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    Busy Weekend


    2012 - 01.31

    Between getting Abandoned Towers ready to launch, Robbie Burns Night for the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band (my brother’s band) and the Led Zepplin/Pink Floyd laser show at the Planetarium, we had a crazy busy weekend.  I even managed to get some blog posts cranked out over at Abandoned Towers and on Random Synapses. :)

    I did not, however, manage to get much of my own fiction writing done.  Soon, my pretties.  Once we have the AT site finished, I’ll have a lot more time to get on that. (stop laughing…let me have my delusions.)

    Typewriter?


    2011 - 10.08

    Anyone out there got a nice looking typewriter?  Karin’s wanting to do some author pictures, and I thought it might be fun to do also do a photo shoot that used a typewriter.  Just a thought.  If you have other suggestions for authory props, or author photos that you thought were particularly good or effective, please share them.

    Award Winner!


    2011 - 09.10

    Not quite an official press release, but it is a scan of the information from the Burnaby Writer’s Society bi-monthly newsletter.  Collecting the 3 place prize is everyone’s favourite new author: K.E. Abel.  Note: the K does indeed stand for Karin with an “i”, but typos like that really don’t diminish the accomplishment or her greatness.

    Burnaby Writers Society, Writing Contest 2011: Fire

    BWS’s 2011 contest on the theme of FIRE

    Our judge was BC poet Peter Trower. Peter, who has worked for years as the poetry editor for Raincoast Chronicles and has reviewed a lot of submissions in his time, said he was amazed at the high quality of work submitted for the 2011 Burnaby Writers Society contest, and had difficulty picking the winners. He was impressed to see a sestina among the entries. He knows of only one person that wrote sestinas well, Earle Birney.

    Winners and finalists will read from their work at our September 20th Spoken INK awards night, La Fontana Caffe, #101-3701 East Hastings (at Boundary Road), Burnaby .Readings begin at 8:00 p.m. Everyone is cordially invited to attend.”

    from http://burnabywritersnews.blogspot.com/2011/08/contest-results.html

    Things (blueberry related) I Learned Today


    2011 - 08.20

    Cross posted at Random Synapses.

    1. In under two hours, I can pick ten pounds of blueberries.
    2. One batch of jam needs 1.4 kilos of blueberries (just over 3 lbs…so pretty much 1/3 of my pick)
    3. Giant pots of water take FOREVER to get to a rolling boil.
    4. Despite a) using the right amount of ingredients, b) using more jars than necessary and c) losing some jam in a tragic boil-over incident, there will be more jam than you have jars prepared. (Seriously? WTF? Oh well, an excuse to eat the jar and a half that weren’t sterilized properly. Fridge jam FTW.)
    5. The largest regular sized pot is not big enough for one batch of blueberry jam. Use the stock pot. Tragic jam boil-overs CAN be prevented.
    6. Tragic boil-overs of jam stain washcloths like a mofo. Use dark cloths…unless of course you’re trying to mop up as the jam boils over. Then, grab whatever is handy.
    7. Jam jars that are in the process of sealing hiss, and then POP! Oh my god, it’s actually working! SCIENCE IS AWESOME!!!! (erm…I’ve only heard four pops and I made nine jars that should work. Slight worry ensues…we might be eating a lot of toast in the next couple weeks….OOH! Another one just went!)
    8. Making preserves with food that you picked yourself is awesome and empowering.
    9. Making preserves with food that you picked yourself FOR FREE!!! is even better. Muhahaha…

    Tomorrow, I will finally get to the blackberries that have been hanging out in the fridge…also picked for free by myself.

    100 Book Challenge: still in second place?


    2011 - 08.17

    We’ve been playing around with Shelfari for the last few days, and it’s been fun, although I wouldn’t exactly call all of the features “intuitive”, and I don’t know why there’s spots for advertising to appear and yet none does*.

    Anyway, we’ve created a “Community List” called Random Synapses: 100 Book Challenge (2011) which allows existing users of Shelfari to create a goal to read books on the list (doesn’t have to be all of them, doesn’t have to be this year).  Anyway, if you’re a current Shelfari user and are interested you can do so in the following way:

    1. Go to Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/
    2. Login, or create an account
    3. Go to your Profile
    4. Under “More” select “My Reading Goals”, should be the 5th choice.  More should appear at the end of the list of: Public Overview, Shelf, Friends, Groups, Edits, More.
    5. Beside “Current Reading Goals” click “add goal”
    6. In the drop down which defaults to “Number of Books” select “Books from a List”
    7. Select whether you want to read “all” of the books, or some other number  [I picked 15 as my goal, although it’s supposed to be a list of 100, and 92 are currently identified at Random Synapses, there are only 85 on the Shelfari list at the moment]
    8. In the “from the list” field type: random synapses: 100 book challenge (2011)  [the auto search should find the list before you finish typing, so you can select it rather than finish typing]
    9. Decide if you want to include a timeframe for the goal
    10. Save the goal, and voila, you’re done.

    This will allow you to easily track your progress on Shelfari, if you’re so inclined.  I think I’m still in second place overall with the measly total of 5 books from the list read.  Although I’ve read at least 26 books so far this year with an estimated page total of 15,790, most of them just weren’t on the list.

    Enjoy, and feel free to brag about how well you’re doing on the challenge (even if you’re not officially taking part).

    * not that I want more advertising in my life, but either it’s a new feature or it’s not attracting any advertising dollars which could be a bad thing, except it’s owned by Amazon so it’s probably worth them keeping it running.

    Goodbye and Waffles


    2011 - 07.25

    So another day of making changes to Random Synapses, at this point I think that the major changes are complete.  At least until Karin really starts to use it as more than a blog, but we’ll see, there’s undoubtedly room for lots of little changes and improvements.

    The Geckos: Sasha and Ennis have been with us since the end of the school year, but today they went to a students house (probably for the rest of the summer).  Karin misses them already!

    When we got home it was time for some comfort food, so I surprised her by making fresh raspberry syrup to go with the waffles.  We’ve still got some syrup left…

    I know I’m boring, but maybe we can convince someone else to write tomorrow, perhaps a retrospective of the gecko’s visit complete with photos, there really should be plenty of them.  We’ll see.

    Oh wait, we did finally come up with an author bio for K.E. Abel to send in for her inclusion in the first Mirror Shards anthology edited by: Thomas K. Carpenter for Black Moon Books.  I think that it turned out pretty good… but we’ll keep you in suspense, after all for those of you who don’t like augmented reality it will provide incentive to buy the anthology ;-)

    Goodbye and Waffles


    2011 - 07.25

    So another day of making changes to Random Synapses, at this point I think that the major changes are complete. At least until Karin really starts to use it as more than a blog, but we’ll see, there’s undoubtedly room for lots of little changes and improvements.

    The Geckos: Sasha and Ennis have been with us since the end of the school year, but today they went to a students house (probably for the rest of the summer). Karin misses them already!

    When we got home it was time for some comfort food, so I surprised her by making fresh raspberry syrup to go with the waffles. We’ve still got some syrup left…

    I know I’m boring, but maybe we can convince someone else to write tomorrow, perhaps a retrospective of the gecko’s visit complete with photos, there really should be plenty of them. We’ll see.

    Oh wait, we did finally come up with an author bio for K.E. Abel to send in for her inclusion in the first Mirror Shards anthology edited by: Thomas K. Carpenter for Black Moon Books. I think that it turned out pretty good… but we’ll keep you in suspense, after all for those of you who don’t like augmented reality it will provide incentive to buy the anthology ;-)

    Email Updates


    2011 - 07.24

    So a long time ago we received a request to allow people to subscribe for email updates when posts happen, so that you don’t have to keep checking and not finding any new content.  So we implemented that.  Today we’ve added a second option powered by Feedburner now part of the Google family.  If anyone has any preference one way or the other let us know, as we’ll likely discontinue one of them in the near future, after we’ve had a chance to evaluate if one is clearly better than the other.

    In case it’s not obvious both options are in the sidebar, the second and third items respectively.

    Once we decide which we like better we’ll also be implementing that option over at K.E. Abel’s official site, so that all her fans can keep up to date about the latest happenings and events.  There’s all sorts of short stories that are making the rounds amongst her beta readers, so whether those appear in anthologies or as ebooks or in some other form who knows, but there soon will not be a lack of supply!

    It has begun…


    2011 - 07.22

    So we spent a little time this evening doing some changes to Random Synapses to make it the official website for Karin.  Well I suppose on some level that’s been true for a while, but we’ve shifted the context.  Specifically it is starting to become the official website for her as a published author.

    We’ll see how long this post lasts before she gets all shy and takes it down or edits it, or something ;-)

    Published


    2011 - 07.17

    We have been a little negligent here lately, I’ll see if I can maintain some momentum and change that.  If you haven’t been reading Karin’s personal blog (Random Synapses) then you might not know that she’s submitted a story to an anthology and had her submission accepted.  Not only has it been accepted, she’s already been paid for it!  I’m sure we’ll remember to post all the details once it’s available for you to purchase or read.

    If you’re interested in a little bit more details, you can check out the “Amazing News“.  You can also follow along at the publisher’s website for more information: Black Moon Books.  An alphabetical table of contents is available in the Mirror Shards – TOC Announcement (note: Karin Able is Karin despite the misspelling of her last name; should be Abel).