So those who have been hanging around here for at least a year may remember The Event, my six-part writeup of what happened when I had a small (~3mm), undetected (as they usually are) cerebral aneurysm rupture (as they usually don’t). A few days after the rupture I underwent an emergency coiling procedure to basically stuff the aneurysm with tiny platinum steel wool, thus making my noggin slightly more valuable than it had been previously.
As I’m sure most readers are aware, I also run The Oceanside Animals blog (formerly Dennis’s Diary of Destruction). Proving the truth of the admonition never to work with children or animals, because they will steal all the scenes in which they appear, their blog has always been much more popular than this one, but every once in awhile, they share their fame with me. This week, I got to tag along with them on their Sunday Awards and Meme Show, when they were given the Liebster Award and I got tagged for it as well. Naturally most of the space in the post is devoted to Charlee, Chaplin, and Lulu, but I got to answer a few questions too. The show is reproduced here in its entirety with the kind permission of their agent.
Over the past several years, after Dennis the Vizsla Dog became a little old man dog, he got in the habit of being noisy in the evenings, loudly complaining via barks and whines that he wanted everyone to stop watching television and go to bed at, oh, 8pm* or so. To an extent, this could be managed with things like the Treat & Train or simply by the occasional tossing of treats (which Hipster Chaplin thought was wonderful, because he was faster than Dennis at that point, with a better nose). Another way this was managed: Putting on subtitles for everything we watched. Because if you can’t listen, you can always read.
So this week I was reading Range of Ghosts, an epic fantasy by Elizabeth Bear, which — unlike most epic fantasies I’ve read — is set in what appears to be an analogue of the Mongolian steppes rather than an analogue of Western Europe, which is enough all on its own to make it interesting. Fortunately I also enjoyed the story.
So those who are familiar with the sorts of other things I’ve done “not a review” entries on, not to mention the sorts of things I write, and who also are familiar with the show Preacher* on AMC, will likely not be surprised to learn that I’ve never missed a single episode of that unhinged horror/comedy/fantasy/bizarro-land production.
It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection (and some acceptance) letters, so this week I spun up random.org to have it tell me which folder I should reach into. It selected folder I-J, from which I pulled an old contract from Hard Shell Word Factory (now an imprint of Mundania Press, home of some oddly specific genre categorizations), for the eBook rights to Night Watchman. “Hard Shell Word Factory” doesn’t belong in the I-J folder, of course, but, you know, sometimes things get misfiled. But anyway, I picked it, so here it is. Rather than reproducing all umpteen pages of the eBook contract, I thought I would just pull a few selected sections from it, which may serve as an interesting illumination of how the eBook world has changed since the year 2000 (or, as we called it back in those panic-stricken days, “Y2K”).
I don’t often do awards on this blog, because Dennis gets them all reasons, but recently my friend Sharkbytes of My Quality Day gave Dennis me a Liebster award. Also known as Joan D. Young, She is the author of the Dead Mule Swamp series of small-town mysteries, and her late vizsla, Maggie, was Dennis’s longtime blog friend. Naturally Dennis snagged the award and proceeded to put on a Sunday Awards and Meme Show in his inimitable style, and while I can’t compete with his showmanship, I thought I would go ahead and post the award and answer the questions.
So last week, I posted an ancient report card progress report and mentioned that when I played the clarinet, our dog, Miss Marple (AKA “Missy”), would plant herself in front of me and howl. I further mentioned that it was too bad there was no video because it probably would have made us―or at least Missy―Internet stars. Well, there’s still no video, but since my dad knows where all his pictures are, there is, at least, photographic evidence:
These days, I do nearly all my reading on an e-reader, currently an InkBook Obsidian, but I do on occasion return to the dead tree books of yore. Typically this will be because someone gave or loaned me said dead tree edition. Such was the case with Dune, which, being a door-stopper of a book, I eventually bought in e-form so I wouldn’t have to fight with it when reading at lunch; and such is the case with the Nero Wolfe books, which my father sent to me in a box a while back. I’ve read them all before, but now I’m reading them again, because who doesn’t like to spend some time visiting old friends? The one I’m currently into is Plot it Yourself, in which Wolfe goes up against a con artist with a fondness for pretending that popular novels are plagiarisms of his or her own work, and also for knives.