Monthly Archives: December 2012

Using Science in an Action Scene


Today I found the coolest video that shows what happens to boiling water when it is pitched into the air in arctic temperatures. It makes INSTANT snow. Cooler yet is the science behind it: hot water is easier to freeze than cold water. How’s that for defying logic?

According to Mike Krumboltz, writing for Yahoo’s quasi-news segment “The Sideshow:”

The man boiled water and then tossed it over the balcony of his apartment. Normally, that sort of thing would get you arrested. But in arctic-like temperatures, the result is quite beautiful. As soon as the man tosses his pot of boiling water into the freezing air, it turns to snow and leaves behind a trail of mist across the sky.

If you paid attention in high school chemistry, you might remember that boiling water freezes faster than cold water. Known as the mpemba effect, the phenomenon remains a mystery to many. Not even scientists can agree why hot water tends to freeze quicker.

I envision a bad guy on a high balcony trying to hurt the hero standing below in the snow. The fiend pitches boiling water at the man below him. The hero cringes, bracing for a scalding, then laughs and bounds through the snow veil into the building to apprehend the crook. What do you see?

To see the science in action, watch this video.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/boiling-water-turns-snow-siberia-171453719.html

Turning Your Manuscript into an Audiobook


Turning Your Manuscript into an Audiobook.

My daughter is a busy lady. She was telling me recently about several books she wants to read. She lamented that she doesn’t have time.

“Now if the author put the book out as an audiobook, then I’d buy it and listen in the car.”

Bingo!

I forget that audiobooks are another avenue for reaching the public. Like paperbacks or e-books, it’s another version to sell to broaden your audience. Sell more by releasing your book in an audiobook format.

Click the link at the top of this post for more information.

Here’s the Link to Preview the Anthology


http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356216202&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+of+the+desert+rose+cafe#_

Clicking on the link takes you to the cover and a brief look inside the first few pages of the new Anthology. Coincidentally, my work appears first in the book, so it is my work that is open to be read as part of  a free preview. Talk about pressure. If my work doesn’t nab a reader, then the rest of the authors may never get read. My work has to convince the site visitor to buy the book.

We priced the book at an affordable $2.99 because we want many people to take the chance to buy the book, then read it.

Remember, if you purchase a copy of the book and have constructive feedback for any of the authors, please share it here. The book is the first product of our writers group, reflecting our growing as writers. You, as reader, matter to us and we want to hear what you think, good or bad. Just make the critique constructive so an author can improve based on what you say.

 

 

Quotation for 12-22-2012


Philosopher and software developer Clif High says:

In all experimentation, as with life, which is THE Grand Experiment after all, two rules apply: first, that all things are difficult in the beginning, thus most of your mistakes are made early in any process; and second, Stupidity Can Hurt.

So watch out in the early stages of any new activity, when we mostly operate at the stupid level.

Uploading the Book to Amazon.com


I got a phone call today from Acorn Book Service that the Anthology has been uploaded to Amazon.com. I don’t think the book is immediately available for sale. Rather, the internal processes inside Amazon.com get set into motion by uploading the manuscript.

Similarly, the book will be uploaded to Barnes & Noble by next week.

Smashwords, I’m told, is much more user friendly, so I will work with one of the other members to upload the manuscript to Smashwords ourselves. That will be a learning experience. Smashwords is a distributor to other e-book retail outlets.

Amazon.com uses a .mobi file format. Barnes & Noble and Smashwords use .epub files. That is one of the services Acorn Book Services provides to the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, taking our .doc file and converting it to e-publishing-ready formats.

Next comes the marketing learning curve.

I will share with you how things progress. I’ll share what I learn and the mistakes I make.  We’ll learn together about this thing called self-publishing via the e-book.

A Writer’s Cash Cow


Are you looking for that writing topic that has the potential to turn you from pauper to prince?

Consider the doomsday story.

According to CUNY physics professor Michio Kaku, the doomsday story is a cash cow that cycles around with intensity about every ten years. Remember Y2K? Today it is the end of the Mayan calendar.

(Make a note to self to check pop culture in 2020 to see what doomsday buzz has turned into a roar.)

There are real problems that get eclipsed by doomsday stories. Some of those problems are:

  • Heating up of planet earth
  • Melting polar ice caps
  • Increasingly rapid migration of the magnetic poles
  • Real help for adults with mental illness
  • Curing cancer and other life-threatening illnesses
  • Financial solvency for governments
  • Clean water
  • Weather changes

That said, if you are strictly a commercial writer, you have three or four years to check your societal crystal ball and decipher the clues telling what the next big doomsday story will be. Then write your heart out and ride the wave. The last five years have been lucrative for the Mayan storytellers. Maybe you will be my new rich friend the next time doomsday cycles around.

What We Write About When We Write


What we write about when we write.

Please, please take the time to read this wonderful article (click the link above). It explores the agony of creation, the search for the perfect telling of the story, the revisiting of person, place and thing for the sake of getting it right.

Once I concluded my reading of it, I was revived to write. I realized that the wall I am hitting in my work is simply a part of the greater process. Now I embrace the wall, wrapping my arms around it, pressing my chest against its coolness, smelling the stale scents trapped in the paint. By entangling my essence with what stops my writing, I change both the obstacle and my response to it.