REBOUNCE teaser – sixty second read

REBOUNCE will be the final installment in the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy. An adventure story set in a post-pandemic, dystopian world.

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Large numbers of birds nested in the trees and their song was deafening. There was no farming in this area anymore, and the live animals that roamed the plains, or their corpses that rotted in the open air, led to an explosive increase in the numbers of insects. We had to remove the dead bugs from the car’s windshield twice a day, something that I only remembered my father talking about. Depending on our location, mosquitos and flies were so abundant that at times they overwhelmed us, getting into our nostrils and ears by the dozens. We constantly suffered bites and stings and the resulting itching drove us mad. The insects drove the animals wild too. The abundance of insects positively affected the numbers of birds and bats. I imagined that the world was now returning to the wildlife situation prior to the  nineteenth century – naturally without the species that mankind had eradicated in the interim. I wondered about climate change too. With the pandemic, the release of carbon-dioxide caused by humankind’s activities had come to a sudden stop. At the same time, most of the land that had been used for agriculture before the pandemic was now being reconquered by bushes and trees. This rich vegetation tied carbon-dioxide down in the form of biomass. Although it was too early to tell any difference, I suspected that the Earth’s average temperature would slowly start to decrease, leading to colder winters, the refreezing of the polar caps, the reappearance of the large glaciers, lowering of the sea levels and an end to desertification.

The first two novels of the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy. Get you copy in any internet bookstore, in any format.

Let me tell you a secret.

The summer was amazing: June, July and August, the sun beating on the Rhine valley like god’s anvil, temperatures hardly ever dropping beneath the thirties in daytime. No rain, the cistern ran out of water and we had to install more wine casks as raincollectors to water our tomatoes and fruits.

The local swimming pool was crowded every single day, the nights too hot to allow restful sleep and the farmers complained that the absence of rain was going to ruin the harvest.

This brought back childhood memories. Let me tell you a secret, that may proof valuable for you.

Many, many years ago, when I was a young boy, my father arrived home one night accompanied by two men carrying a big box. The box was put on the table and unpacked. It contained the very first television set that my parents had bought with their meager  income. Mind, this was the time when most people still spent the evenings listening to the wireless.

The men installed the television on a small table and left. My father switched it on. My mother, my sister, my brother and I looked eagerly at the screen.

Only atmospheric disturbance was visible: a gray soup of signal accompanied by a fizzy hissing sound. My father played with the two antennas, moving them from left to right and back again. Suddenly a voice appeared from the ether, and after some more fiddling, a human face emerged out of the signal swamp.

My father lowered himself next to us on the couch. The five of us stared at the man; the first person we had ever seen on a television.

The man wore a dirty blue cap. He was standing in the middle of a field, and obviously was a farmer. Another man, outside of view (we could only see his arm and hand) held a microphone under his mouth.

“What will happen…,” said the invisible man, “If it doesn’t rain within a few days?”

The farmer looked at the sky, at the ground and started a long explanation in an exotic dialect that we could not understand. But his facial expression and voice made clear that the end of the world, if not of all times, was closing in on us.

We watched his narrative for five minutes.

Finally, my mother said: “What’s on the other channel?”

My books: www.clemenssuter.com/books

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Originally posted 2018-09-30 23:04:00.

My Favorite Joke – “airplane crash” adapted to modern times

Donald Trump, Erdogan, the Dalai Lama  and a backpacking student are the four sole passengers on a plane crossing the ocean. Suddenly the pilot appears and says: “Sorry guys, both our wings fell off, engines gone, tail on fire: the plane is going to crash. Only four parachutes on board, I’m taking one, so goodbye and good luck.”

And he pulls open the door and jumps out.

The four passengers are stunned. Erdogan is the first to move, grabs one of the three remaining parachutes, straps it on and says:  “Guys, as the leader of the great Osman empire I have a responsibility for all Turks, and you will understand that it would be a terrible loss if I would die.” And out he jumps.

Donald Trump quickly grabs one of the two remaining parachutes, and shouts: “I am one of the greatest presidents and businessmen of the world, so true, I had the largest audience ever at my inauguration, I have big hands, the Democrats are to blame and I leave you with one parachute. So SAD !” And out he jumps.

Says the student: “Well, it seems only one of us can survive. Why don’t you take the last parachute?”

Says the Dalai Lama, with a twinkle in his eyes: “Don’t worry, son. Mr. Trump took your backpack.”

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Don’t miss out on the hilarious adventures of John and Daphne.

Originally posted 2018-09-23 21:40:00.

Shocking appearance in my dinner: Egg horror strikes again.

Is my kitchen HAUNTED? I have reported in the past about miraculous appearances in my dishes: especially in my fried eggs. See for instance this past blogpost.

I now report on a more shocking appearance. Is this the Creature of the Blue Lagoon in my eggs and fries? Vincent Price? Quasimodo? And if so: WHY?
Creature of the blue lagoon

Egg of horror

Originally posted 2018-09-02 05:08:00.

Top five ideas for your blog and self-publishing novels.

Carly, a regular reader of this blog, asked: “Why don’t you add ads to your blog? You create such great content; why don’t you monetize?” This got me thinking. I’ve been blogging for 10+ years, and here are some observations on how I’ve faired.

1. The number of visitors to my blog continues to increase month by month and year by year. Occasionally I have included ads in my blog, and in total I have made about… $13. Why is that? My blog focuses on content that I personally like. This is not mainstream content, it isn’t about gossip, sex, politics, current affairs, or even any one single topic. I’m presuming readers like to read the posts, but find ads distracting. Therefore, monetizing the blog through ads doesn’t add any value, neither for me as a blogger and author, nor for you as a reader, probably.

2. I have invested months in studying and implementing SEO, and I follow most of the rules in the SEO rule book – if that is possible (it is easy to overlook some important setting). The effort is considerable, yet Search Engine Optimization is a very intriguing topic that you will need to consider if you own a blog. In reality, 90% of the referrals to my blog arrive from my “Two_Journeys” Twitter channel, 7% from the “Clemens P. Suter” Facebook Page, and the other 3% from other channels – including search engines! By the way, my follower numbers on Twitter increase day by day, yet the number of followers on Facebook remains the same year over year.

3. Blogs compete for attention, and as more and more people are blogging, the tougher it gets to stick out from the crowd. I try to focus on content and less on the methodology and possibilities to monetize. My main purpose is to make potential readers aware of my books, and for that the blog is useful; a single site to attract people to, and bring them here.

4. Talking about selling books. I write adventure / SciFi stories (again see here) and self-publish. Here’s a very Intriguing Observation: >95% of my books are purchased as eBooks on iTunes. All other eBook formats such as Kindle, Kobo, and for other eBook readers, as well as paperbacks make up the other 5%. I suspect this skewed distribution across these channels has to do with the genre; I have no other explanation – perhaps you have an idea. Interestingly, every second person that I meet tells me that they prefer reading paperbacks: well dude, dudess; it’s not reflected in my sales😜. I am curious to hear your feedback or experience with this.

5. I’ve said it before: nowadays anyone with a laptop can be an author. Writing has been democratized, which is absolutely marvelous. At the same time, digging into to the ever changing landscape of online marketing is very rewarding too. Enthusiasm for the written word – perseverance – the motivation to try out new things – these are the ingredients that will help you be an author for a long time.

Hmm, perhaps I should add some ads to  this blog? What do you think?

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Two men reading one of my eBooks on their smartphone. Hot stuff!

 

Originally posted 2018-08-26 05:11:00.

A Small Yet Poignant Adventure Snack.

What does life look like in a post-apocalyptic world? What if a pandemic would succeed in killing all of humankind? Here’s a short sample from my manuscript REBOUNCE (working title), which will be available later this year for all readers.

What happened before: Alan, the lonesome traveler has left the Bay Area and is on his way to Salt Lake City. He makes a stop-over at a hotel.

Read the first two books of this trilogy already today: they are available as paperback and as eBook, for instance for Kindle or iPhone.

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The text below is not yet edited.

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CHAPTER 6

A few days later, the highway took us past a small town and as the evening sun was setting, I decided to find a place for the night. We took the next exit, and drove through an industrial area, at the end of which was a cluster of houses and a motel. I let the truck roll onto the parking lot and got out. The dogs spread out, sniffing the air, and doing their usual thing. They seemed unalarmed, and I decided to stay the night.

I moved about quickly and quietly. After a long drive, the evening air was as refreshing as a cold beer. I collected my backpack with necessities, my guns and a crowbar and locked the truck. Taking the staircase, we mounted the steps and I checked the doors of the rooms on the next floor. I couldn’t find one that was open. With the crowbar, I opened the door of one of the rooms at the end of the landing. I could smell multiple corpses inside, so I tried the next door. This one was clean. We slipped inside, and I jammed the crowbar underneath the door so that it would stay closed. My biggest fear always was that an intruder would surprise me in my sleep. Sure, the dogs would wake me as soon as they heard the slightest noise, nevertheless I didn’t want their bark to be the last sound I ever heard. I took all the necessary precautions: I moved about in the waning light of the setting sun and then closed the curtains tightly. I lighted a few candles, and by the weak illumination I opened cans of food for myself and the dogs.

The room had been unoccupied, and the bed was freshly made. It even had some cheap chocolates, now melted, on the cushions. Still, the bed looked inviting after a long day. I unpacked my backpack, sorted out its contents, laying aside some that I didn’t want anymore: tissues, an extra knife, a superfluous container that had held some candy. I cleaned the inside of the backpack and carefully repacked it again.

Before the epidemic I had been an avid reader, always carrying some novel or fact book with me, but I didn’t have much time for reading anymore. I was constantly occupied with organizing my belongings, taking care of myself, foraging or keeping things clean. Now I turned to my weapons and checked whether they were in full working order. I placed the rifle next to the bed, so that I could immediately grab it should I awaken. I always kept on my gun belt, I only took it off shortly before I fell asleep and put it on immediately after rising. Sometimes, I walked around in my underwear… but with my gun belt.

I moved the curtains aside a little and peeked outside. By now it was completely dark. Quickly I blew out the candle, removed the crowbar and stepped out on the landing.

Jon Danzig on the benefits of the EU

In this great blogpost (link below), Jon Danzig summarizes, both for a British audience, but also for European people that remain doubtful of the EU, what the true benefits of the EU really are. A sound summary that highlights why it is better to be in than out.

I my past posts, I pointed out a possible roadmap of the EU. I also want to highlight one point: the ability of the EU to keep some of the member states in check and on the path of democracy. Europe has always suffered from dictatorships that blatantly ignored human rights. Such populist or extreme right carry-ons can currently be observed in Hungary and Poland. Only the EU is in a position to thwart such attempts; without the EU several states would have gone renegade a long time ago.

Jon Danzig’s blogpost “Breturn versus Brexit”

Find my books here: www.clemenssuter.com/books.

Originally posted 2020-07-12 06:24:04.