The Moon, Europa

The Moon, Europa

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Movie Review: Captain America

I don't have much time today but I wanted to at least drop a note about the Captain America movie. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that had any semblance of patriotism and this one gave me a good dose. It has WWII Nazi's bent on world domination working for an arch villain, played by 'Agent Smith', who also wants to rule the world. The story line leaves few noticeable gaps, does a good job building Captain America's character and explaining the origins of his, over the top, outfit. Captain America is a good movie; I give an 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apocalyptic News - House Fortress

I saw this a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty cool; one might even go so far as to say it's nifty. A great house for the inevitable zombie apocalypse:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Reasons I Write

     It can take many years of hard work to become a 'successful' writer and there is still no guarantee that all that labor will lead to success. I am a year into the post publishing process and it has grown increasingly apparent that I still have a lot of work to do. 
     I originally started writing because of an interesting dream my sister had when we were kids. My imagination kicked into high gear as she related the dream to me and I started forming a story in my mind. I managed to write part of it down on notebook paper when I was about thirteen. When I was sixteen, I typed the first ten pages of that story on a rusty, manual typewriter before I was hampered further by my first experience with writers block. Years later college level English dropped me into the deep end of the creative writing pool when I barely knew how to dog paddle. Though it was difficult, and sometimes frustrating, I re-discovered that I actually liked writing. 
     I graduated from college and started jotting down the occasional story idea but had trouble moving beyond the idea phase. Sometimes they weren't original; others just fizzled; and some just wouldn't blossom beyond the note writing stage. I knew I was interested in writing a book but every time I tried to start a story I could not seem to get beyond ... just starting. At that time, it didn't occur to me that some of those ideas were better short stories. After reading some material about Jupiter's moon Europa the idea of setting a story there intrigued me. I believed I finally had a story idea with which I could go the distance.
     I had a rough time completing "Europa"; it took seven years from start to finish. Then there was the additional two years it took to find a publisher.  After I signed with the publisher, the editors said I had to do a rewrite that forced me to cut 150 pages from the original story; the process took another four months. The story and grammar edits were eight months in the making before the first copy was even printed and yet another three months before the book was actually released. 
     I have seen only modest sales of my book and I consider each sale a small victory.  As I have marketed myself and the book over the past year or so, I've had to learn how to talk to new people better and for much longer periods of time. That has been tough for an introvert like myself. It is difficult to put yourself out there and sell something you spent so much time creating (a low estimate of the time I spent on Europa is 1500 hours). I have also, reluctantly, given up the dream of getting ahead financially through book sales. However, in doing so I was reminded money and fame were never factors that motivated me to start writing. 
     "Why bother with all this?" you might ask. I've asked myself the same question for the last eleven years. I write because I consider it a calling of sorts.  I enjoy having a creative outlet and conjuring images with words. The world is in desperate need of good books. I want to produce excellent, well-written stories that depict the protagonists acting justly, in spite of the occasional flaw. I want, through my stories, to encourage people young and old to stand their ground even in the moral relevance philosophy of this current culture. To quote C.S. Lewis, I want to write "the right kinds of books." 
     I am not entirely sure where writing will lead me. I don't know if I will change genres, writing styles or how many books I will write. I will continue to grow and improve as a writer and for now I am going to keep working on The Black Chronicles. Whatever may come, I have no intention of quitting. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I think the pro-Saturn people are getting pushy

These days, no scientist can talk about viable (future) human environments throughout our solar system without mentioning a couple of Jupiter's moons (Europa!) but now those pro-Saturn people are getting in the mix.  Seriously, what's with all the talk about "plumes"?  In all seriousness, I am a big advocate for anywhere but status quo in our "space exploration".  I understand we currently all those satellites orbiting the Earth but if we don't actually go anywhere, shouldn't NASA just change their name to "Manning Cell Phone Satellites for Huge Conglomerates?"  (Would that be MCPSHC?)

I'm happy that Cassini is getting good press.  It looks like scientists believe that it may be a similar environment to Europa.  And here's some specs and a cool pic of Cassini taken in 2009.

Go! Go! Go!  I love America but SOMEONE has got to get there.  (Um, yeah, let's make the first shuttle unmanned please.  Even I'm not that impatient.  See comments)  The answer to this question is a resounding "NO" unless we can unite and explore.

Cool vid on the universe to scale.  Check it out.

Thanks and see ya later.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Best Price

If you want to purchase my book online the best place to buy has changed: 
     I recommend using the Hasitings link for the best price at the moment $15.99. I'm not sure how shipping factors into the total, but Amazon and Barnes and Noble raised their price to $19.99. Unfortunately the suggested retail price of my book is set by the publisher and the final price is decided upon by the seller. I have no control over pricing with the exception of the ones I sell at events ($15). 
     My event price (at Comic Con's etc) is set so that I, hopefully, make enough money to pay for my next event. So far, because I have mostly stayed within my region, I have been able to pay for 50% of my event expenses. and the rest comes out of pocket. Contrary to popular belief very few writers actually make a living just writing. It can take many years of hard work to become 'successful' and there is still not a guarantee of success. I will follow up this post with: The Reason I Write