NOTE: This blog has moved to http://www.EricaRidley.com/Blog

Author Erica Ridley's blog: Erica Writes Romance

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CONTEST: Win Free Books!

Details over at this blog's new home:

http://EricaRidley.com/Blog

Please update your bookmarks and enter to win!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

October 1813 Scandalsheet: Unauthorized Braintree Edition

Come check out the brand new October 1813 Scandalsheet: Unauthorized Braintree Edition over at 2wicked2kiss.com!

Highlights include:




Let me know if you link to the website and/or video from your blog, website, or Myspace, and I will link back to you over at ericaridley.com/blog!!

Direct link to video:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog is at EricaRidley.com!

Please come visit me (and update your bookmarks) to my new home, at:
http://www.ericaridley.com/blog

See you there!!!

Erica

(Big thanks to B.E. Sanderson for pointing out I should make it clearer!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Release Day Times 3

Today is release day for Diana Peterfreund's RAMPANT, an amazing YA novel with a butt-kicking heroine who battles authority, expectations, and KILLER UNICORNS. You will love this book!

It is also release day for Tessa Dare's SURRENDER OF A SIREN, the second in her trilogy. (Third book comes out next month--almost no waiting!!)

AND, it is release day for the new home of this blog! Please visit http://www.ericaridley.com/blog and let me know how it looks in your browser, whether you have any problems finding things or posting comments, etc. Thank you!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Website!!!

Things have been a-changin' over at www.ericaridley.com! Got a whole new look, and tons of new content, including Embarrassing Photos, Little Known Facts, a Fake Cover Blurb contest where you can win free stuff, and an excerpt from the March 02, 2010 Kensington Zebra release TOO WICKED TO KISS.

Please check out the new digs and let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I got my cover!!!

Well, technically, the book cover went to my home in Florida (I am slightly out-of-town at the moment, as I happen to be in France) but I got an email pic of the cover (which I lurve!) and the real thing should be arriving shortly (and then I will upload it for you to see!!!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yay Barnes & Noble!

STORY: ShelfAwareness

DOWNLOAD: BN Free e-Readers

I am SO EXCITED about the new BN program! I can now read e-books on my PC *or* my Blackberry. (And the free e-reader came with 6 free e-books, 4 of which I actually want to read LOL)

Since I am constantly in a state of travel flux, this will help me not incur airline weight overage fees with books in my baggage, and also let me read on the Subway no matter where I am or if I remembered to tuck a book in my omnipresent backpack.

Best parts - eReader remembers where I left off without me having to remember to explicitly bookmark, and my books are automatically available in both locations without DRM snafus in transferring from one place to another.

Rock on!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Writers Catch the Wave: Why Google Rocks

Google Wave will change at least one writer's life: http://wave.google.com

Confession: I watched half the video, only because I fell into a dead swoon and couldn't handle it anymore. If you, too, were overwhelmed by awesomeness (or simply didn't have 1.5h to spare) here are some highlights from the segments my brain recorded before it exploded:

[begin fangirl propaganda]

Basically, what Google did is this: They said to themselves, "Google, what's the most popular internet activity? Email, right? Shame we didn't invent it. Hey... what if we did? Like, reinvented it? But made it so bad-ass it also eclipsed every other internet activity on Earth?"

And so they created Google Wave, which will apparently be available later this year.

Why I Fainted Dead Away:


* It's email, it's chat, it's Picasa, it's Facebook, it's Hi5, it's MySpace, it's Blogger, it's GoogleTalk, it's YouTube, it's Twitter, it's every bulletin board system or message threading forum or email listserv you've ever laid eyes on--all in one.

* This is accomplished by thinking of each of those elements of part of a greater element, which is a conversation they call a "wave". (Possibly because the Australian team programmed it, and Aussies have surfing on the brain.)

* Like Gmail, the central server hosts each wave (conversation) without downloading it to your desktop. Also like Gmail, you get a multi-window dashboard upon login and your contacts have photo icons. /end similarities

* Say you want to start a wave (conversation) with one or more pals. You either start to type part of a name into the box (old-school style) or you drag and drop a contact icon.

* Next, you start to type. If you make typos, Wave automatically corrects them as you go. No more of that red-squiggle or wait-until-the-end-then-run-spell-check nonsense.

* If one of the intended recipients happens to be online in their wave in this moment, they see your message. As you're typing it. Without having to wait for that annoying "Bob is typing a message" status to go away and the words to finally appear!!!

* (Note: just in case there's some reason you want your contact to remain in agony as you go check your laundry and feed your cat, totally forgetting you have your response half-typed on your screen, there is a checkbox to hide replies until sent.)

* This means that unlike present-day instant messaging, which in comparison is not all that instant, you get to spend 100% of your time reading and/or responding to the wave.

* If your friend wants to reply to any portion of your wave (which at this moment looks like an email, or perhaps a Word doc crammed with charts and lists and tables etc) she can highlight any portion (ie, your question about "How much do I owe you for the handcuffs?") and type her answer. Don't think email-style reply. Think comment bubbles in Microsoft Word. In-line. (With the cute little gtalk photo icon. Heh.)

* You, in return, can reply to that specific comment, rather than reply to the entire email. And your comment appears in-line, right beneath the other person's comment. Instantly-instantly. As you type each word! (Writers: think what this means for scene or synopsis critiquing! or email loops!! And just wait--there's more!)

* If one or more other recipients is online, this byplay can burst into IM-style chatting, right at the exact relevant portion of the initial conversation. And if the topic changes, all they have to do is highlight the new relevant section, and the subsequent chat embeds right there. Or if they stray completely off topic, click somewhere else in the wave and start a new thread.

* This means that, like a message board, there can be a seperate topic that receives multiple comments, each of which can subsequently receive commens of their own, except, unlike a message board, the threads can branch out anywhere, at any time, dividing the original message into innumerable subparts (again, think critting! Or listserves and writing loops!!) as well as dividing long-winded replies into innumerable subparts.

* Also, completely unlike a message board but more like Word's track changes feature, in addition to comments (or just typing anywhere willy-nilly in the wave, which you are still able to do) you can make changes directly to the original (or any previous) text, written by absolutely anyone. It shows up on their end track-changes style. And someone can correct your corrections, and so on.

* AND, in case the visual wasn't clear, all this appears to you (and everyone on the wave, even if they weren't online to witness the magic) as one single email. Gone, gone, gone are the days of a billion copies of the same message scrolling on into infinity. It's one thing! But with live action! You can watch it all happening!

* So let's say we want to add our favorite critique parter Jane to the wave, now that we've been chattering on it for four days. If this were a normal email, we'd forward the whole shebang, and when she got it, her initial response would be "WTF". (Also, if this were normal email, she might've been forwarded the not-quite last email and someone could be replying to a different one and then suddenly there's five different email versions out there and nobody knows what's happening.) But this is not a normal email. All we do is add Jane to the wave, and Bam! She gets the whole thing.

* So now Jane is looking at a drafted, critted, revised, recritted, rerevised scene. But in her wave, it looks pristine and beautiful, without any of those pesky track-changes highlights. She can read like a reader, and if she wants to bleed red all over it, she can do so. But what if she then wonders how this totally awesome scene got so damn awesome in the first place? Easy peasy: she clicks "Playback" at the top of the wave, and it reverts back to the very first message ever typed, and moves forward in time, screen by screen, PowerPoint style, until the present. How cool is that?

* But just in case that's not quite cool enough for you, here's this: Unlike PowerPoint, each screen of the wave is totally editable, readable, copyable, pasteable, chattable, and replyable. So if the scene actually sucks monkeyballs, she can say, "Here's where you went wrong: You listened to Erica's comment and edited the life out of an otherwise perfect slice of awesomeness and now the whole thing sucks. Go back to this point and add a throwaway line about X, and it'll be perfect."

* And then, of course, you can! Or, if I happen to be online and see that little tidbit before you do, maybe there's a few choice things I want to say that I don't want Jane to read. (Like, "Who added the crazy bitch to the wave?!") I can do one of two things: I can reply like normal but mark my reply as "private" (and indicate whether I just want it to go to one person, or everyone but one person, or whatever tf I want) or I can click "Copy into new wave" and effectively cut Jane back out of the loop.

* Other ways "copy into new wave" is cool: You can copy whatever you want. You can copy the entire wave. You can copy the completed wave. (Ex: you want to send someone--agent, editor, beta reader, mom--your scene without giving them the history playback ability.) You want to send just the embedded attachments, like photos of your kids without the accompanying story of how they came down with a case of violent projectile diarrhea during mass. All one-click easy.

* While we're on the topic (of photos, not diarrhea) the file sharing goes like this: to add photo(s) to a wave, just drag and drop those puppies in from anywhere they happen to be, and bam. Thumbnails of each image show up instantly on the other participants screen, even before the full images are done uploading from your hard drive. And, if one of your wave participants happens to be, say, your blog (and no, it doesn't have to be blogger, it can be WordPress or something you code yourself or anything) then the photos show up on your blog. Instantly. In real time.

* This means, if I happen to be reading your blog and I see the real time awesomeness of your photos being uploaded, maybe I'll leave a comment, like, "You are eight shades of fabulous! Please run for president!" And because you instantly get this comment in your wave, IM-style, you can respond IM-style--and that response shows up for me, the blog reader with no wave account, instantly! Instantly-instantly, as you type each word, before my very eyes! How bad-ass is that?? I can even watch as you go through and put captions on each photo, and so on--everything is real-time live action!

* AND, the whole thing is open-source with ready-made developer APIs, which is a fancy way of saying anybody anywhere can program their own websites or applications that embed wave technology (as in the blog example above, but can be applied to any concept--schools, any given message board / forum, etc) and/or anybody anywhere can program their own add-ons to enhance and integrate with wave technology (think facebook applications, wordpress widgets). And now think of them all as instant real-time interaction!

I really, really think this could completely change the way people communicate with each other, across the world and door to door. (There's already crazy multi-language support in the sense that someone can be adding to your wave in right-to-left arabic script while you're writing in left-to-write and someone else is commenting in their native Chinese characters and it all appears there, together, real-time.)

I don't have time to type every single feature, but suffice it to say: the idea of removing the need to have separate applications (a file sharing program, a chat program, an email program, a social networking program, a photo sharing program, blogging software, instant messaging software, etc, etc) and to have it all rolled into one with the absolutely mind-boggling addition of it being even more instantaneous than instantaneous, live on your screen, whether you're in your wave dashboard or not--Wow. /re-swoon

[end fangirl propaganda]

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Whew!

Finally getting adjusted to Florentine life. If you're interested, I uploaded some photos here:

http://adventures.ericaridley.com

Today I'm going to do a little sightseeing and some client work, and tomorrow the plan is to write, write, write!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Reporting to you live from Florence, Italy!!!

Where, to be honest, I have no clue if I've actually changed my latitude or not because I'm marginally maptarded (or, to be more precise, incredibly lazy in that I could've looked at a map, but nooo, that would take 3 seconds of my life) but I've definitely had an upbeat attitude adjustment because Italy rocks!

Yesterday's adventures in international air travel are here: http://adventures.ericaridley.com (I'm trying to keep the writing blog writing-related) and I've also been twittering like crazy (am #ericalridley)

I'm giving myself until Friday to get settled in and used to speaking only in Italian, and then it's back to the WIP (which I'm assuming my editor still wants in English... Heh.)

YOUR TURN: How was your weekend? If you didn't kill 2 entire days with airports, airplanes, trains, and taxis, you're one step ahead of me. Wow me with your productiveness and/or party-ness!