I have a life mantra, a simple phrase that encodes and distills my own personal philosophy and a guideline for how I live my life. Many of us do, a sort of inspirational and motivational quote we pin on the corkboards of our hearts, something we turn to in times both dark and light. Most of those mantras came from wise and revered people, like Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, or Michelle Obama, or Mark Twain, or Dorothy Parker, or someone considered to be deep and learned or witty. Thinkers, philosophers, the lights of the human spirit.
My life’s philosophy comes from a terrible head coach of the Washington Redskins, a man unprepared and ill-equipped to run a team of people who run around and play for a living while sacrificing their physical and mental health for entertainment. A man who is little-remembered for good reason, and certainly isn’t wise, not even in a football sense. The saying that I hold as my guidepost to surviving life was espoused by a man whose signature playcall for the sportsball team I follow was this:
My guru is Jim Zorn.
Holy shit. I knew it had been awhile since I’d posted anything here, but I didn’t realize that it’d been a year-and-a-fucking-half. Time really flies when you don’t have anything you want to say.
Well, I’m back now. Hopefully for good. I spent some time recently reading through some of my old posts and I was pleasantly surprised by some of what I wrote. I even laughed out loud at some of the shit that I have no memory of writing, which is always a treat. So I was contemplating a return to this place, exercise my brain and try to recapture the voice that I use here, since that voice is the same voice in Waiting on the Dead and I’m seriously out of practice with the manic foul-mouthed hate-fueled style that me and the narrator both use to dish out bullshit thinly disguised as thoughts and half-baked observations about ephemera and terrible adaptations of the things I love (fuck you, Hobbit movies) in that particular cadence that evokes the ramblings of a meth-fueled ex-child-star with a microphone shoved into his face for the first time in a decade.
OK, run-on sentence achievement unlocked. That’s a good sign.
So anyway, I have no idea what I’m going to say here tomorrow or Friday or whenever. I have some ideas – someone told me I should retell the story from the Silmarillion in plain English and in a conversational style, which appeals to me since most people would rather gargle nail polish remover than read that book, which is crazy because it’s the best book of all time, but whatever, some people have no taste, but I also realize that it would end being more words than is actually in the Silmarillion because I’ve never met a sentence that couldn’t stand to have a few adjectives and adverbs and clauses and asides shoved in there – that I may work with, or I might talk about a movie project that I’m currently involved in, or I might just bitch about the terrible sound quality of America’s drive-thru speaker system – if we don’t maintain our infrastructure, America, then the terrorists win – or some other random thing that no one but me gives a shit about. We shall see.
I wasn’t surprised when I returned about one thing, though: people still really fucking want to know if they found Sophia in The Walking Dead. You’d think three years would have gotten the message out, especially if you know who Sophia is and care enough to look up if she got found but can’t be bothered to watch the show or talk to anyone about it, but whatever. 100 visits a day to a blog that hasn’t been updated in forever is something nice to come home to.
And yes, I just spent five hundred words communicating something that could have effectively done in two, which means that I might just be able to recapture the old spirit of this whole shebang. So for the TL/DR assholes out there, allow me to give you the two-word version of this post:
Fine, three words then.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 38,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals
This one’ll be short, actually, not the short where I say this is going to be short and it ends up at 1,200 words which generally isn’t short by blog standards but is incredibly short by my standards, but more like the short that is short because it’s short. And yes it took me 48 words to say “this is short”, because I am still me, after all. Anyway, I wanted to say I’m sorry for the lack of updates and vitriol and whatnot. Life has been uber-crazy lately and my muse has decided to spend the last couple of months in Tahiti apparently. I probably won’t be watching The Walking Dead anymore, because the last 2 episodes I saw broke me. I will write up why at some point but I can’t even muster up the energy needed to do that yet, so it’ll appear at some point. I’ll be back to batshit-crazy-guy at some point. Promise.
Aravan, God of Transexuals
It’s official. The most popular zombie fantasy novel series in Bear, Delaware has the next installment available for mass purchase. The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (see, I always wanted to write a saga. Trilogies are for the organized. A saga, man, that just sounds epic. Had to write a saga.), is now available for purchase in paperback form. With a limited edition cover, no less, commemorating my friends and loyal supporters at The Days of Knights in Newark Delaware. In fact, DoK’s has signed copies you can buy, right off the shelf, like it’s a book or something. If you can’t get to DoK’s, though, you can get Storm through Amazon. It won’t be signed, but that’s your problem. The Kindle and other ebook versions will be available soon, so have patience, you loyal rabid followers, you.
In the meantime, the fantastic Candice Bundy has interviewed me over at her blog where I expound on literature, wine, and chocolate ice cream. Check it out, then make fun of me in the comments or behind my back or wherever, it’s all good.
Not only that, but the Coolest Man in the World – Steven Montano – has a preview blurb up for Storm today that is eight thousand times more professional and awesome than anything I’ve done for my own book. That’s because he’s the Coolest Man in the World.
Finally, here’s a link to an excerpt from the novel that gives nothing away of the main story but gives you an idea of what the books are like. Note the hilarious estimate of Storm being a 2011 release. Hahahahahaha! Still, it’s a saga.
In case you’re curious, here’s the description of The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (you can’t tell me that when you say Saga in your head that it’s not done in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, all weighty and full of gravitas and shit. Saga. Saga.):
The storm is breaking, and the undead are loosed.
The legacy of the insane necromancer Troius lives on. Now freed from his control, the scattered remnants of his undead horde stalk the isolated hamlets of Northreach. The survivors of the destruction of Daneswall seek shelter from the oncoming storm, while soldiers of Baron Northreach are sent to investigate the strange message sent by the Baron’s son. Meanwhile, the city of Anticus, proud and insular, ignores the troubles of the backwater region of Northreach, unaware of the torrent bearing down from the north.
It’s a fuckin’ saga, man. That’s some cool shit right there.
I’m a little bit of a stats obsessive. I love them. I think it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy football so much – stats are like the little milestones that let you say “Hey, neat, this thing that happens hundreds of times a year is slightly different than the other times!”. I don’t memorize stats, though, which is for Rain Man and baseball fans. I just like seeing them, thinking “well isn’t that interesting”, and moving on with my life. If I could have a bunch of people following me all day – or, well, maybe an app or something, because that could get creepy as hell after a while – I’d totally do it, just so I could get information about the things I do and compare them to my average score and the population at large. Couple that with an announcing team or NFL Films guy or – especially – Colby from Top Shot and I’d be in heaven. “Will you look at this! He has been urinating for 37 seconds already, well past his average time of 29.73 seconds! Could his all-time record be in jeopardy?” This would be awesome in every way.
Yes, this is another post about my blog site stats. Sorry.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I underestimated the burning nature of the world’s thirst for knowledge about Sophia and whether or not she was ever found. Ever since The Walking Dead’s season 3 run-up, my blog traffic has tripled. Why? Dunno. Maybe the list of Google search terms for visitors can shed some light on this:
This one is going to be brief. I’ll wait while you recover from your bout of fainting at that news and as you wrestle desperately with your skepticism. Swear to god, I’ll be brief. Briefish. Somewhat succinct.
Man, it’s hard to do. It’s like asking Hemingway to write a Shakespearean play.
OK, first off, some programming notes. I just got back from vacation on Tuesday (I was at GenCon, more on that in a bit) so I’m a little behind.
Coming later today will be a first here at Me and My Shovel: a podcast. You read that right. Very soon, you’ll hear my gratingly irritating voice for the first time broadcast over the Internets. Because you know my love for keeping things short, this podcast lasts only an hour and 37 minutes. You’re welcome.
Pretty much on exactly the same day that I got picked for my incredibly prestigious award (I’m still waiting for my statuette. I get a statuette, right?), I also got hit with something else. No, not the bus that many people have waited years for, but something that’s actually pretty cool. I’ll let the awesome Candice Bundy explain:
The rules for this one are quite simple:
- Go to page 77 of your current ms.
- Go to line 7.
- Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
- Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.
In her post, she asked, as an offal lover, for a bit of Waiting on the Dead. Her request hit me at a pretty difficult time in my writing. In short, I hate it. I’m good with the blog posts, but halfway through the editing of The Storm of Northreach I just hit the wall. It’s not good enough. I’m not good enough to fix it. You know, the typical angsty writer bullshit that every one of us whiny little narcissists go through periodically. Well, fine, that THIS whiny little narcissist goes through from time to time. I’m trying to get through it, there are a couple of things that need to be addressed, and part of it has nothing to do with writing but involves the other production shit and WHINE WHINE WHINE I WANT A PONY.
I hope to be over that soon.
It’s official. There are no blogs left that haven’t already received this particular award. Know why I know it? Because I’ve been given the award. Now, we can retire the prize for good, because if this shitty little corner of the Internet has gotten the award then clearly there was no one else left who hasn’t already gotten it. That’s right, folks, it’s official. I have received the Versatile Blogger Award. For everyone who said that my writing would amount to nothing, I say HA! You’re right. BUT… I have this award.
That’s right, bitches. Along with my numerous Aravan Awards, I’m now a Versatile Blogger.