Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Season of Change

Reading Assignment: enjoy the autumn weather and the natural beauty of the season, even if you are trapped in an urban environment or live in a place that doesn't have much for seasonal variation: read!  Pick up some of the 'Anne of Green Gables' books or hang out with Frodo before he leaves on his epic ring adventure; you could even watch the movies for this one.  However you do it, get outside even if it's only in your imagination!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A new twist on classic literature?

This looks like an interesting book, I have not read it, but if you have an interest in the Brontes or classic literature, it is an intriguing idea!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Today is the day!

Yes, today is the day that all my preorder/bestseller dreams come true...or not.  The new book is officially out (though I've sneakily updated the boxed set so if anyone has noticed, it has actually been out for a bit).  I think this preorder thing is all hype, either that or I'm just not a famous author with dozens slavering to read my next work of genius(?).  Well, famous or not, enjoy!  And it may be a bit before the amazon update, life's a little nuts right now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Make money online or who needs a day job?

I was reading some random article on a couponing site, whither I had strayed from Pinterest, and another link told me how I could make money doing everything from surveys to driving for Uber.  Living where I live, some of the options were non-viable, mostly those involving doing things for other people (like Uber) where you actually need a population base to serve.  There was an interesting option of reselling books, which when I typed in a few choice examples of academic type works we had lying around the house, we were making a whopping $3.50 on a book that would retail for $15 on the used book market.  Then there was the 'make $5 every time someone buys your photo' app which seemed really exciting for this photographer-wanna-be, but apparently that's a pipe dream as well, since no one actually buys photos from the site, or if they do, you have 2 million other people to compete with, hmmm...  They also suggested publishing an ebook, I should have stopped reading the article then and there.  Yes, you can theoretically make money self-publishing, but it is sort of like that photo app: way too many competitors to really do much more than earn enough annually to buy a soda or two.  It kind of reminds me of those 1990s infomercials that urged you to give up your career and breed alpacas, and since the only thing you can do with an alpaca is breed more of them (yes, there is a small market for the fiber but most of the critters were 'breeding stock,' resulting in a vast oversupply of alpaca hair) and when you run out of more people who want to buy them that they too might be alpaca breeders, the whole thing falls apart.  Apparently you can have a pyramid scheme in any industry: ebooks, photos, alpacas.  Better keep the day job!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Chem nerd vs. the English geek

I hate autocorrect (who doesn't?), especially when dealing with words the computer doesn't recognize (I can't imagine trying to right a lab report for Organic Chemistry in this day and age!), but perhaps the thing that drives me the most crazy is when it thinks it knows what you are trying to say and automatically changes it or even fills in the word for you so you might not even realize you're not saying what you wanted to say.  That being said, I thought I'd try out Grammarly, the apparently amazing grammar checker I've seen advertised everywhere.  I'm by no means a grammar expert so I thought it would be interesting to see what the computer thought of my writing.  It wasn't happy.  Perhaps the paid service ($11/month) is better, but I was not impressed with the freebie version.  Of the sample I gave it to check, it found over a hundred errors, but only about 3% of those were actual errors, the rest were words it didn't like or recognize or it didn't like my 'creative' use of the English language.  The thing has no sense of humor, not unexpected in a computer, how do you explain 'poetic license' to a thing that is programmed to obey the rules and only the rules?

Overall, the program will be helpful to those whose first language is text lingo, those learning proper grammar, or those learning English, but if you've survived a few English classes, read good books on occasion, and write a fair amount, it will probably be more nuisance than asset, much like autocorrect.  Of course you should take this with a grain of salt, as I'm one of those annoying people that thinks language is an art, not a science: you learn the rules so you can occasionally bend, if not break them.  I wonder what it would think of one of my old lab reports...too bad they're all on floppy disks!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preorder Away!

All righty then, somehow I've managed to get this thing published amid everything else going on this crazy summer!  It's officially out the 19th of September (theoretically to celebrate a decade of writing on my part).  Enjoy!