I am a big fan of the Twilight Zone television series. I’m not sure when I first watched the show, but I have an early memory of reading a book with several short stories based on episodes of the show. I watched them off and on for years, and when I got a DVR I filled it up with episodes. I even used certain episodes in my social studies lessons when I taught fifth grade. I just love the show!
I’ve been a longtime listener to The Twilight Zone podcast, hosted by Tom Eliot. Last summer, Tom announced a contest, where a listener-submitted story would be narrated for the 100th episode. The contest is what inspired me to write “Periphery”. It was my attempt at writing a Twilight Zone episode of my own.
I’m happy to announce that “Periphery” is one of two stories that was selected for narration! Tom does an amazing job of narration, and hearing his wonderful voice tell my story was a fantastic experience. You can check out this episode at the link below, and I’d encourage you to check out the rest of the episodes if you are a fan of the show.
Last week, I posted a sort of 2016 report card for myself. You probably want to read that post first if you haven’t already. There were several takeaways from my navel gazing.
- I want to play more board games
- I want to read more books
- I want to watch fewer movies
- I want to reduce or eliminate time wasters (social media, silly mobile games)
That’s all well and good, but there is a big difference between wanting something to happen, and making it happen. If I want the first three items on that list to happen, I have to be vigilant about the last item on the list. I need to replace time wasted on Facebook with time spend reading. I need to leave the mobile games alone, and play a board game instead. The idea is to eliminate bad stuff, and replace it with good stuff.
We’ll see how I do. I’m looking at apps that limit my time on my tablet, as that is where 90% of my wasted time goes. I’m trying both BreakFree and Moment, though I will likely only stick with one in the long term. Ideally I need a way to control only certain apps, as I do most all of my reading on my tablet. I suppose I could just buy a Kindle for reading, though that seems like a waste…
I have other goals for myself this year that are not directly related to the items above. Here they are.
Publish my third book
Last November, I wrote 22,000 or so words on my latest story. That takes it to 26,000 total. I want to get that up over 30,000 before I publish. Right now, I’m in the middle of my first serious round of revision, rewriting, and fleshing things out. I have a set deadline for this, as I am appearing at the SBU Library Comic Con again this year, and it is the first weekend in March. Working back from there, that means the print version needs to be done and ordered by mid-February, and the Kindle version even earlier than that, say, the first week of February. That’s a tough deadline, but doable. The third book will be a significant milestone for me in 2017.
Write two Geek on Fleek scripts each week
I announced before that I’m partnering with my friend Brandon Pennington (who did the awesome cover art on my first two books) on a webcomic. We’ve now got a website, which you can check out at geekonfleekcomix.com if you like. I write the scripts, he does the art and layout. We mainly focus on geek culture, because that’s who we are, naturally. We started in December, and so far are keeping to our two strips a week release goal. My part is easy, really, compared to Brandon’s, but it can be hard to sit down and think of something funny. Mainly the ideas come when I am doing something else. Anyhow, I want to make sure I keep on top of this for all of 2017, making sure I have plenty of scripts in the queue for my artist buddy.
Finally get started on a podcast of my own
Being involved with the Tupacast has been one of the highlights of the past couple years for me. I love talking about things with Chris and Kevin, and we always have such a fun time recording. We’ve even got some fans, which is nice. The only bad thing about the Tupacast is that it’s difficult to get all three of us together. I hope we can be better this year than we were last, but there’s certainly nothing stopping me from doing a podcast of my own.
So, I’m calling it now. This summer, when I have my six weeks off school, I will record and release the first three episodes of the Automan podcast. Yes, Automan, the cheesy Tron ripoff from 1983. Trust me, it’s awesome, and you will love hearing me talk about it. Probably.
There will be other projects, naturally. I’d like to paint more in 2017, as I have a huge backlog of unpainted miniatures. I also want to continue the Star Trek Haiku project in some way. But the big three goals are finishing book #3, writing Geek on Fleek, and getting the Automan podcast started. Hopefully I will be more productive in 2017 than I was in 2016!
I’ve been very lax in posting news, due to NaNoWriMo, but there are three things I wanted to let everyone know about.
The first two are related to the Tupacast! After a several months long hiatus after we discussed Stranger Things on episode 15, we are back up and running again. It might be too late to listen to our Halloween memories episode, unless you enjoy candy. But it was still a good one. Our most recent topic was the awesome 80s flick Throw Mamma From the Train, which I had never seen before but enjoyed very much.
The last bit of news is very exciting. I am working with my buddy Brandon Pennington on a new comic strip. We’ve entitled it “Geek on Fleek Comix” which sounds good but who knows what it means? I don’t. We’ve got two strips up so far, and we’re planning to release new ones every Monday and Thursday. Stay tuned for a bigger announcement about the comics soon, but in the meantime, check out Brandon’s Instagram for the latest strips. For now, enjoy the two below!
Another Tupacast has been recorded and is now available! I have a fantastic time watching the smash summer hit from Netfliux, Stranger Things. Chris and Kevin loved it too, and we spent an evening talking about how awesome it was. You can listen to the podcast at the link below, on iTunes, or pretty much any of your friendly neighborhood podcatchers.
Chris has started a new series over at his blog. It’s an interview series called Five Questions (even though there are seven questions, but you’ll understand why when you read it). I was very excited to be picked as the first person interviewed! The questions Chris asked were very thought provoking, and challenging, in a number of ways. He did throw me a softball, though: Why do you think you like Transformers so much over other properties? If you want to hear my answer, check out the post below!
You’d think that people would have more time to make podcasts over the summer, but that wasn’t the case this year. After a too-long hiatus, the Tupacast is back with a new episode! I joined Chris and Kevin and this time, our special guest, the illustrious and hilarious podcaster extraordinaire Ferg, for a discussion of the short-lived early 80s TV show Square Pegs.
This is one of my wife’s favorite shows ever, and while I don’t have a strong nostalgia for the show itself, I definitely appreciate the little slice of the 80s it represents. If only the laugh track could be removed…
You can listen to the Tupacast on iTunes or any other podcatcher, or via the link below! Thanks for listening.
Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Christopher Tupa and Kevin Zerbe to record another episode of Tupacast. I always have a great time chatting with these two fellas, but this time around it was even more special. We took turns reading from a chapter of my second book, Don’t Stop the Geekin’. We all chimed in with some discussion around parts of “The Summer of Ms. Pac-Man”. I believe it turned out to be a great podcast, and I suspect you will too!
You can find Tupacast Episode #13 on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher, or listen directly at the link below.
The latest Tupacast has been released! I joined Chris and Kevin for Episode 12 of the show, in which we discussed a little film you might have heard of called The Force Awakens. Overall, we were very pleased with the new direction for Star Wars, but there were a few nits to pick here and there, as is only fitting for a trio of nerds. Give it a listen at the link below!
Kevin was also good enough to record the first ever official commercial for my books! He’s going to use it on some of his many podcasts (check them out over here) and I am super thankful! Give the commercial a listen.
March came in like a lion and pretty much stayed that way. For one thing, Book 2 is almost done! I am hoping to have it available next week. But I’ve been busy with other stuff as well…
Over at Co-Optimus, I did a feature on the latest D&D Adventure Board Game. It’s called Temple of Elemental Evil, based on the classic dungeon of the same name from the TSR era. I love this game series, and ToEE is absolutely the best. Check out the feature here.
I’ve been a busy podcaster as well! I joined Christopher Tupa and Kevin Zerbe on the latest episode of the Tupacast, and also met up with the Zerbinator again for his recently rebooted 80-89 Podcast. We had a great time recording. If you’ve ever wanted to hear me sing some Olivia Newton John, now’s your chance!
Do you love The Goonies? I sure do. Chris Tupa is a bigger fan than me, and had me on the podcast to chat about it. The always hilarious Kevin Zerbe brought his unique perspective to the show, having never seen the movie until a few weeks ago. As always, we had a great time and it’s a fun listen! You can find the podcast here or in iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. I’m super excited about what’s coming to the Tupacast next month… stayed tuned!
Chris Tupa was kind enough to have me back on the Tupacast. This time, I had the honor of joining Chris and Kevin Zerbe for a discussion of Jurassic Park. If you ever wanted to know what my favorite novel of all time is, just give the podcast a listen. (Spoilers: it’s Jurassic Park.) You can find the podcast here or in iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. I had a wonderful time, once again, and the three of us will be back together soon for another discussion!