Friday, June 29, 2012

The End of the World Sucks

I'm working on all the different versions to get my novel out in various versions.

Old school paper, Kindles, iPad/Pods/Phones, Sony and Kobo.  The only person I know closely that has an eReader has a Nook so I made the special effort to go right to PubIt on Barnes and Noble, rather than using Smashwords as many do.  I also did make a Smashwords edition to get it outside the Nook, Kindle and printed paper - it's meat grinding as I type this.

Actually, it's done.  Huh - I passed.  Where's all the tales of gloom and doom and cries of 'The Meat Grinder!'?  It appears it is already for sale through Smashwords too -

I'm not pushing a preference for SW in particular, just surprised it's so quick compared to the holding pattern I'm in with Kindle and Nook.

I will say the printed word gets the nicest formatting with little biohazard symbols as scene breaks.  The digital versions have to settle for a double carriage return.  

The printed version will be available on Amazon after I receive my ordered copies, and I'll be opting for all countries they allow it to be offered in.  

I'm working on a page for this site specific to the book for pre-prologue.  A couple of my advance reviewers seemed to have a conniption that a zombie book not starting at the moment of infection is a rip-off.  However, since my protagonist isn't a scientist or modeling to be a future action figure - she's intentionally normal - Vanna hiding, losing electricity, and bemoaning the loss of cell phone and internet service is not going to win readers.

In fact, this isn't much of a zombie book - it's more like a book that has zombies and a vampire, but it's really about the living, breathing people.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Consumers' Choice

Even though I started blogging by saying there will never be universal agreement, and I'll probably end up offending someone, I feel it's safe to say GoDaddy has earned the ire of enough people that I can blog about them.

GoDaddy is a company that doesn’t deliver naked celebrities, and it’s not even a charity.  I do feel it’s worth mentioning because I was at an author event, and one author claimed she is very happy with the service she receives from Go Daddy.   

Now this was in the past month, so it’s in the post-SOPA is defeated world, so I was a little surprised that someone is tooting the horn of GoDaddy – but then when I was rambling on about what SOPA was or could have been (never heard of it), she didn’t even know Wikipedia went dark for a day – ‘Impossible!’

But GoDaddy was on the radar before SOPA.  GoDaddy’s CEO, Bob Parsons, killed an elephant because he could afford to be a modern-day Hemingway, and don’t worry PETA did get on his ass.

I think Time’s blog at the time does an excellent job nailing all the wrongness of it -

And I’m no Hemingway scholar, but I vaguely recall Hemingway regretted the killing later in life (or just the plot The Old Man and the Sea?) and found his true love in a many-toed housecat.

As a consumer that knows that a portion of my fees would go towards the profitability of this company and paying his salary, I can take a stance and decide not to give GoDaddy my business. 

I can also do that with Subway - Michael Vick was named their sportsman of the year.  And really, I would love a $5 foot long, but I can easily choose to be a WaWa customer.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back to Animals

There have been numerous news stories about PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.   I like the news re: PETA because they expose something that’s been murmured in the animal rescue community for years – just that people at large pay more attention to naked celebrities.  Naked Celebrities = Good = PETA Good too?

Being a numbers person, on top of the cat lady thing, I would like to hear about all the good PETA does with the donations.  And based on my previous corporate experience, animal charities rarely get matching donations, so I suspect many of these donations come from the heart, rather than donors wishing to see more naked celebrities.

The horrible fact is that PETA destroys 97% of the animals they rescue.  They report their adoption to euthanize ratio since they operate as a shelter in the state of Virginia with a closed-door policy.  It has no public hours allowing anyone to adopt these animals.  They are brought in, killed, and carted away by a waste management company.

A portion of these animals must be adoptable.  PETA does film in questionable circumstances in order to close other facilities.  Were they better off where they were, or in PETA’s hands? 

Some claim PETA’s agenda is to outlaw pets.  Animals were never meant to live in close proximity with people, and they are better off dead than living a lifetime of suffering servitude.    

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

9 out of 10.

I liked this novel better than The Clockwork Angel.

The Villain.

Though unseen, has become more villainous in this book.  He is no longer some random mundane who knows too much and full of ideas.  He’s had years of planning and is fueled by a vendetta.

The Love Triangle. 

Will is exposed (to the reader) as a person living with a dangerous secret which results in his behavior to keep anyone from getting close to him.  He’s not a bad boy; he’s really a good guy.

 Jem is still tragic, but he is now ready to stop being so self-sacrificing and use his remaining time with Tessa – if she’ll have him.

Will also reaches a similar sort of decision regarding Tessa.  He wants her – if she’ll have him, but will he tell her before Jem makes his intentions known? 

The problem for me is that I’m not too keen on books where all suitable males fall in love with the heroine.  It’s taken two novels to get here, and Tessa is ignorant enough to be unaware she’s in the midst of a triangle (hopefully not to grow into a bigger polygon) so I’ll resist putting Tessa in the Bella/Sookie mold.

Further plot/drama.

Other characters have lives outside of the love triangle, and their problems are not trivial.  I like that.

There were some plotpoints that I didn’t understand the relevance of, but they were minor.

Friday, June 1, 2012

CampNaNoWriMo, June Session begins

CampNaNoWriMo is here, and since I’m still editing The End of the World Sucks, I’ll be writing all sorts of things for word count (NaNoRebel) besides a new novel.  I got some ideas, but I don’t want to be sitting on a new pile of manuscript on June 30th without getting this one completed.  I believe I’ll be writing a new novel in August for the second session of CampNaNoWriMo, and that’ll give me two months till November 1st.  It’ll be a lonely two months because my baby girl is going away to college, and I’ll be left talking to the cats.  I’d talk to the dogs, but they’re only dogs.

During this past week, I did have baby girl (she scored higher than me on SAT verbal) look over my manuscript because I paid for her car’s oil change. Yes, I know, it’s torture, but she could have bought her way out of it.

I’m waiting on money again (my life story?  I’m owed a good chunk of change and can’t pay my bills) so I can get a pro copyedit for a reasonable rate - I’ll have to audition someone on a short section first because stylistically, I’m not universally loved.   If writing fiction was like a spreadsheet, I’d be kicking ass.  Alas, it’s not, so all the (contradictory) expert advice needs to be painted onto my story to make it presentable.  Like my car, the tale’s not black, white or silver/gray.  What’s wrong with people not wanting cars of color?  What’s wrong with people not accepting that not every story follows the same formula, changes the character names, and sticks them in … Asheville, NC.  BTW, one reviewer did object to my use of Asheville.  Real locations = bad fiction.  Well, I like Asheville.  Have you seen photos of those lovely mountains?  I’ve done the drive through Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway in my younger days.

Anyway, I’ve weighed that advice against more than this one book.  I have future plans for causing havoc in New York City - wait, NYC is fiction central, along with romantic London.  How did London steal that title from Paris or the Scottish Highlands? Damn bodice rippers.  Anyway, I think Asheville’s staying. 

After a while, I get tired of searching for things to change based on impressions.  And yes, one reviewer blanketed characters with change all names so are all named something unique so they don’t create impressions.  I did respond that I did choose the name Vanna intentionally. 

Ever see Clueless?  Cher was already taken – and man, can the original Cher keep going and going?  I saw her in concert seven years ago, and The Village People opened for her. That was back in the days when my daughter and I went to shows – she picked Cher.  She also picked Equus for her birthday, and yes, I took my middle-school aged daughter to see Daniel Radcliffe.  We also saw Phantom that same day, but the school-age peers were more impressed that she saw all of D.R.