Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book News To End The Year With

I'd hoped to have the first draft of Leap of Faith done by now, as the end of the year was my notional deadline for getting past that milestone.  As it turns out, I'm only about 2/3 of the way through the initial draft right now.  I've experienced a few slowdowns along the way, none of which have been the result of writer's block or a lack of interest in the story itself... which is good.  The delays have mainly been due to my poor work ethic - a problem I've suffered from ever since I retired - and numerous disruptions to my routine, the largest of which were the three bathrooms being completely renovated this fall.  Still, I feel bad that I've fallen behind.  My new goal is to complete Draft 1 by no later than the end of February, which would still allow for a release date in May or early June.

For the record, I started Chapter 13 this week.  Normally that would mean I was nearly done, as Game Over, No Brother of Mine and Old Wounds all had 13 chapters plus an epilogue.  Leap of Faith has tended to have shorter chapters, however, such that I've only written 150 pages and covered about 2/3 of the story in getting to Chapter 13.  I expect it to weigh in at 18 or 19 chapters and around 220 pages by the time it's all said and done.

In other book news, I found out today that Vicki and I have been invited to another book club meeting for No Brother of Mine.  My second novel was the November/December book for the club that a longtime friend of mine is in, and now that they've read it they've decided that they'd like to discuss the book with me at their next meeting, in mid-January.  We both had a great time at the previous such experience and so I'm very much looking forward to seeing what this new group thought of it.

And with those updates out of the way, 2013 draws to a close.  Happy 2014 to everyone out there!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holmes (Finally) Enters The Public Domain In The U.S.

No, not me!  I'm talking about the other Holmes, the one who's - arguably - slightly more famous than I am.

I mentioned this case back in February, and now a decision has come down, freeing all of the pre-1923 stories of Sherlock Holmes for public use.  I'd call this a victory for those of us who favour a reasonable amount of copyright protection, rather than the ridiculous version that corporations seem to be hellbent upon creating.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hulk Vs Wonder Woman

A seriously gorgeous bit of Mike Deodato artwork that went missing while being shipped via US Postal Service.  Someone out there in the big wide world has it, either by accident or by theft, and they need to return it to the artist.  But wow, what a piece!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Is It With Plagiarism All Of A Sudden?

First we had Rand Paul lifting entire paragraphs of his speeches from Wikipedia and elsewhere (uncredited), and now it's Shia LeBeouf.  As the linked article points out, he not only stole the material for his short film but also lifted the wording of his apology!  Do people really think that they can get away with plagiarism in 2013, when everything is at our virtual fingertips and crowdsourcing happens constantly, whether we want it to or not?  I almost wonder if LeBeouf foolishly believed that Daniel Clowes was some obscure cartoonist that only he had ever heard of, and therefore nobody would be likely to pick up on the fact that his 'creative process' was really just theft.

I find stuff like this truly shocking.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Canada Post Changes Read Like An Onion Article

Judge for yourself, but how do you complain about declining usage of your services in one breath and announce a nearly-60% price increase for those same services in the next?!  Seriously?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

I So Wanted To Love Killzone: Shadow Fall But Can't

I really enjoyed Killzone 2 and Killzone 3's single player campaigns, even if the multiplayer of each took a little getting used to.  Therefore I was very much looking forward to seeing what Killzone: Shadow Fall had to offer, especially since it was one of the PS4 launch titles.  Having now spent about 3 or 4 hours in the game, I'm shocked by how much animosity I'm feeling toward it.

This review of the game in the Globe and Mail perfectly sums up my feelings, including the headline: 'more fun to look at than to play.'  I've now had three experiences in the campaign where I've considered giving up on the game entirely.  I made it through the first two but am not sure how much more I'm willing to invest in stumbling through the latest pile of mud I've found myself mired in.  You'd think a game that almost always provides you with a visual cue as to your next objective wouldn't be so damned frustrating in trying to play through, but you'd be wrong.  There are also smaller annoyances like the way pressing the Right arrow on the D-pad often gets interpreted as an Up arrow instead, resulting in the Objectives screen popping up when I really wanted my Echo pulse to go out.  Or the fact that the text on the screen is so small that I can only read it if I sit within a couple feet of our 50-inch TV screen!  Who the hell QA'd this turd?

I was completely prepared to adore this game and yet I find myself on the verge of abandoning it.  What a disappointment.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

For Better Or For Worse, Wonder Woman Is On Her Way

Zack Snyder announced today that he's including Diana of Themyscira, better known as Wonder Woman, in the upcoming, still-untitled sequel to Man of Steel.