Monthly Archives: October 2012

Minecraft – Steve – Halloween Costume

By the way, don’t forget to check out my books for the 9 to 13 year olds out there! Click the covers for more information.

Gasparilla's Treasure Cover The Forgotten Secret Cover The Protector of Peace CoverThat Pet Finder Kid Cover

So this year, Corey decided he wanted to be Steve from the game Minecraft.  If you’re not familiar with Minecraft, then you probably don’t need to be reading this blog post 🙂

But, if you want to check it out anyway, Steve is the one between the pig and the sheep.

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I’m super happy Corey decided to be Steve this year, because we always make his costumes, and Steve is basically a few boxes… Not too bad.  At the bottom of the post, I’ll put pictures of some of Corey’s homemade costumes of the past, but for now, If you want to make your own Steve Halloween Costume… Here’s Steve!

So we aren’t quite done with the costume yet, but close enough to give you the basic idea.  I wanted to get this post up, so you’ll still have a bit of time to make your own Steve before Halloween.  We started with 2 boxes, that luckily, I had in the garage.  The one for the head was 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches… the perfect size.  The box for the body was a bit too thick, so I cut and folded and taped until I had forced the box to be 14 inches wide (shoulders) by 12 inches deep, by 22 inches tall.  This seemed to fit eleven-year-old Corey perfectly 🙂

We cut a couple of holes for the arms and head, and then Corey tried it on.  Everything worked great!

Next, I had a long skinny box I was able to cut the “shirt sleeves” out of.  I used both ends of the box for the two sleeves. They measure 6 by 6 by 9.

I held the sleeves up to the body, and traced the arm cut outs from the holes in the body, and cut them out.  Turns out, I needed to cut them all the way to the bottom (see photo):

I used packing tape to tape the sleeve to the body.  You can’t see it in the photo, but I basically just wrapped strips of packing tape around the pieces you can see in the photo, that way the tape wouldn’t be visible.  And now we have sleeves!

Next step was easy. Some teal spray paint from the Home Depot, and some flesh colored spray paint for the head.

OK, the spray paint I got for the head was too light.  You can save yourself a step by getting the right color… but at the time, we were going to paint individual squares of color, and that seemed to match the lightest color.  More on that later… or now…

It was time to paint the head.  We drew 1.5 inch squares  in pencil on the front, forming a grid… Again, thinking we would paint each square to look authentic (that gave us an 8 squares by 8 squares grid).  You can see in the picture below, we tried crayons to do the hair… it became obvious it wasn’t going to work…. We decided we would go with a solid color for the face and hair, but the grid was still useful.  It made it easy to find the eyes, mouth, and hair line.  We marked all of those and cut out the eyes and mouth.  The mouth gives a little more visibility for Corey when he’s in the box.

Next, we looked at a picture of Steve and figured out what the sides should look like.  We got a ruler and marked out his hair line on the side… and then the back…  Then it was time to paint.  It just so happens, we have walls in our house that are the same color as Steve’s face and hair.  We painted the head and used some craft paint to mix up some color for his nose.  I think it’s a bit pink, but Corey was happy 🙂

Next, we decided it would be easier to attach the head to the body, rather than trying to attach it to Corey’s head in some way (still refer to the picture above).  We accidentally noticed we liked the head if it was slightly tilted down, so we marked the bottom… of the sides… of the head… with a 1 inch slope from the front to the back (the line went from 1 inch on the front to 0 inch at the back).  Then I made a line about 3 inches back from the front, and notched it out (see the picture above). I notched it right up to the sloping line, and then cut along the sloping line to make a nice tilt forward (obviously, I had to do this to both sides of the head).

Then I taped the sides of the head to the body from the inside (not easy… very frustrating), and taped the back of the head to the body on the outside… the tape is visible, but it’s clear, and oh well…

I know it sounds crazy that I have all this stuff lying around the house, but… I found a piece of foam and cut it in two.  I glued it in the box for shoulder pads.  The picture below is from the inside of the box, looking at the foam next to the arm holes, and head hole.

We also made Steve’s pickaxe, but found one for sale locally and ended up using that one.  For the one we made, we basically found the Minecraft pickaxe image online, made it fit full size in a document, and printed two copies. Then glued it to a piece of cardboard, and cut it out. Cut out the second image and glued it to the cardboard… again, pictures to follow at a later date…

We did his pork chop and steak candy bucket in a similar manner…

So here’s Steve!

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Make sure to check out Corey’s Creeper costume and check out my cool books for kids 9 to 13 years old.

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And for the real Minecraft fans… Corey’s stuffed dog Rex did a video review of Minecraft:

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Goings On – That Pet Finder Kid – Middle Grade Book

This week marked the launch of my new middle grade book “That Pet Finder Kid – Catnapped”.  Thank you for all the support from my twitter peeps and my facebook friends for helping me have a great release day!  The book managed to climb to #3268 out of over 8,000,000 books currently in print on Amazon.  Below is the graph…

As an indie (self published) author, launching a book is extremely tough.  You have to work with almost no money for advertising, so you have to rely on your social networks to spread the word.  My peeps did an amazing job, but what now?

Well, I released the book trailer, hoping to drum up some interest.  Check it out below:

 

I certainly was lucky to convince my voice over guy, and cover artist to do a little extra work for me… for a steal.  They did a great job!  I’m currently stumbling through setting up a pay per click add on youtube to try to get more views… We’ll see how that goes.

I’m also finishing up a free giveaway of 3 autographed copies of the paperback on goodreads.  The giveaway ends October 21, so hurry if you want to enter!  You can enter right here if you’re interested:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

That Pet Finder Kid - Catnapped by Scott Clements

That Pet Finder Kid – Catnapped

by Scott Clements

Giveaway ends October 21, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

I’m also running a little “pay per click” add on goodreads to see if I can drum up some interest there.

And next, I think I’m going to put both my books in the KDP selects program and see what happens there.  KDP Selects allows Amazon’s premium subscribers to download free movies and ebooks… also comes with free shipping.  I had pretty good luck when I enrolled Gasparilla’s Treasure in KDP Selects back in March, and it may be time to try it again.

Anyhow, that’s the goings on… Visit me on Twitter HERE, or on Facebook HERE.  And give me a twitter follow or facebook like 🙂

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Super Simple – Basic – WordPress Setup

So I have a friend that wants to put her poetry on wordpress, but she, like many others, doesn’t play well with technology.  So I thought I’d put together a step by step on how to set up a BASIC, basic, basic, wordpress blog.  I hope this helps her gets her poetry out there so she can share it with you.

———-These page breaks will let you know you’re in a new section————

Go to http://www.wordpress.com

Click the “login” button

either login using your username and password, or click “sign up” to create a new account.  I’m going to assume we don’t have an account, so I’m proceeding with the “sign up” option.

———-Create Your Account———

Enter your email address.

Make up a username (I think there should be no spaces)

Enter a password.

Choose a “blog address”.  The blog address is the web address people will type in to visit your blog (again, do not use spaces, just run the words together).

Click “Create Blog” at the bottom of the page.

———-Check Your Email——-

Now you have to check your email to confirm your registration.  In the email that wordpress sends you, there should be a button that says “activate blog”.  Click that.

For some reason, once I clicked the “activate blog” from the email, it took forever for the wordpress page to load.  After a couple of minutes, I closed it and tried again. This time it came up.

———–Now We Make a Test Blog Post————

Once it loads, click the “New Post” tab near the top left of the screen.

Then click in the “title” area to enter a title, maybe just enter “This Is My Title” for the title to get started.

Then click in the blank/typing area below the title, and type the blog post.  Maybe start with “This is my first amazing blog post” just to see if it works.

Now click the “Publish Post” box.

————A New Webpage Opens————-

Now click the box labeled “view post”. For me, it was a blue box, near the top on the right.

———— Your Blog Post Should Open————–

Notice the website address is [yourusername].wordpress.com with some other junk behind it.

Your Username should be staring you in the face!

Then you should see your title “This is my title”

And you should see your blog post “This is my first amazing blog post”

Your blog is working!

———- Now let’s move on —————

Near the top, left of the screen, you should see a “W” in a circle, and right next to it, your username.

Park your mouse over your username and a list should appear.

Click “Dashboard”

——— A new window should open ———-

This is your dashboard.  This is where I go to do everything.  Make a “bookmark” so you can visit this page often.  Making a bookmark is not a wordpress thing, just make a bookmark like you would for any webpage you like to visit often.

For my friend who wants to put her poetry out there, here’s the easy way to do it, once you are on your dashboard.

Look for the section called “Quickpress”

In the “title” area, enter the title of your poem.

In the “content” area, enter your poem.

Click “publish”

———-Notice there is now a yellow box in the “Quickpress” section ———

If you want to view your post, click “view post” in the new yellow section, or go ahead and enter your next poem.

———If you want to see all your posts—————

On the left side of the “dashboard” screen, there is a button labeled “Posts”. Click on that.

————–You should see all your recent blog posts listed————-

Here you can click on posts to edit them, or click on them and then click view to see them on your blog page.

————If you want to see all your blogs in the order you posted them———-

From your “Dashboard”, click the “Dashboard” button at the top left side of the screen.

Click the “My Blogs” text that appears under the “Dashboard” button.

In the screen that appears, click the text under “address”.  It should be “[your username].wordpress.com”.  Also note, this address is your blog.  You can give it to your friends.

————–Well Done———-

Well, hopefully that’s enough to get you started with a super simple blog!  Comment with questions 🙂

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