Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why so much?

A lot of folks ask me why I stay so busy, sleep so little, maintain the pace I do, and so on. Some then say that they think it's because I must like being so tired, or that I crave the adrenaline rush, or that in some way I must love this pace. I've thought a lot about this question, and I think I understand the answer.

It's not that I love the pace. I don't. I'm fed up with the stress and the fatigue and all that those things cost me.

What I love is all the stuff I get to do. I love growing a company and working with technology. I love writing. I love the Jon and Lobo series, but I also want to do the thriller. The new Lobo story was fun to write. Doing The Wild Side is a hoot, and I'm getting to meet and work with these amazing women writers I would not normally know. I read and watch movies and watch DVDs of select TV shows and follow MMA because they're all so interesting. I go to great restaurants because I love food. I love working out and running and being at the beach and traveling.

The world is one great big ball of shiny, and I just can't get enough of it.

That is what's worth the cost. That is what I'm addicted to.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Two new albums you should pre-order

I'm excited about both of these CDs, and I recommend you start planning now to listen to them.

The first is The Hold Steady's Heaven Is Whenever, which is due on May 4. I've praised this band before and seen them live twice; you don't want to miss them if they come near you. The little I've heard from this CD is wonderful.

For example, check out "Hurricane J," the first single from the album.

For Sarah's take on this album and band, go here.

The other upcoming must-have CD is The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. You have to wait until June 15 for this one, but from the little I've heard, it'll be worth the wait.

Want a sample? Check out the title track.

I've never seen these guys live, but the first chance I get, I will.

Loud rock late at night. I'll always love it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun facts about Jump Gate Twist

You won't be able to buy the book until July, but I've now reviewed the page proofs, seen the cover text, and am basically done with it. So, I thought a few fun facts about it might amuse you--and explain why this is a must-have volume even if you already own the first two Jon & Lobo novels.

It has an awesome John Picacio cover.

John worked long and hard on this piece of art, and all the effort shows. We're hoping this very different look helps the collection reach a different audience than the one the first two books enjoyed.

It's not just an omnibus.

Having both One Jump Ahead and Slanted Jack in an over-sized paperback format at a price lower than the sum of the cost of the two paperbacks would be enough of a reason to buy this volume, but we didn't stop there. Oh, no. We went for more.

How much more?

Five new essays that link the pieces of fiction in a new narrative flow.

These essays tell how the books came to be and reveal a few Jon & Lobo secrets never before available in print.

The first Jon Moore short story, now back in print after 27 years.

Short of buying a used copy of the book that contained it, there's been no way to read "My Sister, My Self" in all that time. Now you can.

The first solo Lobo tale--and it's a Christmas story!

It's not just a Christmas story, either. It's a Christmas story that

* is from Lobo's perspective

* fits into the chronology of the Jon & Lobo future universe (you have to read it to see where it fits)

* pays homage to multiple Christmas story conventions and traditions

* is positively Dickensian in many ways

* is respectful of Christianity

* contains a serious meditation on the nature of God--by Lobo, and in an entertaining way
Let's face it: This book is a bargain!

Its list price is twelve bucks, and you can get it for a little over eight on Amazon. For that low price, you receive over 242,000 words of material!

Let's face it: This sucker would be a deal at twice the price.

I hope you enjoy it when it appears!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 4

In an act of optimism that would make Dave cringe, I'm writing this entry and will post it from the plane home from DFW. Yes, I'm feeling that good about the flight. Why? Because today's two flights have gone flawlessly so far: on time departures, early arrival, upgraded to first class both legs, quiet seatmates who kept to themselves, plenty of water and Diet Coke. Hard to ask for more from a plane flight.

Jump Gate Twist seems to be jetting its way toward production, which is proper for a June book but still kinda cool.

Soon, but not quite yet, I'll be talking about The Wild Side, which is shaping up to be a very fun book.

I will be glad to be home, but for now, I am glad to be able to work, so that I can land and be caught up. To work I go!

On the road again: San Francisco, day 3

More secret work I can't discuss. Sorry about that.

In additional news, I've reviewed the proof pages for all the new stuff in Jump Gate Twist. I'm excited to see that book. I think you'll really enjoy the new material. It plus the Picacio cover are worth the cost of admission even if you already own the two novels. Come on, admit it: You want to read a Lobo Christmas story.

Dinner was at Max's, which has one of the best patty melts ever. Yes, I ate one; no, I shouldn't have. It sure was tasty.

Off now to more work, then packing, then an early morning departure for the airport and a day of flying. After that, perhaps I'll get to be home for a few weeks!

Monday, April 12, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 2

I spent almost the entire day doing work I can't discuss, so this entry will be rather short. Dinner was at The Slanted Door, and it was delicious. We chose it at the last minute but didn't have to wait too long despite the huge Monday-night crowd. This is my second meal there in the last five or six years, and I'll definitely go back.

I also proofed the pages for the new material in Jump Gate Twist. I think you'll like it. In any case, I sure hope you do.

Now, back to work, and then a little precious sleep!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 1

It was the best of flights and the worst of flights.

On the initial leg, I was upgraded to first class and enjoyed a reasonably tasty calzone and a row-mate who was so convinced of his superiority to the rest of humanity that he would never directly address anyone. Perfect. I finished a lot of work and read when I couldn't use my computer.

On the next leg, I was in a row with two other guys, each of whom had broader shoulders than mine. We looked like sixty pounds of sausage in a thirty-pound skin. One row ahead and across from us was the baby who screamed and/or cried for all but 27 minutes of the 4.5 hours we were on that plane. The number is accurate; I wasn't the only one who kept track. I still got a lot done, but the concentration required significantly more effort on my part.

Still, I made it here, checked in, met the other guys, and did our evening team work. We headed out to eat but came back after a storm rained on us. We ended up eating in the hotel.

Now, to work with me!

UFC 112: How we did

Okay, let's get right to the big news: Frankie Edgar beat BJ Penn. Holy shit. More below, but, wow.

Now, to our regularly scheduled program. First, the undercard.

Jon Madsen vs. Mostapha Al Turk

We didn't get to see this fight, but Madsen won by decision, as we both expected. Go, us!

Paul Kelly vs. Matt Veach

Another fight we didn't see. We both chose Veach to win, and we were both wrong. Kelly submitted him. Bummer for us.

DaMarques Johnson vs. Brad Blackburn

And another fight we didn't see. Kyle went for Blackburn by striking. I chose Johnson. Johnson indeed won by TKO; I'm now up one in our competition.

Nick Osipczak vs. Rick Story

The last fight that the crowd saw that we didn't. Kyle picked Osipczak to out-work Story; I went the other way and said Story would carry the day. It was a split decision, but it went for Story. I'm now up two in our competition.

Paul Taylor vs. John Gunderson

No one saw this fight, because the UFC canceled it when Taylor couldn't get medical clearance to fight. I still don't know what happened to Taylor, whom we both picked. Because the fight didn't occur, however, I believe it comes off the list and does not count in our total.

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Phil Davis

This is the one fight from the undercard that the UFC showed during the PPV, and it went our way, with Davis slapping an anaconda choke on a very game Gustafsson. Davis has the potential to be scarily good.

So, as the main card began, I was 4-1, and Kyle was 2-3.

Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz

For a while in the first round, it looked like Grove was going to choke out Munoz and give me another victory, but Grove couldn't do it. Partway through the second round, Munoz got on top of Grove and beat him enough that the ref awarded Munoz the TKO victory.

I was then only one up on Kyle.

Terry Etim vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

As we predicted, Dos Anjos won, and he did it convincingly.

Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie

Matt Hughes wasn't impressive, but he was more than good enough to punish Gracie for three rounds and win via TKO with 20 seconds left in the third. We called it right, but I sure wish Hughes had looked sharper.

BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar

We both called this wrong, as did the rest of the world, which Edgar stunned with a unanimous decision victory. As all the fight metrics reports will tell you, Penn really out-scored Edgar, but in this case I have to agree with the judges: Edgar appeared to be the winner.

Penn had loser face and spent much of the fight looking bewildered by Edgar's speed and movement. His corner told him to take down Edgar, but he never even tried.

Edgar, by contrast, had winner face, never slowed down, and just jabbed with Penn all night. More impressively, he took Penn down at least twice, something no one has done in a very long time.

I don't feel bad about calling this one wrong. Edgar sure was impressive.

Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia

In what was easily one of the weirder fights in a while, Silva dominated Maia for about two rounds, lost interest, and then clowned around for the rest of the fight. That he was light-years better than Maia was evident, but Silva again appeared lost. As Kyle and I were discussing in email, Silva is the best counter-puncher the UFC has ever seen, but when his opponent refuses to be lured into his trap, he gets lost.

I hope Dana White finds a way to motivate Silva again.

When all the dust settled, I beat Kyle, though only by one. Still, I'll take it.

As always, don't use us for betting advice.


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