Blog Archives

Heartwarming Thoughts of Spring

Ahhhh, spring. That time of natural and spiritual renewal, when life shrugs off the long cold grip of winter and embraces life anew, reveling in the rebirth and joy that the change of seasons brings. The heart lifts, the trees bloom, and smiles and good feelings towards all creation shine forth from the sense of freedom and reawakening that only Spring can bring. Read the rest of this entry

A Brief Uplifting Tale from the Land of Northreach

This morning, my wife asked me to tell her a story. This is what came out.


On a farm in Northreach, a child was playing alone behind the barn. His carved wooden soldiers were crude and simple, but he loved them anyway. His father had carved some of them, but some – the boy’s favorites – had been made by his father’s father, and despite the wood being worn from two generations of loving handling, those three figures were always the heroes and kings and generals, whatever the story in the boy’s head needed them to be. The day was cold, since winter was not long passed, but much of the snow was gone and behind the barn the ground was dry and free from the mud that seemed to be the main component of the farm during early spring.

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My Apologies for the Silence

This one’ll be short, actually, not the short where I say this is going to be short and it ends up at 1,200 words which generally isn’t short by blog standards but is incredibly short by my standards, but more like the short that is short because it’s short. And yes it took me 48 words to say “this is short”, because I am still me, after all. Anyway, I wanted to say I’m sorry for the lack of updates and vitriol and whatnot. Life has been uber-crazy lately and my muse has decided to spend the last couple of months in Tahiti apparently. I probably won’t be watching The Walking Dead anymore, because the last 2 episodes I saw broke me. I will write up why at some point but I can’t even muster up the energy needed to do that yet, so it’ll appear at some point. I’ll be back to batshit-crazy-guy at some point. Promise.


Aravan, God of Transexuals

The World Really Wants to Know About Sophia

Yes, they do. Yes, she is. Yes, it’s a barn.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I underestimated the burning nature of the world’s thirst for knowledge about Sophia and whether or not she was ever found. Ever since The Walking Dead’s season 3 run-up, my blog traffic has tripled. Why? Dunno. Maybe the list of Google search terms for visitors can shed some light on this:



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Programming Notes and a Little Bit about GenCon

This one is going to be brief. I’ll wait while you recover from your bout of fainting at that news and as you wrestle desperately with your skepticism. Swear to god, I’ll be brief. Briefish. Somewhat succinct.

Man, it’s hard to do. It’s like asking Hemingway to write a Shakespearean play.

OK, first off, some programming notes. I just got back from vacation on Tuesday (I was at GenCon, more on that in a bit) so I’m a little behind.

Coming later today will be a first here at Me and My Shovel: a podcast. You read that right. Very soon, you’ll hear my gratingly irritating voice for the first time broadcast over the Internets. Because you know my love for keeping things short, this podcast lasts only an hour and 37 minutes. You’re welcome.

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NaNoWriMo 2011 Update

So far, so good. Waiting on the Dead is coming along nicely so far. I’ve hit the quota each day so far, averaging about 1,780 words a day. I’m actually doing better than any previous attempt I’ve made, which is cool. I’m sitting at 8,919 words as of now, and the story as a whole is past the 13,000 word mark, which I’m quite happy with. A lot of the people I know are WAY ahead of me, like in the tens of thousands, and I hate those people.

Just kidding! ❤ you guys.

I may post an excerpt eventually, like I did with Curse and Storm. Not sure yet. I’m having a blast writing it, though.

And my Raphaelo’s tee-shirt has shipped. I can’t wait.

So to my other NaNoWriMo brethren, keep kicking ass! We got this. A 50,000 word novel in a month is nuthin we can’t handle.

Hey Look! Overpriced Crap!

You may have noticed… oh, you didn’t? OK, well, move your eyes over to the right side of the screen. There. Yep, now, below the book cover… almost… there you go! By now you’ve seen the picture of a t-shirt on the right side there. That’s right! You now have the opportunity to purchase the EXACT SAME SHIRT worn by the protagonist of Waiting on the Dead: A Zombie Survivor’s Story. You too can pretend to be a server at Raphaelo’s, just like the guy in that book you haven’t read because it’s not finished yet. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? On the pocket you have the name of the restaurant and in fine print below the name of the book. On the back the restaurant’s slogan – OUR FOOD IS OFFAL – is prominently displayed with the full book title in fine print below. And it comes in a multitude of colors like black! And black! Or even black!

How awesome is that?! It’s what all the cool kids some people I’m wearing! Well, and my wife, because I bought her one. That’s right! It comes in a fashionable v-neck for the ladies! What are you waiting for?! Besides dementia, incipient lottery winnings, the urge to waste your hard-won money, the book to actually come out, the loss of good taste, anything else in the world remotely worth spending money on, a relative that you hate and want to give a useless gift to, or a million other reasons?! Oh. OK. That makes sense, then.

From Waiting on the Dead:

There was a lot of grumpy sullenness as we took our new uniform shirts: tight black tees that said “Our Food is Offal” across the back. Let me tell you, it was seriously offal. It smelled offal, tasted offal, looked offal, and was offally expensive.

NaNoWriMo 2011, and On Being a Crackhead for a Day

It’s November 1st, so that means me and a whole lot of other crazy people are going to try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days as part of National Novel Writing Month. I’ll personally be attempting to get as much of Waiting on the Dead completed in November as humanly possible, because I think it’ll be quite a bit longer than 50k when it’s all said and done. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that my blogging in November might be a little sparser than normal.

I will, however, still be doing my weekly Walking Dead wrapup specials. I like those too much to stop. Episode 3 will be coming tomorrow, since I haven’t watched it yet.

So am I ready, pumped, and excited? Not yet, honestly. Halloween weekend was very busy for us, since we try to do a big costume party every year which means the day before and day of are so hectic cleaning and decorating and cooking and all that. Plus, my wife and I got the opportunity to take part in a law enforcement training class, playing the part of crackheads as part of a search warrant and seizure training conducted by Center Mass Combat Tactics, a company that provides firearm and tactical training from beginning pistol courses to full-on police tactical courses.

About a dozen of us went to a police-owned run-down abandoned house. Some of us were given fake guns and told to hide in various places in the house. The officers would be busting in and our job was to try to hide, sneak past weapons, be belligerent (verbally), and basically give them a hard time and stress them out as much as possible. The place we were in was a filthy hole and I hid in the attic and apparently laid in a nest of stinkbugs for 15 minutes, then proceeded to f-bomb and antagonize the officers as creatively as I could. Then we got to see the instructors go through the critique of the officers’ performance. I respected the fact that these officers place themselves in dangerous situations voluntarily before the training exercise, but actually seeing and being a part of a simulated operation as the target really reinforced the point. It takes a hell of a lot of courage, guts, and balls to potentially need to deal with this kind of event on any given day at a moment’s notice. Law enforcement officials have always had my respect, but that deepened even further after being a potential deranged suspect and seeing their work close-up.

Plus, trying to hide inside a house that has officers declaring their intention to enter in no uncertain terms, followed 15 seconds later by the slam of a ram against the door and it busting open and loud voices and pounding feet will really get the ole heart pumping. There were pictures being taken for the event, so I’ll be sure to post me and my crackhead buddies for your amusement. Of course I had to dress the part.

Anyway, good luck fellow NaNoers. 50k in 30 days – you got this.

15k in 15 Day: The Final Sprint

It all comes down to this. By midnight tonight, I need to have 85,000 words done on The Storm of Northreach, or else I need to dress like an idiot and go to a Twilight movie. The word count this morning is 80,030. I have just shy of 5,000 words to write today. Can he do it? Will he be able to pull it off? WHOSE CUISINE REIGNS SUPREME?

We’ll find out. I’ll update my progress throughout the day. I wish me luck.

UPDATE: Boo-yah. 85,034. Rock the house.

Blog Ideas I’ve Rejected In the Recent Past

A lot of the time, I struggle with exactly what I’m going to write about at any given time. I imagine most bloggers feel the same way. Some of the time, though, an idea hits me and it’s so resonant inside my own head that it just flies out. Believe it or not, I don’t always write them, because of a sense of decorum.

Yes, I have one. It’s very small and goes by the name of Chester and is sad because of how little attention I give it.

But those ideas I’ve rejected in the past still rear up from time to time, eager to be written. I just know I can’t for one reason or another. As caustic as I can be, I avoid certain things just because I don’t necessarily want to come off as a loud, over-opinionated jerk with no regard to the feelings of others.

Hey, you can stop laughing anytime you want. It’s cool. I can wait.

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