Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Turkey Day Post

Okay, I've managed to shake my turkey coma long enough to post a brief update. (Yes, brief. I guess my Blogtacular Retrospective will have to wait for post 103 at least.) Take cover, y'all, 'cause here come the bullets:
  • Firstly, a Dead Harvest update. A little while back, the lovely and talented Jennifer Jackson, agent extraordinaire, got back to me with some minor editorial suggestions that I've spent the last couple weeks working on. As of last Sunday, the book is once more finished, and I think it's stronger for the tinkering. Anyways, one more read this weekend, and it's out the door. Fingers crossed it finds a good home.
  • Secondly, a little writerly indulgence. Patrick Shawn Bagley (also lovely, if you swing that way, and talented) has posted an essay on his blog about the writing and submission of my short story "The World Behind". I originally wrote the piece for a class Patrick teaches, so it might be a little process-y for any non-writer-types out there, but if you're curious, go on and take a gander. Oh, and read the rest of his blog while you're over there. The Bag Man* is one badass mofo of a writer, and you'd do well to start kissing up to him now before his newly finished debut novel explodes and he no longer socializes with the hoi polloi like you and I.
  • Thirdly, books. See, my birthday was last weekend, and although the celebratory awesomeness of delicious cheese-ends and barbecue and sushi and wine and a dedicated pumpkin pie are too far afield from the whole writing thing to mention (except I just did, didn't I?), I also got a pile of books, which are totally fair game. So what'd I get? A bunch of Charlie Huston, courtesy of a certain Joshua Polak who may or may not appear in the followup to DH for his thoughtfulness (though I should warn him most of my cameos meet untimely ends). A beautiful leather bound copy of The Divine Comedy, as well as the new Neil Gaiman, both from Katrina, whom common sense dictates I will never knock off in a book. Some Chandler and Hammett from the in-laws. And I also got a whole pile of CDs and DVDs to boot. Oh, and actual boots (sort of). Thanks go to Mom, Anna, and Katrina again on those.
Hmm, did I say brief? Yeah, never really been my strong suit. Anyways, that's the haps. Now where did I put those leftovers?

*Okay, do I really know Patrick well enough to make him up a nickname? Probably not. But come on, who wouldn't take "Bag Man"?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I never was good at math...

Damn. I had a vague notion that my 100th blog post was coming up, and I thought it'd be a good chance to do a whole big retrospective sort of deal, with links to some of my favorite posts, commentary about where I've been in the past two years as well as where I'm going, and some shout-outs to the friends I've made along the way. As it turns out, though, I already hit 100 with my last post.

Oh, and what kind of lame-ass 100th post is "Yay, words!" anyway? I mean seriously -- it sounds like something out of Up With People. (That's right, Mom and Dad, I said it. Don't think I don't know about your sordid singing, dancing past.)

Eh -- there's always 200. Or maybe I'll do a 102nd Post Spectacular, I don't know. One thing's for sure, though: whatever I do, it ain't gonna have the word "yay" in the title. I still have a little dignity.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yay, words!

Now that the election is over, I'm delighted to find things have gotten quiet enough for me to once more hear the voices in my head. (What's that, Voice? "Kill them all"? Or was that "Kilts for Fall"? No matter.) For weeks, I've been treading water on the new WIP (yes, it has a title, and no, I'm not going to tell you what it is), but finally, the story is talking to me again, and things are moving forward. Incidentally, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decent map of Bogota?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

That's why they call 'em secret ballots...

Okay, here's the deal. Here at _holm, I try to make a point of not explicitly talking politics, because this is a blog about writing, and for me at least, the two rarely intersect. But lately, I've had a serious case of election-brain, and it's been messing with my writing output something fierce, so I figure that makes it fair game.

So anyways, here's my pitch. This Tuesday, I urge all of you (Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between) to vote for Barack Obama for President. Now, I know all of you have heard that a thousand times over from folks smarter or prettier or famouser than I, and you're probably wondering why in the hell you should listen to me. The fact is, you shouldn't. But you should listen to what your gut is telling you, and I think if you strip away the labels, the hype, and the attempts of the pundits to drive wedge after wedge between us, the choice is clear.

Our nation stands on the edge of a precipice. That's not a partisan opinion, it's simply a fact. Our economy is in shambles. Our military is overextended. People are afraid: afraid for their safety, afraid for their jobs, afraid for the future of their children. And make no mistake, that fear has been sewn by the party in office, not because Republicans are evil, but because fear has proven a powerful motivator, and the folks in office were canny enough -- not to mention immoral enough -- to exploit it. I have to admit, it was a pretty smart play; after all, their policies have all been abject failures, and their fringe ideology has dragged the Republican party so far afield from the core beliefs of Federalism and personal responsibility that it would be unrecognizable to the historical paragons they pay lip-service to in their speeches.

John McCain has, to my great surprise, proven willing -- eager, even -- to exploit that fear himself. You can hear it in his incendiary rhetoric, and in the rhetoric of his running-mate. They attack. They smear. They sew division wherever they can, without a care as to the damage they are doing. I think it's time to say "Enough."

So on Tuesday, when you go into the voting booth, stop and think about the kind of world you want to live in. Stop and think about how these last eight years have gone. I know there are some who say Obama is untested, that he's nothing more than a bunch of flowery words, and although I disagree, I understand where they're coming from. The thing is, the other side has been tested, and by any metric, they have failed. Obama could truly do no worse. And here's the thing: what if this guy is for real? What if he does possess the intellect, the steel, the integrity that Powell and Buckley and a whole host of others not ideologically aligned with him have recognized and responded to? What if he really has what it takes to unite this great nation, and you pull the lever for the other guy out of some misplaced sense of party loyalty, or even worse, out of fear?

I think that our choices this election are clearer than they've ever been. The decision we're faced with transcends party values. It's about the kind of nation we want to be. One that faces the future with confidence and resolve, or one that clings to the past out of fear. Whatever your political leanings, I urge you to consider that before you click the button, pull the lever, or check the box. And remember, once you leave the booth behind, no one ever has to know.