Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some Like It Hot

Having recently finished the manuscript for my book project, I was in the mood for a mini-celebration. Since only a spicy meal could match my mood, I went to one of the 639 Mexican restaurants in our relatively small town where I ordered spicy tomatillo sauce instead of the usual salsa with my chips. The pretty waitress seemed extra friendly, and I could tell right away she was attracted to me, most likely sensing my imminent publishing greatness, so I was extra friendly right back.

Hoping to make an impression by making her work a little lighter, I used my napkin to wipe up a trail of the dribbled tomatillo salsa and then set it to the side. A few minutes later, the waitress checked on me and then went to get my bill.

Trying to shovel down the remaining chips and salsa before she returned, I got a hunk of particularly spicy pepper stuck in the back of my throat, which led to a coughing spell, which led to my eyes watering, which led to my nose beginning to run – just as the waitress turned the corner to return to my table.

In desperation, I grabbed my napkin to blow my nose; placing the napkin to my nostrils, I inhaled deeply to make sure I had enough air for a good blow, and when the wiped up tomatillo sauce hit my nasal cavity, I exploded in a fit of tears and sneezing, accompanied by a full blown snot waterfall.

The waitress never even slowed down as she paper air-planed my check the remaining couple of feet to my table. As she passed a waiter, she jerked her head in my direction and asked, “Cuál es su problema?”  (What’s his problem?)

The waiter, his arms stacked five plates deep, pirouetted to get a better look at me and, coming full circle back to the waitress, responded very matter-of-factly, “Cocaína.”

And that's how my taco addiction apparently escalated to narcotics.

Monday, August 12, 2013

FREE copy! Who wants it?

This is a random picture of my kid and his puppy because my audience likes stuff that's cute. (Well, most of them do anyway. Except you over there hiding your smart phone because you don't want your boss to see what you were looking at before this. You, ma'am, are in trouble!)

Ok, now that I have shamelessly exploited my son and dog (who are both way bigger than this now by the way) to get your attention, let's get down to bidniz.

FREE! FREE FREE! (Did I mention free?)

Join Ginger Cahoon Hassell (the winner of the write a blurb for the book cover contest) in earning a free autographed copy of The Most Educated Idiot I Know! The manuscript is on the way to the beta readers and copy editor, and the cover art is in progress. This means the book is ever so close to hitting shelves, and that means it's time to share this awesome news with as many as people as possible.

So here's the deal. Go to my author page on Facebook and make sure you have already liked it. (If you are already there, look at how smart you are! You are way ahead of everyone else in this contest!) Share the page (not this post but the actual page) with as many people as possible. To do that, look at the right hand corner just beneath the Lego box cover pic. See that little sprocket doodad thingie with a drop down arrow? Ok, click the drop down arrow and choose share.  In your message, encourage your friends to go like the page (not the post you just shared with them).
After that, spread the word with as many social media platforms as you can: tweet it, pin it, email it, text it, word of mouth it. Hell, send smoke signals if you are so inclined. The point is to get as many new likes for the page as possible, so people will be able to see the wonderifical announcement we have all been waiting for that will say, "TADA! The book is out!"
So now how exactly do we know who the winner is? Glad you asked!
When you have folks (by whatever means necessary) like the author page, ask them to post a message to the wall saying who sent them. The person with the most referrals wins the fancy, schmancy autographed copy of the book plus an all expense paid trip to Hawaii (all trip expenses paid by you)!
The contest will run up until just before the book is launched. This time frame depends on some external factors, but I can promise that you will have at least two weeks. I will keep you updated as the contest is about to tend.
So what are you waiting for? Get sharing! (Or are you going to let Ginger win a second free copy, leaving you empty handed?)
Thanks for your support, and let's be careful out there!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Butt Is On Fire!!!

Nothing lights a fire under an author's butt like having a couple of news organizations ready to run stories about an upcoming book release with appearance information. Guess I better get to finalizing some details!!!

In the meantime, go check out The Outer Banks Voice and The Scuppernong Reminder for your local news.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Contest: Win a Free Copy of the Book

Obviously, I should be working on the last couple of chapters of the book. At the same time, I need to get the cover done, so I can have an image to use for pre-ordering, which can take place at the same time I and my readers/editor are finishing up with the manuscript.

To finish the cover, I need to add my back cover blurbs. Now I know some well published authors who I could get blurbs from, but these people tend to write serious, life-examining, tear jerking type stuff, and well, let's face it, that ain't my style.

Therefore, I have decided to be like Macklemore and "give it to the people." So here we go: free signed author copy of The Most Educated Idiot I Know contest #1.

Here is a random picture of my birthday cake from two years ago even though I am not 40 anymore because
  1. Posts with pics get more views.
  2. My God, look at all that chocolate.

To be eligible for the contest, you must like the Facebook author page since you will be identified on the cover (in part) as a Facebook fan. Next, leave your blurb submission in the comment section below the Facebook posting of this blog post and get as many people as you can to like it. The winner will not be chosen solely on the most comment likes, but this will definitely be taken into consideration.

"But Dean, what the hell do I say in a book cover blurb?"

Glad you asked. Think back cover of Tina Fey's Bossypants in the sense that you can submit a comment for a heading of "Praise" For Dean Roughton  or for a heading of Advance "Praise" for The Most Educated Idiot I Know - where the term praise can be literal or used loosely.

You can say whatever you want, but this is a ridiculous book in a lot of ways, so the cover blurbs should attract a reader looking for something in the humor category. You may submit as many blurbs as you want, but use a separate comment for each.

Ok, I have procrastinated long enough. Now you go write some crap while I go write some crap.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Observations from Water Country USA

If you think wearing water shoes is not attractive/sexy, just imagine how sexy your butt will be limping around with blistered feet after walking barefoot on scorching concrete all day. (Anybody got any foot aloe?)

Also, Water Country USA is a family place. Wearing a netted bikini with two square inches of cloth over your orifices would be inappropriate even if you didn't have more cottage cheese than the dairy section of Food Lion.

Finally, I apologize for squishing the tiny human at the end of the water slide. I'm sorry you are now traumatized for life by a sunburned Sasquatch in Carolina blue swim trunks falling on you from the sky, but that's why the life guard was telling you to get out of the exit pool and stop swimming around.

Now everybody go get wet this summer!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Carpe Solem

Spring may be traditionally associated with rebirth and new life, but it’s summer where the real zest for life exists.  And while the official, calendar start of summer is still three weeks off, the weather (at least here in eastern NC) has boldly announced, “Hey, summer is here! Now what are you going to do about it?”

In an age of technological addiction (guilty as charged!) with 500 channels of nothing on TV, advanced video game consoles that make the old Atari system of the 80s look like an abacus, and portable phones and other devices that are 1,000 times as powerful as my first computer (a bulky, green screened monster that took up my entire desk), it’s easy to find oneself laid up in some soothing air conditioning, sipping on sugary drinks all day and turning into a vegetable brained zombie.
I say to you Carpe Solem!
Got kids? They will be grown in the blink of an eye. Cherish your time with them before the lure of
the world snatches up every free second. Get up off your ass and go make some memories. Today.  Right now. Play basketball together. Hunt ladybugs with your little one. Dig up some earthworms, grab a cane pole, and do some fishing! Who cares if you catch anything? Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy just being together by the edge of the water. Take your kids to Lowe’s and let them pick out their own flowers; then let them plant them in their own little plot of dirt. Throw baseball. Play corn hole. Get some sidewalk chalk, and the both of you let out your inner Van Goghs. (Just please no ear mutilation). Bubbles never get old! When’s the last time you climbed a tree? Go squish your toes in the mud and find some crawdads.  Sand castles, anyone? Go on a hike. (Bring plenty of water.) Teach your son how to pee his name.  (Just not near an electric fence, not that I have any firsthand knowledge of that or anything…) Share an ice cream cone. Have a watermelon fight – hey, that’s what the water hose is for, right?  Let your kid bury you in the sand. Do anything – but TURN OFF your electronics (after you finish reading this, of course, hehe) and give all your attention to your kids. They deserve it.

No kids yet? Then go make your own memories. Don’t live a life unfulfilled. Find a new summer love. Walk down the beach and check out the guys – or girls. Take chances. Eat like crap and don’t worry about the calories because you should be on the go enough to burn it off anyway. Go to a concert. Have a cook out.  Fill your cooler up, hit the sand, and be a Flip Flip Cowboy or Cowgirl.  Ride a roller coaster and throw your hands in the air on the drops. Get a new hairstyle. Get a tattoo. Eat a dish you would never in a million years have considered trying before. Go see your mom and dad and your grandparents; cook dinner for them. Ask your grandma to tell you something about your dad’s childhood that he would find embarrassing. Wash your car in the driveway or yard. (Barry Jackson will tell you if you get it right.) Go to a ball game. Roll your windows down and sing at the top of your lungs while totally jacking up the lyrics, or making your own. Watch some fireworks.  Better yet, create your own!

And whether you have kids or don’t have kids, don’t forget to Carpe Luna! Go skinny dipping, or chunky dunking as the case may be.  Ride around in the back of a truck.  Make some smores in the backyard. Sip some strawberry wine. Run naked in a summer rainstorm – stop, close your eyes, and just feel the water falling against your skin, each drop a tiny sense memory burning its way into your brain.

Whatever you do, get off your butt and go engage in the outside world. Now if you will excuse me, Connor and I are going to a birthday, pool party.  :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Learn to Eat Guilt Free!!!

Does this look like your idea of a good time?

How about this?

Or this?
Or even this?
So what's stopping you from living your dream and enjoying these tasty foods and beverages?