What’s Commonly Known Often Isn’t

I lead a fairly open life, when it comes to how much I let people know about what’s going on. Sometimes, I feel like I probably share way too much. Certainly I feel now and then like I go on about my writing too much. I’ll have a bit of book news to share, and I debate even bringing it up.

“I just posted about writing the other day. No one wants to hear about it again so soon.”

And yet I still run into people on a fairly regular basis who are surprised to hear I write, and they have questions about what it is exactly I write. Is it for children? What’s it about? Who published it? How often do you write each week? Things I just sort of assume everyone knows at this point, because I’ve written about it all so often.

Except of course they wouldn’t know. I post about it on my blog. I share that to Facebook, and maybe Facebook deigns to have it appear in someone’s newsfeed. Even if it does, there’s no guarantee people will actually see it. I’m on Facebook a fair bit, after all, and there’s often news that sails past me.

And really, this post isn’t to comment about my writing at all. It’s to say that if something I talk about so often can still fly under the radar for people who know me fairly well, how much else goes unseen about any number of topics?

We each have things that are important to us. We read about them at length. We follow the news when it comes out. And we talk about them with some of our friends at length. It can become easy to assume the things we follow closely are things everyone else follows as well. How could they not? We see it everywhere.

Except I think of the sensation I have when I learn a new word. “Copacetic” was a good example. I could have sworn I’d never heard that word in my life before a coworker used it a few years ago. I asked what it meant, and she seemed surprised anyone wouldn’t know it. (It means “in excellent order,” if you were wondering.) I told her I didn’t think anyone else used that word at all, but then I started hearing it crop up in people’s vocabulary off and on.

Either it was a huge conspiracy, and everyone decided to start using “copacetic” that one day and from then on, or else everyone had been using it all along, and I just hadn’t been tuned into it. Something tells me it was the latter, as much as I might wish it were the former.

So try to remember that when someone isn’t quite as informed as you assume they ought to be. Often it’s not a sign of ignorance. It’s just a symptom of too much information overwhelming us, all the time.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. Plus, did I mention the sweet perks like exclusive access to unpublished books, works in progress, and Skype visits? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

How Long Does It Take You to Get Dressed?

As part of my continuing quest to try to understand what other people go through in life, I’ve turned my attention to the very important topic of “How long does it take you to get dressed?” This came to mind this morning, as I was staying home to be with MC while she’s sick (poor thing). Denisa was getting ready to go to work, and I watched her try on probably six or seven different combinations of clothes before she found one she was happy with.

Is this a normal thing?

My “get dressed in the morning” routine involves the following:

  1. Put on a clean pair of jeans. (Or at least pretend they’re clean enough.)
  2. Go to the closet and grab a shirt on the left. (I put fresh shirts on the right of the closet. This way, I continually cycle through clean shirts.)
  3. Add socks and shoes, and I’m good to go!

The whole thing takes about a minute. Granted, there are some shirts I like more than others, and so now and then I’ll skip to the next shirt for one day. But other than that, that’s the full extent of what I do to pick my clothes. Denisa thinks I’m strange. I think I’m efficient.

That said, I suppose when I get dressed up, it takes a bit more time. I have to pick between three different jackets I could wear, two different pairs of pants, and a number of ties. But even then, I usually default to picking what’s closest.

Remember: on my mission, I wore the same time every day for . . . about 18 months? I wore it until my mission president suggested I ought to stop, because it was scaring children. (Or something like that.) I didn’t wear it because it was a rule. I wore it because it involved less thinking. I literally couldn’t care less what clothes I have on. If I bought them at some point, I’m good with having them on me, so long as the occasion is right. (Wearing shorts to a formal dinner isn’t something I would do.)

But let’s calculate this out a little. It takes me around a minute each day to select my clothes. It takes Denisa around . . . 7, I’d guess. Over the course of the year, I spend 6 hours picking out what to wear. Denisa spends 43 hours. This means that since we’ve been married, I’ve spent 4.3 days picking out clothes, and she’s spent 30.2 days. I’ve had almost a complete extra month of my life, free to kick back and play games, read books, and goof around.

No wonder she’s so stressed. 🙂

How about you? How long does it take you to get dressed?

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. Plus, did I mention the sweet perks like exclusive access to unpublished books, works in progress, and Skype visits? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

And the Screenwriters for THE MEMORY THIEF Adaptation are . . .

You might think I have some sort of inside track to all the news on the film adaptation of THE MEMORY THIEF. And maybe I have a little, but today I was reminded how narrow that inside track really is. I’m a librarian, right? And that means I search things. Occasionally I search personal things. It’s been over a year since The Memory Thief movie adaptation was announced. I know they’ve been working on a script for the film. It’s progressing. But that’s about all I knew.

This morning, I took a quick jaunt around the interwebs to see if, perhaps, someone else might have a scoop on things. Maybe the person writing the screenplay had posted about it on his or her blog, or Tweeted about it, right?

It turns out, Deadline announced back at the end of October who’s doing the screenplay: Radio Silence. They also have a wikipedia page. According to Deadline:

Radio Silence is composed of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Chad Villella. The collective previously directed Southbound, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival.

Checking out their bios online, it looks like they’ve focused primarily on horror. They did a segment in V/H/S, and they did a series of online videos, as well. Their best well-known one (watched more than 33,000,000 times) is this one:

Though they’ve touched on some humor in a few of their shorts, I don’t see a much aimed at a kid audience. Which actually suits me fine. I really like their concept of the Choose Your Own Adventure shorts, and the fact that one of the trio is from Punxsutawney is a definite plus. 🙂

When I first conceived of MEMORY THIEF, I really wanted to do something in the same vein as what I call Disney horror. (Here’s the first post I wrote about it, where I was looking for recommendations on movies before I’d even started work on the book. I also listed my top ten family friendly scary movies in a different post.) Having horror writers take on the screenplay intrigues me. In a different article, I saw Radio Silence is working with a different group–one that worked on the upcoming House with a Clock in Its Walls. That trailer is awesome, and I have high hopes for the movie:

So count me in for intrigued. Not just as the author of the book, but as a fan of horror aimed at younger audiences in general. I’ll try to keep you posted on what I hear, but you might want to keep an eye on Deadline for me. Apparently I’m not nearly tuned in as I might wish to be.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. Plus, did I mention the sweet perks like exclusive access to unpublished books, works in progress, and Skype visits? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on how my various writing projects. It feels like I’ve had so many balls in the air for so long, but strangely at the moment I’m in a bit of a lull between many different projects. Here’s a rundown:

  • MEMORY THIEF 2: The latest draft is still with my editors. I know they generally liked it, but they’re waiting on giving more specific feedback as the screenplay for MEMORY THIEF is worked on. The original August 2018 publication date has been pushed back to at least fall 2018, but (more realistically) probably Spring 2019 or so. It’s not entirely in my hands. But the delay is for good reasons (the potential film adaptation) and not for bad reasons (backing out of the project). The draft is done and close to ready for  publication. Just waiting on a green light for me to be able to share more with you all.
  • UTOPIA: A second draft is complete at with my agent as of a week ago. In the second draft, I worked on fleshing out the setting more, as well as adding a bit more grounding so that the main character’s voice isn’t completely confusing. I really love this book, and I hope my agent does too.
  • MURDER CASTLE: This has been with my agent since December. I’ve heard a bit back from him, generally positive, but I don’t have an editorial letter to work through just yet. Hopefully soon.
  • INCIDENT AT OAK CREEK: A short story I wrote that’s now with an editor and with my agent (to see if he thinks I could turn it into a full book). I thought it was a lot of fun (kung fu Mormon steampunk alternative history is always fun, right?), but we’ll see what others think.
  • MAGIC AT 30,000 FEET: We had shopped this around with editors, and it got a lot of positive feedback. But we also consistently heard some hesitancy due to its audience. It was a Middle Grade novel in some aspects, and a YA novel in others. So I tried revising it to be more YA. My agent wasn’t crazy about the revision. I have a couple of other ideas out to him that I might try to revise, but I’m not even sure I’ll go back to work on them. We’ll see what he says.
  • OUR LADY OF QUESTIONABLE MORALS: Submitted to many editors. Heard back from many. Like TARNHELM before it, I think this book is just going to chill for a while. I love it, it got good responses from editors, but no actual takers. My agents have said it’s generally a decent idea to sit on these books until I’ve got a few more published books under my belt, at which point it becomes easier to sell them. I’m all for doing the things my agents suggest I do.

And because people still occasionally ask me:

  • VODNIK 2: I’ve had a couple of conversations with my editor about the potential for a sequel. The first book was certainly well received, but it didn’t perform as well from a sales-perspective. I would happily write another book, but I just don’t think that’s in the cards for the foreseeable future, alas.

Which leaves me in my current state, where I don’t really have a project I’m working on. I have several revisions right around the corner, so I don’t want to dive into a completely new book, but the revisions aren’t here yet, so . . .

I’m waiting.

Good things on the horizon, I hope. In really good news, I got my first real live royalty check yesterday, for THE MEMORY THIEF. That means the book is officially successful in my mind, which is a great feeling. Here’s hoping there’s many more royalty checks to come.

Thanks for reading!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. Plus, did I mention the sweet perks like exclusive access to unpublished books, works in progress, and Skype visits? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Ready Player One Movie Review

Last week was a busy week, so to blow some steam, I took a long lunch break and headed out to the theaters to go see Ready Player One by myself. Because adult.

I was a big fan of the book, which makes sense, as it was a science fiction book chock full of 80s pop culture references, so it was pretty much tailor made for me. And that’s exactly the kind of adaptation that might end up going very wrong. If you love an original, seeing someone else do something to that original is a risk. They might have gotten something else out of it, and so you could end up hating their adaptation.

That said, if anyone could do a Ready Player One adaptation, it would be Steven Spielberg. The man’s responsible for a ton of 80s nostalgia, after all. Why not return to his roots?

So how was it? Mixed. There were parts of the movie that I loved. There were other parts that just didn’t work for me.

Even basic things like the nostalgia bits were hit and miss. On the one hand, it was a blast to see all the references peppered throughout the movie. My favorite sequence was the recreation of The Shining, which isn’t in the novel but made total sense for the movie. (For me, at least. I could see some people really disliking how much they changed the novel.) But at the same time, when a lot of the interest of the movie is driven by referring to other movies you loved, there are times when you start wishing you were watching those other movies, instead. In some ways, it started to feel kind of like those musicals where they’ve pieced together all the greatest hits of an artist or band. The connections between the songs begin to be a stretch.

The pop culture references seemed just too much at times. In the book, a great deal is made out of how niche a lot of this stuff is. How only some people really understood all the references. But in the movie, it came across as much more mainstream. As if all the people in 2046 know all about the 1980s. But think for a second. That’s like me knowing all about the pop culture of the 1950s right now. I know general things, but the ins and outs? Forget it.

Plus, you’ve got the issue of VR in the movie. Everyone’s supposedly using it, and that’s easy enough to handle in a book. You just describe it. But for the film, Spielberg made it a sort of fusion between AR and VR, with people having full on battles in VR on real life city streets. And that makes . . . not a whole lot of sense. I kept trying to figure out how it would all function, and it never became clear. That’s a problem.

But when the movie was working well, it was working really well. The action scenes were a lot of fun. The concept itself (a worldwide treasure hunt for an insanely valuable fortune) is one that can hold up any number of plots. The acting was fine. The effects were great. The music was a series of references, as you’d expect.

In the end, I had a good time. It’s a film I would recommend seeing in theaters, on a big screen. But will I remember it years from now? Probably not. I’ll remember the movies it referred to, but this amalgamation will just blend together, mainly because it didn’t actually do that much with it all. It’s a generic plot wrapped up in pop culture, with a sci-fi finish that doesn’t really make sense when you try to think about it more than a little.

And that’s not a recipe for a smashing success.

I gave it a 6.5/10. What did you think?

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. Plus, did I mention the sweet perks like exclusive access to unpublished books, works in progress, and Skype visits? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

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