July 10th, 2009

Lost in the wilderness? Better hope you have this type of phone

It has a chip for “Enhanced 911.” It’s a type of GPS that helps rescuers find you if you are lost in the wilderness. It’s not so important when you are in the city and there are many cell towers. But if you are in the wilderness and miles from a cell tower, finding you might involve combing hundreds of square miles. In fact, that problems plays a key role in a YA thriller I have coming out in 2010 from Holt (title is still under discussion).

Here’s a story about how enhanced 911 saved one man’s life.


Curious note: the guy featured, Rick Aberle, is someone I went to high school with!

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An open letter to people at my gym

Dear Anonymous:
I know it's easy to drop your keys/water bottle/Blackberry/sweaty towels on the nearest piece of equipment, but what about those of us who actually want to use it, but don't want to violate the unspoken "don't touch my stuff' rule?

Dear Middle-Aged Guy in the White Snake T-Shirt:
Dude, I know it seemed like a genius idea to cut off the sleeves to give yourself more mobility. But what possessed you to cut out the sides as well? I could see way more of the reason you decided to start going to the gym than I really wanted to.

Dear Guy with the I-Pod Who Did One-Million Rapid Sit-Ups with Rabid Intensity:
Maybe you can't hear yourself over your music, but the rest of us can hear your loud pants and groans, as your breath gets faster and faster. It's like porno without the visuals. Just sayin'.

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A world in which an e-book is described as "traditional"

The New York Times says, "Plenty of authors dream of writing the great American novel. Bradley Inman wants to create great fiction, dramatic online video and compelling Twitter stream — and then roll them all into a multimedia hybrid that is tailored to the rapidly growing number of digital reading devices.Vook is a technology platform offering storytellers the best digital tools to deliver written stories with integrated video, photos, social media, and community features."

And if you go to vook.tv, you'll see that:

"Authors and Publishers [April says: are publishers so important they deserve their own capital letter?] will directly benefit from this new distribution platform.
Vook Provides...
New sources of revenue [good luck with that one]
Higher value offering over traditional eBooks [Maybe I'm really old, but "traditional" seems a weird word to apply to eBooks, seeing as how people haven't yet agreed how to spell the dang things]
Richer storytelling experience [seems possible]
Turn-key media solution [buzz words that really mean what?]
Effective social media marketing [how?]
Direct fan engagement [I like to think of them as readers, but I guess that's another "traditional" word]"

So what exactly is a Vook? "Last year, considering the opportunities that e-book devices like the Amazon Kindle might someday create, Mr. Inman wrote his own thriller, “The Right Way to Do Wrong” and got TurnHere to film two dozen short videos with actors that augment the book’s main mystery. He recently began showing his Vook prototype to publishers as a way to hook them and their established writers on the idea."

My guess is that it would be expensive to do this for most books. And would it really add to the value, or would it distract from the reader's imagination.

You can read more here.

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