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)

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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.

Back To Work

March 26, 2012

Let’s just recap what’s happened over the past ten days or so.

I experienced the blessed time known as spring break. I stuck to my guns and gave you all a post on each one of those days.

I let you know about my marble conquests.

I shared some nice, deep, and personal thoughts on some problems in the world today.

I gave you insight of how my writing skill are (presumably) improving.

And most of all, I gave you THREE short stories.

THREE.

Actually, those three stories can be found here…

Bottoms Up

The Man in Blue

Happy Birthday

(I’m good at shameless plugs if you didn’t remember).

If you haven’t read these stories yet…then what are you waiting for? Go! Get busy! I did all that work for you!

YOU!

That’s more than I’ve given you in the past…I dunno…like…six months of promising to write stories that I never completed. So enjoy it while it lasts.

So much productivity… I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of you too.

You know why? Because, so far, you have given me some awesome feedback and that makes you kind and lovable people.

So thank you. Really. You’re wonderful.

I did good work during my break but now it is time to return  to my daily grind of seeding the young fertile minds of today to become the large fruit-bearing trees of knowledge that will soon be performing brain surgery on you tomorrow.

No, really.

One of my students is going to perform brain surgery on you. Tomorrow.

It’s actually very unsettling. I hope you have life insurance.

D.A.

P.S. – This also means that I will be writing most of my posts a day early rather than the day of. That’s because I will be so dog tired this week that I would likely forget to make a post for that day. So please excuse my seemingly oddly timed posts. 

Memorandum RE: Galaxy

May 22, 2011

 The Gredogs and the Slentor were two simple species living in relative peace. It was very segregated, unfair, and smelly, but peace none the less. That is, of course, until one pamphlet changed their lives forever.

Yurg was a Slentor just trying to get on with his life. He had a job, a family, and an affinity for knitting. When he was nervous he smelled of a low tide. When he was happy he smelt like a three day old fish kill. Nobody could really tell the difference.

Today, he smelt like a low tide. The reason he was so discontent could be attributed to the depressingly low productivity level of his employees at the Hanta Lighting Factory. Though his employees were incompetent in the first place, they had been more so in recent days, especially one named Blort. Today he needed to find out the cause of those problems, or he would face the Council of Safety and Productivity.

This name in itself is a deception. There was nothing safe about a visit with the Council. Most meetings ended with termination. The only thing former employees could look forward to was not having to pay taxes any longer. In addition to the termination there was that nasty business with the Gaping Maw of Rakshar. All former employees were fed to it, as per their contract with the Council of Safety and Productivity.

Many other alien races have looked at this procedure as quite severe. They didn’t even see the point of the tax cut. If the employee was going to die soon after being fired they wouldn’t have to pay taxes anyway. While most agreed that the taxes were moot after termination, people still thought they deserved some sort of break, so the breaks were kept in place.

“Suzzie!”, Yurg bellowed from his desk. “Did I get any mail today?”

“Yes. I left it in your box.” she replied, with a smack of her gum.

Suzzie was Yurg’s secretary. She always smelled of an old hotel mattress, no matter what her mood was at the time.

“Then bring it to me. What do I pay you for anyway?” he growled.

He was never getting the respect he once had. Twenty cycles ago, he was a man with real power. Then the revolts came. The Gredog species had fought against his own and won. Now society had ground to a halt.

Before the revolts, Yurg and his fellow Slentor could use the Gredog creatures for slave labor (as well as a delicacy in restaurants). The Gredogs didn’t seem to mind the back breaking drudge that was their job but did want some vacation from time to time. Usually when one of them asked for a vacation day his Slentor supervisor simply ate him. Problem solved; permanent vacation.

But one fateful day, one Gredog underling asked for a vacation, and the Slentor gobbled him up. Then another approached, and the Slentor delightfully partook of the second. Then another approached. And another. This was repeated until the supervisor had filled his belly with his entire third shift. While his tastes buds were satisfied, the Gredog were not.

Soon, through some legal loop hole, the Gredogs petitioned for a change of slave labor to minimum wage labor and demanded three vacation days every cycle. The Slentor leaders disagreed to the terms and then promptly began a war with the Gredogs. For the Slentor, this was more of an all-you-can-eat style buffet than a fight to the death. For the Gredog, it was more like a fish fry, but they were the fish.

The war ended rather quickly when the Gredogs discovered they could manipulate their body chemistry to change how they tasted to the Slentor. Since the Slentor couldn’t live without their equivalent of a Twinkie in their diet, they decided to make a treaty.

Surprisingly, this treaty changed only a few things. The Slentor gave the Gredogs minimum wages and three vacation days every cycle. In return the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat them, but at substantially lower levels than before the war.

Scholars have debated why the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat their species. Some maintain that it was the Gredogs taking notice of their communal relationship with the Slentor, thus making concessions for the greater good of both species. Others say it was because the Gredog leadership never consulted with a legal team prior to signing any papers. Most just believe that both species were too stupid to notice.

“Here’s your mail,” she slapped his mail on his desk. “You fat lazy oaf.” Suzzie’s claws clicked on the floor as she slipped out of the room. Yurg decided that reading the mail would only make him feel worse, so he decided to go downstairs and fix the problem at hand. Maybe there would be good news waiting for him when he got back.

***

Blort was a Gredog. He worked under Yurg in the flashlight department of the light manufacturing plant where they were both employed. He was, by and large, one of the stupidest creatures to have ever existed.

“You Fool!” bellowed the hulking beast of a shift supervisor. “How have the gods allowed you to live?”

“Um, me not know. What did me do?” squeaked Blort.

Yurg squared up to the little Gredog.“What did you do? I’ll show you!” The large sour smelling supervisor picked up his tiny employee by his tentacles and dragged him across the warehouse. When he stopped he made a point to drop the lesser creature on the floor in a heap.

“Look at this!” Yurg exploded.

The small mindless creature assessed what he was looking at. He saw shelves and boxes, and that seemed right, but something else seemed amiss. In utter confusion the imbecile looked up at his supervisor and uttered his thoughts in one word.

“Uhh…?”

Yurg was baffled at the pure lack of intelligence. He decided to change tactics. “Okay Blort, something here is wrong. What do you think that is?” His sentence ended sharply like a swing of an axe.

“Well,” began Blort, “Me see box on shelf, and that seem good. And me see they are in right place. That good too.”

“This is all true Blort, please continue.” Yurg couldn’t help himself and added the sarcasm.

“If me had to guess, Big Mr. Yurg,” ventured the underling, “Me would say you upset about boxes being so,” He said the first thing that came to mind. “Brown?”

“No, Blort. No. ” The Yurg rubbed his temples in disgust. “I would like you to tell me why there are fifty opened boxes of flashlights on the floor.”

“Oh,” Blort smiled. “Well, it funny story really. Me were looking for some tools in storage shed, but me not find nothing. Too dark. So me think to open up box and use one of those flashlights. But it not work. So me open up another box, but that no work.”

“Blort, there are no batteries in those flashlights. None of them will work until you get batteries.”

With a long delay, Blort’s only reply was “Oh.”

Yurg could feel his brain actually slow down. He needed to get away from this fool before he did something foolish, like kick Blort into some expensive machinery.

“Blort, you will work overtime to make up for the lost productivity. And consider yourself lucky, back when I first started working here, you would have been my lunch appointment.

Blort stared blankly back at Yurg. He clearly didn’t understand. Yurg tried again.

“If you do this again, I. Will. Eat. You.”

Blort understood this. His tenticles quivered as he made haste back to his workstation.

Yurg stomped back toward his office. He thought to himself that this would not really solve the problem. He would eventually have to come back down here and find a way for Blort to ‘accidentally’ slip and land on a laser bolt. He didn’t like getting his hands dirty, but it was much faster than asking for the pipsqueak to get transferred to another shift. When he got back to his desk he noticed a pamphlet setting on his desk.

“Suzzie, what in the name of Furtag’s Thorax is this?”

“It’s a pamphlet.” she yelled. She was busy painting her toe claws. She didn’t need to be bothered with difficult questions.

“Well, who’s it from?” he hollered back. He knew that he could just read it, but that would be too much work for him and not enough for her.

Suzzie finally looked up from her purple claws. “I don’t know, but everybody got one.”

“Everybody in the office?” he wonder aloud. “If it’s about who’s clogging the toilets on the second floor, I don’t want any part of this witch hu-.”

“No,” she cut him off. “Everybody on the planet.”

Yurg’s interest was peaked. Who would want to send a pamphlet to everybody on the planet? He decided to put off his post-yelling-at-idiots sulking session and read what laid before him. He began to read.

To :Mr. Yurg (or current resident)

From: Grand Kalothian Corporation

Subject: URGENT: Impending attack

Today you and your species will get the opportunity of a galactic cycle!

Us here at the Kalothian Institue for Advancement (a subdivision of the Grand Kalothian Corporation), would like to inform you of the large amount of fleets building up along our shared boarders. This is NOT a time to panic, but a time to rejoice. You have been personally tapped to become a member of the UNDI division of Grand Kalothian Corp!

All we ask of you and your brethren is to take part in our survey. That is all!

Still confused? We bet your tiny brains you are.

If you would like to know more please continue to the below Q & A section. Detailed instructions will follow after that.

What is the purpose of this survey?

Quite simply, the Kalothian species feeds on knowledge. We need it to grow. And If you haven’t noticed, lately, we’ve been doing a lot of “aggressive expansion” in your quadrant of the galaxy. We have been giving this survey to thousands of species scattered around you. We do this because we have learned everything about ourselves, but know very little about everybody else. With the information we obtain, we are able to continue to grow into one big happy family.

O.K. Sounds simple. But how do I take the survey?

We’ve made that easy on you. We have developed a neural device that will give you a constantly updated questionnaire that resides in your frontal lobe (or nearest organ). That’s right, no silly paper work! These questionnaire devices are called MINDRAM’s. This stands for Manually Inserted Neural Devices for Research and Murder.*

*Don’t worry about that murder stuff, our lawyers make us put that in there for legal purposes.

This sounds dangerous. Should I be concerned?

Of course not. Why would you be concerned? Our highly trained surgical technicians will be willing to help your implant procedure go off without a hitch. Of course there is a slight chance for some unavoidable side effects. But the pros outweigh the cons.

I can expect side effects from my device?

Yes, but this is true of anything that is directly inserted into your brain. You may experience dry mouth, hearing loss, blindness, fits of rage, blackouts, coma, and death*. But don’t let this scare you. Our success rate is at 20% for new clients. That is a stark improvement over our last model.

*likely just death

What does UNDI division stand for?

Undesirables Not Deemed Important. But once again, that’s all just legal mumbo-jumbo.

When can I expect my new MINDRAM?

Soon. Very soon.

Thank you for reading our simple Q&A section!

The Kalothian Institute for Advancement and it’s parent company would like to just inform you of the conditions of our corporate ‘merger’ that will be finalized within the next few days.

So, after reading the information above, we are sure you will not be against testing. But, if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact Doris at our publicity department. If you get no reply, please hang up and try again. If you still do not receive a reply, just hang up and spend some quality moments with your family. They could be your last to enjoy.

Also, our ships that carry our surgical technicians and ‘security teams’ will need a place to dock. And since we are such a big family, we may need to use some of your system’s local resources. The gracious hosts you are, we certain you won’t mind, but will need nearly ALL of your resources. So don’t be alarmed if you see any economic failure, civil unrest, or large explosions in your area. This is simple transition that we can all work through.

Learning everything is tough work! And we look forward to working with you!

Your soon-to-be Overlords,

The Grand Kalothian Corporation

Yurg sat in silence as he contemplated the pamphlet. He knew that everything was about to change forever. He thought of his family. His job. The mittens he had been knitting for the past week. All of that would soon be gone.

With a few minuets of contemplation he decided that he would do the one thing he wished he could do before he died. He would take his lunch early today.

Yurg got Suzzie to call down to the factory floor, and set up an appointment with his favorite employee. Within a few moments Blort crawled through his office door.

“You want to see me, Big Mr. Yurg?”

“Yes Blort, please, have a seat.” He gave Blort a toothy grin.

Yurg got up and called into his secretary’s office “Suzzie, hold my calls. I’m taking an early lunch.” He closed the door behind him.

“You having lunch now Mr. Yurg?” Blort asked nervously.

“Oh yes. I am.” his smile growing across his face. Yurg ambled across the room toward Blort’s seat.

“What you eating today?” Blort whimpered.

“Fresh Blort.” he shrugged.

While he was still one of the most simple minded creatures to have ever existed, Blort knew his doom soon awaited him. He tried one last tactic to advert his demise.

“Me want vacation now Mr. Yurg.” cried Blort.

“Granted.”

With a sudden lunge and a loud crunch, Blort was no more.

Now Yurg smelled of a three day old fish kill. Still, nobody would notice.

Memorandum RE: Galaxy © D.A. Bancroft

That’s right kids! It’s free gifts day! Who doesn’t love free gifts?

Maybe that kid you knew when you were little. He was a weird little creeper, wasn’t he? What ever happened to him?

Anyways, to the gifts.

I have decided to give you all an EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK at my short story that is due on the 22nd/23rd (midnight) of May! Remember? It’s called Memorandum RE: Galaxy. Well here it is!

____________

Excerpt of Memorandum RE: Galaxy

D.A. Bancroft

To: Mr. Yurg (or current resident)

From: Grand Kalothian Corporation

Subject: URGENT: Impending attack

Today you will get the opportunity of a galactic cycle!

Us here at the Kalothian Institue for Advancement (a subdivision of the Grand Kalothian Corporation), would like to inform you and your kind of the large amount of fleets building up along our shared boarder. This is NOT a time to panic, but a time to rejoice. Today you can seize the opportunity and become a member of the UNDI division of the Grand Kalothian Corp.

All we ask of you and your brethren is to take part in our survey. That’s it! 

Still confused? We bet you are!

If you would like to know more please continue to the below Q & A section. Detailed instructions will follow after that.

What is the purpose of this survey?

Quite simply, the Kalothian species feeds on knowledge. We need it to grow. And If you haven’t noticed, lately, we’ve been doing a lot of “aggressive expansion” in your quadrant of the galaxy. We have been giving this survey to countless species scattered around you. With the information we obtain, we are able to continue to grow.

O.K. Sounds simple. But how do I take the survey?

We’ve made that easy on you. We have developed a neural device that will give you a constantly updated questionnaire that resides in your frontal lobe (or nearest organ). That’s right, no silly paper work! These questionnaire devices are called MINDRAM’s. This stands for Manually Inserted Neural Devices for Research and Murder.*

*Don’t worry about that murder stuff, our lawyers make us put that in there for legal purposes.

…more later

_________________

WOW! Wasn’t that fun?! I guess you’ll just have to come back for more on May 22nd/23rd to get your fill! I hope you recuperate from you mind being blown. You may need to take a nap.

AND NOW I WILL READ YOUR MIND!

Wait a second…didn’t he say gifts? As in plural? More than one? If I don’t get my second, I’m going postal…

Ha! You caught me. Continue reading…

So if I ever got published I would want this guy to do my cover art. His name is Daniel Dociu. Maybe you’ve heard of him and I’ve been in the dark for a while but you should check this stuff out. Each one of his illustrations could literally inspire me to make countless stories. And I’m sure if he teamed up with somebody other than me, people wouldn’t just look in awe at the cover, but would actually open it up and read the story.

Daniel Dociu / Tinfoil Games

Since me and him don’t actually know each other, I’ve only provided a link to his site rather than copying and pasting his art on my blog. Not to mention it would prevent him from getting awesome traffic for his site. Just trust me on this and visit his site  and you can get entrapped in his beautiful work.

My particular favorite is one of his featured works found HERE. It totally looks like it should be a book cover if it isn’t already.

THAT’S RIGHT, YOUR GIFT IS ART!

Till the next one…

D.A.