Writer Under Glass



Okay, so I was a litte late getting started on this page. I've been a little late on everything lately.

Now that I've purchased a cheap little digital camera, I can crowd this page with photos and slow your system down like cheescake running through forty yeat old veins.

.Just off to the left there is The Kid.

He's ten these days, which is great, as he's old enough to use as an excuse to buy more computer games, but too young to drive my car. The Kid loves strategy games, horror movies, and fishing. Dang, but there must be something to this genetics stuff.

He's taking the MMAT test this week. That's kind of the grade school equivalent of the SAT for Missouri students. In theory, if he doesn't do well, he could see fourth grade again. Now, we're talking an A & B student here, and a bright kid, so I expect him to do well. However, he's also inherited my ability to totally zone at the worst possible time. Be thinking of him this week.

See that birdfeeder in the background?  It's his job to fill the feeder. Note condition of feeder. The grossbeaks are going to be angry.

On other fronts, spring has finally arrived in my neck of the woods.

It took it's sweet time getting here. By this time last year, things had been green for a month and the woods were a riot of wildflowers. This year the redbuds and dogwoods are just getting started, and the leaves are slowly unfurling. The woods look godawful all winter. They were lumbered out about thirty years ago, and what we're left with are terribly tall, terribly scrawny little oaks and elms, mixed in with a very few older trees.

Once summer is here, it'll be a dark green wall. Right now I can still see all the way across the hollow to the houses on the next ridge -- a situation I view with horror.

Since it's spring in Missouri, it's time for major floods. Five years ago, it was a novelty to have all this water around. Now we're starting to expect it. As my wife said after surveying the inland sea this week, "Let me get this straight. The five hundred year flood comes every two years?"

This shot is of the Meramec River down the hill from our house. If you go upstream aways, the Meramec is a National Scenic River. In fact, it was the first. Great spot for a tubing trip. Down by us it's generally muddy and there's enough debris along the banks to make swimming seem like a Bad Idea. Generally the river is about fifty feet wide and ten, maybe twenty feet deep. This weekend it's about a half-mile wide and fifty feet deep. Ah, spring.

I suppose I should talk about what I'm working on. I'm sure you'll excuse me for not taking photos (digis?) of my manuscript pages.

I just turned in a second draft of Prisoner of Dreams, the first book YA series. It's intended to be a ongoing series, wtih a pair of teenagers who have gotten themselves involved in a whopping big conspiracy. There are disappearances, mind control schemes, phony government agents, mysterious events, and illuminati out the yazoo. I'll be turning in the outline for the next book, Guardian of Lies, on Monday. Prisoner is out next January from Pocket.

Back at the keyboard, I chugged through chapter four of Loch Ness, Minnesota. This is another first book in a series. This time it's a mystery series about a young woman who works for a disreputable tabloid paper. She puts out more ink on Elvis than on the election. Every now and then, a story crosses her desk that just might have something to it. Like this case, about a lake monster haunting a fishing resort. I watched X-Files last night and breated a great sigh of relief when their lake monster case was nothing like mine. Wheh. Look for this series from Berkley starting next spring.

Royalaties showed up today from some of the older YA novels like Deadly Stranger and Principal. An unexpected surprise. I'm using the cash right away to replace my broken notebook computer. This will eliminate the terrible possiblity of me doing something ignorant like saving the cash, or paying taxes early.

Anyway, back to work. Talk to you soon.

Mark


Move along. There's nothing going on here.

Hey, bozo. What a stupid idea!



Last Update: 4 May 1996


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