Thursday, June 21, 2012

First eAnniversary

I became a heavy fiction about 13 years ago when I graduated law school. Before that, I mainly read for law school and college, rarely reading for pleasure.  But with my first professional job I needed to find something to do on my hour long commute, so I did what most everyone else did on the train then--read.

I started off by reading successful books that became succussful movies (Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, Jaws, The Exorcist, etc.), being the movie buff that I am. Then I expanded my reading to include just about anything, be it family sagas, historicals, thrillers, scifi, YA, literary fiction, romance, or erotica. So long as I was entertained I was happy. The thing was, I was plowing through books and I always bought what I was going to read. That, of course, could be expensive so I focused mainly on paperbacks. Rarely did I ever buy hardcovers.  So if a new book came out that I was interested, I would just wait a year until its paperback release.

That all changed on June 21, 2011, the day I received my Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the mail.  The Tab was my first taste of tablets and I was in love. Surfing the web, watching videos, and yes, reading took up all of my time with my new device. I downloaded the Kindle and Nook apps and bought a couple of eBooks. I instantly loved the format, the ability to bookmark and highlight passages, and search the books for info. Surprisingly, it seemed that I was reading faster on my Tab than I was with physical copy of books.  That meant I had to buy more books that before, which, of course, I did. The beauty of it is that the books tended to be cheaper, which allowed me to buy a bunch of newly published books. No longer did I have to wait a year for the book to come out in order to afford it.

The Tab changed my reading routine. Now I read everywhere and at any free moment I had. That was probably why I read faster. There was so much ease in picking up the Tab, plopping down on the couch to check my email and news, and then hit the Nook app to start reading.  After a year I'm still in love with it.

I still buy physical copy of books, mainly from authors that I know and at book signing for authors I enjoy.  But I'm still all-in on eBooks. The future is now and it couldn't be better.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


To my father, uncles, brothers-in-law, friends who are fathers, and all fathers going strong or dearly departed, Happy Father's Day!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writing Paralysis

We always hear about writer's block, how writer's are stumped and don't know what to write.  Fortunately (and in no way am I bragging), I don't suffer from that and I always have something to write and when I don't I go research. My main problem is writing depression which brings on writing paralysis.

Writing depression is depression brought on by all the negatives surrounding this profession--the rejections, the delays, the long waits, the feeling that what you do isn't good enough, or on the flipside it is good enough but no one will get to see it for a myriad of reasons. It's a bleakness of our being.  The problem is compounded because not only do I feel like crap because of it, I can't write while I'm feeling like that.  I can't create a new story or tackle revisions, which is my dilemma right now. 

After I went on sub for LISTEN, I planned to tackle the intensive revisions for DRAGORO, but I've been sitting on that for a while now.  It had gotten so bad recently that I sat in front of the computer with the Word file open for a couple of hours and didn't type a thing.  I stared at the screen for a while, surfed the net, left the computer, came back and still couldn't do anything.  That's writing paralysis.  I just couldn't do anything and that pissed me off and made me more depressed.

The only thing I can do is try to fight through it.  Fortunately last night, in between watching the NBA Finals, I had a breakthrough.  A small one, but still a breakthrough.  I was able to finish the revisions on the first chapter.  A start, but it means I was able to write again.  I'm still feeling depressed, but writing helps to lift that.  That's how I was able to finish LISTEN.  I started off slow because of the paralysis, but built up steam to get it done.  I have to do the same on these revisions.  I had a breakthrough last night, and hopefully I can continue that momentum tonight when I get home from work.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BEA Week/Teen Author Carnival

Yep, the pub industry's uber trade convention, Book Expo America, aka BEA is going on now at the Javits Center. Unfortunately, I don't have a ticket this year so I can't attend, but BEA can be followed on Twitter, on blogs, word-of-mouth, etc., so you can get filled in on all the details as the convention goes on.  Fortunately, writers/authors/fans like myself who haven't gone to BEA, can see many of our favorite authors through the Teen Author Carnival series with this year's installment being held last night at the Jefferson Market Library.

It was great to see so many authors and sit in on their panels. There was an impressive list of YA authors, who spoke about their experiences, did Q&A, and book signings thereafter.  This is the second year I've gone and I plan to do it again next year. Best of all, however, I got to hang out with authors Gretchen McNeil, Zoraida Cordova, Karsten Knight, and Scott Tracey afterwards in a bar in the West Village. They each have books either already out or coming out that I've enjoyed or extremely excited to read.  It was an amazing evening and one I look forward to repeating.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Derek Jeter, Twenty Years Later

On Monday, June 1, 1992, I was in the Army stationed in Camp Castle, South Korea, ten miles south of the DMZ.  I was probably out in the field that day doing training.  We were usually out in the field every two weeks.  If not, I was on post doing maintenance on our broken down armored personnel carrier.  The APC was usually broken down so that's how I know I was probably doing that. Thousands of miles away, the future of my baseball fandom was changing. Of course, I didn't know it at the time.  In fact, the MLB draft was little publicized then.  Heck, it's really not publicized now, unlike its heavily promoted counterparts in the NBA and NFL drafts. Even back then they were huge televised events with picks announced on live TV and the drafted players coming on stage to take pictures with the commissioner.  MLB? The draft is done on a conference call and no players are in attendance.

Well, on that Monday, the New York Yankees got a little bit of a baseball miracle.  The Yanks, who were terrible at the time, had the 6th selection in the draft and their highest rated player was a skinny high school shortstop out of Kalamazoo, Michigan named Derek Sanderson Jeter. The first five teams surprisingly passed on him.  The Houston Astros had the top pick and, famously, their top scout and Hall of Fame pitcher Hal Newhouser quit in protest after the draft because his superiors failed to heed his pleas that the team draft Jeter.

Jeter slipped passed the other four pics and when it came to the Yanks, the team officials were giddy beyond belief. Yet there was some reservation because Jeter had a scholarship in hand to go to Michigan. Yankees longtime scout Dick Groch, who had had followed Jeter the most, allayed his superior's fears by proclaiming, "He's not going to Michigan.  He's going to Cooperstown."  And Mr. Groch proved precient, because once Jeter's stellar career is over he'll be inducted to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

The Yankees were terrible back in June 1992 and I was having a bad time of it myself, having just turned 20 and being alone and so far away from home. Things turned out pretty well for me and the Yanks over the next two decades I would say.