Author's Log

by Norman John - April 22, 2012

Current versions (as of Sept 24, 2013):
Createspace Standard Edition 9"x6" Paperback ver 1.4 (1.4 upgrade - decreased first line indent from .5" to .3")

Createspace Valentine's Da y 2013 Edition 8"x5" Paperback ver 1.0

kindle Standard Edition ver 1.4
kindle Valentine's Day 2013 Edition ver 1.4.4

nook Standard Edition ver 1.4
nook Valentine's Day 2013 Edition ver 1.4.4

iBook Edition ver 1.0

Kobo Edition ver 1.1

To update to the latest version either check for an update on your e-reader or log into your kindle, nook, iBook or Kobo account. Typically your device will require you to be connected to your computer or a Wi-Fi connection.

Start date - 12-17-2010 9:38am EST

Novel Manuscript Statistics as of 08-24-2012 9:55pm EST

  • Characters (People in story): 150
  • MS Word letter size pages: 358
  • Words: 117,496
  • Chapters: 11
  • Mini Scenes: 276
  • Footnotes: 120

Novel Manuscript Statistics as of 10-6-2012 9:44pm EST

  • Characters (People in story): 178
  • MS Word letter size pages: 450
  • Words: 154,562
  • Chapters: 12
  • Mini Scenes: 320
  • Footnotes: 169

Novel Manuscript Statistics as of 10-28-2012 9:54pm EST

  • Characters (People in story): 195
  • MS Word letter size pages: 614
  • Words: 207,927
  • Chapters: 14
  • Mini Scenes: 419
  • Footnotes: 197

Novel Manuscript Statistics as of 12-18-2012 9:09pm EST

  • Characters (People in story): 204
  • MS Word letter size pages: 748
  • Words: 255,273
  • Chapters: 16
  • Mini Scenes: to be counted
  • Footnotes: 197

Novel Manuscript Statistics as of 12-27-2012 8:06am EST

  • Characters (People in story): 206
  • MS Word letter size pages: 801
  • Words: 272,219
  • Chapters: 16
  • Mini Scenes: to be counted
  • Footnotes: 197

Chapter History
Dates of initial writing-development
of each chapter

Chapter 1
started: 12-17-2010
finished: 12-18-2010

Chapter 2
started: 12-19-2010
finished: 12-23-2010

Chapter 3
started: 12-23-2010
finished: 12-25-2010

Chapter 4
started: 12-26-2010
finished: 12-26-2010

Chapter 5
started: 12-30-2010
finished: 8-24-2011

Chapter 6
started: 10-26-2011
finished: 12-04-2011

Chapter 7
started: 12-6-2011
finished: 2-20-2012

Chapter 8
started: 2-24-2012
finished: 6-4-2012

Chapter 9
started: 6-5-2012
finished: 6-13-2012

Chapter 10
started: 6-14-2012
finished: 8-19-2012

Chapter 11
started: 8-19-2012
finished: 9-12-2012

Chapter 12
started: 9-13-2012
finished: 10-17-2012

Chapter 13
started: 10-17-2012
finished: 10-20-2012

Chapter 14
started: 10-21-2012
finished: 11-29-2012

Chapter 15
started: 11-29-2012
finished: 12-18-2012

Chapter 16
started: 12-18-2012
finished: 12-29-2012

note- this author's log is a raw and unadulterated record of the author's thoughts during the creation, editing and proofing, publishing and marketing of The Ecstasy. It was not screened, altered, groomed or edited by a PR or marketing assistant, executive or Editor in Chief etc. of a publisher to appeal to a target market.

The Ecstasy is an adventure novel and story you won't want to miss. Whether you're a Sci - Fi fan or just looking for an adventure to escape the doldrums of reality, The Ecstasy is sure to deliver.

The Ecstasy takes place roughly 200 years from now. I wanted to create an adventure that would be realistic and yet amazing.

I thought of this idea of having a cruise ship cruising our solar system a little over a year ago and got instantly excited. I don't think it's been done before. For whatever reason, space ships and space exploration-travel stories have usually been about small crews or government (or military) ships doing battle with enemies or saving people in trouble on other ships or other planets in other solar systems.

We usually are concerned with either saving ourselves from a dying Earth or exploring what life exists beyond our solar system.

But when you take the typical thrill of going on a traditional cruise and add that to the thrill of exploring our solar system and do it from the viewpoint of what it might really be like, it can be truly fascinating and exciting.

At first it seemed that the toughest part of the job of writing this story is trying to guess what kind of technology will really be available 200 years from now. Technology is advancing so quickly it's difficult to keep up with it. I get an idea one day and the next day in the news you read about something like it being released in a couple of months or years. Or we forget that some ideas about the future were in movies or novels decades ago. It can seem a bit like Days of Future's Past or Back To The Future. For example, in the news the last couple of days a couple of theorists from New Zealand announced that in the future prostitutes will be replaced by or at least competing with robot prostitutes. I wrote something along this line in my novel a couple of months ago and so I thought to myself, "that's nothing new". And it really isn't. Steven Speilberg already introduced that idea in A.I Artificial Intelligence.

As I got deeper into the beginning chapters I got a better bearing on the priorities and main purpose of the story. The essence of the story is not about future technology but about people and their interactions with others and their inner thoughts dealing with life, other people and the intrigue of travel through our solar system in it's pioneering days, when ships like The Ecstasy are relatively reliable but it's still not completely known just what can "go wrong" or who or what is "out there".

One thing I will say is that the crew are humans from earth. After I wrote the copy for the homepage I realized that the phrase "... and a crew out of this world" might give readers the impression that the crew will be beings from all over the galaxy or of different intergalactic races. This is not the case. I just mention this so people interpretting it in that way are not dissapointed later. It was a use of a common phrase to signify they are special or extraordinary.

I'd love to share more details about the novel but I think it's more important to give people the opportunity to be surprised. It's a tough call trying to decide where to draw the line with announcements. I'm surely excited and thrilled with how the story has developed. It's actually quite beyond what I expected. But to say any more would spoil the fun for the reader.

For that reason there won't be a blog or active Facebook page. I've put myself in a reading "lock down". I really don't want any other books or authors influencing what I write in this novel.

Put bluntly, I honestly think The Ecstasy will leave many readers, at one point or another, breathless and speechless. I don't say that to brag but that's the effect it's had on me.

Novel status update 04-22-2012 12:04 pm EST- Regarding the status of The Ecstasy novel I like the analogy of comparing its progress with that of building a custom home. The full story line has been established. So I compare this to having completed the foundation and framing of the house.

Following this analogy, each room is a chapter. Next the "drywall" is installed. Along with that you have plumbing and electrical wiring installation. Once that's completed you work on finishing touches such as paint, wall paper, wood paneling, flooring, appliances etc.

At this time I am working on Chapter 8. Each Chapter represents a day of the cruise. Chapters 1 - 7 are fairly complete as far as the essential writing goes so I consider them to be complete with the "drywall stage".

Later I'll need to return to them for any necessary changes regarding: plot, grammar editing, character development etc. This is the wall treatment, flooring etc. stage.

In the final stage of final editing and polishing you're kind of looking at the finishing touches on a house: landscaping, outdoor lighting, indoor light fixtures, carpet, driveway, etc.

Novel status update 04-29-2012 9:52 pm EST- Out of left field a new possible scene came to mind and I've been busy all week sorting out its possibilities. It would be of major significance and impact. This became a tad overwhelming when out of the basic plot of the new scene came another more involved and controversial direction of the scene. I'm not sure I want to run with it but it was obsessing me all week and just wouldn't go away.

It's been a wild ride writing The Ecstasy. I started out with just the idea of a cruise to Saturn and then as I started to write the first and second chapters a flood of action plots arose and now I have to take a look at this additional, possible turn of events.

It often seems I am no longer writing the story. It seems to taken on a life of itself and takes me where it wants to go. Facinating.

Novel status update 05-22-2012 9:15 pm EST It's been about 3 weeks since I concieved that new climatic scene and since I kind of lived through it in my imagination while developing it, it's left me emotionally exhausted for about 3 weeks. I finally feel recovered and not overwhelmed by it. Just not sure if it's the right thing to do- to include or use it.

Novel status update 06-10-2012 8:04 am EST The "drywall" on chapter 8 is done. Did a little research on the internet about average length of novels. Apparently publishers traditionally try to keep a novel of a new author to around 80k to 120k words. Not sure I can do that without cutting stuff I really wanted in the novel. Not sure in matters anyway since I could just self publish digitally. At least the physical size restrictions of a book become irrelevant in digital format, regarding number of pages.

Novel status update 06-12-2012 9:29 am EST The "drywall" on chapter 9 is done. I have a little vacation time so I'm trying to push ahead and get as much done as possible this week. I'd like to get the main stuff or "drywall" in on the remaining chapters so I can start fine tuning it all. I have some desire to try to get this done by December 2012 but I'm not sure if that's real or possible. The pace of my writing has picked up a bit though, recently, now that most of the characters, ship facilities, main plot and subplots have been established. We'll see what happens.

Novel status update 07-14-2012 11:18 am EST Been distracted and busy with converting my website from a proprietary GoDaddy Website Tonight website to Wordpress and starting up alt Hopefully I'll get back to working on TE tonight.

Novel status update 10-6-2012 9:52 pm EST Have refocused attention on finishing the novel and have put the website on hold. I always think I can just finish it up in a matter of days but the actually writing is much more time consuming as dialogues or converstations become much more involve that expected. It's been a challenge as there came to light some loop holes in the various plots and trying to figure out how to keep everything aligned and consistent regarding cause and effect relationships of decisions and events. All said, while being very challenging I'm enjoying this immensely but just wish I could do this full time and "get 'er done.

Novel status update 10-18-2012 9:30 am EST This is my vacation week and it's afforded me the much needed time to make a lot of progress on the novel. I'm not accustomed to spending day after day writing full time, from morning to night, so it's been a little rough, regarding dealing with the fatigue of just sitting all day, typing. All in all though, it hasn't been too bad and isn't all that different than years ago when I sat at a computer all day doing outbound sales. It's been a challenge thinking up each next scene, the dialogue and keeping all of the elements coordinated but its a fun challenge. I'm excited to finally have arrived at the climactic scenes, although that doesn't imply my work is almost done. The length of the climax could very well be that of a typical novel, so I better get busy. Wish I could tell you more but I really want people to be surprised and to experience the thrill of it all as it's meant to be, without degradation from spoilers.

Novel status update 10-28-2012 10:02 pm EST Trying to get as much done as I can while riding out Hurricane Sandy, before we lose power. The utilities companies told us to prepare for power outages lasting possible up to 7 to 10 days. That would really suck. My guess is most areas on Long Island will have power back in 2-5 days but that's still rough. Last year we were out of power for four days and all I had was candles for light and a small hand cranking flashlight. At least this time I have two sets of 8 D batteries for a nice flourecent lantern. Probably doesn't last as long as an LED lantern. Oh well. Just heard a loud gust of wind. Hope the car doesn't get damaged. Just had the windshield replaced yesterday.

Am happy to say that I'm getting to the final chapters of the book and then I can work on grammar and spell checking, polishing, fine tuning and dressing the content. There are only a couple of more major scenes to write but there's still a ton of conversations and dialogue to be written because there are so many people on the ship, staff and guests and I hate to leave anyone out or to forget anyone that I've become attatched to. See ya after the storm recovery.

Novel status update 11-11-2012 10:02 pm EST Made it through Hurricane Sandy. Lost power Sunday afternoon, October 28,2012 and got it back Sunday November 4, 2012. I could have stayed at my sister's (she only lost power for about 1/2 hour since their power lines are underground) but it would have doubled my gas consumption and I decided I'd rather be in my apartment with candles and a battery powered flourescent lantern, in the cold, than to sit on a gas line for 4 hours. This is the first hurricane I've lived through where the beach communities got devastated from the ocean surge of up to 11 feet. I haven't been able to travel on the Ocean Parkway to see what it looks like now. It seems that the beaches on the barrier reefs will never be the same. It's hard to believe because I've gone to them, surfed at them and walked the boardwalks at Jones Beach and Long Beach since the 70's and they always survived and held up to the Noreasters, tropical storms and hurricanes Gloria and Irene. I've never seen so many trees blown down. I drive all over Suffolk County on my job and almost every block had at least 2-4 trees down. Here's two videos of trees bending from 60+ mph gusts Monday 29, Oct 2012, Hurricane Sandy- and

Tuesday the first thing I did was look for a place to get a hot cup of coffee and found a crowded 7 Eleven nearby. Eventually some restaurants and libraries openned and we could log onto the internet with them and recharge our laptops, phones and tablets. I couldn't use my cell phone or iPad all week to surf the net because my Verizon service was down. I couldn't watch the news because my Cablevision service was out until Tuesday Nov 6. Things still don't seem back to normal because a lot of gas stations are still closed or run out of gas. My body feels like it's struggling a little to get back to normal, to be able to relax and to not worry that any second we're going to lose power again. The lights flickered during the Noreaster but we didn't lose power. Tonight the lights flickered for a fraction of a second but now it seems ok. I'm having a rough time getting my momentum and flow going again in writing the final chapters of The Ecstasy. Hopefully this week I can refocus without interuptions and "get 'er done". Was able to fill up at a Sunoco Friday morning at 6:00am without waiting on a line, after having only filled up on Oct 28th. Still had a 1/4 tank of gas since I didn't work Mon-Wed and only drive 12 miles round trip to work and only drove a couple of miles on Sat Nov 3 and Sun Nov 4. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get back to normal.

Novel status update 12-18-2012 9:03 pm EST What a feeling of relief. I've finally finished the last major scene of The Ecstasy 1st, rough draft. It's all down hill from here. This has been an unbelievable journey. It would have been awesome to finish it and have it ready by Christmas 2012 but that's not going to happen. Another target is Valentine's day but I don't want to rush things. I want to take the time to make sure I catch and correct all gramatical and factoid errors where possible and to fine tune the plot and any additional character development as necessary.

Novel status update 12-27-2012 7:52 am EST Well, it's done! I finished the first draft of The Ecstasy yesterday. Now it's time to relax for New Years and then I'll start working of the final draft, cleaning up grammatical and spelling errors, developing some scenes and characters and fact checking. The toughest part will be rechecking calculations I had to make about space travel regarding times and distances. It seemed like each time I tried to calculate something I'd get a different answer. Shouldn't be a problem meeting the July 2013 deadline although I was starting to hope it would be ready for Valentine's Day. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Novel status update 1-29-2013 7:58 am EST Working like mad on proofreading and final changes-revisions to get a Valentine's Day Edition online in NOOK and Kindle format, for Valentine's Day. Proofreading 800 pages is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Novel status update 2-14-2013 10:24 am EST The Valentine's Day 2013 is now available in the Kindle version. After working around the clock going through a 4th and then 5th draft, making corrections and then working on formatting to get it to look as good as possible in digital form... it's here. The current version is 1.1.2. This handles all known typos and format issues. There will be a 1.1.3 upgrade to upload a corrected book cover. It's escaped my notice all these weeks that I spelled debut wrong on the cover (debute) and only noticed it half an hour ago. The 1.1.1 version for the NOOK is still processing. This has all of the typo corrections but not the latest acceleration table image (didn't notice a word in the first column was split up) and doesn't have the corrected book cover. As soon as it's done processing I'll upload the latest version 1.1.3. I haven't received the response from Apple - iTunes - iBook yet. You have to submit an application which I did yesterday. At this point I don't know if it got lost or if it just takes a while to process or for a live human being to actually look at it.

It was somewhat shocking to see how many typos and other things I hadn't noticed while editing and proofing on my large computer screen in MS Word 2007 form. There were 89 changes made after uploading version 1.0 and viewing it in the Kindle simulator software on my computer. I think with the smaller viewing area it helps to focus more on one area to notice certain things. The majority of typos were missing quotation marks at the end or beginning of a comment or a statement without reference to who said it. I prefer normally to always include (except with multiple paragraphs by one speaker) a reference such as 'Trish replied' to help the reader keep track of who's saying what.

Having fallen in love with the story and the characters it's tough to be finished and to not keep writing and adding more scenes or extending conversations, but it could just go on and on for ever and I really needed to keep things moving at an exciting pace as much as possible.

It's been a fun world to be a part of although it sometimes makes facing the real world less pleasant but on the other hand I find that, even though I can't direct my real life to be whatever I want it to be or do like I can with my novel or story, I'm finding I'm enjoying life more now, knowing I can escape to The Ecstasy world, in my imagination, when reality gets too boring or annoying. I hope it's the same for you.

Now I guess I'll put together a character list to post on the website. The page statistics I've been keeping became irrelevant when I changed the font size from 14 to 11 while trying to follow the Kindle Direct Publishing intructions for best formatting. All of a sudden my 800 pages turned to less than 600. It seems to be about 500-600 pages in Kindle format, 268,837 words or so.

Above the stats there is now a link to a version log to track changes in the digital versions.

If anyone's wondering about the price, I had an impulse to price it at $8.88 because the number 8 is like a vertical infinity sign.

Novel status update 2-16-2013 2:40 pm EST I've been working yesterday on the Createspace softcover edition for people who don't have e-book readers or just prefer a physical book. The really aggravating part is done, learning how to format a MS Word document to work properly with the Createspace software. Ugh!

I just started proofreading the 1st proof and am finding some typos in the body of the novel that will need to be changed in the Kindle and NOOK versions.

Novel status update 2-17-2013 3:01 am EST-The typos have been corrected in the Kindle and NOOK versions up to the Mindlink session in Chapter 6.

Novel status update 2-17-2013 10:34 pm EST-The typos have been corrected in the Kindle and NOOK versions up to middle of Chapter 13.

Novel status update 2-24-2013 8:54 pm EST The typos corrections have been completed to the end of the novel. The latest update and version 1.2.2 adds a graphic image of a drawing by the character Rainbow. Upon recieving the hardcopy this coming week I will commence an additional proofing. Also version update info is now available at the link below on the left.A Facebook page has been created. I hope this will provide a venue for readers or potential readers to share their thoughts and opinions and for posting questions.

Novel status update 3-01-2013 8:47 pm EST- Tonight I've started the proofing of The Ecstasy from the physical Createspace softcover proof copy. 18 pages into the novel I've found two grammatical errors so I can assume I'll find more. I will make the corrections to the digital versions ASAP. Thank you for your understanding.

Novel status update 3-02-2013 11:34 am EST- I've uploaded the physical proof corrections worksheet log for anyone thinking of purchasing the digital versions. You can see the types of corrections being made to help assist you in your decision whether to purchase now or wait until the proofing is completed. This can also assist readers who have already purchased the Kindle or nook digital versions to decide if they want to start re-reading The Ecstasy from the beginning or an earlier chapter, when recieving an updated version. (see link below in the left margin)

Novel status update 3-03-2013 8:55 am EST- It seems the corrections of grammatical errors is tapering down. I'm still pretty baffled that I find so many things I feel need to change since I'd gone through the entire novel, page by page, two times before publishing the first version. It seems my attention would focus on certain types of issues and I would miss other issues.
But I also think that when I started writing The Ecstasy all of my attention was on imagining and creating something out of thin air that didn't exist before. What do I write? What characters? How do I describe the ship? How much attention should I put in trying to guess what technology will be like in 2258 A.D.? Only after getting settled in and moving did I have the opportunity to put attention on grammar and making some convoluted or long-running sentences or paragraphs easier to read and understand.

Having a physical paperback proof copy of the novel makes a huge difference. It's much easier to look at a page and get the impression a reader will get. After seeing the proofs in the CreateSpace previewer and the physical proof I've come to realize that using MS Word to write a novel is not the ideal format. But the other problem is that when scrolling through pages and pages on a computer screen, you notice different things depending on the level of magnification you are using in MS Word or whatever writing software you are using. As my eye strain increased I tried various different levels of magnification and none of them are as easy to read as the physical paperback proof. Lesson learned.

Novel status update 3-09-2013 2:41 pm EST- I haven't forgotten about proofing the rest of The Ecstasy. Just been tied up with other responsiblities this week. The winter weather didn't help either. I've just started proofing-editing Chapter 9. 6-8 (8 is a really long chapter) are done but I decided to do as much as I can this weekend and then upload a new revision with all of those changes rather than uploading new versions after each chapter.

Novel status update 3-17-2013 7:43 am EST-The typos have been corrected in the Kindle and NOOK versions for Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 (ver 1.3.6). Just 4 more chapters to go! :-)

Novel status update 3-20-2013 9:44 pm EST-The proofing for Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 has been completed. I don't have time to make the changes in the Kindle and NOOK versions tonight. It'll have to wait until Friday evening or Saturday. Just 2 more chapters to go!

Novel status update 3-23-2013 11:44 am EST-Exciting news! I've finished the proofing of The Ecstasy. It will take some time to make the actual changes in the digital Kindle and NOOK versions. This involves making all of the changes for Chapters 13 through 16 and the Epilogue. Then I have to make all of the changes to the paperback-Createspace file and re-work the cover. The changes to the Kindle and NOOk versions should definitely be done by the end of this coming week. It's going to be several weeks before the Createspace paperback and hardcover version is fully edited-corrected. Then I'll need to order a new physical proof and screen that copy. Then it will be released for print. Thank you all for your patience and enthusiasm!

Novel status update 3-24-2013 12:15 pm EST-The proofing and editing for the Kindle and NOOK Valentine's Day 2013 versions are done! (Version 1.3.7) . Phew! They should be available within 24 - 72 hours for purchase on and For the most part, this is it as far as content changes for the Valentine's Day version, unless I discover a major issue later. Going forward, only the (not yet released) "Standard Edition" will recieve any significant content changes in the distant future. That will be the difference, other than the cover, between the Valentine's Day 2013 edition and the Standard edition.

Novel status update 3-25-2013 7:45 am EST- I had started working on the editing of the nook version yesterday, early afternoon, expecting it to take about 4-5 hours like the Kindle version, when I realized that all I had to do was save the Kindle version as a nook version and change the description on the second page that identifies it as either the kindle or nook version and what version and date it was uploaded. I don't know why I didn't think of this all the other times I edited the chapters... chapter by chapter. For some silly reason I got in my mind the idea that they were formatted differently but only the Createspace-softcover is formatted differently. Duh!

Anyway... that made it possible to start editing the Createspace-softcover version and I made really good progress, through Chapter 11. Along the way I did spot a couple of things to correct in the digital versions so I will upload the updated files once I'm done with the Createspace file but I'll probably still call it version 1.3.7.

Novel status update 3-30-2013 11:10 pm EST- The proofing corrections have been completed today on the Createspace softcover edition. I spent this evening making a couple of corrections after submitting it to Createspace and previewing it with their previewer. The previewer lists any formatting concerns. After making those adjustments I finished making changes on the cover. Now I just have to wait for the Createspace team to review the interior and cover to for approval. Then I'll order a second physical copy proof before I approve releasing it for sale. I don't forsee any issues but until you get the physical proof in hand, you can't be sure. For example, the colors on the cover print much darker than they appear on the computer. So I had to lighten them up, but who knows how it will look now? I'll probably have the physical proof sample book in the mail by the end of the week.

There were some changes made to the digital Kindle and nook Valentine's Day 2013 editions. The final version is now

Novel status update 4-6-2013 7:15 am EST-Here we go again. I've receive the second physical proof version of the paper back and at first glance I thought I would only need to fix the TOC (table of contents). It was too far to the left or the gutter or binder and needed to be moved to the right. Then, for some silly reason, I started to read-proof the novel again and started to find small errors in grammar regarding those pesky commas and a couple of other things. So, I'm going through the novel another time and will incorporate the changes made, to the digital versions, presumably version 1.3.8.

The good news is, it seems as if spring is finally here. No more snow storms! :)

Novel status update 4-15-2013 7:54 am EST- Well... I had to work, of all things, on Saturday. I worked on The Ecstasy Saturday evening and all day yesterday (Sunday) and finishing proofing Chapter 15. Just one more short chapter to go. OMG! Holy Christmas! Geronimo!...

I made some major changes to some paragraphs so when I update the kindle and nook versions they'll be updated to version 1.4. I'll be damned if there are still any typos or miss-spells or gramatical gaffs but once the dust settles I'll go through it again and correct any I find later, as a 1.4.1 version. What I learned is that when you spot one error, your attention can focus on it too much and then you don't notice something else on that page until the next time you read through it. Oh well.

Once I'm done with Chapter 16 I have to play around with the book cover again. I've been having a hard time deciding whether to go back to the original colors of the first paperback proof or not. The Pink title looks quite different depending on what kind of lighting you are viewing it in. It looks much lighter and brighter when viewing the cover outdoors in sunlight. One issue I noticed is that the glossy lamination on the cover starts to peel a little at the edge after reading most of the book. This is dissapointing but I must assume is using the best print-on-demand system possible, although the Bridge Publication books seem to be of a much higher quality. Oh well, again.

Novel status update 4-21-2013 8:40 am EST- The (hopefully) final physical proof of the paperback proof was shipped to me Friday April 19, 2013 so I should be receiving it in the mail tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm expecting everything to be ok, but that's what I thought last time. In any case, the paperback should be ready to go May 1st. It actually will probably be ready by this coming Wednesday but the plan and announcement has been for May 2013 and I would like to stick to that. This will also provide more time for people to recover from the Boston massacre.

I'm not the first artist or producer of a piece of action entertainment that has had to deal with the decision of whether to postpone a release after a terrorist attack or mass murder event. Usually it's an issue for an action movie release or a TV episode. I wrote an in-depth explanation of my decision and feelings on a hubpage you can view here-

I can only hope people don't portray the release as a display of insensitivity but rather see it for what it is. Americans can not let terrorist attacks intimidate them into caving in and putting their creative, active lives on hold or to give up our values of freedom and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our right and freedom of religion, speech, expression and the press. More specifically, while the main purpose of the novel The Ecstasy is entertainment, it does express and promote the author's religious believes and ponderings, as one could expect from an author who has a B.A. in Philosophy. And I'll be damned if I'm going to let crazed extremist Muslim terrorists intimidate me from expressing my beliefs. They can go to hell.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest... I finally decided after weeks of examination of the first book covers, to change the title color from a hot pink to a light gold. The pink colors change appearance greatly depending on the type of lighting they are viewed in (sunlight, florescent, incandescent etc.). This seems to be in part a problem of the type of book cover manufacturing process used by Createspace for their on-demand printing. There seems to be a thick, plastic laminate bonded to the paper that affects the appearance of the actual printed cover.

The other issue is that the hot pink seems to portray the novel as a romance or erotica novel and while there is romance and sex in the novel, that is not its entire focus, so I think the light gold title is a better representation of the spirit of the adventure as a whole.

Well, that's it for now. Now I have to start implementing the last proof changes completed in the paperback version to the kindle and nook Valentine's Day 2013 versions to update them to version 1.4. Fun, fun, fun.

Novel status update 4-26-2013 9:21pm EST- I completed proofing the Createspace-Amazon paperback Standard Edition on 4-24-2013 and released it for publication yesterday, 4-25-2013. I also released the Kindle version and updated the Kindle Valentine's Day 2013 Special Edition to ver 1.4. Barnes & Noble converted their Pubit! self-publishing system to the nook press and I uploaded the version 1.4 file but it needs to be reformatted before I can release it.

The Createspace-Amazon paperback Standard Edition is now available at
It will become available at within a week and through other channels throughout the world in the coming weeks.

A hard cover version will not be available in the immediate future. At earliest we are looking at the end of the year or some time next year.

This has been an incredible journey for me and it's not over by any means but the main challenge has been met and an epic story and saga is now here, available for all.

Novel status update 4-27-2013 9:42pm EST- I've added a history of the initial writing of each chapter today (see below). While writing The Ecstasy there were several events in the news that made me pause and to have concern over whether I should leave a particular scene or topic in the novel. In most, if not all cases, the event happened after I already wrote the scene or topic into The Ecstasy and so I was not exploiting tragic or controversial events that became the major headlines for weeks.

  • The Aurora , Colorado movie theater massacre - July 20, 2012 (topic - assault rifles)
  • Steubenville, Ohio rape case August 13,2012 (topic - sexual assault while the victim is drunk and unconscious)
  • The Newton, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre December 14, 2012 (topic - assault rifles)
  • Boston Marathon bombing April 15, 2013 (topics - the Boston area- MIT, Cambridge, a U.S. defense systems corporation, grenades, dynamite, missile fuses)

Looking at it from the opposite angle, The Ecstasy was not published until after most of the events occured, with the exception of the Boston bombing (digital Kindle and nook versions released Feb 13, 2013), so it would be incorrect for someone to accuse The Ecstasy scenes from influencing people to commit the atrocious or dispicable crimes. And in the case of Boston, the novel does not portray anyone committing a bombing of an innocent crowd. It only mentions the Boston area- Cambridge, MIT and Raytheon.

While most authors don't seem to need to be concerned as to whether what they put in a fictional story is politically correct or of being accused of condoning the bad behavior enacted by characters in a fictional story, TV show or movie, these events have hit a raw nerve with their cold-bloodedness, perversion and cowardness. And so it may be the case that some of the public may respond to The Ecstasy with a lynch mob mentality. I've done my part to provide the history of the chapters. Now it's up to you. Note - any changes made later, regarding version upgrades,to the sections with these topics were only concerning grammar, spelling and clarity of reading, not the basic content or subject matter.

Novel status update 4-28-2013 12:48pm EST- I spent hours trying to convert and reformat ver 1.4 for the nook using the new nook press system online editing system and when I though it was all ready to go, the system couldn't give me a preview. The explanation was that I copied and pasted something. I find their online editing system very limited in what it lets you do. We need a standard file format and a bullet-proof word processor that is 100% compatible for nook and kindle (and Apple but they have their own program for iBooks). Anyway, I had to resort to logging into Pubit! and uploading the 1.4 file there. I tried using the nook press suggestion to get chapters to start on a new page but that didn't seem to work. With that said, version 1.4 is uploaded and should be available some time tomorrow.

Novel status update 5-01-2013 8:24pm EST- I updated the book ordering area today so all currently available versions are listed. The version log (see link below) has been updated to explain a little more about the difference between the Valentine's Edition and the Standard Edition. It also explains the issue with formatting with the various kindle and nook editions and models. I will do more research to try to find the best, most standard word processing program with the least incompatibilities or issues, to try to get the digital versions formatted as nicely as possible.

I apologize for how things like the Character List display in the digital books. There are, unfortunately, some limitations to formatting the digital versions. With that said... I'm not sure if or when I'll update the ship on the Valentine's Day 2013 Editions covers. That's it for now. Gotta update the intro video and re-write the website introduction.

Novel status update 5-05-2013 8:49am EST- I've added an apology on the support page for the enormous amount of corrections that had to be made to the initial ver 1.0 of the Valentine's Day 2013 editions. Included with that I created a page with the list of events that convinced me there was no guarantee I would be around by July 2013 to finish and release The Ecstasy then. You can read it here-

Novel status update 5-05-2013 8:49am EST- I realized yesterday that I never added an essential detail to the novel about how a crime was committed and added a paragraph to include that. The Standard Edition is now ver 1.1 and the Valentine's Day 2013 Editions are now 1.4.1. I had to add a car accident I was involved in yesterday to the fatelist.

Novel status update 5-09-2013 11:16am EST- I've decided to move the Author's Log to the author website and to remove the apology and fatelist link from the support site. Also, I've removed the correction log files. Readers should have had time to look at them by now and I don't feel it's a good idea to leave them up for new readers to see. There's too many spoilers and I feel it can ruin the fun and enjoyment of reading the novel if readers see how much work was involved in editing.

Novel status update 5-12-2013 8:24am EST- Here's a 10 minute video of me chatting about The Ecstasy. This is unscripted and unedited and includes an embarrassing 30 lapse of memory. The good news is that being 55 I have an excuse. Created a new version of the Standard Edition cover replacing the top dark pink text with "Get it. Live it." in the original gold color (slightly darker than the light gold title) but I'm not sure I want to change to it.

Novel status update 6-16-2013 7:54am EST- Created a new cover for The Ecstasy that I'm very happy with and excited about. I feel this represents the nature or theme of the story much better and emphasizes the viewpoint of it being more of an adventure techno thriller about space travel than a romance or erotic novel. Aesthetically I think it's really cool and clean. For some reason the Amazon website hasn't updated the new cover for the paperback edition so I uploaded another image but it will only be a thumbnail until the shopper hovers their mouse over it. When you click to review the book though, the new cover is displayed.

I'm glad I attended the 2013 BEA (Book Expo America) at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC but I blew it regarding the business cards I had printed earlier for handing out. I only gave out, I think, two cards. I should have passed them out to people manning booths, profusely. Oh well. Lesson learned. I couldn't help feeling obnoxious and foolish walking around with my selfpromoting, amatuerish The Ecstasy t-shirt. For some dumb reason I kept worrying that other established publishers and authors would resent me and worry that I would steal the show. So I stayed very low key, not really sure about the rules of proper etiquette for an author like myself walking about the floor trying to promote my book.

It still seems like an impossible mission to find a computer program-word processor that is for editing .epub files. other than the programs Apple provides at iTunes Connect. Guess maybe I'll have to get an Apple MacBook afterall. Some blogs suggest using Calibre, which I downloaded but it seems to be more orientated towards organizing e-book collections than authoring.

A representative for ebk, a French company, was at BEA and showed me the ebooklr program. This looks like a very good .epub publishing-authoring program but the store and prices are in French and foreign currency so I'm not sure about it's pricing.

Anyway, the dust has settled. The book is published and available.

Update (July 21, 2013)- I found an affordable word processor Atlantis that seems to do the job and is fun to use (the default setting makes a traditional mechanical typewriter sound when you type). I've only used it to upload the Kobo version of The Ecstasy so I didn't need all of the bells and whistles that the Apple program has regarding supporting multimedia (video etc.).

Novel status update 9-2-2013 11:01 am EST- It was quite a challenge working on the iBook version. First I started using the iBook Author program and spent hours creating the e-book. The final dilemmas were that iBook Author doesn't allow a good way to insert Part sections. The Ecstasy novel has 3 parts. The other issue that I was not initially aware of was the fact that the iBook Author books do not support changing the size in the iBook reader. I found this unacceptable. It is very important to me that the reader has the ability to choose the size type or font they prefer. iBook Author doesn't allow this because it is primarily for school-text or picture books and the layout can't be altered.

I purchased Apple's Pages to redo the e-book but then ran into the common problem of trying to create a book cover image of a desirable shape and image. This is a common problem for self-publishing authors. Pages uses the image on page 1 for the cover image. So you have to learn the tricks necessary for getting it the right size which, as it turns out, requires modifying your page set up page size to the page size-dimensions that you want the cover to have and inserting the image into page 1 as a floating image, not inline (which creates a warning error you simply ignore when converting to the .epub format).

Not knowing these 2 "secrets" or solutions I tried using Libre Office, Sigil, Calibre and Atlantis to create an epub file that had the cover image I wanted and that centered the other images in the novel correctly. I ended up having to stick with Pages. The cover looks fine but the images in the novel are not centered. I had to left justify them so their right side would not be cut off. For some reason when using the "center" alignment the images were offset to the right edge when viewing in the iBook reader on my iPad 3 (with retina display).

With that said, it's been quite a learning experience and the knowledge gained can help me in future e-book projects.

I found a couple of misspells in the novel and corrected-updated the files for the other versions: paperback, kindle, nook and Kobo. I spent hours creating hyperlinks from words in the novel to their entry in the glossary. For some reason I ran into a problem with the nook versions. The update would look fine but when viewing them in the nook for PC viewer there were erroneous whole sentences hyperlinks and the entire glossary looked hyperlinked. I also had a problem previewing the Kobo edition. In checking guidelines for the Kobo I was reminded I could preview in the Adobe Digital Editions e-book viewer and when using it, the e-books look fine. Oddly enough when I rechecked the nook file in the nook for PC viewer last night it looked fine so maybe something was wrong with the nook for PC program earlier in the day.

That leaves me with reviewing again the files I created for the nook that had the glossary hyperlinks and if they look good in the Adobe Digital Editions viewer I'll re-upload them to the nook press website. Currently the nook versions have the misspells corrected but no glossary hyperlinks.

Well, there you go. Now you know what I've been doing the last couple of weeks.

One last word. I'm very delighted I realized I could link the Roxette video on YouTube in the novel text so people can just tap on the link and it will launch the video, if their e-book reader supports that. It will remain just a link and not embedded in the novel for the time being since I do not have rights to the video.

So now we just wait and see when or if iTunes will approve the novel for iBooks.

Novel status update 9-2-2013 4:52 pm EST- Just spent most of the day trying to get a the nook versions to go through the nook press file conversion process without messing up the hyperlinks of words in the novel to their entries in the glossary. Either I could get the table of contents to work but non-working glossary links or the glossary links worked and the table of contents didn't work. So I had to restore the file to the earlier Standard Edition 1.4 and Valentine's Day 2013 1.4.4 versions.

Novel status update 9-25-2013 5:42 pm EST- I just finished watching the entire 2003 Battlestar Galactica series on Blueray and am almost done reading the Zecharia Sitchin The 12th Planet Book I of the Earth Chronicles book. I was immediately addicted to the Battlestar Galactica story and the characters and actors and could not stop watching the series until the end. I often wonder what I would have done differently in writing The Ecstasy if I had watched this series or read this book before or during the writing of The Ecstasy.

It was a bit of an emotional shock for me to see many things in the Battlestar Galactica shows that reminded me of The Ecstasy and then feeling foolish to think I was the first to come up with some of the types of philosophical issues that were already being address in Battlestar Galactica.

I guess it would not be much of a surprise if I were to start reading up on the earliest science fiction novels, that many of these issues have been discussed decades ago. Be that as it may, I still feel The Ecstasy can stand up on its own legs and still has merit as a worthy story and read. One point of difference that may not be glaringly obvious is that I worked very hard to keep the emotional tone of The Ecstasy lighthearted and to leave out the typical backstabbing, deception, betrayal, jealousy and hatred between the characters, the majority of TV shows and movies are obsessed with.

The subject matter in The 12th Planet is similar to that dealt with in the Ancient Aliens History Channel series and some of the information in Jim Marr's Rule by Secrecy book, albeit each focuses on different issues. But they all state a case for aliens having come from another or other planets thousands of years ago, introducing man and technology to earth. And that what we have been traditionally told were "Gods" or "God" were actually these advanced aliens.

Anyway, I'm extremely delighted that the iBook version is finally available and that the idea to publish a more affordable paperback popped into my head one day, resulting in the brand new 8"x5" Valentine's Day 2013 Edition paperback. I am very pleased that so many options are available for readers.

Author Journal entry 10-9-2013 11:11 am EST- I finished reading Zecharia Stichin's The Lost Book of Enki and The End of Days and really enjoyed them both. For me these books finally explained the stories in the Bible and why we have the pyramids in Egypt and Peru and the rocks set up like Stonehenge.

What I found amusing and a bit shocking is how these books explain why the bible was so obsessed with tracking the lineage of the decendants of Adam and Abraham etc. Relating to The Ecstasy, I now find more understanding in why I ended up writing into The Ecstasy the subject matter of people being chosen to mate and I also found it ironic that in both the Stichin books and mine there is a mention of very powerful foods and beverage that can help a person be healthy or extend life or immortality. So it indicates to me that these beings or "Gods" are still influencing our Destiny or Fate as they seemed to influence my writing of The Ecstasy in the later chapters.

Astonishingly, the descriptions of the Anunnaki flying there "celestial boats" or space ships from the 12th planet to earth reminded me of a flashback of a memory I had when I was in San Diego, CA in 1980 chatting with a staff member of the Church of Scientology, on the roof of its buidling. It was a flat roof and had a picnic table on it. We were sitting at it and he was telling me about when he was on staff at the Edgar Cayce Foundation when all of a sudden I had a full blown, vivid, real-as-life memory of flying at high speed into our solar system in a small space ship, on my way to help the people on earth. So it makes me wonder if I was an Anunnaki in that past life and perhaps am now being used as one of the "prophets" mentioned in Stichin's books, communicating their ideas through The Ecstasy and Zen N. Strange indeed!

The other interesting coincidence which can't be ignored is that one of the senior "Gods" or Annunakis was Marduk which is extremely similar to the name Martaduke in The Ecstasy. And while Martaduke is a lion-man, a mix of lion and man, Marduk ended up ruling Egypt and the head on the Spinx was supposedly originally that of a lion, although Marduk was assigned the astrological sign and reigning period of the house of the ram or Aries, not Leo.

Author Journal entry  11-16-2013 7:11 pm EST- The 5 day free promotion of the Valentine's Day 2013 kindle edition of The Ecstasy ended last night. I logged onto my KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account today to check results and was disapointed but prepared myself to be disappointed because I've found over the years that my imagination of how successful I think I'll be in a particular marketing action is always way over the actual results. Ideally I had hoped that people seeing the announcement would be very thrilled and excited and email everyone they knew and click "like" or similar buttons on the social sites and that day after day for the 5 days, the promotion would eventually reach thousands or millions of people and thousands or millions of copies would be given away. This would have been really exciting.

The actuality is, only 100 people purchased the ebook for free. So I was disapointed that thousands or millions of people didn't download the book and make it world famous or that it didn't generate a tremendous amount of PR "buzz", good or bad. On the other hand, from past experience, I realized it's possible only a very small amount of people might purchase it, maybe 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 or so and that would have really sucked. So in the end I'm happy 100 people now can start the adventure of a life time, reading The Ecstasy.

The quick analysis of the results, regarding why the news of the free promotion did not spread like wild fire is:

  • there wasn't enough lead time to prepare people for the offer and to share it with their friends, co-workers and family.
  • people think it might be hard core porn or erotica and afraid or embarrased to share it with others and may be turned off from considering it.
  • I don't have a mailing list to blast the promo out to thousands of qualified readers
  • I started to think that people have their entertainment regimen figured out months ahead, what movies, books and computer-video games they're going to invest their free time with and so there will be a lag of months to a year or two before people suddenly feel they have the time to read an 800 page saga by an unkown, amateur author. (taking into account I had no multimillion dollar ad campaign to blast ads everywhere like a large publisher could such as for the release of a Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling)
  • I didn't display the author's name on the home page of the official The Ecstasy website. It never occured to me to do this and I only realized yesterday that a big part of promoting a novel is promoting the name of the author. So now the website has my name prominently displayed below the title. Whoops!
  • the most effective form of advertising is word of mouth and large amounts of people probably won't be inspired to buy The Ecstasy until they start to hear reviews in the media or from friends, co-workers etc recommending it or raving about it.
  • maybe it's available for free on illegal, pirate sites and people don't need to pay for it, although that shouldn't affect results of this promo since it's a free offer, unless a lot of people already have it for free illegally, which is doubtful.
  • maybe potential readers aren't impressed by the sample of the first chapter. Granted the first pages of the novel were not written as good as they could have been but part of the story of The Ecstasy is the story of writing it and I knew I had reasons for writing the chapters the way I did and so I haven't attempted to try to second guess how the trendsetters and critics would have wanted it to be written. Besides, if they think they can do better, they should do it and prove it. Put up or shut up. They'll find very quickly it isn't as easy as it looks. More on this line, regarding critics, I'll bet critics wouldn't even be able to write this story better, even with it having been written already (all the "heavy lifting" and creative thought having been done already). On the surface my writing style may seem very simplistic but a tremendous amount of thought and considerations went into every paragraph. And one of my primary rules I committed myself to was to not focus on trying to impress critics and snobs by trying to use the trendiest words and phrases currently being circulated in the media or by spending most of my time in thesauruses looking up ivy league 15 letter words that the average reader doesn't know and never uses.
  • It seems women might be more open to reading an amateur's novel, especially if it's a romance novel or about vampires or zombies etc.
  • It seems that in the sci fi genre fans prefer known authors with known styles and stories.
  • maybe people are unimpressed by the simple 2D graphic of the ship on the cover
  • people are mostly surfing the net for free information, social chatting and sharing or researching stuff they've decided on their own they want or need
  • the quality of the video is pretty bad. I can't wait to get a better webcam. The Microsoft webcam I have shoots at HD but with a very wide angle. For a close up with more of just my face or head I have to use 640 x 480 res to zoom in and it always comes out looking wierdly fuzzy.

Well, that's it for now. That's enough figure, figure and speculation on why more people didn't share it with others or take advantage of this promotion.

Author Journal entry  11-19-2013 9:49 am EST- It finally occured to me that authors are not good at designing ads or ad copy for their books. Not that they can't learn but I've learned the hard way the last 8 months that promoting books and novels is quite different than say, promoting or selling "How To" books or computer stuff.

I've tried a bunch of different tactics in marketing The Ecstasy, some effective and others not. But yesterday I realized one important point or perhaps two, to be more precise, that I haven't fully examined that are part of the problem with marketing The Ecstasy. And that is 1) the issue that The Ecstasy does not have a main or leading character or hero. The other is 2) that in marketing The Ecstasy I've been implying that the reader will somehow be part of the story or experience the cruise. While this made sense to me, it may not make sense to potential buyers or readers of The Ecstasy.

I realized yesterday that making statements that the reader will feel involved in the story is more applicable to video games, not novels. And while readers may enjoy and feel comfortable about imagining what it's like to be a character in the story they are reading or what it's like to be in the world of the story they are reading, it may become confusing when there is no main character to remind the reader who's really the focus and decision maker of the outcome of the story. Certainly in The Ecstasy the reader has no decision making influence in the outcome of the story as they would in a video game.

But, I personally found myself sometimes suddenly having a day dream as if I was on The Ecstasy ship during the events of the story and that some of the characters recognized me as being there and communicated to me. It seemed as if the story and characters had come to life or as if there is an alternate universe where the story of The Ecstasy can and does exist, for our entertainment.

And that's a big reason I love this story and am so excited about it. I have rarely experienced something like that from reading other books and this I found quite astonishing. Unfortunatly I can not know if anyone else will have a similar experience and am torn between feeling it's important to mention this phenomena or that I shouldn't mention it at all for fear of disappointing readers for who this phenomena (of having a day dream of being in the story The Ecstasy) does not occur.

I hope some readers don't find it egotistical for an author to discuss how to marketing their book. As a self publishing author, the author has to market the book (or pay others to do it) otherwise no one will ever find out about the book. It's very different than for an author who is signed with a major publisher that handles the editing, production-printing and marketing of the book. All errors and gaffs can be pointed at the publisher and the author can remain in the background as some sort of mysterious genius. Not so when you self publish.

Author Journal entry  12-17-2013 6:55 pm EST- (warning - contains a spoiler)I just finished reading Dan Brown's Inferno and find it interesting that we were both impelled or inspired to write novels addressing the fate of humans on earth regarding overpopulation and genetic enhancement, preservation or modification. And in both novels an aspect of geometric progression is key to creating the crisis. The main and first difference being that Dan Brown devoted the entire story and its main concern with that of handling overpopulation and a sinister way a genetic engineer tries to handle it. As the plot of The Ecstasy developed it only touched on this issue near the very end. This only became a concern as I was writing the second luncheon scene hosted by Trish, Captain Sherwood's wife, a scene which was not preplanned at the beginning but which I thought up at the last minute to kill time or as a filler for the trip back to earth.

While writing this scene, which could be construed by some as encouraging teen parenting, I was confronted with the concern of overpopulation and since overpopulation and teen parenting was not initially a main topic of the story, I only glossed over it with surfacy solutions and comments, not really knowing a good solution. But since finishing the novel I've had more time to think about the problem and I come back to a suggestion by one of the characters which as it turns out, was really only a hint of a real solution.

Besides whatever other facets of the genetic engineer's solution one might find appauling, a main issue I had with it was its indiscrimination, which I think was meant to imply the eingineer's belief that his solution was fair because it was non-discriminating. My personal feeling is that our health care and social service policies provide too much support for the weak, old and stupid, at the expense of the young, strong and intelligent, resulting in a weakening and degrading of the human race.

I had not read Logan's Run and certainly that type of population control was an extreme but I think the obsession with keeping elder adults alive past their 60's and 70's is foolish along with saving soldiers who suffer severely deabilitating or deforming injuries. And certainly I think it's foolish to tax the middle, working class to death to pay for lazy welfare people and those diagnosed frivilously by Psychiatrists as having "mental illness" and legally claimed as mentally disabled and then putting them in expensive luxury apartments through Section 8, leaving the same hardworking taxpayers to pay 80% of their rent.

Expressing my feelings in a brief paragraph may leave me open to harsh criticism as being heartless but a lot of this waste and overpopulation is based on the ideas that we only live once and that Psychiatrists are the experts of the human mind and mental health, both of which are not true.

There is a huge popluation spending their lives just hanging out every day with other "mentally disabled" people who have ended up in that, usually heavily drugged, condition because Psychiatrists lie to us and the patients about how the mind works and our emotions and trick people into taking dangerous psychotropic drugs that actually do create neurosis and psychosis. The other part of it and laziness is the lack of good jobs.

A lot of people will seek being diagnosed as having a mental disability just so they don't have to worry about dealing with a job or job hunting anymore. The scam the Psychiatrists get away with is calling normal stress of dealing with jobs and job hunting as a "mental illness" caused by a chemical imbalance. Corporations like this because it allows them to hire people at minimum wage and they get subsidies from the government for hiring handicapped people. But the able tax payers can't afford to pay for this foolishness.

At the end of the day though, I think most of us agree that whatever solution we can come up with for overpopulation, most of us don't want a violent solution like war whether ballistic, nuclear, chemical or biological and that people who are happy and successful shouldn't be forced to die and people who are miserable and want to die should be allowed to die.

Author Journal entry  1-21-2014 5:01 pm EST I watched the Where No One Has Gone Before episode of the first season of Star Trek The Next Generation and was surprised to find the episode had an event occur that has some similarity to the character of a main event in The Ecstasy. Can't say any more than that without giving away a spoiler but it shows how people and writers who have similar interests and studies can come up with similar ideas. To me this shows some commonality in the truths about life that we are all searching for or have experienced in the past.

Author Journal entry  3-20-2014 3:24 pm EST Finished the 3rd season of Star Trek Next Generation about a week ago and reflecting on the first 3 seasons I find I enjoyed them quite a bit and was surprised that the series delved deeper into the raw emotions of people and had more sexual references and themes from time to time. I guess I'm hooked and will need to watch the later seasons and then the Voyage and Deep Space series.

Author Journal entry  5-11-2014 8:16 pm EST I'm now reading Earth - An Alien Enterprise by Timothy Good. Despite the fact that I've watched several seasons of Ancient Aliens (The History Channel) and I've read Jim Marrs' books Rule by Secrecy and Alien Agenda and several of Zecharia Stichin's 12th Planet books, I was surprised and somewhat shocked at how much alien UFO activity and interactions with the governments and military there is at this time on earth.

I'm left again with the concern and belief that there is a potential and likely "culling" in our near future due to the rapid overpopulation on earth causing rapid polution and waste of the earth's resources.

Ideally a super advanced race would share their technology with us to rapidly "fix" all of the negative characteristics of all humans regarding illness, stupidity and criminal behavior. But if they could somehow do that it still wouldn't solve the overpopulation problem. Wars or mass destruction are not the optimum solution, obviously, because of all the suffering it causes and collateral damage.

Selective culling of the inferior (sickly, lazy, stupid, "ugly") is a popular choice in many cultures but is shunned by earth civilizations typically comparing it to that of Nazi Germany's and Hitler's eugenics. The logistics becomes cumbersome, politically chaotic and highly protested by human rights activists when trying to decide who is useless or a burden to an overpopulated planet and who should be saved. The other main problem is that the ultra rich usually try to protect themselves from extermination and they are not always highly skilled, industrious, highly intelligent or social.

Forced sterilization also is not popular because many people want the experience of procreating offspring and raising children. I wonder if there are planets where the people can live hundreds of years in a healthy, young adultlike state and experience parenthood with artificial robot children of various development stages (infant, child, teen) that can be borrowed and then returned when done so the population does not grow exponentially. This would be a compromise of a total"doll" planet where people currently inhabiting living bodies continue to inhabit them versus a doll society where all bodies being inhabited by spirits are dolls. What other solution is there to avoid overrunning a planet when war, disease and illness are reduced, other than planetary emmigration?

Is it possible to somehow only have one baby born only when another person dies? Would it be ok to limit how long people are allowed to live such as to 50 or 60 or 70? Perhaps a different word would need to be invented for a voluntary suicide to shorten old age that wouldn't sound so tragic or blasphemous. For owners of nursing homes paying workers low wages to care for elder that do practically nothing all day, it's easy money, a virtual money machine. But if you seriously consider the fact that when people die they are only casting off their current body and continue as a spiritual being until they pick up another body, baby or otherwise, it seems such a waste to force elders that are no longer active and are barely cognizent to continue keeping their current disabled body alive. Why not drop (let the body die) the almost-dead body and start over with a newborn body? Opponents will eagerly point out that some elders are more active, intelligent and valuable to their society than some young adults. But that can always be taken into consideration and allowances made for those folks to continue to live a long, happy life.

With that said, I encourage anyone who is curious about UFO phenomena but has not done any significant research yet, to read this book. It's a real eye openner and in my opinion a "must read" for anyone who wants to know what's really going on here on earth.

Author Journal entry  7-9-2014 7:25 am EST Finished the 7th and last season of Star Trek Next Generation Monday night, July 7, 2014. This is quite heartbreaking for it to be over since I enjoyed this TV series immensely. I was continually surprised and thrilled at the types of issues dealt with in the episodes. They left few stones unturned regarding philosophical issues dealing with epistemology and ontology, time and space and just about every possible violation or imaginative expansion of our traditional laws of physics and virtually every social, political and psychological issue you could imagine. I am already missing this series dearly. This must sound silly since the show ran from September 28, 1987 to May 23, 1994, ending 20 years ago. But now that it's over, for me, maybe I can watch the fourth season of Game of Thrones since Verizon has given me HBO for free until the end of August. That's it for now. Happy sailing!

Author Journal entry  7-9-2014 10:54 am EST I decided to start reading about the later Star Trek TV series tonight after work and was stunned to see that Star Trek: Enterprise's chief engineer has virtually the same name as The Ecstasy's security chief, Charles Tucker. (in Enterprise his name is Charles "Trip" Tucker III ref: Wikipedia) This kind of sucks because I was thinking of approaching some producers or writers or Paramount etc. to consider making a movie or TV series based on The Ecstasy and... now what?

Legally, I had not watched any of the other Star Trek series (than the original) before writing The Ecstasy so there is no case for plagerism but a gigantic corporation like Paramount might not see it that way. I guess if I have to I could change his name but that would not be the true original story. I hope anyone reading The Ecstasy doesn't feel I stole that name. It came to me intuitively. Really. Oh well.

Author Journal entry  9-17-2014 12:46 pm EST While searching for DVDs to suggest for my birthday in August I came upon the Farscape 15th Anniversary Blueray set - The Complete Series. I had no familiarity with or knowledge about this TV series but I figured, what the heck, I'll suggest this. Maybe it's interesting. I had some doubts because I was a bit turned off by the appearance of the two alien puppet characters "Pilot" and "Dominar Rygel XVI". I was concerned the show might be too childish for my interest.

As it turns out the show has very adult topics and a lot of dark humor, so I was pleasantly surprised, albeit somewhat anxious at first about how dark the humor might be. It does seem to offer a meritable variation of a space series with sufficient contrast to Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica for me to feel intrigued to see where the stories lead. I find the portrayal of the ruthlessness of Ka D'Argo and Rygel interesting as another example of how arbitrary rules and laws can be in less civilized cultures as with the Game of Thrones HBO series.

I have especially been finding Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan interesting since she was a priestess and exhibits certain Zen-like qualities. That's it for now...

Author Journal entry  6-23-2015 7:11 am EST I started writing a re-write of The Ecstasy last week during my vacation. I decided the explicit sex scenes could be hampering the popularity of the novel and distracting from the main story.

The first two days of editing were focused on gutting or severely reducing the graphic, explicit sexual content and the "f bombs" (172 incidents of the f word). Now I'm rewriting other sections or paragraphs I wasn't totally happy with such as the initial discussion by the Physics Club members.

The new novel is titled Captain Sherwood - Sailing To Saturn. I hope to have a summer release in the kindle format. Hopefully - KDP won't determine it's too similar to The Ecstasy and notify me one version has to be eliminated like they did with the Valentine's Day 2013 edition. You can find the website at

Author Journal entry  9-23-2015 11:43 am EST The new light version of The Ecstasy is available now in the kindle format on I went through the same problem as when originally publishing The Ecstasy  in that when I created the paperback Createspace version and got my hands on the physical paperback proof and started proofing it, I found many typos, grammatical errors and issues that needed to be corrected. It was hard to confront that many of these were in the original The Ecstasy  books, not just in the newly written sections. The corrections have been made in both The Ecstasy  and Captain Sherwood - Sailing To Saturn kindle versions and the Createspace versions. I'm not sure when I can get around to the Kobo, nook and iBook versions. You can see images of the corrections list on the Facebook page.

I feel confident in the new CSSTS version that it will be more readily accepted by the general public. My main concern now is just whether I'm content with the initial, main Physics Club scene. It went through a major re-write for CSSTS but I'm going to review it again today to check if there's any room for improvement or if I should finally just let it be. That's all for now. Happy reading!

Author Journal entry  10-8-2015 3:39 pm EST The iBook version of CSSTS is now available. Hopefully I've wrapped up the last changes to the Createspace paperback editions of TE and CSSTS. Tomorrow the final proofs should be ready to approve. I didn't realize until today that the Kindle version of The Ecstasy  still had the hyperlinks to the glossary. This made sense in 2013 but I think the e-book readers now all let you search a definition without the need for distracting hyperlinks. Unfortunately now that CSSTS is available in different formats beside kindle it isn't eligable for the special promotions runs such as offering it for free for up to 5 days or the sale where the price starts low and increases each day for a couple of days.


On another subject, I've been watching the first season of Star Trek Enterprise my sister gave me for my birthday and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It amazes me that Jolene Blalock and her character T'Pol somehow is able to maintain an absurd level of subtle and not-so-subltle sensuality episode after episode. The writers, actors, makeup artists and director seem to have an excellent talent for portraying her beauty and sensuality. So far I find myself liking this series the most when compared with Voyager and DS9. I still occasionally miss Data from STNG.

Author Journal entry  11-4-2015 5:05 pm EST All versions of CSSTS are now available: kindle, nook, iBook, kobo and Createspace paperback.  I'm delighted I was able to finish in time for the holidays. I think the paperback is a fantastic stocking stuffer and the ebooks can also be gifted. Now the next target is to produce a high quality hard cover edition for the 2016 holiday season. But for now, I can finally take a short break.

Author Journal entry  3-27-2016 5:05 pm EST Well, my head has been spinning a bit from reading two books recently about supposed secret space programs going on since the 40's or so, by the U.S. government. Both books were promoted to me by emails.

The first book is Insiders Reveal Secret Space Programs & Extraterrestrial Alliances by Michael Salla. This went beyond the topics or disclosures in Timothy Good's Earth: An Alien Enterprise for several reasons. It seems to talk more about current events and what's going on right now, very specifically in this decade. Also Salla talks about bases on the moon, mars and other planets and space programs by the U.S. government and the "military industrial complex". Salla also reveals two charts of the different extraterrestrial races or species visiting, fighting over or living on earth and in our solar system. I have never seen anything like this before, such a concise, explicit, blunt reference, whether it's true or accurate or not. And Salla gets into extensively time travel technology earth scientists supposedly developed from reverse engineering of alien space craft and also from deals made with extraterrestrials trading advanced tech for permission of human-alien hybridization experiments. Salla uses testimony from a person who supposedly was enlisted in a secret government black project as a young adult for a 20 year service and then age-time regressed back to that young adult year and age after the 20 year service is completed. I've never heard of anything like this before and frankly found it somewhat disturbing, not being able to know with any certainty if something like this is true.

Salla also goes into extensive detail about the supposed goals and agendas of the various alien races regarding earth and our solar system and the alliances between different races.

The second book is Secret Science and the Secret Space Program by Herbert G. Dorsey III. Dorsey goes into great lenght and detail about anti-gravity technology developed by nazi and American scientists in the first part of the book. I'm not sure why this is so important. He also describes the 20 year time regression programs.

I found the physics of anti-gravity part somewhat tedious but I guess he felt that important. Thankfully he then goes into high gear revealing one after the other a multitude of examples of U.S. government involvement in the UFO, extraterrestrial, space travel, space defense and space colonies programs, stuff I found interesting because a lot of it was not revealed in the books by Jim Marrs (Alien Agenda, Rule By Secrecy, Our Occulted History) and Timothy Good.

The most frustrating part of all of this is that this type of information seems to help explain why the governments make so many suppressive laws, act suppressively, tryanically and why they love to wage wars and create unecessary shortages of money and resources, and drug the population with dangerous psychiatric drugs, allow shock treatment and basically lie to the public... but it's impossible to know for sure just how much of this information is true.

Hopefully, we're about to find out.  According to Salla's book and the other whistle blowers whos testimonies are used in these books, the U.S. government is finally ready to commence with a gradual disclosure of the secrets about UFOs and extraterrestrial involvement with the U.S., other countries, and beings on other planets in the solar system and other star systems and to reveal more of the advanced technology supposedly the government and aerospace and defense industries actually have. I guess we just have to wait and see.

Author Journal entry  2-18-2017 1:00 pm EST I decided to create a book list of the (better) books I've read about our hidden human-alien-earth history (some recently promoted on my alt earth and human history book list

Bon Voyage,

Norman John

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Welcome to the Official Website of The Ecstasy novel.

I'm Norman John, author of The Ecstasy. I'm extremely excited to share with you an amazing story with a phenomenal cast of characters.

The Ecstasy is the first novel to take the reader on a 16 day cruise to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The Ecstasy is an exciting story filled with humor, romance (and some sex... shame on me!), mystery, suspense, action and surprises.

As you begin to read The Ecstasy you will be introduced to a remarkable ship and crew and several individual passengers and families. In addition, you'll become familiar with the colorful ship Marines posted onboard to protect the guests and crew from the dangers of deep space.

Rest assured, Captain Philip Sherwood, Security Chief Charles Tucker, Chief Engineer George Simmons, Harmony Assistant Alicia and Captain Sherwood's sultry wife Trish will do everything in their power to provide the guests and you a cruise of a lifetime!

The Ecstasy is unquestionably an amazing 3 Part epic adventure that will win a precious place in your heart and life.

Get your copy of The Ecstasy today! Experience for yourself this thrilling and amazing adventure of a lifetime!

Welcome aboard,

Norman John

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