Monday, December 27, 2010

So this was 2010

During our road trip to Virginia for Christmas, the Charlie Brown theme song played over the radio a number of times. Actually the song is called "Linus and Lucy", but you know what I mean. Mom was riding shotgun and Crystal was in the backseat with her headphones on.

I kept my eyes on the road but I did engage in the head-bobbing Snoopy dance as we headed down I-95. Mom played air-piano along with the tune. This was repeated again on our return trip with me bouncing up and down in my seat.

Yep, that's my family.

The snowstorm cut short our visit to Virginia but it was good to see Melody, Joseph and the boys. I got all my nephews personal dog tags engraved with virtues I feel are important. It's funny how kids repeat the things you say even if they have no idea what the words mean. I'm sure Joshua has already stopped saying "You wanna do some shots?", but it was funny for me while it lasted.

As 2010 winds down, I am looking toward some big changes. I will deliver Black Saturday in January to my editor and then it will go to the publishers to haggle over. That is a good way to start 2011 I think.

But I would be remiss if I did not speak on the departure of Pepper and Paulie from the family.

It was no easy decision to put Pepper to sleep.

I remember when she first came to our house, she whined and cried night and day. She was a feisty puppy and prone to escaping her leash to run amok in other people's yards. Her pale blue eyes could hold you in place until she started nuzzling you to scratch behind her ears. Watching her bound through the snow was an endless source of fun especially when she chased poor Paulie, who did his best to flee on his short legs.

Paulie was a stray who wandered in from the streets. He was clever, fiercely loyal and reminded me of Courage the Cowardly Dog. But Pauly was a very brave little potbellied mutt and he adored my Mom. Giving him away for adoption was for the best given all circumstances.

That said, I still don't like it. It's just how it is.

So what did I learn in 2010? Life and family are ever evolving constants ;-) That I make some pretty tasty pumpkin-flavored creme brulee. And that confidence in my work + a great high concept sells books.

P.S. I will comment about what I think went wrong with Caprica and Stargate Universe in a separate post. These were high-concept genre shows that stumbled in their execution.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away