Do The Dead Dream? Update

I have the manuscript sent out to my cover guy, Lon Kirschner! Looking forward to his amazing wizardry!

I have the final story out to my editor, Joyce Combs.

I am reworking two stories (“Broken Windows” and “What Dreams are Made of”), based on comments from my writer-friend, Jimmie Butler.

I have sent out versions of the manuscript to those I hope to get blurbs from. The deadline for those are August 26th. I have a handful more I will shortly be sending out to others from whom I hope to gain blurbs.

I have one reviewer awaiting a copy for an advance review. I need to get my butt in gear and get more of THAT goin’ on.

I have two radio interviews scheduled.

That’s all I got right now. Stay tuned—and thanks for your support!

Posted in Book Covers, Book Reviews, Books, Metaphysical, Short Story, Spooky, To Be Human, Writing | 5 Comments

“Mistakes Were Made” DCC 2017 Panel

Yesterday I attended the 2017 Denver Comic Con. I only attended one day, since I was not presenting or hawkin’ my wares (novels). But since I wasn’t doing either of the forgoing, I asked if I could still moderate a panel, and Eneasz Brodski was gracious enough to give me the “Mistake Were Made” panel, at 2:30, yesterday.

Note: in my previous blog post, I’d used “June 28” in the title. Where was my head? It started June 30th, yesterday, so I corrected it in my blog post.

Okay…I arrived at the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) early. After two previous attempts at finding where I supposed to go, I found the right place. But as I walked around, checking things out, I’d realized I’d left my camera in the SUV! Damn it…so I thought, well, I had plenty of time, I’ll just go get it.

Right.

Long story short, I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to find where the elevators/exit/entry (because it was also a question of gaining reentry without standing in line, since I was part of the DCC Programming staff–a panel “moderator”) was to the parking lot, and NO ONE KNEW. Well, except for my friend, Jan C J Jones (who was volunteering there) and her associated volunteers. But every time I went to where I was told, and asked to make sure if I was going in the right direction, another volunteer would say, no, I was going in the wrong direction. Again, keeping this short, I cut bait after 2 1/2 hours of intermittently trying, so never got my camera. But what Jan and her co-volunteer had told me had been correct. You see, Jan also told me that another even was going on within the CCC, so it cut into the middle of the CCC’s floor plan. The elevators I’d sought were cut off from us! I didn’t mind walking, but directions from everyone kept sending my literally from one end of the CCC to the other, totally contradicting each person’s previous direction. I tried to stick with what Jan-and-company told me, but when I’d ask about coming back in, that’s where the runaround and the contradictions began. Jan later told me that this was THE MOST ASKED QUESTION of volunteers.

Anywho, that laid to rest, I enjoyed the rest of my time hanging out and running into several of my writer-friends, which was cool. Only book I bought was My Hero, by Stephen Graham Jones, an experimental hardback comic book that caught my fancy. I loved the idea of how Stephen organized the book. I’d talked at length with Josh Viola, part of the Dean Wyant/Josh Viola, Hex Publishers Dynamic Duo,  about it. Then I got Josh to have Stephen and Aaron Lovett, the illustrator, to autograph it. Thanks, guys!

So, I hung out and checked things out, and come 2:20, went to room 402, for my panel.

On my panel were Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, Cat Valente, and Dan Wells. Instead of having the panelists introduce themselves, I took a technique from the late Ed Bryant, and did some research on them and asked each of them if they minded if I introduced them…because I’d done research on each…and found things. They were all great sports and allowed me to do so, and we had some great laughs. When we got into the meat of the panel, they were also good sports and open about sharing what they considered mistakes and embarrassing situations they’d done over the course of their careers, and were all good-natured and easygoing about it all. I’d hoped that it would be a fun, laugh-filled panel, and it was. I have to say, of all the panels I’ve ever moderated—this had to be the most fun and liveliest panel I’d ever done! These are great people and it shows just that—that these incredible writers are people, too! That they make mistakes just like anyone else, incredible successful authors or not!

After my panel, I tried to get into the real-life X-File-like paranormal investigations, but it was full! Dang it! Turns out I never had a chance: this was one of those panels where it was expected to be full, so they had those who wanted to attend it line up in a “staging” area, and then they were allowed in. Since my panel ran up to the start of this panel, I just never had a chance.

I hung out a little longer, checked out some more panels, letting the Denver rush hour wear itself out, then left at 7 for the uneventful drive home–which is saying something for that leg of I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs.

Overall–a great time at the 2017 Denver Comic Con!

www.fpdorchak.com

 

Posted in Books, Fun, Leisure, To Be Human, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Denver Comic Con, June 30, 2017

Don’t ask me why I’m still posting on this account, since I told y’all that I was trying to leave it behind and move forward fresh. That’s a topic for another post.

I am attending one day only, this year, the 2017 Denver Comic Con (DCC)! I will be moderating one panel, called “Mistakes were Made.” It’s about best-selling authors who recall their flubs…from the funniest to the most cringe-worthy. This ought to be fun!

On our panel are:

This panel is this Friday, June 28th, at 2:30. Bring your questions, and if we have time, I will do my best to get to them!

Here is a link to their Events Guide.

I’m getting there early in the day to enjoy the DCC and sit in on some panels and such, and generally just have fun! Then will see you all at 2:30!

Posted in Fun, Interview, Leisure, To Be Human, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Transitions – Evil Plan II

As I’d previously mentioned in my last Evil Plan™ post, I am transitioning over to a self-hosted site on WordPress.org. The intent of this move was to consolidate my blog posts with my website so it would be easier to manage both.

Weeell, things have not turned out so gracefully.

As things currently stand certain things promised don’t seem to be able to be delivered quite as easily as presented. #ThatsHowTheyGetcha

I really hate to complain—I really do—but the way the whole “move over to us–it’s easy” is anything but and it looks like I may well lose all my blog posts from this site, Runnin Off At The Mouth (ROATM). Unless I keep this account active. Which I did NOT want to do. I wanted to export my posts from ROATM and Reality Check (RC) and terminate my WordPress.COM account, and just have my new account, fpdorchak.com, on the WordPress.ORG location. The long and the short of it is that after a brutal setup experience that involved me getting redirected all across God’s green Earth and many, many e-mail problem tickets, IMs, and even phone calls, I finally got my new fpdorchak.com site up and running. then I tried to import my blog posts. The RC posts all came over easily. Yea, I was happy! Then I tried ROATM: nope. Instead of one file to import, they had to split my data up into two files. Then, just like the scarecrow in that classic Wizard of Oz scene, WordPress kept directing me to Blue Host (BH; my server for my new site) and BH kept directing me BACK to WP. WP says all you have to do is ask BH to expand your memory settings to allow you to import the larger files. I’m here to tell that does NOT work. And I have spent two weeks trying to get it to work. So WP does NOT know what they’re talking about. BH doesn’t even what that means. They copied all my stuff over onto their BH server…but guess what? Through the miracle of technology I cannot access that data.

Then I found there’s a WP service (for $129) where they tell you “let US do the heavy lifting and move all your stuff over.” What they don’t tell you until you read the fine print is that it’s a mirror of your WP.COM site and will totally OVERWRITE any work you did on your new WP.ORG site. That means you’ll have to totally reconfigure the theme you created. And after just spending two weeks of frustrated HELL being redirected all over God’s green Earth and countless e-mail tickets to figure out how to do what I finally got, not only no but HELL NO am I going to go through all that again. And, BTW, the Happiness Engineer I’d be working with on this? He doesn’t know much about the Studio Press themes I used for fpdorchak.com.

So, I’m here to tell you that I might be losing all these posts and your kind patronage—unless WP.com can figure out a way to export ONLY MY BLOG POSTS and your links to my new location. I do not want to transfer everything there (theme, posts, menus, etc)—I don’t want that. Just the posts. Why should that be so danged difficult? Well, apparently, through the world of high technology…it is.

So. I have not yet heard back from them, but writing this post has been extremely difficult…like it’s being “accessed” in some way…because it’s severely delaying my typing, I don’t always see the cursor “I-bar,” and the words I type keep pausing, so MAYBE they (being them) have found a way to do this. Don’t know. But in case it all falls flat, I humble ask that all my kind readers go over to my new location and and please sign up for my blogs at www.fpdorchak.com/blog/ and scroll to the very bottom of the page and subscribe by e-mail there.

I am a very patient man, but this has truly tested my limits. I realize Studio Press is brand new, but they simply went to market too quickly before created a sold, consolidated set of procedures that clearly state what one has to do with WP.com, WP.org, Studio Press (SP), and whatever hosting platform you take on. And, be aware, that whatever you do with these folks, PLEASE, for the love of Bogey, port over your existing WP.com site BEFORE adding your new SP themes. You WILL have to redo all you work. I’m told there is no way around it, though when I imported my RC blog posts, it did NOT mess up my new SP Author Pro theme, so I really have NO IDEA what these Happiness Engineers are talking about or if they truly understand what happens with whatever the hell it is they think they’re doing.

My God, I’m in hell!

Again, pardon my ranting. I hope things can work themselves out, but I am very, very frustrated right now. I don’t know if I’ll keep this account open or not yet. I need to allow my frustration levels to bubble the hell off so I can see clearly—and who knows, maybe my Happiness Engineers WILL find a solution.

In any event, please sign up for my blogs at www.fpdorchak.com/blog/ and scroll to the very bottom of the page and subscribe by e-mail there.

Thank you..and thank for your kind patronage and support over the years. And pardon my ire, my frustration. It’s been three weeks of utter insanity.

BREATHE, Frank, BREEEATHE….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Evil Plan

My Evil Plan™—which I’ve been formulatin’ for a spell (pardon the pun)—is to consolidate my in-need-of-update website with my blogs through use of WordPress.org. So I can go to one place and manage my stuff. I plan on using a StudioPress theme, a new host for fpdorchak.com, then sucking over all my WordPress posts and whatnot. Y’all’ll still get my posts. I’m told.

So far it’s been anything but graceful.

It has been a barrel of headaches and frustration.

None of the above-mentioned organizations seamlessly interact with the other—though they make innuendoes to the effect. Talk about how well they work with each other.

Yeah…no.

In no short order I discovered how messed up it all is. It’s exactly like the initial scarecrow scene in The Wizard of Oz. Exactly. Right down to me falling all over the place with straw falling out of my head and gut.

You see, several things are not made as clear as they should be, and nowhere do I find succinct, consolidated procedures. Though StudioPress claims to give step-by-step procedures. As does WordPress.org. And Blue Host. And a couple not-associated places also do. And you know what? They’re different.

I’ve tried to give them the benefit of the doubt that I’m just stupid…but even that falls flat. Though, in all fairness, the help aspects of all involved were timely and professional…even if they did occasionally echo existing “procedures.” I had to do a lot of digging on my own. A wizard would be a great idea in setting this stuff up…

If I only had a brain!

But enough complaining!

Hopefully my domain name (fpdorchak) will transfer over in the next week and my new host (where my revamped website will sit) will capture it without any more issues. Then I’ll be able to do all this other stuff that all the procedures claim I can do. Like download themes and transfer blog posts. Rebuild a better mousetrap. A website that’s up-to-date and cooler looking. That consolidates my blogs and site. Sell books from it. I have high hopes.

And I really am looking forward to it! I just have to walk away from all the above and let my head air out. Or fill in. Whatever. In any event, I hope you all like what I have planned. It will be under http://www.fpdorchak.com. I could never remember my blog post URLs.

So my WordPress.com account will then be terminated and you’ll be redirected to my new host…through WordPress.org…by way of a StudioPress design…on a Blue Host platform.

Got it?

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Voice – Free Review Copies!

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

I have 19 slightly damaged copies of Voice that I want to give away!

Their damages?

The inside graphic image of the front cover is grainy. That’s it. Nothing else is damaged in the book—well, if you don’t count my intense, troubled characters. So, this being the case, I want to give them out for free for reviews. I’ll also pay for shipping.

I’ll even autograph them for ya.

So, where’s the risk?

You can contact me at the following, but these are hardcopy trades, so I will need a name and address:

  • fpdorchak (at) fpdorchak (dot) com
  • F. P. Dorchak, P. O. Box 49393, Colorado Springs, CO 80949

So, there’s no risk! You not paying for the book, you’re not paying for the shipping, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep reading! But I’m hoping you will like some aspect of this intense, emotionally thrilling story and will write up a review on your favorite site as well as on Amazon.com. If you’re not interested, please pass this around to another who might be interested, and as long as I have copies, I’ll send them out.

I also plan on doing the same with some advanced review copies for my short story collection, Do The Dead Dream?, coming out this Hallowe’en, so stay tuned!

I thank you all in advance for your time!

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The WYO Road Trip

Road Trippin' Through The WYO. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Road Trippin’ Through The WYO. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

This past week, my wife and I took a road trip up to God’s Country. Well, at least that’s what Wyoming and my wife think (and I may have slightly overstated my wife’s position, however…). As much as I love trees, Wyoming really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Wide open spaces. Wind. Pronghorn. Wind. Cool rocks. Wind. Eagles. Wind. Snow fences. Wind. Wind River Canyon. Wind. Wind River Mountains. Wind….

As we drove up, along I-25 we counted 11 overturned campers and 18-wheelers—yes, 18-wheelers. A gnarly windstorm the previous day had actually closed down sections of roadways, and we were getting tossed about pretty good in spots (sections of Wyoming roads were still closed to light, high-profile vehicles). But on the way up and back, I took pictures. I love taking pictures! Some of those images are in this blog.

NOTE: Not all of these images are great quality (i.e., sharp), because we were moving, but I did stop and get out for a few of them. I’m still learning the ins and outs of the camera. Most of the images in this post have also been compressed, so click on them for better views.

Wyoming Golden Eagle. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 7, 2017)

Wyoming Golden Eagle. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 7, 2017)

The first time I whipped out the camera was well into Wyoming, somewhere between Casper and Shoshoni. We’d come upon a large bird feeding on a carcass along the road. You’ll also find lots of carcasses along near every road you travel up there. And wind. anyway, we slowed down, turned around, and I got out my camera and tried to get a shot or two before the winged beast took off. Didn’t get very many good shots because the bird was spooked by our presence and had flown way out and I had to crank my 300mm telephoto and didn’t use a tripod. I initially thought it was a hawk…then had the funny thought that its shape also strangely reminded me of a pheasant—though I knew it wasn’t, it’s just what its profile body reminded me of at one point—but as we later looked at the photos on my laptop, my Wyoming cousin-in-law, Phil, blurted out that it was an eagle. It must have been a young one, because of its size. We’ve seen plenty of eagles before, so it was surprising it didn’t register on us that was what it was at the time! Anywho, back at our eagle/carcass visitation, we waited for a few minutes for the eagle to return but it didn’t. It just sat on its fence post and watched us. We continued on.

As we drove toward Riverton, we drove past some really cool rock formations. I love WYO (this is how the WYO’s abbrev their state name on signs) rock. They’re not Adirondack rock (or maybe they are, I just haven’t researched them—they’re in Wyoming v. my beloved upstate NY), but I still like em. They’re wicked looking.

If Wyoming Were Antarctica. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 7, 2017)

If Wyoming Were Antarctica. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 7, 2017)

There’re also lots and lots and lots of wide open spaces (and wind), and The WYO had just come out of a gnarly spell of snow, like a couple foot of it (have to sound “local”), so there were lots of “white caps.” That’s what all the remnants of snow reminded me of, all around the terrain. And as I watched the desolate landscape roll past, I noticed in the growing twilight how a light blue cast was falling upon the “white-capped” terrain. It looked très cool. Reminded me of the Antarctic (had I been there). So, I snapped off some shots as we sped by at some 80 mph—that’s The WYO’s speed limit (not stopping, just taking some “hip shots” out the windows, which is what a lot of what these images are). When I noticed this blue cast, I began messing with the camera settings until I got the blue I was shooting for (pardon the pun). Doesn’t the blue image remind you of the Antarctic (had you been there)? Took some more rock shots and sunset images…loving how the fading, golden light hit the rock faces. As we entered Riverton, Wyoming I took a couple of sky shots of aircraft.

Wyoming Americana. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Wyoming Americana. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

After we left Riverton Saturday morning, we drove out by way of Highway 135, towards Sweetwater Station. As you leave Riverton this way, you crest a high mesa with a breathtaking view of the Wind River Mountain Range that is part of the Rocky Mountains. It was somewhere south and past the Gas Hills Road (Route 136) where I spotted a weathered and abandoned (?) trailer. So, I hopped out and took a couple of shots. When I got back in the vehicle, my wife spotted…

The carcass.

Wow, all bones, no meat, a little connective tissue. I’m no expert, but it was probably a pronghorn, since they are so prevalent here. They are everywhere. Along with the wind. By comparison, we only saw two deer, up and back. So, of course, I had to take some shots of that. Don’t mess with Texas? Don’t mess with Wyoming.

After we peaked the mesa (the name of which I either do not know or have forgotten…the Wind River Basin and its overlook?) I snapped some cool views of the Wind River Mountain Range and surrounding rocks. I wished I could adequately convey the depth-of-field of some of these images that looked cooler to the naked eye. If you look closely you’ll see there’s a ledge. And that it was really, really high. With lots of wind.

We continued on. Stopped at Sweetwater Station, which is at the intersection of 135 and 287/789. Hung a left. Just over the rise there, is this long-assed snow fence. Had to get an image or two of that. There are a lot of snow fences in The WYO.

Long story short, there were lots more open spaces, wind, and pronghorn…but another really cool photo op presented itself, and I blurted to my wife to Stop-stop-stop! (she was driving so I could shoot photos) as I sighted something really neat: a pronghorn sitting pretty-as-you-please atop a hill! At first as we came up on this hill, I was wondering if what I was seeing was one of those many sheet metal hilltop silhouettes—elk, jackalope, cowboy-on-bucking-bronco—but, nope, it was the real deal! We hooked a u-y and came back around. I managed to get a couple of shots as it remained “reclined,” but it spotted us and got up, showing me its white ass. For quite a while, actually. Its white ass. It just stood there…its white butt pointed toward me. I’m thinking this must be a pronghorn thing…showing your displeasure at being disturbed by showing the object-of-your-displeasure your white ass. After a while, it sauntered off.

The miles and the scenery rolled by…and as I looked out the side, my wife remarked about the beautiful clouds before us—and they were gorgeous! I switched to my 18-55mm lens and caught the images embedded. It looked so incredible! The pictures kinda capture it, but no picture can adequately capture what the naked eyes see….

Gorgeous! (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Gorgeous! (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

And this brings up a cool point: since I’d gotten back into taking “serious” pictures with my Nikon, my wife has also become more aware (or perhaps vocal is the better term) of photo ops. We were taking about this as we were driving. How photography has you look at life differently. I know I’ve always loved to just watch the scenery go by on road trips, but now, also getting back into photography with a really nice camera has changed how I look at the world. Besides all the “standard beauty” to be viewed, I’m now looking at picture composition and capture, and it was cool my wife was doing the same thing!

After the cloud shots, I then just started messing around…and took some monochrome (B&W) shots. It’s amazing how monochrome changes the whole “tone” (ummm, pardon the pun…) of an image!

Wyoming Windmills Sans Quixote. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Wyoming Windmills Sans Quixote. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

We then came upon a bunch of windmills. Yeah. The WYO. Wind. We eventually crossed the WYO/COLO border. A little bit inside Colorado, we passed this dual rock formation that we think must be part of a residence or something. Or a Colorado Rapa Nui cousin connection to Easter Island? As we drove on and through Fort Collins, I attempted an artsy shot or two. You be the judge. Or not. In any case, we were both back into heavily trafficed civilization.

Sigh.

THAT is something I do miss from The WYO…their drivers are nowhere near as stupid and in-a-hurry as they are in Colorado. And there are far fewer of them.

Colorado Rapa Nui. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Colorado Rapa Nui. (© F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

Urban artsy:

So, hello, home, it’s good to be back. We had a good family visit…and a good road trip. Hope y’all enjoy the photos. It was fun taking them!

The Photographer, Sweetwater Station, Wyoming (© Laura and F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

The Photographer, Sweetwater Station, Wyoming (© Laura and F. P. Dorchak, March 11, 2017)

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Posted in Nature, Photography, To Be Human | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments