Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Friday, December 31, 2010

Bland New Year's Wishes


So, Happy New Year, and many happy returns!. So I would just like to say... wait, whose that man, just behind you? OMG, he seems to want to do me harm! Maybe if I dodge-right, I'll be okay... Ahh
Can't talk now, see you next year.............craig

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh Bother!


Okay, okay, I'm a little late with an update. It's Christmas, external pressures abound, plus, I have become badly addicted to Farmville. Yeah, whose going to harvest my strawberries before they wilt? And chickens lay eggs, but they don't bloody-well collect them, now do they? So of course I'm late with a new post. Actually, I've not had much to say, so I didn't say it. I am writing the scenes where the protagonist (can't call him a hero or star) of TD is changing, becoming more out-of-touch and megalomaniachal. As before, when I writing a depressing, darker sequence, I myself get a bit melancholy. I have removed the "explicit" governor this time out, so there is a lot of foul-language. I never use profanity gratuitously, but in a part where real people are falling apart, swearing does occur. Anyway, I found myself swearing (just a tiny bit mind you) yesterday after penning a particularly tense interaction. Method-acting, I guess, but in this case, method-writing. Just don't be shocked if I pop-off a few ripe words once in a while - it's not me, it's my frakking characters!
I hope the Holidays were good to you and yours. General stress levels sky-rocket this time of year, and many have trouble handling it, so hang in there. It is important to remember the world is not a Norman Rockwell painting ( http://www.hillmanweb.com/xmas/xmasnr01.html ). Maybe a Dali ( http://bit.ly/gKgh51 ) or an Arbus ( http://bit.ly/hsQlk1 ), but never a Rockwell!
Well, off to work now, got to run... oh, maybe I'll check to see if those carrots are ready, but then for sure, off to work............

PS: I hate clowns, but that image was just too right, so forgive me if you were scarred by Red Skelton too.... cr

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chipping AwayAtIt


I have about 50K words down now in Time Diving (TD). I'm past the less satisfying part of setting the scene and developing the structure. Now I am having the soon-to-regret-it lead start to lose contact with proper reality. Oh, how I almost feel bad engineering his demise, but it is his actions which drag him down, so is it really my fault, I ask you? Thanks in advance for agreeing with me. I am writing several characters more edgy than they were in the first draft. I am already fantasizing how the actors I've selected (in my head) to read the parts will do. Some of the dialog requires some really visceral portraying, so, it will be fun.
I just made the next step in producing the text of The Prisoner. I'd been stalling for a while, trying to figure the formatting, but now I am at a point where I can proceed. I just know the world is sitting on the edge of its seat waiting for this text.
The needed marketing to keep sales of my three books still escapes me, as reflected by the numbers. I read other indie-authors sites, and they at least say they are moving significant product, so I feel lame. Most of these people have serial fantasy stories, so maybe one can build a following. I may write one of those some day, but for now, I keep committing my efforts to other, stand-alone, projects. I like my work, so it must be worthy, right? Why are you shaking your head in disbelief? Ah, do you think I can't see you through the computer screen? And, you in the back, Dave from NY, please stop touching that - you're creeping me out!
So, because life should never be too easy, I'm setting professional changes in motion. That way I can have more stress for less pay, while disappointing a whole bunch of nice people. I have always maintained that one's integrity is about the only positive character-component they really have control over. I feel I'm being forced to choose between a morally superior and a morally inferior path by the powers-that-be [ see 9/16, 10/15, & 11/6/10, for examples]. I don't mind that they are soulless dogs, but I do mine when they force their pestilence and malevolence onto my path. But what fun is it to be a worthless-bottom-dwelling-louse if you can't inflict yourself on others, I ask you?
Enough sober philosophical whining. You don't read this to be depressed, right? I do think it is important for any interested in my writing and the writing process itself to be able to see some real behind the scenes looks at the process. All our lives are similar, so if you see others deal with unwelcome and pointless barriers, you can know better that yours are surmountable. Plus, I do so love whining ; )
Blessed weekends and Christmas Season to you all. Keep reading, writing (if it fits your muse), but most importantly - stay passionate!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too Busy!


I've been so busy this week I haven't been able to work on TD. Oh pooh! I always say busy is what differentiates those outside nursing homes from those inside nursing homes, but this is getting ridiculous. I will definitely have to make time this weekend. Can't leave John Lennon dead forever, can I now? (oops, spoiler alert!). Hope you week is productive....craig

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Careful Knitting




I'm at am important part in the writing of Time Diving (TD) where 3 principle players meet John Lennon ( in 1966, if you must know). At these important parts, pivotal parts, I want the writing to be it's best and the logic to flow and the story to flow - in short, I wish to amaze! We'll see, right? I am, consequently, hardest on myself at these junctures, and nothing seem good enough. For example, it's a reception line, so everybody's shaking hands. I keep using the word "shake" because, aside from "hand-clasp" and "greeting" I can't think of another word to use. But now I'm worried "shake" appears too often - don't want to be dull or repetitive repetitive, now repetitive would I?
Well, I guess this is what seperats the wheat from the chaff, n' est pas? I sure hope I'm wheat!
Have a great day, and remember, as Telly Savalas used to say, who loves ya, baby......

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Now That Was Very Nice


Okay, 4-4-4-4-4- days off - very nice. But I'm ready to return to work - because, well, because it's the right thing to do? Join me,if you will. Ready or not.........

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Not As Easy As It Looks


The US holiday of Thanksgiving means I've been off work the last two days. I have had the chance to dedicate several hours to writing Time Diving (TD). I would say I have spent maybe 6 man-hours writing. I am transcribing the first draft, which was hand-written, to a text document. I have changed to direction of the books, from the start of the first draft to where it ends in my head. Especially the tone and the point-of-view (POV) have changed. As a result this is not merely a task of typing the long-hand into text. I have to alter and redo quite a bit. It's probably faster than doing a primary write at this point, but there's a lot of crafting which must occur. So, it's slow. I can spend significant time re-working a paragraph or integrating a new idea. My point is, it's slow. This is what I do, and I love the creative process, and the end-product, but it is still, quite literally, a labor of love. I have maybe laid-down perhaps 20 pages in these two days, maybe a bit less ( word count into computer stands around 33,500, heading to upwards of 100K or so). All that thunder and lightning, and, man, so little rain : (
Ah well, if it weren't so hard, it would be easy, right? I still have absolutely no idea when I'll approach a finished version of TD. By mid-spring would be outstandingly quick. Well, we'll know when we know, so hang in there with me. The story is a crazy, wild, somber ride, and I cannot think of anything I've read which is closely related.
So, have a great day, stay creative, and turn over a few rocks looking for happiness and meaning... I hope you succeed........

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yes!


Yes, made it... yes, made it... yes, really made it! Four days leisure and family (the good part and none of the rest). Hope y'all feel the same and have a wonderful break.......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost There!


One more day till Thanksgiving 4-day weekend! I think I can, I think I can....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yes, Oh Hi Monday, No, Nothing Going On Here, Sir...


So here comes Monday, no big deal, right? I assume it will be a good day, a productive day, right? If I were suspicious, that would be a big disadvantage, am I right? So I am certain Monday will be a VERY good day. Hey, you in the back, third row, why are you laughing?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Slowness of Being


As I get farther into the author-thing, the more I realize it is a slow world. I am a non-artist, no drawing talent, can't sing, or play an instrument, so I am surprised as to what a slow world being creative is. Writing is slow, if it is to be worthwhile. Devoting a few hours here-and-there to writing means a 70,000 word novel will take the better part of a year to complete, counting edits, re-edits, devastating re-re-edits, etc. A good author can expect to turn-out, on average, one book per year. So, even a long-lived writer will produce only a modest inventory of work.
Slow is made all the slower in distribution. I submitted a couple books to a small publishing house several months ago and have not heard a peep since. (I actually check their website occasionally to see if they went belly-up) I sent a query to an agent a few weeks ago and have not heard a thing back. Slow, slow, and more slow. Suppose I discovered a previously unknown gem from a big name author (Bradbury, Heinlein, Vonnegut) and slapped my name on the cover. If I submitted it to a big publisher, while soliciting an agent, I'd be lucky indeed to see that book on Barnes & Nobles racks within 2 years.
With production and the pipeline being so slow, it poses an interesting barrier. As I write more, my approach and skills change. As a result, anything I push out there is badly out-of-date by the time it's new and fresh on the market. Also, if I have a rip-roaring idea to commit to paper, I know before hitting the first key that it won't be done and enjoyed for, well, you guessed it, a long, slow time. It's not frustrating, but it is an issue.
All that said, I continue to lay down the foundations of Time Diving, and continue to be pleased with my efforts to date. I'm still stalled in producing the print version of TPN, since I can't see galley prints, I think, using Create Space as the Print on Demand publisher. I've decided to wait till early December and use the "one-free-copy" offer they have with NaNoWriMo winners. That way I can produce a free copy and see if it looks right, and then use that manuscript as the template for actual production. Slow, but, as with everything else in writing, necessarily so, I guess.
Have excellent weekends, my friends, and I'll keep writing and keep you posted.......craig

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Mini-Post


So, I've had a few hours this week to 'knit' together some more of Time Diving. It is interesting to me as the author that some segments come together powerfully and easily. Others, I'm not as happy with. The latter I leave-in, figuring to cut-out and firm-up in the next edit. I really do like the story though! Breadth of imaginations, compelling events, well-developed characters. Seriously, I wouldn't say this if I didn't believe it. I'm really liking how TD is taking shape! I'll keep you posted, but you knew that already, right? As an obsessive weirdo, though, as I forge this book, I'm already thinking, "So what's next?" Honestly, I don't know, but I'd love to see a great ghost story. Part of me says 'do a scifi/otherworld tale', because I love them dearly, and part of me says to do a fantasy-world, as it can lay the foundation for future serial success. We, I can tell you, will find out ; )

Monday, November 15, 2010

Okay, It's Monday...


Okay, it is a Monday, but looking ahead, it doesn't look too bad. No, in fact, I have a feeling it will be a piece of cake - no problema - a walk in the park - simpler than Forrest Gump's math skills - shooting fish in a barrel. I'll get back to you...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ah the Simple Joy of It


Ah le simple plaisir d'une chose. O el jubilo de una cosa sencilla. Time Diving (TD) is taking flight! As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I'm past the set-up stages, and now I'm moving (or more properly, as you will discover in a few months when reading it, 'screwing with', 'crushing like bugs', or 'burning the wings off of with a magnifying glass') the players around. Oh the simple joy of creative writing! Seriously, I feel like I hope Andres Segovia felt as he dazzled us during a Spanish guitar recital, or like Michelangelo felt as he finely honed the angle of a statue. Now, please, I do not mean to suggest I'm on their level {or that they are on mine ; ) }, but creating, forging new items of beauty out of chaos, it is really quite a wondrous thing. Even if critics all agree my books are pedestrian, (not that they have, will, or can be forgiven for if they do) I am humbled by the process and the fact. If what I cough-up is worthy, then all the better. If not, well then it's simply my version of 'craft', as in Michael's store, home-made Christmas decorations, bric-a-brac, applique, n' est pas?
So, that said, I've little else to tell, truth be told. The week passed mysteriously management-free, which is either a good thing, or simply a prelude to being hit with what they've pent-up to disgorge - I'll let you know.........craig PS: (pro forma diurnum) I hope you personally have a spectacular weekend, that joy smacks you squarely in the heart, and that Monday will be a much much better day for having followed your epic 2-day break.........craig again

Monday, November 8, 2010

Okay, Week, what are You Going to Throw At Me?


Another day, another dollar. So I stick my head over the cliff and look-see what lies below. What do you have for me, Week? Pure joy? I think not; I work for Kaiser. Unmitigated anguish? No, how maudlin of you Craig. Well, I pray the goods out-weight the bads by a significant margin, and that I heard not one peep out of De Bozzes. I hope your week goes even better. And, PS, if you're doing NaNoWriMo, stop reading this post and get back to writing! ; )

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Busy Yet Non-Productive Week



So, I had a busy week, doing every manner of thing, except writing. My management, who, if you follow this blog at all, you know I am less than infatuated with, has piled on me (all us doc's really, but it effects me) so many conflicting, contradictory, and non-patient oriented functions that it is all I can do at times to tread water. And no sneak-away breaks to write - poo! I had two, count them two, self-contradicting memos cross my desk and one impossible mandate. I know, I hear you say, "But, Craig, dude you only have 2 years and 5 months till you can bail, don't stress, dude!" In a normal world, populated with normal (or even normal-lite) people that would be true. But the world I live in is increasingly mean, petty, and capricious - bad combo's if y'ask me. Oh well, to paraphrase an old friend of mine Catullus, I will obdurate ( he actually said: At tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura).
So back to my point about writing. I penned a few more words in Time Diving (TD), but just that. I am pleased in that I am re-molding the first-pass text to a superior product. I am also just now past the intro section setting the tone and mechanics of the book, so I can let the action take place. Now it gets exciting! I always want to write science fiction in a manner which forces the reader to suspend disbelief as little as possible. To that end, in Anon Time and TD I make it a point to construct and detail how the incredible things which happen (eg. time travel) can happen. It may not be the most enthralling part of the novel, but I like it in there. Once the foundation has been laid I can then 'play' without guilt. So, anyway, I'm past that point, about 20, 000 words into TD, so I'm glad. You will be too, when you read the final text [ spoiler alert/teaser: John Lennon was not assassinated and is now Prime Minister - yeah, good stuff].
I did query my first agent for The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo (TPN), and have a series of 'next-best options' lined-up, so that's something. Not much progress on the print-on-demand edition of TPN, because there appears to be no way to preview the Create Space text before it is committed to print. I'd hate to print a novel with frame-shifted pages. And so it goes.
Well, off to accomplish chores and yard work and bike ride and nap and some writing and dinner and man am I wearing myself out just saying it!
Seriously, please have wonderful weekends yourselves, and, best case scenarios, I hope you all get 'lucky' - hey, it's the weekend, why the h-e-double toothpicks not! Peace out....craig

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paperback Publishing Is Not Easy - Big Surprise, Eh?


So I finally finished formatting TPN for Lulu, to put out a paperback. Big relief, yes? Big relief, no! Going through this for the first time I'm a babe-in-the-woods, don't you know. I finally got to the 'pricing' section of the on-demand publisher Lulu. Turns out unless I price my 284 page 6 X 9 inch paperback in the $25 range, I don't make a dime, literally, off each unit sold. How is it possible for a new author, unknown to the public at large, to expect a stranger to spend $25 on the off chance the book will be worth it? Heck, I wouldn't pay that much for an unknown, and the pricing for known-authors is more like $10 at bookstores and on line. Moral of the story: new-age-on-demand-changed-paradigm publishing is the new face on the old vanity publishing houses. We, the little newbie, cannot catch a break! Big Publishing would take a chance on anything, so we're out-a-luck there. We can push our own stuff ahead if we pay pay pay some online hacks way too much. Or we can e-publish, Kindle, Nook, etc, but that still remains a very small portion of the market. So, if you wish to write and have fun and have a few people enjoy your work, welcome to the New Era in Publishing - everything has changed. If you wish, however, to access the wide-world of hard-copy readers and make a modest return on your efforts, don't call us, we'll call you, because it ain't gunna happen - nothing has changed.
Does it bother me? Why, yes, and thanks for asking. Does it surprise me (cynical, wold-weary me)? I have to admit, a little, which is sad, because I should have seen it coming. What's truly unbelievable is that Lulu and Create Space (CS, see next paragraph) are cheap compared to the crooks who are out there. An unwary author can easily spend thousands of dollars using online vanity companies. There are a lot of bad people out there anxious to take a huge chunk of your hard-earned dollar.
So I re-formatted for CS. The site is much harder to use, but I got through it, I think. When I get to the 'pricing', I don't get violated as badly, as flagrantly, but only by this much. If I price at around $14, and purchase for $39 their 'pro' plan, I can earn almost $2 on a sale on Amazon.com. Wow, two bucks. I can sell though my website and get a reasonable half, but if I want the access Amazon brings, I must basically give it to the Corporate giant or price myself out of contention. Great to know Amazon is willing to give me a chance if I only give them a lot of profit for zero effort on their part. If your curious, here's a link to a PDF listing various on-demand companies and their services/prices: http://www.booksandtales.com/pod/ and http://dehanna.com/database.htm And so it goes.
Oh well, I am having fun doing all this, the writing and figuring out of things. I can maybe be like Scott Sigler and try and lasso my readers to my site and make a decent return-on-investment in the long run.
So, happy Halloween to each and every one of you, my friends, and please eat WAY too much candy. Afterwards, don't even brush your teeth - be a big-old kid again and love every moment......

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Know You're Getting Old When...




The answer to the title is "When a buddy of yours gets a place dedicated to him." A great guy I worked with for 20 years retired 3-4 years ago, and passed away last year. He was kind, intelligent, caring, witty, and a neurosurgeon. Yeah, wow, the last one almost doesn't fit. right? His name was Rod Smith, MD; in his case I affix the MD because it meant the world to him and he brought honor to the calling. So my hospital made a plaque for him, had local artist create a couple wonderful paintings, and they dedicated one wing of the ICU, where he spent many an hour toiling, to him. Way to go Rod! He would be touched and he certainly deserved a shout-out in perpetuity. So the problem is, I am now old enough to have a buddy of mine honored thus. Dude! I cannot be that senior!! Please agree with me and quickly!!!
Dedications are funny things if you knew the individual. A sad and tortured soul I knew years ago finally ended her pain. Her devoted husband placed a dedication stone in our parish courtyard. It was something simple, "Lydia, we love you," something like that. We don't go to the church often anymore (now there's a long story), but when we do, and I see the stone, I know I know her, I remember her - very poignant. Now Rod. Every time I pass the ICU entrance, I'll think of that dapper prince and smile. Every time someone who didn't know him passes, they will think, if they think anything of it, "Oh, another plaque to a dead-guy." They might equally remark, "Oh, a rock named Lydia." To those strangers, to those generations of strangers, who won't even know anyone who knew them, 'Rod' and 'Lydia' will be cold impersonal names in the night, not even foot notes, just plaques. And I knew them. They were real living, loving, failing, caring, and participating persons whom I shall miss, and whom the world is lesser without, and Heaven is a better place for having.
Yeah, plaques. Weird, eh?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekending


Okay, my wife and I are at our twice-annual dog show, with our two salukis. Lots of fun, great comradery with old friends, and lots of wonderful dogs. Eating too much and laughing all day, wow, it make tomorrow - Monday - seem all the more bitter. I think I finally finished to text edit/formatting for the LuLu-paperback edition, so onward and upward! Its supposed to rain like the dickens in No. Cal today, the last day of the show, so it will build character, something I sorely need, most my friends will tell you. Have a great end to your weekend.....craig

Thursday, October 21, 2010

and you know, darn it all, I'm worth it.


So I decided to charge for my first two books on Smashwords.com. I had listed them for free, and have had a lot of hits, but, darn it all, I think I'll ask a token fee. I am allowing 50% sampling, so really only those who wish to see how the books end need pay. I think a lot of us newbies undervalue our efforts. I want to be heard, so I do it for free, but I really do put a lot of time (a LOT of time) and soul into this, so a token fee, for now, is okay. Thanks for listening to my apologia, I needed to vent (ie., confess) ; )

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shoulder to the grind-stone, nose to the wheel......


I continue to edit. I finished the paperback format/edit, but am now placing those corrections in the older ebooks. In doing so, I find errors I now need to place in the paperback edit. This may actually go on for-ever! But, it is satisfying, and, hey, whose worried; no deadline, right? So, hope life's treating you well, after all, it should. Talk soon......craig

Sunday, October 17, 2010

RRRRRRRR


Okay, it's better, but those days of the week are still not off the hook - they had better behave! We will see if life wins, or corporate America. Grrrrr.
Formating of TPN to print paperback done, so I'll have this done soon. So way cool...........

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good, or otherwise, Night


When I tell you this Friday has outlived it's utility, I really mean it. Bad Friday!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo is an Ebook!


Okay my friends, after months of waiting and labor pains galore, it's a novel! My third book is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords.com: http://bit.ly/ccakwo . The books been out as a serialized audiobook on Podiobooks.com for 2 months, and is doing well there. Over 1500 people have started the book there, and I have a handful of very nice reviews. This is lots of work, but it's very rewarding too. Next giant task: a paperback edition for online retailers. Oh my.....
Thanks to all those who have been helpful and supportive, especially Brian Duggan, Renee Chambliss, and Laura Givens. Oh yeah, and my sweet wife for listening to my wandering thoughts on this project for the last year.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh What a Relief It Is!


Okay, okay, I finished the ebook version of TPN! I have a message in to my cover artist Laura Givens to size-out the cover, and then I can put that whiny baby to bed ; )
I can then s-l-o-w-l-y start about the LuLu publishing. Mostly though, I'm done. Hopefully I'll get a little buzz from the start of this year's NaNoWriMo to boot. Then I can finish up Time Diving which will take months, but the end product will be the best I've done. Then, drum-roll please, then on to my 'real' project, the one I will make a series, my main professional push. What is it, you ask excitedly? I have no idea, but it will be fun finding out! So, off to day job and my worried-well patients.......craig

Friday, October 1, 2010

First Reviews In


Now that TPN is fully released, it got its first two stranger-reviews (no, not "strange reviews" - you, you - no, reviews from people I don't know!). The one on PB.com is lukewarm, but the one on iTunes is really wonderful. As you can imagine, us authors are praise-sluts, so a great review from someone who clearly thought about the book and their response is heart-warming.
Hopefully I'll finish the edit for at least the Smashword ebook this next week, so it will be readable before this year's NaNoWriMo.

Otherwise, life is as complicated as I can really stand it, but I'm getting by. I begin to ask why it has to be such a struggle sometimes. I believe the answer is because we learn from the bad times and the trial tests our resolve, but that doesn't make it more palatable. Oh well. So, I pray you have a wild and wonderful weekend.........craig

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Alright, Already


I am s-l-o-w-l-y getting the editorial changes intercalated into TPN, by boy-o-boy is it slow! In the end it will be a very nice book, more brilliant ; ) and more readable, but time's a wastin' here! The podcast continues to be very well received, over 1200 listeners, so very cool. I am experimenting with inserting 'ads' into the stream. For now I will place ads for my favorite podcasts from other authors and also my other 2 books. In the long run, I am wondering if I can insert brief paid ads to generate income without relying on donations. I know many blogs and websites use print ads, but I am not certain there are audio ads, you know like radio ads, available to post-up. We'll see in time. For now one step at a time and focus on the writing quality. I've not made any progress on Time Diving since I'm spending my free-time on TPN still. Oh well, all in good time. I have decided to expand the speaking segments of TD as I can think of some brilliant voice actors I'd like to utilize, and if I get them, the more they say the merrier I'll be! So, off to face Saturday, which is, in the end, not such a hard thing to do. Love and kisses.........craig

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Okay, Okay...


So, stop twisting my arm, I'll smile, okay? I am over-coming the management penalty and, okay, I can smile some. Life is good, my wife is wonderful and my latest book is doing well. I have been deep in thought today about where to go after I finish Time Diving. I need to focus on a serial story, I think, one where I can develop a world and spin-off short stories as needed. I have a fantasy world outlined in my mind, but I'm not certain that's the direction I need to head. Hopefully a wondrous creation will pop out of spontaneity. Well, it could happen...right? Well, it could. I'll stay Tinker-Bell happy inside, and we'll see, that's all I'm saying..............good night my friend............

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cover Your Ears, Please


Okay, so 3 days back to work from a wonderful, memorable vacation. I have a great job really, helping people. And I do a great job of it, give-that-guy-a-medal type of great, really. I have, however, only one word for management: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHHH
HHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEARARARARARA, rot in shallow unmarked graves. Oops, that's 6 words, isn't it?
Two years seven months, God give me strength.........

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Once More, Then I'll Stop ( I Promise )


Okay, the one month totals for The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo are in. I'll pat myself on the back one last time, then promise - or something close to it - that I'll stop ; )
Officially 760 listeners! Top countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, DENMARK!, and New Zealand, Japan and China. Wow! TPN is #8 for PB.com Top Ten Daily download list, and #6 for the Monthly Top Ten! Way cool. There are 3 episodes to go. As the last two are best heard as one, I'll release one today, then the finale next Sunday : )
The text edit is still there; funny, it won't do itself. Disrespectful little opus, bah! I've only added a few things to the text which are not in the podcast, and nothing significant enough to go back and re-narrate. So, if you'll excuse me, I'll be going for a bike ride, the errands (yes, shower first, sheesh), and then a little editing. Have a wonderful and relaxing day..........craig

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You Go, Prisoner!


Well, The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo (TPN) continues to exceed my wildest hopes. Not quite three weeks into its release as a podcast, and not fully released yet, TPN is cooking! TPN has over 600 downloads of episode 1, meaning that many people have at least started it. TPN hangs in at # 6 on Podiobooks.com's Monthly Top Ten List. Wow, I am humbled : 0
I'm chipping away at the text edit, but - darn it all - I have to got snorkeling on Ke'e Beach today, so there goes the day's work. Oh well! So stay well and stay happy my friend - I am ; )

Sunday, September 5, 2010

And so it Goes.....


Very well deserved congratulations to the great [ possibly the greatest ] Nathan Lowell on his Parsec award for his Captain's Share Podcast. Strong work my boy! Nathan deserve the award not just for this book, or the series it belongs to, but for all he's done for podcasting over the years. He is one of the early pioneers of this medium, a continued creative force in it, and a generous helper to all. He frequents the Mentorship Forum at PB.com, he lends a voice graciously, and goes the double-extra mile, as with the DragonCant broadcast. Thanks Nathan, thanks for everything.
So, back to work Craig! I released 2 more episodes of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo today. It's really building to a crescendo! Renee's great ditsy secretary performance is among the scenes released today, so check it out - brilliant!
I'm entering the edits to the text, slower than anticipated of course, but I am creating a quality product [ if I do say so myself ]. Maybe a Smashwords release in 2 weeks, maybe. No real progress on Time Diving as a result, but then there's no hurry, right? So, back to work, before relaxing further on Kauai a few days longer.......craig

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Better Just Keep on Improving


So, he said thoughtfully, I am making changes [ most, but not all E ] my brilliant editor Emily Blodget has suggested for the final text of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo. In the process I have elected to make minor changes which have definitely helped. I have re-discovered that it is important not to be 'done' with a text until it's as good as you can make it. I was going to say not to be 'wedded' to a text, but in a sense I should. A novel, like a marriage, is a living, breathing entity which must change, of course, with time. Both story and marriage should be sculpted and cherished but never made inviolate for arbitrary reasons, such as 'I'm done working on it.'
So, any 'hoo, I live, I learn; how cool is that! I intentionally released the Podiobook.com version before finalizing the text, as the podcast is after all a tale told, so the flow and conventions are different than traditional written word [ at least they are now, right? ]. In the end, I think I will have a very good book to offer as ebook and bound edition. Just thought I'd let you know.
Now back to driving all over Kauai..........peace, craig PS: Emily, please don't edit this post in your head- I can feel you doing it so don't!!!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ah, Don't Worry So Much.....


So, I have been thinking on the issues I touched on in my last blog. Specifically, where I'm headed in terms of writing/podcasting. I have read a few learned blog posts by Mark Coker and others in the know, as much as is possible, in the new-publishing era we find ourselves in. It is easy to panic, it is easy to join the local Luddite Society and eschew new-pub, e-pub and its variants, it is easy to scrum ahead into new-pub blindly, with more force than thought. So what is one , one in this case one craigie-poo, to decide? Well, fortunately it returned to mind why I'm here in the first place and what my motivations, not so much my goals are. In fact, it struck me lightly in the back of my head: why have goals at all? Who, in this challenging and hyper-complex, amped on steroids universe needs goals for their hobby? Right; am I right am, am I right?
Certain facts are easy to place in the field of reasoning. First, it has been said over and over that if you want to make so coin, get a second job flipping burgers. You'll make way more, way more easily, than writing fiction today. Second, the way the world is now, big-pub ain't interested in you, unless they are already making bank on you, so don't even ask. Third, the only segment of the new-pub authors who are really making any significant sales are those writing about [any guesses first? Come on, what genre is actually moving some product? Okay, I'll tell you] you got it: self-publishing/web-publishing. Niche market authors can succeed if they market their niche properly: Christian romance, knitting vegetables for pets, that sort of thing. But niche-markets are not big-sexy-glitzy-pop-the-Dom-Perignon kind of lucrative venues in which dreams are forged. Third, [remember my point? Seems I might not have ; ) ] 'experts' agree that if your book is all-time wonderful Pulitzer Prize-slam-dunk great, it need not get noticed let alone make any real dough; it's to hard to stand out and get noticed. They say if you stuff is not great, your completely SOL, but the tripe big-pub does peddle argues to the contrary.
So, my point, and I do have one, is don't worry be happy! I started writing Anon Time 15 years ago because it was in my head and I needed to get it out. Creating it was it's own end. At the time, pre-internet, there was no avenue to pursue getting anyone to know it existed. In the end, this does matter. I've discussed in previous blogs, I cannot be like Emily Dickenson or George McFly and write my entire life without letting the world see it. Why? If you create it and it's pathetic crap, then your investment of time is suspect. If it is not crap, your efforts, in retrospect, had merit. That's it, a touch of practicality in one's vanity, if you please.
Sooooooooo, I will try and convince myself I do not need my name to be on the intelligentsia's lips, my books need not sell like hot-Potters, that I do not need to see a beautiful blond in a thong bikini reading one of my books on an isolated beach- wait, where did that thought come from? Wasn't mine, no way! No, Officer, I have never seen that thought before- but I digress.
Went long on this post, sorry. In the end, as a good friend of mine John Milton said, "Fame is not a plant which on mortal soil grows." I will content myself with what fame and fortune publishing has in store for me and be really really thankful to have been a player, and most of all to have met you.............

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughtful Pause


So, as I'm basking in the glow of TPN, which I really like, and am working on Time Diving, I started to ponder the future. First, a word about TPN's editing process. I asked Emily to edit it formally for me, and boy, what am eye-opener! There are a lot of doz puntiation tingies to no currectly ; )
I have made minor changes to the text I probably will not reproduce in the podcast,
In terms of the future, now 3 books out in a year, several thousand listeners, I wondered where I was heading. I've read some blogs about the future of self-publishing, and I begin to formulate that specialization and reader-retention may well be the future. The days of big pub. and physical bookstores is at an end. The best future for an indie author is probably to 'specialize'. Sticking with a topic, a genre, a world, is probably the best way to secure some financial success. So.......what would I tie myself down to? A fantasy world? I do have one outlined. A medical series? That I could do. Some scifi? Harder to find theme and stick with it. I will decide. Heretofore I have written what pleased me, what I needed to write, but maybe I need to stake-out an area and 'own it'. We'll see. For now, one more workday, then 2 weeks off, and a trip to Kauai. I know, humble, be humble, and I will.............stay well and stay outta trouble/////me

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tooting Yet Again My Own Horn


Well, just a day into the launch of TPN and my feet still barely touch the ground. The numbers I mentioned yesterday are growing, just over 100 people worldwide have downloaded episode 1. TPN is number ONE on Podiobooks.com's Daily Top 10 List, with 36 listeners from that site alone! The US, Great Britain, and Australia lead the pack for total downloads, and Belgium has popped onto the list of Non-native English speaking countries. What a rush. Thanks to all those who have listened and especially to all those who helped (including the one trying to crawl out of their turtle shell).
This discussion has ranged on various sites and discussions: how does an author validate their work. If absolutely no one read Shakespeare's or Milton's or Bradbury's work, would it have mattered? Would their towering efforts be valueless, or would they be the master pieces which they are? First off, the only way to know you're good and entertaining, is if others read and enjoy your work; your own opinion and that of your cat do not actually count in this regard. So my point, and I must have one, is that these downloads and hits achieve two goals for me. First they let me know I was heard. If I'm Good , Bad, or Indifferent, so be it. Second, they reconfirm my huge smiling satisfaction that author's are no longer constrained by rigid unhearing non-risk taking large publishing houses to be heard. Yes, to be financially successful you still have to be lucky enough to be accepted by those fickle bean counters but they are not required to be heard. Someone told me Patterson made 7 million dollars last year. His books are in every supermarket, airport, and 7-11 store. His writing is, in a word, unacceptable. I am not bitter ( seriously, not a trace, lick the back of my hand if you're determined to), but mention this to juxtapose what extreme financial success measures. It measure extreme financial success, period. It clearly has zero to do with quality or imagination or creativity, only singularly great luck.
Off the soap box now, and back to the afterglow, I'll keep y'all posted as to TPN moment in the Sun, and work anew on Time Diving. Kiss the one you love and love the one you kiss........craig

Friday, August 20, 2010

12 HOURS OF SMILES


OK, 12 hours into TPN release, and I have 152 total downloads, with impressive international stats: 3 Australia, 1 NZ, 1 Tokyo, 2 Germany, 1 Poland and Korea, 8 GB and 1 Columbia. Thanks far off fans plus all US/CAN hits! You have all, literally, made my day ; O

Houston, We Have a Liftoff !!!!

OK Ok OK it's a podiobook! The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo went live today! I know it's me saying it, but I listened to Episode 1 downloaded from iTunes (quality check, not vanity check) and it's brilliant. Check out the brilliant audio promo by Nathan Lowell: http://www.myfavoriteauthor.net/images/TPN_promo.mp3
Many thanks to all...........your pal, craig

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Waiting Game


It's fun having all the work done for the TPN release and just waiting to see it birthed and on the charts, and especially to hear the feedback ( I hope I hope I hope). I'm back to Time Diving, second draft over the start, so writing again. It's nice but it's draining, and I find real creative writing, not editing or proof reading or making a shopping list, makes me very moody, blue. Hence the Moody Blues photo. I don't know if that had anything to do with their naming of themselves, but I feel it as a palpable force. I think it's good for those around me that I'm not a professional writer, spending all my days at the craft; I'd probably be less nice to around. But tapping into the creative force does change one's perception, one's self-image. To me it's a good thing, in an egotistical manner. For example, it takes me *solong* to birth a project, conception to release. Whatever *solong* is, it's long. So, when I see a TV commercial or a movie or a poem, I see the item, but cannot separate it from the effort, the expenditure of creative capital which went into it. While I'm writing, I subtly see things differently, weird, eh? Well, enough philosophy, a bit of writing (actually righting the writing), then chores and errands, or simply put, life. Have a great weekend and an even better life.............me

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Is Official !!!!!!


OK, no way out, it's official and all that: The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo launches on Podiobooks.com 8/20/10 : )
I uploaded 5 episodes, and will add 2 a week after that till complete. This week I'll tackle the ebook version for Smashwords.com. Then, submission and self-publication! I'm bowing, as you're no doubt applauding right now, are not you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Almost There


Well, I uploaded the first 5 episodes to PB.com, and hopefully I got the technicals correct (last book out I messed them up a bit). Once I have Nathan's audio promo, I can go live and you can laugh whatever rear end you might have off. Even though I have all the episodes done, I am going to take Renee's suggestion to put them out gradually, so the title appears more often on PB.com's release announcements area. Maybe I can get a bit more buzz. This part of a podcast is almost anti-climactic, but it is a good feeling to have another book I'm proud of out there. I just made three books released for podcast in one year!
Time Diving is looking good, I'm extensively tweaking the first draft, and it looks to be a winner.
You have a great, not a good, weekend my friend, and make sure you post feedback on TPN after you hear or read it. Mean time, here's me and the boys on Carmel Beach last week........

Thursday, August 5, 2010

If it Gets Any Better, I'll Just Es-plode...

So I'm writing my backcover blurb, promo statement, for Prisoner. I send it to Renee to comment on, and she say's why not see if one of PB.com's big names will read it for you? Big names, thinks I, well that would be Nathan Lowell. So I write Nathan, he graciously accept in one and a half heart beats, and records it the same day! If anyone doubts the love and camaraderie of this PB.com community, well, you send them to me for a come to Jesus meeting, OK......

Monday, August 2, 2010

So, if You Were My Cover.......


So if you were the cover of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo, what would you look like? You'd look one heck of a lot like the cover shown to the side, you would! Isn't it spectacular? Thank you thank you thank you, Laura Givens; brilliant and fast...........

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Saddle


OK then, back from Lompoc (CA) saluki shows and Carmel whale watching, now back to 'reality'; Monday morning back to work : ( Two years 8 months to go. I can do it and it sure sounds nice. Didn't get much writing done, I guess I need routine to find time. Hope your overly short weekend was a blast, and just think, we all get to go back to work tomorrow and be helpful and productive. The photo is of a pair of blue whales, with Big Sur in the background. These guys eat 1.5 million calories per day, mostly krill. And I thought I ate too much!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh Well......

Didn't make the finalists in any group I was eligible for in the Parsec Awards, which is probably for the best. Seeing who/what was put up makes me wonder what the Awards are awarding, so I would have stood little chance of winning if I went all the way to Atlanta to attend.
Finished TPN podcast, waiting for the cover to release, and excited about that. Also sent the text for editing, so when I release the ebook and paper editions, it'll be clean and shiny. I started the second draft of Time Diving, really really loving being back at this end of the process. The creative effort is what gives me such joy and completion; I wish I could just write, but then I'd never release, and hence never really know if I'm any good. Vicious cycle, eh what? At a 3 day dog show in Lompoc, so I'll steal some quality time writing there between events. PS: if you're in Lompoc, stop by and say hi in the saluki ring area; not certain why you'd be in Lompoc, but if you are, a hug is in order. Have a wonderful weekend, and may creativity strike you firmly 'top a the head.

Monday, July 26, 2010

OMG

OMG OMG OMG!!! I have finished all the recording, correcting, and editing of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo (TPN)!!!!! I have to record the final outro, which I always save until everything is done, so I can 'look back' fondly. Renee has listened to the first 12 episodes, and corrected a few things which I missed, so as near to perfect as possible copy of TPN will be available at a podcast site near you soon. Laura is almost done with the cover, which is brilliant, so when it's in my hot little hands, I release! OMG, did I mention that. This will be my 3rd podiobook released in one year, 8/10/09-8/10/10. I will probably never be so prolific again, as I need to live out other aspects of life, but I'm kinda proud of myself just now.
After the PB.com release is set, I'll polish off the Smashwords.com edition, the submit it to a small publisher whose looking at my earlier work, while concurrently producing a LuLu paperback on my own to try and help get the message out. Whew! That doesn't count trying to get a paper copy of the first two books out, never mind working on my second draft of Time Diving. I need people, you know, people to do the 'little' things for me. Oh well, until then, I'll be shoveling coal all by my lonesome, and having a blast.............

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Final Push; the Birthing of a Podcast Novel

I am off the next week, so have no excuse not to finish Prisoner. I need to dub some redo's of Piers' voice for episode 9, then patch together 10-15, and I'm done. I changed Piers' voice so much as the narration evolved, and I liked the final voice so much, that I've redone maybe 75% of his lines. Lesson learned for Time Diving, choose a voice well, do it once, save your ass a lot of time. I am proud that I've waited to release the book however, since I've improved it so greatly in the last 2 months that is a wonder to behold (well, I behold it as such, and please do not scoff at my enthusiasm). Laura is almost done with the cover, so no roadblock there. Any one out there considering a book cover of similar image should give her a look see. Plus, as I keep saying, y'all are going to love Renee's roles, she' a superb voice actor getting better. Finally, I do not hope you have a great day, I am commanding you to; no options, be great!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Countdown is Live....

Soooo, I have the first 6 episodes of Prisoner done and in the can, and Renee has previewed them and agrees I'm ready for prime time (my words, not her's). Laura made a spectacular preliminary cover, and we should wrap that up this week. With any luck at all, I can go live in 1-2 weeks! I am excited, need less to say. As soon as I post the podiobook, I'll format the ebook, takes about 1 day, and then on to Lulu or someone to make a proper book!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Excellent News for the Universe

As I'm wrapping up the edits for Prisoner, I've put together a few more audio assignments for Renee, who has graciously consented to do them. The good news for the universe is, she is doing them; great news for all our ears! She's hammed up a couple great accents and personalities, so I think you'll be surprised as well as pleased. I seem to recall someone mentioning a shell on some blog. Maybe voice acting can help them exit it a tad. We'll see.....
I also asked Laura Givens to help with a cover, so, whew, not only will it be great, but you won't have to suffer seeing another on mine. Check out her fabulous art at: http://www.lauragivens-artist.com/
Prisoner may now go live within the month, hopefully. I really like how it's shaping up, you should find it quite the hoot.
OK, coffee, landscaping, bike ride, errands, editing, celebrate my daughter's birthday dinner, the old 1-6 punch to knock out the day. Enjoy yourselves............

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Did You See That Tachyon Just Now?

So I released another 365 Days of Astronomy podcast today. This one is about the theoretical faster than light particle the tachyon. Check it out if you've ever wondered about these popular scifi tools.
Renee gave me her Romanian gypsy lines yesterday----spectacular!! You are going to love them in Prisoner. What a treat to have access to such talent. So I have her doing a trippy space alien, an ex-shot putter, and a Hilary Clinton inspired judge. Combined with Bryan Lincoln's life-worn Don the Barber and my kooky voices, Prisoner is going to be a hoot.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Intergration Rocks!


So I'm editing in the first of Renee's short parts and I finished Bryan's Barber Don, brilliant on both counts!! It is really cool to have friends with talent, and it is unbelievable to hear voices I've only heard on podcasts saying my words. What a trip, cereally. Floating joy, that's what it is, floating joy (see attached illustration for visual)............

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rare Father's Day Edition, with a New Poem

So, for no particular reason, I want to post up a poem I wrote. Nothing to do with Father's Day, but I decided to release it today. I woke up with this in my head a few months ago, there it was, like Christmas. And they say the concept of vates is obsolete!

Feel wonderful
I know what it is to soar,
and feel God's love in every cell of my body.
Feel good, I am a creature of The Lord.

There you have it, free of charge...........craig

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Slowly But Unsurely


So, I am chipping away at Prisoner, and actually making some progress. I have Episodes 2 & 4 done, and very little to do with Episodes 1, 3,& 6. Not quite half way, but close and hopeful. By parallel, the text is almost all edit corrected, and I'm polishing a few stray lines which displeased me, but as always, the text and audio versions will be ready together, and maybe maybe by the end of July. I really just want to get my NaNoWriMo out before next NaNoWriMo!
Wonderful news, the great Bryan Lincoln has narrated a small but pivotal character for me, and I could not be more thrilled or honored. I have a scene where the lead character Piers is ill advisably picking his barber's brain (little to pick it turns out). When I read the lines, it came out Gomer Pyle, which wasn't at all what I heard in my head. Bryan gives a more urban and serious read, very nice : ) So in Prisoner, for the first time, I will have multiple music bumpers, sound effects, and Bryan's read along with brilliant reads by Renee. I have really impressed myself (at least).
Remember that I auctioned off the dedication as part of a charity 6 months ago? Well I have finished off the wording with the winning bidder, and I think you will find it touching. What a thrill to be involved at some level in the lives of so many wonderful former strangers, now fast friends. Bless you Al Gore for this Internet thing, I hope to return the favor some day soon.
So here's a photo of where I'd really like to be just now. My lovely wife and I are finishing off dinner Easter 2009 at Casa Botin in Madrid. It is officially mind you the oldest restaurant in the world. We are in the claustrophobic 'cueva' (cave = basement). I had roast suckling pig (fatty, and not outstanding, but you do have to go local please) and gazpacho, two of their famous dishes. I used to eat there a lot in the 60's, and Hemingway at in the cueva during his Spanish romps, so we were in good company. It's actually images like that which inspired my 4th book, Time Diving, which I cannot wait to focus on. It is a cautionary dark time travel tale. The 1st draft is done, but I've much work I have put on hold to get Prisoner out and done.
Anyone out there think I've rambled long enough? Well, done all agree at once! OK, chores chores chores, the I rest. Air hugs and e-kisses to y'all.............me

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Back, So they Say......


So, I took the general advise and exported my Garage Band files to Audacity, to edit and mix them. I'm happy, Audacity does edit better than GB, my complex files sound professional! So I export to mp3 files, as to make ready for general release. D'oh! The mp3 sounds bad, way too much noise. I'm certain I'll figure this out, but just when you see a break in the clouds, you get hit with another down pour. Arg! Oh well, the first 3 episodes are done (in some universe),and they sound great! When I do get them finished and all, I think you will be surprised and pleased.
Anyway, I got The Great Renee Chambliss to agree to do a few more lines for me, three small parts in Prisoner, but what depth she adds! For the next book, I see asking her to do a larger part, which I hope she will agree to; I suspect yes, since she's so nice ; ) . I may also ask an English author to do a young John Lennon, since I will Americanize it too much. I have no interest in doing audiodrama-like productions, but using 3-4 voice actors will be in my skill range, I think.
Two years and 10 months, for those of you still counting along with me, till I can Early Retire out of my dysfunctional company (medical group, in Calif, huge, starts with 'K' and rhymes with 'miser'). It's really not different than the other companies I know all too well of from my patients and friends, but it didn't used to be, now it is, and that's a crying shame. Drones, clones, and mean-spirited corporate wannabees; the perfect mix for eternal unrest and unhappy employees. Oh well, enough of that negativity. Here's a happy picture, with me and three good friends in Madrid last year, I'm the tiny one to the right.........
I hope and truly pray all is well with you and yours, and that the Blessing upon you are embarrassing in number and volume...............craig

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Know When Snoopy Like Floated?

So I just downloaded so audio from the Great Renee Chambliss, lines she did for Prisoner. Brilliant (no, not like the gum, brilliant like I'm an Anglophile). She did a female judge right at the end, so when all is said and done, y'all are in for a real treat! I had to work today, did I mention that? No, wait, no mention of Renee's lines, nice, and work, bad by reason of management. That reminds me..........I'm nearly done w/TPN (Prisoner), and then I'm doing the dark time travel novel which sits in its first draft. After that, I'm [probably] going to do a medical novel, not scifi. I think I can tell the story of the Evil Empire rising in medicine, and the struggle of one iconoclastic MD (no autobio here)..............

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mini-Addendum

I finished the actual Episode 1 of Prisoner, as it will be dropped. I have lots to do on the other 12-13, but the is accomplishment in the air!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inch by Inch


Well, I'm inching toward finishing Prisoner. I've edited both sound and text, and need to mix music and sound effects (new for me). The cover's still up in the air, I may need to do an interim one myself, but I'll leave that till I'm done done done with everything else. I sent my first query letter out in years to a very small house, so we'll see. I did the 'shop around thing' a few years ago, but the universe was different then, Anon Time wasn't nearly as tight as it is now, so I thought, what the heck. At least rejection won't sting so much, as I have all the new distribution stuff in place. I am and will always at least be a small fish in a small pond. The vanity of this author supersedes any quest for dinero, so I'll always have that. I don't know when the finalists for the Parsecs will be announced, so I am on indefinite pins and needles. I stand a ghost of a chance in two categories, so I hold out unreasonable hope.
I trust and pray you all have wonderful weekends and bask in the warm glow of loving friends and family, and even if you don't have any of them (which I highly doubt), at least you have my love and admiration............craig

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hey, What Do You Want For Nothing?

So I'm on a bike ride yesterday, and I finish the current released of the podiobook ShadowMagic II (great, very great). I figure, hey, I'll listen the the iTunesU podcast of a college course of Dante's Divine Comedy (DC). I figure, I took a course at UCB in the DC, read in parallel text English and Italian, loved the book, and would love to learn more. So I punch it up. The audio only comes in one ear, weird, hasn't happened before, so I stop again and mess with it but cannot fix it, so I proceed, listening in mono, not huge deal. So the prof starts off saying he's going to do a podcast of the course. I am alone, but I look right, then left, then right again. I'm thinking, of course it's a podcast, I downloaded the mp3 to my iPod, I didn't think it was a blueberry sundae. Anyway, he then proceeds to say he is going to read a few 'cantos', but not all, too much time, and I'm thinking, if you haven't taken this class, how would you know what a canto is, so you could decide if that was a lot or a little Dante? There are 3 books in DC, Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell, are those cantos, or is a canto a chapter, a paragraph? I mean, don't put yourself out on my account, reading a few stanzas, throw me a bone, OK? So, I'm thinking, this gut has to be tenured faculty, right, who else is this arrogant, so on the surface out of touch? My father was a tenured English professor, and he had more free time than a cubed-ice salesman at the South Pole, so why the *select-a-word* can't he read more than a few cantos, whatever the *select-a-word* a canto is? I mean, don't do me any favors, I just love Dante and want to learn and you're a professor of Dante with time heavy on your hands, so *select-a-word* yourself and I switch to an Astronomy lecture at UCB. Man, you just shouldn't give them tenure, trust me on this, you turn a nerdy over achiever into a megalomaniachal hermit; just don't do it..........

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Slings and Arrows, Dude

I just now discovered it's hard to sit placidly on the West Coast while all my podcast buddies are wooping it up on the East Coast at Balitcon. I read Twitter posts about meet me here-or-there, and share a pint, and I wax melancholic. I plan on going to Dragoncon if I'm a Parsec finalist, but man, I'm too practical. Maybe I should loosen up a bit, have some non-practical kick-in-the-pants fun more often. I could go to Baycon in SF this weekend, but, everyone I know is on the Right Coast, so how fun could that be? Oh well, I spend extra time writing, earn a better ranking for next year's Balticon and Dragoncon. To infinity and just slightly beyond................craig

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Were There When.....

OK! Just now I finished the sound edit of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo!! I need to add music, sound effects and all, but I'm on to the next phase. Plus, unbelievable news, Renee Chambliss has agreed to do a cameo voice for me!!! She'll be a judge at the end of the book, and will do the Story So Far's if I decide to use them. Wow, this is hot. OK, daily errands, bike ride, then I can get back at this mess. Cool and one half............

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Like Molassas in January

I sort of feel like when you're dreaming, and a monster is chasing you, and you try to run, but everything is in slow-motion, feet stuck in tar or something. I am almost done with the edit of Prisoner, but man it's so slow. Didn't help that I had to re-do an edit after erasing this file accidentally, but I will finish. I still catch mistakes and poor writing errors, so the process is valuable, but slow squared.
Renee Chambliss, a co-author friend of mine offered to help with Story So Far lead ins, so I may incorporate this into the book, along with very light use of sound effects, so that part will be fun. In the Fantasyland between my ears, I could be done in a month, podiobook and ebook. I can only hope, and try my best. Well, off I go to accomplish something no doubt important, talk at you soon.........craig

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Think I Just Realized

As you sneak up on retirement, you think you'd have learned most, if not all, of 'it'. Then I go and figure something out. I hope you read this and go, "Duh!" I tend to ruminate a lot, you know, worry over untoward events and situations. I cannot tell you how many arguments I've had over and over again in my head with persons and demons with whom I have contention. Very non-productive, negative energy stuff, but it's there and I own it. As I delved into a sortie of debate with real people who I will never confront (with their short-comings) it occurred to me. Why not focus, over and over again, on something wonderful, something exhilarating, something positive. Naturally, the first thing I thought of was my wife's smile, not the usual one you might see, but the sweet mischievous one I am privileged to see on occasion. It made me smile. Wow, what a concept, ruminate over something you love when you're ruminating over something negative. I think I may quite my job and become a guru; though I don't look good in a white robe. Then I thought of a few other experiences I've cherished (these I will leave to your imagination, cause I'm not telling) and man-o-man, it really works. Between faith in God and focusing on positives, I may just make it. What a relief; as Forest would agree,that's one less thing to worry about.
I just accidentally erased 1-2 hours of sound edits for Prisoner, but I learned, I'm certain, a valuable lesson. I will not delete sound loops I have copied elsewhere. Otherwise, my new Anon Time cover is coming along nicely, and Prisoner will be done soon-ish. Well, back to re-editing, pax vobiscum.....craig

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Galaxy of Riches

OK, next time I complain, strike me firmly about the head and neck. I have been nominated and entered in a THIRD Parsec Award category! I'm also up for Best New Podcaster!!! This category I actually stand a chance in. God love 'em, I've heard a lot of the competition, and they are less threatening than Long Fiction and Novella Fiction. When it rains it pours, and I hope I make the final 5 in at least one grouping. Then I can go to Atlanta as a player.........dude

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Think I Can, ?

You know that little train that could? "I think I can I think I can."? I hope, and pray, that I can be like the little train. Bad week, working for soulless corporate drones (SCD's), but I will hang in there. There weirdest part is that they don't know they are SCD's . I look in their eyes, it's plain as day to me, but the hollow vessels don't sense it. As a Christian, it both bothers and horrifies me, and I cannot help them, though I should. I have learned through past encounters with these dark forces to forgive them, something I never thought I was capable of, so I guess it's all part of the plan. I wish the weight of the burden was just a tad lighter maybe. OK, now I got that out, thanks for your forbearance, you can stop backing away from the screen now, worried you might be reading the ramblings of an old fool rapidly loosing touch with reality.
It's Saturday morning, but it's not Howdy Duddy Time, it's Prisoner of NaNoWriMo Edit Time, yeah and whee, off I go.......Happy Mother's Day one and all (PS: wise advice to my dad followers, especially you younger ones: Mother's Day does not mean "I bet she wants to fool around day", Father's Day, yes, you set the agenda, but Mother's Day, hands off unless specifically invited! Got that? Good, you'll thank me in the long run)...........craig

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Parsec Update

I've had both my podcasts accepted as Parsec Nominees, but ugh, the competition is brutal. I might vote for 5 other podcasts ahead of my own, and I'm competing to be a top five Finalist! I've also learned, he said euphemistically, how much I have learned and improved since my earlier efforts. That is, groan, my early productions are indeed quaint. Oh well, the 3rd and 4th books will benefit nicely from what I've learned, so it's not all for naught, plus, it's fun to call oneself an author.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yellow

Well, another week under the belt, 154 Mondays till I retire. I really hate those I work for, but my co-workers are mostly OK, and I love what I do, so I'll soldier on. I got some editing done this week, but not as much as I 'd hoped for. I have 3 chapters of Prisoner left to do, not too bad, and I did a great redo of Episode 1 of The Innerglow Effect posted. In the original I sounded depressed or constipated, maybe both. So, I have something creative to point to for the week, which is very cool. Still licking my chops to get started on producing Time Diving, it's going to be reeeealy good. Unfortunately, I'm too busy to do any more reviews, but with time I'll get more done. I also have to start working on a 365 DoA podcast, a biography on the great Carl Sagan. Have a superb weekend, and a better set of bosses than me........craig

Saturday, April 24, 2010

OK Now, I need People!

A bounty of riches? May be, but what I have is approximately one and a half tons of audio editing to do, and I need people, ones I can pass the assignment on to. PB.com has released the aubiobook versions of prepared podcasts to Audible.com. Very cool, and Anon Time is now on Audible. But I did not do the audiobook edits for The Innerglow Effect, because it takes time, and was only theoretical, since PB.com hadn't sealed the deal yet. Well, now they have, so I need to edit 6.5 hours of TIGE for Audible (not to mention the re-narration of Chapter 1, because I sound asleep), while continuing to edit The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo, and forget transcribing Time Diving from hand written to Word. Bottom line, I have weeks of scut work (medical-eze for drudgery) before I can allow myself to write creatively again. Oh well, I asked for it.
I took the liberty of nominating my 2 podcasts for Parsec Awards. They are the correct length and release times to fit in different categories. I assumed thousands of others have nominated the books also, but no harm in being cautious, right. Hey, I heard you snickering back there, yes, you on the left, behind the dude with the pimp hat. You laugh, but I'm, for now, in the running. Actually, I think my work is better than many, if not the best, but could be top 5-ish. I heard you again, one more outburst, and I'll have to ask you to leave this blog!
Just back from Hearst Castle, my first trip there. What a wonderful insane place. It's so similar to Southern Spain I got homesick. Definitely go if you possibly can. Well, I gotz editing to to that taint doin' itself, so saludos amigos, vos veo luego.........

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What We Wish For, After a Fashion

First off, I finished the rough narration of The Prisoner and am well into editing, yeah! I had my first less than absolutely pleased response to a PB.com review, a good one mind you, but was relieved to read the resulting discussion chain where several others repeated independently (unaware of my comments) the same things I'd said. Whew! I know I'm right, but I am reassured to find others are too ; ) . My wife looks at me sideways and oddly, questioning why I bother to review PB.com works, just for the very reason the bruised egos and ruffled feathers will not make my individual journey any easier. Well, I do so, literally, because no one else will. I have read, correction, started, almost all the sci/fi fantasy and most of the horror titles, and I would have liked a head's up. I delayed listening to some gems, and suffered to start some dogs of literature, because of lack of a trustworthy well organized resource such as I hope to compile. We'll see, especially as I finish reviewing the good, and start on the bad and the ugly, how it goes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garalf!

Like passing a 20 pound kidney stone, but I finally finished the rough narration of The Prisoner. Editing will prob only take a week, then I need the 'er elusive bumper music and final cover. But, the end is mostly in sight, and then I can focus on my first fourth book, Time Diving, which I bank on. Bank on, you ask, you plan to make money on it? Not actually. By bank on, I mean I'm staking myself as a valid author to the merits of this book. The first three are practice/early words, on-the-job training, that sort of fodder. I like them, but can see gaping holes and 'cute' images. In the next book, I want what readers opine about the book to be true marks of what I can, or cannot, produce. We will see........

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chipping and Chipping

Well, I'm slowly chipping away at the narration for The Prisoner Of NaNoWriMo, so that's good, but I'm such a terrible reader, it's slow. I have mild dyslexia, and cannot read a page, even one I wrote, corrected, and just tried to narrate 30 seconds ago, without hesitation and re-does. As a result, I edit a lot. But, I like the escargot, move forward.
I listened to Bryan and Abbie's new podcast, Fullcast Podcast today, Episode one. Very nice, and a must for all but the most expert of podcast novelists (Nathan Lowell need not apply), whether you solo read or add actors.
Like most writers, as I've said too often before, I do miss the writing itself, the creative force. But, what good is writing a novel if you don't go to the significant effort of getting it out in the world, for others to read and hopefully enjoy? It's not narcissism on my part, just that and artist needs to be experienced, or they are not validated, and hence it ain't art.
I think I'll do 1 or 2 more nice PB.com reviews, and then take a whack at a good review of a lousy book. No death threats or hate mail please.