Right to free speech or just ways to find an audience?

The other day I stumbled across some paragraphs in which a writer (or at least a typer of words) adamantly defended our right to freedom of expression through Amazon’s self-publishing platform.

The typer, whose screed I have been unable to relocate, credited the company with giving any and all the right to have their say.

Human rights in the United States
Human rights in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I remember correctly, we’ve had the right to free speech in the U.S. since around about 1791. Were Amazon and others to disappear, we would still have that right.

What we have now are new ways to (1) find an audience, (2) make a few bucks, (3) embarrass ourselves, and/or (4) contribute to the clutter that makes it difficult to find something good to read.

Here’s to doing 1 and 2 and avoiding 3 and 4 — and to knowing the difference between rights and opportunities.

~ ~ ~ ~

Speaking of books … maybe you’ll like Blood Solutions.

Des Moines Det. Edward ‘Red’ Shaw hunts killer in new novel

Now that the first “Red” Shaw novel — Blood Solutions — is in the hands of some readers and the inventories of a growing list of online book stores, it’s time to make some serious progress on the next one.

I already know where the body is found, and you don’t.

Get Blood Solutions at Amazon.com, Barnes&NobleSmashwords and other fine ebook retailers.

Someone is wearing those “boots on the ground”

The term “boots on the ground” is popular among the politicians and talking heads who increasingly and disturbingly adopt military-sounding lingo while discussing our participation in deadly violence around the world.

Its four syllables (and worse, the lazy acronym you can see on Twitter) make it shorter than the more precise and honest “America’s sons and daughters” who wear the boots that some are so eager to put on the ground.

If you want to send your fellow citizens off to kill and be killed on your behalf, say it clearly.

Xing this word off my list unless it’s a moveable barrier

English: Farm gate Farm gate with horses grazi...
Farm gate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a picture of a gate.

Quit adding it to the end of every controversy, real or overinflated, that comes along.


Crime novel opens with murder in Des Moines

About my new crime novel, almost ready for prime time…

Detective Sgt. Edward “Red” Shaw had seen a lot of nasty business in his three decades with Des Moines PD, but the grisly slashing of an old man who was just trying to find his cat one night was among the nastiest.

"Blood Solutions" frontShaw knew right away that something was different, that the case would be like nothing he’d worked before.

It didn’t help that his longtime partner was laid up with a bum leg, that Sally wasn’t around, that he’d gotten drunk a few hours before getting called to the crime scene, and that he showed up with a bad case of the queasies. Hung over was no way to start a hunt.

Shaw disliked the young assistant county attorney who caught the case, and he didn’t know about Randy Frye or the Talarico woman. He could’t imagine where the gruesome evidence would lead him.

And then there was Tina…

 Agents and publishers

Please contact me if you would like to see sample chapters or the complete manuscript. Thank you.