Category Archives: Blogosphere

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Kindle

Check out my green Kindle cover with Shag sticker. (I'm not smiling because I'm concentrating on holding my computer with one hand while pushing the photo button. ... So much for stoicism.)

For my birthday, I got the best present in the world: A Kindle! (Thanks, Dad.)

When e-readers came out a couple years ago, I’ll admit that I was terrified of them. To me, they represented the end of all that was real and true about books … before I even got a chance to publish my own.

Two things changed my mind:
1. The technology got better.
2. I realized that despite my lifelong love of reading novels, I had fallen out of the habit. Instead, I frittered away my free time obsessively reading the New York Times online. Why? Because it was convenient. For me, getting a Kindle was leveling the playing field for books.

Why a Kindle?: Although I’m starting to fear that Amazon may be the next evil empire, I chose its e-reader. Sure I could have gone with the flashier iPad or the touchscreen Nook. But I did not want a FaceBook machine or an Angry Birds console, I wanted a device that was as much like a real book as possible. So far, Kindle has been wonderful.

The agony and ecstasy of choosing a cover: For the first time in my life, the cover of a book was not the thing that held the pages together, it was a reflection of myself. I wanted to proclaim to the world that I was smart, I was an intellectual, and that I had a fabulous sense of style.

I narrowed down my Kindle cover options to three types: 1. The covers that are made to look like copies of the New Yorker (but which one?) 2. The covers that look like literary novels (but which one?) 3. The Kate Spade covers that also look like novels (Great Gatsby was my fave).

I’ll spare you the agony and dispense the results. After so much thought, I ended up picking Amazon’s own cover because it had so many more amenities. The built-in light that’s powered through the e-reader is awesome. And in the end, with the help of a couple stickers, I have a cover that’s all my own!

The back of my Kindle: The two Shag stickers tell a story, if you look carefully.

check out my new blog: Yoga Rants & Raves

yoga blog logoLike yoga and like my writing? Hate yoga and like my writing? Either way, check out the new blog I’m writing for Yoga Sanctuary.

Here’s how the yoga studio describes my new masterpiece in motion:

Our Yoga Rants and Raves blog pushes the envelope even more. We like to think of it as a nice mix of the irreverent and relevant. The topics and content will be far-reaching: offbeat videos, yoga news, things we love and things we don’t, the yoga lifestyle and beyond. If our blog proves to be provocative, entertaining or sometimes controversial, we couldn’t be happier. So if you are looking for a conventional commentary on how to start a yoga practice, this is probably not the right blog for you.

My First 15 Minutes…if you can call it that

A couple weeks ago, I happened to appear in the background of two photos in Las Vegas Weekly online articles.

Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

In the first photo, I serve as an illustration of the awful craziness that is the celeb-media shark fest (which is only a little funny because everybody looks so happy). I suggest reading the fascinating article by Greg Beato yourself because I am too tired to give an accurate account of it. (Sorry Greg, if I didn’t do your awesome article justice.)

Weeky reporter C. Moon Reed gets an unexpected lick from Monotonix. Never wash that cheek again. by Aaron Thompson

"Weeky reporter C. Moon Reed gets an unexpected lick from Monotonix. Never wash that cheek again." by Aaron Thompson

In the second photo, my good friend and photographer Aaron Thompson captured me when he was shooting the Monotonix show.  It was quite the exciting suprise to find the photo published online the next morning. My editor Spencer Patterson even mentioned me in his writeup of the show. Spencer wrote an awesome review, which you really must read. On behalf of him, I’ll also mention that the Monotonix are the best live band ever.

Death of the Professional Writer?

eloquently and flippantly declared the death of the professional writer:

…something precious may be coming to an end in our lifetimes: the age of the professional writer. For the last three centuries or so, it was possible to make a living, and a name, by writing what the public wanted to read. … In the future, if fewer people are interested in reading and few of those are willing to pay for what they read, all these kinds of writers may go the way of the troubadour and the scribe. It is a nice symbolic irony, then, that this year marks the 300th anniversary of the greatest professional writer in English literature. <<READ MORE>>

To add insult to injury, he didn’t even think this revelation deserved to be the topic of its own article. Instead, he used it as a clever frame for a book review. Dang him. Dang him. Why must he kill my dreams and then not even give them the decency of a proper funeral? I’m glad that my struggles have provided him with some “nice symbolic irony.” Nice? That’s such an awful word! Couldn’t he at least drawn a bolder picture with the paint of my blood, sweat and tears? The only consolation is that his flippancy takes away the credibility of his statement. However, I imagine his book review can be trusted, since his writing is so nice.

Blog, yes. But what about?

As a full-time writer, you’d think it’d be easy for me to decide what to blog about. But au contraire, dear reader. Between having to protect my name as a brand (i.e., no self-incriminating posts) and the desire not to scoop my own stories, I’m blogged into a corner. To solve this problem, my blog has devolved into short tidbits that are (hopefully) helpful to other writers/bloggers/readers/etc. However, I fear I play it so safe that my blog has become bland, boring even. What’s the solution? Any advice?

Tonight, as I was leaving the soft opening of Fuego at the Rio, I realized that people may be more interested in reading about Las Vegas as a topic than they are in a reading sanitized version of my life. So I’m going to test the waters with some upcoming posts about Vegas. What do you think? Might it be interesting? It seems to have worked for many other local bloggers.

Protect Journalists, Support the Shield Law!

Here is a letter from the president of the society of professional journalists. Because I probably won’t get around to contacting my congressman, I thought the least I could do was ask you to do so! Yes, I feel like a jerk for passing the buck. But at least I’m doing something, right? right?

Dear SPJ Member:

We’re delighted to announce that the Free Flow of Information Act, more commonly referred to as the Federal Shield Law, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today as H.R. 985.

You’re probably aware that the Society of Professional Journalists has been actively urging Congress and President Obama to pass and sign into law a bill that will protect journalists who refuse to reveal their confidential sources. Because you are a member of the largest journalism association in the country, your voice and opinion matter in this extremely important process.

Today, we are asking you to join the fight to improve and protect journalism. Please contact your representative and voice your support for this measure that is essential to upholding a free and independent press. A list of current contact information for U.S. Representatives can be found here.

When you contact your representative, please tell him or her about your SPJ membership – and that our organization (some 9,000 strong) supports this vital piece of legislation.

In closing, thank you for all that you do for SPJ and for making this organization an industry leader in fighting for the First Amendment rights of journalists.

Yours in the profession,

Dave Aeikens,
SPJ President

Beer and Blogs Las Vegas

Tonight I attended the innaguaral meeting of Beer and Blogs at the Freakin Frog in Las Vegas. Sitting at a giant table of fellow nerds, I thought to myself, “So this is what Twitter would look like if it happened in real life.” All in all, it was fun and I look forward to meeting new friends. 

If you found my site from Beer and Blogs, welcome! And I wasn’t calling you a nerd. I was talking about those people on the other side of the table.

If you live in Vegas, you should join the fun. It’s every Thursday at 6 pm.

Visit their Website for details.

PS. They have the best slogan in the world: “Bloggers helping bloggers over beers”