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July 31, 2003

Voodoo Invocation

Still quiet on the homefront. They say June & July are the quietest times of the year. All those editors out there, sunning themselves. Damn their UV-protected eyes. Don't they know they should be inside reading manuscripts and buying my stories?

Also quiet on the workfront. No kids for two more weeks! Woo hoo! Of course, when school does start back we'll crazy with the young'uns, tripping over them left and right. Hitting a new high on enrollment: around 18,000. When I started just over two years ago, it was hitting a high of 14,000. Well, that's usually how it works, isn't it? When times are bad economically, people go off (or go back) to college.

Recently Read: Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art, Eisner he of The Spirit fame.

July 27, 2003

Damn, That's A Lot of Corn

I'm back. Miss me? Of course you have! And how jealous you'll be when you learn where I've been: exotic Macomb, Illinois, home of Western Illinois University, where my sister-in-law Lisa J will be attending grad school come in the fall. It's a tiny little hamlet in western Illinois, the sort of place you can drive across in five minutes and then find yourself swallowed up by endless miles of corn. It's been three years since Lisa (my Lisa, that is) and I left Iowa and I'd forgotten what the Midwest was like.

As I said before, damn, there's a lot of corn out there.

At any rate, I spent a couple days driving a rental truck up there (with my Lisa riding shotgun) and Lisa J with her mom in her car to lead the way. Got her moved in, got a quick tour of the place, then caught a plane out of Moline International Airport to carry us home. While I was gone got a personal rejection from MarsDust and several hundred spams.

Recently Read: Read a lot actually, 'cuz, y'know, there's not much else to do in western Illinois when you're resting in a hotel room, sitting in a house in Illinois waiting for the cable dude to show up, or sitting in an airport in Cincinnati. Titles include: Adventures in Screenwriting, by William Goldman (he of Princess Bride fame); The DC Guide to Writing Comics, by Dennis O'Neil; and Comic Book Nation, by Bradford Wright. You may think you see a pattern in these books. Pay no attention to it.

July 17, 2003

BOR-ring

Much happens, little worth reporting. Highlights include:

  • Got word this morning from Albedo One that "Twelvepenny Weather" will be in the next ish, due out in a few weeks.

  • Had to attend anger management training at work Tuesday. No, I'm not going Hulk on you. Everyone in the library had to attend. Seems librarians are a cranky lot. Which is news to me; I thought we just drank a lot.

  • We're now in possession of SimCity 4, the latest in a long line of "you are God" games. Looks fun, he said, looking over Lisa's shoulder (I'm kidding, sweetie).

  • Seen some movies, like the wildly enjoyable and highly recommended Pirates of the Caribbean; read some books, such as The Science of Superheroes, which examines how much grounding in reality comic book superheroes have. Short answer: not much.

  • I am writing, I'm happy to report. Working on a sequel to "Evening with the Minotaur," for the forthcoming sequel to the Path of the Just anthology. At the moment little is on paper, but much is in my head. With luck I'll reverse that before the deadline arrives. Path of the Just, by the way, is due out sometime this month, so if you're into superhero fiction (such as the Wild Cards books), why not pick up a copy?
And that's about it. More later when it happens.

July 09, 2003

Donuts

I'm telling you, there are a ton of donut (or doughnut) shops in Los Angeles. To be precise, there's 864 of them in the metro area, according to our library's ReferenceUSA database. By comparison, there's 63 in Atlanta and 305 in the New York City metro area. And that's only counting stores that list donuts as one of their primary products, as opposed to general purpose bakeries, coffee shops that sell pastry, and so forth. These are freestanding donut shops. For example: Donut Star. Designer Donuts. Spudnuts Donuts. Ra's Donuts & Teriyaki. Yum Yum Donuts. Winchell's Donut House. Mo Better Meatty Meat Donuts (okay, maybe not that last one). I was astonished.

Now, we did do other things besides count donut stores. We saw a number of such traditional sites as Grauman's Chinese Theater (where I learned my hand is the same size as John Woo's), the Hollywood sign, the Santa Monica pier, Rodeo Drive, the Book Baron, Sunset Boulevard, Meltdown and IKEA. We ate at a number of places, including Gaucho Grill, the Market City Cafe, Canter's Deli, El Farolito, and Watson Drug (which doesn't sound like much, but it's where they filmed part of That Thing You Do and the food was pretty good besides). And most importantly, we got to spend time with our friends, Abbie, Tim, and Jodie (thanks guys!).

Writing news was relatively slim while I was gone. Got the contracts & check from Strange Horizons for "Laundromat Advances the Plot." Also found out that the "Best of" antho that Muse was up for has evaporated, on account of the publisher's wife leaving him. Which is a pretty good excuse, as far as I'm concerned.

Recently read: Oh, it's a whole lot of books: the freaky and highly recommended Zod Wallop by William Browning Spencer; My Name is Legion by Roger Zelazny; The Norm Ball Collection by Michael Jantze; the history of civilization Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond; and all four Astro City graphic novels. Nicely heroic, those last were, and remind me quite a bit of George R. R. Martin's Wild Card series.

Oh Yeah

I forgot to mention: the computer problem has been handled. We're now the proud owners of a shiny new eMac. Which is not as smokin' as a new, top-end G5, but is in every way superior to our old, unreliable machine and that's good enough for me. All that needs to be done is finish moving everything back where it should be and I'll be back in business.

July 07, 2003

From Peach To Orange To Peach

We're back from the Left Coast. More later. Very, very tired.

July 02, 2003

Pretty Paperweight

Oh, things look bad. Gandalf is freaking out, big time: can't see our backup drive. Screen keeps flickering (and by flickering, I mean resizing and going black). System keeps locking up, even in OS X. Hard drive has errors on it that can't be repaired short of reformatting. Sigh. There's a distinct possibility we're going to have to take it out back and shoot it. Or at least take it in to be repaired.

What this means in practical terms is that email from me will be extremely irregular for a while, and probably sent from my Day Job's account. So if anyone sends me anything, I beg a little patience on my response time. Oh, this is going to suck.