A Shameless Plug

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m trying to get back into the game of fiction writing. Along the way, I’ve met plenty of awesome people who got involved in the game after I left, or never left and went on to do amazing things. Charles Barouch is one of the latter. We worked together years ago when we both wrote game review columns for Gateways magazine, which has long since disappeared into the mists of time.

Charles now had his own small press, HDWP Books, and is currently producing an intriguing short fiction series called “Theme-Thologies.” The idea is simple: create a theme for a book then find the best stories possible to fill the space.

I’m not in any of the books currently on the shelf but I am working to get a piece into one of the future anthologies. I do believe in the project and the staff and writers involved, however, so I’ll be putting some cash down for these titles. You may consider doing the same. If nothing else, let’s share this far and wide and get some exposure for these guys.

 Charles’s post as it appeared on his G+ account earlier today reads as follows:
I need $6
You are all nice people. I’m sure if I asked you for $6, just because I needed it — or even wanted it — a lot of you would reach into your pocket. I’m not asking for me. Well, not exactly for me…
Here’s my problem: I need to jumpstart the sales on Theme-Thology. These are really good books but we aren’t visible enough. Can you spare $6 to help 18 authors and artists?A Promise: From now until April 21st, if you buy the first two Theme-Thologies (total: $5.98) and post a review of either of them (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads), I will send you the first eBook from our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou and the book is yours.A Prize: Additionally, from now until April 21st, if you buy any of the first three Theme-Thologies ($2.99 each), I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the following eBooks: one of five different Mike Reeves-McMillan books (City of Masks, Hope and the Patient Man, Hope and the Clever Man, Realmgolds, Gu), A Noble’s Quest by Ryan Toxopeus, Adjacent Fields by Charles Barouch, or The Tower’s Alchemist by Alesha Escobar.
Just buy the Theme-Thology of your choice and post at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.● Already bought them? Post a review (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads) and I will send you the first eBook of our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless and put you in the drawing. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.

● Received the Adjacent Fields signed, limited edition print book at Spectrum 2013? Post a review (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads) and I will send you the first eBook of our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless and put you in the drawing. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.

Full Details Here: http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou

Buy if you can, click on one of the share buttons below if you can’t.

ThirdScribe Launches Today

Today is February 17, aka President’s day, which used to be known as George Washington’s Birthday. As old timers will remember, we only got the day off (along with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12). No lumped together presidents’ birthdays, no week-long vacation from school. But today is still a holiday, so yea for a day off of work.

Second bit of good news: iTunes’ season pass for Season 3 of Game of Thrones earns its money today as the entire season is supposed to be available for download starting today. I’m crossing my fingers on that one; iTunes can be finicky when it comes to streaming multiple downloads, especially if several people on the same account but with different computers watch the same shows. Not to mention that if I’m downloading 10 episodes, everyone else who bought the season pass is doing the same thing.

Third, but hardly the least important bit of good news for today: Rob McClellan’s  book-centric social media network ThirdScribe goes live today. I’ve created book pages for the two library-oriented books I’ve contributed to.

I’ve been alpha testing Thirdscribe for the past few months; I’m pretty happily impressed with the design. It’s designed from the ground up to be a social media tool for books, authors, and readers. Authors and readers can choose from paid or free accounts, depending on the perks they want to be included with their setup. DNS hosting and transfers are available as is URL forwarding, and entire site migration is available for bloggers and website owners who want to go whole-hog into adopting ThirdScribe as their new medium of choice.

ThirdScribe uses a WordPress framework to manage various site admin rights, visual arrangements, and interactive facets. The thing to remember is that while Thirdscribe does include full-featured blogging tools (hey, it’s WordPress) it’s meant to be primarily a social network. Books have pages, authors and contributors, and sales links. Each one also has a forum which you set up at the time you create the book (or not, the choice is yours). Once your account is set up, you can check on your own books, modify the information about them more or less at will, then check out other members’ pages and see what books they’ve created pages for and who is saying what in their book forums.

Beyond that, you can synch your ThirdScribe network profile (but not your blog) to any social media platforms you already have, so that what’s posted in ThirdScribe is pushed to, say, Facebook and Twitter.

My testing has convinced me that ThirdScribe is something genuinely useful for books, and the people who read and write them. Meaning that I’ll be sticking with it for the forseeable future. I probably won’t be transferring this blog over to my ThirdScribe space simply because there are different people who read this than who are likely to want to talk about the books I like, but sure, there will be some cross-over as time goes on.

ThirdScribe is live, so take a good, long look at it. I think this thing has a bright future.

2013: Happy New Beer!

Over the break I discovered a use for the Costco fruit salad bowl that we basically forgot about in the midst of our Yule party two weeks ago and stuck in the freezer: sangria. Dump the frozen chunks of fruit into a bowl, then add a bottle of red, a bottle of rose, a few tablespoons of sugar, some brandy, then let sit for a while and add ginger ale. The trick is figuring out how to cart the stuff to the party we’ll take it to this evening, but that’s that sort of problem that finds a solution on its own.

Another thing to deal with: The Great Flabtacular Entity that is my waist needs to be tamed, and this is as good a time to decide on doing it as any. I need to lose 20 lbs or so over the next six months. It can be done. A combination of staying away from the crap I’ve been living on lately, portion control, not going back for seconds, and more exercise should do it.  Mostly staying off the garbage. I got myself a steamer a few weeks ago and steamed veggies will figure more significantly in our diet over the rest of the winter. Beyond that, some flexibility training might be in order, too.

I’ve thought a bit about how to improve this website, and most of it came down to a decision not to be so damned lazy in maintaining it. I need pages for the Home, About and Links section, and I brought over fifty or sixty links that were appended to TypeLists from the TypePad setting. The links still have value (most of them), so I need to set up pages where they can be arranged here.

Anyway, all that starts tomorrow and I go back to work on Wednesday the 2nd. The new school year will bring a host of fascinating new projects with it. More on those as they emerge.

Finally, I liked Daemon so much than I went and bought Freedom, the sequel. I’ll post a review of that this Friday for A Book a Week.

Happy New Beer!

My Homework Over the Break

It’s December 24, which means that at midnight tonight, I will have completed 46 years on this Earth. It also means that I’m home on winter break from work until the January 1. We go back to work the 2nd and I have time to get stuff done.

Writing something down makes it real, so here’s  primitive but not exclusive list of things I need to take care of:

1. Put up Lara’s trophy shelf. She’s been asking for months, no more excuses.

2. Fix the basement toilet. The damn thing drips. We were getting ridiculously high water bills for a while, so I lifted the lid off the tank and found that some fool had arranged the feed pipe to drain directly into the overflow pipe. I fixed that, yelled at the adults in the house, and the bills immediately decrease by 60%. Trouble is that the traps are not very sturdy. They’re supposed to have a lifespan of three years but the plumber says that’s BS, I should be replacing them every year, or better yet, every six months. So that’s on the To Do list for this week.

3. Think about how to redo website, then actually get off my ass and do it. This will take longer than just one week but it needs to be thought about and done. I like my website, I think moving from Typepad to the Genesis framework and a self-hosted WordPress site has been generally beneficial but plainly, there’s more to do. This site is functional but not impressive visually, and I have tons of links from the old blog that I never placed into additional access points here. I have to change that. Beyond that, I’ve been thinking about what to do with the writing aspect of my time. But that’s for my new year’s resolution list.

4. Think about managing my double life as librarian/SF writer. Here’s the thing. I call myself a writer and I do write. The 560+ posts here are proof of that. What I don’t generally do is get paid for this work. I’d like to change that in 2013. So, I bought a copy of the 2013 Writer’s Market and will see what happens. I have a goal of selling 12 piece of writing in the coming year for actual money.

5. Finish tweaking the second book in the Blockade series, get started rewriting the third. That’s an ongoing project. Fingers are still crossed; more news (if any) as I come across it.

6. Review of Daemon by Daniel Suarez goes op for my Book a Week post on Friday.

Good News, Bad News, Good News

I know, I know, I’m WAY overdue in announcing a winner for my book give-away from last time. I liked Jennifer’s comment the best so she’ll be getting a free copy of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Congrats, Jennifer! (Now you can read the book.)

The reason I’m overdue is that last week we had a death in the family. Our senior tuxedo cat, Zonker Kurgen Harris, aged 20, met the end of a long and dear life. He had a unique personality: a chopstick fetch maniac, a foodie who swung between the extremes of quality and quantity, a cat who just didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to get up and walk around five minutes after a procedure at the vets. A stoner and a berzerker. He’ll be missed.

More good news came last week: I got a note from my editor to let me know that my book has been turned into a proper proposal, which may be seeing the rounds of publishers as early as this week. It’s not completely done; it’s going to be revised by her boss and his partner and their lawyers and the agents they end up speaking to. That means, as I mentioned in a previous post, more meetings, delays, un-returned phone calls, missed opportunities, and stumbles as an intellectual property wends its way through a maze of ideas, rewrites, publishers, producers, editors, lawyers and a cast of thousands. I remain confident that something good will happen. Eventually. In the mean time, we have a proposal. (I have a copy. I can;t post it here but take my word for it, it rocks!)

More bad news: I have no time to write. This is a problem, as I’m intending to use November’s NaNoWriMo as a way to crank out the third book in the Blockade series.

And the best news of all is that “Binders full of women” remains the number one search on Google. Go, meme, go!


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