Saturday, November 29, 2014

Portable Writing Devices and You

The NEC Mobile Pro 790 with a makeshift case from a DVD holder.

Though the keyboard on my home PC is where I'm best able to crack away at a story, sometimes I need to go remote to unearth that muse. For me, it is usually outside sitting in my car on a sunny day. A laptop would be too cumbersome. A tablet, too small. So I put to good use this circa 2001 NEC Mobile Pro 790 unit I purchased on ebay years ago. It features instant-on (no booting up), Windows CE versions of MS-Office, an SD card slot, and a backlit touch screen. Yes, well before tablets there were devices with touch screens. The case you see is a DVD holder with the sleeves removed and velcro added to hold the unit in place. Zip it up and I'm on the go!
The Dana.
And here is yet another crazy device. The Dana. It features a full-sized keyboard and a narrow touch screen. You can view about five lines of text at one time. And the battery life....very long. Like days. Unfortunately, the screen can be very hard to read unless the light hits it right. But the keyboard it awesome. It also features two USB ports on the back and SD card slots to transfer files back to the mother PC.

So tell me in the comments below what your favorite writing tools are. What works for you? Vic

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Prince William Times Covers 'People Who Need To Die'

Cover of the November 26, 2014 Prince William Times
Just ran out to Walgreens to get a few copies. I'm on the top center of the front page with the quote, "They really do need to die." Too funny. The full article is on page A3 under the header "Murderous Impulses." Gotta like a sense of humor. Please note that there is a misprint on the dates and times for the upcoming book signings. They should read December 6, 4-10 p.m. at Deja Brew Coffeehouse in Haymarket and Dec. 20 at the 2nd & Charles Book Store in Woodbridge from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thank you Tara Slate Donaldson! Read story below or on Prince William Times.

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Book Signing at Prospero's Books

Image by Robert Jinks
Photographer Robert Jinks stopped by and took this picture of me at the Nov. 8 book signing for People Who Need To Die at Prospero's Book Store in Old Town Manassas. Quite a perspective on the whole process. Visit Robert's site and enjoy his wonderful photography at

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Signing at Deja Brew Coffeehouse

Come to the Deja Brew Coffeehouse in Haymarket on Saturday, December 6, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. to receive a signed copy of my new book, People Who Need To Die. Location: 5311 Merchants View Square, Haymarket, VA. See you there! Vic

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Making of Die Glocke

The Die Glocke, or Nazi Bell, for Robert F. Dorr's cover for "Hitler's Time Machine" was created with several programs. The shape itself was modeled in an old 3D program called Raydream Studio. Here are the steps:

A profile line is carefully drawn on the back wall and swept around a center axis. Bezier curves are applied at specific points to achieve a smooth edge.

A square rod is created and duplicated to form three rosettes where holes are desired.
A Boolean algorithm subtracts the rod intersections with the original shape. You can see vertical rods were also created and subtracted to create the bottom holes. Now light can appear to shine through the bell.
Three rings are made by combining concentric circles and removing the centers. Then they are positioned on the shape. You'll notice a flat disc and torus have been added on top of the bell shape.
A cast iron texture is applied to the bell, and a swastika banner created in a graphics program is applied around the center to blend in with the bump of the cast iron so it looks as though it were painted on. Yellow spheres with a glow are placed inside the Glocke, and an overlay of beams is added on top of the rendered image.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

'People Who Need To Die' at Prospero's Book Store

Come to Old Town Manassas and visit Prospero's Book Store on 9129 Center Street for your copy of my "People Who Need To Die." Or, save yourself the drive and order it on in Kindle or paperback now. Enjoy! Vic

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Haymarket Beat Covers 'People Who Need To Die'

Thank you Katherine Gotthardt and the Haymarket Beat for your article on my book.

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