Posts Tagged With: star wars

How To Re-Watch Your Favorite TV Show

Friday is How To day, and today we’re tackling the topic of re-watching favorite TV shows!

Now, you might say this is the sort of topic that doesn’t require a How To. And you’d be right. Unfortunately for you, I’m the one writing this post, so I have all the power! AHAHAHAHA!

Right. It’s been a weird day. Moving on.

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How To Re-Watch Your Favorite TV Show

  1. Figure out what your favorite TV show is. If you can’t choose just one, there’s an easy solution. Grab a bunch of your friends and have them line up and write the name of a TV show you like on their shirt. From there, grab a paintball gun and let loose. The first person to break ranks and attack you is the winner!
  2. Acquire said show. DVD, Netflix, borrow it from the library, whatever. Just make sure you don’t pirate it. As that anti-piracy ad from the early 2000s famously said, “You wouldn’t download a car!” Except that anyone in their right mind would definitely download a car if they could, because you’d be stupid not to. So forget that ad. Just try to get your hands on the show without getting arrested. I believe in you!
  3. Create a distraction-free viewing space. This one is tricky. You’re going to be binge-watching this shizzle for at least a full two days, maybe three, so you need to make sure no one and no thing has the potential to interrupt you. If you live alone, perfect. If you have pets, regretfully inform them that everyone has to grow up and take care of themselves sometime, and that day is today. They might whine at first, but eventually they’ll thank you for the gift of adulthood and responsibility you’ve bestowed upon them. If you have roommates, dispose of them. The manner of disposal is up to you. If they’re being particularly difficult to remove, I know a guy.
  4. Plan out your food consumption. Remember, this is a multi-day event, and just stocking up your fridge with groceries isn’t going to cut it. You don’t have time to cook, dammit! You’ve got TV to watch! Instead of stockpiling groceries, stockpile delivery fliers. And don’t forget: you are contractually obligated to leave the show running while you race to answer the door and pay the delivery guy/gal. Pausing is a sign of weakness.
  5. Start watching. Remember, no pausing. You’re allowed to do other things while watching, like play Candy Crush on your phone, or two-monitor it up and check your email on the second screen, but don’t you dare turn off that show for anything less than a zombie outbreak. Even then, zombies are surprisingly polite, and will almost definitely hold off on eating you until you’ve had a chance to finish your marathon if you ask nicely.
  6. Do NOT re-watch the pilot once you’ve finished your marathon. This is a rookie mistake. You finish the last episode, you lie back, and your heart is so full of emotion and heartbreak that you think, “Hey, I know the perfect way to end this marathon–I’ll re-watch the pilot!” It seems like the perfect solution–you can hold off leaving the show’s magical world for at least another 42 minutes, not to mention you get to see the fun juxtaposition of first episode vs. last. IT IS A TRAP. Watching the pilot leads to watching the next episode. And then the next after that. Soon enough, it’s a week later, you’re halfway through your third re-watching, you’ve lost your job, your significant other has left you for an attractive panini artisan, and your landlord is knocking on the door to make sure you haven’t died and been eaten by cats.
  7. Wait 14-16 months, and do it all over again. The time gap is necessary to help you forget how royally you screwed up your life during your previous marathon.

Hehehe. I laugh, but honestly, binge-watching TV shows is one of life’s small pleasures. My current show of choice is Avatar: The Last Airbender / Legend of Korra. Don’t worry, I haven’t assassinated my roommates or been eaten by cats. Yet. I’m only halfway through, so there’s still time.

Unrelated media of the day:

I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before, but since we’re all freaking out over the newest Star Wars trailer …

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Last Day of NaNo Update

As predicted, I have once again failed to complete NaNoWriMo. My grand word count as of now is 38,079. That’s pretty darn good in my opinion, although not quite enough to hit the 50k end goal. Le sigh.

A brief rundown of my NaNo experience this month:

  • Started into a re-write of a fantasy novel I wrote a few years ago
  • Got 15k words into fantasy re-write, realized I was writing the proverbial Star Wars Episode I of my series when I should be writing Episode IV
  • Abandoned fantasy re-write and started into Cerulean Bound (Imminent Danger #3)
  • Got horribly distracted by planning out my new fantasy novel
  • Wrote some more Cerulean Bound (spurred on by this song)
  • Got a random idea for a story about blademasters and time loops — wrote a 2k outline for this
  • Back to Cerulean Bound!

By the end of it, I managed to get up to chapter 6 of Cerulean Bound, so that’s something! The intro’s all wrapped up and our intrepid space adventurers are off on their next quest. I can’t say much about the purpose of their quest, or their end destination, except that the clue is in the title. I will happily entertain wild speculations in the comments section.

In related news, the baseboard heater just decided to turn on again, so I’m getting all toasty warm. It’s a very fickle contraption, and likes to torment me by turning on at random intervals.

To conclude, NaNo was a complete failure by me, although I did get some great ideas down, and will have some solid material to work with during the holidays.

I also just placed a massive order on Vistaprint (who are currently having a Black Friday sale), and I picked up some really awesome Imminent Danger swag, so if you want any of it, make sure to check out my IndieGoGo campaign!

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Star Wars Trailer is Here!!!

The first teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie is here! And yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with writing, but I’m just so excited that I need to share it right now. And actually, it is technically writing-related, as someone had to script the teaser trailer. Woo! Connection!

Without further ado …

PS: My IndieGoGo campaign is still running — snatch up a copy of Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It today! Or just bask in the awesome that is the Star Wars teaser trailer. Either one is good with me!

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Goodreads Giveaway Results + New VLOG!

Happy Friday, everyone! May your day be filled with lots of sunny goodness, preferably the non-sunburn-inducing sort.

Moving right along to my first topic: Goodreads Giveaways. There are mixed feelings about Goodreads Giveaways amongst the self-publishing community, because apparently a lot of authors who send out free copies of their books via the giveaway never hear from the winners again, or get the reviews they’re hoping for.

That wasn’t my experience at all, I’m pleased to say. I held the giveaway back in April, and the two ladies who won the contest were very sweet. They responded promptly to my messages querying them about their addresses, and how they wanted the books signed to them, and they’ve both now posted reviews up on Goodreads and Amazon. Maybe I just hit the jackpot with these winners, but I’d definitely say it was a good experience overall.

The giveaway also resulted in approximately 463 people adding Imminent Danger to their to-read list. Now, this might not translate into sales (I still haven’t received my first sales report from iUniverse, lol), but it at least puts my book on the radar, which is pretty decent. I can only hope that one day, in the distant fog of the future, someone will look at the their to-read list, see Imminent Danger, think “Heck with it”, and download that puppy so fast it grows up into an adult dog and starts barking at everyone with wild abandon.

Oh yes, and I’m going to be holding another Goodreads Giveaway starting tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that! Only one book up for grabs this time, but I did open up the competition to include Australia, so … yeah. Woo!

Once more unto the vlog …

One of the aforementioned ladies who won the Goodreads Giveaway mentioned that I should post some sort of pronunciation guide on my website for my book. The problem, of course, is that Imminent Danger is sci-fi, so there are assorted silly-named aliens and planets and technology and whatnot parading around. I’ve decided to one-up her request and create a vlog about pronunciation, partially because it’s a lot easier to figure out pronunciation if you hear it, rather than trying to sound it out phonetically, and partially because it was recently brought to my attention that I haven’t done a vlog in ages.

On with the show! (Note: If the lighting fluctuates wildly, blame Youtube — they decided to “fix” my video.)

Unrelated image of the day:

Categories: My Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Cover Art Musings … I Need Your Opinion!

So now that I’ve finished the first edit of Chasing Nonconformity, it’s time to start seriously thinking about the future of my series — namely, what I’m going to do with it. Obviously I will not be publishing the sequel through iUniverse (ha!), so it will definitely be self-publishing for me. I’m thinking of going KDP Select, at least for the first few months, because that sounds like a really cool program and I’d love to see how it works out.

Now, this brings us to the question of what I do about Imminent Danger. I don’t remember the specifics of my contract, but I believe I can basically opt out of the contract with iUniverse any time after the first year by giving them 30 days notice. So then after 30 days they would de-list the book and it would disappear from assorted websites (well, probably not the print copies, because apparently online retailers like to keep listing books years after they’re de-listed, but whatever).

I’m thinking of de-listing with iUniverse a month or two before I release Chasing Nonconformity, which would give me time to format it and re-release it with the sequel — and I would probably offer it for a lower price as well, to try and get people interested in the series. But all this rambling is not relevant. What is relevant is …

Cover Art for Teen Books — Simple, or Fancy?

I guess what I’m really trying to figure out is what direction to go with my cover art. The cover art for Imminent Danger I have right now is fine, but it’s not really … exciting, you know? It’s got the space thing going on, which is cool, and then it’s got the silhouettes, which don’t actually look anything like my characters, locked in a passionate embrace … but that does nothing to capture either the “imminent danger” part of the title, nor the humorous element implied in the “and how to fly straight into it” part of the title.

So clearly I will need a new cover (not to mention I’ll have to pay iUniverse $700 if I want to buy the rights to their cover). Which leads us to the question: for a YA/teen book, what’s better — simple, or fancy?

Here are some examples of simple covers:

And here are some fancy covers:

So, as you can see, two very different styles. Now, if you consult this list of the best YA book covers, you’ll find that the vast majority of YA covers feature the female protagonist in a pretty/cool outfit doing something dramatic. So there’s another point to consider. But then, Twilight and Hunger Games are both insanely successful, and they have super simple covers, so … yeah.

Another thing I’m considering is hiring an artist to do an illustration for the cover. I’m thinking either just Eris (the protagonist), on a starry background, floating dramatically toward something just off-screen, perhaps shooting something with her laser gun. Or possibly Eris and Varrin (the space pirate) doing something that bespeaks their romantic relationship while at the same time being exciting and awesome. I don’t know. I spoke with an artist yesterday who will do the cover art for Imminent Danger and Chasing Nonconformity for $800 each — which I thought was a lot, but apparently (according to my mother) is quite reasonable for such a thing.

OR I could go the stock photography route and do it myself. OR I could hire a cover designer to do it for me. OR I could … I don’t know … sacrifice my teddy bear to the graphic design gods and hope for a miracle.

As you might have noticed, I have absolutely no idea how to proceed. So, any and all thoughts / opinions / suggestions / graphic design god contact tips would be greatly appreciated. Ooooh, I should also make some polls, because clicking buttons is fun. One second …

 

Notice that I didn’t put the teddy bear sacrifice option on the poll. That’s because this is a serious matter, darn it! Plus, I need my teddy bear to guard my apartment from looters and vagabonds, so sacrificing him should be a last-resort option.

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 83 Comments

Guest Post: On Music and Writing (with Alex Nader)

Next up in my “Guest Posters Because I’m Too Lazy To Write Posts Myself” series, we have Alex Nader cogitating on the relationship between music and writing. Take it away, Alex!

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Alex Nader Promo

On Music and Writing

Music is a big part of my day to day life. In the car, at work, pretty much no matter what I’m doing, music is playing. I listen to everything from vintage blues to modern punk rock. Music also inspires a lot of my writing. I even have a playlist of songs to use as inspiration for my novel Beasts of Burdin. (Shameless self promoting? I’m for it.)

The only problem is when I’m writing I can’t listen to music. Something about words in music distracts me. I focus too much on the words and end up not writing a thing. It’s terribly frustrating since I enjoy music so much. Luckily for me, I’ve found solutions.

One of my solutions is a band called 2 Cellos. They cover a variety of pop songs with only, you guessed it, two cellos playing the music. My other solution? A series called the Pickin’ On Series. It’s a compilation of bluegrass bands covering everything from Aerosmith to John Mayer, mostly instrumental. It’s perfect. I made a playlist of the songs I like and now I have music to write to without having to worrying about getting lost in the lyrics.

So you may be asking yourself, who is this guy that’s written these words I’m currently reading? Let me tell you. I’m Alexander Nader. I’ve written a couple books, the best of which is going to be published next April by J. Taylor Publishing.

Beasts of Burdin is a tour de force of ridiculousness. Okay, tour de force is probably a bit of an overstatement, but I really wanted to use the phrase. It’s about Ty Burdin, a retired demon hunter who gets dragged back into his old life of hunting and is drowned in a world of complications because of it. I think it came out pretty good, and if you feel the urge, you should probably follow me at my blog, alexnaderwrites.wordpress.com, for updates. If not there you can find me on Twitter, tweeting about something or other. @AlexNaderWrites.

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Unrelated media of the day:

In honour of May the Fourth, (yes, I’m a day late, I’m aware), I present to you:

Categories: Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Haiku Attack!

So I was going to post a writing tip today, but then I got bored and decided to go rooting through my ENIGMA file folder instead. ENIGMA was a short story club I formed in university, which at its heyday had a grand total of four active members. Apart from one very exciting and never-to-be-repeated occasion, I was the only person who ever actually wrote anything. But that’s cool, because I like writing, so pickles to them.

Anyway, I happened upon a trilogy of haikus that I wrote for one of our meetings. As you will see, this epic triad is titled “Out of Time” — a reference to the essay I had due that day. Instead of finishing said essay and handing it on time, I elected to procrastinate for several weeks beforehand, and then started writing that essay the day of. I believe I went on to hand it in three days late. But the story has a happy ending — we were only penalized 3% a day, so I ended up with a respectable mid-80s grade. Huzzah for lenient teachers!

And now, my haiku trilogy:

Out of Time

Time is up for me

I snatch and grasp for it now,

But I am too late

Blank space on a page

My essay is due today

Come, inspiration!

Shimmering starlight

Elephants flounce in the snow

Slightly off topic?

Unrelated media of the day:

Source: http://i.imgur.com/3knGYkv.jpg

 

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

One writer in search of a conclusion …

I am almost finished the first draft for the sequel to Imminent Danger — currently titled Chasing Nonconformity. It’s going really well. Eris and Varrin are up to their usual shenanigans, Miguri is fluffy and wise as ever, Grashk is doing a great job hissing at everyone, the settings are bizarre and fun, and the new characters I’ve introduced are all performing very well in their respective roles. There’s just one problem: I don’t know how to end the damn book.

I thought I had it all worked out, until I was informed that the ending I had planned was too depressing for my light-hearted series. Fair enough. So I re-worked the ending. And re-worked it again. And re-worked it again. And now I’m totally baffled.

I know I need an epic battle scene, possibly involving a chase of some sort, and lots of ridiculous one-liners thrown in at totally inappropriate moments. I have the big cliffhanger worked out, but beyond that … nada.

Watching Star Wars — Attack of the Clones last night helped. I think I’ve settled on the chase sequence, followed by a dramatic showdown at the __________ (Ha! Like I’m going to reveal that.) But I still haven’t quite worked out how they’re going to enter into said chase sequence, or how to tie up all the loose ends in the dramatic showdown. Sigh.

Any tips for conclusion-writing? I had everything worked out in Imminent Danger, but the ending for the sequel is maddeningly elusive. Any and all advice is welcome.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

My messy writing space (and why it is slowly sucking out my soul)

I am a messy person. This has been evident since … well, since as long as I can remember. I have gotten into multiple arguments (read: screaming matches) over the years over my inability to do the dishes, vacuum the carpet, refill the water jug, etc. I have accepted this about myself, although my living companions still live in hope that I will one day reform and become a cleaning goddess. This will never happen, but I try to encourage them by occasionally cleaning the bathroom so they don’t give up on me entirely. I haven’t been thrown out of a house/apartment yet, so I’d say my plan has been largely successful thus far.

Anyway, today’s topic is on writing spaces. I was inspired to write this post because I’ve been feeling very aimless recently when I sit down to work at my desk. And then the reason behind my aimlessness occurred to me — it’s because my desk is a disaster. If this were Jurassic Park, my desk would be the bloody remains of that goat the T-Rex chomped up. Disturbing mental images aside, check out the horror that is my sacred writing space:

20130201_141929Because that isn’t the greatest image in the world, not to mention the cherry blossoms somewhat detract from the point I’m trying to make, I will now provide a listing of everything currently scattered across my desk. Ready?

  • 4 printouts of my book cover, in various states of wrinkley-ness
  • a pricing sheet that lists the various author discounts at which I can purchase my book
  • 4 notebooks
  • a diagram of a high pressure boiler feedwater pump
  • 3 to-do lists
  • assorted papers
  • “Be Still” bookmark
  • 3 pens
  • 1 mechanical pencil
  • 2 silver sharpies
  • old book manuscript (spiral bound)
  • fancy leather binder my dad gave me for Christmas
  • Flipcam
  • glass of water
  • note with directions to London Writer’s Society meeting
  • “Im in ur cassel, advizin ur king” mousepad
  • mouse, keyboard, monitor

In case this hasn’t become apparent, the moral of the story here is that clutter stifles your creativity. This mass of junk is a reminder of all the things I have to do, or that I haven’t yet accomplished, and it’s exhausting. So if there’s one thing you should take away from this post, it’s that some mess = fine, but stupid amounts of clutter = bad.

So if you’re swimming in a sea of random papers, old journals, and a truly unnecessary number of writing utensils, just do as I do — write a post about how horrible clutter is, and then do absolutely nothing to fix it.

Success!

In other news …

I’ve been intending to do a blog tour to celebrate the release of Imminent Danger, but I keep putting it off. I had intended to continue putting it off, until the lovely and talented J.R. Wolfe informed me that she had A) read and enjoyed my book, and B) was going to post an author interview with me on her blog on Saturday, whether I liked it or not. Just kidding! Mostly …

Anyway, a few hours later the equally lovely and talented Celeste DeWolfe also requested an author interview, and before I knew it, I had somehow become involved in a mini blog tour. I will definitely be holding a longer blog tour (probably in March), so don’t despair — you, too, will have a chance to be a part of my blog tour, aka the greatest blogging event known to mankind.

I’ll post links on Saturday and Sunday to the respective lovely ladies’ blogs, where you’ll find insightful (ha!) interviews in which I reveal assorted facts about my life and writing. So stay tuned for Michelle’s Mini Magical Weekend Blog Tour! (I think MMMWBT rolls off the tongue, don’t you?)

Feel free to stop by and ask questions if you feel so inclined. Here are some example questions you might consider asking:

  • Has your giant teddy bear come to life and eaten anyone yet?
  • Why is your hair tied up in all your pictures? Do you have some sort of weird phobia about having hair on your neck?
  • Why haven’t you reviewed my book yet? ARGHHHHHH!
  • Why do you feel that bacon is the greatest and most magical foodstuff in all of creation?
  • What are your thoughts on unicycles?

Unrelated image of the day:

Categories: Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Super amazing fantastic unbelievably awesome FREE GIVEAWAY …

… of magnets!

Ha! Fooled you, didn’t I? Since I haven’t actually gotten my hands on copies of my own book yet (iUniverse for the win!), I have decided to have a slightly different type of giveaway. And this giveaway will involve … MAGNETS!

Don’t get too excited. You haven’t even seen them yet.

2013-01-23 18.32.23

Okay, you may now get excited. Ain’t they bootiful?

So here’s the deal. I’m giving away an unspecified number of magnets to an unspecified number of people who comment on this blog post in celebration of the publication of my totally rad new book, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It. I have a sparkly bowler hat left over from New Years into which I will place the name of each person who comments on this post. You get an extra draw if you reblog/share this post (or, preferably, this post) on your own blog.

The prize?

A MAGNET!!!

Perhaps not the most exciting prize in the world, but you can always use it to … um … do whatever you do with magnets. Stick flyers to your fridge? Plus you get to boast that you own an original Imminent Danger magnet! Wow!

Anyway, here is a picture of me and the magnets to get you motivated.

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The bear’s name is Tibbers. Don’t worry, he only comes alive and attempts to devour me whole every second full moon. Thus far I’ve fended him off via locking my door, but I found a lockpick set under his crown a few days ago, so I have a feeling my cunning ploy won’t work much longer.

This “contest”, so-called, is open to anyone currently living on the planet Earth. Visitors from foreign planets need not apply, as interstellar postage rates have really space-rocketed recently. (Get it? Sky-rocketed … space-rocketed … never mind.)

And your comment can be about literally anything. It can be about how beautiful the magnets are. It can be about my gigantic teddy bear. It can be about the current state of politics in South East Asia. You can even try to answer the age old question: Star Wars or Star Trek?

The contest ends when I wake up on Saturday morning and draw a name (so, probably around 9-10ish).

Remember, comment and/or reblog/share!

Unrelated image of the day:

Categories: My Works, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments

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