Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy End of the Year

This is my last post of 2012. It's been another year full of work (as a delivery driver for O'Reilly Auto Parts-my full-time job & working on my second book of the Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme trilogy in my spare time). As far as my writing goes I've finished the book & the cover. All I have left to do is finish the map of Wyrme for inside the book. This should take me a few more days I suspect & then I'll be able to turn it into a PDF file & send it off to Amazon.com for publication. During the year I've also had time to play (Wow for one game, WoT for another. World of Tanks the latter, which my brother is addicted to atm. It's an okay game & I can see the attraction-it's basically like battlegrounds wars in WoW but with about 15 tanks vs. 15 other tanks of equal strength. I've seen about 5 or so different maps so far including Mines, Ensk, Province, Prokhorovka, & Malinovka. The game takes getting used to (very different from playing WoW) and there's a lot to learn if you wanna get good at it. Here's the cover of book 2, The Magic of Dragons, which should be on sale on Amazon by mid January (paperback) & late January for Kindle:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life Goes On

   Yesterday was suppossedly the end of the world, some had said, but we're still here, so I guess that prediction was wrong. I've heard some also say that it was just the end of one age and the beginning of a new age. Well, maybe. Who can say for sure? Unless something remarkable happens that has never occured before we'll never know.



Monday, December 17, 2012

The Ending of the Season

  Well, the years almost over. Christmas is just around the corner and it's getting colder. I've been working the last couple weeks on putting book 2 together & am just over half-way thru formatting and editing. I'd hoped to finish it by Christmas so that I could have it for sale on Amazon by then, but it's looking more like mid January now. The last 3 days I had off work & that helped get several of the chapters finished, but I still have like 8 more to go. (plus doing the cover page graphics & making a 2-page map illustration of the world of Wyrme for inside the book).
   Besides all that I've also been spending my time watching this season's episodes of both Dexter and Homeland. Yesterday's episodes were the last of the season's shows until next year (seasons 7 & 2 respectfully). I'm more into Dexter, but I've gotten into watching Homeland as well & found it to be pretty good--although the story lines are worlds apart the writing style is not that dissimilar--they love to leave the watchers hanging on the edge of a cliff at the end of each show, and/or greatly wondering what will happen next.
   Both shows ended, not unexpectedly, with me wanting to see more. So, just as they did last year around this time, I will be waiting again for them to return next year (I think probably about in September or so. I know it's a long time to wait, but what can we do?) At least they will be showing reruns of this year's episodes next year, probably sometime in the summer, before season 8 & 3 begin for both shows.
   I'll be working on book 3 next year too at any rate, so that should keep me busy. (no title for that one yet)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Full of Turkey & Back to Worky

  Thanksgiving is past and Christmas is well on its way, as well as work. I haven't posted in about three weeks, mainly because I was so busy with my daytime job and with trying to finish my 2nd book of the trilogy. And the rough draft is completed, finally. It ran 21 chapters & is close to I think 120,000 words. Currently book 2 is 21 separate files--I did it that way for convenience sake. To me it's easier to keep track of everything that way when writing a book rather than putting it all together from the beginning. (Each chapter can almost be thought of as little separate stories in a way. Though they don't always make sense in that context-but sometimes they kinda do). At any rate, there's still a great deal to do to finish the book.
Like:
1> Copy all the separate chapters into one file--either word or openoffice, not sure atm. Here it need not be in the exact page format for the finished book yet.
2> Go through each chapter, one by one, reading them multiple times to make sure the story is exactly the way that I want it. Making small tweaks here & there. Editing & re-editing.
3> This done, copy the entire text into another new book file using the formatting that I want (accounting for margins, line spacing, etc.)
4> Create 1st-letter-graphic-icons = The 1st letter of each chapter is represented by a graphical icon that I create. I did this for the 1st paperback book too. You can't see it in Kindle version. I'll probably be able to use some of the ones I already made.
5> Create a map of the world of Wyrme. In book one I made a map of the Orb, which was the world where most of the story took place (it was an alien space vessel crash-landed on the moon). This will go near the beginning of the book.
6> Create a preliminary table of contents. This will also go at the beginning of the book. I can copy the same style used in book one.
7> Create a book cover. I've already created a preliminary cover for book two, but I've decided on some changes that will need to be made to it. This shouldn't take too long.
8> Put everything together: cover, table of contents, map of Wyrme, & the 21 chapters. The page numbers will be at the bottom of the pages again, as they were in book one & are actually not text, but rather graphics files inserted into the pages. They worked out great before & I already have them up through page 356, so that should just about cover me for book two as well.
9> That all done, re-read the book a few times to try & catch any errors. I embarrassingly caught a couple errors left in book one after it was already published (shh don't tell anyone where they are).
10> Hopefully with this finished it will be ready. All that needs to be done is to export it to PDF for submission to Createspace.com & for sale on Amazon.com like I did with book one.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Good Results

  This past weekend I hosted a 2-day free promo for my book Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme book one The Forsaken Orb, which can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Brighton-Dragons-Wyrme-Forsaken-ebook/dp/B009FPRS06/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352121820&sr=1-1&keywords=wyrme
 From what I've read posted by others my promo had pretty good results. There were close to 1,000 downloads of the Kindle book, and it ranked fairly high in the best-sellers rankings (it got up to about #250 on best-selling free Kindle books, #5 on best-selling fiction,fantasy,epic, and #11 on fiction, adventure). I'll have to wait and see if this results in actual sales.
  If others are interested in results like this I recommend looking at the blog post on June 20, 2012 on Victorine Lieske's blog at: http://victorinewrites.blogspot.com/ for tips on having a succeesful book promo. I also recommend joining The Author Marketing Clug at: http://authormarketingclub.com/ because they have many tools at your disposal for promoting your book & getting the word out on your free promos.
  I want to thank everyone who downloaded my Kindle book & took it as high as it went. I hope they all read it & love it & pass the word along to all their friends. Thanks so much,
James

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giveaway: The Hobbit Pocket Edition

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
This charming pocket-sized edition contains the complete unabridged text and features the original cover illustration, painted by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. The perfect gift for little Hobbits everywhere!
 
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf7d0f0/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway







 
 



Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Nexus Multiverse

  I was watching the History channel today & it had shows on talking about our universe; from how it was created, to the space/time continuum, and other ideas. Seeing this sparked my imagination on the idea of both how our universe was created and on multiple universes & I came up with what I call:
The Nexus Multiverse. In this idea there are a large unknown number of universes circulating around a central point (Nexus), and these universes are created, exist for a time, and then collapse back together over and over ad infinitum. It's like an enormous train of almost infinite size running about on a looping railway through the void, in the center of which is the Nexus, which itself is some sort of super powerful phenomenon. The structure of it all is akin to galaxies or solar systems themselves, usually being spiral in nature (like our own Milky-Way galaxy).
  In the crude picture I created you can see what my general idea is. The 'choke points' at the left & right sides of the universes is where they are created and ended. The universes would all be moving around the Nexus at about the same speed & exist for quite a long time until they began to collapse back inwards. And so at about the same instant all would end. But shortly thereafter a new collection of universes would be created (like a bunch of big bangs happening all at once). What was in one universe moves on through the 'choke point' extremely quickly on into the next area (kind of like sand falling through an hourglass--it moves slowly far away from the 'choke point' but very fast through it). I have no idea of what forces would make such a multiversal structure possible, or even if it would make sense to anyone else, but I thought that it could be one idea for others to ponder. And since we'll probably never really know anyway I guess it's as good an idea as any.

  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Give Something Back

 In my explorations of other blogs lately I've discovered a way to recognize the hard work of other bloggers out there around the world.
 http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/
 One thing I've learned is that blogging takes time & time is a precious commodity. So it's nice to be acknowledged for all the time & effort you put into your posts. And here's one way to do that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trying something A Little Different...

Thought that I'd see if I could add a carosel widget:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book 2 getting closer to the finish line

  A few days ago I finished work on chapter 18 of book two of the Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme trilogy (The Magic of Dragons). The nearly 2 month hiatus since completing chapter 17 (finished it Aug. 19) was due to me stopping work on book two to get my totally redone book one up and running (on sale in both paperback & Kindle formats) on amazon.com. My paperback was published Sept. 13th, while the Kindle was on Sept. 22nd.
  I won't tell all of what happens in chapter 18, but I will say this: Danival, the leader of the Techanis assimilation force, braves the dragon Vul king's lair to speak with him. It is a risky venture and one that if he hadn't come prepared would have ended with Danival a very dead man. Because of the technology afforded him he lives to tell King Aftnaar something that angers him greatly, but leads to the Vuls and Techanis forming an alliance. This is incredibly bad news for the others of Wyrme, for the Vuls harbor ill feelings towards all but their own kind and are willing to do almost anything for a chance to become rulers of the planet. The Techanis know this and because manipulation is their prime tactic when dealing with other species they use this knowledge to sway the Vuls into joining with them. Here is a brief excerpt:
  
“You are very brave to challenge me in my own lair,” Aftnaar hissed angrily and rose to stand. His eyes flashed a blood-red crimson as they looked about the chamber for anyone else. He was rather stunned to see no one. A one person army?
“As I said, I am not here to fight with you,” the stranger recounted.
“What is it that you seek?” said the Vul king, slowly circling the figure.
The stranger held up his hand, motioning the lord to give him pause, then removed his black mask, revealing the face underneath. It was the face of a man. And the sight of this infuriated Lord Aftnaar.
“A Rysouri! How dare you try and bewitch me with your foul magic! Die!”
“No, wait!” yelled the man, but it was too late.
The king of the Vuls inhaled deeply in preparation for his attack, however, the man knelt and covered himself with his cloak to endure the coming assault. A stream of white-hot fire belched forth from the dragon's mouth in a cone of burning death engulfing the cowering figure. No mere man or beast could have lived. But when the fiery storm had abated Lord Aftnaar was surprised once again to find that, although his cloak looked more scorched than before and was now smoldering, this visitor remained upright and still breathing. He then incredulously stood up to plead his case.
“Please Lord Aftnaar, stop your attack and hear me out. I have things to tell you—things you will want to hear. And I have a pact to make with you as well, if you are willing to listen.”
 
  The book is coming along nicely--I've started chapter 19 and think that I know how it will be going. Chapter 20 will be I think the big confrontation between the many groups (Techanis, Vuls, Rysouri & Andy Brighton himself). There may be a chapter 21, and if so it will probably not be very long--I'd imagine it would just tidy up things from chapter 20 & stuff/tie up loose ends so to speak. I'm thinking that book two will end badly. What I mean by this is that things will not be all nice & cheery and leave the reader feeling all warm & fuzzy inside. Rather I want the reader to think at the end of book two something akin to "OMG that can't happen! and, What are they gonna do now?" and it should end in a kind of cliffhanger, so that the reader wants to get book three as soon as possible & find out what's next. Otherwise, if it ended all great and wonderful, what would be the point of reading any more?
 
 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Sad Ending to a Great Season

  I have to admit that I love major league baseball, and I root for the Atlanta Braves (I live in Birmingham, AL.) So I was gravely disappointed when they lost the game yesterday to St. Louis. And losing the way they did was especially disheartening. The Braves had 12 hits, but could only manage to score 3 runs, while the Cards 6 hits produced 6 runs-greatly due to 3 abnormal errors from the Braves. The game will probably be remembered for the infield fly rule call in the 8th inning however, which, if it hadn't happened would have loaded the bases for Atlanta with only 1 out. With the umpire's call there were 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd. Needless to say the homefield fans were upset by this call and immediately threw trash onto the field, causing a 20-minute delay. I was very upset myself and if I could have done it I would have thrown something onto the field as well from here in Birmingham--I guess only Superman or maybe the Hulk can do that. It made me question the rule and I've looked it up. According to the rule it seems to apply to the situation that happened. However...I have one big gripe...which is that the players who could have caught the ball must have been able to...and here's my distinction...with ordinary effort. Every situation in every game where this rule could be called is going to be slightly different. It is a judgement call by the umpire whether or not the rule can apply to the given situation. Sometimes the umpires decide that there are no players who could have made a catch with ordinary effort when a ball is popped up over the infield. It happened in 2008 in the 5th game of the world series when Pedro Feliz of the Phillies hit a pop up against the Tampa Bay Rays-there it was not called because of swirling winds. So there is a precedence for some sort of mitigating factor disrupting a catch of the ball. I put it to the umpires, and MLB, that there was such a factor in the Braves vs. Cardinals game yesterday. And this was that neither of the players that had run over to catch the ball were committed to catching it. Both of them had given up on the ball, apparently due to a miscommunication on their part as to who was going to catch it. Is not a miscommunication between players a disruptive factor? I contend that, yes the ball could have been caught if they had not had such a miscommunication, but since they weren't on the same page so to speak, and both gave up on the ball, the rule should not count in this instance. (just like when some other disruptive influence keeps a popup from being caught).
This is a photo of the two players involved in the play,
and they don't seem to be on the same page to me.
It's unfortunate that the umpires didn't see it this way or think to consider that someone's ordinary effort could be affected by anything other than bad weather. The game was played under protest but shortly after the game Joe Torre, MLB vice president of operations, denied the protest citing umpires judgement. Boo.
Since either they don't want to ruffle feathers, or they just don't care, there's nothing anyone can do now but forget about this and get ready for next year.
You know, it'll be funny if St. Louis goes on to win the World Series after this. They won it last year after beating Atlanta.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Favorite Show On TV Is...

  Showtime has got me hooked on one of their weekly series - Dexter. What can I say about it? It's intriguing, darkly humorous at times, gripping, fast moving, almost never boring. Every episode it seems, at least since I've started watching, has left off with a 'cliffhanger' & leaves you thinking - oh my god, what is he gonna do now? I waited for an eternity for the latest season to start again, which it finally did on Sept. 30, & I have to say the writers did a good job at coming up with the first show of season 7. I've actually not seen episodes before season 6-that was when I started watching. So I found it late (I didn't have Showtime before then-I had HBO instead). It's an adult show in case you didn't know so keep the kiddies away. Like I said I'm hooked and probably will be until it ends-will it end? I guess it will someday, though I'm sure many people dread that thought considering it has quite a following. Keep it up Showtime!
PS: I also like Homeland a bit as well, though no where near as much.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The First Book of the Epic Trilogy is Now Available

   Read the first installment of Andy Brighton and the dragons of Wyrme, on sale at
Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions. (Also soon to be available for
purchase at Smashwords.com)
  If you're an avid reader and a fan of both science-fiction and fantasy stories then this
book is for you.
Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Andy-Brighton-Dragons-Wyrme-Forsaken/dp/1479302252/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1348022365&sr=1-2Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Brighton-Dragons-Wyrme-Forsaken-ebook/dp/B009FPRS06/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1348022365&sr=1-2

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Book Video On YouTube.com

I've created a video with MS Movie Maker & submitted it to YouTube.com. The video introduces my new book & shows both the front & back covers & interior map of the Orb. Here is a flash version viewable on my blog:
 
The video link to YouTube is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZegkg7Tp7A
 
I've created and submitted my new book to Smashwords & just waiting for it to be made available there, pending review. Next I'll look into online advertising for the book.
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

My book's been Kindlized!

Okay, so a few days ago my paperback went on sale on Amazon.com & since then I'd been working on the Kindle version. I finished it, submitted it & abracadabra, it's now on sale too! The conversion took about 4 days working in my spare time. The previous work I did last year on the book helped out a lot as I was able to use much of the html coding in this new Ebook. Publishing it to Amazon.com went very smoothly. It has a 'look inside' feature on it too, which is useful & allows one to see the first couple chapters. Check it out at the following web site:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009FPRS06

I'm now currently working on the Smashwords version & nearly have it done & ready for submission as well. I'll post where it can be seen soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My book is for Sale on Amazon.com

  So, after totally re-editing my first book, including a new name, new front/back covers, removing a chapter & the prologue, adding a new prologue, and so many more nuances it would take nearly forever to name them all, I self-published it through Createspace.com for sale on Amazon.com.
  It is a re-envisioning of my original book from a year earlier which truthfully never did sale anything to speak of, and which I thought needed a new look that is hopefully more appealing to book buyers. Some of the ideas that went in to the new version came about after I'd written much of book 2. The second book of the trilogy entails what both Andy and Gratoly (the 2 protagonists of the books) go through on Wyrme; Andy becomes indoctrinated so to speak by the Rysouri (magic-using people hidden in their city of Tyme under an illusion of the haunted forest of Wyrmewood), while Gratoly must endure several trials to prove his honor in order to speak with the dragon elders and warn them of the coming Icurnians.
  Here is a look at the new cover of the finished book:

The paperback is on sale on Amazon.com at the following location:
my paperback book on Amazon
 
  Currently I am working on the Ebook format so that it can be put on sale on Amazon.com as well. Once it is done it will be available for viewing on the Kindle and other Ebook readers, & at a much lower price (like .99cents compared to $11.99 for the paperback). Ebooks can be much cheaper since they are only data & no actual printing need be done, which also means no shipping charges.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tennis and Typing

  The past couple weeks I've been doing a couple things--besides work and spending a little time playing WOW. The US Open Tennis tournament has been going on, which I find very interesting to watch as I've played a good deal of tennis, both recreationally and competitively (in local tournaments). The greatest part is watching the men's final. That's the best part usually of any of the grand slams because it pits the two best players in the world vs. one another. This year it was Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokavic & they played, as I had hoped for, a match to be remembered. It was hard fought and exciting & in the end Murray won-his first grand slam finals win. Sean Connery (aka James Bond) was there among others to see it live & he rooted his countryman on to victory.
  Besides the tennis I've been busy working on book one again. I decided to go ahead and self-publish it on Amazon.com after totally re-editing the original book. It has a new cover, a new prologue, one less chapter, and completely perfected content. Unless you read both books you might not easily see the similarity between them due to the many changes, though most of the chapters still retain their original names. The book (and entire trilogy actually) even has a new name. Today I finished work on it and have submitted it for review to Createspace.com. It should take a couple days for them to review these materials and let me know if it passes muster. So now I wait.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chapter 17 finally finished

  Okay, so it took me a while to finish chapter 17--as you can tell, looking back on the last time I completed a chapter (July 19, a full month ago).
  All I can say is that other activities have kept me busy. Work primarily, but also such things as playing my favorite game (WOW), and also a weeks vacation to Miami, Florida. While there I didn't get any work done on the book at all, I just enjoyed myself. It was a great vacation too, seeing places I'd never seen before.
  At any rate it is now done I think to my satisfaction--at least at the moment. (who knows if some idea might come to me & have me make some changes)
  Here's an excerpt from the chapter called; A Wicked Tongue Speaks:

“So—it is Gryllman? That is your name? You speak for everyone?”
“Yes, Eye of the Elders...I am our people's representative...as I told the Elders before.”
“Well, I must say that whoever you are you have certainly come a long way to be here. I've never seen beings like you who could speak our tongue,” said the Eye, but then recollected stories of a people from long ago who had supposedly vanished from Wyrme. He glanced around at the Elders for any hint of recognition from them and saw none. Apparently the Elders did not believe these people to be those who once lived here, now somehow resurfaced. “At any rate our societies hold with certain privileges. First and foremost is that of honor. And it is extremely dishonorable to attempt to circumvent this in any way. It is my job to provide the means by which visitors may earn their honor, and in so doing also earn their right to an audience with the Elders. Since your people obviously were unaware of these rules of law I hope that you now understand our position and our concern that you've broken them. I am willing to overlook your rude ignorance this one time. Your powers that have magically enabled you to move through this mountain and into this Hall are not totally unfamiliar to us, and in a way that is rather troubling, however, from this point on I would caution all of you. No matter who you may be, we will not allow our laws to be trifled with. And no further warnings or second chances will be given. Is that understood Sir Gryllman?”
“Of course,” he replied, though worrying now even more than before. He looked back at his group for some measure of comfort, but found none, as only their stoic masks locked in their perpetual stares at nothing returned his gaze. Gryllman was on his own.

  The Techanis of Icurnia are on Wyrme and using their ways of manipulation as they always have in an attempt to find whatever great secrets they hope will be revealed. The secret scrolls that the Templests tried to hide have led them here, and Danival is determined to discover their origin. Even if it means the death of whoever stands in his way. Because there is one thing he wishes to find, an idea that every Techanis believes in and wants, an answer to what is: The Great Reconfiguring.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Trip to Miami

  This week I took a vacation to Miami, Florida. A good friend of mine and I have taken trips around the country of the USA to see our favorite baseball team play (the Atlanta Braves). Neither of us had ever been to Miami, so this year we decided to go there for a vacation. We could have gone back to someplace we'd previously enjoyed, like New York, St. Louis, Philadelphia, or even Los Angeles, but this time we headed for the beach.
  Miami is a cool destination if you like sun, traffic, frequent rain storms, lots of spanish speaking people, palm trees, and sand. Getting there was an adventure in itself for us. We flew from Birmingham, Alabama where we live down to Tampa, Florida--only taking a quick 1 1/2 flight, which seemed like only 30 minutes on Southwest. Got our bags & rode the shuttle to the rental car place. Got our car (a Hyundai) and drove from there to Miami. Doing this saved us a ton of money and, although it ate into our vacation time a bit, wasn't that bad, as we caught some scenery, like the Everglades & Alligator Alley (I-75), so that was okay. Finally making it to Miami we drove to the hotel. And man, what a hotel!
  The Mayfair is by far the coolest hotel I have ever stayed at in all my years. Located on Florida Ave. in Coconut Grove it's not only in a terrific area, the place looks to have been created out of someones vivid imagination. I say this because it resembles a place I have freqented, not in reality, but in a computer game! I've play WOW (World of Warcraft) for years and so I instantly recognized how similar it looked. Here are two pictures-the first is of the inner area of the hotel, the second is a photo of the game local I was talking about that it resembles (it is of an area within the Sunken Temple in the game-aka the Temple of Atal'Hakkar)

  At any rate, we found our hotel stay very enjoyable. A small shopping mall right next door to the hotel was very convenient for us as well as we ate there a couple times (Chili's), did some shopping, and even caught the "Dark Knight Rises" at the cinema, which has 13 screens and is as good a theatre as any I've ever been too--with stadium seating and very nice-though my friend said his seat was broken.
While in Miami we saw 3 baseball games at the new Marlins stadium. That place is a marvelous arena for watching a baseball game. Having a closable roof in a place like Miami is a great idea, with the heat & humidity. The only potential drawback is that maximim capacity looks to be somewhere just over 40,000 people, which is kinda small if they get into the World Series again. My camera phone went on the fritz when I was trying to take and send photos while there, I'd caught a bunch of good ones of the stadium, but then it wouldn't send them to my email & when I tried to take more photos I got the error screen "FAILED". This morning I finally fixed it somehow & its taking photos again.
We did other stuff too, like visiting the beach on Key Biscayne. We even saw the tennis complex there-where they play a pro tennis tournament you can watch on TV. We drove to South Beach and hoped to be able to walk around on the beach there too, but that place is kinda a nightmare: way too many people & cars, so there was nowhere to park & get out unless you want to walk a mile to get to it, which we didn't. So we just drove outta there. Ocean Drive is like a wall of hotels, one after another, so it seems like unless you're staying at one of them your chances of seeing the beach are slim. One night after a game we visited a place with a familiar sounding name: The Magic City Casino (Birmingham, AL. is called the Magic City). Luckily, both me and my friend Rick came out ahead.
Finally, after spending several days we drove back to Tampa, Fl. to catch our flight back to B'ham. & man we just did barely make it in time. After the 3 hours or so to drive back, filling up the cars gas tank, turning in the car, getting to the airport, checking bags, running to out terminal, & getting through the security checks, our plane was already boarding. Fortunately, when we got there they were just about to call us to board-so I guess we were just in time.
We finally got back home & can now rest up from our vacation, heheh.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Completed Chapter 16 of Book 2

  Here's an excerpt from book 2, chapter 16:

  The emptiness between worlds within the Sol solar system, that was the cold vacuousness of the interplanetary medium, heaved invisibly as the fleet of orbitals emerged from folded space. The auto-settings clicked into deceleration mode as the hulking vessels slowed to sub-light speed. The crew quarters, each housing hibernation chambers for the two-week journey, came to life. Fresh air was routed to the rooms, temperature was raised and gravity was returned to the upper levels. One by one the crew members were awakened, and one by one each of them prepared themselves to return to their duties. Within an hour the ships had been set to rendezvous with Wyrme and seek high orbital trajectories, which the fleet would attain in only a day's time.
In the main tower control-room of the orbital command ship Danival had only one thing on his mind, and he sat and watched intently as the tiny reddish planet grew larger in the view-screen. His second in command approached, making his duty rounds, finding his commander there locked in concentration and peered questionably at the small ruddy world himself.
  “It's rather unimpressive looking sir—considering,” said Sargarius Tyrnea, but then quickly reassessed his opinion when seeing Danival's reflection glaring back at him on the screen. “Though I guess one might find something ominous about it. Yes, a very ominous little planet I'd say!”
  “Well, I wouldn't want to be disappointed,” said Danival grinning. “But we'll know soon enough what is there. Begin the sensor sweeps when we're within maximum range. I want full topographicals and life-form analysis reports completed by the time we're in orbit. Coordinate the work among the crews of every ship and cross-check the results for irregularities or discrepancies. I need this done right and fast, not slow and sloppy. Got it?”
  “Right away sir!”

I hope that I can finish the book in a few more months and then begin the editing process and get it completed.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Completed Chapter 15 of Book 2

I just completed chapter 15 of Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme, book two, The Magic of Dragons. Here's an excerpt:

“What's at Mt. Auroatuko?” asked Andy.
“Something quite wonderful,” said Logi. “The mountain is an extinct volcano far to the south in an area called the Austral Region on the western coast of the Great Scale Sea. Long ago it is believed it was the original home of the Vuls. In fact they still claim the mountain as part of their territory, even though they rarely travel within sight of it. Today, and for as long as I can remember, Handiama has used the mountain as her nest. It is where she goes to lay her eggs.”

The 2nd book is planned to have 20 chapters, at least so far. You never know if I might come up with an idea while writing that I hadn't had before which changes things. If so then I'll adjust this estimate, but if not then that's what it will be. If form holds up the book will be somewhere around 115,000 to 120,000 total words. This is about what the publishers are looking for in a book of this sort, from what I've read. The reedit of book 1, which had 22 chapters, was about 118,500 words. So they'd be fairly close in size to one another.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chapter 14 of book 2

   I've completed chapter 14 of book 2 (Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme - The Magic of Dragons). Here's a synopsis:
   Gratoly, who has finally completed the three trials, journeys back to Colystal to see the dragon elders. When he arrives it is at night and he finds that the Permionths have a surprising look about them-their heads glow in the dark! Unsure of what this means he continues on and meets again with the Eye of the Elders who gave him his challenge. Hrysh is impressed but forces Gratoly to answer a riddle to gain entry. Gratoly passes this test as well and the eye is punished fatally for his failure. Within the Halls of Colystal Gratoly tries to make his case, but some of the elders refuse to listen. It is only when Gratoly's story is proven true, by asking for the Keeper's sight, that they allow him to speak. They listen and agree that the Icurnians, if they do come, may pose a threat. Gratoly believes he's succeeded and leaves Colystal to lay in wait until they come. When they do he will want to witness them himself and tell them that they will not be deceived.
  I'm into chapter 15 now & the book is coming along nicely.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How I Make My Videos

Here's a video on how I make my videos. A lot of the same techniques I use to make my 'music videos' I used to make this video as well. (The only thing I didn't do was to capture any video clips off YouTube. The video was just a screen capture of me typing out the steps I go through. The audio though was a recording of a song I found from a website which lists long songs - listverse.com).
Enjoy!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finished Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is complete and I'm now working on 14. Here's a brief synopsis: We return to Icurnia (where the Techanis now rule) and see the fleet arriving back from their successful assimilation mission of Gallepea. General Danival is greeted with the news that an explosion in Temple Iconn has severely injured his sister Heathyr--so much so that she won't live more than a day. To keep her from death he has her taken to the closest animus facility (soul swapping facility). He then learns that the scrolls were the target of the explosion, but fragments have been recovered and are being analyzed. After piecing together the remains enough information is salvaged to point Danival in the direction to where his people originated from. And it is the Sol star system and the planet Wyrme. A full-scale incursion is planned immediately to leave the next day. The morning after Danival awakes to find a strange woman at his home who speaks in riddles, but whom he believes is Heathyr. And he is right. Back at Techanis Command Danival inspects the fleet and finds his son is listed among the crew of one of the starcraft flagships. He's proud that his son has earned a commission onboard the fleet and talks with him for a while and mentions what happened to Heathyr. The fleet leaves Icurnia and heads towards their most notable destination to date.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chapter 12 is done

I've completed chapter 12 of book 2 of Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme. (The Magic of Dragons) For a quick synopsis: Andy & Fay reach the Great Anchorite deep in the Undermine. Meanwhile, Gratoly has accepted the challenge to fight in the Pit of Glory at Vulchaar in order to earn his mark of honor from the Vuls. His challenger turns out to be a huge crab-like creature called a crabooloo. During the battle he is knocked to the ground and it appears that he will surely die. Andy is called upon to help his friend & with the support of Fay & the Anchorite he empowers Gratoly. The dragon, now super strong, rises and defeats the crabooloo & earns his honor mark. And Andy & Fay learn that they must now stay within the sanctuary for a time because when the Techanis arrive they will come and destroy the Rysouri city of Tyme.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chapter 11 of Book 2 done

  I've completed the rough draft of chapter 11-finished it a few days ago actually. I've been busy with other things so I finally found the time to post. Today I'm working on chapter 12 and hope to finish it-I think I just need to add a couple of finishing touches, which I've already thought about & it'll be done too.
  I also added a new header logo graphics design to the blog, with a description. I think it adds a nice touch to the page. I'll probably come back later for some more fine touches on it however-like add some dragons or something.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Another Video

Here's the slide-show video of my book two cover. It was made much like the video of the making of book one's cover. The music is "The Mummers' Dance" by Loreena McKennitt.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Have A New Video

I just created a new video of the making of my book one cover. It is a slide-show video, showing the images and art renderings used in the design. Accompying the video is the song "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, which fits well I think with the presentation.
I've also created a cover design for book two and will make a slide-show video of it's creation like I did for book one.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Video

Here's another video I made from video clips off YouTube and a good song I found there too. I think all the videos were taken by a GoPro HD Video Camera-so this video is a tribute to it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Funny Video - If You Like Cats

Check out this video I found on YouTube--You might think that the cat is angry, the way it's back is all arched up, but the end turns out so precious.
_______________

I'm still working on book 2 while waiting on word if any of the publishers or agents that I've submitted book 1 to find it compelling enough. Dreaming Dragon Publishers seemed a bit interested, so I'm hoping that they will take it on-but I also have hopes for Baen Books. The only problem is the long wait time with them (a year or more). It'll be a while till I get my 2nd book finished at any rate, so I guess that I don't need it published right away. It's just that the waiting is what is so hard to bare. But you have to just keep hoping and working-that's all you can do.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Has my book finally found it's publisher?

I checked my email today and was happy to see an email response to a query of my first book like none I'd seen before -- they asked to see more! So I happily replied to Dreaming Dragon Publishing with the first 3 chapters of "Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme book one The Forsaken Orb" as their guidelines specified. Within a month or so they say that I should hear back as to yay or nay. I'll be crossing my fingers!
http://www.dreamingdragonpublishing.com/

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness Has Taken Over

Spring is here and along with it is the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. This is a very special time of year, for it also brings the bracket challenges - contests where, for the most part, people choose teams competing against one another in the tournament with bracket selections. 63 correct picks are needed for a perfect bracket - which has I think never been accomplished (though some have come close).
Because I just couldn't resist, and because of the huge prizes, I entered a bunch of the contests this year - more than I ever have before in fact. Here is a list of the higher value contests I've entered:
(The first six or so have $1,000,000+ prizes)
Yahoo              = http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1
Sportsco           = https://www.sportsco.com/ncaa/ncaatestm.htm
ALLive           = http://www.al.com/marchbrackets/
then theres a couple contests I can enter daily:

A good web resource I found, which has links to many of the above contests, is here:
Of the bracket contests I've entered, every one I chose different outcomes. Last year I entered about 6 contests and chose all the same teams to win. I know now that that was stupid. Because to have any chance to get one right you need to have as many entries as you can-not just the same entry multiple times. Anyways, maybe I'll win something (cross your fingers for a million bucks!)


 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Two Cover

I had today off work and spent it working on my book 2 cover. It's in the same theme as book 1, with the trilogy name across the top (Andy Brighton and the dragons of Wyrme) and my name across the bottom. In the center I put the volume name: Book Two - The Magic of Dragons. The first book was in a forest green, this one I chose to use a golden orange. (the 3rd I think will be in a dark red - though I haven't thought up a name for the 3rd book volume as yet). I'm pretty happy with it at the moment, of course the more I look at it the more likely that I'll find something wrong with it that needs tweeking. Have a look: (the idea behind the image is of Andy in his tower-room in Tyme practicing magic while the Rysouri girl Fay looks on.)

I'm still waiting on one of the 20 literary agents to respond favorably to my query of book one. If I don't hear anything by the end of March I might send out more queries.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Touched Up Book 1 Cover

Book 1 needed a touch up to its cover art, so I did some work on it. I changed the green moon a bit, but the main change was adding the briar vines around Andy Brighton (I wanted it to look like he and Gratoly were on top of Marble Mountain & near the prickle-thorn trees). Check it out:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Last game of the year

Yesterday evening, on Feb. 29, 2012, UAB held its last home game for the men's basketball team at Bartow Arena. I graduated from UAB in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in computer science and frequently attend UAB sporting events like basketball/baseball/tennis etc. with friends like Rick Beason (who also graduated UAB & Samford). UAB won the game against a fiesty Tulsa team. UAB lead for most of the game, and only in the last few minutes did Tulsa finally gain a lead (going ahead 52 to 51 I think at the time with a couple minutes to go). From then on it was neck and neck with either team having their opportunities to win. Successful shots by UAB and misses by Tulsa sealed the outcome however, and UAB went on to a 68-64 victory. I love games like that-games where the outcome is not known until it ends because it is such a close fight. (I hate blowouts). UAB has one more game in their season before the conference tourney and needs a win for a good seeding/possible first round bye. Every team in the conference gets in so I'm told, so getting a bye would help greatly. The teams record this year is only like 14/14, which is not as good as in past years where they won at least 20 games and was "on the bubble" for getting into the NCAA tourney. This year their only chance at it would be to win the conference tourney, with such an average season. I took a photo with my camera phone of the dragon sculpture outside the arena before we entered. It's a cool looking dragon:
BLAZE THE DRAGON

on youtube.com is a video of the making of this sculture and the placing of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQu4vMN2Wgk




Monday, February 20, 2012

Twenty Submissions

Well, I've submitted my first book to 20 literary agencies so far. And so far 6 have already rejected it. Which leaves 14 possibly still looking the idea over. Some of the agencies I sent the first 50 pages, while others were also sent a synopsis or just a query letter of interest. Each agency has different stipulations on what to send them initially-so I tried to follow their guidelines. So for now I'm waiting to hear back from at least one that seems interested and wants me to send them my full manuscript.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rewrite Complete

  I am totally finished with my rewrite of book one. It took me about a week or so. So now I have a completed manuscript saved in Word doc format, double spaced and ready to go when an agent asks for me to submit it. Spell check and all. I still need to submit query letters of interest to more agents, and I'll start doing that in the next few days. So far I've only submitted anything to one agent, and the chances are good that one submission will be only the first of many. But who knows? Maybe I'll be the luckiest guy on the planet. (ha ha)
I just hope that whatever happens, it will be accepted by someone within a few months. Cross your fingers I guess.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Made my first submission

  I've begun submitting my first novel to literary agents. The first to receive it is John Rudolph at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. His interest in middle grade fiction piqued my interest as well, and so I thought he would be a good candidate for it. To him I sent, by email, a query cover letter, along with attachments of a synopsis of my book and a sample chapter (the prologue). We'll see what becomes of this in the following weeks. I'm now working on converting the book over from what I wrote it in (single spaced, OpenOffice) and into what the agents prefer to accept (double spaced, MS Word format). It's not difficult to do so, just time consuming.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Remaking my first book

   So, I've decided to pull my book Wyrmewood and the Forsaken Orb out of publication and make a few changes to it in order to make it ready for submission to literary agents. The changes include; moving the original prologue into chapter 2, making a new prologue from chapter 3 of Tymespell (from the chapter Carpaggio Sole), re-editing the entire book, and also even renaming the book itself.
   The new name is: Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme, book one, The Forsaken Orb. Book two will be probably named: Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme, book two, Magic & Dragons. I am almost half-way through the second book now, but want to get the process of finding an agent out of the way first before proceeding further with it. I haven't come up with a title for book three as yet.
   I've designed a new cover for the first book, and you can see the difference between them here:

                                 Original book                      New design

    We'll see what happens. I know that the submission process will take a while and it may be very frustrating. All I can do is try though and I know that even the best books in the world sometimes get rejected many times before finally being accepted. (J K Rowling's Harry Potter was rejected many times, but it turned out okay in the end).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Years (A couple days late)

2012 is finally here. And who knows what it'll bring? Let's hope only good things!
I captured the Bing! homepage image of the day to ring in the new year...