Friday, September 30, 2011

Fabulous Fall Friday

Remember how much I enjoyed The Oriental Buffet, the little Chinese restaurant next to the used bookstore?  Apparently I lost my ability to taste salt at some point in the past and have since regained it.  It was like eating a salt block.

Fabulous may be stretching it a bit but it's still a beautiful day to be off.  I just got home from a trip to the used bookstore.  I traded John a box of Russian Stout mix for his beer kit for some noir and horror books.  I'd say it was win-win.  Other than that, the morning has been fairly uneventful.  I listened to some music and watched an episode of Deadwood.  Not a lot was accomplished other than drinking half a pot of coffee and taking Belle on a two mile walk.

Last night, I burned the 10 o'clock oil and finished Steppenwolf.  It was a great book but I'm not sure if I like it or not, if that makes sense.  There were a lot of concepts I may borrow for future writing endeavors.

The dog beckons.  I'm hoping to get some pictures to finish out the month in a colorful fashion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reviewing everything I read may be paying off...

Last Saturday, I finished devouring the newest Lawrence Block book, Getting Off, and wrote a review, as has been my habit for nearly ever book I've read in the past two-ish years.  On a whim, I posted the link to my book blog entry on Facebook and promptly went on to the next book in my pile.

This morning, I had an email from Mr. Block.  Attached was a PDF of his next book, The Night and The Music, a collection of short stories starring Matthew Scudder, and a request that I review it to spread the word before it is released.

Let me restate this:  MY favorite living crime writer asked ME to write a review for a collection of tales starring MY favorite detective character.  There may have been a certain percentage of strutting in my stride after reading that email and I hope I didn't make any embarassing noises. 

Needless to say, I'm either going to put Steppenwolf on the back burner and leap into The Night and The Music or finish wolfing (see what I did there?) down Hermann Hesse's masterpiece tonight.  It's not every day a man's favorite author plops an unreleased book in his lap.

On a completly unrelated note, how big of a PDF document is too big to print at work?

NaNoWriMo 2011 - The Teaser

Since I always write the back cover blurb before I start writing the book, here's the teaser for The Big Red Ragnarok:

On a sojourn to Midgard, Odin is cut down by assassins' bullets and all signs point to the giants of Jotunheim.  As Odin drifts in and out of a coma in the halls of Asgard, Thor plans the war of all wars against the giants and begins marshalling his forces.  Sensing that all is not what it seems, Heimdall releases Loki from his eternal prison to ferret out the masterminds behind the attack on the Allfather.  Can Loki find the culprit in time to avert the bloodiest conflict in history or will loosing the Trickster God from his bonds trigger The Big Red Ragnarok?

The text will likely change before November but the core ideas are all there.  Loki seems like a good detective lead since he's a slippery one and most of the rest of the Aesir seem like straight-ahead warriors to me.

I made several decisions regarding The Big Red Ragnarok yesterday.
  1. I'm using Encyclopedia Mythica as my primary source.
  2. To give myself a bit more freedom, my characters aren't the actual Norse Gods but the nigh-immortal beings that inspired the Norse legends.
  3. I figured out who the mastermind is but I need to work on his motivation.  Revenge will naturally be part of it but revenge alone doesn't make a very compelling villian, in my opinion
  4. While it is the least magical of the nine worlds, Earth is important.  Earth's populace's belief in magic controls the level of background magic (for lack of a better term) in the other eight worlds.  That's going to factor in to the story somehow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Lightbulb Moment

I was driving from the bank to the bookstore Friday when thinns started happening inside my cranium.  I kept thinking of all the different stories I want to tell and how could I combine as many of the ideas I want to explore as possible for NaNoWriMo.  By the time I left the bookstore, I had a pretty good plot figured out with a lead character that I have a feeling will take over once I turn him loose.  Now I just have to research a bit of Norse mythology between now and November.

From this point hence, I am working four day weeks (or less) until the end of the year.  I will pause a moment to give people a chance to shout "Bastard!" or something similar.

Other than figuring out my NaNo novel (tentatively titled The Big Red Ragnarok), I didn't do much this weekend other than read, watch Deadwood, and take pictures.  The power going out for a couple hours yesterday afternoon freed up my time quite a bit.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodreads: Then and Now

The year was 2008 and I'd just broken up with my girlfriend when someone in the Christopher Moore group on MySpace (remember MySpace?) gushed about Goodreads.  I gave it a shot and never looked back.  MySpace was largely abandoned soon after.

Back in the day, Goodreads had a lot fewer users than it does now and a lot fewer people writing reviews.  I don't remember when I first noticed the top 50 reviewers or when I consciously decided to write reviews for every book I read.  I do remember the first time I got on the weekly top 50.  I read three Hard Cases that week and got a whopping 12 votes all told.  12 votes!  These days, you need at least 30 votes to get in the top 50 and even then it might be close.

When I first started writing reviews, I was happy if more than two people voted for them.  I laugh because ten votes is an average review for me.  Ten!  My reviews themselves have evolved quite a bit.  My first few reviews were just a couple sentences at most.  It took me a little while to get comfortable with the act of writing book reviews and developing my style.

Goodreads has changed the way I read.  Sometimes I jot down things I want to include in the review while I'm reading.  It's also changed what I read.  When ten of your Goodreads friends review the same book in rapid succession, it's hard to ignore.

You know how certain social networking websites endlessly muck about with the site, usually complicating it?  All of Goodreads' modifications have been fairly minor tweaks.  It still has a very simple interface.

I didn't expect this blog post to turn into a long commercial for Goodreads but that's what it feels like at the moment.  I'll just say that every reader should be on Goodreads.  It's like Facebook except that there's no Farmville, no one gushing about their pets, and no one sharing details about their life except for the most important one: what they happen to be reading.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As the gulf of time widens between the present and the time I finished reading the Hyperion Cantos, the one aspect of the epic work that is the clearest in my mind is the structure.

Taking a cue from the Canterbury Tales, Hyperion makes extensive use of a frame narrative.  The pilgrims journeying to the Tombs of Time is a good story in and of itself but the pilgrims' nightly tales are what really sold me on the story.  The main story doesn't do a whole lot of world-building.  It's primarily a journey.  It's the individual tales that flesh out the world.

"So what does this have to do with anything?" you ask.

Nothing definite but I've been wanting to use a similar structure for six months now.  I've thrown some ideas around, starting while I was still reading Hyperion.   While I'm still leaning toward a much simpler crime story for NaNoWriMo, here are a couple of my ideas about using a structure similar to Hyperion.

The Basilisk of Dragonmouth Pass:
Trade is disrupted when a basilisk choses an important mountain pass to nest in.  Seven adventurers meet at an inn near the mouth of the pass and resolve to take on the basilisk together.  As they journey through the pass, they reveal their individual stories.  Too bad one of them is a liar and has been in league with the basilisk all along and is leading his fellow adventurers to the slaughter...

The Clockwork Assassin:
The Prime Minister is a marked man and summons the seven finest agents the secret service has to offer to protect him on a monorail journey while the troublemakers are ferreted out and disposed of.  Only he may be clutching a viper to his breast in the form of a deadly Clockwork Assassin...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hmmm.... This isn't the usual way I avoid housework...

For the past three years or so, I've cut way back on my TV watching in favor of chipping away at my stack of unread books.  I was up close to 200 at one point and I'd probably be done long ago if I'd quit buying books.  I'm currently at around 30 but the BoucherCon haul didn't help.

Anyway, during my years of minimal TV, people kept telling me how great Deadwood was.  I've been aware of Deadwood since it premiered but never really got into it.  It's hard enough getting up at 4:30 on Mondays without having stayed up late watching TV the night before.

I check my Amazon gold box daily, especially since I figured out that you can manipulate using your wish list (more on that later*).  Two weeks ago, the complete series of Deadwood was the gold box deal of the day, $60 for the whole shebang, marked down from $160.  I snapped it up and forgot about it until it arrived on Friday.

Sunday, I was wiped out after being at BoucherCon all day Friday and the family reunion/fish fry all day on Saturday.  I proceeded to lay on my couch and watch five episodes of Deadwood in a row.  I only planned on watching one or two but it had me ensnared.  Sorry, Eoin Colfer, you'll have to wait.

Last night, I had good intentions of blazing through Plugged in one evening.  I started watching Deadwood while I was making dinner and wound up watching three more episodes last night.  I'm already thinking about how many I can squeeze in tonight since dinner is cooking in the crockpot as week speak.  I'm betting on three or four.  Yes, I may have a problem.

* How to Manipulate the Gold Box on Amazon:
This is far from fool proof but it's actually not that difficult.  I discovered it when I was buying up the Shadow reprints Nostalgia Ventures was putting out a few years ago.
  1. Find a book you like by an author that has at least ten books
  2. Add all the books by the author except the ones you actually want to your wish list.
  3. Wait a day or two and one or more of the items you want will show up in the gold box.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

As I mentioned in my post-BoucherCon funk the other day, I was recently awarded the Versatile Blogger award by Hildred Billings, a victory almost as momentous as the Dynamite Kid winning the WWF Junior Heavyweight title in Japan in 1982.

How's that for an obscure reference?

Seven things about me that aren't on my 25 things about me page:
  1. As far as I know, I'm only allergic to two things: yellowjacket stings and whatever artificial sweetener they use in pre-sweetened Grape Kool-Aide.
  2. The first time I wrote a 50k+ work, it took me a year and a half.  In NaNoWriMo 2010, I was able to write 50k in two weeks
  3. Related to #2, I have almost as many sizeable novel fragments as I do things I consider finished drafts, the biggest being my 82k unfinished novel from NaNo 2010.  Don't let the plot drive the story instead of the characters, kids!
  4. The only time I've ever been excited about a pair of shoes was a pair of Beatle boots I found at a discount shoe store in 2006 that were $75, marked down from $350.  I've since worn them out.
  5. I once baked my dad a cinnamon roll that was nearly a foot across after he saw such a thing on Man V. Food.  I think I may have covered that somewhere in my blog.
  6. One of my favorite comics of all time is James Robinson's run on Starman.  Read it!  Buy the omnibuses!
  7. Every year, I pick something I've been meaning to read and read it during the week between Christmas and New Year's.  This year will likely be the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

I don't read as many blogs on a regular basis as I should so I won't be able to pass the award on 15 times.  Here are five of my favorite writing-related blogs @ bloggers:
  1. Trisha @ Word + Stuff  - I picture Trisha being an Indiana Jones type of character, finding time during her adventures in the Outback to sing and write.
  2. Krista M @ The Jellybeans of Writing -  I wish I'd had my shit together as well as she does at her age.  Keep up the good work!
  3. Teralyn Rose Pilgrim @ A Writer's Journey - Most writer's blogs that aren't mine are pretty informative but TRP makes me laugh on a regular basis.  Her account of sneaking into an art musuem is one of my favorite blog entries of all time.
  4. The East Coaster @ Published in a Year - Consistently informative and entertaining.  Pretty bold, too, if you ask me.
  5. Sarah @ Falen Formulates Fiction - Another blogger I find pretty funny.  Also, she has a cool steampunk writing hat.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    If you gave a leprechaun that much sedative, it would kill him! - My Day at Bouchercon

    The day started a bit rocky.  I slept hard due to it being so cool in my house.  It took forever to get moving and Belle wasn't very cooperative.  I ended up leaving the house at 8:45 instead of 8 because a neighbor dog got loose and caused Belle and I to have to take an alternate route through the neighborhood.

    I met my Goodreads compadre Kemper at the registration counter at the hotel.  I was slightly disappointed that he wasn't in fact a pistol-packin' monkey in a suit like his most popular Goodreads avatar.  Our meeting was a lot like this:

    Or this:

    Not sure which of the Blues Brothers I would be but I'm definitely Boba Fett in the second scenario.  The original version, not the post-prequels crap.

    Anyway, I went to the registration desk and registered for the day.  The woman said it would cost $75 for a day pass until I showed her the special badge Goodreads issued me for being in the top 50 of all time (this may not have actually happened).  She waived me on through and saddled me with a bag containing roughly 300 pounds of books.  Kemper was kind enough to walk with me as I lugged them back to the parking garage to avoid carrying them around all day.

    Once we were back at the convention, we went upstairs to the book room and Kemper got three books signed by the sultry Christa Faust, who complemented me on my Hardcase t-shirt.  It was around that time Kemper asked me if I was going to have anything signed.  I said something about not really being into having books signed by authors.  I'm mentioning this now since it will be pertinent later.

    Next, we took in a panel on crime capers.  Since none of the writers on the panel actually wrote capers, it wasn't that great of a listening experience.  Except for Eoin Colfer.  You know, the Artemis Fowl guy?  Colfer was hilarious!  Here are some of the things he said:
    • On research:  "A medical doctor once jumped up during an interview about Artemis Fowl and said "If you gave a leprechaun that much sedative, it would kill him!"
    • On writing a book for the adult market: "I told me wife I was writing a book for big grown up people.  She said 'We just call them novels.'"
    • He also talked about inventing a town in New Jersey so he wouldn't have to research it.
    Colfer was so funny that I went back to the book room and snapped up his new one, Plugged.  Again, Kemper asked if I was going to get it signed.  Again, I indicated that I wasn't really interested.

    The next panels weren't anything either of us were particularly interested in so we hoofed it down to an Irish pub for lunch.  We talked about the Dark Tower and Matthew Scudder while downing brews, then had the Shepherd's Pie.  When the food came, I told him that I was one of the world's fastest eaters and that he probably wouldn't hear much from me until I was done eating.

    The Pie was okay but the gravy tasted fake.  I was mainly trying to soak up the three beers that accompanied it.  FYI, I'm getting too old to have three beers with lunch and still be functioning at top capacity for the rest of the day.

    We returned to the hotel and had a good sit while our bodies processed food and alcohol.  Several people commented on my Hardcase tshirt.  One guy even asked if I worked for them.  We went through the book room again as I was really wanting to find some Black Lizard paperbacks with photo covers.  I didn't find any but I did find a Megan Abbott book.  When I went to pay, the owner asked if it was signed.  I flipped through it to see if it was signed.  It wasn't.  The owner said "That bitch!" and asked if I wanted it signed.  I shrugged my shoulders.  He called Megan Abbott over anyway and she signed my book Megan "The Bitch" Abbott.  It was pretty funny.  She also liked my shirt, btw.

    A quick side note, the same Kindle and pair of glasses was sitting on a table with no owner for at least two hours and it was still there when I left.

    Anyway, the final event of the evening was an interview with Robert Crais.  Crais was funny as hell and his interview was both entertaining and informative.  He talked about winning a Marvel No-Prize when he was a kid and then having Stan Lee sign it when he worked on the Spider-Man live action show.  He also talked about selling his comic collection to raise money for a writing class, and went into his writing process. 

    But the most memorable part of his interview was when the interviewer asked him who would win if Jack Reacher fought Joe Pike and that Child said Reacher would annihilate Joe Pike and that Child said Crais agreed with him.  Crais simply said "Jack Reacher would be Joe Pike's bitch!"  The crowd loved it.  Aside from a woman suggesting Steven Segal play Joe Pike and getting booed out of the building, that was pretty much it.  Crais was a class act and I'll definitely be giving him another read.

    From there, Kemper and I left the hotel and went our separate ways, him to the Russian Roulette game he was excited about watching and me to navigate the labrynthine streets of St. Louis and go home.  It was a fun time.

    In other news, I've been awarded the Versatile Blogger award by the talented and frighteningly organized Hildred Billings.  I will deal with all that entails tomorrow, when I'm not so tired and hungry.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    New to Me Author Month and some other crap

    A friend of mine on Goodreads announced that he was going to spend October only reading horror authors he'd never read before.  I broadened the scope to all genres and dug through my slowly-shrinking to-read pile.  I hereby proclaim October to be "New to Me Author Month!" 

    Here's what I intend to read.  If I somehow get through all of them before October is over, I'll just have to buy a couple more books:
    1. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
    2. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    3. Meat Puppet Cabaret by Steve Beard
    4. The Ammonite Violin by Caitlin R. Kiernan
    5. Farthing by Jo Walton
    6. Hiero's Journey by Sterling E. Lanier
    7. The Backwoods by Edward Lee
    Once October is over, my reading life will go into semi-hibernation as I take on the NaNoWriMo Juggernaut.  Still no concrete ideas about what I'm going to write although a steampunk story is sounding better every day.  Possibly a steampunk expedition to the moon or something.  Or a weird western.  Or something with a werefox.  Or...

    I'm taking off work and going to BoucherCon tomorrow to meet one of my Goodreads friends and hobnob with crime and mystery writers.  Should be a fun time.  I plan to take pictures and present a semi-factual account of events upon my return.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    My visit to the car dealership: Expectations versus Reality

    I went to the car dealership after work to get my car looked at after the check engine light came on last night.

    Expectation (in this fantasy version, the guy at the dealership is played by John Cleese, ca. 1971):
    "What seems to be the problem?" Cleese asked.
    "Well, my check engine light came on last night."
    "Fantastic.  Kindly hand over the contents of your wallet and proceed to the waiting room.  Someone will be around to forcibly sodomize you when you least expect it."
    "Great.  Can I at least read until the rapist arrives?"

    "What seems to be the problem?" the mullet-sporting mechanic asked.
    "Well, my check engine light came on last night."
    "Go have a seat in the waiting room and have a free soda or something.  We'll take a look at it in a jiffy."
    I went into the waiting room where there were six other people.  Only ONE of them was playing on his phone.  The rest were reading physical books.  I devoured a banana and drank a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and a bottle of Sunny Delight as I read, determined to win some of my money back. 
    70 pages of The Voice of the Whirlwind later, the mechanic arrives.
    "Looks like a rock flew up and broke a couple wires.  That's why the check engine light came on.
    "How much is that going to cost?"
    "About thirty bucks plus labor."
    "I can definitely handle that."

    There you have it.  There were no significant financial losses and I spent 90 minutes reading that I probably would have spent doing housework.  I should go buy some lottery tickets.

    But I love not having a car payment!

    Last Tuesday, my car hit the 200,000 mile mark.  This morning, the check engine light came on.  Now, I know it might not be anything big but I have a feeling a new car is on the horizon.  But I love not having a car payment, damn it!  That $250-350 a month can buy a lot of booze and books!  More updates after I take my car in for an examination after work.

    I always feel like I'm in the waiting room at a doctor's office when I get my car worked on.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    So.... Itchy!

    Apparently Belle picked up a few seed ticks herself in the woods yesterday.  I learned this on her second or third circuit of her favorite sleeping spots last night.  Every time, I woke to the sound of the jingling of the tag on her collar or the click of her claws on the tile floor.  Now that I think about it, I could have taken her collar off to reduce noise.

    Suffice to say, neither of us got a good night sleep.  Belle's having a nap at the moment.  I'm guessing the tick stuff I put on her yesterday finally kicked in.  A shame that didn't happen during the eight or nine hours of her trying to get comfortable last night.

    To sum up, I'm tired and irritable today.  I'm hoping to finish the rest of the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle today but we'll see how it goes.  I may have to take a couple naps instead if I'm to make it to my regular bed time.

    Additional:  I'm attempting to grow a goatee for the first time in almost twelve years.  If there's as much gray in it as I suspect, the experiment won't last very long.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Saturday afternoon already?

    Where the hell does the time go?  It seems like I was just skulking around the neighbor's yard looking for lost car keys.

    The day started off on the wrong foot when I woke up at 7 instead of 6.   I'd fully intended on reading more of The Wind-Up Bird Chonicle while leisurely drinking my coffee this morning.  It was not to be.  Belle and I went on a quick walk as I drank my first cup of coffee.  I threw back another and then we headed over to my parents' for Belle's weekly jaunt.

    Once we ate breakfast, Belle and I were left to our own devices as my parents had a fun filled day of cleaning ahead in anticipation of their big fish fry next weekend, a family tradition that has been going on for probably twenty years.

    My hopes were squashed shortly after breakfast when I noted that all five of the garden spiders I'd been photographing were gone.  Still, I persevered. Belle and I must have walked about four miles, mostly through woods.  I wasn't dressed for the occasion but the times during deer season when no one is in the woods in the land around my parents' house are few and far between.  Long story short, Belle and I were covered with beggar lice and cockle burrs when we got back to the house and I had the additional blessing of seed ticks.

    While I was walking and trying not to crash through every spider web in the woods, I thought of NaNoWriMo and what I'm going to write about.  I'm still undecided and will likely remain so for a couple weeks.  I did think of reviving what I was calling Dawn of the Mutants at the time, the time travelers from a post-apocalyptic wasteland going back to the present to prevent a plague of zombies (or mutants or whatever I wind up calling them).  It could be fun.  I've never tried to write anything like it before.

    That's about all the material I have at the moment.  I think I'll have a nap before I go out for groceries.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Didn't think I'd be doing that on a Friday night

    The dryer buzzed.  With a great degree of annoyance, I set The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on the Ottoman and went downstairs.  I yanked the laundry out of the dryer and put it in the basket.  I was halfway through putting it all away when the doorbell rang.

    Nobody I know comes to my front door or rings my doorbell so I was immediately thinking Jehovah's Witnesses were at my door.  Odd, since it was almost full dark outside.

    It wasn't the Witnesses.  It was a young couple who had been looking at the house for sale across the street.  They somehow lost their car keys.  The man, also named Dan, asked if I had a flashlight he could borrow.  I retrieved my battery operated lantern from under the kitchen sink, leashed Belle, and we went to it.

    Long story short, not even the combined power of two Dan's could find the missing car key in the thicket of a lawn of the vacant house after a half hour of searching.  The other Dan called a friend of his to come pick him and his wife up but he had to come all the way from Ste. Genevieve.  In the mean time, I let them hang out at my house and let them drink my beer, since they'd already been through a lot. 

    Belle made a liar out of me.  She usually doesn't want strangers petting her but she opened up to the other Dan's wife, I think her name was Serena, right away.  I'd say Belle went a long way toward putting her at ease.  The other Dan is still going to have hell to pay until his wife forgets about him losing the car keys, however.

    They're planning on coming back tomorrow to look for the key.  I'm planning on going on another key hunt tomorrow morning and finding it in the first five minutes.  Further updates to follow.

    They just aren't trying anymore

    Male enhancement spam has been around almost as long as the internet itself.  For years, I've been bombarded with emails promising increase my staying power, please my woman all night long, etc.  For the past two days, many of the subject lines of emails in my spam folder say the following:

    Get a Boner!

    I guess the subtle approach wasn't working.  It reminds me of a couple Monty Python sketches.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    NaNoWriMo 2011 - To Steam or not to steam?

    That is the question!

    I'm closing in on the end of Stephen Hunt's Jack Cloudie and I'm thinking about writing a steampunk novel for NaNoWriMo 2011.  Or steampunk-influenced, anyway.  I'll probably make it more Edwardian in feel since I love the idle rich of P.G. Wodehouse's Edwardian comedies.  I might try three separate plots that come together at the end.

    Stuff I'm thinking of including:
    1. a bumbling amateur detective and his robot butler/bodyguard
    2. morlocks
    3. those creepy telepathic kids from John Wyndham's Midwich Cuckoos
    4. dinosaurs
    5. airships
    6. punch card computers
    7. the martians from War of the Worlds
    8. vast subterranean caverns
    9. a monorail
    10. a street sweeper resembling a giant steam-powered Roomba
    It's come to my attention that in NaNoWriMo's previous, I've focused on the plot rather than the characters.  This year, I intend on having a better handle on my players before the curtain goes up.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    The True Meaning of Labor Day

    Labor Day commemorates the date the Virgin Mary went into labor prior to Jesus' birth.  It was a long labor considering he was only born on December 25th.

    In other news, James Steele emailed me and told me I was the co-winner of his Felix's Epic Quest contest.  My story is here but I don't think it'll make a lot of sense without having read James Steele's Felix and the Sacred Thor first.  No word on how much the prize money is but you'll all be invited to the cocaine and hooker party I throw with the considerable sum.

    Flashback to yesterday:
    Yesterday was a pretty full day.  I rose before the crack of dawn, did some reading, took a couple tree frog pictures, and then was off to go hiking.  I'd never been to the Magnolia Hollow conservation area before.  The climb back up to where we left the truck kicked my ass.  I'd like to find out when the train goes through so I can take a picture of it coming around the bend.

    After that, I took a nap and waffled back and forth between driving to St. Louis and seeing Big Sandy and Deke Dickerson or not.  The 10 o'clock start time was what put me off it.  I had visions of getting home at 4 and wasting today sleeping.  So, I regrettably passed and ate BBQ at my parents' instead. 

    I am delighted to say the BBQ was among the best I've had all year.  A ton of my relatives wound up showing up and quite a bit of beer was consumed.  It wound up being a really good time.

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Post-It Nostalgia

    There was a crisis last night.  I could not find the thumb drive with a lot of my writing stuff on it.  Fortunately, I have very nearly all of it backed up in various places, be it google documents, on my big honkin' external hard drive, or just on my computer.

    However, I've taken it upon myself to clean out my computer desk and the surrounding area.  I'm currently working on the post-it drawer and it's bringing back a lot of memories.  Is it possible to feel nostalgia for stories you never actually wrote?

    Some of the notes are very coherent and make me want to try to write the story they go with.  Others are either very cryptic or hilarious.  Here is a brief sampling of things I've found so far.
    1. A grocery list that has various ingredients for white chili.  One of them is white wine (cheap).  That cheap white wine ended up giving me quite a hangover.  I never made white chili again.
    2. A post-it that simply says "Either my balls are getting bigger or my underwear is shrinking."  No idea what story that was from.
    3. A flowchart of sorts for The Hangman's Book, a fantasy western.  It was important to know what was going on in Poisonwood while Van Owen was investigating the ancient machinery in the mine.
    4. Scores of notes from various time travel stories, most of which involve a character called Johnny Paradox in some way.
    5. A long list of accomplishments for legendary adventurer Hunter Hawks.  My favorite of his many deeds was "wrestling Ogopogo."
    6. A post-it bearing the quote "42 parallel dimensions should be enough for anyone."
    7. Numerous maps
    8. A description of the All Seeing Hat.  It's a tophat with eyes in the band that let someone see 360 degrees around them
    9. "Owls - smartest creatures on Earth."
    10. numerous maps
    11. "That's lamer than a Weird Al cover band."
    That's just a small sampling.  Some of the stuff is even stranger.