Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations

Aegon Is Coming...
grrm
 ... tomorrow morning.

 We're putting up a sample from THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE on my website, to join the samples from the next Wild Cards book (LOWBALL) and of course from WINDS OF WINTER (Mercy).  It's a short excerpt from the section of Aegon's Conquest, complete with some kickass art.

And by the way, those of you who read only this Live Journal  -- and there are a lot of you -- should check out my actual website some time.  There's loads of interesting material there, from news stories to biography and bibliography and sections on my toy knights.

Anyway, do hope you all enjoy the Aegon piece.  It will be up on the morrow.

Why, 2K!
ursulav
That's right, as of...well, sometime last week, probably, I haven't been checking that closely...we cracked 2000 copies of Nine Goblins sold! How cool izzat?

Thank you, everybody who ordered a copy! You're awesome, and I hope you enjoyed it!

The following bits are probably only of interest to self publishers, but I wanna contribute what smidgeon I can to an often opaque set of numbers, so read on if you like that sort of thing!

In terms of numeric breakdowns, after expenses (mostly editing services and coffee) we're looking at around $5.5K. For self-pub, that's not the extreme end of the bell curve, but definitely a very respectable success. If you figure it took about 100 hours to write, that's a very good wage (although if you figure that it took since 2006 to write, the numbers look...um...less good. And it's not like you can just sit down and put in a 100 hour work week and have another book. Well, I can't, anyhow. You know, trying to work this out like this is probably a fruitless exercise...)

Anyhow, as far as I can tell--and I am extrapolating from VERY little data here, so I could be very wrong, anyone with more experience, feel free to chip it!--the initial sales burst comes in the first month or two, then it begins to taper off. I'd guess there's a spike in sales when you put out a new book (or at least, so I am told!) but as the next Goblins book may take another couple years at this rate, we'll find out if it applies to other releases by the same author.

Around 90% of sales were via Amazon Kindle. Smashwords is definitely worth it, though, as there's a lot of readers who, for whatever reasons, will not use Amazon and it sucks to leave them in the lurch. I've heard from friends that direct sales from their website do very well, and that's something to consider, although I dread the tech support aspect there. Suspect that may be the wave of the future, though, as Amazon eventually will start to squeeze.

The nice thing about slow taper, though, is that while it's not paying my rent as it did for the first two months, it's still solidly buying groceries, and even as we slither downward, I can probably expect it to keep me in hard cider money for awhile.

That is due entirely to the readers, let me hasten to add--I'm not promoting it beyond posts like this one and links on the website, and it's the plethora of good reviews and (gasp! the legendary!) word-of-mouth that's moving copies. I am super grateful for that--I even had a fan tell me the other day that they bought a copy and loved it and didn't know it was by me. Which, I mean, pen-name and all, but that means the book has a life of its own beyond just yours truly, and that bodes very well for it.

So all in all, my first self-pub adventure has been a rousing success, despite all the weeping and bloodshed that it took to bring it into the world. (Come to think of it, there's a few more typos found...need to get that deal with in my copious spare time...) Thank you, everybody!

And yes! Promotion! I can do this! If you want to buy a copy:

Smashwords

Amazon

wednesday reading, unplugged!
ladyjestyr
Well, today I finished Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch, the fourth Peter Grant book. I have really enjoyed the entire series, and loved the sense of place in all of them -- it's clearly written by a Londoner who is writing what he knows, which means that the sense of place is effortless rather than the writer working hard for it. (I remember an Oklahoma native saying that about the TV series Saving Grace, and my understanding of what they meant had always been academic until I read these books.)

Of course, now I don't have anything lined up to read next. I have a ton of books on my iPad, but none of them are really leaping out at me; I've been idly dipping into a whole bunch of memoirs but the fact that none of them are sticking rather suggests that I'm in a fiction mood. I've been thinking about trying the Demon's Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan, purely on the strength of her fanfic, but I suspect that whatever I read next will have a hard time living up to the Peter Grant books.

Which is a problem, because I find I need books to make the workday bearable.

Any recommendations? I'm looking for stuff that's going to be readable in chunks and doesn't require a huge amount of brainpower, preferably with a good sense of humour and minimal angst. Preferably without stupid characters who do stupid things in the name of plot devices. :)

Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska
apod

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap140415.html

When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles?



"Abby's Home" - Wed, 16 Apr 2014
sinfestfeed

http://sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4972

Abby's Home

Desert Island Directors
bryant

In Filmspotting’s most recent episode, the hosts went through their top five directors whose movies you’d want on a desert island. In other words, if you were stuck on a desert island with a TV and a DVD player, which five directors’ complete works would you want? This is a fun game and an interesting twist so I played along.

On the whole I was closer to David Gordon Green’s choices than to those of the hosts. He’s not listed at the link above, but he chose John Landis, Alan Parker, Robert Altman, John Ford, and Stanley Kubrick. I think Alan Parker in particular is a brilliant choice.

I’d start with Steven Soderbergh. He has huge range: this gives me everything from classic indie movies to weird experimental stuff to blockbusters, and all of it is beautiful. I could rewatch any of these movies again and again. He’s also directed 40 or so movies, so there’s a lot of watching there.

Next: Kathryn Bigelow. She’s only got nine movies under her belt, so I lose all the ground I gained with Soderbergh. Doesn’t matter. I’d probably have her on the list if she’d only directed Near Dark, Strange Days, and The Hurt Locker. Her movies are consuming, and I want that if I’m stuck on this island.

Third is the Coen Brothers. Like Soderbergh, but even more so, their movies will reward repeat viewing. They’re also where I’m getting most of my comedies — dark, cynical, sometimes sad comedies, but nonetheless you have to laugh somehow.

From there we’ll go international and pick up Kar Wai Wong. This feels like cheating since I’m also getting a ton of Christopher Doyle cinematography. If it’s cheating, I have no regrets. I couldn’t live without someone from Asian cinema and preferably Hong Kong, and while John Woo might be more accessible, Kar Wai Wong will be better. Plus I still get a couple of good martial arts flicks.

Finally, and stolen from Adam Kempenaar’s list, Howard Hawks. Since I am a poor excuse for a film student, I didn’t think of him at once, but he’s an obvious choice. He worked in every genre, he made a huge number of great films, and he provides a superb window into earlier film. This also means I get some lighthearted movies. A win all around.

Savage Steve Holland does not make my list.

Mirrored from Population: One.


Birder Directions: A Play In One Act
ursulav
So there we are, at a hawk watch station, asking for directions to the nearest Aplomado Falcon.

And we got them, but they were Birder Directions, which are a special kind of instructions similar to country directions, only worse and more so. "Go down to the end of the road, turn left at the scary-looking goat, look for a house with a green roof, and there's a tree in the yard there, and if you wait five minutes, an Oak Titmouse will pop up." There are directions like this in books.

These were delivered unto us by two elderly gentlemen, one of whom was as sharp as a tack and one of which was a trifle fuzzy, but could tell a hawk from a handsaw when it migrated overhead.

Needless to say, the fuzzy one was the one primarily giving directions, while Tina took notes.

(As I cannot remember the names of the two elderly gentlemen involved, I shall call them Bob and Frank.)

BOB: So you come out of here and you get on the big road...ah...511. 510? Maybe it's 510. Does it have a number?

FRANK: 511, I think, if it's the place I'm thinking about.

BOB: Right, right. So you take 511 and you go past the battle.

URSULA: ...the battle?

BOB: Ah, you know, the old battle. There's a marker. Maybe it's a national park. Can't think of the name of the battle. They've got a marker, though.

FRANK: Palo Alto.

BOB: Right, right. Don't know why I couldn't think of that. Anyway, it's on the left. I think. There'll be a marker or a park or something. Anyway, go past that.

TINA: Past it. Got it.

BOB: I don't know how far past...couple of miles, I guess. You should pass Port Isabella Road. Not Port Isabella, though, the road. The old one. There's a new one, but not this one. Actually, you could just take that road if you wanted...Do that. It's easier. Well, anyway, so you pass the battle, right? Couple miles, I think. Do you know, Frank?

FRANK: Not that far.

BOB: Right, right. Okay, so then you come up on a road. Named after that fellow. Emerson Road. Is it Emerson Road? Doctor Emerson, that's it.

FRANK: Thought it was Hugh Emerson.

BOB: Definitely Doctor Emerson.

FRANK: If you say so.

BOB: So you go past that, there's a stoplight.

FRANK: Two stoplights.

BOB: Four stoplights.

FRANK: I don't know if it's that many.

BOB: Anyway, then you'll see a bridge to nowhere.

FRANK: Heh.

BOB: It's an overpass. You'd go under it, right? Except you don't. Don't go under it. There's a frontage road, right? You know how they love their frontage roads here in Texas. Go on for miles. Every on ramp is like a mile long. They love 'em.

URSULA: We've noticed.

BOB: But not this one. It's short. Up to the bridge. Which doesn't go anywhere.

TINA: Does it just...end...?

BOB: Sorta. Anyway, you take the frontage road and then you turn left and go over the bridge that doesn't go anywhere--

URSULA: *has horrifying visions of the rental car hurtling off a cliff with Tina yelling "DO YOU SEE A FALCON!?" as we plummet to our deaths*

BOB: --and it'll turn into a gravel road, right? And then you go--lord, Frank, how far is it? A mile?

FRANK: Not even.

BOB: Maybe a mile.

FRANK: Not a mile.

BOB: Well, anyway, there's a railroad track. The old railroad track, they don't use it any more. Maybe a mile down.

FRANK: *gazes upward*

BOB: And you go over the railroad track up to the bend in road--is it a mile to the bend, Frank?

FRANK: It is not even close to a mile.

BOB: And at the bend in the road, you stop and look left.

FRANK: There's a nest box on a pole.

BOB: And a bunch of palm trees.

FRANK: Yuccas.

BOB: Yuccas. Right. Don't know why I said palm trees. Anyway, there'll be a falcon in the yuccas.

FRANK: They eat the yucca blossoms, and don't ask me why a falcon eats yucca blossoms, but they do. It's very strange. You'll need a scope.

TINA: *stares at directions in mild dismay*

URSULA: *begins laughing with quiet hysteria*

So we did. We didn't mean to, but we got lost trying to avoid a toll road and suddenly there was Dr. Hugh Emerson Road, and we passed it and the world's shortest on-ramp (we had to actually reverse on the highway to get to it, it went by so fast) and the overpass did indeed go to a gravel road almost immediately, and nothing like a mile past the railroad tracks we stopped the car and looked to our left.

Sitting in solitary splendor among the yuccas was an Aplomado Falcon.

So, y'know. Birding.

John Hodgman Returns...
grrm
 ... later that same night.

As previously announced here (see below), John will be coming to the Jean Cocteau to perform  his stand-up show I STOLE YOUR DAD, "presenting new observations on subjects including how to dress like a young and relevant person, fax machines and other obsolete technology, marihuana and Downton Abbey, the state songs of Tennessee, the film criticism of Ayn Rand, and how to spend your time when the world did not end like you were certain it would on December 21st of last year."

John H preferred photo

John's appearance is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Monday, June 2... but though the show is still six weeks away, we've had such a demand for tickets that we're almost sold out.  The Cocteau, please recall, has only 125 seats.  As of this morning, we had sold 108 tickets.  We expect the last few to be gone by week's end.

So it thrills me to announce that John Hodgman has agreed to do a second show for all his fans in Santa Fe.  The second show will also be on Monday, June 2, but starting at 9:00 pm.  Tickets to the late show will be available from the Cocteau website    http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/   starting today.  You can also call the theatre at 505-466-5528 or drop by the box office in person.

If you want to snag one of those last dozen or so tickets to the 7:00pm show, I'd advise you to act ASAP.  Meanwhile, for the night owls and those shut out of the early show, we now have the 9:00pm performance.  Admission is $20, with discounts for students and seniors.

John Hodgman is an author and performer best known as the “Resident Expert” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE trilogy, and for his podcast and New York Times Magazine column, Judge John Hodgman.

See you at the show.

Is there a Gnostic in the house?
nancylebov
Or a student of Gnosticism? Preferably one who's seen the movie Noah.

Here's a review of the movie which claims it has a tremendous amount of Gnostic/Kababalistic symbolism: bodies are inferior to being pure spirit, the snake was right, God the creator is bad....

And some ranting about how Christian pastors and leaders couldn't tell how heretical it all was.

Anyone know whether this is a reasonably fair interpretation of the movie?

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1044865.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

Season 4... in Spain
grrm
Canal +, which broadcasts A GAME OF THRONES in Spain, has done some interesting and unusual TV spots for season four.

I thought you folks might like a look at them, even if (like me) you don't speak any Spanish.





Pretty cool, I thought.

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