Jul 1 
          Letís see, yesterday Pen and I went to Kingston, saw the Tall Ships, did some shopping, had a nice dinner, saw The Fast and The Furious (not bad) and went dancing. Today weíre hitting the book stores, and going to catch A.I.  So who has time to write?  Still, contrary to some peopleís opinion, I insist on calling myself a writer. Go figure.  Oh, yeah: 

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y  C H A R L I E  !!!

Jul 3 
          I think life would be a lot simpler if women were made like Mr. Potato Head...well, okay, Mrs. Potato Head. They could have all these different sets of lips in different shapes and shades, and different coloured eyes, and eyebrows and stuff. Then when they were getting ready to go out they could just quickly pick and choose. Hey, it beats shaving off your eyebrows and then colouring them back in with a pencil. 

Jul 4 
          I am a very simple man. (No, not stupid-simple!) Give me an nice little home on a lake, a car, a motorcycle, and the means to do nothing but write, exercise, and spend time with my family, and I could be happy for life. A nice little pick-up band and a few local clubs to play in wouldnít hurt either. Throw in some good friends, and life would be grand. As far as dreams go, I think itís rather modest. So it there are any of you billionaires or multi millionaires out there looking to atone for some bad karma, give me a ring. I can save your soul at bargain prices. 
          Oh yeah, for all my American friends: 

H A P P Y   I N D E P E N D E N C E   D A Y!!! 

Jul 14 
          When youíre a Speculative Fiction writer, you often have to do some of the weirdest research. For instance, tonight I spent an hour or so looking for the image of the male form, standing erect, from the front, with his arms at his side, just so I could put it against a graduated background I made. See, that way I could enlarge one of the figures, and get a good idea of what a normal human  male, about 5í10Ē tall, would look like standing beside a 10í ogre. Oh, yeah. Donít forget the 4í troll. 
          And I used to make fun of Charlie for mapping out terrains and stuff. I wonder if Marsha knows where I can get some of that laudanum she was researching? 

Jul 15
          How come the movies only offer free refills on large soft drinks and popcorn? Who in their right mind needs a second Hefty bag full of popcorn and a rubbermaid garbage can full of coke? These must be the same geniuses who offer lower interest rates to people who donít really need the money. And why donít they call the double quarter pounder a half pounder? 
          Can you tell it was Finance Redistribution Day? (Thatís Pay Day in Steve speak.) 

Jul 17
          Okay, while Iím on a fast food kick, whatís with the stupid slogans these restaurants have? 
          MacDonaldís: We do it all for you? How nice. Itís not like Iíd planned on hopping over the counter and flipping the freakín burgers myself. 
          Harveyís: Makes a hamburger a beautiful thing. Yeah, will skip the mascara and the lipstick. I like mine with mustard and tomatoes. 
          Burger King: Have it your way. Listen buddy, youíll have it with sauerkraut and jalapeno peppers, and youíll like it, see. 
          Kentucky Fried Chicken: We do chicken right. Isnít beastiality illegal in most states? 

Jul 19 
          I bought my water pistols for Philcon the other night. Pen even paid for them and everything, although she was a little confused as to why I should need two of them. ďOneís for back up, of course,Ē I told her.  She looked at me like I was strange of something. Women. 
          We also spent a fortune to partially cloth our daughter. I say partially, because her jeans only come down to her knees, and up to below her belly button. They still cost as much as a whole pair of pants though. And then there were the little skimpy tops--you know, the ones with the bottom half missing, or no back at all, or a V neck cut down almost to the pants that donít reach her belly button. She also bought a couple of big pullover sweaters. I told her she could have as many pullover sweaters she wants. Pen said all Chantel needs now are running shoes and underwear. I told her thereís no way the kidís going to school in just running shoes and underwear. Hey, I have to draw the line somewhere.

Jul 21
          Men and women fight differently. I know weíve all heard that before, but I never really clued in as to how until now. When men fight, you pretty much know what to expect. Youíre fighting with the same guy you know and love, heís just pissed. Women, on the other hand, are possessed. Donít make the mistake of thinking that the woman youíre fighting with is the one youíre married to, or dating, or whatever. It may look like her, but itís actually an evil doppelganger. They donít know you, they donít like you,  and they donít have time for idiots who donít know enough to admit when theyíre wrong, even when theyíre not. 

Jul 22 
          Del Rey invited me to participate in their Gallery Competition and a chance at an E-publishing contract. Unfortunately, the book theyíre interested in  is Darkside 2, and Darkside 1 is currently buried under a gazillion manuscripts in Baenís slush pile. Under those circumstances, I had to decline the offer. 
          I think Iíve burned my bridges behind me, not that I was going anywhere, or had anyplace to get back too. I guess that means I burned the bridges in front of me and to both sides too. So here I stand, in the middle of nowhere, with no way out. Damn, I just depressed myself. 

Jul 23 
          I was listening to my local radio station in the car today, and the DJ signed off with, ďMix 97, youíre favourite radio station.Ē I thought that was awfully presumptuous of them, but then I realised I live in Quinte West, which means we only have roughly three radio stations. So odds are the DJ was right at least a third of the time. And I suppose itís better than, ďMix 97, Because weíre all there is.Ē 

Jul 24
          Iím midway through Chapter Seven of Darkside 2. Iíve got ideas for several neat scenes, an overall theme, a lot of conflict--now if only I could figure out how to put it all together. Oh, I know it will all coalesce eventually, but just for once Iíd like to know how one of my books is going to turn out more than a chapter or two in advance of the Sock Monkeyís who are critiquing it. You know, writing a book is one hell of a slow way to read one. 

Jul 27
          I had to go to the doctorís office this morning to get my prescription for sleeping pills renewed. Iíd just come off another 12 hour shift, and had been awake at least 48 hours with maybe 5 hours sleep wedged in there maximum. I couldnít help thinking how ironic it would be to fall asleep in the waiting room when youíre there for insomnia? 
          Anyway, the doctor put on the big scary mask and danced the dance, then threw the chicken bones and decided that, yes, I needed my prescription refilled. Hey, heís better than the last guy, what with all the blood letting and leaches and stuff. 

Jul 31
          To a Buddhist all life is suffering. We suffer because we want. Once we stop wanting, what we need will come to us. Hmmm. So as soon as I decide I donít want something anymore, Iíll get what I wanted then, but donít want now. Makes me wonder if maybe Buddha used to work as a loans officer at a bank.