playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz

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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

The Death of David Pickett

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 27, 2018

DoDP-COVER-6x9“The Death of David Pickett” is a speculative cyberpunk mystery set in 2023 San Francisco as a prequel to my 2042 near-future science fiction thriller “1% Free.”

Part-time archivist and full-time scenester Jesse Steinfeld digs deep, questioning the enigmatic death of charismatic local political activist David Pickett as urban tensions mount. While popular demonstrations occupy San Francisco’s Mission District in the name of a revolutionary “Mission Commune,” bringing the city to the brink of social insurrection, Jesse realizes nothing is as it seems in Pickett’s cryptic life and mysterious demise. The full-throttle street politics of today collide with tomorrow’s slow-motion apocalypse in this explosive tale of identity, mortality, technology, and reality in the city by the bay.

“The Death of David Pickett” is free. Here is a link to the publisher page where you can download it for free in EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and other formats. Read, enjoy, copy, and distribute far and wide. Please review on blogs, Facebook, and websites and please include contact information.

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It’s all coming together

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 4, 2018

The best laid plans…

I’d intended to link the beginning of my campaign to digitally publish, promote, and distribute my story “The Death of David Pickett” by publishing it first through Smashwords. Well, the only way Smashwords let’s me set a publication date for TDDP is by doing a pre-order which requires that I assign the book a price. But TDDP is free, to be given away for free, and so a firm and fast publication date will be impossible. Instead, I’ll send it to Smashwords the weekend of September 22/23, with initial distribution of all digital formats starting the week of September 24. That means I’m dependent on when the manuscript gets digitally published by Smashwords through their infamous “meat grinder” software.

Meanwhile, I’ve created useable EPUB, MOBI, AZW3, PDF, and DOCX files through Scrivener and Calibre and plan to construct my publisher’s download page by next week. I’ve investigated 90+ digital sites—blogging communities, document sharing sites, ebook publishing/syndication platforms—and created viable accounts on the 80 or so promising ones through which to upload my digital files. I’ve already joined a dozen science fiction and cyberpunk Facebook groups and I’m now posting regularly to them in anticipation of promoting and if possible uploading TDDP to them.

The one remaining task that I still need to do is build a MailChimp email list out of the 2,000+ addresses I’ve scrounged together to do a mass advertising email blast. Part of that will be a 150 analog snail-mail-out culled from the various Goodreads POD book giveaways I’ve done. And I’m still debating purchasing an email list from Kirkus Reviews.

All of these efforts are targeted to directly promote and distribute TDDP and indirectly advertise my novel 1% Free. TDDP is a prequel to 1% Free, so everything I’m doing is designed to hit both. The downloadable TDDP itself—the various digital files—provides links through which to purchase 1% Free.

It’s all coming together.

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Working with my illustrator: the initial rough sketches

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 22, 2018

The writing, editing, and rewriting of my story “The Death of David Pickett” is finished. Now I’m working with my illustrator Jon Hunt. I sent him an email describing the project and its various elements (background, drone, main character, his t-shirt, action sequence). He sent me back the following two rough sketches. I chose #2, then emailed him back the marked-up sketch plus my revisions: larger drone, larger character, and my author byline under the title. Can’t wait to see the finished graphic.

Posted in 1% Free, art, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, life, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Found weekend

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 16, 2018

4/14/18:
A man, a typewriter, a weekend. I got the edited manuscript back from my editor. You know where I’ll be this weekend.
[all photos are of Ray Milland from “Lost Weekend.”]

4/15/18:
I spent the weekend going over my editor’s notes and comments. There are a dozen problems with the manuscript, but she liked it overall. I’m jazzed. Now I’m setting up for the rewrite, and the more I organize myself for one thing in my life, the more organized I get in the rest of my life.

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Reinvigorating This Blog

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 22, 2018

I’m ensconced in my favorite office-away-from-my-home-office at The Octopus Literary Salon. It’s the day after my Mechanics’ Institute Indie Publishers Working Group where I learned a lot about positive and negative strategies for self marketing/self promotion. First, blogging is still a thing, and so I’m going to get regular about posting to my blog Playing for Keeps. Second, display advertising deals offered by Kirkus Reviews and others are a bad deal and ineffective in generating sales let alone self promotion. Third, I should seriously consider doing my 10,000 word prequel to my novel as a taste of the novel proper and should be giving it away for free. Lots to think about.

I’ve just submitted my next MRR column to my copy editor, but in doing so I’ve depleted the column reserve I keep as a cushion dangerously low. So this weekend, I’m working on columns. The one about defending the left of the Left is going slowly. Instead I’ve got one about comparing countercultures, from beatnik and hippie to punk. I’m only covering those countercultures I have a working knowledge of, but I hope to draw some conclusions that can be universally applied.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, counterculture, hippie, life, Maximum Rocknroll, punk, self-publishing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Maps of Hell — 2042

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on December 15, 2017

FREE — New Maps of Hell — 2042

A four-color brochure predicting what the United States, and the world, will be like in 2042, 25 years from now. Included:

• Outside Cover: Front cover art plus description of countrywide and worldwide changes in the next 25 years and brief explanation of the title “1% Free.”

• Inside First Fold: 9 full color maps of Europe, Indian subcontinent, and southeast Asia in 1910, 1935, and 1960 indicating vast changes 25 years can make.

• Inside Second Fold: black & white map of continental United States depicting extent of social breakdown and second civil war by 2042.

To get this FREE brochure, you will be prompted to enter your email into the popup window which will appear after 20 seconds. If the popup window does not appear, please send me an email with your name, mailing address, and return email to gamatiasz (at) icloud (dot) com and you will receive the brochure FREE via snail mail.

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Winnowing the Wheat from the Chaff

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 26, 2017

I’ve written and published two books in twenty-two years. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to complete a third book before I die. In light of that, I’ve gone through several score of potential story ideas at various stages of development–from basic idea to completed rough draft–in my word processing program Scrivener, winnowing wheat from chaff to select out a handful of candidates to work on.

I’ve come up with four possibilities, all science fiction. Two are completed rough drafts of novelettes (7,500-17,499 words) I could try to boost up to novella length (17,500-39,999 words). One is set in a post-apocalyptic far future where the main character, an ex-soldier with various biological military upgrades, meets up with someone who claims to be her brother. The second is a time travel/alternate universe story premised on the early, complete assassination of Lenin in an alternate time line.

I also have two promising ideas for full-length novels (40,000+ words), neither of which are anywhere near completion however. One is set entirely in 1968, the year I got politics, which has the main character traveling around to various iconic/historic events, with a sci-fi twist. The second is near-future science fiction in which neanderthals haven’t gone extinct but live secretly amid regular humans on the verge of self-extinction.

The incomplete novels would take a lot of time to finish, but they have the greatest potential story-wise. The novelettes would require extensive rewrites, but they’re basically done. My plan is to concentrate on these four pieces. Which will be difficult because I always have fiction stories in reserve, like two possible, incomplete sequels to my latest novel. One is set five years after the current book, the other a century later, and both are novelette/novella in length. Also, in addition to the archive of fiction ideas and snippets archived in Scrivener, I’m coming up with new ideas all the time. I’ll continue to write my non-fiction MRR columns, of course, but narrowing my focus in the fiction realm seems best.

I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

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Blogroll update

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 10, 2017

I’ve updated this site’s extended blogroll to delete five non-functioning links. Not bad for ten years of personal blogging. As always, please let me know if you find any other dead links.

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A GALACTIC DÉRIVE–entry by entry

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 29, 2017

Facebook has made blogs, if not obsolete, at the very least less relevant. Here is my “Interstitial Materials #14 — A Galactic Dérive” entry by entry:

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