Corvus: With Smashing Welsh Accent

Eoin Purcell

L. Lee Lowe is to be admired
And not just because she has talent, but because Lee has embraced the web as an author and is innovating in an effort to reach readers. Lee has been a presence on the the internet since before I started blogging in early 2006 (yes, I’ve not been at it for long, especially when you look at people like this guy). Her website offers readers the chance to read and lsiten to her first novel for free, it’s called Mortal Ghost and available here to buy too!

Lee has just launched a podcast project for her latest novel Corvus:

In an alternate present the minds of teen offenders are uploaded into computers for rehabilitation—a form of virtual wilderness therapy. Zach is a homo cognoscens, one of the new humans who can navigate the Fulgrid. Though still a high school student, he is indentured to the Fulgur Corporation as a counsellor. Laura is a homo sapiens. Their story is part odyssey, part tragedy, part riff on the nature of consciousness.

Having listened to the first chapter (the project is read by welsh actor Ioan Hefin) I can say that firstly, it sounds incredible and secondly the story is intriguing. I heartily recommend listening to it.

I’m heading to Dublin’s new Ikea today, wish me luck!

Are you Pushing the boat out?

Eoin Purcell

That’s what friends are for
One of my good friends is a person I have huge admiration for. I doubt he realises how much, as he spends a good deal of time looking outward and comparing himself to others, rather than taking stock of how much he has actually done in his life.

One of the reasons I admire him is that he has overcome adversities the like of which I cannot even begin to understand. Another is that he regularly refreshes my viewpoint by throwing a curve-ball into a conversation.

Just such an occasion occurred this weekend and jolted me out of a certain reverie. He asked me if I was pushing the boat out. He didn’t mean was I ‘having a cracking party’ or ‘celebrating’, he meant was I working as hard as I could.

He reminded me of the harshest lesson I have ever learned (the details are best left unexplored for now), that complacency destroys achievement. And by reminding me of that he made me ask the questions that help me avoid that lesson being repeated.

The complacent among us
Complacency is one of my major weaknesses (development areas in PC Speak). It is a truly funny weakness. I strive for a goal so hard and so long that when I achieve it I think I am sorted. I take a break and then get back to work thinking that I am working at the same level that got me to where I am but in fact I am taking my foot off the gas a little and becoming lazy. I am not pushing the boat out.

Its remedy
This has bitten me in the ass a few times in the past but now I have a few tester questions that try and jolt my sense of complacency:

⁃ Are you working as hard as you can?
⁃ Are your rivals working harder than you?
⁃ Is someone beating you at something you consider a strength?
⁃ Are you achieving you goals? (Key question)
⁃ Are you heading the right direction?

You want the answers to be Yes, No, No, Yes, Yes. To my mind anything else is trouble.

Why you might ask is this relevant to publishing?
Because it is an industry where smart, energetic and driven people work. There will always be hard workers, smart workers and often brilliant workers at companies that publish into your and other markets.

If you don’t match or exceed their efforts then you will fail. Maybe it won’t be spectacular, maybe it won’t be a hugely noticeable thing at first but five years down the line when your list is anemic and their list is kicking yours, you’ll know all about it.

This is especially true for the Irish market for reasons I’ll talk about tomorrow. So if I am ever fearful that complacency is creeping up on me, I asked myself those tough questions, act on the answers and redouble my efforts.

Enjoying this new found blog enthusiasm

PS Check this site out.

Links of Interest (At least to me) 2007006017

Eoin Purcell

The Return
It has come to my attention that although the link blog does get visited, links I really really like don’t get the usual traffic. So I am reinstating Links of Interest. Here goes.

LibraryThing goes over 15,000,000 books (Now that is a lot of books).

LibraryThing demonstrates something we always knew—that regular people have a lot of books—probably many times what all the world’s libraries hold. I’ve never seen the relative numbers discussed. It never mattered before, but now that regular people can put their catalogs online and engage in tasks, like tagging and work disambiguation, that bear on age-old issues of library science, it’s not entirely pointless to compare the two.

I don’t know why for sure, but I’m desperately excited by the this news. Mcclatchy are launching a new news website nationally in the US. They also run a spiffy blog for news editors called Etaoin Shrdlu (Yeah the name took me a minute too, so here‘s an explanation link).

For all you curious this link is certainly a beaut. Simple, structured, its like the missing manual for Here

Google Book Search steals a Christmas Carol? (well not really)

Eoin Purcell

If Google are to be believed
GBS linked to this page of books including Dickens’ classic tale. You will see that the books are all limited preview and available to buy, yet Dickens is long dead and his books firmly in the public domain, surely they could have dreged up a version that was free to view and possibly free to download in their PDF versions?

Look what I found
Well you can. Here is the book for download from Google and here it is from Gutenberg.

Wondering why they didn’t link directly

Never look a gift horse in the mouth

So the wordpress folks offered up a wonderful addition to the service: Odeo Embeds

This is really a great resource not least because there are some incredible podcasts available on Odeo. First out of the gate I should say that you simply won’t have time to listen to them all so pick with care, if the shows have RSS feeds, subrscribe with a feed reader that handles RSS enclosures and then choose with some discrimination.

I thought though I would highlight one or two very decent shows you could think about. One that is well worth listening to is The Writing Show and if you listen to the podcast below you will see why it is so useful.

NPR Books is also one of the quality podcasts available on Odeo.
The Penguin Podcasts can be found there too.
For some Auzzie flavour you could look to: Books & Writing

My personal favourite (yes I am something of a nerd) is Bookstore Tourism Podcast. I am pretty sure I have mentioned Bookstore Tourism but just in case I ahve not the homepage for the idea and concept and book is here and the blog here.

Really there is so much out there it is unreal! Much like the blog world it can be hard to find the quality!

Enjoy the search