Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

So this is what my novel should look like, come November:

It's not the scene I would have chosen to illustrate—might have been nice to have something with the red flames of the title—but it's still cool.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Beaches, barbeque, and bimbos

But not all together. And not in that order.
This weekend was good. Lois met me up at my office Friday so that she could take a look at some programs (no, not swiping them, just checking out how they work) and then headed back with me. We hung out and ordered lunch and then watched Sky Captain on DVD with my daughter while my wife prepped for the game. Sky Captain was fun—great visuals, excellent recreation of that genre feel, plot holes you could fit that aerial platform through. Jude Law was very good in the title role, Giovanni Ribisi was great as the sidekick, Angelina Jolie was excellent in the small role as the tough-as-nails British officer—and Gwyneth Paltrow was predictably awful as the heroine. Half of that was her—someone later said “well, everyone was stiff in the original movies of that type” to which I replied “yeah, but this time it was just her”—and half was her character, who was the biggest idiot on the planet. I mean, we’re talking way beyond “hey, there’s a mad killer on the loose, let’s split up and search this old house” stupid. She’s carrying these items the mad scientist gave her right before his death (which they could have prevented if they hadn’t stopped to examine all his experiments on the way in) and she hides them from Sky Captain, even though she knows they’re what the bad guys are looking for and why they blew up his base and kidnapped his friend. Idiot. Though it was amusing to have Lois sitting there shouting “Die! Kill her! She deserves to die!” at the screen. My wife was pretty amused by this as well, and she was upstairs at the time. Then Mook and Peter showed up and we gamed, which was fun.
Saturday was quiet. We went to bed late and woke up earlier than we wanted. Didn’t do a whole lot during the day, though we did organize a little bit—we bought some plastic containers recently and so we sorted some old clothes and both cleaned out our closets, which is nice. I’d forgotten mine had a floor. Then after dinner and putting my daughter to bed we watched Shaun of the Dead, which I’d seen but my wife hadn’t. Entertaining film.
Yesterday was busy. My dad’s in town and was out at the beach this weekend, so I was planning to meet up with him out there around noon. But the weather was nicer than anticipated, so my wife decided to join me after all—we had thought it would be too hot for a toddler and a pregnant woman to hit the beach. We caught both busses (60 to 45) perfectly and got down there in a little over an hour, which is very good given the logistics and the distance. Then we spent a few hours hanging out, having lunch, and walking along the beach. My daughter enjoyed standing there and letting the waves wash over her feet until a bigger wave got her shorts wet as well—then she wanted me to carry her the rest of the time.
After the walk we hopped on the subway and went into Manhattan for our friend Brandy’s birthday party. Brandy’s got the right idea of these—for the past several years she picks an interesting restaurant and tries it out on her birthday. She’s got a good track record for finding fun, casual places with good food, and Mara’s Homemade was no exception. This place has Cajun, Creole, and Arkansas barbeque. I got the St. Louis ribs, which were excellent. My wife had the cranberry chicken, which she enjoyed. The sides were also tasty. Don’t get the beignets, though—they’re just zeppoli in disguise. About twenty people showed up, and we knew all of them as well, so it was a big, fun, noisy crowed. My daughter also had fun, both because her buddy Ray was there and because so many people were paying attention to her. Sorry, Brandy.
Then we went home and collapsed. And now it’s Monday again. Sigh.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Our upcoming twister trip

For the past fourteen years I’ve been going to GenCon in August, first in Milwaukee and lately in Indianapolis. But not this year. We’d decided that we didn’t need to go this time, since our books will be there with Key20 anyway, plus it’s tricky to work a show when you’re there with a toddler. My wife suggested that we take a trip to see friends and family instead. So that’s what we’re doing.
Here are our plans:

Friday, August 19: we fly into O'Hare Airport in Chicago at 9:30am. We're spending the day in the Windy City, and we hope to see all of our Chicago-based friends. Alex is coming up to hang out with us (yay!), and that night we'll be driving down to Kewanee.

Saturday, August 20-Sunday, August 21: Hanging out in fair Kewanee with Alex and the lovely Miss Amy. Sunday afternoon we'll be driving down to Des Moines to see my sister-in-law and her family.

Monday, August 22-Tuesday, August 23: Visiting in Des Moines. My in-laws will be joining us there, and either Tuesday or Wednesday we'll be heading down to KC.

Wednesday, August 24-Saturday, August 27: Hanging out in KC/Lawrence. We expect to spend at least two full days in Lawrence itself, going to old haunts (La Familia, Mad Greek, etc.) and visiting people.

Sunday, August 28: We fly out at 2pm. So we have time for socializing in the morning, though we may do it in KC rather than venture up to Lawrence and risk being late for our flight.

For those in the appropriate areas, we’d love to see you. For everyone else, we’ll post a report once we’re back, letting you know how it was.

Friday, July 15, 2005

If only I could use this power for good . . .

A few weeks back I posted about some automatic writing I did one night. Funny stuff, right?
Well last night I was working on the latest project (which is going well and will be done on time) and was drooping a bit. Finally I gave up and went to bed—okay, I gave up and lay down on the couch in my office to rest for a bit before going back to work, then woke up and discovered it was 1:45 and realized I should just give up.
This morning I took a look at where I’d left off, and discovered a paragraph I don’t remember writing last night. More automatic writing.
Only this time it made perfect sense!
Scary. Man, if I could learn to write coherently and on-topic in my sleep, imagine how much work I could do while resting!
Nothing much else going on this week. I mailed off all my contracts, got a reference book I’d been waiting on for something else, dealt with some financial matters, went to work, did some writing, played with my daughter, spent time with my wife, and so on. We’ve got a quiet weekend ahead, which is nice, and then my dad will be visiting us next weekend. Plus we’re still trying to iron out details for our Midwest trip next month.
Oh, and apparently my Exalted novel should be out in November, according to White Wolf’s site. I also found out that an RPG supplement I worked on years ago is finally coming out, which is very cool indeed.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rosenberg Jr.—Take Two

Okay, so those of you who read my wife’s LJ already know this. For the rest of you, I apologize. I’ve been remiss. I blame it on the current wisdom that you’re not supposed to tell anyone until second trimester, because the risk factor the first few months is so high.
But yes, we are expecting our second child. Sometime early January, so possibly a New Year’s baby. No idea on gender yet, though we will find out when we can. So far everything looks good. The doctor actually said a few weeks back that we could tell people, but I tend to err on the side of caution.
This means, of course, that I have two to three years to convert my garage before I lose my current office. No pressure there.
Our little girl has been great about the pregnancy so far. She loves babies, and keeps kissing my wife’s belly. So does the cat, who is curling up and purring for this baby the same way he did for our daughter. It’s all very sweet.
More as it progresses. We’re thrilled, though. Especially since my wife is having none of the problems she had the first time around—some morning sickness, the expected back pains, but nothing else. Which is great.

Progress of a Sort

Got the project that’s due this week just about finished. I hate math, particularly game stats—they take forever and that seriously slows down my workflow. Ah well.
Next up, finishing the project for next week. Should have it on time as well. Yay me!
I have five contracts I need to send in. Feh. Why is it that the one part of freelancing I’m really bad at is sending in contracts so I get paid? I need a manager.
In other news, not much. I saw Fantastic Four last night at a pre-release screening. Ugh. Not horrible—certainly reams better than Daredevil—but not good, either. They must have seen the Hulk movie and said “This is what happens when you deviate from the comics too much,” so they didn’t deviate at all. At all. It’s like watching a Fantastic Four comic on the screen—one of the older ones, with the really stiff dialogue and the really thin plot. The acting was uniformly bad, which I blame on the director more than the actors. The effects were good and a few lines were funny but it was weak overall.
That’s been about it this week. Busy busy. Behind on sleep as usual. Hopefully I can catch up a bit this weekend.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Whee! I'll take one—or three!

Okay, I can probably talk about this now. I don’t like to discuss possible projects, for a variety of reasons, but once I’ve got contracts in hand I’m okay with it.
So: I just got my contracts for a Warhammer novel called Day of the Daemon. It’s the first in the Daemon Gates trilogy.
And yes, I’m writing the whole trilogy.
Not quite sure when DoD will be out. The deadline’s September so I’m guessing it’ll release in winter, either late 2005 or early 2006.
I’ll keep you posted.
And yes, this is the “and then a month to do the first half of something else” from my previous post.
I’m excited. The story is cool, the characters are fun, my editor rocks, and I’ve not only nailed down my second novel but my third and fourth as well.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Careful what you wish for

As a freelancer, you learn never to turn down a job. That’s because you can go months without a project, and longer without a paycheck. So you’re constantly looking for work. The trick is not to overload yourself. Schedule your time so you’ve got enough space to do each project.
Of course, it helps if you don’t put things off. And if you don’t have things like a wife, a kid, a house, and a day job.
A month or so ago I was winding down the latest slate of projects, which meant I was looking for new ones. I had things lined up for the back end of the year already—it was the middle months that seemed sparse. “Gee,” I thought, “it’d be nice to find a few things to drop in there to keep me busy.”
Well, I got ’em. One I’d been lining up has finally come through (more on that later) and two others got offered to me. The latter pair are shorter pieces with shorter deadlines to match, but I figured “sure, I’m not doing anything else.”
Except for the wife/kid/house/day job mentioned above.
Which is why I now have a week to finish one project, a week after that to finish another one, and then a month to do the first half of something else. Gah.
So much for a lazy summer. But who am I kidding? I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have at least two projects hanging over my head.