Sunday, September 26, 2010

Syzygy Interview

My good friend and fellow writer, Kara, interviewed me at her blog, A Karabu Creation. I hope you'll go take a look. Read her other posts too. She writes about all sorts of fun stuff.

I'll tell you what. To celebrate the interview, I've created a coupon so you can get Syzygy from Smashwords for just .99 cents until October 26th. Just use the code: GJ42C 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Research Trip to Sonoma

Research is one of the more gratifying aspects to writing. I'm working on a project that is kinda-sorta set in California's early days. (It's a fantasy piece where time is funky, so it gets complicated.) My twins happen to be in fourth grade, the year to study California history if you're a California kid. So we took a trip to Sonoma to visit the Solano Mission and surrounding area and bathe in the juices of history.

Sadly, I had a battery malfunction and didn't get all the pictures I wanted. But here are a few highlights I did manage to snap.

Barracks of the Spanish soldiers next to the Mission

1853 Cherry Stoner

Stove at the historic Toscano Hotel

Clock at General Vallejo's House

A Bottle


Unfortunately I didn't get any of the Mission itself. ...grumble grumble...dagnabit camera bateries...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some New Things to Show You

First off, I have a new Catholic blog to replace the old one. It's called, Catholic Once Again. I moved some of the posts from the old one to the new one. Did you know you could do that?

And on the side bar of both blogs I posted something called "pages" which I just figured out. I shoved in there a sample of my novel, Syzygy. Mighty nifty. See it over there on the right? :)

I'm pleased to say that later this month Moon Drenched Fables will publish a story of mine. They're running a bit behind schedule. And pretty soon Kara of Karabu Creation will post the interview she did with me on her blog. I'm hoping it will be the kickoff of my blogtour, but I haven't actually scheduled any other stops yet, so... Guess I'd better get on that. ;p  Anywhooo, I'll let you know when those are up.

Sorry I haven't been keeping up on reading everyone's posts, but we've had some family stuff going on. I'll get back into the groove real soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Romp Through the Land of Copyright Infringement

For the six of you who subscribed to my other blog, I'm sorry to say it's gone. Technically, I'm not sorry to say it; I'm sorry it's gone. It was *gasp* an illegal blog. Specifically, its name was illegal. It shared the name of website/corporation or something- (not quite of their official status). Basically the name is their registered trademark. I understand why they asked me to remove it- legal mumbo-jumbo-yadda-yadda. I honestly didn't realize the coincidental name at the time I created the blog. I was just plugging in variations of what I wanted to convey and it was the first thing that wasn't taken. It wasn't my first pick.

They sent a very kind note. Too kind. My brain was a bit fried because our family suffered a sudden loss that week. Maybe that's why it took me a while to poke through the sweet padding (like a stinger in a creampuff) to figure out the gist of the note.

I won't post the note.


Here is what I would have written to me:

Dear Imposter,

This is a stink letter. You won't enjoy one word of it. Delete your blog entitled, [redacted so I don't get my tail kicked]. I read your latest post about the recent death in your family. Sorry to rub salt in your fleshy pink wounds. Timing sucks, but I have to protect our company in case you when you write something completely stupid or wholly inaccurate and some poor dolt comes along and thinks you are us.

You understand.

Sincerely, blah-blah-blah

But I guess this is why I am not in public relations.

I may replace that blog with a new one. I saved the posts. Just don't want to think about it right now.

This was my second bout with copyright infringement in the last month. The first was on YouTube. They informed me that one of my homemade videos is banned in Germany because on the car radio in the background you can hear... hold on, let me look up the name of the singer... Adam Lambert. So, it seems that in Germany, if folks are allowed to watch my "Driving Through The Caldecott Tunnel" video, this guy's music sales will go down. This doesn't say much for the quality of MP3s in Germany if this video's audio quality is just as good.

Note: Book and song titles are not protected. That's why there can be many songs and books who share the same name. I suppose you could make your book title your registered trademark and stick that little R in a circle after it. I wonder what the rules are on that. Can I register any word or set of words? What about Apple? They are a company and yet I'm allowed to use the word "Apple" all the time. Apple Apple Apple. Can I call my blog Apple? Surely that's registered. Hmm...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

YouTube and You: Promoting Novels is Fun

Highlights in Technohistory... as it pertains to what I care about at the moment...

I remember The Jetsons- (Actually, I watched it with my twins a few weeks ago.), and their push-button world wowing me with all its futurosity. I recall learning DOS- (or not learning it), in school and having no computer at home. At the dawn of MTV The Buggles sang about video killing the radio star. Sometime in there, along came the internet. Then, three guys in a garage in Menlo Park invented YouTube, sold it to Google, and became millionaires.

YouTube says it's a way to "broadcast yourself." So... do so.

Apart from procrastinating by watching guys pull their lips over their eyebrows, Potter Puppet Pals, and motorcycles flipping over, YouTube is useful for posting BOOK TRAILERS -little videos that give readers a taste of your novel. Share them on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or post to your webpage.

Some examples of book trailers: Circe, by Anita Saran, Master of Horror, and Love Out of Order by Nichole Green. Please, let us know the link to your own book trailer. Let's share the love. :)

I made a brief trailer with my book cover and promo art for my book, Syzygy, using royalty free music provided by YouTube. It's not much of a video, but it took only a few minutes. My niece and I plan to create something more amazing.

SEARCH STORIES are a fun fruit born of the intermingling of YouTube and Google. You pop in search options, music, and poof, you have a fun vid. I made a "search story" for Finn, for Sam (both characters from my novel, Syzygy), and even one for Dobby from Harry Potter (just for the heck of it.) The ones you create for your characters are a nifty way to promote your book.

YouTube is a natural vehicle to promote my novel. One character makes VIDEO LOGS (vlogs) and a character's YouTube channel is mentioned by name- Fatalwidget. It was my teenage daughter who warned me to nab that title if I was going to put it in the novel, so I did. Some writers may want to post videos of book readings, signing, vlogs... Get creative. Think John Green of the Vlogbrothers. Think Nerdfighter!

I have a regular YouTube channel as well. There I have a link to my blog and link to the Syzygy related videos. Every bit of exposure helps. And don't forget to visit other people's channels and comment their videos. BUT I don't mean spam! But you knew that. :)

Particularly if your book would appeal to young adults, you'll want to tap into the wacky wild world of video.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Short Story at Joyful!

I'm pleased to announce that Joyful! published my short story "Just a Shell Game" in their fiction section this month. (LOL It feels funny to stick an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence.)

Surprise! The the tale contains no zombies, werewolves, vampires, nor fantasy of any sort. Just the regular sort of magic and horror that regular people bring into the lives of children.
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