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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our Star Trek Christmas tree

I’ve gathered a lot of ornaments over the years. When I was a kid, it was a tradition that we’d get several from various family members on Christmas morning. So I came into our marriage with a bin or two filled with ornaments. Given my geek history, a lot of my ornaments were Star Trek-themed.

Dina was a good sport about it, but eventually pointed out that the shuttle craft Galileo and Lt. Commander Worf didn’t exactly fill her with Christmas cheer.

So she made an awesome suggestion: how about a second tree, one devoted to all things geeky? For going on ten Christmases now, we’ve been assembling our “Star Trek tree,” with blue and white lights, blue and silver ball ornaments, and an assortment of Star Trek ornaments punctuated by a few other geek-friendly friends, like Spider-Man, Godzilla, Superman, and Star Wars. (Alex, world’s biggest Luke Skywalker fan, takes particular delight in our two Star Wars ornaments—classic only, of course. No Jar Jar here.)

The tree topper is my classic Mego Captain Kirk, the topmost branches sliding under his belt.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post a few pictures this entire holiday season, but finally got around to it. Enjoy, and I hope you had a great Christmas.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My favorite holiday shirt


Yeah, I look a little goofy, but that’s just playing the hand nature dealt.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Adventures in Tulsa

I had a great day-trip yesterday. The Ink Slingers, a very cool writers' group in the Tulsa/Broken Arrow area, flew me up to Tulsa to attend one of their meetings. I got to spend some very enjoyable time talking to Travis, Heather, Flea, Eric, and Mark about the craft of writing, about how I managed to get published, about their own work, and more. It was a really nice experience that brought back memories of my graduate school days; it can be very energizing and inspiring to talk about writing with other writers, and this was a great group.

Lunch at Ted's Cafe Escondido was also excellent. More writing talk, this time with chips, queso, fajitas, and sopapillas. They know how to treat a guy.

Flea won the award for the second-weirdest request I've received in regard to author stuff. She wanted me to pose for pictures with her ceramic cows. (The weirdest was the lady who asked me to stomp on a book.) I think Flea must have taken several dozen pictures of me with those cows. But I kid--she was very hospitable and all of the Ink Slingers I met are like new friends. Flea blogged about the visit, so please read about that at her blog here (where she's giving away a copy of Devil's Cape to boot).

Thanks again to the Ink Slingers for a very nice visit.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rest easy, Andy

My friend Andy Mathews died yesterday.

Maybe I'm being presumptuous in claiming friendship with someone I never met in person, whose voice I never heard, but I considered Andy a friend, someone I'd known online for years, gamed with, exchanged e-mails and books with, joked with.

Andy was a talented designer who worked for Hero Games, someone who enjoyed gaming and superheroes and storytelling and a good number of things I consider important. He was kind and generous. I think he got a kick out of me naming a very minor character in my book after him, and he was very supportive of my writing.

I didn't know much about Andy's life outside of the narrow window of gaming that I shared with him. I only found out about his death today, and didn't even know until now that he had a blog. I read a couple of entries this afternoon and found myself missing and appreciating him even more.

My deep sympathies go to Andy's widow and his two sons, as well as his other family and friends.

You can read a little more about Andy on the Hero Games boards here and here, and some of his friends at Lost Coast Gaming are making tributes on that site. I found an obituary for him here.

I'll really miss you, Andy. I always figured I'd get to meet you in person at a convention one of these days and was really, really looking forward to that. I'm sorry that I won't get that chance.

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