Self Publishing Steps

When I self published my first book ALL THAT MATTERS I learned a lot of stuff as I went along about self publishing. I wrote down a lot of these things to make my todo list for my next book MIRROR THROUGH TIME a little bit easier for me self publish. I want to share that todo list with you today to see if anyone thinks I am leaving something out.
  • Finish Writing Book (so close)
  • Have the book sent to an editor to be edited
  • Have a cover designed
  • Consult with a PR firm
  • Have an audio book made
  • Have a physical copy of the book made
  • Have Review copies of the book to give out.
  • Contact as many book review blogs as possible to review my book (currently have a list of 300 and growing)

So what do you think? Am I leaving anything out? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think I should add or do differently.

Sherlock Homes

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock HomesWhen I was still in high school I read all of the Sherlock Homes Adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Something about the way Sherlock Homes could solve problems and see things others couldn’t always interested me. I say this about my brothers a lot but, I love how Sherlock’s thinks, how his mind works. I wish my mind fired as fast as theirs.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who first appeared in publication in 1887. He is the creation of Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based detective, Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of “deductive reasoning” while using abductive reasoning and astute observation to solve difficult cases.

Sherlock Home: The Complete Granada Television SeriesNot long after I finished reading all the Homes books I found The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes tv series on the A&E Network. My mom and brother would sit with me and watch it. I don’t know why, but not long after I moved to Juneau I started poking around the internet looking for the DVD’s of this great show. I was able to find a few disks on, but never the complete series. Then a couple of years ago I found myself walking through the DVD section of Costco when I spotted Sherlock Home: The Complete Granada Television Series. I picked it up, No questions asked.

The actor who plays the master detective in this series is Jeremy Brett, who many consider to be the definitive screen version of Sherlock Homes. His story is quite sad actually if you read up on him. His acting though, is masterful.

I would love to hear what you think of Sherlock Holmes and how you feel Jeremy Brett’s version stacks up with Robert Downey, Jr’s version.



Betta Care

Over the last few weeks since my wife gave me a Betta for Valentines day, I have learned a lot about Betta fish care and I thought I would share with you what I have learned. Turns out that a Betta Fish can require more time and care than you might think.

Bettas come from tropical areas in Asia. Like Thailand and Malaysia.  Two male bettas should never be placed in the same tank unless you have a divider. The male Bettas tend to have the large colorful fins whereas the females will have smaller fins.

If two male Bettas share one aquarium they may very well fight to the death. In the wild however, bettas do not fight to the death. They will fight till there is a winner for the territory. The loser will go off and hide, or jump to another area to find safety (which is why bettas should always be in covered tanks, but still have access to air). In small tanks, there is no where to hide, thus leading to deaths.

Like lots of other people I have been told through friends and pet store employee’s that Betta fish like and flourish in small aquariums or fish bowls. It turns out that this could not be further from the truth! Bettas, especially those kept in smaller bowls need to have 25% of their water changes twice a week along with full bowl changes weekly. This was my biggest reason for getting a larger aquarium with an adjustable flow water filter. You want a slow flow filter so that the water current produced by the filter does not over power your Betta.

When you first get your Aquarium you want to clean it out, along with anything else you plan to put into it (rocks, plants, or ornaments) with warm to hot water. There seems to be some debate on the internet about how you should go about cleaning aquariums and the items you put into it, but I have found warm to hot water does the job for my single male Betta.

Feeding Bettas can also start a debate online it seems. I would like to share with you what I have found that works. Bettas have a lot of personality and they will beg for food. I feed my Betta fish twice a day. Two pellets of Betta fish food. Once or twice a week I will substitue the pellet food with bloodworms. You can get bloodworms at your pet store. Just thaw them out in something like a shot glass with water. I use tweezers to pick out two bloodworms (one at a time) and feed them to my Betta. It seems Betta fish like a variety of food and my Betta enjoys his bloodworm meals.

I hope you find this information useful. Have you discovered any tips or tricks to take care of your Betta? Please leave a comment and let me know!

A Good Cigar

I enjoy a good cigar. There is nothing like it. I thought I would share with you a couple of my favorite cigars that I always have in my humidor.

Arturo Fuente creates a cigar known as the Hemingway Classic. It’s a mild to medium strength cigar in a medium brown colored wrapper. My brother, Abe turned me on to this guy and I have always had one close by ever since. It is probably my favorite cigar that I smoke. The box these cigars comes in too is really quite nice as well and I think could be repurposed into a great many things.

Romeo y Juliet is another brand I really enjoy and discovered early on when I first picked up cigar smoking. I was actually attracted to the logo first. It just worked out that I liked the cigar too. The 1875, or the Reserve are both great options under the Remeo y Juliet brand. The 1875 is the more mild of the two and I tend to smoke them more than because of that. Just depends on my mood.

Because I smoke cigars I get asked how I like to cut my cigars and what do I use to light them with. I don’t think this matters. I don’t think the cigars you choose to smoke matters either. Just smoke what you enjoy and cut and light them the way you want. But, to answer the question I use a punch to cut my cigars and a Zippo lighter to light them.

On Downloading

I think it’s a good idea because it’s people trading music. It has nothing to do with industry or finance, it’s just people that want music and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the same as someone turning on the fucking radio, it’s the same as someone putting a cassette in a cassette deck when the BBC plays a special radio session. I don’t think it’s a crime, it’s been going on for years. It’s the same as people making tapes for each other. The industry is more threatened by it because it’s the worldwide web and it’s a broader scope of trading, but I don’t think it’s such a fucking horrible thing. The first thing we should do is get all the fucking millionaires to shut their mouths, and stop bitching about the 25 cents a time they’re losing. – Dave Grohl

Betta Max

For Valentines Day this year my wife got me a beautiful blue and purple male Betta fish that we have named Betta Max. (Hey I’m a geek. Can you tell?) I have been talking about getting a Betta for months now, but I never went through with it because I just could not decide on a tank for one. That did not stop me from doing research for one online to learn more about care and feeding for a Betta. The one Hannah picked out for me is a Delta Tail Male Betta fish. I had to look up what kind of Betta that was.

Betta Delta Tail- Male Also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, Combattant (Canada), Trey kroem phloek (Cambodia), or C lia thia (Vietnam). The Male Betta is well known for its jewel-bright colors and spectacular finnage. Unlike most fish, they breathe from the water’s surface with their labyrinth organ instead of through their gills. Delta Tails have a distinctly triangular-shaped tail with crisp edges and sharp angles. The tail of a Delta is symmetrical, and although the angle is generally wide they are generally 130ø or less in tail span. Anything more than 130ø but less than 170ø is considered a Super Delta Tail Betta. Bettas will “flare” their fins when disturbed or threatened. The male Betta will attack another Betta and have been known to attack similar-looking fish. It is recommended that only one male Betta is housed in an aquarium with plants and very little current.

Hannah really could not have picked out a better gift.

Together the two of us went to the local pet store where I picked out a tank and Hannah picked out some red Gravel, a plant, and an Easter Island looking statue.

Today I added a d20 to the tank. Hannah says I am projecting on Betta Max. I just feel like he wants to be able to play games from his tank. Who am I to stop him?

Wearable Art

Juneau Arts and HumanitiesMy wife is quite the creative soul. I find myself impressed and amazed almost daily by the ways she expresses herself creativity. One of the ways I have seen her harness her creativity is with a program called ‘Wearable Art’. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council puts on an annual event called, ‘Wearable Art‘ where people create artistic clothing and for one weekend a year they show it off on a runway in down town Juneau.

For months my wife has been working on her second entry into the Wearable Art event. Inspired by her nursing career, she started sketching out designs for a dress made entirely from materials found in a hospital operating room. I watch as she slowly brought the dress to life. It really is amazing how her mind works and how she is able to put things like this together.

This past weekend was the annual Wearable Art show and My wife, along with her model showed off all the hard work that had gone into her dress. Below I would like to share with you some photos from the event.