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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
kradical
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The first draft of the tie-in novel is done. It's now with three beta-readers, and I've got it loaded on the tablet in order to read it over while I'm at TrekTrax this weekend.

For now, however, to bed I go.........................

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull

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I'm on The G&T Show Supplemental Log talkin' Klingon Art of War
I'm interviewed by Nick Minecci, Michael Madeiros, and the mighty Terry Lynn Shull on The G&T Show Supplemental Log, a special episode in which I talk about The Klingon Art of War, TrekTrax Atlanta, the DS9 Rewatch, and a whole bunch of other nifty things.....

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: the Yankees-Red Sox game on YES

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A reminder that I've got a bunch of things coming out this year.

In May, we've got Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War, packaged by becker&meyer! and published by Gallery Books. I'll be promoting this book -- which tells you all about how to live your life as a proper warrior -- all up and down the east coast, at TrekTrax Atlanta this weekend and at Singularity & Co., Pandemonium Books & Games, and the Enigma Bookstore in May. [preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, or from the publisher]

Also in May, there's Bad-Ass Faeries: It's Elemental, from Dark Quest Books. This fourth antho featuring, well, bad-ass faeries has my Cassie Zukav story "Undine the Boardwalk" in it, as well as stories by Danny Birt, N.R. Brown, James Chambers, Judi Fleming, Bethany Herron, Lee C. Hillman, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Kimberley Long-Ewing, Jody Lynn Nye, Peter Prellwitz, James Daniel Ross, James R. Stratton, Patrick Thomas, and DL Thurston. As with the previous BAF anthos, it's edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeffrey Lyman, Lamplighter, and Hillman. There'll be a launch party for this anthology (as well as some other Dark Quest titles) at Balticon over Memorial Day weekend. [preorder from the publisher]

In addition, if you supported my Kickstarter for the Dragon Precinct story "Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty," you should be getting that by the end of May.

In the summer, we've got "Merciless," which is an adventure in the Firefly: Echoes of War role-playing game from Margaret Weis Productions. It's my first RPG adventure, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how gamers respond to it.... [get the core book in PDF from DriveThroughRPG]

In late summer, Dark Quest will be publishing With Great Power..., an anthology of superhero stories, which includes a new SCPD story called "Stone Cold Whodunit." This anthology, which is edited by John L. French and Greg Schauer, will be debuted at the grand reopening of Schauer's Between Books store in Delaware. Other contributors include Michael A. Black & Ray Lovato, James Chambers, C.J. Henderson, Ted Hertel Jr., Sean Patrick Little, Gail Z. Martin, Bernie Mojzes, KT Pinto, Hildy Silverman, Brian Thomas, Patrick Thomas, and Raymond J. Witte, with an introduction by Jonathan Maberry.

Also in the late summer, Sequart should be releasing New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics, which has my essay on the period when WildStorm had the Trek comics license. Other essays in this collection are by Jim Beard, Joseph F. Berenato (also the editor of the book), Julian Darius, Kevin Dilmore, Robert Greenberger, Rich Handley, Mark Martinez, Tom Mason, David A. McIntee, Martín A. Pérez, Alan J. Porter, Colin Smith, Scott Tipton, Cody Walker, and Dayton Ward. The foreword is by David Gerrold, and the plan is to release the book at Shore Leave.

In the fall, we'll have REDACTED, the tie-in novel I'm feverishly writing even as we speak. Hope to have more on that by the end of May.

In October, JournalStone will publish Out of Tune, an anthology of stories based on sea ballads edited by the mighty Jonthan Maberry. That will also have a Cassie Zukav story, this one called "Fish Out of Water," and there'll also be stories by Kelley Armstrong, Gary Braunbeck, Gregory Frost, Christopher Golden, Simon R. Green, Nancy Holder, Del Howison, Jack Ketchum, David F. Kramer, David Liss, Seanan McGuire, Steve Niles, and Catherynne M. Valente.

And by the end of the year, the final novel in the "Precinct" series (probably), Mermaid Precinct will be released by Dark Quest. I say last because, well, I've run out of precincts, and I think six books (five novels, one short story collection) is a good run. But I've got more stories that I want to tell in the universe, so if nothing else there may be a seventh book called More Tales from Dragon Precinct, plus there are other possible avenues of storytelling. Anyhow, either way, Mermaid Precinct will be out this year, as Torin and Danthres must solve the murder of the Pirate Queen.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: the Yankees-Red Sox game on YES

kradical
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Only nine days left to help out C.J. Henderson by supporting the Monkeying Around for A Good Cause anthology! All proceeds from this anthology, which has tons of cool authors in it (like Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Tanya Huff, Nancy Holder, Michael Stackpole, Gene Wolfe, Mike Resnick, and tons more) will support Ceej in his fight against lymphoma. Please help an excellent writer and a fine human being out!

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Black Mamba" by Jethro Tull

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Star Wars fans shocked to learn that their novels aren't canon, either
So there is nerd outrage over the (completely predictable and reasonable) comment made to the Hollywood Reporter by Simon Kinberg, one of the screenwriters of the upcoming Episode 7 of the Star Wars film saga, which boil down to, "We won't be paying attention to the SW novels and comics when we write our screenplay." Which means that, yes, SW novels and comics are not canon and never were, claims by the fanbase and Lucas to the contrary.

Here's my response (originally posted on Tor.com as a comment to Emily Asher-Perrin's article on this revelation):

Canon arguments/discussions always make me want to beat someone until they bleed. I really do not understand why people get arsed over what's real in a fictional construct.

Yes, the novels and comics and cartoons aren't canon. So what? You know what else isn't canon? The Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Christopher Nolan Batman movies. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Arrow. All totally, thoroughly, and in all ways not canon. Not even a little bit.

There are three different versions of Sherlock Holmes currently being produced, none of which are canonical, yet all of which are immensely popular and fun to watch and enjoyable and nifty.

Episode 7 does nothing to the EU one way or another. The books and comics and cartoons are still there, still good stories, still there to be enjoyed. Honestly, the whole "the novels are canon toooooo!!!!" argument was pretty much shitcanned with the prequel movies, and never held up to scrutiny, especially if you look at, say, the history of the Fett family.

SW fans could take a lesson from Star Trek. Two of the most highly regarded Trek novels are Imzadi and Federation. The former novel was heavily contradicted by a TNG episode ("Second Chances"); the latter was totally nuked by the movie First Contact. Yet the two novels continue to be well regarded -- and so does that episode and that movie, even though they contradict each other.

If you think that contradictory versions of stories in the same universe ruins one of the contradictory ones, then you don't understand how storytelling works.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: the Yankees-Red Sox game on Channel 9

kradical
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Broken Link"
The fourth season comes to a close, and it's a major turning point for Odo -- and, apparently, for the Klingon Empire as well. The DS9 Rewatch clicks on a "Broken Link."

An excerpt:
And so instead the Odo story just meanders forward. It doesn’t even have the usual tension of a medical drama, since Bashir’s entire treatment strategy consists of staring at the screen and going, “Hoo boy, yeah, that molecular structure sure is destabilizing a lot!” We get lots of fun banter among the crew (like O’Brien bitching about Kira and Keiko going quiet on him as soon as he enters their now-shared quarters) but, again, it comes across as filler.

Watching Odo adjust to being a solid will make for a good ongoing subplot in the fifth season, and the bombshell at the end is magnificent—Gowron’s been a recurring character on two shows for six years now, so Odo’s last line hits very hard—but all of that is setup for future stories. This particular episode is about fifteen minutes’ worth of interesting story stretched out into an hour.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: "America" by Paul Simon

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a Klingon Art of War signing at Pandemonium in Cambridge!
In addition to TrekTrax this weekend and signings at Singularity & Co. and the Enigma Bookstore here in NYC in May, I'm also doing a signing at one of my favorite genre bookstores, Pandemonium Books and Games, located on Pleasant Street in Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday 15 May 2014 at 7pm, with plenty of copies of The Klingon Art of War to scribble on.

I've been going to Pandemonium since it was a dinky little walk-up just off Harvard Square in the 1980s, and I did several signings there when it was in the Garage Mall in Harvard Square in the 1990s, but I have yet to actually set foot in the new (not so new anymore, honestly) Central Square store. Really looking forward to it, and to seeing folks there!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Scarborough Fair" by Simon & Garfunkel

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two Klingon Art of War signings in NYC in May!
I will be doing two bookstore appearances in New York City in May to celebrate the publication of my new Star Trek book The Klingon Art of War.

The first will be a launch party for the book at Singularity & Co. in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn on Friday 9 May 2014 at 7pm. I'll be doing a reading from the book and there will be general festivizing and fun at this nifty bookstore.

If you can't make that, then maybe you can come to "Star Trek Night..." at Enigma Bookstore in Astoria, Queens on Saturday 17 May 2014 at 7pm, where I will be joined by fellow tie-in toilers David Mack (New York Times best-selling author of dozens of Trek books) and Aaron Rosenberg (award-winning author of dozens of books from Trek to movie novelizations to his original SF/fantasy). The three of us will do readings and a Q&A.

Hope to see folks there!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel

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I've been on a Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel kick lately for some reason, and I dug this gem up on the Tube of You: It's Simon in 2012 performing two songs from his seminal Graceland album in Hyde Park in London to an enraptured audience. I was pleased to see that one of the guitarists on stage with him was Ray Phiri, the arranger of Graceland, and a superb ax man.

Almost three decades later, still one of the best albums ever.....

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "I Know What I Know" by Paul Simon

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Today I finished Chapter 15 of the tie-in novel, which is currently at 50,278 words. The next chapter is the big-ass climax when our heroes confront our villains. Cha cha cha.

Now, though, bed.....

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "Moths" by Jethro Tull

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Congratulations to good eggs and folks whom I consider either friends or buddies or at least really nifty acquaintances: Charles Stross, Seanan Maguire (in her secret identity as Mira Grant), Catherynne L. Valente, Mary Robinette Kowal, Paul Cornell, George R.R. Martin, Ellen Datlow, Sheila Williams, Ginjer Buchanan, Liz Gorinsky, Toni Weisskopf, and John Picacio, all of whom got well-deserved nominations. The full list of nominations is here.

I don't have much to say about the Vox Day kerfluffle. Folks more eloquent than me have already done so, and I can't bring myself to be arsed about it. By their very nature, awards are spectacularly flawed constructs, Day's getting his minions to nominate his novelette just shines a light on it.

No, the comment I find myself nodding my head in agreement most with is from my friend Peter David:
So I’ve been a full time writer for nearly three decades and never so much as been nominated for a Hugo. Yet a racist, homophobic asshole is up for a Hugo this year because apparently he understands how to game the social network system. Because the Hugos will accept people who despise gays but draw the line at “Star Trek” novels.

Yeah. Nice to know where us tie-in writers fall in the pecking order....

Of course, I've also seen that a great way to get nominated for a Hugo is to have your short fiction published by Tor.com, since four of the fourteen short fiction nominees were published on that site. By a startling coinky-dink, I submitted a Cassie Zukav story to Tor.com........

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "The Day After Tomorrow" by Tom Waits

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two reviews of The Zoo Job
Found two reviews of my Leverage novel The Zoo Job online, one on Sean the Party Man's blog, and the other by TomCat on the Beneath the Stains of Time blog. Both of them liked it! Yay me!

Money quote, from TomCat:
If there was one drawback, it was the lack of a clear and proper villain for the crew to target, and as a result, we were deprived of a long con full of fun, but dangerous, pitfalls – which were represented here by Interpol's James Sterling ("The Antagonist") and Malani's finance minister, Aloysius Mbenga, with his armed goons. They've to figure out whom to zoom in on and what the game of their opponent is, before they can put a stop it. And that full picture doesn't emerge until quite late into the book. Leverage was known for trying different approaches of telling the story, but there was always a mark or goal (e.g. beating an unbeatable security system) and it felt a little bit like watching Columbo stumbling around without knowing himself who he's suppose to be hounding.

But that's a minor, fan boyish complaint on an excellent job at translating the characters and atmosphere of the show to paper and weaving a good story around it. I hope these novels do well enough that they commission more of them and perhaps open a new avenue to re-launch the TV series. Here's hoping!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Born at the Right Time" by Paul Simon

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I will be appearing on TrekRadio TONIGHT at 7pm EST to discuss The Klingon Art of War. If you can't listen to the podcast tonight, it'll be archived, and if you have questions for me about TKAOW, please submit them to questions at trekradio dot net.

This is the first of (at least) three podcasts I'm doing to pimp the book, and I've also got two bookstore signings in NYC set up. Oh, and I'll be debuting the book at TrekTrax Atlanta 2014 next weekend..................

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Not Ralitsa Vassileva" by Ian Anderson

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Body Parts"
Quark gets a death sentence -- OR DOES HE? Plus Keiko's pregnancy gets weird, as the DS9 Rewatch assembles some "Body Parts."

An excerpt:
When O’Brien complains about how active Keiko has been during pregnancy and declares, “It’s as if I have to remind her she’s pregnant!” Dax—who has been pregnant while in previous female hosts—has a magnificently sarcastic response: “Yeah, I guess the extra weight, the morning sickness, the mood swings, the medical examinations—they aren’t reminders enough.”

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Eurology" by Ian Anderson

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One week from today, I will be jetting into Georgia for TrekTrax Atlanta where, among other things, I'll be launching The Klingon Art of War. As with last year, I'll have a table where I'll be selling books, including copies of KAOW and other books of mine as well.

Plus I'll be doing the following program items:

Friday
8-10pm: "VIP Champagne Reception," a gathering with the guests of honor including self, Arlene Martel, Felix Silla, and Jeremy Roberts -- tickets are $30 and can be purchased here (The Marketplace)
10.45-11.45pm: "The Klingon Art of War," discussing the new book (Salon B)

Saturday
4.15-5.15pm: "TrekTrax Atlanta Presents: Keith R.A. DeCandido," a one-hour Q&A and reading by me (Salon B)
8-9pm: "The 2014 Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant," the 15th annual pageant that is unique among pageants to say the least, for which I am likely to be a judge (Salon B)

I don't have anything specific scheduled for Sunday, but I'll be around, selling books and stuff....

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Coming into Los Angeles" by Arlo Guthrie

kradical
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What better song to post on my birthday than this classic from the Beatles?

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "If You Would Just Drop By" by Arlo Guthrie

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Today I'm 45. I'm a hit single, with a B-side, and that little yellow thing in the middle that prevents sliding around the turntable.

Or I'm half a right angle.

Or something.

Anyhow, most of my birthday will be spent writing because deadlines don't give a shit that it's my birthday, but I will be festivizing at one of my favorite restaurants -- Mario's on Arthur Avenue -- with family this evening.

Thanks to everyone who has wished me well on Facebook and Twitter and in private messages. I have the best friends, family, and fans in the world, and I wouldn't trade any of you for anything. *big-ass group hug*

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "St. James Infirmary" by Arlo Guthrie

kradical
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Almost exactly a year ago, the Yankees turned a very bizarre triple play against the Orioles with CC Sabathia pitching.

Tonight, against the Rays, with CC pitching once again, the Yanks turned a more traditional triple play. It was started by Yangervis Solarte, a 26-year-old rookie who came out of nowhere in spring training to take over the everyday third base job, and finished by Scott Sizemore in his first-ever professional game at first base. Gotta love it...



Not only that, but in the top of the inning, the Yanks hit two triples. It's triple day!

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: the Yankees-Rays game on YES

kradical
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Back in 1987, Paul Simon promoted his Graceland album -- much of which was a celebration of South African music -- by touring with several South African musicians, among them the a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, guitarist Ray Phiri, and the great performers Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. One of the songs Masekela (a great trumpeter) did was "Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)," a song urging the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.

The song is, of course, dated, which is what's so awesome about it -- the song actually worked, Mandela was released, apartheid ended, and Mandela became the leader of the South African nation.

I was thinking of this song yesterday when the Yankees, as part of the annual Jackie Robinson Day festivities (normally held on the 15th of April, but the game was rained out, so they did it last night), they put a plaque in Monument Park honoring Mandela, partly in honor of his visit to Yankee Stadium in 1990.

Anyhow, here's the great Hugh Masekela. Just listen to that trumpet.......

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "N'Kosi Sikelili Africa" by Paul Simon, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ray Phiri, et al

kradical
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The tie-in novel is proceeding apace. I'm behind where I want to be, but the book will be done on the 28th. Dammit.

I've also spent time this week showing my friend Jenn around NYC. Today we were all touristy and went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and I also took her to the New York Public Library to show her the children's book exhibit (mostly so she could see the stuffed animals that A.A. Milne based the Winnie the Pooh stories on) and Grand Central to do some shopping.

She's catching a 3am train home, so I'll be driving her to Penn Station soon. Meanwhile, I write away...............

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Hunting Girl" by Jethro Tull

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "The Quickening"
Bashir is not an Immortal from Zeist, probably. The DS9 Rewatch suffers through "The Quickening."

An excerpt:
I had absolutely no recollection of this episode, which is usually a bad sign. Upon finishing it, I realized that I had no recollection because I never watched the episode after the first time I saw it, and have no desire to ever watch it again.

This is not to say that the episode is bad. Exactly. We get a reminder of just how nasty-ass the Dominion can be, we get an episode in which our hero suffers setbacks and only manages to save the day partly, and...

Yeah, I got nothin’. This episode left me completely ungripped. It’s the same medical crisis story we’ve seen a thousand times before (a million if you watched House)...

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: "With You There to Help Me" by JethroTull

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A favorite Jethro Tull song, one I use for my Sunday update posts, here are my several favorite versions of this song about being seriously hung over after a fun Saturday night.....

First, there's the original from This Was, Tull's very first album in 1968:




Then there's this one from 2001. For the Living with the Past DVD/CD, the original foursome of Jethro Tull -- Ian Anderson (the frontman, and the only original member still with the group), Mick Abraham, Glenn Cornick, and Clive Bunker -- got together for the first time since Abraham left in 1969 to do a few songs at a pub for a group of fans:




Finally we have the version from the Hammersmith Apollo concert that was the primary source material for Living with the Past with the 2001 lineup of Anderson, Martin Barre, Doane Perry, Jonathan Noyce, and the great Andy Giddings:

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "My Sunday Feeling" by Jethro Tull

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Scooter was much better this morning, and the diarrhea is less intense than it was. Wrenn and I took him to the vet anyhow, and the vet was encouraged by everything he (and we) saw: no fever, his weight's good, no obvious masses or anything, and his behavior is good. They prescribed antibiotics and probiotics, and we're keeping him on boiled chicken and rice for a few more days. They have to test the stool sample to be sure, and we'll keep an eye on him.

Whew.

And, of course, on the walk there and back Scooter was prancing about and sniffing things and watching people and basically acting exactly like himself.

I love that dog.

Thanks to Dr. Karen for all the advice, and to Jenn for putting up with hosts who are distracted. The latter is about to be rewarded for her patience by a trip to the Bronx Zoo......

Current Mood: relieved relieved
Current Music: "My Sunday Feeling" by Jethro Tull

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Been quite a day today....

Last night my friend Jenn came in from Virginia. I picked her up at Penn Station and brought her home, where we fed her Wrenn's homemade fried chicken, and she got to meet Dale, Scooter, Kaylee, and Louie. She bonded with them all in pretty short order.

Today, we had a tournament among the adults at the dojo. Participants included four groups: two advanced white belts, three advanced yellow belts, one advanced brown belt and two first-degree black belts, and five second-degree black belts (myself among them). We competed within our group in kata, self-defense, and board breaking.

The details of the tournament..............Collapse )

In the end, I took fourth place in kata, first in self-defense, and second in board-breaking. Nothing to be ashamed of there. Wrenn took video of most of the katas, and Jenn took about 200 pictures, so look for some of those either here or on Facebook.

Afterward, I took Jenn on a little touristy trip, taking her to Grand Central, the steps of the New York Public Library, Bryant Park, and Times Square. We went into the Toys R Us and the Disney Store in the latter location, and I was disgusted to find tons of Captain America: The Winter Soldier merchandise, but all the figures were either Cap or the Winter Soldier -- or, bizarrely, the Red Skull, who isn't even in the film. But no Black Widow, no Nick Fury, no Falcon. Heaven forfend they give us action figures of the two black guys or the woman......

We then went to a lovely dinner at John's Pizzeria, so Jenn could have real Noo Yawk pizza. Then we came home.

Unfortunately, tomorrow morning will be spent at the vet. Scooter has had diarrhea all week, and it got better for a bit, but now it's back to bad again, and we're worried enough that we want to have tests done. We can't really afford this, but every step forward he's made has been followed by a step back. The good news is that he's not showing any other danger signs, and his personality is still the same, so there's that. But it's been going on long enough that we need him to be looked at by a professional.

Assuming all goes well, I'll be taking Jenn to the Bronx Zoo tomorrow.

Now back to writing the tie-in novel...................

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Cheerio" by Jethro Tull

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I had an e-mail glitch today, so anything sent to krad at whysper dot net today (Saturday) probably bounced. It's fixed, so please re-send....

Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
Current Music: "Kathy's Song" by Simon & Garfunkel

who is this guy?
Keith R.A. DeCandido
User: kradical
Name: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Website: DeCandido.net
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