Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Well, Halloween is here again, and we've decided to indulge in a bit of animal cruelty here at the Earle household. That's my wife, Sarah, and Lina in her lovely bee costume. You can't see it, except for a faint gleam in her eyes, but she is full of hate.

Most times when we put, say, a bandanna on the dog, she'll bite and tear at it until she manages to rip it off, and then it becomes her newest chew toy. We managed to avoid this with the bee costume by taking her for a walk - letting her break it in, so to speak. She still fought us on the antennae, but they stayed on long enough.

Lots of trick-or-treaters this year, although not enough to overcome the amount of candy we bought in preparation. (My coworkers are going to have a good day tomorrow, followed by cavities.) Plenty of generic scary costumes, plus two Iron Men, a Spider-man, a Batgirl, a Wonder Woman (in fur coat), and a chihuahua in a bee costume, which Lina accepted with good grace. Also my half-assed Black Lantern costume, which consisted of a T-shirt and a ring. I'll do better next year, I promise!

Now the children have all retired to get ready for school, and there's nothing left for it but to watch Sweeney Todd and The Walking Dead (10pm on AMC - should be good), and get ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow. Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it), I've got an appointment with my dentist in the early afternoon tomorrow, so I'll be home early to try and pump up my word count.

It's going to be a busy November!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Rejection, Three New Submissions

Well, the novel submission has been considered and did not pass muster. It happens. The trick is not to get depressed about it, learn whatever lessons you can, and keep writing.

With that thought firmly in mind, I now have three short story submissions out and about, and I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo starting next month. I'm still trying to decide what to write (and that's a good sign), but come November 1st I'll be scrambling to get down 50,000 words of it in a month. I'll let you know how I do.

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I've had a run of good movies lately. Tonight I finally watched Zombieland, via Netflix streaming. I have no idea how I missed this when it came out, but it's an amazingly funny, sometimes disgusting movie, featuring Woody Harrelson and the star of The Social Network.

Last weekend, I went to see RED (still in theaters), adapted from the twisted mind of Warren Ellis. It's a great little action flick, of the "old guys still kick ass" genre. Mr. Ellis has been blogging about the film for the past few weeks, so go see the movie, then check out the wordsmith's thoughts.

I rented the Kick-Ass DVD, also through Netflix. It is a good movie, but the graphic novel is much better. Go read, then see if you can dig up Hit-Girl's fight scenes on YouTube.

Smokin' Aces is an older movie, starring Jeremy Piven as a Las Vegas magician set to testify agains the Mob - which explains the six plus killers coming to kill him. I thought this would be a comedy going in, and it sort of is, but it's a very dark one. Worth checking out if you don't believe Ryan Reynolds can play Hal Jordan.

Do I have time for one more movie? Yes? The Pentagon Wars is a classic film of military waste, starring Kelsey Grammar (who really needs more military roles) and Cary Elwes as they duel over the fate of the overdue, overbudget, and completely ineffective Bradley tank. Based on a true story that will probably drive you up the wall.

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Last but not least, the dog is now a YouTube star. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week Nine

The author is curled up in a corner. His arms are wrapped around his knees, and ragged fingernails have traced ugly lines down his shins. He's rocking back and forth, mumbling nonsense to himself. Pages from a calendar are lying on the opposite side of the room. Nine weeks have been marked off. There's a metal trashcan in the center of the room, full of burning paper: Pages and pages of rejected manuscript...

Well, heh. I don't think I could ever actually get that bad. And the deadline Black Library established for a response to submissions has been extended a wee bit, so I'm not out of the running yet. I'm calm, mostly: slightly nervous, and the red-skinned Imp of Anxiety is sitting on my bookshelf, sharpening his little black pitchfork and giving me meaningful looks...

No no, enough of that. Let's be upbeat instead. Sarah Cawkwell, who I know as the operator of the excellent Black Library Bolthole, recently announced that she'll be writing her first book for Black Library. She seems keen on documenting the process on her blog, so feel free to take a look and offer her congratulations/commiserations.