3 Apr
          We just got rid of the freaking snow, and I wake up this morning to find about six inches of it on the ground. I thought I'd seen the last of the Evil Snowplow, but it's been resurrected, like Jason, or Michael Myers, and managed to fill in my driveway.
          And just for once I'd like to go to a book signing at Bakka without driving through a blizzard, a deluge, or a white squall to get there. All in all, though, it was worth it. The new store is nice and roomy--once you find parking--and Rob Sawyer's book launch went off in style. It was a great time, marred only by the fact that half-way home I realised I'd forgotten my autographed copy of Rob's book in the restaurant. (Well, that and the storm.) Luckily someone noticed the book lying by the table, and scooped it up for me, so Rob and Carolyn said they'd bring it to Ad Astra next weekend. Talk about your full-service author. 
          Oh, well, at least I didn't lose my wallet. (Right Karin/Charlie?)
          Oh yeah, I took Pen's car to Toronto, because it's much better on gas then mine, so Pen obviously had mine for the day. When I got home Pen asked, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?"
          Of course I asked for the bad news first.
          "I could have swore your car had a half of tank of gas when I took it," Pen told me, "but when I looked down on the way home it read empty, so I stopped at the gas station and put ten dollars in, but the gauge still didn't move."
          "So you're telling me the gas gauge is broken," I said, and she nodded. "So then what's the good news?" I asked.
          Pen smiled . "I put ten dollars worth of gas in your car."
          Of course, with the price of gas lately, maybe ten dollars wasn't enough to move the needle.

4 Apr
          We saw Sin City yesterday. It was pretty cool, although apparently I thought it was a lot funnier than anyone else in the theatre. I got more than a few strange looks as we were leaving. And no, I wasn't laughing at the gory parts (which was most of it.) Of course Pen and I were two of the few foolhardy enough to brave the blizzard and go out.
          We even went to Mexicali Rosa's for lunch in keeping with the tropical theme. I was amazed at how many different foods there are that end in Chonga. It must be Spanish for "leftovers."
          Oh yeah...Aaaarrrggghhh!!! I just read that HBO probably isn't going to renew Carnivale! First Dead Like Me, now this. Where's my list? Adds names of HBO Programing Executives

5 Apr
          I must be the luckiest guy in the world. In the last two days alone, I won:
          1. one of five fabulous gifts ranging from an all expense paid vacation, to a vacation where I only have to cough up the airfare, taxes, and food from the Vacation Store. (Apparently I was automatically entered in the draw once they learned I was over 18 and made at least 50K a year)
          2. The Spanish lottery, worth over one million Euros
          3. 2 free septic tank cleanings if I subscribe to their service for 5 years. (If I only had a septic tank--woe is me.)
          Although apparently the word is out that I have a small penis, as I keep getting offers for amazing products that will make it grow overnight.

6 Apr
          So as I was leaving work last night, I said on the way out: 
Me: "Time to go. I have to get to the gym before all the girly men show up.
Captain: "Hey, I'm going to the gym."
Me: That's okay, Sir, you can take your time."
          Is it any wonder I haven't been promoted?

11 Apr
          Ad Astra was fun. It's what I should be doing for a living. Well, if you toss writing in the ring. And music. And martial arts. Never mind.
           As usual, I didn't go for the panels. I basically only attended the ones my friends were on. Most fans go to the conventions to meet and learn from and talk with their favorite writers or celebrities or people in the business, and since most of my favorites are already friends (Hey, Karin, E!,  Scott, Sharon, Velvet, Terry, Martin, Caitlin, Rob, Carolyn, Peter, Lesley, Helen, the other Scott...)  I get more out of sitting around in the hotel lobby, or at dinner, than I do out of the panels. I'm sure it makes my con experience quite different than your average con attendee--something I truly appreciate and feel privileged about, and hope won't go to my head.
          I've been away for almost three years, and have a lot of catching up to do, both in my writing career, and my friend's lives. Being with these friends, these writers, published or otherwise, makes me feel more like a writer myself. Hey, I'm old enough to pick my own delusions now. 
          So, all in all Ad Astra was fun. 
          But I still miss Charlie.

12 Apr
          Pen had to work late last night, so she offered me a dollar to do the dishes. Of course I jumped at the chance, but the wench never paid up. Women are evil, I tell you.
          In a related note, I tricked Ebear into thinking she insulted me today. No, wait...she did insult me, but I tricked her into thinking it bothered me. Hey, I never said men couldn't be evil too.

15 Apr
          I must be super athlete guy. I broke a treadmill running at the gym the other day. It actually started smoking as I was running on it (and no one even mentioned sex). It really stunk up the place too. And all along I thought it was just me. And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
          Oh yeah, note the word count. Not bad, eh? Eh? When I wrote the first novel I was worried it wouldn't be long enough. Now I'm worried that this one will never end. 
          Maybe I should just stick with treadmills.

18 Apr
          I had to twist my arm to get myself to go to the gym tonight. I called myself every name in the book. (Only the boys names, though. I tried calling myself Ashley, but it just sounded silly.) Of course there's over 10,000 names in the book, so by the time I finished it was almost too late to go to the gym. (Luckily there aren't a lot of names that begin with X and Z.) 
I have no idea how I'm going to convince myself to go to the gym tomorrow. I guess I'll need a new book.

20 Apr
          I'm old. Sure I was old yesterday, but today I'm officially old +1. I'm so old a paleontologist asked me for a DNA sample so that he could clone me to see what I looked like back in the Jurassic age when I roamed the earth. (Of course I killed him. Some day a future paleontologist will dig him up and say: "Look, a paleontologist!" and then probably run screaming. So it wasn't a total waste.)
          Yep, gone were the days when I got motorcycles and sexual favors for my birthday. Soon it'll be a walker and a nurse to strap me in so I don't fall out of bed. No more pizza and daiquiris; soon it'll be Polygrip and Depends.
         To paraphrase Struther Martin: "What we have heah, is a failure to rejuvenate."
         But I got presents, so it wasn't all bad.

25 Apr
          So I had a great birthday--a celebration Pen managed to stretch out over the weekend. We stayed at the Grand Hotel in Toronto (fancy-schmancy) on Saturday, and went to Karin's book signing where we caught up with Caitlin, Lesley, Michele, Chris and, oh yeah, Karin was there too. Later Pen and I went out to dinner with Karin and Winnie, which was fun, although I'm sure Pen's and Winnie's eyes glazed over a few times as Karin and I got caught up in talk of the writing life. 
          Sunday Pen and I went to the Psychic Fair in T.O., which was fun. I spent a lot of money to have the psychics tell me what a bright, shiny future I have, especially in my writing career, so it wasn't a total waste.  And I know they weren't blowing smoke up my ass, because hey, that costs extra. 
          I found out late Friday night that my story, Harbinger has been accepted for the anthology Shadow Sword, coming out in the fall, which was a nice birthday present, too. I'd like to thank the Sock Monkeys for all their advice, and especially Marsha, for the edit she gave it a few months back.
          Oh yeah, check the word count for Darkside. I stopped there on purpose. :-)

29 Apr
          Lately there's been a rash of people coming up to me at the gym and asking how old I am, then walking away with this incredulous look on their faces. I don't know whether to be flattered on the off chance that they think I look much younger than I actually am, or insulted at the likelihood that they can't believe an old codger like me can still do the things I do. 
          Lately I feel like Kurt Russell in SOLDIER: still a lethal machine in perfectly good working condition, but an out of date model. I think I'll steer clear of the landfill site for a while, just in case.