Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Latest Writing Project

I have begun the task of sending out proposals for my latest writing project. It is no longer the super secret project. The title is called 1000 Things About Me and it is a grand extension of the 100 Things list that I wrote here a while back. I was calling it the super secret project because I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. 1000 things are not so easy to come up with. Yeah, I could have rattled off a bunch of boring, useless stuff like counting the hairs on my head but where's the fun in that? I had to come up with a whole bunch of stuff that was completely true to some degree or another. I really bogged down around the 700-800 range. The trick was not to repeat myself (unless it was for comedic effect) and that required walking a line between too much detail and not enough.

Anyway, it is done and now I'm seeking out possibilities for publication. Many thanks to my test readers for their insights and corrections. (Yes, even something that's essentially autobiographical can use some outside proofreading.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Quick Update

I'm still waiting for my new laptop to show up. The old one still works as long as I plug it into a monitor, which means its function as a laptop is now extremely limited. I bought two monitors from Goodwill over the last couple of days only to find out they don't work. I only paid 1.50 for them so I'm not that riled up. Craigslist seems to have free monitors listed so I'm going that route.

I've written a proposal for my latest writing project and will be sending that out later in the week. The project is revised and ready to be submitted. Now I just have to go through the motions and see what happens.

Almost done with book 2 of The Dresden Files, it's better than book 1.

Watched Ocean's 11 last night. I love it. Son Number One couldn't stand it and left halfway through. His loss.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Son Number One Beats Father

So I'm sitting here minding my own business and Son Number One challenges me to a 2 player game of Super Mario Bros. This is the first video game he ever played and I'm the one who showed him how. About 8 or 9 years ago I hooked up our old NES to an upstairs TV and showed him how to move the guy around and jump. He could not get past the first pit; no matter what he did he kept jumping at the wrong time and falling in. I came home from work the next day and he'd been playing for hours. The rest is history.

So this time around I watched him play for about 20 minutes before he lost his first guy. I gave it my best shot and scored about 23,00 points with my 3 lives. As I write this, it's a hour later and he is a few feet behind me, still playing the same game, and on his way past 600,000 points.

I need to teach him how to respect his elders.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Son Number One Breaks Laptop

Yeah, the laptop that I just spent $200 on for data recovery from the last disaster. Great. Apparently the laptop was downstairs on the ottoman and 'someone' knocked it off. Now the screen is broken.

I was trying to get this stupid machine to last for the rest of the year but it just isn't going to happen. A new Dell factory refurbished laptop is on it's way. Yard work will be assigned to Son Number One until I run out of projects around here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Interview About Me

If you are so inclined you may click over to Allie's Musings and read her interview of me. It is part of her Writer's Wednesday program where she features interviews with various authors. I'm honored to be selected. Hope you all enjoy her blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More on The Restorer

Here is the promo copy from Sharon Hinck's website:

Susan, a modern-day soccer mom, is pulled
through a portal into another world, where a
nation grappling for its soul waits for a promised
Restorer to save their people. Can she fill that
role? While she struggles to adapt to a foreign
culture, she tackles an enemy that is poisoning
the minds of the people, uncovers a corrupt
ruling Council, and learns that God can use even
her floundering attempts at service in surprising
ways.

Monday, June 18, 2007

CSFF June Tour

This month's tour is for Sharon Hinck’s The Restorer. I will be posting more on this over the next couple of days.

The Thinking Blogger Award

Two Write Hands has awarded me The Thinking Blogger Award. I am pleasantly surprised and surprisedly pleased to be added to the ranks of smart bloggerdom. This does present me with a bit of a conundrum. In the spirit of the tradition I am to identify five blogs that make me think and award them as well. But you see, I rarely give compliments and when I do, I mean it. Therefore I will withhold in abeyance the awarding of my five allocations, to be handed out at some future point in time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Latest Project Finished

So my latest piece clocked in at 15,000 words and I'm going through the revising process. Since this one is non-fiction humor I am drafting up a proposal to blast out there and see what sort of interest I can generate. This is new territory for me and there's a bit of a learning curve. It doesn't help that I got a 'hard to categorize' project. Typically with non-fiction you come up with the idea, do some basic research, and then draft a proposal to see if a publisher is interested. The writing comes later. But this is different in that I wanted to see if I could actually finish it before sending out proposals. My extra awesome test readers are preparing their savage remarks as I speak. After that and a little tweaking, the proposals get launched. Luckily for me there are plenty of agents and publishers who accept e-mail for that. Makes the process so much easier.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Storm Front Finished

I also finished Jim Butcher's Storm Front a couple days ago. It is probably less than 100K words and reads pretty quick. I suppose it was good enough to give two stars to but it's really not my cup of tea. The first strike against it is first person narration. It's an urban fantasy about an openly practicing wizard in Chicago. He's a private detective of sorts but is brought in to advise police on the weird cases. The first book is pretty straightforward; stop the menacing evil wizard who's killing people with magic. It was entertaining to see the way Butcher handles his magic system but I don't know if that can carry through the seven books he now has. The hero, Harry Dresden, is a likeable guy and finds plenty of challenges caused by his innate humanity even though he is one of the most powerful wizards around. I'm reading the second book in the series now, mostly because a friend gave them to me and said they get better. More reports to follow.

BTW, the super secret writing project is nearly finished and stands at 14,600 words.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Blood Knight Comes and Goes

I finished The Blood Knight the other day and I give it very high marks. There is a very sad death of a major character and that's always great for fiction. There is the revelation of a secret that has tremendous impact on the story. There's also a really cool fight at the end which is always a plus. (The Briar King wrestles the woorm.) And I finally got to find out who the Blood Knight is. I was kind of rooting for Neil MeqVren and I thought it was a lock when he led the charge against an impregnable fortress. I also thought it might be Aspar or even Stephen but the actual winner caught me by surprise. Anne steps up and becomes the queen, taking no crap from anyone. Cazio both grows and remains his irrepressible self. The book is a masterful work.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Super Secret Writing Project

Most of this week I have been working on a new writing project that is three quarters of the way finished. I've currently got about 11000 words put into it and I have to say that it's becoming more difficult than I thought. It's kind of consumed my every waking moment and no progress has been made on anything else, including Medieval: Total War.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Harder List

My wife quirked up her eyebrow at me when I got home from work yesterday. She asked me if I could do a list of 100 things about her. I smiled but then started thinking about it. I asked if it could just be 25.

Monday, June 04, 2007

100 Things About Me

I've seen this done on someone's blog whose work I admire very much. It's been nagging at the back of my mind for several days now so I had to do it as well. I also now officially tag every blogger in the known universe to do the same.

1. I learned to drive when I was ten.
2. I grew up on a farm.
3. I think pecan waffles should always be accompanied by a Dr. Pepper.
4. I think I am more clever than I actually am.
5. I think the four basic food groups are: Hot pastrami on sourdough, Cookies, Broiled Salmon, Coca-Cola.
6. As I’ve grown older I’ve become both more conservative and more tolerant. (Yes it can be done.)
7. I can’t seem to throw a football correctly.
8. I love books.
9. I mean I really love books, it’s almost an obsession.
10. If I had to choose between a beach and a library, 9 times out of 10 I’d choose the library.
11. When I get to Heaven God’s going to hand me a chocolate chip cookie.
12. I think it’s gonna taste really good.
13. I don’t shave every day.
14. I’d like to learn how to play the piano.
15. I’m not that fond of the sun.
16. I drive a truck.
17. I’ve worked with people that I did not like at all.
18. They never knew that.
19. My IQ is about 145 to 160 depending on the test.
20. My wife has consistently beaten me at Scrabble for over 15 years.
21. I have never lost a game of Trivial Pursuit to her.
22. When I talk to myself I’ll intentionally mispronounce words just so I can hear what they might sound like.
23. I’m in the Marine Corps Reserve.
24. I look good in pink.
25. One has nothing to do with the other.
26. I only applied to one college.
27. I don’t mind doing yard work.
28. I’ve been to Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens but not the Bronx.
29. Joshua 24:15
30. I believe you and your house can do whatever you like.
31. I believe just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you should do it.
32. I’ve driven across the country twice.
33. I often wish that America’s pastime wasn’t internet gambling or daytime television but something a little more wholesome like, oh I don’t know, maybe baseball.
34. I speak a little Spanish.
35. It’s come in handy.
36. I believe that if you can work you should work.
37. I believe that applies to Bill Gates as well as the guy I see on the freeway off ramp.
38. I believe one of them is working, and it shows.
39. I believe one of them is not working, and it shows.
40. I’ve been writing stories since I was a child.
41. I sold my first story when I was 37.
42. I plan on maintaining that same rate of success and publishing my novel when I’m 189.
43. I know several police officers.
44. That’s never come in handy.
45. I’ve set foot in 8 countries besides the United States.
46. When I was a child my friend and I created our own talk and variety show on tape cassette.
47. At the time I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.
48. I watched a cow get slaughtered when I was twelve.
49. I didn't think there was anything funny about that.
50. I’m fascinated by the very real chance that life will be discovered on other worlds before I die.
51. I’m glad God made the universe big enough to allow for that.
52. I’m a fair cook.
53. I don’t believe human activity can destroy the planet.
54. I believe human activity can make some local areas very unlivable for a very long time.
55. I know too much about my kids’ favorite cartoons.
56. The last time I went hunting I didn’t bring a rifle or a hunting license but I did bring a considerable amount of beer.
57. I believe you can be a Christian and still drink alcohol.
58. I’m glad trees are a renewable resource because aluminum baseball bats are just freakin’ wrong.
59. I’m hoping to visit England before I die.
60. I think the Global War on Terror should be renamed Civilization’s War Against Evil.
61. I laugh at Spongebob Squarepants
62. Before we got rid of our cassette collection I owned every Billy Joel album ever made, even some ones you never heard of.
63. I’ve flown an airplane.
64. I’m at the age where I’ll often involuntarily groan when I move to get up out of a chair.
65. I’ve decided to voluntarily stop doing that.
66. I think our country would be better off if a few more people were a little more judgmental.
67. I’ve travelled to quite a few places and I always try to sample the local food.
68. That didn’t work out so good for me in Korea.
69. I’m a dyslexic typist, for example I type ‘heor’ instead of ‘hero’ every single time, even just now.
70. Out of six billion people on the planet, I’m 100% convinced that my wife is the one single person God picked out for me before I was born.
71. There are people in Nova Scotia and Wales that I’ve never met but still consider very good friends.
72. I spend too much time on the internet.
73. I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior and I think you should too.
74. For a while I thought of making that number one on the list but I knew that too many people would stop reading as soon as they saw that.
75. I think that says more about them than it does about me.
76. I like maps and if it were entirely up to me that’s all we’d have on our walls.
77. I do not fold my underwear before tossing it into the drawer.
78. If I had to choose between accepting a promotion at work and going to the World Series my boss would be very unhappy with my decision.
79. I’ve been on stage at a comedy club.
80. People laughed uproariously and even invited me to their table after the show.
81. I was not on the showbill for the evening.
82. I’ve never been back to that comedy club.
83. I once shot a pigeon right through the eye from 75 feet away while it was hidden by a bunch of oak leaves.
84. I’ve eaten pan fried breast of pigeon.
85. I do not lie but I firmly believe that it’s appropriate to present the truth in the most favorable possible manor.
86. I do not suffer fools well.
87. I’m getting better at hiding that fact.
88. People think I’m more organized than I actually am.
89. I never disabuse those people of that notion since they are often my employers.
90. I’ve done something that, if caught, would have landed me a night in jail.
91. I believe you can be a Christian and still drink alcohol.
92. I absolutely hate to repeat myself.
93. I’m an excellent marksman with 5 expert badges from the various Marine Corps rifle ranges I’ve shot.
94. That’s never come in handy.
95. My first car was a 1970 Chevy Malibu.
96. I never use that as a security question for online banking.
97. I hate BBQ ribs.
98. I used to be able to play the guitar and the harmonica.
99. I could probably still fake it on the harmonica if I could just find the bloody thing.
100. Three statements on this list are not entirely accurate.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another Triond Earnings Update

I have written absolutely no new Life Lessons From the Marines yet still managed to rake in another colossal 0.32 American Dollars. That means I'll be swimming in gold just like Scrooge McDuck right around the time our sun goes supernova.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

Since I've gotten much deeper into The Blood Knight, I should say that this series will almost certainly be declared the best epic/high fantasy series of the modern era. Who will declare this? Well, mostly just me but that's all that really counts anyway. After the first two books set up the world and its many characters, this one delves into some of the history that was hinted at. We also get an explanation of what is going on behind the scenes without actually finding out who the hidden hand is. Anne Dare is becoming the queen she will need to be. Aspar White is tracking down his wife's killer. Stephen Darige, of the Cape Chavel Dariges, has not died but instead become a central character if not the central character. It's all really good stuff.