It’s been pretty quiet around here, I know. It’s for a good reason–I’ve been pressing my nose firmly to the grindstone trying to finish revising a novel. Having just done that (at least for this draft) I should be back more often. In fact, I spent a few hours tonight updating my Comics Archive page, so you can easily access every single comic I’ve ever uploaded.
The whole site theme is new, you might notice, including a spiffy new portfolio where I can centralize all my creative output: Fiction, comics, essays, and even photography, a hobby I’ve been pursuing more recently.
I’ll be back again soon, but for now feel free to poke around, and let me know if you find anything that isn’t working properly.
(The comic below isn’t new, it’s a personal favorite from 2014.)
Yesterday, my Surface Pro 3 was working great, just as it has been for the last 9 months. It’s not my primary computer, but I basically use it for two things: Drawing cartoons and taking notes in meetings.
(OneNote is a fantastic program, if you’ve never given it a chance. I want so badly to prefer Evernote, but I just can’t.)
I was taking notes in my first meeting of the day when I noticed it didn’t want to scroll. A strange sort of problem, because the pen input worked perfectly, but the touch (ie, finger) input, which one uses to scroll in the virtual notepad, was generally unresponsive, particularly in a roughly 2-inch by 3-inch section square in the center of the touchscreen. Continue Reading
Let’s begin with the reason there’s a mentee blog hop at all: If you’re looking to enter the publishing industry, you need to have an online presence. There is some disagreement as to what exactly that presence should be (in particular, whether actively blogging is worth a writer’s time) but nearly everyone agrees you need some presence to help market yourself and your work, and that you shouldn’t wait until after you are published to start.
It seems like that message got around, because it’s been less than 48 hours since we opened the #PimpMyBio blog hop and we’ve already got over 100 listings. As I went through and stalked mentees, I got curious about how people were making use of the web, and so I thought I’d take a survey and quantify some trends. The following is based on a review of our first 107 applicants; I will update this data periodically as the list grows. Continue Reading
At left is the cover of a new book, but not just any book. It’s The Book of Speculation by my friend Erika Swyler, who I have known since we were larval writers, maybe 11 or 12 years old, attending summer nerd camp together in upstate New York.
I couldn’t be more excited for Erika, and I think everyone should buy and read this book. It’s available anywhere books are sold, and you can even read the first chapter at Medium.
The summary, from the publisher:
One day in June a mysterious old book arrives on Simon Watson’s doorstep. Filled with elaborate script, sketches, and whimsical flourishes, it tells of doomed lovers and generations of circus “mermaids” who have drowned—just like Simon’s mother, on the same day: July 24. Could there be a curse on his family?
The book has been favorably compared to Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. Personally I haven’t read any of those, but I really like their titles, and isn’t that the most important thing?
I know an awful lot about how this book came to be, but I don’t know what parts of the story Erika would want me telling. I know she’s willing to share her experience hand-binding books as part of the publication process. As for the rest, maybe I’ll get her to sit down with me one of these days and see what she’ll share. Maybe I can even squeeze out a few stories from when we were mung-blasting [sounds way dirtier than it is] pre-teens dreaming of someday being writers.
In the meantime, run out and pick up your own copy of The Book of Speculation, or pull it down from the invisible magic air network, where all things are immediately accessible, and read it on your electronic device of choice.
As for me, I haven’t read it yet; I’ve been waiting for publication day. I’ll be at the book launch party tonight, so I expect to be digging in for Chapter Two around 10 or 11 PM.
Another housekeeping post. Feel free to skip this unless you’re really interested in my blog policies.
In April I posted about my comment policy. For years before that date, my policy was that I didn’t edit or remove anything but spam. In response to a barrage of nasty posts, and some suggestions from friendly readers, I rethought that policy and decided that, in the present environment of the Internet, with abundant resources for people to make their voices heard, there was no need for me to be so permissive on my own private blog. After a brief period of reflection, I put that new policy into effect, and it has stood for a couple of months.
However, in those couple of months I have once again reconsidered. The nasty comments have continued, particularly following Caitlyn Jenner’s public debut, and as I dutifully removed or edited them, I realized why I don’t like my new policy: Continue Reading