Links to my Books

Links to My Writings

Meditations on Maintenance for the Kindle
Memoirs of a Super Criminal for the Kindle, Nook
One Year in the Mountains for the Kindle, Nook
Adventures of Erkulys & Uryon for the Kindle and Nook

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moving space and time without leaving the couch

They knew that time travel was possible. The theory was sound, the equations balanced and the apparatus calibrated. But the first dozen unfortunate souls that tried it just simply disappeared. They knew not where. Until a sixteen year old son of one of the primary researchers made an off comment while lounging in a recliner in the corner of the office.

“I wish I could go back a day. Yesterday I was a thousand miles away on the beach enjoying life, this place sucks. It is so boring.”

Immediately it clicked in the minds of the all the researches sitting in the room. Of course you can travel in time, but not in space. There is nothing rooting you to this particular place in space. It is like hitting the pause button on your existence, but the rest of time AND space moves on. The world is not only spinning around and around, but it is also moving around the sun. And the sun and it’s satellites are speeding through space.

With a few speedy calculations they were able to find eight of the ten lost souls. The last two were to far out in deep space to be recovered.

The next day they started working on time vectoring. They realized they would never be able to achieve time travel and remain on the planet. But they could, with enough number crunching, travel vast distances in space by standing still in time. There is only one thing that is faster than light, and that it is time. They had inadvertently invented the first FTL capable device. 

David Corbet 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seven Truths of Being

1. If you are not growing, you are dieing.
2. Growth means change.
3. Change requires input.
4. Input means consumption.
5. There is an upper and lower limits to healthy/productive consumption.
6. Waste is anything outside of the range of healthy/productive consumption.
7. Eventually the ability to process new input ends and therefore stops growing and dies.

 I will just toss this out there for now and let them diffuse into cyberspace. They really don't mean much, nor do they contain a moral imperative. They just are what they are and can be applied to just about everything that is.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

KDP Select and Me

When Amazon rolled out it's KDP Select program I was skeptical. I was not sure if dedicating a book just to Amazon was going to reach the audience and generate the same revenue as having it available at multiple places. I thought about it for a while and decided to run a test case. I had published a fantasy novella and was selling it for 99 cents. I thought it would be a good candidate, something that people may borrow from the lending library as an Amazon Prime Member.

Before entering the novella into KDP Select, I had sold three copies. I had no new sells over the first month in the program even though I continued to promote it at the same level as before. And no borrows from the library. I then ran with the promotional to give it away free to generate more interest. I gave away 96 copies in the U.S. and 17 in England. (I guess I am now known internationally!). That give-away was in early January. I have still not had any borrows from the library. Nor have I had any additional sells of the novella.

My conclusions:
1. KDP Select does not generate additional revenue.
2. People are not willing to buy a novella for 99 cents.
3. Limiting the availability of a book may not serve the author's best interest although it does serve the bookstore's.
4. Amazon does not provide relevant data for the KDP select program to make a fair assessment. It is a try-it-and-see kind of thing. It would be nice to know things like total number of books borrowed, most popular genres, etc.

Now these conclusions are tentative at best. Because I have not offered my novella through other online stores I do not have sells data to compare. Possibly I would not have any better luck with the Nook or Smashwords. So the next step is to pull it off KDP Select when I can and run it for a while through other outlets to see if it generates more revenue.

So in a few months I will update this post with information about additional sells. And possible revise my conclusions. I know other people have had great success with KDP Select but it just may not work for all genres or authors.   

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Sword


The sword hacked at the shield.

The broadsword hacked at the bronze shield.

The iron broadsword with a leather handle hacked at the bronze shield incrusted with diamonds.

The iron broadsword with a leather handle which was wielded by a north’s man hacked at the bronze shield incrusted with diamonds held a loft by the priest’s assistant.

The iron broadsword with a leather handle which was wielded by a north’s man hacked at the bronze ceremonial shield incrusted with diamonds held a loft by the priest’s assistant attempting to save the life of the head priest.

The iron broadsword with a leather and turquoise handle, which was wielded by a north’s man hacked at the bronze ceremonial shield incrusted with diamonds held a loft by the high priest’s assistant who was attempting to save the life of his master who wore the blood red robes of the high priest.

The iron broadsword with a leather and turquoise handle, which was wielded by the north’s man hacked at the bronze ceremonial shield incrusted with diamonds held a loft by the frightened priest’s assistant who was attempting to save the life of his master who wore the blood red robes of the high priest and carried the sacred golden scepter.

The iron broadsword with a leather and turquoise handle, which was wielded by the north’s man, hacked at the bronze ceremonial shield incrusted with diamonds held a loft by a frightened boy-servant who was attempting to save the life of his master who wore the blood-red robes of the high priest and carried the sacred golden scepter which was the ultimate desire that drove the barbarian onwards with ever increasing blows.

Why this scepter? For the gold alone? Does it have special powers? Is it sacred also to the north’s man? How many others has he killed in this pursuit? Will he be happy with just the scepter or will he want the golden lamp stands and the silver chalice? Ultimately does it matter? Where is your soul

Copyright Reserved
David Corbet

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Work In Progress (WIP) paintings.

Untitled WIP


Explosion (2nd image)

This picture is for my living room, matching color scheme.
Here are a few Works in Progress as well as a finished one.

The first one, I think is done but have not fully committed to signing my name on it yet. It may be lacking something so I sit and ponder it when I can.

The second one (Explosion, 2 images) I feel is done and yet it also sits unsigned waiting for that final moment when I am satisfied that it is truly done.

The third set of images is a painting I did for my own home. It is large 4 feet by 3 feet. We recently redecorated our living room and had an open space above the piano. I incorporated colors and themes from the window treatments, accent wall and other features of the room. I like this one. It is my newest piece. But it is also unsigned for the moment. I just hung it and am waiting for it to settle into the room to see if it needs anything more. This is the first piece I have done with a particular location in mind, not my usual way of working.

(Sorry for the poor images, it is hard to take good pictures, after dark, with the camera that I have. And no I did not use a flash.)

These images are Copyright protected. David Corbet 2012.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Erkulys & Uryon in the Warlord of Ashkelon, sample

Here is a sample for my next fantasy novella: Erkulys & Uryon in the Warlord of Ashkelon

The next morning Titos and Ernsto met Erk at the smashed gate of the estate. The sun had not yet broken the horizon. In the direction of the city, the cool air was pink with smoke. A guard stood in the trees near the broken gate. He waved at them as they moved off into the mist of the forest floor. Soon it would all burn off and the day would be warm, and humid.

“You have decided to walk with us in search of the Witch.” Erk observed.

“Yes. I thought if I was to go against Wicce then I should consult with the Witch.” Titos limped along, using a staff to support some of his weight. His wounds still lingered.

“Ey.” Erk stated knowingly.

Ernsto led the way. He seemed to move at random, but Erk knew better. If one thing all of his travels had taught him was that magic was as subtle as the wind. But if you knew the signs you could see it do wonders. Ernsto followed a bird for a bit and then a wisp of mist. He checked rocks in a bubbling brook and then followed a rabbit. The miles melted away, but they seemed no further from the estate. It felt like they were just walking in circles. Erk was about to make a jape about it when Ernsto stopped and knocked on an old oak.

The oak seemed half dead. Many branches were broken and those that lived had more knots in them then leaves. The roots were piled high making deep creases in the ground. The knocking brought about a squirrel that peaked down from a branch.

The squirrel scurried down the thick trunk and across a tangle of roots. Ernsto followed. The squirrel scampered over the ground and through the roots quickly. Erk soon lost sight of it. But Ernsto did not. He stayed with it tracking its movements with eyes while using hands to feel his way over the roots. Titos could not move through the roots with any speed and Erk was forced to turn back and help him.

Erk and Titos heard a chirping behind them. The squirrel had run full circle round the tree. Ernsto came lumbering up panting.

“Eh, what is this?” Erk was not amused.

The squirrel dove into a hole between two deep roots. The three watched at a loss. What now?

A loud crack of wood on wood brought their attention back up into the branches of the tree. An old lady stood on a thick branch a large staff in one hand. She giggled and cackled. “Do you like my pet? I think she likes you.” She pointed the staff at Titos.

The Crone threw a handful of leaves at the men standing below. The dull red leaves morphed into a cloud of smoke, dark and hideous. The smoke transformed into a flock of birds that flew around the men’s heads. They ducked and dodged the birds. When they looked back into the tree the old woman was gone.

A tapping brought their attention to the side of the oak. Standing between two large roots was a beautiful woman, naked with long brown hair streaming down around her breasts and back. It stirred gently in the breeze revealing just enough to tantilize. She was holding the witches oak staff tapping on the roots. The witch’s raspy voice came from her well shaped and red lips. “Do you like this form better? It stirs you awake does it not? Beware of illusions. Especially you Titos.”

The beautiful form flaked away in the breeze revealing the old woman again. “Come.”

The men followed the witch around the tree three times, on the third turn she stepped into a darkness between two massive roots. “Come” her pale arm beckoned from the dark.

Erk led the way. He groped in the darkness but found no tree blocking his way, only empty blackness. Titos followed wearily. Ernsto hung back but also entered the Hermitage. 

Erk stumbled down a few steps. He felt the nearness of the tree and put out a hand to catch himself. A smooth, well polished surface of wood met his outstretched hand. “Careful, steps.” He said back to those behind him. With one hand on the wall to his right, he moved forward. The wall curved right.

Erk, and soon the others, stepped into a large chamber dimly lit by a candle on a table cluttered with bowls and cups. It smelled like honey and decay. Erk stepped further into the room. The walls were living wood. Some of the shelves held scrolls, books, wooden cases. Others held assortment of body parts from all types of animals, birds and reptiles.

The witch clapped twice. A dozen candles blazed to life. And in the corner a fire place, cut into the living wood which was blackened deep, glowed awake with blue and green flames. Light flashed across the chamber.
The new light blinded the men. 

Copyright 2012
David Corbet

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Garage Door

Twice he found the door to the garage open. But he lived alone and could not remember going into the garage for at least six months. Since that “day” he had refused to use the garage for any reason. He always parked on the street and used the front door for all occasions. He even had a few friends clear out the garage of any storage boxes and put them in the shed in the backyard. To have the door standing wide open was unnerving.

The first time he found it open it was just slightly ajar, as if someone had just come in and not closed it completely. He absentmindedly closed it and kept walking. It was not until he was half a dozen steps away that it struck him. Why was that door open? And then his mind raced. Perhaps it was not really open and just habit made him push on it as if it was open. But he could remember the distinct sound of the click when the door latch caught. No, he was certain that he had closed it. But how did it get open?

 By the end of the night he had convinced himself that the door was never really open. That it was a trick of the mind.

The second time it happened, he heard giggling. The door was wide open and the cool garage air was slipping slowly into the house. The giggle was clear as day and it made the hair on his neck stand on end. It sent chills down his spine and brought tears to his eyes.  He could not even walk the two steps down the hall from the kitchen to close the garage door. He slumped against the wall and slowly wiped away a tear.

A thought struck him. Perhaps someone was using the side door in the garage to gain access to the house and he had stumbled upon them coming or going. It frightened him to think someone could be in the house. He quickly grabbed a flashlight and a baseball bat from the coat closet by the front door. He made a thorough search of the house. Under the beds, in all the closets and bathrooms and even the kitchen pantry, he searched diligently, hopefully.  But he found nothing unusual. He was left with a wide open garage door and a giggle that brought back a flood of memories. What was he to do?

He could not face the open door and he did not have the emotional strength to close it. He wanted to call a friend but over the last six months he had alienated everyone and could think of not one single person that he wanted to call. He was stuck and frightened.

He set the baseball bat and flashlight on the kitchen counter. He cradled his head in his arms and sobbed quietly for a few moments. He felt the cool garage air whisping around his bare feet. He had to face his demons. He had to put it to rest. He stood determined, crossed the kitchen and stopped at the hall. He left the bat and light behind. They would serve him no good with whatever it was that he would find in the garage.

He took a step and paused, listening.  He took a second step and put a hand on the door knob. He knew that if he just swung the door closed it would not end the nightmare. He raised a hand to the light switch for the garage’s florescent light. He felt his heart racing. His breathes came in ragged gulps. How could a simple garage frighten someone so much? But it was not the garage that scared him. It was just a symbol of something much deeper. A pain, a memory, a day that would haunt him was what lay beyond that doorway.

He flicked on the light and stepped into the garage pulling the door closed behind him.  

Copyright 2011
David Corbet
All Rights Reserved