Oct 25, 2012

Steaming it up!

SteamCon IV is here - - quite exciting. I'm going to be pretty busy, so I thought I'd go ahead and get this out now before I'm up to my cranium in Steampunks.

I've got a few panels I'll be attending this year, plus an autograph session on the Saturday afternoon of the event. I'll even have copies of the new editions for folks that want to pick them up. Even doing an "Interview with a Vampire" with author Theresa Meyers - - that one is going to be fun! Also, discussions on Dystopia, Self-publishing, oh, the grandeur! The revelrie!

Seriously, though. I look forward to these sorts of events. As a people watcher, this is just like Disneyland. The clever costumes, the fascinating ideas, the beautiful art and designs... I just can't get enough, to be perfectly honest.

And in honor of the event, I'm also running an eBook promotion on Amazon for Reaper's Return. This weekend - starting, in fact, tomorrow (Friday the 26th) - you can download a copy of the entire novel for free. FREE. You know, like for nothing. So, Kindle users, PC users, iPad users, whatever - please take advantage of my insane promotion-charged irrationality and grab a free copy of the book.

Why, do you ask, would I be so silly as to just give it away?

Well, because you're going to enjoy it, that's why.

I just wish I could offer a few giveaway on the paperback printings as well, but alas no. I wish I could say it's all part of some clever plot to encourage eco-friendly investments in entertainment, but as it turns out paper is a lot less free than data. So, yeah, it's just a money thing, sorry.

Anyhoo. So there's my pitch. Please go pick up a free ebook copy for me, for you, for the whole universe. It'll be fun, you'll see. Thank you in advance.

Oct 18, 2012

Pushing the "Eject Button"

I was reading an article today about how Kate Gosselin (those of you reading this more than a year from now, Kate was on a TV show about how her and her then-husband were raising their 8 kids. Then she got a divorce and the show got cancelled. Typical hollywood story, right?) was fired from her blogging job.

Now, right after I shook my head in shock - "People have blogging JOBS?" - I went over and actually READ her blog. With a sort of train wreck fascination, I read mostly through the comments, and was horrified cruelly amused by the reactions, which pretty much ranged from "about time they fired that phony!" to... well, okay, that was actually pretty much the full range of responses.

I'm not even being hyperbolic here - people seemed to legitimately HATE that woman - a woman they've never met, and, granted, neither have I. Maybe she's a jerk. Maybe she's a phony. I really have no idea, and, to be honest, I've not really seen enough to care either way. But it did get me to come up with a really funny idea for a new reality television show.

We'd call it "Eject Button", and it would consist of a weekly hour show featuring about 10 people who are nominated from the entirety of the nation. Sure, there'd be an elaborate process which would weed out the people who were just local yahoos or flash-in-the-pan turdheads, leaving us with really the cream of the crap. (Heh. I'm enjoying that little pun I did there.)

So, basically, if you cut me off in traffic and flip me the bird, you're not going to end up on the show, even if I nominate you. But cut off a few hundred people, and you might make the first round of cuts. I'm just saying.

Anyway, those ten people will have five minutes to pitch - in whatever manner they like - their case to be embraced back into the loving arms of American society. And all of the viewers watching can then vote by cell phone or online to determine who they hate the most. The person receiving the least votes (meaning that they are hated the least) is dropped from the show. The next week, the nine remaining contestants have another chance, and voting ensues, and so on.

There might be an appearance by the Friday girl, singing her latest (assuming she isn't the winner? Yeah, I went there.), Ryan Seacrest may host it (assuming... Yeah, you know where I'm going there.), and I'm pretty sure Simon Cowell would be unavailable to host it due to a conflict of interest. But you never know, he's been off the air for a while, maybe people like him again.

Eventually, we are left with one person - the person hated by the most votes. And that person is then rewarded as the Most Hated Person in America.

The only thing left is what they would win as a result? A free trip into space? A one way ticket to the Ukraine? A lifetime supply of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? We'll let our sponsors come up with something clever.

So while I was busily making notes about this, I realized I would totally watch a show like this - - - and, a moment later, realized I WAS watching a show like this.

Only, it's called the Presidential Debates.


(author note: okay, in fairness, I do actually like ONE of the candidates, mostly. But doesn't it just feel like it's all turning into a case of which candidate do you absolutely HATE? Hmm. Okay, no more politics for me. What's on the DVR?)

Oct 10, 2012

Breaking (it) Down

Just coming up for air between large chunks of what I'll just casually refer to as "working on stuff", thought I'd tap out a few thoughts and reassure folks that I'm neither dead, comotose, imprisoned, or bewildered in a labyrinth of my own making.

Okay, that last one might actually still be valid, but I've been getting quite good at leaving myself a path to retrace if it comes down to it.

My daughter introduced me to Minecraft recently - which was a certain degree of distractability, but also offered me a truly interesting metaphor, which is a win in my book. (another win? Being introduced to a fun video game by your daughter)

It's a fun little game, and to the two or three of you who've never played it, here's the basic gist. You live in a world that is made up of really bad graphically designed blocks of material. Dirt, water, trees (made up of blocks), sand and so forth. You're a blocky little dude and you break stuff down. You tear apart trees to make wood, which you craft into wooden utensils that you then use to break down rock into stone utensils, and so forth. It's minecraft. You dig, you refine, you make new stuff that can dig deeper and you refine that stuff into new stuff and it goes on and on.

One of the side effects is that you end up with a lot of crap. Dirt, rock and...well, more dirt and more rock. Most things, however, can be refined into something else. Wood for tools, doors and stairs; coal for torches and to stoke the furnace that you use for turning your sand into glass and your ore into ingots - which are then turned into better items and upwards you go!

So the analogy just clicked into place the other evening as I was tucking the Bean into bed. She'd had a bit of a rough week - just felt a bit worn out and exhausted from school and what not, and is still coming to terms with the biorhythm of being, well, her.

I told her about the challenges of being an artist - as she is becoming - and how you have to, just like the little blocky dudes in minecraft, scrape all the human experience into large heaping handfuls so you can express it back out in some sort of structure.

And that's my world this month. Breaking it down for you, one square at a time.