By Writing Excuses | November 1, 2010 - 8:52 pm - Posted in Bonus, PSA

This bonus episode is what happens when there are two things we want to plug, and we decide to try and blend them in a single PSA.

Here’s the Amazon link for the paperback release of John Brown’s first novel, Servant of a Dark God. There is no Amazon link for going out and voting, but what if there were?

There. There’s your writing prompt: “Election services offered online via an Amazon link.”

Since NaNoWriMo is already a day old, we hope you don’t still need a writing prompt. You’re out of excuses. Now go write.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 8:52 pm and is filed under Bonus, PSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Comments

  1. November 1, 2010 @ 10:00 pm


    And here I thought you guys couldn’t get any more insane…

    I’m not voting! I’m Canadian!

    Posted by Rashkavar
  2. November 2, 2010 @ 1:30 am


    You guys have boldly gone off the rails of the crazy train there no one has crashed before. Hey, did I just knock on Ozzy and Star Trek in the same sentence?

    Anyway; yes I love John Brown and I am going to buy a copy of Servant of a Dark God right after I cash my next paycheck now that is finally out in paperback. I never buy hard covers, except I did buy the hard cover version of Changes by Jim Butcher and will probably do so again when Ghost Story is released. Hey, I got to have my Dresden Files!!!

    I would vote for a Dark God if he kept you all healthy and writing good books. But voting for the politicians, well why not! America Has The Best Politicians Money Can Buy. Frankly, I’d rather spend what little money I have from my minimum wage job to buy books instead of votes.

    Posted by Oletta
  3. November 2, 2010 @ 7:34 am


    I think I found that other half of a person under my bed. Maybe he can explain your pseudo-podcast to me.

    By the way, what district is that dark god thing running in? Maybe I can catch up to it if it decides to slow down for a breather.

    P.S – Actually, scratch that, I just realised Portugal isn’t a district of the USA. No way can I run across the atlantic ocean. :(

    Posted by Robin Burgess
  4. November 2, 2010 @ 4:38 pm


    Doesn’t Towers of Midnight come out today too? Gosh, it’s a busy day.

    Posted by Andrew
  5. November 3, 2010 @ 6:24 pm


    We’re not that far away from secure voting on the Internet. Then we’ll never have to go outside again.

    Posted by David Barron
  6. November 3, 2010 @ 8:30 pm


    Brandon was almost a “write in” candidate substitution for all of the politicians in the running when I voted! Just so you know… Has there ever been a “Schlock for President” story arc, Howard?

    Posted by Mike
  7. November 4, 2010 @ 11:50 pm


    Le transcript

    Writing Excuses Bonus: Voting in the Service of a Dark God

    [Howard] This is a Writing Excuses bonus episode. As I am recording this intro, I have no idea what we are about to say. Whoo… oh, that rollercoaster’s fun, Dan. Thanks.
    [Dan] Rollercoasters are fun, Howard, but there’s something that’s no laughing matter. By which, of course, I mean voting in the service of a Dark God.
    [Howard] Wait. What?
    [Dan] Well, you know, it’s voting day, and the paperback of Service of a Dark God just came out, so I’m combining them.
    [Howard] And we just had John Brown as a guest, and he’s not running for public office, but he does want you to buy his book.
    [Dan] That’s true. But whoever is running for public office probably wants you to vote for them. My dad.
    [Howard] So be a good citizen, buy a book, read something. Vote.
    [Dan] Vote.
    [Brandon] For everyone?
    [Howard] Well, vote your conscience.
    [Dan] Half of everyone.
    [Howard] Don’t vote for the Dark God.
    [Brandon] OK, just vote for the people who are…
    [John] Ignore the Dark God.
    [Brandon] Vote for the people who are cut in half?
    [Dan] Ah, this bit ran out of steam, didn’t it?
    [Howard] Well, now you know, and knowing is…
    [Brandon] [inaudible]
    [Dan] I know half a person. He lives in my closet.
    [Brandon] Is the other half in your trunk?
    [Dan] It’s in somebody’s trunk. Everyone go look in your trunk. If you have half of a person, you win free copies…
    [Howard] Where’d I put my shovel?

    Posted by Mike Barker
  8. November 5, 2010 @ 8:00 am


    Oh, you don’t have to go outside. Just get yourself an absentee ballot every election; they’ll mail it to you and you can fill it out at your leisure as you fill in candidates.

    Thanks for the extra ‘cast — I enjoyed this.

    Posted by Miriel
  9. November 5, 2010 @ 2:59 pm


    Let’s see, Dan’s dad is a Dark God who we should or should not vote for, and I’m supposed to look in someone’s trunks for half a person?

    If I’m ever at the same convention as you guys, I’m going to hunt you down, find a comfortable chair, and just sit and watch. ^_^

    Posted by Laurie
  10. November 7, 2010 @ 9:24 pm


    David: I take it you don’t read the XKCD webcomic? There’s an comic on voting machines that applies to your statement here: http://xkcd.com/463/

    In all seriousness, there’s only one way to protect your data 99.99999%. You need to combine a very good access restriction protocol (which usually includes keeping it away from WAN connections so it can only be accessed by local terminals) and a self-extracting hard drive wiping virus. Thus, if anyone who doesn’t have the right password, or attempts to apply it in the wrong way, the hard drive self-wipes (or, if you’re doing it mechanically, which is usually better, the hard drive melts, explodes or burns).

    Of course, there are two reasons this doesn’t work for something like a voting machine
    1: you need to have the only access restriction be a minimum age
    2: you need to be able to read the data even if someone attempted to cheat the system. (this problem is the main reason you won’t find this sort of rig outside of things like espianoge, organized crime, and TV shows that attribute insane computer skills to relatively normal characters.)

    Anything short of destructive access restriction systems is breakable. Admittedly it can take a while, but you can crack through anything eventually, unless it commits suicide first. Also, a DOS attack is pretty easy to pull off even for a relaitvely low level cracker, and while it won’t scam the voting, it will bring down the voting server so nobody can vote.

    Posted by Rashkavar