Technically Heroic – Now Available on ALL Platforms!!

Technically Heroic
Technically Heroic

At last, after 6 weeks of waiting, Technically Heroic (paperback) has finally been updated on, completing a critical revision process.  The first book in the Technically Heroic trilogy is now available:

  • Technically Heroic

    Technically Heroic

    as an e-book, for Kindle

  • as an e-book, for Nook
  • as an e-book, for Apple devices (iTunes)
  • as a .epub e-book on
  • as a paperback on
  • and as a paperback on

It feels great to have this part of the trilogy finally finished (and I mean FINISHED) and published.  Now I get to start seriously promoting!

More Improving Your Writing!

I happened across these posts recently, and I believe that you may find them as interesting as I did.

10 Types of Killer Filler Content for Your Blog

Last week I ran an impromptu Ustream chat session with my Twitter followers on the theme of Blogger Productivity (to celebrate the launch of Blog Wise). It was an informal and fun session (you can view the hour-long recording of it here) but one of the recurring questions that came up was around the topic of posting rhythm and how to keep up regular posting when you may not have the time to post daily.

It’s a question I hear quite a bit. The pressure of posting daily, coupled with keeping the quality and usefulness of posts high, tips some bloggers over the edge—particularly those who write longer, deeper articles that take a great deal of thought and research to prepare.

Grammar Goofs

I came across an infographic this morning that I think all of my seventh graders should commit to memory! “15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly” was created by based on various posts found on the Copybloggerwebsite.

Characterizing Details

I’m doing some critiques for webinars right now (if you haven’t gotten yours back yet, be very patient…I have 90 days from the date of the deadline to get it back to you), and I would just love to put a moratorium on character descriptions that tell me nothing that’s necessary to my understanding. Let’s define a characterizing detail, shall we?


A Fully Operational So Powered Productions – Tutorials Coming

At last, thanks to Joomla! and a lovely template courtesy of, my website is beginning to reach its potential.  Already there’s much more on here than there was before, and I’m pretty sure it’s only the beginning.  This place really is the place to go for the latest information on Technically Heroic now that I have my trusty CMS at my command.

If you like what I’ve got, I can put CMS at your command as well.  I’m gearing up to do a tutorial series here on Joomla!, so if you would like to learn how to make your website cool like mine, check out my website, to get a sense of how powerful Content Management Systems can be (also, visit to compare and contrast with the old site).  Then watch for my tutorials!  You could even subscribe to the blog so when a new tutorial comes out, you’ll get notified!  Stay tuned.

How Much Inspiration Is Too Much? – Eragon vs. Star Wars

Sometimes authors draw inspiration from existing novels, games, or movies.  To a new author, drawing inspiration from the creativity of others can lend a much-needed element of coolness to the new work, but how much drawing of inspiration can be defined as too much?

For example:  I recently read (well, listened to the audiobook of) Eragon for the first time.  The story was interesting enough, but some points of the storyline troubled me. Being somewhat of a Star Wars fan, I noticed these similarities:

  • Book intro started with a rebel lady getting captured
  • Scene shifted to a farm-boy living with his uncle in an evil empire headed by a powerful good-guy-gone-bad
  • Evil came to the farm, killed uncle, boy left with old man
  • Old man reveals past as mystic warrior (Jedi, Dragon Rider, what’s the difference?)
  • Old man dies protecting boy, helpful new hero comes
  • Boy and hero rescue lady, flee to rebel base
  • Epic battle ensues, where boy is the savior

That’s the basic storyline right there.  No joke, and I’m sure there are some finer points I’m forgetting.  So what’s the real problem here?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Eragon was still fairly enjoyable.  Parts of the story seemed original enough to me, so I listened to the whole thing.  But there’s a deeper issue here than Christopher Paolini’s apparent Star Wars clone (pardon the pun).  I’m not going to hate on the guy, but I will admit that I’m somewhat disappointed.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my own story has some Star Wars influences, but those have mainly to do with equipment and not the storyline itself.  I may be somewhat biased, but I think there’s a significant difference there.

Sometimes another person’s ideas are just too inspirational to resist, so you take the idea, tweak it a little, and then integrate it into your own works.  In some instances, the idea may become an important part of your work (why am I using the term ‘work’?  Because this topic doesn’t only apply to writing or film).  Sometimes it doesn’t really matter, especially if it’s a comparatively small similarity and you aren’t the only one using it.  But when your storyline seems to be matching another, it gets hard to honestly call it original.

These are my thoughts on the matter, and I’m very interested in hearing what you think.  If you’ve got an opinion, please leave a comment on the post and we can further the discussion from there!

Writing Therapy

There are times in everyone’s life where a single emotion runs high, and sometimes writing can be a great outlet for that emotion.  Maybe something great gave your morning a jumpstart and you’re feeling happy or excited.  Maybe that person you had a secret crush on revealed their guy/girlfriend to you, leaving you feeling angry or maybe depressed.  Or perhaps you lost someone or something very important in your life, leaving you sad or lonely.  In times like these, words can flow from your fingers like hot water from Old Faithful.  Your hands fly over the keys, making your computer work overtime to put your words on the screen.  Okay, maybe that last bit was somewhat exaggerated.  Like blood you’ll pump out words straight from your heart, then when you’re finished you’ll save your work and walk away, perhaps considering making a published short story out of it (unless you wrote a poem – then you might put it on your blog).  In any case, you’ll live your life for a day, come back to your new work days after, and either hate your work for reminding you of a past emotional high or bask in its awesomeness.  In most cases, I suppose it would depend on the emotion underlying the work.  In any case, sometimes it helps to just write and get it out of your system.  The principle applies to many things, including writing to your political representatives (makes sense, right?).  So, now that you’ve read this, are you going to sit down and write next time you feel angry,  depressed, or elated?

Oh No! It’s the Writing Bug Again!

Image: Maggie Smith /

As if I didn’t have enough creative ideas buzzing around in my head, a bus ride home from school yesterday spawned an idea for a brand new Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel.  Problem is, I’ve only just published the first book in my existing Fantasy trilogy.  I also manage this blog, manage So Powered Productions, use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and (soon) After Effects.  I’m also at school half of the day and I work part-time.  When will I have time to write something new?  I honestly don’t know.  All I can do right now is make notes in Notepad and save them someplace where I won’t forget about them.  Sometimes I think I have just too many hobbies and not enough time to follow them!

The Benefits of Audiobooks

You’ve probably heard of audiobooks, the sound recordings of books which you can play on your iPod or Sansa (etc.).  But perhaps you’ve been avoiding them, or just not bothering with them at all.  You think, ‘I’d rather read the book,’ or maybe ‘I’d rather read my Kindle.’  So why bother with transferring those long mp3 files to your player?

Personally, I’m a fairly busy person.  I get up early in the morning, ride busses for an hour and a half to get to school, half an hour to get back home, and when I’m not hanging out with friends I’m probably working on my website, playing in Photoshop, or checking my Facebook account.  I don’t make a lot of time for actual book reading.

Then, along came Rick Riordan’s ‘The Son of Neptune’, a book I’d been waiting a year for.  Upon its release, I decided to seriously cut the time spent on my library’s waiting list by downloading the audiobook from their electronic lending library (note: if your library has a system like mine, where you can check out electronic items for a week or two, do make use of it!).  I put the files on my Sansa Fuze and listened to them on the bus, while surfing the web, and in bed before deciding to go to sleep.  By listening to that audiobook, I discovered that audiobooks:

  • Allow you to ‘read’ in the dark
  • Allow you to ‘read’ where fiction books might not be welcome
  • Save space in your home or backpack (after all, what’s a few MB of space on your player nowadays?)
  • Allow you to multi-task (i.e., ‘read’ while washing dishes, or while surfing the internet)
  • Save you the trouble of figuring out how to pronounce Greek names (okay, a little specific here, but you get the point)

So far, my experience with audiobooks has been good, and I certainly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t yet discovered their benefits.  How have your experiences been?