Crossing the Finish Line

February 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm in Music, Personal

Well, here we are with just two days to go before the end of the 2011 RPM Challenge and I’m basically done. It’s been a really difficult month for me with the stuff going on in Wisconsin, and honestly this contest was a great way to escape. When I couldn’t sleep, I worked on music. When I was frustrated with a governor who’s so hell-bent on the bottom line that he’ll take away heath insurance from limited term employees, I’d work on music. This kept me from thinking about the fact that I may have to leave a job I love in order to take another one so I can pay the bills.

It was also nice to prove to myself that I had what it takes to actually write some tunes again, instead of just wasting time aimlessly.

The eight songs I ended up with are a varied mix of done. I had two more songs that didn’t make the cut because they had vocal parts that didn’t sound very good at all. That’s probably because I haven’t done any singing in a long time. But I did end up with about 39 minutes worth of some pretty good material.

It’s all electronic music, in a few different styles. It may not be for everyone, but then again, I don’t care because I write music that I like to listen to. If others like it too, then that’s just frosting on the cake.

So, without further ado, here are the 8 tracks that make up “26 Days”.

  1. Out Of The System
  2. Louder And Faster
  3. Put It In Drive
  4. Missing
  5. By My Two Hands
  6. New Day
  7. Sleepwalking
  8. Broken Promises

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Slight Change of Course

August 10, 2010 at 10:38 am in Book, Editing, Personal, Writing

This week I start my new part-time job as a Development Editor at the Pragmatic Bookshelf, the publisher I’ve worked with on my last two books. They’re wonderful people, and I’m honored to have the chance to work with them to help authors bring their books to completion.

For those unfamiliar, a Development Editor works with an author to help guide the book’s progress. It’s part content editor, and part project manager. I’ll be reviewing chapters, making suggestions on content, ensuring that things are clear, easy to follow, and are written in the appropriate “house style”, but I’ll also help set short and longterm goals for the book’s progress. I’ll manage the technical reviews and help the book along in the production process. Best of all, I’ll be able to share what I know about book writing with other aspiring authors. It’s all very exciting, and it goes hand-in-hand with my love for teaching and mentoring people. I won’t be responsible for copy-editing the book though. Spelling and grammar corrections happen at the end of the process and the Pragmatic Bookshelf has an absolutely amazing copy editor who makes everyones book better.)

I’ll be starting off with one book, and picking up a second very soon. I have no idea what this means for my consulting business long-term, but after 15 years of coding for money, I’m excited for a change. I’m extremely grateful to Dave, Andy, and Susannah for giving me this opportunity.

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HTML5 and CSS3 in Beta

July 6, 2010 at 9:30 am in Personal

My current book HTML5 and CSS3: Develop With Tomorrow’s Standards Today is now available as a “beta book” download from the Pragmatic Bookshelf. Beta books are a great way to read a book before it’s finished and participate in shaping the book before it reaches production. Buyers get to read the book early, participate in forums and submit errata, and in exchange they get updates about every two weeks and a final copy of the book once it’s done.

From the site:

HTML5 and CSS3 are the future of web development, but you don’t have to wait to start using them. Even though the specification is still in development, many modern browsers and mobile devices already support HTML5 and CSS3. This book gets you up to speed on the new HTML5 elements and CSS3 features you can use right now, and backwards compatible solutions ensure that you don’t leave users of older browsers behind.

I am having a blast working on this book, and I’ve had great support from the publisher and my technical reviewers. If you haven’t considered writing a book before, you really should give it some thought. It’s a very difficult but rewarding journey.

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A good read.

December 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm in Book, Family, Personal

Reading my book, just received from the printers.

Reading my book, just received from the printers.

I just received my copies of my book today, and that brings this chapter of my life to a close. Three years of work, two rewrites, a lot of frustration, and close to 3000 copies sold so far. I’m pretty proud of this book, and while there are a ton of things I’d do differently, I am glad I don’t have to do a third rewrite.

However, I’m not done writing. I’ve started something new, and I’ll let you all know more about that very very soon.

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Book progress

June 27, 2009 at 12:33 am in Personal

I’m on schedule to have my book indexed and ready for one final beta before printing. I’m extremely excited to be almost done. I have some cleanup to do this weekend though. My editor wants me to be a little more assertive. I have no problem with asserting my opinions, but I thought that maybe my readers might. Turns out that’s just want my editor wants me to do, so I’m going through and making things just a little more… well, let’s just say forceful.

The writing process is interesting. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before, and yet there are a lot of parallels to the rest of the things I do in the computer field. One thing’s for sure… people have no problem telling you what they don’t like!

Reaction to my book is mixed, and I have come to terms with the fact that I’m probably not going to be able to please everyone, and so I’m spending part of my weekend framing the book a little differently.

For now though, it’s time for some sleep. I have a big project day ahead of me tomorrow.

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