Archive for the ‘#satire’ Tag

I Can’t Breathe for Laughing!   6 comments

Here we go. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already!

April 1, 2019

What’s the one thing guaranteed to make you laugh?

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This is an EASY one for me!

My husband makes me laugh! Some people think this is a paradox – like some sort of space-time loop that’s going to eat the universe – because Brad has seriously made me cry some real tears in our 35-years of acquaintance. He is a many-layered person and not all of those layers are fun to explore.

But the ones that are – OH, MY, WHAT A FUN HOUSE!

A part of growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family is that you either learn to laugh at all the shenanigans that go on around you or, sometime in your teens or twenties, you put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Yeah, that’s a horrifying word picture, but metaphorically speaking, it’s what you do when you pick up the bottle or the bong or any one of a thousand other activities that numb you out instead of legitimately making you feel better.

Brad has a baggage train that, metaphorically, stretches to Anchorage. Mine only maybe ever stretched to Nenana and, thanks to the self-examining nature of writing, I’ve paired it down to a small carryon and a laptop bag. One thing I haven’t jettisoned is the ability to laugh at things that most people consider horrifying because I too had to learn to laugh or start heavy-duty substance abuse and I prefer to be able to feel my body and emotions. The fun part is that the oxygen deprivation of not being able to draw a breath because you’re laughing too hard kind of approximates the endorphin rush of substance abuse.

To understand this – my favorite professional comedian is Christopher Titus.

Brad’s family stories — good times … NOT. He could give Christopher Titus a run for his money in parental horror stories. But you laugh or you put a gun in your mouth (or in Brad’s case, drink a liquor store), so laugh it is. Oh, yeah, laugh until you need a shot of oxygen and you pee your pants. WAY better than tequila and without the hangover!

Like Titus, sometimes Brad is telling seriously funny stories that anyone would laugh at. He sees the irony in everything. He catches the humor people don’t intend and reveals it. Other times, the hilarity is the punch line to Armageddon. And you’ll notice that I’m not actually sharing any of these jokes. That’s because they’re organic and they wouldn’t be funny taken out of context.

Like – “post-homicidal depression”. Not funny, right? Brad coined that phrase to explain what happened to a friend of ours after he killed a guy in a drunk driving incident. Not funny? Very serious, depressing topic (background biographical for my work-in-progress What If Wasn’t). And, our friend has struggled for a quarter century with the guilt and PTSD from that incident and the resulting prison sentence. What could be funny about that? Yeah, well, the friend and I can’t breathe for laughing when Brad spins up the jokes on the topic. Some people would think that is really insensitive, but he turned an incredibly depressing topic into something not-quite-so-depressing by teaching our friend how to laugh about it. And, no, no one (especially our friend) thinks what he did is a joke (notice I called it an “incident” not an “accident”), but laughing is better than sticking that gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger, and yeah, 24 years after the fact, the guy deserves an occasional break from feeling like crap about it. The sad will return. Make no mistake about that.

So what is GUARANTEED to make me laugh? Christopher Titus, my husband, and anyone else who can see the light at the end of darkness and have hope it’s not the fires of hell — AND can share that scorched perspective with great timing.

By the way, if you want to read something I’ve done that tore a page from Brad’s “How to Laugh at Things Far Too Many People Take Far Too Seriously” book, check out my political satire Hullabaloo on Main Street, where I laugh at the era of Trump from a libertarian perspective, which means I get to poke fun at EVERYBODY. And, I didn’t make any of it up. Most of it is what’s going on in my head when other people are freaking out about the bubble wars. Currently, both sides are spun up about the overview of the Mueller Report, each interpreting to their own confirmation bias. And, I find that utterly hilarious in the same way I find Brad’s horrifying family stories utterly hilarious. And therein lies a GREAT reason to laugh until you nearly pass out and the couch needs a steam cleaning.

Honestly, this recovering dysfunctional child is here to tell you – if you can’t laugh at the shenanigan’s going on now, you are taking American politics WAY TOO SERIOUSLY and need a literary intervention.

#Free #Political #Satire #Book   Leave a comment

1-day only. Hullabaloo on Main Street is #free December 17.

“Politics got you down? Why not laugh at the bubble battles instead?”

And while you’re at it, consider picking up one or more of my other books, all on #discount for the month of December.

Posted December 17, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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Christmas #Book #Sale   1 comment

All #LelaMarkham #books are $2.99 or less for Christmas.

Weary of Politics?   Leave a comment

 

Hullabaloo Tugawar Front CoverFor a committed democrat, it sure does suck when you lose an election.

You know what I mean?

Nearly half the country refuses to listen to the other half. We think we know what the other side means, but we never venture outside our own bubbles to actually find out. 

Libertarian Connor infiltrates both bubbles in a Midwestern town on Election Wednesday 2016 and brings readers along for a wry non-partisan tour of the “Bubble Battles.” He even offers a solution … not that any bubble dwellers will listen.

This novelette is a work of fiction based upon real-life events. Any resemblance to yourself or people you know is purely coincidental.

“In today’s crazy world of intense politics, Lela Markham brings a little bit of satirical humor to the table in Hullabaloo on Main Street. No party is safe from Markham’s humor in this quippy fun novel. It’s fun to step outside of ourselves and take a laugh at this book’s jabs. Great for anyone a little weary of today’s dire political tone looking for a bit of humor.” Joshua Grant

 

“I wrote it to make people laugh, to see that politics is not the end of the world, to help ease some of the tensions between the left and the right by showing that there is a third perspective. It’s been two years and we’re still having the same shouting match, now with physical violence. We surely need to take a pause and laugh a little at our own folly, because there’s always a winner and loser in politics and it’s interesting when the “winner” of the midterms still feels it is necessary to assault the wife of a journalist because they don’t like what he reports.”  Lela Markham

Posted November 13, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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Books as Business   3 comments

What’s your opinion on authors giving their books away for free?

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.

 

 

TP Cover Montage

Well, there’s that word “feel”. And while I feel a lot, I try not to base what I think on it because feelings are as changeable as the wind in April (er, March, for Lower 48ers) and books are a business and business requires a strategy, not a lot of emotion.

So, what do I think of authors giving their books away for “free”?

I think giving books away with no cost to the reader is a good short-term way to generate interest in a series or an author who has more than one book, but it’s not without cost, so you really can’t call it “free.”

There’s all the time and effort the author put into the book. That’s a cost to the author. Yes, authors have a right to give away whatever they want. I would never argue that someone doesn’t have a right to give away their stuff. But I hope authors would pause and think about this.

You get what you pay for. A boss of mine way back in college used to say that to people who wanted her to give them a lower price on what she was selling. She gave a great service for a fair price … the price the market would bear. Her business was finally ended by the government getting into competition against her and giving her service away for “free”. Well, not exactly. What she sold for about $15 a night cost the taxpayers of the City of Fairbanks $130 a day. It didn’t kill the business outright, but every year it siphoned off enough business that eventually she closed because she wasn’t making a profit any longer and, so you see the cost of “free”. Draw your own conclusions about what I mean by that story.

The Daermad Cycle (2 Book Series) by  Lela Markham

When I first published The Willow Branch I didn’t sell a lot of copies. I played around with the cost and I still didn’t sell a lot of copies. I had The Willow Branch on Amazon and Smashwords and it just wasn’t selling. A friend suggested I make it “free” on Smashwords, which eventually causes Amazon to drop it to free. But then another friend posted a blog article about how long it took the New Testament to become the best seller it is, suggesting authors really need to be more patient. I prayed about it and decided to put the book on Amazon Select for six months.

That was a hard decision because I don’t believe in monopolies and Amazon Select is a monopoly. I would prefer to be spread across a lot of channels, but I did it as an experiment. I still didn’t sell many books that first six months, but I hadn’t been idle. I published Life As We Knew It. It’s not the same series. It’s an apocalyptic set the day after tomorrow rather than a high fantasy. I put it on Select at the get-go as another experiment. And it slowly began selling, easily overtaking sales for The Willow Branch.

Meanwhile, I wrote the next book Mirklin Wood and got a surprise — two books in a series sell better than one book by itself. I’ve since published Objects in View and A Threatening Fragility in Transformation Project and seen the same phenomenon.

Now, I’m not completely against price manipulation to attract attention. I offer The Willow Branch at no charge to the reader from time to time, usually putting other books on sale that day. It does get attention, though it gets more attention when I place Life As We Knew It at no-cost for a day. That’s the difference between genres. Thriller/apocalyptics sell better than fantasies.

Hullabaloo on Main Street: A Satirical Look at America's Bubble Battles by [Markham, Lela, Sliney, Laurel]Ah, but there’s something else to consider. Kindle Unlimited is available to anyone who is willing to pay for Amazon Prime. You get two books per month included-in-the-price with AP, which means that pricing your book appropriately is important if you want to attract readers through KU.  I keep experimenting with pricing and seeing what works and what doesn’t. According to Mark Coker of Smashwords, the sweet spot for pricing an ebook is $3.99. But I’m hearing from others that we might want to boost the price of our books because you want KU readers to feel they’re getting their value’s worth So, if you get two included-in-the-price books for about $10 a month, maybe your book needs to be $4.99 or even $5.99. I haven’t gotten that daring yet, but it’s a thought. And, since Christmas, I’ve made a fair amount of change off Unlimited.

I also have a book that isn’t sellling at all. Hullabaloo on Main Street is a slim novelette and political satire that’s been on Select for a year and it’s just not doing what I wanted. So, free, right?

No. Instead I’m going to put it on Barnes & Noble and a few other sites to see if my instincts about spreading a wider net are correct. I’ll play around with the price and see what happens. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll put it on Kindle Select at 99 cents and just stop worrying about it. I put time into every book I write and I hope lots of people read them, but I also know that I’ve earned some coin for doing the work. Maybe people will find it by accident while checking out my other books. Since it happens to be about our current stupid political climate, maybe I’ll be hailed as a prophet at some future time.

So, there you have it — what I think on the subject of “free” books. I treat my books like they’re a business and, yes, I have an emotional attachment to them, but I don’t lose sight of the bottom line. Giving away my books devalues my efforts and talents and is unnecessary because they do sell … mostly … when I exercise some patience toward that goal. And my next book Thanatosis should be coming out this fall. And because this is the fourth book in a series that is selling, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to be free.

#Book #Sale #99cents   Leave a comment

Hullabaloo Tugawar Front CoverHullabaloo on Main Street, a political #satire, is on #99-cent sale Monday, February 12-19, 2018.

Posted February 10, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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Defining Racism   Leave a comment

So I’m on the tread mill just before Christmas, pre-sweating for my pumpkin pie, when Tucker Carlson’s hilarious list of 100 things people have deemed “racist” in 2017 comes up. It took me a while to find it — mainly because I wasn’t trying very hard — but it really is funny.

“We live in revolutionary times,” Carlson told his followers on Twitter.

 

Image resultCarlson gave each “racist” item its own separate tweet, and while the list is worth reading in its entirety, I just couldn’t do them all. I have novels to write.

Apparently TREES are now racist. A group of trees in Palm Springs, California, was considered racist because the trees separated an upscale golf course from a historically black neighborhood. City officials promised to kill the trees, ridding Palm Springs of a longtime symbol of oppression.

DISNEY movies are now racists, according to Kat George, a writer for VH1’s website, who insisted that in 2017 some of your favorite Disney movies are racist. The Little Mermaid was listed as an offender because Sebastian, Ariel’s crab sidekick, spoke in an exaggerated Jamaican accent. Maybe he was a Jamaican crab.

MILK is now racist. Who knew? Who cared? It’s apparently became a symbol of the alt-right and neo-Nazis this year because racial minorities may be more likely to suffer from lactose intolerance. Even worse, the USDA’s dietary guidelines further such oppression by advertising dairy as an essential part of a healthy diet. As an American Indian who does indeed get gassy if I drink too much milk … get over yourselves. Seriously? If you don’t like milk or can’t drink it … don’t. My brother, as American Indian as I am, loves milk. Does that mean he’s self-loathing?

SCIENCE is apparently now racist. Students in South Africa declared that science is racist because it cannot explain “black magic” — no, really.

“I have a question for all the science people. There is a place in KZN called Umhlab’uyalingana, and they believe that through the magic, the black magic–you call it black magic, they call it witchcraft–you are able to send lightening to strike someone,” one student explained. “Can you explain that scientifically? Because it’s something that happens.”

Military CAMOUFLAGE is also racist. Don’t use face paint while sneaking through the jungle, or you might be accused of racism! The British Army was accused of donning “blackface” after they posted a picture of a soldier wearing dark face paint and holding a rifle.

Some CEREALS are now racist. A diversity officer at Miami University was actually open to the idea of banning Lucky Charms because some undercover students claimed the cereal was racist against Irish Americans. Yikes. Brad, did you know about this? Were you upset when the kids would eat them when they were little? No? How out of touch with your cultural roots can you be? Get angry! Be enraged! Where’s the war-bag?

 

Apparently TIMELINESS is now racist. Expecting students to show up on time to class might be insensitive to “cultural differences,” Clemson University said in a diversity training program.

 

BABIES are also racists. According to a study by the University of Toronto, babies show preferences to adults of their own race. Should we start diversity training in the nursery?

You can follow the full thread on Tucker’s Twitter account HERE. 

Posted February 2, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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