The Perfect Meal Ready For Some Public Consumption

Last night I sent out several email invites to some suckers, er, friends, yeah friends and family members to download an advance copy of my very first book entitled, The Perfect Meal.
Other than the obligatory good comments I received from my little sister (no, I did not pay her. Yet.) I only received one other message from those invited. This individual wanted to know why one of the main characters had to fall in love with a “young” woman.
While I tried to explain to her the main characters were all young adults in their early 20’s, that it really didn’t fit this specific story line to have them fall in love with older women, I finally relented, told her to piss off, and just read my book before her eyes were too old to focus!
Okay, I didn’t use the phrase, “piss off”, but most of the rest 😐 I hope she knew I was kidding. LOL ? πŸ˜‰

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Anyway, now just waiting patiently for a little feedback. Also waiting for my superstar artist friend, Robert Chilton to work me up some cover art magic and I’ll be hammering away to get this baby uploaded into Kindle, and various other online e-book systems.
Not to delude myself, but if anyone stumbling by this post is interested in reading a free advance copy, leave me a comment here and I’ll add your email address to the dropbox system and get you an invite sent out right away.
Oh, you want to learn more about the story before making such a commitment? No worries. Click on through to read the concept and description of The Perfect Meal. You can leave your comment there!
As always, please accept my gratitude and thanks!

Story Engineering For Dummies Like Me!

One of the best things that has happened to me since I’ve started “writing” for reals has been finishing the first draft of my first novel and applying my (personally) patented systems analysis process of learning about a new area of interest in my life.
Picture if you will that classic sitcom scene where the husband tries to put something into or take something out of that hall closet which is home to all his failed hobby gear. Hilarity usually ensues as about a ton of basketballs, tennis shoes, clubs, gloves, whatever come tumbling down and around the bewildered man (or woman. Guessing this all applies to you as well πŸ˜‰ )
My closet is filled with the trappings of the work I’ve done on exploring and learning how certain things work. For instance, over the past year and a half I’ve read no less than 20 books on food, cooking, the industry of food production, etc. Most of those books are on one of my shelves (a real one, not just sitting precariously in my “hall closet” waiting to pummel me next time I try and over load it with yet another exploratory journey.)
Before that it was social media marketing.
Before that it was screen writing.
Before that it was Linux server administration.
Before that it was… well, get the idea?
My “closet” is certainly stockpiled.
At the beginning of this year I decided that I’d really give myself a shot at writing. I went against all that is holy and instead of diving into “learning about writing” I just said “WTF? Let’s Go” and started off to write the next great novel.
After having finished a draft I can whole heartedly say, “WTF? What were you thinking? This sucks. Please ask your editor friend to stop reading it immediately. Save his cycles for something that could actually be good.”
No, I’m not just being a whiny writer type who doesn’t like the first things he produces. This is genuine rubbish. The good thing is I know that to be the truth. What I didn’t know is what to do about it.
Why?
Because I’m an idiot who knows absolutely nothing about the craft of story telling. True story.
The good news (I’m sure you’re wondering when the hell the point is going to arrive, so here it is πŸ˜‰ ) is that old habits die hard. That afore mentioned editor friend had the foresight to know that I wouldn’t be satisfied with just slapping words on a page. He would slip little posts into my feed reader about sites that I might find interesting. Sites focusing on the art, science, the craft of writing.
Suddenly, my nearly empty reader is filling up with subscriptions to a wide variety of highly informative, and nearly always entertaining sites that are nudging me towards a better understanding of the world of writing.
There’s J.A. Konrath’s A Newbies Guide To Publishing Warning: this site will fill you with knowledge and information about the business side of being an independently published ebook author. You may decide that writing and making a living is what you’ve been meant to do your whole life. You have been warned!
Writer Unboxed presents real, honest to goodness authors talking about all manners of things related to the writing life. In fact, if you subscribe to their posts, you might get lucky enough to find yourself directed to
StoryFix.com and once you’re there, you’ll have no choice but to learn about Larry Brook’s recent how to book, Story Engineering.
And that’s the point. If you’re lucky enough like me to have just about zero experience writing anything more than SEO length articles for readers without eyes, then finding a resource to help guide you through the writing wilderness is going to come as quite the relief.
To be fair, I’m only about 60% of the way through Brook’s book. The last 40% just might suck royally. It could, however, continue to live up to the amazing levels I’ve been absorbing thus far. Sure I could have sat up and read the entire thing the first day I downloaded it to my Kindle PC app (as well as my Kindle Android app. There are times and places where continuing my training must take place away from my PC. Shhh πŸ˜‰ )
(OH, BTW, that Amazon link above is for the Kindle version. If you’re interested in learning what to write, and when to write it, you’ll want to get this book NOW. Having something tangible in your hands is nice. How to books that you’ll end up using as references are nice as well. And I might just order a hard copy of Story Engineering for just that purpose (or more likely to fill in that spot on my “closet” so I can say I’ve done the “how to write” thing later!))
This book is likely not for you. Sorry, but it’s true. As Brooks tells us repeatedly throughout the thing, if you are an organic, writes by the seat of their pants type, you’re not likely to take well to the depth and breadth of knowledge SE has available for you.
It’s also not for you if you were the type of student that sat in class listening to your teachers repeat, again and again, some salient point that needed to be wedged into your skull. If you ever made comments to yourself or Ralphie next to you, “Okay, okay. We get it already. Move on, teach.” This is likely not going to be your cup of tea.
But if you’re a dummy idiot like I am when it comes to writing, please at least click through and read more about how this book is going to help you understand that you don’t know what you don’t know.
Again, at only 3/5 of the way through, I already know more of what sucks about my story, and how to start fixing it than I’ve ever known about writing from a lifetime of thinking I could be a writer. It’s the many things I didn’t even know that I didn’t know (and am extremely grateful to Mr. Brooks for pointing out to me) in this book which will have me writing an actual, real, and (gasp!) possibly even good story.
But that won’t happen until I’ve worked my way through Story Engineering, absorbed its sage advice and solid game plan for what to write and when to write it.

37 Signals

OMGosh! This is just too funny. Thank goodness we live in a country where artists can create something as fun, interesting AND effective as this little faux ad selling 37 Signals newest book, “Rework”
It’s a quick watch. Enjoy!
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An 11th Online Video Prediction Added to Unleash Video's 10

unleash-video-logo

Straight from @TimJahn his 10 Online Video Predictions for 2010 are available over at his UnleashVideo.com site. Have to say I agree with most all of them, though maybe a bit askewedly (is that a word? :))
Here’s my take on each of his items. You’ll obviously want to click through to read his post to know what the heck I’m talking about!

10 Online Video Predictions for 2010

  1. There’s a lot of money out there for company’s to spend advertising. Recession? Blah!
  2. Sounds like social media video production. I’m for it, however not to overlook the value of creative juice production when working in close proximity to other creatives.
  3. If Apple doesn’t do this, someone else will. From what I read Hulu.com is likely to move into subscriptions as well.
  4. Too much “creative integration” of product marketing might harm video monetization. But only if done in cheesy fashion.
  5. Very excited to see what creative minds will do with live, streaming services from an entertainment vs. reporting perspective.
  6. Not looking forward to 500,000,000 channels of lifestreams πŸ™
  7. I really liked Joost and its first application. Much better than MCE, at least in my eyes.
  8. The players are all mostly the same that are making “real” movies, so it makes sense they’d find funding based upon fame and marketshare in their online pursuits.
  9. Pre-roll ads are fine. 12 pre-roll ad units: NOT!
  10. A little scared about small businesses getting into video promotions of their wares. Have you seen some small business websites? Yikes!
  11. My 11th? I’d like to see company’s like Vidli.com and even Youtube extend the earnings potential to sites that embed other’s video content. If you’re making money when it is shown, and it gets seen on my site, share the wealth!
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Qdoba food delivery in NYC

qdoba-food-order Since I’ve been in NYC this year, one of my favorite discoveries has been the newly launched Mexican grill, Qdoba. Marlene and I dined back in late January at store #550 located at 12 W. 23rd St. How the hell do I possibly know the date and exact address of the burrito shop that I had a quick dinner in over 2 months ago?
Great question!
Quick answer, Qdoba has a fantastic rewards program with a great tag line, “The more you eat, the more you earn”. LOL! I love that one, but not as much as the motto they have on posters in store, “Frequent biter miles”.
To the left, what you’re seeing is a copy of my order from today’s online experience requesting delivery from “my Qdoba” store. There’s actually one closer to where I’m staying on W. 12th St, however their delivery area doesn’t include this section of the City. No problems, however.
If you’d have seen the original order, you might have asked what army I was planning to feed, but I got a little greedy seeing all the control I had in the ordering process. Even what I did send through should be enough for about 3 meals, but that’s always a good thing πŸ˜‰
With the order having been submitted, I did receive call from the restaurant rather quickly. My immediate thought was they were just confirming the order (ordering online has had that happen to me in the past.) Instead of confirmation, they apparently had to re-request my credit card number to get payment for the order.
Not a big deal. In fact, I even added an order of chips and guacamole to the delivery, so I guess I’ve got enough food for the next several days!
Now waiting for their maiden delivery. Oh, forgot to share that their online ordering system allows me to choose the time frame for delivery. And that was probably the weakest part of the process as I had to choose a new time frame since they were at “maximum order capacity” for the time I originally ordered.
And the only reason for that being the weakest point, is that I had to pull out my credit card and re-enter my card info. And that makes me think they are not saving my card info, which would make repeat orders much, much nicer. Not the end of the world, however.
Posting this up now, and will add comment updates to share the rest of the process in a bit. Bon apetit!

Book Review "Me: Stories of My Life"

Stories of My Life, Me My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Stories of My Life, Me by Katharine Hepburn
Almost finished with this one. From the few interviews I’ve seen of Ms. Hepburn, most notably, the one from the Dick Cavet show (I believe in the 80’s?), her writing style is very much like her speaking style. Late in her life she was very staccato with her speech, and her writing in this book was very much the same. Almost as if she simply audio recorded the book, someone transcribed it, and they print and bound it.

This is definitely not to say there is not good bits of information and anecdotes of her life. There is. Just be prepared for a tough to sustain read.

View all my reviews.