Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back from Comic-Con!

Well, just one day at Comic-Con is certainly not enough. And because of Amtrak's schedule, I didn't get there in time for the panel I really wanted to attend, the one for Castle (thanks to the attendees who put the panel footage up on YouTube, especially the bit when Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic read a racy passage from the Heat Wave tie-in book. Rowr!).

Oh well - I maintained the Con zen mode as much as I could, consoling myself with some shopping. For Scott I got a rare Edward Gorey book. For myself I got Joe Bob Briggs' Profoundly Disturbing (about genre/cult movies that changed cinema), Amber Benson's Death's Daughter, and the graphic novel adaptation of Harlan Ellison's A Boy And His Dog (plus two other stories) - signed by Harlan too!

Wrapped up the day with a showing of "Once More With Feeling", the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode, and then dinner at Lou and Mickey's with my friends. A good day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This time tomorrow... Comic-Con!

I may only get one day at Comic-Con but I'm going to make the most of it. Hoping to catch the Castle panel (and get my copy of Heat Wave signed) and the Buffy musical episode. At the very least I'll have a fun time with some friends and do some shopping. Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More linky goodness

Some more fun to be found on the internet:

Slushpile Hell features examples from bad query letters. Let these examples be a lesson to us all.

There's a fine post at Writer Beware about the importance of self-editing. Frankly I can't imagine not self-editing - I love that part of the process. I rediscover my book, make it better, and occasionally say, "yeah, that's a pretty cool bit."

And for the truly brave and demented, here's an imagining of how Toy Story would have turned out had it been written by Cormac McCarthy. Damn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: Matango

My review of the Japanese movie Matango (aka Attack of the Mushroom People) is up at Horrorview.com.

Fun things to read

Now playing on the iPod: "San Tropez" - Pink Floyd

I've found some entertaining things to read on Ye Olde Internet recently and thought I'd share them with you:

Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books explores the fun of trashy pulp novels dealing with crime, sex, and melodrama. It's worth reading just for the covers, but also provides reviews should you stumble on these books in a used bookstore.

Awful Library Books showcases inane, dated, or just plain bad books discovered in the deepest recesses of library shelves. I discovered this site when searching for Latawnya the Naughty Horse Learns To Say No To Drugs (if you must know more about this book, some kind soul has done a dramatic reading of it).

From the Shelf Awareness newsletter, a peek into what a bookstore owner has to deal with every day. The highlight/nadir of the customers was probably the man who told his kid they wouldn't go into the bookstore because "Reading is stupid." Or the person who asked, "Have you read all these books? When do you watch TV." Sigh.

Lastly, for some fun there's I Write Like - use this writing analysis tool to see how your writing (or someone else's) compares to famous writers. Sample of my fiction apparently resemble works by David Foster Wallace, Chuck Palahniuk, and Vladimir Nabokov, which is cool. I threw in samples of random movie review as well, and in addition to Wallace and Nabokov, got comparisons to William Gibson and H. P. Lovecraft. The weirdest thing about all this? I haven't read a thing by Wallace or Gibson. Go figure.

Friday, July 9, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Oh, will you look at this!

The American Library Association has an online store, and many products to choose from (proceeds go to fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals). Their newest poster in the "Celebrity READ" series is the ever-awesome Nathan Fillion, and a perusal of older posters shows another one of my imaginary boyfriends, Ewan McGregor (see images above).

Hot guys with books. It doesn't get much better than that. And come to think of it, there is some bare space on the walls of my office...

Where was I? Anyway, plenty of celebrities in the poster series to choose from, including Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Hilary Swank, Stephen Hawking, and many more. Check it out at the ALA's online store.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's the buzz, tell me what's a-happenin'

My apologies for the dearth of posts in May and June. To be honest, those months have not been great for me. At the risk of TMI (this isn't one of those blogs where you get to hear every little detail of my life) let's just say that I've had some health issues. The good news is that the issues are all fixable, and I'm feeling much better than I was. The bad news is that I haven't had the energy for writing or revising, not even movie reviewing.

The good news is that I've had lots of time for reading (and will have more - the upside of having surgery in September is that recovery will give me lots of reading time - I'm already planning a re-read of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series). In fact, at the mid-point of the year I've read over 40 books! I haven't finished them all, but I still think this is pretty good, considering it doesn't even take into account the Harry Potter books I've been reading to Young Master (we've just started book 5, Harry Potter and The Anger Management Issues).

So here's the scorecard for Books Read in 2010:

  1. End of Story - Peter Abrahams
  2. Looking for Mr. Goodbar - Judith Rossner
  3. The Lady in the Lake - Raymond Chandler
  4. Now and Forever - Ray Bradbury
  5. The Pale Blue Eye - Louis Bayard
  6. The Long Last Call - John Skipp
  7. Heat Wave - Richard Castle
  8. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
  9. The Grifters - Jim Thompson
  10. The Knitting Circle - Ann Hood **
  11. The Preservationist - David Maine *
  12. Dawn of the Dreadfuls - Steve Hockensmith
  13. Dragon Keeper - Robin Hobb
  14. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
  15. Horns - Joe Hill
  16. The Cold Six Thousand - James Ellroy
  17. Goodnight Nobody - Jennifer Weiner
  18. Somewhere in Time - Richard Matheson
  19. The Boleyn Inheritance - Philippa Gregory *
  20. The Choirboys - Joseph Wambaugh
  21. Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison **
  22. The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith
  23. The Brave - Gregory McDonald
  24. The Sheik - E. M. Hull **
  25. Anno Dracula - Kim Newman
  26. Miss Lonelyhearts - Nathanael West
  27. The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West
  28. Fool - Christopher Moore **
  29. Strip Tease - Carl Hiaasen
  30. The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson
  31. Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral - Kris Radish **
  32. The Last Boleyn - Karen Harper **
  33. Push - Sapphire
  34. Black Water - Joyce Carol Oates
  35. The Fire Gospel - Michel Faber
  36. Drood - Dan Simmons
  37. Mistress of Rome - Kate Quinn
  38. The Removers - Donald Hamilton
  39. Molokai - Alan Brennert **
  40. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
  41. The Ruins - Scott Smith
* = re-read
** = unfinished

And next up is another of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee stories: A Purple Place for Dying.