This morning I was crosstown walking the picket lines at the College of Santa Fe, doing my little bit for the WGA and the writer's strike. Support your local writers! This is the most crucial strike of my era, and will determine whether writers (and actors and directors, eventually) get a fair share of revenues for internet videos, webisodes, and all the other new delivery platforms for the net, or whether they continue to get ripped off.
Finished a Tyrion chapter yesterday, one I've been struggling with for months. Made a major change to the end of the chapter, one I think works much better than what I had before.
Also tackled another Tyrion chapter that had been giving me trouble, mainly by ripping Tyrion out of the scene entirely and rewriting the whole damn thing from another point of view. Not quite done with that one yet, but I think it will work better as well. However, I am keeping the old Tyrion POV version of the same events on my computer, just in case I change my mind later and decide to go back.
Dark Sword Miniatures has been shipping the first ten of their ICE & FIRE minis. I just got my box. Okay, okay, I'm prejudiced, but I think they look wonderful. Hey, they're by Tom Meier, how could you go wrong? Purchase the complete set by December 15 and you'll still be eligible for the drawing for the autographed books and other prizes. Contest details below, in my earlier blog post. Order via Dark Sword's website. The link is below as well. And hey, pewter miniatures make wonderful stocking stuffers for that collector in the family (NOT for small kids, though, these are not toys).
SFWA has replaced Andrew Burt as chairman of its controversial Copyright Committee. I hope that pleases all those who were yelling and screaming about SFWA being unresponsive, paleolithic, etc. Hey, you guys won, Burt has stepped aside, you can take off the hob-nailed boots now. Can we all join ranks again and try to make things better for writers?
Some very nice reviews coming in on the two new books I have coming out next month, and from some unexpected places. HUNTER'S RUN got a four-star review from... wait for it... ROMANTIC TIMES. That's very cool. I always knew I was a romantic. And the new Wild Cards book, INSIDE STRAIGHT, has been getting great reviews all over the place. Here's two:
I have to say, I am very gratified by all the raves that we've been getting for INSIDE STRAIGHT. My hat is off to my contributors. They did a terrific job. Check this one out, boys and girls. I think you're going to enjoy meeting Jonathan Hive, Lohengrin, Earth Witch, Bubbles, Drummer Boy, and all the rest of our aces and jokers.
Football... ah, what can I say? The Giants won a squeaker over the Iggles to go to 9-4, but it wasn't what I'd call a convincing win. A truefan never gives up hope, but unless they can really get on a tear these last few games, I'm not convinced that Eli can take them far in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Jets lost to the Browns, and now face the hated Patriots and Evil Little Bill. This could be ugly. Oddly enough, I won't sweat the Jets-Patriots game nearly as much as I will the Giants and the Redskins. The Giants need to beat the Skins to lock up their playoff berth, but the Jets season is already over and everyone expects them to get crushed this weekend, so there's no real pressure. Did any of you catch HBO's INSIDE THE NFL tonight? Have to say, I loved Chris Collingsworth's version of Eric Mangini's pregame speech. I hope Mangenius was watching.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the big news is Bobby Petrino. What a scumbag. His players said it better than I could. No integrity, no courage, no honor. Maybe it's fitting that he's run off to a team whose mascot is a pig.
Some readers have been asking me to update my WHAT I'M READING and WHAT I'M WATCHING pages. I mean to, honest, I just haven't had the time. On the "watching" front, I did catch THE MIST, and would strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good old fashioned monster movie. This isn't torture-porn like the SAW films, it's Stephen King and Frank Darabont, well written, well acted, well directed. TV... well, I miss ROME and DEADWOOD more than I can say, and can't wait for THE WIRE. The new network shows have been a mixed bag. The second season of HEROES has been much weaker than the first, and anyway, the show has never been more than Wild Cards Lite (though I do like Hiro). PUSHING DAISIES has a certain wacky charm, though it's very stylized, and may not be for everyone. JOURNEYMAN is redeemed mostly by the presence of Kevin McKidd, though I bet he wishes he was still playing Lucius Vorenus. I know I do. As for books, since I last updated WHAT I'M READING, I've enjoyed new novels from Bernard Cornwell, S.L. Farrell, Melinda M. Snodgrass, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Michael Chabon, and some old ones by Jack Vance (I reread the entire DEMON PRINCES series, and I'm doing the same with the four DYING EARTH books now). The Vance books were even better than I remembered them.