Work Please

Well, I feel a little bad this week. I kind of flubbed up the other day. I got a call from a perspective employer about a resume I had sent out and I made a fatal mistake. I was honest.

I’m sorry, but it had been a long time since I spoke with someone about a job and this kind of took me by surprise and add on to that the guy asked me one of those questions I hate to be asked. “What kind of work are you looking for?” I’m sorry. My fuses burst when that question surfaces. I know we all should try and strive for a job we want, but right now I’m not living with that reality. The kind of job I’m looking for is the job you’re looking to fill. I don’t care what it says on my resume or what previous positions I’ve held. If I didn’t want that job, I wouldn’t have sent you my resume in the first place. To ask me this question only shows the ignorance of the employer, at least from my point of view. It shows they don’t realize what it’s like out here in the job searchers world. It shows me that they haven’t picked up a newspaper or watched the news in the past 10  years.

The jobs are coming fewer and further between. My unemployment benefits are gone and frankly, I’m skating by right now by the skin of my teeth. I need work. Part time. Full time. Contract. Whatever! I’m not looking for my dream job. In a way, I already have that because I am a writer and that’s something I can do whenever and for as long as I wish, but unless my book sales take a very sharp spike upward, I’m going to need a job to fill in the gaps. Right now I’m looking for a source of financial support. I’m not going to love your company as you do. I’m not going to sacrifice my life for your profit margin. I’m sorry. That’s just not going to happen. I will show up to work and perform my duties as described to me to the best of my abilities. I will arrive on time and stay until the end of the day. I will help with any duties that I can in the course of the day. I will assist you and my co-workers in moving the gears of commerce along as smoothly as possible. I know a lot of experts say that you have to be that golden child in order to get ahead. They say you have to be willing to mortgage your whole life for the sake of the job. It seems like you can’t get a simple entry level position without proving to the employer you are the second coming brought to life. Which I hate.

It feels like the economy has given employers a chance to turn up the tension and by doing so we, the job seekers, are turning on each other and stabbing at each other while the fat cats sit upon their thrones watching the carnage from their safe perches. We seem to be at war with each other, trying to outdo the next guy at every turn for a meager crust of approval.

I wish I could skip out of this  part. I want to just get to the part where people love my work and my books are selling at a steady pace and I have a few solid deals in ink all over town. Or maybe my books become a sensation over in Japan and the craze incubates over there, and comes back over here big time. I’m just tired of this struggling because it seems I’ve been here a few too many times. It’s like I find myself wandering around the same woods and I find the same brief solution but eventually I end up lost all over again. This isn’t working, but I’m not really seeing what could work. Everything fails. I had a good week with my books. An improvement over past performance, but nothing to write home about. I’m kind of hoping that HBO show ‘Looking’ inspires something because I noticed my Jason Of The Valley books were the most popular sellers, I must admit. I hit double digits with the second book in the series, and I’m definitely going to finish the fifth book soon. I just wish things could start going my way. If only for a month or two. A week. Give me one week of good mojo. I guess last week I felt so good because I felt like I was finally winning. Seeing all those new numbers on my revenue page. For a brief moment, I thought I knew what it was like to touch victory and it was good. I want more. I need more. I’m ready for this fuckin’ life of mine to start getting on track!

Let’s hope.

Looking? Please!!

Okay, I have heard a lot about this new HBO series ‘Looking’. From what I have gathered it’s a series about a group of gay friends in San Francisco and the ups and downs of their lives as they deal with life and love. Hmmm. Well, that sounds awful familiar to me.

Now, I don’t want to sound like sour grapes here. I just want to set the record straight, so to speak. I was first to this. I have  been writing these stories since 2004. ‘Looking’ is basically ‘Jason Of The Valley’ just set in a new city and cast with actors who are by far NOT an accurate portrayal of your average gay man. As usual, Hollywood casts pretty, but that’s not my big beef. I’m just here to let you all know if you saw this show and liked it, go check out ‘JOV’ and its sequels. It’s exactly the same kind of thing. A group of gay friends and the things they go through aren’t about them being gay. They just happen to be gay. They are real characters. Flawed and perfect in all their imperfections. Which by the way, I think is a sad state of affairs when a show with gay characters is spotlighted by the fact that the characters’ sexuality isn’t made a primary issue. Gay people have always been gay people and should  have been portrayed as such from the very beginning. In this day and age, this shouldn’t be revolutionary.

I’d also like to add the a few years ago a pitched JOV as a series to Logo and it was passed only because a similar project was under production, and I believe this was that project. I’m just saying. So if you liked Looking, I have a feeling you’ll really enjoy the Jason Of The Valley series. Check it out.

The first:

http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Of-The-Valley-Melby-ebook/dp/B001JEO44E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390240244&sr=8-2&keywords=Jason+k+melby

The second:

http://www.amazon.com/Somethings-Always-Wrong-Jason-Valley-ebook/dp/B006LFPWCY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1390240388&sr=8-9&keywords=Jason+k+melby

The third:

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Without-You-Jason-Valley-ebook/dp/B006LFW0PG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1390240388&sr=8-3&keywords=Jason+k+melby

So, I’m at least three years ahead of the show as far as stories, and I have another one due out this year.

Good Fortune

I have been blissing out this week. So far this year has been very good for my writing. Spectrum has been getting many good reviews. 6 total with an average rating of 4 out of 5, which makes me feel pretty good about myself. In fact, I’m proud to say that all the books I have on Amazon stand at 4 to 5 stars on average. Of course, I haven’t gotten too many reviews yet, but I’m hoping for more soon.

I re-edited my books (I learned a lot editing Spectrum under professional supervision) and as I re-released them, I offered them for free and so far, I’ve got over 300 new readers out there. And what’s even better is my actual sales have gone up. As of now, I have sold over 30 ebooks total so far this month. I know that’s a long way from making any best seller list, but for me that is a huge step forward. I’ve never sold so many books in such a short amount of time. That’s like a book a day for a whole month. In fact, one book of mine, Something’s Always Wrong, has sold over ten copies alone just this past week. People are reading. At long last, people are reading, and from the sales, I’d say they are liking what they are reading.

And to add to this momentum, I have a new Demon Hunters book due out next month and another Jason Of The Valley book on deck for later this year as well. Although, I wish the Demon Hunters books were selling better, but I guess that could come in time. So far the Jason Of The Valley series is selling better.

Bottom line is I’m happy and very optimistic about what’s going on. Let’s pray this momentum continues. Until then, head over to Amazon.com and search for Jason K. Melby. I know it’s extra work for you, but it’s easier than putting individual links for each book here. Check out my stuff.

Thanks

Advice(?)

I was told this evening by a friend that I should be a mentor. This was after a round of advice giving, which I seem to do more often than I care to count. He didn’t exactly clarify what or who I would mentor, but it got me to thinking. I’ve always been the kind to give good, sage advice and for a brief time I wanted to be an advice columnist. I just like to help people with their problems, and although I don’t hold any advanced degree, I some how have acquired a firm understanding of humans and their behavior. I’m a friggin’ well of useful advice. My main area of expertise is relationships. Ironic. I guess after being batted around as much as I have, I’ve been given a keen perception into the workings of  the human heart.

So, I’m going to give this a shot once more. I offer you, my readers, access to my mind. If you have a problem of any kind, ask me. If you just need someone to sound off on something for some feedback. Here I am. If you don’t know which way to turn, tell me where you’re stuck and maybe I can show you a new path. I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do have a sympathetic ear. I don’t want to play with people’s lives, but if you have a problem you feel you’re more comfortable sharing with a third party, I will hear you out and offer some well thought out insights. I want to turn this blog into an advice blog! So, don’t be shy. Message me your issue and I will give you my thoughts in a caring and compassionate manner. I’m still trying to figure this out. I want to find a way where you could message me privately and I would share the problem anonymously along with my advice. I’ll figure that one out, but if anyone out there is brave enough to give this experiment a try, I welcome you!

P.S.

Anyone with a drug or medical issue, I will tell you right off seek a counselor or doctor. I cannot offer any medical or legal advice.

First Of 2014

Six days in and my first blog. I figured I should have put something up the first day, but unfortunately I was a bit distracted. It seems my new year started up with a bit of drama. The guy I had been seeing for nearly 2 years pulled a major dick move last month. After claiming I was so important to him and after countless pledges to work on  this relationship, he decided to move on with some new guy and I was the last to know. This caused me great anger, needless to say. After over a year of hearing how busy he was and how impossible it was to spend time together, I turn around and he’s having no problems finding the time to hang out with this new guy. They even ran off to Palm Springs for the weekend after only having met one week earlier. They spent his birthday together. It just boils my blood when I think about it. And this new guy is a step down from me. I’m no narcissist, but I feel I can say confidently I am way better looking than he is so this new match is kind of weird, but after being enlightened to a few other facts I was not aware, I guess it seems he likes bigger guys. I guess that’s good on me. I wasn’t fat enough.

In the long run, I know I’m better off. The relationship wasn’t that great. We hardly saw each other and the more I found out about him, the less I liked honestly. He was a snob and an elitist and he didn’t give a damn about anyone but himself and was proud of that fact. I hate how everyone at my bar thinks he’s this great guy. They only think that because he pays for all the drinks. If they knew who and what he really is, they would be singing another tune, but I can’t be the one to tell them. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’, although I guess I just turned into him because of what I just told you. I forgive myself though. I had to get it out. It feels good to finally say the words.

It was also a bit of my fault too. The moment I chose to accept being the lowest priority in his life, I put the target on my back. I told him that I didn’t care enough about myself to demand more respect than what I deserved. I just don’t know why he let it continue on as he did. He should have broke it off when I said ‘I love you’ to him, but instead he said it back to me. Of course he later claimed that he didn’t remember any of that. Classic deflection. Make me look like the crazy one. I didn’t want to see it, but now I can’t avoid the fact that he was and continues to be a despicable excuse for a human being. He uses and abuses with impunity and after he’s created the catastrophe, he simply walks away, brushing off the dusty and leaving the clean up to everyone else while he continues to party.

I wanted to move forward in my life with him as a partner, but he just wants to stay behind and continue to act like a child. In time, his true nature will be seen and his cover will be exposed and I think by then he’ll be ready to move on to some new place and work his wicked magic once more. I’m not bitter. Don’t think that. I’m actually kind of getting back into the dating scene with a few bright prospects already, but I just want the truth to be known for the official record. I hate when people treat others like garbage and act like it’s fine. It isn’t fine. If you lie, cheat or otherwise betray someone you claim to care about, you should be punished. It’s not fair for only one of you to feel the pain. I can’t physically harm him because he’s not worth going to jail for and there’s nothing I can say to him that will hurt him because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. He’s out of reach to me, but that’s not to say I can’t use what resources I have at my disposal to try and attain some measure of peace. This feels good. I’ve gotten a lot of poison out, and I thank those who have read this all.

The news isn’t all bad though. The new year has brought some new sales of my books and a few good reviews for ‘Spectrum’ which now stands at a 4 star status on Amazon. I’m hoping that this will be a continuing momentum into 2014. I even got my first fan letter. It was very exciting. I think maybe this year will be good. I dropped the old garbage and I’ve got some bright prospects to enjoy and my book is slowly moving forward. Things feel kind of right.

Christmas Story

A friend suggested I do this and since I tried something like this once before with some success, I’ll give it a go.

This is an excerpt from my Christmas novel ‘Trapped’. The first chapter in fact. If you like, please let me know, or better yet, follow the link below and order yourself a copy. It’s available in paperback or digital, whichever is your preference. (btw, the formatting is off here. It looks much better in book form.)

Happy reading and merry Christmas

Chapter 1

The morning air was crisp and cool as Daniel Tucker awoke on the morning of the first day that was widely considered the beginning of the holiday season. He could feel something in the air and it sent a surge of energy through him. It was Christmas.

He stretched under the warm comfort of his covers and quietly assessed his day. It was Monday and he had a full schedule ahead of him. The reason for his unusually hectic schedule was because he had a mission that had to be completed before Christmas. He had been unable to be with his family for Thanksgiving, but he was determined that he would make it up to them for Christmas.

Thanksgiving was always a throw away as far as he was concerned. He just considered it a fancy dinner, but his mother always sent him a care package of leftovers so he could enjoy the meal she made whether he could be with them or not. He appreciated the gesture, but felt it needless.

Christmas was another matter completely. They were always together for Christmas since he was a boy. No matter how far the twists and turns of fate may have sent them, they always managed to reconnect just in time for the one day at the end of December. His brother Chad nearly missed them three years earlier. He had been accepted into a university in England and despite his heavy load of course work and daunting distance, he finally appeared on their doorstep the morning of Christmas Eve. It seemed no matter where life took them, or what stood in their way; the Tucker family was destined to be together for Christmas and this was a fact that Daniel took great comfort in.

Daniel’s alarm clock suddenly clicked on and the strains of Christmas music filled his bedroom. Normally he would openly express his dislike for Christmas music, but once the holiday season began, for some reason he no longer disliked it. In fact, it could be said he enjoyed it. He settled back into his bed and tried to enjoy his last few moments of rest before he had to get ready for work.

Daniel quickly dressed and was hurrying to get out the door in order to get to work on time. He found it amusing to himself the way he worried about being on time. He was a VP at Halpron Enterprises and on the fast track to becoming the youngest member of the executive board. He was no longer subject to the same scrutiny that he was hired under. He was good at what he did and that gave him the trust and support of his superiors, but in the back of his mind he kept his original work ethic and that meant getting to work on time.

Daniel blustered in through the glass doors of the office and as he strode through, he greeted everyone with a bright smile. He suddenly stopped and took a thoughtful look around the office. It seemed cold and colorless.

“Where are the decorations?” He asked Linda Lipinski, his assistant, as he approached his office.

“Decorations?”

“Yes. For Christmas?”

“Mr. Halpron issued a memo saying that there was to be no decorating this year. He says that it’s too distracting for everyone and it takes away from the work momentum.”

“That’s crazy!”

“That’s what he said.”

“Is he in?”

“No. He also sent a memo stating that he would be leaving for an extended vacation starting today. He won’t be back until after Christmas.”

“So, he’s not going to be here.”

“No.”

“Get the decorations out of storage.”

“He’s going to have people monitoring us.”

“Just get the decorations and I’ll handle Halpron.” Daniel said as he continued on his way to his office.

It was nearly noon and the entire office had been transformed. Gold and silver garlands were hung along all the cubicles. Shining paper stars were hung from the ceiling and multi-colored lights were strung along all the doorways. Christmas music was drifting through the air and everything just seemed a little warmer. Employees had broken out their holiday personal items. A few were sipping from novelty mugs with reindeer antlers for handles. Susan Messing had arranged a small Christmas village on her desk with some small odds and ends that she kept stored in one of her filing drawers. Daniel looked out upon the holiday cheer and felt the warm glow he felt when he awoke that morning grow even stronger. He retreated to his office. As he sat down behind his desk, his door flew open and Ed Skivac came barreling in.

Ed had a reputation in the office as being the resident brown noser. He was always first in line to congratulate Mr. Halpron on every one of his ‘brilliant’ ideas in hopes of getting the next big promotion, but was usually overlooked by someone far more qualified. He’d been gunning for Daniel’s position for sometime, but lost out and was still a bit irked by it. There had been some animosity between Daniel and Ed for a time, but that tension wore down to a grudging respect but Daniel still didn’t trust Ed any further than he could throw him.

“Mr. Halpron has ordered there be no holiday decor. Do you ever read your memos?” He asked sharply.

“Look, Ed, it’s Christmas. Creating a vacuum environment where we don’t acknowledge it is not going to make everyone more productive. It brings them down. Depresses them. Look at it out there.” Daniel said as he got up and pointed out his window to the office. Ed watched and it was a scene of bustling activity. Phones were ringing and being answered. Papers were being handed from one person to another. It was commerce. It was happening and at quite a dizzying pace. Daniel turned back to Ed.

“When people are happy, they enjoy their work more, and therefore, will work harder. Mr. Halpron doesn’t need to know about this, does he?” Ed seemed a bit confused.

“I promised him I would tell him what was going on in here. If he finds out that…” Ed continued.

“He won’t.” Daniel said soothingly. “He doesn’t have to know about any of this.”

Ed froze and suddenly a stern sneer crossed his face. His eyes became steely and determined.

“Mr. Halpron’s orders stand! Whether he’s here or not, he is still in charge!” Ed said confidently. “I’m going to report back about all of this, and after that, it’s in his hands.” Ed said, pointing upwards with his eyes. He then started towards Daniel’s door. Daniel shot his arm out and caught Ed by his neck.

“According to your files, you’re up for a big raise, Ed.”

“Yes.”

“I have to tell you, I know who’s making the final decision on that and it could go either way.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“No. I’m just saying if you were to do a favor for me, I could do a favor for you. You keep quiet about all this holiday stuff, and I may be able to put a little influence on someone and get you that raise.” Daniel said. Ed considered him briefly.

“May?”

“Don’t worry. You’ll get it.” Ed looked away and Daniel could hear the wheels turning. He looked over at Daniel.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Good enough. You get back to me before the end of the day.”

“I will.” Ed said and then walked away quietly.

If you want to read more, comment, or follow the link to purchase your own copy.

http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Christmas-Jason-K-Melby-ebook/dp/B00A2EIPR4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386870824&sr=8-1&keywords=Jason+K+melby

or in paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Christmas-Jason-K-Melby/dp/1480259896/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1386870824&sr=8-1&keywords=Jason+K+melby

 

IT’S HERE!!!!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Novel-Jason-K-Melby/dp/1938191072/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386692841&sr=8-2&keywords=jason+k+melby

ISBN-13-978-1938191077

Spectrum is here at last! I have literally waited for this very day for so long. Long before the book was accepted for publishing. I have been waiting for this day ever since I got the stupid notion of being a writer. It’s taken many forms and has changed scenarios over the years, but the one thing remains solid. I succeed. I know it’s small press, but there are so many great and popular authors who started out in small press and grew and I think I have what it takes to become like them. This is just the beginning.

This is kind of a validation for all the hours I spent hunched over my laptop banging out page after page of my imagination. There’s a little disappointment to this I admit. I mean, it’s like Christmas. You wait all year long to open that one present you think you can’t live without and you know your parents got it for you. You daydream about what it’s going to be like to have it at last. You think of all the ways your life will be different with this one, irreplaceable treasure, and then the day comes. The package is slid before you and it’s n ever felt closer. You tear through the packaging and your heart races. You can see the box through the torn paper and you can barely believe what you have in your arms. It is  yours at last! Free and clear! But, after you open it up and a few hours have passed, it doesn’t shine as bright anymore. You still love it and it’s still going to enhance your life, you just can’t really get as excited about it as you were before you had to wait for it. That little bit of depression sinks in, and that’s kind of what I feel a bit today. It’s over. The wait is over and now it’s time to find the next thing to wait for. Although I’m hoping for a few more surprised down the road with this one. A shining review in Entertainment Weekly would be spiffy. A good review in any major publication would be great. A little good press.  I think I could set this world on fire, I really do. I just need to be able to cash in on my fifteen minutes. I think the Kardashians are hogging all the fame minutes for themselves.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my joy and ask all my followers to go out (or stay in. You can buy it online too) and get a copy of ‘Spectrum’, and if you do and you read it, please be sure to leave a review. Hopefully a good one at that. 🙂 Thank you. BTW, I would like to thank my followers on this blog. I get such a thrill everytime I get a ‘like’ or someone new follows the blog. It’s good to know someone out there is reading this stuff. Makes me feel just a little less insane. Thanks for that.

http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Novel-Jason-K-Melby/dp/1938191072/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386692841&sr=8-2&keywords=jason+k+melby

ISBN-13-978-1938191077