Sunday, July 25, 2010

getting conned

With all the excitement - well, maybe just for us Geeks - swirling around Comicon in California this weekend, I’m starting to itch rather badly to attend a Con myself . . . and soon.

Which is great because in a little over a month Toronto will once again be putting on FanExpo where tons of great geek attractions will be assembled for adoring Geeks. This ensemble will include some of my favourite geek actors and actresses too.

There are so many actors/actresses to list, I’ll just leave you to check the site out if you really need/want/must know who they are.

I’m taking my daughter this year. Should be a lot of fun, if she doesn’t complain too much about getting tired and mingling with the hordes and having to hang around Dad for a spell in public while I get my geek on . . .

. . . hmm, maybe I should leave her at home.

But, in the mean time, if you want to gear yourself up for attending an event then go over to Twitter, do a search on Comicon, and check out all the pictures being displayed by fans and actors and see if it doesn’t sway you to attend a con yourself.

Okay, so I said you could look up the FanExpo guests yourself, but I’m looking at the list now and getting pumped to say a quick hello, I like your work, and here is some chocolate because, well, it’s what I do for con guests, . . . . um . . . . just the females though, sorry guys . . .

So, the female guests I’ll likely be plying with chocolates this year will be: Summer Glau, Michelle Forbes, Felicia Day, and Joan Collins.

And the male guests I will not be plying with chocolate will be: William F’n Shatner, James Marsters, Leslie Nielson, and can you believe this - Ernest Borgnine!

I only go one day of this event, the Saturday. I get there early, spend the entire day sucking up the vibes, then I gather my digital pics and memories and head back home. And yes, the Sunday after you will be treated to my review of the event including pictures.

Well, other writing duties beckon, and I must attend to them now.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

anti-bore decor

Well, we are making the attempt . . . again.

Interior decorating, that is.

Something we admit to sucking at, but we are going to try following a suggestion from friends we talked with over the past week. It’s called going with what interests you and building a room around said interest.

So, we are picking one room of our house (our Family room) and trying to be more creative than just plopping down random on-sale crap from Ikea or Sears.

Yes, it’s a lot of work . . . but we have a cunning plan, one so cunning you could cut it with a knife . . .

. . . um, okay then.

The plan for the first room is to go with something of an interest to me.

1939 - 1945.

World War Two years, for those unfamiliar with those dates.

It all started with my Birthday present which was the famous (okay, maybe only to war buffs) painting by Clarke of a Spitfire. It’s a huge print measuring twenty four by forty inches and, if I may say so, it looks damn cool.

It will be the centerpiece which will sit above out fireplace mantle once it’s all plaqued. Plaqued means laminated to a piece of 1/4 inch thick particle board with a non glare coating.

I also got another print (twenty by twenty four inches) of three spitfires patrolling the skies above London . . . England, not Ontario.

Next I went to our local war book reservoir, which has literally thousands for sale, and found a Robert Taylor picture book. He’s painted many World War Two plane pictures covering every aspect of the air war during that period. All the prints in the book are eleven by fourteen inches and look great in plain black frames.

The frames all came from Michaels, and we got 55% off of them all which made the cost of framing pretty damn inexpensive.

Grant total so far is thirteen framed or plaqued pictures - it's kind of money we don’t really have, but the room will look so much better for it.

Other ideas for the room include collecting antiques (cheap auction ones) like an old 1940s phone, fan and mantle clock, plus a period sofa, chair and bookshelf.

Maybe we are nuts, but it just may be that we are on to something. So far all our decorating ideas have been a total bust. Our house looks like a warehouse sale collection of functional, and generally not very interesting, stuff.

Those making it to our next reading night will get to see the pictures at least and tell us if we are nuts . . . if I get ambitious I may even take some pictures of the finished walls and post them.

Oh, and my 1/32 tank model (a German Panther) sits on the mantle now too . . . my wife thinks it looks “cute.” Huh, a panther tank referred to as cute . . . may be the first time in history one was ever called such.

Anyway, my next 1/32 model project (I’m working on it right now) is a Spitfire MK 1a.

I like the theme and as long as my wife finds things “cute” we may have a winner for decorating that room. She gets to pick the theme for the next room after this one is done . . . I think it will be flowers . . . maybe poppies?

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

a little alliteration

say that blog title ten times fast.

So, um, here is a thingy I cooked up - part story, part flash fiction, and alliteration . . . maybe too much of it, but you be the judge.

Here goes!


With the setting of the sun the last piercing cries of the murder died across the gravestones. In a hollow, amidst unkempt bushes and scrub grass, a lone grave, its shattered vitreous urn sitting askew atop an age worn headstone, kept silent vigil on a dank depression. This abandoned site, a long forgotten memory in the minds of men, was visited only by a few brave black birds, but one thin child kept watch nonetheless.

This lone figure, all humor long since purged from the depths of her sole, glided back and forth before the shattered urn, the contents of which had long since scattered and soaked into the sodden earth before the small leaning headstone. The breeze, scanty and feeble, could never hope to displace the cold, or dampness, or sorrow from this place.

Time lost all meaning in that hollow, and the moon came and went as it had throughout the seasons. The mists forever rose and swirled uneasily there. But not all mist is merely moisture. Throughout the long dark night figure and fog danced macabre while the moon watched with pale face and indifference.

Just before sunrise, this forlorn figure, weeping though never sleeping, studied the name on the gravestone nearly worn away now by the passage of time: Ellen Shale. It was a pretty name, her grandmother’s name and her own, for now and forever.

As the first rays of the stirring sun fell upon the cemetery, and the murder of crows were roused back to raucous life, Ellen silently faded away to once more await the morrow’s midnight moon.


Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 04, 2010

month in month out

I figure, with the USA blasting their country to smithereens with firework displays today, it’s about time I gave a review and celebrate what I managed to accomplish in the month of June with regards to my writing.

Don’t expect fireworks though.

Maybe a fizzle, or two . . . or, most likely, a deafening silence.

Now, as you may or may not know, I endeavor to work at my writing every single day. I have two distinct writing sessions scheduled for each and every day, including weekends and holidays with the rare exception of my birthday which I do take completely off. This is background information to understand the number I’m going to post.

So, to keep track of how successful (in my mind) I was at keeping on task (grade school lingo) I have devised a quick and ugly formula to indicate how I did.

I simply take the number of sessions I actually managed to write and divide it by the number of sessions I was scheduled to write . . . and voila!

My number for June was . . . 69%.

Yeah, not exactly 100%, now is it?

What this means is of all the sessions I planned on doing, I managed to actually work only 69% of them . . . which means other things took the place of my writing the other 31% of the time.

I could come up with several excuses, but I’m not going to bore you with them.

Let’s just say that for July I’m at 100%, and hope (key word here) to stay at 100% for the month.

How I do for July will be revealed the first post in August.

Again, with the no fireworks.

In closing (don’t you like to know this is over?) I will say my reading is way, way ahead of schedule. I’ve just finished chapter 8 of 18 (may grow to more chapters yet) on my novel's third draft and I have one short story in revision soon to find a home at some lucky publisher . . .

Until next Sunday . . .