Friday, February 01, 2008

Of bills and bears

I've been catching up on movie watching since I finished and filed my taxes and am now waiting for the money to be deposited in my account. Money is also on my mind, but in the sense of paying bills and remembering annual dues that have to be paid. Dues seems like such a small amount of money until they all hit at once. If I don't get to them immediately, I put them on my mental To Do list and promptly forget about them until they nag me over and over, which does no good unless I actually have access to money at the same time they're nagging. It's not a good example to set to be a board member and the newsletter editor who reminds people to pay their dues when I forgot mine. At least mine are paid now so I can safely nag others.

For the first time in years, there is real milk in my fridge right now. I usually buy almond milk but this time I splurged and got real milk. Very strange indeed, but I wanted to make real hot cocoa with real milk, but it's organic milk. I don't like hormones and antibiotics in my meat or eggs and I know that if the hormones and antibiotics are being injected into the living cow it's going to show up in the milk, cheese, and butter, so I buy organic. I have enough hormones circulating in my system so I don't need external help and I don't want to confuse my menopausal status now. It's just too hard to go through all those hot flashes again just when things are settling down, although some hot flashes would be good right now since it's so cold. People who have lived here a lot longer than I have say they thing this winter has been the coldest they can remember. I don't disagree. It has been quite frosty, although there hasn't been much snow down here in my little west side neighborhood. However, there has been quite a bit of snow in the higher elevations and that means good snow pack and lots of melt water coming in the spring -- if it ever gets here.

I received another story to edit for another anthology and I have ignored it for two whole days. I guess I'd better go over it, dispute or accept the editing changes, and send it back so I can check something else off my To Do list. I have been very productive this week, although not as productive as I should have been. Still, I finished and submitted my taxes, paid my dues, worked like a dog, bought groceries and put them away, forced myself to read the current review book and finally made a blog post, so I'm not doing too badly. I also watched a couple of movies: Sweeney Todd, which has a very interesting literary history, and The Golden Compass. I wonder why Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig figure so prominently on the movie poster since they have very little screen time.

Did you catch how thick Nicole looked? Was she pregnant when the movie was filmed? I know they're setting things up for the sequel, but I cannot find anything that shows when or if the sequel will be made. They sort of have to go through with it since they went to all the trouble to set it up, but the movie is no Harry Potter. I haven't read the books but the movie was interesting and fast-paced. Lyra is quite a handful and a very determined little girl, a real firecracker. I enjoyed the movie but feel it should have been either longer or more involved than it was. It felt like it skimmed the surface, although there was plenty of action and lots of explanation and the special effects were magical. I especially liked Ian McKellen as the armored bear Iorek Byrnison. I immediately recognized his voice and style. Should be interesting to see what -- if anything -- happens next. I definitely want to read the book so I understand all the hullabaloo about how much the Magisterium was toned down. Should be very interesting.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I finally saw I Am Legend with Will Smith. I enjoyed Will's performance immensely but I have to say the special effects and CGI weren't nearly as riveting and frightening as the 1971 version, Omega Man with Charlton Heston. There wasn't much interaction with the plague victims and all they did was roar and bite and climb up walls like they were monkeys on acid. The CGI effects were too visible and not sleek enough to make them anything but paltry next to Anthony Zerbe's menacing and intelligent leader of the "Family". Still, Will Smith's acting was very convincing and quite impressive, but it wasn't enough to erase the obvious computer generated effects. Sorry about that. Sometimes, the simple way is the best.

I have my taxes done and filed, but unfortunately, due to making a considerable sum of money from writing last year, I cannot e-file my federal taxes. At least the package is in the mail and I'm way ahead of most of the pack so it shouldn't take six weeks to get my check and they will deposit it directly into my account. I still could e-file the state taxes and it's a nice enough chunk of money that it will keep me in new geek toys at least until the feds come through. I'm just glad all the hard work is done and I can rest until next year while the rest of you wait it out until the last few hours before April 15th. I like getting the hard stuff over and done with as soon as possible.

I also got a notice from Adams Media about the first of the eight books coming out this year. It was from their publicity rep and it looks like I'm going to be doing interviews and book readings and signings for the next year or two. The nice thing, especially since stories in Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup, both of which are owned by Adams Media and F+W Publications, is that even though the stories were work for hire and I got a one time payment, I am also being paid to do the publicity. As much as I hate doing publicity, I'll grit my teeth, read and sign books, answer questions, and send in my invoices to be paid. Even if I have to go out of town, if I have enough notice, I can schedule a book signing or two and Adams Media will stock the place with books and make sure press kits are sent, and I will be paid promptly. Since I have plans for next year that require a considerable amount of money, those events will definitely help out. The only thing is that my mother wants to come out and watch me do readings and signings. I think she thinks it will be some kind of media event and that's not the case. She's been watching way too much television. I'm not Patricia Cornwell or even John Cornwell, just one author among many who contributed stories to a few books. She'll have to wait until I'm on the NY Times best sellers list for what she wants to be a part of.

In the meantime, there are more books to read and review and more checks to cash, stories to write, reviews to post, articles to research and write and ham club newsletters and exam sessions to keep me busy. Life could be better. I could be living in a little mountain cabin high in the Rockies around 10,000 feet with a stream burbling close by where trout jump and swim and the wild life treks through my door yard and stays out of my garden. Life could also be a whole lot worse. There's always room for improvement -- and that's a good thing.

That is all. Disperse.