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Writer's Block: Tossing and Turning [15 Feb 2012|07:23pm]
Weirdest one I can remember came the other night. I was a kid, (I often am in my dreams, probably since I was last walking when I was a kid), on Pern a few hundred years after AIVAS (an artificial intelligence, for those that don't know, that saved the world and reintroduced them to old technologies). In an apartment building, I found a whole floor had been hidden (Grey 17 is Missing style) by the remains of AIVAS to protect a bunch of orphaned kids. AIVAS was failing, though, and they'd soon be exposed, so I tried to fix him. I discovered that it wasn't a technical failure, but that he was getting bored. Luckily, I remembered I had an old model of KITT (from Knight Rider), minus personality, in the basement. So, working with some of the orphans we hooked AIVAS up to KITT and took him out to the road and spent time figuring out what all the buttons did. Then we got back, and the landlord caught us. For some reason the landlord became a principal and the apartment building became a school, and he was mad we skipped class all year. He'd only pass us if we could successfully sing a song after drinking a jug of vinegar. When I refused to drink the vinegar, I was hung up by my armpits on the mast of a  sailing ship docked outside the school. My parents showed up but rather than protest this treatment they were cowed by the principal, who'd apparently had a couple of their friends killed. Then I woke up.

I'm being totally serious, this is the dream I had, no embellishment. I'm likely forgetting parts too.
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Writer's Block: ONTD Games Giveaway [27 Jan 2012|09:57pm]
T3-M4, easily. I've always gotten along better with machines than people. ;)

Which video game character would you like to have as your real-life BFF?

One random response will win a $60 Amazon gift card! [Full contest rules here.]

Don't forget to share your favorite gamer moments on ontdgames at 3 p.m. PST for Free For All Friday (FFAF).

View 1535 Answers

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A revelation (crosspost from [09 Jul 2011|08:05pm]
(Sorry to be long winded, but I just had a bit of a revelation recently and I had to blog.)

I've taken the 'amateur graphic designer' part off of my Chumly profile as I've given up on that. Not in a way of giving up on a dream, but more finding a new one. I've always loved creating things, and for a long time I tried focusing that towards the visual media. Video production, graphic design, always things that you could see. 

Read more...Collapse )
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Hollowstone: The Official Release [17 Jun 2011|08:04pm]
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Hollowstone: The Official Release

Hello. My name is Dennis R. Upkins and today is the official release of my debut novel, Hollowstone. The book is kinda awesome if I do say so myself, and I'd like for you to check it out.

Life for Noah Scott changes drastically when he is accepted to Hollowstone Academy, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country set in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Within the hallowed halls of the illustrious school, Noah soon discovers that the world of the privileged is rife with social hierarchies, politics, depravity and corruption. It is also there that Noah meets his roommate and best friend, the charming and enigmatic Caleb Warner. 
Tragedy soon strikes when Cal is brutally murdered in a hold-up. But when Noah is haunted by Cal’s ghost, he soon discovers that the random act of violence was in fact a premeditated one. Determined to uncover the truth and find Cal’s killer, Noah soon finds that the school and its patrons have more than their share of secrets. Secrets they are willing to preserve at any cost. Noah also quickly learns that greater supernatural forces are at play. In a race against time, Noah must solve Cal’s murder before he’s the killer’s next victim.

You can check out the official trailer below:

So why should you pick up Hollowstone?

Here are 12 reasons why I think you'll want to grab the novel.

In many respects it's a modern day retelling/homage to the Great Gatsby with a Southern Gothic twist. But more than that, the story features both POCs and queer characters in leading and compelling roles. In fact, of the three main characters, one is a young black male while the other is a bisexual female teen. And for marginalized readers, we know all too well the dearth of stories that feature us with respect.

Characters welcome, this is a profile on the players of Hollowstone. And just to get you even more intrigued, check out an excerpt from the novel.

But wait! There's more!

As part of promoting the novel, I'm in the middle of a virtual book tour. Not only have I had the distinct pleasure and honor of answering questions about Hollowstone and becoming a published author, but I've also had the privilege of writing a series of guest posts about why diversity in the media matters and why representation affects real life.

Hollowstone is available now in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. It's also available in other ebook formats at Parker Publishing. You can find me at my author page on Amazon, Goodreads and my official website.

Hollowstone, it's out now. Grab it today. Tell your friends. I think you'll like. It's an awesome story. Granted, I could be a bit biased. Maybe....just a little. ;-)

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Why You Should Support Tulpa And Hollowstone [19 May 2011|02:09pm]
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Why You Should Support Tulpa And Hollowstone

If you've been following me for a minute, then you know I've been a radical supporter of afro_dyte's upcoming play, Tulpa, Or Anne & Me. And if you've been following afro_dyte for a minute, then you know that she's been a radical supporter of my upcoming novel, Hollowstone.

But this isn't about two friends plugging the other's project. No, this is something far bigger and meaningful at work.

If you've followed either of us on our blogs, Ars Marginal, or on other spaces, then you know that we not only do we critique and analyze how the media gets it wrong, but we also like to boost the signal on those who are doing it right.

These projects are important not because afro_dyte and myself are at the helm, and for the sake of discussion I’m taking us out of the equation for a moment. Tulpa and Hollowstone are important because queer POCs are fighting to have their voices heard in a world that would rather we didn’t exist. You don't have to look far to find the racism, misogyny and queerphobia that we have to contend with in the media, online, and everyday life.

You see, this is how change begins. Not with a bang but with a first step. Two minorities who got sick and tired of being sick and tired are stepping up to make our voices heard, to share our stories, our art, our gifts with the rest of the world. Not because we're the creators but because we're fighting for something bigger than ourselves. Both Tulpa and Hollowstone have something profound that needs to be shared with the world.

But we can’t do it alone.

If you’re tired of seeing women, POCs, LGBTQs be denigrated, ignored and erased, this is an opportunity to take a stand and make a change. This is an opportunity for you to vote with your dollars and support two excellent campaigns that is fighting for better representation, that is telling our stories.

So for those of you who have boosted the signal and has shown us some love, we can't thank you enough and we humbly ask that you please continue to show your love for these wonderful projects. We can’t do it without you.

[walks away from the pulpit]

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Writer's Block: Available: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with hot and cold running chills [25 Apr 2011|01:28am]

Would you live in the perfect house or apartment rent-free if you found out a brutal murder had taken place there and it was rumored to be haunted? Why or why not?

View 2019 Answers

Heck yeah. Even someone having been murdered is no danger, likely any such ghost just wants to get its' message out. I'd be happy to attempt to communicate. 

However, if I heard someone had tried using a Ouija board there, or some occult rituals had taken place there, I'd be far more hesitant. The things those types of things can release don't always come from a human origin, and can be far more dangerous.
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Writer's Block: Homeword bound [05 Apr 2011|10:14am]

How would you describe your perfect home in ten words or less?

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Completely computer controlled, wheelchair accessible mansion, on a tall hill. 

(Exactly 10 words, not including these.)
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My New(ish) WoW Blog [02 Dec 2010|02:38am]
 I've mentioned this a few places, but realized I never actually posted about it here. A few weeks back I decided I was tired of trying to find fitting forum topics and other people's blog posts to talk about the game, so I started up the blog. Please check it out!
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Awesome Firefly filk [31 May 2010|08:00pm]

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What is happening down South of the border? [24 Mar 2010|07:41pm]
I've been saying for a while, as an outside observer, that the US partisan politics was heating up towards violence. Here we have proof:
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Cool comic [06 Feb 2010|12:59am]
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I've started a new blog! [19 Jan 2010|05:35pm]
I've emailed some of you about this already, but I started a new blog to cover my attempts to get a web design business going. If anybody reading this is interested, check it out! It's Wordpress rather than LiveJournal, because it has more flexible templates and I could make it look more professional.
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Will's Wisdom [17 Jan 2010|03:46am]
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Jimmy Kimmel on Jay Leno's 10 at 10 [15 Jan 2010|02:15am]

The good stuff starts about question 3 or 4.
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This is awesome... [08 Jan 2010|12:22am]
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Waving Goodbye to 2009 [24 Dec 2009|12:41am]
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Writer's Block: Holiday blues [15 Dec 2009|04:22am]

What is the most emotionally challenging aspect of the holidays for you? Do you enjoy this season more or less than you did as a child?

View 823 Answers

The most challenging part for me is the stress over money. I'd love to buy both my parents big expensive presents every year, things they wouldn't just pick up for themselves any other time of year, like they did for most of my childhood despite the fact they were relatively poor the rest of the year. (Who knows, maybe that's why they were poor the rest of the year, saving up. They never told me... until I was 12 I thought all the presents came from Santa.) Unfortunately, a $700/month pension isn't enough for that when you take other bills into account.

As for whether I enjoy Christmas as much as when I was a child... almost. It's lost some of the magic since I stopped believing in Santa. Still, though, at 31 years old now, I'm still usually the first awake on Christmas morning, after only maybe 4 hours sleep, though now I'm more excited about the giving than the getting.
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Save the Murlocs PSA [26 Nov 2009|12:09am]
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40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes [25 Nov 2009|06:35pm]
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LOTRO Crafting woes [24 Nov 2009|09:37am]
I was going on memory when I chose woodworker for my crafting. I can't remember what game I was actually thinking of, or I was thinking of plans in beta that were later scrapped, but I thought woodworkers made a lot of furniture for houses. Seems I was mistaken. I can make instruments (which I really don't need on my Captain), bows (again don't really need), and some clubs and hammers and the like.

I've only put a few days into it, but I've gotten to tier 2 gathering areas. I'm not sure I want to spend all that time running around the low-level areas reskilling up another gathering profession. So, now I have to decide whether I want to stay the course, and hope I can make some money when I can access to AH, or switch to farming/cooking. I did love doing that on my last character. I also remember, though, that my inventory was stuffed all the time with vegetables and I sunk a ton of silver on it. I know once I can start making beers I'll be able to make a profit vendoring, but it's getting there that's expensive. When they offer that new level 20 horse in the expansion, I want to be able to afford it. :)

Anybody have any thoughts?
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