“On account of dragons, yes dragons, I must say that it is almost unfortunate that the beastly creatures have to stay hidden in the mountains.” That sentence was how I began my very first novel, as a teenager, somewhere around the late 1970s or early 1980s. While the book itself is nowhere near worthy of being published, that first line serves as a suitable introduction to this blog post. Among writers, a common point of discussion is how different people approach structuring their novels. Often when November rolls around, those participating in NaNoWriMo will identify with one of two groups, the “planners” and the “pantsers.” (The latter term is in reference to writing “by the seat of their pants,” i.e., without advance planning.) In this blog post I’ll explain how I started, how my approach has evolved over time, and what my approach is these days.
When I went to Emerald Downs recently with my mother, I was once again amused and a bit amazed at some of the complex bets that are available, not to mention the amount of money you can win if you get the right combination. For a novice like myself, a $2 win bet is easy to understand, safe, and offers a fun reward if the horse wins. Place and show bets are pretty easy too, although they don’t pay as well. When you get to the exotic bets, though, things get complex! The “Pick 3” and “Trifecta” sound like they might be related, but they’re quite different as I'll explain below. But how does this relate to my writing? As I was driving the other day, I came up with a book promotion idea that would reward you for helping with book sales, and my brain connected that idea with the “Trifecta” bet. While I still like the idea, it turns out the “Pick 3” is a more appropriate name if I want to make that horse-racing connection. Read on to see how you can cash in your ticket on this promotion!
At the end of 2013, I predicted that Bitcoin would really "hit the mainstream" in 2014 and that even non-geeks would start be aware of and understand that increasingly-popular crypto-currency. Just a few weeks into 2014, I heard my first ever reference to Bitcoin on the consumer-oriented news radio station that I listen to in the car. (Don't laugh, those of you who remember me and my loud music... my car stereo is weak, to put it mildly.) It's still a "Wild West" sort of thing, but if you're an indie author there are some things you should understand about Bitcoin so you can take advantage of it — or keep your distance, as you see fit. This blog post will highlight nine things you should know.