Return of the Rewrite

In a way, I understand ol' George Lucas... Okay, maybe not his necessity for gangly, scene-stealing space aliens with Jamaican accents...

And, all right, also not leading men who whine and sulk more the whole cast of Toddlers and Tiaras when the airbrush machine clogs...

And yes, definitely not making the lead female fall in love with said sulky-whiny guy, when we all know she was babysitting him, like, two years before... Wiping his nose when he got Endor Sinus and changing his sheets when they got all Dagobah from too many juice boxes before bed.

I mean, I don't get any of that. But I do I understand George's need to rewrite his own film history.

A couple of years ago, I'd done a short story using two of the characters from my humorous sci-fi series. I wrote it, rewrote it, re-rewrote, ran out of re-'s, took a break, bought more, re-re-rewrote it, put the bag of re-'s away for a rainy day, and finally, I was happy with it.

Then I put it on this blog. I shared it with the masses. And all seemed well in this part of space.

Until... (picture that "Until..." in yellow letters, sailing out into the distant galaxy) I stumbled across the story again and I realized that when it came to the tale's quality, I had been more delusional than Baby Jane dancing on the beach in her frillies.

I mean, my God, I called that a sentence? And what was I doing with adverbs exactly, collecting them for resale like Beanie Babies? Plus, I had more Exposition than Comicon!


It is both wondrous and galling to discover that the one thing that shows true learning and personal growth over time is the same thing you look back on and want to bury in a deep, sandy hole inhabited by a hungry space worm.

So I get you, George. You can't change everything, so you make the little tweaks. And more little tweaks.

But eventually, we all have to to let it go and move on. I spent two days editing to the best of my current skills and now, once again I must let it float with the yellow lettering. (The story is here, if you want to check it out.)

I just hope if I meet it again in twenty years, it's held up all right. And not trying to wear a metal bikini.

Folks who have already read The Purloined Number will understand why a friend drew my attention to this photo and said, "It's happening, but with Nine." :)

Hope everyone has a good Wednesday. And that all your numbers are in order and your floors are right where they should be. :)

Context is Everything -or- I Might Be Eating Dog Treats

Marketing. I do this for a day job. So my off-duty brain is always making note of how products are positioned, what packaging looks like, and the estimated public tolerance duration for Office Camels asking Life's Great Questions like, "Anybody know what day it is?"

But I admit, a recent trip to the grocery store had my marketing brain flummoxed. Because in the Giant Eagle supermarket, in the pet food aisle, was a very unexpected display. 

Now, normally, these free-standing bins contain colorful rawhide chews... new cat food flavors described in the same manner as five-star restaurant specials... or lint rollers because--well, you haven't seen my house, but... lint rollers. 

But instead, in this small cardboard shelf--right by the refrigerator case containing products for the dog who gets back to his wolf heritage by buying prepackaged single-serving beef options as they did in the Old World when they ran out of grandmothers--here was a box of whole grain air popped crackers that came in Cheese or Barbecue. 

The chip aisle was several rows away. 

I was drawn to examine the box more closely. "Supergrains!" it told me. 

"3.5 grams of fat per serving!" it proclaimed.

"Dare," read the brand. 

So I did. Because it's so rare to find a snack that meets my very narrow dietary restrictions. Plus it didn't mention anything about "promoting a shiny, healthy coat" or being "excellent for teeth and gums," though, I'd be up for that, too.

So I now I have officially tried these Breton Popped Supergrain Crackers, and the verdict? 

Let's just say, if these are dog biscuits, you can call me "Lassie." They're delicious. And I plan to pick up another box today...

Well, right after I bury a few things and sniff some people.

Duty first, you know.

Dusty Doodly Disasters, Googley Groupy Goodness and Snowy Sequestering

In my hand, I have a mixed bag of stuff to share-- sort of like when I help out at the grocery checkout and hastily stuff the eggs and leaky shampoo in the same bag as a crisp, sparkly greeting card.

I'll start with the informative stuff first. For any of you folks who are on GooglePlus, my There Goes the Galaxy series now has its own page:

Circle it there, and you'll get regular updates on book progress, general story and character discussions... whatever propels your Intergalactic Cruise Vessel.

Second item: I bet you're wondering what the heck that image is up at the top of the page. That is an illustration I'd tried to do about 15 years ago, by drawing with a mouse on my computer in a paint program. It was for a There Goes the Galaxy sequel book that was SO BAD-- ("How bad was it?")-- it was SO BAD it had to be stabbed, shot, hung, drawn, quartered and dragged behind a horse in little bits just to make sure it was dead.

BUT I figured some of you might enjoy getting to see my inept renderings of Bertram (featured in his borrowed Popeelie cloak), Xylith and Rollie. So happiness and purpose abide!

Lastly: given the crappy weather predicted to descend upon us this weekend, I plan to hide away working on the last book in the trilogy. The benefit to it being so cold even the SnowMiser buys a ticket to Miami is that I can actually get some fiction work done. (Read that as: "My cats can sit between me and the keyboard and edit me.")

What are you folks up to this weekend? Anything good?

De-Motivational Posters, Science Fiction Style

It's a very backspace planet we live on, here on Earth. Our tiny minds have no concept of the trials and tribulations faced by higher lifeforms in the Greater Communicating Universe (GCU)...

Until now. :)

Today, I thought I'd just share with you a few demotivational (unmotivational? not-at-all-with-the-motivation?) posters I'd played around with recently, using quotes and ideas from my There Goes the Galaxy books. Aside from the water photos, which were taken by me during some extra-planetary travel (y'know, Florida), the others are courtesy of NASA's Hubble telescope photo archives, which are not only breathtaking, but royalty-free! Hurray!

This quote was a request from a reader of the series, and it comes from the second book, The Purloined Number...

One of my favorites from There Goes the Galaxy, in one of its interstellar marketing advice chapters...

From The Purloined Number, courtesy of my character, Underworld adventurer, Captain Rolliam Tsmorlood...

Also from Rollie...

From There Goes the Galaxy's mystics, the Seers of Rhobux-7...

One last bit of advice from Rollie Tsmorlood...

Now, if you'd like to share any of the images above, please go ahead. I just ask that you not edit them; leave them in their natural state. Like a, um, unpickled cucumber. Or that kid from college you remember who didn't believe in hygiene products.

Have a great rest of your Thursday!

Howdy, Strangers!

Greetings, friends! And long time, no see! I've been away for ages due to a 330-some page baby called The Purloined Number. It's the second humorous sci-fi book in my There Goes the Galaxy trilogy, and it pretty well sucked the time from my days and the energy from my blogging fingers. But on the plus side, it was great fun to write and I'm really happy with the direction the characters have taken.

My friend, Dave White, did this cover as well--and I think he outdid himself. I mean... LOOK at the spacely awesomeness! The man was making planets, fer Pete's sake—and then, on the seventh day he rested and ordered delivery.

Anyway, the book came out in paperback in late September, and in ebook versions in early October. It's on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online and Smashwords, if you're curious and want to take a gander.

So far, the reviews are pretty stellar.

That out of the way, I'm hoping to get back to updating this site more often now, while I work on the final There Goes the Galaxy book. (The one jokingly called: There Goes the Galaxy: No Fraggin' Title Yet.)

Hope things have been well for you all, and I look forward to getting to interact with you again!