No thank you.

April 9, 2008

Hey. There is (finally, I know) a new essay over at JPChambers.com! Go! Read! Comment!

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Here’s the deal

February 12, 2008

I guess some explanation is in order. I’ve started using a thing called, “Utterz” to do some of my blogging/status updating. Utterz is a way for people to record voice messages, text messages, video and pictures and send them out to their various pages. I can create these messages sitting right here at my computer (where I am now) OR I can do it via cell phone. That’s the cool part, I think. Wherever I am, I can create a blog entry with sound, video, pictures, whatever and send it to Utterz, which will put it all together and distribute it to my webpages and blogs. Cool, right? I see it as sort of a mini podcast, which I’ve wanted to do for a while but never have.

Anyway, I think it’s cool so I put Utterz players on jpchambers.com, my MySpace, and here at WordPress. Now, with WordPress, the Utterz entries are just listed as a regular blog entry, so they are integrated. With the other sites, there is a separate Utterz player that is just sitting there all the time. Also, you — yes YOU — can get involved by recording or typing responses to my Utterz if you care to.

Thanks to the funniest man in the universe, Jake Johannsen, for turning me on to Utterz in the first place.

Oh, hey, Scrivener has definitely lived up to my expectations. I don’t remember if I told you that yet or not. It really came in handy for the work I just finished for a large financial institution. There were lots of separate little sections to write, with two or three paragraphs each and there was a bunch of information that had to be included. Scrivener’s split-screen research feature was perfect for it.

later.

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Now playing: Coldplay – Talk
via FoxyTunes

quick update

January 21, 2008

jpchambers.com has been kind of wacky lately. I’m having trouble publishing updates to it. Anyway, my “people” are working on the problem and hopefully things are back to normal soon. I’ve been holding off on the blog entries because my site also hosts a blog and I can’t update that one! So as you can see, I’ve decided that things will just have to go on without the main site blog for the time being.

Things are going along pretty well lately. I’m doing a bit of freelance writing work that a good friend was so gracious as to send my way. It’s nothing any of you would be interested to read. It’s technical/business type stuff.

Those of you who are familiar with me know that I’m no big New England Patriots fan, so seeing them play in the SuperBowl is no big deal for me. However, in my basement I did find a relic from my days as a salesman . It’s a full case of plastic Patriots cups. They’re not the disposable kind, either, they’re nice! I’m going to try to get them listed on Ebay as soon as possible and try to sell them off in the next week or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

reading: the Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

ok. now back to work.

sports, music and books

January 10, 2008

Hey everyone.

Is it already January 10? Man, the year is just FLYING by. So do I have anything to say? Of course I do. Just a few months ago, we had no kids taking gymnastics classes and now we have three kids taking gymnastics classes. How about that? I thought we were done with gymnastics after Son #1 stopped doing it. Now Son #2 and Daughters #2 and 3 are taking classes, although the girls’ class is mostly to help them become better cheerleaders, not gymnasts. Oh, and baseball season is just around the corner. You’d think all of this activity involving the kids would be a goldmine of funny stories for me to write for you guys, and it should be. Stay tuned.

Two friends of mine have released their new cds in the past few weeks. The new record by Ike is called Where to Begin and it is really good. It’s a little harder than anything John and his various band incarnations have done in the past. It surprised me, as I’ve been hearing most of these songs over the past year and I wasn’t expecting the cd to sound the way it does. Great work, guys. Andrea Glass has released Stood Under Stars and, again, wow! Andrea is a really good acoustic/country/Americana artist I met a few years ago when she was making recordings in her kitchen. Now she’s teamed up with some really outstanding musicians, travelled to Nashville to record and is currently in the middle of her UK tour. She’s accomplished a lot in such a short time and the music is fantastic. Give it a listen.

The new site design for JPChambers.com has received nothing but positive reviews so far. So if you have anything negative to say, get it in before I get too cocky! On the fun page, I’ve added a link to a nerd test. I tested sort of medium nerdy. Not as bad as I thought!

Finally, if you have heard me talk about Markus Zusak or read what I’ve written about his books, then you know how impressed I am with him and his work. The Book Thief may be one of the best books I’ve ever read. Here’s a link to an interview he did about the book.

I finally got something done!

December 17, 2007

Hey.
Long time, eh? I’m just relaxing a bit tonight. Listening to some music, answering some messages and, oh yeah, writing a blog post for the first time in weeks. I’ve spent the past few days finishing up a complete redesign of my website, which has had the same look for almost 3 years. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I’m happy with the software I finally chose to build it with. That was a big decision for me. I was using Frontpage on my windows pc, but I wanted something different to use on my Mac. Finally found it and got the project off the ground. My blog is now integrated into my site, but I still will probably post at WordPress also, to reach a different audience. I’m just happy that I’ve finally been able to complete my move to a Mac workflow and eliminate my need for a windows pc. Good thing, too, as my pc is about 9 years old and takes a LONG time to do anything.

Sometime before the end of the year, I will post my thoughts on all (or most) of the books I’ve read this year. I read more than I thought. The list has 20+ books on it. Not bad, right? That’s about 2 per month. It will take me a while to write that up.

We are just about ready for the holidays here in the Chambers household. It’s funny. Every year we have at least one gift that we are really excited to give to someone. This year is no different. That’s the coolest thing, for me. I took my two youngest girls to a Christmas shop that is just down the road from us, but we’ve never been to before. They have unusual hours. It turns out that the “shop” is located in a huge barn next to an old farmhouse built in 1647. The property is just gorgeous. The shop is great. They must have a million little things in there. Mostly Christmas related, but lots of other stuff as well. Upstairs I found a big crate sitting on the floor. It was filled with old albums. 33s, 45s and 78s. Yes, 78s. I picked up a 78 rpm copy of the Davis Sisters “I forgot more than you’ll ever know”. Released in 1953. The disc is thick and heavy and I think it’s pretty darn cool. Anyway, that’s the kind of thing you can find in that Christmas shop. I’ll be going back.

day late

October 26, 2007

Man, it’s so easy to continue not writing when you get into the habit of not writing. All of our fall sports stuff is over now and things are getting back to normal. Vacation is coming, but this one should be fun. Then Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. OK, I know I’m skipping a few weeks here and there, but it goes so fast. That’s one of the reasons that I begin to celebrate Christmas (my favorite time of year) on November 1. I don’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving like most people. To me, Thanksgiving is a holiday which falls during the 2 month Christmas season. The old Christmas song cds are ready to go. See? It’s not even Halloween yet and I’m looking right past it. Halloween is just a speed bump in the fast lane to Christmas.

So now that I’ve proclaimed the next two holidays to be completely irrelevant, what else should I write?

Well, The Book Thief is pretty good so far. I haven’t been able to just sit and read it uninterrupted, so I’m only about 1/3 through. A few pages here, a few more there. It definitely has a different style and feel to it. Overall I’m impressed with Markus Zusak, I have to say.

On the subject of cover songs, Dexter has commented on that post with a cover of an Amy Winehouse song, but I had never heard the song to begin with so it didn’t have quite the effect on me that it should have. However, if you want to hear a cool version of Led Zeppelin’s Since I’ve Been Loving You then check out what Corinne Bailey Rae does with it. Regular readers know how much I like Corinne to begin with and here she performs a classic song in her own style.

I’m feeling some guilt over not posting an October essay for JPChambers.com and here it is almost November and I’m not sure what to post for that, either. I haven’t written much new material the past few months, so maybe this blog entry will be the kickoff for some regular writing sessions. NaNoWriMo is next month (November, of course), but I think I’ll have to sit this one out. I’ll see what happens.

—————-
Now playing: Corinne Bailey Rae – Since I’ve Been Loving You
via FoxyTunes

Summer Lull

July 11, 2007

Well, I’m finding it difficult to make time to write very much lately with the kids home all day. Still doing it, though. It’s just more difficult. I find myself getting angry when I’m interrupted from writing, so whenever it is likely that I’ll be interrupted (which is practically all day) I use the time to read instead. I can handle getting bothered by some kid crisis when I’m reading. I finished John Green’s Looking for Alaska and it was very good. I thought it was a bit slow during the first half, but the second half really grabbed me. Probably because I spent so much time getting to know the characters in the first half. I emailed John to talk about it a bit and he was really great in his response. I don’t know him well, of course, but he seems like a pretty good guy. I’m working on Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes now and it seems promising. I don’t know if I like the book, the author or just the concept. Maybe it’s all three. I’ll let you know.

My friend Andrea Glass is in Nashville RIGHT NOW recording her first CD. Good luck, Andrea! This is also her first time in the U.S., so it’s quite the adventure for her.

quickies:

Beach Torture Event is looming.

I haven’t published a July essay for the site yet, so maybe I’ll just put up a list of links where people can read some of my work that they have almost certainly not seen before. But wow, would that be lazy.

I’ll try to remember to write a blog entry about my experience trying to pre-order Harry Potter and the Unbelievable Hype Machine … sorry … Deathly Hallows. Tomorrow.

David Beckham’s first game for the L.A. Galaxy is going to be a friendly against Chelsea. And it’s televised! Whooo! Yes, the DVR is set.

Speaking of the DVR, it’s time for me to go watch On the Lot, so

later.

Here I go again

June 25, 2007

Today, my friends, work will begin in earnest on my untitled middle-grade/young-adult novel. Eight chapters have already been roughed out. When I say, “Roughed out,” I mean that they are written, but this is the first draft and they will most likely change quite a bit in the future. I will know whether it is middle-grade or young-adult when I get a bit further into it. This dedicated effort will mean I will be spending less time with Sarah (Vowell), Ira (Glass) and Click and Clack (the Tappet brothers), but I will be spending some quality time with Brandi (Carlile). Hopefully, somewhere in midst of this work an July essay for the site will appear.

Maybe it will be an excerpt, but I doubt it.

Kind of a busy weekend here so far. We had a couple of baseball games (kids) to go to, we started prepping the pool for the season and we are still in the process of painting the porch. I haven’t had much writing time in a few days, but I have had a little reading time, so I guess that counts. I’m reading How to Write and Sell Your First Novel by Oscar Collier and Frances Spatz Leighton and I’m really enjoying it. It contains a lot of stuff I’ve read elsewhere, but I still like reading it. Whenever I do something for the first time, I tend to do a lot of research beforehand. That’s what this is.

At the beginning of June, I head out to Chicago for a little R&R with a few old friends. I’m really looking forward to it. That reminds me that I have to get the new essay up before I leave.

dipping into the well

May 22, 2007

Yesterday, I went to the Post Office. I thought I could make a decent, little blog entry out of the story, so I opened up a new Word doc and started writing it all out. Once I hit 700 words, I decided that it was a bit long for my blog and thus was born next month’s JPChambers.com essay. The essay itself will not have the same boring opening that this blog entry has. :0)
It was a pretty satisfying morning overall, but I’m still beating myself up for delaying work on the book. Instead of writing, I went to the library yesterday and grabbed a copy of M.T. Anderson’s The Game of Sunken Places to read for research into the genre. Also, I’m still working my way through the audiobook version of Sarah Vowell’s Assasination Vacation. I only listen to it while I exercise (about 45 minutes at a time) so I guess I’m actually woking out my way through it.

bad joke, but I like it.

All right, here are your quickies:

Chelsea won the FA Cup. Nice job. Maybe next year, the Champion’s League? Maybe?

I bought some coffee made by Papa Nicholas. Cinnamon hazelnut flavor. It’s ok. In my experience, cinnamon hazelnut coffee always sounds better than it is. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from buying it.

I found a great deal on iTunes for all you John Mayer fans. They have an ep called “The Village Sessions” on which you get Mayer playing 6 acoustic versions of his songs and also an 18 minute video documenting the creation of “In Repair”. Price? $4.99. I’d probably have paid twice that.