Jul 3
          This has been a great four-day weekend.  I stayed up late and got up later.  Pen and I laid out in the sun for a bit, went for long walks at night, drove around the bay with the top down looking at all the beautiful homes, went to Yuk Yuks for an evening of good food and great laughs, visited friends and swam in their pool, and found a great new ice-cream shop.  I worked out, went for long runs, wrote a little, played the drums, and even worked on the house.  I could really get used to a life of leisure. 
          I just hate those yokels at work, who always comment, ďItís nice to get back to the office.  Too much time off and I donít know what to do with myself.Ē  It must be the times weíre living in.  These guys are too much in touch with their feminine side--you know, the side that canít sit still if thereís something to clean, has to do whatever needs doing right now, and plans ahead months in advance to make sure that they donít miss out on work that they probably never would have had to do if they hadnít have planned ahead in the first place.
          They need to get back in touch with their masculine side--the side that happily sits on the couch with the remote, and firmly believes that nothing is so important that it canít wait until...well...almost indefinitely, really. 
          I guess Iím one of the lucky few who could very happily do nothing for the rest of my life if finances permitted.  Those rich schmucks who claim to get bored after a while just arenít trying hard enough to...um...not try.  Even with my limited (non-existent) finances, I managed to be quite content over the weekend.  Just think what I could accomplish with a little funding:  water skiing, jet skiing, boating, snorkelling, diving, surfing, hot air balloon rides, hang gliding, ultra light flying, bungee jumping, sky diving, motorcycling, go-karting, a cruise or ten, museums, galleries, theatre, concerts, parties, dancing, conventions, and shopping, to name a few.  Not to mention all the travelling Iíd love to do, the places Iíd love to see, and the beaches Iíd love to lie on. 
          So, if thereís any of you multi-millionaires out there that think Iím full of hot air, and would love to prove me wrong, Iíd be more than happy to have you fund my little experiment, purely in the interests of science, of course.  Like Iíve always said, I donít need to be independently wealthy.  I donít really care whose money it is, as long as they let me spend it. 

Jul 4 
          I was working on chapter two of Jinae today, and decided it was about time I actually wrote out the Boneman Prophecy, which is the basic set-up for most of the book.  (Well, the next two books, really.)  So I sat down and wrote most of it, and it inspired a lot of plot developments and (I hope) interesting scenes for later in the book.  The only problem with it is that in order for it to have any real dramatic effect, I have to change some of the stuff I wrote in chapter one.  Iím only on chapter two and I already have to rewrite stuff from chapter one? Nuts!  You know, I bet this is where all that plot outline nonsense comes in handy.  And donít bother saying I told you so.  I wonít listen anyway. 
          And to all my American friends, Happy Independence Day!!  You know, youíd think the Brits would be happy for you too.  After all, it was about time you got your own place, and quit bringing your laundry all the way back to England when you visited because you were to busy partying to do it yourself.  And Iím sure your allowance was just killing the Queen.  I mean, even if you guys only got five dollars a week, it still adds up.  Granted, there werenít quite so many of you back then. 

Jul 8 
          Iíve been trying to catch up on my reading.  Iíve got about a yearís worth of Asimovs and Analogs piled up that I have to read, and several novels that have been recommended.  Of course, now that Iím in full-blown writer mode, itís hard to read without editing or critiquing.  
          What I find especially interesting is that if my fellow Sock Monkeys and I had critiqued this work, it probably would have needed a major rewrite before any of it ever saw publication.  Thereís pages of exposition, telling not showing, POV problems, unrealistic situations, not getting into the characterís heads enough, pacing problems--in short, all the things we constantly point out as errors in each otherís work.  Things that weíve learned in workshops and at conventions from published authors and editors are a big no-no.  
          Still, these are all published short stories and novels.  The short stories are published in two of the major sci-fi mags.  Sometimes I wonder if weíre being too hard on ourselves, but the truth is that I donít think we are.  Most of the suggestions made by the Sock Monkeys definitely result in my creating a better product.  So what gives? 
          Maybe itís not so much the style, or technical merits of the story that matter.  Maybe itís the ability to tell a really good, interesting or original story that decides whether or not your work gets published.  Or maybe itís because most of these mags only publish stories by big name authors who can get away with breaking the taboos.  Sooner or later Iím going to crack the secret to getting published, and when I do, Iím going to tell all my fellow Sock Monkeys.  Then, look out.  Once weíre all mega-hit authors with the power to make demands on the publishing houses, weíll form a consortium, deciding who gets published and who doesnít, dictating acceptable style, form, and technique.  We will hold the power of what you will read in Alternative Fiction in our hands, decreeing who will be published, and who wonít, whoíll be the next major success, and....Oops.  Sorry.  I kind of got carried away there. 

Jul 14 
          Pen and I went to the movies last night and saw The Kid, with Bruce Willis and...a kid.  Itís one of those movies that make you think about who you are and how you got here.  I never really knew what I wanted to be or do when I grew up.  The only thing I was sure of is that I never wanted to join the military.  Itís funny how that turned out. 
          I think I became the person I always wanted to be, I just didnít get to live the life I thought would go along with it.  Well, at least not yet.  I really thought I would be a lot more successful by now.  I know this is going to sound flaky--at least it does to me--but Iíve always had the feeling that I would be famous/well-off someday--and not in a Jeffery Dalmer/Charles Manson sort of way either.  And I get the feeling itís going to be really soon. 
          Coming from me, this is even more outrageous than it sounds.  Remember, Iím the guy who has trouble believing in anything.  And I usually have the most horrible luck.  Of course, Iím sure there are millions of people who feel the same way I do--that success is just around the corner.  Only it turns out to be a southbound bus, and the next thing they know theyíre nothing but road waffles.