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Greetings, Bearers!

No, my silence has not been due to the travesty that was the Michigan-Ohio State game:

Kinda hard to win a game when you’re playing 11 on 14. (Do I still sound a bit angry?  Do I still care about the fact that apparently no Buckeye ever holds on calls?  Well.. maybe a little bit..).  The lack of updates here has been due to 1.) my writing (still going), 2.) my business in my other job that pays the bills, and 3.) the approach of December 25th, the annual time of year where we manage to make what should be leisure time as laborious as possible.

Which reminds me… I have a little gift for all of you.  But first, I want to speak to a question that I don’t think I’ve taken the time to answer in detail.

One of the things that has been proposed to me is that I try to write a Christmas piece.  After all, people say, it’s done by a great many other writers, J., so why don’t you do that as well?   And it is true that you’ll find special Christmas works done by authors much in the same way you’ll see musicians put out Christmas songs and albums.  It’s pretty customary for artists to do, both for artistic and commercial reasons.

All that to respond to those who ask me if I’ll be scripting a Christmas story with “No… not right now.”  Let me explain why.

First and foremost, Christmas is a sacred season for me.  As many know, I am a confessional Christian, and while I don’t push it down the throats of others, I don’t hide it either.  Meaning that my approach to Christmas is one of serious reverence and serious consideration.  I would not feel right simply putting out a piece that missed the point of the holiday (or worse yet, twisted it in a terrible way).  When and if I do decide to put something out there, I want it to be respectful and honoring to the One born in Bethlehem that night.  I’m not saying my work will necessarily be a sacred/religious one; I’m just saying that I don’t want to put out something that is blatantly in conflict with the Christian faith.

Which brings me to my second, related point: to be frank, I simply have not had much success with ideas for Christmas stories.  Actually, let me rephrase that: I have had ideas for Christmas stories, but they’ve all ended up being either decidedly not as Christmas-related as I’d like, or far too predictable and sappy (much like those Hallmark channel movies you see around this time of year… Does anybody actually watch those movies?).  And I don’t want to do that.  I like to take unusual angles with writing, and I feel that I would be cheating you, my thousands (:D) of dear readers.  I don’t want to put out a peace that people read and shrug their shoulders at.  I want something that is fresh, different in its approach.  And that can be a very difficult thing to do with Christmas, as so much of it is dealt with in many a book and movie.

With that being said, don’t rule out a Christmas tale from me.  This “guilt attack” seems to come upon me every November, and each time I do deliberately give thought to putting together a Christmas tale, but due to the reasons I’ve put forth above, nothing ever manifests itself.  Nevertheless, if I do get a good idea, even if it’s in the middle of May (and I do NOT like it when people obsess over Christmas outside of the Christmas season, btw), I’ll work on it.

Now, having said all of that, I do have a little gift for you.

Between now and January 5th, 2017, you can get my short story 2-pack  Surrealities part III for free.  Simply go to smashwords.com, enter the coupon JH83H, and read to your heart’s content! Even though it’s not really a Christmas item, consider it my Christmas present to you.  If you like it, pass it on to others, and let me know what you think!

Okay, four more shopping days ’til Christmas…or is it five? I’ve got wrapping and writing and bowl games and boxes to tend to.  Good grief… I might need a day off from Christmas!

Anyway, enjoy, and see you in the Vein!

J. Dean

 

Greetings, Bearers!

I’m still alive, working, writing (never will quit writing), and coaching!  Yes, that’s right: I’m putting my money where my mouth is.  I’m coaching a high school freshman girls’ flag football team.  Okay, so it’s not my beloved Michigan Wolverines (who are doing great so far), but it’s still coaching, and with the assistance of a couple of helpful fellows from the boys’ football team I’m putting this thing together for a game two weeks from now.

I’ve never coached a day in my life.

So pretty soon here we’re going to see if I’m Jim Harbaugh or Jim Tomsula (if you know anything about 49ers football, you’ll get that reference).

But new things will be coming soon.  So spread the word about what I’ve already got out there and what’s to come!

In the meantime, I think I’ll keep a journal/diary of my coaching.  And maybe I’ll share it, if I feel confident enough.

Or not 😀

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers,

I’m taking a break from writing to remind everybody that I am a football fan.  And I’m a Michigan football fan, who was basically turned into a Michigan football fan because of exposure to Michigan State football fans in my youth.

So if you watched today’s game, you know why I’m feeling a bit down right now.

On the plus side, we played great.  Dominated a team we were not supposed to dominate.  Harbaugh outcoached Dantonio.  Our defense kept the almighty Connor Cook on his heels, and despite a couple of really bogus ref calls (one which cost Joe Bolden an ejection, even though the replay clearly shows that he was pushed into the QB), we held a lead against a top 10 team that (according to some “experts”) was supposed to come into the Big House and kick our tails up and down the field. Yet despite that, we held the lead, right up to the last ten seconds.

And then our punter forgot how to field the snap.

Stinks.

Let me finish this with three observations.  First, life does not revolve around football.  There are other things in life that are far more important.  In the end, this game, like all other football games, pales in comparison to things far more important and far more crucial.   I know people who have been in serious accidents and I also know people who are wrestling with disease.  Whether the Wolverines or the Spartans win is far less important than prayer and concern for their health.

Now, having said that, let me say this for my second point: even in defeat, you can take pride in your team.  Yes, I know that the diehard fans of sports claim that there are no “moral victories,” but I respectfully disagree.  My Wolverines outmatched and outmaneuvered the Spartans for every moment of the game, save for the bad call at the end, and that’s a good thing to see.  This team, only 5-7 last year, is now 5-2, and I’m fairly confident that we’ll make more wins before the end of the season.  In fact, I’m pretty positive it will happen.

And the third point: to the Spartan fans out there, congratulations.  Regardless of how it happened, it’s a W in your column.  But it’s also fair and accurate to say that the better team did not win that game tonight.  Your win happened because of a Michigan misstep and nothing more.  So feel free to celebrate, but know that your win was given to you.

Okay, that’s enough for me to say.  I’m still writing and working.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my next villain will have attended college in East Lansing 😀

See you in the Vein!
J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

Sorry about not posting more regularly.  You’d think that summer would be an easier time for me to keep up with the updates, and unfortunately it hasn’t been.  But, on a good note, there has been quite a bit happening.  Very exciting stuff that I can’t fully discuss at the moment, but will be more free to share as things get rolling!  So bear with me, fellow adventurers!  You’ll be glad you did!

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of football season like I did with THIS game.  😀

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers (and other newcomers)!

In light of my schedule this week, I’m going to be a little tight on time with regard to posting things (bad enough that I’ve had a devil of a time trying to keep the writing up; what is it with my schedule seeming to fight me for time to develop wonderful, elegant prose? 😉 ).  Anyway, I just wanted to throw some thoughts about Manti Te’o and this whole thing with the “phantom girlfriend.”

I need to start with an honest disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Notre Dame fan.  On the contrary, since my family and I bleed maize and blue with the rest of the Michigan Wolverine nation, it’s fun in general to see them falter and stumble in sports (Although a part of me was pulling for them to upset Bama just to shut up the pro-SEC crowd).  So I don’t exactly come from a viewpoint that clings to all things South Bend-related.

That being said, however, I believe charity should be exercised toward Manti Te’o until any foul play on his part can be discovered.  A great many people are disparaging him, saying that this was an act all along for self-promotion in order to get more attention (You might laugh, but such things really do happen. Remember THIS?).  Now that’s certainly a possibility, and as I just said it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.  

But there’s another possibility as well: Te’o could be telling the truth.

College athletes, and football players in particular, are potential celebrities.  They have a chance to get under the big lights, and as a result attract other people to them.  They attract fans who practically worship them, and sometimes attract other people who are jealous, mean-spirited, or outright hateful concerning them and want to make them look bad (Tom Cruise had this happen in a public forum once, and if I remember correctly he was sprayed with water and referred to the culprit as a jerk. I think THIS is the video clip related to it).   So Te’o’s claim that this was a joke played upon him (as apparently reinforced by ND officials) is something that’s quite feasible.

Am I saying that Te’o is definitely innocent?  Not at all, and if he’s found being complicit in this for something such as self-promotion, shame on him.  You do not make yourself look like a better person by lying about things that tug on emotional strings such as making up stories about dead girlfriends (I wonder if people are questioning whether or not his grandmother actually died now?).  If he’s guilty of helping to orchestrate this, punish him.

But for now, the evidence seems to be pointing in the direction that this young man was duped.  And until it’s proven otherwise, we need to be considerate of that.  It’s what every single one of us would want if we were to be in the same position, especially if we know we’re guilty of nothing.  The premise of “innocent until proven guilty” is what we believe as Americans, and it’s hypocritical to make exceptions to that axiom based simply upon our feelings.

So until we know otherwise, let’s give Manti Te’o the benefit of the doubt.  Slandering him by conjuring up devious and unfounded motives based upon an assumed but unproven guilt does nothing to help him, and it only fills our ears and eyes up with unsubstantiated rumors.

And as is typical of our natures, false rumors tend to linger in our mind much longer than truth, even after truth is confirmed.

Let the truth happen, folks.

See you in the Vein

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

I can’t stay long as I’m going to be working my tail feathers off for the next few days, but if for some reason I don’t get to communicate with you in the next week, I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving and many bountiful blessings from our Creator!  May your turkey be cooked and your football team successful!

Before I forget, here is a LINK for Alternate Endings, which will take you to the Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for your preferred  version.  Check it out!

Also, before signing off, I want to say a big “Thank you” to those who have bought my books in the past few weeks!  Let me know what you think!

Okay, back to work.  Back to more writing, more editing, and more hoping that Nebraska stumbles along the way so that my Wolverines can get back in the race for the Big Ten Championship!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

So the waning days of summer are upon us.  Hard to believe fall is just around the corner.  On the one hand I’m happy, because it means that football is starting up: college (Go Blue!), pro (Go Pack Go!) and my son’s Upward flag football league (Go… Titans!?).  But on the other hand, it also means that I’m school-bound again.  Back to the classroom grind 😦

But on another good note that won’t require me to think about teaching right now, Alternate Endings is on its way to being done!  That’s right: soon my collection of short stories will be finished, and I hope to get it out to you in the next month or two.  I’m shooting for the beginning of October at the very latest, but am working my tail off to get it done before then.  One of the funny things about writing that I’ve  learned is that the deadline you set isn’t always the deadline you make.  I don’t know if that’s something unique to me, or if other authors have this trouble, but it’s not fun.  That being said, it’s good to get the work done, and get the stories to you.

As a little treat, I’m also including a short story which serves as a backdrop for the upcoming third novel in the Vein series The Summoning of Kran.  Think of it as a bonus in addition to the other stories included in the collection!

Also, I’m announcing a price change.  As of October 1st, I will be upping the price of my books to $2.99.  Looking at the marketplace, I’m seeing other books go for that much, some of them containing far shorter novels and stories than what I am writing (That’s not a negative criticism by the way; just an observation).  However, as I like to be given fair warning before experiencing drastic changes, I would like to give all of you (and in particular you who have downloaded free samples of the books) some time to get the books before the price raise comes, so if you go to My book links on Smashwords or Amazon between now and September 31st, you’ll still have a chance to buy the first two novels in the Vein for 99 cents!

So take advantage while you still can of the low price, because starting October the deal will be gone! 😀

Okay, back to writing and editing.  Next week I intend to put out another entry in the Vein Omnibus, so watch for it!  And get ready for some football, folks!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

What started out for me as a tight and hectic week has ended with a great personal burden being lifted off my shoulders and time spent with the family today at Michigan’s Spring Football Scrimmage, which was a blast.  Check out the link and enjoy!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Post-Christmas greetings, Bearers!

I hope and trust that your Christmas time went as well as mine.  The family and I spent a little time outside of home, attending the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit, where we were split down the middle as to which team to side with (I and my father-in-law chose Western Michigan; the wife and son picked Purdue.  I’m still wiping the egg off my face…).  That time capped off probably one of the best Christmases I’ve had in quite some time.  Not that past Christmases have been terrible or anything, mind you.  But this particular one will stick out as a pleasant memory that, like a fine wine, will be good to visit in the cellar of my mind and sip from memory, as it will be as sweet in my old age as it is now in my not-so-youthful youth.

And speaking of fleeting youth… hard to believe that New Year’s will be upon us next Sunday!  As I will be via slaving around the house and attempting to find time to write (I got a whole forty minutes yesterday!), I want to take the time to wish all of you a VERY happy new year, with the best of what’s in store for 2012.  For me, it’ll be getting The Summoning of Kran finished up and ready for you to enjoy, as well as (hopefully soon) wrapping up the loose ends on Alternate Endings so that you’ll have my first real short story collection in your hands.

Remember something else too: every year brings good things, even if we don’t see those things right away, so if your year isn’t looking to be so bright right away, give it time.  More often than not, we get so overwhelmed and preoccupied with things that don’t go our way, and miss out on a multitude of things that do go our way.  Take the time to look for the good things, even when they might not be so obvious at first.

And no, the world is not going to end in 2012.  At least, the world I know won’t end 😀

There is still time for those of you who are new to the Ebook world to take advantage of my BOGO offer.  Don’t forget to drop me a line in order to get the coupon!  And for those who have recently joined the world of the Vein, I bring you welcome, and sincerely thank you for venturing out with the rest of us!  I promise you a wild ride that you won’t soon forget!

And, finally, if you’re a Dr. Who fan, enjoy THIS little clip.

Okay, time to work, write, and sneak more chocolate.

See you in the Vein!
J.Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

Hopefully all of you (or at least all of you in the States) had a great Thanksgiving, with much to be thankful for and much to eat.  I certainly had my share of food last Thursday, especially with regard to the multiple pieces of pie I ingested.   Let me tell you: if you’ve never had a chocolate pecan pie, you really need to do so.  Just make sure you exercise more self-control than I did! 😀

My Packers remain on top with an 11-0 season, and my Wolverines finished strong with a 10-2 record, including a fantastic win over that school from Ohio.  I couldn’t have been more thankful in that regard, and for those of you who love the gridiron as much as I do, hopefully the past weekend found you sitting well with your teams in both college and pro! 

Well, I was hoping to give you an update from Kim regarding my cover, but unfortunately she has not yet gotten back to me.  No doubt she’s probably pretty busy, so I’m not worried about it.  Blame it on me being neurotic.  So until I have a cover to show to you, I’ll keep writing and working, editing and finishing works, and sharing my progress with you.

Speaking of which… I plan on putting up another short story excerpt from Alternate  Endings in the next few days, provided my editor gets things in order.  And if she doesn’t… well, I’ll just have to take things into my own hands.

Somebody had better call the fire department 😀

Okay, back to work for me.  Keep reading and rooting for the teams!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean