Monthly Archives: December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my writer friends!

Merry Christmas to William Ledbetter, who is on the brink of great things. His stories are making it on the award ballots and he’s rubbing shoulders with some of the big names in SF. One of these days soon he will be one of those big names. All that aside, he is one of my closest friends, confidant, and fellow brain stormer.

Merry Christmas to Tim Nunes, another of my closest friends, a writer working for a big computer company in Chicago who, in his spare time, writes and publishes accomplished prose. His flights of fancy are truly literary in depth, though he has the disturbing habit of killing off his protagonists. (I guess they deserve it.) Tim and I go way back to Stockton, California, where we worked at the same ComputerLand computer store … where I would use company paper and ink to print out entire novel manuscripts on dot matrix printers.

Merry Christmas to Melanie Fletcher, who (like Bill) has her stories on award ballots, and is soon to launch into big-name-authorness. While living here in the Dallas area, she is from Chicago … I’m seeking some sort of synchronistic pattern here … here’s wishing her and her husband total awesomeness in 2008.

Merry Christmas to Lycan, a terrific blog writer and good friend of my daughter Danielle. Thank you for keeping tabs on me here! May you and yours have a wonderful new year.

Merry Christmas to Delilah Rehm, who will one day be known as Queen of the Zombies (not that she is a zombie, but she is a master of writing zombie stories). 2008 is going to be wild and wicked cool, just you wait.

Merry Christmas to Heather Anastasiu, who this year finished up the first draft of a novel retelling the tale of Persephone and Hades. Here’s wishing her and her family a breakthrough 2008!

Merry Christmas to Gloria Oliver, who writes terrific historical fantasies especially when it has something to do with Samurai. She gives a mean critique. Literally. 😉 Here’s wishing her a breakthrough new year as well!

Merry Christmas to Jeff Turner, who I don’t ever see anymore, but is sure to make a name for himself in Hollywood. May he and his family live long and prosper, and may 2008 bring him much joy and satisfaction.

Same with Derek James, who left SF to go off and become a real scientist. Merry Christmas and happy quantum nanobots to you!

Merry Christmas to Jessica Fritsche, who I’ve know for years as “Diva Jess” — I’d discovered her via her poetry some years ago. May her and her new husband have a wonderful, joyous, and bountiful new year! And I hope she’s feeling better.

Merry Christmas to Saadia Ali Aschemann, talented poet, mother, and trophy wife. Her book Lavish Lines / Luscious Lies should arrive in my mailbox today. May 2008 bring you even more success and happiness!

Merry Christmas, as well, to the newest writer in my circle of friends, Chrissy Davis, my nephew’s wife, who this year has made her first long-overdue steps into the world of poetic publishing. I know you don’t celebrate holidays but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year anyway!

To all my friends at Future Classics and Black Hole Surfers, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

And to YOU, you who are reading this, have a wonderful holiday season and may you grow and prosper and find your happy place.

Update Your Office 2007

For those of you out there who are sick and tired of your Word 2007 crashing 11 times a day, Microsoft has released a Office 2007 SP1 service pack that is supposed to fix it (and a myriad other bugs).

Honestly, if it weren’t for the amazing ability they built into Word 2007 to save your work 99.9% of the time right before it crashes, I would have abandoned it for trusty old Word 2003 months ago, despite all the fantastic features.

Let’s hope this SP1 patch really does fix these crashes.

Get the update from the Office Update website

Novel Back On Track

My current novel is about the search for the Holy Beer.

One of my websites, GroovyBrew, is also about the search for the Holy Beer. The difference is that one is fiction, the other reality.

Pictured to the left, here, is the closest thing I’ve found yet to the Holy Beer. It’s called “Chicken Killer Barley Wine Ale” from Santa Fe Brewing. It’s the not the Holy Grail itself but it’s darn close.

Reviewing beer for GroovyBrew is my research for the novel, and on GroovyBrew I also talk about my novel, which in turn is generating publicity for it even as I write it.

Over the last few months I’ve slacked off on my novel writing, concentrating more on a couple short stories and other projects, but now I’m back on it. I just gave a read through of the 37,000 words I’ve written so far, glanced over my notes, and found it to be just as compelling and fun as I did when I first started.

Even more so, as the perspective a little time gave me away from the project has enabled me to see, with fresh eyes, that it really is worth working on.

Excuse my ego here for a moment, but this story rocks. I’m writing the stuff I want to read. This is Tim Powers mixed with Philip K. Dick mixed with Hemmingway.

Like I said, excuse my ego a moment. But allow me my enthusiasm. If I didn’t feel this way, why would I bother to finish writing it?

All you writers out there, you should also feel this way about your projects. It’s perfectly okay to think you’re writing the great [American] [English] [Canadian] [South African] [Etc.] novel. For the first draft, especially, this mindset is absolutely necessary.

So go ahead. Let your ego out. Let it roar!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a good one. And for those of you out there who celebrate something different, or don’t celebrate anything at all, well, I hope you have a great new year.

Group hug! Come on now! Don’t be shy!


MojoWriter Book Award

This wins the MojoWriter “Most Unfortunately Titled” Book Award for 2007.