boundless

A sadistic serial killer. A young girl. A quick read. The flash fiction story boundless is now free.

Repetition

The horror novelette Repetition is now available.

Introducing Derrick and Max

This is from the first illustration I did for the first Derrick and Max book. Derrick the Dog was released June, 2013.

My first ArtRage drawing

This was the first original drawing I completed with my Wacom Bamboo tablet and ArtRage, done almost entirely in pencil. Just a little practice drawing, not related to any of the stories I'm working on.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Fitbit Versa. It's Almost There.

Hello.  As any long-term reader of my blog knows, I usually talk about the arts, specifically writing, publishing, and illustrating.  But occasionally, I hang a sharp right and go off-topic.  This is one of those times.

I recently received an email from Fitbit showing off their new Versa smartwatch.  I've used a Fitbit One for years and love it, but I recently discovered that product has been discontinued (boo!).  With that being the case, I've been looking into their wrist-worn devices. Thus, I followed their link, and I read and watched their videos about the Versa.  I think that it's a pretty good-looking watch (much more so than the Ionic or Blaze), but it's not there yet.  It could be so much better.  So, Fitbit, here are my suggestions for what would make the Versa 2 an awesome, must-buy product.

  • Swap out that touchscreen for an extra button and an e-paper display.  This provides all kinds of benefits:
    • The screen would always be on, like a proper watch.
    • Throw in an ambient light sensor and a backlight that only kicks in when you need it, and you could read the screen under any lighting conditions, indoors or out.
    • You could operate it with gloves on.
    • You could also operate it without looking at the screen by memorizing button pushes, like launching or interacting with your music or podcasts, which depending on your activity (such as driving), would be a lot safer.
    • Increased battery life.  With that screen swap, you should be able to provide 10 days on a charge.  Maybe even more.  We're talking industry-leading battery life that blows away the competition.
  • A gently curved back that conforms to the shape of your wrist.  Major comfort boost.
  •  While still maintaining water resistance, throw on a microphone for voice responses and notes.
  • A "timeline" interface that shows your upcoming and past calendar events as well as other items of interest, like the weather or this day in history.  Now you need to pull out your phone even less, which is a good thing.  By opening that up to developers, who knows where that could lead?
Here's what I imagine such a watch could look like:

Pebble Time 2 from 3 angles

You're on the right track, Fitbit.  Make those few tweaks, and I'd buy one in a heartbeat.  In fact, I predict that priced the same and with the proper marketing push, you would sell tens of thousands of such devices on pre-order alone, equating to millions of dollars in sales, and could go on to sell a million or two more devices easily.  Heck, with your retail presence and brand recognition, I could be underestimating.

Or to put it another way, you're almost there Fitbit.  You're at like 80% of your step goal.  Push a little harder, and you can do it!  I have faith that you have the proper technology and people who can make that happen.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hello 2018!

It's 2018!  I know, it has been for over a month, but I've been busy.  Sadly, that busy time has mostly been made up of real life and work.  I didn't have turnover at the day job this past year (yay, finally!), but I still stayed incredibly busy.  We spent a lot of 2017 fixing up the house.  So, at the end of the day, not much time or energy left for writing or illustrating.  So, what did my 2017 look like?
English: Christmas fairy tale, light show, Gra...
English: Christmas fairy tale, light show, Grabrovnica, Croatia Hrvatski: Božićna bajka na imanju obitelji Salaj u Grabrovnici kraj Čazme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

68.58 hours worked
15,134 words written
452 average words per hour
1 illustration finished
4 blog posts published
0 new books published

God, that's depressing.  I did make some progress, though.  I finished a rough of another illustration, and I'm almost done coloring a third.  That last is, so far, the most complex illustration in the upcoming Derrick and Max book, and it's taking quite awhile.

I also finished writing the 1st draft of A Christmas Tale.  I finished editing the 2nd draft of Bound, and I'm now working on the 2nd draft of A Christmas Tale (I like to give them some breathing room between drafts, so I work on another project).  Since editing tends to involve a lot of time with little progress in terms of words written, my words per hour were rather low last year.

I also attended the first four Brandon Sanderson lectures.  I can't believe they're free.  If you've not watched them, you should.  It's time well spent.  Here’s the first one:


So, that was my 2017.  In looking back, I didn't hit a single one of my resolutions, but I made some progress.  I didn't achieve what I'd hoped to, but it's a new year.  Just because I didn't hit my targets doesn't mean I'm going to give up.  So, here's what I hope to achieve this year:

Stop reading news stories about Trump

They're so depressing.  I don't want to hear anything else about that man unless it's about a successful impeachment.

Get a book published

I'm making slow progress on Bound and A Christmas Tale.  Maybe I'll get one of them finished.  Fingers crossed.

Make a major life change

I don't want to jinx it, so you'll have to wait.  If I pull it off, you'll hear about it here.

Read 24 books

I usually hit that, but I didn't last year.  It's my Goodreads goal again this year.

Log at least 80 hours

Like I said, I'm in an editing phase, so I don't expect a high word count this year.  But I think I can manage to invest more hours in the craft than I did in 2017.  I broke 80 hours in 2015, and I almost hit 80 hours in 2016.  I'm shooting to get back above that point in 2018.

Finish the Sanderson course

I'm caught up on Fear the Walking Dead, so I plan to get back to Sanderson on my lunch breaks.