Saturday, December 1, 2007

Great band names & more random walks

You can't have these; they're mine:

One Fine Comb
This Week's Pants

Now, I just have to start a band.

I can't wait to taste bacon salt. Don't you love that it's kosher?

When I host the UFC PPV on December 29, I plan to have the world's most expensive sliders and pigs in blankets. Because I can.

Thanks to Karen for alerting me to this very cool animation.

I know Renoir's a sentimentalist, but I've sat for the better part of an hour at the National Gallery staring into the eyes of Madame Henriot.

None of this is finishing Slanted Jack, so I better try working instead.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Musing on style

Dave and I recently had a brief email and phone conversation about prose style. I've been pondering the topic further.

I once worried a great deal about my writing style. I had goals for it. Concerns about it often dominated my thinking about the piece of fiction on which I was working.

I now try not to focus on it. Instead, I care most about telling a good story. I want to write books and stories that I would enjoy reading. To do that, I use all sorts of prose techniques, and I think a great deal about the right style for the right scene, sentence pacing, and on and on--but it's all in service to the story.

Story first.

Everything else second.

I believe this is appropriate, but it's had an interesting effect: I've found myself striving more and more to make my prose clean and clear and not the center of attention. You could argue that this means I'm aiming to have no prose style, and I suppose there's a case to be made for that notion. I contend, however, that this approach is a style; it's just not one that's yelling for attention.

I also believe I have a huge amount to learn and a long way to go before I'll write as well in any area of fiction as I'd like. At one level, I find that belief depressing, because it means I'm not doing my job well enough. At another, however, I consider it natural: when you stop striving to improve, a bit of you dies.

Back to Slanted Jack. I'm ready to finish this one and send it to Toni!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photo day

I left the office in the middle of the afternoon to drive downtown to Bryan Regan Photography, site of the torture, er, photo session. Despite my misgivings, which actually have almost nothing to do with the process and everything to do with my self image, the time passed quickly and pleasantly. Bryan has a very cool setup, he's a nice guy, and as you can see on his site, he does great work. He took a ton of pictures, and we occasionally geeked on computers.

Bryan shot digitally, so while we were there he uploaded all the images. Some, such as those of me in a red shirt holding an ax, will definitely end up somewhere on the Web site. Others will fit PT's needs. Predictably, the worst photos are those in which I look most like myself.

Fortunately, he took some artsy shots that came out very well. One of them is likely to end up on the inside flap of the dustjacket of Slanted Jack. We won't know for sure until we get the final CD of photos, of course, but the versions we saw looked cool--and not as much like me as the others.

If you're in the market for a serious professional photographer, I recommend Bryan. If you want to see how the shots came out, keep dropping by my site; some will definitely appear over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tomorrow is photo day

I'm more than a little nervous about tomorrow, because I'll spend a chunk of it with a professional photographer taking pictures of me. The goal is to produce shots we can use on PT's site, my Web site, and book jackets. I'm not happy about my appearance at the best of times, and given my bad eating habits of the last many months and my consequently porky appearance, these are far from the best of times.

I also turn shy in front of cameras. In fact, for many years I would not let anyone take my picture. I now somewhat regret that policy, because the number of pictures of me with my kids is far lower than I would like.

Despite my misgivings, I will do my best to cooperate with the photographer to produce the best pictures we can given the material at hand (which would be me).

Wish me luck!

Sarah won today's blog entry

by beating me for the eighth straight day at Rock Paper Scissors. The family record, which I, of course, own, is a ten-day winning streak, but I am getting perilously close to giving Sarah a share in that record. I must not let it happen!

That said, because Sarah owns this entry, I must repeat what she asked me to post:

"Get in the car, Kyle!"

Go figure.

In unrelated news, today was insanely busy at work, I'm crawling toward the finish line with Slanted Jack but still not there, one can (and I very well may for New Year's Eve) order Wagyu beef sliders and pigs in blankets, and the weather forecast for tonight is dark, continuing until morning, when at first scattered light and then full light will appear.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lewis Shiner's next book

Lew Shiner is a friend of mine. We don't see each other often, probably not more than once or twice in the last few years, but we've been friends since we met at a Sycamore Hill Writers' Conference in 1985. So, what I'm about to say may be biased.

Subterranean Press is bringing out Lew's new novel, Black & White. If you know Lew's work, you also probably already know that you need to order this one ASAP. (I ordered a Limited edition the moment I heard the news.) If you don't know his fiction, you can check some out at his site or his fiction site--and then order the book. Lew's work always contains beautiful prose, heart, and soul.

Give the good folks at Subterranean a little business, help Black & White be a hit there, and hope a mainstream publisher will then find a way to give both it and Lew the broader audience they deserve.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another day, another three million calories

Lunch out at a favorite Mexican stand-by, cheese dip, Allyn's birthday party, great burgers and dogs, wonderful gelato (yes, I tried a little of each of the seven flavors), fabulous chocolate cake--these are the ways I count my calories today. At my current rate of expansion, I will be suitable for colonization by humankind long before the Earth can die--provided, of course, that we can find a way to get my fat butt into orbit.

Perhaps I will have some ice cream and ponder the problem.


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