New Day Resolutions

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? My daughter asked our family this question during Christmas break.  She had obviously already thought this through as she was able to eloquently answer her own question. My wife, always the pragmatic one, laughed, and in Cantonese opined (and I’m paraphrasing), “Making New Year’s resolutions is useless. Don’t waste your time!”  My teenage son, earbuds in, smirked, and turned away, too cool to give this question any consideration. Suggesting that he agreed with his mother. (Always a prudent choice.)

The question made me uncomfortable. On one hand, I had been contemplating New Year‘s resolutions since early December and subconsciously felt guilty that I hadn’t made it official by writing something down. While on the other hand, I agreed with my wife’s opinion, and subconsciously decided that I wouldn’t write anything down because I knew I would ultimately fail to keep my resolutions (again).

However, now, as 2019 has now begun, and I return to work, I realize that I make daily, weekly, even monthly “resolutions”.  I even write them down in an excel spreadsheet and check the actions/accomplishments off as I them done. For example, I resolved this morning to write and publish my first blog of the year (Check). I also resolved to make the first draft of my 2018 Employee Performance Review (Check). Yay me! It’s been a productive day, and it’s not even noon yet. 

It reminds me of a US Marines promotional campaign that advertised, “We do more by 9 a.m. than most people do in a day.”  A comedian (Adam Carolla?) said something like, “Yeah that’s probably not the right message to send to your teenage boy target audience.” 

And Bad Mistakes. I’ve Made a Few.

I had lunch with an old friend of mine, who bought the eBook version of “Suicide By Everest” and gave me a list of spelling errors and grammar issues that he had found. (Thanks Troy W.!). I’ve since gone into the KDP author portal and updated the novel.  Although I hope that I’ve now caught all the errors, I’m sure that readers will continue to find issues.  One of the benefits of publishing on KDP is how easy it is to fix and update.  As new errors are found, I will update this Blog entry.  —Scott

November 28, 2018

Chapter 3: Hong Kong, Subchapter 7. (~page 52, paragraph 2). Was: “…that after Jesus was resurrected and he appeared…”. Corrected “…that after Jesus was resurrected he appeared…”

Chapter 3: Hong Kong, Sub-chapter 14 (~ page 72, paragraph 3). Was: “…as it had been that been that long…”. Corrected: “…as it had been that long …”

Chapter 6: The Happy Ho, Sub-chapter 5 (~page 155, paragraph 11). Was: “As much hard as it may be for you to believe…”. Corrected: “As hard as it may be for you to believe…”

Chapter 6: The Happy Ho. Sub-chapter 7 (~page 162, paragraph 4). Was: “hank you. I’m glad you called.” Corrected: “Thank you. I’m glad you called.”

Chapter 6: The Happy Ho. Sub-chapter 11 (~page 175, paragraph 5). Was: “… thirty-five-year-old man that that seems hell-bent…” Corrected: “…thirty-five-year-old man that is hell-bent…”

Chapter 6: The Happy Ho. Sub-chapter 11 (~page 175, paragraph 6). Was: “…better for everyone if you if you left Utah entirely.” Corrected: “…better for everyone if you left Utah entirely.”

Chapter 7: Salt Lake City. Sub-chapter 3 (~page 188, paragraph 2). Was: “He could climb up one his old favorite mountaineering routes…” Corrected: “He could climb up one of his old favorite mountaineering routes…”

Chapter 7: Salt Lake City. Sub-chapter 6 (~page 199, paragraph 5). Was: “… I’d give you have seven days to pay…” Corrected: “…I’d give you seven days to pay…”

Chapter 9: Bullet Train. Sub-chapter 1 (~page 252, paragraph 3). Was: “…handing Brig his small pack as hed shouldered his own…” Corrected: “…handing Brig his small pack as he shouldered his own…”

Chapter 9: Bullet Train. Sub-chapter 3 (~page 257, paragraph 14). Was: “While you were into the bathroom….” Corrected: “While you were in the bathroom…”

Chapter 9: Bullet Train. Sub-chapter 9 (~page 278, paragraph 2). Was: “…weaved in and out of traffic and bicycles madeg faster progress…” Corrected: “…weaved in and out of traffic and bicycles made faster progress…”

Chapter 10: Lhasa. Sub-chapter 6 (~page 330, paragraph 2). Was: “Tommy followed, dropped his baggage…” Corrected: “James followed, dropped his baggage…”

Top 25 Favourite/Influential Books of All Time

I just started this list (11/20/2018) so I’m sure it will be edited and added to over the years.  What are your favorites? What am I missing?

  1. The Hobbit & The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  3. Suicide By Everest by Scott J. Thurman
  4. A Secret History by Donna Tartt
  5. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  6. The Passage (Series) by Justin Cronin
  7. The Book of Mormon (God & Various)
  8. The Bible (God & Various)
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand)
  10. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  11. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  12. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  13. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
  14. Papillon
  15. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  16. Game of Thrones Series by George R. Martin
  17. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  18. Jaws by Peter Benchley
  19. The Stand by Stephen King
  20. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  21. The Source by James Michener
  22. Shogun (The Asian Saga) by James Clavell
  23. Memoirs of Geisha by Arthur Golden
  24. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

My Contact Information

Now that I’ve published my book, and I’m in the sales and marketing phase, I find myself constantly having to look up all of the different ways a reader can find my book, or contact me.  So I’m creating this page to gather all the places I exist on the Internet.



To be continued….

My Twitter Journey

I have been a Twitter user for years, and have used a number of different handles that have died from disuse. Facebook had always been my go-to social networking platform, and Twitter was an afterthought.

In August of this year, I decided that I needed a separate handle for my writing and to promote my book (Suicide By Everest,  being published October 28th on KDP). I established @ScottJThurman as my author account and in a very short period of time surpassed the number of Followers on my business account, and will probably exceed 1000 Followers by the end of this month (October).

I know there are Twitter folk that look down on those of us that shamelessly troll for Followers but for many of us it’s not only a social platform, it’s also a way to promote and sell our books. And although I know that only a small percentage of my Followers will buy my book, 1% of 1000, is greater than 1% 100.

Here are some Twitter guidelines that I’ve started to follow:

1) Follow back. I almost always Follow back. It’s an easy thing to do and it always feels good to get a new follower. Unless the person is espousing values that I strongly oppose or are selling something I won’t ever need, I follow.

2) Answer DMs. If somebody takes the time to write a thoughtful message to me, I hope that I will always write back. If it’s just a form DM that somebody has cut and and pasted, that may be grounds for unfollowing. Also, if you’re trying to sell me something, don’t bother, I ain’t buying.

3) I don’t Follow beautiful young women that Follow me and immediately try to start a conversation. What is up with that? It runs counter to my instincts as a man, but I’m savvy enough to know something ain’t right.

4) Follow Followers. When I’m scanning through the multitudes of Twitter accounts looking for good recruits, I look to see their Following to Follower ratio. If they are following more than they Follow chances are they’ll follow you back.

5) Collate. If I follow someone and they don’t follow me back in 48 hours (give or take) I unfollow them. It’s oddly satisfying. Of course if it’s some important influencer (i.e. a Kardashian), or somebody famous that I want to associate with (i.e. @ ) they can stay.

6) Follow Friday’s #FF are a good way engage with your Followers and grow your own Following. Today my theme was people with No Commas (I.e. Less than 1,000 followers) that have a Following to Follower ratio greater than 1.

… to be continued.

“I’ll Buy Your Book and You Buy Mine” Program

Authors on Twitter seem to be an engaged and loyal group.

I’ve been tweeting for years now, under many different handles, but my tweeting has been very sporadic.  Today, I have two Twitter accounts that I am actively using; one for my day job, and one for my writing (@ScottJThurman).   As I’ve started using Twitter more, I’ve noticed that the more engaged you are, the faster your “followers” grow, and you actually start forming friendships, and having interesting conversations!  Maybe even a nemesis or two.

I’ve also noticed how eager the author twitter community is to help and support each other.  I’ve already bought several books, that I wouldn’t have otherwise, just because the author and I shared a few “likes” on Twitter.  Hence, I am proposing a “You Buy My Book and I’ll Buy Yours” program, which is a list of people that will buy your book, on the assumption that you will buy theirs. It’s an honor system, at least until I can figure out how to correlate sales to participation. 🙂

Here are the rules:

  1. Join the list.  I’ve started a list on my Twitter Account (@ScottJThurman) called “Buy My Book”.  You are welcome to subscribe.
  2. Follow all of the Authors on the list and watch for their book promotions.  My book, Suicide By Everest comes out on Amazon on October 28th!
  3. Buy a book, and let the author know that you bought it, and provide a link to the book you would like them to buy in return.
  4. Preference should be given to an author that just published.  According to Amazon, those first few days are critical for future sales. As well as…
  5. Review: Give an honest review of the book.  I plan on blogging about the books I read, and I will always give my honest review.

If you are interested in joining let me know. If you have a book you want me to buy and review let me know.   If you have any ideas on the program itself, please comment, I am interested in hearing from you.

Thanks!  Scott