Transition

Today, a reblog from my post over at The Scribblerati.

Coming soon – a status update and other tasty bits. You know you want it.

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icicles-ice_w725_h544It’s – not quite spring.

You can tell it wants to be. I saw my first robin three weeks ago. The sun is strong and melty. The porters and stouts are slowly disappearing from the taps.

It won’t be long before buds will start to pop, coats will get stowed away, and our pale Minnesota skin will get its first splash of color.

Transition.

I wish I could say it was just the weather.

I’m very much a creature of habit – a fussy Virgo. I like my things just so. I like to know what I’m going to do each day. I want to know where I’m going to get my coffee. I don’t want the day to suddenly get one hour longer.

So why am I an IT consultant? Why do I have a job that can change on a dime, and take me to God only knows where?

Why am I choosing to move? Why am I cleaning out, digging through old memories, sorting away those I want to keep and wincing as I throw away those that no longer hold the meeting they once did?

And what am I doing with my writing? I’m so close to done – months away from being a bona fide published author – and yet my day job and the move pull me away and into chaos.

Transition.

And yet I’m thankful for all of it.

I’m blessed to work with good people, to have the means to move, and to have the time – however little it seems some days – to write.

Here’s to transition – and may it settle the fuck down.

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Star Wars: Let’s Talk Memories!

I must have felt a disturbance in the force.

Can you believe it?  It was just a few weeks ago that I blogged Fallen Jedi, a silly old short story of mine.

Posting Fallen Jedi was bittersweet. It was, in many ways, closure to a life-long love that started 32 years ago, in a small town Iowa theater.

And now – boom! – Darth Disney is breathing new life into that venerable franchise’s rotting husk.

You’re welcome.

It would be easy to go on about how Lucas has already killed the franchise, which he kinda has, but that’s well trod issue.  Star Wars is coming back, whether we want it to or not, so we might as well get ready? Right?

So let’s talk about how we used to love Star Wars.

I want to hear your favorite Star Wars memories!

I’ll start.

#1 The Theater

I was six. I don’t remember seeing trailers on TV, not like I do for Empire Strikes Back, but somehow, I knew I had to see this movie. It was the advertisement in the theater section of the local paper that really got my blood boiling. Yah, that one right there. I loved it so much I clipped it out and put it on my bulletin board. I wanted to go so bad but my parents wouldn’t take me.

But then, it happened. Some cousins were visiting and one of them, who was old enough to drive, announced that he was bored and was going to see Star Wars. I still don’t know how it happened (although I know an obnoxious amount of begging was involved) but within the hour I was sitting there in the theater and the curtains were drawing back and [fanfare].

#2 Toys-R-Us Midnight Madness

It was 1999. The Phantom Menace was weeks away and we were all full giddy optimism and excitement. Star Wars was new all over again and this time I HAD MONEY! No more meticulously devouring the JCPenny catalog for Christmas lists, I was going to buy whatever I wanted!

So there I was, standing in the cold strobe light painted Toys-R-Us parking lot, just me, the Lovely Leann, and about 300 kindred souls. The clock ticked on. Anticipation built.

The line started to move!

There was jostling, a little shoving, but no trampling (hey, we’re geeks, not animals). I crossed the threshold, inched past wide-eyed employees, and [angelic music/geekgasm] THERE WERE GIANT WIRE CRATES FILLED WITH STAR WARS FIGURES!

Pure. Awesome.

What’s your favorite Star Wars memory?

Present is Past

There are few things more influential on our lives than those early years between childhood and adulthood, those years when we become aware of the larger world even as we discover the things that thrill us and struggle with those that cause us pain.

When I look back there are a lot of things that stand out. Good things and bad. Excitement and dread. Venturing out and withdrawing.

Through it all, there was one thing rarely sullied by the drama that so often made a mess of everything else: Iowa Hawkeye football.

Maybe it’s just the forgiving lens of memory, but something about game day was sacred. We forgot about jobs, homework, and struggling marriages and we focused on football.

There was lots of yelling, but always at the TV. Especially at Michigan! There were smiles all around, cursing at bad plays, and food. The food! Mom made a potato salad as mean as any linebacker and dad could make that Weber grill serve up a T-Bone that sizzled like a ball thrown on a quick slant.

Now I’m [REDACTED] years older and things have changed. College, marriage, writing a novel, and becoming a Minnesota Gopher fan just scratches the surface. One of the constants through it all has been that fall Saturdays still hold a glimpse of that same naive wonder I used to feel as a child. Now, football season is the one time of year when I set my coveted writing Saturdays aside and make my way to campus, or sit down in front of the TV.

Especially this week. It’s Minnesota vs Iowa, with Floyd of Rosedale (#ProtectThePig!) and another year of bragging rights at stake.

This year my (not so) little brother and his wife are coming over. The poor kid is still an Iowa fan and while we may not agree on who should win, there will be smiles, curses, beer, food, and fun. And who knows, maybe there will even be some potato salad.

I’ll write on Sunday, when the Gophers are 5-0.

Of Booze, Gophers, and Editors

Wow – I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since my last blog!

Needless to say, there’s been a lot going on.

First there was this:

A nice little vacation on California’s Central Coast. Paso Robles, to be exact. If this were a wine blog I would go on and on, but suffice to say, this relatively unknown region is getting its groove on. If you’re looking for a place to go taste exceptional wine, and one that is well away from the overwrought crowds and bustle of Napa and Sonoma, then this is your place to go. Oh, and you want a lovely place to stay where you can wake up in the morning and look out onto the rolling, vine filled hills? Here you go.

YUM!

After vacation, I had a week off in between work assignments. During that week, there was cookies!

There was also quite a bit of plotting going on for To Kill the Goddess’s sequel, Moon Sister. That’s a crazy process. Lots of fits and starts, ideas explored, some discarded and others integrated. There’s also been a lot of tasks I wasn’t expecting, like the Dungeons & Dragons style maps I’ve been creating to help keep the locations of everything straight, the vast amounts of history that I’ve had to document, and the realization that some concepts that I had thought to be ironclad needed significant revision.

This brings us to last weekend – the start of Minnesota Golden Gopher football season!!


Three weeks in a row of home football games means lots of fun, sun, beer, and a gigantic chink in my writing schedule. But I’m cool with that. College football is one of the few guilty pleasures that I allow to interfere with my writing.

And this week? New work assignment. Lots of brain power focused on scoping and planning the new work project. But in between that I have spent a lot of time in my search for an editor for To Kill the Goddess. Let me just say,

UGH!!

Damn, that’s a difficult job. I never once thought that self-publishing would be easy, but until you’ve actually driven the road, it’s impossible to appreciate the potholes, twists, and turns. Selecting an editor is one of the most important tasks – outside of actually writing the book – that a self published author will have to face. And it’s frakking hard!

I’m sure this will get easier the second or third time around, but right now I feel like a little kid who got separated from his parents in the middle of a busy mall. There’s literally hundreds of editors out there – or at least people calling themselves an editor – and finding the right one is an intimidating task. After all, it’s only your entire writing career on the line, that and a good thousand plus dollars. A mistake here could be deadly, or at least a waste of a boatload of money. But the right choice? That could be magic.

So hang on, friends. The self-publishing ride has started.

I’ll keep you posted.