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Belated Update

I do have the best of intentions, honest. How hard can it be to update your blog regularly? Even when it's Not A Blog? Sigh. Too hard for me, it would seem. I know there are folks who do it every day, but...

Actually, I have added new entries to this journal half a dozen times since the last post you read here. In my head, anyway. It's just getting the words down on pap... er, phosphor... that proves to be the problem. Of course, getting the words down has always been the hard part. If it wasn't hard, everyone would be a writer.

Let's see, I went to Marcon in Columbus, Ohio last month, did a few panels, read a chapter from A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, had some drinks with some of my readers. The Marcon folks were great hosts. On the way back, I stopped in Chicago to visit with my old friend and one-time collaborator Lisa Tuttle, who now lives in Scotland but was passing through Chicago herself on the way back from Wiscon. We had a great time catching up, and visited my favorite restaurant in the world, the Greek Islands in Greektown, where we ate flaming cheese and shouted "Opaa!" (There are some who will tell you that Oprah Winfrey has grown so huge in Chicago that the waiters in the Greektown eateries now shout "Oprah!" when they set the cheese on fire, but I can testify that it isn't true). I also took an el ride up to my old stomping grounds in Uptown one afternoon, and was startled by the changes. The apartments I lived in on Margate Terrace and Argyle are still there, but that's about it. The grocery stores I shopped in, the bar where I drank beer and played that high-tech videogame Pong, the newstand where I bought my comic books and the first issue of ANALOG to feature my story on the cover, the diners where I used to have my breakfast, even the friendly neighborhood titty bars where I used to... ah... do sociological research, all of them are gone. Argyle is nothing but Oriental groceries and Vietnamese restaurants now. The saddest part was seeing the boarded up ruins of the Uptown and Riviera movie houses, where I sat in the dark and saw so many films back in the early 70s. The Uptown in particular needs to be saved. It was one of Chicago's largest and grandest movie palaces. Anyway, after I got back, I figured I'd write a trip report about Columbus and Chicago for Not A Blog. But I didn't.

Here in Santa Fe, our home renovations have been going ahead like... well, I was going to say, "gangbusters," but "housebusters" would be more accurate. Three-quarters of what we own is in storage, and the construction crew has ripped the roof off our house, torn out the ceilings and most of the walls on floors two and one-and-a-half, filled several huge dumpsters with chunks of what used to be our home. They keep telling us they are going to put it all back together twice as nice as before, but some days I wonder. Meanwhile, Parris and I are living in my office across the street, which isn't nearly big enough for the two of us and Caligula and Augustus too. Another three months and it will all be done, they say. I hope so. I was thinking I would write a long piece for Not A Blog about the trials and tribulations of home renovation. But of course I didn't.

I have had various visitors since my last update here, most recently Howard Waldrop, who passed through on his way to the Rio Hondo writer's workshop in Taos, and again on the way back. Howard's visits never last long enough. He and I have known each other since 1963, when I bought BRAVE & BOLD #28 from him (first JLA, donchaknow) for a quarter and we began to correspond. We were both in high school in those days, writing for comics fanzines. I was writing superhero stories in prose, and he was writing post-holocaust sword & sorcery about a hero called The Wanderer and "the Chronicles of Chim-Wazle." I keep telling Howard that I want that next Wanderer story, but he never listens. He's writing stuff about a guy named Tom Purdue instead... (or at least that's the story he told me to tell). I thought I might put something up here about Howard and his visit. But I didn't.

Oddly enough, I am still writing superhero stories in prose. Or editing them, at least. One of the BIG news items since my last update here is the rebirth of WILD CARDS, which I am very excited about. The WILD CARDS series has been a part of my life since 1985 (though admittedly there was one seven-year hiatus in there), and some of the characters go all the way back to 1983, when some of the New Mexico gang created them for a RPG called SUPERWORLD. It's a world I love, and one I feared that I might have lost when our last publisher went bankrupt, but Tor Books stepped in and saved the day, and WILD CARDS is coming back bigger and better than ever, with new stories, new writers, and new characters. I thought about writing about that here, but instead I wrote about it for my News page. So go read the details there... and then go out and read a WILD CARDS book, please. I promise you, it's good stuff.

Parris and I saw Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH last week. It is a powerful and persuasive statement, and surprisingly entertaining, and Gore exudes so much warmth and intelligence that I still wonder how the country could have chosen George W. Bush instead in 2000... oh, wait, I forgot, we DIDN'T! Just those rascals on the Supreme Court. Speaking of W (must we?), I see that when he was asked if he intended to see Gore's film, he replied, "Doubt it," with one of his patented monkey smirks. You know, it is irritating enough that this president is so ignorant about so many things, but what really infuriates me is that he WALLOWS in his ignorance and seems to take great joy in it. No, of course he is not going to see AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. He might have learned something. Anyway, I did think about writing some political stuff here. But I didn't.

I could go on. There were a whole bunch of other subjects I considered adding to Not A Blog. Some of them I even wrote in my head. (Ah, the stuff I write in my head... )

Of course, judging by my emails, very few of you would have cared much about my visit to Chicago, or Howard's visit here, or my home renovations, or even global warming (you SHOULD care about global warming, however, and if you don't know why, go see the Gore film, Al explains it much better than I could). All my emails are about A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. I made the mistake of saying on my Update page that I would update again in April, and I didn't. Mea culpa. The thing is, I have posted several updates here, and I thought that would suffice, but it would appear that a good percentage of the folks who visit my website go straight to Update and never check out any of the other pages or links, including this one.

I promise, I am going to update Update real soon now.

Meanwhile, for those who do read this page... yes, I am still working on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, and yes, I still hope to deliver it this fall, or by the end of the year at the latest.

I also have other news about A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. A couple of things, actually, that I think will please and excite fans of the series. Unfortunately, I can't talk about them yet. Watch my News page, though. I should have a few big announcements in the next few months.

I hope I will be back here for another Not A Blog before that. But I'm not promising.


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Jul. 9th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Did you see Why We Fight???
I haven't seen Gores movie yet but I will. I find your comments in this not a blog update very interesting. Specifically, you thinking that W is the issue. Conservative or liberal, it doesn't matter. Clinton bombed indisciminantly when he was caught with the 19 year old. American presidents use the military regardless of whether they are on the left or the right. I find it interesting that Madeline Albright suddenly has all the answers and likes to criticise so much but she was highly unspectacular as a SOS. It was on her watch that Bin Laden built up his empire and she did nothing to stop it.
The government is not trying to make this country better unfortunately. Its just a bunch of people that are trying to get reelected and control appropriations so they can get theirs.
Gore would have done the same thing but he would have done it for a slightly different group of people.
Jul. 9th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
Al Gore's movie may be entertaining, however. It has been consistently stated by any credible scientist not closely tied to a democratic/leftist source that pollution and mankind as a whole are not significantly altering the weather patterns.

In fact, the guy who original posed the theory has since been almost universally ridiculed and disproven by his colleagues because of bad practices in his methodology.
Jul. 10th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
Re: Eh...
You are kidding?!!! Please name a few...do.
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Jul. 10th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
In response to your comments on the "president"...I agree! Especially about him wallowing in his ignorance...it's as though knowledge has suddenly become unfashionable. Bleh.
As for "A Dance with Dragons"...shame on people rushing you, I say! Though I am DYING to see what happens in that book, I and all the other fans are perfectly capable of going about our daily lives with patience until it's out. I'll be first in line, whenever it comes out. : ) Just my two cents!

Jul. 12th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
Finally A Sensible Fan!!
We are all antsy about finding out what happens next, especially after the way Feast ended....But geez people, go to work, play with your kids, if you have none, make some. There's a whole world to be seen out there. The book will be done when it is done. And the very next day some will be wanting to know how much longer until the next ne is done......
Jul. 10th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Livejournal recognizes the HTML tags for italics. The tags are [i]example[/i], but with the characters [ and ] replaced by < and > respectively: example. Don't know if you prefer using caps, are not that familiar with lj, or what.
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
A lifetime of experience has taught me to avoid passing judgement on ANYONE even when they have repeatedly given me cause to do so. President Bush is no exception. An observation I've made (phrased in the form of an S.A.T. comprehension question) is that what tabloid reporters are to celebrities, celebrities often are to politicians (with about the same level of credibility). Often what is said (or reported) is true (and to quote Obie Wan) "from a certain point of view." What you claim (or report) often depends on what you believe, what your motivations are, and who your audience is. It seems that Mr. Martin's point of view is that the President needs a little culture, and since he's a Hollywood type (or was in a former life), the movies are as good a place as any to get that culture (from his point of view). But ask yourself this question - do you want a president who takes 3-4 hours out of his day to go to a movie, or do you want a president who is on the clock 24-7 working on domestic and foreign issues? Mr. Bush's plate is pretty full right at the moment, I want him on the clock. In that regard I don't believe skipping a film is in any way, shape, or form "wallowing in ignorance." To the contrary, it might be ignorant to suggest he attend any film, yet alone one for which he'll be required to make statements about. I don't necessarily agree with many things the President has done, but until we've walked a mile in his shoes, wouldn't our time be better spent pulling together as a country with positive suggestions and discussion rather than calling each other (as some children I know might say) "dummy heads" and "fart eaters."

And a personal note to Mr. Martin - With great power comes even greater responsibility. Please don't let your passions influence the influential. Rather choose the path of wisdon and offer suggestions, provide facts, and rely on your fellow Americans to come to their own conclusions. United we stand, divided we fall. If you want to be "the man" and unite us, put your name into the political arena and show us how it's done! George RR for President.... George RR for President! Then we'll be talking about "RR" on Crossfire rather than "W".

I once got tired of parents griping about my officiating at a little league game (when I was 16) and offered to any parent in the crowd the opportunity to come down on the field, put on the equipment, and take the lousy $15/game salary. Then I began calling them out by name and suggesting that their various unsavory quotes might make for a pretty interesting column in the local paper (that I occasionally wrote for). No one accepted my position and we got about 40 more calls than the usual 2 or 3 regarding my column - most were parents claiming "they'd sue" if their names showed up. My point was that these parents were inadvertenly influencing how their children behaved towards figures of authority - rather than offering their services as subject experts (on the subject of officiating) and calling their own children's games. Rather than griping about politicians, I think might it be better to become one. Take a few moments to read the Declaration of Independence if you've never done so. Once you get through the rhetoric you'll recognize that "fixing the problem" is what our forefathers had in mind back in 1776. I'm not speaking about open revolution. I'm speaking about fixing problems rather than just stirring the pot.

Of course all of these are opinions from my point of view.
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
Re: "Ignorance"
Wow.... bullseye!!!
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Jul. 11th, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)
write away
Whatever you write, I'll read -- and I'll consider it a privledge, too. Slai'nte!
Jul. 11th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
Remember when you freaked out and threatened not to finish your books because Bush got re-elected? Then you erased that threat from your page and it was never heard from again.

That was funny.

You write good books with lots of stabbing, though.
Jul. 11th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
I didn't see Al's film so maybe someone who saw it can answer me this: Did he or any other "expert" explain how the earth was hotter 400 years ago if civilization hadn't progressed yet to the industrial age? What caused the earth to be hotter 400 years ago? It certainly wasn't all those chariots and horse flatulence spewing pollution into the air. Mr. Martin, I like to think of you as a brilliant guy because of your books, but surely you can see through the propaganda. Global warming may be real, but mankind causing global warming is nothing more than theory (ok, "junk science"). It is well documented that the earth has gone through many warming and cooling cycles. Just because we are going through a warming cycle now does not mean that we are the cause of it.
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Jul. 11th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
we read it
We may read it late, but my son and I read everything you post here. So just keep putting it up. We'd probably read your grocery list if it was here; however, we are always happy when you haven't posted for awhile because we imagine you producing masses of pages for the next book.

Home renovation is the pits, and I think it's a law that if the roof is off your house it rains. Construction schedules never seem really accurate either, but it's worth it in the end.

Happy summer!
Jul. 12th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
I enjoyed the movie.
I thought it was nice of Mr. Gore to include the futurama clip...

Hey, George are you a fan of futurama, simpsons, or any of that jazz? (How about that jazz as well?)

Do you like cartoons? Old school? New school.... Semi-retro school?

I know you advertise yourself as a sort of old-school comic fanboy, but I've never heard you talking about cartoons really.

If nothing else I'll be disapointed if you didn't like the original live action batman.
Adam West was my hero.
Jul. 12th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
Al Gore's Movie
Actually, Al's Movie got a good review from, yup, you guessed it -- Actual climate scientists: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=299
Jul. 12th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
The President's Thoughts
I remember thinking during the 2000 presidential election that Gore was somewhat robotic, but after watching An Inconvenient Truth I found him to be an intelligent and charismatic leader. I mean, if George W. had lost the election, what would he have done with his free time? Certainly not what Gore has done. The movie really showed how serious an issue this is, and scared the hell out of me. My respect for Gore has increased dramatically.

Actually Mr. Will Farrell has a dead-on impression (and maybe pretty accurate portrayal) of ole George W's thoughts on Global Warming. It can be found here.
Enjoy. :)
Jul. 13th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Global Warming and Bush
I first became aware of global warming after reading an (admitedly over the top) article in OMNI magazine by Frederick Pohl back in 1979, interestingly around the same day I first read a short story by Goerge R.R. Martin called Sandkings. My subsequent research led me to be very concerned, so much so that I developed an interdisciplinary major combinig meteorology and ecology. Unfortunately, my AIM activities interfered with my studies at that time (I eventually got a law degree) but my interest in this topic has never waned.

There is now no scientific doubt that global warming is real. Whether humans significantly impact weather patterns is a different proposition to whether human activity has significantly impacted the climate. (Humans, can and do impact upon weather patterns as well, but that is another debate).

For the leader of a nation that is actively trying to make evry other nation on earth its clone, to sremain ignorant on a global issue is criminally negligent. Before being labeled as a left wing ideologue, I should advise that I am in fact apolitical when it comes to left/right politics.

As someone active in Indigenous Peoples issues, my politics are focussed on Tribal Sovereignty and following and protecting our land based spiritual beliefs. In the Unites States, the President most sympathetic to my views in the 20th Century was a Republican by the name of Richard Nixon. To many in Indian Country, Nixon has some redeeming qualities in terms of domestic policy.

So, the question for me in relation to the current President Bush is not where he sits on the political spectrum. It is where he sits on the intelligence/astuteness scale. On that scale, the only President that ranks lower then GW Bush is R Reagan. That they both happen to be Republicans is hopefully coincidental. It is somewhat disturbing that both have served two terms, which raises some issues regarding the American public casting a majority vote for charismatic imbeciles. There are a large number of Republicans that show a far greater understanding of issues then the current regime (McCain comes to mind). The intelligence/astuteness scale is important. Wiser minds might get into sticky situations, but they are far less likely to let them spiral out of control. Like the continuing fence sitting regarding global warming, and those who want to dispute its reality.
Jul. 13th, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)
Global Warming and Bush 2
The previous entry was written by myself, Michael Lane, currently resident in Whakatane, Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Jul. 13th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on Bush
First off, let me say I enjoy your books (and your updates). Please keep up the good work on your books. Unfortunately, I agree with your assessment of our fearless leader. I believe that the reason he's able to be ignorant and proud of it is because he lets "Prime Minster" Cheney do all of the thinking for him.

Jul. 13th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
Politics and authors, actors and other hate-America crowds
I like your books, your politics suck. Al Gore is a sick pseudo-intellectual that should be incarcerated as a traitor. If you want to do politics, disguise it in your books with a character with a sword in his hand or if it is a liberal - a dagger to stab into the back of an honest character.
Jul. 14th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC)
Re: Politics and authors, actors and other hate-America crowds
...spoken like a true ditto-head, Rush freak. You can bow to your Anne Coulter goddess anytime now. To tell someone to stay unpolitical is so undemocratic of you, sworn America lover. Can you love America if you are so undemocratic? The hate-America shoe fits better on you!
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