Saturday, November 10, 2007

Marvel comics stamps

If you haven't seen this offering from the USPS, you have to check it out. The limited edition, which Jennie kindly gave me as a gift, comes with a comic book and a set of 20 stamps. The images on the stamps are a mix of individual character portraits and classic Marvel comics. (I own every comic on a stamp, of course.) I can't say that I agree with all their choices--Black Widow would have been a win over Spider-Woman any day, for example--but the selections are at least defensible.

I have to admit that I haven't read the comic yet, because I haven't been able to make myself spoil the pristine package and open it. I'll probably have to buy myself a second set to read and to use.

I am such a geek.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The pipeline

A few folks have asked me what I'll be writing after I finish editing the Transhuman galleys and making the last passes over Slanted Jack. I should complete both of those projects before the end of November, so I have actually started thinking ahead in idle moments. Here's the list of what's coming:

Overthrowing Heaven: The third book in the Jon & Lobo series, this one, at least right now in its primordial ooze stage, is going to be yet another book with no returning characters beyond the big two. Despite that fact, I have some hope that you'll like it; I'm already enjoying thinking about it.

Children No More: The fourth (and last on the current contract) book in the Jon & Lobo series. I'm not willing to say much, but I will tell you that some old friends will return for this one.

Fatal Circle: The currently on-the-shelf crime/spy/thriller novel. As you can tell, I don't know to what precise sub-genre it belongs, but I do know that I was having fun with the 38K words I'd written before I had to put it aside in favor of contracted books. No one's bought this one yet, but that's probably at least in part because I haven't given anyone a chance to do so.

And that's far as I know right now. I expect odd things to creep into the mix, I have some ideas for an urban fantasy, for a shared-world collection, and so on, but I also have a day job, so I expect to focus my writing primarily, if not exclusively, on the above novels.

Back to it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Hiring really good people is hard. I know, because my company is trying to do it. We're looking for a marketing/client relations/process person, and we're also seeking a personal/executive assistant for me (primarily, but also some for my partner and co-founder). We're seeking highly motivated, intelligent people who want to do great work and who are loyal, trustworthy, and able to work without constant supervision and to deal with confidential information.

You may notice that nothing in the list of key qualities we're seeking specifies a particular background or skill set; that's intentional. We do have other, more detailed requirements (such as strong oral and written communication abilities, solid background with Microsoft Office on a PC, and so on), but the big items are in that earlier list. We'd be a great opportunity for a couple of people, but now we have to find them. We're going to be doing some limited posting/advertising, but because one of the jobs is a personal assistant, I thought I'd mention them here.

Wish us luck in hiring!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wanting but not wanting

Certain items fall into an odd category: I want them, but I don't really want them. To be precise, I lust after them, but if I had them they would largely gather dust, though from time to time I would peer at them with great pride and wonder.

Consider, for example, the three lovely classes of hot dog devices on the home page of a site I can't help but love, Hot Dog World. Do I need a hot dog steamer, broiler, or roller grill? Of course not. Would I use one if I had one? Probably not more than once or twice.

But, you have to admit they're deeply cool.

Well, okay, maybe you don't, but I do.

Thinking of these lovely bits of machinery naturally causes me to reflect on the noble tube steak. I've long sought to find the best hot dog in the world: not the best way to prepare a hot dog, but rather the actual piece of meat (well, more or less meat) itself. Nathan's can make a claim at the title, though right now I'd award it to the tasty offerings from Allen Brothers.

If you know of a better hot dog, please clue me in.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Busy, busy

I'm overdue on my edit of the galleys of Transhuman. Much to read and check!
I've finished pass three of Slanted Jack and must now key in the changes.

And then there's work, the rest of my life, etc.

I'd complain about it all, but I'm lucky to have both books, lucky to have a day job with good work, good people, and a decent paycheck, and so instead I'll shut up and get back to work.

On a completely unrelated MMA note, I feel sorry for Frank Mir. The UFC is feeding him to Brock Lesnar in their February 2 show. Unless Mir regains his championship form, something he's been unable to do since his motorcycle accident, I expect we will see a short, brutal fight with Lesnar destroying him. All that said, I'd love to see Mir back in top shape, taking this one to the ground and submitting Lesnar.

But I wouldn't bet on it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Small Miracles

Blue Rodeo is one of my favorite groups. They're a Canadian band that's been mixing rock, country, and bits of jazz with most of the same people--and the same two singer-songwriters--since 1987 or so. I picked up their brilliant debut CD, Outskirts, after hearing a cut from it in Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street in Tornoto. I saw them first live a few weeks later The Diamond in Toronto. Outskirts remains one of my desert island Top 10 CDs.

On this weekend's trip, we listened to their new CD, Small Miracles. It's a strong offering, with songs that range all over the map in subject matter and musical tone. Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy, the band's two leads, handle the singing well, and the band continues to be a very good musical team.

If you don't know Blue Rodeo, you should.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hank's wake

I got up at 7:10 a.m., picked up Jennie about 8:05, and we drove to Athens, Georgia for Hank Reinhardt's wake. A blend of sadness, memories, and funny stories, it was an event I think Hank would have liked a great deal. Toni asked me to read a favorite short short story of Hank's, "Billy the Rooster," by Mike Stam, and I was honored to do so. I could see why Hank liked it.

Later, we grabbed hot dogs for dinner at the famous drive-in, The Varsity. Though the dogs were good, they were not, in my opinion, great.

We then watched Gone Baby Gone, which was an excellent movie adaptation of an excellent Dennis Lehane book of the same name. (If you haven't read Lehane, what are you waiting for?)

Tonight's one of my favorite nights of the year, because I love the extra hour of sleep. I hope to enjoy it.


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