Sunday, May 09, 2010

More Words

So besides the reading and the movie watching, what’s been going on?

I’ve been working a lot the last few weeks, getting a few projects ready to go.  Things should start slowing down in mid-July, if we can get a few things out the door.  The company is growing, and that’s a good thing.  It also seems like the economy is coming back around, and that’s good as well.

I have started working on a new series of books, while taking a break from the Jake Clarke Series. I’m waiting for a book doctor I know (a freelance editor) to free up later this spring to take a look at ‘The Forgotten Road’ so we can polish ‘one-last’ version.  Then it’s back to looking for an agent.  But until book one in the series has stabilized, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to work on book 3+4.   So I jumped into another series that I’ve been working on in my head since before I' started telling Jake’s story.  This one is epic fantasy with a Twist.  Every author has to write fantasy at some point in their lives.  I like this story, and I’ve got it well plotted out, and I think it’s sellable, though I have broken the cardinal rule and not spent a lot of time reading fantasy.  Maybe someone else has already done this story, but I’m not going to worry about that until the first book is done and I try to market it.  This isn’t fluffy fantasy with elves and magicians and dragons, so no use in polluting my mind with that.

The kids are doing great.  We’re still potty training Reece, or rather he’s training us to accept that he will potty train himself at his own pace, not ours.  We’ve corrected some of the bed time behavior (thank you Super Nanny!), so we are all getting more sleep now, and we actually slept in till 8:00 AM this morning.  Of course we didn’t get home until 11:30 PM last night, but at 8:00 I was actually ready to get up.

The two of them love playing with other kids now, and we can turn them loose out in the cul-de-sac with the rest of the neighborhood kids and no one is coming in bleeding or crying with any regularity. 

My sister was out for a few days last weekend, and the kids had a great time with her.  They don’t often get that kind of dedicated attention, and it was good for all of us. 

We took a long road trip this weekend to Ephrata, WA to see Lisa’s Mom on Friday night, then from there to Richland, WA to see Lisa’s brother Eric and his family.  A lot of driving, but well worth it.  Eric bought a house a month or so ago down there, and it’s a really nice place to raise a family.

Lisa is doing well, and getting ready for the dance competition season to start up.  She’s been practicing a lot, and I’m hoping she brings home wads of cash so she can be my sugar momma while I retire and write for a living.

We’ve had a little problem in the garage the last few nights with stuff getting knocked over.  We knew something had snuck in.  We hoped it was a neighborhood cat, but after 4 night’s I finally discovered it was a possum (a big one), and it was hiding between the wall and the furnace.  We left the garage door open a crack last night, and it was gone this morning.  Hopefully it stays gone.  Kind of a freaky thing to see staring back at you.

The garden is planted, and things are coming up, though the cold start to the spring has severely affected the tomatoes and the squash.  I may have to replant some plants.  The garden is a lot easier this year, since I did all the hard construction last year.  This year it’s plant, water and watch grow.

Okay, time to make dinner!  Gotta go!

The Week+ In Words

I’ll start with books today, because the OCD in me says I must cover it.

I haven’t been reading a lot for fun lately, mainly because I am working on a novel of my own, am reading more for work, and am working a lot.  So this list is relatively brief:

Thursday Next:  First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde.  Fforde’s series is unique.  I guarantee you have read nothing like it.  This one is good, though not as good as the other Thursday Next books, but the man has a great concept and if I had it, I’d be cranking out the books too.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank:  Written in the late 1950’s during the height of the Cold War, it’s one of the early ‘end of the world’ novels, better be prepared for a big change to civilization.  Not a bad read, but some of the dialogue didn’t age well, and some of the story seems a bit quaint these days.   I’m sure it was pretty edgy fifty years ago, but only worth a ready if you are a die hard apocalypse fan these days.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.  I started following John Scalzi’s blog Whatever last winter when the big confrontation was going on between Amazon and MacMillan Publishing.  Old Man’s War is a GREAT science-fiction book, and a must read for anyone who is interested in the genre.  It’s a quick and easy read, but a great concept book, likeable characters and inspiring for writers like me. 

I’m currently reading Vacuum Diagrams by Steven Baxter, another sci-fi book.  I’m struggling to finish it.  It wanders through 5 million years of the history and future of the universe, with a series of vignettes that are tied together by very thin plot line.  It’s an admirable undertaking.  Pure sci-fi aficionados probably loved this book.  I’m more in the camp of “I can’t wait to be done it, and I wish I had never bought it.”  It’s not that it’s that bad, it’s just that it kills my desire to read anything else.   Kind of like having a bad sandwich at the only deli near your office.  You know you will eventually go back there, but it might be a while before you get the bad taste out of your mouth.  I’ve read Baxter’s stuff before, and it’s generally pretty good, but if I were his agent, I would have held this one back.  But what do I know?

Movie wise, if had a few clunkers too.

Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr.  Did not meet my expectations, which were probably too high.  It was okay. 2/4 stars.

Robinson Crusoe – The Pierce Brosnan version.  I’ve been watching this 20 minutes at a time for the past two weeks.  Really bad.  Epically bad. 1/4 stars – just because I refuse to give 0 stars to any movie I didn’t just delete from my queue after the first 20 horrible minutes.

To Catch a Thief:  Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.  Wonderful classic movie.  And now I understand why people loved Grace Kelly. 3/4 stars

The Informant!:  Matt Damon.  Interesting, but not great.  Felt kind of uncomfortable during the whole thing.  Kind of Fargo meets Catch Me If You Can.  2/4 Stars

Up In the AIr with George Clooney:  Good movie with good dialog.  But we have seen so many ‘talkie’ movies lately that we weren’t in the right mood for this one, and it was just not that enjoyable.  2/4 stars

Zombieland:  I loved this movie.  It’s right up there with Shawn of the Dead in the Zombie genre (did you know there was a Zombie genre?").  3/4 stars.  Brace yourself for the gore of the first 5 minutes.  After that it’s not so bad.