Friday, May 31, 2013

Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence

For a long time, I felt like something was missing from my life. Growing up, I did everything society told me to do with my life. I graduated from college, got married, started a family, but I still felt like something was missing from my life.

That is, until I discovered Prancersise.

Since my first prance around the block, I've felt like a new man. Colors are more vivid. Food tastes better. My wife is proud of my new, leaner, more horse-like physique. My son respects me (you should see how he looks at me now). My cat no longer bites me.

Joanna Rohrback invented Prancercise, "a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation," way back in 1989, but for some reason it didn't catch on. Clearly, Rohrback was ahead of her time.

As Rohrback explains on her website, “This form of movement, along with dietary and spiritual principles can create the most satisfying, holistic and successful fitness program one could hope to experience. I encourage anyone who is ready for a huge change in their lives, from the way they see the world, to the way they see themselves to explore the principles inherent in this program, especially as outlined in my book: Prancercise®: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence.”


This book changed my life, and it could change yours too. Possibly for the better. But don't take my word for it, take a look at some of these incredible reviews:
I was dealing with severe depression and anxiety...and the occasional bout with cameltoe. Prancercise has helped me escape my own personal swamps of sadness.
This book finally let me experience my inner-horse. I was like a child again, prancing through the woods. At one point, I was convinced I had 4 legs. A smile radiated from my face. I punched the sky, knowing that I was free. Call me Prancer, for I walk my path with joy.
In the last year, I've gone from a couch-potato who wore a shirt in the pool to a lean and mean UFC fighter, and recently became the first person to hold championship titles in all eight weight classes simultaneously. Joanna said, "It's better to be punching into space than in your face," and I'm sure my opponents would agree, as my Prancercise Box technique is unstoppable. It was tough getting my now-chiseled frame down to 125 lbs to win the flyweight belt, but that's where the rest of the Prancercise program did its magic. All it took was a strict regimen of "galloping" for 90 minutes per day, plus a balanced diet of hay and water, and the pounds just melted off. And my cardio went through the roof!
Look, I know how it sounds, and I know you're probably thinking that either I am sitting here being facetious or that I am a total nutcase. But I promise you that I am sincere, and that I am at least sane enough to be an independently living adult with a full time job. So, I mean, that's something. I implore you to pick up this book and give Prancercise a chance. It has changed my life. I went from lazy, lethargic, barely having enough energy to squeeze into my size 6T Pinkie Pie pajamas (they need to start making these for adults). Now I am full of energy, life, joie de vivre. I am a new me. A new pony. I do not skulk around, I PRANCE. I prance PROUDLY and with gusto.
At first I was skeptical, but after convincing several of my co-workers to try prancercise, I am a believer. I lead a daily prancercise at work and people come out of their office, prancercise for a while and the go back to work. Afterward we high-five, enjoy an orange mocha frappuccino, and head back to work knowing we let our inner-horse out to pasture.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When a ghost becomes a vampire

Lately I've been looking for ideas for a short story I’m working on. The story involves a ghost, or some sort of entity, and it will be based at least in part on something I myself experienced 10 or 12 years ago.

So I've been searching for stories related to the paranormal, but I keep ending up distracted by "news" stories.

Last night I stumbled upon an article about a guy in Tasmania who set up a camera in his kitchen hoping to record paranormal activity, but instead he ended up documenting his girlfriend of 11 years having sex with his 16 year old son.

Ghost Hunting Dad Sets Up Video Camera, Films His Girlfriend Having Sex With His Underage Son

What I really want to find is an interesting narrative. I'm most interested in different ways these types of stories are told. I'm interested in style, not content. If you have any short story suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them.

Earlier today I found a link to the first 2 chapters of a book written by a 9th grade girl on Reddit: In 9th grade I wanted to be a writer. Here's an excerpt for those of you too busy or lazy to click the link:
I finished my chores silently, and hurried up to my room. Good, I finished at a nice time. 9:33. Perfectly dark, which leaves my tiny room even darker, more isolated. Just the way I like it. 
I slipped into my black pajamas and bounced onto my bed for the night. Finally. I was so tired, I guess Prince Edmund was the blame for that. Ha. 
I quickly fell into a deep sleep, while tears rolled down my face. Again. Read more.
Check out the cover art:

When a Ghost Becomes a Vampire

The first 2 chapters left me with more questions than answers. What does happen when a ghost becomes a vampire? I really feel like I need to know the answer to this question now.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Steve Holt!

Steve Holt (aka Justin Wade) is so excited about the upcoming season of Arrested Development that he is throwing a party at his LA apartment this Sunday. Annyong will be there. I just read an article about it. See for yourself:

Throwing EPIC 'Arrested Development' Party

I'm pretty excited about Season 4 also, but my plans for this Sunday are far less ambitious (I'll be spending some quality time with my couch). I'm also kinda nervous, though. The first 3 Seasons set the bar pretty high. What if Season 4 sucks? I guess I'll have to take my chances (and maybe have a few beers).

Mitch Hurwitz Explains His Arrested Development Rules: Watch New Episodes in Order, and Not All at Once

So, I guess the original concept for Season 4 was that the episodes were meant to be able to be watched in any order. Sort of like a choose your own adventure book. Except good. And with far less reading required. (Really, who reads in this day and age?)

But I guess Mr. Hurwitz changed his mind after production ended.
Our brains like to make stories out of things and that requires order. I pretty quickly realized everything here is about the order of telling the stories, that there will be shows where you find out a little bit of information and then later shows where you revisit the scene and you find out more information — and that’s not fun in reverse. Read more
He also suggests that binge watching isn't the way to go.
Don’t feel obligated to watch it all at once. It’s a comedy! It’s not like Lord of the Rings. Comedy takes a lot out of you.
Which is the complete opposite of what Gob, I mean Will Arnett, said in a Rolling Stone interview.
I think you just gotta hit play and don't stop until you run out of battery on your viewing device.
I'll probably be following Gob's advice here. (When has that ever turned out well?)

Check out the official Arrested Development Season 4 trailer:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paradise Squandered featured at The Creative Forum

Paradise Squandered is the featured book today at The Creative Forum! Included in the feature is a never-before-seen excerpt from the novel. Here's an excerpt from the excerpt:
I shift into neutral, kill the engine and start coasting through the last few blocks of eerily-silent residential streets, running stop signs, not wanting to disturb anyone or alert anyone to my presence. The wharf is in sight, barely lit by the waning moon and my approaching headlights. It's all downhill from here. I switch off the headlights and stop the car behind an overflowing dumpster. The air coming through the heater-vents is already growing cold again, I notice as I set the emergency brake; I was just starting to warm up, too. I can see my breath every time I exhale. The windows begin to fog up again. I pull the key out of the ignition, open the door and step out into the cold night air. Read more.
While you're there, I highly recommend reading The Beach Man series. The concept for this series is great: a series of 400 word stories. The 4th installment was just posted on Monday, so it won't take long to get caught up.

Now available at most online eBook retailers

Monday, May 20, 2013

Modern Renaissance

Worth 1000 recently ran a Photoshop content in which entrants were asked a simple question:
If the renaissance took place in modern times, and the models were famous pop culture celebrities, what would the artwork have looked like?
The results are impressive (and hilarious in many cases). Here's my personal favorite:

Honey Boo Boo's mama
Check out the rest of the 63 contest entries here: Worth 1000: Modern Renaissance.

Friday, May 17, 2013

REVIEW: Paradise Squandered

Writer and critic Paul Cosca recently posted a review of Paradise Squandered on his website.
It would be an unfair generalization to say that the word “hipster” came to mind often while reading the book. I suppose it would be more apt to say that I truly detest those who like to think they are more intellectual than they really are by shooting down other’s ideas with big, borrowed words. I detest those that talk about art and philosophy in vague terms while not actually contributing anything artistic or philosophical. I detest those who seem to float around without even making the slightest effort in finding some kind of direction, and those who play the “tortured artist” card without either having gone through anything tortuous or producing anything original and artistic. This is Andrew in a nutshell. I hate him. It doesn't mean walking through his head wasn't an interesting experience, but I still have no more sympathy for these kinds of people now than when I began the book.
Despite Paul's apparent hatred of hipsters and my protagonist, he still gave Paradise Squandered an A- rating.

Check out the full review on Paul Cosca's website.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

3 FREE eBook copies of Paradise Squandered up for grabs

Hey everyone!

I'm really pleased with how well my first ever Goodreads giveaway went. 463 people entered in 72 hours, and now a man in Manitoba is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a signed copy of Paradise Squandered.

I've decided to run another giveaway, but this time I'm giving away 3 eBook copies of my book through a website that is (for some reason) called Rafflecopter. It's easy to enter. Just do what the widget below tells you to do. :)

The contest starts at midnight tonight. It ends in a week.

Thanks, everyone, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 10, 2013

The illusion of skill

I came across this video on Boing Boing earlier this afternoon.


This video got me thinking about an article I read a while back: Eight New Things We've Learned About Music. The article asks an interesting question:

"Why should a collection of sounds cause the brain to reward itself?"

There isn't a definite answer to this question, but, as the article explains, the most likely answer was proposed almost 60 years ago by a guy named Leonard B. Meyer:

"Music sets up patterns that causes us to predict what will come next and when we’re right, we get a reward. Some have suggested this has its roots in primitive times when guessing wrong about animal sounds was a matter of life or death. What was needed was a quick emotional response to save our skin, rather than taking a time to think things through."

It blows my mind that human beings just can't help but have an emotional reaction to things that can be so stupid. It's embarrassing to be wired this way. I mean, really, does anyone really want to admit to liking most things that are popular in pop culture?

I don't want to. But the truth is, I constantly subject myself to music and movies and activities that I tell people I don't like--things that I truly believe have no redeeming value. I've laughed at commercials for products I hate. I've dropped money into loud machines with bright flashing lights knowing full well that it wasn't a smart idea.

I consume things I hate. All the time. I can't help myself.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thank you, readers!

Another great review on Goodreads! Thank you, all. :)