Wednesday, October 26, 2011

H.E.R.O. - Dark Research first draft complete

It's pretty exciting to hit this point. The fourth novel in the series is (roughly) complete. Now for the editing stages. The book should be out within a month(ish).

This book was interesting to write. It flowed out of me like a torrent. This story feels bigger. Certainly there are more heroes involved than in the prior novels. Metrocity is growing and evolving, and apparently I have a few new supers to make for my website. >;)

On the other hand, it's also kind of strange. I've been so hell-bent on this story that hitting the end almost feels like I flew off the edge of a cliff and I'm now freefalling.

Or perhaps that is just from getting sick. A cold is hitting me hard - far more rapidly than I'm used to.

Whichever, I've got a book to edit.... :)

'Til next time.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Heart's an amazing thing

Yesterday morning I did a pure cardio workout.  I don't do them very often - only occasionally on a Wednesday when I'm just not in the mood for a leg workout.  (I also need to burn calories pretty badly.)  Anyway, it was interesting to get the heart rate to 150-170 for the first half hour, and then kept it from 170-183 for the second half hour on the elliptical.  Not my best, but I wasn't doing all out sprints either.  (I was *attempting* to work on the HERO4, but it was pretty difficult to type at the speed I was going.)

What's really neat is that when I couldn't sleep at 2 a.m. last night for some reason, I used my heart rate monitor watch to see what my heart rate was out of curiosity.  Two samples, one showed 52 BPM, the next showed 51 BPM.

It's pretty cool to have something in us that can more than triple its speed like that.

I mentioned that video I was working on - I finished a prelim version and have it out at:
http:\\\images\skellyhead04.avi  if you want to see it or download it for free.  It took my main PC over 8.5 hours to render 40 seconds of video (which I then stretched to 1 minute).  Yeesh.  And that's only at 800x600!  No wonder Pixar needs huge render farms for their movies.  It would have taken longer if there wasn't so much black space on the video as well.

Last note - HERO4 (e.g. H.E.R.O. - Dark Research) is up to 65,000 words so far.  I'm way ahead of schedule on it.  At this point I'm now hoping to be able to release it *around* December 1st, 2011.  If you are a reader of my H.E.R.O. novels, then I thank you.  Please spread the word.  :)

'Til next time....


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Darn wind

The wind really kicked up in the area and some of the tombstones in front of my house blew away.  :(  That's annoying.  On a happier note, while I do have that Halloween video I mentioned before, I've been playing with Poser Pro 2012 and some of the skeleton and demon type figures I've bought to for it.  I can make them wander around and create videos myself.  I made a quickie, but I might see if I can get something creepy going just to alternate with the other video.  Having the same one play for three hours straight might be mindbending.

H.E.R.O. - Dark Research is going really good so far.  I'm already up to 45,000 words.  I don't have an exact word count for what it'll end up at - probably 100-120k, but at least it's moving along fairly quickly.

On another note, I was speaking with one of my editors the other night and mentioned that I'd like to create more H.E.R.O. people in 3D, but hate not using them for who knows how long.  She brought up the idea that having them allowed me to at least mention them in novels even if they don't make an appearance.  Gotta love when someone helps you feed the habit.  LOL.  ;)  It's a good thing, though - I like the website having a lot of heroes on it.  Plus, when I hit 20 total I can make another 3' x 2' poster of the second set of ten.  The first one turned out amazing.  Someday I might go onto Zazzle or a similar site and make posters of some of those images for people to buy.  I don't at this point because so far I haven't heard any interest in it.  I'm a visual person, however, and do enjoy having posters of toons.  Someday if I get around to doing conventions I'm thinking about having good super high detail renders of some toons printed and make them for sale at my booth.  (Not for a ton of money, as with my books I wouldn't price them to get rich, the markup is extremely low on my books currently - so much so that I actually don't make any money at present due to the cost of the advertising and cover art.)

'Til next time....


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween plans, Dark Research.

I'm excited about Halloween this year.  I've got an old projector, and one of the neat Halloween videos that show things like giant eyes looking around, ghosts, skeletons, etc.  I picked up a white shower curtain liner and used the hair dryer on it to allow it to straighten out.  It's now hanging in the spare bedroom to hopefully work out the rest of the creases.

It should make for a very interesting display.  I'm interested to see if I get more people stopping by.  My guess is that there'll be more people who just stop as they are driving past.  I've had it happen before when I really decked out my yard, and combo the bunch of gravestones and skeletons out front with the video and I believe it'll be a draw.  Should be fun to see what occurs and if I get any comments at least.

The only thing I'm unhappy about is the 5:45 p.m. sunset calculated for 10/31/2011, and yet Trick or Treating begins at 4:00 p.m.  Something doesn't seem right about starting the ToT thing at 4:00 p.m. on a working day - a lot of parents won't even get home for another half hour or hour to get their kids ready (much less be there to answer the door to hand out treats).  Boneheadedness on the part of the gov't, that's for sure.

On another note, Book 4 of the H.E.R.O. series is about a third done on the first draft now.  This will be a full size novel.  I'm really enjoying the fact that I've got so many heroes that can become involved, do cameos, and more in this novel.  The series just feels like it is getting tighter as it progresses.

Speaking of heroes, I need to finish Muckman.  I'm not 100% happy with his 3D render yet, but he's close.

On another note, I picked up a replacement battery for my heart rate chest strap.  I like it a lot better while working out if I know for sure that I'm hitting 150 BPM or more on a regular basis.  I really ought to get the eating under control, though.  Kind of failing there.

'Til next time....


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Change to, pain

Just some random updates....

My morning weight lifting workouts are going extremely good.  Weights are going up every week, if not twice a week for most exercises.  Hit 275 lbs. on my sets of 12 for bench presses, and 16 chin-ups.  I'm reasonably pleased about that.  I've been unsuccessful at losing much weight, but at least I'm getting stronger - that's something, right?

I just updated my website and cleaned up a few mistakes - like which book is coming out next, for example.  I added a new character to the site - Tiriffa.  Sadly enough, the first person I showed her to asked me if she were a night elf from WoW, the second claimed she looked a lot like a Wraith from Stargate: Atlantis, and the third thought she looked like some character from another movie or book.  Sigh.  No, she's NOT based on any of those at all.

The most obvious change is to the background image on the right.  Rather than the flowery image I created a collage of my characters.  It certainly looks more interesting, if perhaps a bit busier.

Brought the girlfriend and kids up to put out all of the external All Hallow's Eve decorations.  It looks pretty cool with a bunch of gravestones, skeletons, skulls all over and such.  Of course, having 80 degree weather in October is unusually pleasant in Wisconsin.

'Til later....