The Hook Loses It – Temporarily…

First, an apology: I hit “Publish” before I titled this one! Yeah, I’m a jackasss..

Moving on…

I’m tired; not “Lindsay Lohan tired”, but exhausted in my soul.

I’m fed-up, not “Russell Crowe fed-up”; I’ve never beaten a hotel employee with a phone – even when they deserved it.

And I’m as lost as a Kim Kardashian in a public library. I just don’t know which way to turn anymore.

I feel like every attempt at marketing my book has resulted in complete and utter failure. I haven’t been rejected by anyone in the big leagues, I’ve been ignored. And I’m just so tired of it all. A Calgary mom goes on strike for six days and becomes an instant media sensation; there are hundreds of bloggers – not to mention responsible parents – out there who have labored for years without any recognition, much less any talk-show bookings, and all this woman had to do was let her kids go wild for six days and she hits the jackpot?

Before you  say, “Hey, Hook, that lady is a hero to millions of parents!”, let me say this: I simply don’t agree with exploiting and possibly scarring your kids for life to get yourself booked on a few talk shows. This lady’s children will be linked to this incident forever. These kids are ten and twelve, for Pete’s sake! If they’re not cleaning up after themselves, do what our parents would have done and MAKE THEM! if I ever achieve any fame or fortune, it won’t be because I told the world my daughter is out of control and inconsiderate.

You want to raise great kids, folks? Then be a shining example of what a good person is – and leave the red wine in the bottle while you’re doing it…

By the way, I went on strike once; our household never ran better…

Back to my life, which is pretty darn great, by the way…

  • I have a great family: both at home and at work.
  • I’ve written and published my first book; I’m taking a major beating while trying to market the damn thing, but I’ve still achieved a portion of my dream ,and that ain’t bad.
  • My online column is doing well and the blogs live on.

So why do I feel so heartsick? Why do I feel like throwing in the towel?

Because I’m human, that’s why. We all feel defeated every once in a while, and I think I just needed to let my pain pour out.

And now I’m done.

Here is the beginning of.. Well. I’m not sure what this is. but it came to me in the darkness not so long ago, and I need to share…


When I was nine-years-old, I slew a dragon.

His claws tore into the earth as easily as a surgeon slices flesh, his tail shook the pillars of Heaven as it collided with the park grass beneath it. Thick, black smoke, so hot it consumed the very oxygen around me, billowed from his flaring nostrils. Flames licked the back of his teeth, but the real fire was dancing behind his eyes.

That fire would only be quelled by my death.

Giant, powerful wings capable of disrupting weather patterns with a single flap propelled him above the ground and he lunged forward. Darkness surrounded me, but my youthful resolve held firm and I raised my makeshift weapon, held together with Elmer’s glue and duct tape, and with a single stroke it split my opponent’s leathery hide and gelatinous, putrid fluid spilled out, mixing with the morning dew. The dragon fell to my right and fell with a thunderclap. He twitched for a few minutes and then died.

His form shimmered in the newly-born sun and then it began to steam; my eyes stung and I was blinded for a long while. When the steam cleared all that remained were the undigested bones of his victims.

As you can imagine, after that morning the next few years of my life were relatively boring.

But I’m getting ahead of myself; I tend to do that. Most stories would end when the dragon drew its last breath – mine was just beginning.




BOOK REVIEW: The Bellman Chronicles
BY: Qui,
October 15, 2012
“So I step out of my comfort zone and pop the trunk on my wordpress community and
who literally approaches me ever so eloquently? It was Robert Hookey and I have been
Hook’ed every since. “
The introduction of The Bellman Chronicles was comparable to a loaded pistol and suddenly I was packing heat, (238‐pages of it). I received my copy just in time for a road trip to California (which is 5.5 hours to and from our starting point).

I would surely classify this novel as a reality/comedy. Which is interesting in itself, since I don’t know of many other reality books that could get away with journaling
the truth on any given day and be as riveting. The Bellman Chronicles is an absolute
page‐turner. There was story after story of guests who were clueless, tip‐useless,
sex‐heavy and some down right comically petty. I’m sure the characters in the book
did not set out to be funny, ill‐witty or tip light; however, when the chronicles are
told from Robert Hookey’s point of view, it all comes to light in tasteful humor.

I’m a fan of daytime television, soap operas to be exact. I’m a scriptwriter by
profession and am willing to bet The Bellman Chronicles as a soap opera would give
The Young and The Restless a run for their money on any day. There’s nothing more
revolving than the doors of a hotel and the stories of the people that use them.
The Bellman Chronicles is a delightfully entertaining, insightful and quick read.

Three reasons why you should read The Bellman Chronicles:
• You’ve been a hotel guest before (you may find your own story)
• You’re curious about the noises you’ve heard coming from the room next
• You’re curious about proper tipping etiquettes

The road trip to California was complete with our own hotel stay. I am sure that we
were much better guests post our introduction to The Bellman Chronicles. I
personally was on my best behavior, because you never know when you might be
Hook’ed into print. Life is funny and Robert Hookey has chronicled it.


A shout-out to my newest blog buddy, Kristen Lamb and her best-selling tome, We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Give it a try, folks. You won’t be disappointed…

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About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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66 Responses to The Hook Loses It – Temporarily…

  1. wherethedaytakesme says:

    Keep on keeping on, you will eventually get to where your going.

  2. Shirley says:

    All I can add is AMEN. When you have tried, then tried again and still hitting that brick wall – it is difficult to say, “it is my fault”.

    I realized that time and time again, it is not ourselves that stop the momentum but the inside circle who will not admit an outsider for fear of losing some of their influence. Just keep on keeping on and one day you will see sunlight and the dawn of a new day.

    Good luck and do not give up or ever give in.

  3. The Waiting says:

    I know how frustrating it must be to keep on and on and on and feel like you’re not getting anywhere, especially when you’ve worked so hard. Hang in there, Hook. I for one am enjoying your book (that is, when the baby gives me a second or two to read it!) It is so funny and really brings me back to when I was a front desk lady. Do you follow Carrie Rubin’s blog, the Write Transition? It chronicles her ongoing project of writing and marketing her first novel. A lot of her challenges and frustrations may be similar to your own.

  4. Exhausted in my soul… that’s exactly how I feel right now! Mine is from kids, but isn’t crazy how tough it can be to market something? It would seem like it should be easy to generate buzz, but it never quite works out that way, does it? Keep plugging away, someone will realize they are stumbling upon a gem!

  5. You’ve hit the rough spot…and where many give up. Just need to rest, re-goup and realize it is a long uphill march. Take time to get your second wind.
    You’re right: visibility is critical – and media is so fickle and the ones they pick – UGH.
    Something will break…know any one who helps organize/ run conferences for companies or reunions? (research that a bit?) Suggest your book would be a good souvenir or welcoming gift?
    Terrific review!

  6. MishaBurnett says:

    Yeah, I’m the same space as far as marketing my book is concerned. I’ve read every article I can find on marketing self-published books, and tried a lot of the suggestions, but people just aren’t paying attention.

    So I’m working hard on letting it go and just concentrating on writing my next one and keeping up with WordPress. I’ve been getting good reviews, either it will take off or it won’t.

  7. Jillian says:

    You can do it!! =D

  8. legionwriter says:

    Blessings on ya, buddy. Glad to read your venting. BTW – way to vent that dragon!

  9. leah says:

    I hope there is more to that story. Vivid and descriptive. You have talent. People are recognising it. Yes, you are human and humans need to vent. We are here to listen. Keep your integrity and don’t do anything to become infamous…her 15 minutes will be over soon enough. L.

  10. Fiona says:

    I hear you!! It can be a thankless task to try and get yourself out there when you are starting out. I haven’t been there, but you hear so many stories of people getting rejection after rejection, years of them, sometimes hundreds of them – before they finally get their chance.
    You are worth discovering – sometimes I think it’s a time and place thing. Whoever that mother is, it doesn’t sound like she has all that much to offer of interest besides whatever fluke it was that brought her sudden fame – whereas you have interesting content in spades! Your day will come. In the meantime – don’t give up!!!!

  11. Jennifer says:

    The media is a pain, and most people like that sensationalism, coz their lives must be ‘so’ exciting. can I give up on my kids for a week and get famous. Really, As if I would want to. Take some time out and chill for a bit. It will all fall into place and you’ll get your time. Virtual hugs to the tired exhausted soul.

  12. We are in the same boat – October always brings these feelings for me. Where is your online column? Wishing you the best.

  13. First off.. chin up, I know nothing about marketing but I imagine there are so many people who now blog and write online. There must be a way to jump ahead, but I bet it costs $$?? For eg.. to get more hits/follows, I’d have to hit my wallet and pay for exposure on Stumble. But this is just so not my idea of fun. I’m not willing to let my house turn into a pigsty either and that writer is now facing the wrath and backlash of indignant parents who are scandalized by her awful parenting skill. I will say, wow!!! your last bit of writing on the dragon was riveting for me. With a son now turned 19, the lack of excellent books for young male teens is appalling. I’ve thought I should begin writing those sorts of books, but think my perspective as a woman probably wouldn’t “cut it”. There are lots of science fiction stories but not many “every day” sorts of novels. I really encourage you to explore your dragon story.. It really “caught” me at the beginning and I couldn’t stop reading.. xx

  14. J.D. Gallagher says:

    The marketing part is tough but all you can really do is keep at it, I never bothered with marketing any of my books because I really just stuck up there so family and friends could buy them, hence stopping all that annoying: So When Do We Get To Read It? question.

    And you know that Dragon story has something about it, I really think what Barbara said above is true, it caught my attention.

    Stay strong, take care.

  15. El Guapo says:

    Hey,you’ve already gotten farther than most people.
    Everything else is gravy…

  16. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Ah Hook, of all the random times I come by – I am a bit the irregular reader of many blogs – but I always come back, because I enjoy them – and I get this.

    I am truly sorry at how you’re feeling and I think it’s so human and good for you to put it out there. It makes that post ‘I just sold 50 copies’ so much better.

    Hook, you’ve ACTUALLY published: that is enormous. I mean, I often don’t even finish my breakfast – put the last half of toast in the bin, or a dinner. Unfinished is much in my day to day, so I admire your achievement of completion.

    You’ve got the vibe for perseverance, and I reckon you never know, just never know. I don’t know what you’re talking about this mum with children striking. Is she selling a book at the same time as neglecting her children’s needs, and then getting on TV & using the opportunity to sell it? Or is just a simple case of ‘how can I get on tv?’, hmmm watch Days of Our Live, lying on the couch and each chocolate…. and tell the media? Just curious.

    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, always a new day.


  17. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    By hook or by crook, the people enjoy my book…

    I was just wondering, are you ever able to mention it in your daily job? I imagine it would be of much interest to them you serve – they’d like to hear about the OTHER annoying customers, not themselves, of course. And if you were able to mention it, could you give a business card size card which advertises your book? You know, people forget on the spot, but later when they go through their business cards, might think, ‘hmmm, it did sound interesting’. Or are you allowed to have some in a stash at work, & actually sell them?

    Just ideas, oh Hook…

  18. Lafemmeroar says:

    I’ll Tweet this to help get the word out about your book 🙂

  19. Ah Hook…. we’ve all been there. But if anyone can do this, I have faith in you and that has to count for something. I often think it would be easier to be the type of person that could just be an accountant and happy with it (sorry accountants) but that’s not us…. we blog… we share… we want…more. And we all feel your pain…

  20. People tend to feel frustrated and tempted to give up RIGHT as their labors are about to produce results. Don’t give in! You’ve done a great job! Things are about to get real! 🙂

  21. I might be completely out of order here, but you seem to be a very successful blogger. Maybe books just aren’t your thing?

    I just found your blog, so I don’t know you that well and I haven’t even checked out your book – I will, though. Right after this comment – but I really enjoy reading it.

    Why you don’t take your blog to a professional level and make money with advertising and such? I am currently doing the same (as I’m working on my book :P) and it’s not so bad, actually. I mean I’m not making millions but it allows me to work one day a week less so I can spend time with my family and work on my book.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me.

    With over 700 followers on your WordPress-blog, obviously you are great at drawing an audience. Maybe you’re just not entertaining them with what they want to see. Maybe you can lure a bit of cash out of their pocket while they’re here. 🙂

  22. Michael says:

    Yeah, I’m right there with you, my friend. This whole marketing thing’s discouraging. But still, as Thomas Jefferson once said, when you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. 🙂

  23. mcqty says:

    That review was AWESOME !! Hang in there Hook, your loved by so many !!!

  24. It’s your first book. First books are an experiment, a trial. One hopes for great things from them, but really, your books will get better with time. Which I suppose implies that it’s the book not the marketing, which I don’t mean AT ALL – but I think with time and experience you’ll hit the exact spot with both. Don’t feel sad. You’re wonderful and I love your stories of bizarrity!

  25. spicegirlfla says:

    First off, you certainly are loved by many as I had to scroll way down to leave a comment! Hang in there, easier said than done of course. Your blog posts are always entertaining and thoughtful. I can only imagine your book to be just as wonderful!

  26. valleygirl96 says:

    We’ve all been there – Tired but not Lindsay Lohan tired – I love it! Hang in there – you’re such a talented writer. I think one of the earlier commenters mentioned that it’s usually darkest before the dawn – to pull out a completely overused cliche. It’s overused and cliche because it’s also a little bit true!

  27. Jo Bryant says:

    Okay Hook…I get where you are coming from. I do. And I imagine I will be there when I get my book out there. But you are doing all you can. You are positively marketing the book. I once read a famous writer who said: “Stop worrying about it and start writing the next one.” I think that is great advice. And don’t forget you have over 6,000 copies out there being read…you just have to have patience and perseverance and keep writing.

  28. renxkyoko says:

    You’ve already succeeded by getting published….. now to sell it….. aaaargh. Still, it’s more than half won, heck 3/4 won. Stay focused.

  29. Much of humanity suffers in denial and dismay for the simple lack of allowing the self to be human.

    We resist much of what cones naturally to us: grief, sorrow, disappointment, melancholy, introspection, honesty, awareness, and pain (to name a few).

    We waste such a great portion of our lives doing mindless trivial things to stimulate an empty entertainment of our happiness-hooked brains; when most of that time would be easily manifested into a genuine and lasting experience of joy — simply by embracing life as is.

    We spend our adolescence rushing towards adulthood, and spend adulthood chasing the fantasy of a returned childhood that was never lived for desires that were unrealistic. We want our french fries and we want to eat them too. At three am. On a schoolnight. We want our bicycles back and we want to ride them too. At three am. On a worknight.

    I’d say you are at least one step ahead of the game, with the simple recognition of your feelings, acknowledging them in spite of the discomfort and awkwardness, and stepping boldly in front of yourself with both eyes open. You’re going places. Keep moving.

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks, Brandy. Your words are a great comfort to me.


        Please let me know whether this reaches a compliment (I did intend it to be a plug), or if you are unsatisfied by the post.

        While my intentions are publicity for you — while also sharing my previous comment here with my readers — this has backfired for me in the past. I’m a new blogger and have no idea if I’m doing the etiquette-business correctly. Should this have a pingback? I have no idea how those work. Any advice you might have as far as structuring this, I will receive with gratitude. If you simply want it deleted (I can’t imagine that, but it’s happened to me before), I will quickly do so. Thanks Mr. Hook.

      • The Hook says:

        You did very well, Brandy! Thank you. This was the highest compliment you could have ever given me.

  30. Amy says:

    Hi there. I actually came by your blog through the lady who went on strike. 🙂 I normally don’t do this, but I do understand it is hard to get noticed. I review books here, and I’d be happy to check yours out, if you like. No promises, other than that it would get a thorough and fair review, but I’m happy to help.

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