Because the only thing more terrifying than velociraptors are velociraptors that can fly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One week left

Welp, I've come to this, my final week in Georgia.

I've spent a lot of time in this state, on a number of occasions, and it's a place I consider my home. I hope to move back here one day, maybe to the Athens area, I'm not sure, but that won't be for a while. No, I'll have to drink in my time here while I'm still here to do so.

In one week, I will be boarding a plane with my boon companion, Rylan Wade, and set off for a journey to the Emerald Isle of Ireland. I'm quite looking forward to the trip. Rylan and I, while best of friends for the past decade, have never been on a trip together, so I think that'll be fun (as long as Rylan doesn't get us involved in some sort of shenanigans where we wake up the next morning with a sheep in the room and no memory of how it got yeah, pretty fun overall).

I just did the majority of my packing for the trip, and sort of for North Carolina as well, because if my folks don't find us a house while I'm in Eire, I'll be coming back to our temporary living quarters with whatever clothes I bring with me, plus some I'll set aside before I go.

Also coming up this week: the third episode of the Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling! (Very exciting.) There's some neat mad science in this one, although that really gets ramped up in episodes four and five. (So stay tuned!) And, before we head to Ireland, Rylan and I are going to continue our annual tradition of going to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, always a delightful experience. There's steak on a steak, magicians, jugglers, comedians, axe throwing, my getting freaked out by chickens, the pirate auction, all sorts of good stuff. Plus, this year, since we're going on the final weekend, we'll be going during Free Student weekend. (I.e. student ID = 1 free admission.)

Well, I've done my story editing today but I'm still crafting my pair of prototype decks to take to Ireland so that I can continue play-testing my card game.

Hope your day has been as good as mine (if not better,)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Hello hello, my internet friends,

Sorry about the belated blog post. I was in Athens yesterday helping my cousin move (and by "helping" I mean "watch as the movers bring in boxes, unload a few of them, then fall asleep on the couch for a few hours") so by the time I got home I was quite tired. Combine that with the fact that I needed to get up at 5AM this morning for work and I decided it'd be best for everyone if I just posted today.

So here we are.

Some news on the card game front: I have successfully play-tested my prototypes a few time and am pleased with the results. It feels like a real game, it's fun, and any time you get to say to someone, "Oh, well, it ended in a tie because he died after I sent my robotic flying velociraptor after him, which destroyed his armor, opening up an opportunity for me to set him on fire with my flamethrower, whose lingering damage killed him at the end of the round, but I was insane at the time, so my head exploded," is friggin' awesome in my book.

I am having some issues with the structure, whether it should play more like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon TCG, but that's the point of play-testing, to iron out those wrinkles.

In other news, I am moving to North Carolina next month. As you may or may not know, I'm living with my folks while I'm in grad school. Since my dad got a new job in North Carolina (the Raleigh area) that means I'm coming along for the ride. I'm in two minds about moving. On the one had, I have to leave behind the friends I've have here, as well as my job (my manager's really cool), and change is always a little scary. On the other hand, I've moved over a dozen times in my life. It's something I'm not thrilled about, but am used to. Plus, it'll be a new adventure! Maybe things will be even better there. Maybe my book will take off and I'll become the next J. K. Rowling.

 Who knows? (OK, maybe not, but still.) I'm optimistic overall. As someone wise once said, "You cannot change the direction the wind is blowing, but you can adjust your sails."

As Jack Sparrow said, "Bring me that horizon."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's alive! IT'S (almost) ALIVE!

Mwuhahahaha! AHAHAHAHA!
Ahem. Excuse me. I've just been working so hard on all my mad scientist projects that I'm a little bit stuck in character. And yes, that's right, I did say project(s). For one thing, I'm working on getting some Professor Jack Baling merchandise ready, which is very exciting. Shirts, stickers, coffee mugs, the works. I have some of the designs already, now I'm just trying to finagle with the price so that I'm not charging upwards of $40 for a single t-shirt. I'll give more info on that when I have it.

I've also been putting a lot of time and effort into a collectible card game that's set in the same world as my novel. It's similar to Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering, in that it's played with two players, each one has a deck of cards and uses creatures and weapons to beat the snot out of each other. Unlike those games, however, there's a bit more to it than that.

First off, these are *mad* scientists, after all, so they are less than stable. As such, the rolling of a die is involved in a number of ways, adding a bit of randomness to the proceedings.

Secondly, each player has a Sanity meter which decreases whenever powerful abilities are used. Go all the way down to 0 and grow temporarily powerful. Go for more than one round in this state, however, and you lose.

Finally, there are random encounter cards that get played each turn, much like Monopoly or Life. These affect both players, positively or negatively, so be careful. What helps you might also help your opponent, and harming them can bring harm down on you.

All in all, I have quite a few plates spinning right now, but once my Automatic Plate Spinning Robot is finished, it should be smooth sailing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inspiration (and a plea to the scientific community)

A short entry today, friends, but I remembered to update today, so I'm happy about that.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend on the nature of inspiration. She, also a writer, explained that she gets ideas for characters all the time, but suffers from a dearth of plots. I, on the other hand, get ideas for...if not "plots" exactly, then story seeds. They can be triggered by anything. The other day I was driving to work in the early morning and was thinking about how empty the world was, especially since the area I was driving through at the exact moment in time was bordered on one side by fields and woods. "What if," I imagined, "someone was driving in a similar situation but in a more remote area, and then some great big beastie ran out in front of them and into the woods?"

Would the person stop? Would they crash? What if they made it to work safely, but couldn't help wonder about whatever it was that they saw? What if they got to the end of the day and stopped at that spot on their way home? What if they saw something to indicate that they weren't imagining it, something that made it clear the beastie wasn't normal? Etc.

That's just how my brain works. I get ideas all the time. Unfortunately, I do not get time all the time. I have as much per day as everybody else, and there's no way that I can create during all of it. I can't even focus hard enough to make the best use out of my free time. And that really sucks, because I have so many awesome ideas, but I can't work on all of them simultaneously or I'd make such little progression in each one that it'd take forever to get any individual one of them finished. So that means I have to go the opposite way and shelve them for later, make a list of projects I'm interested in, pursue each one on the list until the item in question is complete, and then move on.

But when I get an idea I'm really excited about I can create a lot of content in a short period of time. That level of excitement doesn't last for very long. The question then becomes: "Is it more efficient to take breaks from a current project to take advantage of a new one if doing so will delay completion of the current project?"

I'm not sure I have an answer, either. I tend to do what I've just described, although I haven't missed a structured deadline yet. Still, how much more work could I get done if I didn't have to sleep?

Scientists! Get working on that. Papa's got some worlds to write.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marketing Department of One (Plus You!)

Howdy friends!

How is everyone? Good, I hope. So, I just published the second episode of my serialized novel, The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling. The new episode is titled, “Episode 2: Just Because You’re Paranoid…"

Now then, I’m running into a slight problem with this episode, namely: how to get my work out there to the people. I am self-publishing my novel through the Kindle Online Marketplace so my marketing department consists of one employee (me) and our budget is rather slender. Thus, I am relying heavily on social networking and word-of-mouth to spread the news about my story.

So if you’re reading this blog, I am asking you for help. (Please!)

First off, here are the links to episodes one and two:
Episode 1-
Episode 2-

Each one is conveniently only 99 cents (less than a pack of gum or a cup of coffee, and practically nothing when compared to the price of a new car or home. Heck, hold it up next to the national deficit—currently over fifteen trillion dollars, or $15,000,000,000,000—and $.99 is essentially free. Who doesn't love nearly-free stuff?)

I do not yet have a website, but I am working on it. I do have an easily-remembered twitter feed (@colinoboyle) though, so if you don’t yet follow me, you should.

I also have a facebook page at (I’m quite proud of the name) so give that page the ol’ thumbs up.

If you have already purchased/read either of my episodes, please leave a review on the Amazon page(s), even if it’s only a sentence or two. Those are really helpful. The more I get, the higher my chances are of popping up on someone's "if you liked this book, you should try..." bar.

Also of great help is linking to that page or this one on your own social networking sites of choice. Every “share” gets me a little bit closer to my goal of becoming a professional author.

As always, I’d like to thank you for reading and hope that you continue to do so in the future.