I'm still alive, for those who care. :oP

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I hate to interrupt Pete's prolific blogging, but I thought I'd pop on and mention that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've had a lot going on lately, and then I ended up with a nasty sinus *thing* that I think was partially due to allergies, thanks to our psychotic PA weather.

I'm mostly feeling better, except for the massive Jupiter-sized Boulder-O-Stress lounging across my shoulders. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that something's gotta give here soon, and it's probably going to be what's left of my sanity.

The Most Dangerous Night of Television!

Friday, September 28, 2007

First off, let me say how utterly hilarious it is that the title of this post is the catch-line of the Sci-Fi Channel. It's so...accurate. What could be more dangerous than watching Flash Gordon? Or maybe a special encore presentation of I was Eaten By A Fifty Foot Atomic Woman Spider 2 or whatever movie they're kicking around that week. Dangerous, even if you've never been inclined toward hanging yourself in the past.


The awkward part of having conversations with my friends is the bit where we come around to discussing television. What I, and my wife watch on television are not the things we should be logically watching, based on the rest of our interests.

For example, I do not watch Dr. Who. I do not watch Battlestar Galactica. I have had no inclination, despite the insistence of my friends that I would love them.

My TV tastes wander to the opposite end of the spectrum from the rest of my tastes. My favorite shows are things like House and Shark and my favorite shows are Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe and Survivorman on the Discovery Channel.

Beyond that, I watch other things, mostly with my wife. (On my own, I watch very little television). We watch things like C.S.I and The Biggest Loser and Ghost Hunters and Medium. You get the idea where my tastes range.

In my reading, though, I come across the fascinating idea that we have a whole new collection of sci-fi shows coming out this year...and no one's apparently interested in 'em. They are expected to suck harder than Flash Gordon. And that sucks pretty hard.

Nonetheless, the commercials started to catch my attention. So I watched some things. And here's what I thought.


Heroes: Season 2

I was a huge fan of Heroes season one, as mentioned previously on this blog. It didn't work for me for quite a while into the series...until I stopped trying to think about it like a TV series and started treating it like a comic book, with each episode being an issue. Then it works perfectly. The weird pacing problems that bothered me fell into place and I was absolutely riveted.

The ending was weak to season 1, but the story was great and I was a very happy man. I was delighted and overjoyed at each episode and giddy for the next one to come.

Heroes Season 2 starts off strong, following our characters from last season. I really like where they are right now, I like what we're getting to see them do. Hiro is adorable, Nathan is really fascinating and the Clare's dad (I can't remember his name all of a sudden) is the star of this episode just in a couple of scenes. Absolutely wonderful. I can't wait for the next episode.


"It's Quantum Leap," I said to my wife when we first saw the commercials. "It's Quantum Leap, without Sam!"

"It looks interesting," she thought.

So we recorded it. As I saw more and more commercials, I got more and more interested. So I was gently excited when I sat down to watch it.

Absolutely wonderful. I really like a TV episode where the ending has me grinning happily all the way through. The time travel was handled well, the reaction to it was handled logically, and I am looking forward to see where we go from here. I also like TV shows where it ends and the writer in me is busy figuring out where the storylines will go. How will his wife react? How will everyone else handle this? How is HE going to handle this? It's less about time travel and it's more of a character study, and I think that makes it stronger. It also isn't goofy, but there is a mild humor in it.

And the main star has such a cool arched eyebrow. This was a very good show, and I'm really looking forward to where it goes. It ended and I went "Oh wow...that was cool!"

Bionic Woman

The previews sounded cool. So we watched the first episode. It wasn't bad. I wasn't blown away, but there's definitely potential for the future episodes. The pilot episode was pretty self-contained (it was an origin story, all-told).

The special effects were just cool. This show, and Heroes, both really make me wish that Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was being done now, because we'd get a great love story and some killer Superman effects, which we sadly lacked when the show was originally on.

I'm undecided about this one. I need to see where the story tries to go from here before I care, one way or the other. But it didn't actively turn me off and the battle was really cool, toward the end, so I'll come back.


So here I am. Someone who has not cared much about sci-fi since Babylon 5 went off the air (sci-fi on TV anyway). Someone who really abandoned it when Firefly went down. I'm interested, I'm enjoying it, I'm waiting to see what comes next.

NBC is suddenly holding the most dangerous night of sci-fi television, and I like that. They do a damn sight better job than the Sci-Fi Network does at anything.

Bits and pieces

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Let's see...

God in the Machine is a blast to write and I'm having a lot of fun. I've been waxing nostalgic for quite some time, trying to figure out a way to do a serial story again. Now that I am, I'm having a huge amount of fun. The only part I'm NOT having any fun with is doing it once a week. That is just exhausting. It also means some of the editing is bordering on sloppy, or non-existent, because I'm finishing episodes late-afternoon Mondays. (And the ideal release is late Sunday night).

Still, while doing a two-week schedule gave me the ability to work waaay ahead, as well as edit and tighten each episode (and make them around 15,000 words instead of 10k), it really did seem like two weeks between episodes was just too long to make people wait.

The reason I originally went with a two-week schedule was easy: Back in the day, when there were a big group of us writers who hung out together, and many of us were doing serial work (it was a fad: you started with a fanfiction series and went from there.) that's how it was done. Usually, the series worked together so that they provided a smooth schedule among all of them. I was the 7th and the 14th, I believe.

I'm just unsure if that works any longer. Especially with a series like God in the Machine, where I think that I have to really fight for people's attention. It was a fad, online series, and now it's gone and if I'm going to keep building my readership, I have to give them something to come back for on a fairly frequent basis, I should think.


Another not unrelated point: I was really bored with my Rome novel, which is partially why I quit working on it. I know every scene and all the details from now through the ending, but they felt contrived and awkward and I was uncomfortable with it all.

Then, when I was reading the wonderful Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, I stopped and stared into space for a few minutes and realized that -- unrelated to the Peter Hamilton book -- I'd just solved the Rome problem without even thinking about it. I know how to make it work. I know how to keep all my details exactly the same, from now through the end, and make them work.

It requires really expanding the novel, but that's okay. Fantasy-ish novels aren't generally short. It also requires expanding my locations and my timeline and that's...actually fun. For one thing, it means I have to do more research on Roman society as well as Roman legal affairs, both of which I'm happily looking forward to digging into .


(the baby pictures I posted are my secret weapon against Lori's new blog. I have baby pictures, she doesn't. Nyah nyah. Sigh.)


So I was going through a journal I have. It's this beautiful red-leather bound book with a nice silk page marker. Very fancy. The first thing I did was scribble in it. My theory is, once scribbled in, it's defaced a little, and therefore I am less intimidated in just letting loose and writing any ol' thing in it. It's still intimidating, but it's also been around the house long enough that it's comfortable and familiar.

I was flipping through it, reading notes on my Rome Novel and bits of earlier drafts. Forty pages in, one draft stops almost mid-sentence on one page. The next page is blank, except for the following line. After that, the next page continues with the draft of something else. This is the line:

A rather perplexed London Times Newspaper announced that it would be a rough year, because the first song of the Cuckoo had been heartbreaking.

I read it and I was floored. I have zero idea what it means. I don't even know what to make of it. Usually when I stumble across something I don't remember writing, it's enough like "Me" that I think of new ideas (or remember old ideas, if this makes sense) based on it. But this...I get nothing.

I don't know what to do with it, I don't know if there's a short story in there, I don't have a clue. But I love that it's here, alone on a page, randomly in one of my journals, found by accident.


Right-o. I'm off to read some more and then fall asleep, until 5 A.M. when Mr. Baby decides that it's really time he was fed now, darn it.

Good night.

Photos, instead of content!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Let's look at some baby pictures. Why not. There are women reading this blog. This'll be the most popular post in weeks.

^ This is my son, watching Dancing With The Stars (Seriously. What the hell is that show?)

^ This is my son, totally dissing Marie Osmond's Cha-Cha, or convulsion, or whatever it was.

^ Lazy cat...is lazy. Serious baby...is contemplating ur string theoriez.
(Lazy cat played by Bailey).

^ This is baby's happy look, just after sending Dad to the cornfield. Shudder.

(Charley The Seahorse For Vice President!)

^ Yes. We are all watched by Seahorses when we sleep. So don't ever close your eyes.
(The seahorse summons the clowns, you see. Who eat you.)

^ You can tell this picture was staged because 1) Baby is not doing his famous screaming/grunting/pooing combo (like a straining Hippo). And 2) Pete is not doing his shouting/gnashing/grousing combo which Dads the world over are known for.
Also, Zach looks like Dr. Evil, just a bit.

There we go. That was way easier than the post I was actually going to write, about the Season Premier of Heroes and the series premier of Journeyman. Those have way more words. This has way more baby pictures. Easy! Peasy! Rice and cheezy! (oh. And now I'm hungry. Sigh.)

Good night.

Blog me a blog, for blogging's sake, blogger!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Been awhile since I've posted.

As many of you know, with the sad demise of Carrie -- who passed away from old age, having recently celebrated her 1,100,000,000th birthday -- it has fallen to me to maintain this blog's high standards. Therefore, before beginning this post, I was very careful to remove my pants. Also, because we are a bit entropic around here, I did not fold them up. They are crumpled! On the ground! Ha ha!

Exciting things which have happened on planet Pete:

1) We entered all of our books into Readerware's wonderful software, and were pleased to find that we have something in the vicinity of 1,200 books. Bliss! But we need more, more damn it.

2) Mister Baby is getting really good at focusing on the world around him. Specifically, he likes to focus on mine and my wife's faces. Sometimes, we get smiles, biiiiiig grins. He's just on the verge of laughing. He makes other sounds, but he's almost there. It's interesting to watch.

3) Other times, he gives me this stern-serious-ominous look which freaks the shit out of me and looks like he's about to send me to the cornfield, and then I give him to Mom.

4) God in the Machine is going well. Episode 5 comes out this coming Monday. It's a complicated series, full of complicated episodes, and I'm having a blast.

5) I gave up working on the first draft of Rome. I failed to start a 2nd draft properly. Lori convinced me that the first draft was fine. So I'm back trying to tool that into something I can enjoy working on. No success yet.

6) I just ate a pound of Jambalaya or so, along with corn on the cob. I am so full.

7) But this delicious Rooibos tea is definitely helping.

8) I love all of you.

9) I'm going to go write.

10) Pete

Hooray! VHV is done!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Yay! Pete & I finally managed to squeeze in a few minutes to finish up Variety Hour V, which I believe has taken us longer to write than all 4 previous Variety Hours combined. Of course, at that time, I wasn't working a job outside the home, and Pete didn't have the adorable little guy in the post below.

I'm relieved it's done and posted, and I feel bad that it took so long for us to finish it. Hopefully our beloved readers find it worth the wait. :o)

I'm really excited to have that done now, so I can work on my new WIP. I'm really excited about it, because it's evolving nicely, and because I'm writing it in first person... something I haven't done before. I did get some work done to it over this long Labor Day weekend, but not as much as I wanted. Unfortunately, the tops of my curtains were all dusty and the windows desperately needed washed, so that took a huge chunk of my weekend.

I hope I can keep ahold of the excitement. My last novel was written when I didn't have this *job* thing hogging up my time.

Ugh. And I have a PTO meeting on Wednesday. Meh.

Maybe if I just don't show up for work... or the PTO meeting... they'll all just fire me. :oD

Because I am surrounded by women

Saturday, September 1, 2007


*runs off screaming*