Monday, June 25, 2012

In Book Heaven in Anaheim

I had fun this morning at the exhibit hall of the American Library Association Annual Convention in Anaheim. I picked up a few pre-publication preview books, and  lots of publisher information. I read more non-fiction than fiction, and most books I saw were Young Adult, which I do enjoy, and children's books. At the end of the conference, and maybe during the conference (I am not sure since I just dropped by on the last day) they sell display books at 50% and then most go down to as low as $5 for a hardbound and $2 for a paperback. I was on a tight budget today, so I only picked up free stuff. Here is a picture of the haul for the day:

 I was able to find a parking spot on a side street around the corner from the convention center, and I chose to forgo the $8 hot dogs in the convention center. I was really torn as to whether I should spend the time at the convention but I did enjoy it, and it was pretty painless. Next time, I would pack some crackers, because I was hungry when I got back home at 2:00pm.

I was fortunate to have a friend forward me a complimentary exhibit pass, but they are normally only $25 for an exhibit-only pass. I always keep an eye open for trade shows that have an inexpensive exhibit pass option. I noted that when the craft association came to San Diego, they made it very difficult for a member of the general public to get in. You had to prove that you were registered with the state as a craft retailer.

I want to do a shout out to Dave Kellett, artist and author of Sheldon and Drive, the SciFi comic. I had met him at ComicCon  two years ago, and I am a kickstarter backer of his movie STRIPPED: The Comics Documentary. He is a really nice guy. Despite my not buying any of his stuff today, he made me a personal drawing. I should have taken a picture of him drawing it, but I was not thinking clearly. I also met the # 2 guy at Wondermark, another of my favorites!

Since I do not have tickets to ComicCon this year, this was a nice treat.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jackpot! of a sort.

I shared my love of the TED conferences a few months back. They, in general, are informing entertaining and thought-provoking. As a book lover I was intrigued by the fact that an in-person conference attendee (at over $7000) also is part of the TED book club described in this snippet from their web site:

TED Book Club: Enrollment in the TED Book Club, which sends inspired 2-3 book selections four times a year via Amazon Kindle software/hardware or physical books. While we send 12-15 titles per year, the Kindle option includes additional bonus selections (at least 10) available only electronically. Kindle software reader available for iPad, Mac, PC, and iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7 smartphones in addition to Kindle itself.

Since attending the conference is currently out of my reach, I really wanted to know what books all these movers and shakers were reading. (I know that being a mover and shaker is considered a good quality, even though it sounds a little odd).

Anyway, I searched a lot for the list of books, but could not find them anywhere, and what I found most peculiar is that few people talk about the list of books on-line.

Well, in yet another flurry of Google effort I hit pay-dirt with this web site.  

About Ideas: TED Talks, Books, Movies and Travel

 The author evidently goes to TED or TEDActive (the less expensive option at a secondary location). More importantly she lets her readers know when her TED Book Club delivery shows up. This new info will add fuel to the pile of books on my nightstand, and my book related web site Books and Big Ideas.  I am so excited!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thought provoking content, daily

I have enjoyed following Seth Godin's blog for the last several months. He is point of view is refreshing, eye-opening and uplifting. Here is an example of one email update (slightly longer than average) I received that got me thinking. His book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? is one of my favorites. Follow the link to check out the book, or buy anything you want at amazon. It helps support my blogs, and costs you nothing extra.

How to succeed

You don't need all of these, and some are mutually exclusive (while others are not). And most don't work, don't scale or can't be arranged:
  1. Be very focused on your goal and work on it daily
  2. Go to college with someone who makes it big and then hires you
  3. Be born with significant and unique talent
  4. Practice every day
  5. Network your way to the top by inviting yourself from one lunch to another, trading favors as you go
  6. Quietly do your job day in and day out until someone notices you and gives you the promotion you deserve
  7. Do the emotional labor of working on things that others fear
  8. Notice things, turn them into insights and then relentlessly turn those insights into projects that resonate
  9. Hire a great PR firm and get a lot of publicity
  10. Work the informational interview angle
  11. Perform outrageous acts and say obnoxious things
  12. Inherit
  13. Redefine your version of success as: whatever I have right now
  14. Flit from project to project until you alight on something that works out very quickly and well
  15. Be the best-looking person in the room
  16. Flirt
  17. Tell stories that people care about and spread
  18. Contribute more than is expected
  19. Give credit to others
  20. Take responsibility
  21. Aggrandize, preferably self
  22. Be a jerk and win through intimidation
  23. Be a doormat and refuse to speak up or stand up
  24. Never hesitate to share a kind word when it's deserved
  25. Sue people
  26. Treat every gig as an opportunity to create art
  27. Cut corners
  28. Focus on defeating the competition
  29. When dealing with employees, act like Steve. It worked for him, apparently.
  30. Persist, always surviving to ship something tomorrow
  31. When in doubt, throw a tantrum
  32. Have the ability to work harder and more directly than anyone else when the situation demands it
  33. Don't rock the boat
  34. Rock the boat
  35. Don't rock the boat, baby
  36. Resort to black hat tactics to get more than your share
  37. Work to pay more taxes
  38. Work to evade taxes
  39. Find typos

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A favorite web comic

I have followed Schlock Mercenary for a number of years now. Even though the creator Howard Tayler would not want you to peruse his earliest drawing attempts, in the following comparison between his first strip and a very recent one, the improvement in drawing skill is noteworthy.

When I wake up each morning I dismiss the alarm on my phone, and go first thing to my email to read my daily dose of Schlock Mercenary. It is published daily with a large comic on Sunday, just like in the regular funny pages.  Even though I also love (and occasionally live) Dilbert, I figure I can catch up on his strip when I am retired. My daily Schlock habit must be supported.

I occasionally read Howard's blog where he does movie reviews. He also appears in a science fiction writing podcast called "Writing Excuses" where he is on a panel with 3 or 4 other authors and give writing tips and advice. I listen to that regularly as well.

Check it out. I am fairly certain you will not be disappointed. Do you have any web favorites that you care to share?