Monday, December 30, 2013

See, What Happened Was...

I used to work with salesmen.  I processed the orders that they would extract, sometimes by magic, conjuring, and fraud, from often shady customers in a strange suburb of the high-tech/telecom marketplace.  We did 85% of our business in the final 48 hours of each quarter, and in their desperate drive to make quota, these boys would often attempt to make ludicrous deals.  I would bring them to my once-beloved Boss Lady for approval.  Aware of (and sharing, to some extent) my disdain for salesman shenanigans, she would ask me what was wrong with the orders, and I would tell her.  She would roll her eyes and call the salesman and ask him what in the hell he was thinking.

His answer would invariably begin with, "See, what happened was..."

This hasn't much to do with what follows, other than to give you some idea of where my fondness for this post's title originated.  How I loved the VORTEX OF DOOM, for a while, there.

Anyway, in 2013, what happened was...


I went on and on about TURNING 40, despite the fact that this happened in 2007.  Look - here's a picture...

Joe, 10-Cane, Atlantic Ocean


Turned another year older, and despite the fact that we in the DC area were enjoying our third straight mild winter (after 2009-10, we were due for a break), I pined about things like THE FOUR MOST AWESOMEST WORDS FOR WINTER HATERS, and THE MYSTERIOUS AIR OF THE FLORIDA KEYS.  It can't really be described, that air, but I gave it a shot.  Also, I have a picture of it...

See?  Magic.


There was, of course, Madness.  In the midst of it, I did manage to post a few things, one of which was an EXCERPT from a long-neglected first draft of my second little novel.

The first week of April is usually one of the happiest of my year, with Spring and Opening Day and the end of March Madness, but this year...

Kidney Stone.  'Nuff said.
That much pain (and Oxycodone) made me think of weird stuff, like my COMPLETION BACKWARDS PRINCIPLE.  Objects in mirror, and all that noise...

Contrary to popular opinion, the past is NOT gaining on us.


"The writing was on the wall, and she recognized the hand."  I jotted this down on a post-it, but couldn't find a place to use it.  Also, baseball!


My story ideas come from odd places.  I'm sure that's true for most writers, but it still amazes me.  My friends at STUDIO 30 PLUS posted the prompt "enormity," and I took that, added an old Kate Bush song, and out popped HEADS WE'RE DANCING.  There's not much more to it than some snappy dialogue, but from that strange beginning... July Camp NaNoWriMo novel would grow.  And grow.  And grow.  All I remember about July is writing, staycationing, drinking, and weighing less than I had in many years.  Oh - plus, "Sharknado!"  Okay, July is in the lead for Best Month, now.


Just in case my hobo stories were beginning to wear thin, I did an exercise in efficiency, in the form of  88 LINES ABOUT 44 HOBOES.  It's also a nod to the songwriting of The Nails.


Speaking of writing, after being canceled and resurrected three times, one of the best-written shows on TV finally reached its bittersweet finale, when Futurama's final episode aired.  Also, THIS happened.  


More work on that July novel happened, and so did [Maris]'s and my annual visit to our Happy Place, the OBX of NC.  See...


Also - and I know I'm showing my age, here - I could not pass up the opportunity to see my 80's heroes Simple Minds at DC's legendary 9:30 Club.  I hope it wasn't the last time, but if it was, they certainly went out on a high note...

Don't You...


My final National Novel Writing Month.  A typical boy-meets-ghost story, blah blah blah.  Besides that, Thanksgiving, and a bunch of terrible "football," I remember nothing of November.  [Maris] assures me that she had a great time, and got a ton of reading done.


I remember most of this month!  I started getting caught up, with THINGS FOR WHICH I'M THANKFUL, and a LETTER TO A CONCEPT, and a few NEW HOBOES.  Plus - and please believe me when I tell you this iPhone video clip does not begin to do justice to this night - there was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra...

There.  2013.  Thank you for reading my stuff.

What lies ahead?  2014 lies ahead.  And change, hopefully.  More hoboes, I suppose, to keep the three people who enjoy those stories happy.  Beyond that, I have a manuscript to prepare for countless rejections and hopefully one acceptance, and a lot of adjustments to make to my existence in this drivel-y place and elsewhere.

Come with me...

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