September Songs

[NOTE: I had this update ready to go when I discovered my site had been severely hacked by Russian pornspammers. Apparently they felt the same audience for my books would also be interested in their experiments with camera erotique. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.]

Friday evening…
Fentiman'sI’m sitting in my underground lair, tapping away on this much-overdue post with little bit of help from a bottle of hipster tonic water and The Real Tuesday Weld.

It’s been over a year since I gave up alcohol, over a week since I gave up meat. And now I’ve got my eye on caffeine. It looks like my primary addiction might turn out to be cold turkey.

Of course, the lair is probably teeming with all sorts of free radicals and dangerous emissions. If the EMFs don’t get me, then the incense probably will.

Death and Other Exaggerations
Having spent the majority of the day sequestered in meetings, I managed to avoid the mild firestorm of rumors regarding Steve Jobs.

Virtually everything I do professionally and creatively is, in one way or another, implemented using something developed by Apple. Most of the entertainment and media I enjoy comes through those devices as well and, in all likelihood, was created using Apple products or deeply influenced by them.

And while there is a pantheon of exceptional minds at work there, no one disputes that Steve Jobs is the Monad.

His resignation last month wasn’t a surprise. Neither will be the news of his death.

Steve Jobs

I’ll feel it, when he goes.

I felt a twinge of that earlier this evening, seeing the faint edge of the ripples spreading out from the now-unconfirmed posting from CBS News.

He didn’t just change the world. He changed my world.

And I hope he still is — I hope he still will be — for a long while yet.

Life in a Day
DaytripperSpeaking of life and death, of legacy and loss…

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but absolutely the best thing I’ve read in a long, long time is Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. I got a copy for my birthday (appropriately enough from my father*) and, after staying up late and sobbing all the way through it, I promptly gave it away the next day to a visiting friend.

Then I bought a new copy. I’m sure I’ll give that one away as well, in time.

It’s just plain beautiful. You should read it.

At the very least, read my soppy, effusive review of it here on Goodreads.

* You’ll have to read it to understand why.

The Music of the Spheres
SpotifyAbout a month ago I got an invite to Spotify and it took me about five minutes to realize that springing for the premium level was a no-brainer.

I have to say, it’s completely revolutionized the way I listen to music.

I don’t just have to say it, I want to say it. And I do, to almost everyone who’s patient enough to listen.

I know when something really, really works when I find myself proselytizing for it everywhere I go.

(And it’s not even an Apple product, so that should be even more persuasive coming from me.)

Giving it Away
I spent last night and tonight getting a load of books ready to ship out. It feels good, signing copies of Assam & Darjeeling and Matters of Mortology, wrapping them up in my secretspecial paper.*

I’m really looking forward to sending them off.

It’s a bit of work but I wanted to get it done ahead of the end of my giveaway on Goodreads. There’s ten copies of each book . . . and there’s almost 2,000 people hoping to win one. That feels good as well. I’d send each and every one of them a copy if I could.

The contest ends this weekend, but there’s still time to enter as well. So why not give it a shot?

*Sorry. You’ll just have to buy a signed copy to find out for yourself.

Where the Heart Is
SoldI noticed a few weeks back that there was a house for sale around the block from where we live. It was a nice big place, lots of character and all I needed was a quick peek in some of the windows to start obsessing over it. A quick peek online only added fuel to the fire.

After a few weeks of meandering by it whenever I happened to have the baby out for her walk, I finally got up the guts to contact the realtor about it . . . and received an immediate reply that the house was already sold.

Mild obsession means only mild disappointment. I shrugged it off and went on, operating under the assumption that the gods would lead us to the right place in the right time.

Just like always.

This evening I took the baby for a walk. Following her directions, she led me straight back to the house.

Helping her climb the front steps so she could peek in the front window, I realized I had only myself to blame.

(It’s worth mentioning that my wife — though more than willing to indulge me — did not share my obsession. She notes that the house “looks like a frog” and that she didn’t like the look of the “scraggly-ass” pine trees out front. She’s right on both counts.)

Where the Heart Is, Part Two
GhanaMy two oldest children are in Ghana. They’ve been there for over a month and they won’t be back until just before Christmas.

With Skype and Facebook and texting it’s barely manageable. I wish they had a more reliable (and more accessible) Internet connection. I wish they were able to spend more time talking with their baby sister. And I wish teenagers were a little more interested in talking to their boring old dad.

I’d also like it if they spent less time around crocodiles.

But it’s a good experience, travel is a real gift at their age, this sort of adventure is a rare thing and blahblahblah . . . hell. I just miss ‘em.

Preview of a Review
Ginnie DareI’ve been reading Scott Roche’s Ginnie Dare and enjoying it. I’m looking forward to writing a proper review once I finish, but you probably won’t go wrong if you just go ahead and check it out. It’s a nice, solid Sci-Fi yarn.

Preview of a Preview
Right now, The Cradle is going through the final round of proofreads. At some point this weekend I’ll record a healthy hunk of it for the next episode of The Gospel of Thomas. Because I’m a tease.

The book goes on sale in October. But you’ll probably want to read Assam & Darjeeling before you pick it up (or listen to the preview on The Gospel of Thomas).

Like the lady said: Spoilers, sweetie.

Review of a Review
And, not too long ago, Odin wrote

One of the reasons I liked this story so much is that it put me in mind of many of the Russian stories I’ve read. Mr. Camp made me feel like I was once again pouring over the words of Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov where the story is told by the author with minimal dialogue rounding out the scenes.

It’s not often (i.e. never ever) that my work gets compared to Dostoyevsky. While I don’t feel I deserve the comparison, it made me very happy.

And, of course, you can read, listen to, and buy Matters of Mortology here.

Mercury Rising
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard more people than ever discussing how the planet Mercury being in retrograde was affecting their lives. That I heard anyone discussing it at all was interesting because, well, it’s something I usually haven’t heard people talk about before. Strangers seemed to bring it up all around me.

Also, many of the people I know personally who bemoaned the effect on their communication, technology and so forth . . . well, it seems to me that they’re usually having trouble with their communication, technology, and so forth all year round.

But poor Mercury gets all the blame.

Mercury in Transpose

My daughter was at a sleepover tonight, so Sam and I had a chance to hang out a bit and watch some movies with Keeley. Bruce Lee biopics, a little bit of the X-Files. Then bedtime.

I stayed up for a while, to try and keep sorting through the mess I’ve made of things over the past few months on the novel. Some progress, but not much. We’re still working our way through the Winter Palace — which is one of my favorite episodes so far, but I sure wish I had written it better the first time.

And now I’m tired. I was told today that Mercury is in transpose, or something equally foreboding.

All I know is, it’s time for bed…