Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not just books...

In case you haven't heard, I don't only write.  I design too.  I'm currently entered in a game design competition here in Toronto.  The deadline for the 1 page proposal is Friday.  It just checked up on that today and thank goodness I did.  I thought it was NEXT Friday.  I might have missed it.  I managed to write up 2 proposals today.  I'll tweak them over the next day and hopefully they'll get me into the semi-finals.  Wish me luck!

Meanwhile I have a game finance conference to prepare for that takes place next week.  So I basically don't get a break for the next 2 weeks between the games and the book, and I'm not getting paid for any of this.  I really must be crazy!

A review that's not a review and more!

I've been so busy getting ready for the first book promo (that took place last Sunday) that I haven't had time to post.  Here's a quick recap on the reviews that came in over the last week:

My Life In Not So Many Words "The book is full of rich characters, fantastic adventures and danger all the way through it. It even has pirates! So much fun!"

The Bookologist "Shiraz's flowing and effortless writing pulled me into a world of magic and fantasy. In other words, it's amazing."

Ramblings of the Teenage Bookworm "There was never a dull moment, there was a lot of action, adventure, and fantasy."

Today's Adventure "Mysterious and magical- I was entranced."

Wow.  That's pretty good for one week!

The big surprise, however, came from a blogger who didn't read the book.  Check out what Gwendolyn at A Sea Of Books wrote!

The first promo wasn't bad.  I need some good signage (which I'm working on) and a better audio-visual display (also working on).  I think I'll have all the kinks out by the big 8 hour promo on Halloween.  Rupinder (one of the creators) said he's hiring 3 teens to play Alex, Scorpius, and Maya at the event.  I've got a room booked at the bar across the street for afterwards.  It'll end up being a 16 hour day for me promoting then hosting.  I'll collapse shortly afterward.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The continuing evolution of the English language

(I'm sure this topic has probably come up in other places, but I'm new here, so it's my turn.)

As I see the word nite appearing with increasing frequency, the writer in me cannot help but cringe. However, the programmer in me looks at that as an efficient way to spell a word that, given its spelling, should not sound like that.  Any Monty Python fan will tell you that knight is pronounced kinnigget! (Yes, you need the exclamation point ... and a French accent too.)  Being in Shakespeare plays has taught me that we used to pronounce the "ed"s when we made things past tense.  So I'm going back and forth on whether "night" should evolve into "nite".  The pronunciation is clearer when you read it.

I think the question that haunts me is "Where does it stop?" Will we pick up a novel one day and read: "Tonite ur life will becum what u hopd 4," sed Annie." and accept this as prose?  I don't mean anytime soon (I hope not anytime soon) but say 50 or 100 years from now.  It's a scary thought, but think of what someone from Shakespeare's time would say if (s)he read a book today.

There's an American joke that asks why "snow plow" doesn't rhyme.  Hmmm, maybe because it's snow plough?  But then shouldn't "plough" rhyme with "though"?  Argh!  Maybe we should spell it "snoe plow".  I know I'm rambling, but the thing I'm getting at is, can we force the evolution of English in a direction that makes sense?  I don't want to spell "your" and "you're" as "ur".  Enough people don't know the difference already, and I don't want to have to decode the book I'm reading.  I can learn to spell colour and honour without "u"s (as much as it hurts) but I think we have to draw a line somewhere.

"Ain't" is in the dictionary.  Has anyone seen used in prose and not just as dialogue?  Because apparently it's allowed now.  And with blogs becoming a standard information source, and many bloggers either not doing or not having the resources to do a proper edit, bad spelling and grammar is being read and learned from a new group of "officials" and accepted as correct.  I can't tell you how many news articles I've read online have made me cringe.  Half the time I don't want to comment on the article, but on the writer's lack of skill with writing.  I just don't want to appear anal to everyone by saying, "Guy, 'Their massing troups along the boarder' is just so wrong!" when the concern should be the imminent war. (I'm also hoping I haven't made too many errors in this post while complaining about them.)

So just where is our language headed?  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More cool reviews!

Here're the reviews that came in while I was trying to get from point V to point M.

All Booked Up "This is in many ways an absolutely spectacular book."

Violet Crush "Honestly, I don’t remember when I had so much fun reading an action packed fantasy novel before."

Wordsmithsonia "I found this to be a wonderful story of Good vs. Evil."

Thanks to all the bloggers for their time and great feedback!

Back in the T-dot.

Yes, it's been a while since a post, but moving across the country two days after my last day at work while still doing all the regular DotS stuff has had me pretty busy.  I have the book promotion starting next Sunday and decided to have a few posters made up to display behind me.  Due to a miscommunication, the printer made prints 1'x1.5' instead of 2'x3'.  Now I've got these gorgeous pics but don't know what to do with them.  That happened on the Friday before I left Victoria, B.C., so there wasn't time to do a correction.

Friday was also an interesting day in terms of things to do.  I went into the UPS to see if I could borrow a trolley on Saturday to cart my 30" monitor in for shipping.  They then informed me that they are closed on the Saturdays of a long weekend (Thanksgiving in Canada) so I'd have to drop off the monitor before close.  This meant giving up my lunch hour to go home, pack up the monitor, and get it to them.  Annoying, but not too difficult except for the fact that at sometime during the day a guy would be arriving at my office to take my car away to be shipped by train to Toronto.  (That sounds wrong. Shouldn't it be "trained" to Toronto?) So now I'm in a race against the clock.  Only I can't take the easy route and just go home and pack the monitor right away because I've meetings at work to close up everything I've been doing. Ack!

God was on my side, however, and set fire to one of the ferries between Vancouver and Victoria, delaying all ferries for the rest of the day, including the one the driver was on.  He didn't need to go to such great lengths, but it was appreciated.  So, I got everything done and am now safely back in Mississauga, Ontario, until at least the end of the year.  I'm already missing my car and my monitor but won't see either until next week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Back after the flu tried to kill me

Last week was bad, very bad.  Teeth chattering cold flashes and sweat drenched hot flashes.  It felt like my rib cage had shrunk so that it hurt whenever I inhaled.  God help me whenever I coughed or laughed.  Luckily, my ribs have expanded again and just in time for some great reviews and one ok one:

My Blog 2.0 "I enjoyed this mystical magical adventure wholeheartedly."

ForeWord Reviews “Non-stop action adventure.”

The Mommy Rambles "Loved, loved, loved! this book!"

La Femme Readers "I couldn't help but get lost in this world Shiraz and his team created."

These bloggers are really boosting my confidence that DotS may one day become a best-seller.
Big thanks to everyone!