Friday, January 30, 2015

Career Day

I was recently invited to speak during Career Day at my old high school. Needless to say, I had a blast! It was pretty cool getting to connect with students and talk about writing, both Technical Writing and Fiction Writing.

I hadn’t been back to my high school since I graduated fourteen years ago, so it was kind of a trip to see all that had changed. The students were awesome though, and really enthusiastic to learn more about how they could make a living as a writer of one sort or another in the working world. I’d definitely go back and speak again.

I know we writers are supposed to be somewhat introverted and stick to written text, but I actually enjoy public speaking and have a lot of fun connecting with people interested in writing. If I enjoy speaking at the upcoming San Francisco Writer’s Conference half as much as I did speaking at Career Day, then I’m sure I’ll have a great time there too. Wish me luckJ  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Speaking at Upcoming Writer’s Conference!!!

I’ve been invited to talk at this year’s San Francisco Writer’s Conference! As a former attendee turned (soon-to-be) published author, I’ve been asked to talk during the opening gathering that kicks off the several-day extravaganza. I’ll be addressing all 500 to 600 attendees at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. No pressure.

I’m a big fan of this prestigious conference, having attended it myself several times in the last few years. During each conference, I’ve learned invaluable information and techniques that have definitely helped me pursue my writing goals. I’ve also met lots of cool people and fellow writers there.

The conference starts on February 13, and I’m pretty psyched to say the least. It’s a bit surreal to speak to an audience that I once sat in myself, talking about my upcoming book. But just in case this really is a dream, please don’t pinch me;)     

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome 2015, Year of the Future

Watching a Back to the Future marathon this New Year’s made me realize that when Marty goes into the future the year is 2015. This year! So what can we expect to see in this pivotal 2015?

Flying cars, self-lacing sneakers, self-drying clothes, automated dog-walkers, and, oh wait…. Well, at least they got the hover-boards right, sort of. I’m looking forward to that predicted Cubs World Series win too. Anyhow, I thought I’d start the New Year’s off light, since I’m not a big resolutions kind of guy. I just prefer to live the way I want year round.

We’ve got another baby on the way, so I’ll probably periodically forget what year I’m in anyway. But at least I’ll be finishing up my edits for my two books coming out next year with St. Martin’s Press. I guess the future’s looking pretty bright!

So what are you looking forward to this 2015?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Goodreads Friends Limit

Goodreads keeps deleting my friends. Ever since they instituted the 5,000 friend limit, it’s been a personal gripe of mine. Other authors definitely feel the same. Just look at Neil Gaiman who lost over 4,000 friends on Goodreads when they lowered his friend count from 9,000 to 5,000.

The thing is, I keep getting new friend requests every day, particularly from the cool folks I meet on Twitter who also want to stay connected on Goodreads. However, if and when I add them, one of my other friends gets randomly removed about a week or so later. Blah.

Anybody else having this issue? Any workarounds that you have discovered? Don’t get me wrong, I love using Goodreads, but man I really wish they would change this particular friend requirement.

Friday, November 21, 2014

San Francisco Olympics Bid 2024

San Francisco has put in its bid for hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, and is currently one of the top finalists vying for the honor. As an avid sports and Olympics fan, I’m particularly stoked for this opportunity because the San Francisco Bay Area is my home. And, the proposed stadium and Olympic Village would be built just a few miles from my house. Sweet!!!

But of course, 2024 is a long way off, and the bidding begins in earnest for the U.S. candidate city in 2015 with the International Olympic Committee choosing the winning city in 2017. However, only 4 U.S. cities remain in the running: L.A., D.C., Boston, and the City by the Bay. On top of that, we’ll have some stiff international competition from cities such as Paris and Rome.

However, it’ll have been almost 30 years since the U.S. hosted an Olympics, and the IOC is said to be particularly inclined to select a U.S. city for 2024. Especially since few other locations can offer the increased security and economic infrastructure that the games demand. Whatever happens, I’m just glad my hometown is in the running, and I sincerely hope to someday attend the Olympics in person with my children. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

La Boheme

This weekend, my wife and I went to see La Boheme at the San Francisco Opera. Needless to say, it was pretty darn awesome! I'd definitely recommend it to first time visitors as well as frequent opera-goers.

Puccini was certainly a genius, mixing all the elements of a good story, particularly his use of tension and comedy. I was surprised how much I laughed during this opera. Even after a hundred years there are some pretty good jokes in this piece.

The music was really great too. If you've seen the movie Moonstruck, you'll recognize a lot of the signature songs. Most of us won't get to Paris any time soon, but if not, check out La Boheme and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finished First Draft of Sequel!!!

Whew! It took me about twelve weeks, but I just recently churned out the first draft of my sequel to Between Two Fires, entitled The Long Defeat. Now for the edits and rewrites.

The Long Defeat follows what happens after my debut novel, Between Two Fires, and the continued struggles of the medieval Welsh trying to survive barbarian invasions. As part of my two-book deal with St. Martin’s Press, I need to provide the sequel to my publishers in addition to my first book so that we can make sure to follow up my debut novel when it comes out in bookstores about a year from now.

In the meantime, in addition to my usual awesome readers, I’m looking for any other beta readers interested in reading anywhere from one chapter to the full length draft of my new book. I of course reciprocate, and would be more than happy to beta read any of your work. Any takers?