Saturday, April 26, 2008

Book Store in Second Life

My daughter set up a book booth in Second Life. Of course, with my computer and internet bandwidth, I can't really see it in all its glory, but it looks something like the picture. I think that's supposed to be me standing there looking at it. This image is not fully rez-ed, however that's spelled. There's a place called Book Island, where this is set up and there's a festival running at the moment. The first I heard of it was when she called me on the phone asking for some images to use in constructing her booth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

RSS vs. the full Blog

For a little while now, I've added a Twitter feed in the sidebar of this blog. I've been using Twitter for more immediate, short, status updates, like what I had for lunch and where I'll be holding an impulse book reading in the park. However, many people, myself included, read blogs via RSS feeds, and thus the sidebar information is never seen. For all of you seeing this via RSS, I just wanted you to know that occasionally, you'll be missing something.

Here's how to work around it. The title link for this blog entry is my Twitter feed. Click on it and collect the Twitter RSS feed associated with that page. Of course, you could also sign up for Twitter yourself if you're so inclined. If so, you can "follow" my Twitter feed and I'll get a notice to that effect so I can follow yours.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I have a confession. I cry. Part of is family heritage. My mother said she cried at a supermarket opening. I can believe it. Some emotions hit me hard, and they can come from anywhere. Twice today, images on the TV screen had me in tears. I just finished the season finale of Torchwood, and that was a tear-evoking episode and for predictable reasons.
But the other one came out of the blue. I turned on the TV and found myself part way into a movie I hadn't seen before, The Lady in the swimming pool or something. Wait a sec. IMDB to the rescue. The Lady in the Water. 2006. It wasn't the plot, which I missed out on because I tuned in late. It was just one scene. The mystery lady could predict the future and told Vic that his book (a cookbook?) would cause him to be killed for what he wrote, but that the words he wrote would influence a child who would grow up and change the world.
I'm a writer. It's my goal in life to write something that will touch others. Could any writer wish for a better future? That one scene triggered something deep in me, and predictably, out came the tears. If I wrote fan letters, I'd write one for M. Night Shyamalan.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guerrilla Book Reading

Yesterday I printed out loose stack of 346 pages, and this morning I bought some 2-inch binder clips that turned it into a galley copy of Extreme Makeover, one of the two books I'm edging towards publication. I needed to read it, aloud, to scare out some of the minor glitches that were sure to be there in formatting and typo's.

I have been reluctant to read whole novels aloud. It's a huge investment in time and sore throat muscles. Maybe some people can talk non-stop for hours on end, but I'm not one of them. But, it needed to be done.

So, come lunch time, it occurred to me that I could do my reading in the park. The weather was nice, if a little gusty. And, hey, I might collect a new reader.

As that thought gained traction, I printed a little banner with the cover art and the text, "Yes, I am reading my novel due in June." and bought a burger and drink and parked myself in the Pflugerville park and started reading, aloud.

And barely half-way into chapter one, I had one brave soul stop by on her run to listen awhile and look at chapter titles. She left with a business card and I kept on reading. My voice lasted about an hour an a half, and I think I'll do it again, once it feels normal. While I didn't find any great errors in the 58 pages I read, I made numerous corrections to ease the flow.

Next time, I think I'll find a park bench where other people can stop and listen. Look to my twitter for times and locations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seth's Stumble

I regularly read Seth Godin's blog because I like his insights and his take on permissions and trust. But I guess everybody has an off day. On this latest blog concerning the ability of the internet to organize public opinion, he offers up two instances of potential ignition.
I have no idea about the Starbucks setting it's temperature, but given the other piece of libelous inaccuracy, I'd give the Starbucks the benefit of the doubt.
He says, without evidence:
"And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter."
Hey that just ain't true. I've lived long stretches of time in Breckenridge and walked shops. It's cold in Breckenridge. No body in their right mind would do that.
The sad part is that Seth has developed enough of a presence on the net that people trust what he says, and Breckenridge people will suffer from it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Interview on Lia Metal's Site

When I contacted Rambles.NET to see if they'd review my novel Emperor Dad, it was a while before they contacted me with the address of a reviewer where I could send the book. I blinked. Corfu Greece? Where was that? But Hutto Post Office has nice people. They keyed in the numbers, charged me the (gulp) fee, and off it went.

It turns out that the reviewer is a English as a Foreign Language instructor in Greece, with a regular Internet presence. After I received the very nice review, she offered to include me in her growing list of author reviews. She hasn't mentioned it to me yet, but Google Alerts found it today. Click here and then search within the page for "Henry" Command-F does it on my Mac. It's down toward the bottom of the page.

Monday, April 07, 2008

First Reviews in for Roswell or Bust

While I was helping Mary Ann prepare for tax software by installing XP under Boot Camp on her Mac, I was distracted by a couple of emails. Both were reviews of Roswell or Bust. The first was from Benjie Potter's Book 'em Benj-O book review blog where it got a 4-3/4 rating. I just love good reviews.

The other email was special in a different way. Bri, the daughter of my niece, age about ten or so, sent me an email. The book is "awesome". I can dine on emails like those for a long time.

Friday, April 04, 2008

MidSouthCon and the Darrell Awards

It was a very fun time in Memphis last weekend. I'm sorry it's taken me this long to steal the pictures Mary Ann took and put a sampling up on the blog.

While we were there the whole con, Saturday had the highlight events for me. The Darrell Award people put together this combined reading, managed by the ever-energetic Selena Rosen. (I forgot to bring my table tent and she whipped one up for me on the spot.)

The readings were very short -- all of us participated during the one-hour event. But the people who left in the middle to attend another track event quickly came back and said the reading was better. A good time was had by all.

My three pages of the novel went by with no major stumbles. I liked doing it. I think I'll be signing up for more readings in the future.

Then came the banquet and as this was the first time I'd ever suffered through the will-I-win trial by fire, I was pleased by the outcome, not the least by the fact that I won the Best Novel category. But, to be honest, I misunderstood when they read the list of finalists and thought, "Oh, I didn't get it." But then, a few seconds later, I did. It's nice to know that I didn't suffer agonies during the few heartbeats when I thought I'd lost. Something good to know about myself.

And no, I hadn't planned an acceptance speech. But I did know what I wanted to say, if it happened. MidSouthCon was a wonderful convention and I loved being around a convention where there were so many age groups well represented. It gives me hope for the future.
I picked up my plaque and Selena was kind enough not to pick on me as much as she had the others.
I know I'll remember that day for a long time to come.