"None will open unless I push them myself." - Val DeWitt

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween, so I feel I should post something today. Doesn't feel like Halloween. Maybe because of the delayed end to Daylight Savings Time, still light until a little after 6:00. Could be because we've been so busy wrapping up soccer season and getting ready for indoor soccer (this time I'm the coach - poor kids). The IHN week recently wrapped up, life is hectic, always is this time of year.

The girls are excited. Maybe I will be soon enough. Perhaps tonight, when we go trick-or-treating. Andrew isn't planning on going out tonight - he'll be handing out candy instead. Sigh. Life moves on, doesn't it? The kids get older, things change. Still, when trick-or-treating is done and we've tied the kids to their beds while they thrash in a sugar-induced hysteria, Jan & I will still settle in to watch the third episode of Creepshow 2 ("The Hitchhiker" - or as we like to call it: "Thanks for the Ride, Lady"), a tradition at the end of every Halloween for years.

During our last soccer game Darryl the coach (I was assistant coach), who used to live in the Midwest until a couple of years ago, said something interesting: "Halloween is an awfully big deal up here (meaning New England), much more than Ohio." I guess so. We love this holiday up here in these parts. :-)

I really wanted to visit Salem, as scary as the place is. The air is filled with... something. But it's only an hour away... never made it. Maybe next year. Maybe next year.....

I know I mentioned there will be some news on Plague of Darkness coming, but still nothing I can mention just yet. Also, something's brewing with Solomon's Grave. Things are moving along but can't say much at this point. Stay tuned.

Won't be finishing the final draft of Destroyer of Worlds today. The last two days were spent in talks with my agent Sara about developing stuff, one of the few things I'd ever let get in my way of my daily writing. :-) Almost done with it, though. Most of my proofreaders are lovingly pouring through the prose and mercilessly slashing with red pens....

Should be good weather tonight. Pumpkins are carved and illuminated. Costumes are ready. Kids excited. Halloween 2007. Have a great one, folks.

Oh, I updated my home page with a new free story, one from 2002. "Feed the Birds." Enjoy on this festive day.

Dan

Friday, October 26, 2007

Home Stretch, and Scary People on the Highway

I was driving home on interstate 290 the other day, and saw an amazing sight. Mind you, this was 'amazing' in the What the F category, but still. 290 is a 3-lane highway, 65MPH limit, just to set the stage. I was coming up the fast lane, maybe going 70, not much more, and realized the car ahead of me wasn't going that fast. I cut to the middle lane, no problem, but the car in the left lane sped up - happens all the time, the driver gets dreamy, notices someone is passing them and realizes they were going too slow (as opposed to the other ^#% people who simply hate being passed, but that's another story).

As I passed alongside, keeping pace, I see this accountant-type with his flip phone open against the front of his steering wheel, thumbing the buttons madly. My first thought, ah, he's having trouble and is calling someone for help (trouble was, what kind of trouble? His steering wheel refuses to turn right? As it turns out... anyway...). But no. Unless he was dialing Uranus, there were way too many thumb-pressings on that phone. Not only that, he was staring fixedly at the phone - not sure how he stayed on the road, must have been using his peripheral vision for such a mundane task as driving. As he began to slow down again it hit me: he was playing a &#*#&# game on his cell phone, thumbing the arrow buttons as he tried to blow apart asteroids or something. Slower, his car dropped, and based on how quickly my car pulled away from him (I was still in the middle lane so I could watch, amazed, in my side mirror and effectively becoming as dangerous a driver as this guy, I suppose) I guessed his speed in the left lane leveled off at about 60 MPH, phone still propped up, and roughly about 6 cars behind him, sometimes flashing their lights, finally curling around him.

He's obviously a complete loon.

People like that who cause accidents that hurt people. Yes, there are other things that can do the same thing, like sex while driving, or trying to eat spaghetti and garlic bread while driving, but I've seen way too many lane-swerving, last-minute course changing, cutting-me-off drivers, only to realize there was a phone glued to their ear, not to get pissed sometimes. I finally have a cell phone myself, but still find a place to pull over to make a call (granted, on the rare occasions someone calls me on the thing I'll answer while I'm driving, so I'm no angel myself, but try to keep the conversations in these cases short and at least watch the road while I talk).

Still.... I hate thatman. And I don't even know his name.

On writing, well, had an intense lunch period editing the final chapters of Destroyer.... I think I break every grammar rule with my plethora of sentence fragments, but it seems to roll through the action pretty quickly. Almost done... almost done....

"Ray Gun" is coming soon to Apex Digest #11. Das grab Des Solomon end of next month, too. Still can't tell you the Plague of Darkness news, yet.....

That's it. Just wanted to check in....

Friday, October 19, 2007

10 days Gone and What Do You Say?

Sorry, been a bad boy and haven't posted in 10 days.. OK, OK, so I actually did, ended up deleting it. No one likes a whiner. Still, thanks, everyone, for the concern. It's cool, man, it's cool. I'm chillin'.... all right, sorry. Too old and pale for using the chillin' word....

Been so busy this week with the Interfaith Hospitality Network and a Hundred Things family-wise, doesn't feel like I've accomplished must. But starting to get feedback from one of my Beloved Proofreaders on Destroyer of Worlds, so far so good, with some tweaking in a couple of places. About 3/4 way through my final edits. Need to finish this one. Have a week. As long as my part's done before 10/31, I made my deadline.

Some news on the front for Plague of Darkness, believe it or not. I hadn't realized it was out anywhere, yet. More when I can mention it.

I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, sponsored by Penguin books. Talked it over with my agent Sara and we figured, why not? The timeline is shorter than some regular manuscript submissions, and, well, it's Penguin. Still time to submit something of your own - if you have a completed manuscript, mind you. I'd say which book I sent them, but they're supposed to be anonymous. But I will say it's not Solomon's Grave, obviously, and it's not Plague of Darkness, and DoW isn't done yet.

Speaking of Solomon, Das Grab des Salomon, the German edition from Otherworld Verlag, is coming out next month. Editor Michael Krug is lining up some good promotion. Looking forward to it.

Someone told me tonight that children don't have peanut allergies, or any of the new food allergies which kids in the US are getting these days, or most any other country. Seems our incessant need for anti-bacterial soap is likely one of the major culprits, screwing with the next generation's immune systems (folks: kids NEED to get sick... stop it! Let them be sick!). If Someone of Power knows this, DO SOMETHING. Scary stuff.

OK, gotta go. Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you again soon.

Dan

Oh, PS. Just finished Lee Thomas' Dust of Wonderland. What a smart, brilliantly-written book. I'm straight, and have never read anything where the love scenes were only between two men, so I had to get used to that aspect, but even then, to my virgin eyes, they were written with tenderness and passion (but yea, sorry, I skimmed those parts, was getting freaked out). One of the better books I've read this year. Highly recommend it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Corey's World, TV, Contradictions and Searches (yea, these are mostly just random words)

Sorry, a week behind on these. OK, so start:

Halfway through my final draft of UNTITLED. 4th draft, but I'm so happy with it I'm starting to get it packaged up for the proofreaders.

The book is basically broken into Part One and Part Two, and they're about equal in length (anyone reading this post a second time might notice I'd said part One was short, but come to find out, it ain't).

And no, still haven't come up with a freakin' good title yet. Sigh. However, I did decide on a couple of good quotes to stick on each Part Page, i.e. under "Part One: Corey's World" I have a quote from David Gilmour's song Out of the Blue, and another quote, same song, under Part Two..... That's not to say that when it sells I'll have the right to use it. Not sure how that works.

I'm still hoping to get my editing done by the end of the month, but with so much going on this month, including working with the families in the IHN program (http://www.ihnworcester.org/) in town next week, soccer assistant-coaching and teaching in the classes for the High School religious ed at church every Monday... well... I'm going to try. Need to get moving on the next while the proofreaders grapple with the beauty (or unsalvagle mess) of the novel.

Couple other items: New TV season. Well, I think we'll settle on the following shows this Fall, and wait for the DVD for any others: HEROES, no question there. Though not a lot's happened in 2 episodes so far. CHUCK - what a brilliant, fun show. Two shows in, and we're hooked. THE UNIT - I don't know, we'll stick with it a little longer, plus Janet likes it. Good acting, just a vague and cluttered plotline at the moment. We're going to start watching NUMB3RS again, though last season we found ourselves falling asleep during the episodes. Not a good sign.

I had high hopes for BIONIC WOMAN, but judging by the first episode, the typical NBC melodramatic touches like slo-mo walking with hair all ablow... if others' tell me it gets better, we might deal with it on DVD some day.

Over the summer we watched season 1 of HBO's ROME... what a brilliant show. The guy who starred as Lucias Verinas has his own show now, a Quantum-Leap knock off called JOURNEYMAN.. might start taping this - mostly for the star than the premise.

And of course, waiting for January for LOST to start up again, and also hope that 24 does something new, and not just write themselves into a hundred corners or bore themselves, both of which they did last season. Time will tell. I still think they should set a season in the Old West or something, see what they can do with that....

Always more on my mind, but out of room. Oh, one more thing: Congratulations to Andrew for attaining Brown Belt in Kempo. Nice job! And to Amanda, for her first successful baby-sitting venture last night! And so I don't get in trouble omitting anyone: to Audrey, for being so good at soccer her team is *almost* undefeated. :-)

See you soon, promise...
Dan