Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picking it up again...

It's always a slightly different experience. I'm writing new stuff again, this time in Sexton Sand, book IV in the Sexton Chronicles.

I'm wondering, as I always do, what comes next. In the chapter I finished a couple of months ago, Tom, John, and Andy had knocked King Rajahd'een of Crescens senseless in an alley in the capitol city of Crescens. Have you wondered if Andy really has any skills with magic? I think I've made it ambiguous, but we see for sure in this book.

Hell no, I'm not going to tell you. I want you to buy the book and see for yourself.

I haven't been idle since writing chapter 60 back in July. I've published the first three books in paperback and hardcover, epub, kindle, and pdf. Each publishing experience brings its own opportunities to learn new things and I've enjoyed learning them. Now I know how and where to get ISBN's, and how to design covers, and write press releases... I can even make my signature look like an autograph from someone who knows how to write autographs.

But now it's time to get back to fun.

   ...Time to get back to Sexton

Friday, October 29, 2010

No more visits from France? C'mon! I like you guys!

I noticed I haven't had any visitors from France to this site since that post I placed in French. Interesting. Perhaps I should apologize for my use of the language...and I can assure you that any errors made were a combination of my errors and those of the computer translation program I used.

Reminds me of a story...

I spent 9 weeks in Peru when I was in college. One day, I ran into 4 Frenchmen on the Inca trail. We spoke French back and forth as we walked. It was an amicable conversation.

Eventually one of them looked at me and asked if I was French-Canadian. Apparently they couldn't quite place my accent. I thought I was speaking Parisean French, but evidence pointed to the contrary to their well-trained ears.

When I told them I was not only not French Canadian, I was in fact an American... They refused to speak French anymore. Not so much as a "wee". I knew why. They were willing to tolerate a Canadian accent, but couldn't stand the thought of an American butchering their language.

It would have been easy to speak only English to them. I didn't do that, of course. I was mildly offended. Instead...and feel free to grin... I continued to speak French (in a limited fashion)...but I did so with an American Southern accent.

Bone jooooure mon-eee-sewer...! I could see a rash start to form on their necks, and beads of irritated sweat pop out on their foreheads.

Je suis trez drole, n'est pas? Non? Well...sorry about that. Please. I love ya. Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hope and care for sufferers of wernickes and korsakoffs, and a salute for those who serve them

On behalf of the patients who might not be able to express their appreciation to the staff, and on speaking as a man who had extraordinary care when I was afflicted, I say thank you. I'm attaching a link to Dukeries Health Care, in the United Kingdom. The site is full of information about the condition/conditions as well as photos of what looks to be a pleasant place. These people understand the illness. Although it is a rare illness, it is a serious one. Some might want to blame the sufferers of wernickes and korsakoffs for their condition, but I think that's the easy way out. Alcoholism is a disease. Trust me... I understand the temptation to place blame for it. God knows I struggle with self blame more than I suffered from quitting drinking... 

Take a moment, if you would be so kind, to learn a little bit about wernickes and korsakoffs. Maybe you can help prevent a friend from suffering from it, or if you know someone suffering from it, perhaps you can understand what's going on.

They were also kind enough to place a link to "Green Goblin" (my story of my fight with wernickes) on their site. I hope it can help someone, even if it's only in a small way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Some things prove whether a person is an optimist or a pessimist

Royalty watching... In my case it has nothing to do with whether the prince is going to marry what's-her-name (she's hot, but what IS her name?) in England.

In my case Royalty watching is becoming an unhealthy thing. I want to know if any of my Kindle books, eBooks, paperback, or hardcover books have sold. It's a matter of checking websites and looking at reports.

I fall on the side of optimism every time. I'm not disappointed when the sales figures haven't changed. I look at them and enjoy the little numbers with the hope (knowledge... I'll call it faith) that I'm looking at the small figures of a career in its infancy. I believe in my books. They're good books and with time they'll grow legs and start bringing home the bacon to the guy who's working on the next book.

I think a pessimist in a similar situation would go nuts, and maybe even give up.

Not me. I'm going to do what I do, and that is write. I'm not going to sit idly by and wait for sales--there is a fair amount of marketing that has to happen--but long experience with reports and numbers tells me that staring at reports (though I do cheer when someone buys a book) won't do anything.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

En Francais...Bouffon Vert (Green Goblin)

Ce poste est pour mes amis, connus et inconnus, qui parlent le français. Dans le temps qui s'est écoulé depuis que j'ai écrit et publié en anglais Green Goblin, j'ai eu plus de visites sur ce blog de la France que des États-Unis. En conséquence, j'ai publié le Bouffon Vert en français. Si vous, mon ami, essayons d'en savoir plus sur Wernickes - si vous êtes un ami d'un malade, ou qui sont liés à un malade, je vous souhaite à tous le meilleur. Au cas où vous vous poseriez la question, je ne parle que suffisamment le français pour être en mesure de vérifier à nouveau le programme que j'ai utilisé pour traduire mon petit livre. 
  Si vous souhaitez me contacter, s'il vous plaît le faire par un commentaire sur cette entrée de blog. Je ferai de mon mieux pour répondre à toutes vos questions (s'il vous plaît, si vous le pouvez, postez votre commentaire en anglais ... et si vous ne pouvez pas, s'il vous plaît pardonnez les erreurs de traduction que je pourrais faire quand je réponds.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm excited about a couple of things...

I'll mark this first one in my calendar because it makes me happy for reasons I don't fully understand: Someone, somewhere in the United Kingdom bought Green Goblin for their Kindle. The Sexton books have been up on Amazon UK for a couple of months with no sales, and I was beginning to wonder if any of my stuff would sell on Amazon there. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that Green Goblin was my first sale in the UK. They're waaaay ahead of the US in terms of recognizing and treating Wernicke-Korsakoff disease.

I'm also excited, for different reasons, about Smashwords publishes eBooks in all formats. I uploaded all three (to date) Sexton Chronicles books as well as Green Goblin, and Smashwords converted them to epub, kindle, Sony Reader, Palm Reader, PDF, RTF, and other formats I don't remember at the moment. You can buy/download books from there and read samples there. 

The other thing Smashwords did for me is made the Sexton books easy to find with a simple Google search. The books appear with all kinds of URLs that lead to free samples, and ultimately to the books. Very, very cool.

If you have an electronic reader, take some time to check out And it won't hurt my feelings any if you buy one, or two, or four of mine while you're there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I wrote a little book...a true story disguised as fiction

The name of the little book is Green Goblin. It's the story of a guy who got Wernickes Encephalopathy, a destructive disease of the brain brought about by abuse of alcohol. The odds of recovery and living a normal life are slim, even with great care provided by great people.

Some make it.

I made it. Green Goblin is my story. It's a short book of 64 pages. I hope to give hope through the book, not only to those suffering from Wernickes (the sufferers include family members and caregivers of those afflicted), but those going through other serious illnesses as well.

Here's a link to the book.

Green Goblin

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My author page on and other places you can buy my books

Amazon does a nice job with its author pages. My books and kindle books are in one place, and the "look inside" feature is enabled for the print books. Look Inside is a nice feature because it lets the potential buyer see the first few pages before they decide to purchase.

Click to see my author page on Amazon

If you click on the books on the right side of this page you can preview them, and if you choose to buy them from there you can link to the books at Lulu is the only place to offer the books in hardcover.

Barnes and Noble offers Sexton, Sexton Spice, and Storm Clouds Over Sexton as eBooks. Search for David J. Steele at

Have a great day! I plan to do the same.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New writing exercise

Twitter. Tweet. It's fun to tweet, and, I suppose, be a twit...

Twitter limits "tweets"--little text entries one can send to others who chose to follow him or her--to 140 characters. Not 140 words. One hundred and forty characters. That's not a lot, in case you're wondering. Especially when Twitter considers a space to be a character.

There are probably several ways to use the limit as a writing exercise. I just started yesterday, playing around.

My self-imposed mission is to make each of my tweets exactly 140 characters. I want to convey the idea I'm trying to convey (vague and weak though it might be) in 140 characters. In this little game I'm playing, I have a couple of rules:

  • No shorthand, as in "texts" via cellphone
  • Punctuation counts and must be used
  • Must convey an idea
  • Can't use multiple tweets to gain extra characters

There's no penalty if I don't make it, other than I call myself names at the computer...which means I won't try a similar exercise on YouTube. I'm doing this as an exercise, not because I have a lot of fluff in my writing--I don't. In fact, it's tighter than a rubber band on brick. I'm doing this to make sure I keep it as tight as a rubber band on a brick.

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you probably already know how. Just follow Misticuf. That's me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

See, stew, sit, and...there it is.

I was driving home this morning as the sun came up. The sky was orange at the horizon and changed miraculously to a band of deep blue, lightening to a pale blue glow that would minutes later, become azure with the full light of day. Clouds were vertical jags with edges growing dull with time.

I didn't plan to write about the sky, here or in any of the Sexton books. I probably will, but by then I won't remember that sunrise in particular. It was part of what I'll call my "see".

It will go into the sludge of stuff in my brain, along with conversations and observations, jokes, hopes, and pieces of cranial lint that's already there. When it comes up in the course of whatever portion of whichever book, I won't remember it.

That's how the writing process, the external part of it anyway, works for me. It doesn't matter if it's a character description, a place, a piece of dialog, or a joke. I don't mean to imply that writing isn't work for me. It is.

The best stuff that comes out is the stuff I don't think I had to think about, but stuff I did think about when I didn't think I was thinking.

If you understand the previous're probably a writer or some other kind of artist.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Let's talk about Barnes & Noble's Nook

I'm aware that these posts appear on my author's page at I get a little kick out of that fact. I like Amazon, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to disrespect them or what they do. Let's call posts like this a little expirament. I'm an Amazon Associate. That doesn't mean much. It means that if you buy a book from Amazon through this website, I'll get a little money without it costing you a thing.

So far, I'm happy to report, Amazon owes me less than a buck. That's after 3 months. They'll pay me when they owe me a hundred bucks. I'm all a-twitter.

At the rate they're paying me, I can afford to be honest. I think Barnes & Noble's Nook (ebook reader) is a much better device than the Kindle. There's nothing wrong with the Kindle. It's light, it's easy to read, and it's fast.

I just like the Nook better. The Nook (which you can pick up and feel before you buy if you go to Barnes & Noble), feels like a book in my hands. It has a color touch screen. You can see the covers of the book you're reading. The most basic model Nook costs 10 bucks more than the most basic model Kindle, but if you buy a Nook from a Barnes & Noble store, the money you save on shipping and handling vs. Kindle makes up the difference. You can also take your Nook to a Barnes & Noble store and browse books on it before you decide to buy.

I'm going to buy one of those Nook things pretty soon.

*A little caveat... Until yesterday, I was going to buy a Kindle instead of a Nook. The reason was both selfish and simple: my books were available as Kindle books, but not as Nook books. As of yesterday, that changed.