Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Looks like my second book, tentatively called Bullies in the Headlights, has been accepted and will be published in May 07!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm happy...

I have been discouraged for a week now. Last week I met with my publisher, and was told that the evaluations on my book looked really good, but that the young person they sent it to, who really liked Chickens in the Headlights, didn't think it was as funny. He still doesn't, but I was sent the adult evaluations today and they looked really good.

I'll admit it, I'm a person who needs external motivation. I'd like to be the kind of person who can just press on no matter what people say, but that's not the case. That is why I don't go to critique groups. People could go on and on and on about why a story is good, and then mention, "But you need work here". I become devastated, convinced I have no skill at writing, and stop working for months.

But these evals made me happy. A few quotes from them:

"It made me want to cry, laugh, burst from joy and run over and teach my kids this wonderful lesson Matthew learned."

"Wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. I got so involved that I forgot to take notes, like I usually do. That is a sign of a good book. "

"This is one of the most delightful manuscripts I have read since Chickens in the Headlights.

And then of course there is a little bit of vindication. I originally wanted to call my first book Chickens Don't Have Armpits. The sequel, which I was already working on, would be called Bullies Don't Have Armpits, which is a quote from this book. I thought both titles were pretty catchy, but my publisher went with Headlights instead. So in this book, when the evaluator was asked what other titles might be catchy...

"One of the chapters is titled "Bullies Don't Have Armpits." Perhaps this could work?"

Anyway, I don't post these to 'brag'. I'm just relieved that this 6 month labor of blood, sweat, tears and love has turned out in a fairly positive manner. I'm excited to find out if my publisher picks it up.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Free Textbooks...

There are so many of these kinds of projects, that it's only a matter of time before one of them succeeds, and succeeds in a big way.

Internet users can now download full copies of out-of-copyright books for free using Google Book Search, Project Gutenberg and other websites, but another new project is promising up-to-date textbooks online, which will be constantly revised by scholars around the world.

"Education can play a fundamental role in reducing poverty, but high-quality and up-to-date textbooks are often too expensive for most people in developing countries.

"To make education more accessible, a professor in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business is spearheading an effort to produce free online textbooks using a modified version of the Wiki software that powers the Web site Wikipedia."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google Notebook

At work I help build USU OCW and we are building a nice library of content that can be used as is, or reused to fit your needs. But how hard is it to reuse the material we have put in our system? Will an entire course fit your exact needs? Or is our material simply a piece to a larger puzzle? A puzzle you are putting together with pieces pulled from all over the web?

I came across a tool that can make use and reuse a lot simpler. Google Notebooks allows you to keep notes while you wander the internet. What makes this tool nice is you can copy entire sections from web sites, add your notes, and then make the notes public. So if you are putting together some training on flowers, and you’d like to include our video segments on annuals and perennials, you can copy and paste our schedule into your notebook, add your own thoughts, add the rest of your material, and then share with it with the world.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I suspected as much...

Median income is dropping...

Utah has taken the third biggest hit.