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Wicked Little Town (Why am I here?)

Usually, we I get into the place I find myself today, people think I am putting down the physical location I am in.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I find myself living in a place as foreign to me as a fish exploring outer space.  I don't just mean this actual town.  I mean my personal, professional, spiritual, and imaginal lives.  I have entered a domain that is no longer governed by my five senses and everything I have ever learned, thought or believed is useless.

Personal Life

Eric at the Natural History museum in Carson CityI swore to myself that I would never move back to Poplar Bluff, but here I am.  There are many versions of the story.

  • In one, I am victim of circumstance.  Not entirely, but this was not in the plan.
  • In two, I am a good Samaritan.  Not really, I am a little too selfish for that to be true.
  • In three, I am afraid to move.  I lost nearly everything once, now I am afraid to loose my family too.
  • In four, I am afraid I don't know who and what I want anymore.  This one is probably closest to being true.

A couple years ago, when my grandfather died, my sister (who I trust, admire, and love more than anything) sat me down and gave me an ultimatum:  "You have tried to be a writer for a long time now.  How much longer are you going to do this before you give it up and get a real job."

It broke my heart, and in many ways my soul.  All I have ever wanted to be was a writer... well storyteller.  She was right, up until that time, I had not found anyone who liked anything I ever wrote.  My prospects as a writer were slim to none.

I remember that day clearly.  That was the day I sacrificed my personal life to make my dreams come true.  I started worked 12 to 18 hour days writing and learning:

  • how to blog
  • the ins and outs of the software
  • how to podcast
  • how to pretend not to be the shy, sensitive artist, and how to be an entrepreneur.

As my former life lay bleeding at my feet, I turned my back, hoping to achieve my dreams and make my family proud.

Professional Life

Eric happy with bookMy professional life is a juggling act.

I blog for three sites.

I record 9 podcasts a week in 5 series.

I am planning out a new novel in a new setting.

I promote 3 already published works.

I run a Blog and Podcast Network.

I am developing a Table Top role playing game based in the settings I created.

I am a community manager.

I am dashPunk Media's tech support and code monkey.

I am not looking for sympathy.  I enjoy most of what I do for work, and not a day goes by when a reader/listener doesn't remind me why I do what I do.  The problem is, I am having trouble remembering why I do it.

I can definitely say:

  • I am not in this for the money (though it would be nice).
  • I am not in this for the fame (frankly the little that I have freaks me out).
  • I am not in this for my ego (I get too much hate mail for that)

I love to tell stories because I like to connect with others.  There is a certain magic that happens when I discuss one of my stories with a fan, or talk about someone else's story.  Stories are the way we share those unspeakable things with each other.  They are the way we connect on a deep level.  That is what is missing:

Where are the connections?

I am fortunate to have made connections with a few of you, but not nearly to the level I would like, and not nearly in the way I would like.

The Internet is by its very nature impersonal.  It is hard to meet and connect to new people in a real way.

We talk on twitter, email, every now and again through IM, but these are all dry and empty communications platforms, not community platforms.  What I am wanting to make is an honest to God community on the web.  Facebook is great for the people I already know, and twitter is great for sharing ideas and links, but what I want is an interconnected hub where we can meet greet, and share.  Getting to know each other, and helping each other out.

Laconi.ca, Reddit, Drupal, and Ning

I looked at every social tool I can find, and I have yet to find the one that will do what I am looking for.  They all have their pros and cons, but the hard truth is, I really don't have the time and energy to learn all of these systems.  What I want is a one stop shop.

I am not sure what happened to Chris Pirillo's idea for a simple community version of Drupal, every time I go to the site it is down.  I suppose he abandoned it.

This might be a problem that is not solvable.

The Dream App

I like Ning, and the features they offer, they have all of the basics:

  • Branding & Visual Design Freedom
  • Unique Member Profiles
  • Moderation & Privacy
  • Invitations & Search Engine Optimization
  • Latest Activity
  • Custom Text & Widgets
  • RSS Feeds In and RSS Out
  • Photos Feature & Branded Photo Slideshows
  • Video Feature & Branded Video Players
  • Chat
  • Groups
  • Discussion Forum
  • Blogs for Every Member
  • Events

That is the bare minimum for a network, but it really should have a few more things.

  • Twitter integration:  (Using the Existing API)
    • Group Tweet-like functionality that would allow members see each other's updates in one place, as well as post to the feature, and have the feature post on to Twitter.  Members would also be able to start new groups with a quick and easy set up process.
    • Tweetizen-like functionality that would allow for topic communities, and a great example of group tweeting, but it is limited to 10 people in a group, that limit would have to be removed, and members would have to be able to join without having to be added.
  • Last.fm intergation: The ability to display and share information to and from Last.fm in the network.
  • GoodReads integration: The ability to display and share information to and from GoodReads in the network.
  • Blip.fm integration:  The ability to display and share information to and from Blip.fm, including a network playlist, and individual ones for the groups.
  • Social Bookmarking integration: I really have no favorites here, but it would be great to share, collect, rate, and organize links.
  • Full integration with other photo sharing sites.
  • Bookmarklet to easily share videos, pictures and links into the network
  • Groups should have the option of having their own blogs.
  • Member blog posts should have the option of which groups they are posted to.
  • Easy Zine creation and distribution.
    • Members should be able to start, accept submissions, edit, and publish their own zines individually or in groups.
  • A desktop app that makes all of these features little more than a click away for those members who are interested in it.  Something like TweetDeck.

I know I am probably forgetting a lot of things.  If you can think of anything that your dream network should have, please leave a comment.  Maybe we can find a couple developers who can help us take BuddyPress, Ning, or Drupal to this level of functionality.

The State of the Mediasphere

A brilliant keynote by Jeffrey Cole the director of the USC Annenberg School's Center for the Digital Future gave at the Monaco Media Forum 2008.

He has a lot of good points about how media will was, is, and will be. If you are a media producer like me or just a consumer, this is a very interesting talk.

Project:Shadow 2007 December Newsletter

Hey everyone!

Are you concerned about keeping up to date on the latest Speculative Fiction, Culture, and Tech news? Would you like to talk with other like minded fans of sci-fi fantasy and horror? Then join us at the Project Shadow HQ at  http://hq.projectshadow.com/where you can share with us your favorite finds or talk about your latest fascination. The conversation is here!

 

KILLER REVIEW  

***Eric received a great write up for his novel Legends of the Jade Moon Book One: Liquid Sky here is an excerpt for your enjoyment.

Downwarden com Review by Nick Crabowsky

...What we have here is indeed science fiction ala Dune, though less detailed but just as vividly portrayed. Dorsett deserves praise for the execution of a story less intimidating for one more inclined to read other genres which require far less brain power to understand, breaks through those barriers and develops a narrative which renders a glossary needless and pretty much explains itself as is without asserting its vast mythology in explanatory rhetoric.

I enjoyed the damn thing. I think C.E. Dorsett is one powerhouse of imagination, inspired obviously by the greats of his craft. Liquid Sky is full of mysticism and spirituality, of themes centered on the search for one’s inner self and the meaning of the universe around him, where a youthful monk with adopted parents finds himself catapulted into an interstellar journey fueled by the death of the one he called Father and driven at odds by the results of saving him, by mysterious truth-sayers who aren’t what they seem and personal intuition telling him he’s destined to amount to something greater than himself and the savior of worlds. Ianus’ adventures and intrigue are entertaining and don’t smother us in the sort of over-explanation I’d read in other novels like this one. Liquid Sky is an extremely intelligent, very readable and delightful piece of work, and I’m glad to recommend it...

 

A TEASER

***  We at Project:Shadow have been working hard on completing PROJECT X.  We hope to have an announcement later in the month with a date when project X will go live.  For now all I can advise is to check back regularly for updates.  All that I am allowed to tell you is that Project X is an entire site rework that will bring some really cool things to the community.

 

# 1

***Black Moon Rising is out and is a top seller at amazon.  We want to thank all of the members who have already got their copy of the latest installment in C. E. Dorsett's series Fates Harrow.  If you haven't already got your copy then visit www.ProjectShadow.com/shopping.  

Get your one stop holiday shopping with us at Project:Shadow.  We set up a store so that you can get your holiday shopping done in one stop, stores include Amazon, Hot Topic, and Sharper Image.  We also have cool t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise available.

 

WACHA WATCHING

***Share your favorite video clip with the group:  We now have 112 videos available to members at the ProjectShadow HQ at http://hq.projectshadow.com/.  Its a great way to share your great finds with everyone and also a great way to catch the coolest, neatest new videos that are out.

 

MOON SPOTTING

***Brian posted a review of the Story Black Moon Rising here is a copy of it.

Wow! This is a great story!   5 stars (must own)

The story picks up from where we left off with Adir Radd in the hospital tortured by his visions of the future. I was caught up in Adir’s haunting vision.  It is written so viscerally I could almost hear the screams and smell the stink coming off of the battle field. This heart felt tale took me through the events and choices that led Dov Lavan to become the famed villain I knew him to be from reading Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon http://astore.amazon.com/projectshadow/detail/0595369162/.  The choices and motivations of Dov were very compelling. Reading his tale turned him into a compassionate and sad character. I could empathize with his frustrations and found myself thinking that if I were caught up in the same situation I would probably make the same choices. The conclusion was extremely rewarding even though I knew how the story would end I still found myself shocked, surprised and brought to tears with a beautiful, rewarding ending. To be cliché for a minute I literally laughed, cringed and cried while reading this.

Dark Moon Rising is the second installment of C. E. Dorsett’s Fates Harrow series which covers three historical characters in the Barren’s End setting. Their tale was first told in the book Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon but from the Jade Moon’s perspective.

In this episode Dov Lavan fears loosing his friends and culture, longing to save the ones he cares about he takes on a new master who promises to help him lead his people into a safer future. Dov rises to power, forming a new group, encouraging others to join him and stand for freedom. But, his childhood friends Tien Shaa and Adir Radd are concerned with the fire in Dov’s rhetoric, so they set out to try and stop the coming war.

We Love Net Flix!  We have been a member of Netflix for more than five years now and it is great!  Before that we would spend one to three hours in the video store every Friday looking and trying to decide what video we wanted to rent (a large chunk of this time was spent trying to remember what videos were out that we wanted to see), spend all that money on the rentals, and then have to go through the hassle of trying to watch and return the video so that we would not get charged a late fee.  This terrible experience was flipped with Netflix.  Now we have a list of videos that we want to see set up.  Whenever we see a trailer for a movie or show that we want to rent we just add it to our list and when it gets released to dvd about a year latter the video just arrives!  Now every week we get excited waiting for the mail to arrive so that we can see what new videos arrive.  We watch them when we get time to watch them.  Then when we are done watching it (in some cases this can take several weeks to accomplish partially due to some hectic event that takes up all of our time and in some situations it's because we end up watching it over and over again) we just drop it in the mail.  If you don't already use Netflix then go to www.ProjectShadow.com and get your videos today!  

 

PS INFORMANT

***Listen Live, daily, to our new podcast Project:Shadow Informant:  We are doing a live podcast Monday through Friday at 1:30 est on talk shue http://rurl.org/a8j.  You can also subscribe to the podcast by going to www.ProjectShadowInformant.com.  On the Project:Shadow Informant we cover news and topics related to the speculative fiction culture.  Its great fun and a nice way to keep up as per what is going on, join us!

Help support Project:Shadow and get your holiday shopping done at the same time!  Visit our store at www.projectshadow.com/shop/.  From there you can get anything from am azon, Lucas arts, Star Trek, Sharper Image, Hot Topic, Emusic, and your very own Project Shadow Merchandise.

 

What is on YOUR mind

***Have you shared with us your latest comments?  We now have over 60 forum topics up on the HQ.  If you have a forum topic that you would love to share with the group then go to the HQ and add them!  Comments are also back up in the Project Shadow Symposium.  Members may now put comments on any blog post that we post in the symposium.  You will need to use your Project Shadow HQ log in id to have access to the comment ability.  To read the blog posts go to www.ProjectShadow.com/symposium

Thank you for your interest! Supporting Project:Shadow helps us to bring you more and better content! Your support can take a variety of forms like doing your Amazon shopping http://www.projectshadow.com/shop/index.htm through us or making a donation http://www.projectshadow.com/supportus/index.htm! Read our support us page http://www.projectshadow.com/supportus/index.htm for more information and programs.

 

Eric

Project:Shadow

http://hq.projectshadow.com/

www.ProjectShadow.com

www.BarrensEnd.com