Thursday, February 26, 2009

Follow the link...

Absolutely hilarious, I think. I had to check this wasn't an article from The Onion. RYANAIR seems to be run by absolute loons. That or the travelling public in Ireland is accustomed to a very low level of customer service. Anyway, here's the link.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Okay, This Isn't Crime, But...

Just thought this story needed comment. What the hell is wrong with this country...? I'm really lost on this one. Really? Now people are complaining when the airlines DO give out peanuts?

So what's next? "I'm allergic to heights, couldn't the plane just run along the highways really, really quickly?"

Baseball Question...

If the next years of Albert Pujols's career copy the first eight years, would we say he was a greater hitter than Stan Musial? Just about all his numbers would trump Musial's, but Musial is revered, so...

At this point, Pujols has a slightly better batting average, and much better power numbers than Musial. Even a better on base percentage.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Picture Worth a Thousand

Call me a sucker for pictures where children's lives are being saved. In any event, the picture says so much about humankindness, and its historical context says so much about unhumankindness. The contrast between how it played out and how it could have played, between the breathe of life shared with an infant and the possibility (even if only entertained for an instant) of denying that infant the breathe because of her race makes the picture glorious, I think. Overcoming and all that. So different from Birmingham of a few years earlier. Thank you Mr. Carroll.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Prince Harry Steps in it

The funny thing about this story...Go ahead, read it, then come back to see if you agree with my take. I'll wait.

Good. Now, the funny thing about this story to me is that the comedian had no snappy comeback ready. The prince says "You don't sound like a black chap," and my initial reaction was "And you, sir, don't at all sound unintelligent." Can you say that to a royal in England without being arrested? Don't know. I suspect one might get in trouble. It is, after all, a monarchy. And Prince Charles carries a sword.

I begin to think that Harry does not have all screws properly tightened. Of course, he'll never be king. Elizabeth is healthy and so is Charles and so is William. Not to mention the fact that Harry has never been able to actually comb his hair let alone manage a nation...Or do they leave the actual management of things to professionals?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Reading and Writing

Been reading short stories in the mystery field recently. Mostly from AHMM and EQMM. People sometimes complain about the lack of violence and naughty words in those publications, as though REAL LIFE were nothing but violence and cussing. Still, there is something in these magazines that is worthwhile - some of the stories are true puzzlers which, a) are not easy to write well and b) might just be what saves the mystery industry.

In any event, my reviews of some of those short stories can be found at Nasty. Brutish. Short.

In the world of writing, I've have put together a story I think might well be the best one I've done so far in my life. I sent it off to AHMM and will try EQMM if that doesn't work. If neither of those works, I'll try something else to get it published, but I'm not sure what. It's about what happens when a couple of detectives try to head off a mob war in 1971 NYC. I called it "The Most Dangerous Man in New York City, 1969-1977: Winter 1971." Pretentious? Probably, but I was trying for just accurate. Anyway, the star of the show is a hitman named Ray Cruz. A nasty bit of work, but the story still manages to have a laugh or two in it.

I've decided that I'm quite tired of writing short stories that net no income. A lot of effort. Not nearly as much reward. Not that every piece needs to bring in a paycheck, just that I've published 18 stories and been paid well three times, paid poorly about three more times and paid not at all a dozen times. Of course, of course, I know, I know. That's just the way things are. But does it have to be? Really?

Mercenary me.

Speaking of mercenaries, I'm writing a Viktor Petrenko novel. Man does he kick ass. In any event, I'm 29k in and headed for 70-80k. Will it sell? No idea. If you haven't read a Petrenko story, you might want to try this one.

I'll be sending my agent the first 30k words.

Speaking of sending things to my agent, last week I sent her 43k of another novel - a thrilling thriller so secret, so...secret that I can't even tell you the name of it. I will say this, many of the landmarks you hold near and dear to your heart will explode... That novel should wind up being about 90-100k. Will this sell? No idea.

I'm still in the position of writing on spec. High hopes and all that. Of course, none of this can come out with my name attached as my name is pretty much mud when it comes to people who actually want to shift books off of store shelves.

Next month I'll send my agent the first 30k of another novel. Maybe. This one is 11k in and boring me though it's intended to thrill. That might change. We'll see. Also, Survivor and The Amazing Race are starting up soon and that will cut into my writing time.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Of Course...

The game is up. Many thanks for playing. Everyone wins! Isn't this a great blog! Auntie Knickers and Joy Seymour both win the grand prize, a half dozen books apiece. A couple of entries came via my email - they're winners too.

The thing is, there are a lot of connections between the Edgars and Hollywood. I knew that, but I had no specifics. In the end, I'm wondering whether an Edgar nom or win predicts a good film. Frankly, I haven't seen most of the films people listed. Nope. I just checked. Haven't seen a single one. I suppose that's what Netflix is for.

The winners should contact me via email. If you don't have my email address, there is a CONTACT ME page on my website. Don't worry. I'm not just trying to lure you to my website. Haven't been there myself in a while...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Jen Jordan asked...

A very salient question. Exactly how many 90 year olds could you take on in a fight? It turns out that I score fairly low compared to some respondents at her blog, but much higher than I would have thought. How Many 90 Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight?

Monday, February 02, 2009


Unlike most of my contests, this one actually requires that you do something to earn your reward...and it's not an easy something like putting your name down in the comments either.

I'm trying to figure out what are the links between the Mystery Writers of America and Hollywood. Specifically, are there links between Edgar nominated stories and novels and the movies.

So here's how I think this can work: The first six people to show a link ("this movie was based on that novel") will win a book. Beyond that, the best response, even if it comes it past the sixth entry (for instance, if you can show twenty links between the movies and the Edgars) will get you six books.

The MWA link might help...

Now, you might be asking yourself, "Which books?" Well, let me just say I have several, brand new, never read* novels from cozies to hardboiled including a HARD CASE CRIME and a signed Lee Child (pb) and others. So have at it. Whatever you win, I promise, it'll be worth it.

* Because previously read books are yucky...