Ah, blogging. Or, as I used to call it, “writing in my journal.” Or, sometimes, just “journaling.” I haven’t been doing those kinds of entries lately – entries where I just sort of ramble on about what’s going on in my life.
Time to get back to that sort of thing. Reading my writing pal Tim Pratt’s journal on his website inspired me to this, so thanks, Tim! He does a nice job of talking about his life and his writing without going overboard on the details. He always makes me wanna write something myself.
And also, check out his latest serialized novel, THE NEX. I’m already behind a chapter or two, but the story is really pushing all my readerly buttons – an intriguing narrator, a magical necklace that’s much more than it seems, and a sidestep into another world. Check it out.
So… what’s new with me?
On the family front, our oldest son Drew just started kindergarten (I know – how is that possible, right?), while our almost-three-year-old Mitch started his second year of preschool (he goes for three 1/2-days a week). Drew’s pretty exhausted at the end of each day, but I know he’s loving all the new experiences and learning more and more. And his teachers seem to really like him – apparently he plays a mean air guitar, too, during his music classes, according to his teacher.
And Mitch is growing in leaps and bounds, stringing together these complex sentences and telling stories, the words spilling out faster than he can control them half the time. He’s also the founding member of the Drew Fan Club – we’re very lucky that the two of them get along so well together (for the most part!). Also, we’re working with Mitch on potty-training. Enough said about THAT.
Elizabeth and I are both adjusting to the new schedules with school, and we’ve been hoping for some down time to get caught up. So far, not yet! We keep telling each other, “Talk to you again when they’re in college!” I hope that’s not the case… Argh.
Writing-wise, the start of September saw the launch of the digital comic artist Niki Smith and I are creating, IN MAPS & LEGENDS. As we’re publishing it ourselves and selling it via almost ten separate online distributors, there’s quite a bit more work involved than just writing the script (me) and illustrating, coloring, and lettering it (Niki). Lots of promotion and formatting and setting up interviews and trying to get people over to our site without being incredibly annoying.
I’m thinking, by the way, of writing some articles for this site and our MAPS site about creating comics – any topics you’d like to learn about? I’ll probably talk about scripting, pacing, working digitally, working with online distributors, marketing, stuff like that.
Meanwhile, I need to write the script for issues 4-10 of our first “story arc” for IN MAPS & LEGENDS. Lots of crazy stuff is about to happen in those issues, so I’m pretty pumped up (and maybe a tiny bit apprehensive, but that’s almost a requirement with me when it comes to writing – it means I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone).
In my copious spare time (ha!), I’ve been also working on my own fiction – non-comics. I just finished up my baby werewolf novel, FAMILY, PACK, and I’ve got a bunch of queries out to various editors for that one. I’m really happy with how that novel turned out, and I’m entertaining ideas of making it into a series. I also have two other novels out there making the rounds – my baseball ghost novel THE ALL NATIONS TEAM and my young-adult magic novel A SUDDEN OUTBREAK OF MAGIC. We’ll see what the editors think.
I’ve been enjoying reading the comic CHEW, by John Layman and Rob Guillory. I’m loving this comic (I’m on the second trade paperback). The main character is a “cibopath” — whenever he eats something, he flashes on the entire life of that food, whether it’s an apple or burger. So he eats a lot of beets as a result. He also solves some pretty nasty mysteries. The art is fun, and reminiscent of Kevin O’Neill’s work on A LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, but still completely original on its own. I also love the way each issue is told – non-linear and full of surprises.
I also just read all of SCOTT PILGRIM by Bryan Lee O’Malley. I read all 6 pretty fast, in about a week, and it was a lot of fun (though it probably would’ve been better spaced out over a few weeks, so I could digest and think about it some more instead of blasting through it). It’s so great to see someone let loose with their completely original vision, and that’s what SP is – utterly unique. It’s a slacker romance with lots of video game-inspired fighting. And great black and white art.
And soon I’ll be reading the next trade paperback of THE UNWRITTEN by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Can’t wait.
As for movies, well, Elizabeth and I are watching season 1 of True Blood again, just because it was so damn good, and we wanted to see the characters and all the plot points getting set up. It’s really a great show, because of the characters – you care about them and don’t want anything to happen to them.
We also just watched “Shutter Island,” which neither of us was excited to watch. The marketing department really dropped the ball on this movie — it looked like a typical horror movie, with the scary woman in the garden holding a finger up to her mouth and all the thundering music and lightning. But it’s really a great psychological story of one man’s guilt and near-insanity. It also was truly depressing and heart-wreching — Leonardo DiCaprio did a great job in the main role. Great movie, even if Elizabeth did predict the ending not 10 minutes into the story! Nice one, Liz. (She puts me to shame!)
And… that’s the latest from these parts. I guess there’s more than a few things going on ’round here! Later…