How long does it take a cruise ship to build up to full speed?

I really derailed myself pretty good last week.  I would have liked to have belted something out just to meet the deadline, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it…plus whenever I sat down to write I was all fevery and my paragraphs were essentially gibberish.  What was annoying was that it’s not like I was dying of the plague.  I felt okay as far as things went, my brain just couldn’t put one thought in front of the other.  It might have been fun to force myself to write something and see what came out but I opted for resting and trying to get better.

Not the point.  Point being this current story was supposed to be a pretty stupid story to begin with, but when I give myself more time to work on something sometimes I get it into my head that I should tinker a lot with everything and try and make it work on a billion different levels and have all sorts of sly jokes and hidden references and things like that.  Basically it starts becoming more fun to think about writing the story than it does to actually write the thing.   A half a step after that is never writing the story because it never seems to live up to your expectations.  Which isn’t good.  So I’m just going to write this mother and be done with it.  It’s stupid.  It’s been done before.  And the punchline is, I realize now, kind of stolen directly from Douglas Adams.  But I need to get it done so I can move on and get the next one in on time and thereby get this cruise ship back on track.

This was bound to happen eventually.

So I seriously underestimated how much family time I’d be putting in this week and how far along I’d be on my story by now.  Which is not very far at all.

Even then I’d be doing okay if I hadn’t come down with a cold or a flu or one of those things…I never know the difference.  Whatever I’ve got I’m feverish and not able to stay awake for large amounts of time.  Anyway, there’s very little chance of me putting together a story by tomorrow so I think I’m going to be calling a do-over for the first time since I started this project.

Sorry.  Once every six months isn’t so bad.  I don’t know if I’ll be pushing this story back a full two weeks or if I’ll try and finish it up ASAP and then work on getting story 14 done by it’s previously scheduled time or what.  Right now I’m just going to work on getting through the week, eating chicken soup, and getting myself healthy.

Something witty.

It just hit me that I have a story due in a week.  I’ve been thinking about my story and on some level I knew it was due but it hadn’t exactly sunk in yet.  There always is a bit of a natural high after finishing a Matthew and Epp story that blinds me to the project as a whole.  They have a lot of momentum behind them and I reenter a much larger world and it takes me…well I guess it takes me about a week to stop tinkering with that world and get back to other stories.   Also I’m not trying to do calculus anymore, which is nice.

Plus it’s Christmas next week, so on the one hand I have days off but on the other they’ll be filled with family and food and gifts and good cheer and all that crap.  I guess what sunk in a few hours ago was that I basically have to write this whole story on Saturday because I’m not going to be guaranteed any other free time.

Rock on.


I was walking home today and I started noticing the cars parked and driving all around me. There were white cars and gray cars and beige cars and tan cars and black cars and I started to realize that cars nowadays come in the broadest array of boring-ass colors ever. Granted, I was only able to take a small sampling, but I did keep my eyes open all during my walk to the PATH and all during my walk up Central Park West and I saw barely any cars with some verve to them. Maybe one or two red cars, and even those were a sort of muted maroon red, so I’m not sure they count. The most colorful thing out there were the taxi cabs, but, again, they’re a kind of matte yellow now.

What’s the deal? Where are the cars that pop? It wasn’t always like this.

America, where hath your whimsy gone?

It’s a safe bet this is all just me procrastinating.


I have wormholes on the brain.  Which is just so nerdy.  This picture is of a wormhole.  Simple, right?  So clearly I’m going to have to set this story in the future…because of course it has to have wormholes in it.  Only now I’m sitting around part watching South Park and part thinking about how to go about building the future.  What light bulbs will look like.  What sort of clothes people will be wearing.  What they’ll eat.  Things like that.  It’s fun and completely and utterly pointless.  Which is the sort of thing I enjoy spending my time thinking about.  That and Ricardo’s Theory of Comparative Advantage.  And the wealth of nations.  And the brotherhood of man.  I think they’re all the same thing.  I’ll write a story about that at some point.

Where was I?

Okay.  Back to work.  Morons and wormholes.  Just like I promised myself yesterday.

That shouldn’t be too difficult.

I’ve been watching more of The Universe on The History Channel. The show is baffling. And not because it talks about worm holes and quasars, but because it seems intent on scaring the hell out of me. They have any number of great interviews from scientists and professors from all over, and every one of them is smiling and happy and excited to be talking about what they love. One guy can’t stop grinning about possibly sending a probe to crack the ice on Io, another gets wide-eyed explaining how the first planet outside of our solar system was detected, and a third chuckles describing the intense heat and radiation on the surface of the planet Mercury. And it’s all good until the narrator starts talking. Then it always takes a strange turn because all the narrator does is paint horrible pictures in a low booming doomsday voice explaining how whatever the happy scientist just said could possibly spell total destruction for all of us. It’s very odd.

Anyway, this is to say that I think The Universe is going to influence my next story. I made this threat awhile ago while I was writing “Black Eyed Susan,” and it didn’t really pan out…but this time I mean it.

On the other hand, I realized this morning that over the past three stories I’ve gone from a burnt out genius in Jacob, to an evil genius in Mr. Skullcrusher, to possibly the greatest genius ever in Isaac Newton. I’m sick of geniuses. This next story is going to be about a moron. And worm holes. Somehow.

Why Matthew and Epp drive me crazy.

Here’s a list of things I researched while writing that last story.  Looking at it all at once it seems beyond insane.  For some reason I had a large drive to really and truly learn these things.  I mean I was trying to do calculus.  I hate calculus:

Calculus, Isaac Newton (I read an 800 page biography), Trinity college, the etymology of names in Japanese culture, clothing in the 1600’s, calculus, universal gravity, how light works to produce colors, Buddhism and Shintoism, comets, English geography, calculus, building methods in the 1600’s, samurai weapons, Bethesda fountain, history of medicine, alchemy, calculus, etc.

The weird things is that I’m pretty sure I still screwed a ton of things and that the parts that came out the best were the ones where I only had a tiny bit of actual information and I just bullshitted my way through the rest.

I’ve earned my treat.


That last story was all sorts of weird. I haven’t written a recap for a story in a while but I’m toying with the idea of doing one for next week because that was…odd. I found myself researching things all over the place, just pulling things out of the air and forcing myself to at least try and learn them so I could approach them as naturally as possible when it came time to use them in the story. Weird stuff.

But for now I get to relax a bit and watch a whole bunch of Season 4 of The Wire.

And since this is a post-story-post, I’m going to once again mention that if you like what you’re reading, please tell a friend. Spread the word a bit.

And if you haven’t been acquainted with Matthew and Epp yet than you should really give Second Choice a read and go from there. There’s some interesting things afoot.