Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flight Out

Flight Out description
Length: SHORT STORY — 5 pages
Rating: PG13 for sexual situations

"Do you love me?"

     How dare he ask her?

     But what will she answer?

Flight Out is now available at Amazon for only 99¢.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday eBook Review: Cautionary Tales

Product Details 
Stephen Tobolowsky, Cautionary Tales

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 161 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  (23 customer reviews)

1. Short review:  
2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  Good for laughs.  Gave value for the money (US$1.99).    
Roller coaster or walk in the park?  Walk in the park.

2.2. What I did not like:  Does not apply.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  Americans, particularly American males.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  No.  Sexual situations.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the next book in the series?  Yes, but as of this date, there aren't any.

2.6. Other:
When I think of Stephen Tobolowsky, I think of his portrayal of the character of Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day.  Tobolowsky stole every scene he was in.
*** Henceforth, I shall only post reviews of works that I enjoyed.  You may take it as read that a review on The Log of the Antares means a recommendation.

2.7.  Links:  None.

2.8.  Buy the book: 
Cautionary Tales at amazon.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Jacques Pepin will change ebooks

My hero is the French-born American chef Jacques Pepin.  I learned knife technique by watching him chop, slice, and dice.  When he chops, his knife is a blur.  In his hands, a cucumber goes from whole to slices in two-point-three seconds.

On an episode of one of his shows, he uttered the line, "Cooking is an expression of love."  At that instant, he became my hero.

Jacques Pepin got me interested in cooking and in cooking shows.  I love 'em.  The Food Network is my favorite channel.  My favorite TV star is Alton Brown of Good Eats.  And I loves me some Jamie Oliver.

That's how I came to watch a cooking show with two cougars (40+ women) cooking recipes from an Indian cookbook.  These women must be rich.  You gotta have serious money to stay that thin at that age.

The gimmick is that  1) these two have never cooked Indian cuisine before; 2) they are going to prepare four dishes from recipes in the cookbook; 3) two chefs from some 'world class' Indian restaurant in New York City will come to taste the resulting products and give their opinions; and 4) the cougars recommend (or not) the cookbook.

They read the recipe for nan, Indian flatbread.  The recipe called for 'five to six cups of flour.'  They did not know what that meant, so they measured out five and a half cups.  They produced a wet, sticky dough that they kept adding flour to in order to work it.  In the end, they let the dough rise for the prescribed length of time, sprinkled it with poppy seeds, and baked it on a stone in an oven.

All the while, the brunette cougar -- the other was blonde -- said over and over again, "There's no picture [of what the nan was supposed to look like at that stage of production]."

That's when I had THE IDEA.

Wouldn't it be great if the cookbook had embedded video?

One of the keys to making nan is to stir in one direction only.  So it was written in the cookbook.  A one-minute video illustrating the right way and the wrong way would add much to the reader's understanding.

Alton's Brown show Good Eats is running collection of cooking videos. 

And Jamie Oliver.  Can you imagine a Jamie Oliver cookbook with embedded videos of him showing you how to do each step?  I can.

Which device is best for video cookbooks?

The Kindle is not.  I enjoy it for reading, but it does not do video.

Can't say if the Nook is.  Never seen one.

The iPad is perfect for cookbooks with embedded videos.  Set one up on a kitchen counter in a bookstand and go!

Then I had a cascade of GREAT IDEAS . . . which I shall save for another day.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday eBook Review: With the Night Mail

Rudyard Kipling,  With the Night Mail

From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free ebooks.
Available Formats
Format [help] SizeMirror Sites [help]
HTML131 kBmirror sites
EPUB (with images)304 kB
EPUB (no images)66 kB
Kindle (with images)249 kB
Kindle (no images)103 kB
Plucker64 kB
QiOO Mobile104 kB
Plain Text UTF-8101 kB
1. Short review: 
2. Long reviews:
2.1. What I liked:  On the line level, well written.
     Roller coaster or walk in the park?  Walk in the park.

2.2. What I did not like:  There is no hero to identify with.  This is a 'Technology As Hero' story.  And the technology is airships.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  Rudyard Kipling.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the next book in the series?  The next 'book' in the series is 'As Easy as A.B.C.' and is a novella.  I read it before I read this.  'As Easy as A.B.C.' is a much better read.

2.6. Other:
      Jerry Pournelle said, "You cannot predict the future, but you can invent it."  That's the problem with 'With the Night Mail'.  Kipling tried to predict the future -- and failed.
     This book is from the Project Gutenberg collection:  http://www.gutenberg.org/

2.7.  Links:
'As Easy as A.B.C.' is found in 'A Diversity of Creatures':  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13085

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Heaven and Hell

Publishing is Heaven for editors and Hell for writers.

Well, maybe it's not Heaven for editors.  I wouldn't know.  Never been an editor.  But I am a writer, and I can state from my experience that PUBLISHING IS HELL.

I have been fighting to publish Heart of Stone.  Fighting.  I fired my cover artist who held me up for 4 months and hired Peter Ratcliffe who produced a cover in . . . lessee . . . first contact was 15 May 2011 . . . approved cover delivered 28 May 2011 . . .  thirteen days. 

Rob Siders, whom I hired to format Heart of Stone, recommended Peter.  I have been pleased to work with Rob and Amy Siders.  Every exchange has been pleasant.  He delivered when he said he would.  For ebook formatting, I strongly recommend Rob.

So if I have had outstanding positive experiences with Rob and Peter, why am I so pyssed off?

Because those have been my only positive experiences.  Everything else sucks.  Sucks, sucks, sucks.

I know me.  I know the way I work.  I am goal-oriented and single-minded.  When I want some goal done, I will drop other tasks until that goal is achieved.  Heart of Stone is the only dymned thing on my DayTimer now.  Nothing else is happening.

In the month of May, I wrote 1,500 words.  1,500 words in a month!?  I can write 1,500 words in a morning.  And so far in June, none, zilch, nada.

I have a short story, Flight Out, ready to go.  Okay, needs to have the cover stuck in, but then it can be uploaded to Amazon.  I have not looked at it in three weeks.

I know in my bones what Joe Konrath means when he says he would pay an agent's fee -- 15% -- to have someone take the manuscript and publish the book for him.

And now I understand why Hemingway drank so much.  08.20 AM and I have already finished my first glass of wine.  I wonder if I'll make it to noon before I break into the 18-year-old Glenfiddich.

Gonna be a helluva teatime today, boys and girls.