PopExpo Booth 2108

Hello Everyone,

Both sides of JenEric Designs will be selling our awesome Products at PopExpo. Booth 2108 in Artist Alley.

2018

We will also be selling fandom buttons and Fresh Roasted, Organic, and Fair trade Coffee.

This will be the perfect time to do a little holiday shopping.

See you there!

Eric

Coffee RAGE!

If you live in Canada or the US and you watch network television, you’ve probably seen this commercial or similar ones.

Why this makes me angry

I like coffee. I drink it with sugar and cream and that’s ok.

It makes me angry when someone believes that there is only one right way to do anything, especially when it involves food or drink.

I just want to grab them by the judgmental collar and yell. ARGGG!

The theory behind the commercial isn’t new, it’s playing on the feeling that coffee is no longer pure. It’s the same sort of sentiment you see in #Gamergate, #womanruinsciencefiction and #fakegeekgirl. It’s a feeling that you aren’t special anymore because other people like something.

It’s the stupidest reaction but common. Just because you can buy a Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso, etc; doesn’t mean you’re black coffee tastes any worse.

Coffee beans are an ingredient. Are you going to go yell at the French for making croissants because the only bread flour should be used for is white bread? No. If we can use an ingredient in a new way, that’s great, variety is awesome.

“We went back to the source.” I highly doubt they went to Ethiopia and asked the original farmers how they have their coffee.

Have some coffee knowledge:

Click on the image for the rest of the 15 Coffee facts at theOatmeal.com
Click on the image for the rest of the 15 Coffee facts at theOatmeal.com

Advertising Failure?

Now if you’ve tasted Nabob coffee you have your own opinions on it. On average I find it’s a step above battery acid. But that’s not important apparently.

In advertising, brand, name, and recognition are what you’re selling.

All this commercial does is reinforce the belief that brewed coffee is the best kind of coffee. Not that Nabob coffee is the best. The commercial is obviously trying to say that you should brew their coffee instead of buying a 5 dollar Starbucks drink. I think this is a mistake. I think they’re selling fear of change.

This commercial makes me so angry I rant at the TV every time I see it. My wife could probably repeat word for word my rage rants. But I had to spend fifteen minutes searching for the commercial because I couldn’t remember the brand. To me that’s failure.

Sure it’s memorable but only the content not the brand.

Is this really worth a 500+ word rant?

YES!

This commercial is a sign of what is currently most wrong with western society. Fear of change.

We live in a paradoxical time where new and amazing technology is being developed faster than we can keep up, but we are paralyzed in fear of that same technology. Technology and media is redefining our everyday lives in amazing and beautiful ways. We have instant access to the complete collection of human knowledge and we can communicate with each other instantly from anywhere, heck we can control a robot that’s on another fracking planet.

It’s time to stop being upset and sad that things aren’t the way they were. It’s one thing for an 80 year old to talk at length about the good old times but I’ve been hearing more and more 20 year olds decrying the death of society and how things were better in the past. (Yes I’m looking at you Pluto deniers.)

Things change… Get over it!

Nostalgia is a nice place to visit but don’t live there.

 

What’s your favourite nostalgic memory of “The Good Old days”?

Eric

This Guy Sat Down to write a Deep Philosophical Post. What Happened Next was Shocking!

Hello,

I’m feeling Clickbait-y today. (Insert Evil Laugh here.) That makes me think I should record my own evil laugh for these moments…

I wanted to talk about voting, harassment, or the horrible things happening with #GamerGate. But to be completely honest I don’t think I can add anything to the discussion. Here are my basic opinions:

  • Voting Good, Vote gorram you!
  • Harassment is BAD. Stop it!
  • No seriously, STOP IT! There is never any reason to threaten someone’s life. Never

So since I’m not feeling up to being deep, here’s a basic update.

Coffee

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You may know that I love coffee. It’s something that I’ve gone from appreciating to truly enjoying.

If you follow me on Facebook,(or read my post about Can-Con) you might know that I’m trying to create my own flavoured coffee.

So far it’s worked swimmingly. I purchased a $15 hot air popcorn popper and experimented with how long and how much to roast in it. It worked amazingly. The coffee came out as a Full City+ or Medium-Well roast. It’s the perfect roast, in my mind, since it’s mellow and a little sweet.

I used Sumatra mostly and really like the flavour or the roasted beans.

Talking about flavours, I bought some flavour oils and flavoured the beans at different times in their cooling. I’ve tasted of the 5 batches. The 2 day cooled and the 1 hour cooled. Unfortunately despite smelling like the flavours, the taste didn’t penetrate the bean (sounds dirty.)

I’ve set up 3 others at ½ hour, 10 minutes, and right out of the machine. My worry is that I might need to combine the flavouring with some sort of bonding agent that will force it into the bean. Frankly I have no idea how to do that.

Oh well. I’ll let you know more once I’ve taste tested more coffee. It’s a hard life isn’t it?

Writing Editing

Just a quick word on how the writing and editing is going. Slowly.

Ok a few more words. I’ve been trying to edit Parasomnia but having issues with attention span and distractions. I’m still hoping to have it done and in the hands of my first beta reader / The Weditor by early November.

Once that’s done, I’ll start a quick re-edit of A Study in Aether and then I’ll find some fresh beta-readers for more help with the editing. I’d like to resubmit this by Christmas.

And finally when I’m done with all this editing, I’ll start writing Welcome to Everdome! The fraking story has been running through my head and it’s driving me nuts. I’m looking forward to actually writing it.

What’s your favourite type of coffee, or tea?

Would you like to be a Beta Reader for either of the books?

Let me know in the comments.

Éric

Can-Con 2014 and Beyond

Hello,

So I went to Can-Con this weekend and it was wonderful. Kate Heartfield described it as feeling like a family reunion. That is the perfect description of Can-Con.

I’d rather not write a play by play of everything I saw but I’ll give you some highlights.

Panels

One of the things I love most about Can-Con are the Panels. They are informative and entertaining.

There are three kinds of panels at Can-Con; Educational, Presentational, and Entertainment.

When I really care about something or know a lot about something I can be a little bit of a loudmouth. This means that I have less fun in educational panels were I know the subject matter really well. It makes me want to add information, interrupt the panelists and generally be rude. Thankfully my area of knowledge in writing is relatively small, for now, and limited.

This makes me seek out panels that are of interest to me but I know nothing about. It also forces me to learn more and hopefully apply it to my own writing.

The standout educational panels for me this year were on Romance, and Advice to Aspiring Authors.

The Romance panel had Marie Bilodeau as moderator, Linda Poitevin, Coreene Callahan, Leslie Brown, and Lynne MacLean. I’m not sure what others got out of the panel but as someone who worries about adding romance to his novels, it was insightful. I think Jen would have loved this panel.

I did however get a few tricks to ramp up the romance or tension. The most important is to really get into the characters thoughts and emotions. Also it’s important to consider why your characters are interested in the romance.

The Advice to Aspiring Authors had a superstar lineup. Julie Czerneda was the moderator and on the panel was Jay Odjick, Erik Buchanan, Mike Rimar, and as a surprise panelist there was Charles de Lint.

This panel was amazing, great honest and straightforward answers on the craft of writing. I was mildly intimidated by the impressive panel but managed to ask a few questions. Mostly dealing with editing.

I’ve had the overwhelming feeling that I was doing it wrong. I was treating editing like if I was Beta-reading someone else work and turns out that’s ok.

Some great pieces of advice were to always push through the 2/3 mark blues and makes sure to finish. Never throw out or give up on a manuscript, you’ve written it and now it’s someone else’s turn to look at it. If you get rid of it you’re not even giving it a chance.

Another piece of advice that shocked me in its simplicity was to stop your day of writing mid-sentence or mid-idea. That way you know what you’re going to write tomorrow. Everyone I’ve told has looked at me like it was the most obvious idea ever but I had never thought of it. I will now make sure to implement it and avoid the morning blocks that have slowed me down so often.

I could go on and on about the awesome panels. There was one presentation that hit me as particularly awesome. Jay Odjick, the media guest of honour, present the premier of Kagagi an awesome new Canadian superhero cartoon. My biggest complaint about it was that it was too short, I can’t wait to sit down and binge-watch the show.

Seriously go check it out.

People

The genre writing community in Ottawa is way bigger than I ever expected but it’s still small. Any group that is that supportive gets to know each other really well and tend to act and react like family.

This intimidated the crap out of me last year and gave me a few sleepless nights last week. When it comes to social interactions I’m a little bit of a pessimist. I basically assume no one knows who I am and if they do they don’t really like me.

The people of Can-Con aren’t like that; they are warm, friendly, and awesome. I was surprised multiple times that people who I respect and look up too remembered me. I even had the chance to talk to Julie Czerneda, one of my favourite authors, before one of her panels.

There is something surreal meeting authors whom I studied during my university English classes. Can-Con has given me the chance to meet three of them. I’m amazed that I’ve had my writing questions answered by Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, and Charles de Lint.

Darn life rocks!

Business

There are several things I learned and discussed with people during Can-Con. This lead to a large boost to my ego. There are four announcements I hope to make in the next six months. Two are so tentative it’s not worth mentioning yet and a third isn’t mine to announce.

The fourth I’m free to say, JenEric Designs will be selling at Ottawa PopExpo. For Geek Market, I designed some buttons and they sold well enough that I will be doubling our variety for PopExpo. Future designs will include Torchwood, Supernatural, SuperWhoLock, Hydra, and Stargate Atlantis.

I’m also going to be experimenting with creating Custom Roasted Geek Coffee. If it works I plan on having several flavours to sell at the event.

Happy Tuesday! Unless you’re reading this on another day, in which case, Happy [Somethign]day.

Eric

Discombobulated

Taken from Tumblr, if you know the creator please let me know so I can credit

Hello,

Parasomnia

There are three points in a novel where an author has trouble, the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Ok, all jokes aside this novel is kicking my ass. For one thing, it’s much longer than my previous novels making me think that I should start into the third act instead of still being early in the second. For another thing, I’m starting to move my characters farther in their development than I expected. And for a last thing, I’m worried because it’s so different from everything I’ve written before.

It’s just the middle of the book blues. I’m done with the exciting set up and introduction and now I have to fulfil stuff and twist the knife on my poor sad characters. (Speaking of which if you haven’t voted in the “Who’s going to die” poll or want to vote a second time. Now would be the time.)

New House

It’s seriously impressive how a big life change can throw me through a loop. My wife and I bought a house (I might have mentioned once or twice) and I’m having a hard time adjusting. The air is different, the steps between places are different, the feel of the carpet, etc. It’s all so new. I love the new place, the library is bigger and better but just as calming, and we have a BBQ.

Elizabeth Investigates

Still waiting on one of the publishing companies about “A Study in Aether” I suppose that means it’s good enough that they didn’t dismiss it offhand but it’s not so fraking awesome that they grabbed it right away. If I don’t hear by the end of May I’ll contact them and see if I fell through the cracks.

Websites, RPGs, and Webshows

In January, we hadn’t planned on moving, let alone buying a new house. That’s slowed my plans down for setting up a new website and for updating FADDS. I’m still working on the two of them but slower than I would have liked. As for the Webshow… Well it’s on hold until the house is more put together.

Hopefully by the end of summer we’ll have everything up.

Coffee

Taken from Tumblr, if you know the creator please let me know so I can credit

Have a great day!

Éric