Thursday, June 28, 2007

And we're back!

Have I finally got this thing fixed?

As you may have noticed, I've moved again. Typepad was interesting and hosted on a friend's site (besos Lorelei! Okay that was effeminate... let’s just move along.) But it had some problems you might have missed me bitching about so let me count the ways...

1. No spellchecker.
2. Typing in Word and then pasting into Typepad made formatting errors. Paragraphs lost their forms and ran together.
3. Links didn't highlight.
4. Pictures weren't working and Dave couldn't figure out why.

So I moved to a place that did all of the above ( and set up a page. I liked it so much I moved everything here. Simple, effective, does what I need, no flashy trashy gizmos. Sure, I did some research into what site I should move to, but Google always does things well and I imagined they would do their blogging software correct as well. And I was right.

In the reviews I read, one other site was mentioned called "Vox" which I looked at. My first impression was that Pink Sushiman threw up after a hard night of drinking paint. It's like the cartoon network of blogging software. It's like a more colorful flamboyant version of Myspace. And I hate even plain vanilla Myspace. A more colorful version is akin to something you would drink on a Friday night and not show up for work until Tuesday.

Okay, admittedly, if you click the link above you'll see that Pink Sushiman is actually a restaurant and not a man, but it sounds like a great name for a superhero doesn't it? Wendy and I have eaten at Pink Sushiman and we love it. Another of our excursions on "take the intern to lunch" day.

Okay, see this always happens when I can't update for days. So much to say and no coherence at all. Too many thoughts running wild so they're hard to reign in. Lets get some coffee, I bet that will help.

Okay, updates: I've decided to self publish at Lulu. I have formatted my old "Tournament Reports" manuscript into a 6x9 book last week and uploaded it into Lulu and printed out a copy for myself and shipped it to the house. As soon as I look it over and make sure it is correct, it will be available for sale. There will be a link here where you can buy the book. It will be available for download for $4 and for a printed copy for $14.99.

Work continues on Marilyn's Story. Wendy has suggested that I do a make over on it and turn it from a blog into an actually novel. At first I resisted, but then I realized she was right. It's not very well written for a memoir. As a blog for people to read updates who knew us, it was fine. If I want to involve a whole new audience that knew nothing about us but want to read a good book, it needs a lot of work. So far it has much more of an introduction, an explanation of why it's important to be a good patient's advocate, why staff have no sense of urgency in a hospital and possible mistakes that we made as well as tips and thoughts to consider when facing cancer or any long hospital stay. It's been a lot of work already and I'm only up to page twenty. When it's finished, that will also be available at Lulu.

I am hopeful that with enough hits to this web site and enough book sales I can use that as leverage to get an agent or publisher in the future.

In related news, Wendy went to Brown and still receives there Alumni magazine. This week had an article on Joshua Micah Marshall's website "Talking Points Memo" an A-list political blog. Since part of the lead in to the story was "Now some bloggers are not only scooping well-paid journalists; a few are making enough money to hire staffs to quit their day jobs and blog full-time." Wendy pointed it out to me.

Interesting article. Especially since I used to read this blog religiously during the 2004 elections. Now he's got a staff and some money. How did he do it and could I do the same?

A first impression after reading the article was "not really."

It is daunting to find out that the really successful bloggers work 14 hours a day on a singular obsession and have a rough time even leaving their blogs side.

"Black went to dinner and a movie with his wife, he returned and confessed to his readers he felt slightly guilty, like a parent who'd left his kids with the sitter for the night."

That's never going to be me.

After some thought on the article, the answer morphed into "possibly."

Today is Thursday which is "take the intern out to lunch" day. We went across the street for some Paella. This place specializes in it, and it is always delicious. Since it was 2 in the afternoon and so far I had only poured some coffee and water down my throat, I was a little hungry. We had some fine conversation and I stuffed myself on saffron and seafood rice before heading out for my latest dentist appointment.

Right now I am in the middle of teeth whitening. Today's procedure is to have a lip spreader and a suction tube inserted into my mouth and my teeth painted with a substance that reminds me of nail polish. Nail polish made out of acid! Oh man does that stuff sting!

Then, when all my teeth are painted, I lie there with the suction tube noisily swallowing all my spit and my lips stretched out so they don't touch my teeth while the acid nail polish dries. Some fun.

But it does give me forty minutes to think.

This blog has been rather narrow in focus. Updates are more frequent than any of my friends by a factor of ten, but not as frequent as they could be for a self employed writer who wants to promote himself. And the posts have been rather narrow. Usually updates about my life, experiences that were funny, how Wendy and I were doing, how writing was coming along - that sort of thing.

Time for a new tact.

I can't comb the web for 14 hours a day about politics and spew my vitriolic thoughts all over this electronic parchment every hour without going insane inside of a week.

But people do wish I updated more often. Some people like to read about my Magic playing adventures and I'm not writing about them anywhere else. Some people devour anything about WoW. Some like the daily funny stories. Some like the travel stories.

I bet I could make this place entertaining enough that people would bookmark it and come back a few times a week if they knew there was fresh content all the time. And the more people that know, the more people that read, the more people that might be tempted to push the "Buy" button on "Quest for the Pro Tour" and "Marilyn's Story" and maybe that fantasy novel if I ever get it finished.


  1. 1) Welcome back.
    2) Links don't seem to be working. For example, there is no link for "Pink Sushiman" in the post.
    3) Which works out better for you in terms of a) personal profit, and b) credentials for getting a literary agent - the $15 printed copy or the $4 download?
    4) Your hit counter also seems to be broken; no counter appears on the page.
    5) I look forward to more frequent updates!

  2. The hit counter seems fixed now.

  3. I am in for a physical copy of each book. Amazing they can do that for $14.99 and be profitable. Let us know how good they look, or if they are some photo-copied pages stuck into a school folder.

  4. Good to hear your going to be writing more blog posts, I don't care what there about they are always worth reading.

    also I'm a firm believer that is the way to go :). if nothing else its great to have themed comment pages.

  5. Dude,

    I check your site daily when you're on a "regular update" streak, weekly when you lapse, just waiting for you to start posting again. I love what you write. The Magic, the WoW the adventure, the funny and the tragic. I don't even play World of Warcraft. You are just a fascinating, accessible read.

    I've always been disappointed that by the time I became a fan, Tournament Magic was already out of print. Last I looked, it was outside my budget, but reading you mention that it "once sold for about a hundred dollars", I took another look and bought it. If you write, self published or whatever, I will buy what you write.