Archive for December, 2011


I didn’t blog much in 2011. My blogging style is mostly short observations and in-the-moment pics and random silly stuff, and I put most of my energy for that kind of thing into Twitter. A lot of the people I trade blog comments with are also on Twitter, but if you’re not one of them, I missed you this year.

The Boy at the End of the World came out.

I did a bunch of signings and did some school and library visits, and I got to meet a bunch of great readers.

With my friends Tim Pratt, Jenn Reese, and Heather Shaw, I published a whole slew of flash pieces at Daily Science Fiction.

I published a few short work-for-hire pieces with an educational publisher.

I wrote the first book in the Osteomancer’s Son trilogy, which should be out from Tor in early 2013.

Lisa and I went to the snow in Idyllwild.

I went to Blue Heaven with some of my very best writer friends (and just all-around very best friends), and it was very cold and we sought shelter in a castle and there were dead birds around. It was awesome. I love my Blue Heaven crew.

San Diego continued to be a beautiful place to live.

And we got Dozer. He’s hilarious. I’ve laughed more in 2011 than I have since forever. He’s an awesome little dog, a pain in the ass, and a great buddy.

Life was good to me in 2011. Odds are strong that if you’re reading this, you contributed to that goodness, and I am grateful. I leaned a lot on my friends during  times when I was struggling with work and spirit, and I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such great friends. I hope your 2011 had some good in it. I hope 2012 is even better.



This weekend I wrote a 600-word scene about this guy:

In the scene, he saves a puppy and gets run over by a truck. Then he has to go to school with parts of his robotic brain poking through his scalp, which is a problem for him, because nobody’s supposed to know he’s a robot. His teacher’s strict no-hats-in-class policy complicates things.

Also, I can’t draw feet. (This is a prose project, but I’m drawing the characters for my own use and amusement.)

That is all.


Book 2

Started Book 2 of The Osteomancer’s Son. I’ve never written a sequel or a continuation of a series, so this is new territory for me. I do have a basic understanding that I’ll need to pick up unresolved threads from the last book and raise the stakes and up the antes and goose the aunts and uncles or whatever. That last one might not be right. Like I said, this is new territory.

Here, I reveal some of my nefarious plans:

I did another one

Every now and again I reach a point in the composition of a novel where I have to ask myself the following questions:

1. Is there a beginning, middle, and an end? In other words, is the book complete?

2. Is the book perfect?

3. Can I make the book better?

4. Can I make the book better right now?

5. Is the book due?

If the answers to questions 1 and 5 are yes, and the answer to question 4 is no, then I send the book to my editor and I allow myself to say that I have written a novel.

The Osteomancer’s Son, Book 1, is the fifth novel I’ve written (counting my first, trunk novel). I hope the book is good. I hope my editor thinks it’s good. I hope things from here lead smoothly and steadily to publication, and I hope readers will think it’s good.

Sending a book to your editor is not anything close to the last stage. There’ll be more revisions, and going over copyedits and proofs, and all the crazy things you have to do before a book comes out, and all the things you have to do in order to not go crazy before a books comes out. There’s still work.

I’m yet a young man, and I have a lot of books left in me. But I am not immortal, and I will not write an infinite number of books. So a day in which I send off a completed book will never not be a big deal to me. I’ll have a celebratory drink tonight, and we have dinner reservations at Searsucker for Friday night.

What I want from my life is to love people, to be loved by people, to enjoy a million small moments of pleasure, and to do good work. On these rare, few days like today, I allow myself to feel satisfied with how things are going.

And tomorrow is tomorrow.

Three things I want to show you

The sunset was really nice tonight.

The tree is trimmed.

The dog got a blanket, which he likes enough not to shrug off when he wakes up and stumbles into the room.

Those were the three things I wanted to show you. Would you like to show me some things?

Good dog

I was sitting on a bench outside the doctor’s office with the dog, and it was just remarkable how many people smiled, cooed, or actually came over to pet the animal. It’s amazing how his simple presence gives total strangers a moment or two of happiness.

He’s too hyper to bring into an old folk’s home or a hospital to cheer up patients — you wouldn’t want a crazy little dog jumping on people and running around in situations like that — but sometimes I wonder if I should just sit with him outside places where people are stressed or sad.

There’s an elderly woman who lives in my neighborhood, and whenever I walk Dozer by her house she comes out and fawns over him. The first time we met her, she thanked me, saying she really needed a pick-me-up, and I could sense from the way she was talking that she was going through a hard time. A few months later, she told me her husband had just passed away. I haven’t walked by her house in a while. I need to make a point of doing that.

I feel good when people react so positively to my dog. I don’t believe any of us was put here for anyone’s particular purpose. I believe we define our own purposes. Dozer’s purpose seems to be bringing people small moments of delight and joy, and it makes me feel good to help Dozer serve his purpose.

He’s a good dog.


I was just asked on Twitter for my eggnog recipe, but it takes a lot more than 140 characters to make eggnog. So, here’s my eggnog recipe:

3/4 cups milk
3/4 cups half-n-half or heavy whipping cream if you like it super-duper thick

2 eggs
2 tbl spoons sugar
nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves to taste
brown booze (if you’re old enough and you’re into that sort of thing)

beat your eggs
add in other ingredients except for brown booze
stir over heat until it comes to almost a boil
reduce heat drastically and stir for another two or three minutes
strain to remove the inevitable scrambled eggs bits
stir in generous portion of brown booze and refrigerate over night, or stir in brown booze when serving