Blog Archives

Worthy Cause – Media Creators

We receive a ton of free content these days – Free Pdocasted fiction free PDF’s for supporting our writer friends but sometimes we forget a very important part of supporting them – BUYING content.

 

Remember to support our creative friends with buying their commercial works.  This enables them to spend more time creating so we end up getting more content.

It’s tax time many of us will get a little something back… pick one of your favorite creators and purchase something if you already have a copy then gift it to a friend, family member or better yet a library so you can get more people hooked on truly fantastic content.

Advertisements

Getting PWNED by Owner’s Share

Today’s review / Pimpage is on Owner’s Share From Nathan Lowell first off lets get the links out of the way

@Nlowell – Nathan Lowell on Twitter

http://solarclipper.com – Trader’s Diary – The Website for the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper

http://www.podiobooks.com/title/owners-share -Owner’s Share on Podiobooks

And while we’re at it  let’s give a big fucking shout out and thank you to Evo Terra and Podiobooks.com for providing a metric shit tonne of awesome content to listen to – Lots of great Podiobooks in many genres by many talented writers – You can find them at http://www.podiobooks.com @podiobooks @evo_terra

Now on to the meat and potatoes – First off Nathan asks that we not spoil the ending by invoking Article 37… Screw Article 37 I’ll tell you how it ends… Like always – Nathan being a hell of a guy and thank you for listening… If you want how the story ends get off your ass and listen to it yourself… my words can’t do it justice.

Do you want 30 foot T-Rex’s jumping out of scrubbers and devouring half the crew, and exciting flitter chase where Ish dives out of the craft shooting the pirates through the armor glass port and Pip coming out of nowhere and saving him with a rocket pack?  Me too but that’s not the kind of stuff Nathan writes in the Share series, his ideas are a hell of a lot cooler if a lot more sedate.

Again Nathan delivers a great story, with a fantastic read.  You feel the highs and lows of the crew.  You get it through the way the words flow, and you hear it in his voice.  You’ll feel the shock and betrayal when the crew realizes that ARTICLE 37 is the one behind ARTICLE 37.  Oh and when ARTICLE 37 does ARTICLE 37 with ARTICLE 37 it’s just mind blowing.  I mean when ARTICLE 37 let ARTICLE 37 in the back ARTICLE 37 it was like whoa … I mean really how the hell does one get  a ARTICLE 37 into a 3×3 cubicle with ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37  and 4 ARTICLE 37s… okay I went a little heavy on the ARTICLE 37.  Back to seriousness though – Again Nathan provides a great story, with a couple of twists that left an entire busload of people (literally I was on the bus listening to it) giving me dirty looks when I audibly expressed my incredulity at the twists.

As always it’s a well written story performed by a great voice talent.

Didn’t want to jump on the bad wagon yesterday though I kinda did through facebook but I’ll do it here and now and maybe another post on it tomorrow if I have the time… presence of mid to actually remember damned squirrels stealing my thoughts…

Thank you Nathan for not only providing free content but kick ass free content, it’s all too easy to just provide crap for free and make people pay for the good stuff.  Through the years I have sat impatiently waiting the next step in Ish’s Journey.  I still impatiently wait the next step.  Thank you for not wrapping everything up in a pretty red bow and doing the they sailed off into the deep dark happily ever after thing.  The books end how the entire series appealed to me – Feeling real.

Now stop reading and get back to work I can feel the withdrawal kicking in already!!!! More content!!!  errr…ummm I mean more content please Sahr.

From the Vaults – 8 Questions with Pip Ballantine

Still bringing stuff back from the vaults fore the moment – While I’m getting caught up with some materials – or more like waiting for some material to catch up with me… Yes I’m looking at you Nathan Lowell…

Without any further ado – From the Vaults – 8 Qs with Pip –

It’s Monday again boys and squirrels and other woodland creatures that we cannot mention due to a gag order from PETA ( I swear eat one fried platypus and they brand you for life….) and no I don’t mean it ‘s time for it to put the lotion in the basket or it gets the fire hose (That was yesterday… erm nevermind) It’s time for another round of 8 Questions – This week we feature Philippa “Pip” Ballantine – The Podiosphere’s favorite saucy flightless bird or small furry banana strawberry thing you choose.

1 ) What’s one thing we Americans take for granted about New Zealand that really frustrates you?

Actually Americans don’t really know enough about New Zealand to take much for granted. The one thing people do know about us is what they have seen in Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is that beautiful, and that empty. (A country the size of Great Britain, but with only 4 million people in it) but it does have more than that. It’s something that you can’t explain, you have to come visit. (Honestly I am not working for Tourism New Zealand)
2 ) What’s next podcast wise after Digital Magic finishes it’s run?

It will be the anthology series set in the world of Geist. I am not quite sure how many people I will have involved in it, but I am hoping lots of other podcasters will be excited to join me in. I am looking forward to exploring the world.
3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I first started writing when I was about thirteen, and I guess I started because I was a voracious reader. I read all my Dad’s books and thought ‘I can do that’. My first book was a story about a woman haunted by some demonic creatures she could only see out of the corner of her eye. Which is interesting, because elements of that are in Geist.
4 ) Erotica Ala Carte got booted out of Itunes after the 1st Episode.  Did that fluster or flatter you?

I think that happened because itunes was clearing the literature category of anything sexual. I am not sure why (because itunes never communicate or respond) but it doesn’t seem to have effected the numbers of listeners. I was actually kind of impressed!

5 ) Why Erotica?

Why not? 🙂 Actually I did it because I was afraid of erotica. I think a writer should be always able to write what the story requires. Sex reveals a lot about the characters, and can be a plot point as well.  I didn’t like the fact that I was shutting the bedroom door all the time. So like a good, stubborn person I decided to face my fears. I’m pretty happy with the result.

6 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Tee Morris. Enough said? 🙂
He was my colleague at DragonMoon Press and he was always banging on about the joy of podcasting- little did I know that it would be so addictive.
7 ) Why are New Zealanders called Kiwis?

Many people think it is the fruit, but it started long before NZ started growing them. It’s the bird- though why we nicknamed ourselves after a nocturnal, flightless bird I cannot say. I think it has something to do with World War I and regimental crests or some such.

8 ) Were you able to pull a deal with Ace like Sigler was able to do with Crown to allow you to podcast Geist and it’s sequel?

Unfortunately not. The anthology deal was the best we could do. I think publishing is slowly coming around to the idea, but it is still a work in progress. We’ll have to see how that pans out.
** Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I wouldn’t know, all our birds are flightless
b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

At what age does a man mature like a fine cheese
b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

If at first you don’t succeed keep podcasting

Pip can be found online at her own site http://www.pjballantine.com/

Pip is also organizing the Boom Effect Auction a benefit for Sonic Boom http://www.theboomeffect.org/

And of course on twitter as @PhilippaJane

Random Pimage Presents 8 Qs with @AlRuff and @Obajoo

Well it’s Monday once again and you know what that means…  No it’s not time to feed your sibling to a volcano to appease the fire gods… though on second thought I still owe my sister for telling on my about sneaking out when I was.. err nothing… Love ya sis don’t pay any attenion to the Mayan death cult on it’s way to your house…   No it’s actually time for more 8 Questions.  This week I bring you another double stuffed 8 Qs.  The wonderful talent behind the Gearheart Podcast Novel.  If you haven’t given it a listen really what are you waiting for?  … No really why haven’t you listened to it yet…  You’re gonna make Alex Cry and he’s good peeps…. Again like I was saying before… ooh SHINY!!!! This week I bring you the talented and and just totally freaking awesome couple behind the Gearheart Alex and Renee White.

Alex White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I got into podcasting because no one would read my novels.  I don’t know if people thought they sucked or what, but I could almost never get someone to finish a book.  I think everyone has been burned by having a writer friend who makes them read something truly awful.  I eventually decided that it was the medium- reading off a computer screen kind of sucks- and I thought I’d podcast the book.  After all, if you can combine it with something you have to do anyway, like manual labor or commuting, it would at least be a diversion.  So yeah, I started podcasting because I thought it would suck less than reading it off a computer screen.  Naively, I believed that I had a new idea.  Imagine my surprise when I found a blossoming community of awesome people!

2 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing poetry as a little boy.  I loved limericks and I avidly consumed Shel Silverstein.  When I got a little older, I had a girl I wanted to impress, so I wrote a story about an adolescent werewolf named Percy.  She liked it, so I kept writing horrible short fiction for girls in the hopes of impressing them.  Wow.  This question has made me realize that my artistic life began as a very base pursuit…

3 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

It’s great fun!  At first, things were pretty crazy, and it took us a long time to get into the swing of production.  Poor Renée… she’s always getting dragged into my hairbrained schemes.  I’ve put her in prank movie trailers, comic projects, music and now this.  Other than our marriage and our child, The Gearheart is the longest running project we have ever undertaken.  I’m proud of the working rapport we’ve built, and I think it serves us very well.  Things weren’t always easy- creative disagreements were had, but we came out ahead.

4 ) You’re also a graphic artist does that play for or against your writing crative efforts?  (Are you ever working on one when the urge takes over to be working on the other?)

I’m a writer who happens to be good at graphic design.  Every other talent- music, design and marketing- is geared toward making more people hear and enjoy my stories.  I pay the bills with my design, but if I had my druthers, it would be the other way around.  So I use my honed skills to enhance my writing.  If you need a fancy cover and a soundtrack to make you read/listen to my book, I’ll make it for you.  I just want to be taken seriously, and I think presenting my ideas in a way people understand will help.  The mass media is capable of such a slick presentation, and I don’t want to be stifled by the fact that I can’t match their values.  I’ll just try to learn how they do things and make it myself.

5 ) If I remember correctly you do your own music for the podcast too.  Is there any part of the production you don’t do yourself (other than the female parts)?

Renée handles the all-important detail of making sure we believe in the tension between the male and female characters.  I make sure that when the spotlight is ready to go on, everything is in place.  I handle graphics, web design, music, mastering, mixing and tagging.  Also writing, but who cares about that?

6 )  I’m going to make an ass out of u and me and assume here that you have a fascination with old time radio because of the “commercial” you’ve done for the show – What are some of your favorite old radio dramas and what drew you to them and your style of podcast?

Well, I had a boxed set of tapes of The Shadow that I used to listen to all the time, but not a lot other than that.  I always liked the promise of old radio dramas, but I never really got into the execution.  That’s probably why I don’t actually do a full-on radio drama for The Gearheart.  I did look at a lot of movies and TV, such as “O Brother Where Art Thou” for the “Pappy O’Daniel’s Flour Hour.”  I like those little things.  The commercials started out as a fun diversion, and I wanted to make something in the vein of the era I was going for.  I wanted pulpy 20s, so that’s where those come from.

7 ) I saw on twitter you were working on a Agustus short story, any chance we might see a little more of the other characters’ pasts like maybe that of the mercenaries?

Well, I don’t want to spoil anything.  Let’s just say we learn a LOT about them in the next book.

8 ) Now that the Gearheart has finished up – What’s next?

Next? I don’t get to take a break?  *sobs*  Actually, I’m planning to begin production on my next podcast very soon, with a planned Fall release.  It’s called “Festival of the Bizarre,” and it’s a near-future noir thriller.  It should entertain those of you with more… shall we say… violent streaks…  I’m also working on “Maiden Flight of the Avenger,” the Augustus short story, hopefully to be released soon.  Lastly, I’m working on a secret Gearheart project that should please everyone.  I’ll try to drop more details as I firm things up for publication.

Thanks for the opportunity, Robert! Keep on pimpin’!

(btw it’s Rich… not Robert)

Renee White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Honestly, I’d never thought about it until Alex started doing The Gearheart podcast.  Originally, he was doing all the voices on his own.  He had asked me if I wanted to help, but I said no because I had never acted before.  The extent of my voice talents at that point were making silly voices for Ari’s stuffed animals.  But after listening to Alex doing the female voices, and honestly thinking he sounded completely ridiculous, I decided to give it my best shot.  I knew how much this story meant to him, so I wanted to help him make the best product he could.

2 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

At first it was really weird!  I still get a little shy around him like some star-struck teenager.  I’m told that will wear off in time.  I made a rule in the beginning that he couldn’t look at me when I was acting.  Silly, I know, but I felt so self-conscious!  Unfortunately, that shows in the beginning episodes when my “acting” was really just dryly reciting lines.  As the podcast went on, I learned to ease up and really get into the characters.

3 ) Is it difficult keeping all the characters straight that you have to do for the Podcast?

Oh goodness, yes.  Ever had a conversation with yourself, but trying to use two different personalities?  It’s bonkers.  I don’t just have to worry about the voice pitch, but also the cadence with which the characters speak.  If it gets really difficult, we’d record all of one character and then the next character afterwards, and edit them together in post to make sure the voices stay consistent.

4 ) What Exactly is a “Domestic Scientist”?

“Domestic Science” was the term used back in the 50’s for “homemaking” when they taught it in schools.  I wanted a term that was kinda geeky sounding, but also encompasses all the crafty stuff I do.

5 ) Okay I see the geeky and awesome looking Baked goods pics at your blog, and your Avatar on twitter – Any other cool baked goody projects in the planning / execution stage?

I REALLY want to do a Dr. Who cake for my birthday in April, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do it.  I’m also planning on making a D20 cake tutorial for @kyledockery (http://twitter.com/kyledockery) sometime soon.  Life has been a little insane these last few months, so I haven’t had a lot of time to make really crazy stuff.

6 ) What other creative hobbies help you pass the time?

here are too many to name!  I seem to make a hobby of collecting hobbies.  If I see something cool on the internet, I want to learn how to do it.  I picked up knitting, crochet, and cross-stitching just to make video-game related crafts.  (You can see those at my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/obajoo/sets/900086/)  I am learning photography, and I also draw a bit.  I’ll hopefully be using that last one to make some art for a potential Gearheart game Alex and I have designed.  It’s still in testing, but it is going very well!  I also love board games and video games.

7 ) What are the biggest changes you’ve had to make to adjust to your son’s diagnosis?

It would almost be easier to answer what HASN’T changed.  When your kid has autism, your entire life is turned upside down.  Since I feel that we need to concentrate on Ari’s therapy, I’ve basically put my life on hold.  No going back to school for me, no having another kid for at least 3 years, no job to bring in extra income.  And that’s the long run stuff that’s easy to ignore.  It’s the day to day routine that can completely wear me out.  For instance, when he is thirsty and wants some juice, I can’t just give him the juice cup.  He has to vocalize for it.  Just one little syllable: “ju-” is all we need.  But that is so hard for him, that he’ll break down into tears, screaming and kicking, because he’s so frustrated that he can’t communicate what he needs.  And I have to wait the tantrum out, patiently repeating “Juice?  Want juice?  Say ju ju ju….”  Those tantrums can go on and on.  Not the normal 2 year old fits, but like 30 minutes and counting.  He ran around randomly crying off and on after lunch today for over an hour and I still don’t know why.  As for other changes, our lives are filled with therapist meetings, doctor appointments, researching articles on sensory integration disorder and autism, reading book after book on autism, listening politely to “advice” from people who read an article one time so now they think they’re experts.  Luckily he’s not that bad in public, but when he has his bad days, we have to deal with people staring at us for one reason or another, judging us.  If he’s acting up they stare with a sneer, obviously thinking I’m a bad parent that can’t control my kid.  If he’s making weird sounds, or shaking his head violently despite my efforts to calm him down, they stare wondering “What’s wrong with him?”  I try not to let it get to me, but it still hurts.  But things are looking up!  His therapy is going very well and can now use 4 words.  He works harder than any other 2 year old I know, and I love him more and more and couldn’t be more proud of him.  Together, we’ll get through this.

8 ) What does Obajoo stand for / mean?

It’s a nonsense word, actually!  When Alex, our friend Joey, and I were making up nick names for ourselves for a freelance design group, I couldn’t think of a thing.  I think I saw an Odwalla truck or something earlier that day so I said “Quick!  What’s a three syllable word that begins with O?” being silly more than anything.  And Joey pops in with “OBAJOO!”  So it stuck. 🙂

You can Find them both on Twitter Alex as @ALRUFF and @TheGearHeart and Renee as @Obajoo

You can find more on the Gearheart at it’s homepage – http://www.thegearheart.com/

and you can find Renee’s Blog The Domestic Scientist over at http://www.thedomesticscientist.com/

Double Review – Dreamer’s Thread and Cybrosis.

Random Pimpage is back on track again and for now… Because of the lack of content for the past couple weeks I promised this week to be double content week.  To that end I’ll pimp two great Podcasts.

We’ll Start with Starla Huchton’s The Dreamer’s Thread.

The Dreamer’s Thread – is a fun fantastic journey into the world of dreams, and fantasy.  It’s a fun ride, to me it’s kinda like Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court had a bastard love child with The Never Ending Story and  set it in the land of Dreams.   (And let me mention that I find that to be a GOOD thing I like the Never Ending Story… Don’t diss Bastion…nah… AH…NAH-AH-AH – it was the sequels and the fucked up cartoon that screwed it up the original was pretty decent)  It’s a dreamy (pun intended) tale of Aura a dreamer who get’s pulled into the land of dreams to save the world from the nightmare realm.  I think the voices were dead on, they seemed to fell right on the characters.  It was fun ride, a well put together podcast, and a fun story one that should it ever make it into print I will read to my daughter on a regular basis.

Congratulations on the podcast / story being a wonderful success (least I think it turned out that way) and on the birth of your new minion.  I can’t see what else you’ve got to put out… fiction wise I mean… I don’t need to see the Minions – well unless you REALLY REALLY fell like sharing…

You can follow Starla on Twitter @RiznPhnx or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.thedreamersthreadnovel.com/

Seriously check it out it’s a hell of a great story and a fantastic cast.

Our Next quick review is going to be a work in progress there still 7 wellafter tonight I think it’ll be 6 Episodes left to drop on a weekly Friday release schedule.  Cybrosis is an awesome hold on to your pants or you will be blown out of them (and really do you want to be blown out of your pants and just stand around in your undies and an Ipod you’ll likely be put on a list and not allowed near schools or petting zoos anymore) technothriller / cyberpunk action filled ride.  And that’s the first Episode it’s gets much better from there.  PC Haring did a great job with his cast and I think the production is great.  At times I think the music kinda overwhelms his narration but I find those few and far between and may actually be the way I’m listening they seem fine on my earbuds but when I go over my car speakers okay minivan speakers 😛 is when I have some trouble hearing him over the music…  It’s kinda like the Bionic Woman done right.  Teh characters have a realness to them that makes this one of the few Cyber Punkish novels / stories that I actually will finish.  I’m normally not a fan of the genre.  Then again I spend all day screwing with computers I really don’t need uber tech crap in my novels that just frustrate me and remind me of end users I use reading as an escape not a prison.  It’s actually making me wonder how many other Cyber Punk novels I should try to give another chance.  So yeah this one story is actually making me reconsider my stance on an entire freaking genre.

Thanks PC it’s a wonderful story so far and I can’t wait to get the last few episodes I really need to get that damned time machine finished and … wait here’s a note.. it has a totally kick ass ending I’m not going to spoil it love Future me… dammit book Blocked by meself …  RIIIIIICH!!!!!! I really need to kick future me in the nads if I meet myself…. but anyway… The action is fun, and is easy to bring it to the mind’s eye it’s a very cinematically written work… is that even an adverb… screw it, it is now!  It translates very well.

You can Follow PC on twitter @PCHaring or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.cybrosisnovel.com/

Both of these novels are very well done, both have a cast that I cannot think of any way to improve on that doesn’t make me sound like an egotistical ass (which I am) and that’s just because I’m jealous at how well these shows were / are done.

PC and Starla keep up the good work can’t wait to see what is next from either one.   I lucked out with Dreamer’ Thread I got to listen to it straight through, but I’m jonesing for more Cybrosis.. I might have to add PC to the don’t listen to until it’s done because it’s so distracting waiting for the next freaking episode.. and the dude releases ON TIME and I still can’t wait for the next Episode… I mean it’s not even like Sigler who get’s hit from out of the bleachers and you just wait and wait and wait for things to get back on track this is an on time weekly schedule.   I will gladly say that to this date in 2010 Cybrosis is 95% likely to be the best Sci Fi Podcast Novel I’ve listened to so far this year and Dreamer’s Thread easily takes a top 2 Placing just behind Nathan Lowell and Ravenwood (by a scant few points at that.)

Take it lite folks see ya on the other side.

Rich

Double sized 8 Qs with @MickBordet, and @KMLaw

It’s Monday and you know what that means right?  Yes I get off my lazy ass and post up 8 Questions – This week since I’ve been busy dealing with other things life has thrown my way I will bring you a double sized 8 Qs and an apology for letting life get in the way, but the only cure for that means you don’t get any more content from me either… hey put that pistol down… stop I mean it.. MOMMY!!!!

Without any further Ado here we have the Frightening minds behind Every Photo Tells their collaborative effort as well as their individual efforts of Some Other Scotland and Luscious Leftovers Mick Bordet and Katharina from Vienna

1 ) What prompted Some Other Scotland?

When I finished writing my first novel I had learnt so much that I wanted to get straight into writing the next one, but didn’t really have anything planned. This coincided with my first encounter with podiobooks.com and it seemed natural to create a podcast novel that would get my writing online and heard by an audience. I figured that if I was going to benefit from using the internet in this way, I might as well make use of its interactive nature to help form the story, hence asking people to choose a topic from recent news stories. Setting it in Scotland was just a way of keeping the locations and characters familiar to me and avoiding having to read too many news feeds.

2 ) A Lot of what Americans know about Scotland comes from movies and BBC programs that make it over here – Do Scottish folks actually eat Haggis? And what exactly is it? And if it’s what I think it is Why?

Let’s put it this way: the average Scottish supermarket probably dedicates about 0.05% of its chilled meat cabinets to Haggis, until the week before Burns’ Night when it leaps up to about 2%. I guess it is comparable the peak of popularity of turkey around Thanksgiving. Haggis is a spicy mix of minced sheep offal, onion and oatmeal, traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach and served with neeps and tatties (i.e. turnip and potato) – the description does put a few people off, but it’s not that far removed from a sausage and is, quite frankly, damned tasty.

3 ) What was the scariest moment in your life?

Going for a walk along a river where the sides of the valley became steeper until I ended up stuck on a near-vertical cliff face with a long drop below me, about 6 inches of ledge under my feet and no way to get back the way I had come because of the angle I had approached it from. Not expecting to find myself in that position, I had no climbing gear or anything that would help me get out and this was in the days before mobile phones. I knew that if I made one wrong move I’d be dead or severely injured; it was one of those ‘life flashing before your eyes’ moments. In the end I pulled myself up using exposed tree roots, hoping that they would hold my weight. Apparently they did.

4 ) What prompted the idea behind your joint effort with Katharina – Every Photo Tells?

We started writing a story a while ago where we took it in turns to write blocks of 500 words each, which I began based on inspiration from a photograph I took years ago. Katharina came across a blog with stories based on pictures and suggested we could expand on the idea as a joint venture.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I started with listening to the Spellbound theremin podcast (http://spellbound.purplenote.com) and was keen to try something similar myself, but didn’t just want to focus on music. When I came across the concept of serialised audiobooks, the idea just fit perfectly with what I was doing at the time.

6 ) When did you start writing and Why? Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing for my own enjoyment when I was about 13 – I wrote a series of short stories about a man with no bones in his body and his friends… a guy with a 6 foot long leg, a plastic bag and half a tin of spilt baked beans (called Marantaz for some reason). I wish I still had them – they were pretty ridiculous, but a lot of fun.

7 ) Are there any stereotypes about Scots that aren’t true really gets your goat?

I’ve never really been concerned about stereotypes; it’s just human nature to try to label and categorise things. Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that not every Scot wears a kilt, has a sporran full of haggis and does the Highland Fling all day long. I mean, I know at least two people who don’t 😉

I do enjoy taking a stereotype and playing with it to come up with something new, though.

8 ) What’s the Day Gig – and Does it Influence your writing, and if so how?

I do commercial crime pattern analysis, which is pretty interesting, but hasn’t influenced my writing (yet). It does take me around the country fairly regularly, which I think has an impact on some of my writing. I had a few years of travelling almost every week between London and Edinburgh, which became a major plot point of my first book, because it messes with your head after a while.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

0 mph (at least it was at the point of impact with my living room window. Stupid bird.)

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

How many songs have you written that now make you cringe?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

… try being second.

thanks for getting the grey matter moving 🙂

And Because I promised a double sized week this week I also include 8 Questions from Katharina from the Luscious Leftovers Podcast and the Every Photo Tells Podcast.

1 ) I have to say that Luscious Leftovers is the first podcast I have encountered with it’s mix of sensuality and food.  What prompted the Idea for the Podcast?

Other than the obvious: I could live on sex and food! I think nowadays both are widely under-appreciated, under-enjoyed and under-done. Whatever I can do to change that.

2 ) What was the worst trouble you got into as a child?

Pre-Skype times… extremely high phone bills and a weird thing for long distance relationships.

Oh, as a KID you said? Uhm… Pretty much the same. Only weird pen pals back then. I should’ve stayed away from the internet. Or maybe I am just AS weird…. Hmmm…. Need to think further about that.

3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I got that story told so many times, I don’t even know anymore if I remember it or if it was just my parents telling it so often….

It was my grandfather’s 60th birthday, I was about 4 years old. One night I woke up my dad, telling him I wanted to write my grandpa a story for his birthday. So my dad had to get out the old typewriter and I dictated him the story. It was about a hedgehog and another animal. Too bad I wasn’t able to find the story in my grandpa’s papers after he died…

4 ) Okay replace that Q with Who have you not been able to have on the show yet that you’re really wanting to be a guest?

Before I got him on the show I would’ve said Tee Morris. Now, to be completely honest, the ONE person that I really want on my podcast is my husband.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I listened only to MuggleCast and PotterCast for a long time. When I got into Lost, I started to look up podcasts according to the things I was interested in. Ended up on the forums of a big Lost podcast. That’s where I met a lot of people who wanted to try it out. So, about 2 years ago, I started my first podcast.

6 ) Okay I have to ask… Mozarts Balls?  Leave it to Austrian Scientists to clone a mans Genitals stuff them with Marzipan and Dip them in Chocolate…Why?

You know how there’s the tongue of this saint on display in a church in Italy?

No that’s not the reason – the German word “Kugeln” (Mozart Kugeln) does not mean the balls as in genitals in German. It just get’s lost in translation somehow. In German, “balls” are “eggs”. Don’t ask me why, though. ☺

7 ) You were hoping the episode you did with Pip would be too hot for Itunes?  Did you succeed and if not are you guys gonna make another run to get dropped?

No, I haven’t been banned from iTunes yet, and I am utterly disappointed to be quite honest. Yes, the goal was either to get banned from iTunes, invent the PORN tag or melt the whole internet in its entirety.

I will definitely try again – maybe I need to chance to some boy-on-girl-action this time… We’ll see. I haven’t given up yet!

8 ) And I might be losing you with the pop reference form here in America but just what would you do for a Klondike bar?  (Figured I’d throw one in for Mick’s sake)

I can imagine what the pop reference aims at. All I can tell you is what I would NOT do for it.

1) Give up the kilt

2) Give up Apple

3) Give up meat

Other than that…….. Uhm…….. ☺ Make me an offer!

Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

**Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

13.5 kilometres/hour

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is the highest number in LOST?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

I am trying my hardest not to say “make someone else do it instead” 😀

You can find Today’s wonderful guests online at the following locations.

Some Other Scotland – http://www.someotherscotland.com and over at podiobooks http://www.podiobooks.com/title/some-other-scotland

Luscious Leftovers – www.lusciousleftovers.com

On Twitter @MickBordet & @KMLaw

And Every Photo Tells – http://www.everyphototells.com/

General Pimpage

Today I want to talk about me…. but instead I want t o pimp 4 podcasts that I recently started listening to.    If I have time I might kick up a review for tomorrow but i realized that I haven’t just done ACTUAL random pimpage for entertainment in a while, it’s mostly been 8 Questions, Causes, and a couple of half ass reviews – yes I admit they’re half ass but I’m trying and I’m trying to get better… Siskel and Ebert I ain’t.

All four of the podcasts that follow are podcasts that I had to throw out my give it 4 episodes to decide its fate, each of them had me hooked at the first episode.  I’m riding these out hell or high water so far they rock, lets see if they can keep up the awesome factor they came out of the gate with.  Reviews of each will come out in due time, Empress Sword and Cybrosis are still in their run, Leviathan Chronicles  I believe is between seasons, and Dreamer’s Thread is finished.  So You’ll likely see the reviews for Leviathan Chronicles and Dreamers Thread pop up her in a couple weeks and the others closer to or after their completion run.  BUT all four casts are such a fun and engrossing listen that I have to pimp them now and try to bring these to light in case anyone glossed over them.  They’re all available over at Itunes, and I believe you can catch them at Podiobooks.com as well

I want to bring attention to PC Harring’s Cybrosis Novel.   It’s in a genre I really don’t usually read into but this Cyberpunk novel is kicking some serious ass so far.  I was only able to listen to a couple episodes before the fated great HD failure of 2010 but I liked what I heard and now that things are almost caught back up and my Itunes library is almost back to it’s former self and it’s now back on the Ipod you can follow @PCHaring on twitter and check the novel out at http://www.cybrosisnovel.com there will be a review after I catch up.

Another Notable and kick ass Podcast thus far is The Empress Sword from Paulettte Jaxton.  It’s a traditional fantasy story that takes a very untraditional twist.  It’s the kind of fantasy story I wanted when I was younger and can still enjoy now.  You can follow @PauletteJaxton on twitter and check the novel out at it’s home at http://empresssword.com/

We can’t forget Starla Huchton and The Dreamers Thread.  Here we have another victim of the great HD failure of 2010 but it’s back on the Ipod and I suspect should be finished shortly.  And expect a review of it shortly thereafter.  Fun story really enjoyed what I’ve been able to listen to so far.  You can catch her on Twitter as @riznphnx and catch the novel at http://www.thedreamersthreadnovel.com/

And lastly we can’t forget the leviathan in the room, sorry had to do it – The Leviathan Chronicles.  Here’s one I’ve been hearing kickass promos on for a while now, and just been too lazy to get over and check it out.  Again I’m kicking myself for my laziness, but I’m also kinda happy about my procrastination at the same time as that means I get to listen to Season 1 as damn near straight  through with as little downtime between eps as possible.  Kick ass production and cast, very quick to grab your attention and refuse to let go.  Be looking for the review for this bad boy in the VERY near future .  You can follow the Novel on Twitter at @LeviathanChrons and the site for the novel can be found at http://www.leviathanchronicles.com If you’re at work or someplace that you don’t want to cause a distraction turn the volume down or use headphones the site has an intro with music – kicak ass site so far too.

Today was just some general pimpage because I’ve got a few things on my plate, my novel that I’m working on, trying to beat the other stories in my head back into the cages so I can work on this, a few other projects in the works and the slow migration of what few files I managed to save from the great HD failure of 2010 to the new laptop… plus I’m lazy and have a cold that has been whupping my ass like my ma did when I was 3 and accidentally stole some penny candy so I’ve been trying to sleep it off a lot.

8 Questions With Brand Gamblin.

It’s Monday and you all know what that means.   No not that it’s time to give the sleeping Great Old Ones another does of that Ambien Suppository… ah hell actually yes it does… but it also means another round of 8 Questions.  This week we’re lucky to have The brain beind Calls for Cthulhu and the YA Podiobook Tumbler – Everybody let’s hear it for the one the only Brand Gamblin *Insert Kermit Freakout here* Yaaaaaaaay!!!!  (Kermit and Cthulhu…  hmmm wonder if there’s a tie in…..  Right now Kermit is in the midst of some dark plan to rouse the great old one and realizes I figured him out my life is now in danger…. and think about it Miss Piggy is bitch Kermit couldn’t actually like her she’s just meant as a breakfast… Pig = Bacon / Sausage / Ham hello perfect breakfast… and all the chickens that Gonzo kept around….  The muppet show was a front fora Cthulhu cult….)  That moment of oddity was brought to you by it’s Monday, it’s Morning and I need caffeine, and have a short… SHINY!!!! And now back to the regularly scheduled feature…. already in progress.

4 ) What inspired Calls for Cthulhu, and where did you get that wonderful puppet?

Many years ago, I found a plush puppet of the mighty Cthulhu in a comic book store. I bought it on a lark, and at lunch the next day, I mentioned to some friends that it would be fun to do a call-in show for Cthulhu. I told them about the puppet, and one of my friends dropped his fork, saying, “You’ve got to do this.”

We put together a cheap set, green-screened in a background and made a little video. We put it up as a one-shot joke, but people started writing in, asking when the next one would be out. One video turned into two, then a short series, and so on.

Right now, you can get the puppet from anywhere ToyVault plushes are sold. You can buy them directly from us at http://www.CallsForCthulhu.com/store. You can also buy copies of the C4C DVD, and other Cthulhu-based merchandise.

5 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I remember a story I did for the school newspaper when I was in the 6th grade. It was the story of a girl who, while trying to discover time travel, ended up in “D&D world”. I thought it was silly and derivative, but the other students asked for me to continue the story. . . I got nervous and bailed on it.

6 ) You’re working for a Print release for Tumbler – Hows that going?  How far along in the project are we, and do we have an ETA when we can expect to see a finished product?

The plan was to have a finished version by now, but then Patrick E. McLean showed me how to make it about five times better, so I had to start a new round of edits. With a good headwind, I should be done with this latest round of edits by the end of March. I’m going to submit that version to some publishers, but because I’m anxious about seeing it published, I’ll probably also submit it to CreateSpace at the same time. If all goes well, I should have a print version available by Balticon.

7 ) Will we be seeing any new  C4C content or is ther enew content and Itunes just hates me?

With the writing, editing, and programming I’ve been doing recently, I haven’t had a lot of time to work on C4C. Occasionally ideas come to me and I scribble them down, but I couldn’t say when I’ll get time to do another episode.

8 ) What was the biggest WTF moment you’ve ever had or been witness to live?

In 1996, while moving cross-country, I was driving through Maryland in February. I was in a U-Haul truck, dragging my car behind me from Texas to Maryland. I was at that point where you have to bite your tongue, roll down the windows, and play loud heavy metal to stay awake. I was driving in the middle lane between two 18-wheelers, when one of them (not seeing me) started to move into my lane. It suddenly looked like a scene from Indiana Jones, where the walls start moving in on you, and you have to look for the hidden switch.

As I slammed on the brakes to get out of the danger zone, I realized that we were on a curve and the highway was slick with ice. I lost traction and the truck slid out of my control. I was pretty sure at that point that I was going to die.

As I slid clockwise, the car I was dragging slid counterclockwise due to basic physics. The car sliding in the opposite direction counterbalanced the truck keeping me moving straight despite the lack of traction. The 18-wheelers saw me as my headlights reflected off the side of their load, and veered away from me. I got the truck under control and continued slowly down the highway. My wife, waking up in the passenger seat, asked me if I wanted to switch drivers, but I was wide awake.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

The same as the airspeed of a swallow that mates regularly.

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is, “I’ll take Molybdenum for $200, Alex?”

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

Change Spock’s test to show him how you don’t like to lose.

You can Find Brand on the web at:

The Calls For Cthulhu site http://www.callsforcthulhu.com/

The Tumbler Novel Site – http://brandg.myip.org/Tumbler/

And on twitter as @BrandG

What you thought I was actually gonna not give you half the questions, this is text I don’t have a time limit…

1 ) What inspired Tumbler?

I’m a huge fan of Robert A. Heinlein, so when I decided to do the National Novel Writing contest, I wanted to write a story in the vein of Heinlein’s Scribner juveniles. The story had to be like one of his (young kid is lost and down on their luck, has to get up by their bootstraps, etc.), and I tried to incorporate as many elements as possible (strong scientific realism, communal showers, financially conservative heroes, powerful work ethic). I didn’t keep with his writing style exactly, but fans of Heinlein have told me that they enjoyed the work, without really drawing the connection.

2 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

When I first started Podcasting, I didn’t know I was doing it. I had a video show on YouTube (Calls for Cthulhu) and I set up a blog for the show. The blog had an RSS feed, and I only found out later that what I was doing was already an established process called “Podcasting”.

3 ) Project wise what’s next on the list?

After I’m done editing “Tumbler”, I need to finish the story I won NaNoWriMo 09 with. It’s a steampunk retelling of George Orwell’s 1984. It has more adventure, and less NewSpeak, but is still quite unsettling.

8 Questions with Pip Ballantine

It’s Monday again boys and squirrels and other woodland creatures that we cannot mention due to a gag order from PETA ( I swear eat one fried platypus and they brand you for life….) and no I don’t mean it ‘s time for it to put the lotion in the basket or it gets the fire hose (That was yesterday… erm nevermind) It’s time for another round of 8 Questions – This week we feature Philippa “Pip” Ballantine – The Podiosphere’s favorite saucy flightless bird or small furry banana strawberry thing you choose.

1 ) What’s one thing we Americans take for granted about New Zealand that really frustrates you?

Actually Americans don’t really know enough about New Zealand to take much for granted. The one thing people do know about us is what they have seen in Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is that beautiful, and that empty. (A country the size of Great Britain, but with only 4 million people in it) but it does have more than that. It’s something that you can’t explain, you have to come visit. (Honestly I am not working for Tourism New Zealand)
2 ) What’s next podcast wise after Digital Magic finishes it’s run?

It will be the anthology series set in the world of Geist. I am not quite sure how many people I will have involved in it, but I am hoping lots of other podcasters will be excited to join me in. I am looking forward to exploring the world.
3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I first started writing when I was about thirteen, and I guess I started because I was a voracious reader. I read all my Dad’s books and thought ‘I can do that’. My first book was a story about a woman haunted by some demonic creatures she could only see out of the corner of her eye. Which is interesting, because elements of that are in Geist.
4 ) Erotica Ala Carte got booted out of Itunes after the 1st Episode.  Did that fluster or flatter you?

I think that happened because itunes was clearing the literature category of anything sexual. I am not sure why (because itunes never communicate or respond) but it doesn’t seem to have effected the numbers of listeners. I was actually kind of impressed!

5 ) Why Erotica?

Why not? 🙂 Actually I did it because I was afraid of erotica. I think a writer should be always able to write what the story requires. Sex reveals a lot about the characters, and can be a plot point as well.  I didn’t like the fact that I was shutting the bedroom door all the time. So like a good, stubborn person I decided to face my fears. I’m pretty happy with the result.

6 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Tee Morris. Enough said? 🙂
He was my colleague at DragonMoon Press and he was always banging on about the joy of podcasting- little did I know that it would be so addictive.
7 ) Why are New Zealanders called Kiwis?

Many people think it is the fruit, but it started long before NZ started growing them. It’s the bird- though why we nicknamed ourselves after a nocturnal, flightless bird I cannot say. I think it has something to do with World War I and regimental crests or some such.

8 ) Were you able to pull a deal with Ace like Sigler was able to do with Crown to allow you to podcast Geist and it’s sequel?

Unfortunately not. The anthology deal was the best we could do. I think publishing is slowly coming around to the idea, but it is still a work in progress. We’ll have to see how that pans out.
** Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I wouldn’t know, all our birds are flightless
b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

At what age does a man mature like a fine cheese
b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

If at first you don’t succeed keep podcasting

Pip can be found online at her own site http://www.pjballantine.com/

Pip is also organizing the Boom Effect Auction a benefit for Sonic Boom http://www.theboomeffect.org/

And of course on twitter as @PhilippaJane

8 Questions with Justin Macumber of the Dead Robots Society.

It’s Monday my friends and followers and stalkers.. (yeah you I noticed you back there with the live chicken and the weedhacker… sick freak… doesnt’ understand 500 yds… ) and we all know what that means – More bitching from Garfield.. No it means another round of 8 Questions. – Today we have Justin Macumber the creator and one of the original hosts of the Dead Robots Society that is still with the show.  Justin also had a short Story featured in Ray Gun Revival, and has podcasted that Story (now a Chapbook available from his website below) The Story is – The Ties that Bind a Tale of the Breaking Dawn – I Liked it a lot I recoment you go download it right now… I’ll wait… really.  He also has another Chapbook that he podcasted – The Pirates of the Crimson Sands – also available at his website (also well done in my not so humble opinion).  Justin is a fun and talented writer and host of the Dead robots Society, plus all around really great, friendly, and helpful guy.
On to the Interogatio.. er Interview… yeah Interview… (and for the record no Dead Robots were harmed during the making of this 8 Questions no matter what Justin says… )

1 ) What prompted you to create the DRS?

1. I had been listening to podcasts for a couple of years, and hearing so many normal individuals like me find a way to express themselves in a way that touched the lives of similar fans was empowering. I wasn’t sure what topic I was versed or passionate enough about to create a podcast around until I started listening to Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing” and Michael Stackpole’s “The Secrets” podcasts. Then it hit me – writing. I came up with the title Dead Robots’ Society pretty quickly after that, and the rest is history.
2 ) Are you guys ever gonna stop giving Ryan grief over the “Topless Street Crossing”?

2. Maybe, but we’ll never stop giving him grief about SOMETHING. I mean come on, the guy’s Canadian – he’s got it coming. So damn smug and superior…

3 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

3. After coming up with the name and the theme, I started hunting around for ideas on where to host the show, what sort of equipment I needed, software, and then I made an effort to find hosts who were like me – young(ish), aspiring, fun, and vocal. Getting hosting and a recording rig together were easy compared to finding the right people to host the show with me. We’ve gone through several over the two plus years we’ve done the show, and I’ve loved them all. Ryan, though, has been with me since the beginning, and I wish the guy lived closer so that we could be friends in the real world. I really like him, despite all the crap I give him. He’s good people. Terry started out as a listener and contest winner before we asked him to join us full time when some hosting chairs went empty, and it’s been the three of us for over a year now. We’ve had people ask to come on as hosts, and we’re talking about it, but the problem with it is that the more voices you have, the more difficult interviews and discussions become. If we were all in the same room it might be different, where we can see each other wanting to say something, but online we occasionally trip over each other and interrupt one another, and that gets worse the more people you have on. We’re talking about it though, so there might be more co-host changes in the future.

4 ) You had a four parter short story , I believe it was The Ties that Bind (loved the podcast version of it btw) printed in Ray Gun Revival, anything else coming in print in the near future?

4. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to have my stories do overtime work for me, appearing in more than one publication or website. “The Ties That Bind,” for example, was not only in Ray Gun Revival, but it also won Honorable Mention in the Writers Of The Future Contest, and I’ve self-published it for the Kindle, the iPhone, and in paperback form via CreateSpace. There’s also a free PDF version, all of which are available from my site (www.justinmacumber.com). Coming up I have a short story appearing in two publications at once. It’s called “Pirates of the Crimson Sands.” It was previously published in eMuse, but next up it will be appearing in the print version of Golden Visions Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy, and soon after it will be in a print anthology of podcasted short stories called “No Subscription Necessary: Dark, Light & Twisted Tales from the Podosphere.” I’m incredibly proud of the success both of these short stories have had, and it’s proof positive that a story can get you a lot of mileage if you try hard enough.

5 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

5. I wish I could say that I’d been writing since my hand could hold a pencil, but that isn’t the case. As a kid I was more interested in drawing. I was never very good at it, but enough people encouraged me to keep at it that I made it my central artistic focus for more years than I should have. But, as a teenager I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and one of my favorite things to do was to write the adventures my party would play through rather than use a store bought manual. I also dabbled a little in writing my own comic book, but I was more interested in the art side of it than the story, which I guess is why I eventually gave it up. In high school, though, I had two teachers who really took an interest in my writing, and who pushed me to do more of it. Because of them, and because of a little movie I saw called “The Dead Poets’ Society,” I shifted my attention from drawing to writing, and I’ve not looked back since.

6 ) Of the guests you’ve had on the show so far were there any that gave you that “HOLY CRAP we get to talk to _____!!!!111One One!” moment?

6. Oh sure. My first giddy interview came with Tracy Hickman. My childhood was filled with the stories that he and Margaret Weis wrote, and to this day I consider the man a master. So, when I got up the courage to ask him to be on our show, and he said yes, I nearly fell out of my seat. And then, when he was finally on the air with us, I really was just gobsmacked. Listening back to that show is painful, because I sound like such a fanboy sycophant. We’ve had Tracy on a couple of times since then, and the man is a pleasure to talk with. He’s gracious, he’s easy to talk to, he knows very much whereof he speaks, and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I feel incredibly fortunate that I can call him my friend. We’ve interviewed a lot of people, though, and I can’t say that a single one of them was ever rude or difficult. Doing this show, and speaking with these people, has reaffirmed my faith in the writing community. Now if only I could get Stephen King and Joss Whedon on the show… THEN you’d see real slobbering sycophancy.

(Editor Note – Really Who wouldn’t?)

7 ) Seriously the first thing you noticed about PG was Tiny Feet?

7. Have you seen his feet?! They’re tiny! Like a doll’s feet! When I met him he seemed so normal, but as soon as my eyes went to the floor and I saw those nubs for feet, I was amazed. Luckily the guy has enough intellect and charm to draw your attention away from it. And, I must say, the guy is damn handsome. Ladies, don’t let his small feet turn you away. I’m sure that isn’t an indicator of anything else.

8 ) Have there been any guests that you’ve been trying to get on the show but just haven’e been able to synch schedules?

8. Not really. For awhile getting Scott Sigler on the podcast seemed like some kind of cruel snipe hunt, but eventually we brought that beast to ground and wrangled him kicking and screaming onto the show. Everyone else, though, came on without too much difficulty. I’d like to have Michael Moorcock on, and he said he’d do it, but we have to wait for his schedule to clear up in the next couple of months. His Elric books were nearly as influential to me in my youth as Tracy Hickman was, so having him on will be wonderful. Might even be able to get PG to come out of retirement for that.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

b1. An African or European swallow? And really, isn’t that kind of racist?

b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

b2. The pants size I’d like to get back down to one day. Or the meaning of life. Your choice.

b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

b3. If at first you don’t succeed, give up and figure something else out for you life, because obviously that wasn’t it.

Justin can be found at his own Website http://www.justinmacumber.com/

as well as at the Dead Robots Society website http://deadrobotssociety.com/

and of course on Twitter as @JustinMacumber and @DRSPodcast