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The Self-Avowed Geek
A Miscellany of Stuff and Stuff
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13th-Feb-2013 06:09 pm - In Which An Announcement Drops
Ric Flair
Keeping this short and sweet due to many things, the least of which includes making sure I can function amid the excitement.

I'm proud to announce that Kris O'Higgins of Scribe Agency will be representing my works.

Seems surreal right now. Lots of sinking in going on.

And for all my homeskillets here: Thank you for all your support and encouragement over the years.
3rd-Feb-2013 05:38 pm - Non-Genre Acceptance News
Willie Nelson
Got news today that last summer's non-genre exercise, "Submitting the Abyss," a mixed martial arts experimental short story, found a home at http://thunderdomemag.com/ in their upcoming Bloody Knuckles anthology. Personal takeaway: Sometimes flexing other writing muscles (getting out of one comfort zone) while sticking closely to a passion (not even a comfort zone, but a permeating thing) does pan out.

Because the magazine rocks, and the TOC rocks harder: http://neil-clarke.com/clarkesworld-year-three-ebook/. Always great to get one's work back out into the world, and in fine company.

20th-Jan-2013 11:34 am - Writing and Walking with Borges
Willie Nelson

Sometimes it only takes a tidbit, a quote, to set off dynamite in ye olde imagination.  Last night, Ennis Drake posted a quote from Borges. 

Now, I'm in the mood for some re-reading of Jorge Luis Borges and just plowed through that old standby, "The Garden of the Forking Paths."  I'll be reading throughout the day and thinking about the novel, working on the same, and wondering if, when I take a walk later, the highway and dirt roads and two-paths road become part of a labyrinth. 

Will I have walked the center of the labyrinth without having realized it? 

Will the going out and coming in be more like walking a Mobius strip? 

Or have I already completed the writing *and* the walk, and this now-me just hasn't run up against the then-me?

Willie Nelson
Wherein a *touch* of TMI follows (so delicate types needn't continue reading, but you will anyway) . . .

The vast majority of sick days I ever take are for immediate family. Generally, I will tough it out and work through being sick, but as my previous update indicates, pride and falling and whatnottery.
So, I make it to Apple Care--GET IT?! Apple a day? Bullcrap! As we were--in Jesup, where I haven't graced the doors in almost two years. Get through paperwork, etc., get seen about.

Prognosis: beginnings of bronchitis (no dice on what's up with the invisible vise grip on my face, yo. That issue is glossed over . . .)

And for the first time in my life, I receive shots--note that: plural--steroid and antibiotic. Shots don't bother me. I'm not a fainter.

"The steroid will burn a bit," said Nurse.

"Didn't feel a thing." ['cause I'm a grown man!]

"Here's the antibiotic."

"Jeez! Why's that burn but the steroid didn't?" ['cause WTFFIREINFLESH!]

"The antibiotic is thicker and has particles in it."

Now, I'm thinking of weird pharmaceutical stuff floating in the subcutaneous tissue of the top of my butt, which most medical folks deem "the hip." But the top of my butt burned.

Nurse said, "Okay, sit down for a few minutes. I'll come back to make sure you don't pass out."

Me: "I'm good." [translation: "I ain't no fainter, woman!"]

Nurse returns with scrips for a Z-Pak and high-test cough suppressant. I am sent On My Way(tm).

Got the scrips filled, and, all in all, there went three hours of my life and lost workday I'd prefer to have back, but, hey, I'd rather miss one day than pretend toughness and end up missing two days.

Feeling better already. Except the top of my butt-not-hip.

Bonus: PA told me to drink plenty of fluids.

Me: "I already drink a liter and a half to two liters a day."

PA: "Of fluids?"

Me: "Well, just water. And protein shakes and coffee besides."

PA: "I think you won't have trouble hydrating."

Bonus Bonus: Nurse: "How long have you been teaching?"

Me: "Sixteen years."

Nurse: [quizzical look] "You can't have."

Me: "Unh-huh."

Nurse: "No way."

Me: "I'm thirty-nine."

Nurse: "Huh-UH!"

Me: "Thanks." So, even sick as a dog, I maintain youthful vitality and boyish charm.

Bonus Bonus Bonus: If I (1) tell front desk nurse my symptoms, (2) write same symptoms down, (3) tell Nurse same-same symptoms, and (4) tell PA as well, yes, the story *will* add up. Plus, fluorescent lights are poor excuses for naked-light-bulbs in interrogation rooms.

#bringbettergame #consistencyofanswersduringinterrogation #always

So, how's *your* hopefully not-sick day going?
Toshiro Mifune
The boy and I took a walk, and here are some of the conversations that emerged.

Philosophy and Bonding on a One-Mile Walk, Part the First:

Me: "If I have to, I'll shove you in the ditch to protect you. You know, just in case."

Heath: "That's dangerous, and I don't want that to happen."

Me: "Me neither, but you have to be ready for danger at a moment's notice. Just like death. It's the way of the samurai, son."

Heath: "Like Power Rangers Samurai--"

Me: "No! Nothing like that crap. If you're ever asked 'What is the way of the warrior?', there's only one acceptable answer."

Heath: "I don't want to answer it."

Me: "We all have to one day. It's 'Death.'"

Philosophy and Bonding on a One-Mile Walk, Part the Second:

Me: "Dude, check out that flattened possum carcass up ahead."

Heath: "Ewww. Man, that's nasty."

Me: "Why don't you roll around in it like a dog?"

Heath: "That wouldn't make sense. It would make me sick, and I'd miss school next week for being in the hospital."

Me: "Good answer, son."

Philosophy and Bonding on a One-Mile Walk, Part the Third:

Me: "Once we get to those mailboxes, we turn one hundred eighty degrees and go home."

Heath: "I don't know what that means."

Me: "To go the opposite direction. Look." [drawing circle with quadrants and such; truck comes by; we move]

Heath: "Man, that man's gonna run over our circle. This sucks."

Me: "He's moving aside. Okay." [I finish the degrees and explanation and feel like Socrates and THE MENO for a moment. Kind of.]

Heath: "Oh, I get it. We just turn around and go back the way we came."

Me: "Uh, yeah. Pretty much."

Philosophy and Bonding on a One-Mile Walk, Part the Final:

Heath: "You know what?"

Me: "What?"

Heath: "I like poking holes in the dirt with a stick."

Me: "It's awesome, isn't it?"
2nd-Dec-2012 08:40 am - Yeah, so . . .
Ernest Hemingway
Thin on the writing but fast and arrow-straight on the submittery this week.  With the feast-for-famine of writing, and I've had a dry spell breaking for a few months now, it just reminds me that I did plenty of writing just because for the longest time and still do.  Win some, lose some.  And just when I began doubting myself long about the beginning of summer, but continued to work on rough copy, inventory boosting, some shifts for the positive came. 

Too, when I began focusing so much on the novel, that put me in the position to do just that: focus on the novel.  I let short fiction slide but not poetry, which was interesting. While I can work on several short stories at one time, that multitasking has begun falling to the wayside when it's novel-ing time.  Fine by me.

Not much left on that sucker, by the by.  Still lingers sans title, and that *really* burns this guy rightchere.  And the addenda material is in the how-to-screw-over-Art-and-Co. phase.  Have to fracture a good mentoring relationship between C.V. and the witch Eva.  Need to build resentment between C.V., who stays in Fogle Co., and Art, who leaves for a time for college.  Then there's the matter of the funeral scene I haven't written yet because it hurts too much--ol' Luther Penderton's funeral and the grieving of his son and a certain to-be-maimed (not-king) Old Man Fisher.

Sharpening the writing knife.

It's got to cut clean and deep this session.
Have had a couple of pieces over the years appear in Kaleidotrope.  Fred Coppersmith has an interesting eye for pieces (not saying that about mine but others).  I even met a LiveJournal friend,marshall_payne,via our appearance on a TOC years ago.  Good stuff.

So, I've been keeping a flash piece--weird and fabulistic and post-apocalyptic--in the slushpiles vying for oxygen, and ol' Coppersmith let it come up for air for the 2014 schedule. 

The story is "Rhyme in Seven Parts."

On a related note, the line edits for Old Souls and the Grammar of Their Wanderings went well.  I have another round of reading to do just to shore up any missed items before sending the e-galleys back to my editor. 

Glad that things have picked up for this here writer here lately.  Been needing it.
21st-Nov-2012 08:44 am - Popping In
Chuck Norris
Been a typically busy vacay week, but the family time has come a welcome thing.  Fortunately, the kids haven't gotten on each others' nerves too much or ours.  Always good, that.

Heath has a business model for his expansion into the writerly realm (Aliens vs. Predators: Restoration): comic book, action figures, DVD. 

Abby asked me for a mini-tool a few days ago, so there's that.  Both kids now inculcated in the ways of whittling sticks, making dog fennel spears, and cuttin' fools!

Becky and I both love the new HP laptop, but the Windows 8 takes some getting used to.  Also, it lacks a numeric keypad, and, wow, muscle memory sucks when your hand hovers far-right on the keyboard and . . . nothing. 

Anyhow, I hope my LJ bubs who celebrate Thanksgiving tear up the vittles.  Appropriately enough, tomorrow is also my cheat day on the diet/meal plan, so I intend to get filthy, dirty, naughty with the food tomorrow. 

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