Archive for December, 2011

I’ll Have a Mellow Christmas

Damn, that was easy. As I get older I get considerably less enthusiastic about the Christmas season, and this year was no exception. I had my daughter and her half-brother, my mom, my drummer/friend Tev and his gf Mila over, we had dinner, watched the rather silly 2011 Dr. Who Christmas Special and that was that. (Is anyone else beginning to get bored with the new Dr. Who series? For some reason it is simply not grabbing me like it used to.)

So here I am with another week of vacation, and the opportunity to write up my Realms of Cthulhu adventure, do some more work on my new fantasy effort and try to whip my finished works into shape for submission, while watching “Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter” and the “Underworld” series while trying to imagine what kind of deal Sony cut with White Wolf Games over that lawsuit years ago.

I am still disappointed that the agency rejected my book, but I’m taking it to heart and making a couple of minor changes to address their concerns. I doubt this will make much difference to the work as a whole, but a professional perspective is always welcome. My other book is still out with the Seattle publisher, but I’m not holding my breath. Like I said, this whole “aspiring writer” thing is all about learning to accept rejection gracefully.

I also found some interesting essays and my own gaming/personal history that I wrote a few years ago. I might start posting those here as well. Stay tuned, and Happy New Year.

Trapped Like a Rat

An uncomfortable truth about my house is that it has been without a sewer connection for the last 20+ years (actually ever since it was built in the 1930s, come to think of it), and being located in a no-man’s-land between Clackamas County and the municipalities of Portland, Happy Valley and Milwaukie, has always been ignored and neglected. Well we’re finally getting sewers put in, along with all the attendant mayhem, and at this time I am boxed in on two sides, my little house under siege by backhoes, dump trucks and various items of heavy equipment that look like they’re about to invade Poland. I’m not complaining, mind you — real plumbing after so long will be a huge pleasure, well worth the $10,000 or so it’s going to cost to hook up to the main, but in addition to the nasty holiday crowds that make the most mundane of tasks (going to get groceries, running to the pharmacy, picking up my dog, etc.) a baffling ordeal, I now have to dodge Iiger tanks and mechanized infantry simply to get out of the house.

It could be worse, I guess. Stuck inside I’ve gotten about 12,000 words written on a new fantasy novel, managed to keep up my guitar practice and finished assembling some really annoyingly delicate plastic skeleton warriors, and also absorbed a few dozen hours worth of Law and Order: SVU reruns. If all goes well I might actually get some rewriting on “Wings of the Fallen” completed as well. But in the meantime I do feel a bit stifled. Fortunately Beth braved the chaos and came over which always brightens things up for me — she’s busily working from her laptop in the other room and I’m busily deciding whether to dodge out to the pharmacy when there’s a break in the action. We shall see.

Next time maybe a brief editorial on good stories vs. good writing and why they’re often mutually exclusive…

Slow and Steady

Not much to report today, save taking it easy and accepting the fact that I’m actually free of obligations for a couple of weeks. My guitar lesson was productive, with some nice power chord exercises and the basics of minor- and major arpeggios. My admittedly foolish attempt to actually learn some Jonathan Coulton songs moves on but slowly, since the damned guy is actually damnably talented and wrote some pretty intricate music. I also did some work on the new book, tentatively titled “Crawlers” (as in dungeon-crawlers) and I think tomorrow I’ll start a rewrite of the second in my urban fantasy series (and maybe figure out how to add a little more tension to the one that just got rejected — how about the hero waking up to find a hand and faceprint on his living room window indicating that someone was trying to look in during the night? That’s pretty creepy, isn’t it?)