Friday, February 27, 2009

Geek Link!

'Oldest English Words' Identified.

Interesting little article on some lingusitic studies trying to determine which words in our language may be the oldest, and which are most likely to disappear in the near future.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Marketing Stuff

Can you tell I'm taking a class in this right now?

Anyway, found an interesting site called Dosh Dosh with some good marketing information on it, run out of my hometown of Toronto.

Not sure what's with all the anime images but they do attract the eye and the information they are hanging around is sound. There's some good tips for those of us trying to organize a marketing campaign.

This article, for example, on Push Marketing vs Pull Marketing does a nice job of laying out some tactics to use online for getting more folks interested in what you sell.

Anyway, it is late, and no more homework is happening tonight. I'm gonig to see if I can get some sleep and manage a workout tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Geek Link!

At last! We can bring Neanderthals back to life!

We can! Really! Maybe. Or maybe not, depending whose opinion you ask.

Here's the article.

More importantly, they have just about recreated the neanderthal genome which will tell us a great deal about the evolution of humankind as we know it.

H/T to Kat, who told me about it (and put stuff like this on your blog, will ya?)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'm taking a corporate communications certificate right now. Lots of fun and lots of good PR information (gee, why would I want that? Hmmm)

Part of my assignments for one class is to put together a survey for people to take. It's part of an imaginary PR campaign for a mental health charity.

It is anonymous and does not record IP addresses. So if you have a minute or two to spare and would like to help, go here and fill it out:

Click Here to take survey

Thanks everyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's and Coraline

Valentine's Day today and what better way to enjoy it than going to see a creepy kid's movie?

(After a really, really good dinner. Steak oscar with crab and a shrimp skewer. Yum.

Coraline, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is amazing. Excellent animation, excellent combination of stop motion and CGI. And well acted, too, I thought. Fairly faithful to the book, from what I remember. And take a good look at Coraline's dad and think of who he looks like.

Excellent movie, highly recommend it. Do not take small children to it. It is rated PG-13 for a reason.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Little Friday Night Music

Heard some Bruce Cockburn on the way to work this morning and had him in my head most of the day. Here's one of my favourites.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book Marketing: Website Stuff

I'm prepping up marketing plans right now, as I've mentioned recently, getting ready for a re-launch of Small Magics and some other exciting things, and part of that, of course, is my website.

Now, my website has existed in a state of benign neglect for most of the last two years and I haven't had the time, energy, or money to do much about it. Things are still pretty similar in terms of time and energy, but I do have some money (gotta love having a job) and that makes things better.

So while looking around for tips on developing a better website, I came across the blog of Rich Page, who calls himself a web optimizer and who has a decent blog with some good tips directed towards making your website more attractive to those who visit, and more effective at pushing your product. Some good reading there for those who are interested.

There are a few things I need to do very soon on my website, starting with getting a good content management system so I can update it quickly and easily, rather than having to do all that HTML I'm not so good at. Other stuff:
  • Put this blog on my website for better visibility
  • Turn my website from a shell site (which means all pages have the same URL, basically -- it's cheaper) to a proper website to increase my SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Develop the social media tools to make the website accessible across different channels
  • And a whack of content updating
So, lots to do, and while it often feels like this has very little to do with writing, the fact is that is I want other people to read what I write, and to do that, I need to let them know I'm alive. And a good web presence is a cheap and easy way to do that.

And now, sleep. I'm tired.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cold Magics

... is finished. I just completed the first draft.

About bloody time, too.

And now, I sleep.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Researching and Learning...

Been doing a lot of wandering as I prep my maketing plan for the Small Magics relaunch and the advent of the next book in 2010 (oops, did I let that slip?) and have been gobbling down whatever information I could about the publishing industry in general, as well as small press, literary festivals, conventions, and all that fun stuff.

It's been good, though I'm suffering from information overload at the moment, justbecause there is so much out there. Still, no rest for the wickedly determined (or maybe just hte wicked, I haven't decided yet).

One of the more interesting things I found along the journey was Publishing Trends website and blog, which features articles about publishing and what people are reading. Interesting places to learn more about the industry.

And now, back to work. I have 20 tabs open on this browser and would like to deal with them all tonight.

Then there's that pesky writing thing I'm doing...


And another cool one: The Writer's Edge

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Running Down the Dream

I haven't been blogging much lately. The joys of working full time, commuting two hours a day, having a small child, taking classes, getting exercise, writing in what spare time I have and desperately trying to get more than 5 hours of sleep a night.

So what am I doing all this for?

I want to write fiction for a living. Not for part of my living; for a living. I want my books to be on shelves across the country, around the world and translated into different languages. I want to be cranking out at least 2 books a year, and I want to do it for the rest of my life.

It's a long row to hoe. And as all of you may have noticed, it's taking a while.

Life has a nasty way of interfereing with one's plans, and my life has certainly been interfering with mine. That's all right. Life is how you get the material you need to write.

So why I am telling you all about this?

Well, I some interesting developments have happened recently. My wonderful publisher, Dragon Moon Press, and I are going to relaunch Small Magics. This fall, I think, though we haven't got a solid date yet. And we are doing this as part of a publicity campaign for something else, which we will announce at the relaunch (hint, it's been a while coming...)

The next step on this is simultaneously building the publicity campaign for the Small Magics relaunch and the campaign around the big announcement. It means lots of writing, lots of media work, and lots of learning to do thingsI don't know how to do, like developing RSS feeds, podcasting, and developing specific social media directed campaigns.

There's lots to be done, including, possibly, a new blog that details this whole mess, as well as keeping up this one. And it's all going to take time. You know time, that one thing I don't have any of this year?

If it isn't challenging, it isn't fun.

The next steps are for me to finalize my publicity plan for the Small Magics relaunch and get working on that at high speed, keep writing on the other projects, and finish my classes at high speed. I'll be finished them this fall, all things being equal, but meanwhile, there's lots to do.

That's me. Stay tuned, and I'll be starting to put in details about the process.

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