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!
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.
 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.