Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cone man

I mentioned in my beach blogs that at one point I had donned the cone costume at the ice cream place where I bought Mr. Creepy Cone. I received requests for pictures, and after lengthy consideration have decided to honor them.

I did this two years ago and threatened to do it again this year. Cooler heads prevailed--but there's always next year!

I think the sequence of pictures speaks for itself, so I won't say any more.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A little news: my upcoming book schedule--and a surprise!

Okay, yesterday I promised some fun news about Children No More, and only as I started to write this did I realize that most people may not find schedules and cover artist info to be fun. Well, I do, so if you feel I lied to you, all I can say is, I didn't mean to.

Anyway, first up is the schedule. These dates aren't cast in stone, but they did come from Publisher Toni, so I'm hopeful they'll stick.

June, 2010: the paperback of Overthrowing Heaven
July, 2010: the surprise
August, 2010: the hardback of Children No More
I'm also excited to report that my friend, Steve Hickman, will again be gracing a novel of mine with his cover, as Toni selected him to do the art for Children No More. He and I spoke at length Wednesday night about the book's story and some key scenes, and he's chosen what he wants to paint. I fully support his choice (not that it matters; he, not I, does the covers, while I write the books), and I look forward to seeing it.

And now, the surprise: As I noted above, in July of next year, Baen will be putting out an omnibus volume of my first two novels, One Jump Ahead and Slanted Jack, in the affordable omnitrade format. To make the volume appealing even to those who already own those books, I'm going to be including some content exclusive to this omnibus, including
* the first U.S. reprinting of the original Jon Moore story, "My Sister, My Self," since its appearance over 25 years ago

* brand-new afterwords by me to both books

* with luck, a few more original tidbits I think you'll quite enjoy
If that's not enough to get you excited, try this: the book, which will appear under the title, Jump Gate Twist, will feature a cover by Hugo nominee and friend, John Picacio. John and I became friends in March at CoastCon, and I'm psyched that he'll be doing the cover for this one.

(Steve is not doing this book's cover because Publisher Toni, being a true friend of readers, likes to make sure that omnibus volumes use different artists from other books in a series so they don't accidentally tempt readers to think that they're the next books in a series.)

So, 2010 will bring a summer chock full of my books, a bunch of new material in one of them, including a chance to read the first Jon story, and the work of two great artists.

I'm a lucky guy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An odd note about dates on this blog

I've been writing entries as time permits and then posting them basically one a day. Some days I'm ahead, others I'm behind. So it goes. I wanted to schedule the postings, but the Blogger scheduling mechanism appears not to be working. That left me with one option: save posts as drafts, then give them an edit and post them when it's time.

I've been doing that, but it's not working.

Apparently, Blogger will give as its timestamp the moment when you first draft any part of an entry, not when you finally post it. Worse, it will order entries in the blog by the timestamp of that first draft effort. Thus, the entry about Scott and MCC is now below the one on my first day back--even though I published the first day back entry earlier.

I find this frustrating, and I apologize for any date confusion on entries. The good news is that though I consider this timestamp behavior to be a bug, there is an option that claims to let me set the timestamp for each post. We'll see if it works, and if so I'll manually correct this odd behavior.

Tomorrow: Some fun news about Children No More.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My first day back after vacation

featured the following:

* Waking up in a puddle of sweat because the upstairs air-conditioner was broken. (I knew about the problem when I went to bed, but I was hoping the AC from my office would cool my bedroom enough to make the bedroom tolerable. It did not.)

* Getting up early. Always a joy after a vacation.

* Getting up early to take Sarah to have all four wisdom teeth removed.

* Sitting in a doctor's office for over three hours, worrying.

* Watching helplessly as Sarah came out feeling bad and then remained feeling bad, all admittedly as expected, for the rest of the day. Scott has had two oral surgeries, and now Sarah has had one, and watching them in pain has been one of the hardest things I've done. In each case the surgery has been necessary, and the recoveries have all gone well, but I hate watching my children suffer in any way. Until I was a parent, I never understood how painful that could be, but I do now.

I've certainly had many far worse days, but this one was a rough reintegration to normal life. I'm looking forward to a more normal "normal" rest of the week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mr. Creepy Cone takes the high ground

No sooner did we get him home than this short but freaky rascal found his way onto the top of the kitchen cabinets. With The Eared One holding sway in Sarah's room, the top two floors of the house are now infested with demonic figurines. Only the basement is safe--and if you've ever been here, you know it's not really safe down there, not at all.

Initially, I had no objection to Mr. Creepy Cone going for such a defensively strong position; it only made good sense. In fact, I had to give it props for its choice.

Soon, though, it used that position and its special powers to put Scott in its thrall. Here's poor Scott, large knife in hand, receiving instructions, which only he can hear, from Mr. Creepy Cone.

I wasn't really concerned, however, until Mr. Creepy Cone suddenly darkened the room, Scott still under his control.

Now, I fear an intervention is in order--though a very careful one, for that is a Ken Onion Shun blade and very, very sharp indeed.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yes, we watched them all

The beach is, after all, not just for swimming and eating too much and relaxing. It's also for watching many hours of good--and bad--movies. In our case, the bad definitely might well have outnumbered the good, but in our defense all of the bad sounded promising, and a few actually proved to be real gems.

The one clear winner of the bunch was Twilight, which by at least my vote and Kyle's almost universal acclaim won the award for the single worst film we watched. Even Dolph Lundgren in the extremely bad Retrograde was better than the Twilight leads, though that was a close contest.

For those who like zombie movies, definitely catch Tokyo Zombie. It's not exactly a good film, but it's a great bad movie. For maximum comedic effect, watch it with both English dubbing and subtitles; the contrast between the two is often hilarious.


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