Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Announcing Collect All 21! – the expanded “A Few Special Modifications” eBook edition!

(No, I didn’t really mess with Kirk Demarais’ awesome Collect All 21! cover – this is just me messing around with my hand-made third-grade bookplate.)

Please note: As of April 2012, Hukilau has closed its virtual doors, but I have made the expanded digital edition of Collect All 21! available through Amazon.

I’m awfully excited to finally be able to share this: Collect All 21! is now officially available as an eBook, thanks to the fantastic guys at Hukilau digital publishing.

I’d been aiming to get the book into a Kindle / Nook / eReader-friendly format for awhile but never had the patience or time to learn the coding skills myself, so when fate – in the form of my friend Jim – conspired to bring me and Hukilau together, I not only jumped at the chance, I wanted to do something special for the new edition. Hence, to quote a certain smuggler, “I’ve added a few special modifications myself.”

Bottom line: There’s more stuff, in the form of a fairly lengthy addendum to the original book. What, you ask? Cue the promo blurb!

This newly-expanded electronic edition includes the author’s interviews with Star Wars cast and crew members reflecting on the saga’s impact from both first-generation-fan standpoints and a career spent bringing the universe to life on-screen.

There are also a few new bits of my own reflections and memories in there, too.

Even better, From A Certain Point of View, is that even with all the bonus material, you’re looking at a significantly lower cover price and no extra shipping costs. Yes, for real. (Not real? That cover/title change. Just messing around for fun.)

So, what are you waiting for? You know at this point you don’t need an actual Kindle or Nook device: iPads, iPhones, Droids (yes, the ones you’re looking for, ha, ha.) – you can get free reading apps on pretty much any handheld device or laptop or desktop or whatever.

Big, big thanks to Matt Kelland and Wade Inganamort at Hukilau for their encouragement and support and for wanting to make this happen.

(Incidentally, the Lulu-published print edition remains available in its original, addendum-free format.)

Now, links, links, links:

Collect All 21! Kindle edition at Amazon


July 12, 2011 Posted by | 1970s, 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Writing, the holidays, and “Collect All 21!”

Without a doubt, this has been an interesting and adventurous and challenging and rewarding year in all sorts of ways, from relaunching “Collect All 21!” to Penguicon to the Towpath Marathon.

And, oh yeah, there was that thing where I was thrown headfirst into my freelance writing career.

“Roller coaster” doesn’t even begin to describe this ride.

I’m lucky to have a supportive and loving wife whose full-time job provides us health insurance and a measure of stability. Lucky to have the friends and contacts and encouragment to prevent full-on panic from day one.

There are, to be sure, fantastic pluses. I cannot possibly overstate how much I love working from home, and how much I’m enjoying the variety of editing and writing projects and assignments I’ve been offered. If this was only about the work, hell yes it would be totally worth it.

But it’s not just about the work: It’s about seemingly endless uncertainty, unpredictable pay schedules, the constant search for more projects, and the wrestling with budgets and tax puzzles. It’s about finding joy in earning just enough to no longer qualify for unemployment but still wincing at a monthly bill calendar that doesn’t care whether I get paid next Tuesday or in six weeks.

Still, I remain optimistic that by the time the one-year anniversary of my job cut rolls around in late March, I will be able to look back on it as far more of a promising beginning than a harrowing ending.

That said, it has not been an easy lifestyle adjustment, and with work slowing down as 2009 closes, Jenn and I are far more budget-conscious this holiday season than we have ever been in our 13 years of marriage.

What I’m hoping for this month, then, is to get a little holiday support for “Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years.”

I have 27 copies sitting here in my office, and I would desperately love to send them all off to good homes for the holidays, so here’s the deal: Shipping for a nickel.

For $15 – that’s cover price plus five pennies – per book, I’ll sign and cover shipping for “Collect All 21!” anyplace in the U.S. (With apologies to international buyers: I’m ridiculously thankful to everyone in the seven other countries who has purchased my book, but I can’t ship overseas for less than $12 – but if you’re interested in one of these signed copies at that shipping cost, by all means get in touch!)

All you need to do is drop me an email at booth (at) – there shouldn’t be any problems at this point getting these sent out in plenty of time for the holidays.

And if I do manage to ship out all 27 of those copies, I’ll keep taking orders for signed copies at the nickel shipping rate through Dec. 24, although obviously I’ll have to place my own new order, and those won’t be mailed out in time for Christmas. (Think of it as commemorating the 32nd anniversary of Kenner’s famous Early Bird offer for Star Wars action figures in 1977.)

And hey, if you’re buying (or hoping to receive) a netbook or one of the several electronic book readers out there this year – well, “Collect All 21!” comes in a PDF format, too, which I’ll happily send your way for just $5. (I’ll admit up front that I don’t know the specifics about which readers handle PDFs best and which might require file conversion, or how that conversion will look on each reader.)

If you’d prefer to order regular unsigned copies through Lulu or Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that support is also greatly appreciated, and I sincerely hope you enjoy the read.

I have no illusions that my independently-sold books will ever replace a full-time salary, but I am hopeful that these sales can at least cover a bill or two, or be responsibly set aside for taxes (yet another golly-gee-this-is-fun facet of the freelancer’s life).

I’ve gotten encouragement from far-flung corners and surprising voices since updating the book in April, and I am deeply grateful and appreciative to every person who has bought it, blogged about it, reviewed it on Amazon or Goodreads or Lulu shared it with friends and family or just dropped me a note to say it sounded kind of neat.

If you’re one of those people who has purchased or recommended “Collect All 21!”, heartfelt thanks one more time from my little corner of Ohio, and if you know a Star Wars fan, or another former 1980s kid, or just a generally geeky type, I appreciate your spreading the word, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or wherever.

I’d walk through carbonite for every one of you.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, running, science fiction, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And now for something completely different: Star Wars. And baby birds.

The new “Collect All 21!” front and back covers have finally replaced the outdated versions that were hanging around on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, despite the fact that they’ve been shipping the revised edition for almost a couple months now. It took a little prodding – and a couple frustrating days where there were no cover images at all except the customer-submitted pics I posted out of desperation – but it’s fixed now, and that makes me happy. (Not as happy as say, if a few dozen orders were to be placed tomorrow – but happy nonetheless.)

And don’t forget: I’ll be at the Akron-Canton Comic Con this weekend with a nice supply of books on-hand, and they’ll be cheaper than ordering online!

Speaking of Star Wars, I got a nice surprise in the mail today: My friend Samantha who works at  Positively Cleveland sent me a Fanboys DVD. I finally saw the movie earlier this month since it never made it to a Northeast Ohio theatre (funny, of course, since, oh, it’s about a bunch of guys from Ohio and, oh, the writer is from Ohio and grew up here, and oh, the town’s name, “Shandal,” is a none-too-subtle anagram of Ashland, which is all of an hour from here). I enjoyed the movie more than I was prepared to: It really never reached its full potential for either greatness or suckitude, but being a first-generation fan, I was probably a little more forgiving of its flaws, and I’m looking forward to watching the extras and listening to the commentary track.

Finally, here’s your daily baby robin update – and looking at their development, I fully expect to find the nest empty any day now:

Quit touching me! Mom, Theodores pinching! Im tellllllling!!!!

"Quit touching me!" "Mom, Theodore's pinching!" "I'm tellllllling!!!!"

June 25, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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