Monday, August 29, 2011

Indifferent Button

Everyone is always talking about how Facebook needs to have a
"Dislike" button.  While I agree that would be neat, I think there is another button that is needed much more.  I am referring, of course, to the "Indifferent" button.  It could also be called the "Who Cares?" button, the "Why Did You Waste Time Writing This?" button, or the "Who The Hell Gives a $#!+?" button.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Surgeon General's Warning Re: "The Noricin Chronicles"

It appears that there is a common side-effect amongst readers who read my book series The Noricin Chronicles late at night, and therefore the Surgeon General has stepped in and adamantly requested that I issue this warning.

As those of you who have read the books should already know, there is a character named Nevar Loeren who has what some might call an unhealthy obsession with pancakes. I have received numerous reports from readers that reading about Mr. Loeren's exploits in pancakes late at night apparently causes intense and irresistible cravings for pancakes.

So, please be careful when reading The Noricin Chronicles late at night, and always make sure to have some Bisquick handy or a twenty-four hour IHOP within driving distance.

I am now going to go out and buy some stock in Bisquick and IHOP.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Relation-aids and Band-ships

Some relationships are like band-aids. If you get rid of them too soon, you run the risk of getting infected, but if you leave them on too long, you get all itchy and your skin starts to wrinkle.

Thank You, Francesca!

About a week ago, I began conversing on YouTube with a teenage girl in Italy named Francesca.  Through the trailers on my YouTube Channel, Francesca had become interested in my books, The Noricin Chronicles, and wanted to know if they were available in Italy and translated into Italian.

It was with a heavy heart that I had to tell her that, unfortunately due to being a first-time self-published author I do not yet have an international distribution arrangement, nor the means to have my books translated into multiple languages. I figured this would be the end of Francesca's interest in the books, at least until I had acquired the means to make them available to her in her native tongue.

I was wrong.

A day or so later, Francesca contacted me again, letting me know that she had found my first three sample chapters of The Lost Boy (Book 1 of Noricin) on Scribd and that her mother had been helping her translate them into Italian. She had become so hooked, that she wanted to know if I could send her the full book.

Now, of course I could have just told her how to go about buying the PDF's on-line, but I was so tickled by the story, that I sent her not only the full e-book of The Lost Boy, but books 2-4 as well.  Francesca has now moved on to reading the books without the help of her mother or her computer, and she is currently in the midst of The Room of Death (Book 3).

In the past week, Francesca and I have been writing back and forth at least once a day (and often quite more), and it has been truly amazing to watch her English improve so dramatically in such a short amount of time. Today, she confessed to me that she's even started writing her letters to me with little or no help from the computer translator.

Francesca's beautiful story has genuinely touched me in ways that even I as a writer cannot possibly conjure the words necessary to describe. She has helped me remember WHY I became I writer in the first place - a gift which is far more precious than any material possession, and one that couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Finances have been tight lately, as they have been for everyone, and I have been particularly prone over the last several to intense bouts of depression from the pressures of being a new, self-published author in the current economic climate.

But my interactions with Francesca over the last week truly opened my eyes and reminded me of what it really means to be a storyteller. I hope that every author out there can find their own Francesca to remind them of this from time to time.

Even if I never sell another book again (which, of course, I hope doesn't happen!), Francesca has paid me in a way that will outlast any royalty payment, and for that I will be eternally grateful to her.

As a comedic little side note, after I told my parents (who recently returned from a vacation to Italy) about Francesca's story, their immediate response was to have me ask her where in Italy she lives. To me, asking a teenage girl over the internet where she lives did not seem to be the most appropriate action to take, especially as I have no interest in having the International Pedophile Police (IPP) break down my door in the middle of the night and drag me on Dateline.  Maybe I'm weird.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Twitlighters Must Stop

Let me start off by saying that, for the most part, I have come to peace with the Twilight books and movies.  They are not my personal cup of tea, but they have their place in the world of entertainment, and that's OK.  I'm not real thrilled about the fact that they essentially teach young girls that having a 100 year-old guy crawl through their window, watch them sleep, and dictate who they can and cannot be friends with is not creepy and abusive, but romantic.  

But aside from that detail, I'm at peace with the books.  As Melissa Anelli of PotterCast very aptly put it, "Harry Potter is my soul-mate, and Twilight is a hot weekend."

The Twitlighters, however, are another matter altogether.  And let me be clear: By Twitlighters I am referring to a very specific branch of the Twilight fandom.  Some Twilight fans are very nice people who actually do have a head on their shoulders.

The Twitlighters are the obnoxiously oblivious and idiotic fans who seem to think that the entire world revolves around their fandom.

I present Exhibit A: In This letter an angry Taylor Lautner fan writes to Universal attacking them for "ripping off" Twilight by making a werewolf movie - the remake of The Wolfman.  In this letter, the Twitlighter chastises Universal for ruining Stephanie Meyer's vision by making their werewolf an ugly, hideous monster, where as Taylor Lautner - the "true" werewolf - is beautiful, in both his wolf and human forms.

To this Twitlighter, I say: Sweetie, I think that Universal might have a slight head-start over Stephanie Meyer on the werewolf genre.  Also, technically speaking, Jacob Black is not a werewolf, but a shape-shifter, seeing as he can change at will and is not compelled by the full moon.  Of course, I guess I shouldn't expect you to do your homework on that aspect, seeing as Ms. Meyer didn't do her homework, either...

I now present Exhibit B: In this post this person attacks JK Rowling for ripping off Twilight, since Jacob Black and Sirius Black are both "werewolves" and they have the same last name.

Sweetie, again, I think that JK Rowling might have a slight head-start on Stephanie Meyer in this instance.  Get a calendar, this might help you understand the concept of time.  Also, see my previous comments about shape-shifters versus werewolves, and please note that, unlike Stephanie Meyer, JK Rowling did do her homework and understands the difference between a shape-shifter and a werewolf, as Sirius Black is NOT described as a werewolf, but an Animagus.

And, of course, there is that very special breed of Twitlighters that are absolutely convinced that Amy Lee wrote My Immortal for the Twilight series.  Again, buy a !@#$ing calendar already.  My Immortal: 2000. Twilight: 2005.  Do you see the problem here? Never mind the fact that the only book in the series that My Immortal even comes close to being applicable to is the second book (yes, this is my confession that I have read all the books, otherwise I would not feel comfortable making comments on them).

I'm just waiting for one of these idiots to accuse The Bible of ripping of Stephanie Meyer.  It will happen.  Just you wait.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All The Answers

Always be very wary of anyone who claims to have all the answers.  In my experience, such people are either 1) trying to sell you something, B) trying to control you, III) idiots or *) all of the above.  Most often the latter.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On the Art of Critique

It has been my observation that the way in which one responds to art of any form - whether it be painting, music, or writing - usually tells infinitely more about the responder than it does about the art or its creator.