Monday, December 10, 2012

Piracy and Editing


The freedom of the open sea. The wind at your back. Pirates and treasure just over the horizon.

These are but a few of the impressions lingering in my mind lately. After completing another round of drafts on my pirate novel Caesar’s Revenge, I’ve submitted it to a professional editor who is currently working on my manuscript. Her edits, in combination with the great feedback I’ve received from critique partners so far, has kept me both busy and inspired.

So what big projects are you working on this holiday season? What editorial process helps you along once you’ve completed your first few drafts? Interested in reading an excerpt of my current obsession/passion?  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chaotic Good vs. Lawful Evil

If you’ve played DnD before you’re probably snickering. I’m of course referring to the DnD alignment that characters have within a game or universe, which you can explore further here. These personality attributes are great when trying to craft characters for your own books, regardless of genre.

For instance, my favorite combination is when you face two characters against one another where one is Chaotic Good and the other Lawful Evil. Essentially, a Chaotic Good character is a person that follows their own sense or right and wrong, but is often opposed to society’s law, wheres a Lawful Evil character is the exact opposite, respecting authority to a T, but failing to have an internal sense of morals. One of my favorite examples of this combination comes from the Star wars universe, namely Han Solo and Boba Fett.  

So what personality type are you? A goodie two-shoes Lawful Good or perhaps a Chaotic Neutral free spirit? What types of characters do you like to see in books?

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Giants Clinch It!

What more can I say? My home team clinched the World Series for the second time in three years. Go Giants!

It's been a great run, not to mention an inspiring time whether you're a writer or not. It's wonderful to see so many hard-earned dreams come true for people in other professions who have defied the odds in order to accomplish their goals. I think more than a few would-be writers can relate to that.

So, I'm on cloud nine right now. How about you? Any spectacular events happening in your neck of the woods? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Next Big Thing Bloghop

1. What's the working title of your book?
Caesar's Revenge

2. Where did the idea for your book originate? 
It's been in my head so long...maybe past life memories;)

3. What genre does your book fall under? 
Historical Fiction

4.Which actors would you like to see in a movie of your book?
No one in particular. The villain from Serenity would be good. 

5. What's a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ex-slave, turned pirate, Black Caesar, captures his former master's ship and renames it the Revenge, but gets more than he bargained for when his mutinous crew attempts a near suicidal raid against his master's treasure fortress...from which no pirate crew has ever returned alive. 

6. Will you self-publish or traditional publish?

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
I'm 3/4 done, at the rate of 1,000 words a day. 

8. What other books compare with your story?
Crichton's Pirate Latitudes and Stevenson's Treasure Island

9. Who/what inspired you to write this book?
Good pirate books and bad pirate movies...but for different reasons. 

10. What else would pique a reader's interest in your book?
It's a revenge tale, who wouldn't like to read that? ;)


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giants Do the Impossible


Well, I know it’s been a while, but I’m pretty stoked about today’s post. My home team, the SF Giants, won the final game in their series to advance further into the playoffs! Drinks are on me!

Never before has a team come back from an 0-2 hole in a five game series and come back to win by sweeping their opponents on the road.  To top it off, Buster Posey hit a Grand Slam and will undoubtedly be MVP for the league. In addition, our other Bay Area team, the A’s are poised to try and do the same thing tonight in their game against Detroit.

Needless to say, I’m still happily in the throes of writing, but between a busy work schedule and doing some house remodeling things have been a bit hectic. I must admit, this big win by my favorite team of my favorite sport has given me that extra boost of inspiration to push through the week. So what great things give you a boost when you need it?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tweeting with A Robot


Sorry, I’ve been lax with my posts lately. Been super swamped at work. Also, devoting what time I have to getting my daily allotment of fiction writing into my schedule.

Lately, I’ve been getting tweets from the Mars Curiosity rover on the red planet. For those of you into NASA and space travel like I am this probably comes as no surprise. It’s funny to think that machines are now on social media and that they don’t even have to be earth-bound.

It gets me to thinking, if you could go anywhere where humans can’t typically go, where would it be? Investigate the bottom of the sea or maybe the heights of Mars? I for one would definitely want to see the Moon or Mars up close, but even a view of Earth from low orbit would suffice…all with a space suit of course!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

America’s Cup Trials


Ever see a dozen catamarans all racing at over 20 knots, powered by nothing but the wind and current? Do you like watching the best athletes in a given sport perform before crowds of tens of thousands of spectators? Best yet, the whole thing is free to watch.

Last weekend, I went out to Marina Greens alongside San Francisco Bay and watched the America’s Cup trials in sailing. The best sailors in the world from countries such as Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Korea, China, and America all compete in high-speed sail regattas as they jockey for qualifying positions in next year's big cup race on San Francisco Bay. Needless to say, observing these sailors in action was a thrill for amateur sailors like my Dad and myself, and some of the crew sailed so close to shore that half the time I didn’t need binoculars to see their faces.

If you happen to be in this neck of the woods any time in the next year, you definitely have to catch a race or two of this worldwide event. You can learn more about the AC Trials and Events here. Root for your favorite team…but I’ll of course be cheering for the American favorites, the Golden Gate Yacht Club.    

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tech Writer Wanted


Do you like to editing and composing written materials so that they’re crisp, clean, and error-free? Do you enjoy writing technical content for the web? Do you prefer to work at an up-beat, up-and-coming company where your contributions can really make a difference?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, look no further. I’ve been working at Gree, Inc. as a Technical Writer since earlier this year and now we’re finally hiring another Tech Writer to join my team. Aside from the plus of getting to work with me (wink wink), it’s a great work environment for a writer. The people are awesome, the company is experiencing tremendous growth, and to top it off…it’s a really fun place to work.

If you’re interested in the position, please send me your resume at The position is in San Francisco located literally right next to the AT&T ballpark. Even if you can’t apply I’m still interested in reaching out to other Tech Writers who enjoy keeping up their creative writing on the side, thanks!  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penchant for Poirot


Who are some of your favorite fictional detectives of all time? Sherlock Holmes of course comes to mind, and everything from Film Noir to Children’s stories abound with heavy mystery/detective elements. But for me, there’s one character who stands above all the rest.

My wife and I love watching/reading Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot detective stories. This Belgian detective solves mysteries in the decades before WWII with a cunning mix of attention to detail and a heavy dose of psychology. Poirot is such a beloved character that when Agatha Christie died major newspapers ran an obituary for Poirot, one of the few fictional characters anywhere to receive such an honor.

So what mystery books have you read lately? If you want to get into a Poirot story/short film, I suggest something exotic like The Mystery of the Egyptian Tomb or Death on the Nile for starters. I of course greatly prefer the David Suchet versions. Enjoy, mon ami! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goal: Read 10,000 Books in My Lifetime


Ever wonder how many books you’ve read? Or compared your reading schedule to others? After all, how many books do you have to read to be considered well-read nowadays?

Honestly, I’m not sure I have a proper answer to any of those questions, but I’ve set myself the goal of reading 10,000 books within my lifetime. That means I’ll need to keep up my pace of reading about three books a week for the next sixty years or so. Better pray for longevity and some decent reading glasses. But I figure both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did it, along with a slew of other people before them so I might as well try.

How many books do you try to read in a given period of time? How do you gage how many books you’ve read thus far? I keep track of mine on Goodreads. So what will you be reading this weekend?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Rereading


Ever love a story so much you’ve just got to read it again? Enjoy revisiting your favorite stories once a year? Maybe you’ve got that classic sitting on your shelf that you always meant to reread?

It’s that time of year again for me where I start rereading a bunch of my favorite classics. Right now I’m working on Treasure Island! I started doing this in college and have loved it ever since. Instead of being in the usual grind of conquering one new book after the other each week, I spend some time leisurely delving into the details of some of my most treasured stories.

What are some books you’d like to reread? Tolkien? Shakespeare? Bronte? How does rereading a book make a story come alive for you?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Come and Play

I’ve always been proud that I use my degree and writing skills at work as a Technical Writer. Lately, I’ve been putting those chops to work a lot. My company, Gree, Inc. has been expanding like crazy and our new video above showcases the kind of stuff I’m working on.

Needless to say, my heart and personal time have been and will continue to be devoted to fiction writing. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that my writing done during the daylight hours bears fruit in the technical world and helps people get things done. Many of the documents I write enable gamers and developers to utilize our company’s platform and enjoy and overall better user-experience.

So how do you incorporate your writing into your daily work? Does your job have some connection to your writing and reading passions? How do you like to mix work and play?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finally Got an iPad


Well, it finally happened. I joined the 21st century. I got an iPad.

My work has a pretty nice perk where once a year you can purchase personal hardware that you may use for work and they’ll cover 90% of the cost. So I figured what the heck. Needless to say, I’m pretty satisfied with my new, shiny toy.

From books to games to video, it’s got it all. It’s funny, but I’m already using it in the evenings for a variety of tasks from email to reading to videos, and I’m curious how other people have integrated e-readers into their lives. What daily tasks do you typically do with your e-reader?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

At Giants Game Today


Yes, it’s a workday. But my employer is taking the entire company out to the ballgame as a team building treat. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked!

This comes on the heels of last night’s perfect game pitched by Matt Cain (which I watched on TV). No runs, no hits, no walks. He’s only the 22nd player in all major league history, and the first Giant, to literally pitch a perfect game.

It’s one of those historical moments where you think about where you are and how you’ll remember telling others about it. What are some great moments in history you remember? What were you doing at the time and why?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Insecure Writer’s Day

Hmm…it’s been a few weeks since I kept to my regular blogging schedule, and I suppose that’s my insecurity for this month. I love writing, reading, and blogging, but with the new job I started last month I’ve been pretty strapped for time. Fortunately, everything is going really well and I’m hoping to get back into the blogging groove.

I suppose I just worry that fellow bloggers might become disinterested after I “disappeared” from the blog-o-sphere for a while, and I admit that even now I don’t have quite as much time as I once did to get certain things done. I usually give other bloggers at least a month before I start wondering whether they’ve abandoned their blog, but I don’t know if I can expect the same in return. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to balance my schedule once again.

Everyone has jobs, school, kids, etc. taking up time in their lives, so how do you balance it all? Do you have set times of day set aside for blogging? Do you limit yourself to only a certain amount of time on the blog-o-sphere at once? How do you keep a routine in an ever-changing world?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Apologies for being off the net for so long. I’ve been swamped with the new job and all, but things are going well and I’m hoping to gradually make my way back into the blog-o-sphere.  Today I’m debating the ultimate reader/writer’s debate…to e-read or not to e-read?

I’m pretty tempted by all the great e-readers out there, so really it’s just a choice of what to get. I know people love their Nooks, Kindles, and iPads, and each have their pros and cons. Some are more expensive than others, but may have a wider variety of features.

So for those of you with e-readers, what’s your preference? Do you use your e-reader for more than just books? Are there perhaps other alternatives than the three types of e-readers I mentioned?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inspired on Multiple Projects


There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? How to fit in all the needs of one day with all those literary aspirations? So what happens when you get inspired to write more than one book at a time?

Inspiration certainly isn’t a bad thing, but it can be demanding on your schedule. I find myself half way through one writing project and already dabbling into two others. Needless to say it doesn’t bode well for sleep.

So how do you balance multiple projects at once? Do you give in to your newest whims or do you make yourself finish your current project completely before moving on? Perhaps you’ve found some kind of compromise?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Job!!!


I recently accepted a new position as a Technical Writer at Gree, Inc. in San Francisco. Needless to say, I’m stoked to be working for one of the top social, mobile gaming companies in the world. Even after my years working at Facebook and Google, it rocks to be an employee at Gree!

Great benefits, great people, and lots of great opportunities are just the highlights.  I’m keeping pretty busy, so forgive me if my blog posts are erratic for the next week or two as I settle into my new job.  To learn more about Gree, just check them out on Wikipedia or play some of their new games, like “Zombie Jombie” for iPhone and “Dino Life” for Android.

So what’s happening in your life? I know lots of you are making big transitions, whether with kids, jobs, or places to live. How’s it all going?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trip to New York and Boston

Hi, All. Just got back from a trip to New York and Boston where I visited my sister studying at NYU. Thanks for your patience while I was on this temporary hiatus.

New York and Boston rock this time of year, not too hot and not too cold. In New York we saw the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, Newsies on Broadway, and the Museum of Metropolitan Art.  In Boston we took the Freedom Trail, ate lots of great seafood, went to Fenway and Harvard, and did a daytrip out to picturesque Cape Ann. All in all, an awesome little vacation.

What are some places you like to go to in order to take a break or gain inspiration? Do you prefer museums on trips or nightclubs or something more outdoors? Where’s the next place you’d like to go when you get the chance?   

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Sorry, for the lag time on my responses lately. I need to go on a brief hiatus for the next week or two, but when I get back I promise to have some new posts for you. Until then, take it easy:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Favorite Plot Devices

What’s your favorite plot device? Maybe you like stories with a red herring thrown into the mystery? Or perhaps you like dramas with a convincing femme fatale?

One of my favorite plot elements is to run opposite characters into one another. Any situation where you can force two people who don’t really like one another to have to work together usually provides great tension. Everything from the characters in Pride and Prejudice to Star Wars use some element of throwing opposites at each other.

So what plot devices do you like to see? A talisman object in a quest, i.e. like Tolkien’s One Ring? Or maybe you prefer something more subtle, such as a film noir character who should be a bad guy, but does good things?  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Receiving Comments

How do you like to receive comments on your blog? How do you prefer to leave comments on others’ blogs? I’m always trying to find a happy medium with how people like to interact in the blog-o-sphere.

Way back when I used to respond to every comment on my blog right after it was posted, but I found that somewhat cumbersome. Now I make a single post with comments specified to each person at the end. On the one hand I don’t want to overburden people with lots of fluff, but I do respond to each and every comment by week’s end.

How do you typically respond to comments on your blog? One at a time, en masse, some other way? How do you balance it all on your blog?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forbidden Books

Some books you’re not supposed to read. Considered dangerous or even evil. Depending on the country in which you live they may actually be banned.

I recently read some socially “forbidden” books, not because I agree with them, but because I wanted to form my own opinion about these books, without having to read what someone else wrote about them. I read Mein Kampf, and needless to say my wife gave me some very strange looks for reading something written by Hitler. Needless to say I abhor fascism and Nazism in every form, but I wanted to read this book so that I could form my own opinion on the subject and the man who indeed turned out to be truly evil. I also read the Koran, which many in the West shy away from, and even though I do not practice Islam, I found it enlightening on some subjects and disturbing on others. Such is my opinion, but I based it on my own reading and interpretations and not someone else’s.

What “forbidden” books have you read in the past? How do you evaluate controversial topics on your own? Do you feel that books that you disagree with should still be available in bookstores and libraries even if they contain offensive materials?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Writing 1,000 Words A Day

A little over 40 days ago I promised myself for Lent that I would write between 1,000 to 2,000 words a day in fiction. Needless to say, I was a little overly ambitious. However, I’ve managed to stick to a rhythm of approximately 1,000 words a day since then and am still at it.

Obviously, just because I write a 1,000 words a day doesn’t mean all (or much) of it is any good. I fully admit that I’ve nearly given up a half a dozen times just trying to maintain the pace, but I’ve been at it a little over 40 days and I’ve heard that if you can maintain something of 60 straight days it becomes a habit.

So, how do you drive yourself to keep writing? What goals have you set yourself and how have they adjusted or stayed the same? How do you balance your writing schedule with everyday life?