Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wherever You Find Love, It Feels Like Christmas!

It's been two years since we sent out Christmas cards and so much has happened since then! 2009 was filled with a bit of disappointment as our plans to take over and run a motel on the Washington coast fell through and we found ourselves temporarily setting aside our dreams while we regroup and work towards it in the future.
Kris also had a physical setback in December of 2009, shattering his arm and totaling his car in a car accident. We were attending our dear friend's wedding in Leavenworth WA, (Kris was even performing the ceremony) and on the morning of the wedding, he and the groom were struck by a pickup. Kris broke a couple of ribs and his upper right arm in six places and his friend Rob suffered broken ribs and a back injury. Despite the accident, we were able to celebrate their vows, just a day late and heavily drugged.

There wasn't much time to rest on our laurels upon returning to Idaho either. After much discussion, we decided to accept a move with Walgreens, where Kris works. They were expanding into the state of Maine and were looking for transfers. So Lindsay single handedly packed the house and in January, we left it and our kids in the loving and capable hands of Kris' mom and brother while we flew out to Portland Maine!
    For a couple of months, we lived in a little motel room and Lindsay worked on her novel and did lots of cross-stitching. Kris, who was unable to work in the stores because of his broken arm, worked in the district office as the district administrator.
    Finally, after too long without our pets and a place of our own, we rented a trailer home in the nearby town of Topsham (Pronounced Tops-uhm) and flew back to Idaho, where we bought a new Element, a reddish orange one we named Stormalong. Rich built us a clever little sleeping platform in the back of the car and we stuffed everything we would need in Maine underneath and the dogs and cats above and hit the road to our new home, 3,000 miles away!
    Currently, we are still living in the trailer in rural Topsham, where we've built a screened in porch to watch the cardinals and wild turkeys that play in our backyard. Lindsay is working as night auditor for The Captain Daniel Stone Inn and Kris is an Executive Assistant Manager for Walgreens in Portland ME, which is about 35 minutes away. It's also the only drug store in the nation that sells live lobsters, which Kris is in charge of.

    We're also involved in other side projects, both working on novels, which will be published later in 2011 and Kris is selling stickers and sculptures online in an Etsy shop called Deeply Dapper.
    Maine is an interesting place, both far different and strikingly similar to Idaho in many ways. We love the long, colorful Autumns and the rugged coastline. (though we find ourselves missing the Oregon/Washington coast) Maine is also filled with wonderful historical buildings and sites and there are many gorgeous old cemeteries to visit. We had a great time showing it off to our friend Jen and Lindsay's parents and sister when they visited this fall. They especially enjoyed the fresh lobster rolls from Red's Eats.
    We do miss our friends and family. There's a sense of isolation from being so very far away from everyone. But it's allowed us to concentrate on our writing and our kids and we are really looking forward to 2011! If only there were any decent Mexican restaurants out here....

We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.
Merry Christmas from Lindsay, Kris, Ludo, Pooka, Clover & Sassafras!

The ROUS FAMILY -     

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

Now Playing -    
Wonderful Christmastime by Barenaked Ladies
Life -  
 Man, it's very hard to get excited about the holidays when you commute for an hour and a half every day, work ten hours a day and are required for your job to work six days a week through Christmas. That leaves me roughly twelve hours to eat, sleep, clean, shower, get ready for work and find the spirit of Christmas.
Clover loves Christmas!

Luckily our one day off together is pretty swell. This week, we spent the morning running around. We bought a few last gifts, ate some breakfast and bought a tree! It's a nice looking one, too. We also bought some cheap decorations at target and some simple lights (That will go out on the deck this spring) It's a diffferent look for our tree, usually it's a lot more colorful, filled with bright "Kids" ornaments that we've both held on to for decades. But those are all in storage back home in Idaho. The only ornaments we brought with us to Maine are the once yearly ones that we pick together. So this year our tree is kind of classy looking, with color coordinated ornaments. Of course, I can never find a tree topper I like, so we improvised, using one of my African masks and a cat-costume Santa beard.

Then I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the gift wrapping and played with some Legos for a bit. Like last week, I started to get a bit antsy about the fact that I had to return to work the next day, and a bit irritable too, so I wound down with an hour of reading. I'm currently reading AT HOME, by Bill Bryson. So far it's the perfect book for this time of year. It's full of humor and history of the homes we live in. Though it does make me long for a real home again.
Our ornament for this year. A lobster, of course!

Writing - 
Writing is on hold until January. I just can't get my mojo working without more time.

Weighty Matters -     
My Current Weight -  297    
Progress Thus Far -     
Not really any progress, but I did buy some "Perfect Pushups" and started doing some push ups and crunches before bed each night. It's a start.

The ROUS FAMILY -     

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Accursed Bug!

Now Playing -     
Only The Young by Brandon Flowers
Life -  
 My life can be summed up by one simple word - SICK. After years of confidently prancing around amongst the sick and infirm customers of Idaho, my carefully cultivated immunity to common bugs has let me down out here in Maine, where there are new, wicked strains. For the last few days I've been suffering from a sore throat, headache, body aches, couch, runny nose, congested sinuses, dizziness, sore ears, even sensitive fingertips, for heck's sake! I'm finally feeling better, thanks to some heavy druggage and a sick day, but man, I was pretty miserable for a couple of days.

Now, I just have to hope my wife doesn't get it... She's not a happy sick person. (And it's her birthday on the sixth, so it would just be mean of the thing to make her sick on her birthday!)

Apart from that, nothing to report.

Writing - 
I lost at NaNoWriMo, but that's okay, I made it to over 35,000 words, that's pretty decent. Now I just have to find time in December to finish!
The Last Sentence -  
  Pale was quite happy to find an unbroken jar of pickles in a basement storeroom.
    From - "Mr. Pale Steps Out" (WIP) 

Weighty Matters -   
  My Current Weight -  296


  Sold the last of my lightweight Sasquatch sticker over on Deeply Dapper, hooray! I also started a new feature where I comment on just the covers of the books I'm reading.

My lovely bride talks about why she likes rejection letters

How NaNoWriMo made me a loser. And a winner.

Coming soon - Another LEGO review! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reflections On A Northeastern Autumn

Now Playing -  
Ain't No Reason  by Brett Dennen

Life - 

This has been our first Autumn in a state that actually has something close to the actual definition of that season, and it's been intriguing.

Growing up in Idaho, Autumn was a very different season. Things would typically stay hot until late August, with temperatures ranging between 80 and 100 degrees during the day, and dropping to much cooler temperatures, often as low as 50 degrees at night. Then, like magic, sometime in late August, early September, things would cool off. It wasn't as dramatic as overnight, but pretty quick. You'd go from sleeping with your windows open to covering the tomatoes against freezing within the course of a few days. 

This is the closest thing I have to a photo of Pocatello, ID in Autumn. It is not a prime photo taking time.

Then everything froze. One night, instead of hitting around 40, we'd get a night of 25 degrees, the ground would be covered in frost whorls and all of the tree leaves, that had just started thinking about changing colors would be dead, hanging onto the branches with the sparest of grips. Eventually, the winds would pick up and blast those dead, brown leaves to the ground. Then, by Halloween, we'd be planning our costumes around whether or not our winter coats could fit under them.

In Maine, as expected, the foliage was outstanding. This was supposedly a bad year for "Leaf Peeping" as they call it out here, and it was gorgeous. We saw colors in every range, and on every growing plant around. Some were bright orange overnight, while others changed a branch at a time, transforming in leaps and hops. Temperatures stayed temperate and we got a lot more rain than I would have expected.
This was a photo taken from the window of the car, randomly in Maine.

They have a nice mix of things too. In addition to vivid pinks and reds, almost fluorescent yellows and rich, deep browns and oranges, the peeks of pine green added texture and depth. We loved it. We took day trips, just driving along the roads, not headed to the prime Peeping sites, where tourists flock to look at dying trees. We just headed anywhere we felt, and really enjoyed it.

Now, in the middle of November, when Pocatello is seeing snow, it's still Autumn here. It's been raining for a day or two, and the grass is still green in spots. I've worn my coat a few days and my hat a few too, but I've only seen frost a few mornings. For most of my life, I really wondered at the Thanksgiving decorations that I put up on the walls. Corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds... And while I do think it's interesting that nationwide, that's become more of an early fall decor thing, with Christmas being all there is after Nov. 1st, it makes more sense out here, where the leaves aren't already into their deep decomposing stages, the pumpkins outside haven't frozen and split and there isn't a foot of snow on the ground.

So overall, I'd have to give Maine's Autumns pretty high marks. Good on ye, Maine.

ROUS Family Updates!
Check out Neal Kristopher's blog in the next few days for a post about agents and the importance of respecting and cherishing them.

I've also posted a few new reviews,

And coming soon on Deeply Dapper - Chompy, the final photos!

And next time here, the long delayed continuation of my In-Laws vacation to Maine!

Weighty Matters - 
My Current Weight - 297
Progress Thus Far -   
Bah. I think the holidays could be a bad time for this, but I'll keep posting it. If only to force myself to think about it.

  Writing - 

This is my month of NaNoWriMo. Green means a good word day, dark red means a bad one. It's kind of funny how similar the weeks have been. Doing okay though...  I like my story a lot.

The Last Sentence - 

Its front hoof kicks feebly once, then nothing.
From - "Mr. Pale Steps Out" (WIP)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Now Playing -  
Tango 'Till They're Sore by Tom Waits

Life - 
I bought some cozy red plaid fuzzy slippers. That is the sole highlight of an otherwise craptastic week. Here's hoping next week goes much, much better. On the bright side, it is very nice being able to walk bravely through puddles of dog drool, rather than dodging around them like a frightened rabbit. (Rabbits have a well-documented fear of dog drool puddles. )
Weighty Matters - 
  My Current Weight - 297
Progress Thus Far -  

  Writing - 

Another bright spot in my week, actually. Though I am woefully behind the goal of 23,334 words for today, I have written something nearly every day this month, and that is extremely exciting to me. I love the idea that this challenge has gotten me out of my writing funk. There have been more words pounded out on my keyboard in the last 14 days than the 14 months prior. And I'm currently writing about plague carrying, mutant horses and a snub-nosed .38, so it doesn't get much better, does it?

The Last Sentence - 

There were maggots too, wriggling around in orgies of putrescence, dropping to the ground like fat raindrops.
From - "Mr. Pale Steps Out" (WIP)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

50,000 Words In One Month!

Now Playing -
Sleep  by Meiko

Life - 

Every year they do it. Somehow. Authors worldwide spend thirty days, the month of November, writing a book for National Novel Writing Month. Fifty Thousand Words. That's right around 1,700 a day.

Which isn't too bad when you look at it from a day to day standpoint, but when you suddenly miss a day because you worked a 10 hour shift and drove 70 minutes to and from work and made dinner and by the end of the night you were just too darned tired? Yeah, then you've gotta get in 3,000 words to catch up. 

And November seems like a horrible month to do this, at least for me. I'm dealing with Christmas at home and work, and the weather outside, which means a longer commute and possibly snow shoveling... To say nothing of what a slow typist I am anyway!

But I'm gonna try it this month. Mostly because I have a great idea for a Post Apocalyptic Crime Novel, set in the 50's. And because I'm tired of working on my zombie novel for a little while. So far I haven't done too badly, I'm at just below 15,000 words. Of course, I'm supposed to be at over 18k... So keep an eye on that blue box at the top of my post, that's my real-time ticker of where I'm at.

Anyone else here writing their NaNoWriMo project this month? And how in the world do you do it??

Weighty Matters - 
  My Current Weight -  297
Progress Thus Far -   
Nothing really, again, but I'm telling myself that part of that is that I've started to work my shoulder and arms more aggressively from a muscle building aspect. 

  Writing - 

The Last Sentence - 

If that failed, he'd climb up into that big, ostentatious bed and swallow the mean end of a Remington. 
From - " Mr Pale Steps Out " (WIP)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Split Personalities

Now Playing -  
Old Cape Cod  by The Puppini Sisters

 This Is Not A Test.
After much debate and reflection, I've decided to stop doing reviews on ROUS. I started this blog as a way to keep my family and friends informed with my life, and to track my families myriad attempts to get a motel, become published authors, lose weight, pay down debt... etc etc... 

Then I started posting reviews of thing. Books, movies, CDs, games, Legos, rastaurants... anything. It took me a while to find a format that I was really happy with, but with this newest incarnation, I'm quite happy with it. It lets me get my point across, be a bit snarky and doesn't take long. I've even gotten a few advance copies to review, a sign that at least someone is taking me a bit seriously.

But I'm not a huge fan of having someone visit for my reviews and have to slog through posts about my dog's sore feet, and the same goes for the people that actually care about our adventures, but couldn't care less about the horror movie I watched the night before.

So I sat down and thought about things. I already have a ton of blogs... more than I care to admit, most of them rarely, if ever updated, and I'm starting a few new ventures that require a new way of marketing myself. So I started a couple of new blogs and will discontinue a few more, consolidating and spreading out at the same time.   (It made sense at the time. We'll see if I can keep it up.)

Without further ado, meet the ROUS/Deeply Dapper family of sites!

The mother site. The ROUS Motel will continue to be the place for my family updates, my photography and vacation stories. I'll continue to track my weight loss and writing path as candidly as possible. This will be a document of our future and past.

The official source for my artwork and sculptures. In addition to posting links and updates about my Etsy shoppe, Deeply Dapper will showcase my drawings for R3's Art Jams and any links to the weird and wacky things in the world. Eventually, it will also encompass our book and web designs for our e-books.

My official review site. I'm excited about this one. In addition to posting new reviews, I plan to go back and rework my old reviews on here in the new ROUS style and even better, I'm going to bug my friends and readers to submit their own reviews for posting on the site. I think this will allow me to continue posting reviews in a more official capacity.

Neal Kristopher

My nom de plume for writing adult novels, Neal Kristopher will eventually expand into a full .com website with access to my e-books and more. This site will focus on research and writing in a more professional, official manner. Also, it has skulls that look like lace.

Lindsay Kiernan Official Site

The only site listed here that I don't have any hand in, outside of putting together the design. This is my wife's new site, in anticipation of her soon to be released novels.

Moonstone Bay is on hold for now, but when I get back around to writing children's fiction again, I'll likely pick that up too.

So there you have it, a plethora of sites, each with a clearly defined purpose. I think this will make it easier for the casual reader to find what they want, and more for my pals to explore. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Horror! A Halloween Mega Review Post!

Reviews Of Unusual Size


Directed by Adam Gierasch
2009, 93 mins, Rated R
Re: A group of rowdy college-ish aged kids throw a party at an old Loisiana mansion. When the cops roust 'em, a select seven, mostly played by people in their late thirties of questionable acting ability, manage to get locked in. They play spin the bottle, get it on and get possessed. Crappy monster effects and gore ensues.
Outstanding:I really liked Monica Keena in some other stuff. The intro, filmed poorly in a 1920's style was at least a good idea...
Unacceptable: Everything. I don't even know where to begin with how bad everything was in this flick. 
Summary: Bad in a way that only a movie made in the aughts, featuring hard rock, computer generated gore and c-list actors can be. Barely worth finishing. And I'm not even sure why I say that.


Directed by Samuel Bayer
2010, 95 mins, Rated R

Re: A remake/reimagining/encapsulation/renovation/modern take on the original. If you don't know the plot, well... I'll probably post a non-Halloween post on Thursday.
Outstanding:I really like Jackie Earl Haley, and I think a few things they did with the story were unique.
Unacceptable: Everyone else was generic and forgettable. There were a few scenes that  has abysmal special effects. Pretty sad for a film with $35mil to play with.
Summary: Granted, I've never really like Freddy. His style of dream antics and goofy deaths has always seemed silly to me. Silly but enjoyable. This movie managed to remove both of those things. Hmm.



Directed by Scott Charles Stuart
2010, 100 mins, Rated R

Re: God has gotten tired of us, so he decides to unleash heaven on us. Kill 'em all and let himself sort it out, I guess. But for some reason, he gave us one last chance, in the form of a pregnant girl, working in a roadside truck stop. Oh, and Paul Bettany is an angel that wants to help out. He has lots of guns.
Outstanding:This movie knows it's goofy and dumb, but it also knows how to have fun with that. There are a few well done scenes and Doug Jones as an angel-possessed Ice cream man. That's pretty cool.
Unacceptable: Y'know, maybe it was my mood when I watched this, but despite its shortcomings, there wasn't really anything I hated.
Summary: It's not gonna win any awards, but if you're looking for a flick where grannies walk on ceilings and angels pack glocks, check it out. It's kinda amusingly diverting.


Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
2010, 97 mins, Rated R

Re: BANGBANGBANG. Weird four mouthed zombie things! Convenient reunions! BANGBANG! Big goofy zombie thing! BANGBANGbangBANGduckBANG! mumble, swim, BANG! Matrix guy. BANGGITYBANGBANG! Goofy non-ending!
Outstanding: Is that Tig, from Sons Of Anarchy?
Unacceptable: Is that Milla, staying clothed for the entire movie, despite a perfectly good, badly written, shower scene?


by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
2009, 608 pages, ebook
Re: Del Toro and Hogan spin a new take on vampires, one that's both modern - steeped in the paranoia of today and classic - inspired by legends from the past. In their world, vampires are a virus, infecting us. Turning us into pale, sexless, evil drones with stingers and white, worm infested bodies. 
Outstanding:I still love this take on the vampire legend. The characters are well-rounded and excellent. You really feel for them, you want to know what happens to them. And the vamps are everything a vampire should be, violent, evil, nasty and infectiously awesome.
Unacceptable: Despite how much I love this book, it suffered a little bit the second time around. A few sub-plots seemed less important and a little long, but overall still a very enjoyable read.
Summary: When I first reviewed this book, back in 2009, I gave the book 5/5 and said it was probably one of the best of the year. I wouldn't go that far this time, though it's still easily a 5/5 book. I just didn't find myself devouring it as eagerly as I had before.

By Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan 
2010, 320 pages, ebook
Re: The sequel to THE STRAIN and book two in a planned trilogy. Setrakian, Goodweather and crew continue their valiant battle against the vampires and the nation of misinformation that claims the plague of neck suckers is merely a plague of a conventional sort. And the Master ramps up his plans to subjugate the world.
Outstanding:Del Toro and Hogan really know how to write a story. Everyone stays intriguing and fun to read and the action is cranked to eleven within the first few pages. I really like the track they took with the Ancients, a breed of old school vamps, the originators of the virus. Luchadore!
Unacceptable: There's a lot of stuff going on here, and some of it is far more impressive than others. There's a couple of sub plots that may pay off in the long run, but seem like they're unnecessary here. There's also a spot in the book where I would have sworn a man's arm is broken, yet he uses it with no difficulty a chapter or so later.
Summary: Not as strong as the first novel, but still a well written one. I'm pretty excited to see what happens in the final book... In a year or so.

by Jonathan Maberry
2008, 480 pages, ebook
Re: It all ends here. Maberry's excellent Pine Deep Trilogy concludes with an all-out explosion of chaos as the evil massing in the cellars and fields of the tiny town take to the streets of the Pine Deep Halloween festival. With plans to feast.
Outstanding:I love Maberry's writing. He infuses things with an easy sense of humor and his dialogue is as natural as listening to a couple of buddies talk. He also knows whats scary and nasty and revels in dosing it out.
Unacceptable: The pop culture references wore a little thin for me, with entire chapters dedicated to the efforts of the real-life  horror dignitaries at the festival. It was fun for a while, but I think it went just a wee bit over the top. 
Summary: Overall a very excellent book. High on drama and action. It's not easy writing a trilogy like this, I would imagine. His mythology is deep and twisty and he balances dozens of fairly important characters without us ever once getting confused or lost, only hungry for the next pages. I loved my visit to Pine Deep. You should plan a trip, but book ahead if you plan on visiting around Halloween. Things get pretty busy that time of year.

by Brian Keene
2004, 336 pages, ebook
Re: Zombies rule the earth. For every man, woman, child or animal that dies, they come back. Walking, eating and yes... the bane of zombie novels for me, talking. In Keene's universe, when something dies, something else takes over that body. A Sumatran spouting demon that remembers what the previous inhabitant knew and wants nothing more than to continue porting their brothers over. Oh yeah, and a guy tries to travel cross country to save his kid that is supposedly still alive in an attic.
Outstanding:As much as I despise talking zombies, I was entertained by these guys. They're possessed, drive around like something out of Mad Max and know how to use your loved one's feelings against you. Kind of original.

Unacceptable: Man, the living in this book bored me to death. Every one was a stereotype of the highest order, and while that's almost a requirement in a zombie book, these guys were all really bad. There was the selfless Priest, the hardcore ex-hooker, the stalwart and determined single father, the scientist carrying a load of guilt for starting the whole thing and the military asshole. 
Summary: Despite my annoyances with the main characters, I had a good time reading THE RISING. It's a traditional zombie road trip book with some unexpected twists along the way.

Weighty Matters - 
My Current Weight -  296
Progress Thus Far -  A couple pounds. But on the plus side, we finally got some healthy snacks for me to take to work, so that should help.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back In The Saddle, Sans Spurs

Now Playing -
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy  by The Puppini Sisters

Life - 
Well, I had planned on being more regular with my posts...

I spent the last week in Belfast, ME, setting up a new store and immediately derailed a few things. My roommate was a great guy, but MAN did he snore! ANd not just a heavy sawing, that I could have handled, this was a jittery, hodge-podge of sounds. Anything from a slight wheeze to a barking, sharp cough, interspersed with some slight mumbling. This, coupled with the warmth of the room (I typically sleep with the room quite cold, in the low fifties) I had an incredibly difficult time sleeping. And because I spent a week in a hotel working 10-11 hour days, I also ate in restaurants for all of my meals, which temporarily shot my diet to hell too. 

On the plus side, it did prompt me to slide on my headphones, queue up Pandora and type to drown out the Adam Sandler movies they seem to play on repeat on TBS. Why do they do that, anyway? One night, they played the same insipid, horrible Sandler movie three times in a row, starting the next showing before the credits had even finished rolling. Madness. Then again, my roomie kept falling asleep and waking up in time to cath the next showing... SO there's that, I guess. 

My wife and I have started to avoid the the TV like the plague on vacation. I know a lot of folks that turn the TV on in a hotel room before they even flick the lights or set their bags down, and one of the managers I worked with even left hers on all night as a kind of strobing, loud, night light. I'm not sure when it happened, but we never even touch it anymore. I think it's kind of a good thing. What about you, fellow readers? Do you run the TV in the background or find other ways to occupy your time on vacation?

Reviews Of Unusual Size
by Alton Gansky
  2004, 336 pages, ebook
Re: When Mayor Madison "Maddy" Glenn's confidants, advisors and friends start disappearing mysteriously, with only cryptic clues remaining, and signs that the abductor knows more than they should, Maddy must make a choice. Hide in fear or carry on like she has always done things, confronting the abductions and even a killer bravely and headfirst.

Outstanding: This was an interesting idea, and I thought the small town in California where it was set to be very appealingly described. Most of the characters were well rounded and had some personality.

Unacceptable:  Unfortunately, the story never grabbed me. It was a slog to continue reading as page after page was filled with emotional drama, the story focusing on her tears and internal turmoils and minor aches and pains with her job, rather than the kidnappers and the investigation, which was a genuinely good idea and could have been an engrossing story. There was also a major side story featuring the daughter of a victim and her estranged father that did nothing for the story but give it a broadly defined man to hate and some drama that should have come from the main story instead.

Summary: What tries to come across as a kidnapping thriller behind the cover of a legal thriller ended up being something more akin to a chick-lit book with a kidnapping. It could make a pretty dramatic movie of the week on Lifetime, with her constant bickering and fisticuffs with the estranged father and self-absorbed sniffling. The Incumbent feels like a novel written by a county clerk that wanted to write a police thriller but didn't know enough about police investigations or thrills to actually include any in the book.
Weighty Matters - 

My Current Weight - 298

  Progress Thus Far -   
Backsliding. Damn the crappy choice in restaurants in Belfast!

Writing - 
 I'm actually pretty happy with my progress so far. Not as substantial as I'd hoped, but I'm at just under 74,000 words on Graves, and I've started the plotting on my second adult novel.
The Last Sentence - 
"I wrecked this beast on my own." 
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Now Playing -
The Big Fish by Danny Elfman


We went "Leaf Peeping" to the North of Augusta yesterday. There's not much better than wandering around a cemetery in perfect autumn weather with your loved one. Not in my book, anyway. Beautiful! I will also have a new sculpture available on Deeply Dapper tonight, the first in my line of "Trapped Tikis" Check it out!
Tomorrow, I'm heading to Belfast for a week to help open a new store. I plan to have some downtime to update the blog and do some writing, but we'll see. Sometimes these trips get more involved than others.

Reviews Of Unusual Size  


by J.A. Konrath (as Jack Kilborn), Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson & Jeff Strand 
Release Date - October 19th, 2010, 389 pages, e-book Advance Copy
Re: This is an interesting book. Brainstormed by J.A. Konrath (writing under his Horror alter-ego, Jack Kilborn) and written tag team style by four generally well-respected horror and thriller authors, Draculas is a down and dirty re-imagining of the vampire legend. Ditching fancy cloaks and sparkling skin, these guys are nasty. They reproduce and hunger for flesh like fast moving zombies and if they escape the hospital where the initial outbreak occurs, God help the world. And all that stands between them and the world at large is a down on her luck hospice nurse, a lumberjack with a chainsaw sharper than he is and a gun-crazy deputy. 

Outstanding: Draculas is a ridiculously fun book to read. The writers styles mesh well, to the point that I had a hard time breaking down who did what, and the story is pure Video Nasty. In my book, that's a Very Good Thing. The "Draculas" as they are dubbed, are vicious, ugly creepy and cool as hell. I dig their take on the creatures, which is both original and old-school. The main characters are pretty stereotypical, but in this type of story, that's a strength. I don't want my big lumbering brute of a man to read Kierkegaard and moan about his feelings. I want him to break out a monster's teeth with the blade of a chainsaw while his ass flaps around in a hospital gown. (The ass part is purely optional, mind you.)

Unacceptable: There wasn't much I didn't like about this book. It's not for everyone - there's a lot of gore and violence, almost constant peril in fact, and some of it is ridiculously over the top. It's also a little short,  only taking up about 2/3 of the file's 389 pages, but the remainder is filled with some great DVD-style extras. I also had a problem with the advance copy of it on my nook. It had unusually slow page turns, sometimes as much as 5-7 seconds between each. 

Summary: Go back and read the first couple of lines about what was "Unacceptable" in this book. If that sounds more like a recommendation than a problem, then you should immediately GO HERE and order Draculas. It's crazy and filled with death in the best possible way. It is a little short, but the extras at the end, around 100 pages of interviews, previews of other books and short stories push the $2.99 price tag from being a good deal to being a steal. 


Weighty Matters - 

My Current Weight - 296
Progress Thus Far -   
I've lost a couple of pounds, but that doesn't seem too significant... since I can do that taking off my shoes..We went out and bought some healthy snacks too, which should help. If I can avoid Halloween candy for a month and Christmas candy for the two after that....

Writing - 
Not too bad. I've passed the 72,000 word mark, and have started to discuss e-publishing options with my wife. She has a few books earmarked for that market as well. I'd like to get this completed, edited and available for sale by Christmas. 

The Last Sentence - 
My grip tightens on the sledge and a smile seeps unbidden to my face. 
From - "Graves" (WIP)