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My new workout routine

August 30, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random  0 Comments

My new workout routine: Follow the 3rd Grader all over the Seattle Convention Center from 11 to 5. Zip zip zip zip zip!

My poor feet. And ears. Andy eyes. At one point, Thing One played a game that made me motion sick. Thus, I knew I was an offical Old Fart.

1,529/145,300

August 29, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random, The Craft  1 Comment

<insert Jaws “Shark Theme” music here>

Coming along nicely. Soon my precious, soon. Next up: the bad guys gain ground but <spoiler deleted>.

Tomorrow: PAX. Thing One’s favorite part of the year, game that junkie he is. This year we are bringing our DSes.

#30#

August 29, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

I will finish the first draft of my current book this weekend. I can feel it.

Bunny Trouble, I give you life!

Die plot point die

August 29, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Plot, The Craft, The Wife Unit  2 Comments

-1600 words on Bunny Trouble last night.

I wait until finishing a story (novel, short story, poem, etc.) to make substantial, non-readability edits. Mainly because in the first novel I wrote, I made edits that I had to go back and revert. It was a pain, lesson learned. I’m not particularly experienced in writing novels (novel 1: finished, novel 2: set aside after 80k, novel 3: currently working on), but I can learn new tricks.

Last night The Wife Unit caught me chuckling to myself. The main character in Bunny Trouble has two friends. Inadvertently, when these three get together they wind up doing something mischievously naughty. This particular bit of writing had them doing something very over the top and it was so out of character that I knew I had to kill it. She of course asked “what?” so I explained what I created and asked point blank if it should go. Maybe there was hope…

She rolled her eyes. “I wouldn’t read that, it’s just unrealistic. You shouldn’t be reliving some obvious teenage boy fantasy in your novel!”

Ah, well, I thought so. Secretly I was hoping, but alas, it was not meant to be. Highlight 603/143,722. DELETE.

While I was at it, I deleted a convoluted plot point that was… too convoluted. I felt it was safe to do so and the story didn’t even move when I was finished, a clear indication of a needed cut if there ever was one.

For Sven

August 28, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random  1 Comment

Here ya go Sven.

KABOOM KABOOM KABOOM went Lauren’s monstrous handgun. Michael and Terrance actually stopped firing, holstered and stared at her. It was the first time they were at the range with Lauren, having arranged with one of Joseph’s boys to cover for them in a little shift swap.

“Whot?” she asked when she realized she was the center of attention.

“What the fuck is that… thing?” Michael asked. She had worn a Glock 19 on her hip to the range, but she definitely was not using it. Neither man recognized the handgun, although the slide looked vaguely Glock 17ish with an extended barrel poking well out the slide.

“Oh this?” she asked innocently in exaggeration. “This little thing tis me sidearm. I call ‘em Evil Bob.”

“I repeat myself. What is that?”

“Tis is a Glock 20 with the factory six-inch hunting barrel and X300 Surefire that you gave me. I ordered the frame custom; it is a pure titanium rig. The trigger is standard but I did do a polish job on it so tis a might smoother than the normal Glock trigger. I added the Heinie figure-eight sights and a Crimson Trace 1911 rig. Right now I be shooting DoubleTap range ammo.”

Michael was speechless.

Terrance actually heard of the after-market Glock 1911 style frames. “Uh, why titanium and not stainless steel?”

Lauren ejected the magazine and cleared her firearm. She handed it to Terrance who checked it again and then studied it in earnest. The grip was pure 1911 but the entire firearm felt… strange. Heavier than it should be. The balance was weird.

“Okay, I give. I don’t get it. This feels like a steel rig but the frame is obviously titanium.”

Michael also examined it. Even though both Lauren and Terrance had cleared the weapon, he followed his training and assumed they were DEA agents professional enough to handle a Glock 40.

Also noting its strange balance, he frowned and handed it back to her.

“You got me,” he admitted. “This is heavier than it should be unless you are pulling our leg about titanium.”

She took it back. “See the little metal cavity plug ya normally see on Glocks? This frame has one of those too. This plug ets permanent. I welded it in place after filling the unused cavity to 90% capacity with liquid mercury after plug’n the other end with a custom bit of titanium. The result tis perfection. My perfection. As long as you have long fingers like me, you will not encounter a better handgun. Anywhere.”

“Liquid mercury?” Terrance repeated, stupidly.

“You welded titanium yourself?” asked Michael, almost as stupid.

Lauren merely smiled. It was predatory. Almost if she had fangs and wanted to bite them. “You think that’s good? You should see me Coulaux Freres dueling sword. Now that ‘tis a weapon!”

Michael and Terrance looked at each other and then went down on their knees. They started genuflecting.

“We are not worthy!” said Terrance.

“We are but worms!” said Michael.

Lauren laughed a rich deep Irish woman laugh. “Ya know if I actually found men attractive that would be fook’n hawt.”

Writing Lesson, by Thing Two

August 28, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

“ThingTwo, can you please get the paper for me?”
“No thank you.”

Words expended: 12
Result: Failure.

Next Day:

“ThingTwo, get the paper please.”
“Okay.”

Words expended: 6
Result: Success!

Less is more. This advice was brought to you by Thing Two, who when I came down stairs this morning, was running around wearing nothing but his Transformer socks and eating a cheese stick. He’s five.

Saved by Great-Grandpa

August 27, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, Plot, The Craft  0 Comments

One thing about creativity, it can haunt you and save you at the same time.

Tonight I put in 1400 words on Bunny Trouble and it was pure Hell. That is, until I added a helpful and completely unnecessary old gentleman who just was as nice and honorable as a weary old man could be. The scene, without him, was this lifeless bit of muck, my dislike for the writing growing by the minute.

This nice older gentleman, one of those random people in my world who do the right thing simply because the right thing needs to be done, saved me from simply going to bed in disgust. Suddenly I was able to break my dour and advance.

Thank you, Sir!

The Monster that Ate the POD Topic

August 27, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  2 Comments

In reference to Ken’s post and others’ comments on Print On Demand, I would like to talk about Larry Correia. Mr. Correia is my new-writer hero, and I have an enormous amount of respect for him as an author. We’ve never met, but if we did I would have him sign my collector’s copy of the Print on Demand version of Monster Hunter International.

Mr. Correia is a monster B-Movie fan. He has more than a passing familiarity with firearms and the art of self defense. He is also a writer. Correia set about writing on those two topics in his novel.

MHI is a great book. It’s tight and fast-paced, and the characters, even the bad ones, are fun. It is a monstrously (ha ha) entertaining book to read. How good is it? Well my wife, Dainty Little Southern Girl Blonde has started reading it, and she doesn’t even like monster movies or guns. You can find the first chapter of MHI on his blog.

You can also read the full story on his search for a publisher and finally his contract through a major publishing house on his blog archives. I want you to consider this: I opened this post with information about Correia’s book. At the end of the day, Correia had a sellable book, and against the odds he sold it. He self-pubished it and the novel drew attention, and then a major publisher picked it up.

Thus Larry wins. Correia Wins New-Writer Book. He is being published by Baen. Baen. That is BAEN folks.

I encourage everyone to put their internal biases aside and consider this: the book industry is more organic today then the past. As an outsider looking in, this is my observation: like the internets, it is impacted by globalization and market forces beyond the reach of traditional media. It will change. How much Print on Demand will change it remains to be seen. You cannot deny there are positive aspects of Print on Demand, anymore than you can deny Correia’s business acumen.

Writing is our blood. Make every drop count.

The End is Near

August 26, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

Another 3,000 word day. 10,000 more to go. Four scenes, maybe five.

Wow.

The book ends with a bang. Specifically, a 6.8mm SPC bang. Followed by a 10mm bang from a Glock 20 using DoubleTap ammunition out of a 6″ factory hunting barrel.

Yeah, it’s a little awesome.

The Revenge of Baby Magic

August 26, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft, The Wife Unit  0 Comments

Since my last post was about sex, it is more than fitting to follow up with the inadvertent follow up, babies. This topic also pertains to my writing.

BABIES! BABIES! B A B I E S !

Is there any doubt as to why there are so very many mommy blogs? That’s because babies are awesome. I just love babies. But I digress.

My wife and I practice what I call ‘rational attachment parenting’. Stick a researcher and a super-smart lady together and you get two practical parents. One of the benefits from our parenting technique is our kids are little sleepers, even as babies. As soon as their tummies got big enough, they were little snoozers, even with the reflux Thing Two suffered from. Sleep sleep sleep sleep. It was glorious.

The secret to that is no secret. Basically, make an assumption that for the last 100 years, the majority of the people shoving parenting advice into main-stream media were assholes. Then, have these assholes ignore contemporary American cultural shifts caused by two World Wars, and finally a sprinkle a smattering of basic incompetency and finish off with some group-think. At this point, you have some really good assumptions going, mainly a lot of people are full of crap and they are selling it:

Don’t have your baby sleep with you because you can roll over and squish you baby.

That is true.

If you are drunk. Or high. Or sick.

Guess what? If you are drunk or high or sick you can go sleep somewhere else. Babies were born to sleep with their parents. How many thousands of years has this been true? To ignore biology is pure hubris.

Many parents have, in the last century, started rallying against biology with marginal to no success. Then after awhile the child adapts because that is what children do. This sleep change is mostly moot in the long run, I feel. It’s not something I lose sleep over (ha ha ha I kill myself I really do).

Baby Thing One would wake up and pounce on me like a cat. The penalty of course for waking up Daddy by crawling all over him would be Torture by Tickles and sometimes wrestling and the obligatory baby arm chewing while going nom nom nom nom. I treasured these moments.

One morning, Thing One woke up, yawned, and tried to go back to sleep. It was really cute, he was trying to press himself back into the bed, and he rolled over with his back to me.

Okay little man, that’s just too tempting. I slowly reached out and scriched his back.

Scrich scrich scrich.

Thing One just giggled. However, instead of turning over, he reached out his little hand and… scritched Mommy on her back.

Daddy: Scrich scrich scrich.
Baby: Scrich scrich scrich (giggle).
Mommy: Er. Mrph.

Daddy: Scrich scrich scrich.
Baby: Scrich scrich scrich (giggle).
Mommy: Grr.

Daddy: Scrich scrich scrich.
Baby: Scrich scrich scrich (giggle).
Mommy: Pisht.

At this point the Baby goes “AHHHHHAAA!” and jumps on Mommy, who was trying to go back to sleep by pretending she was not awake.

Now how do I bottle that kind of Baby Magic and put that in a book? I do not exactly know, but I can try. I do know one thing, however, unlike the real world, where our society segments off people who harm children, Bunny Trouble contains people who will take a dim view of abuse and abandonment, and their pent up furry is Epic.

You can bank on that. I promise you.