Spring planting

It was a harsh winter. There were dire wolves and the glacier advanced. Men made war and forgot the bonds of kinship. And my balcony garden died.

Actually, it was a typical San Diego winter, which means there were a few days during which it was too chilly to wear shorts. But my balcony got very little direct sunlight, and that was harsh enough for my plants.

But the sun also rises, and I bought new dirt, so here’s what I’ve got going on so far.


Micro greens for salads and sandwiches and just, like, grabbing and swallowing!

Ruby red beans, which sprouted while I was away at Disneyland and WonderCon!

And this onion happened on the kitchen counter and it scared me so I put it in some dirt to see what’ll happen.

Maybe something will come to fruition or vegition or something.

Crossposted from Greg van Eekhout. You can comment here or there.


Last Sunday at the Orange Country Children’s Book Festival

Last Sunday I trekked up to Costa Mesa for the Orange County Children’s Book Festival, the largest free children’s book festival in the country, drawing something like 30 thousand attendees, many of whom no doubt come for the petting zoo, but also to see authors and illustrators and storytellers along with the chickens and pigs and shoe-eating goats.

I had a spot on the Teen/YA stage and got to tell a friendly crowd about my books, and then I read a bit of a work in progress. It was a fast and fun fifteen minutes, at the end of which I gave away ARCs of the Diverse Energies anthology, a couple of leftover ARCs of The Boy at the End of the World,  and a couple Scholastic edition copies of The Boy at the End of the World paperback.

After my stage bit, I hung out and chatted with readers and signed books at the Mysterious Galaxy booth. Also got to chat with EJ Altbacker, author of the  Shark Wars series (warring sharks, how can you beat that?).  I fan-boyed at him a bit, because he writes for the Green Lantern animated series, so he’s kinda got one of my dream jobs.

Here’re a few pics of the stage and from the stage, ganked from the festival’s Facebook page: Collapse )


Except for you

Overall, I'm a pretty happy guy. I'm gentle, too. I don't get in fights. Mostly because I figure I'd lose a lot of fights, but also because I'm a happy and gentle guy.

There are times, though, that I want to clobber someone with a bowling pin.

Don't worry, it's not you.

It's not specifically anyone I know, or anyone at all.

It's just humanity in general. I want to clobber seven billion people with a bowling pin. I don't know if I need a huge bowling pin or else the cooperation of all humanity.

I'd need a lot of patience, because my back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that it'd take me over two years to clobber every person on the planet with a bowling pin, assuming I'm working quickly and bashing one person per second, and that's if they all lined up peaceably.

I'd need some breathers, and I doubt I'd find seven billion cooperative, peaceable people, so I might need more than two years.

I don't even have time for all this.

Look, let's just try this: Everyone get a bowling pin. Now bash yourself.

Except for you, of course. I like you.

Posts and pests

No, I’m serious, I’m going to try to blog more. I can’t afford to get caught tagging freeway overpasses again, and motorists seem to have little interest in reading what I had for breakfast in the medium of dripping spray paint on concrete.

This has been the summer of gardening. It’s my first time gardening, and the fact that I have any living plants at all is something of a surprise to me. That said, I’ve lost the carrots, the radishes, the heirlooms, and the basil, and the strawberries. Still living are the cherry tomatoes, the serano peppers, and the salads. A few other plants are alive but have not yet produced anything I can eat. Part of the challenge is overcoming my own inexperience and incompetence. Also, it’s been uncharacteristically nasty hot for San Diego. Also, caterpillars. Also, this pest:

In writerly news, I turned in the final draft of Osteomancer book 1. There’s no official release date, but indications indicate that it ‘ll be out in late summer/early fall 2013. Right now I’m working hard on book 2.

And I have an upcoming appearance. It’s the Orange County Children’s Book Festival on September 30. I’ll be on the Teen Stage at 10:30 am. Instead of doing a commercial for my books, I think I might read from something in-progress and try to engage the audience in chitter-chatter. Maybe I’ll give something away. I still have a couple of The Boy at the End of the World arcs. After I’m done with the blither-blather, I’ll be signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth. You should come. Wherever you are.

Oh, breakfast. Shredded wheat with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. All the berries were bought at the store because of caterpillars and dog and stuff.

Crossposted from Greg van Eekhout. You can comment here or there.


State of the garden

Things are getting a little out of hand.

The original plan was just to get a few plants to gussy up the balcony so it’d more pleasant when we’re sitting out there or I’m writing or grilling or whatever. And I wanted most of the plants to be edible, because if I’m going to spend time and money on something, I think I should get to eat it. The dog is on notice. I didn’t want to get too ambitious, because it’s only a 12×6 second-floor balcony with no planting beds and intermittent sunshine.

Here’s what I considered a reasonable little balcony garden. A pepper plant, some spinach, some beets, a couple of ferns … Completely reasonable.

Several weeks later, I’m crowding myself out with all kinds of green stuff.

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Garden envy

I’m pretty proud of my little balcony garden, considering the only plant I’ve ever had success with before is bread mold.

But this is the neighborhood garden club. If I had an allotment I could grow ALL the spinach. But they’re not even taking applications. Jerks.

Crossposted from Greg van Eekhout. You can comment here or there.


New paperback cover: Boy at the End of the World

So, The Boy at the End of the World is getting a shiny new cover for the paperback edition. The book’s due out in October, but the cover’s starting to hit some of the online booksellers, so, hey, I’m going to show it to you now. This is me, showing it to you. And here’s the new cover, below. Personally, I think it’s action-packed and nicely robot-y. What do you think?

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Scholastic Book Club edition of The Boy at the End of the World

So, I went to the big annual conference of the American Library Association last weekend, and in addition to getting to hang out with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world, and meeting wonderful people whom I had hithertobeforehandyetpriorly not met, and being around so much book squee and getting to look at awesome library return bins and vacuum-powered mechanical page-turning devices, I got this nice little bit of good news:

There’s going to be a Scholastic Book Club edition of The Boy at the End of the World, most probably in August. When I was in grade school, getting that Scholastic catalog was always like the best thing ever. I’d get whatever books they had on Bigfoot, UFO’s, and Dynamite Magazine, all sorts of random stuff. So to have a book of my own in that flier? Total bucket list stuff.

There’s also going to be a regular paperback edition in October, with a new cover that I of course will show off as soon as I am allowed. This week, I am a happy writer.

Crossposted from Greg van Eekhout. You can comment here or there.



So, Dave Sim's got a Kickstarter to fund a reprinting of the High Society arc of Cerebus. I saw that, and about three seconds later I pledged. Then my stomach started feeling iffy, because it realized what my brain had just done, which was to undergo a thought process something like the following:

1. High Society. I really enjoyed that when I was in high school. I'd never seen cartooning done like that, and the book meant something to me.
2. But Dave Sim is an unrepentant misogynist.
3. Yeah, but the misogyny didn't really come into Cerebus until later, after I'd stopped reading.
4. At least as far as I remember. Maybe there's misogyny all over High Society and I just didn't notice.
5. Whatever, I'll pledge.

And that's what I did.

This is after a little Twitter rant I had last week in response to misogyny and other ugly things I witnessed at a panel of DC writers at Phoenix Comicon.

This is after a follow-up Twitter rant in which I asserted my preference for not supporting work by people I know to be jerks*.

So, that wasn't just a Kickstarter pledge button I clicked. It was a blatant hypocrite button.

I went back and cancelled my pledge and backed Garlicks instead. (All-ages graphic novel with vampires and demon hunters and it looks really good and it's got quite a way to go to make its Kickstarter goal.)

But that doesn't make up for clicking the hypocrite button in the first place. I feel like I should be apologizing to someone. I'm not sure to whom, but, for what it's worth, I apologize.

*This is a preference, not a rule or a law. Can I separate an artist from his or her work? Yes, I can. Do I have to? No. What if someone thinks I'm a jerk? I hope they'll buy my work anyway, but I fully support their right not to.