Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Of Dreams and Faith and Camp NaNoWriMo!

In recent posts, I've been making vague mentions at a non-fiction project I've started. I'm happy to announce that I have an official title for my project: Of Dreams and Faith. As some of you know, I have another blog that I run by the same name. Both the blog and the book detail the journey of faith that God has taken me (and my family) on in my lifetime, but the book will go into greater detail and offer more of an autobiographical look at things, while the blog continues to chronicle our move to the Bay Area and the church plant - Canvas - that we are a part of.

I am hoping to finish this project in the next couple of months, and then move full speed into my Expired Reality series. Which brings me to my next newsworthy topic...

I've decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I have been doing the basic, November-based NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the last eight years, and I just found out about Camp NaNoWriMo, which is basically a July version of NaNoWriMo, only you can set the word-count goal yourself instead of having to abide by the 50,000 words. I will be setting my goal at 50,000 to start off with though, and then if I get to the middle of the month and have surpassed that, I will reevaluate my word-count goal.

The novel I'll be working on for Camp NaNoWriMo is my third Expired Reality novel, Dark Horizons. I had already done a draft of this novel for one of my November NaNoWriMo contests, but this manuscript needs a complete overall from beginning to end, now that I decided to incorporate my Black Earth writing style into the series.

If there are any of you wanting to keep up on my word-count progress or participate in Camp NaNoWriMo yourself (it starts July 1st), here is a link to my profile there - DavidCorbin.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Of Dreams and Faith - The Book

I am proud to announce that I am currently working on a brand new non-fiction project which will go into detail about the incredible journey God has had me on in regards to my writing career and promises He's made my wife and I. The book will detail a little about my past, how I came to love writing and make it my permanent career, and the incredible chain of events God set up to get us into the Bay Area.The book will be less an autobiography and more a chapter-by-chapter peek into the ways God's hand has moved in my life and the life of my family.

I did struggle for a while picking out a title for this project, but in the end I think the answer was staring me in the face the whole time with the existence of this blog: Of Dreams and Faith.  I plan to release Of Dreams and Faith (the book) before the end of this year.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gamification and HabitRPG

For some time now, I've been trying to use To-Do lists to feel productive throughout the day. And it hasn't worked. Mainly, because I'm an avid gamer, I lean more towards achievement driven success than I do a simple task list to check off each time I do something productive. I went perusing the internet a couple of weeks ago and found that there is actually a term for my ailment - gamification.

Gamification is essentially the act of rewarding players/employees for accomplishing tasks by giving them points, achievements, tokens, badges, etc. When I heard about this, I thought it was a dream come true. Being an avid gamer, I revel in gaining achievements for the work I put into something, and I feel productive and accomplished even when I win something as trivial as an in-game bauble. It's just the way that I am wired.

After finding out about this, I realized that I have the potential of being more productive if I apply the same gamification ideals to my own life and writing career. So I went in search of apps that cater to this obsession online, and found very few that an individual - as opposed to a company - can use to do daily tasks. But one that I did come across shows promise. HabitRPG.

HabitRPG is an online, open-source app that runs To-Do and Task lists as if you were the character in a role playing game. You get gold and experience points as you complete tasks. The experience points help your character grow stronger, and the gold can be spent on weapons and armor that increase your experience or protect your health. The coolest thing about HabitRPG is that you can create your own reward system and set the gold standard that has to be spent to reach it. For example, I have a reward that I can purchase that gives me a day off from work if I spend 500 gold.

But it's not just about rewards. It's also about habits. You have daily habits that have to be performed, such as drinking your daily allotment of water or writing for an hour. If you don't complete the habit that day, you ding yourself and your health goes down. Once you're health reaches 0, your character dies and you're knocked back a level.

The game has other great options, like manually setting the difficulty of each task - although the system has it's own algorithm built in that may/may not really need to be adjusted, setting deadlines for each task, and getting bonuses when you get a streak - a consecutive number of the same task done daily. 

HabitRPG does have bugs and glitches here and there, but they are being worked out, and of all of the online options I have seen for this type of system, HabitRPG is by far the most promising.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

San Francisco

As many of you know by now, my wife, son, and I made it safe and sound to the Bay Area. We moved here to help start a church plant - Canvas - in the middle of San Francisco. While the actual road God put us on to get out here will be detailed in a non-fiction project I am currently working on, I thought I'd start the engine on this blog once again with a sneak peak into our recent wanderings.

To begin with, we found an apartment in Daly City, which is on the border of the city of San Francisco. Daly City is a bit more family-friendly and suburban than some parts of downtown San Francisco. The weather here is almost always cool - a far cry from Arizona's brutal heat.This city is a great one to move to to get acquainted with the Bay Area.

I live literally a half mile from this stunning view - 

This is my new workspace - my desk and bookshelves in part of the living room -

I've had the chance to explore much of SF, including Chinatown...

...Japantown during the Cherry Blossom Festival...

...downtown SF...

...Ghirardelli Square...

...the piers...

...Ocean Beach...

...San Francisco's eclectic food trucks...

...and I even stumbled across a unique bookstore - 

And of course, I can't include pics of SF and not include the Golden Gate Bridge -

I absolutely love it here!

Monday, June 10, 2013


As most of you have noticed, I've been MIA from social media for a while now. For the last couple months, I've been focusing on getting settled here in the Bay Area (Daly City) for the church plant we are a part of - (Canvas) - which should be launching publicly in late September. With all of this time away from my projects, I've had a chance to think about what direction I want my marketing efforts to go. And the one word that keeps coming to mind is...


After months away from the old version of my website, when I did jump on to see what could be fixed, I was pained to see how cluttered and messy my website looked. The colors were all wrong, the graphics and text were a clustermess, and some of the links didn't even work. Aside from the website, my business cards have needed a facelift, as has this blog, and even my Facebook pages. I've even become unhappy with the face I've given to The Crossover Alliance, a social community I created for writers/readers of edgy Christian speculative fiction.

With the realization that all these facets of my author platform need to be simplified (and overhauled), I did something about it.

I am proud to introduce to all of you my brand spanking new website. This site has been rebuilt from the ground up. While I've somewhat enjoyed using WebEasy Professional for the past 8+ years to build my site, the time consuming glitches and issues within the program have forced me to find a different avenue through which to build my website with. So I turned over to Wix.com and came up with a fresh, new design that is easy on the eyes and simple to update...

On top of that, I created some new business cards which I am in the process of ordering...

I also updated my author Facebook page with a new graphic. More changes to all my FB pages will be coming down the line in time...

And, you have probably already realized that I also update my blog's theme. Simplicity is the common theme running through these designs. Solid brown color schemes to go with the soft blue of my tree and star logo. I've also changed the font that my name is written in to be a little less 'fancy' and a little more professional and writerly.

And last but not least, I created a brand spanking new logo for The Crossover Alliance. Something that resembles the edginess of our fiction but at the same time represents our professionalism in the writing community...

I'd love to hear what you think of the new changes!