Epic Thursday

I feel like I just ran the gauntlet. Seriously. I had three hours of meetings in the Morning followed by two hours of meetings in the afternoon. It was rough, but I did get a really nice compliment from my manager for the way I handled things, so that’s nice. I’m amazed I handle things well, as I have found my internal editor is not as quick lately in these sleepy days of having a six seven month old.

Had a pretty good writing day yesterday. I’ve been struggling to come up with a good opening paragraph for my latest attempt at a novel, and got one early yesterday morning. I wrote it up during lunch yesterday and sent it over to one of my critique group members. She wrote back right away and told me that the paragraph was good but the second one was even better. She was right, of course. Have I mentioned you really should join a critique group?

Unrelated, but still awesome, the first 70+ pages of Terry Pratchett’s soon to be published new novel are available for free to read at Harper Collins’ website. This one is “football” on the Discworld: Unseen Academicals.

Hogfather

hogfather-2
I’m currently reading Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather. So far, it’s been really cracking me up.

I’m about 100 pages into the book, after starting it last Sunday. This may not seem like much, but is a torrid pace for me. Basically, I read when I have time. This is mostly when my wife is reading to our daughter to get her to go to sleep (the daughter only wants Mommy if available). I’ll lay on the floor near the bed and read whatever novel I’m reading on my Sony Reader, always mindful of the falling book they have finished. My job in the process is to fetch a new book, without getting knocked out of course.

Anyway, Hogfather has a few of my current Favorite Discworld characters. You have Death’s granddaughter Susan, you have Death posing as the Hogfather (Santa Clause of the Discworld), and you have The Death of Rats (the Grim Reaper for rats). The Death of Rats is my favorite favorite, as he’s this little skeleton rat. I picture Stuart Little without any flesh and whose only word is SQUEAK (Death always speaks in all caps).

Anyhow, typical silly Pratchett.  I highly recommend this one.  I’m 1/5th into the story and I already am thinking “I don’t want this book to end.”

Terry Pratchett Interviews

I came across a few Terry Pratchett items I thought I would share with you today.  For those new to this blog, Terry Pratchett (along with Neil Gaiman) is one of my favorite authors.  We could all only dream to be one quarter as prolific as that man.

First, Terry wrote an article at the Daily Mail about his life with Alzheimers.  It’s a sad article but I think it is also important to read.  I think the more we know about the disease the better.  The headline quote for the article is “I’m slipping away a bit at a time… and all I can do is watch it happen”. *Sigh*

On a much more happy note, Terry has also posted a video interview of himself on his website talking about his next Discworld book.  It sounds from the interview that it will deal with soccer on Discworld. Sign me up for that now!

Graveyard and Nation

Well, that was the morning from Hell. Basically, I experienced my second Monday of the week. Let’s leave it at that.

The juices are flowing again on the writing front. I’ve made progress on the short story and Chapter six of the novel. It feels good. It feels really good.

Now to today’s post. As you may be aware, two of my favorite authors had books released yesterday. Neil Gaiman had The Graveyard Book published and Terry Pratchett had Nation published. What you may not know is that you can read some both books online. Click on the link below to read The Graveyard Book. I’m excited to read this one. Actually, I plan on buying it tonight.


Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Now onto Terry Pratchett’s Nation. I’m not sure about it. It seems like a good book, even though it’s not a Discworld book. They made a pretty strong case for it yesterday on Boing Boing. Cory Doctorow wrote of Nation in that article: “This isn’t a Discworld novel or a Truckers novel — it’s not Good Omens. It’s a complete departure for Pratchett and yet is recognizably him, on every page, writing with the same grace and wit we know from his other work. Highly recommended (and would make brilliant bedtime reading, too).” I may read a bit of it online and check it out at the library.

Here’s the link to Nation online:


Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

If you read either of these books, let me know what you think.

The Colour of Magic on TV

As you all know I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan. I came across some more Terry Pratchett goodness yesterday and thought I’d share.

It turns out that Terry Pratchett’s novel, The Colour of Money, has been made into a movie and is airing Easter Sunday on Sky One. I don’t really know what Sky One is, other than it is a television channel I don’t get. Therefore, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the DVD release of the movie in the United States.

This is a straight to television movie, but after some digging, I have found it’s a pretty well done t.v. movie. First of all they have a pretty good cast with Tim Curry (one of my favorite movies is Clue) and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy). Second of all, they seem to have had a decent sized budget.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Click here for the trailer (embedding is disabled but you can still click and view it).

Here is the shorter “teaser trailer” that they are letting us embed:

Also check out this pretty cool interview with Sean Astin on set. There is more video goodness here. Those of you that get Sky One, I hope you get a chance to watch The Colour of Magic. Let me know what you think.

———————————————————————————-

In unrelated news, Julie K. Rose has posted her second Writers & Soundtracks podcast. This one is with erotic fiction writer Megan Hart. Also, Julie had a short story published at the magical realist e-zine, Serendipity. Check it out!

Terry Pratchett Donates $1 Million

Did you all see that Terry Pratchett donated $1 million dollars to Alzheimer’s research? I guess if anything good can come out of his struggle with the disease is that there is now a public and powerful ally for the disease. There have been some interviews with Mr. Pratchett posted in the past week. Here is a link to an interview in The Sun.

My GP is helpful and patient but I don’t have a specialist locally. The NHS kindly allow me to buy my own Aricept, a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s, because I’m too young to have it for free.

That’s a situation I’m OK with in a I-want-to-kick-a-politician-in-the-teeth kind of way.

He’s also mentioned he’s already started to feel the affects of the disease. How incredibly sad.

There is a web site created, Match It For Pratchett, to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. I’ve put a badge on the right side of the blog there that links directly to the site. I hope you all do the same if you can.

Here’s a link to an awesome short story by Mr. Pratchett called Troll Bridge.

Here’s one last quote from Terry Pratchett, an honest look at what he’s dealing with in my opinion.

I’d like a chance to die like my father did — of cancer at 86.

Before he went to spend his last two weeks in a hospice, he was bustling around the house fixing things. He talked to us until the last few days, knowing who we were and who he was.

Right now I envy him. And there are thousands like me, except that they don’t get heard.”

What I’m Up To

I haven’t seen any new writing contests or advice today, so I guess I will just give you a little update about myself.

  • I think I’m developing some tendinitis in my right arm stemming from shoveling snow (thanks for plowing me in Mr. Plow), picking up 20 pound babies, and playing hockey. It’s one of those things that will improve with rest, something I will not get any time soon.
  • My daughter is doing great (now 9 months old), though she still isn’t sleeping much. Her favorite activity is walking around the house, supported by us holding her under her arms, as evidenced by the developing holes in the knees of my pants. She can also stand for a few seconds on her own, though she gets brave and lunges back, causing her to lose her balance. We are there for her, though.
  • I just finished Good Omens, and the ending did not disappoint. This has become one of my new, all-time favorite books and a rare one that I will surely read over and over again. A bonus of the copy I have is that there is a section called “Gaiman on Pratchett” and “Pratchett on Gaiman” in which each author talks about the other. Cool stuff. Gaiman describes how when Pratchett was first starting out, he had a full-time job and wrote 400 words every night no matter what. When he completed his first novel he still had 100 words remaining, so he started his second novel.
  • I have three writing projects I am currently working on or am thinking about. First, I am taking part in a local short story competition with my local newspaper. They start the story, then the readers finish. I have been won this a few times in the past, and have a lot of fun with there. Secondly, I need to finish my pirate story for Shimmer and submit it inner critic be damned. Lastly, I have been brainstorming and jotting down ideas for my submission for The Machine of Death. That one I am really excited about.

Anyhow, that is me. What are you up to?

Death and What Comes Next – Terry Pratchett Short Story

I stumbled across this short story a few months ago and thought it was worth sharing. It is yet another example of the brilliance of Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series of novels. Those that like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Douglas Adams in my opinion will enjoy the Discworld books.

In this particular short story, The Grim Reaper aka Death has come to claim a philosopher, who tries to reason with Death, managing to work quantum physics into the discussion.

I really enjoy Pratchett’s work and hope to someday be able to work humor into my writing as seamlessly as he.