Episode 6 of The Erasable Man – Just a Teaser

I finally had a chance to sit down and go work through the feedback from my editor and work in a few other things I noticed here and there.  (Incidentally, you also might want to checkout What Happened On My Space Vacation it’s targeted at a more young adult audience but is well worth the read.)  Without further ado, here’s that teaser promised in the title:

The temperature in the room started rising as their tempers flared hotter. It wouldn’t be long before I had to take drastic measures.

“Ladies …”

“Why would you give them to an asshole like him?”

“Aden! He’s not an asshole. He’s … he’s none of your business!”

“Ladies …” A bead of sweat dripped down the side of my face as more and more heat rolled off the pair. Papers at the edge of my desk were starting to smoke. If they kept this up, I’d need a new desk, not to mention a new chair, and a new office. The least of my troubles would be another visit with Sheridan. I grabbed a fire extinguisher from the kitchen.

“Who is this asshole? You never tell me anything any…”

“Why should I tell you? It’s not like you care about…”

If all goes well, I’ll have the full episode posted within the next couple of days and the Episode 7 off to the editor shortly there after.  Now, if only I could find a few moments to rebuild that buffer of episodes again!

My New Hat!

I picked this up at the Austin PHP meetup:

Me in a Mail Chimp Hat!

My New Hat!

Episode 5 of the Erasable Man is Out and a Free eBook!

And there you have it, episode 5 of The Erasable Man is live over at Juke Pop!   Unfortunately for me, that means I’ve burned through my cushion again and really, really need to get back to actually doing some writing.  Also, for those of you out there who don’t have it yet, That Which is Namless will be free starting on the 12th and running through the 14th.

As always, keep reading!

Back in the Saddle – The Erasable Man

That’s right! You can now read Chapter 3 of the Erasable Man over at JukePop Serials (Which I’ve helpfully linked right there!).  Things slowed down for a bit with the move earlier in the year.  But, thankfully, daily life is starting to return to some degree of normalcy, and the new apartment has a stable internet connection!  Let me know what you think! I’m always interested in feed back; there isn’t any other way to get better to tell the truth.

Home Made Kaiser Rolls!

They didn’t quite brown as well as I would have liked and the seeds keep coming off.  The browning issue is probably from using too much water to steam the oven, I’ll have to try a little less next time to see if that helps.

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Home Made Kaiser Rolls

If you’re interested in giving the recipe a try, take a look at Sourdough Home.  I’ve been doing a bit of reading from their site and have my own starter bubbling away (you can see it in the upper left corner there).

Just Finished Reading – How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional UniverseHow to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I originally started reading this book several months back and had to set it aside due entirely to external factors. At the time, it looked like the text was off to a good start. So, when I picked it up this time, I had high hopes only to see it come crashing down under the weight of gratuitous prose. The story centers around a character, named suspiciously the same as the author, who repairs time machines and hopes to one day locate his lost father, an uncredited co-discoverer of the theory behind time machines. Unfortunately, that’s the entire plot right then and there. More than half the book is exposition about the narrator’s past and just how bad that past was, or rather, mediocre it was.

On top of the near complete lack of story, the prose drove me nuts. Yu likes big words and uses them throughout the text without caring if there is anything to warrant their usage. It seems his overall goal is to add academic weight by the sheer mass of verbiage he uses.

There are numerous points where ideas are drawn out so far past the point of interest that I found it difficult to not skim over them to find the next interesting bit. It’s almost as if the entire point of 75% of the text is for the main character to whine about wallowing in self pity.

Overall, Yu attempts to invoke the whimsical nature of Douglas Adams with a dash of Pratchett on the side and fails miserably. If I could make one suggestion to the author, cut out about 20~30 percent of what’s there in the next draft!

View all my reviews

Live on Juke Pop: The Erasable Man

About a month ago, I decided to take a shot at serialized fiction with The Erasable Man and submitted it to JukePop Serials. Yesterday, I received a little note from them saying they really liked the story, but it needed a little editing and to resubmit. So, freshly printed copy of the chapter in hand, I took my pen and poured over it one more time, fixing everything I could find!

Here’s the last commit message:

commit a6cffe46e8890697b30de714b901b6d8ee83c5aa
Author: arlaneenalra <>
Date:   Mon Jun 24 23:43:55 2013 -0500

    Remove spaces from T.E.M.

Yup, that’s just over sixteen minutes to midnight, and yes, I do like palindromes. About 5:04pm this afternoon, this little gem popped up in my inbox:

Dear Chris Salch,

Congratulations, your serial start, The Erasable Man, has been selected for publication on JukePop Serials!

To officially publish your serial to our website, we ask that you log into your JukePop account and go to MY SUBMISSIONS tab under MY ACCOUNT and look for The Erasable Man. Click on the CLICK TO PUBLISH button under your serial, review the JukePop Serials TERMS AND AGREEMENT, and click the AGREE button to publish your serial to the website. You should see your serial published on our website within an hour.

And here’s where I say:

YIPPEE!

Without further Adieu:

Now, I really do need to get a cover for this story!

Playing With Bookmarklets

Every so often I’ve found myself wanting to link to a specific comment over on LitReactor. Unfortunately, while they have in page anchors, there is no easy way to get at a link to them. Having fought with developer tools tracking down the right anchor element one too many times, I decided to throw this little toy together right quick:

javascript:(function () {
    var comment_container = $('#comments');
    var comments = $('div.comment', comment_container);
    var anchors = $('a[id~=comment]', comment_container);

    for (var i = 0; i < anchors.length; i++) {
        var anchor = $(anchors[i]);
        var comment = $(comments[i]);

        var href = window.location.href + '#' + anchor.attr('id');

        $('.comment-content .comment-meta a:first-child ', comment).before(
            '<a href="' + href + '"> # </a>'
        );
    }
})();

And here it is as a link:

Keep in mind, this is just a toy! No warranties, use at your own risk etc!

New Headlights!

YAY! My ’04 New Beetle has a new pair of headlights! Have a look:

The Bug

Here’s the two big reasons the Bug needed new ones:

imageimage

The drivers side headlight lost its lens and insulation on the wiring inside both headlights had started cracking apart.  I’d already tried fixing the lens once when it started coming loose several weeks back.  Unfortunately, it popped off somewhere on the road this time and disappeared.  It’s a touch difficult to re-attach something if you don’t have it to reattach!

I ran a few searches and called a place town to see what a replacement would cost.  A Bosch light was going to run me around $200 for one side.  That would have left me with a pair of mismatched lights and not dealt with the crumbling insulation in the other housing.  You can’t see it very well in the picture, but that lens is extremely yellowed and more translucent that transparent.  Definitely not conducive to good night time vision.   Beside, there’s a nasty crack starting around the bottom edge.

image

Thankfully, I found these guys: http://www.headlightsdepot.com

They had replacement assemblies at $85 a side and $155 a pair.  Much better than the $400 plus I was looking at otherwise.  They’re site isn’t the best in the world, but it does do a good job of letting you find the what you’re looking for.  Where it falls down is letting you track an order after completion.  I received an two emails (if I’m remembering this correctly) from the company, with a different order reference number than the the one their site gave me at the time of the order and two different FedEx tracking numbers.  One of which was for something being sent to Austin!  That’s a good five hours from where my headlights were supposed to be headed.

Needless to say, I was somewhat relieved when the headlights actually arrived!

If you find yourself needing to replace the bulb or full assembly on one of these, take a look at this video:

It’s a touch long, but he does a pretty comprehensive run down of how everything fits together.  The driver side light is a good deal more of a pain than the passenger side one.  Whoever did the layout for this vehicles engine compartment must have been a sadist to put the latch behind the battery box. SHEESH!  Thankfully, this is not something that needs to be done overly frequently.

Now that that’s over with!  Time to get back to writing! 😉

Free Stuff May 18th and 19th

In honor of getting my this site moved onto new hosting, the kindle version of That Which is Nameless is going to be free this weekend the 18th and 19th!  Here’s a short excerpt:

That is, until someone tripped one of my traps. Thankfully, it was nothing overly dangerous. I had set up proximity-triggered portals around the room I was staying in, arranged to prevent anyone other than me from finding my door. In theory, anyone who activated one of the portals should have been moved down the walkway by the width of one room, none the wiser. Somewhere in the process of writing out the phrasing I had screwed up. Instead of being moved one door farther down, they were moved one door farther back.

The poor soul spent an hour trying to get away from the door to my room before I found her. She had a downtrodden, frantic look that characterized many of the residents in this hotel. Her eyes were sunken into a gaunt face, and she was generally disheveled in appearance. If I had to make a guess as to her age, I would have said somewhere in her late twenties. I was reasonably sure she had not bathed or changed clothing in some time. She was sitting across the walkway from my door with her body pulled up into the fetal position. Tears were streaming down her face as she sat there, rocking back and forth in fear and desperation.

When she saw me opening the door she screamed and grabbed my legs, holding on for dear life. “I’m freaking out! Help me! I’m trapped here! Please help me!”

When you grab a copy, give me a shout-out either here or over on Twitter.  Have fun!