Welcome to the new folks who have joined in the past month!
So what’s been happening?
Whelp, Covid finally caught up with me and knocked me on my butt for about a week. It’s no joke, and I can say that from experience. At first, I tested negative and just felt like I had a bad cold, but then the night sweats/chills hit and the next day I had a positive test to confirm.
I kept myself isolated well enough to not get my wife or daughter sick for a few days. Luckily my home office doubles as our spare bedroom, so I just hunkered down in there and my wife, who is off for the summer as a teacher, was able to run out for supplies and to pick up my meds.
It took about five days to go from awful to mild cold, but the fatigue/fog brain feeling took a bit longer to clear. Unfortunately, that’s finally when my wife got it. Her symptoms were not as bad as mine, and she avoided having to take Paxlovid, which has some unpleasant side effects. Finally, a week after I tested positive, our daughter finally had mild symptoms and tested positive.
Again, we lucked out with this being the summer, which means no school is missed and the only real downside is that we’ve been continually isolating together for the last two weeks. This means you start to get on top of each other and have a bit of cabin fever.
BUT TIM, IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS?
Yes, yes there is.
As you can see, I GOT MY FIRST EVER SHORT STORY PUBLISHED! The story is titled “Congressional Hearing on World Reproductive Foundation Budget FY 2126.” To read it, you have to create a free login at Savage Planets, but that’s it.
A little backstory on this tale - during the fall of 2021 I was driving my daughter to swim class once a week. She had been going to lessons for a few years before the pandemic, and once we got our first vaccines, decided it would be okay to start up lessons again. Except, the YMCA near our house hadn’t restarted lessons yet, so we ended up taking to her to a Y a half hour away. Which meant there was plenty of time driving on rural two-lane Ohio roads each week with little to no traffic, just corn and grass fields. It let my mind wander just a bit, and the question popped into my head, “what if we could talk to a ‘soul’ before it entered the body?”
I started riffing on that idea, and around this time there was news coverage of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul getting into arguments at Congressional Hearings, and I got interested in using that as the setting. It took a few weeks to write and re-write, but eventually, I got it into good enough shape to query websites and magazines that accept short stories.
So, mention this because I turn 48 this month. At 48, I got my first short story published. Don’t think it is ever too late to pursue something creative you enjoy.
On to the next story.
In lieu of not finishing a book in July, we did have a nice explosion of veggies in the garden. My wife has been pickling cucumbers and making excellent pickles, our zucchini has gone crazy, and our beans and peas are non-stop. WE EVEN GREW A PEACH!
Unfortunately, our dog Bowie met a skunk. It did not go well for him.
THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (S.1, HBOMax) - Weird and occasionally creepy.
THE BOYS (S.3, Amazon) - This show gets crazier but also more satirically cutting with each season.
HOW TO BUILD A SEX ROOM (Netflix) - Unexpectedly educational content.
STRANGER THINGS (S.4, Netflix) - After the first season, this is my favorite. Really enjoyed the various threads and side characters.
OBI-WAN KENOBI (Disney+) - Felt narratively weak and overall unnecessary.
MOON KNIGHT (Disney+) - Enjoyed some aspects but wasn’t blown away.
THE OLD MAN (S.1, Hulu) - Understated and intense, hope there is more.
NO TIME TO DIE - Last Bond film with Daniel Craig might be the weakest of the bunch. Boring villain and no memorable sequences.
VICTORIA’S SECRET - ANGELS AND DEMONS (Hulu) - An enlighting and horrifying doc about the Les Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein relationship.
EP 7.2 by Big Wreck (2022)
X-Periment by The System (1984)
Alien Shores by Platinum Blonde (1985)
Omega by The Alarm (2022)
Union by Union (1999)
Luxury of Life by 5 Star (1985)
Five Rooms by Screamfeeder (2022)
Crush by The Doughboys (1993)
A few reminders before you go:
READER REVIEWS! If you read and enjoyed THE BLACK SKY (or any of my books for that matter), I would be grateful if you left a positive review or a rating at Amazon or GoodReads. Reviews help other people find the book.
All previous newsletters are archived. Lots of stuff to check out including a link to the original 2011 screenplay of THE BLACK SKY, hints and helps to get started on the real work easter egg hunt teased at the back of the book, and more!
For those that have read THE BLACK SKY, you may remember a mention or two of a bar called “The Dank,” the place Tessa worked at in college where she and Bishop met. I created a virtual playlist for this “punk rock bar,” which you can check out on Spotify.
Listen to my 90s music podcast: Dig Me Out