Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I ... I ... I kind of want it

Well, color me surprised - Apple announced a tablet that pretty much covers the bases of what I want. How weird is that? The big deal to me would be things like battery life, how easy it is to type on it, and whether it would indeed have a word processor. It turns out, it'll have excellent battery life (10 hours) and there will be a word processor for sale at launch (probably some apps, too). Here's the kicker, it looks like there will be a nice mechanical keyboard for it. The picture is from Engadget and shows you how it will work.

Setting up a laptop at a Borders or Panera is a real pain for me. I also hate having to fight for electrical outlets. This thing has enough battery life where that won't be a problem. It seems like a rather elegant solution, if it works the way I'm hoping it will. Hopefully the Apple store will get some demo models so that I can check it out.

I think the price is reasonable -- they have 6 models ranging from $499 to $829 with differences being in memory and 3g ability. All of this can easily be found online - so, check it out. I think I may end up selling my laptop and getting one. Here's the kicker, though -- while it seems really good for me, I'm not sure how many people it will really be appropriate for in the end. No way to know until it's on the market.

I do like that they have a well thought out plan to bring newspapers subscriptions right to the iPad. I could definitely see myself getting the New York Times on it. Apple already has an ebook store ready to go. Anything that sells more books, I'm all for! Anyway, that's my two cents. It'll be interesting to see what else comes out about it over the next few months until the release.

Vote in my poll! It's right to the side - I just want to know what you think would be the best pseudonym for my writing. A name can matter, so I want the best one to help me sell my books!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I think I can, I think I can ...

Note: Hey, don't forget to vote in my poll on the side bar -- I'd really appreciate it! Food for the Hungry also has people on the ground in Haiti helping out. Donate if you can!


Yay, it's rumor week! Lots of interesting things are being announced next week, so the rumors are flying fast about what will actually be revealed. Of course, the big one is what will Apple be revealing at their event on the 27th. The funny thing is, everyone is sure it's their new tablet -- but, Apple never said that. The hype has gotten so big, though they don't have a choice. They have to reveal one now.

So, is anyone interested in getting a tablet? If so, what do you want in it?

In my little fantasy world, I'd have a tablet that was easy to type on -- so, I could write on the go easily. I hate setting up my laptop; it's bulky to carry around. My handwriting sucks, even I can't read it. So, a tablet with a good interface would be brilliant. However, I don't see how, with current tech, they could do it. Touchscreen keyboards are too sensitive, you get errors a lot. So, I love the idea of it, but in practice -- I dunno.

As far as for content, I already have a PSP and laptop that can pretty much do anything with media. So, I'm not sure. I'll keep an open mind and see what they announce. I do like the rumor that they want to help old media - like newspapers - survive. If it becomes the default e-reader, I'll end up buying one.

The second announcement, although receiving far less press, is the new Capcom game announcement. It was shown with a graphic exclaiming the collaboration between Microsoft and Capcom like this: Capcom X Microsoft.

That's kind of interesting, because there have been many crossover games in Capcom's history, some have even used the same style image -- so, no one is really sure what's going on. Is it a game that uses both Capcom's and Microsoft's IPs? Is it just an exclusive game for the 360? I'm really interested to see what it turns out to be though. Rumors I've heard have been a crossover fighting game, an RPG using both characters from both companies, and even a new Killer Instinct game developed by Capcom on the SFIV engine.

It could easily be something stupid, too.

Of course, the real reason I'm writing this blog is to avoid doing any REAL writing. I want to work on my short story. I almost always get to a point in my writing where I feel like the story is worthless and I should just give up. It's a kind of nasty hopelessness that I don't really enjoy. It's really, really hard to work on something that you think is garbage, too. It really just comes from self-doubt and a lack of confidence. At some point, I'll just have to power through it ... right now though, it's powering my procrastination.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The computer should just type what I think.

I'm completely exhausted. To be honest, I don't really know why -- I just am. Work has been very busy. Mentally, my mind is stumbling over itself trying to get story ideas in order, prep screenplays, and diagram novels. Getting these stories right is a huge part of writing, however being exhausted doesn't help me get words down on paper.

On the plus side, I did get notice from the competition I was a finalist in - they're planning to start publicizing my win in the near future. It would be so nice to get some representation with someone that believes in me. I'm sure that would drive me to work far more diligently on my writing. I guess writing without that support is what shows character, though.

In any case, I am working on a short story now that I plan to submit to a small publisher for an anthology. It's very different from what I usually write, which seems to be what I say every time I write something now. Too bad our culture prefers to pigeonhole people -- he's an action star, she sings country, he writes mystery. I really DO want to write in all genres ... but, I guess to get published in all genres, you really have to earn it.

Oh well, I do have the story mapped out pretty well. It's much more dialogue intensive than I'm used to in fiction, as it's more about relationships, manipulation, and power than heroes and villains. I hope that's what is going to make it interesting.

And now for something completely different: I traded some games in on Amazon, but I have no idea what to get. Should I get books? DVDs? More games? I'm thinking about getting Sands of Destruction for the DS ... I'll put the trailer below and you guys can let me know what you think.

NEW POLL: Check out the poll this week ... with the prospect of soon selling some of my stories, I have to decide if I want to use a pseudonym or not. The right or wrong name can really affect how someone looks at a book. So, look at the list of names - pick the one you think sounds most literary or you like the most! The poll is anonymous, so you won't offend me!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What can you say?

Seriously, what can you say when one of the greatest catastrophes to ever occur in the Western hemisphere happens to the poorest country in the Western hemisphere? The facts are simple: due to the level of destruction and the level of poverty, the Haitians cannot help themselves. As bad as things are for us us economically right now, we are way better off than anyone there. Seventy-eight percent on all Haitians live on less than $2 a day. A day!

You CAN help. It'll cost you less than going to the movies. Swear off lattes for 3 days and you can cover this. A simple way to help is to donate to the American Red Cross -- info is on their site, but if you text 'haiti' to 90999 you'll donate $10.

I personally have an affinity for Food for the Hungry. They have a team in the area, too. You can donate on their site.

The truth is, as long as it's a reputable relief agency, it doesn't matter who you give to -- just give, even just a little. Just give.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Politics of Fear

I'm not going to spend too much time on this, because the idiocy of the comments are completely self-evident. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani publicly stated on GMA that the US had "no domestic terror attacks" under Bush. Click the link if you need more info.

Now, do you honestly believe a man like Giuliani forgot the 9/11 attacks or the fact that Bush had been in office 8 months? Do you think he forgot the shoe bomber attempt in December of that same year? No, he didn't. He's perpetuating the same kind of attack that the Republican party has for years. You make unsubstantiated claims that rouse the fear response in humans and motivate them to act irrationally. We as humans do, in fact, often act ridiculously when we're afraid. We often do things that are not in our best interest.

This is a plain and simple attempt to manipulate people. If it was a one time event, I could accept that he misspoke, but the entire Republican party campaigns on these terror tactics rather than actual solutions to problems. For example, Republicans totally attacked Obama for waiting three days to address the attempted terrorist attack on the plane heading into Detroit. Funny, when the shoe bomber attempted his attack, Bush waited six ... but, no one attacked him for that. Personally, I don't mind having a thoughtful president for once - and, one that acts faster than Bush.

Here's the real problem I have with the Republican party right now - the absolutely ridiculous hypocrisy they're engaging in. They want more government and less government simultaneously. The government should protect us from attack, but not regulate weapons. Government should tell women what to do with their bodies, but should stay out personal affairs. Government should control who can and can't marry, but government has no place in trying to keep it's people happy.

Instead of trying to legislate morality (impossible) or motivate through fear (deadly), the Republican party should start focusing on actual solutions to problems rather than trying to create new ones just to get elected. Rant done.

As disclosure, I'm a registered Republican and currently embarrassed by it.

Regarding my writing, I'm probably going to submit my short story this weekend, even though the date has been pushed to Feb. 28. It's just hard to start on something new while dealing with the old. I am going to submit my screenplay to one last contest; that will leave it sitting in two until summer. If I can make semi-finalists on those, I think I'd be able to make a good case to an agent to get representation. Well, that's my hope anyway.

As far as my next book, I had a sudden epiphany last night: the arrival of a new character. He's really what I needed to balance out the book, even though it gives me a really big cast. Basically, I'll have these 4 different groups/teams/individuals coming to the realization that there is a problem and working towards the nexus of the issue until they start to interact. It's almost like a survey approach to this world I'm creating. The reader will get to see a lot of different perspectives in a single book. If it works well, there could be literally four different series spinning off.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

... you moved the finish line again, didn't you?

I indeed finished my short story in time for the deadline only to have them extend it. Being a writer, it means a story is never done, so I'm going to work on it a bit more. They have a dual second anthology also coming up called Magic in Trafficking/Trafficking in Magic -- I think I have a pretty slick little idea for that one inspired by "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by The Police. No, really ... it should be fun. I love it when bad guys get their comeuppance, and that's what this one is all about. I'm also going to be trying to play a game of "hide the protagonist" in it, since I'm enjoying screwing with short story structure so much. Hopefully, you won't actually figure out who the protagonist is until the final scene.

Other than trying to finish off a couple games, I'm trying to stick to my promise not to play any more until my book is done. That'll be rough, considering I haven't started it yet, and I keep waffling on which one to write. I have so many ideas and not enough time. I'd love to sell a screenplay just to be able to write full-time.

However, three games came out this week that I want: Bayonetta, Divinity II, and Darksiders ... I only have giftcards to get one. So sad ... I may just have to go with the dragons in Divinity, though.

For those who haven't seen this, it's amazing - someone auto-tunes a bunch of scientists including Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman ... I honestly can listen to it over and over, truly awesome: