This week I participated in the Barrymores Trilogy Annual Blogathon hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. The blogathon spotlights the films of the famed Barrymore acting clan (John, Lionel, Drew, etc.). Looking for something Midnight Only appropriate, I settled upon erstwhile midnight movie High School Confidential! (1958) which features John Drew Barrymore, son of John Barrymore and father of Drew Barrymore. The movie also stars Russ Tamblyn (The Haunting, West Side Story, Twin Peaks), Mamie Van Doren, and Jackie Coogan. It’s a hoot, and it’s available on Blu-Ray for adventurous viewers.
In other news: in July I finished the rough draft of a new novel. I hired an editor and she has already made her edits, with largely positive feedback. (It’s always a good sign when someone finds your work to be a page-turner, and gets back to you quickly.) I haven’t yet dug into revisions, but will be doing just that very soon.
I’ve been working on that novel all this year, so I haven’t spent any time writing new short stories. However, one of the stories I wrote just before embarking on the novel has just been accepted for publication. I’ll post more once the contract is signed and I have more news to share. I hope to be diving into more writing now, but life has been intervening this summer: the death of a pet, a long and laborious move to a new home, a new job, my wife’s pregnancy – basically a cavalcade of stress arriving all at once. I’m getting my feet back on the ground so I expect to start being more productive again…
Sometimes I like to make crossword puzzles. I guess I treat the hobby as others do Sudoku; it’s a way to pass the time and challenge my brain. I open up a spreadsheet and start typing in words, squeezing them as tightly together as possible. For my blog Midnight Only I’ve just posted a crossword puzzle on the theme of cult movies. You can download the PDF and play the game here!
I haven’t updated this site in three months, which is terrible all around, but I have EXCUSES. First, there is life, including house hunting and all its big questions (the city or the country?, etc.), and now I’m in the process of a complicated move from Madison to Waunakee, which is just round the other side of Lake Mendota. Second, and perhaps more importantly, my writing time has been almost completely monopolized by work on a novel. (“Almost” because I still write an in-depth movie analysis for Midnight Only on a weekly basis.) This novel has necessitated throwing myself into research simultaneous with the actual writing – my usual chaotic approach. In this case, it requires a lot of research into Greek mythology, and a bit of travel. A few weeks ago I visited Green Bank, West Virginia, and visited the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable telescope in the world, which observes the radio sky, and is part of SETI. So – Greek mythology and THAT; you figure out the plot. The writing began in October of this year, fueled by a trip to Alamogordo, New Mexico, but it really began in earnest in January. The first draft is almost complete, but quite a lot of editing will be needed. I may share more as the process continues. I was hoping to get this draft to an editor by June so she could read it and work on it over the summer, but I’m a bit behind…back to writing! (With the initial work on that done, I hope to return to writing and submitting short stories. It feels odd to have not received a rejection letter in months. I need to get back to getting rejected very soon.)