Tag Archives: Starbucks

Dark Value (repriced!)

man working on cool calculationsI’ve changed the price of Dark Value from $7.77 to $2.99. ¬†(It took a long time and my sticker gun is smoking.) You can get it here.

I do so on advice of learned council, Leora Kornfeld. I don’t believe there is anyone alive who knows more about digital DIY than Leora. See her endlessly interesting blog here.

My original plan had been to price the book at the cost of a Starbucks’ coffee. (Someone recently said this was fast becoming a new international¬†measure of value.) Then I thought, “what if the economists are right, that price is a signal of quality? Would Starbucks pricing discourage purchase?”

But Leora reassures me that “you have to make cheap it enough so people don’t have a chance to pause and think about it” and I think $2.99 is that price. (Those of you who purchased a copy of the book, family members mostly, please send me your email and address and I will send you a crisp $5.00 bill.)


The writer’s workbench, the writer’s tech

My apologies.  I have been writing all day every day and this means I have been neglecting the blog.

I have assembled my own little work bench and I thought I would share with you the tech in question.

Upper right hand corner of desk

This is my iPad now serving as a time keeper.  I am using Clock Pro, specifically the Count Down function that shows that I have 5 hours, 22 minutes and 19 seconds till the manuscript (this version of it) is due in the hands of my editor.  That means I will be writing til 5:00 today.  

Upper left hand corner

This is Molly, a grumpy Siamese cat.  Cats are not optional.  You must have one if you want to write well.  Strictly speaking, you should have several.  I do.  Vivienne and Zsa Zsa are asleep somewhere.  When they wake up they will want me to make breakfast and throw things for them to fetch.  So the idea is to see how much work I can get done before all hell break lose.

Pile of magazines

This is a pile of magazines, each of which represents a blog post I have not written. This is the only paper that allowed on the desk.  (Well, except for the letter you see between Molly and the iPad.  This was type written on antique stationary.  So an exception is made.) Sitting on the pile of magazines is a little Canon camera which serves as an excellent paper weight (and camera).  

Coffee cup

This is caffeine that enters my body in the form of coffee that begins in the kitchen as the  Starbucks whole bean "house blend" which the package tells me is "lively and balanced" but I prefer Dark Roast because this is, the package tells me, X – Bold, and I am pretty sure my prose needs every little bit of momentum it can get.  

Book on desk

This is the LiveScribe system.  It captures anything written, stores it in your computer where it becomes searchable.  I have the bad habit of writing on anything that handy and then I can’t ever find it again.  Now I have everything in one place and it is finally findable!  Highly recommended.

Computer on desk

This is a MacBook Air.  I just converted from a Windows ThinkPad and boy am I grateful I did.  I recently had to fire up the ThinkPad and it reminded me of an occasion some years ago when I had to go from my computer based word processor to an IBM Selectric II.  Talk about time travel.  On the Air, I am running Google Chrome, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, Zotero, Things, Gmail and assorted other programs.


This is invisible but it is the biggest thing in the room.  The idea is to write for as close to 12 hours a day as I can manage.  I never get much more than 8 hours done, but if I don’t aim high, I get, like, 4 hours done.  The trick is to keep distractions at bay.  Email, Twitter, Blogging!  I just try to keep my head down and write as much as possible.  Oh, I do take a walk.  

Your assignment

Every writer has his or her own system.  Please share yours!