Anniversaries, Writing, and Fat-boy Pants

Yesterday was my 30th wedding anniversary.  As I tell my wife, it’s been thirty looong glorious years.  It was also her birthday (I’m not saying how many, because I want to live to see another day), and my parent’s wedding anniversary.  As if that wasn’t enough, I finished the latest revision of my book (Now called Quarrel) and am preparing to send it to my editor.

We are up in the North Carolina Mountains with some friends, at our favorite getaway spot.

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I love visiting the mountains.  It is so peaceful and rejuvenating, especially after the past week.

What are Fat-boy Pants?

I mentioned about a week ago that I popped the button on my shorts while preparing to attend Supercon in Raleigh.  To add insult to injury, the next day I was trying on my dress pants in preparation for a trip to the corporate office.  A few pair were a bit snug in the waist.

I told my wife that the elves must have snuck in at night and adjusted all my pants.  In my defense, I’ve had some of those pairs of pants as long as I’ve been married (style, what’s that? You mean it actually changes?), but it still stung.  Of course, my wife’s solution was to say, “Just pull out your fat-boy pants.”

I have one pair of pants that is a size bigger than the rest.  We call them my fat-boy pants because I only break them out when the others are feeling a bit snug.  Another reason that I call them my fat-boy pants is that breaking them out gives me the incentive to say no to the sweets.

Unfortunately, I had cleaned out my closest last year and got rid of the fat-boy pants.  I think my words at the time were, “I never wear these things.  I don’t need them anymore.”  Ahhh, somebody’s laughing at me right about now.  Oh yeah, it’s my wife.

Laughter is the key to a long marriage.

When I asked my wife why she’s stayed married to me for so long, she said, “Because you make me laugh.”

I guess popping buttons and giving away my fat-boy pants are just another day filled with laughter for her.  Of course, one of her primary missions in life it to make sure I stay with her to the end, so she only laughed for a moment and then told me that we’re going to start walking farther on our daily walk, and that I needed to get back to the gym.

Right after that, I got on a plane to the corporate office.  And wouldn’t you know it, my first morning there they had the most awesome looking donuts I had ever seen.  Yes, I resisted them, and the cookies for lunch every day, and the Panera Bread chocolate brownie.  Man, getting old sucks.  I used to be able to eat all that stuff and still thumb my nose at those fat-boy pants.

Luckily, all the rules are off when we’re on vacation (Not to mention for our anniversary).  Since we’ve been in the mountains, I’ve had a couple of donuts, ice cream, and some candy.  I know I’ll pay later, but what the heck, you only celebrate your 30th once, right?

And don’t forget the Writing.

I’m also celebrating the last revision on Quarrel.  I finished it up yesterday morning.  I say last revision, but, it’s not over until I get the comments back from the editor.  Still, getting the thing to the editor always seems like the biggest hurdle in the process.  Be looking for Quarrel around Christmas time.

One last thing for yesterday.  My free book giveaway for the Order of the Wolf ended, but you can still get Stenson Blues and The Eastern Factor at a discount until August 9th.

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Filed under Books, Editing, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Writing

Giveaway

Hello all my favorite internet people (Yeah, I’m looking at you.  Don’t look so shocked.).

Head on over to Amazon and get The Order of the Wolf free from today until August 6th.

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You can also get Stenson Blues, book 2 in my Kingdom of Haven series for .99 cents until August 9th.

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And don’t forget to pick up book 3, The Eastern Factor, for $1.99 before August 9th as well.

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This is just for you! (And anyone else who stumbles upon my sale over the next week)  Hey, I believe in equal opportunity (to buy my books).

Happy reading!

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Free, Reading

Supercon and a Free Book

I enjoyed my visit to Supercon over the weekend.  It was really more a scouting trip than anything.  I have been looking at local writing events and conventions to try to plan out a strategy for book selling.  While there weren’t many authors at Supercon, there were a few and I had a chance to talk to several indie authors that were selling their wares.  It appears that Supercon is growing, and I anticipate more books and authors in the coming years.  Of course, that may be bad news for me if I go back again next year, because I came home with an empty wallet and a bag full of books from new-to-me authors to read.

If you want to read some books that don’t empty your wallet, check out my Kingdom of Haven series on sale on Amazon starting this Thursday, August 2nd.

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The Order of the Wolf will be free from August 2nd to August 6th,

Stenson Blues is on sale for .99 cents from August 2nd to August 9th.

The Eastern Factor will be on sale for $1.99 from August 2nd to August 9th.

Give them a shot – why not.  You’ve got nothing to lose, and the first one is free.

And don’t forget to feed your favorite author (even if it’s not me) with a book review.  Book reviews aren’t quite as good as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but they are the next best thing.  My pants will thank you for the calorie free treat.

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Free, Reading

Off to Supercon

So I’m off to Supercon. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll admit I’m a bit discombobulated going into it.

Here’s my conundrum: This is my first big convention with lots of cosplay. I’m enough of a dirty old man (probably man in general) to be looking forward to checking out the girl’s costumes. At the same time, the older I get, the more I am reminded that I’m old enough to be their father (Probably grandfather before much longer). This decidedly takes much of the fun out of ogling people watching.

I’m going with my daughter and her guy friend, who are dressing up. This could be really awkward, but luckily she is not wearing anything that’ll make me want to punch anyone for looking. Being the father of a daughter definitely makes you reevaluate your outlook on things (damn it).

Speaking of daughters, I kind of feel like one this morning. I drove over last night and stayed at my sister’s house. You know how it is, you go with the flow at someone else’s house as far as bath products go. This morning I washed my hair with Suave Rose Blossom shampoo and washed up with Dove, or Caress or one of those other perfumed soaps. I smell pretty.

And of course, as soon as I finished showering, I went to put my shorts on and popped the button. I’m only here for a day, so didn’t have any backup except a pair of PJ pants. I suppose I could have just worn them and said it was my custom. Luckily, my daughter had a sewing kit and I got them repaired.

So if you’re going to be at Supercon, look me up. I’ll be the old guy in the Super Genius T-shirt (ironic, I know) pulling on his shorts to hide his belly and smelling like potpourri.

I guess the bright side is that no matter how the day turns out, I’ll come out smelling like a rose.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Fandom, Humor

How do You Convention?

I’m headed to Supercon in Raleigh this weekend.  To be honest, I have mixed feelings.  While I have been a science fiction and fantasy lover (geek, nerd, dork—take your pick) for my entire life, and have recently branched into anime, the idea of being surrounded by so many die-hard fans is a bit daunting.  I’ve attended quite a few conventions over the years, but they’ve mostly been smaller in scale and had more of a writer focus.  This will be my first time diving into such a fan and cosplay intensive environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy people-watching and am looking forward to checking out the costumes and meeting interesting people.  I just don’t totally understand the whole fan thing.

Celebrity Much?  I remember visiting Universal Studios Hollywood when I was a teenager.  We ate lunch in the cafeteria, and a celebrity walked in.  Everyone went gaga, and I just didn’t get it.  It’s a person eating lunch.  So what if they’re an actor.

Got Candy?  I’ve never been into costumes either.  As a kid, Halloween was the only time I dressed up, and that was for the free candy.  I can’t remember ever wearing a costume as an adult unless you count a sailor outfit when I was in the Navy (It did kind of feel like I was wearing a costume).

Basically, I’m boring, but I realize I need to figure out this fan thing.  Hopefully, I’ll have a few of my own at some point and I’ll need to fulfill their fanly (yeah, I know it’s not a word, but it just sounded cool) needs.

So I’m off to Supercon this weekend.  I’ll also be attending DragonCon in Atlanta in about a month, and the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore in November.  I figure immersion is the best therapy.

If you’re going to any of these, I’ll be easy to spot.  Just look for the geeky old dude in the weird t-shirt.  Okay, maybe I’ll fit in better than I thought.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Conventions, Fandom

Hey, I’m Revising Here!

I always feel bad when I’ve let too much time pass between blog posts.  Trust me, I have plenty of excuses.  Unfortunately, I was raised on a diet of “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” and “I don’t want to hear your excuses.”  So even on a blog, where you can’t see my face, I just can’t bring myself to make up lies give excuses.

What have I been doing besides blogging, you ask?

  • Working — Yep, I still have a day job and it takes up at least 40 hours a week.  I’m currently leading a department reorganization, so it’s been busy (Of course, busy is a multifunctional word that can mean doing anything besides what you’re supposed to be doing).
  • Reading —  I read in spurts.  In the last week or so I finished reading The Warded Man by Peter Brett.  This is a great fantasy novel–best one I’ve read this year.  It is one of those books I wish I had written.  I also read The Great Santini by Pat Conroy.  If you grew up a military brat like me, this book will probably bring back some memories.
  • Watching — I’m watching Babylon Berlin on Netflix.  The show is set in post WW I Germany and features the different factions from the Russian revolution fighting it out in the back alleys of Berlin. (I must admit I got lost on YouTube a few times as well, but I’m trying to pretend like that didn’t happen.)
  • Writing — Besides my standard critique group meetings (two in recent weeks), I’m working on the final revision of my latest novel.  I would tell you the title if I had one, so instead, I’ll give you a little snippet:

The sword hung on the rough-hewn wall. It was a rare blade, a hand-and-a-half sword sheathed in black leather. The sword had been famous once—some stories said the blade was cursed, while others insisted its power saved the Norwood. Many seasons had passed since the last curious neighbor had stopped by for a look. Now it collected dust instead of eager eyes.

Edmond was the exception. The sword fascinated Edmond. He longed to pull it down from the wall and expose the blade, but his father had decreed the weapon remain untouched.  

I will be doing some fast and furious revision in the next few weeks to get this thing ready for the editor next month.  I’ll be announcing the title in the near future, and hopefully, reveal the book cover by the end of August.

So now when someone asks me what I’ve been doing, I have a good answer:

Hey, I’m revising here!

Oh yeah, I also spent some time sitting on the back porch and staring at my yard (What can I say? I’m easily entertained).  Here’s my favorite hibiscus bush:

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Pizzas?

I’ve been remiss in sharing pictures from my trip to Europe.  I would like to say that I’ve been busy, or any thousand other excuses, but the truth is I’m not much of a picture person.  My wife takes the pictures (this seems like a simple observation, but let me tell you she takes lots of pictures).

I decided to finally start sorting through them (thank you to whoever invented digital photography).

Definitely, my favorite part of the trip was visiting Rome and eating the food in Italy.  I love Italian food, and a week of eating pasta and pizza was glorious.  As I’ve been sorting through the pictures, I realized that we have lots of beautiful pictures of Rome, Florence, and Venice, but no pictures of all the good food we ate.  We just never thought to take pictures of the food.  Luckily, we have plenty of pictures of Rome.  Here are a few pictures of the Colosseum and Palatine Hill:

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Yay, the Colosseum!

 

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For a Roman history buff like me, this was the best place to visit, and the food was good too.  I guess you’ll have to take my word for that.

 

 

 

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Filed under History, Pictures, Travel