Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yes!! Episode Six Out Now

Thanks again to Steve for the reviews over at Storyglossia blog and the readings on my stories. Let' hope we see more of that over there.

Episode Six is in the bag, the can, as they say. It's out on itunes and in the other new venues. Check it out.
I've recently found out that the ratings system (and therefor placement and advertising) at itunes is all based on how many people have subscribed to your podcast. And there's no way to find out how many you have. But for anyone who's reading this: find another way to subscribe, if you can. Let's "Jack" up those ratings now and get Jack Wakes Up some recognition!!

Beautiful day here in the Bay Area and the BoSox are in town. I'm holding a ticket for the 12:35 start in Oakland and couldn't be happier about it. Even Hadley is juked.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Hot Stuff!!
Check out the recent posts on Steve McDermott's Storyglossia blog here.

He's been writing about a couple of my stories. Hope you find his thoughts worth reading.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Added: Pickle, Alley, Odeo

Word. Lots of blogging this week. Bloggity blog blog. Yeah.

So I've now added Jack Wakes Up to,, and All of these are big, cool websites out there where people go to listen to tons of podcasts, it seems. Fortunately, adding to these guys is not hard at all. You basically just upload your RSS feed (*see below) and then they have your stuff. Now all I need to do is make sure I keep adding the weekly podcasts to the part of my iweb page that has these simple RSS url's. Not so bad.

* So iweb automatically turns all the podcasts you create into a weird feed that starts with "itpc"--this makes your computer open itunes automatically. This won't work with "the pickle" "the alley" or odeo. So what you have to do is create a blog page with the audio content. (Blog pages in iweb just contain a regular http RSS.)

If none of this means anything to you, then that's probably good. Sorry to get techy for a second. Good news is that Ep. 5 is out now and if you want to find other means of getting the 'casts, you can find them now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Yes, as you may or may not have guessed, making these podcasts does REALLY take up a lot of time. It's hard work, man. Hard work. (In some ways.) I can't complain, but yes, there is a lot of work involved. Scott Sigler warned me about this, and I can't say I didn't hear him, but do we ever think something's going to take as much work for us as someone tells us? No, probably not. At least not if you're like me.

So, yes. It does take a while. Here's the upside of the podcasting: it seems like, if my .mac download rate is any indication, that people are really listening. I attribute this to the promo on Scott's show (another one to come this week!) and feel like it's great promotion/publicity for the novel and also "the writer." So I'm doing it and that's good, and/but now I'm locked into a good 4-6 hours a week of work on this (more than that, really) and I have to find the times to fit it all in, get the recording done, do the editing, and all that. It's good to be back in CA with my desk and apartment and all, but the fall schedule is new to me and so there's a transition involved.

This is kind of what I'm going through. Lots of excitement though when there is time free to get working on new writing projects, including the Genius novel, sending out stories, and a possible sequel to Jack Wakes Up (the next Jack Palms novel...) Ha. Anyway, the Mississippi Review is having a contest for post-Noir noir book excerpts and I'm planning to send them Ch. 12 of Jack Wakes (The Columbian chapter--just podcast) but I haven't gotten around to it yet. There's also a contest/guy someone knows who's reading for a mag called "Lost" that I'd like to send to and haven't yet.

That and the school business involved with getting the new classes going and some extra teacherly paperwork I have to do and, you guessed it, your boy is as busy as he can handle. Ask Hadley how she feels about it. Joelle's busy too, or else she'd be the authority there.

And now: the big news:: Podcast Episode #5 is now out on the site and on itunes. Check it!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is it!

First of all, let me just give you all the head's up that I feel like I'm really getting the hang of the podcasting now and being home this week, settled in one place with a manageable schedule, only helps. So yes, this week's episode is going to be a good one. One I am already proud of. Take for example the fact that it's Monday night and I have most of it done. That's a good sign.

Here's the goods on the cover: here it is, this is it, check it OUT:

Big thanks to Jeff!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Voting: not so much

So not many people voted on the covers. Thanks to Craig for being *the one.* You're the man, Craig.
Seems like parts of the world have shut down for many of us these days, around this time in August. We're camping, traveling, taking time off. And that's good. Of course it's good. On my trip to the Berkshires and Mass, I got to see my family and look up at the trees, one night I looked up at the stars and tried to see a meteor shower. What ended up happening looked like isolated shooting stars but more than you'd ever see on a regular night. I lay down in a field out in the woods, looked at more stars and lights than I ever see at home and felt the cold wet of the grass underneath me.

This is what summer is, isn't it? When I was a kid I remember doing the same thing from a boat, out in the middle of a lake, seeing the Milky Way as clearly as I ever have. I remember waking up at 2am intentionally riding across Canada on a passenger train the one night I actually had a sleeping compartment and going up to the viewing level in the lounge car to try to see the Northern Lights. I remember one night in Iowa, hot as you could imagine, humidity like crazy, and finding a place where the fog had rolled in onto a field in a deserted park, soaked the grass cool and wet with dew. Lying down in that grass, still hot after midnight and cooling off in the wet, soft blades. That's all summer.

And we're glad to have it, especially as the nights grow colder and we can feel the press of September and work life breathing down on top of us.

When you have a chance, vote on the cover. I'm leaning toward the second.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Covers Covers

Ok, People,

Jeff wins the design a cover contest, the key to my house, a set of steak knives, and free rides in my car for the rest of the summer. Very exciting and awesome. He's produced two great candidates for cover of the novel. And now...
The exciting part is that you get to vote for which one you like best. (Only one can be submitted to podiobooks.) (Though I could put the other one on if I can get on there...)
[Next week's subject: How to get onto Podiobooks and The itunes chapter of that story is a simple yet a frustrating one. They seem very easy, but when it comes to updating your postings and/or dealing with a feed that may have changed unexpectedly because you don't expect iweb to do something that it does do, you're kind of up the creek. Picture me spending lots of time at the Genius Bar in the Apple store in Emeryville. If you know Emeryville, you can feel my pain. (But I secretly kind of love going there.)]

Anyway, back to the voting!! Here are the two awesome contest winners:

Both very awesome, as you can see. Picture the one on the right with the girl's arms restored to her silhouette. Now you vote by adding comments to the blog.

Go to it!! Winner gets to be featured on The Internet!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

itunes feeds aren't easy and a potentially very cool thing

First here’s a little issue I got into: with itunes, once you start to upload your stuff, it locks you in at a certain url. OK. Fine. But I changed the title of my page a while back to drop the “:a podcast novel” from the Jack Wakes Up page. As it turns out, this has meant that my itunes feed never got past Ep. 1 if you wanted to listen in only from itunes. Never fear, if you were going from my site, you were fine. But it seems like some traffic went straight through itunes and those people may have only gotten Ep. 1. So how to work around this? I don't know. No one seems to know. Yet. I'm still working on that one. Now if you search me in itunes, you'll see two feeds. One was the original and the other is the new and onward. (You can tell it by the new artwork.) So check that out, write a review of the damn thing if you’re reading this. Tell someone it ROCKS!

Then here's something that could be very cool. So I got an email from apple the other day saying that my site’s getting too much activity and it’s in danger of getting shut down until Aug. 16th. The Deal is, they give you 10 Gigs of downloading per month, split between the first and second halves evenly at 5G. I was up to 4.4G for the first half of August!

What does this mean? Other than activity and that I owe Scott Sigler even more thanks, I’m not sure entirely what it means. Yes, there’s traffic, but with the downloads, I don’t fully know what’s happening in terms of numbers. I know that the longest episode is 17mg and then there’s some math that I can’t get too close a handle on. It either means a whole lot of people are listening or a lot of people clicked in and gave it a try. Either way, I like it: let’s hope they’re here to stay. [If you’re new and you’re reading this, keep listening!!]

Also, the good news, short-answer, is that I upgraded and my account can now handle a lot more activity. So I can keep growing, building. Let’s go out and make it happen, readers: tell a friend, send an email. I won’t start quoting from Scarface, but you know, let’s Shake It Up!!

I also just sent out an email to everyone out there on the list I have. If you're reading this and didn't get it and want to be on the list, drop me a line. I'll gladly put you on. If you're reading this and did get it, go check out the excerpt from Jack Wakes Up that's at
It's at If you didn't get the email, check this out too. Give Steve at Storyglossia some traffic, some Writer's Blog love. Just pour it out there, people.
Apologies to Jenn for starting my email with "Countrymen" and not "Country-People." I should've gone non-gender. Always. How about just "Romans?" Lend me your ear??

Probably too much traveling and not enough sleep. More on the vacation in the next installment.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Vacation, snowball, hotness, and Contest!

Yeah, yes friends, I'd like to be podcasting more right now and am feeling the effects of being away from the internet for most of my days. But the wind through the trees and the green leaf silhouettes over my head are helping helping.

Good new things this week: Episode 3 of Jack Wakes Up is now out!! Listen, download, enjoy it. It's all there in The Dickens too, except for the part that's about to appear on Storyglossia early next week. Check in there for Storyglossia Issue 15 which will feature Chapter 6 of Jack Wakes Up, "Ralph's House." Thanks again to Scott Sigler for linking his latest blog and podcast to Jack Wakes Up! Awesome contact there and he's clearly a great guy, right? Right.

Also new: don't forget the story, "Don Flamenco's Finest Round." Go there. Read it. Keep involved. I hope you're all enjoying the podcasts, the book, and the stories. Don't forget, if you see something here you like (or hear something) tell a friend. Tell two friends. Keep the promotion going.

Also: Contest!!! Not for just a free set of steak knives!
See who can design the best cover for Jack Wakes Up contest. Soon I'll be listing Jack Wakes Up on podiobooks and a few other sites that require me to have an official cover. Anyone who submits your best attempt at making one will receive lots of love here on the blog and the one who successfully creates the cover will receive... a signed copy of Post Road, featuring my latest publication, "Fisher Cat." That or whatever you'd like, basically. I need a cover here, people!!

Keep it cool.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More New Stuff

Yeah. It's all coming out now. Be sure to check in with Jack Wakes Up to see "The Dickens" my new text companion to the podcasts. This is for those of you who're more comfortable reading. Don't worry listeners, the podcasts will still be coming. I hope you've had a chance to hear Episode Two and enjoyed it. Episode Three promises to be the best episode yet (I'm saying that I promise it will be). Lots of big surprises on the way for Jack and you listeners as well.

The weather's come back to reasonable here in Boston. Be sure to check in and keep listening.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Stuff

Hey everybody,

Check out the new podcast episode in the Jack Wakes Up section. Also, have a look at my new story, Don Flamenco's Finest Round on and on the short stories page.

Hot as you could imagine here in Boston, recording the podcast. Check it. Think I'll handle the voices issue by just scaling back--nothing too fancy. Syntax, friend. Good dialogue writing is all about syntax.