Pale Blue Dot

Phil Plait, over at Bad Astronomy, says that Carl Sagan’s essay, "Reflections on a Mote of Dust" (collected in Pale Blue Dot) ought to be required reading for every human being on the planet.  I agree, and add that this video, which combines Sagan’s beautiful essay with music and imagery, ought to be required viewing for all of us.

The video’s beneath the fold. Enjoy. Continue reading Pale Blue Dot

Zombie Elf Pics?

Although I have yet to find a good home for my short story, "Night of the Frozen Elf", it still has a special place in my heart.  I don’t suppose anyone out there can point me to a picture of a zombified Christmas elf that I can put on my home page?  I’ve hunted but I can’t seem to find one.


Okay, so I’ve decided that this year I’m going to officially sign up for NaNoEdMo, and use the time to finish up this current draft of The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster.  This isn’t quite what I had in mind for the year; I was planning on finishing up this draft in January, using February to write Part Two of The Return of Deacon Dread, and then use NaNoEdMo to begin the revisions on the finished first draft of Solitude.  But what the heck.  As long as I’m getting it done, that’s all that matters..

The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster has really taken over my life.  A few weeks ago, when I tried to do the weekend novel thing, characters from Solitude kept popping in and demanding scenes.  When I try writing short stories lately, all I can think about is the current scene in the novel.  I’ve got a couple of stories that are supposed to distract my inner editor with when it starts popping up its ugly head, but that little bugger has been pretty quiet these past few weeks.  I’m about 55,000 words into my rewrite, and I think I’ve got about 30,000 words to go.

Uh oh.  I wonder if a rewrite counts as part of the editing process for NaNoEdMo?

Meh.  Who cares?

My muse, Berthold, has been pretty talkative lately, which is annoying.  I’ve been reading a book about Genghis Khan lately, and Berthold is of the opinion that I could write some sort of story involving Khan, and possibly Christmas trees.  The book is fascinating so far; I had spent my life just thinking of Khan as a random barbarian leader, never considering the level of tactical and strategic brilliance the man had to possess in order to achieve what he did.

But Genghis Khan and Christmas trees?  You can see why I have a love/hate relationship with my muse.

In other news, I’ve continued messing around on my website, mostly learning how to better incorporate data objects with portable code, which helps me a lot with my job.  I’ve upgraded my blog software to WordPress 2.1.1, and cleaned up a bunch of code in the different libraries and stylesheets.  I think it looks very nice now; and I believe I’ve even finally fixed the bug that was causing it to crash in Internet Explorer (being a Linux/Open Source kind of guy, I use Firefox almost exclusively, and never even though to test it in IE).  I’ve also added a very simple forum; I don’t expect a lot of traffic to be flowing through my site, so the forum is mostly another exercise in code integration and customization.  Feel free to take a look and poke at it, though, if you like.

Last Friday, Jennifer and I and a member of my RL writers’ group went to Petaluma to see Christopher Moore, one of my top four favorite writers, talk and do a signing.  The man’s as hilarious in person as he is in his books.  At the end of his little talk, all three of us had sore bellies and faces from laughing so hard.  I’ve got a picture of Jennifer and me and him somewhere around here; I’ll post it when I get a chance.

He signed all the books we brought; six of his, and one science fiction novel by someone else entirely.  I’d heard he’d sign any book at all, even if he hadn’t written it; I’d brought along my copy of The Zombies that Ate Pittsburg (a non fiction book about the films of George Romero), but I left it in the car.

Before the event, we went to eat dinner at a little Irish style pub in downtown Petaluma.  The owners did a pretty decent job of making the place feel very Irish, though it was much brighter (it had windows, and it wasn’t raining outside), and seemed cleaner.  But the Guinness was great.

And in the final bit of daily news, we had Terminix come out to do another termite inspection, to follow up on the one that Clarke did a couple of weeks ago.  Terminix found no sign whatsoever of termite activity.  Now I’m thinking about having Orkin come out; best two out of three.