jump to navigation

Power now available via Smashwords! October 9, 2013

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Thanks to Ginny, who created this image for me

My book cover (thanks Ginny!)

I wrote yesterday about how I wrote a book and got it epublished on Amazon.com.  Well, I had at least one person who requested that I make it available for the Nook, and so went over to Smashwords and got it epublished there as well.  So, if you have a Nook, and iPad, (or a textpad!) you can read it now.

Get your copy today!

Sorry paper book readers, no dead tree copies available.  I won’t get any printed until there is any significant demand for that.  Right now, the demand is light (I did sell a couple of copies on Amazon yesterday, which was fun to see).  I may decide to get some printed just so I can have one on my bookshelf, and maybe to give out to some friends and family who may want one, but for now that’s not a direction I’m going.

Again, let me know what you think, and if you do like it tell your friends.  It would make me happy to share this universe in my head with more people.

I wrote a book! October 8, 2013

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
Tags: , , , , ,
2 comments

(update: buy it here on Amazon!)

Back in 2008, I found myself newly unemployed.  I had been laid off from a job I really liked, but was paid through the summer (it was a school job).  Of course, with the economic recession starting around then, it ended up being a tough couple of years for me after that, so I had a fair amount of time on my hands.  During that summer I re-watched Babylon 5 for the second time (I just finished re-watching it again) while I started looking for another job.  I also had time to start doing more reading and writing.  The origins of this book of mine come from that summer.

The background of this story was based upon a universe I had created in my mind as a child.  It had changed some over the years, but it was essentially the same.  It involved this character, which (to be honest) is a little bit based on me.  But as I started to write, it also became clear that the narrative I was spinning was also based upon living in a post-9/11 world.  It was about fear, insecurity, the desire for power, and understanding our place in the world.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the narrative unfold before me, and in time I had around 100 pages (in .doc form) and a sort of cliff-hanger ending.  Having done so, I gave it to my girlfriend at the time to read.

By August of 2008 I had moved in with this same girlfriend (we were polyamorous, and I eventually had another girlfriend who lived out in Chester county), and things were going really great between us.  I was still not working steadily, but was managing to keep pretty busy anyway.  Substitute teaching is not very consistent, and it left me more time to write.  I had a really crappy (geocities) website, was starting to write more about atheism (I had been dong so since 2002, off and on), and it would be in February of 2009 that I first created this blog.  Early posts here were from that time, around when the first draft of part 1 of this book of mine was finished.

After my girlfriend finished that draft, she threatened to murder me if I didn’t finish the story.  And so, preferring to stay alive, I did eventually start writing more.  In the mean time, that relationship ended, I moved to Atlanta (October 2009), and then my life went to Hell for a little while.  Sometime during all of this, I started writing again.  By 2011 or so, the book was finished.  It was still fairly rough, however.

Thanks to Ginny, who created this image for me

Thanks to Ginny, who created this image for me

I did a massive re-write last year (2012) and talked to Ginny about editing it.  She, however, was busy with grad school, and never finished reading beyond part 1.  We had some discussions about my conception of tense (since she was an English major in college), which led to revelations that the way I view time (in its relationship to memory and consciousness) is strange.  So, if you do decide to read it, and I ended up missing some point in the text where I seem to move from one tense to another (which seems natural to me and was partially intentional), then that’s why.  I wonder if I do that in posts here.  I don’t usually notice that I do it, all the time.  My mind is strange.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I wanted to fix a couple of things in the story I had been thinking about (it will never be done! It will never be perfect!) and while i was doing so I wanted to refer to my story notes, but couldn’t find them.  I looked everywhere (or so I thought) and resigned to the fact that they were lost.  Then, the other day, I found them.  As a result I spent the weekend editing the whole book, and decided to bite the bullet and just publish the damned thing already.  I did that just today, and here it is (kindle version, only.  For now).

The book has been worked and re-worked many times.  I have tried to make sure that it is internally consistent, clear, and totally bad-ass.  I may or may not have succeeded in any of those goals.

So, if you are interested, take a look.  if you don’t have a kindle (since so far I only have a kindle version available [edit: now available at Smashwords!]), and you want to read it send me an email, and I can send you a copy [edit: if you don’t have en e-reader, i will consider sending you a pdf copy, if you ask].  I didn’t write this to make money, I wrote this because I loved doing so.  But I figured that maybe I could sell a few copies and pay for a case of beer, a bottle of bourbon, or maybe just a six pack of PBR.

If you do end up reading it and like it, tell your friends.  Also,  tell me! I know not everyone will like it (Ginny, my darling wife, is not a fan of my writing style).  Also, if you just want to check out part 1 ( my favorite is part 2, personally), that is also available.

Anyway, I hope some people like it.  I like it (which, I suppose, is all I was after).

Dragon*Con provides synchronicity and skepticism September 10, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
Tags: , , , , ,
4 comments

So, I attended Dragon*Con last weekend.  It was sort of a last minute thing, really.  See, my friend Margaret Downey was scheduled to speak there and needed an assistant.  I was in need to go to Atlanta to do some apartment hunting, and things fell together nicely.

Margaret Downey (left) with Eugenie Scott of the NCSE

Margaret Downey (left) with Eugenie Scott of the NCSE

If I were a less rational person, I might have thought some intelligent design was at work. But I’m a skeptic.  And luckily for me, there was a track at DC for people like me.  The skeptrack dragon can be seen to the right with two of it’s guests.

Margaret Downey has been doing a variety of characters over the years to deal with a number of issues related to skepticism, atheism, and freethought in general.  On Friday night, she did a presentation about anti-superstition parties, and superstition in general, at the Skeptrack section of Dragon*Con as the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Nurse.

After all, we know that there are lots of people who are into science fiction and fantasy who believe lots of silly woo things.  The skeptrack, organized by Derek of Skepticality, is focused on trying to introduce skeptical thinking into this culture, as a sort of outreach to the larger community of slightly nerdy, geeky, and sciency people.  The fact that Dragon*Con 2009 attracted more tha 45,000 people means that there are a lot of people to reach out to, and in future years they hope to become a larger and more significant part of the event. I’ll look forward to that.

I mean, we all like to meet some celebs, right?  I got a chance to meet some of the cast from Babylon 5, which was pretty sweet because it is among my favorite sci-fi shows.  I also got to see people from Stargate, Star Trek, and he recent Battlestar Galactica (don’t get me started on how annoying I thought the ending to that was…).

Those Skephicks love them some aliens.

Those Skephicks love them some aliens.

On top of all that there were some pretty awesome costumes. In the picture to the left, Maria from the skepchicks is getting to know the local alien population a little better.

Of course, alcohol was involved, and hopefully she won’t have any little aliens popping out from her stomach anytime soon.

And what was great about the plethora of costumes, from a male heterosexual point of view, was how economical many girls can be with their costumes.  I mean, making a whole costume while using so few materials? Brilliant! I must say my head was turned on more than a few occasions, which distracted me sufficiently as to not get my camera out in time.  My lovely girlfriend, who stayed back in Philadelphia for work training, would have been thoroughly amused by this.  Actually, she would have likely done the same thing with the many guys who were not afraid to show off their various attributes.  We are quite a pair.  And speaking of great pairs…never mind.

And there certainly were a lot of people there.

Just one shot from one of the many hotels involved in the convention on Saturday night.

Just one shot from one of the many hotels involved in the convention on Saturday night.

And I got a chance to meet some pretty cool people there as well as well as catch up with some friends I only tend to see at such events.  A few drinks, late night conversations, fun panel discussions, tens of thousands of people and science fiction.  What else does one want from a weekend?

And you read correctly above; I was looking for apartments.  My lovely lady and myself will be relocating to Atlanta come October 2009, just a few weeks away.  But there is a good set of communities down there so we will be able to make ourselves at home.  I’ve already been in communication with people from a skeptical community down there, I will be in contact with the atheist and polyamorous communities, and then I will have to find myself employment in Atlanta.  We are moving because of Seana’s new job, and I love her enough to relocate to be with her.

Philadelphia is a great city and I will miss living here.  What I won’t miss is cold winters with snow, slush, and ice.  A nice cool winter with occasional snowfall seems much preferable.  I will miss hot, fresh Philly pretzels off the conveyor late at night, however.

But I’ll still continue to be your friendly neighborhood atheist, polyamorous geek.

Accomplishments February 17, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
Tags: ,
add a comment

So, I’ve completed part one of my book I am writing. Just under 100 pages and I’m ready to dig into part 2 now. I will not post it online, at least not yet, but I wanted to comment about it.

I suppose all I can say is Kas-A!

That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing most of the day, and why I’m still up this late…