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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for The Time Capsule. It's been a fun year! Not only did I change my approach to what I wrote on my blog, but I also managed to throw in some posts that I thought were quite funny. Next year it gets even better! Why? Because why would I say it gets even worse? That's why.



Here's an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.

Futan Vice Book Blurb

Tucked away in a remote corner in the basement of a large building, a man from Earth examines traffic patterns. This man’s name is Matt Cotter. He likes to be left alone. He likes his job. And he definitely likes being on his home planet.
But Matt Cotter can’t control everything he likes. For instance, maybe a being from another planet (an intelligent one at that (intelligent being not an intelligent planet)) visits Matt at work and invites him to a planet called Drabble.
And maybe, just maybe, that being wants Matt Cotter to help him solve a crime that hasn’t happened yet. Why would this being want that? Because Matt Cotter is so good at solving traffic problems by seeing patterns, he must be able to do the same with pre-crime.
Can Matt Cotter solve the case? There’s one way to know if he does. Think about it … almost there. Yes! … That’s how to find out!

Available at the following locations:



Coming soon in print to Amazon and CreateSpace.

Futan Vice: The Trouble On Drabble Book Cover

Sometime in January, I expect to release the novel I wrote for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Editing and proofing is coming along nicely on the book.

I thought I would give a little teaser of what to expect form the story. Today, that teaser comes in the form of the book cover.

After getting a glimpse of the cover, what do you expect from the story?

Third Version of NaNoWriMo Novel Available

I missed the Satuday update for my NaNoWriMo novel, Matt Cotter is The Man From Earth in The Problem On Another Planet. But it is now available for your excerpt reading (or full version) reading pleasure.

Enjoy!

NaNoWriMo Update

Just a note to let you know I have updated the eBook of the work in progress for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Even if you don't buy it, you can now read a larger sampling.

One note. Last week, the book had a tentative title of Patterns. This week the tentative title has changed. It is now Matt Cotter is The Man From Earth in The Problem On Another Planet.

You can check it out here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251300

I'm doing NaNoWriMo

This year, I decided to participate in the NaNoWriMo Challenge.

The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Of course, after the month is out, it may be longer than that length. But the goal is to reach 50,000 words before the month is finished.

The story I'm writing is tentatively entitled Patternsand I'm writing it under the Desmond Shepherd pen name.

As a bonus, Smashwords helps with promoting NaNoWriMo. So, I've uploaded the draft for purchase now. During November, I will donate 50% of all sales of the book to NaNoWriMo.org. Each Saturday, I will update the eBook with the latest additions. Remember, this is a first draft, so there might be typos and other things that will get changed or fixed by the time the book is in it's final form. But if you buy it now, you will be able to access every iteration of the eBook from the point that you buy it forward.

Now, back to writing this thing...

Miscorrection Factoids Contest

Today is the day!

Despite efforts by Hurricane Sandy (I still don't have power at my home Power's back on!) to stop the release of Miscorrection: Times, the eBook is now available. Currently, you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & NobleSmashwords, and KoboBooks. ( iBooks and other places soon, along with the print edition).

If you've been reading my blog for the past week, you have seen the Miscorrection Factoids I've posted. If not, this is a great time for you to go back and check them out. "Why?" you ask. Because the first five people who answer the below seven questions correctly will receive a free copy of the eBook.

To submit your answers, use the form at the bottom of this post. If you win, I'll send an email back to you with your coupon code to get Miscorrection: Times for free on Smashwords.

Ready? Let's go!

In Miscorrection: Preludes, the absent teacher's name is Mr. Mangler. "Mangler" translates to what word in English?
What serie…

Miscorrection Factoid #7

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #7

The final factoid before the free ebook trivia contest touches tacos. When I released Awry (Panacea), the fifth story in Miscorrection: Preludes, I promised to live broadcast me eating one taco for every sale the book had in its first week of release. The total sales for the week equaled four and I never did the broadcast. (I know, shame on me. At some point I plan to fulfill my promise.) This led to me adding in an entire scene in Miscorrection: Dimensions that had the main characters having a taco dinner together.

Please note that this is the last factoid before the contest. I plan to post the contest and release the book November 2, 2012. However, due to Hurricane Sandy, it's possible I miss this date. If that is the …

Miscorrection Factoid #6

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #6

Here's a funny fact of coincidence! I published Sundown (Miscorrection), the last story in Miscorrection: Preludes, while Hurricane Irene hit the northeastMiscorrection: Times is being released just after Hurricane Sandy. What are the odds?

Miscorrection Factoid #5

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #5

I had a difficult time starting the writing process for Miscorrection: Times. Writer's block had nothing to do with it. I got mono during the month I wanted to start, and this delayed my writing process almost two months. Once fully recovered, I powered through it and wrote the first draft in a month and a half.

Miscorrection Factoid #4

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #4

The decision to use first names only in the Miscorrection stories was a tough one. In fact, Felix Culpa (the third story in Miscorrection: Preludes) eludes to the fact that the characters might have first and last names.But in Miscorrection: Dimensions it is clearly stated that in the reality of the story, a single name is what everyone has.

Miscorrection Factoid #3

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #3

Many of the character names in Miscorrection: Preludes are taken from an English word and then translated into another language. For instance, the teacher's name at the high school in the story Felix Culpa is Mr. Mangler. He's absent, so a substitute is there in his place. "Mangler" is the Danish word for "missing".

Miscorrection Factoid #2

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #2

While writing Miscorrection: Times, I also read many of the books in Isaac Asimov's Robot Series. These stories have a definite influence in some things that happen in the Times story.

Miscorrection Factoid #1

Leading up to the release of Miscorrection: Times on November 2, 2012, I'll be posting factoids about the trilogy. As mentioned before, keep these factoids in mind. You'll need them on release day for your opportunity to win a copy of the new book.

Factoid #1

I originally planned to write Miscorrection: Dimensions as six shorter stories like Miscorrection: Preludes. After giving it some thought, I decided to take the ideas for individual stories and make it a novel instead. It took me three months to write, edit, and publish Miscorrection: Dimensions ... six times quicker than it took to write Miscorrection: Preludes.

Miscorrection: Times Release Date Announcement

After a lot of hard work, I'm happy to announce the official release date for the final book in the Miscorrection trilogy.

Miscorrection: Times will be available for your favorite eReader on November 2, 2012. The print edition will be available shortly thereafter.

To celebrate the final story in the trilogy, I plan to give away five copies of the eBook. Starting Friday, I will have a post a day with a little factoid about Miscorrection.

These factoids will play a part in a contest I'll run on the site the following Friday. The first five people to correctly answer my trivia questions will win the contest and get a free copy of the book!

If you haven't read the previous books in the trilogy yet, you can click below for more details on getting a copy in print or for your eReader. (Better yet, free versions of the book are also available through your web browser. Shh ... don't tell anyone. ;) )

Click for info on Miscorretion: Preludes.

Click for info on Miscorrection: Dimension…

Miscorrection: Times Cover Reveal

I'm proud to present the cover for the final book in the Miscorrection trilogy. Look for it in November 2012.

A Growing Problem and Bonus Stories

A few months back I submitted a short story to Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. The title of the story was A Growing Problem.
Long story short, they rejected the story.
Which is fine.
Because I can self-publish and get it out to the world in a matter of hours.
Which I did.
An anomaly appears in space, seemingly from nowhere. Derek Winston—whose wife just told him the worst news of his life—and his workmate are sent to investigate. What they find is unlike anything they or anyone has ever seen. But for Derek, their discovery helps him to deal with the terrible truth he learned.
It's now available on the Kindle, Kobobooks, iBooksNookSmashwords, and Google Play.
One other thing to note. All my short story eBooks no longer contain only one story. Each one includes a bonus story in the cost. So when you buy one of my short stories, you are getting two for the price of one. Included with A Growing Problem is the short story Hollywood Brings World Peace.
That's it! Enjoy the story(…

The Last Miscorrection Trilogy Story

I've refrained from talking about what I have been writing for a while now. In July, I posted about my beginning the last book in the Miscorrection trilogy. At the time, I planned to allow the public to watch as I wrote portions of the story. After the first week, I stopped.
Part of this was because my writing became sporadic. And the other because I had a few idiots view the Google Doc as I wrote it. They spammed the chat session with vulgar stuff while I typed. So, rather than do that, I left what I wrote in the beginning up for others to read. It's not final, but it should give you a taste of what to expect.
It's about time I reveal the name of the final book. Following the same format as Miscorrection: Preludes and Miscorrection: Dimensions, this one is entitled Miscorrection: Times.
The title was the easy part. But the cover is another issue. That's why I'm looking for some help from the inhabitants of planet earth. Below are thumbnails for each cover. The images…

Another Plus of Google Play

This is just a quick note regarding self-publishing eBooks on Google Play. Today, I was paid for my books sales during August.

You read that correctly!

In most cases, it takes 2-4 months to get paid. Along with that, you have to meet a minimum threshold of $10 in royalties to receive the payment. This was my first full month on Google Play and I made under $10, but they still paid me the first business day after the end of the month.

This to me, is a huge positive of publishing with Google Play!

If you are considering publishing your books on Google Play, be sure to check out my previous posts to help you with the process.

Self-Publishing on Google Play Books Part 1

Self-Publishing on Google Play Books Part 2

Digital/Printed Book Statistics

With all the eBook craze, you would think that printed books have a bleak future. But a recent survey shows this is not the case. Below is a chart showing different statistics for printed books and eBooks. The results might surprise you. Below the chart, I give my answers to all the points in the survey.

My Reading Stats:

I had an eReader prior to the 2011 holiday season
I have read a printed book in the past year. I have not listened to an audiobook
I mainly read eBooks but will read a printed book if it is unavailable or cheaper in printed form
I own a Kindle
I spend more time reading as a result of having an eReader
Most of my reading is for pleasure
I am under 50, have not gone to college, and have an household income over $50,000
In the past year I have read 25 books
On any given day I'm reading an eBook
I prefer to purchase an eBook, if it is not available to borrow from the libary on my Kindle
My most recent eBook was borrowed from the libary

My Reading Preferences:

Read book while trave…

Revised Book Covers

This past week, Dean Wesley Smith had an interesting blog post about how authors shoot themselves in the foot. He gave five reasons how they do it and suggestions on how to correct them.
Of the five, Shot #5 grabbed my attention. It talked about book covers and how to make them more professional. I took the advice to heart and decided to do revisions for the covers to my major books—the Fram Gage series and Miscorrection trilogy.
On a side note, August will not have any eBook Weekly Deals.
Below, you will find  the previous cover and the new cover for comparison.


[caption id="attachment_2193" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2698" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2311" align="alignleft" width="200"] Old Cover[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2699" align="alignleft" width="200"] New Cover[/c…

Password Recovery Answer Suggestions

[caption id="attachment_2681" align="aligncenter" width="502"] Photo © Pdiaz | Dreamstime.com[/caption]
What is your mother's middle name? What was your high school mascot? What year did you learn to talk? When do you think you will die? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Ever get tired of the password recovery questions? I know I do.
Sometimes I go through the list and I realize I don't even know the answers to some of the questions. It's my own life! But I'm not sure what year in which I bought my first car, bought a home, or washed my hair with Selsun Blue.
The best is when they ask a question not about you but someone else you know: What year was your father born? What is mother's middle name? What is your sister's favorite food to eat? What is your best friend's, cousin's, uncle's, father doing right now?

I have a hard enough time remembering stuff about me, let alone my family and fr…

Cigarettes, Nicotine Gum, & Cold Turkey

This past week, my daughter got sick. The poor thing had trouble breathing and it turns out she has some form of bronchitis. Naturally, the doctor—I like to call them legal drug dealers—prescribed some medicine for her.
I went to my local Walgreens to pick up the prescription. For those who don't know, Walgreens is a nationwide pharmacy that also sells groceries, greeting cards, and other items. Think of it like a grocery store with access to all kinds of drugs, not just the over-the-counter kinds.
I had to wait for the prescription to be ready. Sitting there waiting, I got bored and started to think. When I walked into this pharmacy—which is supposed to be centered around health and wellness—shelving full of cigarettes stood behind the clerk at the front counter.
That's odd. Why would they put that there? Why would they sell them at all? Like candy in the checkout line, they've placed them to be an impulse buy. What's worse is, they put them out of reach. If they did tha…

Self-Publishing On Google Play Books - Part 2

UPDATE: Google has revamped their system, making it more user friendly. Some of the points below may no longer apply to their system.

Last week, I wrote a post outlining some of the pros and cons of self-publishing on Google Play Books. This week, I'm going to explain their system and make it easy for you to understand.
Unlike other self-publishing platforms, Google's has a couple of confusing steps that lead to self-publishing with them. They are as follows:


Add your book(s) to the Preview Program
Add your book(s) for sale on Google Books.
The above steps are now joined together and in a better user interface.

Now, being that there are only two main steps above, you would think it is easy. But for some reason it isn't. Below are more detailed explanations on each of the listed items. (Note: This information assumes you have an EPUB file and ISBN ready for your book. If not, the process becomes more complicated.)
1. Add Books to the Preview Program
First, you need to add your …

eBook Weekly Deal - 7/26/12

I nearly forgot about the weekly deal!

And this is a good one. My latest novel, Fram Gage and The Three Adversaries, is up for grabs. It is only $0.99!!! That's right. The regular cost is $6.99. So this is quite the deal. More details on the book are below. If you click the link and it is still at its regular price, just keep checking back.

This deal will end tomorrow afternoon.

Fram Gage wakes up in Biality Orphanage after a three year coma. His best friend Lanker has become an angry, bitter person and wants nothing to do with him. Fram hopes to mend their relationship. Before he can, three adversaries with Super Strength, Teleportation, and Super Speed abilities stand in his way. Fram can match them hit for hit and blow for blow with his Infinite ability. But there is something familiar about his foes. When Fram realizes what it is, they become the key to gaining back his best friend.

Available at the following locations for only $0.99!!! This deal ends the afternoon of 7/27/12:

Beach Camping at Assateague Island

Two weeks ago, my family and I went camping for a couple of days at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. Below are a few pictures from the trip.
There are a couple things I learned about beach camping. First, setting up a tent with the beach breeze can get difficult. Building a fire with the beach breeze constantly swirling can make for quite the chore to get the fire burning. And beach sand, though soft to walk on, gets as hard as a rock when you sleep on it.
The great thing though is having the beach just outside your tent. After walking over the dunes from walk-in campsite #46, there is a beautiful view of the beach. Because campers are only in this section of the island, it is like having a private beach. On the days we were out, very few people were on the beach.
Of course, the draw for the island are the wild horses. There are a lot of warnings about keeping food in your car and not your tent because the horses will try to get it. We didn't run into any problems, bu…