July 24, 2016 Kinda wish #sdcc was already over.
July 22, 2016 Light and in white for the hottest day of #SDCC
July 21, 2016 The Kilt Makes Me Wanna Throw Things #SDCC
July 19, 2016 Soon… #SDCC
June 24, 2016 Writing on the Neo2
Created as a low-cost classroom aid, the Neo2 has found an unintended use as a distraction-free writing device. It’s basically a keyboard with a little bit of memory. I call it the ‘first draft machine.’
For me, the first 20 pages are the toughest. On both novels, I wrote the opening long-hand, because while the computer is great tool for writing, it’s an even greater distraction. Why work on that 90,000 word book for the next three years when I could come up with a 140 character tweet that might get 2 likes? But transcribing 20 pages is almost as painful as writing it in the first place. With the Neo2 I can get the focus of a pad of paper, without the wrist cramp and ink stained fingers.
I jammed out 286 words last night, felt the tug of Internet addiction a few times. I’d reach for a mouse that wasn’t there. But since the Neo2 has no network, the impulse was cut short. It runs on 3 AA batteries that last for months, so no hunting for a table close to a plug at the coffee shop. With the LCD display I can read it in the sunlight. I can see myself writing on this in the backyard, on the road, or even while camping. Spellcheck and thesaurus are also built-in, I probably won’t use them. I’ll save my editing for after I export into Scrivener.
Speaking of export, there’s two ways to do it. You’ll want to download the Manager software, for Windows or Mac to transfer at a reasonable rate of speed. As an alternative, you can always plug the Neo2 into a computer as a USB keyboard and have it type out your file into a word processor. But that takes forever, even at the fastest speed.
They don’t make these anymore, but you usually can find them for around $40 used.
June 19, 2016 Hail Hydra. Right Dad?
In a medium where death is temporary, semantic satiation has drained ‘justice’ of all meaning, and heroes fight each other as often as the villains, these two words set fandom on fire. Captain America a Hydra sleeper agent caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Rewriting the past is never popular.)
The outrage washed right past me. Taking comics seriously, that’s kid stuff. (More like, forty-year-old man-child stuff.) On the list of things worth my outrage, what a corporate entity decides to do with it’s intellectual property is near the bottom. Furthermore, Captain America’s part of the G.I Generation. And this swing to the right’s just playing to type.
Take my dad; A man who benefited form the New Deal as a kid, and voted to disassemble the social safety net for everyone else every chance he got. He served as a Navy minesweeper in World War II, yet thought Hitler had the right idea. Decried discrimination against Italians everyplace he imagined it, and wouldn’t visit a doctor with a Jewish name. He’d of fit right in with what’s become of so much of the G.I. Generation, the Tea Parties and the Trump Train.
(BTW Happy Father’s Day, everyone.)
So why shouldn’t Steve Rodgers be a Nazi in all but name? We have our own Captain America.
May 3, 2016 Disneyland or You Can’t Take Me Anywhere
Pirates of the Caribbean
Me: Quick question; are we subject to maritime law while in this ride?
Cast Member: …sure.
The Haunted Mansion
Cast Member: There’s no smoking in this ride, sir.
Me: Oh it’s okay. This isn’t tobacco. It’s sage!
Cast Member: Please step out of the line, sir.
Star Tours–The Adventures Continue
Me: The initial conceit of this ride is that C3-PO isn’t a qualified pilot. But at ten times an hour and a duration of 4 minutes, and thirty seconds (subtracting the 30 seconds spent in the hanger), running ten times every operational hour since the ride opened on June 3, 2013, C3-PO has the equivalent of 3592 hours of flight time. That’s three and a half times what NASA requires of it’s astronauts. If this ride is going to stay in continuity the narrative will need updating.
Cast Member: …sure.
The Taxi (not a ride, just the taxi)
Me: Hey! You’re our cabdriver from last night. Guess It’s a Small World after all, huh?
Cabdriver: …is okay.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Me (turning around from the driver’s seat): I’m going to need everyone to cough up $5 for gas money.
Other passengers: …no.
Cast Member: Please get out the car, sir.
Dapper Day was a lot of fun, and I don’t think I’ll visit Disneyland under any other day. By accident, it was also Bats Day and honestly, I think the two should continue to coordinate and blow people’s minds.
April 6, 2016 Shifting Labels, Your Favorite Genre is Marketing
- The protagonists are spies
- It hits on the Stargate Project in its backstory.
- The fate of the world is at stake
- At 98,000 it has the right word count
- Thrillers typically command larger advances
I called it science fiction, because I figured that readers of science fiction reader would be more forgiving of the spy stuff, than the thriller reader would be of E.S.P. But Maberry’s own Joe Ledger novels fly in the face of that assumption. They’re science fiction, sometimes they’re even fantasy, but they’re marketed as thrillers, and that’s working out pretty well for Jonathan.
These labels, man, I don’t dig them. I understand that marketing needs them to communicate to the audience, but if a book is shoved in the wrong genre that’s sales death. Part of me blames Picking Up the Ghost’s poor sales on its miscategorization (long story). Many writers get pigeon holed by their genre, or they used to. Those walls are breaking down, and cross-genre is increasingly acceptable. But they’ll still slap one of the accepted one or two word labels on the spine.
It’s easy enough to search/replace “science fiction” with “thriller” in my query letter. It’s difficult to stop thinking about the ten agent queries I sent out last week.