7 Apr

Birthday Meme
April 20

3 Events

1. 1902 - Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
2. 1972 - Apollo 16 lands on the Moon
3. 1999 - Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 12 students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves in the Columbine High School massacre.

2 Births

1. 570 - Muhammad, Founder of Islam
2. 1808 - Emperor Napoleon III of France
3. 1889 - Adolf Hitler, Austrian-born German dictator

Okay, so I cheated. It's not like you're paying for this.

1 Death

1. 1912 - Bram Stoker, Irish author
2. 1992 - Benny Hill, British comedian

Yep, cheated again.


11 Apr

          My wife, Pen, has been sick as a dog the last few days--and not one of those little slipper dogs that can only blow kibble-sized chunks when it's sick, but a really big dog that tosses full blown Mrs. Fields-sized cookies. That still hasn't stopped her boss from forcing her to go into work (on the midnight shift, no less) because everyone else where she works is sick, and closing the store "Is not an option." (So what if they only had one customer, making the store a grand total of $3--minus Pen's pay, the cost of operating the store for 12 hours, etc....)
          As for my life, I'm still in stasis--kind of like a frozen Austin Powers. I only hope no one tries to steal my mojo.

15 Apr

          So I received a form letter rejection in the mail yesterday from an agent I queried. I didn't want to open it, because of course I was afraid it was from the agent--the one that requested the partial, and then the complete manuscript.
          It came in the standard SASE that I send out, and I just knew it was a rejection because it was to thin and unimportant to be anything like a contract, or a ring I have to kiss, or instructions on how to perform the blood sacrifice, or whatever other rituals of fealty agents require when they're accepting you nowadays. Even though it was postmarked NY, and the agent doesn't live in NY, I was still freaked out until I actually opened the letter and found out who it was from--an agent I'd given up on as a non-responder ages ago.
          Now, it's been almost a month since I mailed away the manuscript, and normally the agent has got back to me in a couple of weeks--the first time through my SASE, and the second time by email. For some reason I have it in my head that if they want to take me on as a client, they'll use the phone this time--which is why I freaked when I saw my SASE in the mailbox, and why I'm concerned that it's been a month now with no reply. After all, it only takes a second to phone, but it takes a couple of weeks for a rejection to arrive in the mail.
          The writing life sucks.

17 Apr

Songs the New Band is considerin:  
3 Days Grace....Just Like You
Alanis Morissette....You Oughta Know
Bif Naked....I Love Myself Today
Green Day....American Idiot
Green Day....Holiday
Joan Jett....I Love Rock And Roll
Kenny Wayne Shepperd....Born With A Broken Heart
Seether....Fine Again
Tragically Hip....New Orleans Is Sinking
Velvet Revolver....Slither
Wide Mouth Mason....This Morning
Guns N' Roses....Sweet Child O' Mine
Pat Benetar....Heartbreaker
Pat Benetar....Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Alanis Morissette....Right Through You
Letters To Cleo....I Want You To Want Me
Veruca Salt....Volcano Girls

18 Apr

          So I'm going to Eeriecon this weekend--Mr. Finlay still hasn't confirmed whether or not he'll be showing up. Perhaps he's reticent (ooh, good writer word, that) as he has given me permission--nay, requested that I kick his ass next time I see him. The reasons why will remain our little secret (unless he's already blabbed to the rest of you), but of course I told him I'd indulge him in this request. Hey, anything for a friend.
          Anyway, I've taken Friday and Monday off (Friday to make the trip there easier, and Monday to recuperate) so it's another four-day weekend for me.
          Life's hard. (Luckily Rae Carson keeps offering me cookies to alleviate the pain.)

19 Apr

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance...  
         Someone once told me that I'm not firmly rooted in this world--this reality. I won't tell you who said it, because if they're right then maybe they're not all here either. (Pun intended.) It would certainly explain a lot--like how when I checked the weather report for last weekend the five-day forecast said it was going to be bright and sunny for the foreseeable future, and then when I looked away from the monitor for a moment and back again it suddenly called for rain all week. No kidding. And, of course, it was sunny anyway. Just saying.
          We were supposed to have band practice last night, but the power went out at 5:30 and didn't come back on until 9:45. Of course it was dark out by 8:00, so I spent the evening reading The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by flashlight. (By that I mean, of course, that I used a flashlight to read it by--it was written by C.S. Lewis. I have no idea if he used a flashlight or not.)

20 Apr

Happy Birthday to Me!  

And in honour of that, the First Things Meme:

1. Who was your first prom date?
My first prom date was Lori Sands, my girlfriend at the time. Of course, we only had one prom--Senior Prom--at the school I went to.

2. Who was your first roommate?
My first roommate(s) were during my trades training for electronics in Kingston, Ontario. There were three of them: Bob, Steve, and Mike. As far as roommates go, they were great, especially Steve--who was slightly insane, I'm sure, and kept me sane during my stay there. (Funny thing is, we were in boot camp together, and I didn't like him at all there. Of course, if you count boot camp, I had 50 roommates.)

3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk the first time?
Rye. My friend Ben Gibson and I went halvsies on a twenty-sixer, and tried to down half each while we were out camping at Cedardale Beach. We were both 18 at the time, and had never really drank before. I had to gag my half down, and spent the rest of the night trying not to throw it back up. Even the smell of Rye sickens me to this day.

4. What was your first job?
Construction work, with my Dad. I think I was about 10 years old. Although I wouldn't necessarily call it construction--it was more like cleaning up the mess the rest of the crew made, lots of digging, and hammering nails. I think he paid me a quarter an hour.

5. What was your first car?
A 1979 mustard-colored Datsun PL510. We drove it to the beach every day in the summer, and all my friends learned to drive standard on it. (Luckily my uncle is a mechanic, and changed the clutch in it for me--twice.) I even drove it to the top of Mount Pelion--right up to the flag and the cannon--the peak of which is barely wide enough to accommodate the car, with a sheer cliff on the left side. (My friend Scott screamed like a little girl.)

6. When did you go to your first funeral?
My wife's grandmother's funeral, when I was 36 years old. I swore I'd never go to a funeral, but I did it for Pen.

7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
23--when I joined the military.

8. Who was your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Kirkum. She was my first and second grade teacher. She lived right down the street from me, and we were pretty good friends--she'd give me cookies and stuff when I visited her--even though she gave me the strap when I was in grade 2. No doubt I deserved it. (The strap--not the cookies.)

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
To Cornwallis Nova Scotia, for boot camp.

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I never snuck out of the house. I never had to.

11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends?
My first best friend was Grant. I was 4 or 5 when we met, and he was a few years older, which meant he hit puberty before me, found girls--and that was that. He taught me all sorts of advanced stuff, like tree climbing, pole shinnying, and fighting. I saw his sister a few years back, who told me that Grant was in a bad car accident in his thirties, and is now mentally handicapped.

12. Where was your first sleepover?
I think it was more of a camp over, in a pup tent out back of Grant's house.

13. Who is the first person you call when you have a problem?
I don't.

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or groomsman?
I was an usher at my friend Ben's wedding.

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Turn off the alarm, then try to sneak downstairs without waking Pen up. I'm rarely successful--and I've snuck into secure enemy installations. Go figure.

16. What was the first concert you ever went to?
That I wasn't playing in? Probably a local band, like Bentwood Rocker, at an outdoor festival. Big name--I dunno, I think Pen dragged me to see Celine Dione.

17. First tattoo or piercing?
I don't have either.

18. First celebrity crush?
I have no idea. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever really had a celebrity crush.

19. Age of first real kiss?
13, I think. A girl from my Judo class invited me to a dance at her school. She'd just finished off a bag of Dill Pickle potato chips, then plunked herself down on my lap and shoved her tongue down my throat. I swore I'd never kiss another girl ever again.

20. First crush?
Lorene Sproul, kindergarten. I doubt she ever knew.

21. First REAL love?
Well, if you mean the first girl that ever loved me back, Michelle Dobson. We dated on and off throughout our lives, but our timing was never right.

25 Apr

          So I'm back to work today--stupid lottery--after a four-day weekend. Eeriecon was fun. I met up with some folks I hadn't seen in ages, so I think I'm pretty much caught up with everyone I shunned lost touch with during the three-year hiatus Recruit School forced on me.
          I had my usual run in with Customs crossing the border into the States, even though I had my passport with me this time:

Customs Agent: What's the purpose of your trip?
Me: I'm attending a writer's convention. (I usually neglect to mention the fact that it's a SF Convention, as that invariably results in an automatic strip search and anal probing--in keeping with the whole "alien abduction" experience, I guess.)
Customs Agent: Where are you going?
Me: *holds up paper with hotel's address on it*
Customs Agent: (squinting) That's where you're staying. I asked where you're going.
Me: Well, I thought I'd go there, and then....stay. I guess you could say I'm going where I'm staying.
Customs Agent: Um...have a nice trip.

Good news gleaned from the trip:

1. Tanya Huff's Blood series is being made into a TV series by the Space Channel. (That's like a Canadian version of The SciFi Channel, for you Americans.)

2. The third book in Lynn Flewelling's Bone Doll series is due out in June, and then she's going to write some more Night Runner stuff.

3. Denny's serves a great Hot Fudge Brownie, even at 2:00 in the morning.

26 Apr

          To whoever it is that gifted me with a paid LJ account, I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart. (That still leaves plenty of room at the top, and around the edges.) I have no idea who you are, but I'm sure you're a swell guy/gal/other.
          And if anyone else is feeling especially magnanimous, I have several other bills here just ripe for the picking. Apply now, and avoid the rush. *g*

27 Apr

          Just who is this Number One that needs so much taking care of, and why must he always come first? I mean, talk about needy. (He's almost as bad as that Numero Uno fellow.)

28 Apr

          So I took a hiatus (from the greek word meaning "slacker") from writing after I finished Darkside: Waking the Dead for a couple of months, but now it's time to get back at it. The question is, should I work on a rewrite of my space opera, Naejin, or start a new heroic fantasy I've had in mind? Or maybe write one of the dystopian future novels I've been toying with. Or how about finish off the short stories that are three-quarters done.
          Vote now. Vote early.