Saturday, June 1, 2019

And Summer is Knocking

June is upon us: the end of school, outdoor pools have opened, heat has arrived, and I, like many, am reminded that I'm on the wrong end of getting in shape.

Anyway, been a couple weeks and I thought I check in.

Reading


I'm going to start here because in addition to finishing Mythos, I also read Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Landsing, and the later turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read—certainly one of the best non-fiction.  Not to take anything away from Mythos.  If you enjoy the Greek myths, it really was a terrific way to hear the stories of the God and Titans and Stephen Fry is as witty and funny as always.  Despite showing a remarkable knowledge of the subject, his book is very accessible.

As for Endurance, if you don't already know about Shackleton's Voyage to Antartica, don't look it up.  Just buy Endurance and start reading.  You will be riveted by what is not only fantastic writing—the whole book reads like the best of adventure fiction—but by the thoroughly researched true story.  Tears welled up in my eyes at the end and I am not, by nature, a crier.

Currently, I'm onto fiction and at the suggestion of my best of friends (the same friend that introduced me to Joe Abercrombie) I am reading Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

Television

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Check In

In order to make it easier for me to stay in touch, I thought I would borrow a bit from some other other authors and just try and write a bullet style check in once a week.  That way, if you are at all interested, we can stay a bit more connected even if I don't necessarily have something particularly insightful to say or perhaps, I'm busy doing other things and don't feel like I have the time to write a blog post.  This takes away many, if not any, excuses.  Feel free to contact me and gripe up a storm if I don't follow through.  Please.  There is nothing like fan driven pressure.

Without further ado, let the bullets begin:


Writing:
Currently I have three ideas in various stages of conception—I say conception because none of them have risen to draft status as yet.  One is a new young adult trilogy and the other two are not.  Of the adult books, one is contemporary, the other fantasy more along the Abercrombie/Martin line.

As to Scarlet, I am at the mercy of the publishing world at the moment.  Both book four, The Barrier's Fall and book five The Shattered Throne are written, however both are still in editing and post production.

Television:
Like most of the world I currently have Westeros taking up a great deal of headspace in my monkey brain.  While I very much wished I could have waited for the books to finish, the HBO series is just too compelling and I am weak.  Like you, I await the conclusion this coming Sunday with great anticipation and bit of sadness.  Hopefully, someday soon, the Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring will fill the void.

My wife and I are currently binge watching—for us that is the same show, one episode a night—West World.  At this stage, I'm fascinated, but impatient.  Verdict is still out.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Our Modern Myths: 10 Years with the MCU

I have held off posting this, or writing it really, until enough weeks had passed that I was hopeful my musings wouldn't spoil anything for those who have yet to see Avengers: Endgame.  That said, I have no intentions of purposefully spoiling anything, but I might end up strongly hinting and you are smart people.  So, if you haven't seen it, and hope to still be surprised, come back later.

On its opening weekend my daughter and I went to see Avengers: Endgame with quite grand expectations.  A little over three hours, some tears, shouts of joy, and an overwhelming feeling of triumph later, my expectations were exceeded.  This film was brilliantly done and viscerally satisfying.  In the grandest of spectacle and with the most intimate of emotion, 10 years of movie making magic culminated on screen and I was enthralled.

So, it's pretty obvious that I am a fan.  I have been since the moment Robert Downy Jr. first walked on screen in Ironman—and while it is certainly true that one of the major reasons for my being a fan is that over the years these movies have entertained me, I think it goes a bit deeper than that.  You see, I am of the opinion that these comic book movies and the comics from which they were conceived, amount to our modern day myths and legends.  What is amazing about this statement, which I fully accept is not a novel concept, is that we get to witness our legends and myths in a way ancient people could have never conceived.  For us, these character move beyond the grand oral traditions, even beyond the printed word and become fully realized versions first in brilliant art work in the pages of comics and now, 52 feet tall on a silver screen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Mr. Dickens

I am astonished, ashamed, and (self)admonished when I see the date of my last post.  I can only blame a combination of life, laziness, and a litany of other excuses that mean little to you, the reader, and will no more excuse my lack of contact than change the date.  I am sorry.  I will strive to do better.  That being said, we are here to speak of Dickens:

How is it, calling myself an author and a lover of books, I have just begun my love affair with Mr. Dickens?  Sure, I was asked to read a Tale of Two Cities in high school, and yes, I skimmed through the lofty pages of expert prose in order to draw only what was vital to regurgitate good marks and participate in class discussion.  Back then I was a great appreciator of plot over all things, including language and character, and as a result, I missed out on much that I still find myself discovering late in life (admittedly in some cases, I did not miss much).  Now—I always had a great affinity for Charles Dickens owing to adaptations of A Christmas Carol that still rank as welcomed mandatory holiday viewing, first in my childhood home and now in the home I share with my wife and daughters, but a twist comes to this holiday season and we have David Copperfield to thank.

Needing an new audiobook to fill the doldrums

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Wasting Chair

The Wasting Chair

In chair He sits as the manor decays,
Old enemies gathering at the gates.
Grown strong with time, and malaise,
Ready to feast upon His chosen fate.
With saddened eyes His children watch,
Emulating—womb state bystanders.
In their own small chair, legs do notch,
The moments too easily pandered.
His wife’s love is all but gone,
To be plucked away by the gathering horde,
Who laughing—mocking His lack of brawn,
Chase her from His heart without need of sword.
The mob has come to claim last of the bole,
New lumber wrought from His weakened soul.


The Coward is old before His time.
His bones ache on ill-used hinges and rusty joints,
His muscles buried and covered with lime.
A corpulent embrace ready to anoint
His favored and constant companions—
Fear and regret are never far from His side,
And they whisper the lulling songs
That keep Him rooted and tied.
He has not forgotten the dreams from youth.
The feel of His sword held tight in His grip,
His mind soaring in search of truth,
His heart His body’s chosen flagship.
Only the love that He bears His family
Hangs fast to guide His last move of sanity.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ready to play with stingrays off the coast of Grand Cayman
I'm late.  I promised every other Friday and instead, its Monday night and I'm just now getting this done.  But, I hope you'll forgive me.  Salt water and MacBooks don't mix and I was with my beautiful wife on a cruise in the Caribbean.  Although, due to the forces of nature, I wasn't able to dive, we did have a wonderful time and it was certainly nice to leave the government craziness and cold weather behind for a week. 
This trip included Jamaica, Grand Cayman,
Paradise Island (also where they film Corona Comercials)
and the always fun Cozumel.  The people in Jamaica were wonderful, friendly, and full of life, but the weather was bad and the beach chilly.  Grand Cayman (my dive location for the trip) was beautiful—apparently the currents prevented the dive.  We swam with Stingrays on a sandbar off the coast and saw sea turtles at the sanctuary.  Definitely one of the more built up islands with sections rather indistinguishable from the United States or England.  And Cozumel.  If you aren't having a good time in Cozumel, you're hopeless.  We took a speedboat to Paradise Island and laid out on the white sandy beach and swam in water a clear postcard blue-green.

But I'm back now, and hopefully back on track with deadlines, posts, and podcasts.  The first reviews for Scarlet and the Queen of the New World have been fantastic.  A few highlights:



Drinking Cortadito in the Havana Bar on the ship  
"I just can not say enough wonderful things about this series! From the first page in the first book, you are completely drawn in!" Sarah P.
"This book is amazing as its predecessors." Erin Tucker
"I have waited close to a year for this book, and I have to say, I was not disappointed!!!"