Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Three Status Update: A Scene

BRIAN walks into the family room, where JOEL is sitting in front of a computer, paying full attention to the monitor screen.

     BRIAN: Hey Joel - guess what?

     JOEL (not looking up): What?

     BRIAN: I got the draft of Book Three back from my editor last Friday!

     JOEL (still not looking up): Oh, um, cool...wait, what's Book Three?

     BRIAN (hesitant): It's, uh...never mind. (He recovers his composure.) Anyway, the good news is that she had a lot of great suggestions, but overall, it's not really gonna take me too long to incorporate them. So after this round of revisions, it should be ready to move into the final edit stage, and then it'll be good to go.

     JOEL: Okay.

     BRIAN: Yeah, I'm pretty excited. I had originally planned for a 2017 release, but now I'm wondering if I should move it up...

     JOEL: To 2016?

     BRIAN: Yeah. I dunno, probably not though...we'll see. Early 2017 maybe. There are some other things I have going on as well that may require extra time to put together. Either way, I'm just really happy to be at this point in the process.

     JOEL: Great. Congratulations.

     BRIAN: Thanks. Besides, I really want to get it out before the new Zelda game is released, since I know that'll take up a bunch of my time.

     JOEL: Yeah, me too.

     BRIAN (leaning in): So what're you playing there?

     JOEL: Just some game I made.

     BRIAN: You made that? Wow, that's pretty cool. It looks kinda familiar...what is it?

     JOEL: It's called "Sparkleblock." It's a computerized version of a handheld puzzle game I played in Spectra -

JOEL pauses, as if he has suddenly become aware that he just might have said too much.

Um, I mean, 2015.

     BRIAN (squinting at the screen): Huh. That's really similar to something that I wrote about you doing in Book Two -

JOEL shoots an curious glance in BRIAN's direction. BRIAN blinks rapidly and takes a step back.

Um, I mean...that's...that's pretty cool.

     JOEL: Yeah.

     BRIAN: Yeah.

JOEL and BRIAN look at each other. A long, awkward pause ensues. Then, finally, BRIAN claps his hands together.

     BRIAN: Alrighty then, I'll let you get back to it!

     JOEL: Okay.

BRIAN exits stage left.

- Fin - 

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Last week my son got his driver's license. To me, it felt like just yesterday when he first took the wheel and started practicing, but then he reminded me that it was actually almost two years (!) ago.
Not the actual license
He's a really good driver, so all of you on the road can relax. I think part of his skill comes from his attention to detail, while another part undoubtedly comes from years of Mario Kart training.

Also last week, my daughter successfully put in and took out a pair of contact lenses for the first time. She has sensitive eyes, but she's really motivated because she wants to have colored contacts as part of a costume that she's putting together. We must all suffer for our art...

Finally, fresh off of our show at the Ash Street Saloon, my band Second Player Score performed a daytime set at the Vancouver Brewfest.
Courtesy of Missy Fant Photography
We had a great time and the audience was awesome. The cool thing about this particular gig is that three years ago, Kyle (SPS drummer) and I were at the Brewfest as attendees, and he said, "One day we'll be playing at this event." And lo, it came to pass! Big mahalos go out to Cody Gray (Brewfest organizer) for having us and Al Jones (soundman) for a rockin' live mix. We're looking forward to doing it again next year.

Coming up next time: another Book Three status update!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pokemon Go - Um, I Mean, Wilsonville Fun In The Park & Ash Street Saloon Recap

Last Saturday was an epic story of friendship, books, music, and, yes, Pokemon. Sit back and relax while I tell you the tale...

It all started in a scenic little town known as Wilsonville, Oregon, where the annual Fun In The Park event was taking place. I got there bright and early to unload. The Northwest Independent Writers Association booth, graciously set up for us by my friend and fellow author/musician April Bullard, was in a great spot close to the parking lot and next to something known as "The Whizzer," which turned out to be a kid-powered ride and not the old Marvel Comics superhero.
Other fellow authors were there as well, including (pictured above from left to right): Marilyn Owen (who, I found out, was also born and raised in Hawaii), Leigh Goodison, Leah MacKenzie, Lillian Jolie, the aforementioned April, Roslyn McFarland, and Gwendalyn Belle. We all had a great time hanging out, reading from and selling our books, and enjoying the sunny weather.

I also enjoyed the fact that this particular park was absolutely loaded with PokeStops. Admit it, you know what I'm talking about. Every once in a while, I would take a break from our booth to go walk around and reload while catching the occasional Pidgey or Weedle along the way (I even found a Jigglypuff). Our booth itself was basically located right on top of a stop as well, so that was highly convenient.

After Fun In The Park, I had a little dinner break before I switched gears and headed over to the Ash Street Saloon in Portland to play a show with my band Second Player Score. As it turned out, this particular area of downtown Portland was also teeming with PokeStops and Pokemon. After I unloaded my gear, I stopped to catch 'em all and noticed some of the members from the other bands (The Shrike and The Adarna) doing so as well - a nice bonding moment that started the night off on the right foot.
We opened the show and played a set that consisted of a mix of songs from our first album Fortress Storm Attack (Anything At All, Falling Forever, Gloria) and our upcoming second album Nobody's Hero (Head Of Sin, Demon's Kiss, Origin Story, Comets). The sound was great - thanks, Heather! - and so was the audience, which included the boys from Anarchy Radio.

Equally as great were the two bands that followed - The Shrike, from Portland, and The Adarna, from Seattle. I had not realized this until I got to the venue, but the frontman for The Adarna used to be the guitar player for The Slants, another great regional Northwest band that I had met before. I was thinking, "man, that guy looks familiar!" Turned out, he was thinking the same thing about me. Small world, this is.

With the day's amazing journey thus concluded, we all loaded up our gear and headed off into the night. But not before catching a couple more Pokemon. Seriously, that place was loaded. I'm thinking that someone might have set up a lure or something...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Picnic Recap And Book Four (?!) Status Update

This past Sunday was Autism Empowerment's second annual summer potluck picnic, and it was a blast! The weather was perfect - cool and slightly cloudy to start, clearing and warming up as the day went by.
The turnout was great and we collected a lot of canned food for the Clark County Food Bank. The Portland Superheroes Coalition made an appearance, as did the superstar llamas Rojo and Smokey.
Also, some dudes with musical instruments stood around and played acoustic versions of '80s songs as well as a few tunes by Second Player Score...oh, wait, that was us.

And yes, I am actually moving on to Book Four now! Well, sort of, anyway. While the draft of Book Three is being reviewed by my editor, I'm using this time to flesh out the summary for the next installment of the Spectraland Saga.

You may recall me doing something similar before. I think it's an important step, not only to get a jump on the next book, but to make sure the overall series arc is flowing along smoothly before Book Three gets pressed into canon.

I will, however, be taking a break from writing this coming Saturday to be at two awesome events: the NIWA Children's Author Reading Booth at Wilsonville Fun In The Park 2016, and Second Player Score with The Adarna and The Shrike at Ash Street Saloon. Hope to see you there!