Saturday, December 31, 2005
Had a genuinely frightening nightmare last night, such as I haven't had in ages. The details have gone a bit sketchy, but I remember enough to use it as an integral element of the new horror story I'm plotting. Good timing, I'd say; though the dream wasn't related to my original story idea, they mesh together well. It's good when that happens.

At the moment, I'm plotting a get-together with William "Bill" Trotter for celebrating New Year's Eve tonight. Looks like a good old pot of hot chicken curry is going to be in the making. Then some reviews for About (Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla [1974] and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II [1993]). After that, it's storytime....

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
God, what a wonderful holiday this has been for me. Spent several days in my old home town with my mom, my brother, the missus, and my daughter, and got to see some dear old friends. Today I cranked out my essay for Storytellers Unplugged, which will be posted on Thursday. Got in some high-quality inspiration in the form of long walks in the woods and through the old neighborhood. Sent off the rather drastic rewrite of "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge," which I hope you'll be reading in print in the not-too-distant future.

The Christmas presents were fine, but the time spent with loved ones was unparalleled. That's what this season is all about for me. Yes, folks, I believe in God, and yes, I have a lot of problems with Christianity in general, but when I see the love and fellowship that comes out of it, at least in my community, and among the people who mean most to me, I see all that's right, not what's wrong with the faith. Celebrate, people. If you've got one positive thing in your life, if you have a single thing to be thankful for, celebrate it. Thank God it's there for you. You know, shit happens. God's not about shit not happening. It's going to. But if you have an ounce of faith, God will hear you, and the shit may not really be the monster you think it is. It may be the thing that makes you what you're supposed to be.

Celebrate, people. Be a positive force in the world. Love. Even when you think it's fucking impossible. Just do it, as they say.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Peace be with you. God be with you. Celebrate.

Thursday, December 22, 2005
We have heat. We're also some $7,000 poorer with the new heat pump and water heater put in. Ah well; tis better to be warm and poor than cold and only marginally less poor.

Thanks to an early Christmas present, I've got Kolchak: The Night Stalker to occupy several hours of DVD viewing. Watched the first episode ("The Ripper") last night, and what a damn fun show this was. I remember always being excited on Friday nights back in 74, when it was first broadcast.

Still have a couple of pages left to finish up on "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge," which will probably happen tonight. First priority is putting the house back together after having to pretty much tear it apart so the workmen would have room to put in the new hardware.

Monday, December 19, 2005
"The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge" went off on a bit of a tangent, which is a good thing, so I'm still working on it. Didn't get much writing done tonight; company and housework, then a headache started setting in. Mondays. Uggh.

The emergency heat is still working, knock on wood...

Saturday, December 17, 2005
And now we have no heat whatsoever. The heating unit, which was at least supplying us with emergency electric heat, has now died. It may just be a blown fuse, so I'll try replacing those tonight. If that doesn't work, we're going to get mighty cold till next Thursday, when the whole damn system's going to be replaced.

LATER: The fuses worked, so we have the emergency heat running again, sucking away at our electric bill. Ah well. Better warm and poor than cold and poor.

Worked hard on "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge" for the last couple of days, and I'm about 75% done. Should be able to finish it up tomorrow or the next day. It's almost a completely different story than the original version, which is ten or twelve years old. Last night, I wrote a review of Godzilla: Final Wars for About, which can be found here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
There are times I most definitely miss renting. Our heat pump died on Sunday -- while we were checking out a new water heater, to replace the one that's on its way to appliance heaven. We're looking at a major job here -- having to replace the whole central air unit, so that pretty much blows the travel budget for next year and then some. The auxiliary unit, at least, is keeping some warm air flowing, so at least we're not freezing at the moment. X-ing those dad-blamed fingers again.

Have set to work revising an older tale, "The Devils of Tuckahoe Gorge," which I can hopefully sell as a reprint. Gonna have to do all kinds of selling to help make up for the shortfall that keeping warm is going to cost us....

Saturday, December 10, 2005
I've been reading the short novel, This Island Earth, by Raymond F. Jones and wanted to refresh my memory of the film, so I put on my old VHS tape of it today; the movie holds up surprisingly well, and though it takes some liberties with the source material, it makes for a damn good cinematic adaptation. I love the style of special effects from its day -- miniatures, matte paintings, and optical effects, all coming together to create a distinctive atmosphere. I remember as a kid being terrified by the Metalluna mutants -- though they really don't get much screen time. The movie is basically of the same caliber as Toho's Battle in Outer Space and The Mysterians, which I consider the landmark SF/SPFX films of that time period.

Speaking of Toho, my reviews of King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes have been posted at About Click here and scroll down a bit to find them.

Tonight, Mrs. Rodan and I watched the recent House of Wax, which I found surprisingly entertaining, even if it did feature Paris Hilton. Her part was small enough so that acting didn't really enter into the equation. I appreciated its faux-1970s thriller style and the fairly vivid gore effects. I'll give the flick a solid four out of six beers.

Thursday, December 8, 2005
I've received the sad news that author J. N. Williamson died last night at the age of 73. Jerry was best known for his forty-some novels and the anthology series Masques, which he edited. Back in Deathrealm's day, Jerry and I corresponded frequently, and several of his stories appeared in the magazine. In person, he struck me as a considerate and kind soul, and we spent a number of evenings at Necon knocking back a few beverages and discussing the Nature of Things. We fell out of touch after Deathrealm's demise and my con-goings became scarcer; I wish I'd made more of an effort to keep up with him. He'll be greatly missed.

Monday, December 5, 2005
Nope, I'm not really a grinch. I love Christmas. Always have, ever since I was a kid. Of course, back then it was Santa Claus and presents and seeing my grandparents; nowadays it's the most special time I have to spend with my family. It's still a magic holiday, moreso than any other. (Although I rate Halloween a mighty close second; who'da thunk it, right?)

But I sure do hate Christmas shopping these days. I never go out to the stores anymore, as I DESPISE the crowds, the crass commercialism, the rudeness of folks supposedly experiencing the joy of giving and all that. I've done all my shopping online this year, and between mine and Peg's, the bills have really racked up. I hate being stressed over money when the season ought not be about that. That doesn't mean I'm not joyful about giving gifts. I like that as much as receiving them.

I like the idea some people I know have -- of sending cards, or making their own gifts, or just spending time together. Lord knows that would help alleviate some of the stress. I mean, Christ, we end up in debt for months over one freakin' day, and I personally don't feel it's worth it.

But being married, there are some things about which compromise just doesn't fly -- Christmas gifts being one of them.

Anyway, I got myself into the holiday spirit by watching The Flesh Eaters tonight and writing reviews for About with Christmas music playing. It worked pretty well.

Saturday, December 3, 2005
Zowie! Finished up my most recent story, "Sky of Thunder, Island of Blood" in less than a week's working time -- for me, quite a rarity. The tale took off on a very different tangent than I originally anticipated, and I just ran with it, which I think was the right idea. Turned out to be about 5,000 words, right on target. Overall, I think the tale hit the target too; it involves the Battle of Britain and certain oddness on the Isle of Wight. We shall see how it goes when it crosses the editor's desk. X the old fingers, if you would.

Will be archiving The Log every couple of months, so for previous entries, visit the link below.

The Log Archive
October/November 2005

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