Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekly Book Update #8



I have been working on my first book over the past year. My goal is to have this book published. Not self-published, but actually published by a publisher. I've self-published before and I might do so again, but I want to test the waters in the publishing industry. I want to put the name of a publisher on my resume.

With that in mind, I've decided to make every Friday "Book Update Day". Every Friday I give an update as to where I am in the writing/editing/publishing process - at least as far as I can say.

Book Status:

I finished re-writing the second chapter. I've sent the rough draft to a few friends. Although I was busy with school during the week, hopefully they took some time to read it and hopefully I get feedback soon. Then the goal is to look for sports fiction publishers, then of course, prepare a proposal.

Interesting links of the week:

Here are a few links that have inspired me this week:

First, a paragraph from AdviceToWriters.com

Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them. - MICHAEL MICHALKO

Second, I've mentioned Jessie Rosen of 20-Nothings before. I really dig her blog. In one of her latest posts, she discusses how her and her fiancee are hoping to buy a church in the small upstate NY town of Hudson and turn the empty church into a theater for the arts. Such an awesome idea. Of course, we shall see how well they can do it being from LA.

My Fiancee and I Are Buying an Abandoned Church - Part 1 (20-Nothings)




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rescuing AfroSquad dot com from The MAN


For those who have been following the last few years, every so often I mention the AfroSquad, the funky forebearers of  fro-wearing fun. Legend has it the AfroSquad was two guys, one in Michigan and the other in Texas doing similar videos and posting them in the days before YouTube.

Sometime in the early 2000s, the AfroSquad was forced underground and someone forgot to pay the website bill. The name afrosquad.com expired, the afrosquad.com name was claimed, and the AfroSquad moved to afro-squad.com, where you can still find some funny stuff. However, after a little web perusing I found the name afrosquad.com is for sale. I thought maybe I had a chance to reclaim the name and bring it back to the old school 'cause I'm an old fool who's so cool. And after I got done singing "Whomp, There It Is", I would bring some funkiness back to the domain that started it all. So I sent an email to the company responsible for the negotiation of afrosquad.com. I told them I was interested and asked how much the owner was willing to sell it for. I had a price in mind and was willing to cough up a few hundred dollars, tops. A few days later, I received an email response (abbreviated due to confidentiality):
Hello Michael, I am the Domain Broker who represents afrosquad.com. This domain name has been previously quoted at $28,000.00 USD. If you would like to make an offer we'd be happy to present it on your behalf and see what the owner says. Thanks very much for your interest.
That's right. $28,000 dollars. As much as nice car or a legit down payment on a house. Now I don't know how much website ads make. I don't anyone who clicks ads, although I have heard advertising on the web is a way to make money. But $28,000? That's a lot of cash. I wrote the company back and offered $250. Like I said, I was willing to throw down a little bit. Not a lot, but a little bit. Considering I have never bought a website name for more than $12, I thought $250 was rather reasonable. Especially for a site with nothing on it. Crazy, right? Then I received this response to my counter-offer:
Hi Michael The domain owner appreciates your feedback but respectfully declines your offer. All the best to you and your venture.
The domain broker also informed me the seller was willing to go as low as 20% off the $28,000 price. Well, that is still over $20,000 for a website name. So The MAN continues to hold AfroSquad.com hostage.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekly Book Update #7



I have been working on my first book over the past year. My goal is to have this book published. Not self-published, but actually published by a publisher. I've self-published before and I might do so again, but I want to test the waters in the publishing industry. I want to put the name of a publisher on my resume.

With that in mind, I've decided to make every Friday "Book Update Day". Every Friday I will give an update as to where I am in the writing/editing/publishing process - at least as far as I can say.

(And I missed another Book Update last week. This is almost turning into a bi-weekly update. But once I give in to bi-weekly, then it is a slippery slope to yearly.)

Book Status:

I finished re-writing the second chapter. Yesterday I added some much needed text to the story to get it off and rolling into the main plot. I am really excited now, because I think I am in the ballpark to being done. And I think it reads well now. Everything flows nicely, at least I think so.

The goal now is to maybe give the story another once over and meanwhile look for sports fiction publishers, then of course, prepare a proposal. I am also open to sending a polished draft a select group of friends, colleagues, or other writer folk.

Interesting links of the week:

Here are a few links that have inspired me this week:

This week is Timothy Leary Week. According to Wired.com, the New York Public Library acquired a mass amount of the famed psychologist/drug advocate's personal library. This week, the NY Public Library made the collection public opening the archives to researchers, historians, and other curious individuals.

I've mentioned before how big of a fan I am of writer Aldous Huxley. Huxley was influenced a lot by Leary's studies, especially in regards to thoughts of reaching higher consciousness through psychedelic drugs. Huxley then influenced Jim Morrison, who named his band "The Doors" after Huxley's Doors of Perception book. I got into The Doors years ago and worked my way backwards to Leary.

Here are two recent articles on Leary from Wired.com:

Timothy Leary’s Transformation From Scientist to Psychedelic Celebrity - Wired.com

This article explores Leary's migration from Harvard professor to drug advocate. While some discouraged his work, others praised it. The article takes a fair look at whether both the criticism or the adulation was warranted while adding a good amount of history to the context.

Turn On, Boot Up, and Jack In With Timothy Leary’s Long-Lost Videogames - Wired.com

In this article, Wired.com looks at Leary's later years and his experimentation with computer games. According to the article, Leary saw potential in the networking aspect of computer programs years before the Internet emerged as a force. Leary helped create computer games and models that helped expand the mind, using the computer systems as he did drugs years earlier.

Last but definitely not least, here is a link to the Timothy Leary Online Archives. It has been a big week for them. Tons of great stuff on this site from pictures to letters to links to other material.