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Tag Archives: The New Authors Fellowship

This year has been an interesting year for publishing and entertainment. For me, it’s been a chance to start a blog, join a group blog, and begin seriously reading other blogs while figuring out just what to do with this Beyond the Charts thing I’m embarking on.

I’ve decided to make a list of the Top 10 Blogs I know I will be following on a regular basis in the coming year. The one you’re reading is a given. ūüėČ

1. The New Authors Fellowship – This is the group blog I am a part of and I’ve made some good friends there as well as have read some very interesting entries over the last year I’ve been a part of it. These are some great writers with some stories to tell, and they don’t do a bad job of blogging about things either.

2. Kevin J. Anderson – Kevin and I became friends online a couple of years ago when I contacted him as a fan and that friendship has grown beyond the fan/author to where we’ve talked about deeply personal issues. He’s a really good person and an awesome author, and his blog is chock full of tid bits on writing and productivity, not to mention that he recently reposted his 11 Tips for Writers which he often cites at conventions and workshops.

3. Mike Duran – This is a blog I’ve been following with much interest this year as he writes in two areas that I am very much interested in, but rarely see blended together and done right: Horror/Thriller fiction and¬†Christian fiction. With the way he’s talked on his blog this past year about this ghost story he’s written, I have some high hopes for his book coming out in February. I hope I’m not disappointed. The Resurrection hits bookstores’ shelves in February.

4. Dean Wesley Smith – A long time hand in the field of writing, he is keeping up on all the goings on in the publishing industry and keeping new and current writers abreast of all the scams and false hopes and then telling them what they need to know and keep track of. A true expert if there ever was one.

5. Brandon Sanderson – I’m really just discovering him. I first heard of him because he took over Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series after the unfortunate passing of the original author, but since I was still working my way through Jordan’s books, I just took that as a good sign that I could actually finish reading the series when I get to that point.¬†Since then, I’ve discovered that he had a good reason for being picked for that task as I’ve started reading him with his free download Warbreaker. Once I’m finished, next up from him: The Way of Kings. I’m following his blog to see about news on his projects and to see what else he might say about the industry.

6. Wil Wheaton – Yes, most of you probably remember him as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but there’s a lot more to this fellow besides that role from so long ago. Read his blog to find out.

7. Michael Stackpole – I first read him with the Star Wars novels he’s done. This year I’ve looked over some of his other books online to decide what to read beyond that¬†and have followed his blog some too. I’ll be following him even more this next year. Also, I’ve chatted with him some on Facebook and he’s a very gracious conversationalist.

8. Splashdown Books – This small independent publisher is definitely making a “splash” on the small press scene. As a¬†publisher of Speculative Fiction with Christian perspectives, founder Grace Bridges from New Zealand talks about the themes of the novels she publishes as well as other thoughts and topics associated with the emerging genre of Christian Speculative Fiction.

9. Greg Mitchell – Much like Mike Duran, this fellow seems to have a decent story put together that combines the two areas I want to see more of. I hope he does well. I’ll be following his progress. The Strange Man hits bookstores’ shelves¬†in February.

And what about 10?

Well, 10 will be that one that surprises me as I get into the first couple of months of the next year. It will be the one that I either had never heard of before, or will have considered for this list but didn’t think¬†would be as “must read” as the rest I’ve mentioned¬†and then it suddenly pops out as a winner. Number 10 is a mystery now, but before too long, I’m sure that it will reveal itself.

I hope you have found some new blogs to follow because of this list. Feel free to comment and link below to any blogs you like to follow.

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I’ve had to shut the store website of Beyond the Charts down for the foreseeable future. It will be back up after I’ve had a chance to do some things with it. Most are minor things, with only one major thing in mind. The look will be the same unless I find something outstanding to change it to that is not outrageously priced. Occasionally during this time I may put up temporary pages for special deals that will be available only for a limited time. It is my hope that once I have Beyond the Charts back up that it will be the online experience I was intending it to be when I launched it October of last year. I’m sorry if this disappoints anyone, as my time battling the shopping cart system I originally installed wasn’t what I was after when I started this and has greatly disappointed me too.

You can still come here to The Blog of The Lost Journeyman to keep track of what’s going on with Beyond the Charts, as well as The Wasteland forum and discuss the various topics that generate there. If you’re registered at the forum, then you are automatically on the newsletter list. If you haven’t registered there and you want to be on the newsletter, either register there or send me an e-mail at newsletter@beyondthecharts.com

Rest assured that Beyond the Charts has not gone away entirely, and that the best is yet to come!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts
Independent Marketer – The Trump Network
Member – The New Authors Fellowship

We go online and find the world at our fingertips. Friends we haven’t seen in years we’re suddenly chatting with as if we had never parted, new friends we’ve not met in person at all that we suddenly have deep feelings for emerge from the ether of the massive Internet. Social Networks help in this, yet with the various Networks, they also hinder as well.

For the first few years I knew about MySpace all I ever heard about it was how these kids were going on there and how predators looking for kids would take advantage of this so I figured if it was something geared for kids I didn’t want to be there needing a more mature site to find peers. But then I found out all these businesses are doing it and when I was trying to find a way to generate a buzz about what I was working on with Beyond the Charts I was told by a friend I should set up a MySpace account. So I did. And I got sent Friend requests, was suggested Friends and eventually I started making Friend requests myself. It took a little getting used to, but I discovered I liked MySpace and what I could do with it.

Then a person who I met on MySpace and who mentored me for a few months to help me launch the Beyond the Charts website told me I needed to get on other Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter. Because of my time on MySpace I had heard about these, but with Twitter I thought it was something to do with the phone. I found out they had a website to access. So I joined Twitter. After doing that for a while, I joined Facebook. All I wanted to do was set up a page for my Beyond the Charts business. I got the Fan page set up, but whenever I logged in again, I found out that Facebook was FORCING me to create a personal account. So I wound up using my personal account more than my Fan page because more people were responding to that. At first when I got on, Facebook was so different than MySpace and Twitter, it really took some getting used to, but around December of last year I really started getting into it and finding my way around and eventually my log ons to MySpace grew more and more infrequent.

In time, I discovered that Facebook actually has a limit on the amount of Friends you can have. Can you believe it? You can only have 5,000 friends on there. MySpace doesn’t limit you. Indeed, on MySpace I’ve seen some celebrities with over a million Friends. Obviously they can’t be all real “Friends” as I doubt the celebrity really cares about anything but the numbers and a select few strangers that may grab their attention, yet the limit for Facebook isn’t found at MySpace. I suppose Facebook figures you can only be Friends with so many people. Yet on the Fan pages, you can have as many “Fans” as you can get. I like the Fan page concept for businesses and celebrities, but why force people to create a Fan page for themselves just because they are getting too many Friends than the people at Facebook think you should have? Nevertheless, Facebook suggests Friends to you all the time that you have never met and don’t particularly care for. I suppose they want you to fill up that quota mighty fast, eh?

So then one day not too long ago I was chatting with someone, and I had a few chat sessions going, and all of a sudden I was blocked from chat with a warning I didn’t think to copy and paste at the time. It told me that basically I was engaging in behavior that some might consider abusive or annoying. Can you believe that? I’m chatting with a few friends and someone’s going to find that “annoying”? I mean, like who the hell is going to know about it? And if they find it annoying, then who cares? I won’t chat with them then. Total lunacy. After a couple of days I decided to try chatting again (I had been told this block could last for a few minutes up to a few days), and I was able to chat again when I tried. Okay, fine. I’ll watch how many chat sessions I have going on at the same time from now on. Stupid Facebook.

And of course, it doesn’t help that they keep changing things on there all the time forcing you to get used to some new tweak they want to add that causes confusion.

Now, yesterday, I was on Facebook and I discovered a person’s page because a Friend had commented on it. I saw the last name and the location and wondered if they were related to someone I knew. Turns out it was the son of that person I knew. So I sent a Friend request to both. From the dad I found a few more people I knew and sent requests to them as well. Then a couple of them had a plethora of people I knew (as one was the pastor to a church I attended for a couple of years), and so I just took the time to see about adding the people I knew that they knew too. Then all of a sudden, I get this message:

(- I took the time to copy and paste this time! ūüėČ -)

Block! You are engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users.

You have been blocked from adding friends because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled. For further information, please visit our FAQ page.

Okay, so like the whole main point of these social networks is so you can stay connected and get reconnected with Friends and Family, right? I know they’ve turned into something else through the use of them, but that’s the point, right? So why is it that one of the most popular ones out there is so brain dead in the corporate department that they first have to limit the number of people you can be connected to, and then on top of that decide that if you come upon some people that just happen to know a lot of people you know that when you start adding Friends, something must be wrong?

Total lunacy! This is first a company started in the United States of America where we are supposed to have Freedom to begin with, and second it’s the Internet where pretty much anything can happen (whether you like it or not), and this company Facebook wants to try to control its users like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union’s KGB?

Here I am just coming out of my shell over the last year in regards to Social Networking online, and this company is more for regress and keeping folks from moving forward than it is for progress and helping people connect with others?

I’m going to see just how long this Block lasts and I’m going to keep trying to get in touch with someone at Facebook, meantime, my use of Facebook is about to go down considerably I think. I may just have to go back to MySpace more often where there are no limits on the amount of Friends you can have and where one night when I discovered a Friend that knew some Friends who knew some Friends, I wasn’t limited on adding them there or told I was “blocked” for some sort of suspicious abuse.

Facebook has shown its Face all right. Totalitarianism.

I’ll have to see how long I remain on Facebook at this point.

Whew!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts
Independent Marketer – The Trump Network
Member – The New Authors Fellowship