It’s Possible I’ve Gone Crazy!

It's Possible I've Gone CrazyIt’s true, there is a chance that I might have gone completely crazy!

There are a number of people who believe that this already happened, and many of them work with me in my retail job.

So, that’s actually the crux of the matter. I’m working semi-full time, and taking on a number very interesting projects.

1) Organizing the Fantasy Genre events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention

2) A complete overhaul of my website design

3) Designing a chatbot for Messenger

4) Editing “Evaline Transcendent” based on reader feedback

5) Working on the second draft of my first full novel

6) Helping promote and test a potential social media site for authors & readers

Blog Header - Readers & Authors, Join Me At The 4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already have seen my recent post about this amazing event.

In short, it’s a full weekend of online events centered around books.

The event will be coming to you from April 6th-8th, and I’m heading up the Fantasy Genre events.

There will be more information on what we have planned, as myself and the other authors get everything organized.

Blog Header - Website Overhaul

As an author, I’m not one of the most organized people at times.

I was recently going through existing my author website, and planning to update some of the pages, with the most recent information.

Unfortunately, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the site needed a complete overhaul.

  • A lot of the key information about me and my books was hard to locate
  • Some of the pages were seriously out-of-date
  • But most importantly, I really wasn’t happy with how inconsistent the page designs were.

Enter my test site, where I’m trying out some new page layout ideas, along with a cleaner look to the page design.

Enter you, my readers. I’d love to get some feedback on what you like or dislike about both sites.

So, it’s Existing Site vs Test Site – Let me know what you think

Blog Header - Designing a Chatbot for Messenger

Back in December, I wrote a blog post looking at Messenger bots, which are basically an extension of the chat service.

These bots are built to provide a combination of live chat, and “pre-recorded” information. I’m in the process of creating an introduction series that will:

  • Help potential readers learn a little more about me
  • Introduce me to bloggers who might be interested in doing/hosting guest posts
  • Allow fellow authors to learn about my blog, and the services I offer

Check out the chatbot here (Under Development)

Blog Header - Editing _Evaline Transcendent_

A few months ago, I started getting feedback from people about my science fiction short story, “Evaline Transcendent”. There were some interesting questions raised, and a few suggestions for things that could be made a little clearer.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set about going through the entire story with those notes in hand, and making a few edits.

Thankfully, there is nothing in the feedback that I’ve received that requires major changes to the story itself. But, there will be a couple of changes to how I present aspects of the story.

Primarily, I’ll be re-writing the opening of the story, to better present some of the backstory behind the Miranda Two’s mission.

Blog Header - Writing The 2nd Draft of _Of Wolves & Men_

I’ve recently finished reading through the first draft of “Of Wolves & Men (Shadows Over Seattle #1)”, my first attempt at writing a full novel. Along the way I made a lot of notes about things that needed changing, didn’t make sense, or just had to go.

So, I’m now working on the opening scenes of the book, while going through my notes and trying to plot ahead. It’s my aim to have this second draft completed before the end of the summer. Hopefully at that point, I’ll have a solid enough plot that I can go back through and work on editing.

Blog Header - Helping Promote & Test The _Author Bitz_ Social Media Site

A couple of weeks back, I posts about an author who was in the process of raising money to build a new social media site for authors and readers to connect.

So, if you find GoodReads too difficult to navigate, and find Facebook too full of spam posts and fake news, go check out my article about the site. And if it’s something you think is a great idea, consider heading over to the GoFundMe campaign and dropping a few dollars toward hosting and development costs.

Blog Header - What Does That All Mean At The Moment_

Honestly? It means that I’m going to be very busy over the coming weeks.

But there is nothing more important to me than my readers, so please drop me a line, and let me know:

  • Which of these projects are you excited about?
  • Have you checked out my chatbot? If so, what did you think?
  • Have you read “Evaline Transcendent”? Is there anything you’d want to know more about from a revised edition?
  • Are you going to attend the 4th Annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention, either as a reader, or writer?
  • How do you like the potential changes to my website design, based on comparing the old and new sites?
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4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo

I can’t believe how fast these events keeping coming around, or that I’ve been part of this amazing event since the very start.

I’m very excited to announce that I’m helping to setup this year’s Fantasy events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo (aka B2BCyCon). I’ll be helping the fantasy genre authors setup their blog tours, discussions, competitions, giveaways, and anything else they can come up with.

You see, that’s the exciting thing about the B2BCyCon; it’s all about connecting readers and writers online.

Blog Header - What is the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo_

Angela B. Chrysler first started the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo back in 2015 over on Goodreads. Since then it’s team of volunteers have grown it into one of the biggest and most diverse online book events that I know of.

But don’t take my word for it. Testimonials of participating authors and readers can be found here.

Basically it’s an entire weekend of books, writing, discussion, competitions and giveaways.

To quote the Brain to Books website:

CyCon is a virtual version of the San Diego Comic Con, but our theme is books. We organize a number of events, celebrating every genre, reader, and undiscovered author out there, and we host dozens of events all crammed into three days. To experience CyCon is a lot like attending a State Fair, only CyCon is 100% online. There is simply so much to do that it’s impossible to do it all in one day and there is something for everyone.

The aim of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo is described by Angela as follows:

For three days, Brain to Books shines the spotlight on authors not seen in bookstores as a means to welcome in the new season of book releases. Working to increase reader awareness of these hidden treasures, authors, publishers, and retailers are coming together world wide for the largest book event designed just for you, the book lover! We’re giving away books, presenting readers with never-seen-before content, and featuring the world’s largest collection of undiscovered talent available today. We have blog hops, panels, discussions, contests, games, prizes, story time, book readings, sales, and exclusive content only available for these three days. This is content you won’t find anywhere else!

This is Where You Come In

Reader Links Author Links Volunteer Links
Upcoming Events (updated as events are confirmed)

Events By Genre

Sign Up For Reminders (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Watch Out For Updates on the “Book Dreams #2” Anthology

About The B2BCyCon

Author Registration

Learn About Being A Volunteer

Sign Up To Help

Sign Up As A Sponsor

 

 

Weather is a fact of life… So is getting hit by flying debris

Weather services say that Alaska does not experience hurricanes, and that’s true, for the most part. But sometimes for those of us living in certain areas, it can seem like it. You see, I live in a valley between two glaciers, and winds tend to get funneled straight through my local area.

As you can see from the image above, we’re currently experiencing winds of 35 mph, with forecasts of gusts up to 54 mph. And this is the third day we’ve had conditions like this, with it expected to taper off by Friday.

Let’s put those wind speeds into perspective, with some information about how they’re classified…

So 35 mph is a moderate gale, and that’s pretty normal here year round, especially during winter high winds. After 13 years living here, I’ve come to expect trees to sway, and prepare to push against the wind when walking against it. But then, these winds are still more than strong enough to pick up trash, dust and has the potential to cause minor injuries if you aren’t careful.

Then we run up the scale two whole categories, with 54 mph winds. Now we’re talking about a strong gale, and real damage and potential for injuries to happen. At this point, expect shopping carts to roll across parking lots whenever they’re left loose. Watch out for cross-winds while driving, flying twigs and small branches. Keep hold of your car doors when opening and closing them, and check your roofs for missing slates.

I went out earlier today, and almost got blown over three times, and had a car door slam shut because I didn’t hold it with one hand while trying to load my shopping. Thankfully, I’d finished loading, had stepped aside, and was about to close the door anyway.

Also in the process of writing this post, I’ve lost power twice. Admittedly, only briefly in both cases, but for long enough to reboot my router, cable modem, and drop me into pitch blackness.

[update: I lost power again 20 minutes after scheduling this post. This time for almost 80 minutes. And since I rent, I don’t have the account information for the power company to log my outage. Spent the time reading a book, on my phone, in bed, while trying to stop the screen rotating every time I moved…]

Q: Who calls 18F temperatures, with 54 mph winds “Fair and Windy”?

A: The National Weather Service, that’s who!

I beg to differ. Personally, I’d say it’s cold and extremely windy. But then, I guess if I wrote the weather reports, I’d probably end up scaring people more than the NWS.

But I’ll tell you one thing. Experiences like this definitely make me take weather into account when I’m writing scenes. After all, the weather is as much a character as any of the people I create.

Disclaimer: No Debris Was Harmed In The Writing Of This Blog Post!

Why I’m Supporting Net Neutrality

Most of you know I don’t normally post anything remotely political, but this is too important to miss commenting on. On December 14th, the FCC will vote to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as information services, removing many of the regulations that stop internet service providers from controlling what their customers can see online.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided below is from hours of research, and correct to the best of my personal understanding.

Title 2 of the Communications Act of 1934 is a classification of communication services, which the ISPs were placed under back in 2015 as part of the Open Internet Order of 2015. This meant that ISPs were now classified as ‘common carriers’ and therefore subject to regulation under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

This act also established rules for ISPs regarding net neutrality, prior to that it was voluntary for the ISPs to adhere to the concepts, and there was little regulation of their services.

Net Neutrality, or the Open Internet, is the concept of internet freedom whereby all internet service providers must treat all data delivered to consumers equally. That means they cannot:

Block content

Slow down the speed of content delivery

Speed up content delivery for companies/users in return for additional fees

Charge for ‘service packages’ in the way that cable packages do with television

Services like Netflix cannot pay an ISP to give their service an advantage over Amazon Prime Video.

ISPs cannot force people to pay for multiple packages that include different services… Example ‘streaming media’, ‘social media’, ‘images’, etc…

It means that my author website gets the same priority as Twitter

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC has called the Open Internet Order of 2015 and the placement of ISPs under Title 2 as “heavy handed” and “all about politics”. It was his proposal to reverse this decision that started the current debate amid claims that the ISPs don’t have the profit margins to withstand regulation. His proposal will place ISPs under Title 1 and prevent the FCC from adopting net neutrality oversight.

Sure enough, ISPs have complained about the reclassification for some time, and many Republican politicians point to a supposed decrease in investment in service development. In particular they highlight reduced spending for the development of broadband infrastructure, which they cite as proof that the current classification of ISPs under Title 2 is damaging investment.

However, many ISPs say that while there was an initial dip in spending they have actually either matched their pre-Title 2 investments, or increased them. The have also seen increases in share prices, which means that their shareholders are still backing them.

Many Democrats and internet companies have come out in opposition to Pai’s proposed changes. Senator Bill Nelson, of the Senate Commerce Committee, even stated that “depriving the FCC of its ongoing, forward-looking oversight of the broadband industry amounts to a dereliction of duty at a time when guaranteeing an open internet is more critical than ever.”

Startups, investors, and even a group of over 40 of the top internet companies have stated that there is no reason to change the rules at this time. Among those companies are the likes of Netflix, Google, and Facebook. In fact these same companies and investors have expressed serious concerns about what might happen without the oversight of the FCC and the current regulations.

ISPs could institute ‘fast lanes’ that offer faster speeds to certain services/sites while slowing down all other sites/services

ISPs could provide preferential access to their own services/sites, up to and including blocking competitor services/sites.

Web hosts or streaming services could be required to pay the ISPs to escape the ‘slow lanes’

Those unable to pay to be in the ‘fast lanes’ could find their sites losing traffic due to slower loading speeds.

Consumers could be asked to pay extra for certain services, or access to certain sites

Having to pay your ISP extra to access Netflix, because your ISP already offers a similar streaming service

Finding that your existing streaming subscriptions went up, because they services are paying the ISPs not to be in the ‘slow lanes’

Paying extra to get access to social media sites/services without long load delays

Finding that your favorite author/musician/sports team website takes ages to load

If the proposed changes from the FCC go ahead, these could be among the possible outcomes. With those in mind, I have decided to back the existing state of play, and informed my Representatives that I want Congress to step in and prevent the proposal from the FCC.

Please do your own research on this, because I’d like you to make an informed decision before you decide to try and influence the FCC vote.

When you have done that research, please visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to find out how you can help keep Net Neutrality in place.

REMEMBER: December 14th is the day the FCC votes on this proposal… Urgency is key

12 DAYS OF INDIE BOOKS – In conjunction with Our Write Side

Our Write Side (OWS) is a team that has built a writing community dedicated to supporting authors, and providing reviews.

From their inception nearly 10 years ago, the team has continued to grow, as have their range of services. I’m proud to have worked with OWS to feature a number of great authors on this very blog.

What is “12 Days of Indie”?

From December 1st through December 12th OWS will be featuring a selection of books each day. These books will range from $0.00 to $2.99 in price, and their review team is offering up a challenge;

Pick one book per day, and enter your receipt into Rafflecopter for an entry into their prize drawing. Each receipt is one entry, and at the end of the event a winner will be selected to win  an exclusive mug.

More information about the event can be found here

Where Can I Find These Book Lists?

The lists won’t be available until the actual day in question, but I have all the links below…

Day 1 – December 1st
Day 2 – December 2nd
Day 3 – December 3rd
Day 4 – December 4th
Day 5 – December 5th
Day 6 – December 6th
Day 7 – December 7th
Day 8 – December 8th
Day 9 – December 9th
Day 10 – December 10th
Day 11 – December 11th
Day 12 – December 12th

Don’t forget to sign up for the OWS news updates, to get new day’s lists as they are released…

At the end of the event you should have 12 or more great books to start your reading for 2018. If you enjoy those books, please remember to leave reviews.

Halloween Movie Marathon – Myk Pilgrim

I’m very excited about today’s slot, because not only is Myk Pilgrim a horror writer, but he’s also one of those people who LOVE horror films. As part of his Halloween celebrations, he picked 31 Halloween films, and has posted a review each day.

I’m very grateful to Myk for letting me bring you that very list, along with his Top 8 picks. So without further delay, I hand you over to Myk Pilgrim… And try not to blink… It might just get you killed…

Happy Halloween boils & ghouls!

In celebration of the most wonderful time of the year (spoilers it’s NOT the one with the mince pies) I’ve put together a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon to keep you creepy for October. It’s a pretty wide list, the impetus behind my choices it being particularly focused on popcorn munching horror flicks. The name of the game here being fun and (as much as I hate to use the word given its stigma in the current climate) inclusive.

Hope you have a Spooktacular Samhain and remember folks: Every day is Halloween.

Visit MykPilgrim.com to see the full list and download the PDF.
http://www.mykpilgrim.com/horrormarathon2017

And Here’s Myk’s Top 8 Films From The Lineup

Day 1 – Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales of Halloween is a sweet anthology flick, a perfect start for the season. There really is a mixed bag in this one, flesh eating pumpkins, monstrous demons, murderous children and a Halloween joy-ride to end all joy-rides. Tricks for everyone!

Day 3 – Orphan (2009)

A multi-layered flick about the horrors of parenthood – this really is a criminally unsung horror gem. Also, the little girl, the youngest of the three kids, is so sweet you can almost feel your teeth falling out. The tension throughout the film is tangible and the payoff worth the wait.

Day 10 – Oculus (2013)

Oculus ploughs ahead at top speed managing expectations as it goes. Two grown siblings return to their childhood home to face the demons whose shadows have tarnished their whole lives. You may never see light bulb quite the same way again. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Also, did I mention that Karen Gillian is in it?

Day 11 – Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

I’m not going to guild the lily here, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is one of, if not my favourite horror comedy. This hill billy bromance stacks one laughable misunderstanding on another with hilariously bloody results. What do you get if you combine a bee hive & a chainsaw? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Still not convinced? Here’s a review I did a few years back that should tip you over the edge.
http://www.mykpilgrim.com/unspoiled-reviews/tucker-dale-vs-evil-2010-review

Day 13  – Troll Hunter (2015)

After I first saw this it stuck to the insides of my skull for weeks – I hope it does the same for you. The way this found footage film uses Nordic folklore in its narrative is ingenious. I went into it completely blind and my experience was all the better for it. You may never look at the woods quite the same way again.

Day 21 – Hush (2016)

Hush A deaf writer working in her new book in a secluded cabin in the woods finds herself under siege by a masked lunatic with a crossbow. The use of silence in this one is remarkable. The danger is visceral.

Hush trailer link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

Day 26 – The Void (2016)

Probably the most decent Lovecraftian film in recent years. A group of strangers find themselves besieged in a hospital by one of the creepiest cults you’ve seen on film.

Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ot6ogGZNc

Day 30 – Night of the Demons 2 (1994)

A bunch of dumb kids decide to skip out on the naff school Halloween disco to drink beer and bump uglies in the local allegedly haunted house. The creature effects are fun, the demons hilarious and creepy. But really though, if you only need only ONE reason to watch this flick, I have three words for you: Bad Ass Nun.

Introducing Myk Pilgrim

A.L. Mabry is a publisher and multi-genre author. She is currently working on several projects, including a short story collection, Darker Daze: The Storms Within (dark fiction) and the first book in her Chthonian Guardian trilogy, Soul Purge (fantasy). Darker Daze is being released exclusively on Patreon while Soul Purge will be published in 2018 by OWS Ink, llc. She has a sci-fi project in the works, Vivamus (science fiction), which will be released in early 2019.

Where to find Myk Pilgrim:

Website (Myk Pilgrim), Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+

Book Spotlight – “Killers and Demons I & II” by A. F. Stewart

Book Blurb

A two book bundle of the Killers and Demons Series. Included are:

Killers and Demons

Craving a little blood or perhaps some horrific death?  Slake your gruesome thirst for vicarious thrills with five chilling stories that go inside the twisted world of serial killers and beyond to the dark, disturbing world of demons.

Killers and Demons II: They Return

Come one, come all, to a festival of murder and mayhem.

We have killers, demons, witches and more, with bloody exploits galore.

Evil is back, with a greater appetite for death.

Sample what is offered, but be careful. What you nibble on may turn out to be somebody’s fingers…

Evil is back, with a greater appetite for death.

How To Get A Copy For Free!!!

Visit The Halloween Horror Giveaway To Get Your Copy Now!

A ghoulish giveaway to celebrate the Halloween season! We have chills, thrills, scares, and monsters of all kinds!
Shiver as you read our dark delights and quake from those things that go bump in the night.

Over 30 free books and stories available from October 24th-31st

Missed the free period?

You can grab Killers & Demons here and Killers and Demons II : They Return here

From the Author

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being epic or dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction.
She is fond of good books, action movies, sword collecting, geeky things, comic books, and oil painting as a hobby. She has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.

Where To Find A. F. Stewart

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog, Website, Newsletter