWI marked the end of civilization. What is your view on this and do you think we should still remain optimistic about a possible reversal toward more individual freedom?

PML: World War I might not have marked the end of civilization, but it marked the start of the phase where Europe’s influence in the world and its combination of Christianity and Liberalism (a very successful model) started to decline. Liberalism, which includes values such as personal freedom and property rights, is based on Christianity. Personal responsibility is a basic factor in Christianity.

This system has played very well also for Western economy and prosperity. But Europe became very saturated. After seventy years of peace after World War II, Europe left the path of a drive to achievement and turned to a drive of self-protection, anxiety, and redistribution. This saturated situation will necessarily lead into a crisis and I believe — as unfortunate as it is — that a big disruption will be necessary for a return toward more individual freedom. In case this does not happen, Europe will again fall into poverty and a loss of freedom. However, I am optimistic in the long term, but I see quite some troubles in the near future.

CG: The last few years have seen a sharp decline in the quality of public debate in Europe and in the US, as deep divisions and political polarization has turned civilized dialogue into name-calling and shouting matches. Freedom of speech and its limits have also come under scrutiny and many attempts to curb it have backfired. How important a role do you think freedom of expression will play if we are ever to return to a higher level of public discourse?

PML: Political correctness has degenerated the public debate in Europe and the US to a high degree of mediocrity. The essence of democracy and free society is an open debate of sometimes clashing opinions. Under the term “polarization” deferring opinions are decried and ideas, which do not correspond to the accepted mediocrity, are marginalized as either radical or populist or right-winged, etc. As a result, freedom of expression is limited.

Therefore, all of a sudden, as soon as there are differences, name-calling and shouting matches are replacing a sound public debate. In order to get to a higher level of public discourse, we have to come back to the real freedom of expression, which unfortunately is more and more limited. Sometimes polarization is a necessary ingredient of a functioning and healthy democracy.

CG: What are the key challenges and opportunities you can see emerging from this ongoing technological push toward decentralization and digitalization? As new ideas and systems give power back to the individual, do you expect to see a social impact, apart from an economic one too?

PML: All new positive technologies make men more efficient and a society more prosperous. The fear that there will be less jobs due to new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, etc., is unjustified. In fact, new technologies will create new types of jobs. The challenge will be to manage the transformation.

Blockchain with its system of decentralization has the big advantage that the individual becomes much more independent from centralized institutions such as state agencies or some private providers such as banks, notaries, etc. This will have a very positive social impact, as the grip of government on individuals will become weaker. And the economic advantage will be a considerable reduction of transaction costs. Blockchain will be successfully applied in many areas, but it will need time for the benefits to ripen.

CG: It can be argued that we are going through strange times geopolitically, with the US shifting away from its traditional leadership role in many global issues and with rising trade tensions threatening to rupture or redefine key alliances. At the same time, we see a lot of political undercurrents in Europe rise to the surface, with key electoral victories of anti-establishment parties and movements. In your position as the Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) in Vaduz and from your own extensive experiences, do you believe this period to be unique or do you see historical parallels and patterns that might guide our expectations and outlook?

PML: The World is in a time of extreme political disruptions. But we had similar times before, especially in the age of Renaissance in Europe which finally shaped today’s situation in the Continent. It is very difficult to apply historical parallels and patterns. World War I was an incident not as disruptive as the Renaissance, but started a new period of European and Western decline. But the time before is a good example to see today’s lingering conflict between the US and China. The mistakes that the European powers made in the late nineteenth century with the outbreak of World War I should be a warning for today’s politics.

CG: The global economy also seems to stand at a crossroads. After a decade of heavy-handed interventions by central banks in all major economies, combined with an explosion in debt levels, it would seem that unsupported, “organic” growth is arguably dead, while financial markets are addicted to low rates and central bank accommodations. How do you evaluate the impact of these policies and what are, in your estimation, the biggest economic risks moving forward?

PML: The biggest problem, not only economically but also politically, is the debt problem. It is unimaginable, how this madness of creating more and more debt and just pushing the economy by inflating the money supply will end. The only outcome one can imagine now is that the resulting catastrophe will be big. A small group of people already believes that the only solution, as terrible as it is, will be a major war. I cannot really disagree with that assumption, because the resulting crisis might lead to more and more political tensions, which could unload like a thunderstorm in a war. How such a war will happen is unclear, it might be limited to the cyber sphere or it might also be likely that traditional military forces will be deployed.

CG: In this context, what do you think the role of gold will be in the coming years? What do you make of the fact that we’re seeing key central banks, e.g., in Russia and China, racing to increase their reserves in recent years?

PML: I think gold will always play an important role. People simply trust in it, although it is not always very practical. I believe that the central banks in Russia and China have seen the possibility to increase trust in their currencies by having larger gold reserves. This is important, because we must not forget that the value of money is based on the trust of the people who use it. Gold is a good hedge against the inflated amount of the currencies which will finally destroy the trust that people still have.

[Adapted from an interview with His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is the Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG, as well as President of the Think Tank ECAEF (European Centre of Austrian Economics Foundation). He is Chairman of Industrie- und Finanzkontor in Vaduz (Liechtenstein).]

Claudio Grass is a Mises Ambassador and an independent precious metals advisor based out of Switzerland. His Austrian approach helps his clients find tailor-made solutions to store their physical precious metals under Swiss law. ClaudioGrass.ch

Posted August 17, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Cover Reveal Nearly Here   Leave a comment

Announcing An Anthology   Leave a comment

My short “Redemption, Reformatted” has been accepted in this year’s Agorist Writers Workshop anthology “Fire and Faith”.

“Redemption, Reformatted” is a retelling of the Prodigal Son story, focusing on the voluntary nature of fulfilling obligations as a product of personal redemption.

The Unitaur Stops Here   Leave a comment

Posted August 13, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Editing: An Artist Sweating the Small Stuff   Leave a comment

Lyndell Williams

OPEN BOOK (8)#openbook

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I have spent many years connecting with all types of creatives, including authors, visual artists (painters, photographers, etc.) and graphic artists.  My work at NbA Muslims made it possible for me to interview creatives, and one thing I continually gleaned from those discussions is that the artistic process tends to be individual.

Although two creatives may encounter similar challenges, they most likely do not have the exact same experiences. So, it is always a good idea for them to share their perspectives, hoping that everyone will be enriched by doing so.

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I’ve been a writer for a long time and ventured into authoring fiction a couple of years ago. I have written poetry, prose, journal articles, peer-review academic essays, thought pieces, and creative nonfiction. Each type of writing presented distinct challenges and required specialized writing skillsets to effectively satisfy…

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Posted August 13, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

#Openbookbloghop – The Writing Process   1 comment

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What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

This is an intriguing question which I can only answer if I first break down what I think my own writing process is.

I have only published one young adult book, While the Bombs Fell, and I have recently finished a much longer work for a young adult audience, Through the Nethergate. I am currently working on a novella called A Ghost and his Gold which is set during the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa and the first book in a trilogy about a world in the throes of climate crisis and the fallout from the fourth industrial revolution.

My writing process for WTBF was rather experimental as it was the first longer and more complicated story I attempted. It involved a lot of historical research which was enjoyable but time consuming. I learned a lot about developing…

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Posted August 13, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Blog Hopping. The Process.   Leave a comment

Posted August 12, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Toiling in My “Fields”   10 comments

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Writing is something I can’t not do, so a lot of my process feels like breathing and breathing is usually pretty easy for most of us. Characters appear in my head , often while I’m doing something that has nothing to do with writing. There’s something about doing a big filing project, folding laundry, quilting and picking blueberries that makes my muse active. I don’t really think about it. Characters start talking in my head and I feel compelled to write down the stories they tell me. That doesn’t necessarily lead to a novel, but it often does.

I enjoy the first draft, that gravelly diamond-in-the-rough that just appears from beneath my fingers. And, I actually really enjoy the act of rewriting, of taking a rough story and improving it, pruning what isn’t necessary and adding what would enhance the tale.

And then we get to the critique and editing portion of the process. Submitting for critique is scary because you don’t know what people are going to think of your story and it’s just possibly that you’ll discover you’re crazy. I haven’t had that experience in submitting to sane people. I did have a Authonomy review by a notoriously cruel reviewer, but his (or her, that was always uncertain) review was so vitriolic that I didn’t mourn for long. I read what he had to say and considered the points, but I used my own judgment. He made The Willow Branch a better novel, but it surely wouldn’t have been published if I’d accepted his analysis whole-cloth.

That part is scary, but scary isn’t hard. Alaska’s a dangerous place and you enjoy it a whole lot more if you’re brave. Being brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. I’ve lots of practice overcoming scary. Nowadays I ask for beta readers before I’ve even finished the rewrite.

I’d say the hardest part of my writing process is marketing. I’m not a naturally outgoing person and I’d prefer not to have to interact with people to sell books, but alas, I’m not independently wealthy so I have to market my books myself. It’s all the hours it takes and trying to balance that with time for family and writing. The good news is, based on the KENP reads, if people find my books and read the first one, they tend to read the whole series. I keep trying to find a sweet spot where the books more or less sell themselves with just some promotion, but I’m not there yet.

I’m all about doing hard things and not complaining about it. I believe it’s the key to success. So check out my author page and find your next series to love. I’ve got fantasy and apocalyptic, a political satire and anthologies. See how easy that was? Hard part taken care of.

Book 5 in Transformation Project “Gathering In” will be out sometime before the end of the year.

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

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When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

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Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

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Tales + Tales: Books + Compassion + Culture

Fairfax & Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

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Sprinkling wonder into writing

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A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

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A New Dimension to Explore!! A reason to Love and A promise to fight the wrong is hidden in Books. Come, Let's Explore it!!!

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Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

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