Tag Archives: amazon

The Look Challenge

Alright, I’m in.

I just was asked to play along with one of those self-spamming games of blog-tag.  Thanks Maddie Cochere (see here and here), I have plenty of time for this sort of thing.  Can you believe I’m playing along with this time waster, blog spamming, chain-letterish concept?  It’s very unlike me.  I feel a little queasy inside.

However, since Maddie is a great individual, as well as an excellent author, I feel compelled to push through this task.  Maddie and I both live in Ohio.  Please visit her site and buy a handful of books from my dear friend.  I remember when I first ran into Maddie; it seems like a lifetime ago.  It was earlier this week—Monday, I believe.  She visited my blog.  I read hers.  Our families have never been closer.

This particular game caught my interest because it serves as a yet another means to plug my book.  The idea is to grab the nearest book and search for the first instance of the word “look”.  Once found, post what you see with a bit of context surrounding it.  So here goes…

The closest book that I can see from here is clearly the book that I wrote solely for your entertainment value: My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head.  Seriously, when I was looking for the nearest book, I raised my head up and opened my eyes and there it was right in front of my face.  It probably helped that I saw my book first because I was rolling around on a floor covered by one hundred copies of my book.  I do that a lot.  Just so you know, I kept my pants on.

So here is the text where the word “look” first appears:

The Facebook website was launched in 2004.  I was five years late to the game with my first status update.  I remember that shallow feeling I had realizing that an automated interactive computer database system was telling me that I had no friends.  Screw you little electronic chips and network cabling.  You suck too, despite that fact that you’re right.

February 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm
Aaron: Hey Marcus!  Good to see you!  I’ll suggest some friends.

How about that?  I do have friends!  And it only took 5 hours and 33 minutes to find one.  Hey look!  The friends are rolling in now!

February 16, 2009 at 2:55 am
Michael: Good to see you on FB. Hope all is well.

This particular friend was way ahead of the times.  He used “FB” instead of typing out the whole name.  So damn hip.  I’ll bet he already had hundreds of friends compared to my total of two.  After all, he stayed up well past midnight accumulating friends by the dozens using his way-cool abbreviations.  Say, maybe he was the first person that actually was seen rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud.

I can do this Facebook thing.  I know I can!  The next morning came around and I had yet to update my status.  People would begin questioning whether I was going to be a Facebook user or a Facebook loser.  Quick, self!  Tell the world something.  There’s no time to waste!

Here ends the Look Challenge.

So that’s all you get.  Was playing the Look challenger and reading along to this point worth your time?  I’ll bet it was!

In conclusion, I joined the Look Challenge so that you can be bombarded by one more attempt to put my book in front of your eyes.  Mission accomplished.  But wait!  I’m adding one more step to this challenge—a responsibility that you, the reader of this text, must complete.  You need to go to amazon and post a review for me.  I would be a very, very, very grateful person for your actions.  And that’s a lot of ‘very’.  Consider it—oh you wonderful reader of my blog.  Only then, will our new relationship become as tight as Maddie’s and mine.

…and I’ll say nice things about you too.  You can choose from the following:

1)        {Your name here} is a great individual—one of the smartest people I know!
2)        {Your name here} is an amazing and caring person.
3)        When you need to enhance the life of the party, you can count on {your name here}.
4)        {Your name here} does not suck!

Buy my book.  {Your name here} loved it!

Ego Buster

I’m afraid that I am a little short on material.  So once again, I bring you a chunk of words pulled from my book.  Hey, did you know I’m selling a book?  Go to amazon.com and “click inside the book” and read the first fifteen or so pages.  Enjoy!

My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head

And when you’re finally holding it in your hands, life will be complete.

Once, when my boys were very small, we were headed out of town.  The snow piled up on the driveway overnight, but I was ready to go.  I was driving a van at the time.  Thinking that this would be even easier than normal since I only needed to go down and not back up again, I set out.  Kids strapped into their car seats and wife buckled in.  I punched the gas and made it all the way down to the mailbox.  At which point I somehow got stuck!  I’m not sure what happened, but the tires were spinning and we were not moving.

I turn to the boys in the back seat and proclaimed that we were stuck.  The reaction that immediately followed was something that I did not predict.  The boys started wailing and crying!  I can’t imagine the horrible image that was going through their tiny little minds.  It’s as if we were stranded in the middle of the field with no signs of human life in any direction.  I tried to explain that we lived about forty-five feet away and that I truly believed that we would be able to make it back home on foot if we needed to.

They only calmed down a little.

So, I started rocking the van back and forth.  Drive.  Reverse.  Drive.  Reverse.  No help there.  Still stuck.  Still crying.

On to the pushing phase.  I opened the passenger door to use it as a place to push and the wife took over at the steering wheel.

Kids still crying.

Now I’m pushing with all I have and the wife is rocking the van and we are starting to make just a little bit of progress when one of my boys yells out, “We need a big strong man!”

Pop!  Did you hear my ego explode?

A big strong man?  Hello?  My self esteem would have kept those boys in their seats for hours while I pushed the van with more than everything I had until we were moving down the road.  A big strong man.

I did eventually get us unstuck and moving.  And I didn’t even need to call the big strong man.

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t recall which of the two boys uttered those hurtful words.  Big strong man…

Buy my big strong book.

Automatic Flusher

The following text was taken from the book that I continue to shamelessly plug with the link at the end of each of my blog entries.  Click it this time, would you?  And when you arrive at the amazon page, buy it too.  You can also “click inside the book” at amazon and read the first fifteen or so pages.  Enjoy!

My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head

This could be yours!

August 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm
Marcus Matherne: I can’t stand when the toilet flushes before you’re finished.

This might get a little too personal, but I’m willing to give it a go.

So you’re sitting there doing your business on one of those fancy automatic flushing toilets.  The toilet paper is contained in a mounted industrial size holder.  In the ideal case, you reach for the exposed hanging trail of paper, tear off a piece, finish the job, and you’re out.  Done.  Nothing to it.  However in my world, the toilet paper container is mounted just a bit too low and I have to lean awkwardly forward to grab the loose end which, by the way, is hiding up inside the contraption and is not willing to show itself.  While I’m scratching at the roll, rotating it all the way around for the third time searching for the mysteriously missing loose end, the little magic eyeball gizmo makes a ruling that I must be on my way to standing up, and thus signals the start of the flushing process.

It freaks me out!

First off, the splash factor is simply bad news.  Gross!  It might be different if the water giving you the misting was absolutely fresh, but I’m not even sure that would be acceptable.  I can’t say I’ve ever tried the bidet style of toilet, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.  I’ll pass.

Secondly, there is the surprise of the noise.  Public toilets often have the most powerful water pressure to ensure a low probability of creating a clog.  Loud.  Startling.  Being surprised with your pants at your ankles could easily cause and injury that is very difficult to explain to a doctor in the emergency room.

The doctor inquires, “How did you cut your forehead, Mr. Matherne?”

“Premature flushing,” I respond.

“Oh, of course.  I hate when that happens.”

And how does that magic eyeball thing work anyway?  I have a theory that it is actually a camera, and that it is actually someone’s job to monitor the stall and commence flushing at the appropriate time.

Here is a possibility of what the training manual may contain.

“When you see the ass lowering to a seated position, be ready to take action.  Wait for the user to complete his/her business.  As the ass is returning to the upright and standing position, activate the flush sequence.  Take all precautions to avoid premature flushing as this may cause injury to the user of the toilet.”

Have you ever stood up and there is a slight delay before the flush begins?  That is due to the networking delay introduced by outsourcing this job overseas.

Think about it.  I may be on to something.

Buy my book and read it on a toilet.

Status Updates

I decided to write this blog for one reason: the joy of writing and entertaining readers. Isn’t that two reasons? It is. And it’s a total bold face lie too. The fact is, I needed another avenue for book sales. You see, I wrote a book. I did it on a whim and then decided that I had to publish it to complete the hobby. So I did. I’m actually proud of my effort. Is there any chance that you didn’t know that I was trying to sell a book? If you didn’t notice the links on this blog, I would have to categorize you the most focused person in the world. He is your game plan: “I’m clicking into this guy’s blog and I’m reading the latest entry. Nothing more. I will not have my eyes stray from the words of his story. Stay focused. I will not be tempted by those pesky links off to the side. I will read the latest story and upon completion, immediately close my browser.”

The title of my book is “My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head”. My book is written a lot like my blog stories and entries. Well, not this one. It would be kind of weird to try to market your book inside your book. My book tells the story of my Facebook statuses over a three year time period. Only it’s more than that. There are a zillion books out there stuffed full of one-liner status updates. My book is not that. The book details my train of thought at the time, my actions leading up to the status updates, the flashbacks to the stories of my world long ago. Book reviewers (people honestly not related to me) tell me that the book is a good one, a five star read, and all that. So why hasn’t it sold a million copies? Simple. Marketing is not easy. It stinks.

It's a book cover picture.  Judge it!

Recently, I called a neighborhood book shop and asked if they do book signings for local authors. She said that they did host them in the past, but not anymore. Then she asked me what my book was about. I was glad that the conversation played out in that order. If she asked me about my book first, and then came up with the excuse on why she wouldn’t host me in their shop, I would have felt much worse. The conversation didn’t go too much farther. She explained that the hassle of setting up flyers and posters and floor space did not drive enough customers into the store to make it worth their trouble.

“Your trouble? Um, I don’t care what-so-ever about your ‘trouble’. All I care about is me and my book sales. Glorious me! Me! Me! Me!” And the call ended. That’s not really the exact way it played out, but that is how I could have handled it since the outcome would have been the exact same.

Friends and acquaintances have told me to simply host my own book signing in my own home. I can’t seem to do it. It feels awkward. How do you invite your friends and family to come over for the purpose of selling them your book?

“Say, I’m having a get-together next weekend. Swing by! Oh, and don’t forget your wallet.” Or how about this? “You are cordially invited to attend a book signing in my home. During this event, not only can you feed my ego, but you can give me cash too.”

What I really need is a famous person. If I had my very own famous person, my book sales would shoot through the roof! And I would treat my very own famous person very nicely. I promise. All I need is a tweet seen by someone with a gazillion followers. People would race to purchase and read my book because Ernest Borgnine, Elizabeth Taylor, or Amy Winehouse said they enjoyed the book.

What? Hold on a second… My proofreader just informed me that I need to update my list of famous people.

Ok, how about Bob & Tom, George Clooney, or Jim Gaffigan? If they simply hinted at enjoying the contents of the book, amazon.com would have trouble keeping copies on the shelf. Except that, amazon.com doesn’t really have a shelf. But the virtual shelf would begin to virtually collapse. And I would be virtually pleased! By this point in reading this particular blog entry, you must be thinking, “How can help?” So here is a short list of different things you can do to help me.

Go amazon.com and search for “Marcus Matherne” or use this address


and actually buy the book. Clearly that would help the book sales by at least one. You can buy more than one if you wish. I tried to make my amazon.com book and author pages amusing as well, so take the time a read the details found there. You’ll smile about it, whether you like it or not.

There is a “Click to look inside the book” where you can read the first chunk of pages. Post a review of the book on the amazon.com book page, even after reading just the sample. I won’t actually tell anyone that you did not read the entire book. I don’t think the amazon.com police will come knocking at your door. And even if they do, I think it’s just a misdemeanor and easy to get removed from your record.

Share this blog out to your Facebook and twitter accounts. How about your pinterest page? Assuming you’re female. Do any men out there have a pinterest page? I think there is ban against it. I need your help in making this visible! Be my little spammers. Nice spammers. Let’s go viral baby!

And finally, would someone get me a famous person, please?

PS- Stay tuned.  More stories are forthcoming with no desparate pleas to purchase my book.

buy my book!

Starting now.