Monday, November 30, 2015

Sneakatara Boatman and the Crown of Pluto

The new book is out!

I'll be running some previews here over the next couple of weeks, but for now, I'd like to start with the Afterword.  It saves spoilers for later, and it--hopefully--gives a sense of what I was trying to accomplish with the book.

If that makes you more interested, then good.  If not, well, what can you do?


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Marvel Netflix Trivia & Speculation

I know, I know.  I should totally be working on something productive today.  However, for the second day in a row, I just can't seem to get started.  They say that writer's block is bullshit.  If that's the case, then so be it.  Maybe I'm just lazy.
Regardless, let's talk about TV...
Iron Fist, Jessica Jones (Jewel or Power Woman), Daredevil, & Luke Cage (Power Man).
This team would typically get the name "Heroes for Hire".
Marvel Netflix Trivia & Speculation
Let’s start with the obvious.  As of this writing, Marvel Television has released a season of Daredevil and a season of Jessica Jones, both on Netflix, both closely tied to the work of iconic comics writer Brian Michael Bendis.  A second of Daredevil is supposed to be headed to Netflix around April next year, and seasons of Luke Cage and then Iron Fist are in the works, Cage for maybe a year from now and Iron Fist as yet to be determined.  All of this is to be followed by a six-episode mini-season of The Defenders.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sketch in My Notebook: The Return of Dr. Necropolis (Chapter 12, Part 2)

When last we left Frank McGuinness, the man who was once the notorious super-criminal Dr. Necropolis, he'd been angry.  His former partner, the Russian super-criminal known only as the Siberian Tiger, resurfaced after years underground, with both Frank's ex-wife, Gun Girl Gracie, on his arm and Frank's greatest creation, the Neural Disruptor, wrapped around his head.  Determined to take back what was his, Frank escaped from Sing Sing Correctional Facility and made his way to an old safe house in the South Bronx.

Now Frank finds himself in a bank with police surrounding the building.  He's come for some simple walking around money, but after six years out of the game, even the easy things have become difficult.  As the police close in, Frank and his unwitting accomplish Chelsea must make their escape.

Monday, November 23, 2015

TV Review: Comics on TV

Hannah asked me what my favorite comic show is on TV.  This season, I think it's The Flash.  The answer would have been Netflix's Daredevil a little earlier in the year, but The Flash has been terrific in its second season, so there you have it.

My thoughts on the season are after the jump.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thoughts on the Rutgers Game

I don't know if you saw the game yesterday, but it was hardly Army's best outing of the season.  The game was probably about as close as we had any right to expect, but that doesn't mean that it was particularly close.  Army's defense was substantially over matched by Rutgers' skill position players, and plebe quarterback Chris Carter made his collegiate debut.  Hell, with all the New Jersey fans in the stadium, it barely even felt like a home game.

Friday, November 20, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Hoping for an Opportunity

My first draft of got a little jingoistic this week.  Perhaps that's inevitable in the wake of the Paris attacks and the other, also very considerable attacks that hit Beirut and that Russian plane in Egypt.  I find myself uncomfortable calling for a war in which I am extremely unlikely to fight--although, who knows, right?--but it feels like we may yet have an opportunity here.  This might be one of those moments in which we can achieve regional consensus and act, even if that consensus is short-lived and entirely self-serving on all sides.
Consider: Russia, Britain, and the U.S. were not all fast friends in the late 1930s and early 40s.  In fact, the allies invaded Russia in 1917 to try to oust the Communists.  The smarter half of the American public was keenly aware of the British interest in maintaining its colonial presence in North Africa and elsewhere--and distinctly un-interested in the ramifications this held for our collective strategy.  These differences were real.  It’s hard to say what would have happened had Japan not blundered its way into attacking Pearl Harbor in 1941.  However, the resulting three-way alliance fought a relatively unified and collective war that defeated its enemies and set the course for the modern world.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thought of the Day

Good test readers are like leprechauns. They're so hard to find that at times it seems like they flat don't exist. But if you ever find one, you'll realize that the search was well worth the effort. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I wrote the darkest stuff today.

Got about eight hundred and sixty words down on the train to work this morning. I've been working on "The Return of Dr. Necropolis," and I'm finally into Chapter 15, the bit that first gave me the idea for the story. It turns out that there was a lot of build-up to get where I wanted to go. 

I've mentioned this before, but it's been awhile.  "Necropolis" started as a sex story, a simple piece of smut that went way off the rails right at the beginning   I could have forced it back, I suppose, but I don't think smut is my natural genre. I keep pulling away right as we get into the good stuff, and anyway, where's the tension in what ought to be a life-affirming act?  I've struggled with it.  It's not my best thing. 

The resulting story, though, has been a kind of comic book crime story, a superhero lunatic-fest that has not always been pretty. I set out to write a kind of guy's version of Fifty Shades, but if that's what this is, it implies that the male mind can be an ugly place.  I've always admired John Ringo's "Paladin of Shadows" books for their unflinching commitment to Ringo's worst impulses, and if this isn't nearly that hardcore, it is nevertheless very intense in its own, hopefully more psychological way. 

Ultimately, you'll have to judge for yourself, I suppose. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sketch In My Notebook: The Return of Dr. Necropolis (Chapter 12, Part 1)

Sketch in My Notebook
When last we left Frank McGuinness, once the notorious super-criminal Dr. Necropolis, he'd been angry.  His former partner, the Russian super-villain known as the Siberian Tiger, resurfaced after years underground, with both Frank's ex-wife, Gun Girl Gracie, on his arm and Frank's greatest creation, the Neural Disrupter, on his head.  Determined to take back what was his, Frank escaped from Sing Sing Correctional Facility and made his way to an old safehouse in the Bronx.

Now Frank finds himself in a bank with police on the way.  He'd come for some simple walking around money, but after six years out of the game, even the easy things have become difficult.

I don't blame you if you don't remember this one.  The old chapters are archived in the Sketch in My Notebook tab of this blog.  Check it out if you get interested in the story...

Friday, November 13, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Looking for Vets from the "War on Christmas"

Happy Friday, folks.  Let’s get to it.
***
1. Starbucks ‘removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,’ Christian says in viral Facebook video (Washington Post)
Some say Jesus Christ healed the sick and died to redeem humankind. Little is said about his views on the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Still, secular coffee maker Starbucks has come under fire from some Christians who say the company isn’t repping hard enough for Jesus on its recent understated holiday cups.
Shots fired!  It’s a War on Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veteran's Day Workout

I had the day off yesterday, and I'm taking my kids to the Army game on Saturday, which means that my normal long swim day is off.  I therefore had to get my long swim yesterday, Veteran's Day, a rather conveniently timed day of rest.

If you're wondering, I'm training for the Swim Across the Sound, a 15.5-mile open water swim that supports a cancer charity sponsored by St. Vincent's Hospital here in Connecticut.  Yesterday's workout was...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Army Football Preview: Tulane

Where to begin?  Army scored three points against Air Force in a game in which quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw looked hurt and the coaches looked like they’d rather play for a close score than an actual victory.  Meanwhile, Navy is now ranked #22 in the nation, which means that The Streak has at least one more year of life left in it, and Army fans everywhere are soon to be left crying in their beer.  Again.  Yes, kids, the Mids are excellent this season.  They are now 7-1, having just beaten the previously undefeated Memphis Tigers by the resounding score of 45 - 20.  
This just in: Navy is the best team on Army’s schedule this year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Note on Self-Publishing

I've been talking with a friend about an impending decision, whether or not to leave a literary agent and self-publish.  I wound up writing a long note about it yesterday because, well, I'm not sure I'm doing my friend any favors.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Army Football Preview: at Air Force

When last we left the Army Black Knights, they were limping out of Rice University stadium after having suffered the latest in a series of crushing defeats in winnable football games.  The team overcame a 14 point deficit in a driving rainstorm, tied the score late at 31-all, and then gave up a truly egregious last-second touchdown to allow the Owls to get back in front, 38-31.  Since then, Army’s had a bye week, Sprint Football beat Navy, went undefeated, and won the Sprint Football College Championship, and this week’s opponent, Air Force, went to Hawaii and laid the smackdown on the Rainbow Warriors in the own building.  Now the Black Knights have to travel to Colorado to face the Falcons in their own nest.  
This will not be an easy task.