General Blog

General Blog

December 26, 2011

London – Day Two – Booked Solid

With Mike and his girls off to see some things, and my sister off to see other things, JB and I headed off to see our things. We started at the National Gallery, something we’d wanted to do last trip (but had gotten sidetracked by the Transport Museum (little pun there)). Anyway, got to see all the great Turners (including the one of Dido building Carthage, which I’d had for my desktop for the year in which I wrote Fire and Bronze). Lots of gawking, lots of neat paintings… It was drizzling outside, but we squelched over to Cecil Court […]
December 26, 2011

London – Day One – A Blur

After all the worries, the concerns, all that, the trip was flawless. He went through our checkpoints and gates like we were timetabled. Mike (my brother) and I had agreed on a meet point in Gatwick and both parties showed up on time at the spot. Shared a seat on the train with Brittany (my niece) on the ride into town and watched the realization sink into her that this was London. I’d felt the same way when I’d come here in the 80’s. After getting settled in the hotel (off Gloucester Tube stop), went for a tube ride/familiarization run […]
December 26, 2011

London – Day Zero – Reservations

They say writing is therapeutic – I certainly hope so. It’s either that or pop a Valium. I’m writing this entry in the moment (but in the interests of home security, it will not post up until we’re back). But shades of the Italy trip (flashback HERE). This time, it’s London for Christmas (well, in the interests of kiddy soccer, we’re flying back Christmas day). We’ll be meeting my sister and brother (with his wife and kids) for our London adventure. And already I’m having doubts. As with Italy, everything rolled up at once. My boss of twelve years is […]
December 26, 2011

Worst… Book release… Ever!

Well, I mucked that up, Readers. First I burned away six weeks I did not have working with a clueless book assembler (I’ve more than covered my tearing frustrations in this blog). And even after I’d gotten hooked up with DBS (what pros – they even did a cleanup pass gratis for me), suddenly Christmas was looming just around the corner, kinda like Cloverfield. And then, of course, there was that long-planned trip to England with my siblings which fell RIGHT across release week. And even though I got the final proof the night before we flew out, the Amazon […]
December 16, 2011

DBS – the writer’s resource

As you long-time followers know, I suffered a bad experience with a contractor through eLance. I spent six weeks fighting, weeping, struggling, and hair-tearing to get my book out on both the Kindle and hardcopy (via Createspace). In the end, I had a bunch of rubbish files that had been rejected by the various quality control scanners. I ended up doing Kindle myself, which wasn’t that hard once I sat down with it. I could generate the files and then use an emulator to read it. I finished that up in about a week, which was 3 weeks quicker than […]
December 14, 2011

Early ReTyrement – Kindlized!

It’s been a rush of a weekend. I’ve got a train show, an out-of-town trip and publication all going on at once. Anyway, got the Kindle version of Early ReTyrement finally up on Amazon (you can order it right HERE – go pick up a copy, we’ll wait). Funny thing was: I don’t own a Kindle and wanted to test the version before shipping so I sent the file to my buddy Jesse to have a look. Told him to call me as late as it would take – I needed to know if it was fit for release. Anyway, […]
December 4, 2011

Spelunky Junky

Okay, I admit, I’ve got a monkey (or, rather, a Spelunky) on my back. I just read Hull Zero Three, where a crewmember of a massive disabled colony ship finds out he’s been “spawned” thousands of times to attempt to right things. When he finds a pile of his own shattered bodies, it hits home. He’s died and died and died. I’ve been playing Spelunky, a wonderful platform game (which randomizes, and which you can get free HERE). It’s just great. Your little man jumps, falls, bomb-tosses and dashes his way down through dangerous subterranean levels, attempting to get to […]
November 17, 2011


Working on the kindle version of Early ReTyrement this weekend when it hit me – I don’t know where the divider clipart I used came from. I’d been dorking around on the internet a year and a half ago and found this groovy little Persian god icon (from Persipolis). Great little thing to separate chapter sections. But now I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t copyrighted. So onto the net for a desperate search. Found it on an Aussie scholastic site – great – but the contact email bounced – not so great. Also found plenty of clipart your could buy, […]
November 15, 2011

Nanny State

I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m a bit of a socialist. I don’t like the idea of fighting my way through the work day, not for promotions, riches and success, but merely to avoid living under a bridge. A women on the other side of the fence from me (politically, not locationally) goes on and on about the “Nanny State”, and how government should not tell people what to do. Well, from my own life-perspective, I’d agree to junking the benefits of civics if only I didn’t see the following… People who refuse to use turn signals or turn on their lights […]
November 13, 2011

Writer’s block

After six weeks of horsing around with the book assembler I’d hired off eLance, we broke off our professional relationship. She ends up with $500. I end up with a bunch of files that are mostly useless. I’m reworking the kindle version now myself – nuts to her. Its like that line out of War of the Worlds, where the narrator sees how little the artilleryman has achieved in his actual plan of digging an underground stronghold for the remnants of man: “…and when I saw the work he had spent a week upon – it was a burrow scarcely […]