Sunday miscellany

Saturday’s book signing was swell. Barnes & Noble had me front and center. Several of my friends and family stopped by and I also sold a handful of books to other folks in the store. I spoke with aspiring writers, one of whom was astonished to hear about the vast writing community in Austin (seriously, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a writer). He was taking creative writing courses as Southwestern University up in Georgetown, and I have to say, what are they teaching kids up there these days? He hadn’t heard about Texas Writers League, which is one of the biggest writers leagues in the country. How can you train upcoming new writers without letting them know about one of the huge resources in the area? Sheesh.

Sunday we saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This was one of the better Harry Potter installments. Darker, yet with moments of humor, and the kids are becoming better actors. Rupert Grint has the thankless role of the second banana, and he manages it well.

I’ve read all of the books and I only liked the first three. The remaining four were bloated, self-indulgent, and increasingly poorly written. I admire Rowling tremendously for her accomplishment, and I think the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone) is an incredible children’s book, but after Chamber of Secrets and Azkaban, the books all went downhill. I don’t think I even saw the last movie.

One of the things I liked about this one was that the producers and directors have thankfully settled down with the special effects. God, that first movie was so annoying, what with all the flashpowder whiz-bang magic going on. With HBP, the special effects serve the story instead of the other way around. Even though I write fantasy, I don’t like magic (that’s why in Gordath Wood there’s very little of the stuff). Well, it’s not like I don’t like magic, it’s just that I think it gets in the way of a good story. Okay, that’s not it either. Magic just makes things easy, that’s all.

Oh yeah, I have a blog

Words: about 20.

I had a brainstorm, which meant revising the existing bit that I last wrote. So not much headway, but I know where I’m going now. A side effect of the speed writing.

So yeah, this blog thing. Sorry about that. Life, and stuff. We had friends over Friday, and then got invited to a friend’s birthday party for the next night, and for me, that was utter debauchery and there went the weekend.

I’ve been nailing down book signings and should have a schedule soon. I promise. I am also developing a few fun surprises, so stay tuned…

This is a reminder also that the Apollocon writer’s workshop deadline is coming up: May 29. Check out the fully updated Web site for more information.

And coming this week — a writing lesson on showing, not telling. This is a tricky one. I want to make sure I develop this right.

The writing life coffee, friends, writing, rain

WC on Sunday morning: 1,257

WC on Monday night: 1,130

 Total so far: 48,640

 Music: Christmas Adagios, a collection of beautiful classical pieces, some choral some instrumental. There are two Ave Marias, one by Pavarotti and the other by Leontyne Price. Also Vivaldi’s Winter Largo, which breaks my heart every time I listen to it.

 Sunday morning I wrote early because I met my friends Renee and Kimm for coffee at Epoch, a coffee house I had never been to but which is one they like. We talked for hours, about girl stuff, books, girl stuff, etc. We tend to only get together at cons, which means sometimes that we don’t actually hang out in Austin, but only in Houston or Dallas, so this was a refreshing break, not to have to drive 200 or so miles to drink coffee.

Today it rained and rained and rained, which we need because we’re in a drought. I don’t know if I like living in a drought-prone region. I’ve been here for a long time, so you think I would be used to it. Central Texas has water issues and thank God for the recession, because it has slowed the rate of growth, but in a year or so it’s going to start right up again, and we’re going to run out of water.

Today, however, there was an inconvenient amount of water, especially when I had to run errands during work, and I got soaked and spent the rest of the day wet and cold and as soon as I got home I got into my winter clothes — yoga pants, long-sleeved tee, and oversized denim shirt that I’ve had since my son was born.

And I wrote, and now it’s late and time for bed.

I will try to get back into my blog routine — I think I missed a writing lesson — this week.