10.25.2011

Potpourri of Awesomesauce: Part I

This ain't your grandma's potpourri. This kind smells like sex, cake, and robots.
It's been very difficult to focus on writing a new blog lately. Lots of potential topics have flown through my head, but nothing's really stayed long enough to roost. When that happens, that usually means it's time to do a "Randomness" post. But I think that title is a little blah, so Potpourri of Awesomesauce it is.

And because I'm a walking contradiction, I'm going to make this potpourri into a numbered list. But because I'm not THAT much of a contradiction, the numbers are not going to be in sequential order. Take that, OCD. Oh, and the swear filter will be off for this post. If you don't like it when I talk dirty, fuck off.

3. Tomorrow, I turn 32. I'm no longer kissing the threshold of my thirties. I'm in fully inside that hooptie. Or, more appropriately, that minivan. Because I think the 20s are the hooptie. The minivan exudes a sense of stability and perhaps a little bit of safe vanilla-ism. I'm not afraid to admit I have next to no social life anymore. Many of my friends live in my computer, but I'm happy in my domestic bliss and I have a well-stocked liquor supply. No, I'm not going to reflect morosely on the things I haven't accomplished that I'd hoped to by the time I reached this age. Namely because fuck you. What's the point of that emo bullshit, anyway? Have you read your Facebook News Feed lately? The world fucking sucks right now. It doesn't need a "Whaaa, it's my birthday and I'm an old loser" diatribe. But second, I'm actually pretty damn happy with where my life is and where it's headed. In fact, I feel more optimistic about life right now than I have in a very long time. And that's not (just) the booze talking.

Cover Design by Yours Truly
17. In case you haven't read my Facebook page and my constant bleating about it, NaNoWriMo is just days away!! And I've got a book idea that I'm pretty sure is going to make me famous. Okay, I say that about EVERY book, and it hasn't happened yet. But this one is pretty damn epic, if I do say so. And heavy on the stupendous. And sci-fi. And I'm not trying to be an egotistical douche. I'm just feeling very thankful for the Idea Fairies that have planted this idea in my brain, and I only hope I don't disappoint them like I have in the past. Have I ever mentioned that my biggest dream as an author is to write a science fiction story that people talk about and continue to read years from now? Maybe it won't be this book, but maybe it will. I just really really really want to write that book, and if nothing else, I hope this story gets me a bit closer. Here's the blurb:

In a future where humans are colonizing distant planets following the near destruction of Earth, biologically augmented humans called Advance Decontamination and Asset Managers (or ADAMs) are sent to prepare each planet for occupation by eradicating native populations with a specialized virus.  
But one particular ADAM goes astray during a mission when he enters a time rift, sending him to present day Earth. There he suffers an awakening to the atrocities he's orchestrated over the centuries, and he feels compelled to save civilization before it succumbs to the events that led to his creation. The only problem is, his mere presence--and the cataclysmic virus that he carries inside him--may bring his home planet to the same terrible fate.
-276. I'm really looking forward to applying zombie makeup to my face for Halloween. I haven't done it in a very long time, and I hope I can pull it off. Considering how I look when I wake up every morning (see #3), it shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Same with the zombie walk. I've really got that one in the bag.


4. These chocolate cookies I'm eating are amazing.

77. I've really been enjoying the new fall season of television this year. So far, my favorite new show is American Horror Story. It's like if you read a Stephen King book while tripping on acid and being donkey punched by a nun. If you haven't seen it, get thee to your nearest FX channel or website and watch it. Now.

12. Speaking of scary stories, I've implemented a new pricing structure for my ebooks. All individual short stories have been marked down to the very low price of FREE. That's right. Free. Now, they are free on Smashwords right now, and will eventually all proliferate from there to the other ebook retailers over time. As for Amazon, it will really depend on if their price bots decide to match Barnes & Noble's prices, like they did with ARIA and UNDER THE SCOTCH BROOM, both of which went free in the Kindle store last month and received many thousands of downloads a piece. At any rate, if the shorts aren't free through Kindle and you still want a free copy, download the file from Smashwords. As for my longer works (novels and short story collections), those will all be priced at a (VERY FAIR) $.99. After a lot of experimenting with pricing, I've come to the conclusion that pricing something at a number I think my work is worth is not necessarily the best recipe for sales. Pricing them at a price someone is willing to download them for is the way to go. And even royalties on a $.99 sale are more than I would get from a traditionally published book sale.

Nat and her Pa with her first bass.
62. Recently, our family went camping with my parents, and we took the kids fishing for the first time. They loved it, and I myself had a grand time. I hadn't been fishing since catching blue gill out of the pond as a kid in Michigan. The kids caught a number of those, but both Nat and I managed to grab ourselves some bass too. It was an exhilarating experience to interact with nature that way again. Also very relaxing and meditative sitting out by that remote lake with all the autumn leaves falling around us like flecks of gold and bronze.

41. Also in the department of fun discoveries, I went frisbee golfing for the first time. My in-laws, who were in town for a visit last month, are avid fans of the sport, and I finally got a chance to try it. Great exercise, beautiful day, and I discovered that I actually kinda know how to throw a frisbee. Sometimes. And short distances. I'm very glad we didn't keep score.

Well, that's enough for now. There are other things I can mention here, but I need to save some things for the next batch of potpourri (which will likely smell like victory and Christmas cookies). In the meantime, Happy Halloween everybody, and Happy Birthday to me. It's been a good year, and I'm looking forward to even more awesome things around the next bend.

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