Aug
26

Competition & Critiques

The Highs, The Lows, & Managing My Expectations

Competition is fairly mainstream in the writing world.  There are Twitter event contests every few months and what could possibly be more competitive than the dreaded slush pile?  Only a select few manuscripts ever rise to the top.  The simple act of querying is, in itself, an invitation for evaluation/criticism, and the results can send us soaring to incredible emotional highs or wallowing in disappointment, depending on the outcome.

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Aug
20

Glass Half-Full

Peg-Legs & Exoskeletons

I had big plans for my recent trip to Ottawa, including visiting family and friends, paddle boarding, water parks, white water rafting, paintballing, trapezing and indoor skydiving. On night #1 of my vacation, we went to a local circus/parkour gym and being a fan of American Ninja Warrior, I was determined to get up one of their beginner walls.

The wall (and my left Achilles) had other plans.  An American Ninja Warrior I am NOT (apparently).  [Shh, don't tell anyone.]

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Aug
8

A View From Both Sides Of The Fence

Advice from Sci-Fi Author Bennett R Coles

Recently, an email caught my eye from the depths of my Junk Mail folder.  As it turned out, a dear college friend of mine, Bennett R. Coles, had mentored under author Mary Rosenblum (as I had), and when Mary referenced the interview I'd done with her in one of her recent newsletters, Ben had connected the dots, figuring out that we knew each other, and reached out to me.  And as it turns out, he's now an award-winning sci-fi author who's experienced both the self-publishing side of things and the traditional publishing route as well.

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Jul
22

10 Great Things About Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

Full Disclosure: I love Star Trek.  (And it takes great restraint for me to type that sentence without an abundance of exclamation points.)  I've watched every episode of every series and every movie down the line and I am unabashedly a fan of the J.J. Abrams reboots and all the nuances and twists of the Kelvin timeline.  I have never in my life loved a movie more than I loved that first reboot film.  Into Darkness was a VERY close second in my mind, so tonight I raced to the theater to watch Star Trek Beyond.

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Jul
18

Things I Learned Building My Website

Web Design

I needed a dedicated author website (in addition to this blog).  Now, I have a computer engineering degree, but I learned HTML in the mid 90's when there was no such thing as cascading style sheets and we used Notepad to code our pages from scratch. The old search engines of the time (like Altavista or Yahoo) used header meta tags to learn your website's keywords and description and decide whether your site related to a particular user's search... but then Google came along, revolutionized web searching, and became the undisputed king of the castle ever since.  So while I was pretty sure I still knew all the basics involved with making a website, there were quite a few things I had to learn in order to appease the almighty Google-God of the interwebs.

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