We have liftoff – The Boxcar Kid is released!

My pop’s been working his tail off on his first novel, The Boxcar Kid, for a few years now, and yesterday it hit the stores! It’s on the front page of his publisher’s site right now. This is BIG NEWS, we’re all so excited and proud of ya, pop! :>

There’s full info at the publisher’s page, and I’ve been hosting a website for it for a while now, too. I’ll try to update this as more news rolls in…

UPDATE: Andrea is a librarian at goodreads (my lovely nerdy girl! I’m married to a librarian, how sexy is THAT?! :P). She added the book there, so you can rate and discuss it!

Wren and I get some work done

I’ve been weatherstripping the house after a recent huge electric bill. I couldn’t do a good job on the doors to the roof storage space because they were only held shut by a weak magnet. While Reiley was at her acting troupe practice, Wren and I took the time to do the job right – we added doorknobs! And she helped me with everything. Thanks Wrenny!

At work... ...wrapping it up... ...and done!

Flea Market Wars

Earth Tatooine
NC State Fair Education Building B Mos Eisley, 'hive of scum and villany'

It was like being in Mos Eisley itself! Wren and Reiley and I headed out to the flea market at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh – “The Oldest, the Biggest and the Best” – on a tip that there were Star Wars action figures to be had. It was great fun, lots of all kinds of junk to rummage through. There are a couple large air-conditioned buildings and lots of outdoor stalls to peruse. The outdoor stalls are usually tented and many have large fans blowing. If you split your time between the cool indoors, the tented shops, and the nice shady outdoor rest spots (there are lots of them), you’ll have a great time without breaking a sweat. We picked up a cool smoothie before we got there and it couldn’t have been better. Read More

Pop has a publisher!

This is BIG news! My pop has gotten to the point where he’s pretty happy with the polish he’s applied to his first novel, The Boxcar Kid. He’s been working hard on it for quite some time now, and he has serialized it into three separate books. He’s taken the job of finding a publisher very seriously, researching the “right” way to go about it, attending writer’s conferences to get networked, and even working up an extensive marketing plan.

It’s finally all paid off, as he’s been approached by ArcheBooks Publishing with a serious offer to get published! I really like the look of the publisher – they’re targeted at helping new writers establish long-term careers. They publish only nice hardcover editions, but complement that with ebooks with generous licenses, and have lots of other smart approaches to publishing. Way to go, pop! I’ll update this as more news rolls in. In the meantime, check out the website I set up for an introduction.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! Love ya! Hope that free lunch at Iguanamia hit the spot!

UPDATE: Not content to share the spotlight with me mum, my dad decided to smash his car into bumper-to-bumper traffic, causing the three cars in front of him to take damage. Poor guy! Talk about your roller coaster day. He’s recovering now, with a sore chest thanks to hitting the seatbelt and airbag pretty hard. I know you’re on a roll, pop, but slow down and take it easy for a bit! Hope you feel better soon.

Raleigh Chalk-a-thon

Raleigh had a fun event a couple weekends ago, where local artists were assigned sections of downtown roadway and sidewalk, given a theme (urban renaissance), and a bucket of chalk! Every section had a milk jug next to it, and you’d vote with your change for what you liked best. Our neighbor Kim earned a couple bucks from us with her entry, we liked it.

Kim's chalkwork

And it wasn’t limited to the artists – anybody could grab chalk and mark up one sidestreet, until it overflowed with creativity. The girls made some nice contributions:

Wren's chalkwork Reiley's chalkwork The street

Building Together

We got a kit to build a small brick house using a sandy gluey mortar, and spent a couple summer weekends on the back porch and kitchen table laying bricks. It was great family fun. We were all into it and worked together off and on until it was done. Our final creation!

modo madness

Mom and Grammy were out shopping. I was at home with the girls and started playing with modo. The girls thought it was the coolest thing ever. And it is, because they could sit right down and use it! I only gave them 10 minutes each, and here’s some of the silly stuff they made by deforming some of the canned objects…

reiley's racing chair Wrenny all of us

Oh brother Dan, where art thou?

Had a great time last weekend with my brother – my brother, my suffering brother, come out to the Volga! We got in our road trip, jam session, all-night-gaming, high-stakes-casino-play, lan party, studio recording time, night out on the town (fort lauderdale in this instance) non-stop party all in a measly sixty or so hours. What a ride.

The Millers are planning on a trip up here around Thanksgiving, can’t wait, see ya soon! :P

Friends Making Games!

Sam Clifford’s got his Heroes Incorporated boardgame onto store shelves! You can order a copy online from GameFest – if you look quickly you can see it still on the top of the newly released games list!

And in similar but unrelated news, for Reiley’s eighth (!) birthday, the day before yesterday, my folks sent her the boardgame version of Boxum!, the game for which John Carpenter made the PC version! It’s so great to hear that Boxum! is going strong, too – I don’t think my parents had any idea it was the game John did! I hope you’re getting something out of it, John. :P

Reiley also picked up Bohnanza, a really nice looking Rio Grande game with a decent amount of complexity. Andrea and I can’t wait to steal it and play!

Board gaming is everywhere! Whooo!