Beware the Ides of ZZzzzz…

I had no trouble getting up at my usual time this morning, even with the time change, but I feel draggy today. I should be back on schedule just in time to go to England and mess myself up all over again.

I was browsing through the Houston Chronicle yesterday and when I got to the section devoted to news from our area I found…a picture of me! The interview that appeared online a few weeks ago was abridged for the print edition, and they used a different photo from the one that ran online, too.

I got a lot of things done this weekend. My to-do list is basically au courant for the first time in a while.  I finished a short story yesterday, did several editing passes and got it out the door. I don’t usually submit things that soon after completing the first draft, but I had no other choice in this case. I also wrote my Storytellers Unplugged essay for this Wednesday on the subject of book launches. While looking something up to add color to the essay, I discovered this little factoid: Apparently the creator of the show Castle told Nathan Fillion that if you say his character’s name fast, it sounds like “Rick Asshole.”

The weather was really nice this weekend. We had a nice outdoor mid-afternoon supper by the riverwalk on Saturday, and I worked in the office with the window open all day yesterday. Another thing I did was cancel my British Airways flight for World Horror and rebook on Continental because of the very real possibility that a cabin crew strike would disrupt my travel. I didn’t want to have to spend the weekend at the con worrying about whether I was going to be able to get back home or not. The new flights cost a little bit more than the original, but it was worth it to make the change, I think.

Scifi Guy posted a nice, extensive review of Evolve late last week. In addition to providing a nice synopsis of my story, he says, ” Sometimes creepy, this is a solidly told crime story.” The picture at the right is, obviously, the cover of the forthcoming anthology Best New Zombie Tales, Vol. 1, which features my story “Groundwood,” which previously appeared in a Wrong World DVD eBook.

This weekend, I finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and started Devils in Exile by Chuck Hogan. I have no idea what the Hogan novel is going to be about. The publisher sent me a copy without me requesting it, and I haven’t read the dust jacket material.  So far it features a guy freshly back from Iraq who is having trouble readjusting to normal life.

We finished watching the BBC series Edge of Darkness this weekend. There was a recent U.S. feature remake starring Mel Gibson that I haven’t seen–and probably won’t. This one won all sorts of awards at the time (1986), and co-stars Joe Don Baker as a congenially shifty CIA agent. A Yorkshire DI’s daughter is killed in front of him in what at first appears to be a mistake. However, subsequent investigation reveals that daughter was part of a group called Gaia that had infiltrated a company involved in the reprocessing of nuclear waste. Politicians, MI5, the CIA and other intelligence agencies get involved, and it’s never clear who is playing on what side and how information is being channeled from one group to another. Lots of twists and turns, and as an added dimension, DI Craven’s deceased daughter keeps talking to him. Not exactly a ghost, but sort of. And Joe Don Baker is delightful.

We also watched an IFC movie called Birdwatchers, about the Guarani Indians of Brazil. A group of them decide to follow their leader off the reservation and set up a new compound on the side of the road near a farm, land the leader claims is where their ancestors are buried. Of course, the farmer isn’t happy to have this group of squatters on the fringe of his property and he assigns a man to act as a “scarecrow” to make sure they stay off his land. I’m not sure what sin this guy committed to be given such a dismal task, living in a little trailer with no running water by himself. Boredom among the young people has led to suicides, both on and off the reservation. One boy has dreams that are interpreted as visions, so he is in training to become a shaman, which is also a pretty sucky job since he can’t eat meat or be with women. It’s not clear that their lives are appreciably different off the reservation. There is no wild game to hunt, they have to carry water from a distant river, and they aren’t inclined to take most of the work that is offered to them that might have made their dreary lives a little better.

Jeff and Jordan were the beneficiaries of a whopping dose of good luck on The Amazing Race. They were well behind everyone else from the start of the leg, and had an extra task to perform, but they didn’t show any signs they could make up the time. However, the U-turn the two cops threw at Joe and Heidi was their salvation. Joe and Heidi were in second place, but they absolutely could not figure out how to decode the Morse message, so they ended up not completing the task and were eliminated. I have no idea how they came up with the guesses they did, but they weren’t even close.

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