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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And Later

The quiet of the morning washed over the scene. A light blue sky above, a deep blue lake below and there stood a man on the lake shore.

He gathered a net into his strong arms and walked into the cool water. This was his favorite time of the day. Far out on the lake a few fishing boats dotted the surface. Like a whisper he could hear snippets of conversation. He could imagine the idle chatter or the rough commands drifting from boat to boat as they searched out the best spots.

He smiled inwardly, thinking of a different boat, a different day completely unlike this one. That stormy day he walked on water, however brief it was. His smile turned down as a tear slid slowly from his eye. Fear sank him that day.

With a practiced motion he flung the net into the shallow water. He enjoyed the pull on his back and shoulders. The net settled and slowly he gathered it in. The tension in his arms and chest made him feel alive. Another thought flooded his mind. Once again it was about Him. He shrugged it off, shaking his head to clear it of unwanted thoughts. He gathered the net for another throw.
Throw after throw, it soothed his mind and worked his body. But it did little for his troubled soul. He was anguished, perplexed, confused but most of all he was ashamed. The repetitive motion gave his body work and his mind space to think.
The sun was beginning to warm his back and hunger gnawed his stomach but he was not yet ready to turn and face the world. This place, this peace, the comfort of the net and cool of the water was what he needed most. It had been too long since life was simple and he knew deep down inside that those days were gone. They fled away when he first relinquished his net to follow Him.

I will make you fishers of men.

The methodical movement of tossing and drawing back was meditative. He had no intention of catching fish. He just needed to clear his mind. His thoughts wandered over the drama, the power, the humor of the last so many months. Had it been that long, it seemed so much longer.

A shadow of a man, and the quiet splashing of someone walking in the shallows behind him brought him back to reality. It could only be one person. He sighed and straightened his back pushing his shoulders back and allowing the net to droop in the water. He was not yet ready to face reality so he did not turn.

“Hey” He said.

“Hey” the man responded. His voice confirmed his identity. His brother.

They stood in silence watching the boats move about looking for their morning catch. Sunlight glistened on the water. It would be a hot one again.

“You’ve seen too much to turn away now.” The brother stated simply. “We all have.”

“I betrayed him.” He responded.

“We all did.” The brother answered sympathetically. It was not the right thing to say even if it was true. “He forgave you.”

Feed My sheep

The voice still echoed in his head as he cast the net again. He remembered the last time he had cast a net. The catch was more than he could haul in alone. “Do you remember the first day?”

“Of course I do.” The brother answered and stepped forward to help gather the net in. They cast it together in practiced rhythm. They had worked their whole lives together side by side. And they followed Him side by side, from the first day to the last.

Eventually they stopped, the moment gone. “I don’t know why. That will be what they all ask. Why?”
“Brother, thinking has never been your strong point. You are a man of action. You always have been. What did he say to you? ‘Feed my sheep?’ I think that is more than enough. He knows you. And more than that you have an intuition, a spirit of knowing. You were the first to see Him for who He truly is. Those two things are more than enough.” They sat in silence watching the boats and the sun playing on the water. “I will follow you. But we have seen too much to turn away.”

He fingered the net, thinking. Why. It was a question with no answer. Each one has to find their own answers to that question. But feed His sheep, that was something that could be done. And he knew it would be up to him to do it. He would not, could not betray him again. He would accomplish at least that much. Tell the story of His life and care for all those that he could.

“Catchers of men.” He whispered.

“What?” the brother asked.

 “Remember. Catchers of Men." He picked up the net and turned back towards the shore. The world was waiting. It was not going away no matter how many times he cast his net. “Come brother we have work to do. The net we cast is for Him and we catch the hearts and souls of men.”

They walked out of the water, uncertain in mind but firm in faith.  Fear would not sink him this time. When they ask why, the best answer he could give would be “because” and tell the story of His life and death.

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