Jul 31, 2011

New Movement in Publishing

Anyone interested in getting published, particularly in the UK, or interested in the changes going on in the book industry should totally check out this article on NPR.org.

It's about a new website called Unbound where an author can pitch a book idea and readers can pledge monetary support to get it published. Once a particular author's book gets a certain number of pledges (different for each author and book), Unbound gives the author the green light to write. The completed book will be published as a limited edition and each pledger's name will be printed in each book on a "Made Possible By..." page.

Each pitch has a time limit. If the money goal isn't reached by the deadline, all pledgers get a full refund of their money and - well - I guess the author has to figure out something else to do or takes their idea somewhere else.

There are different levels of reward for the pledger based on the amount they gave. Also, if the book is picked up for publishing, all pledgers have access to the author's private area on the site. Unbound describes it like this:
"Here you can get updates on the book's progress, watch exclusive interviews, read draft chapters, find out information about the author's backlist and join discussions with the author and other supporters. It's a portal into a new community of writers and readers: a place to comment on and contribute to a work in progress."
Depending on the amount you pledged, you could also get a copy of the finished book sent to you - physical or electronic.

You'd have to be a pretty open and flexible author to be willing to try any of this, but I think for some readers, it's very exciting!

Unbound - Books are Now in Your Hands. At least, a little more than they have been in the past - if you have money to contribute. ; )


You might think this image is photoshopped, but it's quite real!

Back in June, a few lucky residents in Anacortes, WA were graced with this site if they happened to look up at the right moment. Isn't that amazing?

It's called a circumhorizontal arc. It's a really cool event that I imagine most of the world misses because it's a brief one. You can read the article on the Anacortes event here.

Now I want to see someone make a video about circumhorizontal arcs - bit more of a mouthful than 'double rainbow'. :P

Jul 29, 2011

Rare Political Rant

If partisanship had a face, I would slap it right now.

I think that We, The People are quite sick of the games on Capitol Hill - or at least the majority of us. Anyone left who wants to use this deadline for political posturing needs to be locked up. Or made to do hard labor cleaning soiled diapers for a month.

The idiots seem to have forgotten that it's not all about them. They are representatives of those who elected them and they need to quit running to the far extremes based on party 'ideals'.

The point of having two parties is so we don't go too far in either direction. Each party has their good points. Each party has their bad points.

Other than being upset about the fact that we're even in this position, I'm really ticked at House Majority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Barack Obama. I don't blame only those three for the mess we're in right now, but as some of the (if not THE) major leaders, they are setting terrible examples.

They've made statements calling for bi-partisan behavior and action. However, when it comes to the debates, the talks, and the passage of bills to solve the problem before the deadline (a.k.a. the action), they pound on their collective chests and reject any offer the other member makes - then have the audacity to claim it's the other side that won't relent.

Elected officials seem to only start behaving themselves when re-election time starts to draw near.  Like children at Christmas...

It seems every time someone comes up with a solution - regardless of how partisan or bi-partisan it is - someone else slaps it down.

I don't care what party you affiliate yourself with, the time for compromise is now. There are going to be some things in every bill that someone doesn't like - suck it up. That's life, you take the good with the bad. Compromise equates stability for us at the moment. I suggest everyone on Capitol Hill get that particular clue.

Jul 26, 2011

Petite Lap Giraffe

Remember this little guy from those DirectTV commercials?
Did you squeal with delight when you saw him? Did you want one yourself?

Good news everyone! [Did you just read that in Dr. Farnsworth's voice? If so, +10 interweb points to you.] Whether you're poor or rich Sokoblovsky Farms is the place to go for all your Petite Lap Giraffe (PLG) needs! You can watch the bull Vladimir go about his day as he crosses the webcam. If you don't see him, as the caption below the feed reads: don't worry he come back.

No, that was NOT a spelling error. The entire wonderful site is written in Engrian, or Russlish if you prefer. I wish I was half as clever as the people who came up with this site and the concept of PLGs! This is now one of my go-to sites when I'm feeling less than 100%. It's almost better than chocolate.


No Excuse for Not Reading Anymore

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this site, but it deserves a little pat on the back. It's part of the site RinkWorks which you can find sidewards on my Awesome Sites list.

Got a summer reading list but no time to finish it? You, my friend, are in need of Book-A-Minute. Yes, that's right, Book-A-Minute. They have three categories on the site: Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Classics, and Bedtime. 

Bedtime is for kids if you didn't catch that. Also, the description for this section is hilarious.

If you're not entirely convinced about the idea of perusing Book-A-Minute, allow me to wow you with one of the shining gems on the site.

Dante's Inferno, a great book and an even more awesome play! Too busy to read/watch Inferno? No problem! Book-A-Minute is here to help you out!

By Dante
Ultra-Condensed by David Yuds

Some woman puts Dante through Hell.

Thanks, Books-A-Minute! I feel more enriched and well-read already! :D (Does it count even though I read Inferno the slow way before?)

Jul 21, 2011


Who fights pollution, you ask? Why, the producers of the "Transformers" movies!

For some reason, they think they can create a successful live-action movie based off of the 1990's television hit, "Captain Planet." 

Now, let me interject here and say I was a HUGE fan of the show. I always had a little girl crush on Kwame...rawr! I swear, only Richard Dean Anderson (a.k.a. Angus MacGyver) pulled off the mullet better than Captain Planet. Who pulls off a mullet, really? MacGyver and Captain Freaking Planet, that's who!
RAWR! Look at those cheekbones......did I mention I also had a little girl crush on MacGyver?
So don't get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for "Captain Planet," however I lack the vision someone else seems to have that could turn the cheesy-feel-good show into a blockbuster. They could surprise me - and I'd be thrilled to be surprised. But for now, my expectations will remain low. 

There are a lot of columns on the buzz about the movie, but I suggest you look here at Screen Rant's to start.

On a related note: Disney has announced a project to create a live-action movie based off another 90's show, "Gargoyles".

Um...I also had a little girl crush on Brooklyn and Goliath...I KNOW THEY WEREN'T HUMAN, QUIT LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!

I think that the "Gargoyles" movie has a better chance than the "Captain Planet," but that also depends on what they do with "Gargoyles". They're not going to use the original cast of characters. Nope. They're going to do a live-action movie about a different set of gargoyles who protect New York City. I have to say, I'm a tad disappointed. :( 

But then again, they won't be able to destroy precious childhood memories with terrible modern interpretations of the characters. So, yippie for that!

Jul 17, 2011

I. Am. Published!

Sort of!

The editors over at the Dayton Daily News were nice enough, and interested enough, to take on an article I'd written on an interview I had with Ohio author, John Scalzi, back in May. While I'm pleased-as-punch (and *completely* geeking out), their final version of my article is a former shadow of itself for the sake of paper space, so it's not completely my article or writing anymore. This is fine and I completely understand. Besides, I did the interviewing, my name is credited to the story, and it's a great start!

You can read their version of the article in five seconds here.

I thought it would be nice to post the original version of the article online for anyone whose remotely interested in what Scalzi had to say about his latest book, "Fuzzy Nation".  I'm by no means a professional writer or journalist, so it's not the most fantasmagorical thing you'll ever read, but Scalzi had a lot of interesting things to say about the book and about the Dayton, Ohio area. For space sake, I've hidden it after the jump.

Jul 13, 2011

Excuse Me...

What's up with educated people using the term "bad guys"?

Excuse me, but if you're a fancy-pants, snooty college educated, individual - like, I dunno, the president of ANYTHING - you have no excuse for using the term. None, do you hear me? None! It makes you sound like a ten-year-old. I have no confidence in the intelligence or leadership capabilities of ten-year-olds.

I get the urge to force you to sit in the corner and read a thesaurus. It's good for you, like your veggies!

There exists a wealth of terms and phrases that could easily be substituted and would not make you sound like a perpetual child with a simplistic view of the world - which implies a simple mind. In example: Enemies, perpetrators, criminals, antagonizers, assailants, miscreants, aggressors, and so on. Your creativity is the only limiting factor.

Let's make a game out of it, I'll even give away internet points as prizes! How exciting!

I'm eyeing your hoity-toity degree with suspicion when you use simplistic terms like that. Yes, I'm judging you and no, I won't stop. You can't make me! I keep waiting for someone to stand up and say, "Hey, what's up with that? Didn't you go to Rocket Surgery University or some sort of Ivy League university?" and start the change going in the opposite direction

I suppose it's one of my many [allow me to emphasize this here, MANY] pet peeves. I just can't help but hone in and hear it when someone uses it on the radio, TV, or a live speech. It's literally like my ears have a zoom setting and I hear it crystal clear, even if I wasn't really listening in the first place.

Curse you ears...cuuuuurse you.

No, seriously, does anyone have/remember those things you plugged into walls to drive away insects with sounds human ears can't hear? I hear that crap, man and it's annoying as hell. In case you were wondering, it's a steady beat of pitched chirps that have a bit of a shrill squeak to them.

I discovered this while sleeping on the couch at a relative's house. I had to unplug the blasted things whenever I was in a room with one. I didn't always get away with it and had to suffer through the hellacious sound while being forced to watch movies or to maintain a conversation with the distraction spiking into my tender ears.

Yes, it WAS that dramatic, gosh!

I've also been known to hear bat chirps. I didn't know most people aren't able to hear them and accidentally outed my freakish ability once or twice. Those concerned is-she-or-is-she-not-crazy looks burn. One or two people always think I'm either crazy or making it up.

Sometimes, I intentionally try to destroy my hearing capabilities with loud music because of the frustrations my freakish hearing causes.  Then I feel bad because sometimes I actually DO get crazy and anthropomorphize parts of my body. I blame the shows I watched as a child that indicated inanimate objects had their own will when you weren't looking.

Curse them as well!

Anyway, back to the original rant: "Bad Guys"

I'm nowhere near a perfect speaker or writer, and I'm no grammar nazi, but I do at least try. Also, I'm not an elected official or a high-profile individual. Expectations for the "average" person are different than those who are in leadership/official/professional positions. Increasingly hearing/seeing such people falling back on simplistic terms and phrases gives me the impression of laziness and/or ignorance.


If young children are forced to standards in school [Ah, the horrors of score cards and grades!], then I expect the overlords enforcing these standards to maintain them in themselves. ZEE HYPOCRITES!

Yes, I realize the irony in that whole overlord thing. An overlord would never need to maintain anything but fear in the masses s/he's...well...lording...over...

Well this was supposed to be a short, quirky post but then I went and rambled. :S This is what happens when you blog while exhausted. Then again, brevity was never my forte.

Jul 12, 2011

Summer Reading Fail

I am embarrassingly far behind on my summer reading list. Naturally, it's not because I haven't had time - I'm just too addicted to the Internet. It's like big bookstores, it goes on 'forever' and I can't stop crawling around all the different spaces. Sometimes I stay in one section for a really long time and other times I'm just breezing through. Either way, I can't stop browsing!

Bookstores and the interwebs, my productivity kryptonite.

Currently on my reading list are all the fiction books written by author John Scalzi [I've finished "Old Man's War" and "Ghost Brigades". I have a signed copy of "Little Fuzzy" and the kindle version of "Lost Colony" to do next.], "Deadline" by Mira Grant, and I just picked up a copy of "My Life as a White Trash Zombie" by Diana Rowland a few hours ago. If you haven't read anything by John Scalzi - pick up "Old Man's War", you will NEVER regret it.

These are all books I would normally voraciously devour, but I find myself more interested in managing my Zombie Lane Facebook game and cleaning up my computer files.

Anyone else seeing a slight zombie theme here? Unintentional, but this is the kind of girl I am. I get on theme kicks and then get sick of them.

Right now, instead of writing this blog entry I should totally have my nose in "My Life as a White Trash Zombie".  It's sitting right next to me. That awesome pink and grey cover is calling to me. And still, I type on.

In my Facebook feed I see multiple posts about the books my friends have finished or started reading. I cringe a little in guilt when I see those posts. I know I'm the only one holding myself to that standard, but I can't help but feel lazy when I spend more of my day on the Internet than anything else.

Yet, it doesn't seem to stop me from doing it frequently...

Like I said, productivity kryptonite. Curses!

Thankfully, I think my Facebook games theme is winding down. After awhile they take so much to maintain that they become more trouble than they're worth - especially that whole adding 'neighbors' in your games thing, how is that NOT annoying? In fact, I think I'll pick one of my books for tonight. It won't be long before I have to put it down for family movie night, but at least I'll get started on it!