I wish someone would slap me every time I think probiotics will make my life complete

I always get disoriented when I fly open-jawed and land in an airport that’s different than the one I left from.  I don’t remember the last time I did it, but last night I landed in SFO a week and a half after departing from OAK, and it really fucked me up.  I walked down the concourse with this strong unconscious feeling that nothing was right.  I mean, I spent the whole flight sitting next to this bald dude with a handlebar mustache, black leather boots, and a crushed velvet suit jacket in a bright shade of burgundy, who read The Fountainhead in that sort of “look at what I’m reading” pose, and I really wanted to just say “okay, we get it, dude” but I didn’t.  It took me a lot of time to get used to being in the wrong airport and mentally figure out that I was on a different mass of land with a different drive in front of me, but the 50 degree temperature difference really negated that.

I haven’t been back in Indiana in two years, and I always hesitate to write about the experience, because I don’t want to piss off the people who call it home, or make it sound like I’m ungrateful for them taking time out to see this asshole who flew out from California that won’t stop bitching about a lack of vegetables and heat.  But it always puts the zap on me to see stuff back there.  I think this visit, I spent less time in a nostalgia black hole, and avoided a lot of old haunts, although it wasn’t entirely intentional.  Both the night of Christmas Eve and Christmas itself, I headed back to my hotel semi-early, and had thoughts of driving around University Park mall, maybe finding an old place to eat, and doing some serious people-watching.  And, of course, both times I was an idiot and didn’t realize that they closed damn near everything early, and I ended up back at the hotel eating candy bars for dinner.

I got a chance to meet up with fellow writer Steve Lowe, which was cool, because our Venn diagrams of South Bend-dom probably briefly touched decades ago and we didn’t realize it.  This leads me to my new year’s resolution (yes, another one of those posts): I really don’t know half of you people out there, and I never see the other half of you.  I need to make more of an effort to see people in the next year.  So if you’re in the bay area, please ping me, and I will do likewise.  I don’t care if we haven’t met before – we should grab a cup of coffee or hit a book store or whatever.  I need to do something with my life besides clicking the Like button on facebook posts.

So, saw the family.  Suffered through the cold.  Ate a lot of garbage, but only gained about a pound.  Almost hit a deer.  Didn’t write, which I wanted to do and of course I didn’t, so what the fuck.  I left Indiana a day earlier than I thought, due to a scheduling issue, and drove up to Wisconsin, then drove down to Chicago the next day to hang out with John Sheppard.  We went to this weird diner that was all classic diner food but vegan, built up out of various soy products, which was actually pretty damn good.  We got to hang for a bit, and scheme about our next big project, which is always awesome.

Speaking of, next project – you should go over to Paragraph Line and bookmark that shit.  We’ll be posting daily (we hope) dispatches, fiction, news, and other distractions.

Anyway, it’s good to be home, and I have to unfuck a million things here, piles of half-unpacked things and gifts that need to find permanent homes, and whatnot.  I got some nice little things, but after every trip back to Indiana, I always want to go Fight Club on my shit and start donating everything.  I also feel a need to do the same thing digestion-wise, hence my current issue with probiotics.  At least I will get a lot of reading done in the next few days.

Ok.  2013 done.  2014 coming up.  Still writing 2012 on my checks.  Gotta go finish this book now.




Jelly Donut. Jelly Donut. Jelly Donut.

I don’t even remember the last time I’ve updated this.  Every time I think about writing something here, I either can’t think of something cool and mind-bending and I think it’s stupid to go here and write “I went to Target today,” or I think of something cool and think it needs to go in a book and not here.  There’s no real middle ground.  So, let me tell you about my plans to go to Target today.

I went to Hawaii about a month ago, which was cool.  I also went to Reno last month, which wasn’t Hawaii.  There are pictures of both on flickr, although the Reno pictures are mostly of relatives, because I didn’t do much beyond that.  I did lose some money on a Godzilla slot machine, which I didn’t fully understand.  I also stayed in the hotel and wrote for about 17 seconds, and now I’m trying to catch up.

The whole time I was in Hawaii, I plotted out a book, and I started writing it in November.  I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo, but I wrote 50,000 words in the first half of the month, so I would have won, but the book is far from done.  It is an attempt at writing a linear, plotted book that still has a lot of weirdness to it, and involves startups, UFO cults, alien abduction, and depression.  I ran into some serious Act 2 issues and decided to let it sit and simmer for a while.  Maybe I’ll figure it out over the holidays and get back on it in January.  It’s not “straight” fiction, but it’s long-form stuff, and I found it incredibly difficult to get back on that horse.  I’m not sure of the quality of what I got done last month, but I know if I stick to the length I had, it will end up being longer than Summer Rain, and I got unending shit from idiots about how that book was “too long” so I don’t know what will happen if I finish this.  And no, I wouldn’t split it into multiple books.

I am still working on this other book, which is sort of like Rumored but more chaotic and lacking a central story (or maybe it isn’t.)  I would like to finish it soon, but it’s been a slow war growing and editing this.  It’s above 60,000 words, but it makes most of Burroughs’ work look incredibly linear and structured, so it’s sort of chaos right now.  I really like some of the bits in it, though.  I wanted to finish this by the end of 2013, but that won’t happen.  Maybe I’ll get it done in early 2014, but there’s also the chance this thing will stew for another five years, like Rumored did.

I have a bunch of new hardware at the house.  I got a 4th-gen iPad right before we left for Hawaii, literally hours before the new iPad Air was announced.  I was upgrading from a first-gen, so that change was huge.  The retina screen and increase in processor speed is tremendous.  And the old iPad was stuck on iOS 5, and crashing constantly when it ran out of memory.  The new one runs iOS 7, and now I get all of the good new features that I didn’t have before.  (AirPlay mirroring is a big one – I can now zap Amazon Instant videos to the Apple TV in the living room.)  I also recently updated from the iPhone 4S to the new 5S, which is insanely fast, and has a slightly bigger screen, but is lighter and has more battery life.  It also has the fingerprint sensor, which sounds like a gimmick feature, but it actually works well and is insanely useful to unlock the phone.  I also swapped out the battery in my laptop, which is still doing fine but is now the weakest link.  I hope to keep it going for another year or two though, and the battery will help.

I sent out my first newsletter to my mailing list.  It included a coupon for a free book.  If you missed it, you should probably click here to subscribe.

I have a bunch of holiday travel coming up, and I will predict now that I’ll end up with a death flu by the end of December, so thanks in advance to whoever’s kid gives me that.

I think I am going to Target today, BTW.  I need Claritin, Coke Zero, and a crossbow.  I’ll probably be 2/3 on that.