Season’s Greetings!!!

I love Christmas time, I really do.  I love the weather, the lights, the food, the time with friends and family… all of it.  Now couple everything I just said with the awesomeness that is New Year’s and college bowl season (which I’ll address shortly), and this really is “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Thus, much like last month’s Thanksgiving edition, we’re gonna keep this one fairly short with some minor house cleaning — then we’re out.
Red Sky Dawning (Draft 1) is done
Yep, it’s finally finished… the first round, anyway.  Mako: Book 2 is finally in the can, and while I plan to tinker with it a bit over the holidays, it’s my intention to burn full-steam ahead on it once I return in January.
I won’t spend much time on this, as I’ve already shared quite a bit about RSD’s plot and characters in previous blogs and during my interviewwith Self Publisher’s Showcase.  But, suffice it to say, I hope to have a solid manuscript ready for beta reading by the spring, then editing in the early summer.
Ruah!!!
Illogicon 2014 is right around the corner!
For those attending Raleigh’s illogicon science fiction convention Jan. 10, I’ll be partnering with Lynn MacNamee of Red Adept Publishing and others to present iAuthor: Indie Publishing 101, an in-depth panel discussion of all things indie books.  
Among the topics to be covered:
        The pros and cons of indie vs. traditional publishing
        Indie publishing platforms (KDP, Smashwords, etc.) and which to use
        Book mediums: E-books vs. print vs. audio
        Marketing through social media
        Setting a budget/deadlines
        The need for editing and cover design
 
Be sure to stick around after the panel and say hi, as I’ll be answering additional questions and giving away swag.  Truth be told, though, I just always enjoy meeting you guys.  J
IJM’s Bowl Game Predictions
Because I couldn’t resist, the following are my predictions for this year’s slate of BCS bowls, plus a handful of other matchups that struck me as potentially fun: (winners in bold)
        National Title: Florida State vs. Auburn (Totally a homer pick, I know, but I love this matchup for FSU.)
        Rose: Stanfordvs. Michigan State (GO NERDS!)
        Sugar: Alabamavs. Oklahoma (Saban won’t lose again, sorry OU.)
        Fiesta: UCF vs. Baylor (Knights had a nice year, but they’re no match for the Bears’ offense.)
        Orange: Clemson vs. Ohio State (As much as I abhor picking a Meyer-led team, I just don’t trust you in a game that matters, Clemson.)
        Russell Athletic: Miami vs. Louisville (Without Duke Johnson, “The U” falls in Bridgewater’s finale.)
        Chick-fil-A: Texas A&M vs. Duke (Johnny Football puts up stupid numbers in this game.  Aggies in a route.)
        Gator: Georgiavs. Nebraska (Also a homer pick, as my sis went to UGA. GO DAWGS!)
        Cotton: Missourivs. Oklahoma State (SEC all the way.)
        Alamo: Oregon vs. Texas (Mack Brown’s team rises up to send him out with a win.)
Okay, folks.  That officially puts the wraps on this, the inaugural year of the Mako Manifesto.  To everyone who follows this blog, you know I appreciate it, and I sincerely hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I’ve had writing it.
In closing, and on behalf of the entire Malone household, I want to wish each and every one of you a very, Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.  As mentioned up front, we celebrate this time of year for a lot of reasons, the most important being the birth of Christ… which according to scholars, probably happened in April, but it’s whatever.
Don’t worry.  I’m not gonna beat you over the head with the “reason for the season” speech.  A., that’s not the purpose of this bog, and B., because the massive overuse of the phrase makes me want to punch my own nards.  Still, if you get a chance, take a moment to ponder why people like us believe in Christmas.  Then ask yourself two questions:
1.      Can I, at the very least, entertain the remote possibility that Jesus was who he said he was, and if not…
2.      Why?
Cheers, gang, and “see you on the other side” for 2014!
IJM
PS- For anyone scrambling to find last-minute, low-prep menu options for the holidays, check out this article in last week’s Raleigh News & Observer on Christmas meals and crock pots.  CRAZY helpful stuff!

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