Recently in an interview, J.K. Rowling stated she had made a mistake in having Hermione and Ron become a couple because they were not right for one another and it should have been Hermione and Harry. She said her mistake resulted from wish fulfillment on her part, not from what was realistic for the characters.
Throughout the entire series I believed that Hermione and Harry were compatible because they were best friends without all the insecure envy that Ron showed towards both of them. His nature was not going to change as he aged unless H and H became total losers who never accomplished anything after Hogwarts, which was not going to happen, ever. Can you imagine being brilliant , successful Hermione and having to keep telling Ron for the rest of your life that he is smart and capable, too? Yuck.
So for Valentine’s Day, I congratulate all of you who have a life partner who was and is your best friend. The one without all the emotional baggage. For those still searching, a companion should be a compatible lover, of course, but more importantly, your friend. Works for me.
It was inevitable. Write a book about Werewolves and become very aware of the cycles of the moon. However, I have always been intrigued by the moon. A few years ago when my German Shepherd Grendel was aging and needed to be walked every evening just at bedtime, she and I would saunter down the sidewalk enjoying the quiet of the evening and stare at the moon. Grendel was a 95 pound lady and the most wolflike of all the dogs I have loved. So now, each full moon night I watch the moon and remember those quiet nights and think of her.
This is the happiest of New Years because the Sitawan paperback is available now. Many of you have waited patiently for the print copy and now your patience is rewarded.
For my readers/writers out there who will be indie publishing, just remember that it will take a lot more of your time than you first thought. Even with my support team, it was a fascinating, fun, but laborious experience. Now that I have crossed the first hurdle, I intend that the sequel to Sitawan will go more quickly. But it is worth every effort, writers!
Speaking of the sequel, I am back to writing and that makes me very content and happy.
For those of you who hope to sell your book electronically, let’s just say that getting it to that point will take you a lot longer than you first thought. That has been my experience and I have heard the same from fellow independent writers. I know that many of my readers have been eagerly awaiting release of Sitawan: A Humboldt Pack Story and I appreciation your enthusiasm and am happy to announce that the end is in sight. This is largely due to Jen, my creative and patient graphic artist, and to Greg, the always supportive and mostly patient chief cook and houseboy around here, who is also my go-to-guy for all things technology.
The main problem is with me. I retreat into my creative frame of mind where my characters are helping me to write the best story possible and when either Greg or Jen says things like HTML or JPEG or which book cover do you prefer, I mostly give them blank looks and/or bury my head in my hands. However, since I finished the “final” rewrite/edit, it has been easier to dutifully pay attention to their questions, give them constructive feedback, and focus on the other parts of the process of electronic publishing. But you would have to ask them to be sure.
I hope that all you writers out there will also have a knowledgeable, supportive, and most importantly, patient team to help you through the process.
Met with my graphic artist Jenifer Fitch this morning and then this afternoon we took a walk in the redwood forest where she took photos of me for my website and print book cover. It was a productive and satisfying day. We will meet again tomorrow to discuss that HTML stuff before I head to SoCal.
American Librarian’s say, “Defend your freedom to read and read a banned book.”
As part of the American Library Association’s 2013 Banned Book Week, I was excited to accept Professor Joe Medina’s invitation to celebrate our freedom to read without censorship. My presentation at Grossmont College’s Celebration of Banned Books focused on banned vampire literature. It wasn’t hard to find examples because I doubt there has ever been a vampire story that wasn’t banned at one time or another. Most recently, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast’s House of Night, and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, all young adult novels, made the no-no list. I am always dismayed when people who have never read the novels ban them, but the Texas school district did one better with Mead’s books. They banned the rest of the series before they were even written!
My vampire talk followed profound and thought provoking presentations by Dr. “T” Ford on Banned People: Bessie Smith featuring Lady J, a blues singer who sang Bessie Smith’s songs a cappella; Lisa Shapiro on banned books and banned people with Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and the Central Park Five; and James Strand on banned Superman comics (he’s a hero who “fights for truth and justice in the American way” for goodness sake). I brought the evening to a close by saying that Bram Stoker Dracula’s thirst for blood symbolized repressed sexual passion in Victorian England, and that currently vamp lit regained popularity in part because of our fascination with and longing for immortal youth. Botox, anyone?
Spent a fabulous day at Comic-Con around like-minded people. Comic-Con allows the sci-fi/fantasy geeks to be the coolest people in the building. The highlights of the overwhelmingly full day in which you can’t see everything and be everywhere at once were:
Adam Hughes, comic book artist and illustrator of Cat Woman and Wonder Woman, who was funny and informative about the evolution of DC Comics and his art.
George R.R. Martin, who talked mostly about his “Skin Trade” story adaptation to comic book and a little about his novel series in which weather plays a character as important as the ones on two or four legs (thank you, GRRM, for bringing dire wolves back from Pleistocene extinction). I can’t wait for the next installment of that, but “Skin Trade” is iconic and I enjoyed hearing him discuss his long love of comics.
There are always unexpected surprises at Comic-Con. Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 Omniverse panel preceded Neil Gaiman and I attended it in order to guarantee a seat for Gaiman. I had never heard of Ben 10 but enjoyed the full-length episode they screened and the entertaining panel discussion afterwards. I have now turned a four-year-old I know onto Ben 10, at least until his mother heard one of the characters say something like, “I’m going to kick your butt.” I guess that is not something a preschool four-year-old should learn to say. However, I think his dad may still allow him to watch. There I go, corrupting America’s youth.
Neil Gaiman was witty, intelligent, and outrageously British, of course, while discussing his writer’s process, his new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and the 25th anniversary of “The Sandman” comic. All in all, he was the highlight of my day at Comic-Con.
It was a perfect day fishing out of Trinidad for salmon and rockfish—flat, foggy, and dry. I was thrilled to catch a 17-pound salmon; however, I had been outdone the previous day when the guys went out for Father’s Day and caught a 42-pound salmon, a possible 2013 record for the northern coast to date.
After a few obsessed weeks spent revising and editing Sitawan for its fall release, I joyfully spent the day eating oysters, listening to live bands (one of my favorite things), and hanging out with family and friends at Oyster Fest. I also discovered some unusual earrings from a local artist, and at the end of the day bought a whole, cooked brisket from the Humboldt Cattlewomen’s Association for a bargain, which made serving dinner easy and delicious. A thanks also goes to the cattlewomen for those humongous chocolate chip cookies from the Lolita Bakery, too. After the stress of the past few weeks spent writing and teaching simultaneously, Oyster Fest allowed me to laugh and relax. Great job, Arcata!