Day two of awesome days with the kids. We set out on the adventure at about 9am. Destination: Boston Museum of Science. We had plans to maybe hit a playground or something after, but in the end we spent the entire day there. Worth every second. And given the number of times we've been there so far this year, entirely worth the year membership I bought last summer! We started off at the digital aquarium. It's a favorite spot. There's an array of large computer monitors, displaying a large number of digital fish of various sorts. A set of four pedestals sit in front of the screens, one for each species of fish. The buttons on the pedestals let you control various behaviors of the fish.
But the best part, for my kids anyway, is the "build your own fish" pedestals. You get to design your own fish, tag them with three letters, then release them into the aquarium. This is a HUGE favorite. We might well have spent longer there, except that the darned things have a nasty habit of glitching, and all three went out after a while. Sad, we moved on to explore a few other exhibits. Then we went to see a pair of 4D films - complete with bubbles falling from the ceiling and water spraying you during specific moments of the movies.
After that, lunch, followed my Magic: the Gathering in the museum cafeteria. All three kids have started playing, and we played a few games. I used to play on the Pro Tour, many years ago... Was briefly the #2 ranked Standard player. Basically had a great time running around the country to tournaments, which I paid for with winnings and pretty much broke even most of the time. Never a huge winner, but getting to see Houston, Toronto, LA, Chicago? Getting to meet people from all over? Priceless. So seeing the kids begin to get enthusiastic about the game is fun to watch.
A ride on a rocket, playing a video of a shuttle mission to place the Hubble in space (got to have our space missions!), and then we were off to the "discovery room" - basically a host of science-related playing. We build circular foil gliders, and the kids played there for nearly two hours, having a ball with other kids. I ran into a nice fellow whose name I can sadly not recall. We got to talking, geeking out over a few things, and I mentioned my writing casually in passing. He said he'd check out one of my books, which delighted me.
And that's how we find new readers, of course: we make connections with people. Real, honest-to-god connections with real human beings. I see people tweet "buy my book", over and over into a void, and...it's sad. Because that's not how people really work. People like to help those who've helped them. People like to read things by people who are personable. People like to touch you. They want to relate. They want you to be REAL.
"Buy my book" doesn't work. Chatting with a guy for twenty minutes, complimenting his brilliant daughter, enjoying company for a while? That might. But it only works because it's genuine. Human beings are really good at spotting sales pitches. We know when the person we're talking to is only speaking to us because they want something from us, and naturally we run the other way! Why wouldn't we?
Be genuine, give of yourself, be real, make connections with people. That's what it's all about.
After getting the kids home, I had a nice dinner and went into some writing time. I got 1500 words done today, and the story is STILL not done. This is the episode that never ends, folks, or feels like it. Going to run a little longer than the first one, but I figure readers won't really mind. It's all fast paced stuff at this point, and should fly by.
Fiction words for the day: 1500 Fiction words for November: 11,700
Blog Words today:: 676 Blog Words for November: 3984