30 December 2010

It's official - the Nook Color is a hit with my wife!

My wife had had her NC for three days now and she LOVES it. And so do I - but not enough to give up my K3. Not yet.

I loaded Inside of a Dog onto it before I gave it to her and she's been tearing through it every evening since Christmas. She's also been browsing the net and generally fiddling with it, which is remarkable since she's not a gadget person.

Time is running out to get The Patriot Paradox and Self Arrest for .99c

26 December 2010

Nook Color or Kindle? A real world experiment..

I've decided to conduct a little experiment in my household - to determine, under real world conditions, which of the two top eReaders works best for my wife.

The new Nook Color or the trusty Kindle 2?

Crazy you say? Maybe. But also fun because I get to play with a new gadget - the Nook Color.

You see, my wife is old school when it comes to books. Like me, she reads a lot. But while I read predominantly fiction, she leans towards non-fiction and magazines, mostly in paper format.

A few weeks before the holidays, we were in the East Tucson Barnes & Noble, looking for gifts for some of our relatives. Just inside the front door was a giant display for the Nook eReader series. And right there on the counter was a shiny new Nook Color.

Kid in a candy store. I grabbed her hand and dragged her to the display.

The saleswoman, seeing the gleam in my eye, began to list the features of the NC, starting with its ability to read magazines - 'anything in the store!' she proclaimed like a proud mother. So we started looking for my wife's favorite magazines. None of them were available for the NC yet. Bummer. Undaunted, the saleswoman moved on to the library feature. I was sold. Because, in addition to enjoying non fiction and magazines, my wife really enjoys the library.

So, a few days later, I bought one, along with a nice purplish cover to make it all official. I wrapped it and threw it under our rosemary topiary Christmas tree.

All was good, except for one tiny, perhaps critical, detail.

We live in Tucson. As in Tucson, Arizona, where the sun beats down a glorious 193 days per year, according to worldfactsandfigures.com. I think it's really more like 350, but we've only been here for eight months, so it may just be my perception. Anyway - my wife likes to read in the hammock. Mostly magazines. But being Tucson, the temps in the summer regularly approach 110-115F, which means that the magazine-hammock reading is relegated to the winter months, when the sun is not directly overhead.

See where I'm going here?

This is starting to feel like my day job (software development). I've got a  conflicting list of requirements and only a couple of ways to satisfy them:
  1. Read novels (no problem)
  2. Read magazines
  3. Check out books from the library (checked with Pima county, they do support eBooks)
  4. Be readable outside, in the hammock
The K2 will handle #1 and #4 lying down. The NC will handle #1, #2, and #3. What I don't know at this point is the criticality of the various requirements--how they are weighted. For all I know, #4 may not be an issue in real world use. Or it may be the biggest deal-breaker of all.

So, the experiment begins today. I loaded a book onto the NC before I gave it to her - something she had been looking at that first night in Barnes and Noble. The forecast today is 70F and sunny. The hammock beckons.

Stay tuned for the results..

19 December 2010

A day in the life of an indie writer

People often ask how I find time to write. My answer is I don't find the time. I make the time. Writing involves sacrifice. It involves bending and stretching your day-to-day existence to provide kindling for the spark of creativity. It means taking a different path from those around you and resisting the siren call to conformity that pervades our society.

And let me tell you a little secret. I love it. Here's a typical week day for me.

5:30-6:15  Wake, make coffee, feed dogs
6:15-7:00  Blogging & publicity for my existing books
7:00-7:30 Go walking/work out
7:30-8:00 Breakfast, hang with wife and chat about the day ahead
8:00-8:25  Get ready for The Day Job
8:25-8:30 Commute to The Day Job
8:30-11:30  The Day Job, the morning part
11:30-12:30 Writing & lunch
12:30-?? The Day Job, the afternoon part
After : Time with wife, maybe another walk, house stuff.
Sometime before bed: Do some editing on another work in progress
Just before bed: read
11:30-5:30 : sleep

That's it. To any sane person, it would look like a grind. But that's what it takes (for me) to hold down a day job, spend time with my wife and dogs, stay fit, and move two new books ahead while promoting two existing works. It's insane.

What do I not do?

  • Television. I used to watch a lot of television in my younger days. Now it's limited to a few hours a week. This is a good thing.
  • Training for some large fitness goal. I'd love to run an ultra marathon. But that takes time and effort I just don't have right now. So fitness for me is more about maintenance than achieving something new and big. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts on what has changed in your life as a result of your craft. 

11 December 2010

The Patriot Paradox is coming to print!

I put in my proof order Friday morning. It usually takes about a week for them to get here. This one took forever because I enlisted the help of a semi-pro cover designer.

Here are the results: