Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Best Books I've Read in 2014

With 2014 winding to a close, I've compiled a list of the ten best books I've read this year. They are presented in no particular order, except for #1, which definitely deserves it.

10. On Writing, by Stephen King

9. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

8. Guns, Germs, & Steel, by Jared Diamond

7. The Tailor of Panama, by John Le Carre

6. Queen of Dragons, by Shana Abe

5. Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen

4. The Dark Portal, by Robin Jarvis

3. Tundra 37, by Aubrie Dionne

2. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Bonus: Surprise Star: Brian Boru - Emperor of the Irish, by Morgan Llywelyn

1. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins

"May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beyond The Empire's Hold

Dec. 17th, 2014

With the cold Empire clamping down on all of us in a variety of ways, we find ourselves asking how best to break way from its iron-clad grasp. Well, I can't speak for the rest of the U.S., but here in Sacramento, California, most jobs are held by government workers of all levels (city, state, etc.). According to the EDD's most current report on the status of jobs in the Sacramento area (http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sacr$pds.pdf) - about a quarter of all jobs here are government jobs. These jobs are fairly well-paying, though due to the once-a-month payout of checks for those holding State jobs, it is common for State workers to be working two jobs in order to support themselves.

What this means is that most of us are hooked into rigid, hierarchical systems that do not allow for flexibility in scheduling or job duties, rooted in a bureaucracy that is detested by my generation, the Millenials. But what are we Millenials to do? The highest growth sector appeared to be "Professional & Business services".

The report then breaks down Professional & Business Services into smaller categories, of which the one with the highest growth percentage is Employment Services. But I would never advise anyone to go into employment/unemployment services. Remember, we've got to play the long game here, and look for long-time career industries to join up with. Employment & Unemployment percentages are prone to fluctuations, and thus, so will your job be.

At any rate, I don't claim to know what the answers are, but it has come to me that I've got to look under every stone and see what's out there. I will then report my findings to you.

For now, over and out.

~Leslie D. Soule

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sacramento's upcoming Save Point Tavern, and the ShadowBlade

Well I can't say much about this without giving away the plot of my next two books, Betrayer and Retribution. Suffice to say, that at some point, my hometown is going to be having a gamer-themed cafe' called the Save Point Tavern, but I was too late to donate to the Kickstarter campaign that would have allowed me to create a mythical weapon and have it displayed there.

But...it still might happen. I spoke with the guy behind Save Point, and there's a chance.

My main character Ash Kensington ends up with a very special weapon called the ShadowBlade, and that's what I'm going to have the guys at Save Point create for yours truly, on display. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Family History = Empire Contraband

This thought came to me the other day, when I was working on family history research. Family history is something the Empire doesn't want you to take an interest in, just like they care nothing for a person's personal history or for history in general, really. They'll tell you to live in the now as though it's a mantra to live by. Don't buy it.

What could the ulterior motive be for pushing such an agenda? That's what I wondered, but I think I've worked it out. You see, they want their pedigrees to be their positions in government or their network connections or their money - anything that can be attained through nefarious means.

But your history and your family history, your pains and their sufferings, are things that belong to you intrinsically. They are things that no Empire can ever take away. I take pride in knowing that my family can trace its lineage at least as far back as 1760, clearly. Once I eventually get a subscription to Ancestry.com, or do some more research, who knows how far back it'll stretch, and that's something to take pride in, not these false idols of a broken Empire.