justin bieber…huckabee rival?

Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Adults are apt to dismiss the young members of society as not having anything of substance to contribute. But I think that’s definitely changing. No longer can we admonish them with “children should be seen and not heard,” as was the golden rule in my younger years. Not that those approaching middle-age were ready to relinquish power without a fight. It’s more that upstarts like Bill Gates and Paul Allen at the tender ages of 13 and 15, respectively, began turning our world on its ear when they sought to create what became a global power, Microsoft. Others followed in time, Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Facebook’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg. These of course are the more prominent among the brainiacs of their generations. I think it’s safe to say these young men who were probably considered “still wet behind the ears” by their elders, grabbed the world’s attention, never letting go.

I personally have witnessed the power of those younger than me. My 25-year-old daughter continually teaches me about life, its radical highs and lows, as well as its moments of calm and serenity. The tables have turned, where I taught her, she now teaches me. Although sometimes I wonder if she hasn’t been giving me lessons all along, ever since she was a babe in my womb.

As I’ve made my way through this, at times overwhelming, internet adventure, 20-year-olds have reached out to help me. Blogger Scriptor Obscura was the first to regularly “like” my posts and leave comments. More recently, author B.C. Young agreed to be interviewed about self-publishing, sharing insight into an area that’s still evolving. In turn he invited me to share a fictional piece of my own on his blog, introducing me to his readers. More than anything this young man gave this senior writer a “hand up.”

Thanks for giving me my first break, Ben. It’s heartwarming to know that there are published writers, like yourself, who will give a hand up to those of us still struggling to have our words read in printed form.

“mahalo”…thank you…millie aka hugmamma.

Yesterday when I volunteered at the office of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, Trevor Barnes, the assistant director, shared encouraging words of support when I expressed doubt that I even belonged among such an elite company of published writers, as per the bios I viewed on PNWA’s website. Trevor assured me that there were thousands of members like me, just looking to write something that would someday be published and read. I left the office with hope. And I got that from someone in his 20s.

One Less Lonely Girl

Image via Wikipedia

So when I saw the following I felt inclined to share it. Why? Because quite simply I was shocked to learn that the young pop idol, Justin Bieber, had something going on under his blonde, mop of hair, than just hip-hop lyrics. I think you’ll be as astonished as I was.

“Go Ahead, America, Leave It to Bieber”
by Joe Queenan (Wall Street Journal, 2/26/11)

Justin Bieber got slammed good last week when he opened his yap about abortion in Rolling Stone. Some people objected to his views, others scorched him for the way he phrased them, still others questioned the very notion of a 16-year-old boy offering his opinion on any serious moral, political or legal question.

Susan Sarandon at the premiere of Speed Racer ...

Image via Wikipedia

The apoplectic response to Mr. Bieber’s comments is not fair. As of Tuesday, when he will be exactly one year short of the age when he can legally vote, drink or kill Taliban, the diminutive Canadian has every right to express himself on any issue he feels passionately about. The idea that youth somehow disqualifies him from speaking out on issues is the very thing young people–now grumpy old Bieber-Bashing Baby Boomers–fought against in the 1960s. After all, Justin Bieber is at least as smart as Susan Sarandon.

But the worst thing about all the Rolling Stone kerfuffle is that it has drawn attention away from other opinions Mr. Bieber has offered on major issues of the day. And in his clear, articulate, reasoned analysis of these issues, Mr. Bieber has shown himself to be that rarest of creatures: the precocious youth whose opinions must be heeded.

It’s Mr. Bieber, for example, who was the first person to warn that spiraling commodity prices would lead to unrest in Bahrain and Yemen. Interviewed by the BBC in January, he said: “Once you see that disconnect between pork belly futures and 30-day wheat, look out! When food prices spike–and this goes all the way back to the days when Mark Antony had to import grain from Egypt–there is no way to put a cap on civil unrest back home. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, maybe even Iran. It’s the domino effect.”

Mr. Bieber’s comments did not go down well in the futures markets, where copper and tin immediately tanked. Who died and left this punk in charge? Why should anyone care what a celebrity of any age, gender or height cares about anything important? Don’t you have to be at least as old and gray as George Clooney before anyone starts taking you seriously?

Gaga on The Monster Ball Tour in Toronto

Image via Wikipedia

Generally speaking, this anticelebrity bias is justifiable. Sean Penn is an idiot, Madonna a dope, Christina Aguilera a nitwit. Lady Gaga never says anything that isn’t stupid, obvious or self-serving, and Martin Sheen should have spent less time protesting in the streets and more time in the home parenting. As for Bono, who definitely seems like a sincere, well-meaning sort, exactly how much wisdom can one impute to a man who wrote the music for the Spider-Man musical?

But in Mr. Bieber’s case, the animosity and condescension are not jusfified. Mr. Bieber, after all, was the first person–not the first celebrity, but the first personto warn that Ireland’s economy would implode because of a bloated real-estate market. More recently, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he was way ahead of the curve when he suggested that cash-strapped states like Illinois and California should simply threaten to default on their debt if it was the only way to get unions to come to the negotiating table.

“Trash the muni market and you’ll see unions fold like a cheap accordion,” he says, “Just look at the yield curve.”

Not everything Mr. Bieber says is astute or prescient. He was wrong when he told a Japanese TV reporter that 3-D TV would take off last Christmas, and he seriously underestimated the ability of Apple’s competitors to respond to the appeal of the iPad. His forecast of a 4.5% GDP growth rate for the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter was way off base. What’s more, he has a lamentable tendency to express his views on topics where he has no expertise whatsoever; whether the Knicks gave up too much to sign Carmelo Anthony, whether learning a second language can help stave off Alzheimer’s, why the next pope should come from Bolivia. But for every target he misses, he hits at least one bull’s eye. And when he speaks out on issues that pertain to the world of music, he is wise beyond his years.

Mike Huckabee's band at the Lincoln Day Dinner...

Image by IowaPolitics.com via Flickr

“If Huckabee doesn’t stop trotting out that stupid bass guitar,” Mr. Bieber told Rolling Stone, “he has no chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination. The American people are not going to elect a president who plays the same instrument as Sting and Flea. Not now. Not ever.”

i have to chuckle…but i also have to…wonder…if out of the mouths of babes?…hugmamma. 

(note: who the heck is “sting and flea?”)

a fantasy becomes reality

Great news! My piece, “Long-Held Secret” written specifically for publication on the WordPress blog, The Time Capsule, is out.

The post will go live at 12 PM Eastern time today.
Here is the link for the post: http://wp.me/p15Plj-gc
Thanks for adding to the entertainment of my site. I appreciate it!
B.C. Young



Since writing the 600 word fictional piece requested by Mr. Young, I’ve added another 2,000 words. My husband, who earned his college degree in English, remarked “I can hardly wait to see where this goes!” upon reading what I’ve written thus far.  So the saga continues, and from time to time, I’ll post a sampling to whet your appetite for the finished book.  The end may be a long way off. You’ll definitely have time to save your pennies towards the purchase. Meanwhile, I’ll have to wrap my brain around the publishing end of making a book happen. Wish me luck! I’ll need it.

 hoping you’ll leave comments for me to read on b.c. young’s blog…and thanks in advance for checking it out…hugmamma. 

365 photo challenge: publisher

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My first attempt at putting a piece of writing “out there,” is occurring within a few days.

Author B. C. Young has given me the opportunity to publish a story on his blog, “The Time Capsule.” You might say, Mr. Young is my first publisher. His inquiry came after I posted his interview on my blog about self-publishing. Grateful that he would promote something I’d written, I’m encouraged to add to, and eventually finish the piece, whether as a short story or a novel.

I invite you to visit his blog at http://the-time-capsule.com over the next few days in anticipation of my piece, “A Long-Held Secret.” Of course I’ll alert you when Mr. Young advises that he’s published my work. He enjoyed my piece; I’m hoping you will as well. I look forward to reading comments you leave on his blog.

hoping you agree with b.c. young…hugmamma. 

published guest author: B.C. Young

I’m very excited to share the following interview. I’d seen a piece, “Persistence Pays Off,” written by B.C. Young as a guest author on another blog, Woven Strands, and liked what he had to say about writing. I visited his blog, The Time Capsule, and saw that he had published several e-books, Copy Bird, Going Home, and his current work in progress, The Miscorrection Novelettes, of which three pieces are completed, Sunrise (Book 1, Story 1), Arrogation (Book 1, Story 2) and Felix Culpa (Book 1, Story 3). Additionally, Young offers free reading of some flash-fiction stories he has written, based upon the Wordpress weekly photo challenge. And finally, his most recent post requests reviewers for his books, which he will, of course, provide. You can visit his website at http://the-time-capsule.com.

I asked Mr. Young questions I thought relevant to those among us who have ever contemplated writing for publication. I’ve seen a number of well-written blogs throughout the WordPress community, so I know there are many who  would love the opportunity to have their words appear in printed form, and be paid for it. I think this published author offers wise counsel, and is a positive voice for persistence if you’ve a passion for writing, like I do. I intend to take his advice to heart.

Without further ado I give you author B.C. Young. I know you’ll enjoy what he has to say.

1. Who should seriously contemplate writing a book for publication?

In this day and age, I think anyone who has a story that has bounced around in their head or information on a subject they know well, should write a book. So everyone should write a book for publication if they are moved to do so. My philosophy is that anyone can write. This wasn’t how I thought in the beginning, but I’ve learned it over time. It’s a common misconception that you must be educated to write a book. While I use to think that exact same way, I totally disagree with that idea now. If you have passion for the story or subject you want to write, write it! If you stick to it, you’ll learn a lot. And as with any art form, you can only get better at it if you practice. So believe in what you want to write and know that you will continue to improve. A person should never let himself or herself become discouraged because they feel what they have to say is not interesting or up to the standards of other well known writers.

2. How realistic is it to think one’s book will, in fact, be published?

It’s extremely realistic. This is because traditional publication is not as important as it was in the past. It used to be that the only way an author could be published and allow for a large market to find what he or she offered, was to have a traditional publisher approve your manuscript for publication. This is no longer the case. Now, the writer can take the publication of their book into their own hands by self-publishing it. If they want a printed version of their book, you have print-on-demand services out their like CreateSpace, Lulu, and more. If they wish to offer their book as an e-book, that’s a very good option, too. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords make it very easy for you to get your e-book published. Some would say that you aren’t truly a writer unless you have been traditionally published. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! If your works are out there for people to buy and read, no matter what the format, then you are published. It’s a new way of thinking, and in a few years, I believe everyone will not differentiate between traditional and self-published books as they do now. 


3. Given the current flux in the publishing industry, with e-books gaining a stronger share of the market, how should beginners…begin?

They should begin by writing. Write, write, write! There’s no better way to improve your skill. If you have a blog, be consistent in writing on it. Find ways to challenge yourself. This is what I’ve done on my site. On a weekly basis, I write flash fiction. Most of it takes a minute or less to read. But I’ve been using it as a means to teach myself how to say more with fewer words. The practice pays off. If writing a large book seems overwhelming, start small. But whatever you do, do not stop writing. If you do, then you’ll procrastinate. You’ll find excuses not to write. And in the end, your writing will go nowhere. And remember that you have the control over whether or not your writing gets published. When it comes to writing and beginning, you can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy.

4. From beginning to end, what would you consider the average amount of time it takes to get a book to the point of looking to be published?

Because of e-books and self-publication, you have the ability to write a short story and have it published very quickly. This is what I did with Copy Bird and Going Home. I spent about six hours in total on each of those stories from writing, to cover art, file creation, and publication on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Granted, there’s a learning curve to knowing how to do all those things properly. In the beginning all those steps may take longer for you. But as you become familiar with the process, it will go much quicker, as it does with any new process you might learn. So, the length of what you write is a determining factor. After the writing process, proofreading, and editing, it’s highly possible for you to have your book available for sale within one to two days – sometimes less. It’s really amazing when you think about it, because in the traditional publication of books, it could be a year before an author’s book can be purchased at a local book store. Which would you prefer, make money immediately in one to two days or wait a year to start making it? I think the answer is obvious. 

5. There are so many good writers, from what I’ve seen of other blogs on WordPress. What sets those apart who might be marketable, whether by magazine editors or book publishers?

I think originality and consistency are determining factors. If an author has one book published and that’s all they do, how likely are you to buy something they wrote? Probably not very likely. However, if they have a lot of books they’ve written, now what will you do? No doubt you’ll browse the catalog they have to offer and find what interests you and read one of their books. From there, you might decide to read another book, if you enjoyed the first one you read. If you think of yourself as a writer, keep writing, and get your stuff out there by any means necessary, and you’ll get noticed. Will it be a magazine or book publisher? Maybe. But does that matter? What’s the point of writing? To have other people read what you wrote, and hopefully they enjoy it. If you reach the reader, it doesn’t matter how you’re published. So if you have a blog, write. If you have a story in mind, write. Set a goal to reach the reader and not the publisher. Then, you might just find the exact thing for which you are searching.


  Click on any book to view it on b.c. young’s website.

let him know hugmamma sent you…and that you enjoyed this interview…i did!