Showing posts from December, 2023

10 for 2023: How Did I Do?

Given the times we live in, the idea of New Year's Resolutions seems idiotic, but I'm doing it anyway because lists are easy to make and strangely satisfying to cross things off of. But before I launch on yet another exercise in mild futility (I do usually get some of these things accomplished), it's time to look back on 2023 and see how I did:  1. Big Writing Goal for the Year: Get Book 4 into the draft format by the end of the year. I'm currently working my way through Chapter 5 and I'm sitting at 25,744 words. It's been challenging so far: I'm sticking to a single POV for the first time in a book, I'm writing well outside my usual genre preferences so far, and writing consistently and well is hard, y'all. But enough is enough-- time to light this candle and git 'er done. Okay, here's the story with Book 4. I was plowing through, heading into Chapter 8, the wind was in my sails and then I got a note. A note so damn good, so brilliant that

Squawk Box: Sex Education Season 4/Jack Ryan Season 4

I know there's this trend in Hollywood of bringing things back or announcing reboots or revivals, but occasionally, I think it would be great for people to remember that it's all right for things to just end, you know. And Sex Education is one of those shows. The final season was just about everything you could possibly ask for in a final season and where everyone ends up is so unbelievably satisfying. Season Four opens with Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) trying to make a long distance relationship work. She is still in America, studying at a creative writing program. Otis is still... awkward and when she sends him a nude photo on his first day at a new college, Cavendish-- which ticks all the boxes for being friendly, inclusive, environmentally aware and, of course, progressive, the usual shenanigans ensue. Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) finds community with the most popular students known as 'The Coven.' Isaac (George Robinson) enrolls at Cavendish with an eye to

What Should We Do About TikTok?

I am aware that there's more than a little hypocrisy lurking behind this post. I'm on TikTok. I use it. I send TikToks to the Missus and she sends Instagram reels to me. We're the perfect portrait of a married couple with four kids in 21st-century America that way. I also am a proponent of Free Speech. I don't have the legal knowledge to say with any certainty what the Constitutional issues might be. Montana's statewide ban was knocked down on the grounds of prior restraint and a few other things I hadn't considered. A ban would probably amount to the government picking and choosing platforms which probably runs afoul of the 1st Amendment in some way. A Federal Ban might be different-- as national security concerns would come into play and I would imagine, you'd have to balance those out in a way that might not preclude a ban.  But who knows? There are, after all, other platforms available to folks (Instagram Reels are pretty close to the same thing, imo) an

Bookshot #172: The Hollow Crown

This book was one of my UK haul and I almost put it back and picked up a 'biography of Parliament' which seemed a lot more interesting and more in my political science wheelhouse. However, I'm glad I didn't. History books are kind of interesting for me to grapple with- especially when it comes to reviewing them. On the one hand, my poli-sci brain kicks to life and I want to look at things from a more academic perspective. On the other hand, as a reader, I want to be informed and not bored to death. Happily, Dan Joes managed to satisfy both 'hands' with his excellent history of the Wars of the Roses. I will be honest: the biggest takeaway from this book was learning that there was so much before Richard III- and yes, my knowledge of the Wars of the Roses stems mainly from Shakespeare. Richard III, the Princes in the Tower, him being all twisty and scoliosis'd up and wandering around Bosworth Field, demanding a horse. (Al Pacino did a really great- I don'