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John Ward

John Ward Verified in Google 

I paint. I write. I enjoy meeting new people on Google+, participating in their conversations and learning what makes them special. Here are the topics about which I post most frequently: Writing, Dig

Occupation: Artist/Illustrator

Followers: 30,806

Added to CircleCount.com: 07/19/2011That's the date, where John Ward has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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John Ward has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
DL Keur1,235authors sharing scene snips and free peeks at their work to the general publicJohn Ward's Saturday Scenes begins2014-05-03 09:30:0022  
ePublish Unum - Education for Authors152,738Welcome to the Books & Beer Hangout! This is a weekly video chat on topic related to something in or around the world of digital publishing… and we drink beer! This week +John Ward will join us to discuss some of the best new Google+ communities out there for authors. Google+ Communities are a way for people of similar interests to connect and collaborate within Google+. John is the founder of the Writer's Discussion Group, the largest writing focused Google+ Community to date, while Evo and Jeff are moderators for the Digital Publishing community. In 15 minutes, we'll discuss the best writing related communities out there, how to effectively get involved in engage with the people using them, and how to use them as a resource for education and network building. After that we open up the chat to everyone in what we call the "Hangover" at :15 after the hour to get your questions aswered live! Join us then to ask your questions directly, and by all means bring your own beer! To join you just need a webcam, a microphone, and speakers (or a headset). Follow us on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/105236277208554710444/posts and go to our page during this time to watch or join in! Books & Beer is co-produced and co-hosted by +Evo Terra and +Jeff Moriarty, publishing pioneers and craft beer enthusiasts. We Hangout every Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET as a Google Hangout On Air. You can see past episodes and upcoming topics on our site at http://epublishunum.com/books-and-beer but it's always more fun live. Join us!Books and Beer: Google+ Communities for Authors2013-02-08 03:00:0015  
ePublish Unum - Education for Authors152,738On the next _Books & Beer Hangout_, @109952403888787261893 and @114714204358609742953  Nathan Lowell and Debora Geary defend their love of unconventional novel creation. Both have received criticism for writing books “where nothing happens”. That’s a rather unfair characterization, but you need to hear what they have to say on the topic. Watch the live show and then join in for the interactive _Books & Beer Hangover_ at 6:30. Our guests -- and the two of us -- are happy to take your specific questions. _The Books & Beer Hangout_ is co-produced and co-hosted by @109993735355691141353 & @108055773101814734204, publishing pioneers and craft beer enthusiasts. We Hangout every Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET as a Google Hangout On Air. Join us!Books and Beer: Rules for Writers, and When You Can Break Them2012-08-31 03:00:0063  

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 58

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2017-05-15 02:33:38 (58 comments; 0 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

I'm going to be in New York City for a few days this summer. I've never been there before. I'm looking for recommendations for tourist type things to do. Currently, we're seeing a Broadway show, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, MoMA, and the Empire State Building. What else should we do?

Most reshares: 19

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2016-12-06 19:07:25 (6 comments; 19 reshares; 60 +1s; )Open 

If you do any type of creative work, please click this link. It will help you. It doesn't matter if you're an artist, a writer, a programmer, or a stay-at-home parent trying to figure out some innovative way to get your kids to eat broccoli, the comics posted on the linked webpage will help you flip your point of view and see things in a new light. It's brilliant, brilliant stuff and deserves to be shared with anyone who struggles with these issues.

Here's the link:

http://tozozozo.tumblr.com/tagged/not%2Fbut

Most plusones: 83

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2017-04-08 21:01:37 (13 comments; 1 reshares; 83 +1s; )Open 

Here's a painting I recently finished.

Latest 50 posts

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2017-05-19 00:21:48 (6 comments; 4 reshares; 71 +1s; )Open 

This made me laugh.

This made me laugh.___

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2017-05-18 16:09:33 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

For all of you poets out there. Although, you really might want to rethink your pricing structure.

For all of you poets out there. Although, you really might want to rethink your pricing structure.___

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2017-05-18 02:24:49 (11 comments; 3 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

This has gone beyond a Republican vs. Democrat issue. It has become an "Are they morons or whores willing to sell out everyone to the insurance companies?" issue.

New AHCA Healthcare Bill Allows DNA to Determine Pre-Existing Conditions

If you're an American, you may not have been satisfied with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but among several key provisions it restricted genetic tests from being used to determine pre-existing medical conditions.

Not so with the new Republican healthcare bill (American Health Care Act - AHCA) that just cleared the House. If it passes the Senate and is signed into law, your DNA could be mined for genes with a high correlation to certain illnesses. That doesn't mean you have those illnesses or ever will have them -- just that you (theoretically) have a predisposition to them. This could be used to jack up your insurance rates. Have three or four different marker genes? Tough luck for you...you may be priced out of healthcare.

Aside from the callousness of this policy, it might also wind up hurting American innovation in biotech by causing the general public to resist any attempt to study their DNA -- for the obvious reason that insurers could use it to later deny them care. Without a clear Genetic Bill of Rights, Americans don't have a clear stake in the outcome of that research -- which could, in turn, drive genetics research overseas. This would be disastrous because in my opinion, genomics and synthetic biology will be the economic engine of this century.

Did Republican legislators actually think about the consequences of this bill? Did they even read it before they voted for it?

#GeneticTests #HealthInsurance #PreExistingConditions

Posted (DS) WED May 17, 2017 (6.25 pm) ___This has gone beyond a Republican vs. Democrat issue. It has become an "Are they morons or whores willing to sell out everyone to the insurance companies?" issue.

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2017-05-17 18:13:54 (20 comments; 2 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

This is just a reminder that there is a mirror universe out there and that in this alternate reality Mr. Rogers is evil.

This is just a reminder that there is a mirror universe out there and that in this alternate reality Mr. Rogers is evil.___

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2017-05-15 02:33:38 (58 comments; 0 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

I'm going to be in New York City for a few days this summer. I've never been there before. I'm looking for recommendations for tourist type things to do. Currently, we're seeing a Broadway show, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, MoMA, and the Empire State Building. What else should we do?

I'm going to be in New York City for a few days this summer. I've never been there before. I'm looking for recommendations for tourist type things to do. Currently, we're seeing a Broadway show, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, MoMA, and the Empire State Building. What else should we do?___

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2017-05-12 22:58:05 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Has anyone who works in the field of genetics heard of this study? Does it seem legit? There's so much fake news out there anymore, I hesitate to get excited about things before I have confirmation.

Has anyone who works in the field of genetics heard of this study? Does it seem legit? There's so much fake news out there anymore, I hesitate to get excited about things before I have confirmation.___

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2017-05-12 20:37:36 (12 comments; 0 reshares; 25 +1s; )Open 

Natural bliss is so much better than the synthetic, lab-grown bliss that's so common these days.

Natural bliss is so much better than the synthetic, lab-grown bliss that's so common these days.___

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2017-05-12 15:38:31 (26 comments; 2 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

The official Emma Watson Beauty and the Beast is disturbing.

The official Emma Watson Beauty and the Beast is disturbing.___

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2017-05-11 18:23:48 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

This movie is bad. Really, really bad. The only redeeming quality it has is that it must be a source of endless encouragement for any aspiring filmmakers. If Netflix will purchase streaming rights to this, they will most certainly consider anything you have to offer.

This movie is bad. Really, really bad. The only redeeming quality it has is that it must be a source of endless encouragement for any aspiring filmmakers. If Netflix will purchase streaming rights to this, they will most certainly consider anything you have to offer.___

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2017-05-08 22:57:52 (24 comments; 0 reshares; 57 +1s; )Open 

I just broke open a fortune cookie only to find that it was missing the fortune. I guess that means I have no future. It was good knowing all of you.

I just broke open a fortune cookie only to find that it was missing the fortune. I guess that means I have no future. It was good knowing all of you.___

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2017-05-08 04:51:22 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

My attempt at surrealism. I enjoy following +Rick Wayne's art posts because many times he will share his thoughts on what various pieces mean to him. With that in mind, I would like to open this drawing up to interpretation. What do you think this piece is about? What does it mean to you?

My attempt at surrealism. I enjoy following +Rick Wayne's art posts because many times he will share his thoughts on what various pieces mean to him. With that in mind, I would like to open this drawing up to interpretation. What do you think this piece is about? What does it mean to you?___

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2017-05-04 20:24:59 (8 comments; 4 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Surely someone in my circles will find this interesting.

Surely someone in my circles will find this interesting.___

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2017-05-01 02:16:12 (15 comments; 0 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

Today, I had an interesting experience with an automated toilet. Have you ever sat on one that had the motion sensitivity turned up too high and it flushed because of the slightest movement? Combine that with excessively high water pressure and you'll understand what happened: surprise bidet.

Today, I had an interesting experience with an automated toilet. Have you ever sat on one that had the motion sensitivity turned up too high and it flushed because of the slightest movement? Combine that with excessively high water pressure and you'll understand what happened: surprise bidet.___

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2017-04-24 21:56:44 (11 comments; 1 reshares; 75 +1s; )Open 

I had to use a rental car today. Every time I turned the car off, it would flash a reminder to look in the back seat. I think their intention was to prevent people from forgetting something back there, but I've seen way too many horror movies for this reminder to do anything other than create fear and paranoia.

I had to use a rental car today. Every time I turned the car off, it would flash a reminder to look in the back seat. I think their intention was to prevent people from forgetting something back there, but I've seen way too many horror movies for this reminder to do anything other than create fear and paranoia.___

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2017-04-19 02:26:56 (24 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Questions about Mastadon How leery should I be of registering on a Mastadon instance? Are there things I should be looking for or concerned about when choosing an instance? Is anyone currently using an open instance that they would recommend? Thanks.

Questions about Mastadon How leery should I be of registering on a Mastadon instance? Are there things I should be looking for or concerned about when choosing an instance? Is anyone currently using an open instance that they would recommend? Thanks.___

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2017-04-18 23:11:15 (24 comments; 5 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

Take some time to read this great post by +Gideon Rosenblatt. He raises some great points.

Losing My Patience with Google+

Over the last six months or so I have watched as the quality of engagement here on Google+ has steadily declined. I have watched my follower count fluctuate and flatline. I have watched as people I used to engage with quite a bit here have left or dramatically scaled back their investments of time here. And yes, I have seen my own enthusiasm for investing time here wane significantly.

I ask myself why and the answers are never as simple as I would like. In the end though, I have come to the sad conclusion that the real thing that is killing Google+ is just plain bad management.

Lack of Attention
One gets the real sense that many of the people now charged with running Google+ don't really understand what it was that once made this service so good in its early days. Indeed, one gets the sense that few of the people managing the service today even really use Google+. There are a few noteworthy exceptions like +Yonatan Zunger and +Leo Deegan, of course. I once made a circle with some 50+ Googlers who were once active here, and when I click on that stream, well, it feels a lot like a ghost town.

+Bradley Horowitz, the VP in charge of Streams, Photos and Sharing, (which is where Google+ sits within the Google org structure) hasn't posted here on Google+ in half a year.

Oh, and remember +Luke Wroblewski, who used to manage Google+ and would send out all those updates on the redesign? Well, he hasn't posted a single thing here in over 7 weeks (even though @lukew is quite active on Twitter). You know why? I just happened to check his LinkedIn profile, and he's apparently no longer managing Google+. I don't recall seeing any announcement of this change - just a sudden silence from the man perhaps most responsible for the UI makeover of Google+.

Rudderless and Un-resourced
That decision to remake the Google+ UI followed a long string of decisions going back to the separation of Photos and Hangouts, each of which have seriously hurt the service. I know there were probably some good reasons to move to the new, mobile-dominant (as opposed to "mobile-friendly") UI, but the lack of enduser empathy from deprecating all the old functionality really was pretty staggering. Much of it hasn't come back, and much of what has is so stripped down (e.g. Events, community moderation) that it isn't really that usable.

As users, we have been asked to be patient and to have faith in the new strategy. Because I have been such a huge fan of Google+ for so long, that is exactly what I have done. I've been patient. I've believed. Believed that some big, cool fix was coming down the pike that would not only fix all the problems caused by the UI decision, but actually start innovating again with some cool new functionality.

Yes, we got Collections, and they actually are quite useful even if they do need a lot of work still. But that's really about it. It's been a couple years now and the silence is stultifying.

And finally, it hit me:

Maybe this is it. Maybe Google has significantly curtailed its investments in this network. Maybe the management squandered the scarce resources it did have on a redesign that users weren't really even asking for. And maybe, just maybe, what we see right now is pretty much what we're going to get.

User Investments
And this is where I start to get really mad. Like many others here, I have invested a lot of personal time and energy building a following here. Like many of you, I have poured heart and soul into filling this place not just with great content, but also with a sense of community. I could have made those investments in Twitter or Facebook or reddit, but like many of you, I made them here. And now I'm starting to wonder how smart of a decision that was.

All of this is particularly raw right now because I'm starting to play around a bit with the new distributed social network called Mastodon (https://mastodon.technology/@gideonro). It's far from perfect, but one thing that is very different is that it is open source and federated, rather than centrally owned and controlled.

There are lots of implications to this different model. For one, there is lots of competition and innovation in the works because Mastodon sits on top of GNU Social and rests within a "Fediverse" of related, and interoperable, social network platforms. They are working on solutions that make it easy to export your content from one platform to another - to prevent lock-in. Also, there is a lot of visibility on exactly what investments are being made in the platform by various contributors.

More importantly though, there is a very conscious understanding that the value of these networks is only partially the result of the software developers behind these solutions. Just as much of it lies with the end users.

In the end, this is the thing that I am most frustrated about right now with Google+. End users have made this place every bit as much as the coders and product planners behind Google+. This isn't to in any way diminish the importance of those contributions. But what I do find frustrating is the way that Google seems to regularly dismiss the importance, and the real economic and social value, of end user contributions. This was true with Google Reader, and sadly it appears to be true with Google+.

I'm still rooting for Google+ to turn things around, of course. I have a huge soft spot for this place, given all the great learning I've done here with my fellow travelers. But one thing is clear: I'm losing my patience, and I don't think I'm alone. ___Take some time to read this great post by +Gideon Rosenblatt. He raises some great points.

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2017-04-18 17:59:45 (5 comments; 15 reshares; 51 +1s; )Open 

A designer has paired classic song lyrics with Stephen King type horror covers. The result is brilliantly twisted.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/51252675/Stephen-Kings-Stranger-Love-Songs-by-Butcher-Billy

A designer has paired classic song lyrics with Stephen King type horror covers. The result is brilliantly twisted.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/51252675/Stephen-Kings-Stranger-Love-Songs-by-Butcher-Billy___

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2017-04-10 22:19:03 (18 comments; 1 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Pulp or Not?

Many-- but not all-- of Stephen King's stories seem to be in the pulp tradition to me. I'm curious about your thoughts. Do the stories that adhere to the agreed upon checklist deserve to be considered some variation of pulp akin to Lovecraft or are they something else?

The guy's written a ton of books and short stories. Let me confine my examples to one of his better known books: IT.

This is an ensemble story that features a lot of main characters, but each of them chooses to confront evil even when doing so places them in mortal peril. There is a love story. There is a sense of ethics although it isn't stated in an overt manner. The story features both good and evil supernatural beings. The good guys win at the end even though that win involves some sacrifice on their part.

Many of his stories follow pretty much this same... more »

Pulp or Not?

Many-- but not all-- of Stephen King's stories seem to be in the pulp tradition to me. I'm curious about your thoughts. Do the stories that adhere to the agreed upon checklist deserve to be considered some variation of pulp akin to Lovecraft or are they something else?

The guy's written a ton of books and short stories. Let me confine my examples to one of his better known books: IT.

This is an ensemble story that features a lot of main characters, but each of them chooses to confront evil even when doing so places them in mortal peril. There is a love story. There is a sense of ethics although it isn't stated in an overt manner. The story features both good and evil supernatural beings. The good guys win at the end even though that win involves some sacrifice on their part.

Many of his stories follow pretty much this same formula over and over again. What do you folks think: Pulp or Not?___

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2017-04-10 19:25:44 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 54 +1s; )Open 

This made me laugh.

This made me laugh.___

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2017-04-09 00:26:24 (12 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

While I'm sharing art, I thought I'd post a couple of old comic strips. I did these years ago back when Wizards of the Coast had an open call for comic submissions. If I remember right, they were going to run the comics on their website.

This was a challenge for me because I wanted to create a style that I would be able to pull of on a weekly basis without spending days doing the artwork. I think I pulled that part off. They ended up going with someone else's submission. Oh well.

There were going to be two running gags in this strip. The first gag was that the Dwarf Paladin character had figured out that his every move was being controlled by some mysterious outside force. He felt like a pawn on a chess board. The second gag was going to be a rip off of Odd Couple. I was going to do this by having a gnome (who are considered to be capricious and less than tidy) be a... more »

While I'm sharing art, I thought I'd post a couple of old comic strips. I did these years ago back when Wizards of the Coast had an open call for comic submissions. If I remember right, they were going to run the comics on their website.

This was a challenge for me because I wanted to create a style that I would be able to pull of on a weekly basis without spending days doing the artwork. I think I pulled that part off. They ended up going with someone else's submission. Oh well.

There were going to be two running gags in this strip. The first gag was that the Dwarf Paladin character had figured out that his every move was being controlled by some mysterious outside force. He felt like a pawn on a chess board. The second gag was going to be a rip off of Odd Couple. I was going to do this by having a gnome (who are considered to be capricious and less than tidy) be a traveling companion to a Githyanki (who are very strict and devoted to their religion). The jokes were just going to play off of the disparate natures of the two classes.___

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2017-04-08 21:05:53 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Thought you folks would enjoy this painting I just finished. It wasn't directly inspired by any specific story from Cirsova, but I did want to create something that captured the feeling many of the stories convey. 

Thought you folks would enjoy this painting I just finished. It wasn't directly inspired by any specific story from Cirsova, but I did want to create something that captured the feeling many of the stories convey. ___

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2017-04-08 21:01:37 (13 comments; 1 reshares; 83 +1s; )Open 

Here's a painting I recently finished.

Here's a painting I recently finished.___

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2017-04-07 15:48:45 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

In 1983 my chess team won 8th place in the USCF Nationals for elementary school children. One of my former team mates was able to find the feature a local TV reporter did on our team because of the win.

If you're interested in seeing the ten year old version of me, I show up at the 2 minute 6 seconds mark on the right hand side of the screen. I hope you enjoy seeing the glory of my youthful visage.

In 1983 my chess team won 8th place in the USCF Nationals for elementary school children. One of my former team mates was able to find the feature a local TV reporter did on our team because of the win.

If you're interested in seeing the ten year old version of me, I show up at the 2 minute 6 seconds mark on the right hand side of the screen. I hope you enjoy seeing the glory of my youthful visage.___

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2017-04-03 20:17:27 (5 comments; 1 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

Over the weekend, I started reading Cirsova #3. I'm skipping around a bit because I wanted to read stories by people I'd met here. I enjoyed +Sky Hernstrom's The Space Witch. My only regret was that it wasn't longer. I have several stories to go before I finish the mag, but I'm impressed. They might pay semi-pro rates, but the stories I've read have been professional level stuff.

+Misha Burnett, can you tell me which issue introduced your shared world? I bought issue 5 last night because your name was plastered all over the front. I'm looking forward to diving into the short stories set in your fictional world. 

Over the weekend, I started reading Cirsova #3. I'm skipping around a bit because I wanted to read stories by people I'd met here. I enjoyed +Sky Hernstrom's The Space Witch. My only regret was that it wasn't longer. I have several stories to go before I finish the mag, but I'm impressed. They might pay semi-pro rates, but the stories I've read have been professional level stuff.

+Misha Burnett, can you tell me which issue introduced your shared world? I bought issue 5 last night because your name was plastered all over the front. I'm looking forward to diving into the short stories set in your fictional world. ___

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2017-03-30 01:17:32 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

This was painted by comic book artist Nic Klein. It looks like something out of one of Edgar Rice Burrough's worlds to me.

His website is here:

https://abrampollux.tumblr.com/#_=_

This was painted by comic book artist Nic Klein. It looks like something out of one of Edgar Rice Burrough's worlds to me.

His website is here:

https://abrampollux.tumblr.com/#_=____

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2017-03-28 00:59:44 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

I believe an argument could be made that Bill Watterson is a pulp writer. Granted, his travels into pulp land are only as setups for a joke, but the man seems to understand the genre. What do you folks think?

I believe an argument could be made that Bill Watterson is a pulp writer. Granted, his travels into pulp land are only as setups for a joke, but the man seems to understand the genre. What do you folks think?___

2017-03-27 16:45:17 (7 comments; 1 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

I can't tell you how many times I've clicked through to an article that I was interested in reading, saw that it was a multi-screen slideshow, and clicked the back button while thinking, "Nope. Not gonna do your slideshow."

I can't tell you how many times I've clicked through to an article that I was interested in reading, saw that it was a multi-screen slideshow, and clicked the back button while thinking, "Nope. Not gonna do your slideshow."___

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2017-03-26 02:24:17 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Not only is the chess set ridiculously overpriced, but the manufacturer would have me stop using it in a few years.

Not only is the chess set ridiculously overpriced, but the manufacturer would have me stop using it in a few years.___

2017-03-23 06:29:05 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Do many people use RPGNow and places like that as a source for gaming art?

I ask because I set up an account there a few years back, uploaded 3 pieces of art, and quickly forgot about it. Long story short, I just logged into the account and was surprised to see the number of sales I've made. It makes me wonder if I shouldn't upload more art, but I'm still surprised to see people buy art that wasn't custom made for their book or campaign.

Do many people use RPGNow and places like that as a source for gaming art?

I ask because I set up an account there a few years back, uploaded 3 pieces of art, and quickly forgot about it. Long story short, I just logged into the account and was surprised to see the number of sales I've made. It makes me wonder if I shouldn't upload more art, but I'm still surprised to see people buy art that wasn't custom made for their book or campaign.___

2017-03-18 17:05:16 (17 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

I've seen a lot of people complain about Netflix's Iron Fist, but I'm enjoying it. Granted, I've never read any of the comics. Maybe going into it without expectations makes a difference. 

I've seen a lot of people complain about Netflix's Iron Fist, but I'm enjoying it. Granted, I've never read any of the comics. Maybe going into it without expectations makes a difference. ___

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2017-03-04 21:50:03 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Convention Stories 2

This is the second story I have from WorldCon in 2002. Back before we had the social media we know today, I used to hang out in the SFF.net newsgroups. During my time there, I made friends with a guy who worked at DAW Publishing. When he learned that I was going to be attending WorldCon, he pulled some strings and got me tickets to attend DAW's big party for all of their authors that year.

On the night of the party, we went up to the hotel room, briefly saw my friend before he was drafted to help finish setting up food tables or something like that. We went into the room and were surrounded by every author who was either actively publishing with DAW or who had published with them in the past. Seriously. Everyone was there... and no one would talk to me. Well, that's not really true. They would say hi and things like that, but I was definitely the... more »

Convention Stories 2

This is the second story I have from WorldCon in 2002. Back before we had the social media we know today, I used to hang out in the SFF.net newsgroups. During my time there, I made friends with a guy who worked at DAW Publishing. When he learned that I was going to be attending WorldCon, he pulled some strings and got me tickets to attend DAW's big party for all of their authors that year.

On the night of the party, we went up to the hotel room, briefly saw my friend before he was drafted to help finish setting up food tables or something like that. We went into the room and were surrounded by every author who was either actively publishing with DAW or who had published with them in the past. Seriously. Everyone was there... and no one would talk to me. Well, that's not really true. They would say hi and things like that, but I was definitely the stranger. All of them knew each other and were busy catching up on things that had happened since the last time they had been together. Remember, this is before social media.

We chatted with a couple of authors that I kinda knew from SFF.net for a while, but eventually ended up going over into a corner so we could have a seat on the sofa. I sat down next to an elderly gentleman (pictured below) who smiled at me and asked if I was a new author.

I explained that no, I was a friend of one of the employees and was here as a fan. Then, he introduced himself as Frederick Pohl. We chatted for a few minutes and then he was recruited to go play the piano. One of the authors in the room was having a birthday. So, he got up and played Happy Birthday for them while everyone in the room sang.

That was my brief, but memorable (to me) encounter with Frederick Pohl. Tomorrow, I will tell you the last of my convention stories. It's the best one because it's actually mildly funny.___

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2017-03-04 02:42:17 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Anyone Read Comics?

I haven't read this specific book, but these covers look about as Pulp as you can get. I have read other books by Rick Remender. He's written some great books in the past. Has anyone read FEAR Agent?

Anyone Read Comics?

I haven't read this specific book, but these covers look about as Pulp as you can get. I have read other books by Rick Remender. He's written some great books in the past. Has anyone read FEAR Agent?___

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2017-03-03 15:33:58 (12 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Convention Stories

Does anyone have an embarrassing story of something that happened at a science fiction convention? Here's one of mine.

I went to WorldCon in 2002. It was my first convention of any kind ever. I spent hours ahead of time carefully choosing each panel that I would attend, mapped out my schedule to ensure that I saw all of the authors or artists that I wanted to meet and was ready to have a great time basking in nerdy fandom.

On the first day, I got there early. I decided to kill time in the dealer's room, but had to wait for them to open up as well. So, I queued up in a very long line (probably seven rows of people going back for several hundred feet) and waited for the hall to open. This was in the days before cell phones so to occupy time, I decided to talk to the people around me.

The people in front of me were already in a... more »

Convention Stories

Does anyone have an embarrassing story of something that happened at a science fiction convention? Here's one of mine.

I went to WorldCon in 2002. It was my first convention of any kind ever. I spent hours ahead of time carefully choosing each panel that I would attend, mapped out my schedule to ensure that I saw all of the authors or artists that I wanted to meet and was ready to have a great time basking in nerdy fandom.

On the first day, I got there early. I decided to kill time in the dealer's room, but had to wait for them to open up as well. So, I queued up in a very long line (probably seven rows of people going back for several hundred feet) and waited for the hall to open. This was in the days before cell phones so to occupy time, I decided to talk to the people around me.

The people in front of me were already in a conversation. So, I turned around and saw an older man looking through the convention schedule. He looked up and gave me a brief smile. I asked him if he'd ever been to a convention before. It was obvious that he had because his the badge holder for his name tag had all kinds of ribbons and little pins that referenced past conventions, but it was an easy way to start the conversation.

He smiled again and said that he'd been to a few. Then, he asked if I'd ever been to a WorldCon before. I told him it was my first convention ever. He laughed and told me that I'd just ruined myself for any other conventions because nothing compared to WorldCon.

I asked him what he did for a living. He told me that he was an author. I looked at him and didn't recognize him. So, I asked if he'd ever written anything that I might have heard of. He said, "Well, most people know me from a series of books I wrote called The Dying Earth."

"Dying Earth?" I said. "I'm sorry, but I haven't read of it. It sounds interesting though. What's it about?"

He gave me a synopsis and helped alleviate my embarrassment by saying that the book had been written before I was born. I was still pretty young at the time, so I didn't fully realize how special it was to meet Jack Vance.

Do you have any stories about meeting an author or something funny that happened at a convention? If so, I'd love to hear it.___

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2017-03-03 05:05:19 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

What Have You Learned?

I was going back through old posts with the #pulprevolution hashtag and I found one written by +Jon Mollison. In the comments on that post, both +Kevyn Winkless and +Spencer Hart mention how they study the pulps to improve their writing. My question for them and for anyone else who wants to chime in is how have the pulps helped you? What lessons have you learned? Jon's original post is here:

https://plus.google.com/112537537154180794272/posts/SmEXDZ7naSk?iem=4&gpawv=1&hl=en-US

Artwork is by Patrick Jones: http://www.pjartworks.com

What Have You Learned?

I was going back through old posts with the #pulprevolution hashtag and I found one written by +Jon Mollison. In the comments on that post, both +Kevyn Winkless and +Spencer Hart mention how they study the pulps to improve their writing. My question for them and for anyone else who wants to chime in is how have the pulps helped you? What lessons have you learned? Jon's original post is here:

https://plus.google.com/112537537154180794272/posts/SmEXDZ7naSk?iem=4&gpawv=1&hl=en-US

Artwork is by Patrick Jones: http://www.pjartworks.com___

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2017-01-02 02:23:15 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

It's a new year. What's something new that you're going to learn or do this year? I'm going to learn how to play Go.

It's a new year. What's something new that you're going to learn or do this year? I'm going to learn how to play Go.___

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2016-12-31 17:17:17 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

There is a concept artist named Ian McQue. He paints pictures of gritty looking barges and ships that float in the sky. I really enjoy the designs he comes up with for his imagined world. The painting below is a bit of fan art I did based off of his design aesthetic.

The items at the end of the robotic arms are meant to be lasers. The logic for this deicision is that if you're going to make something up, you might as well add lasers. Lasers make everything better! Unfortunately, because of the way the arms are positioned they look like feet. Oh well. Sometimes, that happens, I guess.

Check out Ian's site here: http://mcqueconcept.blogspot.com

There is a concept artist named Ian McQue. He paints pictures of gritty looking barges and ships that float in the sky. I really enjoy the designs he comes up with for his imagined world. The painting below is a bit of fan art I did based off of his design aesthetic.

The items at the end of the robotic arms are meant to be lasers. The logic for this deicision is that if you're going to make something up, you might as well add lasers. Lasers make everything better! Unfortunately, because of the way the arms are positioned they look like feet. Oh well. Sometimes, that happens, I guess.

Check out Ian's site here: http://mcqueconcept.blogspot.com___

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2016-12-29 04:12:18 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 26 +1s; )Open 

I made this image to serve as commentary for the year. Here's a long list of the celebrities who have died over the past year:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-year-in-review/look-back-all-famous-figures-who-died-2016-n698791

I made this image to serve as commentary for the year. Here's a long list of the celebrities who have died over the past year:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-year-in-review/look-back-all-famous-figures-who-died-2016-n698791___

2016-12-29 01:14:59 (14 comments; 1 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

Goodreads should create a new category to go alone with the existing "Want to Read, Reading, and Finished." The new category should be called something like "Abandoned" or "I Couldn't Take it Anymore" or something along those lines.

Goodreads should create a new category to go alone with the existing "Want to Read, Reading, and Finished." The new category should be called something like "Abandoned" or "I Couldn't Take it Anymore" or something along those lines.___

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2016-12-21 19:37:02 (22 comments; 0 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

I've been trying to teach myself to play Go. The game I'm using automatically handicaps itself based off of how well you play. I really suck. Each new game, it keeps spotting me additional pieces.

I've been trying to teach myself to play Go. The game I'm using automatically handicaps itself based off of how well you play. I really suck. Each new game, it keeps spotting me additional pieces.___

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2016-12-19 00:46:24 (3 comments; 3 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

This made me laugh.

This made me laugh.___

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2016-12-18 01:10:26 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

+Amy Knepper is this one of those K-Drama romantic comedies you're always talking about?

+Amy Knepper is this one of those K-Drama romantic comedies you're always talking about?___

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2016-12-06 19:07:25 (6 comments; 19 reshares; 60 +1s; )Open 

If you do any type of creative work, please click this link. It will help you. It doesn't matter if you're an artist, a writer, a programmer, or a stay-at-home parent trying to figure out some innovative way to get your kids to eat broccoli, the comics posted on the linked webpage will help you flip your point of view and see things in a new light. It's brilliant, brilliant stuff and deserves to be shared with anyone who struggles with these issues.

Here's the link:

http://tozozozo.tumblr.com/tagged/not%2Fbut

If you do any type of creative work, please click this link. It will help you. It doesn't matter if you're an artist, a writer, a programmer, or a stay-at-home parent trying to figure out some innovative way to get your kids to eat broccoli, the comics posted on the linked webpage will help you flip your point of view and see things in a new light. It's brilliant, brilliant stuff and deserves to be shared with anyone who struggles with these issues.

Here's the link:

http://tozozozo.tumblr.com/tagged/not%2Fbut___

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2016-12-05 22:20:38 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

My daughters and I have been making our way through Calvin and Hobbes. They love the Spaceman Spiff story arcs. The fellow in the picture below is not Spaceman Spiff, but my motivation to paint him had its genesis because of those stories.

My daughters and I have been making our way through Calvin and Hobbes. They love the Spaceman Spiff story arcs. The fellow in the picture below is not Spaceman Spiff, but my motivation to paint him had its genesis because of those stories.___

2016-11-30 23:31:40 (14 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Any drummers in the house?

I need you to help settle a... well, not an argument, but a discussion with my wife. You know the sound that plays when you begin to watch a Netflix original show? They show the Netflix logo on a white background and two beats sound. I think that this is from a snare drum. My wife disagrees. Does anyone know?

Any drummers in the house?

I need you to help settle a... well, not an argument, but a discussion with my wife. You know the sound that plays when you begin to watch a Netflix original show? They show the Netflix logo on a white background and two beats sound. I think that this is from a snare drum. My wife disagrees. Does anyone know?___

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2016-11-28 05:53:31 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

This looks cool. Something my writer friends may enjoy.

This looks cool. Something my writer friends may enjoy.___

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2016-11-25 21:00:17 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

I was killing some time watching that TV show The Librarians and did this sketch/caricature of Noah Wiley.

I was killing some time watching that TV show The Librarians and did this sketch/caricature of Noah Wiley.___

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2016-11-24 03:50:24 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.___

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2016-11-22 18:54:32 (5 comments; 1 reshares; 44 +1s; )Open 

My older daughter saw the painting I'd done for her sister and asked me to do one for her. She, my oldest, is the big My Little Pony fan in the house. So, I did a picture of one of her favorite characters from the show.

My older daughter saw the painting I'd done for her sister and asked me to do one for her. She, my oldest, is the big My Little Pony fan in the house. So, I did a picture of one of her favorite characters from the show.___

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2016-11-21 15:15:01 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

For anyone interested in copying my sartorial style, I'll direct you to my vendor of choice:

https://www.shinesty.com/collections/party-suits

For anyone interested in copying my sartorial style, I'll direct you to my vendor of choice:

https://www.shinesty.com/collections/party-suits___

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2016-11-21 01:52:14 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

+Rick Wayne Did you know about this Doctor Strange story that involves the singer Amy Grant?

http://www.cbr.com/when-doctor-stranges-girlfriend-was-amy-grant/

+Rick Wayne Did you know about this Doctor Strange story that involves the singer Amy Grant?

http://www.cbr.com/when-doctor-stranges-girlfriend-was-amy-grant/___

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