Ultrawave Radio – Dan’s Own Radio Station

Ultrawave Radio

I think it’s time for the reveal tonight, though the programming is still slightly rough around the edges.  I introduce you all to my next venture, to listen to while I’m writing my next novel, my very own radio station…

ULTRAWAVE RADIO

The link above is set to open a new tab.  On the right side, top of the list, it will play the station without loading up anything else.  If the advertisement video plays, just hit pause so you can listen to the music I personally enjoy.

As of right now, the distribution for my channel is only one service big at Radionomy. Give me a few weeks to a month, I’ll have it on iTunes, ShoutCast and pretty much any other streaming site I can affiliate with.

Please tell your friends.  Tell your enemies, but let folks know that Dan the crazy one has started his own radio station.  In time, I’ll have content coming up, like a live broadcast, a few shout-outs for friends and family, just some cool stuff.

I have it set to play my own advertisements for my novels every two hours, twenty four hours a day, and I used my own announcing/stage voice skills to produce them as professionally as I could.

Also, if you note on the right hand side of my blog, the link will always be there, even after this post is long buried in time.  Listen and enjoy!  Chances are running high that I’m listening to it at the same time, writing up another universe full of adventures for my readers to enjoy.

:)

UPDATE 6/20/2015 – There was a minor issue with some songs repeating every hour yesterday.  That has been resolved.  I have over 65 tracks from popular 80’s songs, stretching more than four hours back to back.  The issue was in the timing spread in the code, which I fixed.  Now we have a bit more diversity from one hour to the next.  :)

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Heads Up – New Blog – Non Fiction Only Over There

Well, I decided to do it, and thus it is done.  I’ve started a second blog, all based on things that crowd my mind when I’m not writing fiction.  All of those articles are fact checked, and sources provided as links within the articles themselves.

Truth, Trends and Technology

Those are my interests outside of the word processor, and for some of those who like my writing, it might provide a new insight into how my thinking machinery works.

Some of those articles may surprise you.  Like the one I did on making home made hot cocoa.

Check it out or not, it’s brand-spanking-new and filled with a spattering of articles, with only one imported from my main one here.

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June News, Updates and Announcements


Early Rendering of a Bird Woman

Hello folks!  Time is flying by, and she has arrived at last, to dish out the information! What I’m doing, what I’m not doing, what I’m writing and what is to be expected.  On a really cool note, I’ve been honing my cover making skills.  I’ll be talking about that too!

Current Project

Power SurgePlease visualize a bottle floating at sea, during the night, with tall waves.  Inside that bottle is the next novel I’m working on, and the cork is on tight.  What has caused this minor set-back?

Drugs.  The legal ones.  New blood pressure pills.  New Diabetes medications.  Pretty much everything that can make you feel tired, less energy, but the wounds that are refusing to heal have now healed.  I’ve just about adjusted, and I’m more alert these days because of it.  I’m back in front of my computer creating content again.  Thank goodness!

I’m not as far along with Power Surge as I hoped to be, but it’s still moving along.  I need to rewrite two chapters, because I was lopsided in my thinking with energy draining legal drugs when I created it.  It’s why I had to stop writing for almost a month.  Yuck.  I could have had that novel nearly finished by now.

Cover Creation

practice coverThis cover isn’t a story.  It isn’t a novel.  It’s practice in creating covers.  Using DAZ Studio 4.8 Pro, Adobe Photoshop CS2, Paint.net and royalty free photo stock, I made a cover I titled Deagen’s Promise.  There are four different elements blended together here, counting the title work.  Everything you see is on purpose.  Let me know in the comments section if this is a quality cover, or does it suck worse than a starving vampire that’s chewing on an old used surgery sponge?

I can save anywhere from $40 to $499 by making my own covers, depending on the artist of course, whom is offering their services.  There are some artists who like my work enough, I don’t have to offer a payment promise, but that would be taking advantage of my friends.  I won’t do that.  There was a day when I had less than $5 in my bank account.  Today, I am up to $18.59 in funds after expenses, but I can save up my royalties for a boost if it’s needed.  However, the more I do for myself, the more I have for other things, like Marketing and Advertising, none of which are free.

Announcement Time

I maybe starting a new blog.  No worries, I am not abandoning this one here, but the time has come where my real life issues that have nothing to do with my novel writing has got to be shared.  I’m talking about technology.  Trends.  Issues that affect all of our daily lives.  Some of my posts here was that needs bubbling over, like my car review post I did some time back.  Nothing to do with my novels, everything to do with my anger at car design flaws for the bumper.

By keeping that there, I can focus more here.  That is if I decide to start it up.  I will know for sure in a few weeks, and I’ll share the update, no matter which way I’ll lean.

In Closing

There is so much more I wanted to say, but there are things I want to clarify before speaking of them.  Information I need to review before writing about it.  I do my best to fact check everything I read, so when I discuss it here with you, I’m not talking about somebody else’s best guess.  I’m talking about verifiable facts.  With that cryptic comment, I bid you all a good night.  This will make far more sense in a future post in a few weeks.

Stay safe out there!

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From Reader To Writer – A Key Moment

What turns a reader into a writer?

We must understand that all writers are, and will always be, a reader first.  It’s the primary ingredient, as we chose at one point in our lives to be a writer.  For those who juggle words through the smithy of the human imagination, to produce a set of words that creates new worlds, along with the beings who populate them, that first flash of insight comes in different variations.

For some, they want a better ending.  They can visualize it.  Another writer might want to create a new niche for their point of view.  Yet another may want to dazzle a genre in a manner never before seen, with the hopes of sparking a new trend.  Inside all of these situations, these people have formed their opinions and gleaned their facts from reading.

There is that rare individual who will create a novel because it’s something they would want to read for themselves, as nobody has ever written that kind of book before.

The main question, however, hasn’t been truly answered yet.  I’ve addressed the influences, but the actual grain of change is a different matter entirely.  What turns a reader into a writer?  It’s a combination of several factors.  Like some recipe for baking. There are many ways to bake different kinds of cookies, but the method of mixing and cooking remains mostly unchanged.

First ingredient is courage.  It takes pure courage to put something you’ve written before the eyes of another human being.  Hearing your creation dressed down by a critic, no matter how friendly or helpful, can be raw on the nerves.  The vision is tarnished.  The words no longer glow on the page.  Your mind has a new, dark cloud that now doubts your own talent for writing.  Overcoming that level is a matter of introspection, as the courage needs to be generated by the writer.

Second ingredient is boldness.  A writer must be bold enough to assemble ideas in a manner that leads another human being down a predestined path.  If the writing itself is fractured, the style comes out feeling lost, there is no boldness, no directive that leads a reader in the direction the writer hopes for.  One must be bold.  One must lead as such, or the novel won’t come out right.

Third ingredient is imagination.  A writer must possess an imagination to create, or they run the risk of assembling a novel filled with words from other writers.  As such, they can doom their own careers, so they must come up with their own style.  Their own worlds. Their own unique voice, as they master their stories for the enjoyment of other readers.

The final ingredient is love.  No, this isn’t some cheesy way to get girls to follow me on Facebook.  Love is something a writer must have when they are creating their novels. They have to love writing, they have to love their genre, they must love their characters, or all is lost from the beginning.  Writers love to write, because they fell in love with reading first.  Pay close attention to this, because like any kind of love, writers can fall out of love with their work.  When that happens, their fans know it, and it shows in future novels.

There are other ingredients, like there are for cookies.  The basic recipe is always there, but when we add what is unique from our personalities, we change the flavors of those well-written cookies we call novels, and the more variety we have, the better it is for the multitudes of readers who want to sample that tasty novel all for themselves.

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The Beauty of a Teardrop

Tear

What makes a soul cry, be it pain, loss, love or the intense happiness of life, it forms a tear from the eye.  The windows to our souls give back only a little of what they take in, but there is something more to this.  Something more to the tear.  It’s not simple.  It’s deep.  It has meaning.  This is what I am writing about tonight.

What is a teardrop?  It’s more than water.  It is clear, pure in appearance.  Just by looking, one cannot see the hidden salt.  Salt is a preserver.  It attracts more water to it, as if gathering in the purity.

Each tear that falls is a statement to our world.  No matter how it’s generated, it’s a touch of crystal clear hope, created to be perfect and tiny and never, ever insignificant.  You know each and every tear that has fallen from your eyes in your entire life.  Even now, if one was to form, to enter our world, you would know it without a doubt.

So just what is happening here?  That tear is generated by you.  Your eyes.  Your soul. Your heart.  Your capacity for compassion, for grief, for the hopes of the heart that not all is lost, nor is life ever a mere moment that comes and goes.  You generate a drop of purity, touched by the preserver of life, salt, and given back to the world.  It’s a sign that no matter what happens, no matter what it was that makes those tears come out, something good is being added back to the Earth.

Many of us, as humans, with our capacity to complicate even the most simplest things, sometimes can’t see that teardrop for what it truly is.  We can dismiss them as trivial, or meaningless at times.  However, when we shed them, the entire world all around us notices, even if we don’t think it does.

Human tears are precious.  Diamonds from our emotions, formed under the pressures of life and granted back to the world as only we can express them.  Don’t be afraid of a teardrop, because when your spirit commands the elements of your body to create them, it’s manifested by a decree of angels.

When the clouds in the sky weep, life is given to the world by the very essence that falls. The clouds have no idea this happens.  Clouds aren’t told of the dry, parched lands below them that they are bringing back to life.

To God, you are far more important than a cloud.  Your tears, when they fall, are going somewhere.  You are not told where.  You aren’t told of the benefits they bring to the places they go.  But I can assure you, there is a parched spirit in need in places we don’t notice, and those tears are bringing something that’s beneficial to them.

Ah, and the clouds above us.  If only they knew how much we love what they bring to our farms and flowers and what we drink to survive.  In the same light, if only we knew how much love that is aimed at us when we do cry, from those that we never see.  Then it wouldn’t feel like a bad thing anymore, now would it?

^_^

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Star Citizen: What Is It All About?

ScreenShot0000

Origin Jumpworks 325a Starfighter – Screenshot while alpha testing inside the self-land hangar system.

Star Citizen – Crowd-Funded Development And Currently In Alpha

Pioneered by Chris Roberts (no relation to me) who designed the Wing Commander based games over the last 20 years, he is taking a new approach to making this AAA+ style MMO known as Star Citizen.  By using the crowd-funding community, he dropped the insane world of bottom-line business trumps creativity to take the time and resources to bring a serious world into existence.  Having explained this, if you’re just hearing about Star Citizen for the very first time, or found this blog while looking for more information, you’ve come to the right place.

As most of you know, I write Science Fiction.  A game of this magnitude is mighty attractive to a guy like me, and as always, when I learn details about this kind of universe, I’m always keen to share some of the fun stuff.

What Star Citizen Is Not: As Of Today – 5/19/2015

Far from finished, this epic adventure is currently in an Alpha testing phase, well before Beta Testing, which means there is limited access, limited play and bug smashing left and right.  Star Citizen is not a complete game as of this time.  Yet, some new people on the scene are wondering what they are paying for,  as there is a dollar value to some assets and the limited alpha-status access.

Chris Roberts was always unhappy with the real life corporate mind-set when developing the popular early computer flight space simulation series called Wing Commander.  He was always told to chop that feature, cut out another feature, because of the time constraints and the bottom dollar that executives wanted to see, damned be the quality of the game itself.  Given what time and development there was, Chris has more than demonstrated his ability to produce a quality game for the time period it was created in.

Everything spent by you or me today on Star Citizen is considered ‘development’ funds. The money I spent has earned me the ‘Backer’ label.  Instead of some corporate machine, I and some hundreds of thousands of people are funding the creation of this game, from start to release day.  That is what the money is for right now.  Not to buy the game, not to pay to win, not to pre-play a nearly complete game, but to fund the creation and production of a high class MMO.  With our support, Star Citizen will change the way people game on the Internet, with more than a couple of supported play-styles being made available.

What Star Citizen Is Going To Become

  • Piloting – Love dog fighting enemy pilots?  This is one aspect of the game.  Like to race starships instead?  There is a flyable obstacle course to prove your piloting skills with, especially when racing other pilots.
  • First Person Shooter – Another element of play within this universe.  As expected in any well-done MMO, both PvP and PvE options will be well defined.
  • Hangar – It’s kind of like housing.  Your hangar can house your ships, store your cool stuff and bling, including fish tanks and other interesting stuff.  Invite people over.  Give them a grand tour.
  • Squadron 42 – A story-line arc that leads a player from a mere nobody to earning citizenship through missions and service.  It will teach you how to fly a starship, among other things, so you’re not floating home all the time with little to no oxygen in your spacesuit.
  • Planetside – Having an MMO also means having some form of trade.  From hauling missions to working for other players, there will be a robust economy and being able to land on a planet with your cargo, see the sights, do quests, meet the local ship jockeys with a bet that they can beat you in a ship-to-ship race, will all be possible in the future with this game.
  • Persistent Universe – Exactly what it means.  This will be bigger than most other MMOs out there, as what you do in one solar system can really tick off the pirates in another solar system, and vice versa.

Where Do I Get More Info?

First of all, you can go to the Roberts Space Industries website.  Click and read everything. There is a ton of content to catch up on, including videos that shows just how transparent the development is, a level never witnessed before when it comes to internal game creation.

If you want to help develop this game, want to do some Alpha Testing, by all means, knock yourself out.  However, you don’t have to do that.  You can also choose to wait for the game to release.  You can wait to buy it, just like everyone else, and get to play the one fully functioning ultra-cool space MMO that you will ever need from there on out.  The Sci-Fi sweet-tooth will be long satisfied after this one is developed and released.

One thing you can be assured of.  This won’t release until it’s truly ready.  There aren’t any corporate moguls breathing down the necks of techies and code jockeys in an effort to speed produce their next positive stock-market index.  This is a game developed by gamers, for gamers, and financially backed by We The Players.  Once you explore the entire website, watch several hours of video from their producers, code writers and artists, you’ll begin to understand just how big this is really going to be.

Be a backer or not, when this game releases, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you in the ‘Verse when exploring, trading and adventuring in the deepest sections of space.  It’s one thing to write Science Fiction novels, but quite another to actually fly a starfighter craft to destroy bad guys with my two wingmen.

*Upon Edit – When I made the video, the in-game sounds were easily audible and just as loud as my voice.  Upon translation to Youtube, that changed to reducing the game sounds as background noise while leaving my voice volume intact.  Apologies.  Youtube can be weird like that at times.

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Top 10 Things You Need To Consider If You Want To Write Comedy

comedy

I’ve been asked numerous times (less than 3) on how do I get in the mood to write comedy. Only on rare occasions (more than 390 times a year) do these answers haunt the back of my mind.  This is not a winning formula or a how to episode, but more along the lines of ten things we must do in order to write comedy.

1.  Don’t try to be funny.  Be serious first.

Some of the best comedy on planet Earth is done in a most serious mind-set.  Sometimes, that alone can lead to some highly humorous moments.  What makes an event funny more often than not, isn’t the content of what’s happening, but the results of what has been done.  Hench the term, a punch line.  Not because some ninja comes out of the woodwork and punches people, but because a punch isn’t actually seen until it’s too late.  The moment that makes a situation funny shouldn’t be seen coming, until the last possible second.

2.  Location is everything.  Consider the landscape, the area, what is going on all around your character.

Some of the funniest things to ever tickle a funny bone happen because of the location, with little regard to the building plot.  Consider the character who is lost, looking for a specific location, trying to decide which of the surely characters in the background to ask for directions.  Your protagonist finally pulls off the road, locates the most decent looking person among the motorcycle gang, and timidly asks the question about where to find the closest Walmart.  That’s when it’s revealed the character is actually asking while parked next to the Walmart in question.

3.  Contradiction can be a dangerously funny tool.  Use it, but not too often.

Contradictions can happen on many different levels.  Consider the contradiction I used to start this article in the first paragraph.  Numerous being less than 3 and rarely up to 390 times per year actually sets the stage for comedic expectation, and may have gotten a smile before reading further.  When you get to the end of the article and find it more informative than funny, is another brand of contradiction that may amuse the more wise among us.  Or I can just share the image of the tough, gritty warrior who is forced to battle the forces of evil with a giant pink bow tied up on top of his head.  Either way, it wouldn’t normally happen because it contradicts itself, and if used right, can be rather hilarious.

4.  A Clumsy Move

Ever since Bob Denver played Gilligan, we’ve found many reasons for comedy within the elements of being clumsy.  However, you don’t need a clumsy personality to pull off the rare slip-up.  Witnessing a sure footed, purposeful character take a turn into a lamp post because they were distracted by the opposite sex, or something similar, can be a hit for laughs when you want to lighten a dark situation.  It works, but like all things in comedy, too often takes away from the gift of giggle… unless you’re writing a Gilligan type of character, and it’s expected.  Then again, anything that’s expected isn’t near half as funny.

5.  Word Play In English

The English language is loaded with words that are written differently but sound the same. It’s an avenue some don’t exploit, but can be done rather well, if kept in context.  Like an electrician trying to explain to a non-electrician about how electricity works.  “What?” says the student.  The teacher counters with, “Not what, watt.”  Or better yet, right versus write versus wright.  You can make your own classic “Who’s on first?” round of terminology, and once again, in the right place within a story, can be killer funny.

6.  Unexpected Body Functions

Again, properly placed and rarely done, a good old-fashioned fart can be a good belly buster.  Heck, the fart-giver doesn’t even have to be human.  An android can cover his butt while appearing embarrassed.  “I’m sorry folks, my compressor sprang a momentary leak.” What’s important here isn’t just to have a fart just because you want it.  Make it part of the plot.  Make the fart a distraction for the antagonist to get away with poisoning a victim, or to help the protagonist escape a dangerous situation.  But there are more to body functions than farting.  Consider the all-powerful belch.  Or the run-for-the-bathroom marathon due to a diarrhea attack.  Or in our android’s case, the grease pan seal just popped, and it needs to run for the maintenance room.  You get the idea.

7.  Smart vs Dumb

Having an intelligent character pull off a pretty dumb move, but makes it work to resolve a situation, can lead to some pretty interesting laughs.  Or vice versa.  Having a not-so-bright character make an intelligent decision, but for the wrong reasons, and have it resolve a conflict in the manner the author intends, can also bring some humor to the table.  An example would be the Space Marine named Biff in my novel, Rulers of Valinthia. He encounters Jasra and the changeling copy of Jasra.  He even admits to being confused, which one should he shoot?  The changeling messes up, saying she’ll kiss Biff, even go out on a date, if he shoots the ‘other’ Jasra.  So our not-so-smart guard shoots the changeling, but not because the real Jasra convinced him of her true identity.  He shot the right target because a pretty women would never want to kiss an ugly cuss like himself.  In context with the story, it worked like a champ, and I’ve been told by more than one reader how they busted out laughing over that one.

8.  Articulate Dominance Gets Spanked

You know whom I speak of.  There are those out there who take pride in being articulate, especially some of the smarter villains in my novels.  Pushing the envelope, giving a mini-monologue at the height of their victory, just to have the victim turn on him with a good kick to the groin, stops the articulate monster on the spot.  Any situation where the know-it-all is showing off just to get physically stopped, in a hard core fashion, has its own brand of humor that never goes away.

9.  An Ego Balloon Meets The Needle of Irony

Characters don’t have to be the main antagonist in order to have an inflated ego.  The needle of irony doesn’t always have to come from the protagonist, or any of their immediate companions.  Having one of the many characters in the background that comprises a crowd, or just a bunch of passersby one would expect in the environment, make an offhand comment, or point out something important to the story, and popping somebody’s ego balloon can be quite funny.  Like the blue denarian woman in Rulers of Valinthia.  She discovers the puppy that is actually an evil changeling trying to flee from Jack, and Jack’s notable skill at pursuit is part of his still slightly inflated ego.  She physically trips Jack before going off stage left in the novel, never to be seen or heard from again, and that is enough of a message that allows that type of humor to bite into a funny bone.

10.  Characters In The Background

Most novels take place in a populated city, country side, or any kind of environment where there are normal folks, revolving around your central characters, all doing there own thing.  The chances for comedy goes up when you don’t discount their ability to witness an event between your characters, and react accordingly.  In Rulers of Valinthia, Jack chases a changeling in the shape of a mop, where it is hopping like a pogo stick, the mop head acting like hair, and Jack is trying to shoot it as the mop makes a thumping escape from the inside of the restaurant.  The chase scene is funny enough, but the restaurant’s janitor watched it happen from across the street.  His reaction?  He took off his work badge and tossed it in the garbage, walking away from that place for good.  It’s three sentences in the right spot, and it makes perfect sense.  On the up-side, it’s also highly funny.

In closing, there is no direct formula to make a comedy actually work.  These ten things to consider is actually a rough guide, something to mentally play with as you’re writing. Feeling stumped by writer’s block, come back here and re-read this article.  Visiting some basic situations can actually form a touch of inspiration, and before you know it, the writing is taking off once again.

Keep in touch, I’ll be posting again before a few weeks is up.  That will be update time on my current projects.  ^_^

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