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Showing posts from February, 2014

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014

For the past few years, I have submitted an entry into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. In 2012, it was Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability. In 2013 it was Futan Vice: The Trouble on Drabble.

The way the contest works, there are several rounds to pass through to win the award. The first round is The Pitch. In this round, the judges choose what novels will make it to round two based on a pitch of 300 words or less. When I entered Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability, I didn't make it past this round. But Futan Vice did make it to round two.

Round two is based on an excerpt of the novel. This is the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of the book. If the judges like this enough, they send it to round three. Unfortunately, I never made it past this round.

In round three, the entire manuscript is evaluated. Submission requirements state that this must be no less than 50,000 words and no more than 125,000 words. Five semi-finalists are then selected from each of five categories (Gener…

I'm Surviving Snowmageddon

Here in the Northeast, we've had an unprecedented winter. Continuous deep freeze temperatures. Snowstorms. Sleet. Ice. Falling tree limbs. Massive power outages. All I'm waiting for now is fire and sulfur to fall from the sky.

But I'm hopeful that won't happen, at least not until summer.

Some are dubbing this winter Snowmageddon, and I think the name is appropriate. I've experienced all of the above problems, along with damage to my home from these storms. Below is a little snippet of that experience. The tree in front of my property split in half last week on Wednesday morning during the freezing rain event we had. Other trees on my property experienced similar fates. That ice, along with the wet snow on the limbs from two days earlier, led to the destruction.



I know what you're thinking: At least the snowman made it out alive.

Well he did, losing only his left arm. But as the day wore on and the freezing rain warmed to plain ole rain, he began to droop sidewa…

The Permanent Man - The Complete First Season

Almost a year ago, I envisioned a book series where I told the story similar to the way a weekly television series airs. I'll avoid going into the details of it as I've blogged about the process of writing it and the format extensively.

And so, The Permanent Man became a reality. Beginning on November 12, 2013 and running through to January 28, 2014, I "aired" a new episode of the series every Tuesday. It even had a double-length season finale similar to the two-hour finales that many television dramas do.

Continuing in that format, I'm happy to announce that the complete first season of The Permanent Man will be available in print and digital on April 8, 2014! The book will contain all 12 episodes of the season and will include bonus author commentary for each episode. The commentary highlights my writing process, points out interesting facts about decisions I made for the story, and even contains some spoilers.

In addition to this, buying the entire season come…

If You Upgrade Your Xfinity Modem, Will the Speeds Improve? Answer Inside.

A few months back, I posted about an upgrade to my service with Xfinity. They had emailed me to say that they had boosted my bandwidth speed. And I was like "great".

But it came with a catch. In order to take advantage of these speeds, I had to upgrade the modem to the new DOCSIS 3.0 standard because the modem I had was outdated. Fortunately, I rent my modem and Xfinity sent me a new one without charge.

Well, without charge except for the additional $1 per month they added to my modem rental fee.

So did my speeds improve upon installing the new modem?

First, here is the speed I was getting with the old, outdated, junky cable modem (Model: Terayon TJ715)


And now, here are the speeds I am getting upon upgrading my modem (Technicolor TC8305C):

Update: A reader of my blog kindly pointed out my second tests was not on the same server as the first. So I reran the test on the same server and here is what I got:

As you can see, the speeds did improve. The upload speed increase was mi…