Friday, March 30, 2012

Switching Gears

A week ago I blogged on the Promise of Spring and how this is my favorite time of the year. Of course, we hit a cold spell and it hasn't felt like Spring much, although it remains sunny. But Spring for me is more about something I feel. Growth, change, and hope. I mentioned the possibility of switching gears on DRAGORO because it's hit a snag, well, my agent John and I have decided that the possibility is now a reality.

While I was trudging through the odyssey of revisions for DRAGORO I had written another book called LISTEN, a YA paranormal thriller. I sent it to John last week and it was agreed to do some revisions and get that book ready to go on submission in a short period of time. It's exciting and sad, because I wanted to see DRAGORO through, but there is still much work to be done while LISTEN is pretty much ready to fly. So, DRAGORO will remain on hold for the time being while we concentrate on doing everything we can to sell LISTEN. That's exciting and fits perfectly into the Promise of Spring.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Promise of Spring

Spring is my favorite time of the year, especially now with the unseasonably warmer weather. The sun shines more, the air is warmer, and everything seems more alive. There's always a sense of promise, a promise that things will get better. It's not always the case, of course, but it just seems that way.

I'm thinking about that now because of the contrast to the dark clouds in my life. A dear friend of mine, only 40, was recently diagnosed with cancer. He goes into surgery next week. You think how young we are and how much life still has to offer, and then mortality slaps you in the face. I can't help but think of my own. My baby girl is just 2 months and my son will be 7 by the end of summer. There's no guarantee I'll be blessed enough to watch them grow up. I'm also going through a transition writing wise, as DRAGORO has hit a snag and shifting gears to another project may be the best bet. Then there is the still shaky job market. I'm lucky to still be in the same job after 12 years, but who knows what next year will bring if business doesn't pick up? There are other things, but you get the point.

Yet there is still the promise of Spring. Life renewed. We'll get through all this the best we can.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

March 17 has come again and that means another St. Patrick’s Day, one of my favorite holidays of the year. The holiday is named after the patron saint of Ireland, who was born in Roman Britain circa AD 387, was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland where he lived for six years before escaping, became an ordained priest when he returned home, and returned to Ireland as bishop and Christian missionary. Legend has it that me died on March 17, but there is debate as to whether it was AD 460 or AD 493.

St. Patrick’s Day began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. Today—except in Ireland where it is a holy day of obligation—it is a secular celebration of Irish culture. A little known tidbit is that the original color associated with St. Patrick was blue, but over the years the color green became associated with the holiday. Blue St. Patrick’s Day? Nahhhh.

My office always has a breakfast spread for the holiday and I never miss it. I love office comp! A few years back the office administrator got creative and had all the bagels and muffins dyed green. She also had the milk for coffee dyed green. It looked great, but no one dared eat or drink any of it. She insisted that the food in milk didn’t taste any different, but our stomachs couldn’t overcome the barrier our eyes had set up. We'll have the little celebration on Monday because, with St. Paddy's Day on Saturday we're out of the office, of course.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

4:01 Just Doesn't Have Same Ring as 12:01

The NFL decided to do things different this year. Rather than start it's league year on March 1 and at 12:01 a.m., they are starting it two weeks later at 4:01 p.m. That simply doesn't have the same ring to it. The start of the league year means the start of free agency. I've blogged on this before, how legions of NFL fans (me included) would stay up past midnight to get the latest news and rumors on what team is signing which player. Now, we have to wait late in the work day for such news. Bummer.

The local teams are not believed to be that active in free agency. The defending Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants, didn't do much last year and got killed by the media and fans alike. Of course we know how that turned out. The best news thus far is that they re-signed a key member of their secondary, albiet, one that was injured last season.

The other team in town, the New York Jets is an enigma in free agency this year. They have more salary cap room than the Giants, but no one is sure who they'll target. So it will be exciting to follow later this afternoon, but not like years past. Oh well. Times are a changin'.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

I haven't done many book reviews on my blog. Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I did one. I read alot, of course, mostly via my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which I LOVE!!!) while commuting (bus/subway, not driving). I also read some hard copies, but mainly for the books of my author friends. One of the many benefits of the Tab is that I get to read a lot in a short period of time. I don't know why that is so. The book lengths aren't any shorter electronically. But, anyway, with the Tab, I finish books within 10 days tops, which means I've plowed through a lot since I bought the Tab in June 2011. The best of those books is John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Come to think of it, STARS is one of the best books I have ever read in any medium or genre. It's a dramedy about two extremely likeable teens Hazel, the narrator, and her love interest, Gus, both stricken with cancer. Hazel is terminal while Gus is in remission. Hazel is still alive because of a wonder drug keeping her cancer at bay, but it's not a cure. Gus lost his leg to the disease. The book follows their romance and how each deal with their own and the other's mortality. What is wonderfully ironic thing about the book is SPOILER ALERT:

Gus uses his Wish (like Make-a-Wish foundation) to take Hazel to Amsterdam to see her favorite author and find out what becomes of the characters in her favorite book. The author turns out to be a complete ahole and tells Hazel, essentially, that it's just a book and it's fiction and nothing becomes of the characters. The irony, of course, is that when reading STARS, you fall utterly in love with Hazel and Gus, which makes the heartbreak that much worse, because, of course, they are the proverbial star-crossed lover. Hence the title, which is a play on the famous line from Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR.

The book is funny and gutwrenchingly real. Or as Hazel says, "You have a choice in this world, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice." An increadibly good book that made me laugh and cry throughout, I'm so glad I read this. Great books not only entertain you, but they change you after having read it. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS did just that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Yes, I'm Linsane

Being a longtime (and at one point closeted) Knicks fan, I've purposely have not posted on Linsanity. Yes, I am All Lin on the Knicks right now, thoroughly excited about what Jeremy Lin has brought to my favorite basketball team. I just want to see how it all plays out. No, I'm not worried about Carmelo Anthony, who has been wrongfully vilified by the media. He has played hurt for most of the season and was saddled by the worst point guard tandem in the NBA (Douglas and Bibby) before Lin's miraculous emergence.

I'm mainly concerned about Amar'e Stoudemire who looks 100 years old right now and the Knicks owner, the Scourge of New York sports, James Dolan. Amar'e needs to regain his old form while Dolan needs to not revert to his old form. Both scenarios, however, may be unlikely. So right now I'm cautiously optimistic. They are only 18-18 at the moment, but they were 10-5 in February, which is a very good record. They're a deep team with a dynamic player at the point in Lin, an elite scorer in Melo, and a good defensive mentality overall. In other words, they should go on a good run in the second half of the season, but you never know with the Dolan Knicks. So I'm filled with Linsanity and hopefully, can ride the wave into the summer.