The Long Game

Guest post
by Jake Bible

I have to admit something which you really aren’t supposed to: I’m a really good poker player. Like really good. Good enough that I used to play online for hours a day and actually win. I won tournaments, sit and go tables, stakes tables.

At least until the tide turned. Online poker started getting flooded with rookies that played wild and didn’t have a clue how the game worked. They threw enough chaos into the mix that even my best moves would lose. You couldn’t bluff them because they were too stupid to be bluffed. You couldn’t bully them because they were too stupid to be bullied. All you could do was hope the luck of the cards would come your way on a showdown.

And I don’t play by luck. I don’t. So I quit playing poker online. Just cashed out and walked away. I mean, why sit for hours on end in front of a computer screen when you have no clue if there will be a pay off or not? Continue reading “The Long Game”

Writing From The Right Side Of The Heart


My recent absence from this site has a really good excuse: I was in the VA hospital for a month following open heart surgery (valve job) and ensuing complications. It’s nice to be back. Really nice, believe me. And I hope you won’t mind me sharing some writing insights occasioned by the perspective of a twelve hour trip into the Valley of the Shadow. There are lots of good ways and bad ways to wake up, but I’d suggest that it’s hard to beat cresting the surface of consciousness and coming to realize that you are in an ICU bed and sighing to yourself, “Made it!” Because it wasn’t a sure thing, and that statistical reality speaks to the only thing that really, truly, puts a life into perspective: that whole matter of ceasing to be alive. There will be some changes made.

And I don’t mean the kind of changes like my shiny new Unobtanium alloy aorta valve (with it’s requirement to take dangerous blood-thinning pills the rest of my life) or the snazzy $25,000 pacemaker setting my pulse at a nice even 70 bpm as long as the batteries last. Or even the MAZE procedure in which (SF writers will just love this) they used frozen gas and taser technology to create a maze of scars on the surface of my heart, thus raising a series of levies to channel the wildassed electrical fields into rhythmic channels, like the Corps of Engineers’ eternal struggle to tame the Mississippi. I’m not making that up. Maybe they were. But what I’m talking about here isn’t medical wildness, but a cold-eyed Horseman’s assessment of my so-called writing career. Continue reading “Writing From The Right Side Of The Heart”

Getting the Most out of Smashwords

Smashwords LogoSmashwords is sort of an enigma. Loved by many, hated by many, and yet still many more who just don’t know what the heck to do with it. And what in god’s name is a meatgrinder, right? Well, despite all the hiccups people have, I’ve been finding Smashwords to be quite awesome lately. Let me tell you why. Continue reading “Getting the Most out of Smashwords”

Goodreads Giveaway – How Not to Murder Your Grumpy

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Goodreads is hosting a giveaway of twenty copies of Carol E. Wyer’s humorous non-fiction book, How Not to Murder Your Grumpy.

Is your Grumpy Old Man getting under your feet? Is he wrestling with retirement? Are you wondering if you should bundle him up and entrust him to basket-weaving classes? Then this book could be the answer to your prayers. This light-hearted guide is packed full of lively ideas, anecdotes and quips.

Written tongue-in-cheek, this book succeeds in proving that getting older doesn’t mean the end of life or having fun. Ideal for trivia buffs, those approaching retirement, (or just at a loose end) and frustrated women who have an irritable male on their hands, this book will lighten any mood and may even prevent the odd murder.

Slide on over to Goodreads and sign up to win one of twenty free copies of How Not to Murder Your Grumpy! Hurry, the giveaway ends Saturday, June 1. Don’t want to wait to get one free? Grab your copy at or Amazon UK.