Monthly Archives: January 2013

Book Release – “Schooling Your Boss to Not Suck”

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Schooling Your Boss to Not Suck takes a fun and sarcastic journey into tales of horrible bosses. There are countless books on improving the workplace, but nothing quite like this.

Is your boss a supervillain? Need a superhero to straighten him out? Instead of being written by another stuffy “expert”, author Eric Muss-Barnes (who barely squeaked out of high school, let alone finished college), offers a lighthearted slant on leadership from the viewpoint of the common worker.

True stories. Real experiences. No silly parables here, folks. No “puppydogs and rainbows” like those other motivational books. Just genuine events of piss and vinegar from the American middleclass workplace.

Eric is just an Average Joe, like yourself, telling it like it is. If your boss sincerely wants to learn how to motivate and inspire the people, it’s time the boss stopped listening to other leaders and started listening to what regular people like you have to say. It’s time someone stood tall, whipped off those mild-mannered glasses, and schooled your boss on how to not suck!

This is my second book and was released in the spring of 2011. The writing of Schooling Your Boss to Not Suck was more than a self-imposed challenge to write something other than a vampire novel. The book also served as an exercise in learning about eBook publishing. That was my main motive behind authoring this volume – to educate myself on the technical challenges of programming the XHTML required for eBook distribution.

Plus, I sincerely do have a lot of strange tales of great bosses, and awful bosses, and I knew if I wrote such stories well, people might find my little anecdotes bemusing. One thing I don’t talk about in the book is the simple fact that many of these “life lessons” regarding great management practices, all stem from a single job I had, with a boss who really knew how to motivate people. Or at least, he really knew how to motivate me. Many of his philosophies have stuck with me ever since, because, to put it simply, he was right about everything.

I doubt many bosses will take the advice in this book to heart. Goodness knows, if they did, workplaces would be a lot more enjoyable.

Schooling Your Boss to Not Suck, like all of my books, is available in hardcover, paperback, or as an eBook for your Kindle or Nook or iPad or whatever. Simply visit the website below to purchase the book in whatever format you desire:

Welcome to InkShard, the Official Blog of Author Eric Muss-Barnes

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Greetings and salutations, dear readers. This is Eric Muss-Barnes and I want to welcome you to the inaugural article of my first official blog, an endeavor I have entitled “InkShard”. The purpose of InkShard is mainly for me to talk about my writing. Books. Upcoming books. Motives behind things I’ve written. Book shows. Book signings. Giveaways. That kind of thing. InkShard exists as a venue/forum/platform, for writing about writing.

While the purpose of InkShard may be to write about writing, the purpose of this post is to let folks know, this is where the blog begins. Too often, people start blogs and just jump into writing without an introduction. That seems rather rude. Consequently, the reader is left wondering, “Where is their first article? Is it this one? What is the oldest date? But what if their archives are incorrect? Are there anymore before this?”

I would rather save you the trouble of such confusion. So, I will do you the courtesy of letting you know – this article is the first.

Truthfully, I’ve been needing to create this blog for a long time.

I first dreamed of being a novelist in the summer of 1984, and I’ve been writing ever since. That’s right, kids; I’ve been at this for nearly 30 years. So, although you have never heard of me, and InkShard is just beginning, it’s not like this type of endeavor is new. More than a decade ago, I was constantly posting blogs on MySpace as well. People often seemed to enjoy what I wrote, and I appreciated that. But for me, the more people enjoyed my blogs, the more it reminded me, that was not the type of writing I wanted to be doing. Writing pithy little rants and social commentaries seemed a waste of time. Yes, it was gratifying to know people related to it, and often cathartic to piss and moan, but such blogs weren’t the sort of thing I truly yearned to compose. Novels – that is where I belong.

Allow me to rephrase: Novels – that is where I wanted to be. Perhaps I don’t “belong” there at all. Fate, destiny, and time will tell.

Having successfully penned and published my first duology, I now feel worthy of the “novelist” label. As a novelist, I find writing a blog an odd exercise. We are all conditioned within our culture to be writers in many different forms. Everyone writes papers for school. Some of us may keep a journal or a diary. Those who are lucky in love, get to write loveletters.

The mentality behind all those types of writing is obviously very different. The tone and attitude with which we approach such authoring varies greatly. For some of us, we go a bit further, and compose books of fiction and non-fiction. Perhaps we become journalists and write for magazines or newspapers. These styles of writing also require a unique mentality. A different outlook. Alternate rules apply. For example, you make up everything in a fictional science fiction novel, but you’re not allowed to make anything up when you’re a journalist. Both novelists and journalists are “writers”, but they have different precepts.

But what of blogging? What kind of writing is that? What style does a blog demand? Less personal than diaries and loveletters, but more personal than books or journalism? I’m not sure what constitutes the proper tone of blogging. Goodness knows, most “bloggers” have no idea either. Within the world of highly successful blogging, there seems to be a trend for these authors to fancy themselves as journalists. Sad and pathetic when their posts are rife with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, yet they believe themselves to be Pulitzer contenders. Use spellcheck, you nimrods.

But, forgive me, I digress into the beginnings of ranting again. Permit me to cease my ramblings now, before I wander too far off track.

My point is, although I have a great deal of experience with blogging, I want to do it differently this time. This shant be a free-for-all to share my every thought. I have a clearer vision in InkShard. To old fans of my writing, don’t worry, from time to time, I will still post my much-loved venomous rage as well (and in later articles, I’ll likely tell you why I ceased posting such things in the first place). InkShard won’t be puppydogs and butterflies. I’ll surely be compelled to vent about something now and again.

As to the name? Simple. I thought it sounded cool. Was considering “Inkshard” as the name of a fiction anthology I wanted to publish. Dreamily contemplated that project for about 15 minutes one morning, laying in bed, before I realized I’d likely never release such a book. I’m not interested in wading through submissions and editing the work of others. Nevertheless, I still loved the sound of “Inkshard” and the image evoked by the name. Kind of conjures visions of a quill made of obsidian. Once I looked up “Inkshard” on the Internet, and found no one else was using it anywhere, for anything, I decided it was a great name! Evocative. Memorable. Simplistic. Although, the logo was originally supposed to be “INKSHARD” but, I frightfully realized people might read it as “Inks Hard” so, I changed the lettering and increased the size of the “I” and the “S” in order to make “Ink Shard” more obvious. Thus, Inkshard became InkShard.

There you have it. Now you know the motive of this weblog and to what ends I aspire to use it. Thank you for reading my very first article, on my first official blog. I’ve been telling my story for a long time now, and I humbly hope you find this new format entertaining.

Thus begins a new chapter. Welcome to InkShard…