Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's try this one more time

Okay, in February I had made some plans to increase my writing output. Some scheduling changes and such. Basically, to give myself some deadlines for the year.

Then toward the end of that month things went a little crazy for a while for me, one of the biggest being a major computer crash.

Since then, I've some new tools to help me write and I've got somewhat of a schedule.

So, I'm hoping to kick off this new plan on April 1, or maybe the following Monday. I've still got a project to complete, and hope I can do so in the next week or so.

We'll see. I hope it works this time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

87th Precinct novels

This is just a list for me to keep track of the 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain that I've read. I'm not necessarily trying to read all of these books, but I read enough of them that this list will help me to remember what I've read and what I haven't. The books in bold will be the ones I have read. There are a few novellas and a handful of short stories based in the 87th Precinct, and I might eventually get around to those as well.
  • Cop Hater (1956)
  • The Mugger (1956)
  • The Pusher (1956)
  • The Con Man (1957)
  • Killer's Choice (1957)
  • Killer's Payoff (1958)
  • Lady Killer (1958)
  • Killer's Wedge (1959)
  • 'til Death (1959)
  • King's Ransom (1959)
  • Give the Boys a Great Big Hand (1960)
  • The Heckler (1960)
  • See Them Die (1960)
  • Lady, Lady I Did It (1961)
  • The Empty Hours (1962)
  • Like Love (1962)
  • Ten Plus One (1963)
  • Ax (1964)
  • He Who Hesitates (1964)
  • Doll (1965)
  • 80 Million Eyes (1966)
  • Fuzz (1968)
  • Shotgun (1969)
  • Jigsaw (1970)
  • Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here (1971)
  • Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (1972)
  • Sadie When She Died (1972)
  • Hail to the Chief (1973)
  • Bread (1974)
  • Blood Relatives (1975)
  • So Long as You Both Shall Live (1976)
  • Long Time No See (1977)
  • Calypso (1979)
  • Ghosts (1980)
  • Heat (1981)
  • Ice (1983)
  • Lightning (1984)
  • Eight Black Horses (1985)
  • Poison (1987)
  • Tricks (1987)
  • Lullaby (1989)
  • Vespers (1990)
  • Widows (1991)
  • Kiss (1992)
  • Mischief (1993)
  • Romance (1995)
  • Nocturne (1997)
  • The Big Bad City (1999)
  • The Last Dance (2000)
  • Money, Money, Money (2001)
  • Fat Ollie's Book (2002)
  • The Frumious Bandersnatch (2003)
  • Hark! (2004)
  • Fiddlers (2005)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 12 - He Who Hesitates

by Ed McBain

Started: March 18
Finished: March 19

Notes: My reading has been kind of heavy of late, though interesting. Still, I wanted to shakes things up a bit with something short but also easy to read. To that end, I'd been thinking of picking up another Ed McBain police procedural. I first discovered McBain four or five years ago, then went through a phase where I read a dozen or so of his novels. The last year or two I've stayed away because I was beginning to tire a little bit of McBain after having read so much of his work, but when I saw this paperback in a used book store for only 50 cents, I knew I had to snag it up.

Mini review: This is one of the earlier 87th Precinct novels, I believe from 1965, and it's different from any of the others I've read. The story is entirely told from a criminal's point of view, quite possibly making it unique in this series of novels. In fact, this is barely an 87th Precinct story in many ways. The few familiar characters who appear only show up for very brief appearances, and none of the plot focuses around them. Interesting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New leather satchel

Besides my new mini computer, I recently bought another new toy. And I think I love it more than the computer.

It's a Classic Satchel from the fine folks at Far Horizon Traders.

What exactly is a Classic Satchel?

Well, it's basically a big shoulder bag. Or a man purse, as my other half calls it.

This thing is rugged. It's got a good heft to it, and it's made of thick leather. It basically looks like a big saddle bag with a long strap on it.

It's also quite simplistic, which I can appreciate. No fancy inner linings, handles or zippers here. Just two buckles to hold the top down, a carrying strap, a small pouch on the inside for a cell phone and a strip of leather that can hold a pen or pencil.

I was even fortunate enough to get it for half price. I contact Matt with Far Horizon Traders' customer service and asked him about their bags, and he was kind enough to inform me they were having a half-price sale on bags that had minor blemishes.

But don't let the idea of a minor blemish turn you off. When I got my bag, the first thing I did was look it over to find out just what kind of minor blemish it had. All I could find were two very vague slightly bluish smears that looked sort of like ink had been spilled. You can barely see those smears. In the image below, you can see one of those smears in the top left corner.

So I'm happy with the bag. And I got it for less than a hundred bucks.

And to quote Alan from the Hangover movie, "It's not a purse. It's a satchel. Indiana Jones had one."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another fantasy writer enters the e-book market

Steve Goble, notable Sword and Sorcery author and creator of Calthus the Slaughter Lord of Ancient Thaal, has stepped into indie e-book publishing with the release of his short story The Gods-Forsaken World, which earned an honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008. The price is only 99 cents, and if you love sword-swinging action, this story is for you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

HP Mini 110-3510NR

HP Mini 110-3510NR Netbook (Black)
This is my newest toy. It's an itty-bitty HP netbook. It's so small, it's only got a 10.1- inch screen. I've got bigger books.

Why would I want something this small?

I've already got a great big HP laptop that weighs a ton. Mainly, I got tired of lugging that heavy thing around everywhere I go.

I've also got an HP computer at home, and an old Mac. My home HP is generally my main writing computer, and the Mac I use for some writing but mostly for graphic design work.

My new HP mini netbook has size, weight and portability in its favor. Sure, it's not the most powerful computer around, but it works great for writing and is fine for most of my Internet habits. When I go to a Web page that has lots of photo images or videos, my netbook does tend to bog down, but I consider that a good thing because it'll help to keep me off the Web, thus helping me from being distracted when I'm writing.

Now I can carry a computer with me everywhere I go. And I probably will. You never know when you'll get the urge to write something.

Heck, now I can even go out to one of the old barns behind my place and write.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free e-book novel

More Than KinFor a limited time, my Appalachian literary novel "More Than Kin" is available for free over at Smashwords.

How much of a limited time? I couldn't say. At least a few days, maybe longer.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"More Than Kin" novel spotlighted

Forget to mention, because I've been so busy, that my Appalachian literary novel "More Than Kin" was featured yesterday at The Indie Spotlight.

This is not only nice for me, but other readers and writers should check out the site. There are tons of e-books featured there from indie authors. You never know, you might just find a new author to enjoy.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Argh! -- Or how things don't always work out as you planned

I had a plan.

Part of that plan included a strict schedule.

And a calendar.

And a deadline.

Actually, several deadlines.

Then, the day before the plan was to go into effect ...

Some things happened.

Now I have to put my plan on hold.

Because things happened.

What was the plan?

To write 3,000 words a day.

To finish a novel in one month. At least the first draft.

Now I can't do that.

Because things happened.