Michael Gilmour's Blog

To find out what I'm thinking and writing about.
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Mindwars Two Moves Forward

Mindwars Two Moves Forward

The other day I received my first royalty check from Amazon! I’m not about to retire but I must admit that it felt incredible to be receiving money for selling copies of my scifi book Battleframe. I normally get packing slips from Amazon so to receive a cheque was a new experience.

So what’s happening with Battleframe? One of the difficulties that I’ve been trying to wrestle with is the fragmentation of the science fiction and fantasy community. To personally participate in all of the different forums and subtly let people know about Battleframe is next to impossible. I would say that my hourly rate would be somewhere in the vicinity of about two cents.

To make matters “worse” my own business, ParkLogic, is going through a boom time. The result has been that I’ve backed off the majority of my marketing efforts….there’s only just so much time in the day.

My primary focus is now on completing book two. Mild spoiler alert!!! For those of you that have read Battleframe I would like say that Selfia and Acheron finally get their honeymoon. Out of all of the questions that I get asked, this is the one that I get asked the most. I read the chapter to my wife and daughter and they love it as the honeymoon is in a very unusual location. LOL! I must admit that it never occurred to me that readers would get disappointed that the two characters hadn’t had their honeymoon as yet.

I put a lot of time into writing across this last weekend and I’m about halfway through the biggest space battle scene that I think I’ve ever read….let alone write. There are thousands of ships, bases, satellites and a desperate struggle…..and this will be in the first few chapters of book two! As a hint….the battle ties in to the prelude of book one…..

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Personal Musings - Travel Tips for the Frequent Flyer

Personal Musings - Travel Tips for the Frequent Flyer

I’ve just completed reviewing my travel plans for the next six months and it looks like I’m going to be doing a lot of international flying. This is good because it means more business but bad because I’m away from home. So where am I going?

Date Reason Destination
Sept 4 – 7 DomainFest Asia Macau
Sept 26-29 The Domain Conference Fort Lauderdale
Oct 18-22 ICANN  Dublin
Dec 31 – Jan 7 Vacation (Yeah!) Queenstown New Zealand
Jan 10-13 Namescon Las Vegas

 

As you can see the second half of the year is going to be pretty busy. I really don’t know what happened between NamesCon in January this year and DomainFest Macau…..nothing that I attended. Seems to me there is an opportunity for a conference to be organised around May.

I love catching up with all of my friends at the various domain conferences around the world but what I really don’t like is the journey. Being from Australia, every flight is well over 10+ hours and sitting in a tin can for that long is never fun!

After clocking up way too many air miles over the years I‘ve developed a bit of a routine.

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Saturday Musings - The Bucket Theory

Saturday Musings - The Bucket Theory

I often find myself talking to my own kids about buckets. These aren’t the regular buckets that you carry water around in but relate more to the short, medium and long-term plans for your life. Over the years, I’ve found that having buckets has been really advantageous in understanding my own direction in life.

Items in the short-term bucket are things such as earning money to put food on the table and a roof over your head. Without this bucket being constantly topped up then you’ll find it a lot harder to get through life.

The medium-term bucket is sub-five years. It has things such as education, training and gaining experience in it. This bucket is all about investing in yourself so that you can become better at whatever you do.

Then there’s the long-term bucket. This covers who you are and why you do the things that you do. In this bucket are items such as character building, relationships, guiding life principles and typically spiritually related issues. There’s only two things that are certain in this world, death and taxes.. This is the bucket that is all about what you would like people to say about you when you die.

Many people get stuck in the short-term bucket believing that if they can just earn more money then all of their problems will vanish. I’ve met a number of these individuals and they’ve climbed the ladder of success to find that it’s leaning against the wrong wall. They are very wealthy, have no close friends, disaster of a family and are often very shallow.

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Rawgi
That is a very good way to look at the different levels of life and how to keep all of them in focus, very nice Michael. In thes... Read More
Saturday, 13 June 2015 05:02
mgilmour
Rawgi, sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. I feel honoured that you chose to share about your life here....I think ... Read More
Monday, 29 June 2015 01:24
Rawgi
Thank you Michael, I hadn't looked for this or would have responded sooner. Your words mean a lot to me. Its like with our chil... Read More
Saturday, 21 November 2015 05:33
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Personal Musings - Get Off Your Backside!

Personal Musings - Get Off Your Backside!

I was talking to a young man the other day and I told him that if I wanted anything done then he would be the last person that I’d ask. He was a bit taken aback by the comment and asked me why.

I looked him in the eye and said, “Because you’re not busy.”

There’s an age old adage that says, “If you want something done then give it to a busy person.” The reason for this is that busy people put the item on their list and get it done while lazy people will get around to it one day.

For example, the young man I was speaking to crawls out of bed around 11am each day, works at a local fast food place for maybe 20 hours per week and honestly believes that he’s working really hard. So what does he do with the rest of his time? Television, hanging out with friends and games are all high on the agenda.

I told him to get some pride in himself and to at least pay his parents some money for board each week. It’s fair to say that this didn’t go down too well.

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Battleframe to Feature on ScienceFiction.com!

Battleframe to Feature on ScienceFiction.com!

I’m really excited to announce that the first seven chapters of Battleframe will be published on ScienceFiction.com over the coming weeks. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to make this possible and I can’t wait to see it up on the website.

If you’ve never been to ScienceFiction.com then you’re really missing out. It’s full of briliant news that relates to anything and everything in the world of SFF, everything from; movies, collectables, comics and of course, books is discussed in depth. It’s going to be fantastic working with their great team as the chapters of Battleframe are released.

Editor of ScienceFiction.com, Janice Kay said, “We’re so excited to be publishing the first part of Battleframe. It’s new ground for us to release episodes of a book and we think that our readers are going to love it!”

Battleframe is a fast paced novel that keeps the reader’s attention from the first page. The technology is amazing and the plot races forward as the characters are thrust into the midst of an alien invasion.

Some of the comments left by readers on Amazon.com are:

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The Power of Getting Sick

The Power of Getting Sick

During the last week I managed to catch a flu that knocked out the whole family at one time or another. I did everything to protect myself from the dreaded bug. I even went as far as voluntarily quarantining myself to sleeping in the lounge room while my wife spread her germs around the bedroom on one coughing fit after another…..sadly, I succumbed.

At first I had enough energy to press the change channels button on the remote control and take in a TV series on Marco Polo on Netflix (thank goodness for them!). Slowly but surely I managed to sit up and do some real thinking about being an author.

There is nothing quite like being incapacitated to help you slow down and do something that you haven’t done for quite some time….and so thinking I did. I thought long and hard about the challenges that many authors face in writing, editing, publishing and finally marketing their novels to the masses. It’s actually quite daunting.

Finally, I made the decision to do something about the latter problem of marketing and developed the website SFFAuthors.com (science fiction and fantasy authors). It’s a website that helps the technically challenged authors share with their readers via a really simple blogging interface and combines this with some pretty nifty social networking components. Essentially it allows readers and authors to interact.

So after absolutely no fanfare I launched the site a few days ago and since then I’ve been watching magic take place. Readers are beginning to sign up and authors are starting to take notice with what’s going on. The bottom line is that I’m really happy that there’s a community beginning to form around science fiction and fantasy.

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Brushing Up On Star Wars

Brushing Up On Star Wars

With the impending release of the JJ Abrams version of the Disney inspired Star Wars this Christmas I thought that it was about time that I brushed up on the earlier movies. Seeing that the "Empire Strikes Back' was one of my favourites I thought that it would be a good idea to start there.

I first saw Empire when I was about 12 years old. I remember standing in the queue with the rest of my family on opening day. I was incredibly excited to see the follow-up to the greatest movie that I'd ever seen!

My mother (who is not a scifi fan) asked my father in a loud voice what the camels were doing walking across the ice plains of Hoth (you know them as Imperial walkers)......my response was to deny that I knew the woman. How embarrassing!

So did I enjoy Empire 40+ years later? You bet I did! My son and I said all the lines before the actors did and we even loved the fake movements that many of the ships made through space and air. Back in the days the movie was made movement was created with cameras and models and not CGI.....

Empire touches us in so many ways. It was full of excitement, comedy, action and a love story between a scoundrel and a princess. The good guys were good and the bad guys were bad. How cool is that! I get tired of the modern movies and books that seem to think that everything needs to be grey.

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My Cat's a Genius!

My Cat's a Genius!

Pepper, my cat, is a living, breathing genius! She’s got the whole world completely worked out, organised and constructed to obey her every whim and desire. If only life could be so wonderful for us two legged creatures.

For Pepper, morning starts with a nap followed by slowly strolling over to her bowl so that she can let the rest of the family eat with her (it’s never the other way around for cats).

Just think about it for a second….Pepper has arranged for her servants (ie. me) to fill her bowl with the very best quality food, clean water and provide regular treats of ham, chicken and the like. She doesn’t lift a paw to get this undivided attention. For thanks I have the privilege of her letting me give her a pat. Wouldn’t it be great if the local supermarket deposited our weekly groceries in the cupboard and thanked us by doing our hair as well!

After breakfast, it’s time for another sleep and so she finds the warmest place in the house and curls up. In the meantime, her servants are working their backsides off so that they can provide her with food and lodging. I’m not sure about you but the last time I checked my servants weren’t anywhere to be seen. Worse than that the bank, electric company and all seem to get quite upset when I decide to take a break, let alone a nap each day.

During the day Pepper wanders into my study to make sure that I’m working hard for her empire. Just to reinforce her control over me and to make sure that I’m not messing around with my time she curls up on the floor and pretends to be asleep. What an overlord!

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Kheldar
LOL you definitely understand the felines. But I will say that not all servants are created equal! Personally, I've said for dec... Read More
Saturday, 25 April 2015 06:20
Kheldar
LOL you definitely understand the felines. But I will say that not all servants are created equal! Personally, I've said for dec... Read More
Saturday, 25 April 2015 06:20
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Episode 2 - The Plan

Episode 2 - The Plan

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” an astonished Bosk exclaimed. “You said what to whom?” Bosk’s short greying hair stood on end and seem to take on a life of its own as he heard his best friends plan.

Whizzbang took in his friend’s reaction as he calmly chomped into a piece of fruit that looked vaguely like an apple but tasted like a banana. After years of growing up together he knew better than to interrupt Bosk as he absorbed the ramifications of the plan. Whizzbang was wearing his Raven recon battleframe and availed himself of a plasteel seat that was designed to take the weight of both pilot and frame.

“That is the dumbest, stupidest plan I’ve ever heard! Whizz, have you finally lost it? Have the nano-meds finally screwed with your brain?” Bosk was really getting worked up now.

Whizzbang glanced out the window of Bosk’s personal quarters overlooking Concord Central Command. Since the destruction of the Scourge base on the far side of Alpha Three the Earthmen had been given quarters within the superstructure of the half-built starship that now formed the core of Central. Taking another bite out of the banapple, as he now called it, Whizzbang reflected on what had transpired over the last couple of weeks while Bosk remonstrated opposite.

They’d all come a long way. Since being transported via an interstellar transwarp, the six Earthmen had managed to free the planet by destroying the Scourge main base on the other side of the planet. In the process, they’d discovered that the blending of their genetic code and the miniature nano-med micro-machines had provided them with some astounding new psionic and physical capabilities. Telepathy, mental scanning and a way to invade and take over another entity's mind were only what they’d discovered so far. Whizzbang let out a deep sigh as he remembered his friend DG’s death at the hands of General Grendig. It was a loss he would bear the rest of his life.

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Are You As Excited As Me About Star Wars?

Are You As Excited As Me About Star Wars?

A couple of days ago I saw a link get posted in facebook which immediately stopped the conversation that I was having on skype. Yes, the next teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie just got released!

For me, Star Wars is more than just another great movie. It inspired me to dream of the stars and think about possibilities rather than problems. In Star Wars, the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad….just the way I like it. It suggested that even the lowliest of moister farmers could become great....so there was a chance for us all.

So what’s in the trailer? In one word, awesomeness! The opening sequence of the crashed star destroyer and x-wing fighter with a speeder bike zipping its way across the sands of Tantooine was fantastic!

Luke Skywalker’s voice over discussing the roots of his family in “The Force” was equally brilliant. As a kid I always wanted to have the force. The closest I got was when my mother would say, "Use the Fork Michael," at the dinner table.

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Episode 1 - They're Here

Episode 1 - They're Here

Major Ruscov pushed back his chair as he stood to his feet behind his console in the Concord command center. “General Bardon,” he called over the noise of the officers giving orders to squads all over Alpha Three.

General Bardon’s head snapped up from a report that had just been handed to him from an aid. His neatly trimmed moustache seemed to quiver to attention at the major’s voice. Since the victory over the Scourge on the other side of the planet and the vanquishing of the Barrier the Concord morale couldn’t have been higher. They knew they had two weeks and Major Ruscov had the most important job on all of Alpha Three.

“Report Major.”

“They’re here.”

Without a second thought to the aid at his side or the report he was reading General Bardon nodded his head in acknowledgement and strode off towards the command conference room. A sudden silence descended across the command centre as every officer dropped what they were doing and watched the general enter the “think tank”. They knew their jobs and the critical situation they were all in.

In one motion General Bardon closed the door behind him and pulled out a high backed black leather chair to sit at the large boardroom table. “They’re here”, he said.

General Alban’s pony tail swung as she pinned Bardon with her gaze. “Ruscov’s confirmed it?”

“There was no need. They’re here.”

General Frank MacLeod, his normally impeccably neat silver mustache was now matched by a five o’clock shadow. He’d been sleeping in his clothes again and didn’t have time to get cleaned up after a quick nap earlier in the day. There was just too much to do. Although exhausted, his eyes were like those of an eagle, not missing a thing. “Thoughts generals?”

General Bardon said, “We’re as prepared as we’ll ever be on the ground. All battleframes have been repaired, all settlements have been augmented with any mounted cannons we have. It helped that we could strip the Scourge base of a few larger weapons.”

“Do we know the composition of the Scourge fleet?” Aldan asked.

“I came straight in here but Ruscov will put it up on the monitor in a minute.”

Just as General Bardon uttered the words the main screen at the end of the table came to life. Displayed in a classic V-formation were the three massive Scourge troop carriers that the now deceased General Grendig had revealed to Whizzbang and his squad of Earthmen. What was a surprise was the battleship leading the fleet and the two destroyer class ships bringing up the rear.

“We’ve got three really serious problems,” Alban stated flatly.

Franky ran his hands through his grey hair as he leant back in his chair. His face a mask of concentration. “That’s a frapping understatement and they’re arriving in just under two hours.”

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mgilmour
Definitly need you to finish the book now, that appetizer tasted good ... Read More
Monday, 13 April 2015 17:22
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Battleframe Video

Battleframe Video

I had a lot of fun with the family across Easter putting together the Battleframe video below. I hope that you enjoy it and are a surprised as I was by what happened about of a third of the way in.

I would like to thank my wife Roselyn and daughter Sarah that provided some of the character voices. They did a great job....with some very bad acting from yours truly. I used freesound.org for some of the sound effects and music....it's a great site.

For those of you that are wondering, I edited the video in both Microsoft Movie Maker (darkening effect) and the majority of it in Camtasia.


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Kheldar
Fantastic effort on the video, great teaser!
Monday, 06 April 2015 14:35
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Easter, Videos and Book Two

Easter, Videos and Book Two

It’s Easter and a great time to catch-up on all of the little things that seemed to get forgotten in the rush and excitement of the last few weeks. So after reintroducing myself to my wife and children I gave myself a little break from writing….well, sort of anyway.

Book two in the Mindwars is already taking shape in my imagination and 25% is down on paper. It starts immediately after Battleframe and I think that it is shaping up to be a really interesting read that expands the reader’s knowledge of the various characters enormously. My biggest problem is that my father is harassing me to get it finished so that he can read about what is going to happen next!

I find myself laying back in bed at night going through plot outlines in my mind and thinking about how the characters would react to the different situations. What many people don’t realise is that an author doesn’t actually know what’s going to happen until the write it down….so they’re really interested in the outcome as well.

I’m in the process of producing a promotional video for Battleframe. It’s a lot of fun working in video and sound….it’s a little different from just words. All the principle video footage is now complete and I’m just finishing off the editing. I was hoping to have this released last weekend but it looks like I’ll get it completed later this evening (fingers crossed!).

Don’t forget to register to get access to the two maps from Battleframe. I’m also adding more and more topics in the forum area….so don’t be a stranger and say “hi”. I’d really love some feedback in the forum area as well on what you thought of the characters, setting, plot etc.

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Battleframe Gets Reviewed!

Battleframe Gets Reviewed!

Since releasing Battleframe just over a week ago my schedule has been chaotic. I’ve been getting to bed at around 3am most nights as there is just so much to do….and it’s all good.

For a start, I’ve received two reviews on Amazon so far which is awesome considering that it probably takes at least a week to read the book. Sales continue to increase and really positive feedback from readers is coming in from other quarters.

Here’s a quotation from each of the reviewers:

“This is good science fiction for those who like the technical end of the fiction without too much emphasis on the Simon Pure part of that. With a little more attention to balance in the writing, there is potential for greatness.”

“I implore anyone wanting to hop on to give this one out a shot you won’t be disappointed.”

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Video of Seeing Battleframe for the First Time

Video of Seeing Battleframe for the First Time

My wife Roselyn, videoed me opening my box of books and seeing Battleframe for the very first time. If you every want to see raw emotional joy then check out the video. I hope that it puts a smile on your face....you'll see that it did for me.

If you want to pick up your copy in either ebook or paperback formats then go to my authors page at amazon.com/author/michaelgilmour.com


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My SciFi Book Battleframe Arrives!

My SciFi Book Battleframe Arrives!

For the past few days I’ve been watching my UPS package traverse the world with the first copies of my book, Battleframe. As I tracked the package I’d say to my wife Roselyn, “It’s in Honolulu!” this was then followed up by, “It’s now in Australia!” and then finally, there was a knock at the door…..

With our son Timothy taking photos and Roselyn on a video camera I slowly opened the box with the order of five books. Seriously, my heart was racing and I felt like I could barely hold the knife to cut the tape!

Seeing the first copy through the packaging on top was nothing short of one of the best moments in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love ebooks but seeing a physical copy of something that you’ve worked on for so long was awesome! I think that the above photo captured the moment for me when I held Battleframe in my hands for the very first time. I was deliriously happy!

After enjoying the moment with my family I called my Mum and Dad who have both been such a great support in the writing of the book. They were around in about 10 minutes! I kept book number one but I presented my father with his own copy of Battleframe. The first thing that he asked was how far I was through book number two……Dads! LOL!

I couldn’t resist screen capturing the UPS delivery docket (see below).

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Battleframe Released on Amazon

Battleframe Released on Amazon

 

After nearly 2 years of writing, rewriting and correcting I’ve finally published my debut science fiction book, Battleframe. It was an incredible experience clicking a button and then a few minutes later seeing it appear on Amazon! It was almost like Sheldon and Leonard in the sitcom “Big Bang Theory” when they published a paper together!

For all of you that have been wondering what the book is about here is the synopsis.

Battleframe

20150316 battleframe 240x400 kindlepaperResource rich planet Alpha Three becomes the focus of a galactic wide conflict. In the midst of a remorseless Scourge invasion a lone human battleframe pilot, call-sign Whizzbang, strives to find and rescue his closest friend from the invaders.

With the extermination of the human colony seemingly inevitable, Whizzbang's squad of veteran pilots struggle to turn the tide of the war. Just when he thinks they may have a chance, members of the squad begin vanishing before his eyes and the odds of winning the battle become slim to none.

The mysterious nano-robots, unknowingly developed by an alien intelligence, appear to be all that will enable humanity to survive the onslaught. But all is not what it seems as the micro-machines begin to dramatically transform Whizzbang's friends in astounding ways.

Safe within his command dome, the enemy General plots on how he can cover the world in the enigmatic Barrier, a force that kills humans in seconds. It is then that Whizzbang discovers that the Earth may be the next Scourge target.

Book one in the “Mindwars” opens with our galaxy in turmoil and humanity on the brink of extinction.

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Video of Author Discussing His Book Battleframe

Author, Michael Gilmour, discusses his debut scifi novel Battleframe. The process of writing it and how the plot develops throughout the story (no spoilers).


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Saturday Musings - The Getting of Wisdom

Saturday Musings - The Getting of Wisdom

I’ve been a parent for over a couple of decades now and during this time I’ve learned a few things about bringing up our children. The biggest challenge that I had to overcome within myself is to let my kids fail.

Since my own children were born, all I wanted to do was protect them from whatever may happen. Be that a stubbed toe, bullies at school or what they watch on television. A switch went off in my head that said, “I need to shield my kids from anything that can harm them.”

The problem was that as the years went by I found that I couldn’t and shouldn’t protect them from everything. In order for them to grow up into adults of character they needed to experience the consequences of their actions and not be constantly protected by Mum and Dad.

For example, when our kids were little they would be fascinated by fire. I would tell them not to touch it and they wouldn’t because it would burn them. If my 21 year old son picked up a burning stick then I’d now tell him he was an idiot.

When I talk to my friends, what we all seem to have in common is the challenge of moving from a “parent/child” (do what I say) to “parent/advisor” (I have wisdom) role. I’ve always advised people that when they have a problem seem somebody not just anybody to receive wisdom.

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It Is Finished!

It Is Finished!

I’ve finally completed the final rewrite of my debut science fiction book in the Mindwars series. Later this week I’ve paid an editor to read the manuscript and mark any obvious errors. So hopefully by the end of the week I will have my finished manuscript ready for publishing. Hooray!!!

My wife, Roselyn, happening to be sitting next to me at the time and I turned to her and said, “It’s finally done.” I don’t know who was more relieved, her or me!

It’s been a twenty month journey getting to this stage and it seems that the last 10% of the big has been the hardest and most time consuming to complete.

So what has to happen now? After the editor comes back with any fixes (hopefully not too many) I’ll use a standard paperback template provided by Create Space (an Amazon company). I’ve already purchased my ISBN numbers so I’ll add them to the document for the electronic and the paperback version of the book.

I just have to clean up my biography, rework the blurb on the back and ensure that the artwork is good to go for the cover. I think that there will only be a few tweaks here and there for these items.

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