Guest Post: I’m in a Bag of Holding!

January 5, 2013

Hey, everybody. Something really cool that I’ve just been waiting for has arrived – my guest post over on The Geektastics Bag of Holding. Rhianna has interviewed me about Nanowrimo, writer’s block, zombie apocalypses, Firefly, and other really cool things. So come check it out, and then wander around the rest of her shiny new blog!

Guest Post: Character Development Series Part 1

December 14, 2011

Greetings Readers,

Once again my name is Mark Allen and once again I’m filling in for Chris for reasons I’ll go into later on in this post!

Now odds are that at least one of you out there hasn’t yet suppressed the horrible memory of my previous guest post and as a result might recall that I was in the process of working on a series on the subject of character development in writing.

So today I’m very proud to present to you all today the second part of the series, which describes how to develop complex characters and as a bonus, my response to a post by Chris from a few days ago inviting others to share character and plot ideas that have emerged from their dreams. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Post: An Intro To The Topic of Character Development!

November 16, 2011

Greetings Readers,

Once again, my name is Mark Allen and once again, I find myself filling in for Chris today!

As some of you are no doubt aware, tomorrow Chris celebrates his 36th Birthday but what many of you are (hopefully) not aware is that he is currently spending in a specialized temporary witness protection program offered by Monoc Securities in a recent settlement between certain paranormally active splinter groups of the mafia and the White Court brokered by the White Council via their reluctant representative Harry Dresden to protect a few people (Chris included) who accidentally ended up getting married in Las Vegas.

Now normally, of course, this would be easily resolved by a visit to city hall the next day, filling out the 19-d annulment forms, paying the filing fees and then it would forever expunged under the blanket rule of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Sadly, circumstances have forced an exception to said blanket rule when a few days ago it was found that a group of supposedly harmless Mummies exhibited at a special showing as a promotion for the Luxor actually proved to be an ancient group of White Court vampires who planned to use an ancient marriage ceremony regarding the souls of their collected fiances with a White Court aura fueled Las Vegas party to end all parties (literally) to create a god.

So in the meantime while Chris finds himself staying in hiding with a noted member of the White Council in Chicago, not able to use any of his electronics to feed the blog, it again falls to me to fill the void!

Fortunately, I was already in the process of drafting a few entries regarding the subject of character design for aspiring authors when a few days ago I found myself composing a response to the RPG Challenge for MyIGN, however I soon realized that I would probably need to create my own post due to the excessive verbosity levels imposed by my boundless enthusiasm for the subject so I’ve decided to see if I can combine the two to offer an intro to a few of the posts I’m still in the process of working on finishing up!

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Post: Three Proven Job-Hunting Tips

August 23, 2011

Greetings readers!

Once again, my name is Mark Allen and once again, I’m writing in the place of Chris on this particular entry while waiting for him to get back from helping the strange man who had some sort of problem with his mysteriously appearing Blue Police Box which has now mysteriously disappeared with both of them inside!

Normally I be a bit worried, but after our last involvement with time travel which landed us both smack in middle of the infamous Noodle Incident (‘nough said) I took the liberty of planting a 5 dimensional tracking device on Chris so I know he’s fine…Sort of…Well, aside from the invisible Yetis that are currently hunting him!

But in the meantime, while Chris is out gallivanting throughout space and time having fantastic adventures some of us remain stuck at work (not that we are in any ways bitter about that of course) and the blog must go on!

Speaking of work, this lends itself to an interesting topic as I’m pleased to say that after doing a lot of consulting and on call work for IT Infrastructure I was just recently hired after a long and arduous job in an engineering capacity for a major IT network security technologies firm!

Although I realize this is probably a case of too little, too late, in order to try to avoid sounding like this whole post is me blowing my own trumpet, I thought it might be nice to offer a few helpful tips  that I learned this time around during my journey to my next employment opportunity!

Oh, and if I sound slightly condescending, don’t worry, it’s just a side effect of excessive UNIX use to help cleanse myself from my Windows infested surroundings!

Now odds are, most/a lot of you are not Engineers, so as a result I think we’re safe to skip the really basic stuff as I’m making the assumption that you have enough social skills to be able to be considered functionally social, unlike me, for whom even a purely superficial appearance of normality is simply not a realistic goal in the workplace and by extension, life in general!

Hence there are three major tips that I can offer when pursuing a job in today’s abysmal economy: Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Post: Introduction to fun for the Adventure Inclined!

July 12, 2011

Greetings all!

For those of you who are wondering, my name is Mark Allen and I’m doing a guest post for Chris today as I was originally supposed to write up something while he was out in Kansas saving the Kingdom of Oz under the guise of attending a Con there (er, that is to say the Con is in Kansas not Oz) but was delayed due to RL asserting itself at the worst possible time so naturally I’m finally ready to post this now that Chris is back from his trip!

Now for all those of you wondering just who the hey I am, let me give you a bit of background about myself:

I’m an American (since I’m admitting that up front, kindly refrain from spitting on me as much as you can) I grew up just outside of the DC area but have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the vast majority of my life and currently live in the Tri-Valley area of the San Francisco East Bay, and have been working in IT related fields just prior to graduating High School in 2002!

I met Chris several years ago now (I’m really trying not to think of exactly how many given how old that makes us both now) due to our mutual interest in Roswell fic (because Opie deserves his threesome and us Stargazers have to stick together, damn it) after PMing him regarding a fic of his he IM’d me and we’ve been chatting pretty much ever since!

In fact, one of the highlights of my life occurred last year after I finally got the opportunity to meet up with him face to face for the first time when he made in to my neck of the woods and because he’s far too modest to admit this, just so everyone knows, he’s actually a lot thinner than you might expect (of course, I wish he could say the same about me)!

Anyhoo, a few weeks ago I was chatting with him on IM recommending he look at some great adventure game titles to play on Frotz for his new iPhone and I thought it would be neat to post a quick feature on a few of my favorites so hopefully they would sound appealing enough to where he might look at them sooner than later!  Read the rest of this entry »

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