Super, a novel by Aaron Dietz from Emergency Press

Charlie Potter Named 12 in 12 Art Director; Publishers Interested in Multiple Titles (a 12 in 12 Update)

Posted: February 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Long, Other People, Serious, With Pictures | 5 Comments »

I’m super happy to announce that Charlie Potter has officially joined the 12 in 12 project as Art Director. This means that he’ll be responsible for producing the covers for 11 of the 12 titles (one of the titles will be put out by Uno Kudo, the non-profit organization headed by designer Erin McParland), as well as oversee the development of any guest art included in the project. For one or two of the titles, he’ll do some interior illustrations also.

Charlie Potter is the brilliant book designer for Super, a book that required an intense amount of design in simulating physical documents as well as emulating the look of a corporate superhero environment (letterheads, etc.). As part of promoting Super, Charlie also developed posters, desktop backgrounds, stickers, props for the trailers, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Crash Thinking: How to Do Better by Crossing Your Instincts

Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Long, Serious | 13 Comments »

Crash thinking is a huge influence in my life right now, and partly the reason why I’m attempting the 12 in 12 project (producing 12 books in 12 months).

Crash thinking means using the knowledge that sometimes you can do something better by using an approach that defies all logic as well as your best instincts.

Example: Pretend you’re in charge of safety at the Space Needle. You know that it’s technically possible for people on the observation deck to climb over the railing, through the ropes and stand out on the spokes that circle the top of the tower (view an image of the Space Needle and its spokes here). How do you make it safer?

Answer: By making it more dangerous. Read the rest of this entry »

Capturing the Online High School Education Market

Posted: October 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Long, Serious | 12 Comments »

I work in online high school course development. The field is at an historic moment in history: the moment just before an innovative online education company takes over the field and sets the standard for online high school education.

I’ve taken to calling this theoretical education company “the future Amazon of online education,” a phrase that often raises scoffs among people who will listen to me. Many don’t think a single company can dominate online education in the same way that Amazon dominated the book market. And when they say so, usually I just think silently to myself, That’s probably what people thought about the book market before Amazon.

But dominating the online high school education market wouldn’t be that difficult. It would just depend on an intelligently designed content management system. I’m going to describe that content management system to you now. Read the rest of this entry »

Use It

Posted: May 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Serious, Short | 2 Comments »

Most superhero origin stories begin with something beyond control happening to someone. A chemical spills on someone. A radioactive spider bites someone. Gamma radiation radiates someone. Someone’s genes mutate. Someone’s parents put their baby in a ship headed for Earth.

If you ever feel like something has been done to you beyond your control, use it. You are a superhero in the making.

War Horse: An Alternative History

Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Funny, Long | 4 Comments »

Rarely does a director ask, “What if I took all kinds of characters from other movies and threw them into a historical movie to see what history would be like?!!?! LOL?!”

War Horse tackles this startlingly experimental narrative landscape with aplomb!

First off: the goofy kid who was the main character. It’s Goofy from all those Disney cartoons! He rarely speaks, has a positive attitude, and he likes wearing vests. No other character in the universe could have believably given such a goofy grin while gazing at a newborn foal. Only Goofy could have pulled that off! Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Going to Do Cool Stuff

Posted: January 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Serious | 2 Comments »

When I was young, I thought I’d do all kinds of cool things. As things turned out, I didn’t do any of them.

But I did all kinds of cool things I didn’t expect!

Read more in my guest post on Bellesouth.

How to Take Down My Web Site

Posted: January 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Serious | 2 Comments »

Here are directions for taking down my Web site:

1. Make sure SOPA and/or PIPA pass through Congress and are signed into law.

2. Complain to my hosting company by saying that someone posted copyrighted material on

3. My hosting company, Dreamhost, will be forced to shut down my Web site or else risk all kinds of nasty things the law can do to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Yes We Can – What, You Meant Me?

Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Other People, Serious | 2 Comments »

Let me tell you what happened.

First, we got Obama elected. We woke up the next day and everything felt nice, happy, safer, and even loving.

Then we all forgot about politics for a while. We had worked hard to get him elected. We deserved a break. The President was going to take care of us, so what the heck–we could take it easy now.

That’s what we figured.

And so for a while, we thought, “Yes we can.”

But now we’re like, “What, you meant me?”

Write What You Know…Sort Of

Posted: September 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Short | 4 Comments »

In writing, the well-known trick is to write what you know, but many writers get sidetracked by this and confuse what they know with what they think they should know. A writer may indeed know what it feels like to be a Russian spy posing as a Norwegian chef in the U.K. whose vital mission is to decode a message that will save the lives of countless human beings–including their secret lover.

How to Avoid a Farmer’s Tan

Posted: September 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Documentation, Funny, Other People | No Comments »

It’s 1993 or so. Summer. I’m working in a corn field, with Dave.

Dave says, “I hate getting a farmer’s tan.”

I say, “Then roll up your sleeves.”

He rolls up the sleeves on his t-shirt. “It’s kind of uncomfy,” he says.

“It’s an old t-shirt that you probably don’t care about. Just tear your sleeves off. That’s what I do.”

He grabs a sleeve and pulls. His shirt rips down the middle of his chest. The rest of the morning it hangs on him by one shoulder.

We come in to the shed for lunch. Our boss gives Dave a weird look.

Dave says, “Don’t ask.”