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  #81  
Old 10 November 2017, 11:23
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Magician, first time ever that I got the complete story on what happened on that LZ, and the events surrounding how my old platoon leader Bill Eskridge got so badly wounded.

I'm glad that you were there... had a lesser man been in your boots, Bill might not have made it out of that place alive, and the world would be a lesser place; he wouldn't have met his bride-to-be as he convalesced.
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  #82  
Old 11 November 2017, 08:31
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Received yesterday, finished reading this morning.

I believe you excel as a writer.
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  #83  
Old 12 November 2017, 10:33
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All I can say is wow!
Really liked the writing style and IMO you were smart not to "Pork" it up.
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  #84  
Old 12 November 2017, 12:15
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Steve:

The book is on my nightstand..

Congrats!
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  #85  
Old 12 November 2017, 12:48
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Amazon just delivered mine downstairs. Looks like that's what I'm doing today.
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  #86  
Old 12 November 2017, 16:11
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Review up on Amazon Magician.

Folks, take the time to leave a review. They help authors.
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  #87  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
Magician, first time ever that I got the complete story on what happened on that LZ, and the events surrounding how my old platoon leader Bill Eskridge got so badly wounded.

I'm glad that you were there... had a lesser man been in your boots, Bill might not have made it out of that place alive, and the world would be a lesser place; he wouldn't have met his bride-to-be as he convalesced.
I am certain that I was a tool in the hand of God, and that is why Bill Eskridge lived. I think that it had very little to do with me. It had everything to do with the Big Ranger in the Sky. I actually thought that Bill was dead.

I redeployed back to the US a couple of days later and I was in a hanger at Sabre Hall when the 2d Bat XO, MAJ Bob Hensler, (some know him here as oldrgr), found me and he told me that Bill survived. I was stunned.

It was a miracle that Bill made it off Calivigny alive. He had lost so much blood, I cannot imagine what his blood values looked like when the surgeons finally put their hands on him.

But as many know, Bill not only survived. He flourished in later life. He married his wife, Debbie, he had children, and he worked as a schoolteacher.

I talked to Bill a while back. He seemed very calm and normal, though the crucible of Calivigny was profoundly abnormal. We stay in touch. We exchanged Veterans Day greetings just a couple of days ago.

Bill Eskridge is a great American.
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  #88  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:33
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Originally Posted by X-rgr View Post
I couldn't put it down last night. I read it in one sitting, staying up FAR too late in order to finish it. I'll likely read it several more times over the next few years.

I have to say-- one of the more interesting things for me was the presentation of alternative recollections of other Rangers. It illustrated that memory is fragile and varies (sometimes dramatically) between two guys who shared an experience.

I can enthusiastically recommend the book. I'd loan it out... but I don't want to lose it.
Wow! Thank you for those comments. I deeply appreciate them.

Thank you for buying the book, but thank you more for reading it, and thank you big time for liking it.
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  #89  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smp52 View Post
Magician,

Your original blog is something I followed and thought the raw, emotionally honest, and soulful writing was unique; it definitely continues to have an authentic tribal tone - the tribe being your brothers in arms.

I got the Amazon e-book and it flows (as you state in the dream state) in a way that's ancient when stories were passed down verbally between peers over generations creating a thread of memories, honoring the culture and its people.

Thank you for sharing...

Edit: Just put in an order for the paperback.. still priced @$21.79
I cannot tell you how gratifying it is when a reader understands exactly what a writer is doing, or trying to do.

Thank you very much for your very kind comments!

And thank you for buying it!
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SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #90  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Local View Post
Bought the real version.

Does your contract with Amazon specify what happens to your cut in the event of a price drop?

I suspect the initial price is because there are fixed and variable costs with printing a book. It costs much more to print a few copies of a book than it does a lot of copies (per unit).

Amazon probably priced your book very high when they didn't know if it would sell at all to cover their fixed costs associated with a small print run. Now that sales have picked up and the fixed costs are covered they are dropping the price to take advantage of economic scale and to encourage more sales.

I'll ping the new York Jewish side of the family and let them know. Maybe we can get a book review in the times or something like that and push you into the best sellers list.

Always enjoy our conversations,
That would be a life changing event for me. Thank you for trying to do it!
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #91  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:41
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Originally Posted by GPC View Post
Review up on Amazon Magician.

Folks, take the time to leave a review. They help authors.
Thank you very much! It does indeed help authors, especially when those reviewers include the "Verified Purchase" tag.

Potential readers know that someone actually bought that book, then liked it well enough (or hated it) to review it.

My reviewers have all been very kind, and some of them are very perceptive.

Thank you very much!
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #92  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Local View Post
Amazon just delivered mine downstairs. Looks like that's what I'm doing today.
I hope that you like it!
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #93  
Old 12 November 2017, 20:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPTAUSRET View Post
Steve:

The book is on my nightstand..

Congrats!
Thank you, Terry! I hope that you like it!
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #94  
Old 12 November 2017, 21:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPC View Post
All I can say is wow!
Really liked the writing style and IMO you were smart not to "Pork" it up.
I pruned and I cut and I excised that book to get it down to muscle and sinews. I actually had an older writer give me "advice" a few days ago. He told me to "read Tolkien" to learn how to write description.

I just shake my head. Read Tolkien? I have been reading Tolkien since I discovered him at age 12. I reread Tolkien every year, and have, for decades.

Tolkien is Tolkien. I am not Tolkien. Even now, after so many years, I skip entire sections of Tolkien because he belabors descriptions. I figure that if I am skipping sections because they slow the action down and they act like mental speed bumps, I should do the reader a favor and just omit them or distill them down to a couple of words.

I am not sure how many adjectives are in that book, but there should be very few. I actually searched the MS for the words "have" and "had" and I reworked sentences to omit them.

Those words may pop up three or four times, max. I worked hard to use the active voice, and I deleted adjectives wherever I found them, except for a very few cases.

In fact, the scarcity of adjectives in this narrative is a pointer that something is happening when you encounter one.

I learned a lot from Stanley Kubrick. He was an ultimate craftsman. If something was in a shot, it was there because he deliberately put it there, and he successfully communicated on multiple levels.

Not all Kubrick films attain this, of course. I refer to Full Metal Jacket, to 2001, to Eyes Wide Shut, and to the movie that I can never again watch, The Shining.

A manuscript is obviously not a film, so this comparison goes only so far. But I tried very hard to keep the narrative lean. It helps the story flow better, and faster.

We are impatient as readers. We do not want to read a bunch of description about how the sky looked. That can be covered in one sentence, with maybe two terms.

And then, I included a lot of photos. I hesitated over that, but I was also struck by how precise my own memories were. So I wrote about something, and then right afterwards, I included a photo.

But it killed me. This more experienced author thought that he was doing me a big favor to speak to me and to give me advice.

He told me to do precisely what I decided not to do. That just confirmed for me that doing it my way was the better way for me.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for commenting!

And thank you for liking it my way!
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SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #95  
Old 12 November 2017, 21:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole crusty bastard View Post
Received yesterday, finished reading this morning.

I believe you excel as a writer.
Thank you, brother. Thank you very much.
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SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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  #96  
Old 13 November 2017, 15:00
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I, for one, am one of the impatient readers. I hate crap like "... the colorful autumn leaves danced in the rhythm of the sunlight..."

Vomit.

Get to the point. Most of what I read are paperback novels by name-brand big-earning authors. Even when reading my favorites like Flynn or Hunter I skip whole paragraphs of meaningless composition-class scene description to get to the shorter paragraphs that describe action or dialogue.

My view is "give me the story, and I'll subconsciously fill in the meaningless details". If the details are IMPORTANT, I want them. If not, I'll skip them.

Perhaps the single exception to my rule is Steven Pressman. I think I read every word of his books, just because he's SO masterful with the language.
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  #97  
Old 13 November 2017, 15:23
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Doc-

Buck Fiddy was kind enough to purchase multiple copies and give me one. I will leave a review once I get a chance to read it.
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In the fell clutch of circumstance
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My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
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  #98  
Old 13 November 2017, 16:46
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Wanted to share this.

I was 13 years old when Urgent Fury happened. I was reading about it in SOF when I saw this shirt. I did odd jobs and picked up cans until I saved enough to order it. The look on my draft dodger teachers face when I wore it to school.
That shirt rotted off my back.
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  #99  
Old 13 November 2017, 17:14
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My review

I'll re-post my Amazon review here:

I first met Steve when I arrived at 2nd Ranger Battalion's Ranger Indoctrination Program in December, 1983 - they had just returned from Grenada. Steve is the real deal, in a world filled with many special operations posers. He is a very humble man, who answered his nation's call to serve in combat. His writing style is engaging, as it shifts between first-hand accounts of the human side of combat, personal fears and desires to be brave and worthy of his Brothers, philosophical references, and dreams and retrospection. Yes, the book is about combat - and it is about so much more; humanity, fear, leadership, honor, and disgrace. Steve doesn't hold anything back. I look forward to reading his upcoming books.
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  #100  
Old 14 November 2017, 00:02
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I just ordered your book. Looking forward to reading it in a few days when it arrives. I will then pass it on to my son when he graduates Benning OSUT next month. It will be an important history lesson for him, one that he is unlikely to receive from anywhere else.
Thanks for writing this.
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