A Little Late January Download (As the Dust Settles)

Work and life certainly keeps you busy.  At least, it keeps me busy.  There have been a few weekends where it seems like I’ve done nothing, but these have been weekends where I’ve spent more time recuperating than anything else.  After a long hiatus, I have begun work on my NaNoWriMo novel from 2015, and I hope to see this one through to the end.  There have been numerous reasons for this latest hiatus, including work, side projects, play, reading, and the like.

Needless to say, a few things have happened since my last post:

For the first time since completing my manuscript almost five years ago, I have reached out to a publisher in an attempt to see my first completed novel to publication.  It is a big step for me, as I’ve felt like my writing has been a second class citizen to my career.  In reality, I want them to be one and the same.  I am awaiting word back from this publisher’s representative, and hope that things will go swimmingly.  If not, well, experience is the best teacher.

I recently completed Jason Halstead’s Vitalis.  I have a review of that underway, but it is still not complete.  There’s a lot to learn about the craft of writing from this book, and I am envious of how prolific Halstead is with his writing.  He has a desire to be an author, and he is certainly seeing it through.

I have gone to a number of basketball games, with the most recent being a double-OT thriller between the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  At this point, seeing Elliot Williams and Darrington Hobson pound the rock for the Warriors is like watching old friends out there.  Ronnie Brewer, Dan Nwaelele, and recent additions Kevon Looney and Mac Koshwal have really upped the ante for the Warriors defensively.  The Warriors racked up a high score in the win, winning 119-to-118, but the last four to five minutes of regulation and the two overtimes were better characterized by solid defense than they were by their scoring.

On top of all of this, I also had the great joy of attending the Sun Kings’ concert on New Year’s Eve at Don Quixote’s bar on Highway 9 in Felton.  This was a great concert as the band made no attempt to pretend that they were the Beatles, but they sounded much like the Beatles nonetheless. Unlike the Fab Four (tribute band), who played the part of the real Fab Four so well, this group of four had the Beatles sound with the Santa Cruz/Bay Area sensibility.

I’ve started reading another free ebook.  This one, D.F. Bailey’s Bone Maker, is an interesting book.  The story follows Will Finch, a reporter for the online edition of a San Francisco newspaper, as he ventures up to Astoria, Oregon (home of the Goonies) to uncover the reality behind a strange and convenient death.  I’m only 64% of the way through this book, but Bone Maker follows many of the conventions that make for a good first-person mystery.  This isn’t necessarily hard boiled, but there are some hints of noir in this piece.  I hope to review this at some later date.

I’ve also been reading Cody McClain Brown’s “Chasing a Croatian Girl.” This one is memoir, which is a craft that I have a love-hate relationship with.  Some memoirs are very good, but I hate to see memoirs stock the shelves that once were devoted to fiction.  Cody is a friend of a friend, so I am eager to read this book and provide some feedback.  If you are a writer who is looking to take on a casual, comfortable tone, then I recommend reading this book.  Memoir is very different than fiction, and my fiction tone looks like lines of code next to Cody’s wit.  Stylistically, there are aspects of this book that simply don’t translate to what I hope to accomplish in my own writing, but this has been a fun read to this point.

Lastly, and this is burying the lede: I am an uncle, again.  Yesterday, after waking up late in the morning and not getting going until late in the afternoon, we made the drive up to the East Bay to meet our new niece.  And that’s about all the news that’s fit for print.


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