Archive for the ‘WDYTWed’ Category

#WDYTWed: post-mortem continuations

November 27, 2019

#WDYTWed: post mortem continuations

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday, although I missed a couple recently. Good reason, though: a happy family event…

I’m really curious about your reaction to today’s question!

It ties into a lot of things in society, and in the visual arts, as well as the literary ones.

When a creator (an author, for purposes of this poll) dies, what, if anything, should be done to continue the worlds they’ve created?

It’s pretty common in the literary world. Many more James Bond books have been published since Ian Fleming’s death than the original author wrote. Dune, MIddle-Earth, Sherlock Holmes…sequels to Gone with the Wind, War of the Worlds: while certainly, some readers don’t like the idea, they appear to be in the minority and the books can do very well financially and be popular.

The only series I regularly re-read is the Oz books. I read an e-book version before falling asleep in bed: a few “pages” a night. That’s only the “Famous 14” by the original author, L. Frank Baum. However, I have other books in the series by other authors.

I particularly enjoy the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson (at AmazonSmile*), the first author to wear the post-mortem mantle. Thompson’s Oz books shifted in a lighter direction, with more puns and less slavery and torture (both of which are prominent in Baum’s works).

I’ve also liked some of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (at AmazonSmile*). There is a significant difference to those, since they are being published under the “house name” of Kenneth Robeson, rather than the names of the new authors. That’s not hidden at all, and it’s the way the books by primary original author Lester Dent were also published.

Clearly, I’m comfortable with post-mortem continuations.

However…

There is something on the horizon.

It’s starting to happen in movies and TV.

Continuation via AI…artificial intelligence.

“James Dean” will appear in a Vietnam War movie.

“Carrie Fisher” has appeared in movies after dying.

“Peter Cushing” was also in one of the recent Star Wars movies.

That’s not entirely AI, not out of whole cloth…er, bytes. Humans are involved in the creative aspects, and for Fisher and Cushing, actors will also involved.

There has been a lot of pushback online on the James Dean story (Dean would be computer generated).

My response to it is a bit different. The family reportedly approves of DigiDean.

If the family approves of it, why should fans have precedence? Oh, I think we should have a voice, certainly, and we will at the box office (or by whether or not we stream it), but my guess is that Dean would appreciate that the family is still being supported. Well, maybe not James Dean, necessarily, but there are a lot of other actors who would.

Digital author recreations are inevitable. After Stephen King is unable to write works, let’s say it’s at least ten years in the future, there will be software which will analyze all of King’s works and be able to produce something which, at least on the surface, reads like it was written by King. That can be done now, but it will get to be much better. More data helps in a situation like that, and that’s one reason I picked King (along with the popularity). It would be harder to credibly emulate someone who only wrote one short story.

I would think it will be very difficult (but not impossible) for AI to innovate as humans do. DigiKing won’t be likely to surprise with a complete left turn and, say, write a Stephen King regency romance. Writing new contemporary horror with convincing suburbanites encountering something outré? Yes, I think that will happen.

That’s the set up: let’s do the poll.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.

:)

Shop ’til you help!

:)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed: books from your childhood

November 20, 2019

#WDYTWed: books from your childhood

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday, although I missed a couple recently. Good reason, though: a happy family event…

Just one today, and something on my mind:


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.

:)

Shop ’til you help!

:)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed: “paranormal” non-fiction

October 30, 2019

#WDYTWed: “paranormal” non-fiction

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Before I start: so nice to have our power & internet back! It could go out again, but my best guess is that we are probably okay for a week or so. Many people had it worse than us, including people I know well (and certainly, there are people still affected). We’ve smelled smoke from the fires and we have our go bags ready (many Californians have them all the time…we used to think of them for earthquakes, but fires are more likely). Best wishes for everybody affected!

Okay…

Given that this is the day before Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve Eve?), I thought I’d go with something that was popular when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore (including big bestsellers).

However, while people have a hard time defining what science fiction is, people have a hard time even settling on a term for this topic…and it can be very emotionally charged as to what to call it and what to include.

Broadly, it’s reputed non-fiction about things which “mainstream science” (if there is such a thing) considers to be…highly improbable (real science, while there are agreed upon highly likelihoods, is willing to challenge any existing assumptions through rigorous testing).

In many stores, it might have been labeled Paranormal or Occult or New Age. In some, perhaps, Forteana (named after author Charles Fort). Well, “paranormal” now often means fiction, “New Age” became about music and movies (among other things). I don’t see the “occult” term much any more. Oh, and some stores would put it under Spirituality or even Religion.

It’s a very broad category! There are books about UFOs, for example, which could easily go into science: hard speculation with testable theories based on mainstream science. On the other hand, there are books about UFOs which do have a religious orientation.

I used to be very cautious about including those topics in this blog, but this seems like a good time. 🙂 I’m not an advocate or a skeptic, but I used to really be focused on this. I appeared on radio and TV, wrote about it, had a very brief column in a national newsstand magazine. I was the Education Director for a 501(c)3 non-profit that dealt with these topics.

Recently, in the extensive writing community on Twitter, someone asked for areas of expertise (so authors can ask questions). I could have offered a few, but if someone was writing fiction which included a character who was interested in these sorts of things, I could review something to let you know it reflected the “community” beliefs (although I’ve been out of it in any serious way for a while).

Broadly, the poll questions below could involve cryptozoology (Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, chupacabra…), UFOs, parapsychology (ESP, telekinesis…), ghosts/hauntings, real magic/witches, ancient technological civilizations, fish falling from the sky, and so on.

Here we go!

Please note: I could have easily listed 100 for the next poll, without looking up anything…I inevitably will be leaving out many popular and significant authors, even ones I’ve met. I decided to just cut it off at one point, or I’d be here all day! Please feel free to comment with others.

I know a significant number of you won’t appreciate the association of at least some of these topics with this holiday…but regardless, Happy Halloween, and if you don’t celebrate that happy Thursday tomorrow! 😉

I’m expecting some interesting comments on this one!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed (on Thursday): buying books as gifts

October 24, 2019

#WDYTWed (on Thursday): buying books as gifts

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Unfortunately, yesterday, I didn’t have time to one of these…so that “just about” comes in handy. 😉

In an exchange with an author, the idea of how important it is that books are published as gifts for others was being discussed. Of course, Young Adult books, for example, are often purchased by adults for younger people (many are purchased for the adults to read for themselves, but that’s a different story).

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I can tell you that the success or failure of those stores relies heavily on sales at the end of the year, when people are buying more gifts.

So, this week, I thought I’d ask you some questions about buying books for gifts (including contrasting that to buying books for yourself).

Looking forward to seeing what you say!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed: how much does a book’s genre matter to you?

October 16, 2019

#WDYTWed: how much does a book’s genre matter to you?

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Today, let’s talk about genres.

I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. One of the first things you might notice in a traditional bookstore is that the store is divided into sections.

That might be done by signs hanging from the ceiling, or labels in the aisles.

I’m talking about a new bookstore, by the way. Used bookstores are sometimes just a jumble of everything, with no organization. Not always, of course.

Some people find the latter a thrill…it’s that sense that you’ve discovered something someone else might have missed.

Others, I would guess most, find that uncomfortable. They want to get into the store and know where they are going and what sorts of books they’ll find.

Why?

Why go to a romance section, or a science fiction section, or a mystery section? Why not just look at a shelf of random books, with everything all next to each other?

That answer probably seems obvious: there are different types of books and within those categories, there are similarities. If you already know that a particular type of book appeals to you (and perhaps that other types don’t), you have a better chance of finding a book you like.

People commonly call those groupings of books “genres”.

That’s a slippery term, though.

It comes from the same root as the word “genus” (as in genus and species), which would suggest a common origin.

Most people don’t use it that way, although some may still search for books by French authors, or written by authors of one gender, or religion…that suggests a common origin.

I’d say readers generally consider a genre to mean that there are books with similar content…although dictionary definitions will also cite style.

I’d go with content.

I wouldn’t define “sad” as a genre, for example.

Readers outside of a genre sometimes denigrate the very similarities which make them attractive to fans: golden age science fiction, with its rockets and BEMs (Bug-Eyed Monsters). “Bodice ripper” romances, with its dukes and stable boys…part of the appeal is those familiar elements.

I recently read a non-fiction book I found very insightful:

The Hitmakers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Probably the most important idea was that the brain’s favorite thing is to discover familiar patterns in unfamiliar settings (that’s my restatement of it). That makes sense: recognizing patterns is one of the ways that the brain earns its share of blood.

It explains a lot of things. Why do sequels do well? We can recognize something familiar (say, a character), but in something new (a different story). Too similar, and it seems boringly repetitious. Too different, and it’s jarring, “out of character”.

Genres, then, would be the norm because it helps us predict that experience: familiar patterns in unfamiliar settings.

Of course, the definitions of genres are imprecise and can lead to passionate argument. I’ve seen that many times with science fiction, especially when it gets lumped with fantasy (lumping is not an insult, by the way: there’s a division amongst people who define categories of animals and plants..lumpers and splitters. Lumpers like fewer species definitions, splitters like more). There were fans who were adamant that Star Wars was not science fiction: it was perhaps, science fantasy, or even just straight fantasy. Mainstream media tends to refer to it as science fiction, since it has…hey, rockets and BEMs! 😉

As a Fortean (a follower of Charles Fort), I don’t have hard and fast definitions: everything blends into everything else (that is, perhaps, the core tenet, if we can call it that, of Forteanism…except that all of the tenets and non-tenets blur). 😉

Now, let’s get to some polls!

I am already running a poll on Twitter, but as Lady Galaxy pointed out, not everyone can vote on Twitter. If you can, this one lets you pick between some genres:

https://twitter.com/bufocalvin/status/1184077464366043136

Here, let’s address some different questions:

Looking forward to seeing your responses!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed: today’s Amazon announcements

September 25, 2019

#WDYTWed: today’s Amazon announcements

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

Amazon is making major announcements today, 25 September. This will be a bit challenging, but I think I’ll wait until those are over (which will probably put me into the afternoon Pacific time) and add a poll during my lunch break.

The Verge coverage of the announcement


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.

:)

Shop ’til you help!

:)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: finishing a book, and what’s important to your enjoyment of a novel

September 18, 2019

#WDYTWed: finishing a book, and what’s important to your enjoyment of a novel

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

This first one today is just something I’ve noticed in myself, and I was wondering about you.

When I get close to the end of a book I like, I find I slow down my reading of it. I don’t want that book to end, and to then move on to another book. Hm…that’s if it’s not a series, where I may want to move on quickly to get to the next one.

However, I’m sure many people read more quickly because they want to see what happens!

That’s if you aren’t like at least one of my readers, and read the ending first: I would never do that, personally. I always read fiction in the order the author intended. I try to do that with books in a series, too, but that’s not always easy (earlier books may not be available, or I may not realize it’s a series when I start reading one mid-series…and since I finish every book I start, I can’t just abandon it because it’s in the middle of a series. I could postpone it and start the first book, if it’s available, but if it isn’t, I’ll finish the mid-series book

What about you?

This next one came from a poll on Twitter, although frustratingly, I can’t find the tweet again right now so I can credit the inspiration to that author. If I find it, I’ll amend this post. I responded to it with a tweet, but haven’t found that digging back, either…if the person deleted it for some reason, I suppose that might do that.

Anyway, the question has to do with what’s the most important element of a fiction book for you. This was intended for authors (there is a thriving author community on Twitter), but I’m going to ask you as readers.

That author contended that plot was most important. I countered with my feeling: characters are generally the most important. I said that I’d rather a book with interesting characters where nothing plotwise happens than a book with an interesting plot and wooden characters. I used the example of Seinfeld, which was famously “about nothing”, although that was hyperbole (they often had significant plots).

I think that’s natural: people are more interested in people than they are in events. That’s not to say that they aren’t interested in events, they certainly are. If you say, “I saw this person do this really weird thing,” the next question is likely to be “What did they do?”, not “What was that person like?” Now I’m starting to question myself: if I say I saw a great show, I think people may want to know what happened in it, rather than who the characters were.

Still, I do think the characters are what tend to engage us. Let’s take the Sherlock Holmes stories, for example. Let’s say that in every Holmes book, the plots were exactly the same as they are now, but there were different characters in each one from Holmes and Watson (also meaning they would approach the mysteries differently…that’s part of what makes Holmes’ character, for sure).

The other element raised was world-building (or setting). I’m sure many books have started with a “what if” thought. “What if there was a world where time ran backwards?” Philip K. Dick has a book like that:

Counter-Clock World (available through Kindle Unlimited at no additional cost for members) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The Oz books have a great setting (after the first book), and I do think I could read an Oz book with none of the known characters (not every one of the “Famous 14” main books by L. Frank Baum stars Dorothy and friends…Baum really pioneered crossovers) and enjoy it. I’ll write something at some point about how Baum brilliantly and amusingly tested the limits of the fascinating rules that Baum created, but that’s for another time.

What do you think is the most important for your enjoyment of a book? I’ll do multiple choice even though I’m using a superlative…it could be a tie. 🙂

I could see some possible other factors: length of the book, relationship to other works by the author, and so on.

Well, these two polls do intrigue me! I’m looking forward to seeing how you respond.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: out of the book

September 11, 2019

#WDYTWed: out of the book

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

This came up recently. It was when I was watching a movie, but it also happens with books.

How do you feel about fictional characters referencing real world pop culture? Star Wars, The Stepford Wives, The Beatles…I’ve seen all of them show up in a work of fiction.

It’s interesting: if it’s a period piece, and they get it right, I love that. For example, and I’m not sure where I saw it, a 1940s gumshoe who, I think, got hit over the head, said that it was like the Nicholas Brothers doing a tap routine on their skull (something like that). That’s a perfect allusion.

However, when it happens in contemporary fiction, it takes me out of the book. I guess I think of the characters in a book as in a different, parallel world…not someone I could bump into on the street (or the internet).

If they get it wrong, it’s really bad. I’m pretty sensitive to anachronisms: something that is out of chronological place. It can be as subtle as using a modern frisbee in a 1960s set story.

Let’s start with that question:

This other one has to do with point of view. My Significant Other doesn’t like reading books that are written in first person…as if the narrator is telling you what’s happening to them, talking to you directly. “I walked into the room, and saw…” My SO says it feels like someone is looking over their shoulder.

Third-person is written as though it’s someone observing the story. “They walked into the room, and saw…”

I seem some vehement opinions about this. I can go either way…they can both work. Let’s see what you think:

Looking forward to reading your responses!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: book tie-ins

September 5, 2019

#WDYTWed: book tie-ins

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…

I was speaking today with someone about Buckaroo Banzai. I liked that movie, but I may have liked the book even more. That one was a bit of an odd duck: the screenwriter had been writing about Buckaroo for some time, including in prose. The book is not an adaptation of the screenplay by someone else. That got me thinking about books and movies…and other adaptations.

Some adaptations have been great! It’s interesting: I’ve really enjoyed some books that tie-in to TV series. Most people probably know the Star Trek (and then later, the Star Wars ones) books. After the series ended, that was one of the main ways we got continuing experiences with Kirk and Spock.

However, I thought there were great tie-ins to Get Smart, Dark Shadows, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E..

So, let’s look at this two ways: adaptations of books which came first, and books which came second.

Looking forward to seeing your answers on these, and your comments!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

#WDYTWed: reading habits, streaming video

August 21, 2019

#WDYTWed: reading habits, streaming video

In the almost ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who recently suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, every Wednesday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Before I give you a chance to express yourself with some blogs, I do have to say…it was really frustrating last week! I had several polls I wanted to be multiple choice. I published the post, saw that they weren’t (I’m pretty sure I said they should be). I went back in and very deliberately saved them as multiple choice, and they still weren’t! I know that was hard for some of you, and it meant the data wasn’t as robust as I wanted it to be. I noticed that WordPress changed the host source of the polls (I suppose it could have been just a name change). Virtual fingers crossed it works this time!

First, I’ve been being a bit reflective, now that I can no longer “introduce” myself as having one of the best-selling blogs of any kind in the USA, because they aren’t selling blogs any more.

I used to read a lot of books, I’d say certainly 100 a year. Now, start to finish, it’s nowhere near that. It can take me weeks to read a single book (although I never am reading just one at a time). I do sight read books every day, but not for very long.

In part, that’s because I read other things…Flipboard takes up a lot of my reading time, and I read magazines.

By far, most of the book reading I do is via text-to-speech in the car. In a typical week, though, that probably doesn’t amount to 100 pages.

So, here are my first two questions:

I’ve been really, really looking forward to the launch of

Disney+

Unlike a lot of people, that’s not for Marvel or Star Wars, particularly. I want to see a lot of older Disney movies (especially live action) that I have haven’t seen in a long time. I want to see the old Medfield College comedies with Kurt Russell (I’d love to see them do a new series with Medfield as a STEM school, and Russell could appear in an episode as alumnus Dexter Riley). I even want to see things like The Cat from Outer Space. 🙂

I was disappointed today to hear that Amazon and Disney haven’t worked out licensing for Disney+ to be on the

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

at the November 12th launch.

My guess is that they will work it out…they still have some time. I just can’t see Disney letting all that real estate go away, and Amazon wants that prestige subser (subscription service), of course.

Subsers are certainly part of the Amazon world, including videos. That market has really changed, just in the past five years. Now, there are a bunch of ones that cost under $20. Instead of paying $100 (or more) to a single cable company, people pay around $10 each to several of them.

I just canceled DC Universe. I did enjoy it, but I really got it just for my recovery from my hip replacement surgery in January. I watched a lot of what they had. I didn’t like their flagship show, Titans, although I enjoyed Doom Patrol.

We have a noticeable loss of luxury income with Amazon stopping paid blogs through the Kindle store, and I figured it made sense to drop DCU when I planned to get Disney+.

We are also Prime members (so we get Prime Video), and subscribe to Hulu (at the ad free tier) and Netflix.

I’m curious as to which ones you use…

I’m considering using Patreon as a way for people to support my creative efforts. I’ve looked at it in the past, but now I have more motivation. I haven’t decided yet. I know for sure I’m not planning to move everything behind any kind of paywall! I want to make sure I can always help people who need it without unnecessary hurdles…helping people is my favorite thing.

If it was just a matter of making it easy for someone who chooses to do so, with no obligation on either side, to support me, that would be fine…I’d just open that up and see what happens.

However, in looking at it (just a bit so far), it seems to make the most sense to offer subscribers exclusive content…which would mean producing something additional. No question, that’s a challenge with where we are right now.

First, this:

Now, if I did do Patreon and produced exclusive subscriber material, what would you like to see me do?

My thought is that, if I do it, I’d probably go with ninety-nine cents a month, just like a subscription to ILMK was.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what you have to say on these!

Thanks again to everyone who was a paid subscriber to this blog!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


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