Monday, January 30, 2012

NFL Pro Bowl 2012

Now I'm one of the biggest fans of the NFL around, yet I still can't be bothered to watch the Pro Bowl.I like the idea behind the game, the best are celebrated, but I think having it before the Super Bowl has the opposite effect of what the league wanted. They wanted more people to watch it, which I'm not sure it does, because all of the news is on the Super Bowl during this time. Even during the pregame show for the Pro Bowl, they were talking  about the teams arriving for the Super Bowl.

The great thing about the game is the fact that it showcases the game in high scoring fashion, such as yesterday's 59 - 41 game. This is a good thing for the game, because fans like to watch high scores, so it doesn't disappoint in that respect. I do like the fact that they are using various methods to get fans involved, like this year they introduced Twitter to the game. Which drums up some interest, but as a whole having it before the Super Bowl sort of makes it overshadowed when it could be shining.

I don't think they will change it anytime soon, because with it after the Super Bowl it was even worse in terms of people watching and caring, but I think they need to do something to make it more exciting. The interaction with the fans is going in the right direction, and more of that will definitely help it in the long run. I also think the fact that the Super Bowl players don't go to the game is a good thing for the players, but a bad thing for the game as usually some big stars are pulled because of the Super Bowl.

Overall the Pro Bowl is like All Star games for most other sports, no one really watches them, but they are a good recognition for the players.

What do you think about the All Star games in sports? Do you watch them? What makes them interesting to you? What would make you watch them?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Love what you do, otherwise is it really worth it?

As you know, I have just finished my fourth novel and started the querying process. Now this is usually a scary time of a writer's life. Lots of doubts, lots of questions, such as, am I good enough? Will they like it? What will I do if they don't like it? etc.

Right now I'm going through those questions right now, but I have something of an answer to those questions. WHO CARES.

Now don't get me wrong, I want to get an agent, I want to get it published and get to hold my book in my hands, but I write for myself first.

I write stories that interest me, and that I enjoy writing and reading. I have to, otherwise, how in the world could I spend 5-6 months with the project without getting bored or want to rip it to shreds. I live my characters, I think that gets across in the book, which in the end is all that you can truly ask. I thrive on the conflict, always looking for ways to make it harder on my characters. I like watching them suffer. (I'm a bit sadistic that way.)

For all of you fellow writers that are suffering from the blues, and doubts, think back to why you started writing in the first place. If you aren't doing it for the love of it then why? Big money? Fame? If you do it because you love then those things might come, but more importantly, you won't care when it's all said and done. You will be satisfied with results regardless. So go out there and just enjoy the craft, don't worry about the end result.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WiP Wednesday

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I decided that I might as well.

My current work in progress is now in the stages of final touches and starting to get my query list ready. I have started to do the research part of querying and so far have just used to generate the list and then started narrowing it down. I think its at something like 360 agents currently, but that will get pared down a bit as I research and make more specific targets.

How is everyone else doing? What is the status of your projects?

Monday, January 23, 2012

The NFL Playoffs

This past weekend was Championship Football for the NFL season. Now my team has been out of it for weeks now, yet I'm still impelled to watch the games and you want to know why? Because it is great entertainment.

I'm bummed that the Super Bowl is a rematch and one that was memorable in it's own right, but this time around I'm not so sure.

Back to the games on Sunday. The thing that made these such exciting games were primarily the fact that they were back and forth, up and down, highs and lows. All things good books need to have... Like how I fit in the writing reference there?

I think if our books have this sort of unpredictable outcome, then we have a winner on our hands. We want our readers to be enthralled from start to finish and that is what sports in general bring to life. I also think that is why playoff sports is the most interesting time, just because the rewards and stress is amped up to a whole new level.

Everyone loves rooting for the underdog, like the Ravens Sunday. It just connects us because we all have been there, we've been scratching and clawing our way to someplace where we are recognized for our efforts. Unfortunately, in life that doesn't always work out and that's okay, because we will continue to try.

So this upcoming Super Bowl will be a decent match. I'm not particularly fond of rematches, so I'm not as excited as I would have been. How about you? Are you a football fan like myself, or do you not really care much at all? If so what team are you going for? If not, what are you doing instead?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book review: "The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

If you are a fan of the Percy Jackson books, not the movie as it's not very good, then you should definitely give his most recent series a shot. It's the same universe, yet this time it is dealing with the Roman gods. This is the second book in the series and I especially like the way that the author develops the plot and how it slowly unfolds revealing more and greater layers.

The only problem with this book in my mind is that if you aren't familiar with the other series you might be a little lost in some of the references that are made back to older books. Don't get me wrong, the characters stand on their own and the plot is strong, I just feel that some of those references are better if you have the background.

Overall, I feel that this book is great for anyone who likes epic plots with lots of twists and turns in addition to a sprinkle of humor thrown in. He makes the everyday world seem like a cover for some of the most imaginative and well thought out mythical relations. For example being a cover for real Amazons. Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting sick

So I've gotten a cold, it sucks as I don't get sick very often and when I do, it hits me hard. So I will be fighting this cold and hope to have a review of the most recent book in the Percy Jackson Universe up by Friday. Until then have a good day of censored internet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back to the Future The Game Review

This past week, I played the Telltale game, Back to the Future. Now I'm a fan of the movies and the game is a great compliment to the series. It follows up the series in a way that I say that it pretty much is a fourth movie.

The story is broken into five parts, and at first it seems like unnecessary, yet it works well to tie everything together. I like the same comedy in the movies is present in the game. The characters are as lovable as before and even the bad guy has some redeeming qualities.

The overall plot is full of references to the past movies, which helps tie it into the universe.

The only complaint that I have is the controls can be a bit wonky at times. Sometimes you try to select an item to interact with and it just doesn't want to do it. This would be alleviated with the use of a mouse, but since I was tied to a controller it wasn't that great of an experience.

Overall, for my second Telltale game, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I never finished the other Telltale game I played, which was Sam and Max. So if you are a fan of the Back to the Future series, then you do well to give this game a shot. It's available on most platforms currently.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Funny Friday

Starting the new year, I wanted to share some of the funny photo's that I have seen this week. Below are a few of them:

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writing goals for 2012

A new year, Yay!

I just finished a novel, starting the query process and so far have just been researching agents. I plan to start querying soon. My goal is simple, find an agent and get a publishing deal. It's been this one for a while, but this year if I don't find an agent, I am contemplating self publishing for the first time.

Now I don't know what will happen in the new year and honestly all I know is at the end of the year either I will be published or have an agent. If neither of these work out, I'm not sure what will happen then. I may just write for myself and forget about getting published.

So what are your goals for the new year?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kindle Fire Review

I've been meaning to post this review for a while now. I've had the Fire for almost 2 months now and have had ample time to play around with its features and I have to say that I love it.

First the reason that I decided on getting the tablet in the first place. I wanted something to play around with. I didn't have a real reason to pick it up besides the fact that it is a new gadget at a great price. ($199) So after playing around with it, I am glad I picked it up, but for a reason that I didn't think I would use it for.

The home screen is easy to use and intuitive. I like the carousel feature as it makes it easy to get to recently used items, and with the newest update you can remove things from it so navigating through it is much easier. The favorite bookshelf beneath the carousel is a nice feature and is easy to organize and click through.

The book reading function of this is what you would expect from a Kindle product. It is LCD and no Eink, but it is still usable and I especially like the way that it syncs to multiple readers if you have them. I do find it a bit hard to read in direct sunlight, but living in Oregon, there isn't a ton of that here anyway.

The video section is primarily Amazon's store, so I don't have much use for it with Hulu+ and Netflix, but during the 30-day trial of Prime, I did find myself enjoying the service and it worked well. But honestly, those of you have have Netflix and Hulu+ wouldn't find anything worth keeping Prime, unless you are a big shopper of Amazon, which I'm not a big enough one to justify the cost.

Now the most important thing for a tablet is the apps for it. The great thing that I love about the Kindle Fire is the variety of apps and how they give you a free one daily. I like to grab those and just getting them for free is a big bonus for me because I can't always buy them and usually just rely on free apps anyway. The store itself is easy to access, as I don't have a lot of use of the Ipad under my belt, I can't say which has better stores, but I didn't find myself lacking any of the apps that I would need to use on the device. I found Netflix, Hulu+, and many others, all easy to navigate to and purchase.

The device itself is pretty well built. It's sturdy, and fits well in my hand. My kids, especially my three year old can work it with ease.The device fits inside my jacket pocket without bulging and I can take it places that I don't know that I would take an iPad to because of the small form factor. The smallness of the device also is what makes it so portable, and the primary reason I got the device was for my kids to play with something on long car rides. Now it is only Wifi, so some of the feature's can't be used in the car unless you have a mobile hotspot on your phone or get lucky and find free wifi while driving, but if you store it with enough things, I don't think you would have any issues.

Now in this two months of use, I have to be honest and mention that I haven't tried to load things onto it that didn't come from the market and that might change this review a bit. The storage of the device is only 8GB's which is enough for storing the apps and such on it. Now if I load it with movies that size would be cumbersome, however, it does have the Amazon Cloud Server and things you buy from Amazon don't use any of the Cloud storage, which pretty much gives you unlimited storage.

So in all, for what I need this device is perfect. I don't need something to do work on, but have used it to jot notes down for story ideas when they occur to me. This device is pretty much as advertised, a media consumption device. If you have any specific questions, you can post a comment or email me and I will try it out and answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Synopsis Help?

As I mentioned Wednesday, I have started work on my synopsis. Now I have been writing these for a lot, so it's not my first one, however, they always have one thing in common and that is I never feel like they are any good. 

When I do the first draft....

I just spew out all the details of the main plot, some minor bits of the secondary plot then usually end up with a five to ten page thing. Then I have to pare it down to one to two pages. I keep the longer versions, but I like my synopsis to be succinct. 

I'm have particular trouble with my current one in that there is a three sided conflict and it is proving difficult trying to interweave them like it is done in the book. Any tips?

What are some of your favorite things about synopsis? Do you have a certain process you go through? Do you write it before your write the book or after? Any websites you can refer to me to for help? 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm back!

This sounds familiar, but I'm back from my blogging hiatus. Honestly, I had a good time, but did miss blogging just a bit. I'm still going to stick with my three day a week schedule as that will work best for me.

So a bit of a summary of the time while I was gone.

I received feedback from 4 different readers on my book, most thought it worked well, but needed some work. So I put the work in like any good writer. Now I think I have a pretty polished manuscript and hope to start querying soon, my aim is next week or so.

On the non-writer front, I had a good Thanksgiving and busy Christmas. My new work position schedule of 1pm-10pm sort of sucks, but at least it's only Monday through Friday.

I picked up a Kindle Fire for myself in November, and will have a full review by Monday.

My oldest daughter turned 11 in December and my youngest son turns 3 tomorrow, so now I'm planning a birthday party among other things.

So this week I've began working on the synopsis for my book. I know. I know, such horror, but it needs to get done. I need it to find an agent. Now it is hard, but I'll slam through a draft by tomorrow and hopefully get some feedback on it over the weekend.

How were all of your, my faithful followers, Holidays? Seeya Friday.