March 30, 2011

haiku wednesday - multitasking edition

This week's words are loud, persuasive, riches
Today I write while participating in a conference call. I could be called on to respond at any time. I like to live dangerously, on the edge.

tacky shirt, loud pants
your riches ain't persuasive
public speaking fail

votes are hard to get
be loud or be persuasive
but riches work best

persuasive kisses
riches flash in gold, diamond
loud alarms ignored

March 28, 2011

rules of the blog, safety edition

This applies to your own clothing and equipment, thankyouverymuch.

Personally, I believe the best way to eliminate clothing-related accidents is to eliminate clothing.

March 23, 2011

Let's meet for launch (and... haiku wednesday, self-promotion edition)

Games, puzzles, prizes.  It's like the elementary school carnival that all the cool kids are too cool to go to, but deep down they just want to play the games like everyone else, so they go and they strut around scoping out the beanbag toss and cakewalk from the corner of their eye while they pretend to make fun of the other kids, all of whom are just happy as can be, until they finally give in and throw the beanbag just once, with a derisive sneer, and they realize that no one has made fun of them, and now the other cool kids are doing it too, and pretty soon they've forgotten they're cool and they're asking their mom for MORE money to play the beanbag toss again because they only need three more prize tickets for the googly-eye glasses or maybe the black widow spider ring or that basket weave finger trap.

I don't mean to set expectations too high.  I don't think there are googly-eye glasses or a black widow spider ring OR a basket weave finger trap at the launch party.

But tell you what.  If you buy Extinct Doesn't Mean Forever, the anthology my most recent story appears in, and you let me know you bought it, I'll enter you into a drawing for a black widow spider ring or a basket weave finger trap.  Bob and Rob, and anyone else who already bought the e-book:  You're eligible, too.

If you don't want to play in the launch carnival but you just want to buy the book, you can go straight here:

By the way, here's today's Three Word Wednesday contribution, which utilizes the words dual, volley, and identical:
volley of fiction
no identical stories
(dual purpose haiku)

March 9, 2011

My top five strengths: #5, Relator

About two years ago, I did this thing called Strengths Finder 2.0 at Day Job.  In 2011 I will blog about my top strengths and perhaps about my least strengthful parts of me.

Strength #5:  Relator
People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with
others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

For the first 38 years of my life, I thought I was an introvert, a tech guy with my head down, a get-things-done kind of person who shunned social situations.  Turns out I was wrong, sort of.  Strengths Finder 2.0 tells me I'm a Relator.  (Not someone who sells houses.)  After careful consideration, I agree.
Chances are good that you have the ability to instruct.... It’s very likely that you fill your mind with new ideas... you understand why individuals behave they way they do in different situations. By nature, you bond with and work well with people who tell you what they want to accomplish in life. Driven by your talents, you may have friends who come to you for guidance, suggestions, or recommendations. Topics might include situations in their personal or professional lives.
As my best man, Chris, said in his roast toast at my wedding, I am a hard person to get to know.  I am not public with my thoughts and feelings, never have been.  I've been a better listener than sharer.  I find so much more ease and comfort when writing than when speaking.  But, he added, it's worth the investment.

In high school, I offered a shoulder to cry on.  It seemed that all the girls had boy-based sorrows they didn't mind confiding to me, though none of them were interested in being sorrowful about me.  Which still makes me a little bitter, to be honest.

I see today that this has been a theme throughout my life.  It hasn't always been shoulder-crying; sometimes it's been career planning, relationship assessment, or work-politics navigation.  I've spent my life seeing "both sides of the issue," assessing why people make the crazy (and not so crazy) decisions they do.

I think this has helped me in my writing; I spend a lot of my creative effort on making sure characters behave the way they should, are motivated by situations the right way.  I think my stories have a ring of truth, even when they're utterly fantastical, because the characters are believable.

So feel free to bring me your problems or the issues you're struggling with.  I will probably be able to help you through them.  I won't give you answers, but I'll help light your way as you find the answers yourself.

I get it.  I can relate.

March 6, 2011

Mexican ice pops

Yesterday we went to Mi Pueblo supermarket in Pittsburg to get burritos for dinner, some Mexican bread (pan dulce), and a few other things.  It's a lovely market, bright and big and clean and very festive.  The food court is quite good (Ethan gave the burritos 9 sombreros out of 10).

On the way out, Sam noticed a huge bin of ice pops and begged to get some.  It was just a buck fifty for a big pack of them, so we figured even though the unfrozen liquid glowed like it had been packaged in Chernobyl, we could try it.  I knew we'd be in for some hilarity, however.

How the #@?# are you supposed to eat an ice pop in this shape after it's frozen?

First, Sam cut off the thin end.  He quickly realized that unlike with an Otter Pop, you can't squeeze the thick frozen part out through the tiny opening.  Also, sucking on the end of the plastic was somewhat less than satisfying.  We ended up slicing the whole thing open and dumping it into a bowl.

We've puzzled over it for some time.  The boys even googled the manufacturer to see if they had an owner's manual or instructions on how to eat the damn thing.  Personally, I'm fascinated by the crimp in the middle.

So how about it, friends?  How does one effectively eat one of these things?  I am baffled by the design.