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Living by rivers
In the Maori tradition an Iwi defines their place in the land partly by being associated with a specific mountain and their river. Sometimes in a big country like America I feel a bit lost. It is multimaster tool easy to find yourself in a place with no mountain, and no river, at least not one you could easily get to on foot. There is this strange feeling you can get, moving from an island to a continent. Even though you know exactly where you are, where you are doesn't feel like a specific place.

So, need less to say I am pleased to currently be living next to a river. I go down and visit it at least once a day to see what it has been up to. There is always something happening on a river bank. Walking through the mud I see the constant waxing and waning of water versus land and the seasons turning over. It brings out sears credit card my more pretentiously artistic side, a la Rousseau. Here is a shot from this morning after the water level came down a few metres overnight:

10 Things I learned about my writing when going over edits for a novel.
1) I don't use enough commas and when I do use them I should often have used a full stop instead.
2) I sometimes neglect to tell characters what other characters names are.
3) Those character seem to know the names anyway.
4) I am fond of the word 'rather'. Rather fond if it, in fact.
5) When I use an unusual word I like to use it again before the end of the page.
6) I have a very perculiar vocabulary full of archaic words. Examples being: purvue and truck (meaning deal or barter).
7) I think minor characters should be grateful to have names at all, let alone the *same* name for every appearance.
8) Sometimes things are important enough to be capitalised, and sometime not. Okay, sometimes the same object. Okay, I never know what to capitalise and I am inconsistent. Sue me.
9) Although I know the difference between through and threw, their and there, knew and new--by reading this manuscript you wouldn't know I...new.
10) I better keep improving how I write because I *never* want to be an editor.

Blog, You Blog, We Blog, She Blog
In fact I blog all over the place. Here is a quick Guide:

If you just want book releases and related promotional activities I would suggest watching my myspace page. If you are on myspace ... I need more friends! [sob]

If you prefer more personal chat and M/M book reviews you are already in the right place, my LJ.

If you like genre romance you might enjoy the Aussie Romance Writers blog where I sometimes appear.

If you are interested in the genre of e-published erotic romance and industry goings on then you should definitely check out the EREC Blog--or join it!

If you are interested in self published books you might want to visit the POD People blog

Finally, I have been greatly neglecting my other LJ for the gay zombie penguins -- but if more people friend them I might draw a few more strips ;)

Is that it is? I think that's it. Those are the blogs that are mine. Please visit.

Oh, yes, the picture. That's is a sketch I did of Pandora opening the box. You an also find me (as an illustrator) at Epilogue. But that might be a subject for another day....

Let it Snow

At least half the veinglory household is very happy. Yes, he's wet from swimming in the river, in the snow. Do all dogs not feel the cold, or just this one?

You may be wondering where those book reviews are that I promised you. Currently I am in schedule hell, but I should be getting to them soon.

Courtesy Call
On friday I got a 'courtesy call' from my cable company saying I had neglected to pay them for two months (oops). They send these little postcard bills that tend to slip through the cracks, and sometimes out of the mail box entirely. Still, it's nice that they call rather than just send the big guys with collection requests.

It got me thinking. It would be nice to get other courtesy calls. My long lost muse could call and remind me that in 10 days I am meant to deliver a werewolf novella. The dust bunny society behind the bathroom door could call to update me about their imminent plans for apartment domination. My dog's fleas could get out their little cell phones and complain about the overcrowding and my 2 month overdue call to 1800 petmeds.

Oh, I'm going to be at Epi-con this year. Who is going to be there?

I guess I wasn't really going anywhere with this... must get back to editing 'King of Dragons, King of Men'...

And the 'get a clue' award goes to...
...some troll who flames my guestbook with a caveat that I better not post her crank rubbish on my blog "or whatever". I don't need to because if you need a laugh you can read it here.

Do I know what the hell Syliva is talking about? Um, no, I don't. Given that she is apparently the centre of the universe that is obviously a oversight on my part. But if catching my typo made her day, she's welcome. Merry Christmas, Sylvia.

Ebook Grinches
Some months ago all the ebooks on amazon became 'unavailable'. I was assured by various hopeful authors that they would soon be back and methods for selling in mobi-format would be made available. Various commenters seemed to find my take on things unduly strident and cynical. Sure, their books were pulled from sale without prior warning, but they'd be back... right? I would note that actually, they are not back, and although many are still listed (and 'unavailable') non-mobiformat ebooks are no long brought up by amazon's own search engine. Free mobi-formatting for all? Hardly--let them eat pulp.

Meanwhile it has become apparent that the much-touted Sony ebook reader is not as format-friendly as many assumed. Well, not assumed by me--I remember the Sony 'Librie' reader where books could only be rented and not owned. "It reads pdf's, look," I was told. "You are way too suspicious". Yeah, it reads pdfs like my dog 'reads' kibble--and the results are about as appealing. Meanwhile DearAuthor reports that "[a]ccording to an independent epublisher, Sony charges $200 to have a book converted from a PDF to a digital BBeB (Sony’s proprietary content)."

Isn't that a 'Merry Christmas' to all small presses and self-publishers? So as you huddle around your laptops with your holiday ebooks glowing cheerfully through the winter gloom you might just hear my mournful ranting... "buy direct from reputable epublishers, in generic formats, and to all a good niiiiiiiight..."

I won an ipod!
I do quietly take part in some of these online reward programs but I am quite careful with my information as most of these are pretty dubious. Still, when one of them actually pays out I like to let people know. One such program is ipodsweepstakes.com (yes, this is an affiliate link). Basically you have to earn 1000 points and then they send you an ipod shuffle (worth about $80). Is this a sane way to earn an ipod? Frankly, no. I had earned 660 points when I happened to win an ipod in their daily draw, which they did duly send to me, one of the new tiny clip on ones too. It's great. They required a notirised letter to claim the prize which was weird but okay for me as I have access to a notary for free.

I am going to keep earning the points to get another that I can use as a prize for POD People to try and get some more reviewers for the site (we need reviewers in all genre areas. You pick which books to review from a list whenever you have the time--no obligations so please check us out).

If you are crazy enough to try and win your own ipod here is what to do. Open a new email address to use, you will get spam. Complete any offers that do not require money or your phone number. Expect it to take a while. For most offers you only need to complete the first page to get your points, typically giving a zip code or email address--continue to the next page then just close the window. If they send you an email about an offer you can sometimes do it again from that links and get the points again. I personally don't enter any fraudulant data such as a fake phone number, asking for medicine samples that I can't use, but that does limit how quickly you earn.

So I'm sitting here listening to the War of the Worlds musical, yay!

Starting the Review Blog
First off, what I am reading:

VAMPIRE BOOK: 'Eight Grade Bites' by Heather Brewer (Dutton Children's Books)
GAY FICTION: 'Buildup 1: Mindscan' by Jules Jones (Loose Id)
SELF-PUBLISHED: 'Occult Crimes Investigation Unit: Sorcery Squad' by Jamie Gregory (Lulu)

Secondly, my review site is going to develop gradually into a fully realized review site. Reviews will be posted to the blog and then moved to fixed websites: the POD People site for self-published material, and another site for the vampire and gay fiction.

I am seeking a name for the second site which will combine gay fiction and vampire fiction with occassional other dark/romantic/erotic material with an overall gothic aesthetic. The reviews will be highly opinionated (but not snarky) commentaries based out of the book and giving my view of it but drawing in themes relating to sexuality, reading, writing, publishing etc. A little like dearauthor.com which I love, but smaller, darker and, um, more like me. Potential names include:

* FLEAM (an old fashioned blood letting device--the one pictured to the right is my own--no I don't actually use it)
* Veinglory Views
* Veinglory
* Red Triangle
* Blood will Out
* Oh, God, this is why I didn't go into advertising as a career... urk. Please have mercy and make some suggestions. Anything that suggests both main genres would be great and um, something clever? Oh, and something that will make a good logo or link to my current logo of the rainbow-striped bleeding heart.

p.s. Yes I accept books for review in these genres from any person other than authors who I know in the 'real world' or who are very closely associated with me online such as being a co-admin or moderator on a website (sorry Ally, Marlys, Liz and Tav, that means you ;) ). Just email me. All books accepted will be reviewed but I make no promises as to how long it might take. If I have some other connection with you or the publisher I will be sure to mention it in a disclaimer. Warning: I may not like the book and will say so. Promise: I will not trash the book, but will discuss its appeal or lack thereof with reference to my own personal tastes and expectations.

Making Money Online #1
The first thing to know about making money online is that it generally isn't quick, isn't easy and isn't a lot. But I will blog about a few methods that have in fact resulted in the dosh parachuting into my paypal account. Some of the best methods are ones where, once you've put the time in, they keep earning. So even if it's only a few cents a day you don't have to slave over it.

So, option #1: Microstock photography. Got a digital camera and a steady hand? There are a few places now where the (at least marginally) talented amateur can upload shots and get a payment each time they sell. I am focussing on bigstockphoto because they do not have a probationary period, the price is okay (50c a sale), their picture requirements aren't too high (600 pixels across, minimum) and they pay out once you've made $30 (other places require $75 or even $100).

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