Sunday, October 28, 2007

Edit copy of Lifehack ordered

That's about all I have to say..

been busy spooking folks at the 'Ghost Ridge', but managed to get a little work done yesterday.
(ghost ridge is a volunteer 'haunted house' type event, staged in 2 barns.. one for 14+, one for kiddos....) At the end of it all, the clubs helping run the show split the money. I'm there with my Optimist club, 'natch.

I took the 3rd night of the event off to go to a friend's halloween party. My one yearly excuse to get good n plastered, and I did a darn fine job of it. The world was still kinda spinny at noon today.

Back to the ghost ridge tonight for 3 more nights of 'acting'.....! Then I'm gonna pass out until thursday, when Oblivion GOTY edition gets here... as some point in there, I'm going to get moving on 'Watching Yute' again.

I haven't given many updates on the international students front lately.. but today I got an email from 'Asuka' (from Germany) She's considering coming to visit in the summer...!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Softcore Lesbian Porn without the Payoff...

….was what a certain lawyer-wannabe friend of mine had said about AZU-1:Lifehack. Recently I found a review of AZU-1, that had a similar notion- that it could have done with an actual sex scene.

Le sigh.

Alright, alright, I can understand. A guy reads a book that has a significant lesbian plotline, written by a guy.. and said readers are prone to expecting some girl-on-girl fux0ring. Sorry fellas, I had no intent of writing that kind of thing.
“So WTF did you intend then?” Well, as a male, I think ladies are purdy. Guys? Less so. Ya follow me OK so far? Good. Females are also a little more prone to expressing emotion, (if I can get a little sexist there,) so wouldn’t a lesbian relationship tend to be more expressive?
And as far as that goes, how many BILLION times have we seen the guy/girl scenario played out? It’s been done to death. Regan and Alisia’s situation, (notably with Alisia NOT being a lesbian) gave it a bit of a twist. And then there’s Kris. Who’s just twisted in general.

All that said, I’ve gotten a little ribbing here and there about the lesbian content. Nothing malicious. I was also told I was a little heavy-handed with the gay-rights support in AZU-1. Alright, alright, it came out kinda cheesy and times. This has been streamlined for the 2nd edition.

The next book, “Watching Yute” also features some lesbians in the lead. Why? Well, revision aside, I thought I’d like to hit the subject matter from another angle, and approach facets that Regan and Alisia can’t. Does this mean a sex scene? Mayyybe a little. MAYBE. A LITTLE. It really didn’t seem appropriate for Alisia.
Those of you chomping at the bit for some hot n heavy gay action in Yute should be cautioned however- there’s also a gay MALE sub-plot in the book. Bahahaha! See the guys all shift uncomfortably? I felt the need to have the other side of the gay coin represent. Don’t worry guys, that sex scene’s only going to go on for a couple dozen pages.

And, Lifehack update:

Finished since last post:
  1. Add a couple small scenes and references,
  2. Inform the reader WHERE the book takes place in the world, (fictional island nation of Ayguola, east of Australia, west of South America)
  3. Re-vamp the chapter headers
  4. New foreword
Yet to do:

  1. 'Finalize' the trade paperback cover
  2. Order ONE book for sending around to my new highlighter-equipped editing force (this will be a slow step, as I'm going to send it though as many people as possible)
  3. While this is underway, finalize the hardcover cover, and continue writing another project (either Watching Yute, or 'wasn't worth the parking space')
  4. When the editing copy gets back to me, go over it, correcting the master manuscript,
  5. Take orders, and order the books!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lifehack revision at 100%!!! Kind of.

I finished my read/revision that I've been counting off percentile from.. But there's more work to be done...

Right now the pagecount is down to 255. (8 bits! whoo!) This is from the first edition's 293 pages due to:
  1. Deletion of the 25-ish page extras section, (It was kinda unprofessional feeling)
  2. Bumping the font down one notch, (It was a tad biggish)
  3. Refining paragraph formatting to include less white space
And there were many other format standardizations that I either followed form the industry, or at least made consistent through the book. One good thing about the lower page count is that the cost will go down. The cost will also go down since I won't be setting the sticker price to include a lot of things like retail store costs, or an ISBN. (I don't need no stinkin ISBN)

Of course, the hardcover version will be more than the trade paperback version, but I'm not ready to quote prices just yet.

Just to note- I won't be ordering a mass of stock like I did with the first edition. I'm not marketing much beyond my area, and just about everyone who'd buy a copy already has, so I'm not going to be ramming the 2nd edition down people's throats. When the time comes, I'll take specific orders from people, plus a SMALL handful for my own stock, and what will be my exclusive retail outlet, Heron's Books. It will NOT be available online via Lulu or Amazon, etc.

This is to minimize the impact of being self-published should I wish to attack bigger publishers with the book, and the 2 others that take place in the same world. "Yes, Mr pubisher, I self-published the book, but unless you're really super worried about the Pitt Meadows market, I don't think it's an issue."

Anyway, back to the work left to be done:
  1. Add a couple small scenes and references,
  2. Inform the reader WHERE the book takes place in the world,
  3. Re-vamp the chapter headers
  4. New foreword
  5. 'Finalize' the trade paperback cover
  6. Order ONE book for sending around to my new highlighter-equipped editing force (this will be a slow step, as I'm going to send it though as many people as possible)
  7. While this is underway, finalize the hardcover cover, and continue writing another project (either Watching Yute, or 'wasn't worth the parking space')
  8. When the editing copy gets back to me, go over it, correcting the master manuscript,
  9. Take orders, and order the books!
Then, I can finally put Lifehack to bed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

28 weeks later..... totally ripped me off.

Nah, I kid, but a few events in 28 weeks had me saying to myself "man, I SO did that first.." Mind you, they did it in shiny pretty graphics.

Overall, I really liked the movie. I used to say "Yeah, I love zombie movies", but then I watched more of them. Dawn of the dead springs to mind. DOTD features quite a few scenes that are more gore than I need, tyvm.. especially one very painful looking one for a certain HypaSpace hostess.. it instantly depressed me. It was the final straw that ruined the movie for me.

Then there's things like Saw. The first had an interesting concept. I watched it hoping for some dark physiological stuff, but to so huge surprise, that aspect didn't go that deep. I skipped #2. #3 was picked despite my vote against it at a friend's house. It was just an excuse for a snuf film. Why do people pay to see that kind of meaningless suffering? What kind of person MAKES it?

But back to 28 weeks later... both it and it's predecessor, 28 days, are my kind of zombie flick. Yes, there's blood and gore, but really, not much more than is entirely necessary to tell the story of civilization being overrun by maniacal cannibalistic folks.. Well, aside from one or two bloody scenes that almost seemed comical.

But the story was interesting. It wasn't just "Enter room, watch someone die slow and horribly, go to next room". It was more of an adventure. So many horror movies feel the need to kill EVERYONE, to leave zero hope- often for the world.

Well, I could ramble on, but I'd end up repeating myself. Maybe I should watch the new Day of the Dead... that one was run by romero again, right? Maybe I can see some of his alleged consumerism metaphors in it... meh.

Anyway, this leads into Lifehack. Yes, there's zombies. Yes there's a fair handful of gore. But it's not gore for gore's sake. I'm the first to say the book isn't scary. It's not meant to be. The gore that's in there us just there to illustrate the events. I don't want to scare anyone. With Lifehack, I'm telling a story of adventure and love, with just enough of a twist to not be cliche.

And lasers.

(Actually, I don't think there ARE any lasers... Oh wait! The P90 laser sight. Ah, there. mmmmmmmm, lasers...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lifehack passed 90%, Ghost ridge, every day shooting.

The lifehack revision passed 90%. I can see the finish line..! LEt's all keep in mind though that after that, I still have to send a copy around to my new volunteer editing taskforce. I'm not going to hold my breath while that happens, so it'll be a good time to attack other writing projects.

I'm torn between my 3 options.
-Continue "Watchihng yute" which is at about 75% done the first draft,
-Attack "Lucy Doesn't get it" more, (Which SHOULD be a pretty small project.. ha..)
-Hack away at "Wasn't worth the parking space" my gimptacular semi-autobiographical... thing.

Maybe I'll just let my whim take me about them all.... I'm attacking Lifehack hard right now because it needs to get done, and get finished, and I can finally put the first story on the shelf, and not have "azu-1:Lifehack" nagging me so badly. Yes yes, a creative work is never DONE done, but AZU1 needed help badly.

Aside from fixes, I've also added a few neat scenes that flesh things out, and I've come clear a bit out WHERE Autar, Meston and Yute are, which lays a bit of groundwork for Watching Yute, and the third book.

In MeadowRidge Optimist news, things are going gangbusters on the ghost ridge project, which is pretty much taking all out attention right now. Did I mention before that I'm slated to be an actor for the show? As a gory yelling victim. Whee! I might be able to fend of Ninjas on a regular basis, and mash up people's ankles with the greatest of ease, but that doesn't make me any more menacing as a guy in a wheelchair jumping out saying 'boo'. I'm gonna need a lotta energy drinks to get through this thing... it goes on for a week...!

Our past president still wants us to go in with the Coquitlam club's Walk for youth, but I think by far the majority find november to be too short of notice to do it justice, and we're also eager to do our own thing. The walk itself (our own) will probbaly end up happening next spring, giving us loads of time to make connections for participants through schools and such.

My PS3 has been a happy camper lately. While waiting for "Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition" (oct17) so I can continue the saved game from the original version which I rented for a friggin month, I've been doing a little warhawk... It's a neat game, but not really my thing. I got it mainly because of the deal I snagged on it, and the free headset thingamabob.

Yesterday was a good update for the PSN... MY fav downloads yesterday?
-Video teaser for 'Fallout 3' (fall 2008) Made by the same guys who made Oblivion
-Demo for the new 'Ratchet & Clank' game
-Downloadable purchase ($10) of 'Everyday Shooter'.. Simple controls, OLDskool code-driven graphics, and addictive as heck... and somehow amidst all the action, strangely mellow due to the soundtrack and musical sound effects..

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lifehack 83%, Became VP of my busy club

After a lull, I've gotten re-motivated. (I always do this kind of thing in bursts.. better than pushing through a lull and writing crap, in my opinion) Anyway, as of 5 minutes ago, I passed the 83% park of my revisions.

Keep in mind this doesn't count the doubtless extended time my editors will take. I have a much larger, and more focused volunteer force this time. Funny thing is, when I was looking for proofreaders for AUZ-1:Lifehack, it was a tooth-pulling experience. Now that AZU-1 is out, and people have read it, its much easier to enlist people for the 2nd edition...

This could be a combination of two factors at play-

1) Now that people have seen a BOOK from me, as opposed to a printout manuscript, the reality of it all makes it seem more legitimate, more real. I had a similar experience with my art, long ago... When I was drawing stuff on paper or on the computer, my dad dismissed it as "faggy art crap".. He never SAID that, but probably thought it. Then one day I handed him a copy of Splash 3D (which has since evolved into Super Splash 3D ) -With my art on the cover, and in the game. Suddenly he could see my art as a PRODUCT. Something more concrete. Something that might make a buck. (Of course, it didn't make much, since the marketing was a non-entity...) It was like a lightbulb went on over his head, I could see it in his face.

2) The other factor could be that people read AZU-1 lifehack, and were so horrified by the typos that they felt they needed to help for the sake of the health of literature as a whole.

In other news, as of October 1, I've officially become the vice pres of the MeadowRidge Optimist Club. (Service club aimed at helping local youth.. check out the international page for some general info)

So now, aside form my usual duties of graphic design for the club, occasional minutes taker and newsletter writer, and balloon inflater, I have to assist in laying down any required smack. Our new pres, Peter, often has to travel for work, so chairing the meetings will fall to me on those occasions.

The club's also looking at a number of new projects, the next of which is assisting with "Ghost Ridge" an annual even in Maple Ridge that's kinda a haunted house affair, the size of a barn. We were involved a little last year, but this year we're 1/5th of the volunteer force, and walking home with an appropriate portion of the money raised. It'll be our biggest funding draw yet by far.

We're also checking out the logistics for running a little concert/benefit to fight child abuse, and we're going to be ding the manhours for a Xmas hamper campaign funded Via the company my wife works for.

We're in the first stages of setting up a walk fundraiser, and looking at ways to improve on our cashwash efforts next year, which was a blast this year.

Oh! And my wife officially joined the club! Originally she wanted to keep clear of it, "that's your thing, Joe, You should have your own thing without me hanging on." (Paraphrasing) But she's been sucked in..! Baby Caitlin's an unofficial member..