Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I had the most insane dream last night. But I don't have time to type it, because I have to get to work. I am putting this entry here as a placeholder and hopefully I remember it when I come home!

Monday, June 27, 2011


A lot of writers draw on their own experiences to help shape their worlds. I suppose I am no different, especially with the Icarus Helix series. A lot happened to, for, around, and inside of me during high school. There was a lot of emotion. Too much drama. Way too much stupidity.

The first episode of IH, "Cheat", has 3.5ish stars on Amazon. This makes me a little sad. I feel people may be driven away by both this rating and the reason. All of the comments mention that, for being juniors, some of the students are remarkably ignorant.

I don't have much faith in the American school system. You can skate by and graduate with remarkably little knowledge.

Take me, for example. I graduated with Honors. WITH HONORS. Yet, what I know about history is dismally scant. I didn't like Social Studies or history. In fact, I can tell you everything (that isn't humiliatingly obvious, like George Washington being the first president)... as I say, I can tell you everything I remember from history right here:

1. Assembly lines work. Piecework is tragic. I know this because we made a mock assembly line in class, and I had to screw as many nuts (one per bolt) on bolts as I could in five minutes. For every piece I completed, I would be paid a penny. It was tragic.

2. Anyone with half a brain could have predicted World War II. I know THIS because (in the same class as above) we held a mock Summit of Countries after the war. Each person had a list with their country, the damages from the war and who was responsible (Germany.), and how much economic relevance (money) they had available. I WAS GERMANY. They could demand as much reparation from Germany (me) as they wanted. My group's discussion went something like this:

"Okay, so let's just all vote that Germany pays for everything."
Everyone else: "Agreed."
Me: "NO!"
"Come on, Germany, don't be a jerk. You made this mess, you clean it up."
Me: "Even if I wanted to - which I don't (according to my sheet, you all had it coming!), I don't have nearly enough money to cover the expenses you're talking about."
"You'll have to get it."
Me: "No, I refuse." (getting really angry now)
"Pay it!"

3. Our country started in 1776. I know this because I attended a 225th America's birthday party in 2001. Sadly, when I worked in Japan and did a class about Independence Day and the 4th of July I had to look it up.

4. I am from the North and we won the war. (Civil, right?)

5. When the Twin Towers were hit, I was in Mr. Shepard's Social Studies class.

That is about all I remember from history.

I also took three years of French in high school. Here is everything I remember from French:

1. J'ai trouve une tetard. (I found a tadpole.)

2. Ne mes dites pas ce que vous voulez! (Don't tell me what you want.)

3. Je ne lavera pas mon mouton. (I do not wash my sheep.)

Okay, so that's just me. Maybe, despite the fact that I graduated with HONORS (don't forget that now), I am some kind of rare savant-like case that managed almost straight A's without even trying?

So here are a few examples of MY high school days that let me feel entirely comfortable with juniors not knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction:

1. When I was a senior, I read this book:

A boy next to me asked me what I was reading. I showed him the cover.

"King's Dragon," he said. "What's that about?"

"It's fiction," I replied.

"What's that, like a biography?" he asked me, as I stared at him in dumbfounded amazement.

2. In my HONORS ENGLISH AND LITERATURE class, we read "Midsummer Night's Dream". Not taking into account the 30-minute argument of some student's that Shakespeare wasn't a real person...

In the middle of a passage, a female classmate raised her hand. Our very astute and charming teacher called on her.

"Wait," she commanded, brow furrowing in consternation. "This has fairies in it? Like, real fairies? Did this really happen?"

Gently, my teacher answered, "It's fiction."

"Yeah? But did it happen???"

She also graduated with honors.

Update: Maybe I need this shirt. Perhaps it will bring history into the world of Things I Should Know.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Big Week For Me!

After my three-day feature on Man Eating Bookworm and my AWESOMELY received release yesterday...

Today I'm featured in the noon slot of Daily Cheap Reads Jr. Edition!

If you would, please help spread the word and drive some traffic to them - they're doing an awesome thing! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HEY, Hey hey hey!

Look at what is right here!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)

(Also, updated header!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MEB Giving Away FIVE COPIES of "Cheat"!

If you're thinking about getting in on my YA series and haven't yet picked up the first copy, it might be your lucky day! Man Eating Bookworm is giving away five copies of "Cheat" to the people who comment on the post in the link!

Good luck everyone! :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

MEB does Dallas... I Mean, "Coward"

Great review by the loverly Mr. Peter over on Man Eating Bookworm!

Please stop by and check it out!

And tomorrow, and the day after, because there are some surprises in store :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Green Lantern

So the summer blockbusters are coming out and I was really looking forward to Green Lantern. For one - superheroes are awesome and for B, I'm writing a series about kids with superpowers, so it's obviously right up my alley.

I found it be a fun, exciting and laugh-out-loud movie! I was very impressed with the actors, the movement on screen and the timing of the dialogue.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants a good superhero flick, or even just a fun movie. Girls, if you're on the fence, I have one thing to say to you: Ryan Reynolds without a shirt (HUBBA HUBBA) :)

I would give this movie a 5/5 stars and my highest recommendation: I would watch it again! (And not just because of Ryan Reynolds' body, though it is definitely a perk.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another (Modern) Parable

"The Woman and the Cat"

Once upon a time there lived a woman who owned a cat. Being a cat, he was naturally a very proud beast. Being that he was an indoor cat, he had long ago forsaken his hunter's claws in exchange for two free feedings everyday.

Being such a proud beast, he considered all things below him. When the woman called, he ignored her. He lazed about and shed his fur where he pleased. He slept or groomed himself for most of the day.

One thing the cat loved to do was sit in windows. When the woman opened them to let in fresh air, he would inevitably jump into the windowsill. He could reliably be found sitting in whichever window currently received the most sunshine. Everything he saw both within and without the house he claimed as his own. Such was his pride.

One day the woman was expecting company. She went about the house wiping down the windows to make her home as presentable as possible. The cat, seeing her fuss about the windows, arrogantly assumed she was opening the windows for his enjoyment. Once she had finished about a particular window, he climbed to the back of the futon and leapt for all he was worth.

The window, still being closed, proved a remarkable deterrent for his body. He made to hang onto the ledge, but having surrendered his claws long ago had nothing with which to scrabble for purchase. In the end, he fell to the floor.

His antics, observed by the woman, drew much laughing scorn down upon his head. When the woman had finished laughing, she saw that his crash into the window had dirtied it again, thus necessitating a second cleaning. She upbraided the stupidity of the cat loud and long, forcing him to slink under the bed and nurse his doubly wounded pride.

Look before you leap.


Pride comes before a fall!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And Now, A (Modern) Proverb

"The Woman and the Cicada"

Once upon a time there lived a woman who owned a young dog. Every night she let this dog out for his business as she had trained him well where to take his worldly toilet. Her dog was black, and the nights were so very dark, so every night she turned on her porch light to better see him. When she called, his eyes would glow in reflection of the porch's light and reassure her.

One night she opened the door to retrieve her dog when a cicada flew into her home. It was a lazy, erratic thing that bumped into walls and lights, slow but incessant. When it flew close to the door, she opened it for him.

"Go back home!" she commanded sternly. The foolish cicada did not heed the words of the master of the house.

The woman resolved to find and evict the cicada the next day. She went into the kitchen.

The cicada, in great fun, followed her and buzzed annoyingly around her head. In a fit of disgust and rage, the woman took up her dog's frisbee, lying nearby, and swatted the cicada from the air. He fell onto his back on the floor, dazed and helpless. The woman covered him with the frisbee and again vowed to evict him upon the morrow.

When morning came, the woman lifted the frisbee to find the cicada in the last stages of death.

"Cruel woman!" cried the cicada. "First you command me away, then you strike me and finally leave me in the dark to die!"

"Foolish cicada!" scorned the woman. "I bade thee leave and thou didst not! I let thee be and thou nagged upon my every nerve! Now in your foolish haste, you shall die."

At the woman's harsh words, the cicada's life fled from his tiny body. The woman scooped him up with the frisbee and tossed his useless carcass out the front door.

Don't overstay your welcome.


He who lives a fool dies a fool.


Do not scorn the correct path for your own whims. It could be the death of you!


Sunday, June 12, 2011


My last post was sort of negative and sorry for that. I know it's not fun to read (though I hope you enjoyed the little story I whipped up for it, if not the message).

Some other big stuff has happened, to put me in a calmer mindset. But I'd like to share one of my favorite "Downtime" past times.

When I need a break from life, I often turn to fiction of all sorts. While I don't watch TV, at these moments I sometimes even use IT to just give my brain a chance to relax and breathe.

So from Wednesday until today, I watched something in the range of 16 episodes of Dead Zone, finally finishing out the series. I also watched a couple of episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and about a quarter of the movie Fat Head though it was not very exciting. (Hence, only a quarter.)

I also saw Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton one, and loved it. As in Willy Wonka, Depp's character gave me chills. He was just a farking loon. I don't understand why this movie got such a bad rep, because I thought it was pretty amazing. Though, the Red Queen's (Tim Burton's wife!) oversized head was a bit much, and the White Queen's incessant fluttering about was irritating... Snape as Absulum was AMAZING. He just has an incredible voice. If I ever write the creepiest book I can imagine, I absolutely want him to be the voice actor :P

Also, as you may have gleaned, I am terrible with names (even of actors I like) so they are referred to as their characters :P

Also saw Just Go With It (which I really thought would be better, but I give it a 2/5 stars). Also saw I Am Number 4. The movie was good, 4/5 stars worthy... but I will have to give it a 3/5 stars. There was too much "jargon" related to the universe, and unexplained things right away that I felt detracted from the story because I felt I didn't know what was going on. (Have not read the book.)

Watching Alice gave me a craving to watch Sweeney Todd for the sixth time... but haven't done so yet.

Also went swimming with the dog and played water fetch (because tennis balls float) and it was a smashing success. I would even say, it went swimmingly!

Other than that am reading and pondering a second job...

I think everyone needs downtime for their brain to reset and recharge. I'll be back to the grind soon enough, but for now I'm still sort of floating along in an apathetic, just five more minutes mindset.

Well, tomorrow's Monday. We'll see what happens then!

(And thanks to everyone for the support you threw my way after the last post. You guys are pretty amazing and I appreciate you!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Proverbial

There is a lot of upheaval going on in my general vicinity right now. Like, a lot. If someone were to ask me how my life was going, I would say roughly the following:

My life is like a pinwheel. It is full of bright and beautiful colors that quiver with unrealized motion. When I want my life to move forward, I merely give a gentle breath and set the colors in motion, dazzling the eyes.

Except, someone came along and decided that my pinwheel wasn't efficient enough. So while I wasn't looking, they replaced it with dun-colored electric fan. They glued the fan into the socket and then broke the off switch so it is permanently stuck on high. So my life just keeps moving forward, and without the colors, so it is a monotonous blur of forgotten moments.

And then there's a man, a very large man. Maybe he is a trucker. He's running a long run from the west coast to the east coast. He's behind schedule. He's cutting corners left and right, speeding on the highway when his cab radar says there aren't any cops around.

Last night that man stayed in a crappy motel. They didn't offer breakfast service. The town was a hole, so on the way out he got breakfast at Taco Bell. He was super hungry (he missed dinner the night before, because of the late run he drove far into the night and collapsed in his crappy motel before eating.) So he's starving and he eats about eight bean burritos for breakfast.

But then he's driving and he's still hungry and he needs gas. So he stops at a grimy trucking station. They have sandwiches on a table with the expiration dates ripped off. They are buy 1 get 2 free. He's low on cash and that seems like a great deal so he gets 3 egg salad sandwiches of questionable integrity.

He eats them all in a hurry and washes them down with a couple of cans of Red Bull. Then about an hour later he decides he's not feeling so great. In fact, his stomach is probably going to explode. So he pulls off the highway yet again.

He finds a meadow, and no one is around. The only thing in the meadow is a dun-colored electric fan that is stuck on high. The only clear place is directly behind it.

So he runs over and pops a squat. The mess gets everywhere.

That's about my life right now.


Monday, June 6, 2011

100-Posts Winner

Well, I only had one person who actually followed the rules on how to enter, so congratulations Peter Andrew Leonard!

You can choose any episode of the Icarus Helix series, "Cheat", "Liar", "Coward" or this month's release, "Thief" as your prize! You may also gift your prize to a friend by providing their e-mail.

Please send your request to :)

Peter's winning reason:
"I deserve to win because I am supreme leader of the Canadian Chapter of the J.E. Medrick fan club! \m/

:D "

And may I add, Yay Canadia? :) (Good show not extraditing Adekeye!)

I'm proud of my Canadian fan club!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I hear it's common for writers (and intellectuals) to want to spend time alone. I also hear we are insomniacs. I find this to be true - in the dark, quiet hours of the night, when the rest of the world has finally shut the **** up, I can think and concentrate without ridiculous interruptions.

I love my fiance - very much so! But I do not want to spend every waking moment with him. I am just this way. I love my dog, and my favorite books, but I do not want to play frisbee all day or re-read the same book over and over. I want new things, and alone time.

My fiance is part of Rausamea. To put it very bluntly - it is a bunch of people that wrap PCP pipe in thick foam and then beat the daylights out of each other in mock medieval battles. They have realms, crests, knightings, huge battles, realms fight other realms... it's very involved. (But essentially, daylights + beating.)

Of course I worry about him when he does these things. He's accident and large-surgery prone. Someone could hit him in the head, or he could get thrown/trampled in a charge (YES, that is a real danger). But I know he enjoys it. I think it helps him get that natural man-ness out, the need to beat up on something. It's also really good exercise for him, he sometimes wears a REAL SHIRT of CHAINMAIL, plus carrying the shield, swinging the sword...

But I really like when he goes, because I have the house all to myself. He won't walk around randomly singing Club Villain at the top of his lungs. (Or WORSE, Orphan Tears.) I have some nice relaxation time to myself, and better - time to write.

He went to a spur-of-the-moment fight on Thursday (he normally fights Wednesdays). He was kind about it - asking me if it was alright.

When he came home, he said he had a story to tell me, and it went something like this:

"The guy I rode with said, 'Man, it's getting late. I really better get home to my wife.' Then another guy said, 'Yeah, my wife is gonna kill me for being out so late.' A third man chimed in and said, 'My girlfriend gets pretty angry when I'm out too late. (sigh) I better go, too.'"

I (my fiance) looked at the other three men and said, "When I left the house, my fiancee said, 'Bye! Have a good time!' She likes her alone time and is glad when I'm out of the house."

Almost simultaneously, the three other guys turned extremely serious and in unison said, "KEEP HER."

This story (especially because it is a hobojillion percent true) makes me laugh, and laugh.

And laugh.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 2011 Sales Update (Updated with Conversion)

Okay, I'll be honest, I've wanted to post a sales update since about Mid-may. I had an exceptional month - my best so far! So here's my sales chart and I'll break down some info for you :)

My May sales totaled 21 units. That is a whopping 250% increase in sales! (Total was 350% of previous month's sales.)

Since I put my first book up for sale in February, I have sold 40 units. 21 of those were in May! (52.5%)

"Coward" exploded out of the gate this month with 6 sales in 5 days! Well, 6 isn't actually an explosion, but since my total for last month's sales were 6, it was impressive to me :)

I have noticed an exciting trend. I have random single sales of "Cheat". Then, a few days later, I see sales of all following titles in the IH series. So, "Cheat" only has 3.5 stars on Amazon at the moment, but it's interesting enough for people to want to continue reading :)

I have more YA titles than anything. HOWEVER, I submitted that piece to 12 Worlds and I really think it's helping sales of "Shackled". Whereas April saw no sales, May had 3!

In April I made $2.10 in royalties. In May, $12.56. That is almost a 500% increase :P Not hardly a living wage yet, but can you imagine if that increase stayed month to month...!!

This chart doesn't reflect it, but since about mid-April, I have never gone more than 5 days without a sale.

In April I averaged .2 sales/day. In May, .68! That is a 240% increase in sales per day :) Though, I will freak out when that number reaches at least 1/day!

B&N got in the game this time! I had 5 sales on their platform :)

Best-selling rank so far:
#1 - Cheat, 14
#2 - Shackled, 11
#3 - Liar, 8
#4 - Coward, 7

Update: I forgot to post the conversion rates, so I want to do that now :)
The conversion from Cheat > Liar was 14 > 8, about 58%. That is up from 37.5% conversion in April. Awesome!

From Liar > Coward, 8 > 7, 87.5%!! That's great! This number is a little skewed. I know at least one person that bought Coward on 2 platforms because they are an awesome fan :) So if I take that into account, the conversion is actually 8 > 6, still 75%!

I would like to aim for at least 50% conversion, with 75% being the ideal. (I think 100% will be unrealistic.) So the Cheat > Liar realized that goal and Liar > Coward blew it out of the water! Maybe my writing is getting better? :)

My last notes:
I like to picture myself standing in the trough of April, craning my neck at the angle of my total line for May. I imagine my head tipping back, back, and further back until I fall. It makes me smile :)

I had a nagging fear I wouldn't see any sales in June until "Thief" released. June 1st, I had my first sale for June, so I'm not skunked! I am pleased :)

Due, in part, to the large jump, I am making my goals for June modest. My achievable goal is 25, my happy goal is 30 and my excitement goal is 50!