Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
The Lion and the Lamb
For Those of You Who Want It in Treeware
Okay, so just for fun, I went to Lulu.com and did a POD version of Master of Pamor. If I cut my profit down from five bucks to three, I can sell it at $12.99. Be interesting to see if I get any hits on it at two and a half times as much. (And that's not counting the six and half bucks for shipping ...)
Printed: 209 pages, 8.5" x 11", perfect binding, white interior paper (50# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink.
A fantasy novel of martial arts and magic, set in 1850’s Java. Rated "R," for sex and violence.
But I'm telling you, buy the PDF and print it out yourself, put it in one of those plastic covers with a clamp down the edge, you save money and have a cleaner product. Five bucks the PDF; buck and half worth of paper; maybe a dollar or two worth of ink for your printer. Two bucks for the cover. Call it twelve dollars, total. Take less than an hour to print.
The on-demand book is $12.99, postage just over $6.50, and the layout is readable but not as nice as a PDF using twelve point Georgia font.
I'm just sayin'.
What a Book Should Look Like
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It's the Little Things ...
I am fortunate in that I have access to a world-class martial arts' teacher, Maha Guru Stevan Plinck. Fourteen or so years I've been privileged to study with him, and he just keeps evolving so I have to run to keep up. I'm not getting any younger, nor faster ...
People Get Ready, There's a Train a'Comin'
The ebook train hasn't pulled all the way into the station yet, but it is coming and not far away. Five years ago, the ebook share was less than 1% of the market. Now, it's at 6-8%. In five more years, I expect it will be considerably more; I've heard estimates from 30-60%.
Mostly, they still serve as filters -- at least there is a basic level of professional stuff. Anybody who can upload his or her own stuff without the chops probably won't do very well at it.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Master of Pamor
So that was that.
Advice for Writers in the Electronic Age
Came across this, courtesy of editor John Douglas. Worth a look.
Good Bye Teddy
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Silat Wars
Worst Album Covers
To go with the video, check these out:
Worst Album Covers ...
I Used to Like This Song ...
Monday, August 24, 2009
Here's a Big Surprise
The king of pop used drugs!
The Cat Turns Around
I'm pretty much a fan of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, i.e. the first ten amendments to the document.
An In Joke
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In The Woogle-Woogle Sea: A Book for Children
Years ago, when my first grandson was a toddler, I wrote and illustrated a short book for him. I always wanted to do something with it, but it was a long way from my usual markets and I tucked the thing away in a drawer.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Lastest Guilty TV Pleasure
Okay, so Warehouse 13 is a yawner; Eureka has gotten to be by-the-the-numbers, same arc every episode; and I needed another guilty pleasure. Having cancelled my premium channels, Entourage is out, and what I've come up with is Royal Pains.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The long awaited movie from Jim Cameron, Avatar, opening in -- theoretically -- December.
The One True Path™
There's a place where silat folks sometimes go to hang out on the web, Silat.TV. There are a bunch of clubhouses there where you can chat and visit with people in your branch, though they are open to anybody who wants to join.
Mostly, I've opted out of the silat wars, i.e., wherein we argue over tempest-in-a-teapot stuff about who has what lineage and whose old man can whip who else's old man. Now and then, though ...
For a brief time a few years back, he trained in our style and a couple of its variants. Not enough to become adept at it, but he did drop by. I've met the guy, and he was likable enough. At the time ...
So, I never actually said, "You know, you are full of shit." in those words. But that's what I meant.
The moderator of the group finally had enough and bounced the young fellow out, to not much distress, far as I can tell.
Will he learn? Maybe. Maybe not. Might be the hard way if he does ...
Thursday, August 20, 2009
You speak, so the old saw about teaching goes, to a passing parade. You can offer something up, but if you wait a few minutes, somebody new will be arriving, and you can say the same thing over again -- it'll be new to them. (When I first started going to science fiction conventions, I marveled at how knowledgeable the writers on the panels were -- they had all the answers! Later, I realized that was because they had heard all the questions many times before. Whole comedy routines have been worked up to answer the question, "Where do you get your ideas?")
Guy's web page is still under construction, but you can query him about orders here:
resonant dot video at gmail dot com
The Post Awful
So I had to go to the post office today. They tried to deliver a signature-needed package yesterday morning and I wasn't here.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Warts and All
Verruca vulgaris, the common wart, is caused by a papilloma virus, of which there are many, though most warts come from types 1, 2, or 3. (There are other kinds of warts, and I won't offer them up here, too much information.)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For Hardcore Martial Arts Folk
In case you aren't already a reader of Rory Miller's blog, you can get there from here -- he's been in my link list since I cranked up my blog. Always worth stopping by.
Odds and Ends
Summer has dropped round again, after a few cloudy and cool days. Eighty-five yesterday, supposed to hit ninety-five today, maybe a hundred tomorrow.
The First Cut is the Deepest
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Dynamite With a Laser Beam
So, I have a Twitter account, I may have mentioned, but I don't, ah, tweet. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and after a cursory inspection, decided I had better ways to spend my time than listening to people talk about breakfast -- or telling them about mine.
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Holy Grail of Glasses
Here they are -- the glasses that allow you to focus from your wristwatch to Neptune with a simple sliding control on the bridge.
Busy Day; Cat's Got a Pronoun
Visited with the youngest grandson this morning. Took the critters to the vet for vaccine updates, and found out that what we suspected is so -- kitty is a tom. At least for another six months, anyhow.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Unpublished William Gibson Short Story
I mentioned this a while back -- once upon a time, long ago, Bill Gibson and I used to hang out a little. We went a few times to Damon & Katie's mini-Milford's in Eugene, with John Shirley and Jay Rothbell, and for a couple years, Bill and I exchanged letters, cartoons, critiqued each other's stuff, like that. He turned down my suggestion to call "Johnny Mneumonic" "Mneumonic Johnny," 'cause he didn't like the way it scanned. He did take my suggestion that Neuromancer needed some sex. He was a very funny guy, droll, and a pretty good cartoonist, too.
My, have times have changed.
I'm a nylon-string acoustic guy, but blues and rock wouldn't be here without electric guitars. Paul's eventually were produced under the Gibson brand, and a lot of folks like Fenders better, but he's the guy who wired up a board with strings and plugged it in.
Over on Steve Barnes's blog, the question of an artist's responsibilities came up. I posted a note, and decided that it was worth repeating here.
Clever writers get around this -- Barnes has a funny story about Baywatch when he was writing for them ...
BS&P keeps a closer watch on kidvid, on the notion that what is called imitable behavior needs to be monitored. If you have a character wrapping a rope around his neck and jumping off the couch in your Saturday morning toon, it will be cut from your script. Nobody wants to see children trying that at home. Guns, knives, broken glass, mixing household chemicals, swiping Dad's scotch, babies in peril, stuff like this tends to be a big no-no. (The cartoon embedded in the movie Who Killed Roger Rabbit? was done to break all those taboos, a kind of in-joke by the writers. I recall seeing a drawing posted on the wall at the animation studio that did Batman of The Joker falling through a shattered window with a naked Harley Quinn, holding a knife and a bottle of booze, and I think there was a gun in there, too. By Bruce Timm, I think, though I might be wrong.)
Cartoon Conan can have a sword and he can smack people with the flat of it on the arse, but he isn't going to cut anybody. Most of the martial arts look like aikido, and involve throwing people, who almost always land on a mattress, pile of cardboard boxes, or a haystack without needles, so nobody gets hurt.
Blowing up robots is okay, because most kids don't have sentient bots, nor rayguns with which to shoot them.
In one episode of Batman: The Animated Show, I had Bats go up against a ninja, who used a shuriken (that little star-shaped throwing knife, if you don't know the term). They wouldn't run the episode in the U.K. because of that.
You have to take note of such things when you write for some media.
If you know how to smuggle a gun onto a plane through the metal detectors, you can write that into your novel. If you know how to easily defeat most police body armor, you can do that, too, but you have to consider how you'll feel if somebody uses your method because they read it in your book, and hijacks the jets, or mows down half the Mayberry Sheriff's Department .
I recall a sniper incident some years ago. Guy shot and killed several people from an office building rooftop. Cops rushed him, he offed himself, and in his backpack, along with a lot of ammo, they found a book about a guy who had been a sniper some years before in New Orleans, with the how-to passages underlined.
How would you like to have written that one?
I once read a pretty good book that offered, in some detail, how to shut down the L.A. freeway system. Same writer did another one showing how you could make an atomic bomb. I wouldn't have done either of those. People sometimes think I did -- the writer has a similar name.
This gets tricky, where you draw that line.
It's not your responsibility if you sell somebody a bread knife and they use it to murder half a daycare -- unless you had some idea they were planning on using the knife for something other than bread.
But as a writer, you don't know your audience, and there are a lot of loons out there ...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Your Papers, Please ...
My sometime-collaborator Reaves has, as I believe I have mentioned, Parkinson's Disease. He's had it for more than a decade, and after a couple of brain surgeries, is still around. It has slowed him down, and one of the more unfortunate side-effects is that it has mostly robbed him of his voice. He can form the words. He has a roof-of-the-mouth appliance that looks kind of like an orthodontic retainer that helps, but he doesn't have the air for volume. Much of the time, his voice is less than a whisper.
Not Pretty, But
Monday, August 10, 2009
Cell Phone Karma
Kitty Update - Cat Ballou
Dogs have mostly stopped barking at the kitty -- Layla wants to bathe Ballou, and licks furiously when she gets the chance. Cat just purrs unless it gets too much, then runs away.