Progress continues

June 28, 2007

I have been able to get some work done this week. Chapters written, major plot revision, abandoning and removing characters, and on and on. There were some interruptions, however. My super-cool new speakers for my super-cool new porch arrived about a week early so they HAD to be installed. They sound great. Our screened-in porch is my favorite new writing place unless the heat is too much, as it has been the past few days. The porch is my wife’s favorite new reading place also, regardless of the heat. Also did some running around to stores, some bookshelf installation and some light furniture moving. Busy, busy.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Soul for hosting their first ever home playoff game this Friday night. We have been season ticket holders from the beginning and would definitely be at the game if it was on ANY OTHER NIGHT! Friday night my wife and I will be out celebrating our anniversary and she doesn’t want our celebration to include a football game. Go figure.


Here’s what I’m reading:

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars. 1971 Newbery winner
London Calling by Edward Bloor

Here’s what I’m (still) listening to:

The Story by Brandi Carlile
Hurricane Glass by Catherine Feeny
also, David Gray’s music is always around when I’m writing.

Whew. All right, then. Back to work.

I love this picture

June 26, 2007

Poppy fans

Here I go again

June 25, 2007

Today, my friends, work will begin in earnest on my untitled middle-grade/young-adult novel. Eight chapters have already been roughed out. When I say, “Roughed out,” I mean that they are written, but this is the first draft and they will most likely change quite a bit in the future. I will know whether it is middle-grade or young-adult when I get a bit further into it. This dedicated effort will mean I will be spending less time with Sarah (Vowell), Ira (Glass) and Click and Clack (the Tappet brothers), but I will be spending some quality time with Brandi (Carlile). Hopefully, somewhere in midst of this work an July essay for the site will appear.

Maybe it will be an excerpt, but I doubt it.

Father’s Day weekend

June 19, 2007

So how was my Father’s Day weekend, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya.

Played horrible golf on Friday and had a blast of a time. Went to the Soul game on Saturday night when they beat Columbus in the final minute to clinch a playoff spot. Had a cool day on Sunday which included a little softball and horseshoe playing, a lot of crab eating and a bit of beer drinking. My brother-in-law and I have taken to buying those little 7 oz. Corona bottles so our beer is always really cold and we can drink twice as many. So, all in all a pretty good weekend, wouldn’t you say?

Summer has begun (I don’t care what the calendar says about it) and the temps have been getting higher. Those of you who know me know that I’m a cool-weather guy. I love cool, rainy, overcast days. LOVE them. Most people would describe that kind of weather as “gloomy”, but to me it is heaven. I’m don’t have a gloomy personality at all, I just like the weather. Summer here in the northeast is not my cup of tea, in fact, every June I threaten to move my family to Ireland. So in the spirit of positive thinking, here are the GOOD things about Summer:

evening thunderstorms
ice cold seedless watermelon
growing things in the garden
Fall comes next

Does anyone remember the television show “Project Greenlight”? It was produced by LivePlanet and, for my money, was one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve ever watched. It was all about the nuts and bolts of film making. You got to see the cast and crew recruitment. You got to see location scouting. You got to see the writers struggle through rewrites. You got to watch a rookie director try to keep it together during filming. In the end, you got to see the finished film and I really enjoyed watching the process from start to finish. I waited for new episodes every week. Unfortunately, not enough other people loved it like I did and it looks like Project Greenlight little more than an afterthought for both the Bravo channel and LivePlanet. Disappointing.

The Fox network has a new show called “On The Lot”, which I was hoping would be even a little bit like Greenlight, but it’s not. It’s just a finished-project popularity contest. Still interesting in its own right, but not what I was hoping for. It’s kind of cool to see all of the short films the contestants make and some are really good. Others are unwatchable. I like seeing the process first and then seeing the films. On The Lot doesn’t let us see the process. Those unwatchable films would be a lot more fun if we could have seen it coming.

Let’s see. What else?

Oh, I went to the New England Coffee website and discovered that I could order my coffee from them directly and it would cost less than buying it at my local supermarket. Yes, I know it makes sense in a way, but I thought the volume of the supermarkets would result in a more competitive price. I mean, I can’t order my Coke Zero directly from Coke and pay less, could I?

Could I??

That being said, I’m still on the lookout for a quality, local coffee roaster to buy from.

I would say that ScriptFrenzy has been an unmitigated disaster for me if I had taken any time at all to even attempt to participate. It sounded like so much fun, but things have been so busy around here and today is already the 13th of June. I even have the script started in my head (it’s been there a while), but I haven’t taken any time to type it out. Also, script formatting without special software is a PAIN. As far as my Young Adult novel, well actually Middle Reader novel probably, it has been slow. I haven’t taken the time to write like I should. Also, my plot is getting slightly convoluted and I’m having trouble keeping track of all the ends that will have to get tied up. I’ll gladly accept any advice from you other novelists out there regarding plot tracking and planning techniques. Maybe I just need special software. 🙂

gum, socks, etc.

June 9, 2007

Did you know that a pack of gum can set off the metal detector at airport security stations? I didn’t, until last weekend. The glasses I was wearing didn’t set it off and neither did my belt. It was the gum and the security guy even demonstrated it for me.

If you ever need to buy socks, take note of those with “moisture-wicking” properties. I always thought (and still do, actually) that any absorbent fabric would wick moisture away from your skin, but sock companies want you to think that only those labeled as such can do the job. Frankly, I’m not sure what the big deal is, since my socks are usually locked up inside my shoes, so it’s not like they can take any moisture away and dispose of it anyway.

I’m not sure why, but the previous paragraph has been on my mind for a week. Now I can let it go.

Yesterday, the temperature here reached between 95 and 100 degrees (that’s 35 – 37.778 for you Celsius people). That’s not good news for a guy like me who likes any temperature up to about 80 (26.667 C). I suppose if I lived in a Celsius using country, I could just go ahead and round it up to 27, which would be 80.6 F, but NO HIGHER.

Trip report

June 4, 2007

A few things about Chicago.

-If you’re hungry in Chicago, try Carmine’s on Rush street. If you do try Carmine’s, sit outside. Great service, atmosphere and food. Also, great people watching.

-Wrigleyville ROCKS on game day.

-The Chicago-style hot dogs they sell inside Wrigley are nothing special, however. I should have tried the foot long chili/cheese dogs across the aisle.

-I’m not sure why there is a giant reflective bean in Millennium Park, but boy, people sure do seem amazed by it.

-I have personally verified the Navy Pier’s suitability as a tourist destination by identifying and sampling the offerings of the Dippin’ Dots cart.

-Soldier Field looks even more like a spaceship when you see it in person.

more later. maybe.