Thursday, February 25, 2016

Author Visit, Readcon, H&G Show, Book Three Status Update, Oh My!

Lots going on! Let's get to it, shall we?

On Tuesday, I had the honor of doing an author visit at Shahala Middle School, which happens to be both my son's alma mater as well as where my daughter is currently a student. To sum it up: I had a really great time.
Thanks Tony
There were about a hundred seventh graders in attendance, and they were all very attentive and asked some really great questions. I spent about ninety minutes answering them and talking about not only the Spectraland Saga, but also about reading, writing, and autism in general. It was so much fun. Much mahalos go out to Shahala's librarian, Paul Warner, as well as to all of the teachers and students for having me and making me feel more than welcome. Check out the Spectraland Saga's Facebook page for more photos!

This author visit was a precursor to READCON, which is Shahala's sci-fi/fantasy family night for the whole community. It's like if Comic-Con was being held in a middle school library. That event will take place on March 10 from 6-8pm, and the Portland Superheroes Coalition (with a real Iron Man suit, I have been told) and the Star Wars 501st Legion will be in attendance, along with yours truly. The event is free to attend, and there will be a ton of fun stuff going on, including prizes, contests, a book fair, and more. Book sales and donations will go to support both the library and Autism Empowerment. And, if you have dinner at the nearby Wendy's from 4-8pm that night, a portion of your sales will also benefit these two great causes! So if you're in the Portland/Vancouver area and want to attend a fun, free con, be sure to come on down.

Tomorrow, I'll be doing my biannual appearance at the Portland Home and Garden Show from 6-8pm. I always have a great time doing this, as I get to hang out with my awesome indie author friends from the Northwest Independent Writers Association! Again, if you're in the Portland/Vancouver area - and especially if you're a homeowner looking for stuff for your house, along with some great books - I highly recommend coming down to check it out. I'll be offering my usual discounted live show special of ten bucks for Book One, twelve bucks for Book Two, or twenty dollars for both, so this is your chance to take advantage of that!

And finally, the monthly Book Three Status Update: as of today, I am proud to announce that I am up to 44,000 words, which is ahead of my planned schedule and 11,000 words more than where I was at the time of last month's status update. Rolling right along...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Time Warp

Last week, in my letter to Joel and Felicity, I made a reference to the fact that the two of them are occasionally involved in some funny time travel business. This is because, as readers of Book One and Book Two know, there is a difference between how time passes here on Earth and how it passes in Spectraland.
Okay, so in general, time goes by much faster in Spectraland than it does here. There are, however, as they would say in Doctor Who, a few wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ways that Wavemakers can mess around with the time difference so that it's not a straight minute-for-week correlation, or what have you. If you've read the books, then you know what I'm talking about.

And frankly, sometimes I feel like some Wavemaker somewhere is secretly messing around with how time passes here on Earth, making it go by faster than it's supposed to. Ever get that impression? Like, for example, when I was writing that letter to Joel and Felicity last week, it stunned me to discover that the last time Joel and I did an Annoying Zelda Mini-Game post was back in March of 2015 (I even made a comment in that post about how "time sure flies around here".)

That got me wondering, what else have I done that feels like it just took place yesterday, but in fact happened a relatively long time ago? This is when maintaining a blog, or a journal, or whatever, definitely comes in handy. Here are some of my favorites:

- Our household cats, Boots and Mittens, moved in just recently. Right? Actually, it was in December of 2014. That's a lot of litter boxes that we've changed already.

- My band, Second Player Score, performed at the benefit concert Rock For Autism. I get reminded of this whenever I look at our Reverbnation site. It feels like we just did that, but actually, it was all the way back in August of 2012.

- I was just explaining to one of my friends the other day about why there are seven planned books in the Spectraland Saga, and I remembered that I wrote a blog post about that a few weeks ago. Wait, no, it wasn't a few weeks ago, it was almost three years ago.

I could go on and on like this, but I think you get the idea. So I guess either - as the old saying goes - time flies when you're having fun, or, more likely, a Wavemaker (Fireflower? Joel? Felicity?) is trying to get Earth's time to match up with Spectraland's time for whatever reason. Maybe they're somehow taking advantage of the recent discovery of Einstein's gravitational waves? Hmm...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Letters to Spectraland

Brian Tashima
Prism Valley Press
P.O. Box 87454
Vancouver, WA 98687

February 11, 2016

Joel Suzuki and Felicity Smith
c/o Fireflower
Wavemaker Temple, Spectraland

Dear Joel and Felicity,

I hope the two of you are doing well. Right now over here it is Thursday, February 11, 2016, but I know that with all of the time warp stuff you guys are involved in it's hard to keep track sometimes.

Things back home are good. We got some more recent press coverage, both on TV and in the newspaper, and last Friday I announced that I'll be the special guest author at this year's Readcon at Shahala Middle School. I'll tell you more about Readcon later.

Haven't heard from either of you recently, so I'll assume that you're both really busy. I'm sure that you're having lots of fun practicing your wavebows, making up new lifepod-based recipes, and not getting into any kind of trouble whatsoever.

Felicity - when you get back, let's liveblog some more TV shows. I'm sad that Gravity Falls is ending, but I've gotten into a couple of new things, like Supergirl on CBS (which is fine for kids) and The Magicians on SyFy (which is not).

And Joel, when you get back, we should continue our Most Annoying Zelda Mini-Games series. I think we left off almost a year ago(!) at #6, the STAR game from Twilight Princess. Still not sure when the new Zelda game is coming out, but we might as well just forge ahead in the meantime (the good news is that the live-action series is apparently still on track).

Anyway, just wanted to drop you guys a line. Please say hello to Fireflower for me.

Best (because I know you both get squeamish when I say "Love"),


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spectraland In The News

The Spectraland Saga continues to make headlines!
This week, Jenica Villamor from KPTV was gracious enough to do an awesome story on us for Good Day Oregon. Check it out at this link!

Also, Michael Tsai from my hometown newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, wrote a very cool column on us that you can check out here. It's behind a paywall, but existing print subscribers can read it for free, or you can buy a 14-day pass for just $1.99 - cheaper than your morning coffee! (the good kind, anyway)

Since we're on the topic - in case you missed it, here's a roundup of all the other recent news coverage that Joel and company have been receiving:

 - A story that was featured on KATU news last November (here's the print version on their website, does anyone just happen to have a video clip?)

- An article in The Oregonian that now has over 2400 social media shares

- An article in The Mighty, a website focusing on stories about disabilities that has over 80 million readers

A special thanks goes out to Lisa Cohn of Arts Seen and Heard PR, who has done a fantastic job of helping me spread the good word about my little book series and what we're trying to accomplish with regards to the autism community. I would highly recommend her to any indie artists out there who need assistance with their promotion and publicity efforts. Also, be sure to check out Bash and Lucy, the children's book series written by her and her son Michael!