April 03, 2002
There was no cheese waiting for me at the airport (see previous entry). Perhaps the cheese they told me about was imaginary cheese. They thought they saw it, but it wasn't really there. And since I had found my cheese, the fact that they didn't have cheese supports the "Conservation of Cheese" theory that cheese can be neither created nor destroyed.
April 06, 2002
And another class is selected...
The Clarion West class of 2001 has an e-mail discussion listserv, and one of my classmates (Ling) let us know today that the new class has started setting up its own web site. She found this out by looking at who was linking to *her* webpages, and discovered that one of her pages was linked to by the new CW2002 page. (Note that I'm not all *that* bitter that they haven't linked to *my* page. :-)
You can see the new CW2002 page here: http://members.aol.com/dderovich/clarion/index.htm
I see there's another Seattlite who used to live in Philly joining this years class. Who also left his prior job in August. Who is also in his mid-thirties. Wacky. Then again, he seems to have liked Philadelphia, whereas I found living in Philly about as appealing as Rosanne Barr. [shudder]
So far, this year's group looks every bit as diverse and interesting as our group was. There's still a few more classmates to be determined, I think. (I'm not part of the admissions process, but the CW2002 site itself only lists ten or so people in the class.)
I have to admit, I'm feeling the same sort of mixed pangs that I felt the September following graduation from Cornell (and the sort of pangs I did *not* feel after leaving grad school at UPenn): some nostalgia, some sense that "I should be there, too", relief that I'm *not* going to be there, and a sense of moving forward. That as a new class comes in, I now take the next step from being a member of the current class to being an alum, with the new responsibilities that that entails.
Along those lines, by the way, I'll mention that I've currently got two short stories out there under consideration, and I hope to get the novel out by the end of April. More on that soon....
I look forward to meeting them, and I wish the CW class of 2002 all the best!
The title of the upcoming James Bond movie is stupid beyond belief. I'd like to suggest some alternative James Bond titles:
* Die Noon
* The Dying Game
* Rose Dead
* The Hunt for Dead October
* The Thin Dead Line
* Die Honey, I'm Home
* Fast Times at Ridgemont Die
Of course, you heard that the producers of the James Bond franchise sued to stop the producers of the Austin Powers franchise from using the title "Austin Powers in Goldmember" for the movie that's coming out later this year because... well, just because, I guess. Too similar to the other James Bond titles, or too nasty, or something. The MPAA heard the appeal, and then ruled that the "Goldmember" title was "inadmissable"... not on the grounds of being to similar to previous James Bond titles, but because it's just plain naughty. Never mind the James Bond movie "Octopussy".
Well, in keeping with the theme, here's a brief list of other Austin Powers titles I'd like to see:
* License to Shag
* You Only Shag Twice
* Thunderball Buster
* On Her Majesty's Secret Cervix
* Squid Naughty Bits
Clearly, I'm overtired. Time for bed.
April 09, 2002
This year is most certainly the year of the sequel when it comes to movies. I can't think of a single year in movie history when we have seen so much attention being devoted to sequels and series. Should we also count remakes in the mix? I can understand why there are so many, however. They're proven commodities. I, for one, hope to catch a lot of the sequels coming out this year.
So far, the sequels and series have been your standard fare, best represented by Blade 2. (I haven't seen either the original or the sequel.) But coming soon to a theater near you are some pretty big players (well, and then there's Spy Kids...):
* Star Wars II (the fifth movie in the series)
* Charlie's Angels 2 (the second movie in the series)
* Men in Black 2
* Stuart Little 2
* Austin Powers 3 (I wonder if they've come up with a title for this one yet)
* Spy Kids 2 (Why in the world are they doing a sequel of this one?)
* James Bond 20: Die Another Day
* Harry Potter 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
* Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers
* Star Trek X: Nemesis
The sequel to The Matrix (called "The Matrix Reloaded") was originally planned to be released this year, but has been delayed.
Has there *ever* been a year of sequels/series like this?
Between sequel-itis in the publishing industry and the movie industry, New York and Hollywood are making it tough for original stories to get out there.
...and I'm making the problem worse every time I go see these sequels. Ouch.
April 10, 2002
So, according to an online entertainment "news" article about Austin Powers 3, it looks like they may end up using the original title "Austin Powers in Goldmember."
More to the point, they listed some of the titles that the movie studio had been considering as a replacement, and many of the items I'd put on my list of stupid alternates were also on their stupid list. Go figure.
Note: I'd also considered "Live and Let Shag," but decided it was too obvious. :-)
April 12, 2002
Connie Willis is the author of numerous award-winning books, novellas, and short stories. She has won more Hugo and Nebula awards for writing than any other author. And she's going to be speaking at the Write Out Loud! kick-off event in Redmond, WA on Saturday, April 20th. That's just a week away.
Why am I bothering to mention this on my website?
Well, a few reasons. First of all, I've seen Connie at a reading once before last summer, and she was amazing. Very funny, very entertaining. Anyone who has a chance to catch this performance on the 20th should make a point of being there.
The other reason for mentioning it is that Connie was one of my instructors at Clarion West last summer. She taught during the infamous "Week 4", notorious for being the week that breaks so many Clarionites in two unless there's a good instructor to hold it all together. :-)
The other other reason I menion this is that I am emceeing the event. This is certainly the highest profile public speaking gig I've had since I was the marching band announcer for a Buffalo Bills game in 1990. (Of course, that's going to be tough to top.)
Now, admittedly, I'm one of the organizers of this event (the other, other, other reason I mention it), so I guess there isn't that much mystery about how I became the emcee this time. (Whereas, I *wasn't* one of the organizers of the Buffalo Bills.) Still, I'm excited by the prospect. Connie is just a joy to listen to, and Nisi Shawl, the guest interviewer, is also excellent at making a Q & A session come alive.
If you're anywhere in the greater Seattle area and are interested in attending, you can visit www.rasp.cc to purchase tickets, or you can get the tickets at the door. Show starts at 7pm, so you may want to get there a little early if you plan to buy tickets at the door.
There will be a reception and book signing after the talk. Hope to see you there!
April 14, 2002
So, how do you correctly spell "apocalypse" anyway? I don't have time to look it up.
Regardless, a friend of mine has identified one of the four Horsemen of the Apopsicle. It's me. Buying a Wintel machine for the first time in my life.
That's right. April 13th, 2002 is a day that will go down in infamy. I bought a computer with a -- gasp -- Pentium chip inside.
And that ain't all the changes happening around here...
April 24, 2002
The complaint is that I haven't been writing here terribly often... and/or, that what I've been writing lately is L-A-M-E. I must plead guilty on both counts. I shall post more meatiness here shortly.
As it is, for the time being, I'm off to the doctor's office. I am not a fan of doctor's offices, esp. as my medical insurance people keep switching my "Primary Care Physician"... presumablly because each succeeding doctor keeps dropping them as a health insurance company that they deal with. Getting to know new doctors is a royal pain, and it keeps you from developing any sense of rapport or trust with your physician.
This past week or so, I've been experiencing vertigo whenever I change the position of my head relative to the ground. Although I've encountered these symptoms from time to time over the past ten years, this is the worst I've had it since the first time I experienced them, back when I was in grad school. There, I was treated by the worst that student health services could provide, where the doctor (attending? intern? whatever) essentially shrugged, said "um, I dunno", opined that maybe I had a virus, and then prescribed me antibiotics and sent me on my way.
Antibiotics, I am given to understand, are not useful for treating virii.
Anyway, the symptoms did eventually go away that time, and they've only recurred a couple times since, and only mildly. Now, they're back in full force. This began while I was planning this big event featuring Connie Willis here in town. Connie, like others, suggested that I see a doctor. So, I'm seeing a doctor. This one doesn't know for sure the cause either, but at least he doesn't shrug and say, "I dunno," and give me a prescription.
Perhaps this dizziness is just a mild side-effect of being blonde.
April 28, 2002
My work on the novel has resumed.
"But, wait!" You say. "Weren't you done?"
I completed the first draft in February. My intention was to get feedback quickly from a few readers who would receive the entire manuscript, then I'd turn around and make improvements as best I could and ship off the first three chapters by the end of March.
And as is so often the case, one deadline slid into the next, and a month and a half slid by with no action on the novel. First, I was waiting on feedback. Then, I had commitments that slowed me down in digesting the feedback. Then there was getting ready for the Connie Willis event, and then this whole disequilibrium thing (inner-ear balance stuff), and then, the dog ate my schedule. Etc., etc.
Today (Saturday, not Sunday), I finally resumed real work on the novel. Not puttering around work, but the real nitty gritty. I have a solid plan, and a solid deadline. The first three chapters go out on May 15th, no matter how many of my planned improvements to the book I am able to incorporate by then.
I want to thank those of you who have been gently (or not-so-gently) prodding me over the past few weeks to keep the fire lit under this project. The biggest boost has been, and remains, the fact that there are no fewer than *three* television series currently in development for the coming Fall season that are based on a similar premise. As I noted earlier, one of them even shares the same title as my original title for this project. At the same time, an award-winning novel with a similar premise (and a better title than mine) has recently been re-released (it had gone out of print a couple years ago).
It's daunting to consider the possibility that my novel could be viewed as "been there, done that" by the time it comes out. But it's also reassuring to know that the basic premise is sound enough to capture the attention of so many in the industry. Perhaps the timing is right for this kind of novel. Still, it's far better to get this out there now, while the idea's hot. I've already let my deadline slide from January to February to March to May 15th. I can't let it slide any further.
So I won't. The work has resumed with the throttle at full.
Wish me success!
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