Roundup

Quick roundup

Falcons

The Smoke Jumper series features peregrine falcons and I’ve been reading a lot about them. They are predators, which makes them great scarecrows.

peregrine falcon from Carlos Delgado

Reviews

They are incredibly important. I’m really bad at them. I highly recommend this great write-up about why they are important and how to do them.

Swimming cyborgs

This one comes back the we don’t know what robots are. Or we can’t accurately see the future. Or just science is awesome. I think mostly that last one. It is interesting what we take from nature. Sometimes things you might not expect. Also swimming and belly dancing have a lot in common. (This story was so interesting it made it into my cache twice.)

 

Hot Hot Summer Roundup

My part of the world is hot. Gross, sticky, swimming through the air hot. And not just hot outside, but my office building is ish, it’s hard to brain when it is hot. To everyone who manages to brain work thing when it is hot my hat is off to you! So here’s a hot hot summer roundup. I’ll be back next week with more about Dangerous Metal and some formatting and publishing stuff.

sun

hot hot summer

What is worse hot or cold?

This story isn’t as glib as my headline. Deaths from Heat and Cold from the Reality Check. A podcast from Canada. Where it is colder. Mostly. Depending on where in Canada.

Stay safe

If you get out to “enjoy” the outdoors and work out stay safe please! The Mayo has tips.

SUPER COOLED!

Whatever I’m 5 sometimes. I love the super cooled water trick. Though I may love the whole sodium acetate supercools to all warm and toasty levels more. Maybe.

Jiggly!

Formatting roundup

I’ve been doing a lot of work on the novel lately and part of that was formatting. I read a bunch of stuff. I bring you a formatting roundup. Some of which helped. Though the other thing that helped is the CSS I know from my other life.

I clearly still have a lot to learn, a lot. But hopefully, I did ok with this book. Epubs are what I’ve been using for Kindle and Smashwords. So far I’m not noticing anything horrible doing it that way. I haven’t yet gone into the world of physical books so I don’t have anything about that. Just the epubs.

Formatting with Scrivener

This is super long and detailed from Garrett Robinson a whole bunch of steps. At the end of each post is a link to the next post.

Compiling with Style. I don’t know that I have style.

And if you’ve been going, I keep hearing about this Scrivener but I’ve been holding back because I want to be able to use my iOS device? Good news!

Good News!

Scrivener is coming to iOS soon… Which means, yes, I’m going all in for an iPad Pro – hopefully the 12 this fall when they do a refresh. I got a chance to play with one and I’m really excited about it. I think it will be a good writing tool. Though I’m still waiting for an outstanding audio editing app.

Dig into the code

If you are breaking into the code there are some other resources. I’ve tried using tools for Mac to set up ePubs before I officially got frustrated. It was official. I have a certificate here somewhere.

Table of contents from a site dedicated to making better ePubs.

And a big ePub resource.

Content

Who doesn’t love a numbered list? The Book Designer wrote about 6 Things to put in your ebook.

Read

Words better than mine.

LGBT Poet Stunned A Packed Room With Her Thoughts On Orlando Shooting

Let us rally against the powers that push against freedom. Let us rage, but let us also lobby for change in these gun laws and in discrimination laws.

Let us fight for more spaces where all our bodies can be safe. Let us push against unjust laws that seek to turn back the hands of time.

grieving with my queer family

I am grieving. I am angry. And I am scared. So I’m going go grab a beer at my local gay bar. I will take comfort in my queer community, and we will start to heal together.

Because in the end, love WILL win.

Mass Murder at the Gay Bar: When a Refuge Becomes the Target

And I’ve got a few personal questions I’ll never hear the answers to, but that didn’t stop them from keeping me up last night: How many victims this weekend were just outed to their families from their hospital beds? How many of them prayed their mom would come to visit, or their dad? Those are the victims I’m praying hardest for today.

Romance Planning

No not planning a romantic getaway, but romance planning for plot or story. I’ve had some troubles hanging onto my romance arcs. They seem to get shuffled to the background, which is frustrating when sometimes they’ve started as the primary point for the spark of the idea.

Every time it has shuffled to the back it was ultimately the right choice for the story. But I also wonder if I’m just not as strong at writing it so it is easier to shuffle than to strengthen.

So I took some time and read some stuff. Because reading!

Finding your Romance Arc

by Susan Warren

This talks about the Why/Why not vs the Why not/Why…I’m a little worried I don’t entirely understand it. But it sparked a few valuable things.

Make the Romance the Story Arc

by Scott Eagan

This is completely my problem. So I’m going to try something in the future that takes this plan the romance and backdrop the other thing approach.

The Seven Story Beats

by Kaye Dacus

This was really direct. I think my issue is that I hate hate hate #6! So I have to struggle through writing it to bring back around to #7.

Suggestions?

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for planning a romance or having it not get lost behind the other stories?

romance roundup

Sunset is romantic right?

Summer Roundup

I wanted to go with a summer roundup, some things that relate to summer since we’ve fully entered summer here. There were some beautiful days and one lovely rainy one. I got a lot of audio done during the rain.

In summer things melt

Which can be great. And this video of things melting is a great way to waste 4 minutes. So cool.

Want a summer job?

How about cruising for the summer for google? Too much partying at night? Don’t worry you can take a nap.

Ok maybe I’m being a little snarky, but I’d rather someone fall asleep in traffic behind the wheel of a self driving car than a regular one, and they do, often.  It doesn’t make the news because it is so common, not because it doesn’t happen.

dog in water

Dog in water

Service dogs

Not only in the summer, but I see a lot more of them just hanging out during the summer.

Dogs can be trained amazingly well to be great companions and support.

If a handler is feeling anxious or uncomfortable, he or she can call their service dog to them as a way to relieve tension and stress.

Service dogs can be amazingly helpful, It is so impressive the training to get them ready to help.

Reading Roundup

A little bit nerdy a little bit awesome a reading roundup this week. Not a list of books, but of very interesting tidbits of reading. (Hey these roundups aren’t always tied up neatly together, sometimes they are just some cool things I read during the week or stumbled across!)

Reading

How NOT to read like a beta reader from Kate Heartfield

I absolutely run into this when I do a lot of reading for …not pleasure. It is such a hard rut to get out of. I do feel like I do a little better with audiobooks because I don’t see things like grammar errors or other things, usually the narrator will read them correctly even if they are written wrong, which is awesome. But it is also harder to dwell or go back. I very much appreciate these tips.

Census and History

So Canada is full of nerds.

Nerds who love statistics. (You heard about how they crashed the census site right?) This is full of really great information about why census data is important, what they collect, how it comes out. And it includes links to data you can play with. (The US has some similar kinds of tools, though a lot of it is in hands of other organizations.)

census form

This is a Cuyahoga County, Ohio US Census form

Teeny Tiny Terrors

It is a mental floss counting list

I do love folklore traditions and the tiny little minions of doom that come with many of them.

I think that R2-D2 and BB-8  sort of fall into this category too. A little mischievous.

Publicity Roundup

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about publicity, marketing, outreach, and such recently so I thought I’d do a publicity roundup. These are a few of the more interesting links, resources, and even an ad I ran across.

Publicity infographic

Infographic from Book Baby. Because infographics are pretty.

I am doing most of the things on the list…ok like halfish…I am working on developing a couple contests, likely for audiobooks, coming up soon. Stay tuned!

Spending an hour a day in social media seems like a lot to me. Though if it was one of the less productive hours of the day it wouldn’t be so bad. And if writing was my full time job it would be different. For me it seems like the best thing I could do with an hour would be write. I don’t always get to do it. Sometimes it is a blog post, sometimes a flash piece, sometimes novel work. But I feel like if I’m going to commit another hour a day to something it should be writing. Though every hour can’t be productive. I can’t expect to spend 4 hours a night after 9 hours of work being productive at writing, that’s not how you brain, or at least not how I brain.

A great ad

Tree Lobsters has a fantastic ad for a new short story collection. (I didn’t know the Tree Lobster guy did short stories, but a read and love the comic so I’m going to guess the stories will be as fun.

Awesome ad/comic

I don’t know that I’ve learned how to make a great ad, but I think this is one. Funny, visual, but some thing else I can’t place.

Blog tours

I’ve been reading a lot about blog tours lately. I actually feel like I know less now than I did when I started reading. I’m not sure how that is possible, but that’s what I’m feeling.

You can pay someone to help you set up a blog tour, and there are a lot of these companies out there. I found lists of companies and inevitably about half of the sites no longer existed so I think it is a high turn over business. Mostly they collect bloggers and connect authors with bloggers.

There also seems to be a site that does it free, though no guarantee of success, you as the author have to do the outreach on your own.

Blog Tour (the free site)

There also seems to be the idea of just find the sites you like and ask. That seems terrifying. On some sites the authors do regular things that are guest posts you can request to participate in. For most sites though…scary.

Publicity roundup person

Image via Under30CEO

 

Messy Roundup

My thoughts are a bit mess this week so it is leading to a bit of a messy roundup.

Have you read blahblahblah

I told you messy. I both love and despise all of the lists about what you should read and what you have to read and what you are a horrible person if you don’t read and what you aren’t a real writer if you don’t read and whatever. They always say more about the people compiling them than anything else.

SF Signal’s How Well-Read found a new shiny toy at Worlds Without End  which lets you compare and compile lists without end in the SFF realms. There of course was the one that NPR put together that was turned into a fancy flowchart and an even fancier interactive thing.

I love that they can introduce you to new books. I love that they give you a chance to see if you are being broad in your scope. I hate the often prescriptive nature of the lists.  It feels like it is always the same books over and over and over. And the over and over nature of it feels a little like if you don’t like this thing you’re not a real fan. There is also a bit of the whole idea of a true fan that I will explore at some other point in time, but for now. Bullshit. The bullshittiest of bullshit.

messy so messy

Free Will horse from Faisal Akram because when I searched for Free Will this was the best thing that I got…

I have no choice but to write this

Illusion of Free Will I feel a little surprised that this is a new idea apparently? Is this really a new idea? I assume there is something fundamentally different about this than other stuff I’ve read.

There is an idea in some communities (I am really sure there is a Mysterious Universe episode that talks about this but I’m having a hard time finding it so I may be wrong?) that the gap in time is basically where …consciousness lives. Or where the soul lives.

But that our brains sort of back engineer things is very common. Some biases work this way. You make decisions (people are so weird during the full moon!) and then you seek out evidence to support that and dismiss what doesn’t.

*This doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole. Not having free will doesn’t mean you should go out and shoot someone and say you couldn’t help it. You’re just an asshole. Stop being an asshole.

Mesmerizing

This is a round up of things that will make you stare for hours watching how the insides of things work. So engineering gifs basically.

 

Writing Advice, Evolution, and Cheese

A round up of weird stuff this week. I highly recommend all of them but the writing advice is amazing. The cheese is so tasty.

Best Writing Advice

SF Signal Rounds up writing advice

The advice ranges wildly though my favorite?

“It’s okay to write in your underoos.”

Evolution, Reality, and Game Theory

Worth a read about perceptions and the accuracy and reality. Reality is kind of bullshit. Which I already knew but this is a good read. (long and interesting)

Motivational Quotes

Supporting your hopes and dreams. Though I do kind of want an “It’s ok to write in your underoos.” motivational poster now. That’s pretty serious motivation.

From Rolf Beeler a raw milk Vacherin Fribourgeois

Ancient Alpine Cheese

Through chemical analysis of pottery they discovered that alpine cheese has been around since at least Iron Age. Mm mountainey thousands of years old cheese.