Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

It's been hurricane season here on the Gulf Coast for a couple months now, but until good old Isaac showed up we'd been living in suspended disbelief. All said, this one's not so bad. I've been through typhoons in the South Pacific that'd make your testicles climb back up into your body cavity, but the stigma of Katrina still hangs over residents along the Gulf like an abusive owner who has smacked his/her pooch one too many times over the nose with a newspaper. Now even minor hurricanes stir up fear and trepidation, and make residents shy away where once they brazenly confronted these storms with comments like, "I survived Camille, so what else you got?"

Anyone want to take the boat down to Hard Rock tonight?

This is not to lessen the trauma that some will surly feel from Isaac, though. I've watched the news (admittedly from a safe distance since I'm on a working vacation in Houston, TX) as a few residents in low-lying areas have reported their homes flooded into their second stories and of narrow escapes to high ground. There are certain to be more reports of tornado, flood and wind damage as the storm passes over and disaster assessment teams make it out into the field.

I expect I might be one of them when the Red Cross starts activating these teams since I've been volunteering with them for some time now. We'll see. One thing is for sure, though. No longer will anyone on the Gulf doubt that we are in the midst of hurricane season.

That said...hurricane party anyone?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why I hate pee-pee

Maybe it's a story all authors are familiar with at some point in their careers. I don't know. I just didn't think it would be this early in mine. I guess for lack of a better phrase, I'll just call it the "Lost Edit." Sounds kind of ominous, doesn't it? Well, here's the story.

As some of you may know, I published The Missionary Position in late June to Amazon's Kindle, and then on Smashwords for multiple eBook platforms. It was a fine and decent 'product,' but I recognized it could use some improvements when I had the time to make them. But time was a mysterious anomaly at that point in my life. I understood it existed, but only in the abstract and then only for those souls fortunate enough not to be bogged down in the same quagmire of study as myself. That's how my first foray into publishing TMP went.

Funny how it's not until you're in the homestretch of a project that the glaring mistakes you were completely oblivious to before suddenly become glaringly obvious.  Prior to hitting the publish button for eBook platforms, all seemed fine. Then I pressed the button and BAM! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a tense issue - a past tense/future tense conflict. Maybe not a big deal to some, but it bothered the hell out of me and I knew I'd have to fix it before the print edition came out.

Fast forward to August. I should have been studying for my Comprehensive Exams in anticipation of finishing my Master's degree. But I really wanted to get the print edition of TMP published sooner rather than later, so I poured myself into it at the risk of floundering on my Exams. Distracted as I edited? Probably, yes. Did I do as good a job as I would have done if I'd waited until after exams and didn't feel the pressure of other responsibilities tugging at my coattails? Probably not.

And so came the pee-pee. I shake my head as I think about it even now. Poor old Monk. Why did I ever make him say it? It was fine in the initial draft and publication. Yes, the language was coarser (he said "dick" instead of "pee-pee", if you're wondering because you read an earlier draft), but in a moment of doubt over who knows what, I changed the wording in an edit with the mindset that I'd let it sit and then come back and read it over again later (before publication) to see if it resonated okay.

Well, exam time came and I got rushed. By this time I'd completely forgotten about the pee-pee change, and the next time I read over the passage was when the book was published in paperback form...

...and, no, "pee-pee" didn't resonate.

Shit. That was my initial thought. Four letters that pretty much summed up how I felt about pee-pee. I guess it's quaint since both belong in the toilet. There it was, set in print forever. Now I've got a three-year-old's version of what he calls his junk in my book. Worse, I did a blind edit where I took the print edits and put them into the eBooks for updates. Now EVERYONE's got pee-pee in their books.

You're welcome, readers. You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Paperback version is now available!

Hi, guys. Just a heads up to let everyone know that The Missionary Position is now available in paperback. You can find it here, or on my Amazon page linked in the right hand column of this blog. In keeping with the low price target, you can purchase the paperback for just $4.99.

I realize it's been a while since my last post, but rest assured there's a good reason. I'm at the conclusion of my Master's program and studying for Comprehensive Examinations, which as it happens begin tomorrow. So, when I'm done here I'll be back in the books again. Trust me when I tell you I'm looking forward to the end of this. I didn't think it was possible to get senioritis at my age, but I'm here to tell you it is.

I'd like nothing more than to quit studying and get back to writing, but I've got too much time and moolah invested in the degree.

Until next time...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lunch with history today

I had lunch with an original Tuskegee Airman today, Mr. Mervin Harmon.

He was an aircraft mechanic in those days and as much a part of the legacy of these men as anyone. As a former military aviator, I recognize that without the efforts of the folks on the ground keeping our birds running nothing we do in the air matters. In fact, without them, there is no doing anything in the air.

These men, the Tuskegee Airmen, were part of a period of our military and American history that until the late 1990s and 2000s really hadn't gotten the same recognition that many of our other veterans of WWII received. While an unforunate occurrence, today I and a few others were at least able to show our respect to this man, his lost peers, and a generation of others who fought the war on two fronts - against the Axis powers and against racial prejudice. I cannot imagine having to go through the experiences they did. Imagine, German POWs had more privileges on American bases than these American airmen did. And they didn't blink an eye when they went to war to defend America and her allies.

The WWII generation is slowly leaving us and it is important that we remember them, take the time to talk with those who still survive, and never forget the sacrifices they made.  We will likely never see combat on the scale these men experienced again. The nature of war has changed, and the politics that once found the level of blood shed during that era necessary or acceptable will (hopefully) never arise again. I also hope that the circumstances necessitating that level of conflict never resurface either.

My hats off to them all. Bravo Zulu.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ukelele gone wild

Though I'm really trying to keep this blog more writing and book focused, I occasionally come across something on the internet just too cool not to share.  Such is the case with the below video.  Enjoy.

Barnes and Noble, Apple a GO!

Just checked this morning and saw that TMP had made it onto the Barnes and Noble Nook Book site, and the Apple iBooks site.  Took long enough, but at least we're there.  More options for downloads gets me excited.

Cheers.  I'm back to the Olympics now (with maybe a bit of study for my upcoming comprehensive examinations during commercials?).

Monday, August 6, 2012

A four year cycle that ruins me

The Olympics are entirely too distracting to get anything useful done. They are both the bane of my existence and the joy I look forward to every morning, afternoon and night. Writing, study, chores, yard work. They all go by the wayside while the Olympics are in progress. The good intentions I've woken with every morning over this past week are no match to the lure of a flatscreen filled with young athletes who've already accumulated more glory in their young lives than many of us will in a lifetime.

It's damned depressing now that I think about it, and yet I'm still watching.

That's all. I'd write more, but...well, you know. The Olympics are on.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New cover reveal

Hi, guys. Just a quick update on where I'm at in the paperback distribution of The Missionary Position...

The book is going through a review process now to check for formatting errors and the like. I've decided to attach a rough version of the new cover for the paperback edition below.

I think I like it better than the eBook edition, so I may have to go back and do some revising there. Let me know what you think. It's actually an image of the entire "flap"; that is, the front, spine and back covers of the book as one image. Probably a few more days before it is ready to go to print. I'll post here when it's available. Until then...