Wednesday, August 1, 2018

SPFBO4 99cent Sale!

The major news for all of you is a gigantic 99c sale going on for SPFBO4!

The SPFBO4 is organized by author Mark Lawrence, and ran by a very lovely panel of reviewers. They run this each year, and each year some incredible looking stories show up.  Since Fragile Nights is a contestant, it is included in this sale. All participating authors involved in the contest are listing their books for $0.99. With a contest of 300 books, that’s a lot of money to spend at full price. If you’re interested in reading fresh fantasy novels, comb through the page here to put in your online basket.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Digital and Minimal

Summertime cleaning is underway.

Recently I've gotten back to putting several products worth (some) value on eBay. This is in an effort to declutter my life, and earn a little extra scratch on top of that. Not everything I own is valuable. So many things picked up are disposable. They lose any sort of value right away, which makes selling them online not worth collecting the pennies and dollars over them.

It's times like these where I appreciate turning digital a few years ago. A Bookbub enters my email. I read through it, see a book that looked promising, and then buy it on my Nook. My Nook collection is over 180 titles. Combine that with over 100 on my Kindle, the dozen or so books on my Kobo account, and the collection I have on Smashwords, and you have more books than you know what to do with. And that says nothing about the physical books stacked on top of one another in the house.

But my Nook never gets heavier. A few years ago I had to reorganize my books. It was on that day I vowed never to do it again.

Going digital wasn't that hard. I mean, I've already done it in several areas of my life already. Netflix and Hulu make sure I'm not storing a stack of Blu-Rays for films I never truly cared for. There are 197 titles on my Steam account, and 147 on my GOG account (Huzzah for no DRM!). I listen to music through my phone.

That isn't to say I no longer buy physical things. There's a nice copy of Blade Runner 2049 sitting on a stand. I collect all things Lupin the 3rd when Discotek releases a new DVD. Some comics never made the Comixology jump. So yeah, I still collect 'stuff', but these are objects with more sentimental value.

This still-sealed limited edition of Stranger of Sword City gives me no sentimentality whatsoever. Also you can buy it on Steam for $10 when it's on sale.

Digital has given me more freedom, space, and saved me quite a bit of money too. It also helped me see what is valuable. Truly valuable. Books is one of those things I consider always a worthy investment. It's difficult to say that with games, movies, or even music. The minimal startup costs associated with a book (time and a computer) make it far more accessible to experience a more diverse and interesting spectrum than other mediums.

Which is a reason I carry my Nook everywhere with me. It's the reason I read comics on a tablet now. If Marvel didn't loss lead with Gwenpool Vol 1, I may not have ever read it. And what I would have missed out on!

Just my thoughts on the matter. The past week or so I wake up a few hours earlier due to my body learning a new sleep schedule (???). This has allowed me to catch up on some much needed reading due to the Nook Glowlight 3's night mode when it's pitch black outside. Easy on the eyes and easing up on the backlog.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

RIP Harlan Ellison

A world without Harlan Ellison is not a world worth living in. Thankfully in our timeline we do have Harlan Ellison.

Harlan Ellison was a lot of things. You can absolutely scour Twitter and all kinds of interviews that fill out what you think is important. Lots of good stories about the man Harlan Ellison was. But if I can have a moment, one second of time to tell you an important part, maybe the most important, is that Harlan Ellison was honest with himself.

As an aspiration for fellow writers, Ellison is the gold standard. Not because of his prose (although it's quite good). Not because of his attitude (although it was quite loud). But because of his honesty. He was able to delve right into his soul that made him tick. Some people lose their imagination or creativity as they grow up. Not Harlan. All of those things were on tap. It seemed at the press of a button, he could create a story out of thin air. And not just any old story, but a damn good one!

I recommend those videos, interviews, and his own writing because they get to the biggest part of his personality. Himself.

Harlan had big opinions on video games, on collectible card games, on fiction. On life, really when you think about it. He filled himself all the movies, and music, and art, and whatever else you can imagine that made Harlan feel the way he felt.

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite parts in Harlan Ellison's Watching, where he discusses the animated film Mr. Bug Goes to Town. You can find it in the introduction.

[I never did get to see the complete Mr. Bug Goes to Town until something like the mid-Sixties when it became available on videocassette. Today I have it in my private collection, and every once in a while, far more often than the quality of the film commends, I take it down and watch it. My wife has emerged from sleep in the wee hours to find me sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, watching insects.]

He was an example of being true to yourself. We are all better from his presence, because his presence meant that we could do better. We can be better. Harlan Ellison's passing leaves a hole, not because of what we lost, but because of what we had.

If there is one lesson to be taken from his life and body of work, is that to let your loves flow through you, and don't compromise on who you are, because there is only one of you.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fragile Nights in SPFBO4

Fragile Nights is in to the fourth annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off!

This is an event that has no real "big money" prize. Instead, it's about illuminating great self-published works.

I read when SPFBO first took place. So this year, with Fragile Nights completed, I decided to submit. If it wins, that's great. If not, then I can be proud knowing I gave it a shot. There are some really great books in this pool of 300, so I'm looking to see who will continue on as a finalist. 

Currently I'm an entry, which means there is a 1 in 30 chance of Fragile Nights being selected to move on as a finalist. Decent odds all things considered. When will that choice be made? Sometime in the second half of the year. And to me, that sounds like a great idea to not think about it until something happens.

In other book news, Wildstar: Forever Wanderers will be completed soon.