Sunday, April 24, 2011

H.E. Noble is Wise

On this beautiful, blessed Easter Sunday morning, I received a powerful and profound email from my dear friend Harvey:


If we believe that nothing changes, then nothing will. What happens 
if we believe in change? Perhaps nothing, either, unless we act on that 
belief. We act on our belief in change by doing that thing we have not 
done before. That is change. It comes from within. And we act on what is 
in our heart of hearts.

Blessings of light and love to you and yours,


Harvey
Taliya, Harvey, & Me
After he performed our wedding ceremony
Pacifica, CA
9/9/09

Taliya and Harvey at Pier 39, San Francisco

Harvey Edward Noble
Pre-wedding sound check
Pacifica, CA

Harvey climbing on the rocks
Well said, H. You are a wise man.

Friday, April 22, 2011

LOVE IS THE WAY

In the past 18 hours or so, I've had TWO people from Pakistan visit my blog, one of which I know for certain was in Islamabad.

I THINK THAT IS SOOOOO COOL.

That's the way it should be.

The Internet bringing together people from around the world, so we can introduce ourselves and learn about each other and our unique cultures, and celebrate all societies on earth.

Trite and hokey as it may sound, we should all be friends.

Cooperation should be the rule of the planet, not fear-based competition and covert plans for annihilation. There's plenty for everyone. Earth really ought to be a better place than it is. We should all be coming from a place of love. But instead most of us run around all day operating from a place of fear. I even wrote about it in my latest book.

LOVE IS THE WAY.

Anyway, I wanted to know more about Islamabad (the capital city of Pakistan), so I found this:
Shah Faisal Mosque
Capacity 100k+, also houses a University, museum, & library

Islamabad

Islamabad

And a neat map of the city:
Travel Maps Of Pakistan

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stopwatch

Do you know how long it takes for your website or blog to load?
If it takes TOO long, visitors might click away.
Use this nifty stopwatch tool to measure the load time of your site or blog:

Stopwatch

Amazon's Kindle: A Made-in-Israel story | technology

This is amazing.
The next time someone says Israel is all about camels, correct them:
Amazon's Kindle: A Made-in-Israel story | technology
Amazon Kindle

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guinness World Record for TALIYA

Amazon.com: transcendental tal: MP3 Downloads

My wife Taliya's two albums are available on Amazon. Whole albums or individual songs!

In 2005, she was awarded the Guinness World Record for recording her original song "Flower Child" in 15 languages. Each line of the song was translated into a unique language. Taliya worked with many interpreters and native speakers to perfect the translation of her soulful lyrics.

Click on the link above to go to the Amazon MP3 store page where you can hear FREE samples. Free stuff is great! And Taliya's music is even greater! It's the greatestest. Yay.

If you noticed the name "Transcendental Tal," this is the name of a character in my epic science fiction novel BOOK I: The Go-Kids, which was inspired by Taliya! (Click on the BOOK I: The Go-Kids tab up in the menu to read the opening scene of the novel.)

Taylor Mitchell | Free Music, Photos, Videos

Album Cover in My Photos by
Taylor Mitchell | Free Music, Photos, Videos

Here is a very talented singer/songwriter named Taylor Mitchell.

Have a listen to some of her music.

Sadly, she was mauled by two coyotes while out hiking alone in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Mauled by coyotes.

WTF?

Can you IMAGINE? How AWFUL. Holy f**k.

Not only that, she SURVIVED the attack, was airlifted to the hospital, and eventually succumbed to her injuries that night.

It horrifies me to think about what she went through and what the hours following the attack ensued. I imagine a team of surgeons fighting to save her.

But it was too much.

And now we are left with only her lovely music.

Rest in peace, Taylor Mitchell. We hardly knew ye.

Sayaka Ganz

This piece is titled Forest
click to view Sayaka's portfolio

This is some amazing art I discovered by a Japanese artist named Sayaka Ganz.

Her artwork is composed of pieces of plastic she finds at thrift stores. She drills small holes in the pieces and ties them all together over a framework.

The pieces have a lot of color and movement.

I especially like this lizard piece.

Sayaka's other art can be viewed at http://www.sayakaganz.com/Home.html

Artist
Sayaka Kajita Ganz

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jack Ketchum is following me.....



That's right: Jack Ketchum is following me.


On Twitter, that is.


Pardon me while I geek-out for a moment.

Who is Jack Ketchum, you ask?

Jack Ketchum is a writer. A talented writer. He's won the Bram Stoker Award FOUR times for Best Achievement in Horror Writing, as presented by the Horror Writers Association. That's like winning four Oscars. To put this feat in context, the actress with the most Academy Awards for "Best Actress" is Katharine Hepburn, who won four of the golden statuettes (in 1932, 1967, 1968 & 1981.)



The title for the most "Best Actor" awards is shared by seven different actors (Spencer Tracy, Gary CooperMarlon BrandoJack NicholsonFredric MarchDustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks) who each won two Oscars.


So that gives you some idea of how rare and difficult it is. 


And that tells you who Jack Ketchum is. And he's following me on Twitter.


Stephen King once said, "Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum." (Stephen King has won SIX Stoker Awards; not too shabby, either.)


If the Master of Horror said so, it's quite likely true. The cover art alone on Jack's books is enough to disturb one. For example, here are variations of the cover art for Jack's first novel OFF SEASON (of which I'm reading chapter 1 currently):
Off Season




Even more disturbing is the cover for RIGHT TO LIFE:

This image causes me to feel lots of things. Things I'm not sure I want to feel. That in itself is fear, the bedrock of good Horror writing.


Mr. Ketchum is a pro and is where many a writer hopes to one day be. As of this writing, he only follows 215 people on Twitter. That I am one of them tickles me.


And, Mr. Ketchum shares a birthday with my wife, singer/songwriter (and Guinness World Record holder, thank you!) Taliya. They are both Scorpios born on November 10th.


To visit Jack Ketchum's website and learn more about him and buy some books, go to his website JackKetchum.net. (And to whomever is holding hostage the domain jackketchum.COM, screw you.)


To listen to samples of Taliya's beautiful, melodic, ethereal music, check out her MP3 samples at Amazon, particularly this track "Fantasy" which is one of my favorites: http://tinyurl.com/Fantasy-by-Taliya-Schneider





A big, big, big THANK YOU also to SeeingStars.com for the fascinating Oscar information. Click SeeingStars.com to visit their site for more info.

I AM NOT A BRAND. AND NEITHER ARE YOU.

What does one say in one's first blog posting? Something profound? Something apocalyptic? Something profoundly apocalyptic?

How about a brief discussion about blogging in general.

Everywhere we look, we see information and advice on branding and how to build our brand and how to brand ourselves. What are we? Cattle? No. We're people. Real people. Living, breathing, thinking, feeling people in search of valuable, meaningful stuff we can enjoy and relate to. Stuff which might make us smile, make us laugh, perhaps even cry, cliched as it is, if the time is right. Stuff which touches us in some way. Stuff which makes us want to share it with our friends, and which makes our friends smile/laugh/cry, too.

Maureen Johnson has a great blog on this you can read here: http://www.blogher.com/manifesto. Here's her manifesto in its essence:

The Internet is made of people. People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people -— talk TO people. It’s organic. Make stuff for the Internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare . . . but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make. Don’t shove yourself into that tiny, airless box called a brand -— tiny, airless boxes are for trinkets and dead people.

I like that. Thank you, Maureen.