Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

At first blush...

OK, so anyone that nows me knows that I am a GEEK. I love my tech. I love having the newest stuff.

That's why, when I read this article in the NY Times about Netflick's On-Demand Movie Box, I sort of reflexively salivated. ANY movie at ANY time without having to wait for the DVD to be shipped? Hell yeah baby!

Then I took a breath. And another. And finally thought back to the last 20 or so DVDs I've watched. When I did, I realized that this thing is evil.

Being a busy person (family, work, writing and keeping my cars running takes a lot of time) leaves me with only small cracks of time to watch TV or movies. Inventions like the Tivo/DVR, which lets me "time shift" the few shows I actually watch on network or cable TV, is a God-send. Because of this newfound flexibility in when I watch TV, watching DVDs has sort of slipped down my priority scale. In fact, most DVDs I watch any more are seasons of old TV shows.

Thinking about the Netflix on-demand box made me realize that of course Hollywood wants stuff like this out there, despite their protestations. They've known ever since VHS movies went on sale that it would be even more profitable if they could not only charge a viewer to own the movie, but to literally charge them each time they watch it again, just like they do in a theater.

Boxes like this fulfill that need. Want to watch The Lord of the Rings on the Netflix box? Better pony up your $9/month to Netflix. Want to watch it again in two months? You'd better still be a subscriber, then, because you don't own the film - you just rented it the last time. Want to take the kids on a long car trip and amuse them during the 6-hour drive to Grandma's? Well, you're S.O.L. there, buddy, because you likely don't have a Netflix box hooked to an Aircard in your minivan (although one day, you might).

I don't know about you. but I like owning things. I like using the things I own any time I want and in any manner I want. And, quite frankly, I'm getting tired of everything in the world trying to switch to a "rental fee per use" business model. Rental DVDs are great, don't get me wrong, but I like places like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video mainly for the by-product of their rental plans: the piles of used DVDs that I buy for $5-$9 each. If this Netflix box fulfills the promise made by its inventors and backers, then where will I get my used DVDs on the cheap?

Am I being paranoid? Did I miss something crucial to this that invalidates my opinion? What do you think?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nights of Sin Cover Art

Oh, there is one other thing... Someone asked me recently (Ok, a few weeks ago... I'm sorry...) about the cover art for Nights of Sin. I said I'd posted about it but that I'd REpost it so it would rise to the top.

Of course, I forgot all about it, so here I am now, reposting it - here it is:

I also noticed that on Juno Book's home page, they have a version out with what looks like sample title and author text - sorry for the tiny image: if they have a larger version on the site yet I can't find it. Looks pretty good - better with text actually:

Embracing vitriol.

While I don't generally embrace vitriolic, rambling dissertations on "culture", this article over on Radar Online about the current "war" between Gen X and Gen Y (renamed, charmingly, "The Millennial Generation" - gag) really struck a nerve. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan's wonderful blog for the link...

I'm experiencing a massive truckload... more like a BARGE LOAD of complete bullshit in my personal life right now... I know, blah, blah, blah, angst, angst... whatever. Nobody really likes reading about other people's personal tragedies (or if they do, they're indulging an unhealthy fascination, so I don't really want to encourage them by saying more) so I'm going to try and restrict my posts for the foreseeable future - you all don't need to be subjected to the outflow of my personal sewage pipe.

Suffice to say that I AM working on my manuscripts, and will continue to do so. Just as soon as I have substantive news to post on either Nights of Sin (still due in Fall 2008 from Juno Books) or on the still-unnamed urban fantasy (sometimes referred to as the Rowantree project, but I doubt that will be the actual title), I will, I promise.

If, however, I fail and start to further embrace the vitriol (as I know I'm wont to do) and this blog starts to resemble a dump -full of half-demolished trash that's dangerous-looking and quite possibly toxic - please send be an email bitch-slapping me back to my senses, OK? You officially have my permission...

Until next time!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm still standin'...

I'm alive everyone - sorry for the blackout. Apologies to everyone that's mailed me asking (nigh commanding) me to post in here.

BOOK UPDATE: I was experiencing a bit of burn-out a few weeks back - for those that don't know, I leaped right into the Rowantree final edit right on the heels of completing the Nights of Sin manuscript, with only about a 3-day vacation in-between. As someone that also has a full-time day job as well as a family, I was a bit overwhelmed, and the edit process slowed to a crawl as I second- (and third... and fourth... and fifth...) guessed myself over every little thing.

But, I did take a week off, and just got back from a revitilizing vacation down to North Carolina, where I participated in this year's MINIs on the Dragon event. This isn't a car enthusiast blog so I won't bore you with the minutia... suffice to say that since returning I've finished editing about 8 more chapters and have the story's finale well in sight for a proposed May completion target. Yay!

That reminds me... I really need to email an update to the prospective editor that's been asking me about the manuscript. Gotta run - more details later!