some fall pics

Hey there! I’m posting pics today. These are random scenes from my fall so far. This first picture is of ivy (?) growing on the outer wall of my childhood library. I took the kids there and was pleased to see that it hasn’t really changed much at all, not that it needed to. It really is a beautiful place. I wish I could pick it up and move it to where I live now.

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This next picture is a scene from the pumpkin patch we went to. We ended up paying $18 for 2 not-overly-enormous pumpkins. Yup, we got taken like the suckers we are. We will not be returning next year. In this picture, there are smallish pumpkins hanging from the tree. I don’t know what that red thing is, but it looks delightful.

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Ooh, yes. The picture below was taken in the Hoosier National Forest. We had a boy scout function there recently. It is really beautiful but terrifying to drive through. Basically, once you leave the paved road, you are on miles upon miles of one-lane-two-way gravel “highways” through the forest, many, many miles, curving, up and down hills, occasionally next to drop-offs.

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Speaking of those highways, here’s a shot of one. This was in a flat area, as you can see. I realize part of the hood of the truck is visible in this picture. Please be assured that I wasn’t driving. No life or limb was risked.

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an October kind of story

iyrico cover2

Hey there! How’s the week so far? Good, yes?

I just thought I’d pop onto the blog for a quick announcement. I have a story. The title is Iyrico. The current plan is to post it to the blog in parts, probably beginning in mid-October and ending on Halloween or maybe the day before Halloween because people are kinda busy on Halloween itself.

If you aren’t into the serial fiction thing, it should also go up for free in its entirety on the wattpad app, scribd, obooko (if I can remember how to work it) and probably smashwords.

But what is it about? Here’s a rough draft description.

Levi doesn’t like going to Cliff House. Never mind how strange it is, the place is dangerous. Its location atop a bluff. Poisonous foliage. A pack of stray dogs prowling the property. Not to mention his ten-year-old cousin, Nessa, who may or may not have tried to kill him during a previous visit. Little does he know, even she isn’t the biggest threat Cliff House has to offer. Darker secrets lurk.

Book Release Day!

Pestilence Rising is out! Woo!

Pestilence Rising Cover jpg

Hunter lives alone. He eats and sleeps alone. The only people he can relate to are those he finds on the other side of an internet connection. Like him, they have extraordinary abilities, and like him, they want to keep anyone from finding out. His job is to manipulate them into revealing their deepest secrets to him, secrets that will maintain his freedom and surely end theirs.

His employer classifies him as a “ravager”. Unfortunately, his ability is more affliction than asset. If he loses control of his emotions, anyone nearby is stricken with a disease that could prove fatal. The Center for the Preservation of Natural Order allows him to remain free on the condition that he keep a low profile and he work for them.

The arrangement works for all parties involved until a girl claiming to be an angel appears in his living room. Celeste brings word that his estranged brother is missing. Only the two of them can save him.

When his supervisor comes looking for her, Hunter is faced with a choice. Should he trust a stranger and become a fugitive for a brother he barely knows or turn her in, go back to the lonely existence that’s kept him from being a danger to innocent people for so long? And who the hell is the strange, tattooed woman who keeps appearing to him in reflections and dreams?

Who he decides to become will be the catalyst for change. One way or another, the life he knows is over.

FUN FACTS

Genre: Urban Fantasy

The book available on Amazon. This is the link to the book.

You can enter the Goodreads giveaway and/or add the book to your shelf at this link.

Today is National Cheeseburger Day.

various project updates

Oy vey. I’ve been working on the kickstarter thing the last few evenings. That’s why I haven’t been present on the blog. The setup is more involved than I thought it would be. It should go live in the next few days or so. I actually had planned to put it up yesterday and then today and then it became the neverending story. I need more hours in the day. I might push it out until Monday just because weekend website traffic usually sucks, for me it does, anyway.

During non-laptop time, I’ve been working on the middle grade (kids) novel I started in March. Yes, March. I’ve taken a few breaks to work on other projects, but it still feels like a long time. I like the story, though. Childhood me would be quite pleased. I think I’m at about 60,000 words. I could see it topping out at 80-100,000 by the end of the deal.

Last week I searched for reviewers. I’ve had much better luck than I have in the past. Almost all the bloggers I’ve asked have agreed to read the book. WOO!

That’s it for now. Hopefully, I’ll have the kickstarter link to post soon.

extreme business

Random updates

We survived the crazy storm, mostly because there wasn’t one. I’m not complaining about that in the least.

I cleared 50,000 words on the rough draft work in progress. In my warped little brain, even though it isn’t finished, I consider it officially book length. Woo!!!

Character concept illustration status 2.8 of 4 complete. I’ve become increasingly fascinated by concept art in general. I’ve spent a lot of time gawking at it on Deviant Art and Pinterest and thinking about how adding that level of visuals to my marketing efforts could really draw people into the stories.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I believe that.

Aside from the realization of what this kind of art could do for my books, I also feel myself settling into a new method of drawing. Part of the delay with the illustrations has been in pushing through the feelings of suckishness to establish a new process.

The new drawing process goes like this. Rough sketch, probably on the ipad. Import it to fireworks to make it a vector so I can nitpick the layout and make initial color selections (which are not final). Send it over to photoshop so I can rough up the lines again to make it look more organic and paint the thing.
If it isn’t freakishly detailed, I could probably do one now, start to finish, in about 6-8 hours. Maybe less if I’m not indecisive.

Unrelated image of the day : scene from the front yard. I don’t know why the background is so hazy. I didn’t alter the image and I don’t live in Silent Hill. The sun wasn’t even over there.

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nerd rant: the xbox one devil

hell no kitty

I know, I know, today is supposed to be the movie post. I have one written, but I decided to talk about something else today because it’s bothering me.

I’m a gamer. I’ve been a gamer since the dawn of Commodore 64. I still play on an almost daily basis, not the 64, of course. I currently have a wii, a ps3 and an xbox 360. PS3 is my preference.

I was reading about the xbox one today and the direction they’re going has royally pissed me off. I wish I could find the article I read earlier today so I could share the link, but I can’t find it now. I think it was on Yahoo.

So, the used game thing is what everyone is talking about the most, it seems. Obviously, this is about corporate greed. I buy most of my games used. I do not buy all of my games used. Some games, I buy used and then, if I like the series well enough, I buy the subsequent releases new.

Apparently the powers that be have decided that buying used games is akin to shady business. I have a newsflash for them. Those games I bought used? I wouldn’t have purchased them new. Or else I would’ve done that in the beginning.

That aside, this new thing. This new thing has my hackles up, for real. Apparently, the xbox one needs an internet connection every day or so or the game function of the console is deactivated.

Sorry anyone who doesn’t have constant access to an internet connection. For you, the xbox one is an over-priced DVD player, but hey, you have that going for you.

If this is real (and I sincerely hope it isn’t), it’s a move in a very wrong direction. Tell me, Microsoft. What are the advantages of dropping $400 or whatever you plan to charge to have my content so tightly controlled that it’s rendered useless if my connection goes down for a few days? Why exactly would I want this product?

This is one of those times where we get to decide how our culture moves forward. There will be people who will buy this system only because it’s an xbox. They have fans like that.

Gamers need to reject this product with enthusiasm. Vote with your dollars.

If enough people buy the xbox one under these circumstances, that’s a vote for this new system, the iron grip on games we did actually pay money for. It’s an invitation for them to find out how much farther they can push us. Hey, why not charge us an hourly rate? Hell, maybe we can pay a monthly bill just for the honor of having an xbox in our house.

I vote no. Microsoft will not receive one penny from me for xbox anything if this is how they plan to treat their customers.

Done.

I am alive

I swear I am. I have no movie post this week, mostly because I have had no time to watch a movie. Isn’t that horrible? I think it is. We’ve been moving our junk to the new place, and the amount of it is overwhelming. I don’t understand how we fit it all in that tiny house.

The new house is bigger, thank God. Living somewhere new after so long (10 years) feels very awkward. The distribution of space is different. Like, the bathroom cabinet, for example. The new one is bigger but it’s divided into so many drawers and tiny cabinets that I can’t fit as much in there.

I haven’t written squat in the last 5 days or so. Maybe a few paragraphs? And the character concept drawings? Honey, fuggettaboutit. I haven’t slapped down line 1. There has also been no tv watching, no working out, very little video gaming, and very little sitting down in general. My life has become an endless series of boxes. I grow weary of this business.

The house will be awesome once we settle in. I know this. And I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled shenanigans soon enough. Blog attendance will be sporadic for the next week or two.

As for Max, he has already found a new sun beam. His work is done.

moo man