Monday, December 26, 2011

The Days of Christmas

My family started a new tradition this year. We are celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, which will effectively extend our Christmas Merriment into 2012. (Up to January 6, to be exact) Why would we do such a thing?

1. Because Christmas (Dec 25) isn't really Christmas any more. It's Christmas!® Thus, we are resisting the commercialization of what should be a family/faith filled holiday by embracing an older custom. So, take that Macy's!
2. Because the best sales for Christmas!® presents is AFTER Christmas. Seriously, there is a whole lot of price slashing going on.
3. Because there are so many Christmas!®  specials that we've DVR'd, we need 11 more days to watch them all.
4. But, most importantly, because the 12 days of Christmas have so many great lessons to teach the kids, we'd be foolish parents to let the teachable moments slip away from us.

So, to all my wonderful friends in the blogosphere, I hope you had a Merry Christmas!®  and I hope the remaining 11 days of Christmas are as blessed as mine, if not more.

I'll end with a quote from Dickens (of course):

It was always said of [Scrooge], that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dry Erase Holiday Goodness pt 3

Happy Christmas from Hogwarts!
(in case you haven't been informed, I draw pictures for my wife and kids on our kitchen dry erase board. This is today's. The others are here and here)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy 20/12!

If there was ever a dumb reason to write a blog, I have just discovered it.

Today is December 20. In the majority of the world, today is written 20/12/2011.

If that's not a reason to celebrate (sure, it may be marginal. Who cares?) I don't know what is.
Oh, you still need a reason?

Ok, it's also Hortense Calisher's 100th birthday! Google her, you'll be glad you did.

Oh, and in the land of palindromes (a land I salivate over quite frequently) it's been 151 years since South Carolina attempted to secede from the union.

So, there. Happy 20/12/2011 everyone! I'll send you X-mas cheer later. That would be too much glee for one day.

20/12 20/12 20/12!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let the Nerds Arise!

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but I am an incredible nerd about a lot of things.

I'm a music nerd. Specifically, I'm a jazz/classical music nerd. I can literally spend hours listening to and dissecting the mechanics of a Tchaikovsky piece, or the techniques of Herbie Hancock. See my post on the Tristan Chord for example.

I am also a history nerd. Specifically, I'm a 19th-20th century history nerd. (although I do enjoy a good yarn about Roman conquests, or Revolutionary War Era hunting techniques) I find the era familiar enough to keep me surprised when I find oddities and differences. And, yes, I love historical fiction, writing it and reading it.

I'm a comic book nerd. I can argue Superman vs Batman, or X-men vs Justice League with the best of them. There isn't a superhero movie I haven't seen. I also adore the Archie Comics. They were my first comics, and there's a special place in my heart for them. It's like your first kiss, it stays with you forever.

I'm an art nerd. Plop me in a good museum and you can go shopping all day, I'll be entertained for hours.

I'm (and I can't believe I'm admitting this) a Disney nerd. Truly, animation in general, but Walt Disney is my hero. I own every Disney animated movie that's been released, and I've watched every minute of special features on the DVDs. I may or may not know where all the hidden Mickeys are in Tomorrowland. I'm that guy.

I am a writing nerd, but I'm not (and here's the point of this whole blog post) a publishing nerd. I only peruse blogs about publishing, agents, querying, trends, etc to be informed of my professional obligations and expectations as a career author. But, trust me, I don't keep track of the who's who, what's selling for how much, who changed jobs, which bookstores are closing, or any of that rot. I did for a few months, and it just gave me an ulcer.

That's why I'm thankful for my agent.

Now, I'm not implying that Marietta IS a publishing nerd. But, she's a heck of a lot more integrated into the system than I am. She handles the nitty gritty business side of my writing so I can manage the other side. The creative side. The giddy nerd creating historical fiction about superheroes side.

And I know that there are a lot of voices decrying the agent system as an unnecessary, oft times degrading, part of the publishing system. And, sure, there are probably some crappy agents out there. But, thankfully, I don't have one of those. Instead, I have a smart, wise agent who leaves me to my creative practices, gives graceful comments and critiques, and wades through the publishing world so I don't have to.

Nerds helping nerds save the world through literature. Huzzah!