So confused right now

So, I’m not even sure if this is worth a blog post, but I am just so confused by a baffling series of event on Twitter today, I wanted to share it and get feedback.  There is an author I greatly respect and admire, I follow her on Twitter. Today she posted this:

“Think I can feel a bout of focus coming on. Fingers crossed. #adhd”

Just in case you don’t know ADHD refers to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which is a disorder that, among other things, can make it difficult for a person to focus on a task. I responded thusly:

“I think getting off Twitter would help you focus! : ) looking forward to your next book!”

Now, in the world of great humour, that joke is not going to go down as a classic. You know, take away the distraction of Twitter to help you focus. Funny, right? I mean, not hilarious, just a small observation from a fan. And to make sure that the nature of the Tweet was clear, I put in the funny little emoticon, and then mentioned that I was looking forward to her next book. Just a harmless little burst of nothing, like so much on Twitter.

Hours went by, and then I received this reply:

“@drewbeatty Please don’t presume to give me medical advice. Thank you.”

Wow. Presume. Getting off Twitter as medical advice. I was, frankly, surprised.  But hey, at least she said thank you, that’s polite, right? So, in an attempt to clarify, I sent this:

“Sorry, it was only intended as a slight joke, not medical advice. No harm intended.”

See, I even admitted that is was just a slight joke. But then came the real shocker.

I had been blocked by this user.

It might be the first time I have ever been blocked before. I have had lots of users unfollow me, usually spammers that I didn’t follow back, but I don’t know of anyone blocking me. Until today.

So, to recap, I sent a slightly funny Tweet to a favourite author, intending to be supportive, and then  an apology, and she blocked me.

I have to wonder if she was really offended by my joke, as though I was making light of ADHD, but I do not feel the text of my original Tweet has that connotation. Or if she is easily offended about it, then why Tweet about it with a hashtag?

But let’s look at what I lost.

1. Some respect for an author I like. I probably will not read her other books, not out of some childish spite, but more because in the back of my mind it will niggle at me. “She block me for that Tweet!” I will be thinking, and that will take me out of the story. And it’s not like there isn’t a HUGE backlog of other books I would like to read.

2. A Twitter follower. Wait, she never followed me anyhow. So I lost access to her Tweets.

Let’s look at what she lost.

1. An avid fan. I have bought or borrowed most of her books. I have discussed and recommend her work with friends. I have blogged about her readings, I have mentioned her as an inspiration for Lost Gods. So, she was never going to retire on what I could do for her, but it’s not like she is making Stephanie Meyer book sales.

2. A customer. Now I know I have already talked about her books, but this is bigger. Along with being a writer, she also mentors writers. For $2000.00. I was seriously considering trying to scrape the money together to do this, not this year, and probably not next, but in the future. I really, really won’t be doing that now.

So, here are all the facts as I know them. What say you? Was my first Tweet rude or insensitive? Was I playing god by telling someone to get off Twitter? Leave your responses in the comments, please. I’m really curious.

The Creative Alliance

I’m lucky enough to know some really great people via Twitter. And no, this will not be yet another post about how awesome Twitter is and how much I love it (although is has been awhile since I have done one of those).

No, this is about something bigger. A couple of people who will be familiar to anyone who reads this blog, James Melzer and Jennifer Hudock, had an idea. What if we could get a bunch of creative people together to share ideas, brainstorm, look at best practices, help, support and inspire each other? Thus was born The Creative Alliance.

There are a ton of great people over there, all working to help each other. You should come too. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, musician, painter, or have a website with 1516 pictures of Kim Karsashian. You will find something useful, or make a new connection, and some friends.  Come on, check it out.

6 Songs in 6 Days #5

Welcome once again to another installment of 6 songs, we are getting closer to the end of the list. This song is truncated, we didn’t get the whole thing recorded, but I will include it, so this doesn’t become 5 songs in 6 days all of a sudden.

Ladies and gentlemen, Said and Done!

6 Songs in 6 Day #2

Here is the second song for 6 Songs in 6 Days. This one is called Days Away, and it was written by the multi-talented Kim Collins, who now designs and makes her own jewellery! So if you are looking for something special, check out her site.

This song has some of my favourite bass playing. Not that I was great at it or anything, but I had a lot of fun with what I did here. Some nice melodic touches, I think. I hope you enjoy it.

The Top Ten Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

theatreSo, as most of you know by now I am one hardcore motherfucker who lives the rock and roll lifestyle to the extreme. This being the case, my wife and I went to see The Sound of Music at the Princess of Wales theatre this weekend. While there I was previewing the upcoming selection of plays, and I was rather surprised. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Young Frankenstein, The Harder They Come, and Legally Blonde were on the list. So, basically, Broadway musicals are becoming just as creatively bankrupt as Hollywood, and are simply recycling hit ideas from other mediums.

I don’t even know what to say about the Spiderman musical that is currently in rehearsals. Let’s just pretend that isn’t happening.

But it got me thinking. What other films are out there that could find new life as a blockbuster Broadway musical? Here is my list.

10. Transformers: The Musical – Because you can’t just limit Bayhem to the multiplexes! While it might be technically complex to do, I think the thrill of watching giant robots battling for worldwide supremacy will bring a whole new audience to the theatres. Bonus points for whoever can come up for lyrics that successfully rhyme Decepticon and Megatron meaningfully.

9. Lord of the Rings: The Musical – Wait. What? Really, they did? Never mind. Wow.

8. Jaws: The Musical – Now I know it might be difficult to tell the story of one town’s valiant battle against a shark, but if they can put the Little Mermaid on stage, why not this? And when you have an anthropomorphic shark singing “I’m gonna eat the Island of Amity up” to the tune of “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair,” I think you will have a winner.

7. Ace Ventura Pet Detective: The Musical – Because singing opera out of your butt is even more classy on stage then in a film.

6. Eraserhead: The Musical – Because I really want to freak the living hell out of the people who just buy season’s passes to the theatre and bore everyone by going on and on about all the show they have seen “this season” and I think it would be funny to really mess them up, and maybe drive them from the theatre forever.

5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Musical – Every song would be based on those famous 5 notes, borrow the helicopter from Miss Saigon and repaint it as a spaceship, and whammo! Perfect night at the theatre.

4. Back the the Future: The Musical – Marty McFly’s musical ability has already been established, why not just spread it throughout the whole plot. Action, adventure, singing and dancing terrorists, this one will have it all. There will not be a dry eye in the house when Marty’s dad sings “I’ve got a Flux Capacitating Heart” to Marty’s mom after saving her from Biff. And if you can get Eddie Van Halen to do the music – pure win!

3. Terminator: The Musical – What else needs to be said?

2. Silence of the Lambs: The Musical – With Anthony Hopkins already an established theatre star, he can bring in the crowds from BOTH mediums! And who wouldn’t want to see Hannibal Lecter singing such memorable tunes as “I’ll Even Wear Your Face, to Get Out of this Place” and “Ask Not for Whom the Lambs Scream, they Scream For You!” And when the chorus of animatronic sewing mannequins do a choreographed routine to “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again” it will be the most riveting, explosive thing to hit the Broadway stage since the invention of jazz hands.

1. Star Wars: The Musical – I’m actually a little surprised that this one has not been done yet.

So, what about you? What films do you think should be made into Broadway musicals? Or not, depending on your point of view. Leave your ideas in the comments.

Back on Track

As is often the case, I have found that writing begets writing. I’m now on summer vacation, from my real job as a teacher, but I am finding myself busier than ever. I am now 2000 words into my next novel, which is cool after only one day’s writing. I also have picked up a few contracts writing some articles, mostly business, but also some social media things as well. Finally, I have found more time to blog, email and Tweet with my new iPhone, so it has really opened up a whole new world. Very cool. The more I write, the more I want to write, the more I have to say. I will keep you posted on the details of the new novel soon.

AudioBoos

No, that is not a typo – I did not mean to say Audiobooks, buy AudioBoo, an interesting service that makes your iPhone a podcasting platform. Once you have installed the App, you can record a three minute clip and it will be sent to the AudioBoo web page for all to listen.

It’s an interesting service, and I think it will grow, but it does have some limitations. The sound quality is not great, and the three minute limit is pretty restrictive. Also, while recording my first Boo, the App paused for no reason I could understand, so part of my first message got dropped. I also could not ad any tags to the message, still not sure why.

So, it has some problems, but all in all, it could prove to be a pretty cool thing for people who want to get out quick messages. The service will allow you to auto update Twitter and Facebook, so it can be another interesting tool in your communications bag of tricks.

Listen!

Interview With J.C. Hutchins Up

hutch_clone_smallI recently had the pleasure of chatting with J.C. Hutchins, author and podcaster of the 7th Son Trilogy, about Personal Effects: Dark Art, his print novel debut from St. Martin’s Press.

During the interview J.C. shares some cool details about the making of the transmedia experience that is Dark Art, some podcasting tips, and his vision for the future of print novels. The whole interview is available on PopSyndicate.com as this months Podiowaves column. Please check it out.

Some Thoughts on BookCamp Toronto 2009

I had the pleasure of attending BookCamp Toronto 2009 this weekend, at the University of Toronto iSchool. Before I get into the more reflective components of this post, I would like to send out a huge thank-you and congratulations to the organizers, team. Hugh McGuire, Mitch Joel, Mark Bertils, Erin Balser, and Alexa Clark, you should all be commended for the work you did. The BookCamp was well organized, and it struck the perfect balance between a large convention and a small, intimate unconference. The sessions were well thought out, and were lead by people who were excellent at striking a balance between giving information and allowing conversations to flow naturally, while remaining on topic.

Easily the biggest topics of conversation were eBooks and DRM, which is not a surprise considering that the theme was the future of books. The publishing industry is in an obvious state of flux, and some suggested they were about seven years behind the music industry, which is not really a great place to be.  The discussions were very balanced, some people were for DRM, some were against it, and some were against it, but hated it on principle, considering it a necessary evil.  There was a lot of discussion about the future of books, and if eBooks will replace traditional paper books. Most people there representing publishers really seemed to be forward thinking, and looking to embrace change and the future. There were a few people who seemed like they would need some hand holding, but the very fact that they were at an unconference spoke to their professional dedication to the future of books.

I have been to other unconferences before, specifically the last two PodCamp Torontos, and it was interesting to see the different groups coming together. With all due respect to PodCamp, the general audience of BookCamp was more professional, with industry insiders and publishers making up a large part of the crowd, with fewer hobbyists and dilettantes than PodCamp attracts.  As one of the hobbyist at Podcamp myself, that should in no way be read as a slight.

The discussions were always lively and interesting, and I would love to see this become a regular addition to the Toronto Camp calendar. If you missed this year, make sure you attend the next one!  If you are interested in seeimg some images, I have posted a handful from the day on my flickr account.

New Article Up!

Hey everybody,

I am thrilled to announce that I am now part of the Dad-O-Matic family of blog writers. Yes, the amazing daddy blog accepted an article of mine for publication there, the first in a three part series.

Now, I feel I should warn you, it is about vasectomies. Specifically mine.

You see, I think there are a lot of great reasons for men to get vasectomies, but there is still a lot of fear, misinformation and resistance to discuss this issue. I hope to dispel some of the fears, and get this conversation out in the open.

So, head on over to Dad-O-Matic.com, and read all about it. Feel free to comment, post your experiences or any questions you might have.