Not dead, just busy

Some people wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and certain they are forgetting something important in their daily routine. I don’t exactly experience that, but I do recall, from time to time, I have been neglecting Misadventures In Writing. Again.

Admittedly, that’s a bit stupid of me since I do pay for the domain name and all, but…Right. Moving along.

I’ve been busy lately. There are a few factors to this, ranging from my new job (hooray!), being in a great relationship (hooray!), and some personal crises (the opposite of hooray), but I’m happy to report I’ve been finding time for writing. Not as much as I should be, but I’m still managing to get some writing done on most days. I’d call that a success.

In that regards, I’d like to direct attention to my latest Misadventure: my project on Inkshares, which is also the current novel I’m working on (and the product of the world-building I posted here). The novel’s working title is Dissonance in Harmony, and it’s receiving a fair bit of praise.

The project can be seen here. Now, this is where I need help. In order for a project on Inkshares to see publication, it needs to meet, at the very least, a light publishing goal of 250 pre-orders. That’s any pre-orders a project receives, including eReader-only ones. All support–sharing the link to my project, following along, or pre-ordering in any way–is greatly appreciated.

What I really like about Inkshares is that it allows me to post chapters as I like. It sweetens the deal a bit, I think, to have a chance to read some of what you might be supporting. The first four chapters are available for perusal; if you like what you see, please consider a pre-order?

On that note: it’s Easter, and dinner is almost ready. Om nom nom.

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Girls Make Games Kickstarter – Show it some love, people!

It’s late, and I’m tired, but I get really enthusiastic when I see people working on thing they’re passionate about. This is not news. This is news worth staying up for and sharing, and I’m a guy who loves sleep on the same level as Rip Van Winkle.

Girls Make Games is dedicated to getting more girls into making video games, which is an absolutely fantastic goal. The gaming industry brings in billions annually, and yet women only make up so much of this monster of an industry. Which is a damn shame. It’s 2014, people. The age of things being treated as a boys-only club needs to be sent off, but not after a stern talking-to for being a touch backwards.

The Kickstarter

If I urge you, dear readers, to support a single Kickstarter this year, let it be this one.

Step 1 – Click this link > https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2020158234/girls-make-games-grand-prize-winner?ref=discovery

Step 2 – Donate, and donate generously. This is a step in the right direction for the video game industry.

Step 3 – Encourage other people to donate, and donate generously.

Step 4 – Look forward to a future featuring a better-balanced video game industry.

Brilliant, fantastic people who do terrific things they are passionate about should not be turned away because of who they are, whether that’s related to their gender, gender identity, race, sexuality, beliefs, and so on. If potato salad can succeed on Kickstarter so well, imagine how awesome this one could do. More importantly, think of how it’s more than just the promise of food poisoning.

What are you waiting for? Go donate! In case you need the link again, click here.

Shameless Saturday Shilling: the SciFi Valley Con edition

I feel like it’s been a bit too long since I’ve politely suggested, in the form of throwing links, checking out other great art by other terrific, creative people. After eight hours at work today, I rewarded myself with some time at Altoona’s very own Sci-Fi Valley Con. I’d really hoped to make it for even a little bit, if only to get my picture taken with a replica TARDIS, but I failed to think about the best part about cons like this.

The artists! I picked up a good few treasures today, and have plans to go again for a bit tomorrow. However, for the sake of sharing with those of you who can’t make it, here are some artists worth checking out.  No real order to these, by the way. The general rule of thumb for me: I was far more likely to check out a person’s work, and make a purchase, if they were friendly and engaging to the people passing by.

I didn’t warn these unfortunate, talented people I’d be shamelessly shilling their sites on here. I wasn’t paid for it, either. There were just too many awesome artists at Sci-Fi Valley Con, and I couldn’t help but share with you, my dear readers, because the only thing better than meeting indie artists is sharing them with other people (who, in turn, should buy from said artists).

I’ll update the list tomorrow once I obtain additional business cards. Continue reading

Go check out this blog.

I couldn’t think of anything particularly witty to put for a title, and I’m not sorry.

Tonight, while meandering around the internet like I always do (because I am the most productive person alive, of course), I happened upon a new-ish WordPress blog simply titled frozenpeasblog. It wasn’t the title that caught my eye, however, so much as the little post snippet that was available. There are only two posts so far, both of which personal essays, and they left me wanting more. There’s a very David Sedaris quality to the humor, which should be a strong enough selling point to at least merit checking out the link above (which, by the way, is http://frozenpeasblog.wordpress.com/ in case any of you are too lazy to go back a couple sentences).

Also, the blog references Edinboro and so I’m obligated, by that alone, to share this link.

Go share some WordPress love, give frozenpeasblog a follow, and enjoy some high quality writing. Share it with your friends, because it’s great stuff and deserves to be seen. Or, if you’re the sort who likes to live life on the contrary side, don’t you dare click that link and enjoy the essays posted therein.

 

Shameless shilling, because comics and whatnot

Point of clarity: I have no affiliation with, nor any hand in the creation of, Zoophobia, so this is really just shameless shilling of the highest order, and I’m not even a little sorry. Also, I feel a bit disappointed I’ve skipped sub-titling my last couple posts, but can’t justify doing so for them. This ended up being a sort of sub-title anyway, so I guess the joke’s on me. Moving along…

I’m a sucker for fun comics. Something that has a lighter story, while still engaging the reader. Strong characters. Really, I could list different qualities for the duration of the post, but I think just saying “fun comics” gets the point across well enough.

Maybe it’s because I can’t draw to save my life (hello, inconsistent stick figures; I see you’re all looking very, er, something that isn’t really human), but I’m also hugely fond of almost every drawing style ever. I honestly just phrased it that way because I couldn’t deal with the fact I almost said “fun drawing styles”; this is why I’m not actually doing any serious business, sit-down-at-MS-Word-and-focus writing tonight, by the way (my brain’s too soupy).

The short of this is as follows: I just binge-read all of Zoophobia. That’s a link, obviously, and it merits visiting. So much visiting. It’s probably the reason I’m using the word “fun” so damn much, actually, because that’s precisely what it is. Page one onward is a beautifully drawn, highly entertaining adventure for the eyes. I can honestly say I had to set my laptop aside and walk away in frustration upon reaching the last page currently available, because I was genuinely disappointed I’d run out of comics to read (for now, anyway). There are some grammatical issues here and there (and if anyone involved in this magnificent comic sees this, I’m sorry but I had to at least nit-pick a little or I’d have ended up saying Zoophobia is perfect).

I don’t really think I could do this comic justice, description-wise, in my mush-brain state, so I strongly suggest checking it out. The art is beautiful, and the story is both engaging and entertaining. It’s like the comic equivalent of Netflix binging your favorite show; it’s amazing, and suddenly there’s that feeling of emptiness once you’ve run out of episodes.

PS: I’m so sorry I’m so bad at tags. Good god. Anyway, go check out Zoophobia! I even linked a second time so there’s no excuse to not give it a chance, obviously. Read it, enjoy it, and then spread the addiction, because it is brilliant, fun, fantastic stuff.

Check out this awesome talent

I recently asked Paul Kaspick, a college friend of mine who happens to be an extremely talented artist, if he would be willing to do some character sketches of some of the characters in Joshua’s Nightmares. It’s important to note that I have no drawing skills whatsoever, which is why I feel slightly guilty when I’m finnicky about that sort of thing. Which brings me to my point here.

Paul’s art is phenomenal. I feel like, in my moment of smugness, he could not only do my character justice, but he could exceed my expectations of how they would be drawn.

However, I suck at doing his work justice, and so I would like to direct you, dear readers, to his online portfolio/web site.

http://artvarkanimations.com/index.html

Check out his work. Contact him if you’d like. Send him large bags of money. In case you need additional persuasion, here’s one of the animations he’s worked on.

A little soul music to get you through the (extremely) cold weather

It’s the dead of winter.  It’s really freaking cold out.  The North Pole is apparently outsourcing all of its bitter, frigid misery-inducing air to the United States.  I can honestly say even thinking about it just made me feel down in the dumps, and I know thinking about it isn’t doing much for anyone else.

The perfect way to warm your body is, of course, a cup of hot chocolate (or tea) while settled down by a roaring fireplace, but what about warming the soul?  Hot chocolate’s good, but it can only go so far (unless you found a hot chocolate for your soul, in which case I’d like some details e-mailed to me ASAP).  What you need is some high-quality music to warm you through these arctic blasts.  What you need to fend off those herds of homicidal polar bears, who I’m told want to turn you all into people-suits for no real reason, is a copy of Meu Coração Brasileiro.  Naturally, you don’t have to take my word for it.  Let the album notes speak for themselves (which I copied verbatim from CDBaby).

These orignal compositions by veteran jazz educator, composer, and pianist Jeff Kunkel were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 and 2012. The music demonstrates the composer’s affinity and admiration for the unique musical culture of Brasil, and reflects his love of Bossa Nova, Samba, and MPB. Many were written while Jeff was traveling in Brasil, and are strongly influenced by the places, people, and music encountered there. Featured on the recording along with Jeff are some of the finest musicians on the Rio scene, including the legendary Mauro Senise (flute, saxophone), Vika Barcellos (vocals), Alex Rocha (bass), co-producer Haroldo Mauro Jr. (drums), José Arimatéa (trumpet), Mariana Bernardes (vocals), and Fernando Corona (background vocals). Two of the songs feature the Portuguese lyrics of Ms. Barcellos and Mr. Corona, and two others feature the English lyrics of Jeff’s American colleague Holli Ross.

Jeff Kunkel is an entirely remarkable person, and an extremely talented musician.  Not only is his CD, Meu Coração Brasileiro, loaded with fantastic, reasonably-priced music, but it can also lend to the illusion you have some culture.  No one believes you’ve read that dusty copy of War and Peace sitting on your desk.

Meu Coração Brasileiro is available through CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes, and by buying a copy you are supporting independent artists doing what they love.  When you support independent artists in doing what they love, they can keep producing art which can make you happier, reduce your stress, and generally do good things for your day (reduced stress is probably connected to a lower likelihood of murdering someone).  Warm your soul through this awful weather with some good music.  You won’t regret it.