Sunday, June 27, 2010


So far during this revision of my novel I've added approximately eleven thousand new words taking it up over the 83,000 word mark. I’m almost at the half-way point, so this is good progress - as far as proper word count goes.

But it seems to be taking so gosh dang long to get finished. I work at it every day (well, almost every day). It’s such a different animal than the short stories I seem capable of banging out in about two hours, plus the necessary few days afterwards for revision and clean-up.

The novel seems to be like working on thirty linked short stories at the same time. Way more work and concentration needed to deal with that amount of prose.

Still, I’m getting excited about the prospect of doing a polishing draft or three after I finally nail down this, the third draft. I’m really hoping to have this novel polished and have ready for a buyer sometime this fall.

Then, it will be on to a bunch of half-formed short stories swirling around inside my noggin. I have one I’m polishing right now destined for Asimovs, but with the novel taking precedence, it’s more like tacking on another chapter to revise and hence not going quickly either.

I’ve come to the conclusion that writing and trying to sell your prose may be the hardest job on earth - even harder than scrubbing latrines with toothbrushes - and it seems slower.

Now, back to the trenches for me.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

day of the dad

It only happens once a year . . .

. . . no, not Christmas, or an 8.4 Richter scale quake, or some generous Bunny hiding chocolates . . .

I talk of Father’s Day.

And it’s here again.

Yes, I am a Father.

How do I like it?

Well, there is nothing like it in this world. It’s both the most rewarding experience of my life and also has created the most stressful situations in my life.

Both, extremely good for me as a writer, I’m sure.

Having a child forces you live life in a different way, a much less self-oriented way. I’m not arguing for, or against, having kids today here at the Emporium. I’m only saying the experience, for me, has been, and continues to be, absolutely fantastic.

There is something amazing watching your own child emerge from the womb, learn to crawl, laugh, talk . . . then talk back . . .

It’s all wonderful, trust me . . . well, maybe not so much the talking back part, but pretty much everything else. Still, the talking back part is only this little person you helped create coming into their own, gaining confidence, developing into the soon-to-be-adult they are meant to be and not necessarily the person you, as Dad, want them to be.

I always try to remember that for my daughter I’m coach, self-esteem promoter, helper, guide, disciplinarian, and most of all, unconditional love giver . . . In other words, Dad.

I wouldn’t change a single thing.

So, happy Father’s Day to all those men out there who have children.

I hope you have a good one . . . day that is, not child . . .

*shutting up now before I offend*

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 13, 2010



seems somebody doesn’t like the image of Bruce Lee on my outside light.

Last night, some idiot, took it upon himself, or herself, to toss and egg at my light, missing of course. It splattered on the outside bricks beside my front door, making, as you would expect, a mess.

Thanks . . .

Seems to me no matter what man, or woman, does there are always idiots out there who just have to try and make a mess of things.

I know, it’s the nature of idiots, but it still rankles.

Now, if I were to be annoyed by Bruce on a light outside somebody’s house, I would get much more creative than tossing an egg. How about drawing a mustache on with a permanent marker, or hanging a black belt across the light or any number of less destructive activities to make your point . . . if there was a point, other than advertising that you are and idiot.

Oh, it’s because idiots take the easiest, most destructive way being less than intelligent enough to think of something clever.

Probably the person that did it is also one of the ones responsible for toppling over gravestones in our town . . .


On the bright side of today, we had a fun reading night again last night. The regulars were out and we got to hear more excellent works of fiction from all.

So, while some idiot was out plotting the egging of Bruce Lee, more intelligent people were indoors sharing their creativity with others.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 06, 2010

in the lee of the light

I’ve been waging a fierce battle all week - and it took Bruce Lee to help me prevail . . .

. . . um, maybe a bit cryptic?

Let me explain.

You see, our front porch has an outside light next to the door. It’s one of those look-like-an-ancient-torch deals, and it seems, it is the perfect place for a robin to build a nest in and lay eggs.

Now, you know I'm not cruel, but having a robin making a nest on my porch light is just not really a good idea . . . for the robin.

I like the bird, I really do. So cute, so red-breasted. But, um, we also have three big maple trees in our yard and our neighborhood is oldish with many a mature tree just crying out for a robin to nest in.

After three days of tearing down the nesting material (like every hour or so except at night when the robin slept) I knew where the saying, “bird-brained” came from. But, as a writer, I had to admire this robin’s focus, determination and drive.

But I knew I couldn’t spend the next week or so knocking down nesting material ten times a day, so I went into a quasi-zen state to puzzle out a solution . . . and after a few minutes, the answer was obvious!

Bruce Lee would know how to handle this.

It just so happens that we have a Bruce Lee calendar, and one of his images was from “Enter The Dragon” . . . three trademark cuts on his face in the room of mirrors. He is looking menacing and not to be trifled with. By the way, what a classic movie - go see it again!

Now I know the robin had never seen the movie (okay, I was assuming here), but that image of Bruce looking all scary should keep the persistent nester at bay.

All I needed to do was cut out the image, tape it up on the light and voila - robin took a hike, never to return.

Bruce Lee had saved me from a lot of future cleaning work.

The only down side, with Bruce Lee taped up on our porch light, is that our house now looks like it is lived in by a mental case . . .

. . . hey, wait . . .

Oh, nevermind, you were already thinking that anyway, weren’t you.

Until next Sunday . . .