22 December 2014

#CatMeetsBook

I recently posted a series of images to Instagram with the hashtag #CatMeetsBook as a way of spreading the word about You Got This (In Heels vol II). I have put them together in Storify, and all together they tell quite the adorable tale:

https://storify.com/lefthandrob/cat-meets-book#publicize

19 November 2014

Blue.

Poems

Available on Amazon.com December 13, 2014!


If you enjoyed “Stand Right, Walk Left,” then you will love “Blue,” Robert C. Murray’s second collection of poems. Poetry is where we turn when the world fails to make sense. Poetry is the song we all sing when the world does make sense. Poetry is there for you, as is this humble volume of some of those very poems gathered for all your moments whether you are happy, sad, or just feeling Blue.







From the Introduction:

To help orient you in your progression through my humble offering, please note that the poems on the following pages are presented in chronological order. I considered grouping them together in sections based on their content, but I think you will enjoy Blue. more by just flipping through the pages and taking in the poems as they are; except the haiku. I included those just for fun at the end. 
Please address all complaints to Dr. Juan Pinot; his biography can be found on these pages.

17 November 2014

You Got This

In Heels, volume II

Available on Amazon on December 13, 2014!

From the back cover:

One is never enough, and so AK Moray returns yet again with another collection of stories featuring powerful and smart women who find victory in everything from the normal to the super-normal. “You Got This” revisits tales from the first volume and transports you to whole new realities. No matter where you find yourself, you can be sure that the heroine always comes out on top and she might even learn something in the process. So put your phone in airplane mode and go ahead and feed the dog, because once you pick up this book, you won’t put it down until it’s finished.



I love telling stories, just ask any of my friends. I come by it honestly, as my father loves to spin a yarn. Sometimes the story is as simple as seeing the world through someone else's eyes, others it is imagining that there is more going on that what meets the eye.

In the first volume of the "In Heels" series, I told those stories. In this new volume, "You Got This," I am back at it. Whether we follow a young woman through a day in her life or bear witness to what is very likely an impossible tale of science fiction, at the heart of all of these stories are great protagonists and strong women who are living their lives and taking action.

As much as I like telling science fiction stories I have grown ever more comfortable writing as AK Moray. I say that to say that maybe this will not be the final "In Heels" collection. Maybe AK Moray will have another stab at a novel? But for now, save your pennies for the second volume of the "In Heels" series: "You Got This." Actually, buy both volumes. They make great Christmas gifts and are the perfect size to camouflage that gift card you are getting for your niece or nephew.

13 October 2014

Unsealed, Signed, & Delivered

Almost 20 years ago my aunt gave me a copy of the script for the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale "All Good Things…". Fast forward to today and my very awesome cousin returned from New York Comic Con with that same script signed by the likewise Levar Burton and Michael Dorn.
The friend who stood in line said that Mr. Burton (Levar? We go back to my Reading Rainbow-watching  days in the 80's, after all #ButterflyInTheSky4Life) was impressed to see the script. It's always a thrill when you make some small connection to one of your TV heroes. There were no reports on how Mr. Dorn replied, though I'll be sure to update this post if I obtain any such reports.

Now, thanks to some amazing family members, my gift has even more meaning and I still love watching old TNG episodes, and coincidentally enough, it's almost time to watch "All Good Things…" yet again. Maybe next time I'll get to a con myself and collect the rest of the cast.

26 July 2014

In Relief

As those who track my movements via social media know, I have just completed a stint as the percussionist for the chamber orchestra for Silver Finch Arts Collective's 2014 Capitol Fringe production of the original opera "A Fire in Water." The co-composer, a good acquaintance (and now I think I can say friend, as we have bonded over a quintet of commutes to and from the theatre over such topics as men's footwear, Batman, where to get the best food and what the Hell is wrong with drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in DC) and Facebook friend Michael Oberhauser put out a call last month for anyone who knew of a percussionist that could do as I have just done. I was hesitant at first, but when I saw the schedule and knew that my dear Francesca would be out of the country for July that it was just the thing to keep me busy for the duration.

11 July 2014

When Managed Metadata Term Sets are Missing from the Crawled Properties List in SharePoint Online

We interrupt the new Sci-Fi based format of this blog to impart a bit of SharePoint wisdom:

If you have managed metadata term sets that are part of a content type and they do not appear as a crawled property in the Search Admin, open a library where the content type is used and populate the missing field(s). Search apparently doesn't register those columns if there is no data to be registered.


I posted this because I could not find the direct answer to my question via Google. Maybe I didn't Google hard enough, but even still, here we are. Hope it helped.

09 July 2014

To Infinitive and Beyond

Image Credit: Screen Grab from UtopiaPlanitia.info header
I spent 10 minutes today comparing various Main Engineering set diagrams for various incarnations of the starship Enterprise (and the good ship Voyager) so I could make an informed decision before voting in this week's StarTrek.com poll. I don't vote in the poll every week, but there the call to action was in my Facebook timeline (sorted by Most Recent, of course; algorithm be damned) and I felt compelled to weigh in, but when I sat there staring at my options (NX-01, NCC-1701-A, -D, -E, aforementioned Voyager), I realized I could not properly differentiate in my head, so off to Google I went for a quick hop over to the Utopia Planitia site to look at the various illustrated and annotated set diagrams. This was not an easy choice, people.

26 June 2014

Forever is a Long Time

I'm increasing my eBook prices

Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Wanted to get that out of the way right up top.

Why am I increasing my prices? Marketing!

It's like this:

25 June 2014

A Pivotal Post

You'll see what I did...

Did you know that most tech startups begin life as one type of thing and then shift to something entirely different -- often more than once -- before they achieve success (or go the other way)? They call this 'Pivoting'. It's true. They do it all the time. Apparently Instagram started life as a butt-scratching app (this is not true).

I have no need to pivot when it comes to what I write; part of the joy of carving out my space as a writer in the world is that a blank sheet of paper is filled with all the possible realities that could exist, expressed in however I might make myself understood. I can, however, pivot in how I get those words to you.

First Level   To Other Levels ->

29 April 2014

Culinary Diplomacy in Frederick

The wife and I recently returned to AYSE Meze Lounge on S. East St in Frederick (website - careful, there's audio on page load!) and I used Open Table (OpenTable? openTable? whichever) to make our reservation, and they asked me for a review. And so I reviewed, to wit:

24 March 2014

Rob's Old Bay Quinoa/Lentils

One of my favorite things to make for myself when I'm cooking just for me is a pot of quinoa mixed with lentils seasoned — of course — with Old Bay®. Other than the fact that it's delicious, filling, and good for me, it's a dish that not only scales (I can make enough for one meal or cook enough to reheat all week), but the basic format of the recipe is a great platform to which I can add other vegetables, a little more spice, or even serve with chicken or fish. A following post will describe a variation on this theme, the one that I am preparing for myself today.
You'll see in the photo that I am using what looks like tri-color lentils, because I just pour the 3 different kinds of lentils I buy into one container for storage.

I also recommend either the red or the tri-color quinoa. I don't like the grassy taste of the white quinoa. You might. I encourage you to experiment!
(Recipe after the jump)

14 March 2014

Wherein I discuss Maryland Entertainment Group's inaugural production: "Laundry & Bourbon" and "Lonestar"

If MEG stages it, will they stay through intermission?

It has been over a week now, and this draft has lingered in a text file, half-finished like unfolded laundry on the table. But as it takes clothes longer to drop out of fashion than it does for these words to lose their relevance, I will therefore attend my thoughts, folding and checking for holes. And so we begin:
As someone who has observed and helped stand up a new arts organization starting from nothing more than a dream and a bloody-minded stubborn streak, I know that many things have to happen for a young group to be successful in staging a performance. You have to have the space, the time, the resources (both human and capital), and the talent to make the right decisions. Even when all of those pieces come together, you still need a dash of luck and a touch of Grace. Could the Maryland Entertainment Group (MEG for those in the know and for the rest of this essay) mix together the various elements of theatre and create life on the stage? Or would they, despite their best efforts, find themselves at the end of the night with an empty bottle and the smell of methane in the air (that's a science joke, not a fart joke)? Stick with me, friends and all will be revealed. Not so much revealed. Talked about. Written of, if you will. Look, I am going to let you know if the plays were any good; can we just get on with this?
Thank you.

11 March 2014

Wherein I am interviewed by my hometown paper about "Stand Right, Walk Left"

I was recently interviewed for my hometown paper about "Stand Right, Walk Left," my book of poetry that if you are reading this you must be aware of. 

Seriously?

It's right up there in the navigation.
99 cents for your eReader. Check it out.



The fine professionals at the Herald Mail were great to work with; the entire experience -- from Chris Copley's initial response to my query letter to the smooth and friendly professionalism of Joe Crocetta who made the awesome photo of me -- was a true collaboration. The fact that the editorial staff devoted an entire page (good old C3) to my interview? Well, that is delicious newsprint icing on the word cake, my dear reader. Thank you, Chris and Joe, you guys are true pros (that rhymed. see? Poet).

Thank you also to my family and my friends, who are both support and audience.

Right; back to the writer's desk. These new stories are not going to crank themselves out*.






*What's with all the dangling prepositions in this post? Miss Thornhill, I apologize!

22 February 2014

Wherein I discuss the nature of tribute, bands, tribute bands, and FZ's legacy



...every time I have seen ZPZ ... I walk away more impressed. And mildly concussed, but I discuss that more below.

As I remarked to my friend Phil last night, when other people my age were busy forming their adult musical tastes around whichever acts were popular in the early 2000s, I was beginning my deep dive into the music of the Project Object itself. No, not the music of the FZ tribute band "Project Object," though they are good. I refer to the work of the man, the mustache, the legend, Frank Zappa. What prompted this conversation? What event brought Phil and I together on a warmish night in late February? It was to drive up to York, PA to see Dweezil & the gang perform as "Zappa Plays Zappa" (ZPZ), playing the very music that forms the bedrock, cornerstone, and even a few oddly shaped windows that make up the building metaphor of my musical taste. By the time the evening was over and my hearing was returning to normal and we were safely back inside my thankfully un-towed car, I found myself wondering if ZPZ deserves the "Tribute" Label.
This was my third time seeing the group. I saw them at the Warner Theater in DC when they first toured and for an FZ fan like me who discovered the music too late to see Frank, this was the closest I could ever come (until we get holodecks; where are we with that, DARPA? MIT? Anyone?). I saw ZPZ again a couple years back at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore. The first show had featured several band members from Frank's touring rosters. By this most recent show in York all the faces were players who I am pretty sure never toured with Frank, but oh man are they every bit the caliber of musician that Frank required and his music will always demand.

21 January 2014

Squirrel UnAppreciation Day

My Twitter feed reminded me repeatedly that this is "Squirrel Appreciation Day." I could not let such a thing pass unremarked upon, now that it has come to my notice; and therefore I have written down a quick 900 words that came to me this evening. It takes place somewhere after "Fabric Factory of Horror" but before the main events of "Interstellar Conference Call". I'll fold it into a future edition of "Astounding Adventure Tales of the Improbable", maybe as part of Volume II (yeah, I'm writing it...sorta) but for now, enjoy his interlude with our hero. A glimpse into his private life, even:

Squirrel UnAppreciation Day

The alarm blared in my ear, even though I remembered turning the damn thing off the night before. More proof that the Universe hated me, which always made me feel special in a weird way. I turned it off before putting on my coat and crawling into bed. I had taken the next day -- today -- off. I always took this day off. Every boss understood, and those who did not were invited to spend some time with my scrap book full of newspaper clippings, medical records, and psychiatric profiles. They always came around, because after seeing my scrap book they knew I needed to be alone on this day. I hated this day.
I had sweated through the night with my coat on, the fur keeping me warm even though I had turned the heat back as far as January would allow. I wrapped the damp coat around me tightly as a stumbled out of bed and crossed the room to switch off the alarm before pulling the plug on the digital clock and tossing it across the room. When the alarm is nailing you in your ears, every wall is a hammer. Especially on this of all days. I hated this day.

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