Friday, February 29, 2008

Frank's new desk & steampunk mouse!

Have you read Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground? It is very strange to see gadgets that I imagined for the near future actually come into being!

Check out the brain-wave tech headset. I'm a visionary!

Emotiv brain-scanning headset
The headset is able to translate a variety of human responses into data a computer can use, from facial expressions to thought, and sends the information wirelessly to a USB dongle.

My new desk

Han Solo desk makes a statement about your skills as a boss.
If you want that message to say "I'm a gigantic nerd!" then you really can't do much better than a desk made to look like Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

My new steampunk mouse

Steampunk mouse adds a twist to traditional steampunk
What makes this steampunk mouse different is that it was designed with more in mind than just copper and pipes. This mouse's steampunk theme is
around a furnace.

from the website: DVice

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CBA Banned Words: a funny

Found this posted at a blog called Seven angels, three kids, one family.


I’ve managed to acquire some secret documentation!

Minutes For the Second Meeting Of the Forbidden Words List of the Christian Booksellers Association (the CBA)


Project Name: Forbidden Words List
Meeting Date: January 19th, 2008
Subject: validation of intent plus call for additions to prior list

FIRST POINT: Reviewing our mission statement. Statement amended to:

We God’s chosen publishers, in order to portray a more accurate vision of the world to the people who pay us fifteen bucks apiece for books, have gathered together in a spirit of shepherding our weaker brothers. Our customers consider our authors trusted friends whom they have invited into their homes. In order to prevent boycotts or the return of unsold product due to questionable language, it is necessary to codify a list of words which are so shameful that there is no way they can ever be acceptable in any CBA title.

SECOND POINT: Determining additional words for our forbidden list.

Publishing CEO: We need to avoid that word.
CEO’s Attorney: Which word?
CEO: You know…
Attorney: No, I don’t.
An Actual Editor: What does it mean?
CEO: {turns bright pink up to his ears}
Editorial Assistant: Oh! That word.
CEO’s Attorney: That word should definitely go on the list.
CEO: I can’t even stand to type it.
Actual Editor: I still don’t know what word we’re talking about.
CEO: It begins with an E.
Editorial Assistant: The one I was thinking of begins with an I.
Attorney: I’ve taken the liberty of jotting down the two most egregious words.
Actual Editor: Do you really think you should have written them on a pad
that has ‘Things To Do Today’ imprinted across the top?
Attorney: {gasp!} Dear me!
CEO: Hey, watch your mouth!
Legal Secretary: Before we get too far afield, let me read back the list we’ve compiled so far.
General Outcry: NO!!!!!!

[There was a fifteen minute break while the CEO was revived with smelling salts and two editorial assistants treated for trauma-induced deafness.]

THIRD POINT: The current list of forbidden words:
{censored} even if used in prayer
{censored} because it rhymes with {censored}

• Read widely to find as many objectionable things as possible (by next meeting)
• Ban said things (by next meeting)
• Provide example of sterilized fiction that thrills and excites non-Christians (pending)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Todd Michael Greene and I

Todd Michael Greene and I first met mid-summer of '06 because of Daniel I. Weaver's anthology project. I joined Weaver's Christian and Biblical spec-fic critique group bearing the improbable name of: Christian_Fic_WRE_Crit_Group. I believe the unwieldy title makes this genre specific critique group the Web's best kept secret for Christian & Biblical spec-fic authors.

Eleven months later Weaver's anthology project became Light at the Edge of Darkness, edited by Cynthia Mackinnon, (June, 2007: The Writer's Café Press). That brings back great memories, literally sweating the late summer's heat, while mentally sweating through the other contributors' critique rounds. Whose fiction would make the grade?
Sidebar: Light at the Edge of Darkness made the Top Ten for Antholgies in this year's Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.

Todd's submission was a short story--I can't recall if the Work-in-Progress was yet titled "The Novelist's Child." In the second of three critique rounds, Greene announced he was pulling his submission from consideration because the story he had to tell had grown to novel-length proportions. I've respected Greene's writing instincts ever since.

Out of the blue, Todd contacted me this week, informing me he'd feature Flashpoint and yours truly *wave* on his blog: A Place Called Fiction. Please do me a favor and smack Mr. Greene's hit counter for me--he's a great guy. Leave a comment and you may win an autographed first edition of Flashpoint.