You still look like Ava Gardner

I received a couple of finished copies of The Dark Tower Companion this week. It’s the first time I’ve seen the cover with King’s blurb laid in. It feels great to see this project finally coming to fruition. It will be released into the wild on April 2 in both trade paperback and Kindle editions.

This morning I finished proofing a 3000-word story that was due today. This is the first time I’ve read it since I finished the first draft last week. I thought it would require more editing than it did. I only trimmed about a hundred words from it. I did tighten up the writing in a lot of sentences and fixed some minor logic inconsistencies, but it’s not all that much different from the first draft. We’ll see if the editors like it or not.

Next up, I have to write a 1000-word non-fiction piece this weekend, and I’ve also written an essay for FEARNet that I need to type up and edit.

This is daughters-in-peril month on ABC. There was an excellent two-part series on Castle that ended this week in which it seemed like Alexis was kidnapped because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that the other victim was the main target. However, that proved not to be the case for reasons that were surprising to Rick. A nice appearance by James Brolin as the deep undercover agent who delivers the big news. Then on Body of Proof, another daughter kidnapped, this time because Megan uncovered proof of a domestic terrorist plot. That one was a little less touching in the long run. They’ve retooled the show a bit since it last aired (a long time ago, it seems). So long that I’d forgotten that Peter wasn’t around any more. Then there was the excellent NCIS episode where Ducky and Palmer are taken hostage and have to rely on their wits to come out of it alive. Palmer’s gym key for the win.

Survivor was barely tolerable this week what with Shamar’s non-stop rage and threats to quit. Please do. And yet he survives another vote. I guess the secret to making it to the end is to be belligerent, like Phillip. Okay, that gets you to the end, maybe, but with no chance of winning. Has there ever been a three-way tie before? That was a surprise. I think Hope knew what was going to happen given that two of the three votes for Eddy came from her and Shamar. Do they even bother to hide clues for the immunity idols any more or do they just assume people are going to root around and find them? Once upon a time, it was like solving a pirate’s treasure map. Now it’s just a matter of looking in the obvious places. At least the challenge was exciting, with lots of back and forth between the two teams.

After an episode where very little happened with regards to the Drew Thompson case on Justified, a lot happened this week. A bunch of people got shot and stabbed and otherwise pummeled, Boyd went into full battle mode, and one of the original cast members went home in a body bag. Johnny is playing an interesting game. He stands up beside Boyd whenever they’re confronted by an outside danger, like the Clover Hills Gang (which always makes me think of The Apple Dumpling Gang), but he’s also getting the dirt on Colt and continuing to meet with Duffy in his Wynnebago office. I had a pretty good idea it was him behind the extortion text messages. I was wrong about Boyd’s motives, though, when he went to visit the guy he was hired to kill. I thought that in telling the guy about the contract he was hoping to start an internal battle between the old guys, but instead “I feel like the seat cushion for two fat people at a football game,” he told Ava afterward. But with the help of the Dixie Mafia, maybe he and Ava will get that Dairy Queen franchise after all. (Yeah, right.)

I knew there was no way Colt was going to leave Tim’s buddy alive after all that went down in the drug dealer’s den. It was like he needed someone to talk to for a few minutes and then: blam! Doesn’t he watch CSI? That cigarette butt is going to come back to haunt him. There was a very nice moment between Raylan and Drew’s “widow.” After riding her and making fun of her, he says, “You still look like Ava Gardner,” which made her day. The guy who has killed more people than malaria was no match in a draw with Raylan, even if he was distracted by the glint from Ava’s engagement ring. (Even after our recent history, Ava and I decided that you are still going to be on the guest list, Boyd assured him.) The best reaction of the night, though was Raylan’s after he gunned the fake cop down. “Jesus, I hope I got that right.” Art was equally reassuring when I said, “I was almost certain you weren’t a cop killer.”

So, is it Shelby? It seems like that. At first, I thought his story about the woman who left him some 25 years ago took him out of the running, but maybe that’s just the story he tells people these days. He seemed very interested in Drew’s widow, for example. And then there was his statement to Ellen May: “I think if you pretend to be something long enough, it’s not pretending.” He was supposedly talking to her, but maybe not. The previews suggest that maybe we’ll get to see Drew next week, or at least be in his presence for the first time. Plus Deputy Bob pulls his machine gun from this bag of tricks and lets loose.

And let us end with a moment of silence for the guy who didn’t make it out of the episode alive, and not for a lack of trying. Who knew the old guy had so much life left in him, but he sure put up a good fight. And bitter to the very end. His final words: Kiss my ass. But that didn’t stop Raylan from shedding a tear for him. His prediction from last week came true, and the reality was stronger than his casual words suggested it would be.

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