Photo courtesy of Gary Orona. All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Gary Orona. All rights reserved.
Floor of the Elemental Chaos - Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Green Juice

I am fortunate enough to have found my "Jaya". Her real name is Jennifer and she is the love of my life. I could go on and on about her, but I'd like to just mention one impact (from the list of hundreds) that she has made upon my life: Green Juice. She has always been a juicer and I have always HATED vegetables! But she had convinced me to at least try new things and after my first experience with juiced vegetables, I realized it wasn't half as bad as I imagined. And now, I'm hooked. I have really stepped up my training for my goal of doing an Ironman in the next couple years, and the energy boost I get with fresh juiced vegetables is amazing. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's one thing to write about practicing Kung Fu, becoming the person you want to be, and completely different to actually pursue those endeavors by opening your mind to new ways to be that person. Green Juice is one of those instances where I am practicing what I preach. All thanks to Jennifer; my "Jaya". Read my book and you will meet her. I am editing the second book now and the scene where they dance the Quanshu during the Yuj'e festival makes me smile.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Published... again

The book is available again on Amazon and it has been submitted for Nook and iBook store as well. I really had an opportunity to expand the novel to incorporate more detail which will play out in the next books. It is a fuller story now and I am pleased with the rewrite. Now if only I could let the world know it exists... all the while editing the second book!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A learning experience

I have learned a lot about self-publishing over the past several weeks. As such, I removed my boom from all of the ePub's and Kindle temporarily until I can update and revise the book. It's time to be honest with myself and realize that I needed one more clear edit before going live. I guess I just became anxious having spent the last two years or more working on it and I wanted it out there. I rushed it, pure and simple. I will admit that I feel the book is pretty awesome. I read sections that excite me and others that bring back mixed emotions. But this is my one chance to be considered a true novelist and a good one at that, so I will give it one more pass and make it the book I intended. Until then, patience.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Revise, Revise, then Revise again

I have read through and edited my first novel at least a dozen times... AT LEAST! It took me more than two years to get it to where it is and then today I found glaring errors in grammar and spelling. I even have my beautiful wife helping me, and yet we still find errors. It is very frustrating. At times, I will read a passage and think "Wow... did I write that? I love it!" and then only a few sentences later I'll catch a typo. I guess a novel is a living document that will be revised for years to come. My only satisfaction is knowing that the story is what I wished to tell, regardless of what will 'sell' or make me famous. I have no allusions of grandeur. I'll find all those errors if it's the last thing I ever do!! And it probably will be too... ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Quanshu

In the novel, Seth learns a fighting art called Quanshu. This is an actual word from the ancient Chinese fighting style of Kung Fu. It means the art of the fist and is often used with the word quanfa, the technique of the fist. The 'q' is actually pronounced as 'ch', so it is 'chan-shu' in English. Where Quanshu represents fists styles, the term Quan refers to the entire body forms of traditional Shaolin martial arts, including weapons. This is why sometimes you may come across Shaolinquan, or Taichiquan; which embodies many forms within the fighting system. In Kung Fu, there are many, many styles. But they are often broken into two ambiguous regions in China: northern style and southern forms. The southern fist forms were created to counter the northern styles mainly in response to the size of the opponent. Martial artists in the north were often taller and leaner than their southern cousins, with long legs and far reach; able to keep a southern fighter at distance with techniques designed to take advantage against an opponent. The southern tiger forms were a response to that difference; they use fist techniques and speed to get inside of a larger combatant and use his size against him. So in Aevum, Seth is smaller than most of the inhabitants. In the chapter The Quanshu, where he spars with Otto, Seth uses the southern style to defeat the larger man. Of course, Seth also used the black nether, but it was through the Quanshu that he was able to beat the hulk of a man. If you wish to learn more about the art of the fist, I highly recommend a book by Wong Kiew Kit: The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who would play Otto in the film?

With the release of 'Hunger Games', there have been a lot of tweets and comments regarding the reader's interpretation of the race, appearance, etc. of the characters in that book. A lot of very nasty comments have come out of that, and it made me think: how are my characters visualized in the book? I have tried to give a decent enough description of each character in the writing, but it is still fun to think who could play the role in a movie based on the novel. Of all the characters, Otto would be a tough one I think. He is dark skinned, bald, covered in tattoos and a towering eight feet tall! "He was close to eight feet tall with very deeply tanned skin, hairless, and the chiseled features of the Incredible Hulk. His deep set eyes had brilliant green irises to match, very menacing, and at that moment, extremely angry." -- Section 2, Chapter 'Endowed'
I have a distinct image in mind for him, but I understand that once a writer has sent his words out into the world, they are no longer his own; they belong to the reader. Still, what do you think about Ronnie Coleman, former Mr. Universe? Think he can act? Maybe I should send him a copy of my book and tell him that the role of Otto is his for the taking :D

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kindle users... Oops!

You have no idea the hoops you have to jump through to make an eBook format correctly for all of the various readers (or maybe you do!). Well, I spent three days on getting the book ready for upload and I thought everything was working great... until it went to Amazon. For some strange reason, the Kindle just didn't want to indent my paragraphs. I did EVERYTHING they said to make it work, and there was still no indentation. I even took my indentation OUT, and Kindle is supposed to default to .25 indentation. Nope. Didn't happen. So I downloaded the actual html code and found the error in the style sheet. Worked! There was a indent:0 line that just wouldn't go away. Thank goodness I have web design experience to fix it. So in a nutshell, for those Kindle owners who purchased it on Day 1, my sincere apologies. Delete it from your Kindle and reload it from Amazon and it will be fixed so as to not make your eyes bleed with those huge blocks of text without indentation. As a consolation, I know who the early buyers are and you will get my signed bound edition for FREE when I get them printed. It's my way of saying thanks for taking a chance on a new, independent author.