Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday: Deals, specials and stuff!

This is going to be a bit of a link salad. Since Saturday was Small Business Saturday and Monday will be Cyber Monday, I thought I would take some time to include links to authors I know who have books for sale and artists I know who have art for sale, and other people who have cool things to sell, all easily accessed online. And of course that includes links and deals for my stuff as well! ;-)

First off, the list of authors I know who have stories for sale at this time:

C.G. Bauer: Scars on the Face of God
Charles Gramlich: Killing Trail
Gary Inbinder: The Flower to the Painter
Angela Korra'ti: Faerie Blood
Angela Consolo Mankiewicz: Scroll down and on the left you’ll find a list of chapbooks and anthologies.
Will Molinar: The Restless and Torment series.
C.Leigh Purtill: Book I of Fat Girls in L.A.: All About Vee
John B. Rosenman: Alien Dreams
Allene Symons: Nostradamus, Vagabond Prophet
Elizabeth Thurmond: Twelve Princesses of Bel-Air

Arts, crafts and other cool stuff for sale:
Flora's Pond
Off Screen in Hollywood
Angela Ranzoni: Ranzangel on Etsy
David Stine: as i see it
Zareeeeeen!: The Red Camel: Tribal Jewelry and Textiles

I know there's more I'm forgetting, but it's a start. If you're looking for something unique for friends and family for the holidays, I suggest you look above, cuz those are some of the most unique people I know!

And last but not least, don't forget you can find The G.O.D. Factor here; The Holly and the Ivan can be found here; and Rae's Bar & Bistro poetry collection can be found here. And while there's a 25% coupon at Lulu that's good through Dec. 14 (BUYMYBOOK305), for just MONDAY November 28, you can use the Cyber Monday coupon at Lulu (CYBERMONDAY305) to receive 30% off (expires 11/28/11, 11:59 p.m. PST).

So, go save America and shop where it counts!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Support Your Local Author - Buy A Book For Christmas!

Okay, that should read, buy MY books for Christmas. Why? Because I'm part of the 99%. I'm a small business, so to speak. But mostly because I think you will like them! I've got a poetry book for you intellectual types, a scifi/adventure story for you action types, and a paranormal fantasy for you romance types! You can see them below.

You can find the poetry book, "Rae's Bar & Bistro," here on for $9.95, but 20% off or $7.96 through January 1 ($3.99 shipping):

You can find the scifi book, "The G.O.D. Factor," here through Sam's Dot Publishing for $6 ($4 shipping):

You can find the paranormal fantasy, "The Holly and the Ivan," here on Lulu for $9.95, but 20% or $7.96 through January 1 ($3.99 shipping):

AND GUESS WHAT??? While I have a 20% discount already set up on my Lulu books, Lulu is now advancing a special 25% discount on my books. Just enter the coupon code BUYMYBOOK305 at check out. I'm not sure if that's on top of my discount or instead of my discount. But it makes my Lulu books $7.46 if it's instead of and $5.97 if it's on top of. Either way, it's a win! The extra-special coupon code runs through Dec. 14.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Los Angeles and Public Transportation

I live in Los Angeles, one of those cities that you read at the bottom of shopping bags from chic boutiques: New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles. You know? It's arguably the home of the film industry and has more freelancers per capita almost than any other major city other than New York. It's a city with a history, from a spot on the river with a mission, a pueblo and a fort and the longest name ever (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porciúncula River) to a city with some of the worst and longest traffic jams ever, Los Angeles has grown to be a city that people look to as an example (sometimes a bad example, but still, an example).

Los Angeles is also a 230 year old Virgo (September 4, 1781, you can see all the Venus, Pluto, Air and Fire in the charts here. And read about it's life path, 3, here.). She's got a lot to deal with, what with all the creatives who live here, as well as the other industries, schools and people who make their home here. It is also romantically (and ironically) known by some as a "car" city. The place where you could find yourself blowing up the freeway with the beach on one side and the city or the mountains on the other (of course, traffic usually impedes that illusion).

Believe it or not, there was a time when Los Angeles was known for its public transportation, its railcars that took inhabitants from one end of town to the other. But sometime after the big oil boom, gasoline became cheap, car companies wanted to sell cars and oil companies wanted to sell oil, so the rails went away, the cars took over, and Los Angeles became the city where you drive (see American Graffiti). The city were you do not walk (as sung about by Sheryl Crow and demonstrated in LA Story by Steve Martin).

Recently, people in L.A. have begun to realize that all that driving from their home in West Los Angeles to their job in Thousand Oaks, or from their home in West Hills to their job in the city is not good for them or their paychecks. Jobs are being cut, hours are being cut, gigs are being cut. People are pulling in, pulling back, seeing what they can do with less, from home, or at least closer to home. People are checking out the public transportation again, or seeing if biking to work or the store is a better option. Not only that, but they're doing things like writing their council members about bike lanes and better public transportation so that these can be viable options for everyone.

Council members are taking them seriously, installing "sharrows" on streets where bikes travel so motorists understand sharing the lane with bikers. Money is being put into the public transportation system to make it a more viable option for everyone and not just those who are too poor to own a car.

This is all good, except for the fact that there are still people out there who don't see how important all these steps are. They have money, not just money. They have wealth. They have influence. They have nice cars. And they don't feel like sharing their roads with walkers, bus passengers or bicyclists. Like the spoiled brat at the nursery or the school, they don't feel like sharing their playground, even though everyone is entitled to it. They complain about how bicyclists create traffic jams - not the millions of cars on the road - no. Bicyclists. They complain about how buses create traffic jams - not the millions of cars around the buses. Nor do they seem to understand that there are millions of people (yes, millions, there are 3 million people in L.A. proper and 15 million in the Metro area) taking those buses to work or to school and if they didn't take the buses, they would be driving, and traffic would do more than just suck.

No, these complainers don't want to share their pretty, shiny new cars that guzzle fossil fuel or their streets that are full of potholes because of all the drivers and no money to fix the potholes, with the bicyclists that work on muscle power or the buses that run on clean gas or methane. This blog is in response to those spoiled brats - the ones that give Angelenos a bad name.

Angelenos have long prided themselves on being trendsetters. While we have our own "style" we still compete with cities like New York, Paris and London as being ahead of the pack. However, in one instance we are woefully behind the times and stuck in a rut, and that is when it comes to public transportation and sharing the road with bicyclists. If we measure Los Angeles against the rest of the world in this regard we lose, hands down.

Several council members in our city are working to rectify that situation by making roads and areas in Los Angeles more accessible by bike by adding in bike lanes "sharrows". This is something that Los Angeles needs, and not just to keep up with New York, Paris and Milan, but also for the health of this city and the people in this city.

There are some who have complained about reworking the roads to include bike lanes. Or they complain about having bus stops in their neighborhood - they don't want "those" sorts of people in near their homes. (Hello! I AM one of "those" sorts!) They cite increased congested traffic as their reason. And yes, there will be increased congested traffic during the construction of these bike lanes or when building in new bus stops and terminals and better public transportation options. But that is spoiled, selfish short-term thinking.

In the long-term, bike lanes and increased public transportation options will only make this a better city, not just for those who live here, but also for those who visit. A tourist in San Francisco or Paris or London knows they can stay in a hotel and hop on the Metro to get to most of their destinations. Tourists in Los Angeles are not so fortunate. If you want to stay in L.A. but go to Disneyland for the day, you better be prepared for a 2-3 hour bus/train trip or rent a car. Want to stay downtown but visit the beach? Again, 2 hour bus trip there and back, if you're lucky, or rent a car. It's easier to go to New York.

Do we want those tourist dollars? Why yes. Yes, we do. So, we need to make it better for them.

Do we want to have a better life as residents in Los Angeles? Why yes! Yes, we do. We need to make it better for US. Not just SOME of us - not just the rich, but ALL of us.

So, we have to start thinking in the long term. In the long term, bike lanes are better for Los Angeles for the following reasons: 1) We need more jobs in this city and this construction of bike lanes or public transportation stations will provide jobs for people. 2) The world has changed in the last few years and cars, those romantic vehicles stuck in our heads as bastions of American Freedom, are NOT the future, they are the PAST. As jobs are lost and hours cut, who can afford to keep a hunk of metal going that's costing fuel, upkeep, insurance and skyrocketing parking tickets and fees? A bike is cheaper. Using the bus is cheaper. And 3) It's better for the environment and our health if we make Los Angeles a bike friendly and public transportation city.

Many things need to change for bikes to become a more integral part of this city and for buses and trains to be viable. For one, we need to ALL (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) learn to obey the rules of the road better. Angelenos are notorious for not stopping at stop signs (I've even seen cops roll through the stop sign at Clinton and Larchmont), jaywalking, not using turn signals, and not wearing helmets or having lights on their bikes. I've been in a certified crosswalk and had cars roll right on through without stopping. I've seen motorists cut off buses that are trying to turn or drop off passengers (you think it's easy to stop a vehicle that large? You're lucky you don't get crushed when you pull crap like that).

We need to have refresher courses on how to keep to these rules of the road, and we need to obey them. And yes, it means motorists will need to learn to look out for bikes on the road from now on, and that bicyclists start wearing helmets and need to learn the hand signals for turning left and right, as well as proper road etiquette whether riding near pedestrians or on the road with motorists. Pedestrians need to remember to look out for idiot motorists who aren't watching the road.

Things change. The world has changed. We need to get over it. Put the big girl panties on and deal with the fact that the "golden car age" that L.A .was a part of is over. Quit our whining and just do it. Learn to share the road with everyone who's out there.

Either that or admit that we are no longer the trendsetters we thought we were and it's no use trying to keep up with New York, Paris, London or Milan; admit defeat in our continual competition with San Francisco. In which case, they end up with the groovy bicyclists, mopeds and really neat Metro trains, and we're stuck with the unsightly, aging gridlock.

Very unattractive and so last century.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just in time for Christmas!

For anyone out there waiting with baited breath, or looking for holiday books to buy for gifts, I suggest you check out the newly reissued "The Holly and the Ivan." It is now in paperback for all you people who didn't like the ebook version. Small enough to throw in your purse and read on the run. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Okay, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't so I'll just be as blunt as possible and hopefully it will work this time.

I am looking for people (no more than 5-10 because that's the most I can afford [and I'm not even sure I can afford that]) to read and review my book of poetry (Rae's Bar & Bistro), or the re-issue of my holiday paranormal romance novella in paperback (The Holly and the Ivan). I will send you a free copy of one or both of these books if (and ONLY if) you: 1) Promise to read it in a timely manner - within a month of receiving it and 2) Promise, Promise, PROMISE to write a REVIEW of it ON YOUR PUBLIC BLOG or talk about it on another social networking site (NOT private), also within a timely manner. You can say you hate it, I don't care. As long as you put it out there, spend at least 150 words saying something about it, with a link to the book on or on my website.

I can't afford to pay for advertising. I need to do GRASSROOTS MARKETING. I'm not looking for private emails telling me you liked it or about the typos. I need you to tell other people OUTSIDE my normal group of friends whether or not you like it. And link to it. I'm seeking to SELL THESE BOOKS. I need to build a larger audience of readers. I'm asking your help to do that.

While I'm okay with scrubbing toilets for a living, I'm not very good at it. Plus, I don't have a car and these days they don't seem to want to hire you unless you have a car. My hours have been cut at work and my freelance clients are fewer or with smaller projects. So. This is what I know how to do. This is what I'm trying to do to make a living.

SO, if you ARE willing to read one or both of these books and review them (and your FREE book is payment - these both cost at least $5-6 each just materials and labor) then send me a private message, either through tribe or to I'll need your name and a physical address where I can send the book(s).

Thank you in advance for playing along.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Announcing the Official Publication of Rae's Bar & Bistro

Last week, I said I was publishing a collection of poetry, this week it's official.

Rachel V. Olivier and Putt Putt Productions announces the publication of Rae's Bar & Bistro: A Poetry Collection. Find it on here now:

A compilation of poems ranging from scifiku and tanka to sonnets and sestinas, launching into free verse and beyond, these poems explore life, death, family, friendship and more. Like a late night bar & bistro, there is something here for anyone who is trying to find their way home after a night out looking for themselves. **20% discount good through January 1, 2012.

Available through, and coming soon to and for $9.95. Get a 20% discount through January 1, 2012. Go to for more information to the above link to order direct from

ISBN 978-1-105-18214-3