Monday, January 28, 2013

Destroy All Zealots, Kill Them I Say!

    Yes, the title is a tad over the top but it got your attention and that’s all that matters. So, what is a zealot? Well my favorite definition is: A zealot is someone who is doing what God Himself would do, if He only knew the whole story.

   And why are zealots dangerous? Because most of them don’t realized that they are zealots. For example, I was ‘Unfriended’ on facebook when I sent an atheist friend a link to a respected Swedish scientific organization that claimed they had proof that in some cases people who were clinically dead had been able to give detailed descriptions of events that occurred in the operating room several minutes after their demise. (Sorry, I didn’t keep a file of that link, at the time I simply thought it interesting and moved on)

   Anyway, he completely dismissed their finding as religious nonsense. When I reminded him the information came from a highly respected scientific organization, he went off his nut and called me a religious fanatic, yet this same person had sent me a link to an article where Stephen Hawking said that the concept of God and an afterlife were simply fairy tales. I read it, found some of Hawking’s points interesting, but not convincing enough to change my beliefs. But I didn’t freak out and unfriend him.

   But his reaction taught me that a person’s ‘religion’ is rarely associated to an establish house of worship. A ‘religion’ is whatever tenets each of us base our entire lives upon. And if you shatter that ‘religion,’ the choices and actions that person has made throughout their entire lives is called into question.

   Apparently people don’t like that.

   As stated in previous posts, politically I am a radical moderate, religiously, a practicing Catholic and nationally, I am proud to call myself an American. However, I have stipulations regarding all three. Politically I support the second amendment because I learned as a kid growing up in the Bronx that the guy who has the gun makes the rules. And I trust my neighbor with a gun far more than I trust those whores in Congress who have shown repeatedly that their votes goes to the highest bidder.

   Although I am a Catholic, I support gay marriage, the right for priests to marry and the right of a woman to become a priest. Why? Because Jesus never said anything that prohibits it. Some say that it is because Jesus chose only men as his apostles. The problem with that theory is that Jesus never officially swore the twelve in. At no point did Jesus tap a kneeling apostle on each shoulder with a sword and say “I hereby pronounce you, Bob the Apostle. Here is your official apostle hat and secret decoder ring.   

   The other problem I have with zealots is that they travel in packs like wolves. They gather with like-minded extremists and feel utterly justified to harm and in some instances, kill people who refuse to accept their ‘religion’.

   As a long term ‘lone wolf’, misanthrope and party pooper, I am not on their buddy list which is another reason I support the 2nd amendment and although I go to church each Sunday I have realized that Catholicism is just the name of the gang I belong to. My religion is to be kind, open-minded, trustworthy, responsible, honest and make at least one attempt daily to bring a little joy into people’s lives while making an honest living selling my books and tutorials over the internet. And so, I have combined the two. On my facebook page I collect and post beautiful and interesting art, photographs, technology, little known facts, famous quotes and just about anything I find fascinating  So have a look here: and click LIKE if you enjoy the stuff I’ve posted.
   Just a quick note* Although Barnes and Noble is closing a third of their stores Ari Publishing continues to thrive. To check out our latest commercial click this link

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sites Where YOU Can Improve Your Writing Skills!

   I’ve been at this for a few years now and it’s been a long, hard haul in regard to the learning curve. I have been fortunate to have met some very talented and experienced people along the way who have been more than generous with their time and talent.

   In addition, I have learned a lot from strangers whose websites have instructed me in website design, logo design, book trailers, editing services, landing pages, marketing and advertising.

   Because I have been so fortunate to have received a nearly free education in novel writing and book publishing, I feel the time has come to ‘pay it forward’ as they say and share what I’ve learned with new writers who are just getting their feet wet and could use a little direction.

   What follows is a listing of 10 websites that I have found helpful and informative. 
   This is not an endorsement as I am not a paid spokesperson. It is instead it’s my way of saying thanks to the administrators of these sites for being so helpful and for their continued service of helping writers find success.

   *Note* Like all businesses, in addition to the free content they also offer additional services which you may or may not decide to purchase. BUT, if you opt to get their free newsletters or sign up for their many free services. (You can opt out at anytime)  You will be amazed by how much useful content they offer.

   First and foremost:

   Facebook and Twitter If you haven’t already signed up, do so now. Absolutely invaluable in getting you established.

   Copyblogger  Sign up for their free news letter. The content they provide on nearly every writing topic will speed your trip over the learning curve.

   Where Writers Win Like Copyblogger, great site for info. Sign up for their free news letter.

   Author media They occasionally provide free webinars that are very helpful at getting you established as an author.

   Get10000fans This is one of my favorites. A lot of free tutorials that provide important and useful info. I found it so valuable that I paid for a few of their webinar courses . Worth every penny. Especially worthwhile because they WILL refund you money should you find the webinar not useful. I received a full refund when I discovered that one particular tutorial I had purchased provided information I had already gotten from other sources.

   Hubspot This is a terrific site that provides very valuable information on PDF’s that you can download into your computer.

   Wikipedia You need info quick? Good place to go.  

   Socialoomph free sign up to have your marketing tweets tweeted at selected times during the day.

   iStockphoto the place to go when you need specific images, audio or video for your book covers or book trailers. You purchase licenses from the artist to use their material without having to pay royalties. In most cases very affordable.

   And of course, Ari publishing where you can see the books we have to offer and their video trailers. Where we provide interesting content and images to inspire creative people. In which case if you enjoyed this article, why not click on the link and give us a LIKE?

   And this blog Where I give my views on a wide range of topics from pressing issues of the day to comic frivolity. If you like this, why not join? And if you have a minute why not check out our new information youtube video

Monday, January 21, 2013

Don't Believe Everything You Read, Especially This!

   In today’s episode of The Author Zackary Richards I’d like to address the some of the misconceptions regarding to Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America, the Land of the Free, Home of the Whooper. According to recent studies, it appears that ol Chris was fully aware he hadn’t landed in India and was pretty freakin wowed once he realized he had discovered a new land.

   Here’s likely error # 1: Chris didn’t refer to this new land’s inhabitants as Indians because he thought he had landed in India. He actually referred to them as 'enfant in deos.' Get it? In-deos. Which in Klingon means, ‘Children of God.’ (I translated it into Klingon because I can’t write Portigeese—And apparently I can’t spell in Portuguese either and frankly, why should I? Chris worked for Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella )

   But I digress…

   He christened them this because he genuinely considered them amazing and wonderful, so when you refer to a Native American as an Indian and some self righteous asshat seizes upon this opportunity to inform you that he/she just happens to be 100th of 1% real Native American and your comment is insensitive and debases the proud and noble Native American people, you can suggest they learn a little history.

   You could also mention that he/she wouldn’t be running their mouths about their ‘Native American Heritage’ 150 years ago, you know, back in the days when General Custer and others like him were routinely picking off these proud and noble people like metal ducks at a carnival midway.

   Likely Error #2: Back in 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, India was actually more commonly known as Hindustan. So if Columbus actually thought he landed in India he would have referred to its populace as Hinduians. And more importantly the great state of Indiana would today be called the great state of Hinduina and Cleveland’s baseball team would be called the Cleveland Hindus and the emblem on their uniforms would be a cartoon of a dark skin man wearing a turban. And as for the Atlanta Braves, they would be called the Atlanta Bengalis and the famous tomahawk chop would likely be replaced with the entire crowd closing their eyes, holding out their hands with thumb and index finger pressed together and chanting ‘OOOOmmmmmmm’

   Which proves that Columbus had more on the ball than earlier realized.

   Now getting back to the Asian Indian People.  How the hell did the British manage to take control of India from 1757 to 1947? Especially since even back then they had a population of over 200 million to Britain’s 16 mil or so.

   I suspect witchcraft!

   However since I was unsure of my theory I enlisted the help of a remarkably intelligent woman friend of Asian Indian descent and posed that very question. She thoughtfully pondered the query and said. “In order to know the ways of a people one must study their culture, their history. The Asian Indians are an intelligent, peaceful and nonviolent race.

   “As for the British,” she continued, “one can safely say that they are a bunch of  %7//@##, no good, lying @**%!&$##!  mother %#$@&$%%, and they can go @&@##%@&&# themselves! And do you know that India, the proud country of my ancestors was actually named India by the British? And that the Indian people had no say in the naming of their own country?”

   I did not, however I did suggest the people of India do what we American did after freeing ourselves from British rule. I told her we replaced the things named for famous British people and renamed them in honor of our own famous people. Ergo, Washington State, Lincoln Nebraska, The George Washington Bridge, The Lincoln Tunnel, and of course, The Howard Stern rest stop, just to name a few. “India,” I added, “has a number of famous people and they should rename their country in honor of one of their own.”

   She smiled. Said she liked the idea but then added, “The problem is that we have so many worthy candidates from our history to chose from.”

  Nonsense!” I said, “In fact, I can think of one right off the bat and have already come up with the perfect name for your country to replace the old name of India.”

  “Really?” she said enthusiastically. “And what would that name be?”

   Beaming with pride I said, “Gandiland!”    

   She punched me in the head. Non-violent and peaceful people my ass!

Hey friends, a couple of quick notes. On facebook beginning on the first of February 2013 I’ll be posting exclusively from my Ari Publishing fan page, so if you want to be alerted about my blog posts and other cool stuff go here and click on the LIKE button on the right, below the cool picture. I’m making the switch because it’s too hard to maintain both sites and the Ari Publishing site has more followers. I hope you decide to become one of them. I have totally redone the content which now incorporates the best and most innovative from all the arts. Give a look and you’ll see what I mean

   Second bit, check out the new Ari Publishing video promo here: It is awesome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Return of Beerculees!

   For the regular readers of my blog you know that my brother is quite a character. 

   During the recent holidays we got together and he told me what’s been going on in his life. It turns out he’s the facilities manager of some Catholic Diocese’s locale and his job is to make sure everything works properly. In addition, he chauffeurs the nuns around when they have to travel or shop.

   He explained that on a recent outing to Manhattan he was accompanied by a young nun assigned to purchase new furniture. The Diocese had made a deal with some lower Manhattan outlet and he was driving her there.

   If you’ve ever been to Manhattan you know how crazy the traffic is, and if you’ve ever ridden in a NYC cab, you know that a roller-coaster ride dulls in comparison.

  Well, Beerculees is driving the diocese’s van, the nun is in the passenger seat and they’re are making their way through mid-town traffic when suddenly, a cabbie cuts in front of them, missing their van by mere inches. Startled, the nun jerks back, points and shouts, “Watch out for that asshole!”

   To which, my brother, ever the cool guy, turns to the nun, places his splayed fingers against his chest and says in an affected British accent, “My word!”

   Well the young nun immediately apologizes for her outburst and choice of language but my brother laughs, waves her off and says, “Actually, I think you hit the nail right on the head.”

  So later on we’re sitting around having a brew when he asks what animal I thought was the most dangerous.

   I kick it around and decide that the shark is the most dangerous, since it is usually described as a killing and eating machine.

   He says, “Nah, once you’re out of the water, the shark can’t hurt you.”

   So I give it some more thought and said, “Okay, a lion or tiger. They can run faster and climb trees.”

   “True,” Beerculees replied, “but if you dive into water, neither will likely follow.”

   Which was probably true, so I said, “Okay, smart guy, which animal is the most dangerous?”

   He replies, “A bear. Because it can run faster, climb faster, swim faster and should you decide to try to escape by walking a tightrope across a chasm, a bear will follow, holding a tiny umbrella.”


   So I patiently waited my turn.

   It came when he asked how I’m getting along with our sister, who I invited to move in with me while the extensive repairs are being made to her house from Superstorm Sandy.

   I shrugged and said, “Well our differences took a little getting used to. You know what an early bird Darla is and how I’m such a night owl and that she’s a vegetarian and I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Plus she’s hooked on those reality shows and I can’t stand them. But she has a kind heart and a pleasant personality so we make it work. Besides,” I said casually, “The sex is fantastic.”

   Ever seen those cartoons when you were a kid where the character’s eyes bug out, the jaw drops and the tongue unfurls like a rolled up rug, while making a sound like an old time ‘ah-oooh-gah’ car horn?

   Well that was the look on his face.


   So I let him stew for a while then when I saw he couldn’t stand it anymore I said, “Oh c’mon. You know I’m only kidding!” And as his face began to relax I added, “The sex ain’t that great.”

  Thought I was going to have to ship him home in a box.

If you enjoy my posts and are on Facebook, please click on my Ari Publishing site and click the LIKE button. I have collected a lot of interesting content recently and you might want to have a look.