Weird Wednesday / Inktober Day 6 (Spirit): Not-so-Super Superpowers

Let’s get to Inktober’s business first:

Double Shot

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Weird Wednesdays: Not so Super Superpowers

Some superheroes use their powers for evil—[boo, hiss]—others for the good of humanity—[Yay!].

Superpowers come in all forms: genetic, accidental, mutation, experimental, or otherworldly intervention.

We can’t all be so lucky (unlucky?), but we all have some hidden talent. Maybe not talent enough to be on that show—or that other show that’s kinda like that show, but something that when harnessed can only be described as…well, meh.

Some people may use their talent for evil—[boo, hiss]—others for…well, for themselves, never to be revealed to humanity. Sometimes people just need to know, so here is your chance.

I’ll go first.

My not so super superpower is the ability to get toothpaste out of the tube long after most people would have given up and tossed it away. How long, you ask? Days? Yes. Weeks? It’s been done.

What’s your not-so-super superpower?

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Tuesday Tirade / Inktober Day 5 (Raven): Amazon’s Algorithms

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/

It happened again. My free book on Amazon had been changed to the LPP (Lowest Possible Price) for the fifth time since I went through the process of getting it offered for free. All one has to do is to show that the book on Amazon is offered for a lower price on a competitors website. So that’s what I did.

I first published my sample book on KOBO. Is was easy:

  • Upload your file – Check
  • Select price – Free – Check
  • Publish – Check

Done.

Now to let Amazon know that people can go to a different platform instead of theirs.

[Collective gasp from Amazon executives…]

It was fine for a while, then I noticed that the price had reverted to $0.99. After emailing the CSR (Customer Service Representative) and providing the competitor’s links, it was fixed. This happened three more times in the last year without any explanation why, except the cut and paste reply:

“From time to time, we may match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions.
Unfortunately we’re not able to accommodate your request since competitors have your book over the $0,99.”

So, each time I had to email them the links to show that it was free on KOBO (.com, .ca, .uk, .in, .au, .de).

Finally, after the fifth time asking how we can avoid this continuing issue, the CSR (never the same one) told me the problem. The algorithm scans competitor prices and adjusts theirs accordingly. Apparently, Amazon’s computer program can’t tell the difference between my free sample book and the complete collection. Can you?

Maybe I should make it as my Captcha…

Now I admit, there are similarities. The cover illustration and fonts are identical, and the titles each have the exact same words with the exception of four additional words on the book on the left.

You might have noticed the bubbles on the right side are cut off on the full collection. That’s just how I made the “Excerpts” cover.

If you saw these books handed to you, which one would you take. Yeah, you’d take the one with more stuff.

So, now the book is free as it is supposed to be. Got a Kindle? Go download my free book and boost it to the top of the Best Sellers Rank in the free category. Please feel free to share the link with anyone you want.

-Leon

On a final (frontier) note: Mr. Bezos invited Mr. William Shatner to go to space in the Blue Origin rocket. It’s no Enterprise, but I’m happy for him (Shatner, not Bezos).


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Inktober Day 4 / Monday Musings: Pictures at an Exposition

Day 4: Knot
I humbly apologize in advance…

Is that a Sailor’s Hitch? ‘Fraid knot.

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


I think that I would have fit in with the Dadaists or the Surrealists. I find it difficult to to do two things:

  1. Not try to draw something humorous or whimsical, and
  2. Get the perspective correct

Some of what I sketch looks like I gave up on making it look right because…well, I give up on trying to make it look right.

“Why don’t you practice more?”
“Why don’t you mind your own business.”
“Jeez, such attitude.”
“Sorry, haven’t had my morning coffee yet.”*

People are hard to draw. I know now why Picasso just slapped all the facial features on one side. Easier that way. Cartoonists usually draw hands with four digits. Why? I’ll tell you why. You can never get the pinky right. It’s always too big.

“Why don’t you start with the pinky?”
“Because nobody starts with the pinky. It’s one of the laws of nature.”**

Occasionally, I get it right. Not often, but I do.

-Leon

PS: Did you notice how I referenced “Music Monday”? Bonus points coming at ya.

*That’s a lie. I have, but it wouldn’t have worked otherwise.
**That’s also a lie. It would be pretty weird if it wasn’t.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Inktober: Day 3

Does the sun rise
On on empty vessels
Or set
When one is full?

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Weekend Wrap-up: Who’s been taking my peanuts?

I feed the birds all year. Not a lot in the warm months, just enough so they won’t forget me. Mostly chickadees and sparrows come to partake in the seeds and grubs, but the other day I heard the melodious squawk and gurgle of a blue jay. Perched on my rail was the blue beast.

I know blue jays like peanuts, so after getting peanuts, I put a few out. The next day they were gone, and I repeated the action. Again, I did not see the culprit, assuming it was the blue jay, but it could have been the squirrel.

Now, there is no free ride for the birds—I wasn’t prepared to have an all-you-can-eat-buffet. They have to work for it. By work, I mean they have to overcome their fear and be able to co-exist. The chickadees have eaten out of my hand, and last fall, some flew into my apartment to chirp at me for not refilling the bowl.

I heard the jay outside, so I placed a peanut on the rail and sat and read. Moments later, a blue streak came in for a strafing run, and I heard the “ting” of claws on metal as it grabbed the peanut in mid-flight.

Mystery solved.

Today’s Inktober:

October 2: Suit (Royal Flush)

See previous day’s Inktober drawings here: Inktober

From my blog this week:

Free Book Friday: Oct 1 – A few new options

Thursday Thoughts: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

One-Liner Wednesday: Humorous Quotes – And then some.

Weird Wednesday: Directionally Challenged – And the return of “The Untitled”

Tuesday Tirade: Newer is better? – Sometimes.

Monday Musing: 12 and 12 – All things equal for a while.

From the blogs of other’s:

‘A Novella Collection’ is FREE This Weekend – Supporting Stevie’s weekend promo

Have a good weekend!

-Leon


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Free Book Friday: Oct 1

October.

You know what that means. You missed all the Halloween stuff at the store and all the Christmas accoutrements have been placed on the shelves. Wait. What?! I know. You also missed the Thanksgiving decorations. Thankfully you have kept the centerpiece from last year…and the year before that.

It also means that Inktober has arrived, and I now have to actually pick up my pen and draw something…

Indiana Jones Is the Crystal Skull (cuz he’s old.)*

Now onto the free books and whatnot.

-Leon

*What. You thought I was going to draw something serious?

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New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

Emotion. Plain and simple. Emotions can be beautiful, but ugly as well. They make us laugh, and they can make us cry.

Stay tuned this month for a conversation with T.J.!

Sci-fi on Amazon

Free Poetry Books

Four new authors share samples

Sci-fi Available on Kindle

See all currently running promos here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

-Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Thursday Thoughts: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – 30 September, 2021 | Writers'  Guild of Alberta

It’s been a long time coming. The treatment of Indigenous people in Canada has been in the news more often lately. Most recently, the discovery of unmarked graves at several residential schools thrust the news of mistreatment to the forefront, maybe to a whole generation that may not have known of the disgraceful Canada’s past.

Mistreatment in residential schools still haunt the survivors and their children. The 60s scoop saw children adopted away from their culture, some never knowing who they really were. The ramifications continue to be seen through several generations.

There are events being hosted by different groups across the country. If you want to know more:

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation

Are there more issues to deal with? Yes, there are.

-Leon

One-Liner Wednesday: Humorous Quotes

Have you ever written a quote that just makes you chuckle? How about reading a quote from Yogi Berra (not the bear) and thinking “That’s brilliant…wait! That makes no sense!”

What’s your favorite quote (yours or someone else’s) that makes you giggle?

Here’s mine:

“You may think that I am bitter, but I’m not. I’m tangy.” – Leon Stevens

For Linda G. Hill’s One Liner Wednesday

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Weird Wednesday: Directionally Challenged

Question: Which way do you insert a USB connector?
Answer: The first way you tried before flipping it over.

Question: Which way do you turn the steering wheel when backing up a trailer?
Answer: Not that way, but it’s too late, you’re in the bushes.

Question: Which way loosens a garden hose or a nut on a bolt?
Answer: Since you tightened it too much already, it’s moot.

Question: Ever hear the phrase, righty tighty, lefty loosey?
Answer: Yes, but that didn’t help me one question ago.

Question: Quick, raise your left hand.
Answer: That’s not a question.
Rebuttal: You are correct, and it’s the other hand, by the way.


There are times when someone will say left or right and I do have to think about it for a second. You would think after so many years lived that wouldn’t happen, but it does.

I’m usually pretty good at finding my way without a map or GPS. I remember the early days when GPS was not readily available in vehicles so many people bought mountable ones. Here’s what that sounds like:

“Turn left, 50 meters.”
-Nope.
“Recalculating.”
-Recalculate all you want, but I’m not going that way.
“Recalculating.”
-You’re going in the glove compartment.
Click
[muffled voice]

I do occasionally get turned around and have had to ask for directions. Travelling in Quebec one year, this conversation occurred:

Clerk: [something in French]
Me: In very poor French, “I don’t speak French very well. Do you speak English?”
Clerk: [something else in French] Translation: “No.“

With my limited French language skills, I was able to get directions to my destination, although I did have to point to my hand and say, “Gauche?” to which the clerk shook his head, so I pointed to the other. I did get to my destination. Thank you, public school French classes.

That’s all the weirdness for today.

-Leon

Oh yeah, I said my cartoons would return in October. September 29? Close enough.

“The Untitled”

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Tuesday Tirade: Newer is better?

New shoes never feel like the old ones. Cutting onions with a new knife takes getting used to. Two things that took me way too long to replace—now my bike helmet is next on the list.

But I digress. Wait. Did I really? Because I haven’t even started on the main topic.

Which is: Nail clippers

I broke the tiny file off my last pair. That’s OK, I can live without it. Then they started to not spring back very far, so I fixed them by jamming a dime between the two metal thingies (the technical term). Then I had to tape the dime so it wouldn’t fall out.

Time to get a new pair. Pair? What’s up with the plural? I’ll save that for another Tuesday.

So, there I was, staring at the wall of nail care items, thinking that there hasn’t been much advancement in nail clipper technology since…ever? These ones are longer, those ones have a bent lever, those other ones are 3 dollars.

Do I do what I usually do and buy the cheap ones or spring for the deluxe model for $6? Brand name vs. I don’t know that name. I fight my instinct and fork out the extra $3 and run ecstatically home to try them out (Ecstatically? Not really).

The first clip tells all. The ting of a shard propelled against the sink. The roughness of the edge of the nail just ready to snag on anything remotely fuzzy. After few more practice runs, the verdict is in: I’m glad I didn’t toss the old ones. Rough edges and a shard in the eye hazard. Time to take out the emery board, and I’ve had that one for a while…

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

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Oh, pick me!
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