Archive for Product Review

Book Update: PUBLISHED!

by Jetsi

Greetings!  It is with great enthusiasm that I am formally announcing that “The Project” as it has been known for the last seven years, has finally reached fruition.  A week ago I pressed the submit button and The Modern Jedi Knight is now available as an e-book in the Kindle format from Amazon.com.  The Kindle reader can be downloaded for all platforms, phones, and tablets for free from the appropriate app store or through Amazon itself.

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Published!

The book is available for $3.99 USD and is a real bargain for being the equivalent of a 249 page paperback book.  I initially offered the book at $9.99 based upon a few other books from traditional publishers, both in hardcover and e-book format.  One book I just read in the last few days echoes many of the thoughts and processes that I describe in my book, although the author did not use Star Wars as a central theme.  Luke Skywalker and the Hero’s Journey were mentioned a few times, though.  This book I just read is available for $14.93 in hardcover and $11.88 in e-book format so I felt my product was competitive.  A pricing  calculator that took data from similar books and previous sales, along with the input from a few initial readers, said my initial price was too high so I lowered it and am offering refunds on the price difference to those who were first to purchase the book.

Even though I followed all of the protocols while formatting the book I do notice that there are some issues with paragraph indention that I am going to need to work on.  Otherwise, I am very happy with how the book turned out.  It appears that I will be able to edit the book and add new content, such as illustrations, at a later date for no additional charge to the reader.

With the project now completed, I am ready to begin working on the website once again.  I will be working on adding content to the Modern Jedi  Knight YouTube channel as well as adding regular content regarding current affairs and the Jedi as I did before concentrating on writing the book full time.  There will be other symbiotic projects that will be worked on as well.

I want to thank everyone who has already purchased the book and also thank those who provided me with feedback and inspiration to complete what turned out to be a truly daunting task.  Writing a book is substantially more difficult than I imagined the process to be.  And I am crazy enough to have two more book ideas, albeit much smaller projects, in the works.  I must be crazy.

Book review

Greetings to all my fellow Jedi.  Happy Spring to those in the Northern Equator!  We have a lot to talk about so let us get to it.

The book is, for most purposes, complete.  I have not heard from any traditional publisher as of yet but, with one more submission to be sent out shortly, we are not down to our only hope yet.  So, armed with that knowledge, I have decided to commit to the Kindle platform for publishing so I will have to go through and see if I am satisfied with any images I might put into the book and go through some final formatting and editing.  With the work that needs to be done I see no more of a fitting day to release the e-book about training to become a Modern Jedi than International Star Wars Day.

So, I don’t expect that to break the holonet but that is the breaking news.  The book will be released on May the Fourth of this year.

In other news, I finished reading The Force Awakens in book format a few weeks ago, in addition to seeing the movie a few more times.  The book reviews were fairly brutal, even among those who would call themselves Star Wars fans.  I enjoyed the book, giving it two thumbs up even though it really didn’t provide any vital information that wasn’t put into the movie.  The only qualm I could have against the book would be the vocabulary used by Alan Dean Foster.  Some of the words were novel, new, and fancy but soon became repetitive by the end of the book.  Alan would have done well to heed the words of one of my English teachers who jokingly said, “Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.”  However, I added some words to my lexicon in the process so I am not complaining.

Lastly, I finally have gotten around to creating that YouTube channel I had always been thinking of.  I have started some playlists of official Star Wars releases along with some other relevant videos and have created my own introduction video.  There will be more content released once the book project is in the rear-view mirror.  Go on over, take a look, and please subscribe so you will be notified of all new content.

Look forward to one more update before May the Fourth.  Until then, the Force will be with you.  Always.

 

Book Update for January 2016

by Jetsi

maxresdefaultHappy New Year to all my fellow Jedi!

This project, the one I have been undertaking for many years, is almost ready to come to an end.  The book is almost complete.

Even though the book is almost ready, I am thinking of delaying self-publishing until late March or April. A few weeks ago I decided to recheck a traditional publishing house’s website on their submission guidelines and discovered that they have recently added many different genres to their list of acceptable submissions.  With that information I feel very excited in that they may be the perfect publisher for my book.  They say that I can self-publish and that they will still accept my submission but I wouldn’t want to have two different products out as I am certain a professional editor would recommend some changes to the book, most likely simple grammar changes and the like but they may have some suggestions on flow or other large changes. I am putting the finishing touches on my submission application and will have that delivered within the week.  I hope my decision to delay publishing a few months doesn’t disappoint too many people.

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I wish I could take credit for this, I don’t know who made it.

Did you know there is another Star Wars movie out there that needs to be seen?  With four viewings in and in all formats available, I am thinking I have at least one more IMAX viewing in my future before The Force Awakens is released to Blu-Rey.  Again, if you haven’t seen it in IMAX 3D you are really missing out on a great experience.

two-suns-tatooine-star-warsWishing all of the Jedi a happy Equinox today!

The book progress is continuing nicely.  I had some insights that are causing me to move some chapters around and move information from multiple chapters into a new one.  This has reduced the amount of new content that I have written but in the end it will be a first class product.  I am getting excited as we are approaching the final push to eBook publication and continuing to solicit traditional publishing sources for a printed product.

Earlier in September I received a free month of guided meditations from Headspace as a reward for consecutive days of meditation.  As part of my work on the book I have been using many different services and products to determine if I could recommend them in good conscience in the book.  I decided to give it away on Facebook in a random drawing contest.  I also posted notifications of the contest on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Headspace-Logo  I don’t know any details about the Twitter or Instagram success but I can imagine that few saw the information.  I do know that only eighteen people saw the Facebook post and that, out of those people, only one person commented on why they should win.  Needless to say, it wasn’t really a random winner.

11998985_10153174743755003_5170829773761076510_nWhy do I mention all of this?  Because Headspace just gave me another free month of guided meditations.  I will be posting another contest on the Facebook page tomorrow.  If you haven’t liked our Facebook page yet, get on over and do that now.  Don’t forget about our Twitter and Instagram accounts as well.  If whether you have already liked our Facebook page or are a new participant, be certain to Follow and click on the See First option to see all of our posts on Facebook at the top of your page.

Thanks for reading, good luck on the next contest, and I will be in touch with more updates next month.  May the Force be with you!

 

Book Update for July 2015

by Jetsi

maxresdefaultHello to all my fellow Jedi!

There has not been much writing in the last month with the Younglings still home from school.  With them returning to the Academy in 3 weeks or so I am  looking forward to more writing time then.

Since I haven’t had the time to commit large hours of my life to writing I have been busying myself with finalizing some book proposals that I am getting ready to submit with the hopes of achieving a traditional publishing deal.  If there are no takers then I will proceed through one of the self-publishing routes and start with an e-book.

San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the history books.  I had been hoping to see a new trailer for The Force Awakens, what we instead saw was a reel of behind the scenes footage from filming.  If you didn’t see it on our Facebook or Twitter feed you can see it here or watch it below.

Some routine website maintenance has been going on as well when I have the time to optimize the experience for you as well.

Until next month!  May the Force Be With You!

solo-quoteIt has been quite a month since the last update.  As far as the book goes, I made great progress on the book for the two weeks following the last update.  However, up until yesterday I was at a difficult crossroads with the book that was resulting in an epic case of writer’s block.  It wasn’t so much that I didn’t know what to write but that I didn’tcelebration-keyart-wide-132889 know how to proceed.  I knew I needed more information to be presented but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to segue from one section to the next.  But, while trailing the wife while pushing the cart in the grocery store and practicing some mindful walking, the Force provided me the insight I needed in regards with how to continue and finish the chapter.  Maybe the writer’s block wasn’t such a bad thing as it gave me some time to watch all of the information coming from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim!

What a weekend SWCA was.  In an unprecedented technological display, 30 hours of SWCA were streamed across the holonet for the enjoyment of those of us who couldn’t attend.  What information did we get?  What did we see?  The new trailer for The Force Awakens was debuted and I must admit that I still get chills when watching it.  There were some bootleg video versions for the new stand-alone film Rogue One, now known as Star Wars fett-600x245Anthologies, to be found on the holonet if one looked hard enough, and that film also looks to be extremely exciting as well, even if one reaches the conclusion that there will be no Jedi in it.  We were introduced to the new characters, and through the trailers and the images the story is starting to slowly flesh itself out while still leaving enough unknown to help build the excitement.  Star Wars Battlefront also released new in-game footage which also looks very exciting, and with it being the new canon one can also determine that Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc.  So much more information came from SWCA than one little paragraph here can cover.  With SWC8 announced for London next year, I am already looking into getting my vacation time in the middle of July to see if I can attend.vaderburnthelmet

That is it for now.  With less than 2 weeks to Star Wars Day I believe that the lack of writing for the last few weeks will prohibit me from meeting my self-imposed deadline.  So, instead of getting false hopes raised, just know that I am writing as quickly as I can to provide a great manual while still raising a family and holding a full-time job.  I can tell you that it will be complete before The Force Awakens is released, that I do know for sure.

May the Force be with you!

Greetings to all my fellow Jedi!  With a pot of Rootleaf Stew simmering on the stove top, I thought it appropriate to get a post in.  So, here is the March update!

First off, as you can see by the pictures attached, I had an opportunity to visit the Yoda Fountain.  If you are unfamiliar with the fountain below I have included an excerpt which I pulled from the 421st revision to the book, or was it the 501st or the 1,138th revision?  Needless to say, between all the adventures and additional revisions I am losing hope that the book will be completed in time for Celebration this year.  However, just past Celebration is Star Wars Day, so that is my new target.  If I get it done before then, I will consider that a big bonus.  I have made great progress towards completion in the last few weeks, plus I had some insightful inspiration occur to me while cooking my stew just a few minutes ago that I can’t wait to share with everyone.  Regardless, I have made what I consider to be the final revisions to the first 5 chapters (except for the new addition below) so I can now include them in proposals in an effort to get this book printed by a traditional publisher.

Now, to the Yoda Fountain.  This small excerpt is in a part of the book where I try to explain the following two questions.  Why Star Wars?  Why the Jedi?  I want to go through this at least one more time to possibly clean it up and revise it some more but I think this is pretty close to how it will appear in the book.  Enjoy!

But just in case all of those reasons were not enough to convince you of the need for heroes in general and specifically the Jedi, let me tell you a story about an experience I recently had.  It was just a short time ago in March of 2015 (it was on Pi day, to be exact) when I went on a pilgrimage to the Yoda Fountain.  For those that are unfamiliar, the Yoda Fountain is a 26 inch “life size” bronze statue of Yoda sitting atop a fountain in a small alcove at the entrance to Lucasfilm, which is located in the Presidio area of San Francisco and just a short distance from the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a beautiful day in the Bay Area, with high cirrus clouds to diffuse the intensity of the midday sun.  My journey to the fountain involved a hike of over seven miles from the light rail station at the Civic Center of San Francisco.  I enjoyed my stroll through the neighborhoods of the City by the Bay even though the trip to the Presidio seemed to be entirely uphill.

Shortly after entering the Presidio area I found the statue after a little searching and took the obligatory tourist photos and selfie, but instead of the other tourists who came and quickly left, I stayed in the small courtyard for a little more than an hour.  While I was there I must have seen at least 100 people stop by and visit their favorite Dagobah resident.  They were ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fans of all ages, ranging from a few months of age to some octogenarians.  They were of all ethnicities and races, and I personally heard Russian, French, German, and the Queen’s English being spoken.  And out of all of these diverse groups of people, all of them, without exception, began to smile when they rounded the corner and caught their first glimpse of Yoda standing atop his burbling fountain.  Their happiness was a palpable vibe that was joyous and overpowering, and you didn’t need to be a Jedi to feel and experience it.  People feel happy and secure and like they are a part of an order when they are around Yoda.  That is why we are drawn to the Jedi.

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First off, welcome to all of our newest Facebook members.  I wish I would have had the time to do something when the page surpassed 1,000 likes (you can find out why I didn’t in the next paragraph), but I hope to be able to celebrate the next milestones with a little more pomp and circumstance.

Progress is slowly being made on the book. I had to spend almost 3 weeks away from writing as there was an issue with this website that could have resulted in the entire website being deleted due to mysql database problems. For some reason the databases suddenly were experiencing exponential growth in file size and I was exceeding the Terms of Service limits. I tracked the problem down to the forum (What forum? The one you are carrying inside your rusty innards!) that I had locked away. Some malicious bots had gotten hold of it, I think, so it was easier to destroy than fix. I decided a few years ago that I would never make the forum operational so there is no real loss. Anyways, I am still pressing to be done by Celebration in the ebook format at the least.

Besides all the website updates provided, I have also procured some more website addresses, namely beajedi.com and also .org. Along with my first and local website, milehighjedi.com, these automatically redirect to this site for now. I wanted an address that was shorter, catchier, easier to remember, and that could be put on a t-shirt (pomp and circumstance, perhaps?). I am thinking of a new logo as well, I just need screen time to try it out. I will put it out for reader response when I have the opportunity.

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Lastly, I just had the opportunity yesterday afternoon to play the new Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game. Having never played it before, I was quite surprised to find I was at the top of the leaderboard when I stepped out. I am pretty sure I heard Darth Vader say, “The Force is strong with this one.”  Then again, maybe it resets every day if they turn the power off.

My thoughts on the Star Wars Battle Pod game, in no particular order, are this:

  • Having the fan blow in your face while on the speeder bike is immersive. Having the fan blow in your face while flying in a space ship is strange. Even more so when flying as Darth Vader in his Tie Advanced x1. That face hadn’t felt a fresh breeze in many years.  After a while it was getting warm in the pod so I wish it would just run continuously.  To really up the wow factor, maybe it should blow out scented air.  Forest and swamp from Yavin, Pine trees on Endor, a little ionized air on Hoth, whatever a Sullustan smells like while flying into the  second Death Star.  You get the point.
  • I was initially a little surprised by the graphics.  They reminded me more of a Nintendo GameCube as far as graphics power than something newer and more powerful.  But you only notice it during the intro and selection screens.  Once the action begins things are moving so fast that the graphics look great.  Or maybe it has something do do with the curved screen or just the immense size of the screen.  The pictures included allow you to really notice the curve of the screen and the graphics quality.  I wish I could have gotten better pictures but that was the vantage point from where I sat.
  • I would like to see a game like this developed with a little more open architecture.  In the game you basically are fine tuning the nose position of your craft as you fly around.  I would like to have the opportunity to take an arcade setup like this and make it an open world environment.  Something along the lines of the X-Wing series developed for the PC, perhaps.  Imagine a couple pods paired together, allowing head-to-head combat between Rebels and Imperials or allowing combat against AI if no one else was around.
  • I think the game is expensive.  It really never said what I was paying every time I swiped my Power Card but I estimate I spent $10 to play the game.  Could I feed the machine a roll of quarters  like I used to feed many of the arcade games of my youth?  No.  But it is definitely a treat worth playing at least once.

If you have the opportunity to play the game, I highly recommend giving it a whirl.  If we feed projects like this there is a good chance we will see other good things follow in its footsteps.  Have you played this game?  What did you think of it?  Let us know in the comments.  As for me, I will now put down the game controllers and get back to the keyboard.  Until next time, may the Force be with you!

Book Update for November 2014

by Jetsi
Obi-Wan reading an advance copy of my book, perhaps?

Obi-Wan reading an advance copy of my book, perhaps?

Everything is progressing well on the book front.  I had a small epiphany in late October, and since that point the material has been flowing from my mind onto the keyboard and it is all meshing together nicely.

Things are progressing so nicely and quickly that I am now deeply delving into the process of what it takes to get a book published, both with and without an agent.  I will pursue both paths for now and see where it leads.  I am prepared to self-publish if necessary so don’t you worry, I will have it out soon one way or another.

I really want to get the book completed so I can return to the somewhat daily musings I had been doing before starting out on the book front.  There is so much Jedi news out there right now that I want to talk about.  It will all return soon.

Nothing huge to report here, just letting you know that I am still hard at work.  Enjoy your winter holidays and I will report again next month.

 

So here I am, having completed my second month of playing Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  This will serve as a short continuation of a previous review.

I am still working on developing my Jedi Sentinel, currently at Level 48.  I have created four other characters as well that I am looking forward to playing, they are a smuggler, bounty hunter, trooper, and a dark Jedi.  I have been to the majority of the planets but I still have to see Corellia, Ilum, Drommund Kaas, and Korriban.

Quickly, my thoughts are still very positive.  I love the music and the immersive quality of the game.  The worlds are beautifully rendered and I am just enthralled with the developing main story line and all of the accommpanying side stories.

Here is what I am not so positive about.  The game play has become a little stale for me.  I am used to First Persson Shooters such as Star Wars;  Battlefront so I find myself a little bored when it comes to combat.  Ironically, I find the Jedi has too much combat to accomplish and it doesn’t follow the concept of violence as a last resort (however, I believe many would be bored if playing a Jedi who rarely fought).  It is hard to complete the Flashpoint and Heroic missions as they require a social group and many times I find myself on a planet with a player count in the single digits.

So as I prepare to finish the main story with my Jedi Sentinel I look forward to the stories still waiting to be discovered with my other characters.  The positive qualities of the game still heavily outweigh the negative qualities so I look forward to playing this game for many months to come.

Are you playing?  What are your thoughts on the game?