Thursday, June 28, 2007

Random Stuff

This was my fav spot at the Grand Canyon, a studio built and designed by 1900's architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. Most of the super nifty buildings there were designed by her and were simply amazing.

Just a quick howdy. Life's been insane - won't bore you with the details. Let's just say I've traveled the entire length of the state of AZ (Nogales, Mexico to the Grand Canyon), had a cake explode in my oven, too much time away from the computer, and the radio station will (finally!) go live on 07/07/07. Um, yeah. Insane in the membrane (insane in the brain).

Brett Battle's debut novel, The Cleaner came out before I had a chance to talk about it, dammit. I got my mitts on an ARC of this book a few months ago. Let me just say that while I'm not normally a big int'l thriller reader, I loved this book. Strong writing throughout and a kick ass twist. Believe me, I'm a tough one to fool, but I didn't see it coming. So...if you're looking for a fun, fast summer read, The Cleaner is well-worth checking out!

As for me, I've got over 2 weeks of work to catch up on. I'll try to make the blog rounds in a few days, but this whole "vacation" thing has left me way more stressed out than if I'd been able to stay on track with the writing schedule. Still, kinda hard to tell folks who've traveled well over a thousand miles to visit that I can't hang out with them. Actually, it was impossible. They've headed back home now, leaving me plenty of time, some quiet, and absolute solitude. So back into the breach I go!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Unscheduled Vay-cay

Off for a few days of fun in the sun in southern AZ. Really should be working on finishing up the first draft, but when family comes to town it gets a little more complicated. Oh well. I'll take the notebooks, do a bit of long-hand work and try not to stress too much.

Taking along a few books - The Catcher in the Rye and Sean Chercover's debut, Big City Bad Blood. Doubt I'll have time to read much, but ya never know. Hey, it's a long drive to Mexico!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Glamorous Life *Not*

Sandra's post today, and especially the New York Observer article, "My Book Deal Ruined My Life" she linked to, kinda...irked me. Whoever buys into the fairy tale notion that a writer's life is supposed to be glamorous is an idiot. Sorry, can't sugar-coat it. If you honestly think getting a book deal is like winning the lottery and everything from that moment on will be gumdrops and lollipops, you are an idiot. Writing is a job. Granted, for most writers, it starts off as an unpaid job, but it's a freakin' job nonetheless.

Work implies effort, overcoming obstacles, and - like it or not - a certain amount of crap beyond the individual's control. I don't care what your job is, these things come into play. Office workers contend with weight gain from too much time spent in front of a computer - an issue that writers and graphic artists must contend with. Not enough pay for the effort expended? Yes. Difficulty maintaining friendships and romantic relationships because of time/energy demands of the job? Nothing new there. On the other end of the work spectrum, folks like plumbers, construction workers, and landscapers deal with physical injuries - for those who are self-employed, health insurance is an expensive proposition. Sounds familiar to those of us who are working in the arts, no?

I'm not saying that any of the complaints are false, or lack legitimacy. But really, there's nothing new here. I read about this stuff all the time. It's true. These are real problems. I'm just sick of the whining and the cloak of entitlement that some folks wrap themselves in. Poor, poor writerly dude/dudette. It's so terribly difficult, such a long and arduous path that you must travel. Please, let your angst bleed over your blog posts and comments on forums - I really, really want to hear how your bestest story ever just can't find a home. How all your hard work isn't appreciated. Blah, blah, blah. And then, when you finally land that agent and get that book deal, how you're still trapped in a pit of tortuous despair. Please. I really want to hear all the gory details.

I guess my rambling p0int is this: just because you make up stories for a living (or hope to be able to make a living at it in the future) doesn't mean you avoid all the life stuff that every other working stiff deals with. It doesn't make you special. And blaming the job (or the book deal) for the general life crap is ridiculous. Get over it. Writing is hard work. It's not brain science/rocket science or superduper extraordinary. Either you do it and find a way to manage the work/life issues, or find another job. Is that so hard?!

Okay, I'm done ranting. I know we all bitch sometimes. I certainly do. Then again, I don't blame the writing for it. My worst day at the 'puter is still better than my best day doing just about anything else. It's hard work, but I write because I choose to. And that's nobody's "fault" but my own!

Oh, in other news, the dumb crook who broke into the Raven and into Coyote's studio has been identified. When the cops get around to it, hopefully they'll arrest his dumb ass. It's annoying that they've known who he is for almost a week and that hasn't happened yet. Evidently Mr. Brilliantly Crafty Criminal is not high on their priority list. This does not make me happy, but there's not much I can do about it except wait and hope.

In other (other) news, there's a new writerly podcast out by Brett Battles and Rob Gregory Brown. Their first one is "Character Is King" and you can check it out here. I haven't actually listened to it, but Brett's a damn good writer, so I've got high hopes.

In the meantime, back to writing and massive house cleaning (family's coming to visit next week). Here's wishing you all much in the way of general goodness and nothing in the way of visits from stoopid crinimals.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Real Stoopid Crime

Still working away on the novel and spending almost no time doing blog stuff. Oops. But I'm coming up on my self-imposed deadline for the first draft (end o' June), and I'm not in the mood to fool around. So between writing, deep cleaning during "stuck" times (scrubbed all the tile in my shower/tub with bleach & a toothbrush - my bathroom has never been so clean) and putting a new coat of waterproofing sealant on the deck, that's pretty much my life. Thrilling adventure, huh? Oh, and the paper plates have worked out great. I confess I even got some paper bowls so I wouldn't have to wash dishes after breakfast. I'm seriously maximizing my slacker skills.

In other news...a truly dorky-looking dude broke into The Raven (and Coyote Radio's studio) early this a.m. How do I know he was dorky-looking? Smile, dude. You're on Candid Camera. Nice wire-rim glasses, shame about the crew-cut. And hey, tuck in that damn shirt, ya hoodlum! Yep, security cameras are pretty cool. Got to see the whole 8 minute ramble through our studio and the cafe. Mr. Brilliantly Crafty Criminal got away with a beer (singular) and a lock box from the Coyote Studio loaded to the brim with...old raffle ticket stubs. Didn't take the computers, the recording gear, the Mackie board or the oh-so-portable microphones. Couldn't figure out how to break into the Raven's register (though he did manage to pretty much destroy it in the process.) Nope. He grabbed himself a cold one from the cooler, went through the desk in the studio and took a lock box. Filled with old raffle tickets. Freakin' genius, eh? Oh, did I mention that the lock box wasn't actually locked?! Geez. Public schools have a lot to answer for. I hope they catch the twerp, but at least he didn't get a lot o' loot. Though he did a chunk of damage between the doors and the cash register. Idiot.

In (better) news...we should get the antennae and transmitter for the radio station sometime in June. Not an LPFM because of ongoing crap with that process, but an LPAM (part 15? can't remember exactly what it's called). So not quite the dream, but pretty cool nonetheless. It'll be a tiny, tiny footprint on the AM airwaves, but we'll have a lot more content and actually be "on the air" as well as having more stuff/shows on the web and available through pod-casting. The hubster is pretty much ecstatic. He's been working toward this for several years and is still wrapping his head around the fact that it's becoming a reality. Hooray for community radio!

Tsunami on the Square is coming up in a few weeks, too. I love this event - mariachis, black-light theater and fire, oh my! They're doing the Art Car Parade again this year and the hubster will serve as announcer there and for a few hours at the main stage on the Courthouse Square. Should be a great time, fer sure.

So...lots of hard work, a stupid criminal, good stuff coming to fruition and an all-day performing arts event. All in all, not too shabby!

*I found this photo on a website called Isn't that the coolest?!