I’ve gotten a lot of help from some amazing friends and colleagues getting my novel to where it is (that is, ready for an agent), but this week I’ve been lucky enough to get input from two new beta readers.
On Wednesday, I spent a couple of hours talking to a fellow aspiring writer, and she gave me some very insightful observations that are going to allow me to make a couple of excellent refinements. Better yet, she’s going to let me beta read some of her own stuff, and I suspect that will be a good process for both of us. All of my beta readers have been fantastic, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to have another writer to talk to.
On Thursday, I got the results of the first copy-edit from another friend. He caught a number of really awful typos (its/it’s, their/there), missing words, double words, some mixed up subjects, and what I thought were some amazingly eagle-eyed grammar catches. He also had some very nice things to say about the story, which is always nice to hear, and offered up some insightful commentary on things that I found quite helpful.
Again, I’ve been very, very lucky to have so many people encourage me and help me with this project, and I wouldn’t have gotten even this far without them.
I took some pics of the eclipse from May 20th with a friend of mine. I tried to take blind pics of the Sun itself, but without anything even approximating the proper filters, I didn’t get much.
In any event, major eclipses apparently play havoc with shadows. Who knew? It also turns out that taking a picture of a shadow is easier than taking photos of the Sun without any filters. Again, who knew?
Oh, and I’ve no idea how the refracted image of the partially occluded Sun got into that image.
Not too long ago, I went to the Mountain View Cemetery to take some photos. This place was built in 1863 and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same chap that designed Central Park in New York City.
It was a product of the Transcendentalist movement, and was intended to be part park and part cemetery. If you’re able to visit it, this will make sense, because it is beautiful—I’m very glad a friend of mine talked me into going.
I only saw a tiny corner of the place, and I plan on going back sometime this summer. In the meanwhile, here are some of the pics I took.
For those keeping score at home, these were shot with a Nikon D70 with an 85mm f/1.4 lens.
WARNING: There are spoilers galore for The Game of Thrones, The Song of Ice and Fire, and even The Lord of The Rings contained herein. Read at your own peril.
Update: I added a little section on Jeyne Westerling. As noted above, don’t read it if you don’t want spoilers!
The Game of Thrones is dead. The TV show, I mean. It’s dead to me. It’s become a big pile of poop interspersed with gleaming nuggets of gold.
Oh, I loved the first season, which tracked the titular first novel, The Game of Thrones, of The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. It was gorgeous, and beautifully created. The actors were mostly wonderful, and when the producers made changes to the source material, those changes made sense and were understandable.
Season two, which roughly tracks the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings, has introduced a variety of changes to the source material that do not make sense.
I think I should probably catch you up a bit, because there have been a lot of big changes for me since I was regularly posting here in…what? 2008? It’s been a while.
In 2009, Darla and I had to put down Chandler Bing, my (he had become our) Yellow Lab. A couple of months later, Darla and I divorced. The Country Music Standards & Essentials Bureau contacted me shortly thereafter letting me know my life was officially eligible to be a bad country song with the proviso that it would behoove me should anything unfortunate befall my car within a 90-day period.
Chandler Bing (& Yellow Wiener Dog) in 2008. R.I.P., Mr. Bing! We Miss You!
Let It Burn, by The Atomic Love Bombs
In 2009, The Atomic Love Bombs released its first CD, Let It Burn. It is a great album, and I was proud to be a part of it, but in 2010, I left the band. We were working on some great songs—Joe’s an amazing songwriter—and you can hear one of them, “Sol Invictus,” on the band’s Facebook page. It’s a great song and hopefully they will record more.
I’m in the middle of an eight week self-imposed program of learning/cooking one new recipe per week. Well, not really the middle, this was the second week.
Anyway, I started off with chicken korma, because, you know, it was way above my cooking ability. Fortunately it worked out despite my lack of skills.
So for the second week, I went for The Pioneer Woman’s awesome Pork Chops with Apples & Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits.
This was an amazing dish, and the folks I was cooking for really enjoyed it. Better yet, I enjoyed it!
Yeah, so you don’t see this every day. I took this on my way home tonight. Considering the lack of ambulances, I am fervently hoping no one was in the car when it caught on fire.