Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tribute to a Writer

Walt Staples was a a great writer. I never met him in person, but by the magic of the internet, I came to know him through the Catholic Writer’s Guild. Walt died suddenly a couple weeks while waiting at a bus stop. He would probably comment something to the effect that he unintentionally caught the right bus home.

Walt was a great writer. He was a master at what he did. He was funny, kind, humble, and was always willing to help out novice hacks like myself.  Karina Fabian knew Walt much better than I did and she offered a great tribute post to Walt at the Catholic Writer’s Guild blog.

Walt told me one time in a chat to check out a short story he published at Digital Dragon Magazine called, A Feather’s Fall in Vacuum. It was the only time he even remotely “pushed” a work of his and it was only a mild suggestion. I felt like Charlie Bucket opening that Wonka Bar with the final golden ticket inside. I went from wondering where in the heck Walt was going with this story to laughing my butt off for about three hours after finishing it. Beautiful story.

The only proper tribute I could ever give to Walt Staples is to share the link to that story and another  from Digital Dragon with as many people as I can. These two stories are my favorite works of Walt’s, and in my humble opinion, are masterpieces of short fiction.

A Feather’s Fall in Vacuum

Going Postal… But Slowly

We will miss his talent, we will miss his quirky sense of humor, but mostly we will miss the Walt at the Catholic Writer’s Guild. Please pray for his people and friends. Read the stories and check out more of his stories from the links on his blog, Variable Credence.  Laugh, learn and giggle out loud as you read them, Walt would appreciate that.

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THE YOUNGER DAYS Book Release Giveaway

I wrote a book. Seriously, I did. It is a book for the upper middle grade (10-14 year old) boy crowd, but I think anyone can enjoy it. I know it may be a bit surprising to some of you, but it’s true. A bit of a shock similar to the time I gave a pre-game speech using Luke 11:23 as the theme, only to have just one player respond with, “Coach, you read the Bible?”

Yes, it is true. I read the Bible AND I write. I had an idea, I scribbled it down, it rattled around in my head for several  years then I wrote all 25,500 words down in just the right order. A series of rejections, followed by a series of fortunate events, finally landed a contract with MuseItUp Publishing, who released it as an ebook on March 9, 2012.

Now that the ebook is out, I have to also become a salesman. It is the way of modern publishing; part writer, part editor, part marketer, part sales. I am not a salesman. Sure, I want as many people to read the book as humanly possible, but I am not a salesman. Never have been. I hated going house to house hawking fund-raisers as a kid.  As a 13-year old, I refused to sell candy bars for the school’s summer baseball program. Wouldn’t do it. My coach that year was also in charge of the fundraising for the baseball program. He told me I HAD to sell candy bars or sit the bench. I refused. I sat the bench. I was a pretty good player, but I wouldn’t budge on my position. I sat the bench. I am not a good salesman.

I stunk at trying to sell our summer conditioning program to the kids. I couldn’t bring myself to Tony Little-ize a sales pitch to the kids. Fortunately Coach Lane stepped in and was able to convince kids to come, he sold it much better than I ever could have.  My part became to sell the results through action and work.  Show up, work hard and you will notice a difference in your body in two weeks.  Once they gave the program a chance, they liked the results and came back day after day.

So, here’s the sales pitch. Try the book, give it a chance and you (or young people you know) may like the results. And priced at $3.50, it is actually cheaper than one of those World’s Finest chocolate bars or boxes of pastel-colored, candy-coated almonds.

You can find the ebook at these places:

MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore

Amazon Bookstore

And here’s a giveaway of an ebook copy of THE YOUNGER DAYS. Leave a comment here or at my author page, to respond to the question below. A winner from the respondents will be randomly selected on April Fool’s Day, 2012.

Question: What was the worst, most hated, most despised thing you ever had to sell as a kid?

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