Monthly Archives: December 2015

BQB Bests the Yeti…AND POSTS FOR 365 DAYS!

By: Bookshelf Q. Battler, World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Pop Cultural Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter AND POSTER OF 365+ POSTS IN 2015.

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“Ohh…I am the champion, my 3.5 friends! Yes I…roundhouse kicked the Yeti in the face again! I am the champion! I am the champion…no time for losers ‘cuz I am the champion….of this blog!!!”

Happy New Year’s Eve, 3.5 readers. GET BACK IN YOUR CAGE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE, THE YETI!

Bookshelf Q. Battler here, with my last post of the year, the one that makes it official:

I blogged once a day in 2015.

Actually, I blogged a lot more than just once a day. Way more. Plus, I did more than that. I also:

  • Foiled 2 plots by the Yeti to take over BQB HQ, one in the Spring and one five seconds ago. Each time, I managed to secure my freedom by roundhouse kicking the Yeti in the face. Stupid Yeti. When will he ever learn that the path towards keeping 3.5 readers happy is to entertain them, not bore them?
  • Befriended Alien Jones, an intergalactic emissary of the Mighty Potentate, a space despot who has decreed that he will take over Earth if I do not write a novel so eloquent that it inspires all humans to abandon reality television.
  • Met the love of my nerd life, Video Game Rack Fighter while on a mission to discover the meaning of life. Oh, also, I discovered the meaning of life. Or did I? I still need to finish telling you what happened.
  • Contracted with infamous hardboiled noir style private investigator Jake Dashing to solve 100 “Pop Culture Mysteries” by withholding the information he needs to return to 1954, the time period he feels most comfortable in.
  • Survived a zombie apocalypse that broke out in my home town of East Randomtown, set off by my once former mentor turned enemy, Dr. Hugo Von Science. I couldn’t have done it without the help of #31ZombieAuthors. Yes, 31 (actually 32) successful and accomplished people took time out of their busy schedules to help me stop the zombie hordes.

I blogged everyday. I connected with my 3.5 readers on Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook. I upped my stats and built my platform.

And I couldn’t have done it without my trusty 3.5 readers, like this one:

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“BQB’s undecipherable ramblings get a big thumbs up from me!” – Bookshelf Battle Blog Reader #1 – Samantha Putney, Racine, WN

Or this one…

 

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“The Funky Hunks aren’t that bad in virtual reality…they’re much, much worse!” – Jill Metzler, Bookshelf Battle Blog Reader #2

Or this reader…

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“Bless you, BQB. Whenever my parents tell me I wasted my life I just point them to your blog and tell them, ‘At least I’m not THIS GUY!'” – Bookshelf Battle Blog Reader #3 – Mitch Culpepper, Cleveland, OH.

And who could forget my incorrigible .5th reader?

*AHEM*

I said, “WHO COULD FORGET MY .5th reader!”

Oh never mind. Sure, I could post some sort of photo of half a person or a dwarf but that’d be in very poor taste and also incorrect because as long as you’ve got a brain and a heart, you’re a whole person in my book.

But whoever you are and even though my stat reports only count you as .5th of a reader, you’re loved too, .5th reader!

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Thank you, 3.5 readers.

Thank you for going on this year long journey with me, for putting up with my nonsense, my tomfoolery, my pondexosity.

I’ll be back Jan. 1 to break down the stats of where I was at the start of the year and where I am now but until then, feel free to add to those stats by following me.

Yours truly,

Bookshelf Q. Battler

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The Yeti Takes Over!!!

By: The Yeti, International Fuzzy Monster War Criminalshutterstock_152431793

Muah ha…muah ha ha…MUAH HA HA!

Pathetic 3.5 readers!  I, the Yeti, have escaped and taken control of Bookshelf Battle Headquarters, just in time to stop Bookshelf Q. Battler’s One Post a Day for a Year Challenge on its final day!

You have failed, BQB! You have failed so epically!  Muah ha ha! Now the world will know you are a failure!

Correction, BQB! Now your 3.5 readers will know you are a failure! You will remain my prisoner forever as the knowledge that you were stopped just one day short of posting for an entire year!  BAH HA HA HA!

And now I, the Yeti, will turn your awesome, super fun blog into a museum of boredom. All Yetis believe everything in the world should be boring and now I will spread my boringositude to you, BQB’s 3.5 readers.

Post subjects will now be limited to:

  • Photos of mushrooms
  • My vacation to Yeti Falls
  • Treatises about the various denture adhesives available on the market and which ones have the better grip.
  • Discussions about mold growth, specifically, history and related scientific theories of mold’s ability to grow on leftover food.
  • Toilet paper rations

Yes. I am the best yeti of all yetis!  I…I…oh no!  BQB! How did you escape?!  ACKK!! MY BEAUTIFUL YETI FACE!

 

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Things That Really Frost My Ass -New Year’s Edition

By: Uncle Hardass, Grumpy Old Man Correspondent

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Uncle Hardass, Noted Complainer of World Renown

Hello again, miserable degenerate 3.5 readers. I see none of you have gotten jobs at the salt mines yet. Still wasting away your time on your writing, trying to fill your pages with stories about elves and wizards and hippies while good, decent, hard working folk are out there working for a living.

I’d say you make me sick but by now I’m beyond the point of disappointment with you people. Anyway, you’re in luck. Between Christmas and New Year’s, you’re getting two doses of your old Uncle Hardass one after the other.

I know. You can’t wait to ring in 2016 with some singing, dancing, and your favorite hippy drug music blaring on your radio machines while hard working people are trying to get some sleep because they have to get up and work for a living.

Let’s talk New Year’s, losers. It’s the time to collect your thoughts, look back on the year gone by, reflect on your mistakes…AND MAKE POINTLESS, USELESS PROMISES THAT YOU WON’T REPEAT THE BULLSHIT THAT MADE 2015 A TOTAL BUST WHEN 2016 ROLLS IN!!!

Don’t even bother. On New Year’s Day, 2015, what did you nimrods do?  You made a…

RESOLUTION TO LOSE WEIGHT 

Jan. 1, 2015 – “I’ll walk three miles a day, eat fruits and vegetables and cut out junk food, fast food, and all manner of garbage food.”

Jan. 5, 2015 – You spent the entire day on your couch in the previous day’s clothes only to muster up enough energy to run to McDonald’s, where you freebased ten Happy Meals, toys included, didn’t you…DIDN’T YOU?!!

RESOLUTION TO GO TO THE GYM EVERYDAY

Jan. 1, 2015 – “I just plopped down a bunch of money on this gym membership!  I’ll use it every day!”

Jan. 1, 2015, 5 minutes later – The guy working the desk at the gym thanks you for taking part in the annual “We Know You Don’t Want to Be a Fatty Fatty Boomba Latty Anymore and You Really Mean Business This Year, Hey Look, a Donut!” special. That snarky bastard then quips he’ll see you on Jan. 1, 2017 to buy another membership you won’t use. You prove him right every year. You’re putting the gym owner’s kids through college by giving him a yearly income boost without causing him to incur any equipment repair fees when your fat ass breaks the stair master.

RESOLUTION TO GET OUT OF DEBT

Jan. 1, 2015 – “I will only buy the bare necessities of life, nothing more, nothing less. I’ll keep my expenses low. I won’t go on shopping binges. Material things won’t fix my problems.”

Jan. 3, 2015 – You spent a week’s salary on in-app purchases, buying extra corn to grow on your virtual farm, or food to feed your virtual dog or what have you. Then you went online and bought a limited edition autograph of that kid that played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it reminded you of your youth. You followed it up with a golden chalice to drink your Mountain Dew out of, which you justified to yourself with the argument, “I am a special person and I deserve to drink my soda out of a cup fit for royalty and doing so will make me feel better about myself!” It did not, so you gave a thousand dollars to a fake televangelist then bought a copy of Avengers 2 and paused it on a scene involving Black Widow’s ample, leather clad bosom.

RESOLUTION TO FIND TRUE LOVE

Jan. 1, 2015 – “I will open myself up to someone decent, true and pure with honest moral character and good intentions toward me and reject those who don’t treat me with the respect that I deserve.”

Jan. 7, 2015 – You rejected that well adjusted person who is head over heels in love with you because he/she has a tiny mole, or a few early gray hairs, a zit, a foot that’s a sixth of an inch bigger than the other, or some minor issue that you magnified in your pea brain because, “Whoa, look at me, I’m really great and I won’t settle for anything less that an experience that makes me feel like I’m on a rocket to the moon.” Then you sent the sixth unanswered text message of the week to that attractive person who only answers when he/she needs money, which you eagerly dole out in total violation of the previous resolution.

RESOLUTION TO STOP DRINKING/SMOKING

Jan. 1, 2015 – “No more cigarettes! No more alcohol! My body is a temple!”

Jan 2, 2015 – “Right after this last butt and this last Bud…shit, these resolutions technically don’t start till March, right?”

RESOLUTION TO WRITE A NOVEL

Jan. 1, 2015 – “My book will be on Amazon by Christmas, 2015!”

Dec. 31, 2015 – “I spent the year working on a blog for 3.5 readers.” (That was an impression of my incompetent, lousy excuse for a nephew, Bookshelf Q. Battler.)

STOP MAKING IDIOTIC RESOLUTIONS!!!

So listen up, 3.5 dummies. Stop making ridiculous promises to yourselves that you’ll never keep. You know you won’t.

Why do you make resolutions? Because time moves by very fast. You start the year with the best intentions, then life gets in the way, you resort to your old bad habits, you tell yourself, “Tomorrow! I’ll start working on this tomorrow!” and then before you know it the year is over and you’re still the same old asshole you promised you wouldn’t be anymore when the year began.

So you resolve, and resolve and resolve. You lie to yourself. “I’m putting a patch on the open wound of my soul that makes me a) eat, drink and smoke too much b) avoid fulfilling relationships while seeking out harmful ones c) spend your money on nonsense d) generally act like a dumb ass.

3.5 HIPPIES: But Uncle Hardass! Are you telling me I SHOULD just go ahead and eat, smoke, and drink myself into an early grave and spend myself into the poorhouse?

Of course not, you ignorant communist. YOU SHOULD stop engaging in all of the destructive behaviors that have led you to the lowly state you find yourself in right now, most likely curled up in the fetal position on the couch, eating cupcakes and volunteering your time to be one of my idiot nephew’s 3.5 readers.

BUT YOU ALSO SHOULD…identify whatever it is that is causing you to eat, drink, smoke, spend and chase away love and happiness.

What happened to you, lousy 3.5 readers, to bring you to the lowly state you are in?

  • Did your parents not give you enough attention when you were a child?
  • Did someone hurt your feelings? Were you betrayed and left heartbroken?
  • Did you experience some kind of heinous traumatic event?
  • Did you once believe in yourself enough to try to do something only to fail miserably, leaving you feeling like having hopes and dreams aren’t worth it?
  • Did life not turn out the way you planned it?

Whatever happened, 3.5 readers, here are my two bits of advice:

FIRST – avoid the urge to tell me all about it. Like a bad gas pain, that too will pass. I’m too busy to pretend to give a shit. If you try to tell me, I’ll just grunt and call you a dumb ass.

SECOND – You should find a professional that can help talk you through it, work through your feelings and come to terms with whatever is bothering you as well as develop a strategy to prevent your problems from manifesting themselves into the destructive behaviors that you resolve to stop every year without any progress.

BOTTOMLINE: Whatever the hell your problem is, either fix it, or if you can’t fix it, learn to live with it without engaging in bad behavior. You can resolve all you want, but those resolutions won’t take root until you figure out whats making you do all the bad things you’re resolving against in the first place.

I know you all worship and adore your Uncle Hardass and strive to be the stable, well-adjusted person that he is.

I don’t blame you. But I’m a specimen of perfection that few, if any, can ever live up to.

Instead, stop worrying about other people and worry about you.  Be the best you that you can be. Give yourself a hug and forgive yourself for the shambles you’ve put your life into and only then can you work on digging yourself out of the pile of crap you’re stuck in.

That’s enough hippy talk for one column, 3.5 readers. I’m off to watch the ball drop then after that, I hear there’s some big glowing blinky thing in New York City they broadcast video of as it slides down a pole, so I’ll probably watch that too.

Happy New Year’s, 3.5 readers. Resolve to get a job. I can’t carry everyone on my back forever.

Attorney Donnelly notes that Uncle Hardass is not a licensed therapist or professional counselor or psychiatrist/psychologist of any kind, so you shouldn’t rely on anything he just said. If you have problems, do your own research into what the proper course of action is and look into what resources, professionals etc. are available to help you. 

But seriously, don’t take advice on a blog with only 3.5 readers. That’s just stupid.

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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 20 Interview – Rachel Higginson – Zombified Romance

Zombies. Romance. No not romantic zombies. Romance set against a zombie apocalypse.

Rachel Higginson, author of Love and Decay, stopped by to talk self publishing and serialization as part of BQB’s #31ZombieAuthors extravaganza.

Bookshelf Battle

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FIND THIS ZOMBIE AUTHOR ON:

  Amazon           Website

 Facebook         Twitter

Today’s guest is Rachel Higginson, author of the zombie apocalypse romance series, Love and Decay.  Currently in Season Three, it’s the story of Reagan, whose dreams of a happily ever after go up in smoke when she’s forced to run her zombified high school sweetheart over with her mother’s car to keep herself from becoming zombie chow.

Born and raised in Nebraska, Rachel spent her college years traveling the world, the highlights of said journey including Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka.

She came home to marry her own high school sweetheart, who luckily, has yet to become zombified.  When she’s not writing, she’s either raising her four children or reading.

BQB: Rachel, thanks for taking my call.

RACHEL: Thank you! I’m so…

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Bookshelf Battle 2015 in Review

What was your favorite post/moment/happening on the Bookshelf Battle Blog in 2015, oh noble 3.5 readers?

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The Best Story I Have

Hello 3.5 Readers,

My stories are my children so I am loathe to refer to one of them as “my best” or “my favorite.”

Since I actively started blogging in 2014 (in the hopes doing so would inspire a career as a novelist) the ideas have been flowing into my head non-stop. Many of them are ideas I’ve had for years. Others brand new.

The sad part is I’m not sure there will be enough time for me to ever tell you all of them. Thus, picking which story to work on the most, or rather, which “kid” to put on display (I guess I’m an obnoxious pageant mother if we’re keeping up with this analogy) depends on a gut feeling of a) what I feel I will be able to produce given the limits on my free time and b) what the audience might enjoy.

So while I’m loathe to say one of my “story kids” is better than the other, let’s just say I have, for a long, long time now, been working on a story whose artwork really, really deserves a plum spot on the old fridge.

But…out of all my story ideas, it’s the most complex.  I don’t really want to get into the details but there’s a lot of moving parts.

I’ve tried various drafts.  It’s very complicated. There are a lot of characters and a lot is going on. There’s trickery and intrigue. It’s not all that funny like my usual stuff is but it is an idea that’ll make you think.

And honestly, it is also bizarre and unusual, so the general public might have some different thoughts about it.  Some of you might think it’s brilliant. Others may read it and think I need to be on meds.

I actually don’t think its an idea that could have been pursued a decade or two ago, what with changing social norms and all.

But…it’s so complicated that after various drafts I just told myself maybe this idea has to wait until I’m a better writer, or at least until I figure out how to approach it better.

Time does indeed help.  Sometimes you can hit a wall with a story, put it away, and after awhile, it dawns on you how to leap over that wall in a way that banging your head against that wall would have never achieved.

After attempting a number of drafts and finally, after giving my brain that simmer time, my gut tells me the story is so complicated that it can really only be told through a series of at least 7 novels.

That’s 7 novels with sort of “story arc” of their own that build upon one another until the climax in the 7th.

That’s a lot for a guy who’s never published one novel.  So ultimately, that’s why I pursued other projects.

Currently, I’m working on Pop Culture Mysteries.  That’s also my kid.

Sticking with the kid analogy, Pop Culture Mysteries is a good boy.  He does his homework and helps with the dishes and wears a clean shirt on picture day.

The other idea, also my kid, is like an emo goth kid that I have to listen to all of his problems and though I have no clue how to help him, try to do so anyway.

But enough of the analogies.

I guess my whole point with this post is that writing has made me aware more than ever about how little time I have left in the grand scheme of things.

I work.  In my spare time, I tend to life’s necessities. I have others I have to help. Then if I get an hour a day to write I’m lucky.

Thus, 1 book a year is possible…2 a year is the only way I’ll get anywhere but I’m not sure its possible.

I got sick over Christmas and stayed in bed for 2 days, binge watching TV. It’s the first time I’d done anything like that all year.  Normally, I go to work, do all the other stuff I need to do, then write.

I woke up so rested Sunday that it made me realize perhaps, just health wise, I do need to stop and goof off more.  But I hate to.  Because then that’s even less writing time.

I know.  This post made no sense.

In an attempt to make it make sense, let me say that if you folks dig my first couple of books i.e. Pop Culture Mysteries then at some point I might be motivated to wrack my brains on a very complicated, flow chart requiring mind bending 7 novel series.

That only 3.5 people will read.

 

 

 

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Tech Review – Parrot Bebop Drone (2015)

Hey 3.5 Readers,

BQB here and I’ve upped my nerd cred. I’m now the official owner of a Parrot Bebop Drone:

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THE PROS:

  • When I ordered this, my first reaction was, “You are wasting your money. It’s not going to work. It’s going to fly right off into a tree and you’ll be out $500.”
  • But much to my shock, amazement, and delight, this was pretty responsive. It is going to take me awhile to learn the controls, but it does what you ask it to and when you aren’t doing anything with it, it will hover (but not hover away) until you want it to do something.
  • Hey by the way, Video Game Rack Fighter has yet to learn that I spent $500 on this so be cool and don’t tell her if you see her on here. Thanks.  Should be ok. Only 3.5 people read this blog anyway.
  • It still works and I didn’t crash it.
  • This is a piece of tech that makes me feel “the future is here.” Toy helicopters have existed forever.  You push a button.  It goes zip! up in the air then crashes.  You’re out whatever you spent on it. But this thing actually works.
  • I actually think this could be the start of a new hobby that gets my butt outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and so on.

THE CONS:

  • Low Battery Charge – The battery takes an hour to charge but only comes with approximately 11 minutes of flying time. To Parrot’s credit, they do include 2 batteries, so if you go out with both fully charged, you can get your drone on for about 22 minutes.
  • Unfortunately, that means that you aren’t going to be running off for a day trip to the beach, the field, your favorite outdoor quiet spot and get your drone on all day.
  • In terms of engineering, I do get it. Some nerd somewhere concluded that in order for this thing to fly and fly well it can only carry X sized battery capable of producing Y amount of flying time. I’d need Dr. Hugo to explain it more, but he and I aren’t on speaking terms right now as we had a falling out when he orchestrated a zombie apocalypse in my home town.
  • But I do hope at some point, perhaps if these things become more popular, they’ll come up with a drone with extra battery life.
  • Although part of me wonders if the low battery life is a security measure?  It’s ok if you take it for a spin in your backyard, but we don’t want you doing odd, scary things with it far away from your humble abode.
  • The hull is made of styrofoam. That seams cheap to me. I suppose there could be an engineering reason. Perhaps that keeps it lighter. Still, I wonder if there was a lighter yet sturdier substance. No one likes paying $500 for something that is partially styrofoam.  I understand that could just be the best possible design available for an emerging technology in the $500 price range.
  • The $500 price tag.  Is it worth it? Hmm.  That’s up to you.  I decided to treat myself and since so far it is working out, I feel like it’s going to be something I’ll have fun with for awhile.
  • There is a requirement to register it and though common sense should tell you this, be very careful with it. Assume at all times that its going to crash into someone and be vigilant to avoid that.  Keep it away from people.  Don’t assume you’re a hotshot with it and do all kinds of tricks that could injure someone.  Don’t fly it into power lines, or onto other peoples’ property, or onto government CIA alien autopsy black sites or what have you. If you aren’t allowed there, your drone isn’t either. I don’t know.  I could probably go on all day about the things you should not do with it so ultimately keep in mind that these things really are not mere toys and you need to be sure not to injure someone or damage someone’s property.
  • Attorney Donnelly’s Obligatory Disclaimer – Don’t take anything I said as legal advice.  Do your own due diligence and research before purchasing and/or operating a drone.

Thanks for reading, 3.5 readers and when I learn more, I’ll have to start posting some flight photos!

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BQB is an Official Droner

BQB is an official drone enthusiast. Will update after my first flight. 

 

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Sick Nerd

Boo!

Bookshelf Q. Battler here, 3.5 readers.

Got sick on Christmas, spent the day in bed. A little bit better today, but still woozy, unsure if I’ll get up or stay in bed awhile longer.

I blame the Yeti for this malfeasance. He probably poisoned me in an attempt to make me fail on the final stretch of the one post a day for a year challenge.

Damn it, Yeti.  Why are you the cause of all my problems?

Actually, I do have a complaint though. I got sick on Labor Day and then again on Christmas. Its like if I ever get a day off the Yeti conspires to make me not enjoy it.

 

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Merry Christmas 3.5 Readers!

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Bookshelf Q. Battler and Video Game Rack Fighter, East Randomtown’s Nerdiest Power Couple Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

Dearest 3.5 Readers,

A quick note to say thank you, for you, my darling 3.5 readers, are the wind beneath my wings, the hot fudge on my sundae, the dip on my chips and the reason I keep writing.

As I reach the home stretch of the One Post a Day for a Year Challenge, I realize I’ve learned a lot about blogging, self-publishing, social media, building a fan base and so on.

What I’ve noticed is that unlike other activities, blogging…very slowly but surely…does yield results.  Bookshelfbattle.com did better in 2015 than it did in 2014 and here’s hoping things just keep improving with every passing year.

Tell your friends so I can have 7 readers in 2016 and 14 readers in 2017.  Let’s double everything every year!

It hasn’t been an easy year, what with attacks from the Yeti, Dr. Hugo Von Science choosing a dark path and the zombie apocalypse that decimated my hometown but amidst it all, you fine 3.5 readers have been there for me.

Thank you 3.5 readers.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Whatever Holidays You Celebrate.

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