Monday, January 31, 2005

A Natural Dancer: New video up over at A disappointment.

It's more the song than the video. This song rocks when they do it live. I hadn't heard the album version yet, but it just doesn't rock.

Well, I guess it's also the video. I guess, when I heard this song, I just wasn't thinking "vampires."

Oh, and apparently TMBG can perform at your event, for the low, low price of $15,000.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sunday Book Review:

When I feel overwhelmed, when I've absolutely given up hope that I'll ever be able to string two words together, when I forget why I wanted to write in the first place, this is the book I reach for.

It's not a how-to book. It's more of a why-to book, and there's times when that's a more important question.

The essays are culled from various places, but they all possess that usual Bradbury metaphor and energy. I daresay your receptiveness to this book may be the same as your usual reaction to him--if his lyrical prose fiction leaves you cold, this may not be the book for you.

But if, like me, you've ever found yourself gasping at how his metaphor can reach in and grab you by the heart, tugging as you realize it is clear, it is right, it is how the world is, you will find that same feeling here.

He will coax you down the path, lead you back to that place inside of you that must write every day, just to sustain itself, and, ultimately, to sustain you.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Speak Your Mind: By popular demand, I have enabled comments.

May heaven help us all.

Getting Down To It: So I'm reading this book by Dave Ramsey, More Than Enough. It's about getting out of debt and changing your life, like I'm trying to do.

Only he comes to this part about a golfer. A pro golfer, who can hit straighter and farther than anybody. And this guy comes up to him and says, boy, I'd do anything to hit like you.

And the golfer says, "No, you wouldn't."

And the guy says, "Oh, yeah, I really would."

And the golfer says, "Okay. Here's what you have to give. Get up every morning and hit 500 golf balls. Hit them until your hands are so blistered they bleed. The next morning, tape over the blisters and do it again. You work hard enough, you can hit like that."

It didn't get me thinking about my money, but it did get me thinking about my writing. I've been really good about writing in that other blog every day, but I haven't been so good about doing my fiction writing. 28 days down in the year, and I've written six pages of fiction.

My goal was to complete one short story a month.

I know it's hard and that I have a lot on my plate. But I also know I can't expect to get the results if I can't do the work.

I was thinking about the golf analogy, and I was thinking about how I don't feel like I can practice. Everything has to be a perfect swing. The story I'm writing, I want to sell, and that's not practice that's the real thing.

But then I realized, fiction is different from golf. Imagine if you got to go out and hit the golf ball around and then store up the best shots you made on each part of the course, put those together, and present that to the judges of the tournament. If you took a few shots that stunk, you'd keep swinging until you nailed just that right shot.

That's what writing's like. You try the scene one way, you try it another, and when you finally hit the scene that sounds right, that's the only one anybody every needs to see. No need to sweat that this version or that version wasn't quite right. You're not writing on stage--you're sculpting in preparation for an unveiling.

That's liberating for me.

I need it to be liberating for me, because I have to loosen up my inhibitions and fear of imperfection and write.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Awards: So they're finally airing an awards show for books.

There's even a "Science Fiction/Fantasy or Horror" category.

Now, if we can just get them to divide those up . . .

Long, Long, Ago: has released the title crawl for Revenge Of The Sith.

More Hype: CBS news previews Advent Rising.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Go. Enter. Win.: Just let me borrow it.

Comics2Film is giving away a few copies of the Greatest American Hero DVD.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

As For The Oscar Noms: ::Yawns::

Clarion Call: The Sci Fi writing workshop Clarion will be holding a midnight auction at the end of the month to raise some much-needed funds. Check out the items up for bid.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

So Much News: Ah, what to blog about? Johnny Carson's death? Stan Lee's court win? P. Diddy trying to buy the Lloyd-Webber theatres?

No. Not when there's this.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Voices From The Black Hole: To those waiting for a response on the Borderlands 6 Anthology, the following was posted on their website:

Borderlands 6 Update

Borderlands Press is in the process of moving from NH to MD,
so we're still reading stories submitted late May/early June.
Please have patience. Once our move is complete we will dedicate
MORE time to reading your submissions.

In the meantime, if you sell your story elsewhere, please drop us a note.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Monday, January 17, 2005

Stuff to Read: If you don't mind reading online, and don't mind registering for a forum, you can check out the first chapters David Farland's new stuff: the new Runelords, and Of Mice And Magic.

Of course, you can still check out the first three chapters of OSC's Shadow of The Giant.

Friday, January 14, 2005

To The Makers Of Scooby Doo: Why do you guys keep getting all these different people to do the voice of Scooby-Doo, when Frank Welker is like, right there doing Fred? What's wrong with Frank's Scooby?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Used Cars: Ray Bradbury is speaking out on the future of transportation. Bradbury, like Alfred Hitchcock, hates cars and doesn't drive them himself. Hitchcock reportedly found cars terrifying.

If you think about it, they're right. Is there really any sense in transporting ourselves around in metal canisters filled with explosive liquid that hurl along highways at breakneck speeds, at any moment, only as safe as the reflexes of the drivers around you allow? Isn't there a better way to do it?

Bradbury suggests we won't see one until the problems with our current system get so out of control that we're forced to. That makes sense, and is usually the case with capitalism.

But there is another way. There was no dire emergency that led to the popularity of post-it notes, no disastrous shortage of note paper that could stick to stuff that forced the hand of the market. Somebody came up with something nifty and people bought it.

Bradbury's position is that we'll keep cars until the situation gets so bad the other options seem good. Honestly, if somebody came up with a better solution today, that would probably solve the problem right there.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What Is Your Favorite Color?: Broadway has found its Holy Grail.

Netflix: Netflix finally did the smartest thing they've ever done--they allow you divide up your cue for different people. Now I can have one movie, my wife can have one movie, and my daughters can have one movie. If somebody doesn't send theirs back, I don't have to spend my time re-ordering the cue to try to get the right person's movie to come next.

Now, I'm left having to revise my 700 ratings so my wife's opinions won't register for me any more. (I like State Fair as much as the next guy, but five stars?)

I hope Netflix reconsiders being a sponsor of my other blog. I'd love to say nice things about them.

UPDATE: They Reconsidered.

Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home – Now only $17.99 a month!

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Movie That Might Have Been: When I saw National Treasure on Saturday night, I couldn't help but think what a great idea for a movie it was--when I thought of it.

See, after seeing a sneak preview of Charly, the film based on the Mormon author Jack Weyland's bestselling book, I was trying to come up with an idea for a film that was inherently "Mormon," and yet would still appeal to a wide audience. Sort of like how you don't have to drive a taxicab to like Taxi.

My idea was this: An elderly woman, while doing her family history work and genealogy, stumbles across a mystery involving a tremendous amount of gold that was lost or stolen during the civil war. With the help of her bachelor son, she battles ne'er-do-wells and solves mysteries that lead her to the gold and her son to the girl of his dreams.

And now I don't know if I can make it, because everybody will say I ripped off National Treasure. And that's really not fair.

I was ripping off Indiana Jones.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Romping Barefoot Through History: The Alvin Maker series is being developed as a MMO.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Tripods Are Coming: Accordng to, Disney's making a movie out of John Christopher's Tripods trilogy.

Like a lot of guys my age, I first read this series in comic book form within the pages of Boy's Life magazine. Like a lot of guys my age, I didn't care for the BBC adapation. Like a lot of guys my age, the thought of Tripods standing in fields on the big screen sends chills down my spine.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Get Your calendars: If you think you need another calendar, check out this one the Website at the End of the Universe is offering, complete with old pulp covers and birthdays of famous SF authors.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Vanishing Story: So this morning I hear a couple of radio reports that Kurdistan radio--the same folks whoannounced Saddam had been captured before it was made public--were reporting that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been captured.

Now, the story is just . . . gone.

I swear I heard it. I swear I swear I swear.

Update: See. Cuba heard about it.

Monday, January 03, 2005

He's A Physic: Nostradamus is alive and blogging.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Unfortunate: Frank Kelly Freas passed away this morning. For those unfamiliar with him, check out his website. He was great.

My favorite work of his was the poster he did for the film The Wizard of Speed and Time, the film from which I take my "Doc Magik" moniker.

I met him once, at a con (like everybody else in the world, I'm sure), and adored him. I'm glad he got to hang out on this world for a while.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

To Bookmark: Well, not only have I decided to make a few New Year's resolutions, I've decided to start a new blog about them.

The 365 Day Turnaround will follow my efforts to get out of debt, lose weight, and get healthy. I'm hoping it will also be informative in a witty, Alton Brown sort of way. All my Atkins rants, financial stuff, and weight loss effort posts will now go over there.

There's a press release on it kicking around the internet news sites as well.

This blog will remain as my science fiction/magic/writing/miscellaneous blog, but hopefully they'll both be worth checking out.

Also, keep an eye on We'll have T-shirts and other swag and we'll even update the site with new stuff once in a while.

We swear.

Have a happy New Year.