An Interview, Reviews, and an update on the war of the Worms

A quick update!

I’m on the Thursday Interview this week, as of April 24!  http://the-thursday-interview.blogspot.ie/

Now you know why they don’t let me out in public often.

Some great reviews hitting Amazon and Goodreads!  I tagged a couple of them onto the page to the right.

And good news in the war on Cankerworms.  It appears we may be surviving the onslaught for another year.  Their numbers are finally in decline.  We have breaches in the Tholian webs around the house, and there are too few to hold the hounds back further.

A special shout out to the Oak Tree local squirrels team for their help in holding back the tide from the trees in the front yard.

 

A war of inches

As I sit here south of Charlotte, we cannot be sure if the rest of the world exists, or if we are all that is left.  The insidious beasts have beset our little town, and yea the region under siege.  Sure, we have seen them come before, but we have managed to beat them back.  This year they come in greater numbers, as if to say this time we shall be victorious.  We shall win over the giant beasts no matter how many of they slaughter.

Am I speaking of zombies?  No!  We might welcome them, as long as they were the slow variety.  Vampires?  Nay.  These beasties roam day and night.

I am speaking of the most insidious of all.  Cankerworms.

These tiny creatures have invaded en-masse.  They spin down and hang from their solitary webs like tiny ninjas, waiting to pounce onto your shoulder as you go by.  they spin Tholian webs around the house covering doors, windows, cars, trees, and shrubberies.

For those who know not of this unspeakable horror, these are… inchworms.  The cute and adorable little buggers that have featured in so many cartons.  Their true form spreads and stripping bare almost anything in sight.

One would have thought our unusually cold winter would have thinned their ranks, but instead it appears only the strong have survived.  And oh how many made it through.  I hit one directly with Sevin Dust.  He snorted it and asked for more.

Okay, melodrama over.  I’m tired of the worms.  Back to work.  Gotta pay the bills.  Gotta write.  Gotta edit.

I need a nap.

A new review and a product spokesman! Sorta.

Happy Tuesday!

I’m back from the Rural Hill Celtic Festival and Loch Norman Highland games.  It’s always good to catch up with friends after a long winter.

In any case, I had not been there long when a friend of mine walked over and and told me a little story.  To quote,

“You know, I have this friend.

And he dated this lovely woman for a long time.

Last year, they FINALLY get married.

And then the next thing I know, he’s written a book ‘BOUND AND HAGGED!'”

I said “Yes, yes I did.  I started the first page when we were on our honeymoon.”

(Selfless plug:  http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Hagged-Summonings-James-McDonald-ebook/dp/B00JDWNNN2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397570083&sr=1-1&keywords=bound+and+hagged)

So in thanks, welcome Doug my new product spokesman!

My spokesman!

He’s gonna read it.  Really.

But I did get good feedback from his wife, who kept looking for hints about the next one.

Thanks to everyone who is reading out there!

 

What is humor? Why are things ‘funny?’

So I went out to grab a quick bite this morning, and was already in the door. I was loading up at the caffeine station (next to the door) when an older lady was trying to walk in, and a twenty something was leaving. The older lady scowled, and the young one smiled and held the door. The older lady stood in the middle of the narrow path and scowled a little more, and the young one smiled a little bigger.

It became a bit of a standoff to figure out who would move first. The scowling queen and the princess. (And Disney, if you make this into a film, I’m looking for my cut.) So I of course, stopped to watch. the more the princess smiled, the more the queen scowled. It looked like something related to laws of inverse proportions.

So I of course did something totally inappropriate. It struck me funny and I laughed. Not too loud, but enough they both looked at me. Which meant I snickered a little more and moved on. Apparently that was enough to break the standoff, and the scowler pranced through the door, and the princess smiled, took her coffee and bagel, and went to wherever princesses go.

So I’m sitting down for my few minutes of quiet, and started debating humor. Now I have a sick sense of humor, and I embrace it. And if someone gets a laugh out of whatever stupidity I may have just committed, so be it. You can only take yourself so seriously.

So one of my favorite descriptions for humour is that it comes from a benign violation of the way the world ought to be. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/media/releases/2010/mcgraw.cfm

I agree with this… almost. It’s the word benign I question. So I grabbed this handy definition:

be·nign

[bih-nahyn] Show IPA

adjective

1. having a kindly disposition; gracious: a benign king.

2. showing or expressive of gentleness or kindness: a benign smile.

3. favorable; propitious: a series of benign omens and configurations in the heavens.

4. (of weather) salubrious; healthful; pleasant or beneficial.

5. Pathology . not malignant; self-limiting.

So maybe its just my previously referenced sick sense of humor, but I can’t be the only one. My wife is at least as twisted, just in different directions.

For example, in the Avengers, ***spoiler alert*** in one scene, the Hulk grabs Loki and treats him like a rag doll slamming him into pretty much unbroken piece in range. At the end of it, Loki is embedded in the floor, and lets out a slight cry, and the Hulk says “Puny god.”

Okay, I may have had to rewind and re-watch that scene no more than 200-250 times, but was that benign? I know I’m not the only one who found it hysterical (see reference to sick and twisted wife. I was ready to stop after watching it @ 100 times.) But if that had been a puppy, it would neither have benign, nor funny. So did the act of Loki trying to destroy New York make the act benign?

I’m a big fan of the work of Rick Gualtieri and the Tome of Bill series. http://www.poptartmanifesto.com/ Funny yes. Benign? Um, no. No way in hell, no.

I think a lot of what we see and find funny is about context. It’s the reaction of the normal person to unusual circumstances, and how they deal with it. In my own work, I have Melvin, an angel and a muse. He is not malevolent, but he certainly is not benign, waiting for the universe to end and start again. However, he does bring popcorn.

I guess, for me, it’s more important to be able to laugh at yourself. If you can’t, someone else will do it for you. I will, given the opportunity. And then I’ll trip over my own feet.

 

What do you think is funny?

schrodinger

And before sending hate mail, read:  http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Taking-Jokes-Seriously

 

Mistrials and Tribulations

Book 2 of Home Summonings has been drafted for about a month, and I’m about a third of the way into the draft of book 3, Unbound and Determined.  The process I’m working through is that once I finish Book #3, I’ll re-edit book 2 so that its had a little time to percolate, and to make sure that my own writing still makes sense vs. whatever spewed out of my head the first time.

So I’ve been stuck for about a week on a decision for #3.  Either way I get to the same place (I think) but I’m feeling a little cruel.  I feel like I’m channeling a little George R. R. Martin and wanting a bloodbath.  It serves no useful purpose, other than maybe to get a little frustration out?

The joy of words, and the ability to delete them.

Or maybe it’s just the spring fever.

OK peeps that have read # 1, what do you think?

 

Motivations and musings

I’ve written off and on for most of my life, much of it work related, but I have always loved to read, which then triggers ideas to write.  Most of the fiction I have written in the past was for my own consumption as a tool to work through and process the scenarios I encounter through the day, whether it be for work, or just the things that strike me.

So, stories such as this come out:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mur-lafferty/top-10-us-cities-for-supe_b_5083901.html?utm_hp_ref=books

When I look at a list like this, I’m first amused that RTP  is on the list, but I know a few people around there that certainly qualify.

More importantly, I see articles like this from WIRED.  I start thinking through about what happened to the library?  What was in there?  What if it suddenly just reappeared?  What would change in our understandings of the world?

And then from April Fools articles, It’s hard to reset the sundial in the mists.

The best part of writing fiction is the ability to take even the most absurd happenings, even in the real media, and play with it.  The good thing is that I have plenty of source material.  Keep contributing to my sick sense of humor people.

There's madness to my methods… oh wait…