Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

February 14, 2011

Writing Patents

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 4:12 am
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I’ve been meaning to write a post about my trip to the Philippines, but patents have been taking all my time recently. If you check my youtube channel, I do have a few videos of traffic and some of the crazy things I saw, but no time to post up some of the best of 600+ pictures that I took.

Most of them are of the wedding I attended, but there were a number of Baguio, and Tagaytay, two interesting places that I visited besides Manila.

 

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December 17, 2010

Turn your *$%^ phone off

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 8:38 pm
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Went to Starbucks this morning for coffee and had to stand in line behind an annoying woman talking on her cellphone. Not only was she talking loud enough for everyone in the place to hear, even over the noise of the espresso machines, but it was one of those annoying conversations about nothing.

As she got to the front of the line to order, the cashier had to ask her three times what she wanted because she didn’t have the decency to stop her conversation and listen to what the cashier was saying. After the order she couldn’t figure out the change that she was given, thinking that somehow she got screwed, because she wasn’t listening to the cashier count back the money. After another couple of minutes she finally realized that the change was correct, but still didn’t move out of the way to let the next person, who was me, put in my order. I nearly had to elbow her out of the way to get to the cashier, who’s now waving me forward, and nearly getting upset with me because I’m not putting in my order.

Meanwhile it’s cold outside and the line is now extending out the door.

And she’s still talking about nothing.

And the people behind me are becoming restless.

And the drone in front of me feels like a mosquito buzzing next to my ear.

It took nearly every bit of control for me not to say something to her, or punch the little blue button on her headset, but I knew she wouldn’t have understood what I was saying, and probably called the cops on me or something.

I gave her the stink eye as she finally moved out of the way, but it was as if nothing else in the world around her existed except for the phone call about nothing.

Rude. Just plain rude.

 

November 30, 2010

Uptight Rejection Rejection

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 1:24 am
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This post by literary agent Janet Reid really made me chuckle. Apparently an author submitted something to said agent, and received an immediate rejection letter for their work. They were so enraged that they ripped it into pieces, and sent it back with a carefully personalized note that not only derided Ms Reid for the rejection, but insulted her with profanity.

Smooth move moron.

Not only will Ms Reid never represent you, (and rightly so), but using that type of tactic is going to give you a bad reputation among the agent community at large. You’ve just signed your own death warrant among any agent for quite a while.

Of course this kind of behavior also speaks volumes about the character of the author. Anyone who feels so strongly that agents should be lining up to fight for their debut work obviously doesn’t understand that publishing is a business and rejections are how it works.

I don’t know if the work was any good or not, but based on the speed of the rejection, and the behavior of the author, I suspect it was crap. I’ve been known to make mistakes once in a while, but I doubt that I’m wrong on this one.

Read a few books about how to write, follow the discussions on writers blogs, and write a few books before you get all full of yourself and make a mess in the process.

November 18, 2010

I want to Quit

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 9:32 pm
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Go check out my latest post on Adventures in Creative Writing here

in which I discuss my latest rejection and what I am going to do about it.

 

 

November 2, 2010

Started on the next novel

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 3:54 am
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I have finally started on the next novel. I decided to use two of my old characters in sort of a continuation from where they left off, but with an entirely new premise. The premise involves gaming technology once again, though this one has quite a different twist.

I have a working title, but we’ll see if it lasts.

It will probably take a year to finish it, but that’s OK. I am still querying the last one.

September 15, 2010

Reader Comment

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 7:52 pm
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I just got a message from a reader who was pretty upset. Not for my fiction book, but for one of my computer language textbooks. It wasn’t about the actual content of the book, but the way that it was printed.

By the indignant tone, it seems the reader must think that I have have a set of quill pens in a backroom where I hand print each page, carefully glue them together and give each one a final hug, before they are sent into the wild.

Let me give you a hint. I don’t do that.

What I actually did was type a bunch of characters into a word processor and emailed the files to the publisher. A little while later, I received some galley proofs, which I looked over, and waved a rubber chicken over them to bless them for publication. That was it. End of story.

I had no input on the cover image, the margins on the page, what type of paper was used, what color ink was used, what font was used, the line spacing, whether or not it was translated into Swahili first, nothing else. So to complain to me that the printing looked of inferior quality, doesn’t really help all that much. Yes, I can and will complain to my editor, but at the end of the day, I’m not really expecting that my comment will go very far. It won’t be for lack of trying, but honestly, I’m pretty far removed from where those type of decisions are made.

Given today’s economic woes, I can imagine that publishers are trying to cut costs, and maybe the quality of the printing is suffering. If so, I’m not happy about that and I will do my best to fix it, but at the moment, I’m feeling pretty powerless.

I don’t fault the consumer for complaining if the product is substandard. I would do the same. But talking to me about it is like telling a musician that his CD sounds like crap. It doesn’t really help. Once he plays the music, it’s pretty much out of his hands.

If you don’t like the quality of a book, CD, or other manufactured product you should complain, but complain to the guy with the printing press, not the artist.

September 3, 2010

Lunchroom Posters

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 11:16 pm
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I crack up everytime I see one of them in a lunchroom of a company. I mean, who reads those things?

You’ve seen them. They say stuff like “watch where you’re going while traveling up or down staircases”, or “wear appropriate shoes for the type of job you do”, or “There are five classes of fire”.

OK…. the first couple sound pretty much like common sense to me.

And for the third one, I’m not quite sure what good does it do me to know that whether a grease fire is a class K, while a fire in a refrigerator is a class C. If there’s a fire, I’m pretty much grabbing the local fire extinguisher and squeezing the life out of it while pointing it in the general direction.

And if someone is choking in the cubical next to me, do you really think I’m going to take the time to run to the lunchroom to read the notice on how to do the Heimlich maneuver and run back in time to save my neighbor. Either I’ve been trained to do it and can immediately apply it, or I can call 911 and hope for the best. Any other solution is pretty much pointless.

So why are companies required to have these notices in their lunchrooms?

Pretty much to cover their asses if something bad happens to one of their employees.

Company spokesperson: “We’re sorry that Mr Smith choked to death, but we had the proper signage in our lunchroom”

The ideal solution of course would be to have people at the company who are trained to perform the appropriate safety functions, so Mr Smith gets the help he needs right away, but the last thing I would want to see is that “regulated” into being. Companies already have enough anti-business regulations to maintain, they don’t need more.

I’m just saying that the poster basically provides no value other than it allows the HR person to check off a box on a form that the proper signage is located in the proper place. No one reads it, and if an emergency situation happened where someone had to apply a technique from the poster, it’s too late. They don’t have time to figure it out.

August 30, 2010

Snake Puns

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 5:56 pm
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While watching the news this morning, Fox News was making a big deal about the fact that an extremely deadly rattlesnake had escaped from the Atlanta Zoo, even though they had all kinds of safeguards, etc.

Me: Is that what they call a reptile dysfunction?

The wife answered without even cracking a smile.

Wife: I think they have a pill for that.

I’m going to slither away now thank you very much 🙂

August 27, 2010

Scary Thanksgiving

Filed under: Stories,Writing — douglaslperry @ 4:52 am
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A few years ago I was in LA for Thanksgiving at my, at the time, sister-in-law’s place. It was the night before all the food, and we were sitting in the family room watching TV. I don’t have a clue what was on, but all of the sudden I heard a helicopter come over the house very low, and I saw a bright light through the windows.

At first I didn’t think much of it, but then I heard it go by again. I immediately knew what was happening.

I jumped up, shut off the TV, and ran around the house turning off the lights. I ran to each of the doors and made sure they were locked. I told everyone to be quiet and we sat in the dark watching the helicopter trace back and forth across the sky.

It was erie hearing the whop whop of the blades increase in tempo as the chopper flew towards us, then slow again as it went past. The searchlight looked like something from an alien ship as it traced its beam back and forth from above.

A few minutes later we heard police sirens, lots of them, and a few moments after that, they suddenly stopped. I stared out the front window not sure what I would find, but I saw nothing.

After 15 minutes or so, the helicopter flew off, and the neighborhood went quiet. We sat in the dark for another half an hour or so, until it finally seemed like everything was over. We went to bed, and wondering what the heck had happened.

The next morning I went out to retrieve the paper and there it was on the front page. The police had been chasing a suspect on the street near my sister-in-law’s house, he had lost control of his van and crashed into a light pole. He exited the vehicle, jumped over the fence in her gated community, and ran down her street. He entered a house just down the street where they had a party going on. The fugitive entered the house, went to an upstairs bedroom, pulled out a handgun, and shot himself.

Needless to say, we were shocked. I knew when I saw the light, that the police were looking for someone. I wasn’t sure that he was in our neighborhood, but I thought we’d better be careful just in case. I’m not sure if our efforts prevented him from coming into my sister-in-law’s house, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

July 28, 2010

What a job

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 4:38 am
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A friend of mine has a friend, who writes software. Not your garden variety software, this software is used as the platform to display a lot of porn on the internet. That’s a little different, but that friend has another friend who works at the same company doing quality assurance. His job, if you can believe it, is to look at porn sites all day to make sure they are working properly. That’s pretty weird if you ask me.

I know some guys would love that job, but not me. If I was forced to, I might last a few hours, but then it would get ugly. Not the women necessarily, but I’d get sick of it pretty darn quick.

The software company gets a new benefits plan, and an HR coordinator visits to discuss their benefits. She goes through the standard pitch on the medical plan, the dental plan, the vision plan and moves onto workplace etiquette. She describes abusive situations, things that you are not allowed to do in the office, and finally moves on to computer screens. She describes the things that you can and cannot have on your computer screens, for instance, pornography.

Apparently, no one filled her in as to what the company does.

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