Sunday, October 20, 2013

Giving Credit Where It's Due

As noted in my prior post, I did not care for the pilot of Sleepy Hollow. I won't rehash the reasons again. It suffices to say the show wasn't for me, even though I'm a weird-stories nerd. Yesterday, I came across this:

Sleepy Hollow will return to Fox next season. The network granted the season's first bona fide hit an early renewal Thursday, bringing the series back for a similarly limited run next year.

I wanted to give credit to those who created the series. In this world of ever-diminishing attention spans, it's difficult to find and keep an audience. Anyone who can write/direct/act in a story that people want to keep tuning in to hear/see/read deserve full credit.

Does this mean I'll give the show another try? Probably not. I value the hour too much to use it on a T.V. show I did not like in the first place. I would rather use that time to focus on my own writing projects. I simply wanted to give credit where credit was due.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Camp: Writer

I've never described myself as the outdoors type. The one camping trip my father took me on as a child didn't turn out so well with the snake that almost bit me and the raging creek that almost drowned me. Needless to say, I've spent most of my life staying out of nature's way.
Jacob hamming it up for the camera. It took us
three moves to find a campsite we both liked. I
learned how important it is to have an awning
over the picnic table for shade .

Two years ago, Jacob, my youngest, convinced me to try camping. He had read several survivalist books and had gotten camping gear the past Christmas. He wanted to try out both his survivalist skills and new equipment.

After some research, I found Cedar Hill State Park not 20-minutes away from our house in the DFW metroplex. Close. Relatively inexpensive. I figured I could handle a day or two in the 'wilderness'.

For the most part, Texas is a very flat state. I'm accustomed to its flatness, so I've never given it much thought. However, as we drove toward the park, we encountered a real oddity: hills. The Cedar Hill (hmmm, maybe that second word should have given me a clue) area might only be a short drive from my house, but because of its hilly surroundings it was almost like leaving the state altogether.

I enjoyed that camping trip more than I thought I would. We've taken several other trips since then. This past weekend, Jacob and I loaded up his car, pitched a tent, and had an enjoyable time writing.

Me outside our snazzy new tent. On prior trips we slept in
the two-person tent Jacob had gotten for Christmas. This trip we
spent the first night in it, but the tent was too small for two
grown men and a full-sized air mattress. A quick trip to a
sporting goods store solved that problem. Our new digs was
so roomy, I slept on one side, Jacob the other, and we had at
least three feet of empty space between us. That was living!

My plans were to produce as many pages as possible, but the words didn't come easily (they never do for me). I managed to crank out seven pages on my quasi-steampunk novel and some edits on prior pages.

Jacob wrote over 20 pages on a story he says he'll never let me read (I suspect it's some type of fanfic). I was jealous of his prodigious production, but happy to see him writing again. He's a good author, but a lazy one. He's also one hell of a terrific editor.

Overall, I had a relaxing weekend spent in enjoyable weather with good company (Jake and I get along well - for the most part) and achieved some writing (any day with words on the page is a good one). I would say Camp: Writer was a positive experience. One I'll do again. I'm glad Jake convinced me to take that first trip.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Long Path to Geekdom

I attended FenCon this past weekend. As always, it was fun, but seemed oh-so-small after the Christmasland-like grandeur that was WorldCon.

I enjoyed a few panels, hanging with some writing buddies, and visiting way too many parties (the last item is a trend I noticed developing at WorldCon - hmmm - guess it's okay to party hop since all I do is sample snacks and rarely drink).

My biggest surprise of the weekend was to discover I truly am a geek. I know, like that should surprise me. I can recite most SF&F tropes and can talk the lingo with the pros. However, I've never gotten serious about collecting the merchandise. That all changed on Saturday when I passed a vendor who had a full collection of Babylon 5 action figures. As much as I loved the show, I never imagined there was merchandizing. Seeing no prices, I asked the owner the cost for one.

"I'd really like to sell them as a set."

Hmmm - where would I put 16 toys still in their packaging?

"Okay, how much?"

"$200 for all of them."

Hmmm - maybe I could make room for them somewhere in my already crowded house. "Let me think about it."
Not the ones I bought, but mine look just like
these, only in the original packaging. I'll never
do anything but display them but I'm happy
to own them just the same.

I left and returned later. After examining all 16 and learning some of the packaging had damage, I asked "Take credit cards?"

"Nope. Cash only."

"Okay. I'll think about it."

I walked away, found an ATM and returned with my money. Moments later, I left holding two plastic bags bulging with Babylon 5 action figures - and still no idea where I would store or display them.

I've never done anything like this before. I guess I took my final step into geekdom. Funny, I waited a really long time to do it.

Later, I looked them up on the Internet. The average figure retails for $19.99. Multiplied by 16 = $319.84. I think I got a good deal and I didn't have to pay for shipping. However, I never solved the dilemma of where to display them (currently, they're in a box under my bed. That just seems wrong).

When did you realize you were a geek?