Category Archives: Day-to-Day: What’s Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

Resolutions? Uh-oh

So I think it’s fair to say that I have done none of my resolutions for this year yet. That’s fine. It is only April. April is…a third of the way through the year. Oh my God I have no more time to get anything that I wanted to get done and now I’m a resolution failure. And a hack, but that’s a separate issue.

I haven’t written anything. I haven’t run. I haven’t cooked anything beyond beer bread and brownies (both delicious, by the way).

My life is an unmitigated disaster.

That being said, it’s time to right this Titanic and get back on course.

I’m going to start running again this week. No delaying. No whinging. No more putting it off until, “it gets warmer”. This week. Running.

I’m going to polish up that writing sample and have it ready to go for when the window is open. Once again, the deadline is Sunday.

I am going to cook a dinner and move away from baking. It will be a meal. This week. It’s not bouillabaisse, but it will be food  made by me.

All this week. Nothing hard. Nothing complicated. Just three goals to do up right before Sunday.

Ready set and go now.

-D-

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New Years

I’m now on the train heading into Boston to participate in First Night. I’ve never done much for New Year’s Eve.

But now I’m going into the heart of all things and I’m terrified.

Wish me luck.

-D-

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It’s Coming…

I am, by nature, a cynical, awful person. I love horror movies and horror books and horror stories and horror in real life. I wallow in bad news and throw myself bodily into situations I know I’ll hate. When I hear there’s a hurricane coming, my eyes brighten and glitter and I ask, “How soon?” with a barely restrained glee. My pessimism is only limited by my imagination.

But my favorite time of year, my absolute favorite time, is Christmas. I love the lights on houses. I love the idea of Santa Claus. I love the music. I love the movies. I love stories that percolate to the top of the major news outlets this time of year about people getting together and giving to charity. I love the story of Christmas. I love the hope and good cheer and the attempts, for one month, of people to be decent to one another as a rule.

I think it’s important for all of us, at least once a year, to stop being such pessimistic jerks and say, have a merry Christmas. I say that as an atheist and as a non-Christian. Christmas is important. It’s about appreciating the people you love, whether they’re family or friends. It’s about getting together in the middle of winter and eating and drinking and sharing presents and laughing and having a good time.

It’s a holiday that started as the birth of the savior of all humanity*, someone who can save us from ourselves, so it’s a holiday about hope, about people maybe not ending everything in a terrible holocaust of violence and hate.

And I think, speaking as someone who spends a lot of time writing about murder and death and the scary things, that we can all use more hope.

I’m looking forward to the season and I hope you are too.

-D-

 

 

*Yes, I know it also started as a Roman fertility festival, but you don’t get points for being a know-it-all this time of year.

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We’ve Built a Race of Robots

I’ve always wanted a robot. Or robots, actually. Just a couple of them, wandering around the house at all times. They don’t even need to do chores. They can just…be there. Being robots.

And I’m not talking about robots that are remote controlled. It has to have some kind of AI.

For me, the idea of robots just wandering around the landscape has been one of those signs that THE FUTURE IS HERE. It’s a sign that humanity has progressed enough that we can create something that can respond to us and grow and learn and become more than it was at the start.

It’s the idea of making a companion race to follow alongside us that’s so compelling. While I think it’s doubtful that we’ll find an alien lifeform of comparable intelligence and that is actually physically capable of talking with us, I do think there’s potential for us to create a new life and robotics is one of the keys to that.

So I’m going to build a robot. It’ll be very simple. No real programming. It’ll just follow a light. But it’s a start. I’ve ordered it already.

In a week or two, the future will be here.

-D-

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A New Story Is Up: Carolyn

Over a year ago, I wrote a story called For Carolyn and it was published on Tales from the Zombie War. There were a few comments asking for more about both Carolyn and her mother, Alex, and while I normally ignore comments asking for a sequel, I actually had an idea about them and where I could take them.

So over the course of a year, I fleshed out a story about Carolyn and her mother trying to survive in woods infested with zombies. I actually liked it a lot. It’s a little story. Focused, I think. I hope you’ll like it too. Be sure to check out some of the other stories on Tales of the Zombie War because they’re pretty awesome, too.

You can find it here.

And, if you’re coming from the story to here, be sure to check out my other stories and my book.

-D-

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Angry and Lovin’ It

I’ve been noticing more and more lately that I’m getting more and more angry and aggressive and it’s the city that’s doing it.

It’s not Boston in particular, it’s just…living in a big city where people can be rude and thoughtless and exceedingly annoying. I don’t think cities especially attract awful people; the same percentage of awful people live in the city as they do in the country (20%). But 20% of 600,000 people is a metric shitton of people no matter how you look at it and you’re going to be bumping into those people on a regular basis, especially if you work in retail and especially if you take public transportation to get to your retail job.

As a result, I’ve been more surly with people and more liable to get ornery at real and imagined offenses. Some of this change in behavior is necessary. I’ve never been a very forward person and never been very liable to stand up for myself. I was always more likely to take the quiet, passive way out of a conflict. Now, I’m finding myself looking forward to a combative argument. I got to kick someone out of the store the other day and I was thrilled. I hope he comes back so I can do it again.

This is where it starts becoming more of a problematic thing and where I need to start reining myself in the tiniest bit. Still, I’m pleased that I can actually argue with someone as opposed to just grinning and bearing it.

Also, I’ll fight you.

Dylan Charles

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The Death of a Year

Let’s see if I can remember how to do this.

We’ll start with an opening sentence and take it from there.

Oh hi! I don’t really know if there are people who still read this. It’s been about, oh, two months since I last updated. I’ll make the assumption that everyone who reads my blog assumed that I had died over that little break. Well, I’m not dead. Far from it.

I’m here to do what’s likely to become the annual tradition around here. I’ll weep about my failures over the last year and make promises to do better next year.

Actually, you know what, let’s do this up right. Let’s not talk about failures. It’s boring, it’s whiny and no-one likes reading that. Let’s do the opposite of that. So here it is. My top five list of awesome shit that I did.

5. I killed three bookstores and a nationwide bookstore chain in the process. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Dylan, that’s…not such a good thing.” But it had to be done and I made sure it gone done smoothly. No one died, product got sold and there are people all over the city with Borders bookcases in their homes cause I did my job like a ninja. A retail ninja. And I did while remaining sane.

4. I submitted a whole crapton of stuff to be published. None of it got published, but that’s not the point. After a few years of sitting around and not doing anything with my writing career, I actually got out there and started things up again. It’s awfully hard for me to get going once I’ve stopped doing something (see: this blog), but by God, I did it.

3. I read a metric-crapton of books. For those of you who use Imperial measurement, a metric-crapton is a lot of books. Every book I read helps me be a better writer. You know what else helps me be a better writer?

2. I started writing stories again. I hadn’t written a new piece of fiction in almost a year and I finally got back up on that horse. But! The biggest piece of news from the previous year?

1. I self-published a book. It’s still there on Amazon and for even cheaper now. You should go buy it if you haven’t done so already. And, if you want it in paperback, then, holy crap, you have that option now too. There’s people out there, right now, reading my work. Bam.

So that’s sounds like a pretty well seized year. Sometimes I’m pretty bummed about how a year went and I’ve been feeling that a little bit the last couple of weeks. But, you know, looking at that list there, I think I can live with how 2011 went. I’m ready for even bigger things next year.

Just…please, no more store closings.

Dylan

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