Smart Choices

I love it when characters make smart choices. The other night I watched Castle. Once the story got going it developed along pretty obvious lines. I did like that they presented a new side to Kevin Ryan, one of the homicide detectives, who went undercover with the Irish mob. However, as the climax approached you knew the bad guys were on to him. The second-in-command took him for a ride out to the docks where they met up with the head of the mob and Ryan’s old girlfriend who they had fingered as the informant. Kevin was given a gun and told to prove his loyalty and kill her. A friend asked me what I thought would happen next. I said he’d refuse to shoot her and would turn the gun on the mob boss and then he’d discover the gun was empty. It was a test and he’d fail, then Castle and company would arrive in the nick of time to save him. Which is what happened, except for a smart twist. Kevin had lifted the second-in-command’s cell phone (there was a scene where he tried to leave and they grappled for a minute) and called the station. They’d been listening in to the entire conversation and had surrounded the area. Smart move and it made the somewhat predictable climax much more interesting. Especially when Kevin started calling out for his support. He called for Esposito who steps out from cover with a rifle trained on them. Next comes Beckett. She pops up also with gun in hand. Then he yells for Castle, who pops out from behind...

Learning Something New

A coyote came by today. I watched it trot down the drive and disappear in the corner behind a tree near the fence. Since I couldn’t see it anymore I walked away from the window and went into the kitchen for a glass of water. When I returned, I moved the curtains aside to look out the window again to see if I could spot the coyote. It was right in front of the window, about 5-7 feet away. I startled it when I pushed the curtains aside and it jumped back and looked up at me with ice blue eyes. We stared at each other for about 10 seconds then it scampered away, out of sight. It looked young to me, not full grown. And I was started by the eye color. I thought coyotes had yellow or golden colored eyes, so I checked with Google. It turns out that young coyotes have blue eyes, and then they change to yellow, gold, or brown when they get older. Some adult coyotes have blue eyes, but it’s rare. The eye color confirmed that this was a young coyote. The photo I posted here is actually one I took last year. The one I saw today was about 3/4 ths this size. Not as furry and much skinnier. And a whole lot closer. After reading about coyotes, I thought how nice it was to learn something new. That’s the one thing I miss about getting older. Okay, not the only thing, but one of the things I miss—not going to school anymore. I liked learning. I hated tests, but I...

Learning Something New

A coyote came by today. I watched it trot down the drive and disappear in the corner behind a tree near the fence. Since I couldn’t see it anymore I walked away from the window and went into the kitchen for a glass of water. When I returned, I moved the curtains aside to look out the window again to see if I could spot the coyote. It was right in front of the window, about 5-7 feet away. I startled it when I pushed the curtains aside and it jumped back and looked up at me with ice blue eyes. We stared at each other for about 10 seconds then it scampered away, out of sight. It looked young to me, not full grown. And I was started by the eye color. I thought coyotes had yellow or golden colored eyes, so I checked with Google. It turns out that young coyotes have blue eyes, and then they change to yellow, gold, or brown when they get older. Some adult coyotes have blue eyes, but it’s rare. The eye color confirmed that this was a young coyote. The photo I posted here is actually one I took last year. The one I saw today was about 3/4 ths this size. Not as furry and much skinnier. And a whole lot closer. After reading about coyotes, I thought how nice it was to learn something new. That’s the one thing I miss about getting older. Okay, not the only thing, but one of the things I miss—not going to school anymore. I liked learning. I hated tests, but I...

Deadline

I had a deadline on Tuesday, which is why I didn’t get a blog up on Monday. Apologies to those few hardy souls who checked in with me. This deadline had been looming over me for the past several weeks. As it approached I felt more and more stressed about getting the job done, mainly because information I needed to do my part hadn’t arrived. I finally gave up waiting for it and tried to do my part as best as I could. I hate working without boundaries. It’s much harder to pull together a strong design when you don’t know the shape and size of the parts that will have to be included. It almost always requires redoing my work to accommodate it. The information finally arrived and I was able to get the job done in time. I made the deadline. But that started me thinking about the origin of the word deadline. I felt mentally dead by the time I turned in the job but I was pretty sure that wasn’t the original intent of the word. A quick check on Google gave me three possibilities. The first dates back to Civil War times and refers to the area around a prisoner-of-war camp that was the kill zone. If a prisoner stepped into that area it was okay for the soldiers to shoot him. It was the dead-line. You were dead if you crossed it. That was a little too graphic for me. I didn’t want actual death associated with the term, even if mentally that was how I felt. On to the next possibility, which...

The Quarterfinals Are Here

Pyro made the quarterfinals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. I’m cautiously excited. I’ll get a Publisher’s Weekly review, which, hopefully, might help me sell it. Last year Snake Talker got a great review from PW, and that got me to the semifinals. Maybe this year I can make it to the finals. You never know. It’s all subjective. It’s like a painting. Some people will like it, some won’t. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad painting. And it doesn’t mean it’s a good painting. You just have to hope that the people who like it are the ones in...