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14 March 2012 @ 12:38 pm
So I don't make a secret of the fact that I'm a grammar/punctuation snob. I can't help it. Something inside me just curls up and dies every time I see a misplaced apostrophe or errant comma. But today as I was munching on some Grippo's "Bar-B-Q" chips I thought as how nothing gripes me any more than the infinite number of ways people have come up with to slaughter the word "barbecue." Some folks get rid of the last two-thirds of the word (as on the Grippo's bag) and spell it "Bar-B-Q." And then there are those who throw out "BBQ," like they're so confused by the different spellings that they throw up their hands and say to hell with it. But even "BBQ" is less offensive than the ubiquitous "barbeque." I see that one everywhere, even on the menus of "fine-dining" establishments which should know better. Want to see me spontaneously implode? Show me a sign that says "YOUR GOING TO LUV OUR BARBEQUE!" Make sure it has an anthropomorphic pig on it wearing a plaid shirt, holding a spatula, and preferrably in a chef's hat. (Boy, you should see all the red when I ran this entry through spell-check!)
29 February 2012 @ 12:01 pm
Spring break is just around the corner, and that means vacation plans! This year we're going on our first Disney cruise. I couldn't be more excited! Well, actually, yes I could. Being the perfectionist I am, I of course will worry about every small detail. What if one of us forgets a passport? What if I don't bring enough cash? What if I run out of clean underwear? I probably won't really relax until we're on the ship. This will be a much-needed trip, and a graduation present to both of our kids, so I'm hoping I can put aside the anal controlling me and bring out the fun-loving side that likes to annoy his kids with his Goofy imitation. In any event, bring it on!! I am so ready to escape winter and head to the sea!
21 February 2012 @ 02:24 pm
So... I'm thinking seriously about giving up this whole writer thing. I have been writing seriously now for 30 years. 30 years, nine novels, countless short stories... all met with rejection. I really think it's time to give up. But part of me is terrified to let go of the dream. Because if and when I do I won't have anything in life to look forward to. Even a small bit of hope is still hope. Right? I've also thought about starting on a new project. Maybe I need to take a break from Brock Ford for a while. But I've got no other ideas in my head. Everything for the past 10 years has centered around the Brock Ford books. Everything. And the thing is, I still believe in those stories. I still believe they have merit, and that there is an audience for them. I don't want to delude myself; I know the possibility of ever supporting myself solely through my writing is slim, but it's still a possibility. Maybe.
29 December 2011 @ 08:02 am
Well, it's been several years since I posted here. A lot has been happening on the writing front these days, so I hope to be more active with my blog. I'll make it short and sweet today, but I hope everyone is having a great holiday season with family and friends!
30 July 2006 @ 04:52 pm
Well, I knew eventually it would happen.

Last week I reached a milestone - the big 4-0. I have to admit, although I've never thought much about birthdays or aging, this one hit me hard. In a world where the average lifespan is 75, it's a sobering thought to wake up and realize your life is half over.

I celebrated by mowing the lawn. And the sun was so warm and the air felt so good, I took off my shirt. I didn't worry about what the neighbors thought of my floppy belly or my hairy back. I just wanted to feel the sun and wind on my skin. I thought, you know, I'm forty, and I don't really care. And that was a really good thought.

Thursday I gave myself a gift - LASIK surgery. I've been wearing glasses and contacts since 1987, and now that the technology is so advanced, I decided the time was right. Thursday morning I had my consultation with Dr. Ming Wang in Nashville, and by 11:30 I was in the laser room. Fifteen minutes later I was out and heading home. This has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I'm seeing with a clarity of vision I haven't had since I was a teenager, even with contacts. It's like looking at a whole new world.

So look out, forties! This little fat hairy guy is coming right at ya, and now I can see where I'm going!
24 June 2006 @ 06:15 pm
OK, so I'm one of those old fogies who was a die-hard hand-drawn animation fan. I never could quite connect with computer animation. It seemed. . . cold somehow, and lifeless. In fact, I stayed away from Disney's "Chicken Little" because it was officially the end of their hand-drawn animated movies.

However, now it is time to eat crow. I reluctantly went to see "Cars" last weekend, and I have to say it has completely changed my outlook on computer animation. "Cars" has brought the animated movie to a level of realism I don't think existed before. The play of light on the car bodies, the clouds of dust in a field, the splash of tires through mud puddles - nothing like this could ever be done the old-fashioned way. Hand-drawn animation may be dying out, but if the future of animation is as bright as what I saw in "Cars," that may not be such a bad thing.

Oh, yeah, the story was good, too.
22 December 2005 @ 11:47 am
Hope the Holiday Season is extra-special for you!
25 November 2005 @ 08:03 am
Well, yesterday was Thanksgiving.  I hope you were able to spend time with friends and family and to reflect on all the good in your life.  We had a great feast at Tracy's mom's, and her cousin Sharon and her family came in from Nashville to help us eat it all. 

Sharon's daughter Cindy is a hoot!  She's a youth minister at a huge church.  I love talking to her.  She is so funny and intelligent. 

Today is the biggest shopping day of the year.  I haven't decided whether or not I'm going anywhere.  I don't really know if I've got the nerve.  I've only had this day off about three times in the past 20 years, so I'm really just looking forward to taking it easy and maybe getting some writing done.  Tracy, her mom, and Michelle are heading out later; I hope they don't hurt anybody!

Tomorrow we're having dinner at my mom's, so the eating just never stops.  It will be this way until New Year's.  There goes any chance I had of trying to get my weight down any time soon!

Speaking of writing, the new novel is going slowly, but I have quite a few ideas floating around.  The problem I'm having at the moment is that I have too darn many subplots going on.  This book could easily top 600 pages.  I'm going to have to tighten it up a bit more, and maybe start cutting.  I don't want the reader to get lost in details.  As I've mentioned before, a lot of writers today don't seem to be able to edit themselves very well - cough,  Dean Koontz, cough cough.  You don't need a half a page detailing how a character turns on the computer.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
19 November 2005 @ 07:50 am
If you have not heard of writer James Lileks, you are missing some of the most intelligent humor on the web.  Mr. Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  His daily columns can be accessed via the BackFence.  You can also read his daily blog entries at his website.  You can find them listed under Today's Bleat.  But the real meat of his humor can be found in his three hilarious books, The Gallery of Regrettable Food, Interior Desecrations, and his latest, Mommy Knows Worst.  Mr. Lileks' humor can be a bit adult at times, so if you're prudish or under 18, you might want to steer clear.

I received "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" one year for Christmas.  I read it in one sitting.  And I laughed so hard I was hit with coughing fits and my wife threatened to take the book away from me.  I check the website every so often to see what's been updated (pictures and such), and it's always good for wasting about an hour of my time.

I even sent a fan e-mail to Mr. Lileks not long ago.  I attached a picture of  my mother which I ran across while scanning old photos.  It was so much like something you would see on his site.  I hope he got a kick out of it.

Do you have any favorite artists or authors?  Have you ever written a fan letter?  What did it say?
16 October 2005 @ 07:18 am
Well, my vacation is over again.  Tomorrow I go back to work.  It's been really nice this week, getting up early every morning and writing until I'm spent.  I got quite a bit done on my new novel this week, so I believe the rest of it should go fairly quickly.  It's quite a departure from Brock Ford, so we'll see what happens.

Brad and I went to Kings Island last weekend.  It's a big amusement park outside of Cincinnati.  I'm posting some pictures here so you can see what fun we had!

Kings Island was all decorated for Halloween.  Here Brad stands in front of the entrance to "Sleepy Hollow."

"Wings" is one of my favorite classic silent movies.  This spot is at the "Wings" restaurant which serves ribs.

Nothing says "Family Fun" quite like a row of crucified corpses.

We had a great time, and Brad is already planning our next trip.