High Desert Sun

Something I hadn’t blogged yet but thought I should “break”: I’ve been approached by the new publisher of the High Desert Sun newsletter to write for them. I said yes, of course, and the first article I’m turning in (by tomorrow) is based on my Reynolds Pond blog entry from about a year and a half ago.

I hadn’t heard of the High Desert Sun before, but it’s a newspaper-format newsletter that covers most of Central Oregon: Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Alfalfa, Powell Butte, Terrebonne, Madras and Crooked River Ranch. (I culled those from the “Locations” page on the website, it’s possible they also cover Lapine, Sunriver, and Sisters as well.) The publisher found my little corner of the web here and liked my writing well enough to invite me to write for the paper.

Cool! It’s not huge, granted, but it’s a start. Of course, if I become a regular writer for the newsletter, then I’ll need to start thinking things up to write about—I’d hate to have to recycle stuff from my blog all the time. :)

Self-publishing thoughts

Since Shannon desperately wants me to update the blog so she doesn’t see the freaky mugshot picture right away, I thought I’d just write down some random observations and questions about the business of print-on-demand self-publishing.

Of the various on-demand, self-publishing services, the only ones I’ve seen that don’t charge for publishing your books are Lulu and CafePress. I did a quick survey on a bunch of others, and they all require that you pay $200 or more up front to get your book published; Lulu and CafePress are true print-on-demand services that are free to setup.

I’ve mentioned both before. In general, Lulu seems to have cheaper prices on regular books, and they definitely have a much larger selection of books to buy.

Question: are there any print-on-demand services for comic books?

You can do comic books on both Lulu and CafePress, but the price break definitely favors big, collected works or graphic novels. If you wanted to do “traditional” comics—folded “saddle stitch” covers—then CafePress is the better alternative (one of the few times they’re cheaper than Lulu). But it’s still spendier than a real comic book, hence my question on comic book print-on-demand.

Any ideas on the actual editorial quality of self-published books? Lulu has a rating system but it seems kind of rudimentary…

A neat experiment would be to take a bunch of classics from Gutenberg and package them up nicely—perhaps with custom artwork, commentary, things like that—and see how they fare on both sites. Or even how they fare at all.

Or even do a classics mashup… or crossover, a la League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the comic, not the movie). Mashing up War of the Worlds with The Scarlet Pimpernel might be fun…

I suppose fan fiction would be a big no-no on these sites… but man, if you could take the really good stuff from FanFiction.net and bookify it, you could be on to something.

National Novel Writing Month

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month. Write a 50,000-word (or more) novel in 30 days. I like the concept on this. And I’m tempted to take a crack at it, if for no other reason than cachet-factor. I’d post the efforts to the blog, of course, otherwise, where’s the love?

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

Spelling "Lose"

One huge spelling mistake that’s been driving me crazy lately—and I’m seeing it everywhere, literally everywhere, even this article in the Bulletin today—is spelling the word “lose” as “loose.” How can people continually misspell such a simple word? Worse, why didn’t the editor of the newspaper catch this?

lose: verb. Inflected forms: lost, losing. Meanings: to bring to destruction — used chiefly in passive construction; to miss from one’s possession or from a customary or supposed place; to suffer deprivation of; part with especially in an unforeseen or accidental manner; etc.


loose: adjective. Inflected forms: looser, loosest. Meanings: not rigidly fastened or securely attached; having worked partly free from attachments; having relative freedom of movement; not tight-fitting; etc. As a verb: Inflected Form: loosed, loosing. Meanings: to let loose; to make loose; to cast loose; etc.


Gah, there’s nothing worse than sitting here trying to think of something to write, and getting nothing. I have some ideas for things, but nothing that seems particularly illuminating while I’m sitting here tonight. I just got tired of seeing too many days going by on that calendar there on the right and felt like I should write something down.

Interesting; look at my post from January 9th of last year. It’s very nearly the same.

Book on blogging via blogs…

Now this is interesting… Robert Scoble announces he’s writing a book on blogging… all on a blog. Well, to be fair, he’s co-writing it, but his plans are, write the book online, on a blog, and then sell the publishing rights on ebay. Wow.

Q: Why should I buy the book if the entire thing is going to be done online?


A: Easy. You shouldn’t. But you should tell your friends to buy it. We’re figuring that for every blog reader there are three friends out there who don’t know anything about blogs and don’t want to read a book on a computer screen. So, if we give away 100,000 copies (not an unreasonable number because we had more that many show up on Channel 9 in just the first two days in business and Firefox has given away, what, seven million copies of Firefox so far in just a few weeks) that we’ll get a few sales from your friends. So, the people who help us write the book and hype it up get it for free, but their friends have to pay. Plus, if the book is actually good maybe some of you will want it on your bookshelves to show you support good stuff.

No, I’m not dead

I guess I’d better blog something before people think I’m dead. Well, not totally: I’ve been posting to The Brew Site, so it’s not a total wash.

So let’s see, what to blog about… this looks interesting: National Novel Writing Month. Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’ve almost half toyed with the idea of doing this. Almost.

Quick post over! Nothing more to see here. Move on about your business…