A Common Sense Approach to the Writing Business

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Two of my kids are old enough to create and manage their own You Tube channels, and they expressed an interest in doing so. I figured it was a good idea because they’d learn social networking skills, how to create videos, edit those videos, etc. These are things they could potentially use for future employment. They, however, had stars in their eyes. They heard that people are making a good living off of videos via the ads on You Tube. When you get popular enough, your videos can start getting monetized. As they were talking about how many subscribers it would take to start earning money, I realized this is similar to what I hear from new authors.

When I hear most new authors talk, their focus is on how much money they’re going to make in X amount of time. This is why courses on how to make a…

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Booze Panel: The Best of the Worst Wines

The Cadre


By Bob Deziel

Occasionally at the Cadre, we like to sample certain types of alcohol (rum, champagne, etc), comment on them, and give them a rating. We decided last week that we would attempt to do the “best of the worst” wines that you can find at the liquor store. So, on Wednesday evening we tried our best to determine which of these wines were palatable, and which should only be used as lighter fluid.

Our selection of wines included Boone’s “Strawberry Hill”, L’Ambiance, Kelly’s, Great White, and Hermit. The sommeliers of the evening included the Campus Hobos (Olivia, Travis, and myself), as well as (non-hobo) Travis, Tim, and Brittany, who are all friends of the Cadre.

Since each of these wines were pretty bad, we gave each of them an individualized award to make them, and us, feel better.

First up was Boone’s Strawberry Hill. This was a…

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Kam-Moon – best light meal in Halifax!

My wife and I ate at the Kam-Moon yesterday after work, located at the corner of Brunswick Street and Cogswell. For a mere $6.95 you get a pita pocket filled with either falafel, Greek chicken, steak shwarma, beef kofta, beef sausage, beef liver, garlic shrimp OR calamari – as well as baked potato, pickled carrot and a delicious fried pastry dessert known as Tulumba.

My wife chose the chicken and I had the garlic shrimp.

Ordinarily we like to share our meals – but this was so darned good that we each ate our choices up before we even thought to share.

The pita bread was fresh and thick and delightfully amazing. I know when I wrote “pita pocket” each one of you started thinking about those flat flavorless wraps that you can buy at the grocery store – but forget about that misconception. The bread alone – which is also sold separately – was some of the best tasting bread that I had ever tasted.It is warm and fresh and truly unique.

The torshee, or pickled carrot was crisp and refreshing. I spoke with the owner and he said that he is going to be trying different vegetables such as cucumber, turnip and the like.

The potatoes were tasty and flavorful.

The dessert, tulumba – was a little bit like Mexican churro only sweeter and with a better texture.

I’m rating this five stars – but only because that is all of the stars that Facebook allows me to put. After we ate we purchased a bag of bread to take home for home use, as well as a bowl of rice pudding and another serving of yummy tulumba.

The manager and the staff were courteous, friendly and VERY attentive.

The Kam-Moon restaurant is located on the corner of Cogswell and Brunswick, just down the street from Scotia Square and the office that I work at. I would recommend this eatery highly. It offers light, tasty and truly filling cuisine and bread that would be worth wrestling a grizzly bear for.

The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Steve Vernon

NOVA SCOTIA author, Chantal Boudreau had these very kind words to say about my work, via her blog at The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Steve Vernon

Thoughts on expanded universes, part one: Avengers: Infinity War and the problem of paratext

Here’s a fellow maritime author’s take on THE INFINITY WAR.

And here’s my thoughts on what he has to say.


Okay, so I loved this movie and I also reviewed it. As for your points about “economical spoilers” – well, they are pretty good points, but I figure it this way.

I just think about all of those Hammer Dracula movies that I watched as a kid. Dracula ALWAYS bit the dust at the end of each and everyone of those movies – but I always knew, even back then, that Dracula was going to be back by next summer.

I grew up reading comic books and I am used to heroes biting the dust and coming back. It’s just what these guys do. Batman had his freaking back broken, and he’s still swinging around Gotham, pausing every now and then to kick Superman’s butt!

Go Batman. Go Dracula.

I guess I’ve got a thing about night creatures…

it's all narrative

Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.
—Monty Python, “The Galaxy Song”

Someone recently added me to the Facebook group “Genre Writers of Atlantic Canada,” and given that I don’t have much to say about the writing of genre fiction but a lot to say about genre fiction (and film, and television), I shared my previous post about my Fall grad course; since then I’ve had about a dozen people sign up to follow this blog. To those of you now following, welcome! Hopefully the next few months will see me being somewhat more prolific here than I have been in the past year or so.

Also, you should be warned: I tend to…

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Kodachrome – more than just your average road movie

Just last night Belinda and I watched a really enjoyable road movie on Netflix, entitled KODACHROME.
Ed Harris did an amazing job as a globe-trotting photographer who is trying to make some sort of a peace with his estranged son (Jason Sudeikis). Also along for the ride was Elizabeth Olsen, portraying the photographer’s nurse.
I didn’t feel a lot of heat from either Sudeikis or Olsen, but Harris was really taking this movie seriously. The man must have fasted for a month to get himself ready for the role.
I took a look at the reviews on imdb and they were sadly mixed. Some folks felt like this was just a same-old-same-old road-movie father-and-son-reunion. I would argue that you really need to watch this flick with a subtler eye. The cinematography is gently masterful.
Anyone with a love for old school photography really ought to see this flick. Watch it right to the end. This movie gets stronger as it goes. Give it a chance and see what develops.
Have a look at the trailer.
Yours in Storytelling,

Why AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Rocked My Freaking World!!!

Okay – so I just got home from watching AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
Okay – so I’m going to give you folks one warning right off the bat. Do you remember how THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK left you hanging – with Han Solo stuck in that big garage door of solid carbonite, and Luke gets his hand chopped off and we have to wait until RETURN OF THE JEDI kicked off 3 years later. Well, this one will leave you dangling as well, but the good news is we only have to wait until this time next year to see all the knots untangled in AVENGERS 4.
So, once I’ve said that, why the hell should you bother going to see it?
Well, for starters it freaking rocked. It big freaking screen rocked. If you tell yourself that you are going to be smart about this and hold off until the blu-ray or maybe see it on Netflix – think again. You would be stupid, stupid, stupid, not to see this one on the big screen. It is kickass freaking awesome.
I don’t have enough stars to rate this sucker. It blew my mind and it hit all the right notes and I don’t feel cheated or teased one little bit.
If you enjoyed GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and THOR: RAGNAROK you will really want to bend your leg in two and kick yourself in the ass if you do not see this flick on the big screen.
Sell your first born. Sell the dog while you are at it. You can always have another child or buy another dog. What the hell, you probably stole that dog anyways.
I know what you are saying. You are saying to yourself “Who in the hell is this Steve Vernon dude, accusing me of dog-stealing?”
Let me put it this way – if you are a Marvel fan and you are foolish enough to pass this by on the big screen – you are probably stupid enough to try and steal somebody else’s dog away.
Look, I broke a tooth off of my dental bridge on a bag of popcorn and I am going to have to go to the dentist – and I hate going to the dentist more than any man on this freaking planet – and I STILL DO NOT REGRET watching this flick on the big screen.
Go and see it.
Do it now.
Yours in Storytelling,
Steve Vernon