34

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Robbie would turn 34 today. That’s a solid adult’s age, one inching towards middle age, long past being a kid. His friends thrive, many married, several with kids, and all with interesting careers. Those who have named children after Robbie report his spirit lives within each of them, which is some comfort. There really isn’t […]

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Introducing you to Above the Ground

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Now that it’s public, I am excited to talk about the novel I wrote last year. As you may recall, I was asked to step in and complete Paul Antony Jones’ This Alien Earth trilogy for Aethon Books. They were happy enough with the finished product that I was recommended to Matt Medney, CEO of […]

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Some Details to Share About OOOFF! BOFF! SPLATT!

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The freelance life is beginning to take shape as projects are finally getting announced. As mentioned earlier, coming in March is The Phenomenons, the new super-hero prose universe masterminded by Michael Jan Friedman. Kickstarter backers have started receiving their copies and the response has been positive. Also now announced, is the Peter and Kathleen David-edited […]

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Talking The Phenomenons: Every Human Creature

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It has to have been a year or so back when Mike Friedman reached out to me and Paul Kupperberg. “Guys,” he said, “I’m thinking of creating a prose superhero universe.” When we couldn’t talk him out of it, we provided feedback on his premise, ensuring it didn’t resemble the plethora of existing shared superhero […]

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The First Semester Draws to a Close

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The first semester officially has closed. The mid-terms are graded and posted and the focus is on the second half of the school year. My four sections of freshmen arrived after a year and a half at home, effectively transitioning from seventh grade to ninth grade, entering high school somewhat unprepared for the expectations. They […]

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A Year at Marvel – Final Days

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Returning to work on Tuesday, January 2 felt weird. There was a definite gloom in my corner of the offices. By then, I had used the holiday break to steel myself for getting fired. Deb was incredibly supportive, which helped tremendously. Given the pressure Bill Jemas had placed on Collected Editions, I stepped in and […]

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The Year in Reading

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According to Goodreads, I have read 223 books in 2021, a whopping 40,198 pages. The shortest was 96 pages and the fattest was 706 pages with them averaging a 3.7 (out of 5) rating. That’s quite a bit read on paper, eBook, and audiobook. Taking out the graphic novels, I managed 51 traditional books, ranging […]

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What Kind of Year was 2021?

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The best that can be said for 2021 is that it was definitely an improvement over 2020, but it was incremental, nothing substantive. Deb and I remained healthy and Covid-19 free throughout the year, suffering nothing worse than a cold. We’ve both been vaxxed and boostered, which has certainly contributed to that. Deb working out […]

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A Year at Marvel – December

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The days were growing shorter as December settled in. All was humming along nicely, or so it seemed. The growing sense that something was off between me and Bill Jemas was definitely growing. I was in his office less and less often; he rarely popped his head into my office, a floor below. Unlike some […]

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My WorldCon Schedule

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Deb and I haven’t managed to attend a WorldCon since Millennium PhilCon in 2000. We were, therefore, very excited to see Washington, D.C. win the 2021 bid to host. I was disappointed when Covid-19 forced DisCon III to relocate from August (right before school started), to this coming week, as the Winter Break beckons. We’ll […]

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A Year at Marvel – November

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As November arrived, things continued to hum along although I was beginning to sense that it was soon my turn to be in Bill Jemas’ sights. The “issues” I spotted on a document months before had yet to be raised to me but as David Bogart settled in, Bill seemed to be involving him more […]

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The Freelancer’s Report

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I find myself so overwhelmed with school work and home projects that having time for personal writing comes infrequently at best. Which is not to say I have not been productive. What’s weird is, I have all sorts of irons in the fire, projects that should all show up in 2022 so it’ll feel like […]

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A Year at Marvel – October

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Sometimes, change can be both slow and quick. After a few weeks, we landed David Bogart, coming over from Harris Comics. He settled in as my Number Two and we set him up in space just outside my office, initially relegated to a cube since there weren’t enough offices for the executive growth Bill Jemas […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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After way too long, I will be attending a live, in-person convention this weekend. I’ll be returning to the Biltmore Comic-Con and with a slightly stripped down schedule, I will be honored to moderate five panels across the three days. Since the first quarter ends Thursday, we have Friday as a break so I get […]

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Q1: So Far So Good

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I find it hard to believe that we are more than halfway through the first quarter. Our classes began August 26 and the quarter ends on Oct. 21, so it’s barreling along. I am relieved to see everyone from freshmen to seniors are happy to be back in the building. They mostly do not complain […]

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Xum’s Who

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Shagg Matthews, an online friend, reached out to me this week to tell me that the family of Xum Yukinori wanted me to have a copy of his privately printed Xum’s Who. Subtitled, Xum Yukinori’s Addendum to the Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. Xum had passed away last December leaving behind a legacy I […]

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A Year at Marvel – September

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SEPTEMBER Cons were over and it was back to getting the books out on time. My team settled in and were executing Bill Jemas’ plans. This meant Chet Krayewski was out securing deals, Fred Pagan was finding economies in the production and printing process, and Ben Abernathy and the collected editions team were scaling up […]

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Happy Birthday, Star Trek

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Gene Roddenberry didn’t set out to create a phenomenon. He just wanted a hit television show after The Lieutenant was canceled. He had a handful of ideas but the one he managed to sell was a science fiction series. Not quite a fan of the genre, he received lessons from Samuel A. Peeples and adapted […]

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First Day of School

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Even though I spent most of a week prepping materials before returning to school, the actual return required a tremendous amount of mental recalibration. The shift from that of a writer to that of a teacher felt more profound this time. On Sunday, Deb helped me get the classroom ready. After everything was moved to […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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Today is the final weekday of Summer Break. On Monday, I return to school and get ready for the 2021-22 academic year. In many ways, this was one of my busier and more productive summers without feeling like a pressure cooker. First, the moment the school year ended in early June, I was already working […]

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A Year at Marvel – August

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Having survived the San Diego Comic-Con, planning was nearing completion for a stripped-down appearance at WizardWorld in Chicago. Bill “The Bullet” Rosemann would head up our presence there while I tended to matters at the new offices. The first real order of business was getting our new production director, Fred Pagan, up and running. Before […]

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13 Years

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We had occasion to visit Robbie’s grave for the first time in a few years, but we cut it short since there was a joyous internment occurring several feet away. Still, it was good to be there. Time continues to tick by. We finally got to meet Robbie Santiago, the third child named in his […]

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Novella Lessons Learned

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A freelance writer always likes to be invited in on the ground floor of something new because you never know what will click and what won’t. All too often, I’ve gotten excited by projects that were met with less enthusiasm. Yet, when I was invited to join Systema Paradoxa, I was delighted since it meant […]

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A Year at Marvel – July

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As the second half of 2001 opened, Marvel had severed ties with the Comics Code Authority and relocated to new quarters. The company was enjoying superlative reviews and sales from the one-two punch of the revitalized Amazing Spider-Man and New X-Men. President Bill Jemas was having a ball. His outsized persona seemed to enjoy tweaking […]

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My Shore Leave 41.6 Schedule

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Regular readers know how much I love Shore Leave, the largest fan-run con, now up to 41.6. Yeah, they’d playing with the numbers since this year is a virtual con. The good news for those not in the Maryland area is that you can now attend and see what you’ve been missing. All the details […]

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My Current Writing Process

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We’re three weeks into the summer break and I realize I am not fully divorced from the classroom. Each morning I check my two school email accounts, I’ve read professional blogs, and attended a few video sessions on tools I use. So, maybe, it’s not entirely possible to be fully on break, just the priorities […]

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A Year at Marvel – June

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June was perhaps the craziest month I spent at Mighty Marvel. First, with every passing day, we were ramping up for the move. Packing had begun, the film was being gathered to be shipped to a warehouse in Yuma. Marvel was showing off its three-story booth at the Licensing Show and the convention planning was […]

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School’s Out for the Summer

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Even though grades are due this coming Monday, Wednesday was really the final day of the school year for most of us. All we thought that afternoon, as the faculty and staff celebrated, was that we survived. We opened on September 3 and finished the academic year without once having to close because of Covid-19. […]

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Shifting Viewing Patterns

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Deb and I weathered the pandemic rather easily. Our routines weren’t terribly altered. Like most people, we socially distanced, limited outings, wore a mask, etc. And as things are returning to normal, we are ditching the mask and dining at restaurants. Things are starting to feel like it’s 2019 all over again. The one substantial […]

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A Year at Marvel – May

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The spring definitely felt like things were gaining momentum. There was excitement in Editorial as we got to see what J. Michael Straczynski brought to Spider-Man and in May, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Tim Townsend brought fresh life to New X-Men. Joe was eager to begin promoting Mark Millar’s The Ultimates and was having […]

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Report from the Writer

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This has been a challenging first five months of the year from the standpoint of being a writer. Much of that has to do with the lack of time for anything substantive as I rebuild the freshmen curriculum, constantly lesson planning new units for both the college prep and honors students. Some of my free […]

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Feeling Appreciated

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I am not sure who created Teacher Appreciation Week, but I sure like the timing of it. By having it the first week of May, it reminds the administration and parents of the role we play. At this point, we’re all getting tired, certainly worried about the students who are definitely not passing the year, […]

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A Year at Marvel – April

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April was a pause. We were on the cusp of releasing buzz-worthy books, the con season was being planned, we had a movie about to open, and anticipation filled the air. The pieces were all being moved on several fronts as the company prepared some figurative and literal moves. After the excitement over the previous […]

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33

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There’s not much new to say. He’s been gone nearly 13 years, but I can’t let Robbie’s birthday go unrecognized. I always feel odd when Deb and I aren’t together on this date but her business has occasionally required this. This week, it’s my turn to not be there, spending part of Spring Break with […]

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A Year at Marvel – March

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By March, I had settled in to my new role at Marvel. Most days saw me wandering from office to office, checking in with editors or production or lettering or collected editions. I had become a familiar figure, especially in offices where things were running less than smoothly. That usually meant brainstorming with Mark Powers […]

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Thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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One can examine Zack Snyder’s work on DC Comics’ heroes and villains from a variety of vantage points. The just-released Zack Snyder’s Justice League has to stand apart as an anomaly. It is Snyder’s version and his final chapter after Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman but only those two remain part of the […]

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Three March Releases in One Week

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I was stunned to realize I would have three releases come out on the same day in October. Imagine my surprise to see three books coming out in March. Out first, is Biff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66—Season Two. Edited by Jim Beard, aided and abetted by Rich Handley, this […]

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Turning the Tied is now On Sale

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Growing up, I was consuming comic books by the pound, expanding my consumption to include science fiction, fantasy and superhero far on film and television. This widened to include fiction and it was the summer of 1970 I was introduced to Conan the Barbarian. From fanzine pieces, I gathered he was from pulp magazines, something […]

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Six Months Down

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When Pallotti opened its doors to students on September 3, no one imagined we’d still be open without having to shut down to control Covid-19. But, we have not lost a day to the coronavirus. We’ve lost more time to the weather and have remained hybrid. It’s been a struggle as we continued to master […]

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Something New

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There hasn’t been a whole lot of posting going on the last two months because the website has been undergoing a massive renovation. A while back, I hired a pal to redo the website and we moved from WordPress to SquareSpace. While SquareSpace offered a nice, clean design, it proved to have more limitations than […]

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A Year at Marvel – February

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When I arrived at Marvel in early January 2001, the company was still recovering from the bankruptcy battle that left the company in the hands of ToyBiz owner Ike Perlmutter. In 1999, Marvel Knights, the imprint run by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, made more noise with their four titles than most of the line […]

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First Day and Last Day of Semester

So Ends the First Quarter

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The first quarter drew to a close on Tuesday. I’m very impressed that we got through the stretch without a day off and with just two diagnosed cases of Covid-19. Our protocols seem to be working, which is a relief to one and all. Our principal decided that since we hadn’t had a day off […]

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It was 40 Years Ago Today

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I met Deb in our sophomore year at SUNY-Binghamton. My girlfriend moved on to her floor so we were just friends. But I liked her and in time I grew to like her a lot. Fortunately, I got dumped and she eventually broke up with her boyfriend. May 1980, engaged and graduating from college. We […]

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Happy Book Day x Three

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Writers accept assignments and agree to deadlines and then it is entirely up to the publisher what happens next. As a result, three different jobs, written at three entirely different times, arrive today for your reading pleasure. I began writing Flash: 100 Greatest Moments during the summer of 2019 with the book scheduled for a […]

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One Month-Plus Down

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I knew there would be plenty of challenges moving to hybrid teaching but with each extra step, the amount of time for preparing, executing, and grading each lesson has snowballed so I find myself taking a lot more time than I anticipated. My hallway with heavy plastic sheeting to shield students as they shuffle following […]

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And the School Year Begins

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After extra time to prepare, the school year began in earnest on Thursday. Here’s how the in-class students see the online students. My desk got moved upfront to create more socially distant desk spaces for the students. I have five freshmen classes and it’s interesting as their personalities are starting to take shape. Overall, four […]

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Watching Lots of Television

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An upside to the social distancing has been our sampling lots and lots of television series. As our normal fare ended their runs, we began working through shows across the various streaming platforms. Beecham House was an interesting look at India at the end of the 18th Century. I’m having trouble recalling all the shows […]

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Convention Wrap-Up: Missing were Reasons to Hire and Reasons to Fire

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I blog rarely about politics but now that the two weeks of conventions are thankfully in the past, we have nine weeks to make some important decisions. Showing the Democrats’ diversity was a strong visual theme throughout their four day convention. Both the Democrats and the Republicans put on their mercifully truncated shows, each speaking […]

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The Final Day of Summer Break

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Thanks to an adjustment to the academic calendar, teachers were granted three bonus days of summer. Alas, today is the final weekday of my summer break. I report back to school on Monday with the kids arriving a week later. A highlight of the summer was adding Albert to our family. He loves perching here. […]

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In Memory of Bob Martin

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When I graduated from SUNY-Binghamton, I was fortunate to have a job waiting for it. Although it didn’t start until September, I was grateful to join Starlog Press as Managing Editor of Fangoria. Now, the title sounds impressive, especially for a 22-year-old straight out of college, but the reality was that each publication was a […]

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The Summer Writing Wraps Up

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As of today, I have one week left before I report back to school. A very different academic year awaits. In the meantime, Deb has suggested I throttle back and take more time for myself this week, which is most excellent advice. It’s been a very busy summer, all things considered. June was spent writing […]

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12 Years

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We’re taking the day to ourselves. A very young Kate and Robbie at Howard Weinstein’s wedding. The dogs are accompanying us on an outing, away from the world for the most part. It’s not that we need the solitude, but it helps. Each year brings us closer to that odd point of equilibrium, as many […]

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Navigating the Digital Teaching World

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One of the things I have been doing in the back half of July has been gearing up for the return to the classroom. At the time, it was clear we were trying to open the building, but also knowing a portion of the teaching would remain virtual. I needed to sharpen those digital skills […]

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Coming this Fall: The Hybrid Classroom

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The school year has taken shape after evolving all summer long. We’re going with a hybrid plan that will see the classes split in two with the Blue Team being in the building on Mondays and Thursdays with the other half watching via video. The White Team will be in my classroom on Tuesdays and […]

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Children of Tomorrow Done and off to the Editor

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Earlier today, I sent in the completed manuscript for Children of Tomorrow, the final chapter in the This Alien Earth trilogy, created by Paul Antony Jones. I scheduled myself to start on June 1 knowing there needed to be time to revise, time for a beta reader, final drafting, and then deliver by August 15. […]

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Coming Saturday: Bad Ass Moms

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So, in theory, we should all be gathering at the Hunt Valley Inn for Shore Leave, but you know, things happened. There’s a virtual version that will have some panels this weekend and throughout the next few weeks. However, Crazy 8 Press won’t be slowed down. As promised months ago, we are debuting our latest […]

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The New Novel: Children of Tomorrow

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I had never heard of Paul Antony Jones when my occasional collaborator, Steve Savile, mentioned him to me on March 25. Paul, as I subsequently learned, was a Welsh-born author who emigrated to Nevada with his wife and family. He was considered an indie SF writer, perhaps best known for his Extinction Point series. In […]

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Adjustments

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2020 is proving to be a year where you cannot predict what will come next let alone prepare for the future. The goalposts keep moving as the world writhes under normal events, a pandemic, and a racial debate that’s long overdue. While Deb and I have been sheltering in place, being as cautious as we […]

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Transitioning into Summer

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This was a transitional week for me. Technically, it’s finals week, but we canceled them. Instead, this week has been a hybrid between personal work and school work. At our faculty meeting on Monday, we were informed we’d know our contract fates next week after the Board of Directors meet. Teachers are ten-month employees on […]

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The Academic Year Ends

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On Friday, the academic year came to an end. Over the next few days we have a faculty meeting and have to finalize our grades. By Friday, after I head in to clean my classroom, I will have officially complete the year and my contract. While this is not my student, I get the impression […]

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Cycles

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When I was hired to teach at Owings Mills High School, I was assigned freshmen classes and as my schedule was modified the next two years, I had many of the same students again, and again. That amount of day-to-day contact led to certain bonds being formed so it was incredibly sad when my principal […]

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T Minus 9 Days and Counting

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And just like that, we are down to nine days of teaching left. I have stretched the final units a bit for the sophomores and juniors, slowing down the pacing and adding in supplemental works so it’s more in-depth than. The honors freshmen are just now wrapping up The Old Man and the Sea and […]

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Saying Goodbye to Marty Pasko

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I think I first met Marty Pasko as the ubiquitous letter hack, nicknamed Pesky Pasko by editor Julie Schwartz. He was a familiar name to me for some time and then suddenly, he was compiling Julie’s letter pages. I still recall his tender editorial reply to the sister of one reader, James T. McCoy, who […]

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Teaching Online: Adjusting, Tweaking, Pacing

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I began online teaching on March 17 so, I’ve been at this for just over four weeks. It’s been a period of adjustment not only for me but for my students. As I read about how counties in Maryland and neighboring Virginia have struggled, I take some pride in how quickly my school pivoted and […]

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Me & Dreadstar

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In late 1981, just about the time Comics Scene was debuting, I got a call from Jim Shooter, inviting me to lunch. The Marvel Editor-in-Chief met me with Jim Starlin in tow to discuss the company’s new creator-owned contracts, which enticed Starlin back to the company. The first work to benefit from this would be […]

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Report from the Home Office

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This has been a much needed week, a break from the high-pressured adjustment to teaching online and working with the students along the way. It’s Spring Break and I have been enjoying it immensely. Yes, I’m still doing my part to flatten the curve but I like being home at the desk. While I cannot […]

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32

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The other day, Deb commented that 32 seemed like a very adult age. Today, Robbie would have hit that milestone and once again, I wonder what he would be doing. Robbie with Kendra and Mary, two of the people ensuring he was kept busy and active while being treated. When he took ill, he was […]

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Seven Years in Maryland

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Seven years ago today, we took possession of our current home. While we didn’t move in for another ten days, I see this as our formal arrival to Maryland. What the townhouse looks lie each Halloween. It still doesn’t feel like home. We had twenty years in Fairfield where we set down one root after […]

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Observations from the Home Office

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I like being home. I like my desk, my dog, my coffee. I have a ton of things to watch or read. Being home isn’t an issue for me. We’ve ventured out of the house to walk the dog 3-4 times a day, saying hi to neighbors, with everyone keeping a polite distance, although the […]

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Boldly Going into the Unknown

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On Thursday, we watched the tide turn and it became increasingly obvious we would be shutting the school to keep in line with other states. The governor confirmed that at 4 p.m. and by 5:30, the email went out to notify staff, parents, and students. We already had called a two-hour delay for Friday so […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Surprisingly, the annual Farpoint convention sort of snuck up on me in the sense that I have been so focused on school work that with just days to go, I have had to shift my focus and prepare to be a writer/editor/bon vivant once more. The show is tremendous fun, with lovely fans, but even […]

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No Surprise, Teaching is Rewarding and Tiring

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Teaching is incredibly time consuming, especially when the teacher makes the mistake of scheduling various components of a research essay for five classes with overlapping deadlines. As a result, not only am I planning and teaching the usual course load, but now I have lots of documents to review. To help them craft the best […]

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I’ve Been Thinking about the Rise of Skywalker

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As things developed, I had the chance to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker twice in December, and in-between I had the opportunity to read up and discuss at length as we all tried to process the final installment in the nine-picture saga. Right up front, I’ll say I was entertained and mostly satisfied […]

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My Year of Reading

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On this, the final day of 2019, as is my custom, I am looking back on my reading. I appear to have read 214 books, a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. According to the stats at Goodreads the shortest work was Eric Zawadzki’s Eternal and the longest, at 1008 pages, was The Books […]

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So, What Kind of Year has it Been?

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As 2019 ends, and the final year of the decade begins (at least that’s how I count it), it’s time to take stock and judge the year as a whole. Deb and I had a relatively quiet, relatively good year. We saw plenty of television, a handful of plays and a bunch of movies, did […]

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Writing Update

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I have written very little over the last few months. Once the Flash: 100 Greatest book was put to bed, I have managed two short stories and my usual reviews and columns. The sixth 100 Greatest Moments book has been pushed on the schedule by the publisher so I should have time to do more […]

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As the First Semester Ends

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For whatever reason, unlike last school year, I have been exceedingly pressed for time. As a result, I have barely done any writing or editing, let alone blogging in ages. Here it is, the third day of my break, and I am finally getting back to the website. My freshmen wrote and performed skits showing […]

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And so Ends the First Quarter

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Having two new preps – Introduction to Literature and Honors Introduction to Literature – have certainly proven to be more time consuming than I anticipated. First, I plan the former, then modify it for the latter, altering the pacing and type of work they do. As a result, the last few weeks have been a […]

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I’ll be at NYCC Saturday Only

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I had a wonderful time at New York Comic-Con last year, a whirlwind visit for one-day to hawk the just-released DC Comics Super-Heroines: 100 Greatest Moments. I delighted in meeting Leeann Moreau, the indefatigable editorial guru who made sure all the books in the series looked great while still coming out on time. We sold […]

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Holy Pub Date! It’s a Book!

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Word is that Amazon has begun delivering Batman: 100 Greatest Moments in advance of today’s publication. The review copies are out and I look forward to the commentary. I’ll say this: the book was a breeze to write and assemble compared with the other books. A large part of this has to do with my […]

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The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments Cover Reveal

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I completed the manuscript for The Flash: 100 Greatest Moments in mid-July, ahead fo schedule, and DC Comics was quick to review the manuscript. Their comments, delivered by Andrew Martino, an assistant editor who I knew long before through two different mutual acquaintances, were cogent and helpful. The manuscript is off to copy editing while […]

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The Pangaea III Kickstarter Campaign is NOW

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Mike Friedman doesn’t think small. He has envisioned worldafter world and one of his most ambitious projects was an alternate history. Some years back, he wondered how mankind would have evolvedhad Pangaea, the super-continent, neve shattered into the seven continents weknow today. He did some research, did some wishful thinking, then invited hisfriends to come […]

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And the Summer Break Comes to an End

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Last day of the summer break. My next project got delayed from starting and the editing Iwas told to expect in late July has yet to arrive. So, rather than get deepinto something else or seek out other projects, I have been noodling on anarticle not due until February. How am I spending this final […]

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11 Years

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Last year was tough. A decade is a solid block of time. Notthat eleven years is any lighter, but doesn’t have the same psychic weight. We continue living a day at a time, often getting stopped inour tracks by music, a line from a movie, a reference overheard. All bring backmemories of Robbie. Time certainly […]

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Summer Reading

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Since Christmas, I had been setting aside my summer reading,I had purchased one tome and received two others for the holiday, giving me afoundation for my summer. Whereas most people seem to prefer lighter, undemanding works for their summer pleasure, I knew that without lessons to plan and papers to grade, I could really dive […]

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T-Minus 20 Days

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The Lecture Hall we used for the week-long Project-Based Learning class. Three weeks from today, I report back to St. Vincent Pallotti to begin my third year of teaching there. And yet, as this week began,I already began planning out lessons so the next few weeks will be a hybrid of relaxed summer time and […]

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61

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While sixty felt momentous last year, sixty-one feels like just another day. Yes, there are cards and tons of well-wishers on social media and trust me, it all reminds me of how many connections I have out there. Today, I am at the National Archives, part of a week-long professional development class on project-based research. […]

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Domestic Doings

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With all the talk of my freelance life and conventional life,I haven’t had much time to talk about domestic life. And there have been thingsgoing on since school ended in early June. First, we finally acted on our desire to fill the gap left in our lives when Ginger died last August. We had discussed […]

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Shore Leave 41 After Action Report

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Shore Leave 41 was a great experience but I was left withregrets which is not how things usually shake out. First of all, the con was fun and despite more than a few ofthe regulars being absent for one reason or another, it was good to be there. As I discussed last week, we moved […]

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Flash: 100 Greatest Moments Announced

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As you know, I have been spent much of my writing time thelast year or so on the 100 Greatest Moments series for Chartwell Books, adivision of Quarto. I have been deeply gratified by the largely positive responsethey have received from reviewers and readers. The sales were better than Quarto anticipated so after thefirst three […]

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Tomorrow Thrilling Adventure Yarns Debuts!

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I first came up with the idea for what has become Thrilling Adventure Yarns in late 2017. It was generated in short order when there was concern among some of the Crazy 8 Press team that one of our other books might not make the schedule. While that crisis was averted, the notion of a […]

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New Prose Works Debut at Shore Leave

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So, come Friday night at the Meet the Pros event, I will be representedin not just Crazy 8 Press’ Thrilling Adventure Yarns, more on thattomorrow, but three other releases. eSpec’s Mike and Danielle Ackley-McPhail had some personalissues that slowed down their momentum and growing line of titles, the perilsof self-publishing, but they have gotten back […]

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What I’ll be doing at Shore Leave

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My love for Shore Leave has no bounds as it enters its fifth decade of existence. It has grown and prospered, evolving to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of the fans. I love how it has earned and maintained a reputation for being a fun, fan-run show where the media guests are comfortable. This […]

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The Chain Letter

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I’m doinga deep clean of my filing cabinet and am unearthing some things I have longsince forgotten. Among them was a copy of a chain letter that I received inJuly 1993 and actually copied and sent on to five friends. I’mflipping through it and am utterly amazed at who preceded me dating back to May1992. […]

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Survey Says

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At the end of the school year, I created a quick survey for the students, hoping to get constructive feedback. Of course, the students wanted credit for doing this but I explained this was strictly voluntary — and anonymous so they could freely say what was on their mind. I had 25 responses from across […]

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So, What Have I Been Writing?

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When I haven’t been in the classroom, I have been home, at the desk, writing and editing. There have been the usual Westfield Comics columns and reviews over at ComicMix, but there have been some projects occupying my time. Back in February, the Kickstarter campaign for Thrilling Adventure Yarns came to a rousing conclusion. Since […]

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Where have I Been?

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It’s pretty amazing how fast three months can zip by. I havehad every intention of writing here but life keeps getting in the way so by thetime I think about writing a post, I’m worn out and resort to a shorter notationon social media. With the school year winding down, my summer goals include postinghere […]

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The 30 Day Roller Coaster Ride

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“A re you sure you want to go that high?” Mike asked me. “Absolutely. Given what Kickstarter takes, and what my fixedcosts are, I need $4500.” “Okay, let’s see what happens.” And with that, my Quixotic campaign began, seeking $4500 toallow Thrilling Adventure Yarns makesome advance money, allowing me to buy rights to an unpublished […]

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Three More 100 Greatest Moments Books

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Back in late November, I received a call from my publisher atChartwell Books. Apparently, sales have been so strong, and the reviews so superlative,on the first three 100 Greatest Momentsbooks, they negotiated a deal with DC Comics for three more books. She wantedto know if I was interested in writing them. What do you think? […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Somehow we’re already one month into 2019 and just days away from the first convention. I, along with most of Crazy 8 Press, will be at Farpoint in lovely Hunt Valley, Maryland. The big thrill for me personally is having the chance tohear and hopefully meet Wallace Shawn. While beloved for his work in The […]

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Introducing Thrilling Adventure Yarns

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I’ve often spoken of discovering comics when my mother gaveme an issue of Superman (or maybe Action) when I was six. In short order,I began devouring larger-than-life heroes in earnest. Thankfully, DC and Marvelwere able to keep up with my growing appetite and it wasn’t long before myfather convinced me to add actual books to […]

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As the First Semester Ends

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Given an odd quirk to the school calendar, I return toschool on Thursday with three days to teach before mid-terms. Given that two ofthose days will be review, that leaves a dangling day for mop up duty andgetting everyone, myself included, back into school mode. The first semester has been fulfilling and challenging andfrustrating. I […]

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My Year in Reading

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I talked a bit about my writing and editing during the year.I also looked back at my reading. As I do every year, I track it through theGoodreads Reading Challenge. This year, I upped the number knowing that I wasswitching from comic books to collected editions, so I cautiously upped thenumber to 125 books. Well, […]

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What sort of year was it?

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It hasn’t been a bad year overall. Deb and I remained relativelyhealthy as we both hit 60, celebrating with our big trip to Scotland andIceland. We saw movies and plays, visited museums and libraries, and traveled to see family and friends. Throughout the year, we’ve upgraded portions of the townhouse, notably the Master Bathroom, but […]

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Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

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A parent didn’t show for a conference so I checked in with the rest of the world and discovered Stan the Man had left for Valhalla. I had wall to wall meetings until a little while ago and as I drove home, I finally had time to process his loss and his place in the […]

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So, About my Night with John Cusack

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The tour company that booked me to interview William Shatner after screening Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan got back in touch with me in August and inquired if I’d like to interview John Cusack. He’s been touring the country since January, screening Say Anything, and then doing the same Q&A.I have admired Cusack’s […]

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Looking Back at the First Quarter

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Time is flying.Our second quarter began October 25 and I have been meaning to reflect back on it ever since but here we are a week later and I’m finally getting to it.Given religious and national holidays, the first quarter felt long. The prolonged summer heat didn’t help, keeping kids longing to be back outdoors. […]

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We’re not the Greatest Country Updated

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In 2012, as Barack Obama was completing his first term, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom debuted on HBO. In the incendiary opening scene, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is asked before a college crowd to explain why America was the greatest country in the world. After the other speakers said it was because of freedom, McAvoy unloaded.After […]

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My Packed Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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One reason I have come to love living in Maryland is because each year I get to attend the Baltimore Comic-Con, a large, wonderful show about comic books. I don’t book a table so I can wander freely and visit with old friends wherever they may scattered around the convention center.I’ve become a regular and my Westfield Comics […]

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One Week Down

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The 2018-19 school year began on Tuesday and this year, I will be teaching six classes. Like last year, I have three sections of American Literature but only one section of Honors British Literature, and one section of standard British Literature, plus Journalism. Unfortunately, I had only seven students for the elective, but it lays […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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My school year was done at the beginning of June and the students report tomorrow morning for the first classes of the new school year. I’ve been back in the building since last Wednesday and will admit that I was lesson planning in bits and pieces throughout the summer.But it was also a time to […]

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10 Years Gone

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On the one hand, it’s hard to fathom that a decade has slid by since Robbie left us. On the other, we feel every one of those days.His peers are now 30, many married, all well established in their careers. Life has gone on for them, as it should. We’re left with the “what ifs” […]

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Some Thoughts on Turning 60

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Most of the time, I fervently subscribe to the notion that age is merely a number. I paused at fifty, though, since reaching the half-century milestone was worthy of pause and reflection.Here I am at sixty and am taking the time once more to see where I am.As the joke goes, at least I have […]

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A Belated Shore Leave 40 After Action Report

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Shore Leave 40 has come and gone. So much has been happening that my normal after action report got waylaid.The show was tremendous fun with plenty of nice touches to make it memorable. The Friday night Meet the Pros party went better than usual and all weekend long I received nice compliments on the Oral […]

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Irons in the Fire Update

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When Robbie was sick, I sat with him and poured myself into work. This week, as my friends left town and Ginger began to fail, I also focused on work. It’s a useful coping mechanism.As a result, I managed to complete a few projects, clearing the decks for the moment.One was an interesting ghostwriting assignment […]

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Ginger has Left Us

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Ginger died a few minutes ago. Losing a pet never gets any easier. In fact, this time it was harder because she was my pet.I first spied her in January 2009 as I was still processing the loss of Robbie. She was a rescue, found under a porch without tags. She needed to be socialized […]

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My Shore Leave 40 Schedule

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In 1981, I was working at Starlog Press and I received a call from my pal Howard Weinstein. He’d just been invited to be a guest at a new show called Shore Leave. It was their third outing and he thought I’d make a good (and cheap) guest, coming down to talk about SF movies […]

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They Keep Killing Glenn — and for good reason

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At Farpoint in 2017, we were enjoying our usual Crazy 8 Press panel, when somehow the event ended with the team agreeing to write an anthology where every author would find some gruesome way to kill our member Glenn Hauman.You have to understand, we love Glenn. But, he can’t get out of his own way […]

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School’s out for the Summer!

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And just like that, the first year at St. Vincent Pallotti High School has drawn to a close. This has been finals week so all I needed to do was proctor three exams and grade the tests my five classes took. I have until Tuesday to lock the grades and will do that today or […]

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About Last Night

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Now I know how it feels to be Ed McMahon. Last night was a touch surreal, a touch magical, and most memorable.William Shatner is currently touring the country, screening Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and then chatting with a moderator for an hour or so. When I saw he was coming back in […]

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Ten Years of Marvel and Missed Opportunities

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There’s a lot being written about Marvel’s cinematic universe turning ten this summer. It’s a cause for celebration, especially considering their track record, and creative accomplishments. For a number of reasons, we couldn’t see Avengers: Infinity War opening weekend (6:40 p.m. this Friday), and we’re very excited to see a cinematic experience.However, this week, and […]

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Happy Birthday, Superman and Action Comics!

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I was six and stuck in bed, once again suffering from bronchitis. For whatever reason, my mother thought I would like a comic book for company and brought home a Superman comic. The year was 1964 and I wish I could remember which my first comic was.What I do know is that I was hooked.The […]

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Five Years in Maryland

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On April 2, we noted the fifth anniversary of actually becoming homeowners in Maryland. However, today is the anniversary of moving in and truly living here.It’s largely been a successful transition. We still miss friends and family in Connecticut and the tristate area. We’ve noted how this distances us from Deb’s family in New Hampshire […]

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Thirty

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Robbie entered the world thirty years ago this evening, around 11:30 at night. We were thrilled to have a son, feeling this completed the family. As with his sister, we had no idea what to expect. We obviously wanted him to thrive and be successful and we’d support him, but we weren’t going to fill […]

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Superman Soars at the Library of Congress

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 Sometime in April, the actual 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1 will arrive but the celebration is already underway. Last night at the Library of Congress, the Washington Post’s David Bettencourt interviewed Paul Levitz and Dan Jurgens before a few hundred interested people. Since this was nearby, I was invited to hang out with the […]

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Welcome to Opening Day — on a Thursday?

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I love baseball. I wish I could throw and therefore play the game, but I grew up watching the New York Mets with dad, being taken to Old Timer’s Day for my birthday, and enjoying the entire experience.Some thirty-two years ago, Bob Rozakis invited me to join his Federal League, in the early days of […]

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Coming up for Air

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I have not planned to let so long pass without writing here.As usual, life gets in the way. Deb recently described me as having two jobs and I really never saw my freelance as a second job. While teaching, I always see it as a way to stay creatively engaged, stretching muscles I wouldn’t be […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Hard to believe, but it’s already February which also means it’s time for Farpoint. It happens to be a little different this year, their 25th. First, they’ve relocated to the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn (no matter who owns it or what they call it, that’s how we all refer to the venue). Second, it’s a […]

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Cover Reveal: Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments

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Work has been progressing on Justice League: 100 Greatest Moments, the first in a three volume set from Chartwell Books. Design work on the interiors has been continuing since I first announced the project, but now I have a DC-approved cover to show off.It’s a fine illustration of the current incarnation and should look just […]

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Year in Review: Reading

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I love having Goodreads’ Reading Challenge to help measure the kind of reading year I’ve had. I upped my challenge from 2016 to 75 and then midway through the year made a fundamental change in my comics reading.It became increasingly obvious that my comic book writing work has not been about contemporary matters so didn’t […]

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Year in Review: Writing and Editing

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With 2017 winding down, I am taking some time to look back and evaluate what sort of professional year it was.As the year began, I was out of work, seeking a school that wanted me fulltime and subbing most days at St. Vincent Pallotti. March saw me do a four-week stint at New Town High […]

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As the First Semester Draws to a Close…

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We have just five days left to the first semester at school then we go into mid-terms. The transition from teaching in a public school and a private school has been an interesting one with many differences.The biggest adjustment may well be the schedule where most weeks we have a shortened teaching day to accommodate […]

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Announcing my Next Project: The JLA’s 100 Greatest Moments

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You can’t buy it yet, nor is there a final cover, but over at Amazon, my next project has been posted. The title they have is The 100 Greatest Moments From The Justice League, which has since been modified to Justice League: The 100 Greatest Moments. It’s a 304-page hardcover from Chartwell Books, showing a […]

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Captain America Novel Annotations

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As you know, my Captain America novel has been out a week. I haven’t heard any feedback yet but I wanted to have this available to those curious to the various shout outs, references, and details. I had fun mining the Marvel mythos for people, places, and events. Hopefully, it makes for a better read […]

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Anatomy of a Novel

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I first pitched a Captain America novel on October 31, 2016.  The first notion was considered too political and controversial, as was the tweaked second pitch. I finally tried something entirely different and that met with approval from Marvel. A revised outline was submitted for review in January and in February, an expanded outline was […]

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Irons in the Fire Update

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One reason I have failed to write here with more regularity is that I have been busy. Not only am I coming up to speed on teaching in my new environment,  but I have been writing as time has permitted, tidying up old and existing projects.As a result, I thought it appropriate to update my […]

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What’s it Like to Teach in Private School?

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It’s hard to believe that we’re hurtling toward the end of the first quarter already. Sure, we started August 24 but wow, it feels fast.I was asked recently what it is like to teach in private school compared with public. First of all, no two private schools are identical so I can only speak about […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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I can’t believe so much time has passed since I last posted and for that I apologize, I’ll be talking about school next time, but right now I am excited to talk about this weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con.I’ll be there all three days without a table to man, so will be wandering and catching up with […]

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So Far, So Good

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I have either one week or two days in the books depending upon how you look at things. After a long, tiring drive home Sunday, I reported for work first thing Monday. The faculty had an off-site retreat to discuss the more spiritual aspects of teaching high school students. I was, thankfully, not the only […]

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My Terrificon Schedule

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I was at the first few Terrificion’s when it was a newbie and my how it has grown. After hearing how cool last year’s show was, I angled to get invited to this year’s shindig. It’s this weekend at Mohegan Sun Casino in the wilds of Connecticut.What makes this year special is that it has […]

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Nine Years

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Nine years.For whatever reason, it hangs heavy this year. Not quite the decade milestone but certainly we’re feeling it more keenly than last year. Go figure.We’ve been down in Maryland four years now and increasingly our circle of friends are people who never knew him. I’m about to work at my second school and there, […]

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Summer Movie Struggles

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Thanks to Deb and accommodating friends, I have been fortunate to see more movies than usual this summer. Some of it was to decide for myself if the buzz was accurate or because I was already predisposed to go and love the film.But, there was also the new feeling of necessity. The time theaters allow […]

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Back to the Classroom

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This morning I signed the contract and have formally joined the faculty at St. Vincent Pallotti High School. This is the school where I was a frequent substitute teaching between October and May, allowing me to get to know the students, faculty, and administration. They’re a small school compared to Owings Mills and their English […]

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The Withering Family Tree

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My Aunt Helene passed away passed away last week and while not unexpected, it still was a surprise. She died a month shy of her 91st birthday and had been in an assisted living home the last six years. We spoke infrequently but when we did talk, she relived her teaching days or talked politics, […]

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Veil Knights Adds Platforms for your Reading Pleasure

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Things may seem quiet on the Veil Knights front, but as it turns out, we’ve been quietly biding out time.When the dozen of us comprising Rowan Casey planned our launch, there were compelling reasons to go exclusive with Amazon’s Kindle publishing program. By going that route, we had a really strong sense of how we […]

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Shore Leave 39 After Action Report

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I’m tired, plain and simple.We were away in Italy for a pilgrimage, returning on July 4 and then on the 7th, it was the Shore Leave marathon. As a result, the late nights required by the con and a special event Sunday has left me worn out.But the con was good.Shore Leave remains a fun […]

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My Shore Leave 39 Schedule

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It’s hard to believe it’s time for Shore Leave 39 already. I’ve been coming steadily since SL 3 back in the early 1980s and I delight at how it has grown but retained its intimate, fan-centric experience.I’ve got a rather packed schedule along with playing emcee most of the weekend. For those attending, here’s where […]

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Stepping onto the Soapbox

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I tend not to write here or elsewhere about current events, not because I have nothing to say, but more because I am not interested in being attacked for having an opinion that others may not agree with.That said, I am rather appalled at what is happening in America, not because of who sits in […]

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My Awesome Con Schedule

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This coming weekend I will be at Awesome Con, a show I’ve come to enjoy. I had to skip last year due to my graduate classes but am back. I will have a table in Artists’ Alley, selling an assortment of books and chatting with whoever stops by.Additionally, I will be moderating three panels over […]

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Remembering Adam West

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In January 1966, I was seven years old and thrilled beyond belief when Batman debuted on ABC. I was fairly new to comics but was already drawn to the Caped Crusader and bought every wacky thing about the live-action series.West had the right vocal tone, the right demeanor so his ultra-straight portrayal worked for my […]

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Finished the Captain America Novel

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Once the chapter by chapter outline for Captain America; The Never-Ending Battle was approved by both Marvel Comics and Joe Books, I set myself a schedule to ensure that I could have the book done in time for at least one beta reader and still meet the June 15 deadline.I allocated 20 writing days for […]

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Happy Book Day to White Mountain Rising

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Out today is the seventh volume in the Veil Knights saga, White Mountain Rising. As you know, Rowan Casey is pseudonym used by the dozen writers behind the series and we have been working in a very collaborative manner.Working with the team has been an education as they parse and analyze marketing ideas and sales […]

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Trying to Keep my Resolution

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So far, keeping this year’s New Year’s Resolution has proven challenging. I had decided that in addition to whatever other writing assignment I had, I would also carve time out for at least one short story, figuring that 12 new stories by year’s end would be lovely.It hasn’t quite been working out that way.In January, […]

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2017 is Getting Full of Words

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Between January and July, I have five different projects coming out, which makes me sound busier than I feel.We had Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone kick off the year to much acclaim and (hopefully) good sales.In March, Sequart’s long awaited Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos.Then, […]

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The Concert Experience

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I have never seen a meme spread as quickly as this week’s concert guessing game where you list ten acts you’ve seen but readers have to guess which one is a lie.It did get me tripping down memory lane, thinking about all the shows I’ve seen through the years and consider myself fairly fortunate to […]

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“The Third Heaven” Coming in May

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I’m into my second week at home after the long-term sub gig and I have been rather busy. As I discussed last week, I am writing a Captain America novel. Currently, I am closing in on the completing the first third of the book and might be closer to half-done by the weekend.Just announced this […]

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I’m Writing a Captain America Novel

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Once I met the Marvel Super-Heroes as a series of animated adventures playing weeknights at 7 p.m. on channel 9, I quickly fell in love with them. Ever since, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, sticking with them through great stories and downright lousy […]

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I’ll be at Great Philadelphia Comic-Con This Weekend

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I’ve heard good things about the Great Philadelphia Comic-Con so when my pal Phil Guinta arranged for Crazy 8 Press to be invited as guests this year, I jumped at the chance.As it turns out, I will be joined this weekend by Peter David, Aaron, Rosenberg, and Russ Colchamiro instead of the full seven-member team. […]

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A Fast Five Weeks

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On a day by day basis, my long-term substitute gig felt grinding but as I walked out of the school on Friday, it suddenly felt like a rush.The grind had a lot to do with gearing up to try and learn 160 or so student names plus faculty and staff identities. Then, to try and […]

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Quick Update

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I look up and realize I haven’t posted in a while.I’ve had things happening, things to talk about, and the like but the long-term substitute assignment coupled with a busy freelance side has squeezed out a lot of leisure time.We’re in the final week of my assignment, already, and it felt good to be back […]

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Co-Writing with a Colleague

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Once upon a time, I was DC Comics’ Editorial Coordinator, responsible for overseeing lots of things including getting all the work copied and materials shipped to our talent around the world. During my tenure, I had the good fortune for having a reasonably good eye for talent and hired quite a number of people who […]

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I am a Temporary Titan

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I’ve gone from being an Eagle to a temporary Titan.My former department chair teaches now at New Town High School in Owings Mills. Oddly, there are three high schools – New Torn, Owings Mills, and Franklin – within something like five miles of each other. She reached out to me three weeks ago with the […]

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Fangs for the Memories

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Earlier this week, word spread that Fangoria, the second greatest horror movie magazine of all time, was shutting down once and for all. Sadly, it seems current writers are getting stiffed on payments owed them. The current owners have done a fine job running the once-great franchise into the ground through a combination of arrogance […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Hard to believe it’s already mid-February and I’m off to Timonium for my annual visit to Farpoint. While smaller than Shore Leave it is no less fun with a more intimate environment. Fewer guests and fewer fans means more time for extended conversations.I’m really excited to see Nicholas Meyer there since the last time I […]

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Many Irons in the Tiny Fire

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I like to be busy. There are some stretches where time hangs heavy without an active project, and I find that I procrastinate rather than really use the time for personal projects. That’s certainly one of the reasons I resolved to write a short story a month, something to keep me focused.Then there are days […]

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Revisiting and Revising an Old World

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Way back in ancient history, the 1990s, Brian Thomsen had left his editorial post at Warner Books to go freelance where he wrote and edited and packaged collections. We struck up a friendship when he worked a mere floor above DC Comics so when he saw I was starting to sell prose, he invited me […]

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Help me Lobby Against Betsy DeVos

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Normally, I don’t bring up politics here. The few times I have, it’s been fairly clear I would like our elected officials to represent the peoples’ will and not their personal ideologies. I’ve also pushed for them to actually be in session more days out of the year.Today, I change that by talking about Betsy […]

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Tales from the Forbidden Zone is out Today

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Today is the book birthday for Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone. I’m incredibly pleased with how well my story turned out and feel I am in some most excellent company.As it says over at Amazon:The 1968 Planet of the Apes film has inspired generations of authors. Now a who’s who of […]

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A Delay to Professorhood

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When I took my first steps on the path to becoming a teacher, I needed to round out my undergraduate load with a handful of classes. I wound up taking several online and others at nearby Housatonic Community College. It was my first exposure to adjunct professors, the underpaid, overworked people who grabbed as many […]

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My 12-part New Year’s Resolution

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I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, but as I enter 2017 without a fulltime job, I realize I have many hours at my disposal to write, seek out jobs or writing assignments, and write while also waiting for Opportunity to seek me out. So, as 2016 was thankfully on its way out the door, […]

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My 2016 Reading Challenge Wrapup

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According to Goodreads, I have read and logged exactly 100 books in 2016. The Reading Challenge was set at 65 books so I am something like 154% ahead of goal.The list does not segregate graphic novels from short eBooks from massive tomes but I’m cool with that since reading is reading. Some have been required […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been?

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This wasn’t the year I was expecting nor am I in a place I ever imagined for myself at 58 but if I have proven anything over time it’s that I can roll with the punches and keep moving.EducationIn the first part of the year, I watched my hopes for staying at Owings Mills High […]

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My One Carrie Fisher Story

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When I was working at Starlog, I had the pleasure to interview a number of young female stars, and among that number was Carrie Fisher. She was performing on Broadway in Agnes of God and was willing to chat about the forthcoming Return of the Jedi.The interview was scheduled between performances on a Wednesday afternoon. […]

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Lessons Learned from the First Draft

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So yesterday, I hit the end of the first draft for my contribution to the Veil Knights project. Along the way, I learned some new things and have other matters to consider before I tackle a second draft.When I began drafting the novel, it was late summer/early fall and I was working strictly from notes […]

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That’s Professor Bob Now

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As one academic chapter closes, another beckons.On Saturday, I completed my final course in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Master’s program in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators. This began in late June 2015 and I have plowed through seven courses since then and all of a sudden, it’s over.This final one, Comedy, Satire, and Parody, […]

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Thinking About the CW DCU Crossover

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Last night I finished watching the final part of the CW’s DC Universe crossover event. I give the production team kudos for trying something so ambitious. The mainstream reviews fell all over themselves to praise the four-parter and the ratings were sky high so this can be seen a legitimate commercial success.It also means this […]

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A Look at Wealthy Comic Characters

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This was sent to me by Sarah at Personal Income, a financial management company that at least tries to talk in language most people understand. I thought it was fun and was willing to share it with the understanding that I do not endorse their services or have been paid to run this.  Anyone would […]

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Lessons Learned at the Round Table

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Some of the benefits of being part of the Veil Knights collective is that I get to see how they approach not only the writing of their novels, but how they market themselves and their works. (I also have a whole host of new authors to sample in my “spare” time.) When Rowan Casey, our […]

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The Veil Knights Debuts Today

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One of the reasons I have been pushing for people to sign up for a newsletter is so when something major happens, you won’t miss the blog post. However, too few of you signed up keeping it a work in progress.As Steven Savile and I were winding down the final stages of our Sherlock Holmes […]

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An Open Letter to Congress

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To the current elected members of Congress: thank you for your service.To the newly elected members of Congress: welcome, you have some serious work ahead of you.The just-concluded election cycle is a reminder that you serve as representatives of the people, from you district, your state, and your country. Superseding their will with your own […]

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Peeling Away 40 Years

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My family moved from Jericho in 1978 and I don’t think I have been back to visit in a good thirty years. I’ve often wanted to take the time to return, revisit where I spent ages 3-18, but there never seemed time.This weekend, though, was my 40th high school reunion and after being hit or […]

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Unexpectedly Being Pushed to Grow

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I don’t often get pushed as a writer, forced to write in styles or about subjects outside my wheelhouse. While I want to make each work better than the last, I don’t go outside my proscribed areas of comfort and/.or expertise.As a result, my few courses at Fairleigh Dickinson have been interesting experiences as each […]

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Upgrading the Website with Features and Newsletter

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It has taken far longer than I had hoped, but a number of under-the-hood modifications have been made to the website.Things I do want to call to your attention is an improved Events pages so you can keep tabs on the big doings at a glance.I also totally revamped the Bibliography, adding covers and details […]

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Publishers Weekly Likes Our Sherlock Holmes Novel

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I’ve been writing and getting published since the 1980s, but this may be the first time I have had a work reviewed in the influential Publisher’s Weekly. And yet, a few weeks after the release of Murder at Sorrow’s Crown, we get a nice capsule review. Here’s what they wrote:By making Dr. Watson a plausible active partner […]

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Standing with Trek Against Trump Against the Haters

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Away from social media, I am a political guy. Regular readers may recall all the work I did as an elected official in Fairfield. Not so much (yet) in Maryland but that doesn’t mean I don’t have political opinions. I normally keep them to myself on social media, with rare exceptions.Last week was one of […]

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Continuing the Conversation: Confronting PTSD in ReDeus

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At the end of ReDeus: Native Lands, several of the recurring characters in our Crazy 8 Press series find themselves in New York City, 2033. All the gods from all the pantheons returned to Earth twenty years earlier. New York City was neutral ground and the United Nations was now a place where the gods […]

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First Reviews are Thumbs Up!

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So, the Sherlock Holmes book has been on sale for four days and we already have two sterling reviews over at Amazon and GoodReads.Check these out:Lyn writes, “I love Sherlock Holmes stories and Mr. Greenberger and Mr. Savile have truly captured the wit and meticulous wisdom of Holmes and Watson.“They kept me reading far into […]

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Enlisting in the 7 Line Army

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Yesterday, Deb and I joined an army.We were among the 1100 New York Mets fans to stuff Nationals Stadium for the final matchup between the Mets and Nationals for the regular season. (We’re still expecting to see them play one another in the League Championship series.) We sat in section 107, directly behind the left […]

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Murder at Sorrow’s Crown is Out Today

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Followers here know that this novel has had a long, tortured birth process but, today, you can finally judge for yourself if Steve Savile and I did a good job. Titan Books has released The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Sorrow’s Crown and what follows is something we wrote for Westfield Comics back […]

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The Hardest Writing Assignment of All

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I’ve been a professional writer since 1980, but I cannot recall an assignment that has been so difficult, I have literally wasted hours avoiding it.In my Writing & Critiquing Comedy, Satire, and Parody course, we kicked things off with an analysis of stand-up comedy. This required me to work with two others and brainstorm ten […]

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Talking Outside In Boldly Goes

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What feels like a million years ago but was actually more like three, I was invited to be one of 117 authors to contribute essays to a book in ATB Publishing’s Outside In series. They’ve done other media properties but tackled Star Trek aiming to have this mammoth work out in time for the 50th […]

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Saluting 50 Years of Star Trek

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Although Gene Roddenberry first conceived of Star Trek in 1964, today we celebrate its 50th anniversary as it debuted on NBC. For a number of reasons having to do with post-production optical effects and editing, the network decided to open with a monster-of-the-week episode, “The Man Trap”, rather than the second pilot, which introduced us […]

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So, About that Planet of the Apes Anthology

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I was so preoccupied with the action at Baltimore Comic-Con, I didn’t have a chance to proper promote my forthcoming contribution to Titan Books’ Planet of the Apes prose anthology. I knew there was a title and cover being approved, but Titan announced it via 13th Dimension before editors Rich Handley and Jim Beard could […]

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The Baltimore Comic-Con Wrap Up

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It’s been a wonderful but utterly exhausting last few days. The scheduling gods must have been having a laugh at my expense.Thursday kicked things off as Deb, Kate, Mike, and I attended the Bruce Springsteen show at Nationals Stadium. I’ve been going to see Bruce since December 1975 so I’ve been to over a dozen […]

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The Star Trek Stamps are Released Today

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Today at noon, the United States Postal Service is hosting at event at Mission New York, the 50th anniversary Star Trek convention. They will be unveiling the four commemorative stamps celebrating Gene Roddenberry’s creation.I was contacted a year ago to consult on these stamps, mostly the written material although I did offer my thoughts on […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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I’ve quickly grown fond of attending the Baltimore Comic-Con given its primary focus has remained on comics while growing slowly, but steadily. They’d added in some media guests but haven’t gone overboard and for the most part, are integral parts of the pop culture world the show celebrates.Since attending, I’ve been fortunate enough to be […]

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Quick Scam Update

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Spurred on largely by David Mack and Kate (and a chorus of Facebook friends), I called the FBI this morning. Being mostly equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., I tried the latter first. They sent me to the Baltimore office and I spoke with an officer, noting the Russian email, the Reno, Nevada company, the […]

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How I was Nearly Scammed This Week

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Recently, I signed up with three different online tutoring services, hoping to fill in my time with some local student tutoring since it appears I will be home for a while. Shortly after registering, I received word a parent wanted to communicate with me.He introduced himself and said his son Tom, 13, needed help with […]

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Being Stretched as a Writer

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Over July and August, I took two graduate courses for my Creative Writing and Literature for Educators Master’s Degree. These were Writing and Critiquing Fiction and Writing and Critiquing Drama, both requiring me to stretch.as a writer.With both courses over, and me catching my breath before the final course begins next week, I am takin […]

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Progress Report

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This week my peers at Owings Mills have reported back to work and the academic year is about to get underway. I’ll miss them and the students, especially the ones I had for three years running.It’s a weird feeling after three years of routine but I have reconciled myself to this new routine. I’ve been working […]

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Eight Years

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I woke up this morning tired and somewhat sore from loading a moving truck yesterday. I worked through the usual Sunday morning routine and went upstairs to check in with the world. I saw a comment on Facebook and was slapped in the face.So much has been going on this week that I spaced on […]

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The Suicide Squad Media Roundup

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This has been a nostalgic summer on a number of levels, starting with all the attention paid to the Suicide Squad. The comic has endured and been a highlight in many people’s memories. John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, Karl Kesel, and I have previously talked about our work way back in Back Issue! #26.On his Facebook […]

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So, I saw Suicide Squad…

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When I proposed the title of Suicide Squad to John Ostrander, neither one of us knew what would happen. For all we knew, DC wouldn’t be interested. Instead, they were and it was rolled into the Legends miniseries so it would spinout, much as The Flash and Justice League would.And now, look, all three are […]

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Revisiting my High School English Books

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I’m taking two grad school courses this summer. One is Writing & Critiquing Fiction and its interesting being asked to write a short story without a premise or anthology theme. It was kind of freeing and also kind of scary as I not only wrote something from scratch, on deadline, but then submitted it to […]

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Thoughts on Star Trek Beyond

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James T. Kirk has never been focused on family. In the Prime Universe, he had a dead brother and sister-in-law and a surviving nephew but other than one episode, we never heard about them again. When Carol Marcus was pregnant, they agreed, he’d stay away and honored that until circumstances brought them together.In the Kelvin […]

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Reflections as I Turn 58

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At 5:30 or so this morning, I turned 58 years old.Birthdays tend to be a time to take stock, looking over the last year or even more, determining if there’s cause for celebration.I’ve had a very busy weekend so it’s like one lengthy celebration, starting Friday with our first Bowie Baysox game, taken in with […]

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Shore Leave 38 After Action Report

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I have fallen out of the blogging habit, something I mean to correct starting here.Shore Leave 38 is now a fond memory and as usual, I had a wonderful, albeit tiring, time. The show remains a fixture in the Hunt Valley Inn and it has become a gathering spot for my fellow author, many of […]

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My Shore Leave 38 Schedule

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Shore Leave 38 kicks off on Friday and it will feel, once more, like a family reunion as I reconnect with my far-flung writing peers and see old friends. The schedule is chock full of panels I want to be on or sit in on, far more than time allows.Barring last minute changes, here’s my […]

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Leaving the Eagles’ Nest

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Today marks my final day at Owings Mills High School. On the one hand, I can’t believe three years have sped by so quickly. On the other, there was more I had hoped to accomplish.I have spent these years with a handful of students for two or three years straight and I am amazed at […]

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Where to Find me This Summer

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The summer used to be filled with lots of convention appearances, as I represented DC or Marvel and I truly enjoyed being at the booth or out with freelancers. Many, many great memories were created during those years.These days, I make fewer appearances and tend to stay relatively local unless I’m brought out somewhere different […]

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Review: Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour

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Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour by Matt BakerMy rating: 4 of 5 starsI have known of Matt Baker and his work for decades but before reading this book, I knew nothing about the man. Yes, I knew he was African-American, which was a rarity during the Golden Age, but to be homosexual as well […]

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Where Have I Been?

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I have been exceedingly quiet here on the blog but that does not mean I have been in stasis. There has actually been a lot going on but for a variety of reasons, I have put off writing anything for public consumption.The last few weeks has been filled with a lot of planning, both my […]

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Thanking my High School Teachers

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I was an indifferent student until tenth grade. Before that, I had some fun teachers I got along with but for whatever reason, things began to click as I neared the end of my sophomore year.By junior year, I was a different student, engaged and active in class, pulling down some reasonable grades and actually […]

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Deep in the 100 Acre Wood

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Back in 2015, I talked about producing a graphic novel adaptation of the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie for Joe Books. It was initially scheduled for June release and I was excited to have something different to show off.After the on sale date came and went, I never heard what had happened but eventually saw […]

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Canon and Continuity

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I walked into my classroom the other day to see two students arguing whether or not Superboy Prime was still part of the DC Universe canon. At first I was amused then I paused to consider the question because up until then, I had never really focused much on what constituted DC Comics’ official canon.Deriving […]

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Robbie at 28

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Recently, my brother asked me what I thought Robbie would be doing these days.I would like to think that had he survived, he would have followed through on his plans to complete college and train to become a residential life specialist at a hospital.He had hoped to transfer to Hood College so our plans of […]

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Three Years in Maryland

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Today marks the third anniversary of closing on the townhouse in Maryland, making us officially members of the Old Line State.We have certainly settled into the house and it feels like home, taking what we bought and making it our own. We like where we live, convenient to routes 29 and 32, 10 minutes or […]

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BvS: Overstuffed Plot vs. Underserved Themes

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Perhaps the biggest challenge Batman vs. Superman had was the same one plaguing Avengers: Age of Ultron. It had to service so many different agendas that things got muddled, especially for audiences not steeped in the lore. It certainly explains why the Blu-ray release will contain an additional 30 minutes of scenes, including more with […]

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Changes

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I have been told by many throughout the years that I would make an excellent teacher. When I hit a dead-end as a fulltime freelance writer, teaching seemed the next logical career step for me.I got my master’s, did my student teaching, and thought myself fortunate enough to land a job with Baltimore County Public […]

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Paramount’s Star Trek Move is not Viewer Extortion

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Variety broke the news on Friday that Nicholas Meyer had been signed to be a consulting producer and writer for Paramount’s new Star Trek series. I shared the news on my Facebook page because, to me, this gives me great confidence in the thinking going into the show. First you have Bryan Fuller, a proven […]

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Where Have I Been?

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I blink and days go by. I blink twice and its weeks.The usual excuses come into play. As January wrapped up, my new semester of grad school kicked off and I was plunged into lengthy readings plus poetry annotations and, gad, writing my own poetry to share with the class. We’re already four weeks in […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Thanks to the blizzard and the rapid advance of time, suddenly it is time for Farpoint. Once the little sibling to Shore Leave, the show has forged its own identity over the last few years. Small in size but packed with talent, the con is a relaxing and fun way to spend a weekend.My schedule […]

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I Appear to Have Been Reprinted

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I have been thrilled and delighted to see the work John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and I did on the Suicide Squad is finally seeing some DC love. Last year a volume collecting the first eight issues of our run was released and then, just in time for Christmas, they released Suicide Squad Volume 2: The […]

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Join me Back on Pangaea

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I enjoy worldbuilding. It probably has to do with growing up with the words “to seek new life forms and new civilizations…:” rattling in my head with great regularity.I loved playing with the DC Universe characters, helping reshape the universe in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I adored collaborating to craft new worlds […]

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By Ymir, we got Some Snow

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Winter finally arrived this week.Once we heard the dire predictions, Deb worked the internet to rearrange her travel, originally scheduled for Saturday. Thankfully, she found one last seat on a Thursday morning flight although that meant I took her to the airport at oh-dark-thirty. And of course, we had a powdering prelude that night so […]

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Elsewhere in Gotham City…

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Hard to be believe it’s been fifty years, but I still remember the thrill and anticipation as I sat in the playroom, ready for Batman. I embarrassed myself some time earlier when my father showed me a newspaper item announcing the ABC series and interrupted my teacher’s math lesson to share the good news.Yeah, I […]

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Back at the Keyboard

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I last wrote something original in June. Since then, the second half of 2015 was spent revising my story for The Side of Good/The Side of Evil or Sherlock Holmes.By December 11, when I sent off Holmes to Steven Savile for his final polish, I was exhausted from school, grad school and revising. I swore […]

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My 2015 Year in Reading

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A new year always comes with looking back and looking ahead. Thanks to Goodreads, it helps me track what I’ve read. I always take their book challenge and every year I exceed the goal. This past year I set myself for 60 books and wound up completing 74 titles, the last in the final hours […]

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Looking at Super Televsion

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Last week I looked our television consumption overall and my friend Pat brought up the second season of Gotham which got me to thinking about the abundance of comic-based television currently airing. I have not seen the second season of the CW’s iZombie so have nothing to say here although those I know watching it, […]

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So, What Sort of Year has it Been?

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Looking back at 2015 it was a year filled with more highs than lows but the lows were pretty tough ones to deal with. Overall, it was a pretty good if unspectacular year.We achieved our 35th wedding anniversary, a milestone of some note. To celebrate we made a weekend of it in New York City […]

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About those Star Trek Stamps

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So, back in the summer, I was on vacation but checked email and found an invitation to consult on the USPS’ forthcoming Star Trek stamp set. For a modest fee and a few hours of my time, would I look over their designs and text?Of course I agreed and when I returned home, I found […]

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Catching up on Television

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We watch too much television. At least that’s according to my wife. Not so much according to my peers.The difference is that as the 2015-16 prime time season began, we found ourselves unmoved to try most of the new sitcoms and dramas. We have added just one new series, Blackspot, and will probably sample Telenovela but […]

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Where’s the Editor?

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The other day my fellow teacher Gabe and I got into a conversation about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We both really enjoyed it and, with no one else around, we began discussing it in detail. Despite our enjoyment, we also found story flaws and explored them at length.That night he posted a link to […]

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A Long Time Ago…

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I remember buying Marvel’s adaptation of Star Wars prior to the movie opening but didn’t think much of it. They were pumping out so many adaptations and this one was of a film we hadn’t seen yet. I was there because Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin had produced work I enjoyed.While Arts & Leisure editor […]

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Emerging from the Wilderness

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I am finally coming out of the wilderness and returning to a more manageable life.When I started the fall, I knew I had a full plate with my third year of teaching now coupled with a graduate course. What I didn’t anticipate was having a massive revision of Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Sorrow’s Crown to […]

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Taking Comfort in Tradition

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Tomorrow there will be turkey.Tomorrow there will be family.Tomorrow I will eat too much.There is a certain comfort that comes with observing tradition. I like how we revisit these throughout the year, but especially now as the calendar winds down. We hurtle from Halloween to New Year’s in just under three months. No sooner do […]

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Too Many Revivals May Spell Trouble for TV and Film

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The voracious need to populate the schedules of hundreds of cable channels, streaming video services, and the silver screen has come to mean that nostalgia is being strip-mined in an effort to create enough familiar properties to attract people’s attention.Over the last few months we’ve been told that revivals of Star Trek, the Six Million […]

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Check out my Computer-Equipped Classroom

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Back in July, I popped one of our assistant principals a note about my plans to switch our print newspaper to a digital one. At the conclusion I added that I had hoped we’d figure out a way to get me a writing lab so my journalists and creative writers could have consistent computer access. […]

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The Slow Death of the TV Programming Guide

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Over the summer I had to write a piece imitating the style of the Object Lessons column from The Atlantic. I wrote about the vanishing use of the programming guide. Here’s a modified version for your consideration.Variety reported in August that pay-TV distributors lost 566,000 subscribers during the second quarter of 2015, which is traditionally […]

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Star Trek Continues to Entice Fans and Early Adopters

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There’s been a lot of debate – and more than a little mockery – at the news this week that CBS was going to produce a new Star Trek series.About the only truly surprising thing is that it finally got announced. My understand all along had been that the CBS side of the Viacom split […]

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Meet my Fellow Apes

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Over at the Hasslein Books blog, Rich Handley has revealed the complete line up of authors contributing to the untitlted Planet of the Apes prose anthology. Rich edits this with Jim Beard and it should be all manner of fun. I mentioned recently that I begin 2016 by penning a story set during the POTA […]

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Saying Goodbye to Murphy Anderson

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I wish I could recall the first time I met Murphy Anderson. I’m fairly certain it was some time back in the 1970s but I do know I crossed paths with him during my brief 1980 summer tour of duty. He was unassuming, with a deep voice, and always in a suit.He left us yesterday […]

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The Happy Recap

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Simply amazing. That’s the short answer to how was the anniversary weekend.It had a little bit of everything we love and then some. First of all, we were wise to take Amtrak since it meant the trip back and forth would be stress free and we could relax.We arrived Friday night and hit Modell’s in […]

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It was 35 Years Ago Today…

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I am pretty amazed it has been 35 years since Deb and I walked down the aisle at CW Post’s interfaith chapel. The skies had darkened and the rains came down in torrents but we ignored the omens and went ahead and haven’t looked back once.We’ve certainly experienced a lot in three and a half […]

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As the School Year Zips By

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Hard to believe, but we’ve been in school for eight weeks already and the first quarter is rapidly drawing to a close.What kind of year has it been so far?A year of growth and confidence. I am teaching English 11 for the third year so there’s a comfort in working with familiar material. The lessons […]

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A Time to Reflect

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I recently realized I have reached the stage in my career where I am often asked to reflect back on specific periods of productivity. Are these my prime days as an editor or writer? I don’t know.What I do know is that I don’t mind tripping down memory lane now and then, especially when it […]

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My Next Writing Project is…

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Given the new school year, my graduate course work, and having to find time to fit in the revision to Sherlock Holmes, I have not been very focused on my writing. I do admit to missing it and keep looking forward to finding that all-too-rare time.I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to come next […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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Baltimore Comic-Con has become my go to show to catch up with friends and colleagues, checking out what’s new, and reveling in being a fan. However, I also get to moderate a handful of panels each year and my schedule this weekend is chock full of coolness.FridayStories I Haven’t Yet Told, Rooms 347-348, 5:00-6:00Writers are storytellers but […]

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Some Thoughts on my Nephew Nick

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Those following my Facebook feed know that we lost our nephew Nicholas Upton on Sunday, August 30. He was on studying abroad in South Africa and while on break with his buddies, went swimming and apparently got caught in a riptide and disappeared.His father, Jim, is Deb’s brother and he’s been a part of our life […]

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Why Sherlock Holmes has Been Delayed

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Those who pre-ordered Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Sorrow’s Crown may have received a notice indicating the December 1 publication date has been changed to September 13, 2016.Over at Facebook, my collaborator and friend Steven Savile tried to take all the blame but I refuse to accept that. It was a unique set of circumstances from all […]

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Superhero Shabbat

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Over the summer, I was contacted by nearby Temple Beth Shalom and asked to be their speaker at a Shabbat dinner, discussing Jews and superheroes. The mother explained that her son, Eli, was a huge superhero fan which has become the theme of his Bar Mitzvah so when Rabbi Susan Grossman was looking for a […]

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Back to School – Student Edition

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Two days down and not so bad.I got my classroom as ready as can be despite the lack of computers and at 7:25 Monday morning we were off and running the marathon that is the 2015-16 school year. My schedule is nicely arranged so I have one each of Creative Writing, Journalism, and English 11 […]

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Back to School – Teacher Edition

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Boy, did this week zip by.Teachers reported Monday morning and we were presented with a full agenda that, by week’s end, left everyone wishing for more time. While we’re ready for Monday, I suspect we’d all like to be a little further along in our lesson planning.It’s not like we can just whip out last […]

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And So Ends the Summer

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For most people, the measure of summer goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day. According to the calendar, it’s really from equinox to equinox, late June through late September. For teachers, it’s from the last day of school until we report back.I report back tomorrow so for me, this is the last hurrah of summer.It’s […]

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Seven Years

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Seven years.Seven years since we lost Robbie to leukemia.The first year was the toughest, as you might expect. The five year mark had a certain weight to it. The seven year mark definitely feels like a chunk of time has passed but it lacks the significance of the every-five-year cycle.Still, his passing deserves recognition. Deb, […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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The schedule for this year’s Shore Leave con remained in a bit of flux until last night but now, mere hours before I head over to the refurbished Hunt Valley Inn, I wanted to let you know where to find me.Friday6 p.m. Sci-Fi Squares, Valley Room7 p.m. Crazy 8 Presents Youth Workshop: Plotting, with Michael […]

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

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So, Deb took my unusually busy summer schedule and carved out 11 days for us to actually have a vacation. It meant coming home from Austin for a mere four days before hitting the road but now that we’re back I can confirm it was totally worth it.Unfortunately, the six weeks allotted to the online […]

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Exploring When a Hero Decides to Retire

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I’ve been busy and away from my computer more than usual this summer which explains my relative silence here. But I’m surfacing to ask for some support.Growing up, I read all the DC and Marvel titles and watched heroes come and sometimes pass the mantle on to someone else, I’ve watched them die and be […]

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ASNE Texas: Bonding and Barbecue (and some learning)

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Regular followers here know that I was fortunate enough to sneak in under the wire and get accepted to the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. I was selected to join the cohort in Austin, based at the University of Texas at Austin. I write this from the airport where my plane has been delayed […]

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2 Classes, 2 Campaigns

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Life has been exceedingly busy and I had no idea how much of it would kick off over the last 48 hours.On Monday, I reported for the first of my four days of curriculum writing. I’m part of the English elective team, paired with an experienced teacher to draft the framework, overview, and performance based […]

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Roberts Court not as Activist as They Think They Are

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I had to chuckle when I read the varying dissents in the Gay Marriage case since the authors, sounding like sore losers, accused their brethren of being “activist” judges. As a liberal, I felt much the same way when those same judges came up with a ridiculous decision in the Citizens United case.Also, Ruth Bader […]

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Forging a Routine

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I work best when I have deadlines and goals, routines and habits. Experience has shown me that without a plan I could fritter away my precious time off and that would never do.Unlike other stretches away from the classroom, this summer is packed and fractured. As a result, I’ve had to really sketch out what […]

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And So the Summer Learning Begins

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The Creative Writing and Literature for Educators program requires us to begin with a three day residency. As mentioned previously, I skipped the final day of school to be at Fairleigh Dickinson University in time for the 9 a.m. Friday kickoff. Good thing, too, since it took about 5 hours to get there, far more […]

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Year Two Comes to a Successful End

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School ends Friday but for me, the year ended today.Year two went far better than year one, and looking back, I can feel the growth and confidence growing. There are still plenty of things I want to do better, starting with classroom management, but I am definitely getting the hang of this teaching thing. I […]

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Over at the SFWA Blog

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Since March, I have been in touch with the Science Fiction Writers of America‘s membership, collecting, editing, and posting a series of posts in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. It was timed to ramp up continued interest in this weekend’s Nebula Awards ceremony. With Stephen Gould getting the last word, I got to wrap […]

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My Awesome Con Schedule

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Awesome Con is growing by leaps and bounds and I am thrilled to be returning, albeit only Saturday and Sunday. But, I will be moderating three panels in addition to manning a table on the showfloor.For those attending, come say hello, buy a book (or two), and come listen.Saturday“Playing in Your Sandbox vs Someone Else’s […]

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On Memorial Day

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Memorial Day may mean stores are open for shopping but it I one holiday where its meaning is rarely far from sight. In Fairfield, we would always attend the town’s parade, which was filled with pomp circumstance and float after float. People would hold spots along the route with blankets and chairs for days in […]

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Saying Goodbye to Dixie

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The first dog I really got to know well was Hadji, Deb’s family pet; a golden retriever that was friendly and lovable. He made an impression on me so, many years later, when Dakota, a shepherd/lab mix, was about seven, I casually mentioned that I thought a golden would make a good “next” dog.Somehow, Deb […]

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May & June Appearances

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As I prepare to begin my Master’s program with Farleigh Dickinson, I have a fairly full calendar of appearances in May and June and wanted to alert you to them in case you wanted to come say howdy.First up, I will be at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. I will have a table in Artist’s […]

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How I am Spending my Summer

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If you said to me in 2010, I would be awarded a Master’s Degree in anything, I would have not believed you. I never felt I needed a Master’s Degree in anything related to my writing or editing, letting decades of experience be all the schooling I needed.When my focus shifted to becoming a teacher, […]

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Coming Soon: More Words from Me

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The last few weeks have certainly been a whirlwind of activity as DC Comics closed shop and I spent the last six posts wandering around Memory Lane. I have far from exhausted stories from DC and haven’t even touched Marvel yet so some other time I’ll take another trip.Rather than look back, I thought I’d […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 6

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After a tumultuous year at Marvel, I was out of work in January 2002 and after a few months got a call from Georg Brewer, DC’s design director and the man overseeing the company’s collected edition program. He took me to lunch and invited me home, offering me a Senior Editor post with the group. […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 5

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If the company was so wonderful, why on Earth would I want to leave it?I had known Paul since I was 13, and his perceptions of me as the kid were transferred to Jenette. The editorial structure began to change under Dick with Mike Gold as a Senior Editor so Barbara and I were seen […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 4

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The summer of 1986 also saw me doing some Marketing work for DC. As the schedule had it, San Diego and Chicago shared the same weekend as the Atlanta Fantasy Fair and Dallas Comic Con. With the company’s resources dedicated to the bigger shows, I was asked to take a smaller version of the booth […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 3

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Looking back, I can clearly see how things peaked in 1986, one of the single most pivotal years in comic book history, but back then it was just a very busy year of really cool stuff happening. With my initial projects now history, I was deeply involved in a wide variety of things. There was […]

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Looking Back at the DC Offices Part 2

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I joined Starlog Press in September 1980 and within months had a notion for a new magazine, one to cover comic books, comic strips, and animation. It debuted a year later as Comics Scene and I’ll be reminiscing about that in a forthcoming issue of Back Issue! Once the magazine was canceled in 1983, I […]

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Looking Back at DC’s Offices, Part 1

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On Friday, DC Comics closes its doors in New York City, completing the lengthy relocation of core staff and operations to Burbank. I’ve been watching from afar, disappointed I couldn’t arrange a final trip north to make a final visit. Instead, I’ve been watching friends and former colleagues posting current pictures of the packing process […]

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Two Years in Maryland

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The following was supposed to go live yesterday, but technical difficulties delayed things until this morning. As you read, pretend it is April 2.As of today, we have been official residents of Maryland for two years. It certainly doesn’t feel like two years and it still doesn’t quite feel like home yet. Of course, neither […]

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I’m Still Here

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It’s been an extraordinarily quiet month on the blog and for that I apologize. I have been far from idle but the month has also had me in a nose-to-the-grindstone routine that has sucked away most of my free time.First, the teaching has been going well enough. I had my fourth and final observation this […]

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Trading Teaching for Writing for a Week

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There are tradeoffs to everything. While I have loved my extra time at home over the last seven days, I am now preparing to return to school where we have to pick up the pieces.To review, last week Maryland began administering the PARCC exams, the Common Core-aligned testing that replacing the HSA tests in Math […]

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Thinking About Leonard Nimoy

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I teach from 11:10 until 2:05 each day so only had the briefest of moments to absorb the email headline I caught between classes that Leonard Nimoy had died. Once the bell rang, I headed to the department office to try and process this tremendous loss to fandom. Instead, students demanded my attention and I […]

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Desperately Seeking the Muse

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I work hard at most everything I do. These days, that means I am heavily focused on school work and trust me, there’s a lot to juggle there. I plan, trying to tighten up my lessons to be more effective in the classroom. I grade, holding the kids to the rubrics and expectations that come […]

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Looking Forward to Exploring Pangaea

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I have grown up exploring strange new worlds. The thrill of discovery never grows old and I think that is one of the main reasons why I continue to enjoy writing fiction.While at Farpoint last week, I posted a series of questions to Mike Friedman, getting him to elaborate on the thinking behind life on […]

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The Farpoint After Action Report

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On the one hand, small shows are great. You have more time to chat with fans or friends, there is less stress on your schedule, and it’s easier to maneuver through the hotel. The flipside, though, is that if you plan on signing and selling a lot of material, your chances diminish. With fewer than […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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If it’s President’s Day weekend, then it must be time for Farpoint. I’ll be back in Timonnium this weekend to see fans, friends, and hopefully sell some books and talk up new projects such as Pangaea.The committee has decided to work me hard so here’s my schedule:FridayFarpoint Book Fair, 10:00-Midnight, Dulaney 1-2SaturdayBob Greenberger, 10:00-11:00 AM, Greenspring […]

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Our Pangaea Kickstarter Campaign is Underway

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One of the most interesting books I’ve read was Medea: Harlan’s World where Harlan Ellison, Jack Williamson, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Thomas Disch, Frank Herbert, Poul Anderson, Theodore Sturgeon, Hal Clement, and Robert Silverberg created their own world. This grew out of a seminar Harlan and company conducted back in the 1970s with the lovely […]

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The Waiting Game

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I admit to being a member of the instant gratification club. I send something off and I want an instant acknowledge, preferably a positive one. So, you know, I hate waiting.But on several potential assignments, I have been doing the patient waiting dance. For one client, I have been waiting on two or more potential […]

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Happy 49th Birthday, Batman

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The headlines have been filled this week with the CW buzz over a possible Atom spinoff from Arrow and a Vixen animated series while CBS is salivating for the Supergirl series, said to be set in the same television reality. It’s utterly astounding to see how many comic book properties are being developed for animated […]

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2014 Reading in Review

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When I began full-time teaching, I despaired at how many books would go unread. According to the tracker over at Goodreads, I peaked at 78 books in 2012 and slipped to 72 a year later. As a result, when it came time to set my reading challenge for 2014, I aimed low and decided on […]

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What Kind of Year has it Been

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I have been complimented more than once on the reflections I do here and at school so I keep plugging ahead and what better time to pause and reflect than as a new year dawns?Overall, 2014 was a pretty good year. As with most years, it had a mix of ups and downs with the […]

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Some Thoughts on The Secret History of Wonder Woman

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For those of us who have worked in the comic book field, the kinky side of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, is old news. We knew about his odd home life with wife Elizabeth Holloway along with his “secretary” Olive Byrne. The mainstream world, though, is just coming to terms with this amazing tale […]

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Returning to Sorrow’s Crown

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Regular readers here know that I spent some of June and July writing a Sherlock Holmes novel for Titan Books. Murder at Sorrow’s Crown is collaboration with Steven Savile and is unlike any other collaboration I have ever done. First, I have never met Steve. Heck, I don’t even know what his voice sounds like. […]

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On a Winter’s Break

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The Winter Break came at a good time. We’re all tired, overwhelmed with paperwork, and just this week several notices came out requiring us to begin thinking about next year’s courses and students. A perfect storm of scheduling meant my sophomores delivered essays and journals last week while my juniors delivered two different essays this […]

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Taking Pride in the Suicide Squad Movie

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When editors are doing their jobs, they get the best out of their talent. Sometimes that means picking the talent and unleashing them, much as I did with Grant Morrison and Richard Case on Doom Patrol. Other times, you get marching orders and like them or not, you produce as professional and commercial a project […]

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Four-Color Prime Time Reflections

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Earlier this TV season I slammed Gotham as a lazy adaptation of the Batman mythos and yet I found myself watching each episode, because the buzz was growing. As the show heads into its winter hiatus, I thought it fair to go back and consider it a second time.Given that none of the characters resemble […]

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Interstellar is an Emotional Void

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Christopher Nolan thinks big. There’s little question he has an impressive imagination and his body of work speaks to those larger issues. Often writing with his brother Jonathan, they have produced a series of films with a polish and gravitas that few other big budget spectacles can match.And yet…And yet, in almost every case, the […]

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You Can’t Go Home Again – But you Can Visit

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I was invited to address the students at SUNY-Farmingdale this month, courtesy of Dr. Laurie Rozakis, who just happens to be one of my oldest and dearest friends. She figured that as a fellow educator and longtime writer, I might have interesting things to say. I fortunately had the ability to schedule the talk to […]

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Once More Taking the Stage

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I used to do a lot of theater, finding it a fun outlet for my energy. My best performance may have been back in 9th grade when I was a killer Evil Eye Fleagle in Jericho Junior High’s production of Li’l Abner. My last production was a year later in the high school’s One Act […]

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Coming up for Air

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No, I’m not dead. Just very, very busy.For most of November, my free time has been sucked up by school or family matters. With four straight days off and a few things settled, I intend on catching up and resuming more or less regular posting here.In short, it’s been a very busy period. First, my […]

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As the First Quarter Closes, I’m Beat

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Our first quarter ended on Friday and I am only now recovering from an exhausting final week. Starting the previous Friday, the moment the bell rang at 2:05, I was inundated with students asking to check their grades, deliver overdue work, seek extra credit opportunities, or plead their cases. Despite bending my no late work […]

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As the School Year Progresses

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I’m not writing as much about being a teacher this year as last; largely because I haven’t had a lot of time nor do I have a lot of angst to work through.I can’t begin to describe the difference between Year One and Year Two. Not every single thing I do is new and I […]

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Reflecting on 34 Years of Married Life

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I am teaching kids ranging from 14-17 and as of today, I am now married more than twice their ages. Today, Deb and I celebrate our 34th anniversary.In the wake of Kate’s recent marriage, it has given me occasion to pause and reflect about the journey we’ve been on. We started at 22, less than […]

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Gotham is a Lazy Adaptation

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One of the things that really irked me while I was working at DC Comics was when an artist needed a collection of villains for some story and rather than check to see which ones were available, he’d merely thumb through his set of Who’s Who and cherry-pick whoever he wanted to draw. The editors […]

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I’ll be at Capclave on Saturday

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A year ago, I foolishly thought I could begin teaching and still have time for a personal life which included attending local conventions. The reality of the situation quickly reared its head and I had to regretfully withdraw from attending nearby Capclave, the show I had hoped would replace Lunacon to satisfy my science fiction […]

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Recapping the Wedding

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How do you describe a magical weekend in just words? Last weekend’s wedding was everything parents could hope for their children.Things more or less got started on Thursday when the couple joined me, Deb, my brother Neil, my sister Judy, and her daughter Corinne at the Nationals-Mets game. There was much catching up and little […]

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Kate Gets Married Today

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As you read this, I am spending the day in celebration of a significant milestone.Today, Kathleen Michelle Greenberger is transforming into Mrs. Michael Pakaski and there is much cause for celebration which is exactly what we’re doing.It is also a time to pause and reflect. When she arrived over 28 years ago, we had no […]

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Reflections After 17 Days

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Now that we’re 17 days into the new school year, I think I have enough evidence to make a few conclusions.Our switch to block scheduling has been pretty smooth and I have to say I like it a lot. Although I have to keep my eye on the clock, the lessons are flowing smoothly and […]

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Sorry, I Don’t Have a Top 10 for Books

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Over the last few weeks I was asked on three separate occasions to list the 10 books that have stayed with me. I don’t have 10 books. Heck, I don’t have a single favorite book or author and hate when those questions come up in interviews.I remain amazed at people who read and reread books […]

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The Watchers Book 1 Book Trailer & Giveaway

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As promised a while back, here’s some additional information on The Watchers. Check out the book trailer and below is a giveaway opportunity. The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMVJ6btZLFA?version=3&f=user_uploads&c=google-webdrive-0&app=youtube_gdata&w=320&h=266] In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept […]

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8 Days Down

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This post should have gone up on Friday but technical difficulties made tat impossible although the observations below remain valid.One of my peers came over to me Friday morning to tell me how proud he was not to hear me yell once this year. Now, the school year is a mere eight days old, but […]

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Boosting the Signal: The Watchers Book 1

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I’m trying something new today, and in a week or so, helping a fellow author promote a forthcoming book with the hope that the favor will be returned when the time warrants it. The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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Despite my name not being on the guest page (again), I can guarantee you that I will be at the Baltimore Comic-Con this coming weekend. I will be changing identities from mild-mannered English teacher to veteran comic book pro sometime on Friday afternoon in time to begin my moderator duties. This year, program guru (and […]

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Remembering Stan G.

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I no longer remember how I learned Stan Goldberg lived in my town of Jericho. Maybe it was from my younger brother Neil who was friends with Stan’s son at school. Heck, he lived just a few blocks over, so when I learned a real, live comic book artist lived nearby, I arranged to go […]

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The Splintering of Celebrity

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I remember when Fred Astaire died. I was walking to the LIRR from DC Comics and saw the afternoon edition of the New York Post and was thinking how an entire generation of performer was vanishing from the public eye.On Monday evening, the In Memorium portion of the Emmy Awards saw us say farewell to […]

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Day One

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Last year, it made perfect sense that I was nervous on day one. It was my first time in a classroom for real and there were five classes of strangers awaiting me. I was therefore surprised to see how nervous even the veterans were getting on Monday and Tuesday. I was feeling fine, though, better […]

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The First Week Flew By

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According to my mother, she used to return to her Los Angeles-area middle school exactly one day ahead of her students. There was little time to revise lessons, decorate the room, or even learn of changes to curriculum or the school staff. She therefore is amazed I have seven days prior to the kids returning.Here […]

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Dystopian Worlds Don’t Work

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Deb and I were watching Divergent on DVD recently, and before the movie ended, I was struck by the thought that the world didn’t work. Once Kate Winslet began going on about suppressing or eliminating free will, I realized this was not tenable. By dividing society in to five groups, calling them factions no less, […]

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Six Years

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Six years ago tonight, Robbie left us and his absence remains keenly felt.The other night, Deb and I were walking the dogs and she said, “Six years” and I replied, “I always find myself dwelling on the bad times, not the good ones.” I wish I knew why that was but all week long I […]

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Transitioning

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It snuck up on me. As I was preparing for Shore Leave last week, I checked my calendar and was reminded with startling clarity that school is around the corner. I had forgotten that this week’s professional development was two full days which meant last week was the final five day week of being home. […]

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Back from the Convention

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Shore Leave 36 was another wonderful set of experiences. While the Hunt Valley Inn is in the process of morphing from a Marriott to a Wyndham, the usual assortment of friends and fans arrived for three days of merriment.There were more writers in attendance than usual which meant a few things: we were crammed into […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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I love Shore Leave. I have ever since I attended my first, which happened to have been their third. And here we are, at Shore Leave 36 and the show has settled into a nice rhythm. It has always been kind to writers and over the last 15 years or so, the number of authors […]

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Seeing How it’s Done

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I’ve always been envious of Bob Rozakis being able to take off for six weeks each summer to teach writing and imagination as part of Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth program. He started working at the program at Goucher College here in Maryland so once upon a time I was a one-day guest lecturer, […]

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What’s in a Name? Ask Barbara Kean

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As we celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary three months late (Detective Comics #27 hit newsstands on April 18, 1939), I see the usual hubbub over creators and creator credit. Thankfully, DC Comics has finally started to acknowledge Bill Finger as a contributor to the Batman legacy. He and his heirs will never see the kind of […]

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Where We’ve Been

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While we were away this past week, Deb commented on how much planning a getaway has changed. It used to be, you sent away for brochures from the city/state’s tourism bureau then you could order guidebooks and triptiks from AAA. Then came the Internet and suddenly you could plan a variety of visits in advance, […]

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Already Thinking About School

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We had barely celebrated Independence Day when the Back to School circulars began appearing in the Sunday paper. While I know some regions of the country start classes in early-to-mid-August, for the rest of us, it feels like we just finished school so are shocked to consider the new school year is already upon us.The […]

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The First Draft Blues

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I learned a great deal from working on the Sherlock Holmes project. Murder at Sorrow’s Crown is proving to be a more challenging experience than I anticipated and remain forever grateful that I am doing this with a partner, Steven Savile. One, it means I’m not going through this alone, and two, I have someone […]

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Binging

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More and more, I find myself joining the bingers in the way I consume media. It started with the monthly comics that keep rolling in. With my teaching regimen, I found I could no longer read everything as the boxes of books arrived. I found myself accumulating two or three months of some titles and […]

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Writing and Researching

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I have gained an entirely new appreciation for research. For years, I reveled in the research I did for my various non-fiction projects, scratching my History itch and feeling pretty good about it. However, now that I am applying the necessary research to my Sherlock Holmes novel, I find myself constantly ill-prepared.As I mentioned over […]

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One Week Later

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Last Monday we had an odd half day of school, bringing my first year of teaching to a close. The morning was spent cleaning out our auxiliary bookroom, dealing with dust bunnies the size of rats and tossing paraphernalia or outdated text books, finding we had plenty of space after all. The few students who […]

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Not Impressed with the Local Political Campaigns

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A week from today, a small number of Maryland residents is expected to vote in the primaries as we head towards November’s general election. Apparently, the date was moved from September to June and few seem to remember this or care, focused as they are on summer. However, for me, this is huge because I […]

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As the School Year Winds Down

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The school year has six five and a half days left to it. Yesterday, the actual teaching drew to a close so next week, I am either reviewing material for the final or proctoring the final itself.  We’re in the year end rush as we complete grading, begin the end-of-year checklist process, and the classroom […]

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Why Deadlines Matter

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I used to remind talent working for me that deadline meant once the line has been crossed; the work is dead and useless to me. Blow a deadline and often I had to resort to others to get the job done. While my books may never have been the hot, sexy bestsellers, DC’s management knew […]

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Upon Reflection

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I keep waiting for the pressure to drop away. But, even though the number of teaching days dwindles, there remain lessons to plan, papers to grade, and end of the year paperwork to prepare. Additionally, it appears there is direct proportion of the temperature to the students’ behavior. Since the seniors left, the underclassmen have […]

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Dining with the Greatest Generation

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Every now and then something unexpected comes along and it gives you a new appreciation for the life you lead. In this case, it was a reminder of fortunate we are that a generation of men and women rose to the call and defended us and our allies with a clear cut mandate to make […]

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A Transitional Week

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Our seniors have taken their finals and today was their last day as students at Owings Mills High School. I have two repeating 9th Grade English and seven in my 11th Grade class. I have watched them these last few weeks, the apathy towards their work growing as the temperature rose, replaced this week with […]

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One-eighth of the Year to Go

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The march to the inevitable continues apace. Yesterday, we closed the first half of the fourth quarter and I stayed late to make sure every paper turned in was graded and all the interim grades were entered before Monday’s deadline. Additionally, I had to crunch the numbers across the quarters to compile a list of […]

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Thinking About Amazing Spider-Man 2

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One of the largest obstacles a filmmaker has to overcome when rebooting a franchise is not repeating what the previous incarnation did. When both film series are based on another property, the challenge grows. Marc Webb was faced with just that dilemma when he inherited Spider-Man from Sam Raimi. In the first film, Amazing Spider-Man, […]

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When Worlds Collide

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It was a short week but a packed one as the kids returned all seeming to have memorized the countdown to the end of the school calendar. On Tuesday night, though, the state revealed our waiver request was granted forcing a readjustment of the countdown clock, shaving a day off so we finish on June […]

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Break’s Over

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As breaks go, this one was packed while still allowing me some downtime. Looking back, it’s amazing that so much got done while still leaving me feeling somewhat refreshed.On the home front it was a never-ending cycle of activity. Tuesday, the Geek Squad came to mount the new TV. That evening, we had a power […]

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It was Awesome

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Awesome Con is a mere three years old but is rapidly growing and becoming a destination for mid-Atlantic congoers. While holding the show Easter weekend was a questionable decision, next year will be the last weekend of May, after Wizard World Philly and just a few weeks before Heroes Con, so it’s nicely nestled in […]

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I’ll be Awesome this Weekend

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Awesome Con is Washington D.C.’s rapidly growing comics and media convention. I read about it soon after we got down here so I couldn’t make it to last year’s show. I reached out some months back and was not only invited to be a guest but was offered a table in Artists Alley. That’s a […]

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Collecting my School Thoughts

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As I write this, I am finally having a break from school. Spring break came at a good time as everyone was feeling the weight of days gone by and the busy schedule ahead. Hard to believe three quarters are behind me and we’re already two weeks into the fourth.I am feeling far more confident […]

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One Year in Maryland

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A year has zipped by and today marks our one year anniversary in the townhouse as Maryland residents. Our closing anniversary for Fairfield, March 22, and the one in Maryland, April 2 sort of slipped by our notice. Looking back, it’s the pace of our new lives that let these details almost escape us. As […]

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Three Quarters Down

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Suddenly, the third quarter is over. On the calendar it was always the shortest quarter since there was only one scheduled vacation day so add in a few snow days and two hour delays and just like that, it’s behind me. It also means I am now three-quarters of the way through my first year […]

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The Scheduling Game

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So we had a snow day this week (and more crappy weather threatening this week). Another day slips out of the third quarter, which still closes on Friday. As I adjusted my planning, I then learned I need to carve out time for my juniors to write resumes for mock interviews in April. Oh, and […]

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Back from Diplocon 14

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College conventions tend to be a very mixed bag and certainly smaller scale than most other types of shows. Sometime after I graduated from SUNY-Binghamton there was a con and by then I was working at Starlog or had just started at DC and was invited back as a guest. Deb and I went, had […]

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Writing Updates

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School can be all-consuming but the writer in me continues to desire time at the keyboard for creative work. Thankfully, there are a few things going on that will scratch that particular itch.Announced a few weeks back but not mentioned here, I’ve penned an essay for Sequart’s forthcoming New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star […]

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Catching my Breath

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The last two weeks have been intense and I have been so preoccupied with things that this thing called leisure time feels ephemeral. Still, Deb is out at an event and I actually have an evening to clear the decks a bit and want to ruminate over what has been going on.Things at school continue […]

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Just Added to my Schedule: Diplocon

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I have been invited to speak at Diplocon, held on the campus of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA the weekend of March 21-22. I’ll be speaking and signing on Saturday but hanging out both days.This event came up suddenly when my former Pocket Books editor Dave Stern reached out, asking if I’d be […]

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My Students Have Their Say

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Last week, I wrote about the dismal numbers my students had earned in the first half of the third quarter. Sadly, I was not the only teacher with such horrible scores so our principal is asking everyone to try and analyze and quantify the causes and issues involved. Yesterday, I asked my students why they […]

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Third Quarter Interims are Here

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No sooner do I write about the rhythms of school than we lose more time. So, even though we’ve lost a bunch of days this quarter, we’re still closing the books on schedule, March 28. Which means tomorrow I have to enter the interim grades for distribution on Wednesday. As I result, I’m becoming a […]

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Adapting and Adjusting

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One of the subtler things about teaching is that there is a rhythm to the lessons as we strive, day after day, to keep from repeating ourselves, varying the lessons so both teacher and students don’t grow stale.Weather, though, has an insidious way of upending the routine and rhythm, making us hastily readjust as days […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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It’s hard to believe that this will the 21st Farpoint convention but I am looking forward to it as I always do. Now that’s its local, it has a slightly different vibe for me and I have kiddingly offered my students extra credit for attending (I’ll be curious who I may actually see there).Meantime, my […]

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The Art of Ramona Fradon is Finally On Sale

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As I was wrapping up my work on The Art of Howard Chaykin in 2010, the folk at Dynamite Entertainment asked if I would edit The Art of Ramona Fradon. Apparently, Howard had several conversations with Ramona, the legendary artist best know today for her work on Aquaman and Metamorpho. I would need to weave […]

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A Week of Changes

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There are some weeks where you feel on a treadmill, routine carrying you through the days. Other weeks are so jam-packed with a variety of events; you never know what will happen next. This was obviously the latter and hence worth a look back.Monday began with my third formal observation, postponed from the previous week […]

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First Appearances in 2014

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I recently updated my appearances list on the appropriate page but wanted to give a shout out to my next few ports of call.I’ll be signing at SFWA booth at the American Library Association’s mid-winter event on Saturday. Should any of you librarians be on hand, I’ll be signing at 3 p.m.Next month, I will […]

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Farewell, Odyssey

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I have never been a gearhead. I’ve enjoyed cars and certainly have my preferences for vehicles but I appear to have been born without the car gene. The love affair the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen have for fast cars is totally lost on me.My first car was a 1970 orange Dodge Challenger that I […]

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And so the Second Quarter Comes to an End

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The second quarter ended on Friday, marking the halfway point of the school year. It feels like a lot longer and in some ways it’s amazing it flew by. There was the mad dash of students panicking and trying to cram late work or extra credit in this week, but with few exceptions they were […]

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Trying to Gain Traction as the Quarter Closes

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School has been wildly uneven since the break ended on January 2. We had a snow day January 3 and then on Tuesday and Thursday we had two hour delayed openings. As a result, getting into anything resembling a rhythm has proven problematic.As the temperature precipitously dropped on Tuesday, so did the attendance so I […]

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My New Year’s Resolutions

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Over at Crazy 8 Press, I kicked off a month-long look at our individual resolutions for 2014. Those are certainly good ones for the writer in me but there are others that require attention.I need to start being more realistic with my time. When I was working at home, I promised myself on Goodreads that […]

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Pulling the Plug Faster

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Our patience for the mediocre appears to be waning with age. It used to be, if we started a televisions series and liked it, we stayed until the bitter end. In the last year or two, though, we’ve been pressed for time and apparently we’ve sharpened our critical skills. I think it started when we […]

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2013: A Look Back

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Some years thigns feel perfectly normal with some highlights but few significant changes. In our life, we seem to let thigns pile up so there are really packed years. This was one of them.In January, after a few months preparation, the house was put on the market and much to our surprise, we had a […]

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So, I’ve Been Watching Lost Girl

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I had lost track of the various series on the SyFy channel after several proved disappointing. So, while I had heard of these series, I had never bothered to check them out, especially with the lack of buzz they received from my peers. Recently, though, circumstances has led me to mainline Lost Girl, a series […]

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Sharing Traditions

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Growing up, my family had its traditions, usually reserved for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Passover. I don’t really many others during “normal” times. Once Deb and I started dating, I was introduced to her family traditions and we quickly adopted many of them, preferring home cooking over store bought holiday meals.As we raised our family, the […]

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Twas the Week Before Break

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Twas the week before break and somehow five days felt like ten. The amazing thing is that every member of the faculty felt the same way. There was the pressure to wrap things up in time for the break despite losing two days the week before to the weather. We had an assortment of extra […]

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Keeping Connected

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There’s been a lot written about the 24/7 work week, as our devices allow us unfettered access to one another. Thankfully, my students don’t email me often and the office Inbox is quiet during the weekends. As the administration catches up afterhours, I have come to expect their missives at all hours so often check […]

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I Miss Writing

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I miss writing.Sure, I still review at ComicMix and twice a month recommend interesting releases at Westfield Comics, but long-form creative writing is proving incredibly elusive. Of course there’s a good reason for that: school. It is taking up far more time than I expected it to, leaving me more enervated than I thought was […]

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2nd Quarter Interims Means Time to Reflect

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This week, weather permitting, the students will be receiving their second quarter interim grades, a chance for them to assess how well they’ve progressed. It’s also an opportunity for me to see if I am actually teaching them anything. Every now and then, I ask the kids one-on-one if they’re learning and they assure me […]

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Giving Thanks, Taking Stock

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It’s been way too long since I’ve posted and with good reason. I’m busy. Nothing new about that, I like being busy but this is really a different schedule and set of commitments that is threatening to become all-consuming.The best things my department chair says to me are “don’t stay too late” and “stop working […]

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Thoughts on Thor: The Dark World

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I remain utterly fascinated and impressed with how successfully Marvel Studios has adapted their comic book heroes and villains to film. They are certainly not without flaws, but they are never less than entertaining and are doing worldbuilding in ways we’ve never seen in feature film before.The comic book tricks of the trade, I knew, […]

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Still Adjusting

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While I am getting into the rhythms of actually teaching, two other areas are of some concern to me.  First, as I’ve mentioned before, is the classroom management. Some seem utterly incapable of keeping their mouths closed and others are just rude. Many can’t seem to contain themselves so they’re popping out of their seats […]

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Another First This Week

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The second quarter began on Monday and I spent a fair amount of time reviewing my policies, rules, and procedures. I wanted to start with a clean slate, correcting the misconception that everyone was starting with an A. I said they’re beginning with a void and would fill it with each assignment.Unfortunately, the chat didn’t […]

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Some Ruminations on Television Villainy

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After reviewing the DC documentary Necessary Evil, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to villains of all stripes. It’s also been on my mind  given my frustration with overly-long story arcs on some television series.A good hero, we’re constantly told, is defined by the quality of his opponent. Also, we’re told, everyone thinks they’re […]

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The First Quarter in Review

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Halloween gets everyone excited, whether you’re in costume shaking down the neighbors for candy or girding yourself for the onslaught of candy-crazed kids. At the high school level, most kids have decided they’re too old and too cool to dress up and collect fun sized pieces of chocolate. Still, it reminds them of childhood and […]

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DC’s Move West Brings Back Memories

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I have no recollection of who my father met while a salesman for IBM, but one day he announced that he arranged a tour of the DC Comics offices. I flashed back to that sense of wonder as the news spread across the Internet that after 75-plus years, the comic book publisher was going to […]

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Supported in and out of the Classroom

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I seem to be getting the hang of teaching. On the other hand, I am still struggling with wrangling the kids and not wasting time endlessly repeating myself or trying to keep them quiet and focused. To that end, this past week an in house professional development resource and I jointly observed my fellow ninth […]

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Happy 33rd Anniversary to Me and Deb

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I was 22 when I was lucky enough to marry Deb. I’m 55 now and today we celebrate 33 years of life together. Although I cannot usually perform any math, I came to realize that we have been together a long time.Looking back, the odds were certainly not in our favor. We were young, her […]

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A Packed Week

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This past week was incredibly long thanks to three extraordinary events happening over three consecutive days.First, I stayed late Tuesday night to perform one of my four contractual chaperone duties: the National Honor Society Induction ceremony. I ran out for a flu shot and to pick up dinner (where I ran into one of my […]

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Students Confront the Interim Grades

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On the first day of school, I told my ninth graders that beginning that day, things got real. Things counted. Every grade mattered because it would inform the GPA that would give them options in four years. I explained it was time to get serious and laid out in my syllabus that I would not […]

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Thinking About Writing

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As I am finally getting a handle on my school work, my mind has increasingly begun to turn towards writing. I find I miss it and that those muscles cry for exercise. My heart leaps at the prospect of assignments or just getting back to the keyboard for something other email and lesson planning.My mind, […]

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Four Weeks Done

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If I thought the first four months of the year was a rush, the last six weeks rival it. I am only now coming to terms with what has happened and the dramatic changes in my life. While still not entirely feeling real, I am coming to accept that yes, I am a newly employed […]

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Revisiting Baltimore Comic-con

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After a few weeks in the classroom, it was a welcome break to actually return to my roots, so to speak. The Baltimore Comic-con has been growing by leaps and bounds, embraced as a pure comics show where fans can interact with pros without being blitzed with disconnected media guests or loud video game demos.In […]

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Celebrating my Friend, Ann Crispin

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It is very weird to be writing this about Ann Crispin, but now that she has gone public with how serious how illness is, I thought it better to put down my thoughts while she is still here to hopefully see them.Ann has been a working professional for some 35 years and I first met […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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This weekend, I will be back at the Baltimore Comic-Con and thanks to Roger Ash – the con’s programming guru and my editor at Westfield Comics – I’ll be moderating three panels. Here’s my schedule for those interested.Saturday, Room 302-30311:00-12:00 – The British InvasionIn the 1980s, a number of British writers and artists started producing […]

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And the School Year is Underway

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Monday morning came quickly enough and the new routine has me up at 5:50, dressed and walking the dogs before driving to school. I’m arriving around 7 and have some time to get settled before the kids begin coming at 7:30. My schedule has me teaching 9th grade periods 1 and 2, including a 10 […]

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A Week is Not Enough Time

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So, let’s catch up a bit. The last few weeks have been packed as I have prepared and begun my new career.The week of the 19th, the teachers were reporting back to Owings Mills High where the veterans greeted one another warmly. Thankfully, with at least eight other newcomers plus a new principal, there was […]

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I’ve Been Oriented

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Since I signed the contract a week ago Friday, I’ve been working fairly steadily on preparation. Still feeling the butterflies, especially with each day bringing me closer to that pivotal first day with the students.Last week, it helped to remember I was not alone. Tuesday and Thursday we had county-wide New Teacher Orientation. There were […]

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Five Years

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I find it hard to comprehend that it has been five years since Robbie died. But here we are, half a decade removed from those horrific days. It was at approximately 8:20 p.m., nearly an hour after we turned off the machinery that he took his final breaths. He was surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandmother […]

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Preparing for School

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The whirlwind continues unabated.As you know, I accepted my teaching position a week ago Friday then headed out to Shore Leave.In the past week, I have been steeped in academia. First, last Tuesday, I headed back up to Towson where I was fingerprinted, injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected. Or had my prints digitally recorded […]

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My Next Career: High School English Teacher

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Since April, I have been applying to jobs in four Maryland counties. Interestingly, Anne Arundel and Montgomery were silent. Howard, where I live, brought me in for a first (of three) round interview but the competition is such that I did not progress further.Baltimore County, though, called me for five interviews. The first was in […]

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The Shore Leave After Action Report

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I love Shore Leave, but regular readers here know that.This year, there were a few takeaways, both related to, sadly, age. First, I can no longer stay up to all hours one night and be up and functional art 8:30 for a business breakfast. I handled the breakfast just fine, but by 10 p.m. without […]

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My Shore Leave 35 Schedule

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It’s hard to believe that Shore Leave is turning 35 this year. My first time down was for Shore Leave 3 and it was pretty much just me and Howard Weinstein. This year’s guest line up has first time visits from William Shatner, Brent Spiner and Saul Rubinek which is pretty cool.The number of authors […]

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On Turning 55

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I seem to have fallen into the habit of twice a year pausing to reflect. Obviously, the end of a calendar year is a good time for that and apparently, so it my birthday.I am floored by the more than 500 birthday wishes piling up on Facebook. They come from all walks of my life, […]

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Remembering a Missed Opportunity

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Some 20 years ago, Alan Gold and I were trolling the aisles of the Licensing Show. He had never been and as an editor at DC Comics, he wanted to see what might be worth licensing. By this point, DC had acquired Star Trek and were open to other properties if editors got enthused. He […]

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The Lone Ranger is Bloated, Messy Fun

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In talking with Paul Kupperberg last week, he noted that it was difficult for him to write The Lone Ranger for Moonstone’s prose anthology because the character was so vanilla. After all, Fran Stryker saw him as the perfect role model for the families listening to the radio drama, first on WXYZ and then coast […]

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Man of Steel in Review

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Although I prefer Batman, Superman has been there since the beginning. My mom says my first comic was an issue of Superman when I was six. George Reeves’ Clark Kent inspired the choice of my first pair of glasses and led me towards journalism. Two of my first three comic book scripts featured the Man […]

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Guest Blog: Kirsten Beyer Was Awed by NASA

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Rocket Big…Space Station Pretty… By Kirsten Beyer Sometimes, words fail me. This is tough to admit. I’m a writer. I’m supposed to be reasonably proficient at this.But sometimes things happen that are so far beyond words, I just…Take last Friday, for instance.There’s a small group of folks on the planet who are lucky enough to […]

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Common Core Graphic Novels

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The DiamondGraphicNovelCommonCoreList has arrived, designed to fit the newly introduced Common Core standards for schools. The Common Core, for those unaware, is being implemented in 45 states and the District of Columbia, a state-driven initiative to align standards to better prepare students for the competitive global economy. As a future educator, I think this is a terrific […]

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Feeling like a VIP at NASA

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When fellow writer Amy Sisson suggested that her husband Paul Abell could get a group of us a VIP tour of NASA, it was pretty clear our 2013 vacation would be in Houston. After last year’s small but successful gathering of Star trek authors, we knew we wanted to reconvene and this opportunity was too […]

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Changing how I Watch TV

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Deb was away for eight days recently and during that time I caught up on a lot of video viewing. In looking back, though, I discovered I had slipped into the 21st century and had not watched a single live broadcast. Instead, I saw a number of movies streamed via Netflix, watched several movies and […]

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What to Write This Summer

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I had no idea how I was going to spend my summer at the keyboard. I knew there would be a story for the third ReDeus anthology but beyond that, I was uncertain. Had After Earth succeeded, there was a possibility Mike, Peter, and I would be quickly pressed back into service. Or a pitch […]

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More on Adjusting

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Recently, we spent hundreds of dollars and three-plus hours of our lives making the final permanent changes to our residency. We surrendered our Connecticut licenses and registrations in exchange for Maryland documentation. Despite the mortgage papers and sales documentation, there is something very permanent feeling about this move.This weeky the final pieces of new furniture […]

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Star Trek Into Darkness Angered Me

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By being in New Mexico, I missed the opening weekend for Star Trek Into Darkness and then had to complete my obligations to Balticon before I had the time to finally take it in. We’re two weeks from opening so I’m going to discuss it, spoilers be damned.I09 has a brilliant deconstruction of the film’s […]

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At the After Earth Press Junket

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I’m in NYC today for the World Premier of After Earth, sharing the moment with Mike Friedman, Peter David, and our spouses. Now that the website is back and running, I can finally talk about the press junket.The one thing a freelance writer lives for is the phone to ring and an amazing opportunity to […]

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Balticon 47 Recap

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There have been all manner of technical issues that kept me off the website last week so this week I’ll be playing catch-up with a bunch of posts.The last time I attended a Balticon, it was primarily so Kate could have lunch with Neil Gaiman (that Deb and I also attended the meal seems entirely […]

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Iron Man 3 was Great Fun but…

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Like most people, I enjoyed the heck out of Iron Man 3 over the weekend. It was fast, loud, noisy, and things blew up really well. The handoff from Jon Favreau to Shane Black was a step in the right direction and the casting was superb. There’s little doubt why it earned its $175.3 million […]

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Regaining my Mojo

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The whirlwind beginning of the year is slowing down, at last, and new routines are being established. Looking back, it’s astonishing we listed, sold, bought, packed, moved, unpacked and are settling in just four months. We’re far from done but it’s starting to feel like home.As you might imagine, my focus and ability to concentrate […]

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After Earth: A Perfect Beast Out Today

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Amazingly, more than two years after our work began on After Earth, the first book is on sale today.  Last week, Random House’s Suvudu offered up a sampling of the book’s first 50 pages and now A Perfect Beast is out.While not the first offering – that was the one-shot comic given away last year […]

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Making Adjustments

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Two weeks ago today, we moved into the house. On the one hand, we’ve made impressive progress, getting most of the boxes unpacked. On the other, now we see the remaining boxes and how much more needs to be done.We were very dedicated in getting the master bedroom suite and kitchen done first and we’re […]

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Age and Tradition

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As many of you know, Kate got engaged late last week. She and Mike have been dating for over two years and this was certainly the major reason Deb and I chose to relocate to Maryland this month.This milestone is not a surprise but it does suddenly make me feel my years. A child old […]

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Settling In

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And we’re back.Today marks my first day back at the desk since Thursday and the first work day in the new townhouse. The three weeks at Kate’s home zipped right by, helped in part by an unexpected whirlwind business trip out west, and things went better than hoped for. The dogs, in particular, settled right […]

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Remembering Carmine Infantino

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I was surprised by how deeply I felt the passing of Carmine Infantino last night. We were never close but I realize his work was woven into the fabric of my childhood and his work as an artist and an executive influenced my development from fan to comics professional. Much of what I learned about […]

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The Opening Day Streak

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I don’t know how the streak started. I do know that there was a stretch from about 1987 through 2006 or so where Deb and I did not miss Opening Day at Shea. There were two exceptions: 1988 when she gave birth to Robbie and we watched from the hospital and the year it was […]

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Homeless (Sort of)

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We’re about one-third of the way through the interim period of homelessness and it’s not as bad as I feared.When we closed on the house last Friday, we were suddenly very cash rich, but technically, were homeless people without a fixed address. Since we don’t close on the Maryland home until next week, it’s this […]

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Packing and Purging

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The mad rush is finally slowing down.Despite all our expectations, the Fairfield closing is happening on schedule and we leave town on Friday. Amazingly, the six week window is drawing to a close and we’ll be in Maryland this weekend.The upside to the move is that we have purged. Boy, have we purged. The two […]

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Moving Days — Both Emotional and Physical

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For those who missed it, yesterday was Robert Greenberger Day in Fairfield. I didn’t learn of this momentous occasion until about 8:30 p.m., giving me only a few hours to revel in it.The reason I was so honored is because last night marked my retirement from the Democratic Town Committee. The resignation was prompted by […]

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The Price of Trailers

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I think my fascination with film trailers began in college. Back in the 1970s, there were usually 2-3 trailers before a film and it was a given. But in Binghamton, the Crest Theater was known for showing tons of trailers, as many of fifteen minutes’ worth prior to the feature film and I was hooked. […]

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Farpoint Day 3

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Sunday at a con is always a mix. People are dragging from partying all night long while also packing and checking out, some earlier than others. As a result, con programming eases people into the day, with me and Howie chatting for an hour. He read from his western-in-progress and I talked about this and […]

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Farpoint Days 1 & 2

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Farpoint is the convention that thrived after OctoberTrek and ClipperCon rose and fell. Organized and run by many of the same people, it become a generational con, started by the first generation of Baltimore-area Star trek fans and gradually taken over mostly by the second generation. And now, as the show celebrated its 20th Anniversary […]

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

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Tag: I’m it.Welcome to my first blog hop post. What is a blog hop? It’s a virtual event that helps readers discover new authors. The first author tags five others whose work he or she admires, who each tag five more, who each tag five more, and so on. These memes float around the internet […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Suddenly, it’s February and Farpoint is on the horizon. There’s been so much work done for After Earth and other things it feels like the con snuck up on me.But, the fun show is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and fellow author Phil Giunta has assembled a stellar lineup of writers for a packed track of […]

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Knowing Something vs. Putting it into Practice

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Next week at Farpoint I will be doing a series of panels and workshops on being a writer. As a result, I’ve been giving the subject a fair amount of thought of late so I can sound like I know something useful. This morning, I came across a top ten list from Debbie Millman, a […]

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Super Bowl Social Media Thoughts

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Much was made during the Super Bowl and in this morning’s write-ups that the cluster of advertisements was lackluster. They were made predominantly for males, ignoring the demographics that showed the significant number of women who also watch this particular game. Others noted that they felt old school and traditional, the majority portraying nuclear families […]

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Peter David Auction News

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Yesterday, Mike Friedman, Steve Saffel and I were at Chez David, helping Kathleen ready the house for Peter’s return next weekend. Glenn Hauman got a lot done the day before and we completed the assigned tasks and tidied up a bit more. Meantime, the bills are starting to arrive as are ways to help the […]

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Another Baseball Tradition Vanishes

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I’m not sure I’ll recognize Major League Baseball when Opening Day arrives. First of all, they’re still starting the season in March rather than the first Monday in April. They’ve ignored tradition and no longer allow the Cincinnati Reds the privilege of being the first game of the season.Now, thanks to the moronic decision to […]

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Saluting the Lone Ranger at 80

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I wasn’t there in Detroit on January 30, 1933 when radio station WXYZ-AM first broadcast The Lone Ranger. Nor was I around during the 21 years the series ran on radio. Instead, I knew of the masked hero through the references in comics and television including Filmation’s animated Saturday morning series. By then, I somehow […]

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After Earth: Redemption now Available for Purchase

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My second personal contribution to the six eBook series of After Earth: Ghost Stories goes live today. Redemption tells a fresh tale about one of the six people who developed the ability to mask their presence from the alien predators called the Ursa. The ghosts are a significant element in the After Earth universe and […]

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Predictable Prime Time

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I have always admitted I watch a lot of television, always have and probably always will. The exact nature of such fare has changed through the years but me and prime time go back a long way. Currently, there is something like 30+ series I watch which, thankfully, do not all run concurrently. I’ve long […]

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Maintaining Contact

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While I await the spring hiring season for teachers, I’ve been focusing a lot on my freelance writing life. Knowing this period of time was coming, back in October, in time for the New York Comic-Con, I began a regular series of contacts with people I have done work for and others I’ve always wanted […]

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The Comic Buyer’s Guide, RIP

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In the early days of comic book fandom, it took its cues from science fiction fandom since there was quite a bit of overlap. The early SF zines included names and addresses so as others began publishing, they knew where to find eager subscribers. The first pure comics zine, Richard Lupoff’s Xero, didn’t arrive until […]

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Let’s Help Peter David and Family

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Like you, I’ve been following Kathleen David’s reports on Peter David’s progress since Sunday’s stroke. Now comes the appeal for help, finally something tangible we can all do. She wrote this morning:Even though we have health insurance we have co-pays and the like. And since this stroke fell at the end of the year, we […]

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2012: A Look Back

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Last day of a tough year, made tougher by yesterday’s news that my longtime, close friend Peter David had a stroke. But, the end of the year brings about a chance for reflection, an opportunity to be reminded of the highs and lows.The highest high is that in May I was awarded my Master’s Degree […]

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The Year in Reading

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This year, I tracked all my reading through Goodreads, which kept me honest and allowed me to keep tabs on things I intend to read sooner or later. According to the site, I exceeded my goal of 75 books by three (presuming I finish Target Lancer by New Year’s). As the site’s popularity has grown, […]

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West and Welaxation

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I was reminded of the simple comforts in life yesterday.Since Thanksgiving weekend, we’ve been on the go. We spent the weekend down in Maryland then returned home and within 48 hours, a second round of work began on the house. On Friday, we declared the work done and spent the weekend putting things back or […]

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Adios, Leverage

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After a day of chores around the house, I finally settled down to catch up with the world and was disappointed to see the news at Deadline that Leverage is canceled. The series completes it fun five season run on Christmas evening and thankfully producers John Rogers and Dean Devlin decided to hedge their bets […]

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After Earth Digital Short Story Schedule

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Since ending school work last week, the bulk of my desk time has been spent doing After Earth related tasks. And look, the website went live when I wasn’t looking. Beyond the trailer, it begins to dole out information on the characters and their world, much drawn from the film and some drawn from material […]

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First After Earth Digital Short is now Live

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After months and months of work and planning, last week the teaser trailer for After Earth finally debuted around the world both online and in theaters showing The Hobbit. I think it looks pretty cool, demonstrating just enough to hook you.For those interested, the Facebook page for the film is now being populated with a […]

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Student Teaching has Ended

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For a number of reasons I have not written about student teaching this fall. A lot of it had to do with time. There was less of it this time around and there were other things to blog about. When they warn you at orientation to kiss you family goodbye, not to take a part-time […]

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No Need for a Writer to be Discouraged

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Yesterday, a writer friend reached out and wrote, “Specifically, how do you handle thinking about opportunities that have gone south?  I keep dwelling on all the chances I’ve had at the big dance —chances that have all started out promising, then fizzled for one reason or another.  I mean no disrespect, but I know your […]

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Update on After Earth Fiction

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A while back I talked about the various tie-in books related to After Earth, the June 2013 release that Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and I have been working on. Since then, a few things have moved and others freshly announced so I wanted to take a moment to update everyone.The big news is that […]

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From Farmingdale to Fairfax

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The Thanksgiving tradition has been to travel to Farmingdale and feast with the Rozakis clan included as a part of their extended family. Over the years this has been incredibly inclusive stretching as far as college roommates, their siblings, former CTY Teaching Assistants, old elementary school teachers and other strays. Last year, Kate’s boyfriend Mike […]

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So, I read Marvel Comics The Untold Story

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Marvel’s corporate history is at least as compelling as the Earth-616 universe it has published since 1961. We’ve had some glimpses via the Les Daniels’ Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics and bits scattered in other works, notably Gerry Jones’ wonderful Men of Tomorrow. For the mass consumer, Sean Howe has offered […]

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Some Thoughts on Skyfall

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Life has been so crushingly busy that only now, a week after seeing it, do I have a moment to reflect on the success that is Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the perennial James Bond film series.Like most everyone else who has written about the movie, I come to sing its praises. The movie is […]

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Please Vote

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Every vote counts.We’re told that again and again, and if the lessons from the disastrous 2000 election – requiring the intervention of the Supreme Court – have started to fade from memory, let me remind you.Last November, I ran to rejoin the Representative Town Meeting and wound up losing the election by a mere 2 […]

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Back to Normal

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It was everything they warned us Hurricane Sandy would be. I applaud the federal, state, and local officials for sounding the alarm early enough and systematically shutting down roads and services in a manner that ensured we would all be safely tucked into our homes.While at first Fairfield was told to expect 6-10 inches of […]

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After Earth: Innocence — the Reviews are In

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After Earth: Innocence was a one-shot comic given out at the movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con with a nifty Jae Lee cover. The commercial version, with a cover by my pal Dennis Calero, was released by Dynamite Entertainment last Wednesday.In the wake of its release, the reviews have been coming in and I am […]

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Worldbuilding in Kansas

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I never cease to be amazed how life can intersect in unexpected ways. When I was in Kansas back in April, my presence prompted fellow novelist Kevin Dilmore to recommend me to his colleagues at Hallmark. Every fall, they have Word Week, a series of activities for the writers, editors, artists, designers, etc. to focus […]

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Selling Out at NYCC

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This has been a heady year for conventions. First there was all the After Earth star treatment at San Diego Comic-Con followed by the release of ReDeus: Divine Tales at Shore Leave. This past weekend, I was attending the New York Comic-Con and for the first time in ages, I was there as a book […]

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Where to find me at NYCC

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A year ago at this time I was knee deep in the local election, interning at high school, and completing my master’s degree. There was also this little project that was dropped in my lap that was too cool to pass up.And now, at last, I will get to hold a copy of Star Trek: […]

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The Debate Watching Party

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When I’m student teaching, I barely have a chance to breathe, let alone check for messages. As a result, when the bell rang yesterday, I was somewhat surprised to find three fairly frantic messages from Michael Herley, a pal and fellow Fairfielder. He had been at an event the previous evening and wound up speaking […]

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Saluting Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted. I still recall hearing about it around the time the Original Series was celebrating their 20th anniversary in 1986. Then, DC Comics was offered the license to the new series and we were invited out for a visit.They were still […]

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After Earth Novels now Available for Pre-Order

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I haven’t said much about After Earth of late, but trust me, things are happening. First, the comic book prequel After Earth: Innocence will be out in a few weeks. For those who missed it in San Diego, now’s your chance for a look at this new universe.Also in October, the first of six short […]

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My Overdue Baltimore Con Report

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The new school schedule is throwing a serious monkey wrench into my ability to get other things done. That coupled with a contractor making various portions of the house unusable and a head cold means I am significantly behind on things, starting with my con report from last week.This was my second consecutive trip to […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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Last year I made my first visit to the Baltimore Comic-Con, which my pal KC Carlson had been raving about for several years. Ironically, he was not there but Kate was and we made a great father/daughter weekend out of the con. She shared me with the freelance community and I shared her with her […]

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To Print or Not to Print

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When I completed the first draft of my third of the forthcoming After Earth  prequel novel, I noted this on Twitter and Facebook which launched an interesting discussion with a variety of peers from a wide swath of my professional life.The argument boiled down as to whether or not printing out the work resulted in […]

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What I did on My Summer Vacation

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The sun is setting a little earlier and the mornings have that first hint of fall coolness. During lunch, a school bus rumbled down the street, a practice run before classes begin next week. Suddenly the summer season has begun drawing to a close and honestly, it caught me off-guard. I knew it was August […]

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I’ll be at ComiCONN on Saturday

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Erik Yacko contacted me two years ago and invited me to attend his first ever ComiCONN. It was June 2010 and I brought my nephew Nicholas along for the day. It was a small show, a bunch of dealers, a few artists and that was it. It was modest and fun, especially as I got […]

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Remembering Joe Kubert

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Joe Kubert’s distinct art style was one of the earliest I recall being able to identify. It seemed such a perfect fit the DC war titles and I was always pleasantly surprised to see the occasional superhero cover during the 1960s. I didn’t really get a sense of his lengthy tenure in comics until he […]

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Some Digital Stuff

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One of the things about digital publishing is that sometimes you hit glitches that can baffle even the finest of mind. Last October, my short story, “A Matter of Faith”, was posted as a $.99 digital short at Nook and Kindle. It sat there like so many other books. But then in January, Nook pushed […]

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Shore Leave Report

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I most certainly did not plan on letting an entire week slide by but life really can get in the way. Last week, before heading out to Shore Leave, I completed the first drafts of my two After Earth short stories and sent them to my colleagues for feedback.Shore Leave is like visiting with 1500 […]

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My Packed Shore Leave Schedule

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Shore Leave 34 was very wise and moved out of its traditional July weekend so as not to compete with San Diego Comic-Con for fans and guests. As a result, it will be this coming weekend and I don’t think I’ve had a busier schedule, which is fine by me since I actually have a […]

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Summer School Thoughts

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School ended yesterday and for the second summer in a row, I find myself dissatisfied with the online course experience. Distance learning is increasingly an option for people and just about every school and university has course offerings, but I keep wondering if anyone has found the right formula so the student gets as much […]

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Musings on The Dark Knight Trilogy

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The Dark Knight Rises is not necessarily the movie Christopher Nolan set out to make. The tragic death of Heath Ledger derailed his plans to conclude the trilogy with more between Batman and the Joker so he spent the last four years rethinking how he wanted to end his trilogy (because it seems every super-hero […]

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Looking Back at San Diego Comic-Con

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I’ve been meaning to write this recap of San Diego for days but kept putting it off. In short, it was a terrific experience.The last time I attended the con was three years ago. I won an award and celebrated my birthday out there so topping the experience was going to be tough. Being treated […]

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I’ll Briefly be on Television Tonight

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So, back in December, I was invited to come talk about the Batmobile. I was going to one of maybe a dozen people to riff about the iconic vehicle for a featurette destined for the DVD released of The Dark Knight Rises. It was my first experience being a talking head and I spent about […]

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The After Earth Panel was a Success

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 I’ve been doing convention panels since 1981 or so and rarely get flustered let alone nervous. And yet, this morning I was definitely feeling some butterflies as we stood backstage getting ready for the After Earth panel.Friday night, we met in the Omni’s Jimmy Carter Presidential Suite to meet one another and review the run […]

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The After Earth Publishing Program

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This is incredibly exciting and I am thrilled to be finally able to talk about this stuff. As Nikki Finke and Deadline broke the news on Friday, Random House will be doing a series of tie-in projects with After Earth, the film that Peter David, Mike Friedman, and I have been working on.This morning, at […]

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The Rush Before the Storm

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While my blog appears to be quiet, life in the basement is anything but.Since I was confirmed for San Diego Comic-con, it’s been a bit of a rush as I tried to stay atop existing work while reaching out to people I am likely to see at the show to generate new work. It’s been […]

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Why I’m Not Going to the Movies Today

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It’s a national holiday with an impending weekend to follow. Deb says, “Let’s go to the movies” and I open the paper this morning and scan the options in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Norwalk, Milford, and Stamford. All these towns have one or more multiplexes so we figured there would be options aplenty. Our hope was to […]

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San Diego Bound

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As early as April, people begin asking, “Will I see you in San Diego?” This year, the answer was a routine, “Not unless a fairy godmother arrived unexpectedly.”Most years, she passes over my home but this year she made a stop. Over the last few days, the arrangements have been put into place and yesterday, […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles is a Free eBook Today Only

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Here’s the deal, the folks at Sequart are pushing Mutant Cinema by making it available free on Kindle for five days, Tues to Sat (26-30 June). Publisher Julian Darius says, “If any book has failed to achieve what we know it’s capable of, it’s Tom McLean’s Mutant Cinema. It’s a great study of the X-Men film […]

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Thrice Frustrated by Technology

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I love technology and embrace it at every opportunity in the hopes it makes life simpler, allowing me to get more done in the finite number of hours each day provides.This morning though, I rammed my head against the circuit walls three different times.I received an offer for three free months of HBO through ATT […]

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My Day So Far

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I rarely get into New York City these days and yesterday was one of those days. It was great walking around the sixth floor of DC Comics, visiting with old colleagues from my days at DC and Marvel. When I see them now, it’s more about our spouses and our kids than it is about […]

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Snow White Raises Too Many Questions

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When I plunk down my cash to see a movie, I want to be transported. I want the screen to fill my vision and transport me to somewhere new and interesting. I want the story to entertain or enlighten. I expect that after tens of millions of dollars have been spent, every effort has been […]

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Visiting Relay for Life

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Katie and Robbie were always introducing us to new worlds. When it was recommended Kate be stimulated through participation in the Odyssey of the Mind competition, we entered that fascinating, challenging and enlightening competition for several years. Soon after, we got involved in the Fairfield Teen Theater program and then there was fencing. All good […]

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Back to School

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The plan has always been to obtain my certification to teach English to 7-12 graders but in the back of my mind, I wanted to hedge my bets. I knew getting hired for just English was going to challenging given the job market so I wanted to find a way to make myself more marketable.Given […]

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Chaykin Cover Update

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Somewhere between the proofreading stage and the going to press stage, the folks over at Dynamite Entertainment changed the cover to my The Art of Howard Chaykin book.While browsing at Amazon the other day, I was surprised to see this new image, but think it looks pretty cool. The book itself remains on track for […]

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The Writing Side of Life

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I’ve been lamenting my educational career woes and haven’t really spoken much about the freelance life and there’s a reason for that: there’s precious little to talk about.For a month now, I’ve had some pitches sitting with the licensee and await confirmation to go forward and tackle what I expect to be my writing work […]

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Back from Vacation Part Two

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Continuing reporting on our vacation to New Orleans…FridayWe continued to explore the city and then took a lunchtime cruise aboard the Natchez, a steam paddleboat that took us out on the mighty Mississippi river. We travelled only a few miles, seeing naval vessels, boats loaded with cargo, oil refineries, and a sugar factory. Deb enjoyed […]

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Back from Vacation Part 1

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It’s been awfully quiet here, not because I’m licking my emotional wounds, but because Deb and I were out celebrating. Last spring Deb completed her master’s degree and I completed my studies in December. We waited until after my student teaching to get away and commemorate the accomplishment with a real vacation. She suggested New […]

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Back to School

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No one likes to admit they are flawed or to admit to failure. Yet, one has led to the other and I find myself in need of repeating my student teaching before being certified. This is a crushing decision since it delays my ability to find paying work as an educator until 2013 and requires, […]

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My Ruminations on The Avengers

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Yes, The Avengers is an incredibly enjoyable movie that has crossed over from making the diehard Marvel zombies giddy to include the far more casual fan who may know the characters only from the previous films. The press today is filled with news that the official domestic weekend gross of $200.7 million is a record, […]

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The Waiting has Begun

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I am waiting for my final grade from my advisor, which is not due until next Thursday. I am waiting for schools that have openings to begin scheduling interviews. I am waiting to see what my next step will be.Meantime, the final three days were a rush of wrapping things up.I finally got to observe […]

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The Last Full Week of Teaching

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My last full week as a student teacher has certainly been a mixed assortment of activities. The seniors have been diligently reading their books in World Lit Seminar and every 50 pages or so are obligated to write a journal essay. Every day this week I have been taking a handful of kids to the […]

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I Heard Them on the Radio

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I grew up listening to voices.According to my mother and my own dim memories, growing up in Fresh Meadows, I would be done at the playground around 4 p.m. and be taken back to our apartment in time for me to watch Dick Clark and American Bandstand. Back then, the show was aired daily and […]

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West and Welaxation

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I like working at my desk. And this week at home reminded me how much I enjoy working at the desk, listening to WUMB stream over the Internet, and occasionally enjoying Ginger’s warmth on my lap. Of course, this has been a nice break from the routine so it could be a case of the […]

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A Work in Progress

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Eight days. I realized over the weekend I am down to my final eight days of student teaching after the break.It’s been crazy and hectic as I try to do more teacher observations to work on the areas that have been identified as weak spots. And there remains a ton of paperwork I still need […]

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Visiting After Earth

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As many recall, Peter David, Mike Friedman and I have been writing bible material for 2013’s After Earth film starring Will and Jaden Smith. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, its set in the future and we’ve had a ball filling in gaps and expanding on concepts found in the script.Early last week, Peter said we […]

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Course Correcting

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A short but packed week.After having a good class to end the previous week, I got my written evaluation which indicated my advisor felt I still had significant areas of weakness so I spent a lot of time this week meeting with my two cooperating teachers to figure out what I can do with my […]

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Receiving an Award While Having Fun

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There’s something fun about I-Con, the people, the sprawling campus, being able to hang in the Green Room and just chat with friends – new and old. As a result, I wind up doing whatever I can to help them get guests or promote the show or whatever.Two weeks ago, Carl Fink, the vice-chair and […]

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Third Quarter & Third Observation

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My head is spinning from the wild week it has been. The third quarter rushed up upon us and like many teachers, I scheduled papers due on that day from all four of my classes so now have a ton of essays to read and grade before the deadline late next week.In 10th Grade English, […]

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Some Essays of Note

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Sometime last year, my pal Amy Sisson passed along a note from Salem Press, seeking writers about comics. I thought I might be able to do that and contacted them for details and wound up writing six essays for their Critical Survey of Graphic Novels, a sprawling, multi-volume scholarly look at the field.I see now […]

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My I-Con Schedule

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Yes, once more I will be a guest at I-Con this coming weekend. Unfortunately, the calendar being what it is, I need to limited my time at the show to one day, Saturday. On Sunday, I am scheduled to emcee the Democratic Town Committee’s Century Club Brunch and don’t want to miss out on the […]

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40 Days Down, 20 to Go

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Here we are two-thirds of the way through my student teaching assignment and I feel like I’ve hit a nice routine. I am only periodically overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done and am staying nicely ahead on the planning.I suspect some of the good mood is because I spent all week in […]

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Marketing Dilemmas

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I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing of late. Over at Crazy 8 Press, we continue to try and figure out how best to get the word our when we have new material to offer. There are five of us with Facebook pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts plus our C8 website and Twitter feed. Still, […]

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Last Week in Student Teaching

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Last week was another packed week as I find myself staying later and later, prepping and teaching and grading and generally enjoying myself. On Monday, I had my second formal observation from my advisor and while I thought the class went well enough (something my Cooperating Teacher noted), he missed some key details leading to […]

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My Lunacon Schedule

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This weekend, since I can’t be with Kate to celebrate her birthday, I will distract myself by appearing at Lunacon. Held at the Rye Hilton in Westchester County, NY, it is one of the oldest run literary conventions. For me, it’s a chance to meet fans I don’t see at many other cons and a […]

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Halfway There

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Last Friday marked by 31st day as a Student Teacher, putting me just over the halfway mark. Weird.This was an odd week thanks to the state-mandated CAPT testing for 10th graders. The abbreviated schedule varied by day and it took me a while to get a hang of things as I somehow managed to confuse […]

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Which is the Real DC Earth?

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Recently, DC Comics has made a big deal over the fact that the Earth where the New 52 comics have been telling stories is the Main Earth. This is to clearly separate it from the Earth-One seen in the hardcover graphic novels written by J. Michael Straczynski – the first of which, Superman came out […]

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Finally Teaching all Four Classes

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Last week, I took over the 10th grade classes and finally began Macbeth with them. I was excited about it and yes, a little nervous considering all the time I had spent prepping.Monday was the transition day, as my teacher handed out books while I took the class through a slideshow setting the stage. We […]

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The Ugly Little Bloke is now On Sale

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I have been totally remiss in discussing my lengthy work with peers in creating a brand new universe. No, not the After Earth movie, but something brand new.As many of you know, I am a member of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, it says so right on the right side of the page. […]

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Imagining Life After Earth

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After toiling in other people’s universes, I have a pretty good idea as to how worldbuilding should be done. I’ve seen it handled well and seen it done not so well. I have certainly contributed to shared worlds such as the Latchkeys universe that is now here and worked within the strictures of the DC […]

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Second Week Student Teaching Thoughts

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My second week as a fulltime student teacher was certainly a lively one and it continued to open my eyes into how much time and prep is required.In World Lit Seminar, we were concluding Imagining Argentina and I tried a few tricks to prompt my students into better participation. First, I assigned journal prompts to […]

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Spring Training is Here and I’m Worried Already

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Normally, I am filled with excitement right about now. I wax rhapsodic about the coming of spring as signaled by the Mets’ pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie for Spring Training. It is usually a sign of renewal and hope.This year, I felt the anticipation building but without the fervor and the team […]

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Saluting my Uncle Don

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Uncle Donnie helped paint my bedroom before I was born. His wife, Ruth, and my mother were as close as two sisters can be and Don was a part of my life. They married before my mother and had two children before I arrived, but it felt as if we were growing up together. As […]

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Farpoint Fun

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The nicest thing about Farpoint is just how relaxed a convention it can be. For whatever reason, this weekend was one of the best con experiences I’ve had in a long time. First, the storm that threatened to spoil the show never materialized. Second, the guests had a great time and shared their enthusiasm with […]

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My Farpoint Schedule

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Hard to believe, but it’s already time for the spring convention season to get underway. I hit three shows in fairly rapid succession, helping transition from winter to spring, and renewing acquaintances or seeing friends. And of course, plenty of time to interact with fans, which is the primary reason I’ll be attending.Farpoint, in Timonium, […]

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Catching up with Vertigo

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One of my goals during the semester break was to complete reading the growing stack of comics on my night table. While it took me longer than I expected, I actually caught up on every periodical on hand. I had been working hard to stay close to Flashpoint then the New 52, but it meant […]

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My First Week Solo Teaching

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This was my week to begin solo teaching in World Literature Seminar. The students had been given a schedule with the expected reading, two writing assignments, things they were to note in their journals. As a result, there were no secrets what we were doing day by day. I was preparing like crazy, making sure […]

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Me and The Art of Ramona Fradon

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Growing up, I always recognized that Ramona Fradon’s artwork was different, curvier and softer in many ways than Gil Kane or Carmine Infantino. But you couldn’t help but like her open, appealing storytelling and characters. Her artistic touch on Metamorpho and later Super Friends were perfect while she was badly miscast on things like Freedom […]

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The Student Teacher Begins Teaching

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It was a rush.I finalized my Unit Plan on Imagining Argentina earlier in the week and began rereading the book, taking notes for the day-by-day discussion. My cooperating teacher scheduled a review of the plan for Thursday after school so there was plenty of time. But as the week wore on, she realized she was […]

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Student Teaching Week One

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My first four days of student teaching were pretty much what I expected. It felt a lot like my internship, watching from the sidelines, although I got to participate here and there. But as I also expected, my two teachers are different enough that I can compare and contrast, and learn.We began World Literature Seminar […]

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ElfQuest, Dissed by Warner Bros, Deserves Better

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I’ve been a fan of ElfQuest pretty much since the day Phil Seuling visited the Starlog offices with a bunch of swag. He would come up and hang with the publishers but always drop off some product he was handling through his Seagate Distributors and one day there were some issues of this magazine-sized black […]

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Student Teaching Day One

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After four weeks off, I returned to Darien today to begin my student teaching. On the one hand, it was incredibly familiar since I have been coming to the high school regularly and on the other, I was beginning an entirely new chapter in my teacher preparation.I was welcomed back like a long, lost pal […]

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Catching Up

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I’m overdue writing here, but it’s been busy.I returned from a week in Florida to concentrate entirely on completing the manuscript to Star Trek: The Complete Unofficial History. In December, it became clear I was threatening to run amok with the word count and my editor kindly ratcheted me back into place. It did mean, […]

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Chatting with Jenette Kahn for Back Issue!

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I completely missed that my editor Michael Eury announced, just before Christmas the contents of the June issue of Back Issue! The cover story and bulk of the issue will be a career retrospective interview I conducted with Jenette Kahn. For those unfamiliar with Jenette, she arrived out of the blue to become DC’s publisher […]

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The Cover Revealed

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I was little surprised to see the cover to Star Trek: The Complete Unofficial History go live on the Facebook page last night, mostly because I had seen it for the first time in the morning and had asked for a tweak or two. Still, it’s a solid design and should be eye-catching enough given […]

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The Books of 2011

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I don’t know how I managed it all, but I read 75 books in 2011. That’s more than I have in quite some time. Admittedly, some of the reading was for school and some of it was also done at school when I had time on my hands early in my internship at Darien High […]

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Taking Stock

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The end of the year is a time to take stock, look back and figure out if this was a good year or a bad year. I think, for me, it was a transitional year.I began – and completed – a Master’s Degree program in education. I also did a full year’s internship at Darien […]

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Teacher’s Log: Internship’s End

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My final week as an intern and fill-in teacher more or less went as scheduled and I have to say the time seemed to zip right by.The World Lit kids had spent last week examining differing retellings of the Cinderella story so Monday we drilled down to the lessons one can learn from Hansel & […]

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The Freelance Update

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With all the focus on school and graduate school, I’ve had all too little to say about my freelance life. All year long, it has taken a back seat to my other obligations but remains a daily constant.This week we should, at long last, send the Animal Planet project for Silver Dragon Books to the […]

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Teacher’s Log: The Second Week

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The week was a whirlwind as I struggled to stay a day or two ahead of the classes while sifting through the mountain of ungraded papers. By now the students had come to accept the new situation and there was a lot less anxiety.On the other hand, I was making them work and they were […]

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Remembering Joe Simon, Jerry Robinson & Ed Barreto

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This has been a lousy week or so for comic book professionals and fans alike. In a very short span of time, we have lost of our earliest pioneers in the field and another fine artist, who I personally enjoyed working with.Joe Simon was there pretty much at the beginning of the comic book industry. […]

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The Master’s Degree has Been Obtained

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In January, I began my graduate career and today it ended. In between, I logged 33 credits plus an additional six credits of supplemental required undergraduate literature. At some point in the near future, I anticipate receiving a diploma in the mail, a physical memento of the achievement.My internship runs through the 23rd and boy […]

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Teacher’s Log: The First Three Days

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WednesdayObviously, the biggest issue of the day was breaking the news to the students that their teacher was gone and I’d be filling in, at least through Christmas break. There was a fair amount of jaw-dropping and questioning while I tried to keep them focused on the work to be done and moving forward.Thankfully, the […]

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It’s Showtime

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It was ten minutes before lunch yesterday when I was asked into the department coordinator’s office. One of the English faculty was leaving staff – almost immediately – and I was being assigned her classes for, at minimum, a week but more likely through the end of my internship on the 23rd.The teacher left behind […]

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Fox News Pisses Me Off

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I don’t often pull stories from other sources for discussion here, but this one really bothers me. After all, last night, Deb, Kate, and I sat down for our traditional viewing of The Muppet Family Christmas which we still find funny and adorable. While we wish it were uncut (sequences were dropped for copyright reasons), […]

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Uncle Bud, R.I.P.

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My Uncle Bud was born seven years before my father, but they were incredibly close as siblings. During the Depression, my grandmother would send them for two loaves of bread, knowing they would consume one en route home, filling them up to help stretch their dinner. Bud took my dad to Ebbets Field for Brooklyn […]

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The Magic is Back

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There has been a tremendous amount of talk in our world about reboots, successful or not, and I just got back from experiencing the year’s single best relaunch of a tired property. Deb, Kate, her guy Mike, and I saw The Muppets and pretty much smiled all the way through, guffawing with pleasantly regularity and […]

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Watching Television

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Since Deb and I switched to watching our entire television output via DVR (and less frequently via DVD), we tend to run days or even weeks behind the general viewing public. As a result, I am a little slower to form opinions, especially about the newer shows but we’re pretty caught up for the moment.My […]

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Feeling Calmer

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I am now, and always have been, goal oriented. I work best with a To Do list and as spare time arrives, I use it to work ahead.  Being in grad school since January has left me feeling pressured, on a treadmill with no end in sight.Until now. I have my end of the semester […]

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Ciao, Cablevision

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I came home from summer camp one year back in the mid-1970s, and my parents said we now had something called HBO. First, I noticed the clear improved picture on the familiar channels but I was astonished to see uncut full-length movies on a single channel. Being a teen, I was particularly fond of the […]

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The Stan Lee Universe is Out

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Some months back, I was asked by Danny Fingeroth to partner with him once more, stepping in during the final weeks of production on TwoMorrows’ The Stan Lee Universe. I proofread the book, doublechecked facts, filled in blanks, did some caption writing and told Danny and his co-editor Roy Thomas that it was a pretty […]

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Election Results

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After months of planning, coordinating, cajoling and campaigning, everything culminated in yesterday’s municipal election. As of now, it appears I lost by three votes; close enough to trigger one of four recounts, but I doubt the results will change.I was at the polls by 6 a.m. ready for the gauntlet. By the time the doors […]

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“A Matter of Faith” Now Available for the Kindle

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After technical difficulties slowly derailed the best laid plans of Crazy 8 Press, my old story, “A Matter of Faith” is now available for the Kindle. The Nook edition will follow next week (once the IRS confirms I am really myself).As discussed over at Crazy 8 Press recently, it’s one of two original short stories […]

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Seal Team 6 Comes to Print

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Over the summer, Dynamite Entertainment asked me to rush edit a novel and sure enough, in under a week, I read, line edited, and completed my work on Seal Team 6, a prose novel by my pal Chuck Dixon. It was initially made available as an eBook, a first for Dynamite; and today, can be […]

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I’ve Been Going Door to Door

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Every neighborhood in Fairfield has its own personality and in a dense district like the one I live in, there are many segments making it always fun to go campaigning. First of all, there’s the pleasure of seeing different parts of the district as well as revisiting some favorite streets and neighbors.The response, as you […]

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The Roast DVD is Ready for Sale

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David Mack does not sleep. It’s about the only way he can manage his writing career and his maniacal life as a producer. Back from the manufacturer, David now has copies of the Charity Roast for sale. The charity roast is here with all your favorites mocking me — even my delightful daughter. But wait, […]

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Boldly Going

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I wrote a while back, lamenting over not writing much for or about Star Trek these days and it appeared that my involvement in the franchise was going to become a fading memory.Perhaps I wrote too quickly.Back in August, I was contacted by an editor at Voyageur Press on the recommendation of fellow Trek writer, […]

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Some Additional Convention Thoughts

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Sometime in the late 1970s, there was a show in New York where DC Comics actually had a booth and I got to wander over as a fan and chat casually with president Sol Harrison. It was the earliest memory I had of a publishing taking booth space on the convention floor. Before then, the […]

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It was 31 Years Ago Today

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Over the last few years, I’ve had to share Deb with the sheep, alpaca, and llamas up in Rhinebeck. The annual Sheep & Wool Festival tends to be in mid-October meaning it usually falls on our anniversary weekend, sometimes even on our anniversary.I also get to share Deb with some of our friends and her […]

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NYCC: There and Back Again

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My time at the New York Comic-Con has come and gone and a good time was had.As expected, I had countless whirlwind 30-60 second conversations with people, shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and making rather merry. There were some extended conversations and a few business meetings which was nice.I arrived early enough on Thursday that getting […]

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Yes, I Will be at New York Comic-Con

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I’m playing hooky on Thursday, taking one of my precious few sanctioned days off from the internship to head into New York City for the New York Comic-Con.Given my crushing schedule of commitments, I will only be there all day Thursday and late Friday afternoon. I am heading in mostly to see old friends in […]

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Stan Lee and Me

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According to Amazon, Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics goes on sale today, just in time for this week’s New York Comic Con. Those buying the book, or merely flipping through it at a bookstore, may notice the tiny type on page 4 crediting me as co-writer.This book has been two years in the making. […]

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Busy, Busy, Busy

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It sometimes rains and sometimes pours.The freelance work has been incredibly iffy, which is why I have pursued my teaching certification, but I still want to keep my hand in.Sometimes this means I can work on my own projects, aimed at Crazy 8 Press, and sometimes opportunity comes knocking.One of my assignments has proven to […]

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Observations from the Streets of District 8

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I’ve been a little slow to get into campaign mode but over the last few weekends I’ve been hitting the streets, going door-to-door to speak with people, drop off some literature and take the town’s temperature.In 2009, there was a sense of complacency that lulled me into thinking I would be re-elected. What I missed […]

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Spider-Man Vault Now in Stores

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I received a cellphone picture from my pal Paul Kupperberg earlier today, showing me copies of Spider-Man Vault in a Connecticut comic shop. The book was written for release last fall but for reasons beyond my knowledge, it was sold only in Costco during the last holiday season.But now it’s available for one and all […]

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Grinding in Frustration

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Deb and I normally buy the large, 36 oz. bag of Eight ‘Clock Coffee French Roast at stop & Shop. We buy the whole bean and use their machine to do the grinding and all is well with the world.Last Thursday, I went to stock up and noticed the shelving was all rearranged and not […]

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My Life – An Update

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You’re probably wondering what’s going on. I’m certainly not blogging with my usual regularity. Well, the honest answer is: I’m busy. Really busy.Five days a week I continue to do my internship at Darien High School, steeping myself in the environment. It certainly feels comfortable, especially the way faculty treats me as a peer and […]

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Finally, Some Teaching Practice

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This was the first full week of school in Darien thank to Hurricane Irene and Labor Day and being the beginning of the school year, I’ve had little opportunity to fill in for teachers but lots of time to observe them which has been lovely.One such occasion had me watching a 10th grade class on […]

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Remembering 9/11

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I had spent the weekend in Indiana at a Diamond trade show, representing Marvel Comics. I had stayed a day extra to visit with my sister and her family which meant I was flying out Monday night. Weather grounded the flight so I crashed at an airport hotel and was booked early the next morning.We […]

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It was 45 Years Ago Tonight

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One of my oldest friends, who I haven’t seen in something like 30 years, dropped me a note a little while ago, asking if I was doing anything to mark the 45th anniversary of Star Trek today. Laura got me to thinking and while I wasn’t watching when “The Man Trap” aired, I caught on […]

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The Art of Howard Chaykin Coming November 29

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The Art of Howard Chaykin, a book I spent much of 2010 working on, is finally scheduled for release on November 29.I’ve been anxiously awaiting this to hit the solicitations and lo and behold, here it is on Amazon. It will be listed in the September Diamond Previews, out later this month. Coming from Dynamic […]

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Starting School

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With the clean-up from Irene spreading across the towns, school finally got underway in Darien yesterday. At least 30% of the students said they still had no electricity, some still had no water. Yet, they showed up, brightly scrubbed and ready for class. The fact that the building had power and AC probably helped the […]

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Me and Irene

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So, this storm came to town yesterday and we lived to tell the tale.Deb and I took the warnings seriously, having lived through a few, including a devastating one in 1992, our first winter in Fairfield. We stocked up on this and that while trying to find a good camping lantern for use. Stores were […]

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On both the Democrat and Working Families Ballot

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When I threw my hat into the ring for the Representative Town Meeting, one of the first pieces of mail I received was a questionnaire from the Working Families party. I filled it out because I found myself agreeing with their vision and goals. A few weeks later I was invited to a phone conference […]

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My Summer Comes to an End

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When I returned from Baltimore, I was rested and relaxed, feeling good. I figured I had time to wrap some things before classes began on Monday. Then it dawned on me that I needed to be back at high school, resuming my internship on Wednesday. I had secretly hoped I would be needed only today […]

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Wonderful Weekend in Baltimore

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I had always heard good things about Baltimore Comic-Con but never managed to make it down to the show for a variety of reasons. His year, when the stars aligned, I was determined to make it to the show and I am very glad I did.Last year, Kate went on her own and was recognized […]

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My Baltimore Comic-Con Schedule

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I’ve been wanting to attend the Baltimore Comic-Con for some time now, but circumstances have always gotten in the way.When Deb suggested Kate and I make a weekend of it, the timing seemed ot fit perfectly for a change. She made certain her calendar was clear and I am just wrapping up some writing so […]

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Zipping Through the Air

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Sunday was rainy, and somewhat somber for obvious reasons, but we hoped the forecasts were right and the precipitation would let up in time for our zip tour. Thankfully, after a relaxed morning, the skies brightened enough to be encouraging. We were part of a nine-person tour and were driven a few exits up the […]

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West and Welaxation

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As the summer winds down with tremendous rapidity, one thing I’ve been looking forward to is a break. Deb suggested it months ago and we had to carefully plot out a window of opportunity for a long weekend and this past weekend proved to be the ideal one given everything else on the calendar. She […]

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Three Years

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Three years later it still feels unreal.A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of Robbie and images of him remain within sight throughout the house. Still, when I think of him, my mind often goes back to that final harrowing week rather than other times of his brief life. As a result, the […]

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Trying to Find Time to Relax

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As I prepare to take some time off, before school and the campaign season kick into high gear, I find myself in a whirl of activity.I wrote my short story for the project that has been kicking around since2009 and got that off to my editor. I have no clue if it sucks or not […]

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Keeping Busy

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The summer is now more than half over and there’s been no let up to the pace of activity. This week had me working on completing what are essentially several first drafts.The Democratic Town Committee website, rebuilt for me by my pal Allyn Gibson, was the first done, as I created pages for all the […]

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Today’s Shot

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What a wasted day.Yesterday, the external monitor acted up, repeating a problem I had about two months back. At the time, it was diagnosed as a series of driver issues and that my relatively new laptop was already hopelessly out of date with drivers for the port replicator I was using for docking my peripherals.So, […]

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Watching Captain America

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I usually don’t do this, but htere’s my ComicMix review of Captain America which goes live on that site tomorrow.Joe Johnston knows how to direct adventure films but watching his growth as a director has been a pleasure. His first offering, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was a visual effects feast, thanks to his training […]

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Once More into the Breach

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Last night the Democratic Town Committee held its special meeting to pick the slate for the November 8 municipal election. The Republicans had their primary vote on Tuesday so we had some sense of who the competition was going to be.As Vice Chair, I spent the last month juggling preparations for the meeting, the subsequent […]

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What’s Been Happening

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So, the blog has been quiet for a week and for that I apologize. You’re probably wondering if I’ve recovered from Roast and I have and it had little to do with the silence. Instead, I blame life. Here’s what’s been going on: Freelancing I returned from the con and dedicated myself to completing the […]

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The Rest of Shore Leave

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Shore Leave tends to be a busy event for me as I juggle panels along with emcee duties, always trying to stuff more into a day than is possible, especially as I try to spend time with the local friends from down there. Sadly, after three decades, we’re all used to catching whatever time we […]

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Roasted

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We’ve gotten into the habit of hitting the road early to ensure we arrive in Maryland without being frazzled by traffic and time pressures. This year was no different and, Starbucks in hand, we were on I-95 at 6 a.m. on the dot.  As a result, we made fabulous time, crossing the George Washington Bridge […]

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And…Crazy 8 Press is Open for Business

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Today’s the day. Officially, Crazy 8 Press is open for business. We’ve had endless amount of technical glitches and human error that would make the strongest of you weep, but somehow, we’ve gotten past those and can offer you the first book as promised.Here’s a link to the dedicated page for Peter David’s The Camelot […]

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My Shore Leave Schedule

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After all the talk and anticipation, suddenly, this week is Shore Leave 33 and I’ll be busier than ever. For those attending, here’s my schedule and please, come say howdy.Friday7-9 p.m. The Character Assassination of Robert GreenbergerThe third annual charity roast for the American Red Cross. David Mack, I gather, has gone above and beyond […]

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What I Will do on my Summer Vacation

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On June 30, my two online classes came to their scheduled conclusion and it appears I have aced both classes, satisfying the state’s demand that I deepen my literature base. With those obligations completed, I was a free agent until August 29 or so. That’s about eight solid weeks with no school assignments of any […]

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Involuntarily Pausing Public Service

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After losing the 2009 RTM election, I wanted to keep my hand in and continue to perform public service for Fairfield. I remain committed to the notion that everyone should do some sort of volunteer work; either for the town, the church, the school, whatever. First Selectman Ken Flatto suggested my experience would make me […]

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Crazy 8 Press Lives

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“The haggis is in the fire for sure.”That’s what Howard Weinstein said when I told him that our site was live and the press release formally announcing our existence had just been sent out.This has certainly been a work in progress since we began discussing the concept of Crazy 8 Press at last summer’s Shore […]

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Gene Colan, R.I.P.

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Another legend of my childhood has passed away. Gene Colan died last night after an illness, punctuating his final years which should have been happier than they were.Gene was 84 when he died and leaves behind a legacy which is thankfully captured in multiple collected editions from DC and Marvel so his work can continue […]

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Crazy 8 Press Pricing Discussion

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As many of you know, Crazy 8 Press is nearing its July 8 debut so the six of us have been ratcheting up our efforts to get the word out and prepare for the launch. Yesterday, though, the pricing debate was renewed and Peter David, our lead author, has posed the question to readers.While many […]

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Thoughts on Green Lantern

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I hated the mask. For a year now, I have loathed the design of Green Lantern’s, and kept hoping the CGI artists would go back to the source material and make it a functional mask. They never did but poured millions more into improving the CGI after the initial trailer proved to underwhelm the core […]

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Battle of Destiny Book Trailer

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It’s been a month or so since Battle of Destiny finally went on sale and since then, those I know who have read it, really liked it. The book is currently available in print from your local retailer, or you can get it as a digital comic, and starting about now, it’s available through traditional […]

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School’s out for the Summer

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Last August, no sooner did I get accepted to the University of Bridgeport than I received a call, inviting me to interview at Darien High School for my internship. I went in, had a lovely chat, went home and a few days later got the call telling me I would be a part of the […]

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Charity Roast Mere Weeks Away

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I am usually happy to promote my published works or talk about my political or educational worlds but talking about me still makes me feel odd. Still, since we’re talking about raising money for the American Red Cross I’ll make an exception.We’re four weeks away from Shore Leave and Friday night’s charity roast of yours […]

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Bone Marrow Bill Passes

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I’ve talked about this before, but feel it’s worth giving you a happy update.Up in Hartford this session, I’ve been tracking the progress of Bill 5032: AN ACT REQUIRING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR BONE MARROW TESTING. “To require individual and group health insurance policies to provide coverage for bone marrow testing.”Introduced by the Insurance and […]

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Busy Student

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As I feared, being an intern and taking three concentrated classes simultaneously is taking its toll on my time, hence the silence on the blog.I have been far from idle, to be honest. But, cramming in three lit courses means a lot of reading and writing. Thankfully, one wraps on the 22nd and the other […]

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Available Once More: The Spider-Man Vault

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The fine folk over at Becker & Mayer commissioned Peter David to write the Spider-Man Vault and when he needed help, I was asked aboard to pitch in, receiving co-authorship. The book came out last fall but could only be purchased at Costco.Today that changes. The book is now listed in the current Diamond Previews […]

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Digital Dialogue

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As one might imagine, my peers in publishing are all trying out ways to make their works available to audiences beyond traditional publishing. Right now, mainstream publishing reminds me of criminals, superstitious and cowardly. As a result, scores of writers are trying their hands at self-publishing. As many readers know, I’m about to jump into […]

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A Patch Hiatus

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Ever since I began writing my Op-Ed column at Fairfield Patch, many of my critics decried my presence, arguing my role as the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Town Committee made me far too biased. Of course, I shied away from straight politics, not slamming or endorsing candidates. Still, some continued to think it overly colored […]

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Revisiting Next Season’s Genre Offerings

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Last week I was watching the fall network announcements and wrote lamenting the absence of successful-looking genre offerings but in decrying the failure of The Event and the loss of comics-derived programming, I missed the softer trend. Thankfully, one commenter and The New York Times stood ready to help me see the error of my […]

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Attending my 35th High School Reunion

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Last night I ventured into Manhattan to attend my 35th high school reunion. Without benefit of a for-profit company to run it, Emilia Roll took it upon herself to organize, plan, and execute the event. I was unavailable for the 20th and found the 30th overpriced, especially since the people I most wanted to see […]

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Freelance Update

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I haven’t talked much about the freelance world, largely because there’s been such little activity but I figured we’re due for a review.So, Battle of Destiny, which I packaged for Avalanche Comics Entertainment back in 2008, hit the comic shops last week via Ape Entertainment. I’m very proud of the finished product and some advance […]

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The Genre Cycle Comes to an End

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In the feast and famine cycle of genre television, we appear to be heading into a famine period as The Event, No Ordinary Family, and Human Target were canceled while Smallville reached its overdue natural conclusion. While there were some promising sounding pilots in consideration — including one from Ron Moore that I wanted to […]

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Final Smallville Thoughts

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The concept behind Smallville was brilliant. A Clark Kent-centric series for young adults that showed how the boy became a man and mastered both his powers and his destiny. Early on, despite the rhythmic meteor-derived villain of the week, the show had some strong performances and terrific writing. The dance between Clark and Lex Luthor […]

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Early Summer

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Traditionally, we welcome the summer with Memorial Day but over time that has crept forward so now the first weekend of May is considered the kickoff to the summer movie season even though the television season has weeks to go before winding down. Academically, no sooner does the spring semester end than my summer semester […]

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Thoughts on Thor

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Paul Kupperberg and I went to see Thor yesterday. We were the perfect audience for this, having grown up on the comic series, and have been waiting most of our lives for movies that adapted the comics with a knowing, serious touch.To our delight the trailers were for X-Men First Class, Green Lantern, Super 8, […]

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A new Perspective After 37 Years

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In ninth grade, my dad began handing me books to read, to sharpen the mind of the would-be writer. I’d sit in the Living Room, normally reserved for company, put on an album, slip on the headphones, and sit in the easy chair with a paperback. That’s how I first read Thomas Wolfe and J.D. […]

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One Semester Down

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Suddenly, I turn around and my first semester of grad school is over. Once the grads are posted, I will be assigned 17 credits, leaving me a mere 16 credits to go before I have my Master’s Degree.What a whirl. During the fifteen week semester it has often felt like I was on a treadmill, […]

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Enjoying Family

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Timing can be everything.  Just a few weeks ago we buried my cousin Audrey, the first time many of us had seen one another in quite some time. With my niece Corinne’s bat mitzvah, impending it inspired several to make last minute arrangements to fly out and regroup for something joyous.Given my school schedule, we […]

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Relaxed

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By setting modest, attainable goals, I managed to feel very good about my week off. Amazingly, by Friday, I was genuinely feeling rested, a state of being that persisted until the alarm went off this morning.Unlike last break in February, I had papers to write and two essays to revise and another two to write. […]

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The Streak Comes to an End

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Back in the late 1990s, I bought a score book and took it with me to baseball games and kept score. It didn’t matter who was playing or at what level it was being played on, I focused on the game and scored every pitch and hit. I would staple my ticket stub to the […]

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I-Con, Day the Second

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Sunday morning found me somewhat awake after a fitful night’s sleep. I was showered and dressed, in the lobby pouring myself a cup of coffee as the fire alarm sounded. I spent about an hour in the lobby, playing with my new Droid X phone (which I obtained Friday night and we hadn’t really been […]

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I-Con, Day the First

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Seeing friend s and fans are the main reasons I return to I-Con again and again. As with any student-run organization with turnover every few years, there are inevitable bumps in the road. This year was no exception.Despite worsening weather, the campus was abuzz with activity, especially cosplayers in a wide variety of outfits. Fortunately, […]

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My I-Con Schedule

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I-Con 30. What an odd concept that the cons I’ve been regularly attending are entering their third decade. I was at I-Con I and have been more or less going back every year without fail. I love its breadth and depth of programming and invariably, cannot see everyone I want to or attend every fascinating […]

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Barbara Gordon, Junior Detective

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Every writer has projects that do not get sold; it’s the nature of the business. It’s rare, though, that the unsold material never is ever on display. Sometimes, though, you can’t resist.Recently, my pal Johanna Draper Carlson posted the unsold pitch to a Lois Lane YA book series. I found it fascinating at how developed […]

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Consumed by School

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So Friday and Saturday I spent 8 hours in class, the second of my three required electives. This one was on identifying and teaching the Gifted Student and it was great fun. The teacher had us reading handouts aloud and working in groups on silly little projects, all to demonstrate ways to extend a classroom […]

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Remembering Cousin Audrey

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Everyone’s family has its own dynamic and through the generations that changes. One thing I always loved about Barry Levinson’s Avalon was how well it captured the period when the extended family began to split apart, like so many electrons being flung away, leaving just the nuclear family.Growing up, my mother’s side of the family […]

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Catching my Breath

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Today, I feel to be catching my breath.A flurry of activity this week has left me tired and today’s schedule is letting me not only breathe but realize how tired I am feeling.My contributions to a group project due Saturday were done as the week began which meant I only needed to make minor tweaks […]

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A Grinding Schedule

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I know I’ve been quiet of late and for that I apologize. It’s been busy. Exhausting even. The amazing part is that things would be worse if I wasn’t allowed to occasionally do grad school work during downtimes at high school.Life as an intern has the advantage of no two days being alike, but there’s […]

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I’m Getting Roasted

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For the past two summers, I have helped raise money for the American Red Cross by playing toastmaster at Shore Leave’s Author Roast. The brainchild of David Mack, the Roast gave us a chance to do something for fun, give people a chance to make a valuable donation, and kick off the con with a […]

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A Quiet Lunacon

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Lunacon has its roots at the dawn of science fiction fandom and has run continuously for decades. It has a seriously literary bent but for all the time I have been attending, it has been small and intimate. This year, for whatever reason, it felt smaller than usual. It did not help that during peak […]

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Representing Binghamton Once More

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Twice this week I represented Binghamton University (otherwise known as SUNY-B) and had a great time, but also used it as a chance to see high schoolers in a slightly different setting. After all, I’ve been with them nearly every day since early January and I’ve gotten to know them as a group.The first night […]

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Lunacon this Weekend

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I have been remiss in updating my appearances for the year and have adjusted that so you can find me at a variety of cons across the northeast between now and fall. First up, though, is this weekend’s Lunacon, in Ryebrook, NY where I will return to provide the halftime entertainment (Trailer Park) during Masquerade. […]

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Talking Television

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I’m a TV junkie. Always have been, probably always will be. Deb remains astonished I can recall the time and day an older show aired (at least through 1980 or so). As a result, we have our habits, our DVR remains programmed year-round and we watch quite the variety of material on prime time and […]

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Familiarity

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I have been awaiting the point at high school and grad school where it felt like I was a part of either community. It was probably last week when I walked into the University of Bridgeport Library before class and saw clusters of students I had various classes with. They smiled and waved and it […]

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A Productive Week

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With no high school this week, I was able to focus on my graduate reading and projects in addition to tackling the freelance work.It meant, for the most part, that I was back to my old routine and schedule, and I certainly enjoyed the ability to enjoy coffee and the morning papers with Deb before […]

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Crazy 8 Explained

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Mike Friedman has spent the last two or three years talking about seeing the future and to him, it was a future without the middleman. He wanted to find a way for a group of writer friends to come together, bringing our audiences with us, to a site where people could buy our newest works […]

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Farpoint Day Two

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Sundays at conventions can be tiring affairs as everyone shakes off staying up too late and has to struggle with packing, checking out, attending panels and the like. The day started off with a catch-up breakfast with Deb, Howie, and Ann Crispin. Ann has spent the better part of the last three years writing a […]

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Farpoint Day One

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Farpoint used to be a smaller, mirror image of Shore Leave but over the last few years, it has found its own identity and voice. The move three years ago to the Crown Plaza in Timonium also visually divorced it from being perceived as the little sister to Shore Leave.I have a great time at […]

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Ranting About Adaptations

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One of the benefits of my teaching education and internship is that I am finally reading some of the classics I managed to miss in high school and college. Despite toiling the speculative fiction world most of my life, I somehow never read Frankenstein. Since that is now being taught in high school, I finally […]

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Ranting About Adaptations

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One of the benefits of my teaching education and internship is that I am finally reading some of the classics I managed to miss in high school and college. Despite toiling the speculative fiction world most of my life, I somehow never read Frankenstein. Since that is now being taught in high school, I finally […]

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Fitting in the Freelance Work

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Now that I have the school rhythms down, I have come to recognize how much time is leftover for freelance work. Ideally, I’d be able to line up my projects one after the other, nice and neat. Life, however, is rarely nice or neat.The high school is off for winter break next week and I […]

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Farpoint This Weekend

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On Friday, I switch from being an intern and grad student, once more resuming my alter ego of freelance writer. I’ll be heading down to Farpoint in lovely Timonium, Maryland, reconnecting with peers, pals, and panels. For those attending, I look forward to seeing you all. Here’s my schedule of activity:SaturdayAt 10 a.m., the con […]

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Trial by Fire

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Today promised to be one of those hectic days I was warned about. I was tasked to help the guidance department, which turned out to be providing steno services for a student with tendinitis. She had an AP Calculus test and needed someone to do the writing for her. Since the other intern did all […]

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One Month In

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Three weeks in, grad school has been tough to get a handle on, largely because of its newness but also because the snow has wreaked havoc with the schedule so we have missed classes. If the weather holds, week four should be the first time I have all four classes as planned.There is a ton […]

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My Story is in Scooby-Doo #6 — on sale tomorrow

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After a very long day yesterday, I returned home and was greeted with a very familiar box from Quebecor. Within it were my contributor copies to Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #6, going on sale tomorrow.I was delighted, having forgotten the issue containing my story was coming out, but was stunned to discover my debut story […]

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Battle of Destiny now Available for Order

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It’s been a while since I talked about Avalanche Comics Entertainment, but longtime readers here may recall that it’s a content creation/management outfit created by former DC editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. In 2008, Jordan brought me on board to help him manage a number of projects, most prominently a 26 week daily comic strip for […]

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Farewell, Wizard

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In the late 1970s, it was kind of fun being a comic book fan in the pre-Internet age because we had monthly installments of various magazine-style fanzines to keep us company. While the granddaddy of news, The Comic Reader, had ceased publishing, it was replaced in prominence by The Comics Journal with its insightful interviews […]

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Thoughts on the Comics Code

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The Comics Code arrived during a dark time for the comic book field. It was a necessary evil to save the industry, the publishers concluded, after being savaged during the Senate hearings into juvenile delinquency. For the full story, check out David Hadju’s informative The Ten Cent Plague.At first, the Code took its job quite […]

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Two Quick Items

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Now that they’re live, I can mention that I spent a chunk of December interviewing talent associated with several of Dynamite Entertainment’s forthcoming releases. The first such piece, a chat with an old pal, Keith Champagne, just went live the other day.Late in December, NBC ran a “sneak peek” episode of the new series Perfect […]

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Intern Updating

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Lots of folk have been asking me about how interning and grad school has been going and I wish I had more complete answers.Thanks to two snow days and MLK Day, I have been at the school four days. Having said that, I can tell you that I will be spoiled by the facility and […]

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The Cape Doesn’t Work…at All

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The Cape sucked and here’s why:There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the basic premise. A good cop is framed for corruption and murder and disguises himself as his son’s favorite comic book character in order to clear his name and remain a positive role model for the disillusioned boy.The show, which debuted this week to reasonable […]

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Day One

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Getting up at 6 a.m. and having to drive to work are new experiences. I haven’t gotten up this early since 2007 and the Weekly World News. And in 30+ years of professional life, I have never needed to drive to work before. Given the volume on I-95, it was recommended to be on the […]

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I’ve Been Oriented

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Since Tuesday, I have spent the majority of the day at the University of Bridgeport campus undergoing the state mandated orientation. Normally, it runs through Saturday but with the snow coming down, they cut today short and canceled tomorrow, although that needs to be made up sometime in March. Across the days we’ve had seminars […]

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$9.09

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The vast majority of my Star Trek fiction is out of print. That is, no longer available from Pocket Books as paper books. Instead, it’s all available as eBooks and the last few cycles, my Pocket Books royalties have consisted of eBook sales.Interestingly, in the last year, everyone has been talking about making money incrementally […]

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One Final Look Back

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2010 comes to a close and it was not entirely a bad year but it was bad enough that I made the decision to make a career change. As publishers froze in the wake of the eBook explosion, thanks to the Kindle and the iPad, work dried up pretty quickly. Not just for me, but […]

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The 2010 Reading List

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In looking back over my reading habits of the year, I find that I returned to authors and series for comfort while forcing myself to sample new writers. I make a point of trying at least one new author a year and accomplished that with my second book of the year. All in all, I […]

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Hey, Look at the Dinosaurs

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Zenescope Entertainment released their solicitations for March and lo and behold, the book I’m editing for them is here:Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs and Prehistoric PredatorsJoe Brusha (W)Neo Edmond (W)Art by Steven CummingsZenescope’s second book under its new all ages imprint, Silver Dragon Books, takes you on an adventure back in time with Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs & […]

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A Christmas Odyssey

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For the first time since we married 30 years ago, we went somewhere for Christmas. With Kate back in Iraq, the notion of just the two of us here for the holiday was not at all appealing. Fortunately, Deb’s brother John was more than happy to host us.We drove up Friday morning and after settling […]

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Thoughts on the Season Part Two

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Christmas became a time of year for celebrations. Depending upon your land and background, you celebrated in December because it was the winter solstice or Jesus Christ was born. As Christianity spread, it was adopted and like a Christmas tree, everyone added their favorite ornaments.The solemn carols that were sun during mass began adding songs […]

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Thoughts on the Season Part One

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I’ve been watching people make comments on Facebook, blogs, and elsewhere regarding which way the wind is blowing in the whole “Merry Christmas” issue. A year or two back, it seems, retailers were instructing their staffs not to use that phrase but to wish customers a “Happy Holiday” instead. This way, those who celebrate the […]

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Whew!

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And just like that it’s all done.I walked out of classes last Monday and was amazed how quickly a semester of learning zipped by. I then knuckled down and began studying for my finals.As promised, the Theater went live on Friday. After a quick review, I took the 45 minute 52 question multiple choice portion […]

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Wow, I’ve Read Some Top 10 Books

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The year is rapidly winding down so everyone is putting out Top 10 lists, with Time.com offering the largest variety.I usually glance at the lists, mostly noting the movies I have yet to see, disagreeing over some of the television choices and feeling old by never recognizing more than one or two of the artists […]

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The Semester Ends

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I haven’t been in a classroom situation on a regular basis pretty much since I was last at Binghamton University in May 1980. As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began my undergrad courses on August 30. The idea of two courses a day, twice a week, through December, seemed endless […]

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Quick Links

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I had wanted to write something pithy and moving, but ran out of time today. Instead, I spent much of the day writing about websites and writing two interviews for a website. Plus, I studied for tomorrow’s  Statistics test.Anyway, I did want to call your attention to the first Zenescope graphic novel, produced for the […]

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I Miss Editing

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I miss editing comic books.This isn’t a news bulletin or anything, but over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hiring talent, reading and editing scripts, juggling the flow of work between the talent and Zenescope Entertainment and it brings back many happy memories.These two anthologies are nice in that I will be working with […]

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I’m a Costco Exclusive (sort of)

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I have been meaning to mention this but have completely forgotten so let me rectify that by alerting you to a Costco exclusive.The publishers behind The Spider-Man Vault, the book I aided Peter David in writing, was scheduled for mass market release this fall, but it was subsequently decided to hold off.Instead, only members of […]

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Being Thankful

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As the year winds down, people have taken the time to begin taking stock of their life, the year, the decade, whatever moves them.It usually begins now as we share the things we have to be thankful for.This year has been a struggle for me and Deb and promises to be tough in the coming […]

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A Pox on U-Verse and Stuck with Cabelvision

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I came home from summer camp one year and was amazed to see my father watching an uncut movie on television. He explained it was a clearer picture and we had all these new channels to watch thanks to this thing called cable television. We were among the first to subscribe to Cablevision when it […]

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Work Update

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Since coming back from Baton Rouge, I have been rather busy and for a change it has been mostly freelance work and not school work. Let me fill you in…Zenescope Entertainment hired me to edit two graphic novels for them as part of their deal with the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. For now, we’re […]

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Fandemonium Wrap-up

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Running a convention is similar to the old Vaudeville routine of spinning a series of plates atop sticks and keeping them all going without letting any fall and crack. When Robert Picardo couldn’t be on hand to screen his movie on Friday night, they bumped it to Saturday. What I didn’t learn until Saturday morning […]

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Fandemonium Day One Report

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The Red Stick International Animation Festival has been growing nicely as a Louisiana attraction, honoring filmmakers from around the world and screening works people wouldn’t get to see otherwise. Animation in all forms is being celebrated and over the last five years, the event has been growing.This year, it was decided to grow by adding […]

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Professional Work Update

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I haven’t talked about professional work much of late, largely because there has not been a lot to report and that in itself is a bit of a lesson.When the Who’s Who was temporarily suspended in the spring, I was surprised and have devoted my time to finding replacement work. As of now, DC Comics […]

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Something Old, Something New

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Authors usually like it when people buy and read our works, but we also crave feedback. Sometimes we write things and you wait, but are greeted with silence. The Patch column I posted about bsuiness in Fairfield last week got zeor comments, which was unusual.Then, in a week, you get some nice comments.Reader Leroy Douresseaux […]

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Being Re-Energized by the President

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Voters reach a point of election fatigue where they dread answering the phone, opening the door and flipping through their mail. Candidates for all offices try and reach out in several ways, trying to get their name and message across.For those of us in the trenches, working to get people elected, we also reach a […]

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The Wrong Side is on the Defensive

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With less than a week to go before the election, there’s a lot being written about the enthusiasm gap. I noticed it last year when we could barely motivate the democrats in Fairfield or even more than a handful of independents to come out and vote.It’s not that the Democrats don’t care, but there’s a […]

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Back to Middle School

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This morning I was called in for substitute teaching duty (and for the third time in a row, it was on a Friday; I detect a pattern). This time it was heading over to Roger Ludlow Middle School, where Robbie and Kate attended. I last walked those halls in 2002 when I subbed during Robbie’s […]

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On the Road Again

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While this may appear like short notice for you, I’ve been talking on and off with the people behind Baton Rouge’s Fandemonium for some months now. Well, as of today, it’s official, I am an invited VIP guest of the show, which will be held November 12-14.I’ll be a guest alongside actor Robert Picardo, whose […]

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It was Thirty Years Ago Today

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I’ve described the setting before. A dark and storm October evening, a fitting setting given what we endured to make it to the altar.Every now and then I am reminded of just how many hurtles there were between my proposal and the exchange of our vows. Over dinner Saturday night, Deb’s brothers Jim and Jeff […]

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School Talk

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I haven’t talked about school in a bit so let me fill you in.While I normally don’t think of myself as having a head for numbers, I find I am grasping many of the concepts behind Statistics. I manage to get through my homework without too much sweat and did score an 87 on the […]

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Notes from the Convention

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My time at New York Comic-Con was concentrated into two full, tiring days. The show has been growing at a nice pace and so far, five years in, they have kept Hollywood from overrunning it with a nice mix of media properties but a theme repeated throughout the weekend was how refreshing it was that […]

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I’ll be Wandering at New York Comic-Con

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This weekend I will be at the New York Comic-Con. My schedule is filling in nicely as I make plans to visit numerous publishers to follow-up on existing projects or pursue new ones. I’ll be walking the floor as a free agent although I will most frequently be at the DelRey Booth promoting The Essential […]

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Getting the Party Energized

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Its been said for some time now that the Democrats are quiet, not feeling the same anger or fear as the Tea Party advocates or the Republicans. They’re either complacent, content with their current legislators or have chosen to sit out this election cycle.Here in Fairfield, we wanted to change that. Our Democratic Town Committee […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles now Available for Order

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Seqart’s Gotham City 14 Miles can be found in the latest edition of Diamond’s Previews.This is a crucial time for the book, as we need to hit Diamond’s minimum-number threshold or they will cancel all orders for it.I urge everyone to get out and order a copy through their local comic shops or one of […]

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Talking About the Uncanny Un-Collectibles

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Every now and then I get invited to write an essay or guest blog about something that tickles my fancy. I was recently solicited to contribute to a project over at the Revolution SF website. Here’s the run down from the site’s Rick Klaw.Given that Barnes & Noble and Borders stores offer extensive graphic novel […]

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Struggling with Time Management

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My sudden absence from my desk between the hours of 9 and 2:30 on Mondays and Fridays has shaken up my routines and has caused me to feel somewhat out of control. The time at school is necessary and I find that I am spending between 2-3 hours a week on home work in addition […]

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The President Finally asked the Question

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At yesterday’s press conference, President Barack Obama finally said something I have been waiting for any politician or leader to ask. One of the shared beliefs between the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement is that they want a smaller government. While that sounds nice, he finally asked, “What will you cut?”It’s one thing […]

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Talking Atlantis Chronicles

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I have always stated that The Atlantis Chronicles is one of the projects I edited at DC Comics that I am most proud of. Fortunately, it added elements that remain in use throughout the DC Universe and has been fondly recalled by readers.Sadly, it’s never been collected.Robert J. Kelly manages the delightful The Aquaman Shrine […]

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Presenting The Spider-Man Vault

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Many people consider a comic book historian, a title I wear proudly. People often reach out to me with questions and I happily answer since I have a good working knowledge of the field, above-average knowledge of Marvel’s history and a superb command of DC’s corporate history. Some of that has found its way into […]

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Small World

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The world continues to prove how small it can feel despite there being over six billion of us. Last week I made one incredibly bizarre connection linking disparate people from various aspects of my life while Deb also had a similar experience. Then there was the son of a pal in Stamford who just enrolled […]

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Correcting an Error on my Part

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Win Scott Eckert, co-editor, of the forthcoming Green Hornet Chronciles, sent me a note, kindly reminding me that I actually did see the galleys to my story, “Go go Gone”. Apparently, despite reading and correcting them on  June 24, I blokced it from my mind and owe Win and publisher Joe Gentile an apology.Win also […]

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Green Hornet Chronicles Finally goes to Press

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The Green Hornet Chronicles, originally announced as being released in June, apparently went to the printer this week. I was never sent galleys to proofread so can only hope someone else read through the pages.The collection was co-edited by Joe Gentile and Win Scott Eckert with covers by Glen Orbik and Rubén Procopio with interior […]

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So Far, So Good

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Returning to a classroom setting proved easier than expected. Maybe it was all the time spent participating in panels at Stony Brook’s campus during countless I-Cons or I was over-thinking the whole thing.With two days of classes under my belt, I will state that I think I can do this. I am certainly disciplined enough […]

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A New Chapter Begins

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Since mid-March, I have watched as the freelance world has altered. It didn’t start then, but it’s when I paid attention to how many of my peers were struggling to find assignments. Media tie-in fiction seemed to be cut way back while publishers also cut down on mid-list authors. Fellow members of the International Association […]

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Work Update

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OK, so while I am thrilled to have Batman: The Brave & The Bold #20 now out, and receiving some nice comments, there’s the future to consider. Here’s what has been happening……not all that much to be honest. Such can be the life of the freelance writer. You hope for a steady supply of work […]

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Batman: The Brave & The Bold #20 on Sale Wednesday

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I can’t tell you how excited I am that tomorrow my one issue of Batman: The Brave & The Bold will be going on sale. It has been nearly two decades since I last wrote a comic book and it was a great experience.When I completed the script, my editor Michael Siglain told me he […]

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Me and the Attorney General

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Since I’ve gotten involved in local politics, I have found myself attending numerous events where several of the state leaders turn up. They breeze in and are usually mobbed by those they know and they seem to know a lot of the party faithful.When you work on enough campaigns and attend the same events, your […]

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Gotham City 14 Miles Coming in October

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The official page for Gotham City 14 Miles is now up at the Sequart website and will be in the next Diamond Previews catalog. The book is not yet available elsewhere, so I call your attention to this fun volume.Editor Jim Beard invited me to write for this in the spring of 2009 and I […]

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Revisiting my Childhood via Video

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One of the great pleasures of the digital revolution is having the chance to relive our childhood.Slowly, but surely, I am revisiting many of the touchstones heroes or programs that I adored as a kid. In some cases, such as the 1960s cartoon collections from Warner Home Video, I see the flaws but can’t help […]

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Two Years

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I have trouble comprehending that it was two years ago that we lost Robbie.The first year was certainly difficult and this past week, Deb and I were preoccupied with thoughts about him and this day. On the one hand, we still can’t believe he is no longer a part of our life, and on the […]

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Election Night

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In the past, all of my political efforts were directed at Fairfield. This time around, not being in office, I found myself drifting into working on behalf of Ned Lamont and was therefore invited to attend the Election Night party. Throughout the day all I heard was that turnaround in town and across the state […]

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Go Out and Vote in CT Today

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Over at the Fairfield Patch, I wrote a column about the importance of getting out the vote. To me, it is a duty incumbent upon all eligible adults and why we get such low turnout never makes sense. We have a chance to select who we want our respective parties to run as candidates for […]

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A New Book in the House

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The joys of my freelance career include being able to mesh my writing and history interests. Most recently, I did several essays for my pal Bill Fawcett for his latest anthology. The mailman just dropped off my contributor’s copy to How to Lose World War II: Bad Mistakes of the Good War. It focuses entirely […]

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Thoughts on Doctor Who Season Five

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This morning I completed watching the fifth season of the current Doctor Who series and wanted to sum up my thoughts as we all eagerly await the Christmas special. By now I will presume those who want to see the show has and therefore won’t be tiptoeing around plot points.Steven Moffat and Matthew Smith came […]

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Withdrawing from Dragon*Con

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I love going to conventions. I love interacting with fans and fellow professionals, participating in panel discussions devoted to interesting topics. Browsing the dealers room and art show can be eye-opening experiences as are the masquerades and other events.As a result, if invited, I tend to say yes. These shows usually cover my expenses since […]

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The Waiting Game

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With Comic-Con International now a week in the past, I am hopeful that everyone is getting back to their desks, sifting through messages and e-mail and returning to work. Ideally, that will mean that some of the long-simmering proposals will actually get read and either approved or passed on, allowing me to shop them elsewhere.I […]

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Thoughts on Comic-Con International

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While I am a social creature who thrives in the atmosphere at Comic-Con International, I needed to be practical and chose not to attend this year.Last year was the first time since 2001, and since I was fulltime freelance, it made sense to see if I could be out there and generate some work.  I […]

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The Value of Closure

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My brother called yesterday, asking me about the ending to Inception. He felt cheated, desiring a real ending, not something ambiguous. To me, the ending perfectly fit in with the theme and tone of the movie and I was more delighted than bothered by it.That got me to thinking about endings, especially when they are […]

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Turning 52 Wasn’t so Bad

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In thinking about turning 52 yesterday, I began the day concluding that I am most definitely now into the second half of my life. How far into the second half remains to be seen but it’s one of the few times I have thought of my own mortality.The heat and humidity of the day sapped […]

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Available Now

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As of today, interested readers can discover the joys of media tie-in writing and its rich history in TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing.The book was a lively collaboration among members of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. We strongly believe in our organization and having our stock-in-trade treated […]

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Is the RSVP an Endangered Species?

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I recently hosted an event at my home and was asked to provide 25 people. It was suggested that to achieve that number, I had to invite twice as many so invited somewhere on the order of 52 people.As the event date drew closer, a significant portion of those who received e-mail and/or phone call […]

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The Shore Leave Wrap-Up

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“I can’t believe it’s over already,” Lyssa said as I came off the stage at the conclusion of Mystery Trekkie Theater and she was right. The three day weekend zipped right by and in the morning we head for home.I have been attending Shore Leave for decades, starting with #3 and this was my 28th […]

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Shore Leave 32 Schedule

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If it’s July, then it’s time for Shore Leave. The con is once more at the Hunt Valley Inn and for what feels like the 100th time, I’ll be in attendance. Actually, I have missed four of the previous 31 shows so I guess I’m a regular.The highlight of the weekend, for me anyway, is […]

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Updating my Professional Life

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I was once again reminded that writers write, hoping to profit from the experience but not expecting it. The daily mail brought with it my semi-annual royalty statement from Pocket Books for all my Star Trek fiction dating back to 1990. Five different titles earned me a whopping $7.43. Considering most of the books are […]

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Thinking About Hollywood and Comic-Con

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Today’s New York Times’ business section has a piece on Hollywood courting fans at Comic-Con International; examine the buzz generated and whether or not it translates to actual box office success. It certainly did for District 9; it certainly did not for The Watchmen.It got me to thinking about the con and its reputation as […]

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Project Updates

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There’s been a bit of activity involving several of my projects so let me fill you in.As I was delivering the proofread pages to the front and back matter for The Essential Superman Encyclopedia, my wonderful editor, Chris Cerasi, informed me that DelRey had moved the publication date from August to October. I’m not entirely […]

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Old Timers’ Day

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As I wrote over at ComicMix, Dick Giordano was a terrific teacher, mentor, and boss.Clearly, I was not alone in these sentiments and people have been filling the web with accolades and anecdotes.Today, many of those who worked with him gathered for a Memorial. DC Comics has always hosted lovely memorials for recently departed staff, […]

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What’s Been Going On

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The lack of work has also left me with a lack of interesting things to be promoting and chatting about. I never meant the blog to be so silent for so long.So, let’s see what’s been going on.I just received the final galleys to The Essential Superman Encyclopedia for letters N-Z and I have to […]

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Freelance Update

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It’s been fairly quiet around here, hence the lack of more frequent posts. But now that the three-day weekend has come and gone, things are getting back into routine so I figured I’d update you on where things are.Captain Midnight Chronicles: Moonstone’s Joe Gentile tells me the book is at the printers and running just […]

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The Downside of Freelancing

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The adage is that freelancers spend 80% of their time seeking work and actually completing assignments the other 20% of the time. Of late, my life seems to be more 95%-5% as several projects of mine have been unexpectedly postponed, leaving me to find replacement assignments.Since falling into the fulltime freelance life in August 2007, […]

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State Convention Thoughts

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In an effort to explain the process, I wrote about the State Convention over at The Patch but wanted to share some personal thoughts here.As Vice-Chair of the local party, I took on the role of recording secretary at the show, keeping me a little more focused on the action and rooted to our seating […]

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The Political Roller Coaster

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Last week I stated I hated political rah-rah events, noting they are messy, longer-than-necessary affairs.Well, last night, I participated in a local political event that was rah-rah but far more focused and effective.Prior to the beginning of our monthly Democratic Town Committee meeting we had the 132nd Caucus to nominate our candidate to run for […]

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Coming in August

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DC Comics’ August in store solicitations went live today and I want to call your attention to the following:BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #20Written by BOB GREENBERGERArt and cover by ROBERT POPE & SCOTT MCRAEBig Barda enlists the help of the World’s Greatest Detective to find the World’s Greatest Escape Artist! But when the […]

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Grey’s Anatomy Contest

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As some of you may recall, I wrote an essay for Grey’s Anatomy 101 for BenBella’s SmartPop series. The essays covered events during the ABC series’ first two season and is a nifty little time capsule for diehard fans of the show.In honor of Grey’s Anatomy’s two-hour season finale this week BenBella is hosting a […]

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Fun Times

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ComiCONN was a well-attended and smoothly-run first time show and for that I am grateful.Held at a Holiday Inn in North Haven, it was about a 40 minute ride from home and easily found. There were a few hundred fans in attendance and they happily milled about the ballroom which housed the dealers and the […]

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ComicCONN on Saturday

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Connecticut has not had a comic book convention all its own in a long, long time I gather. Instead, people either flock north to Boston or south to New York City.On Saturday that changes when ComicCONN debuts in North Haven.The con has a robust roster of creators, most of whom are old pals that I […]

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Last Night at the Convention

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While I firmly believe in the Democratic process, I find I have little patience for rah-rah events. When there’s juts one candidate running for a post, the meeting should be brief, perfunctory and get everyone focused on the campaign itself.I apparently am in the minority on this point so last night delegates from across the […]

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First Person Shooter

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Since a comment about going to a shooting range on Saturday elicited much feedback, I figured I’d elaborate.Normally, our visits to Deb’s brother John and his family usually include helping John get something accomplished. I never mind since he’s done far more for us and it gives me a chance to learn how things work […]

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IDW Confirms my Captain Garrett One-Shot

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Mark Martinez over at Trek Movie reviews this week’s Captain’s Log, a one-shot focusing on Captain Harriman. Niftily written by Marc Guggenheim and well illustrated by Andrew Currie, it’s worth a look.At the end of his review, he confirms the next three releases in the series and we can finally start talking about this, something […]

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Updating

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OK, enough with the begging. For those who were inspired to contribute, thank you.So, what’s been going on?Proofreading. Lots of proofreading and updating on The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. I made my deadline of having A-M done before May 1 and have until the 19th to complete the read of the book. Today, I’ll be tackling […]

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A Little Begging for Support

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OK, I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’m going to do a little begging.Since Aaron Rosenberg, Steve Savile, and I launched ReDeus over at Kickstarter, we’ve been delving deeper into our world building and our three series. Every time we get into the creative elements, the trio gets very excited.Then we look at the Kickstarter […]

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Some Additional Political Thoughts

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My popularity as a delegate to the Connecticut State Convention has continued over the last few weeks. I continue to hear from the larger and better organized campaigns, the candidates themselves personally call, and the conversations I’ve been having were interesting.And yet, I remained uncertain who I wanted to support for Attorney General or Secretary […]

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Back from the Road

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Long time readers may recall my taking a gastronomic road trip with my friend Matthew in January 2009. Well, on Monday, he asked if I’d be willing to accompany him on a shorter run, to and from Virginia. As you know, I’ve had a slow patch of work so the timing couldn’t have been better.I […]

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Writing Update

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I’ve been working pretty steadily on pitches while I await getting back to work on the Who’s Who. The process has certainly been an interesting one since this is the first time I’ve concentrated primarily on spec writing as opposed to fitting it in around other work.The results have led me to finally submit a […]

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Series and Season Ending Thoughts

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On Wednesday night, we bid farewell to Betty Suarez and began learning the truth about Christopher Chance. Both Ugly Betty and Human Target ended their seasons and it’s a good time to reflect on their accomplishments.Ugly Betty began as the Americanized version of the popular Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea (I am Betty, […]

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A Packed Sunday

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Yesterday proved to be a packed day that left me falling asleep in front of the TV by 8:30 p.m.After prepping in the morning for the later afternoon, I got myself ready for the Democratic Town Committee’s Century Club Brunch. This is the Fairfield DTC’s annual fundraiser where we use the opportunity to honor two […]

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Taking Stock

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This is one of those weeks where there have been plenty of professional frustrations and it’s forced me to stop writing and to give things a long hard think.We launched ReDeus at Kickstarter last week and after a flurry of pledges, there’s been little activity in the last few days which has me concerned.Additionally, a […]

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Lobbying for my Support

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The lobbying for my support has begun in earnest. As I stated recently, I am not yet committed to any one candidate for several of the offices. I know I like Richard Blumenthal for Senator but after that, I remain open.On Saturday, I had a lovely 15 minute chat with Jonathan Harris, one of the […]

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Kickstarting Something New

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Well, this is something new.Aaron Rosenberg and I have been pals for some time now, and we’ve partnered with our mutual overseas friend Steve Savile to try something new. We’ve created a new reality and each of us will be writing stories set in this future world. These stories will live on a website and […]

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Welcome to the Patch

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There’s something new in Fairfield. It’s a green growing patch on the World Wide Web and it’s all about us, our town, and our people.The Patch is a series of community-themed websites with tons of raw data about the town along with a steady stream of articles, columns, and pictures. It has a nifty community […]

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The Realities of Freelancing

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I’ve previously discussed how hard it can be for a freelancer to find immediate and future work. You work at the whims of others and hope you can assemble enough work so you’re constantly busy and there’s enough income on a regular basis that you can make a living at this.The risk comes with an […]

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The I-Con Report

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I-Con occasionally suffers when it has massive turnover of staff, which is to be expected since it is a con largely run by students. Last year, things were a mess when they could not use the campus and splitting the show among three venues did not make anyone happy. Fortunately, this year the show returned […]

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The Political Fun & Games Begin

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Even though the voting isn’t until November, people have been jockeying for office for upwards of a year now. This month, both parties are selecting their delegates to attend the various nominating conventions for the state and federal offices. One of the perks of serving on one of the town political committees is being able […]

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Back to I-Con

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This weekend I hit my third convention in three weeks. I’ll be back on Long Island at Stony Brook’s I-Con and can be found doing comics, literature, and film programming.Unlike so many of my other cons, this is a real mixed bag of events with programming for all interests from science to LARPing. Marc Gunn, […]

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Spain, Final Part

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Monday the 8th had me speaking to the University of Granada students about the American comic book market; its origins and current status. Prior to arriving, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation and script, revised it once or twice and then had the titles on my slides translated into Spanish by our kids’ former nanny, Paz. […]

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Spain, Part Four

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Ask the natives, and they will tell you that the people of Seville considering themselves to be the best Spaniards in all of Andalucía. Our host, Alejandro, worked for some time in Seville and looked down his nose at them in what appeared to be a good natured rivalry between towns.Still, he gifted us with […]

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Spain, Part Three

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Granada is a beautiful city and thankfully, the weather cleared more often than not, allowing us to see the buildings and surrounding mountains in glorious sunshine. But first, the rain had to leave.Last Monday, it was cloudy and drizzly and thankfully, I had the school talk for the first half of the day. After our […]

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Spain, Part Two

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AcademiaC10 is a relatively recent art school headed up by painter Carlos Diez. It has grown to include nine instructors and teaches a variety or related subjects from comic book art to painting, model photography, movie makeup, and so on. They are spread across three buildings, including two store fronts.When Carlos heard I was spending […]

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Spain, Part One

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And we’re back.As most of you know, Deb and I were in Spain for 12 days mainly to attend the Granada Comic Convention otherwise known as the Salon del Comic de Granada. For the last 15 years, the guests have included a mix of Americans and I was lucky to be invited this time around.For […]

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The Week in Review

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OK, you’ve seen plenty of the Superman cover and I appreciate the comments this has garnered both here and at Facebook.This has been a pretty good week overall with lots of details to follow in the coming week but suffice to say all has been good.On Tuesday, I had a really good call with Dan […]

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The Cover Revealed

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I was shown the final cover to August’s The Essential Superman Encyclopedia a few weeks back and immediately went, “Wow”. I wanted to share it with everyone but was asked to hold off until today.I’ve been patient but now can proudly show it off. Nice Gary Frank art and a bold design so it’ll attract […]

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Back to Writing for Pay

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After a little more than a week of playing with spec work, it’s been back to the paying work and it’s been an intense week or so.First of all, I have been asked to write a different Fairfield-based column since Fairfield News Online more or less ceased operation. I gather they’re regrouping but haven’t heard […]

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Talking and Touring in Spain

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One week from today, Deb and I will be en route to Spain. Why, you wonder. Because we were invited.Back in 2001, I became acquainted with inker Edu Alpuente and we’ve remained colleagues and friends ever since. He’s switched from inker to artists’ agent so he makes trips to America every now and then and […]

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The Answer

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A few days back, I opened the floor for questions from you, my friends, family, and fans.Ed McKeogh was the only one of you to ask and he was passionate enough about it to ask twice.He wanted to know when the Howard Chaykin Retrospective will be coming out.Just this week, Ed, I got word from […]

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Pitchers & Catchers

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The temperature in Fairfield may be in the 30s, but Spring is in the air.Today is one of the most anticipated days of the new year as stop complaining about the cold and snow and begin looking ahead. We take comfort in knowing that further south, in Port St. Lucie to be exact, pitchers and […]

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World Building

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Oddly enough, I have not built a world in quite some time.Since so much of my writing the last year has been non-fiction, I had forgotten how much fun it can be.My buddy and I conceived a project together when a particular publisher let it be known they were looking for new stories for their […]

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Wrapping up Farpoint

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Sunday wound up being a day where I did my best to appear energetic but my pals all saw I was tired. Two late nights with poor sleep meant I was flagging and energy depleted.Still, the annual Bob & Howie Show went well as we chatted about our careers, our experiences and then played some […]

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Wrapping up Farpoint

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Sunday wound up being a day where I did my best to appear energetic but my pals all saw I was tired. Two late nights with poor sleep meant I was flagging and energy depleted.Still, the annual Bob & Howie Show went well as we chatted about our careers, our experiences and then played some […]

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Farpoint Report

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In 2003, we were snowed in at Farpoint and the con effectively ran an extra day as we took turns for the hotel’s sole snow shovel. This year, the snows came early, and often, but nothing threatened to spoil the con.Our drive down Friday was uneventful and the minute we pulled in, we began seeing […]

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Mr. Greenberger Returns to Hartford

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Last year, I spent a day up at our state capitol, getting a taste of government in action as I testified before a joint House and Senate committee regarding bone marrow donations. The bill was passed with strong bi-partisan support but was part of an omnibus bill and Governor Jodi Rell vetoed the bill. Her […]

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Q & A

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It’s been a while since I threw open the floor to questions. So, what would you like to know? We can cover comics, writing, politics, life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

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My Farpoint Schedule

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The 2010 convention season is about to begin for me. Most of the shows I appear at occur between now and July so the calendar fills in quickly.Kicking things off, as usual, is Farpoint down in Timonium, MD. I’ll be there along with writing pals Peter David, David Mack, Mike Friedman, Keith DeCandido, Terri Osborne, […]

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Great Customer Service

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Through the years, I’ve been fairly critical about the state of customer service in the country, using personal examples as cases in point.As a result