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Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Unlounging Book Blast, Guest Post, and Giveaway

Check out this literary/humor book and read the first chapter excerpt. Then, be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the book. Ends 2/15. Good luck.

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Literary / Humor
Date Published: December 2017
Publisher: Cur Dog Press

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Not yet thirty, and already Selraybob is beaten down and washed up. He spends his days on his lounger, drinking quarts of beer and talking to his buddy Herm on the phone. Until, during his wife’s long overdue kiss-off speech, he notices two clocks. They’re seven minutes off. And he has an epiphany. Time, he decides, is a count. It’s only a count.

Einstein was wrong.

And life on the lounger will never be the same.

Guest Post


Some easy self-editing ideas before you send your book out for editing.

My buddy Herm hooked me up with an editor. And before receiving the book, she made some suggestions for me to do first. I’m passing some along and adding a few of my own. They’re relatively easy, because they don’t require thinking much about the story and character narratives. They’re basically copy-editing ideas that you can search for within your doc.

There is, there are and all other combinations of there + a be verb.

They’re easy, like a crutch, the editor said, and they slow the sentence. It’s always possible to reword a ‘there’ sentence to make it more active. It doesn’t mean you have to change every single ‘there’ sentence, but they are good to review.

Like with the sentence I wrote, a couple of options are:

There are other better sentence structure options.

Other structures engage the reader more.
Other structures are better.

Simple. It just gets the reader to the subject faster.

There were four of them sitting around the table.
Alternative: Four of them were sitting around the table.

Last example.

There were sixty cows in the field.

Start with sixty and go from there. What were the sixty doing?

Sixty cows were munching dandelions.….

It’s important to search for all variants and to include contractions. You might only have fifteen ‘there is’s but you might have twelve more ‘there’s’ and another thirty ‘there were’.

  • There is
  • There were
  • There was
  • There are
  • There’s
  • There have been
  • There may
  • There might

While you’re at the ‘there’ search, it’s a good time to double check there/they’re/their, just in case some slipped in. With all these computer auto-correct settings, it’s easy for the wrong word to slip in.

Vague adverbs

Reasons exist when a specific usage is required, for some specific reason, to use an adverb that is not specific. But frequently, better options can be used.

  • Almost
  • Nearly
  • Some
  • Many
  • Frequently
  • Maybe
  • A little (+bit)
  • A lot
  • Alot (if this is your usage)

These all tell the reader that you, the writer, don’t really know. It’s well and good if you really don’t know, and you may have a reason for forcing the lack of clarity. But when you find 54 ‘almost’s; in your work, then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to relook, focus, and ask yourself if your characters are as non-committal as your writing makes them seem.

Occasionally, (this one goes on the list too) these are okay, but again, it’s the volume. Just how non-committal are your characters? I know I’m pretty vague, except about Time, but it doesn’t mean that’s what people want to hear three times in two pages.

Suddenly something sudden happened.

I do it. ‘All the sudden’ is one of my favorites. I say it, I use it. And it’s not even the way it’s supposed to be written. “All of a sudden” is standard, but it’s not my way.

Words that indicate a sudden occurrence can have the opposite effect when the speed of reading is taken into account.

  • Just
  • Sudden
  • Suddenly
  • All of a sudden

Suddenly, he ran across the street.


He ran across the street.

Or, using a more active verb,

He bolted across the street.


  • Started to
  • Began to
  • Commenced to (which was a new word for me at the time.)

Depending on the context, using beginning words to show a beginning just drags out the whole thing.

He began to run.


He ran


He started to vomit,.


He burped, and his mouth swelled with puke.

Or use some other wonderful verb of regurgitation.

Of course, it depends on the context.

Speech ticks.

Speech ticks aren’t the blood sucking kind. They’re the head-shake, twitchy kind, that no matter how much you don’t want to do it, you end up doing it anyway. Like plugging in your favorite word, or repeating the same cool phrase because it sounds so absolutely cool.

Big or small, noticeable or not, we’ve all got them.

And they’re different for every writer.

‘So’ is one of mine. It’s the casual ‘thus’, and it can be overused easily, particularly if you’re writing in a voice, like I was—mine. But even if the voice is true to you, and you’re a notorious so-sayer, too much of an awesome thing stops being awesome after a while—to the reader.

After draft one, and maybe even draft four, any writer who wants to make money realizes that readers must like the book, and buy it, and recommend it.

I have a friend writing in a character’s voice, and he used ‘man’ a lot. Like, ‘Hey, man,’ or ‘Man, I got to go to the store.’

I knew it, but a search produced more than I can admit. My normal solution was just to cut the word completely. How you resolve your writing tick is up to you.


It’s hard to change sentences that have nice rhythm. Many times I found myself reluctant, and I’d move on to another one that was either easier to change.

First pass I cut about 20 percent, which I thought was pretty good. After a break, I cut another 5-10 percent on a second pass. During the second pass, (and this is very important) I changed a few sentences back to the original. My new, rule-keeping sentences were all fine, but in some places they were boring. Overall, though, the reduction was around 25 percent, two passes.

I considered a third pass, but by that time my acorn was worn out, so I sent and waited for the red lines.


Simple changes matter. If used before the manuscript goes out, the improved pace will help the editor, or agent, focus on more important elements of your story, like characters and plot.

About the Author

Selraybob is a philosopher, writer, and, given his modest Missouri background, one of the least expected deep thinkers on the planet. His theory of time—that Einstein and Hawking and the rest of the spacetime preachers are misguided to the point of lunacy—has invited ridicule and hatred and threats of violence. He has become, arguably, an iconoclast. Selraybob continues to pursue Time, related physics theories, and, with the help of his buddy Herm, Herm’s wife Susy Liu Anne, and a small but growing band of supporters, battle the narrow minds of the Time Fixers.

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