Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dune

dune sandwormI’ve been meaning to read Frank Herbert’s DUNE almost my entire life; I used to be fascinated by the pulp paperback covers in our library when I was a kid. For some reason the time never seemed right — I’m weird about books that way — and then two weeks ago I pounced on it. I’ve had people tell me it’s a dense read, and this is somewhat true. There’s total world invention, many characters, a massive plot, a new vocabulary, and plenty of scientific-political-mystical complexity. And yet it’s extremely easy to read, and captivating start to finish. Halfway through, I knew I was hooked on the whole series, and I went out and bought Herbert’s five sequels. Onto #2.

Fun fact: DUNE was originally rejected by twenty publishers, and was finally released by Chilton Books, which was known for publishing auto repair manuals.

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Indies First!

YA author Eric Devine and I will be at Market Block Books in Troy, NY for the Indies First program on Small Business Saturday, November 29, adding writerly rum to the nog.

We’ll be greeting customers, helping holiday shoppers find good books, signing our own novels, and just pitching in. Please come see us and support a local bookstore this holiday season. I might remind you that you cannot meet dashing, early-middle-aged authors at an online megastore.

indies

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Sleep Aches

FullSizeRenderWriting: I’ve figured out the high-level plot and done most of the essential research, so now I’m taking it chapter by chapter, conjuring all the major and minor beats, structures, and details. Working on chapter 6 today.

Weather: Slushworld

Personal: My middle-age aches — sore knee, shoulder blade prone to muscle seizure — in fact may have been caused by a lumpy fifteen-year-old mattress and a broken box spring. If scorpions had nested in the sheets, I would not have slept worse. Last week we got a Sleep Number bed, because it was affordable (and gloriously reviewed by Consumer Reports), and it’s been a very good three nights of sleep so far. No aches.

I won’t know for a few weeks if the old bed was truly causing the pain — though it’s suspicious that my aches were all on my left side — but I’m hopeful. I’ve wanted to exercise my legs to strengthen my weak knee, but couldn’t exercise my legs because of my bad knee. In sum, this bed could be a fountain of youth.

I’m still experimenting with the firmness setting. I’m a side-sleeper, so I’m supposed to go softer for proper support. My ideal number seems to be in the 55-65 range. It makes me feel wimpy, to be honest. I imagined myself to be a 100% firmness type of guy, as if I’d really prefer to sleep on corrugated iron.

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Attack of a Boar Hunting Hound

Circle of Paulus de Vos Flemish, 1700's Attack of a Boar Hunting Hound

Circle of Paulus de Vos Flemish, 1700’s Attack of a Boar Hunting Hound

Writing: I’m going to compress two years in my characters’ lives into one year to make the story more urgent.

Nature: Overcast, warm, yellow-leaved.

Personal: Attending last night’s WWE event with my son was a blast. Two cage matches, good times. Also my cold is getting better.

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Winter Landscape with Figures, 1785

winter

Winter Landscape with Figures by George Morland, 1785

Writing: Having a bird’s eye look at the plot of the BELL WEATHER sequel today, determining where I need to swoop back in.

Nature: We were supposed to have our first hard freeze last night, but it didn’t quite happen.

Personal: I have a cold.

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Singing Album Covers

Famous album covers begin to sing in this amazing video, which has a sad ending for people who like vinyl.

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William Shatner’s Halloween

shatnerFun trivia: the original Michael Myers’ mask from HALLOWEEN is really a $2 Captain Kirk mask that the filmmakers painted white. But that’s not all.

  • The original hockey mask worn by Jason in FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART 2 is an exact replica of the hockey mask William Shatner used as a high-school goalie.
  • Freddie Kreuger’s red-and-green sweater from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was knit by William Shatner’s great aunt.
  • Leatherface’s mask in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was made of full-grain leather from a cow raised and slaughtered by Leonard Nimoy.
  • The hundreds of pages reading “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in THE SHINING were typed by William Shatner.
  • Contrary to popular belief, William Shatner was in no way involved with THE EXORCIST.
  • In ROSEMARY’S BABY, Mia Farrow was actually pregnant with William Shatner’s child.
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Poof

I have a special vacuum for ultrafine particles and use it to clean the ash out of our wood-pellet stove. This morning, I inadvertently hooked the hose into the unit’s exhaust port, flipped the motor on, and put the nozzle into the stove. That was a bummer.

Aerial of the Eruption of Eyjafjallajˆkull

Bluegrass Pixies

I’m a sucker for interesting covers of beloved songs. I heard this walking into a bar two Fridays ago and it really set the tone. On a related note, I’m trying to learn this on electric guitar, which I’ve been playing sporadically for less than a season, and the bar chords are killing me. My old fingers are starting to figure it out, though.

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