EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 ~ 0001 HOURS, JANUARY 1

  Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see it, man? All those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “The fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Yeah, way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Cedar Rapids, Iowa   Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming—woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate. He kept the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone and looked at the screen. There was a text from his girlfriend. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: “Big ones what do I know.” DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Looking. Somebody got out of one. OMG, looking up at me. They are all turning in at—” DAN:…

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Ready, Fire and then Aim? Huh?

Is it even possible to break through the algorithm barrier and make your book discoverable? I’m still on a learning curve, but I wanted to share something you don’t want to do, fire without aiming. Ready? Writer’s write, it’s what we love doing. Editing is sweaty, the part most writers would like to skip. Fire? That’s rushing a book into print without a marketing plan. Aim? What happens if we are ready and fire before we aim? What’s wrong with that order? Book marketing strategy begins by asking your inner writer a simple question.  Why do you write?  What feeds your writing journey?  Are you looking for fame, awards, and accolades?  How about the money?  Are you looking for a way to finance an order for your new Lexus with your royalties? I remember a conversation. “I’m not making any money.  In business school, they teach about return on investment,…

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A MAN AND A WRITER GO INTO A BAR

    A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. I’m sure he didn’t get my joke about the written part. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly…

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EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342

EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 By Chuck Waldron   FAKE? IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE, RIGHT?       Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see all those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “At the fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ   Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming, woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate, keeping the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone. There was a text notification. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: Mostly big ones. DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Just looked. Somebody got out of one of the trucks. OMG, looking up at me.…

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TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN WORD

With military-straight backs, guardians of words march back and forth at the tomb of the unknown word. You may have seen it, the tomb that is, not the unknown word. It may be hard to locate . In an area rarely visited, the tomb stands at the gate of a graveyard where words go to die. Words are like people. Words are born, live productive middle years (if they survive adolescence), and fade away in the last chapter of their life. On life support, words are sometimes rescued by crossword puzzles and other word games. In their dotage, however, they are often ridiculed by young words, eager to push old, weary words aside.  They do have their own struggle. Meh was born in 1992 and took almost twenty-five years to reach adulthood. I enjoy walking through the graveyard of words. The tombstones are monuments to expressions full of richness. One…

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BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL!

A loud chant, or a quiet poem? “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” In those few precious, well-chosen words Emma Lazarus captured the essence of what I like to think of as the ‘heart’ of my country. I’ve always thought it ironic, that the woman who wrote those words, a woman born into a large Sephardic-Ashkenazi Jewish family, would likely have been turned away trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s. At the same time a plaque with her words was being placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the Immigration Act of 1903 was being passed, sometimes called the Alien Enemies Act. It was intended to keep out Anarchists, revolutionaries, and radical labor unionists. The lamp…

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A GOOD WRITING/WINE PAIRING

Wine Paring for writers?Countless times, Authors are asked what wine makes an excellent pairing with writing. After all, a master of the craft, Ernest Hemingway, said to write drunk and edit sober. Okay, writing and wine is a pairing rarely explored. So, let’s start. Some robust reds pair well while writing action. I suggest one of Italian Big B wines, Barolo, Brunello & Barbaresco. The flavors of the juicy ripe black and red fruit blended with savory herbs are complex, just what we want in an action scene. A problem for many struggling writers is cost. The Big B wines can be a tad on the pricey side. White wines? And yes, real men also drink white wine. They pair well with the contemplative writing moments. This is the time when a writer steps back from the keyboard, thinking about the next chapter or scene. Is Chardonnay to your taste?…

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OUR UNRAVELLING MORAL FABRIC

One way to describe Moral Fabric is to view us, as a society, sharing a standard dignity through high principles making the moral fabric a keystone; keeping the social order maintained and the standards it holds high-together. Now think about ours as a sweater, woven by that great moral fabric, now three hundred and forty-one years old now. In the time since it was knitted by our founders, there have been loose threads, even rips, some people even attempting to tear it apart. Still, the sweater has remained intact. Now, I wonder if that sweater knitted with moral fabric is finally beginning to unravel, along with it, our democracy as we know it. Little did I realize that when I started The CleanSweep Conspiracy, gathering my thoughts, and notes that would eventually lead to the novel, that it was a cautionary tale. When the canary in a coal mine died…

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Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

  Is an apology in order? For all the Facebook post, all the tweets marketing The CleanSweep Conspiracy as a holiday gift? I know it comes under the heading for shameless self-promotion, but — hey — why not fill someone’s need for a 99 cent ebook. The clock is ticking, there may be a second book in the series coming out this next summer. Matt Tremain and his friends once again have their hands full. And, once again they are having a hard time convincing those in charge. So, don’t wait. Order the ebook now for only 99 cents (until December 31). Kindle version  Oh, there’s a great print edition for only $14.99. Amazon print edition So, no apology, But I do want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and winter solstice. Chuck

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TERROR, TREPIDATION, TURMOIL, TURBULENCE, TORONTO

Shameless alliteration, I know. Those aren’t words often associated with the setting for The CleanSweep Conspiracy I could never wish harm to the city, but my devious side led me to write a story where Toronto felt terror, trepidation, turmoil, and turbulence. Bombs explode. Rioting becomes commonplace, and something like martial law is implemented. It gets worse when a ruthless billionaire intends to shape a city to his viewpoint.   In my story, ordinary people try to make things right again. Matt Tremain is a blogger wondering if anyone even notices. Carling is a career cop who avoids headlines. A reporter is well-respected, but facing a conspiracy? Those ordinary people finally decide to act, knowing consequence may be deadly. I don’t apologize for the destruction of Toronto. It’s only a story, right? This can’t happen in a city like Toronto. Indeed, no billionaires are plotting to erode our society in…

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