C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

I can’t come to the phone right now. I’m dead.

A man speaking on a mobile telephone

A man speaking on a mobile telephone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually I laugh at the weird stuff that pops up in my spam filter. However, this morning I seem to be inundated with crap and the spam filter isn’t catching it for some reason. It’s not that it isn’t easy to spot: Yoda-like syntax and the fourth or fifth word is always twisted around.

But this one annoyed me very much:

“You are an excellent wrietr even if I have thought your writing seems sad sometimes! I am so glad you are honest! The truth will set you free, is true! I love you and I am so blessed to be your Mom!”

Thanks for the shitty surprise reminder, spambot! My mom’s dead. Lung cancer. When I call my dad and he doesn’t answer, the voice mail kicks in. The recorded voice is my mother, saying just two words: my father’s name. After she died (and a long and terrible decline, it was) I wrote some fairly bad and very dark poetry. I mulled mortality’s cruelty and our shared helplessness. I was crying after the funeral when my wife came into my childhood bedroom. I pretended to be asleep on the bed and when she covered me with a blanket, I pretended it was my mom, covering me one last time. Later, I called to hear my mother’s voice again and again and again.

Maybe I should leave a new voice mail message: “I’m sorry I’m not here. I’m elsewhere, or maybe I’m not, but if I could get back to you, I would. If I can’t, know that I tried. I really wish I could talk to you right now. But whatever we talked about, it would all come down to the same thing: I love you.”

PS I reject helplessness to the end. Go here if you reject helplessness, too. And spread the word for Indies Unite for Joshua.

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VIDEO: Yes, you could be Batman Jesus!

This week I posted about how the Internet rose up in indignation and, with one voice, condemned a small press publisher for his treatment of a writer and her work. The Internet has so much power for good when an idea goes viral. It’s not all about harsh German porn. Okay, a lot of it is, but we could do something really amazing here. You, sitting at your keyboard right now, could do something amazing. Joshua is a young man with leukaemia and he is suffering. I’m asking all of my loyal followers, casual readers and cranky haters to please harness that same fire we used for righteous condemnation to rise up and help ease the financial burdens on Joshua and his family during this terribly trying time. You know cancer sucks. Let’s punch it back in its smug face.

Please spread the word to help the son of author Max Cyn.

Raise the cause and raise the money and raise up this family.

If someone were drowning, you’d throw them a rope. If someone yelled for help, dangling from a cliff, you’d help. You don’t have to be Batman. It’s just tossing a little rope, but that still makes you a hero. This IndieGoGo campaign is about tossing this family a rope. Working together, we can help pull them up and out.

Please donate if you can and if you can’t, then just spread the word. Tweet (Twitter tag: #indiesunite4joshua), share, reblog, tell your boss, tell the woman beside you on the bus, whisper about it to whomever’s in the next bathroom stall. Spreading the word can help  immensely. Even small donations pile up. We’re very close to meeting this worthy charity’s goal, but there’s only 13 days left in this campaign so please help out Joshua today! Thanks for this. When you help this young man with leukaemia, not only will you get perks from awesome indie authors, you will feel a little like Batman. Or Jesus. Or both. ~ Chazz

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Queen Elizabeth (Hogsbottom) decrees “The Golden Rule and all that!”

Life is not fair, but we are supposed to try to make it that way.

In the course of Joshua’s treatment, this young man’s heart has stopped, his kidneys have failed and his hair has fallen out. These are the days of the cancer patient: Lost work, lost time, lost energy, countless appointments, waiting in fear, pain and panic and even more waiting, underdressed in cold rooms. There are long nights waiting for the dawn and wondering. Cancer patients have to face too many stare-in-the-eyes, earnest talks from well-meaning people and are sometimes ignored by others who don’t want to look their way. Exhausted, cancer patients put on brave faces through the day and cry secret, lonely, midnight tears. With cancer treatment, bad things happen to you beyond your control and worry gnaws constantly. In short, cancer sucks. You know this.

But there is also hope. Hope is bigger than all the evil in the world. Health professionals dedicated to delivering the very best care surround Joshua, a phalanx of white-coated centurions. When you join this fight with a donation (and no donation is too small), you’re joining an army in the most important fight there is. This is the war that affects all of us. Communities rally around the casualties because (and this is not a metaphor) we are all cancer’s casualties. Who doesn’t know someone who has or has had cancer?

The IndieGoGo campaign has a modest goal. We are indie authors from around the world trying to help Joshua and his family with the bills. Is $10,000 enough? Not nearly. Please help how you can and you’ll get some sweet perks. For your generosity, there are plenty of great books and useful services to choose from, but the best perk of all is the feeling you’ll get when you help.

That’s why I donate time, money and perks.

That’s why I put my hand up an old British queen’s dress: for the warm fuzzies!

Please click the IndieGoGo donate button at Indies Unite for Joshua. 


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Avengers Assemble! Joshua needs help!

Some time ago, author Eden Baylee sent out a distress call. Indie authors from around the world answered her SOS. Joshua, the son of author Max Cyn has leukaemia. The medical bills are high. Joshua’s hold on life is threatened. We can ease the stress and help make this one a win. Eden organized an IndieGoGo campaign so we could all contribute perks to donors and help this family in the fight. Please, join us. The rewards are awesome and the cause is just. None of us is untouched. (My mom died of lung cancer and never smoked a day in her life.)

Click here to get your warm fuzzy feeling. Thanks for your generosity.

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Please support Indies Unite for Joshua

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One way to find new audiences for your books might be…

What do these things have in common?

1. Learning German from Hogan’s Heroes.

2. My first fight.

3. My other fights.

4. James Bond’s brand of lighter. 

Answer: I talk about these things on my podcast.

I had a surprise last night as I examined my podcast statistics. I’m being found. Listenership is trending up. Even better, I’m being found by people I wouldn’t encounter otherwise.

What is podcasting? It’s radio, on the Internet, usually for free. In a craven ploy to market my books, I named the podcast after one of my books, Self-help for Stoners. When I started the podcast a few months ago, I thought that if I ran out of material, I could always fall back on reading from my fiction. I’m amazed to find that each week I find new things to talk about for a weekly comedy/narrative/sometimes ranty podcast. It’s a lot of fun. It’s harder than blogging, but it’s different from a blog in good ways, too. When I podcast, I’m free to talk about whatever I want so it often ends up going in some weird directions. Surreal, even. Anything goes as long as it interests me and I think it’s fun or funny.

Must you have a voice (and face) for radio? I had a little experience with radio in university, but I don’t have the best radio voice. My delivery can sometimes devolve into such a spasmodic cadence that it’s positively Shatnerian. But it is still fun despite my vocal handicaps. I didn’t think the podcast was taking off and I vacillated between blaming my stammer and my material, among other bits of very personal self-loathing. When I saw the improvement in the stats, I decided I had been too harsh and impatient. (Thing is: I would podcast anyway. I enjoy it that much.)

Why podcast?  I’ve already mentioned it’s a fun creative outlet. Through podcasting I’ve met some really nice people and, more to the marketing point, more people are finding me and my books who otherwise would never have heard of me. What’s really cool is seeing all the places the people are listening from! People listen from all around the world: Madrid, New Jersey, Ireland. I have a pocket of love with 22 downloads in Belgium. A whack of people in Alberta listen to my podcast every week. Somewhere in the streets of Beijing, someone’s got my voice in their ears as they take a bus to work, presumably to learn english (I’m guessing.) By far, the podcast is most popular in the SanFrancisco/Oakland area. Does that play into a stoner stereotype? My podcast may suffer the same problem as my book of the same name: in an effort to get a hook, I might have screwed myself up in the early going with the Self-help for Stoners  title. People sometimes assume my stuff is only for stoners and that’s not at all true. All my books are mostly suspense. In the podcast, I talk about anything I like, tell stories (true and false), read excerpts sometimes, recommend other books and podcasts, and say some really stupid stuff for laughs. Sometimes I come up with something deep…usually by accident.

Is podcasting for you? I listen to podcasts somewhat obsessively. It’s how I get through non-writing tasks like bringing in the wood, doing the dishes  and folding laundry. Having my own show seemed like a natural extension of going indie with books. It’s not expensive to do, though the tech stuff was daunting at first. After some initial one-time expenses and some experimentation with the mic and editing program, the only ongoing cost is that I use a pocast host service (Libsyn) for $20 a month. (I don’t drink so that would have been beer money.) If you decide to go ahead with podcasting, I suggest you save yourself a lot of time and headaches and get Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting to help you with the set up. I’m reasonably tech savvy, but there were so many little nuances, I eventually decided I’d only ever get it started if I brought in an expert.

How will people find your podcast? People can download my podcast from Stitcher Radio (which streams it to any device), straight from my author site or from iTunes. There are podcast directories and google searches, but mostly, people find my podcast through Twitter. Here on Chazz Writes, I speak mostly about book marketing to fellow indie writers (and that’s great! Thanks for being here. You’re who this blog is for!) AllThatChazz.com is the blog for readers interested in my fiction and who want to hear the podcast. What might have also helped my listenership was that I appeared on six other podcasts recently in some capacity (including reading one of my stories from Self-help on The Word Count Podcast in support of Indies Unite for Joshua. Donate if you can, please. It’s a great cause.)

Last night I published my sixteenth podcast. It’s taken me a while to find my stride. I still stammer, though I edit better than I used to. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be fun, and yes, some of the jokes are just for me.

If I could eliminate one word from the english language, what would it be?

War.

But a close second choice choice? My dumbass, simian vocalization as I try to find the next word:

“…Um….”

~ Robert Chazz Chute has a whack of short stories available on Smashwords and his novella (The Dangerous Kind) and dark collections of suspense (Self-help for Stoners and Sex, Death & Mind Control) are available just about everywhere. He’s such a sweet guy that when he writes about himself in the third person, like right now, he collapses even deeper into a well of self-loathing.

Filed under: All That Chazz, ebooks, My fiction, podcasts, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, What about Chazz?, What about you?, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

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