Thursday, February 27, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things and the Weekend Follies

Celebrate The Small Things: As crazy as this may sound to the many people experiencing harsh winter storms across the world, I'm celebrating much needed rain. We are in a severe draught in southern California, and this rain is most welcomed.
Weekend Follies: What's in a name? I have seen this topic countless times over the years in Blogdom. I've posted on the matter numerous times. So here is a lighter side of getting a name wrong. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

L. Diane Wolfe, The Science of Book Formatting, And The 10k Experiment

The Science of Book Formatting Since Stephen is the Science Guy, I thought I would share some of the details of book formatting. Consider it the “science” of the craft.
First, you need to understand all of the different formats. Print is simple - most printers require a PSF file or a Word file. But when you get to eBooks, it can overwhelm. Wikipedia lists dozens of formats - CLICK HERE. The basic formats though are Mobi, EPub, PDF, and RTF. If you know how to format for those four - or use a service or company - you have most of your bases covered.
What programs will you need to create these files?
For print books, Microsoft Word can be used to create either a Word or PDF file. For a more professional appearance, InDesign is what traditional publishers use to create PDF files.
With eBooks, there are many programs. Word can be used to create PDF, RTF (Rich Text Format), and HTML files. Mobipocket formats for Mobi. InDesign formats for ePub. There are also free programs, such as Calibre, but they don’t always create a clean copy.
If you’re just starting out, look for tutorials. For eBooks, start with Smashwords’ Style Guide. (Steve Insert: I’ve been going over this in great detail over the past weekend) It will give you a basic handle on eBook formatting. InDesign comes with a very easy to follow guide. You are probably just a Google search away from the formatting answers you seek.
And if not, call me! If Stephen is the Science Guy, then I’m Format Girl. Have InDesign, will travel...
L. Diane Wolfe Professional
Speaker & Author
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association and an author. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. She is the author of seven books, including two non-fiction titles and a NA/YA series, The Circle of Friends. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains numerous websites & blogs, and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site.
The 10K Expirement: Tim Grahl, originator of Out:Think and Author of Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book has a unique promotional strategy in place to promote and sell his book to the tune of 10,000 in one year. Tim also offers a free 30 Day Course where he discusses the role of social media in online marketing along with many of the myths that surround it. He also discusses his #1 thing every author should be doing with their email marketing.
I signed up for his newsletter and he emailed the first video of his free 30 day course. It was about sixteen minutes long and I can see the potential in this program. I’m looking forward to the next video.
I’ll let you all know my thoughts after Tim sends me the last video.
Author Of The Week: Tim Grahl. Click the image at the top of right my right scroll bar for more info.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Very Timely Topic and The Weekend Follies

Celebrate The Small Things: I'm celebrating every first and third Thursday of the month I post at the Blogging A to Z Challenge site. Today's post on a very exciting and timely topic. You won’t want to miss this one people. Just click on Einstein’s smiling face at the top right of this blog and a portal will open up and take you there. But first .....
Weekend Follies: My sister in law sent this to me. Glad women have a sense of humor regarding what we men have always known is funny. Enjoy! And don’t forget to click on Einstein’s smiling face.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 Celestial Events, A to Z Tip, Facebook ISWG, Escalation Countdown, Noah, and 2014 Wormfest.

New Page Tab: Check out my new page 2014 Celestial Events. You’ll find all the amazing astronomical events on tap for this year, which includes everything from meteor showers, comets, planets, solar and lunar eclipses, and much more!
You will be surprised at what you can see with an average telescope or a very good set of binoculars. You can even see many of these happenings with the naked eye.
I encourage you to stop by the first of every month and see the awe inspiring events in the nighttime heavens above us.
A to Z Tip: I notice when reciprocating to a comment that some bloggers have multiple blogs to choose from. Sometimes as many as seven or eight. And most of these sites have had no activity in a very long time.
During A to Z people like to visit as many blogs as possible. But having to run though so many links in order to find the main blog can be frustrating. If you have multiple blogs but have not posted on them in a while, hide or delete the links for A to Z. You can always add them again after the challenge.

Speaking of A to Z: Stop by the A to Z Challenge’s Site for a special post dedicated to one of the team’s co-hosts Jeremy Hawkins who broke his ankle last weekend and required surgery. He’s laid up for at least two weeks. Let’s give Jeremy, a really awesome person, some support.
Facebook IWSG: If you haven’t checked out the Facebook Insecure Writers Support Group, take a moment to do so this week. Lots of really good stuff going on over there.
Escalation Countdown: As of Monday, It’s only twenty two days until Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan is released! I hope you will join me in one way or another. We'll kick things off at Captain Alex Cavanaugh's place. No, not his house. His blog. Everyone's invited.

Author of the Week: Laura Hillenbrand. I’m breaking tradition from books written by my blogging friends.
Unbroken is an amazing true story of Louis Zamperini and one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. It’s a story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption There will be a movie out later this year on this book. Awesome book. If the movie is half is good it will be worth seeing. Click on the image at the top of right of my blog for a full synopsis.
What To Watch: Noah. Staring Russell Crowe and Emma Thompson. Okay, so I don’t normally do movie reviews, but I do make exceptions as this falls into the category of how old the Earth and the universe is. 14.6 billion years or six thousand years old. I’m very passionate on this topic and will expound more on my post at the A to Z blog Thursday February 21st. The flood of Noah plays a huge role in this argument. Tune in next Thursday. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one.
I’m really looking forward to this movie March 28th. Not sure how close the script will adhere to the biblical account. The event is pretty straight forward. No wormholes though. Regardless, the special effects alone will be worth going.

2014 Second Annual National Wormhole Week: If you haven’t signed up for the 2014 Wormfest hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolfe, and myself, simply sign up on the Linky List below. And CLICK HERE for a synopsis of the Blogfest. It will be out of this world!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things and the Weekend Follies Big Bang Style!

Celebrate The Small Things: This week I'm celebrating with a really good bottle of wine. For starting a new job, having my sister and husband visit from the great state of Michigan (go Spartans!), and finishing up the final edits to what is turning out to be my best book ever, if I may say so myself.
Weekend Follies: Continuing with the theme of best wormholes in books or movies (see Wednesday's post and tell us yours), this scene from The Big Bang Theory is actually very close to how wormholes are opened in my Breakthrough series. Although I think mine are far more spectacular.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Best. Wormhole. Ever!

Hi everyone, just a quick post today. As I'm going through the final edits for Escalation, I think of what it would really look like traversing a portal through space and time. I've seen a lot of movies and read many books with wormholes. And by far and away, Contact with Jodie Foster is the best scene for my money.
Most have seen Contact at one time or another. But the scene is worth watching again.

Question: What was the best wormhole scene you have read in a book or seen in a movie?

Enjoy, and see you for the Friday Follies!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A to Z Tip, Stephen Hawking Sci-Fi Matters, and Moonless Book Release Blogfest

A to Z Get A Theme: Want to make the A to Z Challenge a snap? Get a theme as soon as possible. Then open a Word doc and type the 26 letters vertically. Select topics for each letter. Then select a final topic per letter and pre-write a post every other day. Keep them shot and simple. Mine will only be about 100 words each. By the time A to z comes around, most if not all of you posts are finished.
What to Watch: Stephen Hawking Sci-Fi Matters: Check out this new series on the Discovery Science Channel. Stephen Hawking's Sci Fi Masters brings to the screen for the first time celebrated short stories from the world's most highly regarded science fiction writers, dealing with many of the most powerful and controversial current issues.
Host Professor Stephen Hawking will introduce the series of 1-hour films. A preeminent roster of writers and directors will offer their interpretations of these legendary authors' bold and compelling stories.
Moonless Book Release Blogfest:

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Her nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

So here's the question: If you lived in a society where arranged marriages were a la mode, whom would you beg your parents to set you up with? Why? (Literary characters and celebrities welcomed.) 

My Answer: Wow! Hmmmm .... let me think. Hope wifey isn't reading this. Okay, it's a toss up. So I'll gave to go with both. In an impossible attempt to decide between the age old question: Ginger or May Ann, I'll just have to move to Utah and take them both. Thanks Mom and Dad!  

Find the rest of the hop below!

And while you're at it, enter to win one of these great prizes!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Celebrate The Small Things and the Weekend Follies

Celebrate The Small Things: This week has been a week of all the small pieces falling together so the whole machinery of my life can work more efficiently. No need to go into details. But most of the small stuff that I have been working on finally came together in a big way. So I can move forward in a powerful way and sleep better at night.
Weekend Follies: This week is one of my favorite skits called Sideways Scene from Who's Line Is It. These guys are hilarious as they are to act out roles from four different scenarios. My favorite is the disaster movie. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

IWSG, CassaFire Special, The North Star, Best Super Bowl Commercial

IWSG: Just started a new job today. You never know what it’s going to be like and those nervous bitterflies can mess with your sleep the night before. But all is well as I love this job. The hours are perfect. The drive is not bad at all. And I have lots of time to phase into the promotional stage of my book.
CassaFire Special: Alex Cavanaugh has his book CassaFire available for download for $0.99 (is he out of his mind???) Most already have theirs. But you can help spread the good word by stopping by. Stop by Alex’s Blog and copy and pasting some of his pre-written Tweets into your Twitter account. The promotion runs February 4 – 10.
Did You Know: The North Star is getting brighter. That’s right. After dimming over the past few decades, the star named Polaris that has helped people navigate for thousands of years is now growing quite bright.
Polaris belongs to a class of Cephiad Stars, or variable stars. A star is considered variable if its apparent magnitude (brightness) is altered in any way from our perspective on the Earth's surface.
Our sun is a variable star.
Polaris had different meanings to different cultures over time, but it basically means “something that serves to guide". 
Fun Fact: The reason Polaris is so important is because the axis of Earth is pointed almost directly at it. During the course of the night, Polaris does not rise or set, but remains in very nearly the same spot above the northern horizon year-round while the other stars circle around it. Reference
Steve’s Science And Other Fun Stuff: Be sure to stop by the Blogging A to Z Challenge this Thursday as I will have my semi-monthly post there.
Weekend Follies: And don’t forget, the Weekend Follies are back. Bigger, better, and follier than ever!
Best Super Bowl Commercial: As always, there are some amazing, heart touching, hilarious, and bizarre commercials aired during the Super Bowl. This year was no different. My top pick is the Radio Shack commercial as the 80s wants their store back.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kibbels and Bits, Steampunk With A Heart, Roku 3, Doomsday Clock, and More!

Submissions: Simon451, a new imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., is now accepting submissions! Apocalyptic-Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural, and Speculative Fiction works are being accepted. CLICK HERE to submit.
Steampunk With Heart: Author Susan Kaye Quinn formed the Steampunk With Heart Week February 3-7. There will be numerous Steampunk authors, lots of participants, and giveaways. CLICK HERE to sign up. And check out the Facebook Page for this event.
Roku 3: Out with the old, and in with the new. We finally replaced the bedroom monstrosity with a smart TV and ROKU 3. Goodbye expensive cable TV bills. If you haven't checked out ROKU, watch a few clips on YouTube .
2014 Wormfest and Escalation Blog Tour: Take a moment and check out my NEW TAB where you can sign up for the 2014 Wormfest and help with my upcoming release of Escalation beginning March 10, 2014!
State Of The Union: I’m adding a new theme to my blogs each Monday called State Of The Union. Currently, U.S. schools ranks woefully behind in math, science, and reading. So I’ll spotlight something happening in the U.S. that is a step forward and will help lead the country well into the 21st century.
Today’s item: President Obama proposes the creation of six new tech manufacturing hubs. Upwards of a billion dollars could be committed to this project in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs. Two existing hubs in Raleigh, N.C., and Youngstown, Ohio, have connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies. The aim is to revolutionize the way we make things in cities across the country. Reference
Did You Know: The Doomsday Clock is no doomsday device rather, it's a visual metaphor for the danger of a "civilization-threatening technological catastrophe." Every year, the board analyzes international threats, particularly nuclear arsenals and climate change, and decides where the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock should rest. The closer it is to midnight, the closer the world is to doom.
(Not so) Fun Facts: The closest the Doomsday Clock has ever come to midnight was in 1953, when the minute hand ticked to 11:58 p.m. after the first test of the hydrogen bomb. It was at its most optimistic in 1991, when the Bulletin board set the time at 17 minutes to midnight as the Cold War ended. Today, it stands at 11:55 p.m. Reference
Steve’s Science and Other Fun Stuff: I’m back for another year of cool and interesting science stuff every first and third Thursday of the month. Just click Einstein’s image at the top of my right side bar, or check in to the Blogging A to Z challenge site.
Author Of The Week: Julie Musil and The Boy Who Loved Fire. Click the book cover at the top of my right side bar for more information.
2014 Wormfest: This will be fun Bloghop hosted by Amazon Best Selling author Alex Cavanaugh, author and professional speaker L. Diane Wolfe, and myself. This is a passionate topic and I’m looking forward to all the amazing responses everyone will have. Sign up with the Linky List below.
And feel free to copy and use the code and help spread the good word, or click that Tweet button below. Thanks and have a great week!!!