Proof of Second Book – Big Man – on the way!

Greetings True Believers (please Stan Lee, in your infinite wisdom, don’t have that trademarked!)

Okay, um… start with a joke.   What do you call transit workers who moonlight as flatulent adult entertainers?  Rumble strips.

Now that I’ve disappointed you, perhaps you’re less likely to mention my long absence from my blog. There is certainly a reason for the long absence… or two… or three.  Come to think about it, aside from the news that I ordered my proof of my second book, Big Man, there isn’t much to say regarding my writing.  I’ll be going over my first book, Absconded by Sin, after having stepped away from it for quite some time.  After that, I will look to get that book published and start on book #3, which is an untitled project that I hope to discuss soon.

I’ve started running again – at least, at a semi-consistent level.  The effect on my weight is negligible at this point, but I’m definitely noticing a difference in terms of what my body can handle.  I’m doing pavement runs by necessity (it’s about 1.2 miles to the nearest dirt trail), but also because I am going to crash the Wharf to Wharf next month and I’ve never particularly liked running on the pavement for over an hour (including warmups, just waiting to cross the start, the race itself, and all the aftermath, that’s well over an hour). I’m still not quite ready for any of the workouts that I did in high school; then again, some of those trails don’t exist anymore.

The Summer Concert Series kicked off last week.  Warrant put on a great show.  For those of you who were there, does the new lead singer sound just a little bit like Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden?  At any rate, the live renditions of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Heaven” were outstanding.  I’m glad that they performed these two songs; if they didn’t, I swear that some guy behind us would have gone absolutely haywire — and we were right in the warpath.

As mentioned, I’ve been editing Big Man.  There are some things that I’ve seen that I like, and others that I don’t.  Characterization seems to be one of the stronger aspects of this book, though there are a slew of characters.   There are three or four in particular that I enjoyed creating, and it is sad to leave their stories behind.  Perhaps they will work their way into future works – though it may be a while before they thread them into another narrative.  In the mean time, I can look forward to a proof copy of Big Man, which I might mention a few more times, as it still makes me smile.

Another item that has occupied my time lately is the pursuit of genealogy.  I have been scouring the Internet for information regarding my heritage and my wife’s heritage.  My younger sister has beaten me to the punch every step of the way.  Those few gems that I manage to locate are the results of a) luck or b) misinformation.  The interesting thing about it is that there is hardly a consensus regarding history that has long since been written.  One of my progenitors, Michael Whitmire may be a German from Einzweiheigen, in the former Kingdom of Wurttemberg.  There is speculation that this individual was one of three that fled Wurttemberg as criminals.  There is also speculation that it is a case of mistaken identity, as Michael Whitmire of Einzweiheigen died in childhood.  There’s also the possibility that Michael Whitmire from Einzweiheigen is not at all the same Michael that fits into my family tree; instead, this man might be a poorly fitting puzzle piece that was jammed into placce by another genealogist.   On my wife’s side, there is the possibility that her Canadian roots actually started in Illinois, as well as Lancaster, Lancashire, England.  There is a very famous crime in her family history, as well, but her ancestors were actually witnesses rather than culprits.

As of this writing, I have also learned that the Miami Heat are the 2012 NBA Champions.  Good for them.  Of the four teams in the Conference Finals, there wasn’t a single team that I wanted to see win over the others; that is, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Miami, and Boston would have all been fine champions in my eyes.  While the time I invested in NBA viewing has been sporadic, it has renewed my interest in NBA Live and the NBA Draft.  The NBA Draft is a holiday on my calendar — somewhere between the Super Bowl for most Americans and a coronation in the few European monarchies that still exist.  I’m not quite as wild about this draft as I have been in the past.  The Warriors, my favorite team, have a decent position in the draft, but I do not know enough about the players that have been trotted out to Oakland for their individual workouts and interviews.  So far, the only opinions that I’ve formulated about this year’s event are as follows: Washington robbed New Orleans blind when they acquired Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, and they’ve done a great deal to improve their roster in just one move; the Warriors will be a much better team, even if their pick is one of the major flubs in draft history; and American players will dominate this draft.

Moving on from the many distractions to the craft of writing, I want to revisit the other end of writing: reading.  This evening, I finished reading Frank Herbert’s Dune, one of the great classics of science fiction, and true literature, regardless of genre.  The amount of imagination that it took to devise this, and the attention placed in every chapter is remarkable.  Paul Atreides is an interesting hero, and his hero’s journey is unique to that standard motivational cycle.  That said, it is a bumpy road.  I was surprised at how quickly Paul went from a fleeing whelp to the lionhearted warrior… but I’m not going to give any spoilers.  Lady Jessica had a unique journey as well, and the chapter that dealt with her introspection – or tripping out – was very well written and interesting.  In writing clubs, classes, and discussions, we place so much emphasis on plot.  I feel it’s for good reason.  If you look over the entry as it is written (seat of pants style), you’ll realize that the transitions from paragraph to paragraph are abrupt, meandering.

Let’s face it, that’s life.  Sometimes life is chaotic, meandering, or with a series of seemingly unconnected events. That said, I will have to lightly recant what I said about Lee Child’s The Enemy.  Plot is good, plot is comfortable, and plot gives order — or at least patterns — to events that can be entirely chaotic.  While I enjoyed Dune, I struggled with the way that it was staged.  Lee Child’s The Enemy gave up on building that fantastic world, like Dune’s Arakeen, for continuity.  At any rate, I read both of them late at night / early in the morning.  This all leads me to my late night question, as well as my sign off.


Until next time – and may it be sooner rather than later – thank you for reading.

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