Saturday, May 28, 2011

Portal 2

I just finished playing Portal 2. This is one of the funniest and fun video games I've played in quite a while. If you haven't played the first Portal, get it. Then move on to Portal 2. Five Stars! The video below provides a hint why I enjoyed the game so much.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fun with Magnifying Glasses

Watching this video reminds me how my Grandma Cordell got my brother, sister, and I out of the house on sunny days--she'd break out her magnifying glasses and send us into the driveway to do . . . science! Or at least play with the power of the gathered, focussed light of the sun itself: Professor Paper, you've finally met your match. Dr Sunbeam is here, mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Had you, like me, forogotten the joys of owning a magnifying glass? Well, here you go, have fun. And don't burn any ants!

Large 4" Magnifying Glass 3X Optics
Large 4" Magnifying Glass 3X Optics

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finding The Right Card for Dad

As I was browsing birthday and congratulations cards this morning on Amazon, I came across a design that said, "Just For You Dad."

As easy as falling out of bed I realized I'd never shop for another father's day, birthday, holiday, or any other kind of card for my dad ever again. He's gone. There's no 'replacement' Dad who I'll begin sending cards to instead.

I remember when I used to shop for cards for him, finding the pre-printed Hallmark message that struck just the right note was important to me. Something indicating I was thinking of him, but nothing too smarmy. Because if it was too smarmy, that would've been terrible, right?

With the hindsight of today, the card I'd send now would say something like:

"Hey Dad, thinking of you. I didn't spend much time with you this last decade; I wish I'd spent more. I didn't always answer your calls, and I'm sorry. We had some rough times early on, but both of us grew past that. I've come to appreciate all the positive things you did for me, stuff a child can never really repay, other than to accept and acknowledge it. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you in my life. Your son, Bruce."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Simple Ways To Support An Author

I've been stuck lately trying to come up with ways to market my novels. In the absence of a traditional publisher's budget that does this sort of thing for select books, I'm sort of left to my own devices when it comes to promoting myself. Wizards of the Coast publishing relies on the strong brand name of the Forgotten Realms to sell its titles. This has worked well in the past, actually.

However you don't need me to tell you that things are changing in the world of publishing. People have less time to devote to novel reading, and more novels to choose from when they do decide to sit down with a book (or whatever ereader they've chosen).

This collusion of events troubles me as an author interested in continuing to practice his craft in the part-time fashion I currently enjoy. And the virtuous circle closes--this is why I'm interested in finding new ways to market my novels.

So along comes this great blog post by Jody Hedlund titled "10 Simple Ways to Support the Author You Love." In this post, Jody notes how you can do an author you love a big favor by, in addition to buying and reading the book, by taking your support one tiny step further.

An excerpt:

1. Write a book review and post it on Amazon. If you’ve ever ordered on Amazon then you’re eligible to post a review. It’s very simple to do and incredibly helpful (if it’s a good review!).

2. Copy and paste your review onto other online bookstores. There’s nothing wrong with copying your Amazon review and using it on other sites, like GoodReads, Shelfari, Barnes& or

3. Click the “Like” button on a book’s Amazon page. (If you're not sure what this is, head over to The Preacher's Bride Amazon page and you'll find it near the top.)

4. Click on the “Tags People Associate With This Product” on Amazon. If you scroll down on The Preacher’s Bride Amazon page, you’ll see approximately 32 tags. The more tags and the more clicks, the better a book will come up in search results.

Read Jody's full article (and all 10 steps) here: