Vacation ending

I took a few days off after finishing Cawdor, but tomorrow I return to the grind of writing every night.

I’ll be working on pitch paragraphs and synopses for Cawdor. That sounds easy but it is the kind of writing I do least well.

Tonight I’m going to be with a stomach ache.


Sunday Night Movie: The Ghoul

So, yesterday I was cruising through instant view movies on Netflix and I came across a 1933 film, The Ghoul, with Boris Karloff. In the mood for something different, I added it to my queue to be my Sunday Night Movie.

The Ghoul is  story about an Egyptologist who has become so enamored with his subject that he now believes that the religion of the ancient Egyptians is factual. He spend the majority of considerable fortune on acquiring a mystic gem that reputedly can grant immortality to a person if it is sealed with the person in their tomb.

(Apparently it is immortality on the other-side, not here. on Earth.)

Because the gem is very valuable there are a lot of people willing to do violence and deceit to steal it. Because he was rich and spent it all there are heirs who are cross and unsure what is happening. Of course no one believes the ancient story and dismisses the notion that to steal the gem from the tomb will cause said Egyptologist to rise from the dead and seek out the gem, murdering all who stand in his way.

Okay, that is a pretty decent set-up for a horror film. Sadly, this is not the film they delivered. This is a scooby-doo movie. Everything at the end of the movie has a ‘rational’ explanation. Rational is in quotes because if I think it through the explanation cannot stand up to fact as presented.

Spoiler alert……proceed no further if you care about spoilers concerning a film released in 1933.

The Egyptologist is shown weak and dying in his bed (see above). He can bare sit up he is so weak. Later, after he escapes his tomb because he had been ‘buried alive’ he’s running about, overpowering much young men and killing them, and bending iron bars with his bare hands. For a guy on his deathbed just hours earlier he’s one kick ass dude!

While there are plenty of interesting ideas and set-ups, this film just doesn’t work. I would have preferred something with the supernatural in it rather than meddling kids.


The Bubble in a graph

Here in a single graphic is the best illustration of what has happened the American economy over the last two years.

It also to me speaks to the folly of the wise man. Bankers, Wall Street, and Government itself had this data and yet they all continued to play in the market expecting the prices to rise without end.

There are those who want to  primarily blame the government. Both regulation and de-regualtion played a part.

There are those who want to primarily blame the banks. Certainly they sold mortgages to people who could not afford them and then  offloaded the risk on to other.

There are those who want to primarily blame the debtors, for foolishly  buying house they could not afford.

All are right and all share the blame, be we also have a cultural attitude that things can be had for free. That there is not a price to pay for things in life, and that is a culprit here as well. That is a problem we cannot fix with regulations or low taxes. I sometimes fear we will not fix it at all.


Half full or Half Empty

Of course everyone is familiar with the phrase , is that glass half-full or half-empty as a test for a person viewpoint. I think I have another chart that serves a similar function for the political viewpoint.

So here is a chart showing federal revenues and federal outlays for the US government. As you can see that is a terrible disconnect between what we take in as a government and what we spend as a government. The ultimate source of this disconnect is that people want more services than they are willing to pay for.

If you are a Partisan Republican you focus on the dark blue line and insist that it be bent down until it is under the light blue line. (At least in theory. As the graph clearly shows, the republican did nothing to change the curve of the dark blue line while they were in power.)

If you are a Partisan Democrat you Focus on the light blue line and insist that it be raised until it meets that Dark blue line.  (Of course you ignore how sharply you turned that dark blue line up. That’s An Inconvenient truth.)

Aside from a brief period while the Government was split in the 90’s, we don’t live within our means regardless of the political party in power. It was very recently — election-wise — that Prominent  Republicans informed us that ‘Deficits Don’t Matter’™ before they discovered the horror if deficit spending — if it is a democrat doing the spending. Of course in order to try to curry favor with the majority of the population the Democrats are currently pushing ‘Tax The Rich’™, which of course returns us to people want services but are unwilling to pay for them.

Persoanlly I say both side of the equation must be addresses. We are spending too much and revenues must be raised. We are not going to get our of this hole with wishful thinking. Sadly that is the only thing we have a surplus of.


Personally I blame Gail Carriger

I have finished ‘Cawdor’ and I was looking forward to a nice long period of relaxation.

My damn brain doesn’t seem to be in on the plan. It started todaay worrying at the idea of a SteamPunk Horror novel.

This isn’t me! I don’t read steampunk! (except for the afore mentioned Ms Garriger.) It was just a vague idea, but then period and setting started falling into place. Quite unlike  anumber of steampunk novels this one is not set in the Europe or even in any of Victoria’s domains.

World building and a plot has started to form and I don’t want it!!!



Relaxation at last

It is so nice to have hit a spot when I can just relax. The only thing I need do for the next couple of a weeks writing wise is work on small no stress projects and get my feedback from the beta readers.

I truly enjoyed writing Cawdor more than any other book I have written, but it’s good to spin down for a bit.


Cawdor update

The manuscript will be finished by week’s end. Then it’s off to beta readers.

My fingers are crossed.

— Okay the comments are WAY off-topic. Please keep the political comments on political threads. Not all my friends are into politics you know.



Sunday Night Movie: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

It is a well know dictum in the SF community that the ‘good’ Star Trek films are all the even numbered ones and that the odd numbered movies are ‘bad.’ I have advised people to remember that what the even numbered, II, IV, and VI, have in common is Nicholas Meyer. He had a hand in writing all three and directed two of them.

I myself have espoused this Even/Odd dictum to people about how to judge Star Trek movies. (Counting all the Next Generation films as ‘odd.’ The first, a weak and bull film was the best of the lot. They proceeded to become more and more idiotic as the series progressed becoming what can oxymoronically called Luddite Science-Fiction.)

Recently Star Treks, II, III, and IV were released a a single blu-ray set with new bonus features. I resisted as best I could, but when I found a set for about $25 I broke down and purchased it even thought it had a ‘bad’ movie in the collection. I spent part of the weekend watching the bonus material and oohing and awing how gorgeous the films look in the Blu-ray format. Last night I decided that I would make Star Trek III: The Search For Spock my Sunday Night Movie.

Continue reading Sunday Night Movie: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock


A very pleasant day

Yesterday My friend, Gail Carriger, was in town to promote her third book, Blameless. (A NYT Bestseller I might add.) She had a signing event at the local speciality bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy. There was tea, biscuits, (Cookies to use Americans) and quite a crowd of fans. I and my sweetie-wife had a particularly good time listening to Gail take questions and read from her firs book in the series. (Soulless.)

Afterwards we three had dinner at Khyber Pass a local Afgan restaurant.  (My sweetie-wife and I have been there before and I adore the food.) Then we came back to our condo and taught Gail to play one of silly dice games, but I think she enjoyed it.

All in all I had a very good day yesterday.