Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What A Week

This week may be downright historic.

It started off with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Saturday night (sure, that was last week, but it was so much fun, I'm including it in this week. Writer's prerogative). It was, without a doubt, the most impressive concert I've been to. Dave & Tim came on stage at 7:45 and did not stop playing until the clock hit 11. At one point, Warren Haynes came out and jammed with them for about half an hour. They are the three greatest guitar players I've ever had the fortune to see in concert, especially acoustic. I hope that show comes around again someday, because I'd sure like to see it again.

Oh, lest I forget, I had a Five Guys hamburger and fries Saturday night. Best burger ever. If the opportunity arises, go to Five Guys and eat. They grind the hamburger when you order it, make your patty and throw it on the skillet. Best. Burger. Ever.

Did any of you feel the big 5.9 on the Richter scale earthquake today? The epicenter was about two and a half hours from my house. I was in the car at the time and missed it, but there are reports across the area of dishes rattling and pictures getting knocked off walls. The eastern part of Virginia was hit pretty hard, from what I understand, but I've yet to hear reports of many injuries. I spent the afternoon working the phones in the newsroom, tracking down local officials and fielding calls from citizens who wanted to know if we'd heard about the earthquake.

Thursday I'll be speaking at the Clifton Forge Public Library and signing copies of my latest work, Blood & Steel. These signings are always fun and I'm looking forward to it. I hope to see at least a few fans come out for it.

To top it off, there is a major hurricane lining up to hit the east coast of Virginia by the weekend.

Like I said, historic.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is It Fall Yet?

The first hint of fall was in the air this morning. Sure, it's still just mid-August and we can look forward to the better part of another month of hot weather in September, but this morning's weather was the first suggestion that summer is slowly departing us. The sky was overcast, the breeze was cool and the temperature was hovering right around that pleasant zone that makes me want to go lay in a hammock and read a book for a couple of hours. There was even a hint of that crispness in the air whenever the wind stirred up. Yes, give it time, my friends. Fall is coming.

Bethany and I were fortunate enough to find a new used vehicle Saturday, a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox, that we'll be picking up this afternoon if all goes according to plan. We found it at a dealership in Lewisburg and that means, after we sign the paper, we'll be making the inevitable trip to the West Virginia State Fair. I've never been much on the fair, though I've enjoyed many concerts in the grandstand. The food is good, however. The cattleman's association steak sandwiches are the best around.

News in the writing world has been a bit slow lately. I'm still plugging along at The Sixth Sword and the Clifton Forge Public Library has graciously agreed to host a signing for me on August 25 for Blood & Steel. Aside from that, I'm somewhat between projects. The Sixth Sword hasn't captured my full attention, mostly since it's a re-write, and I'm still wondering what project I will start that will fill that fresh, new notebook I purchased a couple of blog posts back.

I'm not really all that worried about it, however. I've learned that my most productive writing time is late winter into spring. September to January 1 is probably my favorite time of year and I much prefer to spend my time enjoying it. The long, dark months of the deep winter seem to provide the most time and best setting for putting pen to paper, so for now I'm somewhat content to mull over a few story ideas and see what happens later.

Speaking of looking forward to events, the big Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds acoustic benefit concert is Saturday evening and I can't wait. I'm hoping we'll get to go early and spend an hour or two enjoying the mall before we settle into the Pavilion for an amazing concert. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crossing One Off

I have a really cool wife. Not only is she cool with the fact that she married a nerd, but she's also willing to indulge my nerd habits. She doesn't fuss about my subscriptions to The Amazing Spider-Man or Fantastic Four. She doesn't even mind me buying the occasional Star Trek novel or put up much of a fight when I want to drag her along to see Thor.

This week she's helping my cross one off my Bucket List.

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds are playing nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville. It's a two man acoustic concert to benefit the charity of your choice. This is a concert that I would have willingly crossed state lines and shelled out pretty big bucks to see. Having the opportunity to see them 90 minutes from the house was too good an opportunity to pass up. Tickets were steep for a concert, but Bethany didn't blink.

In two weeks I'll be in Charlottesville crossing a concert off my Bucket List.

I have the coolest wife ever.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Notebook

I have a new notebook. Brand spankin' new. The rings are unbent, the paper is clean and unmolested and free of any irritating bends or tears. It has 200 clean sheets just waiting for me to put some ink down on them.

Perhaps that makes me sound a bit odd, but I'm OK with that. Having a new notebook is one of the finer pleasures of life for me. Anytime I'm looking to begin a new writing project, I get a new notebook. Sometimes it's a smaller one, one or two subject, and that's enough to satisfy the mood. Other times, like yesterday when I bought this one, I'm in the mood for something with plenty of breathing room and I pick up one of those massive Five Star five-subject notebooks. College ruled, of course. The Crownless King was written in one of those. So was Blood & Steel, as a matter of fact.

I've often wondered if there are any other writers out there who share that bit of nerdness with me. The potential of an unfilled notebook that's waiting for a fresh, new tale to be told within its pages is appealing. Maybe Hemingway felt the same way. He used those moleskin notebooks that the bookstores are so fond of selling. Maybe Tolkien felt the same, as well. I'd like to think so. If you've seen Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, then you've seen that leather-bound, handwritten edition of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings that Bilbo and Frodo both write. I drool over that edition every time that I see it. That would be the ultimate edition to my library.

If you're wondering about the publication schedule of Blood & Steel, then let me assure you that I met my goal of having it on the shelves by the first of August. I had some technical difficulties (is that phrase even still useable?) that prevented it from happening in the middle of July. This morning was the first morning that it appeared listed on Amazon. You can follow this link to it if you're interested in purchasing it. I have hopes of having some local signings and, if you can't make one of those, then look me up and I'll be happy to sign it for you.