Seattle Geekly Kickstarter

If you love fan oriented Sci-Fi podcasts, you have to help fund Seattle Geekly over on Kickstarter. They only have ten more days to make their goal and they are above 80%. As an Indie SF author, I’m particularly thankful for Matt and Shannon taking the time to interview me about my humble little SF novels.  But I’m not the only one this dynamic duo has introduced their audiences to over the years. Many other industry professionals and big name folks have been interviewed by them.

 

You can download or stream some of their episodes at the above Seattle Geekly link to get a flavor of what they plan to do and have done in the past. If you are a local Northwest SF/F author, artist or game developer, you need local podcasts like Seattle Geekly to thrive. It’s good for fans and its good for artists. Give them some love now, so they can continue to let folks know about you in the future.

Weekend Update 01 Sep 2013

This weekend we finalized the wood flooring we will be getting for the common areas in our home. A maple wood is our choice for its rich, modern look. Here’s a sample photo.

Football

Next topic please.

Writing 

Not much in the way of productivity this week, but lots of progress was made on the program that I use. See the last post for some of the new features in Plume Creator. I think the cork board may be dead on arrival. I can now see the novel in my tree with the addition of Acts and Badges.

You can show each act and then collapse that act and look at the next act. This breaks it down good enough to visualize where your plot points are.

Computing

I ordered a laptop stand/fan and a seven port USB dock for use on my writing desk. The Dell XPS has horrible over heating problems when its hooked up to an external monitor. I think this new setup will solve that problem and give me enough ports to have my wireless mouse and keyboard attached.

This is the Cooler Master Note U2, chosen for its simplicity and flexibility in fan placement.

This is the D-Link seven port hub chosen for its black color, small size and two power slots for phone and slate charging.

Weekend Update 25 AUG 2013

Not much to report with the WIP. I really didn’t get to write much on it this week. Maybe a thousand words total. Usually, that’s a day’s worth. I really need to make a push to get back on that horse again and start plowing through the last half of the first draft.

Weather

We had a serious down pouring of rain this Thursday in our neighborhood. Our house was spared but over 30 trees were downed and many roofs and fences broke in addition to record amounts of rain. Fires continue to burn in Idaho and our air quality has been poor this weekend. We finally finished mowing the yard, the kids and I. But mostly we stayed inside this weekend to avoid the smoke filled air. Below is a picture of our living room windows showing the yellowish daylight outside.

Football

The Optimist Football season started this weekend. My son’s team finally got all their players back and the result was not so good for the team they played. Our coaches had a plan for defending against the wedge and it was superbly executed by the boys. So now we have a really good offense to match our great defense. Should be a fun season for the team. Below is my son’s big play of the game a backfield tackle for a loss. Coaches said he helped contain them the whole game. Good deal. The other corner on the team did great too, including snagging a pass for an interception. Of course the offense had a fantastic day, with three passing touchdowns and one on the ground. Look out world, here come the Titans!

 

Board Update

Finally got all my scenes from The Rising onto the board. Actually, they leaked over to a second board. There are about 90+ scenes total as it stands now. But that is likely to change as I move them around and add and subtract them.

Here’s a view of the board with the acts clearly labeled. Some of the plot points are tentatively placed by using blue tape with black marker. Everything is capable of being changed around.

And here is the same picture with POV lines drawn in so you can see how much page time each character gets.

ActOne_ActTwo_POVNot all the POV lines are shown on this graphic, but you get the idea. I’ll update this as I have more time to fine tune things this weekend. I’ve decided to just press on with this first draft and get it all down first, then start moving scenes around as needed to tweak the plot structure for the second draft.

Weekend Update 18 Aug 2013

Writing

Above is a screenshot of my WIP exported to RTF format. I like to read it on other devices and this is one way to do that. It’s about 204 pages and 49K words at this point in time with standard manuscript format. I don’t write in this format anymore, I use Plume Creator a writer’s IDE similar to Scrivener. But this is how the manuscript will be edited, taking advantage of Write’s editing features. It’s also how my beta readers will eventually see it.

Here is the Board after pinning all 92 scenes of The Rising. Now I have to add the blue lines that represent the acts and then place the turning points. Still not sure if this was worth all the effort or not, but I have yet to completely finish building it up. I’ll keep you informed as I start writing again this week.

Website

I’ve been working on the GB Press website a bit this weekend. GBP is my personal imprint for my Indie publishing. I’m looking at bringing more authors and editors and book designers into the imprint so we can form a co-op not unlike The Bookview Cafe. It is something that I’ve wanted to do for years now but I’ve been choosing to go it alone and concentrate on just writing. Now that I have four SF novels out and I’m within a year or two of completing the first trilogy in the Star Saga, I need to start focusing some effort on promotion. GBP will help with that as I work with area writers to help bring more of them into Indie publishing under that banner.

Football

The kids played on The Blue this weekend in his last Optimist Football Jamboree. His team held up pretty good but were undermanned and told to not play too hard. The team they played were much more enthusiastic and even scored. We got to see several key BSU players showing up for early practice, including QB Joe Southwick and RB Jay Ajayi. That was cool.

Here’s the new section in the North end zone of Bronco Stadium. The new score board is going up behind the old one on top of the team facility.

My wife was out of town this weekend so I did a selfy with my youngest son, Spencer. Youth football starts next Saturday. Go Titans!

 

 

Weekend Update 11 Aug 2013

Novel

Writing came to a screeching halt this week as I had a major a-ha moment concerning a subplot involving the Votainion Empire. I would up pulling four thousand words and a dozen chapters out of the book. This left some holes and caused me to rethink the plot structure of the book. Tomorrow’s post will show what I’m attempting to do to work out the new plot structure. But it means I won’t be writing again until I finish plotting.

Which is sad, because I was just getting into a grove again on the novel. This also means I probably won’t be publishing this novel in 2013. It looks like a first quarter of 2014 release date at this point. Pushing back the release date won’t cause me to work any less on the book. It’s just a realistic understanding of how long it takes to get a book written and then marshal it through all the post production stages of drafting, editing and proofing. Since I don’t have millions of fans waiting on my next release, I won’t be missing anything by overshooting the big holiday buying season. Sometimes obscurity is a good thing.

Modeling

I’ve added a new menu item to the website. Model Builds will take you to home pages for each of my scratch starship builds cataloged on the blog. This will make it easier to follow a build as new posts are created.

Football

My son’s Optimist football team is the Titans. They had their first week of practice that ended in full pads on Friday. With weather in the 90’s for the foreseeable future, I don’t envy them. But Jack really loves going to practice and working out with his friends. He’s either played football or baseball with the same group of kids for years. This is his senior year in football and our team is looking pretty awesome, at least on paper.

Every evening I watch the local sports reports on my Boise State Broncos football team. This could be another nearly perfect season for Coach Peterson and the boys in blue and orange.  Jack will play on The Blue field this Saturday at Jamboree. It may be the only time I get to see my kid playing on such a historic field. Fun.

Fires

Do you remember that Spielberg film Always? The heroes flew fire retardant  WWII bombers against forest fires (Proof that nobody really reads this blog.) flew WWII bombers rigged to drop fire retardant chemicals on forest fires. Our local airport has been refueling and rearming fire bombers all week against several fires all around us. It’s been like an airshow up in here. Much admiration for those guys and gals flying the old bombers against the Idaho fires.

Below are a series of pics taken by my wife Laurie of the fire clouds as seen from our home on the east side of Boise.

Don’t Hide in Idaho

If you like to kill and run off with children for nefarious reasons, don’t come to Idaho. We have FBI helicopters with infrared cameras and highly skilled snipers who will, you know, retire your ass.

 

FireThree

Impressive how fires create their own cloud systems.

FireTwo

Reminds me of end times coming.

FireOne

As sunset approached, you could see more detail in the fire clouds.

A New Store

I’ve decided to change my extremely un-lucrative web based product store from Cafe Press to Zazzle. Not in an effort to make money off my merchandising but instead to offer some new t-shirt designs. Sometimes you have to mix things up to find something that might work better for you.

All the store names that I tried were apparently taken  so I went into my film making past and used the name of the model shop we had at HMH Productions – Microcosim. This explains the strange name of my Zazzle store.

Anyway, you can now get some cool  new products should you feel the need.

  

 

  

 

Future products will include baseball hats and whatever anyone sends me a request for. I don’t make much profit from these things, in fact, the least amount that I can. I look at them more as advertising. I wear them to conventions and book signings.

Auxiliary Memory

JamesWHarris

If you aren’t reading Auxiliary Memory, the blog of James W. Harris, perhaps you should be. Some of the best essays about life and Science Fiction I have ever read, have been while reading James’s blog. Recently he is cataloging what he feels are the best SF books of the 1950’s and 1960’s. As a writer of SF, I feel that I have to be educated about my genre and listening to the opinions of folks who have read and loved the genre since the early days is invaluable to me.

Do yourself a favor and subscribe to his mailing list so that his posts arrive in your email inbox. His intuitive and insightful thoughts about life and SF are one of the great joys of my week.

Testing, One, Two, Three.

This weekend I’m testing some new themes. If the site looks funky or completely different, please bear with me. Things should settle back down by Monday. I’m not sure if the new theme will be used yet or not. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Library Talk on Ebook Publishing

Getting Your Work Published Online SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013, 1 – 3PM
 
Location Library! at Collister
Room Sycamore Room
Registration Required No
Contact Name Jim
Contact Phone 562-4995
Location Library! at Collister
Type of Event Classes/Workshops/Speakers
Age Teens

Young Adults grade 7-12 join local author Ken McConnell, author of the Sci-Fi novels Starforgers, Starstrikers and Tyrmia, to explore the why and how of self-publishing and showcase some of the tools needed to render your work. Getting Your Work Published Online is part of the Collister Media Arts series of programs.