Thursday, June 25, 2015

What Grape Are You?

I like my wine (which is convenient since I live in California), and over the years I’ve sort of come up with a half-baked theory about what I call the Wine Zodiac. Basically, everybody who enjoys wine tends to have a favorite type. They may like lots of different wines, but there are certain vintages, or rather certain strains of grape specifically, that generate the taste they like. And I think this says something about who they are.

Obviously, this is a bit tongue and cheek, but check out some of my ideas below. It’s not fully fledged yet, but see where you fit into the schema of grapevines.

1.       Cabernet SauvignonAdventurous, these are partiers, they know how to live and party hard, rugged, but are also the most likely to get hangovers. They’re all accepting, have lots of friends, get along with others easily, and are the opposite of picky.
2.       Zinfandel Artisans, these people are good with their hands, whether it’s building a house or raising children, many of their abilities (like their drinking) begins slow and steady, but they can probably outpace anyone when it comes to endurance.
3.       Pinot NoirDiscerning, picky, they have good taste, but they know it, which can sometimes lead to arrogance. They enjoy high art. If they had a soundtrack to their lives it would be in jazz.
4.       Sangiovese (includes Chianti and Brunello) – Passionate, rugged, a bit of a bandit when they get into wine, sort of like a Robin Hood character. They like Sangiovese because it has “bite.” Really good music makes these people tear up.
5.       Malbec – Spicy, dancers, they have a flair for life. They have good appetites, but are often fit too. You rarely encounter an overweight Malbec person. They deeply enjoy traveling.


Of course I haven’t addressed every grape yet (and only Reds so far), but I think it’s a start. What kind of grape are you? 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Theory of Everything


I’ve always liked String Theory and lately I’ve been quite taken with the concept of Rainbow Gravity as well. No, I’m not talking about ponies and colors; I’m talking about theory of the universe and what it’s all about. The really funny thing is that these scientific concepts in many ways rehash very ancient religious and philosophical doctrines.

For instance, String Theory (in a highly generalized nutshell) proposes that all matter consists of strings that vibrate at different frequencies, thus producing different things, i.e. vibrate one way to make a certain atom, vibrate another thousand ways to make up the matter in a dog or human. In essence, the entire universe is literally a symphonic masterpiece, and everything in it a note of a larger melody. This is strikingly similar to the medieval concept of the Celestial Spheres, which posited that all creation was essentially God’s music.

On top of that, Rainbow Gravity asserts that the universe didn’t originate with any Big Bang, but instead literally always existed and will always exist. The universe may be cyclical, but it is definitely eternal. This concept almost seems like it comes directly out of a page of the oldest Hindu religious texts. I know, lots of big concepts, but I love this stuff and how the art of science mirrors more and more some of the oldest spiritual concepts. Food for thought…J




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Checkout Milo Fowler's Captain Quasar Today!



New Release:

CAPTAIN BARTHOLOMEW QUASAR
and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum


Every Day Novels is proud to announce the release of Milo James Fowler's first serialized novel:

Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum

16 weeks of serial chapters every weekday – that's 80 exciting episodes of adventure aboard the Effervescent Magnitude for only $5 USD (includes an eBook edition following serialization). Don't delay – Subscribe today!

                                      
Captain Quasar is out of time.

Pursued by vengeful Goobalob toll collectors, savage Arachnoid bounty hunters, and formidable Amazonians, Captain Bartholomew Quasar must do whatever he can to keep the crew of the Effervescent Magnitude out of harm's way. All in a day's work—except time is not on his side.
Torn from the present to relive his past, he vows to keep mistakes from occurring the second time around. But is he doomed to repeat history? Or can he erase his regrets?
Villains will be vanquished. Lives will be lost. Bonds will be betrayed. Heroes will be heroic.
Join the crew of the Effervescent Magnitude for a hilarious time-travel space adventure the likes of which you've never seen!

Now Available from Every Day Novels
Add Captain Quasar to your Goodreads bookshelf
Prologue:


Jaw muscle twitching at untimed intervals, Captain Bartholomew Quasar gripped the armrests of his deluxe-model captain's chair and narrowed his heroic gaze. The main viewscreen on the bridge of the Effervescent Magnitude radiated with white-hot streaks blurring in elongated trajectories as his star cruiser plunged into the depths of space at something near the speed of light.
Quasar could feel the tension in the air. It was palpable and tasted like sweat—mostly his own. The members of his bridge crew remained silent, standing at their stations and staring at the viewscreen. Many forgot to blink as their insides trembled, recoiling with a nameless fear.
They had never moved so fast in their lives.
This was the Magnitude's maiden voyage into deep space utilizing the recently installed cold fusion near-lightspeed reactor—an experimental propulsion system they'd picked up on the planet Carpethria. One thing was readily apparent: it worked. But how long could the ship could maintain this incredible velocity without compromising hull integrity?
Already, the ship was creaking and groaning in protest, and the helmsman—a very hairy, four-armed Carpethrian who resembled something between a sloth and an overweight orangutan—had begun to grumble that the reactor really should have been tested before this full-speed leap into the black.
But there had been no other choice. Their options at the time were either flight (and survival) or fight (and undoubtedly be destroyed). Vicious Arachnoid bounty hunters were on their tail, and Arachnoids tended to be a very hungry lot—often foregoing payment for their illicit services in favor of a fresh kill.
The Magnitude's first officer, Commander Selene Wan, wasn't keen on the idea of allowing a Carpethrian to man the helm of their freshly minted star cruiser. But no one else on board knew how to navigate at near-lightspeed, and it took all four of the alien's hands to do the job—something two humans would have had to coordinate in tandem. And that could have gotten awkward.
"Steady as she goes." Quasar smoothed down his close-cropped blond hair and cringed as the ship released a moan that didn't sound good at all—something akin to a whale giving birth. "How are we doing, Hank?"
"Haven't run into anything yet," grunted the very hairy helmsman, hands flying across the controls.
"Status report?" Quasar half-turned to regard his first officer with a confidently raised eyebrow.
Commander Wan, a tall, slim Eurasian with impeccable posture, kept her attention riveted on her console. "Proximity scanners are offline." She swayed on her feet with the rocking movements of the ship, her sleek black hair swinging across her shoulders. "Artificial gravity is holding. Life support remains functional." A sudden frown creased her usually furrow-free forehead. "But the reactor, sir… We may have a serious problem."
"Elaborate."
"It's overheating, Captain. If we don't decelerate, it may—" She swallowed. "Explode."
That wouldn't be good at all. The folks back home were depending on Captain Quasar and company to bring back loads of quartz necessary for virtually every form of technology and transportation on Earth, not to mention haute vintage time pieces. The Magnitude could not possibly be allowed to blow up.
"Hank?" Quasar faced the shaggy helmsman. "Could we possibly slow down a bit?"
The Carpethrian grunted something intelligible, followed by, "Commencing deceleration sequence."
"Very good." The captain nodded, glancing over his shoulder at his first officer. Everything was under control. "Status?"
She shook her head without a word. Quasar checked the console on his armrest. The Arachnoid ship was nowhere in sight, and the Magnitude had begun to slow down, but only by an infinitesimal fraction of its near-lightspeed velocity.
"Uh-Hank? About that deceleration sequence…" Quasar cleared his throat.
"It will take thirty minutes, Captain. Any sudden downshift in speed would tear the ship apart."
Quasar maintained a brave fa├žade for the sake of his crew. Such was expected from starship captains, after all. Clenching his jaw, he leaned toward Wan and whispered, "Do we have thirty minutes?"
She met his gaze, and he didn't like what he saw in her eyes—something she hadn't shown before when they'd dealt with the horrible Goobalobs or the savage Arachnoids:
Terror.

Get to know the man behind the book:

1. When did you start seriously pursuing writing as a career?

I've been writing since I was 12, but I started submitting my work for publication in the summer of 2009. I'd always thought I would pursue publication at some point—probably after I retired from teaching or turned 40. My first story was published in January 2010, and I've had over a hundred others accepted for publication since then. I won't turn 40 for another year, and I'm still teaching full-time. Doesn't look like I'll be retiring anytime soon!

2. How did you create the character Bartholomew Quasar?

When I came up with Captain Bartholomew Quasar back in the spring of 2010, I was going for a mash-up between William Shatner's James T. Kirk and Dudley Do-Right from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (but in Quasar's case, things seldom ever go right). He's one of those classic pulp heroes with a heart of gold whose narcissistic tendencies often land him in hot water. I hope readers can laugh at Bartholomew Quasar and root for him at the same time. He's ridiculous, but there's something about his fallible nature that most of us can relate to on some level.

3. Are you working on more Captain Quasar stories?

I've written over 20 Captain Quasar tales so far, many of which are out on the submission circuit, looking for good homes. "Captain Quasar and the Ghosts of Space Command" will be published in the next issue of Perihelion Science Fiction. "Captain Quasar and the Carpethrian Call of the Wild" will be included in the B is for Broken anthology, and "Captain Quasar and the Devious Powers of Persuasion" will be in the Geminid Press space opera anthology. I'm in the middle of edits on a novella-length adventure I plan to submit for publication soon. My collection of 15 Quasar tales Starfaring Adentures…in SPACE is available everywhere eBooks are sold—and free for the taking, last time I checked.  

Author Bio:

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day, speculative fictioneer by night, and an active SFWA member. When he's not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. In the past 5 years, his short fiction has appeared in more than 100 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology. Find his work wherever books are sold.

Visit www.milojamesfowler.com and join The Crew for news and updates.

Friday, May 22, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It’s that time of year again! Summer’s almost upon us and the garden is starting to be a nice place to hangout. I’ve already been harvesting fresh lettuce from my garden for a month now and am looking forward to other crops ripening throughout the season.

I built some raised beds this year, mainly to keep those darn gophers out of my produce. Most of my crops are coming along quite nice though and I get hungry just looking at them. Corn, pumpkins, beans, potatoes, grapes, sunflowers, tomatoes, lettuce, and a little bit of wheat.

So how are Mother Nature and your own garden shaping up this year? We’re enduring a bit of a drought, but fortunately many of my plants are drought resistant or I’ve made some adjustments to make sure they hold in their water longer. I’m definitely looking forward to having some backyard dinner evenings with my friends and family once the weather warms up.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Back from Paternity Leave

Hey, all. I’ve been a bit MIA of late, mainly because my newborn son arrived a bit earlier than anticipated. But I’m back from paternity leave and getting into the swing of things again.

Mom and baby are doing well, although we’re all a little sleep-deprived, but otherwise enjoying our time together. I’ve got two redheaded boys to look after now, so things are busy, but in a good way. Looking forward to new updates now that I’m back, thanks! 


Friday, April 24, 2015

How to Get an Agent


Today, Kristin is interviewing me over at her Unicorn Bell site about how I first landed an agent! I also go into some of the ins-and-outs of my road to finally getting a book-deal with a major publisher.

A big thanks to Kristin for letting me share my story and for giving me a chance to encourage other writers who might have been thinking about giving up. Head over there to check it out!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Extra Innings


I’ve gone to two baseball games this week that went into extra innings. Last night I was at the Giant’s 12th inning close loss, and on Saturday I was at a River Cat’s minor league game where they won in the 18th inning. Needless to say, I’m starting to think every game I go to now will run past the bottom of the ninth.

But it’s the start of baseball season, a nice long season that marks one of my favorite times of year. And so what if I get a little extra baseball for my money at each game? I’m having a blast hanging out with friends and family as we cheer our teams on!

I guess I better get all the baseball in I can right now, because baby number two is coming along in a few weeks. That will be fun as well, and a sort of extra innings affair as well I suppose in its own way. In the meantime, I’m writing lots and enjoying life. Play ball!