One promise kept: Photos updated!

Lots of things that I have not been able to focus on, but by gum, I can still take a good photo or two.

Here is the link to the links for everything new availalbe on my Picassa site.

I especially like the photos of my daughter's soccer season, but lots of family goodness in all the new albums, including the annual favorite: Halloween.
Me and the Monkey

Worst blog ever!

So, for months, I have been trying to sit down and write out some ideas and sort through some issues.

Utter failure.

And that's not happening now either. But I figured I ought to say something.

Life has been busier than ever recently between work and home with no refuge. Far too often I feel like a drained drone, capable of slack jawed TV/video watching on the rare occasion that time remains at all before falling into slumber. It could be much worse, no doubt,but it's not really my preferred mode of being.

I have come to realize that despite all other distractions, I have met the enemy and he is me as far as my desire to write in a creative or RPG vein. It is not happening because I am not doing it. They say admitting you have a problem is half the battle. Unfortunately the other half is kicking my ass.

Photography has worked out well enough for me so far and I am still loving my new camera. New photos will be up soon. However, I habe found once aga the creative limit on the camera and again it is me.

I have a lot of balance to still work out for my life and I guess this blog will both suffer dor it and be subject to it.

I was a while ago most fortunate to be made LJ friends with two giants of creativity, Jess Nevins and Chad Underkoffler. Both are funny, brilliant and very gifted writers and thinkers with way better blows than me. So I am glad to be counted as a loyal reader for them (though since the blocked LJ at work I have been more sporadic). They are terrific anyone who reads this should check their stuff out.

Well, that's all the self indulgence for the moment. Stay safe out there.
Dear Wife

19 and Counting

Today, tonight really, marks the end of 19 wonderful years of marriage to my wonderful wife.

Now we are on to year 20. Hard to comprehend all that we have experienced. More important are all the things yet to be done. Lots of time, love and togetherness still ahead.

Even with hard times that we have seen, the future really looks good.

I am a lucky and happy guy. Not an earth shattering announcement, but there it is. Great joy and contentment to use the Wind in the Willows turn of phrase.

Whiteout is here; good news bad news

So, the big day for my old friend is here. He has walked the "white carpet" at the premiere, and the movie hits theaters is wide release.

Also, the movie has received praise for getting the science right.

The bad news is that it would appear that the critics really hate the movie. I won't catalog the various disdainful, unpleasant, and just plain mean things they have said, but, I have to acknowledge that coast to coast, the reviews have been far from complementary.

In general, Hollywood won't care about that. Transformers 2 got bad reviews and made a bundle. As long as Whiteout performs good box office, it will be counted a success. The problem is that it is a much less know quantity than giant robots that turn into cars and planes, so, the question now is whether it will find its audience?

I hope so. I don't want it to be a bad movie or a finincial failure, and I will be going to see it (and I'll buy the DVD too; after all, Greg will be in the "extras").

In the meantime, it is worth knowing what the journey was for the story and the author from comic book concept to finished film and there is a great set of interviews with Greg and the very talented artist who co-created the comic book, Steve Lieber, here. Whether you see the movie (which I still think you should), or pick up the comic (which you definitely should), or just have an interest in the creative process, you should definitely check out the interview. It is a good read.
Spooky me

Countdown to Whiteout!

So, a very great friend of mine is finally seeing one of his creative works transformed from one medium to another. Greg Rucka and I went to high school together and we have been friends ever since.

On this Friday, September 11, his first comic book series, Whiteout, is released a a major motion picture.

I have had the privilege of seeing Greg's creativity from an early age. He is the real deal in that he has the imaginative juices and the work ethic that together creates amazing things.

Whiteout was written for Oni Press after he had already achieved success as a published novelist. His first foray into comics netted a nomination for one of the highest awards in comics, the Eisner. He was edged out his first year, but he later won for the sequel to Whiteout (Whiteout Melt) and has collected a number of additional Eisners since then.

From Whiteout, he went on to write for some of the biggest characters in comics: Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman for DC, Daredevil and Wolverine for Marvel. He has also brought his great talents to other characters that are deserving of readership in mainstream comics: Batwoman, Huntress, the cops at Gotham Central, and the (new) Question. And, of course, a bunch of other stuff too.

What many consider his greatest contribution, so far, to comics, is his amazing series, again for Oni Press, Queen & Country. These action-espionage comics are, quite simply, some of the best writing out there. From them, he crossed back into novels, with two Queen & Country books under his belt and a third on the way. Top notch all the way.

Anyway, the best thing is, that he has many, many more years to contribute as a writer, and I am glad that his writing has led to the chance of reaching a wider audience through film.

However, for me, the greatest gift of the film (aside from helping Greg to put food on the table and keep the lights on at home for Greg and his family) will be to get more people interested in Greg as a writer and to open the audience more to his many novels and collected comic books, and his new work, particularly as he opens yet another new chapter with his Stumptown comic book series.

In many ways, this entry is a long commercial for Greg's work because I am a big fan, aside from being an old friend. More so though, it is a love letter to the hard work and dedication it takes to be a creative person in a commercial world. The life of the artist is a hard one, and I salute Greg and everyone like him who turn their creative juices into a career. It takes something very special, something I, as a dabbler, know goes far beyond what your average joe and jane, bring to the table.

So, go see this movie, pick up a book or comic, and be prepared to be amazed and enthralled, because, yes, Greg is just that good.
Me and the Monkey

Happy Birthday Ech-Pi-El

Howard Phillips Lovecraft's 119 birthday today.

The man was a complex collection of contradictions. We are still learning about him and from him. He was a genius and he was a human being with flaws like the rest of us, particularly flaws of his time and place. He created a lasting legacy. His writings and imagination have had influence on me for nearly 30 years.

Thanks Ech-Pi.