Thursday, September 24, 2015

Give More 24!

Today, you have a chance to do something awesome! Until midnight tonight (Pacific time), you can help support Autism Empowerment by taking part in Give More 24, an online donation challenge organized by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.
It's easy - just go to this link to make a donation. Amounts can start as low as $10, and all Give More 24 donations are 100% tax deductible. On behalf of Autism Empowerment, I thank you very much for your support!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area and don't already have this event on your schedule for the upcoming weekend, you totally should: the 4th annual Rose City Comic Con.
I've been going every year and, believe me, it is a lot of fun. This year, though, is extra special, because for the first time, members of the Northwest Independent Writers Association - including yours truly - will have our very own vendor table! It will be called "Ripley's Book Booth" and will be in booth 1028.

I, myself, will be there in person on Saturday from 5-7pm to sign books, talk about Mystery of the Moonfire (Book Two!), and geek out with all of you (I'll be at the Con earlier than that, but I'll be wandering through the aisles trying not to spend too much money.)

Click on this link for more details. Hope to see you there!


Our friends over at Geek Club Books have just rolled out Bluebee TeeVee, a webisode series that teaches kids about autism in a fun, clinically correct manner. James Sullivan is the show's host, writer and editor, while Jonathan Murphy - who you may remember as the brilliant voice actor behind the audiobook version of Book One - performs the character voices for the Bluebee Pal co-hosts.

Check it out here!


Finally, next week Thursday is GiveMore24, the annual day organized by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington when people can donate online to their favorite causes. Mine, of course, is Autism Empowerment, and I hope they're yours as well!
So mark it on your calendar, and I'll be talking about it some more next week...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Deep Questions

Warning: this post contains spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road, The Legend of Korra (Seasons 2&3)Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales (Mission to Mos Eisley).

This is not a test. These are just nerdy questions that I ask myself while I'm doing stuff like mowing the lawn or taking out the trash. Read 'em through and see if you have any opinions on what the answers might be...

1. What was Furiosa's plan when it came to the War Boys who were with her on the supposed fuel run?
I mean, was she just gonna take them with her to the Green Place? And if so, what then? Was she counting on the Vuvalini to help her eliminate them once they got there? Or was she thinking that either the Buzzards or the Rock Riders were going to kill them - and not her - along the way? It didn't seem like her deal with the latter group included a clause for that.

On a related note, where were the Vuvalini living when Furiosa found them, since the Green Place was no more? Couldn't Furiosa and the Five Wives have just stayed there and moved in? Why did traveling across the salt flats to who-knows-where seem like a better alternative?

2. Shouldn't Eska and Desna have been thrown in jail for attempting to kill Korra?
Or, at the very least, shouldn't they not have been named the new Chiefs of the Northern Water Tribe? I mean, as far as I could tell, the only crime that Zaheer committed before he got locked up the first time was attempting to kidnap - not kill - Korra when she was a kid, and that landed him in long-term solitary confinement. My daughter told me that it has something to do with forgiveness and redemption (like how Zuko ended up being the new Fire Lord after he kidnapped Aang), but I'm not sure it would work that way in real life.

I do like how the show humorously attempted to address the issue, though, in the Season 3 scene where Zuko said "I hired a guy like that to kill the Avatar myself once" and Eska said "that's okay, I tried to kill Korra after she ruined my wedding. It happens."

3. Why does Obi-Wan call Darth Vader "Darth"?
As in, "you can't win, Darth." It just sounds so silly to me now every time I hear it. I've probably talked about this before, but I was reminded of it when I watched the latest episode of Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales and they didn't even make fun of it (they do, however, make a hilarious reference to the fact that both Obi-Wan and Luke didn't change their real last names).

I know that originally Obi-Wan calls Darth Vader "Darth" because at the time, George Lucas hadn't yet decided that "Darth" was a title and not a name. But of all the things that Lucas tinkered with later on, couldn't he have changed that, instead of all the other stuff that people are mad about now (Han shot first, etc.)? I mean, "you can't win, Vader," would have sounded much better.

I suppose it's sort of like saying "you can't win, General," to General Grievous, but "Darth" is not commonly used as a title in either the real world or in any of the various Star Wars media, so it just comes across as a little strange.

Anyway, that concludes this installment of "Deep Questions." If you have any answers you'd like to suggest or point out (like, perhaps I missed something and need to watch Fury Road again - twist my arm), leave a comment below...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Good News, Everyone!

Book Two Status Update: all major revisions are now complete! I'll be turning in the manuscript to my editor after Labor Day for a line edit, which will be done by the end of this month.
After that, I'll just need to make the final tweaks, and then it'll be time to move on to stuff like formatting and getting the cover art together. Unlike previous false alarms, we are actually nearing the finish line this time - for real. I am not kidding! I even have locations lined up for the launch parties. So stay tuned...