Sunday, August 23, 2009

blue sky over a blue lake

I woke up this morning after a very late and very fun night with friends. Though still quite tired, I knew that it was past 11am and if I didn't want to waste the day or destroy my sleep schedule, it was time to emerge from my cocoon of soft sheets and warm comforters, open the door from my cavernous and pitch-black room, and start the day.

I stumbled into the kitchen, poured the rest of yesterday's coffee into a cup and heated the mug in the microwave. While the coffee was re-heating, I cracked open two eggs into a bowl, dashed some salt and pepper in, poured in two "gloops" of milk, whisked, and poured the mixture onto a pan to begin making some scrambled eggs. While the eggs cooked to a fluffy white, I toasted a slice of bread, spread Choco-spread on the toast, pulled my coffee out of the microwave and poured in decent helpings of milk and sugar, changing the blackish mixture within the cup into something creamy and brown.

Once my breakfast was ready, I took the book that I'd been reading, set it out on the table on the patio, placed down a hand-woven placemat from Nicaragua that was a gift from a friend on the table, and laid out my breakfast.

There was a brisk wind off Lake Michigan and the sun shone merrily in the sky, transforming the water into a sea of sapphires and diamonds. I sat with book in one hand, fork in the other, enjoying myself by combining my two favorite activities: reading and eating. Without knowing why, I stopped for a moment. I looked around, felt the warm sun on my face, the cool breeze caressing my skin.

Simply put, it was absolutely beautiful. The breakfast, the book, the coffee, the patio, the sun and the wind. The bright sky, confectionary clouds, the azure water. I sat for a minute, taking it all in, as I have before and will again.

And I realized one simple thing: despite the tiredness of the morning, the mild hangover, the stress at work, the frustrations with writing a book, despite all the turmoils of growing up, letting go and saying goodbye: I am happy.

To realize one's happiness is a simple but joyous thing. And while I have yet to achieve all the goals I have set forth in my life, I realize that, for the most part, I have made a good beginning.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Not my bitch, nor yours

George R.R. Martin is one of my favorite authors. His epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the most amazing things I've ever read. (and re-read, several times) Here's a good synopsis of it from one of its best fansites around,

Imagine a feudal kingdom on a massive continent in a world filled with many cultures and half-legendary lands and an ancient history. Imagine a time where dragons once lived but magic is now dwindling, yet the seasons can be long or short, bringing glorious summers or terrible winters that last years at a time. Imagine a massive iron throne from which seven kingdoms are ruled, with false knights and true all gathered about it in hopes of blood or glory or profit, and shadows behind it pushing the pieces that make up the game of thrones.

It is as of now, unfinished. Currently, Mr. Martin is working on book five of seven, titled A Dance with Dragons. This volume has taken longer than he initially expected, causing a very small, but somewhat trollish, whiny, and wah-entitlement-me-now! cadre of fans to actively and quite rudely complain on his website and in other chatrooms.

They are, quite simply, douchebags.

One of said d-bags actually wrote to Neil Gaiman (another favorite author of mine) asking if he had a right to feel entitled to have Mr. Martin finish the series. To which Neil simply replied in his very famous blog "George Martin is not your bitch." (read the awesome post here)

The quote "George Martin is not your bitch" has since grown to become somewhat of a meme against these trolls. Which leads me to the original reason I had for posting this blog entry, one of the funniest songs I've heard in a while:

Sci Fi Songs: Sci-Fi Song #20: George R.R. Martin is Not Your Bitch

The song is funny, true, and quite catchy. Well played Mr. John Anealio!

Monday, August 3, 2009

writing a book rant

Goddam you Chapter 2. Every other chapter does what its supposed to. Only you, you bloody cheeky monkey, you convoluted mish-mash of POV shifts, scene changes, and flash-backs, continue to vex me. One day, you will pay for your insolence. This I do so swear.

Fuck you, Chapter 2. Seriously. Do not make me resort to Extreme Measures. I'm not afraid to take Arthur Quilling Crouch's advice and Kill My Darlings.

You best get in line.

/takes deep breath

Okay, done now. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

warm up blog--getting back in the game!

Yes, I know. Its been quite a while since last I wrote anything for this blog. In my defense, it has been one of the busiest summers I've had in a while, both in professional and social sense. A three million dollar publishing project for work (more on that in another entry perhaps) and three weddings, a funeral, bachelor party, moving into a new apartment and my youngest brother's high school graduation open house.

So yes, busy summer. Not only that, but I'm still trying to write a book. And usually, when it comes to hoarding my creative energy, its a choice between struggling with the book or blogging. And, much as I hate to say it, working on the book will win every time.

But this weekend I spent a satisfying amount of time working on the book (my first--working title The Constable of Bridge) and I felt that I could blog guilt-free.

So this is a warm up blog entry, one to get myself back in the swing of things. Nothing too long or too thoughtful, just random bylines and funny links. Including a comparison between traditional archeological methods vs. doing things the Indiana Jones way:

Things like this just make me a happy panda. Now, I don't know if you've anyone reading this has ever played any old school role-playing games, such as Dungeon & Dragons or Shadowrun. I have, though back in high school I took great pains to hide this little habit from all of my "normal" friends.

If you have played an old-school role-playing game (with metal miniatures, dice, hexagon maps, and the works--no, World of Warcraft doesn't count) and if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings, you have GOT to check out this website.

DM of the Rings

Using screen stills from the movie, the scenario is: what-if LOTR never existed and someone tried to make it a D&D campaign? My synopsis doesn't do it justice. But for those who ever rolled a twenty-sided die and hoped for a 19 or 20, this is absolutely fucking hilarious.

Also, for the Star Wars fans, same concept, a homage to the DM of the Rings, here:

Darths & Droids

Anyway, I hope to become a more active presence on this blog once more. I'm still submitting stories to various magazine and working hard on the book. I hope to have it done by year's end. If any new shorts stories get published, you'll hear it here first!