Saturday, July 28, 2012

Two more things to love about the new Gaslight Anthem album

Handwritten, the album that the Gaslight Anthem released last Tuesday, has been on heavy rotation for me since I received it.  I've recommended it before, and I do so again, but here I wanted to draw your attention to two nifty facets of it.

The first is, oddly enough, the liner notes intro, which Nick Hornby wrote.  (If you don't know Hornby's work, get busy and read some.)  In particular, I love this bit, in which he's discussing how you write--the advice applies to songs or books or whatever, though here he's talking about songs and music--in a world in which it's all been done before. think, write, play and sing as though you have a right to stand at the head of a long line of cool people - you recognise that the Clash and Little Richard got here first, but they're not around any more, so you're going to carry on the tradition, and you're going to do it in your own voice, and with as much conviction and authenticity and truth as you can muster.
The second is this bit from the title track:
There's nothing like another soul that's been cut up the same.
And did you wanna drive without a word in-between?
I can understand, you need a minute to breath.
And to sew up the seams...after all this defeat.

Do not miss this album.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Cosmic Christmas

is the title of an upcoming (due in November) anthology that includes the first reprint of the only solo Lobo story, "Lobo, Actually."

As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

As you can see from this preliminary cover sketch, Hank Davis, the Baen Senior Editor (and friend of mine) who created the book, put me in good company. The final cover, which you can view here, makes it clear that I'm in even better company than the sketch suggested.

If you can't wait until November to read the story, by all means pick up a copy of my omnibus collection, Jump Gate Twist

This story is my first (and so far only) Christmas tale, and I'm quite fond of it.  It's a Dickensian piece with more heart than one might imagine possible from Lobo, but I believe it works.  Check it out. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where I'll be Sunday night

At the Raleighwood Cinema Grill, where the Raleigh NC Browncoats are hosting--and I am once again one of the sponsors of--the annual Can't Stop the Serenity Event. 

From the Browncoats' Web site I just learned that the event is already sold out, but if you happen to be there, come by and say, "Hi."

Yes, I am a big enough geek to not only attend this showing but also to sponsor it.  I love this film, and I'm also a huge Joss Whedon fan. 

Speaking of whom, Joss Whedon, if you're looking for another project, I know of a great SF series you could do a fantastic job of turning into a wildly successful film series....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A new t-shirt slogan

We designed this one for me at the beach.

I'm tall when I'm standing on my anger

Hell, yeah.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You need this album

Yeah, it's another tune from the Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten, which hit the streets today.

Okay, even if you don't need it, I do. 

Damn, I love this band's music. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Goodbye, Lyra, goodbye

Lyra was our cat, and yesterday we had to ask the vet to give her a drug that would peacefully kill her. Thanks to morphine, she wasn't in pain, but she was not going to live long, because after a multi-year battle with weak kidneys, she had finally emerged the loser.

Nine years and three months ago, our family journeyed to the pound to adopt a kitten. Lyra seized our hearts--your kittens always choose you--and this tiny ball of gray fur came home with us. The vet said she might be two months old, but she might be younger; my money was on younger. Sarah named her.

Before Lyra was five, it was clear that she was not healthy. She had a heart condition, was prone to infections, and had weak kidneys. We did all we could to keep her alive, and she had almost five more years of life.  She never hit six pounds and was always the thinnest cat I've had.

Lyra was all cat, a creature in charge of the world and with a healthy disdain for most of it. Few people warmed to her, and she warmed to even fewer. Like most such cats, she mellowed with age, but she was never a classic lap cat. Her suspicion was always on high, as you can see in this recent photo, courtesy of Jain.

As always, click on a photo to see a larger version.

Lyra was a smart cat, maybe the smartest I've ever had. For example, after playing with the iPad below for a short time, she moved it to check under it, realized no prey was available, and left it.

More impressively, Lyra was the only cat I've had who played catch. Late at night, when the world was quiet and the mood hit her, she would bring a triangle made of a drinking straw to an ottoman, drop it, and stare at you until you threw it. She'd catch it in the air sometimes, and other times she'd chase after it on the ground. She'd bring it back and play again, over and over. If you grew bored and she was still interested, she'd grab it with her teeth, throw it by whipping her head around, and then chase it.

On occasion, she'd crawl into some of our laps and demand affection.   This didn't happen a lot, but when it did, you were wise to give her what she wanted. 

Despite her small size, Lyra was a great hunter.  No roach or mouse escaped her for long. 

Lyra could be mean and was always demanding, a dollar-steak of a cat, a wild west gunfighter of an animal. 

Lyra was not a simple animal, but of course she wouldn't be; she was, as I said, all cat.  

When you lose a pet, even one as cranky and odd as Lyra, there's a hole in your world, a rip that takes time to heal, an absence you can't help feeling.  I feel it most at night, when Lyra would play, when her shields would slip a little and she would sometimes turn loving.  As hard as she could be to love, Lyra was our cat, we were her people, and we will miss her. 

Goodbye, Lyra. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer night magic

Waiting for our dinner reservation time in downtown Hillsborough, a light rain falling, the penultimate night of my vacation, this appears.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

The rainbow framed the old city building and hushed us all as we admired it.

Then another, lesser but still vibrant, joined it.

As I've observed many times before, Bill Watterson was right: Magic is everywhere. We have but to notice it.


Blog Archive