Archive for April, 2012

Clockwork Angels…

So…. I’ve been meaning to post the teaser since I found it about two weeks ago, but the information I was finding on the album’s release date was still speculative, not confirmed.


But then… I went to the band’s site today, after hearing that the new single would be announced yesterday, and saw this [below] on the frontpage, along with tour dates (for, what I am guessing, may be a first leg? Maybe 2013 dates will come out, extending this tour like they have the last couple.)

The album’s due out 12 June, and the single should be hitting “stands” 24 April. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing on 12 June.


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Staring Into the Griffin’s Eyes…

So, last night I updated the scorecard to reflect my standing at Grad Schools 5, Me 0 for grad school applications. This afternoon, though, I got this in my email.

Congratulations on your recent acceptance to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program!

Your official acceptance letter is on the way. In the meantime, I wanted to personally congratulate you and welcome you to the Seton Hill University graduate community.

Their mascot? The Griffin… and the image that comes to mind at the moment is Harry bowing to Buckbeak in Azkaban.

What does that mean? That, pending a response from Glasgow, it looks like I know where I will be going. Should I get an acceptance offer from Glasgow, then the number crunching and odds-weighing begin in earnest before making my final decision.

So, to update the scorecard (again):

  • University of Denver (PhD) (dated 28 February)
  • University of Edinburgh [Scotland] (PhD) (received 20 January)
  • University of Glasgow [Scotland] (PhD)
  • Boston University (MFA) (received 3 April)
  • Indiana University at Bloomington (MFA)  (received 18 April, dated 30 March)
  • North Carolina State University (MFA)  (received 21 March)
  • Seton Hill University (Low-Res MFA) (accepted, received 19 April)


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Effective Marketing… Bundle Packaging

Go into any store selling movies these days and look at the new release selections, especially the Blue-Ray section. I’m going to wager a fairly safe bet that most of what you will see are Combo Packs – Blue-Ray & DVD versions together. Many of them, though, are starting to include digital copies as well, which I think is fantabulous. Sort of.

Here’s why they are awesome, in case it’s not obvious: You get both a Blue-Ray and DVD version. You have a BR player and you’re visiting friends that don’t? You’re covered. Travelling with a Laptop and only have a DVD drive? No problem. Travelling light and want to have several movies on your device of choice [laptop, iWhatever, etc] without carrying disks at all? Digital gets it done.

The only catch with the Digital piece of the BR/DVD/Digital combo packs is the redemption window. In most packages there will be a voucher or coupon code that can be used online (then, usu. in iTunes or similar service of choice) to download the digital copy. [There are a few that actually package a disk with the set that has a digital copy burned, that just needs to be transferred, but I’ve only seen this a handful of times, and only on one that I have bought.] It’s that voucher code that’s the kicker, because there’s a limited window of availability to redeem the code.

It’s that limited window, though, that makes the bundled packs a great marketing option: if someone really wants a specific movie, they may or may not get it when it first comes out, maybe waiting for it to go on sale or prices to drop a little. By bundling, however, it incentivises anyone that may be on the fence to buy in early, or rewards the faithful for buying early.

But here’s my example of that strategy backfiring: Paul. I wanted to get the movie, but it came out in August last year. I waited, giving the chance to receive it for either my birthday or for Christmas. I didn’t, but I did get a Best Buy gift card for Christmas. Shortly after Christmas, as movies were on sale, I took my card and went shopping.

At least, I tried to.

Paul was out of stock. I decided to save my card and return later. but it turned out that “later” wasn’t until the end of January. 29 January, to be precise. And the date sticks with me becuase I didn’t actually open the package until a few days later, and the date on the digital voucher? 29 January.

So, the combo packs are awesome if you get them early, but can be tricky if you want to get the digital version but wait to long to do so. I like them, and at the very least I prefer looking for the BR/DVD packs if they are out there.

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Another One Bites the Dust…

To catch up to speed, check here… received today, my letter from Indiana University at Bloomington.

It’s a nicely printed letter, with a giant IU watermark in the letter, definitely one of the nicer pieces of stationary that I’ve gotten from a school.

Unfortunately, the words printed on it were less than favorable, however, it was signed by the chair of the department (instead of, say, just someone at the graduate school). I have a sliver of hope, though, maybe a straw I’m grasping at, but: applications were due at the beginning of January, and the letter was dated 30 March. They mention receiving over 300 applications, and only being able to accept 12.

My thought, my hope, is this: the selections were done tournament style – as applications were declined they were notified somewhere along the way instead of mailing all of the rejections at once. If that’s the case, then that would mean I made it through most of the cut, to maybe the top 50 or top 25 of the applicants.  Hell, maybe even number 13 for all I know.

The concentration on teaching pedagogy would have been nice, but thanks to some of my other experiences (Uncle Orson’s, again, I can’t recommend it enough) I’ve already started seeing different ways of teaching, and thinking about teaching, that may or may not have been helped by the program. One night, while at Uncle Orson’s, in my hotel room at sometime past midnight, unable to sleep, I started sketching out thoughts on classes I might like to teach, and thinking about how I would want to teach them. Maybe my thoughts on teaching were what helped me make it as far as  I did.

So, to update the scorecard:

  • University of Denver (PhD) (dated 28 February)
  • University of Edinburgh [Scotland] (PhD) (received 20 January)
  • University of Glasgow [Scotland] (PhD)
  • Boston University (MFA) (received 3 April)
  • Indiana University at Bloomington (MFA)  (received 18 April, dated 30 March)
  • North Carolina State University (MFA)  (received 21 March)
  • Seton Hill University (Low-Res MFA)

Which leaves us with two very, very different programs on the table, and huge (ginormous) geographical and cultural possibilities to keep in mind.

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Considering New Features…

One of the things I have been thinking about, today actually, is adding a couple of new(-ish) features… Those that followed the blog back at its old home may remember a project I used to run called “Fictional Echoes”.

I’m planning on bringing it back. I am probably going to start by ressurecting the old entries, and will include some excised or sample scenes from other projects, as well as new pieces (scenes, mostly, or character sketch pieces)… which could be nice for me as I work through some projects (the character things, especially).

I’m not quite sure on the frequency, maybe a bi-weekly thing to start with, but something to look forward to.

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Paging Mr. Moon… & Pistols

When I first saw this mentioned by a friend on Facebook, I was a little skeptical. Then I saw a news article today, and find myself wondering, really?

The committee responsible for organizing the Olympic’s closing ceremonies went so far as contacting the band’s management to check on his availablity.

What rock have they been living under? Keith Moon has been dead for longer than he was alive, did the folks on the committee not have anyone do some fact checking, or was someone so new to discovering The Who that he/she just thought he left the band over a tiff?

Almost makes me wonder if they tried booking Amy Winehouse – or was her death current enough for the committee to sit back and say, Hey, wait… that won’t work…”

In other news,the fact that the Sex Pistols were also invited to participate in the same show wasn’t that surprising, given the theme planned for the show. It would have been surprising had they actually accepted the gig.

Maybe that’s just me, though…

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Cornbread on MVM

I have a confession… I was late to the Dave Matthews party…

One of the first things I did when I started college was get signed up for a couple of the music clubs – Columbia House, BMG – and a few times I even had some multiple, concurrent memberships to the same company. I was a music junkie like that (and, hey, for a marginal amount you could get something like twenty albums up front, including fulfilling a portion of your annual membership contract).

Anyway, one of the drawbacks to the memberships was that if you didn’t submit the reply card (indicating “Yes” or “No” for getting the selection of the month – remember, this was at the dawn of the internet going public), the selection of the month would get sent automatically. One month, the selection was Under the Table and Dreaming.

And. I. Sent. It. Back.

Only to get it less than a year later.

Fast forward about seventeen years, and I have most of the DMB discography in the collection, but some of the selections that I find myself going back to are the “Dave & Tim” albums. So, here is one of the songs I have regularly had on my playlists.

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