Dog Blog!

Lately, I’ve been writing. I’ve been writing a LOT. Writing my next novel, writing blogs, writing marketing materials for The Fifth Column, you name it… Many times as I’m sitting at my desk writing, I have a little buddy next to me. That little buddy is Joey. I’m blogging about him today because he seems a fixture next to me while I tap away and every time I need a little break all I have to do is call him and he comes over and jumps on my leg and is genuinely happy about it.
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We brought Joey in to our home in December of 2008 when he was a very small puppy.  He was extremely malnourished and timid when we got him.  My stepdaughter had found him at a BART station in Dublin California just kind of meandering around abandoned and after scooping him up and bringing him to her own house had proceeded to leave him to stay with us temporarily until she could find him a permanent home.  It only took seven days for the little guy to worm his way in to my heart and when the time came for a family in Reno to take him from us I told all parties involved… absolutely not!
There are a lot of things I love about this little dude.  We believe his breed is a mix between a Corgi and a Jack Russell but we’ve had also had people tell us they think he’s part Chihuahua.  We don’t really care, he’s awesome!  For starters, he doesn’t bark.  I can’t count how many times my ears have been pained by the ceaseless barking of a small breed at anything and everything.  Next, he doesn’t chew things up or destroy furniture.  This is a big deal for my wife and I coming from owning a Boxer that devoured household items like they were kibble.  Lastly, Joey goes at whatever speed you want.  If you start throwing his toy he seems to have boundless energy, but when you’re tired and want to just lay on the couch and relax he seems perfectly content to just cuddle alongside you.

736061_145619908921398_785965033_oWhat else can I say about the dude?  He’s small which makes him manageable from the standpoint of giving him baths or vet visits.  He is a short-hair breed so we don’t need to brush him.  He does shed but its minimal by comparison to other breeds.  We took the time to kennel train him so he loves sleeping in there when we go to bed and does not make a fuss.  As you can see I really like this little dog!  Like all dogs, he is very empathetic to our moods.  When we are sick he really likes to cuddle and spend time with us etc…
Joey is now well aware that I plan to leave him all of my belongings in my will.  His full name is Crown Prince Joseph Robert Thomas Corrado III.  The legal paperwork to officially make him my son has been filed and I am awaiting legal confirmation of its completion.  If you have a friend like this you’d like to hype up, hit the comments section and let’s debate why my dog is cooler than yours!

Until then, here are some more pics and videos of the Prince.  Love you buddy!

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Would you volunteer for a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign? It’s simple and easy!

guerilla1Time to plug my guerrilla marketing campaign and see whose interested in joining the war effort to hype my book dropping in November. The concept is simple, I’ve identified a list of 30 books that would be popular reads for my target audience. A tiny three inch by three inch sticker is to be hidden, not with the sticker peeled off though, within the center of any of these 30 books. When a potential fan purchases one of these other books and reads their way half through, they are treated to a small and cryptic advertisement which they can also stick on something later.

Before you enlist make sure you check out the pertinent bullets below and can answer yes to all of them…

  • Do you visit book stores?
  • Do you have a problem with hiding stickers in the middle of a book in a book store on the sly?
  • If you were sent such stickers would you promise to hide them all? (They aren’t free for me to print)

If you answered yes to all three of the questions above then you have what it takes to join the partisans and begin the revolution! If you answered yes and are interested in doing such then please get in touch with me through Facebook here, my personal email here, or just leave me a comment on this blog and I’ll get in touch with you. Leave me the address and how many of the stickers you’d like.

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The World’s End; a quick review (no spoilers here mate!)

worldsendI finally got the chance to see the new Simon Pegg and Nick Frost film, The World’s End. Let me say right from the start so that you know how biased this review will be, I’m a HUGE Simon Pegg fan. Absolutely loved the other two films that round out what he calls his “Cornetto Trilogy”, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and I absolutely loved this film also.

So a quick summary; Gary King (the once and future as he refers to himself) never quite left his high school days behind and decides to round up the old gang to attempt once again a failed 12 pub crawl that they tried when they were young. This is how the story begins, but THEN it takes you on quite a wild ride by the fourth pub. Their hometown seems to be under the control of a mysterious alien force. What do these five friends proceed to do? Get completely four sheets to the wind and kick some alien ass!

I thought the aliens were absolutely great, and a very fresh take on the aliens trying to conquer mankind bit. The special effects were perfect here, not too heavy, just right, good mixture of CG and practical effects here and not distracting from the story. The acting was great! Pegg and Frost are a dynamic comedy team and it was also nice to see Pegg take the role of the complete idiot and Frost take the role of the smarter and more responsible of the two (a diversion from their previous two films). The rest of the group also delivered some solid laughs. Great cameo by Pierce Brosnan as well.

If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and/or Hot Fuzz, I think this will be right up your alley. If you couldn’t get past the absurdity and didn’t enjoy those, this will probably only be worse for you because the absurdity levels from the first two films is doubled in The World’s End. It was the final part of the trilogy, why not go out with a bang? Also, ladies, if you are looking for any romcom elements to anchor yourself to throughout this film, you will be disappointed. While I consider it to be firmly in the dude film category, my wife did think it was hilarious.

I give this film 11 pints out of 12 (taking off only one pint for the ending which I felt could have been stronger).

In other words, GO SEE IT YOU TOSSER!

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The official site for The Fifth Column has launched!

loneskullThis is a very exciting update for me. The official page for The Fifth Column is now live at this link. It has information on the novel, the release date, and places the book will be available for sale. The novel will be available for purchase on November 12th (11/12/13)!  There will be some other promotional events coming up, including a virtual book tour, so stay tuned!

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Having artistic family members is cool.

In finalizing my facebook author page I’ve come to the realization that my family is pretty creative. On my FB feed today I noticed some of my mom’s artwork, then as I was farting around in FB I noticed some posts from my brother’s Danger City page (which is devoted largely to his music). I feel extremely blessed to have grown up in this kind of atmosphere because it’s easy to take for granted how much help and encouragement my mom and brother have given me over the years (I’m lucky in that I also get to add my extremely supportive wife to that group).

Over the years we’ve bounced ideas off of one another, checked out each others work and given feedback (and it has not all been positive).  At the end of the day, we love our families, but its nice to also be able to enjoy their creative work.  My brother’s music is honestly some of my favorite and I’ve never passed up a chance to get my mom to draw something for me.  I’m thankful we all like to focus on somewhat different genres though as families can get dramatically competitive…

I’m curious to know if my readers are artists or have artist siblings or parents.  Was it fun?  Was it tough?  I’ve heard stories about living in the shadow of an amazing artist and I’ve also heard stories about siblings being compared to one another (Ridley and Tony Scott anyone?)

Below are some samples of my family’s talents.

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If I created a home made board game based on the film “Road Warrior” would you play it?

I’m envisioning a fold-out card-stock board painted like a two-lane highway with desert around it.  A large model truck done up just like the film and model cars for the bad guys.  Cars moving into and out of squares, troopers boarding the truck to take it over.  The truck player utilizing his defenders.  Max with his sawed-off double-barrel shotgun.  Again, Max with his sawed-off double barrel shotgun.  Dice rolling.  Smack talking.  Aussie accent smack talking.

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I’m thinking that Max wins if he keeps the truck from crashing or getting taken over for a certain number of turns and the “garbage” as Papa Gallo so eloquently calls them win if they take over the truck!  Thunder Road was a game very much in the same vein as my idea but a bit too simplistic.

thunderroadI want to recreate George Miller’s classic on my dining room table!  Any takers?

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Remakes: A feel-good walk down nostalgia lane, or a lamentable ruining of something you faithfully cherished?

It seems Hollywood is inundating us lately with remakes of classic movies that those of us that grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s fell in love with.  I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends that some are faithful renditions that leave the viewer feeling happy and nostalgic, while others are disgusting rip-offs that completely miss the mark of the original.

Let’s be clear here.  These are not sequels, which carry their own brand of cringe factor for movie fans.  These films are a re imagining of the original.  Using the original character names and locations but sometimes adding elements or subtracting them.  Sometimes adding elements we hate, removing elements we love, or vice versa.  Check out some notable examples below and feel free to comment.  I have my own opinions but I’ll hold them in check for now.

Total Recall

Robocop

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Createspace totally rocks!

I have not completely finished the process of running my novel through Createspace but being 75% of the way through let me just say… WOW! They really make it simple for a self-publishing author to get their material uploaded and massaged into a decent format for consumption. At this rate I may just vanity publish a bunch of stuff I have had collecting dust because the process is so easy. Highly recommend this platform to any author.

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