Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ooooh, I Got A Trophy!

This weekend was the 19th Annual East Coast Regional Z Car Show. I entered my car, a 1991 Red 300 ZX (non-turbo). It was up against a few very nice cars, too. Well, I didn't win 1st place, but I did take 2nd. I've never gotten a trophy in a car show before, so this was pretty darn cool. Here's a few pics:

Um....did I mention (and this was NOT my doing, just so y'all know) that the local Hooters donated a couple of waitresses to the trophy ceremony? They did:

Ok, now that the sexist photo is out of the way (no...of course I didn't enjoy that! It was required. You win a trophy, you take a pic with the Hooters girls. Really. It's a rule), here's a pic of the trophy:

Oh, I also won this T-Shirt (it was a door prize):

Aside from the car show, my wife and I also started doing some remodeling in our house. We've been planning it for some time, so it was nice to get it under way. This weekend we painted the dining room. During the week we'll be putting the baseboards back on and touching up a few things. Fun!

We aren't going to make it on one of those cable channels where everyone cries and talks about how their new house is going to change their lives, but it'll still be a nice improvement, anyway.

Unfortunatly, it means I didn't get any writing done this weekend. Going to have to crank out some verbiage over the week to make up for it. Oh, well, there are worse things that could hapen than spending more time writing.

See Y'all!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sorry For The Long Silence - I Do Have Some Good News, Though...

It's been an...interesting..couple of months. My birthday has come and gone ( did that happen?), and another year ahead. I'm feeling good about the upcoming year, though. Confidence is high. Here are some of the cool things going on over in McAfee Land right now:

I'm reading for a small start up press. This is really neat, I get to see some of the stuff that comes in. I don't get the slush, which is even better. I get stuff that has already passed the first tier or two. In one case, I was the tie-breaker (I passed on the project, btw). This is a good opportunity for me to see what else publishers get and it gives me a chance to separate myself from the pack, so I'm thrilled to do it.

Also, I got an email from one publisher that said so far everyone there who has read my book has loved it. I haven't gotten an offer from them yet, but this is just about the closest I've come so far. With luck it will turn into an offer. I'm not holding my breath, of course, but it's a nice thought.

Lastly, I finally have a pub credit to my name. OK, it's a small one, but I'll take it. The small horror e-zine Necrotic Tissue publishes an issue every quarter. For their October issue, they asked for 100-word stories (100 words exactly...not 99, or 101, etc.) for their first annual 100-word horror story contest. The winners would be published in their October issue, paid a flat fee of $25.00, and receive a few other prizes.

My entry was not only selected for publication, but it won first place! I got a Help anthology (The P&E book), an Abominations anthology (Shroud Publishing), a Necrotic Tissue T-Shirt, a Necrotic Tissue hoodie, and of course, the $25.00. That was nice. A paid credit. Wheee! So be sure to check out the October issue for my short story. It's great, of course. ;) Here's a few pics of me in the T-Shirt:

I tried on the hoodie, too:

This is...after I put on the hoodie, something started happening to me. I'm not sure what, but I felt...different...

I found out later the hoodie is cursed. So, uh...I only put it on now when the Met Life guy knocks on the door...

Anyhoo, sorry about the long silence, folks. Personal stuff. :(

I'll be sure not to let it happen again.

See Y'all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lesson Learned: Having Issues? Talk To Your Agent

I've had concerns about the work my agent has put into the novel, as well as the saleability of the novel itself. It's been over a year since she asked for those first thirty pages, and still no sale. No huge advance, no writing groupies, no Ferrari in the driveway (you laugh, but that's what all my friends seem to think is going to happen when I finally do get published).

Sometimes it gets me down, and I start to wonder why there haven't been any bites, or why she didn't send the novel to this house or that house. Basically it all boils down to this: David, still unpublished, is feeling insecure about his ability and his future. Hey, it happens. I can admit it.

So I've been asking my friends for advice. Hey, should I say this? Do you think I should move on? What do you think...etc. etc. etc. Several of them (much wiser than I) gave me this simple bit of advice: Talk to your agent.

Sounds good, right? Sounds like something I should have come up with all on my own, right? Yup.

Well, in case y'all haven't figured it out yet, sometimes I can be a real dumbass (ask my wife; she'll tell ya!). So of course I never said anything to my agent, instead letting all that stuff eat at me while I pestered friends and associates for their thoughts.

So today I finally wrote her after seeing an announcement in Publisher's Lunch for a book sale along the same lines as mine. I won't go into the email in detail, but I asked her a few questions about why we hadn't tried there, and why she thought I might not be getting any bites. It was both a confused and a mildly paranoid email. Was it my writing? The genre? Is the idea too ambitious for a debut novelist? What, praytell, was happening?

She wrote me back less than two hours later. I just had time to go home from work, walk the dogs, and eat dinner. Wanna know the first line of her reply? Here it is:

"Dear David: Your writing is wonderful."

There was more to the email (good points, too), but the bottom line is she knew what was wrong, and she addressed it right off the bat in a manner that both soothed my frayed nerves and made me feel a little better about where I am and where I am going.

She didn't take my email as angry or accusing, or anything other than just a poor guy in need of a little reassurance (the kind that doesn't come from friends or family - you other writers out there know how important that kind of thing is). And even though I haven't made her a cent, she took a moment to give it to me, right away, and let me know I'm still in the running and she still takes me seriously.

That made me feel a lot better.

It's good to have an agent. Now I just gotta give her a better book.

Gonna go work on that right now.

See Y'all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Time For Another Long, Boring Football Post

I’d like to take a moment to do yet another football post. This post will get into scheduling (sort of) and historical Super Bowl results, so you non-football types may find it a little long winded and boring. Sorry about that, non-football types. I still love ya. Angelle, if you come across this post, you’ll probably either (A) find something interesting or (B) at the very least agree with me.

First, some quick basics as to the structure of the NFL (for you non-FB types). The NFL is divided into two conferences – the NFC and the AFC. Each conference is divided into 4 divisions of 4 teams each. The winningest team in each division is the division champion, and moves on to their conference playoffs. The playoffs are sudden death, and the last two surviving teams from each conference compete for the conference championship. These two conference champions face off in the Super Bowl. Got it? OK.

So. Anyway, down to business. Someone (a Pats fan) once told me (quite seriously, I might add) the only reason the Cowboys have won so many division championships (14), conference championships (8), and Super Bowl championships (5) is because they typically have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. I have heard this echoed a time or two, usually by fans of losing teams (big surprise there).

Well, I have to defend my ‘Boys, here. You want proof that the Cowboys NEVER have an easy schedule? Here it is:

42 Super Bowls have been played. That’s right. 42. Now subtract 20 Super Bowls, because that’s the number of SB’s that have been won by AFC teams. That leaves 22 Super Bowl victories in the NFC. Here’s the breakdown of those 22 SB wins:

Dallas Cowboys: 5
San Francisco 49ers: 5
NY Giants: 3
Wasington redskins: 3
Green Bay Packers: 3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1
St. Louis Rams: 1
Chicago Bears: 1

Okay, so what does that tell you? What if I told you that Dallas, NYG, and Washington all play in the same division; the NFC East? Here’s what that means: of the 22 SB victories for the NFC, 11 of them (that’s right, HALF of the total NFC SB wins) have been won by teams in the NFC East. Dallas’ division.

Look at the remaining 11 and you’ll see 5 of them (almost half) were won by San Francisco. Throw in the Rams’ win and that’s over half of the remaining eleven wins for the NFC West.

Green Bay and Chicago are both NFC North teams, so that takes care of 4 more wins. Leaving the Bucs as the only team in the NFC South to ever bring home a SB Trophy.

Looking to the AFC’s 20 victories, you see a much different picture.

AFC East: 6 (Pats – 3, Dolphins – 2, Jets -1)
AFC West: 6 (Raiders – 3, Broncos – 2, Chiefs – 1)
AFC North: 6 (Pittsburgh – 5, Ravens – 1)
AFC South: 2 (both Colts)

Over in the AFC you see a much more even spread across the divisions. Granted, Pittsburg is hogging most of the SB Wins in the AFC North, but that's ok.

All right, ya followin' me so far? Good. Now, you may be wondering just what this has to do with the Cowboys’ schedule. Simple: each team is required to play the other three teams in their division TWICE during the regular season. Not once, but twice. That means Dallas has to play a total of four games against the other two SB winning teams in their division every year, and another two against the last team in the division, the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been to the SB twice but have yet to win.

Now add to that fact that all teams in the NFL are required to play against the teams from the other three divisions (in their own conference) whose divisional standing for the previous season equaled their own. Eample: in 2008 Dallas, the NFC East Champions for 2007, will have to play the three other NFC division champions during the regular season (the Bucs, the Seahawks, and the Packers, to be specific). If Dallas had placed last in their division, they would play against the other three last-place teams. Ya follow me?

Now take into account that Dallas has won 14 Division Championships (more, by the way, than any other NFL team). That means they have had to face these other division champions 14 times. 14 seasons facing the NFC’s best teams, IN ADDITION to those SB winning Redskins and Giants.

So taking all that into account, I think it’s safe to say that anyone who says Dallas historically has one of the easiest schedules in the NFL is full of poo poo. If anything, Dallas statistically has one of the hardest schedules in the NFL year after year.

So there you have it, folks. Irrefutable evidence (that probably only one or two of you care about) that Dallas is no fair-weather, wimpy team. The Cowboys earned their spot at the top of the NFL. :)

Thank you. I'll step down off my soap box now.

See Y'all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why, Yes. I Am A Nitwit.

Oh, my…where does the time go? For those of you familiar with Miss Snark, you may be saying “Yer too late, David. The anniversary was yesterday. Moron!” To you I say, I am not a moron, but I am a nitwit.

Sometime in the early days of this month, I was informed via comment that the talented and wonderful Patricia Wood was going to have a tribute to the gin-guzzling, Clooney-chasing, advice-giving Snarky One. The comment Pat left for me is still there, go look at it. I left it there as proof of my nitwittery. Seriously, go look. I’ll wait right here.

Are you back? Good. So you see…I have no excuse for missing the beautiful post by Ms. Wood. I had plenty of warning and lots of time to prepare. My excuse? Other than sheer Nitwittery, my in-laws arrived from Maine yesterday for their annual visit. I was kinda busy with them and forgot all about the Miss Snark Anniversary post.


I really wanted to sneak in there and let her know I got an agent, too. Even if my book hasn’t sold yet. Hey, I’m partially there, right? What? No? I’m still a nitwit?

Ah, crud. Some things never change…

Well, Miss Snark, I would like to take this opportunity to add my voice and my thanks to the many others you have received, even if I am too late to chime in to Pat’s post (I tried…it’s blocked). Thanks for putting up with all us nitwits and wannabe snarklings. I still go back and read your blog every once in a while just because there is so much information to be found there (those 300,000 hits since you closed up shop that Pat was talking about?. Yeah…prolly half those are yours truly).

Anyway, for all you folks out there who miss the Great Snark, go check out Pat's blog, and also Tyhitia’s. They both have tributes, as I am sure many, many others do. The key difference between theirs and mine, of course, is they managed to get their tribute posts in on time.

Leave it to the Nitwit to forget.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Flash Fiction Stuff - Fun In 100 Words!

If you zip on over to the Absolute Write Water Cooler, you may find that Haggis, one of the mods, has issued a flash fiction horror challenge.

This is purty darn cool. I've never done any flash fiction before, but Tyhitia talked me into submitting one, so I did. Then I did another...and another...and another. It was pretty fun. A short distraction, yes...but still fun. You can all read them at the Absolute Write Water Cooler, I just gotta say two things first:

1) The flash fiction challenge has really shown me what kind of sick minds (like mine) write this stuff. More than one of them got a nice, fat "EEEEEW!" from me.

2) Some of them (including mine) have strong language. Fair warning.

See Y'all!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Likes and Dislikes (aka, Scare Me!)

What do you guys like to read?

For the most part, I like books that scare me. Now, I read a lot of different genres, but if I get a shiver while reading a book, or if I am thinking to myself “Don’t go in that room CHARACTER, you’re gonna regret it!” then I’m happy as a pig in…well…you know the rest. Southern colloquialisms…ya gotta love ‘em.

I also like some fantasy. It has to be done a certain way, though. I used to love the Xanth books, but I had to stop reading somewhere around The Color of Her Panties. I just couldn’t get past all the puns. For my fantasy book-buying dollars, I’ll take Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman, R.A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan, and Terry Goodkind (although Goodkind does get a little long-winded from time to time).

Then there are thrillers. Yeah, I like those, too. Michael Crichton, James Rollins, Lisa Gardner, Alex Kava, and Robert Liparulo are just a few of my favorites in this genre. There are also some up-and-comers like Jeremy Robinson and Scott Sigler. Anytime you can read about a character getting eaten by a creature that hasn’t existed on this planet in several hundred million years or so, you have my undivided attention. Aaaah…good times. Goooood times.

But what most of those books have in common is that, at some point in the book, they creeped me out or even scared the poo outta me. THAT’s what I like. Like in Scott Sigler’s Ancestor when that fetus attacked a camera while still in the womb. Ooooh…shivers. Or in Steven King’s The Stand when a group of loincloth-clad black soldiers led a rebellion of sorts against the rest of the company, executing all of them in game-show fashion (the set up resembled The Price is Right). I still have nightmares about those two scenes.

One of my proudest moments as a writer (especially since I’m not published yet) came when one of my beta readers told me she had to sleep with the lights on after reading a scene I wrote. Big smile in McAfee Land that day. Shortly afterward, another beta told me she actually had nightmares about the same scene. Ooh! I scared TWO people with it. You can insert the theme from Rocky here, if you want to.

Alas, that book was not able to snag an agent, for all its charms (personally, I still love that book…but what do I know?).

But these things are selective, aren’t they? I mean, watching an unborn prehistoric animal fetus stare at a camera and attack it (with a mouth full of razors…a frickin’ FETUS, mind you!) might not have the same effect on some of you as it did me. So you guys tell me….when it comes to horror (or thrillers with horror elements), what does it for you? Are you a creep-factor reader? Do you like to read about some heretofore unknown critter chomping down on people’s vital organs? Maybe you like the psycho in the bathroom with a butcher knife theme. Or maybe you just pass on that stuff altogether in favor of Mitch Albom (who is friggin’ GREAT, BTW) or Nicholas Sparks.

You tell me. What floats your boat?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Egads! I've Been Double-Tagged!!

Yo-Ho, me hearties, Yo-Ho!! Ok, why did I say that? oh, I know, it's because I've got the lovely and talented Adrienne Kress on the brain. That's why. And as we all know (and if you didn't know, you should have known...what's wrong with you, anyway?), Adrienne is the author of Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, which is a phenominal book about a clever and resourceful little girl named Alex who has a remarkable adventure that involves...oh, life and death, treasure and a huge talking octopus (that's Extremely Ginormous Octopus, thank you very much), and...and...what else? Oh, yeah...Pirates! Right...that's where the Yo-Ho comes in. Ok, full circle now. I got it. Anyway, the book really is great, and if you don't have it you should go buy it. Right now.

Seriously, go buy it. I'll wait for ya.

You back? Good.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yeah...double-tagged. Well, the other person to tag me with this is Michael from Avatar Lore. While Mike didn't write Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, he did write Sanctuary of the Mind, which you should also go and get if you haven't already read it. Hey, and it's free, no less! Go. Go now. I'll wait (again...yer such a slacker for not having these two books already...sheesh!).

You back? Good. Now no more interruptions.

Shit. I got lost again...wait...let me reread what I've written. Gimme a sec...

OH YEAH! Ok. Hey...I said Yo-Ho. That could get me slapped under some circumstances. But y'all forgive me, don't ya? Please? I knew you would.

But anyway, thanks for bearing with me ( you think bears ever get offended by that phrase? I mean, no one ever says "Please, onion with me" or "Hey, rhino with me for a moment while I collect my thoughts."). As I said a few minutes ago, I've been tagged! Twice. With the same tag. Yeah. Me. Mr. Quiet. Go figure.

So, the rules are thus:

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences and write them down.
4. Invite five friends to do the same.

I am going to cooperate with rules 1-3, but I'm gonna leave 4 alone. Yeah, I know...spoilsport, right? So, hey...if any of y'all feel like joining in, consider this your open invitation. IOW - TAG!

But for the rest of us, here we go...

The book closest to me is Dawn, by the late, great Octavia Butler. I actually have not read this particular Butler book yet, but I doubt the 5 sentences will ruin the book for me. So here we go...the first five sentences on page 123 of Dawn (I should note I am going to do the first five FULL sentences...the rules were vague on that part):

She really was bright; she had memorized poetry, plays, songs - her own and those of more established writers. She had something that would help future human children remember who they were. The Oankali thought she was unstable, but not dangerously so. They had to drug her because she injured herself trying to break free of what she called her cage. She had broken both her arms.

Wow. That sounds cool, doesn't it? Ok, now I have to read it. What's her name? I dunno. I like this exercise. Thanks Mike and Adrienne. Try and imagine me slapping the palm of my hand on my monitor in an impromptu high-five. I say try and imagine it because (A) you wouldn't see if it I did and (B) I ain't actually gonna slap my monitor. You crazy? Darn things are expensive...unless you steal one. But then you go to jail and have a big ugly cellmate who thinks you're "Mighty Purty" and so I guess it ends up costing you anyway, No monitor slapping.

Sheesh, how do I get so sidetracked? Must be the crack.

In any case, thanks for stopping by, folks. Thanks Mike and Adrienne for chiming in and tagging me even though I've been in strict lurk mode online the last few weeks. Feels good to be included. :)

A'ight, all. It's bed time for moi. Y'all have a great night and a great tomorrow!

See Y'all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Just Wrote A Scene That Is Going To Haunt Me

Howdy all. I'm back. Sorry for the long's been one of "those" months. Mike - I saw that you tagged me. I wasn't ignoring ya. I'll do the tag in my next post. Promise.

So after a very unproductive last 4 weeks, I sat down tonight to write a scene I have been dreading. Not because I didn't think I could write it, but because it's something that, in striving for authenticity, I knew I was going to be writing something that would turn my stomach.

My current WIP involves the spirit of an adolescent African American boy who died in the rural south not long after the civil rights movement. What bothered me about it is the boy's death. It's bad. he dies at the hands of a group of white supremacists in a time and place where there just isn't much law. Now, the nature of his death is supposed to be violent, that's part of the story and a primary motivator for revenge, but damn it all...I didn't want to write it.

Not the least concern was the language. We all know the kind of filth those folks spew, and I have to say I found the prospect of writing any of it down to be one of the most distasteful things I've done as an aspiring writer. But I guess that's kid of the point, isn't it? If I, the writer, can make myself cringe, then the reader should get just as angry, right?

Well, that's what I was going for. I dunno if I pulled it off. But I do know I am going to have some ugly dreams tonight. That's probably my cosmic payback for thinking up this darn scene in the first place. This poor kid's death is just so damn wrong. LAPD with less restraint.


As an aside - Thank you Tyhitia, for the "sorta" pep-talk about this scene. I took your advice.

Now I need to go wash my hands.

See Y'all!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Okay, I can announce it now!!!!

My friend Jeremy Robinson has been signed to a three book deal by St. Martin's Press!


Jeremy has worked very, very hard for this, and he deserves it. He's had several books published through a smaller press, and has marketed each one aggressivly and proven to be a solid investment for any of the big boys, and now, at long last, SAINT FRIGGIN' MARTIN'S!!!

Oh, man! This was awesome news, and I hated keeping it bottled up, but I couldn't say anything until he posted it himself.

I'm so excited! Not just for him but for me. There IS hope! I CAN do this! That's what these stories tell me. Aprilynne, Jeremy, Scott Sigler...they all prove it can be done.

Thanks to all three of those I have mentioned. You guys are what keeps me pecking away at the comp. Someday...someday I'll be able to join you up there on that lofty plateau.

Congratulations, Jeremy! You EARNED this!

See Y'all!

P.S. Here is the announcement posted on Jeremy's site. I lifted it right from the website. Hope he doesn't mind...

03/10/2007 - BIG NEWS! I can now confirm that I have landed a THREE BOOK DEAL with St. Martins Press! I've been working on this for a year now and all the hard work has finally paid off. The three books are a series based on a team of Delta Force operatives known as the Chess Team: King, Queen, Rook, Knight, Bishop and their handler, Deep Blue.

The three novels are tentatively titled ROUSE, PULSE and SPEAK. Here's the description of book one published in Publisher's Marketplace:

Jeremy Robinson's, ROUSE, book one of the Chess Team series, combines the twisting plotlines and high adventure of James Rollins with the frantic pacing of Matthew Reilly. The team of Delta Force operatives battle a terrorist-friendly biopharmaceutical company working on human limb regeneration, whose experiments unleash the pinnacle of physical regeneration-the ancient creature known as the Hydra.

This is an amazing, career making deal and I'm thrilled and honored to have been signed by such a great publisher. For those who don't know, St. Martin's is the publisher of Matthew Reilly, Stel Pavlou, David Lynn Goleman and Robert Ludlum. Now that is good company!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Brett Favre (Yes...Another Football Post)

I had to take a couple of days before I talked about this. Not because I am emotionally distraught or anything, but because I really wasn’t sure what to say. If you look around online you’ll see plenty of sports writers who have already weighed in with their comments. But I’m not a sports writer. In fact, I’m barely a sports fan. I like football and, to a lesser extent, baseball, but that’s just about it. I’m not one of those guys who spends their free time glued to ESPN watching the US Open, or the Rock, Paper Scissors championship on ESPN2 (NOTE: I didn’t make that up…there really IS a professional Rock, Paper, Scissors league, complete with coaches, sponsors, spandex attire, and…er…athletes).

Still, as a football fan, it would be almost impossible not to have an opinion on Brett Favre’s retirement. Even as a Dallas fan, I like Favre. He’s hard not to like. Green Bay is my 2nd favorite team after the Cowboys, and it’s sad to see a legend like Favre pack it in. But at the same time the guy has had a long career, much longer than most NFL quarterbacks (Vinny Testaverde notwithstanding), and he deserves to walk away if that’s what he wants. But it’s not just the length of his tenure as starting QB that sets him apart, it’s the accomplishments he made during that time.

Favre loved to throw the football. I think if you look back on his career, that is one statement you will find to be true above all else. He loved to throw, and he was good at it. The numbers back him up, too. Most passing yards ever in a career, most TD passes ever in a career, most passes completed in a career, most passes attempted in a career, most career wins, the list goes on and on. These are all records held by Favre, many of them he broke this past year. There’s also his record for most passes intercepted by an opposing team…yep, he holds that rather dubious record, as well. Which all points to the simple truth…Brett Favre loved to throw. And when he did, it wasn’t so much a throw as it was the firing of a football from a cannon. Brett's arm was (and is) just plain dangerous. When he first started in Green bay, one of his receivers actually commented to the effect that when Brett threw, he was trying to put holes in people. Yeah. The ball came that hard.

He played every game like he was having a great time, and it showed. I truly believe it was never about the money or the fame for Brett, but simple love of the game. And the game loved him back, to the tune of two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl win. Many great QBs never get that win; look at Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton. But the folks in Wisconsin knew early on that Brett would bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown someday, and Brett proved them right in 1997. It was the first time since 1968 that Green Bay was able to lay claim to the trophy named after their own legendary head coach, Vince Lombardi.

So when he says he has nothing left to prove, I get it. He holds just about every record worth having and he has that lovely Super Bowl ring and legions of Farve lovers all over the world. He’s a lock for the Hall of Fame, and his career is already legendary, from playing after losing 30 inches of his intestine to playing just days after his father’s death. If you ask some of the younger QBs in the NFL these days, many of them will point to Favre as someone who inspired them when they were kids (including Tony Romo).

Aaron Rogers, Brett’s backup, has a mighty big pair of shoes to fill as the new starting QB for Green Bay. Luckily, he’s good, and I think he will do well. BUT, he is replacing one of the NFL’s greatest living legends. The folks in Green Bay used to say that Brett was good, but he’s no Bart Starr. I think Rogers will be plagued by statements that he is good, but he’s no Brett Favre. I also think he has enough talent to overcome them, but that’s just my opinion. In a town with streets named after Bart Starr and Brett Favre, is there room for an Aaron Rogers Blvd?

We will see what the future holds for the Green Bay Packers, which, for those who don’t know, is actually the NFL franchise with the most championships (they were winning the Big Games long before there was a Super Bowl). But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Favre on the sidelines before too long. Maybe as a QB coach or an offensive coordinator.

He does love to throw the football, after all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Down With The Flu!!!

Eeew, the flu. A curse from the heavens if ever there was one. Sickly, nasty, phlegm-producing flu. Bain of all who have too much work in their universes already. Get rid of it, I say. Mankind has no need of such a vile, contemptuous little bug! Join me, all, as I call for the flu's forceful ejection from Planet Earth. Down With The Flu!!!

I’ve been laid up with it for four days now. I’m finally back at work, but UGH! That was a rough four days! 101 temperatures and nasty body aches…I can live without them, thank you very much! The worst part was my wife and I were both sick. Normally, when she is sick, I take care of her, and when I am sick, she takes care of me. But when we are both sick, we are totally useless. Bleaaacchh!!

Anyway, I’m better now. Not 100%, but much, much better. And while we were out the Direct TV guy came and set up our HD package. NFL Network is awesome! I may never watch another station again…except when Lost is on (Lost looks friggin’ awesome in HD, BTW). Oh, and Spongebob, too. Now he’s on more often, which is cool. I luv that little guy!

Anyhoo, y’all are probably wondering about the Big News I mentioned last time, right?, too. My friend hasn’t announced the news yet, and I am still waiting on the details myself. Which stinks. Again, it’s not MY big news (wish it was), but it’s always nice to see lightning strike so close to home, y’know? Lets me know it can be done, as long as I don’t give up. So I’m anxiously awaiting the opportunity to let y’all know which friend of mine is next in line for the big time. It’s coming…don’t you worry.

Last, but never least, my friend Tyhitia finally sent me her MS to beta read. Woo hoo! I’ve been waiting on that one for months. No, I can’t tell y’all anything about it, but as I read it I’ll be sure to tease you about how I can read it and you can’t (hehehe).

See Y’all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big News Is A' Comin'

No, not MY big news. That big news hasn’t shown up…yet. Soon, hopefully.

No, THIS big news is for a friend of mine. I have promised not to say anything until everything is final, so I won’t. But I can’t help but be excited. I AM starting to feel a little bit like the old saying “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” only…you know…male. Yeah. Always a groomsman, never a groom. That’s it.

Something manly like that. :)

Anyway, good news for another friend of mine. I can’t wait ‘till I get to tell more.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is It Just Me?

The following incident is not a recent event, but it has been rankling me for a little while, so I thought I’d seek alternative opinions on the matter (and moonrat, if you are still reading I Have A Blog?, your input would be much appreciated).

Some time ago, the first three chapters of my novel found their way to the desk of an editor (we’ll call her Ed A). Three days later, Ed A emailed me, and told me she very much liked those 3 chapters, and would like to see the rest of the novel. So, needless to say, the remainder of the story was sent to her.

A month later I received another email. It seems Ed A read it, and she liked it, but felt she wasn’t the best choice to edit it. Another editor (let’s call her Ed B) who works at the same press had expressed an interest in reading it, so ED A forwarded the novel to Ed B.

Another month goes by, and I get a rejection from Ed B. Now, that in itself is nothing to stew over. Writers get rejections. It’s part of the business. But this was a bland form rejection.

Don’t get me wrong, I am used to getting form rejections (what writer isn’t?), but it seems to me, after requesting the full and then sending it to another editor in-house, to send a form rejection is just poor form (pardon the pun). I feel since they requested the full I should have gotten at least a brief explanation for the rejection. Too controversial, or not enough sex, or something like that.

This is not a big press, but it is a good press, and I wouldn’t hesitate to accept a contract from them in the future, should they ever extend an offer to me. I don’t have any hard feelings toward them, but I am confused. I could be way off base, but I can’t help but think with as few manuscripts as editors request it would not have been too great a strain on this person’s schedule to let me know the reason the MS didn’t pass muster. Am I wrong in thinking so?

What do y’all think? Is it just me?

See Y’all!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Little Note About The Super Bowl

Ok, since I know a lot of you aren’t football fans, I have to ask your indulgence once again. I promise my next post won’t have anything to do with football (I already know what I am going to talk about, too, so it’ll be an easy promise to keep).

I’ve been down on the Giants ever since they knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs, but as I sat watching the game, I just couldn’t bring myself to root for the Patriots. I couldn’t overcome a lifetime of bias toward a team I can’t bring myself to like, no matter how good they are. And they ARE good, there’s no denying that. The numbers don’t lie. 18-1, Four Super Bowl appearances in 7 years, 3 of them wins. Many records set by the offense, including most total points in a season (589), most TD passes (50), and most TD receptions (23). Get my drift? They are a GOOD team. A GREAT team, in fact.

But I still don’t like them.

The Pats are a team I have never liked. Even as a little kid I didn’t like them. I didn’t have a good reason for my dislike, in fact it was a pretty dumb reason, but to a kid any logic can be made to sound like the gospel. I was no different. So here is my lifelong silly reason: Their uniforms were ugly.

Yep. That’s all it took to make a circa 1979 me dislike a football team. Ugly uniforms.

Ok, that’s not the case anymore. Since the mid 90's their uniforms have been kinda cool, what with the new colors and the Flying Elvis logo. Nowadays it’s all about attitude, and Belichick’s attitude and the atmosphere he fosters on his team is, to me, deplorable. I could spend the next hour and a half typing on this subject, but I’ll spare you. Suffice it to say, I think he is one of the lowest-class coaches in the NFL (he didn’t even finish the game, folks! He walked off before the last play. Ok, there was only 1 second on the clock and Big Blue had possession, but still…his team had to be out there, so HE should have been out there with them).

But, back to the Giants. While I have no love for Eli and his crew, I do respect them a great deal, and they deserve it. What’s more, they PROVED they deserve respect last night. So, ok…Go Big Blue. There are several very good things I got to see come out of this Super Bowl:

1) I got to see that big smirk wiped off Tom Brady’s face. That was sweet! The man is a phenomenal QB, no doubt, but he KNOWS it, and his personality shows that he knows it.

2) I got to see Belichick show the whole world, once and for all, what kind of man he is by leaving the field in disgust rather than watch his team lose. The man is a poor winner, and an even worse loser. He may be a great coach, but I don’t think he is a very good person at all.

3) I got to see Strahan and Toomer get their Super Bowl rings. Finally. Those guys deserve it, they really do. Strahan is probably one of the nicest guys in the league. No, I’ve never met him, but I know one or two people who have, and the amount of work that man puts into his community helping others is beyond admirable. I like seeing guys like him win. Good for Michael!

4) This last is kinda selfish. I can’t help but feel a sense of vindication. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think Tony Romo is one of the best QBs in the NFL. The guy is awesome, and when he’s on a hot streak, he’s amazing (just watch the Dallas/Rams game if you don’t believe me). So I felt a need to step up and defend him after the Cowboys lost to Big Blue in the playoffs. Everyone tried to blame Romo and his trip to Cabo with Jessica Simpson. Remember all that fuss and muss? Made me sick. SO, watching the game, and watching the Giants defense do the same thing to Tom Brady, made me smile because now everyone can stop harassing Romo about that game. After all, Tom Brady is supposed to be the best in the NFL, and if he couldn’t stand and deliver against Osi, Michael, Tuck, and the rest of the Giants’ defense, then suddenly the Cowboys’ loss doesn’t look so bad, does it?

Anyway, this post is getting long and I’m sure all 3 of my readers have lost interest by now (with the exception of maybe one…you know who you are!). So I will end this here before I dig myself a big hole (hopefully none of my in-laws read this blog…I’d be banned from family functions for life).

See Y'all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Does Anyone Know How To....

...upload videos to my blog? I have a video of my little dog, Scrappy, playing football that y'all have gotta see. :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Just HAD To Share This Joke...

From my inbox this morning...

Three quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo and Tom Brady, go to Heaven to visit God and watch the Celtics play a game. God decides who will sit next to him by asking the boys a question...

God asks Peyton Manning first: "What do you believe?" Peyton thinks long and hard, looks God in the eye, and says, "I believe in hard work, and in staying true to family and friends. I believe in giving. I was lucky, but I always tried to do right by my fans." God can't help but see the essential goodness of Manning, and offers him a seat to his left.

Then God turns to Tony Romo and says, "What do you believe?" Tony says, "I believe passion, discipline, courage and honor are the fundamentals of life. I, too, have been lucky, but win or lose, I've always tried to be a true sportsman, both on and off the playing fields." God is greatly moved by Tony's sincere eloquence, and he offers him a seat to his right.

Finally, God turns to Tom Brady: "And you, Tom, what do you believe?" Tom replies, "I believe you're in my seat."

Friday, January 25, 2008

OK, based on several rejections and the advice of the lovely and talented Aprilynne Pike (Wuv Ya!), I started making some revisions to my 2nd novel. I added a subplot which allowed for one of the characters to be more sympathetic (and, coincidentally, took the word count from 60K to 65K), took out some entries that were either too cliché or confusing, and expanded just a tad on the ending and the MC’s situation when the story ends.

I think it’s quite a bit better now.

I really do.

But because there was a great deal of new material put in (10K) and old material taken out (5K), several parts of the story are in First Draft form. Obviously those will have to be polished up just a tad. Still, I’m very happy with the results so far. See my happy face? See? Right here….

Oh, wait…internet. Right. You can’t see my happy face. Well, imagine my face, but very happy. Got it? Good. Ok, let’s move on…

Where was I? Oh, yeah! Revisions! Well, now that those revisions are done I will be able to concentrate on my WIP. This side trip turned out to be a good thing. I was stuck on one part of my WIP, trying to figure out one character’s angle, and it just wasn’t coming to me. But when I started my revisions to the other book, I had an idea for the one I was stuck on.

Ain’t that always the way? I jotted down the idea while it was fresh, and now that I’ve pulled my mind out of the first century AD and shoved it back to the present I am free to explore it. I’m excited about that.


See Y’all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Brad, Now Heath...

All I could think to say was "Are you kidding me?"

This came as quite a suprise. This is truly, truly sad.

I liked Heath.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Ledger. :(

Blah Blah Blah Jessica, Blah Blah Blah Cabo, Blah Blah Blah Botched Snap, Blah Blah Blaaaaaaah....

Ok, ok…I know a lot of the space on I Have A Blog? lately has been devoted to football (y’all can blame angelle for that…or…you know…I could own up to the responsibility of running my own blog…but I’d rather pass the buck, hehe). So this will be my last football post for a little while. I wouldn’t post anything at all but there is something bothering me that I just have to rant about (oh, BTW…did I mention this would be a rant?).

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking Geez, David. The Cowboys lost. Get over it. You’re wrong. That’s not what this post is about. Ok, ok, so you’re right about the ‘get over it’ part. I’m still a little upset. But I’m mostly past it and now I’m looking forward to the Pro Bowl and the draft. I’m hoping the ‘Boys are able to secure Marion Barber, but still…Uuuh….obsessed? Why, no, I’m not obsessed. Why do you ask?

Anyway, I’m doing one of those tangent things again, gotta stay focused because this is important. It’s an urgent public service message to any and all Cowboys fans (and others) who might need a good shot of reality. Ready? Ok, here goes.


I’m so sick of hearing how Romo can’t win a big game, Romo botched a snap, Romo was distracted because of a trip to Cabo, etc etc etc. Folks, for anyone out there who is not paying attention, Romo is one of the best QBs to ever wear a Cowboys helmet. He’s the first Cowboy QB to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season (over 4,200, in fact). He tied the Cowboys all-time best season ever with a 13-3 regular season (know who else did that? Aikman. 1992). He set a new Cowboys record for most TD passes in a single season (36…previous record was Danny White in the 80’s. Even Aikman didn’t beat that one, and HE won 3 Super Bowls). Romo’s average pass length in the 2007 season was second only to Tom Brady. That’s right. The Tom Brady.

I could go on, but the point is simply this: Tony Romo IS the man in Dallas. His numbers in only his second season (and only his first full season) playing for Dallas have already exceeded the best seasons by the very best QBs in Dallas history. What does that tell you? The man is good. Damn good. Is he Tom Brady? Well, no. But then, there is only one Tom Brady.

I’d rather have Romo, to be honest. He’s younger, much more likeable and, given time and experience, I think he will be even better than Brady. *GASP* Did you say ‘better than Brady?’ Are you on crack, David? No, I ain’t. Not today, anyway. Maybe tomorrow.

The thing is, the Cowboys lost, and they should not have. But in T.O.’s own words, they lost as a team. One man did not lose the game. One man does not win a game. In football, every last play is a team effort.

Know who else they said couldn’t win a big game? Let’s look at a list:

Peyton Manning – Hmmm…he can’t win a big game? How’d that work out, I wonder? Oh, yeah, he won the Super Bowl last year.

Brett Favre – I don’t think I need to expand on this one.

Eli Manning – Wait…isn’t he the QB who won the big game against Dallas this year and is now going on to the Super Bowl?

Do I need to go on? Look at the above list of the NFL’s elite QBs. How long did it take them? Not ONE of them won a playoff game in their first 2 years as a starting QB. In fact, it took Peyton 6 years.

Ok, so sure…Tom Brady won the Super Bowl his first year as a starter. That’s Tom Brady. He’s the Phenom. He’s the NFL equivalent of J.K. Rowling. That is to say, far too talented and successful for mere mortals like ourselves.

Down here on planet Earth, Romo will do. Romo will do just fine.

So please, let the man play. Let him date Jessica, or Carrie, or Sigourney Weaver if that’s what he wants. Let him go to Cabo with buddies. Let him have fun on his days off. Fer cryin’ out loud, let him be human.


Ok, I’m done. Tune in next time for a much more cheerful and happy post. Just as soon as I find my crack.

See Y’all!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

YAAAAAY! Good News!!!

Angelle, I know you'll be celebrating with me. :)

Jason Garret To Remain In Dallas!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Scott Sigler's Next Book Will Be Released By Crown!!!

Well, looky here. I was just tapping along at Amazon and I thought to myself I wonder when the next Scott Sigler book will be out? This thought was, coincidentally, preceded by my viewing of author Jeremy Robinson’s MySpace page, which lists Scott Sigler as a friend.

So, since I was on Amazon anyway (in a separate window...multitasking is our friend, folks), I decided to see. To my surprise, I saw a new book by Sigler coming in April. But wait…this is a hardcover. Huh? Dragon Moon Press is doing hardcovers now?

They might be...truth is I didn't get far enough to check it out. That's because this book ain’t coming from Dragon Moon Press. It seems the talented Mr. Sigler has made it a little higher on the totem pole. His book, Infected will be released by Crown in April 2008.

2008. Hey, that rhymes with I can't wait. Coincidence? I think not.

Now, I ain’t knocking Dragon Moon, they put together a great product and I thought the cover and layout for Sigler’s Ancestor were both very well done. But Crown is definitely a step up in commercial publishing, with better distribution and a larger publicity budget. I mean, it’s frickin’ Random House, fer cryin’ out loud! What a nice success story, and a perfect example of why I made the resolution to never give up.

All I can say is: GO SCOTT!

This is definitely an author who deserves to be published by the bigger, badder presses. I enjoyed his first book, Earthcore, and I loved his second, Ancestor. Both were great reads, but you could see a vast amount of growth from one to the next, and I can only imagine the trend will continue with Infected. I’ll be seriously looking forward to getting a copy of this one.

So congratulations, Mr. Sigler, on this very nice accomplishment. I am quite pleased that you made it to the big presses, and you betcher boots I’ll be picking up a copy of Infected as soon as it hits the shelves.

Oh, and for those who’ve yet to read Sigler’s work, do grab a copy of Earthcore and/or Ancestor and give it a read.

Note: Read Ancestor with the lights on, though. ;)

See Y’all!

(edit) After a little bit O' googling I found several announcements regarding this sale. It was a 3 book deal. I just didn't know about it until today. WOO! Again I say: GO SCOTT!!

Monday, January 14, 2008


That's it for the Cowboys in 2007. A 21-17 loss to the Giants, a team they beat twice in the regular season, both times by 10 or more points.

David is sad today.

I've waited a long time for the Cowboys to start being good again and have the kind of year I remember from my childhood years. It's been 11 years since they've won a playoff game. That's a long time in football terms, especially for Dallas, which has won more games than any other team since its inception in 1960.

T.O. was so diapointed he was actually crying. He defended Romo, who will undoubtedly face a lot of criticism for the loss. It's never that simple, though. Sure, Romo made a blunder or two, but the Giants pass rush got through the Dallas offensive line time and time again, forcing Romo to throw the ball or take a sack. faced with that situation, most of the time you throw the darn ball.

In that, the Dallas offensive line should shoulder some of the blame, as they did not have a great game, either. The whole game was marred by mistakes and penalties, but I still say the biggest factor was the ease with which the Giants' defense penetrated Romo's protection.

But smoke in the wind, and all that. second-guessing and finger-pointing won't put the Cowboys back in the playoffs this year; their season is done. If you want to watch Romo play again, you'll have to wait until August (or watch the Pro Bowl in feb.)

That just leaves the Patriots, the Chargers, the Packers, and the Giants left to play. Of the teams left, I'm rooting for the Packers, even though I think the patriots are going to take it.

But I've been wrong before...

See Y'all!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well Whaddya Know....I DO Still Enjoy Writing!

I had a pretty productive day yesterday.

I wrote 3,000 words of new material. What’s more, I actually liked what I wrote. To me, that’s a good day.

There is one downside, however. This work was not on my new WIP. Rather, Aprilynne reminded me that I need to get on with some revisions of my “completed” novel. So that’s what I did last night.

The funny thing is, I had NO trouble writing last night, which surprised me a little because working on the current WIP has been a constant struggle. Enough so that I have been wondering if I wanted to continue with it. What does that say about the WIP? It’s moving at a snail’s pace while revisions to my finished novel are streaking along.

I guess it means I like my finished novel more than my WIP, which really is no secret. I had very high hopes for it, and I still do. When I wrote it, I zoomed through the first draft in 5 weeks. I just couldn’t stop. Instead of two hours of BIC, I commonly found myself tapping away for four hours, sometimes more. My wife didn’t see much of me during that time, but I was energized and having fun, and I think that really came through in the writing. I can’t help it, I LOVE that book.

Maybe it’s just the uniqueness of the idea (which IS unique, BTW – I know as the author I’m supposed to say that, but it truly is), or the fact that this novel is the one that landed my agent, but I will have fond memories of it even if it doesn’t sell (which, sadly, is a looming possibility). I have not experienced that level of enthusiasm with the WIP for some time. The WIP is a decent idea, and it’s the one my agent picked from my list of projects, so it’s not hopeless.

It’s just not as fun, for some reason.

Alas….what’s a writer to do?

So for now I am going to alternate my writing schedule. I will spend one day working on revisions and the next day working on the WIP. I’m hoping that feeling energized about one can help me get reenergized about the other, although it could have the opposite effect of leeching enthusiasm from both.

I dunno. But I’m gonna find out.

The great thing about being unpublished (if it can be said there IS a great thing about being unpublished) is I can experiment with what works and what doesn’t without having a deadline hanging over my head. I’m going to enjoy that while it lasts, because when I am published, I won’t have that luxury. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for Writing

My friend Aprilynne Pike recently posted her list of author resolutions on her blog, citing several new-author mistakes she wanted to avoid during the publication process (for those who don't know, she sold a four book deal to HarperCollins not long ago. I'm very happy for her, but I am still waiting for my $20.00,...hehe).

In keeping with this theme, I have a list of my own. My list is different from hers, however, in that hers are mostly geared toward her goals as a soon-to-be-published author, while mine are goals for an unpublished author. Still, I thought I would share them with y'all just in case you're curious, and in so doing actually set them down in writing and in front of witnesses. See, now you guys can see this list and you can bug me if you haven't heard from me in a while. Just refer back to this list and say "Gee, Dave, I thought you were going to (insert appropriate comment here) this year. What happened to that? Eh?"

And I'll have to look all sheepish and admit what a slacker I am.

Still, I AM a slacker, so you might be wasting your breath, but hey, I gotta try, right? :)

Okay, here's the list:

1) I WILL write. Every day. I will not find excuses not to write. I will not play video games or watch TV. I will park my ever-expanding hindquarters in my computer chair and pound out two hours of writing per day, five days per week.

2) I will NOT give up. Just because my great, wonderful, fantastic and very original novel has not sold (yet), I will not use that as an excuse to no longer try. I will spend NO time convincing myself that my best is simply not good enough, and will instead work to improve on my writing.

3) I will NOT be afraid to try new things. I have been writing predominantly horror and dark fantasy, but I want to try my hand at something else. I've had a MG book kicking a rock inside my skull for several months, and I'm going to take a crack at it.

4) I WILL communicate more with the writing friends I have made over the last year. I've been slacking on that (y'all know who ya are). Some of them have had incredible years and I am very happy for them, even if I don't write much.

5) I WILL give my agent a reason to keep me as a client even though my first book hasn't sold (yet). By "a reason..." I mean I will give her a wonderful new book to pitch, and I will do so before June of this year.

6) I WILL update my blog at least once per week. Even if I have very little to say, there will be SOMEthing new on this site EVERY week.

7) I WILL finish the novels I start. So far I have written two complete novels. This means I AM capable of finishing a novel. Therefore, there is no excuse for the three unfinished novels I have on my hard drive.

Ok, that is all I can think of for now. If I come up with any more I'll post them here. how about y'all? Any New Year's resolutions ya wanna share? Eh?

See Y'all!