Saturday, August 29, 2015

They Came Today: Ruby Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition

They came today. Ten copies of Ruby Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition. O'Reilly sent them to me. My wife and I got back from a camping trip and there they were, patiently waiting in front of our door.

This book was a long time coming and is overdue. The first edition came out in July 2007 and was based on 1.8.6. This edition is focused on 2.2.2. A lot happened between those versions, particularly in 1.9, which was a tectonic release. At 216 pages, this book is almost 50 pages longer that the original.

Honestly, there should have been several updates to this book along the way. But here it is, ready for business. And I am very happy. This is my eleventh technical book and I am negotiating with my publisher for number 12.

I am so happy that I am going to make you an offer. The first person to contact me here will receive a free, signed copy of the paperback book. Just leave me your mailing address and it's yours.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ruby Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition

I am excited to announce, finally, that the Ruby Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition is coming out next month (August 2015). It is in the final stages of production right now.

The first edition was released in July 2007, when the stable version of Ruby was 1.8.6. This new edition includes changes from 1.9 and since—it's based on 2.2.2.

Some of the changes in the book include:

• Up-to-date method documentation for the most commonly used built-in classes and modules, such as BasicObject, Object, Kernel, String, Array, and Hash
• More extensive documentation on regular expressions
• New literal lambda syntax
• New encoding features
• Many deprecations since 1.8.7 noted
• And much more

I hope you enjoy this new edition. I like Ruby. It's a clever language. It's fun to learn and fun to use.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Song of Falling Leaves Published

I'm happy to announce the publication of a New Young Adult fantasy, Song of Falling Leaves (Book 1 of the Wanderer Series). It is available on Kindle and in paperback (publication date September 27, 2014). You can read a sample chapter by clicking here.

Note: The Kindle edition is free to read if you have Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. It is also free if you buy the paperback edition. Otherwise, I'm holding the Kindle price to $0.99 until October 31, 2014.

The earliest scene for this book first came to me in April 2008. Here's the storyline:

When a pair of falcons, sent from thousand miles away by a Shoshone medicine man, come calling for fourteen-year-old Andi McCall, her world is suddenly turned upside down. A death threat sends her to her grandfather's ranch in northern Nevada. There she meets her match, an unbreakable stallion named King's Jubilation. Together with Jubi she discovers that she is more gifted than she ever dreamed, with a secret past beyond her imagination.

I deeply appreciate the young readers who reviewed early versions of the manuscript. Their enthusiasm encouraged for me to finish the book. Thank you Kaela Stevens, Victoria Rimington, Callan Franklin, Savannah Clyde, and Kate Baron. I am also very grateful for several others who gave me invaluable feedback and advice as I developed the story, including Mary Stevens, Dawn Norton, Heather Bullough, Celesta Rimington, and Linda Clyde. Thanks are also owed to my darling wife Cristi, and our children and their spouses: Melissa and Joey, Amy and Caleb, and Aubrey. Thank you for your love and support during a project that took a lot longer than I every thought it would.

The New Young Adult genre is targeted for ages 10–14, but older readers will enjoy it as well. Published by Overdue Books. Questions? Contact me here. Thank you for your support.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Twitter Made Simple

If Facebook is about connecting with friends and family, Twitter is about connecting with like-minded people you don't know.

I spend about 10 minutes a day on Twitter. If you do a few things there each day, you will build a following over time. My advice: (1) share what interests you with hashtags (for example, #writing), (2) support others with the same interests by retweeting and favoriting their tweets, and (3) don't get too salesy.

If you are new to the platform, here are a few slides that can help you get started. If you have questions, please contact me. I am happy to help. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three Reasons Why I'm Going Indie

Preliminary cover for Song of Falling Leaves
I have been working on a novel for several years and, in the process, I've learned a lot about writing and myself. Strange, isn't it? The more you pay attention to a story, the more it pays attention to you and shows up for you.

That kind of learning has a lot to do with hanging in and hanging on. For any big undertaking, you have to believe in yourself, believe in the outcome, and persevere.

I really like something the novelist James Lee Burke once said:
I’ve never seen anyone who has—once he’s determined to become a writer—not achieved his goal. I’ve never seen anyone fail who’s actually persevered and never given up.
What he's telling me, I think, is that if I persevere, I won't ultimately fail, and if I don't give up, I'll eventually succeed.

I'll publish my novel independently next month, as I have several other books. I know I'm taking a risk, but it's calculated. By going indie I'll miss out on 1-2-3—
  1. A publisher's marketing reach
  2. Their high production values
  3. Prestige and royalties
Ten of my books, nearly half, have been published by traditional publishers. John Wiley & Sons published my first two, and O'Reilly the rest. I've been with O'Reilly since 2002 and have had a very positive experience with them, largely due to my bright, patient, and kind editor, Simon St.Laurent.

But alas, O'Reilly doesn't publish pre-apocalyptic, YA fantasies set in the contemporary West, nor fiction of any kind.

So how will I deal with 1-2-3?
  1. I'll have to rely on the reach of folks in my social media circles—3,016 as of today—to share my story. Emphasis on share. I won't get overtly salesy there. I'll just share it and ask others to do so.
  2. I had the cover designed by a professional, as well as the book interior. I've also hired an editor to review the book one last time. These kinds of investments are the kinds of investments a traditional publisher makes in a book anyway so why shouldn't I? You can't judge a book by its cover but you can sell one by it. And if I discover an error or flaw along the way, I can correct the trouble quickly and upload my changes.
  3. I'll have to depend on acceptance by readers for any prestige. I'm just not worried about that. If the book is any good, and I sincerely believe it is, readers will lend the book all the prestige it needs.
Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Announcement: Holly Bowerman Book Signing

I am happy to share an announcement of a book signing for Holly Bowerman's Say What You Need to Say coming up on Tuesday, January 28, at Secretly Spoiled in Layton, Utah. I featured Holly in a recent interview on this blog. You can buy her book here. Congratulations, Holly!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Your Unique Voice

You have a unique voice, unlike any in the world. You are a true original.

Maybe you think you don't have anything to say or that what you have to say or want to say is not important. If you believe that about yourself, consider Louis Armstrong.

His gravelly voice. His broad smile. His signature handkerchief.

Satchmo had a purity, an authenticity. He was unafraid to be himself. He became a jazz icon, an American celebrity, an international personality, because he was unafraid to share his voice with the world. He was fearlessly original.

His voice was unusual. It was raspy. To some ears, it was no doubt harsh and unrefined. But people loved his voice and they loved him.

He grew up in a tough neighborhood in New Orleans. His parents separated. His mother supported the family by prostitution. Louis had every reason to disappear quietly into the mass of humanity, into an obscure life of crime and poverty.

But he didn't. He and his trumpet spoke up. He and his music stood out. He must have been discouraged and heart-broken at times, but he never gave up.

He was himself. He let his unique voice be heard. And because he did, he touched millions of lives.

You have something to say, too. Don't hide it. It's completely okay to be yourself. It's more than okay. It's your gift to the planet. And it's your gift to yourself.

In a critical, dismissive world, it's easy—no, common—to get discouraged because of the disapproval of loved ones or strangers. But they are only there to make you stronger. Accept their service and step forward.

We want to hear from you. Please speak up. You are unique in all the world. What you have to say is important. Let us hear you.