January Status Report: First Goal of 2016 Achieved

woman in labFirst, a big thank you to Warren Ellis for linking to my review of Dead Pig Collector in his newsletter, Orbital Operations. It’s an excellent newsletter that he sends out on Sundays, and reads like the fascinating ramblings and recommendations of your very cool uncle who has done some weird shit in his life. I recommend that you subscribe.

Second, my brain has been almost completely liquefied after a few weeks of shopping my resume around in search of new, more interesting work. I have now found the object of this quest, and am in the process of leaving the employer that I’ve been with for nearly four years. The best new adventures are both exciting and terrifying simultaneously. There may be sleep deprived rants about Python and data science in the coming months.

Third, I’m still volunteering with the marketing team of a fantastic haunted house that raises money for charity. There will be more talk of that later, as we just started ramping up for a city-wide fundraiser known as “I Live Here, I Give Here.” I have to make a newsletter schedule and a powerpoint presentation this weekend for them. And then take my Google Analytics certification test. Wheeee.

All this means that I’m behind in my goal to read three novels a month. Kameron Hurley‘s Mirror Empire has taken up residence in my purse, but I have yet to find an opportunity to crack it open. I did manage to ingest several single issue comics, and Reed has gotten me addicted to the excellent ScyFy show The Expanse. Last week I finished the audio version of Brandon Sanderson‘s The Alloy of Law, right before things got really hectic (review forthcoming).

I have, however, unexpectedly started working on an idea for a weird fiction horror story. So far it’s a slippery thing that shifts around every time I sit down with it, but I think I’ve got the premise finally nailed down. It started out as one of the exercises in Syd Field’s Screenwriting book that I’ve been picking through, and refused to confine itself to a few paragraphs.

This whole month has been an exciting kickoff to 2016. I’ve already achieved one of my major goals for the year, and now I have much needed brain space available to chase down the next goal.

Review: Dead Pig Collector by Warren Ellis

picture of a knife and sheath, words 'dead pig collector'

I just raced through the audio version of Warren Ellis’s Dead Pig Collector, a delightful exploration of the world of hired killers and body disposal, performed by Wil Wheaton.

You’ll learn all sorts of things about body disposal. I’m very curious about who all Ellis talked to when working on this piece, as he obviously dove deep into subject expertise. Definitely going on the list of things I’d love to talk to him about over whiskey.

Wil Wheaton delivers Warren Ellis’s dry British humor perfectly. I had a hard time not laughing out loud this morning as I listened to the story in my office. Anyone who appreciates taking the practical and methodical approach to the task at hand will get a kick out of this work.

A perfect audiobook for the quick road trip at only an hour, and on sale for $3.30.

If you’re looking for something fast and morbid, this is the short story for you.

Time is Weird in 2016: Obligatory New Year’s Post

The last few months have been rather exciting.

frankensteinIn October, Reed and I built the equivalent of a B-level Frankenstein’s lab for our Halloween party, “Disco Frankenstein: It’s Alive, Alive, It’s Stayin’ Alive.” We also built a 7ft tall Monster. We may scale back a bit this year.

In November I wrote a book! I finished NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, and ended up with something that has a beginning, middle, and end. This has never happened before, not even something I could call a Zero Draft, and I’m still reeling a bit with disbelief that I finally did it. I will be rewriting and revising this spring. And then we’ll see.

In December I started putting together the business plan for my freelance writing business. It’s scary and exciting. I’m hoping that by the end of 2016 I will be able to support myself off of my writing and finally quit the day job scene. I am building out a more professional website for that purpose. Which brings me to what’s going on with Cheese and Glory.

Cheese and Glory has gone through several phases; weird personal whatever blog, general geek zine, place to keep my articles on monster movies, a portfolio. I have decided, after months of debate, that Cheese and Glory will be my main blog, my personal blog, and continue being a disorganized mess of anything and everything that strikes my fancy. I am making a conscious decision to not ‘niche’ Cheese and Glory.

Cheese and Glory is basically my playground where I will talk about whatever the hell I want.  Anything I write here that might be a good portfolio post will get cross posted to my professional writer blog. I’m not going to put much effort into marketing C&G, although if I write something that I think other people might appreciate, I’ll toss it into the Twitter machine and let some of my marketing tools put it in front of those people.

I am taking the advice of author Austin Kleon and will be stealing like an artist. Some of my ideas about what will happen to Cheese and Glory and based on terribleminds.com, the website of Chuck Wendig, who I think is a really cool guy and hope to one day call a peer and maybe even have a beer with. I am also taking structural ideas from morning.computer, the blog of Warren Ellis, who I’m not sure would be flattered or horrified or both by such a thing. I also rather like Cherie Priest’s blog, and not only because of the kittengrams.

I am not going to state my goals here, only that I have them. I go into 2016 with a vague intention to reinvent myself, wake a few things up, and murder some bad habits. If I pick up some new friends through this medium, or the gods forbid, some fans, that will be wonderful.

Here we go.