I haven’t made one of those retrospective New Year/End of Year posts yet.

So, let’s just pretend that I did and move on with business as usual.

Today I read a book. A whole book. At 12:30 this morning I tried reading a book to help me sleep but it only served to keep me awake until 4:30. I only went to sleep because I knew I needed to be awake at some point in the morning (I work up at 11:59 a.m. to be exact). Tonight I finished the novel while I put the Sugar Bowl on the background with the sound off. It’s not cool to see the Gators losing to Louisville but hey, this season went a lot better than expected and it was a fun ride.

So the book I read was Agent to the Stars. It’s a book by John Scalzi and it has accomplished two things for me.

1. It left me entertained by a book unlike some of my more recent readings.

2. It made me a little jealous.

Why the jealousy? Because the man states that this book was his “practice novel”. His practice novel was very good. A little sluggish in some of the details (I think he likes to let the reader know the logic behind his decisions for his characters a little too much because he also knows sometimes he puts in some wonky science to keep things fun.) Overall a solid read. And this was just…practice.

Dang…

Well I guess that means I’ve got a lot of work to do so I can produce a “practice novel” as well.

So, I’ve made myself a nice little glass of chocolate milk and grabbed a pen and pad for jotting down those precious ideas. I’m going to sit down tonight and bang out a few ideas. Maybe give one a whirl with a nice little rough draft. Then I’ll sleep on it. Let the miniature people that live in my gray matter do their work of repairing the damage from the day. Wake up and give it an edit and have a small existential crisis…then post it here for all to read.

That’s the plan.

Now I’m going to watch the final seconds tick away on the game clock for the Gators and then get to work.

D.A.

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Year One

May 15, 2012

Hey everybody.

It’s me, Douglas. I’m the guy who usually writes this blog. Actually, I’m the only guy who writes this blog but lately I haven’t because I’m a lazy bum. A tired and tried lazy bum. A man who’s seen the end of his rope in terms of energy usage and he has just allowed this place to collect a weird smell. The same weird smell that sticks to your clothes after you pull them out of storage from the winter. Or maybe it’s closer to the smell found in old china cabinets filled with your grandmother’s old thimbles.

I’m writing right now (despite all my glorious bumminess) because today is a special day. Today marks the one year anniversary of me starting this blog.

Huzzah!

Bookforme was created to serve as a tool so I could practice the art of writing fiction. I wanted to learn how to write something well enough to hold people’s attention as well as serve as a creative outlet for myself. So far, I think I’ve been able to reach these goals.

Now, if you remember, the main goal of me doing this is to write a book. Not to publish a book. Not to get recognized for my writing. Not to begin slipping into the infinite vastness that is the internet. But simply to write a book.

I haven’t done this yet. But I at least feel a little bit more capable of reaching this goal.

Actually, I feel so confident in this goal that I plan on participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Everybody always refers to it. Every says they love it. So I will mindlessly follow hundreds of thousands of others into the front lines of writing novels in the month of November. Wish me luck. It may be my first novel. (I say may because I could fall short of this goal…which is familiar territory for me.)

Other things have certainly changed in my life as I’ve been writing on here as well. I graduated school. I got a job. I got a haircut. I attempted to build a lamp. I started sending marbles around the world. I missed a lot of self-made deadlines for silly goals. I even developed a short lived crack addiction and was invited to join the cast of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Okay, I made that last part up.

It was meth…and I wasn’t invited on the show…

But despite all those silly things I would just like to write one sincere and complete message for you Dear Reader.

It’s all your fault. Yes, you. Put down that drink and read this! It’s your fault! You did this to me!

You made me feel comfortable writing and that let me feel entitled to write more and more. Your positive comments have only helped push me deeper into this realm, and now I fear there is no turning back. Your kind words and support my have ruined me…

And since I’m having so much fun doing this I just wanted to say thanks. Really. You small band of silly subscribers are the reason why I keep coming back to this place and writing guilt-ridden posts about why I’m not entertaining you as often as I should.

Thank you.

I mean it.

But just saying thank you isn’t enough. I want to give credit where credit is due. Some of you have put up with my self obsessed ramblings for far too long.

Some of the following blogs are made by people that I really admire. They are also people whom I personally feel are responsible for me wanting to do a good job whenever I post something on here. I have and will always look up to them. They are the standard by which I judge myself. If you have ever at any point thought that my ramblings have gotten better (or worse) over time, then you should look in the direction of these people who are directly responsible for molding me into what I am today.

Please support them by clicking their name and giving their stuff a look-n-see. They’re all wonderful and they all do a much better job than I do. I promise that any kind words I say about them were are not exaggerated nor were they bought with bribe money. (Well, okay, not MUCH bribe money…but a guy’s got to put food on the table somehow.)

Still Growing – If my memory serves correctly, she was the first person to begin following my blog. Whether she did it out of pity or interest means nothing, all that matters is that she is an author that I look up to in more ways than one. Her insight and honesty is unfounded and I hope you read her blog and feel the same connection I do whenever I read any of words. She can craft words to make you giggle or cry(and as a man I feel no regrets admitting that ). She can also run a pretty well oiled machine over there. If you read her stuff you will not regret it.

Fish of Gold – This is one of the most interesting people I have come across here on WordPress. Actually, if I knew her in person I would probably think she is the most interesting person I’ve ever met in general. She isn’t afraid to take on any topic and she is always willing to throw down her viewpoint. She’s also sharper than a double edged axe. This makes her wildly entertaining. She is also a professional in the quality of her words and she’s so subtle about it you hardly even notice it.  Plus she does a lot of lists…and I’m a sucker for lists.

Frank C. Bishop – This guy. This guy comes across as a real guy just being a guy. He is genuine and funny. He has his finger on the pulse of pop culture which always results in something great for you. Funny. Smart. Topical. Who wouldn’t like that combination? So…go ahead…click it. You know you want to. (He hasn’t posted in a while because he’s all married and stuff now, but he’ll be back.)

Excerpts From Non-existent Books – This is one of my favorite blogs because this librarian is capable of telling a better story in 200 words than I could in 2,000. All he does is create short excerpts from novels that don’t actually exist. Actually, he writes each piece so well that I’m certain he’s hardly a human being at all. My best guess is super writing cyborg from the future…This is what writing talent looks like.

Covers and Content – This is a personal friend of mine who is wildly creative as well as wildly Swedish. Her writing is astounding, her art is mesmerizing, and her blog is young. She makes my attempts at writing look like they were written by a drunken polar bear and my attempts at art look like they are as creative as a slice of moldy bread. Go support her and help her expose the world to her wonderful creations.

Snotting Black – This lady right here is the real deal. So real that I’m going to give her to official title of “The Real Freakin’ Deal”. She’s funny. Not funny like I just saw some uncle slip into the lake while watching American’s Funniest Videos, but funny like… like…like a good writer that knows how to write comedy and can actually hold your attention. She’s self-deprecating to the point of making your self-defecating. She’s so funny you’ll poop yourself. No lie. Reader beware, you will ruin your shorts if you click that link.

If there are some you reading this who are slightly offended because I didn’t include you on my list, please remember that I only take checks and cash for bribes. If you tried using the Paypal account your money did not get to me it actually went to a prince in Africa.

And to cap things off I just want to reiterate my thanks for you readership/participation in this whole thing. This year has been wonderful to share with you. I hope many more years come after this one. I also hope that you stick around too. I’m going to do my best to finally accomplish my goal this year and after that all bets are off.

Thanks again,

D.A.

Nevermind

April 2, 2012

Jessie quit.

Just like that she just up and left. It’s a real dissapointment. That means I will cancel my whole book deal and have gotten my job back as a teacher. The book is being pushed back indefinently. Sorry to disappoint all of you like that. Maybe next year.

Also, I’m not really named Philip Dalton. Or was it spelled Phillip? I don’t really know. It’s not my name…

So I’m back here running things. So let’s just pretend nothing even happened yesterday. Deal?

Let’s start of the month by showing you all another one of my goodies that I have received from my Marbles-Round-the-World project. (You really need to come up with a catchy and easy-to-say name for this project, cause’ I’m no good at it.) Today we will look at a marble that I sent to Malaysia.

CHA-CHING! That’s money in the bank! (Okay, it has nothing to do with money, but that’s just what came out…)

This little guy traveled further than any other marble thus far. It now has a lovely view of some very lovely buildings that are all stuck in perpetual winter of what seems to be glitter. A real sight to behold.

In other news,  I had a dream about taking a plane trip to Canada. I didn’t have a passport so they held me and kicked me out of the country. Luckily for me the plane had landed just inside the Canadian border. And I mean just inside. Like 50 feet from the border.

Weird…

Right now I’ve got a writing prompt to work on…so… go do something cool.

Have you ever read a story that’s so good you it just seems to take over your life? The story puts itself into your mind and you can’t let it go. It’s those books you just can’t put down. It’s those books that make you tear up at the end.  It makes a mark in your life in a way that you will never forget. If you’re an writer/author you have probably felt this at least once in your life.

Moments like that make you want to let other people experience the same thing by reading your own writing. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I wanted to write things that not only entertain people, but make an impact on people’s lives.

I can confidently say that since I’ve been running this thing I’ve been given the opportunity to experience that ten-fold. I really feel blessed throughout this entire experience. Not only have I written the stories that change people, but I have also been changed by those stories in the loving responses I have receive from them.

That’s why what I have to say right now is something that I say with a heavy heart…

Today will be my last day running this blog. 

Bookforme will be no more. It will, however, be taken over by another person whom I have tapped to become the next bookforme blogger. It’s going to be an awesome young woman named Jessica “Jessie” Gainer. I’m sure sometime within the next few days you’ll be hearing from her as she introduces herself to all of you. Please treat her with the love, attention, and respect you have treated me with for the long time we’ve had together.

It took me a couple of weeks to reach this decision. It was hard. But I think it’s going to be for the best.

The reason for my departure is because I have concerns in other parts of my life that will be needing my full and undivided attention.

I have taken up another job. That’s right. I am now officially a published author. I know I didn’t share this with all of you, but I have been typing away at my novel since I first started this blog. Back in October I got a callback from some of the lovely people over at HarperCollins.

They read my novel and felt like they wanted to publish it. (The whole thing is a completely surreal experience, trust me).

So you can expect for the novel to come out on June 1st, 2012 (this year!!!). It will be called Speaking of Time.

Now that I’ve told you this…I guess it’s time for me to revel my true identity to you…

My real name is not D.A. Bancroft. It is Phillip Dalton. I know that’s not as fancy of a name as D.A. Bancroft…but it’s the name that came to me at the time.

From this time forward I will be running press junket and some speaking arrangements as colleges and libraries all around the country.   If you want to meet me…I guess that would be your perfect opportunity. I know the itinerary isn’t posted anywhere right now, but if you keep checking HarperCollins.com you will be able to see it.

But this last post shouldn’t be about me promoting my new book Speaking of Time that will be released on JUNE 1st 2012 in major retail bookstores everywhere. It should be about me saying goodbye in the most classy way I know how.

So you remember how I mentioned how I wanted to write those stories that stuck with you? That made an impact on your life? I think those are those little opportunities for us to learn something. Maybe when we put those books down we become better people. I think some of us grow a lot from reading.

So in a way, each good ending to a book is like a new beginning in your own life. We get a new perspective on the world around us.

Now for some last minute housekeeping. Jessie, the girl that will be running this blog, will likely be making a few changed around here. To be honest I think they are going to be significant. I’m pretty sure (based on my last conversation with her) that she wants this place to become more like a social news site.

She says her biggest interests are Justin Beiber and Flowers. So you’ll probably see a lot of those around here.

In the meantime…I’ll be lavishing in my pool of money that I have been advanced for my novel. (A solid $600,000)

I’m rich now. 

Goodbye forever,

Phillip Dalton (formerly known as D.A. Bancroft)

Good Boy

March 28, 2012

Good Boy

D.A. Bancroft

He wasn’t much older than a boy when he joined the police force. He had barely made his way through the academy. A simple boy that grew up on a farm outside of Chambers, Nebraska, and really had no place in a city like Los Angeles. He also shouldn’t have been promoted as quickly as he did.

“Alright Ricky. Cut the blue wire. The blue one. Go ahead. Cut it.” said Bomb Tech 1st Sergeant Raymond Butte.

“Woof!” replied the fat yellow lab known as Ricky. He wagged his tail not knowing of the danger that laid between his chubby paws.

That danger was a Class III detonator that was attached to a dozen sticks of dynamite. It was located inside of a Mercedes van parked outside of a few buildings downtown. A crowd had gathered after the L.A.P.D. Bomb Squad arrived with it’s lead investigators. Unfortunately, there had been some serious downsizing in the department. As well as some strikes over pay cuts. There was also the problem of a lack of funding in the first place.

In reality Raymond and Ricky were the entire Bomb Squad. But bomb scares were so uncommon these days that the police department figured they could float by on the two dimwits for a while and hope that things picked back up before things started blowing up.

Raymond wasn’t a smart guy, he knew that, but he recognized how his bad situation could end up. If this bomb went off inside of this plaza it would be more than Raymond’s job. It would cost him his severance pay too. Also, it may result in his immediate death.

“Hey man, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” hollered a concerned bystander nearly 40 yards away behind the police tape surrounding the scene.

“Yes, I’m a trained expert. I’ve dealt with situations like this plenty of times before.” lied Raymond. “Now just back away please, my partner is working on the situation.”

The man didn’t listen. “No man. Your partner is a dog. And for the past twenty minutes he’s been locked inside that car. That’s just stupid.” The man started to walk away. “I’ve seen a lot of crap man, but you take the cake. How’d you flunk your way through life”

Raymond’s stomach grumbled. He liked cake. He tried refocusing his attention on the pressing matters at hand. He had to diffuse this bomb and he was running out of time.

When Raymond and Ricky had arrived on the scene they had both suited up and walked carefully over to the vehicle. They noticed the bomb in the back and decided to diffuse it carefully. Raymond knew he had a time limit. So in order to save time, as well as make sure the bomb was safe from people walking around in the plaza, he told Ricky to stay in the van while he went back to the truck to bring some supplies.

When Raymond returned, somehow Ricky had locked himself inside. The recent memory of this made Raymond think that if Ricky was smart enough to lock himself inside a van, then maybe he would be smart enough to pull out a wire. It was at least worth a shot.

“Okay Ricky. I want you to bite the blue wire. Can you do that boy? Can you?” he tried inflecting his voice the way that would entertain a three-year-old. Ricky replied by flattening his ears and looking back with a blank stare.

Raymond put his face up to the driver’s side window. He could see the timer on the device counting down.

Two minutes left.

He and Ricky had not really accomplished much in their short career together. Their magnum opus up to this point in their careers had been that one time when they split that box of two dozen glazed donuts they got for free after one of their “training sessions”.

But maybe that could change today.

“Ricky,” he began angrily. “You better stop your lollygagging and get to work. You’re a trained professional. Act like one for once. We need to show people that we can be the best we can be.”

Another random citizen replied on behalf of Ricky. “That’s the Navy’s thing man.”

“Shut up.” Raymond spat back. “I’m trying to work here.”

“Could have fooled me.” said the man as he walked away.

Raymond cursed the man under his breath and look back down at the timer.

One minute.

“Please. Ricky. Do this for us.” begged Raymond. He hoped this canine could understand him for once.

The dog sniffed the bomb with interest. His belly was wobbling as his head searched around the edges of the bomb. Ricky even tried repositioning himself to smell with greater detail It was as if he had come across a new dog butt’s scent and he needed to know more.

“That’s right. Now just cut the blue wire. Just rip it out.” Raymond perked up. He felt the weight of his suit pulling him down. The heat building up inside of the heavy gear made his clothes stick to him. His underwear felt very uncomfortable.

Ricky then began to lick the bomb.

Just then Raymond then started to see how hopeless his situation was. He had been on the job for less than six months and everything fell apart. He was the only one left on the job and he only knew one thing. Always cut the blue wire.

That was the extent of his training.

Raymond counted all the things he had accomplished in his short life. He hadn’t even been to Disneyland.

Thirty seconds.

As Ricky was sniffing the bomb something miraculous happened. His collar got hung up on some of he wires to the device. With a good enough tug he might be able to disconnect the wires.

Raymond felt heartened. “Good boy. Now…up!” he commanded. He tried gesturing a lifting motion, but the suit made it look like he were miming dropping a hot plate of food.

The dog sat upright and yanked out the blue wire. Ricky’s tail wagged with delight. Raymond’s heart was about to burst out of pride and appreciation that his partner had finally pulled through.

Raymond stood there motionless. He held his breath. For a few seconds nothing happened. Then relief.

In the few seconds after Ricky had successfully saved the day Raymond began to think to himself. He pondered how he was going to turn his life around. Maybe he would actually read the Diffusing For Dummies textbook when he got back to the station. Maybe he’d take a few more notes. He had never learned about red wires, maybe they had something to do with bombs and stuff.

He even imagined taking Ricky out to buy two dozen glazed doughnuts from that place down the street that he liked so much. And since he was going to be the hero for the day maybe the boss would let him take some time off. Some R and R. Raymond imagined taking the time to visit Disneyland.

Then there was a spectacular explosion.

Not much of them were left afterward. Investigators had only found a chubby paw and some sweaty and charred underwear.

A funeral service was held. The two were buried next to each other. After the ceremony somebody had even left a few doughnut crumbs behind on their graves. They would have enjoyed that.

The strikes and pay cuts were ended and real professionals went back to work. Everybody was grateful the city was safe again.

Oh hey…

March 27, 2012

Just to let you know…

I’ve got another short story in the chute.

When?

Tomorrow at noon.

That’s 12:00 p.m. EST on March 27th, 2012. in case you were wondering.

Name?

I’m calling it Good Boy.

How long is it?

About 1,200 words.

Is it good?

We’ll find out.

D.A.

An Event

September 14, 2011

So, Mr. King and I have been working together.

You see, I’m still reading that book On Writing and I came across something that really made me stop and say, “Woah.” And yes, I said it in my best Keanu Reeves voice.

No, I did not learn Kung Fu.

Mr. King has described writing as one thing.

Telepathy.

We can literally transfer our thoughts into the minds of others by using the silly medium of written/printed words.

For his example he described a very unique setting.

Look –  here’s a table covered with a red cloth. On it is a rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. In it’s paws is a carrot-stub upon which it is contentedly munching. On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8.

While that is very little description, it’s done just right to make you imagine what that looks like. You actually did envision a cute little bunny who was gnawing away at an orange stick. Perhaps it was making those adorable little crunching sounds as it was nibbling. Maybe you imagined the rabbit as a white one with red eyes, or maybe it was a brown and white mix. The point is, you literally saw exactly what he wanted you to see. A rabbit with some very mysterious number on it’s back.

How awesome is that?

I read that and had to stop for a moment. I had to collect my thoughts.

I’m literally trying to make people think a certain way when I write…

That’s not only really cool but it also makes me tense up as I contemplate what power that could wield. Do I have a talent or skill developed enough to actually allow this to happen in my readers’ minds?

Quite honestly, no. I don’t think I have developed that far as of yet. I’m too busy trying to figure out how things are even supposed to look or feel. I’m too worried about if my story makes sense. I’m too nervous on whether I will say enough…

But Mr. King speaks on this again. (Since I can’t find the quote I’ll just paraphrase). He says something along the lines of “trust your readers.”

Trust them? How can I trust them with this world/character I create? They are mine. I want them to see the character as I see them. Nothing else…

Then i realized I’m a selfish writer. I write for me.

Yes, the name of the blog is bookforme, but that doesn’t mean my actual writing has to focus on what I want. I can reach out to my audience. (Since I don’t really have an audience, I will just pretend I have a certain group of individuals I want to read my work.)

So I can feel free to stop worrying about silly details about a characters past. As long as the character is real and easily relatable to the reader, what do I have to worry about? They will take care of them. They will give them a face, a walk, and voice, and an attitude that I couldn’t put into words anyway.

Okay readers, I’ll try to start trusting you.

D.A.