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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Diego/Ca/Nuevo Pacifica
Home country: U.S. of A.
Current location: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:39 PM
Number of posts: 7,481

Journal Archives

Eight Underrated Skills That’ll Make You a Rockstar in the Book Industry

Eight Underrated Skills That’ll Make You a Rockstar in the Book Industry
1.) Time Management Skills: If you’re an author or author-to-be, you know the battle well: sit down to write, have absolutely nothing to write about, dig deep into your soul for inspiration, give up and spend four hours on Buzzfeed and Netflix, return to work and write three crap sentences, call it a day. It’s rough. That’s why developing an author routine is so important. If you don’t plan out time to write, to respond to fans, to post on social media, etc., you just won’t do it. Time management is a pain, but it’s a necessary pain, and even simple things like downloading apps to keep you on track or buying a planner can help immensely.

2.) Listening Skills: You’re going to have people critiquing your work nonstop, from friends and family members to editors to readers of the final work. This can be extremely frustrating, but it can also be extremely helpful—especially the feedback that comes from fans of your work once it does get published. Don’t be too proud to listen to what your readers want. These small insights via email or letter or social media could be the key to your next character or plot. And the best way you can create meaningful connections with people is to listen to them and to respond. If people feel like you care, they’ll stay loyal to you and to your books.

3.) Fearlessness: Also known as your ability to take the plunge. How many potential authors could be knocking it out of the park right now if they could only build up the courage to send their work out? Too many. That’s the answer. Sending out something so personal can be terrifying, but it’s the only way to show it to the world.

4.) Ability to Take Criticism: As stated above, you will constantly get feedback about your work. This can be difficult, because this work is your life: you’ve put hours of love and hard work into each and every page. Your editor and publisher know this. They aren’t trying to tear you down by making suggestions about your characters and plot and title—they’re trying to make your wonderful book even better. This could have to do with best-selling trends or gaps in the story; it could have to do with marketing or cohesiveness. Either way, trust that the experts to whom you’ve entrusted your book will take care of your book. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t veto a decision you really don’t agree with; but make sure you have the conversation about why it was brought up before you do so. There’s a reason they’re in the business.

And the other four are just as good.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Dec 2, 2015, 12:12 PM (0 replies)

Writer Unboxed: The Current by Donald Maass

Writer Unboxed: The Current
What about a novel sweeps us up into its world? What carries us along even when the imperatives of plot are on hold or absent? What makes us ache for something without knowing what it is? What makes us impatient for a story’s resolution at the same time that we want the tale to go on forever? What is it that causes us to feel that a story has touched our souls?
It’s not plot, scene dynamics or micro-tension. It’s not the inner journey. It’s not setting, voice or theme, although those things undeniably affect us. What I’m talking about is a deeper, seemingly mystical force that engages readers in a way they can’t explain and holds them rapt. It’s nothing overtly stated in your pages.
That irresistible, invisible current is a feeling. It’s a feeling that springs from what you wrote (how could it be otherwise) but which readers can only sense. It’s a feeling to which readers do not assign a name. What causes them to feel this feeling is not so much anything that you put into your story as the spirit that underlies it.
That spirit is hope.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Dec 2, 2015, 11:55 AM (1 replies)

Exotic Paths To The Stars JOHN CRAMER

This article found on the Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Author GREGORY BENFORD's Page is a great source to look for the possibility of FTL travel. Whether a writer or a Science Geek, it is worth reading.
Exotic Paths To The Stars JOHN CRAMER
Everyone knows from pop science fiction such as Star Wars and Star Trek that ideas of how to cross immense distances in a twinkling of time do emerge from the odd and sometimes extravagant realms of theoretical physics. How plausible are such notions?

The truthful answer is that no one knows. Progress in the furthest realms of General Relativity and quantum mechanics must proceed from experiment, and there are few lab experiments that can touch on such issues. To survey the current landscape of such thinking, the 100 Year Starship Symposium held an Exotic Technologies Session chaired by John Cramer. Here he reports on the major ideas treated there, with some insightful criticisms of his own, and much background material useful to the interested but non-specialist observer. One recalls the Mark Twain observation, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Dec 2, 2015, 11:44 AM (2 replies)

It is a brilliant strategy...

Write an OP with a negative title that attacks the other candidate with half truths, Republican talking points, or misleading data.
This brings lots of people to comment on it and try to apply real world facts.
But the purpose is to get this OP pushed to the top.

I am not going to post on flame bait.

I will post on threads that are positive.

It is better for my blood pressure.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Dec 1, 2015, 08:06 PM (21 replies)

Scientists May Have Just Discovered a Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours

Scientists May Have Just Discovered a Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
We may have just, for the first time ever, caught a momentous glimpse of a parallel universe bumping against our own.

Scientists say that signals from the furthest reaches of space suggest that the fabric of our universe is being disrupted by another universe. The discovery could provide proof of the multiverse theory, which says that there are many alternate universes.
Dr. Ranga-Ram Chary, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, examined data from the cosmic microwave background gathered by the European Space Agency’s Planck Space Telescope. Within this glow left over from the moments after the Big Bang, he discovered a number of spots where the microwave light was far brighter than it should be. He claims that theses may be signals caused by the interaction between our universe and another one a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang around 13.8 billion years ago.

Imagine whole universes bumping uglies near the beginning of time. Mind blown.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Nov 27, 2015, 11:42 PM (79 replies)

8-year-old stumbles on First Temple-era archaeological find

8-year-old stumbles on First Temple-era archaeological find
Alon De Groot, an Iron Age specialist with the IAA, identified the find as the head of a fertility goddess statuette.

“Figurines such as these, in the shape of naked women representing fertility, were common in the homes of the residents of the Judean Kingdom in the 8th century BCE and until the destruction of the kingdom by the Babylonians in the days of Zedekia (in 586 BCE),” De Groot said in a statement.

Statuettes such as these help identify sites as Judean, he noted.

“It’s no coincidence that a statuette like this was found atop Tel Beit Shemesh, next to a residential quarter from the First Temple period,” Anna Eirich, an IAA archaeologist in the region, said in a statement.

We will hear great things from this eight year old some day.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 11:20 AM (4 replies)

Vermin Supreme running for president, still wants to give everyone a pony

Vermin Supreme running for president, still wants to give everyone a pony

Perennial political candidate Vermin Supreme filed papers on Friday to run for the presidential primary in New Hampshire.

In a field that includes 30 Republicans and 28 Democrats, the Maryland Democrat stands out for his unique headgear, lush, wizard-like beard, and consistently pro-pony platform. Asked about how he’d defeat terrorists, he answered “Hooves on the ground and boots on our heads!” Political Monitor reports that Mr. Supreme paid his $1,000 registration fee in $50 bills marked “not to be used for bribing politicians.”

He does look presidential.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Nov 24, 2015, 10:03 PM (7 replies)

The Big Reason Why Agents and Editors Often Stop Reading

The Big Reason Why Agents and Editors Often Stop Reading
As a reader, a writer, and an agent, I read thousands of stories a year—or at least the opening pages of thousands of stories. And, all other things being equal, the reason I most often stop reading is a lack of narrative thrust.

Narrative thrust is the taut building of story, beat by beat, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, using the complexities of plot and character to propel the story forward in a dramatic arc that peaks at the climax. You must write each scene so that it leads logically to the next, as if you were connecting a model train, car by car, presenting story questions as you proceed down the track, pushing the action forward to its inevitable, if unpredictable, ending.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Nov 24, 2015, 10:13 AM (6 replies)

Social Security: Summary of Major Changes in the Cash Benefits Program

How we do things in our system is important. While researching on line to show how Social Security was not the magnificent program form day 1, that we improved it over time, I discovered this. It is a great historical document.
Social Security: Summary of Major Changes in the Cash Benefits Program
Title II of the original Social Security Act of 1935 established a national plan designed to provide economic security for the nation's workers. The system of Old-Age Insurance it created provided benefits to individuals who were age 65 or older and who had "earned" retirement benefits through work in jobs covered by the system. Benefits were to be financed by a payroll tax paid by employees and their employers on wages up to a base amount (then $3,000 per year). Monthly benefits were to be based on cumulative wages in covered jobs. The law related the amount of the benefit to the amount of a worker's total wages covered by the program, but the formula was weighted to give a greater return, on payroll taxes paid, to low-wage earners. Before the Old-Age Insurance program was actually in full operation, the 1939 amendments shifted the emphasis of Social Security, from protection of the individual worker to protection of the family, by extending monthly benefits to workers' dependents and survivors. The program now provided Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI).

For most of the history of Social Security in the following decades, changes to the program were ones of expansion. Coverage of workers became nearly universal (the only large groups remaining outside the system being employees of state and local government who have not chosen to join the system and federal workers who were hired before 1984). Congress established the Disability Insurance (DI) program in 1956, and, for aged and disabled Social Security recipients, the Medicare program in 1965. Both these programs were financed in whole or in part by additions to the payroll tax rate, which increased periodically, from 1.0% of pay on employees and employers, each, in the 1937-1949 period, to its present level of 7.65%. The types of recipients eligible for benefits were expanded over the years, and benefit levels were increased periodically. In 1972, legislation provided that, beginning in 1975, benefits would rise by the same percentage as the cost-of-living.

Beginning in the late 1970s, legislative action regarding Social Security became more concentrated on solving persistent financing problems. The OASDI trust funds would have been exhausted in the early 1980s if legislation had not been enacted in 1977 raising taxes and curtailing future benefit growth. In 1983, Congress passed additional major legislation that restored solvency to the OASDI program. Recently, worsening projections of financial shortfalls (in 2023 in the DI program, 2037 in OASI and DI combined) again have refocused attention on the solvency of the program. The most recent enacted legislation has provided increased incentives for disabled recipients to return to work, and has repealed the earnings test for recipients above the full retirement age.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 11:37 AM (1 replies)

Guys in thousand dollar suits worried about people living from paycheck to paycheck

Be still my fucking heart.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:39 PM (2 replies)
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