Monday, October 29, 2007

The Curse Is Truly Over

With apologies to the lovely LadyBronco, please allow me to rejoice in the following announcement:


Yes, folks, the Red Sox have swept the World Series, defeating the Rockies in 4 games (13-1, 2-1, 10-5, and 4-3) and proving once and for all the 2004 season was not just a fluke. The Curse of the Bambino has expired!

I was a little worried when Cleveland had them down 3-1 in the playoffs, but gosh darn it, the Sox came back strong, just like the 2004 playoffs against the Yankees (Man, I LOVED that one! But I don’t want to seem like I am lording it over any Yankees fans that might be reading).

Anyhoo, for all those who share in my joy, Rejoice! For all those who do not…neener neener neener. ;) (c'mon...I'm just kidding....put down the billy clubs, ok?)

OK, I am done. I just had to write something about it this morning, though.

*sniff* I’m just so proud of those boys.

See Y’all!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This, however, was not cool at all. WARNING: Rant ahead...and lots of self pity...

This is getting very frustrating. I received this rejection this morning (CC'd to my agent):

“Dear Mr. McAfee;

I'm sorry to inform you that I've come to a difficult decision. I do believe your novel is fresh, engaging and well-written. Unfortunately, I believe it's unusual enough that it may be difficult to find its audience. Since our company is so young, I don't believe we currently have that audience, and I'm not convinced we can do your work justice.

I hope you find a home for it, one that will have the wherewithal to pull out all the stops and promote it as it deserves.

My sincere best wishes;


Ok, so here is the scorecard thus far.

Too Controversial: 2
Time period a difficult sell: 1
Too “Blatantly Christian” (huh? Christian? News to me): 1
Well written, engaging, unique, but no place for it at this time: 1
Well written, fresh, and engaging, but too unusual: 1

Unique idea, but vague, hard to follow: 1

The one common theme among them all (aside from the rejection factor) is that every last one commented on the originality of the idea and how well written it was (except for that one, but even he commented on the uniqueness of the premise). So…basically I have a well written, engaging, fresh, unique and original story that…no one wants?

I thought that’s what publishers were looking for.

GRRRRRR…just…I mean…it’s…aigh! Sputter sputter sputter…

Okay, rant over. I’m just frustrated this morning. This was not a great way to start my day. I’ll be OK, though. Just need a donut or something.

At least the Red Sox won last night.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This Was Sooooooo Cool....

I was in Target today looking for a CD. I happened to pass the Books section and as I was poking around I found a pleasant surprise. On the shelf were two hard cover copies of a charming book called Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, by the lovely and oh-so-talented Adrienne Kress.

Now, Adrienne is a member over at Absolute Write, and she is an all around nice person who has been very sharing of her experiences with getting her debut novel published. Gosh, I almost feel like I know her. It was thrilling for me to see her work represented on a shelf, aspecially at Target, where shelf space is very limited. Doggone it, it made my day. :)

I got the same thrill when I saw Lottery, by Patricia Wood on the shelf of my local Waldenbooks. Part of it (the unselfish part) is that I am so incredibly happy for them both, but part (the more self-serving part), is pleased to see that, no matter how hard it may seem at times, it can be done. First time authors can be published, and they can do well. The dream, with a mountain of effort and a modicum of luck, can be attained.

I've read both Alex and the Ironic Gentleman and Lottery, and they are incredible. And having traded emails with Adrienne and Pat, I can honestly say they are both lovely people. may be asking what this has to do with seeing their work on the shelf. The answer is it doesn't, I just felt like telling y'all about the sighting and the post sorta evolved into a praise post for Adrienne and Pat. Not that they need my help, but I'm always happy to spout about 'em. :)

Anyhoo, if you haven't read those two books yet, what are you waiting for? Go. Read 'em. Then come back and we'll talk about 'em. Go ahead, I'll wait.


See Y'all!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's Late...

It is 1:54AM Monday morning and my wife and I just got back from Rochester, NY, where we attended a wedding. Since I was on the road all day, I missed something important. So I turned on the comp as soon as I got in and looked up what I needed to know. Now I just want to say GO SOX!!!

Woohoo!! Bean Town is goin' to the World Series against the Colorado Rockies!

Ok, day having been made, I am off to bed.

G'nite, y'all!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ok, So I Got Tagged

All right...I don't usually go for memes, and I tend to stay out of the tagging activities, but I couldn't say no to this one. A) It's the first time I've ever been tagged directly, and B) the tagger is my friend Mike, from Avatar Lore. Mike's a nice guy, and this tag looked fun, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here is Mike's decription of the meme (hopefully he won't mind my copying it and pasting it here):

"The rules are to describe your own fantasy monster in a well-written paragraph, just as it would appear in a story. It can be from a story you've already written, one in the works, or an idea you have for a future project. And don't forget to link back to this post, of course!"

OK, so I just happen to have a monster I can share. they are called Lost Ones. This description is abridged because I wrote it three years ago when I first started getting serious about writing. Ovbiously, the writing is tighter than it used to be. I had 3 paragraphs on it, but since the rules state "a" paragraph, I left one off and condensed the other two. :)

"The creature, humanoid in shape, stood a man’s height and wore a wispy, tattered black robe. Dusty and completely worn through in places, the garment enabled me to see the horror of what lay underneath. It had been human once, I could tell that much from what was left of its face, but I could not determine if it had been male or female. All that remained of its features were bits of discolored, rotting flesh that clung to the skull like lichen. The fleshy deposits played home to a myriad of insects in varying larval stages. The maggoty things were so numerous, as they slithered and squirmed about in their decaying abode the flesh in which they lived seemed to move, wriggling and crawling as though the rotted remains of muscle and skin were themselves alive. As I watched, a large green grub poked it’s head through what was left of the creature’s right cheek, emerging into the dim light of the corridor with a soft, sticky smack, and loped northward into the gaping empty hole that had once housed an eye. As it moved it left behind a trail of filmy, whitish goo, like a disgusting version of the breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel had used to mark their way through the woods. Like the breadcrumbs, this trail, too, was devoured almost instantly. Not by birds, of course, but by the many tiny creatures crawling about in their macabre city."

Anyhoo, I've never done one of these tag things before, so I'm going to take it easy on this one. I'm only gonna tag one person. I bet she is shaking in her boots right now (or house shoes, or sneakers, or whatever), because she's gotta know who she is already. :)

Aprilynne, yer it! Hehe.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm Spidey!!! WooHoo! (He's My Favorite)

You Are Spider-Man

Quick and agile, you have killer instincts (literally).
And that kind of makes up for the whole creepy spider thing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Do You Think? Does This Make Me A Horrible Person?

I have a philosophy when it comes to charitable donations; I will not give my money to any group or cause that serves a particular group of people and no other UNLESS the issue itself is inherently specific to a particular demographic.

For example, I gladly donate to Breast Cancer Research even though the primary beneficiaries are women BECAUSE women are the primary victims of Breast Cancer. I would NOT donate to a charity that only helped white/black/asian/latino women who are afflicted with breast cancer because I think ALL victims of this devastating illness need and deserve help, and said help should not be meted out on the basis of race. Make sense?

‘nuther example: a childhood friend of mine died of Sickle Cell Anemia, and I would (and have) gladly donated to research for that ailment, as well. Now, Sickle Cell most often afflicts blacks (or so I am told), so I would feel comfortable knowing that all my money went to a group that helps one race more than another, because that’s the way the disease works. BUT I would not donate to, say, any fund that was designed to fight lung cancer in EXCLUSIVELY black men, because white/asian/latino men and black/white/asian/latino women get lung cancer, too, and they are no less important than my father, who died of lung cancer, was.

Does that make sense?

OK, so…

There I was at a local outlet buying a shirt. The lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted to donate $1 to the Women’s Heart Disease Fund (note: the title of the charity might be off, but the purpose of the donation was to aid in eliminating heart disease in women). I asked her if any men would benefit from my donation and she said no and reminded me that it was a WOMEN’S Heart Disease fund.

I told her I would not donate to any such group because men have heart disease, too, and men are no less important to the fabric of our society than women. She gave me a very dirty look, mumbled something under her breath that I didn’t catch, and tossed my receipt at me. Literally, she didn’t hand it to me, but tossed it to the other side of the counter. I was shocked. I mean, I thought I made a valid point.

Is it because I am a white male? Is that why such charities seem wrong to me? I honestly don’t hate any group of people or wish ill on anyone, I just think that all people should be treated equally, and that includes recipients of charitable donations.

Also, along similar lines, I can’t help wondering why we have Breast Cancer Awareness Month but not…say…Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, or Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing, repeat, NOTHING against raising awareness of breast cancer or funding research to cure it, and I donate to those causes (sporadically, I admit), but having lost loved ones to prostate cancer I can’t see how it would be any less or any more devastating simply because of where the tumor is located and the gender of the afflicted person. If I am wrong, and there IS a Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, please feel free to straighten me out.

So what do y’all think? Am I a bad person? Feel free to tell me I am a jerk if you want.

See Y'all!

Monday, October 15, 2007

For Those Who Don't Know...

...tomorrow is National Boss's Day.

Get those kiss-up gifts ready, y'all. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Low Can A Writer Go?

This sort of thing amazes me.

I may have mentioned earlier about my past cartooning endeavors. During that time of my life I was priveledged to meet and speak with several professional cartoonists. This man was a hero to many, and a legend whose warm, fuzzy strip lives on today. In AW alone there is a smiley icon called a Dancing Snoopy.

Sorry, but in my personal opinion, this particular writer has sunk very, very low in pursuit of sensationalism. Not as bad as the whole If I Did It scenario, but not even remotely acceptable.

I will not buy this book, and if I happen to see a copy in my local library, I plan to spit on it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

2 Blog Entries In One Day? Am I Smoking Crack?

I just wanted to say that I am seriously giving myself the creeps.

My WIP is keeping me up nights, and I don't mean because I am excited and thinking up ideas (although that is also true), but because what happened to one of the people in my book actually scared me.

My Brain is Blue

Much like Jim Carrey's pen in Liar, Liar, my brain is blue.

Hey, that's my wife's favorite color. Coincidence? Hmmm...

Ah, the mysteries of cyberspace...

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stupid Questions at Work

Do you ever encounter someone who asks you a goofy question and you just want to go all Bill Engvall on them and hand them a sign? You know, one that says “I am a moron” on it? I know, sometimes people speak before they think, and it’s a common enough trait in the human species, but as the below stories will illustrate, sometimes we make it too darn easy to pick on ourselves.

Story 1:

I have a motorcycle. I am the only person in my building who owns one, let alone drives it to work. Every one of our 300 or so employees knows the bike by sight, as it’s fairly common to see it parked by the front door during the warmer months. I have special permission to park it there, granted by the VP herself, in order to save a parking space for someone else (parking is an issue where I work). This means the bike is visible from the front desk.

A few months ago I was walking by the front desk and the receptionist (who is a friend of mine, albeit elderly and slightly senile), sees me walking by, looks at the bike, then looks at me, and asks “Oh, did you ride your motorcycle today?”

I couldn’t help myself. I said “No, the darn thing followed me to work. I can never get it to stay home.”

Story 2:

On my desk is a small plank of wood. On said plank, the words “I love my dad” are carved, painted several different colors, and surrounded by little splashes of color. My daughter made this for me while she was at camp two summers ago and gave it to me as a Father’s Day present. It is very obviously something a child would make, which diminishes its value not one iota.

One day a coworker (‘nuther friend) walked by my desk and looked at this plank. She read it aloud “I love my dad,” and followed that up with “Did your kid make that for you?”

I shook my head and said “No, my wife made it.” Then I winked and added, in as lecherous a tone as I could manage and still keep a straight face, “she calls me Daddy.”

Story 3:

Motorcycle story(ies) again.

I was walking through the building on my way to the time clock. I was headed out for lunch with my helmet in my hand. Halfway there another friend of mine looks at the helmet, then asks me “Did you ride your bike today?”

I laughed and said “No. I like to carry the helmet around wherever I go because it makes me feel all manly.”

She did hit me, in case any of y’all are wondering, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Then, about a week later, going out the front door on my way to lunch yet again (and again, helmet in my hand), the receptionist did the same thing. “Did you ride your bike today?” Since she’d already been bitten by the snide bug, I let that one slide, but it took A LOT of willpower.

‘K, that’s enough for now. Especially since I am at work and supposed to be (cough cough) working.

Do you have any stories like this? Do ya? C’mon, we all must. Share with the group, folks.

See Y’all!