2011.03.11

DRN Theme 2.0

So I’ve updated this site’s theme. It’s only taken several years to do. While not ready for public consumption it is ready to be used. There won’t be a whole lot of new features that you’ll notice but some of them are the ability to subscribe to comments, easier management of the blogrolls (for me), widgetized sidebar, better page navigation at the bottom, and more that is coming, though probably not noticeable to you (which is good!).

If you happen to notice something broken or wonky on the site please leave a comment. Once the theme is ready for general distribution I’ll leave a link so you, too, can download and try it out!

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  site

2011.03.09

Rory’s Story Cubes

Rory's Story Cubes iPhone App
Rory’s Story Cubes for iOS
I recently went around the web looking for writer’s tools for the iPhone. Not necessarily for writing applications but for tools to help the creative juices flow. My very favorite discover was Rory’s Story Cubes. It’s a simple idea. Take nine six-sided dice with a total of 54 different, iconic images on them, roll them (or shake them in this case), and tell a story based on the images you see. I’ve done this a few times with Rosa and the results were fun and creative, even for her when she told her stories. I can’t imagine how much fun a young kid would have.

If you’re looking for a way to break out of writer’s block, or simply give yourself a quick challenge, then I highly recommend Rory’s Story Cubes. I’m even tempted to get the physical dice and the expansion actions sets.

Here’s my quick story for the attached picture. Not the best, but I’m throwing this together as I write this post.

While playing around with Story Cubes I decided I wanted to tell you about them, but by phone was locked up with a password. What? I never put a password on my phone… Oh well, I thought, I’ll take care of the phone later. So I went home and wrote this story on my blog, and now you’re reading it.

Could be better, but you get the idea!

Comments Off on Rory’s Story Cubes | Catergorized: apple  writing

2011.03.07

Updating the Site

Well, I’m in the process of updating the site. I’m using WordPress, and I built the theme from my old, old site from scratch. WordPress was a lot simpler then (I think it was version 1.4 or something). Now they’re up to version 3.1 and there are a lot of features I’d like to build in, in addition to cleaning up my code, losing some of the dependency on plugins and making it a bit more universal. If it all works out I might even release it to the public.

But first I have to wrap my head around this idiot functions.php file. WTF? I’ve done what you ask and you still won’t work! *sigh*

In the meantime, if you leave a comment there should be an option to get an email when there’s a new comment so it’s easier for you to follow along. I’ll have to test that at some point…

Comments Off on Updating the Site | Catergorized: site

2011.03.05

Taxing the Rich

At one point we had no national debt. No deficit. A thriving middle class. Poverty on the decline. Now we have all of that in its opposite form. What changed? Reduced taxes on the rich.

I’m not saying we necessarily need to tax them at the 90% rate we used to, but it seems to me that they do need to share more of the burden, and their political apologists and excuse makers need to be booted from public life.

Rich people have no interest in anything except wealth (it’s accumulation or expression). There are minor exceptions, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but even there they are getting tax write offs that, to one degree or another, help them (and most don’t even do that much). Besides, the Gates are so wealthy it is mind boggling.

2 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  political

2011.03.04

Revolt!

It’s clear to most people that many things in America are broken. We have two primary parties (I’m not Green, BTW) that, while they espouse different philosophies, generally no longer side with the public good. We have state and federal programs (sometimes set up secretly) that were set up for the public benefit and yet seem to use their money to fund their friends and other powerful individuals and to line their own pockets. We have governments at every level running out of money and running on deficits despite paying sports coaches millions of dollars. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and the middle class in America is not improving.

Revolution. It worked here in 1776. It worked in France. It seems to be working in portions of the Middle East right now (and at least people there seem to care enough to try). I’d like to see a movie about this kind of revolution. I’d like to read a book where this revolution comes true. I’d like to see Anonymous participate. I’d like to see average Americans join the cause.

That’s all I have to say about that because ultimately revolutions are, to one degree or another, violent. And I’d hate for you to read my honest opinion.

Comments Off on Revolt! | Catergorized: grrr  political  thoughts

2011.03.02

Placement Company Call

I had a kind of funny cold call from an HR placement company.

Guy: Hi. I’ve heard that you have a need for Macintosh IT people at your company.
Me: Well, you heard wrong.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: (interrupting him) You need to be contacting our HR people for this kind of inquiry.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: (interrupting him). Also, this is my private cell phone number. Please remove it from your records.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: Goodbye now!

I don’t know if the guy was new to his job or what, but I just rolled right over him.

Comments Off on Placement Company Call | Catergorized: work

2011.03.02

Manfred Macx Indie Publishing

Yesterday’s post about the success of indie writer Amanda Hocking brought my attention to a new indie book publishing site called Manfred Macx. The site, and innovative business model, are the creation of Jon Renaut in Washington DC. I love the idea, and I love his enthusiasm.

What I don’t know is what makes some writers, like Amanda Hocking and many others, choose to distribute their work directly through existing online publishers like Smashwords instead of other services like Manfred Macx. What drives their choices? Further, what are the choices? Can you distribute through multiple channels or do you get locked into one single distribution point?

Much of this is a mystery to me. What is yet clear, though, is that having an agent is still important. What might be more important, however, is having an agent who is aware of all of these choices and will advise you fairly.

3 Comments | Catergorized: books  technology

2011.03.01

A Posting Record

I just noticed today is March 1st. Wow, the year is flying by! I also notice that last month I posted 12 times, which is the most times in a month since September, 2008 (17 posts that month). Hurray for me! Now let’s see if I can beat the record.

Do any of the long-time readers remember the monthly challenges to motivate ourselves to write? Is anyone interested in monthly blogging challenges?

6 Comments | Catergorized: life  site

2011.03.01

Indie Writer Wealth

Reading about Amanda Hocking makes me wonder if I should give up the idea of trying to get published the traditional way and focus on eReader platforms like Kindle. She has something like eight books (and one novella) out and has apparently sold almost half a million dollars in January alone. That’s a nice paycheck. I could use even half of that!

It used to be said that if you self published then you were dooming yourself to never getting a traditional book deal. As technology is advancing it is becoming clear that, at least for some individuals, this is less and less of an issue. In Amanda Hocking’s case she probably has a better deal going it on her own than if she had a book deal. I say “probably” because who knows? If she had a regular book deal she might have turned into the Next Big Thing™ and would have loads more sales and opportunities on all fronts.

But you never know, and she’s doing quite well on her own, and she’s calling her own shots within the context of having an agent. Apparently going indie or traditional, the job of an agent is still going to be important… And since one of her series has been optioned to be a movie it’s possible we’ll hear a lot more from this young 26 year old.

I’m not exactly jealous. Envious might be a better word. You can check out Amanda’s blog here.

1 Comment | Catergorized: books  technology  thoughts

2011.02.25

Alternatives to the Stock Market?

So with the previous stock market crash and the new prediction that we’ll have another one, where should a sane person invest their money? Serious answers only; gold is probably not a sane investment. Even if it was I want to hear other options.

5 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts