Archive for July, 2012

Time of the Sines

Monday, July 30th, 2012

What can I say, when it comes to bad pun titles for blogposts, I just have an itchy trig finger.

For me, freelancing often feels like a sine wave, as the projects tend to come in “boom” and “bust” cycles.* A few months ago was a nice boom, when I wrote the rough draft of my next book, and also did some work for Fodor’s Travel Guides travelling the Berkshires. Then I had a bust cycle, and I re-discovered that I am addicted to video games between Steam and a ceaseless torrent of indie bundles.

Now, it is boom time once again, with the page proofs for my book having literally just arrived a few minutes before I wrote this post. This means I basically get to re-read my book and fail to find typos because I am so familiar with the material that my mind will probably miss them. But the good news is, I am pleased to announce that before the end of the year, my next book It Happened In Rhode Island will be available for purchase. More information in coming months.

Meanwhile, the most exciting new development for me is that I have been hired on to help with an educational project. This is still in the early stages, so details will have to wait for later, but suffice to say I am finally able to both put my talents to use and have the result be educational in addition to entertaining, and to get paid for that is pretty much what I want to do with my life.**

Oh right, my life. Well, I am Still Not Dead, albeit no thanks to my parents’ pantry, and continue to enjoy each day. My partner, whose office you may recall was closed down a few months back, has decided to take up knitting as a career, and has been cranking out socks that look pretty awesome. Once these are in sufficient quantity to be for sale, I will let you know. I can tell you from personal experience last winter, these are much, much better than normal socks for making your feet happy.

Meanwhile, an increase in knitting*** means a decrease in boardgaming, both due to time constraints, and table covered in knitting stuff. We’ve still played a few games, like Vikings and Ascension, but with everything else taking up time and space I may have to — *gasp* — sell some of my board games. Not my favorite ones, of course, but just some of the others. I guess that’s a bit of a tangent.

* Or as we refer to them in the biz, “holy crap I have a ton of work to do in the next three weeks” and “no wonder my parents don’t think I can make a living as a writer”.

** Which reminds me, with Rosh Hashanah coming up, it’s the perfect time to buy a copy of From God To Verse.

*** If I were a knitter, I’d have some clever pun about increases and decreases here. For once, I’m sad not to be a knit-wit. Maybe a joke about clutching your purls? I don’t understand knitting.

June 31st

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Just back from performing stand-up at a Chocolate Festival. This marks the first time I can recall where there were so many kinds of chocolate to sample, I became full before I’d even tried half of them. I definitely hope to go back next year, especially since the stand-up went well too. Here’s a joke I didn’t think was good enough to tell: I used to have blackberry bushes in my backyard, but then I found out my soil was contaminated with lead. So I tore out the bushes because I couldn’t stop eating the berries anyway. In retrospect, I could have used them to make Pb+J.*

So, my set was funnier than that. Speaking of food firsts, June also marks my first time making nime chow at home, a delightful experience I hope to repeat often, because yum, nime chow. My most recent local restaurant review was of a new Austrian place, and while I found it only mediocre, I’m pleased with my headline for the review.

Speaking of headlines**, my column this week was about Headline News, basically headline jokes the kind you might hear on a talk show. And the week before that I explain that my endeavors in comedy stem largely from the fact that I am seeking approval.

Game-wise, a friend lent us Through The Ages, and we have been playing it obsessively. As in, sometimes 4-5 times a week, which is a lot for a 3-hour game. We haven’t played a game this much since Goa. At some future point, I’ll have to review it, but I’ve only played a single multi-player game so I’m still holding off. Meanwhile, it’s an incredibly compelling 2-player experience, and always leaves me thinking, “Next time I’m going to try…”, which I believe is often a sign of a great game.

* Making puns about “lead” is very difficult in writing, since the pronunciation as “led” screws up a lot of the possibilities.

** Which you get from corduroy pillows. ***

*** Which is another joke I decided to cut from my stand-up this time around.