Rock Steady

Watchmen is, quite frankly, brilliant television.

While I would never consider myself a comics nerd, I did grow up with them, and have periodically returned to them as an adult. I’m a fan of the genre of super-heroes, but would never consider myself anything more expert than any other sideline, keeps up with it slightly, fan. (Although the world of comics fans endlessly fascinates me; I’ve loved attending the local version of Comic Con, and suspect the bigger ones would be too overwhelming and too much for me.)  Anyway, that’s a roundabout way of saying I’ve never read the source material for this show, but have heard about it for years. I’m enjoying this show so much I now want to go back and read the original source material (which I’m sure is now readily available, certainly) as well as go back and watch the film that was made of it several years ago. I would say that’s a statement about how much I am enjoying the show, while admiring it at the same time; I now want to know the entire story, or as much of it as I can glean to get a better understanding of the show.

A need I never felt, quite frankly, with The Walking Dead, and only somewhat with Game of Thrones (I won’t commit to reading that entire series until it’s completed, thank you very much).

The Saints also managed to win a heart-attack inducing game yesterday, which I was felt quite certain they were determined to lose for some unknown reason. But they managed to get the last second field goal and dodged the bullet; the Panthers missed their own just moments before. The Saints aren’t playing as solidly as I would like, but I would imagine there’s an adjustment period when you have to switch quarterbacks again–and it takes some time to get fully back into the old rhythms again. Still, we’re having a glorious football season in Louisiana, one that I hope everyone is taking the time to enjoy.

This week is Thanksgiving, and as I’ve been thinking about American mythology a lot lately, it seems only fitting that yet another myth looms on the horizon; a holiday where Americans gather to be grateful and give thanks for what they have…as the final, massive full frontal assault of Christmas commercialism looms just over the horizon. I watched another couple of hours of World War II-Pacific theater documentaries yesterday–I’m not sure why I am so drawn to that particular period of history lately, or that particular theater of that particular war; draw your own conclusions–and again, found myself as a present-day prosecutor, trying the United States for war crimes for the use of nuclear weapons on civilian populations. It is easy to be judgmental in hindsight; my living room in New Orleans in November 2019  is vastly different than the Oval Office in Washington in July 1945, and I certainly don’t have the future of the world in the palms of my hands; it’s easy to question decisions of the past with the hindsight of the present.

But I also find it hard to believe we would have used nuclear weapons on Germany.

Hindsight.

Looking back at the past with the mindset of the present.

Watchmen‘s entire approach to racism and the past is incredibly powerful, and also incredibly important. A pivotal event in the narrative is the obliteration of the a economically strong and growing black community near Tulsa back in the 1920’s; a horrifying racist slaughter and eradication of a community for daring to believe American mythology and trying to live the American dream as non-whites.

It also got me thinking about diversity, and the push for it in publishing, particularly in crime fiction lately, given some of the incidents that have occurred recently at crime events, or involving crime fiction organizations over the last few years. It occurred to me that inclusion, and diversity, are important words that may not carry with them their own importance; what we are really trying to accomplish is the desegregation of publishing and the creative arts; integrating writers of color and queer writers into the mainstream of publishing. Integration and segregation are much more powerful words; but desegregation is an incorrect term, in that it presupposes that there are separate but equal publishing worlds, which isn’t true; perhaps that’s why integration isn’t the word we use about talking about diversity in publishing.

But I think integration gets the point across more than inclusion does.

I am still reading both The Nickel Boys and Bourbon Street, hope to get more of the Whitehead read today, in fact. This first day of Thanksgiving week vacation–after three days of essentially relaxing and doing something periodically, but mostly doing nothing active–needs to be more of an active day than a passive one. I am going to work on my emails today, I am going to write today–not sure just quite yet what it is I will be writing, but I am going to be writing today for sure–and making other arrangements as well. There’s a lot of filing and cleaning that needs to get done, but I am going to be home alone all day with the needy kitty–who will insist on sitting in my desk chair once Paul leaves for the day–and I am determined to get all of this finished….or at least progress. I’ve kind of been letting a lot of stuff slide because I haven’t wanted to deal with it; well that day of reckoning has now arrived.

And on that note, it’s back to the spice mines.

12716110_1028251090568495_1090377440025608000_o

I’m So Excited

Since earning a thirty day ban from Facebook yesterday because of the horror of posting pictures of sexy men in their underwear, I’ve decided to make lemons from this lemonade and start exploring other options of social media. Obviously, Facebook is one of the bigger ones; but I also am on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr; so why NOT explore those options and expand my following on those sites? So, thank you, fascist homophobic sexist Nazis at Facebook; you’re making me do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do, and at the same time, you might even be rendering yourself obsolete in the world of one Gregalicious.

Well done there, Facebook. Seriously.

Although these other social media platforms are…a little confusing.

Anyway, you can find me on Tumblr here, follow me on Twitter @scottynola, and my Instagram is here. Find me, follow me, and I’ll promise to be better about posting in those places!

As I said, my great experience over the weekend doing panels at Comic Con has kind of invigorated me; I am getting back down to serious writing again, and my creativity is raging out of control. I think that  part of it has to do with keeping a physical journal again; I can’t believe how much of a difference it is making having it with me at all times, and I certainly can’t believe I stopped carrying one with me at all times. I don’t even remember when it was that I did stop carrying one, to be honest. I was talking to another writer this weekend–Bryan Camp, whose debut novel The City of Lost Fortunes will be out this April, and I read an early draft, which was fantastic; I can only imagine how good it is now–and was talking about how much the business had changed, and how quickly it happened. I sort of knew what I was doing the first few years, and then came the Time of Troubles, which derailed me for several years…and when I really got my head back in the game, everything about the business had changed. There were ebooks and bookstores and newspapers were disappearing; magazines that used to review were gone or on their way out the door, Insightoutbooks was phasing out…it seemed like every time I was trying to adapt to something new something else changed, or the new thing was no longer a thing, and social media had become to go-to for marketing; although now it was being called branding. I’m still not completely comfortable with that term; I don’t like thinking of my books as product or of myself as something akin to Tide and Coca-Cola and Folger’s. But I suppose it does make sense from a business perspective; publishing is a business, and the idea is to move units, just like liters of milk and loaves of bread and cans of creamed corn.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it, does it? Sigh.

Yesterday I read a short story by Truman Capote, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Four Other Stories. It was called “A Diamond Guitar.”

coverbreakfast

The nearest town to the prison farm is twenty miles away. Many forests of pine trees stand between the farm and the town, and it is in these forests that the convicts work; they tap for turpentine. The prison itself is in a forest. You will find it there at the end of a red rutted road, barbed wire sprawling like a vine over its walls. Inside, there live one hundred and nine white men, ninety-seven Negroes, and one Chinese. There are two sleep houses–great green wooden buildings with tarpaper roofs. The white men occupy one, the Negroes and the Chinese the other. In each sleep house there is one large pot-bellied stove, but the winters are cold here, and at night with the pines waving frostily and a freezing light falling from the moon the men, stretched on their iron cots, lie awake with the fire colors of the stove playing in their eyes.

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is one of my favorite books, and it’s partly because he is so poetic, so charming, a writer in his word choices and the way he describes things. It always cracks me up when people tell me they love Breakfast At Tiffany’s because it’s clear they’re talking about the movie and not the Capote novella it was loosely based on; the novella is actually really dark and sad, as most of Capote’s work is; even if he didn’t always write about the south, he was very much of the Southern Gothic school of writers. In the novella Holly is basically an escort who’s looking for a sugar daddy–and so is her neighbor, the guy telling the story; he’s not George Peppard and he doesn’t fall in love with her because he’s gay, escorting and also looking for a sugar daddy; they bond in friendship over that similarity.

This story, “A Diamond Guitar,” is short and very poetically written; many Southern prisons are referred to as ‘farms’ and the prisoners work with the money from the sweat of their labor going to the prison (and usually siphoned off by someone). The story is about a convicted murderer, known in the story only as Mr. Schaeffer, and it tells the story of the only friend Mr. Schaeffer ever had in the prison, a beautiful young Cuban boy named Tico Feo. Tico brings the diamond studded guitar into the prison with him; the two men become friends–but not lovers; Capote is very clear that they are close as lovers but there is nothing physical between them; and finally Tico decides he wants to escape and he wants his friend to come with him. Tico does manage to escape, but Schaeffer does not; he trips and breaks his ankle and is left behind–it’s never clear whether this accident was actually deliberate or not, but it’s clear Schaeffer doesn’t really want to escape. But without hid only friend, Schaeffer closes himself off from everyone else in the prison, and under his cot he keeps the diamond guitar. The diamonds, of course, are just glass; just like Tico, everything about the guitar is phony.

It’s a really lovely little story.

And now, back to the spice mines.

Give It Up

It rained overnight, and is still damp and gloomy this morning. There really is nothing like sleeping during a downpour, is there, the constant strumming of the rain, the comfort and warmth of the mattress and under the blankets, is there?

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for one Gregalicious, who got up in the morning and did some work, cleaned, and then walked to Comic Con for a signing and a panel. The signing was fun, and the panel discussion about creativity and creativity triggers was also a lot of fun; as exhausting and draining as it is to do public appearances, I also always somehow forget, in the nervousness and terror of having to speak in front of a room full of people, how much I actually enjoy talking about writing and creativity. So, there’s that. I then came home, watched the ice dance final at US Nationals, and then the Saints play-off game, which was a nail-biter down to the very last play of the game (GEAUX SAINTS!). We stayed up and watched the Golden Globes before going to bed; I also managed to get some brainstorming done in my journal, and I also read a short story, to keep the Short Story Project going.

One of the truly fun things about the panel was that Tom Cook was on it. Tom was an animator/director for Hanna-Barbera in the late 1960’s/1970’s, and of course, one of the shows he worked on was Scooby Doo Where Are You, which tremendously influenced me in the direction of mysteries and crime when I was a kid. So meeting Tom, and thanking him for the influence, was kind of a thrill for the weekend for me. I am starting to feel energized about writing again, which is very cool.

The short story I read was “East Wind,” from Daphne du Maurier’s The Doll and Other Lost Stories.

the doll

Nearly a hundred miles west of the Scillies, far from the main track of ships, lies the small, rocky island of St. Hilda’s. Only a few miles square, it is a barren, rugged place, with great jagged cliffs that run deep into deep water. The harbour is hardly more than a creek, and the entrance like a black hole cut out of the rock. The island rises out of the sea a queer, misshapen crag, splendid inits desolation, with a grey face lifted to the four winds. It might have been thrown up from the depths of the Atlantic in a moment of great unrest, and set there, a small defiant piece of land, to withstand forever that anger of the sea Over a century ago few knew of its existence, and the many sailors who saw its black outline on the horizon imagined it to be little more than a solitary rock, standing like a sentinel in mid-ocean.

“East Wind” is an early du Maurier tale, from early in her career (which people seem to want to divide into ‘pre’ and ‘post’ Rebecca); and in some ways the inexperience shows. The story is, as so many of her later stories are, very matter-of-fact; simply told with a move this  to that to the other; unemotional and simple. However, what is actually missing from this story that shows up in her later stories are layers of detail and complexity; stories like “Don’t Look Now” and “The Birds” have so many layers to burrow through, so much detail, and so much creepy, quiet horror that they continue to haunt the reader once the story is told. “East Wind” is an equally unpleasant tale, but doesn’t have the impact of the later stories in its telling.

As I started reading it, it reminded me of one of my favorite Stephen King stories, “The Reach”, which was the final story I think in Skeleton Crew, and was originally called “Do the Dead Sing?”, which is, in my opinion, a far superior title. That story was from the point of view of an old woman, dying in her bed on a cold, blustery winter night, and remembering something that happened many years ago–while also hearing her beloved dead one’s calling to her to join them. The story was brilliant and beautiful and haunting, and as I said, remains one of my favorite King stories to this day.

The du Maurier tale is similar in that it is about a remote island, where the inhabitants have very little contact with the outside world and because of a limited pool, have become more than a little inbred. The east wind of the title is brutal, blasting away at the little island and making the seas rough, so a brig of foreign sailors is forced to take shelter in the harbor, foreigners who don’s speak the same language. These exotic to the islanders strangers have an odd impact on the islanders, who become intoxicated in the strangeness and newness of this experience, which eventually leads to seduction and murder, changing and scarring the island forever; and of course, once this has happened and the east wind stops blowing, they get back in their ship and sail away because, of course, it was nothing to them. This is, of course, a terrific theme that du Maurier returns to again and again in her work; the dionysian influence of an outside force that causes trouble and then moves on without a care, leaving damage in its wake. The story itself, which is short and unemotional, is important as an early work because the reader, the duMaurier afficionado, can see how she developed themes she used extensively in her later career; her fascination with the concept of the unfeeling outside force on ordinary people’s lives, and the disruption such an influence can cause.

And now, back to the spice mines.

An Innocent Man

EPIPHANY. King cake season has officially begun! HUZZAH! Although…Christ on the cross, it’s Carnival season already. In fact, a month from tonight there will be parades. As I sit here shivering in my kitchen (although the sun is out) this morning, that thought blows my mind.

Anyway, Comic Con was very fun yesterday.

DS0NZsWW0AAhYQ4

And this was lovely:

DSz8qtXWkAAKhrF

And instead of name plates, they had a MARQUEE:

IMG_3550

How lovely to have one’s name up in lights, as it were!

DS3p5WqX0AIKPpS

It was a great panel, lots of great questions from the audience, and some great discussion and tips and hints about writing.

Then I walked home, and watched the live stream of the US Figure Skating National Championships, which reminded me that I had an idea for a figure skating noir, and even started writing the first scene in the book, so here’s yet another fragment for you:

The move is called a charlotte.

The move is not considered masculine so his coach will not let him do it in a program. But he’s proud that he has the flexibility to do it, and he always gets to the rink early so he can practice the moves he will never be allowed to do until he lets his Olympic eligibility go and scoring no longer matters.

Men don’t do spirals.

He reaches the end of the ice and goes into a curved turn, going to the inside edge and letting centrifugal force pull him back around so that he’s facing the other end of the ice. He turns and glides backward. He brings his arms together, crossing them at the wrists in front of his chest and explodes them out in a straight line at his sides at ninety degree angles. With his chest puffed out he bends at the waist, raising the left leg up, perfectly straight, the toes pointed as he brings his chest down to his right knee, grabbing the right ankle with both hands as he continues to glide toward the other end of the rink, his left leg raised in a perfect split, feeling the stretch in his groin and his hamstring. The stretch feels good and he works to catch his breath, his heart still thudding in his chest and his ears, the cold emanating from the ice slapping his cheeks, a drop of mucus hanging from the end of his nose as the slide slows.

When he is almost to the other end of the rink he pushes with his hands off from the ankle, bringing the back leg down and tapping the toepick on the ice, digging it in and launching himself up into the air, pulling his arms back in and together as he spins neatly in the air, ankles crossed and counting.

One….two…three.

After the third revolution he releases the tight arms, exploding them out at ninety degree angles to the side as his right foot comes down and his left leg goes backward. The blade of his right skate lands off balance, on the inside edge and hits a groove in the ice. There’s no way to save the landing. His ankle gives under the pressure of the force and he falls.

This is going to hurt.

Is all he has time to think before he hits the wet, glistening ice. He lands hard, chest first followed by the rest of his torso and his legs tangle. The impact forces all of his air out of his lungs and the thud sends jolts of pain, dull agonizing pain, through his ribs and he gasps for air as he spins on the ice, out of control and unable to stop himself until his crashes into the boards with his right side and bounces back off out onto the ice, finally coming to a stop with stars dancing in front of his eyes and his lungs gasping to take in the icy cold air. He lies there for what seems an eternity, the wet ice soaking through the sweatshirt he is wearing, his ribs aching, his legs screaming in pain from the lactic acid burning through the muscle fibers. He lies there, knowing he needs to get up and start moving before the muscles seize and tighten, knowing he needs to get back up on the blades and build up speed and try the lutz again, it has been drilled into his head so many times to get back up and skate, when you fall you have to get up and try the jump again and keep trying until you land it, otherwise you’ll become afraid and will never be able to land it, you have to be fearless, get up, get up, get up….

But sometimes he wanted to never get up. Sometimes he wanted to just crawl over to the opening, take off his skates and grab his bag and put on his shoes and walk out of the rink never to come back.

He gets up, his breathing still labored, his legs still aching. He starts doing crossovers, even though his legs are shaking, and he picks up speed, going faster and faster and it feels like he is flying…flying…and nothing will ever bring him down.

A little rough, but not bad.

And here’s Guillaume Cizeron, the sexy French ice dancer, for your Saturday viewing pleasure:

13187978_486739044862306_934340098_n

Adult Education

Thursday, and I am sitting in the kitchen shivering just a little bit. Of course, the ‘bomb cyclone’ or whatever it is they are calling it is pounding the eastern seaboard, and we have a bright sunny (if chilly) day here, so I am going to count my blessings rather than complain about how cold it is in my kitchen this morning. I have a space heater, a wool blanket, and coffee. Things could be so much worse, seriously.

Comic Con kicks off tomorrow, which will mean me rushing home from the main office so I can walk to the convention center in time to check in, get my badge, and head up to where my panel is. I don’t have to be there on Saturday, so I can use that day to run errands and do chores around the house as well as get some writing and editing done (also, US National Figure Skating championships are this weekend; we watched the ladies’ short program live last night on the NBC SN app on the Apple TV), and spend Sunday, when I am not at Comic Con, relaxing and trying to get some odds and ends finished.

My mind has been incredibly creative lately, which is not only an interesting thing–it feels like it’s been a long time–but I also find my mind wandering over to some projects that I started and never finished. Sometimes I get an idea for a book or a story, complete with an opening so strong and vivid that  I have to write it down or fear it will be lost forever.

Like this one, the opening for a high school noir about a twisted mother-daughter relationship:

Razor blades look so innocent, really. Clean, precise, glittery silver, utilitarian and oh so useful, so useful they’re tucked away inside a vanity drawer close to the sink basin in everyone’s bathroom. There were so many uses for a razor blade. They cleanly scrape glue left behind when pulling tape off glass, for one thing, and of course a razor will cut that pesky unwanted hair away from skin. How many times had she sat in this bathroom, in this bathtub, using a razor without a second thought? Soaping up her legs, pulling the razor along in a long steady motion, her mind a million miles away but careful, always careful, to make sure she didn’t press too hard so that skin would be cut away along with the blonde hairs? She always put her phone into the iHome on the counter and would hum along with Katie Perry and Taylor Swift and One Direction, it made the effort of shaving her tanned legs so the skin would be silky smooth to the touch go so much faster.

These were safety blades. Safety meant there was a metal cap opposite the sharp side so it could be handled without danger of cutting skin. It seemed crazy, a stupid obeisance to some past lawsuit where someone was too stupid to understand how carefully a razor had to be handled was rewarded by a jury with millions. Flesh is delicate and tears so easily, after all, and once it’s torn, the blood flows so dark and richly red.

She wipes steam off the mirror so she can see herself, distorted, through the moisture on the glass. Distorted. Always distorted. She takes the safety blade and sets it on the side of the white bathtub, the emerald green shower curtain pulled to the side. Steam curls off the top of the water. She drops the robe and steps into the hot water, flinching against the heat against her skin as pores pop open and sweat forms under her arms and above her lip. She pulls the long blonde hair back, securing at the nape of her neck with a pink scrunchie. She lowers herself into the water, bracing herself against the shock. Down into the water she goes until all that is left above the surface is her neck, her head.

 Her lip trembles.

I don’t appreciate your guilt-tripping me. It’s over. His voice echoes in her head.

What the hell is wrong with you? Her father’s voice, screaming at her.

No one likes you because you’re such a bitch. Her former best friend.

A single tear dribbles from the corner of her right eye.

Her nose starts to run.

She picks up the razor blade and presses it to the inside of her left arm.

Next time remember to cut up, not across. Her mother’s voice, always sneering, dripping with contempt.

Always her mother, always.

She presses down and gasps at the unexpected pain, unexpected because she didn’t think she could actually feel anything anymore.

Up, not across.

She drags the blade up towards the crease of her arm.

Blood, not bright but rich and dark.

 It runs down and drips into the water, diffusing and spreading.

The blade goes into the other hand. Presses against the right wrist.

Up, not across.

Finished, she drops the blade into the soap dish.

 She closes her eyes and waits for death.

Creepy, right?

Here’s a hunk for you as I go back to the spice mines.

tumblr_ohjry2OWkv1r5xfbxo7_400

 

 

Breakdance

Another cold morning in New Orleans, but it is helping me sleep. I went to bed early last night (before eleven) and woke up at nine thirty this morning. Of course, the cold isn’t nearly as awful here as it is in other places, but still. It ain’t supposed to be this cold south of I-10, yo.

But I am living through it, persevering as it were, and as I said the other day, the cold spell is supposed to snap this weekend. I am, of course, going to be at Comic Con this weekend at the New Orleans Convention Center:

PANEL: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller and Suspense Storytelling
DAY: Friday
TIME: 6:00-6:45pm
ROOM: 288
SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, THRILLER AND SUSPENSE STORYTELLING
What does it take to create stories and worlds in the science fiction, fantasy, or thriller genres and what do we hope to see in the future for these genres as well? Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion), Lilian Oake (Nahtaia: A Jaydürian Adventure), Bill Loehfelm (The Devil’s Muse: A Maureen Coughlin Novel) and Greg Herren (Garden District Gothic) as they unlock their writing process and experiences as creatives. The stories and worlds behind sci-fi, fantasy and thrillers will be revealed in this panel and hopefully any hinderances standing between you and your sci-fi saga, epic fantasy, or that heart-pounding thriller will disappear!
PANEL: Start Your Creativity Engines
DAY: Sunday
TIME: 2:30-3:15pm
ROOM: 291
START YOUR CREATIVITY ENGINES
Having trouble revving up your creativity engine? Writer’s block and general creator’s block often succeeds in stalling every type of artist at one time or another, but thankfully, there are creative solutions that can bulldoze those standstill challenges! With the right tools and inspiration, the wonderful world of art, writing, and creativity becomes your oasis. Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion), Tom Cook (Saturday Morning Cartoons) and Greg Herren (Garden District Gothic) as they divulge their experience when creating worlds and storytelling. Discover the routine, environment, and even networking and collaborative solutions that can bolster creativity and help you complete your artistic endeavors during this fantastic discussion!

I am signing at the Tubby and Coo’s Bookshop booth on Sunday before (starting at 1) and after the above panel (ending at 4). If you’re there, stop by and say hello, buy a book, and check out the merchandise. Candice always has lots of cool stuff in the booth, and the store is pretty awesome too–it’s on Carrollton, just up the street from Five Guys. I mean, you can go buy some books, and then wander over and have a fantastic burger and Cajun-style fries. How awesome is that?

I went over some edits on a short story this morning; there will be more info on that particular anthology as it develops.

And now, back to the spice mines. Here’s a hunk for your Humpday viewing pleasure:

a-shirtless-friday-16

Come On Feel The Noise

Day two of the New Year, and it’s still miserably cold here in New Orleans. This cold spell is supposed to last through the weekend, but next week the range will be between the high forties and mid-sixties, which is more normal for New Orleans winter. The lovely thing about this cold snap is that I am sleeping magnificently; the problem is I don’t want to get out of the bed in the morning.

First world problems, right?

This weekend is Comic Con here in New Orleans; I am speaking on two panels and I am doing a signing; the panels are on Friday and Saturday and the signing is Sunday afternoon. While it’s kind of a drag having to have something to do every day of my weekend, it is Comic Con, which is always fun. My favorite thing to do is walk around and look at the costumes, to be honest. Every year I promise myself that next year I’ll wear a costume; and when it rolls around every year I am not physically costume ready. But one of my life-goals is to wear a costume to Comic Con one year; maybe if I stick to my gym goals this year I’ll be able to do so next year.

The journal is working out great so far; I did some more brainstorming in it yesterday, and the WIP is really starting to take shape–a better shape than it was. It’s strange, but thinking things through, hashing them out on paper and writing them down makes the process work better for me. I can’t believe I’ve not been doing the journal thing for so long. I’ve really come up with some good stuff over the last few days since buying it. I am quite excited about this new development, and am getting quite excited about writing again; which, to be honest, it’s been kind of a while since I’ve felt the creative joy of writing.

I also started reading several books over the weekend which didn’t pass the fifty-page test; so off into the donation pile they went. This isn’t to say the books were bad, they just didn’t grab me, and there are just too many books to keep trying to read something that hasn’t grabbed me by page fifty; that turns the reading into the category of pulling teeth and then I don’t read as quickly and then the books continue to stack up. One I put aside to try again at a later date; I really like the concept of it, but the writing just didn’t grab me and encourage me to keep going. I’m starting another one tonight; hopefully it will work out better.

I also didn’t read a short story yesterday; I started reading one, but Paul and I also started binge watching Broadchurch this weekend, and we are totally sucked into the show. The first season was truly wonderful; lots of twists and turns that i certainly didn’t see coming, which was lovely. We’re one or two episodes into Season 2 now; the addition of Charlotte Rampling and Jeanne Marie-Baptiste to the cast can only make it stronger. The acting in Season One was pretty spectacular, and I have to say, after The Night Manager and this, I’ve become rather a fan of Olivia Colman.

I have a lot of emails to get caught up on today, and I also want to get some writing done. The illness is mostly past; all the remains is a tubercular cough; deep and throaty and phlegmy, but at least it no longer hurts to cough. Baby steps.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines with me. Here’s a hunk for you for today, Constant Reader. In honor of Comic Con, this is cosplay specialist Michael Hamm as Nightwing.

Cos_Shaun400