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Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

For more than three decades I labored in the traditional publishing world and eked out a living publishing traditional magazines.

I loved what I was doing, but I spent countless hours cutting corners to make ends meet. Printing costs kept going up and my battles with the postal service never seemed to end. 

As I reached retirement age, I was glad the end was in sight.    OnlineMagazinePublisher1B

But I knew I would miss the satisfaction and prestige that went with the job.  

Being a magazine publisher meant I was somebody to be admired, an expert in my field.

Finally, however, I closed the doors to my business and tried to enjoy my early retirement.

I played golf religiously. But it did not inspire me as my magazines had done.

I wanted to get back in the game: the game of publishing. But at my age?

Then I discovered the Internet!

What an awakening to learn that others (with little or no publishing experience) were making huge sums of money with online magazines.

At first, I was confused by the technical jargon. But then I realized the process was no different from what I had done before. Except for one BIG difference …

NO EXTRA COSTS!

To learn more, CLICK HERE!

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By E. P. Ned Burke

He wasn’t physically attractive. But, inside, he was beautiful.

His name was Harry Davenport. I know because he showed me his birth certificate. And why and when he showed it to me is the basis for this little tale.

It was the hot and rainy summer of 1972. Hurricane Agnes turned the placid Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania into a raging monster that flooded the entire Wyoming Valley. The city of Wilkes Barre sank beneath 30 feet of water. More than 24,000 homes were damaged and it was weeks before the 14 trillion gallons of unwanted water finally receded.

As soon as the National Guard helped to clean things up, the politicians and other VIPs arrived in their clean suits and shiny cars. They all promised to “share the pain” of the victims. In reality, however, most fled soon after the TV crews left.

But it was my job as a reporter to endure their pontifical speeches, take notes, and write my story. I finally sought solace away from the hypocrisy to a nearby park bench. My youthful idealism was quickly turning into a newsman’s cynicism. I began to wonder if there was one unpretentious, honest man left in the human race.

That was when I met Harry.

He was sitting near the end of the bench. He looked like what we would call today a “street person.” He wore a large, tattered coat with several sweaters beneath it. His pants were baggy and caked with mud.

He looked so weary and sad that I offered to get him a cup of coffee from the nearby Red Cross stand. He seemed surprised at my gesture, but, nevertheless, accepted the offer. After giving him the coffee, I returned to my notes. Then I heard him speak.

“Nice day, taint it?”

I found the old man’s words unwelcome, interrupting my train of thought. I was facing a deadline. I needed solitude.

However his sad, toothless smile beckoned me to share a few moments with him. He told me his name was Harry. He said he had been on his own for a very long time. When I asked just how long, he didn’t answer.

I went back to my notes and he interrupted again, asking what I was writing. I said something about the hypocrisy of politicians. He wasn’t ashamed to ask me what the word “hypocrite” meant. He nodded when I told him and said he had run into “dem kind” over the years. I was sure that he had. Yet, he didn’t seem bitter about it.

“Dem’s folks jes like youse and me,” he said. “Dey’s jes tryin’ to be somethin’ dey ain’t.” He paused and added, “Shucks, I’d like to be somebody else too  . . .  I guess.” Then he fell silent again and looked away.

As we sat side-by-side, an unpretentious old man and this young reporter full of himself, it occurred to me that perhaps not every politician was hypocritical, nor did every newsman have to be cynical. Maybe, just maybe, there was hope for the integrity of man in this mixed-up world after all.

“I tink it’s my birthday today,” Harry said, interrupting my thoughts again. Then he dug deep into his layers of clothing and withdrew an old, crumpled document and showed it to me.

I could see it was a birth certificate. “Harry Davenport?” I said.

Harry smiled weakly and pointed a dirty thumb to his chest. “Yep, dat’s me.”

I glanced at the date of birth and told him it was indeed his birthday that day. “Happy birthday, Harry,” I said, and shook his withered hand.

He appeared embarrassed and withdrew his hand sheepishly and looked away. I felt uncomfortable myself and decided it was time to go and interview a few politicians. But as I got up to leave, I felt Harry’s hand tugging at my sleeve.

I looked down and saw that his eyes were moist. His large-veined hand shook as he pointed a crooked finger to the date on the old document.

“How old am I?” he asked, fighting back tears.

Like I said, Harry was beautiful.

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Halloween Bust

Of all the holidays, the one most rightfully stamped “For Children Only” falls on the last day of October.

Halloween is without a doubt the only remaining holiday, especially in small towns across America, that is still reserved for the very young.

Once upon a time, Christmas was a children’s holiday. In recent years, however, with adults horning in on the receiving end of the gift-giving idea, coupled with the annual Christmas parties “For Adults Only,” children have found themselves somewhat left out on many of the festivities.

As for New Year’s, children never got near the front door of this strictly adult holiday. And, Easter has now become a day for adults, especially parents, to show off their new finery and that of their children to the envy of their neighbors. Parading up and down the street in a stiff new outfit isn’t exactly a child’s idea of a fun holiday.

But, Halloween! Ah, that’s something altogether different.

Children realize this is the one holiday that belongs exclusively to them. Their parents and the rest of the world are mere spectators. They are

allowed to watch, but not participate.

Parents, however, are persistent pests, and much like cockroaches, you can’t get rid of them. So far most parents have limited themselves to adult costume parties and dances. This is bad enough. But the real encroachment upon this childhood holiday shows itself when Mother insists on selecting Junior’s Halloween costume. The scene usually plays out like this:

“Junior, sweetie, have you gotten into your darling Dolly Parton outfit yet?”

“Ah. Ma,” Junior says, looking into the mirror at the bulging front of his turtleneck sweater. “I look silly.”

“You’re supposed to look … different, dear. This is Halloween.”

Junior eyes himself in the mirror with disdain. He reaches under the sweater to make another adjustment. “Aaah, Ma, my chests keep movin’ all around.”

“Stop fussing. You look darling.”

“What a bummer. I’ll kill myself if someone recognizes me.”

“Hush! In that outfit nobody will recognize you. Now go and have fun.”

Junior lumbers out the door only to return twenty minutes later in tears. His ensemble is in disarray. “I toldja! I toldja!” he shouts at his mother.

“Poor baby. Tell Mother what happened. Did someone recognize you?”

“What do you think? And of all people it had to be that big mouth Betty. She’ll tell every kid in school!”

“But how did she know it was you, dear?”

“She was there! She saw the whole thing!”

“What whole thing, dear?”

“I was in front of her house, bending over to fix my high heel shoe, when Daddy came up behind me and pinched me in the behind and made one of my chests fall off. Then Daddy’s face got real red and he ran away.”

 

*You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nedburke

Or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nedburke

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What now?

I guess after 40 years of writing, editing, and meeting deadlines I’ve retired my mind (as well as my body) for a spell. But I haven’t been completely idle.

Both Yesterday’s Magazette and Writer’s Magazette are still online and being updated regularly. I’m especially looking forward to 2013 when YM will launch its 40th anniversary issue. So send me your personal essays for this final keepsake issue. I always enjoy reading about your life experiences.

Click Here to go to Yesterday’s Magazette guidelines.

Writer’s Magazette could use a few more articles and answers to our “10 Questions” for today’s writers. This is a great way to publicize yourself.

Click Here to go to Writer’s Magazette guidelines.

In addition, I have revised “How To Be An Online Magazine Publisher” and “Hey! You Wanna Be A Writer?” e-book package deals. In fact, right now, you can grab either unique offer for just $7.00! That’s about the price of a small pizza for a big opportunity that could change your life forever. Why not take a quick look now?

Click Here to go to: “How To Be An Online Magazine Publisher.”

Click Here to go to: “Hey! You Wanna Be A Writer?”

I also urge you to “Like” my Facebook page. Here’s the link:www.facebook.com/nedburke

My Twitter page is similar: www.twitter.com/nedburke

I always enjoy hearing from friends like you.

My book site is still www.epburke.com. I’ve added a few new items and am currently working on two new novels. Hope to have both finished by the early part of 2013.

So I guess I am not as idle as I think I am. Perhaps I have finally stepped off the fast-paced treadmill of life and am now enjoying a leisurely walk, taking in the scenery, and doing whatever pleases me the most. I hope you are doing the same.

Well, that’s it for now.

Take care, and, as always, remember to be kind to one another.

(Sadly, a behavior that some of our current politicians have yet to master.)

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YM and WM Changes Explained

Both Yesterday’s Magazette (YM) and Writer’s Magazette (WM) are still very much alive as annual magazines and we’ll be accepting submissions for both publications each year from Feb.1 to Dec.1 and the accepted ones will appear weekly under “Updates” on each website and then in Dec. all accepted submissions will be considered for inclusion in our 2013 printed and online edition, scheduled for Jan. 2013.

You can send as many submissions as you wish. We’ll let you know if any do not meet our needs. Otherwise you can find your accepted submission by clicking the “Updates” link in the top navigation bar on each site.

We’ll be looking for Comments, Viewpoints, Articles, Photos, News, and answers to our WM “10 Questions.” Same as before. Click on “Submissions” in the navigation bar on either site and read the guidelines before submitting.

Yesterday’s Magazette will award a $50 prize in January, 2013 for the “Best YM Memory of The Year” chosen from all the nostalgia stories we accepted and published on YM’s website (www.yesterdaysmagazette.com) under “Updates” from Feb.1 to Dec.1 in 2012.

Writer’s Magazette will award a $50 prize in January, 2013 to the “WM Cover Writer of The Year” chosen from the best article or answers and quality photo received for our “10 Questions” series. Deadline Dec. 1, 2012. Again, all new accepted submissions will appear weekly on WM’s website (www.writersmagazette.com) on the “Updates” page.

If you have any questions, feel free to write to burkepublications@gmail.com.

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Wow! Can you believe another year has flown by?

In any case, this is a great opportunity for me to offer my sincere thanks to you for supporting E. P  Burke Publishing and my related web sites and Magazettes.

This coming year, I hope to earn your support and trust even more by sticking with my own personal resolution of keeping all my sites as user-friendly as possible.

You know, we don’t get to make many resolutions in our short

lives; so I think we should make this year really count by vowing to be extra kind to one another each and every day of 2012.

(If the Mayan legend is right, this could be our LAST year!)

Regardless, we need to start somewhere to make this a better world.

Politicians, celebrities, the money-grabbers don’t seem to be doing a great job of it. So, in 2012, you and I can resolve to make a small difference in our own lives by being kinder to our family, friends, and, especially, to strangers.

It just might catch on enough to bring about a lasting peace without any worries … except for that Mayan legend, of course.

Hoping you have a happy and prosperous 2012,

Ned

E. P. Ned Burke

www.epburkepublishing.com

www.magazettes.com

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