Cleaning Up the Blog

I haven’t dusted or vacuumed anything around here for a couple of months. But now, company’s coming via Blog Jog Day on November 21. I hope to see a lot of new readers and I hope they will think this is a class place.

First off, the ABOUT page needed some work. Previously there wasn’t about on the about page. Now there’s more. Hope you like it.

Next, I added a new page called MY BOOKS. Since I spend a lot of time talking about books, I decided it was appropriate to say a little about my three novels and my publisher.  I hope you like that, too.

As always, you can find my satirical Jock Stewart posts on my Morning Satirical News weblog. The most recent one is “End of Earth Rescheduled.”

Most of my writing tips, ideas and reflections appear on Writer’s Notebook. The latest is “The Flexibility of Our Stories.”

My author’s blog is called Sun Singer’s Travels. It’s named after my first novel “The Sun Singer” since it’s more or less an account of my personal journey as a writer. My recent post there is called “Smoky Interviews Me While I’m Interviewing Lauren.” I enjoyed interviewing author L. E. Harvey here on Malcolm’s Round Table last Friday as well as being interviewed by author Smoky Trudeau on Smoky on Books.

Getting back to Blog Jog Day, you’ll see on November 21 that some new readers will be coming here after reading a previous blog in a rather wide circle of blogs. Then, they’ll have an opportunity to jog on to the next blog which, in my case, will be to send you to a book blog called Mysteries and Musings.  Today, Mysteries and Musings has an interesting interview with author Sally Goldenbaum.

Meanwhile, I promise to wash the windows and and sweep the front walk around here more often in the future.


An Immodest Proposal

The SPAM I Grew Up With
During the three years I’ve had this blog, I’ve made 415 posts, received 1,527 real comments and watched the Akismet filter trash 22,014 attempted SPAM comments. Without a doubt, none of the trashed comments were about the Hormel product I grew up with.

I’ll stipulate that I feel a slight–but fleeting–sense of embarrassment having to report that spammers have been busier trying to add their thoughts to the flow of words on Malcolm’s Round Table than I have.

And they’re bolder. I post something about Glacier, a spammer says, “Hi Dude, this reminds me of a place to get cheap Viagra.” I post something about one of my books, and here comes a long spam message about an automotive training school in London.

Most of these comments don’t see the light of day, thanks to Akismet.

I know this might sound like bribery, but I have a proposal, one that may sound a bit vain and immodest. When I see virtual SPAM, I ask “what’s in it for me?” That is, why should I provide free Internet space to somebody I don’t know who sells Viagra for a living?

But there could be something in it for me. For each spammer who buys a copy of one of my books (you have three to choose from), I will make a deal with Akismet to let you tell the world about your Viagra, downstream Internet marketing system, or your teliseminar about weight loss in the comments section here.

Simply buy a book, read it, enjoy it (or else) and post a glowing review on Amazon that proves you really know what the book’s about, and then send me your SPAM. You help me, I help you.

Send me a comment with your real name, picture, home address, Amazon account number and tell me what you think.

Otherwise, I much prefer the SPAM I grew up with.


Experience the magic of Robert Adams' Quest

How influential are you?

FastCompany Magazine is using social networking to learn more about influence via The Influence Project. (Story is here.)

Once you sign up on The Influence Project (it’s free), you get a unique URL and you send that around in blogs, tweets and facebook status updates to see how many people will click on it and also sign up. Obviously, the more people who click on your link to the project, the more influential you are. Participants might just end up with their photo (I have a feeling it will be part of a collage) in FastCompany Magazine this fall.

So, are you tempted? If so, I hope you’ll click HERE to get started.

About 6,000 people have signed up so far–in about 24 hours. I wonder what it will be by the end of the week.

Each purchase of this adventure story benefits Glacier Park

Weight Loss Club Uses Novel as Diet Aid

from the Morning Satirical News:

Athens, Georgia, July 7, 2010–The Athens-Clarke County Lard Ass Club (ACCLAC) celebrated its one-year anniversary at the Krispy Kreme on Atlanta highway this morning by announcing they were changing the club’s name to The Buttless Wonders. The club’s one thousand members have lost a combined total of 75,000 pounds during the last 12 months.

According to ACCLAC president Bob “Big Daddy” Horton, club members are now petite enough to carpool to meetings.

“We owe it all to Malcolm Campbell’s novel Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” said Horton. “Last summer when Campbell spoke to our friends of the library group, somebody in the back row shouted out ‘what’s in it for me?'”

“You’ll laugh you ass off,” replied Campbell. “By the look of you, you need the therapy.”

Instead of getting mad, that guy in the back row had an epiphany along with his box of doughnuts: he didn’t need as much ass as he had.

“The greatest moment of my life,” said ACCLAC recording secretary Sue “Big Mama” Patterson, “came during our New Year’s Eve pilgrimage to Junction City, Texas, where we met Jock Stewart. I kissed him on the mouth when he said, ‘Nice to meet you, Little Lady.'”

According to sources at the Junction City Star-Gazer, Stewart “got those ACCLAC people” drunk on cheap Scotch, and then he gave them some words to live by.

“My Dear Old Daddy always used to tell me that it’s a plain and simple fact of anatomy that an asshole is going to be on your tail for your whole life. That being the case, you might as well make it comfortably fit in one chair,” said Stewart.

“We wanted to take those words sitting down,” said Patterson, “but we couldn’t. The chairs in Jock’s house were just too small. Right then and there, we resolved, to start laughing our asses off.”

ACCLAC meetings begin and end with a reading from Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire. The club’s personal trainer, librarian Naomi Clements, estimates that the club loses an average of 98.6 pounds per meeting even though everyone is “slamming down doughnuts like there’s no tomorrow.”

Small-assed sources in Washington, D.C., claim that ACCLAC has sought FDA approval to start marketing the novel and its special Lard-Ass Reading Guide as a prescription diet aid.

“Laughter really is the best medicine,” Horton said. “Now, when I haul ass, it doesn’t take two trips.”


Jock Stewart Reviews ‘The Sun Singer’

from the Morning Satirical News:

Babb, Montana, May 21, 2010–I’m standing here on a blustery day in Babb at the intersection of Hgy 89 and Glacier Road Three watching company trucks and employee cars making their way up Swiftcurrent Valley to get Many Glacier Hotel ready for its June 4th opening for the summer season. My ancient CJ5 complained about the trip all the way from Junction City, and both the Jeep and I are wondering if the 4-wheel-drive will work in tomorrow’s expected snowfall.

I’m here–mostly on my own nickel because newspapers don’t have a lot of money anymore–to visit the setting on a mythic adventure novel named The Sun Singer. (Hey, there goes one of those 1930s “jammer buses” up to the hotel with a batch of new employees.)

Let me clarify several important CYA points right now:

1. Except when I’m desperate for cash, I don’t do windows, Karaoke bars or book reviews.
2. I know diddly about Quantum physics, and that means that I don’t buy into the theory that everything that can happen does happen or that there are multiple universes connected to each other by time portals.
3. Magic is just smoke and mirrors and too many glasses of Scotch.

So, let me dismiss out of hand, the rather rash claims by author Malcolm R. Campbell that there’s a real time portal hidden at the base of Mt. Allen at the head end of Lake Josephine that leads to another universe. If such a thing existed, everyone having “issues” with loan sharks, ex-wives and bad whiskey would be here in the park doing whatever voodoo chants or meditations were required to open that door so they could escape.

Frankly, I think the whole time portal in the park occurred to Campbell years ago after he fell off the top of Mt. Allen and hit his head.

Time Portals

If there were a time portal–and I’m not saying there is one–all those running through it might find themselves smack dab in an industrial-strength spot of bother. That’s what happens to young Robert Adams in the book. His family brings him to this beautiful park, and what does he do? He leaves the celestial world of hiking, boating, riding jammer buses and mountain climbing and steps through a doorway into a place filled with evil. Once he gets there, he forgets who he is.

I know a lot of people in the psych ward over at county general who act like they’ve been there and done that, but the big difference is, they’re real people. Robert Adams is a fictional character who has to figure out how a magical wizard’s-type staff works just to get back to the hotel with his physical self all in one piece.

Even though I had a few drinks while reading “The Sun Singer,” I didn’t totally believe in magic when I got to the last page. But I have to say, the novel tells a darned good yarn and when I sobered up, I considered getting a job in the quantum mechanics or avatar business so I could learn more about all the realities that yours truly appears to have been ignorant of up to now.

Be Safe Rather Than One Universe Shy of Reality

Look, if you go to Glacier this summer, take a copy of the novel along and read it at night while spending your daylight hours celebrating the park’s 100th birthday. Just remember, Robert Adams goes looking for a time portal because he promised his mystical grandfather he’d do it and try to fix whatever was broken. What was broken included himself.

So unless your life is too broke to fix, leave that portal alone. Or at least, read the book first and then decide where you stand on such things as magic and time portals and becoming a Sun Singer.

As for myself, I need to find a warmer place to sleep tonight than a 40-year-old Jeep with a canvas top.