Month: February 2011

The Rucker Report: Applying Advice @ Flash Fiction Chronicles

There’s an article on fiction writing written by yours truly over at Flash Ficton Chronicles, run by fellow writer/editor Gay Degani. This may be the first in a series of these, perhaps (if I find I have more to share). Anyways, the first installment of The Rucker Report was posted today. An excerpt: “Being an artist of any kind relies on devotion, discipline, and a certain natural sense of progression. You start out as a wet-nosed neophyte and hopefully through persistence and hard work you learn, improve and progress toward some kind of proficiency. This is especially true in the art of writing.  At some point in our straightforward trajectory we become even more serious about craft and certain mechanics of writing in general, fiction specifically. I believe the ‘organics’ of writing are usually already sound by your fifth year of writing because that is an innate thing, that intuitive sense of storytelling is just something you’re either born with or you’re born without.” Read the entire article here.

Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web

According author/fantasist Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Stardust, Anansi Boys, American Gods, and DC Comics’ The Sandman, among many others), having your creative works on the web is not necessarily a bad, un-commercial thing. Quote: “Nobody who would have bought your book is not [not] buying it because they could find it for free.” Via Open Rights Group (ORG).

DVD: Mastodon – Live at the Aragon

And so because I don’t already have enough books and DVDs on my to-buy list, another of my favorite bands–Atlanta, GA’s MASTODON–has decided to put out their first ever live concert DVD, coming March 15th, 2011. The main lure for me is the performance of the entire Crack the Skye (2009) album. Details, Details: The set will contain a CD and DVD recorded and filmed live October 19th, 2009, at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. MASTODON: LIVE AT THE ARAGON DVD + CD is comprised of Crack The Skye performed live in its glorious entirety along with fan favorites from Blood Mountain (2006) and Leviathan (2004) plus a brutal cover of “The Bit” by Melvins. The DVD will also feature a 58-minute “tour film” that contains the films which were projected on screen, behind the band in performance

DVD: Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods

Description: Directed by Patrick Meaney, this feature-length documentary covers the entire career of legendary comics writer Grant Morrison, focusing on how his work ties to his life, his unique personal experiences, and his intellectual ideas. It also features interviews with many of Morrison’s artistic collaborators over the years. Grant Morrison is the genius mind behind some of my favorite comics and graphic novels: The Invisibles, New X-Men, We3, All-Star Superman, Kill Your Boyfriend, and Batman and Robin.  Buy at Amazon. A must own (along with he forthcoming Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts documentary by the same director later this year.)

GUEST BLOG: J.A. Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing

J.A. Konrath is a thriller author who is notable for being a success in the independent/self-published author’s game. In his latest update, “The Numbers Game” he breaks down the dollar$ and $en$e of e-book, publishing. It’s a must read for any independent author. Excerpt: The 25% the publisher is offering is actually based on net. So you’re getting 17.5% of the list price. (Amazon gets 30%, they get 52.5%–which is obscene) When your agent gets her cut, you’re earning 14.9% of list price on ebooks.For a $9.99 ebook, that’s $1.49 in your pocket for each one sold. If ebook prices go down (and they will) it would be 75 cents for you on a $4.99 ebookIf you release a $4.99 ebook on your own, at 70%, you’d earn $3.50 an ebook. Let’s say you sell a modest 1000 ebooks per month at $4.99. That’s $9000 a year you’d make on ebooks through your publisher vs. $42,000 a year on your own. Clicky to read more: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The Numbers Game

Update: Taking Stock – Creative Plans for 2011

A week or so ago while laid up in bed with what the doctor called a mere sinus infection (but I called creeping death), I had time to survey all the creative projects I have going on this year, most of which involving writing stories. I had over a dozen stories slated for as many anthologies for nearly as many editors, plus an additional handful intended for certain online venues because I don’t have much work available online as most of it is currently in print. I also wanted to launch a couple of fiction serials online because I’ve loved episodic fiction since I was a kid and I have had characters and stories conceived for that kind of format for a very long time now. Then there are the readings of submissions for the Local Heroes anthology, as well as the next issue of Liquid Imagination online. Add to that the preparation of previously written and/or published stories to self-publish on Smashwords. And that’s all just for the first half of the year. The …

ALBUM: The King of Limbs by Radiohead

So, I thought it was would be Esthero or Dr. Dre who would kick off my new year with exciting new music. Dre’s DETOX has been pushed back to April now, supposedly, and as usual Esthero’s new album, EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE is M.I.A & T.B.A.  Thankfully, Radiohead, those rockin’ lads from Oxford, are coming through with THE KING OF LIMBS this weekend. Announced on Monday, there are a few options to this unique release. It’s pretty exciting. I’ve spent the last few days debating which package I’m going to get. Details, details!  Pre-Order Details here!  

DVD: Radiohead for Haiti – Live in L.A.

As I was researching news about Radiohead (the greatest rock band from Oxford) and their new album, The King of Limbs (more on that later), I came across this wonderful DVD of their live performance from January 2010 – Radiohead for Haiti, a live benefit show in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful package with an even better set list, some 24 songs, none of which I can complain about having been included. I must own it at some point. But last night I could not help from watching a bit of the performance on You Tube into the wee hours of the night. I still haven’t seen them live in person, but I’ve seen them live on TV a bit, and it’s always an inspiring performance. If you’re a musician, how can you not be compelled to grab your own guitar, or sit down at your own keyboard/piano/Rhodes/Wurlitzer or drum kit and rock out? The timing of this and their new album is perfect, as I am currently recharging my own musical batteries in preparation for some …

Dealing with Personal Loss as a Writer

Everyone deals with loss in their own unique way. My friend Bob Thurber lost his daughter Sarah to death back in the middle of December (yeah, just before the Christmas Holiday). He called it “an unspeakable loss” a few weeks later. No words would justify, so it was best he said little else about it. Naturally, I tried to reflect on my own situation with young daughters of my own. Yeah. An unfathomable situation. Since I know Thurber to be a writer who channels a lot of his own emotional truths into his writing, the other day I became curious as to how he would actually channel this particular ugly, awful truth. My timing was impeccable. It was the eve of the 2nd month anniversary of her passing on to a better place. Thurber had a new story that he shared with me called “The Search Party”. He said it would go live online the next day–the 2nd month anniversary. And so it has been posted here, at The Outlet. Have a read of “The Search Party” to see a writer confront his …