Tag Archives: questions

Deadpool Discussion Question

If you were offered a procedure that would allow you to live forever but the catch is that you had to be hideously, wretchedly ugly, like barf enduringly ugly, would you do it?

I think I would.  I mean you’d get to live forever.  All the future you’d  get to have seems like it would outweigh the ugliness. Plus, with all that time you could save a lot of money and become super rich and once you are rich people ignore the ugly.

Success comes if you are a) super attractive but if you can’t be super attractive then lots of money tends to convince people to overlook that.  You can look like a total butt and people will like you if you’re loaded.

I should start another hashtag.  #OscarsSoRich  – Surely there’s a dirt poor actor who starred in an indie movie that’s being ignored.

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Pages

Those pages at the top of this blog, under that big nerd, how do I arrange them in the order I want them?  Been trying to figure it out for a long time and am finally breaking down to ask.

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Undesiredverse Question – Is Age Just a Number?

For the 3.5 readers paying attention, there was a big reveal in Chapter 20 of Undesiredverse: Wanted.

In earlier chapters, we saw Roman, our hero:

  • Punch a dude in the face in a rave club
  • Flirt with a space hooker
  • Fight a duel with an old friend
  • Take on 6 henchmen at once
  • Kiss yet another space hooker (I’m worried he might have a thing for space hookers)
  • Hang in the air from a hook attached to a ship piloted by Alien Jones
  • Fight a robot controlled by a highly evolved and super evil artificial intelligence on top of a ship as Alien Jones flies it all over the place.
  • Dive through the air without a parachute to save an alleged space hooker (though it kind of looks like she’s not a space hooker)

All the work of a young man, wouldn’t you say?  (I know.  There are too many space hookers in this story)

Ahh, but there’s the rub.  In Chapter 20, we learn that Roman is 65 years old.  In the future, humans start taking a drug called Rejuvatrix at age 25, which allows them to retain a healthy, 25-year old looking body for the next 275 years, a 300 year life span in total.

  • Plot wise, it makes things interesting.  There are older, wiser humans but you might debate whether or not they are because they still look 25.
  • But then again, perhaps “maturity” is a relative term.  In theory, most people don’t really want to slow down.  They just do because their bodies are telling them to.  In other words, your 65 year old grandpa would probably fist fight a robot on top of a space ship and kiss space hookers if he wasn’t sleepy all the time.
  • An extended adolescence is created.  0-100 is considered youth.  100-200 is middle age.  200-300 means you’re elderly.  But again, to confuse things, from 25-300, you look like you’re 25.
  • By the time we figure life out, we’re too old to do jack about it.  It amazes me that we expect people to choose their life’s path at 18, an age when they have no idea who they are, what they are capable of, what they’re good at and not good at, and most importantly, what would make them happy?  We need Rejuvatrix so we can all take a century to just go out and find ourselves.
  • For the 3.5 people reading the story, did it change your view of Roman to learn that he’s 65?  He certainly doesn’t act like today’s 65 year old.  In fact, when Alien Jones showed him a picture of what I (Eduardo Ricardo aka BQB) will look like when I turn 65 (a future event for me, or a past event for future Jones, if you sit down to do the math)…Roman freaks out at an image of what a 65 year old looked like in the early part of the 21st century.

 

 

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Alien Jones Taking Your Questions

Help Alien Jones stem the tide of stupidity sweeping across our planet!

It's your move, Internet.

It’s your move, Internet.

Ask him a question today and who knows?  He might even respond with a plug for your book or blog right here on this revered site, bookshelfbattle.com

Here’s some of the Esteemed Brainy One’s past columns:

Halfway Through the One Post a Day for a Year Challenge

Is Hollywood Capturing What Aliens Look Like?

What is the Meaning of Life?

Consult the Greatest/Pantsless Genius of the Universe today!

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Alien image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Alien Jones Taking Your Questions

BEHOLD!  The mighty brainy one, taking your questions and plugging your work!

BEHOLD! The Mighty Brainy One, taking your questions and plugging your work!

Alien Jones!  He knows all and is taking your questions!  Inside his genius alien brain lies the secrets of the cosmos, the mysteries of the universe, and the answer to all multiple choice questions (it’s B).

Moreover, bribery is not beneath him!  Ask him a question and he might plug your book, blog, or other project in his answer.

Notice how I said “might.”  In other words, if your book is called, “I Heart Nazis!” or some other such nonsense, then no, he won’t plug it.  He has standards.  Otherwise, he’ll do his best to send the Bookshelf Battle’s 3.5 readers your way.

How did aliens master space flight?  Who are the most powerful aliens? Which restaurant makes the best chocolate chip pancakes?  Why was the Dexter series finale so godawful?

Your questions can be serious and thoughtful or funny and snarky.  In fact, he prefers the latter.

By the way, He of the Amazing Gray Matter, posed the following question to me today:

ALIEN JONES:  Bookshelf Q. Battler, does it occur to you that maybe people are leery to have their works promoted on a blog operated by an anonymous blogger with a penchant for sarcasm?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER: It does.  That’s why we have a guarantee.  If you don’t like Alien Jones’ plug for your work, he’ll pull it.  No questions asked.  No hard feelings.  Nothing to lose.  3.5 readers (eh, maybe a bit more even) to gain.  Just sent a private message to Bookshelf Battle on Twitter asking for Alien Jones to take your plug down.

Doesn’t get any more awesome than that, folks!  Submit your questions by midnight Friday to get your question in Sunday’s column.

Alien graphic courtesy of Marauder on openclipart.org

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Random Thoughts…

…that plague the mind of Bookshelf Q. Battler, in no particular order:

1)  Why does Elsa view her magic freeze powers as a curse?  Why does she not use them to control the world and rule her subjects with an icey fist?

2)  Why do they put braille on restroom door signs?  Do blind men rub their hands all over the walls of public buildings, find a braille door sign, go, “Whoops! That’s the ladies room!” and then feel their way around again to the men’s room?  And would it matter if he went into the wrong room?  Because, you know, he’s blind, so it’s not like he’s going to see anything.

Yes, noble readers, who have followed me on my year long quest to post once a day, these are the thoughts that fill the deep recesses of my mind.  Trivial, absurd, ridiculous minutiae that few bother to even consider.

Thoughts like:

3)  Why do aliens only abduct people from the South?  And why do aliens abduct humans at all anymore?  One would think at some point, their skilled alien scientists would reach a limit as to what can be learned from probe related experiments.  I dare say, somewhere in outer space, an alien scientist has published an article entitled, “Stop Probing the Humans, We Figured Them All Out” and yet, it’s being ignored, because he only posted it on alien wordpress.

4)  If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Yes –  KKKKKRRRRRRRRRACCCCCK BOOOOOOM!

5) Why does Hollywood ugly up good looking people so they can play ugly people?  They did it to Charlize Theron in Monster and Christian Bale in American Hustle.  Somewhere, there is an overweight man with a combover who would have been perfect to played the lead role in American Hustle.  The poor guy probably ignored advice from countless friends and family members – “No!  Don’t move to Hollywood and try to be an actor!  There will never be a part for a fat man with a combover!”  And finally, finally!  There’s a part for a fat man with a combover and what do they do?  They take a handsome man, stuff his shirt with a pillow, and give him a fake combover wig.

Damn you, beautiful people!  Don’t you already have enough?  Why must you steal parts from the ugly?

6)  If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.  If you take a man to Crazy Larry’s All-You-Can-Eat Discount Fish Nugget Bar, he will get food poisoning.

7)  How was it possible for the A-Team to evade justice for so many years?  How was the government not able to find a team that included the handsomest man in the world, an old man who smoked a giant stogie everywhere he went, a lunatic who inevitably broke out into loud and boisterous songs, and an enormous bodybuilder who was dripping with solid gold chains?

8)  Was Stonehenge an ancient druid singles bar?

9) Is the Yeti little more than Big Foot’s Arctic cousin?

10)  When Santa delivers a kid an X-Box, does he have to pay Bill Gates a royalty?

Join me tomorrow, I was will bring you more…RANDOM THOUGHTS.

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Questions – Use of Copyrighted and/or Trademarked Products in Your Works

We all know that copyright and/or trademark infringement is a big no-no.  If you take a copy of The Hunger Games, rip off the cover, replace with a new cover with your name on it, and print a bunch of copies and sell them, Suzanne Collins will own you.  But we’re not talking about the obvious here.

We’re talking about the fact that, outside of sci-fi or fantasy worlds, your characters will most likely live on Planet Earth.  As such, they’re humans just like the rest of us, and they will encounter all sorts of copyrighted and trademarked materials throughout the course of their travels.  I have questions about this.  I can’t say I have any specific answers.  I hope that one of you will, or at the very least, this will generate a fun discussion.

So, I’ve whipped up a little murder mystery to illustrate my questions.  Behold – The Case of the Bay Area Strangler

QUESTION 1 – Can you use a movie quote?

Ann was the toughest detective in the precinct.  She’d seen it all and had developed deep underlying psychological problems because of it.  But soon she could put that behind her.  To her great surprise, she bought a winning lottery ticket the day before and now had ten million dollars coming her way.  Because, you know, something like that could totally happen.  Shut up.

She was rich and she no longer had to put up with this crap.  She walked into the precinct and began cleaning out her desk.

“Ann,”  the Captain said, dropping a folder full of photos of a recently strangled victim.  “The Bay Area Strangler is back at it!  You and John are on this one!”

Ann opened up the file and screamed, “OH MY GOD!  THAT’S MY SISTER!”

“Oh yeah,” the Captain said.  “I forgot to tell you.  Your sister was strangled.  I probably should have told you that before I just handed you a folder full of photos of her horribly strangled corpse.  My bad.”

Ann’s mind was racing.  “Should I just tell the Captain I won the lottery and I’m quitting?  Or should I stay on to avenge my sister and capture her murderer?”  She felt like the Godfather.  “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” she said.

NOTES:  So, is that cool?  I made an attribution.  I didn’t pass the line off as my own.  If anything, it is free advertising for The Godfather, not that it needs any, but still.  

QUESTION 2 – Can you mention and/or discuss trademarked products?

The Captain assigned John to work with Ann.  Ann and John hated each other.  They were married years ago, but John cheated on Ann with her now strangled sister.  You should now totally wonder in the back of your mind if John is a suspect, because, you know, John and Ann’s sister used to totally knock boots.

It wasn’t easy, but Ann and John agreed to set aside their differences in the name of bringing justice to Ann’s sister’s murderer.  Ann’s sister was never loved enough by her parents to receive an actual name.  In fact, “Ann’s Sister” is what the county put on her birth certificate.

Ann and John spent twelve hours looking over case files – photos of twelve strangled victims were strewn all over Ann’s apartment.  They were exhausted and hungry.

“We need a break,”  John said.  “I’m exhausted and hungry.  Let’s go to Burger King.  I’m Jonesing for one of their flame broiled Whoppers.  I love Burger King, because you can have it your way.”

“Yeah, just like you had your way with my sister,”  Ann said.  “Burgers are too fattening.  I need to keep my figure so I can get back at you by sleeping with every dude in the precinct, and twice with the ones you hate.  Let’s go to Subway, home of the five dollar footlong.  Their mascot Jared lost a million pounds by eating their sandwiches, you know.”

“Damn it, Ann!”  John said, slamming his fist down on the table.  “When will you ever forgive me for my transgression?  If we can’t agree on where to eat, how will we ever agree on a theory as to who strangled your overly promiscuous sister, who by the way, seduced me with her feminine wiles, so technically, it wasn’t even my fault?!”

The duo went their separate ways, and returned twenty minutes later.  They ate their separate meals, but John smiled when he realized they were sharing a 2-Liter Bottle of Diet Coke.

“At least we agree on one thing,” John said.

“Not really,”  Ann said.  “I wanted Dr. Pepper, but they were all out.  Your judgement vis a vis soda products is akin to the level of judgment you displayed with decisions regarding our marriage.”

After dinner, John popped a mint into his mouth, and offered one to Ann.  “Care for a Mentos?  They are, after all, the freshmaker.”

“No, I’m just going to brush my teeth,”  Ann said.  “I use Crest toothpaste, which 99 out of 100 dentists recommend, and if you can’t trust a paid-off dentist, who can you trust?”

NOTES:  Okay, so maybe that exchange was outlandish, but I meant it that way for emphasis.  Your characters won’t be that obvious, but in passing, it might seem totally normal to say something like: 

Ann was sleepy after studying the case all night, but the Captain demanded her presence at the precinct.  “I’m going to need a Red Bull if I’m going to make it through this day,”  Ann said.

NOTES:  I mean, your characters live in the real world, and will have real world problems that get solved by real world products, right?  Do I have to create a make-believe energy drink company, just to make the people at Red Bull happy?

Ann was sleepy after studying the case all night, but the Captain demanded her presence at the precinct.  “I’m going to need a Zappy Brand Energy Drink  if I’m going to make it through this day,”  Ann said.

NOTES:  Should I just take the brand out altogether?

Ann was sleepy after studying the case all night, but the Captain demanded her presence at the precinct.  “I’m going to need an energy drink  if I’m going to make it through this day,”  Ann said.

NOTES:  Me, personally, I just feel in a story like this, Ann lives in the same world as we do, and if she’s exhausted but needs to keep going, she’s going to have a Red Bull or a Monster.  I mean, you shouldn’t have any of those drinks, because they’re basically carbonated poison, but in this case, Ann needed one.  It’s not my job to criticize Ann.  It’s my job to develop Ann as a character, and in my mind, she’s a woman who puts her health second to finding her sister’s killer, and to do so requires her to stay up all nights and drink RED BULL in the morning.

QUESTION 3 – What if a product is referred to negatively?

“You shouldn’t drink that,”  John said as he spied the Red Bull in Ann’s hand.  “It’s basically carbonated poison.”

“What do you care?”  Ann asked, as she guzzled her beverage.  “You turned our marriage into a pile of garbage that smelled worse than an Arby’s roast beef sandwich.”

“I don’t have to listen to this!”  John said as he popped on a pair of flashy looking earphones.

“Are those Beats by Dre headphones?”  Ann asked.  “What, you have so little confidence in yourself that you wasted a bunch of money on a status symbol that probably isn’t even better than a pair of regular headphones?”

“What?”  asked John.  “I can’t hear you!  I’m wearing my Beats by Dre headphones!  They’re way overpriced and don’t sound any better than regular headphones, but the chicks dig them!  Your sister totally jumped my bones when she saw me wearing these things!”

The Captain walked in.  “Ann, John.  The Bay Area Strangler struck again last night. I sent the latest photos of the victims to your e-mail, Ann. The Strangler was out there running around town, strangling up a storm while you two were busy screwing up this case worse than Apple did with the latest iOs update!”

Ann checked her e-mail to review the latest victim photos.  “Oh my God!”  Ann exclaimed.  “This Microsoft Surface Pro 3 sucks great big…”

“I can’t hear, you Ann,”  John said.  “Still on my ridiculously overpriced headphones.”

NOTES: I feel like, in cases such as these, you’re probably inviting trouble.  You’re basically libeling a product. (I’m not doing that here, Red Bull, Beats, Apple, and Microsoft, your products are the bee’s knees and everyone should buy them!  I’m just teaching other people how to not falsely malign your wonderful products that make our lives better!)  In cases like these, I’d probably leave the brand names off or make up a fake brand:

“This tablet/computer hybrid sucks great big…”

“I can’t hear you Ann,”  John said.  “I’m on my non-descript, overpriced headphones, the brand name of which escapes me at the moment, because I’ve been having memory loss problems due to the fact that I’m depressed over not being able to sleep with your sister anymore!  Oh, and you too!  I miss you too!”

QUESTION 4 – What about song lyrics?

Ann and John agreed on something else.  The photos weren’t enough.  They needed to see the scene of the crime, and they were horrible cops, because they hadn’t done that yet.  Ann’s apartment complex was an hour away, so they carpooled together.  Ann dozed off while John navigated his way down the freeway.

He was bored, so he turned on the radio, flipped the dial around until he found a song he liked.  It was “Area Codes” by Ludacris.  John turned up the volume and sang along.  “You thought I was just 7-7-0 and 4-0-4, I’m worldwide bitch, act like y’all don’t know, It’s the abominable O-man, Globe-trottin international post-man…”

John’s horrible singing skills crept through Ann’s ears like fingernails on a chalk board, waking her up instantly.  She was about to yell at John, when she realized what song he was singing and joined in.  “Is it cuz the like my gangsta walk?  Is it cuz they like my gangsta talk?”

John smiled.  They were now performing a duet together, and for a brief moment, all the bitter resentments and petty, angry feelings they’d held against one another for so long flew out the window.

“Whatever it is, they love me and they just won’t let be me.  I handle my biz, don’t rush me, just relax and let me be free…”

They finished the song together and John turned the volume down.  Ann smiled for the first time in years.

“I can’t believe you remembered, John,”  Ann said.

“Of course I remembered,”  John said.  “You think I’d forget our wedding song?”

NOTES:  Alright.  So, in that instance, I probably would not use that song.  But, take out “Area Codes” and swap in something romantic, like, oh, I don’t know, “You’re Once, Twice, Three Times the Lady.”  or “You are So Beautiful.”  In that case, a divorced couple sharing a happy moment by singing a romantic song could indicate to the reader that there’s still some love between those too, right?  It would make for a nice scene.  But the question is, can the singers of those songs come after me?

QUESTION 5 – What if something is on the TV in the background?

It wasn’t easy for Ann.  She worked full time.  She still had feelings for her lousy, two-timing ex-husband, and hated herself for having those feelings.  Plus, she was a single parent and bore all the responsibility of raising Andy, the son she had with John during their brief marriage.

Ann was trying to focus her attention on the case file, but that was hard.  All should could hear was the obnoxious rantings of Spongebob Squarepants coming from the television.

“Andy, can you turn that off and do your homework?”  Ann asked.  “Mommy is trying to get some work done.”

“I hate you!”  Andy said.  “I’m sick of all your infernal rules, woman!  I want to live with Dad!  He lets me wear Beats by Dre headphones and drink Red Bull with reckless abandon!”

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I made this post because after doing a lot of research, I wasn’t really able to find a definitive answer.  I don’t want to advise any others what to do or not to do, in fact, it’s not my intent to advise anyone but rather, ask if any of you have any advice for me.  Have any thoughts?  Can you think of some situations that might arise that aren’t mentioned here?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

Oh, and the ending – it looked like John did it, but in fact, Ann’s sister framed him.  John was being carted off in cuffs when Ann realized that all the victims had something in common – they’d all gotten busy with Ann’s sister, then dumped her like yesterday’s donuts.  Ann didn’t really think that common thread was a big deal at first, because so didn’t three-quarters of the Bay Area population.  Through her investigations, she determined that Ann’s sister sought revenge because all of these men – so she strangled a bunch of them, strangled herself, but also arranged for an accomplice to strangle more of her lovers after she died, so that explains why the Captain had sent additional photos to Ann’s Surface Pro 3, the King of the Computer/Tablet hybrids, and a fine Microsoft Product.  Ann and John remarried and were happy for many years, until the sequel, in which Ann cheats on John with John’s brother, who dies, and then Ann is totally a suspect.

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