Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Off the Air

First of all, I haven't blogged for a while because I've been off the Internet. Now, we have wireless, so I'm back for good.

On Saturday, June 29, we went to see Man of Steel, and we would have been better off seeing the kids movie Epic. I liked the intro to the movie, actually on Krypton, but the introduction of Superman’s character on Earth used some bad writing. I don't think I'm spoiling very much when I say Superman overcame all obstacles, but the human good guys didn't acquit themselves very well. I thought it was a fairly realistic portrait of what would happen if an alien came to Earth, but when I go to see a Superman movie, I don't need realism.

Staying with movies, on Saturday, June 22, my mother and I went to see Monsters University, and I have to say, that it was much better than Superman. The story is a prequel to Monsters Inc., and shows how John Goodman(Sulley) and Billy Crystal(Mike Wazowski) become friends. One more thing, you don't need to have seen Monsters Inc. to enjoy this one.

On Saturday, June 15, my mother and I went to see Now You See Me, which was also better than Superman. The story is about a group of street illusionist who perform together now, but I can't tell you much more than that. I don't want to spoil the movie, but it is worth seeing. In summation, I highly recommend you see Monsters University, I recommend you go see Now You See Me, but I don't recommend, with two thumbs down, you go see Man of Steel.

While I was off the Internet, I have been working on various stories. I have a series of four chapbooks in mind, two of which are almost complete, one is somewhat complete, and one isn't started yet. The first three will be a trilogy about a boy who discovers a new world of talking animals who act quite like people. They listen to music on a boombox, and watch Alvin and the Chipmunks movies on a DVD player. He also discovers the world goes much deeper, and he's given tasks by Mother Nature.

The fourth one which may or may not be a trilogy, is about a boy who discovers mermaids. He visits the world in secret because he knows his parents wouldn't believe him. When I write more of this story, I'll tell you more.


I'm still working on Sense of the Dark, but I needed to write down these ideas while I had them.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

At the Movies


        Saturday, April 20, my mother and I went to see The Croods in 3D at Cinemark, and I think the Regal Cinema has better 3D. Some scenes could have been done in 3D that weren’t, so either the film used bad 3D, or the Cinemark theater does. The movie is about the adventures a cave family has adapting to the new world, and it stars Nicolas Cage. I liked the movie, and would recommend it.

On Saturday, April 27, my mother and I went to see 42 about Jackie Robinson, and I thought it was both a good movie, and pathetic at the same time. It continues to amaze me why anyone would dehumanize their fellow human beings, especially after World War II, when the black divisions fought as bravely as the white ones. The movie depicted some of the torments Jackie Robinson went through before and during his first season with a professional white team, but I’m sure it glossed over much worse.

Harrison Ford also played a good part as a team owner more interested in, can a black man play baseball? than the fact he was black.

I also take issue with the rating of the movie. It was rated PG-13, even though the N-word was used pervasively in spots. The N-word is a derogatory word for a person, yet it only gets you a PG-13 rating. The F- word, is a plain derogatory word, but gets you an R rating. That seems backwards to me, and don’t understand the thinking concerning that decision.

On the home front, I recently listened to the book The Gangster Squad, and it was interesting to note the differences between the book and the movie. The movie was mostly factual, but the producer and director took great creative license in its arrangement. I am glad though I saw the movie before listening to the book because I would’ve been comparing them, even if I tried not to. I won’t tell you the differences because I don’t want to spoil either for anyone.

Today, May 4, my mother and I saw the IMAX version of Iron Man 3, and I highly recommend it. It takes place after The Avengers, but doesn’t contain any other character from that universe. As always with the series, the movie contains just the right amount of humor and action.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Food for Thought


        On Tuesday, the day after we got back from Washington, DC, my mother got Max, our dog, and I ended up not going to the Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the rest of the week. Max had barked himself into a stupor; very lethargic, even for him and gagging a lot. The first two days he didn’t even eat all his food at one time, which was very unusual. He eventually got better, but if we go for longer than three days, we’ll have to do something.

I also was waiting for my cover design to come back for Flying Blind, available at www.smashwords.com, Kobo, and the Apple iBookstore for now. I didn't draw the cover myself because there would have been two problems with that. I’m blind, and I can’t draw. Even if I weren’t blind, I don’t think I could draw because I can visualize pictures just fine in my mind, that wouldn’t come out on paper. In the meantime, I made some final revisions to the short story, and then my cover came back from www.motherspider.com.

I read the smashwords style guide to make sure I’d formatted everything properly, and wonder of wonders I had. On April 3, when I uploaded Flying Blind to the smashwords website, it entered the standard catalog, which makes it available on their website. What I read said it could take from two days to two weeks to achieve premium status, so I was prepared to impatiently wait, but the next day, April 4, I had my premium status. This means that smashwords distributes your book to Sony, Barnes & Noble, the Amazon Kindle, the iBookstore, and more.

On March 30, my mother and I went to see The Call, which was a great disappointment. It had suspense in it, but not really that much. First it started off with a dumb mistake by a main character, which is fine, suspension of disbelief and all. However too many blatantly obvious mistakes were made after the initial one to ignore, which ruined the movie.

To complete my profile on www.smashwords.com I filled in my bio, and other information, such as my blog address, Facebook URL, etc.  Also, I joined Twitter under my author name of Paul Chester, and my handle, I believe that’s the right word, is @jtreneyan.

I am now working on the first novel set in the Eyes of the Blind universe, which I’ve decided to call the universe where a lot of my stories will be set. The book will be called Sense of the Dark, and should be ready in a few months.

Then, on Saturday, April 6, my mother and I went to see the IMAX release of Jurassic Park. It came out 20 years ago or so, and you should all see it if you haven’t. It’s about cloning dinosaurs, and keeping them in wildlife refuge environment on a separate island. However the dinosaurs get free and mayhem ensues. However, T-Rex is the hero because he eats both the lawyer, and saves the main characters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Supreme


            Today, April 3, 2013, I published my short story on www.smashwords.com. Right now, it’s only available from the site, but once approved for their premium catalog, it should be available in all major e-book stores, such as the iBookstore. If you choose to buy it, I hope you review it because good or bad, every review helps improve the author. Now I’ll move on to the other things I’ve been doing, but before I do, here’s the web address https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/302627

 

          On March 23, my parents and I drove to DC to visit Mark, obviously I was the driver. We checked into our hotel, picked Mark up at his building, since he doesn’t have a chauffeured limousine yet, and went to the Jefferson Memorial. We walked around inside for a little while, and my parents and Mark read the quotes on the walls.

 

          Then we walked back to Mark’s apartment, and ate some pizza we brought because he’s deprived in Washington DC. We got to take a trip on the Metro sometime Saturday, which I always find fascinating. I think it has to do with the Metro being a train that runs underground, and it also means more places I can go that don’t require driving.

 

          Sunday, the lazy lump cooked breakfast for us, might as well get some use out of him. Then we went for a Mark tour of the Supreme Court, but I have to say one thing before I forget. In Washington DC, there are a lot of fences, and they interweave light and dark almost instantaneously. I know there must be a reason for those kinds of fences, but the almost instantaneous light to shadow switching is very annoying.

 

          We walked around the building, saw some offices, and saw some exhibits, such as the functioning of the court during the Civil War. We also saw the basketball court, which looks just like every other basketball court I haven’t seen.

 

          For dinner we went to a restaurant called Matchbox, and I had one of their specialty pizzas for dinner. The food was tasty, but the noise level was a little high. Then we went back to the hotel, and went to sleep.

 

          Next day we got up, and had to dress in nice clothes for a meeting Mark arranged with Justice Kennedy, his boss. The Justice was a very pleasant person, I didn’t see him leaping tall buildings, or bench pressing a heavy wooden desk. We then sat in the audience area to hear oral arguments, and I have to say as a nonlawyer, they weren’t the most fascinating things I’ve ever heard.

 

          After that, we then had a bite to eat in the commissary, and went on our way. Once again, I drove, and we all arrived back in Scranton safe and sound. I listened to my iPod on the way home as on the way there. For those of you who know what one is, it’s much easier than listening to a Walkman, since you don’t have to worry about balancing machine and cases while you change CDs. Well, more next time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Oz


Continued from previous post

 

        I've also begun the sequel to Sense of the Dark, Sword of the Blind. I began thinking I would be writing the epilogue to Sense of the Dark, but it didn't turn out that way. Anyway, after writing all I had at the moment for the next book, I wrote the epilogue for the previous one, and now I'm finished writing it. It's far from done, because I have to fix continuity issues, and such. I can't have Jacob, the main character, do something in one chapter, and then in the next forget he's already done said action.

 

        In other news, I added Paulchester1.blogspot.com as a substitute blog address, so it's easier to spell. I mainly changed it so forgetting two letters didn't take you to another site with a completely different purpose. Both addresses will work, but I think the new one will be easier to remember.

 

          On March 16, my mother and I went to see Oz, The Great and Powerful in IMAX 3-D, and the effects were very good. We also liked the movie, which is a sort of prequel. It tells the story of the actual wizard from the Wizard of Oz, and how three witches came to be rattling around Oz. A lion, a scarecrow, the yellow brick road, the Emerald City, munchkins, and a pointed witch’s hat all make their debut.

 

          IMAX technology must be getting less expensive because a number of previews made their appearance. Star Trek: Into Darkness looks very good, so does the IMAX version of Jurassic Park, after all who doesn't want to see an IMAX 3-D T Rex stomping around the screen? See, a big predatory lizard doesn't even like lawyers. I didn't like the book very much, thought it was a classic but a classic misprint, but The Great Gatsby the movie looks interesting.

 

          We went to the Regal Cinema, and sat in the second tier of seats in the IMAX theater. I didn't want to get a neck injury looking up at the however many foot tall screen.

 

          One more note, our friend from Canada, came in on Wednesday, and my parents and he went to Revello's for pizza. I stayed home, not wanting to hear the old folks reminisce about the days when Fred Flintstone roamed the earth, and what good friends they all had. At least I got six cuts of pizza out of the deal.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stories


I tried Windows speech, but it didn't seem to recognize my voice most of the time. I don't know whether that has to do with the sound card, or something else. When it did recognize my voice, it was often very inaccurate, so either Windows 8 speech got a significant downgrade, or one of the other problems I mentioned above. However, that doesn't really matter because Dragon works just fine.

This past weekend, March 9, we went to see Snitch, and I liked it. It was a bit depressing, but then so is reality. In the movie, the Rock plays a dad whose son is arrested for drug possession and distribution, and the Rock has to run some drugs for the Feds to get him a lighter sentence. In the course of events, a regional drug lord gets arrested, and instead of a lighter sentence, the Rock’s son goes free.

One more note on the movie, the actress, Susan Sarandon, who plays the federal prosecutor does a great job of portraying an uncaring bureaucrat.

In current events news, the TSA is lifting the ban on carrying small knives on planes, and also golf clubs, skis and souvenir baseball bats. Hopefully this means I will no longer have to fold up my cane when I go through security, because as I've said many times before, I find it very irritating. I can't say anything though, or we’ll probably miss our flight because of all the extra nonsense I have to go through.

I saw a story about an undercover agent who passed through two security checkpoints at the airport with a fake bomb stuffed in his pants. I don't know when the event took place, but that doesn’t matter. Evidently a fake bomb is just fine, but a blind man's cane, just like granny with a colostomy bag is a security risk.

Enough of my annoyance with the TSA.  On to other things. I've chosen to write under a pen name, Paul Chester, this makes my name far less likely to be massacred. Paul is my middle name, and Chester is the name of my maternal grandfather. If I remember correctly, the post I did on him is called hero so I encourage you if you haven't to take a look.

I'm in the process of publishing my short story on www.smashwords.com, which will convert my story into all major formats for e-readers, such as Kindle and Nook. I'm having a cover image made, so when that's finished, all I have to do is some final formatting. After I upload it to smashwords, it should take about a week to appear in the various e-book stores, such as the ibookstore.

           I was over my self-imposed word limit with my original last paragraph, so I'll cut it short. As I've said before, brevity and I have never been introduced, which is why I have no idea how twitter and I would get along. Some sample chapters of my just finished novel Sense of the Dark will appear in Flying Blind, my short story.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Windows 8


        Continued from previous post.

 

        I eventually got to the start menu, and it was a mess. Although it's nice to know the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P indices, and the temperature in Paris, it really isn't essential. These, and many other frivolous things, are scattered across the start screen I should call it, with nary a drop-down menu in sight.

 

        After clicking several wrong icons, and struggling through numerous incorrect screens, I finally, I don't know how, got to the ease of access panel. That got me to the actual desktop with only a few icons, containing the recycling bin, Windows media player, Internet Explorer, and the rest. I blew the screen up, without using dynamite, only the magnifier, to the size I wanted, and then I proceeded to install Microsoft Office, McAfee, etc.

 

One thing I do like about this computer is that the monitor port is at a convenient height, since I usually have a lot of trouble with the complicated plug design.

 

I've seen a couple monitors with only USB-powered hookups, but I'd like an attached power cord. I'm not so eager to obtain an easier monitor plug that I would crash my computer because my monitor drew too much power from it.

 

I'm glad I got wireless headphones because it's much easier to plug in one USB receiver than guessing which plug goes in which jack. I like the wireless mouse and keyboard for the same reason, and it's two less cords. I may get a wireless printer for the same reason, but my first one died of old age, and I can't see slighting the second.

 

The only thing I wish I knew on the outside of the computer is, which ports are the USB 3.0 and 2.0? I think I know, but I obviously can't be sure. They don't have any identifying marks, and I never got a message saying this device can run faster. I don't know if that means my guess is correct, or Windows 8 doesn't show those alerts anymore.
 
I'll finish the rest of my Windows 8 adventure later, I have another thing to say.
 
I recently finished a short story, and I should be putting it on the Amazon Kindle in next two days or so.

 

A legally blind 13-year-old takes the bus to the genealogy center to earn volunteer hours, and takes a bridge to a whole new world where he can play a vital role.

 
When it comes out, I hope you like it, and my full-length novel Sense of the Dark should follow sometime in 2014. The novel will take place in the same universe, but 25 years or so after the events of my short story.