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Monday, June 30, 2014

Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess coming to eBook and Paperback this week! Read Chapter 1 Today!

Awesome cover by Bill Walko!

Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess

Now available on Kindle, Smashwords Nook, and in Paperback!

Danger! Three months after her encounter with Isis, Dr. Raheema Sanders transforms herself into the Cybergoddess, a creature with powers far greater than Isis’. Determined to replace the order of gods with an order of science, she plans to kill the goddess and remake the world in her own image. Can Isis, stop this Digital Diva before she implements her mad plan?

Chapter 1

There is no God. And there definitely isn’t a goddess.
There’s clearly a scientific explanation for everything that Isis woman did in my lab a few months ago. The so-called teleporting, the displays of incredible strength, invulnerability, and even the flying. If she’s flesh and blood like I am there has to be a biological way to not only restore my lost youth, but replicate those amazing abilities.
Ever since I got out of the hospital, I’ve been working day and night to break the biological barrier between humans and these alleged gods. After three months of research I think I’ve finally made my scientific breakthrough. If the computer models I designed for this nanocell are correct, it should re-write my DNA reconstructing my 85-year-old body back into something resembling myself in my twenties.
I’m taking one last look at the codes on the nanocell in the digital electron microscope when the intercom beeps. What do I pay those fools at the security desk for! I told them I was not to be disturbed when I was in the lab! I huff a sigh, storm over to the intercom on the wall near the lab doors and hit talk.
“Oh, what is it?” I bark.
“Miss Sanders, I hate to interrupt you, but your niece Ramona is here to see you.” the guard says.
I thought I told her to take care of my business affairs in New York. “Tell her I’m busy-”
“She says it’s urgent.”
It’s always urgent with her. “Oh, send her in.” I snarl pressing the button to unlock the titanium security doors.
As the titanium doors begin sliding back, I storm back over to the table where my work is and take one last look at the nanocell. After I confirm that the biocodes for the DNA re-sequencing program are correct, I take the slide off the microscope and place the cell into a Petri dish filled with my blood. Before I can fill a syringe with the nanocell, I hear the clop of Ramona’s Italian high heels pounding into the tiled floors. When the tall bronze colored woman dressed in a tailored black Italian business suit storms through the white swinging doors I greet the reflection of her scowl in my monitor with a pasted on smile.
“Good Afternoon Ramona. What can I do for you?”
“Auntie, what are you trying to do bankrupt this company?” Ramona barks.
Figures. She’s worried about her inheritance. “It’s not your money yet.” I dismiss. “I can spend it however I wish.”
“You just spent over twelve million dollars on a supercomputer. What do we need with a supercomputer?”
“I can’t program a nanobot with a laptop.”
“Nanobot? How does that relate to our business-”
“It relates to my business.”
“Auntie, I can’t keep explaining these crazy expenditures of yours to the board or to our investors. They’re asking questions-”
“So tell them it’s all for research-”
“Research on what? These crazy mad scientist experiments of yours?”
How dare she question my work. “It’s not a mad scientist experiment Ramona. It’s a mission to take humanity on the next step up the evolutionary ladder.”
“Evolutionary ladder?” Ramona huffs. “Are you listening to yourself? We sell cosmetics-”
“We sell whatever I want to sell.”
“Well, we’re not going to be able to pay for anything if you keep burning through our money like this. I’m barely going to have enough money for this week’s payroll let alone offer a settlement to that woman you kidnapped a few months ago-”
“I told you she’s not a woman!” I bark. “She’s not human-”
“She’s human enough to sue us!” Ramona snarls back.
“You saw the security video, you saw what she did-”
“I saw a woman you kidnapped and assaulted defending herself from your plans to murder her. You’re lucky she hasn’t pressed charges-”
She’s probably afraid I’ll reveal her secret. That’s why she hasn’t followed up with law enforcement or legal action. “And I guess you’re trying to protect us from her lawsuit.”
“Someone has to look out for your best interests-”
“I ought to fire you.”
“Look Auntie, I’ve humored you and these little experiments of yours ever since you got out of the hospital. But now you’re hurting other people-”
I catch the desperate look in her eyes in the reflection of my computer monitor. She thinks I’m old. She thinks I’m senile. She wants to put me in a home. I’ve got to convince her that what I’m doing is for the greater good. “Ramona, my work isn’t done-”
“Auntie, I don’t want to have to get a court order-”
My hands clench into fists on hearing her threat. I’d love to throttle the life out of her. “You go get your court order. I’ll have my lawyers ready for you when you get back.”

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess Cover by Bill Walko

I’m a big fan of Bill Walko’s The Hero Busine$$. It’s a hilarious strip about a public relations company that helps superheroes craft their public image. The strip reminds me so much of Dwayne McDuffie's early Marvel Classic Damage Control. I highly recommend you take a read from the beginning; I never miss a strip!

The Hero Busine$$ storyline Frenemy Mine inspired the Isis story Isis: My Sister My Frenemy. After reading the storyline I got a lot of ideas from reading about the friendship between Morgan and Glamazon for developing the relationship between Isis and her sister E’steem. 

I first saw Bill’s work on www.comicbook after following a link from my blog to their boards. Looking to learn more about his work, I went to his DeviantArt page and looked through his portfolio on his official website. Going through all 17 pages, I loved the bright colorful style and the unique way he rendered superheroes and classic animated characters; when I saw his renditions of Wonder Woman and the Teen Titans ladies such as Starfire and Wonder Girl I knew his style would be a great fit for Isis.

Unfortunately, money has always been an issue with me being out of work for so long. I thought I couldn’t afford his rates.

But I just decided to go for it. While I was working on my Kickstarter, I wrote up a business letter and contacted him. When he wrote me back he gave me a great rate I couldn’t pass up. Having a professional cover by an artist whose work I was a big fan of was part of what gave me the motivation to keep pushing and promoting the Kickstarter as hard as I did.

When the Kickstarter failed in May, I almost gave up. But I believe God works in mysterious ways. During the Spring recess, a family member came to me asking me to sell some books and dolls she was going to throw out. And my brother told me about the rate New in Box Darkseid Destroyers were going for on eBay. (My brother bought one WAY back in 1989 on clearance at Kiddie City and couldn’t sell it at a comicon, so it sat in my closet for over 25 years) Looking for that box buried at the bottom of my closet, I found a bunch of collectibles and other superhero memorabilia to go along with their stuff and went on a selling spree.

Over the last two months, I sold everything from those old dolls, that Darkseid Destroyer, action figures, Toy catalogs from the 1990’s and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pie wrapper. (I just kept it because I liked it; had no idea it was worth so much today) With the money I made from those sales I was able to raise the funds to pay for the cover. 

Looking at this cover I love it! I love the way Bill drew everything; his art tells a great story. I love his rendition of Isis; she’s so cute! He really captures her spirit, and I have to say his version of her New Heliopolitan attire is the coolest I’ve seen rendered! And his Cybergoddess looks like a dangerous diva! There’s a lot of action going on in this one image; I believe it gives the reader a great insight to what’s going to happen between the pages of the book!

If I do get more funds, I’d love to hire Bill to do the covers for the earlier books in the Isis series like Isis: Amari’s Revenge, Isis: The Ultimate Fight, (have a great idea for a cover based on Hell in a Cell 1997 with Undertaker & Mankind for that one) Isis: The Beauty Myth (have an idea based on DC’s Vigilante #50 for that one) and Isis: My Sister, My Frenemy. I love Bill’s art and I’d like to share it with my readers. I believe this cover is going to leave a powerful first impression on them and compel new readers to pick up the paperback and the eBook!

Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess is coming to Kindle, Smashwords, and the Nook on the July 4 Weekend! Get ready for some action packed African-American fantasy as the goddess next door takes on the Digital Diva in an all new Isis adventure!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lies We Were Told About What A College Education Will Do For You

Over the years, the media has hyped up a college education as the thing to have. And every year millions of kids go to college with a head filled with unrealistic expectations of what they’ll get out of two to four years of college.

As a college graduate, I want to set the record straight and let everyone know about all the LIES we’re told a college education will get them.

A College Education will make you smarter. One of the biggest misconceptions about college is that people who go to college are smarter than people who haven’t attended.

The American people, especially American employers need to understand Educated does not mean smart. A person can have a college education and still be as dumb as a box of rocks.

What people need to understand is Educated and smart are two different things. A college education will give a person knowledge in a certain subject area if you pass all the required classes for a major.

However, what makes a person smart is how the individual APPLIES the knowledge they have learned in life. Smart people know how to take the information they’ve learned in college and utilize it towards creating a profitable business venture for themselves.

A College Education will give you skills. Many people go to college and think because they majored in something like Anthropology or Women’s Studies they instantly have skills. And while they may know how to use a computer program or two, and have a basic understanding of concepts for a subject matter, they don’t get any business skills that will help them in the job market.

Moreover, many more go into college without any LIFE SKILLS. Most college students today don’t know how to create a budget, how to manage a schedule, or even how to address an envelope. Most Professional skills are taught on the job and honed on the job and the only way to get experience is to have a job or a business.

People need to understand College can only teach kids about coursework in subject matter. It can’t teach a person business skills or social skills.

All College Majors are the same. Most kids these days take easy majors so they can say they have a college degree. What their parents don’t know is that they just flush money down the toilet.

Majors in Liberal arts, Women’s Studies, History and social sciences are WORTHLESS in today’s job market. In fact they’ve been WORTHLESS for the last 40 years. People who take these majors waste time and money.

If you go into college with a PLAN you will have a CAREER. Most people who went into college with business skills who got a business degree opened businesses. Most people who had hobbies BEFORE college turned that hobby into a BUSINESS. And others who came into college  with a plan to get specialized skills such as Medicine, science, and engineering became doctors, scientists and engineers.

If you go to college to party, bullshit, coast through classes and have as many bed partners as possible chances are you won't have anything to bring to an employers table four years later.  

College is the only way to be successful. Most people have bought into the idea that a college education is the only way to achieve “success”. And that if they don’t have a college degree they are losers.

I’m sorry but that’s not true.

Contrary to popular belief, College is NOT FOR EVERYONE. College is not a good fit for many in society. Some people would be better served by the skilled trades others by starting their own business.

The most successful people over the last 40 years like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates found college to be stifling environment that hindered their creativity and innovation. For them College and its monolithic way of teaching people how think didn’t work.

Over the last 40 years Americans have bought into a one-size-fits all idea for the American job market. The whole idea that a college graduate is a better worker is choking the life out of the country. Not everyone was made to go to college and everyone who went to college isn’t guaranteed to be successful. There are a lot of talented people out there who don’t have college degrees and many of them are more successful than today’s college graduates.

College will make your child more well-rounded. People think that sending their kids to college will make them better people. If anything Campus living tends brings out the worst in people.

In most cases bigots become racists. Douchebags become assholes. Sluts become whores. Drunks become alcoholics. Simps become Tricks, Potheads turn into dopefiends. And liars turn into bullshitters. And this is amplified by ten thousand when you bring in the alcohol and drugs that float around freely on campus.

The truth is living on a college campus only gives people an opportunity to be who they truly are. And in most cases after showing their classmates their true character, they cover up who they truly are by the time they march down the aisle by graduation day. So at the end of the day a child becomes well rounded. Well rounded in dysfunction.

College will teach your kids how to be responsible. People believe that sending their kids to college will make them responsible adults. This is the biggest LIE to ever be told.

Looking at people over the last 20 years, why are so many college graduates with jobs bogged down in credit card debt? Mortgage debt? Why can’t many balance a checkbook? Why can’t some even manage to take care of a dog these days? And why are so many grown ass people living in their parents’ homes instead of on their own?

I don’t see how college teaches kids to be responsible. If we look at society most of the world’s most incompetent and irresponsible people have a brand-name college degree behind their names. George H.W. Bush. Bill Clinton. George W. Bush. Barack Obama. Jeff Zucker. Dan Didio. People who have book sense, but don’t have common sense .

And look at the people who caused the subprime mortgage mess a few years ago. All college graduates. Look at Congress. All College graduates.

If being educated makes you smart, then why can’t these people with college degrees from prestigious universities find a way to solve problems? Why aren’t their lives BETTER than their moms and dads who had bought their own home and were managing a household at 25 with a high school diploma?

When it comes to people what you see is what you get. And a person who was an irresponsible fuck up before college who bullshits in college will still be an irresponsible fuck up long after they graduate.

College will teach you how to think. Another misconception about college is that people will learn how to think. 

Yes, College will teach you how to think these days. But you learn how to think like a consumer. All a college education does these days is brainwash people into buying into a consumerist way of thinking. As they’re attending schools they can’t afford they’re bombarded by company pitchmen selling them an American dream filled with products they won’t be able to pay for. When they graduate with a bunch of credit cards, they learn how to become dysfunctional adults who buy, buy, buy without a plan for how they’re going to pay for it.

Debt is a good thing. Because college students learn how to think like a consumer, they becoming an American worker who thinks debt is a good thing. This keeps them stuck in a vicious cycle that keeps them chasing products and coveting a lifestyle beyond their means. And as they try to achieve that lifestyle, they amass huge amounts of debt that can never be paid for even after their children die.

The only person debt is good for is the credit card company, the mortgage company and the banks who finance the student loans. The interest they make on that debt is good. Good for their bottom line. Not good for you.

A College education will guarantee your child will get a job. The big promise many are told about college is that a degree will put someone on a fast track to a job. This is not true.

For years we’ve been told we can make $30, $40, and even $50 thousand dollar a year starting salaries. I’ve been out of college 20 years and I’ve yet to see a starting salary in that range at any of the jobs I’ve been offered.

Most people out of college get jobs that pay anywhere form $8-$10 an hour. Why? Because most employers want experienced workers. An experienced worker has a proven track record that can leverage a higher salary from an employer during an interview negotiation.

Most employers have always valued experience over education. Experienced workers especially those who have specialized skills have a proven a mastery over certain areas of craft and show a consistent record of tangible results. That has a higher value in the job market than a kid who did an internship or two or is graduating with just a degree. A person with a high school diploma who can say they sold 50,000 units on their own is more valuable to a sales department than an intern who says I made copies and got coffee at a fortune 500 company.

Moreover, they value connections over education and experience. If a person knows someone they’re more likely to hire a person based on their referral than if they got a cold resume through the mail.

A college degree does not guarantee a job or a better paying job. It may sway an employer to give a graduate a call for an interview, but that does not mean that person will be hired.

A college education is an investment towards getting a job. One of the most idiotic things to come out of colleges in the last 40 years is the idea of going to college to get a job. It truly shows how retarded the thinking process most college educated types have.

Why would ANYONE spend this kind of money to learn a set of skills to go and work for someone else? It’s just ILLOGICAL. Why would someone spend $120,000 to go a school to get a job paying $40,000 a year to give a billionaire their best years, their best work and their best ideas?

The reason why we have no new jobs in America is because Americans aren’t creating them. Everyone wants a brand name job at a brand name company so they can look like a big shot. They want to say they went to an Ivy League school, work at a fortune 500 company where they wear an Armani Suit and carry a Gucci bag. This is what consumer education teaches kids to become: Label whores.

I’m sorry but that’s not how America works.

The ultimate goal of getting a college education is to get the skills to start your own business. People say there are no jobs out here. Well, that’s because Americans aren’t creating new ones for themselves. Everyone wants to work for someone else. The American dream has become an obsession to work at a fortune 500 company for someone else.

However, no one values themselves enough wants to create their own company and create their own brand. No, they’d rather run around wearing someone elses’ brand on their backs. Not understanding this is slavery.

College educated people are better workers. Most employers believe that a college education means a smarter worker who is more productive.

I’ve worked on jobs and the college educated workers were some of the LEAST productive in the workplace. Most are so full of themselves they can’t see their own mistakes. Many more THINK so much that they overanalyze things and don’t focus on simple solutions. And quite a few lack social skills to practice basic business etiquette.

In most cases the college graduates I’ve worked with were petty, vindictive and arrogant. They put their personal grudges above the business. And they put their egos above the needs of their employees. Instead of creating a team environment, these narcissists made everything all about them.

Many more college graduates I’ve worked with don’t understand things like professionalism, courtesy, and conscientiousness. They don’t act in the best interest of a company or make good business decisions. Many of today’s college grads are so afraid of RISK they don’t learn anything that helps them GROW into a professional that learns a CRAFT.

American employers need to understand that a college degree doesn’t mean a better worker. A jerk with an education is still a jerk. And a jerk is usually not a productive worker because they’re an asshole who alienates people instead of bringing them together.

College educated people are more committed to their jobs. An idiotic notion many employers have about college graduates is that because they committed for four years to college that they’ll be dedicated to their jobs.

I know this isn’t true at all. If you really want to see commitment, try writing a book or a screenplay.

From what I’ve seen in the workplace the college graduate is the FIRST PERSON to head for the door in the AmeriKKKan Job market. The minute things get hard or there’s a crisis, the college graduate is usually the FIRST person to take a job someplace else.

In many cases from what I’ve seen, the college graduate is a major league bullshitter especially when they work in corporate America. They’re the kinds of employees who talk a good game, but when the rubber hits the road can’t do anything. Again, when a crisis comes they don’t hunker down and develop a plan of action. They head for the door after they turn in their resignation.

And College graduates are usually not loyal to companies. Why? Because they know they can leverage better deals for themselves because they have gained work experience and in-demand skills. Many use jobs as stepping stones to get where they want to go, not stay in a company and learn a business. The longest most college graduates stay at a company is two to four years then they’re gone.

A College education will mean an increase in salary. A college education used to mean a bump in salary. Back in 1985.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s when the college boom was going on, college graduates were the exception and not the rule. Because so many dropped out of high school and college that made the limited supply of college graduates with specialized skills an asset to employers. Because they had specialized skills they could leverage a higher salary from management.

The truth is today there’s a GLUT of college graduates all over the world. And most of these graduates just don’t have the skills most employers WANT. People take easy majors such as Anthropology and Women’s studies but employers need people with business, tech and science degrees.

And because there are so many college graduates with the wrong degrees chasing a limited supply of jobs salaries are stagnant. Some are even declining. Employers have the leverage in today’s job market and can decide what they want to pay someone.

Believing that a College education will eventually lead to someone being smart enough to build wealth. I may not have passed algebra in High School, but I sure as hell can do math. And when one does the math on American college today it’s a recipe for economic disaster.

Let’s see someone spends $120,000 over four years to get a job paying $40,000 a year so they can pay off $100,000 worth of student loans. At the end of the day the bank makes $480,000 off interest payments on said student loan. What intelligent person would sign up for this kind of raw deal?

Compound this insane mathematical formula with a graduate degree for another $40,000 to $200,000 in student loans and a mortgage for $300,000 five years later. No wonder so many college kids are in debt today.

Plain and simple, you can’t build wealth with debt! All today’s consumer education does is teach people how to create debt they can NEVER get out of.

People go to college expecting the world. But they don’t go to college with a plan. And because they don’t have a plan for the next four to six years they wind up stuck in a series of dead-end jobs working for someone else instead of making their education work for them.

The truth is that a child only gets out of college what you put into it. And all a college gives you is a comprehensive education in the subject someone majors in. It does not guarantee someone a job. It does not guarantee someone will be rich. It is not a magic bullet for “success.” A college education is just one of the tools a person can use to move ahead in life. How they get to where they’re going based on the EFFORT they put into it. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Dusty eBay Hookup Haters

*The title of this blog is a reference to Professor Black Truth’s brillant YouTube video on the subject of people who come to the Black-owned businesses looking for free stuff but have their money ready to spend with a White, Korean, Arab or other foreign business.

I’ve been doing business on eBay the past two months. And while most of my transactions have been smooth, I’ve been running into some people who before or after bidding asking me to cut the price on the shipping. Others asking me to cut the price.

All of these people don’t have any idea how Dusty they look.

I don’t know what’s worse the Dusty people on eBay looking to haggle on shipping and the price or the self-entitled Kindle owners who believe they are entitled to buy eBooks without as much as reading the genre or a synopsis.

Here’s the deal when it comes to shopping at SJS DIRECT on eBay: The price is the price. On the item and the shipping. If you can’t afford it, then don’t bid on it.

People who shop on eBay need to understand shipping is not cheap these days. Postal rates went up January of this year. Stamps cost 49 Cents. And The United States Postal Service charges anywhere from $6.00-10.00 for a package Priority Mail. And certain large envelopes and packages are going to ship Priority Mail because of their size and weight. That’s the Post Office’s policy, not mine.

On all items I ship Priority Mail. For my security and the customers’. Priority Mail gives me a tracking number and insurance. It’s delivered to the customer in 2-3 days.

I got a message from woman on eBay that irked me. It’s a prime example of the Dusty eBay Hookup Hater.

Would you be willing to go any cheaper on the Barbie as I am trying to find some nice barbies for the kids at work but I have to buy them all as my boss won't pay she says they are bad for kids that they create body image issues. I could pay you 10 usd as your shipping is high. Let me know the kids would really love it

First off, she’s from Canada And she wants me to sell her a NEW IN BOX doll for $10. She’s from CANADA. And wants me to sell her a NEW IN BOX DOLL FROM 1998 for $10 in the US. WTF?

Second she says my shipping is high. How is $13 high? A USPS Priority Mail Flat rate Medium box like I use to ship New in Box product has a rate of $12.35. US. The Canadian rate for shipping said flat rate box is $42.65.

Now I have Canadian friends on the Fwoosh and on Facebook who collect toys and comics. And most Canadian collectors know how expensive shipping is for toys. A $13 shipping rate for a Priority Mail flat-rate box for them is CHEAP especially when combined with eBay’s Global shipping program.

Again, $13 for a Priority Mail Flat Rate Box is NOT high. USPS rates went UP January 1st. And most people who shop on eBay need to realize this. The days of $6.00 shipping are OVER.

I make no money on shipping. That 65 cents? Is part of the money I use to get on the bus to take these packages to the Post Office. Bus fare in New York is $2.50 for one-way.

Buyers need to understand that sellers have to pay eBay fees which are 10 percent of the final value and the shipping and PayPal fees which are 10 percent of the payment. So 20 percent of the money made on a sale is gone before I spend it.

If readers further dissect this message they’ll see it’s filled with deflections and shaming language. The kids would really love it. My boss won’t pay for them. I have to buy them all.

Basically, this chick was looking for someone to feel sorry for her and trick on her.

Sorry, but SJS DIRECT is a business. And in business, the price is the price. Jewel Girl Christie cost my sister $19.99 back in 1998 at Toys R Us.  And that’s the starting price. This doll is over 16 years old, and I’m looking to recoup the initial costs of the doll.

My message to Ms. Dusty from Canada was: I’m sorry, but I can’t change the price.

On all the items I put up for auction the Price is the Price. If you can’t afford it, then don’t bid on it. If you don’t want to pay the shipping, then don’t bid on it. Don’t ask me to cut you a deal on shipping. The price is the price.

If you went to any of these mail order companies like Brooks Brothers or any of these other online retailers like Toys R’ Us and Amazon and asked for them to cut you a deal on shipping on one single item, they’d tell you the price is the price. That there’s a minimum shipping and handling charge on one item. It’s a company policy and it doesn’t change. If it costs the big businesses money to ship you something then it costs me money to ship you something. You either pay the cost or head over to the Canadian version of Family Dollar where new boxed base Barbie, Disney Princess and Monster High dolls go for $20 Canadian.

When I used to shop on eBay for action figures back when I had money, I’d take a long look at the shipping and the location of the buyer. And if I didn’t like the terms of an eBayer’s shipping or their feedback I didn’t bid. I didn’t ask questions. I just moved on to the next auction.

I didn’t try to haggle. I didn’t try to negotiate. I understood the price was the price. And if I wanted what the seller had I had to buy it on their terms.

I know the dangers of shipping someone something on the buyer’s terms. They’ll ask for the cheaper shipping and then when I ship it in a padded envelope or other cheaper way, this same person will go back to Paypal and eBay complaining that the item got damaged in transit and they want a refund.

If I charge Priority Mail for a boxed item, the customer gets a flat rate box from the Post office. A flat rate box is rigid enough to protect the toy and the integrity of packaging so it doesn’t get damaged in transit. As a collector for the last 25 years, I know how important the integrity of the packaging of a New in Box item is. If it gets damaged on the way to the location, people have an excuse to complain to eBay and PayPal for a refund.

And if I charge Priority mail for a loose item, the customer gets a padded envelope. Padded envelopes cost $1.29-1.75 and protect the item while its in transit. If there’s a price of $8.75 for shipping, the cost of the envelope is factored in.

People need to understand There is no longer a regular parcel rate for certain package sizes. And in those cases where it is available, tracking is $1.00. So there’s no savings. It’s cheaper to use Priority Mail for me and for you.

Now I’m willing to offer certain items at a discounted price. If an item isn’t moving, it’s damaged (for parts or repair) or I just want to get rid of it, I’ll cut the price and offer free shipping. But in any case the price is the price. On the item and the shipping. If you don’t want to do business on my terms, there are hundreds of other suckers you Dusty eBay Hookup haters can shop with. You can hustle them, but you won’t hustle me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

DC Comics Dick Teases us with another Crisis….

There’s rumors that DC will be having another Crisis in 2015. A way to fix all the bugs in the New 52 and possibly an exit to the old pre-52 DC Universe. At this point I just don’t give a shit anymore.

The way I see it areturn to the old DC Universe isn’t going to change things. As long as Dan Didio, Bob Harras, Jim Lee Diane Nelson and Goeff Johns are in charge at DC Dysfunction will be the norm. So until Warner Brothers announces this gang of four is FIRED and replaced with someone like Bruce Timm, Jim Shooter or Mark Waid who cares about the characters, all they’re doing is dick-teasing comic fans.

Hoping, wishing and praying comic fans will trick their money off on comics and continue to buy into their dysfunctional vision for DC Comics.

The current DC Comics Editiorial regime has jerked people around for so long that it’s not possible to care about anything it says or does. Just when readers start getting into DC Comics, DC’s Editors decide to change the entire damn universe. Arbitrarily.

There’s a reason for this coming Crisis in 2015: Slumping sales. DC Comics have lost market share to Marvel and even the indie comics. They’ve lost presence at retailers like Target and Wal-Mart in the merchandising departments. The cinematic universe based on the foundations of an angry murderous Man of Steel has split the audience and is on a rocky foundation.

And Crisis 20l5 is supposed to make it all better.

If you believe this, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

The way I see it DC has been in a crisis since 2002 When Dan Didio became an executive there.

Albert Einstien said the definition of insanity is doing the exact same things and expecting a different result. What is this the sixth reboot? The Seventh?

Damn, Windows hasn’t had as many operating systems as DC has had reboots of its universe in the last decade. Mac OS X hasn’t had as many operating systems as DC has had reboots.

It’s a sad day when the operating system on your computer is more stable than the universe comic book characters are in.

The way I see it, New 52 is to DC what Windows ME was to Microsoft. A shitty bug filled universe filled with plotholes, continuity errors, poor planning, poor development and poor execution rushed out to shock readers and pull DC out of a sales slump and a creative tailspin. While its characters had the flash of costumes filled with piping and seams they lacked the substance good storytelling could give them.

Which is why its falling apart as we speak.

Sure the New 52 got sales up at DC for the short term. But it’s clear it did damage to the DC brand long-term. Readers are frustrated with the non-stop events. Licensors like Mattel have taken a beating as DC related products such as DC Universe Classics and Movie Masters have shelfwarmed. When you can’t sell Batman action figures after selling them for close to 25 years it’s clear something is WRONG.

Most DC Comics fans are waiting for the Windows XP version of the DC Universe Or the OS X Snow Leopard Version of it. Something that’s so secure, stable and functional and reliable. Something that’s reader friendly and reader accessible.

But instead we get dick teased by Didio. The pre-52 universe exists. Then when fans start buying the Crisis comics in 2015, they get the rug yanked right out from under them.

Here’s an idea: Instead of cock-teasing fans, how about DC’s editiors admit they fucked up? How about Warner Brothers’ executives WAKE up and realize they need to CLEAN HOUSE at DC and that all of their plans for the brand are FAILURES? The Crisis is in Management at both DC and Warner Brothers. And that’s where we need a reboot most of all.

With the same gang of four in charge at DC I have a feeling we’ll be given a Windows VISTA Version of the New 52 in the aftermath of any Crisis. Another dysfunctional universe destined to be filled with continuity errors and wind up in yet another crisis until it aggravates  so many people that indies wind up taking even more market share from DC.

At the end of the day, all most comic fans want are good stories featuring DC Superheroes. And sadly you can’t get them at DC in its main titles. No, in order to get those you have to head to an indie webcomic. Yale Stewart’s site for his great JL8 strip. His strip captures the heart and spirit of DC superheroes in fun, easy-to read strips that are accessible to readers of any age.

It’s embarrassing that a guy outside  of DC Comics produces better DC Comics than the parent company. Sad thing is no one at Warner Brothers is embarrassed that the employees on THEIR PAYROLL can’t do what Mr. Stewart is doing on his own.

In all their other comics DC seems hell-bent on continuing with a doom-and-gloom everyone dies story model that was pretty much obsolete in the late 1980’s.

Dan Didio says comics for kids should be relegated to Scooby Doo. And many of the people in charge of DC’s properties like Chris Nolan, David Goyer and Scott Snyder think the same way. They’re still stuck in the late 1980’s trying to apply a grim n’ gritty “Real” story model to comics.

And this is why DC continues to lose market share. It’s clear the market has changed. All one has to do is look at the successes Marvel Studios has had at the box-office with family and kid-friendly movies like Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. All one has to do is go to a Target or a Wal-Mart and see the Marvel merchandise moving with KIDS, the demographic most businesses want.

Someone needs to tell the suits at DC that it’s hard to sell a Superman who kills to parents. And even harder to sell him to kids.

From the way I see it DC has a Crisis. But it’s a creative one. And no amount of reboots will be able to fix DC as long as it has dysfunctional managers and a dysfunctional vision. It’s hard to CARE about DC because just as the audience is getting into the characters and their stories, here comes another “event” or “reboot” to radically change everything again for the umpmillointh time.

Unfortunately, for all the dick teasing about change DC never delivers on the goods. New Universe or old, everything stays just as dysfunctional as it was since Didio and his merry morons took charge back in 2002. And readers and fans are becoming more and more frustrated as they waste their money and time waiting for them to get it together.

People want to buy DC Comics Only DC’s editors won’t give us a reason to get excited about them. And because of all the dick teasing, game playing and bullshitting most are moving on to indies which are delivering the goods to readers. There’s a reason Walking Dead is selling like hotcakes, the stories are that good.

Seriously, DC Comics doesn’t need another Crisis. They need a new editorial team. And they need a new story model suited to today. Didio may not like Scooby Doo type comics but in this 21st Century where there are more kids being born than in the World War II baby boom, that’s exactly what the comic book industry needs. More All-Ages easy to read comics with great stories. Comics that are fun. Comics that make parents comfortable about giving comics to kids. Comics that will make new readers see what’s great about DC and its catalog of characters.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shawn’s advice to Graduates Looking for a Job

*This blog is dedicated to my Facebook Friends Jia Ireland and JM McSwain* Congratulations to Jia graduating this year with her BA, and JM McSwain who will soon be graduating with his BAS in IT.

I know a lot of brothers and sisters are coming out of college and they’re looking for work. And they’re becoming frustrated because the job market feels like an endless stream not of rejections, and online applications filled with crazy-making questions.

I understand their frustrations because I was in their spot twenty years ago. Back then I was going crazy trying to figure out why no one would call back after I sent out hundreds of resumes through the mail (no internet in 1994, you actually had to literally pound the pavement to look for work) and hoping, wishing and praying that I’d find a job. I know how hard it is to be the first one to graduate college in a family that and have NO support system to help find a full-time job. I’m hoping some of these tips can help some of those grads out there.

These are some of the things that brothers and sisters can do to break through the wall of indifference and access the job market:

Get the names. Sending an e-mail of a resume or an application to is a shot in the dark. In most cases it’s a waste of time as some companies have a dedicated server to these kinds of job listings and in most cases the resumes sent here are never read. (some are just collected for research purposes.

However, sending an e-mail to ensures that resume or cover letter will be read by someone at the company. Better yet once you find out the name of the manager, find out the address as well and send them a hard copy of a resume and a cover letter. A personalized letter gets on someones’ desk. And personalized letters get read and responded to at businesses.  

I gave my sister this advice 10 years ago after she finished Grad School. She was frustrated about not making any progress pounding the pavement. Following my advice got her a full-time job in a few days! When you take the time to figure out who to send your resume to, it says that you’re tenacious and are willing to take the time to do the research.

Craft a cover letter. Once you get the name of a manager, take the time to craft a dynamic cover letter. A well-written cover letter shows a manager that a candidate is truly passionate about your field. When a person who takes the time to get the name of a manager shows that they’re serious about working in a field. When a manager reads a cover letter with not only their name, but featuring detailed examples of ideas it shows that a candidate has vision, creativity and is going to be an asset to a company.

Have a Side Hustle/Work Free-Lance. They say you can’t get a job without experience. And you can’t get experience without a job. But when you have a side hustle you’re already working.

If you don’t have a job make one. If you have a particular hobby like building computers, art, or cooking, you can probably turn this into a business. Free-lance jobs are a great way to build up you reputation, your work experience and network with other professionals.

What got me hired at STRIVE and City College of New York was my years of experience as a free-lance writer. When the HR people saw samples of my writing, they saw I was serious about developing my craft and offered me a full-time job.

Some side hustles like eBay, Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Publishing program) NookPress and Smashwords only require a checking account and an e-mail address.

And while you’re working on these hustles you’re developing valuable business skills such as customer service, marketing and sales experience.

The cool thing about a side hustle/working Freelance is that it’s a way to build connections with other like-minded people. When you have a side hustle you can network with other hustlers out there and learn about other moneymaking opportunities. And

One thing hustlers and freelancers have to do is NOT let any HR person try to minimize your work experience. I’ve run into HR people who will say slick things like “this wasn’t a paying job” or “You weren’t on the payroll” in an attempt to devalue my work experience. However, people Side Hustles and Free-lance work show that they can be valuable assets to a company’s team.  In fact, they’re more valuable, because they show a manager they can work on their own. And free-lancers and side hustlers show a manager has more passion and initiative because they can work on their own towards finishing a project or completing a task.

And a side hustle it’s a great way to build into a business. Once you learn how to make enough money from a legit hustle and build up a solid base customers, you can turn a side hustle into a full-time business. The ultimate goal of getting a job should be working towards getting your own business. At the end of the day you are working for yourself, and your ultimate goal should be towards becoming your own boss.

Have a presence on Social Media. Most employers today Google people they’re considering. So having a blog, a Facebook and a YouTube page will give them an insight into who they’re hiring.

If you have a side hustle/Work Freelance Social Media is a way to sell your products to the world. I’ve met a lot of contacts on social media and I’ve actually gotten quite a few free-lance jobs that way. Again, people saw my work and wanted to offer me a job.

Register at your local Temp agency. The Temp agency is a good place to have your name on file. If they ever have anything available you’ll be called.

I have had iffy experience with Temp agencies, ranging from some that gave me one-day jobs to some that never called, so I can’t say they’re that great. But if you can get work at one it’s an okay way to get pocket money and some work experience.

Talk to your Career Services Office. This one is a bit of a longshot, but the College Career Services office might have some listings available. Some might even have manager names on hand. Some of these managers might be alumni and might give a chance to a fellow grad.

Register at a Job readiness Workshop. Programs like STRIVE can be very helpful to people coming out of school. And their job developers might have an inside track on work. HINT*Some of these programs get jobs set aside for their program graduates. So it’s beneficial to go into one of these programs. *

Register For Americorps* In 2000, I volunteered with Americorps* Vista. ( )I did a year of service with STRIVE helping them increase their resources to help their program recruit homeless adults. Americorps*VISTA as far as I know (it’s been 14 years since I served) pays a (tax-free) stipend that’s about minimum wage. I think there’s some student loan deferment/Forgivness (don’t know) and it’s a great way to help give back to your community. It’s not a “job” per se, but it’s a way to get experience and pay bills.

Head to your Local library. The library has a lot of job resources available. Things like and if you have a laptop/Cell phone, most have Free Wi-fi you can use to search for work
There are a host of sites you can use such as and which feature thousands of job listings across the country.

Go to your Local Unemployment office. This one is another shot in the dark as most of the listings here are OUT OF DATE. But sometimes they can have a lead on a job that’s useful. Register at your local Department of Labor and maybe they can help you.

Talk to relatives and Friends. 99.5 of all jobs are found through friends and relatives, and this is the untapped job market many don’t go to FIRST. People hire friends and relatives because  they trust them, and know they’ll do a good job. So if you’re coming out of school, make sure to let everyone in all your social circles know you’re looking for work. They might know of an opening you can slip into.

While looking for a job is challenging for a new college grad, if you know how where to look and how to look it can be less frustrating. Getting a full-time job requires drive, determination and tenacity. Keep pushing and sooner or later you’ll have that paycheck. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Been busy with finishing up All About Nikki Season 2 So I haven't had time to write a blog. Here's the first Chapter of my new eBook E'steem: The Beast From the Bowels that'll be coming next month on Smashwords! Until then, Check out the previous book in the E'steem Series Faerie Tale! 

Chapter 1

I throw D’lilah’s unconscious body over my shoulder as a flash of light takes me from a rooftop of the Morris Phillips Tower on Park Avenue to the red Berber carpeted hallway outside the offices Lucerne Holdings. Either I’m getting better at fighting or D’lilah here isn’t as passionate about killing me as she used to be. I didn’t even break a sweat in today’s tussle with her.
I push past the tall glass doors and Nora, Lucerne’s receptionist greets me with a smile. “I’ll let Mr. Lucerne know you’re here.” She says.
“Thanks.” I reply.
The clock on Nora’s desk reads 12:05 as I walk past the reception desk into the maze of cubicles in the office. I hear the chatter of Lucerne’s employees as I stroll through the workspace and make a right and head for Lucifer’s corner office. When I approach the two tall mahogany doors with Damien Lucerne’s name on a brass plaque, I kick them open and storm into Lucifer’s office suite. The tall caramel colored man dressed in an Italian tailored red suit, black shirt, and red tie greets my smile with a grimace as I approach his desk.
“I think she belongs to you.” I say as I dump the unconscious D’lilah in the oxblood leather nail head chairs in front of his desk.
“And I guess you believe you’re a conscientious employee by returning what’s mine.” Lucifer snarls.
“I would have let her stay at my office to recuperate. But it’s not take your daughter to work day.”
“Since you’re so professional perhaps I should have you come by do a seminar. It might motivate my employees to do a better job next time.”
He’d do anything to get me back on his team. Probably even give me a corner office and a seven-figure salary. But since I’m happy with the angels, I’ll give him some professional advice just to heap some hot coals on his head. “Before you send D’lilah here out for another beating, maybe you need to give her some job training.” I gloat. “I beat my record for knocking her out by a minute and a half this time.”
“Maybe I’ll see about providing you with opponent who can give you more of a challenge.”
“You do that. Just let D’lilah here know when she wakes up to lay off the cupcakes. She’s been getting a bit too heavy to carry lately.”
I smile catching the flabbergasted look on Lucifer’s as I disappear in a flash of light. Now that I’ve rebuked the devil and his imp, I think I’ll go get my latte.

Monday, June 16, 2014

All About Nikki- The Lost Episodes and a Sneak Preview of All About Nikk'is Sensational Season 2 Cover

It's June and as promised I'm offering up a FREE All-New All About Nikki eBook! This new eBook contains Lost episodes (episodes that didn't make it into the books) and is designed to give readers an insight into my creative process. I'm hoping it helps aspiring, screenwriters understand how TV shows are produced and why writers and producers sometimes don't use certain scripts. 

She still thinks it’s her world.
But she’s learning.
Sixteen year old Nikki Desmond is the product of too many, too much and too little. Too many boarding schools, too much money, and too little discipline. After being expelled from a fourth prestigious New York boarding school, her mother sends her to Los Angles to live with her father.

In these lost episodes from the Fabulous first and Sensational second seasons of All About Nikki readers will get a look at the stories that didn’t make it into the All About Nikki books, and an insight into Shawn James’ creative process. 


All About Nikki Season 2 will be coming in July! Thecover was inspired by the late 1980s Studio Hair Care line from Loreal!

All About Nikki: The Lost Episodes is on Smsashwords NOW! All about Nikki Season 2 will be available this July!  And this season will be 15 Episodes!