Monday, December 31, 2012
Here's an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Tucked away in a remote corner in the basement of a large building, a man from Earth examines traffic patterns. This man’s name is Matt Cotter. He likes to be left alone. He likes his job. And he definitely likes being on his home planet.
But Matt Cotter can’t control everything he likes. For instance, maybe a being from another planet (an intelligent one at that (intelligent being not an intelligent planet)) visits Matt at work and invites him to a planet called Drabble.
And maybe, just maybe, that being wants Matt Cotter to help him solve a crime that hasn’t happened yet. Why would this being want that? Because Matt Cotter is so good at solving traffic problems by seeing patterns, he must be able to do the same with pre-crime.
Can Matt Cotter solve the case? There’s one way to know if he does. Think about it … almost there. Yes! … That’s how to find out!
Available at the following locations:
Coming soon in print to Amazon and CreateSpace.
Friday, December 7, 2012
I thought I would give a little teaser of what to expect form the story. Today, that teaser comes in the form of the book cover.
After getting a glimpse of the cover, what do you expect from the story?
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Also, I've once again changed the title. It is now Futan Vice: The Trouble On Drabble.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
One note. Last week, the book had a tentative title of Patterns. This week the tentative title has changed. It is now Matt Cotter is The Man From Earth in The Problem On Another Planet.
You can check it out here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251300
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Of course, after the month is out, it may be longer than that length. But the goal is to reach 50,000 words before the month is finished.
The story I'm writing is tentatively entitled Patterns and I'm writing it under the Desmond Shepherd pen name.
As a bonus, Smashwords helps with promoting NaNoWriMo. So, I've uploaded the draft for purchase now. During November, I will donate 50% of all sales of the book to NaNoWriMo.org. Each Saturday, I will update the eBook with the latest additions. Remember, this is a first draft, so there might be typos and other things that will get changed or fixed by the time the book is in it's final form. But if you buy it now, you will be able to access every iteration of the eBook from the point that you buy it forward.
Now, back to writing this thing...
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Despite efforts by Hurricane Sandy (
If you've been reading my blog for the past week, you have seen the Miscorrection Factoids I've posted. If not, this is a great time for you to go back and check them out. "Why?" you ask. Because the first five people who answer the below seven questions correctly will receive a free copy of the eBook.
To submit your answers, use the form at the bottom of this post. If you win, I'll send an email back to you with your coupon code to get Miscorrection: Times for free on Smashwords.
Ready? Let's go!
- In Miscorrection: Preludes, the absent teacher's name is Mr. Mangler. "Mangler" translates to what word in English?
- What series of books influenced some elements of the Miscorrection: Times story?
- What kept me from starting the writing of Miscorrection: Times?
- How many names does each character have?
- During which hurricane was Sundown (Miscorrection), the last story in Miscorrection: Preludes, published?
- How long did it take me to write, edit, and publish Miscorrection: Dimensions?
- What food played a role in Panacea (Miscorrection), the fourth story in Miscorrection: Preludes, that I never fulfilled?
Got all the answers? Fill them out below and hit submit. The first five responses with all of the correct answers will receive a coupon code to get Miscorrection: Times for free!
[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Question #1' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #2' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #3' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #4' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #5' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #6' type='text'/][contact-field label='Question #7' type='text'/][/contact-form]
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The final factoid before the free ebook trivia contest touches tacos. When I released Awry (Panacea), the fifth story in Miscorrection: Preludes, I promised to live broadcast me eating one taco for every sale the book had in its first week of release. The total sales for the week equaled four and I never did the broadcast. (I know, shame on me. At some point I plan to fulfill my promise.) This led to me adding in an entire scene in Miscorrection: Dimensions that had the main characters having a taco dinner together.
Please note that this is the last factoid before the contest. I plan to post the contest and release the book November 2, 2012. However, due to Hurricane Sandy, it's possible I miss this date. If that is the case, stay tuned until next week when life returns to normal and I can move forward with the release of Miscorrection: Times.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Here's a funny fact of coincidence! I published Sundown (Miscorrection), the last story in Miscorrection: Preludes, while Hurricane Irene hit the northeast. Miscorrection: Times is being released just after Hurricane Sandy. What are the odds?
Monday, October 29, 2012
I had a difficult time starting the writing process for Miscorrection: Times. Writer's block had nothing to do with it. I got mono during the month I wanted to start, and this delayed my writing process almost two months. Once fully recovered, I powered through it and wrote the first draft in a month and a half.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
The decision to use first names only in the Miscorrection stories was a tough one. In fact, Felix Culpa (the third story in Miscorrection: Preludes) eludes to the fact that the characters might have first and last names. But in Miscorrection: Dimensions it is clearly stated that in the reality of the story, a single name is what everyone has.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Many of the character names in Miscorrection: Preludes are taken from an English word and then translated into another language. For instance, the teacher's name at the high school in the story Felix Culpa is Mr. Mangler. He's absent, so a substitute is there in his place. "Mangler" is the Danish word for "missing".
Friday, October 26, 2012
While writing Miscorrection: Times, I also read many of the books in Isaac Asimov's Robot Series. These stories have a definite influence in some things that happen in the Times story.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I originally planned to write Miscorrection: Dimensions as six shorter stories like Miscorrection: Preludes. After giving it some thought, I decided to take the ideas for individual stories and make it a novel instead. It took me three months to write, edit, and publish Miscorrection: Dimensions ... six times quicker than it took to write Miscorrection: Preludes.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Miscorrection: Times will be available for your favorite eReader on November 2, 2012. The print edition will be available shortly thereafter.
To celebrate the final story in the trilogy, I plan to give away five copies of the eBook. Starting Friday, I will have a post a day with a little factoid about Miscorrection.
These factoids will play a part in a contest I'll run on the site the following Friday. The first five people to correctly answer my trivia questions will win the contest and get a free copy of the book!
If you haven't read the previous books in the trilogy yet, you can click below for more details on getting a copy in print or for your eReader. (Better yet, free versions of the book are also available through your web browser. Shh ... don't tell anyone. ;) )
Click for info on Miscorretion: Preludes.
Click for info on Miscorrection: Dimensions.
(Free versions available through your web browser: Miscorrection: Preludes & Miscorrection: Times)
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
A few months back I submitted a short story to Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. The title of the story was A Growing Problem.
Long story short, they rejected the story.
Which is fine.
Because I can self-publish and get it out to the world in a matter of hours.
Which I did.
An anomaly appears in space, seemingly from nowhere. Derek Winston—whose wife just told him the worst news of his life—and his workmate are sent to investigate. What they find is unlike anything they or anyone has ever seen. But for Derek, their discovery helps him to deal with the terrible truth he learned.
One other thing to note. All my short story eBooks no longer contain only one story. Each one includes a bonus story in the cost. So when you buy one of my short stories, you are getting two for the price of one. Included with A Growing Problem is the short story Hollywood Brings World Peace.
That's it! Enjoy the story(ies). :)
Monday, September 10, 2012
I've refrained from talking about what I have been writing for a while now. In July, I posted about my beginning the last book in the Miscorrection trilogy. At the time, I planned to allow the public to watch as I wrote portions of the story. After the first week, I stopped.
Part of this was because my writing became sporadic. And the other because I had a few idiots view the Google Doc as I wrote it. They spammed the chat session with vulgar stuff while I typed. So, rather than do that, I left what I wrote in the beginning up for others to read. It's not final, but it should give you a taste of what to expect.
It's about time I reveal the name of the final book. Following the same format as Miscorrection: Preludes and Miscorrection: Dimensions, this one is entitled Miscorrection: Times.
The title was the easy part. But the cover is another issue. That's why I'm looking for some help from the inhabitants of planet earth. Below are thumbnails for each cover. The images used in them are at a low-resolution, but you should get the idea. Take a look at each, and vote for which one you like the best. If you want, you can comment on why you like the one you chose.
To help with your decision, here are the covers for the other two books:
And now, here are the current drafts of the covers. Which one do you prefer? Vote in the poll below!
[caption id="attachment_2728" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Cover #1[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2729" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Cover #2[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2727" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Cover #3[/caption]
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
This is just a quick note regarding self-publishing eBooks on Google Play. Today, I was paid for my books sales during August.
You read that correctly!
In most cases, it takes 2-4 months to get paid. Along with that, you have to meet a minimum threshold of $10 in royalties to receive the payment. This was my first full month on Google Play and I made under $10, but they still paid me the first business day after the end of the month.
This to me, is a huge positive of publishing with Google Play!
If you are considering publishing your books on Google Play, be sure to check out my previous posts to help you with the process.
Self-Publishing on Google Play Books Part 1
Self-Publishing on Google Play Books Part 2
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
With all the eBook craze, you would think that printed books have a bleak future. But a recent survey shows this is not the case. Below is a chart showing different statistics for printed books and eBooks. The results might surprise you. Below the chart, I give my answers to all the points in the survey.
My Reading Stats:
- I had an eReader prior to the 2011 holiday season
- I have read a printed book in the past year. I have not listened to an audiobook
- I mainly read eBooks but will read a printed book if it is unavailable or cheaper in printed form
- I own a Kindle
- I spend more time reading as a result of having an eReader
- Most of my reading is for pleasure
- I am under 50, have not gone to college, and have an household income over $50,000
- In the past year I have read 25 books
- On any given day I'm reading an eBook
- I prefer to purchase an eBook, if it is not available to borrow from the libary on my Kindle
- My most recent eBook was borrowed from the libary
My Reading Preferences:
- Read book while traveling: eBook
- Have a wide selection of books: eBook
- Read with a child: printed book
- Sharing books with others: eBook
- Reading books in bed: eBook
- Being able to get a book quickly: eBook
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
This past week, Dean Wesley Smith had an interesting blog post about how authors shoot themselves in the foot. He gave five reasons how they do it and suggestions on how to correct them.
Of the five, Shot #5 grabbed my attention. It talked about book covers and how to make them more professional. I took the advice to heart and decided to do revisions for the covers to my major books—the Fram Gage series and Miscorrection trilogy.
On a side note, August will not have any eBook Weekly Deals.
Below, you will find the previous cover and the new cover for comparison.
[caption id="attachment_2193" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2698" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2311" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2699" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2055" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2693" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2493" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2694" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/caption]
Friday, August 3, 2012
What is your mother's middle name? What was your high school mascot? What year did you learn to talk? When do you think you will die? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Ever get tired of the password recovery questions? I know I do.
Sometimes I go through the list and I realize I don't even know the answers to some of the questions. It's my own life! But I'm not sure what year in which I bought my first car, bought a home, or washed my hair with Selsun Blue.
The best is when they ask a question not about you but someone else you know: What year was your father born? What is mother's middle name? What is your sister's favorite food to eat? What is your best friend's, cousin's, uncle's, father doing right now?
I have a hard enough time remembering stuff about me, let alone my family and friends.
The reality is, with all of these questions, you shouldn't answer them with the true answer. "They" say it is because other people might know the answers, too, and use it to hack your account.
That's right! Other people may know more about you than you do.
So what is the solution? Don't actually answer the question. Bank of America, Google, and any other site aren't going to give you a game show error buzz for entering the wrong answer.
Instead, put simple words or phrases that only you know. Memorize them! And in the process, you'll get to have fun with making up your recovery answers instead of referencing the genealogy of your family for the facts.
Here are a few suggestions I've come up with. Enjoy!
Password Recovery Answer Suggestions
- In dog years I'm dead
- Show me the money!
- I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
- Hippo (I strongly recommend not using this one in regards to any question about your mother or wife.)
- Purple monkey dishwasher
- It was the one armed man
- I got the moves like Jagger
- The sea-monkey made me do it
- Go ahead ... make my day
The best thing about these suggestions is if you have to call up the company to do something with your account. They might ask you for your phrase or word to access it. Imagine how funny and satisfying it would be:
"Okay sir, I just need to verify your account with your secret password."
"I got the moves like Jagger."
"I said, 'I got the moves like Jagger.'"
"That's nice, sir, but ... oh wait. I see. You're correct."
That would be wonderful!
Any more password recovery suggestions? Feel free to put them in the comments below.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This past week, my daughter got sick. The poor thing had trouble breathing and it turns out she has some form of bronchitis. Naturally, the doctor—I like to call them legal drug dealers—prescribed some medicine for her.
I went to my local Walgreens to pick up the prescription. For those who don't know, Walgreens is a nationwide pharmacy that also sells groceries, greeting cards, and other items. Think of it like a grocery store with access to all kinds of drugs, not just the over-the-counter kinds.
I had to wait for the prescription to be ready. Sitting there waiting, I got bored and started to think. When I walked into this pharmacy—which is supposed to be centered around health and wellness—shelving full of cigarettes stood behind the clerk at the front counter.
That's odd. Why would they put that there? Why would they sell them at all? Like candy in the checkout line, they've placed them to be an impulse buy. What's worse is, they put them out of reach. If they did that with a candy bar, I would want it even more because it's made to look like something I can't have.
I settled on the fact that that's business. Sitting in the back of the store, waiting at the pharmacy area my thoughts traveled again to other things. The book I am reading, the book I am writing, and my eyes happened upon something else.
Sitting next to the pharmacy counter, at the back of the store, was this sign:
[caption id="attachment_2671" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Do you have a cold turkey addiction?[/caption]
Not only do they sell cigarettes, which are highly addictive, but they also sell the stuff to help you break your addiction. That seems like a conflict of interest to me.
Imagine I said to you that you should buy all my eBooks I've written. You naturally don't listen to me and only buy one or two. Remember, they are eBooks. They are digital.
You buy them and say, "Now what? How do I actually read them?"
I say, "Oh, you also have to buy this eReader for $199 to read them."
You say, "But don't you have them in paperback?"
I say, "Yes."
"Then why did you sell me the eBook."
"Because if you buy the eBook I make money and if you buy the eReader using this special link to the product that is tied to my associates account I will make more money."
Would you be irritated?
I'm sure you would. That's essentially what is happening here, except we're talking about nicotine addiction. The cigarettes—the problem—are located in the front of the store. The nicotine replacement—the solution that will supposedly help you stop smoking—is all the way in the back of the store, tucked in a corner.
So here's how it all plays out: You start smoking, your health deteriorates, you see a doctor, he prescribes something, says you should quit smoking, you go to the pharmacy, get your legal drug, see the nicotine gum, and buy it because you need to quit.
There's another thing I failed to mention. This one left me scratching my head as I sat there. Look at that picture again. Go ahead, scroll up if you need to. I'll wait.
Did you check it?
OK. I had no idea that cold turkey was more addictive than nicotine. Did you? Apparently it is a problem and nicotine replacement therapy is more successful than quitting cold turkey.
I don't make this stuff up folks. I just see things differently than most people.
Regardless, at the end of the day, I walked out of the store viewing Walgreens in another light. I'm sure other pharmacies are guilty of the same crime.
Oh, and my daughter? She's doing much better now. But not because of the drugs. Yeah, I forked over the cash for them, but we never used them. Hmm ... makes me wonder.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Last week, I wrote a post outlining some of the pros and cons of self-publishing on Google Play Books. This week, I'm going to explain their system and make it easy for you to understand.
Add your book(s) to the Preview Program Add your book(s) for sale on Google Books.
Now, being that there are only two main steps above, you would think it is easy. But for some reason it isn't. Below are more detailed explanations on each of the listed items. (Note: This information assumes you have an EPUB file and ISBN ready for your book. If not, the process becomes more complicated.)
Thursday, July 26, 2012
And this is a good one. My latest novel, Fram Gage and The Three Adversaries, is up for grabs. It is only $0.99!!! That's right. The regular cost is $6.99. So this is quite the deal. More details on the book are below. If you click the link and it is still at its regular price, just keep checking back.
This deal will end tomorrow afternoon.
Fram Gage wakes up in Biality Orphanage after a three year coma. His best friend Lanker has become an angry, bitter person and wants nothing to do with him. Fram hopes to mend their relationship. Before he can, three adversaries with Super Strength, Teleportation, and Super Speed abilities stand in his way. Fram can match them hit for hit and blow for blow with his Infinite ability. But there is something familiar about his foes. When Fram realizes what it is, they become the key to gaining back his best friend.
Available at the following locations for only $0.99!!! This deal ends the afternoon of 7/27/12:
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Two weeks ago, my family and I went camping for a couple of days at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. Below are a few pictures from the trip.
There are a couple things I learned about beach camping. First, setting up a tent with the beach breeze can get difficult. Building a fire with the beach breeze constantly swirling can make for quite the chore to get the fire burning. And beach sand, though soft to walk on, gets as hard as a rock when you sleep on it.
The great thing though is having the beach just outside your tent. After walking over the dunes from walk-in campsite #46, there is a beautiful view of the beach. Because campers are only in this section of the island, it is like having a private beach. On the days we were out, very few people were on the beach.
Of course, the draw for the island are the wild horses. There are a lot of warnings about keeping food in your car and not your tent because the horses will try to get it. We didn't run into any problems, but I think part of that is due to the fencing around the section of the campsite. Around the island though, we did see the wild horses.
Would we go again? I think so. But we'll definitely bring an air mattress!
Enjoy the photos.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Once we arrived, we wasted no time taking a family photo.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2630" align="alignleft" width="640"] My beautiful wife on our private beach![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2631" align="alignleft" width="640"] We love boogie boarding!!![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2641" align="alignleft" width="640"] Who's gonna ride your wild horses?[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2638" align="alignleft" width="640"] Don't worry. No little boys or girls were harmed in the taking of this photograph.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2627" align="alignleft" width="640"] A difficult picture to take, but very cool.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2635" align="alignleft" width="640"] By the end of the trip, Ethan had boogie boarding down to a science.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2629" align="alignleft" width="640"] Here is where Emma claimed the beach as hers.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2628" align="alignleft" width="640"] They don't really look wild, but they are.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2632" align="alignleft" width="640"] Did I mention we love boogie boarding?[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2633" align="alignleft" width="640"] Checkers with seashells! What a great idea.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2639" align="alignleft" width="640"] Yes. I too like to boogie board.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2634" align="alignleft" width="640"] Me holding Emma's hand.[/caption]