Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In other news, I'm sick. Just a cold (I think), but it has me feeling droopy and drowsy and other dr- words that I can't think of right now. Too bad, since it's Halloween and all. But I'll still suck it up and head out with Tomas this evening to go to a Halloween party and do some trick or treating. He's very excited--he's going to be a cat. I'm going to be a librarian. Or a father. Or Eeyore. Depending on how I feel.
Writing's going well. Ichabod isn't nearly as bad as I feared it might be. The first Act was a beast to revise, but I flew through Act 2, and I'm well into Act 3 now. I know the climax has issues, but I think I might get this book done sometime in November. Then I'll be needing some new readers to give me a final verdict before I put the finishing touches on and send it off to the agent. I'll likely see if there are any victims--I mean, volunteers--here at my library, but are any of you interested? Just give me a holler.
Friday, October 26, 2007
And in Mouse Wars:
Things looked good on the home front for the past few days. D-Con and glue traps had wrecked havoc on the rodent horde, decimating their numbers and demoralizing them into submission. But just before I could dress up in a flight suit and stroll across the porch with a big "Mission Accomplished" sign hanging behind me, the mice launched a counter-offensive last night, holding what can only be described as a "Mouse Orgy" in the ceiling above my bedroom. There were scrabblings and scratchings going left and right at 3 in the morning. Of course, this only invoked the wrath of Denisa, a wrath no mammal wants to incur. Even as we speak, she's preparing for a new attack.
Many mouse families will be crying tonight, and I shall feed on their tears, for they shall be sweet.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Bill Murray, Stephen King, H.G. Wells, Chuck Jones, Jerry Bruckheimer and Ethan Coen all share my birthday, which made me start wondering if we aren't predisposed to liking the work of people who share our birthday. Then I saw that Nicole Richie has the same birthday, too. So much for that hypothesis.
Sir Walter Scott died on my birthday.
In honor of my birth, countries around the world celebrate. It's the International Day of Peace, International Day Against Alzheimer's, International Banana Festival, and Independence Day in Malta, Belize and Armenia. So perhaps millions of people celebrate my birth each year. I'll never feel lonely at a birthday party again, because I'll know that somewhere, some people in Belize are blowing stuff up (or doing whatever they do to celebrate).
Events of note to happen on my birthday:
The angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith
The Hobbit was published
The "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus" article was published in the New York Sun
So. What cool things happened on YOUR birthday?
Monday, October 22, 2007
2. We have killed 9 mice so far. We are winning the battles, and we will win the war. Like Russia beating back Napoleon, sooner or later, the weather will be on our side. Winter shall severely hamper the mice supply lines, whereas human reinforcements can continue unabated, thanks to the help of local hardware stores and Walmart.
3. It's in the seventies outside today, with a pure blue sky, and the air is full of autumn.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Click here to be taken to library goodness.
In other news, I've re-started my rewrite of Ichabod, since it wasn't quite working for me. I'm happy to say that the restart is going nicely, and I'm much more pleased with the project. Life has been busy, and I don't get to work on my writing as much as I'd like, but I still get to work on it every day, and I'm making progress, slowly but surely.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I think fantasy writers have done the world a great disservice. Books and movies alike, it’s all the same. Mice are presented as cute and cuddly little things that sing and dance and have a blast doing mousy things. Think about it. In film we have things like Mickey Mouse, An American Tail, Cinderella, The Great Mouse Detective, The Rats of N.I.M.H., Ratatouille, Flushed Away. Literature has Stuart Little, the Redwall series, David Farland’s Of Mice and Magic. All full of mice singing and dancing and carousing. Anything in film or literature that might put the little critters in danger is shown as being inherently evil. Evil nasty cats, mean rats, exterminators, wicked scientists. Well you know what?
Mice don’t sing or dance. They get into your basement and eat your potatoes. They carry disease and pestilence. They make scratchy noises in your walls and ceilings.
Whoever is writing about mice in pop culture clearly has never lived in a house full of them before. (Of course, there is Terry Pratchett’s wonderful The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, which does do a fairly accurate job of portraying how irritating rats can be. But it’s rats there—not mice.)
For those of you out there who have read Cavern of Babel, you’re probably thinking I’m hypocritical right now. I mean, even my LiveJournal avatar is based on Ozymandias, the prophet mouse in my book. But see, Ozzy isn’t a cute and cuddly mouse. No singing OR dancing. He’d never hesitate to irritate people however he could. And he’d also never get caught. It’s a fact of life that sometimes things that irritate you can also amuse you. Ozzy is proof of this.
Now, I’m not a mean person by nature. I’m fine with mice, as long as they stay where they belong. Field mice are called field mice, not house mice. But there are stupid field mice in my house, scrabbling around in the walls and ceiling and eating my potatoes.
These mice must die.
I am hereby declaring my war against mice. (This isn’t my first war on mice. There was an earlier round back when I was a missionary. The score then? Bryce 4, Mice 0. Take that as a lesson, mice!) I will trap them, poison them, shoot them—I don’t care how they die, just as long as they stop coming back into my house. If they all leave of their own volition, so much the better. But I’ll even buy a cat if I need to—and I have an extreme dislike of cats. Still, cats seem to be the “a-bomb” in the war on mice, and I don’t think that’s an option that should be removed from the table prematurely. Sometimes you have to make a deal with Stalin so you can take out Hitler. I’ve killed one mouse so far, and my wife is headed to the store today for reinforcements before we begin the main offensive. Before this war is over, there will be blood. Or exploded mouse stomachs, whichever is faster.
So fantasy writers out there—whether it’s books or screenplays or whatever—I hereby challenge you to stop writing a lie. Portray mice as they really are, in all their hellish horror. M-i-c . . . k-e-*snap!* No more cute and cuddly.
We have seen the enemy, and it is mouse.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Just not today.
Because I have wood to stack.
Consider yourself warned.
Monday, October 8, 2007
But I don't.
All I have to say about Columbus is, love him or hate him, he managed to get a holiday named after him, and that holiday is a day I get off from work. Today, I'm getting paid to organize my house and make rolls and cookies.
Thank you, Christopher Columbus.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
In other news, someone recommended this video to me, and I in turn am recommending it to you. It answers the age old question, "Where do the short pencils in libraries come from?"
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I can say that no more.
You see, I needed a driver's license. And to get that driver's license, I had to go to Mexico. I've heard a lot about the place over the years, and I have to say it was nothing like what I expected. For one thing, I always thought it was a country, not a city. And I thought it was south of the US. Nope. It's west of Farmington, Maine. And as for the food there, there was only one place that stood out--and that was called The Chicken Coop. No Mexican restaurants at all to speak of.
Still, the DMV in Mexico is very nice, and it wasn't long before I was finished. (Gotta love living in a place with few enough people that a trip to the DMV isn't a horrendous experience.)
Seriously, this part of the Maine has some wacky place names. Just check out this set of road signs.
See what I mean? Maybe next time I should keep going when I get to Mexico. It looks like China's only another 48 miles.