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Friday, October 28, 2011

This is only a test

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Enhancing the Experience

Sometimes inspiration hits you. Literally.

I awoke this morning with a clear idea that I wanted to add a link to the mini-memoir about B.B. King’s live performance at the Blue Note. My idea is to allow readers to read the story while listening to a stream of Blues.

It certainly would enhance the experience and it’d be a fully integrated technology because on the iPod Touch, iPad and SmartPhones you can stream in the background while you use another app (like Kindle or Stanza).

At the moment I am researching the legal implications of linking directly to a streaming service, although it is just as easy to suggest folks read while using their existing service. Of course, most of these services have limitations (some are only available in the US, for instance).

I was thinking of putting together a folder of free music on Google Docs to download to e-readers that allow for mp3/mp4 files. I couldn't possibly afford the licensing of adding B.B. King's music, so they idea of including this might not be too smart. Though any kind of Blues is always a good thing.

My fantasy is to do a book launch party at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill in Times Square, but I am not sure I can tackle that right now. It just seems like such a natural thing to do: food, drink, blues and good company.

Maybe it doesn’t need to be a book launch, and perhaps I’ll find another excuse altogether to do it. We can just do A Night at B.B.’s, though the weekend brunch looks like fun too!

Other than that, I have been envisioning a flying fortress for the steampunk story, and this has opened up a few more story arcs. I also figured out something about the characters that puts an interesting twist on things. It’s fascinating to allow this story to write itself, because I certainly have no idea where it is going and I am letting the characters dictate what happens.

Right now, I’ve come to realize that as I freestyle this story what I am doing is outlining the series in long prose. It will take longer to write than “Justified” but it is a stimulating exercise.

Meanwhile, real life keeps intruding and I am not getting as much writing as I wish. This is only temporary. I’m still mulling over whether I will participate in NaNoWriMo – there is this inert desire to do it and then a more practical voice tells me that I have things to do that must be done. Drats! Yes, I said drats!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To Tweet, Perchance to Communicate

I’ve had a Twitter account since the fall of 2009, though the idea of the social network is exhausting. It has sat there, mostly inactive, virtually collecting dust. Until last week when I felt a distinct need to connect in a clusterfrak of wired activity.

Of course, once I published the cookbook and the novel, it was understood that Twitter would have to become a part of my overall online marketing plan.

I refuse to use my Facebook account for this purpose. For the moment, that account is strictly for friends and family, and I do not wish to mix business and pleasure.

Google+ with its circles and hangouts seemed like a better fit for this purpose. Twitter is a good secondary conduit for promotional purposes.

You may follow me on Twitter @KaliAmanda.

On Fridays and Saturdays, I will post a series of tweets for Weekend Chefs with tips and links for breakfast and brunch ideas. Saturdays and Sundays, I will post a series of tweets, Brown-bag it!, with tips and links to brown-bag lunches during the work week. These can be found under the hash tag #KaliFoodGoddess.

The series began this weekend and you should check it out – especially the link to making your own sushi rolls.

Of course, any updates on the food column and subsequent cookbooks will appear under this hash tag as well.

Twitter will also carry announcements of book launches and special promotional offers.

I realize it is yet another account to maintain, but it will become another arm of the integrated plan and while there is a mountain of data streaming at all times (when exactly does Guy Kawasaki sleep?!), it will also make me privy to interesting news from a staple of fascinating folks I now follow.

On other news, the cookbook just received an independent review. The woman who reviewed the book gave it a very thoughtful, lengthy and enthusiastic five-star review. You can view the review here:

I just sold my first overseas copy in England, and because the iBookstore is expanding their distribution, I expect a slight resurgence in unit sales.

Now if only I had more time and energy to dedicate to the writing itself…

Thursday, October 6, 2011


After a very long day, I took a nap yesterday and awoke to the news we all knew was inevitable. Steve Jobs is dead. I cried.

I started writing a personal zine back in the 1980s. I had been writing for years but only showed my work for a few eyes only. The zine allowed me to widen my audience.

My design tool of choice then was a Mac. Much of the production involved I had done by hand earlier, now a small magical box made easier and a lot of fun.

Most of us pick our heroes with the same criteria we pick our friends. There is at least one characteristic about that person that adds value to our own lives.

Neither our friends nor our heroes are perfect. When we bestow our love and respect upon them we are highlighting the best of them with our aspiration to be more like them. Just as in the 21st century we have not physically met all our friends, we may have never met our own heroes. This does not diminish the loss of their absence when they are gone.

That's only one of the reasons why I will mourn Steve. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OMG! NaNoWriMo is coming!

Many annoying things, what we geeks refer to as Real Life (RL), have been intruding and disrupting my writing at the moment. It’s not an excuse so much as a reality. Sadly, these things must be addressed and solved before we can move on with the more pleasurable things in life…

It’s about priorities and the consequences of ignoring them. The less said about it the better, and the sooner it is all resolved: hurray!

In the meantime, I just realized that there is less than a month to go to NaNoWriMo!

Dear Lord, has it been a year already? I wrote Justified during NaNo 2010. I started late and completely rewrote something I had been playing with for a while. I changed the protagonist and added a subplot. It turned out rather well.

I was satisfied with it and three people whose opinion matter the most to me were satisfied with the experience of reading it. That is a success in my book.

I’d participated in NaNoWriMo 2009, but the result was a disaster. I accomplished the 50,000 word goal but it was a horrifying mess of a novel! I have since destroyed all copies because, on the unlikely scenario that I am struck by a runaway taxi, I prefer people find porn on my hard drive instead of that manuscript.

Now it is time for NaNoWriMo 2011.

I hope to have resolved the RL issues by then. Will I have the energy? Will I be working (oh please, Universe, send me a day job)? Can I come up with a story and characters and a setting and a good conflict in the next three weeks? Will I start with nothing, a total clean slate? In or out?!

It is horrifying and exciting at once. I will change my mind eight times before November rolls along. I downloaded my copy of WriteWay (free until December 15th for participants):

Of course, I could rethink the freestyle thing that seems to be leading towards something – I know not what – and that can be my new project. Anyone else taking the plunge? We have 27 days to make up our minds.