Vital Statistics

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ok, these aren't really statistics, but it made for a catchy title. I found some facts online that I think we, as human beings, should be aware of.

You thought your job sucked? Shittiest job EVAH:

Scatologists are experts who study feces.

Hey! My kid was above average!!

The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day.

This sounds like the start of a kick-ass joke. Bummer.

A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon.

Er, so did some guys I used to date...

Male goats will pee on each other in order to attract mates.

This, I believe. (Go Colts!) It's the only kind of party I host. (I'd have more, but wings and beer didn't go over well at my last Tupperware party...)

The Super Bowl is so popular that it is the number one at-home party event of the year.

Oh My Head.

The good news: Yesterday, I wrote a total of seven thousand words.

The bad news: I was up until three in the morning to do it.

The good news: I only started at a little after midnight. Go me!

The bad news: I was up until three in the morning to do it.

The good news: One more scene, and episode 2 of the robot serial is done. That makes me halfway finished!

The bad news: I haven't got a pot of tea.


I just made two boxes of macaroni and cheese. "Oh, he picks exciting things to blog about." They are pretty good when you add in extra cheddar cheese and bacon bits. "Oooh, aaah. What a loser." As my wife and I were wolfing our way through it all, "Yes, yes, maybe I'll watch paint dry after this," I jokingly checked the box for an expiration date, since these boxes have brand names that don't exist in the midwest. "Er...hang on. What?" As it turns out, they were Best By Febrauary 1st 2002. "Oh my God. Yikes."

We shall see what happens. Happy Birthday, Mac & Cheese Box.

American Idol Scares Me...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh, my.

So why am I glued to the TV every time it's on? I'm not really sure. I think it's because I have some perverse fascination with the macabre.

I don't like when it gets mean. I just don't.

But I do admit there are many times when I sit on the couch, slack-jawed, thinking "WTF was that?!"

*shakes head*

I think I need some sort of intervention...

Weird Al, Articles and Wayward Hands

Oh, no. It's not my fault Pete is continually distracted. Besides. I'm not the one with a penchant for passing along YouTube links every 17.8 seconds. I just happened to mention a few songs (ok, and extensive lyrics) that I was listening to. And somehow we ended up talking about Weird Al, which led to both of us digging out bunches of Weird Al songs and discussing our favorite Weird Al songs. (Mine is "I Remember Larry")

And I was singing Joan Jett. While chair dancing. Pete was busy being thankful he couldn't hear me.

I guess this is what happens when two ADD writers team up.

The past few weeks, I had a potentially troubling situation brewing in my household, which was ultimately resolved. During this, I had a great epiphany concerning getting serious with my writing. Serious meaning "making some money". I finished my novel, but I'm not under any illusion that it'll make me any money anytime soon. (Probably sooner if I'd finish editing!)

So I get the bright idea that I'm going to work on freelancing. Write some articles. Sell them to magazines. Get paid. Piece of cake.


Turns out that article writing is far, far more difficult than fiction. On the one hand, all the information I need is right in front of me, I just have to organize it and make it look pretty. I don't have to pull anything out of a hat or tap into a great deal of imagination. On the other hand, I can't just make stuff up as I go.

The biggest obstacle I'm finding is that there is a huge "which came first, the chicken or the egg" thing going on with freelancing. The magazines don't want an article without experts, but the experts don't want to talk without knowing what magazine they're going in.

I've been having Angsty-Os for breakfast every morning for the past two weeks - gnashing my teeth, trying to be professional, while angsting about my current lack of credentials. It's a really weird cycle. I suppose I'll get used to it as time goes on and I get more experience, but for now, there is much head-slamming-onto-desk.

Speaking of Pete being off AW, I've coincidentally been spending less time on the forums as well. Pete's self-induced exile was a challenge to himself to get a shitload of work done. Not to be outdone, I decide that if he's getting a lot done, then I will, too. (Er, we have this slight competitive thing going on...)

Part of my personal challenge is to finish the aforementioned article, write my query, pitch the article, edit 50 pages of my novel, and write two short stories.

Of course, this would be no fun if we didn't throw in a tight deadline. And decide to start a blog. And continue working on several other projects at the same time. And keeping up with everything else in our lives. All while balancing on one foot.


To quell my angst, I switched gears and started working on a short story. I'm about 1500 words in, and I'm having a ball. It's about a man whose hand is no longer under his control. Somewhere along the way, I realized that this story was inspired by a story I read years and years ago by Clive Barker. I'll have to see if I can find the book it was in. (Looking around at the overflowing bookcases and pondering the boxes in the attic... no small feat!) Or maybe I'll just see if I can get it really cheap on Amazon. (Edited to add: It's in The Inhuman Condition, which I can't find anywhere in my house... But it's only a penny on Amazon. *grin*)


My current favorite comic strip is Pearls Before Swine, done by Stephan Pastis. Just thought you should know.


Monday, January 29, 2007

So, today I mostly stared at the second episode of my Mysterious Serial Project. Happily, it's at six thousand words (close to half of the 15,000 minimum) although I got stumped and spent most of the day staring at it.

This was not helped by Carrie's repeated mention of what music she was listening to, which is just exactly the sort of thing which leads an author like me -- with the attention span of a small spastic bird -- into hunting through his CD cases looking for Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" album, or trying to remember which KISS Alive album I owned.*

I already knew how the scene was supposed to go. Around three in the afternoon, I suddenly realized that the reason the scene wasn't writing itself was, I was trying to write a character as I wanted him to act, which has nothing to do with how he's begun to act. With my happy breakthrough in mind I--

--discovered that my wife got off work early, and thus I got no writing done. Until now. Or after this blog post anyway.


David Eddings burned down his office while cleaning gasoline out of an old car in an effort to prevent a fire. It's funny, in a way, but I feel bad for him.


Being off of the AbsoluteWrite forums has increased my productivity a great deal. On good days, when characters aren't puzzling me, I'm averaging five thousand words on all sorts of projects. I'm getting e-mails off to the Serial artist on time, I even had time to finish changes to the BBT Web-site. It's very good and useful, even if it's less fun. I enjoy the AW forums a great deal (we're a big dysfunctional family, in that we mostly love and/or hate each other and want to die) but I'm very self conscious of how much time it gobbles up, and how all that time comes out of my writing hours. Am unsure what to do about it.


TODAY'S FUN FACT: The lead singer for...whatever band is was which recorded "Inna Gadda Divida" was, in fact, so drunk on the day he recorded vocals for it that he slurred the words "In The Garden of Eden" which, in gibberish form, is what we now call the song "inna Gadda Divida." Now you know.

What I'm Reading:
-- War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull
- Not the first time I've read it, and certainly not the last. She makes it look so damn easy. It's such a fun book to read. There are no dull bits where you think "Time to go to bed." This is not necessarily a good thing.

-- Seize The Fire, by Adam Nicolson - A book about the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson, cleanly and sharply written and very enjoyable for anyone who enjoys naval battles, history, or just an interesting story that happens to be true. It's neither fiction nor fictionalized, but is still a smart and interesting book.

* The KISS Album I owned, as it turned out, was KISS Alive III, which is a good CD. This huge and momentary victory ended in tragedy, however, when I discovered the CD by stepping on it and cracking it badly enough to render it useless. All was not lost, however, in that I discovered KISS's "Psycho Circus" album this same way, and it is unbroken.

Most Frequently Asked Question

Sunday, January 28, 2007

So Pete and I are constantly barraged with inane questions from our devoted and loyal fan. (No, that's not supposed to be fanS.) Questions like "When will you let me go?" and "Can I PLEASE use the bathroom?"

The answers, of course, are "Never." and "No."

But I digress.

By far, the most popular question is: "What the hell is WRONG with you two?!"

Ha ha!

We know that the real underlying question is "Why don't you two have your own television show yet?" And the answer to that is simple. We have turned down numerous offers to do a TV show, because we are ARTISTS, and we bow to NO ONE. Our ART is pure and uncompromisable.

That, and no one's offer included a method of actually, you know, paying us.

So we will stand, unyielding, in our dedication and commitment to our ART.

We are, however, willing to negotiate. Call us!

The historic First Post!

First, we should get the ambiance figured out in here.

Oh good, I think we've set the mood. Maybe some music is needed?

Splendid! I think we know where we're at here, then.

No, you can't leave. Sorry.