An absolutely stunning show last night in Gibraltar. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment performed in St. Michael’s Cave INSIDE the Rock, surrounded by stalagtites, stalagmites, and dripping water through the limestone above. Easily the highlight of the trip so far. Just…stunning. Hope my quick iPhone pics do it justice.
An absolutely stunning show last night in Gibraltar. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment performed in St. Michael’s Cave INSIDE the Rock, surrounded by stalagtites, stalagmites, and dripping water through the limestone above. Easily the highlight of the trip so far. Just…stunning. Hope my quick iPhone pics do it justice.View full post
Those of you who “know” me (inasmuch as anyone knows anyone online – I could be an 85 year old great-grandmother of seven, for all you really know), know that I’ve been a diehard Mac/iDevice user for quite some time. And while that’s still the case (I live in, and will always live in, a …View full post
Welcoming back Robert Swartwood to the Author’s Cafe with his new release, Walk The Sky (and a book giveaway)
How about a little Western to spice up your work week? I’m happy to “reintroduce” a good friend who has been here before (though before I had that cool little bookstore/cafe image above), Robert Swartwood. Author of horror, suspense, and thrillers (including one of my favorite reads, No Shelter, with the butt-kicking Holly Lin) has …View full post
UPDATE: Photo (actual one, not the stock photo of a piano I found on Google) at the bottom! Another in a long line of Proud Dad posts. My son is boarding the bus, along with 60+ other Red Blazered young men, on their way to Carnegie Hall for a performance today. (Before you ask, yes …View full post
Kicking off “Author’s Cafe” on the blog with an interview with Leah Petersen, author of Cascade Effect
I’m proud to introduce a good friend (though that may be presumptuous of me – she may hate my guts for all I know…) I’ve had the rare privilege of meeting in person. Yes, real flesh and bones in a world of bits and bytes. Leah Petersen is a talented author, an outspoken supporter of …View full post
Thought I’d put up a quick post about the true start of baseball season for me: my son Evan’s opening day. (Plus I wanted to try the WordPress app on the phone). I hustled him out of his Philadelphia Boys Choir practice (yes, another Proud Dad plug) just in time for the game. His pitching …View full post
Those of you who “know” me (inasmuch as anyone knows anyone online – I could be an 85 year old great-grandmother of seven, for all you really know), know that I’ve been a diehard Mac/iDevice user for quite some time. And while that’s still the case (I live in, and will always live in, a Windowless house…get it?), I’ve modified my “mobile” usage over the past year.
I’m jumping on a plane tomorrow (well, walking slowly so as not to alarm TSA) to Spain for an 8-day business trip, and for the first time since my pre-laptop days (right around the time the mammals rose up) I will be traveling without a Mac of any sort. This is a BIG step for me. With the lone exception of a one-night trip to Milwaukee last year (which totaled less than 30 hours away) when I brought only an iPad, this trip will be Mac-less for the first time.
As sad as this may sound, I’ve been preparing for this Mac-less trip for a while, knowing how my mobile habits were changing. And now, for the first time since those mammal days, I don’t even technically own a Mac laptop. The trusty MacBook Pro is now in the extremely capable hands of my son Zack, who will surely put it to great use. I am now down to the eclectic mix of:
- Main computer: Mac mini (running dual-core i5 processor @ 2.3 GHz, 8GB RAM, added in a 256GB SSD drive – smoove)
- Laptop: Samsung Chromebook (installed Ubuntu on SD card, so it dual boots to either Chrome OS or Linux…muahaha)
- Tablet: Nexus 7 (completely replaced my iPad 3 – just much more portable & convenient)
- Phone: iPhone 5 (I haven’t moved away from iOS, but I am curious to see the next Nexus phone…)
On this trip, the latter three will be joining me. No Mac at all. Weird. But what I’ve done is set myself up to be completely Mac-less on a mobile basis.
I’ve switched my business emails over to GMail – matter of fact, I now have five different email accounts feeding into it, so the Chromebook easily handles it. With Chrome OS, you can’t “install” apps – everything is web-based, and I’ll be the first to tell you there ain’t no decent web-based IMAP service for email.
I’ve got all email accounts running into K-9 Mail on the Nexus tablet, meaning I have a true separate IMAP system for each one when needed. I’ve also got movies and books, of course.
And finally, the iPhone is jailbroken, so I am able to create a wifi hotspot wherever, whenever (even in Spain next week). Meaning even if I’m running the Chromebook in Chrome OS (as opposed to the LInux side, where I can use LibreOffice, Gimp, etc. even when offline), I am able to fully use the web-based stuff.
I’ve even got an app for the Chromebook called Code Anywhere, meaning I can log into my business’ website via FTP, change HTML code, and reupload. My biggest fear to being Mac-less on the road was losing the ability to use Dreamweaver to change web pages, but Code Anywhere works in a pinch.
So now my out-of-office work is done on those three devices. Which on a side note, combined cost less than the MacBook Pro…hell, the Nexus plus Chromebook total cost was the same as a base wifi-only iPad…and they weigh less!
And it should work just fine…right?
UPDATE: Photo (actual one, not the stock photo of a piano I found on Google) at the bottom!
Another in a long line of Proud Dad posts. My son is boarding the bus, along with 60+ other Red Blazered young men, on their way to Carnegie Hall for a performance today. (Before you ask, yes – I tried the “how do you get to Carnegie Hall line…it’s lost on today’s youth).
I couldn’t be more proud, or floored. Yes, THAT Carnegie Hall. Wow…just, wow. I wonder if he, at 12, has any idea how amazing this is? Probably not…but that’s what the Internet is for, right? Posterity, man – that’s why I do this.
UPDATE: Photo on scene!
Thought I’d put up a quick post about the true start of baseball season for me: my son Evan’s opening day. (Plus I wanted to try the WordPress app on the phone).
I hustled him out of his Philadelphia Boys Choir practice (yes, another Proud Dad plug) just in time for the game.
His pitching line for his one inning:
1.0 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 R
Three up, three down, end of inning (insert Good Morning Vietnam reference here).
Looking forward to a great season. At least it’s warm out…finally!
Update:He struck out with bases loaded. I’m disowning him.
Though I bounce between TweetDeck, HootSuite, and even the Twitter app on my desktop, some new filters I’ve implemented on TweetDeck (not available on the other two) have made it much easier for me to stay sane and clean up my lists. Without further ado:
I’ve eliminated most of the #ff listings on Fridays (though my other devices still get notifications…), the automatically-generated robot newspaper Paper.li (I admit, I had one a couple years ago, until I realized how useless and self-aggrandizing it was), the social network of teens and sushi photos worldwide (my thoughts on that here), and “I just ousted Bob as mayor of the mens restroom on 5th and Broad” posts.
Yeah, I’m probably pissing some folks off out there by ignoring certain types of tweets. And I’ll get ignored back by some, I’m sure. But damn I feel better…
P.S. Can’t wait tell you guys I finally dumped Facebook…
Happy Monday morning to me – here’s the first thing I see in my Inbox:
We’re writing to let you know that at least one of your readers has reported some problems within your book, Gabriel’s Journey (Evan Gabriel Series).
There are typos in your book. You can find examples of this error at the following location(s): Kindle Location: 447 / Error Description: “discrete.” should be “discreet.”
Be sure to check out the Typos section of the Guide to Kindle Content Quality Errors page by clicking the link at the end of this message.
For further information regarding these above reported issues with your book, please see the Guide to Kindle Content Quality Errors.
Yep, caught me. I did miss a discrete versus discreet (and thank you no, I don’t need a grammar lesson – it just got missed).
And while I could be all like, “what?” and “who?”, I’m more like, “cool, there’s some quality control out there.” But then I’m all like, “but what about some of the unreadable jibbererish out there masquerading as novels?” But then I’m all like, “cool, they’ll get found and corrected too.” So then I’m all like, “chill.”
And Monday carries on…
P.S. Through the magic of ebooks and the 21st century, the error was corrected and re-uploaded in less time than it takes to down a mug o’ joe.
A snippet from a scene out of Gabriel’s Return, book 2 in the scifi adventure series. Though I’d love for you to take a look at this story (which I think has the best action out of all three, but that’s just me), you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not actually starting with book 1, Gabriel’s Redemption. Or why not jump in with both feet for the complete trilogy? Or (never let it be said I didn’t give all the options), try out the series prequel for free – Gabriel: Zero Point. All are available on my Books page. Yes, I’m shamelessly plugging my books.
So settle back and enjoy some jungle carnage…
Gabriel double checked the icons in his heads-up and verified everyone was set. He took a deep breath and reached over his shoulder to his concealed pulse rifle. His gloved hand closed around the stock, and he sent the confirmation.
[Proceed when you have a shot.]
Olszewski sighted down the scope and saw a minutely-detailed image of the hide. The steelroot was thick, but he saw some breaks in it, and the faintest hint of movement. Lining up the Dobranoc, he felt the tingle in his hand as he gripped the trigger pad. His neuretics removed the single-shot safety code, and he squeezed the pad.
Six depleted uranium rounds spat from the end of the long sniper rifle barrel at over nine thousand feet per second, only a few milliseconds between each round, and only a barely audible clack sounding at each one. The forty-eight caliber slugs tore into the steelroot, blowing huge chunks of wood in all directions. Olszewski watched the destruction through the scope the entire time, as the recoil on the Dobranoc had been reduced to near zero by the finest Polish weapons techs the Olszewski family could afford.
Out of the carnage, a bloody body holding a long rifle dropped onto a flat part of the yellowbole branch the hide was built on, bounced, and tumbled to the jungle floor below. Olszewski quickly safed his rifle and tucked it over his shoulder into its back pouch, then scrambled down the tree trunk, on the side facing away from the hide.
On the ground, two terrorists, obviously shocked at the sudden turn of events forty feet over their heads, jumped from their concealed hideouts and started firing automatic kinetic rifles wildly in the direction of the tree Olszewski had fired from. Gabriel pulled his pulse rifle from its pouch and brought it to bear, but waited as the scene played out. He was a bit too far back from the two positions to make a difference at this point; Negassi and Sowers were nearly on top of them.
Sowers jumped up from his position, only fifteen feet from where the terrorist had popped up, and raised his assault rifle. The terrorist must have caught the movement, and he shifted his firing towards his new target. Gabriel saw Sowers get clipped by several rounds, the impacts staggering him back, but he managed to fire off a few rounds, and the terrorist went down in a spray of arterial blood.
Negassi’s opponent was far closer, the icons in Gabriel’s heads-up nearly blending into one. He was shocked she had been able to get in that close undetected, but not nearly as shocked as the gunman was as two takobas flashed in the green-filtered light. His right arm was severed at the elbow and the rifle immediately stopped firing. He screamed in agony and surprise as the second blade arced his way. The scream ended in a gurgle as the takoba slashed across his upper chest and throat. Gabriel didn’t watch the end result, knowing it would be an image he wouldn’t want to relive later on.
He stood up and grabbed Sennett by the upper arm. The corporal hopped up from his position, and the two men double-timed it to the scene of the carnage.
As Gabriel approached the fallen terrorist Sowers had taken out, he noticed Sowers had taken his helmet off and was breathing heavy. “You okay?” he asked.
Sowers nodded, trying to catch his breath. “Caught me off guard, sir, that’s all. I’m fine.” He looked down at the body, which had taken several rounds to the chest and face. “They’re using steelroot as armor?”
Gabriel took his own helmet off, and looked down where Sowers was staring. He saw pieces of gray wood scattered around the body. “No, not as armor, but it looks like they’ve figured out it blocks our neuretics to a point. It appears he was lying underneath a pile of it.”
“Same here,” Negassi said. She was wiping her takobas clean, a blurry outline with two floating swords and a bloody towel making for a surreal image in Gabriel’s visor.
“Sowers, tend to the hostage,” Gabriel said, pointing towards where the unconscious man was tied to a tree. “If he’s completely out cold, hide him somewhere.” He paused and sent a shielded burst back to Eden City about the hostage, the third one he’d notified them of. One more, he thought.
A screech from above sounded, and Gabriel looked up to see a flutter of wings, followed by several dozen more as a large flock of spiderbats took flight from a nearby tree. He wondered what had set them off now after all the weapons fire, when suddenly a fat raindrop landed in his eye.
Shit, he thought. This will make the last few miles a pain in the ass.
The skies opened up.
Thought I was fine earlier, but yeah – I’m missing the extra hour. And tomorrow is going to be even worse, because someone named it Monday. Can’t we do this hour sucking overnight Friday?
I’ve got a promo going out tomorrow with a book mailer for Gabriel’s Redemption, so I figured I’d give everyone here a heads up. You know, before you come storming the castle with torches and pitchforks, wondering why I’m keeping it a secret.
The mailer will be sent tomorrow but due to the vagaries of price changes, I made the change ahead of time to head off any delays. For Kindle US and Nook, Gabriel’s Redemption (book 1 of the trilogy) drops to $.99 until Sunday.
My apologies to the non-Kindle/Nook users and non-US residents; the mailer is only set for those two markets.
Get in while the gettin’s good…
Yes, I admit – I watched the Oscars. Not for the idiocy, or the gowns, or the self-congratulatory atmosphere, but for the movies themselves. It’s the only awards I’ll ever (or have ever) watch. I’m a movie fan, so deep down I dig watching clips of the best of the best, seeing the actors outside the roles, and who doesn’t like predictions?
Instead of predicting, I decided to live tweet from the FUTURE. No, really:
Check out the time stamp. That’s 8:06PM east coast time, hours before the three biggies came out. And at somewhere past 11:30PM (Jeez, those things run long), there they were:
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Picture: Argo
I’m not telling my secret. Nope, you’ll never find out…
‘Nuff said – now Gabriel’s Redemption is $2.99 (£1.99, €2.99 in most non-US) for the major e-reader platforms. Maybe it’s permanent, maybe not…gamble if you must.
If gambling’s not your thing, pick it up now at the following fine retailers:
And if I haven’t stumped enough for the prequel, Gabriel: Zero Point is free across the major platforms as well.
Enjoy – and as always, I’d love to hear your feedback. You know, as I write a new story…hint, hint.
P.S. Sorry if all stores or territories do not reflect the lower price; I do what I can through the outlets I can. No, I’m not lowering the Smashwords price – their distro methods and time frames are absurd. This also means Sony didn’t go down, since I have to push through molasses, er, Smashwords to sell through Sony.