Monday, September 24, 2012

Total LOVE or Total HATE--My Reviews.

My short story Absorbed has been on Amazon for almost a year.

It is only 16 pages long and listed under horror, and has always sold at a decent clip. It is listed as a short story and states that along with the number of pages three times on the Amazon lising.

Amazon listed it as free for several months because they saw it several other places free. Then MANY  people got the story and started to review it. Thankfully it has received many (31 five star) good reviews, including a five star Amazon Vine review.

It has also received five ONE star reviews.

These reviewers hated the story so much that it inspired them to create Amazon profiles for the sole purpose of telling everyone how much they disliked the story. The one star reviewers called the story anti-men, too violent, too short, morbid, unsettling  and disturbing. One of them said a horror reader would probably love it.

That is why I wrote it. Because I love horror, and I know there are plenty of horror readers out there.

One wrote although the story was well-written, it was not their type of book.

Another wrote that she thought the book was great and full of surprises, but the story took a dark turn. She would have preferred it stayed on it's original path.

The story is for people who like the dark, the macabre, and the shivery feeling of fear. It is for that slightly off-center group who want to wonder what is around that next shadowy corner, and revel in chill as they wait. It is not for the weak-of-heart. That is why it is listed in the horror catagory.

If you like happy endings, my books are not for you--unless you would put bloody revenge, evil, and psycological mind-twists in the happy ending catagory.

Absorbed is a short intro to my writing--it is not a long and winding epic novel. Although I do not write to specifically offend, I will NOT avoid writing something if it is true to a character or will enhance the story. I do not think horror is a catagory that is concerned with political correctness. My characters will not say "Oh foo when another F word is more appropriate--and more real. This is not for everyone! And that is fine with me.  There are certain genres I do not like, and I usually do not look for books in this catagory.

I do not expect everyone to like my stories. On the contrary, I think it will be a mixed bag. But I would hope that our stories will be reviewed for what they are, and not what the reviewer expected or did not like because they were reading in the wrong catagory.

And if you are reading horror, keep that light on.  :)

Absorbed is currently free on Amazon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Who the Hell ARE YOU ??--Personality Testing

Modern personality test were originally developed to reveal aspects of an individual's personality. In 1919 they were further developed to help with the screening process for personnel selection into the armed forces.

(Please feel free to tell me what you see in the comment below--I would love to know :)

We are all familiar with the Rorschach ink blot pictures, and many of us have taken the Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator_(MBTI) test when applying for a job. Many other forms also exist, and each have weaknesses. Test-taker bias is a problem because the subject can only respond to the topics that are presented to him and relate to him.  Test results rely on truthful answers, and there is no way to truly know if the subject is being honest. In some cases the subject HIMSELF is not aware of his untruths.

Although the last time I interviewed for a job was many years ago and I cannot tell you what was discussed, I DO remember getting a lengthy personality test.

I was told it was par for the course for the interview process, and quite accurate and revealing.

The questions were what you would expect: Do you like parties? Do you like to help people even if they cannot help you in return? Do you like new experiences?

I found it interesting the test would ask the same question several times throughout, sometimes thinly veiled by different wording, and sometimes just an outright repeat. So that began to distract me, and I wondered what other types of patterns and signals they were looking for. I became a bit paranoid that I would answer differently based on where the question was in the test. Did this mean I was a liar? Was there a mysterious IQ revealer hidden within a test of my personality?

And it did not help that there were about 500 questions on the test.

I do NOT have a good attention span, unless it is something I am currently interested in, and I could feel myself starting to fade.

I finished quickly and handed the test to my potential future employer.  She told me the test would be scored in a matter of minutes, and we could discuss the results. That was great, because I am also extremely impatient.

My tests showed, along with many other things, that I am easily distracted, creative, and have a propensity for artistic endeavours.  Hmmm.  I would have told her all those things if she asked me.  She also told me, even though the test showed that I am disorganized and easily distracted, that I would someday make a terrific manager and would fit well in a corporate workplace.


Wrong. Terribly wrong.

I have almost no motivation or excitement when doing a job for another person, and I hate babysitting more than ANYTHING in the world, whether it be for kids or adults in the workplace. And being told what to do is not at the top of my list either. Or a dress code. You understand.

While I think that tests might be good for certain situations, and for possibly pointing to some serious personality disorders, I think they can be manipulated, or worse, a wonderful person could take a test and be misinterpreted because the questions are very black and white and as we know, personalities come in a million colors.

I have included a personality test here for fun:

And another one from 100 Unfortunate Days with a more-then-slightly mad twist.  Have fun!

Day 43

Pick the symbol you like the most:
1. *
2. #
3. @
4. &
5. ?
6. %
7. +
8. !
9. {
10. }
This is what the symbols mean:
1. If you picked the * you have the ability to read minds sometimes. Sometimes you can tell when the phone is about the ring, and sometimes you can even tell who is on the other end of the phone. Sometimes women find you confusing. You say you are going to do something but you really don’t mean it.
2. If you chose # then you are smarter than you think you are. You also have a really big secret that you want to tell people but if you actually told them they would think you were weird. You love iced tea and you had a really odd nickname in school.
3. Choosing this symbol @ means you love to drive and fly in planes. You have also contemplated cutting yourself with a knife or burning yourself with matches—not a lot, but just enough to see what it feels like. Maybe one or two of you have actually done it. You like the Beatles and have them on your iPod.
4. The & symbol means you are more spiritual or religious than you will openly admit. There is a part of you that wants to tell everyone how much you love your god, but you are afraid they will think you are freaky. You like to swim in the ocean and you like the smell of burning punks in the summer. You hate mosquitoes.
5. Liking the ? is not as obvious as you thought. You are not necessarily confused but you do want a lot of things that you can’t have right now…like a new car. You also wish you could be in better shape. You love jelly beans, especially the red ones, and you like to gamble.
6. The % sign is evil. You pretend you like people when you really don’t. You talk behind people’s backs. You like hamburgers and shellfish. You really are bad though.
7. The + sign means you are very organized and keep all your perfectly cut coupons in a neat little folder that you carry with you at all times. Dinner is always on the table on time, or you want it to be. You are very mean to people who are not as organized as you. The wildest you ever get is being on top.
8. Anyone that likes the ! pretends to be more optimistic than they actually are. They have contemplated moving away from their current life. They have some artistic ability or they like sports. If you like sports the circumference of your head is very large. You have buck teeth a little.
9. If you like the { sign you are very sentimental and live in the past. You keep stuff in little jars in your garage that normal people would throw away. You like the taste of alcohol and are allergic to something that blooms in the spring but cannot figure what it is. Old people like you.
10.If your sign is } you like to invent things—even if it is just in your head. You do not care about houseplants and would probably prefer them to die. You like toasted Wonder Bread with butter and love the smell of suntan lotion—especially Coppertone.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Welcome to the Dark

This was the first post for As the Crowe Flies last September. I had no followers, and I'm pretty sure no one saw it. But it is September 1st and I'm again looking forward to the coming of the dark~~

As summer comes to an end each year some dread the coming of the cold.  The sun will no longer be bright gold and will now contain a shade of blue, and it won't keep us warm.  The dark creeps in earlier, and our minds somehow become darker, too.
But as the flowers wilt, something in us comes to life.  We can let the dark, whithered sides of ourselves out again.  We realize that the dread is not for the summer's end, but for the shadows that we all hide. 

Although most of us would never admit to our underground thoughts, we all remember wonderfully shivery nights when we told our deepest, darkest secrets to one another.  Things we would do if we could never get caught, thoughts of revenge plotted on an enemy, or boyfriends we would steal, and possibly give back. 

Thankfully, most of us don't kill our enemies, or steal our neighbor's beautiful diamond necklace, or do anything to get ourselves in very much trouble.  We need to keep up appearances, after all.  How would they feel about all those nasty actions at the country club?  But if we were put in jail for our thoughts, many of us would be put away for a very long time.

Here comes the dark, put out the welcome mat. 

Below is a page from 100 Unfortunate Days:

Day 4

Did you know that all the best people belong to country clubs? If you can afford the $75,000 fee to get in and if you don’t mind people coming to check out your house and if you think it’s okay to post your name in the clubhouse for approval from all the other members and you feel it is obscene to show your shoulders, you will definitely get in and be surrounded by the best people in town. Of course you want your children to rub elbows with other children of wealthy parents, because it is a sign that you are a much better person than all the other people in town who are not in the club. They have a pool and a golf course that you have to pay extra for every time you want to play. All members are expected to eat there at least four times a month—and pay for that too. Because having lots and lots of money is a sign that God loves you. He wants you to live and prosper. But don’t act like a big shot—and don’t do TOO well for yourself because then you will be considered conceited and no one will like you. And why, for God’s sake, if you have so much money, would you live in that tiny house? It doesn’t even have the nicest decorations or a dark red dining room! By the way, your taste is not at all classic, is it? You have a tendency toward the eclectic, don’t you? And you really are such a handful you know. What do you mean you are going to a Junior League function? That does not seem like something you would do at ALL. It sounds like something I would do. See? You’re confusing and hard to handle. Wait—you could have gotten married at the country club and you CHOSE not to? Hmmmm. Really—who was going to sponsor you? And you don’t like to cook? Oh, that is too bad. I went through nine rugs before I finally settled on this one. Oh,—I forgot to tell you—we are redoing the kitchen—again!! I’m so excited! Do you want to come with me and pick out custom made tile?