Drunken Wiffleball

Liz and I will be heading down to Cape May within the next two hours, but I’m still a bit achy from last night. We went to a party in New Jersey for a friend of ours who turned 40. It was a big backyard type party, with a margarita machine and kegalator, and, much to my surprise and joy, they had a regulation issue whiffleball field–with the lines–in the backyard. I couldn’t believe it!

For an old whiffleball junkie like me, this was a little slice of heaven. I hadn’t played in years. AsLiz and I will be heading down to Cape May within the next two hours, but I’m still a bit achy from last night. We went to a party in New Jersey for a friend of ours who turned 40. It was a big backyard type party, with a margarita machine and kegalator, and, much to my surprise and joy, they had a regulation issue whiffleball field–with the lines–in the backyard. I couldn’t believe it!

For an old whiffleball junkie like me, this was a little slice of heaven. I hadn’t played in years. As a kid–and even up through my early 30s–I used to play a lot. I spent endless hours as a teenager in front of my house, playing one-on-one games with a few friends of mine. It was great.

But last night we were playing 3-on-3 on this giant field, beers in hand. In my pitching return, I was just a little bit off the mark. Okay, I walked in 10 runs in the first inning! But I redeemed myself. I went on to nail two home runs off the house–including a grand slam–and walked three other times. So, all in all, I had a damn good night.

But I’m paying for it now. I’m in pain!

Well worth it, though. I’m ready to get back out there again.

Day of the Dog

Now here’s something I never thought I’d hear myself say: looks like I’ll be getting a dog.

It goes against all of my cat instincts, but while I’ve been a lifelong cat person, Liz has been a lifelong dog person, and she’s waited patiently these last 8 years, so it’s about that time. Liz knew from the get-go that I wasn’t open to having a dog until Alex had his full run. Unfortunately, Alex checked out a little earlier than I had hoped, but now that our apartment is sans cat, the decks are cNow here’s something I never thought I’d hear myself say: looks like I’ll be getting a dog.

It goes against all of my cat instincts, but while I’ve been a lifelong cat person, Liz has been a lifelong dog person, and she’s waited patiently these last 8 years, so it’s about that time. Liz knew from the get-go that I wasn’t open to having a dog until Alex had his full run. Unfortunately, Alex checked out a little earlier than I had hoped, but now that our apartment is sans cat, the decks are cleared for a dog.

So now Liz and I are doing some dog research, and it could be that we adopt one sometime over the next month. We’re not rushing into it, but even though I’m a cat person to the core, I’m an animal lover, and while I’ve never had a dog as a pet, I just know myself, and as soon as I see a cute dog, I’m going to want to adopt it and all of his friends, big ol’ softy that I am.

We’ve already filled out an application for one dog, and are have another one in our sights. I don’t know if we’ll wind up with either one, or an entirely other dog, but it looks like we’ll be adopting one sooner rather than later.

I’m still shaking my head at the idea of it.

Me with a dog. Who knew?

New and Improved -Finders Keepers Pitch Sheet 2008

Following up with my last blog, here is the latest, and greatest pitch sheet for [i]Finders Keepers[/i]:

[b]Genre:[/b]

Finders Keepers is a road trip/buddy-story, with sci-fi/fantasy elements woven into the narrative.

[b]Short Description:[/b]

On a backpacking trip through Europe, Jason Medley and Theo Barnes stumble through hash bars and hangovers; food poisoning and thunderstorms; religious zealots, stalkers, cute girls, lost loves, midnight trains, fever-pitch hallucinations?anFollowing up with my last blog, here is the latest, and greatest pitch sheet for [i]Finders Keepers[/i]:

[b]Genre:[/b]

Finders Keepers is a road trip/buddy-story, with sci-fi/fantasy elements woven into the narrative.

[b]Short Description:[/b]

On a backpacking trip through Europe, Jason Medley and Theo Barnes stumble through hash bars and hangovers; food poisoning and thunderstorms; religious zealots, stalkers, cute girls, lost loves, midnight trains, fever-pitch hallucinations?and the spectre of adult responsibility!

But when a jar containing the Universe’s DNA falls from the land of Eternity to the caverns of New Zealand, these new friends find their loyalties put to the test?unaware that a motley crew from another realm is chasing them across the globe, with the fate of the Milky Way hanging in the balance.

[b]6-Sentence Description[/b]:

Newlyweds and low-level galaxy designers Donald and Danielle accidentally knock a jar of the Universe’s DNA into the newly forming Earth, leaving their fate?and that of the Milky Way?in dire straights.

Fast forward to modern day Earth, where Wannabe-English teacher Jason Medley is stuck in that netherworld between college and a career, until he reluctantly quits his go-nowhere waiter job on Long Island, and backpacks across Europe. There he meets Theo Barnes, an adventurous New Zealander who has already stumbled upon the hallucination-inducing jar?that won’t open?unaware of what’s inside.

As the new friends stumble from city to city, trying to outrun their impending adult responsibilities, they encounter Lilly, a young, sultry painter with a haunted past and a habit for finding trouble. Meanwhile, Earth’s banished galaxy designer and her talking brown Labrador, the newlyweds with a famous friend, and a drag queen with a dream each have their own designs for Theo’s jar, initiating a chase around the globe–and putting loyalties to the test.

Traversing Europe, New Zealand and the backbone of Eternity, [i]Finders Keepers[/i] is a buddy story that not only tackles friendship, sex, commitment and desire, but also God, reincarnation?and what really happened to the dinosaurs!

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/20 08:26

Finders Keepers Like True Romance?

Now that [i]Finders Keepers [/i]has been getting a lot of publisher interest, it’s also been getting a lot of publisher (or should I say editor) response. At present at least three publishers are considering [i]Finders Keepers[/i], but I’ve also learned a few things from the publishers who have passed.

And what I’ve come to realize–or at least believe–is that, unintentionally, I’ve been mismanaging their expectations. At it’s heart, [i]Finders Keepers[/i] is a buddy story and a backpackinNow that [i]Finders Keepers [/i]has been getting a lot of publisher interest, it’s also been getting a lot of publisher (or should I say editor) response. At present at least three publishers are considering [i]Finders Keepers[/i], but I’ve also learned a few things from the publishers who have passed.

And what I’ve come to realize–or at least believe–is that, unintentionally, I’ve been mismanaging their expectations. At it’s heart, [i]Finders Keepers[/i] is a buddy story and a backpacking adventure, with some goofy sci-fi/fantasy elements woven into the narrative. But because the goofy stuff is so, well, goofy, it’s such a great hook, and people are genuinely interested.

But what’s been happening, I think, is that I’m promising one kind of book, but then delivering another. So when the editors get [i]Finders Keepers[/i] they think they’re about to read non-stop cosmic lunacy, when in fact, it’s mostly set in the real world, with regular people on a backpacking trip, with some cosmic lunacy mixed in. Through no fault of the editors, [i]Finders Keepers[/i] isn’t meeting their expectations. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of tone.

I think back to the early 90s when [i]True Romance[/i] came out. The studios marketed it as a romance date movie between Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, but when boyfriends and girlfriends sat down in the theater and there were guns blazing, salty Quentin Tarantino language and just loads of intense violence, the audience would get up and leave. The movie bombed (although made a nice comeback on DVD). Thing is, [i]True Romance[/i] is a great movie for the kind of movie it is. It just got marketed the wrong way. The audience expected to get one kind of movie, but watched another.

Same thing is going in with [i]Finders Keepers[/i]. At least that’s how I read it.

So what to do? A-ha. Always the key question. Well, I’ve gone back to the drawing board pitch-wise, and I’ve come up with a new, revised pitch that sets out to do two things: Sell the overall fun and goofiness of [i]Finders Keepers[/i], but also keep it a bit more grounded, so editors and publishers will have a better ideas of what they’re getting up front. This way, the editors will be better positioned to accept [i]Finders Keepers[/i] for the book it actually is, and enjoy it. And buy it.

And now that I’ve revised the pitch materials, and my agent has them to work with, we’ll see how it goes.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/20 08:25

My Slow Summer Daze

It’s been pretty quiet at the office the last week, and even quieter this week. Nobody is here. Where normally the phones are ringing off the hook and the emails are pinging through faster than I can keep up, it’s pretty darn slow. Which isn’t to say I have nothing to do, it’s just that the pace has ……. really …………. slowed …………………………….. down.

There’s this general daze, like when you sit down at a restaurant on a really slow day, and the service is ridiculoIt’s been pretty quiet at the office the last week, and even quieter this week. Nobody is here. Where normally the phones are ringing off the hook and the emails are pinging through faster than I can keep up, it’s pretty darn slow. Which isn’t to say I have nothing to do, it’s just that the pace has ……. really …………. slowed …………………………….. down.

There’s this general daze, like when you sit down at a restaurant on a really slow day, and the service is ridiculously bad, even though there are no other customers. Everybody–the waiters, the line cooks–just kinda moves in slow motion. Real lazy-like.

Same thing going on here.

Can’t say I’m a fan. I like to be energized, and I’m usually pretty good at keeping my pace up–or moderated–regardless of what’s going on around me. I stick to a schedule–a rhythm–and it keeps me flowing. But the last several days I’ve just been in this summer haze, drifting along. Drifting along.

I know it won’t last, because it never does, but beleive it or not, I’d rather have more activity around me. There’s slow and there’s real slow, and as much as I’m sure I’ll regret saying this come the fall when I’m totally slammed, I’m ready to pick up the pace.

But just a little.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/23 08:53

How I Contracted Carpal Neck

Been away from the blogging for a few days, as I’ve been battling a strange case of carpal … arm.

Over the years I’ve had varying boughts of hand, wrist and arm stiffness because of all the hours logged in at the computer, both at work and through my writing, but the last month or so it’s really been getting rough. Because of some combination of arm angle and chair height, I’ve had my arm resting on the desk at a strange angle, and not only has it been causing me some wrist and arm soreneBeen away from the blogging for a few days, as I’ve been battling a strange case of carpal … arm.

Over the years I’ve had varying boughts of hand, wrist and arm stiffness because of all the hours logged in at the computer, both at work and through my writing, but the last month or so it’s really been getting rough. Because of some combination of arm angle and chair height, I’ve had my arm resting on the desk at a strange angle, and not only has it been causing me some wrist and arm soreness, but it’s been causing a wrench on the right side of my neck.

A trip to the chiropractor worked out the kink–at least for now–but it turns out I haven’t been sitting high enough in my chair, so I’m working on some new posture.

So now that I’m making some physical changes in how I set and rest my arm on the computer, I expect to be back at the computer clacking away with regularity.

Carpal neck. Who knew?

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/23 08:54

Fender Bender Skank

On Saturday, Liz and I were taking a sceneic day trip, on our way up to Cold Spring, NY, which runs along the Hudson River about an hour north of New York City. So there we were, stuck in traffic on the White Stone Expressway, when suddenly, we feel this sharp convulsion:

Wham!

The car behind us slammed into us, giving us quite a jolt, and a scare. Now, we were literarily in a still position at the time, so the car behind us couldn’t have been going more than a few miles an hour, butOn Saturday, Liz and I were taking a sceneic day trip, on our way up to Cold Spring, NY, which runs along the Hudson River about an hour north of New York City. So there we were, stuck in traffic on the White Stone Expressway, when suddenly, we feel this sharp convulsion:

Wham!

The car behind us slammed into us, giving us quite a jolt, and a scare. Now, we were literarily in a still position at the time, so the car behind us couldn’t have been going more than a few miles an hour, but it still hard enough to give us a scare, give our backs a little tweak, and get our fur up.

Naturally, I get ouf of the car, in bumper-to-bumper to traffic, to do two things. A) assess any potential damage to my car, and b) say what the @#$! to the driver who hit us. And this is where things got really interesting. I was already amped up on adrenaline due to the jolt, so I admit I wasn’t really thinking quite right, but after a quick glance I saw that the bumper was fine, so the car wasn’t an issue.

At this point I walked up to the driver, a woman, about 40, driving a little sports car, and wearing those big Jackie-O sunglasses. She already had her driver’s side window down. But when I came up to her, she didn’t acknowledge me. She didn’t even look in my direction! She kinda playing that whole, [i]if I don’t look right at you then you don’t really exist, and I won’t have to face this[/i].

Not the right way to go.

So I got up pretty close and said, "driving a little close, huh?" Still, she didn’t respond. Didn’t look at me. Now this chick is really pissing me off. So I take another quick look at my car, then at her, and repeat myself. "Driving a little close, huh?" Again, nothing. She just kept staring straight ahead, hoping that I would just go away and it would all be over.

Now, I can understand if she was a little scared, or embarrased. I get that. But how about, [i]jeez, are you okay[/i]? Or, [i]my bad[/i]. Or, [i]bummer, huh[/i]?

And the thing is, if she had done that, my adrenaline would have come right down. I would have been. It was an accident. Things happen.

Nope. I got nothing. Nada.

But since there was no damage, and Liz and I weren’t injured, I just let it be, and looked right at this dunce and said: "Take it easy, huh?"

After that, she stayed about 25 feet behind us, and finally let another car pass her!

What has the world come to when you can’t just apologize for a simple fender bender? Sheesh!

Top 15 Values of the Great Civilizations

For the last few months I’ve been busy–and tired–as all get-out, and as a result, I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting some of my extra reading. Along with all the fiction and comics I like to knock off, (and all the DVDs I watch), I like to mix in a book on philosophy, mythology, history or religion. I feel that those kind of intellect stretchers helps me stay in balance.

Well, just last week I was listening to my hero Zig Ziglar on the ol’ iPod, and he started talking about a study conduFor the last few months I’ve been busy–and tired–as all get-out, and as a result, I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting some of my extra reading. Along with all the fiction and comics I like to knock off, (and all the DVDs I watch), I like to mix in a book on philosophy, mythology, history or religion. I feel that those kind of intellect stretchers helps me stay in balance.

Well, just last week I was listening to my hero Zig Ziglar on the ol’ iPod, and he started talking about a study conducted a while back at the Thomas Jefferson Center in Pasadena, Calif. The study examined the top 15 values common in all of the world’s greatest civilizations and religions. So I thought that was a list I’d like to know about. If it worked for the greatest civilizations in history, then I’m thinking there might be something in there for me.

Here is the list- 15 Common Values:

1. Wisdom

2. Integrity

3. Love

4. Freedom

5. Justice

6. Courage

7. Humility

8. Patience

9. Industriousness

10. Thriftiness

11. Objectivity

12. Generosity

13. Cooperation

14. Moderation

15. Optimism

I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty good list to me. So what I hope to do over the coming weeks is to look at each value on this list. So if a discussion like that interests you, I invite you to check in now and again, as I hope to tackle them one by one. Not only as to how they’re defined, but how they play into my own life–and whether or not I think I’m living up to them!

At this point, I don’t want to guess how I’m doing. I’m afraid my score might be too low!

LOL!!

I know this isn’t exactly light reading, but I’m feeling like it’s a worthy endeavor, so I’m going to give it a shot. Hopefully I’ll rate okay, but the jury’s still out! Check back for updates …

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/23 08:53

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/08/30 08:39

Grogged-Out Time Travel

Last I was so wiped out, I fell asleep at 8:30. Pretty rare for me, but it happens now and again. Liz and I went to The Police concert the night before at Madison Square Garden, and we didn’t get back until almost 12:30, so I needed the extra rest.

When I finally woke up, I reached over for Liz, only to realize she wasn’t there. I didn’t know what was happening, but I just figured that Liz fell asleep on the couch watching TV, and never made into bed. But when I came out into the living rooLast I was so wiped out, I fell asleep at 8:30. Pretty rare for me, but it happens now and again. Liz and I went to The Police concert the night before at Madison Square Garden, and we didn’t get back until almost 12:30, so I needed the extra rest.

When I finally woke up, I reached over for Liz, only to realize she wasn’t there. I didn’t know what was happening, but I just figured that Liz fell asleep on the couch watching TV, and never made into bed. But when I came out into the living room, I found Liz there, with light on, still dressed, watching TV and folding laundry.

Granted, I was in that grogged out zone, but for 5 am, this seemed pretty weird to me. Until I realized that it wasn’t 5 am. It was 9:30. [i]PM! [/i]I had only been asleep for an hour!

Well, after Liz set me straight, I went back down for another 8 hours, and I am not back with the world again.

My Subway Vindication!

A few weeks back I blogged–okay, okay, I was kvetching–about the overheated subways and just how outrageous it is that there’s no #$%! air conditioning on some of these cars in the middle of the summer.

Well, to show that I’m not totally off my rocker (on this one at least), a report came out in the paper the other day rating the subways according to how often the air conditioning works. And what subway line not only came in last–but [i]waaaaaaaaay[/i] dead last?

You got it? The A few weeks back I blogged–okay, okay, I was kvetching–about the overheated subways and just how outrageous it is that there’s no #$%! air conditioning on some of these cars in the middle of the summer.

Well, to show that I’m not totally off my rocker (on this one at least), a report came out in the paper the other day rating the subways according to how often the air conditioning works. And what subway line not only came in last–but [i]waaaaaaaaay[/i] dead last?

You got it? The E train. The same train that nailed me several times.

Call this a shallow victory if you will, but I’ll take it.

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