Thursday, November 27, 2014

Confessions of a Failed Author #13

Checkmate

 So today was the day I cashed my first cheque. From Amazon. For writing a book. Just a hundred bucks (as in dollar bucks). Yeah not a huge deal. Thing is you can't just go to any bank to cash it, you have to go to like the Head Branch. And then they check your balance to...well, to fucking see what your balance is.

 See, if the cheque bounces they need to know whether they can just deduct the money they gave you from what you have in your own account. Well, sorry dudes, as of right now there's not much of a balance to play dodgems with.
 "What is your salary per month sir?"
 "Ummm...I don't earn a salary."
 "What was it you said you did sir?"
"I'm a fucked up writer."
 "Oh I understand."

 Thing is, they explained (as if to a very young, intellectually challenged child) if you get a cheque worth more than R20 000, it's going to cost R2000 to have it verified (although verified wasn't quite the word they used though). No chance of a R20 000 ($2000) cheque, I promised (with absolute sincerity).

 Happy that I wouldn't be troubling them with large sums of money, they stamped my Wells Fargo cheque and sent little ol' me on my way.

 I suppose I should point out that that first cheque was for the first two months of my first two books sales on Amazon. I was selling them at bottom dollar (literally for a 30% royalty off $0.99), so I was literally earning about R3 on every book sold... 'cos I didn't know any better. Cos I'm a dick.
Anyway, I've since hoiked the price up a tad. Oh and last night I also published this little novella because, ja, I'm an asshole; and I still don't know any better.  I just don't understand who the idiots are that are actually buying this kak.  You put it up and someone (make that 2 someones) instantly buys it.  Which means I have bucks for some dinner, and I can put away this can of beans (yes, I literally do have cans of beans for dinner) for a rainy day.  Well, another rainy day, besides this one.

Friday, November 21, 2014

June Steenkamp Interview...about her book

#RS is Oscar Trial eBook #7... so what's it about?

Written between Halloween and Thanksgiving, the authors of #RS take the narrative of the Oscar Trial back to Reeva Steenkamp. 

At the same time #RS became available the media have started a new tune...of how Oscar might rebuild his life and find love again. And just days after #RS was published, a few days shy of Oscar's 28th birthday (in jail) John Carlin's book on Oscar (Chase Your Shadow) was also published. 


 Yet despite exclusive access to Oscar and the Pistorius family, Carlin's book does not offer a view on the legitimacy of Oscar's actions. #RS does. This 7th book in the series bravely goes where no narrative has gone before on this topic. 


#RS probes the authenticity of Reeva's life and love, it attempts to find a device, a tree or rocket or belief system, that we can use to bridge the desolation and loneliness that divides the Earth from the Heavens. And, #RS calls into question the dedication of her family and friends who - for the most part - have not lent their voices in support of Reeva. 


 More nagging questions are raised and answers mooted. 


For example, why did the Steenkamps and their advocate so blithely accept the court's sentence when so many others did not? 


 Although #RS is an uplifting story, it does not shirk from the brutal truth that is part of life, sex and death on this planet. And the very last lines of this tome ought to shake even the most focused reader back to giddy alertness. 


 In the great chasm where so few have spoken on Reeva's behalf this narrative rages with Reeva into the dying of the night. 


 #RS is available on Amazon for less than $7. Buy yours here.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Card of Condolences &A List of Life and Love for Reeva Steenkamp #RS

The cover of the card features a snow white dove with a red beak, wings outstretched and filled with sunshine, standing in white water... Sandy's card to Barry and June Steenkamp reads: 'Dear Barry and June It's so sad to lose someone so dear, Time may dull the pain, but we will never forget Reeva. Please accept our condolences On-line Twitter friends who care'



Sex and Reading - A Look At Who's Reading Whom [INFOGRAPHIC]


Reeva's parents will rue the day they expressed 'their satisfaction' to the media with Masipa's sentence #RS





Partial Transcript from the above clip

Reporter: "Do you think Justice has been served?"
June Steenkamp [With lawyer Dup de Bruyn beside her]: "Yes."
Reporter [to Barry]: "Are you happy?  Are you satisfied?"
Barry Steenkamp [shuffling out of the court after sentencing]: "We...we are happy. We are satisfied."
Reporter: Do you think five years is enough?"
Barry Steenkamp: "Yes."
Reporter [aghast]: "Do you think five years is enough?!"





Defence documents in full available here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#RS Audio Background

The Soundcloud clips below are unedited raw whatsapp communiques between the co-authors over the course of setting up the #RS narrative. #RS is available on Amazon.com on 21/11/2014 Listen to TRANSCENDENCE audio background here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

COMING SOON...#RS...


#RS, the 7th book in the series will be available as an Amazon Kindle ebook on 21 November.

The first 7 people to share this on Twitter (cc @HiRezLife and @lisawJ13 ) win a free copy. Please start using #RS to help us generate some interest...

The first 7 to share this post on Facebook win free copies of RESTORATION which is the 8th and last in the series (available in 2015). Add https://www.facebook.com/NickvanderLeek and https://www.facebook.com/lisa.wilson.775 before you do.  

Thanks for your interest, your reviews, your feedback, thanks for reading and thanks for caring and remembering...this is how we show humanity to our fellow human beings...and how we turn Reeva's tragic death into something life affirming...something positive we can all come together and share in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Walking in the Air #RS

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth.

The third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it just under a day later for the trip back to Earth. Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program. Apollo 11 effectively ended the Space Race and fulfilled a national dream goal proposed in 1961 by the U.S. President John F. Kennedy in a speech before the U.S. Congress: "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

 When Armstrong again looked outside, he saw that the computer's landing target was in a boulder-strewn area just north and east of a 300-meter (980 ft) diameter crater (later determined to be "West crater," named for its location in the western part of the originally planned landing ellipse).

Armstrong took semi-automatic control[25] and, with Aldrin calling out altitude and velocity data, landed at 20:17:40 UTC on July 20 with about 25 seconds of fuel left.[5]
Apollo 11 landed with less fuel than other missions, and the astronauts encountered a premature low fuel warning.

This was later found to be the result of greater propellant 'slosh' than expected, uncovering a fuel sensor. On subsequent missions, extra anti-slosh baffles were added to the tanks to prevent this.
Armstrong acknowledged Aldrin's completion of the post landing checklist with "Engine arm is off," before responding to Duke with the words, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Armstrong's unrehearsed[26] change of call sign from "Eagle" to "Tranquility Base" emphasized to listeners that landing was complete and successful. Duke mispronounced his reply as he expressed the relief at Mission Control: "Roger, Twan— Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot."

 Two and a half hours after landing, before preparations began for the EVA, Aldrin radioed to Earth:

"This is the LM pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way."[28]

He then took communion privately. At this time NASA was still fighting a lawsuit brought by atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair (who had objected to the Apollo 8 crew reading from the Book of Genesis) demanding that their astronauts refrain from broadcasting religious activities while in space.

As such, Aldrin chose to refrain from directly mentioning taking communion on the Moon.

Aldrin was an elder at the Webster Presbyterian Church, and his communion kit was prepared by the pastor of the church, the Rev. Dean Woodruff. Aldrin described communion on the Moon and the involvement of his church and pastor in the October 1970 edition of Guideposts magazine and in his book Return to Earth.
Webster Presbyterian possesses the chalice used on the Moon and commemorates the event each year on the Sunday closest to July 20.
 

From INTERSTELLAR:

Cooper: You don't believe we went to the Moon? 
Ms. Kelly: I believe it was a brilliant piece of propaganda, that the Soviets bankrupted themselves pouring resources into rockets and other useless machines...
Cooper: Useless machines? 
Ms. Kelly: And if we don't want to repeat of the excess and wastefulness of the 20th Century then we need to teach our kids about this planet, not tales of leaving it.
Cooper: You know, one of those useless machines they used to make was called a MRI, and if we had one of those left the doctors would have been able to find the cyst in my wife's brain, before she died instead of afterwards, and then she had been the one sitting here, listen to this instead of me which'll be a good thing because she was always the... a calmer one.
 

William Safire prepared a speech called In Event of Moon Disaster for President Nixon to read on television if the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.[48] According to the plans, Mission Control would "close down communications" with the LEM, and a clergyman would have commended their souls to "the deepest of the deep" in a public ritual likened to burial at sea.

Presidential telephone calls to the astronauts' wives were also planned. The speech originated in a memo from Safire to Nixon's White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman in which Safire suggested a protocol the administration might follow in reaction to such a disaster.[49][50] The last line of the prepared text contained an allusion to Rupert Brooke's First World War poem, "The Soldier."

While moving within the cabin, Aldrin accidentally broke the circuit breaker that would arm the main engine for lift off from the Moon. There was concern this would prevent firing the engine, stranding them on the Moon. Fortunately a felt-tip pen was sufficient to activate the switch.[53]

Had this not worked, the Lunar Module circuitry could have been reconfigured to allow firing the ascent engine.[54]



After about seven hours of rest, the crew was awakened by Houston to prepare for the return flight. Two and a half hours later, at 17:54 UTC, they lifted off in Eagle's ascent stage, carrying 21.5 kilograms of lunar samples with them, to rejoin CMP Michael Collins aboard Columbia in lunar orbit.

During the launch Aldrin looked up in time to see the exhaust from the ascent module's engine knock over the American flag they had planted.[1]

 After more than 21½ total hours on the lunar surface, they had left behind scientific instruments that included a retroreflectorarray used for the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment and a Passive Seismic Experiment Package used to measuremoonquakes.

After rendezvous with Columbia, Eagle '​s ascent stage was jettisoned into lunar orbit on July 21, 1969 at 23:41 UTC. Just before the Apollo 12 flight, it was noted that Eagle was still likely to be orbiting the Moon. Later NASA reports mentioned that Eagle's orbit had decayed, resulting in it impacting in an "uncertain location" on the lunar surface.[56]

The location is uncertain because the Eagle ascent stage was not tracked after it was jettisoned, and the lunar gravity field is sufficiently non-uniform to make the orbit of the spacecraft unpredictable after a short time. NASA estimated that the orbit had decayed within months and would have impacted on the Moon.

 On July 23, the last night before splashdown, the three astronauts made a television broadcast in which Collins commented, "... The Saturn V rocket which put us in orbit is an incredibly complicated piece of machinery, every piece of which worked flawlessly ... We have always had confidence that this equipment will work properly. All this is possible only through the blood, sweat, and tears of a number of a people ... All you see is the three of us, but beneath the surface are thousands and thousands of others, and to all of those, I would like to say, 'Thank you very much.'"

Aldrin added, "This has been far more than three men on a mission to the Moon; more, still, than the efforts of a government and industry team; more, even, than the efforts of one nation. We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown ... Personally, in reflecting on the events of the past several days, a verse from Psalms comes to mind. 'When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the Moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him?'"

Armstrong concluded, "The responsibility for this flight lies first with history and with the giants of science who have preceded this effort; next with the American people, who have, through their will, indicated their desire; next with four administrations and their Congresses, for implementing that will; and then, with the agency and industry teams that built our spacecraft, the Saturn, the Columbia, the Eagle, and the little EMU, the spacesuit and backpack that was our small spacecraft out on the lunar surface. We would like to give special thanks to all those Americans who built the spacecraft; who did the construction, design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those craft. To those people tonight, we give a special thank you, and to all the other people that are listening and watching tonight, God bless you. Good night from Apollo 11."[17]

 On the return to Earth, a bearing at the Guam tracking station failed, potentially preventing communication on the last segment of the Earth return. A regular repair was not possible in the available time but the station director, Charles Force, had his ten-year old son Greg use his small hands to reach into the housing and pack it with grease. Greg later was thanked by Armstrong.

In accordance with the recently passed Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law, the astronauts were placed in quarantine for fear that the Moon might contain undiscovered pathogens and that the astronauts might have been exposed to them during their Moon walks. However, after almost three weeks in confinement (first in their trailer and later in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at the Manned Spacecraft Center), the astronauts were given a clean bill of health.[61]

On August 10, 1969, the astronauts exited quarantine.

On August 13, they rode in parades in their honor in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. On the same evening in Los Angeles there was an official State Dinner to celebrate the flight, attended by members of Congress, 44 governors, the Chief Justice of the United States, and ambassadors from 83 nations at the Century Plaza Hotel. President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew honored each astronaut with a presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On July 13, three days before Apollo 11's launch, they [the Russians] launched Luna 15, which reached lunar orbit before Apollo 11. During descent, a malfunction caused Luna 15 to crash in Mare Crisium about two hours before Armstrong and Aldrin took off from the surface.

The Jodrell Bank Observatory radio telescope in England was later discovered to have recorded transmissions from Luna 15 during its descent, and this was published in July 2009 on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Rosetta's Philae landing in T minus...

What is the point of landing on a comet? Well, to find out how life on Earth could have started.  Did comets seed the Earth with water?  Probably yes.  But asteroids also would have been part of the cataclysmic beginnings of our molten Earth.  And gas.  And plasma firing off from the younger sun.  And a moon shaped object colliding with the Earth, and then acting as a shield.

How far off is the schema of INTERSTELLAR?  Dust storms and the like? This image (below) was captured on Monday (November 10).

More here.



In Interstellar there's a scene where a baseball game gets interrupted by a massive dust storm. Kinda like this..


When did this happen? Just last month.
 More here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Confessions of a Failed Author #12

Do you speak German?

People are writing about me in Germany and I have noooooooooooooo idea what they are saying.  Whatever they are saying the '!' suggests....forceful feeling. Oops.  Eina.  Sorrryyy!


I'm guessing either they love me or....nah...probably hate me.  Ja vol!


Nick van der Leek ist Südafrikaner und wohnt in Südafrika. Ich habe fünf der sechs bislang veröffentlichten Bücher dieser Serie gelesen, und es war eine hochspannende Lektüre, die den Mordprozess von Oscar Pistorius genau schildert und analysiert. Wirklich spannend geschrieben.


Diese Version enthält leider nichts als Kopien der Facebook Statuse von Reeva aus früheren Jahren. Ich war von dem Buch sehr enttäuscht!


Incidentally the movie I have been waiting all year for has finally arrived and it didn't disappoint.  I've already watched it three times and I can easily go twice more.  That's about how many times I watched AVATAR.


The music in this film is MONUMENTAL.  You can listen to a clip of it here (sound clip is at the bottom of the post, play it from 3:44).


Meanwhile, I have to be honest.  I stole all of Christopher Nolan's ideas.  Because my sci fi epic - BLOODLINE -  set in Scotland has...well...how do I say this...it's a total fucking rip-off of Interstellar!


Let's see:


- food shortages - check

- drones - check
- secret space port - check



- world population wiped out - check
- everybody in his inner circle (practically) dies - check
- father and daughter get separated - sort've check, mine has mother and son
- involves spaceships, Mars and setting up a new colony - check
- involves the imminent extinction of all human beings on Earth - check
- involves a dude and a robot - sort've check, my dude has a dog

and this is where it gets creepy:


- involves a very important book case - check

- involves solving an equation - sort've check, mine involves a mystery more around the location of the base and who is operating it
- involves fighting on glaciers - check
- one of one - check
- involves fiery explosions on glaciers - check
- involves rocket ships flying over or crashing into ice - check
- there's also a sea scene somewhere else - check
- senior scientist dies fairly early on - check
- hero falls for a brunette chickie with short hair who has a different belief system to him - check
- central theme is loneliness vs bonds of family (and humanity) - check

Look, either great minds think alike or I should be sued for plagiarism.  I think the latter makes sense. Only one teeny tiny problem.  I published my story on Amazon (here) before the movie came out... And I wrote it like...2 years ago. Which means, Nolan stole MY idea!


Nah, it will make more sense if he sues me.  Need my address, Mr Nolan?

Were Oscar and Jenna secretly...in love?

This framed collage was given to Oscar, which he kept upstairs in the TV room/lounge.

#RS in pictures...






















Delusions - Reeva's vs...someone else's... #RS