Attention San Diego Self-Published Authors

Its that time of year again. The City of San Diego wants to recognize San Diego authors who have self-published a book in 2014. Its a great event at a fantastic venue!

From the City:

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San Diego Public Library

Dear San Diego County Author:

The San Diego Public Library’s 49th Annual Local Author Exhibit is nearing and the Library is calling our resident authors for submissions. If your book or eBook was originally published in 2014, we would like to display it in the exhibit, which will run the entire month of February 2015 in the beautiful San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

ONLY ONE TITLE MAY BE REGISTERED PER AUTHOR – NO EXCEPTIONS

For information and to register for this event, please visit the San Diego Local Author webpage (also accessible from the San Diego Public Library’s web site, http://www.sandiegolibrary.org under the PROGRAMS & EVENTS tab). Please note that there are two registration forms – one for print books and one for ONLY eBooks. If your book is in both formats register/submit the print version only. Please mail your book to:

SAN DIEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY
ATTN: RACHEL ESGUERRA
330 PARK BOULEVARD
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101-7416

Authors submitting a hardcopy book will not receive official e-mail confirmation until both the registration and book is received and processed. Authors submitting an eBook must register first to receive an e-mail confirmation with information on how to submit an image of your book cover for display purposes. Please allow up to two weeks to receive confirmation.

LAST DAY TO REGISTER AND SUBMIT YOUR BOOK IS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014.

All submissions to the Local Author Exhibit become gifts to the San Diego Public Library for possible inclusion in the collection. Qualified participants will be invited to an exclusive Local Author event to kick off the exhibit.

Be sure to add resguerra@sandiego.gov to your contacts so that further correspondence does not end up in your junk mail. If you have any questions or comments please call 619.236.5841 or simply reply to this e-mail.

Please share this message with your author friends and like the SDPL Central Library Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/SDPL-Central-Library/134245953252231). The San Diego Central Library is celebrating its one year anniversary on Saturday, September 27 so come check out the wonderful new building when you get a chance!

Rachel Esguerra
Rachel Esguerra
Local Author Exhibit Assistant
Library Clerk – Literature Dept.
330 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92101
619-236-5841
resguerra@sandiego.gov

The Catalyst of Distruptive Innovation

English: 1.2 MB 2.88 MB floppy disk drive

Do you know what this is? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A colleague pointed me to this article on disruptive innovation and how businessman and author Clayton Christensen recognized how disruptive technologies really work: They don’t compete with the etablished technologies at the high end. Rather they attack the low-end (less expensive, and often less performing) and eventually supplant the high end by getting better and better.

Here’s a great quote from the article, entitled “Disruptive Genius.”:

The theory of disruptive innovation lies at the core of his success. It grows from the distinction between sustaining technologies and disruptive ones. The former produce incremental improvements in the performance of established products: disk drives, for example, might offer faster speeds and greater memory storage. In contrast, disruptive technologies are “innovations that result in worse product performance, at least in the near term,” he wrote in The Innovator’s Dilemma. Yet, “Ironically…it was disruptive technology that precipitated the leading [disk-drive] firms’ failure.”

He explains that disruptive products are typically “cheaper, simpler, smaller, and, frequently, more convenient to use.” They tend to reach new markets, enabling their producers to grow rapidly and—with technological improvements—to eat away at the market shares of the leading vendors. In his book, Christensen shows how, between 1975 and 1990, successive generations of disk-drive technologies—14-, 8-, 5.25-, 3.5-, and 2.5-inch drives—disrupted the markets of their predecessors, and then were themselves disrupted. When 8-inch drives emerged, for example, their smaller capacities held no interest for mainframe-computer manufacturers, the principal customers for 14-inch drives. But the smaller drives matched minicomputer-makers’ needs—and with annual gains in performance, they eventually made inroads into the mainframe market. A similar pattern recurred with 5.25-inch drives and desktop computers, 3.5-inch drives and laptop computers, and 2.5-inch drives and notebook computers. Established companies are “held captive by their customers,” in Christensen’s phrase, and so routinely ignore emerging markets of buyers who are not their customers.

It’s not the customers you have, its the customers you didn’t know you had who wanted something a bit different than what you were offering.

The importance of diversity

After reading this article in the Sydney Morning Harold, I was fascinated by the idea that an ethnic culture could perhaps singularly among any other ethnic group carry a gene from a race of humans now long extinct.

It makes me wonder if other groups also carry genes from other extinct races…I’m sure a few people I know may carry Neanderthal. Then that makes me think that if the Tibetans were to die out, we’d lose this extraordinary gene. Perhaps Tibetans should be making more babies :-)

The human race is more than the sum of its parts. There may be much treasure still buried within our genetic code as we continue to untangle it.

My Interview with USCD Extension’s Emerging Trends

UCSD Extension has always been a fantastic way for me to continue my education (I remember a great Oracle database class there back in my more technical days) and I even developed and taught an information security class there.

Just recently, UCSD reached out to me to do an interview for their new Interactive Radio “Emerging Trends” series. I was honored to be their first guest!

Have a listen and learn a little bit about my thoughts on privacy, information security and “The Left Hand of Light.” Then tell me what YOU think!

Goodbye to my Father

My father died yesterday. I still can’t believe it. This was my father, after all. Or at least, he was the one man who was man enough to accept the position. He was my number one fan, having read every one of my published works, and always encouraging me to do more.

He understood my ambitions, crazy as they were. “Patience, my son,” he would say. “You have to pay your dues. Then you’ll have everything you want.”

He understood my anger, a very deep and restless thing, that can be surprisingly monstrous when it reveals itself to those that do not know me well.

Always shaping me, always honing me, preparing me for the time he knew he could not be there. He was generous with his time, his love and what few possessions he had. He was a nomad, having more addresses while I was growing up than I could count.

But no matter where he was, on my birthday, there came the card with a check for $5 or $10 or $35 as I got older.

I’m rambling. I’m still in shock. Maybe for now, it’s enough that the world know that it’s lost a bright light of a soul. Though perhaps you did not know him, maybe you would mourn with me for just a little while.

Then maybe life can go on.

Happy Privacy Day!

DC40640LOGOToday is international privacy day. I eliminate the word “data” from that sentence it is one of my pet peeves. :-)

Tonight I will be speaking at San Diego Gas & Electric’s Energy Innovation Center on mobile privacy, how its changing the privacy landscape, and most importantly, what organizations and individuals are doing about it.

It starts at 5pm, Pacific. I hope to see you there.

The Left Hand of Light Now Available at SoulScape

soulscapeHello, all! I’m pleased to announce that if you live, work or play in the Encinitas, CA area, you can now find The Left Hand of Light at SoulScape, a fantastic store filled with books, music, inspiring art, posters and gifts for you and the spiritually-minded people in your life. Head over to this loving sanctuary and get your copy and buy a few candles and some sage too to prepare for spring cleaning!

You’re Invited to the Launch Party!

Left Hand of Light Small Cover Hold the date!

Join Christopher Vera along with friends and fans to celebrate the official launch The Left Hand of Light and explore new universes at an intimate gathering in San Diego that will include readings of the book by the author and fans, a book trivia raffle, a silent auction, an open mic for poets, writers, singers and other entertainers, a live painting demonstration by the talented Adelaide Marcus, and some light food. Come get your copy signed!

  • WHEN: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 4pm-6pm
  • WHERE: Expressive Arts, San Diego. 3201 Thorn Street, CA San Diego, CA 92104
  • COST: Free, though donations to Expressive Arts or to help pay for the cost of event are welcome and appreciated.
  • WHAT TO BRING: Your positive and loving energy, your copy of The Left Hand of Light if you’d like to read or have it signed, anything you’d like to read or play at open mic, and some money for the silent auction or to have dinner around the neighborhood after the event.

Its gonna be a great time in the astral plane! RSVP on Facebook on Christopher Vera’s author page or just come on out and say hello.

Printable flyer here (PDF).

Spilling the Ugly Draft

I had the pleasure and honor of joining Tish McAllise Sjoberg’s “So You Wanna Write a Book” workshop over at Expressive Arts in San Diego tonight to talk about The Left Hand of Light and the process I went through to take it from a concept to a finished product.

My first thought upon meeting the wonderful people that make up this circle of blossoming writers and hearing their hopes and fears about the act of writing is that so many of us struggle with the same basic concern: How does one take a blank canvas of infinite possibility and turn it into a story that conveys exactly what we are trying to say?

Is it finding time and discipline to make it happen? It it about rituals or just grinding through it by locking yourself away in an empty room?

I suppose no one answer would suffice for all writers. I’m not even sure I have a worthy answer. But here’s what I did and it worked for me.

Just spill the ugly draft.

What do I mean, spill it? I mean to just get it out. No editing. No revising. No JUDGING. I don’t care if every sentence you write is a total cliche and neither should you. Or if every sentence is laughable with poor grammar and terrible metaphors. Just spill it out onto the page. Get it out as quickly as you possibly can!

Why?

Because a book is like a baby. Nothing you could write, no matter how grotesque, will compare to the euphoric feeling you will have by holding that ugly draft in your hand like it was your child and realizing that you just wrote a book. A bad book probably. An unreadable book, even. Other people may glare at your ugly child and shake their heads, but I promise to you it will be a thing of beauty. It will be done and it will be yours and no one or nothing can ever take that away from you.

But where do you start? Stories begin at the beginning, but that doesn’t mean they have to be written that way. The Left Hand of Light was just a short story concept until I realized I’d been holding back to write the climax scene. The one that I lived for and made me cry. But it was taking forever together there. I had no idea how I would get there because I had no idea where I was going. So what did I do? I wrote the ending first. I spilled all my passion, all my pain, all my rage and glory right there because that’s really why we’re writing isn’t it? It was a revelation for me that just because I read a story a certain way didn’t mean I had to write it the same way! Once I knew the ending, it was much easier (not easy, just easier!) to try to figure out and write all the things that led up to that climax. What happened before? What happened after? became my two favorite questions.

Once your ugly draft is born, that’s when the real work begins: Turning the ugly baby into a productive member of society. Now you can start editing, and revising, poking. Let the editor in you come out now to judge and remove the bad grammar and horrible cliches. Because you’re editing your book! You may discover that the climax you wrote in the beginning doesn’t quite work anymore. That’s totally okay! CHANGE IT! You have that power. It was just a starting place, like a destination on a map. You thought you wanted to go to Las Vegas and you set out on the road to get there, but after you began the journey, you realized the Grand Canyon was really what you wanted to see. Cool. So go there. But until you spill the ugly draft, you’ll never ever know.

Let’s write.

Join the San Diego Author Exhibit

English: Downtown San Diego from the air.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For you writers out there, there’s still time to join the San Diego Public Library‘s 48th Annual Local Author Exhibit since the deadline was extended to Dec 20. News coverage here. Registration here. Open to San Diego County residents who published a book in 2013. See you THERE!

Together we make the writing world a better place!