Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Main Event

Welcome to the main event!

Here are the contenders.  In the corner to my left…
Weighing in at (what he tells his doctor is) 175 pounds…
With one unpublished novel under his belt that all six people who read it liked…
Holding an advanced degree from a prestigious university that he plans to never use…
The Slammer from Urbana!
The Killer Noise from Illinois!

And in the other corner …
Weighing in at 95-115 thousand words…
Half in third person past-tense and half first-person present…
Having previously defeated the author on three previous writing attempts…
Based on a nightmare from the late nineties after having watched Twelve Monkeys…
The Killerati of Literati…
The Word Count Dracula…
A Thousand Secret Sorrows!

Ladies and gentlemen!  Children of all ages (hopefully over sixteen, because there’s some sex and violence)!
Let’s get ready to

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beautiful People Are Better Than the Rest of Us

Yesterday I had a body fat test.  If you’ve never had one before, imagine a very healthy, handsome man standing in front of you.  Now imagine he’s pinching your skin with a hole-punch.  That’s what a fat test feels like.
Ow.  Ow.  Ow.
I have a body fat test every six months.  My last test results put me in the “poor” category.
Poor is French for “Oh, my God you’re a fat bastard.”
However, over the last half year, I’ve been concentrating on losing weight and increasing muscle mass.  I work out with a fitness plan twice a week, see my trainer once a week, and jog on the other four days.  I’ve also been eating less and making my body accept being hungry from time to time.
When my trainer finished poking and weighing me, it was obvious I had made huge progress.  My numbers were down on every measurement.  I waited as he did the math and the result was (drum roll, please)…

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fun With Freecycle: Too Much Ikea Stuff

We recently had our garage/bonus room redone and turned into a garage/bonus room with an Ikea entertainment center.  However, in the midst of our frenzy of Ikea shopping, we bought a few too many things.

When I say "few" I mean "enough to build a small house of your own."
I'm not kidding, this is called "Tundra."
First, we have one box of Ikea laminate flooring in the color of... Er... Sandy brownish?  It's about half full (or, half empty, depending on your point of view).  I'd give you a more precise count, but I only got as far as "OW!  That thing gave me a splinter."

The Swedish Chef says: "Joost sook that spleenter outer!"
Second is something called a Framsta.
The Swedish Chef says: "Der full namen is Framsta Hoopdi Doopdi Thinginshvarg."

Er, yeah, so it's this metal frame-y thing.
We have all the parts, but we only have one of them.
You can put it against a wall and then add a pair of glass panels.
I'm glass, therefore I am not glass.
The panels are made of some kind of superfuturistic philosophical glass.  Seriously, the instructions say you should saw it, but you really shouldn't saw it.
You thought I was making that up?
Anyway, all three of these building materials are free to someone who wants to build a house with them.  It'd be a very small, very transparent house.  More like a cage you can put misbehaving children or disliked pets in, but that's only a suggestion.

Not that you'd do that, of course.

Friday, October 26, 2012

If You Want to See Me Write

As I have mentioned before, I found a way to break through writer's block:

  • Go to your library.
  • Go to the section that has the kind of books you want to write.
  • Find where your book would go on the shelves (remember: alpha by last name!)
  • Stare at that spot and say "As soon as I'm done, it will go here."
  • Find the nearest chair and sit down.
  • Write.
The picture above is my book's spot.  If you want to write with me, go to the Mountain View library.  Find the picture above then go look for the nearest chairs.  I'll be there several times a week, most regularly on Tuesday afternoons.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Novel Title Problems

I'm going to start writing/posting my novel in...  A week!  Eek.

I've been doing research, including watching the movie "Dark Days,"  and reading The Mole People and The Deep Dark, not to mention all of the online material I've gathered on the Torah and Sioux naming traditions.  So far, my notes are 11 pages long and I haven't put in any pornography yet.

In spite of all my preparation, one thing is still bothering me: the title.  When I originally came up with the concept for this novel, I called it A Thousand Secret Sorrows.  I got the name from mishearing a Peter Gabriel song.
The problem with that title is it's painfully close to Amy Tan's The Hundred Secret Senses and Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.  That's why, in previous posts, I have referred to this novel as A Thousand Sorrows.  Still, I'm not thrilled with the title. 

Here are the titles I'm trying to choose between:
  • A Thousand SorrowsDull but servicable.
  • A Thousand Secret SorrowsWhen I do an audiobook for the novel, I'll have to hire a reader with a speech impediment.
  • A Sister to the Loom, a Brother to Sorrow
    Throw out the original title and go with something new.
  • Pamela Anderson Presents: Matthew's Totally Awesome Book
    Because I'm sure the book would sell a lot more if she was on the cover.
  • Fifty Shades of Nude Sex
    If I'm going to sell out, I might as well really sell out.
What do you think?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Men Cry at Movies

I cry when I watch movies.  Yes, believe it or not, films can bring men to tears.  It doesn’t happen often or when women expect it will.  I don't cry:
  • When loving couples break up.
  • When major characters die.
  • When children are separated from their parents.
  • At happy endings (or sad ones, for that matter).

Want to know what makes me cry?  I cry when the loser kid goes to bed with the hot cheerleader.
I don't even know what movie this is, and I'm getting misty.
Sorry.  Trying to appeal to my blog’s demographic (mainly people looking for nude pictures of obscure celebrities).

I cry at “hero moments.”  What’s a hero moment?  I’m glad you asked.  Here’s a list of moments where I got weepy recently (oddly, all movies I watched with my kids).

My Neighbor Totoro
Two sisters find out that their sick mother won’t be coming home.  Later, Mei (the younger sister) overhears Satsuki (the eldest) crying because she thinks her mother is going to die.  Mei, convinced that an ear of corn she picked earlier is magic and will cure her mother, sneaks out of the house and gets lost during the three hour walk to her mother’s hospital.
The part that makes me cry: Mei, with a look of determination, grabs her corn and puts on her shoes to go outside.
Women would cry because they're nice shoes.

Thor has been stripped of his powers and banished to Earth.  His brother (Loki), who has always been jealous of him, sends a giant robot called the Destroyer to kill him.  Thor and his friends try to save innocent bystanders as the Destroyer ravages a town, but it’s a hopeless cause.  Thor convinces his friends to fall back because he has a plan to destroy the robot.
The part that makes me cry: Thor drops his weapons, walks to the Destroyer, and lets it kill him.
Women would cry because Thor has better hair than they do.

Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki is a witch who has lost her only ability: flying on a broomstick.  Her friend is caught in an accident and is dangling from a rope, hundreds of feet above the ground.  Running to him, she spots a worker with a broom and grabs it.  Kiki stands with the broom in the middle of the road for a painful minute while everyone watches, willing the broom to fly with all her might.
The part that makes me cry: her hair stands up, the bristles pop out, and the broom finally moves.
Women would cry because it reminds them how their husbands never help sweep the house.

Hercules wants to be with his parents, but he can’t unless he becomes a true hero.  Later, makes a deal with Hades, the god of the underworld.  If Hercules saves the soul of his dead girlfriend, he can have her back.  Hercules dives in to the lake of souls, but Hades has tricked him: the lake drains his strength and he starts to die.
The part that makes me cry: Withering, he just barely reaches her, and he starts to glow, his heroism finally proven.
Women would cry because... Er...  I dunno.  Hot guy ends up with total bitch?
So, yes, men do cry in movies.  We just do it in weird places.  Me, I cry for heroism, self-sacrifice, determination, and when the loser guy goes to bed with a hot cheerleader.
Sniff.  I love this part!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jedi Fashion

Rewatching the Star Wars Trilogy with my children (and I insist it's only a trilogy), I was reminded of something cool I noticed with Luke Skywalker's outfits.  In Star Wars, he wears white.
To get the full effect, pinch your nose and say "I wanted to go to Tachi station to get new power converters!"
In Empire Strikes Back, he wears three outfits, all of which are grey.
The outfit on the right is the one he wore when he visited The Muppet Show.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke wears a black outfit that looks a lot like Darth Vader's costume.
"Luke, I am your father....'s tailor!"
Then, about a minute after he rejects the dark side and becomes a Jedi, a flap falls open on his shirt.
I guess watching your father die would be upsetting enough you'd forget to button your shirt up.
The grey flap stays noticeably open for the rest of the movie.  I don't have a joke here.  I just think it's impressive how the costume designers conveyed Luke's journey to the dark side and back through his clothes.

Another thing I want to point out is something I noticed when I watched Babylon 5 (which, along with Star Wars and Star Trek forms the holy trinity of dramatic science fiction).  Halfway through the series, the main characters all get new uniforms.
I'd pay good money to see Ivanova choke young Anakin to death.
Hm.  A black uniform with a grey flap in a very familiar place.  Did the bridge officers all just become Jedi?  If so, what's the policy for using a lightsaber on an Earthforce vessel?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kinky Disney Princesses

A few years ago I wrote a piece about the secret Disney vacation packages I had discovered.  Since I had taken some artistic license, I ended up on the receiving end of Disney's litigation arm (known as the "Happiest Legal Team on Earth").  I immediately switched to writing puff pieces about Disney resorts.  I am happy to report we've come to an equitable settlement (I get to keep my house), and I am free to speak my mind once again.

Here's what I've been wanting to say: don't send your husband to a Disney movie with your kids.

Disney movies are all about the princesses.  While a little girl will leave a Disney movie wondering what it's like to be the princess in the film and wear her dresses and live in her castle, her father will be wondering what it's like to get that princess into bed.

Hey, it's just how guys think.  Girls want to dress up like Belle, boys want to undress Belle.  That's why there's so many pictures of Disney princesses having sex on the internet (No, I'm not going to link to that one.  Go check it out yourself.).  We can't help but wonder what each princess's kink is.  For my male readers, I've compiled a handy list, below:

  • Snow White - Group sex
  • Cinderella - Foot fetish (duh)
  • Aurora - Only "wakes up" after "love's first kiss" if you know what I mean
  • Ariel - Likes it in the shower
  • Belle - Bestiality
  • Jasmine - Let's just say you have to "rub her lamp"
  • Pocahontas - Only outdoors or public places
  • Fa Mulan - Cross-dressing
  • Tiana - Ew
  • Rapunzel - Wants to be tied up
  • Merida - Love's arrow

For my female readers, I've compiled a handy list of tips on how to handle your husband after sending him and your kids to a Disney film.

  • Sleep on the couch tonight, especially if the movie was "The Princess and the Frog."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Salt and Pepper

My son comes home from preschool with a number of odd things in his backpack: pictures made entirely of popsicle sticks, aquarium gravel painted gold, other children's clothes, and seeds.  The seeds are the most difficult to deal with since my son insists on germinating and planting them instead of throwing them away.

We now have a half dozen small plants growing in a box on our front lawn.  The bugs and snails found them and the leaves are in tatters.  I sprayed the plants down with copper sulfate, but that didn't stop the snails.

Now, I have no grudge against snails.  They just want to live and, yucky as they are, it doesn't seem fair to kill them.  I'd love to figure out some way to encourage snail-eating birds to visit, but, until then, I'll just tiptoe around the herds of them who live on my front walk.  My son's plants were worth protecting, however, so we grabbed the salt shaker and, as I explained how much snails hate salt, sprinkled the grass around the plant box.

My son was ecstatic.

Later that day, I noticed our salt and pepper shakers were empty.  I went outside and sneezed.  Everyone passing by our house was sneezing.  The birds flying overhead were sneezing.  Our yard was covered in tiny white and black sprinkles.

When I wasn't paying attention, my son had gone a little crazy with the salt and pepper shakers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God's Match

While reading an article on the New York Times's website yesterday, I noticed something odd in the advertising space.
Yes, it seems there's a company called Christian Mingle which claims they have God's exclusive contract to find your soulmate.  While this smacks of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, I was more shocked by the other dating sites run by the same company.
They have a zombie dating service.
A villain dating service.
Wow, that's quick.
What happened to just picking up drunk women in bars?  Oh, right, that was yesterday's post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One Wish

I had been drinking, waiting for my friends to arrive, for fifteen minutes before I realized the man at the next stool was talking to me.  He was drunk and smelled of old sweat.  Lots of drunk guys try to chat me up.  Normally, I’d ignore him, but he was talking about magic wishes, and I was intrigued.

“The thing is,” he said, slurring his words, “wishes aren’t as rare as you might think.  You just have to be lucky.”

“Wait,” I said, “you found a magic wish?”

“Yup.  At a garage sale.  Found this little antique bottle made of blue glass.  Bought it for a dollar twenty five.  When I got it home, I accidentally knocked the cork out.  Thought it was empty, but this smoke man came out. Some kind of genie.  He gave me one wish.  Nice of him.”

I waited while he drank again.  When he didn’t say any more I prompted him.

“So, what did you wish for?”

“Huh?  Oh, that.  I told him I had trouble with girls,” he said, letting out a loud belch.  “What I wanted more than anything was to be able to look at a girl and know what I needed to do to get her to want to sleep with me.  So, he waved his hand and that was it!”

I adjusted my skirt to cover my legs more as I imagined this man naked in my bed.  I would have got up and left but, damn it, I had to know.

“Did it work?”

“Yup!” he said, with a grimace.  “Every time I look at a woman I can see tiny words on her forehead.  He tricked me, though.  It’s always the same words, and they’re in some foreign language.”

I worked in the Modern Languages department at the University.  I knew four languages (six if you count Pig Latin and Visual Basic), but I wasn’t going to tell him that.

“What does it say?”

He leaned in towards me and stared at my forehead.  His eyes took a while to focus.

“Give,” he said slowly, still staring at my forehead, “Rohypnol.”

I put my drink down and walked away.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't Be This Guy

A while ago, I visited the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve in the hills looking over the San Francisco Bay Area.  There's a big pond filled with fish and turtles, a floating pier to jump on, and a tunnel from the parking lot that makes fun echoes.  In spite of the gut-churning, hour-long drive up there, it was a fun day for the kids.

Beside the lake is a small nature center.  It's called the David C. Daniels nature center.  When we walked in, I went over to the two rangers sitting behind a desk and asked who Daniels was.  They had no idea.  After a while of looking at raccoon pelts and opossum teeth, I noticed a small, framed page on the wall.

I learned that David was a good athlete and student.  I learned he went abroad.  I learned he worked for an investment bank.  I learned that his friends liked him.

And that was it.  I found it hard to believe an entire nature center was named after him; he didn't seem all that unusual.  Intrigued by the line "David is not remembered for his many accomplishments..."  I took a picture of the sign and, after I got home, searched for his name online, hoping to find out what his accomplishments were.

I found nothing.  Eventually, I came to the realization that David, contrary to what the sign said, must never have accomplished anything.  The only reason I knew about him was his parents were rich and donated a nature center.  Disturbed, I read the sign over and over again.

I remembered the funeral of a man who, at his memorial service, nobody could think of anything to say about him other than: "he loved life."  I remembered the death announcement from a junior high friend that listed the people who would miss him; they were all pets.

I exhort you to accomplish something.  Make something.  Do something.  When you die, make sure the sign in your memorial doesn't skirt your "many accomplishments."  Make sure it lists a bunch.

Don't be this guy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Beliefs: Prometheus

In the beginning, there was nothing but Uranus and Gaia.  Uranus was the sky and Gaia was the earth.  Every night, Uranus would come to mate with Gaia, but when she tried to give birth, Uranus would shove her children back inside.

Uranus was an asshole.

Gaia was in great pain and crafted a weapon from flint.  She went to each of the children within her and asked if they would use the weapon to kill their father.  All refused except Kronos.  When Uranus came one night, Kronos cut his testicles off and threw them into the water (where, amusingly, they became Aphrodite).  It was into this world that Prometheus was born, conjoined with his brother Epimetheus.  After they were separated, they found that Epimetheus could see the past, and Prometheus could see the future.

Prometheus is the god of forethought.

Kronos realized there was an eternal cycle of war.  Divine children were more powerful than their parents and would eventually overthrow them.  Like Uranus, Kronos sought to maintain his rule, and so swallowed his children.  Eventually, his son Zeus escaped being swallowed.  He poisoned Kronos to make him vomit out the other gods, and a great war began.  Prometheus, predicting the gods would win, sided with Zeus and helped bring down Kronos.  There was a period of relative peace, during which Prometheus began making things.  He invented music, art, literature and, last of all, humans.

Prometheus is the god of creation and the arts.

The Golden Age began.  Humans lived as gods and Zeus killed them.  Prometheus created humanity again and the Silver Age began.  Humans refused to worship the gods and Zeus killed them.  Prometheus created humanity again and the Bronze Age began.  Humans fought among themselves and Zeus killed them.  Prometheus created humanity again and the Iron Age began.  That’s us, the iron people.  Our blood is red because it’s filled with iron.

Prometheus is the god of all humanity.

I imagine that Prometheus became fed up with watching Zeus slaughter his children.  I imagine him holding the broken bodies of his creations and weeping.  I also imagine Prometheus realizing there could be no safety for humans while gods had power over them, so he set forth to destroy the gods.

Prometheus is the god of atheists.

Zeus’s power came from two sources: sacrifices and technology.  Humans had to burn the best parts of their food as an offering to the gods.  Prometheus tricked Zeus into changing that so humans only sacrificed fat and skin and bones.  Humans lived in the cold, dying without shelter and warmth.  Prometheus stole Zeus’s thunderbolt and gave it to humanity, giving them fire, and the knowledge of how to build homes and tools.

Prometheus is the god of being a sneaky bastard.

Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock.  Every morning, an eagle came and ripped Prometheus open to eat his liver.  In some stories, he is eventually freed by Hercules.

I like to think Prometheus is still there, holding out.  You see, the price for Prometheus’s freedom was the betrayal of another.  Someday, Zeus would, as his father and grandfather, be destroyed by his child.  Zeus didn’t know how to save himself, but Prometheus, god of forethought, did.

There were two possible futures.  Zeus would father Ares, the god of war, and be destroyed by him.  The other future, kept secret by Prometheus, was that Zeus could kill his wife, Memnosyne, before she gave birth.  If Zeus swallowed Memnosyne, Athena, the god of war, would be born from the top of Zeus’s head.  Athena, unlike Ares, would be born a woman and unable to destroy her father.
The ancient Greeks were terribly sexist.

I like to think Prometheus sees the daily arrival of the eagle with great relief.  He had saved Memnosyne (and, perhaps, all of humanity) for another day.  I imagine Prometheus, still chained to a rock, watching humanity with proud eyes, holding out for us all.

Prometheus is the god of self-sacrifice.
There's more to the story, about Pandora and hope, but you can find out about it, yourself.  If I've made you look into his story, that makes Prometheus proud, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Beliefs: Atheism

I’m spending three days posting about my religious beliefs.  Yesterday: Judaism.  Today: Atheism.  Tomorrow: nude pictures of hot women.
Well, that’s almost a religion for me. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Beliefs: Judaism

I get a lot of arguments about my religion because (a) Facebook and (b) I have three of them.  Having three faiths tends to freak a lot of people out, mainly Christians, who freak out easily.  Don’t believe me?  Go tell one the Rapture happened, and he missed it.

If you come from a western tradition, religions are all or nothing.  You can’t be a Christian Muslim or a Buddhist Jedi.  However, you can be whatever you want.  People all over the world mix and match, picking and choosing the parts they want.

That’s what I did.  At first, I was worried I couldn’t connect all three pieces together, but I did the math and it works out.  I decided that religions give people three (positive) things: a culture, an understanding of how the universe works, and a set of stories that illustrates a moral code.  I decided to pick three different sources for those three things.

Today, let’s talk about me the Jew.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Worst Curse

I don’t believe in magic, prayer, or the supernatural, but there is one curse that freaks me out.

“Live Forever!”

I realize that a substantial number of people would like to live forever; belief in an afterlife is pervasive in the United States.  However, it’s really an awful concept.

Imagine you’ve been “blessed” with immortality for a moment.  You’re happy.  You get a job being sawed in half by a magician and nobody can figure out how the trick is done.  You visit every place on the planet.  It’s fun!

Some time passes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Business Trips and the Married Woman

Business trips are for single people.  The married know there is nothing more dangerous than when one partner goes away for a long time leaving the home and kids under the care of the other.  While husbands are relatively safe going away because -- as several married women told me -- wives are perfect, the opposite isn’t true.
I can only guess what same sex couples go through.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Neal for City Council

Every day, I drive past a sign.  It says: "Neal for City Council" in big, red and blue letters.

(Note: I'm sick and tired of red, white, and blue political signs.  The next presidential candidate who uses anything other than those colors in their campaign wins my vote, even if they're with the American Murder Matthew Party.)

Next to those words is a picture of Neal.  Neal is dressed in a cowboy hat and...  Well, look at the picture above.  What do you call that?  A cowboy shirt?  Line dancing attire?

I don't know what Mr. Neal Whoever's qualifications are (or even what his last name is), but I'm sure they include riding, branding, and lassoing.  The only problem is he's running for City Council in Silicon Valley.  Unless he can ride, brand and lasso a relational database or ECMI Chipset, he's not going to get the job.

What Neal needs is a new hat.  Here's some suggestions.

Are we not Neal?
Don't be crabby, vote for Nealy!
Neal is a real weiner!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Zombies Are Dumb

When I teach game design, I tell my students at the beginning of class, “Please, no zombie apocalypse.”  In the middle of the class, I ask them “No more zombie games, please.”  And at the end of class I say “Anything but zombies.”  I usually still get about three to five zombie games turned in as homework.  Why the bias against zombie games?  Partially, because I get so many from my students.  Mostly, because zombies are dumb. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Today is the seven year anniversary of my abandonment by my doctor for a career as a famous author and activist (selfish bastard).  It seemed like a good time to get a new primary care physician.

I approached this choice with a great deal of trepidation.  Over the last few years, I had Kaiser Permanente as an HMO and they gave me few choices in doctors, but they were all solid.  When I’ve had more options, I’ve made some terrible choices.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spanking Is Abuse

I'm not sure what the problem is with some parents.  They give their kids all their shots, serve them healthy meals, and buy the highest-rated carseats.  In short, they instantly embrace whatever their doctor or the latest research says is best for their children.  However, you show them the data that spanking a child is harmful, and they act like you shoved a broom handle up their ass.

These parents decry child abuse, violent media, and bullies, but act like huring their children is a God-given right.  No, it's a God-given duty.  It doesn't matter what doctors say, what researchers say, what their own children say, if they don't spank, their child will grow up to be a serial killer.

After all, if they hadn't been spanked, they'd all be child abusers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

And the Winner Is...

After a nail-biting week (Picking, really. I don't bite my nails.) the results are in!  I was nervous as Crossbreed and Magnus and Malm -- books I had no idea how to write -- pushed to the top.  Then there was a three-way-tie between Magnus, James Herriot in Space, and A Thousand Sorrows.  In the last moments, a clear winner appeared.

So, without further ado, the winner is...
Yay, A Thousand Sorrows!  I'm thrilled that book won because I already wrote 85,000 words of it back in the nineties.  Yeah, I'm cheating.  National Novel Writing Month has strict rules.  You have to be done by the end of November.  You can't have pre-written anything.

Yeah, fuck the rules.

In any case, I still have a lot of work to do on the book before it's ready to be put out.  I still have to do the "Four Rs":
  • Reread: Other than finding a sample to post here, I haven't looked at this book since 1997.
  • Research: I have a couple books on living underground I should read. 
  • Rework: The prose kinda sucks.
  • Rename: Both main characters' names are "Matthew."  Someone told me it was a little narcissistic to name the two heroes of your novel after yourself.  Obviously, they don't know how wonderful I am.

Some acknowledgements are in order. 

First, I'd like to thank my wife who, although she didn't read the excerpts, cast the deciding vote after I begged her.

 Second, I'd like to thank me, because I voted as well. My vote for "Anything but Crossbreed," is similar to my past votes in elections for "anyone but a Republican"; I guess that's just how I vote for things. That reminds me; I'm voting for "anything for meatloaf" at dinner tonight.

Third, I'd like to thank everyone who voted, all ten of you. I know it wasn't easy to slog through thousands of words of fiction to pick the one you liked the most.  For those of you who didn't get their favorite novel chosen: stay strong.  A Thousand Sorrows will probably only take me a year to finish, so there's a good chance you'll get another shot in November 2013.  I plan on putting up five new samples, including one from a new novel (I'm thinking something Arthurian).

See you in November!