Friday, August 18, 2006

Sheesh, What a Ghost Town!

Man, doesn't the guy who owns this place ever come in and serve the guests? Or at least turn on the lights?

Oh wait, that's me. Right, right. And I couldn't even get in at first; my browser was feeding me the wrong login, and I didn't see it.

Well, you probably wonder where I've been. I'm still here, still working on Sunborn. And finally finished with our local children's theater's run of Damn Yankees, which was loads of fun and loads of work and loads of time spent in the theater. I miss it, now that it's over.

About a year ago, I wrote here that I was acting in a very small indie film being made here by the same guy who operates the theater where we hold our musicals. Pops the bum, if you please. (Take note, Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert.) Well, I can't announce yet that the film is finished, because they never got the last scene shot before winter set in. But they're planning to do that in about two weeks, and that will be my last performance of Pops the bum—at least until the sequel. (The last scene takes place in the street, and requires closing off the street and I believe engaging a few police cars and officers to appear in the scene, also. My part, as I understand it, will involve sitting slumped against a wall looking bewildered. An easy role for me.)

And yes, outside of all that, I'm plowing ahead through the hardest part of the rewrite—the long middle—which was the biggest mess in the first draft, and requires the most rethinking in the second. Making good progress. Not as fast as I would like, but steady.

So...I gotta get back to it. But first I have to say...

Twelve planets in the solar system? You've got to be kidding. (The International Astronomical Union, as you probably know, is proposing just that.) Ceres a planet? Anyone who read SF in the 50's and 60's knows perfectly well that Ceres is an asteroid, and very important to the economy of the future asteroid belt civilization. Planet, indeed. And Pluto and Charon both planets? Come on. Xena, now—I can see calling Xena a minor planet. But not opening up the Pandora's box of a hundred planets called "plutons."

Reconsider, guys. Everything Pluto-size and up should be a planet. Smaller stuff should be minor planets. Wouldn't that really just be a heck of a lot easier? And think of this: we could keep the name Xena, and it wouldn't be breaking with tradition on the naming of major planets. Go for it!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still here...working on book

No, I haven't died, though it might seem that way. There have actually been a number of things I've wanted to write about, but haven't had the time. Ah, most of the ideas have fled now. I should give one update, though—my friend got out of Lebanon pretty early on and in good shape, for which I'm deeply grateful. She got a ride out on a U.S. Marines helicopter, so a big thanks to all of you involved in the evacuation. (No connection, but shortly after that, I got a nice email from an army sergeant who discovered one of my books while stationed in Bosnia, of all places. He said that later, while stationed in Iraq, he was always looking for good SF to read. That gave me great encouragement.)

I've been working hard on Sunborn, trying to beat down a group of chapters that just wouldn't shape up. I think I'm getting a handle on it now. Also, it's summer musical time at Arlington Children's Theater, which one of my kids is in, and for which I'm once more helping out on the sound board. We're in dress rehearsals for Damn Yankees right now, and have performances starting this coming weekend and going right through the next. (Fortunately—given that we're in the middle of a heat wave—the theater has upgraded its air conditioning!)

Listen, I'd love to stay and have a drink and chat, but I've got to get back to the book! See you later!

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