The Last Gentleman, Ethan Holmes

Am I the last gentleman? Seriously, are there any men other than me who still treat women with respect, kindness and consideration?

The Last Gentleman

The Last Gentleman

The issue of sexual harassment has exploded on to the public scene with revelations of experiences from women all over the country. Their allegations and accusations are being made against men from all walks of life. Cops, movie/TV stars, producers, directors, model photographers, corporate executives, agents, politicians and yes, even your exalted leader have been caught up in this tsunami of disclosures.

The revelations by these many women are astounding and quite profound if even some of them are true. It has caused me to alter my own views about some of the accused. I grew up with Bill Cosby’s comedy mirroring my own life and I considered him a comic genius. Now I don’t think he’s one bit funny any more. I just see a worn out, half blind old man who spent his life trying to get into the underwear of many beautiful women by drugging them. (Really, Bill? How much fun could a drugged and incapacitated woman be?)

When I was a kid, I used to think Joe Paterno was a god and the Penn State institution was a model of decorum, morality, sportsmanship and education. That would be destroyed by the revelation that he spent years covering for his friend and subordinate, Joe Sandusky, while he sexually assaulted boys and young men.

Kevin Spacey was a favorite actor of mine. His roles in American Beauty, K-PAX and Pay It Forward were fine examples of great acting. Now all I see is a bully who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself and doesn’t seem to understand unwanted advances.

Apparently, predatory sexual harassment is far more prevalent than I ever knew and involves victims and predators of all types and both sexes. I find this amazing, in part because I never behaved this way and never will. I am a gentleman, possibly the last gentleman. I treat women like ladies until they behave otherwise and then I walk away.

I hold doors for women. I help them with their groceries at Costco, lift heavy things for them, move their furniture and reach things on shelves for them. I give them compliments for no reason, sincerely meant and sincerely given. I bring them flowers, hand picked and with no motive behind them other than to see them smile. I talk to them respectfully and listen in the same manner.

I do all this with no expectations, no ulterior secret motives, no bad intention. It would be nice to get a ‘thank you’ all the time but that happens with less and less frequency. My new rule is expect nothing.

I am trying to figure out why this sexual harassment and ungentle man-like behavior is so prevalent. This is just the publicly reported stuff too. Can you imagine what must be going on among the not-so-famous remainder of the population? Worse yet, how much more of this stuff is going unreported? My logical brain wants answers. Why are men behaving this way and why is it such a common thing? It’s difficult to wrap my head around this because I don’t do it. But they do. Many of them do. Why?

The only logical reason I can come up with is that, even occasionally, it works. It works in that they get what they want, which is sexual contact. wanted or unwanted. I don’t understand this either because if I even sense that a woman doesn’t like me, doesn’t want to talk to me and certainly would never go out with me or be friends, I walk away, period, end of story.

I very well might be the last gentleman. I know this because I live on Rejection  Street and because I live there I think I can see why all these men do what they do. I’ll tell you what I get for being the last gentleman. I get to be alone all the time. I get slammed shut every time I think I might have met someone worth spending some time with. I get dirty looks, scowls, looks of astonishment and the rare expression of gratitude. I get to go on Match and watch while TWO HUNDRED AND  SIXTY SEVEN women can’t/won’t even say a polite ‘no thank you’ to my gentlemanly and oftentimes humorous, witty and intelligent queries. Yes, I used humor, wit, intelligence, romance, poetry, courtesy and a partridge in a pear tree. (I can do all that. I’m the author of six books.) Obviously none of those matter if you’re ugly as a bridge troll. Meanwhile, millions of men are having some modicum of success in attaining their goals by sending the women naked shots and lurid messages. It must be working because they’re doing those things and Match has millions of members and the largest market share of any dating site. In my opinion, it just doesn’t pay to be a gentleman there.

I can tell you from decades of experience that being a polite gentleman gets you nowhere in life. Not anywhere near where I live anyway. Example; I have a neighbor across the street who is an attractive girl in a violent relationship. I have watched her greaseball boyfriend assault her. I have watched them scream at each other and I have watched him or her leave for days only to come back. Go figure. I will note here that this is not an uncommon phenomena. It’s not pleasant to see the dysfunctional choices many women make in relationships when you know you would treat them so much better than that. It doesn’t matter.

I am  a gentleman, possibly the last gentleman. It is now clear to me why I don’t hang around other guys and why I disavow those I used to look up to or admire. I never did like the way most guys talk about women when they are in packs and I have a really tough time not taking some jerk down when I see how he treats his wife or grilfriend.

I will not alter my behavior despite the complete lack of success in finding what I am looking for and the profoundly solitary life I lead. I will not send naked shots of myself for fear that you will send me $20 and tell me to go buy a pair of pants at Walmart. I will not walk up to you and say lurid things in the hopes that you and I will immediately drop our groceries in the produce aisle and start making some ‘produce’ of our own. I will not try to peer up your skirt, besides the women around here don’t wear them. I will not go to bars and pick up the local bar ‘ho’ and I will not go next door to Nevada so I can ‘git me some’ for hire.

I will continue to be a solitary gentleman, maybe not the last gentleman but a solitary one.

Ethan Holmes

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books, all in ebook format and four in paperback.

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Shorts and Other Laundry

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Internet Dating Sites

Fifteen years ago I wrote an article about Internet dating titled Internet Dating Sites, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

It’s amazing how some things change, some things remain the same, some get better, some get worse.

After a recent 90 day, nightmarish and discouraging stint on Match, during which I found out I’m as ugly as a bridge troll, I decided to put the eight year old re-write of this back out there.

Hey! At least I was smiling!

Ethan Holmes Internet Dating Bridge Troll

Internet Dating Sites, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

 

One day eight years ago I sat down at my computer to write about a relatively new phenomenon in the exploding world of home computers and the internet. Internet dating sites and matchmaking sites were appearing out of the woodwork and their rapid growth in popularity was nothing short of astonishing.

I don’t know why I was astonished at the time. I suppose I didn’t know there were that many allegedly single lonely people out there looking for a way to find someone. Well, at least that sounds good.

The truth of the matter is, I was already picking up things about on-line dating and matchmaking that many people took years to realize later on. I did extensive research over the years, including becoming a member on some sites and I could quickly see that this was not going to be a pretty process.

Initially I thought, “Wow, what an amazing tool this could be. Just think, you can get on the internet and meet people you most probably would never bump into in real life.” The thought that I had the power to reach out even with the confines of my own little area of the desert and find someone who might live within a mile of my doorstep yet I never would know otherwise was amazing.

The fact that I was living in a relatively barren-of-life small town in northern Arizona at the time which seemed to have a rule that you must be over 85 to live there might have had something to do with my false initial hope. You see, I never have been much of the bar type. Smoke and alcohol are not my idea of good bait for the girl of my dreams.

Some of the early internet dating sites were quite rudimentary and crude by today’s standards. There are sites now where you can go to live video, live chat, see who is ‘online right now’, see who viewed your profile, and even exchange FREE initial contact of some sort. Back then you either joined or you didn’t and all you got for not joining was the ability to view, in some cases, a few teasing photos of alleged members just anxiously awaiting your message.

That was not what bothered me in my early experiences. I paid more than once to be a full fledged member of multiple dating sites. After all, I reasoned, while I am looking for the supposed girl of my dreams it would be a good thing if I knew what I was talking about if I ever decided to write about this. To tell the truth, it didn’t take me long to decide to write about it. Yet I find myself tearing up the old article and starting anew because, folks, it is worse than I ever predicted back then.

When I first started discussing my experiences with people, including some of those I met through these sites, I immediately noticed that initially the idea of finding and dating someone through cyber-space carried the same stigma as newspaper personals used to carry. Mention to a married friend that you were going to meet a girl you met on the internet and they would look at you with one of those “You got to be kidding me. Why would you do a thing like that?” looks. Easy for them to ask, they had someone to come home to.

That didn’t really bother me. Frankly I don’t much care what other people think about what I am doing.

The second thing I noticed about this was that I was immediately experiencing what is now common place in the world of online dating. I was meeting women who had lied their butts off about nearly everything on their profile including their appearance. Case in point; I met one woman at a plaza for coffee. Upon my arrival I literally walked right past her without recognizing or even looking at her until she called me by name. Why? Because the woman sitting at the table in front of me was TWENTY SIX YEARS older than the photo she had posted. When I asked her why she had posted a photo which, by her own admission, was twenty six years old, she looked at me indignantly and said, “Well, it’s still me!”

I quickly realized that this wonderful tool was not going to be used in the manner I had assumed, silly naïve fool that I was. In fact, as I write this now, I realize that what started out as a relatively minor event years ago has now grown into a perfectly acceptable form of conduct in today’s society. The anonymity of the computer and the internet has allowed millions of people to behave in a manner they might never have displayed if they actually had to take responsibility. That, in a nutshell is the quickest and most succinct way I can describe what those two things have done to modern social behavior.

In its purest form the internet can be the most amazing instrument. Writers such as I can tell you it is probably the most profound research tool we have ever had. I just completed a novel that took me seven years to write. During that time I had to study and research at least four different sciences and visit parts of the planet I had no hope of ever getting to. The internet took me there and back and every bit of information I needed was at my fingertips.

Here I had, at my fingertips, the ability to introduce myself to people who lived in my own town or hundreds and even thousands of miles away. Little did I know what I was in for.

One of the earliest things I learned aside from the deception was that women on the internet want you to live a half mile from their doorstep. You should not waste your time or money on contacting someone who lives out of state, out of the country, or in most cases, out of your immediate vicinity. They want you close by but just far enough away that you’re not like a neighbor.

Pay attention to what their profile says. You can learn a lot about a person just from what they wrote or how they wrote it. I have seen online profiles that looked like the person was heavily medicated when they stabbed at the keyboard in a vain attempt to spell anything over three letters. I have seen ads with enough content to make you want to go get a cup of tea, some cookies, a pair of slippers and some Nyquil.

I have seen online profiles with so little content you wonder why they even bothered. You know the ones I am talking about; “Um, hi, I like walks in the park, my 16 dogs & the color pink. If you like what you see contact me.” Wow, who wouldn’t be jumping all over that?

Some of my other tongue-in-cheek favorites include profiles with outdated photos, photos of a girl who claims she is just “a few extra pounds” overweight and she outweighs me, and profiles with nine photos, eight of which are shots of sunsets, pigs, someone riding a camel, kissing a kangaroo, your favorite beach, your relatives minus you because you were taking the photo, your car, someone else’s car, a bridge, a lake, your leg, your foot, you turned in the other direction, you drunk with twenty other women at your favorite bar, an unidentified pregnant female, a lizard biting someone on the lip, someone French kissing a dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.

I have literally seen all of those on the internet and more. My favorite still remains the outdated photo, especially one of her ten years and forty pounds ago posted as the primary photo. I do have to say that shots of her with her ex-husband or current boyfriend go a long way too.

If the profile says “just looking”, believe it. Most of them are doing exactly that. The internet has provided a great way for people to get the attention they apparently crave without having to own up to anything, thus the existence of buttons like ‘Delete’, ‘Ignore’, and ‘Block’. What if you could do that in real life? Can you imagine? Some guy walks up to you in a bar and says something stupid and you just reach in your purse and hit ‘Ignore’. Better yet, you’re at one of those mindless weekly corporate mandatory employee meetings and you just pop the ‘Block’ button and you don’t have to listen to it anymore. Hell you don’t even have to go anymore.

Let me share some statistics with you that will simultaneously astonish you and discourage you. These are things the various internet dating sites do not want you to know. Just remember this is based on years of research and way too much money spent so I suppose someone should be paying me for this.

  • On most, if not all internet dating sites, the men outnumber the women by at least ten to one. I have never figured out why this is unless it goes back to the stigma thing and many women don’t ever want to admit they found a partner on the internet. So if you are ready to go into a room where there may be four women but forty or fifty men and you think you have a shot, have at it.
  • Most women who join these sites, especially the pretty ones and the intelligent and pretty ones, are immediately inundated by hits from men. Most are immediately overwhelmed. Some give up; some develop a random system of deletes, ignores, and blocks to deal with it.
  • The number one complaint from men on dating sites is that most women do not respond at all to hits, inquiries, first contacts, etc.. The reason for this is obvious, see number two.
  • Most of the women who join a dating site have no actual intent to meet someone. Many of them are quite happy with the cyber attention alone which their profile generates. Many of them are more than pleased to come home and find fifty six emails waiting for them in their mailbox all from men panting to meet her. (Who wouldn’t like that?)
  • Internet dating sites like to let the women join for free so it will draw in the men who are willing to part with the money to join up in the hopes that one of these ‘hot women’ will contact or respond. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. Sounds just like Ladies’ Night at the bar. Men have to pay a cover charge, women walk in and drink for free for three hours. The bar owner knows the women will make the men come in, and after the free drinks are over the men will fork over for drinks for the women.
  • No single internet dating site is significantly better than another. They all have problems, many of them the same problems. See items 1-5.
  • Internet dating sites create rude nasty people who forget how to be polite and courteous since they don’t have to face anyone. Women use the excuse, “I don’t have the time to answer everyone.” Men don’t need an excuse to send shots of their genitals to strange women.

 

It comes down to this. For those of us who do not go out cruising bars and sleazy singles joints, the internet held promise. Unfortunately human behavior wrecked that promise. You should understand as well, that the internet has no better odds than real life. Yes you have the opportunity to meet more people but that simply increases the odds of finding what you are looking for.

Lastly, no matter what these internet dating sites tell you, they do not give a hoot if you are single. They are not here to provide you with the girl/guy of your dreams. They are here to provide a service and make a hell of a lot of money doing it. The cyber-dating world is every bit if not more disappointing than the real world and you had better steel yourself for that fact unless you are one of the rare cases who actually finds what you are looking for. All I have to say about that is the same disclaimer they put on TV weight loss and fitness ads: RESULTS NOT TYPICAL.

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books and numerous articles.

Visit the author on Amazon.

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Five Sentence Mystery by Ethan Holmes

Five Sentence Mystery

Miriam came out of her stupor and abruptly realized she was staring out the kitchen window while holding a small hatchet that fit a little too easily in her small hand. Her dark, red-rimmed eyes traveled from the blood on the mixer and the splatter pattern on the dishwasher to the body of her husband lying in the small space between the island counter and the sink. She heard footsteps that sounded like high heels clatter across the wood laminate floor of the living room and the front door slammed shut. She scratched her head with the hatchet and struggled to focus. “Did I get mad at Dick for not doing the dishes again or was that his girlfriend who just left in a hurry?”

I just thought I would take a moment to have a little fun with a Goodreads challenge to write a five sentence mystery. I can’t help but wonder why or how this stuff lives in my head or how easy it is to bring it up when challenged even mildly. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my books. I can’t even settle on a genre to specialize in and I don’t think I want to. It’s great being weird.

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books, including Water, Earth’s Blood, The Keystone, Live Your Life in a Crap Free Zone, Shorts and Other Laundry and A Multi-Pack of Brain Flakes.

Sign up to follow Ethan Holmes on Facebook, Twitter or on his blog and get a shot at a free paperback copy of Water.

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How Long Do You Leave Christmas Up?

 

You know, the tree, the lights, the outside decorations, the fake snowman and reindeer in the front yard? Take the poll at the bottom of this blog but first, enjoy a short story about it from Ethan Holmes titled Taking Harry Down.

Taking Harry Down

By Ethan Holmes

 

Harry settled heavily into the battered leather recliner, huffing and puffing as though he was trying to haul his over-burdened frame out of the chair instead of plopping down. He mumbled under his breath as some of the egg nog in the calcium-spotted glass sloshed onto his lap. He watched the yellowish liquid slowly soak into his sweatpants and join myriad other stains. He shrugged and slugged some of it back, probably more bourbon than nog.

He looked around the room with a bit of disdain, this day after Christmas, when suddenly all the decorations, lights and even the tree seemed silly, like so much extra trash cluttering up an already cluttered home.

Harry stared at the cell phone on the small side table.

“I should call the crazy ol’ woman and see if I can start taking all this crap down. Box it and give it up to Goodwill! That’s what I’d do if it were up to me!”

He stared angrily at the string of lights Myrtle made him hang around the entire ceiling of the living room the day after Thanksgiving. There was one light, one stupid little bulb at the top of the twelve foot peak in the cathedral ceiling that was out. It had been out since the moment she made him plug the string into the wall socket. Of course, you know he had already put the ladder away. It was more than a stretch for him and his eight foot, rickety wooden step ladder. So was the ten foot artificial tree she insisted he drag out of the garage for the umpteenth time. Add in the porch decorations, the lawn ornaments, a whole box of outside lights and a partridge in a pear tree and Harry was exhausted. Nevertheless, that damn unlit bulb had driven him nuts for nearly five weeks.

“One of us should have died yesterday. Especially after eating her mashed potatoes.”

He wiped egg nog from his upper lip, wondering why she wouldn’t let them go to Denny’s instead of eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

“No restaurant should be open on Christmas. Everyone should be home with their family.” Myrtle was indignant as she spooned out the oddly solidified potatoes and some green bean casserole that had taken on a yellow hue. “Besides, I’ll be gone tomorrow visiting my sister. What would you eat while I’m gone?”

“Anything but what you made.” Harry kept that comment to himself knowing if he voiced it he would probably have to pull a wooden spoon out of his skull.

Harry stared at the single bulb, squinting his eyes, trying to will the bulb into suddenly coming to life. Not only did the bulb make him nuts, but Myrtle decided to jump on the bandwagon. Every day she had some comment about the dead bulb. His favorite was this one.

“Why don’t you just grab the ladder and replace the bulb. It’ll just take a second.”

That would start a sure fire argument every time.

“Really, woman? When was the last time you picked that ladder off the rack in the garage and hauled it into the house? What’s that, Alex? I’m thinking the correct Jeopardy answer is, ‘What is NEVER?’”

“You know I can’t lift that thing. It’s the only reason you’re still around.”

Harry could never quite figure out if that was true or not.

“Besides, chances are that we don’t have the right bulb anymore. In fact, those damn lights are so old I don’t think anyone has the bulbs anymore. The hardware store will probably laugh at me and send me to an antique shop.”

“Tsk. They’re not that old.”

“Older than you, woman.” Harry grumbled to himself as he relived the conversation while drinking his egg nog.

He glared at the taunting dead light.

“I’ll show you. I’ll take the whole lot of you down and pitch you in the trash. I’ll just tell her the whole damn thing shorted out.”

Harry grabbed the phone and speed dialed his wife’s number. To his surprise, Myrtle’s sister Delores answered the phone.

“Merry Christmas! Myrtle’s in the shower. Who’s calling?”

Delores’ cheery voice jangled in his ear with way too much Christmas spirit for his taste.

“Probably from the bottom of a bottle of spiced rum.” Harry took another slug of his egg nog.

“I’m sorry, what did you say? Who is this? You’ll have to speak up. We have Christmas music playing in the background.”

“Dammit Delores, tell Myrtle to call me when she gets out of the shower.”

Harry pressed the END button on the cell phone, pushing it hard as though that would slam the call closed.

Myrtle called back about thirty minutes later.

“I’m taking everything down. Christmas is over and it’s just taking up space. Besides, the damn light bill is going to through the ceiling.”

“Just wait till I get back, Harry. I want to see them one more time. It’ll be a year before I get to see them again.”

“Wish I could say the same about you.”

“What did you say, Harry? Delores has the stereo up loud. We just love all the Christmas songs.”

“Nothing! I’m just saying, might as well get ‘em down while I can. Sitting here doing nothing but watching Christmas shows on the TV.”

“Well, it’s not as though you have a lot of other things to do, Harry. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me you’re headed for the gym.”

Harry held the phone away from his ear for a moment as both women cackled with delight at Myrtle’s sarcasm. He could hear Delores snickering in the background when he brought the phone back to his ear.

“I’m taking them down, Myrtle.”

Harry stared at the single bulb at the peak and pictured himself up on the ladder gleefully pulling the whole string down with one violent yank. He could even see the staples sparkling as they flew through the air all over the living room.  “That ought to muck up her vacuum cleaner good!”

“You just wait, Harry. I’ll be back in a week. Besides, you shouldn’t be climbing up there without me to hold the ladder.”

“She means to push me off it.” Harry swallowed the last of his egg nog. He looked at the yellow coating left behind inside the glass. “I need another nog.”

Harry woke up, groggy and dry-mouthed. He looked down at the nearly empty glass still clutched in his hand. There was a wet spot on his sweat pants under the glass. He squinted at the digital clock on the mantle.

“Ten o’clock! How many of those things did I have?”

It took Harry four tries to get his rotund frame up to a position in the recliner where he could at least attempt to stand. He felt woozy and still sleepy. He leaned forward and stared at his feet encased in a brand new pair of DeerFoams. He wiggled them.

“I can’t feel my feet. I wonder if she deliberately got me the wrong size.”

His eyes rose to the TV, silently playing an old, black and white version of A Christmas Carol. “Must have muted the TV.” His blurry eyes traveled up the living room wall. “That’s weird. I don’t remember turning on the lights.” Then he remembered everything is on a timer.

He followed the blurry glow of the string and landed on the peak, on that one annoying, nerve racking dead bulb. Harry shook his fist. “Blink, you piece of crap!”

The bulb was defiant. There had to be three hundred bulbs in the string, but that one, single, solitary bulb stood mutinous in all its glory at the very peak of the ceiling.

Myrtle jiggled the key in the lock of the front door. It was bitterly cold and the key just didn’t want to turn in her frozen fingers. She beat on the door.

“Harry! Harry, come open the door! I can’t get the key to work.”

She turned around, noticing for the first time since she climbed out of the cab that all the Christmas decorations were broken and scattered around the yard. She went around to the kitchen window and noted that the fake candle was gone. She reached up and banged on the window.

“Harry, where are you? Come help me!”

Myrtle went back to the front door and after a few more attempts, finally got the key to turn. She went back down the steps and retrieved her luggage.

“Jeez Harry, the least you could do is get out of the damn recliner and come help me with my bags. And what happened to the Christmas …?”

Myrtle stopped in mid-sentence as she came upon a chaotic scene in the living room. The TV was blaring It’s a Wonderful Life. The ten foot Christmas tree, fully decorated and lit, was laying across the top of the TV. She peered over it and saw the wooden step ladder open and splayed across the tree. Behind all of that, she saw a tangled mass of string lights, still cheerfully blinking.

She pushed her way past all the mess that looked as if the place had experienced a major earthquake. Lying next to the tangled mass of string lights, Harry was blankly staring at a single bulb clutched in his hand. Myrtle could see it was the only bulb in the whole string that wasn’t blinking. A portion of the string was wrapped around Harry’s ankle and another short length of it had tangled around his neck but Harry had a firm hold on the section with the single bulb.

Myrtle stood there for a moment, gathering in the whole scene, a blank, emotionless look on her face.

“I told him not to take my Christmas stuff down until I got home.” She said this in a nonchalant, matter of fact way.

She looked around the room and slowly walked into kitchen. She opened the refrigerator, took out the egg nog and reached for a glass and the spiced rum in the cabinet. She dug her meat mallet from the junk drawer and crushed a few ice cubes, put the shattered fragments in the glass and slowly poured two shots of rum into the glass. As she did this she began to hum ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. She filled the rest of the glass with egg nog and headed back into the living room.

Frosty the Snowman played on the TV as the detectives kneeled over the two bodies.

“Look at this, Jack. They were both drinking.” Ed pointed at the glass lying on its side on the dingy carpet next to a large wet spot that vaguely smelled of rum.

“So, what’s wrong with that? It’s Christmas.” Jack kicked the glass aside as he stood up. “It’s just a simple accident. They probably got all tangled up when he got up on the ladder and fell.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right.” Ed looked at Myrtle, face down on the carpet with a piece of the twisted string of Christmas lights wrapped around one fat ankle. “Hey! Would ya look at that! There’s a bulb out!”

Thank you for reading my new short story, Taking Harry Down.

Here’s the poll!

How long do leave Christmas up at your house?

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The Girl on the Train, Review by Ethan Holmes

This is a review of The Girl on the Train by author Ethan Holmes.

I rarely drop a book in mid-read and yet I find myself doing this multiple times during the past year or two. I bought the book as an author who is trying to determine what the ‘audience’ out there wants, basically, what makes a best seller.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins now joins my growing list of disappointments along side Fifty Shades of Crap and John Lescroart’s Plague of Secrets as books I cannot comprehend reaching the lofty heights of publication and notoriety they have attained.

Disappointment doesn’t cover it. Add in four cups of frustration, one cup of confounded, three tablespoons of astonishment, a dash of puzzlement and at least a dash of anger and you have the perfect recipe for an author who still does not know what the reading public wants or why they seem to want the trash that is making millionaires out of people who can’t write.

I was forty pages into The Girl on the Train and I could find no vestige of a plot. What I did find was the constant, incessant ramblings of a psychotic woman who was constantly watching trains, riding trains or drinking on the train. The only concrete characteristic is that she is an alcoholic. In truth, it felt as though I had inadvertently stumbled across the diary of a twenty year old whack job. I wasn’t supposed to be reading it and I didn’t want to read it after the first seven pages, and yet I plodded onward.

It didn’t get much better and I held little hope that it would. That is not a pleasant way to enjoy one’s precious reading time. I asked my editor about this book and she confirmed my increasing disappointment by informing me that she ‘could not finish it’.

When I began writing seriously with foolish thoughts of becoming a rich, famous author, one of the most important things I learned about novel writing was that it was necessary to capture the attention of the reader quickly. This book fails miserably and it stills fails miserably fifty pages in.

I also learned another frustrating fact or two while researching this ‘best seller’. The author pitched the book while it was only half finished, a big alleged no-no in this business. I would like to talk to whoever read the first half of The Girl on the Train manuscript and then sent this woman money. I think the main character was not the only one drinking that day.

The other bit of news was that this book somehow became a movie. That is where an author makes the real money in this business, movie rights. Apparently from the reviews, the movie is as bad as the book. What’s puzzling and mind-numbing frustrating to me is that it is no longer important to be a writer who writes well, (a goal I always had from the beginning). You just have to write the flavor of trash the buying public wants and hope they make a movie out of it.

The long and short of it is that I could have written a two sentence review of this book. It would read as follows. “I purchased this book at Costco for $9.99 plus tax. I would like to return to Costco and ask for $9.79 back….plus tax.

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books, including the highly relevant most recent release,

Water

Get your free copy of Ethan Holmes’ collection of short stories, Shorts and Other Laundry by clicking the book cover below.

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Asking Why, Not Expecting Answers

I’m asking why, not expecting answers. I’m Ethan Holmes. Yes, I’m weird. Yes, I have strange thoughts running through my head. These are things that cross my brain when the traffic in my head slows down.

Why does it take a hacksaw, a drill gun, a utility knife and a pair of pliers to get into modern day packaging?

Why do shoes made for a dollar in Korea or China and consisting of nothing more than a piece of rubber, a piece of foam and two shoelaces cost $150?

Why is rain a big media event in Phoenix?

Why do most, if not all prescription medications have many more dangerous side effects than the symptoms your ‘doctor’ is trying to help you hide?

Why are some women’s clothes marked as size ZERO? Does that mean you’re paying for nothing?

Why do people swear in front of God, Church, family and friends to stay together ’till death do you part’ and then get a divorce? Shouldn’t you just be allowed to legally kill each other?

Why is going without underwear called ‘going commando’? Is the military unable to afford underwear for the soldiers?

Why do all the plants in your garden become stunted and die due to a myriad of diseases and bugs, yet the weeds grow to four feet?

Why do kids learn to ride skateboards and spend the next five years trying to jump off of them and break something?

Why do people pay for someone to tie a rubber rope around their ankles and shove them off a bridge?

Why do people allow themselves to be overcharged by a major coffee chain for a 16 oz. drink only to be handed a cup with 8 oz. of fluid in it?

Last but not least, I’m asking why is it that there are nearly 320 million people in this country and the best you could come up with for President was the two clowns currently gnawing at each other?

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books, including his dry-wit look at life in general,

Live Your Life in a Crap Free Zone.

Live Your Life In a Crap Free Zone by Ethan Holmes

Available in paperback and ebook.

Ethan Holmes’ latest novel, Water, is available in paperback and ebook. What would you do if you tried to take a shower and nothing but mud came out of the shower head?

Water by Ethan Holmes

 

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Daniel and the Mall by Ethan Holmes

Daniel and the Mall by Ethan Holmes is a short story exhibiting society’s burgeoning addiction to their cell phones. It’s also an entertaining story demonstrating how easy it is to cause chaos and panic, even if you’re an unarmed and very angry teenager.

Daniel and the Mall, By Ethan Holmes

Daniel was an unhappy boy most of his life. When he was fourteen, his father went to jail for molesting his own daughter. His mother was a Bible-thumping whack job who couldn’t figure out whether to pray about her problems or cut her husband’s testicles off and kill him if he ever got out. She carried a lot of anger and bitterness around with her and handed most of it down to her son.

I won’t go into any more of his background except to tell you that he grew into his teen years rebelling fiercely against any authority, took to robbing convenience stores and stealing cars and generally became a walking time bomb. Then one day the bomb went off.

It’s amazing to watch a human brain, normally occupied by life, conjure up a plan of evil genius when focused on perceived revenge. Daniel was intent on revenge against society in general for having, somehow, done him wrong. What he came up with was brilliant.

He didn’t have the spine to perform the shootout-of the-day like so many before him. It’s been done over and over. You steal an assault rifle and an automatic pistol, a bunch of ammo and head for the local movie theater/store/post office. You kill and maim a bunch of innocent people who had nothing at all to do with your life and then you commit suicide or let the cops use you for target practice.

No, Daniel wanted to do something different, something unique. He finally came up with a plan designed to prove to the world how angry he was and how easy it was to show it.

Daniel got up one bright, summer day and dressed in four layers of clothes. The first layer was a pair of light blue gym shorts and a white tank top. The second layer was a larger, baggier pair of tan cargo shorts and a black Nirvana tee-shirt. The third layer was a gray sweatshirt and nylon gray sweatpants with a San Francisco Giants baseball cap turned backwards on his head. The final layer was black sweatpants and a black hoodie, both baggy enough and large enough to cover everything underneath. He wore black Nike tennis sneakers with no socks and he stuck a pair of black flip-flops and a red-streaked, punkish wig in the front pouch of his hoodie. Then he headed for the local mall.

It was 3:30 p.m. and Daniel paid for a matinee showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at the AMC Movie Theater at the far western end of the mall. He took a seat in the back row of the theater, just inside the left aisle directly behind two teenaged girls. He scanned the area taking note that there were only about thirty people there. He looked around, smiling as he saw that better than two-thirds of them were busily pecking away or staring at their cellphones. It looked like a firefly convention in the darkened theater.

Waiting until the moment the theater was completely dark and the coming attractions had just begun, Daniel reached over the seat backs in front of him like a darting hummingbird and snatched both of the cellphones from the two girls. He hurled them toward the front of the theater and quickly ducked behind the seats and scurried toward the aisle to his right. He stifled a giggle as the girls screamed several times.

The two girls reacted exactly as Daniel thought they would. First, they screamed in shock and fright because someone had reached over them in the dark. They looked at each other with their mouths hanging open and screamed again. Then they both stood up and shook their hands as though they were being sprayed with cat urine and screamed again simultaneously.

“OH, MY GOD! OH, MY GOD!”

Daniel didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the fact that they were literally freaking out because their cellphones were gone. He waited for just a second or two at the end of the row and once again the two girls reacted just as he thought they would.

Both of them frantically ran toward the front of the theater and dropped to their hands and knees searching for their beloved phones.

Daniel smiled again as he peered over the seat in front of him and saw that the commotion had done just what he hoped. Everyone’s attention was on the two panicked girls in the front. He slinked across the right aisle and slid in behind a woman and two kids. The woman was sitting there holding a cell phone lit up in mid-text as she peered into the darkness trying to figure out what was going on. Daniel reached over and snatched her phone, hurling it back in the direction he had just come from.

The woman screamed; the kids laughed. Daniel ducked back behind the seats and headed for the aisle by the right wall. The woman stood up, cursed and looked in the row behind her. She couldn’t see much of anything. She looked at the girls, the kids and back at the row and stomped off in the direction of her phone.

“I’m callin’ the cops!” She yelled this at no one in particular.

By now, the theater was rapidly being enveloped in the growing commotion. A few people yelled at the girls to go sit down and quit screaming. Others just kept poking away at the screens on their phones. Now they had something to text about to their friends. Only the three people who had their phones snatched knew what the reason was for the turmoil.

Daniel nonchalantly stood up and looked around as though he had just arrived, searching for a seat. He walked down the same row of seats he had just slunk down as the two girls up front started yelling again.

“I can’t find my phone! Please help me! Somebody help me find my phone! Oh, my GOD!”

Someone in the dark yelled back.

“Fuck you and your damned phone! Sit the hell down so we can watch the movie!”

The coming attractions and snack bar commercials played on as Daniel sat down in the middle section of seats about halfway down. In front of him were two men, laughing and poking each other as they shared photos on both their phones of the same naked woman holding pompoms on a football field.

Daniel sat there for a moment, the angry memories of his imprisoned father surging up inside him. He was waiting for one moment; just the right moment.

As the men chortled and made crude remarks, that moment Daniel had been waiting for arrived. The coming attractions ended and the screen went black for just a few seconds as the movie started. That’s all Daniel needed.

He didn’t even stand up. He simply slid forward in his seat and sharply banged both men on the shoulder opposite him; one on the left shoulder, one on the right. Predictably both turned in opposite directions and cursed simultaneously.

“What the fuck?!”

Daniel slid his long, thin arms forward between them, snatched their phones out of their hands and hurled them toward the right front corner of the theater. As the darkened screen began to light up with the movie production logo, the clatter of the two phones hitting the uncarpeted floor down in front could be heard.

The two men stood up and repeated themselves.

“What the fuck, man?!”

Daniel was already sliding toward his left down the row of seats, headed for the emergency exit door on that side of the theater.

The men stood there befuddled, momentarily unable to decide whether to look for whoever had done this or head for the corner of the theater to find their phones. It didn’t take them long to figure out why the two girls were down in front already.

As they stood there, they heard a loud clang as the emergency door was flung open. Instinctively, everyone in the theater looked in that direction. A blast of blinding white sunlight lit up the doorway and a dark silhouette exited the theater and slammed the door closed. Most, if not all, of the people turned sharply away from the brilliant light and didn’t see a thing.

“Stupid people! They’re so fixated on their fucking, little phones, they don’t even have the sense to chase me!”

Daniel was correct in his assessment of what he had just done. Of the five people whose phones he had snatched and thrown into the darkness, not one of them chose finding him over finding their precious phone. The fun was just beginning.

He headed down the covered walkway that connected the theater with Dillard’s, one of the anchor stores of the mall. He walked through the store looking not unlike any other teenager mall-surfing. Proceeding out the front entrance of the store and onto the upper level promenade of the mall, Daniel spotted his next target and slowed down.

He stopped at the wood and glass railing that lined the edge of the promenade looking down onto the lower level. He was pleased to see a large water fountain below him.

He turned to the two women he had spotted standing in front of Spencer’s, each with a stroller containing a small child and a bunch of packages and bags. Both of them clutching their phones, animatedly pointing at them and laughing.

Daniel pulled the strings on his black hoodie so that it tightened around his face, slightly distorting it. Then he put on his best ‘poor, little kid’ face and approached the women.

He addressed the shorter of the two wearing a white tennis skirt.

“Excuse me, ma’am. I don’t have a cellphone and I need to call my mom for a ride home. Could I borrow yours for a minute to call her?”

The two women looked at each other in surprise. The one he addressed responded.

“You don’t have a cellphone? Really? What’s the matter with your parents; they can’t afford one?”

Daniel ignored her rude ignorance and stood there silently doing his best to look helpless.

The two women looked at each other for a moment and the taller one handed Daniel her phone.

“Here, you can use mine. Call your mom and tell her to get you a cellphone.”

Both women laughed as she handed the phone to Daniel. He smiled and thanked her. He brought up the dial pad on the touchscreen and pretended to dial a number as he turned his back on the two women. Walking slowly from the women and acting as though he was talking to someone, Daniel reached the wood and glass barrier a few yards away. The two women, chatting as they waited, looked up in time to see Daniel appear to fumble the phone right over the railing and down to fountain below.

The taller woman yelped and ran over to the railing followed closely by her friend.

She turned to the friend, “He dropped my fucking phone in the fountain down there! Oh my God!”

To Daniel’s amazement, the women ran right past him toward the escalator, leaving their strollers, kids, packages and bags right where they had been sitting when he approached them. He looked over at the strollers as the women ran down the escalator yelling, “Oh, my God!”

The shorter woman’s cell phone was sitting on the canopy of one of the strollers. Daniel calmly walked over and picked it up. He glanced at the sleeping children in the strollers. He turned back toward the railing and launched the cellphone high into the air. He knew, by the trajectory, that it was going to land perfectly in the same fountain.

The taller woman was already in the fountain, having ripped her shoes off at the edge and wading in panic stricken. The shorter woman was at the edge vigorously cheering her on when they both saw a splash in the pool of the fountain. The woman already in the fountain walked straight toward the splash, reached down and came out with a phone.

She held it up and stared at it for a couple of seconds and then turned to her friend, puzzled and confused.

“Hey, Doris, this looks like your phone.”

Doris held up her hands as though she should have been holding something. Her face turned from astonishment to dismay as she clapped her right hand to her belt on her hip.

“That rat bastard threw my cell phone down here too!”

Both of them looked up at the railing but Daniel was nowhere to be seen. He was already halfway down the promenade toward the center of the mall where the food court was located. He turned into a small hallway that led down to a janitorial closet and removed his hood, turning his Giants baseball cap around so the bill was pulled low over his face. He stepped back out onto the promenade.

Some kids around Daniel’s age were in front of him as he walked and one of them had on baggy pants hanging around his hips. An Ipod was sticking halfway out of the back pocket with a long thin white cord running up to a pair of earbuds firmly planted in the kid’s ears. Daniel snagged the Ipod, pulled the cord and pitched it over the railing just as two shabbily dressed Mexican guys walked past the group headed in the opposite direction.

As quickly as the music stopped coming through the earbuds the kid turned around and felt in his back pocket. Daniel didn’t say a word. He just pointed at the two Mexican guys while keeping his face low under his cap.

The kid in the baggy pants stopped, confused for a moment. The rest of the group kept going, not realizing their friend had stopped. Daniel kept moving as he heard the Ipod kid yelling at the Mexicans to stop.

Looking down at the food court from the upper level, Daniel could hear a growing hubbub from the west end of the mall where he had entered. The kid and the Mexicans were already shoving each other and his companions were rushing back to see what was happening. Daniel smiled as he could hear more noise farther down the line where he had thrown the two phones into the fountain.

He headed down the escalator and into the food court. There he headed straight for the rest room. Mall traffic was light and he waited for a moment as the last two men left the rest room. He entered one of the stalls and quickly removed his black hoodie and sweat pants. He stood on the toilet seat and shoved them up onto the acoustic ceiling tiles. He turned his baseball cap inside out and put it back on, pulling the bill down. Now he was dressed all in grey.

He left the restroom and, just as he anticipated, a few people were looking around suspiciously as though they had some information about something. A mall security guard actually startled Daniel, tapping him on the shoulder.

“Hey, kid. You see anyone around here wearing black sweats and a black hoodie?”

“No, sir, I ain’t seen nothin’.”

Daniel kept his face angled away from the man as he replied.

The guard’s radio cackled and he walked away talking into it. Daniel headed for the far side of the food court.

At a table in front of a small restaurant selling Greek Gyros, four people sat eating sandwiches and French fries; a woman, two boys who appeared to be about eight or nine years old and a small girl who looked no older than four or five.

Daniel slid into the chair at the table next to them so hard that it spilled the soda nearest to him. It was a deliberate move. The woman shrieked as Pepsi went splattering all over the table and headed for her lap. The two boys laughed and jumped up and the little girl on the far side of the woman happily munched her fries.

“Oh, shit! You boys get some napkins or towels.” The woman dabbed at the growing puddle with a napkin and turned to glare at whoever had done this.

Daniel was already gone. In the moment it took for all of them to be distracted by the sudden, jarring spill, he had grabbed her cellphone sitting by her plate. While the two people behind the counter of the Greek restaurant were occupied with getting towels and napkins and helping the woman, Daniel reached over the clear, plastic counter top and dumped her phone in the fryer. He grinned as it made a loud pop and sizzled. He had more reason to grin as he headed out of the food court. He could hear her screaming as he walked toward Macy’s.

“Where is my goddamned cellphone?”

Daniel entered the store. He had scoped this out before. The two weakest spots in here were the make-up department and the jewelry counter. First, there was a slight change to be made.

He went to the men’s clothing section and slipped inside one of the changing rooms. He removed his gray sweatshirt and the nylon, gray sweatpants. He took off his baseball cap and put on the wig he had shoved in the pocket of the sweatpants on his first change-out. He also took the flip flops which he had transferred to the rear pockets of the gray sweatpants and put those on. He stuffed the sweatpants in one sneaker, the sweatshirt in the other. He stood on the small corner bench in the change room and lifted the acoustic ceiling tile. He threw both sneakers up there and replaced the tile. Now he was dressed like a punk, surfer teen with streaky hair in baggy cargo shorts, a black Nirvana shirt and flip flops.

Back out in the main area of the store, Daniel headed for the make-up counter. Only four people were in the area; the counter clerk, a single customer, a store employee stocking shelves in the ‘Teens’ section and an elderly security guard by the store entrance who was actually nodding off.

The customer was an elderly lady who had dyed her hair so red it had turned an eerie orange. She was sitting on a stool as the clerk applied a ghostly white powder to her face. Daniel had to suppress outright laughter as he heard the clerk tell the old lady how beautiful she looked while dusting her up to look like she was already dead.

He eased his way over, acting as though he was looking for something.

“Can I help you with something? You appear to be lost!” The clerk said this with marked sarcasm.

He took the opportunity to move closer, now standing between the two.

“Well, like, dude. I was wondering if you, like, had any perfume for like, my girlfriend. Is that some there?”

Daniel stuck his hand out, pretending to point, and knocked the container of facial powder off the counter. It went all over the clerk and the floor.

“Well, you little shit! Look what you’ve gone and done!” The clerk was livid.

The orange-haired lady slid off the stool.

“Oh my, my. What a mess!”

She half-heartedly brushed at the powder all over the clerk, trying fruitlessly to help her get it off her dark blue jacket.

While the two of them were occupied with this, Daniel used the time to abscond with the old lady’s cellphone sitting on the glass counter right next to her flower-embroidered, canvas purse. By the time the two of them looked around, he was gone.

Heading for the far exit, he had to pass through the jewelry department and it couldn’t have been set up better for him if he had called in ahead of time.

A young woman had been looking at rings. Her purse and cellphone were sitting on the counter around the corner from where she and the clerk were currently viewing some additional choices. It was almost too easy as Daniel floated by, snatched the phone and kept walking straight out the door of Macy’s into the bright warmth of the late afternoon sun.

He looked at the two cellphones in his hands, smiled, dropped them onto the sidewalk, crushed them both under his feet and started walking. Once he cleared the mall parking lot he headed for an underpass of the nearby highway. There he stripped down to his final change of the tank top and gym shorts. He removed the wig to reveal his natural sandy blonde hair. Removing the soft dirt from a hole he had dug previously, he buried the remaining items under the underpass and climbed the steep embankment up to the highway.

Daniel stopped for a moment and turned back toward the Macy’s he had just exited. He smiled as he saw the elderly security guard with a few of his colleagues standing over the spot where he had crushed the phones. They all had their radios in their hands. Within seconds, two police cars screeched up to the entrance and, as Daniel turned to walk away, another went screaming right by him, sirens blaring, headed for the mall.

That evening he found the news particularly satisfying and entertaining. Every channel was blaring news about the ‘terrorist attack’ at the mall by multiple assailants stealing and destroying electronic devices. To hear them tell it, in all their glorious ignorance, there had been at least four attackers, starting with the “vicious and mysterious assault in the movie theater”.

Daniel watched, at once fascinated and amused, as he saw rough video and still images of himself in various stages of his disguises. What was most amusing and satisfying was the utter chaos, panic and confusion he had caused with this single, well-planned expedition to the mall.

He learned that fear, agitation and hysteria are all highly contagious. He learned that knocking people out of their routine, for even a fleeting moment was easy. Causing them discomfort of any kind was a sure-fire ingredient for panic. Most of all, God help you if you mess with their beloved cellphones.

They tried him as an adult. He was actually turned in by his own family who recognized certain little details about him on TV. His mother vowed never to have anything to do with him again and assured him that he would burn in the fires of eternal damnation for his sins.

Nothing like a mother’s love; is there?

Daniel and the Mall by Ethan Holmes is a short story which will be a chapter incorporated in an upcoming novel in progress titled 5:23.

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books including Earth’s Blood and his latest release, Water.

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A Lonely, Lonely Man

A Lonely, Lonely Man

By Ethan Holmes

He sets his head upon the pillow,

as he has done many thousands of nights before,

embraced only by the confined dark of the room,

wrapped solely in the silence that comes with every inevitable night.

 

Sleep brings only what could be or might have been,

restless, no peace, tossing in the black with demons of tormented thought,

Waking and sleeping, sleeping and waking,

Always succumbing to the sheer weariness.

 

He is a lonely, lonely man.

 

He quietly sips the morning’s coffee, now tasteless and without comfort,

watching sunrise in no particular awe, listening to birds sing far happier than he.

He plods through work, mindless and without joy or pride,

hoping each week be longer than the last, that he could remain out, away, anywhere but home.

 

Doleful, even wistful, he gazes in wonder at the couple on the bench,

holding hands, each searching the windows of the other’s soul for love.

In his mind he holds his hands high to heaven and cries out to no one and nothing.

“Why not me? Where could she be?”

 

He is a lonely, lonely man.

 

He walks, the walk of a man with no life in the step,

slogging forward, one foot floating by the other, neither an inch from the ground.

He remembers he used to notice things, the water, the squirrels, the annoyed crows.

He recalls a man who moved with purpose, long lost goals, unfulfilled dreams.

 

The wind tears at his jacket, burns his eyes, tingles his fingers.

He wobbles against the beating, raising his arms as though to take it with him.

The white water races and jumps, cavorts over the red boulders below, begging him.

“Come down from there.” He barely hears her voice over the wind.

 

He was a lonely, lonely man.

lonely man midgley bridge

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Water Shortages, Rain Doesn’t Fix It

Water is the single most precious resource on the planet, not oil.

A couple of days of rain doesn’t mean there’s water and the global shortages are all gone. Humans tend to be short-sighted like that. Bring on a nice string of spring rain storms and everyone re-submerges themselves in complacency and waste. That’s not a good idea.

A few days ago, it was announced that Lake Mead, the single largest source of potable water in the southwest U.S., was at its lowest level since it was first filled up via Hoover Dam in 1936.

ethanholmesblogLakeMeadDecline_ModIn early 2000, I photographed Lake Mead from atop Hoover Dam and from various other vantage points. It didn’t look much different from the 1983 shot above. Today, it looks like this.

ethanholmesbloglakemeaddroughtAnd this.

ethanholmesbloglakemeaddrought3Water levels are so low that a billion dollars is being spent to construct a new intake below the current lowest one, (about 900′). Intakes are how we get water out of the pool and into our homes and businesses.

After that, Lake Mead becomes a dead pool. No water is going to leave the lake, such as it is at the time. Keep in mind that the whole reservoir is like a giant funnel that gets narrower as it drops. That means the remaining level is going to drop at a much more precipitous rate from now on. Something to think about while you’re washing your car, running the water while doing dishes or brushing your teeth, pouring it by the hundreds of gallons on your lawn so it will look pretty and running your irrigation for hours when it’s not necessary. (Unfortunately, these are only a few of the many ways in which humans nonchalantly waste this precious resource.)

This is why I stopped two other books in progress a year and a half ago and wrote the fact-based, fictional novel Water. Just as I did in writing Earth’s Blood, I did my homework first. The time is coming when large portions of this country will experience what I depict in Water. Already there are more than a few communities of all sizes that no longer have readily available potable water. You can find them spread all across the western U.S. as well as in many other countries around the planet.

What would you do if you went to your kitchen faucet and nothing came out? What if you turned on the shower and got hit in the face with spatters of mud? Try flushing a dry toilet. Go to the grocery store and find the produce shelves bare. Then what?

water-cover-5ARead what happens when the world runs out of water.

Visit the author, Ethan Holmes.

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A Return To Paperbacks

As an author, I’m making a return to paperbacks. Not that I ever left.

Back in May of last year, I wrote a blog titled The Death of Ebooks. Sales of ebooks have dropped significantly as device owners change the usage of their tablets and smartphones from useful things like news, weather, online magazine articles and books to games, photos and so-called ‘social networking’. (Less than 10% of the top forty apps on both Android and Apple platforms are for anything else.)

I am the author of six books and working on three more, all in ebook format and three currently in paperback. I find myself returning to the more traditional paperback and audio formats. Well, I say return yet I never left. My first novel, a sci-fi thriller about the largest seismic event to ever strike the planet, Earth’s Blood, was immediately put into paperback format. Since then, my latest fictional novel based on the current world-wide potable water shortages, Water, has also been put into paperback form. My dry-witted, cracked humor look at life and the many choices it presents one with, titled Live Your Life in a Crap Free Zone is the third title in paperback.

ethan holmes paperback 2

I believe that the majority of truly devoted book readers have always and will always wish to hold a book in their hands while they read. They want to turn the page with a moistened finger to see what happens next. They want to stick a tasseled bookmark in between the pages and reluctantly put the book down until the next time they have a few spare yet delightful moments of precious ‘me’ time.

This is not to say that no one is reading digital books anymore. Certainly millions are still doing just that. The problem is there are many more millions of ebooks out there. The number of purchasers and readers of digital books is declining. It’s not difficult to see where the math is going. Combine that with the fact that the name of the devices has changed from ‘ebook readers’ to ‘tablets’ with a much more diverse usage in tow and anyone can see what is happening.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire advertising say’s “it’s great for watching movies, playing games and reading books”. (Note the original purpose of a Kindle is now third.)

ethan holmes kindle fireThat said, I am making a return to paperbacks, hardcovers, audio books and seeking traditional representation and publishing. My books will all be available in ebook format. It just won’t be the primary objective anymore. Ten years ago, no one, including me, knew the ebook industry would have an explosive yet relatively short life span of growth. To borrow a song title from Dylan, “The Times, They are a Changin’.” It’s a good reason to change with them and make a return to paperbacks.

Instant Previews of Three Paperback Titles by Ethan Holmes on Amazon

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Earth's Blood thumnailCrap Thumbnail

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