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Entries in Family (14)


Abide with me 'tis Eastertide

Asia, hoping the Easter Bunny will bring her a hambone.My wife is a bonafied genius.

Sure she was a biology major and a math wiz, and yeah, she spent last night delivering babies. But the real breakthrough was her giant Easter basket for the kids that included water-balloon launchers. Instead of dosing our teens with candy until they're couch-bound in chocolate narcosis (which I would have done) they actually spent much of the day outside, playing. No Facebook. No texting. Play-ing. Twas a sight to behold.

My apologies to our neighbors, unlucky joggers, and stray dogs in the area. We'll clean up our carnage in the morning. I promise.

And how was your weekend?


In the big city, just the eight of us

* Rubbing the sleep from my eyes *

I'm still recovering from a whirlwind trip, California to Seattle, where Leesha and the kid posse (all six of them) met me for a weekend of frivolity and fundraising. The latter at the Wing Luke Asian Museum's annual auction/fundraiser/soiree.

As a board member, I was happy to see nearly $300,000 raised. As an auction attendee, I was happy to walk away with two pieces of art and a set of Mariner's tickets. (In the words of Dave Niehaus, "My, oh my!") And as an auction item, I was sold for $1,200. They must not have realized how cheap, tawdry, and angst-filled I really am.

Speaking of angst, I loved walking around Seattle with our brood of brooding teens. Leesha and I are big believers in dragging our children out of their comfort zones. With today's couch-driven technology, it's tragically easy to grow up knowing everything, but experiencing nothing.

Which is why I love hearing about writers like Willie Vlautin, who does most of his writing at the race-track, while betting on horses. What a great venue to see the best and worst aspects of humanity all in one place—joy and hope, and loss and despair—with table service and free drinks.


When I arrived at home I found two packages on my doorstep.

One was the copy edited manuscript of my next book which shall be titled Songs From the Book of Souls, or Whispers of a Thunder God. I think there's some debate brewing. Either way, copy edits means I'm this close from putting this sucker to bed and that much closer to it being in your hot little hands.

The other package was equalling exciting (to me). It was a copy of Weird Fantasy #18, (1953). In addition to featuring an early Ray Bradbury tale, this issue has a famous story about a planet with blue robots and orange robots. The robots have identical parts on the inside, but are segregated, based on the color of their metallic skins. The blue robots ride in the back of the bus, are forbidden from using the orange-only recharge stations, live on the bad side of town, etc. It's a phenomenal story that created quite a scuttlebutt by jabbing its finger into the eye of racism in the early 50s.


Okay, enough lollygagging on my part. I have editing and packing to do. Tomorrow I'm off to Duluth for a community read, and then I head to Flagstaff for the weekend's Northern Arizona Book Festival.


A tale of two sisters

I had a lovely time in Findlay, Ohio last week. Findlay is near Lima (for the Gleeks in the viewing audience), and near the other non-fictional towns where the Warblers and Vocal Adrenaline hail from.

I was in Findlay where HOTEL was chosen as their CommunityREAD, and not only did I speak with adult readers, but also about 1,000 high-school students. I love speaking with students because they don’t hesitate to ask questions like, “How much money do you make?” and “Can I have your daughter’s phone number?” (Yes, one intrepid lad did ask, and no Tyler, you cannot).

Speaking of, I was in a mad rush to get home in time for Rissa’s first prom and Kassie’s birthday. Saturday’s photos echo the dichotomy that can only exist between sisters.

Rissa with her date. Kassie with her "date" -- Bob, the karate dummy. Little brother not included.For the longest time one wanted to be a doctor, the other a medical examiner. Can you guess which is which? And of course there’s also the pairing of Madi, who is musically and artistically inclined, and Haley, who will go off to college next year, hoping to become a behavioral scientist. Which has led me to the inexplicable conclusion that my kids watch far too much crime TV.

And in case you’ve been keeping track, yes, there are four—FOUR teenager girls in my home, which has officially been dubbed: The Estrogen Holding Tank. Caution: Contents Under Pressure.

In other news, I’m working on a few pitches for Secret Identities 2: Shattered.


Miscellaneous Monday

monday.jpgSurefire keeps burning. As you can tell from the progress bar thingy to your left, I’ve finished the 3rd draft. I can easily see myself picking at this literary scab until the scar is so big you can see if on earth.google.com. I just can’t leave it alone. I’m tweaking it without actually calling it a 4th draft. I like it. But it’s not the book I want to write. Still, it’s almost done so I’ll send it out and take my lumps.

The mystery of my deceased aunt. It turns out my great Aunt Alyce left an estate of just over $308,000–-with no heirs. Don’t get too excited. I have to split the booty with scores of cousins and a murder of lawyers. My actual estimated take: $2,000. Who am I to scoff at mana from Dead-Aunt Heaven? Besides it’ll pay for a writerly conference or deux.

Speaking of conferences. For OSC’s Literary Boot Camp. I’m flying into Dulles and then carpooling with a couple of writers I’ve never met from D.C. to Buena Vista, Virginia. If this blog falls silent mid-June tell the search parties to look for my body at one of the many fine rest stops along I-64. I’ve also sent an application and manuscript sample to the Sewanne and Squaw Valley conferences. I think my chances of getting in to either are somewhat iffy. Still, Tennessee or Tahoe––where would you rather go?