Almost There!

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Howdy!

I hope that everyone is doing fine.  It has been a wild year so far, in many ways.  I’ve been away from here for a while.  But it’s nice to have something positive to post after all this time.

First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with the millions around the world, and here in Japan, who have been struggling with the onslaught of natural disasters that have been, and still are, plaguing our planet.  Peace and love to all who are suffering.

Well, I’m happy to announce that my first novel has been written!  I’m currently editing and proofreading it, as well as working on the book cover.  The book cover idea has been conceived, and I am in the process of putting all the pieces together.  Once all of that is done, then I will be ready to self-publish.

I can tell you that this book will be the longest fiction story that I’ve published thus far; my first full-length novel (depending on your idea of how long a novel should be…info around the Net varies according to style and genre).  It will definitely be much longer than my short story that was published in 2016.

The book will initially be available through Amazon and in most countries where Amazon operates.  I may publish with other e-publishers at a later time depending upon how the book does.  I will post updates here if I decide to add more publishers to the availability list.

It’s a great relief to finally have the story finished and I very much look forward to sharing it with you in the not too distant future.

Thanks for reading…and for your continued patience.

Brad

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Prayers for Osaka

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It’s been a while since I posted anything, but I felt compelled to do so today.

Osaka is my favorite big city in Japan.  I’ve been there many times over the years.  It was hit by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake this morning…lots of damage, injuries and three deaths so far.  The epicenter was on land, so the damage was severe.  The youngest victim was a nine-year-old girl who was crushed by a wall that fell while she was walking on a sidewalk on her way to school.  Horror beyond words.

People here are fearful that this quake was just a warning sign of what is yet to come. Their trepidation is based on the fact that a similar situation happened here, where I am, just a couple of days before the East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.  We got a big quake on Wednesday, and the ‘big one’ hit on the following Friday.  Many of you know the rest of that story.

We are hoping that the worst has already happened, and that Osaka will not experience an even deadlier quake in the wake of the one that happened today.

Despite the tragedy today, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that we were spared here in Tohoku.  I live very far away from Osaka and we didn’t feel any effects of the quake at all.

For those of us who write and dare to delve into the realm of horror fiction, we should always remember that true horror is not fictional, it happens to many people around the world every day.

I ask your prayers for the victims of the Osaka quake today, for their families and for the people of Osaka and the Kansei area of Japan.

Thank you.

 

March 11, 2011 (Reblogged from my Facebook page).

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Here in Japan we remember all those who lost their lives in the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami seven years ago today.

I ask your prayers for all of the victims and their families and friends who remain and mourn their loss. Some people lost their entire families on that day.

I was thankfully spared the horrors of the tsunami that day because I live farther inland in Fukushima prefecture. But, I remember the earthquake well (too well) and the subsequent radiation crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant which I live roughly 36 miles from.

Thankfully, radiation levels have dropped dramatically in the past seven years, but the threat of long-term radiation exposure continues to haunt me and plague my psyche.

I wrote a book about my personal experiences during the earthquake and nuclear crisis. It’s available in e-book form on Amazon in the U.S., Japan and Europe, etc.  You can access the link from the “My Books” section of this blog or search for it on Amazon in your country.

Koriyama (where I live) and Fukushima prefecture in general are recovering, slowly but surely. However, a lot of work still needs to be done. The courage and dignity of the Tohoku people is incredible to behold. We are all in this together and have been walking hand in hand on the path to recovery.

Please keep the people of Northeastern Japan in your thoughts and prayers today…and always.

The Paralympic Games: Emotional, Motivational and Inspirational!

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As many writers know, inspiration for writing can come from anywhere.  Of course, finding inspiration for new story ideas can be tough.  Maintaining motivation and inspiration for stories we may be currently writing isn’t easy either.  It can be a two-way street.  Writing is challenging.  Becoming a successful writer is even more challenging.

I encourage everyone to watch the 2018 Paralympic Games from Pyeongchang, South Korea from March 9th to the 18th if you can.

When we watch the Olympics, we all cheer and support the athletes from our respective countries, but with the Paralympics nationality doesn’t matter.  All of the Paralympic athletes are winners and heroes regardless of whether they win a medal or not.  They remind us of our common humanity, rather than our individual nationality.

The challenges they face on a daily basis, in other words the day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted, are beyond comprehension.  Factor in the effort that it takes for them to make it to the Paralympics in spite of those daily challenges, and it is a truly remarkable achievement. Continue reading

Holiday Wishes…and an Update.

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Howdy!  Long time no…

Well, I won’t be meeting my self-imposed 2017 deadline for publishing my next book.  The last half of the year has been a roller-coaster ride with lots of twists and turns.  However, I look forward to working on my book, and to getting a little closer to finishing it during the upcoming holiday that I will have while my school is closed for the new year.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.  May 2018 be a safe, peaceful, healthy, enjoyable, prosperous and healing year for us all.

Time for a Little Shameless Self-Promotion!

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Happy Halloween!  I hope that everyone is doing well.  Thanks for reading.

If you need a little help getting into the spirit of Halloween, may I suggest my ghost short story, “The DiVacci Curse.” As always, you can access the direct link to the book from the My Books page of this blog.  Read it with the lights out…if you dare!

Getting closer…..

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Happily, I’m getting closer to finishing my next story.  I mentioned in a previous post that I hoped to publish my next one by the end of this year.  I don’t want to pinpoint an exact date or even an exact month, but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to meet this foretold deadline.

This story will be different from my last story, “The DiVacci Curse.”  I don’t want to give too much away, so all I can say right now is that it won’t be a ghost story.  Publishing the story will be a huge personal accomplishment and milestone for me because I first got the idea for this story and began writing it in the summer of 2000 while I was living in Pasadena as a struggling actor in Hollywood.  I had already been through a lot in life by that time and was trying to make sense of most of it.  I was also trying to decide what direction my life was going to take at that point.

Well, seventeen years later and I’m much closer than I was before.  After long, and I do mean looooong, bouts of writer’s block and a very topsy-turvy journey on the path of life that led me down many different roads and adventures, I feel that the time for me to get this story out has arrived.  The story is held together by almost twenty years of angst, frustration, fear, uncertainty, resentment, indecision, intolerance, impatience, jealousy and lots more of the darker elements of my personality.  These are aspects of my psyche that I’m not proud of, but they are a part of my past and cannot be denied…for better or for worse. I’ll leave that judgment to the readers of the story.

That’s all for now.  I’ll post again when I get a little closer to completion…or maybe my next post will be the astounding announcement that I actually finished and published the book!

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Being from Louisiana, hurricanes are a natural disaster that I am all too familiar with.  Hang in there, guys.

Attention Amazon Kindle Readers!

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My nonfiction e-book and my fiction e-short story are now enrolled in KDP Select on Amazon.  This is good news for Amazon Prime, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited members.  Check em’ out!

For those who have already purchased and read my e-book and e-short story, thank you very much.  If you like what you read, then I encourage you to write a review and post it on Amazon.  I would be honored and grateful for your kindness and consideration.  If writing a review is not your thing, then please spread the word among your family and friends, co-workers, distant relatives, ex-spouses, etc.

As always, direct links to both books can be found on the “My Books” page of this blog. Thanks for reading.

Have a fun and safe summer!

Most humbly,

Brad

“You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover!”

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That statement is so true.  Well, it’s taken a while (almost a year, actually) but I now have an original cover design for my ghost short story, “The DiVacci Curse.”

Only the cover has been changed.  The story and its contents remain the same.

When I first published the story last summer, I felt that it was more important to just get it published and out there, rather than delay publishing because of the cover page.  I opted to use one of Amazon’s predesigned cover pages that I liked, but was generic in nature.  I had no issues with the predesigned cover for a long time until I saw another book on Amazon (can’t remember if it was fiction or non-fiction) that used the same exact cover design…same font, colors, etc.  That’s when I realized that I needed to have an original cover design instead.

I now understand the importance of book covers.  Some readers do indeed “judge a book by its cover.”  Book covers can determine whether a reader investigates the e-book further or just clicks to another item or page, not even giving the book a second thought.

I prefer book covers that give the reader a general idea of the plot, rather than paint an overly vivid picture that is too demanding and busy for the eye. If too much is going on in the image, the message becomes confusing and complicated.  The author runs the risk of turning the reader off.  Sometimes “less is more” as previously mentioned in my post about “The Fog.”  This concept applies to book covers as well. Continue reading

Remembering Sir Roger

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It has been a sad week.  On May 23, Sir Roger Moore passed away.  He wasn’t the original James Bond, but he was my favorite and the Bond that many of us grew up with.  He was one of my film heroes.

He was also a hero in real life.  Besides his illustrious acting career, Roger Moore was also a humanitarian.  He helped better, and possibly save, the lives of thousands, if not millions, of children around the world due to his UNICEF efforts.  He became an ambassador for UNICEF in 1991 after having been introduced to it by UNICEF ambassador Audrey Hepburn earlier in his acting career.  His efforts with UNICEF earned him a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth.  You can read more about his UNICEF accomplishments on the UNICEF website.

When I was a kid, Roger Moore was the “King of Cool.”  His Bond taught many guys like me how a well-mannered, sophisticated gentleman should act.  I was a small-town boy from southeast Louisiana.  My view of the world was limited. I was filled with pride and excitement when I first learned that Roger’s first Bond film, “Live and Let Die,” was partially filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana (a mere one hour drive from my hometown). Roger Moore’s James Bond opened my eyes to the world and showed me many exotic locales like England, Italy, France, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Thailand, China, Jamaica and the The Bahamas just to name a few.  Henceforth, my desire to travel abroad and see the world was ignited.

Continue reading