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Thursday, June 30, 2011

California killed my Amazon store

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California killed my Amazon store.  


In an attempt to collect sales taxes from stores outside the state, the California government has decided that my association with Amazon gives them a physical presence in California, thus requiring Amazon to pay sales tax to California when people buy things from out-of-state merchants. 

So Amazon has terminated all California affiliates.  Of course, this means that our state government will not get the sales taxes, and they will lose a huge amount of income tax. 

Meanwhile, little people like me are getting hurt financially.

Here's what Amazon said to me:


Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect your ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. As mentioned before, we are continuing to work on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
Regards,
The Amazon Associates Team

  ~~~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Epilogue to My Life on the Edge of Reality

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If you bought the first edition of my memoir Tessa B. Dick: My Life on the Edge of Reality, then you need to see the Epilogue that I added to the second edition.

Here it is:


EPILOGUE

“You will remember.” Phil insisted.  “And you will write about it.”

Those words echoed in my mind for many years after his sudden and unexpected death from a series of massive strokes.  I wrote about it many times, but my books and articles failed to find a market in the traditional publishing industry.  Finally, when the Internet began to grow up, the POD (Publishing on Demand) industry gave me an outlet for these words. 

I remember, and I write.  The last time I saw Phil, he demanded and pleaded that I write about his experiences.  I take that mission very seriously.

He never saw the riches that his works have produced since Hollywood discovered that his stories are marketable as movies.  The money from Bladerunner allowed him to buy his condominium apartment and a little red sports car (a Mercury Capris, the last model made in Germany).  However, Phil never basked in luxury.  He continued to lead a middle-class life in Santa Ana, California, until God took him home.

He continued searching for his soul mate, but he never found her.  I like to think that I was sitting right there on his sofa, the dark-haired girl that he wrote about in one of his few nonfiction books.  Neither of us was suited to a normal life with a regular job, family picnics and soccer games, although we both tried to fit in to that template. 

We could be happy with a few cats and a small garden, but we wanted the stars.   

Coffee flowed and cigarettes burned while we discussed the nature of reality, the reality of hallucinations and the meaning of everything. 

Phil was the only person I could talk to about the demons that haunted me.  He often said that I was the only person he could talk to about his visionary experience.  We both seemed to be living in two realities, one shared by the rest of humanity and the other ethereal but almost tangible.  Shadowy figures would walk through the walls and watch us from the corners of the room.  Some would disappear when we saw them or spoke to them, while others would engage in conversation.  They didn’t seem to have answers for us; in fact, they asked us questions about our world. 

Some of them claimed to be time travelers from our future.  They were trying to change our world in order to improve their world.  They lived in a nightmare created by their own eugenics program.  No longer able to reproduce naturally, they attempted cloning with less than desirable results.  They had damaged their own DNA so badly, and limited their gene pool so severely, that they needed to reach into the past to find viable genetic lines.  If they could protect those lines from the coming global disaster, they could find people in their time with viable DNA.  

They could not grab some DNA from us to take back to their time and use it.  They had to make sure that our descendants survived into their time.  Failing that, they hoped to find burials and extract DNA from the dead. 

Other visitors seemed to be more concerned with religion than with science or the future.  Phil read John Allegro’s book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross at least three times, taking notes and discussing it in depth.  Allegro, who had early access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, shocked his colleagues with his theory that the early Christians were using hallucinogenic mushrooms and worshipping pine trees. 

Phil and I alternated between believing everything and doubting everything.  We were children exploring a treasure cave in the woods. 

Phil was a loving father to our son Christopher, but I could not live with him during that period when I was going to college.  Phil stubbornly resisted my attempts to get outside of our own little universe, to meet people and gain knowledge.  He wanted to keep me for himself, trapped in the house like some treasure that you bring out only on special occasions.  He feared that I would leave him for another man, but that never happened.  In fact, Phil left me to take care of Doris Sauter, who had terminal cancer but is still alive thirty-plus years later. 

Phil thought that he could come back to me when Doris moved out, but I couldn’t keep up the rent on our little house on Santa Ysabel in Fullerton, and he had moved into an apartment where children were not allowed.  So we visited often and stayed late into the night, our young son enjoying time with his father while we discussed religion, philosophy, psychology and more. 

I finished my associate degree at Fullerton Community College and went on to Chapman College, where several of my professors were big fans of Phil’s work.  My major had been pre-medicine, but my associate degree was in foreign language, so I majored in communications and went on to take a master’s degree in English literature.  The wide-ranging education that Chapman College gave me has served me well over the years.  My original goal was to become a veterinarian, but I soon realized that I wanted to be a science writer.  That second goal never bore fruit, either. 

However, Phil and I grew closer over the years as we both realized that neither of us wanted anybody else.  We were planning to remarry on our wedding anniversary, April 18, but Phil died on March 2. 

I was devastated, as was our son.  Christopher was only nine years old when he lost his father, and he still feels the pain of that loss. 

I hope that my words keep Phil’s memory alive.  His body has failed, but his words and his spirit live on.

~~~~~

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: "Secrets" - A thrilling who-done-it


Book Review:  Secrets -  A thrilling who-done-it by S. L. Pierce.


This murder mystery is a real page-turner with plenty of action, plot twists and suspects. 


The pacing needs a few more slow spots with more detailed descriptions of people and places, but frankly, I couldn't put it down.  I would have enjoyed the scenery of the San Francisco Bay Area, but the narrator skips lightly over it. 


The climax feels particularly rushed, but it still satisfies.  All the clues are there, out in the open, but it kept me guessing right up until the murderer was revealed. 


The story begins with a hit man attempting to murder Gwen Michaels, an army veteran who works for a security company.  The job turns out to be more difficult than the hired gun had expected. 


When Gwen goes into hiding, she must reveal her secret past to her husband Frank and hope that the shock does not cause him to leave her.  


Gwen's search for the reasons why she became a target will keep you riveted to the page, no matter the hour and no matter what else you had planned to do.  The only distraction for me was my need for caffeine, since Gwen shares my love for coffee, which sent me to the kitchen several times to make a cup for myself.


Four out of five stars. 


  ~~~



  ~~~

Read a free sample

http://www.freado.com/read/9921/secrets


Buy the BOOK at:

Barnes & Noble – NOOKbook
Smashwords
Amazon.com – Kindle
Amazon.co.uk – Kindle


  ~~~

This book review is part of the Nurture Virtual Book Tourz 

http://nurtureyourbooks.com/vbtblog/?p=930 


  ~~~ 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A world without books would be like ice cream without a spoon

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I've been thinking about Fahrenheit 451, in which the job of the fireman is to burn books.

What would the world be like without books?

Sure, we have eBooks, audiobooks and other formats, but technology can fail.  Besides, there is nothing quite like the feel of a good book in your hands.

A world without books would be like opera without the music, a marriage without love.

I definitely would miss my books.

  ~~~

You can find a list of all 30 blogs in this Blogalicious Tour at this site:

http://holesinmysoles.blogspot.com/

  ~~~