Coming attractions

The other night I was having a conversation with my oldest niece. She was carving her very first pumpkin and wanted advice. Her pumpkins came out very cool by the way. Anyway, we got to talking about cooking and food in general. Every time I visit I cook at least once for my mom and family and we always have a good time. And they all love my cooking, which helps. 

Anyway, she asked me to make her a cookbook for Christmas. I thought it was a wonderful idea – it’s personal, it’s practical, and it all we me to share some of what I’ve learned over the years with the next generation. So I was talking with my mom today and she said she wants one too. And I’m going to need to make several more for other people. 

Oy. 

So it appears my next project will be a cookbook. Instead of handwriting a bunch of them, I’m going to do what I’ve already been doing: self-publishing via Createspace. Now to start mining my Instagram for pictures, figure out how to insert pictures into Word documents, format the thing, and figure out which recipes to include. 

So what about you guys? Is there anything from Don Loco’s kitchen you’d like to get your mouths around? If so, the time for requests is now. I’m aiming to publish around December 1st – just in time for Christmas. 

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The pitfalls of paid marketing

I’ve noticed I’m getting a lot of activity on my Instagram account lately, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest. What concerns me, though, is the prevalence of paid reviews and promotions I’m seeing. If that’s your thing, I’m not maligning you – whether you’re a promoter or a purchaser of promotion services. 

I don’t think that’s something I can do though. It’s not necessarily that I’m cheap or broke, but I don’t know how I would feel asking someone to promote my work if they haven’t even read it. For me to do something I have to believe in it first. Otherwise what’s the point? 

That said, my novella, Sliding Along the Watchtower, just got its 12th – yes, you read that right – 12th – 5 star review on Amazon. My new book, Flies in the Leaves of Glass, is also now available. I suggest you get your own copy today. I won’t put anything out unless I think it’s fantastic. And I think you’ll really enjoy what I’ve written for you this go-round. 


On being an author

I was doing some reflecting today and came to a realization. I’m not only a writer but an author. I have two published books and people give me money to read them. One of my best friends is a writer and has asked me to help him edit his debut novel and collaborate with him on another story. These things make me feel good about what I do. I might not be able to write full-time yet, but it’s a start. And I’m extremely grateful to those of you who’ve taken time to read my stories. 

Thanks. 


It’s time to give back!

Okay everyone. I know I haven’t been doing much blogging lately and I’m going to try to rectify that. I’m also going to start trying to publish actual stories more often. This last batch was really good. Anyway. 

I have two copies of my newest book Flies in the Leaves of Glass available to be signed and sent to you – absolutely free of charge. All I ask is this: go to my Facebook page, hit the Like button, and share this post. 

That’s it. 

That’s all you have to do. 

The two of you who win will be contacted via private message and will receive your very own personalized copy by Halloween. (Just in time to be freaked out! SQUEE!)

Help me bring you more stories more often by helping me promote this book. As you may have guessed, I’m pretty new to the whole marketing thing, and I need help. In the meantime, I’ve got loads more stories to tell. 


I’ve got my copy!

Do you have yours yet? 


Quid pro quo, Clarice…

Hey there! You! Yeah you! Do you like to read? Do you like free stuff? Because if you do, I’m currently giving away the Kindle version of my first novella: Sliding Along the Watchtower. It’s FREE. This week only. Get your copy today! Don’t own a Kindle but you own a smartphone? Then you own a Kindle! The app is free! What are you waiting for? Get your free copy, then head over to my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/donlocoauthor and hit that like button!


Flies in the Leaves of Glass

Just thought I’d share something nifty with you guys. This is going to be the cover of my upcoming book. It’s dark. It’s creepy. It’s wicked. And I love it. Available October 1st: Flies in the Leaves of Glass and Other Stories. It’ll be up for preorder soon!


Every New Beginning Starts With Some Other Beginning’s End

Wow. It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything here. In a way that’s a positive and a negative. It’s negative in that I have some minions who enjoy what I do who don’t follow me anywhere else that have been left out of the loop. Sorry guys.

It’s a positive in that the less time I spend writing for free on WordPress, the more I spend writing stories that will eventually be sold in some way, shape, or form to people who want to read them, thus generating a little extra cash.

That said, who’s got two thumbs and a new book coming out soon? This guy right here. That’s right! Your new favorite horror/weird fiction author is putting out a new collection of tales to tantalize and terrorize you, just in time for the Halloween season. Mark your calendars, folks! October 1: Flies in the Leaves of Glass and Other Stories, by Paul Martinez. If Sliding Along the Watchtower left you wanting more, this is a collection of nine new stories for your enjoyment which is coming in at more than 200 pages.

With that said, it’s time for me to get back to what I enjoy doing most: coming up with new ways to look at the mundane so we can see the horror and madness behind it all.


The End of Innocence

My friends, I’m writing with a heavy heart tonight. I don’t know what’s been going on in your worlds, but let me give you a glimpse into mine. Two of my friends have died recently. They were good men. Friday a friend of my niece committed suicide. I come from a small town and his death has rocked the community. He was going to graduate high school. His father’s birthday was just a few days prior. My heart is broken for his family and friends and for all who loved him. A few days later I was contacted by two other friends – one of whom found a friend of his post-suicide attempt, and another who feels she’s failed at life in general. Another friend had to put down one of her beloved fur-kids today. These are heavy burdens for anyone to bear and my heart is also broken for them in their time of sadness and loss. 

I’ve never made a secret of my struggles with depression. It is very real, and left untreated can kill. Several other people in my family also suffer and I feel their pain intensely. It was brought to my attention that some people made some insensitive comments about the young man’s suicide and I’ll admit it got me very upset. My own wife has had friends commit and attempt suicide – one very recently. Many of you, I’m sure, have been touched by this very same issue. 

I don’t pretend to subscribe to the Christian faith. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for me. Today, though, my wife pointed me to the current Catholic doctrine on suicide. I read it, and found it surprisingly compassionate and even comforting. 

The truth is that nobody truly knows anyone else. We have friends, loved ones, people who we are close to, but nobody else can truly look into your deepest heart and see what lies there. We don’t know what is truly going on in someone else’s life. I myself have laughed many times while I was screaming in rage or weeping uncontrollably inside. We. Just. Don’t. Know. It is not up to us to judge where someone else was when they did it. Those questions can only be answered beyond the veil. If there is an intelligent god on the next plane, that person can only answer to it – not us. All we can do here is remember what that person meant to us and lift their memory up in love and compassion – not judgement.

If someone feels the need to take their own life, our place is not to judge or hold them in sin. Our place is to feel compassion that they felt – for whatever reason – they could no longer continue. We must also remember they may not have been in complete control of themselves when they did it. There are many mental diseases that can seize control of us and make us act in a way contrary to who we are. Let us remember as we go forward to hold those near to us in love. Tomorrow is never promised, and today is truly a gift. Remind the people you love that you love them. Even if you’re angry with them, remind them. You may never get another chance. 


On the Parable of the Sower

I went to a local park today with the wife and hatchling. One of the big thing about this park is that there’s a creek running through it that runs over a huge rock formation. So I went out on the rocks today for some contemplation and reflection and there are trees and grass growing up through the rock. They’re not only growing, they’re thriving.
We’ve all heard the Parable of the Sower, I’m sure, in which seed is scattered on the ground but only germinates in good soil. I’ve never been fond of that parable – even when I followed the Man Jesus. And this is why: on that huge slab of Georgia rock grass and trees have taken root and found a way. Life always finds a way. The moral of the story is clear to me: if the seed that is your life is cast upon rocky soil you can still thrive if you persevere. I’m reminded of a speech given by Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up!”
Life is what you make of it. Your perception determines your reality and your expectations will be fulfilled. If you expect negative things, they will occur. If you expect positive things, they will occur. Whether you think you can or think you can’t…you’re right. I know these are often considered cheap platitudes, but it’s true. Life is already difficult enough for those of us whose seeds were scattered amongst the rocks and thorns. But if we persevere and continue to do the right thing no matter what, we can still thrive. These shit lives of ours are what we make of them. I hope we can all make the best of them.

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