Monday, July 30, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Olympics, Olympics, OLYMPICS!
Man I have been waiting a long time for them and now they are here! Ten full days of international sport at some of the best and strangest games that the world has to offer! I have to give big props to NBC and all the work they are doing to make sure that viewers get to see every minute of it. I'm guilty of using all my laptops and my TV to make sure I have as many games on at once as I possibly can. Saturday alone, I had Men's Doubles Badminton, Archery, and Woman's Handball all at the same time.
A second issue that I'm having; I don't think that I'm going to be seeing much sleep. This next week, games start at 1am and go ALL NIGHT LONG. I've already stayed up to 3:30am opening night to watch the first sports and Sunday at 6am the US Men's Basketball played.
Of all the sports that are currently being played, I think that they should make the TV show "Wipeout" as one of the sports they run. They could do use three different obstacles as "heats" for elimination into the metal round (AKA: the Wipeout Zone). They also have to keep the hosts of the show. I believe that it would make Japan and the US as the favored countries going into the Olympics.

Other games I believe should be Olympics sports:
Indoor Soccer -
Note: I'd like to see it with turf though.
Skateboarding -
Yo-Yo -
Note: The Flog also has a part on Yo-Yo tricks.
Human Tetris -

What better way to get some editing done than to go to the beach!
Sunday we took a trip out to Ocean Shores, the weather was amazing and I had some of the best company ever. 

I'm not going to say I got a lot of editing done, but...a little. :)

Pulp fiction:
Checkout this article from the UK.
Pulp fiction -
Chuck Wendig is quickly becoming one of my indecent, independent, writing heroes and is mentioned in the article.
Pulp Fiction is something that I've been pushing myself to do for just over 3 years. The Dinatech series is pulp fiction, I started book one wanting it to be set of novellas, and when I write book three I'll be keeping to the same format I envisioned.
When I saw this article I wanted to say something about it, maybe even something profound. But what can you say? He's right, the pulp of the past is gone, everything has changed and it will keep changing. You either get on the damn bus or you sit on the porch of your house and yell at the kids. "Get the hell off my literary lawn!" Don't need a book to tell a story or even words. You don't even have to be the one telling the whole story either, video games tell stories and let the reader (for lack of a better word, I thought about experience-er) find their own path. There are even other ideas that this article doesn't talk about, there are so many YouTube famous people out there now. Everyone of them has a passion they want to fulfill and everyone of them is a creative artist. Blog, Vlog, Flog, so many people sharing so many ways.
The other point I think the Guardian's article tries to talk about is how e-book writers are want to become the next pulp authors. The writer suggests that the idea of what makes great authors is still very much still up for debate. I think about it and say; you've got legends of the past and then current literary icons like JK Rowling (that are now even celebrated in the opening of the Olympics). Then you have writers like E L James, and others that are first getting noticed through fanfic. They are putting twists on stories like Cinderella, and adding zombies to Pride and Prejudice, vampires to Abraham Lincoln's days. Even stories where all they do is add the word "f*ck" to every other sentence. But people keep saying that they like these things and who am I to say they can't have what they want? Who am I to say it's not good when they obviously enjoy it.
My point is, it's always going to be in debate

What I'm reading:
Household Stories by Brother Grimm - This is for a class that I'm taking online that debates Fantasy and Sci-Fi, you're going to see a lot of strange books here over the next 10 weeks. Sorry. So far, I'm the only one that I know that's enjoyed reading these.

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong - I'm not really reading this yet...but it's just sitting in the middle of my table watching me, asking me to read it. It's the last book on the Otherworld Series. Has it really been over ten years now? I almost don't want to read it, if I don't, it will never end.

Nothing this week, and nothing next as the Olympics and edits are to be obeyed at all times. Lame I know.

The Delgados - An older band that broke up, but I found them in my iPod and every time that I do I always find myself putting their collection of work. 

See ya next week!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Working with a flat wheel

I'll get to my blog in a moment; I just wanted to give sympathy's to family and friends of those hurt in the Colorado Springs shootings. Everyone should be safe to enjoy art, stories, movies, and life without the worry that someone being so selfish as to take it from them maliciously. This is to the people who lost their life following their passion, and to those whom had one of their favorite stories darkly tainted.
Don’t' forget what Batman is about, regular people standing up against the atrocities of the wicked.

My title this week is because I dislocated my left pinky playing soccer and is in a splint. I play keeper, so yes I'm the only man in the WORLD that can hurt their hands while playing a foot sport. Go me. I'm letting the swelling go down, but I might be taking a trip the finger doctor guy. If it still feels like this in a few weeks I don’t see how I can avoid going under the knife. It's going to be awesome time, really, I not even lying that much right now. I took a picture then thought better of posting it, you're welcome.

The weather around my house has been hard to follow, while I read about the rest of the US living in an heat wave, Seattle finds its self unclear. The weather moves between 80 and sunny, to 50 and downpour. I'm used to Seattle having wet winters and dry summers. But the last two years this has been the case. It was kind of fun to watch Seattle be the only place in the contiguous United States that wasn't suffering from some kind of heat wave. This year I wonder; is world weather shifting?

Ok I’m kind of an addict right now trying to catch up on it all. I really didn’t think that much of Felicia Day other works, but this has been fun. It’s less formatted and more just about what they want to do and I’m the first person to tell you I’m behind that kind of internet play, 101% If they can keep it up and rolling I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.
If this is your kind of place you should also check out: - I place that I have loved following for years, I still miss Dustan. - Del and I never miss a week (mostly because I won’t let her) - Angry Video Game Nerd (when not making his movie) and interesting looks and movies.

I'm not really that big of a gamer; when I was younger I always thought that I was. I did play a lot of games, and I owned even more. But, I think, of all the traits that make you a gamer; you have to finish games you start. The easy ones, the hard ones (so hard they make you toss controllers about the room. Maybe they should make controllers out of super-ball rubber?), I found that I rarely finished a game and when I did, it was an RPG. I didn't really think about it at the time (just I believed I was a crock of a gamer that needed to keep his horrible deeds under wraps), but I think what kept me playing RPG games was the story, not the action of Contra or the castle crushing antics of Super Mario Brothers.
I've said this a few times my favorite game series was Lunar, I did a blog article a while back when I guest appeared on Amber's blog. I enjoyed doing that so much that I pulled out my collection and looked it over. It was good, but it wasn't...perfect.
I had the first Sega CD Lunar with the original cover and the two complete remakes for the PlayStation, also I had some of the strategy guides wrapped. But I was missing the Lunar 2 hardback strat and I didn't even own Lunar 2 for the Sega CD. From the day after that blog, till now I've spent time looking for and putting together the rest of what was released. In both US and Japan.  I give to you…the list!

Houston, we have Lunar.
Mega Drive:
Lunar, Lunar 2.
Game Gear:
Lunar Walking School.
Sega Saturn:
Lunar, Lunar 2, Lunar Walking School
Sega CD:
Lunar (First ED cover), Lunar (Embossed cover), Lunar 2
Manuals: Lunar, Lunar 2
Lunar, Lunar 2
Manuals: Lunar, Lunar 2
1 Ghaleon punching puppet. (Not pictured)
Game Boy:
Lunar Legends
Lunar: Dragon Song
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Collectors ED
Manual: Lunar has about the best website ever for the game and It has stuck around for a long time now. I hope it's always there.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - It was an interesting read, it falls into more of the darker YA I have been seeing where Amy’s father dies and she’s left behind while feeling that everything that happens is her fault. The story is a very interesting trip across America going against the rules her mother placed on her. I didn’t feel they completed enough plot threads to make me happy.

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb - Keeping with my theme of only reading books that start with A in the title, I've added Robin's book to my pile of "too much stuff to get through". After spending a whole weekend around her and my wife spending a sometime with her at Comic-Con, I thought I should get the know her writing better than not at all.  Just started, but well written. I'm already given the impression that this isn't your typically authored book.

Ted – It was cute and it was fun, but I don’t see myself buying it till it’s in the Wal-Mart discount bin. It was fun to watch, but it was basically like watching a live action family guy episode
Cars 2 - Okay people, what was the problem with Cars 2? Was it juts not funny enough? Was something missing? I mean I felt it had all the points I'd expect from a Pixar movie. I think if people liked Brave they should have liked this one. Note: I've never seen all of Cars 1, just parts while it played in the corner at home. I liked it, so there.

Pedro the Lion - Next up on my tour of collecting the completed works of tour; Pedro. I've owned Control and Winners Never Quit. I've followed up buyin: It's Hard to Find a Friend, Achilles Heel, Whole EP, The Only Reason I Feel Secure, Progress, and Tour ED '04.  Thank you Amazon MP3.  When I create my next sublime character, you'll know why. Still the music is amazing.

Beach House, Bloom - I picked up their newest CD Bloom for 5 bucks, I was told about it by my brother. It's very dream pop, something I'd say I first really liked when I heard...

Summer Twins - They opened for Mathew Sweet when he came to town and after listening to Beach House I needed to some dreaming surf funk sounds, they fit the bill nicely. But I needed something harder so I listen to...

Helmet - Some hard-core surf punk, I could do this all day

But I won’t I’m massively behind on my editing, so much I’m not even blogging about it!
Good day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I want to scream!

Edvard Munch “The Scream” made in 1893, let it be known kiddies, if you paint on cardboard you too might be able to sell it for 120 MILLON dollars! 
Yup, that's it, really

You think Edvard ever thought that this work would sell for that? “Hey, hon. Check this out! It’s worth 120 million. Don’t toss out those pizza boxes!”

Picked up a few books on Grammar, by reading this you might be able to tell I haven’t read them yet! Actually I started to look at one and I’ve read about linking verbs now. Then I tossed the book aside and did a few pages of edits for my book. I’m not sure if it’s helping or making it worse. I need my editor to come back from Comic-Con so that I can hear how bad I messed things up.
To this end; I think that my idea of broken grammar should be "art" that people should mail me 120 million dollars for the privilege of owning the rites all my first draft manuscripts. For that price I'll even throw in the movie rights, go ahead, you can have them, now give me the hat made of money.

Speaking of second, third, and fourth drafts (and on and on), I'd like to say that I'm super deep into my next draft of my book. But that wouldn't be a true statement. After collecting feedback from a few places, there are a few overhauls that need to be done on the start of the book. One of the ongoing themes every published author told me; I need to make sure that every book can stand alone. I'm doing some work that should help this, but I'm not looking for a complete reboot of the book. Some of the changes that I'm doing will require a few fixes to the first book too. I'm not sure how that will look to the people have already bought my first book, but I promise that you aren’t missing anything. In fact, I can say that you have more with your current edition than the updated one.
Something that keeps picking at the back of my mind is that I watched other well published authors do all things that I'm currently doing. Such as; large info dumps, and making books that can't stand alone. I guess I'm not allowed to break these rules till I'm well established.
Dern it.
Once I'm famous I'm going to turn in a dog turd and say "Publish it, I'm the Dufalo bitch!"
AHHH the soft and fluffy dreams of authors...
Okay that was a way off subject rant! Long story short (too late), I've got a new draft of the start of how Corporate Policy and I'm about toss the first two chapters over the wall to my editor to take a look through. I have to have all these pages on my copy editor's desk by August first. (Love ya Amie!)
For all those that went to Comic-Con international it sounded like it was an epic showing, I didn't go, not my thing. The wife went, so it's just been the boys around the house over the week, we watched GUY movies, GUY pizza in, and GUY eating out! So guy hygene, lets just say the boy needed a bath by Friday :)
If they did an "All-the-Hawt-Chicks-From-All-the-Sci-Fi-Shows-That-You-Love-Con" I would be there, I'd help put it on, I'm sure I'd be arrested by the end of the first day of panels. But till they do that con, I'm going to stick to the conventions that have something to do with learning from or talking with authors in smaller settings. Orycon is this November and I'm going to go. Rusty-Con is in Tacoma Washington sometime this summer/fall? I'm going to have to see if that one is worth going to.

Books I’m currently reading:
This area is slow while I get heavy into edit mode. I have a lot of paper all around me trying to make heads or tails out of my story. Here take a look:
Ahh, my heart tries to stop just looking at it.
Wait, what am I doing with that can of air...

Ok back to books now.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I'm only like 1/3 through the book, maybe a bit more. It's good so far, but we haven't reached the "other shoe drops" moment in the book so I'm holding out for that.

Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan - I'm only 5% into this book, but O.M.G. (Yeah that's right, I put periods in there, what you going to do about it?) funny as hell. I can't wait to have a little more time on my hands to take this novel of hilarity in larger helpings. It was on Max Berry's reading list, so I had hope. With the limited sampling I've had, it has lived up to billing.

2001 - That right suckers! I bought it on Blue Ray and watched it! The transfer was AMAZINGBALLS (This is the new hip word I hear. You have to follow these conversations at your coffee shop so you too can stay cool.) My brother thought that 2001 was MUCH better than 2010, now that I have watched them back to back, I think that he's totally right. My opinion has flipped someone call the papers.

Bringing up Baby - An 1938 movie that I heard about in the back of Dean Koontz's Tick Tock (PS if you haven't read this book, just put the blog down now and go read it...then come back) It's labeled by Dean as a "Screwball comedy" and I believe it was one of the inspirations for Tick Tock. (There is some other author, James Patterson that made a book called Tick Tock, don't read that one. You're reading the wrong book!) I watched the movie after ordering it on Netflix, and then turned around and bought a copy to keep for my very own! It was best movie of 1938!* (Note: This is a blanket statement with no true facts or research to back it up. I didn't even know the movie was release in 1938 till I looked it up, right now.)

Mirrored by Battles - IN LOVE! I'm trying to think of what they are like...Maybe Spiritualized? I hear a live recording of Atlas and I was hooked at once!

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do by Fiona Apple - So, Fiona, that whole thing is the title? Wow this the best CD since "When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right" (bolded for your pleasure) No, now that I think about it... Wait I forgot what I was saying while typing that title.
Oh right, When the pawn... was better, but I wanted to take this moment to show people this isn't her longest title, she's cut back. I love how she use "Cuz", great way to keep that letter count down. Hell it doesn't matter what she releases, I'll buy it all, her voice is like ear crack to me.

That is enough for this week!
I'll chat with you soon!

Monday, July 9, 2012

There is nothing wrong with a Brazilian falling through the ceiling

“There is nothing wrong with a Brazilian falling through the ceiling”
-          Mike Shepherd

Ok this is quote may have been taken way out of context from a Westercon panel but I really loved it.

It was Westercon 65 over the weekend and it was only my second Con ever. I didn’t even know what I should expect, but I didn’t think that it would have been that awesome! I have a lot of people to thank so let me get the list.

First I want to thank my friends at the NWIA, they were fun to hang with, and they kept positive when it was very clear this was not a con that should of have had a dealer’s room. I think our highlight was when Guest of Honor, Robin Hobb came by and talked with us for about 10 minutes. Well it was for me.
Next, to all the authors that I met and talked with during the con, wow!

David Silas – Great chatting with you about my books, and your feedback was wonderful. You have changed my story ark so much and you don’t even know yet.

Susan Matthews – I read over your notes and hope that all my action scenes will deserve that kind of praise.

Gregory Wilson – You are an amazing panelists, your feedback was even better, your right on my grammar and I think in the end what you said is right, I need to care more and show that. 

Anna Sheehan – You stopped me on the way out of your panel to talk with me. The advice was well received, I promise you.  I’m going to buy a copy of your German book so I can put the cover on your English one as you loved it so much more!
I’m so glad that I got the chance to connect with you on YA writing, I’d love the chance to do it again soon.

Robin Hobb – Who has a picture of my back up on her blog, forever I’ll be part of Hobb’s blog HAHAHA! But I do want to thank Robin, she has to be about the most down to earth Guest of Honor to have ever done a con. I can’t tell you how many little conversations I had with her and even had some questions most wouldn’t ask answered. 
My favorite question to ask was what her favorite Pixar movies were.
Answer: Incredibles , then, Up. She has not seen Brave yet.
Also she saved my friend from being crush by a door, and signed all the books she brought to the Con.

And lastly, I want to give a very special thanks to…
Mike Shepherd – After a panel I asked him if he had two minutes to talk, he said sure. We moved down the hall to another room and he didn’t give me two minutes, he gave me a whole hour. I had a very well published, and Guest of Honor for Orycon, answering my questions, one on one no one else there. He was very patient and was willing to sit there for as long as I wanted to talk his ear off. I couldn’t believe it, I was very, very, honored. And if you haven’t bought every one of his 15 books, do it right damn now!

Those are the big ones that I wanted to thank; there were many, many, many, more that I didn’t name and its shame on me that I didn’t give them all the credit they deserve.

On to the details!
This was the best Con for west coast authors, ever.
This was not the best Con for west coast Sci-Fi fans.
Norwest con and Comi-Con is your fan con headquarters for the west coast this year.  (I haven’t been to Orycon yet, but I’m betting it will be more fan friendly as well.)
Westercon, welcome to the writer’s wet dream.
It’s was a small con of about a thousand I’d say, and I’d say 65% writers, the rest were made up of dealers, artists, costumers, and filk. There weren’t as many panels and so unlike Norwescon, there were a lot of panelists from other panels sitting in the audience with you enjoying the conversation too. Really awesome stuff.   Also the groups were smaller in most panels which translated to more open discussion and more of your personal questions getting more attention. It was really wonderful. 
Also there was more debate and ponder panels on, types of dragons, bad guys, things of this nature. Norwescon it was more how to and first time panels.
I’m not sure if this is the usual for this con, but I think that it should be. I loved to see a con, once a year where you have to manuscript under your belt to get in. Nothing published, but you have to show that you are indeed writing, or blogging or whatever. I learned so much and not knowing if I’ll ever get the chance to do so again, I’m lucky to have been a part of this one.

I sold a book on Amazon Saturday and I don’t know who to, I’m all jumpy when I think about a stranger looking at my book,  I get worried they won’t like it!  But I’m glad that I sold a book!

I’m going to be heads down in the rewrite, of Corporate Policy, till August 1st. With all the feedback in I’ll have my hands really full with that. But I’ll try and keep you all in the loop!
Oil and Water has been set to the side at word count of 82K, I knew it was going to happen, but I really hoped I’d have been closer to done, I set out for a 100K manuscript and I’m looking at 160K. It really is going to be a fat pony.

Books I’ve read:
Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel – Good book, I liked that it was darker for a YA read and it used a dairy for a plot moving prop. It was a good change from what I have been reading as of late. It’s also got me thinking about starting up my own dairy.

500 More Ways To Be A Better Writer by Chuck Wendig – Foul language and not safe for work jokes make this the best book on how to write ever. Its more tips on what you should and shouldn’t be doing and less on the direct craft. I recommend it to anyone that has started a manuscript.

Movies I’ve watched:
A new area I thought I’d put down.

2010 – Old movie, but it was on Netflix and I wanted to check it out again. I’m glad I did. Such a lovely story. Now that I’m reading more I may go and pick up all the books and start going through them.

American Reunion – Funny movie that is really a more an “Oh remember this actor?” kind of plot. But it was a good laugh reel, and that’s what these movies were all about. I will say some of the actors don’t seem like they have aged a day, creepy!

Aimee Mann – I’m just going through anything and everything that she’s released; I’ve been picking an artist once a month to fill out my collection with their music. This month it’s been her.

Oh and BAM! See ya there!